Dominican Republic Dreaming ~ What If 2013

I cannot tell you guys how quickly this “off-season” is flying by! (Probably because I’m still tying up loose ends with a few 2012 clients – it hasn’t really felt like slow season at all!) On top of 2012 still wrapping up, 2013 seems to be starting sooner than I anticipated – with family, engagement, baby, and other sessions filling up dates earlier and earlier in the year, and weddings starting in mid-April for us.

Anyway – I suddenly realized that I have only 2 months left of ‘off-season’ before things REALLY get rolling again (even though they don’t really feel like they ever stopped rolling yet – haha)! And I know that seems like a lot of time, but given that a good chunk of those 2 months are already filled with shoots, mentoring sessions, 2 workshops (soon-to-be announced), client meetings, our first annual CTP Client Party, and personal obligations… it seems like time is already all accounted for & there won’t be any left for everything I need to get done and implement before 2013 wedding season starts!

That being said – I kind of went into panic mode this week when we got back from Washington D.C. – like I had to doallthethingsNOW. My off-season to-do list is staring at me from the wall as I finish out my regular to-do list and suddenly I’m fearing that I’ll never get it all done! I feel like I just need a minute to hit re-set… to get my mind in the right place to trust that this year will be okay, and that all those dreams I’m dreaming and hopes I’m hoping will be able to come to fruition.

Just as I was beginning to feel this overriding sense of needing to step away and restart my brain – I received an email from the What If coordinator with details about our trip, reminding us all that it is just over a week away. (Say what?!?! I kind of totally forgot it was coming up that quickly.) After I got over the shock of how fast time is flying, I immediately felt relieved that somehow way back in August when I signed up for What If (totally on a whim – with a liiiiitle urging from Lauren) I had anticipated that this was exactly what I would need right now.

If I’m being honest, a trip to the sunny, beautiful Dominican Republic filled with beaches and tropical drinks with umbrellas in them sounded just like what the doctor ordered at the time (when I was right smack dab in the middle of a crazy busy and stressful wedding season). But I don’t think I really realized at the time how much I needed it for other, less obvious reasons. I realize now – at this moment in time – that I need to get away and be with like-minded artist-preneurs (as they call it on the conference website). I need to push myself outside of my comfort zone and into new territory where fear, doubts, and worry are no longer an option. I need to make more friends in the industry and be a part of a community even bigger than just photographers. I need to spark my imagination and dream bigger… way bigger. I need What If.

And while I’m actually more scared than I have been in a long time for anything – I’m also really excited. Right now I’m a crazy combination of “What was I thinking?!” and “Are we there yet?!” And also, because James’ spring semester already started, I’m taking this trip by my lonesome (with a few other photographers I know and love)… which, again, is pushing me way outside my comfort zone. I know it sounds silly for an adult to say this – but I’m so used to the comfort of having James with me everywhere I go and next to me at every wedding that I shoot – that I’m a little anxious/nervous about spending a week away from him, meeting new people, and tackling some big, scary goals/dreams by myself. I begged him to come along, but he insisted school was a priority (obviously, it is) – and so I somewhat reluctantly booked a ticket for just me to head on this crazy journey.

I can only hope it’ll be even better than I imagined, and that I’ll surprise myself in ways I didn’t think possible. In the meantime, I’m going to be spending the next week alternating between freaking out/scared out of my mind, and jumping for joy/totally excited about this opportunity. Either way – here’s to whatever lies ahead and Dominican Republic dreaming!



Have a great weekend everybody! See you Monday! xoxo!


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Christy & James are Chicago based but happily travel anywhere in the world that beautiful love stories take them!