Thursday, August 26, 2010

What photographers do. (when you're not looking)

Ohhhhh goodness. Shannon Morse and I had toooo much fun after Sara&John's wedding in July. Keep in mind, we live at completely opposite ends of California, meaning...we hardly EVER see eachother. When we do....oh we go all out. On this most recent trip I introduced her to Cactus Cooler and we also had our traditional Panda Express dinner(you know, the usual). all started with snapping the occasional photo of eachother during slow moments on the wedding day, and then once the wedding had ended, we still had some extra space on our memory cards...and HOW could we put that to waste??? So began a late night, exhausted yet adrenaline-filled, SILLY, photoshoot with Shannon and I...just have a look for yourself!

P.S. if you think these are funny, you should SEE some of the things I do to make my clients laugh in front of my camera ;)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Back to where it all began.

There's something eerie about returning to a place you haven't been to in years and your life has changed IMMENSELY since the last time you were there. You are suddenly so aware of the person you were back then and it's almost as if this place is your own little time capsule. For me, that place was my grandparents farm in Virginia where I returned for the first time in several years while I was out on the East Coast shooting Chad&Gabrielle's wedding. Visiting again held huge significance for me, because THIS is the place I discovered photography. And this most recent trip was the first time I'd returned since I made that decision to pursue my dream.
You see, some time ago my family and I began going to Virginia to visit my grandparents once a year, for a week at a time. One summer, being a restless teenager, missing my friends, and wanting to get out of the house, I needed to find SOMETHING to do... I'll never know what it was that made me decide to pick up my parents point-and-shoot digital camera and go around the farm taking pictures of everything in sight. Whether it was destiny or pure boredom, I do not know, either way...after that week I was hooked.
Coming back for the first time since then, I was flooded with visions of myself from the previous trip years ago, running all over the farm developing a passion for something that would only continue to grow more and more throughout the years. I knew I wanted to take some pictures...but where would I even begin? I knew EVERY inch of this place...where would I start??? And once I did, you know what the biggest surprise of all was? After 10 minutes, I was done. And the reason is, something I'm discovering more and more everyday: I'm a WEDDING and PORTRAIT photographer. I thrive off of real life events, love and laughter, real emotions. It was strangely sad to discover that this place that was once my playground and kept me entertained for longer did it for me. But even more, it was reassuring, because I know I've found my niche. Back then, I was falling in love with photography itself...the release of the shutter...the way the light hits my subject...the thrill of capturing a great image. But I was JUST getting started out on a road that would eventually lead me to where I am today and without a doubt, continues on further. Going back to this place, I wished I could find that, a few years younger, unsure of what to expect, scared for the future. I wished I could go up to her and tell her what I know now: "You're going to make it".

Here's the pictures I took while out on the farm...

Monday, August 23, 2010

Chad&Gabrielle: Friendsville, Maryland Wedding.

WOWWWWW. Okay, so before I post these let me say..please do not hunt down Chad and Gabrielle and send them hate mail for being SO cute that they make you sick and having an absolutely PERFECT wedding. Really, it's not their just comes natural. So try to contain your rage...
Anyway, I had the pleasure of shooting this absolutely gorgeous wedding a couple of weekends ago. The ceremony and reception both took place at the Chanteclaire Farm, an adorable venue tucked away in Friendsville, Maryland. And can I just say...I was in love.
The whole day truly was gorgeous from start to finish and everything ran smooth as silk. Gabbie did an amazing job of styling everything herself, from the wildflower centerpieces to her own hair and makeup(and some of her bridesmaids too!). I was thoroughly impressed.
Check it out for yourself! :)

Isn't she just STUNNING? I know Chad's reading this and saying "Yepp, that's my wife."

The lovely ceremony...

The you're probably saying "Gee they look like a bunch of beauty queens!" Well they are!!! You're looking at several former, current, and future title holders. Why so many beauty queens in one wedding, you ask? Well Gabbie was Miss Maryland USA 2009, so she's met quite a few other beauties along the way..So if you've kept up with the Miss USA and Miss America pageants you're probably seeing some familiar faces. Be sure to watch the Miss America 2011 pageant to see Lindsay(3rd from the left) compete for the crown!! :)

And the fellas?? They're not too bad lookin' either...

The whole gang.


Oh bright red barn, you completely won me over...

This has to be one of my favorites...EVER.

You two are a work of art....I mean that in the sincerest way.

The first dance. It was breathtaking...kind of like the other 95% of the wedding. I was started to feel like I needed an oxygen tank or something!!!

2 thumbs up for receptions inside of barns!!!!!

Mother/Son dance...

The Father/Daughter dance that STARTED OUT as a slow, emotional, tear-jerker. but......

Surprised everyone when the music changed and it turned into a crazy dance that included Thriller, Soulja Boy, Barbie Girl, and a ton of other songs. But this was just one of many surprises throughout the night...just wait. GET IT GIRRRRRRRLLLL.

Go Daddy. Go Daddy.

About to teach that cake a lesson...

Surprise #2: With her "Miss" pageant days being gone, Gabbie's new in-law's felt it appropriate to present her with a sash of her new title. Mrs. Heller :)

Surprise #3: Chad's epic search for the garter, that included use of his toolbox and finding several very bizarre garters before coming up with the right one! All to the soundtrack from Mission Impossible :)

Surprise #4: The only one I knew NOTHING about. In fact I don't think anyone in the room knew what to expect when the DJ pulled up a chair in the center of the dance floor and told Chad to have a seat.....And then, we heard thunder coming through the speakers...Uh Oh.....

"Is that 'It's Raining Men' playing??? I think it is, but why???" Then we all knew why, as his groomsmen came running up the stairs from the lower level of the barn. Shirts, GONE. Vests and ties, yepp still on, Chippendales style...

And proceeded to give Chad a minute-long lap dance...Ohhhhh goodness.

And finally....Surprise #5: Chad and Gabrielle's choreographed Samba dance, complete with lifts, dips, spins and all that good stuff. But by now I'm sure you can see...would you expect anything less from these two?

And that about wraps it up, there's 1000 other images I would love to share with you, but if this blog post gets any're gonna need a microscope to see the scroll bar on the right hand side of this page!!