The Firing Squad. Or, I actually won something.

Yes friends, after a long dry spell since the day in nursery school when I guessed the right amount of jelly beans in the jar and proudly ate my winnings at home, my luck has changed. With the help of my 3 rock star photographer teammates Olivia Brown, Kirsten Lewis, and Kathryn Kreuger, we won big. Like a 4 year old with her own big jar of jelly beans, the 4 of us are proudly savoring our 37,000 dollars worth of photographer goodies. Witness the Firing Squad.

A few days before my annual trip to WPPI (photo conference/learning and information frenzy/photographer hang out) I got a note from my BPF (best photographer friend) Kirsten informing me that we were going to partake in a photography scavenger hunt held by the super hip album company Finao. At first I wasn’t sure if I wanted to spend a lot of time doing a scavenger hunt as I had a lot of talks and classes in my schedule, but once I commit I rally hard and it was well worth it. Over 3 days we received 12 clues via cell phone text asking us to do crazy things all over Vegas. Between all of our conference activities and talks, and late nights hanging out with the 12,000 photographers gathered in Vegas, we managed to pull in the first place spot in the competition. Here are a few of the tasks and images we created. The link to the video we submitted is at the end.

All four team members must illustrate ‘what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas’:

Find an Elvis impersonator and make a photograph with two members of your team:

Find triple sevens on a slot machine and make a photograph with one team member:

All four team members must be included in a photograph with the famous Welcome to Las Vegas sign:

Have one team member do their best Elton John impersonation:

Have Finao’s own Thunder From Down Under (who we figured out to be the awesome photographer Jerry Ghionis) sign a body part of one team member:

Go to the booth of one of the Finao prize partners and make a photograph with one team member (ultra fabulous rock star photographer team Dave and Quin were serious sports with our crazy idea):

One of my favorites. Go to a wedding chapel, find a couple getting married, put them in the worst wedding pose ever, and make a photo including one team member and the chapel sign. Whew! Um yeah, added bonus was the couple getting married IN a pink Cadillac with Elvis serenading them between vows. It was off the chain folks:

I was behind the lens on the Elvis shot but I loved the idea so much I had to jump in for a shot with him myself:

I had a wonderful time roaming Vegas – sleep deprived and sometimes humiliated – to make all of this happen. Thank you so much Kirsten, Olivia, and Kathryn for all of your great ideas and hard work. Finao, thank you for being such a cool company that you thought of this crazy idea. Last but definitely not least, thank you to all of the people, photographers and vendors whose prizes we were so lucky to have won!!

And here’s the video we submitted to Finao. wicked right?!:

And our pirate’s booty:

Lupe + Brandon

Destination Wedding – Puerto Vallarta!

Meet Lupe and Brandon, my rock star bride and groom from California. From their ceremony in the iconic Vallarta cathedral to photos in the charming cobblestone streets of Vallarta to their amazing reception in their stunning villa Casa Quetzal, these two know how to do it right. It was such a pleasure to get to know the two of them and to document their amazing wedding. The extremely talented ladies of Vallarta Incredible Weddings planned this seamless, gorgeous event.

Scroll down to view the slideshow.

I love this shot taken by my second shooter Jonathan Auch

Jonathan’s shot:

To view the slideshow press play:

Monica + Chris

Destination wedding -San Pancho, Nayarit, Mexico

For my very first blog post I thought I’d start on a personal note with the wedding of one of my best friends, Monica. Equally as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside, Monica is one of the most lovely, talented, and giving people I know. Monica spent years teaching children around the world and then came back to Mexico to help start and run the outstanding non-profit organization P.E.A.C.E. On top of that, she supplies all of our friends with her stunning jewelery from her company Lunachia. They pulled their whole wedding together on a very small budget. Monica made all of her decorations and her now-husband Chris, who is an amazing chef, handled the food with a little help from his friends. Doing their photography was very personal to me because all of my friends and family (and my dog pancho!) were there and my best girlie got hitched. These images are my gift to them.

Yours truly doubled over as a pedicurist/bridesmaid and painted those red toenails.

Me on the left with my lovely family.

Everyone getting loco in the photobooth, including me and my doggie Pancho.

Click play to view the slideshow: