We are on Vacation!

Jody and I are headed to Seaside Florida (where they filmed the Truman Show) for a little vacation for the week, but fret not! We still have some really cool blogs coming this week featuring some crazy lighting tutorials, news about a retreat, and more!   Seaside, Florida  ... Read More

Friday Fun | Date Night

The more we have decided to slow down and focus on relationships, normalcy and routine in our lives the better and better life in general has been. Jody and I love cooking together because it gives us a chance to talk, work together as a team and figure out how to not make our way the only way (or the highway!). :) It is a great team building opportunity and and best part is you get to eat at the end! This night we cooked some Italian food with fresh sweet onions and an oil with balsamic vinegar sauce. Yum! Guys: Find an awesome recipe, go shop it up and surprise your wife with a date night culinary... Read More

Our Big Announcements!!

We are excited to share with all of you two, big announcements! Announcement #1:   (Beach and bio images by DavidMolnar.com | Ultrasound Image by Ashley at Digital Diagnostics) Little baby Gray is on the way!! We are expecting our first born child and we have never been more excited! It has been such a heart-wrenching journey to get to this place and it is surreal that we have made it to this point and finally get to share it with you all. We have started a personal blog (itsthegrayfamily.com) and Instagram (@itsthegrayfamily) where you can follow our journey through pregnancy and parenthood. We don’t want to overwhelm you with baby stuff here and we also realize that pregnancy is a tender topic for some, with some having gone through your own losses or struggling with infertility, and we want to be sensitive to that. Make sure to follow us there! And now, for the other big news… Announcement #2: A Shift for the Future We have been planning to have a child for the last year, and we took a step back to re-evaluate our priorities and values and have refocused and restructured our lives so we can serve not only our family, but you better. We made the decision to take 2013 as a sabbatical from shooting weddings, and that is exactly what we are doing. Last year, we were on the road 240 days (whew!), and for a long time, we have been juggling weddings, our IN-CAMERA workshops which are now retired (and releasing on DVD this year!), mentoring photographers, speaking and lecturing, and we are... Read More

Friday Finds | Feeling Worn?

Five years ago, this coming August, I (Jody) quit my day job working for Provident Label Group and took the dive to focus fully on photography with Zach. Before I left the company, the label signed a band called Tenth Avenue North and I had the pleasure of getting to know the guys, specifically the lead singer, Mike and his wife Kelly.  Mike and Kelly both, have such a heart for people and if you ever get the chance to hear Tenth Av. play and speak – do it.  You’ll be changed. (Photo Credit: Parker Young) Today, in our Friday Finds blog, we want to share with you their latest music video, “Worn.”  This video captures how we often feel, not just in being small business owners, but sometimes just with LIFE in general. Lyrics: I’m Tired I’m worn My heart is heavy From the work it takes To keep on breathing I’ve made mistakes I’ve let my hope fail My soul feels crushed By the weight of this world And I know that you can give me rest So I cry out with all that I have left Let me see redemption win Let me know the struggle ends That you can mend a heart That’s frail and torn I wanna know a song can rise From the ashes of a broken life And all that’s dead inside can be reborn Cause I’m worn I know I need to lift my eyes up But I’m too weak Life just won’t let up And I know that you can give me rest So I cry out with all that... Read More

Our Favorite 2013 SuperBowl Commericials

Yes, it’s true…. The only time we actually watch football is the Superbowl and I (Jody) only really watch it for the commercials.  But hey, at least we’re watching, which is more than some people do! Last year’s commercials were great (See our favorite 2012 Super Bowl commercials) and this years there were some cool ones, but not AS awesome, but we thought we would at least highlight a few that made us chuckle. #1.Prom date with Audi [iframe: width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”http://www.youtube.com/embed/ANhmS6QLd5Q” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen>]   #2. Budweiser Clydesdales (please do not read deep into this.  We simply liked the commercial). [iframe: width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”http://www.youtube.com/embed/wPG7PcI67dE” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen>]  #3. And for your final entertainment: You thought Beyonce was the start of the half time show? Well, this video says otherwise…. :) [iframe: width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”http://www.youtube.com/embed/6bhL5w7CdK0″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen>] This was one of the kids at the Super Bowl party we were at… so adorable!!!! What was your... Read More

Belieb It Or Not…

  Before you even start to hate, if you have never seen the documentary on Justin Bieber Never Say Never, then we don’t want to hear one negative peep out of your mouth :)   he he he… Don’t be jealous y’all, but Justin Beiber came through Nashville on his BELIEVE tour and we got tickets and went! The concert was pretty impressive and that little dude can sing really well live. Below is how Justin made his entrance… it was pretty …shall we dare say… EPIC. (above image compliments of thehothits.com) The stage was really impressive and it was such a great show.   We had a fun time, though we did forget to bring earplugs.  I think we both had dreams that night of girls screaming in our ears ;))  This is Zach trying to protect his eardrums… And a little iphone video for you… :)   [iframe: width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”http://www.youtube.com/embed/dLJ-OksXDnM” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen>] It had been awhile since we had been to a concert so it was something that was definitely fun to go out and do! What concerts have you been to that you love and would... Read More

Our London, England Adventures! SWPP & Harry Potter Tour!

We got back from London this past Sunday and we had such a great time!!  This is our 3rd trip in 2 years and it keeps getting better and better.   We flew out to SWPP which is Europe’s largest photographic convention to speak at their business school and then for a platform class for their convention. We had so much fun and met so many more great photographers!! (Above photo provided by the SWPP in-house photographer) It was also my (Jody) birthday while we were out there!!! Zach surprised me through a series of clues (you can see them when you follow me on my Instagram) and with no small feat, secured us a reservation for the 3-Michelin-Star Gordon Ramsey in Chelsea London. If you can’t already tell by the images, the food was amazing and the service was impeccable!!  What a great treat!!!! (Side not: “Smart dress” in British means no cool red Journeys shoes :)). We also got to celebrate at a traditional British pub with some dear old, and new friends!!! (Zach and I both ordered the Lamb cheek and it was amazing!). We also got a chance to hang out with the very kind and fun Jerry & Melissa Ghionis.  This was our first time really getting a chance to get to know them, and what a sweet couple.  [Mystery solved — for all of you wondering out there, their last name is pronounced Gee (as in “Glee” without the “L”) – oh – niss].   We also got to hear Melissa speak, and if you ever get a chance, GO!  She is phenomenal and... Read More

As We Step Into 2013…

Happy New Year! It is crazy to think that 2012 is over and we are now embarking on a whole new year. We could go on and on and boast about all of the cool places we have been to this year, the exciting things we got to do, the cool clients we got to work with, but instead of focusing on where we have been, we want to focus on where we are headed. I (Jody) am always one of those people who like to jump to the future and think about where we will be this time 365 days from now. What are the opportunities that will open up to us? What are the adventures that we will be a part of this year? Who are the new people we will meet and have new friendships formed with? Will we end this next year with more peace and knowing God more or will we end this year stressed and drained with nothing left? Where we end up 12 months from now is determined on what we do today. We’re not just saying write down some goals and go after them, because many times our peace and sanity are sacrificed to attain those goals (can we get an “amen”?). So instead, we challenge you to do what Zach and I are doing – write down your VALUES. We were recently challenged by this thought from friend and author Jeff Goins. Goals are great, and goals are important, but are they worth trampling over your values to get your goals achieved? For example, one of your values is family... Read More

Friday FUN | Elf it up!

Merry Christmas and Enjoy!! Cast is: Jody Gray (center stage elf), Zach Gray (supporting elf), Noah Gray (brother elf), Jan Gray (step-mother elf), Keith Gray (papa elf) [iframe: src=”http://player.vimeo.com/video/56103635?title=0&byline=0&portrait=0″ width=”900″ height=”506″ frameborder=”0″ webkitAllowFullScreen mozallowfullscreen allowFullScreen] Spread some Christmas... Read More

Bye-Bye-Bye (bye-bye!)

We have crossed to the dark side, people… No longer are we drinking from the wellspring of Caffeine. We have gone DECAF. *gasp* We know, we know…we have just rocked all of your worlds.  And yes, we LOVE coffee! However, as soon as we started cutting our caffeine from our drinking diet, we actually noticed quite a change in how we felt throughout the day. Over the past year and a half, we have gone through a big journey of dealing with the pressure, stress and anxiety that can come with running your own business. We help in reducing that stress in our lives, and it was suggested to us to switch to decaf.  We didn’t really  notice much of a difference UNTIL we would drink a cup of regular coffee. One morning Zach made me a cup of coffee and unbeknownst to me we had run out of decaf and it was a regular cup.  I was up at my desk working and I felt like my heart rate was up, and that I just had this weird high level of anxiousness and feeling unsettled.  I told Zach about it, and then he went on to tell me that my cup of coffee was not decaf.   It’s crazy the difference that it makes in how we feel about the day! So we now officially bid our dear friend, Caffeine, ado and say hello to Decaf!! We tell you that small story to really talk about something bigger. Switching our caffeine intake was one of many changes we made in 2012 to adjust our lifestyle and keep our stress levels... Read More

Happy Birthday Zach!!!!!!!!!!!

Yup, my husband is one year older and one year wiser today!!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY BABY!!!!!!! To Zach… This past year has been one of amazing highs and some very low lows.  I am so lucky to have you by my side through it all supporting me and encouraging me to pick my head up and keep going.  I don’t know what or who I would be without you.  I am excited turn to the future together, hold hands in firm resolve, and take the steps to walk the path the Lord has laid before us this next year in your life. I love you so much and so glad that you’re by my side on this journey together. Happy Happy Happy Birthday!!!!!!!!! Love, Me, your wifey... Read More

Our 7 year Anniversary!

Today is our SEVEN year anniversary. Holy cow, where does the time go? It seemed like just yesterday we were dating and then getting married… (Fall of 2004) Being married has been really fun, but man, it has been so stinkin’ hard too. Sometimes I wish marriage could just be easy.  I ‘d be the perfect wife and Zach would be the perfect husband.  I’d have endless amounts of patience and I’d never say one cross word.  It could be a perfect marriage, just like we sometimes see in the movies.  Wouldn’t that be nice?  Ah, but unfortunately, it’s not like that.  We have to put up with bad attitudes, things that irritate us from our spouse and yes, morning breath ;o)  But through it all, as we charge ahead and are reminded of the vows we made 7 years ago, we’re in this for the long haul. Before we were married we were in this nearlywed/newlywed Sunday school class and someone shared how being married was like taking two rocks with rough edges, putting them in a bag and shaking the bag up… eventually two round and soft-edged stones come out.  Not a fun process, but a good one, right?  As times goes on and as we die to ourselves and serve and love our spouse unconditionally we become better people.  And that my friend, is what it’s all about. Here’s to seven years with my partner, the rock in my life who chips away at the ugly and through it all still loves me. Here’s to seven years of adventures together around the world -there’s no one... Read More

Thankful…

Why do we give thanks?  What’s the point? I personally think it helps give us perspective… Zach and I have gone through some hard times this year.   I know that we all can relate in some sort of way.  Life isn’t easy and can sometimes be very cruel and even knock us to our knees at times.  I had a friend share the below verses with me from Psalm 77.  For those of you in a dark place, you can relate to verses 1-9.  But then I want to encourage you to read the latter part… 1 I cried out to God for help;     I cried out to God to hear me. 2 When I was in distress, I sought the Lord;     at night I stretched out untiring hands,     and I would not be comforted. 3 I remembered you, God, and I groaned;     I meditated, and my spirit grew faint.[b] 4 You kept my eyes from closing;     I was too troubled to speak. 5 I thought about the former days,     the years of long ago; 6 I remembered my songs in the night.     My heart meditated and my spirit asked: 7 “Will the Lord reject forever?     Will he never show his favor again? 8 Has his unfailing love vanished forever?     Has his promise failed for all time? 9 Has God forgotten to be merciful?     Has he in anger withheld his compassion?” 10 Then I thought, “To this I will appeal:     the years when the Most High stretched out his right hand. 11 I will remember the deeds of the Lord;     yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. 12 I will consider all your works     and meditate on all your... Read More

Pursuit 31 Women’s Conference Recap…

This blog has been three weeks in coming. I (Jody) was honored to have been a part of the Pursuit 31 Christian Women’s photographer’s conference a few weeks back and my life was changed. It’s so hard to describe everything that happened, and I think you had to be there in order to fully understand and grasp the God-filled life-changing times that were had. All I know is that if you are a believer and a woman (sorry men :), and you need to get away, rest, and relax, learn and be refreshed, mark your calendars for next year. The dates are October 8-11, 2013. Pre-registration will open for alumni November 15, and for newsletter subscribers on November 19th! Make sure to sign up for the Pursuit 31 newsletter and feel free to join the growing online Pursuit Facebook community! The retreat was held at Winshape Retreat Center in Rome, Georgia and was an amazing, beautiful, and PEACEful place. Each speaker had a main session where they shared on faith and also had smaller breakouts. There was free time, massages, bike rides, amazing food, bonfires, photo shoots, fellowship – it was amazing. :) Enjoy the images!   Heaven on earth? Maybe :) Part of the welcoming committee!!! Karen, myself and Desirea! We had worship every evening lead by Gabrielle. The amazing Karen Stott who is Pursuit 31’s fearless leaders Karen’s second in command, the sweet servant Suzy VanDyke. Desirea Rodgers kicked off our first morning sharing her heart on the non-profit she started called Love 146, which raises awareness and resources to combat child sex trafficking. So amazing to... Read More

WHY Should I Vote?

Today, we all get to do something that millions of people worldwide don’t have the luxury of doing – VOTE! If you’re still on the fence about voting, read this short blog by author & marketing guru, Seth Godin… love this. Great perspective! Why Vote? The Marketing Dynamics of Apathy by Seth Godin. Even if you think there is no point in voting and your state is probably going to go one way or another, still VOTE! Every vote truly counts. Let your voice be heard. It is truly such an honor to be a citizen and live in America. Yes, things aren’t perfect (they never will be) and boy, we sure can complain about some things, but even with the negatives, we still are so lucky and so blessed to live in this country. Vote, vote, vote!!... Read More

Personal Thoughts | Summertime Memories

It it CRAZY to think that there is only one month of summer left. Where has it gone? Even though summers can be crazy busy, we want to encourage you all to make sure you’re setting some time aside to do what is really important – relax and enjoy the friendships of others and your family. Every year for the last 4 years, Zach and I fly up north to go to family camp with Zach’s dad, his wife and Zach’s younger brothers. It’s such a great time to unplug and disconnect from work and the day-in and day-out responsibilities. Below is Zach and I on the Voyager’s breakfast. Those who want to attend, sign up and you all canoe out to a campsite where you have a dee-lish breakfast made over a campfire. Complete with cowboy coffee and pineapple/cinnamon/donut fire-grilled desert! After family camp, Zach and his dad flew back to TN to have some manly bonding time with their bikes and nature. …And I flew to hang with my sister Jacq in Minneapolis (who is also a photographer, Jacq Photography :) along her husband Nathan and daughter, Lila. Below is Lila attending the abridged version of our IN-CAMERA: Shooting & Post workshop ;o) So cute! Anyway, we hope you all are having amazing summers and are taking some time to RELAX and especially be with family. What have you done this summer, and if you haven’t done anything yet, write below and COMMIT to taking some time off and enjoy life a little!!   ** ** ** For those of you in the California area, don’t forget... Read More

Friday Fun | Toilet Training Our Cat

It has been awhile since we have talked about this, and because we have had so many new photographers exposed to us, we thought it was high time that we exploited one of our cats, Starbucks again. :) Three or four years ago, one of the conditions of Zach letting us get a cat was if we taught it how to use the toilet (because he hated the stink of litter boxes). So when we first got Star(bucks) we also bought CityKitty! And yes, Star learned how to use the toilet. Here is our amazing and talented cat, doing her business :) [iframe: width=”420″ height=”315″ src=”http://www.youtube.com/embed/O8jf3XyhkkY” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen] A little update, she kind of fell off the band wagon with our crazy travel schedule and us not being as consistent with the training as she needed, but nevertheless…. our cat has gone to the bathroom on the toilet! Sweeeeet… :)   Happy... Read More

Enter a PhotoContest on I Heart Faces that we will be Judging!

Enter an image of yours in a contest that we will be judging! We are excited to be guest judges for this month’s I Heart Faces photo challenge. If you’re not familiar with IHF, it was founded by Angie Arthur and Amy Locurto and they have turned this platform into an award winning photography website with monthly photo challenges, tutorials, tips & lots of fun! They welcome all levels of photographers, bloggers and moms with cameras. This month’s challenge is in honor of Mother’s Day so your image must have a girl/woman in it and a face must be showing. Deadline: THIS Friday (5/11) at NOON (EST). Submit your image HERE http://www.iheartfaces.com/2012/05/photo-challenge-girl/ We look forward to seeing all of the amazing submissions!   PS. To read the interview I Heart Faces did of us, visit their blog here.... Read More

A Christian Women’s Getaway… See you there :)

If you answer “yes” to the below four questions, then read on!! Are you a photographer? Are you a woman? Do you love Jesus? Would you love to get away with other Christian female photographers, be re-energized, encouraged and hear some amazing speakers for 3 days? If so, the below may be exactly what you need.   Pursuit 31 is a female Christian photographer’s group that started a little over a year ago by the amazing Karen Stott for women to come together and support each other (mainly via facebook)! Now there have been mini get-togethers/workshops but come this October will be the first Pursuit 31 conference! I (Jody) had the awesome privileged of being asked to speak at the conference (along with some other amazing women), and I am SO excited to be a part of this. Here are a few quick details: Dates: October 1st-4th, 2012 Where: Winshape Retreat Center in Mt. Berry Georgia Conference Website – Registration is OPEN! Don’t miss this chance. This may be EXACTLY what you need. Look forward to seeing you fine ladies there :) Here is a little video on one of the intimate get-togethers of the Pursuit 31 ladies… [iframe: src=”http://player.vimeo.com/video/33708504?title=0&byline=0&portrait=0″ width=”800″ height=”450″ frameborder=”0″ webkitAllowFullScreen mozallowfullscreen allowFullScreen]   Blessings, Jody    ... Read More

Friday Fun | creativeLIVE Niece Skyping Cuteness

Zach and I were on creativeLIVE last Friday and my older sister Jacq Washburn (Jacq Washburn Photo Restoration :) was tuning in with my niece. She thought we were skyping with her and she caught it on vide… Cutest thing ever!   [iframe: src=”http://player.vimeo.com/video/40757849?title=0&byline=0&portrait=0″ width=”500″ height=”281″ frameborder=”0″ webkitAllowFullScreen mozallowfullscreen allowFullScreen]   Happy Friday, ya’ll!... Read More

Happy Monday!

Happy Monday!! All of last week we were taking some time off and rightly so – once this weekend starts with our Nashville workshops, we have either weddings, workshops, or conferences for 11 weekends straight! Whew! We’re back hitting the grind and look forward to interacting with you all again on social media and our... Read More

A Week Of Refreshing | See You In a Week!

We are officially taking this whole week off!!! Will be completely out of the office, off of social media and not checking any emails. Once we get back in the office we will be gone 11 weekends straight, so now is when we need to relax and build up energy in prep for the rest of the workshop tour and our weddings!! Have we mentioned we are SUPER EXCITED about taking this week off?? We are :) This image is exactly how we want to feel all week, so go, take an hour, a day or multiple days if you can and go and love on someone that needs it! You all rock and we will see you next week!! PS. The April Newsletter will be going out on Tuesday and it is going to be a really big one with something we have been working on for over a year, so if you want in, sign up... Read More