Friday, August 31, 2007

Happy Friday!

I hope all of you are planning a fabulous holiday weekend! Stan and I are going to be very busy, but it will be so fun. :) We have 2 weddings, one barge party, one church hoe down :), and lots of reading about little kid illnesses (for me). We start the weekend off with Eric and Nikki's fabulous wedding out at Vintage Villas tonight. Many pictures coming soon!


PS - here's a pic of Nikki & Eric

PPS - here's a couple of the pictures from when we went out for our Anniversary a few weeks back. We did lots of these silly self-portraits! :)


Thursday, August 30, 2007

Deep breath. :)

Wow - the beginning of this week was CRAZY. Many of you know that beyond this photography world, I am also in Nursing school and will be graduating with my R.N. in May - yippee! :) Well, if you've been in Nursing school (many of my brides are actually nurses!), then you know how insanely crazy the first week of each semester is. In normal school, it seems like you can kind of ease in to the semester and the first week is usually a light one. Not so in Nursing school. The first week is basically the most stressful week of the whole semester because we have a couple of intense skills exams the first week that pretty much determine if you are even allowed to go on in the program or if you get kicked out - SO scary!

I am pleased to say that I made it out of these exams ALIVE and passing them, which means I can continue towards my May graduation date! Everything from here on out will be so much better - not easy, but better! Next week I'll begin my pediatric clinical rotation, which I am so excited about. I can't wait to take care of those sweet kiddos! After this 5-week rotation, I'll have 5 weeks in the delivery room (SOOOOO exciting!) and then 5 weeks at the State Hospital for my psychiatric rotation.

Everybody is shocked when they find out that I am a full-time professional photographer AND a Nursing student - it always makes me laugh! :) What I always tell people is how blessed I am that these two worlds fit together soo perfectly. The fact that I run my own business allows me to take on as much or as little as I want, based on how my schedule is at the time. This summer I was able to shoot a LOT and also work on a lot of new things in my business. It's also nice that I can hire other professionals to take care of some of the time-consuming areas of my business like print fulfillment and preliminary album design so that I can be free to provide awesome customer services to my Brides & Grooms. I also only accept a fraction of the weddings that most full-time photographers around here do because I always want to deliver the best, and if that means less weddings so that I can ensure that, then that's what I will do. :)

Anyway, the school semester is officially underway and I'm already loving it! :)

People also often ask me what I am going to do once I graduate: nursing or photography? Great question! My plan is to continue to do as much photography as I do now (between 20 and 30 weddings a year) and to pick up about 1-2 shifts a week as a nurse, working for a hospital (or other setting) on an "as needed" basis. This way I will be able to make my own schedule, again, based on how busy I am with photography stuff. It's really the best of both worlds and I feel so lucky to have found not one, but TWO careers I am passionate about!

Well, I guess I just gave you the complete 411. From now on, when people ask me about my work/school balance, I will just tell them to come see blog post #546, where I have laid it all out for the world to see. :)

Thanks for reading!

Love to all,


Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Jason & Dianna's Slideshow

One thing that I want to start doing is sharing some of the slideshows that I make for my couples on the blog! :) Don't tell any of my brides and grooms (brides and grooms look away!), but I secretly create slideshows for them - I don't even list them in my packages because I really love to surprise them! Anyway, I thought I would share one today and who better than the tremendously sweet Jason & Dianna? :) The show has music, so turn your speakers down if you're at work (Cortney).


Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Hope in the City

Hey guys!

I absolutely LOVE my church......seriously! We are so in awe of what an amazing community of friends we have found there. Stan and I have both attended Hope in the City since it was founded in 2000 and in 7 short years, we have been so blessed to be a part of such a dynamic, loving, compassionate church!

I am in the middle of an extended photography project for our church and I'm really enjoying going to all the different groups and events that our church has to take pictures. Billy is one of the amazing staff members at HITC and he is totally re-vamping the church website and it's going to be FULL of my pictures! :) I will share the link with you as soon as the new site is up so you can see them all, but for now, I'll share just a few of my favs. :)

Sunday mornings at Hope

You may recognize Clark and Natalie - they are the music pastors at our church and our very dear friends!

Some staff members who are so cute. There are many more staff people, but I just wanted to share a few. :)

Our church pastors, Ron and Janine

Youth pastors Sean and Shannon

Young adult pastors Robin and Billy

Blog celebrities Clark and Nat


Sunday, August 26, 2007

Sarah & Corey: Engaged!

This was the first time I met Sarah and Corey and it was so great to finally set eyes on them and to find out what a fun couple they are! I am very much looking forward to shooting their wedding in just about a month. :)

This was a picture I almost deleted, but then I decided that I really really like it. :)


Saturday, August 25, 2007

Frequently Asked Photography Questions!

Following in the footsteps of one of my favorite photographers, the super sweet Jasmine Star, I wanted to answer a few of the FAQs I get from other photographers and friends. :) We are ALL at some phase of learning about photography, so I am just going to answer the most frequent questions I get, big and small. I am hoping to do this on the blog from time to time because I have so valued all of the information I've gained from others and now I just want to give the little that I have away! :)

1) I am not a professional photographer, but I am very interested in getting better at photography and I want to know what camera I should buy.

My recommendation is always the Canon EOS Digital Rebel. This camera is a fantastic camera for a beginner and let me tell you a little secret: I shot WEDDINGS (LOTS of weddings) at the beginning with this camera and it did a great job! Which edition of this camera should you buy? I had the 6.3 mega pixel one back in the olden days, and I know the current one is something sick like 12 mega pixels, but really, I think that's un-unnecessary. Anything about 6 will give you gorgeous images, in my opinion. :)

2) What camera do you use now?

I use the Canon 5D and 30D cameras. Most of the time I'm using the 5D and Stan's using the 30D, but we really switch a lot throughout the wedding. I LOVE both of these cameras, but I am especially in love with my 5D. :)

3) Do I need to get a 5D to be a good photographer?

Yes. No, I'm just kidding. :) The 5D will be a huge, awesome investment when you're able to do it, but my recommendation is always to get "good glass" first and foremost. Good glass refers to the lenses you have in your arsenal. My opinion is that the lenses make the biggest quality difference in your images and will be your best investment.

4) How do you get those super-sharp pictures?

First of all, thanks. :) I am glad that I'm finally making some headway in the battle against soft pictures. That drove me absolutely CRAZY for a long time! I think we all struggle with figuring that part of things out.

I have to say again that "good glass" is absolutely KEY in getting those sharp pics. I find that my sharpest images come when I hover around f 1.8 on up to about 2.5. I think our eyes play a trick on us when you have the amazing bokeh (blurry) in the background - it makes the subject even sharper than they actually are. Starting with good glass and a steady hand will give you sharp pictures just right out of the camera. THEN in post-processing, contrast and Kubota Magic Sharp are my friends, but only on images that are already really sharp. :)In fact, when I use magic sharp on a not-sharp image, it looks just yuck.

Here's a pic of my friend Amy (you may recognize her from News 8). This was shot at 85/1.8. Notice the contrast between the sharpness of her face vs. the background and even her shirt.

Okay, that's all for now, but I will be doing this again soon! Please feel free to leave questions in the comment section here so that I can answer them next time. :)


Thursday, August 23, 2007

Richard and Laura Trash the Dress AND My Announcement!

Hey guys -

Well, I guess I'll go ahead and make my big announcement, even though I don't totally have all of the details . . .

Soooo........after reading the article in the Austin-American Statesman about us trashing Natalie & Clark, Fox 7 News contacted me to see if I had another TTD session coming up anytime soon and said they wanted to do a story for their morning show! YIPPEE! So, Dave (the morning show's camera man) came with Laura, Richard, and I to get some footage of our Trash the Dress Session.

Later on, I said, "So, Dave, do you know that they want to do with this footage or when it will run?"

And he said, "Well obviously you'll need to come in to do the live interview in studio and the footage will run then."


That's right folks - I will be interviewed LIVE on Fox 7 News! Woo hoo! My parents are going to be so proud! :) I hesitated to give this news, because I still don't know when I will be on, but I will let you know first, I promise! I'm going to be interviewed by Joe and Katherine - how cool is that (local news celebrities, for those out of town)? :) Anyway, that's the big news - thanks for reading!

By the way, I was thinking this morning about all the terrible things that could happen to make me look like an idiot on their show. Here's my list of top 5 disastrous events that will make me look like a fool:

5) I could get big, welted hives all over my face and neck.
4) I could bite my tongue really hard the night before and then have it be swollen for the interview and not be able to speak normally.
3) I could wake up late and have wet hair for the interview. This is NOT a good look for me.
2) I could need to go potty right in the middle of the interview! (What do they do when they have to go, anyway??)
1) And this is the worst - because those of you who know me know how very possible this is - I could do what I normally do when I get nervous and just keep talking and talking and talking nervously until somebody tells me that we really DO NEED to go to a commercial break. Agh, I am so worried I will do this!!! I am going to really focus on trying not to!

Anyway, that's what's up. :) I will give you more details as soon as I get them! Thanks for being excited for me! :)

(and let's all take a deep sigh of relief that my news is NOT that I'm pregnant. :))


PS- oh, geeze, I almost forgot - here's a few of my favorites from Laura & Richard's session. :) I love these two SOOO much!
I shot their wedding in May and they have continued to be some of my biggest cheerleaders ever since. We had so much fun doing this together!

This is my favorite:


Clayton & Cynthia: Engaged!

I'm a little late in posting pictures from Cynthia & Clayton's engagement session because I did things out of order and designed their guestbook right away because they're getting married SOOON! :) They contacted me just a couple of weeks ago about their Labor Day (Sept 3rd) wedding and booked me and I could not be happier! These two are so sweet, silly, zainy, and in love. :) They came to their engagement session with some seriously fun ideas - including pretending to get tattoos at a tattoo parlor. This is funny because they're ministers, so their congregation is going to LOOOVE these pics!


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Jason & Dianna's Wedding!

Stan and I had a wonderful time shooting Jason and Dianna's gorgeous wedding and reception at Barton Creek Resort and Spa on Sunday. These two are just awesome together and it was so great to see how in love they were! We had never met them before their wedding day because they live in California, but when we did meet, it was like we were old friends. :) With their family and friends watching on, there was not a dry eye in the house as Jason and Dianna became husband and wife.

Stan and I are so happy with the images we got from their wedding, but I have to brag on Stan a bit here - he did such an awesome job! There is such an advantage to having two photographers - and we like to think there's even more of an advantage to having a husband-and-wife team. :) We've only been shooting together for a few months, but we're really getting the hang of it and loving in! Stan's style is developing so beautifully and I love how it compliments my style.

Anyway, back to Dianna and Jason. :) Here are a few of my favorites from the day. We will be putting together a slideshow of our favorite images of their day and we look forward to sharing that with you soon!

This 2-year-old flower girl was completely passed out at the end of the night. So what did her parents do? Well, as you can see below, they made the picture a little bit funnier. I guess you can probably only do this to your own kid. :)