Sunday, March 29, 2009

More Traveling and the San Diego Zoo

After our trip to Vegas and throughout Arizona, we made our way through the desert of Southern Arizona and mountains of Southern California on our way to San Diego. Our travels brought us really close to the border of Mexico. It looks like the thick black line in this picture is the border fence.

As we made our way closer to San Diego through the mountains, there were all sorts of signs warning us of high winds. It must've been a calm day, since half of these enormous wind turbines were completely still.

One of the biggest tourist attractions in San Diego is Balboa Park and the San Diego Zoo, so we spent almost a full day there. I've seen some of these animals before at the Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa, but it was fun to see them again as well as some that I hadn't seen before. These bears were brothers and, of course, had to play-fight like brothers do. =)

The meerkats are so cute!

We had to wait in a line to see the pandas. They just look so cuddly. =)

This was the first time I've seen polar bears. The one in the water was enormous!

And a video from the observation area under the water.

The rest of Balboa Park had some amazing architecture.

Our last day, we had to check out the beach on the west coast. Coronado Beach was pretty overcast but it had the same feel as the rest of San Diego, really relaxing.

Our trip out west was jam packed full of fun, but quite tiring. We're glad to be home now and looking forward to more great weddings this spring!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Wedding - St. Petersburg, FL: Christina and Ryan

Over the past week, we have had some of the most beautiful weather down here in the Tampa area, and the weekend of Ryan and Christina's wedding was no exception. The light breeze down by the water created a perfect setting for a wedding on the water.

It was sweet to watch Ryan and Christina communicate through smiles and facial expressions throughout their day. Here are a couple of images that jumped out at us as we were going through them.

Christina's sister-in-law did an amazing job with her makeup.

Getting ready for a St Petersburg Wedding

Ryan wrote a note and sent it over for Christina to read before she finished getting ready.

Reading a note from future husband

Christina and her girls got ready at a house down on the water and we found some beautiful light for bridal portraits.

Bridal portrait in St Petersburg

Most first kisses aren't funny but when the groom went back for a second first kiss, he had everyone laughing. =)

First Kiss St Petersburg Wedding

Some sweet moments after the couple was announced as husband and wife.

Bride and Groom Photo in St Petersburg Florida

St Petersburg Wedding on the water

A lot of thought was put into the reception details, from the colorful flowers to the LOST table designations. (Chris and I are huge LOST fans so we enjoyed seeing the Dharma Initiative inspired table names.) The delicious spread of food was prepared by Delectables Catering, and DJ Josh of Inspire Entertainment kept the party going all night.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Traveling Through Arizona

Taking a road trip through Arizona was pretty incredible. In the winter, the climate is quite diverse from one end of the state to the other. Temperatures in the northern part of the Arizona were in the 20s with snow and ice on the ground as we made our way up to the south rim of the Grand Canyon. The observatories on the south rim had ice right up to the guardrails. This made me a little nervous as I tip-toed to the edge, with camera in hand, and the wind whipped through the canyon, freezing my hands and face almost instantly.

The snow capped mountains made for beautiful scenery on our way to and from the Grand Canyon.

The view was really incredible, but hard to enjoy in the bitter cold.

We were all bundled up and I still could hardly feel my fingers.

The rock formations and view are really breathtaking. It certainly makes you feel small.

After leaving the Grand Canyon, we headed due south on our way to Phoenix. The scenic route through Sedona was probably the most amazing part of the drive. The red rocks here just dwarfed those that we saw back in Vegas. Chris and I were staring up in awe as we wound down through all the canyons and in between mountains (of course Chris was driving so he could only pay so much attention). The GPS gives you an idea of how crazy these roads were.

Getting to the southern part of the state meant a huge temperature rise. It was in the upper 70s when we met up with Phoenix wedding photographer, Melissa Jill, and a few other Phoenix based photographers later in the afternoon. We had a great time hanging out with Melissa and playing some Nertz... even though she totally beat up on us. =) We also got to meet her blog famous sidekick, Dixie, who was more than happy to share her couch with us as long as we agreed pet her. I'm ashamed to say that we didn't get ANY pics while we were there.

On our way out of Phoenix, we finally found a rest stop and this was all I could find to take a photo of. I was really hoping to get a shot of one of the huge cacti that are all around Phoenix, but by the time we stopped, they were gone. This other interesting plant was all I could find. =)

Stay tuned for more photos from the last leg of our trip!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

WPPI and the Hoover Dam

The next big part of our trip was the time we spent in Vegas for WPPI. It was great seeing so many friends from all over the country, and meeting new ones. It is pretty sad that we had to go across the country to see some friends from Florida. Here are Chris and I at the trade show with our friend Mary Beth Tyson who is an amazing wedding photographer in Tallahassee.

It's always great when we get to see DC wedding photographer and good friend Armin! Check out his blog for more pictures and videos.

One night Celebrity Photographers, Bob & Dawn Davis organized a night shoot with a few models. This was one of my favorites of the night. I didn't bring a flash with me, but luckily someone had a video light that worked really well for off camera light.

Another place we went that is fairly close to Vegas, was the Hoover Dam. We saw it from the plane as we flew in, but it was even more amazing when we got there.

As we got close to the dam, the scenery was gorgeous.

Here is another fun tree with Lake Meade in the distance. The lake had the bluest water I've ever seen.

This was the view from the plane.

Looking down to the bottom of the dam.

The river at the outlet of the dam.

They're building a new highway that goes over the gorge. It is really amazing to see all the cranes and cables that are involved with it.

Looking to the north, toward Lake Meade. The tour guide said there has been a drought, and you can definitely see that the water line is lower than normal.

This was our chance to become the typical tourists for a week, with our point and shoot camera always ready. There were always tons of people surrounding us, but it was a lot of fun. More photos are coming soon.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Red Rock Canyon - Las Vegas, NV

I know... it's been a while since I've blogged... We went on a trip out west and then I brought back a sinus infection that I'm FINALLY getting over. So, in addition to getting ready for all the great weddings we have coming up this spring, that's the majority of what has been going on the past month.

To start, we flew out to Las Vegas for the annual WPPI convention where photographers from all over the world congregate to network and learn about products and different shooting techniques. We always make lots of new friends and get to see old ones that live far away.

On the day we arrived in Vegas, we visited Red Rock Canyon for the first time and were amazed by how gorgeous the landscape is out west. The mountains and desert area is quite beautiful when you don't see it much. Sadly, some of the plants out there had been burned in recent fires so they were quite crispy looking. Here are a few of the images we got as we drove around the scenic loop.

The burnt baby palm trees.

This was just to show you how huge these rocks are. The arrow is pointing to someone riding a horse down there.

The plant life that was still alive was really interesting... nothing like we have out on the east coast.

I made Chris pose in front of the rocks.

I had to wait my turn in line to climb up on this rock to take a picture, then my wallet fell out of my pocket when I climbed up. It luckily fell down into the shallow ravine below and not the really deep one. =)

The mountains made for such great backgrounds in all of the pictures!

The shadowy side of the mountains were speckled with snow!

I was so excited to go out west and take pictures of cacti... this was one of the only ones I actually got a picture of... kinda sad I know.

Visitors since 1/20/2008