Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Smished Up - The Aftermath...

So I blogged on Saturday about how I smished up my car. It's really not bad, I've been driving it around. Tomorrow I take it into the shop to start repairs, so I thought I'd take some photos. But it was already dark outside.

Could I just be like any normal person and put my point & shoot in flash mode? Of course not! I'm too much of a dork for that! I pulled out the Zack Arias method and used a flash, a light stand, a bounce umbrella, two pocket wizards, and my best camera equipment.

Yes, I had two people stop on the sidewalk to watch me, and several cars drove by very slowly. I'm sure they were like "how can you shoot a hot model on the hood of a car...if there's no hot model? we are waiting for a hot model!"

It took about 10 minutes shooting plus 10 minutes processing (including the time it took to decide on a new license plate)...and that's probably waaaay too long. :)

So, here's my smished up car, prior to taking her into the shop. (Sorry honey! No more figgies while driving you!)

It's been kind of a long stressful week, so this was the kind of humor I needed. :)

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Balmy Alley-Cats

Sunday afternoon I drove up to San Francisco to meet Kenn & Sarai for their engagement session! They chose Balmy Alley, a famous alley in the Mission district known for it's vivid murals on almost every garage and fence (or other paintable surface). I love color and funk, so Balmy is my cup of tea.

I did run into one problem. About half way through I realized I'd said the word "awesome" about 6 million times, and could not stop. I was stuck. I tried to fight it....but failed. Sarai and Kenn must have thought I was a little nuts. (I am, but that's hardly why.) So I guess I just have to say this was an overall "awesome" engagement shoot!

Here is the awesome slideshow, and below are a few of my awesome favorites!

(This one is not their fault...they indulged me in a little "Where the Wild Things Are" humor!)

Monday, June 25, 2007

Mr & Mrs!

William and Tiana were married this past Saturday in San Jose with style! I had so much fun with their friends and I said in my last post...I just danced all night! (Yes, I'm the dancing photographer, it's just too much fun not to! Besides, it helps me keep beat...and people do interesting things on the beat!)

Anyway, here are my favorite images from the day, and you can find more in the beautiful slideshow!

Beautiful Tiana getting ready...

They had this beautiful cool old car (with a fun driver) for the day, and they couldn't resist some fun photos with it!

At the hotel, we found some beautiful light in the VIP lounge on the top floor!

Everyone danced and danced and danced at the reception...and when they looked like they needed a little camera break...I photographed the shadows!

The couple danced the last dance surrounded by all their friends and family....and the night ended with a huge group hug!


Sunday, June 24, 2007


I'm just going to put this little announcement here, since most of my friends and family read my blog, and to let everyone from the wedding know that it's all okay!

Yesterday on the way from a ceremony to a reception....I was trying to get open a box of fig newtons and read directions, and *crunch*....I rear ended the pick-up truck in front of me. I felt sooo bad! Luckily no one appeared to be hurt (it was a rather slow speed accident), and the truck didn't appear to sustain damage.

My car's hood is smished up, and the front part of the body seems to be a bit cracked...but it works! The car seems to run just fine, no one is hurt, and I made it to the reception on time. Seriously, the first thing that occurred to me when I hit the truck was "oh, no, now I'm going to be late to the reception." This was followed very shortly with "oh dear, I hope no one was hurt!"

One of the bridesmaids spotted me on the side of the road and very sweetly pulled over to make sure I was okay. I think she was more worried than I was! Of course, the word got around, and all the moms were so sweet to ask me if I was ok, and if I needed anything. I just kept telling them, "It's okay, no one was hurt, and it's just a car." And I mean's just a car. Being at the reception was far more important to me than worrying about a silly vehicle.

I danced my cares away & had a great time at the reception! The only aches and pains I have today are those I can directly relate to carrying equipment (and I have those every week), so everything is fine. I am now driving very carefully. Very very.

Thanks so much to everyone at the wedding for looking out for me, it was so sweet of you! I'll have your sneak-peak slide-show out very soon!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Free the Dress!

I'll admit, I'm in love with the Trash-the-Dress fad that sweeping the nation. It's so artistic and passionate and sexy! I was lucky enough to have a bride request this last year, and we had so much fun in the pond outside of the Palace of Fine Arts...she looked so graceful, just like a swan! The juxtaposition of such a beatiful gown, in such irreverent and unexpected conditions has a very high-art/high-fashion vibe...a photographer's dream!

I love the idea of breathing new life into the dress, using it to it's fullest, and having incredible photos to remember it. No, not really to remember the remember how the bride looked and felt in the dress, how she held herself, how she glowed! After all, it's really not about the dress.

But I also realize that many brides simply don't like the idea of purposefully getting their dress icky. That's okay! Unfortunately, I think the popularity of the "trash the dress" phrase has left a bad impression. You can always do a post-wedding session....without trashing the dress! I'd like to call this a "Free the Dress" photography session. Here's an example of a "Trash the Dress" session a group of us did for fun...but never really got the dress dirty!

Now, the more willing you are to just have fun, the more amazing the photos will be. However, we certainly don't need to seek out mud or stains. A normal amount of dirt (which you probably got on the wedding day) can be fixed at the cleaners. So, I just want to remind all the brides that post-wedding photos don't have to be "trashy" to be stunning!

Here's another idea on how not to let your dress become moth-food in the closet:

1. After the wedding have a "Free the Dress" photo session.*
2. Get it cleaned.
3. Donate your dress to Brides Against Breast Cancer or another qualified charitable gown organization.
4. Show me the receipt!
5. Choose your complimentary gift: a 20 page coffee-table style (non-flush mount) album, or a gallery style 11x14 canvas print!
6. Receive my heartfelt thanks for helping another bride feel just as beautiful as you did on your wedding day!

(*Tell me your intentions at the shoot, so I can be careful not to suggest anything that would rip or otherwise permanently damage the gown.)

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Andrew and Bianca Married!

I had such a wonderful time yesterday with Andrew and Bianca! Their wedding was so...Andrew & Bianca. It's hard to describe, but it really was intimate, personal, and just naturally beautiful.

The wedding was in a tiny cozy old church in Sunol, and it was just such a quaint romantic spot! The reception was held at Ardenwood Farms, and as soon as you walked around the path, through the archway, and into a clearing in the knew you were someplace magical!

The beautiful slideshow is set to a song that one of their friends sang during the ceremony. (Andrew and Bianca's friends have incredible talent, the music throughout the ceremony was inspiring!)

Beautiful Boquet:

Awesome bridesmaids:

Right after the ceremony, they rung the church bell 7 times for good luck!

And then snuck off for a second...

Isn't she stunning?!

We tried to do a few more formal portraits with no smiles, but we couldn't because Bianca literally could NOT stop smiling!

Pretty cake! (Incredibly delicious, too!)

How cute are they?!

Just like Fred and Ginger...

I love how elegant she looked when she tossed her bouquet, and how the light caught the flower petals falling down like a shower of stars...

They exited in a sea of bubbles!


Happy Father's Day!

My dad is an avid reader of my blog (probably one of the few reasons he gets on the internet), so I thought I'd introduce him to everyone! He's the minister at the First Christian Church in Carthage, TX and has been for about 23 years (most of my life). He's also a family/marriage therapist, teaches anger management, is a professor of psychology at the local college, plays golf regularly, and is a great singer & guitarist in a band called "Blessed Country Praise."

So no one should question where I got my "I can do 2 careers, school, a couple of hobbies, and a social life all at once" attitude from. ;) Of course there are many many other wonderful traits and qualities he's passed along to me, and I couldn't be more grateful.

Happy Father's Day! Love you!!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Inflatable Church

Ok, I think I would have to give a sweeeeeeet deal to any couple who told me they were getting married in the inflatable church. Any takers?

Lots more awesome photos here:

(All photos are credited to - definitely something to see!)

"One of the world's VERY FIRST inflatable churches is here to allow couples to get married wherever their hearts desire. The complete structure will comprise of two sections; The house, 5m in width (external) with frontal facade, 7m highand 6.5m wide (Approx). The tower will be 5x5m base and 12m in height (Approx) Walls are to be 0.6m thick. (Approx.) The attention to detail is heavenly complete with plastic "stained glass" windows and airbrush artwork which replicates the traditional church. Inside it has an inflatable organ, altar, pulpit, pews, candles and a gold cross. Even the doors are flanked by air-filled angels. The church can be built in 2 hours and

dis-assembled in less than one.
Marry anywhere !!! even renewing your vows if you're already married.

Now we can bring the church to the bride rather than the other way around. It can be set up anywhere, from your garden to Malibu beach, it's up to you. No problem with "high heels."

The Inflatable Church is Registered in the Guinness World Records 2004 for being the world's largest Inflatable church in the world."