January 2011 Archive

2011 Bride’s Choice Award Winner!

Thanks to the fabulous reviews from my INCREDIBLE wedding clients this past year, I have been awarded a Wedding Wire Bride’s Choice Award for 2011!!!  This was my very first wedding season here in Florida and I am so humbled that my FL brides took the time to submit such great reviews.  Thank you for your encouragement and friendship this year!

You can check out what my bride’s had to say here or scroll down and check out our reviews box on the bottom right!

You can check out the fancy press release below!! :)

Tampa, FL – January 25, 2011 – WeddingWire, the nation’s leading wedding technology company, is thrilled to announce Shay Cochrane Photography has been selected to receive the prestigious annual WeddingWire Bride’s Choice Awards™ 2011 for Wedding and Engagement Photography!

Recognition for the Bride’s Choice Awards™ 2011 is determined by recent reviews and extensive surveys from over 750,000 WeddingWire newlyweds. Our past clients are among those that shared their experiences on WeddingWire, the largest wedding review site in the nation.

Shay Cochrane Photography stands among the top five percent of wedding professionals in the WeddingWire community, representing quality and service excellence within the wedding industry. Awards were given to the top wedding professionals across 20 service categories, from wedding venues to wedding photographers, and were based on the overall professional achievements throughout the past year.

“WeddingWire is honored to celebrate the success of the top-rated wedding professionals within the WeddingWire community,” said Timothy Chi, WeddingWire’s Chief Executive Officer. “With the annual Bride’s Choice Awards™ program, WeddingWire has the unique opportunity to recognize the best wedding professionals across the US and Canada. We applaud Shay Cochrane Photography for their professionalism and dedication to enhancing the wedding planning experience last year.”

We are happy to announce that Shay Cochrane Photography is among the very best wedding and engagement photographers within the WeddingWire Network, which includes leading wedding planning sites WeddingWire, Martha Stewart Weddings, Project Wedding and Weddingbee. We would like to thank our past clients for nominating us to receive the Bride’s Choice Awards™ 2011.

For more information, please visit our WeddingWire Storefront today here.

For more information on the Bride’s Choice Awards™ 2011, please visit www.WeddingWire.com.

About WeddingWire, Inc.
WeddingWire.com, the nation’s leading technology company serving the $70 billion wedding industry, is the only online wedding planning resource designed to empower both engaged couples and wedding professionals. For engaged couples, WeddingWire offers the ability to search, compare and book over 200,000 local wedding vendors, from wedding venues to wedding photographers to wedding cakes. WeddingWire also offers an online community and a suite of cutting-edge planning tools for weddings, including wedding websites and wedding checklists, all at no charge. For wedding professionals, WeddingWire provides free online management tools creating the only market opportunity that gives local businesses control over their clients, reviews, leads and performance. Businesses that join the WeddingWire Network appear on WeddingWire.com and other leading sites, including MarthaStewartWeddings.com (NYSE: MSO), ProjectWedding.com and Weddingbee.com (both part of eHarmony), and Celebrations.com (part of the 1-800-Flowers family of brands, NASDAQ: FLWS).

My brother Cody!

This past weekend my little brother Cody drove down from Orlando to spend a few days with us before he graduates and moves back to VA. All I can say without choking up is that I love Cody so much. This short time while he has been at school here in FL has been such a blessing to me. We are six years apart so it has only been as he has gotten older that we have really been able to connect more. When we moved to FL it just so happened (God’s perfect plan of course) that only two schools in the US had his certification (Honda certified motorcycle mechanic) and FL has one of them! What I love about Cody is that he just does his own thing and as the third child, he really paved a way that was different from his two older sibling. He is super laid back, so loyal and has a great sense of humor. I just love him. I wanted to do a quick shoot with him before he moved and I wanted that shoot to be different.  If you can’t tell from the piercing and tattoos, he is WAY cooler than I am. wink wink :) Here are a few shots that I like.

Below is my all time favorite:)  I was actually taken back a bit by how much older he looks. Crazy.

Video FAQ: Wedding Album Design

Happy Monday!  I have a fun (and hopefully helpful) new video FAQ for you about wedding album design!  In it I answer questions about the company that I use and how I work with the clients on image selection and album design!  I hope that you enjoy it.  As always feel free to leave a comment and say hi along with any questions that you would love for me to cover in the future!  I am all about paying it forward with anything and everything that I know!  There are a few helpful link below the video as well!

P.S. Sorry for the goofy frozen image of me. haha

You can view two of my sample wedding album designs be going to main main website and clicking on “Album Previews” along the top.

You can also see a recent blog post featuring one of the actual printed albums here.  I am also working on another one of these in the coming weeks.

If you are a photographer looking to outsource your wedding album layout and design I highly recommend contacting Ashlee Proffitt (ashlee.proffitt@gmail.com) of Ashlee Proffitt Design.  She does all of my album design and I LOVE her work!

Carly + Bobby *Tampa Engagement Photographer*

It really is a small world.  I met Carly back in college at James Madison in Harrisonburg, VA.  We had a mutual friend and shared an undergrad psychology class or two but that was about it.  Fast forward now 7 or so years later.  Carly lives in Indianapolis and I live if FL and Carly, amazingly enough, has stayed a fan of my work all these years…enter Bobby.  Bobby and Carly met at grad school and Bobby just so happens to have family two hours away from me in Florida.  You can see where I am going with this!  When Bobby popped the question last year Carly jumped on the chance to make the trip out to FL for an engagement shoot literally 7 years and hundreds of miles in the making:)  I have to say, this may have been one of the funnest (yes I know thats not a word!) sessions this year.  These two were such the perfect fit for each other, so happy and comfortable together and in front of the camera.  They just really enjoy and compliment each other and it shows.  As it turns out, Bobby was the real diva of the group (you are the best Bobby!) and the two of them had me laughing the entire time.  I loved the color palette and outfits that they chose for their session. They took my advice in planning for their shoot and it paid off!  And in honor of football season, we had to include a few shots capturing their classic Pats vs. Colts rivalry (Go COLTS!)

Bobby and Carly – thank you so much for the privilege of spending the afternoon with you for your engagement session!  I wish you so much happiness in your life together!!  Here is a little sneak peak at some of the images from their Tampa engagement shoot!

Staging my own intervention!

***WARNING: What you are about to read is long, unprofessional and not politically correct. But hey, it is my blog so I suppose I have the right to ramble now and then:) haha***

I am a mess. really.

I suppose from the outside it doesn’t look like it…I have a clean home, a wonderful marriage to a man that I dearly love, a smart healthy growing toddler, a successful business that keeps me busy and gives me a healthy non-mommy outlet to create and share.  I am part of a healthy growing church and am surrounded my amazing selfless genuine people who are willing to pour their lives out for each other and for God’s work.  I am blessed and provided for and even joyful!

But I am a mess. really.

Sometime during this past year I lost what I would say most of my generation has lost without realizing it…intentionality (I may be making that word up haha).  Travel with me back for a moment to “the good old days”…I mean WAY back to the time before there were televisions and computers, even electricity, paved roads and cars.  I would venture to say that these hypothetical people in these hypothetical “good old days” did not struggle with intentionality.  Most of their daily lives were VERY intentional from what time they woke up in the morning (so as to have as much light as possible for work) to when they traveled into “town” for food or supplies…a trip like this would be meticulously intentional from when they would leave to what needed to be purchased to who they would visit along the way.  There was no mindless barging into other people’s lives via the “Facebook comment” (nothing against Facebook btw). If you wanted to correspond with someone you did it through a well thought out hand written letter in which you carefully choose every word even planning the size of the lettering so as not to waste precious page space.

This is NOT a revolt against modern technology and social networking.  All I am saying is that at the pace that our generation keeps, the sheer volume of options, and the near dissolution of consequence, I have lost intentionality in most areas of my life and as a result, my brain and heart are literally mush from all the reactive “doing.”  To put it another way, if you are not approaching each area of your life with intention (read: goals, boundaries, a map) then you are largely just reacting to life…and that is starting to wear me out.  The evidence of this in my life has been the near mental breakdowns recently over relatively minor things… like my child’s illogical dislike for chocolate milk….or said chocolate milk ending up all over the kitchen wall. haha.  I should be able to handle these things right?  But my brain and my heart are just tired, warn out and the important things get replaced by the urgent things in life.

Maybe I am the only one…but maybe not.  I shared the following with my my closest friend who encouraged me to share this with you.  Just in case, like me, you have been charging forward with all of your good intentions, only to find yourself drained and off course…and reacting accordingly.

My father-in-law writes a blog called (in Latin) Scribere est cogitare, “To write is to think.” I 100% believe this to be true in my life. In order to really process through something I have to write it out.  In order to stop the current mental and emotional madness I have felt mounting I needed to really think through the different facets of my life and re-asses, or maybe just remind myself of where I am headed….where I want to be headed that is.  Now, I am not a spreadsheet kind of girl…but I broke up my life into the major elements that make up who I am (or what my various roles are), and came up with my ultimate goals/priorities in each area.

It looks something like this:

Fancy…I know.

Now before I share these with you, you have to know what my intentions are here.  I am not making universal claims about what anyone elses goals should be in these areas (although they may apply).  These are my personal, and I feel Biblical, goals that I want to prioritize, that I have either lost site of or simply pushed aside and that I want to reset my focus on in 2011.  My ultimate hope is that this might encourage you (that you are normal in how you feel), inspire you (maybe you will attempt your own intervention) and maybe even challenge you (perhaps you will come across something you had not considered).  If any of these apply to you then I have a good start on my goal for being a friend (see below) :)  So here it is:


To minister to my husbands emotional, physical and spiritual needs as his helper.

To always work to grow and strengthen our marriage.


To create a safe loving environment for physical, emotional, spiritual, and intellectual growth for my kids.

To teach/minister to my kids by modeling Biblical behavior and teaching Scripture.

Christ follower

To fully and authentically love God.

To serve others by authentically and sacrificially pouring myself out as a reflection of my love for God.

To have a diligent and active prayer life and time learning and meditating on God’s word.


To honor (esteem) my parents.

To build them up with love, encouragement and Truth as a Christian sister/daughter.


To consistently and intentionally love, encourage, and build my siblings up in Truth.


To be selflessly giving of my time, attention and resources to encourage, uplift and pour into the special friendships God has blessed me with.

To intentionally uplift with Scriptural Truth.

To spend more time selflessly listening first and to focus intentionally on giving in these relationship and less on taking.


To do my family good (i.e. not cause more stress, strain)

To bring attention/fame to God through my work and the sharing of myself with others

To ultimately acknowledge that this is God’s business to do what he wants, not mine

Manager of the home

To add organization and reliability to the way that I care for and administrate the home

To add more consistency, diligence, planning and order

Healthy Individual (Physically)

To take care of my body through healthy eating, sleep and consistent excercise.

Healthy Individual (emotionally)

Consistent quiet time for myself

Boundaries with my kids

Mental control/order/peace

What I plan to do is to turn each of these major goals into tangible daily or weekly action goals.  Not necessarily for every area – but enough that I feel like I have tangible things that I am doing and a tangible way of measuring whether or not I am focusing on what I have deemed to be my priorities.  This year I want to be intentional about what I take on in every area.  I want to be acting and no re-acting to my life and I want to be sure that I am getting to the important and not merely always responding to the urgent.

While I am pouring out my heart haha, let me add a verse that God showed me yesterday that will be on the wall of my office for sure this year:

“Let your work appear to Your servants   (God please show me the work that you have for me)

and your glory to their children    (Help my do-ing of that work to show your greatness to my children)

And let the beauty (favor) of the Lord our God be upon us, (let me experience more of you God)

and establish the work of our hands for us; (Please bless what I am putting my effort into)

Yes, establish the work of our hands.” Psalm 90:16-17

I hope that by sharing this you are in some way encouraged, inspired or challenged.  I would love to hear your thoughts anytime:)



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