2.28.2013

Megan + PJ | San Francisco Engagement Photography

The day started off cold, gray, and rainy with no signs of sunshine or blue skies.  Megan + PJ were leaving for DC the next day so rescheduling was not an option.  Lucky for us, Mother Nature was rooting for these two lovebirds.  Just as I was preparing to head out and meet them at the Palace of Fine Arts, the rain let up.  It just . . . stopped.

Considering that morning's forecast said there was a 70% chance it would rain during our session, this was more than we ever hoped for, but the blessings didn't end there.  Not only did the rain stop, the sun came out and chased those gray clouds away just in time for a few photos in the beautiful golden sunlight.

But there's something even more beautiful for Megan + PJ to take away from our session.  A lesson of sorts.  Storm clouds and gray days are inevitable.  Rain will come and threaten to dampen their dreams.  But as long as they stand firm and have faith - faith in each other, in their relationship, in a love greater than themselves - the sun will always find a way to shine through.

San Francisco Palace of Fine Arts Engagement  | Stephanie Court Photography
San Francisco Palace of Fine Arts Engagement  | Stephanie Court Photography
San Francisco Palace of Fine Arts Engagement  | Stephanie Court Photography
San Francisco Palace of Fine Arts Engagement  | Stephanie Court Photography
San Francisco Palace of Fine Arts Engagement  | Stephanie Court Photography
San Francisco Palace of Fine Arts Engagement  | Stephanie Court Photography
San Francisco Crissy Field Engagement  | Stephanie Court Photography
San Francisco Crissy Field Engagement  | Stephanie Court Photography
San Francisco Crissy Field Engagement  | Stephanie Court Photography
San Francisco Crissy Field Engagement  | Stephanie Court Photography
San Francisco Crissy Field Engagement  | Stephanie Court Photography

 xo




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2.27.2013

I Found My Dress Y'all

I can't even believe it.  The first store I visited on the first day I go shopping for a wedding dress.  Bam.  There it is.  It's everything I could dream of and more and I can't wait to show it to you!!!  Like, literally.  Can.not.wait!!!

So, what do you think?  Isn't it amazing?


SIKE.  (Remember when people used to say that?  Or am I just old??)  That dress is definitely NOT my dress.  That dress actually tried to eat me alive.  I believe this photo captures the moment I realized I was being suffocated by mutant coffee filters and started gasping for air.

I really did find my dress.  And I really did find it at the first store* I visited on the first day I went shopping.  But it's definitely not that blossoming flower pictured above.

So you wanna hear the story of finding the real dress?  Good!  Because, let's be honest, I was going to tell it anyway. 

Before we left my apartment, The Fiance asked if I'd be coming home with a dress, to which I replied, "Probably not."  On the drive over, I realized I was actually nervous that I wouldn't find anything.  Not just on this trip but, like, ever.  I'm really picky when it comes to clothes and I rarely like how something looks on me.  There's a reason I don't do outfit posts.  So as the reality of dress shopping sunk in, I realized my biggest fear was that I'd hate everything I tried on.

To make matters worse, I had very clear ideas of what I didn't want but no clue as to what I did want.  Romantic and traditional?  Modern and chic?  Quirky and different?  I don't know.  I just know I did not want strapless or poofy.  It's not that I don't think strapless or poofy is pretty.  It's gorgeous, actually.  It just didn't feel right for me.

So we walk into the very first store and about 95% of the dresses are either strapless, poofy, or both.  Awesome.  I found about 3 dresses that fit my criteria.  As I'm heading towards the dressing room, my logical lawyerly friend says I should probably try on "at least one" poofy strapless dress just so I can rule it out for sure.  I said, "Fine.  Pick one for me."

Famous last words.  The result was that lampshade you see above.  After she got her laughs, I moved on to the 3 dresses that were actual contenders.  The first was a lovely Claire Pettibone number with a very Downton Abbey vibe.  Which ended up making me look like a flat chested fifty-year old.  Again, nothing wrong with that.  Just not the look I'm going for.

The second was fine enough.  It was a pretty lace frock with cap sleeves.  It was actually quite lovely but - and I fully realized this is going to sound weird - it was too white.  I know, I know.  Who do I think I am?  Goldilocks?  But something about it just was not working with my skin tone.  It was so white it almost had a bluish tint to it.  I need a little warmth in my undertones.

I fully accepted that I wouldn't find a dress on that trip.  I was even chatting with the consultant about when new shipments come in so I could check back in a few weeks.  She suggested I at least give the third one a shot, even though I was having second thoughts about the neckline.  When I first put it on, I thought, "Oh... I kinda like this one... "  I stepped outside the dressing room to see it in the big mirror.  We stared at it for minutes on end, trying to find anything wrong with it.  It was perfect.  It's absolutely not what I thought I wanted and yet I can't imagine wanting anything else.

I took a full day and a half to think about it and boy, did I think about it.  I couldn't stop, actually.  I went to other shops and browsed more online but I just could not get it out of my mind.  So I went back yesterday morning and brought that little lady home where she belongs.  And I may or may not have put it on again when I got home even though it's at least one size too big at the moment . . .


*For those interested, I found the dress at Glamour Closet.  I was referred there by two of my future cousins-in-law who both found their dresses there, too.  They have locations in LA, SF, and Chicago if you're interested in checking them out. ;)


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2.25.2013

VSCO 03

VSCO just released their 03 film pack recently and I couldn't resist giving it a try (it was half off with their loyalty discount - how could I say no?).  The 03 pack is filled with digital emulations of polaroid, fuji, and the Impossible Project instant film.

I learned photography by shooting on film but I'm not nearly as familiar with instant films as I am with, say, Kodak Tri-X or Porta films.  I'm kind of ashamed to admit this but I've never even owned an instant camera.  While my lack of experience with these types of films makes it hard for me to judge the accuracy of the emulations and whether they truly recreate the look of such popular instant films, I can say they look pretty freakin' rad on the right photos.  Some of them have a little more 'effect' than I typically like for my client work but I will definitely be using these presets on a lot of my personal photos.

Here are a few examples using some photos from my San Diego trip last summer.  I chose to sample them on the San Diego photos to recreate the look of some of those surfer beach shots from the 1960s (a la LeRoy Grannis).


My favorite part of the 03 pack are the black & white film emulations.  Whether you're going for muted and soft or dramatic and moody, there are plenty of options for the perfect black & white image.  I can definitely see myself using these on client work as well as personal work.


What do you think?  Do you ever use instant film just for fun?


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2.23.2013

One Frame | Megan + PJ

I can't wait to share the rest of this engagement session with you.  Soon, my lovelies.  It'll be ready soon.


Swoon.

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2.22.2013

Friday's Fancies | Red Carpet Ready

Holy guacamole, this week flew by.  Normally I'd blame it on the three-day weekend but I've learned that being self-employed means you don't always have three-day weekends.  It's okay, I take random Mondays off here or there to compensate.

No, this week flew by simply because there was a lot to do and I have a sneaking suspicion that the weeks are going to start zooming as we get closer to the wedding date.  Guess I'll just have to distract myself with fun frivolous things like Friday's Fancies.

And what a distraction it is, y'all.  This is by far my most sparkly Friday's Fancies outfit.  What with the Oscars this weekend and the countless hours I've spent looking at droolworthy-but-unaffordable wedding dresses on Pinterest, I just find the glam a little hard to resist right now.  Don't worry, I'm sure I'll be back to boots and big sweaters soon enough but for today, all that glitters is gold.


1. How cool is this Alexander McQueen clutch?

2. Lovely and a little edgy. Perfect earrings.

3. Funny story about this Oscar de la Renta dress.  I went down to Saks not too long ago to check out a potential wedding dress in person.  As I was riding the escalator up to the fifth floor, I spotted the Oscar de la Renta number.  I was mesmerized.  I had to get closer.  As I approached, my hand instinctively began to reach out, desperate to touch the loveliness.  And then I felt the sales lady giving me a pretty mean stink eye as I got closer, burning a hole in my head with her death stare.  But I didn't care.  I touched it anyway.

4. The model in the dress photo looks way too angry with her hair like that.  I'd soften it up with a party pony instead.

5. Classic. Sassy. Louboutin.  Need I say more?

B-t-dubs, I finally figured out how to make one of those fancy-pants hovering Pin It buttons for the photos in each post.  Now you can just hover over any photo in a post, click where it says 'Pin It' and add that baby to Pinterest.  Bam.

B-t-dubs part 2: Check out Mish's Ginormous Giveaway that I'm participating in. Lots of goodies up for grabs :)

Happy Weekend!
xo



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2.21.2013

Awkward & Awesome | Somehow, They're All A Little Awkward

AWKWARD
- I had a 3-day streak of nonstop sneezing over the weekend.  I was sneezing so frequently, I decided to start counting.  And then I stopped that nonsense when I reached 17 sneezes on the first day.  But that's not even the worst of it.  The absolute worst of it is the way I sneeze.  I do not have a cute dainty feminine sneeze.  Oh, no.  Not this gal.  I have more of a violent, full body convulsing sneeze.  Like, the kind that leaves your abs sore the next day.  I thought working out 40 days in a row would be tough, little did I know the real physical challenge would be a 3 days of a sneeze fest.

Via - I'm the Freeze Tag sneeze

- The Fancy Fiance and I had a lovely weekend exploring Sutro Baths and sharing an afternoon treat of chocolate fudge cake with vanilla bean ice cream from The Cliff House.  The sunshine and sugar must've numbed our senses because we both had major brain fart moments once we got home.  First, he somehow locked the keys in the car right outside our apartment, thus locking us out of the apartment.  We went next door to get the extra house key from our neighbor and I left my shoes at her house.  (In all fairness, I was not wearing them when we went in.  I was just carrying them.  Totally makes sense.)  Once we finally got the apartment and car unlocked, he headed off to Costco only to arrive at 6:05pm.  They closed at 6pm.  After all that, neither of us had the energy for dinner so we popped some popcorn instead.  It definitely hit the spot.

AWESOME
-Sutro Baths, actually.  Before the ish hit the fan, we had a great time exploring the modern ruins of San Francisco.  The Sutro Baths used to be a large, privately owned swimming complex right on the edge of the Pacific coast.  Shortly after closing in 1966, the building burned down leaving behind what looks like ancient ruins, except it's concrete from 50 years ago.  I took a roll of black & white film with me so I'll be sure to share a few photos once they're developed.

 One from the ol' iPhone

-Tuesday was one of the coldest days we've had so far in 2013 - and it started off pouring cats and dogs, too.  I just happened to have an engagement shoot scheduled for that evening and rescheduling was not an option.  Why is this in the Awesome category, you ask?  Because just as I was packing up my gear to head out, the rain stopped, the storm clouds drifted away and the sun came out.  It was still crazy cold but at least we got a little bit of sunshine and some pretty blue skies out of it. 


 PS - I've noticed quite a few new faces around here so I wanted to say - WELCOME!!  I hope you feel all nice and warm and cozy and loved around here, as if you were sitting by a crackling fireplace wrapped in a chunky knit blanket with a steamy mug of hot cocoa to keep you warm inside and out.


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2.20.2013

Scottish Southern Charm Wedding | Camilla & Duncan

There's a special New Year's Eve tradition in Spain.  If you wear red underwear to ring in the New Year, you'll be lucky in love that year.  Camilla, who was living the ex-pat life teaching English in Madrid, decided to get on board with the traditions of her new home country.  Just for fun, she wore red undies to ring in the New Year and, as is the case with luck and love, Fate took over from there.  Within a week, a handsome red-headed young Scot caught her eye.  His sense of humor, generous spirit, and kind heart won her over.  The lilt of his Scottish accent might have helped, too.

Camilla and Duncan are the perfect complement to one another.  He is her rock while she is his guiding light.  Their relationship epitomizes the old saying "the whole is greater than the sum of its parts."  As awesome as they are as individuals (and trust me, they're pretty awesome), they're even better as a team.  And at their sweet Southern ceremony at Sotterley Plantation, they pledged to be a team forever.

Camilla also happens to be a dear friend of mine from college.  We've spent many lazy afternoons playing Super Mario Bros. and many Sundays enjoying brunches around Chicago.  I cried when she asked me to photograph their wedding.  I'm so honored and touched that she and Duncan entrusted me with preserving the day their family first began.  I have no doubt their love and tenderness for each other will only grow stronger as the years go on.

Sotterley Plantation Wedding | San Francisco Wedding Photography


 Sotterley Plantation Wedding | San Francisco Wedding Photography

Sotterley Plantation Wedding | San Francisco Wedding Photography
Sotterley Plantation Wedding | San Francisco Wedding Photography
Sotterley Plantation Wedding | San Francisco Wedding PhotographySotterley Plantation Wedding | San Francisco Wedding Photography
Sotterley Plantation Wedding | San Francisco Wedding Photography
Sotterley Plantation Wedding | San Francisco Wedding Photography
Sotterley Plantation Wedding | San Francisco Wedding Photography
Sotterley Plantation Wedding | San Francisco Wedding Photography
Sotterley Plantation Wedding | San Francisco Wedding Photography
Sotterley Plantation Wedding | San Francisco Wedding Photography
Sotterley Plantation Wedding | San Francisco Wedding Photography
Sotterley Plantation Wedding | San Francisco Wedding Photography
Sotterley Plantation Wedding | San Francisco Wedding Photography
Sotterley Plantation Wedding | San Francisco Wedding Photography
Sotterley Plantation Wedding | San Francisco Wedding Photography
Sotterley Plantation Wedding | San Francisco Wedding Photography
Sotterley Plantation Wedding | San Francisco Wedding Photography
Sotterley Plantation Wedding | San Francisco Wedding Photography
Sotterley Plantation Wedding | San Francisco Wedding Photography
Sotterley Plantation Wedding | San Francisco Wedding Photography
Sotterley Plantation Wedding | San Francisco Wedding Photography
Sotterley Plantation Wedding | San Francisco Wedding Photography
Sotterley Plantation Wedding | San Francisco Wedding Photography
Sotterley Plantation Wedding | San Francisco Wedding Photography
Sotterley Plantation Wedding | San Francisco Wedding Photography
Sotterley Plantation Wedding | San Francisco Wedding Photography
Sotterley Plantation Wedding | San Francisco Wedding Photography
Sotterley Plantation Wedding | San Francisco Wedding Photography
Sotterley Plantation Wedding | San Francisco Wedding Photography
Sotterley Plantation Wedding | San Francisco Wedding Photography
Sotterley Plantation Wedding | San Francisco Wedding Photography
Sotterley Plantation Wedding | San Francisco Wedding Photography
Sotterley Plantation Wedding | San Francisco Wedding Photography
Sotterley Plantation Wedding | San Francisco Wedding Photography
Sotterley Plantation Wedding | San Francisco Wedding Photography
Sotterley Plantation Wedding | San Francisco Wedding PhotographySotterley Plantation Wedding | San Francisco Wedding Photography
Sotterley Plantation Wedding | San Francisco Wedding Photography
Sotterley Plantation Wedding | San Francisco Wedding Photography
Sotterley Plantation Wedding | San Francisco Wedding Photography
Sotterley Plantation Wedding | San Francisco Wedding Photography
Sotterley Plantation Wedding | San Francisco Wedding Photography
Sotterley Plantation Wedding | San Francisco Wedding Photography
Sotterley Plantation Wedding | San Francisco Wedding Photography
Sotterley Plantation Wedding | San Francisco Wedding Photography
Sotterley Plantation Wedding | San Francisco Wedding Photography
Sotterley Plantation Wedding | San Francisco Wedding Photography

Camilla and Duncan cut a small cupcake, instead of a full-sized wedding cake, and served a yummy assortment of pies for dessert.  This might be one of those ideas I just have to steal...
Sotterley Plantation Wedding | San Francisco Wedding Photography
Sotterley Plantation Wedding | San Francisco Wedding Photography
Sotterley Plantation Wedding | San Francisco Wedding Photography
Sotterley Plantation Wedding | San Francisco Wedding Photography
Sotterley Plantation Wedding | San Francisco Wedding Photography
Sotterley Plantation Wedding | San Francisco Wedding Photography
Sotterley Plantation Wedding | San Francisco Wedding Photography

xo


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