Wedding: Naomi & Matt

posted on: January 30, 2007

Intersetingly, I first met Matt at Costco where he was working as Photo Lab Tech. I was running some test prints through their machines and testing out the effects of different papers, inks, and processing. For the record, I LOVE Costco for my personal family and vacation photos, but don't use them for my client or fine art printing (not that they aren't worthy!) Matt helped me understand that mini-labs make automatic corrections to images which actually ends up ruining the ones I've already corrected and processed! From then on, I learned that I needed to make sure the lab turned off any auto-corrections to my images before printing them. I digress... so anyway, that's how we met.

When Matt stopped working at Costco I felt like I had lost a good friend behind the photo counter and was sad to see him leave. However, even after that, Matt & I kept running into each other. Apparently we both spent a lot of time working at Caribou Coffee in Rochester Hills, and one day he was sitting fairly close by when I was meeting with another photographer who wanted to assist me. He ended up taking a look at some proofs from a recent wedding I shot and mentioned that he and his fiancé still hadn't found a photographer for their wedding. At that time they still hadn't decided on a date, but I gave him my info. I think a month or so went by and I hadn't heard anything from him until I ran into him while he was serving at Mongolian BBQ! He had lost my info and asked for it again. After a few more coincidental meetings, we finally managed to sign an agreement for their wedding day. I still had never met his fiance, but knowing what a great guy he was, I knew she HAD to be an amazing person!! Sure enough, when I first Naomi on her on the wedding day, not only was she incrediblly beautiful, but also incredibly kind and down to earth. I could tell they were a perfect match!!

We started off the day at her apartment, which she and Matt had recently started furnishing together. I just love their sense of design!

Naomi spent the last few minute of her free time writing thank yous...

Watching Mom cut the hanging ribbons off the dress - not so hot. Showing that the Bride digs Radiohead - now that's hot.

I love this candidly captured detail shot of her beautifully simple Y-necklace...

As I was pulling up to the ceremony site at the Stoney Creek Metropark in Shelby Twp, MI, I noticed the groom walking along lakeshore. It struck me that he was walking alone, and from such a distance (he could've parked closer- especially since it was raining). It felt like his backpack combined with the foggy treeline in the background made it feel like he was embarking on an important journey. I just had to steal this moment from my inside my car with the 85mm lens as I drove by.

Before the ceremony began, the minister pulled the groom aside to pray with him... such a touching moment...

I love that, in spite of the rain, the outdoor ceremony still went on and everyone brought umbrellas and sat outside. Luckily it was only misting by the start of the ceremony, though it had already poured a few times that morning. The bride had little care that her satin dress and delicate slippers would be dragging over the wet grass and dirt, and I love that about her.

I can just feel the pride in her father's face, and the happiness in Naomi's heart as they both look down the aisle at her soon-to-be-husband.

I love it when a minister gets the crowd laughing. It seems to help everyone relax and particpate in the joy of the ritual.

Even though it was raining the whole day... the rain managed to hold off for the ceremony, which was great since they didn't have a back-up location!! There was even a point at which the sun broke from the couds behind me as the bride & groom said their vows to each other. Unfortunately, even a picture cannot do the moment proper justice... it was something you simply had to experience in person!

Sometimes the moment just before the kiss is the most telling about a couple's relationship... to me, this one says, YUMMY...

... and this one says.... EWE!!

I have to be very honest and say that the grand entrance into the reception is rarely an image I really like showing-off because even if the bride & groom are happy, there always seems to be a big red EXIT sign directly above their heads!! Now, I can use a long focal length to eliminate the chances of including that sign, but it also means that I have to stand too far back to get a dead on shot of the entrance without obstacles of people or tables in my way. Since this was one of the few times when that wasn't the case, I'm happy to share such an exciting moment!!

Isn't this such a cute moment?? I love it!!!!

The comedian du jour, pulling another stunt at the buffet....

Matt & Naomi wanted to get their guests involved in the kissing game, so they requested that guests demonstrate a kiss for them to repeat anytime everyone started clinking glasses. To add an element of surprise, the DJ had a stack of placecards that he used to call on random guests to demonstrate the kiss. Funny thing is, the bride & groom are the ones who actually started clinking the glasses to get their GUESTS to kiss!!! There were a lot of great moments including some third-party assistance and kissing of the feet, but I think the one that went above and beyond for me was this couple who chased each other around the room at full speed before he finally caught up to her and gave her a kiss. Unfortunately the bride & groom didn't follow suit on this one, but I give the guests an A+ for originality and effort!!!

One of the things that was important to Naomi, was to have a picture with her grandparents. Since grandma & grandpa were getting ready to leave and were already outside, we moved outdoors for a group picture with the family. While everyone was gathering together, I was adjusting my camera settings for the outdoor lighting when I noticed this moment beginning to happen. I immediately stopped what I was doing to grab this moment even though I knew there was a chance it would be too overexposed to rescue (click here to see the original image straight from the camera). If this were an insignificant moment, I would have completely tossed this poorly exposed image. However... this was someone very important to Naomi, and it was such a touching moment that I had to find a way to rescue it. So, through the magic of Photoshop's Layers and Multiplying, I was able to rescue quite a bit of detail and salvage the image as a B&W. Two months after this image was taken, Naomi's grandfather passed away. I feel so honored that I was able to capture him sharing in the joy and love of his family in the last few precious moments of his life. Every time I look at this image now, I break into tears just thinking about what it means in the grand scheme of life. Cherish those you love, never take them for granted, SHOW them how much they mean to you EVERY chance you get.
In Loving Memory....

A couple's first dance says a lot about who they are and for me, these images represent the intimacy and gentle affection between Matt & Naomi..

The first dance was followed by a combined Mother/Son & Father/Daughter dance. At one point, Naomi's Dad switched it up by dancing with Matt, which surprised Naomi & her new mother-in-law!! This picture was taken just after the dance ended... I just love how they're all laughing about it together.

Last but not least, after the sun had gone down... the clouds began to lift and scatter the colors of dusk across the sky.

As always, you can see more images from the wedding day by clicking on any image above to start the slideshow. Please vote for your favorite image above by leaving a comment below. The image that gets the most votes will be given to the bride & groom as an 8x12 gift print. Thank you so much for visiting!!!


posted on: January 29, 2007


January 29, 2007. The Impossible Dream. Right In Front Of You.

"When it comes to the things we want, there always seems to be an endless list. No matter how many times we get something off that list, we add new things to replace it. In life, this drama of wanting and getting and wanting is all part of the dance. The things we want motivate us to get up and get them.

And yet, at the same time, we can torment ourselves with our wanting, especially when we want something we can't have or can't find. It is in cases like these that it might be fruitful to entertain the idea that maybe what you really want is right in front of you. Maybe you are using this desire you can't fulfill to distract you from truly engaging the blessings you already have. It may seem like that doesn't make sense, yet we do it all the time. It may be easier to see in other people than to see it in ourselves. We have all heard our friends wishing they were more this or less that, and looking at them we see clearly that they are everything they are wishing they were. We know people who have wonderful partners and yet envy you & yours. We wish we could give these people a look at their situations from our perspective so that they could see that what they want really is right in front of them.

It's not too far-fetched to consider that we might be victims of the same folly. It can be scary to have what we want. We get caught up in the chase and forget to enjoy the beauty right in front of us-like a child who never wants the toy she has in her hand but always the one just out of her reach. Take a moment today to consider the many things you are holding in the palm of your hand and how you might best play with them. "

I'm an inspiration addict, especially when it comes to inspirational messages and quotes. I believe we are constantly surrounded by messages that remind of the ways in which we should be living our life and interacting with others. So, naturally, I subscribed to Daily OM to help me focus on a different message every day that helps keep me on that positive path. Sometimes the messages seem completely irrelevant, but sometimes they really speak to me. When I read today's Daily OM message of The Impossible Dream, I realized that I've been harboring a frustration with people wanting what they don't have, thinking it will make them happier, while completely ignoring how blessed and wonderful they already are.

It's easy to see other people ignoring their gifts, but it's not always easy to see what we're ignoring. There are a lot of times when I feel like I already have a great appreciation for the gifts I've been given, but then why is it that I keep paying attention to this message and getting frustrated by others ignoring it? I believe that frustration and anger toward others is a symptom of failing to address our own issues. So, when I start to feel like I'm getting frustrated with someone or am angry about something they did, I put myself in check and ask myself why their actions are bothering me so much. The answers aren't always easy to find, and sometimes it takes several instances for me to recognize where my frustration is coming from. It's reminders like these that help me find greater happiness in everyday life and to be thankful for how fortunate I already am.

Coming Soon to a City Near You!

posted on: January 28, 2007

I'm looking ahead at my schedule right now and I see a LOT of travel in my future!! I love getting together with familiar faces while I'm away from home, so if you see a city and date when we might be able to connect, send me an email and I'll see if it will be possible to get together while I'm in your town!! Even if we can't meet up, I'd still love to hear about some of your favorite places to eat or things I just HAVE to do while I'm in town!! Also, if you have an engagement session you need to schedule - now would be a good time to start planning for that!

Indianapolis - 2/1
Chicago - 2/7
Dallas - 2/18 - 23
Indianapolis - 2/26 - 28
Washington, DC - 3/4 - 11
Las Vegas - 3/24-29
Detroit - 3/30 - 4/1
Bergen, Norway - 4/23 - 5/6

St. Louis may also be on the schedule in early April, but isn't definite yet.

My husband will only be joining me on a few of these trips, but we really love to travel...
Those pics were all taken BEFORE we were married!! (We're fatter now!!)


Yellow Rose Inn - Indianapolis Bed and Breakfast

posted on: January 27, 2007

A few months ago I shot a wedding for Karen & Tim at the Yellow Rose Inn, and I just fell in love with the place as soon as I walked in the front door! It's like a little paradise tucked into the historic neighborhoods of downtown Indianapolis. When Betty (the owner) recently referred a bride to me, I wanted to send her a little thank you by giving her some images that I had taken during the wedding. She and her staff have such an acute attention to detail that it was hard not to notice all of the little things that they went out of their way to make extra special. I think what I love most about this Bed & Breakfast, is that even though it is very beautiful and elegant, it still maintains a sense of comfort and coziness. Check out the Yellow Rose Inn website to see more beautiful images of this historic home!!





Entry Mural

Living Room

Yellow Roses

Dining Room

Suite Bathroom

Accessories & Bathtub Detail

With Karen's look, doesn't it almost look like a completely different era?

The backyard tent went from ceremony to reception in less than an hour! That's pretty impressive!
Tented Wedding

While the set-up was getting changed in the tent, they had a lovely cocktail hour on the side porch...
Side Porch

Whoa-la! Transformation complete!
Tented Reception

Look at these details... it just doesn't get better than natural light!

The food was delcious!

There was even enough room for a seven piece band! Just fabulous!!

I'll probably be posting more images from Karen & Tim's wedding in a little over a week, but I loved the Inn so much that I wanted to give it its own separate post! ;-)

The Bride Wig-Out Video

posted on: January 25, 2007

By now, if you have anything to do with weddings, you've probably seen this little gem of a creation. When Kathleen forwarded the link to me, I decided it was time to blog about it and uncover the TRUTH! If you haven't seen it before, enjoy... but don't get too upset by it....

10 Reasons Why This is NOT a Real Bride

1. Titled "WIG-out" and the bride is obviously wearing a horrrrrrible WIG.
2. This is the only video posted by this YouTube profile- and the profile is named "wigoutgirl".
3. They perfectly timed the brides entrance with the pouring of the champagne.
4. No bride would EVER leave the salon if she hated her hair that much - especially not with over an HOUR left to fix it!
5. Can we say... OVERACTING?! But I have to give props to the ladies playing the bridesmaids.. they were pretty good.
6. Brides NEVER have a pair of scissors within close reach, especially not of THAT size.
7. The camera work was pretty slick - nice zoom, focus, framing, and cut action going on there! Well directed!
8. No bridesmaid would actually keep filming when her friend started freaking out like that.
9. No real tears were shed in the making of this movie... except tears of laughter.
10. Props= $50 (Girls are always looking for ways to reuse that wedding and bridesmaid dress they only wore once!)
Camera= $800+
Making people think it was real= priceless

I seriously hope they win an award for that!! It actually had a decent plot and storyline.

Updated Thursday February 1st - The Toronto Star Article says it's a FAKE TOO! Check it out:

Engagement: Jessica & Ben

posted on: January 24, 2007

Engagement Photo

Don't they have beautiful eyes?! Jessica & Ben are just all around great people. Much like my husband and I, they met in college and had similar "geeky" interests. I can tell that they have a lot of fun with each other and love to goof around together, but like a lot of guys, Ben took a while to warm up to the idea of someone snapping pictures of him in unguarded moments (which, in my opinion, are the best kind). Generally, when I can tell someone is freezing up because of the camera, I find ways to get them focused on something other than me so that they can relax and their expressions can happen naturally. For most engagement shoots, all I really need is one or two good pictures of you looking into the camera, and the rest are me just getting to know more about you, your chemistry, your style of communication, and exploring different ways of photographing you.

Engagement Photo

Engagement Photo

Engagement Photo

Engagement Photo

Jessica & Ben chose the quaint town of Zionsville, IN for their engagement photos. Ben grew up here and had very fond memories of this Lions Park. It was really neat to listen to his stories of growing up in the town and how things have changed over the years. Does anyone miss teeter-totters as much as I do?? This was actually the first park that I've seen in a long time that still has one!!

Engagement Photo

Engagement Photo

Engagement Photo

Engagement Photo

Jessica's favorite place in Zionsville was the Ganache Chocolatier and now I'm kicking myself for not getting pictures of them in the window while the shop was still open!! (Note to self: check hours of operation in advance!) It was also really cold that day, so we spent some time warming up at the Eagle Creek Coffee Company while Jessica & Ben got to preview the images from the park on my camera's LCD. After we had warmed up a bit, we headed back out for some shots using the interesting textures and colors downtown.

Engagement Photo

Engagement Photo

One of the things that Jessica had told me about in advance was how much she loved Ben's "monkey face"!! I just HAD to see what she was talking about!! You can even see Jessica trying to imitate him... this just cracks me up!!!

Engagement Photo

Well, I can't embarass others without also embarassing myself, sooo..... one of them said, "wouldn't it be funny if someone stuck their head in the lion's mouth?" I said, "I'll do it if you do it!!" So we all stuck our heads inside in the lion's mouth... and yes, I handed my camera over to them and let them snap this oh-so-lovely picture of me with my head in the lion's mouth!! Yes, I'm a dork. ;-)

me - being silly

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