Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Jen & Anthony: Engagement Session!

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This past Saturday I had the pleasure of working with Jen & Anthony who drove all the way from the Bay Area to do their engagement shoot! Their wedding isn't until next July 4th (Jen's fav holiday), but they have a fabulous engagement party scheduled for next month, so we decided to get some photo action in early! We met up in Ventura at the pier (after dodging Kevin Costner traffic and road closures - apparently he has a band now and was filming a concert.... odd...) and got going right away!

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They tried to tell me that were nervous about the shoot, but they totally had me fooled! Nothing but gorgeous natural smiles all day. These two are seriously adorable!

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And PS - how fabulous is her adorable green dress?

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Then we headed UNDER the pier - which is one of my favorite places to go with a pier. There's something so cool and intimate about it, even though there are still tons of people around.

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Now normally, when we do a cute dipping shot, I have a quick chit-chat with the groom and it usually ends with a statement like "...and then dip her as far as you're comfortable". Normally that equals a few inches - a foot if I'm lucky. NOT ANTHONY. I think he said something to Jen like "I can't promise you won't get wet" and then went for it! Gotta love that!!

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After we walked back to the cars, we noticed that we could totally access this AWESOME railroad bridge. If you've ever driven up the 101 freeway towards Santa Barbara before, you can't miss it. It goes right over the freeway. I've ALWAYS thought it'd be awesome to shoot there, but never knew how to get to it. I was way excited to find out we were parked right next to the entrance, so we headed in there. I took a couple that I really loved there, so here they are!
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After wrapping up at the Ventura Pier, we jumped back in the cars and headed to CSU Channel Islands, Athony's old alma mater. Now, before we go further, let me fill you in on a few tidbits of info about CSUCI. First off, and maybe I'm the only one who didn't know this, but not only is it NOT on the Channel Islands, it's not even close. It's not even near water. It's in a canyon. In a desert. Surrounded by mountains. Oh, some other info - the well that is up on one of the hills overlooking the campus is the same well used in that freaky movie "The Ring". And before it was a school, it was a mental hospital - the one the song "Hotel California" is about.

Ok, back to pictures. :)
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Btw, if you're noticing a green theme, it's because it's Jen's favorite color, their wedding color, and if you look at one of the first few pics, you can see her GORGEOUS emerald and diamond engagement ring. :) Fabulous.

I LOVED this hallway. I call it "The Hallway of Glory" because of that awesome skylight right at the end. It's like the perfect natural spotlight. Love it.

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A little time in a beautiful courtyard. The architecture on the campus is really awesome.

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A little fun with herringbone brick. Why not?

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Anthony is Lebanese so they had necklaces made with both "Jenifer" and "Anthony" in Arabic. Doesn't it look beautiful written out?

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After enjoying the old school California architecture, we headed over to the modern library. :) I just love stairwells....

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Sunset at the library.

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And of course this session ended like it started (and like most sessions do!) - with a bit of fun and teasing. ;) When Anthony says he's done, he's DONE!

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So that was a super-uber long post, but it's not my fault - it just happens when I get to work with a fantastic couple like Jen & Anthony! Best wishes to you both for your upcoming party and, of course, the wedding next summer! So excited!!!


Monday, July 28, 2008

Baby Update

So I had another OB appointment today. They said that, assuming the baby cooperates, we'd be able to find out the gender of the baby. Knowing the stubbornness and michieviousness that runs in both my husband's genes and mine, I wasn't holding my breath about a "cooperative baby". ;) And did I know my child already? Oh yeah.

The doc (whom I love by the way) was laughing again at just how acrobatic this little kiddo is (s/he is getting into the Olympic spirit already - Peanut has some definite moves) and of course, that made it difficult to get a good look, particularly at around 15 weeks. SOOOO, here's the basic news. The doctor said that though she "wouldn't commit", she's definitely "leaning girl" right now. I asked if I should hold out hope for my boy still (I want a boy, Pres wants a girl), and she said "No. But I still won't commit". Sigh.

But I'm not that easily intimidated! I'm still hopeful - I mean, after all, if they're going to get it wrong one way or the other, they'll make the error of saying girl when it's really a boy. Really.

So we'll get the final confirmation at my next visit at the end of August (in time for my birthday!). So if you still want in on the votes/bets, get 'em in before then. ;)


Saturday, July 26, 2008

Engagement Teaser!

So I should definitely be sleeping right now, but I was so excited about the engagement session I did today with Jenifer and Anthony that I couldn't wait to post at least ONE photo from today. I promised myself I'd only do one, and I'm sticking to it, but rest assured, more are coming! Jen & Anthony were a total blast to work with and I'm confident we got some seriously fab photos. :) So here's a quick teaser!

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I love stairwells..... :)


Friday, July 25, 2008

MY Family Photos

My parents' church is in the process of updating their website (a headache that I'm sure SEVERAL of you can sympathize with - kudos to Patrick for taking it on) and that means a lot of new photos. Especially since their church is the first in the state (and possibly the nation) to GO GREEN! That's right, they had a ton of solar panels installed and are officially generating their own energy (and a little extra too that goes back into the grid!). You can read more about it at the church's blog.

Anyway, new photos usually exciting to me - and it means I'm in process of completing #73 on 101 in 1001 list for TWO churches (woot!), but this particular photo shoot was extra fun for me. Since they need updated photos of the pastors and staff members in the church, that meant I got to take some headshots of my parents! I've secretly been hoping to do this, but knew I'd need a reason to do it. I was very excited to have one. :)

So here is my lovely parents - I'll be you can't tell which one I look like a mini-me of. ;)

My mom, Cheri (LOVE the black, white and yellow!):
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And my dad, Ken. :) Doesn't he look pastorly (yes, I invented that word...):
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Don't they look way too young to be grandparents? Also, even though I clearly got my mom's eye color, my dad's eyes mean that I do have a blue gene in there somewhere. And since my husbands baby blues are super blue, I'm REALLY REALLY REALLY hoping for a blue eyed child... *crosses fingers* Here's to hoping!

Thanks Mom and Dad for letting me do this - I hope it was as painless as I promised!


Thursday, July 24, 2008

Back to School Specials & Holiday Deals!

I've been getting a few emails recently and a few new print ads have come out (or are about to) about the specials coming your way. I thought I'd put it out there so you know they really are coming!

In August and September, I'm offering a myriad of Back to School deals (can we say $50 sessions?) and packaged print specials (wallets, 5x7s and 8x10s bundled together for great savings). Everybody has to get those annoying school photos for school, but that doesn't mean you have to send grandma THAT picture. :) Let the school have it for the yearbook and get GREAT photos of your kids for the family. I'll guarantee your kids will enjoy it more too. And for Senior Portraits, I'm running some awesome deals on that too (including half off on the popular "Trendsetter" package that features unlimited locations!). Scheduling for these shoots will be posted soon, but if you want to get your school photos in, feel free to email me and we'll get you booked. Sessions booked before August 10 get a special 10% discount ON TOP of the other discounts (holla!).

For Holiday Portraits, it's pretty much total madness. But this year, especially due to my pregnancy, I'm organizing a little better. It might feel early to be thinking about it, but I'll only be taking bookings in October and November for the holidays (which means you'll definitely have everything in plenty of time - bonus!), but I won't be taking any last minute calls this year for December. I'll be offering lots of deals (including some free sessions) and 15% off ALL albums for all holiday portraits! I'll be scheduling these as well, so make sure you get booked EARLY. Seriously.

Ok, more info coming soon - you'll see a whole new page on the website soon with all the info, but feel free to email if you want the info sooner or if you want to secure your booking at briennemichelle@gmail.com.

Keep smiling!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

If You Didn't Want Kids Before...

I haven't posted up recent photos in a few days, but don't worry, I'm getting to that. I just came across this video and HAD to post it. If you didn't want kids before, this video will probably make you want to at least borrow one. A cute one. So sit back and enjoy a good laugh. :)

I could listen to that all day long. :)


Sunday, July 20, 2008

I am NOT a Cowgirl.

Let me see if I can make this clear. Yes, I went to Canyon High School, so in that sense, yes, I'm a Cowgirl, but not when I'm shooting a wedding! And I don't mean the outfit either (though I can also assure you that boots, spurs and hat stay at home for weddings too - oh wait, I don't think I own any of that. Maybe the hat).

One of the things I stress to my clients about my style is that I LOVE it when I get to the review session and my newlywed couple sees a beautiful image from the day (esp. the ceremony) and says "Oh my gosh! I didn't even know you were there!". That, my fabulous friends, is how I know I did my job RIGHT. I want to capture everything, every detail, but I want to do it like a ninja. You never saw me, I wasn't there. I have highly honed cheetah reflexes for exactly this purpose. Lol.

For those who are concerned or possibly aren't sure exactly what I mean, let me give you a sample of exactly what I DO NOT EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER do! :)

For all my upcoming and potential clients out there, know that I solemnly promise to remember that it is YOUR day, YOUR wedding, and that you lovingly invited YOUR guests to be a part of it. And that I can get the shot without having to resort to being a Cowboy (or girl). Also, know that I never wear jeans to a wedding. Ever. Unacceptable. (Oh, and PS - is he wearing a fanny pack?)

I am curious though - anyone out there have a photographer like this show up? I'd love to hear stories. :)


Friday, July 18, 2008

Jeff & Sherrie - Wedding!

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This past weekend I had the wonderful privilege or shooting with the beautiful and talented Jessica Verma - one of my fav photographers and people! We were both blown away by the transformation of the roof and lounge area at the Pasadena Museum of California Art. The design and details were handled by one of my new favorite event companies, Contemporary Catering - headed up by Nathaniel Neubauer. They did a FABULOUS job of transforming the roof and lounge area of the museum into an absolutely gorgeous space (fyi, their website is undergoing a re-design, but the current one still functions!).

Here are just a few of the details...


The groom was pretty stunned when she came down the isle.

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Sherrie seemed pretty excited too. She was beaming the whole night!

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I thought this was such a beautiful moment. I'm not entirely sure why, but it sort of had that fairytale-esque quality to it.

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Ahh, the Kiss.

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Photographers and aspiring photographers out there remember, sometimes the moment right AFTER the Kiss is almost cuter and more intimate...

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A cute moment down in the galleries... (PS - I LOVE it when museums let you shoot in the actual galleries!)

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Speaking of the galleries... this was one of the exhibits and I thought it was interesting on so many levels. :)

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The flowers were absolutely stunning - the very tops of the centerpieces had to stand between 6 and 8 feet above the top of the table. And, to make it even better, Sherrie's father was the florist in charge. She picked the flowers, but didn't see the design until she came into the reception for the first time. You can bet she was totally blown away!

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You can't see the tops of the centerpieces, but curly willow continued on up for several more feet. The tables, the design and the view combined for an amazing location!

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Enjoying that gorgeous view of Pasadena City Hall at sunset. Nights like that remind me of why I love California.

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First Dance cuteness

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And one more because Father & Daughter were just too adorable!

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Congrats to Sherrie and Jeff! It was an absolutely beautiful night - what a great start to a hopefully AMAZING marriage! Enjoy Thailand for the honeymoon!


Thursday, July 17, 2008

Courtney & Justin - Wedding Album

So I'm about to embarrass myself. Courtney & Justin (as you'll see in the design) got married in 2006. That's right, over 2 years ago. And their wedding album is just now getting done. Isn't that horribly sad. There are reasons and excuses, but nonetheless, the album design is done now and I'm SO THRILLED that it's finally finished. :) To see Courtney & Justin's full album design (10x10), simply *click here*!

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It's always interesting to me to look back on how far I've come and how much my style has changed. Courtney & Justin had a beautiful wedding in Laguna Hills and I remember being stunned by the detail and d├ęcor, especially at their reception. It's funny me to think back on it in a way and think what I would have done with the details now vs. what I did then. I hope I can say that in 2010 and 2012 and 2014...etc. How far have you come in the past couple years? Have you revisited yourself or your work from years ago?


He's here! Baby Corban Daniel

After literally a month of being in labor (yay for contractions that never end), Christen & Dan welcomed little Corban Daniel into their lives on Tuesday night! Some of you may remember Christen from her awesome beach maternity shoot a few months back - well now you can see what Corban looks like without the belly in the way. ;) I didn't take this photo (provided courtesy of Erica & Robie - I believe it was taken on Dan's cell phone or something though...), but you can already see his adorable cuteness!

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I just wanted to wish a very special congrats to the new family! You can bet more pics of this kid will show up here. ;)

Much love to all THREE of you Christen, Dan & Corban! I hope the waiting was all worth it and that the recovery is quick! Blessings to you and your beautiful family.


Saturday, July 5, 2008

Ron & Anna - Engagment Session!

This past Wednesday, I had the pleasure of working with Anna & Ron - two absolutely adorable people who make an even more adorable couple. Ron & Anna met when Anna started working with Ron's family in the financial industry. They kept him secret for a while, but finally word got out that there was "a brother" that she should meet. They've been together for almost 4 years now and I am so excited for their wedding this October in Beverly Hills!

Ron is my kinda guy - a poker player, an electronics guru (he had THREE flat screen plasmas covering an entire wall in the living room so he could see all the games at once), and always ready to laugh. Anna and I had our fair share of things in common too - love of shoes for starters (and that's a BIG one for me!). She is just one of those super sweet people that you can't help but feel instantly comfortable with.

We met up in Huntington Beach at Ron's home, and I mistakenly assumed that Huntington Beach = beach shoot. SOO wrong and I was SO excited about that! As soon as Anna said "We're not really beach picture people, we wanted to do something a little different", my ears perked WAY up. :) So we all loaded up and headed to the Irvine Spectrum and then to a cute little miniature golf course. :)

We started out on the carousel of course. :)
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The Spectrum was chock-full of great little colorful areas to take cute romantic pictures.
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I love Hollister's shutters! They're always fabulous for photos.
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We had to take these shots at the miniature golf course with the Eiffel Tower. Anna & Ron will be heading to Paris and Rome for their honeymoon this October, so it just seemed so appropriate. :)
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And one final one - I love that Anna & Ron didn't even bat an eyelash when I said "Ooh! Let's take a few pictures with this school bus!). PS - LOVE the yellow and black! ;)
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Aren't they fantastic! So excited for October! Thanks for being so awesome you two!