Arizona Wedding-Boudoir-High School Senior-Photographer » I'm Stacy Kokes, and I photograph love...

I can’t believe that it was almost a year ago when I wrote my first Coffee Talk Monday post. I’m thrilled that what was such a random idea, turned into something so great. Wait, that just sounded like I was tooting my own horn. I didn’t mean to say that these posts are GREAT, cuz we all know they’re nothing special. I just mean great as in…ehhh forget it!

Fact: I love my husband dearly, but I can not WAIT for him to go back to work tomorrow! I’ve heard numerous parents talk about how they can’t wait for Christmas break to be over and the kids go back to school but I could never really relate. Until now. Joe’s been off of work for 11 straight days and it’s been lovely EXCEPT for the fact that I can’t get anything done. I am dying to get back into my routine. One that includes singing at the top of my lungs while editing, taking an afternoon break to watch Dr. Phil and one that doesn’t consist of Joe coming into my office every hour saying “I’m bored….“. I better prep my playlist.

Confession: It’s 2012 and I still have my belly button pierced.

It’s been 3 years since I stepped foot into a gym. After mourning the loss of my Lifetime Fitness membership (aka we cancelled to save on monthly expenses), I eventually got used to working out at home. Actually, I grew quite fond of the ‘roll out of bed and walk straight into my “gym” (aka the living room). It had it’s perks: No waiting for equipment to open up. No obnoxious loud-breathers. Not to mention the fact that I actually knew the person who used the shower before me. But after 3 years of working out at home, the cons started showing up. Like the fact that my couch sat RIGHT behind me which obviously was way more inviting. Plain and simple, our workouts were sucking. Bad. So, we finally bite the bullet and signed up for the gym again. Oh.my.goodness. I’ve missed it! Mark my words, I am not going to be one of those ‘news years resolution’ gym go-ers. I’m in it for the long haul, people! Hold me to it :)

Happy Monday!

 

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Brides, I teared up when he saw you in your wedding dress for the first time. That photo that makes me laugh every time you look at it because you’re reminded of how silly you two are together, it makes me laugh too. Those centerpieces that you spent days shopping around for the perfect fabric and WAY more hours than you thought making all of them, I remember them. And they were gorgeous. I saw that look of love and heartbreak your dad had after he kissed you and placed your hand in your groom’s. Grooms, I remember how anxious you were, standing there, waiting to see your soon-to-be wife for the first time. The fun pair of socks, cool shoes, bow tie or unique suit you picked out was a hit. The look you had when your bride walked down the aisle is what every bride deserves to see.

Thank you. Thank you so very much for choosing us to be part of such an important day in your lives. I hope that you know that it really does mean so much to us. We don’t just shoot the day, we experience the day with you and for that we are honored. Thank you for making our 2011 season what it was. We are so grateful for each and everyone of you, and pray that you have a healthy and blessed 2012!

 

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My top 11 SKP memories/accomplishments of 2011

1. Shooting my promo video

THIS. WAS. AWESOME. I had dreamed of having a promo video for over a year. When I found Kale Fitch, I knew he HAD to be the one to shoot it. His talent is ridiculously awesome and he has a personality to match. During our first day of shooting, I remember looking around at everyone that was involved and thinking….’wow, I can’t believe this is all for me!’. I felt so blessed to be able to reach this milestone in my business and share it with such wonderful people. If you haven’t seen my video yet, check it out HERE.

2. Changing my business name from SLP to SKP

This was one of the biggest things to happen to my business…EVER! I started my business in August 2009 as Stacy Lynn Photography. About a year into my business, however, I realized there were several reasons why the biz name had to be changed (you can read more about the ‘why’ HERE). The idea of changing my business name was exciting and scary all at the same time, but I’m SO glad that I made the switch. I feel so at home as Stacy Kokes Photography that I almost forgot that I used to be called something else!

3. Rebranding with Emma Robertson

Once I made the decision to change my business name, I knew I had to do it right. It was time to go big or go home! Up until this point I had designed (and redesigned AND redesigned) my logo myself which was a terrible idea, let me tell you! So I hired Emma Robertson, graphic designer, to do my rebrand (logo design + marketing materials). Let’s just say, she NAILED IT! The second I saw the completed logo, I knew it was so perfectly me. Every time I look at my logo/marketing materials, my heart beats a little faster. You can check out Emma’s amazing work HERE.

4. Launching my Showit site

So I had a fancy new business name, a kick a$% video and an ah-mazing new logo…it was time to put that all to use on a sweet website. Of course, I used Showit. They are THE best. I could write an entire blog post on Showit alone, but let me just keep it short n’ sweet by saying I LOVE SHOWIT. With Showit, I was able to design a website that I am completely in love with.

5. Being part of the Jasmine Star Workshop

If you haven’t heard, I have a bit of a girl crush on Jasmine Star. She’s such a remarkable business woman/photographer and I would be on cloud 9 if my business flourished even half as much as hers has. She’s awesome, people! So when Joe + I were asked to model for her workshop, my jaw hit the floor and I immediately replied ‘YES….DUH!!!’ It was so fun being in front of her camera, learning from her and getting to dress up as bride and groom again :).

6. Adding “Coffee Talk Mondays’ to the blog

At the beginning of 2011, I decided I wanted to add in a weekly blog category; something that would keep me actively engaging with my readers and ‘fans’ (I don’t know that I actually have any of those, but nonetheless). Thus came ‘Coffee Talk Monday’. Let me tell you, it has been way more fun than I ever anticipated. The response and feedback that I have gotten has been wonderful so THANK YOU for reading, commenting and having ‘coffee’ with me each week!

7. Getting published on 6 wedding blogs

One of my goals on my ‘101 in 1001 days’ list was to get published on a wedding blog. I was SO stoked when it happened once and am more than honored to have been featured on 6 total. Kim + Devin’s proposal shoot was my first shoot to be published (on two blogs actually) followed by two engagement shoots, a styled shoot and a wedding. Let’s see if I can beat that next year ;)

8. Exceeding my financial goal

Can’t complain about this one, right?! ;)

9. Going to WPPI for the first time

The WPPI Vegas Conference was one of the highlights of my year for sure. I met so many amazing photographers and had WAY too much fun!

10. Speaking at the Phoenix PUG group

Speaking in front of my peers is always something I wanted to do, but it terrified me just thinking about it. This year I had the chance to punch my fear straight in the face when I was asked to speak at the PHX PUG group. Take that, fear!

11. Falling more and more in love with my job

It’s hard to believe, but I can honestly say that I am more in love with my job this year than last. Can’t wait for what 2012 will bring!!!

  • January 9, 2012 - 9:40 am

    Charity Maurer - LOVE it Stacy. So proud of you and all that God has blessed you with/used you in this year! You are a talented girl, and I’m so proud to now call you my friend! :)

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The clouds rolled in on the morning of December 4th. Soon tiny droplets of rain began intermittently falling from the sky, putting an outdoor wedding in question until finally the decision was made. Rachel + Jake’s outdoor wedding would now be indoors. It wasn’t what they planned, but it didn’t matter. The rain could not steal their day. Rachel was still the most ravishing vision in white. Jake was still in awe when he saw his bride for the first time. Their moms were still in tears as they watched them say their vows to one another. And their marriage was still just as sweet. Because they knew that even though this didn’t go as they planned, God had planned their day to go EXACTLY as it played out. And it was perfect.

My heart was truly swooning all day long as this wedding. 1: Because Rachel + Jake have become friends of ours and I was SO excited to see them get married. 2. This wedding was FULL of diy details. 3. It was in a barn. Need I say more?

Rachel + Jake, we are SO excited that you joined the married club. We love you both and are so thankful that you chose us to be your wedding photographers. Can’t wait to hang out when we get back :) xoxo.

Time to get the party started!!!

  • December 27, 2011 - 12:44 pm

    Renee Kaminski - Stacy these are absolutely beautiful! Your reception lighting ROCKS!

  • December 27, 2011 - 1:48 pm

    Sara Hasstedt - Beautiful Stacy! Love that dress shot and you got so many gorgeous detail photos!

  • December 28, 2011 - 8:21 am

    Eden - What a neat idea for a venue. Nice work :)

  • December 29, 2011 - 8:38 pm

    Jen - I do love it! Someone surely spent *forever* lovingly making all that decor! Very fun!

  • December 29, 2011 - 8:39 pm

    Jen - I do love it! Very fun. Someone surely spent *forever* lovingly making all that decor.

  • December 29, 2011 - 8:40 pm

    Jen - Whoops – please delete one of those!

  • December 30, 2011 - 2:06 am

    Jennifer - Gorgeous pictures! I’m getting married here in April and I can’t wait. Beautiful bride and a stunning dress. Any idea on the designer?

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Merry Christmas to all of you! I hope that your Christmas was filled with the love of Jesus, family and friends. We’re back in Wisconsin visiting with my family and enjoying the cold (well maybe not the latter!). Today was the day that we celebrated with the whole fam: my parents, my 5 brothers and sisters, their spouses, and my 12 nieces and nephews. I LOVE when we all get together. It’s always a beautiful mixture of food, rambunctious kiddos, and great memories both old and new. The house smells of my mom’s famous eggs ‘benny’ and sticky buns….DELISH! I’m sure I’ve gain 5 pounds today. But then again, I probably burned a lot of calories from all the laughing I did today. So let’s just say that it all balanced out ;).

This year, my group of friends challenged one another to partake in a Christmas Random Act of Kindness. The rules were simple; think of a way to bless someone randomly, record it and share it with one another. Joe + I decided to go to the gas station on Christmas Eve and pay for someone’s gas. Not gonna lie, I was a little nervous and may have chickened out one, two…or maybe five times before actually approaching someone but finally I mustered up the courage! I got out of the car and made my way over to the random lady, explained that I wanted to bless her by paying for her gas…..and she said no LOL. As if I wasn’t already nervous enough! But I didn’t let it get me down, rather I approached the next family that pulled up and it turned out great. The guy was so taken aback by our request to bless him. It was AWESOME. Just thought I would share this with you, and encourage you all to take part of a random act of kindness as well. You won’t regret it!

My cutie nieces and nephews. They’re all growing up so fast!

THIS is how you know it’s been a good party ;)

 

Merry Christmas + Happy Monday! xoxo

 

  • December 26, 2011 - 8:04 pm

    Jen - Oh, poor Mom! What a great hostess!

  • December 27, 2011 - 10:56 am

    Kris - Love the last pic & comment that goes with it! So funny: )

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