Cassi Claire » Wedding Photographer serving NYC, NJ, PA, CT, NY

To-Done-List-Cassi-Claire

How often do you get to the end of a work day and think “what the heck did I even accomplish today?!” I hear people say it all the time, and I’ll admit that I say it from time to time too. BUT, I probably say it way less than the average person, and I have one of my old bosses to thank for that. It must have been about 7 or 8 years ago…I was sitting in a staff meeting up at CAMP-of-the-WOODS and the CEO gave us each a Steno notebook. He encouraged us to write down our tasks as we accomplished them throughout the day so that we could look back on our day’s work and feel proud. I’ll admit, I was a housekeeper at the time and thought it was a pretty lame idea. What was I going to write? Scrubbed toilet. Scrubbed another toilet. Made bed. Scrubbed another toilet.

Just a year later I was working as the assistant to the CEO and that Steno notebook became my best friend! Being an executive assistant at a busy resort is much like juggling double-edged swords while putting out a fire and walking across coals. The To-Done List (as I affectionately call it) was a life saver! Not only did it help me feel a sense of accomplishment, but it also kept me organized and allowed me to reference my every move.

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Today, I run a successful and demanding wedding photography business (BEST JOB EVER!), and my To-Done List has a permanent spot on my desk just as it has for the last 5 years. After filling almost a dozen notebooks, I can say that a To-Done List is easily just as important as your To-Do list. Here are some of my favorite benefits!

  1. Track your most repeated tasks so you can create systems! I encourage you to try it out for a few months for this reason alone! When we first bought our house I realized that I was manually paying the water bill one day, the electric another day, the internet another day, and the phone bill another day. YUCK! So much wasted time and stress trying to remember all the due dates. After realizing this, I signed up for automatically billing for all our utilities – YES!!!!
  2. Notice the most time-consuming tasks! If I get to the end of the day and see that I only wrote one or two things down, I can evaluate. What took up such a huge chunk of time? Did it need to take that long? If it does, how should I schedule that task in the future? Can I outsource it?
  3. A full list feels GOOD! I want to have a full list at the end of the day so it helps me be productive and get excited about adding the next done item! I looooove adding each item! Sometimes I realize I haven’t added a completed task in a while (facebook ruins lives), and just the idea of adding another one gets my butt in gear!
  4. Fight the voices of failure! As a small business owner, it’s easy to believe the lies that I’m a giant floppy pancake of nothingness. When I’m lying on the couch in my stretched out sweatpants, day old socks, and messy bun (not the cute kind) scrolling through the perfect lives of instagram…it’s easy to think little of myself. But in writing this post, I went back and read through some of my old notebooks. “Bought photoshop. Watched CreativeLIVE class on editing. Practiced shooting in manual. Researched LLC vs S-Corps. Googled for photography contracts.” Wow, I am so impressed with how far I’ve come! It reminds me of that amazing quote – “The only person you should try to be better than is the person you were yesterday!”   
  5. One line at a time productivity! A to-do list is usually LOOONG and overwhelming and paralyzing. But when I’m adding to my To-Done list, I’m adding one line at a time…one task at a time. Instead of feeling like I need to do everything at once, I force myself to choose ONE thing. Accomplish that one task and write it down. Then pick the next one. Rinse & repeat. My current desktop wallpaper is a quote that says “You can do anything but not everything.” Holy moly is that the truth! Oh and a tip: Add “working” items as well. As a photographer, you likely have some tasks that span across several days. Sometimes I can’t just sit down for 5 hours to edit, but I can spare 30 minutes to edit. So I’ll write “editing A&B wedding.” It doesn’t have to actually be DONE! :)

Phew, that was a long one, but so worth it! I hope you found this helpful! Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to write “blogged about to-done list” on my to-done list! Go get yourself a notebook!!! :)

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  • February 26, 2016 - 11:27 AM

    Cinnamon Wolfe - giant floppy pancake of nothingness. <—-best sentence ever! love it girl. ;-)ReplyCancel

  • February 26, 2016 - 5:45 PM

    Debbie DeStefano Ryan - With deadly reminder! Thank youReplyCancel

  • February 26, 2016 - 5:46 PM

    Debbie DeStefano Ryan - Wonderful reminder of how it looks!ReplyCancel

As a full-time wedding photographer, I rarely have time to second shoot for other photographers, but I LOOOOVE it so much that I try really hard to incorporate a few second shooting gigs each year. I think it’s so fun to shoot without all the pressure and it really allows me to push myself creatively! The sad part about being so busy is that sometimes it takes me an extra long time to even have the opportunity to look through my second shooting images! For instance, this is a wedding I second shot for my good friend Jaine of Brklyn View Photography at back in August of 2014!!! That’s like almost a year and a half ago! YIKES! So my goal for this little bit “off-season” is to finally enjoy re-living these gorgeous weddings I was able to help photograph!!! Like this beautiful Brooklyn wedding at the River Cafe! :)

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How much does their ceremony musician look EXACTLY like Dustin Hoffman?!

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The happiest officiant on earth!!! I want this guy at every wedding!

How sweet is this? Dancing in front of the Manhattan skyline on your wedding day! Perfection!

Check out Jaine’s blog post here to see her perspective of the day and the vendor credits!

Want a daily dose of pretty? Follow along on instagram and facebook!

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Cassi Claire is a New Jersey based wedding photographer
that specializes in outdoor weddings (vineyards, farms, tents, oh my!).
For more information visit www.cassiclaire.com! :)

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It’s such an honor to be a part of the launch of Red Oak Weddings, and even more exciting to be the photographer of the very first featured wedding! This is going to be a great new local resource! From their site, “Red Oak Weddings is a wedding and lifestyle blog devoted to assisting and inspiring couples planning their wedding in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.” Congrats to Dave & Julia on planning such an incredible Celtic-inspired wedding day! Click to see the post!

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HOT DANG, is it really mid-February!?! I swear 2015 just started…how is it now 2016?? I’m not ready for that jelly, so I think I’ll look back on 2015 a bit more! It was an absolutely incredible year with the sweetest couples on earth! I was giving a tour of my house the other day, and almost every time the person exclaimed “I love that!” my response was “that was a gift from one of my couples!” From frames to hand towels to welcome mats, even a photography board game!!! I wish I could say I counted my blessings each and everyday, but I’m human, and sometimes it takes a house tour to realize how incredibly blessed I am by my couples! There’s a whole collection of reviews that publicly expresses how my couples feel about me, but I don’t think I share enough about how much they bless me in return! Gifts aside, these couples are absolutely the most generous and kind people I know. Some of them have seated us with their friends & family during the reception, some of them made sure to bring us a piece of cake after it was served, some of them pulled us onto the dance floor for an impromptu dance session, and one bride even surprised me with the same J. Crew bracelet she gifted to her bridesmaids! When I look back over these photos, I’m reminded that I truly have the best job in the world! <3

Happy bride = happy photographer! :)

Apparently size really doesn’t matter…this mini Momofuku Milk bar cake was my favorite cake of the year!

It’s always flattering when a bride tells me that I’m her “best kept secret” – but all I’m like, “Noooo don’t keep me a secret! Tell the world!!!” Thankfully Donna was totally fine sharing me with her bestie Stephanie, and I was able to be a part of both gals weddings! Double the memories and double the fun! :)

Swoon! Everything about Pamela & Ryan’s reception at the Foundry was a dream!

The Ashford Estate earned itself a spot in my Top 5 Favorite venues list this year!

How precious is this daddy-daughter First Look? He loves her so much!

And you already know that I think First Looks with the bride and groom are the best thing since sliced bread!

Alexandra Grecco tulle skirts look incredible on every body type and they WILL wear it again!

Sunset, you so dreamy!

Parents dances almost always make me tear up. One of my favorite wedding photos is of me and my dad dancing!

But I of course love all the crazy-ridiculous-nutso-dance-floor-moments too! :)

PHEW! You made it through our longest post of the year!!! You should probably reward yourself with cake or something. But seriously, we are SO grateful for another year full of weddings. We get to spend our weekends at epic parties with wonderful people, great food, and endless smiles. Christopher also always pulls me onto the dance floor for a slow song later in the night. Isn’t he just sweet as can be? 

To my incredible couples: Thank you for literally being the BEST EVER! We love you!!! <3

Want a daily dose of pretty? Follow along on instagram and facebook!

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Cassi Claire is a New Jersey based wedding photographer
that specializes in outdoor weddings (vineyards, farms, tents, oh my!).
For more information visit www.cassiclaire.com! :)

 

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  • February 17, 2016 - 2:09 AM

    Gretchen Zeigler Gardner - Love it ALL! Esp the last picture!! You two are amazing!ReplyCancel

  • February 17, 2016 - 2:51 AM

    Mayho Duen - You truly captured the moments and made Margaret’s and eddies wedding exceptional memorable! You are a true treasure! Keep doing what you guys do so well!ReplyCancel

  • February 18, 2016 - 1:57 AM

    Celeste Borelli - Love your work cassie!!ReplyCancel

  • February 25, 2016 - 3:54 PM

    Jenny Kafka - Your work is gorgeous! You are such a talented photographer!! =DReplyCancel

Yay! Steph and Steve’s fall wedding is featured on WellWed New York today! I know that Steph put so much hard work into planning her GORGEOUS fall-inspired wedding day, so it’s great to see her inspiring other brides today! I especially love the varying hues of Jenny Yoo bridesmaids dresses and the way she incorporated artichokes and wheat into the decor! :)

WellWed-NY-Wresch

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When I asked Sarah and Mike for to describe some of their favorite things as a couple, they said “camping, bonfires, twinkle lights, coffee, beer, and cats.” LOVE IT! Knowing those things gave me an immediate vision of their engagement session! We collaborated to create the perfect date day – a walk through town, coffee at my house to warm up, and snuggles in my backyard at sunset with twinkle lights! And even though it was like negative a million degrees outside, we had SO MUCH FUN! :)

Dat ring tho… #obsessed

Sunset looks good on you Sarah! 

I cannot wait for their campground wedding this spring! It’s going to be incredible!! <3

Want a daily dose of pretty? Follow along on instagram and facebook!

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Cassi Claire is a New Jersey based wedding photographer
that specializes in outdoor weddings (vineyards, farms, tents, oh my!).
For more information visit www.cassiclaire.com! :)

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Ahhh, the NJ SPARK launch party was everything we imagined and more!! It was an amazing night full of laughter, sharing our hearts, and super fun photo booth silliness! I can already tell that #NJspark is going to be an amazing adventure full of meaningful friendships and joy with Jesus! <3 Thank you to all the girls who made it out to the party! We loved getting to know you and your heart for photography & God! I’m so excited for tomorrow, and next week, and the week after, and the week after that! :)

The calm before the storm in my living room…thanks to Amy for getting some set up photos for us while I was running around the kitchen like a mad woman! ;)

On a chilly evening, the Hot Cocoa Bar was definitely loved by all! And so was the photo booth! :)

I still had my Christmas decorations up…just not ready to let it end! 

Amy’s little one, Audrey, was so happy to see Kristy!

And of course, the awesome PHOTO BOOTH!!!! This all-white backdrop is a new option for 2016 couples who book the FUNbooth! :)

Amy’s birthday was the next day, so we surprised her with a birthday cake! :)

Lastly, I just wanted to publicly give some props to the hubs, Christopher, who helped me with food prep the night before, the day of, and cleaned the entire kitchen after everyone left! I’m amazed by him and love him SOOOOOO much! <3

SPARK is a weekly get together for female Christian photographers to focus on faith and community. If you’re interested in learning more, send me an email! cassi@cassiclaire.com

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Were you married before the Pinterest boom? Wish you could have the chance to be a bride all over again? Same man of course! ;) Would you go with the same hair style as the first time? The same dress? Or do a complete 180?

This styled shoot features 5 wonderful and busy moms who got the chance to do it all over again…the hair, the makeup, the dress, the florals! The fabulous La Belle Mariee Bridal in Langhorne, PA was so gracious to let them play dress up all afternoon! :)
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KRISTEN
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First up, meet Kristin…owner of Kristin Rockhill Floral & Event Design. Kristin has been married 11 years and is the mother of all boys. She loves all things quirky, unexpected, and unconventional. I LOVE how she paired these separates to create an absolutely breathtaking and unique wedding look! See below for her before & after make-over! :)
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BRENDA
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She has been married for 8 years and is the proud mom of a rambunctious little 3 year old boy. In between being a full-time mommy, Brenda is a part-time RN and Jamberry Consultant. She originally chose a simple strapless gown for her wedding, but this time around she went with something a little more dramatic, elegant, and feminine. Her wedding day hair was rushed and she did her own makeup, so she LOVED having the chance to be pampered and all done up this time around!
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CHRISTINA
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Married for 8 years, Christina is a busy mom of 3 beautiful girls. She is also a full-time Dean at a local high school. In her words…”If I could get married again today, I would do things so differently! Money was a very big factor for us, so we were married in a beach town in the Fall. I would love to be married in the Spring or Summer and use all those wonderful colors! My wedding theme would be Vintage Rustic Chic! I was so against lace for my dress, but have been drawn to it while in this process. I would want my dress to be more form fitting and not as big as my original dress. My make up was very dramatic, and my hair was very traditional. I would love for natural makeup and a non traditional up do.”
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KATIE
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Katie and her hubby have been married for 15 years! They have two awesome kids, and Katie currently works from home for the Estée Lauder Companies.  She has worked very hard to keep her home, career, children, and adult life balance in check but it is exhausting. This day of pampering was exactly what she needed, especially since on her wedding day her hairstylist got sick and she was less than happy with her do. Fast-forward 15 years, would she do it exactly the same? In Katie’s words, “Nope, because when you get a second chance you change it up!” She would want a similar bohemian-style dress as her original wedding dress, but in an updated style. This time, she’s excited to wear her hair lose and flowy. As for make-up, I love that she says “no need to hide the laugh lines, they’ve been well worth it.”
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MINDY
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This proud mama of two handsome little boys has been married for 9 years! Her career as a health and phys-ed teacher keeps her busy but doesn’t allow much of an opportunity to glam it up. Mindy says…“If I were to recreate my wedding today, I would love to have bolder make-up, not so simple! Also, more FUN hair! I have tight, thick, natural curly hair, and I don’t have many options. I didn’t want to take the chance of straightening it just in case it rained on my wedding day (frizz is not my friend). Therefore, I used my natural curls and just pinned it half up half down. I would love to use my OWN curls in a more stylish, creative way that screams glam!”


Special thank you to all the wedding professionals who volunteered their time and talents to create this dream-come-true for such a hard-working group of women! 

// CREDITS //

Bridal Boutique: La Belle Mariee Bridal • Florals: Kristin Rockhill • Photography: Cassi Claire • Decor: Y Knot Now • Hair: Jaimie Heringes & Courtney Strincoski • Make Up: Nancy Caroline • Rentals: Vinterest Props

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Cassi Claire is a New Jersey based wedding photographer
that specializes in outdoor weddings (vineyards, farms, tents, oh my!).
For more information visit www.cassiclaire.com!

Want a daily dose of pretty? Follow along on instagram and facebook!

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  • January 18, 2016 - 12:18 AM

    Kristin Rockhill - Love it!ReplyCancel

  • January 18, 2016 - 2:50 PM

    Gabrielle Gabrielle - This is so great!!! You girls look amazing in both the befores and the afters!!!ReplyCancel

The internet just can’t get enough of Christie and Matt’s gorgeous Highland’s Country Club wedding!! It was recently featured again on MOD Wedding – yay!! I want to decorate my entire house with those gorgeous big pink blooms by The Rosery! <3

MOD-Weddings-Bacchioni

See the original blog post here!

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