Adventure Awaits: Our Crazy Idea for 2017
I’ll be honest: this idea we have, it honestly kind of scares me in its freedom. It terrifies me in its possibilities. I wake up at 3 in the morning, thinking about it. Randy + I text about it every single day, whenever he’s down at school (yes, he’s a full-time college student). We have been researching and researching for months now.
Let me premise this by saying that no official decisions have been made, but I’m sitting here at 4 in the morning unable to sleep because this idea might be the most exciting thing we’ll ever do.
So we have this absolutely crazy idea.
We are seriously considering becoming destination and traveling photographers, taking this life of ours on the road full time.
Yes – with all four of the kids.
Yes – with all four of the dogs.
We have moved so many times over the last fourteen years together – all over California, Washington, Japan, North Dakota, Colorado, then back to California – and it just feels weird to be tied down to a certain spot. We get bored after a couple of years, and we get ready to move again and go explore somewhere new.
Almost as soon as we moved from Colorado to California in 2014, we regretted it. While it’s been such an amazing move for us in terms of work and business, making some amazing friends in our industry and being closer to my parents, everything else has been pretty terrible. The schools are substandard (to say the least), the houses are tiny, the land is immeasurable, and don’t even get me started on the cost of living – or the traffic.
There’s been a lot of talk about moving back to Colorado – in fact, we’re starting to market out that way, because eventually we do want to settle down in Colorado and make that our “home base” because it’s just got everything we love: mountains, some of our favorite people, and never-ending adventures. You’ll see on our site we’re starting to shift away from being based in California because even if this idea of traveling full-time doesn’t end up happening – we’re going to be moving to Colorado next year one way or another because we have some big dreams about eventually opening up a wedding venue, and Colorado is where we want to do that.
When we took our big road trip in 2014 (right before we moved), it was such a cool experience. We booked shoots all over the place and made a month-long trip out of it – and we got to visit all of the lower states in the process. We learned a lot on the trip, and then we moved here right after our trip – and over the last couple of years, we’ve learned a few things …
We don’t need as much as we thought we did. When we moved from Colorado, we left a 3000 square foot beautiful home for a 1400 square foot house … and not only did that cut down on space for furniture, but it cut down on wall space, office space, and living space in general. A majority of our stuff is actually sitting in our garage, collecting dust and spider webs. I’ve made Randy keep it because I’m a pack rat, but in all honesty: we haven’t used anything in there except for our Christmas tree the last 2 years.
We never spend time at home. Even on our “days off” – we aren’t the type of family who just sits at home, watching Netflix or just hanging out. If we are off – we are out of the house. We’re out hiking, we’re going to the beach or the mountains, or hell – we’re even driving an hour just to go walk around the closest Target or Costco.
A majority of our couples aren’t even from our area. In fact, in the last 2 years – a very small percentage of our couples live in this area; most are from all over the country. Which means we have friends all over the place who have been referring us like crazy (and we love them for it!).
It doesn’t matter where we live. Why? Because that’s the beauty of weddings and photography: they happen everywhere. So long as people can find us by referral, social media and online searches – we could live anywhere and travel to you. NONE of the weddings we have booked in 2017 are even in the Joshua Tree region, which is where we currently reside. It’s crazy!!
We desperately want to see the world. Every opportunity we get to be out on the road is something that makes both of us happy. We love shooting in new locations, we love seeing things we’ve only heard or read about. We love watching our kids see new places. We love meeting new people from all over the place.
A few months ago, our friend Abbi Hearne did something crazy: she and her husband, and their dog Charlie, took their show on the road. They literally sold all their goodies (or stored the stuff they couldn’t live without but didn’t want to carry with them), broke the lease on their apartment, and have been living out of their camper the last few months – waking up in the most amazing locations, shooting all over the place, and living a life that most people can only dream about.
I think it was Abbi + Callen’s decision (and success in that decision) that sparked this fleeting thought of “man, I wish we could be traveling photographers” into an actual idea of “whoa, what if we actually became traveling photographers?”
I’m sure some of you who have gotten this far in this blog (thanks for reading this far into my 4am ramblings) are wondering how this would work, and I’ll tell you, we don’t have it 100% figured out but this is what we’re thinking:
We’d homeschool the kids from the road. Our kids range from 2nd to 8th grade right now – what better time to take a year and see how we like life on the road? There are so many homeschooling options, and can you just imagine how awesome it be to say “okay guys, we’re going to learn about the Civil War for the next 6 weeks!” and actually take them to battle fields? Or to learn about space, and take them to NASA in Houston? Or to learn about musical theater, and take them to Broadway?
Next semester we’re actually going to start homeschooling them, just to see how we like it and get into the groove. There are literally so many different homeschooling options that we got a little overwhelmed (okay, maybe a lot overwhelmed) – so we’re testing out K12. Not sure if it’s 100% the right fit for us, but, we’ll see!
We’d be selling our house (or renting it out) and buying a bigger RV. One of the big lessons we learned during our big road trip was that I don’t want the kitchen table to be a bed for the kids – because I need somewhere to sit down and sip coffee and work in the morning. So we want to get something with bunk beds for the kids and something with maybe a little more drawer/closet/storage space. Right now we have a decent travel trailer, but I think a Class C or even a Class A might serve our purposes a bit better.
Plus, if we’re no longer paying for a mortgage – that certainly frees up a lot of our monthly expenditures.
We’re waiving travel fees for 2017 and 2018 weddings anywhere in the lower 48.
Yes, you read that right: no more travel fees for weddings – everything in our collections is 100% all-inclusive. We’re no longer charging travel fees, even if this crazy idea of ours doesn’t actually pan out … simply because we just love to travel, and want the opportunity to work with the raddest couples – no matter where they live.
And last but not least:
With the travel plans we have already in the works for 2017, we’re going to be working on a “Travel Plans” page so we can start booking sessions based on the weddings we have booked. Once we’re back from Colorado next week, we’ll be sharing more about that – so stay tuned!!
We’ll also be taking requests for sessions anywhere in the country, and we’ll base travel plans on those requests too! Want a session in Michigan? New York? Florida? Let us know, and we’ll make a trip of it! 🙂