Cairn // vol. 7: 2017 Highlights

2017 was kind of a whirlwind. I kicked it off with a client going MIA and finished it with working with some of my favorite clients ever. It's definitely been a year of growth for me as a business owner and as a person. If I'm completely honest, this year was hard. It was really good, but it was hard. The initial thrill of starting your own company wore off and the hard part that I knew was coming finally came. 2018 will see my second birthday as a company, and hopefully more growth in the mean time!

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Trip Report // Midnight Adventures with Cameras and 8° Mornings

This is a short story about coming home. After spending 6 years beating depression, getting a degree, and starting my own company, I left myself. In a lot of ways I found myself, but over the course of those battles and pursuits, I left my free spirit behind. I fell into the trap of convention, andI found my spirit silenced. That changed on November 21st. That night my soul took a breath it had been waiting years for.

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Jake // portraits

This face is becoming familiar on my blog! The wind and cold was brutal last night, but Jake was an excellent sport! It seems that I always like the results when he's the subject. Sadly, before we could get too many shots, the sun was going down and taking the temperature with it. I'm so happy with how these turned out!

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Cairn // vol. 5: Trusting the Process

This is late, so it's going to cover two weeks, but its late for a good reason. I got to do a family shoot this past Sunday and it was too good not to include in this update. Outside of that, last week I got some hard lessons in self-care, as well as a chance to learn about being a small business owner at the Small Business Success Summit. Last week was a tough week, but good things came from it. The big takeaway from all of this is that being an entrepreneur requires being willing to work on yourself and trust the process.

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Cairn // vol. 4: Emma Goes to a Fundraiser!

It's the beginning of a new week and I'm a little bit glad. Last week was the busiest week I've had in a long time between new clients and places to go. Depression crept up this weekend so I didn't really get the chance to relax, but I'm really grateful for all I got to do last week. The highlights were, going to a fundraiser for the first time, and taking the first step towards my dream of working in the outdoor industry. It's been busy, but sooooooo good! Anyway, I know this is a few days late since I try to make this a Friday thing, but I really wanted to include my Saturday adventures, so hooray! You get two Cairns this week.

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Cairn // vol. 3: Library Adventures, New Projects, More Architecture

See? I'm getting better at this. This is the second week in a row! Crazy, right? This week has been really exciting for me, but it hasn't been without its share of bad news. On Tuesday I found out that a colleague and fellow Des Moines creative was involved in a serious motorcycle crash. On happier notes, I've signed two new projects, went to the library, and have been indulging more into this little crush on architecture I can't seem to shake.

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Cairn // vol. 2: Architecture, Copywriting and Naming this Series.

Like I said. I'm bad at this, so it's been a few weeks. I've been up to some good stuff, like naming this weekly series, trying my hand at architecture photography, meeting with new people, and having some adventures in copywriting (because when you proofread for an engineer, it's usually an adventure of sorts). Let's get started, shall we?

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Trip Report // Design Camp 2017

As I posted last week and flooded your feeds with over the weekend, I went to Design Camp, one of AIGA's best conferences, and their largest regional conference. Design Camp takes place every October at Madden's Resort on Gull Lake just outside of Brainerd, MN. I've always wondered what the value is in going to these gatherings.

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I'm Bad At This // a few updates.

Have you noticed how bad I am at updating the blog?

Me, too. I decided that I'm going to make a stronger effort into at least posting a weekly blog, even if it's just weekly updates with what I'm up to. Authenticity and a willingness to be vulnerable and transparent in my work is a core of my company and I've decided that part of that needs to be connecting with my audience on a more regular basis.

I thought this week would be a FANTASTIC time to start that because DESIGN CAMP IS THIS WEEK! I have been waiting for this for like a whole year! I love Design Camp because of the speakers they bring in (Louise Fili spoke my first year, Mark Simonson did one of the breakout sessions, and this year, Jay Fletcher and Tad Carpenter will be speaking). I always find myself encouraged and reenergized when these design celebrities get on stage and talk about the same struggles or experiences I have. It's not difficult for a creative professional to find themselves experiencing a deep sense of community at Camp. I always feel right at home when I go up there. And did I mention Northern Minnesota in October?

I've been helping Kara Vorwald shoot weddings this month and that has been a blast. I love shooting weddings so much. Kara has been a pure joy of getting to know! She does such beautiful work, creating stunning images that highlight people at their best. Kara is a really sweet woman with a fun sense of humor and a gentle and kind spirit. If I'm not quite the right photographer for your special day, I really hope you give her a call. If she is the one capturing your special day, you're going to love your photos for decades to come.

On that note, I am booking weddings for 2018 and 2019! If you just got engaged, have a look at my wedding portfolio (I just added some new photos with more on the way!), and let's get in touch! Book by December 31st to get 2017 pricing!

That's all for this week! Don't forget to say hi in the comments! Because nobody likes a creeper.

— emma