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Useful WordPress Plugins: Editorial Calendar


I thought I’d share this super helpful WordPress plugin, especially for those of you who blog out there. It has been one of the best tools I’ve used to blog regularly. Although, this week, I’m a little behind. I’ll blame it on my 9lb office mate. It’s a good thing he’s so cute.

This plugin is called Editorial Calendar and allows you to look at the month and plan out your blog posts. It’s great for when you come up with ideas, or to plan ideas in advance. The great thing about it is that the post titles can be moved from day to day, simply by dragging and dropping. I know that when blogging, I sometimes find myself sitting in front of the computer, staring at the screen, while the cursor blinks in my face, without a clue of what I’m going to write.

This plugin helps a ton!

And because this post wouldn’t be complete without a photo, here’s yet another photo of Kevin. Follow (CatieRonquillo) me on to see more!


Video-making, Fear, and Hitting Submit


Avoidance. Procrastination. Distraction.

I let these three things rule my mind for the last couple of weeks. When Creative Live announced that Jasmine Star would be returning to Seattle for a third course on the Making and Marketing of an Editorial Wedding, I was excited. I’m a huge fan of Creative Live courses and I love that they make education for creatives accessible and affordable. Then Jasmine made the announcement that she was looking for live audience members.

Getting Published. Shooting an Editorial Wedding. Creative Live Jasmine Star

Part of me wanted to make a video. Another part of me said, “You’ll never get chosen, so why bother trying.” So even though the announcement came out weeks ago and I’ve had time I avoided it, procrastinated, and distracted myself.

But why was I doing it? Why was I preventing myself from moving my business forward?

Because I was scared. Fear was getting the best of me. Part of me was terrified of making a video. Not because I’m scared of being in front of the camera, but because it would mean that I’d have to watch it later. I was afraid that I’d embarrass myself. I was afraid of what others would think (and even though I keep telling myself that I don’t care what others think, I do…working on this!).

However, I’ve learned over the last few days (and my own crash course in filmmaking) that the best way to get over your own fears and insecurities is to suck it up and do it anyway. Plus, when you’re recording your own video…the outtakes are hilarious. And the embarrassment subsides rather quickly.

I almost didn’t tell Cent I was going to apply.

I almost didn’t even show him my video.

I almost didn’t send in my submission.

I wasn’t going to blog my video.

But I’m feeling the fear, and doing it anyway. And sharing it here.

Today is the last day to submit a video!

Of course I waited until the last minute.

I would love a seat for this edition of Creative Live! I would love to learn all I can about the making and marketing of an editorial wedding and hang out with Jasmine, JD, the Creative Live crew, and the other lucky audience members. But if anything, I’m just thrilled that I faced my fears square in the eyes and pushed myself forward. Even if I don’t get chosen, I will have at least tried. I know that big risks lead to big changes, and for me this felt like a huge risk…of putting myself out there, on the internet, facial expressions, nervousness, and all.

And now that I’ve done one video…I may do another.


theFix: Dallas


The energy in the room was palpable. It was 6:12pm and I could feel the energy in the room, coming from the other side of the curtain. And as soon as the curtain was opened and the people filed in, I knew it was going to be a good night.

On Wednesday, Leap Day, I helped out with theFix, coversations with Jasmine Star. As one of the local contacts, I was also charged with picking up the drinks for the evening. When I received the list from Jenny (awesome tour organizing guru!), I was like, “Whoa. That’s quite the list” but instead of freaking out at the amount to purchase, I went on an adventure to Kroger.

It felt like a surreal experience. We hardly ever buy wine, except for special occasions, and that’s fairly rare anyway. And there I was loading a cart with 40 bottles of wine and champagne. I’m also far from a wine expert, and my “scientific” method of choosing wine was choosing ones with a cool label. Like, I was that person with three full carts. I felt like I was on an episode of Extreme Couponing, except without any coupons.

After squeezing it all into my sedan, I made my way to The Apartment, where theFIX would take place in a few hours.

As we finished setup for theFIX, I could feel the excitement coming in as people arrived. And to be totally honest, part of me felt like, “Oh gosh, all those people so excited….lining up already to meet her,” But then I stopped myself. I remember what it was like three and a half years ago, when I went to my very first photography related event. I was terrified, nervous, excited, and confused all at once. I didn’t know why I was going, but I knew it was the right decision. I lined up. I went to see David Jay and Jasmine Star in San Francisco. Shoot…I line up every time!

Ashley introducing Jasmine:

I think what sets Jasmine apart from other photographers is not her photos. I personally LOVE her work, but it’s not why (I believe) that people love her, or why I continue to go see her speak, even though I’ve seen her speak seven times before. (Yes, I counted. It’s been 7 times.) It’s HER. It’s her genuine personality, her genuine concern for people, her passion, the way that she engages and listens to people, and her mission to change the industry for the better.

“Sacrifice doesn’t guarantee success, it’s merely a prerequisite of success.”

While I have seen Jasmine speak before, I always walk away with something new. Her intent is to make these evenings about us, the photographers. There’s three segments of Q&A, and she let us know that she’s an open book. She is really all about helping other photographers grow and get better. Pushing us forward to get better, to change something up if something isn’t working, and to go forth and do.

She also encouraged everyone to make a plan. An Action Plan. I know that I’ve totally been to seminars and classes and WPPI where I get motivated, then I go home, get distracted, and never do anything. But this time, I’m putting a plan in action. And looking forward to where I want to be in one year. I don’t want to come upon March 1, 2013 being in the same place. I felt like it was kind of auspicious that theFix Dallas was on February 29, a day that only happens once every four years.

With my girl Vanessa, last year we roadtripped down to College Station to see Jasmine speak, with our collector’s t-shirts.

And this event was extra special because Cent came. My husband. He is so amazing. While he did not attend the event, he texted me before he went home from volunteering and asked if we needed help afterwards. I mean, he could have just gone home. (When he arrived, he didn’t realize how big the event was!) Instead, in his usual amazing way, he came to help. And I was thrilled he got to meet both Jasmine and JD. Thanks to Vanessa for taking these!

I wish I had a photo of the 200 people in line to meet Jasmine. It was amazing and she chatted with each and every person.

The Fixers at the end of the night.


This post was entirely too long, but if you made it this far, have a great weekend!


How to Survive WPPI: Part 4: Final Tips


WPPI is almost here. Well, for the early birds it kicked off today, I think. And for the rest of us, it starts this weekend. Here are some final tips for surviving WPPI. Literally.

1. WPPI SARS. Last year, after WPPI, a WHOLE lot of people got sick with flu-like symptoms and many called it WPPI SARS. I was able to dodge the bullet (not sure how!) and I’d like to again this year. I say load up on the Emergen-C and Zicam if you can and make sure to wash your hands and not share drinks with people with the sniffles.

2. Pay in CASH (or credit). If you can. Last year, there was a security breach/hack and a lot of people’s credit card numbers were stolen and fraudulent charges made. I was one of the lucky ones, but I heard from many others who weren’t so lucky. So, bring a wad of cash with you. I made the mistake my first time at WPPI, and tried to use the ATM to pull some cash and the machines have $200 minimum. I guess they want you to spend it! Or, pay with a credit card instead of a debit card. It will be way easier to rectify should anything go wrong.

3. Budget for food and entertainment. Food is expensive in Vegas, and the less expensive options in Vegas are McDonald’s and the pizza place. Also, drinks are way expensive, and if you’re thrifty like me, you’ll want to be that person that orders a cup of water at the bar. Yes, I’m totally boring. But I also didn’t drink $60 worth in 3 drinks. Cirque du Soleil is awesome and if you can catch a show, I highly recommend it. I really want to go see O one day.

4. Turn your phone to EDGE. With 15,000 photographers in one spot, with many of them on iPhones, the 3G network gets all clogged up. And your battery will drain. FAST. So, to ensure that you can still make a call in case you need to, switch your phone to the EDGE network. And if you’re on Twitter, I recommend setting up mobile alerts for your favorite people, or people you want to stay in touch with so that it goes to your phone in text message form. Because checking Twitter and Facebook might take a while.

5. Make the most of your time. This year, I finally feel like I’m going to Las Vegas with a plan. I decided I’m not going to go to any of the big parties, and if I can get into some of the free ones, awesome. I’m going to go learn, meet up with people I’ve only known online, reunite with old friends, and have a great time. Oh yeah, and get my sleep at night. I know, I’m so not Vegas.

If you’re going to WPPI, and see me in the hallways, say hello, I’ll be there Sunday through Wednesday :)

Read Part 1. Part 2. Part 3.




Over the last two years, I’ve co-hosted the Dallas Shootouts and met so many awesome photographers in the Dallas Metroplex. After receiving feedback from attendees on what they wanted to see more of, along with collaboration with fellow photographer Elisa Michelene, we are bringing something with a whole new twist. A little more instruction, a little more editorial direction, and a whole lot more working with our models.

I’m super excited to announce the launch of Lookbook Lab, with a focus on Senior Portrait Photography.

Elisa and I have teamed up to bring a full day of learning and practicing posing and lighting, as well as shooting for your lookbook and then showing you how you can build a lookbook to show prospective clients. You know, all your best work, with the kind of photo sessions you desire to shoot with your ideal client. We’re partnering with Butterfly Sparks who will be styling the shoot. She’s also styling a shoot in Las Vegas for Seniorologie next week!

Be sure to check out Lookbook Lab for al the details and registration information!

I’m also thrilled to announce that I’m adding senior portraits to the photography services I offer. There’s just something so fun working with high school seniors as they get ready to embark on the next adventure of their lives. More details coming soon.

Happy Monday!

(photo by Elisa Michelene)

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