Want to know a secret? My girl crush is Joanna Gaines from Fixer Upper. #notashamed.
I am so inspired by not only her creative eye and shabby-chic style, but also her heart for her family, playful spirit, and hustle to use her talents to serve others in a business she created from the ground up. While watching the show one evening, (my guilty pleasure whenever I get control of the remote) I started thinking about the values that Joanna and Chip project through their work and to my delight, realized they actually have a lot in common with what I aim to offer through Firefly!
I know, this revelation rocked my boat a little too-- I mean, Joanna Gaines and I have something in common?! Maybe it's just my subconscious desperately trying to make me be best friends with her, but the more I watched and let the gears in my head turn, the more similarity I found!
1. We make awkward things warm
Chip and Joanna have this incredible knack for turning awkward spaces into warm and inviting homes. At Firefly, I pride myself on being able to take that dad with the awkward "I-don't-know-what-to-do-with-my-hands" pose or the 3 year old who only wants to hide behind mom's legs, and slowly but surely warm them up into genuine, heart-felt connections and captures.
2. We focus on the love behind the work
On every episode of Fixer Upper, it's easy to see that love permeates through everything Chip and Joanna do. They care about the families they serve and every detail that goes into their home, working to incorporate touches with meaning and listening the the family's needs. At the same time, they always show how their children, marriage, and farm are the center of their 'why.'
My motto for Firefly is "let love glow" because I believe that capturing our favorite moments with those we love and showcasing them in our homes is one of the best ways to stir up positivity and gratitude, both for ourselves as we walk by those images every day and for all who enter our homes. Smiles and hugs are all but contagious, even just the sight of them- which is why I aim to keep joy and love at the center of my business at all times.
3. We embrace silliness
One of the things I love most about Joanna is how she just rolls with all of Chip's silly antics. And not only rolls with it, she plays along, encourages, and even lets out her inner goofball once in a while as well. They set a great example for couples to never take each other too seriously and keep each other laughing!
All my favorite Firefly images capture people-- from babies to grandparents-- in the middle of an honest-to-goodness laugh. There's nothing like it! And anyone who has seen me on a shoot with a toddler knows that I can become a bunny, play hide and seek, or make safari noises with the best of 'em. I think it's an unspoken rule that if you're going to specialize in children's and family photography, you must remain part child yourself.
4. We provide creativity alongside consistency.
Every home that the Gaines's work on is different, yet there is also an element of consistency throughout each. Their clients see their personal style and relate to it, therefore, their able to target people who love (for starters) things they love as well-- aka shiplap, rustic decor, antiques, etc. If a couple really loved bold colors and mid-century design, they probably wouldn't apply for the show. And that's fine because it probably wouldn't be a good fit! By remaining unapologetic about their style, they are able to get creative with pieces and decor, while still providing their clients with the consistent look and aesthetic they are known for.
In my business, I also strive to walk that line of creating unique images while still providing the consistent experience, quality, and style for which clients hire me! I believe it's important to build trust so people know what to expect each and every time they work with me, yet also feel they are treated as individuals with my personal care and attention.
5. We go above and beyond to create an experience.
A giant 'before' picture on roll-aways to reveal the 'after' home? Full design and staging down to the last piece of fruit in a bowl on the handmade farmhouse table? Special surprise details from restored antiques to custom artwork with a couples wedding song lyrics? Check, check, and check!
Chip and Joanna go above and beyond to give their clients more than a beautiful home -- they strive to make them feel valued and create an experience that will touch their hearts. This is my goal for Firefly as well! In every interaction with my families, I hope to keep improving the experience I offer to provide them with more than great images, but memories, care, and quality that stands out with excellence.
So yes, I'm mildly obsessed with the Fixer Upper and the Joanna Gaines (in a non-creepy, but sorta 'I love everything you do' kinda way). I'm a far cry from her on-point design skills, grace, and style while doing it all (let's face it, I will never look that cute in a tee shirt and hard hat) but I think this is great evidence that I'm also in the game of creating beautiful, heartfelt work for families all over town-- Fixer Upper style.