Thursday, February 25, 2010

Wedding Planning / Ideas, Organizaion, & Setting A Course

Today I want to jump right into my experiences in gathering ideas, getting organized, and setting a course for your wedding, based on my experiences. Whew, we're in for a long haul!

I'm going to let you in on a little secret: I started gathering ideas and sources months before we were engaged. I just knew it was coming, and couldn't help but begin to dream of what my wedding day would be. At first, I had no idea what I wanted, which is strange considering I've always looked forward to being a bride on my wedding day. The last time I had really thought about it was 10 and 5 years ago when my two older sisters got married. I have photographed some really cute weddings, but my focus was always on photography, not what things I could incorporate into my own wedding.

Gathering Ideas:

My first inclination was to jump on my laptop and gather ideas, so I fired up Firefox and went to and Both had good information, but it felt a little cookie-cuter for me. Somehow, thank God, I started to stumble on some alternative sites, which I list below, that were packed full of unique real weddings, DIY projects, budget saving ideas, freebies, and more. One of them of course, was Luxe, which is how I met Misty, chose her as my wedding coordinator, and ended up guest blogging. (Heads up, that's the topic of next Friday's entry; finding your vendors!)

I can't say enough how happy I am that I browsed these sites for ideas! What I've found has given me the spark to make my wedding a truly unique expression of who Ryan and I are, think outside the box, be bold with my ideas, and pull everything off for an affordable price. If you've visited Luxe's wedding blog, Bliss, that's a good sign you're on the right track! Also make sure to bookmark the sites I've listed and be inspired!

Getting Organized

As I poured through the archives I found myself spending hours just soaking in all the amazing ideas and photographs from others' weddings. I grabbed each image that spoke to me, and soon had accumulated more pictures than is imaginable. One thing I did right away that I would strongly recommend; Create a specific folder on your computer titled Wedding, and sub-folders titled Dress, Decor, Bridesmaids, Groom, Flowers, and so forth, and be diligent to keep your ideas organized! This has helped me so much, I pretty much become an unproductive puddle of gush when things aren't organized to the T.
Another sign I'm an organization-aholic: I created a similar set of folders in my online bookmarks to keep track of the sites I wanted to remember. Anything from a vendor's site to an Etsy shop with funky headpieces to, Luxe!

Setting A Course

Having everything organized allowed me to look through and understand what I was drawn to, which helped me define my wedding's identity. I can tend to be all over the place and ooh and awe at every creative thing that comes down the pike. I realized I had to figure out what mattered most and the difference between what I liked and what I LOVED! This is where I started to set my course, or in other words, define what I wanted and focus my attention appropriately.

I knew I wanted a soft vintage look, eclectic decor, a relaxed reception, and lots of cream, coffee, and paled pinks and golds. I also fell in love with a mid-toned gray suit for my handsome guy, the sweetheart top on a wedding dresses, feminine details, and cute signs that said things like, "Cheer when the couple is announced Man & Wife."

I could go on and on but I'll wrap this up by sharing some amazing wedding sites for you to visit and bookmark. Seriously, DO IT! Not planning a wedding but love creative inspiration and eye candy? You know what to do, click the links ; )

Wedding Inspiration Websites that will BLOW YOUR MIND

100 Layer Cake
Brenda's Wedding Blog
Green Wedding Shoes
Once Wed
So This Is Bliss
Style Me Pretty
The Bride's Cafe
The Wedding Chicks
Utterly Engaged

Now that I've shared a little about my process and hinted at my wedding style, I'd love to hear what all you have in the works for YOUR wedding, whether it be past present, or future!

Are you going Black & White Modern? Rustic barn complete with cowboy boots? All-out 80's dance party? Do tell!

New Boutique Packaging / Salem OR Photographer

I have to show off my new boutique packaging, isn't it cute? Who doesn't love receiving something in a nicely wrapped package? I really enjoy the pop of teal against the natural Kraft paper boxes, and the texture of my Referral Card case sealed with a hot pink jewel. It's taken some time to gather all the parts and I'm so pumped everything has finally come together! Packaging is something that really speaks to me, and gets me excited about what's inside. I believe it says a lot about a business and how important your business and continued happiness is to them. Why not leave the best impression possible?!

My plan is to find a different tissue, hopefully one with a fun print like zebra, and a similar teal ribbon in a small size to replace the thin pink ribbon so there's a nice consistency.

Be sure to check back in tomorrow for my personal entry on Wedding Planning for Brides; it's all about getting organized, setting your course, and choosing your vendors.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Sailor Metzger / Salem, OR Newborn Photographer

I checked the forecast on this blog post, and the cuteness level is officially off the charts! These photographs are some of my favorites I've shot to date, and the joy it brings me to capture and share these with our family make all the annoying parts of my job so worth it! I'm going to reference the Olympics again, bear with me...Think about the amount of work the athletes invest for one brief moment of victory, and the satisfaction that must bring when they've done their best and stand on the podium! I guess I feel a slice of that emotion every time I know I've done my best and capture moments a family will cherish for a lifetime. Have you seen the tears part, where they're so overwhlemed with joy at their victory? Maybe it's because I'm sentimental and carry my heart on my sleeve, but I get choked up when I see my client is emotionally connected to their photographs. Ahhh, I really do love my job!

Last week I had the delightful opportunity to photograph my dear sister Sally's first child, beautiful Sailor Danielle Metzger. Remember Sally? I posted her maternity session about two weeks ago, I bet you'll see where Sailor gets her pretty feminine features! ; )

This was the ideal newborn shoot because we were at our parent's house and I had the afternoon to photograph Sailor, who, as they always do, took a long time to fall asleep. Here's a tip if you're a photographer or mother wanting newborn portraits done: you must have patience and NEVER rush the baby. Is it just me, or does the newborn sense your presence and put all efforts to staying awake? Anyway, this is my 5th newborn shoot and I've learned a great deal already, which I plan to share in a post later this week.

OK, I don't think I need to keep rambling, just look at these photos!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Sailor Metzger Preview / Salem, OR Newborn Photographer

I couldn't help but post this preview of my niece Sailor Danielle Metzger from her newborn shoot yesterday. At 16-days-old she's the cutest thing I've laid eyes on in a while! I'm swooning over all her photos, CAN'T WAIT to share!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Courage / Personal / Salem OR Photographer

Today I had the pleasure of visiting with Jim & Lisa Bair, along with sons Ryan & Chris. I'm so thankful I was able to do family portraits for them as part of my Giving Is Awesome give-away (previews here), I've thoroughly enjoyed our time together. They've taught me so much about courage, and I left today feeling inspired. Jim has been battling cancer now for about 3 years, and to be as happy, thankful, and hopeful as he is takes more courage than you and I may understand.

As a business owner I often forfeit the comfortable easy route for one that will push me forward and make me succeed. It's tiring, intimidating, and often scary. There's a hundred reasons why I'm not cut out for this, why I won't ever make this succeed, and I would be lying if I said I didn't question my ambitions at times. There's an easy job waiting for me to clock in and out and leave all these headaches behind. But then I think of people like Jim who keep fighting because he's had a good taste of life and all it has to offer, and refuses to take the easy route. I think of the athletes in the Olympics, how they dedicate their whole life to train for that coveted gold medal. Can you imagine the kind of passion that must take? I'm no Olympian, but I do have a drive that I attribute to God and my Grandma. God for creating me with the giftings I have, and my grandma for her intense drive and go-getter mindset. Call me obsessive, you might be right, but I've got this fire to pursue my dreams and not back down. Every good photograph, every smile, every person I meet keeps the flame burning and solidifies why I am pursuing my dream for portrait photography.

Today I feel courageous, perhaps an ounce of what keeps Jim going wore off on me. : ) I found a few quotes that put wind to my sails, I hope you feel as encouraged and empowered as I did after reading them!

"Courage is the power to let go of the familiar."
~ Raymond Lindquist

"A ship is safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for."
~William Shedd

"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, 'I will try again tomorrow'."
~Mary Anne Radmacher

"Many of the great achievements of the world were accomplished by tired and discouraged man who kept working."

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Kaari Toren / Salem OR Senior Photograper

You are going to flip when you see Kaari! Why? Because she's simply gorgeous and has the most captivating eyes. She's got that soft romantic look that makes me swoon when I'm behind the camera! In one of the sunset photos she reminded me of Bella from, you guessed it, Twilight. Although (confession) I still haven't seen the movies OR read the books myself, we all know it's impossible to leave the house without some twilight paraphernalia crossing your path.

Kaari is a hopeful photographer, talented singer and plans to travel Europe this summer with her choir group. JEALOUS! Sometimes I miss the freedom of being 18!

She's good at hiding the fact that it's 30 degrees outside, despite the warm sunny look of these photographs. We started around the Bush Gardens, freezin our buns off, then went downtown into Casey's to warm up a bit, and back outside to Riverfront park as the sun was setting.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Crooks Christmas / Salem OR Photographer

What says "Merry Christmas" better than a tree crammed full with ornaments and lights, a couple dressed in royal red, and an attentive pug with a big red bow? Seriously, if you can think of something tell me!

Pardon the fact that it's February and I'm posting a Christmas photo, but this is cute and worth showing! Oh sorry, I haven't introduced you to Eric & Hannah. They're one of the cutest couples I know, always full of energy, drama (the good kind) and great sarcasm!

I hope you're all having a wonderful weekend!

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