Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The only thing stopping you from success is yourself...

Quotes have so much power to them. I love running across a good quote or verse in the Bible that reminds me of all I am capable of achieving and the choices I'm given that can turn my greatest dreams into a beautiful reality. This video is full of amazing quotes. I hope it inspires your day!

(p.s. I didn't make this video, it was something I ran across and wanted to share.)

Monday, January 29, 2007

Sweet Charity

Last night I had fun girls night seeing the broadway show, Sweet Charity, starring 80s queen, Molly Ringwald. I'm not usually a fan of broadway, but this show rocked! I think I loved it for all the colorful and vibrant set designs and costumes. Anyone who knows my work knows I love vibrant color!

But what also rocked the show was the dancing! Having been a former cheerleader, I can certainly appreciate how hard of work dancing truly is, with all the memorization of steps and moves and placement. They just blew me away! And the coolest part was that I actually knew a few of the dancers. Coming back from Atlanta, I was on the same flight with them and sat next to one of the dancers, David, from the show. He was kind enough to hook my friends and I up with VIP seats and he totally rocked the house with his performance as "Big Daddy".

After the show, we snatched a quick photo with him as he was heading out the stage door and he was off to the next city on the tour. Be sure to check out the show if it's coming to a city near you!

Also, another thing that made the night so fun was getting to meet the wonderful and fabulous Darice Michelle and her assistant Heather. Darice is another wedding photographer in town whose work I adore. We have been emailing for so long, but hadn't met yet, so I invited her join my friend Rachel and I, and I'm so glad I did because she and Heather were so much fun! Be sure to check out her site at daricemichelle.com.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Painting my dog with light

Today, my mom came over and she and I had fun painting my bathroom a pastel green (pictures later). Growing up, for whatever reason, we never painted walls. We decorated around the stark white walls with other decorations to create color in a room. But since moving into my own place last year, I was determined to step outside the box and experiment with painting walls. When I moved in, I painted my bedroom my signature color, pink. (My bedroom in this couple's engagement shot!)

And now a year later, I decided to give my bathroom a make over with the pastel green as part of an overall make over I've been working on the past few months for my whole place to now create a studio space to meet with future brides. I can't wait to show you pictures when it's done!

Anyways, back to the topic of painting. When I got done painting the bathroom today, I sat down at my computer to finally relax and I ran across a video by photographer John Michael Cooper about the beauty of painting with LIGHT. John Michael Cooper is the king of thinking outside the box and is known in the wedding photography world as the photographer who sets his brides on fire.. literally.

Though I was pooped from painting my bathroom all day, I couldn't help but want to jump up and experiment with this concept to maybe incorporate into my photography in the future. So here it was, midnight, the only model I had was yet again, my dog, Rhett, and his new "girlfriend", Georgia.

I didn't quite nail the concept, but I did get some really cool shots that I wanted to share with you guys. Enjoy! By the way, these are straight out of the camera, no editing done.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Looking haute in hot-lanta!

My last night in Atlanta this past weekend, Chris and Katie took prissy me to the famous Varsity "whaddayahaaaave?" restaurant for sloppy squished burgers and Orange Crush shakes. To top it off, to gain the real experience, I had to look the part. Here's some video clips of us ordering and of Chris introducing me to the stylin' Varsity wardrobe. ((It might take a minute to load))

Funny enough too, when I got home and told my dad I had ate at The Varsity, he went on to tell me a story of a time him and his buddies picked up a few girls there back in their day. That kind of gave me the creeps to think of him hitting on anyone but my mom, but talk about a small world.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Tara & Jason: Part 2

On my way home from Atlanta, I found a few more of my favorite shots from the day to edit on the plane. One thing I'm always looking for when shooting weddings is be able to capture the emotion that naturally happens, rather than making couples pose not being themselves. And the emotion in all these pics below made my heart melt for different reasons.

I loved this anticipation as Tara waits to enter the church.

I can only imagine the overwhelming butterfly feeling a bride must feel when walking toward the man of her dreams.

To me, this is the most intimate part of the ceremony, when I see a bride and groom praying together.

A groom wiping tears, that says it all.

I've never seen a groom sooooo happy to be kissing his bride! The leg kick was priceless!

I couldn't resist putting another picture of the colorful buildings we found!

This was Jason's signature happy dance he showed off all through out the day.

My eyes couldn't help but water up watching the way Tara's dad embraced his little girl during most of the Father Daughter Dance.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Tara & Jason: A Colorful Day in Atlanta

One thing I love about being a wedding photographer is the opportunity to meet such cool brides and grooms. Every couple always has such a unique personality in their relationship, and if I could choose one word to describe Tara and Jason, it would be FUN. It was hard to catch them not laughing or smiling with each other, or Jason always trying to lean in for a kiss. When we found some old colorful buildings to shoot in front of, it was a perfect match for the colorful love Tara and Jason share. Even better, it was awesome to shoot with my good friends, Katie and Chris, who inspire me everyday, not only as amazing photographers, but in the ways their own marriage has been a beautiful example in my life.

Partial nudity in the following picture. This was all the groomsmans idea (but I do admit made for a killer picture. I could barely take it I was laughing so hard. The one with the firm butt cheeks is the groom's DAD, believe it or not!)

Tara and Jason wanted to stop by a friend's bar to share a celebratory toast.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Lunch with the Ladies of LaCour

Right now I'm in Atlanta to shoot a destination wedding tomorrow for a fun couple, Tara & Jason, with my good friends Katie and Chris. Earlier today, Katie and I had lunch with the amazingly talented and lovely ladies of LaCour Photography at a cute little bakery diner near their studio. We all enjoyed warm grilled cheese sandwiches with yummy tomato bisque as we chatted away about photography, but more importantly shared laughs as friends.

Though we are photographers, when it comes to simple point and shoot cameras, we couldn't figure out the settings for the life of us. Here's our adventure trying to get the right shots and take our own self portraits.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Your Wedding Story Album

For my destination wedding inquires, I unfortunately can't meet with the bride personally for our consultation, so I took some pictures of a sample Wedding Story Album from a recent wedding I shot to showcase here and also on my website. These albums are a beautiful way to complete your wedding by highlighting all the best pictures of the day from beginning to end allowing you to show it off on your coffee table and share with others every memory from your day. The best part is, you can customize it to your liking and budget! This particular example is a 10x10 album and 80 pages. Different options and sizes are available. Also, replica parent albums are also available at a 5x5 size so your parents can cherish your day as well.

Rather than a leather cover, enjoy YOUR picture on the front cover just like something you would get at Barnes & Noble.

Each book is bound for durability and printed on flush mount pages for long lasting endurance through the years.

Every design includes a title page to open your story.

A sample page design. With a background in graphic design, this is one of my favorite parts I enjoy, crafting together your love story.

With its flush mount style, every page is seamless, allowing for the the best pictures to be presented enlarged as a two page spread.

A close up of the seamless binding, so that the picture itself is not interrupted by a crease.

Sample design.

Sample design.

Sample design.

Albums include title binding, just like a real book.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Bridal Fantasy

Today I participated in the Bridal Fantasy put on by the Jacksonville Wedding and Reception Magazine, where I have a feature article in their latest issue. The show was a big hit with a special fashion show by couture designer Justina McCaffrey. But my favorite part was the opportunity to meet so many so many beautiful brides and discuss with them how my photography services can make their wedding extra captivating. Thank you to all the brides who ooohhed and ahhhed over my work, and I look forward to celebrating your special day with you!

My booth

Close up

A cute bridesmaid dress I wanted to capture for ideas when my special day comes!

Justina McCaffrey Haute Couture

Saturday, January 13, 2007

A little more meant a lot of more...

I have been so touched by all the comments and stories shared from my previous post "What if God was One of Us?" I've received a few personal emails as well with stories following up about how the post meant something special to others, and I wanted to share with everyone else this one particular email that left me in tears. I'm just so humbled that from one little blog I wrote, I am able to witness all these miracle stories developing. Enjoy the story!

From one of my blog readers, Taryn, 18, in Ohio:

"Hi girl. I have an amazing story for you. So, 8 of us from my church went to a really bad part of an inner city near us and volunteered at a homeless shelter. Well, before we actually started serving meals there, the director of the shelter did an orientation with us and he mentioned the 'A Little More' song that you did the video to and went on to say how its like the shelters mission kinda thing.

I had my laptop there with me for some reason because Rick (one of the guys from my church) asked me to bring it, but didnt know the reason why...just felt like God had told him to.

So, I was sitting listening to this guy talk about this song...and I remembered that you had posted the video on your blog just recently. So, I told him about it and then logged on to your website and played the video for the director and he just stood there in shock..with that jaw drop look to him.. and he's like 'Thats it...thats totally it' and he asked me if he could show it to a few of the guys that come into the shelter on a daily basis.

At first I was kinda wondering why he would show that to a homeless person, but he said to just trust him, that it was perfect. So, I havent made the connetion yet as to why he wanted them to see it, but all I know is that 3 guys from the homeless shelter accepted Christ today because of that video. It opened the door for this guy to lead them to Christ! So, I had to tell you that. It was amazing. I so wish I could have gotten pictures for you... but we werent allowed to take pictures there. But yeah! I just had to tell you that story."

THANK YOU SO MUCH TARYN! That made my day!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Danny & Lori: Beautiful Beach Wedding

I've just wrapped up editing a beautiful wedding I filmed at Ponte Vedra Beach for Danny & Lori. This couple was super romantic, and watching their beautiful interactions together throughout the day, they are the kind of couple that reminds me that the man of my dreams is worth the wait. Thanks Danny and Lori for being an inspiring example of what true love is really about!

Here is a sneak peak at their movie intro:

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

The Crazy Ones

I just saw this commercial on Becker's blog, and every other line I was saying AMEN, AMEN THAT TOO, AND THAT TOO! I usually dont like commercials and always switch the channel, but this one has a fabulous message. I've always considered myself an out of the box thinker who pushes the rules to try to make a difference in the world, so I really signified with this commercial. And it couldn't have been related to a better company. :-)

The streets of NYC

As I mentioned a few posts back, while in NYC, I filmed a promo video for Jason Groupp while he was shooting an engagement session for Diane and Blake, who we will be both be shooting in June at the Rainbow Room. He posted this shot of me on his blog, so I just had to share this "action" shot.

Monday, January 08, 2007

What if God was one of us?

Being a photographer, I feel extremely blessed to have a job that I absolutely love and that allows me the privilege to express myself creatively. However, unlike most jobs, there is no security of where your next pay check will come from. A few years ago when I had a corporate job, it was easy for me to obey God’s request for us to tithe and give 10% of our earnings back to a church or an area you might see with a need. However, when I started my own business, I slowly began to stop giving as time went on because there was always some new piece of equipment to upgrade to, or some new marketing investment, or heck, just bills to live. So one of my resolutions for 2007 that I felt the Lord tugging on my heart about was to start tithing again and putting God back FIRST in my finances.

This time of year is especially hard to start that promise with holiday debts to be paid, but I made a vow that no matter what bills need to be paid, I will keep my word to give away a little of each paycheck I receive. I’m sharing it on here so my friends can keep me accountable.

Then tonight, I received a test of my commitment.

On the way to my yoga class, I stopped by to pick up my dry cleaning. As I was walking to my car, this man in a camouflage outfit was walking near by and struck up a small talk conversation with me. As I was starting to get in my car, running late to yoga now, he said “Ma’am, I’m embarrassed to ask you this, but I’m a retired Marine Corp and now I’m living on the streets, and I’m starving. Would you happen to have any money so I can afford to eat tonight?” I knew in that moment, God was testing my heart with my new promise if I would give as Jesus would, or keep the money to myself. I didn’t know if his story was true or if he would spend it on something other than food, but I also knew it wasn’t my place to judge. I normally don’t carry cash on me, but in that moment I remembered my mom had given me some a few days earlier to pay me back for something. So, without hesitation I reached in my wallet and gave him some money. God says in His word "Ask and you shall receive," and God knows there have been too many times to count that I have asked and thankfully received. So how could I turn this man down who humbled himself enough to ask?

But it was his response that humbled me. He said, “Thank you so much and God bless you. Do you have a business card I can mail you the money back one day?” I was so amazed that here, someone with nothing wanted to make his own vow to pay me back. But I simply told him “God bless you too, and please consider it a gift.”

As I drove away, I tried to look into my rearview mirror to see where he walked off to, but funny, I couldn’t find him. It was one of those moments that made me wonder like that Joan Osbourne song asks, “What if God was one of us?”

Also as I drove away, I prayed over the money I gave him telling God how that was a big sacrifice for me to give with certain bills that needed to be paid, and every penny counts right now, but that I’m trying my best to still be obedient and give when I see an opportunity for it, and to please bear fruit from the seeds I’m planting.

So I go to yoga and an hour later come home to check my email. What do I find but a bunch of new inquiries from brides that said they loved my work and are ready to book me. Also too, in looking at the time of the emails, they were sent back to back RIGHT after I had placed the money in the homeless guy’s hand.

I just started crying at how faithful God is. As humans, it’s so easy for us to want to doubt and do things our own way. And as Christians, the hardest sacrifice can be letting go of the money God has given us. But what I hope you will gain from this story is that, if we just trust and obey Him, God WILL provide everytime.

To go along with this story, I’m reposting a contest video I made last year that I hope encourages you to give “a little more”.

FREE Bridal Show Tickets for This Weekend

Attention brides: I have FREE tickets to the 2007 Ultimate Bridal Fantasy Show this Sunday afternoon at the World Golf Village Renaissance Hotel in St. Augustine, FL. There's nothing you have to do to win them, just simply send me an email and I will be happy to meet with you or put them in the mail.

For those already attending, be sure to stop by my booth to say hello! I'm excited to officially debut my photography at this show! I look forward to meeting you in person!