Rising Tide Society . Tuesdays Together – St. Louis {3rd Birthday}

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There are few places I feel completely free to share those crazy business ideas. Few places I can really share my fears in business. My Tuesday Together group is the place to share these things. It is also the place in which we cheer each other on and the place that there are zero egos. No one is better or ‘further’ than the other. And this is exactly what “Community over Competition” looks like. I have mentioned my love for RTS so many times and to learn more you can see here, here and here.

With the incredible leadership of current and past leaders our group celebrated it’s 3rd Birthday and we had to throw a party!

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One of the areas we wanted to showcase was our different members doing their craft.

And we had to toast current and past leaders, but most importantly celebrate the dedicated members that attend each week and bring forth their fears, questions and successes.

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If you are reading this for the first time and are at all curious about this wonderful group, just ask! I promise you that this can change your business and how you network – if you let it! And we know how to have fun!

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We also had a bit of fun with some headshots! Thank you beautiful women for investing in my life and I hope that our group continues to grow in wisdom and joy.

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Calligraphy – Leah Strickman (Letters by Leah) and Emma Vonder Haar
Other fantastic Creatives: Brittnay Sarhage (Rudy’s Flower Truck), Abby Wilhelm (Simply Gracious Photography), Marcelle Calder (Marcelle Calder Art), Sydney Radetic (Filmmaker), and Sandra Grunzinger (Grunzinger Photo)

Why Do Business Owners need a headshot? {business}

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Creative Entrepreneurs often feel like they are hustling alone. Day in and out, writing emails and sending invoices. Yes, there is time to hone your craft, but it seems like most of the time spent is on the business side of their small business and not the creative side.

As a small business myself, I get you, friend. And I want to hustle along side of you.

Recently, I had the pleasure of hanging out with a friend of mine, Libby. I met Libby in college and as our lives changed after college we both started small businesses. Myself, with Sweet Sarah Marie Photography and Libby with Confections by Libby. The incredible desserts that are coming out of her kitchen are spectacular. I was so excited to collaborate with her multiple times and provide some of her desserts for my clients. (If you have tried some of Libby’s desserts, show her some love in the comments!)

I wanted to encourage her and spend some time with this rad lady so I suggested a lifestyle shoot that would help gain some stock photos for her business. And boy, was I blessed.

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Being able to be creative with a fellow creative was so natural. Both of us trusted each others expertise and bounced ideas along with desires off of each other.

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Libby shared a few words with me about our experience:

“Working with Sarah helped open my eyes to what branding and professional photography could really do for my small business. I initially communicated to Sarah the basic visual identity of my business from my perspective, and she took that concept and perfectly captured it in her photography.”

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One of the best times, I believe, to book a session is right before you are about to do a big push. This push could be for a new service, new product, or new presentation that you are now offering. Libby was prepping for her Valentines day push where she created these delectable cupcake bouquets. She so graciously sent this home with me, and friends, if you order this – I promise you that you will put a smile on your face or a loved ones face.

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I mentioned that the bouncing ideas off of each other was so beneficial for the both of us, and when I mentioned getting a bit messy, Libby was immediately on board. Doesn’t she look so adorable with a bit of flour on her beautiful face. I’m sure this is exactly how she looks when she is in the middle of an all day baking session.

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After the session, Libby had some time to reflect and these are some of the kind words she said:

” The photos that Sarah took give me another way to share my brand with others in a clear and beautiful way. I would strongly urge any small business owner to consider investing in lifestyle headshots and product photos with a photographer like Sarah. Having professional photography to share with potential clients not only communicates that you take your business seriously, it shows others the attention to detail that you put into your craft. Thanks Sarah!”

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I was so excited to see Creve Coeur Camera offer another Photopalooza workshop after attending the one in July.  I thought it might be a one time offering, or even a once a year workshop, but they put on another less than 4 months later! This time they also packed it with non-photography topics like running a business and social media, so for those who claim it is only for photographers- you are wrong! This event would be great for anyone who owns a business or has children or just enjoys to learn!

I attended three worshops:

  • Business Portraits – On Site Studio with Tom Tussey
  • Senior Photo Session – Laura Hicks (origionally it was supposed to be with Austin Pekarek)
  • Lifestyle Portraits – Laura Hicks

I would have attended more (and the ones on Friday) if this fall season didn’t have me so booked.

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Some suggestions for people who attend it next time:

  • Make sure you sign up for the sessions early!
  • Go with a friend. You will meet a ton of wonderful photographers but it is nice to go with someone you know. I would encourage you to go to different sessions and compare notes during breaks.
  • Plan food options. There are a ton of local restaurants to check out.
  • Take advantage of the great discounts that day. Go in with a list of items you are looking to buy and price things out while you are there. You might get a really great deal.
  • Talk to the vendors there. Want to know what new products Nikon is putting out? More than likely a representative might be there to chat up.
  • Bring a notebook. These sessions are top-notch and you will take in so much, so bring something to write down all of the tips they share.
  • Network with your session leaders and other attendees. St. Louis is smaller than you think so go meet your fellow photographers and remember that #communityovercompetition is key!

If you attended photopalooza this year, tell me your favorite session in the comments.

Johnson Family {Lifestyle}

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When I tried to define what type of shoot this was, I struggled. Well, it’s a lifestyle and family and maternity and all the things. But that is what the Johnson family is. They are all the things. They are kind, patient, wise, and now about to add a new little one into their fold. So welcome to the Johnson Family + Lifestyle + Maternity shoot. I know you will love them as much as I do.

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When I arrived, I asked them, “What do you usually do on a Saturday morning?” Their response was, well, we like to read.

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I love a family who has slow luxuriously lazy Saturday mornings. Just all cuddled up in a big bed and laughing together.

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And if you end up with a kiss, even better!

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I could not get enough of these two little kids and their personalities.

Johnson Family I am so thankful that I have seen your family grow from two to now five!

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Psalm 127: 3  Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him

5 Tips to Prepare your Pet for a Photo Session {Photo Tips}


Our fuzzy friends are some of our favorite clients and we always encouraging bringing all parts of the family to your session. Your dog, cat, or horse brings out your best smile and are a huge part of your life- so bring them along.

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If you are thinking about bringing a pet, here are a few things to consider.

  1. Location. Does your pet do well in a busy or quiet atmosphere? Are they easily distracted by others? Then we need to pick a location that is conducive to your pet. A stressed or anxious pet is not a happy pet.
  2. Designate a Handler. While we love that your pet will be in some of your photos, we encourage you not to have them in all of your photos. They typically have a shorter attention span and will want to go and play and not sit and behave for the who session. So bring along a friend, coworker, or family member that will be on pet duty as you finish your session.
  3. Pre-shoot Exercise and Be Stress Free. A tired pet is a happy and photogenic pet. They want to sit, rest and adore your love. And the more you feel stressed about the shoot and their behavior the more they will also be stressed. We are all about making everyone – including your pet- comfortable.
  4. Anticipate the Natural. Animals jump, run and dare I say poop. Make sure you anticipate these natural situations. This means bringing towels to clean paws and slobbery mouths.
  5. The Fun Stuff. Please bring necessary items to entertain, nourish, and contain your pet. This could include: appropriate leashes, toys, treats, water etc. Sometimes pets need to know they are being amazing and a well-timed treat is always nice in a session. We also encourage an adorable bowtie or pretty leash to make your pup feel a bit festive.

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The Gagliano {Family} . Lifestyle

A family that makes pasta together stays together, or so that’s how I would image a old Italian proverb would go. Whether it is once in a while or on Sunday dinners, the Gagliano Family comes together to laugh, drink and cook.

Casey contacted me months ago for a surprise family session for her parents, however the weather was just not on our side on the first planned date. On the second scheduled date when we saw that there was a possibility of rain, she suggested a cooking lifestyle session if it did get rained out. Well the weather was beautiful, but I was so pumped at her suggestion – we just did both. And I am so glad we did!
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There is an incredible finesse when making pasta. It takes time, patience and love. Much like the ingredients to make a family work.
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And cooking is always made better with a bit of wine!
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Gagliano Family – thank you for being open to a lifestyle session!

If you are interested in booking a lifestyle session contact sweetsarahmariephotography@gmail.com