July 28, 2015

What do you know about your kids?

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it seems so obvious

Every person has their own personality and way to see the world.

I’m sure you’ve seen it. You’re probably saying, “Duh, Davina. I’ve got three kids and they have been different since the day they were born. It’s crazy town over here.”

Maybe you have a daughter that is mischievous and keeps everyone on their toes. Or a son who is intensely focused on creating things where only his best will be good enough.

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different people, different answers

No matter what your family is like there are little details about each person in your family that connects you to each other. One of your your kids answers the question :what should we do today?” with: let’s stay home and play legos. And your other child wants to go swing at the playground, run up and down the field, and move until they wear you out. Another of your children may want to be silly, play silly games, do something fun…the funnier and sillier the better.

Over the past 2 years one of my favorite ways to get a deeper glimpse into each of my kids’ heart and mind is through questions.

the questions

We have a book that has a question for each day of the year and space to answer for three years! We’ve filled in the book for two full years now and are half way through the third year. Over the last 2 1/2 years we’ve gotten to see how much everyone stays the same and at the same time how much they’ve changed.

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You can purchase [the book](http://www.amazon.com/Q-Day-Kids-Three-Year-Journal/dp/0307952967/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1438095777&sr=8-1&keywords=365+questions+for+kids) but you don’t have to. You can [make up your own questions](http://www.davinafear.com/2013/08/16/your-mom-goes-to-college-back-to-school-familyness/) and then plan to ask them every year.

Here are some questions to get you started:

1. What makes you laugh?

2. Who is your favorite person to talk to?

3. If you could be in charge of the world, what’s the 1st thing you would do?

4. What color do you feel like today?

5. What kind of home would you most like to live in?

6. If you could have a super power, what would it be?

7. Are you afraid of the dark? Explain.

8. Do you have a pet? Explain your pet. If you don’t have a pet, what do you wish you could have?

9. Who is the oldest person you know?

10. What does a best friend do?

Over 3 years, these answers change in subtle and sometimes dramatic ways. Some never change. Inside the answers are so many little visions into the heart and mind of my kids.

Recently, I’ve been thinking that Mike and I should have been answering these questions. You may want to try that, too…including not just the kids’ answers, but yours as well.

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*This is the Dixon Family.

I’ve gotten to photograph this cute family several times now and I fall in love again every time. For this session we ate pizza in the backyard, roasted marshmallows, went for a walk, rode bikes, had baths, and my favorite—I got to be there when they told their kids they were having a baby. The Dixons are so good at letting their kids just be themselves.  They aren’t looking for a way they should act or be.  Spence and Joy honor each of their unique differences and look to their strengths to bring out the best in each other.  Even bedtime for each of the kids was tailored to what they each wanted.  They played the bedtime games and read the bedtime stories that mattered to them.  To see a slideshow from the session, click on the photo below.

xoxo,
Davina

**PS I’ll be in Utah a month from now.**  Kids grow up and the changes are sometimes so subtle for us that we don’t realize all the little nuances we love so much have disappeared until after they are gone.

I know you know what I mean.  I didn’t realize Grace had completely stopped wearing the exact same outfit everyday (when she was 5 years old) until one day when I was going through her clothes with her and saw that her skirt-and-pants-endearing-combo (yes skirt) was in the back of her drawer.  And my heart missed that little girl that loved that outfit everyday for over a year.  I know you want to capture things like that, too, and remember them years down the road.

It’s time for your documentary session.  Get on the list now!  I’ll be announcing dates in Utah shortly. CLICK HERE to let me know you want on the list. Just type: ‘documentary session please’ in the subject line.

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May 11, 2015

Taylor and L-O-V-E

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Stacks and stacks of books are laying around my house. We have to keep buying bookshelves to hold them all.

It started early with Hot Guy and me. When we first began dating we would read The Chronicles of Narnia to each other as we lay on the couch in my college apartment, when we studied on the lawn on campus, walking to class, sitting at the table while we ate, and everywhere we went.

I had always loved books. I couldn’t get enough of learning something new, expanding my mind with ideas, new concepts, bigger worlds, imaginary worlds.

About 10 years ago I was in Barnes and Noble on a date with Hot Guy.

I came across a book that pulled me in with it’s simple cover and the word Lovemarks. I had been struggling with the way I was photographing couples. I didn’t feel like the painted brick walls and murals and urban setting were the thing that told the real story of my clients. It was the trend of the moment but it didn’t feel authentic to me.

As I read Lovemarks I felt like it was reading my thoughts. I wanted to be deeply connected with my clients in a way that brought more meaning to their lives having worked with me.

I knew that painted murals were a thing of the past for me. If I was going to tell the real relationship of my couples murals weren’t the place to tell that story.

On the way home from Barnes and Noble in the darkness of our minivan, lit only by the overhead light I scribbled as fast as I could the questionnaire that would eventually, unbeknownst to me at the time, become a groundbreaking way to interact with clients within the wedding photography industry.

I scribbled out the way I wanted to interact with my clients, the way I wanted to create loyalty beyond reason, how I could surprise and delight them, and how I wanted my clients to feel when they worked with me. My entire business morphed into something that felt much more powerful and inspired to me.

Within a year of that day my business exploded.

I became so busy and booked with amazing clients that it made my head spin. In that process, I landed opportunities to speak and teach about this new way to experience business. Not long after that I began creating the Love Affair Workshop with Millie Holloman, Lauren Clark, and Kelly Moore Clark.

Those relationships and my approach to everything came from the Lovemarks principle that creating loyalty beyond reason comes from pouring your love into the people you serve. Letting them know, without them, you wouldn’t be where you are.

Finding simple and fun ways to say thank you for being you and following me. Being full of gratitude that they spend their life and time following what you and being your clients.

Why Taylor Swift is so loved

I adore Taylor Swift because she’s smart, talented, standing in her power and strengths and not apologizing for it, and she’s having all kinds of fun doing it!

Taylor Swift is an amazing example of being a Lovemark to her fans. She is love to them in the way she [gives beyond what’s expected](http://www.buzzfeed.com/kristinharris/taylor-swift-sent-fans-surprise-christmas-presents#.wy455z0AYl). She looks for ways to delight and surprise them, constantly [making them part of what she’s creating](http://leadersinthetrenches.com/018-rick-barker-weird-wins-to-get-your-business-to-the-next-level/) so that everything she does reaches into their lives and they know that she ‘gets’ them.

[She even brings her fans into the spotlight](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s8h0tZy0HqA) with her to celebrate that they are the reason for her success.

Taylor LOVES what she does! She shares that with all of the people, fans, friends…everyone around her in a way that is so completely contagious.

So what can you do today (or this week) to surprise your clients? Your fans? What can you do to let them know that you LOVE what you do and pour contagious love and awesomeness into their lives?

Here are a couple of ideas for you:

* Send a spontaneous thank you note or video
* Randomly select 10 of your clients. Give them a call and check in with them about how you could do better as a business person
* Email 5 of your clients with a Monday, pump, them up, get the energy going music video link from You Tube.
* Check the FB pages of three of your favorite clients and see how they are doing. Write them a private message, like one of there status updates, or notice something they said that you can pray for or reach out to them specifically about.

I’d love to hear your Lovemark ideas!

Please send them along to me, I’d love to hear about how you’re intentionally creating a business both you and your clients love beyond reason!

xoxo,

Davina

DAV_8730aDavina Fear loves long drives, talks on the couch with Hot Guy, Taylor Swift and dancing to “Shake it Off” in the grocery store even though it fully embarrasses children.  She is a Business Coach for Creative Women who want to be more fearless in their life and business.

May 1, 2015

Overthinkers Anonymous

_overthinkersanon_davinafearI’m an overthinker.

Give me a challenge and I will think it to death.

I also like to take action and not stay stuck.

So I can make myself a little crazy.

Like I said: My contradictions run deep.

Thinking too much for me is also a way I keep myself from moving forward. It’s my subconscious way of helping me stay away from moving forward, being confused, and keeping a distance from unsafe stuff.

You may think that unsafe stuff would be things like jumping off cliffs, skydiving, and walking across hot coals.

Really though, the scary stuff that seems unsafe is just being brave when I think that someone isn’t going to like me or when I write a blog post that seems like I’ve said too much or when I send out an email and I worry that no one is reading.

It’s the little things that my subconscious tries to hold me back from.

When I think of a new big idea that I want to create for you or when I’m about to go into a shoot that’s different from any I’ve done before, my subconscious wants to talk me out of charging forward with all my heart and soul.

It says things like:

What if you do a bad job?
What if you mess up their pictures?
What if, when you put your heart and soul into that session, they end up not really liking what you create?
What if you offend someone with that email?
Don’t say that, people won’t like it.
Stay home. You’re tired anyway. You’ve been really busy. You deserve to rest.
What if you announce this big thing and no one comes? What if it’s crickets?

I’ve gotten to the point that it doesn’t matter anymore.

Living in the land of those kinds of ‘what-ifs’ is not really living.

What then, if no one comes?
What then, if they don’t like what I create for them?
What then, if I go and they don’t like me?
What then, if you go and you’re tired?

Then I’ll ask them again, I’ll make something new, I’ll love them anyway, I’ll sleep in tomorrow.

But I will have LIVED. I will have DONE WHAT I’M meant to do.

Pretending that I can keep going the way I was going…it didn’t feel like completely living.

I prefer to experiment and fail. And try again. Than to not create or live or try.

There are days when I want to go back to my default of letting my life play out without me.

Those days don’t last long.

I’ve started saying:

What if everyone comes to what I plan?

What if they love what I create and want more?

What if I go and they love me?

What if I go and discover a dear friend?

You can think either way.

Theodore Roosevelt said, “It’s far better to have dared mighty things…” He’s right.

Which way are you believing?

What if it turns out terrible or What if it turns out awesome?

Because it comes down to that…what you’re believing.

And that’s something you can change. Right now.

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davina_bio_photo_3_squareDavina Fear is Business Coach for Creative Women who want to be more fearless in their life and business.  She’s also a Familyness Adventurer and Life Story Photographer. Dinner time is one of her favorite times of day as long as she doesn’t have to make dinner by herself.

April 29, 2015

I don’t fold laundry

laundry_2I don’t fold laundry…except the towels.

I like folding towels. I don’t like folding anything else.

Clean laundry is awesome.

Clean laundry piled into baskets for each person in my family and taken (by them) to their room for them to put away themselves in their own drawers is even better.

In my life and business there have been times that I’ve done lots of things that I don’t need to do. I’ve thought at times that I’m the only one that can do those things. Or that if I didn’t do them then no one else would.

And so I would do stuff I didn’t like and stuff that was also unnecessary.

Are you doing that kind of thing too?

Because you can stop.

You can choose something different.

If you don’t like to fold laundry. Stop. If you like to fold towels. Keep folding the towels (I think it’s relaxing and they look so good in the linen closet when they are folded the way I like them to be folded).

Are you still editing your photos even though that part of your workflow makes you want to stab your eyes out? Stop. Hire someone to do it and do more of what you love to do.

I know you’re saying you can’t afford it but really? Can you afford to stab your eyes out? I don’t think so.

What if you got to do more of what you really want to do…like more photo shoots…which makes you more money…and you can pay your new editor! Yay!

Guess what? You’re happier and having more fun and feeling more alive.

What can your family do? Who loves to sweep the floor? Or do you LOVE to sweep the floor? Go for it! If you don’t then get someone to do it who loves it.

You don’t have to be a miserable martyr.

Trust me. I know. I’ve been one.

Would doing the dishes with your dear love or one of your cute kids? Call them out and tell them you want to chat while they load the dishwasher and you rinse the dishes. Sing. Turn up the tunes. Dance. Make it something that feels energizing.

What your life is…it’s what you make of it.

If you don’t like it. Stop doing your life the way you’re doing it. Get someone else to do the parts that aren’t your favorite or transform them into something that you would be filled up by.

You get to choose. No one is making you live the life you’re living.

Make your life and business one that makes you feel alive.

Is there some piece of your business you really don’t like? Is there something that, if you just didn’t have to do it, you would love your business so much more?

Little things in business can chip away at what made you fall in love with photography in the first place. If editing makes you crazy or making prints or creating systems isn’t your thing then stop doing it.

You’re worth it. So are the people you love.

A little tip:

If you’ve not read Bob Goff’s Love Does, I highly recommend it. Every Thursday he stops doing something. Continuously eliminating things from his life that aren’t serving him, helping him be the person he wants to be, or bringing him closer to his dreams.

What it you stopped doing something every Thursday? What would you stop doing tomorrow?

I’d love to hear what you are ready to give up, stop, or just say, “I’m done, I’m over it. No more.” Please respond just by hitting reply. I want to know what you’re stopping and why, if you feel like sharing.

Here’s to quitting something.

2012-09-05_1346872111Davina Fear is a Familyness Adventurer.  She believes it adds magic to dinner time to drink chilled water out of a vintage lemonade bottle she and Mike received during their adventure in England.  She also thinks that mistakes are inevitable (and helpful) and she’s getting pretty used to being ok with them.

She blogs at davinafear.com , is a creative business coach helping women photographers like you to build a family and business with less stress and more “I LOVE this!!!” in their life.

April 26, 2015

How I Eat A Cupcake

cupcake_davinafear_1Nothing fancy.

I like chocolate cupcakes with classic white frosting.

I don’t want a fancy, it’s-got-everything-on-it-and-in-it-cupcake. I like it simple and accompanied by an ice cold glass of milk.

No over-thinking, no crazy stuff to take away how wonderfully, simply tasty it is.

I put my delicious cupcake on a little china saucer, I sit down to the table with my ice-cold-milk-filled juice glass, from my Grandma’s kitchen that reminds me of her every time I touch it. I pick up my baked treat and pull the bottom of the cupcake apart from that top part that has all of that awesome white frosting on it. I eat that little piece of frosting-less cake. I look at that beautiful cupcake top, with the perfect amount of frosting, sitting on the little saucer. I carefully pick it up and bite into that piece of balanced perfection and I close my eyes.

Eating a cupcake like this is seriously one of my favorite things to devour bite by wonderful bite.

I eat it the same way almost every time I have a cupcake.

It, in my opinion, is THE perfect and best way to eat this delicious confection.

I like to keep things simple (except when I over-think things…which I’m definitely prone to do…my contradictions run deep).

Here’s the thing. You do the same kind of thing. There are things you do everyday that you do the exact same way. No matter what.

You do it in your family. You do it in the morning. You do it in your business. You do it at night.

Pay attention to that thing you’re doing the same way every time.

And then see what you can do to be more deliberate about it. What can you do to inject more love. How can you fill it with more awareness? How can you share this everyday thing you do with someone else? If you love it, how can you make more of it? How can you share more of it?

Make a simple ritual for the people you love, in a piece of your life, the parts you do everyday.

Do the same thing for your clients. In what way, that you interact with them everyday, can you make them feel extra loved? How can you fill them with delight in the ordinary?

What if…
you started including a link to your favorite song in your emails to your clients telling them that this song is the one that you sing in your head every time you see their name in your inbox?

Make happy rituals in your day. Add fun to your systems that make you love your life and your business more and more. And in the process bring more depth and meaning to your everyday.

Make fun and meaning happen.

You’re totally worth it!

 

davina_bio_photo_3_squareDavina Fear is Business Coach for Creative Women who want to be more fearless in their life and business.  She’s also a Familyness Adventurer and Life Story Photographer. She has a Parks and Recreation addiction.  Literally. Want to talk?  Contact her HERE.