Friends, It’s July! I can hardly believe how quickly this year has flown by. I hope each of you had fun celebrating the 4th of July yesterday with family and friends! I absolutely love July for so many reasons. July means a hot southern summer. July means swimming. July means cookouts with friends and enjoying the long summer sunlight. July means lots of ice cream. But one of my favorite things about July is that it’s my birthday :)
I love birthdays – the perfect excuse to gather and celebrate with loved ones, and what better reason to set aside some time to reflect upon the past year and start dreaming even bigger for the next. Well, it just so happens that TODAY is my birthday and this weekend I’ll be lucky enough to be spending lots of quality time with family and friends. I can honestly say that every year I can’t imagine being any more grateful or loved…but then it happens. So very lucky and thankful for this life I get to live and the wonderful people I get to share it with.
Youth is happy because it has the ability to see beauty.
Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old.
Now onto the real purpose of this post….
Last December at the Engage! conference I met a fun little gal (no really, she is an adorable, pint sized, super fun, amazingly authentic person) and we became fast friends. Her name is Paige Chenault (uber-talented wedding and event planner) We hung out through the welcome evening gala and just as the evening was closing so we could all head to bed for a bit of sleep before day one of the conference, Paige mentions she is one of the speakers and that she will see me in the morning. That evening we shared a little bit about ourselves and our businesses so I naturally assumed she would be speaking about her event planning business…which she did, kind-of. I truly had no idea how much she would touch each and every attendee that next morning with her kind, kind heart. By applying her talents used in her day-to-day event planning business, and with the help of her wonderful community, she has created a movement that is making an impact.
Paige introduced us to her true labor of love – The Birthday Party Project, a non-profit organization she founded. The mission is to bring joy to homeless children through the magic of birthdays. By partnering with homeless shelters, TBPP provides birthday parties and gifts for all their resident children between the ages of one and eighteen. Each birthday kid receives a crown, ribbon, personal cake and a $30.00 gift – the other kids participate in celebrating with activities and cupcakes!
Liene Stevens of Think Splendid!, in a re-cap post of learning about The Birthday Party Project shortly after Engage! said the following that I find to be so true :
“The [second] reason this hits close to my heart is that I am passionate about finding solutions that end the cycle of poverty. Some could argue that The Birthday Party Project isn’t changing much of anything, since it’s not meeting felt needs (food, clothing, shelter, jobs, etc), but I disagree. The cycle of poverty is much more than just finances and economics. It is also tied to access to the arts and education and self-esteem, which cultivates imagination which leads to innovation which leads to long-term change.”
So why am I posting about this today, on my birthday? It’s simple, I would love to get you, friends, involved in this wonderful organization. One of my dear friends and colleagues, Jacin Fitzgerald, kickstarted a pretty cool initiative called Share your Birthday. BRILLIANT!
I would be so appreciative for anyone who loves the meaning behind birthdays and values the mission behind The Birthday Party Project to take a moment and CELEBRATE in sharing my birthday.
If you’re like me and love an excuse to visit a store like Target to peruse the party supply aisle, you can check out their WISH LIST and send items to TBPP to use directly. There is also the option to make a direct DONATION and more! Take a look at the link at the end of the post to find out more information.
Please take a moment and watch this video, I promise it will melt your heart. A table cloth, a $10.00 donation, a few birthday cards, you name it – all will be so very appreciated and the kids will love it!
MY CHALLENGE ::
Now, I am always game for a good challenge…especially if it’s for a good cause. If anyone out there comments below AND emails me (email@example.com) that they have a box full of each and every item listed on the wishlist I will happily skip on over to a party supply store and match it :) Get creative – one person doesn’t have to do all of it, you can coordinate with friends and kind folks in the community to make this happen! This offer stands until July 31st, 2013. I sure hope I’ll get to mail a box full of goodies on August 1st to TBPP office :)
*I will match a box for the first person to complete this…how wonderful would it be if there were many!!
The Birthday Party Project Shirt GIVEAWAY!
For anyone who gives a donation or mails something directly to TBPP, comment below to let me know and on August 1st I will draw a few names to win one of the awesome shirts The Birthday Party Project created – see the image below of me rocking one around town :)
SHARE YOUR BIRTHDAY :: http://www.thebirthdaypartyproject.org/#!shareyourbirthday/c1py5
*IF YOU’RE LOCAL TO RICHMOND, VA and have something you would like donate please email me and I would love to arrange a time pick it up and HUG you in person as a thank you :) This will allow me to ship all local donations together in one happy box!
**If you decide to send in a donation or mail your own package, please do mention it’s for “Sharing Cyn Kain’s Birthday” so I can properly thank you!
For you social media addicts out there…here’s the info you need :
Photographer friends, guess what is coming to Virginia this summer!? The Branding and Business Essentials Workshop!!! Florida based Photographer Shay Cochrane and Graphic Designer Ashlee Proffitt have teamed up with guest speakers, local commercial photographer Casey Templeton and myself, a southern based wedding and portrait photographer to provide an incredible 10 hour workshop designed to help photographers in the early stages of their photography business!
The Essentials workshop is for photographers who are serious about their business but are unsure about how to take it to the next level. It is for photographers who feel like their business is “stuck”, lacks a clear brand identity or is based on people-pleasing instead of confident artistry! It is for photographers who are losing the passion and clarified direction to do what they love OR who know exactly what they want but just aren’t sure how to do it! It is for the photographer with big dreams for their business but who is lacking the confidence, clarity and business savvy to make it a success!
The Essentials workshop has two main goals. First, it is designed to help you to ask yourself the right questions to identify your passions, strengths and goals as they relate to your unique business and to create a clear and effective branding concept that represents you! Second, it will equip you with essential business tools to hit the ground running with that new clarified brand and business model with a plan to get the clients of your dreams and to get back to doing what makes your heart the happiest as the owner of a business that is flourishing!
Special for my current mentees and CKP followers, if you email me directly I can send over a direct private link which offers a discounted rate for your seat :)
With just two weeks to the main event there are just a few seats left, hope to see y’all there!!
More Essentials workshop details on the official Essentials Workshop site :: www.essentialsworkshop.com
Happy Friends!! Last Friday I flew to New York City to document a behind the scenes look at New York International Bridal Week for Southern Bride & Groom Magazine. Twice a year designers come for all over and debut their new collections for the upcoming season. SB&G had a few local bridal boutiques attend as well which was such fun seeing them in action as they decided which gowns they thought would be a good fit for their clientele. Be sure to check out SB&G’s blog next week for a more detailed look at our experience.
Happy New Year, friends!!! I rang in the new year with the lovely couple you see below…my goodness, what a fabulous way to kick-off your marriage! Thank you all for your support in this past year. 2012 was a year of growth for me personally and professionally as I not only had the opportunity to work with so many new couples and colleagues but we marked our 1 year anniversary in a new city and made so many new, amazing friends! Below you will find a little sneak peek into Caroline and Mike’s New Year’s Eve nuptials AND the winners for the CKP Holiday Giveaway!
Thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway! Winners are announced below with the name you entered online (And no worries, I made sure to count those entries on Facebook too!). Everyone was given a number and from there I used a Random Number Generator to be sure everything was random and fair :) The prizes were given in the same order listed below and as in the giveaway announcement post.
You have ONE week to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to claim your prize. After January 8, 2013 if I have not heard from you I will randomly select another winner.
$10.00 Starbucks Giftcard :: Jackie
Whitney English Planner :: Blair Thomas
Amber Housley Spiced Candle :: Kalli Christiensen
Emily Ley Simplified Planner :: Katie O Selvidge
Lifetime of Happiness by Annette Thurmon :: Sara Rose
Lifestyle Session with yours truly :) :: Kelly Aziz
Now while I love shooting weddings and families, I get so excited to work on projects outside of that world…anything from product shoots to headshots for creative business owners and editorials. When Jessie approached me about photographing her home for a feature on The Everygirl blog I immediately jumped on board. Not only is Jessie a sweetheart, but to have my work featured on one of my favorite online resources made this such an exciting opportunity!
CLICK HERE to see the full gallery of Jessie’s lovely home tour and interview.
Here’s a peek at a few of my favorites below, but be sure to check out the full gallery HERE. Leave some love if you enjoyed the feature!
I just love, love, love this last image! Jessie and her handsome pup Hank…she and her hubby also have another pup you will get to meet by checking out the feature on The Everygirl. Big thanks to Jessie and The Everygirl for letting me participate in this fun project!
Part two of my time with the ladies of Hitched and Hitched Maids is shared on Ritzy Bee blog HERE. Love this post as the Hitched ladies talk about the hottest bridal trends and what goes behind the scenes with Charles W. Bunstine, III, of Anna Maier.
I had a fantastic documenting ladies of Hitched and Hitched Maids during NYC Bridal Market. To me it seems we’re always seeing the glitz and glamour of the market….and lets be honest, what girl doesn’t swoon over all those gorgeous gowns that float down the runways on those ever so beautiful models? I know I do! For this market though, I wanted some behind the scenes looks, I wanted to know what buyers really go through after the runway shows are all said and done. These ladies have one tough job – after seeing hundreds of stunning gowns they have to decide what will be selected for their boutique.
It is that one time of the year dedicated to love. The day we are supposed to show appreciation to the loved ones in our lives. While the day is a great excuse to eat lots of treats, swoon over lovely flowers and is full of fun – whether it is a date night with your better half or a night out with your best ladies – today can also be a great reminder for us all to act with love more often.
While re-branding last year I knew I wanted a tagline/signature (for lack of a better word) for people to associate me and Cyn Kain Photography with. With much thought and word play, I decided on “Choose Love”. It is simple, but absolutely how I feel about every situation life throws at us. I know that these words have actually impacted people which makes me so thankful. A few months after my brand launch I received this message from an amazingly talented photographer – this photographer who I call a friend – a friend who I have actually never met (we connected through MTH) – a friend who has a HUGE, kind heart. She was going through a rough time and said this ::
“… I’ve been so angry, confused and bitter…when she called me today, I realized that I had to CHOOSE LOVE. Loving someone is a choice, and your sweet words came flooding in. I get it now.”
Her choice to act with love was a turning point in how she would handle this overwhelmingly tough time in her life. Yes, it can be hard. Yes, it is not always fun. But love is always a choice. Reminding myself to live like this, full of love, has made me a better person. Love always does a body and mind good. Love always prevails.