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I’ve been super busy lately, but I just have to blog about WPPI 2010: an incredible event filled with great photographer friends, new faces, parties, classes – the works!

The highlight of my week was Saturday’s “Lens & Learn” Charity event put together by the amazing team at Pictage for the children of The Boys & Girls Club here in Vegas.

I was invited to be the moderator of our group and teach things like lighting and composition with the fantastic photographers Mike Colón and Ray Santana. It’s always great having the opportunity to give back – and I loved the idea of working with and inspiring children through a subject that has inspired me so much. Many of the kids were underprivileged and had never had the opportunity to ever handle a camera – even a point and shoot. This made the experience even more special for them. We started the day with pizza, an introduction by Pictage’s fantastic CEO, Jim Collins and classroom instruction at the Boys & Girls Club: teaching the kids about the art and fun of photography.

Afterward we took the kids on a field trip to the one of my favorite shooting places, the Springs Preserve for some hands-on-shooting! And, to help inspire the them to think outside-the-box, a photo scavenger hunt was planned: The kids had to shoot things like “happiness without including a person”. Or “Create an image of an “A” shape without using a sign or any text.” Or “Take a picture of something large but make it appear small.” Challenging stuff for sure and it was so cool seeing how much the children got into it. We definitely had a few aspiring photographers in the mix. :-) Watching their faces light-up when they saw the results of their work was something I’ll never forget.

Bellow is fellow photographer Matt Savage, Jim Collins and myself with our great group of kids:

Chelsea Nicole, Matt Savage, Jim Collins, and kids!

And a big group shot with all the kids, photographers and volunteers taken by Kenny Kim:

Group photo by Kenny Kim | Pictage Lens & Learn Charity EventAt the end of the day, Mike Larson did his infamous camera toss where he throws his (very expensive) camera into the air. One of many favorite moments of the day was all the kids yelling in unison “Higher – Higher – Higher!” Haha, loved it!

Image by Mike Larson

I came in hoping to inspire and give what I could to this wonderful group of kids – but what I didn’t expect was that at the end of the day I would leave so incredibly refreshed, recharged and inspired by them. It was such a great experience. And a big, HUGE thanks goes to the Pictage team and to Jim Collins for having the vision and heart to make this happen!

Also a big shout goes out to all the other photographers/friends involved: Mike Colón, Zack & Jody Gray, Will Jacks, Kenny Kim, Mike Larson, Justin & Mary Marantz, Shawn Reeder, Ray Santana, Matt & Stevi Savage, René Tate, Monty Jessop and Joe Buissink.It was great to experience it with you guys!

Saving the best for last, here’s a video created by Ron Dawson that perfectly captures the energy and vibe of the day-long event:

As you probably already know, I have a very big crush on a certain ultra stylish wedding website (Style Me Pretty). Abby, Elaine and all the girls at SMP are my kind of people – also obsessed with details and pretty things. So I was absolutely delighted to be a part of their new feature called the “Inspiration to Reality Challenge.” I love the whole concept and how it works! Each region puts together a team of fantastic wedding vendors, then they choose an inspiration board designed by one of SMP’s readers and put their creative juices together to bring it all to life.

I’m beyond excited to share some photos from the Inspiration to Reality shoot that our Las Vegas team put together – and that it’s a 4-part feature on the front page of Style Me Pretty this weekend!

Our shoot took place at one of my FAVORITE ceremony and reception locations here Vegas, the gorgeous Springs Preserve! I loved how the blues popped against the warm desert backdrop. And our model bride, Gabi looked stunning with hair & makeup all done up by Allyson, Lauren & Monet at Las Vegas Style Sirens.

style-me-pretty-wedding-shoot-springs-preserve-las-vegas-2

The Vera Wang gown provided by Dawn at Couture Bride Salon was THE perfect fit. And the whole look and style was a great match for the vintage aviation theme Tracey (of Your Las Vegas Wedding Concierge) came up with based off the movie The Aviator.

I first saw this dress on Gabi a couple weeks before the shoot. A bunch of us girls were hanging out in the bridal salon while Dawn was trying different dresses on Gabi. It was too funny because it was almost as if we were her bridesmaids. When she came out with this gown on there was one big synchronized “Oohh!” It was definitely THE ONE.

The ensemble was topped off by Stella & Dot Jewelry from stylist Carrie Hogan and a fantastic blue veil from MUMO hair accessories.

 

style-me-pretty-wedding-shoot-springs-preserve-las-vegas-3Jesus (our groom – who also happens to be the Catering Manager at Springs Preserve) was looking pretty darn sharp as well.

Style Me Pretty Shoot | Springs Preserve in Las VegasStyle Me Pretty Shoot | Springs Preserve in Las Vegas

Style Me Pretty Shoot | Springs Preserve in Las Vegas

Details, details, details – I was definitely lovin’ all the eye candy! From the amazing feather bouquet by Emplume, the totally unique cakelets by Kristen at Gimme Some Sugar (SO love this idea to have multiple smaller cakes rather than one main one, or in addition to the main one), signature drink by Dress the Drink, peacock chair decor by Wildflower Linens, beautiful centerpiece by Randi at Naakiti Floral, the invitations that arrive in a vintage steamer trunk by Tifany at Gourmet Invitations, and so much more!

Style Me Pretty | Invitation by Gourmet Invitations

Gimme Some Sugar | Wedding Cakes | Las Vegas, NV"The Plume" Signature Drink by Dress the Drink

Be sure to hit up Style Me Pretty to see a ton more images in the 4-part feature! Here’s the links:

Style Me Pretty Shoot | Springs Preserve in Las VegasAnd I saved the best for last….

Here’s the behind the scenes video created by my incredibly talented other-half, Jayse!

 

BIG shout out and thanks to everyone that helped make this shoot a reality!! It was a blast working with such an awesome team people. :-)

I’m so excited to announce that I’m now offering fusion coverage! Below is an example of what could be played at the wedding or sent as video-invites. Kory and Trent are awesome musicians so we convinced them to bring their gear out to the desert for their engagement session. We had such a blast and this was the Fusion Video Jayse put together for them:

“What would we want for our ultimate wedding photography coverage?”

Jayse and I start many local-pub conversations this way. Of course we talk with our mouths half-full of way-too-fattening-nachos (extra jalapenos for me, extra olives for Jayse please).

“What would we want for our ultimate wedding?” It’s a guideline for everything I do and all of my product offerings. Over the past six months these conversations have led to one missing component from our ultimate wedding coverage: Video.

But, wait! I’m not talking about your typical hour-long all-encompassing video. While there’s definitely a place for that (and I would be happy to recommend some really cool local videographers if that’s what you’re looking for), Jayse and I agreed that the kind of video we LOVE and wanted for our couples is a short-n-sweet, stylized piece from the day.

Jayse is no stranger to film. While I am editing photos, Jayse is usually across the desk from me designing and creating neat visual effects shots for big blockbuster films like Wolverine or 2012. In fact he’s currently working on Oliver Stone’s sequel to Wall Street. We both love great cinematography and we love great stories. And we knew if something more like the films we loved could be captured, edited, color-toned and rendered into our eager little hands – we’d have something we’d be proud to show off – or share it on our iPhones – or upload to our Facebook page – or watch on a big-screen.

And thus, we are very excited to announce:

Fusion: photography style video

Fusion has been officially added to my new 2010 wedding catalog! Contact me for more details. Or, click here to find out a bit more about fusion and how it works!

So – Fusion – there you have it. Hope you like it as much as we do!

*****

UPDATE: Kory and Trent’s engagement session has been featured on Rock and Roll Bride! Click here to check out the feature which also includes lots of extra images.