Tuesday, October 02, 2012

A busy month

September was a busy month-full of weddings, portraits and more charity work. I've had a couple truly remarkable weddings lately and some wedding parties that I'll never forget!

Anna and Joel's wedding was ten years ago, in a VERY small ceremony at City Hall. Anna had always dreamed of having a big wedding, and her wish came true on August 14th when she and Joel renewed their vowes in front of over 100 of their family and friends. It was beautiful to see their love even stronger than it was ten years ago!

Matt and Stacey met a few years ago at a party. Matt told me that when he saw Stacey, he thought she was the most beautiful woman in the world. WOW-every single person on earth should have someone feel that way about them! This couple is about as sweet and adorable as you can get. I left their wedding on such a natural high. When I leave a wedding like that, I say to myself "This, is why you love to photograph weddings!"

Here's just one of the many engagement portraits I've been doing where the couple wants to create a save the date card. Can't wait until May 4th of next year. Valerie and Kent are SO much fun!


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Her grandmother was there

I know I've been a little absent with my blog lately. I've been doing so many charity events, that I just haven't been very good about posting on anything other than facebook. I promise I'll try a little harder ;)

However, if you've been waiting for a new post, do I have one for you! Saturday was Haylee and Geoff's wedding! This wedding was so special and unique that I just couldn't contain my excitement when I came home and looked at the images.

The most special aspect of the day was the fact that Haylee wore her late grandmother's 60 year old wedding dress. It looks like it was made for Haylee! It didn't have to be altered and it was just something so special to witness, as she put it on with her grandfather waiting just outside. I tucked her behind the divider of a room, and when he came in, she came around the corner. What a special moment. Her grandmother was definitely there in spirit and a huge part of her granddaughter's wonderful day. To top off how extraordinary the day was, the bride and groom were driven off in her grandfather's '54 Packard. EXQUISITE!!!!

Everywhere I turned, I felt like I was actually IN Pinterest! Geoff's mom did all the flowers (and she is not a florist, but SHOULD be!). Unfortunately, this client only hired me to photograph prior to the ceremony, the ceremony and formals afterwards. I did go to the reception site for a short time to get some images of this incredible reception, but I won't lie-I wish I had been contracted for longer. That reception site was going to be spectacular in the evening! One of my favorite reception things to photograph is a wedding tent just after dusk, with all the twinkling lights....ahh, simply magic. The reception took place at Haylee's parent's home and a large tent was placed in the back to house the 300 guests. Parasols and lights were strung from the ceiling of the tent, and wine accessories seemed to be the decor of choice.

This wedding party was huge, BUT A BLAST TO BE AROUND! The girls all wore short purple dresses WITH cowgirl boots! Even the flower girls were in boots. One of the other touches were what she added to her bouquet. Haylee purchases broaches from antique shops and added them to her flowers-simply gorgeous!

Geoff and Haylee were fixed up by her cousin. When I asked Geoff how they met one another, he said, "I met her over the phone". Haylee said she was a little annoyed that her cousin had given her phone number to "some guy", but obviously Geoff did not dial a wrong number ;)

I'll let you in on a little secret-I had never met the bride and groom until the wedding day. Haylee hired me over the phone strictly on the recommendation of a friend of her's, who was a former client of mine. I was so honored and flattered that this couple trusted me so much to not see any more than her friend's album and my website. Haylee, thank you for asking me to photograph your special day. It was so spectacular, I was almost speechless.

Well, I'm so excited for you to see these images, that I'm not going to put it off any longer. Enjoy their slideshow, and cruise on over to Facebook to see a couple more images.

Friday, July 20, 2012

What could be more beautiful!

A couple weeks ago, I photographed a spectacular couple, in an extraordinary location! If you read my post, just before this one, you'll see that I was in Tahoe for a couple jobs. July 1st, Kim and George combined their famlies to be one. Kim has two children, and George has a son. The five of them make such an adorable family, and these kids are SO lucky to have such a great mom and dad. Kim and George met a couple years ago, via a dating site for single parents. From what I understand, it wasn't very long before they knew that this was what they both were looking for!

Kim's son walked her down the aisle, her daughter was one of the flowergirls, and George's son was a ring bearer. They have a couple very special kids in their lives. George's son is such a wonderful little boy; every child with special needs should be lucky enough to have such a wonderful mommy and daddy. One of the other flowergirls is George's niece. I don't remember how old this little miracle is, but she was recently cleared of all the cancer that her little body has been fighting for the last few yaers. Not only was this a great weekend to celebrate the union of two families, but it was a wonderful weekend to celebrate such happiness in the family.

Please enjoy their slideshow, and know that this is one of those couples that only comes around once in a while. I was so blessed to be able to work with them, get to know them, and spend a spectacular day with them! To see more of their photos, please visit my site on facebook

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Monday morning bliss

How often do we wake on a Monday morning and think "Today is going to be GREAT!"? Given the nature of Mondays, probably less often than we would like to. I photographed a wedding in South Lake Tahoe on Sunday, so how bad could my Monday be by waking up in such beautiful surroundings? If that wasn't good enough, mid morning I headed about a mile down the road to photograph eight of the most fantastic people I know!

If you've been a follower of my blog for any length of time, you may recognize this photo. Tiffany and Charles were married in '08, and one of my favorite images of the day was this one of Tiff with all the "men" in her life! Over the last four years, Tiff has become a good friend, and I love any opportunity we have to see each other. One of the reasons our relationship has grown from client/photographer to friend status is that we both KNOW that blood doesn't make someone family. We both have people in our lives who we consider family and couldn't survive without! Here are her nephews of her heart-the five sons of her best friend, Lesley.

Fast forward from 5/08 to 7/12, and here is what Tiff looks like with her guys. A couple of months ago, Lesley called to ask me to photograph her second oldest son's senior portraits. As we were chatting about what the summer would hold for each of us, she told me that she was making her annual 4th of July pilgrimage to Tahoe with Tiff and the entourage that joins in on the fun every year. Knowing that Lesley and Tiff have been friends for 25 years made me think that while they were having their yearly celebration, they should have portraits done on the shores of Lake Tahoe. When I actually spoke those words, I'm not sure how I thought Lesley would respond. I could hear the disappointment in her voice when she said, "But, you're probably booked with a wedding that weekend." My response to her was, "Yes I am....but the wedding is in Tahoe!!!!". Talk about planets aligning!! Knowing that I was going to spend the night in Tahoe on Sunday night, it just made perfect sense that we should take this opportunity to do the portraits Monday morning.

As I packed up my bags and loaded up my gear, I was getting ready to implement the ideas that I had been planning for weeks. Let's just say that I should have known better...nothing about this session was going to be structured ;) Upon arrival, I was greeted with hugs from Tiff, her mom-Sue, and Lesley, but I wasn't sure how the boys would feel about having their vacation interrupted with portraits. The ladies told me when they said to the boys that they were going to have portraits taken, the boys moaned and groaned about it. When the young vacationers asked who the photographer was, and they were told it was Debbie Brown, they said "Oh, okay, we like her!". To say the nine of us had a great time, would be an understatement!

Every combination I can think of was put before my camera. Bare feet, sand, water, smiles, laughter, friends and fun make for INCREDIBLE images! What I love so much about these people is that there is NOTHING off limits when it comes to taking their portraits. These portraits involved ALL of us getting in the water, and I was completely surprised at how warm the lake was! As the session progressed, we pushed the envelope a little bit more with each grouping. We started off by everyone taking off their shoes, and ended with all the guys taking off their shirts. Not sure I've ever had that happen! Believe me, I didn't just say, "Hey guys, take off your shirts". Scroll down and you'll see what caused the end result.

As you look at these images, you're going to wish you knew these people; and if you do know them, you're going to wish you had been there with us!!! I absolutely adore these three ladies, and the young men who are lucky enough to be in their lives. You're probably thinking "Debbie, it seems like every time I read about one of your former clients, they've become a good friend of your's.". Trust me when I say that there are worse things that can result from one's job, and why do you think I love what I do!? It doesn't always happen, but if you ask anyone who knows me, it does happen fairly frequently :)
As you look at these images, you're going to wish you knew these people; and if you do know them, you're going to wish you had been there with us!!! I absolutely adore these three ladies, and the young men who are lucky enough to be in their lives. You're probably thinking "Debbie, it seems like every time I read about one of your former clients, they've become a good friend of your's.". Trust me when I say that there are worse things that can result from one's job, and why do you think I love what I do!? It doesn't always happen, but if you ask anyone who knows me, it does happen fairly frequently :)

Tiff, Sue and Lesley, thanks so much for a fun morning. I smiled all the way back to Lincoln!

To see more of their images, visit Debbie Brown Photography on Facebook.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Sunny Portland!

I have no doubt that Julian will love Amanda forever! You can't help but smile all the time when you're around this couple. About a week and a half ago, I traveled to Portland, Oregon to photograph Amanda and Julian's spectactular day! I've been to Portland dozens and dozens of times, and the weather this day was about as good as it gets! I flew up to Portland on Friday, so that I could photograph the rehearsal and dinner. Fittingly enough, the rehearsal dinner was held at an old school. Amanda is a 5th grade teacher, and there couldn't have been a better location to start the festivities.

 Here is the cake topper than one of Amanda's 5th grade students made...it was completely out of foil! Talk about a one of a kind gift!

Amanda and Julian began their life together in a special place. They were married at the chapel on the University of Portland's campus, and then had their reception at the commons just across the walkway. Now, if you've ever seen a "commons" on a college campus, then you may be thinking, "really?". I assure you that this "commons" surpasses anything that I've EVER seen on a campus. I've done weddings at hotels that weren't as nice as this place. Besides a beautiful building, the view was EXTRAORDINARY! The chapel and commons sit on the edge of "the bluff"-overlooking the Willamette river, the hillside and all the glory this space has to offer!

Amanda and Julian both went to UP, and knew each other a little, but didn't get to be friends until after graduation. This couple is so freakin' adorable that everyone who is around the just smile! They both have such a fun sense of humor, and as you'll be able to see from the slideshow, their serious side just peeks out once in a while ;)

I love traveling out of the Sac area to photograph weddings, and am so excited that I have several out of state weddings this year!

 Every time I go to Portland, I'm always amazed at how beautiful Mt. Ranier is!

Most of the time, it's the bride who is aware of the details. I love the little touches that Julian wanted...custom made bow tie and hat...and look at those socks!
The bridesmaids are all so fun, and adorable! Amanda had her two sisters, and two college friends, as her bridesmaids. Those were come of the cutest dresses I've ever seen, and they were only $50!

The chapel and new bell tower, look so beautiful...day or night.

The groomsmen were just as much fun as the girls! Love this "He went to Jarred" pose ;)

Enjoy their slideshow, and be sure to leave them some love, in the comment section!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Life is muddy

This morning I spent a few hours with hundreds and hundreds of "Fighting Zebras". Lincoln high's mascot is a fighting zebra, and everyone who has ever been associated with the school consideres themselves a zebra. Our town is very proud of our stripes, and those who "wear" them. Even those who have never been to Lincoln were, as the high school principal said, considered an honorary zebra this morning. As a smaller community, we are very tight knit. When a tragedy strikes one, it strikes us all. I wish I could say that tragedy has never hit the high school, but sadly it has...over and over and over again. It seems that in the 11 years that I've lived here, there has been at least one teenager almost every year who has lost their life. Each of those were a tremendous tragedy and loss, and we will mourn them forever. In the last year however, our community has felt some unspeakable tragedies. Three young men from our town, took their lives over a course of just a few months.

The heartbreak that is still felt by those who knew them, know their parents, know these young men's stories, or maybe just knowing a young person like them, is palpable. Reading the walls on facebook is gutwrenching beyond belief.

What is even more unbelievable, is what the families of Aldo, Jake and Travis have done. Suicide means that the family and friends are left with unanswered questions-not only about why, but what was life going to hold for that special person down the road. As one of the mom's said today, the family's future was taken away. Because of these families' bravery and courage, they took their personal nightmares, unselfishly shared them with the community, and are not afraid to do whatever it takes to keep another family from having to endure this type of pain. After speaking with so many people today, I came to realize that almost every person I spoke with loves someone who committed suicide.

Before the mud run started today, each of the families spoke a few words. As I looked out into the crowd, there wasn't one person who could hide their feelings. Maybe not everyone cried, but the raw emotion that I could see on each and every face, proved to me that these families were making their message clear...suicide does not have to happen, and there are ways to fight the private demons that one feels when they are on the edge of that cliff.

As I stood there today, I know we each took a private oath that we will do everything humanly possible to reach out to anyone we feel may be contemplating this horrific path...but especially the young people.

From the bottom of my heart, I thank these families for stopping at least one person from taking his or her life-I don't know who that person is, but I know for absolute certainty that someone heard their message, today. I also know with certainty, that Aldo, Jake and Travis are absolutely beaming with pride, and thanking God for allowing their parents to make such a mark on this town, and the world!

As sad, yet inspirational, as the opening ceremonies were, we also had FUN. I don't think I need to say much about a mud run, so I'll let the photos and slideshow do the talking!

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