I can still remember the warmth on my arms,
the feeling of sand beneath my feet, and
what was I'm sure a look of complete bewilderment on my face.
We were standing on the beach in sunny Santa Barbara after just escaping the harsh northeast winter. Chris had turned to me and said..."What if this was just our life? What if I was full-time with you and we could come to California whenever we wanted?"
I had to fight the urge not to laugh. The thought of Christopher quitting his job so soon after we had just bought our first home, it had to be a joke.
"Are you serious?!" I finally managed to say.
"Yes! Just imagine it...we could live anywhere we want, work from the beach, go surfing in the middle of the day!"
I had to remind him, that as awesome as my job is, it does actually involve WORK! And while in theory, we could surf in the middle of the day, that would mean having to work all evening instead.
Always the realist.
That's me. So many of my photographer friends boldly proclaim that they are dreamers, and I've had to fight that little voice that questioned my authenticity as a "real photographer" if I wasn't also a dreamer. I thought the two had to go hand in hand. In order to succeed big, I had to dream big.
But what if big dreams scared me? What if keeping a handle on today was hard enough? I've always been a one-step-in-front-of-the-other type of girl. Literally every last duck needs to be in a row for me to take a single step. I need systems and spreadsheets and templates and checklists...I need order and it has to make sense. I can't just throw myself forward without a net! This caution is probably why I've never broken a bone! So imagine the surprise on my face when I replied...
"Okay. Let's do it."
The moments following involved snuggling in the sand, then dipping our toes in the ocean, then walking out to a Mexican restaurant on the pier. We relaxed our way through fish tacos with the smell of salt water and sunscreen just under our noses...my three favorite smells. Or at least they're my favorite now! They'll always remind me of that moment and of the big dream we started that day.
It's been almost two years, but it's finally happening! Look...I agreed to dream, but I still had to get my ducks in a row!!! I'm still me after all! So, two years later, the systems are in place, the spreadsheets have been made, and the checklists are all in order. CHRISTOPHER IS OFFICIALLY A FULL-TIME MEMBER OF CASSI CLAIRE PHOTOGRAPHY!!!! And I'm not the only one who's excited!! :)
"Can I possibly be more excited? Never mind just escaping corporate drudgery, I simply love weddings. I love being surrounded by people on the happiest day of their lives! I love being part of a business that thrives on creativity and positivity! Most of all, I love working with my darling, my one-and-only, my buttface miscreant, Cassandra. I'm impossibly excited for the future ahead of us and all the wonderful couples we're going to meet!" - Chris
We launched "Cassi & Co." in early 2016 and this will be Chris's primary focus. We are incredibly thankful to have so many amazing couples inviting Chris & I to be a part of their day. However, since day one of our business we've wanted to deliver a boutique experience to our couples, and that meant turning away couples once we reached capacity. Instead, we decided to invest in a small team of photographers who could carry our mission to serve these couples.
Cassi & Co. is made up of two Team Photographers: Lauren and Keri. Both of these amazing ladies have been personally trained by me, and I trust them to care for my couples just as much as I do! Chris will oversee our team and also take the reigns on C&Co. client communication (don't worry, I'll still be the only contact for our "Cassi Claire" couples!). He'll take some other tasks off my plate as well (including my frenemy Quickbooks!), which will allow me to focus on business growth, marketing, and all the fun stuff!
We'll have more to share about Cassi & Co. in future posts, but for now, I leave you with this amazing quote our Pastor shared at church recently. Even though Chris was already full-time at this point, hearing this quote reassured me that we made the right decision! Cheers to escaping the grey twilight and striving for mighty things!!! <3
"Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure...than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a grey twilight that knows not victory nor defeat." - Theodore Roosevelt
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Cassi Claire is a New Jersey & Destination wedding photographer
that specializes in vineyard, estate, and waterfront weddings!