Frivolous Friday vol. 24

Frivolous: playful, lighthearted, trivial; the little things in life that should be savored.

Favorite Outfit of the Week -- Dress: LOFT / Nude heels: Aldo

Highlight of the week: Shooting my cousin's wedding and being done shooting my cousin's wedding. I believe I already mentioned this, but it was the hottest wedding EVER. Had to peel my pants off as they were suctioned to my legs with a layer of sweat. Just be glad I didn't instagr.am what I looked like at the end of that day.

Yes, I did this:
1 -- Hit a wall two nights ago. Haven't rested since shooting the wedding Sunday and now I'm paying for it. Looks like I'm spending some quality time with my sore throat and all that it promises this weekend.
2 -- Ate 5 macaroons at a WIPA networking event last night AND didn't manage to work out once this week. Yikes.

In case it isn't abundantly apparent from my instagr.am feed, I'm in love with this dog. And this one.

Celebrating: Got to reconnect with a MJ2DAY alumni from back in 2009. Love her. We met up while I was in Kansas City, she shot the wedding with me and we also did a business coaching session over Skype. I'm so proud of how far she's come in her business!!

Collaborated with my talented friend Promise Tangeman to create a video about one of the three website projects she helped me develop this past year. This girl just oozes creativity -- I love her. Check out our video on the making of my Album Design Template logo & website on her blog!

Feeling Blessed: I was born after air conditioning was invented.

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Weddings by MJ

Jeremy & Amanda -- Weston, Missouri Wedding

I just got back from Kansas City. I was there for a wedding. And this one was extra special because the bride was my sweet cousin Amanda.

They met at a wedding. Amanda caught Jeremy's eye right from the beginning; he couldn't help but notice her - she was beautiful and fun. Unfortunately...Amanda was kind of interested in someone else at the time and, honestly, thought Jeremy asked too many questions. Fortunately for Jeremy, while you only get one chance to make a first impression, he didn't give up, and Amanda finally gave in to his persistent pursuit. After dating for a while, he got down on one knee in Central Park and proposed. As Jeremy tells it, Amanda leaped back, gasped, covered her mouth and exclaimed, "Yes! Yes! Please!" Amanda was clearly smitten.

I ask all of my couples to tell me their favorite traits about their soon-to-be-spouses. The answers are always so heartfelt and Amanda and Jeremy are no exception. I wanted to share with you Jeremy's response, because in all my years I've never seen it put this way: Amanda is beauty - a) she is beautiful b) she appreciates beauty c) she makes things beautiful.

I couldn't agree more.

Jeremy and Amanda were married Sunday and the wedding day was perfect....except for the heat. It was 105 degrees with 50% humidity. The hardest part was that beyond the preparation portion of the day, everything was outdoors and the venue had no rooms with AC. So it was a sweaty day. But you would never know it from these images. I don't think I heard Jeremy or Amanda complain once and their joy at being married and celebrating with the people closest to them was overarching.

I have to give a huge shout-out to my friends and 2nd/3rd shooters Rebecca Peters and Allison Marie. These two are local to Kansas City and volunteered to come along and shoot with me for the hottest wedding ever. They were total troopers! Thanks guys!!

The day started at one of Amanda's bridesmaid's homes where the girls got ready. Amanda is super-talented. She has a degree in weaving and is the first bride I've photographed who made her own wedding dress. Crazy-amazing!!

This wedding was the extreme of DIY. I chopped cucumbers for sandwiches and had my arms in the most gigantic bowl of salad you've ever seen the day before the wedding. Amanda pointed out that while the saying goes, "These days, everybody and their cousin is a photographer," she has a cousin who actually IS a photographer :). We have 13 cousins on this side of our family and each of us had a job -- or multiple jobs as it were. Our cousin Ellie chopped cabbage and was the hairstylist:

Amanda's friend and bridesmaid did an amazing job on the flowers:

The first look took place mid-day under a huge tree that has special significance to Jeremy and Amanda. I love how visual their love is for one another:

Next we headed to the Weston Red Barn Farm -- the site of the ceremony and reception.

Amanda looked stunning!!! I love her natural curls and big smile:

We stayed in the shade for portraits but got some great ones:

Again with the stunningness:

The bridal party -- I loved their style:

Amanda and her sister and maid-of-honor, Ashlie:

Jeremy had eight friends stand up for him on his side:

This is my extended family that made it to the wedding. I set up the photo and then jumped in it while Allison snapped it for me:

The ceremony and reception took place in the barn. During the ceremony, guests sat at the tables that were already set up for the reception.

The aisle ran between two long banquet tables:

Jeremy and Amanda embraced the unconventional at many turns. Amanda walked down the aisle before her attendants and then the two welcomed each member of the bridal party with an embrace:

Husband and wife!

I love the emotion in the first dance:

And then the party started!!

To see even more photos from this amazing day, click here to watch the slideshow! Get ready for a good cry, aunt Wendy :).


Equipment used for this wedding: Canon 5D Mark III // Canon 50mm 1.2 lens // Canon 24mm 1.4 lens // Canon 70-200 2.8 lens

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Frivolous Friday vol. 23

Frivolous: playful, lighthearted, trivial; the little things in life that should be savored.

Favorite Outfit of the Week -- Top: Loft / High-waisted skinny 7 For All Mankind jeans: Nordstrom / Flip-flops: Aldo / Silk scarf: Etsy / Cute dog: Jesus

Highlight of the week: Collaborating and connecting with industry friends. Sometimes I can get so holed-up in my office for days at a time. This week I got out and connected with some of my favorite people. It's so fun and refreshing to be in an industry where you don't have to work on an island alone.

Yes, I did this:
1 -- Had a rough day, gave up, and did a donut drive-through. My day did start to look up after that.
2 -- Finished reading through the responses of 222 professional photographers to my survey. SO enjoyed reading about all of your dreams, frustrations and goals. The information was so helpful and I'm beyond grateful. As I was scrolling through the excel sheet reading the responses, I realized someone was holding down the shift key.

I woke up one morning at 4:45 thinking about business. Gave up on sleep and decided to make use of the time to get things done. Took Dixie for a walk at 6:30am -- a time at which I rarely feel fresh air. It was gorgeous out! I thought Phoenix was a furnace 24/7 throughout the summer months, but experiencing the cool morning air and getting 1/2 of my to-do list accomplished before 10am made me want to become a morning person. I don't have a lot of hope that that will happen. But a girl can dream.

Celebrating: Father's day was this week, so I'm celebrating my dad. Gave him this card. I spent some time reflecting on how it seems like there is a correlation between the most confident girls I meet and how awesome their dads are. Dads really do have such an impact on how their daughters turn out. Thankful for the foundation and confidence mine instilled in me.

I'm in Kansas City for a few days, spending time with my family and shooting my cute cousin's wedding on Sunday! Excited to share some photos with you soon!

Feeling Blessed: I got a heavenly massage this week and can't get Matt Redman's song "10,000 Reasons" out of my head. So I'm feeling pretty blessed beyond measure. "Whatever may pass & whatever lies before me...let me be singing when the evening comes: Bless the Lord O my soul."

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For Photographers

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Ben & Kerry's Engagement Shoot

Ben and Kerry are engaged and they recently braved the heat so we could capture some of the love in Old Town Scottsdale. They brought their lab, Hank, along for part of the shoot -- which, as you know, I LOVED. Dogs are the best and I really enjoyed capturing this cute family. Here are a few of my favorites:

So fun! Thanks for letting me photograph your cuteness Ben & Kerry!

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