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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Refreshed and Relaxed

There is nothing like a good pedicure to make you feel SO much better!  After a long week, a long day or when it’s time to give those rough lovely feet some attention.  I personally enjoyed my pedi.  I mean, you cannot beat $25 for a Spa Pedicure that includes a paraffin wax as well as a hot stone leg massage, all whilst sitting in a comfy massage chair!  I melted like butter! 😀  After the pedicure, I felt revitalized!  I seriously needed it!  Sigh of relaxation.  I am sitting here watching the season finale of On The Road With Austin & Santino.  :-\  I am sad that it has neared its end but I cannot wait until they come back next season.  Awesome fashion, great stories, funny moments and just overall entertaining! Hint to Lifetime, the show is awesome!!!

On another note, I had the pleasure of capturing Andrea behind my lens and luckily, I will get the chance to do so again in the near future.  Our first attempt was interrupted by dark cloudy skies with rain that turned into tornado like weather!  Andrea was traveling from over an hour away and by the time we started shooting…it started raining.  Most women would shrill or say, “Oh my gosh my hair is getting wet, my clothes….etc!”  NOT Andrea!  She rocked it out and was taking photos in the rain.  She has the most beautiful smile, personality and attitude and it shows in every photo that I capture.

It was only fitting that she be captured in the sunlight.  Saturday came and as I drove to meet her this time, I was in awe of the beautiful sunshine and gorgeous Fall weather.  We are kindred spirits and had such a wonderful time.  We laughed, joked, got to know one another even more, got annoyed by creepers & strange onlookers who got a little too close for comfort!  Overall, it was a great day.

Then she gave me some fierceness! Andrea you are so beautiful–flyaway hairs and all. 😉I only think of one song when I look at these photos Andrea and it is a song by Justin Timberlake from his FutureSex/LoveSounds album–track number 8!


Andrea, thank you for allowing me to capture you behind my lens.  You have a strong & beautiful soul as well as personality. I am glad that I met you and that I have gotten to know you.  I always feel that God brings individuals into our lives for certain reasons and photography has allowed me to meet so many wonderful people.  Thank you Lindsay for sending Andrea my way; if it were not for you I don’t think I would have ever met this remarkable young woman.  I will have to make another post in the near future titled “Creepers…Do you take photos?”  😀  Until next time, I hope everyone has a great Friday tomorrow!

“Through humor, you can soften some of the worst blows that life delivers.  And once you find laughter, no matter how painful your situation might be, you can survive it.”             {Bill Cosby}

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}