Thursday, July 31, 2008

Stephanie and Doug!

What a great day we had! So what if it was ridiculously hot and humid! Mark has known the Blum family for years and it was wonderful seeing everyone again. When we get to work with our awesome clients throughout the years it almost feels like a family reunion when we cover events for them.

Doug gets the 'most fun and most caring groom of the year award.' His emotions during the ketubah signing and ceremony were so genuine it touched everyone there. The love and friendship that surrounds Doug and Stephanie is true and beautiful. It was fun to be a part of it all! Mazel Tov!

Friday, July 25, 2008

"The envelope please...."

We are very excited to say that all four of our wedding album entries at PPA's International Print Judging went into the Loan Collection making us Diamond Level Photographers of the Year for PPA. Only 11 other photographers earned that honor this year. Crazy to think that weddings from little old Dayton, Ohio can compete with weddings from all over the world!

Mark also earned his Imaging Excellence Bar and Jennifer earned her Imaging Excellence Degree. A little birdie has also told us that we have an album(s) in the PPA's Top Ten Wedding Albums!? Nothing is official yet, but we'll let you know when we hear something. Keep your fingers crossed for us.

It seems silly, but the Top Ten is the honor that gets my heart racing the most. Many of the photographers that we idolize are in that Top Ten ranking and it is very humbling to be honored with your idols...we feel like Sally Fields, "You like me, you really really like me."

What amazes me most is the fact that we are the only photographers that have been in the Top Ten five times. I know its a combination of luck and hard work and when we step back to look at that accomplishment it doesn't even seem real to us. Now that we have tooted our own horns enough I'll try to redeem myself by leaving you with these thoughts...Muhammad Ali said, "If you can do it, it ain't bragging." :)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Love...Isle Six!

Okay, we all love a good love story and Molly and Scott's is one of the best that I have heard in awhile. We are friends with Molly's family and even photographed her senior pictures. Molly is from Brookville...a quaint but small town. So how did she meet and fall in love with a soccer coach from Australia?

Molly was just getting off her shift from the deli case at McMacken's grocery, which she said she was covered in Bologna and other deli meats...not your typical pick-up attire. Scott who was visiting the U.S. and staying with a local family stopped into the grocery on the way to a soccer game. Anyway, Cupid's arrow struck in the walk-in cooler at McMackens...despite being covered in deli meats! Love works in mysterious ways!

We were booked for Molly and Scott's wedding date :( and were thrilled to be asked to photograph their engagement session. We had a great time and finished the night with a few beers at Ned Peppers listening to great stories and Scott's great accent. (What is it with cute guys and accents...Molly didn't stand a chance!)


Monday, July 21, 2008

International Print Judging

This week Mark will be in Daytona Beach, Florida with the Professional Photographers of America's International Print and Album judging. Mark and Jennifer are both Affiliated Judges for the PPA and Mark is also a Jury Chair.

Each year photographers can enter four prints or albums to be judged at their state or regional print competition, which then go onto to the national judging. Entries are critiqued on twelve elements such as lighting, technique, creativity, composition and story telling. If your print scores an 80 or higher (on a 100 point scale), you have earned one print exhibition merit. At the national level, you then have the opportunity to have your merited print enter the Loan Collection, which is a high honor and is considered to be the 'best of the best.' When your merited print is accepted into the Loan Collection, you can earn another print exhibition merit for a possible total earned in one year of eight merits. That is if you merit and loan all four entries. This then determines Photographer of the Year for PPA.

It takes 13 print merits plus twelve additional merits from speaking or volunteering to earn your Master of Photography Degree. It takes an additional 25 merits to earn your Craftsman Degree. To earn your Imaging Excellence Degree you have to have 13 or more Loan Collection exhibition merits.

Looooong story short, we are both crossing our fingers this year for two more Loan entries each. With those two Loan Collection merits, Mark will earn his Imaging Excellence Bar, which is for 13 Loan merits above the 13 original Loans needed for the Imaging Excellence Degree ("rare air" as our friend Helen says). Jennifer will earn her Imaging Excellence Degree just two years after earning both her Masters and Craftsman Degrees...pretty cool!

So whats all this mean? Nothing....other than we like continually striving to better ourselves. Having our worked critiqued by International Jurors helps us stay current and is truly the best form of continuing education for photographers.

Keep your fingers crossed for us and the four brides whose albums we entered! One spread from each of their albums is shown below.
Neal/Hoffman...Dayton Art Institute

Riggsby/Munson...The Officer's Club

Berg/Hurewitz...The Schuster Center for Performing Arts

Wolientz/Feldman...The Hilton at Easton in Columbus

Friday, July 18, 2008

Check us out on The Knot!

One of all our all time favorite bridal couples and families, the Westendorfs, has their wedding featured on The Knot as a Real Wedding slide show. We had a stupendous time with everyone and hated to have the wedding come to an end!

Brooke and Michael had such a great wedding down to the very smallest of details. They also had the best wedding band, we have EVER heard! The Libido Funk Circus band from Chicago was the only wedding band that I have ever heard play top 40 hits...and played them very well! We still get to see Brooke and her family when we do family portraits for them. Congrats on being selected for The Knot!

Participating Vendors:

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Go Amy! Go!

We would like to wish Amy Porter, one of our recent brides, a ton of blessings. She is going down to the American Idol audition in Louisville this weekend. She has a phenomenal voice and we know she will do awesome! Remember us little people when your famous! Break a leg!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Announcing the new Mr. & Mrs. Susi!

What a day we had....rain, sun, rain, sun, rain, sun, rain, sun....and tons of humidity in between, but we made it through the day with some awesome images to show for it. We had fun with our locations including the beautiful St. Joseph Cathedral and walking the alleys to the State House. Along the way, we found the prettiest mural I have ever seen and had fun using it as a backdrop.
We were also treated with the Ohio State Alumni Band announcing the bride and groom for their grand entrance! We also got to work with our FAVORITE band in Ohio, The Conspiracy Band! You rock Rodney! Phil's family also owns Berwick Catering so the food and beverage was out of this world! Mark and I don't normally eat at a reception, but I tried the brushetta from the appetizer station and it was the best I have ever had by a long shot.

Congrats to the happy couple and enjoy the Mayan Riviera! I'm sure its to die for :) We'll have your video posted soon!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Gift of Love

This month XXV, "The Society of Twenty-five," was featured in Professional Photographer magazine. Mark has been with the group since it's beginning, and the group and all its members are very near and dear to Mark's heart. The group consists of twenty-five master photographers from all over the globe from the Netherlands, Ireland, Israel , Mexico, Singapore, England to all over the U.S..

Each year members meet in a different city and share their craft, business, and this year in San Diego their hearts. Eleven Make-A-Wish families had family portraits taken by different members of the group and received framed wall portraits.

The children and their families were amazing. Their stories were inspiring and heartwarming. The power of family never ceases to amaze us, especially under the trying times these families have endured. The kids and their families sent the group the most beautiful thank you cards. We couldn't help but cry as we read them. One note in particular from the Tenorio family really captured our hearts..."Sometimes it is hard to find a moment of happiness in our lives after the changing experience we are going through, yet the amazing photographers made us forget our worries for a moment. It is unique the gift that a photographer possesses but what is more incredible is how they capture the moments that are gone in a second and yet stay with you in your mind forever."

Make-A-Wish and A Special Wish are charities very dear to us. Each organization grants the wishes of children battling very serious diseases. Sometimes it is a trip to Disney or for a chance to meet a sports star, but often their wishes are so simple and sweet it blows your mind. There are wishes for small things like TVs, PlayStation's or computers. And then, you see the wishes that break your heart. Like a child who wishes for a day off for their mom or for a gift for their sibling. For Christmas, Mark and I plan on granting the wish of a local child instead of doing the normal holiday excess. If your would like to learn more or inquire about helping to grant a child's wish, visit Dayton's Special Wish chapter on-line or call 937-223-9474.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The Newlyweds Kate & Brian!

What a wonderful day we had with Kate and Brian and their loving family and friends! We had a busy day starting with Kate and all the girls at the house and ending with a sparkler send off at the end of the night. We loved working with Julie and team from I Do Weddings, who constantly went above the call of duty! Enjoy St. Lucia! We hear it is awesome!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

The Glass is Half Full!

One of the reasons why we love weddings so much is because of the challenges they create. Being a wedding photographer always means you are thinking five steps ahead of everyone else and seeing possibilities that no one else does.

At Courtney and Evan's wedding last week, the church was undergoing some construction. Normally, this would have been a headache; however, since the glass is always half full in our eyes we turned the construction into an opportunity.

Below you will see the result that with some creative photoshop tricks, we got a great image! I think sometimes couples think we are nuts when we ask them to pose near things like PODS, but then again I think they know that they are in good hands! Life is a lot more interesting when optimism is high!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

A Lotta Couture...A Little Cash!

For those with champagne tastes on a beer budget...Bluefly has always been a favorite shopping site. Lots of high-end designers (Prada, Jimmy Choo, Gucci, Dior, Yves Saint Laurent) with super pricing.

I found my Walter Steiger wedding shoes there for only $90...normally $390! The site is easy to navigate too. You can shop by just size or price. Check them out!

I love fun shoes so I picked an icy blue silk as my 'something blue.' Go wild with shoes and socks for a touch of wedding flair and personality. No one really sees them unless you want them too!

If you have a great Frugal Fashionista site you like to shop or visit, share it with other readers by posting a comment!

PS. Angela at Essenza Studio and Susan and Stewart Powers of Powers Photography photographed our wedding for us. It was a pleasure and a privilege for us to have them photograph our day. Having a destination wedding in Naples, Florida required travel for everyone and we are so glad they made the trip for us!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Courtney & Evan

We all had our fingers crossed hoping the rain would hold off...and we lucked out! We had a great time and laughed the whole day. I loved Courtney's red shoes and we were able to inject a lot of color elsewhere too! Congrats and enjoy the Florida sunshine!