Honor. Sacrifice. Pride. Character.

What does it mean to have served our country?  An important topic that some of us have lack education and appreciation for.  Well I’m here to tell you that it’s never okay to forget.  It’s never okay to not acknowledge those who paid a price for our freedom.

A price paid doesn’t always mean combat.  While those who bear the costs of battle carry a heavier burden, the rest of them can still rightly say they’ve served our country.

In 1776, we issued the Declaration of Independence. In 1783, Great Britain formally acknowledged the United States’ freedom. For more than 200 years, the brave men and women of our country have put their lives on the line in the name of this…..

The land of the free and home of the brave.

As I reflect on what being a veteran means to me, I am filled with a sense of gratitude and pride. I am grateful for the men and women that came before me, those that came after, and those that are still serving today. This gratitude extends not only to fellow veterans, but also to the friends and family who sacrificed, endured, and patiently waited while their loved one served.  While I am not able to say that I am one of so many that answered our country’s call and put on the uniform of the greatest nation on earth, I’m proud of my family members who did.

I come from a family that has served our country proudly, and being a Veteran for them was the “standard,” not a choice. I was taught pride in my country and for our Nation’s flag. Being a Veteran is an investment into personal character. It helps to develop who we are and what we want to strive for. Being a Veteran teaches the value of service. In my opinion, there is no better title than that of a Veteran.

Being a veteran is the true embodiment of sacrifice. It is a sacrifice of time with your family, missed birthdays with your children, spending holidays in remote and austere locations, possibly being shunned in the very communities you live, and suffering the mental and physical pains that come with that sacrifice, but still being willing to do it all over again. – Jesse Sanders, PGI VP of Operations

It is an honor to give gratitude to those who serve. Veterans serve in honor of our country, those who served with us and before us, those who didn’t come home, and those haunted by the memories of battle. The word “veteran” is the past tense of having served your country. The title comes only after a proactive commitment to enduring courage.

Veterans aka Heros….. We salute you.

Below are some veterans that were honored by San Diego Real Producers Magazine for the month of November.  It was a pure joy to not only be a part of something to honor these great men and women but to get to know them and spend time with them will forever be a part of us.

Thank you Jessie Wright for who you are as a human and friend.  We are humbled and grateful to be a part of your business and all you do for the San Diego Realtor community.

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New & Expecting Mommas

EEEEK! Guys! We are so excited for all the new mommas out there!!!

We just got done filming “@dailydoseofJules”.  Her first Pre & Postnatal course that’s launching soon 🙌🏼🙌🏼🙌🏼!

She is so excited to share with you mamas (and mamas-to be) the tools, tips and resources that we all wish we had after having our first.

Her mission is to help support and empower you with SIMPLE steps to help make the “fourth trimester” less overwhelming.

She wants you to feel super supported and confident knowing you’re doing the right things to not only heal and nourish your body but also SAFELY start losing the baby weight.

If you or anyone you know can benefit from this course tag them or DM her!
She cannot wait to love and support you mamas!

We were honored to capture her vision and bring it to life.  We can’t wait to see and hear about all the women she will impact during their special season of having babies!!

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“Big thank you to @mikeandjennphotography for the amazing work they did today! You guys made me feel so safe and less of a nervous wreck!” – Jules @dailydoseofJules

If you are expecting, CONGRATULATIONS, we would love to be a part of this season with you!!  Capturing you and your family during this time, would be an honor.  You can reach us at http://www.MikeandJennPhotography.com.  We’d also be happy to support and resource you with all the amazing individual we know like Julie.

She is a true ROCKSTAR!

Hello everyone and welcome!  We’d like for you to meet Amber Anderson.  She was featured in the November issue of San Diego Real Producers magazine and it is well deserved for sure!  She is being highlighted for her “ALL OUT EFFORT” and we couldn’t be happier for her!  You can see the article below and if you have any real estate needs, be sure to give her a jingle.

Partnering with SD Real Producers has been a blast for us!!  If you are looking for professional head shots for your business, marketing materials, brand and more, we’d love to be a part of it.

This session was photographed in La Jolla, CA near Amber’s office, Sotheby’s International Realty, and the background was perfect for what we were looking for.  We were able to show Amber in her true realtor self all the while capturing every beautiful side to her.

No matter what your business is, we can capture your best side too.  The true you.  Bringing out the best in our clients is what we do!  So if you are a midwife, investor, life coach, yoga master, chef or whatever your passion is….. let us capture it!  You can see more of our work here and don’t forget to visit us on FB and Instagram.  We are Mike and Jenn Photography everywhere. 🙂

Experience The Difference

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Mike + Jenn Photography

photographybym.edwards@gmail.com

562-446-6500

Feel beautiful on the inside!

What a pleasure it was getting to know Jessica!  She is full of life in every way!!  More than a hairstylist for sure 🙂  Her infectious smile and colorful personality, you will be drawn to her as we were!

She carries herself with confidence and pizazz and we are delighted to show you more about her!!

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Some will say I was born to be a hairstylist. Coming from a family of artists, creativity was of second nature to me and I realized at a very young age that hair would be my medium. Today, ten years into my career, I’ve found that doing someone’s hair doesn’t just change their appearance on the outside but also how they feel about themselves on the inside and that, is priceless.

I started my career in my home town of Santa Barbara where I attended school and completed my cosmetology training. After becoming licensed, I moved north and had the opportunity to train under some of the best hairdressers in San Francisco. Learning Balayage techniques before they were mainstream and mastering the foundations of bridal styling, are just some of the reasons this team of stylists helped me become the well-versed stylist I am today.

However, I eventually followed my roots back to the sun-kissed shores of Southern California. I found an amazing home in La Jolla, California where I joined Koda Salon and was given opportunities to grow in ways I never thought possible. Assisting at New York Fashion Week, styling the San Diego Charger Girls, and teaching for L’Oreal Professionnel are just some of the experiences I had while working there. As great as Koda Salon was, the true artist in me and my passion for bridal styling and a more personalized experience led me to where I am today. Savy & Sage Beauty Co is a quaint little salon located in the beachy cove of Del Mar, California. With a clean white interior and vaulted ceilings with exposed beams, this secret escape is a place where you can clear your mind or contemplate new exciting ideas.

Whether you are a Bride I have the honor of styling, or a new client to the salon. My promise to you is to always make you feel at home like family, making sure you have a drink in hand and are always heard. Whether you are looking to maintain your look or are ready for a big change I am there to help you achieve the hair of your dreams!

She is creative, beautiful and sassy……

She is Krystin Krebs!  I bet you want to see more…….  Well here she is!!  Just look at all her personality!! 🙂

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Krystin is the only leading interior design home professional who is both a Certified Interior Designer and Professional Home Stager, based out of San Diego, California.

Krystin teams up with local professionals including installers, tradesmen and workrooms to produce the highest quality designs within budget. Krystin enjoys project management and being involved in all aspects of the design process from demo day to the final reveal, and even into the sale of the newly renovated homes of her clients.

Krystin is also a published author of several e-books including “Everything You Need To Know About Interior Design”, “How to Stage Your Home To Be Sold”, “How to Organize and De-clutter Your Home”, and several other small e-books, which are available for purchase on Amazon.com (click HERE or click the tab “e-books” at the top of this page).

Want to know more about Krystin and see her work?  I thought so!  Visit her website here.

Important Questions To Ask Your Photographer Before You Invest!

Mike and I have heard so many stories of brides not getting what they should have on their Best. Day. Ever! This is heartbreaking for us. So we’ve come up with a series of questions you should be thinking about when hiring a professional photographer. We care about your special day and don’t want you to have anything but good memories and fun stories! We’re here to help! M+J

CONGRATULATIONS on getting engaged!!

We are so excited for you and declare you will have

the Best. Day. Ever!!

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photo by M+J Photography

You’re engaged!!  The planning has begun. If you’re thinking about how you can ensure you have the right photographers for your Best. Day. Ever! consider a few things.  After all, this day will be one of the few dates you remember forever, with only your memories and photographs to look back on.

A few things to consider to protect the most important things on your day. It’s also good for your peace of mind — know you’re in good hands with trusted professionals, and avoid the nightmare of alarming  things like “I didn’t get that photo” or you never get your photos or album that was promised.  Worse yet, your photographer doesn’t show!  This isn’t to alarm you, these are just things we have heard over the years and it’s unfortunate.  It breaks our hearts!!

The most important questions you will want to consider and/or ask the photographers you are considering for one of the most important days of your life.

1.  What exactly am I getting in this package?  

You will want to know exactly what is included OR worse yet, what is NOT included in your package or whatever terms you agreed upon.  Does the time they have committed to include travel time from ceremony to reception if in two different locations?  Do I get all my photos, some of my photos, a specific number of photos?  Are they ALL fully edited, high resolution images?  Am I going to have to choose which ones I want and how many of those are edited?  Are there extra cost with upgrading products, like keepsake albums (additional pages, engraving, etc.)?  Do you get photos of all the details, like the decor, tables and rings.

This will also tell you if they have an assistant, a second photographer and when a second photographer is necessary, and more!

2.  Have you photographed in this venue before?

This actually shouldn’t matter.  I know you may think it does but it doesn’t!  Let me explain further.  If a photographer is a good photographer, it won’t matter if they have taken photos of another wedding in that venue before.  A professional photographer is naturally creative!  They will actually have a fresh eye on backgrounds, places to take photos and much, much more!  Also a photographer should ALWAYS visit the venue PRIOR to the wedding scoping out locations for photos, backgrounds, lighting, sun placement, shadows and more.  In fact, this is a good time to do a walk through of the venue with your photographer approximately 30-45 days prior to your Best. Day. Ever!  If your photographer doesn’t plan on any of this, then they may not be a good fit.  However don’t close your mind to only choosing a photographer who has photographed the venue before.  It shouldn’t even be a consideration when choosing a photographer.

Besides, the time of day, the lighting, the sunset, the weather, the couple…. all things change.  Look at this photo we got the first time we ever photographed a wedding at Tom Hans Lighthouse.  These colors are real ladies!  Pinky Swear!

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photo by M+J Photography

3.  Who is the photographer who will actually show to take photos?

Great question!  Are you hiring a photographer that works with a team of other photographers?  Make sure, make sure, make sure, you know who is planning on showing up.  This is critical.  This is the photographer you are sharing all your plans with for that day.  The person who should be taking notes on what photos you want, what part of the venue do you love the most, critical moments during your day that you want captured.  Are they actually the ones coming to take the photos?  And if so, what happens in the event of an emergency?  Who shows then?  Do they have a contingency plan?  If they do, how will they get all the necessary information and vision communicated?

4.  How long will it take for me to get my photos after my Best. Day. Ever!?

The truth is, post processing takes time.  If your photographer says you will be getting your photos in a couple of days, this is a red flag.  That brings me back to my first question regarding what are you getting in your package.  I can tell you that Mike and I tell our couples it will take 6-8 weeks.  We usually don’t take that long but we would rather deliver the photos earlier rather than late.  Your photographer should be taking the time to carefully select the BEST of the best, only providing you with the photos that you will swoon over.  In addition, and even though most photos taken should be close to perfect, there are things a camera cannot control….. blemishes, red skin tones, distractions in the background, hair fly aways and more.  Some attention to detail should be made to these things in post processing.  Every attention to detail should be corrected in post processing and that takes time.  Besides, in the meantime, you will be enjoying each other on a Mediterranean cruise or the sipping drinks on the beach on a remote island.  You will have some sneak peaks to enjoy upon your return.  Then once you get settled in and back to your regular routine, BOOM!  Your photos are done!! You’re welcome 🙂

5.  Do you guarantee your services with 100% customer satisfaction?

I actually don’t know of ANY photographer that does this!  Well, except for Mike and I :). Why other photographers don’t do this is because they are in the photography business.  We are in the people business.  An average photographer isn’t invested in your marriage.  They are collecting a paycheck.  They collect your deposit, then see you MAYBE 1 or 2 times before and then on your day.  This is a whole other can of worms we can talk about later BUT this is not an investment into your life or marriage.  This is a job.  I won’t apologize for my directness on this topic because I’m passionate about it.  This is where I will tell you the difference between a paid photographer and investing in a photographer.

Investing in a photographer that wants to provide and experience with a spirit of excellence will make all the difference in the world.  You may not think so now but do you want to look back on this day and have any regrets toward the photographer you chose?  I think not!  This is the one thing that will remain after all the cake has been eaten, the music has stopped and the honeymoon is over.

These are the photos that you will share when all your friends come over for dinner and game night.  These are the photos that your children will look at while sitting on your lap and saying “ewe” when they see mom and dad kissing.  And don’t forget the grandkids!  As you advance in years, your grandkids will want to see what grandma and grandpa looked like all those many years ago and to see your wedding photos will instill family values in them.  And they will say how funny your hair looked all those years ago and you will giggle together.

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photo NOT by M+J

6.  How many other weddings will you photograph that day / weekend?

If you think your day is all about you when it comes to hiring a paid photographer versus investing in a photographer, then think again!  Paid photographers are trying to squeeze wedding in after wedding.  This is common when hiring a photographer for a small fee.  They can’t live on that.  I once heard about a photographer who agreed to do a wedding in Las Vegas for $80!  And yes, he said he would have to “squeeze” her in that day.  No! No! No!

This is also a good time to ask them if they could stay longer should you want them to.  After all they aren’t “squeezing” you in right?  You may decide that everyone is still having so much fun at the reception, you want to have the photographer stay and get some fun dancing photos.  Be sure to know in advance what the additional investment is so you don’t have to think about that, just a simple “can you stay another hour or two?”

Your day should be set aside for you and you only.  This is one date out of maybe 5 you will remember forever.  You will celebrate this day every year for the rest of your life with your best friend.

7, 8 & 9.  What is your style?  How many weddings have you photographed?  Have you photographed a wedding like mine?

In our opinion, these questions are fluff.  Before meeting with a perspective photographer, you would have already seen their work.  I hope!  Check their website, Instagram, Facebook and Yelp! BEFORE meeting with them.  The website will have a portfolio, a few images for you to see.  The best of the best.  And if you like the style…… keep on stalking! 🙂

Instagram and Facebook will have more of their work, behind the scenes, and some information about them.  You will get a feel for who they are and if you think you would be a good fit.

Please, please, please check Yelp! and Google for reviews.  What are others saying about them?  This is so important.  And if you want to know more, and you want to meet with this photographer after reviewing all this, then simply ask to have coffee with them.  Once you are 90% sure you would like to hire them….. ask them to share some references.  Then you could talk with a few brides and get all the goods.  The photographer shouldn’t mind and brides LOVE talking about their Best. Day. Ever!  Besides, you might get a few good ideas from a bride who already got married!

It never hurts to ask them how long they have been in business.  All of these things will help you determine how vested they are in themselves, their business and more importantly YOU!

Possible examples of a “paid photographer” :):)

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photos NOT by M+J

versus a “professional photographer” :):)

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photo by assistant photographer of M+J Photography

Simply Put……..

The photographer you invest in will be a clear indication of the value YOU put on your memories.  Ladies….. please don’t settle on this or any of these truths mentioned.  And once you have decided you have found the one photographer you can’t imagine your wedding without, then there are some technical questions you don’t want to forget if it hasn’t already been covered in your talks.  You can get those questions here!

Before you go!

If you are still with us…. allow me to paint a picture of what you should expect from your photographer.  Whether it’s with us or someone else!  We want you to look back on your Best. Day. Ever! and remember nothing but love and fun and joy!

The Mike and Jenn Experience goes beyond taking your photos and this is why we are so passionate about the questions above and much more.

We are a dynamic force of creativity and fun that focuses on every detail and exist to serve brides with an experience that creates an environment for you to be the best version of yourself.  We guarantee that your photos will tell a story of your Best. Day. Ever!, alleviating any concern that every part of your day will be captured and remembered for years to come.

Here are some of the things that are included in the Mike and Jenn Experience (cherry on the top)……..

  • We walk through the season of planning your day with you.  It’s true!  Consider us an extension of your bridal party.  Anything you need, we are there.  All our couples come to consider us family, sometimes even before their wedding day!  You will want to join us for our annual summer BBQ too!
  • A run sheet of the day.  This is something your event planner, if you choose to have one, would normally do.  And we’d be happy to work with her and all your other hired professionals to include their part of the day as well.  This is a bonus with us!  It will have all details on when we are taking photos, and a list of the photos that must be captured.  This is the list that you give us when completing your wedding questionnaire.  But don’t fret…. you won’t have to worry about knowing when to be where.  We will do it for you!!
  • We keep in touch with and take care of your other hired professionals, encouraging them to contact us if they have any needs.  Especially on the day of…… we don’t want any issues to arise that would jeopardize how much fun you are having!  In addition, we take photos of their work and provide them AFTER you have had a couple of months to enjoy them yourself.  This way they can have lots of photos of you to share with other couples.  We love helping other businesses grow too!!
  • Lots of little surprises throughout your planning and beyond!  This the part of the Mike and Jenn Experience that well….. you just have to experience for yourself.

Who are we?

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photo by assistant photographer of M+J Photography

We are Mike and Jenn Photography.  We love love.  We like to enjoy life.  We believe in marriage and that it is forever.  We enjoy doing life together.  If you want to know more about us, we’d love to hear from you!  You can visit us here, here and here.  Oh and don’t forget to check what others are saying about us on Yelp! and Google.

We want to hear a more about your day and we’d be happy to help you tailor your photography and other needs for your Best. Day. Ever!  We’re here to help you…. even if you choose another photographer.  🙂 Because the best fit matters the most!

Happy planning!! 🙂

Businesses needs doctors too.

Meet Dr. Stephen Kalaluhi of the TV show The Business Doctor.  Dr. Stephen is also the founder of K2 Development Systems, author and much, much more!  Even though this contagious smile is him all day long, he is a beast when it comes to and equipping business owners and entrepreneurs with the systems, strategies, and structure
needed to build flourishing and thriving businesses.

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If you haven’t read his new book yet…. “Build, Grow, Scale, Repeat”, then head over to his FB page here and get yourself a copy!

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Dr. Stephen has an amazing family and has a lot of passion for life itself.  Putting his faith first, family second and then somehow manages to be a boss in the marketplace!  His goal in business is simple…. To eradicate the currently accepted epidemic that is
small business failure.  Deep I know!!

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If you want to know more about Dr. Stephen or even meet him, because well you should, then check out his Linked In profile.

Don’t forget…. Smile.  Enjoy life.  And go after your vision with a purpose!