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san francisco bay area wedding


A Year of Thanks in a Week: Photographers


Never did I imagine that I would be where I am today. At all. And I know that it wouldn’t be possible without the help of other photographers. Without. a. doubt. Today I’m so thankful for all the photographers I have met and will continue to connect with.

Where do I even begin this post of thanking photographers? I guess I should dial it back to the beginning?

If you’re interested about my beginnings of this adventure, you can read them here. I have to give mad thanks to David Jay and Jasmine Star. They inspired me and showed me that it was possible.

I’m so thankful for sitting next to Lydia of Lydia Photography at the Free to Succeed Tour. My heart’s passion was reaffirmed in the conversation we exchanged and contact we’ve kept up. I’m thankful for Laura Stetser of Laura Lynne Photography for befriending me in the restroom. Yes, the restroom. Together, we briefly got to meet and chat with Jasmine Star. After this first seminar, my photographic life exploded.

I’m thankful for Jennifer Hosler of Candid Moments Weddings. She invited me to tag along on my first wedding. I’m thankful for Robert Her of nLighten Images who asked me to second shoot with him. I’m thankful Lilia Ahner of Lilia Photography for organizing the San Francisco Photographer’s Happy Hour. Turns out we went to the same high school! I’m thankful for having the opportunity of meeting mentors like Gene Higa and Ann Hamilton.

Picture 4

I’m thankful to have met Tiffany Fosnight of Adeline & Grace Photography, Dia Rao, Laura Meyer, and Terra Tabbytosavit through Liana Lehman Hall’s workshop, Bananas EDU‘s Business Boot Camp. I’m thankful that Liana teaches all the not-so-fun stuff because photographers are not only artists, but we have to be business people as well.

I’m thankful for Lawrence Chan of Tofurious for teaching and sharing online marketing strategies. I’m thankful for photographers and leaders like Dane Sanders and [b]ecker who are creating and fostering photographic communities that are about sharing and giving so that we can all succeed. Being for each other. Check out Ask Dane and the [B] School.

I’m thankful for meeting and connecting with other photographers in person, like Scarlett Lillian, who recognized me at WPPI. (Also why it’s important to have a picture of yourself on your Facebook, Twitter, etc.)

I’m thankful for all the photographers that give and share. For the sake of giving and sharing. Seriously, y’all inspire me. I’m thankful for wonderful folks like Justin & Mary Marantz and Zach & Jody Gray, who I was lucky enough to meet in person at Pictage PartnerCon.

When I knew that I would be moving to Dallas and taking my fledgling photography business with me I was nervous about it. I had spent most of the year meeting and making friends with photographers in the San Francisco Bay Area. I’m thankful for my Bay Area photographer friends, Lisa Whalen, Chris & Sara Goetz, Rosaura Sandoval, and Dustin & Aimee Hatcher of True Beauty Photography.

I was overwhelmed with the fact that I would have to do it all again in Dallas. But the folks in Dallas have been nothing short of amazing. Special shout outs go to my new Dallas and Fort Worth base of photographer friends. I’d be a lost California girl without you! Karyn Kelbaugh, Maggie McDonald, Amy Karp, Jenna Cole, Jason Huang of Table4 Weddings, Cesar & Tanya of Perez Photography, Celina Gomez, Allison Davis, Stacy Reeves, Kari Crowe, Sheila Hannus, Ben & Chrys Q, Lynette J, Jared Rey,  and so many others… And I can’t forget my other Texans, Chasity of Studio 423 and Christine Tremoulet (love them hot dance biscuits!).

Oh! And I can’t forget my Twitter friends too! Shout outs to Whitney Elizabeth, Araxi, Heidi Ryder, Kim of Just Kim Photography, Jordana of Hazelnut Photography, Ala of Modern Type Photography, Jasmine Marie, and Melissa McClure. I love keeping up with the goings on of the photography world one tweet at a time.

I’m sure this list could go on and on, and I’m afraid I probably forgot some folks, which I do apologize for. I appreciate you! I feel so lucky and blessed to be a part of this amazing industry in which I can connect with people near and far and share ideas and where we support each other to succeed. Love it.

Thank you. Infinity-fold.



Chairs and The Frugally Fabulous Move


This blog post is brought to you by the FREE wifi at Panera Bread.

I’m excited to report that we are MOVED IN!

Of course, that simply means that we shoved everything into the house. It’s still kind of a disaster zone. But now we have furniture to sit on and a bed to sleep on. It makes such a huge difference though.

Saturday, or “pre-furniture” day, we waited for the cable guy to come. As is standard, the cable company gave us a window of time that the cable guy might show up. And of course, it was at the END of the window that he finally arrived. While we waited, we leaned on the counters, tried sitting on the tile floor, and laid down on the carpeted bedroom floor. Nothing compares to actual chairs or couches. Things that were meant to be sat on. Just saying, I’m THANKFUL for the invention of chairs.

Since our move wasn’t of epic proportion (i.e. cross country or hours away), it was 15 minutes down the same main drag, our move wasn’t terrible. I’d like to call it our “Frugally Fabulous” move. During the week I’d go over to the house with suitcases full of clothes, boxes with dishes, and a Glad trash bag full of shoes. Yes, we were stylin’ with the Glad bags. The neighbors probably thought I was leaving Cent or something, little did they know we were Moving OUT! I packed up boxes from my move to Texas that I had never unpacked. Sunday we rented the U-Haul and we should have listened to HGTV, and reserved the bigger truck. Make fewer trips. Thankfully, Cent’s friends from my flag football team came to do the heavy lifting, and I, you know, supervised.

So, we are moved in.

And we have places to sit.

Here’s my advice to moving in a Frugally Fabulous way:

  • If you can move gradually like we did, move over all the items (clothes, dishes, stereos) that don’t require a U-Haul.
  • If you’re frugally fabulous like us, resuse boxes, bubble wrap, and packing paper.
  • Bring over a stool or small chair. You’ll be happy you did.
  • Rent the bigger U-Haul. Less wedging of furniture. Fewer trips. Less headaches.
  • Enlist the help of friends. Thank them and feed them pizza.
  • Clean your new home prior to moving in. The Swiffer line of cleaning products rocks!
  • Check out Craigslist for people giving away moving boxes.
  • Bring a roll of toilet paper. You’ll thank yourself later. (Thanks Eileen for the tip!)

Happy Monday!


Our Wedding: The Photobooth = Major Fun!


Yay! We have our wedding photos once again. First, we thought our photos were lost by the US Postal Service. Then, we went to visit my in-laws in Savannah, and we forgot the disc on their desk. Thankfully, Cent’s brother, Courtney sent them back to us. So yay! They are back in possession AND it’s time to blog about our wedding. Our awesomely fun, totally personal, and all-around best time ever, if I do say so myself.

So for a little fun, I thought I’d start with our photobooth. I knew that this was something I wanted to do. I had seen wedding photobooths on the wedding blog circuit and to meet our wedding’s vision of FUN, knew that this would do the trick. And our venue, Castlewood Country Club had the perfect little nook in the back of the room to set it up. When I asked our awesome photographer, Travis, if he could set one up, he was totally on board. And it was so so so fun. Did I mention FUN?

First: my bridesmaids, Maggie, Elana, Krystle and Liz

Castlewood Country Club Wedding Pleasanton

With me and my sister, Stephanie.

Castlewood Country Club Wedding Pleasanton

My girls + guy  from UCSD.

Castlewood Country Club Wedding Pleasanton

Mes amis francais from our study abroad program in Lyon, France.

Castlewood Country Club Wedding Pleasanton

Us with Cent’s friends and his brother Courtney from Georgia Southern University.

Castlewood Country Club Wedding Pleasanton

Castlewood Country Club Wedding Pleasanton

My ballet teachers and their hubbies! Click here to check out my Ballet Studio, Ballet Petit.

Castlewood Country Club Wedding Pleasanton

My BFF Europa girls who also went to UCSD. Click here for their mini photo shoot in San Francisco.

Castlewood Country Club Wedding Pleasanton

My BFF Maggie. We’ve known each other since we were 8. That’s almost 20 years! This photo basically sums up our friendship.

Castlewood Country Club Wedding Pleasanton

My awesome parents.

Castlewood Country Club Wedding Pleasanton

More college friends!

Castlewood Country Club Wedding Pleasanton

Cent’s high school friends. Richmond Hill High School Class of ’01!

Castlewood Country Club Wedding Pleasanton

Me and my sister and my cousins. My cousin Mercy is an amazing singer living it up in Brooklyn. Check out her website.

Castlewood Country Club Wedding Pleasanton

My parents, grandmother, great-aunt, aunts, and uncles, with a cousin or two.

Castlewood Country Club Wedding Pleasanton

My UCSD homies! Pretty amazing we crammed everyone into this shot!

Castlewood Country Club Wedding Pleasanton

All photos by Travis Hoehne.

So if you were wondering, wedding photo booths are totally awesome! And so much fun. Especially when you bust out the props and sunglasses and boas!

You want MORE? Click HERE for a full slideshow of our wedding photobooth pictures!

This is definitely something that I offer for your wedding day wish list. Imagine the possibilities! Your wedding should be filled with fun and glee. Yes, GLEE.



Happy 2 Months!



I’m happy to report that we received our wedding photos! And that means that they will be blogged in the coming weeks.

I don’t know why it took a month for our photos to arrive in our mailbox – actually I had to go rescue them from the Post Office. Our awesome photographer, Travis Hoehne, sent them in August and anxiously awaited them. And waited some more. And soon it was September. Finally, September 10, we got a notice in our mailbox to pick up a package at the Post Office.

It was the photos. And I owed $0.78.


I looked at the postmark and they were sent August 13. And then I guess the postal service ate them? Or they got lost? So very strange. But, we did finally get them. Woo hoo! Thanks Travis!

So here’s one picture to keep you wanting some more!


And….we’re Married!


Hello blog world, I have returned from a fantastic reason for a mini-hiatus: our wedding and honeymoon!

It. was. fantastic.

I don’t think I could have asked for a better day. Ever.

I set out to plan our wedding a a couple of goals: Make it fun. Make it personal. Make it memorable. And I think we hit all three goals with full force!!

Our wedding day would not have gone as smoothly and effortlessly as it did without our amazing crew of vendors, who I must thank for all their hard work!

Our photographer: Travis Hoehne

Travis, in a word, AMAZING. His team of Charlton and Lindsey, AMAZING. His nonstop and unmatchable energy kept the party going. He was so easy to work with and all the guests couldn’t stop complimenting how awesome he was. Travis also set up a photo booth, and it was SWEET! I say this is the best way to get photos with guests without having to do the obligatory cheesy table shots that I know photographers *love* to take. I know that I, along with all of my guests, are sitting at the edges of our seats, ready to see the photo explosion!

Me, my sister, and my cousins working the photo booth. (Thanks Auntie Terry for the photo)

Our cake diva: Jen’s Cakes

Our cakes were FANTASTIC. Not only in style but in taste too. Delicious. And yes, cakes. Jen made us a Groom’s cake to my specs – a Super Nintendo system just for Cent! As you may know, I’m kind of a cake buff. Ok, who am I kidding, I’m cake obsessed! I’m so glad that we booked with Jen’s Cakes because she did a FABULOUS job and I enjoyed every bite!

Check out our EPIC Groom’s cake (thanks to David for the photo):

And our beautiful cake! (Thanks Charlene/Dianne for the photo!)

Our fantabulous florist: Huckleberry Karen Designs

The day of the wedding, Karen twittered that she had surprise for me. I had no idea what it could be. Well, let me just say that Karen is a miracle worker. We had our one and only initial meeting back in January. We had exchanged emails to confirm details, and she is wonderful to work with. So easy to communicate with and make changes. Anyway, the big day rolls around and we arrive at the church. Karen says she wants to deliver my bouquet to me personally.

She says, “Now what kind of flowers did you really want for your bouquet?”

“Peonies?!” I asked shyly.

She pulls the bouquet from behind her back. And there they were. Peonies. In the middle of July. See I told you she was a miracle worker. Thank you Karen!

She also pulled together some wonderfully fantastic centerpieces, which I wish I had had more time to check out and enjoy. They were lovely from some of the photos I saw from friends and family.

Our coordinator extraordinaire: Laura Saldana of Pink Petals Event Design

One of the best investments hands down to keep sane on your wedding day. Even if you are planning the wedding yourself, as I did, I’m so glad we decided to hire a day-of coordinator. After a few briefings, I passed the reigns to Laura and she took care of everything! She asked me all the questions and reminded me of things I had forgotten or overlooked. She brought pins for the money dance and pens for the guestbook. She was a lifesaver for sure. And I didn’t have to worry about anything the day of. I had so much fun!!

Our Make Up Artist: Yolanda Thayer of Prima Donna Makeover

Yolanda was our first vendor to arrive on the big day. She arrived at my parents’ home at 7:3oam. I’m no early riser, but I think the excitement didn’t let me sleep in. Yolanda worked her magic on us and it was great working with her. She stayed with us through the ceremony and came to the reception site to do touch ups before the reception started. Thank you Yolanda for beautifying all of us!

Our DJ: Mark Haggerty of Denon & Doyle Entertainment

Mark made our night. He kept the flow going and everyone dancing. I mean EVERYONE. I haven’t been to that many weddings, but I have never seen as many people as were at our wedding DANCING. Usually people are shy about dancing, but not at our wedding! He played all the songs Cent and I had personally requested (sadly he didn’t get to one song my sister and friend had requested sorry girls!) Everyone danced until the very last song. My father-in-law was getting ready to leave (all of Cent’s family had to catch a 6am flight Sunday morning), but when Mark played “Flashlight” by Parliament, he rushed to the dancefloor and waved his phone like a lighter. Awesome!

Here’s me in the middle (Thanks David for the photo!)

Thank you to everyone who traveled near and far to share our wedding day with us. I can’t say enough how much it meant to both of us.

And now, in case you didn’t know, I’m in Dallas, where Cent and I will set up our home base. I’m excited for big things coming to my photo business!

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