Yearly Archives: 2012

Re-visiting Katy and Shaun’s Hawaiian Wedding Day

In honor of Katy and Shaun’s Hawaiian wedding being featured on Style Me Pretty Destinations today, I’m re-posting the original blog entry about their Sept. 5, 2010 wedding. This is still one of our all time favorite weddings with one of our all time favorite couples. So if you missed this the first time around, today is your lucky day! Click here to see blog posts about Katy and Shaun’s pre-wedding day events, Groom’s dinner ON the USS Missouri battleship, and their trash the dress session the day after the wedding. Or just continue reading here to take a trip down memory lane to their wedding day….

 

You’ve now finished the appetizers I’ve been feeding you about Katy and Shaun’s wedding week and are ready for the main course… the wedding day.

Hawaii fish pond photosaloha wedding photosbest destination wedding photographer

By now you’ve read about Katy and Shaun and you’ve seen the heart they put into planning their wedding week (if you missed all this, read part 1 and part 2) for their friends and family to enjoy so you know to expect nothing short of amazingness, in all it’s glory, on their wedding day.

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And you’d be quite right to expect that.

No beauty was spared, no creative ideas left untouched as Katy and Shaun put all the details into their big day.

Everything from big to small was perfect.

(Instead of flower girls and ring bearers, they had the kids at the wedding hand out leis to the guests as they arrived).

I’m sure some of this perfection came from their perfectly wonderful wedding coordinator, Melissa Laudise with Let’s Do This! Event Planning and Coordinating.  We had heard a ton about Melissa long before it was even time to head to Hawaii.  Katy and Shaun were absolutely thrilled with her… as were we once we got to meet and work with her!  She was so easy to work with and she was the perfect combination of relaxed and organized… in short, we have a professional crush on her.

Her arrangement of all the sentimental and beautiful details that Katy and Shaun wanted included in their wedding was pulled off flawlessly, and she did it all with a casual kind of grace that can only be described as “Hawaiian Class”.

Melissa lives in Hawaii but she travels for weddings!  So no matter where you live, if you still need a coordinator for your wedding day, give her a call!

As you can see, the Kahaluu fishpond that Katy and Shaun got married on, also had a part to play in the beauty of the wedding day. I can’t believe how perfectly this place seemed to fit them.

Hawaiia wedding photographyOahu creative wedding photos

The little house the girls got ready in (one that President Obama stayed in on a visit by the way) was lit up all bright and beautiful and had a chill, down to earth feel…

… sort of like Katy herself!

Doesn’t she just beam?!

I have to say that when Katy put on the wedding dress I absolutely lost my breath for a second!  She somehow managed to still look like herself, but also just like a Hawaiian princess!

I’m not kidding, the entire day I couldn’t get over how beautiful she looked, I’m sure her face radiating happiness the way it was had a lot to do with it!

It was at this house that Katy and Shaun had their reveal moment…

…which they both agreed they were SO glad they did since  it made them feel more like a team as they prepared to walk down the aisle in front of all their family and friends…

…and I’m sure it’s a moment that neither will ever forget.

Since we loved the house so much, we went ahead and did all the group photos around there as well.

(Someone shouted the cue and before I knew what was happening, they’d spelled out “Katy” with their arms!  Ha ha!).

Once it was time for the ceremony, Katy pulled out all the stops by surprising her guests and coming across the lake on a canoe (that was being paddled by 2 of the groomsmen… who are obviously very trusted and have very good balance!).

(He’s eagerly awaiting the arrival of his beautiful bride from across the water).

Since I (Breanna) knew the canoe entrance was coming, that wasn’t the most surprising part of the ceremony to me… what was surprising was how emotional I got throughout the whole thing!  It was one of those times where I was constantly checking the viewer on my camera to make sure the mist from my eyes wasn’t fogging it up.

I just know how excited they were about every single little part of their day since we’ve been talking with them about it for so long now.

During the very first phone call we ever had with them, Katy and Shaun took great care to explain in detail, how much they wanted their wedding to be about joining them together before God and about the great love they shared with each other and with all the people surrounding them.  For as excited as they were about the actual wedding and reception, they were even more excited about the meaning behind it all.

The location of the ceremony and reception couldn’t have been better… with beautiful tents set up for dinner, complete with my dearest decor love… white lights strung across a night sky.

I’ve always dreamed of having the perfect nighttime garden party… and I think Katy and Shaun nailed my own dreams on the head!

The cocktail hour area was stunning as well, with a magnificent view of the lake and couches to sit on while you stare at it and talk to your friends, it was the whole package.

During this chill hanging out time guests were not only munching on amazing appetizers (called Pupus there), but also filling out postcards to mail to Katy and Shaun sporadically once they return home from their honeymoon.

So they can look forward to getting different postcards from their wedding guests for a long time after their wedding day.  How fun is that?!  This idea is courtesy of Melissa’s special touch.

After the cocktail hour and the dinner, we moved onto the toasts.  I heard some of the best speeches I’ve ever heard that night.  Maybe it’s because I’d spent all week getting to know the people who were giving the speeches…

…but I felt like they were incredibly insightful and exceptionally beautiful.  I also heard one of the funniest speeches I’ve ever heard as one of the groomsmen read out loud a letter Shaun wrote him when he was in Jr. High.

It was hilarious and such a great idea!

During the speeches, it started raining.  But don’t worry, instead of taking away from the perfection of the day, it actually made it better!

In Hawaii, rain on your wedding day is considered good luck and Shaun (who lived in Hawaii for awhile growing up) was really hoping they’d get “the blessing”, but he also didn’t want it to spoil any of their plans.  So after the 20 min. of rain we got, he was SO excited that they had some rain but not too much!

(and Scottie was so excited he had the chance to get these amazing nighttime rain shots!).

Pretty soon it was time to start the party!

Katy and Shaun had hired a super talented and very fun band and their guests took full advantage of this excellent dancing music that was there just for them. Everyone jumped right in and the energy that flowed from the band to the guests was very high!  Katy and Shaun’s first dance was amazing too by the way, it was to a very fun and jazzy number and they busted out with some moves I didn’t know they had in them!

Towards the end of the night, the big surprise we’d been waiting for finally came… Shaun and his band got up there to sing a song dedicated to Katy (read about the coolness of their band in this post here).  They sang “Just the Two of Us” (no, not the Will Smith version!) and there is no less cheesy way to describe this song than as a magical moment.  It just was.  The ebb and flow of the musicians, the excitement of their guests, and the happiness of Katy and Shaun made it all more than complete.  It was definitely unforgettable.

(this was taken when everyone was cheering on Shaun and the band… so cool.  Like our Facebook page if you want to tag yourself in some of these photos.).

As the guests cleared out of the wedding, they weren’t too sad that it was over because for many of them it wasn’t!

Katy and Shaun had planned an after party at a local restaurant where they had hired another musician as well.  We spent the night dancing away and laughing and talking with all their fantastic friends.  We don’t have any after party pictures because Katy and Shaun talked us into not bringing our cameras so we could truly relax.  By the end of the night, we were so thankful that we listened to them because we had more fun than I can remember having in a very long time!

(Katy and her mom… about to walk down the aisle together).

(Shaun with is 90+ year old grandmother who was such a trooper and made it to many of the pre-wedding events as well as the wedding!).

(Shaun giving his nephew- also named Shaun- one of the coolest challenges I’ve ever heard).:-)

Actually, this entire experience in Hawaii with Katy and Shaun and their guests is pretty unforgettable.

I can honestly say with confidence that it was one of the best weeks of Scottie and my lives and we are so thankful we got to be a part of it all.  Thank you Katy and Shaun for being the loving, relaxed, gracious, and fun people that you are.

We not only enjoyed all aspects of your wedding week, but we can’t imagine spending it with a better couple.  You both are very unique individuals and we’re so glad that you’ve joined forces to create the beautiful “collective dream” that you are working on.  We love you both and we’re excited to come visit you in CA soon!

Click to see the rest of the photos from Katy and Shaun’s wedding!

(Also click to see pictures of Katy swimming in her wedding dress after the wedding!)

The Campbell Family’s New Addition Session (by Josh & Kelley)

I. LOVE. Babies.

For reals!  Whenever we (Josh and Kelley) book any kind of a baby session, I (Kelley) usually start jumping up and down, dreaming up shot ideas, and blabbing Josh’s ear off until the shoot is over.

(How can you not love babies?!  Just LOOK at him!  Too CUTE!)

So, when we set up a “New Addition” session for the Campbell family (a newborn session, but with the whole family), Josh knew he was in for it!  Why?  Because this family has a beautiful newborn baby boy…

(Love that little smile!)

AND the most adorable two year old little girl that you’ve EVER seen!

That’s right folks, two babies (well, I’m counting toddlers as babies here) in ONE session!  WIN!

When Josh and I arrived, little Isaiah was pretty tired, so we started by getting some sweet sleeping newborn shots.

Now, as you may have heard, it’s best to take newborn photos within seven days or so after the little one is born.  The reason for this is that after that first week, the baby starts to become more alert, awake, and WAY less happy about posing for photos.

While Isaiah was a couple of days past that one week mark on the day of this session, he slept just long enough for us to get some great sleepy shots!

Once Isaiah woke up, Josh and I moved onto family shots! A couple with the WHOLE gang…

Siblings…

Daddy son time…

(He’s so tiny that he fits in his dad’s motorcycle helmet!)

Mother son time….

And of course some daddy daughter time.

(I love that she’s putting on her dad’s hunting cap while wearing a fluffy pink dress!)

Then, right around the time everyone else was running out of energy, it was time for two year old Mikayla to shine (leave it to a two year old to be full of energy when everyone else is winding down).

She pumped everyone else up as she danced to Van Halen’s, “Jump” (courtesy of her dad’s phone) and twirled in a shower of countless bubbles (courtesy of dad and a bubble wand).

Thank you Campbells for letting Josh and me help you document this important new chapter in the life of your family.

Your “New Addition” is already such a blessing to those around him, which is why we know he will fit PERFECTLY into the Campbell family.

Click here to see the rest of the Campbell’s New Addition Session

Morgan is back and ready for graduation!

You may remember her from her super fab, black and white sweet 16 party back in the day… well now Morgan is back with her cap and gown all ready to go!

That’s right, she’s all grown up and graduating! She apparently survived that crazy thing called high school and is ready to move on to see what the wonderful world of college has in store for her!

Morgan my dear, you are going to have so much fun!

I (Breanna) can’t even tell you how happy we were to get the email saying that Morgan was ready for her senior pictures!

It is seriously so cool to get to be involved with such an awesome girl during all the major events in her life! Is something good going on in Morgan’s life? Oh, looks like we get to go hang out with her and celebrate again!!

I mean, how cool is that?!

So Morgan rolled up in her Mustang (that we got to witness her getting as a gift for her 16th birthday!) and we headed out into the trees to get some farewell to high school photos!

(obviously we left the trees eventually in favor of some dirt!).

Morgan chose a great spot for pictures (on private property so I can’t tell you where it’s at!) and brought along her mom and sister to be her slaves, I mean “assistants” to help her carry stuff and provide a little comedic relief to help us get some laughing shots.

A special thanks to Morgan for bringing us along once again into this new stage of your life. Your excitement and smile are totally contagious, so we are always happy for the opportunity to be around you and to help you commemorate the major milestones in your life!

We can’t wait to see what’s next for you! Congratulations on graduating and good luck in college!
Love,
Scottie and Breanna

(Click to see the rest of Morgan’s senior session photos).

 

Luke’s Senior Session of Sitting on and Jumping off Things (by Josh & Kelley)

Can I (Kelley) just start off this post by saying that senior sessions are incredible?!  I mean let’s be honest and just state the fact that teenagers will always be about a billion times cooler than me.

Exhibit A:  Luke.  Enough said.

Even when I was a teenager, teenagers were cooler than me.  And that “coolness” always seems to shine through in photos and make for some amazing shots!

(I can’t really give “being a teenager” all of the credit for this shot. Luke is obviously a PRO in front of the camera!)

Now, for those of you that don’t know Luke, get to know him. I mean right now!  Josh and I spent over an hour taking his photos, chatting with him,  and just getting to know him. He’s pretty darn awesome!

We also learned a few things about Luke from his mom and dad who came along for the shoot.  For example, Luke likes to sit on things.

I know, I know, random right?  But apparently sitting anywhere and everywhere is a real talent of his.  In fact, Luke and his family recently took a trip around Italy (yeah, I’m jealous too!) and they all joke that it was Luke’s trip of Italian things to sit on.  Naturally, we had to grab a few shots of Luke just sitting around.

We also heard that Luke was a pretty skilled jumper.  And, while Josh and I are pretty tough critics when it comes to jumping (we have some pretty mad jumping skills ourselves), we give Luke a solid 10 out of 10!

In the fall, Luke will be starting classes at ASU (see, I told you he’s cool… Can you tell Josh and I are ASU graduates?), and I’m sure he will do wonderfully.  Not only am I sure that he will do well in his classes, but I’m predicting that he will also be great when it comes to sitting on and jumping off all sorts of things on campus.

But in all seriousness Luke, thanks for letting Josh and me help you and your family document this important milestone in your life, we had a blast!

Congratulations on graduating and good luck with your future at ASU.  You’re going to be GREAT!

Click to see the rest of Luke’s Senior Session

How to Plan a Truly Great Family Photo Session (Part 4: The Interactions)

This is the last post in the series “How to Plan a Truly Great Family Photo Session” (click here to start it from the beginning). Unless I think of something else to say about it of course! Today we’re talking about what may seem like the most obvious aspect of a great family photo session… the interactions between family members.

It’s one thing to spend time hanging out together in private in your home but it’s another thing to do it when someone pulls out a camera since that simple action is likely to make at least one of your family members (if not all of them) freeze up and instantly feel awkward. Plus there are different stages throughout your children’s lives and sometimes it’s hard to find an activity that everyone can participate in and have fun with.  Some families interact very naturally together without any outside help and others need something to prompt them, or to do together, to help them interact naturally.  You know your family and if you are the kind that might need a little extra push in this area (especially when there’s a camera around). Either way, I hope the Cottrell’s example might get some wheels turning for you….

(Somehow the kids kept losing important clothing items throughout the session so this picture cracks me up… and reminds me about Nicole’s relaxed, non-stressed attitude! See post 3 for more on that!).

The Cottrells have family snuggle time in bed on Saturday mornings.  This means, dad’s home from work and the kids crawl into their parents’ bed to hang out and start off their weekend together. What an AMAZING and special time to share in together every week! And since this is a regular thing they do together that everyone in the family loves, I can think of nothing better to capture on picture day.

When the Cottrell kids grow up and think of good times with their parents, I have no doubt they’ll think of Saturday mornings in bed together, so those are the kind of memories we want to preserve in photos.  Especially because it will make it that much more amazing when the kids grow up and keep the same tradition with their own kids and have a photographer capture the same memories with their family.  How cool would that be?!?

So why on earth would you rather have pictures of everyone sitting and smiling together in a park than family snuggle time photos?!

Because for some reason, family photo time has become the exact opposite of family snuggle time in many ways.  It has become so much colder.  Why is that?! We have digital now, we can take thousands of pictures and it costs us nothing! So we can afford to sacrifice a few blurry photos due to the kids jumping on the bed too much or a couple of dark pictures as we get the indoor lighting just right.  Posy- posy type of pictures come from back in the day when a single picture cost a ton of money to take and you couldn’t risk one not being perfect!  We can risk it now so lets make the most of it!

So while you’re trying to think of what backgrounds make your family look best (because that’s important too), make sure you take the time to think about what activities make your family the most YOU. Think about what each of your kids like to do to showcase their personalities.  The Cottrells’ little boy loves to sit at the piano and play (he seriously can play specific notes in specific order… I guess that’s called a song!) so they planned some of that time into the session.

Their little girl loves to entertain and tell dramatic stories (while jumping on the bed apparently!) so they let her go ahead and do that while they all sat attentively!

A major factor in the Cottrell family session is that the parents were very active participants.

Don’t forget, it’s not all about the kids.  I don’t care if you don’t like how you look right now, your kids will want pictures of you playing with them when they grow up whether you’re 100 lbs overweight with adult acne or not!

Family picture time is about so much more than looks and these pictures are for everyone so don’t get obsessed with yourself and how YOU look. Get in there and be great parents who really play with their kids and participates in their interests!

(Even if that means getting your head stepped on every once in awhile).

That’s the way people will remember you, rather than as someone who’s missing in all the photos because they were sadly insecure.

So be thinking of things your family does together.  How do you interact together?  I don’t just mean playing kids games either.  Do you hold your child while they stir the brownie batter? Lets get a picture of that. Do they imitate you getting ready in the morning or while you clean house? Lets get a picture of that.  Do you play dress up together, have dance parties, work in the garden, make meals together…. any of that is GREAT for pictures!  Just make sure you chose something that keeps you close, touching, and happy and your pictures will look amazing.

So let’s review what you’ve learned so far…

When you are planning a family photo session make sure you consider the right timing for the session, the style (pick 1 item to build your wardrobe, location, and props from), your attitude and expectations about the session, and what activities show your family as they really are at this stage in life.

Well that’s it!  Now you know how to do it, how to have a truly great family photo session! You know how to have the right style, attitude, and interactions.  But even with all that great info, the most  important thing is that you don’t think of this as picture day.  Think of it as a visual representation of the kind of love you have for one another and most of all… think of it as a great day you’ll have with your family that you want to remember forever. That will make it a truly great family photo session.

(Click to read the series from the beginning.)