Friday, October 31, 2008

Share the Love #8

Two weeks ago, I wrote about things that inspire me. This week, I have to add something (or someone) else to that list:

Anna Marie Horner

Check out the photos on her blog. Two words: inspiration heaven. Anna Marie is a talented designer with several projects in the works (including a book on sewing that was just released this month). How can anyone look at these gorgeous colors and not be inspired?

Here's some more eye candy from her blog. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

: Jacquelyn and Noah :

A few pics from Jacquelyn and Noah's beautiful wedding last Saturday...

Best moment ever: there were four flower-girls and one ring-bearer... and they had a bit of a backup as they were walking down the aisle. They literally stood there, and had no idea what to do. Check out the little blondie's panicked look:

Back on track...

I always love the groom's face when he watches his bride walk down the aisle. CUTE!!

First kiss...

...and Jacquelyn's reaction :)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Marcia is my hero.

I can't remember how we found Marcia; I think we were randomly clicking through photographer listings on a wedding-planning website, and poof, there she was. Random as it was, it was no accident.

We chose Marcia for our wedding photographer because she was nice. She laughed. She was real. I'm living proof that clients book their photographers based on the connection they feel, not just the pictures they see (even though Marcia was obviously very talented). I heard too many stories of brides who bawled on their wedding day because of a rude, pushy photographer. No way, not happening! Marcia was the first and only photographer we met with, and I am so, so glad. Our wedding pics turned out gorgeous, and the wedding day was a breeze. An absolute fairy-tale, with no bawling bride to be seen ;)

Fast-forward to a year later. Us: happily married, and starting to delve into professional photography. Marcia: talented as ever, with a business that's growing like crazy. So when the opportunity came for us to do a photo-shoot with her, we jumped. High.

Here are just a few...

You can see the rest (and hear her side of the story) here and here. While you're over there, check out some of her other work (she just shot a killer wedding), and leave her some blog-love!!

**Marcia... Thank you for investing your time and energy into our lives in so many ways. Your generosity is contagious and your talent is inspiring. You rock my socks :)

Thursday, October 23, 2008


I've struggled lately with taking pictures that are in focus. It's silly, really, but I'll think I've nailed the shot, only to pull it up later in photoshop and realize my subject's face is a big, blurry mess. *sigh*

I chalked it up to inexperience. But then I got more experienced, and my images were still out of focus. What was I doing wrong?

The moment of euphoria occurred when I stopped by the eye doctor's office to pick up my new glasses. I hadn't gotten my eyes checked since I was fourteen, and I had recently been getting headaches from staring at my computer screen. I scheduled an appointment, and the doctor checked my eyes, told me my eyesight was going down the tubes, and wrote me a prescription. Nice.

So the nurse hands me my glasses. I try them on. And suddenly, the world around me is crystal clear. Sharp. Crisp. Vivid. I take them off, and it's back to fuzzy wuzzy eyesight. I can't believe how bad my eyes were, without me really realizing it.

Glasses have now become a somewhat permanent fixture on my face...

Moral of the story? If you're having trouble focusing, get your eyes checked. Duh.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Pumpkin Love

'Tis the season for pumpkins in Chicago! (On a side note, this is probably the only time of year I don't envy Californians. How can you enjoy a pumpkin spice latte when it's 90 degrees outside? Who wants palm trees year-round when you can have crunchy leaves under your feet in late October? And what's Christmas without snow? ...But come January, I'm ready to make the move to San Diego!)

Anywho, enjoy a few pics from our pumpkin carving extravaganza last weekend!

Proudly displaying our mad carving skills. (Notice mine isn't carved...)

The "normal" pumpkins, all lit up...

...and Marty's gator :)

Notice how huge the pumpkins are? Marty's family gets them from a Wisconsin apple orchard for - get this - $3 a pumpkin. Grocery stores in Chicago sell pumpkins the size of my fist for $3! So hey, I guess Wisconsin's good for something ;)

By the way, we're experimenting with layouts and branding, so things might be a bit different while we're establishing a "look"... hopefully everything will get solidified really soon, and in the meantime, let me know if you like what you see!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Share the Love #7

Here's an excellent resource for pro photographers: Rangefinder Magazine. The print edition is free for the professional, and their website has a ton of good stuff. For example: looking for a new album vendor? Click on "resources," then "custom albums," and Voila! A ton of album vendors, with websites at your fingertips.

Rangefinder is also a great way to stay on top of what's going on in the industry. It features top photographers in a bunch of different fields (e.g., this month's print edition featured the Boudoir Divas), and I'm always inspired when I hear about a specific niche that photographers are developing.

If you haven't already, check it out!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Work it!

Marty and I spent Sunday afternoon with Marcia Tumminaro, wedding photographer extraordinnaire! I could say a lot of things about Marcia (amazing, fantastic, wonderful things!!), but her work definitely speaks for itself! (Take a look at her website...) We were priveledged to have Marcia photograph our own wedding, and it's been so much fun getting to know her better over the past year or so.

We made the trek out to Belvidere, Marcia's hometown, and I can't wait to see the pictures from our shoot! We lugged our camera along, and I took a couple shots of her in action...

On the drive home, we saw an amazing, gorgeous sunset...


Friday, October 10, 2008

Share the Love #6

What inspires you?

I went shopping yesterday, and found this:

Shoes inspire me. It's a little ridiculous, but silly heels with bows-on-the-toes make me want to go out with my camera and shoot.

And then there's words.

I'm an editor by day. I read constantly, and beautiful sentences make me want to come up with images to match them:

The scattered tea goes with the leaves and every day a sunset dies. ~William Faulkner


And family. Family inspires me. Priceless expressions, moments that will never happen again...

My brother, fishing on a lake at sunset.

Maybe I'm not speaking your language. Maybe shoes and words don't inspire you. So what does? Make a list, and go back to it over and over again. Remind yourself why you're doing what you're doing!

p.s. Marcia, if you're reading this... I'm wearing those heels for our shoot this weekend. And I'm way too excited :)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Happy fall!

A few pictures from a recent romp in the woods...

"The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever." Isaiah 40:8

"October's poplars are flaming torches lighting the way to winter." ~Nova Bair

"Everyone must take time to sit and watch the leaves turn." ~Elizabeth Lawrence

"Youth is like spring, an over praised season more remarkable for biting winds than genial breezes. Autumn is the mellower season, and what we lose in flowers we more than gain in fruits. " ~Samuel Butler

Marty's face was still puffy from his wisdom-tooth surgery... so this was the best I could do. At least his eyes are smiling :)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

6 months and soggy cake

You know the tradition where a newly married couple wraps the top layer of their wedding cake in foil and sticks it in the freezer, so that they can try it on their 1-year wedding anniversary? Our foil-wrapped cake has been in a deep freeze for six months, but after a conversation with a few of my friends (who assured me that many people get sick after eating year-old cake, and really, the top layer of a cake is too big to eat in one sitting anyways), we decided to pull it out and give it a try.

Marty and I celebrated our 6 month wedding anniversary last week. We ate at the restaurant where we had our rehearsal dinner, and came home to try a piece of the top layer of our wedding cake.

A few words to the wise:

1) If the venue staff wraps your cake for you, check to make sure they did a good job. We had a bit of freezer burnage going on...

2) If your cake had a custard filling, don't eat the custard filling. It's disgusting.

3) If you're approaching your 1 year (or 6 month) anniversary, and the idea of eating old, soggy cake makes your gag reflex kick in... just take a picture and dump it in the trash : )

Friday, October 3, 2008

50mm 1.4

My new favorite : )

Share the Love #5

You know the phrase, "You are your own worst critic"? Eh, I don't think it always applies to photographers.

Sure, sometimes you look at someone else's work, and then you look back at your own stuff, and you think, "I stink." It's inevitable (and probably untrue). No, what I'm actually talking about is this: I snap a picture and load it on to my computer. It catches my eye, so I spend five, ten, twenty minutes on it, dodging and burning and enhancing and cropping and de-saturating and on and on. Then I'm done. I look at it, and love it.

Enter good-looking husband:

Husband looks. Husband pauses. Husband says something along the lines of, "Ummm..."

After looking at one photo for an entirely too-long amount of time, I sometimes become accepting of its imperfections and choose to overlook its flaws. It takes Marty's candid reactions to put me in my place, and thus enable me to improve.

Make sure you have someone looking over your shoulder, telling you "good job" or "ummm" as they see fit. The outcome is ultimately up to you... but perspective is everything : )

Speaking of Marty... he gets all four of his wisdom teeth pulled tonight. This weekend, I'll be making banana shakes, strapping ice packs to his head, and watching a James Bond movie marathon. The things we do for love : )

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Chicago (again!)

Chicago is an amazing place to live. The gorgeous skyline, the sports teams (GO CUBS!!), the restaurants, the changing seasons (fall is in full swing!)... I could go on and on :) Anyways, I can't believe how close we live to the city, and yet we manage to get downtown maybe four times a year?! Crazy!

Here are a few pics from our recent trip in; two friends and I took a boat tour (led by another friend from church... who hooked us up with free tickets! Thanks Josh!) over the weekend:

tour guide extraordinnaire:

Marty absolutely adores sailing, so I took this one for him:

I didn't feel like lugging my 40D around with me all day, so I brought the powershot instead. Image quality isn't exactly comparable, but it has one heck of a zoom :)

And... the almost finished Trump tower!