Sunday, July 27, 2008

What a Little Angel!

I am starting to get used to doing newborn portraits. I actually am finding I really enjoy it.

This little guy was kind enough to model for me on Saturday! Maybe I am just really lucky, but he was a complete and total little angel for the whole session. He was so good.

And because I LOVE this one in both black and white and color, here it is again...

In addition to being good, he is just plain beautiful. Just look at those baby blues! He has the most amazing blue eyes and was such an expressive little guy. What a total sweetheart!

Here is a little animoto of a few from his session too- so sweet!

PS. Were trying out new watermarks for the blog. Let me know if you hate them or they are too distracting!

Freaking Brilliant!

As many of you know, I spend countless hours researching the leading edge, most beautiful, wonderful photographic products. I want only the best for my clients and I make it a point to offer nothing less.

High end albums have been something I have wrestled with quite a lot. Its difficult to manage cost when you expect nothing less than stellar top of the line product. Add in the splash of fresh edgyness that modern photography enthusiasts demand, and you have a recipe for a tough cookie.

So how do you get a fantastic heirloom album, that is classic yet modern, and will last a lifetime, without shelling out almost $1000 and shipment from some posh place in Europe?

You come up with something BRILLIANT.

Introducing the new Brilliant Album. Its a modern twist on a classic album- incorporating innovative brilliant metallic image wraps and classic heirloom album books.

While we are not replacing high end one of a kind hand made imported leather all out awesome custom albums we offer, we are now offering this new heirloom book that gives you quality without sacrificing style or your pocketbook. For those that want a more classic feel, it comes in supple leather too, which we are also offering- photos coming soon!

One thing is for sure...this is not your grandparent's album. While the example here is a wedding book, these make gorgeous keepsakes for portrait sessions (seniors, I am talking to you!), baby's first year, or even super cool guest books!

Aptly named, these books are purely Brilliant in every way... Even the box is beautiful!

The books are something special. An image wraps the outside, making the cover as unique as the images the book contains. The cover is metallic, much like our favorite pro lab prints, and has a glimmering, gleaming, printed on liquid silver sort of look. The metallic look also gives the cover image dimension and depth! Stunning and unfortunately, hard to accurately share in a photo or describe. I recommend seeing to believe here.

So far, the reaction from everyone holding it in their hands has been pure awe. My husband was impressed- and thats saying takes a LOT to impress him when hes had to look over every single option I have ever wanted an opinion on. My sister came over, looked through it and demanded I "make a book like that with [her] portraits in it". It turns heads and makes a big impact on pretty much everyone who sees it. Its cool.

The books themselves, like any quality album are masterfully handcrafted. Beautiful and flawless. Every attention to detail has been made. High quality prints make up the books pages, beautifully mounted for strength. Truly this is a book to last a lifetime.

When open, it lays flat, almost as if you were looking at a continuous lab print on your wall. You loose none of the image to that pesky dissapearing gutter and curved pages. Instead its all there for you to see in rich detail.

The page gaps are TINY. Minuscule. Heck, you would hardly notice them. This means big things for album spreads. Larger images have greater impact. Think about awesome is it to open your National Geographic and see a beautiful spread of the rain forest or an ocean? Same idea...breath taking!
\We love it. Its shiny, beautiful, classic and modern. And, its a lot more affordable than options previously offered for high end albums. Did we mention its shiny?

In the end, the result is something beautiful to look at not only today but when the wedding is over, the kids are grown, the earth has turned and time has worn on. It will be there. Its a Brilliant album, and lets face it, everyone could use a little something brilliant in their lives.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Where did July go?

Alright, I am sorry- I am a terrible blog poster this month. Busy busy busy. To make up for it, I have three cool things to share with you this weekend.

1. We have new, super awesome, magical, amazing albums in addition to adding the Finao books to the line up! Yipee. Pictures coming of one of our sample books. Sadly the other had to be sent back because production missed a little something important...but we will share that one soon too!

2. I was out of town for about a week in Laguna Beach California. We did a really cute family session while out there that I should share. Despite it being the only time little Jace was unhappy all week, they turned out super cute. Beach, baby, surf and sun...what more could a girl want?

3. I had a fantastic, beautiful, wonderful newborn session with sweet little Ethan today that I can not wait to share! He was such an angel! I am blown away by how beautiful and sweet he is. Its sure to make your heart melt.

Are you excited yet? I know I am!

In the mean time, Kirk is insisting I am a week behind in movie watching, so we are going to go catch "The Dark Night" at the Imax. Then I will be back working on posts of the good stuff.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Who on Earth Runs this Place?!?

Often these are words I hear from my mother, when the mess in my office has gotten out of hand. Not my favorite thing to hear but I figured I would come clean about who the boss is around here.

Here you see a shot of my messy, but lovable workspace. Yes, I know I need to sweep up the corner. Yes, I know windex could be used everywhere and anywhere here.

I am a creative. I am a mess. I am a creative mess.

But the brains of the bunch...the cracker of the whip, is hard at work at her post under the desk.

Mirabella would like me to inform all of you that she in fact runs this place. Ask, her and she will tell you she runs the world.

Here she is hard at work in her favorite designer garb (with swarovski crystals, which you can't see because shes dreaming on them), that we all work so hard to keep her in. Clearly she works really really hard for her nice things....hehe.

See? Here she is supervising....

And here she is making sure everything is running smoothly....

Odds are if I am at my desk, shes there, keeping a handle on things. If she is not, she leaves Aldo in charge but lets face it, we all know hes a goof.

So, complaints, concerns and the like go to me...praise, love, treats and worship go to the boss... and don't you forget it!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

The Joys of Desert Living...

Almost exactly a year ago, Kirk and I left our Tempe apartment and bought a gorgeous house in the far East Mesa area, overlooking the beautiful Superstition Mountains. Just mere moments from great hiking and nature in two directions, I expected some of it to venture even closer to home...but the last month has been interesting.

So far we have:

Nearly run over a poor king snake in front of our house. For what its worth, he was not the Central AZ desert type, but rather a Southern AZ type...yeah I don't know what thats about.

Heard more than a couple coyotes nearby. I don't let the dogs out alone at night now.

I have seen baby quail early in the morning. I like those...they are adorable and fluffy and cute.

Dealt with a paraplegic tree squirrel (yes tree...and I had only ever seen ground squirrels out here) who made Mirabella insanely throw her body into the back door to try and get it. No idea how it got back there...but it eventually tried to crawl into our wall, and unsuccessful, crawled out and sadly passed on in the middle of the yard.

Baby Gila Woodpeckers in the saguaro in the yard behind ours. They sing cute and its fun to watch mom feed them.

As I type there is the BIGGEST Palo Verde beetle I have EVER EVER EVER seen (including the ones we saw while in college in Tuscon) sitting on my wall. The thing is bigger than my hand....biggest I have EVER seen. Mirabella- the little huntress she is, alerted me to it and is feverishly demanding to go outside and monitor the beetle situation. Needless to say between bouts of me going out with the flashlight to make sure I am indeed not hallucinating (I get chills looking at it!) she is grounded...those things deliver a NASTY bite. I refuse to take photos. I don't want to be anywhere near when it decides to open its wings and use its horrid sense of direction...75% of the time that ends up with me with a giant bug in my hair screaming like someone is stabbing me to death.

Needless to say, I am remembering quite quickly that I live in the desert. This is their home...not just mine. But it sure does get interesting out here when the whole desert comes into my yard to play.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Close to My Heart

This particular post happens to be a very special one. One that is very close to my heart.

A year ago Brittany met Dan. Dan liked Brittany. Brittany liked Dan. They fell in love.

Last Saturday, Kirk's younger sister Brittany married Dan. It was an incredibly special moment for the entire family....not only because we all adore Brittany (and we do) but because she found a wonderful, sweet, caring guy and managed to get him to marry her.

These two are great together. Seriously. They compliment each other beautifully. Perfectly made to fit together.

Given that the camera is really an additional appendage for me at this point, I was asked to capture the day.

There are hundreds of moments I could talk about. The weekend was a whirlwind of love and red gerbera dasies. So many perfect beautiful details, so many loved ones coming together. My mother in law cried those beautiful happy tears, my father in law sang "the ultimate party song" while playing with his youngest sons fantastic band, the grooms family made a respectable attempt at upstaging said party song with a couple tearjerkers of their own. Family and friends came from Utah to see Dan marry this amazing woman who must seem too good to be true.

It was beautiful.

If a picture is worth a thousand words...I may never ever stop talking.

This morning as I contemplated this post, and how exactly I was going to share my favoritest favorite images with you (there were more than 50 and the number keeps growing as I edit!!!!) I remembered my pals at animoto.

The only solution was one of their amazing slide shows. I needed to put one together in the interim before I finish editing anyway, so here it is:

Family and friends can check out Brittany and Dan's engagement and wedding pictures and play a fun trivia game here. If you need the login details shoot me an email via the contact link and I will send them to you.

Brittany and Dan- congratulations. We love you guys and are so happy you have decided to start a life of love, laughter and happily ever after! Thank you for inspiring me, entertaining me and exhausting me. I had a blast!

We <3 Finao

I have a good product policy. If I don't love it, I don't carry it. If I don't think its beautiful enough to have in my home- how on earth could I expect you to want to have it in yours?

This arrangement has worked out well...except with albums.

There are so many gorgeous options that I love (and carry) however, sometimes its hard to start a new life together and afford the finer things in life.

Its hard, to balance beauty and high prices in the wedding industry. Doubly hard for new couples who want beautiful photographic products, but also want a roof over their head. I understand completely...I can identify.

Worry no more dear friends. We have a new, completely blow you out of the water weapon in our album arsenal. Allow me to introduce Finao Elements. We received a 5x7 in a beautiful black brocade I wanted to share with you today- we will have photos of more books soon as well!

As they say, "Elements are elementary". Indeed they are. These books are beautifully simple and yet incredibly beautiful! With over 50, yes 50 colors and types of fabrics to choose from...theres not one ordinary one in the bunch. Every single one of their options is mad made and earth friendly. Take a look here if you don't believe me.

Each book is as unique and beautiful as the images that fill it.

They come in a great variety of sizes and get this...they ARE like your mothers album. Unlike the stunning yet more costly leather albums we carry, these are print mount albums. This means we take the same photographic print we may print for your wall, and mount it into this gorgeous book!

This means options. This means metallic prints, or lustre, or resin black and whites. This means simplicity and beauty and sophistication with a side of tradition.

The most beautiful part of all? These hand made gems start under $100. With options in addition to oodles of fabric choices like embossing and cut outs, you can still personalize while keeping things simple.

The downside? Because they are painstakingly hand made by professional professionals of the most professional sort, they take a little while to come back after ordering.

Personally, I will be patient for something this special.