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The Happy Togs | Category Archives: Everything Else | Page 2

Referring clients to your competition… why?!

Did that thought just make you jump out of your skin, with worry & anxiety?

It used to make my skin crawl… and honestly, I would book myself out beyond availability just to not have to say “no” to a client and, GASP, have them go to my competition.

Then I stopped and asked myself WHY? 
Why am I worried about my competition… and instead of fearing them, why don’t I get to know them and their work.  After that initial though played into my mind… another thought entered my brain.


Why NOT refer?

If a potential client asks for a style or vision that I do not offer or am not comfortable with…. or my overflow clients …. why NOT refer the out to professionals that I trust?  Instead of booking myself out of capacity, or making a “waiting list”… why not refer to other professionals that I trust & admire?

In my early stages of business, this thought never entered my brain.  I wanted to greedily gobble up every bit of client that I could, and build build build.  I was not thinking clearly, obviously….

THE REALITY… I have a new, & positive, frame of mind.
And I’m proud to share my photographic friends to ANY client.


1) I care about my clients… truly.   If I am unable to work with a client,  I want them to STILL GET AN AMAZING SESSION and gorgeous images to cherish for lifetime.  Therefore, I want them to go to a reputable, talented, and experience photographic artist.  Plain & simple.

2) My competition… isn’t my competition. Of course we vie for the same clients, same industry and same money, to put food on our tables an clothes on our backs… however, I firmly believe there are “enough fish in the sea”.  Honestly, if a client prefers another photographers style and work to mine… that is not a client I want.  I want people to book me for ME.

Not only can I learn & grow from the other professionals in my area… but I can also gain some truly talented, loving & amazing friends… that are there for me in my BUSINESS LIFE and also my personal life.   We form one big team of photographers… on the same page of our business and how we run our companies.

If I have learned one thing from this HAPPY TOGS experience… it is…  friends are so much more enjoyable than competition.  My life is happier with these amazing photographic friends in it…. and my business is thriving with MY OWN STYLE thanks to then.  We refer to each other if we are booked, or if a client contacts for a style that we don’t offer.

It’s a beautiful thing… that helps us all grow as business women, and human beings <3


Jessica Scheuler… how she has inspired me!

Oh boy. Where do I even begin? Someone who has inspired me in the photography industry… Jessica Scheuler of J Jo Photography.


I’m pretty sure when God thought of the perfect friend, he created Jess. I could go on for hours about this beautiful soul (whom I’ve never met but will in October), and the amazing support, positivity, light and peace she has brought into my life.DSC_2174 copyw

As a former fulltime photographer, I realized I couldn’t support my three girls on my varying income as a photographer alone anymore, so I had to make the difficult decision to return to the non-photography working world. It was a tough pill to swallow, but by the grace of God, Jess was right there to pick me up when I felt like a failure, assure me I am still worthy as a photographer and can juggle my life and do it well.

She has always been my No. 1, quick to go to battle for me and cheer me on through my successes.

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While she has been an AMAZING supporter as a fellow Photog, she has been equally amazing in her community, volunteering countless of hours for The Bethlehem House, a non-profit agency that supports homeless pregnant women. Jess pours so many resources into providing each Bethlehem client the same stellar customer service and experience her clients get, ensuring these sweet mothers-to-be walk away with fine art portraits of this special time in their lives … Which may be the ONLY thing beautiful in their lives going for them while they tend to growing beautiful babies in their bellies.

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I’ve written a novel, but I wanted everyone to know how amazing this girl is, as a friend, mother, wife, photographer and child of God.

I wish everyone could know Jess-because those who do know her are blessed.

xoxo Megan Edwards…
fellow photography & proud friend of Jessica


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Shoot… like a Happy Tog

Have you ever thought… “how much fun would it be to work with my fellow photographers, doing something amazing… magical… and being inspired from each other?”

If you haven't… you should!  It feels simply amazing.



In the past few years, I’ve seen an increase in negativity in our beautiful and colorful photographic industry.  From being over competitive, unfriendly, backstabbing and even a new word being birthed… the BULLY TOG.  This made my heart ache, and my “people loving” soul feel confused.  WHY CAN'T WE BE FRIENDS?! 

So the happy togs planned an event unlike any other…. instead of shooting to compete, why not shoot to MEET! So was born… our shoot outs! We just had our very first, in Chicago… and along side 25 other professional photographers in my area… we SHOT TOGETHER!  Side by side… with beautiful models and stylized scenes from a magazine… we worked together as photographic ARTISTS, not as competition.  

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Think 1/4 photography workshop.  Now, you don't learn techniques, or editing skills, like you would in a full workshop…. but what you do learn & gain is observing the mentor (other artists you work with), PLUS build up a beautiful portfolio, & most of all… RE-INSPIRE yourself.  Really… they ahhh-mazing.

It was beautiful, in so many ways.  New friends were made, inspiration was shared, and at the end of the day… we all shared a glass of wine (or a moscow mule, ha!). 


I mean, what is not more glorious than having friends who share your passion… your creative inspirations… and who totally love to geek talk about camera gear. LOVE IT! 

There is enough UGLY in the world we live in, so why not spread some happy throughout it. 

BE HAPPY… it feels so much better for the soul.  Here are a few images from our event… what a fun day! 

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Join us… Reset Conference 2016

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My founding Happy tog, Jess Weinstock Photography, and myself… we are going to be BREAK OUT SPEAKERS at the 2016 Reset Conference !



It’s fabulous… and friendly… and educational… and, well, here this says it best…

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Frequently Asked Questions about Reset…

March 13 & 14, 2016

IHotel in Champaign, IL.  Click here for more location information.

$349 per person

When can I register?
Registration opens on June 1, 2015 at 9:00am.

How can I register?
Click here to register for The Reset Conference




Here is the whole list of speakers >>> CLICK HERE <<< …
the line up is pretty insane… and we are uber honored to be part of it all!

So why not join us?
It’s affordable…. educational…. and GOING TO BE AN AMAZINGLY FUN TIME!



Simply Actions ~ 10 Ways We Can Make Our Industry Better!

Simply Actions wrote something that resonated with me… so after asking, and with a super excited response… we share this great article all about happiness, and YOU + PHOTOGRAPHY.


10 Ways We Can Make Our Industry Better! ~ by Reina Procee
“Some people fear for our industry. They say it's going in the toilet. They say it's over saturated… They say it's lost its professionalism and its value.

I say eat.my.shorts.

But that's somehow counter-productive seeing as that response is a little childish… So here is a better response.”

10 ways that I think will SAVE OUR INDUSTRY.
(there are 10 on the direct site Simply Actions for full article).

You can read 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6… 9 & 10 on their site here:  Simply Actions… but Im going to share 3 of my favorites):

6.5. Charge pricing that is competitive in your local market. Don't undercut your colleagues, and yes they are your colleagues!! Not your competition! It's not fair to them, it's not right. It's actually kinda lame. So don't do it.

7. Stop labelling local photographers as competition. They are your colleagues. You may compete in quotes for the same job, but you are completely unique. Your style of photography is just yours, and 9 times out of 10 your client is hiring you because they click with you. That's it. They love your work but the deciding factor: do they feel like they have a rapport with you? These are things that you cannot compete with other people over. So stop. Treat your colleagues as such. Go out for brunches! And when your month is fully booked pass on the referrals!

8. Stop… And I mean it, just stop… Stop commenting on other photographers business pages with your opinions or CC of their work. Know there is a line, it's called professionalism. Don't cross it! No matter how much you feel that photographer may ask for it. Because here is the thing. Your clients might be seeing this. Again: you want them to value you, you want them to pay you money, then show them that you are a professional! Repeat after me: “no drama for this mama” (I have a fur child, it's allowed).

… now head over to their site >>> Simply Actions <<< to read the rest.  It's a great TOP 10, and worth your time… your business, and soul, will thank you. 


Get your Happy on!

Things that make me happy…
Seeing professionals come together and stand tall, sharing inspiration and kindness through out our community.  Not judging each other or throwing “punches”, but instead helping to better the industry by doing and saying things that are HAPPY & POSITIVE.

Makes me proud to be a photographer, once again.


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Ben Sasso – the Photographers Manifesto

I found this through a friend… and it is more  than share worthy.

Ben Sasso’s “The Photographers Manifesto”….

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direct quote:

I have seen absolutely beautiful things happen in the photo industry. I’ve seen strangers become best friends, I’ve seen grand ideas being brought to life, and I’ve seen photographers grow from beginners to mentors. I’ve seen so many things that make me proud to be a part of such an amazing community. The sad news is that I’ve also seen the uglier side of it. I’ve seen jealousy turn into bad-mouthing, I’ve seen photographers knowingly leave out key techniques from classes or talks, and I’ve seen new photographers become discouraged and disheartened by the cold shoulders of the more popular photographers in the industry. For a lack of better words, that sucks. Nobody benefits from negativity like that so we might as well get rid of it.

Let’s change things.”

read the full article >>>HERE<<<  It’s more than worthy to take a minute to read it… it’s truly an inspiration to us all..


{Inspired by} Courtney Weittenhiller | Twig & Olive, Love Jackie Baughman

HI! I'm Jackie, from Cream N Cocoa Photography… and I'm here to share with you my friend Courtney from Twig & Olive (formerly Blue Dandelion).

“There are so many beautiful people I've met in this industry that I'm proud to call friends. I often wonder, when bitterness between photographers turns up, if it's simply a matter of not taking the time to communicate with one another or perhaps jealousy getting the best of us? I'm certainly not perfect and had moments I'm not proud of as a friend but over time I've learned the value of humility and never to take oneself to seriously in this business.

In the end, NO amount of money or fame will ever hold a candle to good friends.

This past week, I was touched by the generosity of a good friend, Courtney Weittenhiller of Twig & Olive Photography flew out to Las Vegas to help me shoot my new niece's newborn photos. I had mentioned to her that I was nervous with the outside shots as I don't shoot newborns outside that much and she offered to help!!! Having a friend do something so selfless was truly inspiring! We had a great time shooting, loving on the baby, talking, and having lots of Vegas fun!

Courtney inspires me not only as a photographer but as a person!”

You can find Courtney here:



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{Inspired by} Lisa DiGeso | Milk & Honey… love, Amy McDaniel

Our first ever “INSPIRATIONAL Guest”…. and I’m so honored to have received this submission. Not only because I agree about the wonderful things she has done for our industry, but also because the woman who submitted her is also an inspiration in her own.  Hope you enjoy… and this brings a smile…

Hi, I I’m Amy McDaniel, from Dew Drops by Amy
and I want to share with you, my friend Lisa DiGeso.

I’ve known Lisa from Milk and Honey for a couple of years now but I have been a fan of her work for much longer.

She’s a constant source of encouragement and inspiration to photographers around the world.

We all have our bad days and social media makes it so easy to share our feelings at any given moment which can sometimes lead to misunderstandings but Lisa keeps things positive at all times and is a personal source of calm and peace for many including me!

You can find Lisa here:


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7 Day Happy Challenge! Steps to being a Happier Photographer… (and human being).



To be a better human being… a happier artist, help your community, bring HAPPINESS to others… and feel more fulfilled day to day.


Seven days… each with one simple goal in mind.
Let’s give it a try… you have nothing to lose but HAPPINESS <3
And we can all use a little extra happy in our lives.

Compliment a stranger…
That girl at the check out… tell her how pretty her curls are today.
Or the barista, let her know how great the latte she made was…
How about your client… give a true, honest, and heart felt compliment.

Nothing can create HAPPY like being/feeling “noticed” for something little.


For one entire day… don’t express a single complaint.
Your coffee is cold? You’ll survive.
Kids want an extra book at bed time… go for it, with a smile 🙂
Woke up with a bad hair day… well that is not fun, but do your best to put on a happy face and find something positive bout that wild head of hair on top of your lovely melon.


Pay for the drink of the person in line behind you…
or the gal in front of you at the grocery store, grab her $10 grocery tab.

The smile and joy you will give, can make all that matters to that person.
Bring cheer!

Sometimes we need to thrive in our “silly”….
Be proud of our quirks and the things that make US different.

Maybe snap a silly selfie of yourself, and text to your friends.
Make them smile, and enjoy being a goofball.

Remember… it’s what’s different that makes us all unique.
Even if we do not feel, act, or dress the same… we are no more important that the next person.

That gal who just picked up her camera… give her inspiration and offer kindness, not grudge or disrespect, or eye rolling.

The mother walking the mall… with the tattoos up her arms, tell her they are BEAUTIFUL, instead of judging her choices.  What is not for one person, may not be for all… but we ALL deserve to be who we are, with out judgement.


Anything negative… ignore it this day.
That friend, website, artist, on Facebook who posts negative things, or makes you just feel “ho hum”. BLOCK their page. Don’t read it… for at least a day (or maybe forever?).

Something bad happen today?  Find the positive in it instead… ya know, “glass half full” instead of 1/2 empty sorta mentality.  Lemonade from lemons… you get it.
This might be my favorite step in the week…
Do a shoot JUST FOR YOU. Not for a client, not for a paycheck… just for the ARTIST in you.  Find rejuvenation in your work… and your love of photography… THRIVE in this last step… it’s one of the most important.

Whether it’s your own children… wildlife… floral arrangement, or just the light though the stained glass… SHOOT-4-U.

After day 7… do it all over again!