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Hellllllo, Its me.

 

Oh my..sooo many years since I have blogged. So many, that I don't think my 9 year old son believes me that I used to have a blog that I actually wrote in. He legit thinks I am making it up. This was kind of a huge risk starting over from scratch..I had 10 years of archives on my former one. But with a brand new website, and oceans

of life happening between the bookends of then and now.. it felt natural to start fresh here too. If you know me, you know that blogging used to be my passion. My late night escape with a homemade chai latte after the kids were in bed...where I stumbled around my words a bit, and somehow learned that I love to write, {who knew??} I never said I was a good writer, but I do love to write. I write like I think, so if you are a teacher, I'm sorry...I will undoubtedly drive you crazy with my run on sentences. You will mentally be scribbling your red pen all over this..but its rambling from the heart, promise:)

 

For those who used to follow my blog and helped support me so much over the years, I am grateful you found your way back here! Life has been so heavy the last few years...lots of life changes for my family. Starting over in every way possible, and feeling the deep growing pains of that. I feel like I have been in total hibernation mode, just trying to focus on my babies, and on my work, and I have given myself grace all these years to not blog again until I felt ready. It has been stirring in me again to kind of find my voice again in all of this. To share a bit more of myself. My heart. My babies. What I am learning in my new season of Love:) To carve out more time to share projects I am working on..{YAY}!! As a photographer, luckily my blog is mostly photos. THOSE tell the the stories the loudest. But I do love to nararate a bit too here and there:) I have years of work I have not shared, so I will probably hop around a bit, sprinklin in a bit of old stuff with the new.

Feels good to be back,my darlings. XOXO

 

Updated: Mar 1, 2018

 

If you have been following my work within the last 10 years..you have likely heard me joke that Melissa is my Muse. My Golden Girl. My Guniea Pig. My Poster Child. We have worked together countless times over the years..and she is perhaps the only person who can read my mind in a photoshoot. Its like we have our own language. We literally could do a whole shoot and not talk to each other and she would know exactly what I want, by me only using shoulder movements, I swear!! I am so grateful for this girl.

 

The first time I met Melissa and her husband Travis, we showed up at random vineyard, that was a halfway point for both of us, (we lived 2 hours apart at the time). They had already been recently married, but wanted to do a fun "couples" session. I had no idea what to expect. I brought my favorite vintage pink/floral chair and a handful of headbands I made..and nervously waited for them to drive up. I was instantly over the moon with them both...and I just remember feeling like a light switch went on that day. I couldn't explain it at the time, but it was this overwhelming feeling that we were SUPPOSED to meet. While I had been doing my business for many years, I felt like I was in the formative years of when I was truly "finding myself" as a photographer. What was my "style"?..What did I like photographing? What did I not like photographing? What makes my heart race and my head spin because I feel like I'm hitting my stride and finding my vision and my voice? All I know, was that when I started photographing Melissa..I truly, truly..started loving what I do.

 

She was my model for my first ever Styled Shoot, {which was also the first time my work had every been published on a blog way back in the day..She made my dream come alive and to this day those are still some of my favvvvvorite photos}. I did an adorable Prego shoot with her and Travis when they were expecting their first child, Ella..and I swear she somehow became the most famous person on Pinterest for like 3 years. Truly! This was pre - Instagram and she somehow had to manage a million people reaching out to her wanting to know every single thing she was wearing for that shoot. How ironic, that all these years later, her career is a Life & Style Blogger, and she answers these same questions all day long! I knew she was meant for something like this, and its has been SOO amazing watching her business grow..by her truly just being herself..a wife and mama! Friends, if you dont' already follow her blog or IG...you must. // @ellabrooksblog //You will love her, and her behind the scenes mom life stuff is the best. Hands down.

 

Anyways..just a little behind the scenes for this dreamy shoot. It was for no other reason, than simply the sake of just "creating". My girlfriend Sarah let me use her to- die- for living room at the Artist Lofts in downtown Sacramento, and my friend/former bride Anna provided the gorgeous blooms. It was so simple, but I felt like I truly needed this shoot...for myself. To reset my mind, and feel inspired. To shoot with no parameters or rules. To have a reason to thrift shop for the perfect crazy ruffled skirt that was in my dreams at night {like, literally keeping me up at night}. To fight the burn out I was feeling after months of going non-stop for work. To have some pretty new photos for the website I was workin on. Mel..I am grateful you always run with my ideas, and for how you have help change and give life to my business over the years. I know Travis is like super- instagram- photo- husband now { YAY TRAV !!!} You won't need me as much..{sob, sob} but I will forever look forward to every chance we get to play dress up together. XOXOXO

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These INCREDIBLY TALENTED Ladies right here..THANK YOU for your help, my goodness.

Sarah Goddard Perez- Electric Sun Creatives- {amazing loft and wall hangings}

Anna Sinclair- Huckleberry Blooms- {swoonworthy florals}

Melissa Cole: Ella Brooks Blog {my model}

 

Updated: Mar 1, 2018

 

I remember the first time I talked to Stephanie about her wedding. I was driving through my neighborhood, sipping a mocha, listening to her dreamy depiction of a " Romantic-Industrial" style wedding. Concrete, metal, wood..paired with soft florals and lush botanicals. It would truly be marriage of so many design elements, and a perfect blend of her and Chris. After talking dresses and florists and all things "bridal binder" that most girls start at age 5, I wanted to hear more about the groom, who seemed very involved in the wedding planning process {gold stars for you Chris!!} I was eager to hear the back story about these cuties, {because, duh...my favorite part}. This was about the time I decided to pull over, because my coffee was still hot, and the story was gettin goooood. Stephanie and Chris met in high school....they actually grew up about a mile down the road from each other. They had the same social circles, but never dated....they always wanted to, but the timing was never quite right. Fast forward many years later....Stephanie invited Chris out, and they decided to give things a try. BEST. DECISION.EVER. A few years of long distance dating, a house, a lakeside engagement on a family camping trip...and these two decided that forever sounded pretty good.

I am truly smitten with you two. Thank you for making me feel like family...what a joy it wast to see your dream come together and to witness this day..XO

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vendors:

Ceremony + Reception Venue: Casa Real at Ruby Hill Winery

Coordinator: Zainab 'Z' Ahmad

Rentals: Pleasanton Rentals

Floral + Event Design: Asiel Design

DJ + Videographer + Photo Booth: Amos Productions

Invitations: Minted

Bride's Dress: 'Penny' by Christos /Bride's Earrings: Haute Bride Bride's Necklace: Tiffany & Co. Bride's Shoes: Bella Belle Shoes /Bridesmaid Dresses: Adrianna Papell

Hair + Make Up: Bay Area Beautiful

Groom's Tuxedo + Groomsmen's Tuxedos: Joseph Abboud Collection

Rings: Darcy's Fine Jewelers /Ring Box: The Mrs. Box

Wedding Cake: Sarah Parlange /Favors (Macarons): Karin Johnson Specialty Cakes and Pastries - Calligraphy: Stephanie, the Bride:)

String Quartet (Pre-Ceremony/Ceremony/Cocktail Hour): Bellarosa String Quartet