A couple recipes from "Chef Bridgette"

Most of my customers now know, know of, or have heard from my assistant Bridget over the past year. She’s really an amazing addition to our little operation here! Not only is she my personal assistant, she’s my graphic designer, customer service rep, lighting assistant, and sometimes even second shooter! She’s got SKILLS, people! Well, this past month or so I’ve seen some really incredible photo edits coming across my desk and I thought I’d ask Bridget on behalf of you all, to share some of her secret recipes. We’ll try to do this regularly as new and different ideas surface.

Here’s Lindsey straight off the camera:


And here’s Lindsey after:

Oh Snap (Totally Rad Actions) 100%

Vintage Plum 50% (UIP Actions)

(and my very own sharpening action that is a toned down knock-off version of what Dave Hill does. The lessened version fits my style better.)


Tess looked pretty gorgeous to begin with:


But then Bridget threw in a little:

Rusty Cage (Totally Rad Actions) with light and dark layers at 75%

Warm Vintage (UIP) at 25%

Dirty Diana (Totally Rad) at about 40% and sponged off the subject.


Here’s a more subtle, but 2-step recipe. The first shot is straight off my camera. When shooting into the sunlight, dark tones are always washed out sacrifically to expose for their faces.


But no problem! In Lightroom, Bridget adjusted the dark tones and gave it a little vibrant punch. She also used the recovery tool to pull the highlights back a little.


And lastly, for complete perfection, she pulled it into Photoshop for a quick Ying/Yang (Totally Rad Actions) to lighten the faces, Moulin Rouge at 20% (layer Boost 1 only), and the Dave Hill sharpen.


There’s more where this came from! Bridget is cooking up a new concoction at her desk as we speak! Gorgeous wedding pictures are about to be unveiled! Stay tuned!

Brian and Carly

A couple weeks ago I had the privilege of second-shooting with my friend Wes from Platinum Productions. Second-shooting is something entirely new to me, so I’m a little bit enamered with it. While my personality type lends itself well to running the show and being in charge, sometimes it’s just nice to take a step back and enjoy capturing more of the behind the scenes stuff. It’s a far less stressful job, that’s for sure!

Carly and Brian, although I didn’t get to know them as well as I do my own brides and grooms, were beautiful to photograph and had a lovely wedding day. It was obvious that they love each other and their family and friends. Here are some of my favorite shots…



The lovely St. Monica’s Church.



Outside, just after walking down the aisle…


Some cute family member moments…




Heading to the park for pictures…


It was a little bit chilly that day so the groomsmen were coming to the bridesmaid’s rescue with their suit coats. However, not all were an exact fit.




The reception hall was decorated gorgeously…

Carly Decor.jpg

Carly and Brian’s first dance…


Carly and her dad…



Some awesome dance moves…



I had never seen this dancing game before, but I have a feeling I’ll see it again…they’re rowing down the river…




Congratulations, Carly and Brian! What a gorgeous day! I wish you all the happiness!

Happy Together {Brandon and Tiff}

Brandon and Tiff met in college and were introduced (and schemed for each other) by one of their mutually favorite people: Brandon’s sister, Richelle. The girls were teammates; this was a romance set on the volleyball court. Brandon would attend practices and help out with the team and eventually a casual friendship turned to interest and interest to romance. Before long, they were inseparable! Now they’re like bread and butter. Like rice and sushi. Like vanilla and ice. And they’re so HAPPY! These two are some of the happiest, most uplifting people I’ve ever had the pleasure of spending time with. In the face of separation and distance, they only smile and laugh and remain entirely optimistic.

When Brandon decided to make it official and ask Tiffany for her hand in marriage, he made sure everything was perfect for Tiff. He pulled together a well-thought-out Christmastime trip to Chicago, a proposal in front of a beautifully lit tree, followed by dinner with both of their parents. It was no small feat and MAY have involved some little white lies, but it was well worth it to see Tiff’s surprised and exuberant “yes” at the end of the night.

I’m looking forward to Brandon and Tiffany’s wedding in July!! Look at how much fun we’ve already had with pictures!!!


I’m blessed with so many customers who will stop at NOTHING for an awesome picture! Brandon and Tiff really surprised me though when they were totally willing to jump a fence and climb out on this bridge! I was so happy with the results…this is one of my favorites!


I couldn’t decide whether I liked the color or black and white version better, so I’m posting both. Tiff can’t decide either, so if you’d like to comment with your opinion, we’d both love to know what you think! 🙂




SO love this one!


Reflections are fun!!


Don’t they both have COOL eyes? SO blue!


Alleys aren’t usually this pretty…combine that with a couple who can really work it like fashion models and you’ve got a pretty {smashing fabulous} piece of artwork!


Fresh Blogging Energy…

I’m back! WHEW! Had a nice long vacation relaxing with the family…oooh, it was NIIIIICE! Swimming in the pool every day and visiting with my dear, sweet grandma. Blue skies, fresh clean rain-filtered air, the sun and the gorgeous sunsets…I came home with so much positive energy! But my poor neglected blog. I left in such a rush I didn’t even have a chance to schedule some posts like I had planned, to hold you all over. I’m behind…oh, so VERY far behind, on updating you on my life. I promise that evidence of my fresh energy is going to be hitting your screens very soon! We’ll start with a couple pix from our vacation…


I love this one because what you can’t see is how long Jadon laid back like this just soaking up the gorgeous view…anything that stops our little booger in his tracks is pretty stunning! 🙂


I love the wonderment represented here…


The aquarium is relaxing and fun to be in even when you’re not near the water dislpays…




Some of our fun in the sun…


I don’t know how I could be more in love with this picture!!! It’s such a typical Jadon moment.


The fluffy clouds were gorgeous and made me feel happy and peaceful. I couldn’t help taking a picture of them to remember that feeling by!


My dear sweet Grandma. She is SUCH an amazing woman. My very take-charge Italian Grandpa has been gone for two years now and no one thought that Grandma would be as strong and independent as she is without him. I’m so proud of her and love her so much!


Some rare brotherly love…



My little brother, Micah…he’s single ladies, and very accomplished!




My amazing and very sexy husband finally let me take some pictures of him! I had FUN with these pix! Isn’t he SO photogenic? As photogenic as he is, he’s even MORE wonderful, which is so rare! I love him SO much!




AND, if you’re feeling YOUR blog needs a little infusion of positive energy as well, I have JUST the thing…a blog makeover! My bff Rebecca is one of the most talented people I know when it comes to design of any kind and now that she’s back from China and settled in with their new little guy, she’s decided to reopen her blog design schedule. She’s introduced fresh new photo blogs that will show off your pix nice and big and beautiful…and right now she’s GIVING one away on her blog at www.ourfamilyjournal.com. To be entered into the drawing, all you have to do is leave her a comment! It’s that easy!