Monthly Archives: November 2012

Michael’s shadowy senior session (by Scott & Breanna)

One glance at Michael and you immediately know he’s a cool guy.

But you still don’t know the half of it. He’s even cooler than you think, that’s because he’s our nephew which obviously automatically triples his cool points.

You’d think doing photos for family would be easy, right? Well it is if your family member isn’t super witty and sarcastic! I’ve definitely never been actually mocked by one of my clients while doing their photo session before!!

It threw me (Breanna) off at first, but it didn’t take me long to recover and remember that, oh wait, I’m better at this game than he is (I can say that because he isn’t here to defend himself… who’s winning now, Michael?!).

 

I will say that it’s definitely easier to draw people out for the camera when you know them so well!

It’s also easy to take pictures of Michael because he is pretty amazing at posing! He’s got his look nailed. I mean, check out that Blue Steel! I don’t think Derek Zoolander himself could beat that one!

He also has a fantastic smile that I was able to draw out when he could no longer hide the fact that I’m way funnier than him (oh what’s that, Michael? I can’t hear you arguing with that through your computer!).

OK, I’ll admit it Michael, we had a lot of fun with you . We’re glad that we not only got to take your pictures, but that you’re a part of our family. We like having you around so much that I’ll actually say it… you and your snarky comments really are pretty funny!

And even if you’re mocking me, I still appreciate the high quality of your humor.:-)

(Look at this one carefully, we call it “The Peter Pan Shot”!)

Thanks for making our job and our lives more fun. Congrats on graduating!

 

Vincent is 1! (by Scott & Breanna)

So for those of you who have watched Vincent grow up through his Baby Story Video, his 6 month pictures, and his playgroup pictures. You’re going to be amazed to hear that he’s 1 year old already!!!

(Look, he’s got teeth and everything!!)

That’s right, the big zero one! You made it, buddy! And both Scottie, myself, and all our loyal fans have been so happy to be along for the ride!

So where did Vincent’s parents decide to go to capture this momentous occasion?! LONDON!

No not really, that’s just the Santa Monica pier in a crazy cloud of fog that makes it look like London! Now that you’ve got a little feel how cool London would look though guys, you really should considering taking all of us over there for his 2 year old pictures!;-)

We had planned on some sunny beach pictures but when the day for the session rolled around and the fog rolled in with it, we ended up with quite a different feel than what we’d originally talked about!

But that was cool because Vincent’s parents are flexible and we had beautiful light to work with!

So when we headed down to the pier not knowing what to expect, we quickly found out that even in a pretty solid fog we had plenty to work with!

As if Vincent’s variety of facial expressions weren’t enough material for us! OK, well maybe it’s not quite a VARIETY. Last time his new thing was putting his hands on his head, now he’s got the “ooooh” face.

(We seriously got way more “oooh” faces than that! I couldn’t fit them all in here!)

When he wasn’t being startled every few minutes by the roller coaster taking off, Vincent was quite content posing for the camera, practicing that whole walking thing, making strangers feel special by smiling at them, and playing in the sand.

As you can see, it was a busy day for him. He even had his first ride on a Merry Go Round! Of course he got stuck on the little kid horse that didn’t go up and down, but he didn’t care because the hundreds of lights to stare at were worth the ticket price to him.

Thanks to Vincent and his parents for playing London with us, as well as all the other fun activities little V always gets us caught up in (this time he was partial to swinging his hips and shoulders when we’d sing to him).

Congrats on making it a full year, Vincent. Hopefully year 2 will have less stress from so many new experiences, along with more tasty solid foods to try!

Click to see the rest of Vincent’s 1 year pictures here!

 

 

Erin and Zack’s Wedding Worth Stealing (by Josh & Kelley)

Erin and Zack’s wedding convinced me (Kelley) that I need to do my wedding all over again. Seriously, even Josh said that if we could go back in time and have a wedding “re-do”, we would use Erin and Zack’s wedding as our inspiration.

I fully agree, if I could go back, I would likely copy everything… Down to the last pumpkin and sparkle covered detail.

(Linens by La Tavola Linen)

Okay, that might be considered “stealing” rather than using a wedding as “inspiration”, but I think I’m okay with that. It was too beautiful to happen just one time.

I honestly did love every detail of Erin and Zack’s special day. From the time of year, (oh the magic of a fall wedding), to the decor (there can’t be anything better than pumpkins, fall leaves, AND sparkles).

And we can’t forget the fact that they chose an absolutely fabulous location! Josh and I always love shooting weddings at The Clayton on the Park. It’s such a clean, sleek, and modern venue with enormous amounts of beautiful natural light, and a staff that will do just about anything to make sure your event is fantastic and above your expectations in every way.

Add in the fact that The Clayton is tucked into the area around the Scottsdale Civic Center and Old Town Scottsdale, and you’ve got yourself a recipe for a perfect wedding location.

You can bet that we took full advantage of this on Erin and Zack’s wedding day. We wandered around and found more than enough beautiful places to capture a few memories.

One of my favorite captured memories is the one below. While we were strolling around and taking photos, a woman walked by with a couple of miniature horses and asked if Erin and Zack would like a photo with them. Without a second thought, these two grabbed the horses’ lead ropes and introduced themselves to their newest (and likely their hairiest) wedding guests.

The horses were wandering around and eating the bushes. It was definitely a moment to remember!

All of this, and I still haven’t told you one of my favorite parts about Erin and Zack’s wedding. It was 100% a family affair.

Erin and Zack’s daughter, Parker was the flower girl.

(I LOVE Parker’s face in this photo! Everyone had a good chuckle as her dad helped her perform her flower girl duty and walk down the aisle. This definitely captures a REAL flower girl moment.)

And Erin’s brother was the officiant during the ceremony.

In addition to the father/daughter and mother/son dances, the bride and groom also opted to do a sibling dance. I cannot tell a lie, watching Erin dance with her brother (and Zack dance with his sister) to, “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” totally had me tearing up. It was the epitome of sweetness.

It was pretty obvious throughout the entire day that family is something that’s really important to Zack and Erin, and we enjoyed watching them all celebrate together!

Erin and Zack, thank you so much for letting us be a part of your amazing wedding day! We had a blast with both of you (and your wonderful family). We want to wish you the best in your new marriage!

Oh, and if you two see your exact same wedding on this blog again in a few years under the title “Josh and Kelley Renew Their Vows”, don’t be surprised.

Click to see the rest of Erin and Zack’s Wedding Worth Stealing.

Ashley and JT: Wedding photos for OUR wedding photographer! (by Scott & Breanna)

We all know that Starbucks is a great company, but let’s review the reasons why again. The benefits are the biggest reason. You get health care, tuition money, a free bag of coffee each week, stock options, a wedding photographer, and a spouse.

Wait, what?! That’s what working at Starbucks did for JT and Ashley anyways! And it did close to that for me (Breanna) as well since it got me pretty much everything but the spouse part!

Now that you’re thoroughly confused, let’s back up. JT, Ashley, and I all met when we were baristas at Starbucks. This meeting eventually led to JT being MY wedding photographer…


(yep, that’s Scottie and me 7 years ago!)

… Ashley and JT getting married…


…and Scottie and I being THEIR wedding photographers! Crazy isn’t it?! And here we were thinking we just worked there for the discount!
JT and I have known each other for awhile now and we’ve been through a lot together. Everything from angry customers throwing frappuchinos on our drive through window, to jointly getting rid of a crazy stalker I had, to job changes, to starting our own companies, to running the Phoenix SMUG group together for awhile, to being a major part of each other’s weddings!

Scottie and Ashley fit into many of those adventures as well, which means we’re all a pretty great team at this point! And there was so much at JT and Ashley’s wedding to prove that!

(Scottie made sure to get a photo of the guys praying before the ceremony (above) because he loved the one JT got of that moment (below) at OUR wedding!)

(This is one of our all time favorite photos from our wedding, thanks JT!).

We’ve been around them long enough that we know all the dirt on them and can share it all here!

Well, we would do that if there actually was any real dirt to share! Since there isn’t any of that to tell you about, I’ll tell you some of the other stuff I know about them!

For one, they both LOOOOOVE their wine! So much in fact that they dream of owning their own winery one day! For guest favors, the groom and his dad MADE their own wine!

So getting married at Still Waters Vineyards couldn’t have been a more appropriate choice for them!

The second thing that you need to know about them is that they have a fourth love (outside of each other and wine) and that is their dog, Napa.

In fact, a major influence in what Paso Robles vineyard they chose to do their wedding at was which one would allow Napa to be a part of the ceremony and reception!

One thing I don’t have to tell you about them, (because you can see it for yourselves) is that they both have a love of details!


When we talked to them about what was most important about their wedding, they said all the things we expected to hear like family, friends, Starbucks Coffee, Napa, wine, etc. But beyond that they went on and on about how incredibly excited they were about the details of their wedding! And you can see why!
The table settings, dessert table, sign in table, card box, yard games… I could go on and on about every single little detail that Ashley and JT spent time and energy on to make their wedding incredible!

There were even vintage cameras lying around alongside vintage photos of their family members to represent the love of photography they share. Not only that, but we actually got photos of JT photographing his own wedding!

(I think this photo resulted in the one of Napa alone that I showed earlier on!)

(camera cufflinks, how awesome is that?!)

There were also some behind the scenes details that not all the guests may have known about. Especially when it comes to jewelry exchanging because there was a lot more of that going on than just the ring exchange that was seen at the alter.

At the rehearsal dinner, Ashley’s family gave JT a bracelet that matches the one that each of them wear everyday of their lives, which was a wonderful way to welcome him into the family!

(JT, his mom, and Ashley’s mom watching Ashley and her dad dance together, so sweet!).

And on the day of the wedding, Ashley’s mom gave her a ring that is over 125+ years old and that every generation of her family has worn going back to her great, great grandmother.

Obviously this wedding was incredibly special to Scottie and I. Not only was it full circle, with us being able to shoot our wedding photographer’s wedding 7 years after he shot ours… and not only was it between 2 amazing people who are a great couple and whom we love dearly… but the most special part about this wedding to us was seeing how happy JT and Ashley were that day.

As I said, I’ve known them for awhile (over 10 years now?), and throughout all that time, I have never seen either one with a bigger smile on their face than they had on their wedding day. Ashley was positively overflowing with joy.

She was giggly, glowing, giddy, and all other G words that describe joy! She was just thrilled and laughing the entire weekend. The only thing that rivaled Ashley’s level of joy was JT’s level of joy. It was incredible to watch them just falling to pieces in laughter and hugs together! So beautiful!
Besides the history between us, the love and joy between JT and Ashley, the beauty of the wedding and the relationships involved, there was one other thing that was extremely exciting to Scottie and I…. we got to be “Guestographers”!!! In case none of you have ever heard that term (that I just made up) that means JT and Ashley treated us like both guests AND photographers!

(Like our Facebook page to tag yourself in some of the photos).

Which is the best of both worlds in my opinion, because we got to enjoy the normal and wonderful parts of our job as well as the normal and wonderful parts of being a wedding guest!  Not only did we get to eat a great dinner on an actual real table (a family table too) instead of eating PB & J’s on top of empty boxes shoved inside of a storage closet; but we got to participate in the activities; capture the moments in pictures; tell everyone what to do (at least during photo time!); and even get our very own guest bags, favors, and place cards!

I think I enjoyed eating my guest bag Snickers, drinking my guest bag water, and planning what to carry inside of my guest bag when I got home, WAY more than any person should! I also showed my place card artichoke to WAY more people than actually cared about it!;-)

Since this was such an incredible and memorable experience for us, we came up with a full on list of things to thank JT and Ashley for.

JT and Ashley, thank you for:

1. Giving us better accommodations that what we gave JT to stay in at our own wedding.
2. Giving us our very own guest bag/artichoke/wine bottle favor.
3. Taking us to our very first wine tastings!
4. Considering our opinions even though you’re wedding photo experts.
5. Being fun to work with.
6. Seating us next to the dessert table.
7. Playing a game of bags with us (and letting us win)!
8. Crying, hugging, and thanking us when you saw some of your pictures.
9. Letting us drink at your wedding.
10. Choosing us to be the ones with you, capturing this amazing day.

We love you guys, and couldn’t be happier for you!

Click to see the rest of the photos from JT and Ashley’s very special day here.

Shanya and Clarence’s Wedding: style with a sense of humor (by Scott & Breanna)

One of my very favorite things about the weddings we go to is seeing how couples decide to make them their own. I love how the unique things about each couple and what’s important to them, shows up over and over again at a wedding in both small and big ways. Which is why I was a BIG fan of Shanya and Clarence’s wedding.

From day one they knew they wanted their wedding to reflect their own personal style as well as to be a huge celebration that was tons of fun for everyone!

(Like our Facebook page to tag yourself in these photos!)

Shanya and Clarence had guests from literally all over the world coming, I heard it mentioned that they had someone there from almost all of the 50 states in the US… not to mention from so many other countries. This was like a dream come true for Shanya and Clarence. It’s so hard to have your loved ones scattered out so far… so to have them all under one roof at the same time, is the best kind of mind blow there is.

Out of all the things they were excited for about their wedding, it seemed to me (Breanna) that having all their loved ones together at the same time was the thing that was making them jump up and down in anticipation the most.

That being the case, they were going to party their little hearts out and make this a trip their guests would NEVER forget. So that’s exactly what they did. And a party wouldn’t be a party to Shanya and Clarence if they weren’t able to be their true selves. And in my opinion, their true selves are hilarious!

In fact, it seemed like every person at this wedding had a fantastic sense of humor! Even the person who is typically the most solemn of all, the officiant, was cracking jokes that I even heard people laughing about long after the ceremony ended!

Even their vows of all things, both from the bride and the groom, contained the perfect amount of humor mixed with sentiment that had people laughing with tears in their eyes and huge smiles on their faces the entire time.

Apparently Shanya learned her public speaking skills from the best because her father’s speech that night was also one of the most memorable ones I’ve heard, that had the exact same perfect combination of humor and emotion that Shanya displayed in her vows at the alter.

The thing about the humor that I heard that day was that it wasn’t just people with good timing, or facial expressions, or whatever it is that makes people funny, it was people who were being purely genuine.

The number one thing I saw at Shanya and Clarence’s wedding was people who were real. They weren’t afraid of being vulnerable, messing up in front of people, or wearing their hearts on their sleeves. They were all joyfully connected to one another, and they weren’t afraid to show it.

From that sheer wedding day joy and lack of care about what people thought of them, came the true humor that expressed what was really going on in their heads on the kind of whirlwind and crazy day that a wedding is! It was beautiful and I loved that about this group of people.

Besides the great sense of humor that I witnessed that day, my other favorite way that Shanya and Clarence made this their own was through their unique style. By style I mean STYLE.

Everything from their transportation (Ollie the Trolley for the bridal party and double decker buses for the guests)…

….to the way they honored Clarence’s Filipino and their shared Sri Lankan traditions (the chord and veil ceremony, lighting of the lamp as they entered the reception, and having sponsors for the wedding)…

… to their incredibly detailed and well thought out decor…

… EVERY piece of their wedding reflected their own unique style and showed that this couple REALLY knows how to throw a party.

If you haven’t noticed by now, this wedding had details with a capital D. Every little thing involved in their wedding was there for a reason.

If you’ve ever planned a wedding or an event of any kind, you know that there aren’t magical little wedding elves that go around setting everything up when your back is turned…. well actually there are but we here in the real world call them “wedding planners”. Actually we call them “GOOD wedding planners”, because the kind that really make it happen as good as if magical elves are doing it are hard to find.

Fortunately, Shanya and Clarence were aware of both the significance and the rarity of this magical creature, so they looked high and low (past the gum drop forest and the Lucky Charms Leprechaun) until they found the best planner in the land… Ashley Gain from Ashley Gain Weddings and Events and her incredible, some would say “magical”, team.

You hear rumors that they’re there on the wedding day, but all you actually see are streaks of pink, and the affects of their work. As one thing after another happens flawlessly through out the night, you wonder “how is the happening”?! Someone tells you, “oh, Ashley Gain is here” and that’s when you know that planners as good as her really do exist.

Ashley’s work and Shanya and Clarence’s visions for the greatest party of their lives were so big that they leaked out of the first party and crept into another! In other words, after their grand reception ended (that was fully successful in fulfilling their dreams for an incredible party I might add), the group headed over to another room at the Montelucia Resort and Spa,  to continue on with an after party!

Unfortunately for Scottie and myself, our time was up and we headed home to get some much needed sleep after such an eventful day. But Josh (one of our other photographers), was more than happy to take over and get the chance to be a part of such a memorable wedding!

So I don’t have much info about what actually happened at the after party, but I do know that the pictures speak for themselves and make me wish I had been there to see it myself!

Now I’ve told you more than you ever knew there was to know about Shanya and Clarence’s wedding but I still haven’t told you much about THEM! As you can imagine from all you’ve seen by now, Shanya and Clarence are pretty amazing people!

Not just because they have an absolutely incredible story about how they are both Sri Lankan and randomly found each other and fell in love in New York City (if you ever meet them you have to ask for the long version of that story!), but because they just ARE wonderful people!

And because it seems to me, that them joining together is going to do nothing more than make everything that is beautiful about them, grow even stronger!

I hope you guys stay in touch so that we get to see how the two of you grow and change for the better together! Congratulations, we’re so happy for you!

Click to see the rest of Shanya and Clarence’s Wedding with style and a sense of humor (you can see photos from the rehearsal dinner and photobooth there as well!).