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The First Darling Wedding Workshop

Darling Wedding Workshop for women photographers & creatives behind the scenes photos at The Bradford in New Hill, NC.

Whew! What an amazing experience. I’m still collecting myself from all the emotions and prep that went into the first Darling Wedding Workshop. It’s something I’d dreamed about for years. I’d basically planned the whole workshop in my head before I even announced it. We spent the last months planning every aspect of this thing, and it all came together better than I had even dreamed.

Seeing that first car pull into the venue on day one, I almost lost it. Finally this was happening. I attempted to pull myself back together as the ladies showed up, but I don’t hide my emotions well. Looking back, I’m glad they saw my passion for them. I really believe in each of these girls! I saw lightbulbs going off in their heads and ideas coming to them on how to take their businesses to the next level. I saw connections being made that will last the rest of their careers, and there is nothing that makes me happier than that. They grasped on to the vision behind Darling, and this community they’ve built is going to lift each of them up more than they even know.

Those two days were filled with everything technical and emotional about running a business. We covered licensing, camera settings, lighting, marketing, timeline planning, and so much more. Many of the ladies had even attended photography school and had never heard some of the things we talked about!! Their heads are still spinning I’m sure, but in the best way possible.

We did our best to spoil these girls too with plenty of food, sponsor gifts, 2 styled shoots and an engagement session for them to leave with gorgeous new portfolio images. I’ll be sharing more from the shoots later. Today is all about the behind the scenes. Seeing inside a Darling Wedding Workshop. These ladies trusted me when I said it was going to be awesome, but not future attendees can actually see. It really is an amazing workshop! I’m not saying that because it’s my vision. We created here what we wish we could have attended in the first years of our business, and I think the attendees will agree it was worth their time.

Before we get to the pictures though, I need to say thank you to so many people. First off is Kyle. He put up with my late nights, emotional days and ran everything behind the scenes for the workshop while I hosted it. I honestly couldn’t have done this without him. Most of the photos you see below are his : ) Then there’s my mom and my sister who helped watch our baby, and helped with a lot of the crafting for the attendees! I came up with ideas, they made them happen. I have quite the talented family!! My sister’s friend Faith of The Love Other’s Box, thank you for helping serve dinner to these ladies. You and Carter allowed me to enjoy time with the girls without worrying about everything else going on behind the scenes there!

The biggest thank you goes to the ladies of C & D Events, The Bradford, and Green House Picker Sisters. They donated their time and supplies, styling every single moment of the workshop. I didn’t have to do a thing other than tell them my ideas. Dana, you made my life so much easier these past few months! I don’t know how I’ll ever repay you for all your help, energy, creativity & vision with this! Thank you!!!!

There are so many other vendors & sponsors who contributed to this workshop. To all of you thank you!!!! You made this come together perfectly, and I’ll forever be grateful. See the list below to see some of the best vendors in the industry!

Twenty-One Films, we love you guys, and can’t wait to see the promo film you are putting together. Your friendship is so valuable to us, and we’re honored to have you as part of the Darling team!

All our models, thank you for not complaining in the 100 degree heat, having smiles on your faces, and not running away when all those cameras pointed your way. The pictures are looking amazing, and I can’t wait to show you how beautiful you all looked on camera!!!

Last, but definitely not least, to the 10 ladies who trusted me enough to sign up and join me for two days of learning, you will forever hold a special place in my heart. I love each and every one of you, and can’t wait to see where your businesses go from here! Thank you for making Darling a community!

Vendors:
Venue: The Bradford
Styling & pretty much everything else: C & D Events
Decor & Styling: Greenhouse Picker Sisters  
Lighting & pergola: Get Lit Special Event Lighting 
Hair & Makeup: Makeup For Your Day
Cupcakes for the styled dinner: Cinda’s Creative Cakes 
Calligraphy: The Littlest Paperie
Catering: Cafe Luna
Bouquets & Additional Floral Decor: Artfully Arranged 
Linens & China: CE Rental 
Stationery: Jess Creates
Desserts & Cake for the styled shoot: Sugar Euphoria 
Bridesmaid Gowns: Bella Bridesmaids

Additional Sponsors:
Mastin Labs 
Twenty One Films 
Ona Bags
Pass
Blogstomp
Love Others Box

Darling Wedding Workshop for women photographers & creatives behind the scenes photos. Darling Wedding Workshop for women photographers & creatives behind the scenes photos. Darling Wedding Workshop for women photographers & creatives behind the scenes photos. Darling Wedding Workshop for women photographers & creatives behind the scenes photos. Darling Wedding Workshop for women photographers & creatives behind the scenes photos. Darling Wedding Workshop for women photographers & creatives behind the scenes photos. Darling Wedding Workshop for women photographers & creatives behind the scenes photos. Darling Wedding Workshop for women photographers & creatives behind the scenes photos. Darling Wedding Workshop for women photographers & creatives behind the scenes photos. Darling Wedding Workshop for women photographers & creatives behind the scenes photos. Darling Wedding Workshop for women photographers & creatives behind the scenes photos. Darling Wedding Workshop for women photographers & creatives behind the scenes photos. Darling Wedding Workshop for women photographers & creatives behind the scenes photos. Darling Wedding Workshop for women photographers & creatives behind the scenes photos. Darling Wedding Workshop for women photographers & creatives behind the scenes photos. Darling Wedding Workshop for women photographers & creatives behind the scenes photos. Darling Wedding Workshop for women photographers & creatives behind the scenes photos. Darling Wedding Workshop for women photographers & creatives behind the scenes photos. Darling Wedding Workshop for women photographers & creatives behind the scenes photos. Darling Wedding Workshop for women photographers & creatives behind the scenes photos. Darling Wedding Workshop for women photographers & creatives behind the scenes photos. Darling Wedding Workshop for women photographers & creatives behind the scenes photos. Darling Wedding Workshop for women photographers & creatives behind the scenes photos. Darling Wedding Workshop for women photographers & creatives behind the scenes photos. Darling Wedding Workshop for women photographers & creatives behind the scenes photos.

Like the photos? Click the "like" button above or leave a comment! It's the only way we'll know :)If you're getting married and would like to talk to us about your photography, please click HERE to contact us!

5 Days

Selling our house in 5 days and building a new one!

Well, our house is under contract. It only took 5 days. Our plan of leaving for the weekend, so as not to have to deal with showings, worked perfectly. We came home Monday morning to an offer waiting in our inbox. I’m so so thankful for that! We could have done it, but it would have been much harder if we had to pack up baby, dog, work, etc to show the house. Now we get to go back to living our daily lives as if nothing happened, except it’s going to be in boxes now.

I’m honestly not sure if I’m excited or not. I’m still kind of in shock. Mainly because I had it set in my head that we’d move from this house to the new one without a hitch because with bank loan delays the timing would have been perfect. As it turns out, we have a cash buyer who wants to close in less than a month. August 13th! In 29 days, we have to be out of this house. That part makes me sad. This home has been so good to us. We knew it wasn’t our forever home when we bought it, but leaving it’s a lot harder than I imagined.

We close on our new house September 11th, and will be staying with my sister in the interim. That should be fun & interesting. It’s going to be a tight fit over there with two families and two dogs! At least we’ll make some good memories! We do have a 10 day trip planned to New England at the end of August, so that’ll break up the time a little to hopefully make it easier on everyone. I have no idea what I’m going to do about an office for that month. I’ve never edited on my laptop, but now’s as good a time to learn as any, right?

And our stuff, what do we do with it?! We need to start looking into options!!!! As if life isn’t crazy enough, it’s about to get really interesting. Bring it on! We’re Dunlaps, we can handle anything : )

Deana Macdonald - July 15, 2015 - 5:06 pm

I know you can and will handle all of it! Have to movers store everything until your house is ready and then deliver and set it up.

Cindy Watrous - July 15, 2015 - 6:02 pm

PODS.

Terri Schultz - July 15, 2015 - 6:03 pm

Love it.

Like the photos? Click the "like" button above or leave a comment! It's the only way we'll know :)If you're getting married and would like to talk to us about your photography, please click HERE to contact us!

The Busiest Week of My Life

Raleigh, NC wedding photographer sells their home.

This is just a quick PSA that I flat out don’t have time to blog this week. I had all these grand plans on my blogging calendar full of beautiful posts to share, but it’s just not going to happen. Sometimes you just have to call it, and that’s exactly what I’m doing this week in probably what is literally the busiest week of my life.

To summarize here’s what this week looks like in the Dunlap household: return from vacation, shoot a newborn session, Kyle flies to Atlanta and back in one day, close on our old house in Asheville, put our Raleigh house on the market, pack for vacation #2, scrub the house from top to bottom and in between to prep for listing it, chase an 11 month old around the house and try to keep her from pulling all the books off the bookshelf, give up and let her pull all the books off the shelves because the clean up will take less time than trying to keep her out of it, scrub the house some more, get the house power washed, be interviewed for Darling Wedding Workshop’s promo film, leave for vacation #2, shoot head shots for a fellow wedding vendor and friend while on vacation, shoot an engagement session which is the reason vacation is happening, walk a gazillion miles in DC (which is where vacation is happening) because you know there’s no way around it, begin to prep for Ada’s 1st birthday party because that’s only 1 MONTH AWAY, put all the final touches on my first workshop because that’s less than 2 weeks away, pray that the house sells while we’re gone so we don’t have to deal with showings, and oh, let’s not forget the daily ins and outs of being a business owner like emails and such.

So if I’m a little slow to respond, or you wonder why there are no new posts this week. That’s why. If all goes well I’ll be back to blogging next week! If not, you might just see another post like this : ) And if you’re looking for a new home in NE Raleigh, ours is for sale, wink wink!

Like the photos? Click the "like" button above or leave a comment! It's the only way we'll know :)If you're getting married and would like to talk to us about your photography, please click HERE to contact us!

Twenty-One Films | Raleigh, NC Wedding Videographers

This NC videography team is the best. Creative, hilarious, and so much fun!

This crazy bunch of people have become our dear friends over the last few years. It’s so much fun having people like these in the wedding industry with us. They make us smile, make us laugh, and make wedding days even more fun than they are already! We love when we see their names pop up on our vendor lists from brides.

People tend to think hiring videographers isn’t necessary, but it is. It’s oh so necessary. There are things pictures can’t capture. We can’t replay your vows for you or show you how you groom was shaking as you walk down the aisle. We can only capture a moment in time and freeze it to be re-experienced in your imagination. Video can bring it all back to life though! It can make you feel your wedding day all over again. It’s magical and priceless. I can promise you every bride of ours who’s hired this group has come back to us saying how different photography and videography are, and how they’re so happy they had both!

You don’t want to hire any old videographer though. These people are working right alongside your other vendors that you’ve invested in and trusted your wedding memories to. Don’t risk the thousands of dollars you’ve invested in other vendors to save a few on video. Go with the professionals. Go with Twenty-One Films! I promise you, you’ll fall in love with them just like we have. This team is amazing. With two videography teams (one even a husband & wife duo too!) and two full time editors they are a busy crew. I’m so impressed with their creative vision and their business savvy-ness. There’s so much we have to learn from them!

This is my second year taking their team pictures, and I hope it’s a trend we continue with! I love laughing with them as they try to make me as uncomfortable as possible with their silly antics and slight inappropriateness. Not to worry though, they’re as professional as professional comes on the wedding day!

Thank you every single one of you! We are so blessed to have met you early on in our business and have you as true friends now!

This NC videography team is the best. Creative, hilarious, and so much fun! This NC videography team is the best. Creative, hilarious, and so much fun!This NC videography team is the best. Creative, hilarious, and so much fun! This NC videography team is the best. Creative, hilarious, and so much fun! This NC videography team is the best. Creative, hilarious, and so much fun! This NC videography team is the best. Creative, hilarious, and so much fun! This NC videography team is the best. Creative, hilarious, and so much fun! This NC videography team is the best. Creative, hilarious, and so much fun! This NC videography team is the best. Creative, hilarious, and so much fun! This NC videography team is the best. Creative, hilarious, and so much fun! This NC videography team is the best. Creative, hilarious, and so much fun! This NC videography team is the best. Creative, hilarious, and so much fun! This NC videography team is the best. Creative, hilarious, and so much fun! This NC videography team is the best. Creative, hilarious, and so much fun! This NC videography team is the best. Creative, hilarious, and so much fun! This NC videography team is the best. Creative, hilarious, and so much fun! This NC videography team is the best. Creative, hilarious, and so much fun! This NC videography team is the best. Creative, hilarious, and so much fun! This NC videography team is the best. Creative, hilarious, and so much fun! This NC videography team is the best. Creative, hilarious, and so much fun!

Like the photos? Click the "like" button above or leave a comment! It's the only way we'll know :)If you're getting married and would like to talk to us about your photography, please click HERE to contact us!

Handling “No” Like a Pro

Dealing with no Rejection. It sucks. There’s just no other way to say it. It hurts. Art is such a personal endeavor that it reaches straight into the soul when someone says “no thanks”. We feel a piece of us break every time someone says that tiny little word. It’s hard to believe two letters can have so much power.

After receiving tons of no’s and also giving no’s when needed, I’ve come to realize it’s how you handle it that makes all the difference. It defines who you are as a person. Are you someone who lets other people control your emotions, or are you in control of them? Are you angry and vindictive, do you lash back, or are you graceful and understanding?

One thing I try to keep in mind to help when hearing that little word is it was probably just as hard for the person saying it as it was for me to hear it. Think about the last time you had to truly tell someone no. Not just no thanks when the waiter asks you if you want dessert, but no to something you were emotionally attached to. It was hard I bet. You didn’t want to say it, but you knew you had to because it was best for you at that moment. I have to say it all the time now in regards to seeing friends. We’re traveling A LOT this summer, I’m hosting my first workshop (Darling Wedding Workshop), we’re moving, and we have an almost 1 year old. There just isn’t enough time in the day. It hurts me to say no to people I love, but I take comfort knowing they’ll love me even if they can’t see me right this minute, and they understand.

When it comes to the wedding industry, no can be a good thing. The longer you’re in this business the more you’ll love hearing no’s. I actually THANK people when they tell me no. Yes, you read that right. So many people don’t have the courage to email/call back to turn us down, that the few who do get my praise. I thank them for informing me, applaud them for sticking to their budget if that was the reason for no, encourage them if they found a better fit (because honestly both of us will be much happier than trying to make something work that doesn’t), and I congratulate them on their upcoming wedding and wish them the best. If it was a budget issue I tell them to let me know if they find some more wiggle room, and you know what, sometimes they come back. Because I wasn’t mean, I didn’t try to persuade them the million reasons why photography is an investment. I commended their budget savvy-ness and wished them the best. The ones that do come back are the best couples. They are easy to work with, courteous, and value our services because they know it was a stretch for them.

No can be powerful. No can open up doors to more meaningful relationships, better clients, and more success. The next time you have a no staring you in the face embrace it. Give it a big old hug. Squeeze the life out of it so hard that it turns into a YES! Yes to closing doors and opening new ones! Yes to attracting your ideal client! Yes to being valued for your art! Yes to pursuing your dream every single day! YES YES YES!!!!

Like the photos? Click the "like" button above or leave a comment! It's the only way we'll know :)If you're getting married and would like to talk to us about your photography, please click HERE to contact us!