What Social Media Suits Your Fancy?

Oh social media…why do you feel like a necessary evil to our business? As photographers, we just want to take pictures. Social media sometimes falls into the business bucket instead of the fun bucket. I said sometimes, but if you only knew how uncomfortable recording myself behind the scenes feels for me. Our clients know, and anyone who watches our Instagram stories knows how awkward I can get captured in action “behind the scenes”. I prefer to be on the other side of the camera. But I get it, it is fun for people to see other people in action doing something different from what they are doing. It makes sense, and so we are making the resolution to be more active on our social media platforms.

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I realize social media can be repetitive, and that really is the easiest way for all businesses to post, or should I say repost the same content on all of their platforms. We are guilty at times of this I know. Posting the same wedding photo across all of our social media platforms. But we have big plans to keep it real, and real separate on our social media platforms. So here is the break down for you, the viewer, the client, the bride, the competitor, the fellow creative. Now you can pick and choose which platform you prefer based on the content we are putting there, rather than only subscribing on one platform and ignoring the others because you expect it all to link to the same content.

So without any further ado, here is a list of our social media platforms and the type of content we publish on them.   

Blog

Our Blog is going to have a minor facelift. Back in 2009, Elise just blogged about whatever she wanted that had to do with anything photography related. When we rebranded our business a few years ago, we turned our blog into a monthly newsletter showcasing the different projects we worked on the previous month. Now yet again, we decided to completely change the purpose of our blog.

We noticed that Las Cruces is really underserved when it comes to local guides to help locals plan big life events such as weddings. Don’t get me wrong, we have some great local resources; the Bulletin puts out a Wedding magazine every year, there are two bridal shows, one put on locally at the convention center every year, the other put on by a group from Albuquerque at Hotel Encanto, but all three come out in the beginning half of each year. Leaving anyone who gets engaged after that time in the dark. And those resources are available only to those who have the time to get out and into the world. Which is fun, but really annoying at times for those who rely on the internet for researching and making decisions (people like me). If you go to big wedding websites like The Knot, or Wedding Wire, these are big “pay to play” websites, where the vendors shown first are paying to be shown. Kind of like the first listings on a Google search that shows the “Ad” symbol next to them, except on these sites they don’t disclose that. Which is fine, except for wedding vendors who are trying to keep their costs low so they don’t have to increase their prices.

OK, TMI, I know, but this is just a small part of the ugly side of having a photography business. And the not so pretty side of planning a wedding in a smaller city that has vendors moving in and out as fast as their spouse’s military posting changes. So what about the locals, the people that are born and raised in Las Cruces, the people you know are going to be here in twenty years and their kids are learning the same skills as their parents so they can take over the family business? How do you find these guys if they aren’t paying to play on planning websites such as The Knot?

This is the problem we want to address on our Blog (and on our other social media platforms on occasion). We want to create a resource for our local Las Cruces Brides to find talented and reputable Las Cruces wedding vendors. Vendors that represent the #shoplocal movement in our area. Businesses that say loudly “We love Las Cruces, it’s our home, and we are doing our best to lift where we stand in our local community”. Money spent here stays here kind of thing.

It is with this mindset that we are altering our blog and renaming it to the “Las Cruces Wedding Blog”. Our Blog posts will fall into one of six categories so that visitors can easily click on a category and find corresponding useful info. Here they are:

Announcements

These will be posts about upcoming local events, sales, requests, etc. 

Boast Post

Don’t toot your own horn! Unless it’s a Boast Post. Yeah we are totally going to do that since we are proud of our work

Our Products

When it comes to photographers in Las Cruces, we offer the best quality archival photographic products. That is our business model. These posts will focus on them.

Real Weddings

Checking out real weddings is probably the most helpful way to get ideas and inspiration for your own wedding. We have tons of those photos, so we are going to post some of our favorites to help with wedding ideas and inspiration.

Vendor Love

We are going to show some love to other local Las Cruces wedding vendors. People who work hard and represent the #shoplocal movement in Las Cruces.

Word to the Wise

This is all the advice you want to hear. From tips on planning from married couples to how to archive your digital files so you don’t lose them all.

Facebook

Is there anything better than scrolling through your Facebook wall and not seeing one political post? If only that would happen once this month… On our Facebook feed, you won’t see any of that, but we do go post crazy on all things related to sentiment, local vendors, our photos and products, and our clients. Not to mention, Facebook is our melting pot for our social media. And yes that is vague, so with more specificity, we mainly use Facebook for the following:

Facebook Live

We do Facebook Live videos with clients to show our prospective clients a glimpse of what it is like to work with us, and to give our brides some helpful tips and inspiration for planning their own wedding. Some of these videos we have even taken clips from to turn into useful “Word to the Wise” blog posts.

We also plan on making several Facebook Live videos showcasing other vendors and our products. We are even open to Live Q&A so if you have any questions yourself that you think would be great for Q&A, let us know.

Links to Outside Content

We do like to link to helpful or just fun articles or videos that we deem relevant to our clients. For instance, Canon published a video showing how different seven separate photographers photographed the same model. The results were dramatic. We posted that video on our feed. A charity that we support called Operation Underground Railroad, an organization that performs sting operations to capture traffickers and rescue enslaved children, had a blog post on how a couple asked for donations to this charity in lieu of wedding gifts. A pretty cool story, and a unique idea. We reposted their link to that. Articles on psychological studies of the correlation between family photos on the wall and a child’s self-confidence? You bet.

Links to Our Own Content

Yes, we link to our Sneak peek videos, our blog posts, our Instagram photos, etc. Guilty. But in our defense, Facebook posts are the easiest way for our clients to share the art we make with them. So is Facebook is the exception to what I said earlier about keeping it real separate? Sort of. But we will try to add value, like something that wasn't mentioned before, when we do such posts, rather than just repost our links. 

Vendor Spotlights and Reposts

Of course we are going to support our local vendors. The ones we work with, the ones we love, and feel should be given their moment of glory in the sun. And if they post something on their social media that we feel would be useful to our clients, we are definitely going to repost that. If they have a sale, are moving locations, had a great interview, or are advertising an event they are participating in, all such posts we consider reposting. We don’t get all spammy with these posts, but we do like to show some love with our #shoplocal fam.

Boast Posts

We are proud of our hard work and dedication, and most of the time, few people are watching. So sometimes we like to let people know what we are doing. Examples of this would be styled photoshoots, exhibiting our photographs at a museum or gallery, showing light on interviews we have had, or just saying something nice about each other, or the wonderful clients we have that support our business and family life.

Sneak Peeks

Whether we photograph or film a wedding, we post sneak peeks. Usually about 30 or so photos and only a 2 minute video, short and sweet. What is great about these is not only do you get to see a sample of our work, and the details of someone else’s wedding for inspiration, but we also tag vendors. This way you can see who made that ridiculously intricate wedding cake, or where the bride got that A-line wedding dress. The easiest way to find the right wedding vendor for you, is to find the wedding piece that is most similar to what you envision and knowing the vendor behind it. Our Sneak peeks are a great way to assist you in that process.

Google+

Google+ is kind of like the LinkedIn of Google. We upload some of our favorite photos to Google+ and links to our YouTube Videos. It isn’t our favorite, but if you are one of our local competitors, join the Las Cruces Wedding Photographers community on Google+. This is an appropriate way to connect with us if you yourself are a local wedding photographer.

Instagram

I once had a favorite app, and that app was Instagram. It used to be so great…I digress. If you enjoy watching behind the scenes videos and photos, we post lots of those as Instagram Stories. From wedding days to frame assembling, you can see what some of our workdays look like. We aren’t the best at these, and we can get a little awkward being on that side of the camera at times, but we are trying to get better at these. And by better, I mean remember to do more of them.

Our regular Instagram posts consists of a random bunch of photos from weddings to infant portraits. We like to congratulate our clients on their big life events; getting married, having offspring, 1st anniversary, graduating from high school, etc. And we generally post a photo to show them how happy we are for them. It ends up being a portfolio feed that consists of pictures that are relevant for the moment.

YouTube

I still love YouTube. I used to watch Casey Neistat when he had less than 100k followers. Not anymore, sorry Casey. He doesn’t need my views anyway. I have not really put our YouTube channel out there, so to speak. I have a video on my personal YouTube channel that is approaching 100k views. But our business YouTube channel is mainly just shared and viewed locally. With that said, I hope you check it out and subscribe after reading this blog. The videos we share on our channel not only are a great way for prospective clients to determine if they like our video style, but are uplifting short stories that anyone can enjoy.

Our YouTube channel, like our Blog is broken up into categories, only these categories are called playlists. The cool thing is that you don’t have to subscribe to the entire channel, you could just subscribe to your favorite playlist. At any rate, the playlists are as follows.

Storytelling Films: Love Photography

These videos showcase what our business does: we help people tell their stories visually. They include video clips of our clients and us, and they tell short stories that hit home with our prospective clients.

Wedding Sneak Peeks

All of the videos in this playlist are Sneak Peek previews of our clients' wedding days. This is the trailer to their wedding highlight video. Every videography package we offer includes sneak peek previews which we like to post within a week of the bride and groom's wedding day to show some of our favorite footage that we made at their Wedding. These videos tell a short story of what happened on their wedding day.

Love Stories

These are our favorite videos to make. Love Story videos are videos of the couple telling the story of how they met, fell in love, and decided to start a family together (get married). These are short, sweet, and are one of the greatest heirlooms a couple could give their children. I would love to see my twenty year old parents tell their love story. Unfortunately, I never will. That is why these are so important to us. Life moves faster the older we get, so making these videos while we are young and our feelings and excitement are fresh provide a unique once in a lifetime experience for the viewer that wasn’t even around when it was made. If you like watching people’s unique love stories, then this is the playlist for you.

Vendor Love #ShopLocal

We know planning a wedding can be shaving years off your life stressful. This playlist consists of other local businesses that may be able to fill that need you have in your wedding planning. These are vendors we have worked with, which in our experience with them are reliable, dependable, and we would recommend.

Our Products

This playlist is still in the works. While we do have a video of one of our products, we are in the process of making more. We offer our clients archival quality photographic products. We hunt for these products, and are excited to offer them and have them in our own home. Videos and photos don’t do any of our products any justice. You just have to see them for yourselves in person to truly appreciate them. However, we still want to showcase them and their features that make them so different from what the general public is offered. These videos do just that.

Behind the Scenes

This is another playlist that is getting worked on. We have been told by several people that they enjoy seeing behind the scenes. We aren’t going to make videos of us sitting at our computer all day which we tend to have to do (to edit, to post, to email, to write this very post), but we understand the fun in participating in the projects we work on in our business. So we are working on sharing more of that time with you.

This may have broken a record of the longest blog post I have ever written! I hope it was fun to read if you read it all. Check out our different social media links, subscribe to the ones you enjoy, and if you have time, share your thoughts after reading this blog post in the comments below.

The Story Behind our Photo Frames

A year and a half ago, we set out to find the perfect photo frame for our clients. Picture frames are a dime a dozen, and since we were literally putting our family’s name on the line, our search was agonizing. Pushing through the painful process is how we ended up with the frames we offer our clients today. Kind of a fun story that I thought I would share with you. Just bear in mind that we take the word heirloom seriously, so searching for an affordable archival quality frame that complimented our photography style was no small feat in itself.

Photograph provided by client

Photograph provided by client

Photograph provided by client

Photograph provided by client

Photograph provided by client

Photograph provided by client

The biggest problem I have personally experienced with photo frames, is them either coming apart at the corners or warping right on my wall. Both transformations look bad. The diagnosis after the fact is usually throw out and replace. Which annoys me. I like buying something once and not having to replace it. Which brings me to the main illness with most photo frames. See falling apart and warping over time is just the symptoms of a bad frame. How the frame was made determines how long that frame is going to live. And live is the right word to use here since most frames are made out of wood, and we don’t want to forsake the giving tree by just throwing it out someday. If you go to a frame shop and check out the different mouldings they offer, typically you will find an expensive wood veneer (a very thin sheet of wood) covering a chunk of wood that makes up the frame moulding. When you ask someone “What the frames are made out” of they say “Solid wood”. Judging by how light the wood is you know it can’t be a chunk of the hardwood veneer showing on the surface so you ask “What kind of wood?” Which they then respond “I don’t know…” But the problem is some woods are way better than others. That is why people spend money on stains they use to make cheap wood look like the more expensive wood. So what type of wood is under that veneer? Is it particle board? If the frame feels light, then it probably is. And the above conversation is a real one that occurred more than once. Why anyone would think particle board covered with veneer is solid wood is beyond me, but I can tell you that you have probably seen it behind one of your own frames when it gets a ding in the veneer. If you bust through that thin veneer, which isn’t very hard to do, the particle board becomes exposed. Not a pretty sight, throw out, and replace right? If it were solid wood, then a ding would reveal the same type wood behind it. Solid wood is a solid board made from a single tree. As a woodworker, that is my two cents. And frames should be made from solid wood. I agree with that much. Unfortunately, most frames are made from veneer glued on top of cheap wood, and most of the time that process happens outside of our Country. The mouldings get purchased and shipped in then are assembled to custom size by order at frame shops by cutting the moulding and stapling them together with a frame staple called a V-nail. If you look at the back of a frame you can see a few V-nails pushed into each corner of the frame holding the mouldings together. Which seems really sturdy. The problem is that wood contracts and expands with the seasons. So if the V-nail is stronger than the wood, it is going to tear out of it, if it is weaker than the wood it is going to bend. We wanted high quality frames, and discovered quickly that to find a frame that would last as long as the photographs they would be protecting, we needed to find solid wood frames that were made in America that didn’t rely on V-nails to maintain their shape.

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At this point, the frames we were looking at were so costly we knew we couldn’t mark them up enough to make it worth our while to even offer them. Distraught, I threw out the idea of me making them myself to Elise. She didn’t take me seriously and just benched the entire frame hunt. So that week I made a picture frame from solid wood. The frame was held together by not one V-nail, but wood splines. Wood joinery is infamous in Japanese carpentry, Temples built in Japan with joinery have withstood earthquakes and time unlike any other buildings made from wood. Essentially, there isn’t any metal hardware used. Wood is cut to fit together and therefore contracts and expands naturally together. When I showed the finished frame to Elise her jaw dropped. And I have been making frames for our clients ever since.  

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Vendor Love: An Interview with Letters and Such

We first met Adriana from Letters and Such when she collaborated on our Los Portales Wedding photo shoot. Adriana is full of energy for life and is on a journey to fill the world (and blank Starbucks cups) with custom hand drawn calligraphy. She described her style of lettering as modern as compared to the traditional, more formal script you may be thinking of when you hear the word calligraphy. Her art is fresh and feminine and compliments a myriad of wedding themes. Nate and I sat down with her to discuss all the details of wedding calligraphy.

Here’s an introduction video to Adriana and how she became a calligrapher.

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What are some ways brides can incorporate calligraphy into their wedding details?

"I think the most common thing is signs, which is a huge trend right now. Welcome signs, menu boards, seating charts, dessert table signs. I also can do envelope addressing. Addressing envelopes with hand lettering and calligraphy is a really fun detail you can put on the outside of the envelope to reflect how beautiful it is on the inside. If you are writing your own vows you can have them calligraphed and lettered on special paper with colors and ink to match your wedding theme. Then your vows can be a keepsake forever and you can keep them in a scrapbook or photo album. You can customize anything!"

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What are the advantages of working with a local calligrapher instead of finding something online from a site like Etsy?

"Of course you can find anything online. The advantage of going local is you can sit down and talk with me and I can show you actual examples of my work and what I do. You can show me examples of what you like. I am right here so I can also deliver and come on site to your venue if necessary. There’s also the benefit of supporting local business which I think is a good thing. You could go online and search to have a sign or envelopes made but there is the complication factor of waiting for your envelopes or sign to arrive and then having to ship them to your calligrapher and again wait for them to come back to you when the project is finished. Some people rent signs and cannot ship them to a calligrapher."

"The thing about calligraphy and lettering for weddings is that it is custom. It is for you. You can’t go to Hobby Lobby or Wal Mart and find a sign with your names on it or your favorite saying or quote. It won’t be exactly what you want and you should have exactly what you want for your wedding."

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What advice can you give Las Cruces brides?

"If you want a sign or something personalized, don’t do it yourself, go to a professional. A wedding is special and once in a lifetime. You are going to cherish these memories and your wedding photos forever so you want it to look really nice. It is worth it to have it done by a pro. Weddings and wedding planning can get really stressful but it doesn’t have to be."

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Thank you Adriana for chatting with Nate and I about all you do! You can see more of Adriana's beautiful work on Facebook and Instagram

Benny and Melanie - Sonoma Ranch Golf Club Elegant Summer Wedding

One late night out dancing, Benny and Melanie were introduced to each other by mutual friends. As they were dancing together, for the first time, Benny playfully told Melanie he was going to marry her. Fast forward from many years of friendship, flirting and lots of nights spent dancing and here we are!

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On a Saturday in late summer, Benny lived up to that promise of many years ago and married that girl he met dancing. 

Melanie and Benny planned their wedding ceremony to take place on the driving range of the Sonoma Ranch Golf Course insuring a beautiful view of the majestic Organ mountains. Their wedding day was warm and sunny with the occasional cloud teasing the guests with a small patch of soothing shade. I know a lot of people get excited about fall and autumn, but I am completely fine with the idea of a year long summer. Summer stay forever. 

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You can't beat that just married smile. Capturing the overjoyed and ecstatic faces of brides and grooms as they exit the ceremony may be one of my favorite moments of the wedding day (shhh, don't worry, I still love you bride and groom styled portraits!). As Benny and Melanie walked away, I stepped behind them and let them pass me which allowed me to document this sweet, quiet, just the two of them, moment. 

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The bridesmaids wore long flowing gowns from Azazie in a muted, dusty rose shade. The groomsmen wore navy suits. I love how navy seems to instantly elevate any color palette without drowning in formality. Melanie and Benny's wedding style could be described as easy summertime glamour. 

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I love this photograph Nate created from an unexpected angle as I was busy photographing the bridesmaids as a group. Melanie's bouquet was designed by the talented team at Barb's Flowerland and featured white calla lilies, soft pink roses, bold merlot roses with blue thistles. The blue thistles add just the right amount of drama to this bouquet to keep things interesting. 

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Melanie's sleek and sophisticated updo was done by tHAIRapy Salon. Doesn't she look stunning?! Such a classic beauty. 

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Obviously I big perk of getting married on a golf course is the sweet ride you'll drive around all day.

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After we jetted around the Sonoma Ranch golf course for bride and groom portraits, dinner was served al fresco in the covered pavilion patio of the clubhouse. Simon and the whole team at Sunset Grill did a wonderful job serving and catering a yummy meal. 

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A family friend made a classic white fondant wedding cake and garnished the tiers with more soft pink roses. 

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Benny told me the only bite he got of the whole cake was the bite Melanie fed him as they cut their wedding cake. He was too busy dancing with his beautiful bride. 

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Thank you New Mexico sunsets! 

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At their wedding rehearsal, the day before I asked Benny and Melanie how they were feeling. They told me they were just ready to be married and enjoy their day with family and friends. I am so glad that is exactly how the day unfolded. They danced and danced and I cannot think of a more poetic way to celebrate how their love story began. 

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Vendor Love: An Interview with Let Them Eat Cake

Nate and I caught up with Stephanie from Let Them Eat Cake to talk about something delicious: wedding cakes (and cupcakes)! Stephanie is not only a professional, she is an artisan. Her devotion to her craft and clients shines through every cake she makes. Throughout our interview it was clear to me she knows what she is doing, she loves what she is doing, and she is a great asset to any bride and groom because she cares about their happiness. 

Here's an introduction video on how Let Them Eat Cake came to be.

Now on to the interview! 

What trends are you excited about this year for wedding cakes?

"I get this question every year and I dread this question because what I think weddings are about are the combining of two different people, their personalities, their likes, and what they deem they want to experience at their event. So to pigeon hole that into what’s trending right now; I dislike that. I think the cake should represent the couple getting married. I guide people towards defining what is unique for them. I commit myself completely to creating a vision that somebody has and I help people find that vision."

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When should a bride and groom book your services?

"As soon as they know they are interested in possibly working with me, give me a call. Let’s set up a time to sit down. The sooner they start the process, the less stress on them. My goal for my clients is for them to be happy. For them to be happy that means they are happy with look, taste, and price. I am very willing to work with them to figure out how we can get all three of these components to make them happy. If I cannot make them happy I would rather help them find someone who does. As much as I would love to be a part of their event, my goal is for their happiness."

What is a cake consultation like at Let Them Eat Cake?

"This is my life. I have been doing this professionally for about 16 years now. I know a whole bunch of things that I would love to tell the couple. A sit-down consultation is more of information exchange, it’s a no more pressure kind of thing. Consultations are complimentary. I know I do this a lot more than they do. I am very willing, able and happy to help guide them through different things. There’s so many possibilities in the realm of cake decorating that it can get a little bit overwhelming but I am happy to be that Sherpa, to be that guide."

 "I love it when brides come in with pictures. What I ask brides and grooms at a consultation is what is your overall theme, what is the overall feeling you want to invoke in your guests? With the pictures they have brought, I look and ask, “What did you like about this?” By looking at so many different things we can pick out what stands out to them and then create what is unique for them and their event. People come in with different concerns and different focuses and we always try to address the individual and that’s why consultations are so great. I do also offer tastings where we can try different cake flavors."

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What advice can you give to Las Cruces brides and grooms?

"We have over 450 flavor combinations, but that doesn't mean that you should have a cream cheese cake outside in July in the desert. Don't be afraid to ask questions, I am here as a resource."

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"Be true to yourself and what you want. A lot of times I see people forget, push down, or suppress their desires to please another. Be true with yourself and be true with your partner with what you want. I know it sounds so big and grandiose for something like cake but it’s a small reflection of everything."

"A lot of times people ask me, “How can you have people destroy it (the cake), you spent hours of intensive hours working on it?” and my response is part of the consumption of the cake is the visual: you need to see it, but then you also need to follow it up with eating it. It’s edible artistry. In that way, it’s kind of a temporary art installation. Your wedding cake has a different kind of importance because it is temporary and it’s not going to hang on your wall. You’re enjoying it for that moment and it’s kind of Zen really. You need to try to be in the moment."

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A big "Thanks!" to Stephanie for taking a moment to chat with us about wedding cakes! If your sweet tooth is needing some attention stop in to Let Them Eat Cake (located at 1001 E University Avenue) and try a cupcake, or two. 

Los Portales Styled Wedding Inspiration

Sometimes it is fun to play. To just create. Even though I know that, and have seen how beneficial it is to devote time to make photographs simply for the thrill of creating, it is still a struggle to actually make that happen in real life. You know what I am talking about. When you have your head down and are slogging through #adulting, whatever that looks like for you. Emails, deadlines, the dishes in the sink, yada yada. Whenever I can break free of that, even for a moment, and step out of the routine and make some magic happen, it is a wonderful experience. An experience I want to tell everyone about and sing from the roof tops. Here it is, some magic!

Our wedding photography business has allowed me to meet some other creative entrepreneurs and professionals. Hanging out with these people and their imaginative spirits is an exhilarating experience. After a few phone calls, texts, emails, and many Facebook messages an amazing team of vendors assembled and started the heavy lifting of brainstorming and planning this styled photo shoot. I have said it before and I will continue to say it, when you can find creative, capable people to work with, the best thing you can do is get out of their way and let them do their thing. I think this photo shoot is that mantra come to life. We decided to design the style of the photo shoot based on the enchanting landscape of southern New Mexico. New Mexico is after all the “Land of Enchantment.” A color palette of turquoise, sand, terra cotta, burgundy naturally emerged from this focus. Metallic accents of silver, wrought iron, and antique gold accompanied the desert inspired colors.  

I knew I wanted to photograph at a authentic southwest location, something true to the area. Location plays a large role in my planning and how I envision photographs in my mind. I first heard about Los Portales at the Las Cruces Bridal Showcase and then stumbled across the wedding venue's Instagram account and was captivated by the grand doors that accent the space. I am so glad the team at Los Portales was excited to participate in this wedding inspiration photo shoot. This space is absolutely beautiful; white walls, hardwood floors, unique string lights, red accent pendant lights, an adobe exterior, and of course those big architectural doors. Los Portales was first built in the 1930’s and for many years served the local community as a church. If you are looking for a wedding venue in southern New Mexico, you need to see this place with your own eyes.

The floral concepts and arrangements were designed by Susannah Calhoun of Calhoun Flower Farms. She created a show stopping table piece with air plants, succulents, and cacti. Individual stems also decorated the length of the rectangle table in turquoise and brown glassware. I love how the asymmetrical heights and colors of these individual pieces work together to form depth and create an eclectic feel. For the design pieces of the table setting to shine, they needed a strong foundation. Deanna Greene of Enchanted Occasions Event Rentals used sand, terra cotta, and turquoise colored linens to fuse the colors from our color palette. These bold colors stand out against the calmness of the white walls and hardwood floors of the room.

What would a wedding be without the details? Ariana Salcido of Letters and Such, provided gorgeous calligraphy with a menu card, invitation stationery, and a welcome chalkboard sign. She chose papers specifically thinking of the color palette, wood elements of the venue, and charcoal grey suit of the groom. Nate and I are both jealous of her mad lettering skills. She created the chalkboard lettering on the spot the day of the photo shoot!

Roxanne of Renee’s Bridal selected an Allure Bridals wedding gown that completed the vision of the shoot seamlessly. See what I did there? :) The bridal gown featured lace details over a blush undertone lining. The blush undertone hints to the sand color used throughout the wedding design. The bodice of the dress is adorned with silver and crystal beading. Our model, Elizabeth, looked stunning, as if that dress was made for her! Even though silver is the main metallic color of the details of this dress, who says you can’t mix metals?  I love how the antique gold bracelet and earrings provided by Heather Richman’s Chloe and Isabel boutique mesh together with the silver to accentuate the metallic element of this bridal look. Plus, the subtle burgundy and turquoise hues in the jewelry pair perfectly with the photo shoot color concept.

los-portales-wedding-new-mexico_18.jpg

Brenda Tarango of Make Up by Brenda gave the bride a natural and cool toned make up look. The soft light shade she selected for the eye shadow balances against the bold colors used in the tablescape and bouquet while the berry lip color brings just a touch of drama to the look.  Brenda spent nearly an hour braiding Elizabeth’s long hair into the most intricate and romantic braid I have ever seen! The soft loops and delicate weave of the braid is highlighted in contrast to the tight and intricate detail work of the living hair piece Susannah created using florals and cacti.

Let’s talk about the bouquet for a moment. Susannah is such an artist. And she is a visionary floral farmer. The florals and greenery featured in this southwest wedding design were locally grown. Bright pops of color and textures grab the eye's attention in this beautifully overflowing bouquet. 

And now for our dapper groom, Dustin. Everyone agreed the charcoal grey Michael Kors suit Roxanne suggested was the perfect choice to give the groom’s style an air of sophistication without sticking to a standard black suit. Continuing with the nontraditional sophistication vibe is the intricate live pocket square Susannah created. Tiny succulents and cacti sit proudly atop the suit’s breast pocket in place of a traditional boutonniere. Look at the detail complexities held in such a small space! Pure magic, I say. The brown shoe in this look helps to break up the grey and pairs nicely with the wood aspects of the venue.

During the photo shoot planning process, a few members took a field trip to visit Los Portales. As soon as we saw the hand carved wooden bar area we knew exactly where the cake should be photographed. Stephanie of Let Them Eat Cake approached the southwest wedding theme with the conviction to portray the desert and New Mexican landscape in a way that was true to her perspective and avoided any trite or kitsch representations. Using the southwest theme’s color palette, she created a collection of elegantly decorated cakes. By using the sand and turquoise hues, the cake’s design hints toward the relationship between expansive earth and big sky that New Mexico is so well know for. The showcase cake also has an attention grabbing metallic pattern that mimics the rising and setting sun with it’s accompanying rays of shine. The varying heights and styles of the cakes create a cohesive style with the eclectic shapes and sizes of the glassware used on the tablescape.

What began as a styled wedding reception look with the grand tablescape blossomed into a full wedding inspiration shoot with the addition of a lounge area and ceremony site. Three Sisters Wedding Services provided the vintage rentals and unique styling of each of these areas. In the lounge area, wood pedestals and distinctive furniture pieces mingle with burgundy candles on antique gold candlesticks. 

The lush turquoise settee cannot be overemphasized in the luxuriousness it brings to this wedding lounge set up. But it takes a close second to my favorite item Three Sisters included in the photo shoot. Using the outdoor lawn area that faces the impressive doors of the exterior of Los Portales, church pews were used for ceremony seating. These 10 feet long pews were salvaged from the historic Fort Boulevard United Methodist church in El Paso as it was being remodeled. I think this ceremony set up is so spot on for this venue. The church pews match the grand details of Los Portales’ exterior doors with their sturdiness and bring a sense of reverent tradition. Rugs were placed at the aisle’s end to root the ceremony look with southwestern texture and patterns. The rugs also add an element of softness to contrast the strong rustic features of the wood pews and doors.

I am so pleased with how wonderfully everything (and everyone!) came together for this styled wedding photo shoot. I realize how much time and effort every one of these wedding vendors put into this project: from the many planning sessions, the set up and clean up, and simply being away from their everyday business owner tasks. For that my heart is FULL of gratitude. What a superb community of creative professionals we have here blessing New Mexico brides and grooms!

Wedding Vendor credits:

Venue: Los Portales

Photography and Videography: Taylor'd Photography

Floral: Calhoun Flower Farms

Wedding Dress and Suit: Renee's Bridal

Cakes: Let Them Eat Cake

Calligraphy: Letters and Such

Hair and Make Up: Make Up by Brenda

Vintage rentals and styling: Three Sisters Wedding Services

Linens, chairs, flatware: Enchanted Occasions Event Rental

Jewelry: Chloe and Isabel

Models: Dustin Llanez and Elizabeth Reyes

 

My Framed Photographs at Milagro Coffee

A few months ago I looked into selling a limited edition print at a local coffee shop and as of last month, I now have nine of my photographs on display at the Milagro Coffee Shop near NMSU. They are quite a sight, but I am biased, so please go see them for yourself and tell me what you think. They will be taken down at the end of this month (June). I was a teenager when I learned how to compose a decent shot onto film and then enlarge it onto light sensitive paper in the dark. Digital technology fulfilled every photographer’s dream of getting out of the dark. But the process is too sentimental for me; I still develop my own film. Not that I don’t appreciate and utilize digital cameras just that I agree with the film looks better rhetoric. That being said, I take pride in the photographs I have on display, and will continue to make fine art photographs with the best quality museum standard available (which continues to change), and I will sign my photographs with my initials so that you will know it was a photograph taken by me, and held to my level of permanence standard.

The Same Fine Art Prints We Offer Our Clients

All of the photographs are giclée printed with archival pigment inks onto fine art cotton etching paper. These prints are museum quality and will last over a hundred years without fading as long as they are treated properly. Speaking of which, they are displayed in custom handmade spline joinery frames made from some of my favorite hardwoods ranging from purple heart to sapele mahogany. Spline joinery means instead of the wood being held together by V-nails, the staple used on most frames, they are held together by wood splines. This way as the wood contracts and expands throughout the year, it won’t be fighting a metal staple which does not (contract and expand). Half of the frames, except for those made from quarter-sawn oak and one made from Tiger Maple, are finished with pure tung oil, to bring out the natural color and grain of the lumber. All are dust covered with a breathable backing and an attached hanging wire. I know a lot about these, because I made them myself. Which is how I know these frames will last a long time. The quality of these framed prints aren’t unfamiliar to our clients, they have been decorating their own walls with them for years.

If You See a Photograph in Las Cruces Signed NT4

Without having any access to documentation, the easiest way to determine whether an art piece is somewhat rare as opposed to a mass produced reproduction, is the sight of a hand signed signature right on the artwork. So using an archival acid free ink, I signed most of these prints for this show with my initials, NT4. Nate Taylor, but what is the 4 about? The number 4 has been pretty significant to me over my life time. I was born on the fourth, I married a woman who was born on the fourth on the fourth, and there happens to be 4 people in our family. Despite all of that, the first job I had as a teenager that lasted longer than a couple of years was with a nationwide company that had identifier codes for each employee. First initial, last initial, and a number representing the number of employees with those same initials working for the company. I was the fourth person in the company with the initials NT. As I worked longer for the company I got promoted into management, and all paperwork that came my way, I had to sign in my employer identification code. So NT4 stuck. Ever since then I just initialed everything with the 4 at the end. So…I opted for signing my initials opposed to my full signature. I came up with my signature in the third grade and it hasn’t changed much since then so you can imagine it’s not the greatest looking signature. So until I take some calligraphy courses, I will be signing my art with my initials.

Las Cruces Wedding Vendors

We are excited to have our work featured in the Las Cruces Bulletin's 2017/2018 Wedding Guide! This is the third year in a row we have had one of our couples snag the cover! But hey, who's counting?!

We love showing off our amazing couples and the beautiful weddings they have planned. Besides highlighting our New Mexico brides and grooms, the wedding guide also features the talent of other Las Cruces wedding vendors and the many gorgeous photo locations the southwest has to offer. I want to take a moment and give the vendors we work with a shout out because we believe in cultivating our local community. Luckily for us, we get to work with SO many talented people. Somehow, just posting  the hashtag #shoplocal doesn't cut it.

Here are some of the fabulous local wedding vendors behind the scenes of our featured photographs. If you are planning a wedding, this is a great list of wedding vendors to reference!

Allison and Justin's October 2016 wedding at Josefina's Gate in Old Mesilla, New Mexico

Ben and Dom's bridal session

Photo location: Organ Mountains Desert Peaks National Monument

Vince and Megan's November 2016 wedding, Photo location: Basilica of San Albino

Cake and cupcakes by Deliciously Creative Cakes

Hotel Encanto ballroom

Tiffany and Zach's September 2016 wedding

Venue: Josefina's Gate in Old Mesilla, NM

Hair and Make Up: Brenda Tarango, Makeup by Brenda

Cake and Cupcakes: Let Them Eat Cake

Dan and David's January 2016 wedding at St. Clair Las Cruces

Linens, Chair, and Tent: Enchanted Occasions Event Rentals 

Cupcakes by Stephanie at Let Them Eat Cake

Catering and reception venue: La Posta de Mesilla

Danny and Alejandra's September 2016 Wedding at the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum

Invitation suite by the Funky Olive Design

Music and party shenanigans by Grupo Classe

Photo Location: Mesilla Valley

Derrick and Jackie's October 2016 wedding at Red Hawk Golf Club

Custom invitations and wedding planning and coordinating by Elegant Events

Suits by Renee's Bridal 

Chairs, linens, dance floor and bistro lighting by Enchanted Occasions Event Rentals

Cake by Simply Sweet

Trevor and Annie's June 2016 wedding

Chair and ceremony set up by Enchanted Occasions Event Rental

Dress by Ella Blu

Photo location: the desert at sunset with the big beautiful New Mexico sky :)

To help you plan your wedding, we thought you might be interested to know some of the wedding vendors behind the scenes of our featured photographs.

Wedding Planning Advice from Newlyweds

We thought it might be helpful to ask one of our newly wed couples, Derrick and Jackie, if they had any advice for newly engaged couples. We recorded it live on our Facebook page, so if you prefer watching a video over reading you can skip to the video below. Here's what they had to say.

Do you have any advice for newly engaged couples?

Jackie: Start planning now. Like immediately. Start planning immediately. Put any deposits or down payments as fast as you can.  If you are working on a budget have a long engagement so you can make a bunch of small payments rather than lumps sums.

Derrick: I would say go ahead and make a list of priorities of what you want in your wedding. One thing that we did wrong is we started with all the little things that didn't really matter that we thought did then when the priorities came up we had to create more room in the budget to make sure we got those things. And have fun the whole time instead of getting stressed out.

Do you have any regrets about getting videography, would you recommend videography?

Derrick: Yeah, all day everyday. 

Jackie: No regrets.  Looking back and watching it I know that the first few times we definitely got teary-eyed.  My mom got teary-eyed. His mom, I mean everyone that watched it that loves us really really appreciated that. I think it's something that we are going to hold on to forever. We are excited to have kids and have them watch that and see us young. Because I don't think they are going to believe we were young at any point in time!

Derrick: It really helps with sharing. One of my really close friends was one of my groomsmen and she is bed rest and can't move and she has know me since I was real little. So that was a good way for me to share that day with her so she actually didn't look at any pictures, didn't let anybody tell her about the wedding and then I sent her an email with the link that I got from Nate and she got to relive the whole wedding. So just that alone was worth it for me.

Facebook Live Video

Derrick and Jackie's sneak peek video

Videography Interview for the Las Cruces Bulletin's Perfect Southwest Weddings

Today the Las Cruces Bulletin released their 2017-2018 Perfect Southwest Weddings magazine, and once again I am honored to have been interviewed for one of the many articles found within. I think writer Adam Palomino did a great job curating three interviews, between myself and two other local vendors, into an easy to read article so if you haven’t seen that yet be sure to check it out. It is on page 20, titled “Treasured Moments: Photography, Videography Packages Preserve Precious Memories”. This time, due to scheduling difficulties, I was interviewed via email rather than in person. Fortunately, that means I have a copy of the questions and my answers behind the scenes. So without further ado, here are the questions I was asked accompanied by my full responses.

1. What’s trending in wedding videography?

Wedding videography in Las Cruces is kind of like chalk paint. Chalk paint started trending in other parts of the country about three years before it was even available in Las Cruces. I feel like Las Cruces is finally starting to come around on wedding videography. Brides are really starting to see the value in having a motion picture as opposed to just still photographs. Same day edits, super 8mm film videography, and 4k are trending in other parts of the country right now, but in Las Cruces the value just isn’t there yet. I had one groom ask me “Why don’t you shoot in 4k?” I asked back “Oh, do you have a player that can play 4k video?” To which he bowed his head almost in shame and said “No”. I would love to shoot a wedding with a super 8mm film camera, it would give an organic vintage film look that digital videographers do their best to mimic, but it just never quite looks the same. But convincing a bride to want a 3 minute un-editable highlight video with no audio is a hard sale in Las Cruces. It’s sad really because anything on film will outlive digital data.    

2. What options are offered locally?

Locally, couples are starting to see their friend’s wedding videos on Facebook and Instagram, and that sparks an interest in having a highlight video from their wedding day as well.

Highlight videos, full length edits, and I have even heard that some videographers in town offer the raw video files. The last option is insane to me. I would never hand raw video files over to one of my clients and essentially say “Here you go, good luck!” I don’t expect my clients to have the software or experience I have with color grading, cutting, and audio editing, to make a full video that would be enjoyable to watch as opposed to short video clips they would have to open one at a time to view.

In my public accounting days, I had a co-worker show me videos from her daughter’s Quinceañera. She popped a DVD in her PC and showed me the highlight video. Her face lit up as she remembered the event. After it ended, she said “Then they gave me all the video files too”, with a disgusted smirk on her face. She opened up one so I could see, and yeah it was awful. There is a reason why not all of the videos shot that day didn’t make the highlight video. Videographers include their best video clips in the highlight video. Don’t talk yourself into thinking there is more value in having the files that didn’t make the cut.

3. What are the different types of packages one could get; engagement + photo session only? Photo + Videography? And what are the price ranges for packages, generally?

Taylor’d Photography is a family business, husband and wife photography and videography team. My wife is the lead photographer, and I am the lead videographer, and I use two of my brother-in-laws to second shoot video for me at weddings, who I trained personally. So we do offer both photography and videography to our clients. And we give a discount for booking us for both. Ultimately, we are trying to help our couples tell the story of how and why they decided to start a family together.

Pricing and packages are something we discuss with our clients when we initially meet them.

4. Digital only or prints? What other options, if any?

We deliver wedding videos to our clients on DVDs, Blu-Rays, USBs, and also make them available for digital download and viewing online. We also post sneak peek previews on YouTube at our client’s discretion.

5. What’s the process like? How early would you recommend a couple meet with the videographer? What considerations are there when deciding what’s right for a client? When and how often do the couples meet with the videographer to discuss plans/themes/pricing, etc.?

The first thing couples should do when looking for a videographer is watch videos from different videographers in town and determine which style they can relate to. The one that feels right to them is the one they should book for their wedding.

As far as timing, once you have decided which videographer you like best, book them as soon as you possibly can. We met with a couple that was getting married in 9 months. After meeting us they said they would let us know in a week whether or not they were going to book us. That same week another couple contacted us for the same date. They ended up booking us for their wedding, putting down a retainer to reserve the date. A couple weeks later, the first couple called us and wanted to book us. Sadly, we weren’t available for their wedding date anymore. With that said, if possible, couples should try to book their videographer six to twelve months out. I know for us (Taylor’d Photography), August, September, and October tend to fill up fast.

Since we do charge a nonrefundable retainer fee, it is better to lock in a venue or venues if different locations are going to be used for the ceremony and reception, before locking in a videographer/photographer.

Since we are a family business, we like to meet our clients, and get to know them before we just show up on one of the most memorable days of their lives. So the first we thing we require of our potential clients is to meet us to see what we offer and ultimately to see if we are the right fit. After they have booked us, we hash out more details of their wedding, help them with their timeline for the most photogenic experience possible, and keep in touch up to and after the wedding. We want our clients to feel that we are approachable, and we end up becoming good friends throughout the process.

6. How do couples help the videographer shape the narrative of their wedding video?

When a couple gets married they are really starting a family. Our approach centers on what that family is going to want to see. We tell the story of the wedding day for someone who wasn’t there, but wishes they could have been. And the best way we could tell that story is by knowing the couple. When I edit wedding videos I am thinking about what I would want to see if it were my parents’ wedding. I want to see the younger version of my Dad with the same mannerisms, looking at my Mom the way he still does with that beam of light in his eyes. And I want to see the younger version of my Mom shine like she did at their golden anniversary. I want to capture the bride and groom’s personality for their posterity.   

2017 Las Cruces Bridal Show

Come join us at the Las Cruces Bridal Showcase at the Las Cruces Convention Center on January 29th. It starts at 11am and ends at 4pm. If you haven’t met us (Elise and Nate) yet, visit our booth. We will be showing off our heirloom albums for you to peruse through, our amazing giclée cotton prints framed in custom hardwood frames made by me, and some of the wedding videos we made in 2016. If you haven’t see our products yet, you need to see them, touch them, smell them, seriously though. Bring your fiancé, and come say hello to us as you tour all the wedding vendors that are going to be there. If you are getting married in 2017, you don’t want to miss this event.  

An old motel, vintage dresses, and lots of make up

Life is full of busyness, deadlines, and schedules. Which is why Nate and I both feel it is so important to carve out time to be creative in our own personal projects. I have been failing at this goal! I have actually been quite jealous of how much fun Nate is having with his vintage film projects (check out his Instagram @melodysdad). So when Nicole invited me to collaborate on a photo shoot with her I jumped at the chance.

Nicole is a photographer and one of my 2015 brides. You can check out her fabulous work on her website. Seriously though, go take a look, her concepts and creativity are thriving. Nicole thought up the concept and arranged all the clothing with her local contact, Miss Ruth's Time Bomb vintage shop.

Nicole recruited Abbey, co-owner of the art gallery, Art Obscura to be our model. Abbey, who is also a sustainable farmer (Brazito Farms) never having modeled or had professional hair and makeup done, hesitantly said yes, not really knowing what she was getting into. My kind of adventurous woman! 

Once Nicole and I had decided on the concept and location of a seedy motel, I knew Brenda Tarango was the perfect addition to the creative crew. And she absolutely nailed the 1960's look we were going for with the hair and makeup. I am a firm believer in putting the best people on your team and then getting out of their way to let them work their magic, and everyone agreed that's exactly what Brenda it. 

So here are a few of my favorite photographs I created at the shoot!

Creative Team:

Photographer: Elise Taylor, Taylor'd Photography

Collaborating photographer: Nicole Dube, SheSoPhoto

Model: Abbey Carver, Art Obscura, Brazito Farms

Hair and Makeup: Brenda Tarango, Makeup by Brenda

Dresses: Miss Ruth's Time Bomb

Location: Century 21 Motel, Las Cruces NM

Business Headshots, We Do Those

We may not advertise it, or really talk about it anywhere on our website, but headshots are as important to small business as is a smile to an introduction, so of course, we have been photographing them. Virtually, your headshot is your business’s first impression, so take a second look at yours to make sure it is the business rep you want standing at the front door.

Convenient

The way we do business portraits is different, we don’t ask you to come to our space, we go to yours. This is really convenient for an entire staff that could use consistent looking headshots. Rather than everyone in the office having to schedule a time to visit a studio and waste an hour, an employee can walk down the hallway and be done in less than 5 minutes.

Modern

So if you have been seeing some business headshots with white backgrounds around Las Cruces, and have been wondering how to go about getting one yourself, contact us. Modernize your profile pictures, update your staff’s photographs so they look consistent, and refresh your business’s virtual first impression. 

A Daily Dose of Self Esteem

As a mom, I often reflect on how I am influencing and shaping my daughters’ self-worth and confidence.  Or as Melody would say, “Filling their buckets!”. Besides telling my children how awesome they are, what can I do to show them?

El Paso Family Photographer

Here’s where my bias kicks in. Nate and I have made an effort to have family portraits in our home, on the wall. Creating photographs is the fun part. Hanging the photographs on our wall and then watching our kids’ eyes light up when they realize, “That’s me!” is the rewarding part. I want my girls to never have any doubt of their individual importance in our family. If I can help them feel strong and valuable here at home, they can carry that strength and light into the world. So for Nate and I, making sure family portraits and individual portraits are hanging in our home is kind of a big deal.

Recently, I learned science can back me up on this. Judy Weiser is a psychologist, art therapist and author who is considered to be an expert in the treatment process of Photo Therapy. She explains the importance of family portraits. “It lets children learn who they are and where they fit. They learn their genealogy and the uniqueness of their own family and its story. When a child sees a family portrait with them included in the photograph they say to themselves, ‘These people have me as part of what they are, that’s why I belong here. This is where I come from.’”

David Krauss is a licensed psychologist and co-author of the book “Photo Therapy and Mental Health”. Here’s what he has said about family portraits. “My bias is very simple. I think they (family photographs) should be on the wall. I am very conservative about self-esteem and I think placing a family photo someplace in the home where the child can see it every day without having to turn on a device or click around on a computer to find it really hits home for that child this sense of reassurance and comfort. They have a certainty about them and a protecting quality that nurtures a child. It says we love you and care about you. You’re important.”

Fine Art Photographer Las Cruces

I could not agree more. So what do you have hanging on your walls? 

You can read more about this topic in this article: How Family Portraits Boost Your Child’s Self Estee

https://phototherapy-centre.com/

The Only Thing You Will Regret After Your Wedding

The Bulletin of Las Cruces puts out a great Wedding Guide annually, and this year I was interviewed in regards to videography. If you haven’t read the article, Memories in Motion, by Bonnie Shranz, here is the link. The article was well written and I have a few quotes in there so I just want to take the opportunity to elaborate on the thoughts I shared, and give you a complete view of how the only thing you will regret after your wedding, is not having any wedding videos.

You will only remember saying “I do”

It takes months sometimes years of planning to get one day just the way you always imagined it. You have laughed, cried, sometimes even fought with your spouse over every little detail from the guest list to the bridal party, the colors, the DJ, the cake, the flowers, the place, the cost. There are ups and there are downs, but it’s behind you. The planning is done. It cost more than you wanted. Definitely more than anyone who said you could do it cheaply said. And you have learned the hard way that your DIY friends betrayed you with their farfetched ideas that it would be worth it to do one aspect yourself to save some money. It would have been worth the cost, you will say. But that’s ok. All stress aside the day finally comes. It’s going to be all about the two of us today. Then the day ends, and all you can remember is saying “I do”. The vows, made me realize how committed I am to love this person forever. The speeches were so heart felt they made me cry. And the way Grandma danced to that one song…But I can’t remember what my vows are, or what was said during that speech, and wouldn’t it be great if we could watch Grandma bust a move again. Photographs don’t capture that.

This is a significant lifetime event

I am surprised how many movies are made just to tell the story of falling in love. They all end the same, with that warm feeling, and they live happily ever after. Sometimes I wonder if people realize that the happily ever after is the meat of a relationship. Until marriage, there was never a real commitment. There was never a deep growth and acceptance of another person being there every day in your happy place that used to be a solo domain. Love on the surface, gets you to marriage. But true love as they say, is something much deeper. It takes great sacrifice of pride. It’s honor and respect in words and actions. It’s forgiveness, it’s forgetful, it’s patient. It’s keeping quiet at times so you can listen. It’s understanding someone to the point people confuse your empathy for telepathy. It’s communication beyond constraint. It’s deep like the roots of a giant redwood tree, and it takes years to cultivate. I know too many people that see this love between their parents and are looking for the right person to feel that same love with. You can’t experience that love with the roots of a sapling! This is what is around the corner. This is why you are celebrating with the largest party ever thrown in your honor. Your love has taken root and the next few decades are going to fly by so fast, but the whole time your love will grow. Happily ever after is the best part, it’s remembering how you got there that tends to fade away.    

At one point in my life I thought I knew everything, and that my parents were horrible. Then one day as I was learning more than I ever could imagine, I realized I knew nothing in comparison to all the knowledge out there. One day I realized how great my parents were. And now I try my best to be as good of parents as they were to me, to my kids. I sit and watch family videos with my girls all the time. They ask to watch them. “Can we watch the kite video”? And we will sit down and watch one after another. They love it. When a couple comes to us for a video, I am not thinking about how high tech can I go with this production, instead I am focused on telling their story to their children. What their children are going to want to see and hear is my approach to telling their story. 

Videography is expensive but priceless

It seems in every wedding budget the one negotiable option is wedding videography. I get it, it was ours too. I mean it would be nice to have wedding videos, but they are just so expensive, right? But this isn’t a Hollywood production costing millions of dollars. This is your wedding, all the blood, sweat, and tears you put into planning this day, and now you are going to leave it up to a few random cell-phonographers to hopefully get some footage where you can make out someone’s face. I have news for you, they are never close enough to get good footage. And with a cell phone you need to be right there in someone’s face, with good light, and no noise, to get the kind of video worth showing your future children. Well it’s better than nothing someone would say. Yeah I guess so, someone with real wedding videos would reply with eyes wide open. If you are getting married, the chances are that someday you will have kids. And one day in every child’s life, they want to know where they came from, how their parents came to be. Their family’s history. Now you could tell them with your memory’s best recollection, or you could show them, how young and in love you were when you got married. Eager to live happily ever after.

 

Floriography and Calhoun Flower Farms

We have been quoted many times for saying how important photography is in a wedding, but there are some wedding details that can really make wedding photos pop. Flowers tend to be the most influential wedding décor. From centerpieces to the bridal bouquet, your florist can make or break the look of your wedding. Which is why we recommend Floriography. Not only are they a family owned business, but their flowers are grown locally, and their flower arrangements are out of this world. I interviewed Susannah Calhoun from Floriography to give you the low down on who they are, what they do and how they do it that separates them from other florists.

Floriography’s Story

Floriography started when Emily Calhoun traveled to Ecuador. She worked on a flower farm and visited several other flower farms noticing a common thread. It turns out, women and children under poor working and pay conditions are the source of our flowers. I say our flowers, because the chances are that if you have purchased flowers in the USA, they probably came from Ecuador. “About 80% of America’s flowers are grown in Ecuador” Susannah stated glumly, “we want to flip the percentage to have 80% grown in America”. Which is why Emily started a flower farm on the side of her Grandma’s house when she returned to the U.S.

Grown in New Mexico

Since then, Floriography has grown so much that they broke it up into two businesses: Floriography specializes on design and arrangements, and Calhoun Flower Farms focuses on farming and growing flowers. “New Mexico is already recognized for having a great farming community, but we just wanted to create another avenue to get recognized of this great state that we all live in. We have created the flower farming movement in New Mexico to really help the economy and grow a local community that appreciates flowers along with all of the other things that New Mexico can bring to the country.”

Providing guilt free locally grown flowers may be the largest difference between Floriography and other florists, but the blooms they offer are far more beautiful than you would expect. “We're trying to emphasize natural beauty and appreciation of our surroundings instead of making this artificial view of what we're supposed to like. For example, I have brides that will ask “Why are your tulips floppy?” A lot of people don't know that tulips are naturally floppy and gracefully going in different directions. A lot of the time you'll get flowers in the store that are actually wired to be straight.”

If you appreciate natural beauty and prefer to support the shop local movement, we recommend Floriography for your wedding flower needs. Help them flip the flower import export percentage by supporting their business. 

  

Check out Floriography for your wedding flower arrangements at http://www.floriographyflowers.com/

And check out their family farm, Calhoun Flower Farms, where they grow their flowers at http://www.calhounflowerfarms.com/

A Time for Slow - Personal Photo Project

I have been stumped on which direction I should take with my next personal photo project. I loved working on the Project 52. Some of my favorite portraits of Skye and Melody were created during that project. 

When I saw this print from Merely Modern the message hit a nerve. I tend to get caught up in the addictiveness of crossing things off my to-do list, even when it may come at the expense of the simple pleasures of life. I am working on finding ways to slow down in my life. Slowing my mind, slowing my schedule, and slowing my need to hurry so that I can find the simple pleasures of life. 

After thinking of this idea of slowing down, I finally figured out what my next personal photo project should be. I am going to apply a process of slowness to my photographic eye by working with film. Because of the immediateness of digital photography it can be easy to fall into a routine of rush or hurry through the creative process of composing the frame. I am hoping working with film will encourage me to slow down and listen closer to emotions as I work towards creating thoughtful images. It has been awhile since I last worked with film in art school but I am excited to stretch outside of my routine and comfort zone.

I am going to be using a Holga camera and the old Canon A-1 my dad gave me. I am looking forward to sharing my scans with you. I hope you will take a moment to think about ways you may be able to slow down and enjoy the simple pleasures of life. I would love to hear what you come up with, please tell me about it in the comments!

*I am happy to be a brand ambassador for the lovely home decor shop Merely Modern.* :)