• studio3z photography {the blog}

    If you have landed here...bless your soul.  Welcome to our little tiny corner of the cyber world, based out of Cincinnati, Ohio. Below you will see favorites from our sessions we do professionally, and also loads of personal nonsense that we hope at least will entertain you.  If nothing less, you can keep up on our adorable children.  Really, they are worth the trip back here time and time again in and of itself.

    My name is Jess.  My hubby is Brett.  We are crazy about each other, our 4 babies, and our art.  Welcome to our world.

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Category Archives: studio news

We have moved on!

WE HAVE MOVED, and we are so incredibly excited!!! Check out our new name, new site, and lots of hard work that was put in to our brand: Life In Balance

We will not be updating here anymore…..

Thank you all for your years of support for studio3z!! We can’t wait for what is to come!

jess & brett

Saying goodbye. Saying hello.

You served us well, studio3z. We had some great years, but it was just time to move on.

And now this is the last business day with you….

FAREWELL!!

And with that,

let me show a little behind the scenes.

A few weeks ago our amazing designer and friend came in from Indy to do an “art class” with the kids, and draw up some things to be used on the site. He wanted the kids to be involved, and he had them helping, making their own versions of things, and we had a lot of fun. Our HUGE chalkboard wall was covered- some things for the site, a LOT just for fun.;)

Chalkboards are a big part of our life with schooling, and now we have a 42 ft one running through our house so you will see this incorporated in the new site!

Oh!

And speaking of new site…………..

You better be here this MONDAY!

.

.

.

It’s going to be BIG.

And NEW.

All fresh, shiny, and pretty. :)

September 30, 2011 - 11:38 am

lucy - so exciting!!!

September 30, 2011 - 12:06 pm

Gail - I remember sitting at your computer in February 2010, talking about this new name and how stumped you were. I am SO proud of you and Brett for tackling this, being excited about the new feel of your business. And excited for you, too, that you had a friend to help you make it happen. Congrats Jess, Brett and Ryan!

PS – Marvin the Martian for the win! :)

September 30, 2011 - 12:19 pm

wrecklessgirl - be still my heart! holding out!

September 30, 2011 - 12:25 pm

Lauren - So excited! Can’t wait til Monday’s news!! Best to you guys ;)

September 30, 2011 - 12:30 pm

Betsy - Holy cats, this is EXCITING!!! WOW!!!

I can’t wait until Monday!!! WHINE!!!! ;-D

Seriously, so awesome!!!!

September 30, 2011 - 1:04 pm

Marta - So exciting … I’ve been checking your posts everyday this week like it’s Christmas. Can’t wait for the big reveal on Monday. Congrats!

September 30, 2011 - 1:44 pm

Barb - Such a tease!

September 30, 2011 - 1:53 pm

meredith - I see my legs :)

September 30, 2011 - 9:08 pm

Clary - Yay! Can’t wait to see!!

October 3, 2011 - 7:26 am

Amber - I’m here and ready for the unveiling! So exciting!

October 3, 2011 - 8:26 am

Emilie - Oh I can’t wait!!! Yipee!!!!

October 3, 2011 - 12:21 pm

Ciara Richardson - It’s Monday!!!! can’t wait ;)

October 3, 2011 - 12:46 pm

emily - is it time?!

October 3, 2011 - 1:36 pm

Britt - I’ve been checking all throughout the day! I can’t wait!

October 3, 2011 - 1:40 pm

Kelly - Me too! WOOHOO!

what’s in a name?

To us, quite a bit.

I can hardly believe the journey that we’ve been on over the last couple years. In fact, I find it difficult to even begin to share, but I will. Big changes are coming around here. I’ve been saying it for months (and some of you are wondering if it is really even true!) but we are getting so close. These changes are more than I expected, and also something I didn’t think would be so difficult to complete. We made the leap into the world of “re-branding” and along the way, I feel I found myself. Not sure if Brett would say the same thing, but me, most definitely. I figured out my part. I figured out I can be a good mom AND also run a business. And let me tell you, it is such a wonderful feeling when you figure out the how’s and why’s of your place in this world, and for us the world of the photography industry.

Two years ago we hired a designer. You heard that right, two years ago. (Bless you Ryan.) We’ve only been in business for a little under 5 years, but we never had a brand, look, or logo. Being “un-branded” became our brand.  In a way I feel we never really owned up to who we were because we just weren’t sure, and that’s normal. We were searching. We were gaining experience, building, shooting and growing. We didn’t throw down roots and call any “look” home….we just purchased the latest $50 website every 6 months or so, and hid there for a while. You know, “until we figured out what we REALLY wanted.” Right.

In the spring of 2009 I went to cheer my good friend Bobbi on as she spoke at a convention in Indy. It was there that I met Ryan Hunley and heard him speak. It was that day that I KNEW he would do our company’s branding. I had been holding off on getting a new site/blog because I wasn’t sure what we wanted it to look like, but hearing Bobbi and Ryan speak about the importance of your brand, I knew we needed to get going. Ryan was different……he didn’t speak business-y. Ryan spoke from his heart. He spoke with passion. He was honest. He wasn’t about to let a client walk away without feeling 150% satisfied with his work. He had energy and confidence, but was still incredibly humble. And, I was sold. I don’t think poor Ryan knew what he was getting in to. But then again, he’s a designer, and they tend to deal with indecisive people. But Brett and I…well….we’re of a different breed.;)  Sometimes Brett has trouble with decisions and over analyzing things (as in sitting at a restaurant for an hr. before deciding what to order), and I am admittedly picky as all get out. (Again, bless you Ryan.)

It was about a year and a half ago that it happened. Ryan sent over a round of studio3z logos, and they were rocking, but I just didn’t feel connected. I then realized it was the name. I knew RIGHT THEN AND THERE that we just couldn’t go on as “studio3z.” I needed a name that meant something more to me. Something that was a driving passion for us and what we do. Something people would hear and understand who we are a bit. So, the next day I (*gasp*) told Ryan I was ditching the name, and he was completely a gem about it. Then Brett and I began some serious soul searching. SERIOUS. Like praying, writing down words that we were drawn to, ideas of who we were and what we stood for, and things that were important to us. We had nights of sipping wine, mapping out our life on the chalkboard wall, and nearly coming to tears out of frustration. Imagine finally coming up with something awesome, taking it to Google just to find it belongs to someone else??! Ahhh! I just wanted the right name. Our name. Talk about putting the pressure on……

Last August we were having dinner with some good friends. They are the kind of friends who are completely honest-not afraid to lay things out there. They offered up a couple critiques about us. Ouch. But you know, the good kind of ouch you need to hear. The kind you grow from. I’m so thankful for friends like that. They listened to our dreams, where we were headed, and they were digging it. The next day Brett and I were reflecting on the previous night and we kept coming back to the same place. An idea that has consumed us and drives us. Something that sums up our mission. And then we knew…..we had found our name. And of all things, it was Brett, standing over a pot of food he was stirring at the stovetop, “So what about ________??!” Of course I was hesitant. But then about an hour later, I was sold. “It just makes perfect sense,” he said. “You’re absolutely right,” I concluded, with the biggest sigh of relief and smile across my face. We had it.

Then the journey began. That was August of 2010. This year we have dug so much deeper, and we can’t wait to share what we’ve come up with our friend Ryan, who I still can’t believe actually wants to be our friend.;)

We can’t wait to “own up” to who we are.

I plan to post quite a bit over the next week and then guess what…….

WE LAUNCH.

Thank you for sharing in this with us. We are giddy with excitement!!

(Photo props to Sarah Rhoads)

September 22, 2011 - 2:58 pm

tara - I am in the same space – rebranding – ugh. Not easy or fun. I can’t wait to see what you’ve come up with. Gorgeous photo.

September 22, 2011 - 3:15 pm

Gail - OMG TELL US ALREADY.

That’s it. :)

Love,
Your friend who’s dying over here

September 22, 2011 - 3:18 pm

April - I’m beyond excited to see everything that you’ve come up with! I need re-branding (or rather branding) in the worst way. Reading this post has both inspired & scared me :)

September 22, 2011 - 3:34 pm

emily - AAAAHHHHHH!! and then you don’t tell us?!?! that’s just mean!

Can’t wait to hear more about your changes:)

September 22, 2011 - 4:04 pm

Tina - Yay for you guys!! Can’t wait to see what it is, branding is one of the toughest parts of our job in my opinion:) Cheers!

September 22, 2011 - 6:49 pm

Kylee - I’ve been following your blog for about 3 years now, and I love everything about how you do what you do. :) can’t wait to hear more!

September 22, 2011 - 8:02 pm

Vickey Weiss - Can’t wait to hear more!!! xoxo

September 22, 2011 - 11:43 pm

Maggie - OK seriously?!? The anticipation is killing me!! This post is awesome…I’m so excited about the journey this business has lead you on. You two put your heart and soul in everything you do…it is totally refreshing

September 23, 2011 - 10:00 am

Keaton - I’M GIDDY WITH EXCITEMENT!! Ahhhhh!! I’m so happy to see what you’ve been working on.

P.S. – LOVIN’ THE PHOTO!! :D

September 23, 2011 - 11:49 am

Donna - Can’t wait!!! So excited for you all!

September 23, 2011 - 2:13 pm

meredith - Torture!!

September 23, 2011 - 2:53 pm

Ellee - No kidding – I have been waiting for this day! So excited for you guys!!!

P.S. – were we those friends in August 2010????? We had a pretty intense conversation about this rebrand?

Miss you guys!

September 26, 2011 - 9:21 am

Amber - Oh man! Leave us in suspense why don’t ya?!! I’m dying to know!

September 26, 2011 - 9:22 am

Amber - Oh man! Leave us in suspense why don’t ya?!! I’m dying to know! Looking forward to more posts about this launch!

wppi {my take}

Last week Brett and I were in Las Vegas for the mecca of photography conventions that happens every year called WPPI. This was our first time going because our kids were finally old enough that we felt ok leaving them for so long, and everything seemed to work out for going.  To be honest with you, I was a bit unsure of the overload of THOUSANDS of photographers, going to huge classes of people, in a city that doesn’t want to sleep. Being the introvert that I am I was nervous about draining myself quickly because frankly, my partying days are long done. ;)

Getting on the plane to head home I thought back over the previous 5 days in somewhat disbelief. You see, I actually had a GREAT time at WPPI.

So why did we even go you may be asking? Well, for a few reasons. 1.) I wanted to see what the hype was about. 2.) I wanted to hear a few people speak (including our pals Bobbi + Mike) 3.) We wanted to have a session done for our upcoming rebrand- remember, photogs from around the world come to this, so it was ideal for having our photos taken! 4.) We wanted to visit some good friends that we rarely get to see that live in Vegas.

Before leaving for Vegas, I asked around for tips about the best way to handle WPPI.  Some answers were: wear comfortable shoes, keep a water and energy bar on you for all the long lines you will wait in, bring hand sanitizer for all the hand shaking (Ok, that was my add-on….). Most often I heard, “Plan on feeling very overwhelmed.” Well I took this very seriously, and prepped for it.  While there, I talked to people who were burned out by day 2 or 3, and I was still having a great time. Here are some things that I think helped our experience go well, and helped us not feel like we were LIVING at the MGM for 5 days:

-We began by renting a car…FREEDOM, but with long waits on parking.

-Brett’s brother came in from LA to hang with us the first 3 days and we had such a great time.  He reminded us (numerous times) that he must really like us, because he’s not a fan of Vegas. I just love our traveling trio….

-We hit up Trader Joe’s on the first day. Our room had a mini-fridge so we had cereal and milk, coffee and cream, salsa and chips, and loads of snacks. This was GREAT because Brett and I are not meal skippers. This allowed us to eat before our 8 am classes and avoid the huge Starbucks line.

- We visited some very good friends that live out there, and enjoyed “normal” life and great conversations on three separate occasions.

-On the second day we went out to Red Rock Canyon for our shoot, and we returned a few days later with our new and very refreshing friend Gabe for some exploring. I can’t say how invigorating it feels to just get away from the city and breathe a bit.

-We are foodies, so anytime we travel we make sure to escape to great restaurants in the area. In fact, because we stayed in the side towers of the MGM, we didn’t even walk around the main MGM through endless jingling/jangling slot machines until the 3rd or 4th day! Roaming the city and beyond made it feel more like a vacation.

-We saw our first Cirque show compliments of Jason- Brett and I loved it.  Thank you Jason!

-It was fun being able to break out of “Mom” mode for a couple days and play dress-up.;)

-We enjoyed meeting people and making some new friends. Meeting Gabe of Perspectiveye was seriously one of our favorite parts of the whole trip. Brett and I  love being able to “invest” in a single friendship much more than hanging with groups of people….Gabe is a kindred spirit, so after hanging for the majority of a couple days, it was sad when we had to part ways! Seriously, so awesome to meet great people out there in this big world. :)

*Here a few photos, most of which were taken with a point and shoot camera.

March 4, 2011 - 12:03 pm

Gail - I need to spend some more time with you next year at WPPI because I feel like I never left the MGM. And I kind of hated that aspect of Vegas (but I’m gonna agree with Jason and say it’s not my favorite place in the world!)

Thanks for all the hugs you gave and I’m so glad we got to see you on my birthday!

Thanks, too, for the tip-off ot Gabe — his work is AMAZING! And if you two say he’s a kindred soul, well, how could I NOT like him:? :)

March 4, 2011 - 3:41 pm

Gabe - thank you so much for such kind words. and i agree 10000%…meeting you both and getting to know you two over dinner, car rides and a short but chilly hike out at Red Rock was easily the best part of my 2011 WPPI trip. you both are so humble and genuinely kind and even though our visit was short i know it was simply just the start to long friendship. thank you both for just being you and i look forward to many more chats, hikes and car rides.

March 4, 2011 - 4:06 pm

shannon selim - Gabe’s stuff is awesome! Your guys’ passion is what makes your work so good, keep it up! I want to be a pro so bad… :)

March 4, 2011 - 6:22 pm

Mel - You guys are hot.

March 6, 2011 - 9:27 am

Alyson - YOU ARE GORGEOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

March 7, 2011 - 12:54 pm

Sarah Rhoads - So beautiful to meet you both at WPPI! We had such a blast photographing you guys :) You are going up on the blog today! yay! :)

March 7, 2011 - 7:34 pm

Stephanie Lyell - Just wanted to say I saw your beautiful shoot on Sarah Rhoads’ blog. They are just beautiful!

March 10, 2011 - 3:57 pm

Abigail Smith - Hey there! You probably don’t remember meeting me in the Starbucks when I was with Gail and her lovely friends. I just saw the photos of ya’ll on Sarah Rhoad’s blog and wanted to say how great they are! Ya’ll look amazing! Also, I’m glad to hear your WPPI experience went so well. :)

March 26, 2011 - 8:03 pm

Maya Laurent - I am so loving your hair!!! Seriously…it is gorgeous! And we need your food tips next year!!! :) Glad you guys enjoyed your first WPPI.