My “First” Foray Into Film – Versailles, France

I’m really excited to share this little tidbit from my time in Paris at The Signature Atelier workshop. I will definitely be doing a full recap of the workshop soon (it’s gonna be long one), but for now I’m going to share one of my favorite parts.

You guys! I shot film! And…It. Was. Amazing!

Abby has a real love for film and she told us she knew she absolutely wanted it to play at least a small part in the workshop. We had a short class on film basics where she covered some of the intricacies of choosing film that works with our photography style, scanning options so we can have our film photos digitally, and some different camera options.

We were each given two rolls of film and the option to shoot a roll at our styled shoot that day. There were two medium format cameras available for us to choose from and we had five minutes each to shoot a roll of 16 frames.

I almost didn’t do it. And it’s so stupid because for the first half of my life, digital cameras didn’t exist, at least in the affordable consumer sense that we have now, and so every photo I took growing up was on film! 35mm, 110 and advantix…so much film. Plus, I had used, rather extensively, a $30,000 medium format digital Mamiya in college, so I was familiar with that type of camera. But despite all this, I was so intimidated and kinda freaking out.

But about three minutes before it was my turn I had an epiphany. I was having a silent, internal meltdown (#insecurities) because way deep down inside I’ve always felt like because I don’t shoot film, I’m not a “real photographer” and if I was to shoot this roll and “mess up” or, in other words, fail, then it would be true. And then I heard my more reasonable self say…who gives a $#!t! If you mess it up, just do it again. No one tells a painter who uses acrylics that they aren’t a real painter because they don’t use oils or watercolors. You’re here to learn…so woman up!

So I freakin did it! And I got a few frames I love! Yeah sure I noticed a bunch of issues. For instance, on some of the photos my focus is soft and it’s not on purpose. LOL. But when you’re nervous as all get out, it takes more than five minutes to get used to a different camera. The moral of the story is, do what scares you. The outcome is probably going to be way better than you anticipated. We really do invent things out of nowhere that keep us from reaching our full potential. So my focus was soft. So what. I also wasn’t born knowing the rule of thirds.

Fast forward to today, and I’ve pulled out my old 35mm Canon for some future projects and luck of all luck, all the lenses I use on my digital Canons fit my film Canon. SCORE! I don’t know if I’ll be shooting film at sessions anytime soon, but I’ll certainly be practicing and experimenting for possible incorporation in the future.

I also just want to say a special thanks to Abby for helping me to see it’s really not as overwhelming as it seemed and for opening a new door for us creatively. I think pretty much every workshop attendee is now film obsessed. Also, special thank you to the FIND Lab for supplying us film and scanning!

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Film / Fuji400H
Scans / The FIND Lab
Models / Christie and Trevor, the cutest, sweetest, most patient couple!
Wedding Gown / Katherine Bignon
Florals / Floresie
Ribbon / Ruffled Lane
Jewelry / Bekah Anne
Makeup / Trine Juel

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Dawn this post gave me such a lift. You have no idea how encouraging it was to read- I didn’t know you’d been struggling over whether or not to shoot your roll, and I’m SO much prouder of you now that I do know! You did a fantastic job. And I still get frames back that are soft from time to time- I think part of shooting film is getting used to that. We’re so accustomed to digital’s sharpness that it took me shooting film to realize that digital is, at times, unrealistically sharp. And I like the permission of film to relax a bit in the “omgeverythingneedstobeinfocus” department that I typically reside in :)

Sabine Street Bridge Proposal for Flytographer – Houston, Texas

At our video chat planning session with Flytographer, he was nervous, but excited. Sean knew two things: he wanted the Houston skyline in the background, and it would be important to Dylan to have photos of the moment.

We picked the perfect spot along Buffalo Bayou and set the date and time. When the day rolled around our perfect location wasn’t available! Of course there was no indication of this when we initially researched the spot, no mention of it being inaccessible on our chosen date. I had finally encountered the situation that makes me grateful I show up 90 minutes prior to a proposal!

As soon as I realized we had to make a change I texted him the news and let him know and I was already scouting another spot. When I confirmed my backup location was good to go I sent another text with a photo to see what he thought. He was stoked! Honestly I’m sure he was just relieved.

I was standing across the street pretending to photograph the bayou when they arrived at the Sabine Street Bridge. Sean stopped Dylan near the middle of the bridge to look out over Buffalo Bayou and take a selfie with his unknowing soon-to-be fiance. That was my queue that he was about to make his move. In an instant Sean was down on his knee and a huge smile came over Dylan’s face. She was definitely surprised and probably running through her head all the weird little things Sean had been doing the last few weeks.

After a few minutes of hugs and excitement, we went for a walk and chatted about Sean’s proposal planning. Dylan wanted to know all the details! She swore she had no clue when then arrived at the bridge that a proposal was about to happen. Even with our last minute texting spree we still pulled it off!

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At Home Engagement Announcement – West Dundee, Illinois

A few weeks ago my cousin Kelly and her beau Bobby got engaged! They are going into a new life chapter with Kelly switching jobs and a new house on the horizon. In fact, it was the new house where Bobby proposed, among exposed studs and concrete floors waiting to be filled with drywall, carpeting and tons of new memories. So when I was in Chicago on a short layover we took the opportunity to get an engagement announcement photo with their sweet and very excited pup Ivory, who will most definitely be part of their wedding!
At home engagement announcement with puppy

Normally I would have seen these two in San Antonio on their annual Labor Day trip, but since they are saving for a house and now a wedding, they decided to forgo this year’s trip. I’m elated though, because they just let me know they are having a destination wedding at Mackinac Island! This place is on wedding photography bucket list! If I’m being honest, there are like five subcategory wedding photography bucketlist items having to do with this island, but I digress.

If you’ve never heard of this magical little island in northern Michigan, you need to get thee to their website, Wikipedia page, Instagram feed stat. It’s awesome. It’s like stepping back in time. It’s filled with gorgeous Victorian houses, the cutest bed and breakfasts and quaint inns. Accessible only by boat (or in winter when Lake Huron freezes over, snowmobile), there are no cars allowed on the island so everyone travels by foot, bicycle or horse. Even the UPS man delivers packages via horse and cart!

I knew that Kelly had her heart set on a Mackinac wedding so I was so happy to hear they were able to get the date they wanted only a year out. If you’re curious about their wedding venue, just click over to the Mission Point Resort website and prepare to drool and swoon!

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Sundae Funday and Smoke Bomb Gender Reveal – Galveston, Texas

A lot can happen in a year. Last summer I photographed their surprise proposal, then in January I photographed their destination wedding, and now I’m sharing their gender reveal!

Chesni’s friend Tiffany gathered a small group of family and friends at Tin Cups Caddyshack in Galveston for a Sundae Funday themed gender reveal. Everyone was asked to wear either pink or blue based on what they thought the gender would be. Party goers loaded up on ice cream and sherbet at the build your own sundae bar. It was complete with every topping you could imagine including chocolate sauce, nuts, fruit, tons of different candies and mini oreos! Once the sugar highs set in, we were all ready for the big surprise!

At sunset we gathered everyone outside on the deck to get ready for the reveal which was unveiled via smoke bombs. We blindfolded Chesni and Travis while the smoke bombs were lit. They were palpably excited and nervous and I can only imagine all the emotions they were feeling. Once the smoke started spreading, everyone started cheering as they pulled off their blindfolds. As you can see, Chesni could barely contain herself! She was jumping up and down so fast…my favorite photo looks a little shaky (you’ll see it below) but you can see the pure, unadulterated joy in her face as her hair flies up on the air! Love it so much!

This was only my second gender reveal shoot, but I think I might be getting a little obsessed. Really I just love any reason to celebrate!

Sundae funday gender revealSundae funday gender revealSundae funday gender revealSundae funday gender revealSmoke bomb gender revealSmoke bomb gender revealSmoke bomb gender revealSmoke bomb gender reveal at nightAre you looking for more? Check out this gender reveal from Disney’s Boardwalk Inn at Walt Disney World!

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