Archive for 'UNCATEGORIZED'
I have had the opportunity to work with some of the most talented and personable vendors in the wedding industry. I love to refer my clients to professionals I have worked with who I truly believe will do a great job for them. I have a page in my bridal package dedicated to my favorite vendors, but I wanted to also occasionally spotlight each of them more in depth. So, I was trying to think of an idea to say thank you to the vendors that talk me up and give me so much business and I came up with a couple of ideas. The first is to do a vendor spotlight and introduce them in an interview type way. I emailed a lot of them and they were all so thrilled to be featured on my blog so you will be seeing lots of different vendors in the future! I thought it would be helpful to see different wedding related things and really get to know the people behind the businesses.
A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of spending my afternoon with Amy Cullifer of Amy Cakes. She is just as lovely as her cakes! I have a REAL passion for cake, let me just get that out there… I eat A LOT of wedding cake my friends! Every wedding, sometimes two or three weddings in one weekend, about 40 weeks a year. I KNOW cake. Amy is my favorite cake vendor because her cake LOOKS and TASTES incredible. There are few people who can design a cake so lovely that you dont want to touch it, but you cant NOT touch it because you know how good her cakes taste! Seriously, when my brides say they are using Amy Cakes I know they will be pleased :)
How long have you been in business?
I have been in the cake business for 18 years. I started making cakes for Albertsons when I was 19 years old. It started my love for
baking and decorating. It was great experience because Albertsons baked their own cakes during that time. I learned very quickly and
began teaching classes.
What got you interested in starting your business?
I started my own business years later when I moved to Norman and met Mikel and Tara Crowley who encouraged me to make my
own cakes. I started trying different recipes until I came up with cakes that I thought were moist and delicious. I think it is very important
to have a beautiful cake that tastes amazing too.
Do you do have any employees?
I currently have 2 people that make Amy Cakes happen. I have a baker who rocks! ( My brother Ted). I also have a assistant that
helps with taking cake orders, phone and e-mails. Her name is Olive and she keeps me sane.
What are the best things to look for when deciding upon a wedding cake?
The best thing to look for when deciding on a wedding cake would be to choose someone that you feel confident can create the cake of your dreams.
You want someone who can see your vision and taste is highly important.
Where do you find your inspiration/creativity?
I find my inspiration for decorating in my love of creating works of art. I have always enjoyed the arts. I worked as a florist for years also. I have always loved painting and drawing. Everywhere I look I find inspiration
for my cakes from a piece of fabric to nature. Just visiting with a bride about their day inspires me to make something special. As a cake designer I truly want my clients to love their cakes. I want them to help design their cakes and be apart of the creative process. I want their guests to ask for a second piece!
What do you feel sets you apart from other cake designers in the industry?
I think what sets me apart from other cake decorators is the time that goes into each creation. I also think that I have an amazing tasting cake. It is difficult for me to toot my own horn because I have respect for so many of my fellow designers. My goal is to make a cake that people are proud to have.
What kind of wedding cake did you have at your own wedding? Would you still make the same choice now if you were getting married today?
I have been married for 11 years and actually made my own cake. Everyone thought I was crazy, but my friends know me well and were
not surprised. I had a very simple cake. It was all vanilla which is unusual now. Most brides choose different flavors for each tier. It was
covered in a lace pattern with wild flowers. I still think it is beautiful, but if I had to make it again I would have a very hard time choosing a
design. I love traditional, funky and fun. It would be very difficult for me to decide on one.
When meeting with brides who don’t know exactly what they want, what is the biggest tip you find yourself giving them?
When I meet with a bride who is unsure of the cake she would like. We start by talking about the venue and the flowers they are using.
That helps with what style of cake would be best. Most brides have a color palate they are using and we can start there. I have
designed cakes that were inspired from the dress to the crown moldings on the ceiling of the reception location. The sky is the limit!!
What current trend in wedding industry do you most like personally?
The current trend that I like most would be that the brides are doing a more traditional cake. Not all but, for me it seems that is what people want. It is forever changing and that is what is so great about my job!
What is your favorite thing about working in the wedding industry?
My favorite thing about working in the wedding industry is being a part of a very special time in peoples lives. A once in a life time event. A lot of planning and thought goes into a wedding day and when I get to be apart of that, I think that is truly an honor.
Thanks so much Amy! It was SO fun to hang out with you.
At our PUG (pictage user group) meeting tonight we talked about branding and it was timely for where I am right now. I started to re-brand in January and had played around with designing different stuff. My good friend/assistant/graphic designer/past bride, Taylor, was helping me and we were spending a lot of time talking about what and how Holli B should look and feel like. Then, to be completely honest, I got bored one night, whipped something up that I semi liked and put it on my website to see how it looked. Within the hour I got two emails from clients who said they loved my new logo. It wasnt really “my logo” it was something I was playing with and I had to see it visually on my website to see if I liked it or not. So I then thought I was stuck with it until a couple of weeks ago a graphic designer friend of mine from church and I had a good conversation. A lot of photographers (MYSELF INCLUDED….) think that since we know how to use photoshop we can design logos and such. I have totally believed that lie up until now. I have since hired my friends Grant and Chris at Hilco Creative, met with them and talked with them about my branding ideas and goals. I havent yet seen what they have come up with but I am really excited! I am sticking with the turquoise and red but will have a fresh new look really soon that I will keep forever! NO MORE CHANGING I PROMISE! I really needed someone outside of Holli B (not that you arent FULLY AWESOME Taylor- but you love me a lot) to look at my business and style from the outside and create something new.
Anyway, in other news I delivered Matt and Annas album to them tonight and thought I would show some pics. This time of year is when I have time to really work on last years wedding albums. Matt and Anna got married at the lovely Skirvin and it was fabulous. I dont ever blog about my products mainly because I dont want to look like I am egotistical (look at what I do!) but I thought I would share some photos of their awesome 9.5×13 inch album. Oh, and I wrapped it in my soon to be obsolete packaging….
and they also got these cute little mini albums for their parents! They are exact replicas of their big album.
On a side note, there are three photographers across the united states who I am kind of “coaching/teaching” if you wish, and we have had numerous phone, email, and in person conversations about all things photography related. They are all three just starting out and do not really know how and what to do with this crazy business. I really do not feel like I can “teach” someone just yet but they have asked and I have obliged. I will probably start doing one-on-one sessions sometime this year and charging for this service. Anyway, I found this little nugget of GREAT info a long time ago from a really great photographer, anne ruthmann and I kept it because it really impacted me when I was first starting out. I hope you enjoy.
“What Makes You Different?
Differentiation is one of the biggest keys to thriving in a crowded marketplace. If your work looks like everyone else’s, than there’s no good reason to choose you over someone else, or to pay you more than someone else, unless someone has already developed a personal relationship with you. When you find what it is that makes your work different and sets you apart from the crowd, you are no longer competing against anyone else- you’re effectively creating your own little niche in the market.
A lot of photographers starting out take a while to find their style, and I don’t blame them- I was there once too! Even when I was a musician, a painter, and a teacher, I started out by emulating someone else’s style before I was able to find what felt good for me and before I had the skills to really create on my own and break the boundaries of what was traditional, trendy, or taught to me. Finding your style can be difficult to identify and may require the help of a few people who love you, but once you’ve identified what makes YOU different from everyone else, you can finally begin to sell yourself on your uniqueness and attract clients who love what YOU love and are willing to go out of their way to hire you for it!
Here are a few tips to help you find your individual sense of style, and what separates you from everyone else:
1. Go through your portfolio and get rid of anything that looks like something you’ve seen somewhere else, or that which is a direct copy of something you’ve seen before. What you’re left with is what makes you unique.
2. Anytime you see something that strikes you as cool or amazing, ask yourself why you feel that way? What captivates you? Is it the colors? Framing? Moment? Lighting? Posing? If you have a hard time identifying it in one image, try collecting a bunch of different images that move you and look at them collectively to see if you can identify any trends that seem to appear frequently. It’s often much easier for our minds to make sense of patterns than it is for us to analyze isolated incidents.
3. Poll your friends, family, clients, and even other photographers! Ask them for three words that they feel best describes your work or your personality. If their answers are what you were expecting, than you’re on the right track. If their answers are not what you were expecting, ask more questions to help define the outward signals you’re sending to others.”
Isnt that great stuff? I completely loved every piece of that! Sometimes I see things that are on others peoples websites that look exactly like things that I have done in the past ( shots, ideas, locations, wording, or poses) and I have even had my feelings hurt over it on many occasions. It took a really hard situation for me to really learn about this. We are all different and are not competing in any way for business from other photographers in the same city or state if we all do business around our own uniqueness. I think if we all practiced the above concepts we would all be much better photographers.
On a third side note, I just LOVE our Pictage User Group. I cannot tell you how much I learn every month. I LOVE getting to hang out with the coolest photographers in OKLAHOMA on a monthly basis. You guys are awesome!
Cute matching things for bridesmaids gifts. A friend of mine that we played baseball with got all of her bridesmaids Yankee jerseys to wear while getting ready. I mean doesnt everyone one a little gift from your wedding?
Having us start to photograph early in the day. A lot of brides dont want to be seen without their hair and makeup much less in photos. I think it shows a good progression of your wedding day though!
Going to a different place for all your wedding party pics. You are actually not allowed to photograph at The Vineyard without a signed affidavit from the homeowners association but we got permission for David and Taylors wedding!
I wasnt really anticipating writing a good ideas post today until I got THIS ….
in the mail today.
SO, good idea post #2 is DESTINATION WEDDINGS!
Sara and Justen… we SO cannot wait to photograph your wedding! Barefoot attire here we come…
So, I have been wanting to make a new category of blog posts called Good Ideas for your wedding for awhile now. I know a lot of my brides stalk my blog regularly and since we do so many different types of weddings there are always fun ideas that I would like to share. I love things that are unique and give your wedding a taste of your personality. Here are a few to get me started on the new category….
Fun people on top of your cake. Does this photo really need an explanantion. Love the batman cake toppers!
Little things with your heads on them. I really wanted two of these for my office (Amber if you are reading this, can you please mail me two of these?) I LOVE these. I dont care if I know you or not I would still love to have two little people with actual photo heads on them. So fun.
Handmade signs. If your wedding is not where people can easily find it … making signs is a great idea to not have your guest wandering around lost while you are saying your nuptials. Instead of printing something on the computer you should paint them yourself!