Rikki Rivera | Photographer » Wedding & Portrait Photography

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Have you ever met a couple and just knew that they truly deserved to be together? Knowing they worked hard to reach that point in their life… their relationship… and contentedly lived in that together. That’s kind of the story for Jonathon and Juhee. Having met at a local college in Tacoma, Juhee was was studying in the US from Korea. She met Jon during her time there, and although she went home to Korea, they kept in touch. Distance was no match for them. With the help of family and friends, and many international flights, Jon proposed to Juhee. Planning their wedding, her family flew the 7000 miles to be apart of their intimate Pacific Northwest wedding. Full of simple, yet perfect details, side by side with only their closest family and friends, they tied the knot on one of the most beautiful fall days we had.

Kind of shy at first, I worked with them until I got to see a glimpse of their personalities and the incredibly adorable love they have for one another. They’re sweet and funny, and obviously loved by everyone. There was so much emotion on this day, I had to keep reminding myself to keep shooting, and not get too caught up the moments that simply took my breath away. I am so glad I was apart of this occasion, and I only wish the best for this great couple.

Congratulations Jon + Juhee!

  • Jennifer Pennington - November 3, 2014 - 5:00 pm

    Awww what a beautiful story of true love <3 It brings such joy and peace to my heart to see people make things work no matter what. Apparently distance truly was no match for a love as strong as theirs. Good for them! So amazing you got to capture that moment. ReplyCancel

  • Random Little Faves - November 4, 2014 - 1:15 am

    What a beautiful wedding, gorgeous bride, and stunning photos! I love their story and wish them all the best in their new life! How awesome that you could capture that love so they can look back on it for the rest of their lives. Beautiful!ReplyCancel

  • Don Burnett - November 15, 2014 - 7:33 am

    The entire wedding was a “kiss from heaven!”ReplyCancel

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I am so excited to have completed the 7 day blogging challenge put on by the talented Alex Beadon. You can, and should, check out all 7 days below! So much was challenged and put out through those seven posts, really channeling personal vulnerabilities and honing in on the type of people who may or may not like my images and words shared here (the intent is to reach people who like me for me, and enjoy the authenticity of my life and work. Not only did I feel like I grew immeasurably from this, but I also learned a lot from visiting so many other talented people who also share a love of blogging and sharing with others. These were not just photographers, although there were many; but also coaches, motivators, and various others who felt like that had (and did!) something to share with the world.

I have spent years learning what I have to build my website and blogs to where they are today, and while I have much more figured out in my head than real life, I feel like I have a lot to share from that, that may potentially be helpful. So, all of my new blogger friends, here is a general critique/idea list that may just serve you and your future space on the internet.

DON’T OVER DO IT

  • While it’s crucial to share your style and pieces of you in your blog, it’s also really important to not put so much of yourself out there that you intimidate others and scare them away. What I mean by this is that when you, for example, design your blog and share only what you love without adding any helpful elements that eases readers in, you aren’t going to keep many people around. While it is YOUR space, remember why you’re here. If you’re trying to gain readers and help others, you want to ensure your space is welcoming, easy to follow, and just enough you they want to soak in your words and images, and maybe even be your friend.

WHAT DO YOU OFFER?

  • It’s important to remember what draws you in from your favorite websites and blogs. Let’s talk about Alex for a second: she is bright, fun, and offers advice and good ideas that we all need to hear. We all love that about her, as well as the fact that she brought us all here together. Incredible right?! We can easily maneuver around her website to find what we’re looking for and the entire time you get a feel for who she is without being scared away. Make a list for yourself of what you love from your favorites, and add similar elements into your site that work for you. Ensure that your content matches that as well. Ensure you offer something to those who might be reading (I know this is really hard, I struggle with this regularly).

MAKE LISTS + BE CONSISTENT

  • I’ve only recently started making myself blog weekly. I struggled with that commitment for years, wondering if I’d ever have enough to share that often. Surprisingly, when I stopped trying to share everything as it happened, it was much easier to go along with a schedule. If you struggle with figuring out what to write, make lists of what inspires you throughout your days that you might want to write about. Don’t just write to write: if it’s boring to you, well, it is for others. On the same token, again, look at your favorite bloggers and see what they’re doing in their down time. That might inspire more ideas for you. It takes some time to get this routine down, but once you do, it will come more and more naturally.

WRITE FOR YOU

  • So I know the point is to write for others, what they might be interested in, etc.. But you know what, you can’t really know what other people want. It’s situational all across the board. If you write for yourself, sharing what inspires you, what you love, your life, your family – that’s when people come along. Not only does it show your most authentic, genuine self, but you aren’t trying so hard to write what you think people want. Those who have similar interests as you will love what you share, and THOSE are the followers/readers you want.

GET INTO A ROUTINE

  • Making time for something like blogging can seem impossible. As I mentioned, it took me awhile to get into the groove of writing consistently. Once I got into a routine and made writing every week a priority, it came much more easily. I simply threw it into my work flow while I was already in my office editing and sharing my work. Think about maybe enjoying your morning coffee at the computer, or your evening glass of wine. Spend a little less time on social media, or simply skip the dishes for a few hours and get to work! It’s quite the accomplished feeling if it’s something you really want to achieve.

BE POSITIVE

  • If you are writing to share with others, it is NOT the place to vent! Leave the drama for your mama, and realize that no one goes to the internet to listen to you complain about this or that. We just don’t. We’re all looking to be inspired and lifted up, to find great ideas, or to simply feel like we aren’t the only ones going through something. So don’t be afraid to share controversial things, or about a challenging time in your life, but find the good in it and ensure that maybe there’s a lesson you learned that can help someone. People want to relate. Think, think, think about what you’re writing and if you wouldn’t want to read it, no one else will either.

THE BIG PICTURE

  • You guys!!! This is numero uno – if you want to others to CONNECT WITH YOU, you need to not only make yourself approachable on your space, but also visit others. The internet is a big mess of people trying to achieve one thing or another. Lift others up, compliment their work, share something that inspires you. Don’t be so focused on yourself and getting your numbers up that you forget the big picture and what it really means to connect with people. While we live in a huge digital world full of insanely awesome technology, you simply cannot take away what real connection does for people, including you.

I feel like I could talk for days about this stuff, but these are the important things I think about for my corner of the internet. I hope you find it helpful, and if you do, comment and share away!

Feel good blogging challenge: Day 1 + Day 2 + Day 3 + Day 4 + Day 5 + Day 6 + Day 7.

  • Glady Dalton - October 27, 2014 - 8:49 pm

    This is my favorite post ever. I agree with you 100% this challenge has helped me grow SO MUCH. I think I’ll have to save this page to come back to and read it at least one more time. Such good info. We all learned and developed our blogs in a super fun way and I’m absolutely thrilled about it.
    Thank you for sharing!!

    http://wholebodyblog.weebly.com/
    http://www.gladyannephotography.com/ReplyCancel

  • Sue - October 27, 2014 - 9:30 pm

    What a wonderful way to tie up the challenge!! I really struggle with being consistent. I will try to blog at least three times a month. I think I put to much pressure on myself on what to blog about. I have learned from so many people in this challenge and now it’s time to put it all into practice.
    I love that you said leave the drama for your mama. 100% negativity is my number one turn-off when I visit a blog.ReplyCancel

  • Allee Sprung - October 27, 2014 - 9:46 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing this!! Blogging is so much fun, but being as I just started after finding Alex’s challenge, it really is quite a challenge! It was helpful to get topics to write about, but even that was difficult to find the write area of interest for myself. Thank you for all of the helpful hints :] A nice easy read, as well!ReplyCancel

  • Random Little Faves - October 28, 2014 - 1:42 am

    Such great advice, Rikki! I agree with you that this challenge completely changed how I viewing blogging and I love that I’ve connected with so many wonderful and inspiring bloggers (like you!). You summed everything up perfectly and I’m going to print this out so I can hang it on my inspiration board to refer to back to it! Thanks for putting this together!ReplyCancel

  • Sara Litardo - October 28, 2014 - 1:03 pm

    thank you for all the tips! Great advice for sure! I agree with you all the way. This challenge has definitely been a lot of fun and for sure challenging in ways. ReplyCancel

  • Shreya Yugendranag - October 28, 2014 - 5:49 pm

    Agree, agree, agree. It’s really important to keep the big picture in mind. A lot of people tend to get carried away at micromanaging, and then tend to forget that their original purpose was.ReplyCancel

“If there’s something you believe in and want to put out into the world, even if it’s a bit different, just go do it.” – Chloe Coscare

“Don’t worry about being original. Just be authentic.” Elizabeth Gilbert

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I don’t like to talk about things that are controversial.  I don’t care for arguing or causing a one-sided view on anything, especially on the internet. I appreciate an easy going nature and a zest for life, not drama. With that being said, I thought about skipping the last day of this challenge for that reason alone. Then I really dug deep and thought of what I might be passionate enough about to share in this space. Well, there is one little thing.

Creativity: the ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships, or the like, and to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods, interpretations, etc.; originality, progressiveness, or imagination.

I feel that we lose a lot of creativity because of social media. We are afraid of sharing new things because it might not be accepted, but also because so many of us have been only liking the trending stream of certain types of images. I do understand, however, that there comes a style with various social medias, but the purpose is yours alone. I say images because that’s essentially how we share online. Sometimes our words matter, other times not much. I am completely guilty of this myself. I had seen a friend post on Instagram, a caption that said, “the most “Instagram” looking portrait I’ve ever taken.” That kind of stuck with me. What does that even mean? We’re all trying to copy a similar idea/style to gain followers and popularity. It took me awhile to translate quality versus quantity into social media and realize that while I hope to inspire and encourage people through my work, that it’s also genuine.

Now don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with being inspired by others’ work and molding that to fit your style. In fact, that’s pretty much what creativity is. I read in the book, How To Steal Like An Artist, that no idea is original. Someone has thought of it before, and that’s ok. We simply change those things into what we feel is a good fit for us. We ALL had to begin somewhere. Our work likely sucked back then, just like everyone else who is just starting. Take time, be patient, put in the work, and you will perfect your craft. Study others who inspire you and learn from them.

I watched an inspiring CreativeLive session once with a talented photographer, where she also created a Facebook group for her followers to come together and share their work and get critiqued. It wasn’t long before I saw literally every single person in that group completely change the face of their business to do exactly what she was doing, because she shared her secrets about her success. If you think it’s a good fit for you, go for it! I understand that it takes practice, but there is a certain level of “natural” in your talent. I absolutely incorporated some of the lessons I learned from her, but I did not change my business. The same can be said for presets and filters that are offered. There’s nothing wrong with using a tool someone else has worked hard on and perfected. But you can CUSTOMIZE that tool to a personal style of your liking. You don’t have to use them at full capacity to be like everyone else who is using it, and I think that’s most where creativity is falling apart.

All in all, social media is an insanely powerful tool. It can make or break so many businesses these days, including my own. Most businesses wouldn’t even exist without social media. And whether you have a business or it’s just for your personal use, absolutely use it to its full potential, but don’t be afraid to stand out. Start your own trend, be daring. You might be the new face of something incredible!

Thank you all for reading along. View Day 1 + Day 2 + Day 3 + Day 4 + Day 5 + Day 6 of this blogging challenge.

  • Tanya Patxot - October 22, 2014 - 2:56 pm

    I can so agree. I love your creativity.The funny part is why worry since we are behind a computer anyway and no one will see us hahaha. I can say though I appreciate all types of art and creativity and being online they do coach alot of following the what’s hot trend. #feelgoodbloggingchallengeReplyCancel

  • Arica J. Clauson - October 22, 2014 - 4:41 pm

    ugh, I just want to reread this post over and over, I love it so much! It is so true and honestly I have not written my last post yet either, all I have down is that I am not a controversial person, so obviously we are similar! If you can do it, I can do it too! Plus I can’t give up on a challenge! 😉

    Arica, xxo
    http://www.varnakandlollies.com ReplyCancel

  • Random Little Faves - October 22, 2014 - 4:52 pm

    I agree with you 100 PERCENT!! Such a great post and message. I feel like another problem is because of social media there is so much competition with regards to creativity (which is why I think the issue of copying certain styles happens so frequently). Especially in the photography world, there are ‘celebrities’ that everyone feels they need to mimic in order to look ‘creative’. Just because someone is successful with whatever they created doesn’t mean that’s the RIGHT way…it’s just their way. There’s more than enough room for all the wonderful ideas from everyone! (Sorry…I could keep going on and on, LOL). Wonderful post, as always!!ReplyCancel

  • Jessica - October 22, 2014 - 5:03 pm

    I actually quoted Kleon in my last post! (I love that book Steal Like an Artist. This blog post is speaking some real truth! The key is to develop your own style through your inspiration. I think that concept is often overlooked. Thanks so much for sharing!ReplyCancel

  • Shreya Yugendranag - October 22, 2014 - 5:49 pm

    i’ve wanted to say this for a while, but just from a technical standpoint, your blog is so inviting. the font, the way you present images before you write- it’s a good, good package (Y)ReplyCancel

  • Karen Yannacio Morse - October 22, 2014 - 5:50 pm

    Agreed! I love posting, but also get timid if I “think” someone might think my photo is “too” instagrammy… Cool post! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Sue Ann Simon - October 26, 2014 - 1:04 pm

    This is so true. I follow many photographers online and with every post they make, people ask about every single setting and do the exact same thing. Sure when you’re just starting but I think it is important to ask why they took the shot which can be helpful to help you find your inspiration. I didn’t realise you were also in her Facebook group. It is probably the most positive place I’ve experienced online for photographers. I have been in many photog groups and many aren’t nice to newer photographers.ReplyCancel

  • Sherri Hall-Rivera - March 18, 2015 - 6:34 am

    Beautiful Rikki. Endlessly proud of you. SUCH an exceptional woman you’ve become and evolve more into daily. Simply amazing !! I Love you.ReplyCancel