Being Thankful

I don’t know about you guys but Thanksgiving is every day for me–minus the turkey, dressing, pies, baking and holiday decor.  😀 No seriously, every morning I wake up…Thankful!  There is not a month that defines how truly thankful I am but it may for others.  Life is short and can change at any given moment, so for me each and every day is a blessing.  I am thankful for the many people I have in my life, the amazing opportunities God has presented me with and those very trying times when he walks with me.  No I am not trying to spout my beliefs or “preach” to anyone, I am simply expressing my gratitude.

I honestly cannot believe that November is almost over and December is rapidly approaching.   There are so many wonderful events happening in December–two weddings that I am very excited about–and lots of family sessions that I am truly looking forward to.  So while I am on the subject of marriage, a dear and long-time friend will be getting married next weekend.  😀 I am so excited!!  Excited to see her getting ready, in her dress and seeing Ryane and Jake saying “I do” before their close family and friends.  It is going to be absolutely beautiful–I cannot wait to see all of the finishing touches!!! I like to call it, “The Wedding Weekend Palooza!” I was honored to photograph Ryane and Jake after their engagement brunch a few weeks ago.  The brunch was very nice and very yummy!  Who made that quiche Pam?  I want their recipe!!! 😉   I love their wedding brand and the decor at the brunch only gave me small hints as to what is in store on the 4th!
Pam Gosschalk worked her magic and prepared distinct and beautiful decor for the brunch and the wedding!  Pam is a wedding designer by trade and I know that their Fall wedding will be spectacular and truly unique…especially since she is not going to do her usual large-scale Christmas decor this year. 😉

I absolutely LOVED these cupcakes.  Seriously, they were the best EVER and I love Sprinkles cupcakes!  Not to mention the unique design and hand work that went into making these–true talent.  Ryane, I am so glad that you found your match.  You and Jake are truly a beautiful couple.  You guys are also hilarious but Ryane has always been able to make me laugh!  She will always be my little homie!  😉There were lots of laughs, smiles and jokes and these two love one another so much.  I love the story of their engagement–he definitely caught her off guard!

Ryane’s ring is absolutely gorgeous! It is an antique ring that is over 100 years old.  Jake, you did a great job!  Not only did you choose a ring that screamed “Ryane” you did it without her even having the slightest clue! 😉 Ryane & Jake, I wish you two the absolute best in life.  I could not wish for a better partner for either one of you.  You truly are each others match. I look forward to sharing your special day with you–see you guys in a little over a week! I hope that everyone has had a wonderful, safe, happy, fun and enjoyable Thanksgiving holiday.  Be safe and good luck to all of the you “Black Friday” shoppers! I hope that you shop friendly and you have a game plan already! 😉

“Find a guy who calls you beautiful instead of hot, who calls you back when you hang up on him, who will lie under the stars and listen to your heartbeat, or will stay awake just to watch you sleep.  Wait for the boy who kisses your forehead, who wants to show you off to the world when you are in sweats, who holds your hand in front of his friends, who thinks you are just as pretty without makeup on. One who is constantly reminding you of how much he cares and how lucky he is to have you.  The one who turns to his friends and says, “That’s her.”

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Loving the Road Taken

For weeks I have been…well blank.  I have had a little bit of writer’s block or blogger’s block I guess I should call it.  Not that I don’t have anything going on, to post,  to be happy about or share–lots of great things happening–but I have sat at my computer blank.  Day after day without writing anything in the “Add New Post” page that I have had pulled up.  Alas, I thought about one of my favorite poems Sunday night.  It is a poem that I have always loved and every time after reading it, I feel rejuvenated.   Why?  I am not sure.  Maybe because it stems from my childhood.  Maybe because it is such a great poem and it was written by the remarkable Robert Frost.  All of his poems make me feel one with nature.  Just like this weekend when I spent a little time with nature and I saw these really cool looking “berries” that looked delicious!!!

Trust me, I did not eat them.  I only took a few photos of them with my phone!  I was just mesmerized by their beautiful purple hue and their vitality.  Nature is beautiful but not always edible for humans!  As the nature trip was nearing its end, I snapped a photo and that is what made one of my favorite poems pop into my head, “The Road Not Taken.” If you do not know this poem you should be shunned!  Yes I just said that!!  Or your English teacher in grade school, middle school or high school should be shunned!!!

The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and sorry I could not travel both and be one traveler, long I stood and looked down one as far as I could to where it bent in the undergrowth; then took the other, as just as fair, and having perhaps the better claim, because it was grassy and wanted wear; though as for that the passing there had worn them really about the same, and both that morning equally lay in leaves no step had trodden black.  Oh, I kept the first for another day!  Yet knowing how way leads on to way, I doubted if I should ever come back.  I shall be telling this with a sigh, somewhere ages and ages hence:  Two roads diverged in a wood, and I–I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.

I love the roads that I have taken in my life and honestly I only hope that I am blessed to be able to take many more.  Happy Tuesday everyone! 😀

An Inspiring Moment

The day had come and I was super excited.  Excited to wake up REALLY early and drive to the WPPI road show.  It was completely and utterly worth it.  It was simply sublime.  To see so many other excited individuals who were amped up for an awesome line up of speakers, all there to learn all things photography just like me.  I was preparing and hyped up to hear Dawn Shields, Joe Buissink and The Boudoir Divas speak.  To soak in all the knowledge and advice they had to share and it was great advice.  🙂 I also got the distinct pleasure of meeting Dixie Dixon.  I love her work and she is amazing–I totally love her style.  The mini-trade show they had was nice, informative and helpful. Special shout out to David Willis at Leather Craftsman and Sean Roach at Pounds Lab–they were very helpful about their products and truly enjoy doing what they do.

I cannot possibly talk to you about the entire road show; I would be typing all night!  It was something great to walk away from.   I did meet a talented photography from the Houston area, Maureen Light.  Her work is one of a kind and I LOVE IT!  Yes it is evident that I love a lot of things–I can’t help it, I have love in my heart.  😉 I would like to share with you some captures from the event.  Dawn Shields gave me major shoe envy!!! 😉

Dawn was insanely informative on tons of wedding information. Things that I had not considered but then again things I had noticed while flipping thru a bridal magazine or booklets that advertise wedding announcement pictorials as well as engagements.  She would know–that is what she does.  😉  She knows exactly what she is talking about and she gave us excellent advice when making purchases, layouts and so many other things.  She is an remarkable photographer, as well as an individual, with a beautiful gift.  A part of her story is almost unimaginable and the piece that she did on the experience is truly remarkable.  I loved hearing her speak and also hearing her story, firsthand…her words.

Dixie has the coolest personality.  It was Dawn who called her up to the stage from the back and I was lucky enough to chat it up with both Dawn and Dixie.  Dixie’s fashion photography pieces are pretty fierce!  She is a talented photographer; they both are.

There are times when you hear an individual speak with so much passion that it ignites a spark inside of you.  It gives you that extra push.  Well that would be Joe Buissink.  The man is beyond talented and his work simply speaks volumes to you.  It literally brought tears to my eyes as well as lots of others that were in attendance.   He has photographed Jennifer Lopez, Christina Applegate, Steven Spieldberg, Christina Aguilera, and so many more.  His work is amazing.  His photographs tell a story.  You get the wedding but you get the story being unfolded in a way that is captured brilliantly.  Anyone who attends a workshop that he is hosting or appearing as a speaker at is in for a treat.  It is a motivating experience.

The Boudoir Divas are downright awesome!  Marissa Boucher & Kimberlee West are two very talented ladies who have literally brought boudoir back.  Their style is classy, sexy and flattering and it is absolutely exquisite.  They continue to bring more and more to the table.  Check out their beach themed editorial shoot.  Love it!  Learning from them, hearing how they shoot their subjects, what lighting they use, their poses and so much more was a treat within itself.  And then to get the opportunity to get onstage and be directed by them was an honor.   These woman are amazing and their business will continue to succeed.

The experience was so worth it and it gave me a small taste as to what is in store for the future. To all of the individuals who spoke, thank you for your genuine words of wisdom, experience and truth–it was appreciated and absorbed.  When you are surrounded by so much positive energy, it is always a great feeling. Until next time, I hope everyone enjoyed this unique dated Sunday!

“I laugh, I love, I hope, I try, I hurt, I need, I fear, I cry. And I know you do the same things too, so we’re really not that different, me and you.” {Colin Raye}

Quiet moments…

What to say?  What to talk about?  Well that is the point for me lately–I have been quiet.  Maybe I should only be verbally quiet and not so much “off the social networking map” quiet.  Maybe I should imagine that I am in Tuscany, enjoying some of the best Gelato I could possibly ever taste…or sit here and continue to enjoy my quiet life.  🙂  No complaints here, just thankful.  Lately I have been so busy working on different things and getting my ducks in a row, that I am grateful to have a weekend that my calendar does not have anything marked on it.  I love what I do and do not get my wrong, I have no complaints–I just need sleep.  No I mean like 12 hours sleep.  Yes I can sleep for 12+ hours!!!  I know it is crazy!  😉  I had the opportunity to work with the wonderful and talented Janet Manuel last weekend and it was a delightful time.  I love meeting and working with new and talented individuals; especially when I learn something new.

So since I have been quiet, I will share a few photos from the beach.  I feel it is a great way to end September.  I had a wonderful time in Florida a few weeks ago and got the opportunity to just enjoy life behind my lens.  From meeting random strangers, making new friends and spending time with old friends, I had a magnificent time relaxing.

Then I fell in love with this Fleur-di-Lis tattoo.  Yes I am partial considering my brand but I love the detail and the shadowing.  The Lotus flower tattoo is beautiful, bright and colorful as well.  You are WAY braver than I will ever be when it comes to needles, tattoos and tattoos that take that long Erica!

Two views, from two different angles but on the same bodyI was enjoying the view while listening to Pandora, when I looked over and noticed the view from a different perspective.

The Dalai Lama once said, “Everyone wants happiness; nobody wants to suffer.  Many problems around us are a mental projection of certain negative or unpleasant things.  If we analyze our own mental attitude, we may find it quite unbearable.  Therefore, a well-balanced mind is very useful and we should try and have a stable mental state.”

An extra shot of espresso…

So I am traveling and desperately needed Starbucks.  I was very disappointed to know the nearest one was over an hour and a half away.  😦  Sigh.  So I continue to drive.  I finally reach my destination point and I smell the coffee.  I noticed their prices were significantly higher than the other Starbucks that I have been to [minus airport kiosks] and I called it to his attention.  I guess he could tell I was in desperate need of caffeine so he charged me a WAY lesser price for my Venti Cafe Vanilla Frappuccino, with an extra shot of espresso.  Well my friends he put more than “a shot” of espresso; try 3 or more.  I was wired.  Wired to the point to where I found myself clicking my nails on my signal light controller!!!  Yeah.  Jittery?  No.  Awake.  YES.  I get in bed and still I CAN’T SLEEP!!!  Starbucks dude, I sincerely appreciate the extra shots of espresso and the cheaper price but next time consider that a person may be up all night when they need to get rest!!  Next time, I will rethink that extra shot!  😉 I hope everyone has a great Saturday.  I don’t know about you but I think it’s a beautiful day for a wedding!

Here is a sneak peak from from a wedding I second shot last Saturday.  Tara was a gorgeous bride who created and customized her own designer gown.  Yes you read that correctly but that is another blog post. 🙂

“Marriage is not a noun; it is a verb.  It is not something you get.  It is something you do.  It is the way you love your partner every day.”  {Barbara De Angelis}

Beach Time Sneak Peak

I am working on a ton bunch of different things at the moment but I could not help but write a quick post about my beach time and my session with The Griffin Family.  They were on vacation around the same time as myself, in the same city–in a different state.  Nor was it planned!!  It worked out well; it was easier for them to find a photographer or ask a random stranger to take photos of their family.  🙂 Tripp was awesome behind the lens.  He would glance away without direction and it was awesome.  Thanks for rocking that GQ pose for me! 😉  As the song “Summer Breeze” [a hit by Seals and Crofts if you are wondering what song I am talking about] plays in my head and Autumn nears us, I am grateful for the beautiful yet hot & humid summer we had.  As for now, I am sharing the GQ-esque photo of the lovely couple and heading to bed.  It has been a long week and tomorrow is only Wednesday.

Happy Wednesday!  😉

“What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others and the world remains and is immortal.” {Albert Pine}

A Beautiful View

As I sit here staring at the beautiful blue skies–and then my computer screen–I can only reflect on the amazing views I had last week at the beach. Pristine white sand, beautiful blue skies with gorgeous clouds, green water, great company and………nothing. Enjoying a blank, thoughtless mind every few hours was great…and then I would start coming up with all these ideas. Now I have them all swimming around in my head and for some odd reason, mentally I think I’m Wonder Woman sometimes!!! I think I can do all of these things, then that turns into I will do these things. For starters, I have 3 draft blog posts–why can’t I simply hit publish? Because it’s not quite finished in my crazy yet intriguing mind!! 😉

Alas, everything will come full circle. I have some great projects on my calendar, I am excited to work with some talented individuals and I am getting ready to do something different. You have to change it up from time to time. 🙂

As the late Ann Richards once said, “I feel very strongly that change is good because it stirs up the system.”

P.S.  All of the above photos were shot using my iPhone! 😉