Sunday, December 26, 2010

Alex&Danielle::: Wedding

Bigger pictures and even more fun at: www.adinanoel.blogspot.com

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I woke up in an unfamiliar attic sleeping next to some girl who I couldn't recognize because her face was turned the other way. To be honest, it seemed a little awkward. It took me asecond to figure out where I was, and more importantly, how I got there in the first place. Then it all came back: I'd spent the night at Bobby Earle's and was rooming with Kim, Josh Newton's girlfriend who was also shooting with us that day.
I looked out the window to find that it was a gorgeous day to be getting married in San Diego.






After a good morning hanging out and getting our gear ready, we got on our serious clothes and serious faces and were on our way to shoot a seriously fun wedding!

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The wedding was held at Bernardo's Winery, a super fun venue with lots of great spots for portraits. My favorite was this old style carriage.

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Alex&Danielle were awesome enough to have a First Look. It's so great when the bride and groom can have a few moments alone before the craziness takes off to just be in love and soak it in. I feel like seeing your best friend there, all dressed up and ready to commit to love you in front of everyone you both know must do wonders towards relaxing you from the pre-wedding jitters and get you in the right mood to just enjoy every minute of your day.

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My very favorite thing about Alex and Danielle (other than their obvious fun personalities and good looks!) is that they didn't just jump into a relationship. They waited. They were friends for a good long time before they started dating. OK, so maybe it was mostly Alex doing the waiting while Danielle figured things out but still... they chose to trust God with it and they ended up being oh-so-rewarded and happy in the end... that now turns out to just be a new beginning!!


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Fun fact: I make it a point to dance at every wedding I shoot. Seriously, I even discuss this at my client meetings. I must put the camera down and dance one dance at every wedding. It's a great tradition, and a good reminder to myself that I got into photography for the fun of it, and I want to make sure that I continue making it oh-so-fun no matter how busy life gets.

So here's what happened: Finally the DJ put on one of those I-must-hit-the-dance-floor songs on, and I put down my camera for the traditional dance. Well, before I knew what hit me I was surrounded, and I mean surrounded, by the bridal party all dancing and jokingly grinding, and super close to me! It caught me so off-guard that I was totally embarrassed and laughing my head off the entire time. Of course, it didn't take long for that to become one of my favorite wedding memories! :)


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So... Congratulations Alex&Danielle on this amazing new "beginning" together!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Adventures in California::: "Hopped Off The Plane At LAX..."

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There's something about California that had me intrigued all year. The sun, the palm trees, the thought of visiting another part of the world where my pasty white skin would stand out in a crowd. Whatever it was, it had been calling my name ever since last winter, and I was determined to find out exactly what it was that I knew I'd been missing out on all this time.

North Dakota, that's as far west as I'd gone before. As a native from Virginia, I thought I was actually doing pretty good. But, again... the sun, the palm trees, and the off-off-off-off-chance of running into Patrick Dempsey at a random Starbucks.. (-sigh-) it proved to be too much for me to sit around and do nothing about it. So here's a ginormous shout out to my awesome photographer friend Josh Newton, who invited me to go second shoot two beautiful weddings with him in California. That was definitely the perfect excuse for me to hop on a plane as fast as I could and be happily on my way to L.A!

The night before flying out of Philadelphia I had to sort through a lot of stuff, and pack everything from the summer. I had to play the whole "make everything be according to the new airline baggage restrictions" game, and so I ended up running on 3 hours of sleep. I had a layover in Houston, Texas, and on the flight I met Randy, the most inspiring man ever. Cancer survivor, strong Christian, amazing story. I love meeting people in planes, and I loved being able to bond with this man enough for him to tell me about the hardest battle he ever had to fight, the closest he'd ever been to God, and how through it all he became a better husband, father, and friend. We both had to hold in the tears at some point! Previously just random strangers sitting next to each other in a plane, we ended up hugging and exchanging business cards before going to our gates. Ahhh... this is why I love traveling. Anyway, I
landed in LAX at 5 pm on a Friday night, bad idea.

"Hopped off a plane at LAX..." and now I have no idea what to do. There were a million shuttles taking you anywhere you wanted to go. It took some time for me to figure things out, but eventually I got on the right one. It had the most hilarious driver ever. Mad driving skills, is what she had. Fighting through the craziest traffic ever, and cracking jokes the whole time. I told her she was my superhero, and I meant it too! It took me 2 and a half hours from when I landed to get from LAX to Union station to catch a train to Santa Barbara. By the time I got there it was 735pm, and I found out that the last train to Santa Barbara had left at 730. Bummer. By then I'd been traveling for 16 hours straight. Double bummer. So I sat at union station and talked to a friend on the phone until it was time to catch my bus to Santa Barbara, which was supposed to leave at 925... and ran on a 25 minute delay.

I finally got to Santa Barbara at 1 am west coast time, and realized it had somehow taken me 21 hours to get there. It usually takes me less time to cross the Atlantic Ocean. It's all good though, Josh came to pick me up at the creepy-because-it's-totally-empty-and-its-dark bus station, and I crashed on the couch feeling like sleep had never seemed so inviting. Welcome to California! :)

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

JT&Lauren::: The Wedding



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I've never been in a limo. It seems funny to point it out, but it's something that I thought about when I was a little kid. Being a missionary kid, one of seven at that, I wasn't exactly blessed with riches growing up. Don't get me wrong, I am very blessed to have always had food on the table, clothes on my back, and food on my plate... I don't take that for granted.







Still, it seemed that my toys were those that my siblings passed down to me, and my "new" jeans were handmedowns from my brothers, already with thick patches on the knees. It was all good though, I had a great childhood and don't feel like a missed out. But sometimes I wondered what it was like to be living "the big life", when I would have "so much money" and I would get to do fun things that seemed unthinkable at the time, like getting to
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Sometimes I would go as far as to daydream about how or when that would happen. Maybe it would be during my prom, or wedding, or sometimes when I was really in a rockstar mood, I thought that it might happen on my way to a movie premiere or an award show. (Just don't ask me what exactly I'd be doing there... that plan was never exactly perfected.) In either case, I surely didn't think that the first time I would ride a limo I would be "at work," I never imagined that I would be squished in there with some of the most awesome and fun girls around, drinking champagne, wearing matching blue dresses, and singing random Spanish guy names to the tune of a current radio hit! I was riding a limo for the first time, and I was a wedding photographer. Wow... I did not see that one coming.

Someone please tell my 8 year-old self back then that my life was about to get a lot more fun?

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Fun. This was definitely a fun wedding. I guess that's what you get when you get such a great group for the wedding party. Sorority girls and fraternity boys? Seriously? Just fun. Actually...fun and good looking too! ;)


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I love getting ready shots, I love to see the brides getting pampered on what I always think is likely the most beautiful day of their lives. I also love that I get to be there, and see, and take pictures so later they can see! :)

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Everything was going according to planned, girls were ready, Lauren was wearing a gorgeous dress (HUGE shout out to Lauren's mom who actually MADE the dress!) and we were all out the door on our way to the church. Emphasis on ALL out the door, no leaving photographers behind this time! ;) We got to the church and when we were about ready to start is when someone realizes that the marriage license was left at the house. Twenty-five minute drive. Each way. So... things got a bit off schedule.

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The ceremony was worth the wait because it was so gorgeous. From the most adorable flower girls in the beginning, to the quick "church kiss" at the end, it was just perfect, inspiring, and adorable to see my friend up there trying to keep it together as she said her vows. "The photographer can't cry." I have to remind myself, no joke.

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JT&Lauren are so photogenic, they seriously make my job easy. :)

The reception was held at Lauren's parent's house. Again, huge shout-out for how awesome all the preparations were. It was great to see everything being set up the couple days before when I was there, and then perfectly fall into place during the reception. Candles and chandeliers hanging from the trees? Are you kidding me? I love that!

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Finally, it's time to take it to the dance floor. Let me just end with this: these guys know how to have a good time!

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Congratulations JT&Lauren!!! I seriously couldn't be happier for you two! :)

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