I was on two Podcasts!

The first one was with the lovely Shana Thomas with L is for Lily and you can listen to it right here:

http://lisforlily.libsyn.com/20-storyteller-denise-karis

And the second one with Nathan Holritz on the Bokeh Podcast which you can listen to here:

https://shows.pippa.io/bokeh-the-photography-podcast/episodes/253-the-significance-of-consistency-denise-karis

I had wanted to be a guest on a Podcast for a couple years but I never thought I had anything to offer….but can I tell you, I definitely have a lot to contribute! And so do you! Everyone has a unique story and everyone has an area of expertise they can share.

When I worked in Tech Support, new people thought I knew everything because I had been there so long and it seemed like I did. I would always tell them, “Day one, you learned something that I still don’t know simply because I never got that call.” Our experiences are all so unique that we all have something to teach each other… and I love that. Don’t you? Every single person you have or will ever meet knows something you don’t. And vice versa! So if you’re in that area of “I’d love to be a guest on a Podcast but I don’t have anything to contribute,” I am here to tell you that you definitely do!

So what kind of post would this be without a “things to know” list? And because now that I’ve been on two podcasts, I’m DEFINITELY an expert now, right? 😛

  1. PREPARE!!! This is my BIGGEST piece of advice and I might sound a little harsh but I promise, it’s just because it’s so important! You are about to be a guest on someones Podcast which they work super hard on. They have an editor, they have the gear and systems in place to keep up with the Instagram and Facebooking and blogging and promoting to build this awesome platform and they’re giving YOU an hour on their hard earned platform…so at the very very least, listen to a few episodes to get a feel for their vibe, follow them on social media, comment on a few of their posts… don’t show up to this party empty handed!
  2. Pick a topic beforehand. Nathan sent me a sheet on how to prepare with some common questions that he usually asks everyone. I read through each of them, made some notes, had some quotes at the ready on my desktop and made sure I was prepared for all the main questions.
  3. Be reassured in the fact that podcast hosts are the BEST! Seriously both Shana and Nathan were these really likable, easy to talk to guides that basically helped me through the whole thing. They laughed at my jokes and they prompted me into more interesting points of conversation which made the whole process feel easy and helped build my own confidence so that I felt allowed to be my best self. Praise hands emojis for Podcast Hosts!!!!
  4. Add value. This is something Nathan and I have talked about a lot and five months into running my YouTube channel, I can say this is incredibly important. Don’t be the one that raises their hand with, “I wanna be interviewed!” just for the sake of being interviewed. Be the one that wants to add value to their podcast. What do their listeners need that only you can provide? What are you going to bring to the table?
  5. Keep your answers to around a minute. It’s hard to listen to someone talk for ten minutes straight. The podcast is a conversation so allow your host to step in and guide you through. Read the room on this one…if you feel you’re on a roll, go with it and if the host wants you to elaborate, they will probably ask you to keep the line of thought going!
  6. Promote your episode! A podcast can only grow if people are sharing the content with their own audiences…and honestly, if you won’t share the episode, who will?  Plus, the more people know about the podcast, the more people will hear yours, so it only helps you!
  7. Go back and listen with a critical ear. In the first episode with Shana, I didn’t realize it at the time, but after listening back to it, I kept saying “Yeah, So…” way too much. “Yeah, so I’m a wedding photographer.” “Yeah, so I have a son.” And it kind of irritated me. So you’ll hear a lot less of that in the the Bokeh Pocast. Always be getting better, right?

BONUS: Okay, I know you don’t have to dress up for a Podcast because it’s all audio BUT maybe you’re having a hard time getting your headphones to work….and maybe you start clicking buttons on the software, and maybe you accidentally hit the video button and maybe Nathan Holritz sees you on video for a horrible moment looking like you fell off a truck and walked ten miles home in a dust storm. So maybe prepare a tiny bit just incase something crazy like that happens to you.

So what do you think? Let me know in the comments what your fave podcasts are and what your best advice for being a guest is!

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We were sitting in a team meeting somewhere around 2013. Our team was small, maybe twelve people and for the most part, we felt comfortable around one another. We were all company veterans and these meetings were usually used to inform us of what changes the company had made that would affect our schedule, our paycheck, our lives. Amidst the conversation about wildly inappropriate and irate customers, someone asked my friend a question. I can’t remember what it was exactly. Maybe something along the lines of “Didn’t you have a really terrible customer a few months ago that kept calling back?” My friend, who was eccentric and rather quiet, shrugged slightly and replied, “Things happen. And then they don’t.” The room paused… “Was that his answer?” And me, being the outspoken girl I am, broke the silence with a pointed, “WHAT?!”

“What does that even MEAN??” I asked. The room laughed, including my friend, and we moved on from there.

Things happen. And then they don’t.

Over the next couple of years, we kept saying it. Sometimes when we just wanted to be difficult and cryptic and other times when it was really true. When a pointless company policy finally was revised to make sense. When my tire went flat and then got repaired. When he broke up with his boyfriend. When I broke up with mine.

Things happen. And then they don’t.

Last week I watched as Taylor Swift burst into a hundred glittery butterflies from a pink snake and I thought it again. Things happen. And then they don’t.

If you’re not up on your celebrity gossip, let me fill you in. After a dramatic series of events involving Kim, Kanye and Taylor, people flocked to Taylors social media to leave her snake icons in the comments. The video Kim released didn’t look great for Taylor and people were ready to pounce. Taylor then came back with a vengeance. She embraced the comments, making a snake her mascot for her Reputation album and producing a dark, edgy persona where she announced that the “Old Taylor” was dead.

Myself and her other die hard cheerleaders screamed support from the sidelines as she championed her way through that tunnel. Around that time, I remember my conversations with other TS fans.

“I’ll love her through anything but I’m sad that the old Taylor died.”

And then, two years later, Taylor decided, “Okay, that passed, let’s move on.” and she resurrected herself, yet again, by creating the most colorful music video of all time. Praise hands.

Because that was a dark time…like, a terrible time… a time where she felt judged and misunderstood and villainized. But she didn’t let it be permanent. YES, those things got to her. She felt the hit. She allowed it to shape her next album and the entire tour. But she didn’t allow it to shape the rest of her life.

I think so often we allow these things to hit but we don’t allow them to heal. We don’t allow ourselves to move on. We let the “old us” die and never come back again. But things happen….and then they don’t. What a gift that we are allowed to move on from our mistakes, from the bad, from gossip or drama or whatever people want to throw at us. We can let it happen…and then we can move on.

So that’s month six. I’m learning to move on. To let go, to realize that, like Taylor, I determine the narrative and not someone on the other side of the internet. And so do you. Whatever hiccup happened last year that you’re still dwelling on, learn from it and move on! You’re allowed to! I give you permission! Whatever wrong turn you took, whatever misstep, whatever failure you faced, you’re allowed to burst out of your old form into your new form and start again, only better.

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So FIRST, did you know we launched a new YouTube channel? We did! It’s called Engaged In Arizona. January 31st, our first video went live and I’m working hard at building up our library of videos to be a resource for couples here in AZ who are planning their wedding. If you are amazing and want to help me out, I need subscribers! YouTube will only let me grow if I have subscribers so click here and hit subscribe!

Shortly after launching this project, I had the idea to produce enamel pins. If you don’t know, I’m a total enamel pin enthusiast. I have at least 20 in my collection of camera pins, Hamilton pins, a pin from the KeSha concert, a pin from our trip to Washington, a cactus pin, and NOW…a pin for Engaged In Arizona!

A lot of people have been asking about the process so I am happy to share each step with you!

  1. The concept. I put together this super rough concept and let it sit on my computer for weeks. Was I supposed to hire a Pin designer to make a real mockup of this to send to a producer? And how much was that going to cost? Google was giving me little help as I searched for “Enamel Pin Designer” and I was embarrassed to take this to any pin producer. One day I was clicking around The Studio’s site and a chat popped up. I decided to ask if they had any pin designers they could recommend. They asked to see my design and I sent them this image. They said their designers would make it look awesome from there once I paid for an order. Elated, I paid for 100 pins ($267) and waited for the design to come through.
    Enamel Pin Design Process
  2. That night I got my first mockup and I was thrilled. The design was absolutely adorable and I was so excited to see them in real life! I realized the line however looked like it was going through the word engaged and looked a little like a strike through, so I asked for a revision to move the line down.
    Enamel Pin Design Process
  3. The next image was what they sent back and I approved the design.

Enamel Pin Design Process

4. Then they sent my first sample image. This is what it would actually look like. I got super scared because the background colors look like off white and beige while I wanted white and pink. Also, the line though the D looked weird to me so I sent back at request to have those things fixed.

Enamel Pin Design Process

5. This was the final sample I approved. I was still really nervous because the lower part still looks beige to me and the edges showed bleeding – especially along that lower line. After I received this last sample photo, I still had to wait a month to get them in the mail.

Enamel Pin Design Process

6. Then they came! And I love them! Each one is absolutely perfect, clean lines, beautiful colors, the whole thing!

Enamel Pin Design Process

7. I ordered some quick and easy cards from VistaPrint and voila!

Want one? You can get one by clicking right here

If you’re an AZ wedding pro and want these as gifts for your couples, contact me for wholesale options!

If you’re looking to produce your own enamel pins, check out both The Studio and Made by Cooper. Both are awesome options that people have had great success with!

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