• Bianca Jo

Walking into the unknown is scary, especially when you are 23 and straight out of college and thinking about starting a photography business. I am a huge planner, I like to have a plan of action, a step by step guide if you will. But I didn't know any photographers and I had this crippling fear of failure.

I still do...

As a kid my mom always taught that I could ask for help and that it was ok to ask for help. Well, I may not have always asked for help, but I did ask tons of questions about everything, because I wanted to know the best way to do things so I wouldn't fail.

After graduating with my degree in photography, I was too afraid to start my own business and so I didn't. I had a few shoots, but just didn't know what to do or how to grow interest. As things started to come up in life, I had to get a job outside of photography, because, well, life happens.

Of course I wasn't loving it and I decided I needed to ask for help. Not from family or friends, but from photographers. So I searched the internet and made a list of photographers in my area whose style of images was what I was looking to do.

After emailing 20 photographers, 3 emailed back, but only one worked out. I met her at a restaurant for breakfast and she had agreed to let me intern with her. It started out as office type work, then assisting on sessions on school shoots, to being lead photographer on a few schools shoots to becoming the lead photographer for all the schools we photograph.

After a year of working with her, I started my business, not because I felt ready, but because I had someone there who could help me. Soon I had my business license, resale number, business bank account, insurance, online galleries for clients, upgrades to my website and email domains. Four years later, I am farther than I ever thought I'd be.

Having a mentor was when things really started to change for me. Your friends and family are always great to have to support you, but often times they are more worried about protecting you. Not a bad thing. But sometimes you need someone who can help you take risks, risks that they've taken and have come out successful. Someone who can see your blind spots, who can answer your questions, bounce ideas off of you and push you out of your comfort zone a little more.

My mentor, Julie Horn, has really helped instill confidence in myself and has helped me bring my business to where it is today!

Give a shout out to someone who has helped you reach your goals!

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  • Bianca Jo

Mother's Day is this Sunday, time just seems to fly this year. To think that it is May is pretty crazy right! So I put together a little gift idea guide filled with 35 gifts just in case you haven't had the time to sit down and really think about what your moms would love or need the most this year. You will find all sorts of gifts for every type of mom out there!

For the mom who needs a little me time.


My Therabox is a great subscription box that will give mom the ability to have some much needed down time to relax. They have 3 boxes to choose from, Happiness, Relaxation and Inspiration, and come with an activity as well as 6-8 wellness items.

For a one time purchase it comes to $34.99 and delivered straight to your door!

2) Bath Blessing Box

Another subscription box but this one focuses more on relaxing bath and body style. All products are natural and gives tips on how best to use the products you get in the box.

One time purchase $39.99 that can be delivered straight to her door for a nice surprise!

For the Book Lover

3) Coffee and a Classic Subscription

This is a great box for the mom who loves to read. You can choose the genre of the books you get and items that go along with the book them. They even treat you with a coffee to go along with your reading time. If she isn't a coffee drinker you have the choice of hot chocolate or tea.

$29.99-$40 Price is depending on the type of box you choose

4) Knit Throw

Gift mom with a comfy throw from westelm for those nights in she wants to cuddle up with a nice book and enjoy a nice night in.


5) Book of the Month

Here is another option for the book lover. You have a few books to choose between each month.



6) Numi Flowering Tea Set

This is a perfect gift box for the tea lover mom. The box comes with flowering tea. You'll place the bloom in the teapot that comes with the gift box and pour the hot water in the pot and watch the flower bloom.


7) Luanna Tea Kettle

If mom doesn't have a kettle to heat up water for her tea you can gift her this beautiful Kettle from anthropology.

Kettle price: $38.00

8) Free Your Tea Subscription Box

Yup you guessed it there is a subscription box for tea! This box is a personalized subscription where they will help you discover your favorite teas by your flavor preferences and other teas you may have not know you'd like.

You can start your tea journey for $16.00 a month.


9) Personalized Initial Ring

These rings are great for the mom who loves personalized gifts. You can get a ring with the first letter each of her children as well have a cute symbol that would represent the family.

Ring starting price: $24-$100

10) Family Name Necklace

Continuing with the personalized gifts you can give her a initial necklace in case she prefers necklaces over rings.


11) Personalized Bar Necklace

Bar necklaces are on trend at the moment and if mom is one who likes to keep up with the trends you can get her a personalized one to say something special to a special lady.



12) A Mother's Memory Journal

If you've ever had a moment where mom starts getting nostalgic about her childhood and early mom days and who loves to talk about memories and dreams for the future this is the perfect gift for her. She'll have plenty of prompts to write all the stories down and one day you'll have a book to pass down the generations.



13) The Boxy Momma Co Box

Perfect for the mom who seems to have everything in her purse at the right moment. This subscription box includes fun things for mom, things that every mom needs for mom life and self care items.


14) Mom Time Delivered

Give the supermom in your life the time to unwind after taking care of all the tasks of her day to day mom life. She'll have the spa time to her self to refresh and have energy to continue being the supermom that she is!

Each box $30 a month.


15) Charming Homestead Box

This is a subscription box for the mom who loves to decorate her home with new and updated items for each session. Box comes with 5 home items and consumable items are all organic!



16) Spice Breeze Box

This the perfect gift for the mom who loves to cook and try new flavors to keep the family trying new things that are good for them and taste great. This subscription box has boxes to choose from that include meals and the spices from around the world.

Starting at $6.55 a box


17) Snack Snack

As a vegan, gluten-free or both it can be really hard to find great snacks you can have. This is where Snack Snack comes to the rescue. In this box you get 12 snacks that cna range from organic, non-gmo, vegan, fair-trade or gluten-free.

$24.95 a month


18) Barbella Box

This subscription box helps you stay on track with you workout goals. Each month you will get active wear, workout tips, gear and supplements.

Monthly box is $49.99

19) Fit Lifestyle Box

Similar the Barbella box is the Fit Lifestyle Box. This subscription has 3 box sizes to choose form and has gender specific boxes that fits every fit lifestyle. You get a 30 day challenge that comes with workouts for beginners and advanced as well as supplements and snacks that sometime includes vegan options.

Get this box once a month for $24


20) Lootcrate

Perfect for the moms who love Star Trek, Star Wars or Marvel universes. You can choose from multiple genres from anime to fantasy items.



21) Windowsill Herb Garden

Could also be for the moms who love to cook but who also love to grow their own herbs for a fresh dinner. This kit comes with a great amount of seeds to start growing her garden.


22) Cactus Vase

This is great for the mom who just loves fresh flowers or loves to decorate with flowers that never die. These cute cactus vases are great for the modern mom.

Each vase sold separately $12-$16

23) Colorful Flower Pots

These flower pots are great for the mom who wants to plant flowers or whatever her heart desires.

Set of pots are $16.52


24) Globein

Fair-trade is becoming more and more popular and is a great way to support those who make beautiful items. With Globein subscription box you get the exotic decor and household items that are supporting the artisan that they are showcasing in each box. The perfect gift that wont leave the socially conscious mom feeling guilty.



25) Love Goodly

Finding beauty products are don't hurt you or the environment are still not as popular and will cost you a pretty penny. Love Goodly is a subscription box that is bi-monthly and comes with 5 items that range from full size vegan make up to accessories.


I hope this list sparked some ideas for something special for mom this year! I'm sure what ever you give to her she will just love!

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  • Bianca Jo

I love to send my clients some tips for styling outfits before their session in case you need or want a little help. I've put together these style guides that have 12 tips in total. I created them to fit into four themes that way if you only need help with one part you can easily find tips to help that specific part. Below I have a quick snapshot of what's inside and under each one you can download the pdf and keep it on hand so you can use them when you need them.

Get your download here

Get your download here

Get your download here

Get your download here

I hope you enjoyed all the tips and that will help make for a less stressful part of getting your portraits taken and keep you looking fabulous!

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