Sunday, June 6, 2010

rockin' out the unknown and a beautiful bride.

so i was all alone.

the kids were whisked away to a beautiful beach.

my house was unnervingly quiet, but clean, and that is always a plus. and i have to say, there is something about a clean and quiet house that makes me want to wear overly expensive slippers, some kind of silk nightgown and sip tea out of a porcelain cup and saucer.

{i just learned that about myself.}

so, i had a lot of time to think about how nervous i was to photograph my very first wedding. i had exactly one free day and an afternoon to stuff myself with more knowledge, more practice shooting, more fiddling around with my camera. at around midnight, the night before the big day, i set my table with silverware and dishes and practiced shooting in almost zero light.

this is pretty normal for me, as i am a believer that hands-on clicking is the best way to learn and become better. i should also say that i am the slowest learner ever in the history of learners. ha. seriously, i was the student in college that started her own math study group. i took this role extremely seriously after i learned that there was not a math study group set up mid-semester.

i recruited the people that looked as clueless as i was. i had a knack for spotting the poor buggers (they were the ones with red faces and tears threatening to spill over onto their failed algebra exam).

so, in true elle woods form, i even packed baked goods that i bought from farmer jack's market, put on a smile, and invited people to join me in the library. i'm pretty sure i acted as though it was the coolest place to be!

end tangent.

the day of the shoot, my nerves were getting the best of me. the what-ifs were driving me crazy.

what if my camera fell into the pond? broke? what if my memory cards crashed? what if all four of my batteries died from some supernatural alignment of the stars? what if i came down with some super rare disease during the ceremony where my hands melted off making it impossible to take pictures and then it would be all my fault that the bride and groom wouldn't have photographic history of their wedding. they wouldn't be able to show their kids, grandkids,... the list of unfortunates from my made-up illness are endless as you can imagine.

so i decided to turn my phone off, take a bath, a nap, and then read my new obsession that i don't have time to be obsessed with. i started with book three in the mindset that i watched the first two movies already, so starting with the third book would save me lots of time.

well, now i want to go back and start with the first, because
#1. it's some really good writing! that stephanie meyer chick is seriously creative.
#2. i have a crush on edward. *real men sparkle! just sayin.' ha.
and #3. my goal this summer is to RELAX with a couple of good reads that are not related to photography or photoshop!

so when i felt calm and collected, i decided to get ready. so i dressed in all black, which is weird BC i was going to a wedding, but i think black was the right choice. i felt oddly calm. chanting to myself every so often, telling myself that i indeed would rock. it. out. what other choice did i have?!

my internal voice was going crazy that day BC it kept asking me why i was so nervous. it's not like it's my first photo shoot or anything. way far from it.'s a wedding. no second chances. i really and truly just wanted my bride to be happy with her photos and that was where my nerves were coming from. my desire, as a woman who didn't really love her wedding photos and as a trusted photographer to capture those moments that only happen once. it is a big responsibility and one that they entrusted to me and i decided that
i did trust myself because if i didn't, i would have never taken the job!

i found some music to get me in the rockin'-it-out mindset. these are the songs that put a bounce in my step and courage in my heart...

i put make-up on to this.
and this.
and this
did my hair to this a few times.
and finished it off with a little madge and a pre-wedding click of my shutter release in the bathroom.
and this in the car all the way there over and over again.

i was officially shooting a wedding and i'd be lying if i didn't say that i didn't shed an emotional tear in excitement and with the realization that a year ago i had never taken one professional photo. and although, i knew it was still a learning process, i was excited for myself and for jessica and mike, the bride and groom!

i wanted to share my 'nerves' story with the readers of this blog because i get a lot of questions
about photography and i think it's great to see the other side ...what happens behind the camera. many times i have looked at other photographers and their beautiful photos and wondered if they were nervous before they rocked it out or were they were simply confident that they would deliver the goods. this was just my experience:)

getting ready:
the flower girls melted my heart.

jessica's something borrowed and old. grandmother's pin.

and after the vows we had a little fun!

jessica was a beautiful bride and her happiness was contagious. she couldn't contain her happiness, so i often caught her dancing
between frames! it was so much fun!


for the rest of jessica and mike's sneak peek, please visit my photography blog at

jessica and mike, thank you so much for inviting me into your lives and for keeping my job & passion so inspiring
and wonderful. i wish you both a fabulous honeymoon and life together. lots of love to you both.

okay, so crazy person tangents are over for today, but i have so much more to share. my baby graduated from
pre-school!!! another emotional and fun day. i have lots of pics for the next post and a killer
oatmeal and chocolate scone recipe, and a sex in the city girl's night out complete
with glittered shoes and asymmetrical clothing!

and because i love them to
the moon and back...
a little peyton and beckham love!


Teresa said...

Great job! The flower girl pic coming out of the swinging doors is so sweet and I love love love the pic of the flowers and the pin. Such an amazing keepsake!

I'd say you rocked it out! Thanks for sharing

Kate said...

YOU ROCKED IT!!! Great shots Heidi and I can say that since I work with some of the coolest cats here in SO Cal. The best keepsake is those moments that you caught. I love that you wore black, I always do it make me feel the power:) What a blessing you are to me and seeing all of your wonder makes my heart skip a beat.

Rockstar you are
Love and hugs

Kate xo

Rebecca MacIntosh said...

Fabulous Fabulous Fabulous!
When I have an empty house (rarely) I clean it until I have only 5 minutes left to sit around sipping a glass of wine pretending like someone else did the work and I live a luxurious life of enjoying it!
A year ago? Seriously?!!! You say you're a slow learner but I think you're lying ;)
Love the pics, love the thought of slippers and love the black, hot look for a wedding!

Rhonda said...

WOW....Your bride must be thrilled with those photos!! You did a fantastic job!! I just cant believe you have only been taking professional pics for a year!!! Are you self taught too? You have a wonderful eye indeed!! Up, Up and away for you Miss Heidi!

Your baby graduating from Pre K is such a big deal...Mine starts Kindergarten in Sept, for a full day, and I am already a mess!! Totally arranging lunch avec vino with the girls for that afternoon ;)

Kara Brown said...

YAY! You did great!!!! They must be thrilled with
their pictures!! Must be a huge relief.
Can't wait for the next post. My daughter, Anna graduates from preschool Friday......sniff, sniff!

Kara Brown

Kimberly said...

Heidi!!!! The wedding pics are amazing! You did an awesome job! Way to go sister!:0)

Anna Ruth said...

So exciting! The wedding pictures are beautiful and will be something they will have forever. I would love to have an empty house just for an hour, I don't even remember what it was like...

Anonymous said...

Heidi, the photos are AMAZING. Breathtaking! All of them! If I were the bride, I'd be in love with them! I loved the one of you pre-wedding, too. Cute! And can't wait to see pics of the SATC2 night... Waiting for my girlfriend to come visit to get all glamorous and see it, too! Love, love all pics!

Jen Biasi said...

Beautiful. Per usual. You are amazing. The bride is out of control gorgeous.
You lovely girl. You never cease to amaze...

iColossus / Monster said...

Hey girlie girl!

Wow, I must say congratulations to the bride AND you for the the fabulous wedding pictures! Aren't you, like, soooo incredibly proud of yourself?! Well, you should be, OK?!

All that prep work and most importantly, that belief in yourself, resulted in this success. I always find it commendable when someone doesn't let their past (i.e. lack of experience) get in the way of their future (success!) Way to swing for the fences.

And congrats on Peyton's graduation...happy/sad tears shed for you on that one...such a transitional time!

Love you, and miss you big time,


Anonymous said...

oh man..what a fabulous way to start my day! i love elle woods, have read all three twilight books and yes i edward is where i am sitting..a man that glitters make my heart leap a little!

the wedding pictures are beautiful! my wedding pictures were the old posed, everyone say cheese kind. the pictures you took are every brides dream! so with that under your belt i can't wait to see what is next! ♥

Kelle said...

These are so beautiful and I can only imagine how happy you made that bride! So proud of you!

Lisa Hewlett said...

SO WONDERFUL! Those look like the pictures of a seasoned wedding photographer - really. No need to be nervous. Although I did a friend's wedding at no charge since she couldn't afford a photographer... and I lost sleep for MONTHS before it!

I'm so glad you mentioned that you don't have professional training? Neither do I, but I adore capturing people's moments, and I hope once I have the right camera (still saving!), I can have shots as amazing as yours. thanks!

Angie said...

You did such a great job! I can't believe you started taking professional pictures so recently! I'm looking forward to the day I can afford a nicer camera and capture my kids :) You are amazing!! Thanks for sharing :)

Becky at lifeoutoffocus said...

I've delved into the professional photography world for a bit and OMG my nerves ruined it for me. I'll do shoots for my family or close friends but there is just no way I could handle anything more. There's just so much I don't know...I feel you. But YOU did FANTASTIC! omg. These are great! I know the Bride has love them!

John, Leah and Adrey said...

Great pictures Heidi! You did a fabulous job!!!

Kelly Hutcheson said...

Holy shitake, finahkee! Those pictures are in.cred.i.bul!!! Seriously and that's just the sneak peak!!?? WOW! Can't wait to see the rest. I love the one of them all jumping and of course of the 2 sweeties at the end! I could eat their faces off they're so cute!!

SDM said...

you really did rock it lady!! HOLY gorgeous pics!! is it too early to book you for my girls weddings?? I figure I have a good 20 years or so but I'm a planner...
can't wait to see more! (and so glad we got to see one of you!)
congrats to your little man!

Heidi said...

thanks, teresa! that pin is breathtaking! it was so old and important.

rhonda, can i join you for wine in september, ha! i'll need it when peyton starts i am sure.

kara, it's bittersweet. i totally hear ya.

kim, thanks. i miss you.

sharone & joy-xoxo.
& daniele. i just saw a preview for the movie. june 24th!!! can't wait!

Heidi said...

april, you asked what i used for photo editing in the last post...

i use lightroom 2.6 for all of my photos. mostly for brightening them a bit and editing for skin tones/white balance.

for pro photos that go to clients, i tweak further in photoshop cs4.


kim said...

WOW!!! The wedding photos are absolutely beautiful! You rocked it out, well, rather rockstar-ish! What a beautiful gift to be able to give to your bride & groom, they will appreciate those photos for years and years to come!

I can relate to your new obsession...I was sucked in a year or so ago after watching Twilight with little Ms. Ally! We're the ones you read about in the newspaper, standing in line at 12:00 am waiting to see the new release or to get our hands on the DVD! I'm "Team Charlie" though, I feel a little too old to be team anything else!! :)

P.S....the photo of Peyton...oh my goodness, your little lady is looking sooo grown up, she's beautiful!

I hope you guys enjoy your summer, those sleepy mornings, and I'm looking forward to hearing about all your fun little summertime adventures!

Tammy B said...

You really are a rock star! You and Kelle both. Love you, inside and out. Look how far you've come since I met you a little over a year ago! Kelle: "My friend Heidi is going to be my assistant". Me and April: "Isn't that the girl that leaves comments on Kelle's blog all the time?". Now, I feel like we are long lost friends!


Shannan Martin said...

I'm too stunned by the gorgeous browns eyes on your babies to utter anything intelligible...

OK, I've regrouped.

Loved your post and that you shared your jitters with all of us. I am a big believer in vulnerability and stripped-down truth. So happy to find it here.

AND... You ROCKED that wedding!!

Amy Grau said...

So, I saw a link to your blog (on Kelle's blog) a few weeks back and have been peeking at your life ever since! Love your photography, recipes, creativity and sense of humor! I thought you might be interested in entering the Threadless Love T-shirt design contest! Check out the details at!

Heidi said...

gatorale! thank you for the link. i love this. i've never entered one before, but maybe i will. great to get the creative juices flowing this early in the morning:) thanks for stopping by:)

Amy Grau said...

Good luck -- I'm sure you'll come up with something fab! Now, I've got to get my own creative juices flowing and get something entered too... :-)

Leslie said...

As usual...awesome. The editing is great Heidi. You still need to show me how you make faces look like porcelain in B & W!!

Forever loving it!

Sarah said...

absolutely beautiful!! you look adorable in the mirror shot and that picture of the flowers and heirloom pin is stunning. It seems as if it should go on a card with some heart warming quote about jewelry, flowers, and bonds to our grandmothers or women in our family. GORGEOUS!

The Manrings said...

yippeee for your first wedding!! the pics are beautiful and that bride just radiates happiness. love the kissing pic and the big peony flowers. so pretty! i'm sure you feel so proud!!!! way to go!! xoxo

Anonymous said...

hey friend...i have been checking back every now and then and love your wedding photos...they are lovely! my friend wants me to back up her photographer for some pictures and i would like to know the same thing leslie you are good!

anyway i finally got around to a new post..been so busy but have been taking pictures for the post...have a good weekend heidi! ♥

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