Archive: January 2011  |  View all recent posts
January 10, 2011  -  Engagements

colleen + andrew

"You know, you guys were the ones that WANTED to do this" - Andrew

So, here we are. It's Buffalo. It's winter. It's colder than a polar bear's testes. And here we are out shooting with a couple who we want to actually LIKE us on their wedding day. Smart move, us.


Yeah - probably not our brightest move. But the thing is, we ARE from Buffalo. It does snow here, kind of a lot, and it's fun. I mean, people getting their engagement portraits done in Southern California have the choice of warm beachy weather or warm beachy weather - wait, that was supposed to sound not as awesome as it does... but I embrace our snow - it's different.

We were talking to a friend of ours out in Portland, and we assumed it would be about the same weather there - nope, no snow. And I just can't imagine winter without it. So, I love that we get to do snowy e-shoots. Yeah, it might be slightly cold (at the end of our shoot, Andrew said, "I would laugh at that, but I can't feel my face."), but there's something about the winter that brings me immediately back to being a kid and having fun, and I love that in a shoot.
Absolutely - and winter here is weird. We get these warm spells sometimes where everything will melt for a week, and it sucks. When it's winter here, I want it to look like winter and stay snowy. This past weekend we got our first outdoor skating in and did some of our first sledding, too. I've only been here about five years now, but I love winter.

Fun fact: I just got to feel our baby having the hiccups.

After we got going, Colleen and Andrew and the two of us had FUN. I mean, maybe they were lying and just said they were having fun - but I think we had fun :).
So, our kid currently having the hiccups is not exactly what I would consider a "fun" fact. I'd go more with an annoying and seemingly unending fact. But that's just me.

Also - I had fun on this shoot, but I would go ahead and not put words in Colleen + Andrew's mouths. Seriously, they're probably just now regaining feeling in their feet (and this shoot was Friday). I think it's easier for us to have fun since we're moving around, carrying a bunch of gear and our super rad couple is sitting still in the snow (above), and being held hostage for an extra 15 minutes after we told them they could go back to their warm car because we got distracted and found more stuff to shoot with (below). :)
Also, deer.
hah - I was just counseled that the things I could say about Alyssa and the deer could get me in a bunch of spousal trouble. So, suffice it to say, Alyssa made a friend and we may or may not have almost gotten our wallets and gear stolen by the above doe.
Also, you may now refer to me as the Deer Whisperer. Here's the thing though, I think deer are really cool. Rich insists they are big rats, and maybe it's because they are the largest animal I've ever seen "in the wild" (that just seemed too nerdy to say without quotes) - with the exception of a bear crossing the road in WV which is on my list of top 5 coolest things I've ever seen - (yup, sad life, and crazy long run-on sentence), but there is something just so neat about them to me.

I get it - I grew up on Grand Island where there was a herd that regularly came into our yard, but seeing a deer is still a really cool thing to me. So, that we were that close to deer made me a little insanely nerdy. But then I started thinking about the time my sister got mauled in the deer pen at Marineland (side note: does anyone else remember throwing mini marshmallows at the bear there? And why did no vets in the 90s think that was maybe a terrible idea? Andrew says they had to stop because all the bear were getting cavities - ha!) and got a little uncomfortable with how close we were to nature, but it was still pretty awesome.

Have we mentioned how rad you guys were to shoot? Seriously, thank you for putting up with our ridiculousness and still absolutely just killing these shots!
True, true. My favorite:
Yes, yes - Colleen + Andrew are adorable. And now for something completely different!
Alright, we're back from that random bird interlude with some more of Colleen being adorable. Seriously, I think she definitely holds the record for most laughter during a shoot. It's funny - when we get folks laughing, I pretty much use every frame I shoot of them laughing because I think it's the most genuine smile there is, and I could've given these two a good 500 frames from this shoot. They clearly have a lot of fun, and I love that.

I like to think that's the best part of us as a couple - that we have the same sense of humor, and I think it's my favorite thing about spending time with you - your ability to make me laugh.
Or they were laughing at our ridiculous directions?? I'm just sayin...:)

Here's Colleen all serious and stuff...and very, very pretty.
That's highly probable...
Guys - you were so much fun to shoot. Thank you for putting up with us and at least pretending to be moderately okay with being outside while it was that cold :) You guys rocked, and we can't wait for the wedding!

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January 6, 2011  -  Engagements

gretchen + mark

I've been waiting to shoot Gretchen + Mark for a while - we met them at the very beginning of last year, and Gretchen has become one of our super awesome blog commenters. You know - it's hard to say exactly how much it means to us that she takes the time to give us feedback on the work we do (and to do it so regularly, it just means a boatload). Being that we are our own business, we have no boss to give us attaboys; and being that we're married to the only other employee over here, when we tell each other, hey - cool... it doesn't have the same impact as someone else giving us feedback because your spouse always has your feelings at heart so... I dunno. It's just super rad when people take the time out of their very busy lives to tell us what they think of what we're doing. We're incredibly appreciative of the people who do so, and we were so ready to finally get to shoot Gretchen.

We got together with her + Mark for a wintery shoot - it's funny; in the summer, we're crossing our fingers for no precipitation, and in the winter, we're crossing our fingers FOR precipitation, and it never seems to do what we want, but it ended up being a super ridiculous shoot because Gretchen + Mark are adorable, and the light was just kicking the whole time.
Yeah - that is super pretty :) Most of our couples choose us because they're comfortable with us and we all get along really well. I can't imagine wanting to have photographers you don't know and like hang out with you on your wedding day.

And I like Mark, too, a lot. I knew he was my kind of guy the moment I found out Gretchen bought him one of those crazy Dyson vacuum cleaners for Christmas. I have wanted one of those things forever but the fact that they cost the same amount as a down payment on a car has held me back. But now that I think about it, we have THREE freaking dead vacuum cleaners in our house. They all cost at least 15-200 bucks and they ALL suck (or you know, literally don't). What the hell is up with modern vacuum cleaners? My mom had a canister vacuum from 1963 or something that is probably still working somewhere. I might sell a kidney and get a Dyson. I'm psycho about needing to vacuum things and they are kindof magic, aren't they? Your house is dirty, you roll the vacuum around for a while - you can pretend it's not dirty anymore.
Yeah - I started swearing at ours yesterday - it's so flimsy when you stretch the hose more than a foot, it falls over and hits you on the head. Super not fun. We had one of those giant metal heavy as heck ones growing up too - I always remember volunteering to clean the bathrooms, and my sister always thought she was winning by just having to vacuum, but I couldn't move that thing!

So, we knew Gretchen + Mark were rad, but then Mark busted out this hat, and I about fell over in awe of their coolness. Yeah, that's a ridiculous 8-bit Mario hat. So awesome!
Etsy may be the easiest way to spend a lot of time and money you never intended or wanted to, but the results are always great.

Anyway, we found some bridges along the way. And I think this is the point of the shoot you started talking about a zombie apocalypse. Holy crap did I just fail at spelling "apocalypse" - and every single time I typed "vacuum" it was wrong, too. I'm positive automatic spellcheck has ruined my ability to spell. But it's also saved me from looking like a complete moron a million times, so it's still pretty positive.

These next couple of shots are my favorites. When we go out with a couple, we just want them to have fun with us and with each other. Getting your photos taken can be stressful (we know) and you're nervous and you want it to be perfect - and when you relax and laugh - for me, it IS perfect.

Agreed - my favorites are always when we get folks laughing. So, now I can't write "agreed" without saying it in my head in Jack Black's voice (that's what happens when you become a parent and watch Kung Fu Panda 17,000 times). Oy.

But I had the same problem with spelling vacuum - I went for two cs and two us. Not correct, apparently.

We've been meeting with a bunch of folks for 2012 this week, and we were talking about how we always want to get photos of folks that look natural, but then we started laughing - because, you know, you always get tired and rest halfway through a walk in a field. :) Perhaps we'd be better off saying we want to get 75% of photos that look natural, and 25% percent of just pretty stuff. But I liked this one anyway, regardless of it's natural-ness. (And now I'm just making up words - take that, spell check!)
That was a nice one, hon. I think our clients know what we mean. We spend a lot of time trying to get people relaxed - that's way more important for us than trying to do something dramatic with a photo or something oddball that may or may not be eye-catching for our couple. I want to make funky, interesting, inspired photographs, but I care a lot more about getting a couple "right." That means I want Gretchen and Mark or whoever else to look at their photos and say, "Hey - THAT is us," and not just "Hey, that's us pretending to be something we're not in some funky photos."

We should probably stfu for a few frames and let Gretchen and Mark take it...

Seriously, once winter hits, I kind of write off using the sun in any shoots. Which is kind of ridiculous - I once read (I have no idea if it was a correct stat or not) Buffalo has more sunny days per year than Atlanta, but I was still surprised it was out in full force during G + M's shoot. Loved it!
Gorgeous, happy light. :)
I loved this shot of yours, babe. I loved it when you were taking it, and I love it now :)
Thanks :) Hey - Gretchen and Mark - you're here - on the blog! And it was great making these with you. I am so humbled that we get to have clients like you guys. You make us feel really amazing and holy crap do we always want to work our asses off for you. Thank you so much and now it really is time to count down the rest of the year until we end the season with you two :).

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