Hannah & Charlie: Round Rock Fire Station Engagements

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Super excited to share this firefigher engagement session from Fire Station #7 in Round Rock, Texas with Hannah and Charlie. We got to play with 2 fire engines, fireman clothes and gelled flashes. Felt like a photographer in a candy store, no a kid in a camera store, er, I was excited to be shooting at a real fire station. Everyone was happy to help and to give Charlie only a modicum of grief for the cute photos he and Hannah were taking. Tough crowd. Our goal with this shoot was to be the best fire fighter engagement session on pinterest and I think we are well on the way.

We are also excited because this happy couple will be our first Lone Oak Barn wedding, one of our favorite new venues in Round Rock. Thanks to Hannah and Charlie for being good sports with our photo ideas and thank to them as well for choosing AzulOx Photography.

–JB

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Todd & Michelle: Austin Paddle Boarding and Graffiti Engagements

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We love our couples that give us the freedom to create a mini-storybook of their lives. Michelle and I had quite a few brainstorming sessions about what silliness we should photograph that best represented her and Todd. Wine Stomping, Pedicab with their Dog, and a few others hit the cutting room floor as we nailed down our three locations to the Graffit Wall on 11th, Paddle boarding on Town Lake and at Big Top Candy Store.

First up was the graffiti wall on 11th where Todd and Michelle wanted to recreate the hip hop vibe of the 80’s. Sadly we couldn’t locate a boombox the size of small truck but the hard light and fisheye pulled a lot of the weight on this section. We even got them to spray paint their wedding date and initials onto the wall.

Second was the most challening as we ventured onto Town Lake in 2 person kayak photographing Todd and Michelle sharing a SUP board. Todd did all the work as he paddled around and around chasing the light. I was directing them holding onto my camera secured in our underwater housing while our gal Marina paddled us around to get the right angles. Michelle made cute faces as she does.

Last we hit up South Congress to visit the Big Top Candy Shop. Apparently Todd has a bit of the sweet tooth, and Michelle, well, she is a dental hygienist. Natural tension ensued and then they brought the dog into the mix to decide which parent’s vice he preferred. The lollipup, er, lollipop won out to no one’s surprise.

We are looking forward to their wedding at The Union on Eighth in December with some of our fave vendors and seeing how they decorate and plan around the fun that is this couple.

Recommended Listening to this blog post – Beastie Boys Paul’s Boutique

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Jon & Kim’s Downtown Austin Wedding

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It’s been two weeks and we are still buzzing after this wedding. Saturday night rehearsal dinner with Two Tons of Steel at the Broken Spoke, followed by a Sunday ceremony at Trinity Hall and then onto The Parish for a reception with Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers with lindy hopppers, Texas BBQ and a whole lotta love! You should see this couple move together on the dance floor and a good thing Kim is an endurance athlete because I don’t think she ever stopped dancing in her wedding dress and Chuck Taylors.

Congratulations Jonathan & Kim and may I recommend to the readers to listen to Two Ton’s of Steel’s Live at Gruene Hall or Roger Clyne’s Live at Billy Bob’s to get a small taste of this wedding weekends atmosphere while gazing at this energetic duo.

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Haide & Manny: Round Rock Wedding

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Excited to finally be sharing Haide & Manny’s wedding with y’all. We have followed this couple around 2 countries (part 1 | part 2 | part 3) now taking their photos and we couldn’t be more excited for the future that they will be sharing. The ceremony was at St. Williams Catholic Church in Round Rock followed by the reception at Pfluger Hall in you guessed it, Pflugerville, my town! The reception had a couple of firsts for me that I thought were interesting.

The first first was getting to listen to Haide sing with the Mariachi band during cocktail hour, the girl can belt it! The second first was a game that I don’t know of but consited of the bridal party trying to tackle the bride and groom off the chairs they were standing on while Manny held onto the veil. It was exciting to watch though and then the groomsmen almost threw Manny into the ceiling. Not a first, but it was also a treat to see all the kids running around having fun with the light toys and blinking sunglasses. Reminded me of going to weddings as a kid in Seguin when the best thing to do was slide across the corn-mealed dance floor like a slip and slide.

So congrats to Haide & Manny, glad we could be there along the way in your life’s journey. Excited to see where the road takes you!
–JB

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“He is Gone”: Cassandra at Lone Oak in Round Rock

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“She wished and wished with all her might, holding fast to the remnants left behind.
A dream, a dance on this late night, hoping her love can find
Her man, her soldier.

The war is done, he should be here to dance. To dance and set free
The war inside of she. Hold fast to thoughts, to romance, to me.
Telegram reads, He is Gone.

Touch and Remember the pearls, the jeweled necklace
All you have is the last embrace”
—–

So a bit of a departure on this shoot. It started with a phone call to Adrian with Revelry Beauty that had me saying, “so I have an idea…”. The team came together quickly with vintage clothing and accessories from Ledbelly Vintage. Our gracious hosts at Lone Oak Barn for a great venue. Our supermodel Cassandra! who held all the emotion to these photographs.

We wanted to create a mood and lighting from 1946. We leaned heavily on film noir principles to help us get there. Hope you enjoy our little break from the norm, the next blog will deal with weddings and a bit more client work. Thanks for reading and watching!
–JB

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Casey Jo & Scotty Mac: Mt. Pisgah Arboretum Wedding in Eugene, Oregon

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Casey Jo & Scotty Mac’s wedding was full of honest love for each other, laughter among all the attendants and lots of flying marshmallows. You might know this couple as the leaping bluebonnet engagement photo as this is one of the most commented on photo we have ever produced. You might know Casey Jo as an amazing gymnast who is now coaching Div. 1 gymnasts at Missouri. You might know Scotty Mac as the fastest man in town, whichever town, he is quick after finishing 19th in the last Boston Marathon. But the thing that you should know about them is that they are absolutely mad for each other.

I don’t know if I have ever laughed so much during a wedding ceremony. There was a movie trivia round featuring Romantic Comedies, the fathers had to run to get drinks for the mid-ceremony toasts and during the first kiss heaps of marshmallows progessed airborne onto the kissing couple. There was also the matter of the gymnastic scoring system for the high points, 10’s all around. Yes they also had a surprise first dance medley that covered the low lights of 90’s pop music to start the dancing portion of the reception, luckily we had a video camera in place for just such a thing…

We are honored to have the opportunity to escape the Texas heat and photograph this wedding in the Great Pacific Northwest. Congratulations to the happy couple, thanks for inviting us and welcoming us into your families!
–JB

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Kim & Jonathan: Reveille Peak Ranch Engagements in Burnet

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Where to begin on this pre-wedding shoot? We have a mountain biking couple, dressed in a tux and a wedding gown, careening downhills at Reveille Peak Ranch and ending up in the lake at Sunset. You think we had a bit of fun? You betcha we did. We love our adventuresome couples and we love to challenge them to take it that one step further, Kim and Jonathan took it at least two steps more. (dancing pun for the cowboy boots and hat crowd) Love this shoot, love this couple. We are going to have even more good times together on their wedding weekend!
–JB

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Haide: Bridal Portraits from Hacienda Las Trancas, Mexico

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Excited to share this set of bridal portraits from our Mexican Road Trip summer adventure. If you follow our blog you would remember Haide & Manny’s engagement sessions in Dolores Hidalgo & Guanajuato, and today we get to share the bridal portraits from the 400 year old Hacienda Las Trancas in the village of Las Trancas outside of Dolores Hildalgo.

The hacienda sits across the soccer field from Haide’s parents house in Las Trancas. Our first morning there we walked over and asked if we could shoot portraits inside the Hacienda. No was the answer. We then traveled to Dolores Hildalgo to watch some World Cup soccer/futbol and scout for the rest of the trip. As the American game reached halftime and our breakfast plate delivered we got word that yes we could photograph at the Hacienda in a 2 hour window from 1pm-3pm. Scramble mode activated! Haide went off in search of hair and makeup in the local shops, Manny, Andrew and I went looking for a florist. After three versions of a bridal bouquet in a second language we ran back to get Haide and back to Las Trancas!

Inside the historic Hacienda was everything you could ask for in a portrait location. Gorgeous light, interesting textures, manicured gardens. We could have shot there for 2 weeks instead only 2 hours to cover a few of our favorite locations inside. We worked quickly and surely with one speedlight, one 24 inch softbox and one reflector to capture this set. Haide, as always, is stunning to photograph and this session was no different. We have built up a rapport over the years (Starting with her HS Senior Portraits!) that allowed us to get what we wanted in a short time period.

We hope you enjoy this set of photographs, we certainly had an amazing time photographing them. Let us know how we can fulfill your photographic dreams!
–JB

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Morgan & Matt: Nature’s Point Wedding in Lakeway

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We love to talk about firsts at weddings. First toast, first dance, first kiss and all the nostalgia associated with those firsts. Morgan & Matt’s wedding at Nature Point above Lake Travis had a lot of firsts for us to witness. First Mt Fuji Cake, First literal toast from the best man’s speech, First playing of Let It Go from Frozen as the last song, and the first wedding that I felt out-nerded.

The Mt Fuji cake held a cool significance because that is where Matt proposed to Morgan in Japan, good work Matt!. The best man had never given a wedding toast and there was some slight confusion as he brought an actual toaster and bread for the happy couple. The Let It Go rendition turned into a rousing chorus complete with dance moves, Kaush and I might have sung a little bit too. And yes there were moments and events that I gathered had something to do with Anime or Comic Books or Japan, but I was clearly outclassed in my knowledge of these things. You win this time Matt!

All of those firsts aside, it was a great pleasure to see Morgan & Matt on their first evening together as man and wife. We are certain there will be a lifetime more with these two. Congratulations Yall!
–JB

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Mermaid Monday: Creative Underwater Portraits in Austin

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Underwater has been one of our themes the last few summer’s as the weather in Austin, Texas gets unbearable. This years theme in particular was Mermaids, how fun! We had a menagerie of talented individuals who helped put this all together. Let me thank them now because without everyone pulling together a shoot this scale would not come together.

Hair, Makeup, Style, Pool Owner: Lecia Harkins with Austin Beauty on the Go
Florals: Beau Dawson at Beau’s Flower Child
Producer: Amanda Ervin at 11:11 Events
Camera Assistants: Jessica, Caleb and Ty
Video: Brian Nixon with AzulOx Visuals
Mermaid Tails: Fin Fun Mermaid
Studio Lights: Arri 1k’s from Lensrentals.com
Mermaids: Naomi Loghry, Meganoke, Jenny Lynn Larsen and Cassidy Koranek
Merman: Ryan Saathoff
Safety Diver: Amber Meaux

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We would like to mention that we will be offering Mermaid Portraits as a session that you can purchase soon. Please send an email at josh@azulox.com or leave us a Facebook message if you are interested.
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We tackled this underwater session a bit differently than we have in the past. I had tried to cobble together an underwater strobe kit, but the results have been inconsistent. This year we used 2 1000w video lights stationed on the pools edge to provide our lighting. Our goal was to provide consistent lighting for both the stills and video. The lights were great except that our sunken treasure chest threw off so much particulate into the water that by the end of the shoot I had no way of getting clarity to the images. Lesson learned there. One of the reasons we shoot these large scale productions for our selves is to work out kinks in the workflow before we take them to clients.

Shooting underwater is hard, posing underwater is hard, lighting underwater is hard. Any breakdown in the system and the images are not that great. Add to that that it takes 3-10 times longer underwater to get your shots. With all that said, I am super proud of the gang we had working so that we could capture a few mermaids in action. Where will the mermaids pop up next?

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Haide & Manny: Guanajuato, Mexico Engagements Part 2

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Continuing on our Mexico Road Trip adventures (part 1 is here) the action has moved to Guanajuato, Mexico a town that holds so much magic for me as it was the town where I studied in the summer of 1998 after my freshman year of college. In 16 years and the town hasn’t changed. Still ate at my favorite restaurant Truco Siete and El Pipila still looks down upon the town he helped to protect. If you want to feel like you have traveled to Europe but still want to eat green enchiladas I highly recommend Guanajuato, just a gorgeous old world city. The views and streets and colors made this Engagement session super special to me. We walked the streets, chased the light and took in the town.

Again, thank you to our client Haide & Manny for putting us up for a few days in their parents house in Dolores Hidalgo and for speaking with all the checkpoint and shakedown stations. Yall are rockstars in the photographs and in real life. We are so excited for what the future hold for yall. This session will be one that Andrew and I remember for our lifetimes, thanks for the opportunity to travel and photograph!

–JB

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Kelly & John: Skateboarding Engagements

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You know those whip smart guys whose sense of humor gets hard to follow because they are running 2 steps ahead of you? That’s John. And the lovable lady that puts up with him? Well that’s his soon to be wife Kelly. Put them together and we got one of the quirkier and most excellent engagement session in the South Austin neighborhood around Eureka Dr. that, as John told me, means I found it! For them, they found the loves of their lives and are perfectly matched for one another. Oh, and John skateboards so we had to shoot that as well. Before we got there though we utilized their front porch that serves as the meeting place for them and their neighbors and lost chickens apparently. The last place we visited was also a skate venue with super cool drainage culverts, old tunnels, and new trains rumbling overhead.

Thanks to John and Kelly for taking me on an adventure through the area, glad we could make a little magic happen for y’all!
–JB

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Veronica & Graham: Austin Clarksville Engagement Portraits

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We just wrapped up a fun filled weekend of engagement session that had a common thread of being neighborhood based. Veronica and Graham’s centered around their beloved Clarksville neighborhood. I don’t think we ever got further than 3 blocks from their house! We started at the very chic Jospehine House and then utilized the iconic Naus Enfield Drugstore on the opposite street corner. The middle section is the sidewalk in front of their very house and the alleyway across the street. The light was great and the couple looked iconic thanks to the styling help of Veronica’s sister, Crystal who just happens to be a pro stylist, lucky there! Our last stop was to the top of the graffiti wall to catch a view of the super moon. The clouds hid the moon for a little too long so we just went with a twinkling lights photograph instead.

Thanks to Ashley for helping me out by carrying around our lights in the heat and mugginess and to Crystal for staying through the shoot to keep everyone looking so fresh. I have a feeling Veronica and Graham’s wedding photos will be even more spectacular but that is all I will say for now.
–JB

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Haide & Manny: Dolores Hidalgo, Mexico Engagements Part 1

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Let me introduce yall to Haide and Manny. You are going to be seeing several blog posts about this couple. We all just returned from a 5 day road trip to Central Mexico to photograph Haide’s Bridal Portraits at a 400 year old Hacienda and to photograph their Engagement portraits in Dolores Hildalgo and Guanajuato. The other part to the We is Andrew Fritz, our partner in picture taking. Will be sharing some of his work on the facebook page when he gets back. A big thanks to the Gonzalez family for hosting us and showing us the best Torta places in Las Trancas!

Timeline wise this session took place on the evening after we photographed her bridal portraits. Dolores Hildalgo is the town in Mexico where Father Hildalgo gave his Grito to kick off the Mexico battle for Independence from Spain and Guanajuato is the site of the first battle to give you a sense of place, time and history.

Anyhow, Dolores Hidalgo is a town of about 50,000 residents with beautiful and historic churches and a ceramic industry. The walls of the town are painted with a variety of colores and textures, more so than any American town I have seen. As photographers we are always seeking out color and texture and Dolores was almost too much to handle. We could have probably taken photographs on any street corner. So instead of chasing color and texture we chased the sunlight to give us shape and dimension. Of course along the way we had to stop for some street corner ice cream and all the unique flavors from different fruits and alcohols. Best way to shoot in my opinion was with the Bacardi pineapple ice cream in one hand and the camera in another!

Next week we hope to share the session from Guanajuato which is the town partially responsible for AzulOx getting it’s name!
–JB
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Morgan & Matt: Comic Book Engagements in Austin

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We met Morgan at the Georgetown Bridal Show and instantly bonded over her Doctor Who themed T-shirt. We were destined to do an engagement shoot that combined her love of Doctor Who, Matt’s work in comic books and my own interest in all of the above. From the scale replica of Godzilla, (of which Matt is the illustrator for the comic book) to the plethora of sonic screwdrivers to the ultraman beta capsule we were in nerd heaven! Matt and Morgan even did the spray painting of the Bad Wolf at the Castle Hill Graffiti Wall, pretty awesome to have to 2 art majors on hand for spot spray painting duty.

For us at AzulOx we relish the chance to show off what makes a couple unique and then to exceed their expectations in delivering photographs and images that they will cherish. Thanks to Matt and Morgan for allowing us to craft a set of images that will stand apart from the crowd. This will go down as one of our most memorable engagement shoots! Can’t wait to be at yall’s wedding at the end of the month!
–JB

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“I too, have loved in the Garden”: Creative Shoot in Austin

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The genesis of this shoot was a conversation I was having with Adrian at Revelry Beauty as we talked about ways we could push our work forward this summer. One tangent led to another secant and we came up with the idea of a couple that must say goodbye to each other even while the love is still there. Lots of angst and anguish and Victorian clothes at the cool venue of Dunvegan Keep in South Austin. This shoot provided a personal project for each of us to experiment with in different dimensions.

One of the tenets that we have been working under the last few years is to continually push our photographic boundaries both in business (not the topic of this post) and in technique. This particular session was an exercise in shooting stills and video with one light setup. In the past we have our video lights and our strobe lights and it get’s to be a mess on set, plus longer times for setup and breakdown, not the best idea in the expanding Texas heat. For this shoot then we rented an Arri 1k light from lensrentals.com and a video crane. The 1k light turned out much bigger and hotter than I expected (wear gloves!). The upshot was learning that we can shoot stills and video and almost the same time with little changes to either team. The video is below and we shot both the video and stills in about 3 hours which I feel is great turnaround time and one of the benefits of this type of setup.

We really strive to push our limits in our personal projects so that we can cross over the skills we learn into our client time. In this way we keep our client work fresh and innovative by nudging it more and more forward. Let me know if you have any questions on our light setups or other tech questions.

Thanks to Nicole and Jonathan for wearing 19th century clothes in Texas heat, humidity and mosquitoes.

A Gilded Affair: Style Shoot for Bliss Bridal Magazine in Austin

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Excited to be sharing one of our feature that is in the summer 2014 issue of Bliss Bridal Magazine that we photographed and filmed for the talented team at A Gilded Affair Event and Floral. The theme was timeless elegance and easy to see all the steps each of the vendors took to make the effortless looking glamour happen. From the award winning cake from Rosemary Galpin to the high flying entertainment of Kari Lehman and onto the scrumptous food of Southerns Fine Dining we couldn’t have asked for a better team of vendors. Our bride and groom, Brianna and Lee, were styled by the team at Bettie Bangs Salon and Brianna’s dress is from Signature Bridal Salon. The venue at Ma Maison is a new wonder in the Austin Wedding venue space with a feel and style unlike any other. Little touches were filled in with the iron works from Mancino Rentals and the lighting and sounds of Jeff Hudson from Spacecraft Entertainment.

Take a look at the video below to see more of the day in action and scroll down for more photos
–JB

Stephanie & Jason: Mansion by the Sea Wedding in Port Aransas

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We love our clients, I know I mention that over and over and it is the truth so it bears repeating. Stephanie is co-owner of Bettie Bangs Salon and we have worked together on various projects over the years. She loves our work and I love working with her so when she called up asking to come to Port Aransas, Texas for the weekend to photograph their wedding at the Mansion by the Sea I jumped at the chance. You might have already seen their sunset engagements but we continued our theme of water and sun with Jason and Stephanie for their wedding day.

The sunlight was oozing through the palm trees and the ocean breeze kept the rising Texas heat off of our shoulders when Stephanie and Jason said “I do”. Friends and Family gathered round the rest of the evening, well, until the cake begun flying around the room. I must say that I have never seen a more committed wedding party as 20 or so guests walked out into the bay to get a unique group photo.

Thanks for having us out Stephanie, look forward to seeing the life you and Jason build together!
–JB

Katie & Nick: Chateau Bellvue Wedding in Austin

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A wedding is often like an impressionist painting. Daubs of color and brushstrokes that combine to form a fuzzy memory. Katie & Nick started the next chapter in their own masterpeice and the first words as brushstrokes that I think of are: Sweet, Fun and Just Right. The band Hot Sauce ATX had the crowd movin and groovin, the florals from STEMS set the ambience and the crowd gathered to watch Nick soak in the radiance that is Katie. Purple dresses and hook’ems from the bridesmaids swirl about during the reception. The pedicab exit was a first and elicited cheers from the bubble blowing exit crowd. Nick’s face when Katie came near, Katie’s laugh through the course of the evening. Vintage couches holding secret conversation in the coolness of the stone patio.

Those are the brush strokes I remember anyhow. Take a look through their pictures and see what stories they trigger.

Katie: Bridal Portraits at STEMS Austin

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Seems like we have been on quite the bridal portrait roll this spring and Katie’s are another fantastic example of what we can do with a trusting bride, gorgeous flowers, a unique venue and a sprinkling of bluebonnets. The location is the tucked away production office of STEMS floral design in West Austin. They are also responsible for the florals of the bouquet and the wedding day (coming soon!). The Texas spring gave us an adequete day but a whole field of bluebonnets to throw couches around in for Katie to preen on (Katie isn’t really a preener, I bet she would prefer being on my side of the camera honestly) and when you look as good as she does, preening is what you should do! Getting away from myself a bit, but the best part of the day is Katie in her wedding gown. Sweet, funny and trusting of what I wanted to accomplish… such as standing on the meeting table in STEMS offices to incorporate the cool metallic ceiling.

Anyhow, we are lucky to have clients such as Katie enter our lives and we are happy to return the favor in a small way by going the extra mile to make these bridal portraits as unique and lovely as our brides. Congrats to you and Nick!