Boy Meets Girl (And a Beautiful Wedding on a Budget!)

Follow me on an adorable journey.  I’m a photographic writer. I love to tell my client’s stories, and this is one I’ve had the privilege of following for quite awhile. I hope you love their story as much as I do.

This couple is the coolest pair, ever!

They are two very spirited young people with vintage old souls. They live everyday… emphasis on the word LIVE.

This is Donovan and Melissa, aka Fred and Ethel. She says he likes her to ride on the front of this vintage cycle because he likes to look at her bum; however, as you can see, he has other motives.

Hope this isn’t a sign of things to come…

This is Donovan.  He’s a curious bloke.  Not much in his life resembles the everyday “Joe Schmo.”

He loves life.  He takes life by the hand and runs with her.

He’s a closet musician with a taste for Willie Nelson, The Beatles, and Donovan… to name a few. He loves to write short stories,and screen plays. He’s a total movie snob. He believes in self-sustained lifestyle. This means he operates on solar, grows his own veggies, and has chickens in his backyard (all of which are name after Beatles songs)

And… he loves painting… especially Her…

Wow, is she unique… right down to brown spot in the middle of those beautiful green eyes.

You guessed it. This is “Life” and her name is Melissa.

I have a feeling she is gonna take him for the ride of his life!!!

…or maybe he will take her

This couple’s wedding was just as a creative as they are, and the amazing part is it was done on a tight budget!

(Dress: $8.00 from China)

(Venue, including the antique doors and seating: Free)

(Flowers by a Friend: Almost Free)

Funny story about his suit. He purchased the jacket at a thrift store before there were engaged, and it was one of his favorites. Later, she found a matching pair of pants at… you guessed it, a thrift store. What are the chances?

(Bride’s getaway “car”: Free)

(Reception in Dad’s Landscape Nursery: Free)

(Reception Decor–Hanging windows, doors, and mason jar candle holders–: Free)




She made the cake herself!

Happiness takes some elbow grease but is definitely free.

Not the end …It’s the beginning.

Donovan and Melissa sittin’ by a tree K  I  S  S  I  N  G…

Behind the Scene (Documenting an Photo Session)

I would like to share a fresh new twist with you, the creation of a photographic story. Would you believe this one happened in 1 1/2 hrs. at the same location. Yes, that’s what I said… all of the photos were taken within 30 yards of each other and shot within an hour and a half.

The circle is the stairwell and the arrows are the spots in the alley where we used natural and synthetic lighting.




I love the way the back light in this image makes you feel like the shadow is coming from a natural light source. I also love the way the shadow supports the composition of the photo. It draws my eye right to her.

In the shot I positioned the back light to shine through the hair. I wanted to create the notion that the sun was still up, right behind her, even though it had a just set.

Just for Kicks (Makeup and Hair from the American Beauty Show)

I had the opportunity last year to work backstage for a show in Chicago. I took my camera just in case I had a minute to archive some of the beautiful work that was being pumped out that day. It was a blast bringing together the skill of multiple artists to create one vision. I love what magic happened that weekend. I want to share some of the photos and break down the makeup for you. For this post I won’t really talk about foundations, but I used TIGI foundation for all the models.

For the model above I used masking tape to create this… umm… mask. I cut the tape for the bottom shape. I placed the TIGI black shadow using the dome brush wet with liquid enhancer loading at the top tapeline, transitioning to color downward, and then blending away. I left the lid natural. I repeated the process with the yellow from the VIP pallet and a clean dome brush, working upward form the bottom tapeline. Now, one more time, I used the black brush wet to strengthen the top line… quick before the wet shadow dries… and applied the black glitter with the blending brush. I gave the outside corner of the eye a straight line, added a slight brush of the orange to the cheeks,and a blot of yellow shadow to the lips for an edgy Avant Guard look.

Eye colors come from VIP pallet and Gold from to TIGI Glitz duo. The details were created by color, washing the orange over the eye lid, then loading yellow with the shading brush… not blended. I loaded the end of my brush heavily with orange and very intentionally placed the color to create this whimsical lash impression just under the eyes. The checks were done with Haute TIGI blush, and Serenity for the lips.

Below is a slight variation of the look from the previous photo

Here is a wash of Glitz Gold on the eyes, and Serenity on the lips.

Bring on the drama with a cocktail of black liner and Luxury lip color to create the dark blackberry lip.

Here silver and gold from the Glitz Split Shadow was used on the eyes (gold in the inner eye and silver on the outer edges). I wanted this makeup to have a very monochromatic feeling, so I used Serenity on the lips and then dabbed the gold shadow over the lip color to highlight the center of the mouth… fantastic on the pale blonde.

The model above and below is the same girl… wow, the power of change! She had beautiful brows and lids for the sultry cat eye. I gave it a little twist with a mime-inspired line through the center of her eyes, shadowing the line from dark to light.


TIGI Liquid Enhancer and Black were used to create this intense black with a glitter overlay. Gold Glitz under the eye adds a interesting pop of color to this look.