Sunday, December 19, 2010

a good hurt | personal

i'm sitting on my couch writing. because mike and axle are both cuddled up there, not in the loft. because there is a fire going. because we made a whole foods run, threw in some movies, opened a bottle of wine, and didn't move all day. because my office chair is hard and uncomfortable, and right now i hurt all over. and i'm thinking about this year, and these past few months, and last night.

i hurt all over. not that oh i slept in the wrong position hurt. in fact, last night i slept like a baby because i was so exhausted and i knew i could wake up the next morning with absolutely nothing to do. nothing. the hurt is more the i crawled on the floor, bent and squatted and twisted my body for 8 hours kind of hurt. i have my wonderful friend and mentor John Yao (who i mentioned briefly in this post) to thank for that--for the wonderful and amazing opportunity of shooting my first wedding. i have no doubt that my own talent and desire to succeed as a photographer will get me farther than i could have ever hoped. but it's friends like John, who have been willing to take a risk and stick out their neck (and dedicate their time), who have given me opportunities to be better than i could ever have imagined, who (gently) point out my failures and still remind me not to be so hard on myself.

my settings were off--a lot. my pictures? not exactly my best work. but i learned. ohgoodness did i ever learn. i learned what my camera CAN and CANNOT do. i cemented what i already knew--practice makes perfect and i want and need to do it more.

words can't begin to describe the roller coaster of emotions i have endured over the past 48 hours. if i didn't drive poor mike crazy with my pre wedding checklist, i certainly hit it out of the park by begging him to relive every detail of the wedding (including stumbling to my bag to grab my camera) while we lay in bed this morning, halfway between sleep and pretending to be awake. needless to say, i am mentally and physically exhausted. i feel like the last four months have been a marathon, and last night was the final mile. at least for this year. that being said, i feel like it was also a turning point. my love for what i do just grew--10 fold. i left smiling last night, knowing i took some god-aweful-shots and that i nailed a few that stopped me in my tracks and made me say yougogirl. and it kept me wanting more. and it makes all the stress, sleepless nights, mental burnout, and physical pain i feel today, a good hurt.

while the quality of this picture makes me literally cringe, there is nothing sweeter than mom and son dancing. i have a thing with shots of feet, and these were so perfectly mismatched, i loved it.

Friday, December 17, 2010


i landed the biggest job of my life. i couldn't believe it. this was it--the turning point of my photographic career. i was stunned. a star. i was going to be shooting a STAR! when jess first emailed me and asked me to photograph their holiday party a few weeks ago, so many thoughts were flying through my head. am i ready for this? what should i wear? have i been good this year? i wonder if he will bring his sleigh? maybe Rudolph and i can hangout and drink some nog. i better get my list in order. and bake a couple dozen cookies. that's right, folks. i was going to meet the big guy. SANTA. :)

the stockings were hung by the chimney with care, and the kitchen was oozing with wonderful smells. the tree stood proud in a corner, glistening and glowing, while the sound of bells echoed throughout each room. each berry and chocolate and light was in place, and as the guests entered in, children's laughter rang loud and clear. little did they know, he was coming--making a surprise appearance!

Christmas holds wonderful nostalgic memories for me that i look forward to all year. jess and brad started creating these same wonderful memories for their family and friends by hosting a holiday party featuring the man in red himself. there were tons of great memories made that night, and the looks on the kids faces were priceless, but here are a few of my favorite editorial style pics of the night. and i know you were wondering... Rudolph preferred a good glass of Riesling, and Santa loves my baking.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


They met in college. And from the beginning, she knew he was someone special. But they were just "friends". Over the years, their friendship grew, and found a way to last through distance and silence. It's a funny thing, friendship. It has a funny way of allowing us to truly know the essence of a person. It's not complicated, or over thought, or meticulously planned. You can put it down, walk away, and one day pick right up where you left off. For Linda and Lance, that's just what happened. Only when they picked back up, they found a love that had been churning for sometime.

From the beginning, she knew he was someone special. I knew it when he first emailed me. He was going to propose. He couldn't wait to marry his best friend. And he wanted ME to capture that love as quickly as possible.

Maybe it was the way he looked at her, with a sparkle in his eye like a child opening presents on Christmas morning. Or maybe it was her laugh as he whispered something in her ear. But I fell in love with their love. It's tangible, warm, and comforting. I feel so honored and thrilled to photograph their wedding. Downtown was the perfect backdrop for this couple, who would just ooze love wherever we were.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

happy december :)

whew! i can't believe we are into december! HAPPY HOLIDAYS! it's been a whirlwind of a few weeks (yes, my last post was in october. i'm sorry). my classes are winding down, sessions are slowing, and we got our first snow today! on the photography front, i'm ecstatic about all the wonderful opportunities that are coming up! a wonderful photo friend of mine, John Yao of Noah Joy Photography, has been an awesome mentor--if you are getting married, need a photographer, and haven't scheduled yet...CALL HIM. he's fabulous and you won't regret it. santa came early with a new lens that i have been dying over (love prime lenses) and some lovely little lessons with a flash gave me the above image that i'm thrilled about. i had a fantastic engagement session a few weeks ago and sneak peeks will be coming, with many others to follow. so much else is going on, but i'm short on time today, so for now just enjoy the updated blog look and stay posted for more to come :)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

a diamond in the rough

years before a diamond is shiny, sparkling, and brilliant, it starts off rough and ugly. it's nothing more than a piece of rock that wouldn't be given a second look. {i guarantee, no desperate housewife would ever beg her husband for a 10 carat ugly rock.} but in it's own time, in the right circumstances, it's true beauty is exposed and desired.

there are moments in time when we feel on top of our game, like we're sparkling and shiny. today was not one of those days. today i felt covered in mud, up to my eyeballs. today i felt like i was the new kid on the first day of school with the coke bottle glasses and mary janes. today was one of those stark realizations of knowing i was not where i wanted to be, and i didn't know how to get there. today, i was a rock. an ugly, throw me to the curb, rock. 

one of a photographers worst characteristics is self doubt and criticism. it's like a death sentence. once you get that first little twinge of uncertainty, it's all down hill from there. if you know me, you know i'm a perfectionist. i hold myself to ridiculously high, unrealistic standards. i never do anything small. it's all or nothing, otherwise it's not worth doing. and heaven forbid i start to second guess--i walk away, i give up, and sit myself on the bench until i can regroup or decide to pack up my things and go home. right now, i'm calling a time out. before i sink--like a rock.

years before a diamond is shiny, sparkling, and brilliant, it starts off rough and ugly. today, i was a rock. today, i was rough and ugly. time and patience, and maybe i'll find a diamond one day.

Monday, October 18, 2010

soup could do my body good

weeks of running myself ragged have finally caught up with me. i'm burnout, worn out, and have managed to earn a nice little head cold to go with all that :) i'm playing a little catch up with life today, and decided that the cold weather was a good reason to cook up something for my patient husband who currently believes i am only a figment of his imagination. this is epic, because really, i like to cook but i'm not that great at it. after all, this is the girl who tried to cook her first thanksgiving dinner last year and realized the night before the big day that the 6lb "turkey" she though she bought was actually just bone in turkey breasts. after he got over his devastation that we would not be having any dark meat, my husband laughed hysterically knowing that is just typical me. (for those of you wondering what REALLY is wrong with that whole picture....turkey's don't come in 6lb sizes. joke was on me!). at the request of a friend, i'm posting my favorite chicken tortilla soup recipe that is one of my go-to fall/winter dishes. it's currently warming up in my lovely, can't screw anything up crockpot. i serve it up with a few tortilla chips, shredded cheese, lime slices, and cilantro--enjoy!

3-4 frozen chicken breasts
1 diced onion
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can kidney beans
1 can black beans
1 can whole corn
1 small can green chilis
1 beer {i use corona. there is something wrong with the idea of using an american beer in a mexican dish :)}
1 packet of taco mix, OR a random arrangement of spices (chili powder, cumin, etc)
throw it all in a crockpot for 6 hours on low. after 6 hours, remove chicken, shred with a fork, and return to crockpot for an additional 2 hours on low. note: i've also used chicken broth instead of beer and that works well too. it's a great recipe to mess around with and make it your own!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

like mother, like daughter | sneak peek

i'm not sure if it was her sparkling blue eyes, her turquoise checked pea coat, or the fact that she grabbed my hand within 5 seconds of meeting her and treated me like her big sister, but from the moment i met this little gem i was in "love"! regardless, this little spitfire gave me and her mom MANY laughs with her, what i will officially term, "alex-isms". mom and daughter have such a special connection and i felt honored to be able to capture it on film. see more of their sneak peek below :)

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