Wednesday, June 30, 2010

{Personal} My Brother's Proposal

Six weeks ago, Zeph (my younger brother) told me a story. About a very-important-date in his life. So important that it was ingrained in his memory--and cell phone calendar forever. :)

June 29, 2007.
He was away at camp. Learning about rustic-type things and conservation and wildlife and all things forestry. And there was a pretty brunette girl at the same camp. Her name was Kelsey. Zeph had known her--almost his whole life! They had grown up together. Played together as kids. Jumped in creeks together. Went to church together. Went to youth group events together. Had family holiday dinners together. Homeschool field trips together. Alot of togetherness + alot of friendship.

Zeph + this pretty girl named Kelsey went down to a dock on the lake that night at camp and looked at the stars together.

Fast-forward three years.

June 29, 2010.

There was another dock. Another lake.

June 29th, 2010, was different. Because Zeph asked a very important question.

"Kelsey, will you marry me?"

She said "Yes!"

And now Zeph + Kelsey have a whole life of love, joy and commitment to look forward to...

PS - I LOVED being the 'facilitator/helper/gopher/co-conspirator' person + photographer for this very, very special night. I might've choked up a little. :) My little brother is growing up and getting married.. and I'm getting a new sis-in-law! :D God is so good.

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Monday, June 28, 2010

{Travel} Belle Isle Conservatory

A small part of Belle Isle Park where I did this couple's portrait session. I LOVE this park!! NYC's Central Park was designed by the same person. We spent a few minutes wondering around this old conservatory...
Sticky humid air reminded me of my first job at a greenhouse. We never had flowers this lovely though!

Or trees that caught the eye...

Don't you want to follow the pathway to see where it leads? :)

Maybe to a gently flowing waterfall..

Or a restful bench...

Or a gorgeous shining pool?

It was a pretty little place. And other people must've agreed with us... because we passed a beaming bride just moments away from walking down the aisle in a breezy outdoor ceremony by the conservatory. :) Nice!

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Thursday, June 24, 2010

{Personal} Picnicky Summer Food

One of my FAVORITE aspects of summer is the delectable food that we enjoy... Over the last month, I have attended at least four rockin' picnic parties. And there's many more to come. But I thought I would share the simple joys of summer... so delicious. Drool away, my friends!

Watermelon. LOVE this stuff. So does Jake. Oh yes, meet Jake. He's my current favorite dog-friend. My sister's family dog. But I wish he was mine. :)

Campfire food is "DA BOMB!"

Latest picnic I attended, there were 'mountain pies' you could make with English muffins. Even yummy-er than regular mountain pies. And if you have no idea what I'm talking about, go buy a mountain pie maker and build a fire in your backyard.
The Recipe: 2 slices of bread (or an English muffin) + whatever fillings you like.
Sometimes I make grilled cheese, or pizza.. or go for something sweet instead of savory? Canned pie fillings. A friend even stuffed their mountain pie with s'more fixins during one past bonfire. LOL. I cannot vouch for *that* end result!

Speaking of s'mores. I (heart) them. Gooey toasted marshmallows and melted chocolate and crunchy graham crackers... there's no "after" picture because I ate it. :)

Lots of people in this locale are obsessed with these chips. Like, categorically snobbish about what kind of potato chips they will eat. Personally? I despise potato chips. Always have. These don't even tempt me... but if you like potato chips, get these...

I love the sweet stuff. Like this attempt to convert Lemon Bars into Key Lime Bars. Hey, I might have colored them with decorative sugar crystals because I couldn't find the food coloring... it was late. I was sleepy!

Strawberries. The gems of summer.

Strawberry Trifle. Gorgeous & Delicious!

Funny story: My sister was preparing this dessert for a picnic and her 4-year-old daughter tells her, "Mommy, we should put some mint leaves on it for garnish!" Can you tell that she watches the Food Network with her mommy? :)

I am hungry-er now than when I started blogging. I'm sure I will be dreaming of picnicky food all. night. long. :)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

{Couples Portraits} Zach & Chelsea

It was my first time in Michigan. And my first time in Detroit. My family had a cousin's wedding to attend. Sooo I decided to take Saturday morning and do a quick couple's portrait session for Zach & Chelsea (my brother & sister-in-law). They were all dolled up and lookin' pretty (and handsome).

I did a little research and was super-excited to find out about Belle Isle Park... It's on an island (COOL) and was designed by the same architect that designed Central Park in NYC (VERY cool!). Unfortunately, Belle Isle Park is a sad example of the economic crisis in Detroit. The magnificent marble fountain had no water running in it. Various attractions like the country's oldest aquarium and a small zoo were closed. I frowned a bit upon seeing all that --- I like old places to look their best, and Belle Isle has so much potential! Maybe someday, it will be restored to its former glory and I will return. :) It's something to look forward to, anyway. :)

Onward to the photos... marble steps!

And then we went over to the very-very awesome old Belle Isle Casino. I imagine that the casino isn't a casino anymore, since it was empty (except for the janitor) when we poked our heads inside. I love these balconies!

Confession: When I showed that image to my mom, she cried. Awwwww.

One last formal shot.

Quick-change into casual clothes and we went to the old conservatory! I can't even say how much I loved Belle Isle. I could've kept shooting and shooting... :)

She kinda thinks he's funny. Hehehe. It's adorable!

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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

{Business} Wedding Sample Album + New Pricing!!

I hurried home today because I *knew* that something would be waiting on my front porch for me. I love mail. I adore mail. I miss my childhood days when I had a penpal. Email just isn't the same! (can I get a witness, anybody?)

Anyway, I knew there was gonna be a nice, flat cardboard box waiting on that porch. It would be sitting there smugly... the results of so-much-work and late-nights and representing the beginning of my transformation into a more diverse photographer.

Without further ado, meet my wedding sample album!!

The smooth, black cover.. The gold lettering.. Opened to reveal glossy white pages with images of the happiest days of loving brides&grooms.

*These photos are my own images, but I am indebted to the kindness of two wonderful wedding photographers, Susan Miller and Kristen Leigh. They both welcomed my new-photographer ways as I second-shot these weddings with them. I learned sooo much and am grateful for the opportunities to work alongside two talented people. :)

If you're interested in learning more about my wedding photography,
please email me!

On another note, there's more changes at Naomi Elle Photography! I've been thinking alot about making my pricing structure more simple. Because complicated things annoy me! :) Don't they annoy everyone?

The question I've heard most often in my short-business-life-span has been "can I get my images on a disc?" Nothing wrong with that question! As a client of myself (if that was possible), I would ask the same thing! The funny thing is- most photography studios make their money not on session fees, but on additional print orders. So if I just hand everyone a disc, how would my business survive?

Then again, clients want images. To *print* at their convenience. To *share* at their convience. To make life simpler. And less complicated.
I can totally understand that. So I changed the pricing!!

Now you pay one fee. And get a disc of your finished high-resolution images. No muss, no fuss. :):):) Check it out here!

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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Personal: My Seniors 2010

So I'm a leader at my church's youth group. I get to spend tons of time with teenagers. And frankly, that makes me pretty happy. I think that teenagers are the most fascinating creatures on the planet. Well, besides prairie dogs. Because prairie dogs bark (but that's a different subject entirely!).

Every year, some of my teenagers graduate from high school and make the big jump into adulthood. And from youth group to young adult group. It's a bittersweet time for me.

In 2010, all of my seniors are girls. And so we've spent TONS and TONS of time together!! Talking to them, preaching to them, having coffee & conversation, going to youth camp together, being silly, being serious... Girls' sleepovers and movie nights and Saturday AM breakfasts, hanging out, baking pies, getting messy, puddle-jumping, getting pranked, summer teatime, lots of hair straightening and nail-painting, so much giggling and generally living life for Jesus together.

I'm gonna miss their beautiful, smiling faces!

While I'm a little sad that I don't get to see them ALL the time, it's a super-exciting time... listening to them talk endlessly about the future, their hopes and dreams, their plans, their passions and their life pursuits.

Girls, I love you all and can't wait to see the amazing places that God takes you in life. Keep your eyes on Him!

"Strength and dignity are her clothing,
And she smiles at the future."
Proverbs 31:25