Friday Fun | Date Night at ChuckECheese!

It is our goal to have date night once a week. That doesn’t always happen. Zach and I started this year off hitting the ground running and with all of our travels, shoots, and speaking engagements so needless to say, sadly, date night has gotten overshadowed a bit. NO MORE! We are committing to do a better job making time for each other where we are intentional about having fun together and investing in each other (sitting on the couch watching movies does not count ;o). Whiiiiiich, leads us to last night. I was out and about in the afternoon having some girl time with friends and I decided that I was going to come home and get my husband and take him out on a fun date night. For those of you who follow us on instagram (@ZachGray, @JodyGray), you know where we went!! Oh yes, we got our kid on and played Skee-Ball until we were seeing blurry visions of tickets, balls and tokens… and played a few other games. Take a look into our date night fun :) Here is my little jumping Jelly Bean…. [iframe: src=”http://player.vimeo.com/video/37804698?portrait=0″ width=”600″ height=”450″ frameborder=”0″ webkitAllowFullScreen mozallowfullscreen allowFullScreen] Here is me challenging Mr. Gorilla.. [iframe: src=”http://player.vimeo.com/video/37804771?title=0&byline=0&portrait=0″ width=”600″ height=”450″ frameborder=”0″ webkitAllowFullScreen mozallowfullscreen allowFullScreen] Ah…. good times, good times. Make sure you’re taking time out and investing in your spouse! Sometimes the hardest thing about going on dates is planning dates. What are some date ideas that you have done, or want to do that you can share with the rest of... Read More

Friday Fun | Silent Monks

Happy Friday!!! For today’s Friday Fun blog, we wanted to share with you a video that was passed to us by friend Evin from Evin Photography. This is a group of high school kids who are monks and have taken an oath of silence… lol. This cracked us up – enjoy!   [iframe: width=”420″ height=”315″ src=”http://www.youtube.com/embed/ZCFCeJTEzNU” frameborder=”0″... Read More

Friday Fun | Starbucks Trip Adventures | A visit to the very 1st Starbucks

Our time in Seattle has been absolutely AMAZING! After creativeLIVE concluding on Sunday, we, our in-studio audience, and a few of the amazing creativeLIVE crew (Kenna, Kate, & Stephen) took us to the very first Starbucks!! (Thanks to one of our in-studio students, Valentina for some of the images!) Watch a little video we recorded inside :) [iframe: src=”http://player.vimeo.com/video/35874878?title=0&byline=0&portrait=0″ width=”600″ height=”450″ frameborder=”0″ webkitAllowFullScreen mozallowfullscreen allowFullScreen] Behind-the-scenes to the video making :) ha ha We got our mug! Having fun in the store :) Here is the fabulous Kenna from creativeLIVE. Us with our fab creativeLIVE in-studio audience. Thanks to Kenna for capturing the below images! (Samantha, Z, J, Valentina, Janelle, and Kris) Yay for happy times in... Read More

Behind the Scenes: the new look for Zach & Jody

The amazing and super-talented identity specialist, Melissa Love gave us a whole new brand identity!! We LOVE our new site and we wanted you to hear from Melissa, the process that we went through. Having a strong brand is one of the most important things for your business and we highly recommend that if you have any $$ to spend, put it toward having a solid brand that represents you well! Remember, perception is reality. You may be the BEST photographer out there but if your brand looks unprofessional and not put together, that is what people will perceive your business as. Listen to Melissa share the process that we went through to bring our brand where it is today! __________________________ I’m not sure who is more excited about the new visual identity and website for Zach & Jody – me or them. I’ve been lucky enough to attend several of their business workshops over the past year. Like many people who have been able to tap into their business experience, I’ve learned tips and tricks from them that have transformed my business, so it’s been a thrill to have the opportunity to help them transform theirs – visually at least! We started the process by spending time talking about the transition from Gray Photography to the Zach & Jody identity that they wanted to move towards. We agreed that the new identity needed to be fresh, sophisticated and able to showcase the warm personalities of Zach & Jody. In addition, the identity needed to be flexible enough to appeal to both brides and photographers. I even got the... Read More

Zach & Jody is the NEW Gray Photography | Say What?

We are super stoked to unveil our brand new site to all of our amazing clients, friends and fellow photogs! We decided that we wanted to get even more personal with you all and are now simply Zach & Jody at www.ZachandJody.com!   The amazing, talented, savvy and super cool Melissa Love (what an awesome name!) of Melissa Love Design rocked our world and resigned our main website using Showit, and yes, our mobile site is viewable and built on HTML5!   Make sure to update your blog links – we are now at ZachandJody.com/Blog. We also have a brand new Facebook page! Click on the above image or at this link – Zach & JodyPhotography because some exclusive awesomeness will be happening there and we no longer will be updating our old facebook page!! Melissa is in the process of making our Photographers site sexier too (more on that to come!)! Melissa is a gem and hails from London England and it is so cool that we got to work with someone with that rad of an accent! :) The reason we decided to work exclusively with her for something this important, and creating your Visual Identity is one of the most important parts of your marketing strategy, is because Melissa is a specialist. She designs sites for photographers only and because of that, is the best. She has the process down to a science, was a real pleasure to work with, and made us feel like we were her most important client each step of the process. It was a killer experience and we could not be... Read More

Just a tease… New things ahead!

For the past little bit we have had some things boiling under the surface… right now, this is a sneak little peek into one of the first fun things we are about to share with you!!! Here’s a hint… has something to do with the amazing Melissa Love… :) Make sure to tune in this Friday, Saturday & Sunday on creativeLIVE because that is where we will be making some big announcements!... Read More

6-Year Anniversary Milestone… things we have learned along the way

Jody and I had our awesome anniversary back on November 26th and are soooo happy that we are, well, still happy and still in love now more than ever! Marriage is a tough thing and all of you married couples who also work together and shoot together probably know all too well that it takes a certain type of personality to hang out pretty much 24/7 with your spouse! Jody and I rarely are apart from each other and it is totally normal for us to be together when we are here at the house almost non-stop. If one of us is upstairs, so is the other one. One of us eating some breakfast or making coffee, there is the spouse. :) We love being together, but that does not mean that this past 6 years has been a piece of cake, either. Jody and I have worked through tons of difficult circumstances in our personal lives, with family and with friends. Nothing truly great in life that really has a big payoff comes easy. I like to compare marriage to a true relationship with Jesus (as Jesus himself did many times). Anyone out there who has known the Lord for more than a few months knows just how hard it is to do what God calls us to do, which is the opposite of what YOU want to do, most of the time. Today, love is thrown around and used and abused when needed, and passed off when you don’t feel like doing it anymore, but Jesus said this; “There is no greater love than this, that a... Read More

A Little Vacation Fun | Deep Sea Fishing

It has been over 2 years since we have taken a true vacation. Yes, we have been to many amazing places but it’s been for work and yes, we have been able to sneak in a day or two of sightseeing, but it’s never truly relaxing. This is the first time in a loooong time, we are taking a true vacation. No shoots, no mentoring sessions that we are holding for others, no workshops, no weddings, no meetings, but a true vacation. We flew out Dec 30th with good friends (and talented wedding videographers) Eugene and Heather and have been enjoying our time here relaxing and doing whatever we want. Here is us at the airport … we had an EARLY morning flight out! Here is the view from the 2nd story of our condo!   The 2nd day here we went to the marina had some fishing adventures…   [iframe: src=”http://player.vimeo.com/video/34520352?title=0&byline=0&portrait=0″ width=”600″ height=”338″ frameborder=”0″ webkitAllowFullScreen mozallowfullscreen allowFullScreen]   And of course, we have been hitting the beach! Eugene and Zach goofing off :) A little friend who keeps visiting us :) Here’s to relaxation and times of renewing!!! Make sure to set aside time RIGHT now where you will take some time to chill and get away this year. Block it off and don’t let anything else get in the way! :)... Read More

Christmas Tree Fun 2011!!

You have followed us this week as we shared our Christmas tree from last year, and now we will share this year’s Christmas tree! LAST YEAR 2010:   THIS YEAR 2011:   LAST YEAR 2010: THIS YEAR 2011:   Ah… as much as we loved our big Christmas tree last year… it’s nice having a normal-sized tree this year! Merry Christmas... Read More

Christmas Tree Fun Recap | Part II

For those of you who were with us Monday, you started the journey reminiscing with us our crazy Christmas tree adventures we had last year with our 13 foot tall Cmas tree. Today, we pick up and share with you how we got the ginormous thing in our home… The end of the week we will share with you our Christmas tree this year... Read More

Christmas Tree Fun Recap | Part I

It was a year ago around this time that our friends Eugene and Heather got the hair-brained idea for us to get a GINORMOUS Christmas tree to fill in the open area of our new home. Seeing we have a lot of new followers since last year, we thought we would reminisce with you the stages we went through of getting our huge tree at Christmas Tree Adventures, fitting it into our home, and of course decorating it. Enjoy part I of us finding our... Read More

Friday Fun | Zach’s Favorite Christmas Music Video – You Got The Fiever?

Last week Jody shared her favorite Christmas Music Video and now it’s my turn! Someone has the fiever and the fiever is the Beiber! Check out my favorite Christmas video of the year that has soooo many things going for it.   1. Shot on-location here in Franklin, TN! 2. Has snow! 3. Has the Biebs (what else is there?) Enjoy and don’t be jealous that you are not the girl in the video! Have a favorite Christmas video of all time? Let us know what it... Read More

Friday Fun | Decking the Halls with Fun Christmas Videos!

Happy December!! Christmas is our favorite time of the year…. and I (Jody) especially love Christmas songs!! I could listen to Christmas songs all year long, but that would drive Zach crazy :) What’s even better than Christmas songs is Christmas music videos!!!! For the next Friday fun blog posts leading up to Christmas, we are going to share our favorite Christmas music videos or fun Christmas videos :) :) This Friday I am sharing with you the awesomest video by band, Tenth Avenue North. They did this whole thing in ONE take and it’s just simply awesome. We have known these guys for a few years now, and they are not only great guys but they have amazing hearts and their music has really blessed us. Make sure to check ’em out!! Click on the image below to visit their site.... Read More

Starbucks Trip Adventures | London, Part I

We just wanted to take a moment from our travels in London to say hi! As we are writing this, we are riding the tube back to our hotel. We landed here Monday morning (UK time) and on Tuesday we spoke to ShutterRockers led by the amazing Jaz Ampar-Farr. Mike Larson along with identity specialist, Melissa Love also spoke and it was really cool to hear both of them share. It was such a great evening of seeing familiar faces from when we were here in January at the photographer’s conference SWPP and meeting new faces! We are in the middle of our two days off and are resting (still a little jet-lagged) and doing some sight-seeing and then we have 3 days of our workshops this weekend! Stay tuned for more updates from over... Read More

Starbucks Trip Reflections: Photography Fun in San Diego, CA!

We just got back last night from spending a few days in San Diego and we had SUCH a great time! Here are a few pics taken with our phones to give you a glimpse into the fun we had :) We flew in Friday and here was our home-away-from-home for 5 days. On Friday the one-and-only Becker took us out for a rainy shoot! This is the before… And the after shots… :) On Sunday we held our IN-CAMERA: Light workshop!   Then Monday-Wednesday we attended the photographer conference, PartnerCon! Attended Lawrence Chan’s (marketing guru, ToFurious.com) talk and it was KILLER! So much good stuff. That alone would have been worth attending the conference. We grabbed coffee afterwards with Lawrence… I, Jody, was a part of one of the panels that PartnerCon was experiencing with this year. We had great discussions and it was an honor and a blast to be sharing the panel with a great variety of speakers: (L to R) Samuel Lippke (Samuel Lippke Studios), Kevin Swan (of Swan Luxery, KISSbooks & SWATdesigner), Ed Monahan (Kodak), Michael Giordando (LifelongStudios) – super talented photographers and businessmen. Us with dear friend Jeff Youngren (we like him even though he flies Delta ;) and new bud, Samuel. The one-and-only Regis Chen came into town to hang with us! It was a quick visit, but so awesome all the same :) Then Wednesday morning before we headed back home, we attempted to find a good San Diego coffee shop… wasn’t that awesome but it was fun regardless with buds, Cory & Jackie. And we leave you with our final... Read More

Our Halloween Pumpkin-Carving Adventures!!

Happy Halloween!!!!!!!!!! In honor of this American holiday we wanted to share with you our pumpkin-carving adventures with dear friends (and best wedding videographers ever), Eugene & Heather (of 2Duce2 Films). Look at the beauty… Our awesome pumpkin-carving kit! Us crazies… Heather is in love and she doesn’t care who knows it! Of course, the guys have to make the pumpkin-carving a contest… Heather and I scooping out the pumpkins doing the dirty work… the boys didn’t want to get their fingernails messy… ;o) Go team! Aw…. Of course there’s nothing like pumpkin-carving with a fire and hot chocolate – yes, with steamed milk (thanks to Zach the barista), and whip cream and cinnamon! And the final product!!!!!! To view Eugene & Heather’s version of our pumpkin adventures click HERE or below to visit their... Read More

Friday Fun | Our Favorite Time of the Year

Fall is my (Jody) FAVORITE time of the year. The crispness in the air, the vibrant colors of the leaves and the crunch of them under your feet, the smell of bonfires, hot chocolate & Smores, pumpkin patches, caramel apple spice from Starbucks, etc. and it all leads to the fact that Christmas is right around the corner – it just doesn’t get any better!! As Zach and I took Sunday and Monday off this last week (due to the wedding we shot on Saturday – make sure you’re still getting 2 days of rest!!!), we were chilling around Franklin, TN and came a cross pumpkins for sale on the corner. We stopped by because we could and had no agenda for the day :) I LOVE days of just chilling and enjoying the fall weather… As I was going through an old hard drive I came across some photos that Zach and I had taken of each other during fall in 2009. Thought I would share… we look like dorks and they are pretty funny images (can’t believe we even watermarked them ha ha). Lol… being able to laugh at yourself is a very good thing :) Anyway, hope you all are enjoying my favorite time of year! If you’re looking for a place to get pumpkins, check out the pumpkin patch in Cool Springs on the corner of Cool Springs & Mallory. The sale of pumpkins goes to a charity called the Cooper Trooper Foundation (purpose is to attack childhood cancer by helping parents love and take of the siblings of the child that has cancer), which... Read More

Friday Fly | Getting that Caffeine High!

Welcome to the very first installment of a new Friday segment we call, Caffè de Amare. Or, Coffee is Love! Today we are going to delve into the world of the French Press coffee. In Italy, where some of the worlds best coffee can be found and consumed, the French Press is known as a “caffettiera a stantuffo.” Making coffee the right way always takes a little more time, and a little more love than just grabbing your keurig pods (pre-made ground coffee, that is flavorless and bland, pumped through an auto machine and not worth serving to your worst enemy), throwing it together in 2 minutes and drinking your burnt bean water. :) Great coffee is a true art and a true science to create. So, all you photogs out there should at the least be able to appreciate the art, and at the most fall in love with something truly delicious when done just right! So, check out the video, check in to some awesome coffee and step away from the auto coffee madness! Let the coffee snobbery begin!! [iframe: src=”http://player.vimeo.com/video/28633056?title=0&byline=0&portrait=0″ width=”750″ height=”422″... Read More

Friday Fun | Super-sizing Your Weddings

(*For humor purposes only. Please do not attempt). And once again, due to our most recent travels to Denver, we bring to you the latest addition of How Sky Mall Can Make Your Business Better! So you are one of the smart photographers who does slideshows at your weddings… welllllll… It’s like what McDonald’s used to say when you would order a #5, “Would you like to super-size it?” Answer? “Yes please!” We have found the solution to “super-sizing” your wedding-day slideshows, thanks again to the awesomeness of Skymall! Well, wonder no further what you should do! We introduce to you… The Inflatable Movie Screen!!! A small laptop not cutting it for your same day edits? Well, you can demand your audience’s attention for SURE with this jumbo 12 foot by 9 foot screen!! No longer will there be crowds piling around your tiny laptop screen but everyone in the whole reception will get to see your couple’s wedding photos (whether they like or not), and you will be the belle of the wedding day ball! Folks, it doesn’t get any better than this, and you can have it all for the low price of $249.95! Double bonus: Order now you you can also use the exact same screen for your Keynote presentations at the local PUG or SMUG or Showit group, Preview Sessions for your clients (bring it to their home to really impress!) and poolside parties! It only takes a 9,000 psi air pump and about 1 hour to blow this baby up! It might bother your clients during the inflating process, but it will be well... Read More

Friday Fun | How SkyMall Can Make Your Marriage Stronger :)

And now it is time, folks, to bring you our latest SkyMall find in honor of our travels to Michigan this week! For those of you who may not be aware, we like to occasionally blog on some oh-so-awesome SkyMall finds – some that can better your business, and some that can better other areas of your life… In honor of us talking about marriage this week, we thought that this SkyMall find would be one that can help make your marriage better!… well, kind of. Having activities to do together can really bring you and your spouse closer together so our SkyMall find does just that! We introduce to you…. The Marshmallow Shooter!!!! You may be asking how this can be a fun marriage activity – but how can it NOT? Need some help with ideas on what to do with your marshmallow shooter? Wonder no more. 1. Hide behind bushes and see collectively how many car taillights you can hit. 2. Play chubby bunny, ever-so-carefully, shooting marshmallows in each other’s mouth. 3. Come Christmastime, decorate your house together with “snowman poop” aiming at the highest places nooks and crannies (of course for the kids to clean up ;). 4. Make hot chocolate and then top off the other’s cup seeing who can land the most marshmallows. And the final idea….! 5. Put little buckets in your living room that each have a prize and try and land a marshmallow in the appropriate buckets. Happy Friday and happy marriage!!!!... Read More

All you need is love?

(Think Princess Bride as you read the below… :) Mawwiage… Mawwiage is whut bwings us togethuh today…. Ah, that has to be one of my (Jody) favorite quotes from Princess Bride short of “My name is Inigo Montonya… You killed my father. Prepare to die.” :) Anyone, anyone? Fun and games aside, we are here to talk about marriage! As I was waiting for Zach the other day, I wondered in the magazine aisle and started reading an article in Marie Claire on an interview they had with actress Olivia Wilde. They were discussing her recent divorce to husband of 7 or 8 years, and she said this: “Our deal from the beginning was, ‘We’re crazy to do this, but we’re doing it because we’re in love and it makes us happy. The only reason to divorce is if one of us isn’t happy. Life is too short.’ After trying to make the relationship evolve in the way our lives had, I realized it wasn’t a natural evolution. When the relationship becomes about working to make it work, it’s lost that beauty and that optimistic bohemian sense that brought us together. I don’t think love should be work… we tried and it wasn’t making us happy.” This totally bummed me out. AND it made me mad that this is the message that is getting pushed out there. Things too hard? Not happy? Ah, just quit then. Before we got married we always had people say to us “Marriage is a lot of work” and I never really GOT that… until we became married of course. Marriage IS a lot... Read More

Our Family Camp Fun

This last week we flew off to Wisconsin to attend family camp at Camp Forest Springs with Zach’s dad, his wife, and two of Zach’s younger brothers. We have done this for the last two years but THIS year my (Jody) mom, sister and her husband and their daughter came out as well! We had a really great time and wanted to share just a few photos. Below is my brother-in-law, Nathan, and my sister Jacq and my mom! Here is Jan and her hubby (Zach’s dad), Keith with my niece, Lila! Here is me and a distance relative, Ryan! He and I went kayaking and got in a splashing fight which ended up with both of us sopping wet :) Me and my cutest-niece-ever, Lila! Isn’t she adorable? (Image provided by my sister). My sister tried to get a few group shots, but it was nearing nap-time so someone was a little fussy…. we went along with it :)   My favorite… lol. And the group! So fun! Yay for family time :)... Read More