West Coast Travels

Back in my younger years, and definitely before kids, I used to be able to spontaneously book a trip at the drop of a hat. I've traveled all over the world; Ghana, Vietnam, Hong Kong, India, France, Switzerland, Serbia, Croatia, England, Costa Rica, Canada, Hawaii, Austin, Chicago, England, Italy and so much more. These days, having two toddlers in tow makes it a tad trickier. Not impossible but trickier. And actually, really intimidating! So much in fact my husband and I haven't really taken a big trip since, well, when we lived in Hong Kong where we found out we were pregnant with our oldest after being there for two weeks. 

However, we were feeling the itch and decided to check out any last minute flight deals that were happening during spring break. And can you believe it...we found a STEAL of a DEAL to shoot over to San Francisco on a direct flight...with two little toddlers in tow. The trip turned out to be one of our best vacations. All our anxiety and nightmarish situations that we had imagined in our head was just a thing that stayed in our minds. I was able to witness my boys bond together as brothers more so than I ever have before. We also visited with family and friends that we had not seen in awhile. All and all it was one GREAT week and we are no longer scared to travel with our babies. In fact, we're already looking towards our next adventure. 

Here are some of my favorite snapshots from our week as we explored San Francisco, Sausalito, Stanford, Sacramento, Berekely and more. 

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The boys had been asking to hit up the beach one last time before heading home. And while it was INCREDIBLY foggy and the water was probably 40 degrees-ish, we decided to live a little on National Siblings Day at Ocean Beach. Those smiles were totally worth it! Looking forward to our next family trip!

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ocean beach
ocean beach

The best in the business...

For the last few years I've been shooting with someone I have known for over 9 years; Trent Bailey, wedding photographer extraordinaire. I met Trent when he was an intern in college and I was helping college students pursue their dream careers thorough experiential internships (#pastlife). When Trent moved from Louisiana to NYC, I followed his journey to be the big time photographer that he is now. To see him build out his career and business the way he has the last several years has been nothing but inspiring. He's the best in the biz in NYC as far as I'm concerned. Anyone I've ever met in the wedding industry that has met or worked with Trent SINGS his praises. He's not only nice but brings a southern boy charm to the way he bends over backwards to help others. Working with him and his wife Dara has been some of my best wedding days. They keep it lighthearted and we support each other in a way that only dreamers do. They are a creative POWER COUPLE to say the very least and a force to be reckoned with here in the city. It's been awesome being their third wheel the last few years :) 

Below are some few snapshots that I've taken for Trent Bailey Studio over the years. A few have graced publications such as Style Me Pretty (Back from the Dead!) and The Knot.  

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I love this story...

Back in 2010, I got married to the love of my life. After 5 and a half years of being together, we decided to dedicate ourselves to each other for the rest of our lives in the backyard of the house I grew up in. It had been a dream of mine since I was a little girl to get married at my parent's house on Lake Barcroft. Below is NOT my backyard, while I'm sure many of us which it was our own. 

Finding a photographer for our day was a top priority for me. In fact, I'm 1000% confident it was the first on my to do list to book a photographer. My husband and I were both in grad school and I was the only one also working full time (pre-photography career) and were adamant about ensuring we were taking care and footing the majority of the bill for our wedding without asking for parental reinforcements. My husband found a no name photographer at the time who's side hustle was photography as she worked full time. She was talented and in our range but didn't have that many weddings on her website; maybe just a handful, maybe less than that. But I figured, she could do our engagement shoot and dependent on how that goes, we would book her for the big day. Because let's be real here...I needed to TRUST someone to capture one of most momentous days in our lives and know that we would get the quality that we wanted.  Abby Jiu killed it and we pretty much booked her for our wedding asap...which wasn't happening until the year after. 

By the time our wedding rolled around in August 2010, she had quit her full time job and dedicated herself to capturing love stories. I was lucky enough last year to shoot with her. It's been incredible to watch her get insta-famous and get the recognition that is so well deserved of her work. Being an Abby Jiu bride, on behalf of all your brides Abby, we are so grateful you quit your day job and found a new one. 

Below are a few shots I captured while shooting for Abby Jiu Photography.

BLK chai Photography
BLK chai Photography

The R Family

I have to tell you about a woman named Adrienne. She had 4 boys.  And grew to watch her boys grow up but never got a chance to see all of them marry.  Her boys built families and continued to have...more boys. 

But then one of her boys and his wife were expecting again. And in their true fashion, decided not to find out the gender of their child until s/he was born. (These are my people!) However, they knew that whether the baby was a boy or a girl, they would name the baby Adrienne/Adrian in honor of this little one's grandmother that they will not meet until it was their time. To the family's emotional surprise, Baby Adrienne was the lone girl who joined her brother and her football team of boy cousins. 

Baby Adrienne, I cannot even begin to express how ADORED you are by your parents. 

(*Sniff. I'm not crying. YOU'RE crying.)

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NYC Family Photographer
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PUBLISHED: Love, Inc.

So excited to have our shoot from this summer showcased on Love Inc. last month! 

We had gathered a group of some of my favorite friendors together for a styled shoot at 501 Union on the day the solar eclipse happened. We could FEEL the magic of that day right when we stepped on site as we were prepping. There was an energy among us that bonded us in a way that I knew THAT day was going to be a great one! And while it was HOT as all H - E - double hockey sticks outside, we were able to not have it hinder us. We even got a chance to take a break from it all and stare into cereal boxes as we got a glimpse of the eclipse. Only to then have incredibly KIND Brooklynites who were walking by, lend us their official eclipse glasses. Game Changer. And just another  reminder why I GD LOVE New York City!

This was one of my most inspiring days I can remember in awhile. Everything seemed to be aligned; the people I was with, why we were there, and that we were all tapping into our creative juices. I knew leaving that day that this was going to be a fruitful one. And so beyond humbled that we got picked up by Love Inc

Check out some of my favorite photos from the shoot below. All vendors listed at the bottom. 

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HUGE THANKS to the following vendors for making Solar Eclipse day so magical for us all!

Cake and Desserts: The Awkward Scone

Dress: Loulette Bride

Florals: Gathering Floral Design

Invitations: Suite Paperie

Planning: Skylar Arden Events

Venue: 501 Union

Make Up: Kimberly Aponte

Linens: BBJ Linens

Dessert Plates: Paperclip Pottery

Table Settings, glassware, and flatware: Ikea

Models: Marteal Boniello (Lead Designer of Loulette Bride) and her IRL husband, Zach Mayer.

 

The G Family

I loved exploring Fort Tryon Park with this family earlier this fall.  It's one of the hidden gems in Manhattan I've come to love to bring families to. It's just high up on the island enough that many people will not venture to take in what is a BEAUTIFUL park.   

Nicholas welcomed a baby sister this last May and we wanted to commemorate it with a photo shoot.  Check out our last photoshoot from a few years ago here.  Watching this family grow up has been so heartwarming for me. Nicholas is so incredibly sweet with Baby Mila and seeing him step into a role of a protective older brother (most days!) has been awesome. Mila is one lucky little lady. 

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Favorites of 2017

I can't believe we're already at the end of the year.

One of my favorite things to do is to always do a quick blog spot of MY favorite photos from this year and there is so many to choose from! While going through these photos it allowed me to take a walk down memory lane with those moments that have been captured with all of my clients. The moment right before Roman was about to propose, or the moment where Robert decided to be a ham and be the center of his attention during his new baby sister's shoot (blog post to come soon!). There are so many photos that immediately take me back into the moment that I clicked the shutter to take the shot. It brings back the joy, the nerves, the emotions (I cannot tell you HOW many times I teared up behind the camera this year!), and so many more FEELINGS. 

I've pushed myself a lot this year in many different ways; creatively, professionally, personally, and physically. I've attended more photography workshops and retreats this year, shot more weddings, done more shoots that pushed me to evoke more emotion in my images. I've learned from some of the best family and wedding photographers in the business this year and am so grateful to them to share with me their knowledge. 

Looking forward to putting everything I learned into practice in 2-0-1-8! 

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And through all of this...I've been lucky enough to be a mom to two amazing little boys who keep me busy.  Watching them begin to interact with each other as BROTHERS has  truly melted my heart...while also giving me heart attacks.  Thank you E & O for allowing me to be your mama. 

They allow me to lay down at night time and count my freaking lucky stars. 

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The B Family

I've known this family for way before they were an "Angie and Scott." In fact, Angie and I did an internship program together in college at Stanford University. Scott and I met a year later when I was working and he was starting his internship program in NYC. Watching them meet, and then get married and have JJ has been a complete joy to watch. Their love for each other is potent. You can feel it. And their love for JJ exudes in every fiber of their bodies and in everything that they do. JJ has completed this family in so many ways and it's been so great to watch them become parents. 

They recently moved back east after living on the west coast for several years. It was such an honor to capture them as they settled into their new home to start a new chapter in their life.  I can't wait to watch this family grow up!

NYC Family Photographer
NYC Family Photographer
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NYC Family Photographer
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Wedding: Jess & Rob

I've known Rob now for almost as long as I've known my husband. Maybe short just a few weeks. Rob was the best man in our wedding and probably one of the most thoughtful people I have ever met in my life. He's taken our boys to Lemoyne basketball games and even kept me somewhat sane during my own wedding right before I walked down the aisle to my husband.  When Rob FINALLY met Jess, I noticed an instant change in him. So when, my husband and I got the call that Rob had proposed, we knew it was big. To then find out that they were getting married in FOUR months was just shy of insanity but we were so incredibly ecstatic for him that he had finally found HER.

The two gathered their closest friends and family at Hayloft on the Arch on October 15th, 2016, to celebrate their new beginning as a family. The day began with Jess being the calmest bride I have ever encountered as she got ready for her day. She could sense her grandmother's presence with her and had faith that the day was a gift from her. And in true wedding day fashion, Rob forgot his tie and had to drive all the way home to grab it in time for the first look. Their nieces and nephews were of course the flower girls and ring bearers and made their day perfect as can be. It was the most beautiful Fall day with just the right amount of warmth and chilliness to cozy up with your loved ones at night. 

I realized I never blogged Rob and Jess's perfect day when they celebrated their one year the other day. So while this is a "bit" delayed, check out some of my favorite photos from their epic celebration. 

Happy 1 year anniversary you two!

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