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I won! I won!!!!

Ok, not yet… but two of my wedding photos have been selected as finalists in a national wedding photo contest! Apparently over 3000 submissions came in and two out of the three of mine were selected as finalists…. in my book, that is already a major WIN! I am honored!

Please go to the WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY DIRECTORY and vote for your favorite wedding photos…. I sure hope you will vote for mine, but as you will see, there are some AMAZING shots being featured!  If you have the time and opinion, there is a place to critique the photos… I would love to hear what you have to say. Here are the two finalists of the three I submitted:

from Greg and Susan’s wedding:

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from Joe and Anne’s wedding:

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These are from a little spot we found a little over and hour’s drive from our house and basically in the middle of nowhere! It was such a fun find! We plan to have many a weekend trip out this way in the near future! 

This is our little oasis: Seven Springs Rec Area

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And the following shots just make me smile so much…. I love the vibrant colors, especially the “new growth” green!

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Sometimes, as a people photographer, I find myself getting “stuck.” The more photographers I talk to, the more I realize I am not alone in this. Same kinds of sessions, same locations, same shots…. No matter how “good” the photographs are, I still find myself in need of new and fresh inspiration. You would think that grabbing a friend and going out and shooting somewhere new would be a great way to gain that inspiration. But for me, I have to look somewhere other than people. Landscapes, nature, architecture, abstract, patterns, textures, colors….. all provide me with immeasurable amounts of fresh inspiration. I have found myself anxiously looking for spare moments to hop in the car and drive to a new park, preserve or recreation area to look for my inspiration. And boy have I found it. God’s world is a spectacular work of art. And I revel in it when its just me, God, His artwork and my camera (and even a baby on my back and a kid hanging onto my leg). Learning and practicing new techniques (technical stuff with my camera and lenses) I have long been avoiding are now exciting and challenging to me. I want to get out there and try this function, that set up, this technique and then I can’t wait to get home and upload my cards and see what I just tried to do and what I actually captured. Its been fun. Really fun. And my passion for people photography is reborn as well. Maybe its just a spring thing… I don’t know.

But I am pumped and ready to take on new, fun, challenging and exciting sessions, weddings and other photo projects. Contact me if you have been mulling over the thought of hiring a photographer for whatever reason – I’m your girl and this is a GREAT time to tap into my renewed creativity and passion for photography! 

I hope you will enjoy just a few of the most inspiring pictures I have to show for these last few weeks…. they make me really, really happy. I am smiling even as I write this. Yes, THAT happy. 

Phoenix is amazing this time of year – AMAZING. All of these sets of pictures were taken within an hour and 20 minute drive of our house. Some in our backyard preserve, some in the north Scottsdale area, and some further north out in the “wilderness.” 

We’ll start with closest to home (on a walk last night at sunset):

I think this is seriously my all time favorite flower picture I have ever seen. Can you believe these are right in our front yard??

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And then came the sunset…….

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And then we go to Scottsdale, to the Pinnacle Peak Park (sidenote: the wind was insane. it actually blew me over when I was shooting a picture near the top… not really good when you have a one year old in a backpack on your back and a 3 year old clinging to your leg so she didn’t blow off the path…. it was intense to say the least… even the park service lady made a comment when we got back down the path… that she was “sure glad you made it back, young lady.”)

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Um, ok this is the second FAVE of all faves (as of today)  – I LOVE the perspective of looking at a flower or cactus or whatever straight on… 

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Yeah, right… it wouldn’t be a problem without the wind. 

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Ok, this little human does give me inspiration…. continually! 

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Coming Soon….. pictures from the sticks and beyond! Stay tuned!

Last weekend, I had the privilege of second shooting for a local photographer and friend, Jenny Spires. She was shooting a wedding for some dear friends of hers from her church. The wedding, and all its people, was just beautiful. Everything from the colors, to the style and decor, to the HUGE smiles plastered on the bride and groom’s faces just screamed of JOY and CELEBRATION. This was my first time to be a second shooter, and it was a ton of fun. I focussed more on the candids, details… the fun stuff. 🙂 When I am the primary photographer at weddings, I rarely get to shoot as many of these kinds of shots that I would want, so I was kinda giddy about it all. Jenny did a fantastic job! Check out more of her work HERE and HERE! It was fun seeing her interact with so many of the guests and wedding party, as most of them were her friends. You can tell there was a huge amount of respect her friends had for her both as a person and as a photographer. Here are just a “few” of my favorites from the day:

 

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Please meet our good friends, Kyndle and Drew.  We share the exact same wedding anniversary (day and year). We are in a Sunday School class together at our church. And our kids are friends. I had SO much fun with this couple as they hammed it up in front of the camera and pretty much just let me push and pose and poke and move them however which way I wanted. Those are the best kind of clients, you know. 🙂 Would you believe these two have two little ones of their own and have a third on the way? Drew and Kyndle, you guys were so much fun to work with and photograph and holy cow… you are just way too easy on the eyes. I had no intention of editing these tonight, but I couldn’t stop looking at these and processing them so I could see the final product of each shot. If you like them even a fraction of how much I am in love with them, then I will be happy. 🙂 Blessings to you guys! See you in a couple of days.

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Hello Aubrey….

Seriously? I mean seriously? How is it possible for a less than 6 week old baby to look THIS jaw-dropping gorgeous. I can’t get enough of these pictures. I mean it. Aubrey was a complete joy to work with (as if she had a choice in the matter, though). I have seen in two successive newborn sessions that the sound of my camera shutter is extremely fascinating to these little ones. I was nearly propositioned by one set of parents to come and “shoot” again, say at around 3am?? 🙂 Julie and Eric, you guys have a heart breaker on your hands… I wish you blessings and the best for the years to come with this little princess.

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Clients or Friends?

Or client-friends? 

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Susan is definitely just that…. a client-turned-friend. I shot hers and Greg’s wedding in November of 2007 in Baltimore, MD. (If you just can’t resist…. click on the november 2007 archives on the right side of this blog for another look at their fabulous wedding)

Susan and I have kept in contact here and there over the last year or so and I feel so blessed to actually be able to call her friend now, and not just “oh she was my client back in 2007.” 

Today, I got the most amazing gift in the mail. Susan and Greg just spent a couple of weeks in India visiting her family there. She remembered how special India was/is to John and I and she picked us up “just a little something.” This gift is totally off the “thoughtfulness” scale to be sure. I was blown away. The card nearly brought me to tears. What a blessing to have client-friends in this business! Susan, thank you AGAIN for your kind thoughts and encouragement across the miles! 

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The outfits are for the girls and I and the colors are just perfect. We love ethnic clothes, food, accessories, jewelry… ok, just about anything ethnic. Especially Asian and Indian. 🙂

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Speaking of business, check out Susan’s photography business HERE. She has such an amazing artistic and creative gift, which is seen so clearly through her photography. If you are ever in the Chicago area and are looking for a photographer, call this girl up!!! 

Go say hey to her and enjoy some beautiful photography: 

GOOD ELEPHANT PHOTOGRAPHY