12/25/2006

So this is Christmas...

It’s raining now, but yesterday it was a balmy 70 degrees in Charleston, SC. The gifts are opened. The fried turkey is all torn apart. Graycen lays in her pack-n-play as the magic of her second Christmas plays out in her sweet little dreams. If it’s true that Christmas loses it’s magic as you get older, it sure comes back when you live it through your children.

Our Christmas card is a reminder of how quickly things change. See card below (special thanks to our friend Paul Martin for photographing):


2006 Card



2005 Card



As the year closes, we are reminded of all that we have to be thankful for. 2006 was an outstanding year for us, both as a family and as a business.

We photographed 44 weddings around the country from the Bahamas to PA, SC, and all over the nation, and we were blessed to meet some of the neatest people ever. In September we moved our headquarters from Orlando, FL to Chattanooga, TN. We’re excited about our new studio as it provides a wonderful place for clients and a pretty delicious office space for us! It’s a 1940’s house in the heart of Chattanooga’s North Shore district. Downstairs we have a gallery and a client meeting area, divided from our office. We also have a corner dedicated to the Blue Button Boutique, a little girl’s dress shop with trends provided by a designer in Aspen, CO. Upstairs is the theatre room where clients review their images, as well as another room for us to grow into. If you’re in the area, please come by and visit, we’d love to see you. We still operate remotely in Florida as we spend roughly 10-12 days a month in the Sunshine State. Working from two locations allows us the opportunity to stay fresh and feel a little bit like we’re always on vacation. :-)

In the springtime Garrett gave up corporate life by turning in his suit and tie at Florida Hospital. We are so thankful for all the great people that are a part of the AHS/FH organization and the support they provided throughout the transition. While Garrett was transitioning Joy balanced the tasks of motherhood and the challenge of marketing and education in the world of photography.



In February we headed to Newport Beach, CA, and spent an amazing week with 20 of the best photographers in the country. Mike Colon was the instructor, and he and his family were tremendous hosts. One of our friends secured a 6,000 sf beach-house in Laguna Beach, where we all hung out when we weren’t in class. It was an inspiring week and it couldn’t have happened at a better time as we were launching into this dream, full time. We were also blessed to see several friends from college and high school while we were visiting Southern Cal.

In July we were fortunate to piggy-back a few days vacation onto our Redstone, CO wedding. Redstone is abouht 60 miles from Aspen so once the wedding was over we headed over to the resort town and spent a few days shopping, eating, and relaxing. On our way back to Denver we drove through Independence Pass, which provided some of the most amazingly rugged views we’d ever beheld. What a treat.

In August, we snuck away for a quick weekend in Myrtle Beach with Brandon and Maria. It was fun to hit the links for a couple days and spend quality time with family. Later that month we spent a long weekend in Rochester, NY, with some of our closest friends, installing a fence in their back yard. We also got to hang out at Niagra Falls and visit the world-famous Wegmans at least six times in four days. For those not familiar with Wegmans, it’s a super-cool supermarket and they’re continually ranked as one of the top employers in the country.

In August Garrett returned to the classroom, this time as a photography professor at Southern Adventist University. He’s always been excited about the possibility of teaching, so this was a great opportunity to get his feet wet. It was a great experience, and the faculty pitched in to cover when we were scheduled to be away.




In October, Garrett headed to Vermont with a small group of 12 photographers for another workshop, this time with Hollywood wedding photographer, Joe Buissink. We are firm believers in continuing our education and keeping fresh and inspired.

In November, we, along with the Holritz Photography team, hosted OSP South II. With roughly 100 photographers visiting Chattanooga, everyone had a great time and had a blast making new friends. November also marked the launch of our DVD for photographers, elevate. We’re excited to be able to provide a significant portion of the proceeds from the sale of elevate to the medical mission relief in Africa.

As we look forward to 2007, we’re excited about meeting many new people and connecting with those that we don’t have the luxury of seeing on a regular basis. Our 2007 schedule includes photo assignments in interesting places such as Savannah, GA, Key West, FL, Santa Barbara, CA, Jamaica (twice), Scotland, Norway, Italy and many more. In January we’re hosting our first intensive seminar in Orlando. In March we’ll be in Vegas for the annual WPPI and DWF conventions. And hopefully we’ll be able to squeeze in a nice family vacation at some point.

On the homefront, Graycen continues to grow…quickly. She’s running all over the place, getting into everything. Over the past couple weeks she’s decided to make it her task to close every door in the house, standing on her tip toes, and wrapping the ends of her fingers around the doorknobs, she pulls and pulls until they finally latch shut. Then it’s on to the next one. Her vocabulary is growing, she LOVES to “read” and sing and give lots of kisses.

One of the biggest blessings about returning to Tennessee is being closer to family. Graycen enjoys hanging out with her grandparents and aunts and uncles frequently. Next year she’ll be blessed with her first cousin, which we’re really excited about. Fortunately the six-hour drive between Chattanooga and Charleston is only 20 miles further than the drive from Orlando to Charleston. So visiting family in South Carolina will still be easy.

Joy and I work hard to balance the responsibilities of parenthood and the business. Daily we are reminded that we are continually spread too thin, and time passes without consideration. We have many goals and projects for 2007 that we can’t wait to share with you. We are also reminded of what a blessing it is to wake up every day, knowing that we have the possibility to permanently impact peoples’ lives through photography.

If you've read this far you're a better friend than we realized! Our heartfelt thanks to each one of you for your role in our lives. To our friends and family, thank you for always being there, no matter how busy things get. To our amazingly wonderful clients, thank you for honoring us by letting us into your lives. And to our fellow photographers around the world, many of you have become some of our closest friends — your life and your passion are such an inspiration.

Here’s to an outstanding 2007!

We love you,

Garrett, Joy and Graycen

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

wow-

you guys are inspirational. happy holidays!

//ed

Anonymous said...

Wegman's IS the coolest supermarket ever! :) Merry Christmas, and a happy New Year to you guys!

Mike said...

What a fantastic year! Hope 2007 will bring as much fun, joy, excitement, and opportunity as 2006!!!

Anonymous said...

Garrett and Joy--thank you for your precious Christmas card that is hung on my studio office door! You are such inspirations and such generous-hearted people. May your 2007 be abundantly blessed! PS: I read the whole post. ;)

Carole Foret

Brian & Esther said...

We are very proud of you! We look forward to seeing your studio! We look forward to seeing you! Even though Fantasy Football may not be your forte, building fences and being friends is where your talents lie!

Ok, there, I posted to your blog! Now it's time for Nolan, Dave Leonard, and Paul to post!

We love you guys!

Brian/Esther

Frank DiMeo said...

Love love love you guys!

Anonymous said...

We love you!

Merry Christmas!

a

Chris Uglanica said...

Hey Joy, G$ and Graycen,

I hope that your Christmas was a fantastic one, spent with your family. All our very best to you all in 2007. May it be healthy, happy and prosperous for you and those you love.

With our love,
Chris and Janice.

Anonymous said...

What an AMAZING year for The Nudds! We are so thrilled for you guys!!

Have a FANTASTIC NEW YEAR!! We could not be more pleased to be part of the wedding lineup!! Less than 2 months.......we cannot believe how fast it is coming!

Can't wait to see you guys again!

Sticky and Brandy

Kenneth + Elaine said...

Garrett, Joy and Graycen. What an awesome year! You were greatly blessed and it shows. Blessings on you and your family for 2007. It was a great read. :)

Smiles,

Kenneth + Elaine