Lauren and Toryn's Chill Denton Wedding

These two crazy lovebirds got married two weeks ago in Denton, and I'm just getting around to posting some of their photos! I never claimed to be a good blogger.

Anyway, the majority of my brides and grooms are super chill, relaxed types of folks. And Toryn and Lauren may be the most casually cool couple to date. Their wedding took place on the lawn of the Downtown Denton Courthouse, you know, in the middle of the Square. There was no rehearsal, so everyone just sort of knew what to do.

And even though the sun was at its absolute worst position in the sky, we managed to get some wonderful photos! 

Lauren wore this gorgeous embroidered gown that she (I believe) found on Etsy. And Toryn was all GQ'd out in his blue suit with floral tie. To call them adorable would be a disservice: they were Denton perfection.

What was even more inspiring was their friends and guests. Everyone helped in some way. There were dog wranglers, iPod wranglers, family wranglers. There may have even  been a beard wrangler.

The reception followed the ceremony, taking place that the ultra hip Harvest House. There guests (and me) enjoyed catered Mexican food, Hypnotic Donuts, and a fine selection of craft beers. My evening ended with the happy couple running through rows of their friends getting high fives from everyone. Who needs bubbles and rice when you have hands?

Lauren and Toryn, it was an absolute pleasure sharing your special day. Here's to many many happy years!

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Focus on Focusing

So ... automatic doesn't work in most real word situations.

I may or may not have screencapped this from a popular camera brand's how-to manual.

It describes conditions where autofocus doesn't perform very well.

I say, if you know how to properly use auto focus, these situation aren't a problem.

Automatic isn't automatic, photographers!

Learn more at a How to Use Your Camera workshop

Traditional Engagement Photos

Photography, like everything else, goes through trends.

Right now, artistic shots with blurry foregrounds and pretending the camera isn't there are as common as grey walls and anything you'd hear on Kiss FM.

If you're under the age of 35, you probably love that. If you're over the age of 35, you may have an issue.

The older generation likes photos where the subjects are looking at the camera and nothing is in the way, white walls, and the Ozark Mountain Daredevils as opposed to Bieber.

You have to appease the elders who want wallet prints of your shining face, right?

Jon-Reid and Hayli came to me because they wanted something more classic for their engagement portraits (with some trendy stuff thrown in). We went to the Dallas Arboretum on a Sunday morning, dodged the many other photographers, and left with a bucketload of options that will please everyone.

 

Have a creative holiday.

My husband and I met in advertising. I was a copywriter. He was an art director. Together, we made beautiful things (long before we made our beautiful little baby). Anyway, with the series finale of our favorite show, Mad Men, which oftentimes felt a little too biographical, we thought of our annual holiday card.

With the kiddo and busy work lives, we had far less time than we would have enjoyed to get the shots, however I think we didn't do too bad. Here's our Xmas card for 2015 along with the inspiration. We hope your holiday season is as cool as ours is.

DIY Portraits

You don't even have to shoot in manual to have control over your photos. It can be done, but you need to know how to use your camera.

After all, wardrobe and those cute props you  made from Pinterest won't matter if your picture is blurry and strangely orange.

That's why I offer photography workshops at your convenience. Gather some friends, get a fruit tray from the grocery store, and host a How to Use Your Camera Workshop in your home.

 

Kevin + Larry at the Interfaith Peace Chapel

My husband says I get this look on my face when I edit wedding photos. He can't really describe it, but there's a smile and a misty-eyed quality. Well, going over Kevin and Larry's big day as I uploaded files found me with that blissfully dopey look. I absolutely loved their ceremony. The Interfaith Peace Chapel in Dallas was bursting with love, even though there were less than 10 people in the building.

They chose to have an intimate and private setting for their nuptials, and I always loves those types of celebrations. Big weddings are great, too, but the small weddings that I have attended always have a different effect on me.

Anyway, it was fun helping out where I could in addition to shooting pictures. And the ceremony was absolutely lovely. And Larry couldn't have been smiling any harder if he had tried!

I adore this couple. And I'm so honored that I was given the opportunity to attend, let alone document, their wedding.

Terra & Megan

Terra and Megan brought one of their babies along for the session, and if you haven't looked at the photo thumbnails yet, know "baby" is code for "dog baby."

He stole the spotlight, that's for sure! I love putting pups and other pets into photos. They're family, after all.

But doggie aside, I had a great time with Terra and Megan. Perhaps one of the coolest parts was discovering that Terra and I went to the same high school, although at different times.

Anyway, once again, I chose White Rock Lake for the session, but we stayed relatively close to Mockingbird Point Dog Park, so their little one could swim and play. We walked across the bridge, took some shots in the blistering sun (or whatever shade we could find) and dodged bikes on the path. It was adventurous, but never dangerous!

Kevin & Larry

If it wasn't 100 degrees out when I met Kevin and Larry, it was close.

But they're wedding is coming up quick, so they powered through the heat for a fun-filled engagement session at White Rock Lake.

We met at the Bath House Cultural Center. I felt the building could be an interesting background (and even provide a bit of shade). Not to mention the bird poles in the lake where egrets and other water fowl tend to perch.

Unfortunately, the birds felt it was too hot to show up! But we managed to get some lovely photos, regardless. I'm very much looking forward to Kevin and Larry's wedding in August ... indoors!

Babies Light Up My Life, Even if My Lights Don't.

So this shoot stressed me out a bit, and not because the baby was bad! She was a perfect angel. I've actually never had a baby be so chill. No, it was the lights. I had just purchased a new set of studio lights and they malfunctioned hardcore. In fact, I couldn't adjust the output! That's the entire point of using lights, being able to control the amount of light that comes out!

I tried everything I could, but something just wasn't working. And we were in my house, so I didn't have the space to move them far enough away to lessen the light (not to mention there'd be light bleeding everywhere!).

In laymen's terms, it just means I had to get creative and bust out my speedlights again. So instead of the 5 light setup I had planned (well, 4 and a bounce), I was back to two and a bounce.

It worked. Andi looks adorable in the photos. But then again, she always looks adorable.

Baby Batgirl and the Wild Rumpus

Summer and Larry are going to have a baby girl soon. And they're doing two things I love. 1) She's going home in a little Batman outfit. 2) Her room is filled with "Where the Wild Things Are" stuff. I love Batman. And I love "Where the Wild Things Are." Add the fact that Summer and Larry are both silly and fun and hilarious and loving, and it makes for an easy afternoon shoot. I can't wait to meet their kiddo!

And with that, let the Wild Rumpus start.

Wedding at Lakewood Brewing Company

It was a family wedding at Lakewood Brewing Company! Greta, one of LBC's totally cool salespeople, couldn't imagine getting married anywhere else. She had a red and black dress, all of the bridesmaids had pinup hair and makeup, and the beer flowed like wine.

It was a fun time. Congrats, Greta! And welcome to the family, Duane!

How to Use Your Camera Workshop!

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Sunday, June 7, 2015 from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM

at Harry Moss Park. Corner of Greenville Ave. and Royal Ln.

Tickets available on Eventbrite.

A fun and friendly crash course in manual photography:

  • F-stops
  • ISO settings
  • Shutter speeds
  • White balance
  • and FOCUSING!

Plus, a goody or two to keep.

This is a true workshop; you'll learn by doing. We work in groups, play games, and learn how all cameras work while having fun. Expect tons of one-on-one time with the instructor. Questions are encouraged.

Bring your DSLR camera, a bottle of water, and your brain. You'll need all three!

Get your tickets here.

 

Use a flash outside.

Using a flash in bright sunlight can help even out your exposure. It was very bright the day I shot Derek and Andy's engagement photos.

Very bright. Even at 7 PM, the Texas sun wasn't letting up.

So I pulled out my flash, which seems like a silly thing to do. After all, if there's too much light, why would anyone in their right mind add more?

Well, there are a few reasons. I think the photos speak for themselves, but I'll give a basic outline.

Bright lights equal dark shadows. Use a flash to fill in those shadows and get more uniform light.

See how the background is visible in the photo taken with the flash? That's because my light made their faces equal to the background. Without the flash, the background was drowned out by the sun reflecting off of everything.

Learn how to shoot your camera manually. Then learn how to use your flash. Need help? Let me show you how to use your camera!

Derek and Andy

So, I was distracted about 80% of the time I was shooting these two because Derek's eyes are insane. They're some of the most beautiful eyes I've ever had the pleasure to lay my eyes on. Next to my husband and baby's eyes, anyway. (Wink.)

Anyway, baby blues aside, these two are crazy about each other. And I'm kind of crazy about them.

 

Mr. and Mrs. Gibson

What a cool couple! Ashley and Travis have known each other for years, and there is more history than my blog can do justice. So I'll just mention a few other things. They're untraditional, which I love. That made me get a little untraditional with how I shot their wedding. For starters, I shot the group photos with all of the wedding guests casually milling about in the background. I really like how it turned out. In fact, when I go through all of their photos, there's a definite theme of wedding guests always being visible, from the cake cutting to the dances to the toasts. It really works for their wedding--there were only 70 guests.

Both the wedding and the reception were at the Cross Timbers Winery in Grapevine, Texas. I've actually shot a reception there before years ago, so it was great to return. Maybe I'll be back again.

Family Fun at the Dallas Arboretum

The Dallas Arboretum is the place to shoot couples, brides, and families. In fact, most of the time you end up snapping pics of the same people in that order! That's how it

has been with the Prices, dear friends of mine since ... a while back.

Anyway, their daughter is about to be two (WHAT), so we went to the Arboretum (again) to get some photos of their little family before she turns 22.

Sisters, Friends Forever

Here's the problem with taking photos of newborns: It makes me want another baby. Honestly, that isn't a problem. I mean, why wouldn't I want another snuggly, cuddly, cooing little baby to hold and love and protect?

I got my baby fix this weekend, though, with little Miss Taylor and her big sister, Natalie. These sweet girls just grabbed my heart and hung on tightly the entire time we spent together.

I love spending time with sisters. It makes me think of when my sis and I were kids. We were each other's best friends. And to this day, my sister knows me in a way that no one else ever will.

I'm so humbly happy I got to capture these moments between young sisters. I hope they see these photos when they're older and love them.

Rain won't stop family portraits.

The Ta Family wanted family portraits in a hurry. The problem was that it was cold, rainy, and all around gross outside. We had a few indoor options. One was a studio with normal, colorless backgrounds.

The other was Lakewood Brewing Company. And because the Tas are cool people, they had no qualms about shooting family portraits with brew tanks in the background.

So they brought the kids and I brought some lights and we had a great session indoors. Everyone stayed dry, and some of the adults even got a treat afterwards.