Poshmark Dresses

I recently bought two dresses for the studio. I've already done shoots with both that I can't wait to show you! How much fun is that fringe?

Shopping is my cardio... but I didn't burn any calories getting these *sigh*. I've been addicted to this app called Poshmark. Users post their gently used closet items for sale and you can purchase from their closets and even make offers. If you sell on this app, Poshmark pays for the shipping and you just drop it off at your local post office.

Buying online is a little risky for me because I'm curvy and short. I purchased both of these at certain sizes and I thought both ran a bit small. If you're purchasing dresses for your shoot, it's easier to clip dresses that are too big than squeezing into something too small. However jewelry is one size fits all ;)

The pink sequin dress was a steal at $16 and the fringe dress was $30 and still had the tags on it. Both were listed for more by the sellers and I made cheaper offers.

Generations

When was the last time you had your photograph taken? Maybe you're a high school senior, who just had their photographs taken for the yearbook. Or, perhaps, you're in your twenties and you recently got married... so of course you had photos taken during that event because who doesn't? You might have loved them or hated them even, but for many women that was a while ago now and you have been avoiding the camera since life has gotten busy or your body has changed.

If your mother is living, how old is she? What's the most recent professional portrait you have of her? She probably doesn't have updated photos of how she looks today. The photos you have of her are snapshots that you had to sneak when she didn't see you with your camera, or even photos from HER wedding 50 years ago. To you, she's beautiful in those old photos... people sometimes even say you resemble her... but you might not even recognize her in those photos. Where are her smile lines, or her beautiful silver hair?

Your mom might not talk about it, but her body has changed too, and she is also very busy. So much time has passed without getting an updated portrait, that mom asks for photos of you and the kids, but doesn't expect herself to also be in the portraits. You might not even join your kids in their portraits. Meanwhile, both you and your mom wish you could have a beautiful one taken of everyone together.

A generations portrait stops time. There is nothing like it. One of my biggest regrets is not taking a generations portrait before my mom passed away. It would have been with four generations! A generation portrait can stop time, but you cannot go back in time. There is no better time than now to have a beautiful generations shot taken. You and your family will cherish it for all time.

For Photographers: 5 (More) Things I Learned the Hard Way

I started photographing for others at 17 years old- that's nearly five years ago now- and there are a lot of things I had to learn along the way. Photography is a physically and emotionally demanding job. I love and enjoy every moment I'm behind the camera with a client, but it's funny to think of how I started and how little I actually knew what I was getting into.

This is part two of my original blog that you can read here. Basically, this is me standing on the rooftops yelling to people who are just starting out. You can do it! You can, but learn from other people's life lessons and mistakes rather than making them yourself.
 

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  1. Take your time - others will always be ahead of the curve. When you're establishing, you don't have to rush to start charging, have a watermark, website, or business card, have the best camera, or anything else that might come with being in business for a while. Please don't do this to yourself. When you start, focus on doing everything correctly and carefully rather than trying to keep up with others in business around you. That's when you fail hard because you aren't ready. While it is true that when you are established and in business, you need to evolve to compete, you cannot expect yourself to start off like that. Until then, take your time.

    For the record, the first year I began to take photos for others, I started a Facebook page, made a logo that I ended up changing a few months later, ordered 500 business cards... I passed out maybe 30 of the cards and the rest ended up in the trash because now they're outdated and irrelevant. Oops.

  2. Your business logo isn't that important. I had probably six or seven different designs in several years before settling on the one that I use now, which is a mixture of one I've used now for two years and a professionally designed monogram. Nobody has ever commented "I love your logo"... unless they were designers themselves. As long as it's simple and professional, it will work. The more simple it is, the more likely you will keep it.
     
  3. If your client isn't satisfied, it's your fault, not theirs. You can't take it personally. You were hired to do a service and if they're not happy, reflect on what you did, apologize, and fix it. If your client complains she looks bad, don't blame it on her for what she's wearing or how much she weighs. If a family client complains you didn't get a smiling picture of their kid, apologize and fix it. Apologizing and fixing it is good service... not letting these things happen is better service, but we're human and we will make mistakes. I unfortunately see this all the time in the photography community. Thankfully I developed this mindset very early on. You can have a good client leave you for good if you don't remember this. Take responsibility.
     
  4. You don't have to charge while building your portfolio. That's exactly what I did, and what I believe most other photographers do when they're starting out. But when it came time to charge professional prices, it was hard because I was focused on what I used to charge. What if, instead, we portfolio built for no cost or at a discounted rate until we felt ready on our skills?
     
  5. Provide your clients with printed work. I started off giving clients a CD of their images only, and I know that the majority of that work is not printed today. The fact is, it's easy to put a client's images on a CD and give them away. It's easy to be satisfied with your photos on the computer or social media- but there are a lot of things that can happen and they stay on that CD. What if it corrupts, your hard drive fails, there's a fire, we don't have anything to read the CDs anymore. Plus there's nothing like holding a finished print. If you have the time and you want to start charging, make it a part of your business early on. Your clients will love you for it.

Hopefully you can learn from my hard lessons. It's interesting to think of what was learned the hard way, and how different it might be if I learned them sooner. I haven't arrived- but I want to teach others through my hard lessons. Feel welcome to post your own lessons as a photographer or reflect on mine in the comments.

Rachel

This is an image I took of Rachel nearly a year ago now. I went back and edited it again because I felt like it would look really beautiful in muted warmer tones.

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Here's a before and after shot of hand and color editing. Straight out of the camera it was more cool, but I always love to add a bit of warmth. Rachel is just perfect in every way.

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Five Favorite Products for Summer with Modern Martha

This post is from Kelsey from Modern Martha. Kelsey is a makeup and home guru. There have been a few times that she's reviewed something and liked it, and I ran out and bought it for myself. Today She will share some of her favorite summer products! Make sure to take a look at her blog for other fun things.

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Summer is the time for picnics in the park, family vacations and sunshine. When I swap out my winter clothes for shorts and tanks, I also look for new makeup to refresh and reengerize my collection. Dare to step out of your comfort zone and pick a few colors you normally shy away from. These are my top Summer-worthy picks.

 Pacifica Power of Love Coconut-Infused Mineral Eye Shadows ($19.99) 

This palette has go-to neutrals and fresh pops of color. With a mix of matte, satin and pearl shades, you really can't go wrong. The palette is thin and lightweight, making it a perfect travel companion.

CoverGirl The Super Sizer by LashBlast Mascara ($6.85)

What I love about The Super Sizer is the affordable price and its ability to coat each and every one of my lashes. Rotate the brush as you apply. The flat sides of the wand allows you to deposit rich color while the long sides help separate and cover from root to tip. 

Mary Kay Translucent Loose Powder ($16)

The twist-and-lock sifter makes this loose powder travel-friendly. You can throw it in your suitcase or your purse and not worry about all of the product sifting into the lid. It’s weightless on the skin, not drying at all, and sets my makeup to last all day.

MAC Retro Matte Lipstick in Flat Out Fabulous ($16)

Flat Out Fabulous is flat out fabulous. This bright plum lipstick has beautifully saturated color and a flawless matte finish. 

MAC Satin Lipstick in Myth ($16)

When I use color on my eyes, I like to balance out my look with a nude lip. MAC's Myth is a light nude with a satin finish. Instead of applying Myth by itself, I prefer to mix it with other shades to make my perfect pink-nude.

Marisa

Marisa is such a lovely girl on the inside and out. I had the privileged of photographing her to celebrate her senior year of high school. We decided to go outside for some of her shoot, and impromptu just decided to do it in my front yard. Proof you don't need a fancy location for some beautiful portraits, ha.

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For Photographers: 5 Things I Learned the Hard Way

Life is a learning experience, and considering I started photography for others at 17 years old, I learned a lot of things the hard way. Photography is a physically and emotionally demanding job, and although I love it, I didn't know what I was getting into. My job is fulfilling, and my passion, but there are some things that I wish I had known before diving head first.

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  1. There's no room to be a perfectionist. I am one. From zooming in on every pore, to spending over an hour on each image... it's not viable for a business. I've spent the last few years streamlining my workflow, but I still spend way too much time on the computer trying to get over my need for perfectionism. It's important to recognize your time is valuable. I wish I worked on this when I first started because now I'm working on undoing bad habits. Edit quick, shoot more.

  2. If you charge, you're in business. If you're in business, you have taxes to pay. Even if you charge $50 for a session, you have taxes, equipment that can break, insurance that you need to have, and contracts that your clients need to sign to protect yourself. I had no idea that if I charged $100 for everything that I didn't get to keep all of it! It's incredibly overwhelming when you start working out the logistics, but it can't be looked over. The best thing to do is to call an accountant.

  3. You will never be good enough. You will look at other photographers and throw a pity party about how good they are, and how terrible you are in comparison- even if you're making moeny and your clients love you. And when you love your work, someone will push you down and tell you that you're not good enough. If people are paying for your services, you are good enough. There are always people out there who will like what you do- you just need to find them (on the contrary, there are also always people who don't like what you do... that's okay, keep looking).

  4. You don't need a formal education. Yikes- I just got controversial. Your clients don't care if you have a Bachelors in Fine Arts of Photography, they just want good service and beautiful images. Unfortunately a lot of art schools don't even teach business skills, or they only have a few courses in it. Some of the most successful photographers I know didn't even go to college- they worked or interned, and took advantage of free resources.

  5. You don't have to do what you don't enjoy. On my website I show beautiful portraits of everyday women because that's what my passion is. I don't show weddings because I don't enjoy photographing them. Photographers don't have to be good at every genre, and sometimes it's even better to specialize in one genre. You wouldn't ask a chemical engineer to do computer engineering for you, would you? If you don't want to do it, don't show it on your website. You will be much happier doing what you love. That is why you're a photographer in the first place, isn't it?

Hopefully you can learn from my hard lessons. I'm a sponge and I love soaking up knowledge, but it would have been ideal to see my hard lessons on the horizon. Although I messed up a lot, I learned from these lessons and want to teach others through them. Feel welcome to post your own lessons as a photographer or reflect on mine in the comments.

Whitney English Planner Review: Six Months Later

Prior to this blog, I reviewed the Erin Condren. You can read that review here.

The Whitney English planner is especially for small business owners, so needless to say I had to have it!

My disclaimer before beginning this review: I bought this planner for August 2014-July 2015 and didn't finish it. I stopped using this planner about January-February 2015. I left it in my car one night, someone didn't close the door all the way (it wasn't me!), and it got water logged and frankly ruined. Totally my fault for leaving it there in the first place, and it was so sad, but alas I will review it because I am the Planner Queen... hah.

The designer planner- one of my favorite staples in my office. Something about it keeps me organized. I like to do these reviews many months later because a lot of bloggers will post their first impressions, and I don't think that gives an accurate depiction of how useful the planner is. I'll try to keep this short, but the following post is image heavy.

The packaging this planner in was so cute. Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures of it.

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The cover is absolutely lovely. At the time I ordered it, you could choose from gold or black stripes. I went for the gold. However, Whitney has a few other cover designs and they're often limited edition. When my cover was water damaged, the cover is made out of a cardstock/paper material, so it soaked all that water in and puffed up. I tried to dry the cover and pages but couldn't salvage it. I bet rice would have helped, but I didn't think of that until writing this blog (hah). Regardless, this cover is more professional, in my opinion, compared to the laminated Erin Condren.

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I love the metal binding on this planner. Although not as sturdy and thick as the Erin Condren, I found that this was enough. I didn't have any problems with the binding separating from the back cover or anything like that. It also didn't bend while I used it.

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This planner comes with tabs! The tabs are actually pages where you can write monthly notes on them, as well. Lots of space. Apparently older Whitney English planners didn't come with tabs, so this is a great add on. They also held up well in the time I used it.

There are tabs for each month, and each month has daily pages... which I will get to soon.

Also, I love the gold corners! They're metal, not plastic... probably necessary because the cover is actually made out of a card stock material so the corners wouldn't bend up. These corners are one of my favorite details on any of the planners I've owned.

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The beginning of the planner, before you get to the monthly sections, has some worksheets that you can fill out to help your business planning. Whitney also releases special edition planners with more planning sheets. I enjoyed filling out the sheets that were included in mine, but I wanted more!

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The bulk of my planning happens on the monthly pages. I love how they're included with each tab, and there are daily pages for each month. One of my biggest pet peeves with planners is when all of the monthly pages are in the same spot. I especially liked the "goals for the month" box.

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Behold: the daily pages. This is what sets the Erin Condren and the Whitney English apart. Introducing hourly planning, which rocked my world when I first got it. Normal weekday pages have some differences from what's shown above, including a check list section for to-do's. The daily pages are so detailed and extensive. I knew if this page wasn't full, I wasn't working hard enough.

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On weekday pages, the left four boxes are labeled "DUE", "DINNER", "DOLLARS", "DON'T FORGET". I loved being able to plan my dinners and write reminders in these boxes, but didn't know how to use the "DOLLARS" box unless I had taxes due... which really would fit in the "DUE" box... but whatever. On the weekend pages, I loved being able to reflect on my week and also having a reminder for the next. Shown on the right, I also loved having a "WEEKLY GRATITUDE" box... on the daily pages it would be "DAILY GRATITUDE". Both were used often to write a little sentence of what I was thankful for.

My experience with the Whitney English planner was delightful, for how long it lasted. It's very similar to the Emily Ley planner (which I haven't used, but have seen in person), but it's designed specifically for small business owners, which made it perfect for me. It's such a shame I ruined it. I'm now trying a new planner, but who knows, I might go back!

Why Do a Before and After?

It's a controversial topic, but it's one of the top viewed sections of my website. Why do I include the before and after? I'm a part of a few private groups and this is discussed often, because some people battle with the intentions of the before and after. They argue it's wrong or dangerous to post the "ugly duck", and after their face with some make up on. That's not the point.

The "before" image is beautiful. I even show my client the before photo before posting it. I take it just like a model test shot polaroid... natural, white background, clean face, hair pulled back, natural expression. However, no direction from me but to smile. Most women don't even mind getting it taken. I do it quick, and promise them that it won't be "ugly"... although unfortunately, she doesn't always feel beautiful. The "after" is beautiful, too. I pose right down carefully to the toes. This woman has just been pampered- treated with hair and make up without having to worry about it themselves. She has seen herself and not only is she beautiful (although she always has been), but she FEELS beautiful as well. She gets photographed how she's always dreamed. I capture exactly how her loved ones see her. She trusts me.

So what's the point? I want every woman in the world to experience this: getting the best portraits that they have ever seen of themselves. To see themselves like their loved ones see them- not the warped concept of ideal self image that our world endorses. You are the before, and you are the after. See in yourself that you are beautiful now- not pounds thinner or years younger. This is what modern glamour photography is supposed to be about.

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Malina

When I first started doing photography, I did high school senior portraits of my friends here and there. I remember taking Malina's portraits and she was one of my first "clients". Over a year ago now we met again to take some portraits again. This was one of my favorites taken that day.

The backdrop is hand painted- wood stain and a canvas drop cloth. This was before having a studio space, so we just propped up some canvas in her living room. Ah...

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My One Word in 2015

I remember spending some time of personal reflection and goal writing for the upcoming 2014 year. I'll be honest, I hate resolutions. I get it... I write down my goals and what I want to do... but the concept of having a resolution to go to the gym every day, or to eat healthier for a year. It sounds great, but it seems like I'm thinking before actually trying to achieve (kind of like, when my eyes are bigger than my stomach). That's why I always fail at new year resolutions- I need something that I can work on daily without setting myself up for failure. That's where my one word comes in. I remember reflecting and thinking if I had one word to strive for every day, then my goals may come to fruition. I spent a little time googling, and someone already had this idea and wrote a book about it. Hah, go figure. You can read more about this concept on myoneword.org. I decided to pick one word every year to inspire and motivate me, personal and business. These words so far have been based on my personal blocks. 2014 was the word WILLINGNESS. This year is the word FOCUS. I will be the first to admit I struggle with focusing on tasks I need to get done, and sometimes even focusing on my passion and keeping that on the forefront of my mind. My business often suffers for it. This year will be about FOCUSing on my goals, dreams, so I can better accomplish them. I have this word written in my planner, and by my desk, so I can read it every day as a reminder.

What's your one word?

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Alexis

Alexis is such a dear friend of mine. We've known each other since we were little kids. I've always admired her because of her poise and grace. We were trouble makers in Girl Scouts, though, sneaking out of our cabins with our friends and being out past curfew- haha. It's always lovely reconnecting with old friends, and the stories you share together. Her smile is radiant.

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Create the Incredible Contest with Sue Bryce and Lara Jade

Photographers Sue Bryce and Lara Jade- two of my favorite photographers- did a workshop together on CreativeLive (an awesome resource for artists of all sorts) called "Create the Incredible". A lot of it involved composites and putting together your visions in Photoshop. The ladies decided to run a contest with the same name, and the winner would get a Skype session with either Lara or Sue. So, of course, my competitive nature kicked in, and I entered.

Sue provided the following image, taken on a tall ladder during the workshop. We were supposed to make something incredible with it. It can be seen on her blog here: http://www.inbedwithsue.com/2013/10/18/create-the-incredible-have-fun-be-creative-enter-and-play/

Immediately when I saw the image, I thought of a series I did in high school that were composites of ballerinas dancing on the moon. I thought of weightlessness. This idea was even more engraved in my mind because I had recently seen Gravity.

I didn't want to use any images that I didn't take myself for copyright reasons. Sometimes that's a grey area and I don't like to cross with. I remembered that I had taken pictures of the moon a few years ago with my dad's Nikon. I cut that out and made the model "stand" on it. At first. I made half the moon show on the canvas. Later I decided to extend that and make the whole moon show.

I then made the skirt flow around the moon. I wanted it to be long and for it to encompass the moon. I love movement, so I made sure to add motion blur. I duplicated some areas with the clone tool, and stretched some areas with liquify. I didn't want that duplicated cloning effect.

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Next I looked for tutorials on how to make starts on Photoshop. It took a while to get this right, and for them to be large so that they were visible enough. I also think I used some dust and scratches on Alien Skin to really enhance the stars, but I did that as a final step. I've included my exact star texture below. Feel free to click on the image and download it for use. Please don't claim it as your own or redistribute it.

I placed these elements together in black and white: the model, stars, and moon. It felt like it needed more. I thought about the movie Gravity and how things move in space. I decided to add a radial blur around the whole image. To me, it added both movement and focus on the subject. After a few tweaks, and some critiques from friends, I was done.

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I love the concept of this piece, and at the time when I submitted it I was pretty happy. When it comes to composites, I have high standards. It can't look cut up- it needs to be incredible cohesive. I am still proud of the piece. When I submitted it into the contest, I knew it would be a fair contender. However, it didn't end up winning.

There are several flaws that stand out, now looking back on it. For one, when I saw the other entries, I noticed several others involving the moon. Ouch. My idea wasn't as creative as I had hoped. The choice of black and white made the composite blend in with the other entries. All of the contenders with color took a risk and I played it safe. It lacked the depth and mood that color can really create. I also did sloppy editing on the model. This was prior to taking advanced levels courses, so I struggled with contrast and knowing when to stop. There were some truly incredible entries that made my piece look like Photoshop 101. We had the option to submit as many entries as we could make in the allotted time, but I was so content with this that I didn't push myself further. Overall, I love this piece, and I'm disappointed in not winning, but it was a learning experience and a reminder that I should be thinking beyond my first ideas.

Image credit for the model above: Sue Bryce, suebryce.com
Feel free to use the star texture above, but don't claim it as your own or redistribute it.

Vanessa

Vanessa is one of my favorite people, and just so happens to be my best friend's mother. I can't wait to do a beautiful mother daughter shoot with her two daughters. This shoot was a gift to herself to celebrate another year of life... but it's also a gift to her family, who now has a photograph to cherish for all time.

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Chi

Before I had a home studio I hand painted canvas backdrops and propped them up on a stand on my patio. Not something I would recommend... we fought the wind. Chi had an all black outfit and I put her in front of this black backdrop for a real bold black and white. If you don't have anything to wear, you don't need much for a beautiful portrait of yourself.

That One Dress in Your Closet...

You know that dress... the one you haven't worn in a long time for one reason or another. It's stained, it has a huge tear on the bottom, it doesn't fit anymore. But you can't just let it go yet because you love it that much.

Before I had a studio, I did a shoot with a dear friend of mine, Kelly. This woman is amazing- a mom, a wife, a full-time helper of disability students, works two jobs and does ministry- always busy but all heart. She invited me into her home. Her outfits were laid out. I asked to see inside her closet. Then I saw the dress.

I asked her why she didn't want to be photographed in it. She said oh that dress is amazing, but I haven't worn it in years... I don't know if it even fits. I know that it didn't matter- we don't have to zip it, or I can clip it in the back if it's too big. I don't remember which one we did, all I remember is how she looked in it.

"I feel beautiful in this dress."

Erin Condren Planner Review: A Year Later

While getting my business organized, I felt overwhelmed with all of the things I needed to do, while at the same time working and going to school full time. I had regular planners from the school bookstore, Google Calendar, phone apps- you name it, I tried it. I always went back to paper, but I never felt motivated to keep up with it.

Introducing the designer planner. I don't know what it is, but something about a designer planner keeps me going and organized. When my friend introduced me to the Erin Condren planner, I felt the heaven gates open. I'm obsessed with anything office supply related, and I had never seen a planner this in depth and organized. I was in love.

I read reviews for weeks before and while I was waiting for my Erin to ship (which, by the way, took an ungodly amount of time- nearly a month). All of these reviews were a first impression, but hardly any of them were from someone who stuck with it for a year. So that is what this review is about. I'll try to keep it short and simple- but this is image heavy.

I was beyond excited to get my Erin in the mail- the packaging way absolutely beautiful and it just added to the excitement. She puts a lot of work into the details.

I was beyond excited to get my Erin in the mail- the packaging way absolutely beautiful and it just added to the excitement. She puts a lot of work into the details.

Erin adds a ton of personalized extras. Gift tags, cards... unfortunately, these went to waste. I never used any of them... nor did I really want to because they weren't my style. Because they're personalized, I couldn't pass them off to anyone who could use them.

Erin adds a ton of personalized extras. Gift tags, cards... unfortunately, these went to waste. I never used any of them... nor did I really want to because they weren't my style. Because they're personalized, I couldn't pass them off to anyone who could use them.

The rest of this blog is about my planner a year later. I stopped using it in July of 2014.

My planner's cover (which now Erin makes removable- something I wasn't a fan of but admittedly haven't tried out). My original plan was to keep up with Erin's planners every year and do a collage of different Instagram pictures as life progressed. Now, I won't be doing that, as I felt like this cover didn't feel professional to carry around. However, Erin has a lot of more "professional" covers to use, if you carry yours around a lot in an office environment/you're a business owner. The gold editions are super cute- but a bit expensive.

My planner's cover (which now Erin makes removable- something I wasn't a fan of but admittedly haven't tried out). My original plan was to keep up with Erin's planners every year and do a collage of different Instagram pictures as life progressed. Now, I won't be doing that, as I felt like this cover didn't feel professional to carry around. However, Erin has a lot of more "professional" covers to use, if you carry yours around a lot in an office environment/you're a business owner. The gold editions are super cute- but a bit expensive.

All of my laminated cover edges ended up peeling by the end of the year. All of them. Which, my friend kept saying "contact them and they will help you"... but I didn't bother. They started peeling too early and I did handle my planner really rough... it was just going to happen again (stuffing it in my college bag, taking it everywhere at anytime). So perhaps it was my fault, but it did make my planner look bad.

All of my laminated cover edges ended up peeling by the end of the year. All of them. Which, my friend kept saying "contact them and they will help you"... but I didn't bother. They started peeling too early and I did handle my planner really rough... it was just going to happen again (stuffing it in my college bag, taking it everywhere at anytime). So perhaps it was my fault, but it did make my planner look bad.

One thing I absolutely LOVED about the Erin Condren is that metal ringed binding! It's amazing. It held up the whole year. It's extremely durable.

One thing I absolutely LOVED about the Erin Condren is that metal ringed binding! It's amazing. It held up the whole year. It's extremely durable.

At this point of my life I did a lot of color coding. I put a post it in the front for my key.

At this point of my life I did a lot of color coding. I put a post it in the front for my key.

The tabs held up really well, which is surprising because the laminated covers did not. Overall, I was impressed with the tabs and loved being able to flip to my monthly calendar quickly. I hate when planners have the detailed calendars in the front. As soon as you flip to the month, you get the detailed month calendar and then the weeks.

The tabs held up really well, which is surprising because the laminated covers did not. Overall, I was impressed with the tabs and loved being able to flip to my monthly calendar quickly. I hate when planners have the detailed calendars in the front. As soon as you flip to the month, you get the detailed month calendar and then the weeks.

I definitely used my planner to its full potential. I used circle stickers, washi tape, and the stickers that Erin included in her planners. I still have a ton of these stickers left over, that I didn't get to use. If I got another Erin Condren, I don't even think I would bother reusing them because you get so many every year. But overall, I loved the stickers.

I definitely used my planner to its full potential. I used circle stickers, washi tape, and the stickers that Erin included in her planners. I still have a ton of these stickers left over, that I didn't get to use. If I got another Erin Condren, I don't even think I would bother reusing them because you get so many every year. But overall, I loved the stickers.

The weekly page was great. My schedule honestly didn't merit having a "morning day night" section... but it did work for separating my work and business life. I started to use these sections as work, to-do for the day, and business as the year progressed. I would have liked these to be customizable for that reason, but it works for a lot of people.

The weekly page was great. My schedule honestly didn't merit having a "morning day night" section... but it did work for separating my work and business life. I started to use these sections as work, to-do for the day, and business as the year progressed. I would have liked these to be customizable for that reason, but it works for a lot of people.

I love having a ruler! I wish my current planner had a nice ruler. The perforations surprisingly held up very well for the whole year.

I love having a ruler! I wish my current planner had a nice ruler. The perforations surprisingly held up very well for the whole year.

My folder and pouch in the back got a bit rough and beat up. I used the pouch A LOT- but I found that it mostly just promoted my paper hoarding and I tried to stuff too much in there. The hefty zip lock bag for your accessories held up okay- it did tear a little on the sides but it was still usable. Like I said before- I had a TON of stickers left over! It's worth noting that the new planners have restickable stickers, kind of like post-its.

My folder and pouch in the back got a bit rough and beat up. I used the pouch A LOT- but I found that it mostly just promoted my paper hoarding and I tried to stuff too much in there. The hefty zip lock bag for your accessories held up okay- it did tear a little on the sides but it was still usable. Like I said before- I had a TON of stickers left over! It's worth noting that the new planners have restickable stickers, kind of like post-its.

Overall, my experience with the Erin Condren planner was positive. This baby truly helped me get through college. I went one year without it, and one year with it- I found myself more organized and less stressed about what I had to do for the week. It helped me in that regard. However, I did not purchase the Erin Condren for the 2014-2015 year. I remember one day looking at my Erin and thinking what it looked like laying on my desk. I said to my husband, "I don't know if I want another one this year, I feel like it doesn't look professional but I just don't know..." and he said "it doesn't." Oh. Then I read about her new planners, and I don't know what I was expecting, but I wasn't expecting the most "exciting" feature to be the removable covers. Alas, I decided to purchase a different designer planner, which I will review at a later date.

If it suits your business or not, really depends on the type of business you have and how much you have to do on a daily basis for it... and if it fits your brand, if you will have it with you a lot. I think that some moms whose younger children are involved in extra curricular activities, will prefer a more customizable choice like Plum Paper. As far as a colorful planner goes, I prefer and considered (but ultimately didn't purchase) the Emily Ley Simplified Planner- which is super cute and very professional looking. There is something about a laminated cover that has a lot to be desired. The Erin Condren is AWESOME for college students based off personal experience, and busy women that need to keep everything in check on the daily... and of course for people who need a great planner who love Erin's style!