The Lightbulb Moment | Virginia Wedding Photographer | Sarah Houston Photography

I sat in the lobby of the Comfort Inn & Suites in my favorite location...Gettysburg. I was nervous and I was sweating bullets waiting on Justin + Mary Marantz to meet me for my one on one with them. As soon as Mary walked around the corner her face lit up, she welcomed me with a big hug and so did Justin! It was like I had known them forever and we were catching up like old times. I know in our profession we need to be welcoming and inviting-but they were genuinely so warm and inviting....I was actually comfortable and the nerves just melted away, kind of like my make-up in the heat of that day. We sat down at a table in the "breakfast" area but of course they decided to do construction all of a sudden and we found ourselves yelling across the table to communicate.  The hotel was very accommodating and allowed us to use a suite, which made it MUCH easier to hear! 

Mary started off with wanting to know more about me, my business and what I wanted out of all this. Then I just let them have current life situation (including tears) what I was most frustrated with and how I was being defeated by my own lack of self esteem. Justin + Mary sat there intently listening and didn't judge...instead they let me know that they were going to help. {insert big huge hug here} that's what that moment was like...a big huge hug. Mary let me know that things I had gone through and current situations weren't defeat, they were building blocks and were meant to help cultivate the stories I weave even more. They may even help someone else in the same situation! Then we dived-head first- into flash photography, something I shyed away from because I was petrified of "failing". So the fun began....

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It was HOT in that hotel room but they stayed in that room for FOUR HOURS explaining everything they knew about lighting & posing. There were times I would get frustrated and I wanted to back out so so bad, but Mary wouldn't let me. Instead of skipping on to the next subject I had to put into action whatever I just learned...which was tough because sometimes it didn't quite click { I blame it on the bleach-I've dyed my hair wayyy to much} and so there I was in the spotlight and I wanted to cry because I honestly could not demonstrate what they wanted me to do. Instead of getting angry or just moving on to the next subject Mary would have my re-focus then her and Justin would lovingly go over the same thing again with a smile. They seriously deserve an award for being the most patient teachers EVER.  I look back and I can never, NEVER thank them enough for their warmth and kindness. 

Honestly at the end of it all, it was THE best investment I have ever made. I tend to shy away from workshops because I'm not good around crowds-I'm a shy person-surprising I know!! One-on-One's are the most beneficial for me and I am SOOOO glad I did this. Right at the end I learned something amazing + life changing...Mary calls it the "light-bulb" moment. If there was would have been thrown at that point! I literally went home and slept with a notebook next to my bed and wrote highlights from mentoring with them ALL.NIGHT. I even dreamed about lighting! I've already decided that next year I am going to attend their workshop-Walk Through A Wedding...which is a HUGE step since I really don't like workshop crowds! If your looking for a life-changing mentoring session I HIGHLY recommend Justin + Mary, they are truly so so sweet and you won't regret it-I promise you that! I've mentored with several amazing photographers but they are definitely up there on my list ;)

Justin + Mary,

Thank-you. Thank-you for sharing your time + incredible talent with me. Thank-you for your abundance of patience and making sure it TRULY clicked with me. Thank-you for being so genuine and honest. Thank-you for lighting that fire in me again and having the confidence in me that I was worth your time. I cannot express how much it means to me...I look forward to seeing y'all again soon. In the mean time you've got a blog fan for life.