LOVE IT: Zach Braff

posted on: May 29, 2007

I have to make a HUGE disclaimer: I'm NOT the kind of person to go crazy over celebrities, they're just as human as everyone else. However, after randomly finding his YouTube video in a search, I'm officially adding Zach Braff to my love it list. Not only is he crrrrrrrrrrazy talented and intelligent, but he's just so REAL. Scrubs is one of my few guilty pleasures and Garden State was a simply phenomenal and visually inspirational movie... and that soundtrack?! LOVE IT!! I haven't seen any other works by Zach yet... but just knowing what a cool guy he is makes me want to watch them. Check out his YouTube response to one of his superfans! Click play to watch...

For a good laugh, here's a superfan's music video about Zach..

Beth & Fred Engagement

posted on: May 25, 2007

I absolutely adore Beth & Fred. Spending time with them is like sitting in on an "I Love Lucy" show - there's just so much comedy, sarcasm, and love in the air that I think I walked away from our engagement session with cheek cramps from laughing so much! They have a really cute home in Washington, DC (loooove the green wall and don't even get me started on all of the awesome furniture) which they share with their adorable dog, Ruckus.

To capture the city they love so much, we headed to the "Mall" where the main monuments and museums are all located. Washington, DC certainly gave Chicago a run for its money because this was definitely the windiest engagement session ever!! The wind was out of control! Thank goodness Beth had shorter hair or it could have been much worse! Beth & Fred were up for anything - so we hopped on the carousel for some fun & crazy shots!

Little did I know that my husband was taking video while we were on the carousel- so, you get to see a little "making of" video!! Normally going in circles makes me sick, so I can only watch the first part of this video without feeling queezy, but somehow when I was actually on the carousel it didn't affect me at all! I love that you can HEAR how strong the wind is in the audio on the movie! You can also see what a big chimper I am - HA!! Check out that harsh sun and dark shadow - talk about an exposure challenge!! Click play to see us in action. ;)

Beth & Fred told me that I could get crazy with color - so I did!

I think my absolute favorite place to be and photograph that day was the Lincoln Memorial. Aside from being sheltered from the wind and having beautiful directional light, there's a very calming sense of peace once you're in the monument. There were a TON of people there, yet there were times when it felt like I was completely alone with Lincoln. It really was an amazing experience. I can see why Fred picked this monument as the backdrop for his proposal to Beth - what a beautiful place to revisit over and over again.

Never being in DC before, I always thought that you'd be able to see the Capitol from anywhere but what I found was that the Washington Monument was actually much more visible around the city than the Capitol was. It seemed to be omnipresent.

I enjoy a beautiful and romantic silhouette as much as the next person, but that just didn't seem fitting for these two - not that they aren't romantic, but because their joy and laughter really characterize their bond much better. And how apropo that the background is red, white, and blue... yes, I'm cheesy and I love it! ;) I can't wait for the wedding day!!! I already know it's going to be soooo much fun!!!

I almost forgot - thank you sooo much for the delicious hamantashen and dinner!!!!

Candice & Brian's Belle Isle Detroit Yacht Club Wedding

posted on: May 24, 2007

Last Dance

It was a dark and stormy day as the wind shook the branches of the trees in
Royal Oak, MI. Yet, inside her bungalow home, the bride was diligently
preparing to marry the man of her dreams.

Bride getting ready

Her dress hung patiently on the door, waiting to transform its owner into an image of classic romance.

Wedding dress

As the guests walked up to the Shrine of the Little Flower, they were greeted by the grand architecture and craftsmanship of days past.

Shrine of the Little Flower

Waiting patiently for the ceremony to begin, the bridesmaids were veiled behind the curtains of the small chapel while the groomsmen and ushers greeted guests within the sanctuary. As each person took their seat, they became absorbed in thought and anticipation for the ceremony to begin.

Waiting and watching

Guests waiting

With only a few moments before their grand processional, the bride assures
her father that he will always have a place in her heart.

Time with dad

In this sacred and holy space, the bride & groom promise their
commitment to love each other, their families, and the God that brought
them together.

Shrine of the Little Flower Wedding

Shrine of the Little Flower


The bride fondly remembers an image of her grandmother standing in front of
the very same Belle Isle Scott Fountain on her wedding day. In spite of
the wind and rain, we create an image for future generations to look
back on and treasure.

Scott Fountain Belle Isle

Ready to celebrate, the newlywed husband and wife ascend the grand staircase
of the Detroit Yacht Club to cut the cake and enjoy their first meal
with the family and friends who came to support them in their new life

To the reception

Cake Cutting

Detroit Yacht Club

As the music begins, the husband and wife embrace for their first dance
together, softly lit by the flickering fireplace and iron candelabras
of the grand ballroom.

First Dance

Romance by the fire

With great beats and dancing feet, the music lures guests into the spotlight of the dance floor, ready to party the night away.


Stepping into the spotlight

Father in law gets down!

Dancing Machine

Dad gets down!

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun!

To Candice & Brian - thank you soooo much for giving me the privilege of photographing your wedding!! May you live happily ever after!! And a special thanks to Sally & Rodney for bringing us together.

Maria & Chad's Wedding

posted on: May 17, 2007

Maria & Chad had a beautiful wedding ceremony at Maria's parent's house in Annapolis, IL. Their house on a hill proved to be a beautiful backdrop for this home wedding ceremony on a perfect blue sky day.

I started off the day at the Hair Connection salon in Oblong, IL where the girls were getting their hair and makeup done. Some girls enjoyed it more than others!!

Later, I came to find out that Maria's mom, Martha, is a bit of a local celebrity! The proof was right there in the magazine article with a beautiful picture of her dream home. I definitely felt special being able to photograph a local celebrity! ;)

No matter how hard you try to get everything done before the wedding day, there always seem to be last minute things to take care of on the day of the wedding. Maria was able to take care of everything with ease- which is not easy for everyone.

Speaking of attire, check out this super cute flower girl dress with loose rose petals floating in the tulle! When I saw it hanging on the door in the hallway, it was too precious not to photograph. Of course, the dress doesn't even compare to the flower girl herself - how irresistable! All together now.... "awwwwwwwwww!!!"

I think cuff links are universally the most confusing part of putting on wedding attire for men, but they always seem to figure it out!

One of the things that Martha said to me was how much she wanted a sepia bridal portrait of her daughter to go with the other sepia family photos that hung in her hallway. Sepia is no problem - but traditional bridal portraiture is not really my forté, so I gave it a shot and tried something a little different with dramatic lighting and slightly unconventional posing. What do you think?

Maria & Chad decided to make their children a special part of their ceremony. More and more often a bride & groom will give a rose to their parents during the ceremony as a token of thanks, which Maria & Chad did, but they also gave them to each other's children with the promise to care for them and treat them like their own. It was a very sweet touch.

Being a "city-girl" for most of my life, I never really played around with four-wheelers until I dated a "country-boy" (before I met my husband). Now I understand the joy of just taking off into the wilderness and riding around on trails with little to stand in your way. Some people take their boats out for an afternoon of relaxing, but when you don't have a big lake, you can still take off into nature on a four-wheeler. Thus, it's only appropriate to get a picture on one of the favorite family toys.

I still can't figure out why, but this is one of my favorite unexpected portraits of the day.

The reception followed shortly after at the VFW in Robinson, IL and it was easy to see how in love Maria & Chad were in everything they did - never holding back their affection, which became contagious and inspired everyone in the room to be more loving.

Maria's dad had no problem tearing up the dance floor with his daughter! Look at them go!

Name that tune!!

Maria's daughter was a tough cookie to crack. She started off the day with many more scowels than smiles, but by the end of the day she was all smiles and having a blast at her mom's wedding. I know that in the next few years, the distance will grow between these two- as it naturally does when a daughter progresses through her teens and seeks to define herself, but I hope that images like this one will help them remember their love for each other and how much fun they can have together.

I think this image is a slight foreshadowing of the total shirt removing that happened later in the evening. In any case, many of the guests had me in tears laughing throughout the night! I just love people... they're always full of surprises.

Maria & Chad - I wish you many more years of laughs, tears, and good memories!

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