Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Why You Should Have a Destination Wedding

Well lets start with the most obvious reason & that is that you're going to hire me someday to photograph your wedding & lets face it...we both would rather be on a beach somewhere! If that's not a good enough reason for you, it's ok because there's lot's more.  I'll start by admitting rather shamefully, that I have been engaged for 9 years. Yes. I know. Please don't tell you Catholic grandmother. It's not that I don't love my fiance with all my heart because I do. Id compare it to working at a Bakery & never wanting to see another pastry or being a Photographer like me who takes pictures of everyone else & doesn't have a single family photo's despicable really, I know. So I've been shooting Weddings for a few years now & I guess I just got jaded at some point. I have seen $500 Weddings & I've seen $20,000 Weddings & it's the same thing almost always....there's something they wish they'd done different. Sometimes it's small things like cupcakes instead of a huge cake or the time of year etc sometimes they want to get rid of the's a joke.

But on a serious note, I have seen so many times where people spend $30+ on a plate of food to feed people they invite to their weddings who can't even bother to watch them walk down the aisle or pay attention to the first dance. I have gotten pretty good at angling the camera to hide the fact that most people aren't paying attention in the pictures. You have the bride beaming & in love & the guests are facebooking on their phones or too involved in their cake to pay attention. It's not that they don't care, they came to your wedding & you have some sort of relationship or you wouldn't have invited them but here's what I'm saying...."why not save hundreds of dollars & have a more fun & meaningful wedding?"

A pastor once said to me that he has couples come in for a few meetings leading up to the wedding & he is always noting the same in couples....

Photo by Jose Villa
Meeting 1: (they just decided to get married at this point) couples are swooning, they can't stop staring into each other's eyes..."hey keep your hands away from eachother you in the house of god!"...that sort of thing you know....& then later they meet again & its Meeting 2: (4 months out) they are in love but seem a bit distracted, trying to figure out all the things that they need to still get done, things are a little stressful but we are excited. And then it's the final meeting before the meeting, let's call it Meeting 3: (1 month out)  they aren't sitting by each other, he asks how are things & the bride says "he isn't helping with anything, I feel like I'm doing everything & it's been so stressful trying to get everything finished before the wedding. He says she's crazy, the wedding is getting way more expensive than they'd planned.....yata yata

And the pastor tells me, "I'm not complaining.....Weddings are a beautiful way to celebrate your love but at some point couples get so wrapped up in the 'Wedding' that they forget it's a Wedding. It turns into a money eating machine & they are so worried about the guests & entertaining everyone it's forgotten that it's just really about you loving someone with all your heart & commiting to be with them.

I had to agree with him. And a part of that scares me away from planning my own wedding. I often joke with bride's when we are sitting down to talk that the main reason I haven't gotten married is I'm afraid it'll end up like the end of Carrie where I'm blocking the exit & commanding them to stay & dance. Im afraid Ill spend all this money in search of some perfect wedding & end up disappointed.

So that's why I say get away. Go somewhere far far away lol. If your friends & family can't afford to go far then don't. Have a mountain wedding & camp or rent out a few large cabins to split between everyone. Theres lots of great sites where you can rent large houses for the week or weekend & then split the cost. Try AirBnb for starters. For my Wedding I want to go to Mexico. I grew up there & there's the most beautiful hotel I always snuck into to swim & that's where it has to be I just feel it : ) Unfortunately it's like $200 a person to have a wedding there with music, cocktails & dinner.

So in noting how ridiculously expensive a Wedding can be, let's think about the biggest money saver of it're basically having your Wedding & Honeymoon in one. Instead of spending $10,000 on a Wedding & then another $3000 to go on vacation you will already be somewhere amazing so you are basically cutting your expenses in half.

If the thought of being surrounded by people the whole time scares you try this. Plan the wedding so that guests are gone the last few days of your trip so you both have time alone. Also consider if there's anywhere close by you can escape too when you pick a destination for your Wedding.  In Mexico where I want to get married there's tons of beaches & cities close by we can always take off too & they are all under a two hour drive.

The second huge money saver will be on decor & venue. Local venues are often not the nicest unless you can afford to book the really nice places in your area. You'll usually pay a pretty penny just to book somewhere that's mediocre. By the time you get done spending money on decor to make it look nice, you have spent a few thousands dollars between the venue & decor. Why not go somewhere thats already beautiful & doesn't require tons of decor to make it look better?  Tropical places, the coast, the mountains...they are already stunning the way god made them so you won't have to do much to make it perfect.

The last reason doesn't involve money, it's about the experience. Bride's spend the whole day on a schedule. A tight one. Sometimes there's not time to hug & say hi to people. The dance is where they can finally start to relax & have a fun time, so it's really the most important part for guests to attend. Unfortunately, I've seen so many Wedding's where guests start leaving almost right after dinner. Maybe they have kids they have to get home to or work to do, who knows. But it sucks because I see Bride's get so disappointed. If you go somewhere for your Wedding then the people that attend are there & are all yours. They have taken the time off from work & life & their mind is in a place to have fun & be there to celebrate with you. So now that you're convinced & you sent me an email to book me for your Wedding Photography go ahead & check out this next post for Planning a Destination Wedding on a Budget.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Natural Light Maternity Shoot | Jessica

These days Photographers are making there way back to film shooting & natural light & its easy to see why. I have been learning lighting for a few years now & while I love using my lights to create some really beautiful depth in my images, natural light just can't be beat at times. When you want something soft & timeless you have to shoot natural light or be good enough with your  lighting you never know it was there. 

This first image almost reminds me of something I could have shot had I been alive in the 70's. Edgy & sensual & celebrating a woman's beauty in motherhood. She had a few other images she brought along of things she wanted to try too, so we did some pinup style ones as well. Its not something Id typically shoot but it was fun to push the boundaries & explore the possibilities. I think the few we got turned out awesome. 

The last images we shot, Jessicas son came along. This kid. He put up with a three hour long shoot & then didn't even need much direction when it came to posing. He was such a ham & would do so good in modeling. Some of those images are my favorites. It was so sweet seeing him snuggle with mom & be excited about his sister that's on the way. 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Playlist: Youngblood Hawk & Pacific Air

Sometimes I do promo modeling gigs on the side because it pays well, I get cool free stuff & I meet some awesome people. So when I heard Sperry was hosting a summer concert series at a bunch of Northwest college's & WSU was on the list of stops...I was super down to go & luckily got booked for the gig. It was a drive to get there but I figured Id make into a paid road trip of sorts & maybe get some awesome shots afterwards of the bands. 

Mehhh......imagine that horrible, you got it wrong buzzer sound there. I ended up working for not a very fun human being is the only way to describe it & it was freeezzzingg! It was ok when the sun was out but as soon as it hid behind a cloud I swear the temperature was polar. There was lots of free things to hand out & everyone seemed to have a good time otherwise. I ran the photo booth once they realized I was a Photographer. We had summer type props & it was fun getting people to do weird poses for pictures, including Pacific Air who stopped by. 

And while Im on the topic of Pacific Air....yes. They did not disappoint. The lead singer has the sexiest smooth voice you'll ever hear that reminds me of the Elvis days & his guitar player from San Diego was nice on the eyes too. If you get the chance to see them live do it. I've got some definite new favorites from them for my summer playlist. 

Youngblood Hawk was there too! They were like an Indie Brady Brunch only less people & more awesome. The lead singer had great energy & I ended up next to his mom who was in the crowd & she was so cool. I asked her if it was surreal hearing her son on the radio because that would seem so crazy to me (I have an 8 year old...I know I have a while to go but can you imagine?) & she said yes it was pretty crazy. She said she encouraged their musical talent & she has another son who is also a singer which was interesting to know. I want to be that sort of mom. Yes, I want my son to be successful & not live with me until he's 40, but I want him to find happiness & I hope I can always remember to encourage his creativity! So far he wants to be a scientist so but maybe he can be a drummer scientist why not.

Here's some of my favorite songs from the bands, check them out & if you have some cool music on replay share it in the comments, I love finding new music! 

Friday, March 1, 2013

Sexy Swimsuits For Summer

Stumbled upon the cutest swimsuits Ive ever seen & thought Id share. I was taking a much needed work break from the editing which usually leads to Pintrest. Whenever I go on there I get stuck on the first page of new pins & after an hour of endless scrolling down the page I forget why I was on there in the first place. So, one fine day while pinning...I came across a strappy little number, clicked & here we are. Since summers right around the corner & these skimpy suits leave little to imagination...I thought it might be that little kick in the a** we all need to stay with our gym routine...I've been slacking. I did some hail marys for the number of oreo cookies I consumed late last night. Check the suits out & move your keyboard so you don't drool on it & make it short out. You can find all the swimsuits below by clicking here.



Monday, February 18, 2013

Playlist: Lana Del Rey

I spend a lot of time at my computer because of my Photography & while at said computer I often will listen to music....makes editing a lot more interesting. But I'll get in these moods when Im editing where I'll listen to a song over & over again & then Ill listen to it some more until I seriously never want to hear the song again. My husband used to get irritated before I got the studio because he was an innocent bystander & would have to listen to these songs along with me while in the other room....I did eventually get headphones to save our marriage for when Im editing at home but ya......

So since I listen to stuff a thousand times & then get over it I'm constantly looking for next song that's going to get me through all my editing. Recently Alex Beadon, another awesome Photographer shared a song from Lana Del Rey with me & it's awesome. The music video seriously has me in love & I've decided that every music video needs some Tigers & an American Flag to be complete.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

What to Wear to Your Photoshoot: Client Styling

Ok so I made a decision today that Im going to spread out a bit in terms of content on my blog.  I cant just post pictures all the time or write about Photography, I love all things related to Music, Fashion & Food too! I also have a confession to make that Im terrible about keeping to a schedule so my posts will continue to be sporadic as I work that out but thanks for hanging in there!

There's so much going on in my life right now that's outside of my Photography  & a lot of it is fun stuff that I want to share with you guys.  I recently became Vegan for example, so cooking & trying new foods has been a big part of my days. No more cheese for this gal for a while. Its been really hard but Im going to give it my all & it has led me to find really interesting new recipes & ideas about how foods can be made. I've never eaten so much Kale & Quinoa in my life but Im glad, I never knew how tasty they were either because I was maybe eating a little too much BBQ Chicken & other tasty things to notice! You can check out all the delicious discoveries Ive made by visiting my Pinterest board here. If you are trying to lose weight & want to give up meat & cheese then watch Earthlings & you can meet me on the other side. but be warned you'll need tissue.

So since summers right around the corner & Ive been shopping & getting my closet ready for summer, I decided to do a post on summer fashion trends I keep seeing a lot of that are great ideas for styling your shoots or dressing clients! Im obsessed with Nasty Gal & not because I want to wear it everyday but because Im amazed at the stuff they come up with & I love seeing so many things from the 90' years ever! So needless to say most of this stuff is from there, you can go there by clicking here.

Here's some things you'll need for yourself & some points to hit when dressing clients:

1.   Shirt with a collar & details (keep it buttoned up all the way when you wear it & tuck it in)
2.   Pants/leggings/shorts with a crazy pattern & a bold colored top (or vice versa)
3.   Leggings that rock: crazy pattern, studded, faux leather, tribal, sheer panel or ponte stripes
4.   Sheer shirt 
5.   Leather & Lace outfit (lace corset with a leather skirt looks amazing)
6.   Denim & Chiffon (denim vest or jacket over a chiffon dress or top)
7.   Cutup levi shorts (bleached & ripped up) 
8.   A high low dress/skirt/top 
9.   Large gold jewelry 
10. Neon Colors (highlighter yellow is my fave)
11. Boots: Lace up military-style-faux-leather boots with shorts or leggings
12. Peplum shirt/dress/skirt
13. Corsets & bra tops for under sheer shirts
14. High heels: thick heels like back in the 90's or cutout wedges

And now in even plainer English:

1.  Have something that's Chiffon, Lace, Leather & denim
2.  Wear outfits with juxtaposition (opposites attract)
3.  Tuck it in & leave it buttoned up. You should look like your headed to Catholic school. 
4.  Find details on everything you buy...cutouts, studs anything that gives it edge 
5.  See through shirt & dresses with cropped/bandeau tops or embellished bras
6.  Gold is in, throw your silver in the cupboard with the Thanksgiving spoons. 
7.  High waisted & crop tops
8.  Maxi dresses & skirts

Monday, January 28, 2013

How to Make Your Pictures Sunny & Dreamy

Presets are such a huge time saver. If you don't know what they are just imagine if you swept your house once & you could press record on the broom & the next time you needed to sweep you could push play & it would do it again on its own. Presets do this same chore for editing. If you have a ton of pictures that you are wanting to edit the same or your trying to build a more consistent look for your branding, then these little suckers are lifesavers.  Now to clarify, Presets are the same idea as Actions but Actions are for Photoshop & Presets are for Lightroom.

I used to edit everything in Photoshop because I didn't really understand Lightroom yet & I also couldn't find any presets I liked but I had lots of Actions I really liked in Photoshop. BUT, while Photoshop is amazing & really gives you tons of control, I cannot tell you how much happier you will be working from Lightroom. It saves so much time! Let me say that again because I want you to know, IT SAVES YOU SO MUCH TIME! My god, you can have a life again! If you are editing Weddings in Photoshop for example, because those are the worst in terms of how long they can take....don't jump, there's hope, it's Lightroom.

So I made this golden colored preset (seen below) because I wanted to be able to make pictures feel dreamy & sunny & sometimes when your out shooting the weather is the exact opposite of that. You can find it here along with some other pretty presets.  If you want to do it yourself I recommend playing with the RGB curves versus just your white balance which is what most people do & then they end up with a yellow picture not a sunny one.

So if you didn't know about Presets, now you do but before you run off & get excited & buy a bunch of new ones then wonder why they look bad here's some advice based on doing just that myself & learning some lessons:

1. It's best to use presets on Raw Images. Clicking a preset onto a Jpeg will look not as great, don't ask questions it's just the truth.

2. Don't buy a Preset that looks great on objects & expect it to look good on humans. There's a lot of presets that show flowers or tea as an example of what the preset looks like but make sure they show it on humans because this is where I see most Presets go wrong. Purple midtones may look great on a flower but make a human an oompa loompa.

3. Don't take a terd & cover it in glitter & expect it to look good. Too harsh? Sorry, I just love analogies every once in a while. But seriously, start with a good image. Presets & Actions aren't miracles people. Mascara doesn't make an unattractive person attractive, it just enhances what they already have...same concept here.

I have some tutorials on my Youtube channel for using Presets if you have more questions & I can also show you how to use my Presets on your images to get the most out of them if you need help. I also make Presets & Actions for Photographers looking for something custom based off a look they seen in another picture so get in touch if you are wanting something custom for your brand. 

Blogging tips