January 21, 2016

A List of Good Things

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1. the feeling of lying in bed after a physically tiring but beautiful day.
2. waking up early for three consecutive days. #nightowlatheart
3. this weather that i wish it was year round. chilly at night & in the mornings but then warm in the afternoon and i can go sweater-less.
4. letters in the mail.
5. one of our sheep had her first baby about a week ago, but she is a bit small and had a monstrous sized child. well long story short, her body went into some sort of "shock" where she could not stand up at all after birth & we weren't sure if she was going to make it. well after a few days, she was still alive and today we saw that she is re-gaining strength in her back legs! Halleluyah!
6. potato soup.
7. the thought of friends being at the store and seeing something that reminds them of you. so they buy it & mail it to you. *heart flutters*
9. toasted marshmallow hot chocolate :)
10. new packaging supplies
11. home after being away.
12. tomorrow is friday! and after that a much needed day of rest :)
13. chick-fil-a oreo milkshakes...yum.
14. messy workspaces (but it will be nicer when it's all clean)
15. Isaiah chapter six. His mercy is incredibly great and i cannot even begin to comprehend it.

What are some good (or even less than good!) things that you have been blessed by recently? Let's build  each other up!

January 14, 2016

I Have Loved You For A Thousand Years | Marco & Dianna Wedding >> Phoenix AZ

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And all along I believed I would find you 
Time has brought your heart to me 
I have loved you for a thousand years 
I'll love you for a thousand more 
Christina Perri >> A Thousand Years

When I met Marco + Dianna for the first time, it was at our fellowship gathering and I remember seeing them sitting together on one occasion and asking a sister in the faith how long they had been married. Whoops! Turns out they weren't married or even dating, but it wasn't long before that changed. Their story is a story of love, waiting, tests + trials, him bringing her closer in her walk with the Father and she encouraging and supporting her beloved. It is a magnificent story and I was blessed to capture it.

She looked like a beautiful Arabian princess and oh my word. She seriously pulled off that headpiece like nobody's business. 

Did you spy the little fishy in the vase? Dianna put a lot of hard work into the small details!

the bridegroom is coming!

this part of a wedding is one of my favorites. just wonderful 

^ favorite shot right there! ^

GUYS. This tres leches (three milks cake) was simply delicious! Puts all the other tres leches cakes I've tried before to shame! Since this type of cake is soaked in 3 different types of milk (evaporated, condensed, & heavy cream) sometimes it can be too soggy but not this one! Just the right texture. Plus it was delightful to look at!

Marco & Dianna, thank you so much for trusting me to shoot your wedding! May our Heavenly Father pour many blessings into your marriage!

January 7, 2016

Seven Things I Learned from Shooting My First Wedding | For Photographers

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Towards the beginning of 2015 (can't believe I'm saying that!) , I had the great privilege of shooting the wedding of one of my good friends; Erica, and her husband Hector. Shooting a wedding was one of my bucket list goals and words cannot express how grateful I was to be asked to shoot her wedding!

I gained so much insight into all the work that goes into photographing a wedding without all the added stress of working with unfamiliar people and I've compiled a list of seven things I learned from shooting my first wedding to share with you.

>>Don't be afraid to ask. Your client most likely does not know about good lighting or composition, so it is up to you to determine those factors. When I arrived, the dress was still in the bag and upon inquiring about it, it was laid out in the bed so I could take the necessary shot. Picture this: the orange-ish lighting reflecting from an overhead ceiling fan light, the dress laying like a shapeless sack and it couldn't fit entirely in the frame due to my cropped sensor Canon T3 camera. What to do? I asked the bride if she didn't mind me borrowing the dress while she did her makeup, and with some help (wedding dresses are heavy!) I took it to a nearby window where there was plenty of good light and the shot was greatly improved. If I hadn't asked, I would not have that shot and would probably be kicking myself right now.

>>You cannot afford to be shy. People have entrusted you to capture their special day and that is not something to take lightly! I personally struggled with this, and if it was not for my sister who encouraged me to get up there and take that shot, I probably would have missed several wonderful shots that were a great addition to my portfolio! As an introvert, it can be hard for me to take that step and put myself out there, but for an occasion such as this, I had to make myself be extroverted and push myself out of my comfort zone.

>>Take lots of pictures. Of all the details. The ceremony. The family shots. All of it, from a variety of different angles. Chance are one of the shots will be blurry, somebody will be blinking and even if they aren't, it is better to have to many (which you can simply erase) than to not have enough.

>>Use the in-camera flash if you need to. Confession: All the photography websites tell you to avoid it all all costs which is what was engrained in my mind. However a well lit shot that you can edit afterwards is a thousand times better than a poorly lit shot that due to the darkness did not capture any detail at all or has too many shadows.

>>Don't be afraid to bump up that ISO. This can go along with the tip above. If the lighting is sufficient to not need a flash, then bump up that ISO! You can remove grain/noise in editing or even leave it as an artistic edit with the film trend going on right now. Its' better to have grainy picture than for it to be way under-exposed.

>>If you can, shot RAW. After hearing all the hype about shooting RAW, one day I decided to give it a shot and...i hated it. My camera buffered for too long and I felt frustrated when I didn't notice a big difference! Turns out I didn't have a fast reading/writing memory card which caused the delay and  I wasn't using the right editing tools! Once I made the switches to those tools, I wouldn't dream about going back to JPEG! It is a huge life-saver when you realized pictures are under/over-exposed and recovery is so much easier.

>>Don't be too hard on yourself. You will make mistakes and it is natural! You will be over critical about your work, but take your errors and learn from them. Give yourself some grace. 

Hope these tips are helpful to someone out there!