Thursday, August 30, 2007

Fact: I love Kristen

I just cannot explain how much I respect Kristen. She blows my mind away with her fabulousness. So, I am letting her "guest blog" for me today.

Hi world!

Sarah and I have been living like celebrities.

On Tuesday we worked out for 2 1/2 hours. I am training for a triathlon, so we biked for an hour.
Then, we went to the gym and worked with Sarah's personal trainer.
Sarah isn't sore at all, but I am dying!!!
My arms kill.
But, I guess she did a good job with us.... we have buff arms now
(no photoshopping at all. take that, world!):

Then we went to the totally awesome BarlowGirl home.
Dinner out, dessert in, movie and a sleepover.
Total glam.

Theeen, on Wednesday, Lauren and Sarah went in for some snazzy new hair-do's.
How stinkin' grand does Sarah look?

Basically a full-blown rockstar, at this point.

Love you Sarah!
ps. "He will have allergies. The flip-flops-with socks-look, oh, he invented that."

Monday, August 27, 2007

Eun Kyung & Greg!!

Beth, Morgan and I shot an absolutely GORGEOUS wedding on Saturday! It was pretty much a miracle wedding! The two days before the wedding the worst storms and tornadoes hit, but on day of it totally cleared up and was perfect! How amazing!
Greg and Eun Kyung are so sweet! Eun Kyung is from Korea and Greg from America, but even languages couldn't keep them apart! They are really perfect for each other and you can really see the tender love between them! The wedding was at one of the most beautiful places I've shot at called the Meyer's Castle in Indiana! When you drive onto the property it is like you've entered another world! It's amazing!
We had such a wonderful time at this wedding and even the amazing Josh Smith and his assistant Lyn were there to do video!
Beth and I stayed for the after party at Greg and Eun Kyung's house which was so fun and we made alot of friends....but the best part was they had a table FULL of sushi! I knew I loved these guys! haha!!
Check out their slideshow here!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Sarah Sarah everywhere!

I did a (college) senior shoot for my friend Sarah Newell last week with Kristen and it was sooo much fun! You might recognize her a little bit because she looks alot like her sister and my friend Bethany who's shoot I did last year! Check it out **here**! Anyways..all throughout the shoot it was hilarious because Bethany would tell Sarah to do something like put her hair this way or move this and I would do it confusingly...LOL! When I get in the zone..sometimes I get slightly spacey! haha! :) Sarah was so much fun to shoot though and was so stylish in her different outfit changes! This is her last year at The Moody Bible Institute and she just got back from a couple months being in El Salvador which is just sooo awesome!! She really got a chance to minister to a ton of people and see so many lives changed! Here is her slideshow!

Today has been a crazy day!!! The family was gone the whole day so I had the house to myself and got a TON of work done until the power went out for 2 hours because of a INSANE storm! It was the best for me though because I decided to read for awhile and then got my office and bedroom cleaned...then the power came back on for 10 minutes and then went off for the rest of the night so I went out for Sushi by myself which is fun because then I listen to the other customers conversations and I've always been a big listener so it's so fun to hear about what they are doing and what business things they're doing! I know...pretty crazy..but it's fun and you can learn so much!! Then I went and worked out for awhile and came back home and the power is back on!!! YAY!!!! Internet again! It was sooo great being away from it for awhile and NOT being able to get on it even if I wanted to! Simple living is really good sometimes!:)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The odd one out..basically just the

So I guess there is the big game going around on different photographers blogs where they say 8 things that people don't know about them and then they tag 8 other photographers that they want to do the same! Well I've now been tagged 4 times(by Jamie Delaine, Shyla, Rowena, and Emily DeWan) so I guess they really want me to do as in anything else in life I really don't like doing what everyone else is doing's my new and redone version of the game!! LOL!
8 annoying things that bloggers do...
1. Use waaay to many exclamation point!!!
2. Write how they talk rather than what looks best in print.
3. They do not know how to use periods and when they do it's always way too many.....
4. They laugh in text almost as much as in person.
5. They post multiple times during the week and feel like a complete failure if they don't post anything with 48 hours of the last post.
6. If there aren't 100,000 new comments from the newest post they don't feel necessarily loved.
7. They don't know how to use frilly descriptive words and always resort to "awesome" and "amazing".
8. They cave in under peer pressure sometimes...especially from other bloggers.

OK OK...a couple things you may not know about me(but you probably do if you read this blog at all) -
1. I ran the 2005 Chicago Marathon and finished in 5 hours and 25 minutes...pretty much the worst time in the world but I FINISHED!! :)

2. I love to dance! I'm actually pretty bad at it but I really love it and took ballet, tap, and Irish dance when I was little... Now my best friend is trying to get me into swing and I love hip hop(but am SOOOO white when it comes to that..)

3. I'm a big fan of the Disney Chanel especially Hannah Montana and High school Musical...Yeah I know how jealous you are that I can say that! ;) hehe!

4. I have never been able to decide what style I like - it's HIGHLY eclectic so I think I'm going to have to have about 5 different houses to accommodate each style! HAHA! Yikes!

5. I never went to regular school in my life and only went to a college class last year, which I taught....

6. I always told all of my friends when I was 12 that I was most definitely getting married at 18 and truly believed that I had that choice...well not so much! hehe!

7. I have never been on a date(by choice). No I'm not a nun!! lol!

8. I'm the great great great great niece of Chief Sitting Bull.

8.5 I was totally planning on being a nurse, gymnast, lawyer, accountant, actress, director, any kind of designer, architect... and of course an entrepreneur on the side during all of that too when I was little! Craziness! I'm so glad I somewhat narrowed it down..but not really! :)
Sooo... I guess I have to tag 8 other photographers?? Well...I have other friends too you know! I do have a life! ;) Let's spread this thing bigger!! :)
1. Sarah Chellappa 2. Samantha 3. Amy Nave 4. Kristen Leigh 5. Morgan Matters 6. Beth Lange 7. David Jay 8. KK 9. Andrew Barlow...Yep that's 9 people not 8...but it's all good:)

Monday, August 20, 2007

Tony & Valerie!

On Saturday Kristen, Beth and I woke up bright and early and headed downtown to shoot Tony & Valerie's GORGEOUS wedding!! So we did a double weekend which is tiring but FUN! A couple months ago I already had booked this weekend for the wedding on Friday but when Tony called and explained there wedding for Saturday and we got to talking I couldn't possibly turn this wedding down!! The wedding and the details were so incredible! They had an Asian style wedding in a super hip art gallery called FlatFile Galleries...when us girls first walked in we were floored and just kept ooh'ing and ahh'ing over every little thing! And if it couldn't get any better as far as the details go they even catered PF Changs! Heaven! They definitely have some of the best taste I've ever seen! :)
All that aside though...Tony & Valerie, they are just so incredibly perfect for each other both strong people and also some of the sweetest people who just make you feel comfortable the instant you meet them! I love it! So here is the slideshow of their amazing wedding!!
BTW...the song on the slideshow is by one of my favorite new artists, Brooke Fraser, she is AMAZING!! ! We saw her in concert with Hillsong United a couple months ago and she has such a strong voice! Check out her myspace **here**!!
Also, my friend DJ pointed out that it is alot more fun to read the post below with the decriptions from the bottom of the picture instead of the top! SOO hilarious! You have to do it!

Oh man yeah....

Well, it is officially Kristen's 18th birthday and we are livin it large!
First my mom and I sang her a very "nice" happy birthday song and gave her as a gift yogurt and cereal! She was so surprised at how generous we are!Then we decided to play a little photobooth game to show how hot we are! I think it proved our hypothesis right!
First we'll start with our lovely headshots! We got them for our bio pages on our sites! So cute!
Now for the face game and our first one is the main reason why we aren't married OR dating anyone right now....this face is our "walking down the aisle" timeless.
This is after the first shocker...
This is our secret agent secretive I know!!
Our "bratty little kids" kids will NEVER look like this;) hehe!
and if they do they will get this face! SCARY!!
Again...another reason why we are dateless...our "seeing a cute guy" face! YIKES! ...poor cute guy:(

The ever so fashionable anorexia look....

Being proposed to....umm..yeah...
And finally the drunk look (thankfully it's Kristen's 18th birthday and not her 21st so this is somewhat not real...but who says we have to be drunk to act like it???)Our stylish hair pose!!! as you can see we were slackers tonight and were sooooo deliriously exhausted from the weekend that we didn't get any work done today...but slideshows are coming in the morning or sometime tomorrow!!! Yeah!!
Kristen is heading back home tomorrow to shoot a wedding this week and then coming back next Sunday and I CAN'T WAIT already!! She is amazing!!(and yes she's sitting right here...) So HAPPY BIRTHDAY Kristen!! I love you Pickle! ;)

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Julie & JB's wedding!

Yesterday Beth, Kristen and I all shot Julie and JB's gorgeous wedding! I absolutely LOVE their story because they met when they were little and have been best friends and dated ever since! I always thought that it would be so cute to marry the boy that I liked when I was two...but sadly that didn't happen;) LOL! But pretty much did for JB and Julie and I think it's just incredible to be able to marry someone that you have grown up with! Their wedding turned out awesome and the fun part is that two of my other brides were there and it was sooo much fun to see them! I love my brides so much!!:) Another SUPER fun part of the wedding was the kids! They had THE most adorable little kids in the wedding ever! They had the most personality and were so much fun to photograph! We could have done a complete slideshow of JUST them! haha! Here is the slideshow from the awesome day!

Batman engagement shoot!

Kristen and I shot a SUPER fun engagement session downtown Chicago a couple days ago for Erin and John! They are such a fun couple and I'm so excited to shoot their wedding in a couple weeks!! While we were downtown shooting some other people must have thought it was a great place to shoot too because we found out that they were filming Batman in the same place! Ahhh Christian Bale..:)
Anyways, it was fun just going new places and really getting to know Erin and John, and how incredibly sweet they are! It's wonderful too because they are part of this huge network of friends in south Chicago that I've shot tons of weddings for and tonight was another one! I love how small this world gets! Check out this slideshow to see how adorable Erin and John are!! :)

I'll post the slideshow from today's wedding tomorrow night after tomorrow's wedding!:)

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Life is a party.

I have ALWAYS loved parties, when I was little I would have a party every opportunity possible and pretty much planned every birthday party I had(up until the past couple years)...
This past week has been just perfect because we have just jumped from party to party and it's been wonderful! I believe that the more you have going on the more productive you are so as much as we played we got twice as much done too! It's been wonderful! After all the parties last week, Sunday we went to my friend Rochelle's baby shower(it is the craziest when your friend's start having's mind blowing!) which was so fun and I loved seeing her all pregs! (here is me trying to be just like her! hehe!)
Monday was a SOLID day of work then Tuesday Kristen and I had a bunch of my friends over for a girls night out party! It was such a blast and got to see some of my amazing friends that I haven't seen in literally forever! We went swimming, ate cheese and "wine"(sparkeling juice), salad(to save room for dessert), fondue, and gelato, and laughed non-stop the whole night! It was the best time ever! Getting to catch up with everyone was amazing because we've scattered so much and everyone is heading back to college so we had to do it before the summer was over! I know I've said it a billion times but I am really so blessed by my friends they are beyond
Kristen with her brand spanking new thrift store disposable's priceless!Then last night Kristen and I headed to an engagement shoot(which I'll post about tomorrow) and afterwards headed out to dinner with her friends, Mike and Peter, who just so happened to be in town from Maryland for the week! It was so much fun and it was like we were already old friends! We went to an incredible Sushi place called Sushi Wabi and got this crazy roll called the Godzilla was insane!!! Ok..back to work and our first of 3 shoots this weekend including 2 weddings!! I can rest when I die! LOL! I love you all!!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Mail directions...

My brother Mark who is 12 is sooo hilarious! When he was little he would do the weirdest craziest things because he is so smart! He would stick cassett tapes in the toaster and turn it on..things like that! When he was 8 he gave me specific street by street directions to some random place..he's just brilliant..Anyways when he was little anything funny that he would do we would call it a "Mark Classic" because they were obviously so classic! :)
Here is a set of directions that he gave to me for getting the neighbors mail while he is on vacation with my family! Too funny!
Ps..the first day of "boot camp" has gone so well we got an extrodanary amount of work done I'm not even tired yet! YEAH! haha!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

My car's daddy!

Well my beautiful car has finally found it's daddy! LOL! It is hilarious because my brother and sister are going to "real" school this year so my brother needed a car...well to follow in my steps he wanted a beamer so my dad crazily found the EXACT same one I have, same color, year, just a 7 series instead of a 5 series(it was the most amazing deal too!)! I'm so proud of my brother aiming high and as always trying to be bigger than me! lol! Now Natalie has to get the 3 series one and we'll be complete! haha!
In other news...I think I'm heading to bed like right's only 8 but I'm sooo tired we've had the most non-stop week and this coming week is even more non-stop we have a shoot everyday and it's going to be photography boot camp because Kristen is here so we'll be plowing through alot and waking up at 5:30 every morning so I'm excited but TIRED!!! :) I love you all!!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

How could life get better??

Something that I have come to realize is that nothing in this life matters more than relationships! I can have the best business and the coolest things but it still doesn't satisfy like relationships do! There's this thing called the 5 love languages and it's basically 5 different ways that you can show love to people but then you rate yourself on what you give and like to receive the most...well out of the 5 mine is quality time. I LOVE spending time with people! When I was little and doing school(I was home schooled) I had to be in the middle of everything so that I could get something done..if I was by myself I couldn't stand it! haha! Well this past couple days has really filled my love tank! We have had such a blast and there's still more to come in the next couple days! Here's a nice long fun post! haha!
My AMAZING intern Kristen Leigh came in on Thursday morning for the next month and she is just like another sister! She fits in so perfect it's awesome! I love her! I'll post more about her amazingness soon!
Once she got in we headed out to lunch with my longtime friend Jenny then went shopping(and sadly even picked out engagement rings that we want;) LOL!
When we got home our friends, Stephanie and Jackie, were there to hang out, we played some fun games then headed downtown Wheaton to the super mini popcorn store(it's the width of a door!) and looking at a sweet antique shop! It was a blast! Later that night we headed out with our friend's for Sarah Chellappa's going away sadness party(lol!) to see The Bourne Ultimatum(SOOO AMAZING!!!!!) then headed over to Sarah's house to hang out in the basement to which people were sitting around somewhat bored so I decided to entertain them with my lovely somewhat lost voice and a out of tune electric guitar! They LOVED it! ;)
Then yesterday Kristen, Sarah, and I headed out to Panera for one last goodbye meal before Sarah heads to college in Nashville! I'm sooo sad... and she's not going to be my studio manager anymore either because she's starting up her own biz! I'm sooo excited for her though! She has been amazing working here! I love her so much and will really miss her...but thankfully Nashville is my second home! To wind everything down last night Natalie, Kristen, and I headed to downtown Naperville to walk around the super romantic river walk and then lay in the grass on a hill and watch the sunset. We finished the night with Jamba Juice and a movie! Ahhh how could life get any better!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

I struck gold!!

Before I first started up my business I was pretty good at saving and for the most part thought I was good with my money. Well after throwing a full blown business into the mix and starting it when I was 17 I didn't really have a grasp what I was financially getting into! lol! After, not having any of my finances organized last year and doing my taxes this year myself and last minute I decided something had to change! First I got quickbooks set up which is awesome! I have someone log all my receipts every months so I know where I am and have everything categorized. The next step I put into place a couple weeks ago and it's working out soooo wonderful. I feel like I have so much more money but it's just because I'm just being smart about it! I got a couple more bank accounts last week so that then all the money that comes in goes through a percentage filter so I make sure I'm saving, setting aside money for taxes, giving, and etc... Having the additional bank accounts really helps me not spend that money that's supposed to got somewhere else! HAHA! Well I decided to break it down even more with my savings and I just started buying gold(and silver) with a percentage of it. I'm going to buy a couple coins each month to get started and then work my way up. It's so important though to have your money in different places not all in one place!! Especially in this economy with huge threats on the dollar, gold is soooooo much more secure!! I'm excited!! It makes saving fun! You should try it! :)
Ok..that was your business lesson for the day! haha!

Monday, August 06, 2007

Meghan & Andy!

Saturday was soooo much fun!! I shot Meghan and Andy's wedding out in River Forest, my most favorite town in Chicago! The ceremony was at the church Meghan grew up in so it was super special for her to get married there too! Meghan and Andy are so incredibly perfect for each other! Meghan the more talkative one, short and petite... and Andy, more quiet, but a big teddy bear, and much taller than Meghan which makes the match just so adorable! They were so much fun to shoot and up for anything even in the rain, which I was so proud of them for!! One of my favorite times during the day was when the girls were getting ready...they decided to turn on some music and much to my delight cranked up my cousins, Barlowgirl that they had found through me!! Too funny! It made my day! haha! Check out their slideshow!!

Thanks so much my amazing interns Beth and Steve(my friend Sarah Chellappa's brother) who made the night all the more fun!! At the end we were pretty tired from the amazing day and started to head out when a great song came on so Steve and I dared each other to get out and dance with everyone else!! We did and pulled Beth out on the floor too! I usually don't dance at the weddings I'm shooting at but Meghan and Andy were just so fun we couldn't resist!! And of course I left that night as every other successful wedding shouting I LOVE MY JOB!! haha! I love it!! :)

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Becoming Jane!

We have had a super fun weekend so far! We're having kind of a mini family reunion for my dad's side of the's mini because there are only about 35 people here rather than the normal about 60! lol! Yesterday afternoon my aunt, Natalie and I went to see the new movie Becoming Jane! It was such and incredibly adorable movie! Being the huge Jane Austen fan that I am this was such a great completion to all the movies I've seen from her so far! I highly recommend it!! It's interesting because I've seen a couple movies lately that haven't had the endings that you would expect....not all hollywoodized...and it's actually pretty refreshing! :) The movie is all about the author Jane Austen, her story, and were she got inspiration from! It's such a wonderful and emotional movie! :) Go see it!
I'm heading out to an awesome wedding this afternoon and am missing the main family party but the couple is so fun that it's worth it!!!! I'm excited! I'll post some pics of the family sometime soon!! I love you all!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

The last page.

I was having my quiet time this morning and opened my journal to realize I only have one full page left! It's kinda sad... but exciting at the same time! I totally swear by journaling and picked it up when I was probably 12. It's so amazing to look back in the old ones to see what has happened, what God has taught me, and how much I've matured! LOL! This has definitely been the best journal yet and because every single one has been better than the last I can't wait to open a new one! It's so funny that it happened right after I posted the post yesterday about all the new things going on in the next couple months too! What perfect timing! Now just to find a cute new one cause I really loved this last one!! :)
I can't wait for my kids to read these journals someday and see what God has done and how faithful he is in every way! Yeah!