W E D D I N G || Miranda & Robert — September 6th, 2014

Some of my favorite weddings have been held in a backyard, surrounded by family, friends, and food. To be honest, I *adore* them. To be surrounded by familiarity, to know where all the bathrooms are, to be able to raid the fridge when nerves hit–it’s pretty invaluable.

Add to that the gorgeous country chic look of this house, surrounded by wheat fields and gorgeous trees, and the beautiful laughter of each person there to celebrate the day, and you have a recipe for an amazingly gorgeous, incredible day.

Miranda and Robert laugh at the same jokes. They danced to music we couldn’t hear, they drank heartily, they kissed heartily, the said their vows with intense grins on their faces….all in all, they’re completely and perfectly meant for one another. To say I adore them both is an understatement. I demand they get remarried at least once a year, so I can recapture their amazingness. That’s not a lot to ask, right?

A link to their gorgeous FUSION Video (which includes a couple surprise video clips!) is at the bottom!

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Click the video below to be taken to Miranda & Robert’s FUSION Video!!!!

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W E D D I N G || Taija & Desmond – Spokane, Washington

There’s something about getting married in a house full of memories. Antiques, beautiful walls crowded with family portraits, delicate figurines on shelves, and an atmosphere of comfort greeted me as we arrived to capture Taija & Desmond’s incredible day–as well as a host of the most cheerful bridesmaids in THE ENTIRE WORLD. While booming laughter sounded from the basement, where Desmond and his Merry Men were getting ready, Taija and her girls were laid back, chill, making jokes, and remembering great moments from their friendships.

One of the most incredibly important parts of this day, for me (as a nerdy girl that loved Sailor Moon in High School and felt awkward and “different” all through high school) was the level of acceptance for Desmond and Taija. They played Korean Pop Music, they locked arms and skipped into their reception, laughed with wild abandon, danced as if they were the only ones in the world, and made nerdy reference after nerdy reference–and everyone there smiled, laughed, and enjoyed it.

I know that you’re probably thinking “Well, yeah, it’s their wedding.” But…to me, it was even more special to see people that I genuinely think are some of the coolest people I’ve ever captured, in their element, surrounded by people who celebrate their unique and awesome personalities. It was, without a doubt, one of the happiest and most jovial celebrations we captured, and I have no doubt it went on for quite some time after we were finished.

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Oh, but that’s not even close to all. We also made a FUSION Video of their incredible day, highlighting all the amazing, throwing in even MORE sneak peeks, and maybe even a couple video clips of their incredible day! Just click below!

Thank you again for allowing us to capture your special day, Taija & Desmond! We adore you, and your entire amazing group of family and friends!

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E N G A G E M E N T || Tori & Tommy || Sunset Shoot

Tori is my secret twin–but with more tattoos, and better fashion sense. She laughs at lame puns, loves to doodle, can hang out at the kitchen table for hours and rock out to chill and happy music, and understands that a good vent sess is occasionally needed to make a heart right. Tommy is her incredible fiance. The way he holds her like he knows she’s meant to fill his empty spaces, the way he cherishes her smile, and the way he looks at her with joy and genuine interest when she speaks tells me that he’s her perfect other half. Plus he cracks me up, which gives him a huge thumbs up in my book. Together, they’re an amazing couple.

Moreover, they can BRING IT to a shoot. We shot the first half of this shoot at the good ol’ Finch Arboretum ( I love the variety it has to offer) and the second half of this shoot in an undisclosed field in the middle of the Northside of Spokane. A small distance away, cars hummed away on the freeway, and fires made the air slightly hazy. It all came together to create a sunset shoot that I just adore. Completely.

I hope you adore it too!

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An Elegant Zombie Engagement Session

If future me went back in time to tell past me that I would shoot a zombie engagement session, I would have probably curled up in the fetal position, rocked back and forth, and whispered soothing words to myself. That’s how I can best sum up my incredible, irrational fear of zombies.

Then Tom and Amy sat down with warm cups of coffee, and we talked about their engagement session, and then we jokingly suggested a zombie shoot, and then we seriously talked about it. And I realized that I would have the awesome opportunity to face my deep-seated fear of the undead with one of the toughest-looking police officers ever–AND he promised lots of weapons. It seemed like the perfect way to finally move past it!

Tom & Amy were so awesome that even though the day was full of rain and murky clouds, they packed their sword, fake molotov cocktail, and various guns, and outfits, and we rocked it out in the streets of Coeur d’ Alene, to the docks, and then hit up a junkyard! I’m so glad we did this shoot, it was such a great opportunity, and the rain actually ended up playing an epic, vital role to bring out the mood.

I could go on and on about every facet of the day, but instead, you should just enjoy the pictures. ❤

Special thanks to our two zombies Brad and Alex, they really committed to the Undead role, and I wish I could have talked with them more, but the makeup job by our makeup artist Kendra was so good, I was internally screaming every time one of them shuffled by me. *shudder* Enjoy! ❤

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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!

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Check out their Fusion Video Below!!
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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:

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

E N G A G E M E N T || Miranda & Robert

Miranda and Robert met and fell in love at Fast Kart Racing, here in Spokane. She knew the place like the back of her hand, because her Family owned and lovingly ran the tracks day in and day out. Robert came on to the team looking for a solid job–and found the love of his life.

This was an engagement session that was full of laughter, sweet glances, perfect moments, and love. SO. MUCH. LOVE. When we were shooting in the woods, an older gentlemen and his gorgeous husky wandered over, and quietly asked if we had seen the Bucket Tree. At first, I was a little confused, but when we made our way up the trail, we found this amazing sight: A tree covered in small disks of wood tied up with twine, and a small, sharpie’d prompt on each disk: “Before I Die….”

The wishes we found were very different, an array of hopeful to tongue in cheek, some deep and full of hope, others full of anger and reform. And there, Miranda and Robert added their Bucket Wish: To be married this upcoming September. After a few more pictures in the incredibly brisk morning air, we headed inside, where Miranda and Robert took the petal to the metal in Go Karts they had watched after for who knows how long. We had SOOOO much fun!!! TJ was floating on air by the time we had finished from the contact high to go karts, and I couldn’t wait to get back home to edit. It was an awesome session.

Take a look at the shoot we had with them, and be sure to leave them a note of congratulations!!! ^.^

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