Tuesday, March 31, 2009

WPD Annual Wedding Photography Contest


I enter this one every year. The prize isn't much, and if I gave a dollar to everyone who votes for me in order to win I would end up owing money to myself. You can vote everyday, and you don't need an email address.

It would be great if you vote for me. If you are a fan of photography, I know you will love the website. There are tons of great entries and as always I think about the talented circle that the contest brings me too. I am going to step it up next year definitely.

Let me tell you about this photo. So the bride is getting read in the Montage in Laguna Beach, CA. It is absolutely the most beautiful location ever. I love it. So her mom is on her knees behind her tying up the back of the corset gown, and her maid of honor is to the left just out the shot. Since the bride was standing in front of the window I thought I would take the opportunity to blow out the light and make it all about how beautiful her eyes were and how the veil fell across her eyes.
I think it is a personal favorite of mine because I got a tingle up my back when I heard the camera click. I couldn't believe it. The bride asked "Was it that good?" And then I showed it to her, and she said "Holly you are so amazing, I can't believe that is me."
Those are the moments I live for, as an artist, wedding photographer, and a fan of love.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Sara and Max- Wedding Preview

Meeting your soul mate is a once in a lifetime chance. But what makes this couple even more unique is that they met each other as toddlers at Day Care.

t the age of three or four, Max announced to his mom that he was going to marry Sara . March 28th 2009, he made his proclamation true.

The wedding took place in the front yard, with a huge beautiful tree shading the entire event. What makes this even more special is that it was the home of Max and his family, and perhaps even the setting of a lot of childhood adventures.

We took "getting ready" photo of the girls in Max's old bedroom. The reception was in the same yard that they had many basketball, and outdoor games. Two guitar players played "All You Need is Love" to the entire reception. It soon became a sing-a-long and a tribute to the new couple. Music of the band, "Minus Me" was playing at the reception (a band that the groom and best man were guitar/drums). The groom doubled as the DJ and music extraordinaire.

It was truly such a personal event. Every detail and accent was carefully planned and beautiful.

This is only a preview of some of the images from the wedding day. My associate Tibor Deme, was the second shooter of the day. I love his style and photographic story telling.

To read more about the couple, here is their website.

Vendor love:

Caterer: Good Rich Catering
Officiate: Rev Bob Pace
Bridal salon: Jobynas
Dress salon: Cecilia
Jewelry: Mango Moon

This fantastic Groom shot is by Tibor Deme

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Running like Forest Gump- Standing by my Values

"i do" like to run.
It is officially unoffical that I entered the Nike Women’s Marathon run in October this year. It is entirely females and so awesome. My friend Chandra, who is also training for a marathon in San Diego at the end of May, talked me into it. It doesn't take much, and it went something like this:

Chandra: "Holly, hot sexy firemen give out Tiffany necklaces to the runners at the finishline"

Me: "Where do I sign up?"

Piece of cake! I am delighted to give you updates and all that on my event training. It should be fantastic. The last marathon I ran was the L.A. Marathon in 2006. I almost died. It was intense and due to a dear friend that signed me up. I adore him for doing that, but had some strong words for him at mile 19.

On the Official Nike Running Blog they have a FAQ for some fancy pants running chick (Sarah Reinertsen). Well I am no athlete nor "running chick" but I wanted to put her answers on my blog, all the same.

Nike elite athlete Sarah Reinertsen hanging out at the Nike Women’s Marathon in San Francisco and was lucky enough to hear her thoughts on what the Nike Women’s Marathon means to her and what it’s like to be the first female above-knee amputee to complete the Ford Ironman World Championship (Yes, that’s a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike and 26.2 mile run all in one swoop!). I knew I’d hear an inspiring story, but I didn’t realize she would have such great advice to share with all runners.

In 1993, when she was 17 years old, Sarah decided that she wanted to compete in the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii. It took her 10 years to get on a bike but once she set her mind to it she wasn’t going to give up. She didn’t finish in her first attempt but when her family showed up the next year in Kona wearing t-shirts that said “unfinished business” she knew she wasn’t going to back down. She made history that day, as she became the first above-the-knee amputee to finish the race and says “completing the Ironman World Championship was so incredibly satisfying and gave me the greatest sense of accomplishment.” And today, she’s back out there trying to capture that feeling again while inspiring “more women to get out there.”

What is special about the Nike Women’s Marathon?

You never know what challenges these women had to overcome to get to the starting line. There are women out here who are cancer survivors. I’ve never run a women’s race as big as this.
What are your goals for the NWM race?To enjoy the course and the experience and running with all the other women. No time pressure. I might stop for Ghirardelli chocolate or a pedicure along the way!

What are your secrets to staying motivated?

1. Train with others. When you have an appointment to meet buddies you are less likely to snooze. Join a club like the NIKETOWN Run Club.

2. Run with music. I like using Nike+ and always having new music or a workout to run to. I bury my favorite song in the mix and know I have to run for an hour before I will get to it. I love Nike+ because it’s like having a little coach in your ear to keep you going.

3. Sign up for your next race now. It will give you an end goal.

Who inspires you?

Nickie Shapiro, a 71 year old woman who has completed 19 full distance triathlons. She started running marathons when she turned 45 and completed her first Ironman at 60.
What are your upcoming goals and life goals?To complete my 2nd Ironman World Championship in Kona next October and break 15 hours. It is humbling just to finish. I want to continue to be an ambassador and pioneer in sports. I would like to see more women in triathlons. Like Joan Benoit-Samuelson, I want to sit back some day and see the difference I made. Joan has to know that this race (NWM) is because of her influence in women’s running; she was part of that movement. I’d like to write a book about becoming whole through sports and my goal is that it becomes one of Oprah’s picks.

What is special about the Ford Ironman World Championship?

Childhood dreams go away - you may never get to the Olympics - but finishing an Ironman gives you that epic sports experience that you will never forget. It’s an extraordinary finish line for ordinary people.

What are the quotes you live by?

The pain is temporary but the memories last forever. Any great goal worth achieving takes sacrifice.

What is your PowerSong?

Hollywood. The live version. Techno is the best music to run to.

What is so great about running anyways?

The running community. It’s a lot of fun to connect with runners, they are cool people with good energy. It helps a lot of people manage stress and keep the pounds off. You can eat whatever you want!
I couldn't agree with Sarah more.
Lots of love and kisses,

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Let's Hear it for the Boys!

Whoa, maybe he's no romeo
But he's my lovin one-man show

Not just another bad song from the 80's movie Footloose, but a true tribute to the grooms and groomsmen!

But first I have to confess. I use men as props.

In my photography I tend to focus on the beautiful essence of the bride. How the light falls lightly on her veil, or the details of her gown, or the elegance of her beautiful eyes. Boys don't really have that going for them. They are more the party, the drinking, flask holding and the bad humor of the wedding day.

Well I wanted to dedicate this blog to the boys. Really!
I know they aren't reading this, but you are. (And that is what counts!)

Without further adieu here are some great wedding photos that centered, focused and for the boys!

Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa
Let's hear it for the boy

Monday, March 23, 2009

Video interview with Cakes and Kisses

Here is a link to a video interview with Holly Steen, Cakes and Kisses Wedding Photography.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Happy Birthday to a cat?

True true, it is silly to celebrate a pet's birthday but it isn't just any birthday. It is my Cat's 10th birthday. Well I don't know how old 10 is in cat years, probably super old. I wouldn't be figuring that out any time soon, because that would involve math. Ew.

You ask, "Holly, what is the big deal about that, it is still a cat? You crazy girl."

Well, to that I would say to you that have no idea how many times this cat escaped death and used up all his 9 lives, so we thought this birthday would never come.

You say, "This intrigues me, tell me more."

I adopted him as a year old adult cat. True I am a fool, a fool for gray cats.

"Yes, please give me the gray and white cat hiding in the back of the kennel, peeing on himself. He is the one that I want."

It is embarrassing to be a professional photographer and not have ANY photos of my precious cat. I suppose every family has a dirty little secret and that is mine, NOW on my blog for all to see. Well, he has yet to learn the mystic powers of my camera phone. So here are a few photos of him throughout the years. JOY!
The story continues:

Years went by and he grew up to be more and more brave, but not of people in general just me. I don't want this blog to carry on and on, but he had a lot of visits to the vet, a lot of boy pee pee problems. Later to be discussed if he should get surgery to be a "she". And he had lots of bouts with death in general, because he gets so frightened he might have a heart attack.

Luckily he is still a he, and having less problems since he is on a special diet.

He is frightened to get his photo taken, runs under the bed if we sneeze and is constantly in fear of sudden movements. He lives such fragile life.
But, what is there not to love?
Oh right.

And my favorite of him and I taken with my iMac. Sneaky Sneak.

Well HAPPY HAPPY birthday Gray Cat. You are a mystery to all and none.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Reposting of Jules and Danny

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.

I know Kim Fox got this same shot posted on her blog and it is just amazing how two photographers see things differently. She captured the one on the left without the bike, and she was closer in on the couple for the one on the right.

The reception was held at the Rococo Room in Cafe Santorini

Really a beautiful, non-traditional location. There was a loft area for the really rowdy folks.

Absolutely love this couple and every moment was so emotional either laughing, because they were so funny, or crying because of the amazing heart they both had.

The photos look fun, but you have no idea. Believe me I have NEVER been to a wedding when the audience was singing along to the entire Mother/Son dance.

Yay! Thank you again Jules and Danny for sharing your beautiful day.

(If you want to view any of these images clearer/larger, please click)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Bridal Spa Event - March 29th 2009

Serenity Canyon and Cakes and Kisses Wedding Photography

Everyone Loves a Contest.

I have had TWO or THREE contests running the last week. But wait ... there is more!

1) How LOGO can you GO? The winner was Cervidae2008:

2) The People's Choice Contest: Which you can still click and Vote (please do, it takes about 2 minutes & 10 seconds)

3) I am entering a Wedding Chicks Vendor Contest. Go view my wise comments on why brides love my photography.

4) Lastly, I am a member of the Wedding Photography Directory and enter their contest. The voting starts on March 26th. Check back and I will have a link posted.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Better than Bees Knees- Wax Works

Cakes and Kisses Wedding Photography is going to be offering Wax Works prints in 2009!

Each image becomes a work of art because of a little place in Manayunk, PA called Wax Works Photos. Waxworks is a form of encaustic (bees wax) mixed media painting process created by highly acclaimed artist, Leah MacDonald, and CEO, Susan Beard.

I am captivated by the texture and detail that is provided in each creation. In person these are so beautiful, unique and special. You have to see them for yourself. Here is a short video on how they create each and every one... it is an amazing four minutes of inspiration.

These are a few beautiful images from their website. I can't wait till I get mine to show you!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Vote for my image!

Yay Click to vote

I will give you a twinkie :)


Holly Steen has invited you to participate in the 2009 Faces Photo Contest.

Please vote for my image in the PDN Faces photo contest.

Click here

You will need to register with a valid email address to vote.

You can find out more about the contest here:

Vote vote

Monday, March 9, 2009

"How LOGO can you GO?" contest!

The stakes are high and participation is necessary to win PRIZE!!

(Drumroll:) A 11x14 Gallery Wrap print from Canvas on Demand.

Cakes and Kisses is getting a Logo makeover!

The designer: Naomi Epstein the multifaceted designer, photographer, designologist (Seriously, you need to check out her MONTAGE, it rocks!)
I adore her creativity and supreme talent.

You have to VOTE to win! Please email me your VOTE: steenholly@gmail.com

Tell me what number and why you think it should be the new logo for Cakes and Kisses Wedding Photography

If your answer is the best explanation and gets the most votes from others you will win a FREE 11x14 Gallery Wrap Print! Provided by Canvas on Demand

Good Luck!
I look forward to the massive email frenzy that is about to begin.

Cakes and Kisses!

Phil and Brianne are getting Married!

They meet eyes and instantly they know this is the person I am going to be falling in love with for the rest of my life. It doesn't matter if you believe it is destiny or fate, it is going to happen.

That person is going to walk into a restaurant in Vegas and sweep you off your feet. Well not necessarily in Vegas, but that is how it happened for Phil and Brianne.

A trip out to Vegas puts perspective on a lot of things, but finding your true love there, that is just ridiculous.

Phil and Brianne met up with a group of friends that was orchestrated by a dear friend of both Erin. Well, Erin, that sneaky sneak wanted to set the two up, and thought this was the perfect moment and opportunity. Oh boy, was it! Phil popped the question a year later and they are getting hitched at the end of May.

We wanted to keep the shoot close to home, so we actually shot this at their home together in Valencia. It was so personal and it was exactly what any photographer wants... for a couple to be comfortable and laugh a lot. We shot these on the steps of their front door.

I love both of them SO much. Not only do they embrace what a real relationship is all about, but they work through every aspect of their relationship and put each other first in life. And I admire them deeply.

Phil and Brianne are supreme people and continuously live with a passion for life. Every aspect of their lives they are surrounded by friends, family and an open heart for laughter.

So embarrassing but I had to catch the light as it came to me. This is in the middle of their street with a neighbor rooting and cheering for Phil. Really, the reason this is black and white is because Phil's cheeks were turning red.

I have always wanted to shoot in a tunnel.. I got my wish. And they didn't mind the extra make out time I am sure :)

This was the very end of the shoot and we went back into the house. I asked them to stand by the sink and have some cozy time. Then I captured this reflection in the microwave. HOT!

This is what Brianne said about her engagement shoot:

"Holly made our engagement photo session so much more than just a few hours taking pictures. It was honestly like reliving our first date!

She made it so fun and relaxed that we couldn't help being ourselves, which is the key to great pictures...right? Her talent and creativity combined make her the ONLY photographer we will ever use!We love Holly and our fantastic photos! We will cherish them forever! Thank you!"