Jul 16, 2010


Somewhere over the Rocky Mountains, 30,000 feet above the snow-capped peaks, it hit me.  The Making Things Happen Tour was going to change my life forever.

We traveled to 13 cities this year to challenge people to conquer fear and harness their true potential.  Never in a million years would I have guessed the result.  I can’t take credit for what the MTH Alumni have accomplished since we first met 7 months ago.  They genuinely lived what I said: Feel the fear and do it anyway.   The feedback has blown me away. Photo below :: Jasmine Star.

One of the biggest factors in all of this success has been the community that has formed from MTH.  The support I see every single day from past attendees is just phenomenal.  There aren’t words big enough to describe what these people have done for each other to help one another conquer fear and make really big things happen in their lives and in business.  There have been countless late night phone calls, group Skype chats to offer encouragement, weekly meet-ups, a thousand encouraging texts, uplifting emails (I know all of this because I’ve been a recipient myself!), hourly Twitter messages to encourage and support, many tears, frustrations, hurdles, triumph, and remarkable advances. Photo below :: Poser

I am so excited to announce new cities for the Making Things Happen Tour!  Salt Lake City, Houston, Phoenix, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Maui will be making big things happen this fall!  Register here by September 1st for the early bird rate. Photo below :: Wesley Leytham

Because the seats are so limited –only 10 seats available per city instead of 20– I expect this to sell out quickly.  I wish I could visit more cities, but with the upcoming release of our new issue and a packed schedule, I simply don’t have time.  So, jump on these places!  Many are easy to travel to and are large airport hubs if you are flying in. Photo below :: Photogen

Because we’ve cut the attendee count in half for each stop to keep these groups focused and give more personal time, I am only offering one scholarship (details below) for this round of the tour (yes, really just one unlike last time). There will be no partial scholarships either, but if you would like to inquire about financing plans, email my awesome assistant, Marissa.

I’m also verrrry excited about the big MTH2010 Reunion this December in Watercolor — where all the magic began!  All past attendees are invited to join us for a weekend of inspiration, fun in the sun and a few surprises.  Yes, if you attend the Tour in November, you are of course welcome to join us at the reunion.  I. Can’t. Wait!

Heartfelt thanks to Jeff Holt (who is the reason I started this tour!), Jeremy Cowart, Nick Onken, Jose Villa, Stacie Francombe, Blair and Christy from Junebug Weddings, the amazing First Class, and all of the incredible alumni who have encouraged this powerful journey.  I am forever grateful.  And I have to send huge thanks to Katharine and Emily who celebrated their one year anniversary with me today.  I wouldn’t have the courage to do this if it wasn’t for their daily support.  They always remind me that I can do anything I am passionate about.  I love you both!

With love,


P.S. Congrats to the past post winners: Elizabeth Hafner from Vignette Photography, Katie from Intertwined Events, Briana from Wake Up, Juliet, Katherine from Solo Dot Mom, and Megan FloydEmail me your mailing address for your special prize.  I have read the comments on that post several times over and I never cease to be inspired!  Thank you all for your thoughts.

P.S.S.  The MTH Scholarship opportunity is LIVE!  You have till Monday August 16th to get your comment in. All the details…

So, what do you want to make happen? Tell me the city you’d like to attend in as well…


  1. Dana (aka Broke-Ass Bride) on July 16, 2010 at 4:56 pm

    YAY Lara! Happy to see you coming back to LA – we miss you on this coast 🙂 xoxoxo

  2. Pam Parker on July 16, 2010 at 5:50 pm

    I am so excited that you are bringing the tour to Houston.

    I planned a small number of weddings each year while my son was growing up,now he’s in college and its time to make things happen for me and For Your Memories.

  3. Elizabeth Hafner on July 16, 2010 at 5:51 pm

    Yay! Going to do my best to get to Houston and I won!! Oh my goodness. Happy Friday to me!

  4. Amy on July 16, 2010 at 6:21 pm

    I am SUPER pumped to see what happens on the next leg of the tour. I feel so blessed to have this network of people that want big things for themselves, their life, and their business! It is very inspiring and encouraging!

  5. s h e r r y on July 16, 2010 at 8:46 pm

    What do I want to make happen? My photography business! I just graduated from university (with a BSc.), and trying to move into full-time photography… I’m just afraid of failing as a businessperson. (I’m really bad at saying ‘no.’)

  6. Rayna Ortwein - Always Planned on July 16, 2010 at 11:08 pm

    Hi! My name is Rayna Ortwein and right now I am scared to death of what lies ahead for me and my business. My business, Always Planned, is 3 years old and so far has been successful. Recently I have taken steps to grow my business and it backfired. I hired a person that ended up having so much personal drama in her life that she almost ruined my reputation in the small city my company is in. After getting that under control my company went through some major turnover, as in we lost 3 employees and 2 interns in less than 2 weeks. My floral designer just gave her notice today and is going to a corporate position. Needless to say I am so lost right now. I need direction and a hug. 😉 I tend to dream big, if I cannot exceed all expectations I usually don’t bother. I think the Making Things Happen Tour would guide me to the right path for my business, and help reignite the passion I once had for my business.

  7. Rachel J on July 17, 2010 at 6:30 am

    Lara!! My Birthday is November 9th! You know what would be a SWEET birthday present??? 😉 Just kidding! Saving my money. Hopefully I can attend the MTH11! You are so inspiring!

  8. Rachel J on July 17, 2010 at 6:40 am

    In all seriousness, if my birthday isnt good enough for a scholarship, here is what I want to happen. I want to be guided in the right direction. I have such a BURNING desire to be great at what I do. I feel like Im in such a stand still. Where do I go next? What do I do next? What needs to happen next to put us in the next level and beyond?! I wrote a blog post a few days ago from reading a post you made about conquering your fears. Well, I noticed I had about 30 of them pop into my mind in about 10 minutes. There is such a rut here in OHIO that Im afraid to try something new to the mix. (This is really sad I feel like this) But, will people talk bad about me for wanting to grow bigger than anything around me? Im afraid of letting go of something comfortable to possibly experience something great. But, I need that extra fire, push and “DO IT!!” to get me there. What do I need? Where do I go? Who do I network with?? Lara, I need HELP!

  9. Helena on July 17, 2010 at 9:50 am

    Hi Lara, I am thrilled to hear you are extending the tour and offering one more scholarship. One of my dear friends went to MTH2010 in Los Angeles and I’ve seen first-hand how she has grown her business and the overall impact it has had on her. I’ve also been following a few other MTH’ers on their blogs and twitter, and I am always impressed with how dedicated, inspired, hard working and motivated they are each day. My wedding planning business is only 8 months old and I have already booked 10 weddings and have more consultations scheduled. I’ve been to two other industry seminars and while they were fun and inspirational, they didn’t help me actually make things happen in my business. I have learned a lot about branding from your #getbrandedlc tweets and other sources I can find, however, I have continued to struggle with how to formalize my brand and make it work for me. As you would likely ask me to admit, I am merely getting by. I believe MTH would help me break through my fear of failure and get my business going strong. I am confident that I have the passion within me, yet need help uncovering my unique abilities. I would be able to attend either the Los Angeles or the Phoenix workshop. In the mean time, I’m going to keep saving my money in hopes of being able to afford it should I not win the scholarship. Thank you for your time and consideration.

  10. Amy I. on July 17, 2010 at 11:48 pm

    So thrilled you’re coming to the bay. Hope we can see you while you’re here! xo

  11. Jessica Bishop on July 18, 2010 at 8:25 am

    I am completely aware that I am the only thing that is holding myself back from achieving brilliance. I have so many ideas, so many plans, so many hopes, so many dreams… but I never can seem to follow through and make them into reality. I tend to freeze up- procrastinate, decide that I can’t do whatever it is I had planned to do- just before achieving a breakthrough. I am afraid to fail. I’m afraid that if I do succeed I will not know how to deal with that success. I’m afraid that people expect too much from me, and on the other hand I am afraid of being perceived as an amateur. I’m afraid to share even small victories because I fear being thought of as conceited or braggy.

    I have two loves, two parts of myself and my work that I am so passionate about, and I can’t figure out how to make either one all that it can be without taking time and energy away from the other. I am afraid of giving up on either dream because I know they both have the potential to be amazing.

    I missed the MTH tour when it came through my city earlier this year. Maybe it is because I was afraid… afraid to open my eyes to the true potential my businesses have… the true potential I have. Perhaps I was afraid of being given the inspiration, motivation, and encouragement to move forward with my big ideas because I don’t know what those next steps are like… I don’t know what those steps are like because I’ve never taken them. I’ve never taken the next step from dreaming to planning to execution. And I know it’s my fear that is holding me back.

    I have followed MTH alums via twitter and their blogs and I am always so inspired by their drive and motivation, and their incredible enthusiasm about the program. I would really love to make that leap of faith and open myself up to getting the encouragement I need. Since I missed the tour when it came through Nashville, I’d happily jump at the chance to travel to any of the cities if I was given a scholarship. Thank you for taking an interest in helping people achieve their dreams- you are amazing!!

  12. Caroline Hull on July 19, 2010 at 8:57 am

    Ever since I stumbled upon Emily Ley and then MTH, I have been so inspired by what I’ve seen. I started my own invitation and stationery business 2 years ago shortly after my wedding. It has been my dream to pursue it full time, but alas, my husband has been in school and I’m the bread winner. This past month has really shown me my heart’s desire. I just found out that we are expecting our first child in February and now the pressure is on to Make things happen with my business. There is no way I can work 2 jobs and raise a child and there is no way that I can give up the love, sweat and tears I’ve poured into my business. Money is very tight for us and a scholarship to MTH would mean more to me than you can imagine. I don’t know what the next step is and fear and doubt cripple me everyday. Its really hard to take the leap when you are feeling constantly attacked from outside forces! I know MTH won’t have all the answers but I truly feel it could be the start and motivation that I need. I’m really hoping I can come this year, because the time for talking and dreaming is over and I really need to do this! I live in Texas so the Houston location would be perfect, but I would gladly travel anywhere for the opportunity to meet you guys! Thank you for the opportunity you give people. I can see how inspiring your work truly is!

  13. Rich L on July 19, 2010 at 10:16 am

    I’M READY FOR CHANGE! Hi Lara, it’s been a challenging year and especially a challenging few months. I’ve been a graphic designer for 5 years now for an in house company and have been hating the last 2 years of it. I picked up photography as a hobby but as people started loving my work I decided to start shooting weddings and portaits on the side and I’ve really loved it.

    My problem is that I’ve been too afraid to even go out and say that I shoot weddings or that it’s something I’d like to do full time because I’m afraid to fail at it. I’m afraid to come off looking like a newbie because in all reality I am pretty new to the game. I guess I just struggle with really having the confidence to believe in myself and believe in the ideas that I have…and there are PLENTY! I get so sidetracked with all the details and possible problems that I can’t seem to actually push forward and do what it is that I feel I was made to do on this earth. And then there’s the complete fear of what to do if I am successful. How do I deal with that responsibility? How do I keep from failing then? How to I maintain expectations?

    After reading about MTH my heart honestly started pounding…THIS is what I need! THIS is what can help me learn what it takes to push forward. I want to make things happen! I’ve been going through a nasty divorce for the past few months and it’s completely taken it’s toll on me. I’m trying to figure out where I’m going to live for the next few years, how to deal with being on my own really for the first time in my life, and just how to deal with the loss of a person that I’ve spent 1/3 of my life with. I’m really looking for some sort of change. I’ve thought of just moving away to a completely new continent and starting over, or getting a drastic haircut…but I think all I really need is to take what’s been given to me and harness that energy, those ideas, and this talent to really change my own life and hopefully have a story to inspire others down the road. I’ve been told I have a lot of good things to offer…but I really just don’t believe them. I think this is something that can help me to realize my true and honest potential. Thank you for all that you do, as it is clear that this is truly a special gathering of people. I know that whoever is lucky enough to get the scholarship will be blessed in so many ways! Much love!

  14. Megan Floyd on July 19, 2010 at 10:53 am

    I just saw the scholarship section and watched the video and WHEW! I want my name on that little book!! I had decided after talking to my husband this weekend that this fall is just really not a good time for me to jet off to wherever (I keep thinking Houston would be awesome in November!) and be gone from the kids for days, to spend money that we just don’t have…

    Just over a year ago I decided to take the plunge and start a photography business. A lot of the work I’ve done since then has been to expand my portfolio, at cost for materials, and I’ve sunk way more money into it than I needed to. I see other people doing the things I think I’m doing, and they’re positively blooming, while I’m still just seeing baby steps. I’m afraid to try any bigger. My fears are all about MONEY, MONEY, MONEY! As a family we don’t have it, I can’t get it without more clients, and to be honest the people I know who want to be able to help don’t have it, either. I’m struggling to find creative ways to get around that issue and still be able to build business, but I’m at the end of my rope and I’m tired of the struggle. Most of my obstacles are small ones, but there are so many.

    I feel like I need fresh perspective and a group of people who feel like I do to use as a sounding board, to encourage and be encouraged. I believe I’m at a point in my journey that even if MTH turns out to NOT be the way God has for me to get that, He’ll give it to me somehow. I’ve already been encouraged by the very idea of Making Things Happen, by knowing that when it’s time my goals and dreams will be realized.

    That was WAY longer than I meant for it to be, but it really felt good to get that out there!

  15. Christie on July 19, 2010 at 11:32 am

    What do I want to make happen? I want to succeed. Yes, I know that is a broad phrase, but it’s really the only way I can describe what I want to do in life. At the end of 2009 I told myself that 2010 would be a learning year for me. I was going to try not to stress about the number of weddings I booked whether it be 1 or 31 (although 31 would have been great, right?). I really wanted to focus this year on learning – learning about myself, about the wedding industry, about my artistic style, and about where I saw all of my hard work leading. It is now July and although I have taken some strides toward my learning goal (small victory dance), I feel overwhelmed with all of the things I still want to accomplish. I want to take my business to the next level. I want to quit walking into someone else’s office everyday and instead walk into my own. I have a picture in my head as to where I would like to be, but so many roadblocks prevent me from getting there. Attending the MTH2010 tour would be one of the best things I do all year. It’s so hard to describe how much this scholarship would mean. I feel I have the drive and motivation, but no direction. I live in FL so the easiest MTH location for me to get to would be Salt Lake City, but I would really love any of them. Thank you so much for offering a scholarship to one of the locations!

  16. ajja on July 19, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    this is awesome!! you are ‘coming’ to maui…. i mean ‘going’ to maui. you see, i can’t quite figure out which verb to use, because i will be taking that 5,000 mile journey from the east coast as a gymnastics coach to my home town on maui to be a photographer in september. most of me believes there is no greater place to capture images than maui, but then the reality of the smallness of the island in comparison to the vast opportunities i have here in philly is very sobering. i am afraid i will step on other’s toes, i am afraid i won’t find my niche, i am afraid to charge people the amount of money i should, i am afraid i will sell out and not really pursue the kind of work i am passionate about and did i mention i am afraid?! this fear is ultimately laced with excitement and anticipation, but an excitement that i imagine wearing off quite soon after arriving on maui and reality hits. after three months of settling down and putting myself out there, and more and more of putting myself out there ‘making things happen’ would be a game changer to look forward to. i want to stay true to the massive amounts of ideas and genuine excitement i have found in this new career. i want the people i meet along the way to be more important than the images i create. i want to creatively and genuinely capture the magic that people experience on maui, whether it’s a lifelong dream vacation for a couple on their 25th anniversary or the one year birthday luau of a local family. i am thankful just thinking about having this intensive so near to the beginning of my time on maui, it could really set me on the path towards the dream i have becoming a reality rather than a series of bad ideas and mistakes that could create one big ol’ flop. my name is ajja deshayne and i want to make things happen on maui!!!!

  17. Courtney Fontenot on July 19, 2010 at 5:18 pm

    Hi Lara, This is such an awesome opportunity. I am applying for the scholarship, preferably in Houston because on that day, I will celebrate my 46th birthday and I finally have the guts to say I am afraid I don’t know who I am. Oh yes, I have done a great job at fulfilling who everyone says I should be but
    now I am ready to grow into me and do me, for me and no one else but me. I know at 46, it’s a late start but better late than never. I am coming up on a great time in my life and discovering new opportunities as an event coordinator/small biz owner. I hope to attend this event because the world is ready for me to make things happen and I want to be prepared (and not fearful or hesitant) for all of the opportunities that are headed my way. Thanks for creating this wonderful event.

  18. Susan on July 20, 2010 at 8:40 am

    Hi Lara! I would love to have your scholarship to the Houston event. My husband lost his job back in March–just 2 months before our wedding. If I wasn’t motivated to grow my photography business before I am HIGHLY motivated now being the sole bread winner for our family of 4. I have been a successful paralegal for 7 1/2 years, managing a solo law firm but I am tired of making my boss money. I want to work hard and make money that will benefit MY family–not other’s families! I draw inspiration from you though your Twitter accounts and I really feel that being in a 10 on 1 event would fuel me to make the leap to leave my day job and be home to work and take care of my children myself! (BTW–they are the cutest 10 and 8 year olds you would ever meet!!!) Thank you for sharing your wisdom with those of us who have a lot to learn. I hope to be one of the many you have blessed and encouraged along your pathway!

  19. Kricia Morris on July 20, 2010 at 1:05 pm

    Fear, confusion, anxiety, self doubt and denial. These are the reasons why I am applying for the MTH2010 workshop on Maui.

    My husband is a staff sgt in the USMC and we are currently stationed in Hawaii. We live in paradise, but we’re alone, we’re isolated, and we’re scared. Years of bad choices have left us in debt and at odds with each other. Being away from family has compounded these issues, putting us in a bubble of fear. Fear of the future, fear of failure and sadly enough, fear of making it. We’re honestly afraid to let ourselves be happy.

    This year, my son starts kindergarten. I finally will have the time to find me again..and I want a large part of myself to be the strength and confidence that I find in running my own business. Your workshop can give me the incentive I need to jump in with both feet and finally be me. Other people have told me that they see “it” inside of me. It’s time for me to believe it for myself.

    Thank you for this amazing opportunity. I hope and pray that I will have the chance to see you on Maui in November.

  20. mariana herrera mosli on July 20, 2010 at 1:35 pm

    I had written a long paragraph, and as the internet just loves to throw a curve ball, it was all erased. So I will try this again and copy it this time before submitting (just in case). I guess that is a learning lesson.
    Well, I am really nervous, because not only am I needing to think about my fears (which I like to bottle up and not think of) but I have to write them out in the internet world! But that is just how bad I want this intensive! I want to make it happen for my life & business, and I will look under every rock and take all opportunities to find the resources to help me make it happen! I have many fears, the biggest being that I work so hard for years and look back having accomplished none of my goals/dreams. Another fear is that I am headed in the wrong direction for my business(which I guess ties to my biggest fear)! I see awesome things happening for my business, and that is why I need this intensive! I can visualize my dreams, goals, I can put the utmost efforts and work my heart out, but I need a jolt in the right direction! And with this intensive, I have faith that is exactly what I will do, I will make it happen!!

  21. mariana herrera mosli on July 20, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    Sorry, I got so excited that I clicked submit before completing my paragraph! haha! I am applying for the MTH2010 workshop in San Francisco! I was born in California, but my parents moved to FL when I was 2, and I have never been back! (plus, it would be a dream come true to meet Jasmine * while in Cali, just wishful thinking!hehehe) 🙂
    THANK YOU Lara, for this opportunity and I will be praying night & day to hear the best news of the year: that I will be going to the MTH2010 workshop in San Francisco!♥

  22. Lindsey on July 20, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    Hi Lara! Sometimes I feel like I can’t find the balance… I find it difficult to fully embrace a personal life without feeling guilty, but I also struggle with how to grow a new (2.5 year old) company. MTH2010 sounds like a road map to achieve both. Inspiration and encouragement are the things I’m looking for, along with relationships within the industry. I need this not only for my business that is “just getting by,” but for ME… for my life and my marriage. I want to find out how to make it happen! Thanks for all you’ve brought the the industry, and thanks for making yourself available! 🙂

  23. Amber Moon on July 21, 2010 at 12:41 am

    My name is Amber Moon and I just got my brand-new hippie name a few months ago when this green architect married her sweetheart of an eco-friendly contractor. A fateful online meeting, a cross-country move, and a brand new city all set in motion a greater plan that led me to marrying Josh Moon. The girl who changed her life 2 years ago was FEARLESS! Unafraid of life decisions that would essentially change everything I knew, I embraced Los Angeles, a new urban family, the greatest love I will ever know, and I grew and changed and felt and lived. Josh and I love to dream and design and redesign everything from stationary to homes. It’s what drives us. Creating things, building things, experiencing and seeing what we’ve made. We always dream of the businesses and studios and firms we’ll open – the corner craft shop, the eco architecture firm, the tree-friendly paper studio… I am ready to empower us to move these dreams off of sketch paper and make them happen! I’ve always been an “idea girl” – and I find that is where I hide. If you are always enticing people with your shiny new ideas, you never have to make them happen! It’s easy – to think, to scheme… but I am ready to make the next leap – the one that is as vulnerable and telling as packing your life into your old Pathfinder and driving across the country into the unknown. I am grateful for the privilege to apply for this scholarship and I would be so thrilled to participate in MTH2010 in LA.

  24. Natasja Lherisson on July 21, 2010 at 9:00 am

    I want to Make It Happen in FL!!! I want to believe in myself and my business as much as my clients/friends/family do!!! I can MAKE IT HAPPEN!

  25. Hayley Green on July 21, 2010 at 10:16 am

    I would like to suggest that my mother and business partner, Sheila Goode, be nominated for a scholarship to your WaterColor workshop in December. She lives and works as a portrait and wedding photographer in Santa Rosa Beach. The oil spill has greatly affected our business this summer. Normally we would have 7 – 10 shoots a week and now we are lucky to have one. Brides have been fearful of booking as well. On top of that, she was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer last week and she is starting Chemo today. I know that she would benefit greatly from your workshop. She is a wonderful person and an amazing photographer who would be an asset to your group. If she get accepted I would buy a ticket and join if there is still room.

    Thank you for listening.

    Kindest regards,

    Hayley Green

  26. tami brown {@FabulouslyWed} on July 21, 2010 at 2:40 pm

    Lara, I would love to attend. We recently scrapped our old business name and brand and although we are in the process of getting on track, it is scary. There are many things we tend to second guess over and over. I admire your courage to pick up and take impromptu trips and follow your gut instinct. I would love to not only tap into this energy but to also connect with like minded individuals in this industry who are equally as fearful but are willing to take that step and MTH. The Bible says, “Fear Not”, but that is a HUGE challenge. I am always asking that neverending “what if” question. What if things go wrong? What if I waste my money and resources? What if I fall on my face and not be able to recover? What if? What if? What if? Thank you for this invaluable opportunity to be considered for a scholarship.

  27. Ashley Brooke on July 23, 2010 at 8:55 am

    would absolutely love to attend the Making Things Happen tour! I have a custom tailored paper company that is my complete and utter passion. I love, love, love what I do and feel truly blessed to be able to wake up everyday and call what I love to do my job.

    I am super determined in making my company all that it can be and seeing where God decides it needs to go. I feel like there is something big just around the corner for us and I am more than ready to do whatever it takes to make things happen!

    I am committed and refuse to accept failure as anything other than an opportunity. However, I am human and I do have my faults. The biggest one being the fear of people not accepting me, accepting what I do, and worst of all thinking my company is just a “hobby”. This more than anything shows my sometimes lack of confidence, but this is why I would love to be a part of Making Things Happen this year!

    I know that this year is going to be a big one for Ashley Brooke Designs and I am fully ready to embrace what is coming our way! So I would love to win this scholarship to dig deeper, learn further, and gracefully take my company to the next level. Thank you so much again for offering such a wonderful scholarship, I’m keeping my fingers crossed! I would like to attend Watercolor, FL, but I see it’s listed as the MTH Reunion, so obviously, I’d be happy to attend at another location if Watercolor isn’t an option 🙂

    Thanks again Lara! I look froward to hearing from you!
    Ashley Brooke

  28. Carissa on July 26, 2010 at 4:34 pm

    I’m a dreamer. I love to dream BIG. When I decided I wanted to be an entrepreneur 5 years ago, I had no doubt in my mind I was doing the right thing for me. I was fortunate enough to have found the wedding industry and all the great people that work in it at an early age. Since then, the people I have met, the things I have learned, and the clients I have worked with confirmed that this is where I’m supposed to be. But 3 years ago, things started to change. My mom and my dad lost their jobs within months of each other. My fiance (boyfriend at the time) and I didn’t think that it would be much of a problem for my parents, they’re very strong and have taught me everything I know (not just how to be a successful entrepreneur, but how to value family, friends, and all the blessings God gives). But as time went on, things just weren’t getting better. I talked to my boyfriend and told them I needed to help them – in any way I can. We agreed it was the least we could do after all they had done for us, and just because of the mere fact that they mean everything to me. We talked about our plan for the future and my parents decided to take a leap of faith and invest into opening a bakery since my family has been baking for over 30 years in the country where they were from. Long story short, we made it happen. Our family opened the bakery in October of 2008 and all of us put our heart and soul into our business every day. We’ve slowly been growing and are continuing to grow, which makes all of us happy. But all of our savings (including my parents’ savings and retirement) has been exhausted into the business. There were many bumps in the road in opening the bakery and it required money, a lot of money. And though we are growing at a steady pace, the bakery still requires us to invest a good amount of money to pay for the expenses. We all knew it was an investment and we all agreed that it would be worth it. We believe in what we have to offer that much, but my fear would be that what we have isn’t enough and we would have to close down. If we did, my parents would have no savings to fall back on and I feel like we’re backed into a corner. Because of the bakery, I’ve had to put my business on a temporary hold to help them until they are on their feet and my fiance works many many hours to help us stay afloat. I know that the MTH tour can change my life. Not just mine, but my whole family. I have been following the tour since the first one and know that there is so much opportunity that presents itself through this intensive.

    What’s funny is I know what I need to do, I know the dreams I have can come true, but sometimes the opportunity is bigger than you.

  29. Hannah Taylor on July 26, 2010 at 6:37 pm

    I am just going to lay it all out and say my GREATEST fear is to grow to be 80 years old and not accomplish or impact peoples lives the way I dreamt about as a child. What do I want to make happen? Life. A life filled with passion, adventure, family, friends, people, fulfillment, and contentment. Some of those things are only going to come from God, but I don’t want to be stopping myself from going for realistic dreams. What do I want to get from the Making Things Happen Intensive? My goal in attending this would be to come away with a support group that would encourage me when I am discouraged, and some constructive criticism as to what steps to take next. Thank you for another opportunity to do so!!
    My first choice for places to attend would be Maui, that might be dreaming too big. So my next choice would be Houston, TX.

  30. Carrie Pratt on July 29, 2010 at 10:52 am

    Hi there! I just recently learned about you Lara and your seemingly amazing group of people surrounding you. What fun! Anyway, I figure it’d be worth a shot to apply because I’m newer to this business (part time for a couple of years), I am crazy about learning and I would like to very much be introduced to professionals in this business who come with the mindset of nothing is holding them back. I need a little of that mojo if I ever hope to do this full time. I really appreciate this opportunity and I look forward to learning more 🙂

  31. Stacey on July 30, 2010 at 1:20 am

    FEAR! This is the #1 reason why I want to attend the 2010 MTH tour in Houston, TX. I have always known that I have a strong desire to create. I always dreamed that my passion to create would lead to my own business. Thanks to the encouragement from a very dear friend of mine, I decided to pursue my passion in April 2009. I opened an online stationery design business called Petite de Lis Designs, LLC. I currently work full-time while trying to pursue my business. Sadly, I have not really gotten my business off the ground. Outside of my “day job” I spend countless hours “working” on my business. The reason I put the word working in parentheses is b/c I have come up with concepts over and over again, researched to death, all instead of focusing on getting designs down, and getting this business moving. I feel I have researched things so much that my voice is no longer clear. I want to attend MTH to clear those cob webs, so that I may create and take my business to the next level. I want to design a brand that is authentic and truly me. Authenticity is one of the qualities I truly admire in one of your MTH alumni, Emily Ley. I have been following Emily’s journey since June of 2009, and she continues to inspire me. I could feel her passion for her MTH experience from that first exciting blog post she wrote upon her return. It has been awesome to watch her business grow and develop. I want to feel that same re-newed spirit Emily had, in hopes that the momentum and experience will help me forge past my fears. I know I am capable of creating something BIG, I just need that extra push to get me there. If given the opportunity, I know I will not disappoint. Thank you considering me for this enormous opportunity! I look forward to hearing your decision. Sincerely, Stacey

  32. Heather Gardner on August 3, 2010 at 7:48 pm

    I CANNOT afford to miss MTH2010 and so here I am pleading with you to offer La Dolce Vita Weddings this once in a lifetime opportunity! I am a believer in paying my dues, education, and collaboration. It is my commitment that if selected, I will “pay it forward” to another individual whether I personally donate for a scholarship, help new & up-coming wedding planners, or find a creative way to help others.

    I, along with many others, sincerely appreciate this scholarship offer. If selected, I plan on using the education to push my business to places I never even thought possible. It will provide me with valuable insight, tools I think are needed to be successful, and developing my “voice”. I want to surround myself with like-minded individuals who don’t believe this is “just another business” and aren’t afraid to step outside the box. MTH2010 is just for me.

  33. Katie McGihon on August 3, 2010 at 10:26 pm

    Fear has me….it’s had me for awhile…..it’s suffocating….here’s why….7 months ago, my amazing, delicious, charming and beautiful 3 year old little boy was diagnosed with Autism. My business was 1.5 years old at the time. I can officially say that the fear of my business failing, and taking unnecessary time away from healing my son, has held me back for too long. I don’t want to be afraid. I want to know that I can be super momma, and be an amazing photographer and business woman at the same time. My son is flourishing, blooming in front of my very eyes. My business could do the same if I feed it, watered it and put it in the sunshine.I want fear to cower when it hears the tapping of my high heels coming towards it! I’d love to head to Los Angeles, and learn to face my fears, and be the woman I know the good Lord has destined me to be!!

  34. Marin Kristine on August 4, 2010 at 11:52 pm

    I came across your website only 10 days ago, I would love to say that I have been a fan for years, but I have to be honest… I have just been a fan for a week 😉 Immediately I started reading and digging around. Soon I discovered your ‘Making Things Happen’ Tour and it sounds AMAZING, life changing, and honestly just what I need. And then… only tonight (this very moment) I realized this scholarship is available – WHOA – I tend to believe that things happen for a reason. So here you find me typing away, not really knowing where to start. I have kept myself from reading the comments above so I don’t get discouraged by others inspiring stories – and this way I can honestly and genuinely tell you my own little tale. As for who I am in a nutshell: I am a 28 year old girl who never went to college because I got pregnant at a young age, plus I never truly had a vision for my life. After 5 years of searching for “the right man” to be the romance of my life, the Lord radically changed me from the outside in, and I dedicated 2 years to being single and alone. To make a long story short (if you want the long one please ready my recent blog post at: https://marinkristine-blog.com/2010/06/napa-wedding-photographer/) the father of my daughter and I ended up being reconciled, and what was broken became whole. We have been married for about 2 years now. Within the first couple months of our marriage I found photography and my heart came to life with a vision and passion I have never felt before. I haven’t really ever had drive or ambition with my creativity (or in life), but this was different. I started shooting weddings, started a website, found boudoir photography, started shooting boudoir photography too. I have been working on my business for a little over 2 years. I have been pushing myself to get better, and better. I feel I am at this cross roads and at a point where I need to market, but I don’t know how. I feel uneducated I don’t know what books will help. Will a book help me? Or will talking with a professional help me? Should I take business classes at a community college? Do I even have the time to do that? I have been considering opening a little studio space, but in this economy how can I afford to make such a move? I shoot boudoir out of my garage space – and honestly – I love taking pictures of women. I love boudoir and how it makes women feel, but I have struggled spiritually with it. Am I just a part of the sex problem in America, or am I helping housewives feel just like the stunning women on magazines. My goal is to help feed a marriage, but I wonder how many Christians struggle with my photography choices. I don’t want to make others stumble, but yet I want to do what I love – AND THEN THERE IS WEDDINGS – I also absolutely without a doubt LOVE weddings, and this is not just because of the money. Weddings are just so darn beautiful, and I always end up getting goose bumps or a tear in my eye. I love watching the union of two souls becoming one. I love being such a close witness to their love, and more than anything I love feeling like a friend and just serving them. I think that our job is so important, more important than anyone’s at the whole event. We need to build that relationship and trust with them in order for them to truly let us in. Photography is all about relationships (for me) it comes down to the person I am connecting with on the other side of my lens. For me it isn’t solely about art, it is about connection. I love people (as difficult as they are.) So, here I am stuck in between two loves, boudoir and weddings. I have heard all over the place that in order to be a good entrepreneur I need to choose and only have ONE type of photography that I specialize in. Is this 100% true? Do I turn down business if a local family really wants me to take some images? Do I snottily turn up my nose and say “oh, I only shoot weddings, sorry” or do I stay flexible? There are successful photographers out there like Elizabeth Messina who shoot more than just weddings. And then, there is the question… how successful do I want to be? How far are those stars of mine that I am reaching for? Do I just want to have a local boudoir studio or do I want to inspire young photographers that are starting out like I did? Do I want to be the next Jasmine Star, and do I have what it takes to be open, transparent, and vulnerable? Do I want to be the next Boudoir Divas, or the next Mike Colon? How about the next Jose Villa and shoot film? How do I stand out? How do I forge my own path? How do I find out who I am and what I stand for? How do I become “different”? Do I really need to even make it THAT BIG to be successful, or am I okay with just making a decent income to help put food on the table (oh, and buy a cute outfit from Anthropologie) sigh These are the questions that run through my brain. This is where I am at today, in my little home office, working out of my garage, with a sky full of big dreams. I am watching so many of my peers and colleagues succeed and “make it happen” BUT I really want to make it happen for myself too, in so many ways besides my business. If I can manage to afford your “MAKE THINGS HAPPEN” tour, I would love to figure things out and have my eyesight become 20/20 with the vision and direction my life is headed in. Thank you for taking the time to read this long comment…. I think I will read some of those other comments above now and see how I did in comparison 😉

  35. Marin Kristine on August 4, 2010 at 11:57 pm

    That link is acting weird and not connecting to the post, so if you were interested I didn’t want to mislead you (ha, it is another long blog post) But here it is… https://marinkristine-blog.com/2010/06/napa-wedding-photographer/

  36. Marin Kristine on August 5, 2010 at 12:13 am

    OH, sorry… just noticed you want the city, San Francisco.

  37. Emily Gonsoulin on August 5, 2010 at 11:44 am

    Following the success of my wedding in May, my sisters and I have started a business to chase our dreams of creating all of the things we’ve always dreampt of. From fabric flowers, painted shingle signs, t-shrits, jewelry, and anything wedding, we are flying by the seat of our pants to see where this can go. We desperately could use the guidance and resources this workshop would provide. We are all stuck in jobs that we are not happy in and are using all of our spare time to make our business something great! Please consider us when choosing the Houston scholarship as we would benefit from this exponentially. We feel the spirit of everything you do is so much like our own: focus on God, others, and creating a beautiful life of goodness. We are in a place right now where we don’t know quite where to take things to fullfill our destinies with this venture. Thank you for all of the guidance you have shared thus far and I’m looking forward to meeting you someday in the future when “The SEA sisters” can pay thier own way!

  38. Briana Gardell on August 6, 2010 at 8:15 am

    Ever since I found this blog, attending a Making Things Happen intensive has been my dream. Growing up I always had direction and a sense of direction and purpose, but since I graduated college, got married, and entered the workforce, my sense of purpose crumbled. I felt lost in my jobs, because I didn’t love what I did. The passion wasn’t there. A couple years ago, I stumbled upon photography, and it was love at first click. It feels right, and I know that’s what I want to do with my life. I can visualize my dream, but I’m too scared to take the dive. I’ve gotten Wake Up, Juliet Photography part of the way there, but my fear has stalled its progress and potential success. Sadly finances won’t allow me to attend an intensive on my own, but I leave that up to God. You are a blessing, Lara, as well as the other MTH alumni, and I will continue to be inspired by you all. In the meantime, I’ll hope that I’ll get to meet you in November in Phoenix 🙂

  39. Ashlyn Carter - C&C on August 6, 2010 at 9:12 am

    Hi Lara!
    My name is Ashlyn Carter and I am co-owner of Carter & Cook Event Co. alongside my wonderful friend and business partner, Heather Cook. I/we would love a chance to attend your MTH Los Angeles workshop this next year. I personally would LOVE to attend MTH to have the opportunity to learn from you, to hear of your successes and failures & to be encouraged. You are refreshingly genuine, and honest.

    We’re coming up on the two year anniversary of starting our little wedding company. It has evolved and changed in many ways and we’re left asking the question, “Now what?” What do we want to make happen? We want to book double the amount of weddings next yea. We want to fine tune our brand. We want to set the creative bar a little bit higher. We want a real wedding published in print. But really, we want freedom to do what the Lord has called us to do, the means to get by, and to enjoy each and every day in this business & at the end of the day, time with our husbands & the ability to cook dinner and host a craft night every now and then. : )

    As a perfectionist by nature, not by choice – I fear failure within myself. I fear seeing the bigger picture, knowing where I want to be, but not knowing how to get there. I I need this intensive to kick all my thoughts into gear and create some action plans. Rather than just seeing the day in front of us, I would like to get a bigger vision and create a plan to really MTH.

    Thank you for the opportunity to share.

  40. emily scott on August 6, 2010 at 1:14 pm

    I don’t know how to start this post. As I’ve been staring at this blank little comment box and considered what I REALLY dream of and what I really want to make happen, I’ve just sat here and cried. really. because I know that my fear and my weakness holds me back from what i want more than anything in this world: I want to move people with my images, I want my photography to be more than photography, I want to be a positive influence for change and hope, I want to put myself out there- all that I am, good, bad, and ugly- and let that be enough. I just want more. and I don’t want to settle for less.

    I’d love to find out how to make that happen.

    xoxo, Emily. San Francisco, CA.

  41. Brit @ Landlocked Bride on August 10, 2010 at 8:49 am

    I wasn’t the girl who had her wedding planned since she was 4. But my love for the industry, the grandeur, the love, the meaning behind it all, it grew. Tremendously. Even long before I was engaged and married myself. I started a blog as a way to cater to those brides in the middle of the country, who sometimes feel like the industry skips over them. I want to inspire them and give them ideas that help reflect their true personalities in their event. I want the meaning behind their marriage to really shine at their wedding. I’ve used this blog as the foundation for my planning business – which continues to grow. But what I’m looking for is that little nudge. The one thing that really helps me to make things happen.

    I’m young – and I want to take advantage of that. Grow, grow my business, grow my blog, grow my relationships. This is my passion – and I think by attending a MTH workshop that my passion will be something I can live more fully each and every day.

  42. Cynthia Kain on August 10, 2010 at 1:11 pm

    Make Things Happen. Just looking at that statement alone inspires me.

    What do I want to make happen? I WANT to make my business flourish, I WANT to be the best I can be, but most important, I WILL work hard to make it happen. A year ago, I was laid off from the pharma advertising business -I hated my job & my boss but at the time this seemed a huge set back as my husband is still in school and I was the sole money maker. We do not like to be in debt and firmly believe being in financial control is a huge component of life’s happiness. After examining our life, we looked at the layoff as a blessing in disguise and I took the plunge in starting photography back up – a passion of mine that I put the side during my college years to get a corporate job with my diploma. I continue to work full-time in addition to doing photography in the evenings & almost every weekend – but I love every minute of it. I watched my dad build his business from the ground up as he also worked a second full time job to provide for us – not once did he complain in front of my sister & I. He is my role model.

    I have just started reading the book, “the happiness project” and that is what has motivated me to face my fears and apply for this scholarship. I know I can do it.

    I have not gone into any debt building my company & am itching to see it take off – I know your workshop will be an invaluable experience to me personally & my business. I want to make my husband proud. I want to see my business thrive. I want to continue to meet new clients – the countless, unique connections I make with others is such a special bonus to me in this industry. I want my name on that MTH book. I want fulfill a dream and live it everyday. I WANT TO MAKE THINGS HAPPEN…now.

    pick me 😉

    p.s. I live in Chapel Hill too 😉 I’d be grateful to attend any session but if I had to pick, Houston would be the most convenient.

  43. Melissa Abeyta on August 10, 2010 at 6:47 pm

    Hi Lara, A year ago I read the following quote on Twitter “Life is too short to be scared of trying new things.” I kept rereading it over and over again and I had an Epiphany, two of them! I was going to do two things I’ve always wanted to do but was too scared! One was to enroll in a boot camp style exercise program and get healthy. The second thing I was going to do was start an event planning business! After several brainstorming sessions I named my company Epiphany Events by Melissa. I was still working full time in Corporate Event Planning/ Public Relations and I would dedicate Friday – Sunday to the creation of my new business. Finally, I decided to create a deadline for myself to “officially launch” (mainly because I need deadlines or I sit in idle). I left my semi-secured position at the end of December and since my birthday (January 3rd) was soon but far enough away, I made the first week of January 2010 to officially launch my business. With a launch party and all I was ready to take on the world. A successful spring gala and a few weddings later, now what?

    One of my favorite Mariah Carey songs is “Make It Happen” (I’m convinced the song pushed me through college). When I stumbled upon the “Making Things Happen” tour earlier this year, I was upset I completely missed it because I like to be informed and should have known it was coming. But what I want to make happen is I want to take my business to the next level. I know I can be successful and I know I can create successful events but I want to set myself and my business apart from the others to be extraordinary.

    My fears are no different than anyone else, failing both professionally and personally. Being a new business owner, the thought of failure is one that seems to never go away. Always questioning my moves, did I make the right decision? How will this help my brand? Am I on the right track? Lately, it seems as I take a step forward and five steps back, that is hard and disappointing. Some weeks the self pep talk works and sometimes it doesn’t. When it doesn’t there I go idling again, I have these great ideas in my head but sometimes I feel I let them slip away because of fear to move forward, a fear to conquer and actually achieve.

    I need this intensive because this year I am dealing with a personal matter that I never thought I would be faced with but I believe this intensive will help me stay focused and inspire me both professionally and personally. At the beginning of the year, I saw a couple video blogs made from MTH Alumni and I was in awe by their inspiration, I need to be inspired by my peers. Last week I was at dinner with my best friend who was visiting in town and we were talking about “drive” – I told her I felt I needed a fire lit under me, and I believe this intensive can help push my business and I to accomplishing great things.

    Oh and a year later, I have consistently kept up with the boot camp workouts. Thank you for reading, I hope to meet you in L.A. on November 11, 2010 for the MTH Intensive.

    Best Wishes, Melissa E. Abeyta

  44. Jessica on August 11, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    Unlike so many people who have commented with amazing stories and businesses that already exist, I am at the beginning of my journey. I don’t have it all planned or laid out yet. I admire those who do.

    It takes a lot of work and conquering fears to take that leap. For a long time now, I have been dreaming of starting my own business using my creativity, energy, passion and drive to make things happen. I am a public relations professional by day and a blogger and dreamer by night. I love everything about event planning, hosting, blogging, photography, freelance writing for some local magazines and working on my memoir. Yes, a lot of things, I know. But I’m certain that all of my passions, ideas and skills can come together for me.

    I see many wonderful people around me including the MTH 2010 first class alum members Emily Ley and Gina Zeidler inspire me on a daily basis. Gina has encouraged me to push myself to explore my passions and make them into something great. I have a lot of energy, drive and I know I have the skills to make things happen. But then comes fear. I fear not having enough time, losing my confidence, not being able to make it financially or of course, failing. Reading MTH2010 blog posts and twitter updates helps me to gain confidence and kick fear out the door, but it finds its way back into my mind. I would be so honored and grateful to have the opportunity to attend Making Things Happen in any city. I’m from Minneapolis and missed the session here. I know it will help me hone in on how to do this with what I have and who I am now. Thank you for the opportunity to tell my story!

  45. Samantha on August 11, 2010 at 6:28 pm

    To say this opportunity would change my life would be an understatement. And I’m pretty sure it would be unfair as well — because I know it would change a lot of people’s lives, including all 45 people who commented here before me. I’ve been religiously watching and reading the comments since the moment you posted this weeks ago. That sounds silly, but it’s true. And I suppose fear, when you take enough steps back — when you see the world through bigger eyes, or when you (even momentarily) grasp how big a God who loves us is…it makes you feel foolish. Or maybe it makes me feel faithless, or defeated. Truly, it’s all consuming, a litany of adjectives defining me-under-the-influence-of-fear overwhelms me. Getting to the heart of it, I think I’ve waited so long to write my comment (in hopes and prayers that I would win) because I would have to face it, putting something down on paper makes you stare at it in the eyes. I think this is why I continually read your post “To Name Your Fears Is To Destroy Them” — thank you, thank you, thank you a million times more for writing that by the way. My prayer is that I will be able to put your charge into action, I know that if I attended the Making Things Happen tour in LA (ideally)– I wouldn’t have a choice. I would be facing my fear head on. I too, am a Carnegie Mellon University alum — familiarity breeds closeness…and so naturally I have considered you a soul sister (without ever actually telling you – insert said fear). My parents had dreams of me being anything important in the publishing industry — I worked for Conde Nast months after graduating (it was my childhood realistic-dream job) — and felt empty. I went on to work a few more incredible jobs, meeting amazing people and learning tremendous amounts — but still I wasn’t fulfilling God’s calling for my life, and I knew it. When I lost my job last June, in the wake of NYC’s economical valley, I just knew it was my chance to do what I had always dreamed. In January I officially launched Samantha Shay Photography, LLC (ah those three little letters sound like music!) I am just now starting to to get over the “but what will they think?!” aspect of starting my own business. I think the fear of failing really has dominated the path of my new business. I visit your blog at least once a day for encouragement, or a good ole’ kick in the pants — I admire your ability to identify your fears, accept them and overcome them. Your love of others and lifting up of a community is beautiful. Even if you don’t choose me, I feel a bit empowered — I just faced a very real fear right here in your comments. I think Oprah calls this an “Aha!” moment :). Thanks Lara, you have been a blessing and God-send through the blogosphere. PS – I know you asked what we wanted to make happen, but essentially facing my fear, thus giving my business freedom and the belief it needs to succeed is the core of what I want to make happen.

  46. Nicole on August 11, 2010 at 11:09 pm

    Hi Lara! First of all, thank you for extending this tour and offering another scholarship. I know this will be an amazing experience with a great group of people. The reason that I would like to attend the Making Things Happen Intensive Tour is because, simply, I need it. I’m at a place in my life, where I need to figure out what’s next. Like many, I’ve been blessed with a day job, but my shutter finger is itching to be a photographer. I’ve always loved creating visual stories using various mediums, however, I’m just now realizing that I’ve always loved creating visual stories. 🙂 This is what photography is to me. I have, yet to shoot anyone except my husband, you know, with my Nikon (okay, I know that joke doesn’t quite work unless I shoot Canon :-). He’s a great, PATIENT model, but that is all the more reason why I need to attend this workshop. My biggest fear is success. Most say failure, but failure is easy. It’s easy to do and easy to move on from it. There’s no pressure with failure because you can just say, “Oops, my bad,” and then slowly back away until everyone forgets what even happened. It’s the success part that’s scary. Once you’re successful, you’re expected to keep that up. Talk about pressure–something that success shouldn’t be or at least not looked upon as such as if it’s a hindrance. Success is something we all strive for, but very few fully achieve as per their expectations. I don’t want to fall into that category. I don’t want this inane fear to hold me back. This is something that I’m working on with and through photography, but it would be very helpful to have that extra boost from the Intensive, that support group of professionals trying to boost their businesses and livelihoods. Also, since I’m just starting out, I believe the program will serve me even more so as it will set me up on the right track and make the start-up process a bit smoother. What I want out of life is to live it. I want to allow others to see me through my work and trust me with their memories. I want to trust myself with these memories. I want to be vulnerable through my work so I can grow. I want to make an impact. I want my name on that book. Pretty please with a cupcake on top? C’mon, who can resist a please WITH a cupcake? 🙂 Thank you, for this great opportunity….in Los Angeles. 🙂

  47. Katie on August 12, 2010 at 8:53 am

    My name is Katie, and I don’t even like my business name. That’s how much I need to go to Making Thing Happen. I need a double shot of inspiration and a swift kick in the bootie. My goal is to be a full time photographer, instead of working two jobs, and killing myself in the process. Just not sure hot to get there, and how to stay married and start thinking about having a family too. Lord knows, there is NO way I’d be able to keep the pace I’m at right now when I have kids. I’d love to go to the LA MTH, and know that my business would be forever changed, and furthermore, my life.

  48. Lisa Dunham on August 12, 2010 at 8:57 am

    I’m very inspired and intrigued by the possibilities your Making Things Happen Tour holds. I started my business a little later in life than most and I’m trying to maximize the time I have to make it grow and enjoy every minute of it. I’ve overcome a lot of obstacles to get to this place and although there are many others worthy of this scholarship, none would appreciate it more than I. Art has always been my passion and a part of my life in many ways but only professionally in the last few years. Passion is not my problem. After raising 4 kids and caring for parents, and with those jobs fairly complete (okay, the mom part NEVER ends – and I know you’re thinking about this so take your time) I finally have time to focus more on me as an artist. I’m not a very good self promoter. I tend to be a little introverted and self deprecating (artistic angst I believe they call it). I seek inspiration in discussions, websites and books from people I admire. I am a strong visual learner and love to watch and study people. I’m constantly looking for ways to improve my life and my art. I like myself most of the time but still let old self doubts hold me back from truly fulfilling my destiny. I totally SUCK at time management but I have gotten better through sheer determination and ADD management (Twitter does not help here). 2010 has been the worst year of my life personally, forcing me to cut my business way back just when it was really starting to take shape. I’m really looking for a way to jump start 2011, get back on track and just enjoy doing the things I love and actually making a living at it. I think your Making Things Happen Tour would be just the thing. I have a wedding on November 7th so I could do Nov 5 in Houston but I’d really like Dallas in January if that’s included. I want to put 2010 totally behind me and just move forward with a new song in my heart and a new wind in my sails.Thanks for the opportunity and the encouragement and inspiration your blog and online workshops provide.

  49. Melissa Bagley on August 12, 2010 at 10:53 am

    Hi Lara, For the past 15 years I have been a successful high-end wedding photographer. About two years ago I got sick and it wasn’t the kind of “sick” that goes away in 24 hours. It got so bad that I wasn’t able to work and I lost my house. But this isn’t all a sob story, I promise. During this time of illness, I started to feel the need for a new challenge (as if I needed another one!). From this need grew IZZY. IZZY is a special event & wedding magazine (online at: http://www.izzymag.com). With nothing, and I mean nothing, I managed to launch the magazine and throw launch party for 200. Woohoo! The magazine has been well received, for which I am overjoyed. Great, right? Wrong. Right after the party I had the mother of all relapses and was in bed for about 3 months. Now I’m back at it, working on issue two but I must confess, I’m really struggling. I am having a huge problem getting my focus back. I love the magazine and I know it is my future. Attending Making Things Happen, I feel, would greatly help me get back on track and help me make my dream come true. Thank you for taking the time to read this. I hope I can attend the San Francisco class!

  50. Lara Molettiere on August 12, 2010 at 8:12 pm

    Hi Lara! I’ve been churning this over in my mind for over two weeks, and even if I do not end up with the scholarship, this has been a great exercise for me which just goes to show how looking your fears in the face puts things into perspective. I chose to re-brand when I took maternity leave and that scared me, but I knew it was the right thing to do. I needed to re-establish the fact that I am not a run-of-the-mill “here comes the bride” type of planner. I want the knowledge and guidance to make my niche of themed and dramatic weddings rock solid. #MakeItHappen I have a great fear of failure due to being type A and a perfectionist. This sometimes prevents me from doing things I want to try, so I’m starting a networking group for work at home wedding industry parents with a sitter at the event. I’m not comfortable in these shoes but I’m doing it anyway. I want to make my drive and passion happen all over the face of the wedding market. My biggest fear is not being able to provide all the travel and life experiences to my son that I know he will need to become a polished Southern Gentleman, and my business is the income we use for travel, extracurricular memberships like the zoo, etc. I want to get past all the obstacles I have made for myself and rock it out! I want to feel my fear and do it anyway. Thanks for the outlet and the introspective nature of this question. The Houston workshop would be awesome!

  51. Catherine Rhodes on August 13, 2010 at 8:53 am

    At 22 with a wedding a portrait business under my belt, some people may think I have done quite a bit for my age. But as much as I am proud of what I have accomplished thus far, I can feel it in my bones, I was born for something bigger. From ideas of starting a side wedding business in Greece to just picking up and moving to Hawaii (yes Maui would be a fine place to head to for MTH 🙂 , I have never been short on “big dreams”. I feel like I’m coming to a point in my business and life, you know that one in the movie where you can go into the dark and unknown forest full of adventure or head toward the sunny field, safe and warm. Well I need some guidance and motivation, and I think a good talk, or ten, with you and some other motivated people might just do the trick!

  52. Angie Gallagher on August 13, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    Oh Lara, where do I begin? I often feel like my mind is racing but my body is moving in slow motion. Like I’m stuck in first gear or something. I’m a new photog and have so many ideas and things I feel like I should be doing. I worry too much about what everyone else is doing and let the shoulda-woulda-couldas get me. These are the times when I find myself overwhelmed and lost about where to begin!
    So, Lara, I desperately need your help to move forward, eliminate the mind clutter and MAKE THINGS HAPPEN!

    I would be honored to attend your workshop (Houston would be my first choice) and honestly feel like this is what I need and where I should be. Thank you for the opportunity!

  53. Faith on August 13, 2010 at 4:02 pm

    Just hearing the name of the tour excites me! This has ben my motto for years but I am just learning to put my thoughts and ideas into actions. When resources aren’t available, I have to do my best to ‘Make It Happen’. This workshop would be a great boost in motivation and knowledge. It is something I cannot afford on my own but winning would be a dream come true! I would love to attend either the Washington, DC or NC tour!

    • Lara on August 13, 2010 at 4:38 pm

      Hi Faith! Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts here! The DC and NC stops are past tour dates. The cities for fall are Salt Lake City, Houston, Phoenix, LA, San Fran and Maui. Feel free to comment again with your updated city choice.

  54. Camille on August 13, 2010 at 4:25 pm

    I was digging around today, getting lost in a sea of internet searching, when I came across your blog. I have been a graphic designer for 10 years, mainly in the corporate world and never satisfied with what I am doing. I always felt there had to be something more, a bigger purpose for my life, where I could use my creativity and passion to its fullest potential. I took a big leap last year, quit my corporate job and started my own wedding invitation and stationery business, something that has always been a dream of mine. I went from feeling on top of the world to now feeling not good enough, worthless, scared, confused and lost. I wonder where the drive and motivation I once took pride in had gone. I’m taking a leap of faith by writing this, hoping that putting myself out there will lead to something great. I’m located in Florida, but would be willing to travel to any location for one of your workshops. I have been amazed by your blog so far, so I can just imagine how inspiring the workshops must be. Thank you.

  55. jodi renee on August 13, 2010 at 8:07 pm

    It feels like a mirror looking back into the past. I am afraid.
    Of what unfolds into the future…the same? The repetition that has become this scary wheel of my life. I keep going around and around. I can see all the patterns, my behaviours, my fears….
    Gorgeous in their desire to keep me safe, it’s not ‘safe’ that I want…
    Unbound, unlimited…
    Much more beautiful would be, ‘breaking down’, renewal, the transformation and change! Potential and possibility. It needs to be birthed, wants to be born…
    It’s been years of self-discovery, obstacles and meeting myself in some pretty dark places. Often not liking what I see.
    To be whole, complete however I recognize the need to embrace it all. The dark AND the light, the good AND the so-called bad.
    And yet…there is one small thread, so tiny, yet so powerful in it’s holding, strength…it’s attachment That won’t let go.
    Standing in my own way of success. Standing in my way of unlimited, unbound love, creativity and passion. Standing in my own way of a glorious, effortless and abundant life…is me.
    And a belief that I’m not good enough? That I can’t do this…this being ‘everything I want’…
    With every fibre in me..I am ready to let go, to dig a little deeper, to surrender. With more love, trust and a burning desire to ‘make it happen’ it is my greatest wish for a scholarship to attend your San Fransico workshop.
    I want to put myself out there to propel myself forward…with your help Lara. Two dreams manifesting! San Fransico …and *YOU*

  56. Camille Ridinger on August 14, 2010 at 10:56 am

    WHAT DO YOU WANT TO MAKE HAPPEN?: I want to successfully grow and build my portrait and wedding photography business. I want to be an inspiration to others and to my son by showing them that you can follow your dreams, do the things you’re passionate about and most of all, make things happen. As a single mom I’m trying everyday to balance getting fired up, getting my business off the ground and flourishing along with taking care of my son and his needs. I get stuck sometimes and it gets frustrating.
    WHAT ARE YOUR FEARS?: Failure and rejection are probably my two biggest fears. Last year was my first year to shoot weddings and I booked three of my own and was a second shooter for three. This year I’ve booked one wedding. One. And half the year is gone. I’m a little frustrated about it. Earlier this year I revamped my branding, created brochures, figured out who my target bride is, took on/created projects just to get myself out there, etc…. which brings me to a very risky business decision I made recently. Last month, as you know, your lovely SW ladies celebrated their one year anniversary of working for you and you guys offered the anniversary ad special for the V3 issue to the first ten people who emailed for a media kit. Well, I was one of the first ten! I wasn’t even sure if I would really purchase an ad because I know print ads are in no way inexpensive, especially for businesses that are just getting off the ground, but I just had to check it out. Even with the special discount it was still more than I probably needed to be spending so as I began toying with the idea fear starting creeping in. And on top of that, around that same time you announced the next round of the MTH tour and I thought to myself, “ahhh, I can’t afford to do both, what do I do?” Then you announced the scholarship. So I chose the ad, I felt the fear and did it anyway. In hopes that I might have a shot at the scholarship. *finger crossed*
    WHY DO YOU NEED THIS INTENSIVE?: I need to get fired up, I need to be challenged, I need to inspire, I need to BE inspired, I need to be in a group of like minds, to find strength in the presence and support of those that are in the same place I am. I think the Maui class/shootshop would be incredible, especially as a photographer, and I hope I get to be a part of it! Thank you for all you give and for generously offering this scholarship.

  57. Elizabeth on August 14, 2010 at 4:25 pm

    I’ve come here to comment nearly every day- trying to think up the PERFECT words to convince you I NEED this scholarship more then all of these other wonderful people who have commented, but I do not think those PERFECT words exist. All I can do is give you my own honest words, and hope to be happy for whoever is awarded the scholarship whether it be me (YES! PLEASE!) or one of the other lovely people who have commented. So, What do I want to make happen? MY LIFE! My whole LIFE- FOR IT TO BE FULL! But to start, I would like to have a thriving photography business. I want people to look at my work and think, “Beautiful,” “Classic.” I want them to get a true sense of that moment, and the life or lives portrayed.

    Something I am trying to do more in life is seize the moment- to stop sitting around wasting time. I am tired of being all talk, and no action. I want to have an idea and then attack it right away- and MAKE IT HAPPEN. I want my photography to express that sentiment as well. I love capturing the pinnacle moments in life as well as the day to day triumphs that seem small, but truly define the essence of that moment and that time in that life. But how can I truly capture that, understand it, and encourage it out of my clients if I can’t practice it in my own life each and every day!

    I’m terrified. Like so many others I am afraid to fail, afraid I’m not as good as I think I am at making photographs. I’m afraid to disappoint the loved ones who believe in me and support me. Perhaps, most of all I’m afraid of the hard work. Can I do it? Am I up for the challenge? Is this in me? Who am I to think I can do this? Can I change? Change is hard, and scary! Can I really MAKE IT HAPPEN? I want to cure my doubts and believe without a doubt that YES, I CAN MAKE IT HAPPEN!

    I would like to attend the LOS ANGELES, CA MIH. I have only lived here in Los Angeles for just over one year. My husband and I moved here from Philadelphia, PA so he could attend graduate school and pursue his dreams of making it happen as a cinematographer. I’ve struggled here. I followed my husbands dreams here, not my own and it has been hard for me to find my place, and make it feel like home again. I’m the sole bread winner while he is in school- and that is a lot of pressure! I’m trying to live up to that and be the supportive wife I need to be right now, but it is hard. Money is very tight,and the school loans that will be due next summer are weighing on both my husband and myself. I feel the need to MAKE THINGS HAPPEN NOW! A scholarship is a must. I can’t attend right now with out it.

    I know I need to learn to make things happen on my own, but I feel like I need some help. I know this will not magically turn the lights on, but it will show me the light-switch!

    I would greatly appreciate the scholarship- and I will do my best not to disappoint you! THANK YOU.

  58. Carlee Sizemore on August 15, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    This morning I awoke and prayed for the words to write in this post. Wasn’t I surprised when I got to church and the sermon was all about trust, in yourself and the Lord {and does He have a sense of humor!}? Last year, I became a statistic when I was laid-off from my not so great job. This provided me with one of the biggest blessings of my life: the ability to start my own business. About 8 months into self-employment, I have realized the true direction I need to take in my business and am steadily working towards that goal: a Creative and Event Stylist. I am now a woman on a mission! You wanted to know about our fears and what we want to make happen. Well, my deep dark fear {that I would never admit to anyone, yet curiously am now posting on the internet for the entire world to see} is that I will be not be taken seriously in Atlanta’s super talented market, that I won’t be able to create an opportunity to shine and that people will only want to hire me as a “Wedding Coordinator”. I want not only to succeed, but to be a contributor to the industry! To earn the respect of my peers and become a leader. That’s what I want to make happen! I’m ready to face the ridiculousness of my fears, step out of the boundaries I’ve placed around myself and make my craziest dreams come true! My husband is quietly humming the Rocky theme song while reading this over my shoulder and has been the biggest source of encouragement and motivation I could ever ask for. With that said, MTH2010 would give me the breakthrough I need to become my own champion with or without the Rocky soundtrack in the background {my sweet husband needs a break!}. I live in Atlanta and am a direct flight away from any of the remaining MTH2010 cities. I can not thank you enough for this generous opportunity and for your consideration.

  59. Jana Morgan on August 15, 2010 at 6:53 pm

    Hey Lara. Love that you are coming out to Maui for your tour! I would love to win a scholarship to your workshop that is happening over here. I have faced a lot of fear and doubt through my years if you recall some of our conversations in the past together. Falling out out of the photography realm to pursue a design career while I was still in college, placed me in a permanent fear zone. I was terrified to go back into photography, feeling that I lost my opportunity! The competition is fierce, and living here on the islands makes our community small and in your face. There are no secrets here, and things are out in the open. With years of trying to build my courage back up, I finally delved back into photography. I was originally self-taught when I was teenager, using only film. Now after years of a lot of successful experience, I am still only held back by one thing: fear (result from no confidence). Fear to discover who I am, knowing where I belong in the market, how to market that self… but more fear goes behind being scared to share that part of me to the important people around me (friends, clients, family, etc). Lets face it, I am an artist, so none of my training is ground in marketing or sales. That has always been a difficult aspect for me, and that derives from the fear that keeps me from speaking up at moments that I need to – when trying to make important connections that could help my business grow. It would be a blessing to be a part of your workshop to help me find the courage to believe in myself so that I can not only be a better photographer, but a better wife, daughter, person and hopefully one day as a mother too.

  60. April Orr on August 15, 2010 at 6:55 pm

    I have a favorite quote that comes to mind when I think of MTH and what you do. “it’s not what is poured into a student that counts, but what is planted.” (Linda Conway). I use to think about chasing the bigger dream. When people asked where I wanted to be in 10 years I knew the answer, but it was never the same as where I SAW myself in ten years. I have a great business. I enjoy what I do, and it pays the bills, but it isn’t my dream, it doesn’t fulfill my artistic side, and I don’t swoon over it. In my dream the last 12 years in this industry are preparing me for BIG things, and I am ready to MAKE THINGS HAPPEN in Houston!

  61. Raquel_Cloud9 on August 15, 2010 at 8:34 pm

    Hi Lara, I had the pleasure of meeting you briefly during The Simple Plan workshop in Atlanta earlier this year, and am extremely happy to hear about the second leg of the Making Things Happen Tour. During this year, I have been admiring, from afar, some of the MTH alums and their drive and successes. It is so inspiring to hear about people who are following their passions and living their lives to their fullest.

    That is EXACTLY what I want to make happen. I am tired of talking about my dreams and passions, and having my time and energy taken up by my extremely demanding full-time job. Having recently been promoted at my “day job”, my focus has almost been completely taken away from Cloud 9 Weddings & Events, and that truly makes my heart hurt. Some people may think that makes me ungrateful for the success I have had throughout my career thus far, but that’s definitely not the case. The past 10+ years have taught me a tremendous amount, and I have no doubt that all of that knowledge will help me be more successful in running my own company.

    I have been mulling over whether to apply for this sponsorship over the past few days, and to be completely honest, sit hear teary-eyed as I write to you. It has been over a year since I decided to pursue my dream of owning my own event planning company and I can’t say that I’ve gotten as far as I would’ve liked over that time.

    For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to plan events as a career. It is something that excites me…and I’m really good at too! I actually used to say that I never wanted to own my own company, because I wanted to be able to go home and “leave work at the office”. As I’ve advanced in my career I have come to the realization that there is no such thing; not if you care about your work and give it your all. I am working harder and longer hours than I’ve ever worked before, and my responsibilities and stress levels continue to skyrocket.

    My husband and I are blessed to have our health, a happy marriage, and full-time jobs that help us keep a roof over our heads and pay our bills. My husband is my rock and wants nothing more than to see me follow my dreams, and I realize that I am lucky to have his support. Lately, however, I feel like I am stuck in a vicious cycle where I have no balance between my work, my life, and most importantly, my dreams.

    I can’t thank you enough for this opportunity. I would be honored to attend the Houston intensive coming up in November in hopes of facing my fears and becoming a part of this supportive community. There is nothing more inspiring to me than being surrounded by people who have goals for themselves and are looking for the encouragement and support to MAKE THINGS HAPPEN. Sincerely, Raquel

    PS – I am also open to Phoenix and Salt Lake City.

  62. Sarah Maren on August 15, 2010 at 9:22 pm

    Hi Lara,

    I was sitting here at my computer, praying for some guidance, asking the universe where to go next. And then your tweet came up – “There ya go!” Said the Universe. “Have at it.” So here I am – hoping.

    I’ve been feeling a little lost lately, unsure of my direction and my place. I had a baby six weeks ago, shooting weddings clear up until 4 days before he was born because there was no other choice but to shoot them. I wish I could say it was because I love my job so much, but it was because my job is what keeps a roof over our head and food on our table. It wasn’t for the love of my clients, though I so wish it was. Instead it was blatant necessity that had me shooting weddings 10 months pregnant. My husband was laid off of his job six months ago, and we were left without that safety net I had always had. My photography business would just have to provide not only for itself, but for our family as well. With that decision I put my faith into my ability to use a camera and connect with people to completely provide for my husband, daughter, newborn son, business and if there’s any left for me as well. But that need to provide has left me without the ability to funnel any of the money I make back into my business, because if I did have that ability I would have signed up already for your workshop in San Francisco. I wish more than anything that I had the spare money to attend. Heck, I wish I had enough money to make my own scholarship for someone. Lara, I need a fire reignited in my heart, I need my job to not be about making money – but about loving what I do. I need to make my life happen, and have photography be a part of that life. I want to be able to see and feel that love that my clients have and not just see that their wedding means I can pay my mortgage and buy diapers. I miss being able to give everything in my heart to my clients for a day – I really, really want to do that again. I want my business to be not just enough to provide for my family, but a way to provide for my spirit. It was that to me, and I want that again.
    It is my hope that I have the opportunity to attend your San Francisco workshop – and it is my greater hope that someday I will have the opportunity to pay it forward to someone else.
    Much love – Sarah Maren

  63. Chris on August 15, 2010 at 11:18 pm


    Thanks for the chance to maybe come be a part of MTH2010. I’ve been trying to figure out a way to come since I first heard about it, but it just wasn’t in the cards. Maybe this will be my lucky day. 🙂

    I think one of my biggest fears is that all the work I’ve put into growing my business over the past couple years will eventually be wasted if I don’t make it as a full time photographer. My family has given up a considerable bit to let me chase this crazy dream – and I feel like anything less than a success would be to let them down and waste of what they have given.

    I am currently working part time as a photographer, and part time as, well, whatever else it takes. I feel like our business is on the verge of really taking off to the point where it could pay the bills, yet I am terrified that I’ll get caught in this place where jumping doesn’t seem like an option, and yet staying put will kill me. 🙂

    So, what do I want to make happen? I want to take my business to the next level – to be able to make enough to really devote myself to a craft that I love, and to be successful enough to provide for my family and repay them for all the trust, time, love and emotion they have invested in me. I don’t want what I do to be a liability to my wife and kids; I want it to be something they can be proud of and feel like they are a part of.

    I know that no workshop, class, intensive or really anything will ever hold all the answers. But I do believe that there is always something to learn from other people, and I think that the right kind of learning can propel you along your path – past things that might have otherwise held you back. I’ve been following you on Twitter and the like, and have already learned so much – I can’t imagine what one whole day would yield.

    I think that at this point I could use that kick in the butt, that wake up call, and that direction from a trusted voice that could help me move this passion into the realm of a truly successful business. My family deserves that much, and so much more. They won’t let me give up ever, so I know I have to succeed. 🙂 I’m just hoping for a little help along the way…

    Oh yeah, and on the astronomical chance I get to go {Truly, I don’t win anything, but that’s ok… :)} then Phoenix would probably be the easiest.

    Thanks again,


  64. Amber on August 16, 2010 at 3:36 am

    Hi Lara! Many thanks for offering this amazing opportunity to attend one of your MTH workshops. Reading the previous 65 comments have left me sure of one thing – you will have a tough job deciding! I would love nothing more to attend your workshop to help me make my dreams a reality. I feel very blessed on a daily basis because I am living out part of my dream to travel the world with my husband. I breath, sleep & live for photography and design and have found a way to incorporate photographer to my job description at my current job which has added an incredible element to a mindless job. I have started on the path to begin my own photography business and am working on a few other projects. Traveling the world and living in various countries has been indescribable however I am ready to settle down and take my life into my own hands. I want to exceed my potential, know the feeling of inner completeness, find a way to challenge my mind like never before. I believe that through your workshop I will learn the necessities to conquer my goals and achieve greatness. Since I will be traveling from a far any of your workshops would be an honor to attend.

  65. Tiesha on August 16, 2010 at 8:16 am

    Have you ever attempted to avoid something in an attempt to not deal with it because by not dealing it will go away but instead it keeps coming back? (Hmmm…was that a run on sentence?) When I saw the MTH part 2 announcement on Twitter, my heart sank. I think I secretly had been hoping to hear no more talk of it. Not because I didn’t/don’t think I need to be there, because I do, but more because even though I’d wanted to attend one of the other sessions, and even seriously considered it, I didn’t and once they were over I could then move on, right? Wrong. Well with sweaty palms (not one of my best qualities when I’m nervous), I thought to myself that I’d consider it and likely do it, if X, Y, and Z were true when I clicked the link. So I clicked the link, searched around, and X, Y, and Z happened to be true. Oh God…really? So I hung around on the site…clicked on some posts from Alums…still thinking. THEN, contained in the body of the last one I read before I just needed to shut down for the night, was a scripture reference. This very scripture has continued to pop up on a regular basis for the last few weeks. Paraphrasing – “The vision is yet, for an appointed time”. So after the shock I closed my laptop and decided to eat dinner since it was already 10 PM. But I didn’t register. So the next day comes…I ignore…I’m good at ignoring the uncomfortable. Then I called a friend who I know will be the best voice of reason should I decide to consider it. Long story short, she said “Do it, you deserve it”. Now that it was 11 PM this time, I showered, came back to the laptop, and purchased. So the bottom line is…I’m going regardless and I’m Making Things Happen. I guess the sticky part is, it is a BIG financial sacrifice. But the reason I signed up was because I know, that for whatever reason, I need to be there. I’m not sure what will come of it, but I know it will be life changing. I’m sure I won’t leave with all of the answers, but I’m hoping that I will be able to engage with like minds, develop lasting relationships, and relocate my center. This year has been quite a quest for me to make some decisions on what I want to do with my life in general and with my business. I’ve given more thought and taken more action on making things happen this year, than I have in a very, very long time. In a nutshell, I’d love to scholarship because it will replenish the major hole in my bank account created by my huge leap of faith. Plus, I’m just a really cool and fun chick who could use a win and a good pick me upper! That reason alone is good enough! So pretty please with cupcakes on top…pick me!

  66. Meghan Magritz on August 16, 2010 at 8:38 am

    Hi Lara! First of all, I must tell you how thankful I am for the opportunity to even have a chance of making it to one of your tours, I find you and all that you are doing to be oh so inspiring.

    So, what I want to make happen… I own a wedding planning company but I also recently launched a business, The Wedding Boutique, that’s goal is to allow vendors who haven’t already embraced the world of blogging to do so. The idea is that each city is home to a collaborative blog that local wedding industry professionals can contribute to and see the benefits of blogging without being consumed with blog management and posting enough content. In authoring this blog these vendors are also creating the ultimate resource for Brides in there city. The New York City Wedding Boutique {thenycweddingboutique.com} has already launched but it’s been a struggle with launching other cities.

    I strongly believe in the concept but am recently feeling discouraged with many aspects and often question if I am moving in the right direction. All I am really confident about is that I want to help others in the wedding industry live up to their potential.

    I am ready to take this “project” to the next level and would love to attend the Making Things Happen in Los Angeles. And, of course I would be so excited to meet you and Emily Ley!

  67. Vickey Weiss on August 16, 2010 at 10:15 am

    I truly need to Make Things Happen… I just saw Fred Egan’s tweet about the workshop scholarship and it couldn’t have come at a better time.
    I was laid off from my job last Thursday (I was a staff photographer for a product company) I have had a part time photography business on the side for the past couple of years….but now I need to put my business into full gear.
    I adore you, Fred and Jory and would love to brand myself in a way that I can possibly do some more weddings…but also commercial work (and also keep my potrait clients)
    I have a crazy love for photography and it pretty much consumes me…I need to get some focus and learn how to manage my business so I can not only be a successful photographer…but also a stellar mom to my three rugrats and to my very patient husband. I would be so honored if I was selected…I am eager to learn from you.
    Maui is a special place for me… I lived there for a summer when I was in college. So I would choose that location for the workshop if possible. But I am open to anything if I am chosen.
    Thanks for being so giving with your talent and I know whoever you choose will be so fortunate for the opportunity.
    much love

  68. Erika on August 16, 2010 at 11:08 am

    Lara, I have been following your blog and SW for several months now and you have been such an encouragement and inspiration to me personally, professionally and spiritually. Thank you for being so transparent with your readers and for consistently challenging us to be better versions of ourselves. I have debated every day since I read your post to write something in this little space. I hope I am not too late! I have read and reread your post (To Name Your Fears is to Destroy Them) on fear so many times that I have lost count. I was never been one to be a fearful person but certain experiences in my life have brought me to a place of living in fear and staying there. It wasn’t until I read the following words that you stated so well in that post that I was not even aware of my fear. “Taking the blinders off brings awareness. Our blinders keep us in our safe little bubble, not challenged or stretched, and not moving forward.”

    I was engaged to be married in November 2008. My ex-fiancé and I called off the wedding six weeks before the wedding. The aftermath of that decision was overwhelming at times and all I was left with was fear. Even though it was the right decision, I felt like a failure. I feared making wrong decisions. I feared failing at love again. I feared never being a success in any area of my life. Fear took the back door into my life and snuck in without me even knowing it. Fear took root, put their feet up and made a home right down to my core.

    As I was planning my wedding, I stalked wedding and photography blogs 24/7. I couldn’t get enough and I would stay up in the wee hours of the night on my blog surfing. I soon realized that my two passions had met – weddings and photography. I soon decided that I wanted to pursue photography as a career and marry my two passions. But when my wedding was called off, fear overcame my life and that dream, along with the dream of getting married quickly vanished. I put my Canon Rebel (that was given to me by my ex) on the shelf only to gather dust. I stopped stalking wedding and photography blogs. I couldn’t stand the thought of seeing a bride, a wedding magazine or a camera because it just reminded me of the pain. I buried myself into a cocoon and hid out for most of 2009. That year is pretty much a blur to me.

    When 2010 rolled around, I was done with the pity party. I was totally over feeling sorry for myself and letting fear run my life. But I didn’t know quite how to overcome the fear so I just picked up my camera and started shooting. To this date, I have shot 3 weddings, several engagement sessions and tons of lifestyle sessions. I have built a portfolio for myself but haven’t taken it to the next level. And that is what I am ready to do but I need your help!

    I know that I am no more deserving than any other person who posted their story on here. I have read through each post and everyone has an amazing story. If anything, this has been a great forum for people to reignite their passions again, gain clarity and feel inspired to really go for it. So even if you do not choose me, I still feel like I will still come out a winner because your post has challenged me to get off my butt and do something! I live in Phoenix so I would be more than honored to be chosen to attend your Making Things Happen Tour in Phoenix on Sunday, November 7th!

    I recently went through the exercise of filling in the blanks that you provided in your post on fear. Here is what I came up with:

    I am afraid of pursuing a business in photography because I am afraid of failing in front of my family, friends and other professionals in the field.

    If I wasn’t afraid of failing I would put 150% into my photography business and go for it!

    If this fear didn’t hold me back, I would feel like I was living out the life out that I was supposed to live.

    Lara, thank you again for being the person God has made you to be and living that out to the fullest!

    With much love, Erika

  69. brooke @ claremont road on August 16, 2010 at 11:35 am

    I have never been known as one who takes risks or breaks the rules easily. I’ve always been Brooke the Good Girl — the rule follower, the girl who doesn’t want to step on anyone’s toes, the one who always makes sure to have a safety net nearby to catch her when she falls. In the last few years, something has come over me, and I have taken some risks that have completely changed my path. Namely, I left my stable job as a graphic designer in January and took the leap to self-employment, forming Curious & Company Creative with four colleagues who happen to be amazing designers. My (adorable, darling, perfect, awesome) husband has supported me (emotionally and financially) as I have pursued my dream, and although the uncertainty of it all is terrifying, I have never felt happier or more exhilarated by the possibilities that lie ahead for me.

    I have big dreams for Curious & Company. We will soon be launching a ready-to-order line of letterpress wedding invitations, and that is truly my “baby.” I have seen myself doing something like this for the last 10 years, and to see it starting to take shape makes me want to pinch myself each day. That’s not to say, though, that the scaredy-cat, rule-following me is gone for good. There are days that I wake up terrified that this won’t work… that I’m putting all of this time and energy into something that will never allow us to be financially comfortable… that I am putting unnecessary strain on my (still very new) marriage. Day to day, I work through the fear, but it sometimes prevents me from being able to think as clearly as I need as I make huge decisions for the future of my family and my business. My trepidation has been known to inhibit my creativity, and I cannot afford for that to hold me back now, when my livelihood depends on my ability to connect with the artist inside of me. Some days, it is hard to find her.

    The Making Things Happen tour has inspired me since I first heard of it; to be able to be a part of it would be a dream come true. I have been working hard to make things happen on my own, but I know deep down that I am capable of so much more.

    I turned 30 last week; I can’t help but feel like some amazing things are in store for this next Decade of Brooke. I have always known who I want to be and what I want to do — it is now just a matter of grasping how to get there as I learn to face my fears head-on. I need to better realize and embrace my capabilities, and get to work creating the life and career that is ever so slightly out of my reach. I know it’s there waiting for me.

    Thank you for the opportunity to be considered for a MTH scholarship, Lara. I admire everything you do and the amazing career that you have created for yourself and I can only hope to be even a smidge as successful as you.

    (PS, the nitty gritty – I’d be up for either the SF or LA stops on the tour 🙂

  70. Patrick Leung on August 16, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    Fear of failure (What do I have to lose?). Self-doubt (Am I good enough?). Lack of confidence (Not enough internal & external motivation?). It’s simple, go the path of least of resistance and risk being average. Do I want to be average? No. But why is it so dang hard to just go out there and make things happen? I feel like I’m in a perpetual rut and if I don’t get out of it soon, I’ll never be able to live my life to my fullest potential. Why do others see in me? What do I see in myself? All these questions but no answers… or is there. Am I just too oblivious to see them?

    I spend a lot of time deriving constant visual inspiration from my favourite photographers like Nick Onken, Fred Egan, Stephanie Rausser, Christa Renee, etc. I feel like I need to push… a really big push. Simply put… I’m scared.

    Preferred location: MTH w/ Fred Egan + Jory Cordy.

    Cheers Lara,


  71. Caroline Joy on August 16, 2010 at 2:59 pm

    Hi Lara! My name is Caroline, and I’m a wedding photographer. I spent so much time writing about what I want to make happen…but what I really wanted to do was tell you. So, along with my comment, I made a video to share with you.

    Here’s the link:

    I view weaknesses as opportunities. I’ve struggled for a long time with personal insecurity and a tendency to compare myself to others. Over the years, I’ve found ways to overcome this weakness. I’m so thankful for the insights I’ve been given, but insecurity isn’t the type of problem that is conquered, and then gone forever…no. I battle with it every day. But I feel that my years of fighting are beginning to pay off in exciting ways. As a person who, first hand knows what it’s like to feel inadequate, I have a unique gift to identify with others who share in that struggle and I have the opportunity to help them overcome. What a joy! I long to be that voice of encouragement and honesty. I long to help people see their immense value.

    I have about a million dreams, goals, and desires for my business, but I think that all of my dreams hinge upon whether or not I’ll choose confidence or insecurity each morning. I’m sure many share in this struggle. If this choice holds that much power to make or break my business, then I would want a person in my life to be a voice of truth and encouragement. THAT’S EXACTLY THE PERSON I WANT TO BE FOR OTHERS IN MY INDUSTRY.

    My greatest fear though, is that the “dailyness” of my own life will fog this vision. I fear that I won’t be able to get my eyes off of myself, my clothes, my clever phrases, and my insecurities long enough to focus on others. I fear that I will simply try to get by each day and leave the encouraging to someone else. But no. My eyes have been opened to this need for a reason. I want to break through my tendencies to play it safe, my tendencies to hold back. I’m ready to embrace the challenge.

    I want to pay it forward to others and start a change in my industry…and then the world.

    So Lara, I would love to be considered for the scholarship at your Maui workshop. I know that the workshop would be a time of building relationships, breaking down barriers, and being sharpened. Ever since I heard of MTH, I knew I wanted to be a part of it! Thank you for this amazing opportunity! -Caroline

  72. Leona Morelock on August 16, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    Hey Lara – I’ve thought about writing this post and thought of what the right timing for me personally to share this would be. And what I should do to make it easier for myself. Then I realized that I don’t need to make it easier, I just need to do it. Put it out there. Writing the words and being able to see them in front of me does kinda scare me a little, so I am soaking my feet in my foot bath as I type this! By realizing that I don’t have to or want to make life easier, I’ve also realized that I can do things that make me feel good along the way 🙂

    I am 31 years old and sometimes feel like I am 21. Now when I was 21 I would have told you that I probably felt like I was 31! More often than not though I feel scared and wonder if I’m on the right track, if I’m moving fast or slow enough, if I’m reaching back and pulling as many people with me as I can, and occasionally I remember to wonder if I’m holding my hand out to someone who is in front of me.

    I have had one of the best years of my life. I have been without alcohol for exactly 326 days. Wow, that is now out there on the world wide web and tears are coming to my eyes and I want to hit the delete key as fast as I’m typing. While some people, including myself a little over a year ago, will wonder why that is such a big deal. Everyone has had hurdles to overcome, everyone has wanted something and been able to resist. 326 days, is it really a big deal? It is an enormous big deal for me. It is just a number that is tracked on my iphone (because I could never keep up with it by myself) and it goes up every 24 hours. But it’s not just a number. To me it is a brand new life. 327 days ago I drank my last drink and said goodbye to my life as I knew it. It would have been a much more heartfelt goodbye if I had realized that this time it would stick. This time, unlike so many times before, there would be a day 2, 3, 4, 5, 10, 50, 100 and someday soon there will be 365 days. But I didn’t realize that then.

    I have been full time in my business for 2.5 years. I started the thought of my business 7 years ago. I have been married for 10 years, and I drank for 12. My husband never knew who I was. No one knew who I was. I knew I was someone special, and that I could do positive and great things with my life. Why was I not? What was holding me back?

    I had a severe brain injury and was in a coma when I was 16, so I knew that I went through that and survived for a reason. There had to be a reason that God still wanted me on this planet. Surely it wasn’t to disappoint people. Surely it wasn’t to disappoint myself. Did I know who I was? I was beginning to think that this special person that I thought I could be was a myth.

    But slowly, that person – that very person that I knew I was is emerging. I did know me. I wasn’t crazy, well at least not the kind of crazy that makes up personalities!

    So here I am today sitting with my feet soaking, the water is getting cooler by the way! (Maybe it’s a sign that I need to hurry my thoughts.) I’ve already accomplished a lot this year, mostly internally and becoming acquainted with myself. Most people use their 20’s to learn about themselves, while I used my 20’s to learn about myself and the effects of alcohol. So now my 20’s have gone and I have to catch up with the getting to know me part.

    I’ve said all that to say that I do know me. I can do powerful things, anything I set my mind to, conquer my dreams and goals and make an impression on this world and the people I touch. But I am still getting to know this me. And bringing that out is hard. And I thought I’d done the hard part.

    I would love to attend Making Things Happen to make “me” happen. I want to be the person I know I can be, not for anyone else but for me. I’m sure there were tons of people who doubted what I would become, but no one doubted me as much as me.

    I have seen the light so to say. I’ve seen a small, very small glimpse of what I always knew to be true. And my biggest fear is that my light will stay small and that I will never fully experience all that I can be. And figure out what the real reason was for God allowing me to stay on this earth a little longer.

    I love sitting at the feet of women I want to be like. There is nothing better to me than to just watch and learn. By being in the presence of like minded women I know that I will grow far beyond my imagination. That is one thing that I am missing in my life right now. Real friendships with real people who have real feelings and make real mistakes only to overcome them and grow stronger. I need to remember to stretch out my hand more often to the women that are in front of me to help me along my track. Whether right or wrong it is my track and I’m not alone.

    Houston is the closest city to be here in Bowling Green, KY. But I will have to travel to any MTH city and all the dates are good with me.

    Lara – thanks for listening to me.


  73. Marjorie Preval on August 16, 2010 at 3:37 pm

    I am Marjorie Preval. A photographer based in New York City. What I want more than anything is to shed the bounds that are stopping me from diving headfirst into my passion. Fear has crippled me beyond belief. Fear of the unknown, fear of failing myself and more so, fear of failing my daughter. My main issue is not really knowing where to start. I’m not lucky enough to have a grand master wedding photographer mentor on call to answer my many tedious questions. I’m left relying on Google to rephrase questions a hundred times and searching in hopes of finding some derivative of what I’m looking for. I would love to attend MTH2010 because it seems like this is exactly what I need. A starting point to finally take off, I’ve spent too long on the tarmac, so to speak. I would prefer the Maui stop. Not because it is located in Hawaii but because I believe it’s my second chance. I was lucky enough to work with Fred Egan for 8 short hours shooting a wedding. By the time I got home I could’ve kicked myself for not asking him at least a fraction of the questions that were brewing in my head. But I didn’t. I’m the only thing standing in my way.

  74. Corinne Noel on August 16, 2010 at 5:25 pm

    Lara, my name is Corinne and I live in Sarasota, Florida. I’m not really sure where to start or how to explain anything that might resemble a scholarship worthy comment or plea. I can tell you that I love being a photographer as much as I love being a lover of people and showing them how beautiful they are on the outside and helping them believe it on the inside. I give my whole heart honestly to my clients; I give all that I can. In the past few years I have given my services to non-profits, to families who needed it, etc. I’m a giver Lara, to others, not usually to myself. I was a single mom of two amazing boys for 8 years and just recently married. I finally was able to leave a career that I allowed to steal my soul and now here I am. For the first time in a long time, I’m asking for something for myself. I’m selfishly going to ask for Things to happen for me now. I need you Lara and I’m not the kind to ask for help. I need your help to turn my business into what I know it can be, what I’ve prayed it would be and I’ve dreamt that it is. Thank you for this opportunity to believe that it can happen.

    Corinne Noel

  75. Danielle on August 16, 2010 at 5:51 pm

    I have followed the tour and was bummed when I was not able to “make it happen,” last year when you came to my city. I have been in business for 4 years and been successful, but I feel like I am missing a piece to make it over the top. I, too, followed Emily on her journey making her stationary business a reality. I have seen her growth and I want that for me and my business. I want to stand out and “make it happen.” I feel like I have hit a wall and don’t know where to go from here – hire more employees, take the plunge and go full time…eek! I have decided that this is the time for me and my business and I am ready to go the distance. I would love to attend the MTH2010 in Salt Lake City and take my business to the next level. Thanks for your consideration!!

  76. Jennifer Brotchie on August 16, 2010 at 8:39 pm

    Hi Lara! My friend Anna Kim, tweeted this to me… so I thought what the heck.. I’ll give it a go! So here’s my deal… I am a mother of 3 (ages 9,7,4) and a wife to one busy husband. Photography found me 5 years ago and for the past 2 years it has become a steadily growing business. My biggest fear and challenge is finding BALANCE. Nurturing my business and my family and seeing it flourish to it’s fullest potential is what I am seeking to gain. My children and my business are in it’s infancy and I know if I can find the right balance.. nurture, preserve, feed, flourish… everything in my life will blossom… For me, it’s stripping everything away and finding the right path to get me there. With this being said, I’d love a full ride scholarship to attend in Maui and if I am granted, hook up with my girl Anna to say… Thanks girl for giving me the nudge… Thank you for the opportunity… Best, ~jennifer

  77. Wendy laurel on August 16, 2010 at 8:41 pm

    Hi. I’m Wendy and I’m a Maui girl. I need a scholarship because this I’d my make it or break it year. I started shooting 6 years ago and what started as a fun hobby has grown into a full blown obsession/addiction. I am probably one of your oldest applicants at 44 and I have 4 kids ranging from 2 – 14. I love photography and shoot lots of film and some digital. My clients are all word of mouth, they all seem very stoked with my work, but I make no money. I need to be able to turn it around into a profitable business before my husband tosses me and my 14 cameras out on my ear!! Help me please. Pretty pretty please.

  78. Stephanie on August 16, 2010 at 8:52 pm

    What do I want to make happen? I’ll make this short and sweet and to the point…..I want people to get to experience the magic I feel everyday by being a professional photographer. I want my passion and excitement for my art to be seen thru everyone’s eyes. I want to be as big of a deal as I think I am. Single Mom. Two kids. Living day to day. Wondering if my debit card will work to buy food. Excited to wake up everyday on this beautiful island I call home, as well as MAUI. Thankful for my health. Happy to be alive. Looking for some confidence and assurance from within…need a small pat on the back and a kick in the butt. I want to be the best at being me which is pretty great already!!!
    Maui is where I’d love to attend…….

  79. DeNeitra on August 16, 2010 at 8:54 pm

    I would say that it’s by luck that I came by your blog tonight. . .but, I’m not a huge fan of luck, or chance, I am, however a person who believes that God has a purpose and a plan for all of our lives that far exceeds anything we could have ever imagined for ourselves. I told myself that I wasn’t going to respond this time around because, well there are other people with way cooler stories than mine who deserve this opportunity so much more than I do. Then I realized that although my story may not be cool, it’s all mine and it’s worth sharing. This time around I decided not to read all of the other entries, but instead, I’m choosing to share a bit about myself, my story, my life. I’m a huge fan of brevity so I’ll try not to write a dissertation. Here’s the short – I graduated with my Master of Business Administration degree in June. Received a job offer as the Director of Community Outreach with a well-known University in August. Oh, and I own an event planning business – Savvy Events, which I founded 2008. My resume is impressive, but God knows that while I’m in the sanctuary of my room, while in my solitude I crave, actually, I yearn for so much more. I love my family and friends, my business, my clients, and the amazing network of friends that I have made throughout this journey, but I desire a deeper understanding of what it’s going to take for me to propel my business to a higher standard. I’m the consummate perfectionist and my fear, Lara, is falling short. Closing my doors. Shutting down my domain. Quitting. Quitting because the challenges of life are heavy, and the burden of failure is something that I’m not sure I know how to adequately handle. It’s a good thing I know Jesus, because if I didn’t, if I didn’t understand that trials are lessons that are making me stronger I would have given up a long time ago. There’s a scripture that I hold close to my heart, and it says “Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us” Romans 5:3-5. Even in my fears there’s a great hope that someway, somehow I’ll be able to push through this roadblock my business is experiencing and on the other side is success, reward, and so much joy. MTH would allow me the opportunity to surround myself with like-minded professionals, who, like myself are holding on to hope, persevering, and trying to figure out how to breakthrough our fears and make our businesses thrive. I know you’ll select the right person for the scholarship, and even if it’s not me I’m happy to have been open, honest, and like you, real.
    PS. I’m in LA.

  80. Ellie m. on August 16, 2010 at 8:58 pm

    I dont even know where to start. I work full time on Wall street, yes I said it wall street, its the complete opposite from photography and that is why one of the reasons why I love photography. Last week everything has been tested for me, I almost quit everyday, cried every morning dreading the fact that I have to be their any longer and I even wrote out my resignation letter waiting to hand it to my boss. I NEED to make this happen, my livelihood depends on it and my sanity at this point. I have a fear of leaving this job and I hate the feeling of being trapped and thats what I’m feeling, trapped, like if I let go then everything will crumble.

    I know hard work and that isn’t or hasn’t ever been the problem, I work 12-13 hour days with no lunch break, on the weekends I hustle with weddings, editing, email answering and everything else that comes with a side business comes in the evenings after work. I dont know how I even managed so far juggling everything but I know somethings gotta give and before it does I need your help. Thank you so much for your consideration and generosity.

  81. Kia Gregory on August 16, 2010 at 9:01 pm

    Hey Lara, It’s me, Kia. I’ve met you a few times, before (Vegas, baby, woo hoo!) and we have mutual friends, like my sweet friend, Ati.
    I had major doubts about putting forth the effort to apply for a scholarship to attend MTH in San Francisco. But just RIGHT NOW, after I had a horrible day listening to concerns from some clients of mine that were not a good fit for my business to begin with, I decided, no more doubting myself. So, I NEED to do this. If I don’t get chosen, at least I put it out there.
    I am a wedding photographer, in the deep blue sea of other wedding photographers. And every day I doubt myself and I comprise myself and my vision as a photographer. Why? Why do I do that? My husband supports me 100% with his hugs, back rubs and his kind words of encouragement. I have a wonderful support system of people who pick me up after I’ve been beating myself up. But really I need to stop. A few years ago, I started putting things in motion to be a full-time wedding photographer. But deep in the back of my head there are those doubts. And at night I have this huge weight on my chest called doubt. And whenever I feel like I am gaining momentum up this huge mountain, I take a wrong step and go tumbling back down because of doubt. It’s that doubt that I want to shed. Doubt be gone. I want to apart of this MTH 2010 movement and to let my doubt be a distant memory!
    Oh, and I saw Ati’s MTH notebook and I have to have one to fill with ideas, thoughts, and steps to move forward!
    Thanks, Lara.

  82. Jeffrey Michael on August 16, 2010 at 9:05 pm

    My biggest fear is my ability to be creative. I spend so much time making sure I get properly exposed clean crisp image, that I have kinda held back my own ability to be creative with the images I capture. Short and sweet but is huge deal. I’ve created some form of block thats holding me back. Its always in my head while I’m shooting. Can be distracting. I live on Maui and here you’ll be visiting. Would love the opportunity to chat and learn from you!! Thanks for creating this. Aloha

  83. Christy Eriksson on August 16, 2010 at 9:10 pm

    In the process of starting my business in January we were thrown an amazing blessing. A mother had left her child and we had been asked to take care of him. It then turned into adoption. Needless to say it was an amazing curve ball but none the less an unexpected blessing. He is two and one of the greatest joys in my life, but it has cause some bumps in my business. I feel a little lost, lost in how to make it all work, and how be the best mom, wife and daughter. I really feel I am called to be a photographer and I want to make it happen. I want to let people see my passion and inspire them to follow theirs. I need this not only to for my business but also that I might help others from what I learn.. I would be honored and blessed to win the scholarship for the Maui event, plus it would be fun to meet Fred and Jory see how they work. Hope to see you in Maui.

  84. Michelle Cross on August 16, 2010 at 9:13 pm

    I remember sitting in your suite at WPPI last year as you spoke with Fred and Jory about the importance of setting goals. I returned home later that week excited to make things happen in this wild adventure of starting a business. Ironically, in the months that followed I never took the time to set these goals because I was skeptical of my willingness to achieve them. It wasn’t a lack of my own ability that I feared, but rather my lack perseverance and endurance to reach for these goals when the obstacles of entrepreneurship would inevitably arise. I was worshiping my abilities only slightly less than I was worshiping my apathy. Only recently have I realized that inability and apathy share the same outcome – a lack of completion. I’m ready to stop being the only person preventing me from reaching my goals. I’m hoping I can join you, Jory, and Fred in Maui and learn how you were able to tackle your greatest opponent – yourself.

  85. Caitlin on August 16, 2010 at 9:15 pm

    Hi there! I’m Caitlin 🙂 I’m a 23 year old Hoosier, born and raised. Family is everything to me. I started my photography business a little over a year and a half ago. While I’ve seen growth, my biggest fear is complacency. I’m scared of finding a place I’m comfortable in and staying because it works and I can get by in life. I don’t want to simply get by. I want to dream BIG(ger than I could ever imagine for myself), both with my business and in my personal life, and learn how to better follow through with these dreams and see them come to fruition. Thanks so much for this opportunity. xo, Caitlin

  86. Caitlin on August 16, 2010 at 9:30 pm

    Oops! Forgot to mention the city – I’d be happy in any of them 🙂

  87. Ashley on August 16, 2010 at 9:31 pm

    I’ve met so many people that have either attended your workshop or spoke at your workshop that had only wonderful things to say about the work you do. Through all the degrees of separation I would love the oppurtunity to finally meet you first hand. I just finished an internship in New York with Nick Onken and have been back in Maui working to get my portfolio ready to send out to the commercial world. I feel like your course would be just that extra push and clarity that I need to get my work to where I want to it go. Looking forward to the chance! *fingers crossed*

  88. Karma Hill on August 16, 2010 at 9:32 pm

    Aloha Lara,
    Thanks for the opportunity! I would love to win the scholarship for the workshop here on Maui. I just recently heard about you from another friend that is a photographer and find your message inspiring! I have been blessed to be a full time photographer for 3 years now and I find that I am just now starting to come to a crossroads in my career. You see I had this crazy idea that I can be everything to everybody. The best wife, mother, photographer, provider, friend, daughter, mentor, author you name it I figured I could do it all. I am now coming to the realization that I can not split my focus in so many directions and really give any of it the real attention it deserves. I would love to attend the workshop to help bring focus to the things that I really should be working on, (figure out what those things are) and learn how to be OK with letting go of a few things so I can give that focus. I feel like I have a lot to offer the world and I am finally realizing that in order for me to reach my true potential I am going to need some help from other people. I would love to meet you and tell you more about it in person! Mahalo!

  89. Leah Fontaine on August 16, 2010 at 9:35 pm

    Hello Lara,
    To start, I can not express how grateful I am for your ability to equip and inspire those around you, let alone the MTH alumni. It is a God given talent and you have been blessed by utilizing it. As a close friend of Gina Zeidler, I have witnessed not only her progression as a person, but as an artist and business owner since her attendance at Watercolor. I have benefited immensely from her development, as her encouragement coupled with that of my husband and family finally brought about the launch of my photography business, just last fall. I read an initial blog post regarding the need to harnass fear and anxiety and truly believed that I had. By doning my flimsy Rebel, which I hardly new enough about, meeting countless families, with a brave smile, I thought I had conquered fear and was truly maximizing my gift set – but I was wrong. I’m scared to evolve my business and have not been able to move forward. I know that God’s hand is upon my family, but our last several attempts at furthering the future of our family have involved risk and ultimately have largely failed. I don’t want my business to fail, so I’m afraid to push past my existing boundaries. I’ve all ready done more than I once thought possible, but am terrified of any negative outcome if I were to press on. I’m just battle weary, which in itself if causing regression. I’ve seen the growth established by the MTH alumni and am aware of my inner strength; I want to attend the Salt Lake City MTH to fully capitalize on the drive God has instilled in me. I’m not afraid of hard work and fully understand the value of sacrifice. I am presently working full time, plus my duties as a photographer, wife and mother to a 16 month old, but I am desperate for the catalyst to demolish my self imposed barriers. I am positioned to finally allow myself to hope with my mind, by developing a plan of action, instead of just my heart.

  90. Kristin Staples on August 16, 2010 at 9:38 pm

    I started my photography business about a year ago, and recently quit my day job to be able to commit to it more. I have had a really difficult time setting guidleines for myself, and my biggest fear is that I will always be so busy “working” that I won’t have time to expand on my skills and that I won’t grow as an artist.

  91. Feuza on August 16, 2010 at 9:38 pm

    Lara I want to fully launch my wedding photography and boudoir business! feel like almost there but so far sometimes! I would be more than happy to attend Making things happen in MAUI cause I have never been there! and my good friend Anna Kim told me about this contest and i am so thankful

  92. Jenna Strubhar on August 16, 2010 at 9:40 pm

    Hi Lara! Thank you so much for coming out to Maui! I really hope to have to opportunity learn from you and grown personally and in my business. I am just about to become a mommy for the first time (woohoo) and am leaving my part-time job to be a full-time photographer (and full time momma). I am afraid of letting go of my security blanket which is my small but steady part-time job and jump into the photography world with both feet. I am SO excited for what the future has in store, but know I need to stay inspired, set goals and maybe get a little kit in the booty to make things happen! Thank you so much for setting this up and offering a scholarship! xo

  93. feuza on August 16, 2010 at 9:47 pm

    Kia I so relate to you! I so understand momentum and doubt..

  94. Heidi Morgan on August 16, 2010 at 9:50 pm

    MY NAME IS HEIDI MORGAN AND I AM A REDHEAD. I am a pseudo vegetarian who loves to hear “yes, ma’am” from Southerners and “prost” from the Austrians. I love sand between my toes (but not wet sand that lingers hours later) and wind in my hair. But enough about me — I need to know more about my bride. She is mine because I will be working with her intimately at a destination wedding. I’m not sure whether that destination is in her hometown or halfway across the world, but I AM sure that I want to know more about her. Just like a best girlfriend would. Once I can define this, I can catapult my business with clarity and meet those oh-so-difficult to define goals and related strategies. LARA CASEY, HELP ME MEET MY GOALS! Thank you for considering me for the Maui Making Things Happen Tour! Can’t wait to hear from you — from one redhead to another, that is…

  95. Tamara on August 16, 2010 at 9:52 pm

    I’m at a point in my life where I feel frustrated with fear. I’ve finally figured out what I’m afraid of, but something won’t let me move past it. I am afraid of losing, again. I’ve lost my parents, and lots of other people very close to me that I felt really believed in and supported me. I saw tragedy growing up, but was somehow able to turn the negativity into positive understanding and empathy to connect with others in a way that allows me to see the real person inside and create art. I absolutely love photography. It’s not just the pretty pictures, it’s being able to connect with people on a deeper level than I even thought possible. I finally found the best way to connect with people who have suffered and persevered. It’s through my lens. When my 20 year-old daughter moved out about a month ago, I sat on my sofa crying and thinking “What now?” I have a job that I’m no longer motivated to do. I live in a condo that I rent. I don’t have an excessive amount of debt (until those student loans come calling LOL!) but have spent way too much looking for answers and reinvesting in my business. When I think about where I am in life at 35 and the people that I’ve met, the experiences that I’ve had, the things that I’ve learned….there is no reason for me not to MAKE IT HAPPEN! I am free to travel and start over anywhere I choose. But then there is fear to contend with. If I could just find that one person that will hold me accountable the way I have held others accountable so many times, I really feel that I could get out of my own way. I have lots of ideas, but still, fear of losing and failing get to me. I grew up in Memphis, TN ad now live in South Orange County, California. This place is super saturated with Photographers. But I still believe that I can be successful because there is only one me

    I want to learn to move past the fear. I’ve started the soul-searching journey to identify my strengths and weaknesses. I’m an Underwriter by day, so I’ve analyzed my business and know that I need help. I need help writing a business plan and setting achievable goals specifically related to my photography business. I can see the big picture, but need help mapping out the “happy trail”. I don’t expect everything to fall in line and never fail at anything that I try with my business, but I do want to remove that “thing”. I’m even willing to take the time without pay from my job to put it all out there and Make it Happen! ☺

  96. Gwendolyn Tundermann on August 16, 2010 at 9:55 pm

    When my friend emailed me around 10:30pm and said “You should sign up for this,” the excuses started flowing. “I’m not good enough. I applied before and didn’t get selected. A friend of mine also applied, so I shouldn’t apply. I have a ton of work to do and the deadline is in an hour. I can’t afford to do it anyway.” Then I paused, became overwhelmed by emotion, not knowing where it came from or why it was happening. You asked about fear – THAT was fear talking. Fear making a million excuses for “why not” when there’s a subconscious huge reason for why I SHOULD struggling to be heard. And it’s really hard to say all of this, knowing that hundreds of people could potentially read it and know that underneath the seeming togetherness that I put on display, I am a mess inside. I keep myself so busy that I don’t have time to process any of my fears and doubts. And bottling it up is the reason that I’m having such a breakdown now. I feel like I’m constantly running and running and trying to keep up that I’m not even sure where it is that I want to go! How can you really move forward when you don’t slow down enough to listen to what it is that you really want? In three years of being in business I have just been going and going with no sense of what direction I even want to head. Just… going. I can see now that had I won the last time that you offered a scholarship, I wouldn’t have been ready. In my mind I thought I was, but I didn’t have this kind of breakdown. Now it’s something inherent telling me that I really do need this. I feel not only ready to receive what is offered in this workshop, but I know I have something to give also. I need this because something needs to change. I can’t continue to keep up this pace. I just can’t! I want… NEED… to figure out what it is that I actually want out of life, personally and professionally. Because right now I’m trying to do it all, and trying to do it all means that is ALL I do. No time for my husband. No time for our family. No time for the personal relationships that make life meaningful. No time for myself and reflecting on my own needs. Eventually I won’t have time to manage my client relationships and it will all fall apart. I owe it to everyone who is important to me, who has invested in me emotionally and financially, to give the best of myself. I need to let that voice be heard. But I can’t do it on my own. I don’t know how. I really do need some kind of guidance. I would like to attend the Maui workshop because I have some dear Fast Track friends there (including the one who encouraged me to apply) and I am going to need some support after this intensive. It’s also the only date that I am available, or I would have loved to go to the CA one for the same reason. I know I’m going to be taken out of my comfort zone, but going to a city where I don’t know anyone would be a little terrifying. I know travel will be expensive, but I will find a way to make it happen if I am selected!

  97. Tamara on August 16, 2010 at 10:02 pm

    …and because one day, I want to be able to give the gifts that I’ll receive and knowledge that I’ll learn to someone else.
    I’m done this time. Seriously…. 🙂

  98. Laura Anderson on August 16, 2010 at 10:05 pm

    I drop my daughter off at her grandparent’s house during the week while I go to work. Every Tuesday and Friday I bring them a dose of caffeine from a local coffee shop to help relieve the early rise. I’ve become a regular; my order is memorized; so naturally I’ve come to know the barista girls really well. One day I asked one of the ladies what she wanted to do in life. Her eyes lit up as she explained her passion for organic foods and wanted to open up her own restaurant serving local organic ingredients. She asked if I would eat at her restaurant and I told her I would be sitting in the best seat opening night! Many coffee visits later I followed up with her on how her business plans were playing out, any upcoming goals she was meeting, how were things coming along. She went on to explain, “Oh, you know, I haven’t thought about it too much lately. I have a lot of other things going on but one day I’ll get to it.” With my coffee in hand I walked towards the door sad. I was saddened for her that she succumbed to putting off what made her come to life. On the road driving towards the grandparent’s house it hit me, that would be me in a few short months! I could keep going on with life and 2, 3, 5 years down the road be in the same exact position, for what? What is stopping me? Myself, fear of failure, my family’s expectations, my expectations of myself. I want to throw all those things aside because life is too short, that’s not how I want to live, and that’s not me. What makes my eyes light up and come to life? Photography. It would be an honor to attend your intensive because it sounds like you share numerous tools and confront many things that are necessary for growth. I have a lot of development needed and required of me both personally and as a businesswoman. I truly desire to be the best I can be for my clients and myself. If I was able to select a workshop to attend it would be in hot sunny Phoenix or possibly Maui. Thanks for your time and for this tremendous opportunity. I hope to learn how to make things happen!

  99. Tamara on August 16, 2010 at 10:08 pm

    oh, I’d love to attend the Maui stop so I can hug my sweet friend and thank her for telling me about this scholarship.

    OK, now I’m REALLY done!

    (Can you tell that I really want to be there and am just a little excited?)

  100. Jennifer Turner on August 16, 2010 at 10:09 pm

    I’m ready for the next step. There are so many times in my new business that I’m just working to survive. That’s no way to live! I yearn to find the joy in my work, to find that specific something that I’m excited to face in the morning! Right now I sometimes love what I do but I know the thing that I really love and I’m so scared to go for it. I’m scared of being denied, of not being able to pay off my $150,000 in student loans, of moving to a new place. Many times I feel hopeless and I continually have to remind myself that my hope is in the Lord and He will direct my path. I don’t know, maybe I’m facing my mid-life crisis at the mere age of 32. What I do know is that I want to pursue more, I want to be able to pay off my student loans, live underneath my means, give back and serve others! I’d love the opportunity to meet you and the other nine attendees of your workshop in Los Angeles or San Francisco. Thank you Lara for all you do and for being an inspiration and following the Lord!

  101. Stephanie on August 16, 2010 at 10:10 pm

    Hi!!! Where do I begin? I see the world through the lens of a camera. My dream is to be able to travel, photograph the world & create into beautiful art. I, one day, want my own gallery. I want to be a travel/freelance photographer. If I have a studio~I want it to be a natural light studio…I am a BIG fan of natural light photography. I work with what I have~an old computer with an amateur photo editing system, (picasa) one dslr with the lens that it came with. ~because we can’t afford, right now, to purchase the equipment I need. My husband & I are raising 2 energetic, strong-willed toddler boys. (ages 4 & 2) They take up so much of my energy that it’s hard for me to devote more time to my photography, so it’s been a SLOW process. I am trying to get a portfolio together for an exhibit. (taking longer than I had hoped, as well) I ask myself why it is taking me soooooo long to live out my passion…there has been so many obstacles along this path. I am certain, (cont…)

  102. Mapuana on August 16, 2010 at 10:12 pm

    Hey Lara. I would totally LOVE to win a seat to you Maui workshop. I’ve been doing photography for a little over a year now. I love it one day and feel like quitting the next. I’m a wife, mom, photographer… and if you have kids… that translates to housekeeper, chef, leader of the day care center, chauffeur and everything in between. Trying to raise a family and find my passion in photography is a total balancing act and also challenging. I’d love to attend your workshop and have you help me get my business off the ground. I truly need help!

  103. Kat on August 16, 2010 at 10:14 pm

    Hi! I would love to win a scholarship to join you in L.A. – I have been dreaming of owning my own stationery business since 2005 and just now am finally starting to pursue that dream. I have let 5 years go by because I was always concerned with having money and maintaining my standard of living that I wasn’t willing to take my passion seriously and gave myself sooo many excuses. I recently had a baby girl (my first child) which totally changed my outlook on life! After going back to work for 3 days, I decided to quit my job and stay at home to raise my daughter and pursue my passion. I really want to set a good example for her and to raise her to follow her dreams and what’s important in life. I am completely terrified for so many reasons. I have the support of so many family and friends but I am so scared that I will let them down. I’ve decided to take the plunge and just go for it as I’ve completely run out of excuses and am tired of hearing myself talk myself out of things. I would just love the opportunity to attend MTH and to just get real with myself and put myself out there for once.

  104. Stephanie on August 16, 2010 at 10:15 pm

    …that, one day, I will BE a the photographer that I dream to be. I truly believe that photography is my God-given talent, not to sound arrogant in ANY way, but because I am so passionate about photography. I NEED a workshop, I need inspiration…I need to get my butt in gear & MAKE IT HAPPEN!!!! <3 😀 & p.s. HAWAII~HELL YEAH!!!~what a beautiful place to photograph!!!!!

  105. feuza on August 16, 2010 at 10:25 pm

    just to add cause I was not aware to elaborate more, when things start happening I get terrified and I do not want to feel that anymore but I want to OWN it, I AM A WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER and that is final!

  106. Kara Layne on August 16, 2010 at 10:25 pm

    What do I want to make happen? Life, dreams, goals…amazing things. This industry makes me feel alive. It has consumed me only in the best way possible. For awhile now I have soaked it in, pushed forward through difficulties and grasped onto a desire to do great things. Sometimes, much to our disappointment, we come upon times when we feel a little lost, perhaps exhausted. And those times I feel that asking for help just might be the best way to move forward. To keep pushing on towards these wild and crazy ideas, these dreams that slowly start to become our own reality. And it’s those glimpses of the road ahead that make me feel alive. It’s the journey that I am currently on that has shown me so much of the person that I am. And despite the hardships and setbacks, my dreams are my reason for being. They are my reason that I push myself so hard and will continue to do so until I am face to face with each and every one of them. So that when I am done with my journey, my own children will be able to look ahead and know that it is possible. That it can happen. So what do I want to make happen? My life. My dreams. My reality.

  107. andrea brown on August 16, 2010 at 10:27 pm

    I watched a video about the reason behind why the national geographic magazine uses the photos that they do. The man in the video was talking about how everyone in the world can take at least one or two “great photos” and cherish them but only a few can take these great photos every time.

    That made me think… why do I do what I do?

    Photography was something that was always around me but that doesn’t make everyone love it and want to do it for a living. My brother and sister both hate being in photos and they have point and shoots that they carry around on occasion to capture that vacation that they went on etc. Why was I the lucky one to be able to be given this gift of wanting to capture other peoples lives?
    Something happened to me a few weeks ago when I was at a baby shower and I really didn’t know what the lady meant by what she said. I introduced myself and she said “wow, I thought you were going to be a lot older than you are”. I kind of laughed at this and wasn’t sure what she meant by it but then she explained.. “you have a lot of emotion in your photographs, beyond your time”. Little did she realize that this would open the doors to me thinking about what I do and how photographs really do effect peoples lives.

    I love what I do. But until that conversation I didn’t realize WHY I love what I do.

    So… why do I love being a photographer?

    People have memory triggers that set off very strong recollections of past experiences. A memory trigger can be a sound, a particular scent, or something you see that flashes you back into your past. These triggers cause you to relive long ago times so intensely, nothing else exists but the moment you are reliving. Memories relived so strongly, so vividly, you feel the same feelings you felt when the memory was born. Photographs are a key and a link to the past that you “left behind”, to these memories. They are a piece of you that you can take with you to show the people you care about who you were and where you came from. They are the only thing that you can leave behind.

    A few years ago, before I got married, my families house burnt down. Tragic? Or was it a gift? Was it something that was put on us because we became so dependant on what “we had” and not on what we needed? After my conversation with that lady at the shower I went back to my new house with my husband, went into the basement and grabbed the only two small boxes that I got back and kept from the house fire. One box was full of my photos that were semi salvageable and the other was a bunch of artwork, school work, report cards and badges that I had in a “school memories’ book that my Gido had given my brother, sister and I when we started school. I was putting off going through this stuff since getting it back because I was afraid of the negative emotions that I would get from the smell of the paper and from looking at these photos. My reaction was better than I had imagined. I looked back on the photos of me growing up, of the artwork that I drew and read a few pages of a journal my grade one teacher had made me write to her. It put a big smile on my face to be able to go back and remember things that I had forgotten about. I don’t miss anything that I have lost from the fire. Not one thing except for those photographs that I had lost or had thought I had lost. They were the only things of importance to me. They were the only thing that I had that showed who I was and what I had accomplished.

    Every time I step behind the camera I want to capture a small moment, a smile a wink, an amazing connection that people have with each other because that is the only thing that matters in this world. Love. Relationships. Interacting with friends, family, a lover, co workers (or even the lady behind that counter at a grocery store) are all a small piece of who you are and what has shaped who you will become. Photos can show your milestones in life and I am so excited that I am a shadow in my clients lives because I get to share in a small piece of what shapes them as an individual, a couple or a family.

    Through my art, I want to impact peoples lives, i want them to fall in love with themselves and help them cherish their memories. And i want to teach others to do the same.

  108. Kara Layne on August 16, 2010 at 10:28 pm

    P.S. I’m in Phoenix and would love to finally meet you face to face right here 😉

  109. andrea brown on August 16, 2010 at 10:30 pm

    aw junk, i just realized i didn’t tell you where i wanted to go!!! Maui please!!!! thanks for this. it would be an amazing opportunity. 🙂 – andrea

  110. Nathan Michael on August 16, 2010 at 10:36 pm

    Fear: A Blessing & Curse

    As I’ve assessed the things I’m passionate about over the last two years, I have come to see fear as one of life’s greatest blessings. Not for the emotion it provokes, but for the things it pushes me into – through.

    So, my fears: settling for the mundane, listening to the ‘nay-sayers’, loving art/work more than people, succeeding in business more than life. Oh, and I can’t forget…not having hair as sweet as Fred Egan! (wink)

    I think of the opportunity to learn, create, and discuss ideas with some of the most insightful minds/hearts in the industry & it sets me on fire! To share a piece of this journey with a like-minded group of people passionate about creating a well lived life is inspiring.

    I need this intensive like a straight line in a Tetris Game. I’ve worked as a designer/photographer for the last several years helping build small businesses in Chicago, as well as pursuing wedding photography. I’m in the process of unplugging my business & starting from scratch. Not entirely, but moving back to the basics of what it means to do things exceptionally well and with increased focus. I am so ready to soak up the insight of this group & give back anything I can offer as well.

    Cheers to exploring possibility, walking in the tension of unknown, and to taking risks together.

    Nathan Michael

    *Brimfield link is current company development.

  111. Jennifer on August 16, 2010 at 10:42 pm

    Hi!!I’ve had a photography business for four years and I’ve worked so hard to get things going and try to get to that next level. It’s so hard to feel like you’re pouring your heart and time into something that no one notices. I look at all of these local photographers that have zero inspiration, don’t care about their clients and are just raking in money and formulaically churning out one wedding after the next that just look and feel identical. I feel so fulfilled when I can give someone a paper memory of that one moment they experienced that they can look at and feel their heart swell with nostalgia. Over the past few years I’ve really pushed myself to a place where I can finally say I’m confident in my abilities and I’m proud of my work. Now I just need to figure out how make things happen from a business standpoint 🙂 I would love to come see you in L.A!

  112. Karen Stott on August 16, 2010 at 10:46 pm

    Hey Lara…so here’s the deal and I have to say that it is still August 16th in Oregon where I am 🙂 It’s actually 9:33 pm so I hope this still counts….

    Here it goes. My heart on the line. I need things to move. I mean, I NEED them to. I have been working my buns off to get enough people for you to bring the tour to Oregon (with Dane Sanders like he mentioned on askDane) but it doesn’t seem that I am finding much favor in that dept and I can’t do it alone. I set out on this business journey alone. Turned everywhere for help and was shut down. For the past 4 years I have researched, been on forums, watched stuff online and have done pretty much all of it alone with the support of my amazing husband. I don’t have a college degree but I wanted to follow my passion. And Wedding Photography is it. Growing up I had a dad who told me I would always fail. I kinda can’t believe I’m writing this because it makes me say it outloud. Or at least admit it. My brothers and mother and I were torn to nubs daily, and couldn’t do anything right. Would never amount to anything. For so long I believed what he said. I thought he was right. It has taken many, many years of support from my amazing Husband Isaac and the love I have found in my heavenly Father’s arms to make me believe in me again. I feel I have accomplished a lot, but I’m such a dreamer. I feel I need a kick start to get me to that next level. Maybe focus. Maybe a team of people behind me. Maybe just one more person. At this point I’m not really sure. But I feel like I have pressed the boundaries, especially for my area and what photographers are doing here. But I know there’s more. He has SO much more for me than I can even comprehend. I would LOVE this opportunity more than you know, and since people in Oregon aren’t seeming to be up for bringing you here like I am, I would LOVE to join you wherever you’d take me. Honest! I’ve never been to San Fran so that would be fun, but really, I just need to go to the next level, in business, in life, in dreams, in real life friendships….you name it. So I would jump all over this opportunity in any city. Thank you for your time, and for listening. Whoever you choose is going to be beyond blessed and I know this decision will be hard. Hugs to you until we meet one day.

    Karen Stott

  113. Judith on August 16, 2010 at 10:50 pm

    Since I am just beginning my photography business journey I have a few fears. Out of these, my biggest one’s are that I have not prepared enough and am not realizing my style. I feel that if I have not researched, read, and practiced enough, then I am not ready to move forward.
    The thing that I would like to make happen is to gain direction in order to have a successful business that also shows that photography is my passion.

  114. Sharon Campbell on August 16, 2010 at 10:54 pm

    Hi Lara! My name is Sharon Campbell and together with my husband Jonathon, own and operate Jonathon Campbell Photography based in Nashville. Originally from Los Angeles, we moved here to spend more time with our kids and less time in traffic, working and stressing about $. We now find ourselves with a wonderful job, with opportunities to be a part of something bigger, joining people as they begin their lives, but I struggle with some of the details and sometimes fear that we are kidding ourselves. It is very scary to have 3 kids, a mortgage and a career that is so fragile at times. The practical side of me wants to run the other way, but I see bigger things for us, but am unsure of how to make them happen- seriously. I want to be a better wife, mother and still get to enjoy the wonderful opportunities that God and life have presented me with.
    Initially, this career path was my husband’s and I was just being a very supportive wife, but there is a reason that I found something that I too am good at and enjoy and I really want to learn how to keep that love going! Thank you! Oh- Id be happy to go to LA or Maui (of course!),

  115. Judith on August 16, 2010 at 10:54 pm

    Houston, please.

  116. Athena on August 16, 2010 at 11:06 pm

    Aloha Lara! I would love to win a seat at your Maui workshop in November. Meeting you on Oahu a few months ago was inspiring and encouraged me to look at my business in a different way from what I had been… made me take it seriously and hone in on what I loved about shooting. My dream to be published this year came true — not once, but twice, with a few more published works coming out before the end of 2010. I’ve taken your advice to heart and plan on implementing some other (important) changes at the end of the year to elevate my business and take it to the next level. My biggest challenge was and continues to be parenting alone while my husband is gone (he’s halfway through a 14-month assignment overseas), and so I feel I’ve not had the physical support I would like to truly focus on building my photography business because I am pulled in so many directions. As of now I’m managing (thanks to friends and neighbors!) and am working on creating a solution but I don’t think it’ll ever be perfect — we all juggle and balance the best we can. I told you at our meeting at Turtle Bay that I would not consider wedding photography but now that I’ve dipped my toes into it (meeting Jose Villa a few weeks didn’t hurt!), I’m intrigued enough to where I may take on more — smaller ones to start, of course 🙂 MAKE IT HAPPEN in Maui would be a dream to attend, and might just be the push I need to get into weddings and seek out more magazine work. Thanks for this awesome opportunity!

  117. cathy on August 16, 2010 at 11:12 pm

    Hello Lara,
    I’ve had a camera in my hands since I can remember, and if I don’t, I see the pic I would have taken. I am in love with photography! I am a nostalgic and I think these two go together… I am happy just taking images for myself but just started to say yes to small weddings and events because I couldn’t resist this need to help, but mostly I really love to see the emotions and feelings in my photos. I do lack the confidence needed to go forth, so I would love to join one of your workshops one day. Good luck to you in all your amazing endeavors, and good luck to all applicants! C

  118. Monica on August 16, 2010 at 11:18 pm

    Hey girl ~

    My name is Monica and I Love photography more then I could have EVER expected. This has been an AMAZING adventure so far and is just getting better and better. What I would like to make happen is ….. traveling all over with my family and taking photos of families loving each other. My biggest fear is that I will have to sacrifice precious time with my family and change the wonderful chemistry that we have. I feel so lucky to love my life and all I want to do is LOVE it more! Thanks for this opportunity to make my dream grow and grow!!! I would Love to join you at the Hawaii workshop! Cheers to you lady on living the dream!!!

  119. Sia on August 16, 2010 at 11:25 pm

    Being a photographer is one of the raddest jobs around (pirates and ninjas may disagree). I know for sure because I used to be an accountant (which for the record was no fun) (actually thinking about it makes me twitch). I have all this potential inside me and I would love the opportunity to learn how to better unleash it. Tools to getting er done! I would love the chance to learn from my community of colleagues and to share with them. Truth be told I yearn for that support. For that conversation. I love anything that makes us all better and elevates the whole. I see MTH as this. I want to make myself proud of my accomplishments. I want to make my family proud. I want to make things happen to thank them for supporting this crazy idea to stop counting beans and take super fab pictures. Above all I want to make my adorable daughter Piper proud of her mother and hopefully teach her that chasing dreams is hard work but in the end way better than being a pirate or ninja.

    San Francisco

  120. Estella Taylor on August 16, 2010 at 11:40 pm

    Hi Lara, I feel terrible putting this off until the last minute because ever since you started the MTH tour I have wanted to be an attendee to a workshop. I saw the benefits right away but my fear of rejection and being vulnerable wouldn’t allow me to submit a scholarship entry. Those fears keep me quiet and hold me back from achieving what I know is for me. So hear I am asking if I may be selected to attend your workshop in Los Angeles. Our company was started in 2008 and we hit the ground running. Booked our first client in 2 months of opening and then after that event…nothing. We were and still are firm believers every day that business will start to pick up for us and our business will be as successful as we know it can be but I know there are essential tools that are missing. Without those tools, even if business does start to pick up, we won’t ever reach our full potential and continue to strive for new goals. Even though I haven’t attended a workshop, the testimonials from this workshop have inspired me to keep moving forward even when things don’t go the way that I had planned, not only in my business but in my daily life. So even if I don’t receive the scholarship, I want you to know that I have learned SO much from you and this scholarship entry is the first step in me not allowing my fears to keep me from doing what I know I need and want to do. Thank you for this wonderful opportunity and for giving so much of yourself so that others can be empowered and inspired to make things happen.

  121. Sasha Prince on August 16, 2010 at 11:58 pm

    What do I want to make happen..hmmm..Well I’ve recently made the switch(3months ago) from photographers assistant to becoming my own photography business, Sasha Prince Photography. My husband has supported me from the very, very beginning. I remember back in the day when I was working at Mr. Chicken, a photo lab and taking photography classes at a local community college, while my husband worked 60+ hours a week in a hot kitchen just so we could make ends meet. He was basically taking care of a starving artist! My husband has been my biggest fan and supports me in everything I do. So, I want to give back to him. I will use the tools I learn in this making things happen workshop to benefit the growth of my photography business. If I’m a success my family will be, too. Everything, I accomplish from this day forward, is dedicated to my husband and son. I hope to attend your Maui workshop! Mahalo, Sasha

  122. Jen May on August 17, 2010 at 12:00 am

    This comment feels so strange to share on here. I’ve never met you, but a friend of mine suggested I give this a try. After reading through this opportunity I’m so thankful for friends like her for thinking of me and chances like these. In the past 4 years I’ve been steadily growing my business as a photographer trying to make things happen. My energy and efforts carried me on an adventurous journey, but I’m seeing the reality that I’ve struggling financially to keep things afloat. Things are looking bleak, but I don’t want to give up. Because I’ve tried to survive this out, I’ve exhausted my funds and am now in debt. It’s a season where I’m at my lowest and looking for a change that’ll revive my business. I’m not the type of person to chase money, but to chase a passion that helps people. My biggest goal is to find a way to be able to sustain my photography work that teaches, inspires, and serves others but doesn’t put me in the hole and make it incredibly hard to do. It hurts that it does take money to invest in a lot of the tools necessary to run a business and no matter how hard I work to market myself I can’t guarantee that folks will hire me. I’m definitely in a place where I need guidance, motivation, and a team of people who care to help. Without saying anymore, I hope you’ll consider me. I’d like to tell you more about who I am, but it’s really about my cause that I’d like to share, which in a nutshell is about living to love.

  123. Carrie McCluskey on August 17, 2010 at 12:05 am

    Hi Lara,
    Thank you for this opportunity to try to win a scholarship. I would love to go to MTH in LA. I have been photographing weddings for 8 years. During those 8 years my husband and I have had two beautiful boys, the oldest just turned 6 this weekend. Our other son will turn 5 in December. I have photographed hundreds of weddings during this time and I am proud of my work but now that my boys are in school, I am ready to take my business to the next level. I think at this point one of my fears is being mediocre. Becoming a more inspired and focused business owner would do wonders for my photography business, I just need help getting to that point. One of my goals is to increase my value by increasing the quality of my business brand and this is another thing I need help doing. I fear doing the same thing year after year and not improving not only the quality of my photography but also my productivity as a business owner.
    Thanks again!

  124. Jen May on August 17, 2010 at 12:06 am

    I forgot to mention, as you requested, that I’d be able to attend the workshop in Maui since I’ll be in Hawaii at that time.

  125. Drexelle on August 17, 2010 at 12:21 am

    I want to reveal, inspire, and encourage true real love for a lifetime can happen to a generation jaded about its true potential. How? Through wedding photography with me and my hubby of real stories of people who will, who can, and who have made it through the tough stuff and how incredibly worth it, it can be.

    Why your workshop?

    Because you have an incredible spark.
    Because we know where we want to light that fire.

    We’d be blessed to join you in Maui. Blessed and thrilled. Keep up your amazing work, my dear. You inspire us all.

  126. Bunn Salarzon on August 17, 2010 at 12:22 am

    Ever knew you were destined for greatness, but didn’t know what it was? Maybe you thought it was too late because you look back and realized that you’ve spent half of your life not doing much and not knowing where you belonged — or, even if you “belonged.” So, the years ahead seem bleak. *sigh* Three years ago, I rekindled my relationship with photography, this time with a DSLR (I shot with film in high school <-- *ahem* that was, like, over 15 years ago! D'oh!). Wow ... I not only started to grow creatively since, but I started to LIVE since. Slowly, I could see things that I didn't really notice before, not only with my camera, but with my heart and soul. I love traveling and I love photography ... Most of all, I love people. All kinds of people. Okay, not ALL kinds of people ... People at my day job were not all nice. They had different intentions under those orchestrated smiles, and I realized that they were just miserable in their cubicle where they "lived" for the last 20+ years. They never went after their dreams and grew miserable, which is why it seemed they wanted to make others miserable too. I didn't want to be miserable like them. I heard this line in a movie once, "If you only have a few weeks to live, then why are you with these miserable people?" That was my wake-up call, per se. I didn't want to be miserable doing what was comfortable anymore (getting a paycheck twice a month) so I up and quit my job almost the very next day! Was I scared? OMG, YES!!! Did I know what I was doing? Well, I sure tried to convince myself that I did, though I was still scared! But, nothing compared to the feeling of being FREE! From that day on, 11/14/08, I was FREE to do whatever I wanted, to be whoever I wanted to be. Best of all, I was free to LIVE! My family and friends quickly noticed the change in me; I was a happier person. I smiled more. I laughed more ... I loved more. Yes, my husband freaked out when I told him that I quit my job, but our marriage has never been stronger. Sure, the bills pile up because I'm not bringing home a steady paycheck like I used to, but I no longer bring home all the stress from my old day job to my family and friends. They never deserved my unpleasant attitude [from being overworked because I was working for someone else doing what I didn't like at all]. There is a saying that goes, "Why are we so much nicer to our employer and coworkers, who don't genuinely care about us outside of work, but come home and be so terrible to the people who love us?" Well, I choose not to do this to my loved ones anymore. I choose not to spend more than half of my waking hours working for someone else and being away from my loved ones. I choose to work for myself, which allows me to be around my family and friends more than ever before. In these three years, I've had many ups and downs in my business which is the norm; I've learned so many and very expensive lessons. I feel like I've been doing a lot of things wrong and I should know better. Or, should I? I never really took an official business or marketing class so what do I really know about running a successful photography business other than taking photos? Confession: I do fear that I may never reach these goals I've been working towards ... The fear of failing is a recurring nightmare, for sure. I probably could've quit 1,000 times over, but one thing has stopped me: FREEDOM. Again, I have the freedom to do whatever I want. I have the freedom to be whoever I want to be ... I want to be a very successful photographer even if it only meets my standards. I want to see amazing places, be around amazing people who I love and who loves me back ... I want to spend the rest of my life doing what I love and what has kept me alive. Luckily for me, my family and friends won't let me quit following my dreams!

  127. Christine Bentley on August 17, 2010 at 12:25 am

    LOL….i’m well…been drinking just a little. so perfect time for me to comment….WTH…what the heck? Okay I’ve benn doing this for EVER…well it feels like that….WPPI winner bla bla bla……weddings….bla bla bla…but I have YET to get to the core of my business…what am I missing? What am I doing that is NOT the right thing and what the heck do I need to do…tell me. I’m spinning wheels………as if i’m driving a fricken 18 wheeler no doubt….and really I mean that….can you take me to the next level or am I going to listen to how wonderful you all are which I already know….see….that;s the issue, soooooo many people have great advice…YEEAH!!! for them….but is it real? Can sucess in the 2002-2007 era really define success in a time when everyone was sucessful….can you TRULY help me run my business different? See…I am at a point when I am tired of hearing how people became successful just cause they have well…….been pretty much lucky….truly tired of it….tired of people giving a marketing strategy for the up economy cause last time i looked it was a little down….just sayin……LOL…so I would love a scholarship one because I am a teacher, with a MA degree…who is now supporting her family on a dream….the dream of being a creative…and well….just payin the bills aint cuttin it yo……so tell me something I don;t know….teach me, let me share your lifting with others…..invite me, give me the scholarshio IF YOU THINK you really are making a difference…i’ll let you know….

    oh and BTW, blame all the spelling errors on wine…..good wine…….


  128. Puanani on August 17, 2010 at 12:34 am

    Hi Lara! What a GREAT opportunity and generous offer! My story thus far is nothing out of the ordinary or anything special. With a leap of faith, I launched my photography business a little over a year ago. I had dreams of sharing my passion for photography and my love of people through my photographs. I shot for free for a long time in the beginning and still shoot for free sometimes because, at the end of the day, I’m more gratified with simply creating beautiful images of people. Foremost, I am a wife and mother – and my family fuels my fire. My weekdays are filled with long hours as a corporate controller. While it pays the bills, it dominates my time and doesn’t let me enjoy my family and LIFE nearly as much as I’d like. Huge financial success wasn’t a part of what I first imagined when I began a photography career, but in the back of mind, I’d hoped to create a business successful enough to someday allow me the freedom of time; to do what I loved and be able to set the example for my children to dream big and be able to do whatever it is their hearts desire. At this stage in my business, I want nothing more than to MAKE THAT HAPPEN. I would love to be a part of your Los Angeles or Maui workshop.

  129. Bunn Salarzon on August 17, 2010 at 12:46 am

    I would love any city that you’d offer, but a little birdie is trying to convince me to join her in Maui, so … Maui, please? 🙂 Plus, my last comment was talking all about me. Eeks! I never said what I want to make happen … I’m not reinventing the wheel, but I’d like to be a part of something for photographers that is similar to the philosophy and beliefs of Doctors Without Borders — helping others the only way they know how. Why can’t I travel around the world, take photographs of the beautiful people around me, provide them with what I can offer? Maybe they’ve never seen a photo of themselves. Maybe they can’t afford quality photographs of their family and friends like I do of mine. No, it doesn’t have to be photography; I’d like to be a part of this group to help.

  130. Joshua Moon on August 17, 2010 at 12:58 am

    My amazing wife Amber has talked about this for a while. She told me there was a scholorship that expired tonight. PLEASE pick her!!!!!!

  131. Courtney Lindberg on August 17, 2010 at 1:00 am

    OMG!!! I am right on the wire…where I like to live my life:) I am a photographer in LA and specialize in wedding and portrait! I love life and love to capture it! Ahhh I only have one minute…if I win the scholarship I will

  132. Courtney Lindberg on August 17, 2010 at 1:01 am

    Oh man, my comment says 1am…but it is really midnight where I am:)

  133. David Victor Leung on August 17, 2010 at 2:14 am

    <-- this is my name. Kauai, HI is where I live. Images are what I love to capture. But process has me bound and becomes an unbreakable chain. Earlier this year, I broke a link and decided to make some leaps to take my photography to a new level. But it's difficult to break the rest... but I'll get there. Hope you can help me figure how to break a few more. Thanks for being available!

  134. Marina Miller on August 17, 2010 at 3:00 am

    Hi Lara,
    I just got Chunk to bed and it is now 10:36 Hawaii time. Less then 90 minutes before your deadline. It seems like most of my life comes in just at the deadline lately. This last 3 years has been a whirlwind of amazing opportunities. My clients are amazing people and I am just hanging on the edge to see what stories they let me tell next. I am living my dream. I am super mom. I am staying up til 4am to get my clients their photos… Wait that doesn’t sound like “the dream”! Honestly, I am just another human with only 24 hours in the day. I mess up. I break stuff. I’m afraid of rejection in the industry because of the way I look. I forget to get the ring shots. I let my husband dress our kids for school. I never feel perfect. I don’t meet my own expectations. I want more. I need more. I deserve more. SO with that said, my confession to you, I am your scholarship person. It’s me. The only thing I am sure of in this life is my potential. I am there. I am focused. I am ready.

    Wait, did I really just type that? Am I that confident? YES.

    My joy for this life will not be contained. Maui waits.

  135. Tyler Madsen on August 17, 2010 at 3:04 am

    I don’t think I have fear as much as I do frustration. It is hard to still be stuck in square one after so much hard work and sacrifice. I started a clothing line called LOVE NAIL TREE over six years ago, mainly out of a merging of an entrepreneurial spirit and a passion of expression. I was in school to be an Architect. I got accepted into one of the best programs for it in California. And not even one year in I was kicked out of the program for missing too many classes. I dropped out and haven’t been to college since. The vision I had distracted me. I had to start this thing, no matter what it took. Risk wasn’t an issue. I took out huge loans, I sold everything of value I had. I am 24, married and still living with my damn parents for crying out load. My neck is so far out on the line it is hard to believe we are still staying afloat. And after everything, all the criticism, all the “you can’t do it’s,” all the failures and mistakes, I STILL can’t let the vision go. It is my purpose. It is the blood in my veins. Nothing makes me feel more alive and like I am where I am supposed to be. But I am frustrated. It took me a long time, but I finally have a product that is legit. It sells well. We get so much positive feedback on the line, it’s vision and what we are trying to accomplish. Months ago it felt like we were on the brink of making it… time goes by and the feeling remains… but not much happens. Sometimes my wife and I sit and wonder to ourselves why is it we are STILL STUCK HERE. WHY ARE WE SINKING IN MORE DEBT?! Why is it we can’t get OUR “big break?”
    I have never heard of something like what you are doing with Make Things Happen. I actually just heard about it 20 minutes ago from a tweet from Jory Cordy. I think it is a PROFOUND movement and would benefit any small business owner. The connections alone! But sometimes we just need someone to tell us while we are in the thick of it, that there is still hope. And that if you just push a little bit harder, and hold on a little bit longer, your efforts will be rewarded.

  136. Paulo on August 17, 2010 at 3:11 am

    Aloha Laura, a seat would be great!! Standing gets to be a bit difficult sometimes in the business world as an artist. Started a very exiting journey 5 years ago in wedding photography here on Maui but coming to realize I wanted to take wedding photography to a much higher level and that is where I am a little confused. In my head I can see the way but having to figure things out on my own is just where I need some light. (hummm around the world capturing moments of love!) sounds exiting.
    I would love to attend.
    Much Mahalos!

  137. Laura Radniecki on August 17, 2010 at 7:01 am

    What an amazing experience that would be – to be able to go to Maui and learn more about my passion. What do I want to make happen? Well, my ultimate dream is already taking place – so I want to further that, to expand it, and to do it better. I have a bachelor’s degree in Nursing, but I never felt ‘settled’ or that it was RIGHT for me. I prayed and prayed, and then, little by little, God opened the doors for me. One year later, I have my own business – Laura Radniecki Images – I wake up excited about the clients I will meet and the work I get to do each day, and I am continuously in awe that this is in fact my JOB. My career. One I started for myself. Well, with some HUGE help from up above. Self taught so far, I would love the opportunity from others who have experience in the industry, and who have strengths in areas that are my weaknesses. Thanks for making this possible for us.

  138. Angela on August 17, 2010 at 9:37 am

    Hi Lara, I submitted my scholarship entry weeks ago, but when I looked on the blog this morning to see when the winners would be posted, I did not see my entry anywhere! Luckily I saved it in Word, so I am praying you will still consider it. Here goes…

    This fall my husband is starting his career as an officer in the United States Air Force, which means giving up a stable career in the wedding industry in Austin, and starting something. Something I can do no matter where we are stationed and still be able to grow as a business-woman and as an individual. I have been fortunate enough to have the summer off to get ready for our new adventure and think about what it is that I want to do, but I constantly struggle with the fear of failure. I have been offered several jobs that would allow me to do exactly what I want to do (but for someone else’s company instead of my own) and have a steady income, but there is a part of me that desperately longs look past what is comfortable and safe and start my own business. I am confident that attending the Making Things Happen event will be the precise launch pad I need to start my own business. Lara, I look to you every day for motivation and inspiration. When people doubt my dreams of owning my own social media management and consulting business, I turn to your words and regain my self-confidence and know that making my dreams come true is possible.

    I will be living in Texas until December so the Houston conference would be perfect for me. After that we are off to Pensacola, Florida where I hope to officially launch my business.

    I sincerely appreciate this opportunity and thank you for your consideration. It would be an honor to meet you and learn from you and the others participating in this event.

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