Sunday, March 22, 2009

Jolene and Brad at the Scottsdale Resort

Jolene and Brad were married at the Scottsdale Resort last Saturday under a big blue sky and just perfect weather. Since they are from Green Bay, WI, I know it was a big treat for them to escape the winter! Jolene had a Achilles injury and couldn't walk very far. Brad, being the sweetheart of a guy that he is, arranged for the ceremony to be at the resort, so that she wouldn't have to go to the original location, which would have involved a lot of walking for her. I'm so happy that I was there for their ceremony. It was very heartfelt and you could just tell how much they adored one another. There are lots more, but here are a few of my favorites from the day:

Brad is a avid pool player, so I thought this was cute to remember the date of their wedding:

What a beautiful bride!

Jolene kept giving Brad these cute looks throughout his vows:

What a great day! Congrats!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Ruby Taylor turns one!

OK, so little Ruby is now 1 AND 1/2...Ruby turned one last September, and I forgot to put some of these photos up for mom and dad to share (Sorry Ross and Heather!) Heather is one of my dearest friends, and will more than likely forgive my belated birthday photos. I've been there since day one with this little girl's life. I remember when Heather told me she was pregnant (it was a true miracle!) and I shot Heather's maternity photos and then did a few quick newborn photos of Ruby the day she was born. Heather is one of the reasons that I got back into photography. She always believed in me, more than I did in myself, and I'll always be thankful for that. Here's some photos from Ruby's first birthday!

Love the yummy cupcakes!
This is big brother Jack showing Ruby the birthday ropes:
Ross and Heather (Mom and Dad) proudly watch:
It turns out that Ruby LOVES cupcakes!
I love these "ruby red shoes" that Aunt Kim Austin got for her!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Maternity Session

Jessica and Bryan are expecting their first baby next month and I was so happy that I got to document a portion of her pregnancy. They were so sweet and are joyfully anticipating the arrival of their new son! I can't wait to meet him too during our newborn session! Congrats guys! Here are a couple of my favorite images:

What a beautiful new mom!

I love this one of her little dog on her belly!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Birth Announcements

Here's some beautiful birth announcement designs for my moms-to-be! Text, colors and, of course, photos can be changed. Graphics cannot be changed. Twenty five folded cards come with your newborn session and are printed on classic linen paper. Envelopes are included as well. Additional cards are available in increments of 25.

Monday, March 9, 2009

New Mini-Albums

I absolutely LOVE these new mini-albums! They are 3x3 or 4x4 little accordion albums that easily fit into your purse or pocket. They make great presents for your bridesmaids, or great brag books for Grandma!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

How to get great wedding images

I came accross this this posting by RD Decker, a photographer in North Carolina, and thought it was great! I've modified it a little bit and added some of my own suggestions for getting great wedding photos.

  • Hire a Wedding Planner/Designer. What does this have to do with great photos? Stress...or lack thereof! I've seen lots of brides fall behind in their schedule and become a ball of nerves because they are directing the centerpiece placement, doing last minute flower details, managing the cake delivery, etc. Your images will turn our beautiful if you are the most relaxed possible. The expense associated with a Wedding Planner is well worth the peace of mind!
  • Schedule an enagement session. You’re probably wondering what this has to do with wedding day images too! Truth be told, an engagement session not only results in some great images that you might want to use to build a custom guest sign-in book out of, but it allows you to get comfortable in front of the camera. It also gives both you and the photographer a chance to learn how to work together. When the big day comes around you’ll be more at ease while having your photos made.
  • Include time for a “photo walk.” This is a 30 to 60 minute period before your reception during which we make those romantic shots that everyone loves so much. This session is restricted to the newlyweds and the photographer only. It is a nice little period when the couple can relax and catch their breath and the photographer can create some intimate photos of the two of them.
  • If you want to do your bride and groom portraits before the wedding, schedule a “first glance” moment. Trust me, you want a photo of the two of you when you first see each other. While tradition often insists that the bride and groom don’t see each other prior to the ceremony on their wedding day, doing bride and groom portraits before the ceremony is becoming increasingly popular. This moment is simply the first 5 minutes when you first see each other and are frequently some of the most emotional and meaningful images of the day.
  • Allow a realistic time frame for all you have planned for getting ready, then add an extra hour for cushion. You will want to cherish every moment of your day, and so will the family and friends that will be with you getting ready. Getting ready can, and should, take a long time on the wedding day. If your dress has fancy button or lace up closure, allow for extra time! When you hire your make-up and hair professionals, ask them about their time needs. Allow for adequate time for travel between salons too!
  • Do a trial run with your hair and make-up. You'll want to look perfect on the day of your wedding and a trial run allows you to experiment with different looks before the wedding.
  • Try to be on time. When weddings get far off schedule stress levels climb. Very few weddings run exactly on time, but they can be pretty close. A little pre-planning is all it takes. However, if things do run a little slow don’t get too stressed out about it. Everything will work out fine.
  • Plan sufficient time for group portraits. Weddings are one of those special times when entire families come together. Not surprisingly, everyone wants to take advantage of the opportunity to make some family portraits. But you need to plan accordingly. If you’re not careful these sessions can eat up way too much time and put you off schedule. As a general rule plan on about five minutes for each grouping you want shot. Keep in mind that the photographer has no idea who everyone is. Be sure to put someone in charge of getting the groups together that knows all, or at least most of the primary people.
  • Relax and have fun. It’s your day. It’s your party. Don’t obsess over seeing every guest at your reception to the point of missing it all yourself. Also don’t be afraid to delegate tasks throughout the day. After all, that’s what bridesmaids are for. It’s their job to “attend” to the bride. The less you have to worry about and the more you relax and enjoy the day, the better your photos will look.
  • During your first dance LOOK AT ONE ANOTHER! This is the moment you’ve been waiting for. Relax and enjoy each other. Forget about the photographer, the videographer, the guests… be as romantic as you please. The same applies to other special dances… father/daughter… mother/son. These are special moments too. Don’t hesitate to look at Mom or Dad.
  • Coordinate key events with the photographer and your Master of Ceremony. If you’re planning any special events such as a bouquet toss, cake cutting, garter toss, etc., make sure your photographer gets a “heads-up”.
  • Trust me! I may see something that inspires me, a doorway, a sunset, a tree with a certain twist, or maybe there is a cute swing in the back of the church that matches your personality, whatever the case, I may ask you to satisfy my creative urge. Please let me photograph this moment...these are usually the images the couples like best!

I’m sure there are a lot of things that could be added to this list, but I think these are some of the most important. As a wedding photographer I’m there to make you look your best and to create a nice documentary of your wedding day. Hope this helps!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Sophie the Dog

"I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me they are the role model for being alive." ~Gilda Radner

I love dogs and I've always loved the above quote by Gilda Radner. I couldn't explain my love for animals any clearer that that simple statement. I made these photos of beautiful Sophie in December as a surprise present for her mom from Kim. She was an old Labrador retriever that had been rescued from a horrible life by her mom Jeannie. I could see in Sophie's eyes just how much she loved her new life and when I saw her around Jeannie, you could tell just how much they adored each other. Last week, after a long battle with many ailments, Sophie left this earth. I am so happy I got these photos for Jeannie.

Heaven just got a little brighter. We'll miss you Sophie.