Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The Bride and Bloom Magazine

Just a piece of news...Bride and Bloom Magazine launched its brand new site today! I've been blessed to work with and meet the most amazng people at B&B and I'm indebted to their kindness, support...and referrals! ;)

On a sidenote, I have a small write-up in the latest issue, so be sure to check it out! The article focuses on a wedding day, as photographed by Jaysun McMillin, and the couple is just too sweet! It was my first write-up for the magazine, but it's led to other projects and I'm really proud to work in tandem with such an awesome group of people.


Tuesday, January 30, 2007

It's A Hard Knock Life

I've kept my hair in a slick ponytail for the past two days. And in hats.

Because I had my hair dyed recently. And JD now calls me Annie.

This morning, after coming home from the gym with my hair falling like loose branches around my face, JD looked at me, and started to sing, "Tooooomorrow, Tooooomorrow...I'll love ya, Toooomorrow..."

It's A Hard Knock Life.


Saturday, January 27, 2007

Playing Catch...Up

Not too many people know this, but I was an awesome tee-ball player. Like Big League awesome. And I don’t take pride in too may things…but tee-ball…well, that’s a whole other world. I was taller—and wider—than most of the other seven-year-old boys trying out, and while it might have seemed like I should have been a sought after player, I wasn’t. Because I was a girl. My sister and I were the sole female prospects in the league and we were somewhat overlooked during draft time. An All-American pariah, if you will.

We were drafted into a Bad News Bear-ish team coached by our neighbor. After a few practices, a dreadful team picture, and a couple games, I started to get the hang of smacking the ball over the fence. Between myself, my sister, and this amazing shortstop named Hayden, we took our team to the championship. On trophy day, the league commissioners announced the players who made the All-Star Team. When my name wasn’t called, I was broken-hearted. I went home and played catch with my dad every day for a week and then laid my Big League dreams to rest.

To this day, the only catch I play is catch-up. This afternoon was one such day. Not too long ago, I wrote an autobiographical book based on my father’s life. Since then, I’ve worked on various writing projects, but have slowed considerably now that photography is my main focus. I haven’t accepted new writing commissions in a while, but not too long ago, I decided to work on a new project with a friend writing another autobiographical book. I’m SO excited, but also nervous because writing a book takes a LOT of time, effort, and love. I just finished Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott, which is a great read if you’re interested in learning how to write better. It’s practical, funny, and a fantastic read. I’m currently reading On Beauty by Zadie Smith because in order to write, one must read. And oh is this book so beautifully written. I’ve been a fan of Smith’s for a while now, so getting to read her latest book is a true luxury.

So, today was filled with reading and writing. And playing catch…up. When I think about it, not making the All-Star Team was a good thing. I mean, I could’ve been a catcher playing for the Angels instead of doing what I really love ;)

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Thursday, January 25, 2007

Marianne Lanting

This afternoon I spent a little time with couture wedding gown designer, Marianne Lanting in her work studio. Not only is she an amazing designer, she's one of the warmest people you'll ever meet. I actually met Marianne through Mike after a photoshoot. I was assisting Mike during one of his seminars and was able to tag along to the shoot, which was totally fantastic. She had a runway show during NYC's Fashion Week and her dresses are only available through certain boutiques and high-end department stores and I can see why--they're all so beautifully made and crafted.
It was wonderful being able to speak with Marianne and get to know her a little better. She's a beautiful person--inside and out--exudes such kindness. It makes me happy to be in the same industry and even happier to know that I'm working alongside some pretty fabulous people.


Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Joe and Lori

This past Saturday I had the pleasure of second shooting with Marisa Homes Photography. I always love second shooting and this past Saturday was no exception! Marisa and I had met a few times before through [b]ecker, but it wasn't until last Saturday when we got to really get to know each other and have a blast! The wedding was unique because Marisa and the couple were her friends since high school, so it was like a mini reunion where everyone got along and happiness was oozing out of every nook and cranny. It was truly wonderful.

Joe and Lori were absolutely amazing to work with and they treated me like I had been friends with them just as long as Marisa...and to make things even better, they looked gorgeous! The wedding was on the rooftop of the Reef Restaurant, just adjacent to the Queen Mary and the day was just glorious. This is the view outside the restaurant onto the Queen Mary:
I want to thank Marisa for the invitation to shoot with her and, more importantly, Joe and Lori for sharing their special day with me! :)

Here are a few of my favorites...

As we were making our way to the Reef, the wind caught Lori's veil...

I took this picture because I thought it was hilarious that we were shooting in the street...when I saw it on Marisa's Blog, I had to post it here. She said she she'd do anything for a great shot--including getting in harm's way! You gotta love that girl! :)

A prayer just before the ceremony...

The moment just before walking down the aisle...

The Reef's Ballroom was really pretty and the Lori paid close attention to the details...

The Grand Entrance...

This little girl was following Marisa and me around the whole night..she was so I have to give her a lil blog lovin'

Happliy Ever After...

To see the wedding in its entirety, CLICK HERE for the slideshow!

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Saturday, January 20, 2007

Praying for Vision

There's something incredible about mothers. They have this insatiable desire to be selfless, giving, and abounding with love. Even though I'm happily married and adult-ish (this notion has been heavily debated between JD and me due to my urges of jumping on the bed and still watching cartoon movies), I immediately become a puddle of helplessness when my mom is around. Seriously, if she offered to cut the food on my plate, I'd easily oblige.

As I've mentioned on my blog before, my mother battled brain cancer and eye cancer while I was in college and law school and while she's technically in remission, her health is extraordinarily fragile. She has a rare autoimmune disease called Relapsing Polychondritis that pretty much attacks the cartilage portions of her body (ears, nose, parts of her eyes, etc) and is currently undergoing chemotherapy. Watching her suffer for so long--it's been a six-year battle--has taken a toll on my family, but it's also caused us to rally together in my mom's time of need. At while it may not seem like much, our dinner arguments have been stymied to brief squabbles over who drank the last of the Perrier and we try not to make fun of each other as much. Ahem, we try anyway.

Through her ordeal, my mom has remained optimistic and a pillar of strength. Sometimes when I see her struggle, I begin to cry. Instead of comforting her in her time of greatest need, she's the one soliciting words of faith and hope. She's truly amazing.

Last night, while sitting in the wooden bleachers of a high school gymnasium, my family cheered on my brother during his basketball game. When the team took a time-out, she leaned over to me and said she saw my recent engagement session on my blog (besides JD, my mother is my biggest fan) and said she was praying for me. Uh, thanks?, I replied to her statement unsure if she thought my work was so unbearable only divine assistance could improve my work. No, Jasmine, I've been praying that God would give you the type of eye you desire...that your vision and your photography can be equal to each other, my mother said.

I stifled a sob and thanked her. Then the buzzer rang and the teams resumed playing.

My mother, who almost lost her eyesight to cancer and still struggles to keep it, is praying for MY eyes. I was emotionally choked by the irony. My mother is selfless, giving and abounding with love. I don't ever truly know if my vision and my photography will every truly align, but knowing that she's sacrificially praying on my behalf is more than I could ever ask.

**This is actually a picture of my twin sister and my mom...I couldn't find a recent picture of me and my mom, so I just a picture of someone who looks like me and my mom. Ahhh, the perks of having a twin! :)


Thursday, January 18, 2007

Lisa and Eric Engagements

Oh, wait, Eric told Lisa as he gently touched her arm. Before she could stop him, his back was turned to her and was making his way back to the car. I forgot my hat, he hollered from a distance. A few minutes later, Eric returned with the crumpled hat in his left hand. I wanted to get you something special, he said as he unfurled the black clump in his hands. From the dark cap, he pulled out a pink corsage, much like a magician. Eric placed the corsage on her delicate wrist and the two embraced under the shadows of nearby trees.

Lisa and Eric’s love is an old-fashioned love, kind of like Coca-Cola—sweet, bubbly and original. The couple has been courting each other for almost two years, but wanted to save their first kiss for their wedding day. Watching them love each other so carefully was truly a testament to their devotion and beliefs. I’m so happy to be a part of their wedding day this April!

Here are a few of my favories…

**To see the shoot in its entirety, CLICK HERE**


Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The Coolest Feet in Texas

This morning, I woke early and checked out David Jay's Blog and found this little gem:

DJ is at the PPA Convention in Texas and saw the picture he took and my wedding, which was later a cover photo for PPA Magazine. Yup, yup, yup...DJ made my feet cool.
He's seriously the best wedding photographer ever!

**Sidenote: To my brides who read this blog, David Jay isn't reeeally the best wedding photographer...I just say this to him because he was my wedding photographer, who later turned mentor and friend. Yes, I know he's an internationally renowned wedding photojournalist with a plethora of awards, but, still. And yes I walked around with my wedding album for weeks after I received it, showing it to anyone who wanted to see (including my manicurist and pharmacist), but, still. I just say this because he's my friend. And friends should always say nice things.** :) hehe

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Sunday, January 14, 2007

Stars, Flowers and Spreadsheets

Uuuughhhh! Why don’t they match?
Jasmine, please don’t be concerned with the font.
Yes, but I can’t concentrate if the Excel spreadsheet is so ugly.
Listen, I don’t think the IRS auditor will even care if your fonts don’t match.
But I do!

JD was hunched over my back as I organized my receipts for my accountant, but was quickly becoming frustrated working with someone who wanted a multi-colored spreadsheet and multiple fonts. I was on the verge of inserting little stars and flowers just for an extra non-taxish effect. I mean, my accountant must see thousands of spreadsheets and I wanted mine to stand out.

Jasmine, I don’t think inserting stars and flowers even matter!

I went back to working on my spreadsheet, surrounded by paper mountains of shiny receipts. Just as I was on the verge of frustration, JD—who was laying on the floor next to me—gave me an flowery alternative to my spreadsheet. On scraps of paper, he made me a flipbook. The flipbook showed a little stick man walking up to a flower, plucking it, saying ‘I Love You’, then floating off the page. It was just the break from seriousness that I needed.

So while I didn’t get to insert stars and flowers, I was able to flip through a homemade book filled with everything I couldn’t include on my spreadsheet.


Thursday, January 11, 2007

Mark and Kim Engagements

It was where they first met. He behind the espresso machine and she on her way to work across the street. One day, Kim garnished enough nerve and asked Mark to a party—after speaking to him on a few occasions—as he prepared her Starbucks drink. The following Friday night, they went to the party together. As things progressed, Kim decided to get a job at Starbucks…she was then able to simultaneously enjoy her caffeine fixes and her boyfriend. Although three years have past and career moves have been made, their love for each other—and coffee—hasn’t waned.

Last Tuesday they briskly walked into Starbucks and were greeted by the store manager. Over the whirls and buzzes of the blenders and brewing coffee, hellos were exchanged and they all briefly spoke about the upcoming wedding. Mark and Kim ordered their drinks and sat at a table in the corner, speaking in hushed tones only broken by bouts of laughter. It’s hard to believe how life has a way of guiding people to each other so that they form a perfect fit. Kim randomly walked into Starbucks to get herself a cup of coffee and three years later was walking out of the same Starbucks with her future husband.

Love is a beautiful and crazy thing!

Here are a few from their engagement session…

**To see the shoot in its entirety, CLICK HERE**