This is a Model Call!

Calling all local Las Cruces and El Paso couples! We are looking for a fabulous real life couple to be a part of our November styled wedding inspiration photo shoot! Wedding stylist Three Sisters of El Paso is putting together a fall themed wedding look and you and your other half could be the star of the shoot. Take a peek at Three Sister's instagram for a sense of the gorgeous events they dream up. 

When Alisha from Three Sisters asked Nate and I to be the wedding photography team for the styled photo shoot we said, "Heck to the Yes!!" We loved collaborating with the Three Sisters crew on our Los Portales styled wedding inspiration and cannot wait to see what they have in store for this El Paso fall wedding look. 

So if you and your sweetie are interested in participating in this creative project as models email your names, love story, and a recent photo of the two of you to Deadline to submit your info for consideration is Sunday October 29, 2017. 



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.


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.  


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.


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!"


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."


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."


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!


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. 


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. 


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. 


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. 


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


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


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. 


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


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. 


Thank you New Mexico sunsets! 


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. 


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."


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."


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."


"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."


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.