31.7.09

Abs and Sarah - Wedding

"If I was a flower growing wild and free
All I'd want is you to be my sweet honey bee."
- barry polisar

Sarah and Abs are my little goofball couple.  They really are.
Like cartoons!  They are SO funny!
Except that they are gorgeous, with amazing taste.
So, when you find a cartoon series like that, let me know.  Because that's what they are like.
(ps. Aren't her green Charles by Charles David shoes fantastic?!)


Their wedding took place at the awesomely fab Torpedo Art Gallery in Alexandria, VA.  Laura Auer of Wish Special Events coordinated the day and it was simply perfect!

The moments before the wedding was filled with inside jokes, ripped dresses, "Maybe Jooo-lisa, Always the same, That's not my name!" and big, gorgeous smiles.

Wooo-eee!  What a drop-dead-stunning group of ladies.
(And really, really they were SO funny!)

Sarah could not have looked more beautiful.  Plus, her attitude all day was so calm, excited and wonderful.  She was the opposite of Bridezilla.  She was beaming :D

I'm pretty sure that all the people who were walking around the pier in Alexandria were trying to figure out which celebrity Sarah was.   "There is a celebrity wedding today!" Nope, just gorgeous Sarah's wedding!

Pffft. I'm already bridesmaid jealous.  So won't look as great as these girls when I am a bridesmaid next month! Oh well hehe

This was great - an awesome guitar player started singing a wedding song for Sarah as she walked back into the gallery.
"Ooooh, have a greeeaat weeeedding!
It's beautiful today and your weeedding!"

Aaaand back to the hysterical-cartoon part ;D
By the way, Abs and his groomsmen were some of the kindest gentleman ever at a wedding.  They listened to what I said and were so helpful!  Thanks guys!

And now it's wedding time!
During the ceremony they had a very adorable poem read.  You should read it too:

"I wrote a good omelet,
And ate a hot poem,
After loving you.

Buttoned my car, 
And drove my coat home, in the rain, 
After loving you"
"I goed on red, and stopped on green,
Floating somewhere in between, 
Being here and being there,
After loving you."
"I rolled my bed, turned down my hair
Slightly confused, but I don't care.
Laid out my teeth and gargled my gown,
Then I stood and laid me down to sleep,
After loving you."
I wish I could shoot married couples every day. It's absolutely wonderful.

Especially awesome couples. Awesome cartoon-like couples with excellent taste who like adorable poems and make hysterical faces. Hahah Oh they make me laugh.

Mr. Random Stranger wanted a quick pic. Um, ok?

A little dark romantic blur never hurt anyone :D

MmmmMmm, yes please!
Gorgeous!!!

And then the ridiculously awesome details (Thanks again Laura!)


I'm missing words again - I don't know what to say! Aaah!
Mi bella fantastica woopwoop amamamzing!

The reception had delicious food brought to us by: Windows Catering Company! Yummmmy!
And there were also very heart-felt, meaningful toasts where the idea of "home" was echoed time and time again. It was very sweet :D

And we will end the post with Sarah and Abs just being themselves on the dance floor. Love it:

Congratulations Sarah and Abs!  Thanks for letting me celebrate with you - you both are awesome :D

22.7.09

Neil and Jessica - Married Shoot

"Kiss me in sweet slow motion
Let's let everything slide,
You've got me floating,
You've got me flyin!"
-- faith hill


I just. Iiiii just need more words. I am going to pull a Shakespeare and start making new words.
(Clearly Shakespeare and I are the same, right? Of course.)

Jessica is my ridicuful (ridiculously beautiful) friend. There is so much that I love about her, so in no particular order: She loves Jesus, but isn't "Ahem. Holier than you." She is kind, loving and genuine. She is a very, very talented dancer, but doesn't brag about it. She is is married and committed to her wonderful husband, Neil. 5 years now :D She is also a momma to Mini-Jess and Mini-Neil. They are her little buds and it's special to see this young, gorgeous lady taking care of her husband and kids :D

I also love her because for her 5 year anniversary she wanted to do a shoot in her wedding dress.
Of course she still fits into it. Duh.
I'm gonna fit into mine 5 years after marriage, too.
(Upside down, though. The big bustle can go around my waist and the top can go around my ankles. That will be so attractive ;D joooke jooke)

The timing couldn't have been better for this "5th Anniversary Shoot" since I needed models for my interns.
All week long I was looking for a carnival to do this shoot at. I was online googling my fingers off.
I found nothing :(
Boohoo.

But wait! Hark!
Is that a maiden fair,
Beheld with love
At county fair?
(Told you Shakespeare and I were the same.)

Why yes, yes world, we.found.a.fair.
Yayaya! It was actually on the way to Joe and Janette Lovebirds shoot that the interns and I spotted a carnival. Oh I was thrilled.

In little Urbana, MD we spent the golden hour of that Wednesday night shooting away.
It was just magical.

Some might go to a county fair and hear the ketchup squirting onto a gross corn dog. Or onto a funnel cake (people at fair's are weird.)
Or some might see the mobs of smelly, sticky, cranky people.
Some might see the dollar signs and clutch a bit tighter to their wallet, knowing that the car ride to the carnival is more entertaining than the $5 dollar rides at the carnival.
Some might hate the lameo music, the socially awkward teenagers manning the rides and the germs that are almost visible.

But happily for me, our little posse didn't see the carnival like that at all.
Jess, Neil and the interns were amazing as we ran this carnival-shoot.
We heard the little rickety roller coaster with girls screaming and laughing.
We loved the adorable 6-person-band singing their good ol' country hearts out.
We spotted the high school sweethearts operating rides together.
"She'll take your ticket, while I take her heart..."

We saw the colorful lights, sparkling in the country side.
We laughed and ran around like kids again.
Smelling popcorn, buying tickets and feeling bad for the guy in the "Bathtub Remodel" booth.
It was just fun, everyone. Plain, simple, old fashioned fun.

And maybe a little romantic :)

Oh! This was great. Jess and Neil did that water-gun "race" game. They were all talking smack and taking it so seriously.
Who won?!
Little girl down at the end who couldn't even push the trigger.
Nice :D

This screams America to me! Like apple pie! And baseball games!
Young, colorful summertime love!

I support this.

As the sun tucked itself into bed, I got to have some fun with my 50 1.2 lens, doing what it does best! Low light.

Mmmph.
So adorable.

I really wish you could have seen how dark it was. SO dark.
1.2's rock my houuuuse and my faaaace! Yay!

And so do Jess and Neil who were WoNdErFuL models, but are even better friends. I LOVE you guys!
(ps. I am in need of one more couple for Thursday, August 6th - my last group of interns! If you live in this area and you and your man are interested in something like this, let me knooow, yo.
kristen@kristenleigh.net)

20.7.09

Engagement - Joe and Janette

"She's got whatever it is,
It blows me away"

-- zac brown band


Alright everyone. Stop right now. Seriouslyseriously.
Stop what you are doing, turn down the music (or put on whatever you deem romantic) and seriously slow down.

You don't want to rush this couple - oh.my.goodness.

Also, prepare yourself, because you are about to fall in love with a couple. It's cool, cause I totally have a crush on them.

A few months ago Janette booked me for her wedding, and we began getting all the details in order. I loved her from the very beginning :D
I loved her enthusiasm, I loved her facebook pictures from Egypt and I loved that she sent me an e-mail of her and her fiancee eating pancakes. "We love pancakes," she said. Any bride that jumps right into food is the bride for me!

I was eager to meet Janette and her fiancee, Joe, at their engagement shoot. The interns and I happily sat at a park watching kickball, waiting for them to arrive. I turned back and saw some brunette hair bouncing and flopping just above the tops of the parked cars. "I think I see them..."


The body underneath the dancing hair was Janette and she was holding the hand of her "man beast man's man" fiancee. I just loved them so much already. We started the shoot and I asked them to sit on the grass while I tested light. Really that's all I said.

"The light is great here! Why don't you two sit down and I'll tell you what to do in ooooone sec. Just gonna get my camera settings all set."
Then they did this.

"Wait! Waitwait! You are being too cute! I'm not ready!" Of course I didn't say that - I just hustled to get ready. My heart raced a little bit watching them, though.
Are they for real?
I say "sit" and they wrap each other in a hug, and roll around in the grass, and playfully tackle each other and giggle and sing? Really?

Yes, really.
People tell me "Oh Kristen, movies make love and romance so mushy - it's not like that in real life. Oh Kristen, it's never like the movies."
False. Faaaaaalsehood. These two were better than any movie I have ever seen. More romantic, more friendly, more wonderful, more precious and MUCH more honorable.

Of course everyone isn't this way - and that's totally ok!
But I would like just to declare that I did find a couple who makes love seem better than any screenwriter and director could.

Part of that probably has to do with how CUTE their story is!
They met at school nine years ago. They were fast friends, and Joe wanted it to be something more.
"Nooo. We're so young and such good friends, why ruin anything?" Janette reasoned. I'm sure little pieces of Joe were breaking hearing that, but he stuck around his great "friend."


Two years later, they split ways.
Joe headed to San Francisco, Janette flew to Florida.
They lost touch and the next few years they didn't talk at all.
Eventually the both made their way to New York - and missed each other by one month.
And then Joe found her on Facebook. Hm.

Their friendship kicked back up through Facebook chat and email. The next 12 months were spent re-getting to know each other, then Joe moved to Florida to be with this girl he certainly did not want to lose.

As Jason Reeves says:

"I can't give up on you
Even if I never win
Cause this could be a feeling
We'll never find again"


And now they are getting married.
Oh.sigh.

I wish you all could have been there for this shoot. I wish you could have watched them. They skip, they burst into song, they make voices, quote movies and do handstands. They just seem to absolutely love being together and honestly it's like nothing else is going on in the world.

Their hugs are sincere, their humor is hysterical, their joy is contagious.
It brings so much warmth to my heart - how kind of God have them fall in love!

Two people who have spent their lives serving Him, coming together in His timing and being passionatley committed to each other. Again, everyone doesn't need to be "as cute" as they are, but I am so grateful God has blessed them with such a special love.

Kisssssin in the sunshine! Ohhyeaah.

I just want to put them in my pocket.

It so doesn't hurt that they are gorgeous. Little superstars :D




"When she walks in the room I can hardly breathe..."

Ah, a man who makes his lady laugh :D I support that!



For the last 2 minutes of the shoot, I told them to pick a location. "Anyyyywhere you want!" I said.
They picked the swingset! Sca.Ore.

Oh Janette I love you!

One last squeeze before we called it a day. Perfect way to end a shoot. Aaaaawh.

Needless to say, I love you both and can't wait for your wedding! Enjoy the slideshow :D