Thursday, August 28, 2008

New York City Trip - Part 1

Wow. That is the first word that comes to mind when I think about our trip to New York City. As soon as we got into the taxi at the airport, the driver had the windows rolled down for us. The beautiful cool breeze that greeted us was a welcome change from the hot and humid weather we left behind in Florida. My brother and his fiancee, Maggie, had flown in from DC to join us on our trip. They met us at the airport and rode with us on our cab ride to the hotel. We took a tunnel, a bridge, and the back way through parts of New Jersey on our way into the city from the airport. Driving in New York City was a wild experience that we hadn't encountered before. The dashed lines separating lanes were merely a suggestion as we drifted from one lane to another. And all the people.

There were more pedestrians than I'd ever seen in one place before. Huge groups of people were waiting for the crossing signal to change from the red hand to the white person, while a few impatient natives tried their hand at "Frogger" and dashed across traffic.

By the time we got to the hotel, I was really starting to appreciate the aggressive driving style our taxi driver employed, and I could feel myself converting to that "big city" state of mind. Chris and I realized that the manners we were taught growing up in Tennessee and Virginia, respectively, were going to leave us stranded on the first floor as everyone else pushed us aside on their way into the elevators. We finally made our way onto one, and up we went... It took off so fast, it was like a ride at an amusement park. Once we made it up to the 33rd floor, we couldn't believe the view overlooking Times Square. If you look on the top right of the picture above the Toshiba sign, you can see where they "drop the ball" on New Years Eve.

Our mission for the first night was to get all dolled up and stroll a short 20 blocks to Cafe Fiorello, a restaurant that was recommended to us. We had the most unique thin crust pizza I have ever seen. It was pretty much hanging over all sides of the plate and was teetering on the edge of the table as well. This wasn't a good thing because I have a pretty good record for spilling food on myself.

(I took this with Maggie's point and shoot.)

On day 2, we started our jam packed tour of the city. Getting tickets for the sightseeing open-air tour bus was the best decision of the trip! We got great seats, had the beautiful wind blowing in our faces, had someone explaining the history of everything as we rode along, and best of all didn't have to drive or walk to all the great touristy spots. Of course you could hop off and on at any stop, so we got off at a few to see some of the sights and take lots of pictures. Here we are all ready to go! (Courtesy of Maggie)

Our first stop was the ferry to the Statue of Liberty. By the time we got our tickets, found the line, then found the END of the line, we realized it would be another 4 hours before we could actually get to the statue. This was as close as we could get from the mainland.

So we decided to cut our losses and sell our tickets and get a couple of the famous "dirty water hot dogs" I was told we just had to try. Maggie snuck this shot of me. (I'm not sure why she was the only one with pictures of us. I was busy taking shots of all the sights I guess, hehe.)

And now to one of my favorite parts of the trip. Since the ferry to the Statue of Liberty didn't work out so well, we decided that the next best thing would be to take the "water taxi" tour around the south part of Manhattan Island. We got really close to the Statue of Liberty and the famous Brooklyn Bridge.

Here is a shot of Michael, Maggie, and me with the Statue of Liberty in the background so we can prove that we were really there. =)

And the New York City skyline from the water taxi. If you look closely you can see some famous bridges on the right side.

I just loved some of the bridge pictures! New York City really gave me a new appreciation for architecture.

The water taxi tour guide told us "BMW" was the best way to remember the order of the 3 bridges we saw, which stands for Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Williamsburg. Here are a few shots of the Manhattan Bridge. I love the classic look of this one.

And one last classic shot of the Brooklyn Bridge.

Stay tuned for more from the trip!

Friday, August 22, 2008

New York City Vacation Weekend

We're headed to the big apple!

Chris and I are flying to New York City for a fun vacation weekend before the fall wedding season kicks into high gear. We are super excited to finally get to visit the city for the first time ever! My brother and his fiancee will be meeting us up there, so we'll all get to explore Manhattan together. We have gotten a ton of recommendations on what to see and more importantly what to eat! I hope to have lots of good pictures when we return. Here is a photo from Google Maps Street View of the hotel we'll be staying at, which overlooks Times Square.

We apologize ahead of time for any delay in email responses. Talk to ya when we return!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Tropical Storm Fay

Well Tropical Storm Fay never reached hurricane status (top wind speeds were/are 60mph) but that hasn't kept people from taking precautions. It reminds me of the snow days we used to have when I was growing up in Northern Virginia, where school would be canceled the night before. Well here we are, the day of, and the only thing we've gotten so far is a little wind. Not even a lot of wind. It looks like the rain and strong wind are on their way. Of course I'm not complaining. I love tracking the hurricanes on the news as long as there is no major threat. Here is a water vapor images I got off the National Hurricane Center website from early this morning. Fay made landfall a few hours south of the Tampa Bay Area.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Client Information: KISS Wedding Albums

We've had KISS Wedding Albums available in our packages for a while now, but we finally got around to taking photos of our sample album for reference. KISS albums are absolutely fantastic! As far as print quality goes, they are unmatched by other vendors we have seen. Everything about the design of these albums is perfectly thought out. The leather is soft and supple with rich colors, and the page thickness is just right with a quality feel. The overall production of these albums is spectacular. The album is just put together so well. The gutters are almost invisible, which really makes the spreads feel like one true image that looks great opened up. We really do love these albums and definitely feel like they are the best out there for us. Check out the pictures below to see what we mean. This sample album is a 12x12 with 30 pages.

KISS wedding album

The binding is high quality and the pages lie flat against each other with no signs of warping or distortion. The top and bottom cover are thick and substantial to really give the album a solid quality feel.

KISS wedding album binding

As you can see, the pages lay perfectly flat. Two page spreads are great for displaying fantastic album designs.

KISS album spread

The page thickness is just right.

KISS albums just rock. It's that simple.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Bridal Portraits - Cincinnati, OH: Abby

Ok, so this was somewhere between a bridal portrait session and a trash the dress session, but honestly Abby is so gorgeous it might as well have been a model session! Chris's best friend, Eric, was interested in learning more about photography, so Chris decided to give him some hands on training after a little in home tutoring. Eric's wife, Abby, luckily turned out to be an awesome model, which made for great practice. Since Eric and Chris were going to be messing around, I decided to make a mini post-wedding bridal session out of it. Abby got married almost two years ago and since Eric needed a subject to practice on, she decided to pull her wedding dress out of the bag in the closet for some more pictures. I mean really, what else are you going to do with it after the wedding? *hint, hint girls* Day After and Trash the Dress sessions are extremely fun!

The tree was totally Abby's idea, and what a great one! Her eyes are incredible.

This one makes me think of Tarzan and Jane, but wayyyy hotter.

I'm pretty sure this girl has a modeling career ahead of her. You can't teach someone to look this good. =)

This one was probably my favorite from the day.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Wedding - Cincinnati, OH: Heather and Dan

Heather and Dan's wedding went perfectly. Heather was a gorgeous bride, which makes getting great pictures so much easier. Here are some of our favorites from the day.

A few of our favorite details.

Heather's bridesmaids were an awesome group of girls. All of them were incredibly sweet and took great care of Heather on her big day. Also, these girls really knew how to work the camera. Talk about striking a pose! Love it!

Because there were so many beautiful bridal portraits that we loved, it was really hard to narrow them down. Nonetheless, here are a few that really stood out. Heather is really a classic beauty.

We were so happy to hear that Heather and Dan were up for a First Look. We love when our couples are up for the First Look. Having the extra time together before the ceremony really allows for some relaxed photos that usually make some of the best of the day.

It was so sweet capturing them seeing each other for the first time. Heather's face was full of happiness and excitement all day and Dan couldn't hide his either.

Then it was time for some portraits around town. We found some beautifully manicured yards and the homeowners were so supportive and gladly let us use their beautiful gardens for backgrounds.

The ceremony was held at the Heatherwoode Golf Club and had amazing windows that looked out over the golf course. Instead of just tossing her bouquet, Heather tossed all the bridesmaid's bouquets. I guess she didn't want anyone to be left out =)

The first dance.

I loved the sparklers as the couple made their grand exit.

After Heather and Dan left, a few of the bridesmaids wanted to have some fun with the leftover sparklers. It took a while to get the settings right, but the shots turned out to be really cool!

Chris and I just love this last image.

Playing volleyball isn't the only time I wish I were taller. There aren't many things to climb on to get higher on a volleyball court though. Chris got this action shot of me as I was teetering on the bathtub and sink trying to get some shots of Heather getting all dolled up. Just in case you are wondering or noticed, the shot was taken in the mirror. I'm not actually left handed. =P

Thanks guys for the awesome wedding and wonderful hospitality!

Visitors since 1/20/2008