Wednesday, August 27, 2008


It's finally done! My surprise from a few weeks ago (that caused oh so much confusion, but was quite funny) can finally be revealed!
Ta da!

My logo is done!

And I love it!

**Edit to add: The logo was designed by Angelina Toomey. She can be reached at and if you'd like to contact her.**

Thursday, August 21, 2008


Right now, we're "hunkered down" (news stations favorite term) waiting out Fay. We lost power last night, and as we went out for more supplies the power came back on. Who knows how long we'll have it for though, before it goes out again. It's too bad she's stalled. I wish she'd move on through. We need the rain, but geez Fay.

Anyway, we hope everyone is staying safe out there!

Photo from here

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Overlooked moments you treasure...

I just love this sequence of my Grandma steaming Jodi's dress. She used to own a children's clothing store in New Jersey, and many years later worked in a bridal shop. So she just went to town steaming Jodi's dress as she was getting her make-up done the morning of the wedding. I know that she steamed my dress for my wedding as well. But I never saw her doing it. I'm so glad that I captured these photos of her. I didn't realize how much they meant to me until I saw them all.

Love you Grandma.

This is one of my favorites. I included this one in the slideshow during the reception. When it came up on the screen, my Grandma turned to me and said "How did you get that? I didn't even realize you were taking my picture!"

I'm sneaky like that Grandma.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Hues Salon

Here are a few more pictures from Jodi's wedding. She had her hair done at Hues Salon in St. Augustine, and I have to say they were great. If you're getting married in St. Augustine and are looking for a salon for an up-do - definitely look them up.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Customer Service

**This is a long post, but a good lesson. It's worth it, I promise...**

I generally try to make the best out of most situations. I try to "put myself in other people's shoes" and see things from another perspective when bad/unfortunate/disappointing things happen in life. This is one of those things that I often pray God to give me more strength in... patience, perspective.

And honestly, if these following two incidences had not happened in the same day, I probably would not have thought twice about it. But it got me thinking, especially since I think customer service is such an important part of a business, and one that relies so heavily on customer satisfaction and word-of-mouth referrals as photography does.

Shortly prior to Jodi's wedding I realized that a little more memory for my camera would probably be a good investment. So, I hopped on my favorite website and browsed CF cards. Low and behold! There were 4 GB cards for sale that were cheaper than some of the 2GB cards! I immediately ordered 3 (what a deal!) and paid a little extra in shipping to get them here the day before I would have to leave for the wedding. Now I'm sure you can all see what's coming...

Exactly. I didn't end up getting them before the wedding. Big surprise.

But what happened long after the wedding is really what surprises me. Today I left feedback for the four vendors that I ultimately dealt with trying to purchase these cards. Surprisingly my best experience was with the last vendor who I
worked back and forth with to receive a (more expensive, but still fairly cheap) 4 GB card. We shared multiple emails back and forth. And honestly, when I received their first email, I was highly disappointed. The email stated that they were out of stock - this was my 3rd vendor that I attempted to get the 4 GB card from. However, in their email they apologized for the inconvenience (it was, a big inconvenience, but hey - they admitted it), and offered me a 20% discount on a "replacement" item. To be honest, that right there stopped me from canceling my order completely. Because really, nothing came close to the deal on the original 4 GB cards. But I figured - "hey, if they're willing to give me a 20% discount, I'll give them a shot. I need more memory anyway."


Ultimately I ended up with a memory card that I am happy with, and at a good price, but was disappointed that I missed out on the awesome deal (that apparently everyone else who has ever been to Amazon purchased before I did). And I wrote my description here... almost exactly... as my feedback on Amazon. I wrote that I was disappointed, but received the item I purchased, and that the customer service was good.

Well, their customer service isn't good. It's great! Of course this vendor saw my feedback, and immediately emailed me. They (again) apologized in this email:

Hello Dawn,

I just saw the feedback left and we understand your disappointment. Customer service is our number one priority, we would like for you to have a good shopping experience with us, therefore have issued a full refund to your credit card.

Thanks for your business, we hope to have improved your experience with us.

Best regards,

I was very surprised, I did not intend to get a refund as a result of my feedback. I received the product as promised by the company, nothing more nothing less. And the feedback that I left was fair and honest (and I left a few stars - I didn't give them a "horrible" rating if you're wondering). To be honest, their dedication to customer service and the resulting refund really improved my image of this seller, and I plan on purchasing from them again because of this experience, which actually began rather negatively.

However, I had a very different experience from another one of the sellers that I left feedback for today. The feedback I left stated that I was disappointed with the service that I had received. I again received an email from this seller, however they asked if I could remove the feedback. I politely replied that I felt that my comment was fair, and reflected my experience, and that as a customer, I would have wanted to hear any similar experiences prior to making a purchase from them (or any seller), especially if I was under a time crunch like I was. They responded in a harsh, accusatory tone, demanding that I remove my comment. This response left me stunned, staring at my computer screen in disbelief. Did this seller really think that their email was going to "earn" my business (much less entice me to remove my comment)?

Customer service is one of the most important facets of business (along with knowing your skill, but really, if you know how to sell CF cards, but do it with a bad attitude, how many repeat sales are you going to make?).

Today was a good reminder for me just how important customer service is. And how a good attitude, and bending over backwards for your customers will go a lot further for you than being angry and rude. And honestly, if these two encounters had not happened in the same day, I probably would have been really grateful for the first vendor, and just written the second one off and not thought about it again (other than being annoyed).

Has anyone else experienced similar situations that just make you sit back and wonder how on earth they're still in business?

Photo from here

Sunday, August 3, 2008

The sweet life...

You don't hear about this kind of dedication very often these days. After 43 years with Publix, Danny Farnham is finally retiring from Publix. Last weekend, Bill and I went down to Lakeland to document Danny's surprise retirement party. It was really heartwarming to see how much everyone cared about him, and how much he'll be missed.

The Publix bakery did a great job on this wonderful cake. Too bad I never got to taste it. I'm sure it was delicious.

Two of Danny's friends and coworkers planned a very elaborate story to get him to the party without knowing what was going on. He had no idea what was going on until he walked up to the building, and he was very surprised.

Other Publix employees made a 3D styrofoam illustration of Danny and his wife (my mom, for those of you who recognize her from Jodi's wedding pictures) on his Harley. It was HUGE!

This next series has a story behind it. Okay, so most of these photos have stories behind them. There were more than a few stories being told that night. But for these next few, Danny is a big fan of Coca Cola. Saying that he drinks a lot of it is putting it mildly. So when he pulled out a Pepsi box, a ripple of exclamations ran through the crowd. Danny doesn't drink Pepsi... under any circumstances.

But he was ordered to open the box...

And sure enough...

It was Coke!

It was a little emotional saying thank you and goodbye. I was a little choked up listening. There was so much admiration in the room.

He got a standing ovation at the end of the night.