Archive: March 2010  |  View all recent posts

Wed. Mar 31, 2010 by Mary    Pancake Sessions

Short Stack: Found Off-Camera Lighting

Ok, as promised, here's a short little pancake sessions (a short stack...get it? :) on that crazy off-camera lighting we were using to get some of those shots like these two:

Contrary to what you might have imagined, it wasn't some crazy-technical flash set up complete with a key grip and a boom boy or whatever you call them. Ok, so I'm probably the only one who imagined that, but how cool would it be to have your own key grip for real life? I like it. I'm gonna have to work on that.

Nope, it was REALLY off-camera! Our crazy off- camera light was actually provided by this:

The pendant lighting at Starbucks! I told you I loved that place!

I think some of the coolest lighting out there is what we call "found light." Think street lamps, Christmas lights, marquees. Well there just so happened to be a Starbucks in the lobby of the hotel and they were closing up, but they left the lights on a little longer just for us. No other flash set up was used. Justin placed the subjects (our awesome clients Sonia & Pankit and their family) in front of that column you see there because it did cool things with the light gradient left to right and it made for a nice background. Then he had everyone stand so the light was directional (coming in from the left and slightly to the front) and exposed for the highlights using spot metering. That's it. Took about 5 minutes and they turned in to some of our favorite shots from the day.

So....spread the love. What are some of YOUR favorite found lighting sources/stories?

Tue. Mar 30, 2010 by Mary    Life with J&M

The Hole Truth

We stood in the store together and I went in to full lawyer mode.

Four years of collegiate debate not for naught, I stared at him over the lid of my latte and assessed the situation. I weighed the alternatives, carefully considered his counterproposals and well thought-out addendums....but in the end, I stood firm on my position. And I wasn't going to budge.

But Mary. Be reasonable. We would have to cut a our WALLLLLLLLL.

And he dragged out the last word like it WAS the last word on the issue. And I can understand why. For two people who only recently got walls, you would think I would be a little more hesitant about punching holes in them.

But like my husband....if you thought that, you would be wrong.

See, I had seen the promised land of digital thermostats and there was no convincing me otherwise. Because let's face it...when it comes to the cool factor, a thermostat that sits sleek & flush against your wall is to a box that just hangs there what The Office is to Parks & Recreation. The real deal v. a boxy, awkward knock off. Ooooh...I just said it! And boy does that feel good! :)

So there you have it. The real story behind the very first hole in our new walls.

The hole truth. And nothing but the truth. Amen.

Before you go getting all jealous of our new, shiny digital thermostat (which will be fully installed once the painting is done)....don't be. We are, after all, still living with exposed wires hanging down from the ceiling. Yep, we are as far from Fergie and the Glamorous as you can possibly get. :)

And speaking of's going ON as we speak!! Stay tuned for the first in our very exciting Before & After series in the next day or two!

So I ask you, what is your favorite DIY story??

Mon. Mar 29, 2010 by Mary    Weddings

Miami Wedding: Sonia & Pankit (Part IV)

Part IV of Sonia & Pankit's Miami wedding!! Enjoy!

Before the reception got underway, we had a little fun with off camera lighting.......but just wait until you see WHAT off camera lighting it was! :P

Before everyone got in there, S&P practice the first dance....

and then it was time for the real thing!

Notice how sneakily close they are getting to that cake..... was the world's first ever first dance directly into cake cutting! And I LOVED it!

Ahh the stealing of the shoes!

Near the end of the night, Pankit gave one of the best toasts to his new bride that I have ever heard. Ever.


And a little fun in the Eden Roc lobby before the night was over.

Stay tuned tomorrow for all of those KILLER details from an all star line up of talent!

Sat. Mar 27, 2010 by Mary    Life with J&M

For Real Decorating

I'm the kind of girl where the second I do my nails, I suddenly notice the wild brush that's taking over my eyebrows. And trust me, they could definitely stand to be bush whacked right about now. The kind of girl where the minute I finish swiffering the floor, out of nowhere I can't stop staring at the Spanish moss of dust growing around the edges of our fan blades. Seriously, what is up with that? The kind of girl where the day I successfully fit into the jeans size of my dreams, I know I will immediately start poking at my jello-y arms. I like to imagine they're the cherry red flavor and that somewhere out there, there's a jello mold in the shape of cut biceps just for me. For whatever reason, it gives me hope.

Some say that's just part & parcel of being a girl. The locals call it perfectionism. I say it's just another example of my "What's Next" mentality rearing its ugly head. Where I get so impatient and focused on waiting on what's next, that I always seem to miss what's right now. What's happening right here in front of me.

Well not any more.

Those of you who came out and shared your lives with us on the tour and at WPPI, you heard me talk about how I couldn't really decorate since the house wasn't finished yet, so I could just "pretend decorate." Aka, internet window shop. I could pull little pictures from the Pottery Barn website and stare at them longingly on my computer's desktop. Push them around with my mouse and create imaginary rooms in my head. It was a sad endeavor indeed.

Well, recently that all started to change. Things are happening with the house. Fast. It's like I woke up one day, and with all that training I'd been putting in with my pretend it was time for the real thing. I had made it to the Olympics of shopping, and I was standing at the top of the half pipe ready to pull off a Shaun White-style double McTwist. Or something like that.

We're starting off small, of course. No kiln-dried, eight-way tied, double-doweled Restoration Hardware leather sofa for us just yet. But we're getting there. :)

And here's the thing. I don't want to have spent three months of my life mourning the need for pretend shopping and then get to the real deal and go, "Ok that's nice, so what's next." This is our house. The house we've been trying to get for a year and a half now. And I don't want to let a single step pass me by. I want to stop and breathe in each moment and go, "you know what....just yesterday we didn't have Meyer Lemon hand soap in our kitchen." And I'm thankful that it's here now. Because every single day we are more and more blessed. Every single day this house of ours gets just a little bit closer to a home. And every day that we wake up and take one step forward, we are that much closer to living in our dreams.

So I'm determined that what's next for me is to live and breathe and soak in what's now. Because guess what....what's now is a pretty beautiful thing. Not Restoration Hardware leather sofa beautiful.....but beautiful nonetheless!

So in honor of what's now, here are a few of our recent purchases that I'm feeling pretty psyched about! The aforementioned Meyer Lemon hand soap and new bright yellow dish towels. Y'know...for derriere snapping.

Our paint!! The painters start today! We're starting on the studio/first floor. We went with Light Silver Sage for the big meeting room and client bathroom, Gravel for the studio kitchen and Chocolate for Justin's office. I haven't picked out my office color yet....Suggestions? We also got these towels from RH that I've been wanting since we got engaged. See....progress!!

And finally, these numbered pillows from Pottery Barn that I have been loving since I pretend bought them online. :)

And while this has nothing to do with anything, I'm really loving this new song from Lady Antebellum. Just feels like a Sunday on your front porch kind of song. So yea, I guess that works.

Happy Sunday everyone!!

Sat. Mar 27, 2010 by Mary    Weddings

Destination Wedding: Sonia & Pankit (Part III)

Happy Saturday! I hope you are all out enjoying a glorious weekend, but if you happen to hop online here's Part III of Sonia & Pankit's Miami wedding to keep you entertained! :)

Sonia, you are so beautiful! This is a shot I grabbed right before the ceremony.

Some of the lush details.

I hung out at the end of the aisle to grab this shot and the next one....

...and then ran to the front to grab this one. Totally worth being out of breath! :)

So remember how I told you Julia is ROCKING it this year? The next three are hers!

LOVE this one!

While Justin was grabbing these the line of people leading in.


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