Friday, December 5, 2008

A look back at The Photo Playdate

Back in January '08, I attended the Oregon Association of Bridal Consultants' retreat for Consultants. It was a great, intimate get-together for about 20 of Portland's leading event and wedding coordinators, and I enjoyed hanging out with the likes of Cherie Ronning of Uncommon Invites, Molli Barss of Soiree, Colette Livermore of Simply Elegant Events, Alesia Zorn of Alesia Zorn Calligraphy, Andrea Hoyt of August Veils, and many more!

What was so great about the event is that we rented out a house in NE Portland and had two in-depth days of training, discussing, and cross-pollination of ideas. Rarely do we as consultants get to work together, and certainly outside the industry there's a perception that we are all "competitors". Nothing could have been further from our minds as we shared ideas and sat around the table or the floor, eating and drinking and also making paper flowers for the February ABC luncheon.

So what does this have to do with The Photo Playdate? Well, it hit me as I looked around the room and realized so many of us have children (quite a few of us with tots under 5), and a theme kept recurring in the conversation about "me time" -- as in, not enough of it. Also, not enough time to do all those lovely, crafty things that we are doing for our clients, like make greeting cards, and take photos of our families and ourselves.

I resolved that day to create an event for myself, for all of us at the retreat, and any other area event planners and professionals who felt like they were in the same boat: The Photo Playdate. It had several objectives: to create a day for much-needed me-time; to bring event planners together with photographers that they might not know; and to provide an opportunity for planners to have family portraits or headshots taken just in time for the holidays and the new year.

I was amazed at the response to the event and all the positive feedback I received when I went around with the idea. A brand-new hotel, The Nines, immediately jumped on board (Thanks Morgan!) and provided the facility. In no time at all we had photographers, makeup artists, hair stylists, a Japanese foot spa, and even a childcare provider to provide a kids' play area.

The event was held on November 16 and was a great success. I've posted some of the gorgeous family photos and headshots at my other, bride-targeted blog and you can view that post here.

Big thank yous to everyone who participated, starting with the photographers:
Impression Arts
Evrim Icoz
Valls Photographic
Jasmine Photography

As well as the sponsors who provided the pampering and family-friendly fun!:
Event Cosmetics
Creative Childcare Solutions
Ashiyu Foot Spas

We will definitely be holding this event again in 2009. Please contact me if you'd like to be a part.

Why is airport fast food so bad?

I don't hate fast food, but it seems to sink to a new low within airports. I really have no idea why. Even chains which are have pretty good service (I think) outside the airport, like Starbucks, bear almost no resemblance service-wise to their non-airport counterpart. Ugh. I'm packing sandwiches and a refillable water bottle on my next trip.

Interesting poll over at

Check it here.