or eight years everyone knew he was different. Unlike Courtney's past relationships, this one--Isaac--was different. Sure, he was charming, chivalrous, and funny, but he was entirely his own. Person. Courtney's strong personality had a way of creeping in like sweet syrup and she managed to always get her way. Until he arrived. Isaac kindly set the course of the relationship and Courtney happily followed. Which isn't easy for two lawyers.
Despite their insanely busy schedules and billable hours, they keep each other number one and are determined to help each other. Yes, even if this means pecking out emails on Isaac's phone while he drives. Not only are their personalities complimentary, they work in one accord. This was perfectly evident on their wedding day and the amazing party they planned in Hollywood at The London Hotel.
As family arrived from around the U.S., friends from Vanderbilt University, and friends from law school gathered in their honor, glasses were raised to two people who simply fit. In one accord.
Courtney and Isaac, I hope you're enjoying every last minute of your time in Napa...remember, no email check-ins while you're on your honeymoon, but if you happen to creep on the web to take a sneak peek at your photos, that's totally fine. Blogs aren't emails. LOOPHOLE! Thank you for being the best of the best and reminding me why I feel like the luckiest photographer in the world. I appreciate your kindness more than I can express. Much Love and Appreciation...j*
Courtney donned a pair of Miu Miu heels on her wedding day...and, yes, anything she'd wear with them would look amazing, especially her wedding dress...
Courtney kept her bridal party small, asking her sister Angela to be her Maid of Honor...their relationship was so beautiful to watch, especially since they've been planning Courtney's wedding since she was 11 years old! ;)
Of course I don't need to say it, but I will...I ADORE First Looks. When a couple opts to see each other before the wedding ceremony, the day unfolds effortlessly and allows breathability for relaxation and wedding pictures...here's Isaac's reaction to seeing his bride for the first time...
Courtney and Isaac's wedding was in the morning, so the light was crisp and beautiful...
Courtney and isaac married at their home church in Bel Air and it was the perfect setting for their love...
After the ceremony, we headed to The London Hotel for the wedding reception...and good times...
One of the best things about the The London Hotel is the white hallway leading to Gordon Ramsey's restaurant...the light is perfect and away from guests for a few private moments...
I need to give major props and a HUGE thank you to Gloria McCune of Grand Engagements...I love her!! The wedding day was pulled in many directions, but Gloria stayed the course and kept the party perfect. She and her team worked it out...just look at this rooftop tent!
I loved the floral work Mark's Garden put together for Courtney's Secret Garden theme wedding reception...
The First Dance...
The couple had a Grand Exit and while JD was shooting this picture (how cute is that kid!?)...
...I was able to shoot this picture a few seconds later...
o say he's particular would be an understatement. He prefers his vegetables cut a certain way, a specific amount of milk in his cereal, and a precise degree at which the toothpaste should be squeezed. JD even lines up the drinks in the fridge so they all face outward. On the top shelf. Because why would water bottles go on the second shelf, Jasmine? Huh? Why?
I shrug, grab a water bottle, then tell him he's speaking into my deaf ear. On both sides.
If I was being honest, I don't do very much cooking. And it's not because I'm not good at it, really. It's just that I've given up because I don't chop the cilantro at the right longitude. Or something culinary like that.
Sundays are days when I make a deliberate effort to be all team-spirit in Jasmineville and help a little extra in the kitchen. A couple days ago, I offered to make sandwiches for lunch (I mean, who can ruin a sandwich?!) and JD's upper lip started to twitch. Don't worry, I assured him, I got this COVERED. Then I over-toasted the bread, placed three tomato slices on his sandwich (apparently he only does two), and added unripened avocado. In all fairness, my sandwich was delectable (with my three tomato slices), so I shrugged and pretended I didn't see his frown grow with each bite. I tell him I can't see him with my blind eye. On both sides.
Sidenote: JD just read this post and he wants me to let everyone know he happily ate the sandwich and at his last bite said, yummm, that was delicious!
Perhaps one day I'll learn to organize the drinks in our refrigerator or alphabetize our pantry, but, until then, I'll happily remain particular about photography.
FAQ : Reader Questions XIV
t's been a few months since I answered questions from the FAQ section of the Discussion tab on my Facebook Page, so I decided to dive back in and connect with questions. For those of you who help each other by answering questions, supporting each other, and offering encouragement, thank you. You make Facebook an extra shiny place to be on the web...I love seeing sharing on the web!
Lerissa asked: How do you clean and maintain your gear? I'm lucky enough to live driving distance to the Canon Center in Orange County. Every two months, I drop my gear off for sensor cleaning and a good cleaning for my lenses. I'm a CPS Member, so I receive three coupons for a free sensor cleaning, as well as discounts on other repairs/cleaning/maintenance. However, before every shoot, JD cleans the lenses and uses a blower bulb to brush away unwanted dust from our camera sensors.
Richard asked: We see a lot of great photos of when you are JD are out and about, what gear do you take with you? Just the 5d and a 50 1.2? Yes, I usually travel with my Canon 5DMII and the 50mm, 1.2 to snap photos. I usually carry it around in my purse, wrapped in a pashmina (this is basically a scarf, gentlemen) and it's treated me well for years.
Lauren asked: Especially with men, I'd love some advice for helping people to loosen up and open up so I can better capture their true selves. This isn't an easy question to answer because no one guy is the same. I don't have a certain approach or technique to help guys loosen up, but I will say keeping magazine clippings for inspiration has helped. A lot. While my photos may not look like the photos I saved, they help me think in new ways when it comes to working with a guy in front of my camera. I keep them posted or in a notebook and I'll review them before a shoot.
Meggan asked: How much time do you allot before the ceremony for shooting. Do you shoot only the couple or the entire bridal party & family? Also, do you present your bride with list of possible shots for her to think through or is this something you discuss in person at a meeting after booking? If the clients opt for a First Look, I'll take however much time before the ceremony. If it's 30 minutes or two hours, I'll maximize our shoot time and this will hopefully open for more flexibility with the bride's schedule later in the day. I adore when we can photograph the bride and groom, the bridal party, and the immediate family before the ceremony, so this would allow for 10-15 minutes of sunset photos...and the couple has the option to join cocktail hour or enjoy a quiet time by themselves. These decisions and the timelines vary from client to client, but the important thing to remember is to have a detailed conversation in advance to ensure everyone is on the same page and expectations met.
Natasha asked: How do you not get your laptop/ipad stolen or damaged at the reception when leaving it to display the slide show? I usually set up the same-day slideshow (on my laptop) in an area where people usually congregate, usually the bar or by the photobooth. It's a great conversation starter while people are waiting for a drink or for their turn in the photobooth. Because people are watching the slideshow, it also acts as a safeguard against thievery because someone wouldn't simply walk up--while people are viewing it--unplug the computer, shut it, and walk out the ballroom door without someone saying something. However, use common sense. Don't put the slideshow close to entry/exit where someone can easily slip in and out without being noticed. The biggest deterrent is people around the computer, so just make sure and place it in an highly trafficked area.
Hope this helps and if there are other questions, feel free to shout out in the comment box or on Facebook! Happy Monday!
Kisses+Disses : Car Accidents + ThinkTank
esterday was a big day for me. For weeks JD and I planned our day and all the details that surrounded the million pieces that comprised it. Until...wait for it...that freakin leak. Yes, leak I mentioned yesterday...the one that was supposed to be fixed on Sunday. But, no, the plumber came yesterday and JD texted me while I was at the gym to park in front of our home since the plumber's truck was in front of our garage.
Okay, fine. JD also tells me I won't be able to take a shower because the water is turned off. Again.
As I turn to park in front of our home--just feet from my front door--I get t-boned. Yes, a car slammed into mine and for a few seconds I'm completely lost. You see, I checked my rearview mirror for traffic and I was clear until I waved to my neighbor. And asked how his day was and wished him a great day at work. I was being very Mr. Rogers-ish minus the zip-up sweater. As we waved goodbye, I turned my car and got hit. And my neighbor? Got in his car and drove away.
Should I repeat that last part again? HE. DROVE. AWAY. Hey, dude, that's the last time I bid you a g'day. Seriously.
I cried, the other driver was shaken up, and JD--who ran out our front door knowing instinctively it was my accident--was already finding the silver lining: It could have been worse...she could have been driving faster...at least you're not paralyzed. Which leads me to another installment of Kisses and Disses...
This week's DISSES go to...
*Leaks. Because, really, they really throw a kink in one's plans. Or LIFE.
*Missing my friends. There are moments when I wish I could have them by my side every second of the day.
*Car accidents...and neighbors who leave the scene. Need I say more?!
This week's KISSES go to...
*SignNow.com. I stumbled across this site and I'm in LOVE. No more printing, signing, and scanning documents...it happens all on the web. Printing is so 2009.
*Orowheat Sandwich Thins. These whole wheat confections are part bun, part english muffin, part slice of bread... only 100 calories...and quite delish. I now eat really fancy sandwiches.
*ThinkTank. I got a new camera bag and it's perfect because it holds all our gear and fits in an overhead bin for travel. We've used it for three weddings so far and it's pretty darn amazing.
...and a bonus kiss goes to JD for reminding me it could've been worse.
Shooting Star : Making Business Changes
t started off as a small drip. Nothing to be concerned with, especially since it was a leak dripping from the spigot connected to our backyard water hose. But then. And there's always a BUT THEN when it comes to stories in my life. But then JD insisted he'd fix it. How hard can it be, he scoffed. That's when I knew we were in trouble.
A new wrench, turning off our water for hours at a time, and four trips to Home Depot later, the plumber was called. Oh! And he's coming back on Sunday to finish the job. The drip, apparently, has the attitude of DMV worker.
In addition to changing the backyard spigot, I've decided to make a few changes in my business this year (now how's THAT for a segue?!), and I hope you're up for the challenge as well. In this installment of Shooting Star, I'll be addressing:
*How to make realistic business changes.
*Setting goals to have the changes implemented.
*The changes I'll be making to my business before the year ends.
I hope you have a great day and if you have suggestions for future installments of Shooting Star or you're willing to share what changes you'd like to make, holla back in the comment box. Happy Thursday, friends!