August 28, 2010

Moments from An Amazing Wedding Week

I have take more than 1,500 photos so far for my dear friend Kristin's wedding. It has been beautiful, each and every moment. I'm bursting with pride for this amazing couple and a few of the images I've captured of them. So much so, that I couldn't help sharing these little snippets of their wedding day.

Burrell 2
Burrell 1

Expect at least three blog posts about this wedding to come. There's so much more.

August 19, 2010

A Couple Things that Make Me Happy

Two things I love: Sunsets and little blond hair, blue-eyed boys.

liam 1

So it's pretty safe to say I enjoyed this shoot. I hope to post more soon, but I don't guarantee anything. I'm on vacation next week and will have more wedding photos to blog than I can probably handle when I get back. Please stay tuned. Amazingness is on the way.

August 15, 2010

Walking and Working It

I feel like my life is a little different these days. To say that having Mr. T has changed my life and my daily routine is an understatement. Things are different with a dog and not necessarily for better or worse, just different.

I now regularly wake up before 6:30 a.m. In fact most days, by 6:30 a.m. I'm already out walking the dog. Early last week, the ball of my right foot started hurting. I came home, put an ice pack on it and contemplated how I could make it feel better immediately because I have a dog that needs to walk.

Later that night when I took Taylor out, I realized my sandals were doing my feet no favors. It's no wonder though that my feet are reacting to the lack of support in my shoes. I now on average walk about 4 miles a day. Between my commute to and from work and the two walks a day T and I go on, I generally log anywhere from 4 to 5 miles each and every day. I have not been to my gym in months. I really don't feel the need and honestly will probably cancel my membership when it expires in October. Between the dog and my free gym at work, I just don't see me having any reason to hold a membership I don't use.

 The dog has also had an unexpected effect on the way I view Mike and our relationship. Having this dog that doesn't always choose to listen and has no idea what is in his best interest has really forced us to communicate a lot more than I anticipated. Mike and I have discussed every aspect of our dog's behavior since getting him and have become dog psychologists in the meantime. But I have been pleasantly surprised so see that as far as dog parenting has gone, we've been on the same page the entire way. I try not to ever compare my animals to kids, but at the same time I can't help thinking that this bodes well for any future child rearing we may do.

My life has not been entirely about the dog though. My sister was in town this past weekend. We did a lot of girly things, including shopping for dresses we didn't need, splitting an entire pitcher of sangria over a tapas dinner, lounging on the beach this afternoon and making the winning dress in the toilet paper bride game we played at a bridal shower on Saturday. I can work a toilet paper wedding gown. The weekend was a lot of fun, but I also think I'll be going to bed within the half hour. I am beat.

At this point though, I just need to make it through this week. As of Friday afternoon Mike and I will be on vacation. We're packing up the Jeep on Monday morning, dropping the dog off for boarding and heading up Michigan's west coast for the wedding of a fantastic couple. It will be my first week-long vacation in over a year. It will be my and Mike's first vacation together this year. And it will be the first time I think a vacation will truly feel like a vacation. Because on vacation there will be no 6 a.m. dog walks. The only think I plan on doing at 6 a.m. is sleeping.

August 8, 2010

Folk and Roots, A Retrospective

I haven't had a photo shoot in over a month. That's the first time this has happened this entire year. And while normally, I might be a little sad over that fact, truth is I'm not. It's summer. I have a new pup. Mike and I have been working on getting our home presentable so hopefully in a few months time we can move out to something a little bigger. My personal life has become a little too hectic for shoots.

The thing that actually worries me right now is that I have five people with whom I've corresponded regarding setting up a shoot - one that was scheduled for last Sunday and got cancelled last minute. I'm worried that they are all going to email me tomorrow and say this coming Saturday is the only day that works for them. Truth is, I'd love to not have another shoot until September. I've got the wedding at the end of this month and I'd love nothing more than to have it be the only thing I need to focus on for the time being.

The good thing about not having shoots to edit is that I've finally gotten around to some of the personal stuff I shot over the past month. The weekend of July 10, Mike's mom was in town. This also was the weekend of the Folk and Roots Festival - my favorite of all the Chicago festivals. We grabbed our lawn chairs, parked ourselves right in the middle of the lawn and settled in for the day. The music was fantastic as always, but that was the first weekend Chicago got really hot. And given there was no shade on the lawn, the most we could do was fan ourselves with the programs and pray for a passing cloud to stick around for a bit.

I only took my zoom lens to this event, and I didn't move around a whole lot. I challenged myself to really observe my surroundings from my seat and take photos of what I thought were representative of the day. I've really been trying to work on telling a story with my photos, and I think this collage below does just that.
Folk and Roots 2010

August 1, 2010

Blueberries and Apricots

It has been a week since I posted. I am happy to say that's not the norm for me lately. But these past few weeks have not been normal, what with the home improvements and adjusting to life with our newest family member. But I have had nothing short of a fantastic weekend, full of good weather, walks with my pup and drinks with my man. I even took a nap today. Slowly but surely, life has returned to normal. It was this weekend that allowed me to feel like I finally hit the reset button and am mentally back on track.

When I left you, I was on my way to a bridal shower in less than 10 hours. Well I went to the bridal shower, and it was absolutely lovely. The shower was at the bride's mom's home in Kalamazoo, Michigan (a short Amtrak ride from Chicago). The bride's mom lives on beautiful gardened acreage, and we had spectacular weather to boot. Being I live in a concrete jungle of sorts, it's amazing to me that I can take a two hour train ride and be surrounded by sprawling beautiful nature.

Kristin 9
Kristin 6

This bridal shower was for none other than my dear friend Kristin, the same Kristin whose wedding I will be photographing at the end of this month. To say I am excited for this wedding is an understatement. I know it will be beautiful in a thousand different ways. I feel like I can't lose given that I'm working with an amazing couple, in an amazing setting. They are getting married in northern Michigan on a secluded lakefront property that will be overtaken by this wedding and its guests. It will be small and intimate, and I know just full of thoughtful and beautiful touches. Kristin wouldn't do it any other way.

Kristin 3
kristin 4
Kristin 1
I also am excited because it will be the first full week I've had off work since last August and also the first vacation Mike and I will be taking together this year. Given the location of the wedding and reception, Mike and I are turning the wedding into a tour of the west side of Michigan. I happen to love the west side and Mike hasn't seen much of it.

But back to the shower. The maid of honor, (whom you may recognize, as she a regular around these parts by now) threw the shower using blueberries and apricots as the main decor focus. I am now in love with this color combo. 
Kristin 2

This shower also was for Kristin a homecoming of sorts. She has spent the past two years living abroad in Australia (JEALOUS!) with her fiance. This was the first time I'd seen her in months, as well as a lot of the other people in attendance. I am certain she was thrilled to have so many close friends and family members all in the same room. These are the types of events she longed for while living halfway around the world. And I think I can speak for everyone there, that it's great to have her back.
Kristin 7
Kristin 10
Kristin 8
Kristin 11

Thank you ladies for putting on such a beautiful shower. I absolutely cannot wait to see you all again for the wedding festivities.