Thankful

I'm incredibly thankful for my job. I'm thankful for long days inside my warm house editing memories. I'm thankful for my camera that is sitting next to me. I'm thankful for my computer that I sit here typing on that my husband carefully researched and gifted to me just a couple Christmases ago. I'm thankful for my family that plans around my lack of free weekends for events so that I don't have to miss out. I'm especially thankful for all of my 2015 couples. I'm thankful for their patience in getting their photos, in their kind words when received, and most of all the fact that they entrusted me in capturing one of the most important days of their lives.

Thank you SO much 2015 bride and grooms!

 ...And to all those 2015 couples that have yet to receive their photos, believe me when I say I daydream about having a magic button to edit, package, and mail out all of my outstanding weddings and sessions. I imagine all of you newlyweds receiving your photos weeks before I told you their eta would be and then getting to print out your favorites to hang up in your wedding gift frames or put in your "First Christmas" ornament. Although it sounds contradictory, my actual gift to you couples is the fact that I'm not going to push any automate button or rush through the images that I hope will be looked at again and again on each anniversary or when you just feel like reminiscing. I will carefully continue to edit each one of your photos individually. When they are done being edited, I'll play cheesy love songs as I look through and finesse them one final time before putting them on your USB to package up and send out. So although my images for 2015 are not all completed yet, my actual weddings are, so I'll close with some of the beautiful love I got to witness this past amazing year!

 

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!

Praise the Lord! Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, for His steadfast love endures forever! Psalm 106:1

-Kayla

California

We were in California for about two weeks, stayed in 7 different hotels, and visited 11 cities from San Francisco to San Diego. We kayaked, hiked, sailed, and even went to Disneyland! We drove on the Pacific Coast Highway absolutely every chance we got, even if it was slightly out of the way of where we were going next. Brett became a huge fan of yelp and we had some of the best food we've ever tasted. Being from Chicago where we certainly have nothing to complain about on the food end...it was saying something! Another seafood taco from Oscar's is almost enough incentive to head to California again someday. Other than food, everything else from excursions, hotels, and the car was all booked on priceline, livingsocial, groupon, and homeaway (except for Disneyland). I'm a sucker for a coupon or good deal, so being able to feel like I was able to research and save ourselves money ahead of time helped me not have to think too much about spending it while we were there! It was definitely our favorite trip together so far! I'm thankful that we both have jobs with slow seasons at the same time. I tried to be intentional with bringing my camera along when I could, and here's some of the results! 

2014 Engagement Session Recap

My 2014 engagement sessions have come to a close (I think).  I thought I would recap what happened at some of them this past year...

There were couples celebrating their common interests...

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and also some that we're choosing to love their differences...

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there was quite a bit of competition...

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but always hugs regardless of who won...

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there were animals...

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and of course funny faces...

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sometimes we did a bit of running...

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or piggy back rides...

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there were love letters to be read...

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and dancing in open spaces...

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but most importantly, there were a ton of laughs and FUN...

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Thanks so much to all my couples for letting me share in the fun of each of your relationships! Some of you have already gotten or will have gotten married before 2014 ends, and the rest I'll get to celebrate with next year!

-Kayla

6 Tips for Couples to Get the Best Possible Photos

 

As I continue to book more amazing couples for next year, I was thinking of what advice I could give to help them (and others) get the best possible photos! Sooo....

 

6 Tips for Couples to Get the Best Possible Photos

  • Smile

I have to admit I'm as guilty of this as anyone. I'm not one to laugh out loud at movies or outwardly display my giddiness, so I get it. Even though it's my job to catch the special moments, it does help if you're aware and willing to make sure that they happen. Remember to glance over at your new spouse and admire them, laugh when something funny happens, and don't be afraid to let a tear fall if it's coming. Those candid moments make awesome photos! 

 


  • Don't rush the prep

Many couples find that it’s difficult to estimate how much time is needed to get ready for the day. As a result, that is the portion of the day that most commonly runs late. Since most ceremonies don’t begin until early to late afternoon, my advice is to start earlier than you think you need to. If it does actually run on time, then you end up with a little downtime after your hair and makeup are done. No harm in that! It will also make it easier on your hairdresser and makeup artist as they won’t feel rushed (I have one of each as sisters, so I know this is true!).

 

 

  • Choose your bridal party wisely

I know it's hard to include some people and then not ask others, but who is in your bridal party truly does have an impact on your day. They are with you for a LONG time. You might have a friend that you love and have known forever, but if you have a hard time being around them for 10 hours now is not the time to hope that goes away. Choose people that will encourage, help, and selflessly love you that day. I  have seen what AMAZING bridesmaids and groomsmen can contribute to the experience and memories of a wedding day. Choose them.

 

  • Don't over commit

It would be great to get a picture with every individual uncle, aunt and cousin, but do you really want to commit an extra hour of time to that? Getting a picture at each table is also a fairly common request, just don't choose that over having memorable conversations with friends from out of town,  getting obligatory marital advice from grandparents, or playing with nieces and nephews. Those things are more important, and usually make for better photographs. Plus, random group shots on the dance floor usually fit the mood of the reception better.

 

  • Be comfortable

I have seen some gorgeous dresses and shoes, but I've also seen some exhausted and somewhat irritated brides that are in pain from a heavy dress or uncomfortable shoes. I'm not saying to wear jeans and a t-shirt, since we all know that would be the most comfortable option. As you pick out your dress and shoes it's easy to think, "This doesn't hurt THAT bad." If it hurts or is annoying at all for 5 minutes, imagine 150x that when you consider the amount of time it will be bothering you. Finding your perfect dress and shoes and being comfortable are not mutually exclusive. Your mobility and comfort will affect your photos.

 

  • Steal a few minutes with your spouse

This is not a common thing, but I've seen a few couples do it and it's incredibly sweet. Whether it's right after the ceremony or in the middle of the reception,  just sneak away with your spouse and freak out that you just got married! My husband and I walked around for just a couple minutes right after the processional, and that is probably my most vivid memory of the day. We realized we had just gotten MARRIED....he was my HUSBAND! We were able to actually process what happened for a minute, and it made for more visible excitement and happiness the rest of the day!

Weddings should be fun! It makes the photographer's job at capturing happiness a whole lot easier when they are! 

 

-Kayla