E N G A G E M E N T || Tiffanie & Chase

Tiffanie & Chase are incredibly adorable together. Besides the fact that Tiffanie has freaking incredible hair, and Chase has a wicked sense of humor, they were laid back, chill, friendly, and totally understood my deep and abiding need to make strange noises whenever they did something that made my heart happy. While their wedding is still a year out–we’re super stoked for it–Tiffanie definitely has an eye for detail and style, and I *know* her wedding is going to reflect that amazing talent!!

Spokane Wedding Photography

Spokane Wedding Photography

Spokane Wedding Photography

Spokane Wedding Photography

Spokane Wedding Photography

Spokane Wedding Photography

Spokane Wedding Photography

Spokane Wedding Photography

Spokane Wedding Photography

Spokane Wedding Photography

Spokane Wedding Photography

Spokane Wedding Photography

Spokane Wedding Photography

Spokane Wedding 
Photography

Spokane Wedding Photography

Spokane Wedding Photography

Spokane Wedding Photography

Spokane Wedding Photography

Spokane Wedding Photography

Spokane Wedding Photography

Spokane Wedding Photography

Thanks for such an awesome shoot, Tiffanie & Chase!!! We can’t wait to do more with you!!!

W E D D I N G || Brina & Shane Carrigan – Commellini’s Estate

In school, they promised they’d only date as long as it was fun. Shane has one of the best laughs ever, and an easy smile. Brina is one of the most compassionate, encouraging, hilarious friends I’ve ever made. And when they get close to each other, you’ll often find them absent-mindedly intertwining fingers and propping each other up, constantly seeking each others eyes and smiles. It’s the most adorable relationship ever.

Their wedding was incredible. Brina has a gift for decorating and creating an atmosphere that’s warm, inviting, and full of laughter and friends. Beyond the gorgeous floral decor (from the talented Just Roses Plus), Brina infused a delicate, classic theme into every aspect of her day, which fit perfectly with the timeless, polished look of the Commellini’s Estate. Couple that with amazing, customer-driven service from the wonderful event coordinators of Commellini’s, and the fantastic DJ from Ruby Frog Entertainment, plus the amazing cake from Celebrations Bakery (shout out for your pink champagne cupcakes, Celebrations, they are soul-shatteringly good) it was the best kick off to our 2014 wedding season EVER.

Our favorites from the day are below–but we also want to share something new and exciting that we’re offering with all of our packages, our Fusion Videos. What is a Fusion Video? It’s where we incorporate gorgeous music with our favorite portraits, and also some sneaky video clips from the day. If you have family that couldn’t make it, or you just want to relive your day, we have the perfect way for you to share the essence of your incredible day. Check out Brina & Shane’s Fusion Video at the end of the blog post, and let us know what you think!

Shmily Face Photography

Shmily Face Photography

Shmily Face Photography

Shmily Face Photography

Shmily Face Photography

Shmily Face Photography

Shmily Face Photography

Shmily Face Photography

Shmily Face Photography

Shmily Face Photography

Shmily Face Photography

Shmily Face Photography

Shmily Face Photography

Shmily Face Photography

Shmily Face Photography

Shmily Face Photography

Shmily Face Photography

Shmily Face Photography

Shmily Face Photography

Shmily Face Photography

Shmily Face Photography

Shmily Face Photography

Shmily Face Photography

Shmily Face Photography

Shmily Face Photography

Shmily Face Photography

Shmily Face Photography

Shmily Face Photography

Shmily Face Photography

Shmily Face Photography

Shmily Face Photography

Shmily Face Photography

Shmily Face Photography

Shmily Face Photography

Shmily Face Photography

Shmily Face Photography

Shmily Face Photography

Shmily Face Photography

Shmily Face Photography

Shmily Face Photography

Shmily Face Photography

Shmily Face Photography

Shmily Face Photography

Shmily Face Photography

Shmily Face Photography

Shmily Face Photography

Shmily Face Photography

Shmily Face Photography

Shmily Face Photography

Shmily Face Photography

Shmily Face Photography

Shmily Face Photography

Shmily Face Photography

Shmily Face Photography

 

Check out their Fusion Video Below!!
Untitled

S T Y L I Z E D . S H O O T || Sugar & Spice Concept Shoot

When I was little, I used to achingly wish that I was a princess with my whole heart. They had it *made*, don’t you think? I mean, sure, most Princesses had it rough for a bit (Princess Odette was turned into a swan after being forced into a marriage arrangement from childhood, only to realize she did love the guy who didn’t know she needed to be more than beautiful, and then he declared his love for the wrong person, and she basically died, but he saved the day in the end, and they got all married anyways; Princess Jasmine fell in love, mourned his death, fell in love again with a different guy, found out he was the same guy, then got enslaved by his nemesis, and then finally got to keep dating him after her dad changed laws for it to happen; then there’s Rapunzel who lived her entire life shoved into a tower with a woman who emotionally abused her while forcing her to wear a hair style that was impractical and probably gave her wicked migraines, only to fall in love with a wanted thief who wanted nothing to do with her for quite a while, and then willingly gave up her freedom to save his life, only to have him die in her arms saving her, only to find out she had magical tears–and then she was abruptly reunited with her parents, and the responsibilities of an entire kingdom where thrust upon her now light-headed shoulders) but in the end, they had gorgeous clothing, fantastic, smooth skin, and droves of admirers. C’mon, what little girl doesn’t want that?!

We know a lot of women reminisce fondly about the time when they were little girls, dreaming of being a princess, or a warrior princess, or a punk princess (whatever your favorite might be!) but how was that captured and recorded? Did you write your dreams in journals? Did your mom sneak pictures of you while you played? What about your daughter? How have you captured that whimsical, fleeting stage of her self-awareness?

Enter the Sugar & Spice Shoot, coming up on May 3rd. Shmily Face Photography has teamed up with 3 amazing small businesses to give a one of a kind, fairy tale experience to little princesses everywhere. So what’s included in the shoot, you ask? Weeeellllll, I’m glad you asked!

 

_A0A4128

Though there are 10 time slots total, we are officially down to 9 slots left, with several in the works to being booked. The sooner you book, the more options on time slots you have, and the more time you have to plan for outfits! So if you’re on the fence, remember, these slots will be selling out quickly-and this is a limited edition shoot–meaning that while we’ll explore other themes for down the road, we don’t know that we’ll be doing a princess-themed shoot again anytime soon. And seeing as we only plan on doing one stylized shoot a year…..it could be 5 or 6 years. Or longer.

In the mean time, we’d love if you’d also take a look at some of our favorites we got on our shoot. While the shoot wont be in this exact location, we’re excited to give you an idea of how gorgeous taking pictures of little girls in tall grass can be. The inside pictures are gorgeous, we know, but until we can get a location that allows us to have old, vintage floors, we’ll have to make do with blossoming meadows and country roads, *sigh*. I don’t think we can lose 😉

Spokane Family Photography 2014-03-11_0040 2014-03-11_0044 2014-03-11_0041 2014-03-11_0042 2014-03-11_0043 2014-03-11_0045 2014-03-11_0046 2014-03-11_0050 2014-03-11_0047 2014-03-11_0048 2014-03-11_0049 2014-03-11_0051 2014-03-11_0052 2014-03-11_0053 2014-03-11_0056 2014-03-11_0054 2014-03-11_0055 2014-03-11_0057Special thanks to the small businesses that came together to make both our concept shoot a success, and the real deal and May come to life in an amazing way:

Tutu’s – Little Blooms
L
ace Crowns: Snickerdoodle 
Cupcakes & Vintage Props : Batch Bakeshop

And a special thank you to our gorgeous models:
Mary, and her two little ones, Miss J and Miss M,
and Melissa’s sweet little one, Miss K.

Thank you Princesses for sharing your beauty and curiosity with us! It was a privilege to capture you as you are!

And finally, a very special thank you to Staci Lewis, for her unwavering support, her last minute rescuing a rained out shoot, her wonderful companionship, and her amazing talent with film photography. You’re awesome, Staci!!!

What Shmily Face Stands For

I love telling people about my photography business. I’m all about hidden meanings and crazy ideas, which is probably why I like the Indiana Jones and the Oceans movie collections so much. So when I was thinking about making my passion into something that had a banner that would give people a glimpse into the heart of what the business was about, I knew I wanted to convey three things in one.

1. I wanted to show people that *I* love them. I’m not talking like your Mom, or your Spouse, or your Children, but as someone who genuinely thinks you are WORTHY, and VALUED, and worth CELEBRATING. I love that everyone has a story, and everyone has battle scars and victories. I wanted my clients to feel that, and I wanted my name to be a warmth you felt when you read it—something that made you smile, made you maybe even want to look a little further.

2. I wanted to show people how much God loved them. Every time the sun peeked up over those hill tops, every time a bird made the perfect edition to my portraits, every wrinkle and laugh line and tendril of hair that sways in the wind that I can catch—I can personally say that I feel like that is God, or Energy, or the Earth, or whatever you want to call it—but it’s the heart of what gave us our emotive and spiritual side, and I wanted to showcase *THAT* while also showcasing how much I loved them as well.

3. I wanted people to be able to show *other* people that they loved them. That’s why we get pictures done, right? You get wedding pictures to celebrate and immortalize your love. You get family pictures to celebrate and immortalize your memories of that time of growth in your lives. When ever you take a picture, or get your picture taken, it’s because you’re passionate about something, and you want to share it with someone else. And I wanted to be helping you show love. And it’s a humbling aspect, a beautiful and tremendous responsibility, and a great task that I take on PROUDLY. And every time able to share that for you, because that’s what my gift is.

2013-11-04_0026.jpg
So when I was thinking of the name of my business, I realized all three things were so incredibly important, so perfectly aligned with my heart, I couldn’t downplay any of them. And a phrase that had been uttered to me by important people in my life came to mind. SHMILY.
2013-09-27_0035.jpg SHMILY is actually an acronym. It means See How Much I Love You. You see what I did there? I made it a point to keep the things that were important to me IN the name of my business, as a beacon to those souls that would connect with mine. I’m not just a photographer. I’m a story teller. I’m immortalizing you at a point in your life. I’m showing you love, sharing love,helping you share your love to.  So now, when someone asks me the name of my business, now you know that I’m saying  “I love you, He loves you, and it’s awesome that you want to share your love in this way.”

S T Y L I Z E D . S H O O T || Tori & Brett || Grassini Family Vineyards

I’ve been editing like a mad woman since I came back from Santa Barbara, home of the gorgeous, aesthetically themed Spanish-Villa town on the ocean front, and home of the best photography conference in the world, United. It was such a treat to go down there, and be with a ton of photographers who believe in the same philosophy that I have, in regards to photography, in that we all believe that once we give you the pictures, you should be able to have them both digitally, and physically, as you desire–because they belong to YOU. While it’s a controversial business method, I believe that with the rise of technology, and the rise of sharing more of our lives online, it seems silly to make you pay to have the images you already paid for — and that’s the philosophy shared by this conference.

Further, our goal was to get down to the nuts and bolts of celebrating stories, organically. For me, something I wanted to get more in tune with was telling the love story of my brides and grooms without crazy posing and tons of props. I want to be able to share the way my couples look deep into each others eyes, I want her smile when he tells her he loves her to be captured for him to see. That is the real couple–not making them stand back to back, and hold hands, haha.

This shoot, done at the gorgeous Grassini Family Vineyards, was a gorgeous 50 minute drive away from the hotel. We first stopped at the ridge before the vineyard, to capture the sunrise–and even though large clouds snuffed out those lovely golden rays only seconds after that sun came up over the hills, we still had enough time to capture these gorgeous moments:

2014-03-03_0001

Gah, that sun, and this couple. Augh. So gorgeous.

2014-03-03_0002

2014-03-03_0003

After we lost our rays of sun, we focused on using the couples knowledge of each other to create real, organic moments that resulted in absolutely gorgeous portraits.

2014-03-03_0004Brett and Tori were such an amazing couple to work with. Seriously, they were so comfortable in front of the camera, which, believe it or not, isn’t very easy to be with several dozen photographers staring at you.

2014-03-03_0005

2014-03-03_0006When I saw her hair fluttering in the breeze in that shot, I said “Shut. Up. NO.” Apparently, it’s becoming a habit of mine, because I also said it to a couple other models I worked with, haha.

2014-03-03_0007

2014-03-03_0008Special shout out to Rincon Floral for the absolutely stunning white bouquet. I love the texture and consistent creamy look, and the floral scents were heavenly!

After we finished shooting on a simple dirt road, (yes, those were all shot on a dirt road, which just goes to show, emotion trumps background any day!) we loaded back up and drove down to the vineyard–a stunning, well-loved vineyard. The trees were gorgeous, and HUGE, a testament to the attention they had received at the hands of the family that had worked and lived on those rolling vineyard hills for 4 generations. Even as we worked with our bride and groom, I could see the people carefully tending to the vines several hills away.

Speaking of their gorgeous, large trees, they immediately captured the attention of my lens, and the pictures that we captured under those weaving, thick branches were jaw-dropping. I actually had a incredibly hard time finding a way to share what I saw, and the emotion that was shared under that tree, because there were SO. MANY. GOOD ONES. But here are a few of my favorites, because there’s still MORE.

2014-03-03_0011 2014-03-03_0012 2014-03-03_0014 2014-03-03_0015 2014-03-03_0016 2014-03-03_0013

And then we watched them wander through a row of the vineyard, intertwined and focused only on holding one another, and my heart hurt from how sweet the entire shoot had been. This is what I want to capture in my clients! This sort of organic emotion and love! And, thanks to our amazing instructor, Montana Dennis (yes, that’s his name, yes, he can grow a beard, and yes, he is awesome) we were able to learn exactly how to guide our couples into that sort of posing. It was so magical, out there in the vineyards, with huge, desert mountains around us, and large grey clouds hanging low over our heads.

2014-03-03_0018 2014-03-03_0019 2014-03-03_0020 2014-03-03_0021 2014-03-03_0022
It was such an awesome, deep experience, and it’s transformed my way of capturing my brides, and I think it’s actually better, wouldn’t you agree? 🙂 I’d love to know what you think!

Stay tuned for next week, when I’ll share the shoot that *I* led, using simple paper cranes, some fishing line, two gorgeous models, and some gorgeous paper bouquets.

Instructor: Montana Dennis

Venue: Grassini Family Vineyards
http://www.grassinifamilyvineyards.com

Production Coordinator: Kristin Renee
https://www.facebook.com/santabarbaraweddingphotographer

Floral bouquet by Rincon Floral
http://www.rinconfloral.com
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rincon-Floral/63226356664

Models:

Tori Benham
Brett Benham

P E R S O N A L || Battling My Weight and Finding Myself

It was in 5th grade that I was first told I needed to lose weight. My sisters were all blessed with athletic bodies and a far better understanding on how to maintain that. I, on the other hand, had developed a deep and abiding love for the glorious flavors that danced on my taste buds, and reveled in it. And food loved my hips, my thighs, well….all of me as well.

That story continued throughout middle school, throughout high school, and until now, I just accepted this lie that I was an overweight photographer that was lucky to get a husband. I’m not even kidding. That was where my self-esteem was at. And I don’t blame my childhood. I don’t blame anyone. I know now that what I needed was education. I had no idea why pasta and potatoes weren’t good for me—only that they weren’t. It seemed stupid that I couldn’t eat ice cream and fried oreos and gelato every day. YOLO, you know?

Christmas_33

But you know when you shop around on Netflix, and you can’t find a good movie, and the only Liam Neeson movie is the one with the wolves and you don’t like blood, so you find yourself in the documentary section deciding if you want to see something about losing weight or watching grown men go to a My Little Pony Convention?  So after you watch the My Little Pony documentary, you decide you need to bleach your brain with another documentary, so *then* you watch the other one?

That happened to us. Well, me, but TJ watched the first one with the same horrified/amused fascination that I did. The second one he watched because, well, he had already grabbed a blanket and pillow, and if there’s one thing we should know about TJ, it’s that he hates being uncomfortable, or moving from his couch, or being called a hipster, even though he’s totally a hipster. (Love you, honey! <3)

Anyways, so I watched Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead, and then the other one (Time for Change?) and I was so inspired (seriously, watch them!) that I started juicing THE NEXT DAY. And at first, it was SO. Hard.

I won’t get into ALL the nitty gritty, because this is a blog post, not a novel, and because the detox, the subsequent love-affair with Mint Tea and Wheat Grass, and the questionable juicing my husband did is really for another time. But I will say that something shifted. I realized I *could* eat without pasta and spuds all up in my diet. I *could* be okay with eating HUGE salads.

And just like that, I realized I had found my success story.

We all dream for that, right? That moment when you find “The Diet” that gets you back to your high school size? Or even lower? It’s actually not said until after you do it, until after you’ve lost the weight and kept it off, but I’m daring myself to make the commitment and stick with it. I know that if I say “this is my success story,” on the internet, in front of a ton of people who may think I’m a little hasty, I risk failing out loud, which is a huge fear.

But I also know that it gives me a reason to choose to eat my orange—instead of my cookie. And it gives me a reason to keep at it, even when I do (inevitably, by the way) mess up and sneak a Ferrero Rocher or 4. I know that by telling my friends, my family, and my brides that I’m trying something scary that’s marred with failure, I’m giving them (you) an opportunity to help me succeed.

So here’s where I tell you what I need from you:

Follow me on Instagram: @shmilyface

Painless, right?

I’ll be sharing my meals and stuff there. And occasionally, you’ll hear back from me *here* on the blog, and I’ll tell you what I’ve learned, what I’ve struggled with, and what I want to do better.

Now, if the incentive of staring at cell phone pictures of poorly lit meals isn’t enough for you to make the right choice, I also share sneaky peeks of my photo shoots there, AND I also share pictures of Liam and Momo. And I occasionally share pictures of TJ’s beard!

So follow me, encourage me, and forgive me when I fumble, and help me to get down to a healthy weight—because even though I’m doing it for myself, it doesn’t mean I have to be by myself. ❤

E V E N T || The Myer’s Baby Shower

When I was of the average young, naive college age, I went to a church in the middle of a sweeping, wide valley. There, I was completely welcomed, embraced, and loved on by an amazing group of young adults, lead by the wise and approachable Michael.

Then, I met Kristin, the love of his life, and I immediately thought “I want to be more like her!” She was comfortable with her curly hair, laughed infectiously at everything, and when she prayed—ho, man, she prayed in a way that made you *feel* every word she said. She was one of the most beautiful women I had met, inside and out.

When her and Michael got married, I was so pregnant, I almost had to be rolled to the ceremony site. Be it hormones or just incredible joy, I bawled my eyes out when they said their I Do’s. It was a perfect, vintage-fairy tale come true.

And then on Saturday,  I finally got to meet all the women in her life–the ones that raised her, that showed her how to love others, how to graciously accept faults, and how to love herself–even when she didn’t want to. The way they honored Kristin and the next step in her life was incredible, and I cried again. This was a family to strive to become–one that loved Christ and honored their family, that was close knit, that cherished each personality as the day progressed.

Kristin’s mother, Sandee, did an AMAZING job decorating and planning this beautiful event, and should become decorator professionally. F’reals. She can start with my house.

Here’s a few of my favorite shots from the day:

2013-06-04_0001

2013-06-04_0002

2013-06-04_0003

2013-06-04_0008

2013-06-04_0004

2013-06-04_0005

2013-06-04_0006

2013-06-04_0012

2013-06-04_0007

2013-06-04_0009

2013-06-04_0011

2013-06-04_0010

2013-06-04_0013

2013-06-04_0014

2013-06-04_0015

2013-06-04_0016

2013-06-04_0017

2013-06-04_0018

2013-06-04_0019

2013-06-04_0020

2013-06-04_0021

2013-06-04_0022

2013-06-04_0023

2013-06-04_0024

2013-06-04_0025

2013-06-04_0026

Because I’m a photographer, I have this really awesome thing where I’m like “For your gift, I give you my awesome.” So I did that with Kristin, and we’ll be doing maternity pictures later this week or next week, depending!

Want to see the whole PASS gallery? Click the link below, sign the guestbook, share images, download favorites, order prints, and more!

http://shmilyfacephoto.pass.us/myerbabyshower/