The Signature Atelier Part 2 – Paris, France

Last week you read about my first two days in Paris for The Signature Atelier and without further ado, today I’m chatting about Days 3 and 4.

DAY 3 – SUNRISE AT THE EIFFEL TOWER, WATERCOLOR, AND PURPOSE

We started our day early. Like, really early. If you want to photograph at the Eiffel Tower unencumbered, you have to get there early, otherwise you’ll be fighting with a line of photographers and tourists. We arose before the sun and we arrived before the sun, at 5:15am to be exact. It was still pitch black outside when we pulled up to Trocadéro. We were the first to arrive so we staked our claim front and center and we were forceful about maintaining it. The early bird gets the worm. I really can’t emphasize enough how important it is that we showed up before there was even the palest light in the sky. Paris is one of the most visited cities in all the world. Any person who has even grazed over a photo of the Eiffel Tower will want a photo in front of it when they visit Paris. You’ve got to fight to get the goods if you’ve got paying clients.

That being said our early morning shoot was ah-maze-ing. The dress that Katherine made for our model Arienne was a romantic dream. We each got 5 minutes to direct our couple through any posing that fit our style and brand with some side instruction from Abby. This was actually super helpful to me because I sometimes have a tendency to overthink posing. Abby talks nonstop when she is with a couple. Like NONSTOP!!! I even asked her, “Abby, do you always talk that much when you are with a couple?” She said, and I quote, “I don’t go more than five seconds without talking.” She really doesn’t. It was crazy to me, and yet watching her do it, it started to all make perfect sense. I used this technique the next day at our styled shoot and it was surprisingly easier than I thought. I’ve since done it at a proposal shoot and a wedding and it’s already changing my game.
Anniversary shoot at the Eiffel TowerAnniversary shoot at the Eiffel TowerPhotography workshop in Paris, FranceAnniversary shoot at the Eiffel TowerWedding photography workshop in Paris, FranceArtist painting at the Eiffel Tower

After our shoot wrapped everyone’s mind was on coffee and croissants so we headed to Le Wilson for some breakfast. This was my first attempt at more than two words of french. Up until this point I hadn’t really had to talk to anyone. The waiter was awesome and helped correct the pronunciation of words I was struggling with as I made an honest attempt to order my whole freakin meal in french. I actually did pretty good and it gave me the confidence to keep at it.
Breakfast at Le Wilson near the Eiffel TowerBreakfast at Le Wilson near the Eiffel TowerAfter our meal we had a free afternoon to roam. I buddied up with Alicia, Marie and Lina and we headed back across the street to Trocadéro to get a few more photos of the Eiffel Tower. Once we were satisfied with our captures, we grabbed an Uber to Montmartre to get a hilltop view of the city and pass by Sacré-Cœur Basilica. The view from the Parvis is incredible, with sightlines to Notre Dame, the Panthéon and Bastille Opera. We meandered our way down the hill stopping periodically for a photo. We really just wandered the streets with no purpose other than to be there and discover what Paris wanted to show us…and eventually eat an eclair chocolat.
Wedding photography workshop in Paris, Francelocks on a fence near the Eiffel TowerSacré-Cœur Basilica in MontmatreView from the Parvis of the Sacré-CœurView from the Parvis of the Sacré-CœurThe streets of Montmatre in ParisThe streets of Montmatre in ParisSacré-Cœur Basilica in MontmatreThe streets of Montmatre in ParisThe streets of Montmatre in ParisThe streets of Montmatre in ParisThe streets of Montmatre in Paris

Soon we were due back at the house for watercolor and rosé. You guys…I can’t paint. I can paint a wall, but that is the extant of my painting talents, so I won’t even embarrass myself and share what I produced. LMAO! What I will say, is that I loved the experience and I’m working on watercolor as a creative experiment in my nervous energy kind of free time. On a side note, I’m a fabulous rosé drinker, so that’s something.
Watercolor class at a wedding photography workshop in Paris

Our first business class of the day was Communication for Pros: Email Etiquette and the Gentle No. Abby is kind of a communication enthusiast. She really emphasized using email solely and thoroughly, which is what I’ve always wanted because, let’s be real, it’s hard to keep up with emails, texts, DM’s, Facebook messages and the litany of other access points where messages can be left. This class was like getting permission to say no to everything but email.  I even got schooled on having my phone number on my business card, which is now no longer on my business card and it’s already made a difference.

And speaking of the N-word…she also got real with us about saying “No.” Creatives, women in particular, tend to not like to say no. But the reality is that if we say yes too often and/or to the wrong things, we get overwhelmed, exhausted, and completely uncreative. We’re essentially saying no to our dreams when we say yes to everything else. So this was a little bit of a reality check, as I mentally listed everything I had said yes to in the previous months and years and how I felt about myself in the moments after. Get a spine girl! You got into business so you could stop doing what doesn’t work and start doing what fires you up! So say No when you need to! Michael Hyatt actually gave me the tools I needed to be able to do this in a way that works for me, and as I practice it, I have found it to be easier than I had previously thought it could be. If you want to get to a few links, just type Michael Hyatt on saying no into google and start reading. My favorite is this one which discusses the affirm, no, affirm approach which is what I use.

Next we moved into Cultivating Inspiration: “Purposeful” Instead of “Popular.” You guys, this was it. This was the class that first caught my eye when I was deciding about the workshop. I have, in many conversations with my husband, family, and other creatives, used these words…I want purposeful over popular, I want to know the reason why, the meaning behind, the deeper story. So Abby, if you are reading this, this was the thing that spoke to me! This was the hook. The promise of tons of bread and desserts and the Eiffel Tower reeled me in.

This class took what I had put together in our Designing a Vision Based Business class from Day 2 and just cemented it in. I could immediately see that my vision and purpose were married to each other. One couldn’t exist without the other. The aspects of my business that get me fired up and feeling super creative, joyful and fulfilled are the same things that make up that deep-seated conviction hardwired into who I am as a creative entrepreneur. It’s the story.

After a long day we settled in for a dinner of pasta with cheese tossed in olive oil and baguette. Katherine and Jen whipped us up a dessert of bread pudding made from pain au chocolat and croissant. I had never had bread pudding, but if it always tastes like that, I’m sold!
Dinner on the patio.

DAY 4 – DESTINATIONS, FILM AND SIGNATURE STYLES

After breakfast we began our day with class topic; Attracting Destination Clients the Smart Way. I’m going to be honest here, for the other photographers out there who need to hear they’re not alone and the struggle really is real. Two years ago I almost booked a wedding in Florida for $1500. The $1500 was for everything, including travel from Houston. You’ll notice I said ALMOST. I wanted the wedding so bad and they wanted me (they had been Instagram stalking me for two years), but they had no photography budget. I would have essentially been paying to shoot their wedding. Even if it was a situation where I would have broken even on the dollar amount, I’d have still been spending a ton of time that I wasn’t getting paid for. That was when I realized I couldn’t photograph for “free” or next to nothing anymore. I had to make money or I wouldn’t be a business, and if I wasn’t a business then I’d need to go get a job, because bills. So this class reaffirmed my current thought process on what needs to happen in order for me to travel for an event or shoot. It was also really great to hear Abby’s approach and compare it to my own. Sometimes it’s just really helpful to see how someone else does something, so you can reverse engineer a strategy that works for you.

Our next class was Film 101. I wrote about our film class a few weeks ago and shared some of my film scans. I was really excited about this class, but super nervous to shoot film. I’m so glad I did though, because it was such a rush. Definitely take a few minutes to read my blog post about it for more insight.

After our film class we prepped for the day’s styled shoot. The shoot was done in the garden at the house we were staying at for the workshop. It’s basically a dream location and everything turned out so magical. I’ll be sharing all the details in a future post.
Styled shoot at a wedding photography workshop in Paris.Styled shoot at a wedding photography workshop in Paris.Styled shoot at a wedding photography workshop in Paris.Styled shoot at a wedding photography workshop in Paris.Styled shoot at a wedding photography workshop in Paris.After our shoot, we had another round of head shots in the garden. I normally get pretty wigged out about getting “professional” photos of myself, so I made it a point to not over prepare or treat it as anything more than some fun vacation photos. Abby made me feel pretty awesome and I love all the photos she captured…and they’re on film, so bonus! After she shot my roll, I had a two hour lunch break, so I grabbed my camera and wondered around the little town of Le Chesnay. There were so many little treasures at every turn. The sweetest windows, vibrant flowers, secret gardens, quirky details and the scent of lavender everywhere. I lost track of time and ended up at a gas station buying a prepackage crepe for lunch. Yes, that’s right. I ate french gas station food for lunch. My husband almost fell over laughing when I told him, because how American am I?!?!?! But two minutes in the microwave back at the house and it was really good!
Head shots at a wedding photography workshop in Paris.Head shots at a wedding photography workshop in Paris.The streets of Le Chesnay in ParisThe streets of Le Chesnay in ParisLavender on the streets of Le Chesnay in ParisA window on the streets of Le Chesnay in ParisThe streets of Le Chesnay in ParisThe streets of Le Chesnay in ParisThe streets of Le Chesnay in Paris

While I was quite literally devouring my gas station food, everyone poured into the living room for our next class, Designing a Signature Style: Crafting a Style that Speaks for Itself. This is the one that gets away from me a little bit. Others have told me that when they see photos I’ve taken they immediately know they are mine. But despite hearing that, I’m still working on certain aspects of my style and some of them I’m still in the struggling phase. I’ll use greens as an example. Earlier this year I realized greens as they come out of camera are not my favorite. I felt they were holding me back. So I’ve been experimenting all year with green adjustments. It may seem like a little thing, but when you start getting into the nitty gritty of how you want your photos to look over the long term growth of your portfolio, every little piece matters. Because I tend toward a more vibrant and colorful output, I’ve also been experimenting with vibrancy and saturation adjustments. Once you start messing with one adjustment, you usually have to compensate somewhere else. Changing one aspect may require changing others to get the desired affect. It’s a process, but it’s necessary.

Editing style is just one facet of signature style though. How you can serve your client’s unique needs also plays into your signature. For instance, any photographer from Houston could photograph an engagement session at Disney World. But I’m the only one who worked there for two years, and has all the inside scoop on the best times to go and locations to shoot, therefore making me a unique resource clients would miss out on if they booked someone else. The question Abby posed to us was, “Are you creating work that inspires potential clients to talk about you in the way that you want?” This comes back to the “show what you want to shoot” mantra. It also challenges that you “shoot what you want to be known for.”

Pricing for Profit…the topic of dread and stress and glazed over eyes! Abby was an open book. She showed us down to the penny what it costs her to shoot a wedding. It was so great to see real life numbers from someone else’s business. In this one case, comparison is the not the theif of joy. It gave me a basic framework to check my own numbers against. That coupled with the actual strategy behind her services and pricing structure are helping me reformulate my offerings for 2018.

We concluded with dinner outside. I don’t remember if I mentioned that it is light out until about 10pm in the summer in Paris. So while we didn’t eat until around 8pm, there was still plenty of gorgeous summer light for us to enjoy our wine and food.
Wine and quiche outside on the patioDinner and dessert on the patioSpecial thank you to Abby for my head shots and that snaps of me at the Eiffel Tower and shooting film!

Eiffel Tower Vendors

Blush Gown / Katherine Bignon
Model / Arienne and Kevin
Jewelry / Bekah Anne Accessories

Garden Styled Shoot Vendors

Lace Gown / Katherine Bignon
Florals / Floresie
Stationary / Jenn Heller Design Co.
HMUA / Trine Juel
Jewelry / Bekah Anne Accessories
Ribbon / Ruffled Lane

Also check out:
Days 1 and 2 of The Signature Atelier

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[…] Days 3 and 4 of The Signature Atelier Shooting Film at The Signature Atelier […]

The Signature Atelier Part 1 – Paris, France

It’s been four months since I returned from my photography workshop in Paris. When I thought about all the things I wanted to share about the workshop and started to actually make notes for this blog post, I realized that one post really wouldn’t do it justice…so it’s going to be three! I’ve never done a three part post EVER so that should be a clue about how impactful this experience was. I learned so much, and going into 2018 I have some really big plans for Degrees North Images and a lot of changes to implement. As I work on my new, from scratch, business plan, I’m excited to see the transformation. For now I want to share the first two days of my time in Paris at The Signature Atelier. I hope that if any photographers considering attending round two of this workshop (it’s happening!) find these posts, it helps them to decide if it’s for them.

DAY 1 – Check In

I arrived into Paris Noord via train from Amsterdam around noon. Most of the attendants were arriving by plane, but lucky me had a little side trip and got to experience European train travel! My new friend Alicia, who I’d met a few months earlier, was arriving by train from Germany not long after me, so we made plans for me to pop over to Paris Est station to meet her. When we found each other in the crowded station we took one look at our bags and simultaneously declared, “stairs aren’t happening!” We got an Uber from the station to the house.

We arrived early to find two other attendees, PJ and Marie, already waiting, and since check-in wasn’t until 2pm we decided to walk down the road to grab a coffee. We talked about our travel getting into Paris and about how ready we were for this workshop. The buildup was finally over! At 2pm we headed back to house and were greeted with hugs from Abby and Katherine, who pointed us all in the direction of our rooms.

THIS HOUSE was so beautiful and exactly what you hope a classic French home would be. It was like it had been pulled out of a movie. It ended up that this house would be as much a part of our experience as the lessons, the shoots and the exploring. My room was on the 3rd floor and I would be sharing with Cassie, with the adjoining room being shared by PJ and Marie. We all arrived to our rooms to find lots of welcome goodies waiting for us, including a Katherine Bignon robe made just for us! It’s one of my favorite souvenirs from my trip. After we did a little unpacking, we headed out to the garden for drinks and conversation. The rest of the evening was spent getting to know everyone and eating the first of Katherine’s many amazing authentic french dishes. Katherine’s husband is a born and bred Frenchman, so she has had lots of experience cooking with his family.
AirBnB in Versailles Paris FranceKatherine Bignon robe and other goodiesAirBnB in Versailles Paris for photography workshopAbby Grace Photography workshop In Paris

DAY 2 – Lessons and the Latin Quarter

My first French breakfast did not disappoint! The French don’t really eat savory breakfasts, instead they like to start the day with something sweet. So for breakfast we had croissants with jam and pain au chocolat. You guys…pain au chocolat is like a buttery, flakey, soft pillow filled with smooth chocolate. It’s freakin DELICIUOS!
Pain au chocolat breakfast

After breakfast we jumped into lessons starting with Designing a Vision Based Business. I love that our first class was a dive into the deep end, and particularly this subject. Abby talked about vision being more than just our bottom line. She said ultimately vision is “a deep seated conviction hardwired into who we are as creative entrepreneurs.” It’s the thing that keeps us pushing through.

Vision gets talked about a lot in creative circles, but honestly, sometimes the subject really falls flat because there is an element of fluff that just completely misses the mark with me. Luckily, Abby and Katherine are unapologeticlly real when it comes to discussing vision. Honestly, the information and questions posed in this class helped acknowledge in a more tangible way, the direction I wanted to take my business in, and it set the tone for all my work for the rest of the week.

Next we talked about the 5 Facets of a High End Photography Business. This was a great self check. I learned an insane amount about the intricacies of workflow in the military and guest service while working for Disney. When I started photographing for an income, these experiences came in handy. This class showed me I’m doing really well in the service aspects of my business. I’m also doing well in the workflow areas, including my backup systems and scheduling and hitting deadlines for clients, but there is some room for improvement with other things like hitting deadlines for behind the scenes workflow like sharing blog posts within a certain amount of time. On the tough side, and I’ll hit on this again later, I started to see how my website is failing me hard. I’ve known all year I need an update, but wasn’t necessarily sure where to start and now looking at the five facets Abby was discussing all together, I could see the major fail. More on this later when I talk about my website review.

A little before noon we left for the metro and headed to the Latin Quarter for lunch, followed by a tour of some Paris highlights. With the towers of Notre Dame peeking over the tree tops we scattered to find lunch in one of the many stalls. I grabbed a gyro that was served in a rolled up paper plate. I don’t know if I was just so hungry or the combo of the ingredients, but it was insanely scrumptious. With everyone eating “fast food” we congregated across from a cafe just two doors down from the famous Shakespeare and Company bookshop.
Latin Quarter Paris France destination photographerlunch in the Latin Quarter ParisWorkshop attendees eating lunch in the Latin Quarter

With happy bellies we began our walking tour with a stroll past Notre Dame and Chanel…because Paris. But really though, we found ourselves wondering among shops, patisseries and cafes. Windows full of beautiful books, clothes and macarons where at every turn. The Paris from the movies is real and I was standing in it.
Travel photography from Paris, FranceTravel photography from Paris, FranceTravel photography from Paris, FranceTravel photography from Paris, FranceTravel photography from Paris, FranceTravel photography from Paris, FranceTravel photography from Paris, FranceTravel photography from Paris, France

We visited one of the sites of the National Archives. Once the Hôtel de Soubise, this building was declared a property of the state by a Napoleonic Decree in 1808. It is now part of the Museum of French History and the French National Archives. We initially stopped into this spot so Abby could begin getting head shots. We didn’t spend a lot of time on the grounds, but it was a cool spot to take in.
French National Archives travel photography from Paris, FranceFrench National Archives travel photography from Paris, France

Next we headed to Palais Royal for more head shots. The skies were moody and we ran into a little rain, but no one cared as we all pulled out our umbrellas. Paris in the rain…is it really a bad thing? Nope. It cleared up soon enough and while Abby rolled through each portrait set, we explored the area and photographed each other. I have to say this place was a favorite. Palais Royal and its gardens were created by Cardinal Richelieu in 1633, and was home to many royal families until the Palace of Versailles was finished being built in 1682. It has 260 black and white striped octagonal marble columns in its courtyard, a very controversial art installation when erected by artist Daniel Buren in the mid 1980’s. Les Deux Plateaux is now beloved and considered an icon of Paris. So yeah…I got some head shots here!
Palais Royal travel photography from Paris, FranceAbby Grace taking head shots at Palais RoyalPalais Royal travel photography from Paris, FranceLouvre travel photography from Paris, FranceHead shots at Palais Royal from Abby Grace PhotographyHead shots at Palais Royal from Abby Grace PhotographyPalais Royal travel photography from Paris, FrancePalais Royal travel photography from Paris, FrancePalais Royal travel photography from Paris, FrancePalais Royal travel photography from Paris, France

As if this wasn’t all enough, we next went over to the Louvre. One of my absolute favorite paintings in the world is under its roof and although I didn’t get to go inside, just to be in its vicinity was awesome. We walked past the large glass pyramids and explored the various courtyards, even stopping to take in some live street music…classical of course. I definitely made sure to get a photo of my #DNIcompass with the pyramids.
Travel photography from Paris, FranceLouvre travel photography from Paris, FranceLouvre travel photography from Paris, FranceLouvre travel photography from Paris, FranceLouvre travel photography from Paris, FranceLouvre travel photography from Paris, FranceLouvre travel photography from Paris, FranceDegrees North Images compass. Where do your pictures take you?Louvre travel photography from Paris, France

We left the Louvre and walked back along the Seine stopping at some of the street vendor stalls to look at their art, books and trinkets. I spotted a woman lying under a tree reading a book. Parisians are my people, if for no other reason than their love of books.

After a long day out in the city we headed back to the house where we all scattered to our rooms to upload our photos from the day. While we rested, Katherine and Jenn worked on whipping up our second delicious dinner. Katherine insisted no trip to Paris would be complete without dining on crepes, so she made us the most savory ham and cheese crepes which we polished off with some chilled Cidre Brut, a sparkling farmhouse cider.
Travel photography from Paris, FranceTravel photography from Paris, FranceTravel photography from Paris, FranceTravel photography from Paris, FranceTravel photography from Paris, FranceHam and cheese crepe dinner with chilled Cidre Brut

Read more at:

Days 3 and 4 of The Signature Atelier
Shooting Film at The Signature Atelier

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[…] Also check out: Days 1 and 2 of The Signature Atelier […]

A Re-Proposal at Disneyland Paris – Marne-la-Vallée, France

Have you ever heard of a re-proposal…or a re-posal? You’re going to love this!

I met Alicia back in March through a private Facebook group that was set up for a workshop we were both going to attend in Paris. She currently lives in Germany with her husband Teylor and son Greyson while Teylor is serving in the U.S. Air Force. When she realized I was in Houston and she would be on her way back home to visit family, we decided to meet up for lunch to get to know each other in person. We definitely became fast friends over yummies at Panera and even got together again a few days later to trade portrait sessions! A few months later we were in Paris for our workshop.

During the process of planning my trip to Paris, I decided to stay an extra day so I could go to Disneyland Paris. The Cast Member and Disnerd in me was pretty much like…there is no way I am flying across an ocean to a place that is only 30 minutes from a Disney Park and not go to said Disney Park. LOL! As it turned out, Alicia’s husband and son where joining her in Paris after the workshop so they could do the same! When we realized we’d be there the same day I posed the idea a quick mini engagement style photo session in the morning so they’d have a nice photo with the castle…in exchange for Alicia getting one good photo of me…cause you guys, it can be hard to get photos when you travel alone! She was totally on board so we planned it!

After a few weeks of talking about this little shoot, it began to morph into something more. Living in Germany for a few years now and the whirlwind way their marriage started, Alicia was really starting to think about having a wedding or vow celebration like the ones she’s been photographing. That’s when the idea of the re-proposal started taking route. Teylor was completely on board and Alicia obviously knew it was going to happen, but she didn’t know what he would say or that it would feel as magical as it did. It’s funny in the photos you can see people slow down and start to turn around and pull out their cameras and take pictures. When they hugged the crowd was cheering…it was pretty amazing.

Like often happens when the military is involved there were more pressing things than planning a dream wedding. Alicia told me, “Teylor was about to leave for basic training (five days after being wed!) so this, RE-posal, was so sentimental for us! This time when he got down on one knee he told me how much he adored being married to me, how much he loved me and Grey, and how great of a wife and mother I am. All of this in front of so many people at Disneyland Paris! It was so exciting to be re-posed to and getting claps and congratulations from fellow Disney lovers! This RE-posal is the start of us planning our dream wedding in the form of a vow renewal!”

I’m so glad I got to gift them this little moment in their marriage! As we speak, Alicia is slowly formulating plans for their dream re-wedding, likely in a lavender field somewhere in France, because who doesn’t dream about that!

Proposal in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland ParisProposal in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland ParisProposal in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland ParisProposal in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland ParisProposal in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland ParisEngagement session at Disneyland ParisEngagement session at Disneyland ParisEngagement session at Disneyland ParisEngagement session at Disneyland ParisEngagement session at Disneyland ParisEngagement session at Disneyland Paris

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Historic and Beachy Summer Elopement – Galveston, Texas

Tamara and Josh were ready to be married after some really long stretches apart…4 years to be exact! They had met when Josh was in Canada for a work project and were able to spend a few weeks together before he was sent somewhere new. Despite the challenge of trying to foster a relationship over a border, they decided to give it a go. While Tamara continued living in Canada, Josh was moved to Colorado, then North Dakota and finally on to Texas.

They weren’t convinced a big white wedding was what they wanted, with their families being scattered across two countries, and the thought of trying to overcome the obstacle of putting everyone in the same place without putting anyone out, it felt insurmountable. On top of all of that was a time crunch placed on them in relation to Tamara’s U.S. Visa. Since Tamara is a Canadian citizen and Josh is a U.S. citizen, once Tamara received her Visa, they had to be married within 90 days! Legal paperwork has a tendency to dampen romance, but that didn’t stop them from planning a wedding day on their terms.

On a warm Friday in June, Tamara got her hair done, donned a lovely white dress, and armed with a bouquet (a posy with hydrangea and anemones that I was pretty obsessed with), she and Josh headed down to the Galveston County Courthouse and got hitched in a private ceremony! It wasn’t necessarily the original plan, they had even discussed inviting a few people including Tamara’s sister who lives in Houston, but when push comes to shove, you really only need the two of you to have a wedding and that DOES NOT make it any less special than if there were 100. In the end they really only wanted three things: they wanted it to be meaningful, they wanted it to FEEL like a wedding day, and they wanted photos.

When I was first chatting with Tamara they already had their eye on a highly recommended JoP and they were definitely going to be “done up” for their day. When we started discussing their photography goals, she was so open to any ideas I had. She knew they definitely wanted photos at the Ashbel Smith Building at the UTMB campus since making repairs to the building is what brought Josh to Texas in the first place. As a civil engineer he was tasked with fixing damages left from Hurricane Ike back in 2008! Ironically, Tamara was in Houston visiting her sister when Hurricane Ike hit (before Josh was even in the picture) so their individual connection to that storm has come together in a unique way. To pay homage to that, we made sure to get a few photos that incorporated a Hurricane Ike waterline marker.

My favorite thing about elopements, is that nearly all the time is spent on couple portraits. On a classic wedding day I try to get 45 minutes and I’m lucky if I get that whole amount. But with an elopement I get allllllllll the time. When we were making all the photos at the Ashbel Smith building, they were sharing all the little intricacies of the building and we pretty much found spots in every corner to use. When we ventured out into the local neighborhood the light was perfect, glowy, summer light and my heart was just exploding. Before long we left the hospital district in favor of one of my absolute favorite spots on Galveston Island, Beachtown. Tamara had actually requested some time for photos here, and I was happy to oblige. The highlight was when we got to the water and the sun was setting, our normally hazy white summer sky was awash with color and clouds, giving us an awesome background!

And I definitely would be remiss if I didn’t include a snippet of advice directly from Tamara herself, about planning your marriage day. She says, “Do what’s right for you. Every person is different so don’t try to make your weeding like someone else’s, make it your own.”

Texas elopement on Galveston IslandTexas elopement on Galveston IslandTexas elopement on Galveston IslandTexas elopement on Galveston Island at Ashbel Smith BuildingTexas elopement on Galveston Island at Ashbel Smith BuildingTexas elopement on Galveston Island at Ashbel Smith BuildingTexas elopement on Galveston Island at Ashbel Smith BuildingTexas elopement on Galveston Island at Ashbel Smith BuildingTexas elopement on Galveston Island at Ashbel Smith BuildingTexas elopement on Galveston Island at Ashbel Smith BuildingTexas elopement on Galveston Island at Ashbel Smith BuildingTexas elopement on Galveston IslandTexas elopement on Galveston IslandTexas elopement on Galveston IslandTexas elopement on Galveston IslandTexas elopement on Galveston IslandTexas elopement on Galveston IslandTexas elopement on Galveston IslandTexas elopement in Beachtown on Galveston IslandTexas elopement in Beachtown on Galveston IslandTexas elopement in Beachtown on Galveston IslandTexas elopement in Beachtown on Galveston IslandTexas elopement in Beachtown on Galveston IslandTexas elopement in Beachtown on Galveston IslandTexas elopement in Beachtown on Galveston IslandTexas elopement in Beachtown on Galveston IslandTexas elopement in Beachtown on Galveston IslandTexas elopement in Beachtown on Galveston IslandTexas elopement in Beachtown on Galveston IslandTexas elopement in Beachtown on Galveston Island

EVENT VENDORS

Locations / Ashbel Smith Building, Beachtown

Dress Designer / Calvin Klein

Bridal Shoes / Nine West

Beach Shoes / Carlos by Carlos Santana

Jewelry / Stella and Dot

Hair / Southern Roots Salon

Nails / Jamberry Nails

Bridal Bouquet / H.E.B. Central Market

Officiant / Jim Schweitzer

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Cutie patooties! Love these, Dawn! Tamara, you are a ray of sunshine!