Monthly Archives: December 2011

2011 | Thank you | JayLee M.O.

“Winter, a lingering season, is a time to gather golden moments, embark upon a sentimental journey, and enjoy every idle hour. ”
-  John Boswell

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As 2011 comes to a close, we wanted to say thank you to everyone we have worked with. A lot of photographers post their favorite work at the end of the year, but we would rather take the time to say thank you to you, our awesome “clients”, vendor-friends, and readers. We are a newly married couple working together at this little dream that is still in it’s early stages, as far as small businesses go. Though we are not yet where we want to be, we have made huge steps and can’t wait to grow even more. Most importantly, we really enjoy what we are doing. The truth is, making a job out of something you enjoy doing can, in itself, take the joy away from that thing. With our client base finding out more about who we are in this past year, and moving forward into next year, we are thrilled to know this dream of ours will keep the same joy it started with.

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A lil' Snow | The Keller Family | Teaser

This family session is proof that inspiration shoots can come in handy! Jenny loved the “snow” picture from our faux-winter-wedding shoot and asked if we could re-create it for her family Christmas cards. Here was her final choice! We will share more photos of this adorable family soon, so be sure to check back! //Josh + Aliseattle family photographer, seattle children's photographer, children photography seattle, marysville family photographer, marysville children photographer, unique family photography, snow family photography, winter family photography

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Merry Christmas | And A Happy Roo-Year

If you haven’t met Mr. Rufus yet… here he is…all five pounds him. In a reindeer costume.

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We are in Portland opening gifts and drinking hot cocoa, but will be back to our computers the 27th. Be sure to come check out the blog for our normal scheduled posts Mon-Weds, including some pictures from our little trip.

Merry Christmas!

//Josh, Ali and Roo

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Distinct-to-You Wedding Details | Yup. | Newlywed Post

We believe that wedding details should be meaningful, suit your personalities, and fit you as a couple.  For some people, personalized themes and prop-like detailing will simply not work for them. But, when we say “create meaningful details,” we don’t just mean knicky-knacky stuff. We mean what are your priorities? Where will your focus go? Where are you throwing those wedding dollars? What do you CARE about?

We have shot the gamut of weddings from trad to non-trad. We don’t shoot your wedding for us. We shoot it for you. We enjoy when weddings are personalized because that way the pictures will come out being honest, genuine, personal, beautiful, and moving.

The wedding should be, first and foremost, about you as a couple vowing to spend your lives together (and doing so in whatever way feels right).

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We recently had a conversation with a wonderful couple who mentioned that their wedding will not be detail-heavy. As they explained how the flow of their wedding day will go, with a very laid-back and natural ‘vibe’, we were SO HAPPY that they were designing their wedding how THEY wanted it. There is a recent trend happening where couples may feel pressured, after looking at wedding blogs and magazines, to create a seemingly blog-worthy wedding. To us, all weddings are meant as a personal keepsake for the couple and their family, first and foremost. We never want a couple to apologize to us for NOT having details. Instead, we want to encourage couples to design a wedding day based on what they want.

Here are our suggestions on organizing your thoughts and tackling your overall vision, as well as some tips that may make your process easier. We will discuss how we went about prioritizing aspects of our wedding and how we created details that were meaningful and relevant to us. Our personal decisions in no way mean that’s how you should do it too. When you are in the wedding industry, it can be hard to sit back and think “how would we do this if nobody else could see it?” We suggest you start by asking yourself that question. It helps! This is not a perfect compilation of wedding planning advice by any means, but after shooting weddings and having a wedding of our own, we wanted to try to contribute. {These pictures are all from family/friends, as we can’t post pro photos from our wedding here}

1. Figure out your priorities.

It helps to first decide where you want bigger parts of the budget to go and bigger parts of your time/energy/focus. You don’t need a big budget to get the wedding you want. Once you choose your main priorities, you can get creative and make it happen! Make a list (here’s ours):

a.) These things matter(ed) to us: Small wedding, his & hers personalized vows, personalized ceremony layout, all hand-picked songs, laid-back dinner party reception.

b.) Worth spending $ on: Venue near water, photographers, the dress (ugh. this was NOT on purpose.), and personal diy details (diy does not always = cheap. Go buy materials and you’ll see what we mean.)

Well, some of our priorities ended up being a little different than what we had originally planned. But, once you decide where you want your budget to go, try your darnedest to stick to it. Focus your energy on the elements that need your TLC and try to delegate the rest. (We will expound on this later.) For some people, this may be super simple: grab your fiance, run to courthouse, badda-bing, badda-boom. But, even then, if you’re reading this, the ceremony or reception probably mean SOMETHING to you, so there has to be some cute element that deserves your extra thought and attention. That said…

2. Get organized.

For us, after I found the gown, the rest started coming together in it’s own whacky way. For this reason, I made a trapper-keeper (yup. I just said that) to keep every decision we made organized. I kept notes on vendors we met with as well as their contact info. I used an excel sheet to track expenses for us and my family. Now, I wish I had known about this cool thing called Pinterest for my inspiration-scrap-booking-issue (I now have an addiction)… But, seriously, find a way that works for you and get organized early on (especially if “wedding planner” is not in your priority list..which, honestly, you  may want to consider that). There are awesome online-organizers on the knot as well, which help for doing things on a timeline.

3. Find inspiration. Look outside the box.

We are both artistic people (we met in art school) and knew that diy elements and personalized stylization would be a big part of our day. That said, diy projects don’t always work and it can be a struggle to create things that are one-of-a-kind, AND special, AND heartfelt, AND match. I changed our colors a lot. I had made tons of inspiration boards. Most of them didn’t even FIT who we are.

The obvious thing to do would be to look at wedding blogs, magazines, and other people’s weddings for inspiration. These are excellent resources set up to help you. However, they are also created in order to advertise the vendors in the posts, and they are also viewed by thousands of other engaged couples. In order to make your wedding unique-to-you and genuinely special, you have to think about things a little differently, which we highly encourage! Find what works for you. Hire a stylist. A planner. Use Etsy vendors (they are terrific at doing custom pieces). Sure, you can absorb ideas from the internet. But, make sure to occasionally ask yourself why those cute things are special to you.

Consider writing down some words to describe the “feeling” you want your wedding day to have, as well as a few movies, songs, quotes, or styles that you feel are special to you as a couple. Use those to design your details.

a.) Words to describe our wedding: fun, personal, vintage (heirlooms), diy, one-of-a-kind, slightly rustic, down-to-earth, simple, quaint, artistic, focus on ‘love’

b.) A few things that inspired our wedding decor (movies, songs, stuff we liked): Big Fish, Pushing Daisies, Water for Elephants, and the lyrics “love will not betray or enslave you, it will set you free” (this is where the bird theme came from), family heirlooms, differently colored bridesmaid dresses.

You make your own rules on what works! Again, you decide the amount of stylization you want to incorporate. Blending a few different styles is also a fun way to make your wedding unique-to-you because many people don’t fit one cookie-cutter theme. You don’t have to be fancy, high maintenance, or fill your wedding with details unless you specifically want to.

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Two Shooters – We Got This | JayLee M.O.

There are a lot of “couple” or “married” photography teams. We think that is pretty.darn.cool.  Being a married couple who shoots together offers a pretty interesting dynamic.

Many photographers who shoot alone will bring a second shooter or assistant with them to shoot weddings. Most of the time, the second shooter is not determined ahead of time and the photographer will choose someone they trust to be the “2nd shooter”. Some of these photographers may charge clients extra for the second shooter, and some may not. There is really no “right” way to do things.

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We all run our businesses differently and we are not ones to say the best way, only what way works for us. For us, we like to shoot together for every wedding and include that in every package. It has not happened yet, but if for some reason one of us can’t be at your wedding due to some awful illness, catastrophe, or life stuff, we do have awesome backups. That said, feel free to ask your photographer who they plan to bring as their second shooter and ask to see a portfolio (especially if you’re paying extra for them).

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Our Holiday Portraits | Greenlake

We really like to have up-to-date photos documenting our life together, but seem to forget because we are busy taking other people’s photos! So, we headed over to Greenlake after a client meeting and had fun snapping our own offbeat holiday portraits!

If you are like us and are really getting in the holiday spirit, try out a few of our favorite holiday playlists: Vol1 and Vol2. //Josh + Ali

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DIY's | Gifts | Bridesmaids, Bridal Showers, Birthdays, or the Holidays!

Homemade gifts always seem super special to me, but it can be hard to get around to actually doing them (especially around the holidays). This year, I did three easy diy projects for the ladies in my life (mom, mother-in-law, sister, sister-in-law, and friends). I realized these gifts would also be fun to make for birthdays, bridal showers, or as bridesmaid gifts, so I thought I would share them!

TEA SCRUBS:

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I personalized the “flavors” of the scrubs based on each person. I didn’t use exact measurements. I just kind of “eyed them” on the scrubs… but these are some general instructions! There are a lot of different ways to make scrubs. You can add different ingredients like honey, brown sugar, fragrance oils..the list goes on! The type of oil you use is also your preference. This is just how I did mine. The quality of the tea and coffee you use really does make a difference. I used lavender white peony tea from the San Juan islands and especially liked how it turned out! Use extra coffee to make the coffee scrub darker. The smell is heavenly if you’re a coffee lover!

COFFEE SCRUB:

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The final product of the three scrubs:

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Our Wedding | Ali's Vows | Newlywed Post

We have shared our wedding ceremony and Josh’s vows on the blog. Now it’s my turn! Unlike Josh, I had a really hard time writing my vows. I wrote and rewrote them, agonizing over weird things: Were they too long? Were they too personal to share in front of people? Too sappy? Too mer-mer-mer (that’s my robot noise)? I read them aloud to my sister and my dog to get used to the phrasing. I practiced reading them in a way that got across how I actually felt.

The day of the wedding, Josh read his vows and everyone, including me, was blubbering. I could barely even begin reading mine. I actually said, “How am I supposed to follow THAT?”, and just kind of stood there all weird. To make it worse, I turned red and splotchy and composed myself for a few minutes. It’s hard being a bride when you hate being the center of attention.

Maybe we gave the vows a little too much weight, but we felt they should have the most weight because of what they mean. Your vows serve as a personal love letter with promises enclosed, declared in front of your family and friends (and your almost-spouse). They are not just a few cheesy lines spattered off for the sake of doing it. They are an attempt at summing up your relationship, all it has been, all you hope it will be, and how you intend to hold up your end of it. Most of all, it explains why you chose this person to marry and love forever. That is kind of a big deal.

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Tips on Choosing Your Wedding Photographer

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What should you look for in a photographer? How do you choose? If you are starting from square one and just got engaged, you are very likely drowning in a sea of vendor choices.

It doesn’t matter whether you throw on a wedding dress or a pair of pants and elope, go nontraditional, sneak to the courthouse, plan a small destination wedding or an extravagant affair for everyone you have ever known to attend. What matters are the memories created the day that you say “I Do”. It is for that reason we believe photography is one of the most important things to factor into your budget: It is how you will remember this important time in your life later on, and how you will share it with those you care about. We hope that you will choose to work with us if it’s the right fit for you, but overall we really hope that this list helps you find what you’re looking for.

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