Thursday, December 18, 2008

Ashley + Charles

Ashley and Charles were married at Centurion Palace in League City, on one of the most beautiful October days ever... the sunny blue sky turned into a beautiful evening as they were married in the garden with the sun setting behind them.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Little Miss Ava

Ava, who is three months old, stopped by with her mom for her very first Monkey Tree session... and she did not disappoint! She was so entertaining and good-natured, and gave me lots of little expressions to capture. I'm generally all for just-plain-baby shots, but the bow Mom brought for Ava really just made the shots FUN!

Ava was snug-as-a-bug-in-a-rug on my new chaise with the super-soft pink blanket, and gurgled, squealed, and laughed for us for the better part of the session... when she wasn't busy trying to eat her dress. Who are we kidding? It was even pretty cute when she was trying to eat the dress.

Oh Hello! Back from vacation, and my first post-Ike Galveston Bridal Portraits

Vacation was great, Vegas was good to us.

The night before we left for vacation, I had a bridal session in Galveston with Dara, who is getting married this weekend. She's also drop-dead gorgeous and up for just about anything-- my favorite kind of bride! Living on the island, she wanted some beautiful classic beach pictures but also a few in and around some of the storm rubble (note the fallen-down building whose door is still standing, and the dock that washed up in a parking lot with the sunset behind it). For a lovely bonus, she lives in a home that's over 100 years old and survived the hurricane of 1900 in Galveston-- so we were able to shoot a bit right on her cute little front porch.

It was great to be back in Galveston and see most of my familiar haunts doing just fine... I was pretty sad, though, when we drove past 61st and Seawall, and noticed that the cute purple fishing shack is completely washed away.

It's hard for me to pick favorites from this session, I'm torn between the calm classic beauty of her beach shots and the drama-shadowy shots under my favorite dead vines in Kempner Park (one is great, but two's better-- so I did a color and a sepia version of that one). Either way, she exudes calm confidence and was just wonderful to work with! I can't wait to shoot her wedding : )

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Taking some time off...

Well, weddings have wound down for the year (though I do have one more Christmas-time wedding) so I'm taking the week off for a little private time. Enjoy your Christmas shopping and year-end-wrapping-up, everyone!

I leave you with a couple of recent favorites...

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Become a fan on Facebook!

I've recently added Monkey Tree Photography to Facebook, and you can "become a fan" if you'd like! Look for upcoming Facebook-Fans-Only offers : )

It's another great way for me to network, and for you to see what I've been up to. I will post picutres regularly, "tag" you if you're in an album, and you'll receive notifications of any events or specials!

It's what all the cool kids are doing these days.

Chloe + Chris

You've seen them before in their engagement portrait blog... you've seen Chloe's gorgeous bridal portraits... are you ready for the wedding?!?!?!

Chloe hired me pretty far out from her wedding (over a year in advance) due to the fact that she was getting married on 8-8-08. I worked with Chloe, Chris, and Kelly Balfour (Eventology Weddings) on many occasions througout the planning of the wedding, and when the day came around for them to finally tie the knot... I was almost as excited as I was in anticipation of my own wedding!

The vision, creativity and hard work that went into the planning of this event is absolutely noteworthy-- there were so many small and beautiful touches, from the expertly designed peacock stationery to the incredible lighting display on the ceiling of the octagonal Garten Verein, where the reception was held. I spoke with Kelly (coordinator) on a regular basis about all of the fantastic ideas and vendors, all of the new and exciting things going on with her intricate involvement in the planning.

Peeking from beneath Chloe's exquisite Melissa Sweet gown were a pair of shoes from the sweetest of my dreams, turquoise and navy floral embroidered peep-toe Betsey Johnson pumps... complete with gorgeous rosy hot pink soles. Her hair and makeup were pinup-throwback, and she wore a bracelet with small charms bearing the faces of her father and sister (who have passed on but were surely with her in spirit on that day).

The ceremony took place at Ashton Villa, one of the Galveston Historical Society's lovely properties. There was a cocktail hour before hand (the ceremony began at 8:00 p.m.) and private trolley service to the reception on... what else? A streetcar that was literally named "Desire". My personal favorite part of the ceremony was the reading of a children's book, "Just Like Heaven". The bride and groom presented one another with coins and were bound by a traditional lasso, both of which were family heirlooms.

Post-ceremony, guests gathered outside at Ashton Villa's courtyard for Mariachi singers and the toasts to the bride and groom!

The reception at Garten Verein (an ocatgonal pavilion reminiscent of a gingerbread house in Galveston's Kempner Park) was just absolutely breathtaking. Upon entering the building, the first thing guests noticed was the incredible display of colorful, calming lights projected on to the ceiling! It felt a bit like being in an aquarium-dreamworld. The china, linens, and tablesettings were immaculate, down to the bamboo patterned flatware. The color scheme was carried through in the elegant florals and menu cards that adorned each table.

On Garten Verein's spacious porches guests found an outdoor Hookah Lounge! Beautiful glass hookah pipes were set up with a variety of flavored tobaccos. After a dinner of delicious Morrocan fare, what better than to step outside for a puff from the hookah? Everyone seemed to find it intriguing and fun.

There was dancing (to one of the couple's favorite DJ's) and merriment, and cutting of cakes (the groom's cake was his likeness, in a comfy chair, playing on his laptop with record scattered all around... all atop his favorite linguistics book). The couple made their exit to a vintage Rolls-Royce in a shower of green eco-fetti, confetti that is easily biodegraded and not harmful to the environment. Guests each received a pre-made box of childhood-favorite candies, delectable chocolate covered cake balls, and cookies on their way out.

Vendors: Galveston Historical Foundation (venues), Cakes by Gina, Island Flowers, Over the Top Linens, Bright Star Productions (lighting), The Perfect Face, and Eventology Weddings.