Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Sneak Peak - *Oklahoma Wedding Photographer*

As most of you know I went to Nebraska last weekend to shoot Jason & Krista's wedding.  Well, since I took a ton of pictures, and it is probably going to take me several weeks to prepare them all for you to see, I wanted to give you a sneak peak of one of my favorites... 

The wedding was beautiful, and you could just feel the love between Krista & Jason.  They are an amazing couple, and I know their love for each other and for the Lord will take them far in life.  It was so hot and humid last Saturday that we decided to delay our outdoor pictures until the evening.  So, we snuck away for a few minutes during the reception to capture some photos in the field behind the church.  There was a corn field right beside the church property... and since there is A LOT of corn in Nebraska I asked them how they would feel about corn field pictures.  They immediately loved the idea and went on to explain that they actually got engaged in a corn field!  Jason proposed at midnight, in the middle of a corn field.  So, it was perfect!  Here is one of my favorites:

Jason & Krista - I was so honored to be part of your special day.  Thank you for making me feel so welcome :)  I can't wait to share the rest of the photos with you!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Can you say LAZY??

It's official... I own the laziest cat in the world!  The other night Rigby was sleeping on the couch.  However, he was not just sleeping, he was stretched out completely laying between the cracks of the cushions. 

I ran to grab my camera, realized it didn't have a memory card in it, went to get the memory card, and then proceeded to snap multiple pictures of him.  Throughout this entire process he never moved a muscle. 

Wow, the life of cat... if only I could sleep this well!

Saturday, June 26, 2010


Today is the day!  I have been looking forward to this day ever since last fall when Krista and Jason contacted me about photographing their wedding.  Now, I am just a few minutes away from heading over the the church where I will join them for their special day, and capture the memories that will last a lifetime!

I admit I'm slightly nervous, but I figure that is a good thing.  A little bit of nerves mean that I take my job seriously and want to do a great job!  However, despite the nerves, mostly I am just EXCITED! 

Today is going to be a great day!  Look for a sneak peak coming up sometime next week :) 

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Hardy Hibiscus

This is the story of the hardiest hibiscus plant I know: 

I love tropical flowers.  Growing up in Colorado we never had anything resembling a tropical flower, so when I would go visit my family in Ft. Worth I was always in awe of their amazing gardens and variety of plants.  My favorite was the hibiscus.  One year when I was about 12, while visiting my Texas family, my Aunt Marilyn took me to a greenhouse and bought me my very own hibiscus plant!  It was relatively small since I planned to take it back to Colorado. 

Once it made the 12 hour car ride back to Colorado Springs this little plant was placed in one of our front flower beds.  For the next 10 years it fought snow, wind, and cold.  Every year it would die, then finally pop out of the ground again toward the end of July.  It would grow and grow, and when it was finally covered in buds and just about to bloom.... it would freeze.  Poor plant.  So for 10 years it tried to bloom, and was never successful. 

Well, after Dwyatt and I got married and were planning our move to Oklahoma my parents suggested I take my hibiscus with me.  So, we dug it out of the ground, put it back in a pot, and drove it 9 hours to Oklahoma.  Then we replanted it, wondering just how much this poor plant can take.  Well low & behold it survived!  Let me tell you, this is now one happy plant!  For the past 2 years now, it has easily popped out of the ground in early April, and come mid June it starts to bloom!  The blooms started just this week, and they are gorgeous!  I am so excited that I have many more blooms to look forward to :)  I love the hibiscus flowers because they are huge!  These are about 8" across. 

Anyway, I just wanted to share the story of this incredible little plant... here are a few pictures:

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Napa Valley

I wanted to finish sharing pictures with you all from my weekend in San Francisco.  The weekend was filled with great friends, lots of laughter, and of course fabulous wine from Napa Valley.  It was so much fun to share this time with my girls, and Tommy too...  Our friend Tommy flew down from Alaska to surprise Coree on her birthday and it just completed the weekend to have him there after not seeing him in almost two years! 

Our wine tour started at 8am with a drive through the city, over the Golden Gate bridge, and out to Napa Valley.  Then we visited four different wineries including Domaine Chandon, V. Sattui Winery, Andretti Winery, and Rutherford Ranch Winery.  Then the tour ended with a ferry boat ride back across the Bay.  Incredible day :)

Anyway, here are the rest of my pictures from our day in Napa... Enjoy!

Golden Gate Bridge
Champagne at Domain Chandon
Bottling Champagne...

V. Sattui Winery
Rutherford Ranch... I brought a bottle of the Cabernet home for Dwyatt :)
Gorgeous Scenery!
Our Birthday girl!!
The girls :)
Thanks to Tommy for this awesome photo!
Baby grapes... and Erica rockin' it.
Ferry boat!
Tommy looking very debonair...
Miss California...

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Precious Memories

Sometimes a photograph comes along that truly touches your heart.  A photograph that you just know will be in your albums forever, and one day you will pull out to share with your grandchildren.  Last weekend my friends and I flew to San Francisco to visit one of our very best friends for her 25th birthday.  While we were there, we took a wine tour through Napa Valley.

These girls mean the absolute world to me, and although we have now moved in different directions and are separated by thousands of miles, when we all get together it's like we were never apart.  I cherish all the weekends we share and all the memories that are made.  Our day in Napa Valley was filled with laughter, joy, and of course multiple bottles of wine! 

I wanted to share this picture with you all because whenever I look at it, I smile.  I am reminded that girlfriends are truly a gift from God, and I don't know where I would be without these incredible women.  One day I will share this photo with my granddaughter to teach her the value of fabulous friends, and perhaps remind her that we were once young women, enjoying life, and chasing after our dreams. 

Friday, June 18, 2010

Fast Track Photographer: I'm on my way!

Deep down, I'm a nerd.  I always have been... so what do nerds do when they have a passion?  They read books on the subject in hopes of bettering themselves.  I am currently reading a book called Fast Track Photographer by the world-renowned Dane Sanders.  Let me say, this book is AMAZING!

It teaches you how to grow yourself as a photographer, and how to differentiate yourself from the crowd by building a brand around what makes you unique as an individual.  There are plenty of people who take gorgeous photographs, and I know there will always be someone out there with more talent than I have, so what makes me different?

Through the use of his pDNA system (stands for photographer DNA), you answer about 250 questions about yourself in hopes of determining your individual strengths and weaknesses.  Then you build upon your strengths to create a truly one of a kind brand.  That unique brand is what you offer to the world.

So, this morning I am sitting here, coffee in hand, pondering my pDNA results and discovering what it is that I truly have to offer my clients.  I'm still not done with this process yet, but here are a few things I know about myself that will shape my business:

*  I love people.  I love to interact, visit, and share experiences with people.  This means that when we go out for an engagement shoot or portrait session, I totally just want to hang out with you.  And I'm kind of hoping we can go to dinner together afterwards...  On your wedding day?  I just want to blend in as one of the girls, share your laughter and joy, and be there to capture memories along the way.  

*  I believe in customer service.  Nothing is more aggravating to me, and I me nothing, than when I call a customer service phone number and a computer answers the phone.  Ugh!  Then, to make it worse when you do get through to a real person, then they usually live in another country and have no idea what you're talking about... Ok, sorry I went off on a little tangent, but my point is that when you receive good customer service and an overall good experience with a business it is like a breath of fresh air.  I will provide a great experience for my clients, from the initial meeting, to the day of the shoot, all the way through the design and delivery of albums and prints, my client satisfaction comes first.

*  I'm a girly girl, and I love weddings!  The flowers, the dress, the shoes, the invitations, the cake, all the planning... I love it all!  When I ask you about the details of you're day, I'm not asking because it's "my job" I'm asking because I really want every juicy detail!  I want to know what your dress shopping experience was like, I want to know how you chose a location, I want to know how you picked out the ring.  Know that on your wedding day, while you are overflowing with joy, I will also have a giant grin on my face, thank you for letting me share this day with you  :)

*  I love marriage.  Now, to me this is different than loving weddings... I do love the decor, elegance, and splendor of a fabulous wedding, but without a beautiful marriage the rest is just fluff.  I believe in the holiness and sanctity of marriage.  I believe that love can last a lifetime, and that when God puts two people together nothing can tear them apart.  As a Christian I believe that there is nothing more powerful than love, and that a couple on their wedding day represents one of the purest and deepest kinds of love.  Know that while I am moving around and snapping pictures of your ceremony, my heart is in a worshipful place.  I love the tradition, I take seriously the vows, and I am inspired by God's presence.  I simply feel honored to capture such an amazing moment. 

Wow, I didn't know I had so much to say!  I guess Fast Track Photographer is really doing it's job and making me think!  I still have so far to go with building this business, but I truly feel like the characteristics I mentioned above are what sets me apart.  They come from the heart, and staying true to myself is what will make me unique.  If you're a photographer looking to improve or start your own business I would highly recommend this book, as you can see it has already done worlds for me. 

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Epitome of Cute

My house will never be the same again.  More than likely it will never be truly clean and in order, for I have two new babies living at my house...  While they are furry little creatures with 4 legs, they now are in complete control of the household, much like I would expect a newborn baby to be.  There are toys made of bells, feathers, and ribbon scattered around the floor.  There are milk bowls, and scratching posts, and little beds that have taken over the living room... yet somehow, I wouldn't have it any other way.

A few months ago I posted about my parents newborn Colorado kittens.  Well, a few weeks ago my parents came to visit me and they brought me two of them!  I am in love.  What adorable little bundles of fluff!  Besides the fact that they chase my toes constantly, and pounce on my head in the middle of the night, they are perfect :)  Dwyatt loves them as much as I do and is constantly carrying them around! Talk about spoiled. 

They have already grown up so much, I want to share a picture so I can always remember how little they were.  I have some more recent photos to share of them terrorizing my house... but for now let's just pretend they are always this sweet and innocent  :)

Meet Rigby & Remington

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Saturday Morning Bliss

Why is it that coffee tastes so much better on Saturdays?  Is it because I get the chance to just sit in my kitchen, read a book, and enjoy the morning light?  Perhaps it's because I grind my own beans and have the choice between flavors like toasted cinnamon or Texas pecan.  Either way, I always look forward to quiet Saturday mornings where I can savor the moment and contemplate the weekend ahead.  It's my "me" time, it's my Saturday morning bliss...

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Conquering the Wakeboard

I wanted to share another story from Memorial day weekend with you all... on Monday I finally conquered the art of wakeboarding.  This may not seem like much, but I have been trying to get up on this silly board for over a year now, and it has been so frustrating!  To make matters worse my husband, and his brother, are actually quite amazing boarders so I have a lot to live up to!  Here is my story...

After watching Dwyatt and Devin for the past several years and capturing images like this:
And This:
And This:
And This:

You can see why I wanted to finally learn this sport...  So, on Monday we all went out early onto the lake so the water would be calmer, and I tried again...  Here I am looking nervous and apprehensive about the whole idea:
Giving it my all...
Still wobbly and worried I'm going to face plant:
Oh my goodness, I actually MADE IT!!!
Now I'm looking confident :)

I am SO excited that I finally accomplished this goal.  Now I just need a boat so I can practise more :) 

Finally, this picture is my favorite picture of the weekend, to me it really resonates the saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. 

Dwyatt & Devin - Thank you for being patient with me while I was learning.  Now hopefully we can spend a lot more time riding and less time picking me up out of the lake... you're the best & I love you guys :)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Sunshine & Summertime

Although summertime technically doesn't arrive for a few more weeks, in my mind Memorial day weekend is the start of summer.  My memories of Memorial day always include warm days, cooking on the grill, spending time with family, and working on my tan!  This Memorial day was no different. 

Though these fun memories of family, food, and sunshine are what reminds me of this summer holiday, I always find myself reflecting on the truer and deeper meaning of the day.  I know it is because of the sacrifice of many men and women that we enjoy the freedoms and simple pleasures that make life what it is in America.  I think about my grandfather and how truly thankful I am for all he did for this country.  He served in the US Army his entire career, during that time fighting 3 wars.  I can't help but think that it is because of his choices in life that I have such freedom in mine.  Thank you Pap, and thank you to all the others currently making sacrifices to keep our country safe.  You are our heroes.

This year to celebrate Memorial day, Dwyatt and I went to Texas spent some quality time with his family.  His Dad's new house on Lake Travis is now finished, and it's gorgeous!  What a beautiful place to call home...  It was in the mid 90's all weekend, so we spent most of our time in the water.  Dwyatt and his brother Devin also cooked some fabulous meals for us.  Since pictures speak louder than words I will share a few of my favorites with you...

View from the new house
View of the house from the boat dock.  The deck is my favorite part :)
Donna looking on as the boys swim in the cove.
Boys will be boys...
Devin's adorable puppy Squeak had her own personal raft...
Dwyatt & Devin were in LOVE with this boat...
Dwyatt caught this picture while we were dancing on the boat dock.  It's kind of dark and fuzzy, but I really like it!
Taken during our sunset cruise... simply breathtaking!

I also have quite the story to share with you all about my wakeboarding experience this weekend... but that has all it's own pictures to go along with it, so I think that will have to be a separate post :)