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SUNDAY STORIES by Lisa Haukom 12.11.22

Updated: Mar 5, 2023

Your dose of Sunday Stories to feed your head and inspire your heart. This week: We are heading to the ice cream store to buy our Christmas tree.

The holidays are here. How are you holding up?

It can be a season fraught with equal parts anticipation and expectation. I was just thinking about how I used to run on pure adrenaline during the holidays —putting an unbelievable amount of pressure on myself to make everything perfect. Chef, event planner, expert gift giver, holiday decor stylist, maker of wreaths, centerpieces, homemade gifts for the neighbors etc… This was me just a few years ago, running myself to the point of exhaustion while trying to give everyone else the best Christmas possible.

This year looks very different from years past. As I write this we have yet to hang a single decoration. I'm waiting for my family to return from a trip so we can start our holiday traditions together. Two years ago, waiting this long to begin decorating, would have stressed me out to no end.

Since we moved from Los Angeles to Oregon though life has slowed way down and our holidays have been pared down to only the most enjoyable and simple of traditions. We no longer travel to see family during the holidays. They know where we are and are welcome to visit us. In face, we have friends staying for the holidays this year which is lovely because this house is made for hosting.Gone are the days of rushing to LA tree lots to “get a good tree before they sell out”. Now we head into “town” a 20-minute drive down curvy blind-corner roads, to choose a tree from the ice cream store. Yup, our tree farm is also the parking lot of a pepto bismol pink ice cream store — and it's wonderful. We grab a scoop of salted caramel and browse the fragrant stalls of freshly cut, local trees.

Back at home, my son and I laugh as my husband insists the tree is completely straight” in the tree stand then complains when we ask him to adjust it again, and again. All part of the tradition. As are hanging 30 strands of lights in the front yard, baking too many cookies, and running a month long holiday movie marathon.

I'll be sharing more traditions (and a recipe or two) on the blog next week. And yes, I promise to include pictures of the ice cream store.




For this look behind the scenes of Goldenbrand virtual photography, I am joined by Beth Porter. Beth is the founder of Earth and Ether and co-founder of the Heart Path, offering in-person retreats that help guide clients home to their true selves. Beth is here to talk about her pivot from a corporate design consultant to her true calling as a healer. She shares the ah-ha moments that lit her path and why she believes self-trust is an everyday practice.

We also take you behind the scenes of our virtual photoshoot and how we created the exact images Beth needed to nurture her growing community and brand. You will love Beth's open heart and candid story-telling. Read the full interview below.


It's back! Our popular holiday playlist is back and better than ever. Ooh la la, a golden holiday. Enjoy xoxo.


Now you can view all of our current and past client projects in one place. While you're there, gather inspiration and ideas for your upcoming photoshoot by visiting our moodboards. Finally, shop our studio favorites (stripes, presets, tripods, lippy color).


Weekly visual inspiration and moodboards.

I'm feeling so very inspired by all of the fun, festive Disco Bestie portraits in the Self Portrait Studio. I want to bring you in on the fun as well. Click here to read all about the flash photography trend I call, Disco Bestie. If you decide to try it yourself, tag your photo with #discobestie and I'll share it in my stories!

This week's moodboard is here to help you get into a sparkle and shine kind of groove. Put down the wrapping paper, drop that cookie cutter, and don your best lip gloss. Pop on our playlist, go ahead and wear your brightest sparkles, and open the pink champagne. You deserve it. We are celebrating you this week.

Photographers Choice.

Extra flair for your week. Click below to visit. xoxo L.

Staying in for the holiday? Here are the best new releases over the next two weeks.

You asked for it. More Nancy Meyers here for you.

Binge watching these make-up tutorials.

Loving these tips for motivation and creativity from blog guests.

There were a lot of pieces written about Julie & Julia’s Julie Powell last month. This and this were two of my favorites.

Thirteen stranded strangers went on a road trip, here's what happened.

Your Q's.

Q. Why do you shoot your photos with an iPhone?

A. I've heard so many people talk about dreading professional photoshoots, comparing them to the dentist. It’s a have-to instead of a want-to. Ultimately, my choice of camera is tied to how I like to work and stay motivated, and excited about what I do. I like being in my home, my clients like their homes too. Shooting images virtually means we can use the camera in their phone to capture the exact digital images they need. This goes for shooting in person too. I've been capturing images on the iPhone for so long, I know its capabilities and shortcomings. Ultimately, it is about curating your eye and skill, not the camera you choose —so why not keep it simple and use the one already in your pocket?


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