I was never one to like my photograph being taken, ever. I always dreaded it in high school because I hated every single photograph I was in. I never thought highly enough of myself. Becoming a professional photographer has changed the way I view myself tremendously because for years I've been showing people how beautiful they really are. I would look at photographs some people picked apart of themselves and thought "how? you are absolutely beautiful in this" and it took me years to realize that I was doing the same thing to myself.
Last year around this time my friend convinced me into purchasing a premium starter kit through Young Living. If you don’t know, Young Living sells high quality therapeutic grade essential oils and products that are infused with essential oils. The kit through Young Living includes a bunch of oils, and a diffuser (which is what I was most excited about). Trust me, I’m not here to try to sell you on essential oils or Young Living for that matter, but I’m here to guide photographers who already use essential oils (or maybe want to start) and how to use them within your career. Most importantly ...ON WEDDING DAYS.
Wedding photographers are NO JOKE. Maybe I’m just biased because I am a wedding photographer, or maybe it’s just the truth (hehe). When wedding season first started this year I thought I was prepared mentally and physically, but boy was I wrong. I felt like a train hit me the next day.
So long story short, I wanted to layout everything I use to help prepare myself physically AND emotionally for shooting weddings, and help other photographers who share the same passions!
The Night Before:
The night before is important for me because it’s when I print everything I need for the next day including wedding agreements, and checklists. I also pack all of my equipment, business cards, snacks, hair ties, and make up essentials. Basically it’s my time to make sure that I have everything I need for the next day so it’s important for me to stay focused. During this time I diffuse peppermint and a citrus oil combined.
Peppermint is very awakening and very refreshing. I combine this with a citrus oil such as lemon, orange or grapefruit because citrus oils give off a warming feeling, and they keep me happy. A happy Megan, is a productive Megan! Citrus oils also keep my stress levels down without actually making me tired from being relaxed (such as lavender will).
The Morning Of:
I incorporate essential oils into almost every part of my day, which would include washing my hair in the morning. For this I use cedar wood, rosemary and/or peppermint. Peppermint I would usually use on wedding days because it wakes me up, and feels great in my hair. Cedar wood, and rosemary is just a great add on because it's amazing for healthy hair support, and I use those essential oils on normal days.
The rest of my day depends on how I'm feeling. Usually for perfume my go-to is Ylang Ylang. It has such a sweet, flowery scent and it's not over whelming at all. Throughout my day, if I'm dying of sweat (which is most of the time) I'll dab some of this essential oil onto my wrists, behind my ears, and neck. Ylang Ylang also keeps me sane because it's very relaxing to me. It's definitely one of "my" essential oils. Lavender is also great for relaxation, and sometimes I'll combine the two scents together. I think it's important for me, and other wedding photographers to take a step back and chill out for a second so you can collect your thoughts, and make sure the images you are creating mean something.
There is also a really great blend from Young Living called "EN-R-GEE" and it's suppose to do exactly what it sounds like. I usually put this essential oil on the bottoms of my feet in the morning to give me that extra boost. I'm not a huge fan of the scent, and that's why i'll use it on my feet instead. Your feet are very absorbent, so it's a great place for essential oils.
That wraps up my Rochester wedding shoots! I stumble home, throw peppermint on sore areas of my body (because it has an amazing cooling effect), and diffuse lavender until I pass out. I know there is a big community of photographers who use essential oils, and I would LOVE to hear from you. How do you use essential oils in your every day lives?
Let's put it this way, if anyone knows me, they know Farrah. We rescued her about year ago from Scottsville Pet Adoptions located in Rochester, New York. I always told myself that I wanted a puppy, and it HAD to be a weenie dog (because who doesn't want a weenie dog, am I right?) I was so held up on only wanting a puppy that I forgot there are many dogs that are just as adorable waiting for homes in the shelters.
Thank goodness for my wonderful boyfriend because he convinced me that we just don't have the time that a puppy requires, so we started to look around the shelters for older dogs. I remember having all of these requirements with me such as: not to big, not to small, not to old, not to young, no this and no that, etc. We walked around the local animal shelter downtown in Rochester and played with a few dogs. I remember feeling so sad because I knew that those dogs were lonely. They were on hard concrete floors, with a thin blanket. Some had gone to the bathroom on the floor that they were standing on. Don't get me wrong, the animal shelter is a great place. Not only are they helping save dogs lives, but they are fixing any health issues they might come with. There is only so much a shelter can do for a dog, especially when they are non-profit. Adam and I put our names on a few lists for dogs, meaning if the first person on their list decided they did not want them, it would go to the second person, etc. That day we decided we just were not done looking at dogs, so we went to Pet Smart in Henrietta, New York because they team up with Scottsville Pet Adoptions on Saturday's and there was still some time left to go look.
Walking up to the crates I remember seeing this young black and white dog pulling on her leash that someone else was holding. They were laughing at her because they thought it was cute, and I did too. The couple decided they didn't want her, and put her back in the crate. She immediately fell a sleep. I remember looking at her little face thinking "I need this dog". She looked so innocent while she was sleeping. Her name was Farrah, and she was only three months old at the time. That was definitely younger than we wanted, but her little face....I couldn't get over it. Adam and I we're so excited that we barely asked any questions about her (We got lucky, but make sure you ask questions when you adopt!). They told us they expected her to be around 50 pounds. Never owning a dog, we weren't sure how big 50 pounds looked on a dog. I remember panicking because if we wanted her, we could have her. It was so incredibly easy. I texted my best friend Lizz telling her about the dog, and telling her how I was afraid she would be to big for our apartment. She told me, "It doesn't matter how big the dog is going to be, just know that she'll love you, and be your best friend for life". And there you have it folks. I honestly have to thank Lizz for saying that because right after, we adopted her.
I guess the main point of the story is: ADOPT. It was one of the best decisions of my life. I have crazy, part-border collie mutt, and I couldn't be happier. She puked on my bed this morning, but her darn face is so cute, so it's a win-win.
Here is a year later!
So incredibly excited for this wedding coming up this weekend! It was extremely heart-warming to be around a couple who shows so much love for each other. Not only did we all have fun roaming Corbett's Glen Nature Park, drinking hot chocolate, and dancing in the woods, but it was confusing from time to time being our names were all the same....Meagan and I, and Christopher (the groom) and my assistant for the day, Chris!
A little love story about the two:
Chris and Meagan became friends (as teenagers!) while they were co-workers together at Tom Wahls. This was over 8 years ago! 3 years ago, they decided to re-kindle their friendship, and started dating. Meagan described their first couple of dates to me, which made me chuckle, but also appreciate how nice it is to have these kind of "embarrassing" stories to share with someone. Chris accepted a job in Florida a year and a half ago, and Meagan was starting her nursing program here in Rochester. This was the ultimate relationship test, but Chris proved his love to Meagan, by proposing! She described it as one of the hardest times in their relationship, but it's something they made happen and work. The couple is happily living in Rochester, New York together now, and we're all going to celebrate their love this Saturday!
The images below are from their engagement shoot, back in November of 2015, crazy how time flies, right? Hopefully no one in Rochester gets upset for me saying this, but doesn't hot chocolate and chilly weather sound so good right now? Maybe I'm alone, but I sure do love these images.