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This is Vanessa and Steven. I was able to take their engagement pictures towards the beginning of November at Malibu Creek State Park in Los Angeles. Vanessa wore an amazing red dress and Steven was dapper in a crisp suit with an open collar. The entire look worked very well. They were both a little nervous but you couldn’t tell it from the photos!

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This was such a beautiful wedding! William Paul and Jeraldine are such beautiful people! I loved them the moment I first heard from them. Will planned and organized most of the wedding, and he did an amazing job. From the decor to the little surprises to the venues. It was all so amazing. I loved being their Los Angeles wedding photographer!

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This girl is one of the most amazing people I’ve ever met. She’s compassionate, intelligent, has an amazing eye for design and photography, and is just fun to be around. So I was very honored when she asked me to do her senior pictures. This was one of many shoots we did, for fun, as we traded the camera back and forth. Although I frequently do graduation pictures in Los Angeles, these were done back home in Idaho.

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I wore a veil at my wedding. It was my mom’s, beautiful, and each of my sisters had worn it before me. But for some, the decision is more complicated. As an affordable Los Angeles wedding photographer, I’m very close to many brides on their wedding days, and I hear and see the advantages and disadvantages of a veil. So, here are a few things to think about.

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Samantha and Luke have a very cute relationship. I was able to do their engagement photos up in the snow at Idaho City, and it was so much fun and some of the most gorgeous photos I’ve ever done! Sam has this an amazing amount of gorgeous blonde hair. They’ve been together for a long time, and the wedding was bound to be a gorgeous, wild party with awesome friends. And that definitely is what happened! The DJ was Soundwave Events. Chyrell, the coordinator with Sandstone, was the epic chaos wrangler, and the cakes and desserts were provided by someone I don’t know.

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I love doing Christmas mini-sessions. A mini-session is basically a temporary studio where I set up in a pretty place and families/couples come to me. It’s cheaper for them, and it’s worth it for me. I love giving families and couples affordable photography, and this is one way to do it! This mini-session I set up with an amazing Idaho winery, Hell’s Canyon, last Christmas.

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I loved photographing for these two. They had their wedding at Shadow Hills Event Center in Nampa, Idaho. Although I’m primarily a Los Angeles wedding photographer, I love traveling to my native state for photography. These two were a joy to work with. Herminio’s sister, Rosa, interviewed and hired me because she’s awesome and crazy and volunteered to help them with the wedding. I meet them and instantly fell in love with their vibe. The cake was by “Oh for Heaven’s Cake’s” in Nampa. Catering by a friend of the family. Shots in downtown Nampa afterwards. I used a Canon 5D Mark III with a Tamron 35mm prime lens, 50mm F1.4, and 70-200mm with a Yongnuo OCF and a videolight.

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I can’t claim to be an expert. But throughout my photography career I’ve amassed a bag of tricks I use to get kids to cooperate with photos. I grew up in a large family and my mom was also a very good photographer. So I learned some from her, some from hanging with my nieces and nephews, and some from just plain old remembering what it was like to be a kid. So here’s my top advice to parents and photographers.

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So this article popped up on my newsfeed, and I had a few thoughts about it. Basically, this cute couple hired a wedding photographer (unnamed) for their upcoming wedding, and when they got photos back, they were HORRIBLE. They had looked on the photographer’s instagram, and liked what they saw, but the actual product was awful. The photographer didn’t ask for a contract and they paid her $800.

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Brittany and Brendan came along at a time when I was so busy. We were in the midst of a move down to Los Angeles and their wedding was the last one in Idaho. But honestly, after their engagement session, I really started looking forward to their wedding. They’re both quiet, but about half-way through their engagement session, they dropped their guard and showed such a cute side of their relationship. Every time he wanted to, Brendan was able to whisper something in her ear, and this quiet, reserved girl would dissolve into giggles. It was absolutely adorable.

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Happy bride mountain elopement photography wedding photography los angeles
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So, you want to elope, but don’t know how your family will react? Here’s a little advice from someone who has seen a LOT of weddings. As a Los Angeles wedding photographer, I get involved very early on in the process. And I totally understand the thought of “I want to elope.” I’ve seen the planning process and the stress of traditional, big weddings. I have had my own relatively simple traditional wedding. And I’ve photographed quite a few elopements. If you want to elope, go for it! Here are some tips for breaking it to family/friends. The photos scattered throughout this post link to real elopements I’ve photographed recently. Hopefully this article comforts your soul and helps in your journey.

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Inside an artist’s chest there beats two hearts. One is weak and ugly. It is necessary, the pessimist, the one who critiques, talks finances, and picks out all the little details that aren’t correct. The other one is colorful, vibrant, relishes the colors of the sunset, and imagines up the most beautiful creations. It never thinks about something as trivial as money or food. Those things just don’t matter compared to the soul-filling joy of CREATING.

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I loved doing wedding photography for this couple. Rachel is a gorgeous person, inside and out, and Dominic is handsome. They both love each other so much, and it shows in the looks they give each other. I got to do their engagement photos at Multnomah Falls, and it was so fun to be able to do their wedding photography as well. It was also a special day because I got to photograph with my Mom, Sara, who originally inspired my love of art. The two got married at Floral Hall in Everett, Washington. The venue had a getting ready room, a beautiful ceremony/reception space, and the couple brought in a mobile bar for drinks. The commercial kitchen was a beautiful space for all of the family who came together to prepare reception food. The bride made her own cake, and everything turned out so beautifully!! 

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When I first met Payton and Angela, I was impressed immediately. Payton had a huge gash across the side of her face and one on her elbow to match. She had crashed on her skateboard. Awweeeessssoooommmmmeeeee. If you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m not a girly girl, even as a Los Angeles wedding photographer. I think it helps me focus on my art. And brides who are real will always be at the top of my favorites list. Payton and Joe had their first look in the rose garden at Lakeview Park in Nampa. Then, we all trooped over to the Orton home, where I got to photograph their beautiful backyard wedding. 

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Emily and Nick got married in the best way. They went on a trip up into the mountains and got married with a photographer and an officiant (who was also a part-time buffalo rancher, eeekkk!!). Emily found me on the Knot and then stalked me on Instagram and decided she wanted me to be their elopement photographer. They traveled there the night before, explored a bit, and gave me coordinates for where they wanted to do it.

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My amazing friend, Abby Blossom, asked me to help her with this wedding earlier this summer! It was so beautiful and Abby did such a good job. I wanted to share some of my favorite shots. To see more of Abby’s work, head over to her website: AbbyBlossom.com. Nick and Jessica had their wedding at the Botanical Gardens in Boise. Although I am normally a Los Angeles wedding photographer, I travel frequently and love photographing in Idaho when I have the chance! 

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A couple of weekends ago I found myself driving up into the mountains and discovered a tiny ghost town. Roseberry was built in the beautiful valley near Lake Cascade. But when the railroad was built, they lost the fight for a stop, and consequently, most everyone moved on. But the town was well-maintained. And they have events there. And Brooke has dreamed of having her wedding there since she was a little girl. It was an amazing combination. Brooke is a beautiful, beautiful person, inside and out, and Chase rightly couldn’t stop looking at her. Their friends and family came together and everything turned out absolutely perfect. The photos say the rest. 

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I have to say, Beside Bardenay in downtown Boise is one of my favorite places to shoot wedding photos. The light is tricky, but as a Los Angeles wedding photographer, I’m used to dealing with difficult light, and when it’s done well, it can yield extremely interesting photos. Jeff and Taylor are an amazing couple. They met working at a movie theater, years ago, and have that cute mix of friendship and romance. Throughout the day, Jeff kept looking over at Taylor, and telling everyone how hot she looked. 

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As a portrait photographer, I always have a running list in my head of beautiful places. And when a couple like this says, “Whatever you think is best,” this is the result. These two were so sweet and obviously loved each other deeply. Their affection wasn’t showy, but their little whispers and subtle cues showed they knew and paid attention to each other. They were a pleasure to photograph. I love doing engagement photos in nature. In the middle of this session, the wind kicked up and a storm whipped through. You can see the dust and wind in some of the ones by the lake. But they were willing to keep going, so I kept photographing. So proud of these stunning images! 

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non-traditional wedding events, bohemian wedding inspiration, unique wedding traditionsSo a few weeks ago I got to photograph the most artsy, unique wedding I’ve had to date. Koye and Mitch (#koyeandmitchelitsofficial) are one of those couples who come up with non-traditional wedding inspiration. She has bright red bobbed hair, wears retro, and looks adorable doing it. Mitch is a sweet, artistic guy who just perfectly fits with Koye. One of their wedding events was a parasol parade, where they walked with their guests from the ceremony to the reception (just a 20-minute walk away). I’d never seen this before and it was so fun! We all had colorful umbrellas that protected us from the hot sun. It was also genius because it helped with parking (since we were in a downtown area). 

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This little family is so gorgeous! I got to photograph them for Eagle Life, an Idaho lifestyle magazine. At first these three beautiful girls didn’t want to be photographed. But I take it as part of my job as a family photographer to try my best to get kids (both young and old) involved and happy. So they ended up participating and they are all SO CUTE!! This was the back porch of their family home. 

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From the moment I first met Abby, we had a kindred spirit. She’s a photographer, a depth of a person with striking blue eyes and a smile that could choke a camel (to borrow a phrase from my dear husband). I’d been a wedding photographer for a friend of hers, actually, a cute couple named Heidi and Matt. Funny story, Abby and Zack actually met at Heidi and Matt’s house. Throughout the months before the wedding, she’s become a dear friend and I was so excited to be her wedding photographer. Zack is such a supportive, awesome guy and I was so happy they got married. 

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From the moment I met Koye, I got really excited to photograph their wedding. Koye has a vibrant, artistic personality, and Mitch is a quieter teddy bear. Listening to them speak about their wedding photography, their venue, and their relationship, I was reminded of why I’ve grown to love wedding photography. They really let their personalities show throughout the wedding decor. They had a developed sense of their own style, and made choices accordingly. Koye and Mitch were such a pleasure to work with throughout the entire planning process, engagement photos, and finally, the wedding.

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I love doing engagement photography for cute couples. And the thing about my idea of a cute couple is that you don’t have to be particularly attractive, young, or thin in order to be a cute couple. To be a cute couple, you have to be in love. You look at each other with that little mix of adoration and let everything else (including my presence) slip away. Be willing to look stupid and try funny things because some lady with a camera told you to. Giggle, tickle, and be ready to tell your significant other what they mean. 

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This baby was so dynamic! Her different faces were hilarious! I love doing newborn photography in Los Angeles. I typically do in-home sessions because it’s easier for parents, but I also take portraits in my studio. This session brought tears to my eyes, because I photographed the parents getting engaged, their wedding, maternity photos, and now it’s come full circle and I got to photograph this little new life! 

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I’ve enjoyed watching Daniel grow as an actor. Even as I’ve grown as a portrait and headshot photographer, I’ve seen him grow from a kid to disciplined young adult. Recently he’s gotten into very good shape and seems so healthy. I loved the opportunity to take some acting headshots for him right before making the trip down to Los Angeles! Congratulations on your amazing shoulder muscles, Daniel!

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The thing about photos is that they don’t say a lot about the person’s soul. Their inner being. Because although this girl is beautiful on the outside, her soul is amazing. Although this started out being a hike with a friend, I have a thing for photographing redheads. So I brought an epic skirt and made her run around in the foothills at sunset in it. The varied scenery had so much to offer, and the gentle undulations of the hills are a fashion photographer’s dream.

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This family was a hoot! They reminded me of why I love doing family photos in Los Angeles and Boise. Family photos are significant, because they take a sliver out of time and show us who we used to be. My mom is an amazing photographer and took a photo of us every year she could. It’s amazing to see the transformations and how we used to behave for photos. 

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After a long day of wedding photography, I go home, put on my sweats, get some tea, and start going through photos. As you may know, I send couples as many pictures as soon as possible. So that typically means I’m up for a good 5-6 hours after I leave a 12 hour wedding. As I scroll through the photos, I find myself falling in love with certain photos. As they come up, I melt and remember why I love doing wedding photography.

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After a heck of a time scheduling around busy wedding season, two busy teenagers, and hard-working parents, we finally had a chance to do family photos! That, in itself, is an accomplishment. Ever since I first saw this farmstead, I wanted to photograph there. THEY LIVE ON AN ISLAND. It’s a private little area you would never be able to find if you didn’t know it was there. Complete with wild fields of grass, various creatures, and a tight-knit family, this made for amazing farm family photos! 

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I love photographing simple weddings. It’s one reason I still offer budget photography packages in Los Angeles. It’s a lot less pressure and sometimes you get to meet amazing, adorable couples like Brenna and Matt. These two tied the knot at Alpine Ponds Event Center. I’d never photographed there before and it’s a beautiful, unassuming location outside of Eagle. Well, it’s 2am and I’m exhausted, so going to sleep now. 🙂 

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I loved photographing this little thing. There’s something about newborn photography in Los Angeles that I really love. Everything’s super quiet and low-stress. I get to know the families in their own environment and see parents interact in real life with their little ones. This family had a beautiful, mostly-empty front room with AMAZING natural light, and this giant bean bag that was perfect for the baby and for laying on. This was Emily’s second child, as you can see, so she was a confident, knowledgeable mother. She was feeding the little one when I came, and he was happy and awake for a little while, then went to sleep. Both he and his brother got the big, beautiful blue eyes of their mom, and I had a hard time not photographing them more than the new little one. 

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Although I’ve never gotten this question from a client, a lot of other photographers tell me I should raise my prices. My prices are still considered cheap wedding photography in Los Angeles. I like to consider myself an affordable wedding photographer in Los Angeles and Boise. Although I have more expensive packages, I still keep one that is just enough for the time I spend working the wedding. Compared to a lot of GOOD wedding photographers, it’s very affordable. If you want to know why wedding photography costs so much, head over to this blog. So, here’s why I keep a low-cost wedding photography package in my prices.

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So it seems like I met these two ages ago. We went on a grand adventure taking beautiful engagement photos in the mountains, and then met periodically until their wedding, which was last weekend. These two are so beautiful together. They obviously love each other so much and were ready to be married. Everyone was amazing at the wedding and we got family photos done in record time. It was beautiful. 

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So I’ve known this beautiful soul since we were kids. In an attempt to be a semi-normal friend, we decided to hang out. But in typical Mercy fashion, I wanted to photograph her. There’s something special about adventuring with someone and taking their photo. You get to see different sides of them. It gives you something to do and talk about as you wander around and re-acquaint yourselves with each other.

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So this year, I was determined to get a few sessions when the orchards were in full bloom. Most people think of these gorgeous pink blossoms as cherry blossoms, but these are actually peaches. They’re pink now, then they turn purple and the leaves start to grow. This cute couple contacted me and soon revealed that they had just been engaged and were looking for engagement photography in the Boise area. Immediately thinking of the orchard blossoms, we booked and agreed to meet at Hell’s Canyon Winery out near Caldwell. I grew up in that area and knew the area was in full bloom. The weather cooperated (despite threatening rain all day) and the photos turned out amazing! 

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Everyone wants to wear cowgirl boots. Nobody wants to wake up at 6am to break the ice on the trough. I love capturing daily life in photography. In a way, it’s a form of unique family photos. More accurate photos. I love giving people memories that they can look back on later and see, “oh yeah! Life was like that!” It gives us perspective, and helps us remember how far we’ve come. That’s why it’s been on my list for awhile to go out and capture morning chores with my big sister, Faith. She and I have always been close. We were the teammates who conquered the outside chores. She was just a little over a year older than me, and we had similar interests in many ways. 

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Hello amazing person! So, as a wedding photographer in Los Angeles and Boise, I get asked a lot of different questions. But a lot of times, people don’t know what to ask. So here are a few suggested topics/questions for a wedding photographer. Before you even sit down to chat with them, however, make sure you’ve looked at their portfolio and reviews carefully. Look for examples of weddings or venues similar to yours. If you’re a bigger person, make sure they’ve photographed people like you before. If you’re of unique racial background, look for people with similar skin tones or style in the portfolio. For tips on spotting an amateur photographer, read this

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So… we got a Dodge Ram Promaster van awhile back and were planning on putting a bed and compartments in it for when we travel for film and photo shoots. After looking at dozens of different options, I decided I could do it myself. So these are some pictures of our Dodge Ram Promaster van conversion. Details about the conversion are down below, as well! 

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So although I’m categorizing this as an engagement shoot, it was actually an anniversary shoot. These two have been married TEN YEARS. I couldn’t believe it when they told me. They both look incredible and are so in love. They are adorable. As a Los Angeles wedding photographer, I see a lot of couples in the prime of their “in-love” life. But I rarely see what happens after the last bit of cake has been eaten, the last good-bye said. I absolutely loved getting to capture these two lovebirds ten years after their wedding. People, do anniversary pictures, at least every ten years! It can show you that you’re still in love with each other! 

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So after the van conversion, Matt and I went on a trip down the California coast. We were really relaxed with our route and schedule, since we just had to find a space to park every night and our food/shelter was right there. 🙂 It was super fun and I LOVED stopping wherever we wanted to take photos. As a professional Los Angeles lifestyle photographer, I sometimes don’t have a chance to really take pictures of whatever I want. So this was super fun! We also took our two Border Collie dogs, Sam and Sherlock. They traveled so easily, just looking out the windows, chasing the frisbee when we found a park, and just hanging out with us. The beach photos were taken at the Gold Bluffs Beach Campground and the others were taken at various places along the coast.

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Normally during a wedding there’s time set aside to take posed “looking-at-the-camera” family and bridal party photos. While bridal party photos are usually really straight-forward, family photos can be an organizing mess. So here are a few things we can do ahead of time to make picture time go fast on your wedding day!

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I loved reading The Call of the Wild by Jack London, and recently I used it while teaching my design class as a project for laying out books. Mine turned out really cute so I thought some of you might like to have it. It’s a free ebook formatted so it’s easy to read on your phone! Download to your heart’s content! The book is in the public domain, feel free to link to this page, please just don’t say the design is yours! 🙂

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These two were so much fun! We went up to Idaho City one cold (but sunny) day to do engagement pictures in the mountains. I’m always up to photograph adorable couples in the mountains. As an Idaho engagement photographer, I love using the available nature as a backdrop, and Idaho is the perfect place for it. This was only about an hour outside of Boise. Although the icy roads slightly scared me, and there’s no phone service for a good portion of the trip, it’s all worth it, as you can see from these photos! 

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On a typical Idaho day in February (i.e. snow one minute, sunshine 5 minutes later), family and friends assembled to witness the union of Kelsey and Jake. This is also the first time I shot with Abby Blossom, another amazing Idaho photographer who is getting into weddings! The day was such an adventure, but all throughout it, Kelsey showed an amazing amount of patience and calm. The weather was absolute haywire. But we got some amazing photos early in the day, and the rest of the day we let the weather run its course!

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Originally, these two were going to have an all-out wedding later in the year, but couldn’t wait. So they had an intimate wedding a few weeks ago. It’s been on my photographer’s bucket list to photograph a small mountain wedding. It was simple, easy, and beautiful!! They got married at a courthouse in Boise, then met me at the Capitol building for a few romantic shots. Then we all caravaned up to the parents’ cabin in the mountains for a reception with their friends and family. 

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Hey Everyone! So a little bit ago, I was approached by an international friend who is getting married to a man on the other side of the world. The catch? They only had ONE photo of them together. So I came up with this free save the date design. It lets you use a low-quality image and actually looks decent. It’s kind of a retro pop-art look Polaroid design. Most Save the Date templates look AMAZING when you have a really good photo (which I always recommend, haha), but sometimes don’t work in the off-situation you can’t get a good photo.

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These two were so adorable and happy on their wedding day! I was honored to be their wedding photographer in Boise, Idaho a couple of Saturdays ago! They met doing ministry together and they were so happy to be getting married. Their joyful presence was so easy to photograph. I’d always much rather photograph authentic joy than perfection. These two were both.

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So Frances and I met when she was looking for videography for her upcoming wedding. I had immediate love and respect for her because… well, she’s just awesome. And then Matt and I did the wedding, met her husband Nate, and their family and friends. We still talk about this couple. And they’ve come back to me year after year for family photos. They’re so cute together and this little human they made is just adorable. I did these Christmas pictures for them this Christmas in a cute little area in downtown. 

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I love this family. I’ve done family photography for them a couple of times before and I always love seeing them. And this Santa couple is absolutely AMAZING! I met them at a fund-raising event and they are so authentic, kind, and heartwarming. You can tell from the pictures that baby Troy loved his first visit with Santa. Afterwards, we did a family photo session with just him and his brother. They’re always so good together. So many things came together perfectly for this to happen. John and Janelle had a free night, The Ambrose School said it would be totally fine, and I was available. Thanks to all who made this possible, the results will be treasured for years to come. 

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So I was shopping around for gifts the other day and stumbled across some interesting vintage, industrial-style camera wall decor. It wasn’t exactly what I wanted, but I loved the idea. I did a little digging and found the original patents for a bunch of old camera stuff. A couple of them are really interesting! Just seeing the inner workings of some of the really old cameras gives me some insight into modern technology. So this is my set of free vintage camera wall decor! Feel free to download and print them wherever you want! If you want to share them, feel free, just please link them back to my site instead of uploading them somewhere else, please!

And since I was going to do it anyway, I thought I’d share it for free for anyone who would use it. The original size it’s meant for is an 8″x10″, but I’d imagine it could go significantly bigger if you wanted. It’s fairly high resolution. I print my canvases or prints at Walgreens, I’ve had people do it at Costco, etc. If you can wait for a sale, you can usually get them for fairly cheap.

DOWNLOAD THE .ZIP FILE HERE

Vintage Camera Wall Art Preview

Do NOT try to download these, they’re low resolution. Please download the .zip file above. 🙂

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I’m a big fan of thank you gifts. If you’re looking for a good bridesmaid gift, check these out:

One of the things (besides robes) that I see most often used on a wedding day is a wine or water glass. The problem, however, is that everyone gets them mixed up. Or they fall and last only as long as the getting ready party. This is a thermos-style, personalized wine glass that is under $25. It’s super cute and perfect for everyone to use on the actual wedding day.

This one is from bridesmaidgiftsboutique.com. They have a ton of other cute ideas, everything you need to thank the ladies who spend a lot of time and money to help make your day!

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This newborn photography session was amazing and significant in so many ways. I loved seeing the love and adoration poured upon this little girl. I pray the years coming bless this little family and the devotion I see in their eyes, for each other and for this newborn girl. This was an in-home newborn photography session in Boise. I love doing in-home newborn sessions because it’s a lot less work for the parents and looking back on the photos reminds you of the entire world that surrounded the entrance of this new life. A lot of times, our memories are charged with tiny elements that aren’t just faces.

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When I woke up in the morning and rain was pouring down, I was a little concerned for Vicki and Tim’s Boise wedding photography. Boise usually isn’t rainy, and they had said they were having it at Barber Park. Concerned and going over solutions in my head, I drove to the address on my GPS. When I got there, I discovered a whole new building in the park that I had never seen before and sure enough, the wedding was there! Barber Park has an event center, everyone! It’s a beautiful little building, perfect for weddings, and big windows let the outdoors come in without the inconvenient parts (like the rain). 

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Coolant is about a couple who gets stuck on the side of the road. They have to learn to work together to get out of the sticky situation. These were a few of the behind-the-scenes pictures from this weekend! Thanks to everyone who made this possible! Ronn, Dana, Joe, Audrey and her mom, Abe and his mom and sister, Riley, Bryce, Eddie, Faith, Scott, and Talia! You were all awesome!! Matt and I couldn’t have done it without you!

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These two were so much fun! I knew from the moment I met them that I would love taking their engagement pictures in Boise. They both harbor this aura of funky charm. Her choice of clothing and accessories was artsy. His beard tickled her when they hugged. Their ideas for their engagement pictures inspired me. And the final results were AMAZING. Thank you, Koye and Mitch!

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I was very honored when Gracia asked me to do her senior pictures in Nampa this past weekend. She’s a beautiful, confident young woman whose family knew my husband as he grew up. We wandered around on her school grounds, met up with one of her best friends, and then got coffee together! They were some of the funnest graduation portraits I’ve done in awhile, I love these two!

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I love these two. I’ve never had so much fun doing senior pictures in Nampa. But, of course, it’s not quite fair because I’ve known these two for quite a few years and always love a good excuse to hang out with them. We ran all around Nampa and downtown, goofing off and getting amazing pictures. They had a few ideas they wanted to accomplish, we hit a coffee shop first, then ran around doing different things based loosely on some ideas they had. 

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I’m always extra honored when people we know ask us to photograph their wedding. In this case, Matt had known Liberty since his high school days, and we had both met Daniel at Sarah and Jacob’s wedding. So we were so excited to be their Meridian wedding photographers. They got married in Meridian at the Valley Shepherd Church. It’s a beautiful, classic building with traditional arches and stained glass. The families were kind and considerate, and the entire event was a perfect mix of perfection and fun. 

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I love this picture because it’s you. In all the messy smiles and shy eyes, it’s you. And you’re beautiful. Not like a supermodel. Like a you. In all the unique ways and little gold nuggets in your heart. It’s you. And I love you. Not just when you’re perfectly fashionable and gorgeous, but also when you’re messy and your makeup is old. Because that’s how I know you. I love this picture because it’s you.

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I did this family photography session awhile back while I was switching websites and forgot to post these AMAZING photos. Ami and Andy, one of my favorite couples to photograph, referred these two to me. They just had their first little baby and needed photos of them and this new little life. So we met at the Train Depot and took some beautiful first photos of this adorable little family. There was lots of laughter and all the feels of a new family. I love doing family photography in Los Angeles.

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Being a wedding photographer in Boise is not always easy. But Ami and Jonathan were awesome and planned everything out so well! Ami is an amazing, bright person and their friends reflected their personalities, both individually and as a couple. The wedding was held at Sandstone Vineyards in Star, Idaho. Everyone got ready at the Downtown Marriot in Boise. The gorgeous dress was created by Baby Doll Shop. Hair by Ariana O’Leary, makeup by Alyssa, ring by Precious Metal Arts. Working with all these amazing people, particularly Chyrell Debenham (the Day of Coordinator) was such a pleasure. Vince with VCI Wedding DJ’s was also very helpful and working together with these two was an amazing experience. Congratulations you two! It’s super obvious that you love each other a lot, I’m glad you’re married. 🙂 

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So I’ve made several wedding albums over the years. I have a feeling my best is yet to come. But THIS was so fun to make! I like to integrate and include things that are usually left behind or forgotten. A big part of that is photographing everything, but another part is putting together the album in such a way that you remember those little, cute, romantic details. With this one, I noticed a LOT of people were commenting and wishing the couple well on FaceBook. So I took that into consideration when making the album and tried to include some of those comments and people that would ordinarily be lost. 

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Although wedding planning is always hectic, these two had a lot of extra challenges on their plates. However, the actual wedding was beautiful and doing wedding photography for them was easy (and more relaxing than any other wedding this year). Ashlee’s princess gown was easy to photograph, and they obviously loved each other. Doing their wedding photos in Mountain Home was interesting, since I’ve actually only been out there a few times. But it worked out and we ended up with some beautiful images. All the best to you two!

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I was doing event photography in Meridian awhile ago for a “learning about the government” convention. A bunch of kids got together and learned directly from senators, financial managers, professors, etc. One line kept coming up that bothered me. “What makes America the greatest is…” fill in the blank. Because of our constitution. Our rights. Whatever.

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So we sat down on the floor together. Away from the noise of the reunion, my little subject calmed down and started to get more comfortable. I was in the middle of photography for a crazy family reunion in Boise, Idaho, and was required to get pictures of certain family members. My last one was on the floor beside me, and had successfully evaded my camera all day. So, as I do a lot, I tried to make him more comfortable by showing him how my camera worked, the pictures that I had taken, and how to click the shudder button.

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I’m on my way out the door for a long day of shooting in the hot Idaho sun, but I was doing some last minute notes and edits for a wedding client. Then I thought, “Oh! Other people might want to know this.” Non-photography people rarely think about color correction or the work that goes into a photo AFTER it is taken. But a lot of the unique style of a particular photographer depends on their skill in Lightroom or Photoshop. So here, I’m going to cover three popular editing techniques. Most experienced photographers have a style they use dominantly. So if you’re looking for a wedding photographer in LA or anywhere else, make sure he or she likes the same style that you do.

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As an Idaho wedding photographer, one of the things I do is look around, try to learn from others, and figure out people I can recommend if I can’t do a wedding. There are a lot of bad photographers in Boise, Idaho, even if they are cheap. It drives me crazy when people advertise themselves as wedding photographers, and then don’t take their job seriously enough to do good work. A wedding is the most important day in a person’s life, and although it’s a stressful job, wedding photography is a hugely important part of that! A wedding photographer is recording what you’ll remember forever. A bad photographer will come out with mediocre photos you don’t care to hang. A good one will help you remember all the best and brightest things and will show your love as worthy of art.

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Wishing these two all the best! As an Idaho wedding photographer, I love getting to shoot out in nature and in all the amazing locations that are hidden around the valley, and Fox Canyon has some beautiful gardens and an epic view. I really enjoyed getting to know David and Sharla and then getting to meet the amazing people around them!

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Hope House Camping | North Idaho Portrait Photography

One of the things I love to do is mentor young photographers. Matt and I work with a children’s home called Hope House. We do portrait photography, web work, teaching design, and helping with tech. This past week we went camping with them. It was an amazing opportunity to be a positive influence, talk about their future, and just relax and play games with them. These are some of my favorite shots from the trip. A few of these were even taken by one of my apprentices, Ali!

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These two were so sweet and easy to photograph! They were referred to my by another client for wedding photography in Star, Idaho last summer. We have a ton of mutual friends and instantly hit it off. Emma is one of those people that you can meet, then 5 minutes later feel like you’ve known each other in a past life. I’m so proud to show off these beautiful images. There were so many from their wedding that have become some of my favorite wedding pictures of all time.

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This was a question I always wondered… sometimes I still wonder. As far as cost goes, our wedding photography and videography is one of the cheapest QUALITY options. There are quite a few rookie people out there who will do it for cheaper or free, but it’s usually because they aren’t any good and can’t get anyone to hire them. So here are 4 reasons wedding photography costs what it does.

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These two were one of my first jobs doing wedding photography. I loved creating their wedding album. This is a satin-feel, full-image wrap cover with lay-flat interior pages. I’ve experimented a lot with different papers, cover styles, and cost balance, and this is one of my favorites. It’s 8.5″x11″, so it fits on a shelf with most larger books, but it feels special with the very soft cover and the lay-flat pages. For the interior, I focused on telling the story of the day through visuals. I included their wedding invitation design, their vows, and some lyrics from their song. I also styled it patriotic/country because that was the theme of their wedding.

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Along with wedding photography in Boise, I also work as a freelancer in design and development. I’ve done everything: product labels, posters, brochures, logos, mockups, infographics, UI design, buttons, websites, etc. I even designed a reusable bag for Walmart. But freelancing online offers some unique challenges.

In real life, I’ve met freelance clients a total of twice. The vast majority of communication happens online, most of the time through email or chat. This has, at times, been very successful, and then sometimes we slip up over each other and fail. So, learning from my best projects, these are some tips I’ve picked up over the years.

Over-communication is better than under-communication.

One-word responses, one-sentence project descriptions, and waiting a week for any sort of response is writing a death warrant for your project. These usually happen in two different scenarios:

  1. The client doesn’t really know what they want. Maybe they think they’ll know it when they see it or they just don’t know the words to say.
  2. The client doesn’t have time for this project or doesn’t really want to do it.

Both of these scenarios mean that the freelancer either has to drag some sort of direction out of you, or they have to take shots in the dark until they hit something. Both of things things take a lot of extra time, which delays the project and frustrates both of you.

How to fix it.

Most freelancers are used to working with various degrees of experience, from the amateur startup owner to international CEOs. We will not laugh at you if you say you want to be just like Nike (okay, we might laugh, but it’s good-natured and we’ll at least know what you mean). I also love it when clients admit they honestly don’t know what they’re doing and ask for my best judgement on designs.

If you’re inexperienced, just get a good, experienced designer. They’ll usually steer you the right way. For example, I’ve worked with dozens of startups over the years. My favorite words to hear are: “I’m going to let you use your creative judgement for this one.” That means I can do what I think is best, based on the brand and intended target audience. Some of my favorite designs ever have come out of a client letting me use my best judgement.

If you really do have something in mind, communicating that is VITAL to getting a good result. Sketch it out, send examples of similar things with notes, ANYTHING. Put together a mess of words that describe what you want it to feel like. ANYTHING. I will not laugh at your messy sketches, I will not say you’re plagiarizing (unless you tell me you want something duplicated EXACTLY and it’s not yours, haha).

Timely Responses.

Another thing that leads to project death is slow responses (on both ends). Both of us have lives outside of the project. We both have other projects on our plates. So when we’re waiting for days with no response to a simple question, the silence can be deathly.

How to fix it.

I used to laugh at fellow freelancers who were neurotic about responding to emails, chats, and texts. Now I’m one of them. During business hours, I always have notifications on for clients, and I do my best to respond within a couple of hours. This makes projects go much quicker and smoother.

Honest, Kind communication.

Most people today could benefit from remembering this. Honest, gentle communication is key to a finished product that you both like. I take my work very seriously, it’s an art form for me. Although I’ve developed a thick skin for criticism, I absolutely melt when clients take the time and effort to give honest, sensitive feedback. Mostly, it’s taking the time to tell me what they like AND what they don’t like about a particular design. “I love the curve of that line and the font, but I don’t like this color.” I think the rule is two compliments for every criticism? Something like that.

If you want to throw a good, caring designer into a heart attack, just tell them you hate it all. The only time I’ve ever walked away from a project was when a client told me that. We were almost done with the project, he hadn’t said anything along the way. I had done what he asked (although his product sucked) and thought he was joking when he said he hated it all and I had to start over. So I quit. I didn’t want to deal with that type of attitude, and I was already booked for other projects in the next week.

For more advice on client/freelancer communication, there’s this great article on Toptal, a high-quality freelancing website.

Feel free to comment!

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