Today we get to kick off your week, with a little sneak peek of a super exciting project we worked on recently with the oh-so-amazing Liz and Ryan. These guys have been good friends of ours since they first came to our sunrise shoot out in Vegas and then modeled for our San Francisco Walk Through a Wedding Workshop last year. And, as you might remember, we also recently got to spend time with them when they came up to stay with us for a few days of dreaming big (and making plans to do even bigger). One of the things we got to talk about a lot over those couple of days, was the plan that Liz and Ryan had for their new brand. It was already in the works when they came up, so we got to see some of the behind the scenes thought that was going into it. We spent time flipping through things like the food & wine app on the iPad and our own Bride & Groom cook book from Williams Sonoma. It was so awesome to see how clear their vision was and how they were putting together that is so THEM!
So you can imagine how excited we were when these guys asked us to stop off in Baltimore on our way home from Virginia & DC and do an entire concept shoot based all around their new brand. The brand is still under wraps while the website is being finished, but they gave me permission to share just a few of my faves here and give you guys a taste of what's in store!
L&R we ADORE you guys! And there aren't enough exclamation points in the world to tell you how proud we are of you!
Today is already off to a fantastic start, because today is the day I get to introduce you to the absolutely beautiful Kelly Ewell. We first met Kelly when she came up from DC for our Buckles & Burberry Walk Through in February. And as it turns out, she is also the sister of the amazing event planner Lindsey Maurath who we've gotten to work with a few times....so it kind of felt like we already knew her. :) The night before the Walk Through, Kelly organized a meet & greet for everyone to get to know each other and that's when we first got to hang out with her and her awesome husband Steve. We fell in love with both of them right away, so we were super excited when Kelly hired us to stop in on our way back from VA to do headshots for her, as well as an anniversary shoot with her & Steve. We got a gorgeous (albeit a little windy!) Spring day when everything was in full bloom....and, as you'll see, Steve & Kelly worked it like the rock stars that they are! :) Enjoy!
I've been known to come undone when the internet wasn't working.
Have had complete meltdowns over a to-do list that's not to-done yet and an inbox that is getting a little too full. When the laundry and the paperwork pile up or the hair is having a bad day, I have a tendency of going to pieces.
In short, it is a very easy life I lead.
Because see... it would have to be an easy life, for me to be afforded the luxury of worrying about such small, small things born out of the inconsequential. I go along like this, caught up in the Monday minutiae....wallowing in the mini tragedies of grown up life, things like plugged up shower drains and cars that need oil changes. Until something comes along that slaps me in the face. It lands hard, square across the cheek bone. A dizzying blow, that is at once sobering and unsettling. It snaps me back to reality. Holds the world up in front of my face. Like a magic mirror with the ability to reveal great acts of ingratitude.
It is a very easy life I lead. And it's one that I take for granted.
A little over a year ago, I met the absolutely beautiful Sharon (not quite yet) Hundley at a Spread the Love and Walk Through a Wedding down in Charlotte, NC. And I instantly adored everything about her. She was all things bright and happy, a heart overflowing with joy. And she does ninja kicks during casual conversation, because she just has more energy than one body can hold. She's the kind of person who shines from the inside out, and you just love being around her. Because you feel yourself start to shine a little more too. So I decided right then and there... I was going to make her a friend for life.
Shortly after that weekend, Sharon hired us to do headshots for the new brand she had started dreaming up during Spread the Love. And we got her all squared away on the calendar. But as the date was approaching, she reached out again to say she was going to have to postpone because her mom had gotten sick, that the doctors had just discovered it was breast cancer, and she just really needed to be by her side. This of course was not a problem, and we decided to just stay in touch on rescheduling the shoot at some point in the future. As the months went by and the shoot got pushed back further, Sharon (now Hundley) was dealt another blow when it turned out that her brand new husband, Chase, had to go in for what turned out to be not one, not two, but three open heart surgeries. Each one more harrowing- more next to nothing chances-than the next. She of course tells this story way better than I ever could, so I definitely recommend you head over HERE to read it. But just be warned, it's a tear jerker for sure.
Right around the beginning of March this year, Sharon wrote to say that her mom was just finishing up her last rounds of radiation and Chase was finally home from the ICU. So she was ready to get this shoot on the road! :) After talking about it, we decided to make the shoot span over two days. One day just for the headshots, but the other devoted to documenting her and her family, and of course her and Chase. Just as they are together, right in this moment of time. With, yes, not every question answered, but so so grateful that they still all have each other to hold on to.
So about a week ago, nearly a year to the day when I first met Sharon not yet Hundley, Justin & I drove down to Virginia. Where I met the same bright and happy, heart overflowing with joy, faith-filled girl I've always known. The one who still does ninja kicks in casual conversation. Because she has more energy than one body can handle. Who after all this, it has not changed her. Except that she's just become even more grateful, more joyful for all that she has.
And here, I have meltdowns when the internet goes down.
Sometimes these things come along and slap you in the face. They land hard and snap you back to reality. Remind you of all that you have to be thankful for.
And today of all days, I'm especially thankful for that. And thankful for a friend for life named Sharon Elizabeth Hundley.
We first met opera singer turned floral design ingenue, Yumiko Fletcher, in the very early days of Justin & I starting our business. And she has since become a loyal ally, friend and champion to us. Someone we are lucky to call a friend. Yumiko first left New York and the bright lights of the stage shortly after 9/11. She's since found a quieter life by the water of the CT shoreline designing blooms for the likes of Vera Wang. But rest assured, whatever she does, wherever she goes...you can be certain that she will shine.
The first time I met Julia, was when she and her then fiance Mike came over to our small two-bedroom apartment to talk about weddings & photography. Specifically, their wedding....and our photography. Julia showed me her scrapbook of ideas, including pinwheels and carousels and bright yellow shoes. And right then I knew, this girl was destined to be my new whimsical BFF. And that I would sell my left earlobe if I had to, if it meant I got to shoot her wedding. The left one, not the right. I'm partial to the right one.
But at it turns out in the grand plan of the universe and all things destiny, that was not the first time I could have met Julia. Because as it turns out, while I was working on my first two years of law school, falling in love with a photographer, and hatching a plan to ditch it all (the law, not the photographer. I'm partial to the photographer)....Julia was also at Yale finishing up her last two years of an undergrad degree in Child Psychology. For two years, we walked the same streets on campus. Probably got coffee from the same coffee shop during exams. May have even had the same crush on Tony Blair when he came to visit (No? That was just me?? What can I say, I like the way he says aluminum.)
Anyway, I like to imagine that we passed a few times on the street on our way to class. That I smiled at the headband she was wearing or she nodded approvingly at a cool bag that I had. And somewhere on a cosmic level as we passed by, we somehow already knew that one day she would walk into a two bedroom apartment with a boy she hadn't even met yet to talk about hiring us in a business we hadn't even started yet. And that just like that, life would never be the same. I would hope that as I passed her on the street, on some level I would have known I was passing by my future best friend.
Last week, we got together with Julia to do a test run of the &J2 Kids "April Showers" mini sessions that we have coming up this Saturday, March 24th. And as she walked in carrying DIY flowers and streamers coming out of watering cans, it was like pinwheels and yellow shoes all over again. And right then I knew, this girl is destined to do big, BIG things. Friends, it is my honor to show you a sneak peek into the very first &J2 Kids shoot, and just a little taste of what we have in store for this weekend!
We still have just a couple of spots left for Saturday, so if you want to get your kids signed up be sure to click HERE!! And if you haven't yet, head on over to the &J2 Kids facebook page and give Julia a like!!