Oct
21
Portraits

Guilfoy Family Portraits

Four years ago I shot John and Kim's wedding. Such great memories:


Since then they have made total cuteness in the form of these two:


Emma is 1 and Sam is 3.

We met up the other day in Scottsdale to capture some family portraits for them. I loved John and Kim's attitude during the shoot. They knew their kids weren't at the ages to realistically expect to get a portrait with everyone smiling at the camera. So we spent time just capturing them hanging out as a family.

We played in a fountain:


Went for a couple walks:


Hung out in this tiny alley:


And raced dad :).


So cute! I love every opportunity I get to catch up with past clients!


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Oct
19
Albums

Two album designs!

With all the travel I've been doing this past month, we're a bit behind on our album designs. But! I have two new album designs from recent weddings to share with you!

Dave & Ann were married a few weeks ago at Sassi in Scottsdale. Their wedding was so much fun! Click here to see the full design! And keep in mind that the finished album is much larger -- 14x10 inches in size.


Danielle & Vinny were married last week in Fredericksburg, Virginia. They were such a sweet couple! Click here to see the full design!


Note to photographers: If you need help getting YOUR album designs done fast, click here to find out how you can purchase my templates!


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Oct
18
101 in 1001

road trip wrap up


I've been back from my New England Road trip since Wednesday but there's been so much going on I haven't had a chance to finish blogging about it!

After we shot Danielle and Vinny's wedding on Sunday, we spent two days in DC. I had never been to DC before. My friend Shannon who came on the trip to assist me for the wedding is a junior high history teacher and has been to DC numerous times. So I happily handed over the planning for these two days to her. I was SO exhausted by then so it was all I could do to walk around and put my camera to my eye every once in awhile, but I'm glad we got the chance to fit this in to our road trip all the same!

It was a lot prettier than I expected. I loved the old buildings, architecture and all the trees:



Loved this walk next to the reflecting pool on the way to the Lincoln Memorial:


We stopped for a much needed patriotic popsicle break. Our friend Courtney lives super-close to DC so she hung out with us one day:


We unknowingly stumbled into the filming of Transformers 3. I've never seen any of the Transformers movies, but I guess the actor in the yellow car is Shia Labeouf - the main guy. And you can see the camera mounted onto the car behind them. Kinda cool!


And a couple more random shots. The top of the capitol building:


And a cool staircase in the Supreme Court building:


Good times. I can't believe how much we packed into 10 days!

3 shoots:
Brandon & Ali's Connecticut engagement shoot
Dave and Jessica's NYC engagement shoot
Danielle and Vinny's Virginia wedding

8 states:
New Hampshire
Massachusetts
Connecticut
New York
New Jersey
Delaware
Maryland
Virginia

And 6 of my 101 in 1001 goals checked off:
See a New England Fall
See a musical on Broadway
Take a carriage ride in Central Park
Go apple picking
Take a road trip and stop along the way at cool places to take photos
Visit one of the 10 states I haven't been to yet (CT, NJ, DE, VA - only 6 to go!)

Road trips are fun. Coming home after a road trip is even better.
Loved seeing and doing so many fun things. But you can't beat coming home to this cuteness:



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Oct
16
News!

f-stop breast cancer auction


Wanted to let you guys know that I'm stoked to be participating in an online auction to benefit Breast Cancer. Lydia Shannon is the cool photographer who is putting this all on and she's pledging to shave her head when proceeds exceed $10,000! And she's definitely going to get there.

Click here to find out more about F-stop Breast Cancer and click here to bid on a one hour coaching session with me! The auction ends mid-day on Tuesday and all proceeds go to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation - how cool is that!? You get to spend time with me AND you fight breast cancer AT THE SAME TIME. Brilliance.


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Oct
14
Weddings by MJ

Danielle & Vinny


Danielle and Vinny were married on 10/10/10 in Fredericksburg Virginia. I was SO honored to be a part of capturing their memories on this day.



Danielle was such a sweetheart. I loved getting to know her, her family and friends. Everyone treated one another SO kindly.


Danielle's mom shared in her toast later in the evening that as she helped her daughter into her wedding dress she cried as she remembered dressing her up in her very first baby dress.



I can't get over how sweet Vinny was with Danielle. If ever there was a groom who cherishes his bride and shows it openly, it's Vinny. He must have said "I love you" 50 times that day.


While we were getting this portrait -


This little guy walked over to say "hi." Vinny was quick on the camera phone draw!

And then the goat got his head stuck through the fence!


Virginia was an amazing backdrop in which to shoot. You just don't see this in Phoenix:


Danielle was glowing:



Love these. Again with the sweetness:


Danielle's father helped her with her dress as they headed out to the ceremony site:


I am SO thrilled that Danielle hired Kindra Hall to write her ceremony story. She did so as a surprise to Vinny and I could tell that he was extremely touched. Their story was read by various friends and made their ceremony SO personal. I cried.

With Danielle and Kindra's permission, here is their story in full:

Danielle and Vinny: The Beginning

Danielle and Vinny.

Two travelers, on two different paths, to an unlikely place.

Virginia.

And though they say Virginia is for lovers...neither of them really wanted to be there.

Danielle came to Virginia from the west. After college and a short time in California, Danielle had a choice; move to Virginia and be close to her family, or stay in Arizona -- a place that, after a lifetime of moving, truly felt like home. She loved the palm trees, she reveled in the sunshine, she laughed at her east coast friends in winter coats while she got a summer glow, and she believed that flip flops should be worn all year round. Danielle was a west coast girl....She was torn at the thought of leaving -- but in the end she moved east. To Virginia.

Vinny came to Virginia from the Big Apple. Vinny loves New York. Loves it. According to Vinny they have the best pizza, they have the best bagels, they have the best Italian Ice, the best of everything is in New York. Even with all that, Vinny will be the first to tell you that the best thing about New York...is his family. Leaving his family made leaving New York nearly impossible, but he did it. For a career with the marines, for the opportunity to grow, he moved. To Virginia.

Then one night, after they had both settled in in the unlikely state of Virginia, Danielle and Vinny's paths crossed. They met at a bar. They exchanged numbers. And that Thursday night became their first date. Over casual drinks Vinny and Danielle got to know each other. They joked, they laughed, they listened. Danielle talked of Sunshine and Palm Trees. Vinny talked of The City and Lights. And at the end of the evening he kissed her hand goodnight.

Whatever it was, it started that night. A feeling. A feeling that would last the rest of the relationship. A feeling that neither of them had felt before....Then again, they weren't supposed to...


Danielle: When She Knew He was the One

Before heading out for a weekend in New York, Vinny couldn't leave without seeing Danielle.

So with his bags packed, his family waiting for his arrival, and delaying the trip to his beloved city...

Vinny drove.

Twenty miles.

In the opposite direction.

For a single cup of coffee.

Though he said it was for the best coffee in town, she knew it was for her.

When he left, she wasn't sure what to expect. New boyfriend goes to New York for a wild and crazy weekend. Would she still be on his mind when he came back to Virginia?

The day he returned from his beloved New York, from the glow of the city lights, it was with a gift from one of the best street vendors he had told her so much about: a necklace with her name engraved on a piece of rice.

"I missed you," he said.

Danielle knew then that she would marry this man.


Vinny: When He Knew She was the One

It was his birthday -- his first birthday away from New York, his first birthday without his family. Danielle knew it would be tough. She wanted to do something special...something New York Special.

She devised a plan.

She convinced her neighbors,

On their trip to New York,

To pick up his favorite pie, and you-never-had-anything-like-em Cannolis.

So on his birthday.

In a kitchen in Virginia.

Vinny ate like he was in New York and felt like he was home.

Vinny knew then that he would marry this woman.


Danielle and Vinny: The Engagement

Vinny bought Danielle a ring,

Asked her father's permission,

And then carried that ring loose in his pocket for two weeks. Two weeks. No box. Just the ring.

To his credit, he was waiting for the perfect moment to ask Danielle to spend her life with him. He thought the perfect moment would be a Friday evening while he and Danielle went for a walk to get ice cream. But when it started to rain and Danielle didn't want to get her white pants wet...his perfect moment was ruined.

He was not happy.

Then he thought his perfect moment might be the next day, Saturday. He thought about planning something romantic but Danielle planned faster, planned for both of them, and planned for the whole day. His perfect moment was ruined.

He was not happy.

With the ring still loose in his pocket, he decided Sunday was it. They spent the day at the pumpkin patch; they went on a hay ride -- a perfect moment, they picked out their first pumpkin -- a perfect moment, they drank cider, they went for dinner, they enjoyed their meal...

And though the perfect day was almost over,

Though the sun had gone down,

Vinny still had the ring in his pocket. This was not good.

As they walked across the parking lot and to the car Vinny made a decision.
He would stop waiting for the perfect moment, and just ask her.
It was there, on a cool, fall, Sunday evening in October in the parking lot of a steakhouse that Vinny got down on one knee and asked Danielle,
"Would you be mine forever?"

He'll never forget the look on her face when, after several "are you serious?," and after they put the ring on the correct hand, she said yes.

It was perfect. Just like it was supposed to be.


Danielle and Vinny: The Future

Today marks the beginning of a new journey. These two travelers who started on unexpected paths found themselves at this place. And while they are excited for the wedding...they are thrilled to have each other as husband and wife. To make their life together as one.

Danielle has never known any man like Vinny before. A man who listens the way Vinny does. A man who is passionate about his family -- with every story he told her she fell more in love. She has never known so much laughter, so much support, so much freedom to just be herself. With Vinny she knows her life will be filled with episodes of the Simpsons, with Christmas gifts wrapped in comic paper, with secret family recipes, and bottles of Makers Mark.

She knows she will be loved like never before...just like she's supposed to be.

Danielle is Vinny's first love. She is the first woman to feel like family. He loves her smile, her honesty. He loves her pure heart. Her adventurous spirit keeps life exciting and her outlook on life is his inspiration. Most of all, Vinny loves how Danielle loves him. With Danielle he knows his life will be filled with pictures hung with push pins instead of nails, with Danielle liking her meal at restaurants more than her own and having to fight for his dinner, with trips to Carl's for ice cream, and with her talking through every movie in the theater. And that no matter where they go, it will always feel like home.

He knows he will be loved like never before...just like he's supposed to be.

Everything happens for a reason. From New York, from Arizona, to Virginia and beyond, today marks the beautiful beginning of Vinny and Danielle.

The End


I love this sweet moment after the ceremony:


The reception room at the Golf Gauntlet was decorated beautifully:


More sweetness during the first dance:



The father/daughter dance was a tear-jerker:



Such a great day!


To see even more photos from this wedding, click here to view the slideshow!


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