Friday, January 30, 2009

Vanessa Brooke = Lifestyle Photographer

Upon some blog stalking, I found Shutter Sisters. It is a wonderful little women empowerment photography blog. I was absolutely ecstatic when I realized I could nominate my friend Vanessa for a photography contest. Joy!

I heart Vanessa. She is a silly girl with a fab sense of style and love of boots. She is mastering the art of motherhood with her baby Jayden and hubby Henry. This is from a shoot we did together for her Holiday Cards! YAY!

I am so proud of her and everything she is doing with her photography. Her site rocks too.
She just finished this great shoot which she posted on her blog and it is great! So I submitted this:

It is crazy good I know. I am so glad that Weddings' weren't the way for Vanessa... She would be my best/worse competition.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Thinking ahead....

If there are any Grooms out there, thinking ahead about the proposal.... Please, oh please, contact me before you ask.

I would be happy to do a proposal engagement session. GRATIS!

(And I promise not to cry too much) To capture the moment when he gets on his knee and asks. JOY! (Just give me a ring, and I will be there too)

Circle of Life and Weddings

As a wedding photographer nothing makes me happier than to see or hear from brides. Any news... be it that they are moving to a different state, they got accepted into Law School (Yay Paul), or that they had a baby!

I shot in 2006 Tanya and Ben's wedding in Colorado Springs, Garden of the Gods. It was so beautiful and lovely. In 2008 they had a little baby named Zach. He has his moms' nose and his dads' sense of outdoors. They invited me back to Colorado to be a part of his first birthday party and take some photos. I couldn't be more honored.

Here is Tanya and I at her Wedding.... (pardon my hair, luckily it was just a moment of coolness)

And here we are at her NEW HOUSE with a NEW BABY

He really is a handsome little kid.

Love the puppy themed birthday party!!

Me and the birthday boy
He likes me :)

Because it is chilly in Colorado, and no one should make fun of your hat.

Infamous Cake eating !

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Rocky Mountain High!

So this past weekend I shot a birthday party. Not just any birthday. A FIRST birthday party! Joy!

This couple got married at the Garden of the Gods in 2005. Awesome. I heart them. I don't know if it is the fresh air or just the wonder of how sweet Coloradians (?) can be... Their wedding photos are on my site.

Little Zach turned one. Here are some photos! Happy Happy!

And some of me and the bride at her wedding and at her ONE year olds baby

What Can I Expect to Pay for a Photographer? (watch your wallets)


Listen up here. Two of my cutest girlfriends are getting married this year. One in May and the other in August! I am SOOO happy happy for them.

So August bride writes me an email to ask... "How much should I expect to pay for a photographer? They don't have it in the bridal books, or online anywhere. I think I was born without the bride gene!" (Well honey, just worry about those Joe's Jeans, cause they are fabulous and I want to borrow them.)

Here I am to put it online. It isn't a rule book, but it is at least a guide to help you out and for you to understand what you are paying for a wedding.

As a photographer, I am happy to help. In fact if there is anything I do to help I am delighted. Except help make homemade bouquets. (I suck at that) AND It is good to put my knowledge to use. It isn't like I am going to get married anytime soon :) oh wait :(

May bride had the same exact question. I think it is omitted from the Bridal books/magazines because they don't want to make you feel like you have to pay a certain amount to get good photography.

I feel like that Photography should be about 30% of your total budget.

Tip #1

Make sure you look at all the images on the site. When you find a photographer you like, ask to see a complete wedding (not just the album or highlights). Make sure it is the same type of wedding you are having, such as a church ceremony and outside reception, you want to make sure the photographer can shoot in those locations. Ask the photographer if they have shot in YOUR locations before, and look at those photos.

Tip #2

To get a beautiful fancy leather album (Leather Craftsman) is about $3000 photographer cost. So you can expect as a bride to pay $3800 for the design, album and retouched images. I can help you out with this, but not as much as I would really like. We use leather craftman so the quality is great, but I couldn't offer it less than cost. But if you wanted me to design and order the album for you I would be happy to do that, like Asuka Book.

Tip #3

If you are having a photographer shoot your wedding and not getting an album, it should be about $6000 for eight hours and all the images provided with copyrights included. (Up to you about the add ons, like parent albums, proof books and all that.)

Tip #4

Another idea is to have the cost of the photographer part of your registry. It is a new idea, but instead of someone buying you gifts, they can donate money for your albums, prints, or photography for your day. I would check with your photographer to make sure it is okay first.

I hope this helps out. On the most part I know it is hard to budget. I am cheap. I admit it. Not as cheap as my boyfriend, but I am.
When I get married I expect to pay cost for all my wedding. But I don't think Elvis costs as much as he used to..

Lots of cakes and kisses,

Vendor LOVE!

I love love love to refer brides and grooms to my friends and people. You know these are the kinda of people you just "click" with, creatively and on the dance floor!

So I had a bride planning a wedding in Santa Clarita, CA ask me to help her out. You know I am a Hollaback Girl so I am happy to help out. (Oh wait, I ain't no Hollaback Girl, but I am still happy to help.)

J&M Entertainment are the best in the valley. Here is the story. I had a bride that hired them for her wedding. It was a fabulous party and she booked the biggest package they had. It was incredible, well really it was a production. But she had such an awesome experience, she now works for them.

They are that cool. Sandra Pascal will help you out with anything you need over there. I don't think she is in charge of booking, but she is definitely my biggest fan (even more of a fan than my mom) They aren't inexpensive however, and they need a new website. But they are who I would recommend.


Florist in the Santa Clarita Valley? Well I don't have a favorite. It doesn't mean that I am not open to making friends. I just haven't worked with one in SCV that has knocked off my socks.

There is a wonderful florist that I work with in Orange County that is absolutely the cheapest and does awesome work. Even after they add on "out of the area" charges they are cheaper than anyone. I have attached photos from there work. Here is the website. Not much to look at, but the prices are fantastic.


Makeup is a few different gals. I will start with the top and work down. is amazing... She is Care Nelle in Orange County. She does amazing beautiful work. I think that she is possibly the most gifted make up artist I have worked with. (She is fancy pants) AND she did the make up for the same wedding that the flowers were from Growers Direct. The Jenn Dubbs wedding on my site.

Sherry. She is great here is her website.

Noelle is a great girl. She is fashion forward and in SCV. She will do a great job for you and she is super reasonable.
Noelle Castro,


For a location, I love the Hyatt. It is great it is all in one location and you can save time not having to get in the car to go somewhere else. They have a fabulous fire place and wonderful staircase that is great for photos. That would be my first pick.
Le Chen is nice, but the food is quite expensive. Although you are only going to have 75 people, it is still pretty penny. I know budget is an issue too..

In addition here are some tips for you brides!


I will help with your time line too when it comes to that point. On the most part I recommend giving about an hour for formal portraits after the ceremony. It also gives the couple time to do some romantic shots together (those are my favorites) Having a eight hours is perfect for getting all the getting ready, and preparations before. Getting six hours, cuts the chase a little bit, but you save some money too.

I have the best job ever!
As a photographer I am happy to help. It puts my wedding knowledge to good use and I am able to help out my fellow rockstar vendors out there.

There are great resources online out there like,,, and

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Offering Boudoir Photography - Book before Valentines' Day

French verb bouder, meaning "to pout" -

From sweet to sultry, romantic to raw, and natural nudes to candid moments, as your female photographer I guide you along while capturing the essence of who you are as a woman. Your set of sophisticated portraits will forever remind you and special people in your life, that you are beautiful!

Contact Holly Steen for details.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Love love love!!!


Kim Fox Wedding!

Hip yet traditional are the best yet simplified way to describe Jules and Danny. I was absolutely delighted to be a second photographer for the talented Kim Fox Photography Studio. Kim is a talented sleek photographer with an eye for the beautiful, and capturing flare. Thank you for such a great couple, Kim!

Here are some images from Jules and Danny's wedding.

Jules and Danny got ready in separate rooms at the Westin Pasadena

The ceremony was held at St. Felicitas & Perpetua Chruch

We did fun portraits in Old Town Pasadena. The reception was held at the Rococo Room in Cafe Santorini

Quick Preview!!!

I am so excited about this wedding. I can't wait to post more for you!!!

Thank you Brianna and Ryan!! I hope you have a great honeymoon in Hawaii!!!

Lots of Cakes and Kisses~!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Yay! So Blessed!

The unending blessing of shooting a wedding surprises me every moment. I was featured on Wedding Chicks and that in itself was wonderful. I am still beaming about that actually. The other featured weddings were so elegant and artistic.

The wedding I submitted for the Wedding Chicks was an absolute stunner. The Bride was so beautiful. The Groom was so charming. But the family on both sides were just awesome. Each one made me feel warm and grateful. That is what makes it entirely wonderful.
Well, of course I was surprised to see that the Brides' mom left a comment on the posting at Wedding Chicks! YAY!

I can't believe it! That is the most wonderful thing that could of happened. Besides chocolate covered strawberries. (:

"These pictures are gorgeous. I can hardly wait to see all of them. You are a wonderful photographer to work with, and it was so much fun. We really appreciated your patience and many kindnesses.

Carol Dubbs, bride's mother"

Awwww! Thank you so very much! Hand clap! Just for you Carol!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Yay! Anne Marie and Alex's Wedding

I liked her immediately. She is the kinda girl that holds herself with grace but also with a witty humor. Anne Marie and her Dad came into the showroom absolutely beaming. They chattered about the wedding and looked at my images.

It was a few laughs later that a photo came up with ladies in extremely short bridesmaids dresses from BCBG, and her Dad whistled and said, "Whoo Hoo! Now that is what I call a Bridesmaid Dress."

It was then I knew that this father daughter was not just friends but they were Team Awesome.

Living on the opposite coastlines, we managed to fit in an engagement shoot at the Orange County Performing Arts Center.

It was wonderful. The couple laughed, and kissed a lot.
Actually, a whole lot of kissing....

The getting ready for the wedding ceremony...

Alex and his mom

Lutheran Church Resurrection in Huntington Beach. The ceremony, complete with a reading from poetic literature, and Shakespeare. Perfect words spoken from the heart in an eloquent manner. It was a first for me to be so moved just from the reading. But I was taken back by the sophistication and originality of the couples' choice of words.

Off to reception at Navy Golf Course in Cypress. It was pretty dark when we arrived so we did our best with the light provided, and got right to the cocktails and party.

During the maid of honor's toasts, she beamed, and spoke about how refined she held her self and how much fun she seems to have in a room of strangers. Well while strangers weren't the case for this full house, she definitely had a way of moving through the room making everyone feel at home. Then she spoke of her new husband who was indeed charming and a perfect fit.

Not just a perfect fit, but perhaps a perfect challenge for her wit.

Now here comes the part that gets me every time. The dancing. The couple had taken dance lessons, practiced, gotten blisters and now was the time to put on the Ritz.

They did! It was fabulous and I was absolutely delighted with how much they nailed very move and tap.

It was quite impressive.

Next up, the father daughter Team Awesome. It did not disappoint. It was fun, loving, emotional, and an absolute tear jerker. I couldn't wait to call my own Dad on the phone and tell him how great he was... It was that kind of moment.

And then Anne Maries' Dad and Mom showed off their moves!!

The party went on into the night, and I know that Alex and Anne Marie got their money worth out of those dance lessons.

The perfect match. Just like Cakes and Kisses.