Oct 20, 2010

Listen Up Internet! This is My Photography Bucket List | Personal

I recently had the honor of being 1 of 10 photographers chosen to participate in photographer/motivational speaker Dane Sander’s “Collective Focus” workshop in Newport Beach. I along with nine other amazing photographers from around the country spent an unusually warm midweek day focusing on improving leadership in our lives. We were hot, deeply inspired, many shed tears including yours truly, but most of all I think we were all enlightened … about the clarity and direction in our lives. It was definitely a day of growth for me.

Aside from being able to mingle with these unique talents, I also got to know them on a personal level and came to realize despite their immense talents behind the lens, they were even more incredible … as people. While speaking about my hopes and dreams to my partner for the day, Jenna. She said something that stuck with me for minutes, hours, days, and now weeks later.

“Saying your dreams out loud can be so powerful. If you put your thoughts and dreams out there in the universe, who knows …they might have a better chance of coming true.” – Jenna W.

As soon as she uttered that last word, I wondered in my mind why I’ve kept so many of my goals and desires quietly locked up in my heart for so long. Perhaps it’s because by saying these things out loud, I chance failure for all the world to see. But of course by saying these things out loud, somebody out there just might have an avenue or connection to make one of my dreams come true.

That said, I’ve decided to speak to the universe about my Photography Bucket List over the next three years with hopes that maybe, just maybe, somebody out there will have that magic marker to check mark somethin off my list …

1. Book at least 10 weddings in 2011 — I’ve already got four weddings booked for next year, so there’s just six more to go. It would be a huge accomplishment to reach this goal because that means 10 amazing couples will be entrusting Tommy and I with one of the most important days of their lives. And this responsibility is something we do not take lightly — we love our couples to death and making sure we give them photographs that will be treasured keepsakes for years to come is of the utmost importance to us both.

2. Shoot at least three destination weddings in 2011, including one in a country or state that we’ve never been to — As a former destination bride I have a special spot in my heart for destination weddings. I LOVE these celebrations because they’re always so lively and asides from getting the chance to document a beautiful wedding, these gatherings are always filled with so much happiness and excitement because it is also a vacation for everyone to enjoy. Destination weddings have a unique sense of energy and I am totally addicted to it!!!

3. Shoot a destination wedding in Akumal, Mexico before the end of 2012 — it’s the Riviera Maya’s best kept secret hidden 90 minutes away from Cancun. Tommy and I got married in this small beautiful beach town on June 26, 2010, and it would totally be a dream to document a couple’s Big Day on the same shores that I tearfully said “I Do.”

Photos taken by our amazing photographers ~ Stephanie Williams Photography

4. Shoot an Engagement Session in Central Park, NY. — Can you believe my best friend and I visited New York for the first time about 5+ years ago but didn’t even stop to check out Central Park? I know it’s blasphemous but back then all we wanted to do was go shopping and eat pizza, LOL. I didn’t appreciate the beauty in my surroundings like I do today and man oh man, whenever I see photos of Central Park it makes my camera do cartwheels. *sigh*

Photographed by my brother Eugene Sanchez who has kicked my butt in visits to Central Park!

5. Shoot a Day-After/Trash-the-Dress Session in Hawaii in before the end of 2013— in all the 30+ years of family vacations to tropical destinations blessed with heaven sent waters, can you believe I have never been to Hawaii? My family was once dubbed “the Fish Family” by our best friends in Mexico because we can literally spend 10+ hour days lounging in the ocean waters. We LOVE the water and we put being “islanders” at a whole notha’ level. Hawaii looks amazing and I can just imagine how fantastic a backdrop it would be for an incredibly sexy Day-After/TTD shoot!

6. Work on two photography projects or shoots that give back to the community — giving back is vitally important to my spiritual faith and my own happiness as a person. I am happy to donate my photography services especially when it has the possibility to impact someone’s life in a positive way.

7. Book at least eight family, maternity, and newborn sessions before 2012 — I love documenting the journey of a glowing expectant mother because these sessions are always filled with such excitement and joy. And though I still feel like a novice when it comes to newborn/baby photography, I hope to get more experience so I can get better at it. As for family sessions, these shoots offer new challenges and an awesome dynamic that I absolute adore 🙂

8. Shoot at least 10 boudoir sessions before the end of next year, including hosting two boudoir marathons — I’ll be taking my first step in boudoir photography in just a few weeks with some of my closest girlfriends. I did a boudoir session as a gift to Tommy before we got married and it was such a wonderfully empowering experience for me. So now I can’t wait to start doing these and giving women the same sense of pride and fierceness when they look at their own photos!!! *holla*

9. Add at least three new lenses to my collection — Yep, photography is expensive but I am dead set on completing my arsenal next year. I feel lucky enough to have been able to build up a little collection of lenses already, but by the end of next year I hope to be able to call at three of these lenses my babies:  a Canon 70-200 f/2.8L IS II USM, a Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM, a Canon 35mm f/1.4L USM and/or a Sigma 85mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM (because while I love the Canon 85mm f/1.2 it focuses too slow for my taste and yanno I’m impatient!!!)

10. Continue to improve my skills set by attending at least five workshops or shootouts in 2011 — These photography gatherings have been instrumental to my growth as a photographer so making sure I continue to take the time to do them is really important to me.

11. Shoot a Wedding in Europe  in the next three years — yep I’m giving myself some time on this one because I know it’s a biggie. But seriously, it would a dream to photograph a couple with the Eiffel Tower or the Coliseum in the background, or perhaps the Swiss Alps in the distance, or in the beautiful streets of Prague or Spain. And being the ocean girl that I am, you know a wedding in Greece would probably send me into a permanent tizzy. Aaaahhhh, for a chance to document a couple’s love in Europe … I would do anything 😉

A photograph of Lake Lucerne, Switzerland that my brother took during our 2007 tour through Europe

12. Take a photograph of my parents on a beach in the Philippines before the end of 2012 — my family and I have not returned to the homeland since 1985 and so a trip back to PI is lllooooonnnnggg overdue. We’ve continuously said we’d return next year, no next year, no the year after that. Well I’m hoping it will actually happen within the next two years and while I’m there I wouldn’t mind shooting a session or two, or maybe even a wedding OOOOOH WEEEE 😀

13. Make fusion video an option for all our Wedding clients in 2011 — Tommy and I are working on this as we speak and we know this is the future of the business, so we’re definitely hoping by the start of the year that it will become a permanent fixture in our workflow. Tommy will be taking care of this side of the business, but I’m sure I’ll be jumping in there to tell him what to fix, what looks good or what looks ugly … because that’s how I do, LOL!

So there it is Internet for all the world to see … I’ve never spoken about my goals out loud and yes even now I’m wondering if I’m going to eventually be embarrassed by failing to make these things happen. But I guess I’m willing to risk a little pride, and so I seal this blog post with a kiss and send it into cyberspace to see what powers the universe may hold …

P.S. moments before I was about to hit publish on this post, I read it to a very grumpy Tommy, who replied “some of those things you can’t control like you can’t tell people where to get married. I don’t mean to be a downer or anything …”.

Um well yeah, duh. I’m not telling peeps where to get married, but maybe couples who already had these plans in mind will somehow find their way to me through this post. *sigh* I know the dear husband wasn’t TRYING to be a downer but he was … oh Internet universe, please prove him wrong for me!!!!



Leave a Comment 

  1. Nannette Ricaforte says:

    I have refrained from commenting lately because I look like a total loser stalker but this one resonated within me. I always have my life bucket list but not a photography one. I don’t have the cojones to do that yet but I am your biggest cheerleader! The universe WILL prove Tommy wrong. (Sorry Tommy!haha)

  2. z. lynn says:

    Hi, I just found your site through a listing and I must say that I am enamoured with your work. And I love, love, love this list! Great goals! I have to create my own. Since I’m just starting out, I’ve got a long way to go, but putting it out there as a goal forces you to work harder and then others can also join in and help you reach your goals!

    Keep up the great work!

  3. […] the Fall of 2010, I wrote out a photography bucket list with hopes my list of to-do’s would find its way deep into the Universe’s soul and […]

  4. […] remember it like yesterday. It had been almost a year since I posted my first photography bucket list and when I got her email Tommy and I were out eating dim sum. My eyes grew watery and my heart […]

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