Saturday, July 31, 2010

A Lake of the Ozarks Wedding - Erika & Tyler - July 17th, 2010

Kev and I were excited to shoot Erika's early morning bridals in Osage Beach, Missouri -- early because it is HOT in Missouri right now! Kevin had taken her and Tyler's engagement pictures a few months earlier, so it was the first time I was able to meet her. Erika is an elegant, graceful person with an easy smile -- very natural in front of the camera once she warmed up a little. She wore a stunning dress with lace and fabric flower details, and had the cutest little mustard-yellow flats that went with the vintage theme of her wedding.

Erika and Tyler had some great ideas for their wedding at the Casa De Loco winery in Camdenton, Missouri. These two went for a vintage, shabby chic type of theme -- very stylish, very well executed. They painted and roughed up old hutches, tables, and shutters to use in various places around the ceremony and reception site, which gave the winery an entirely different feeling than past weddings we've shot there.

Truthfully, I could go on for pages about the details of their wedding, but I'll spare you and just tell you my favorite ones. It was a hot day, so Erika and Tyler placed lemonade-filled mason jars on either side of the isle for their guests to pick up when they took their seats. Those, along with fans made from their ceremony programs and engagement photos helped cool off the guests and gave us photographers some great shots. Tyler had some custom Toms painted for him by artist Brooke Kelley (check out her art at Vanilla Abstract), and they were amazing! His groomsmen all wore Toms with their classic stone colored suits and silver tie clips -- very, very cool. The tables were beautiful, with muslin print table runners, white candles, and centerpieces of glass cake pedestals filled with a variety of beautiful cupcakes, resting in beds of grass. From the invitations that Erika created herself (she is a VERY talented graphic designer), to the wildflower bouquets, to the simply stunning bridesmaid dresses, this wedding was incredible.

We had a great time photographing Erika and Tyler around the winery and at Ha Ha Tonka, a popular spot at the lake, with all of the wedding party. Even though it was hot, everyone was so friendly and willing to do whatever crazy thing Kevin and I suggested. The ceremony was lovely, with Tyler singing Erika a song while playing the guitar, and both their mothers involved in arranging a beautiful wildflower bouquet representing the joining of the two families. After the ceremony, the dinner, toasts, cake cutting, and cupcake eating, the party got started with dancing.

I have only one thing to say about the dancing:

Tyler's sister, Mackenzie, can break it down better than anyone, anywhere, from ANY wedding that I have ever attended. She wins the blue ribbon for best air guitar, best booty shake, best tear-up-the-floor-with-previously-unseen-movement and best rock-out-in-a-short-dress-without-revealing-more-than-a-serious-dance-fever. Go Mackenzie!

We're so excited about the pictures! Thanks Tyler and Erika!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Thursday, July 8, 2010

A Springdale, Utah Wedding: Jen & Seth

I was so excited for the opportunity to shoot this wedding, not only because Jen and Seth are an incredible couple with a lot of heart, but also because Springdale is one of the most beautiful photography spots in Southern Utah. Kev and I had the chance to do some pre-wedding photography for this couple, months before the actual ceremony, and I already knew how great they were to work with. From San Diego, Jen and Seth love Southern Utah and wanted the beauty of Zion National Park to be the backdrop for their destination wedding (which, I'm sure, all of us locals agree is a fabulous choice).

Going into this one, I was pretty nervous. I always get the willies the night before (I know, poor me, it's not like I'm the one getting married the next day or anything) and I wanted to do fantastic work for these guys, not to mention, honor their relationship and love for one another. I didn't sleep much the night before, woke up WAAAAAAAAAY before it was necessary, and probably changed my outfit twenty zillion times. Thank God for Heidi, my sister and shoulder to lean on, for her support and assistance throughout the day. I appreciate her unfailing spirit of awesomeness and love, so much. Thank you Heidi!

It was a perfectly clear day in the canyon, warm, but not sweltering, a blue sky with scattered clouds and the slightest of breezes. Jen looked beautiful in her wedding gown, a lovely and simple strapless dress, tasteful and classic. Her jewelry was perfect: elegant mother of pearl and silver earrings and necklace reminiscent of both Springdale and the ocean. She had a wildflower bouquet which matched the natural beauty of the canyon and the handmade wooden arbor that Seth and his father made for the occasion. Stunning.

After their guitar-serenaded, tearjerker ceremony, Heidi and I went up to the labyrinth above the Spotted Dog Restaurant for some creative shots of Jen and Seth. They asked me if we could go there, for the unparalleled view of Zion's peaks surrounding the area. It is a breathtaking location and I was excited to be up there with this couple. We finished up at the entrance to Zion National Park, next to the sign, for some shots they didn't want to miss. Seth wanted one of him carrying Jen in his arms, which, (I don't know about you guys) always makes me sigh those happy, dreamy sighs :)

The reception was perfect: tasteful, earthy, simple and elegant, just like this couple. Wildflowers were in abundance, along with wheat grass-filled baskets and local beers for the wedding guests. There were some adorable children and very kind friends of the bride and groom, who all came from California to be with them. Overall, I would say that this one was an enormous success for a couple who loves each other very much.

Jen and Seth, I hope you're having a fantastic honeymoon! Congratulations again, and thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for allowing me the opportunity of photographing your wedding. Thanks guys!

Peace and Love,


Friday, July 2, 2010

A Missouri Wedding - Shannon & Jake - June 26th, 2010

Went from Vegas to the Lake to photograph Shannon & Jake's wedding at Casa De Loco. We've shot a few weddings at Casa De Loco, it's such a unique venue. They always seem to be doing new things out there to improve everyone's experience. I love it, it's one of my favorite spots for a wedding. Doesn't get much better than photographing a wedding in an old insane asylum.

I met with the couple on Thursday to do some engagement style photos at the Strip. How to describe the Strip?.... When I was in HS, and probably when my parents were in HS, and before that even, the Strip was a place to go and hang out, buy nick nacks you don't need, play putt-putt, bumper cars. But most importantly it was a place for everyone to park their cars, stand around and watch as other cars went bumper to bumper down the strip, turned around, back up the strip and repeat. Lots of whistling, squealing tires and what not. It's pretty silly. I think it still goes on every weekend. Anyways, there's some pretty old, falling apart, run-down activities. Old batting cages that look like they were going to fall apart any day, run down arcades with 1/2 the machines out of order and the other half with games like Double Dragon, Lethal Enforcers & random Atari titles. I was so excited to get started shooting. I was thinking if this couple shows up and they're fun, this is going to be PERFECT. They showed up in baseball jerseys and said they just wanted some fun shots! I mean how much better could it get! I can't believe some of those places are still in business on the strip. And they were packed with people. Unreal.

I showed up to Casa around noon with Emily Todd. A future pro photographer I met at Jenna & Edward's wedding in Destin, FL a month earlier. She was a huge help and stuck it out all day. It was so nice having her there. Thank you!

It started off pretty hot. 90, 90% humidity. Sweat through your clothes hot. But it actually started to cool off a bit before the ceremony which was really nice. We took getting ready shots, the girls, the guys, Jake seeing Shannon for the first time, family photos all before the ceremony. And we ended with about an hour to spare for a break. And everyone needed it. That's a lot of photography in the heat. But everyone was sticking it out. The photography was so important to Shannon and Jake, you've got to love that.

The ceremony was beautiful, Shannon & Jake were excited and happy, bridesmaids were crying, it was a good one. After that we went through the night, first dance, dinner, toasts dancing.... everyone just partied and had a great time. Shannon and her dad broke it down during the daddy/daughter dance, that was pretty funny. I think it was MC Hammer or something. Also there's one photo of a girl in there who caught the bouquet. There was a scramble to grab it when it was up in the air, no one could get a handle on it and it just landed in this girls arms while she was standing there. She had such a look of surprise and confusion on her face. Everyone, including me, was cracking up.

Shannon & Jake were so awesome to work with. They were a lot of fun. I think the pictures show that. Especially the engagements. They treated me as an artist, made sure I was taken care of and I felt just like one of the guests. It's always so fun to work with people who really believe in what you do and trust you to take great pics for them.

We're heading out to Missouri again on Wednesday for a month. Planning on doing a lot of family photos, maternity, boudoir & senior pics along with the 3 weddings we'll be shooting. I'm excited to get to be there for a whole month. That's where my whole family lives (minus my sis who just moved!).

Gotta run. New pics from Katie's wedding in Springdale in a couple days.