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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Birth, Bravery, and Giveaways {Personal}

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So I have a little secret… okay it is not a secret. In fact anytime you look at my drivers license, you can see it. And that is my birthday, in a few days I will turn the big 30. The Dirty Thirty. Or what I like to call it… Thirty and Fabulous.

What you don’t know is that I wanted to do something crazy. This year has been one of the craziest years in my life and I wanted to document how I feel about myself. So I did a 30th Cake Smash. Yes, with hair, make up, a cake, and WINE- because you are only 30 once. I did this session in the summer – because no one wants to freeze for a December outdoor cake smash session. So I have been sitting on this secret for almost 5 months and I have been dying to tell you all!

One of the reasons I did this was to document how I feel about myself, but the other reason was to be brave. I ask my clients all of the time to celebrate and smile in front of my camera. How can I not also ask myself to do that as well? I know that it can be scary to be in front of a camera- but you deserve to be celebrated and to document exactly how you are right at this moment. Maria, the owner of Sketchbook Photography, did an amazing job photographing how I feel about turning 30.

Here is a sneak peek:

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Lastly, with my birthday coming up… I want to celebrate! So over the next week or so, I will be giving away daily surprises that are my favorite things!

Tell me about your favorite birthday in the comments!

Brecca + Gryff {Pets} . Forest Park

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Meet Brecca & Gryff.

Brecca is a whip smart new St. Louis resident who is full of kindness and laughter. I was so blessed to meet her at my new church and immediately it felt like I had a friend- which I had been praying for. Like most St. Louis residents, she felt the loneliness of an apartment all to herself and new she needed a friend at home. When Brecca, talks about Gryff – even before she brought him home- her eyes lit up and she may have said crazy things like she bought a nannycam for him. Yes- she is that kind of dog mom- but she then explained she just wanted to be a good neighbor and make sure he didn’t bark too much. Now isn’t that a kind neighbor!

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Gryff is a sweet Springer Spaniel that love his owner, people and especially other dogs. This playful little guy did so well on our walk. He loves sticks and the adventure of tall rocks.

I am excited to see Gryff get bigger and see Brecca love him even more- if that is even possible.

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Celebrating Sister {Personal}

Growing up I had an instant best friend. She was born 16 months after me and became my mini me. Well, a much more destructive bubblier version of me. Who knew you could pack so much trouble and sweetness in a tiny little baby. But there she was – my sister.

This month I finally got the opportunity to photograph my sister, Ashley. Over the course of many years with great (and hard) moments she is still my instant best friend.

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Her smile encourages all who see it. She is full of laughter and sass. And with that sweetness, comes her silly faces. And boy was this session filled with them.

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She is the peaNUT butter to my jelly. My salt to my pepper. My peas to my carrot

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Ashley is kind and so sacrificial, but she is also one of the hardest workers that I know. It was nice to capture her softer side as the sun set over Creve Coeur Lake.

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And because she is Ashley- here is a funny face.

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Happy Birthday Sweet Sister! You are another year older – and for the love of tacos- hopefully a year wiser. I admire you in so many ways. You encourage me by your kindness and sacrificial love. Keep lighting up the world with your smile!

Lauren {Senior} . Forest Park

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If I could pick one word to describe this session it would be magical. The details that were thought of and the willingness to try new things made it simply perfect.

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There is so much more to Lauren besides her stunning smile. She is full of kindness, understanding and so much intelligence. She told me her favorite place to be is outside without shoes and with a book. I tried to include all of her favorite things in her senior session.

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I believe that often those who are quiet are overlooked. We may not be the first to raise our hand, you won’t find us in the middle of a party and we might prefer staying home in your pajamas crafting or reading. But we are fierce and full of light and love. Don’t underestimate those who are quiet as they will always surprise you.

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I told you that the session was full of magic. When Lauren’s mom asked if we could use sparklers in the session every inch of me wanted to scream YES, and I’m so glad that I did.

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The session ended with some soothing shoeless bridge sitting.

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Congratulations Lauren. I wish you incredible opportunities as you finish your Senior Year!

Luke {Senior} . Tower Grove Park

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Strong, stoic and kind are the words I would use to describe this young man. Listening to him talk about his many future aspirations and interests was a true delight. I have no doubt that Luke is bound for an amazing future in college and beyond.

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Luke came dressed to impress in his dapper suit and electrifying tie. And this guy was willing to jump up on ledges in it! That is dedication.

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This guy has a winning smile and attitude. He values time with family and with his sweet pup!

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Luke came prepared to show his true game and it was great to see Luke in his favorite outfit his jersey. He is a proud member of the Lutheran South High School basketball team and I’m positive he is encouraging guy on and off the court.

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Thank you Luke for spending some time with us in Tower Grove Park. Congrats on your Senior year!

Abigail {Senior} . Faust Park

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Simple rustic beauty. There is so much beauty in nature. In lush green arbors. In fields of flowers with butterflies dancing. And then you add in a sweet, kind senior and you have the perfect combination. And this girl rocked not only a killer pair of heels but also a sassy pair of boots.

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I am known to be a planner. I like to communicate expectations so that the client doesn’t have to wonder about what will come next. I thought I had done exactly that, until we pulled up to Faust Park and realized that it was a local high school’s homecoming that night and everyone and their mother was at the park for photos. As anyone who is a planner would react, I was basically freaking out inside and considering all the things that could go wrong, but on the outside I was quickly contacting Abigail and her mom about an adjustment on the meeting location so that they would know exactly how to find us. In the end, the session was perfect. Yes, we had to be a bit more patient for some locations, but the kind and forgiving attitude that Abigail had was so helpful when dealing with a potentially frustrating situation.

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I love that she picked out two different outfits that worked so well together.

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Abigail has the prettiest smile, but I also adored her awesome stare as it feels like she looks sweetly deep into your soul.

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I have no doubt that she will succeed in all that her future holds. Congrats on your final year of high school.

Emily {Senior} . Forest Park – Flags of Valor

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When I say this girl is up for anything, I totally mean it. We happened to pick the location of Forest Park on September 11 when they had the Flags of Valor memorial. The stunning sight to see over 7,000 flags representing fallen soldiers is enough to take one’s breath away. Each flag included a bio about a fallen soldier along with a dog tag.

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Emily took the busy park in stride and was game for anything all while looking absolutely stunning.

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We were blessed with some gorgeous light and this girl with her rockin’ smile.

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Emily is not only incredibly sweet and kind, she is also a fierce competitor. She and her teammates became state champions in volleyball this year!

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Some of the behind the scene information that you may never know -well not until now- is that often times there are not ideal places to change when we take senior photos. I always tell my seniors to dress in layers so that there can be an easy transition. However, sometimes we have to get sort of creative with the location to change. Emily was such a trooper and thankfully with the crowd due to the event also came portapottys! Like I said- a trooper!

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Emily, good luck in your future endeavors as you are sure to share kindness everywhere you go!

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