Oh, friends, yesterday was such an important day in my business! I took the leap and launched the #KerriLynneNewBrand with my amazing designer @JulieStory! I’m SO grateful for all of your support through the process, and especially the last week as I’ve done 7 Days of Giveaways to celebrate! That was a completely new adventure for me – I’d always wanted to do a giveaway and then I did 7 at once! And now I have this beautiful piece of me to share with you. But what a journey to get here…
This part of my journey has been a long time forming. I actually met my designer @Julie at the Pursuit 31 Conference three years ago. We were paired as roommates and it was a match made in heaven. She bought me an orange scarf as a gift, and I was totally blown away. “How did you know it was my favorite color?” I asked her. “I went and stalked you on Pinterest,” she said. The cool thing is this girl loves intentionally – and little did I know then that seeing that kind of love in my industry would inspire my business as it grew. But it did.
For years now, I have followed amazing photographers like Katelyn James and Mary Marantz, people I see as beacons of light in our industry. People whose brands are authentic – who give not only of their talent but of themselves. Who write posts to encourage and help other people. Who share their struggles along with their joys.
But I struggled for awhile with how to do that. I knew I wanted more of that authenticity, but I didn’t know how to have it.
Looking back, I guess I was being too careful.
The problem with being too careful is, it feels like the right thing to do. And ever since I was a little girl, I’ve always been a person that tried to do the “right” thing.
In my business, I saw that following certain rules and formulas actually worked. Post on your blog twice a week. Put up albums on Facebook with clients’ photos in them. Push your prettiest and your best images on Instagram. I was gaining followers, but was I losing a piece of myself?
Last fall, I starting putting a huge piece of my heart into another adventure – writing for the Delight and Be blog. I’ve known for many years that the Lord was calling me to writing – and that I had a unique perspective on seeing nature and being inspired spiritually. I knew I had something to share. So for awhile, that’s what I did. I put up inspiring spiritual messages on my personal Instagram and connected to my writing, and I put up beautifully edited images on my business Instagram. Kept these two parts of me totally separate. And I always questioned if that was the right thing to do – for me, and for others.
Then, this year I saw a writer and photographer friend of mine, Erin Westermeyer, launch a website that was all the pieces of her, all in one place. Writing. Photography. Random posts with musical selections on Spotify. I looked at that website and said, WOW. That is so her. In being a part of her journey, I saw a mirror of myself and what direction I wanted to go.
I was encouraged to share more of my heart by two of my clients in particular this year. One was a sweet couple I photographed in the Catskills this summer. It was a gorgeous mountain wedding, the kind I always dream of shooting. But what struck me was what they said in their initial email to me. They wrote to me, We love to see that you practice gratitude. We love gratitude too, and try to bring it into our lives every day. From that moment, I loved them without even knowing them. And I saw what it was like for people to know a deeper piece of me.
Then this fall, I was shooting an engagement in Central Park and had the most incredible experience chasing light with my clients. I was watching the sun go down, and we ran to the top of a hill just to catch it before our shoot ended. The light became a beam that cascaded down right over them. I stood there in awe. And they told me during the shoot, we found you on Instagram and we chose you because we love the way you see light. I was a little dumbfounded. For a photographer, everything we do is because of light. I almost overlooked how the way I see light is special, until I realized again that it was. The way I chase light now is the way I’ve always chased sunsets with my mom. With a sense of adventure, anticipation, and hope. I realized then that I had a story to share. And a story I was ready to share.
I knew it was time to put all of these things about me into Kerri Lynne Photography. I wanted a brand based on adventure that was authentic to who I was. I felt in my heart, reach out to Julie. Her name came to mind and I knew she’d help draw out the story in me. Not just because her last name is Story. But because she came to know a piece of my heart and what I was about.
When I filled out her questionnaire online, my heart came pouring out. I was the most honest about myself and why I do what I do that I’ve ever been. And it felt so good. We met over Skype, I shared stories with her. I told her how I became a photographer. What I find joy in. Why I do this. I told her painful things, and joyful things. And I knew I was getting at something – the very heart I wanted to share.
Then we created a Mood Board – all inspired by Pins I shared, of mountains and sunsets and colors and fonts and so many things that made me happy! Then I came up with a LOT of content, photos, wrote the text and stories I wanted to share. Julie sent my new logo and then the website’s initial design, and we exchanged LOTS of emails. Lots of minor things, because right from the beginning, I saw “This is ME!” I saw in this new website,
*My love of adventure
*My heart for gratitude
*My journey chasing light and seeing God’s beauty in nature
So after all the work, YESTERDAY was the launch day! I’m so excited to have this WEBSITE and BLOG to share more of who I am and I hope, to love people even better through the process. I don’t know where the adventure will lead, but I hope the risk I’m taking encourages you to do the same thing. In whatever way you need to take it.
What I’m learning is, the creative journey is a journey of authenticity. We discover who we are. We pour out. We discover more. We revisit again, we pour out again. And at each fork in the road, we have a choice…will we go one step deeper into what is real? Whenever we have the courage to say yes, we see that it’s worth it.
Because in the end, we have one life to pour out.
And saying yes when God calls to your heart will always be the best kind of adventure.
I have SUCH a grateful heart, for this launch is not just about me:
* The HUGEST thank you goes to my designer Julie Story, for seeing my heart, for telling my story, and for representing my brand in a way I’m so thrilled and excited about. You not only saw me, but encouraged me to be led by peace in every decision, loved me even when I was sending you a bazillion emails about tiny things, and guided me in this new process. I couldn’t do this without you.
* Thank you to the Lord, who always stretches me beyond my comfort zone and into deeper and more beautiful waters. This journey is my journey with you.
* Thank you to my mom, for your love and always being there with sound advice. And for inspiring me to chase light and beauty always. It’s because of you that I have this story to share and a heart that burns to shine into others.
*Thank you to my man, for encouraging me during every step of this process! I love you so much sweetheart, and the adventurous journey we’re on together.
*Thank you to Erin Westermeyer, whose risk helped me do the same. #Soulsisters forever.
*Thank you to Katelyn James and Mary Marantz, who continue to inspire my work.
*Thank you to my clients, whose love of each other, life and adventure inspire me to keep capturing stories.
*Thank YOU, for reading this and supporting my journey.
And THANK YOU to these amazing vendors who were a part of my 7 Days of Giveaways this week!
Dear Mia – Etsy
SK Wood Designs – Etsy
Kristin Schmucker Shop
The Giving Keys