Eighteen months ago, we set out on a journey. By faith (and an enormous amount of number crunching) we quit our jobs. Simultaneously. In the slowest time of the year for weddings. To the naked eye, that may not seem to fall nicely under the “Best Decisions of 2013” category. But we knew it was the right thing to do!
Since then, 2 concrete lessons have been made continually clear to us.
First, we could never do this without the support of our Lord. Who quits their job when they only have enough weddings to get through half of the next year’s expenses? Oh yeah. That’s us. But the Lord provided in so many amazing ways that first year! We really needed 25 weddings to support our budget and we ended up shooting 30 weddings in 2014!!! What?! That can only be the Lord’s provision.
Second, we could never do this without you. Yes, you! We have been absolutely blown away by the support we have received from friends, family, church family and our couples! It’s humbling and it’s truly incredible.
Here’s “Exhibit A.”
In January, we made a commitment to post on our blog every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday this year. So far, we have kept that commitment! It’s a labor of love, no doubt. If you do the math, that means we have written 70 blog posts this year already! 70! That’s slightly mind-blowing for us. But here’s the amazing part. From Facebook alone, those posts have received over 6000 clicks in just the last 6 months. 6000?! We were blown away by that number. To think that 6000 times, someone saw our post on Facebook and clicked through to read that blog post.
It’s emotional for us. It touches our hearts. Often, people tell us that it looks like we are loving life and loving what we do. You are EXACTLY right! We love being together and we LOVE our couples. But don’t let anyone tell you it’s easy. We have days we want to throw in the towel because it just doesn’t seem worth it. But it’s the support we get from the outside that keeps us going. We want to touch lives beyond our photography and this kind of support is living proof that we are slowly accomplishing that goal. Like we always say, “It means the world to us.” And it truly does.
One question we get asked weekly is some version of this: “We love what you do. We want to support you. How can we support you?” Welcome to another humbling moment where we just can’t believe people want to help us! But for those who love us and just want to know how they can support us, here are 3 super simple ways (so simple you might think these won’t even help us, but they will!) you can help.
If you read our blog for more than 19 seconds, you know that we are Christians. We know we have a ton of prayer support from our family, friends, our church family and even some of our couples! You have no idea what that means to us! We cling to 1 Thessalonians 5:11 which tells us “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” We can’t underestimate the power of praying for each other!
Oh hey! You’re already doing this! When we’re not busy posting pretty pictures, our blog is where we get a chance to pour out our hearts and talk about things we are learning. We know there are 1 bazillion (that’s a number, right?) activities pulling for your time and attention, but if you get a chance, we love to see that people are reading the posts we spend so much time on! We promise to try our best to be entertaining and informative. Scouts honor.
Oh guys, this one is so simple and yet so important! Social media interactions are our life-blood! So, there is a simple way to talk about this and an even more simple way to talk about this.
Let’s start with the more simple way. The easiest thing you can do is like our Facebook page here and follow us on Instagram here and here. Then, when you see something we post, if you think it deserves a like or a comment, do it! That’s it! That’s the simplest thing you can do! It may seem like a small thing, but every like and comment on social media is a HUGE boost to us! We see every. single. one.
Now we are going to go a little deeper and show you how you can REALLY support us on social media.
But first a little background. Business pages on Facebook have a rough life. Facebook wants us to pay them to show our posts to more people. Their genius way of getting us to do that is to show our posts to very few people. They have an algorithm that only shows our post to a fraction of our followers. HOWEVER, here’s the key. The more likes and comments the post gets, the more newsfeeds Facebook will show our post to. That’s why every like and comment (comments are actually even better) on every Facebook post is crucial to us. If you like or comment on our post, you are automatically allowing our post to be shown to more people. HUGE! So now you know a little more about how Facebook is attempting to make money! Woohoo! You can hep us beat that by liking or commenting on any of our posts that you see!
And here’s one more secret that is truly a game-changer if you are looking for a way to help us! If you go to our business facebook page from a computer (this doesn’t work on mobile) you will see something that looks like the graphic below. If you hover inside the red circe area, you will see a dropdown box. If you select “Get Notifications”, Facebook will alert you when we put up a new post. That way you never miss a chance to like or comment on a post or read our latest blog!
If you are on Instagram, there is a similar trick. This one you can only do on mobile in your Instagram app. If you go to our profiles @_alyssanichols and @_ryannichols and tap on the set of 3 dots in the upper right hand corner, select “Turn on Post Notifications.” Instagram will now let you know any time we post a new photo to Instagram!
Guys, we truly can’t thank you enough for your support. And if all you do is see one of our posts every now and then and say “that’s nice” in your head, we thank you for that too! We couldn’t do this without you guys. We really couldn’t.
It means the world to us.