Sunday, March 30, 2008

Bagpipers, special effects, and my friend Patty, oh my!

Click on image to enlarge.

Click on image to enlarge.

Click on image to enlarge.

Last weekend (March 22nd), I photographed a fun wedding with Jill and Gary at the Kierland Resort. The bagpiper brought tears to a few eyes, including mine (bride's father had liked bagpipers, and had sent one from heaven.) It was an emotional day, but a great one!

Some people might say that special effects on the computer to images is a way to cheat-- but I say that it adds to the mood and the feeling of each image. I don't do it often, but on a few photos per wedding I do when it calls to me. Here is a before and after of such an image. I like the 'before' but love the 'after'. What do you think?

My friend Patty, a wedding photographer, was kicking up her heels at this wedding as well. It is nice (as a photographer) to go and enjoy a wedding as a guest to be free of responsibility. Her and her husband had fun, as did the rest of the guests. What a magical evening! Great to see Patty there, and my friend JoLinda Moore, also! Almost forgot, my old elementary school friend, Craig, was the d.j., and my friend, Robert Goldstein, was the videographer. It was a small world at the wedding!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Laura Macias & Mike Slatten's September 15th wedding.

A festive and colorful day! Click on above image to enlarge.

Laughter makes the heart grow fonder!

I want to share one of my favorite photos from the fall. Photojournalism is always intriguing when the ceremony is full of emotions. Most would think of tears of joy when picturing emotions of a ceremony, yet this one shows that laughter is often a huge part of the event. I believe that families that laugh together are stronger and happier. If I am right, Laura and Mike Slatten (of Cypress, Texas) will have a great big family together. These big laughs were after the mom's battled against the wind when lighting the candles. Arizona only has windy Saturdays when a unity candle is planned at an outdoor ceremony! Laura and Mike's moms hugged as they celebrated winning the battle of the flame, as well as uniting their families. Their day at the Millenium was hot but beautiful, and ended with a 'sparkling' farewell! Congratulations to Mike and Laura!

I have 3 different friends that live in Texas and plan to visit there in the near future. And now I know Laura and Mike as well. Laura and Mike-- let me know when you plan on having a stork visit, and I will try to come visit then, too!

See above post to view more images from their wedding. It was back on September 15th, 2007 at the Millenium in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Check out this colorful, outdoor market!

click on image to enlarge

click on image to enlarge

If you are looking for a great way to spend the first part of your Saturdays, then Vincent's Camelback Marketplace is a must! For a couple years now, my family and I have gone to Vincent's Marketplace to meet up and spend time together. My Aunt Mary Lou and Uncle Jim started this tradition for us-- thank you, you guys! It is all outdoors (during the mid autumn thru spring), and has such great atmosphere that we have a great time every time. Everyone that goes is all about relaxing and enjoying their day-- very casual. They have tables throughout the parking lot of Vincent's restaurant, and lots of open tents for shade. It is completely relaxing and before you know it, it has been hours! Champagne and The Marketplace-- I am there!

The food. I don't even know how to describe it all. Such an array of possibilities to order from: crepes custom made to order, omelets as well; whole chickens roasted to perfection, lamb racks sauteed and to die for, shrimp skewers galore; pastries of paradise; sensational salads of the leafy type or pasta; wines, champagnes, fresh squeezed o.j., and french coffees; and his latest fascination is pizza (an outdoor pizza oven at which Vincent himself attends to like a kid with a new toy.) Sound expensive? Not! For $10 you can get yourself one amazing lunch or breakfast or actually both since the portions are generous. Can you tell I love it all? Yet I do have my favorites are the Ratatouille Pizza and the lamb.

The Marketplace also has a farmer's market where you can select your own strawberries, veggies, and more. My son, Tyler, says their strawberries are the best!

There are quite a few vendors there as well. They have everything from jewelry, French tablecloths, flowers, jam, honey, French soaps, herbs, designer handbagsolives, mustards, and so much more. Much of it is imported, and it is all colorful and a photographer's heaven. The quality and the prices are great.

I am writing this as a regular patron of the Marketplace. I enjoy spending both time and money there. No matter what your budget, you can enjoy this for any or every Saturday as a way to spend time with your family and friends. I wanted to share this because everything about Vincent's inspires me as an artist and an enthusiast of life.

Vincent's website is If you go, please tell them you saw it on Tracy's blog (I am hoping for extra free pizza toppings!)

Friday, March 14, 2008

The biggest tip on making your big decision!

As important as it is to like a photographers style and quality, and as important as budget is, it is equally important to find a photographer that you actually like. By like, I mean that you should like them as you do any of your friends. If you do think of them as a friend, you will actually create a bond with them. This bond shows in all of the photos, even the ones that you aren't in (in example shots of details, guests, and more.) Photography is all about emotion, and your photographer will be more creative and more determined to do a great job for you if they feel close to you. I know that it is a business relationship, but it can be a friendship as well. Photography is the most important investment you will make for your wedding, as it is the only thing left once the cake is enjoyed, guests are gone home, dress is cleaned and packed away. The photographer will be with you the longest period of time that day, other than maybe your coordinator/consultant. Your album will show more affection, excitement, emotion, and passion if you and your photographer truly enjoy eachother's presence before and during the wedding.

Engagement sessions really help create this friendship, which is top reason why I recommend engagement shoots.

When you spend tons of time planning, tons of money on the bar bill, keep in mind the one thing you will get to take home other than your new spouse-- your photos!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

My Brother's Big Day

My first ever blog post!

I have been waiting and waiting for some free time to create a blog. I had heard about them 2 years ago, but just haven't had a moment to do so. With the help of insomnia tonight, I got the blog all set up. But I couldn't turn off the computer without this first posting.

I decided to dedicate this first blog to my new sister-in-law, Kendra, and my brother, Will. I haven't seen you guys in so long! Miss you both. While working on this blog, I kept looking at the images of their wedding on my harddrive as I selected the ones to put on my main blog page. Will and Kendra got married on June 16, 2007. They are true newly weds, which might part explain of why we haven't seen them in a while. Me and my friend Michell
photographed Will & Kendra's wedding. Since Will is my only sibling, I just knew that I wouldn't be comfortable at the wedding without my camera going almost the whole time...and Michell came to back me up and to get me included in some family formals. (Thanks again, Michell for all your help!) I love their images and will put some up her with this first post-- if I can figure out how to!