Don't you love when you run into someone who truly seems to be themselves? They've just grown into who they're meant to be and they embrace it?
I love when my couples give me this vibe. And why would I care about that?
Because creating a wedding brings up so many questions about family, friends, your style, what's important to you. The key to a having a good wedding is to know who you are and what you want for this celebration.
Ann and Kyle had been together for 11 years before tying the knot. And really, what's the rush?
I like to think it gave them all the more time to learn what and who is important to them so they could go through all the wedding options and pick what's a good fit.
With about 40 guests, they relaxed in their backyard on a beautiful September day. They held a sweet ceremony with a DIY backdrop then shared drinks and food with loved ones as the sun set.
Color was king at this wedding. The DIY backdrop was made from old curtain scraps and was as colorful as her on-of-a-kind dress. As she moved int eh dress, colors trailed behind her and everyone kept murmuring they adoration. Guests also noted how "Ann" the dress was, which made me smile.
Ann's brother sang them down the aisle, Ann had a flask in her garter and the toasts made everyone laugh with memories. Their 2 pups ran around with homemade flower necklaces and one even carried a go-pro during the ceremony!
What a great way to say goodbye to summer in Asheville.
Cheers to planning for you two.
If you like variety in your images, you may consider an outfit change during your portrait session. When clients ask me if it's feasible, I generally think it is!
If it's quick, go for it! You'd be surprised what we can fit into one hour, a quick change won't interrupt us.
Things to consider:
Don't stress yourself out about these little details, enjoy the session and trust your photographer to guide you!
What is a lifestyle shoot when it comes to your small business?
Product photos on a plain white backdrop are great for selling an item online. Potential customers can see the item clearly and make an informed purchase.
But, is that enough?
What about that initial feeling when they first visit your website or open up your Instagram? That can't be under estimated! It's the excitement and enthusiasm that drives sales.
What about the way you caption your photos and the words that describe your company's values? You're building an emotional connection with people that creates lifelong customers.
Lifestyle images connect you. They show a sweater wrapping you up by a cozy fire. They show your glasses when you set them down to enjoy breakfast after reading the paper. They show you on date night, escaping the kids. They show you in your earth-friendly t-shirt on your favorite hike.
What story connects you and your clients?
How will they use your signature product in their daily life? Or do they invest in it for special occassions?
Dig deep. Put yourself in your customers shoes and then show them with photos.
You'd be surprised how little prep you need to do for an in-home session. Catherine and I picked 2 spaces to create images. First up is the office. We created 3 different looks inside one small space!
We wanted some fun and colorful photos with match her previously created office flat lays. These all go together to support her marketing company, Bright Planning.
Bright Planning has a vintage flair with a cool logo and uses strong primary colors like blue and red. We moved a desk in front of her favorite bookshelf and created a beautiful mess with other beloved books from around the house. As you may have guessed, Catherine is also a writer outside of her marketing career. She and her partner, Brandon, are literary souls with many many books floating around their home.
The vintage typewriter is a nice touch too!
For the next look, we cleared the desk, changed shirts to create simple workspace portraits. Less styled images for Catherine's portrait.
Next we simply changed direction for images (in the same room!) of Catherine on her chaise just enjoying the quiet space. The hat beside her holds family memories so its a nice touch to personalize the portraits.
That's 3 different looks in one small room!
We wrapped up with a relaxed, lifestyle portrait on her screened in porch. We shot in just one corner so we didn't have to move a thing for these photos in preparation.
In-home sessions are some of my favorites because they reflect you, your favorite things and often where you work!
Sure, we all take photos of sunflowers. Sure, we see them all over Instagram. Sure, some folks are sick of 'em! And if you're sick of them, you may want to skip to another blog post...
Every portrait holds a new opportunity with the lighting, the model, the environment... sure, some things become repetitive but some things are classically beautiful and I'd throw flowers into the latter category.
As the sun set, we went from afternoon light to the golden hour quickly. I love getting a good variety when shooting!
Kristalyn and I created these portraits in under an hour. We both had some free time that evening and I've really been wanting to see the sunflowers. Heads up, Biltmore rotates these so you may want to do a drive by or call before planning a shoot around the sunflowers. They're located near Antler Village.
I also highly recommend the bright yellow canola field in the springtime.
For any clients interested in roaming the Biltmore Estate grounds for their session, I have a seasonal pass which allows me to bring guests in with me for free after 5pm. Some parts of the estate (including the house and rose garden) are closed at that time but there are plenty other spots!
Only wear the dress once? Nah.
Megan and I explored Swannanoa together 3 months after her wedding to see what kind of fun we could have with her beautiful bridal gown.
We played in the creek, roamed through the woods and watched the sun set over the field.
We're pretty sure the creek cleaned off all the dirt from dancing at her reception... win-win.
Running in a dress this heavy (7 or so layers) is not so easy but sometimes you gotta give in to your photographer's random requests.
Boy do we know how to stress ourselves out about the "happiest day of our life". We dream and daydream and Pinterest and save and imagine and then stress starts seeping in from the corners. Stress is finding cracks and holes to get through but it's totally up to you to overcome it and still enjoy the process.
A few musings to help you patch those holes, covers those cracks and power through stressful moments so it's not the new theme of your wedding.
My first musing is that this likely won't be the happiest day of your life. Ouch. The expectations alone can through all the wrenches in that ideal.
The happiest moments you'll look back on will (more likely) be when you go dress shopping with your best friend, drink too many bubbles and giggle over how ugly most dresses are. Your happiest moments will be the first time you held your brand new niece in your arms, when you hiked up that mountain in Alaska, when you stood up for yourself at work and it made a difference, when you snuggle your pet on the couch, sharing beers with your spouse because your other plans were rained out.
The little joys of life rally together and represent your happy times. Your wedding will be one of them but don't put so much pressure on your poor wedding to solve the everyman quest for "happiness". If you're on board with me so far then we're on the right track.
Next thought: how do you want your wedding to look and WHY? Write out key elements you want then follow up with why.
Reread your list. Time for cuts and compromises.
Example list of wedding details you're planning and WHY they're a part of the big day:
Signature cocktail - represents our first date
Outdoor venue - can't imagine it indoors
Big wedding party - my mom insists I have a flower girl
Dance party - my fiancee wants to partay
Pink and gold colors - I don't really care but my sister said this is trendy and cute
Cute umbrellas - it could rain, duh
Cute boots for under dress in case it does rain - I really don't want to move it indoors
You can already see there is room for cuts and compromises. I think it's healthy to consider both. No one wants to make mom mad but you can't let her plan the whole thing either. Cuts and compromises, think wholeheartedly about yours and make the call.
Next thought: money. Woooweee weddings are pricey. Even the little ones, even the DIY ones. Spend your money where you won't regret it. Do you care if every person leaves with a favor? Will you remember that years from now? Will they? We all have to make calls based on finances and one great way is to revisit why you're spending money on that particular thing/service/vendor.
When I first envisioned our trip to Ireland, I dreamt of olive greens on rolling hills. I imagined deep blue shores along the drive. I had it right, the countryside is just as I hoped. Early morning drives and late afternoon lunches let us see so much beauty in many different lights.
First up, the warm tones of olive green and gold that we often saw in mountains, farm land and around the happy farm animals.
Next we have the cool tones that surrounded us after a long rain, near the ocean waves and where the horses roam.
The blues were almost black, so deep and opaque in the shallows.
Love Ireland and want more? Check out these IG feeds:
As someone who spends a lot of time editing photos, I could never choose between warm or cool tones. They both have a special place in our travel memories.
To Do: Find a wedding photographer to take photos of your special day with a style that you admire... check!
Mmmmkk what else do we do? Let's look behind the scenes.
It's all about preparation. The photographer is preparing all the usual checklist needs for your wedding day, yes, but we're also preparing for you specifically! Based on your wedding location, how many guests you have, your formal photo list, we are preparing gear, ideas and posing just for you! All weddings and couples are not the same so I don't treat them that way, I tailor it your needs and vision.
No wedding day coordinator? It's likely your photographer will help guide the day in their absence. Not as a service that we provide but because the wedding group will be asking us when is the best time for this and that in order to produce the best photos. Many of my couples don't have a wedding coordinator so I casually advise based on lighting and my wedding experience (it doesn't hurt that I was a coordinator for 4 years).
Any detail that you told us via email, phone or in-person will be noted for the actual day. So you don't need to remember that you told us "...your Grandma is sick and needs to speed through her part of family photos..." 6 months ago, I've got it noted and will handle it so you don't have to!
You don't need to think about when sunset is for your best couples photos, it will be on our radar and we'll come get you. You won't need to come find us for cake cutting, we will remember and be waiting for it! Just enjoy your family & friends, breathe in the day!
When emotions are flying high, we are a calming factor. The photographer will be at your side most of the day: while you're putting your dress or suit on, while you're waiting to walk down the aisle, while you're walking out of the ceremony with your new spouse. We'll be there during these exciting and emotional moments and we'll be calm, relaxed and there for you. A good photographer will never add to the stress of a wedding day, we'll only help dissolve it.
We are catching moments that you may miss because you're busy! You're getting ready, you're hiding before the ceremony, you're talking to this group of friends (and not that other group of friends). So we roam around to catch the sweet moments your guests are experiencing so you can look back on them later.
We look forward to sharing the day with you and contributing to the success of a stress-free wedding. Cheers!
When Aislin's mom Eliza (Aislin's 16) and I decided on a summer styled shoot many months ago, I began dreaming up ideas of how I see summer. If you've followed my work, I'm unlikely to have neon colors and bright light in my portfolio... for the most part ;) so my vision wouldn't be the standard summer scene.
I began imagining dreamy July nights of rolling around in the grass at dusk with fireflies floating around. I imagined eating popsicles on the dock of a lake as the sun set. I imagined how August days ended and the nostalgia of the last days of summer. Denim shorts, romantic dresses, tall grass, pool floats stacked by the shed, bug bites... I should add that all of this dreaming occurred at the end of winter when I was really in la la land.
At some point, the 1999 movie The Virgin Suicides popped into my head and I continued to run with this vision. I partnered with Eric Campbell of Cotton + Denim for styling 2 looks, Erika Stutz for feminine makeup and Natalie Webb for voluminous hair a la the 1970's brush-out. The team brought their A-game when creating a look for Aislin and we had a beautiful evening at Ivy Creek Family Farm for the shoot.
Top and dress: @Anthro_northcarolina
about the book The Virgin Suicides:
In a quiet suburb of Detroit, the five Lisbon sisters--beautiful, eccentric, and obsessively watched by the neighborhood boys--commit suicide one by one over the course of a single year. As the boys observe them from afar, transfixed, they piece together the mystery of the family's fatal melancholy, in this hypnotic and unforgettable novel of adolescent love, disquiet, and death. Jeffrey Eugenides evokes the emotions of youth with haunting sensitivity and dark humor and creates a coming-of-age story unlike any of our time. Adapted into a critically acclaimed film by Sofia Coppola, The Virgin Suicides is a modern classic, a lyrical and timeless tale of sex and suicide that transforms and mythologizes suburban middle-American life.
This book and movie are both very dark and not what comes to mind for most summer styled sessions but I was smitten. This styled session is not reflective of the plot, it is reflective of the cinematic feel Sofia Coppola created.
Being inspired by something shouldn't mean imitation. Inspiration should bring out fresh ideas you didn't know you had to create something new.
We all know how sophisticated the iPhone camera is getting. The images I can take using that phone blow my mind.
At first, that was a real bummer for me and fellow photographers. We've worked really hard to run a business that Apple could seemingly wipe out by the time we hit iPhone 10.
Is the really the case though?
Probably not. Photographers & all of our crazy equipment serve a purpose and can bring something to the table that iPhone (or Samsung, etc.) cannot. Let's get into it.
Understanding how light hits your subject cannot be "guessed" by an iPhone. The way light affects your subject from behind, the side and head on. The way light changes from room to room or sunrise to sunset. The different colors of light and how to edit appropriately... We plan shoots around the time of day, we choose locations based on how the lighting will affect that location, we know when to use artificial lighting, we're ready for all circumstances!
1. Styling food. Hot food, cold food, whole food, cooked food. It all acts differently and not everyone is equipped to manage it (melting ice cream? boring filet mignon with no interesting shape? how to incorporate ingredients into final dish image?).
2. Styling products. Some products are MADE to be photographed! They look good from every angle, they are simple in design and size. The colors are so perfect with this backdrop! How about those fidgety products that are wrinkly or super flat or boring colors, how do we bring those to life? Styling learned from trial & error plays a big role in successful photos.
3. Posing people. Creating flattering angles, accommodating for shyness, group photos with everyone smiling + eyes open. Creating those company portraits is no easy feat and we work to make them uniform, approachable and flattering.
There are soo many great programs and apps to edit out there, you can really do a lot from your phone or computer with little investment. What about when something completely unexpected happens? Someone in the group shot blinks so much that you never find a photo with everyone's eyes open. No phone app can fix that. Glare on sunglasses... in 780 images? Yikes. Professional editing software to the rescue!
Building a relationship with a photographer after 1-2 sessions is priceless. We hear your requests, your concerns and we adjust for them with every shot. We note your brand colors, the style of your company, the feel of your Instagram feed + Facebook page + website, the energy you put out into the world and the relationship with your clients. Believe it or not, that's all part of our preparation for a shoot and it produces results.
Under beautiful lighting with the perfect backdrop, the iPhone is your BFF. It will do all the work and you can create magic. And I hope you do! Photos are an important part of life so keep snapping' pics! But. What about when the only time you can shoot is just before dusk and you don't have enough light to use the new Depth Effect? Or at noon when everyone has shadows under their eyes?
Someone once asked me how did I know that I was ready to take on paying clients and I said it was when I knew I could produce good images in the crummiest setting. Unfortunately, we don't always have control over locations, timelines, models, products, props and that's when it's important to have the equipment and know-how to still produce results.
The strange obstacles we come across in every session and are unpredictable. Ruthless reflections on products, unprepared collaborators, delays in must-have-shot-lists, equipment failure, chaotic environments, strict timelines, boring products that need oomph, crazy prop requests, creativity slumps. With experience tackling all of these hurdles, we become more and more prepared for the next one!
An iPhone isn't a problem solver, a photographer is.
I'm not trying to convince you to hire me, I'm trying to convince you that investing in a professional when you're ready will be worth it because they're prepared and can't be replaced... just yet ;)
Max Patch is easily a favorite hike of mine in WNC. Every time I visit I have a new experience, new view and different weather. There's been fog so thick that you can't see any view and then clear skies like this evening with endless mountain vistas.
Kate and Brandon are from Ohio and ventured down to Asheville for a weekend getaway + their engagement photos. I was thrilled to meet up with them in this killer location as the sun set.
We slowly climbed up the (short yet steep) hike and took photo stops along the way. This is important if you're dressing up for your photos!
At the top, we carefully avoided the campers and other hikers for clean shots with just these two being happy as can be. The golden tones really set the mood of these photos and made up for lack of greenery this time of year.
With such a clean slate for a location, it's important to have poses prepared and to be able to direct your couple into comfortable positions.
Equally important is that all these images are cohesive. Even though there are two distinct concepts, there is still one brand for one business. My shooting and editing approach ensured that she'd get the best of both worlds and the collection would still blend.
For this small business shoot, we had a lifestyle approach (natural setting, candid feeling / not traditional headshots in a studio). We incorporated wardrobe changes, portraits, product shots, lifestyle shots and some environmental shots so she had a well rounded selection to build her website.
I can't wait to work with Sarah again (fingers crossed) as she continues to grow her business and services. Photography should grow with you and your business needs!
So many things to think about when planning your wedding timeline... getting your hair done, dropping off decor for the reception, picking up your brother from the airport...
Now you have to factor in photography requests?!
Just to give you an idea on how important the time of day you'll be taking photos is, I'm going to share a little secret. Most photographers will share very few or none of their photographs taken during the middle of the day on their website, in their portfolio or on their Instagram. Sure, they've probably taken photos at noon and they probably have some good shots (I have and I do) but they'll rarely be as great as photos taken towards the ends of the day as the sun rises or sets.
Let's add in some other factors to demonstrate how midday sun can affect photos:
How does it affect things, really?
What to do?
We're there to create flattering, happy, romantic images of you and that's the only goal! So any tips we throw your way are in your best interest and ours. All photos in this blog post were taken during full, afternoon sun; there was minimal cloud coverage in the first 3 and none in the one below. I chose these photos to showcase the style you could expect from me if we're dealing with full sun images, I still got you ;)
I always anticipated my 30s to be my favorite decade.
I'm thankful for this new freelancing career, family near and far, friends that grow closer daily and my favorite husband ;)
20s have been quite the ride so I'm thankful for them too. Graduated college, lived in 4 different states, traveled as often as possible, got married, bought our first home, adopted our first dog, fostered pups. The list goes on and on. I'm really just thankful and happy to be alive and to keep growing as an individual.
I can't imagine a better home to begin a new decade in, WNC has bought so much joy into my life. Hike after hike, kayaking in Lake Lure, playing in the creek, driving along the Parkway...
WNC has connected me with the best clients. Entrepreneurs working their ass off to build the career of their dreams. Couples who just want to get out into nature and breathe in the fresh air with on another. Repeat clients that I get to learn from and about each month on new adventures.
Enough about me. Let's not forget that April 22nd is Earth Day. Organizations that support the a healthy environment for people, animals and plant life need our support more than ever. A few favorites: The Nature Conservancy and World Wildlife Foundation. What small thing can we all do to help today?
Cheers to a new year and new summer season coming up!
We live in a time where it's impossible to have no stance on important issues. That may sound harsh to those of us who live in the grey, hate drama and prefer to avoid yelling matches via Facebook but I really believe that the political climate and a generation of brave souls calling out authority has created a movement. I get it, I'm not plastering my opinions all over social media because I'm not interested in debates throughout my day either. And I do believe some things are private. But let me try to convince you of how this can work for you.
You don't have to be loud, you don't have to start arguments, you can ease into your stance in ways that make YOU feel good. These are the ways that will make your CUSTOMERS feel good too. Embrace the world of 2017 and let's look at some examples of those who are speaking out in their own way.
My hubby works in food & beverage. He works within the hotel industry which is not known for "green" practices. However, he puts a lot of energy into promoting and supporting local farmers and sustainable food options because he believes in that. He's able to marry his current job with his beliefs and stay involved in the community. He's been hired because of this involvement, his bosses love it. He's able to order from local farms and give them a seat at the table. Can you tell I'm proud?
I have a great friend who is a social media consultant. He is incredibly engaged on social media platforms and within the community, a well-known guy. He also has a strong liberal stance that he doesn't shy away from, continuously standing up for minorities on some platforms yet keeping it more subtle on other platforms. He chooses when and how to use his voice to speak his mind and (hopefully) educate others.
Fox and Fir Design creates fun graphic tees and stickers. Each design benefits a cause, often environmental. Proceeds are donated accordingly. They believe in small + consistent steps to fight climate change, their whole brand is built around it. You better believe they're attracting the right folks as customers.
The Cartorialist is a lovely artist/illustrator who's work is often inspired by high fashion and it-girls. She recently created a limited print of artsy boobs (you read that right) to support Planned Parenthood. These are tumultuous times for PP and she wants to speak out + raise money on their behalf. Her entire brand isn't built around it but she used a one-off opportunity to do what feels right.
Those are just 4 examples and there are many more. You'll start noticing it as you keep an eye out for it. Smalls businesses + entrepreneurs are being heard. They're attracting the right customers and repelling the wrong ones because of it (a Jasmine Star-ism).
Baby step into it or scream it from the rooftops, either way just go for it! Be silly with it (my IG stories for example) or write a thoughtful post on your Facebook page or keep it only on your blog. Grow your business because you're a unique individual with somethin' to say and, trust me, there's someone out there who agrees with you and will applaud your bravery.
(Photos from a dreamy event designed & hosted by Lucky Penny Creative)
Rust and concrete. Industrial style colors inspired by vintage dishes and one of my favorite backdrops.
I rarely hear people chat about the color rust but it's everywhere and is such a rich, one-of-a-kind color. I wouldn't consider it to paint my bedroom but in smaller doses it can be magical! There's hints of the color rust in food (cinnamon and spices), in nature (the last moments of a fire or a fox) and in actually rusting items such as an old ship. Rust is a strong, warm tone that isn't easy to pair with.
Concrete. I use that term instead of grey because there are many shades of grey plus concrete implies texture. Now, I'm not suggesting stripes of rust and grey but you can see how they complement one another. A black or white backdrop would be too harsh against the rust but the concrete contrasts just enough to not strip away the warmth. Concrete is popping up in plenty of home designs such as counter tops, shelving and flooring. The industrial look mixed with cozy tones is very popular for this decade of design.
If you're interested in more of this color combo, visit these beautiful IG accounts:
Want to explore similar themes? Consider these combos:
Concrete & gold
Slate & rust
Concrete & mustard yellow
As February fades away and the days turn a bit warmer (consistently), we anticipate the sights of spring. Trees are blooming and we're building less fires. Maybe I'll put some greenery in front of that fireplace? Hmmm...
I look forward to some spring cleaning around my house. For my business though? That sounds a bit daunting.
A quick-n-easy list to feel like you've accomplished something:
Cheers to getting some ish done! Finish day with booze of choice as a thank you to yourself.
Thank you to my mom. Thank you for letting me learn on my own, fumble and fall into lessons only understood through experience. Thank you for not smothering me and letting me live my life by moving to other states, catching up with you when it works for both our schedules, letting me travel, date, elope... Thank you for loving me through it all.
Thank you to my sister for always making time to be my sounding board. For laughing at my weird ways, not judging me. Thank you for being such a good example of what a sister should be. Taking me to Disney World when we were younger, sending anniversary gifts to Philip & I, treating Yeti like the special niece-dog that she is ;)
Thank you to my girlfriends for your laughter, your free spirits, your understanding and your forgiveness. Friendships go through phases and can be unpredictable. Thank you for not holding grudges or getting upset over minor things. Thank you for helping out when I need a favor and, also, feeling comfortable enough to ask the same of me. Thank you for being a cheerleader for my photography adventures. Thank you to those that are far away that still find time to touch base and check in with me. Thank you to those that are close for every invite and text. Regardless how small a gesture, I notice it and feel loved because of it.
Thank you to the women of the Asheville community for showing up. You are brave and smart. You are makers, artists and creatives working your butts off to achieve goals and support your family. You are light-hearted while finding the deep moments in life. You are changing the world.
Thank you to all the women who I have yet to meet that have or will influence me in some way. Your positive impact on other females is priceless.
Eloping is not what it once was. The definition does not fit into a neat little box.
On a personal note, we started brainstorming all kinds of fun for a wedding day but then logistics crept in. We thought through every possible option that sounded like “us”. Many ideas were great, some too pricey and some felt like settling. We wanted a stress-free day that was romantic, private and gave us the chance to travel. So, you guessed it, we eloped! And here's how our elopement played out: a quick trip to the courthouse for the legal marriage uniting us, hop on a plane for our (symbolic) ceremony in Paris with just us 2 + photographers + officiant and then about a month later we had a family dinner celebration.
It’s up to you if you want to a) escape suddenly for an adventurous elopement or b) plan for can’t-be-missed details. Let’s look at some pros and cons.
Surprise elopement – Pros!
Surprise elopement – Cons.
Planned elopement – Pros!
Planned elopement – Cons.
Sort through these and add to each list for scenarios specific to your situation. If you're looking back on your wedding day 10 years from now, what do you want to see? to feel?
All the best on a happy planning (or lack of planning) wedding adventure!
This shoot was put together to play with the color combination of berry and taupe. As the sun set, I turned my focus to capturing Sarah in the last bits of sunlight.
I enjoy creating portraits that are dramatic yet classic. And although I usually reserve my blog for useful tips and insight, these were too fun not to share.
How rare is it for people to get their portrait taken?
On a wedding day, for a standard business headshot, a selfie when the lighting is good... when else?
Is this a missed tradition in our society?
I love looking back on memories. I hope to grow old and smile at my younger self.
How do I plan on doing that? I'm guilty of it myself, I'm rarely in front of the camera. I'm thinking it's time to change that.
When you're putting together a brand, what all are you supposed to think about?
Branding is a bit vague and a trendy word that's thrown around a lot these days.
A quick and easy list of what you'll be thinking about:
February is here and surprisingly warm! At least here in Asheville. I'm soaking it up because I know it won't last! With February being the month of Valentine's Day, I had to pick a at least one color you may find in a beautiful bouquet of flowers or a love note on the 14th.
Berry is such a versatile color. Berry can be heavy with reds or purples and still be considered "berry". It's a flattering color for almost all skin tones when considering clothes or makeup. It can also be appropriate through all the seasons!
Jewel tones such as berry often look the most striking when paired with a more natural color. It takes the edge off of a strong color and brings warmth and approachability. One of my favorite artists I see utilizing color this way is Steve McCurry. He does not shy away from vibrant colors but he also incorporates muted or natural tones to set the mood of the image. A few of my favorites of his work below.
Taupe is also a versatile color. I think we could look at a few different shades of brown+white+grey and call them all taupe. It's a favorite for wall color when you're sick of plain white and can be sophisticated shade for clothing and shoes... a taupe suit for a groom in the warmer months for example.
What's the difference between beige and taupe? Beige has warmer undertones (orange) and taupe has cooler undertones (blue + grey). I consider beige stereotypically boring and doesn't create striking combinations with other colors. I consider taupe to be more modern and definitely pairs well with other colors. Also taupe can't be too boring if it made Sherwin Williams 2017 Color of the Year!
Berry and taupe. How do these colors make you feel when paired? These photos are heavy on the taupe with the detail of berry popping out from Sarah's makeup and butterfly crown. If they were switched, and berry was the dominating color, how would this image change?
A few Instagram feeds to follow that often play with similar combos if you want to see more:
Alternative color combinations that evoke similar vibes if berry + taupe isn't working for you:
Garnet & Grey
Blush & Grey
Burgundy & Taupe
Styled shoot contributors: Thank you to Ali Lawless for the gorgeous makeup & hair, my sweet friend Sarah as the stunning model, the talented Megan of The East Western for the slave bracelet & EtenIren shop for the whimsical butterfly crown.
See you next month with a new color combo to explore!
I remember getting engaged a few (4 or 5?) years ago and was immediately ready to put all my Pinterest saves to work.
The planning part didn't intimidate me, I embraced it. I'm pretty organized and like putting the puzzle pieces together. I was a wedding planner in college so I had some insider insight as well.
Then things got sticky. Slowly the ideal wedding (still a small one) got further from reach. A bit of family flavor and geographical obstacles showed up and contributed to us ultimately eloping (how to deal with all that will fit into another blog post). But those weren't the only reasons.
The biggest factor in us eloping (by FAR)? How we wanted to spend our money for our wedding day and any day after it.
We were on our own to cover all the expenses of this wedding, no contributors. And I know we aren't the only ones that go through this! It's traditional for the bride's family to pay for the wedding but tradition isn't enough to catch up with reality ;) We had money to use on the wedding but we are pretty strict with finances and debt accumulation.
We could either blow a large amount of savings or rack up credit card debt for a simple wedding. We would also be compromising on the majority of decisions for family accommodation.
It was our conclusion to avoid drama and spend our money happily by eloping. We made a honeymoon and a simple ceremony out of it. That was the plan for us. A low-key family dinner followed about a month later at my aunt and uncle's home.
So how does my story fit into this?
I suppose my point is that I get it! Our wedding day choices are sculpted by our daily life, our family and our financial situation. Plus any social pressures we give in to (we all do it, give yourself a break!).
My simple recipe for planning a wedding (if you relate to my story in any way):
Enjoy being engaged. Soak it up. Beam with excitement. Overdose on Pinterest (for a limited time).
Sort through your emotions about what you want for the big day. Always ask why when you're on the fence.
Get an outline of must-haves, really wants and nopes for your wedding. Include your fiancee in this process.
Set a budget and know there could be push and pull here but at least you have some numbers in your head and don't go into consultations blindly.
You'll soon realize that you can create your own stationary affordably but you'll splurge on floral (or vice versa, this is just an example).
Go ahead and book your must haves. Find your dream vendors that you can't go without and BOOK 'EM.
Then move on to your really wants. What "bonuses" can you add in for charm and character?
And your nopes will still pop up in conversation as you chat with people. Keeping checking in with yourself and your fiancee to confirm that they're still nopes ;) For example, you may decide to forgo boutonnieres but your mom thinks they're necessary... do what feels right and politely say "no thanks"!
This is my simple recipe for happy planning for the modern person who's engaged.
They're excited to have this romantic moment but they're going to do it with their head on straight. They're going to splurge on some things and save on others. They're going to set themselves up for a day that they'll never forget. Not a stressful day with a big bill.
My favorite resources for planning:
A Practical Wedding
WeddingHappy (free app)
And if you're curious, my own planning in review:
Find a photographer that I can trust and I will splurge on this (no surprise!). I was lucky to land a duo that also offered a short film, making the elopement all the more easy to look back on.
I tried on several dresses from Zappos (surprising source right?!) and Nordstrom, both offer free shipping + free returns. I landed a Nicole Miller dress for under $1k from Zappos. Then I splurged a bit on a handmade veil. I got shoes at a DSW or something similar, they were affordable but just as beautiful as I'd hoped for.
I did my own hair and makeup which was fine but not sure I'd recommend it. We also skipped flowers given the set up and that we were traveling.
My husband picked out his ideal dinner spot for after the all the hoopla.
I think that covers it, best of luck planning and may it be easy-going and simple. And if you're worried about handling it all, consider a day-of coordinator. They work wonders and truly let you enjoy your day.
How do you want your potential customers to see your business?
It's the first thing I'm asking if you're bringing me on to photograph your product or your business portrait. I want to know how you want to be represented. Because this isn't just about my style of photography, it's also about your style! Yes, you bring on a specific photographer based on his/her eye, their values & their styling.
But the moment you begin working together for your brand, its a collaboration.
How does working together look exactly?
It means that you'll share the reason that you to create. It means talking colors, tone & aesthetic before we even get started. We'll talk props, backdrops and what other brands inspire you.
Preparaiion happens by opening up to one another.
Then, we build something together.
It's about building a relationship that grows over time so you're on the same page. You'll build your marketing content with professional images that support the time & effort you put into your biz. You build your following.
Introducing: Retainer packages for the makers & doers.
These are partnership packages. With your vision, we will create a quick photo shoot on a monthly or quarterly basis so you have a fresh batch of images to use. These photos are handy for all of your social media endeavors, including holiday specials.
A little about the process:
We'll meet to dream up what these will look like for you. I'll ask question after question to prepare myself so these photos reflect you. We'll do our 1st session together and I'll provide 2-3 photos from the shoot with 3 different edits based on our consultation. You pick the one you want to stick with and I'll continue to edit in that fashion for you.
Packages are offered in seasonal (quarterly), 6 month or 12 month retainers. Email me to learn more!