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▣ Minda & Brett - Part 2 (image overload!)

June 28th, 2009

I'm getting so far behind on blogging that I had to catch up on all the good stuff that's already happened so I can get to the part where I can show you the good stuff that's going on now !  Yowza - I wish I could give you sneak peaks from Molly & J at Fallingwater, fireworks on the river, french and indian war cannon's in the woods, summer wildlife, lingrow portraits, Olivia's rockin senior session, Jess & Jaison at Hartwood Acres, Zack v.2010, and Ben & Amy - but I'm just not done yet!  And it's too good to skip over anything!


Just keep clicking over here - cause just when you think it's good we're taking it to a whole. nother. level.


Oh snap.


Back to Minda and Brett - when we last left this blog entry, Minda was just pulling up to their ceremony in the white horse drawn carriage.  Her two ringbearers enjoying the ride with her - one carried the embroidered monogram pillow with the rings tied to a bow, and the other proudly held a banner that read "Here comes the Bride".




I love this venue.



Their ceremony brought me to tears (along with every other person present including the minister).  Since Minda works with kids, they used an excerpt from The Velveteen Rabbit as a reading.  Basic synopsis - the story is told from the point of view of a stuffed rabbit that lives in a child's nursery and covers a lot of topics about love and growing up and growing old.

Here's a snippet -

(this starts at the point when the Skin Horse and the Rabbit are talking)

The Skin Horse had lived longer in the nursery than any of the others. He was so old and most of the hairs in his tail had been pulled out to string bead necklaces. For nursery magic is very strange and wonderful, and only those playthings that are old and wise and experienced like the Skin Horse understand all about it.

"What is REAL?" asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. "Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?"

"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."

"Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit.

"Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt."

"Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?"

"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in your joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."

Maybe I'm just an old softy - but it was a beautiful reading.  And we all needed a tissue after that. 





 Just married they boogie-ed back up the aisle and into the awaiting carriage for a private ride around the lake.



 A few fun pictures with some of the kids that Minda has nannied over the years.  Images 2, 3, 5, and 6 courtesy of Anna.



 This next group is also courtesy of Anna who had the spy lens while we were doing the formals.







 Minda and Brett and their family and friends put so much care into the details of this wedding.  Here, they strung a clothesline on the porch of the barn and had blank tags that guests could write messages on and then clothespin to the line.  The staff at Lingrow had big glass containers of cold lemonade and ice tea for guests to sip while they visited.




 SO FUN!  Minda and Brett rented a margarita machine for the wedding!  They found these great giant margarita glasses (my mum would call them 'bathtubs' - I have several at home) that they decorated and instead of fruit or umbrellas they floated bride and groom rubber ducks in their drinks as a garnish.



 The food was amazing courtesy of Chef and I catering.  There was roast turkey and beef, sandwich materials, jumbalaya, steamed vegetables, and a pasta station where you could choose your own noodles, sauce, and toppings and have your own personal combination cooked to perfection right before your eyes.  Guests couldn't wait to get to the fancy cupcakes (KeyLime, BananaPeanutButter, Smores, and ChocStrawberry flavor).



Ice Ice Baby  :-)   Literally - Anna and I were downstairs melting ice cubes to make special effects for this shot!



 The Best Man and Maid of Honor each gave heartfelt toasts.



 Minda and Brett took dance lessons prior to the wedding and impressed everyone with a very sweet waltz.



 When there was a lull in the evening before the serious partying started, I stole the couple away outside for some private photo time.  They each had brought a gift for one another and opened them sitting down at the dock.  Minda gave Brett a very nice watch and he had a gorgeous bracelet for her.



 Love Love Loved the parasol...






 When guests arrived that day they found empty jars with their name and table number on them.  That way they could carry their jar to the candy buffet and fill it with their favorite sweets to take home.



This couple is brilliant - you've figured that out by now, right? 

They had a caricature artist come to the reception and draw for the guests as they posed for their portrait.  Everybody loved it and tons of people went home with an extra personalized souvenier to remember a crazy fun day!




 Just before it got dark that night Minda and Brett stepped outside to do a "Thank You Shot" so they could use it for their thank you cards after the wedding.  They had crafted a sign made out of tags strung on a line.


Congratulations and thank you both so much for the privilege of having us shoot your wedding! 

I can't wait to see pictures from Figi !!   (They were honeymooning and swimming with sharks!)





Ceremony & Reception Site:  Lingrow Farm

Food Services:   Chef and I

Salon Experts:  Planet Chi





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▣ Minda & Brett 05.23.09

June 22nd, 2009


Greetings!  Wow - long time no post..  Sorry about that guys.  Things to explain:  my fantastic printer bit the dust after 3 years of loyal service.  I was peeved - it actually counted down like a death clock "parts inside your printer are reaching the end of their service life"  followed by "parts inside your printer are near the end of their service life"  (I thought it was a clever pressure sales technique by Epson to get me to go out and buy something) and then finally "parts inside your printer have reached the end of their service life"  and it stopped printing.  Completely.  The nice folks at Epson informed me that unless I wanted to drive it to a service center (1+ hour away) and pay for parts and labor, that I was now the proud owner of a 27 lb paperweight and their advice was to just buy a new printer.  They even gave me a handy link to where I could buy the new model of that printer for 10% off.  And go back to the pure joy of having to special order 8 ink cartridges online wait for them to arrive and then count the months until the new Epson death clock started to count down.  No thank you.

I've switched to HP.  Does it read 15 memory cards? No.  Does it print directly onto the surface of a CD? No.  Does it have a 5 inch LCD screen which allows me to view photos and correct red eye and print little kitten greeting cards?  No.

But what it does do is Print.  Scan.  And Copy.  With 2 ink cartridges I can get even at walmart.  And it does it all - wirelessly.  Finally my laptop and I can venture out into the outdoor world where we were meant to be the whole time! 



And now  - on to the photos!

Minda & Brett were married on May 23rd at Lingrow Farm.  This is only part 1 of this celebration because it was too awesome for just one post!  I'm trying something different here with the blog collages.  I've done them a bunch of different ways, let me know which ones you like the best.




I met up with Minda, her bridesmaids, and the moms at Planet Chi Salon in Lower Burrell.  I don't know if it was the hairspray cloud hanging in the air or the fantastic staff, but it was a great start to an amazing day!



I left the girls at the salon and headed out to the farm with Anna to get a sneak peak at all the fabulous details inside the barn.



Minda made all of the centerpieces herself with fresh flowers.  And there were tags on everything - cool tags like you'd see on a package.  They tied everything together with tags labeling family photos, tags on the candy buffet, larger tags featuring photos of their dog were the table cards.



Some fabulous details from the hand embroidered ring pillow, to the baskets at the back of the aisle which held tissues and programs, the hanging vases that lined the processional with fresh flowers.



This is just a sneak peak of what's to come.  After the bridesmaids came down the aisle and Brett stood waiting, everyone had turned waiting and watching.  Where was the bride?  Where - and then someone spotted her and pointed and everyone turned to see.  From across the lake came a horse drawn carriage carrying Minda and her two ring bearers in a sweeping circle around the lake, up the lane, and across the field to her wedding.

I can't wait to show you more!


Don't forget, comment and vote on which new blog board you like the best.

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▣ Chris 2 0 0 9

June 10th, 2009




Graduation!  Oh we're not through yet!  Just when we make it through all of the '09 seniors - it will be time to start for 2010.

In fact, it's time to start now!  Be an early bird - get your senior photos done through the summer and have one less thing to think about when it's time to fill out the FAFSA and plan your graduation party next year! 



This is Chris with his first car.

Happy Summer :-)

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▣ Lauren & Keith 05.15.09

June 8th, 2009

 Lauren and Keith were married on May 15th in Mt. Pleasant, PA.  Originally their wedding was scheduled for the 20th of June, but do to the innate ability of the military to schedule deployments at THE WORST TIME - their wedding had to be moved up.  Luckily I was able to make the date switch with them! 


 In order to keep our timeline running smoothly - they changed the order of events for the day so that after getting ready, they would do all of their outdoor photos before the ceremony!  The girls got ready at the church - the flower girl was so sweet.



 Once everyone was put together and the guys finally got themselves into the cars and out of the parking lot, we were able to sneak Lauren out of the building!  You'll notice she has immaculate taste in sunglasses and accessories.



 Her mom drove the chariot as we went to a nearby friend of the family's home for some outdoor shots by the pond.  Unfortunately due to extreme brightness and sunshine, we didn't get too close to the pond and decided the best lighting was in the shade.  We had Keith get out of the car and stand under the tree with his eyes closed and then Lauren snuck up on him for a first look.  I really encourage couples who are a little more relaxed about traditions to see eachother before the wedding for a few photos, and a few moments to themselves.  It makes the walk down the aisle a lot less nerve wracking and allows you to keep that special moment to yourselves.

Although, as you can see - we weren't really alone - everyone else was just hanging out off camera.   :-)



 The ringbearer who was the flower girl's little brother - what a lucky family to have 2 kids that cute !



 I love this one, courtesy of Anna.



 This is Lauren's brother with his fiance - they will be tying the knot next year in Erie!  Congratulations :-D



 Spoiled again with a gorgeous bride.  She chose peonies for her boquet and they smelled fantastic!






 Lauren sports yet another [even bigger!] pair of sunglasses!    So FUN.



Once all the fun shanannigans were done outside, we went back to the church to get ready for the ceremony.  Lauren watched out the window of the church hall as the guests arrived.  Image by Anna.



 Lauren admitted she was getting a little nervous waiting for the bridesmaids to get down the aisle !  Image by Anna.



 But when the big moment came, to me she looked happy and relaxed and all smiles.



 Their church had no center aisle and huge window behind the altar.  It made for some challenging photos and some great lighting variety!






 The ring shot - the bridesmaids wore raspberry tea length dresses in a variety of styles and carried boquets of orange and pink gerber daisies.  I love a daisy for a ring shot :-)



 The reception was held at Bell's Steak and Sea House in Mt. Pleasant.  It's an old bank barn converted into a restaurant and event hall.  Inside there are outstanding crystal chandeliers, a huge dance floor, a stage, and 2 overhead lofts which offer additonal seating a great place to watch the festivities unfold.  Each table was adorned with centerpieces made of pink and white dogwood branches floating in lighted square vases. 

 The favor at each seat was a giant moist chocolate cookie with white chocolate chips and chunks of raspberries.  Their cake was served with a fresh chocolate covered strawberry on each slice.  It was a foodie paradise.



 Lauren and Keith danced their first dance together which kicked off a great party!  Later in the evening during the bridal dance, Keith fought his way through the crowd to scoop Lauren up and carried her away!


We wish you and your families all the best!  Stay healthy, happy, and safe for many years to come!


Reception:  Bell's Steak and Sea House Mt. Pleasant, PA

Entertainment:  Exceptional Entertainment






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▣ Stephanie '09

June 4th, 2009



**UPDATE**  2 sessions still available for Sunday the 7th at Lingrow Farm - 10 am and 3 pm. 

And the weather looks GREAT!  :-)   Call today!


With most high schools graduating this weekend, it's down to the wire to get senior photos done for 2009 graduates.  We are also taking appointments for 2010 seniors!  The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of seniors trying to check the last high school activity off of their list before stepping out into the future and beyond.

This is Stephanie - we met up a few weeks back for photos at her home and some outdoor shots at Fox Chapel Golf Club.



Participating in Orchestra at school, she is very talented and played the piano and the violin for me.






After hanging out at her house, we headed over to the gorgeous grounds at the Fox Chapel Golf Club and took a golf cart for a spin around the green.  We were searching for a willow tree which we never did find, but we made do with what we saw along the way.  It was very cold though - one of those windy blustery afternoons.  Steph was a trooper and SO beautiful!

I cannot even tell you how much photoshop prowess I had to use to get all of her stray hairs that were flying everywhere under control in this image.  We literally could have flown a kite and lifted off like Mary Poppins.






Here we were workin in with the wind !








Congratulations Steph!  Have a great time at Notre Dame in the fall !


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