EXCITING NEWS!!!!

posted on: October 31, 2006

You may have noticed that I oh-so-casually added a Wedding Photojournalist Association link to my blog a few days ago but never really mentioned anything about it (because I was too busy thinking about everything I had to do this weekend!) Well, I'm happy to officially announce that I'm now a member of an organization that I have admired for its high photography standards ever since I was a bride.



Here are a few quotes from their website...
"The Wedding Photojournalist Association is a highly screened, critical organization. Less than 5% of wedding photographers out there qualify for membership. Inclusion is based not only on image quality, web site...."
"Leading the way in Wedding Photojournalism, WPJA represents the most discriminating talent around the world technically, creatively and visually. Qualified members hold industry-leading standards, skills and business integrity."
"IMPORTANT NOTE: Membership in the WPJA depends entirely on photographers meeting our high standards for inclusion. One CANNOT simply pay his/her way into the WPJA. We emphasize this is NOT another ad-driven wedding web site."

I can attest to the fact that they have high standards, as I applied once before with my old (and not-so-professional) website and was not accepted. I knew it was a fat chance but I was impatient about waiting for a new website to be finished. However, I was also hopeful that my work would eventually be recognized, since I had already been admired by Beckstead, one... two... three times. (BTW... if you love seeing inspiring and artistic wedding images, you have to check out ALL of the photography on AdmiredbyBeckstead.com... very cool stuff!)

Speaking of websites. Do you remember me mentioning that the one you see now is just a quick fix until I'm able to produce something better? Well... it's NOT finished yet, and it may take a while (with over 50,000 images to look through), but I do have a new flash-based website on the way that features my images (of YOU) in a large, beautiful format. I'm terrible about keeping things hidden, so click on the screenshot below for my work-in-progress sneak peek!! Also, leave a comment and let me know what you think!!!! (However, don't send me an email through the new site because it's not hooked-up yet.)



I promise that the next blog you'll see from me will be new pictures!! I have a TON of work to finish but I just had to share the awesome news!!

On the road again...

posted on: October 26, 2006


(picture taken with the itty bit camera inside my computer)

I have a full weekend while I'm away! First I have the 6.5 hour drive to Michigan and a wedding rehearsal as soon as I get into town (Detroit is going to be CRAZY busy with the World Series in town - regardless of rain!!!) Friday I'll be shooting the wedding at some really awesome locations! Saturday and Sunday I'm hoping for weather that's just decent enough for the three engagement sessions I have scheduled while I'm in Michigan!! Then, I'll be driving back Monday and completely crashing Monday night. WOOHOO!!

It looks like there will be rain while I'm on the road, so please keep me in your thoughts as I travel! I'm a scardy-cat when it comes to driving in the rain! Also, if you need to get in touch with me while I'm away - phone will be the best way (even though I won't answer while I'm shooting, I'll call you back ASAP.)


(I think this image will automatically update with the most current doppler image!)

Don't forget Daylight Savings Ends on SUNDAY!


Make sure you set your clocks BACK an hour and get some extra sleep!

LOVE IT: Flickr

posted on: October 25, 2006

smile

Flickr is my all-time favorite online photo sharing site. Almost all of the images I post in my blog are first posted on flickr. So, people who have listed me as a contact on their flickr account get to see some of my pictures before everyone else does, along with a few pictures that never make it to the blog (like this one)!

When photography was just a hobby, and I wasn't as crazy busy as I am now, I loved joining flickr groups and sharing photos along a common theme. There are groups for absolutely anything you can think of! You can even make your own groups so that everyone from your wedding can put their photos in the same group! The best part is that you can control who gets to see your images and what they can do with them. So, if you love to take pictures, or if you love looking at pictures, you need to join flickr! It's free!! And if you're someone who likes to post pictures in your bio, or on your website, flickr makes it so much easier with custom links and tags that make it easy to search for any picture you want!

Probably my favorite feature of all, is being able to comment on photos, leave notes on photos, mark favorite photos, and meet other interesting photographers. Here are some of my favorites from other flickr members....



I hope that if you join flickr, or if you already have a flickr account, you'll add me as a contact so I can see all of your cool photos too!!!

New Blog Features Added!

posted on: October 24, 2006

First, you'll notice there's a place where you can subscribe to my blog and have updates emailed directly to you! Second, you'll notice there's a green chatbox where you can leave a message for me or anyone reading my blog. Last, but not least, at the verrrrry bottom of the blog you'll see a link to the bridal recommendations collected by Pictage, written by my awesome brides!

Tracy & Jeff Engagement

posted on: October 21, 2006



Don't you just love how Tracy's hair has that windblown look in this picture? I had to wave my arms really fast to make that happen!! HA! Just kidding... it was perfectly lucky timing. :-) Tracy & Jeff are so cute! They were very nervous about the whole "getting their picture taken" experience, as many people are. I usually start the shoot off with just seeing how the couple naturally responds to me and each other, and then make adjustments along the way if they need more direction or less direction. So, I really appreciated Tracy asking me to give her & Jeff more direction when they felt like they needed it. I completely admit that it's hard to be "natural" when you know someone is always looking at you! However, I also have to admit that sometimes being nervous brings out the giggles... and the giggles are really cute on camera!



Tracy & Jeff scoped out this really cool place called Kerrytown in Ann Arbor, MI. My husband (a UofM alum) tells me as I write this, that Kerrytown is actually the oldest neighborhood in Ann Arbor, which explains the really cool brick streets and outdoor marketplace. Tracy & I had to really resist the urge to shop!




I love using different elements as a way of drawing focus to the subject...



... or just keeping it simple...



After Kerrytown, we looked for a park with some interesting elements and I wish I could remember the name of this park because it was perfect!! I'm actually pretty terrified of railroad tracks, but I think they are awesome locations for pictures so I get over my fear to get a great image. What makes railroad tracks so cool is that they create a forced perspective, with well-defined leading lines.



When I saw this scene, I don't think it could have been anymore perfect! The perfect lighting, the Monet-esque lily pads and rippling water, and an absolutely adorable couple!!!


Afterward Tracy & Jeff were so kind to take me out to dinner!! I had a long drive home and it was so nice to take the time to enjoy their company and eat something that didn't come out of a drive-thru window! Thank you Tracy & Jeff!!!

Bobbi & Dan's Wedding

posted on: October 20, 2006



Can you guess what team Bobbi & Dan like to root for?? These two are HUGE University of Michigan fans. Even though they live in California, they had their wedding in Ann Abor, MI at the historic First Presbyterian Church followed by a reception at the beautiful Michigan League Ballroom. Did the team spirit stop there? Not for this couple! They also used blue & maize colors in their wedding, and what true U of M fan's wedding would be complete without a stop in front of Michigan Stadium?! GO BLUE!!


Have I mentioned before how much I love getting ready shots?? Bobbi's salon, Brown & Deline didn't have just regular ol' coffee and tea waiting... they had mimosas! I don't ever drink on the job, but those sure looked tasty!!




Dan was an awesome groom running around taking care of 101 things the morning of the wedding!! By the time I saw him he was dripping with sweat, but that didn't stop anyone from wanting to give him great big hugs on his wedding day!


He told Bobbi that he wouldn't drink before the ceremony, but the groomsmen MADE him take a little sip of whatever was in that flask. So, here's the proof... he clearly was forced into it!


For some reason, I felt compelled to cross-process quite a few of their images. Perhaps it was the whole blue & maize thing. I just love this image of Bobbi & her dad getting ready to walk down the aisle. Such a special and thoughtful moment between a bride & father.


A few scene setters...




When you clink glasses with silverware, it means it's time to make fish-lips!


I love little candid moments like these... even though it probably doesn't mean much to anyone but his parents, it's a simple and beautiful image... and it shows off the beautiful paned windows in the ballroom and just a hint of the fine damask drapery.


A little dancefloor romance...



... and a lot of dancefloor craziness!




How DARE grandma bring that filthy name into such a fine establishment!!


Click on any image to view a slideshow preview of their wedding day!

We're back!

posted on: October 16, 2006

It was definitely a cold weekend for being out and about in the windy city, but we still managed to have a great time! It's hard for us to go on a vacation without doing something work related, so Friday Alex visited one of his student teachers for an observation, and then I shot an engagement session in Lincoln Park along the lakeshore. Friday night we headed out to the House of Blues restaurant to see if we could catch one of our favorite local Chicago bands called Big James and the Chicago Playboys. The first time we saw them was actually at 5th Avenue in Royal Oak and they were just so awesome we had to see them again. We didn't stay long enough to see them, but the food was still good.


(don't judge me by my terrible point & shoot skills! I couldn't fit my DSLR in my pocket!)

After dinner we headed out to see Second City's WAR which is closing out its fourth year running. It was rrrrrrreallly funny! Tons of political humor, but also some Colbert style truthiness too. My favorite part was the improv.. because it requires an incredibly quick-witted mind. I hear they're coming out with a new show soon, so I'm glad we were able to see the old one before it ended.



Saturday we headed to the theatre district for lunch and a little window shopping. We also happened to run into a Jesse Jackson rally for school funding, and this fun halloween event in Daley plaza.



I couldn't leave without getting a picture in front of the Picasso sculpture!



After lunch at Ronny's, we went to see the new show, Pirate Queen from the makers of Les Mis and Miss Saigon. Right now the show is running in front of audiences to try out different things before hitting broadway. I don't want to be a spoiler, but I think the show still needs some work before it'll get rave reviews. The costumes however, were simply amazing!! The choreography, done in Riverdance style, was also pretty cool. The poster is a little deceiving, suggesting that most of it takes place on water, but actually most if it takes place in Ireland.



Saturday night we headed out to Northwestern University to see Sherrill Milnes share some of his lifelong professional opera career experience. We also had a great dinner at a little cafe in Evanston called Symphony's. Yummmy!!! Sunday we headed back to Terre Haute so I could do another engagement session (in a VERY cool location) and then REST after a long, eventful, and enjoyable weekend!

To my husband... Happy 3rd Anniversary!! I love you more and more with each year we share!!!

Out of Town for Anniversary!

posted on: October 13, 2006



We're headed out the door to Chicago this weekend for a little bit of work, but also to celebrate our 3rd Anniversary!! Has time really gone by that fast?! (It must have, because I'm a lot chunkier than I was when the photos above were taken!! HA!)

Our wedding still sits in my memory as one of the most amazing days ever!!
Can you believe this thing is still online too?? --> AnneAlex Knot Bio

Have a great weekend everyone!!!

Sarah & Mike's Wedding

posted on: October 12, 2006



Sarah & Mike are two crazy cool cats. After doing their engagement session, I knew their wedding day would be a complete blast. They chose the Wildwood Preserve in Toledo, OH to set their stage for their outdoor, Irish-inspired wedding. I have waaaayyyy too many great pics from their wedding day!

Mirrors always make for interesting pictures!



Beautiful embelishments for the bride..



The guys relaxed with a few glasses of Guinness before their walk through the park to the ceremony...



Gorgeous flowers, with Bells of Ireland instead of traditional greenery...




This ring bearer was the sweetest thing the entire day!! Here he is giving Sarah a little flower, and then looking on as if he's the one marrying Sarah!! Look how happy Mike is to see his bride!! All together now... awwwwww...



I think the officiant got the names mixed up!!


Sarah was ready to party, while Mike wanted a little nap after the ceremony. ;-)




I think this little girl was really looking forward to playing on the playground nearby!


The reception room was completely packed, so they had their first dance outside instead! With everyone standing around to watch, it was a really cool moment. I think these boys wanted to practice their dance moves too!!



When the kids lit up the sparklers, they looked like fireflies in the night dancing under the stars. Congratulations Sarah & Mike!!! Don't forget to click on any image to view the slideshow with even more images. ;-))

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