Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Public Service Announcement

I'm doing this for your own good. There's no way I could keep something this good to myself. Get ready for it....

Inside-out carrot cake cookies

My BFF Joe, more commonly known as Trader Joe, makes these delicious cookies that I just can't stop eating. I mean, how could I resist these babies? Soft carrot cake cookies held together with cream cheese frosting? Um, yes please.

And there you have it. You're welcome :).

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Michelle and Luis :: Married

I remember sitting in Dewey's across the table from Michelle and Luis. "Oh, you guys have to try this," they told us. "It's the best."

I was a little skeptical. Pepperoni pizza with white sauce? It just didn't sound too very appetizing. I mean, have you tried the red pizza sauce at Dewey's? It's amazing. Why were we messing with a good thing? It wasn't even on the menu, so it must not be that good, right?

We chatted about wedding plans and jobs and the like, while I whet my appetite with a delicious salad. Our server refilled our drinks, and he was promptly followed by two steaming hot pizzas. Ah, I always love that moment at a restaurant when you catch a glimpse of a delicious dish and then you notice that it's heading your way. Bliss. And then they sat that mystery pizza down in front of me. The Pepperoni pizza with white sauce. I raised my brow skeptically as the server put it down in front of me. I almost passed over it completely, but then, not wanting to be rude, I selected a small slice of the white pepperoni.

"So, how did you guys meet?" I asked them as I filled the remaining space on my plate with my fave, the Edgar Allen Poe. Michelle and Luis exchanged glances and began telling us the cute story of how they had met during college while studying at the library. I didn't let them get very far into the story before I had to stop them.

"Sweet Mother!," I said, maybe just a bit too loudly. "This is amazing!"

And wouldn't you know it, that dang pizza... that pepperoni with white sauce that I had nearly snubbed... it was freakin scrumptious! Even as I'm typing this, I can almost taste it. It was so flavorful and garlic-y and delicious. Man, I love that pizza.

Just a few months later, I met Michelle at the salon on her wedding day. With camera in hand, I was prepared to document her wedding day. Not only has Michelle become a good friend to me, but she also introduced me to one of the new loves of my life. The pepperoni with white sauce. And for that, I am eternally thankful:).

And now on the photos...

Getting ready in the salon at the Chase. They do lovely work :).

Would you check out that dress??

I love the Chase :). Such a lovely place to get ready.

Luis and Michelle chose to have a First Look, which allowed us a lot of time for some wonderfully romantic portraits.

see what I mean? Oh-so-romantic.

everybody needs a nice portrait for mom :)

One of my favorites

Luis looking rather dapper

Another one of my favorites. I loved seeing just how into each other Michelle and Luis are.

The men

The ladies. The breezeway was, well, so breezy.

Then it was back to the Randall Gallery for the ceremony and reception. Michelle was so excited, she nearly danced all the way down the aisle. Adorable.

Michelle's big sis.

Oh I love this. Michelle's parents provided the music during the lighting of the unity candle. Her mom sang "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" while her step dad accompanied on the steel guitar. Made me get a little misty.

These two are such amazing dancers.

Always love the sparkler exit

Michelle and Luis, thank you so much for letting me be a part of your wedding day. It was truly an honor and I hope we can get together for pizza again soon :).

Saturday, September 26, 2009

JC/OC Workshop

Yes, I know it's past 2am, but I'm still on California time. And I have to tell you about my trip :).

Earlier this summer, I heard that Jessica Claire, one of my very favorite photographers, would be hosting her first ever photography workshop from her home studio in Southern California. The date was kept a secret for quite some time, and because the workshop was limited to only about 20 attendees, I knew I'd never have a chance to get in. This is the type of workshop that photographers form all over the country (and even out of the country) want to go to and will gladly pay whatever it costs. I knew the competition to get a spot would be fierce.

Well, fiercer than fierce. More like brutal.

So, I started stalking Jessica on twitter and facebook so I would be in the know as to when the event was being held and when registration was opened. It was quite sad, to be honest, but I wanted to go to that workshop more than I wanted ice cream or starbucks or a new pair of shoes.

Yeah, intense.

Not too long after I learned that there would be a workshop, I noticed via Twitter that Jessica had opened registration. The only problem, though, was that I was in my car. Riding, not driving, mind you. I let out a little yelp to my so-very-confused husband and tried to register via my phone but it wouldn't load the flash page!! My heart started beating fast, my palms were sweaty, and the venti iced coffee Jon had bought me threatened to make a reappearance. I HAD to register! So I called my brother at work to see if he could help me, but he was on another call. Blast! Then I called one of my former co-workers and asked him to register me. He did so rather excitedly, and I burst out into song (literally. it was quite beautiful. but you had to be there...) because I was sure I had registered in time.

I anxiously checked my phone every three minutes (ok, let's be honest, it was more like every 30 seconds) for an email about the conference, but it hit midnight and still nothing. It was late, but I just had to know... did I get in to the workshop??? We were up watching the cards game anyway, and right before 1am, I got it. The email. I got in!!

Somehow, I was blessed to have a seat in the workshop and I couldn't have been more thrilled! What made it even more exciting, though, was that Jon would be coming with me for a mini baby-moon after the workshop. It was quite splendid. And I scored an amazing deal at an equally amazing hotel. Check out the view:

And now on to the whole reason why I was in SoCal: the workshop.

We started off the day in Jessica's studio. While Jessica was teaching, I found myself in a near state of shock. THE Jessica Claire. That's who was sitting just a few feet in front of me. THE Jessica Claire who was named one of PDN's top 10 wedding photographers in the WORLD. THE Jessica Claire who inspired me with her beautiful imagery when I was first starting out years ago. How did I get so lucky to have a seat in her class

After a few hours of teaching, Jessica walked us through what a typical wedding day would like for her, starting out at the bride's house while she was getting ready

Then we headed to an outdoor wedding that had been set up for our class. It was absolutely, 100% amazing. Lovely details, gorgeous models, seamless beauty. Jessica started off by photographing some of the details

And then the rest of us jumped in

Such a beautimous setting for a wedding. I love California. I need to move there.

Jessica photographing the models

And our turn

I spent the majority of my time photographing the details of the event, which was put together by the fabulous Grey Likes Weddings. Really, the styling was perfectly splendid, and if I could do my wedding all over again, this would be it. I mean really, don't you think this is just the perfect wedding?

The lovely Gena, looking fab thanks to Vivian Tran of All Made Up

Gorgeous florals by Flora Organica

loved the photobooth

This cake not only looked adorable, but smelled delicious, courtesy of Cheryl Stewart of Cake My Day. It was all I could not to throw down my camera and hurl myself toward the sugary confection. But I restrained myself. Luckily.

When I returned to St. Louis after the workshop, I was refreshed, inspired, and even a little bit tan. It was marvelous indeed.

Vendors that made the day possible:
Event & Photo Stylist: Grey Likes Weddings
Floral Design: Flora Organica
Hair & Makeup: Vivian Tran: All Made Up
Wedding Stationary, Favors, and Paper Suite: MaeMae Paperie
Printing of paper products: Czar Press
Fabric Rosettes, shoe clips, and "just married" banner over cake: B. Poetic
Cake: Cheryl Stewart of Cake My Day

Friday, September 18, 2009


How could you not love this kid? I mean really, my heart melts for him.

just sayin'.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Bad Blogger Receives Slap on the Wrist

Because of my hectic schedule, I regularly stay up until 2am editing photos and returning email and designing books and other wedding related work. One of my favorite things, though, is when my husband stays up with me and works at the desk next to mine. It's almost like we're normal people with normal jobs... except we're in our pajamas and not working normal hours and nothing about either one of our jobs is normal. And I'm usually eating guacamole. Working next to my Jon means that I usually have a little smile and bright glimmer in my eyes as I toil away in front of my computer with the faint sound of "the Office" playing in the background. and then it happens. Without fail. It's like a knife to the back.

"So, have you blogged recently," he asks smugly, with my blog pulled up on his laptop, full well knowing that I haven't put up a new blog in over a month.

I typically glare at him from my desk across the room and mutter something sarcastic under my breath. When I'm feeling especially creative, I make up excuses like "my fingers are just too cold in this frigid room to type" or "I think the dog ate my keyboard" , or my personal favorite, "so's your mom." I'm quite mature.

In addition to my husband's passive-aggressive attempts to make me blog, I've also been getting quite a few tweets, emails, and facebook comments recently from friends, family and my lovely clients who have noticed my infrequent and sporadic postings.

"Surely, it hasn't been that long since I've blogged," I thought to myself each time I got a message from someone other than my loving husband. But tonight, I checked, and oh the horrors. I haven't blogged a full blog post since July. And it's mid-September. Yes, it's true. That's a long time. sigh...

So, tonight I have resolved to turn over a new blogging leaf. My lack of posting definitely has not been from lack of material because I've shot more weddings and sessions this year than I ever have... and that's what I really blame for my blogging absence. I actually really enjoy writing, though, and I'd really love to blog more often. So I'm gonna. As Zac Effron said in High School Musical 2, you can bet on me.

Yeah, I'm really not doing anything tonight to hide what a dork I am.

So check back soon... I've got sessions from all the way back to spring that I still haven't blogged and I'm so excited to share with you. And since blogs are always better with photos, here's a shot from tonight's engagement shoot :).