Archive for the ‘Engagement’ Category

This is a great article!  LOVE it!

May 24, 2011 – The Challenging Subject by John Mireles

If you’re like me, most of your clients are just normal, everyday people. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes and aren’t used to being in front of the business end of a camera lens. I’ll admit that it can be frustrating because my subjects rarely seem to match up with the fashion model like clients that make it into the magazines.The reality is that most of our clients aren’t models; they’re normal people who look and feel awkward in front of the camera. But everyone – clients and photographers alike – wants those energetic shots where the subject looks relaxed and happy. If you can consistently make your clients feel like they belong in a magazine, not only will you have a lot of happy clients, your business will thrive too!

So what’s the secret to getting the best out of each subject? Well, there’s no magic wand; the key is to be patient and play to each person’s strengths. While funny one-liners help break the ice, crafting a consistently great body of work is really about creating a deliberate process for bringing out the best in people. Here are some tips to help you make all of your clients look like magazine stars.

Take Your Time and Be Patient
Granted, this may not be an option when you’ve got 30 minutes between ceremony and reception to get your shots. But during engagement and portrait shoots, time limitations are rarely a factor for me. First, I plan on a couple of hours – sometimes even all afternoon – for my shoots.

There’s no substitute for time. Often it take until the very end of the shoot for the client to put away their photo-face, relax a little and let the spontaneity come out. I remember hearing Richard Avedon (the greatest photographer of the 20th century) talk about how he’d just let the subject sit in front of the camera until he or she got bored; it was only then that their true self would emerge. Although boring the subject is rarely my objective, the idea of waiting the client out is a powerful one.

Being patient goes hand-in-hand with taking your time. The key is that you can’t force things. You may have grandiose ideas for the shoot, but it’s often important to take baby steps to get there. Though your goal may be intimate and playful family shots, you’ll probably have to start simply and then build up to that. Once the subjects feel relaxed and feel more confident with the process, they are going to be much more likely to open up.

Get to Know Your Client
Don’t just jump into the shoot, instead try sitting down your clients and chatting a little before you get started. Often, I’ll meet up with my engagement shoot clients at a local pub so that they can unwind after what’s usually been a long week at work. We’re able to talk and get comfortable with one another without the intimidating camera coming between us.

Beside, people tend to work best with people they know. It’s easier for subjects to relax when they’re comfortable and familiar with the person behind the lens. The beauty of getting to know your client is that it takes the pressure off you, the photographer, from trying to be witty and funny. When the client gets to know you better and vice-versa, it’s easier to be yourself.

Invest in a Good Posing Guide
The Toolkit Lookbooks can go a long way to helping you come up with great poses and helping the client understand what you’re asking them to do. Not only do the Lookbooks have hundreds of poses for you to use with your family or bride and groom clients, you can also show them the photos so that they know what you’re shooting for.

When a subject knows what he or she is supposed to do, (and that they’re not going to look dumb in the process) it also helps them relax. Some people question whether it’s okay to show clients the book, but I’ve only heard positive feedback from both clients and other photographers alike. When clients see the pose, they get it. Once they get it, you can push thing farther to capture the real magic.


Think Sideways
Not every shot needs to be pretty people looking pretty, bride and groom kissing or little kids smiling perfectly into the camera. Think about other possibilities that don’t fall within the typical box of what is traditionally expected from a portrait, engagement or wedding day session. Let go of your preconceived notions of what your shoot is supposed to look like.

In my portfolio, I have a wide shot of two clients drawing “I love you” in the sand. It’s a great moment that clients often comment on. I like to point out that the couple was very shy and wouldn’t have made “most likely to make the portfolio” votes. But it worked because I tried something different that played to their strengths.

Go With the Flow
Listen to what your clients are telling you. They may not say it out loud, (in fact they rarely do,) but the signs are usually there. If something’s working, but not what you planned, just go with it. Don’t be afraid to push a good moment further along.

If your bride and groom are goofing around and making a mess, try having them roll around on the ground. If the kids are being unruly, let them go crazy. You never know what something unexpected – and really good – might come from it all.

Get Out of the Way
Sometimes it’s best to leave the clients alone so that they can relax. It’ll tell them to forget about the camera or even that it’s broken and I need to test it a little. Either way, when subjects don’t think that they need to put on their photo face, their expressions and body positions loosen and become more natural.

Happy face

When photographing the bridal party, I’ll often do my “camera is broken” trick. The girls will invariably start making jokes and laughing since they don’t think they need to pay attention to the camera. Eventually they’ll realize that I’m actually shooting and then the laughter – along with some great expressions – starts all over again.

Other times, backing off and using a long lens can take the pressure off of the subjects. Give them some distance and see what happens.

Work the Scenery
No matter who the client is, it never hurts to pull back and let the scenery be the hero in the shot. Breaking things up also opens up opportunity for sales of albums and wall prints. Many people who would be loath to put a big picture of themselves on the wall will happily purchase a framed print where they are smaller in a beautiful scene.

Happy face

Drop a Brick on Their Foot
This one comes courtesy of one of my favorite writers, P.J. O’Rouke. In one of his books, he suggested dropping a brick on someone’s foot if they have a headache. The idea being that you can distract someone from a minor discomfort with a major pain.

My manner of executing this dubious logic is to get right in my reluctant subject’s face with my camera. Or I let the client sit awkwardly in front of the camera with no direction from me. I’ll go well past their comfort zone – for a little while. Everything after that seems so much easier for them to deal. After uncomfortably posing in silence or facing a lens just inches away, my more normal shooting style is received with new appreciation.

Get Buy In
Nothing can turn into a train wreck so quickly as trying to get kids to do something that they don’t want to do. I like to talk to the kids in advance and let them throw out ideas for what they’d like to do. I’ll even offer to let the kids photograph me after I photograph them. Once they realize that it’s a two-way dialogue, they feel much more involved with the process.

If dad books the session, but mom is the real driver behind the shoot, be sure to talk to mom. She may have completely different ideas about the images she’s expecting. Few things are more frustrating than showing up for a shoot with a plan in mind but then butting heads with a mom who has her own plan. (Also, since mom will probably make the buying decisions later, be sure she’s on the same page as you if you want to make any post-shoot sales.)

Happy face

Try a Variety of Scenarios
This goes hand in hand with thinking sideways, taking your time and being patient. Don’t just stick to one setup or composition. Try different backgrounds, poses and camera orientation (landscape v. portrait). Don’t get stuck on one setup no matter how much you think it’s working.

If a client doesn’t like any given series after a shoot, it’s good to have a variety of others that the client can choose from. There’s few things more frustrating than coming back from a shoot where your hero, can’t miss shots look blah and you have nothing to fall back on.

Ask for What You Want
If you want a client smile, ask them to smile. You want a laugh, ask for a laugh! I recently had an assistant take some photos of me for practice. He kept trying to crack dumb jokes to get a smile of me. Finally, I told him to ask me for what he wanted. Things went much better from that point.

Happy face

It doesn’t hurt to actually practice a little with clients. I’ll show them what I’m looking for. Most subjects will give you what you want if they know what to do. A little encouragement and practice can help them turn it on for the camera later.

Act Like a Fool
You can’t expect your clients to cut loose if you don’t or won’t. A lot of times, I ask my clients to do stuff that they find embarrassing. They’re much more likely to go for it if I’m doing stupid stuff too. When I open up, it gives them license to do the same.

In response to a video of my photographing a subject, someone once posted that they were embarrassed for me because of the dumb things I was saying to direct the woman. They meant it as an insult, but I took it as a compliment. In the end, it’s the moments and expressions that I capture that matter.

Happy face

Don’t Stick Your Clients in a Box
There’s nothing wrong with focusing in on something specific with a client. But don’t allow your initial concepts to limit the direction of the shoot. What works for one subject on one day may not work for another on different day.

I recently took a look at another photographer’s bridal shoot. I was struck by how the the photo were technically nice, the bride pretty and the poses fairly sophisticated – but the shots just fell flat and had no life. The problem was that the photography ran his client through a set of poses he’d learned from a well-known photographer, but they just didn’t work with this subject. He’d have been far better off to dump the concept once it was obvious that it wasn’t working try something – anything – else.

Final Thoughts
Creativity is often viewed as this lightening bold that comes from above. In reality it’s often the end result of simple playfulness and experimentation. By adopting a process that allows you to adapt to the unique demands of each shoot and go beyond the expected, you’ll quickly be regarded as a creative genius. And you thought photography was supposed to be difficult!


The Engagement Session
The Bridal SessionThe Ceremony
The Luncheon
The Reception


Chase and I were born and raised in West Valley City, Utah. We only lived a few blocks away from each other and we both graduated from Hunter High School. His younger sister Chelsea was one of my good friends and she is the one who set us up. Their parents gave them four tickets to see a Jazz game and they both had to bring dates, so Chelsea asked me. It was a wonderful night; we ate at Rumbi, played mad libs and drank a lot of diet coke.

I was down at school in Cedar at the time and so we can thank Facebook for our relationship. We talked a lot through that website and it is funny to say that is where this all began. One weekend a few months after dating, Chase was down in Cedar visiting me for the weekend. We planned on taking a day trip to St. George and it turned into a weekend at Disneyland. Chase said to me, “you know Disneyland is only six hours away..” He knew that I loved Disney and that he would win over my heart if he took me there. And he did, there at the happiest place on earth I knew I was falling in love with Chase Helm. That love has continued to grow ever since.


It started with the song “can’t help falling in love with you,” by Elvis Presley. I am in love with Elvis and music from the 50’s and 60’s, I can thank my dad for my old soul. That was my song to Chase and that would be what we danced to. Chase and I decided we wanted an old theme, as if we were getting married back then. The theme branched out a little more to a “sweet vintage” theme. Chase’s grandparents own the Condie’s Chocolates and we wanted to include that into our wedding. The wedding was planned to what Chase and I wanted by my cousin Bobbi. She had all the wonderful ideas from the colors and the big balloons to the lanterns and decorations at the Reception. She had been planning my wedding for many years and new exactly what would be perfect.

The best part about the theme was my dress and hat. I wanted a short vintage dress, and had no idea if it existed. I found Modest Couture by Elizabeth in the Utah Bridal magazine and fell in love. We made an appointment and met with Betsy at her home. The dress was the Sophia and it was the first one I tried on, it was the dress for me. To top it off I added a pill box hat, it went perfect with the theme. Then Betsy recommended me to look at a photographer who knew how to take great pictures with that theme, Andrea Hanks.


My favorite part was walking out of the Temple doors holding my husband’s hand. It was so fun to see our family and all our loved ones there to greet on our special day. My other favorite was when Chase and I danced for the first time as husband and wife, to our song. There must have been a million times that I had played that out in my head before the wedding, and then there it was in real life, it was so beautiful.


There are two things, I would not have cried as much and would have made more time in the day. I think that the planning and hard work leading up to the wedding was overwhelming on the day. I felt like Chase and I had worked so hard to get to where we wanted to be that day. It was crazy to think that all those people were there for us, and I was so happy they were. I only say I wish I didn’t cry as much because of my make-up, you can only touch so much up. They were all happy tears and it was a happy day.

The most important change is one that I will tell every soon to be bride I know from now on, is that I wish that we would have had more time in that one day. Maybe had a ceremony time for earlier in the morning so we could have had more time to take pictures at the Temple. We were very rushed that day and it was hard to get everything in that I wanted. My best friend Caitlin told me to stop and look around at what was going on and to take it all in, she told me that it would go by so fast. Man was she right, and it was the fastest day of my life.


Having a good photographer was on the top of my list of things I had to have at my wedding. When Betsy recommended Andrea she just had so many good things to say about her, so of course we had to look her up as soon as we got home from the dress appointment. I knew Andrea was the one when I saw a photo from a previous wedding she had done, in this picture there were the two wedding rings with diet coke cans and ice, and I fell in love.

Chase and I met with Andrea for lunch to talk about what we were looking for and how we wanted our wedding. She started the lunch by getting to know us, asking how we met and how we came up with the ideas for our wedding, she told us about herself as well. She really wanted to focus on the fact that she liked to develop a relationship with the bride and groom and how it would show through the pictures. And that is exactly what happened, Chase and I really connected with her.

A man that Andrea had worked with before had these beautiful old cars and that is what we wanted to shoot our engagements with. I wanted to have a photographer who I trusted and valued their ideas. Andrea came up with all the locations and ideas and they were perfect for me. It was such a fun day; it went from super hot to pouring rain. And we shot with the same kind of car that Elvis had used in one of his movies; Andrea knew that was a must. Chase and I had never really taken pictures like this together, and so it was a very new experience for us. She captured things in those pictures that Chase and I felt and that couldn’t be described in words. We knew that she was exactly what we wanted.

The day I took my bridals I brought my mom with me, who was a lot of fun to be around and I think she helped Andrea out too. We just followed her in our car and she took us to several locations. They were random places that by just looking at them seemed so ordinary, but they turned out so well and I thought they went with the theme so well. My mom and I got to know Andrea and the life she had lived very well; it was a great day out with the girls.

The wedding day was the craziest day of my life and Andrea was there to help me through it. I felt like I didn’t have to worry about her at all, I knew that the pictures of my special day were in the right hands. She caught things in my wedding that I didn’t even know where there, and it is so nice to look back at them now. She knew exactly what Chase and I wanted and we had so much fun with her. I was sad to say goodbye to her that night, knowing that was it.

CAKE: Tasha at Cake-A-Licious.
FOOD: Spoon Me, Cupcakes by Cake-A-Licious, soda and Condie’s Chocolate.
WEDDING DRESS: The Sophia Dress by Modest Couture by Elizabeth.
TUXES: Ritz Tuxedos
MAID OF HONOR DRESS: Made by Debbi (an aunt to Jordan the Maid of Honor)
MAKE-UP: Done by Bride using MAC Cosmetics
HAIR: Niki Hancuff from Style Setter and pill box hat by Modest Couture by Elizabeth
CEREMONY: Salt Lake Temple
LUNCHEON: Joseph Smith Memorial Building
RECEPTION: The residence of Terry and Jackie Rushton

I was thrilled when I was asked to by the lovely and talented Autumn Thatcher if I would be willing to be a part of a cover story about 4 local photographers for their next issue of  In This Week.  First is the printed version and then right below is the the online version of the story.  If you would like to view the article online go here. The printed version is available today, so go pick up a copy!
Cover: Salt Lake’s Hot Shots, Andrea Hanks
Posted 2011-03-30 14:27:23 by Autumn Thatcher

Our day-to-day lives happen in a blur and the monotony of our daily responsibilities sometimes causes us to get into routines that prevent us from stopping and taking a look at the world around us. While most of us have to remind ourselves to look at our surroundings, there are those select few who tend to see nothing but what surrounds them. These individuals are more often than not, photographers. Anyone can buy a camera and start shooting, but not everyone can turn their work into art. In appreciation for the photographic talent that exists in Salt Lake, we minimize our words and talk to four different professional photographers who differ in style and subject, but are similar because of their ability to see something ordinary and make it extraordinary. These people show us on the pages what they see in their surroundings and capture their interpretations behind the lens for everyone else to admire.

Andrea Hanks has been working with photography and cameras since she began modeling internationally at the age of 14. Her experience in front of the camera along with the realization that it was time to step out of the world of modeling led her to pick up a camera and go behind the lens.

What she likes to shoot • I love the fashion industry, so my style is most influenced by high fashion editorial.

On her photographic studies • Experience has been the best teacher for me. A lot of trial and error. My yearly goals always include some form of continued training. I spend time analyzing other photographers and seeking their input from camera setting to the best shoes to wear on the risers at LA Fashion Week.

How she is different from other photographers • Because of my unique experience in the fashion industry, the way I use lighting, the way I pose and most often don’t pose subjects and my decidedly unique processing style using rich, bright colors and deep contrasting blacks and whites.

Who she would shadow for a day • Nicolaas de Bruin or Walter Ego

Opportunities her career has presented her with • Good luck is where the paths of hard work and opportunity cross. In my short career, I have been able to shoot celebrities at Sundance Film Festival, and I am the house photographer for the biggest venue at LA Fashion Week. I have also shot wedding proposals in Chicago, weddings nationwide and most recently in Jamaica. I am currently working on some shooting projects this fall in New York.

Last spring I shot two a brother and a sister’s wedding within 2 months of each other and the weddings were featured on The Bride and Check out the post online here.

We have two fun Spring weddings that we want to share with you.  The first one is Nick & Brooke & the second one is Abbie & Kylen.  Abbie & Nick are siblings so we thought it would be a fun post to share these two featured weddings in one blog.  Both weddings were simply fantastic & we wanted to share all the fun details with you.  Special thanks to Andrea Hanks Photography for sharing these images with us.  We hope these two wedding inspire you to create your own wedding masterpiece.

Photography by~Andrea Hanks Photography

Nick & Brooke

Brooke wanted to have  peacock/vintage theme, which started from her engagements to her wedding day.  Nick & Brooke’s wedding colors were red, gold & turquoise  & everything turned out fabulous.  Be sure to check out all the amazing details that were included in everything from the fun engagement session to the wedding luncheon & wedding.  What a fantastic day.

Brooke and Nick’s Wedding

To see more images from Brooke & Nick’s Wedding, go to their featured wedding page here.

Wedding Vendors for Brooke & Nick’s Wedding:

Cake – Bowman’s Market Bakery
Food – Pennie Whipple (mom)
Wedding Dress – David’s Bridal w/ alternations by Pennie Whipple
Tuxes – Stuft Shirt Tuxedo Emporium
Flower Girl Dresses – Stewarts
Photographer –Andrea Hanks
Hair – Cultures Salon
Ceremony – Bountiful Temple
Luncheon –The Canterbury Place
Reception – Tuscan Ridge courtyard in South Ogden

Abbie & Kylen

Abbie & Kylen focused their wedding around their love of singing & playing the guitar. Nick & Abbie (siblings) have a fun family tradition  that when they get married they write a song for their spouse & sing it at the luncheon, but at Abbie’s wedding she wasn’t the only one who performed a song.  Kylen did too.  How sweet is that?   We think you will find this Spring Wedding a lot of fun & inspiring as well.

To see more images from Abbie & Kylen’s wedding check out their featured wedding page here.

Wedding Vendors for Abbie & Kylen’s Wedding:

Wedding Dress- David’s Bridal

Ceremony-Salt Lake Temple

Luncheon- Joseph Smith Memorial

Reception- The Victorian

Photography- Andrea Hanks

The Engagement Session
The Bridal Session

The Wedding LuncheonThe TempleThe Reception

As a photographer, the one thing I think that makes me LOVE my job more than anything is the way I feel after working with a couple from the first time I meet them all the way to watching them (sometimes with teary eyes) leave in the getaway car.  This couple was no exception, but enough about what I think…without further ado here is their bio on their wedding experience.

The one thing I learned……

I learned many things in planning my wedding.  One of which was that everything lies in the details.  It sure didn’t seem too difficult when planning the basic things like what food to have, who to invite, etc.  However when it came down to actually getting things done, there were so many details that we hadn’t even considered, and these details were important and time consuming.

It is so important to think of all the little details so that you aren’t scrambling around the week of, or even the day of the wedding, trying to finish things up.  So while you may be used to procrastinating in school work or other things, do not procrastinate with the detailed wedding plans…you want to be able to relax and enjoy this special day, not stress over things that aren’t complete.

How I came up with the theme…..

I have always enjoyed things that are a vintage or classic.  So, when it came to the theme of our wedding, it was pretty simple.  I was lucky enough to find my dream dress the first time I went looking.  The color was great and with just a few alterations, it was perfect.  Along with the perfect dress, I chose to incorporate beautiful peacock feathers, which are definitely classic/vintage and went perfect with my wedding colors.  We decided to keep everything else fairly simple since our family would be doing most everything for the reception.

My favorite part of the wedding……

Our favorite part of the wedding was a special few minutes we were able to spend together before the ceremony in the temple.  We just relaxed, enjoyed each others company and pondered on the importance of what was about to take place.

A few other highlights of this special day were: the photo/video shoot with Andrea Hanks and Nate Pickett (they did such a great job making us feel so important), being surrounded by people who care so much about us and support us, and, of course, dancing together at the end of the beautiful day.  Oh and I guess I shouldn’t leave out the sweet tender mercy of good weather when we needed it (it stormed right after our luncheon up until a couple hours prior to the start of our reception).

How Nick and I met……

Nick and I met at a summer activity of a student singles ward.  I had just returned from a mission to Costa Rica and one of my best friends invited me to her ward camping activity at Lava Hot Springs…….

Shortly after the campout we started dating and nine months later Nick took me to The Needles restaurant at the top of Snowbasin and proposed in front of a huge fireplace.

Our proposal story…go to for our full proposal story.

What I would do differently……

Plan for the worst.  Some things didn’t work out how I planned and then I was scrambling at the last minute because there wasn’t enough time.  Case in point:  the dress alterations.  The seamstress hired to do the alterations didn’t pull through and I had two days until my bridal pics!!!  Luckily my amazing mother put my dress back together and it all worked out. I wish my mom would have done the alteration in the first place.  We would have saved all the stress and money we wasted.


Cake – Bowman’s Market Bakery
Food – Pennie Whipple (mom)
Wedding Dress – David’s Bridal w/ alternations by Pennie Whipple
Tuxes – Stuft Shirt Tuxedo Emporium
Flower Girl Dresses – Stewarts
Photographer – Andrea Hanks
Make-up – Bride
Hair – Cultures Salon
Ceremony – Bountiful Temple
Luncheon –The Canterbury
Reception – Tuscan Ridge courtyard in South Ogden

One of my weddings is featured on Utah Bride Blog today. Hurray! Check it out here!

Posted on May 19, 2010 by Audrey

This wedding came to us via Andrea Hanks Photography and not only is it superbly themed, styled, and carried out …. Andrea shared it with us from beginning to end!





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{the party!}





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{bride & groom = jen & ed}


{what jen learned} Weddings are best with a theme. I find it unfortunate that that most people think luau or princess when it comes to themes. There are great themes that could be as simple as your favorite foods. I know that our carnival theme was followed in everything. From the decorations to the invite it was all carnival. But I also kept in mind that I was planning a wedding not an 8 year olds birthday party. There is a way to class up almost everything. We had a lot of people who came to the wedding just to see what it was about. We had so many people say that the invitation was just so intriguing….they had to come.

{how she came up with the theme} It is all about the dress. I knew exactly how I wanted my dress. I wanted big and colorful and that is what I got. I also knew I wanted a casual atmosphere where people could come and have a good time. And, of course, I wanted unique. It all just came together from there. I love carnivals…especially pictures of vintage carnivals with the pennants and striped tents. I just started making a list and the carnival theme was born. But really, it really did revolve around the dress.

{her fav part} I have two favorites. I loved the flower girls. Their dresses just came together so great. I really played up the fact that nothing really had to match and that I had such fun little girls. I also loved the food. Although I did not even have a bite of anything I just loved the feel. So many people milled around the cotton candy and popcorn. And the hot dog cart was a huge hit!

Photography credit: Andrea Hanks Photography

cake & cupcakes: aubrey bennion

Food/catering: Brown Brothers Catering

Dresses: Riva Juarez

Flower girl dresses: shabby apple

Headbands & veil: Anne Michelle Neil

Make up & Hair: Ashlee Winegar & Chani Chapman

Reception Location: Wheeler Farm Activity Barn

Florist: Willow & Wildflowers







9 Responses to featured wedding {a carnival}

  1. OMGOSH check out all that candy! I love it!!!! The bride’s dress is very cool. Something you don’t see everyday. Uniquely awesome!!!!

  2. So amazing! Those detail shots are to die for! Such an awesome job! I love the whole wedding. The marry go round shots are genius!

  3. Vicki says:

    What a fun wedding!!! So many well thought out details. Love it when a couple thinks outside the box. Well done!!! Great pics and nice flowers too!

  4. Pingback: Wedding Featured on Utah Bride Blog! « Andrea Hanks Photography | The Blog
  5. I Love Andrea!! She is the COOLEST! Love this shoot!

  6. These are AWESOME! I love the theme idea!! LOVE the detail shots! And LOVE the dress!! Great pictures, and great idea!

  7. Nobody shoots the details like Andrea. I love this wedding!

  8. ellesbelles says:

    That Jen is so overloaded with creativity… great taste!… so much fun to see the photos. Congrats to the very happy couple!


Carnival Themed Love

May 4, 2010


I loved photographing this event, but I have decided instead of me telling everyone what a great time I had, I am going to let you read a few things that the bride learned about the wedding day and what she felt about the day.

The one thing I learned……

Weddings are best with a theme. I find it unfortunate that that most people think luau or princess when it comes to themes. There are great themes that could be as simple as your favorite foods. I know that our carnival theme was followed in everything. From the decorations to the invite it was all carnival. But I also kept in mind that I was planning a wedding not an 8 year olds birthday party. There is a way to class up almost everything. We had a lot of people who came to the wedding just to see what it was about. We had so many people say that the invitation was just so intriguing….they had to come.

How I came up with the theme…..

It is all about the dress. I knew exactly how I wanted my dress. I wanted big and colorful and that is what I got. I also knew I wanted a casual atmosphere where people could come and have a good time. And, of course, I wanted unique. It all just came together from there. I love carnivals…especially pictures of vintage carnivals with the pennants and striped tents. I just started making a list and the carnival theme was born. But really, it really did revolve around the dress.

My favorite part of the wedding……

I have two favorites. I loved the flower girls. Their dresses just came together so great. I really played up the fact that nothing really had to match and that I had such fun little girls. I also loved the food. Although I did not even have a bite of anything I just loved the feel. So many people milled around the cotton candy and popcorn. And the hot dog cart was a huge hit!

How Ed and I met……

Ed and I met here in Utah in our singles ward and it was love at first sight….for me. I chased him for about a year before he finally decided to date me. We dated for a year and on October 10th 2009 Ed surprised me and flew me to Disneyland where he proposed in front of the castle.


Cake – Aubry Bennion
Cupcapkes – Aubry Bennion
Food – Brown Brothers Catering
Dresses – Riva Juarez
Flower Girl Dresses – Shabby Apple
Photographer – Andrea Hanks
Headbands and Veil – Ann-Michelle Neil
Make-up – Ashlee Winegar
Hair – Chani Chapman
Luncheon -The White House
Reception – Wheeler Farm Activity Barn

Ryan and Chelsey

November 23, 2009

-243 codpy-225 copy-211 codepy-193 copdy-191 codpy-185 h-168 cospy-155 cdopy-143 cdopy215-copdyv1-14 codpy-23e8-43 codpy-109 codpy-80 cdopy-79 codpy-78 codpy-49 copy-54 copdybw-252 cocpy-33 cdopyv-97 copdy-93 cbopy-38 codpy-108 copdy

Yes, I know a lot of pictures. I couldn’t narrow it down any more…believe me I TRIED. I even left out a bunch that I really like too. So, before I get to the story of Ryan and Chelsey, I have a preference question for you. Would you prefer to see the images as stills or in a slide show on my blog?

Alright here comes the part you really want to know about…the shoot! I photographed a wedding in Washington State when I first started my photography business. Jay and Erin flew me out to be a part of their wedding on the lake in the mountains. It was gorgeous and I was in picture heaven. Well, this is part II of the Morris Family Weddings for me. I am going to be taking photos of Ryan and Chelsey in Nauvoo, Illinois in the spring for the wedding and then off to Wisconsin for their reception. I couldn’t be more thrilled. I get to fly into Chicago and will have some time to play there. (Any suggestions?) For these photos, Ryan flew in from Washington and Chelsey came in from Idaho. We then traveled some more to this lovely little spot in Tremonton. Loved the bike, loved the couple and loved the lighting. Chelsey, I can’t wait to see you again for your bridal session!

Thank You!

August 24, 2009

In my business, word of mouth is very important to be successful. I do not pay for advertising, so all of my business is booked from referrals and repeat clients. I just recently booked a wedding that came from a referral from Amy and Kevin. I shot their engagement session, bridals and wedding recently. To show them appreciation for spreading the word about my business, I put together a custom slide show for them with their choice of photos and music. Thank you so much! I really appreciate you sharing the love, I am successful because of all of you!

Frozen Love

March 24, 2009

What a cool day for a shoot! LITERALLY! It was the first week of December and the temperature dropped a whole LOT on the very day this adorable couple wanted to shoot their engagement photos. They were both good sports during the entire frigid event. In between clothing changes we de-thawed inside the JSM building for a bit and snapped a few photos as well. Overall, these two lovebirds were having a great time, and so did I. (Even if I couldn’t feel my fingers and toes.) Oh and just wait…..the photos from the bridals and wedding are soon to come.