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Eyes up, heart open

Carla Ten Eyck

Thoughts On Being a Two Time Published Author

The White Dress Destinations book with champagne flutes and a black cat

OK, OK. The title of this post may ruffle some feathers and come across a little rough, but those of you that know me know that I call it as I see it. You may want to know what’s so rough and awful about being a published author, and I am here to tell you.

Things that aren’t rough about being a published author for $800, Alex:

It isn’t the satisfaction of having a completed published body of work that you spent years working on and curating. It isn’t the thrill of seeing your book on the shelves of a Barnes & Noble or smaller independent book stores. It isn’t the thrill of seeing your book on Amazon.com or being able to say casually at a cocktail party that you have not one but TWO published books. Although, let’s be honest, you all know I don’t drop that nugget very often.

See, here’s the thing. It kind of sucks being a published author because I don’t like sashaying around the world telling everyone about it! I am not the gal who just casually keeps a case of books at the ready in her trunk and sells them to people when mentioning them, like a too-old Girl Scout selling her wares outside of the grocery store. Maybe I am too prideful, maybe I am just not the side hustling’ chick who will eventually eek out 1,000 books sold total and call that a crowning moment in my life. Does that make me the world’s biggest half-asser? That I would work so hard with my partners (the notable and amazing Beth Lindsay Chapman, who’s idea this was in the first place, and the spicy Barbados living Candice Coppola Kistoo) and then just… stop? What would be the point of having a book in the first place?

The hard, sucky reality: SELLING YOUR BIG BEAUTIFUL BOOK IS HARD HARD WORK!

Was this not the light bulb moment you were all waiting for? But it’s the honest truth. It wasn’t the actual photography piece that was the hardest part, it’s what comes after. The marketing plans, and the different ways of sharing that you do have a book that you are super invested in and proud of! Because guys, I am so super proud of this series. Yes, I said series because there are TWO BIG BEAUTIFUL BOOKS, filled with gorgeous photographs that hold so many powerful memories for everyone involved that made it possible.

Here is my Top Ten Reasons Why I am Proud of this Book:

  1. It’s really, really pretty. And we love pretty!
  2. It was a collaboration of so many great minds and hearts- namely my uber talented co-authors Beth Chapman and Candice Coppola
  3. Paris.  (Keep reading below to hear about my sweet little alley, what’s not to love about an alley in Paris amiright)
  4. I got to include my daughter Georgie in the Newport Chapter as a model!
  5. I got to sneak my son Jackson in with my bio pic in my about me page (Super Sneaky Sis Move)
  6. We got endorsements from some of the top creatives in the industry: Jose Villa, JoAnn Gregoli + Hayley Paige
  7. I love walking into a book shop and seeing it on the shelves
  8. Our forward was written by two dear friends who are revered in the wedding and event industry, Rebecca Grinnals and Kathryn Arce of Engage Luxury Wedding and Business Summits
  9. Did I mention it’s pretty?
  10. I was able to travel the world doing something I love so much I can’t imagine doing anything else!

If I am being one hundy percent honest here, another crowing moment would be the moment I head into a bookstore and pull MY BOOK OFF THE SHELF TO SHOW MY KIDS. Also, it’s the moment when I made dam sure that my kids were in both books so that they would be like, IN A BOOK THAT THEIR MOM DID AND ISN’T SHE THE BEST MOM IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD.

To anyone who wants to know?  Know this: I am beyond proud of these two books. I invested so much money, time, energy and creative brain space to getting these shoots done not just to be done, but to push myself when shit was just not going our way. We ran into so many roadblocks along the way, but these two women who I chose to partner with all picked up the slack at different times to make sure that things just got done proper.

And baby, let me tell you this, when I hold those books in my hands and run my fingers over those richly printed pages filled with images that we joyfully created….there is really nothing else like it.

Beth and I cheering ourselves with an icy cold glass of champs at a cafe in Paris as we wait for Candice to arrive!
Candice and Beth in front of a super cool wall (that we did not end up using to shoot at) but still enjoyed!

 

So, how can you help, you ask?

Welp: how about buying our Big Beautiful Book? Better yet, maybe BUY BOTH? There are many times when I have mentioned the book to friends only to be told, Oh! I didn’t realize it had come out yet, where can I buy it! Which… makes me realize how many times we have to share and re share and re post and post again and then maybe one more time to let people know it’s out and available! So. Here is my cheerful plea for love and support of the arts and what the three of us, and the many many collaborators involved!

The best way is direct though our site thewhitedressbook.com

or at Breakwater Books  at 81 Whitfield St. in  Guilford CT since they are a local shop, for one, and for two, they are hosting a book singing this coming MONDAY SEPTEMBER 17, 2018 FROM 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Also super helpful and appreciated: WRITE A REVIEW!

There is a launch party to follow the book signing a few doors down, shoot me an email at [email protected] if you would like to come join us! Bring your book to be signed at the party if you already have one, or buy one at Breakwater Books and support another amazing local CT business!

 

Check out some images and behind the scenes below for a peep into our experience:

 

Rose with silhouette cut outs in Montmartre Paris France

Paris was rough. We showed up with the only detail portion of our shoot being paper. That is IT. So we had to get creative! I saw the street artists in Montemartre doing these silos and was like waaaiiitttt… this would be super dope to incorporate since it also is a big part of the Parisian culture in the area we were / maybe it was a tourist trap but who cares it was cool! Then we added in pink gelato and highlighted her pink sparkly shoes in front of La Maison Rose, another amazing spot from my previous trip to Paris! The end result was a crazy beautiful body of work that made us all think outside of the box! I love how the images gave us something beautiful (the sweet detail shot on the table at La Maison Rose) and then Liane’s genuine reaction to seeing the finished silhouette! It was priceless and amazing.

It doesn’t look like much here… but I knew there was something special about this alley that made me venture down it, and man, I am so glad I did! (And not just for the cutting board)

When I first found this alley... it didn't look much. But then I walked down it!

On a previous trip to Paris I randomly found this little alley and felt like it was a place where dreams come true. I wandered around it and bought one of my favorite cutting boards in a little olive oil shop, and every time I use it I think of this little windy alley that took my breath away. It was like a photo you see on Pinterest and wish you were there, and there I was IN THE PINTEREST PICTURE, buying a cutting board. #iwin

Bride and groom hold hands in a cobblestone alley in Paris, France

Super dope paper, that I photographed on a rainy cafe table in Paris ,by the super dope Nicole Michel of Coral Pheasant fame!

We made the dubious decision to do one of our shoots AFTER attending (and I spoke at ) the Engage Luxury Business Summit at the Montelucia Resort in Scottsdale. We were whipped. So tired and burnt out. But lucky for us there were so many cool cactus situation around the property I just stepped out of our hotel rooms and I was like : hold UP, we are shooting here! I am super proud of this shoot, because I was running on empty but still made magic happen!

Bride in gold gown at the Montelucia Resort in Scottsdale Arizona

I legit almost made a book of just Beth. Fixing the dresses. Pinning the BS. Fluff, fix, straighten out. BETH BETH BETH. But since it was mostly pictures of Beth bending over I thought… this might be a best seller for a different reason, and so. I did not.

 

 

My sock game was tight and I just wanted to share.

Change on the street by a dumpster in Paris? NO PROBLEM!

I love googling places and then finding them. Also, love the old woman in the window watching us! I didn’t love lugging my heavy gear bag up that entire flight of stairs though, no I did not!

Post-Eiffel tower tantrum. I did not know that we needed a permit for photographing a bride here, since the night before we photographed this very same couple in a shorter dress with no issue. No matter! We reconvened and rocked the crap out of the back stair area!

I have issues with symmetry and lines and balance in photographs and these stairs made me feel great. It was very settling to work here after the chaos of getting kicked out so suddenly!

A perfectly timed bicycle, a flower stand, and just flip me over I am dead in this glorious freaking alley in Paris! Byeeeeee

We ended the night being lit by the headlights of a passing car, and some giant crazy Samsung phone’s flashlight, in a spot I had found online and then found in real life and felt like Jacques Cousteau. Which is slightly embarrassing because hello I had Google and homeboy just had like, a boat.

Even in this poorly exposed crappy phone pic, one can see the allure that is La Maison Rose, in the famous neighborhood of Montmartre. The pink walls just glow and calls you to it’s cafe, maybe even forcing you to order some Rose, just so you match. I cannot confirm or deny that I did that, although the image below may confirm it.

La Maison Rose in Montmartre Paris France
Bride and groom toast with rose at La Maison Rose in Montmartre Paris France

If pigeons could be street thugs, then these Paris birds were no joke. They barely moved when Candice went flailing through it for me to get a shot of Liane and Alex in the middle of it!

Walking around to our shoot location (at this point still TBD) I spotted this door. And HELLO. The End. We put the stationary designed by Kristy Rice on it!

Let’s be honest here: the best part of this photography is the rando in the back smiling like a straight up FOOL!

The White Dress Destinations authors at a cafe in Paris France

In a show of solidarity and love for some other published authors that I know and love, please, go feel free to check their books and show some support for them:

My friend Dani Fine has a book called Real. Sexy. Photography: The Art and Business of Boudoir

The Grand Dame of wedding planning, also a great friend, Mindy Weiss has her book (one of many!)  The Wedding Book: An Expert’s Guide to Planning Your Perfect Day, Your Way

Kirsten Ott Palladino penned this super informative book called Equally Wed the Ultimate Guide to Planning your LGBTQ+ Wedding

Kristy Rice, has a gorgeous book called The Painter’s Wedding: Inspired Weddings with an Artistic Edge, in which I have a featured chapter that we photographed at the epic Greenbrier in West Virginia… it’s off the hook cool!

Eliana B has B Inspired The Book and the Magazines! So much inspo!

To see more styled shoots where Carla worked her magical BS in full effect, click the links below:

Smith Farm Gardens Styled Shoot

Chatfield Hollow Styled Shoot with Jubilee Events

Copper Beech Inn Styled Shoot with Beth Chapman Styling

Styled Shoot at Lonesome Valley, Cashiers NC with Beth Chapman Styling Part One

Styled Shoot at Lonesome Valley, Cashiers NC with Bliss Events Part Two

As seen in The White Dress Destinations! Glen Manor Newport Styled Shoot for Bliss Celebrations with Jubilee Events and Beth Chapman Styling

As always, images all done by yours truly: Carla Ten Eyck

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