Sunday, March 30, 2008

Ten things I would love for my birthday, part cinco

I switched to Spanish just for today.

I would love this photograph by Asger Carlsen, but I would have to sell one of my cars to afford it! Isn't it brilliant?

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Because I know you've been waiting...

one quick pic from our first $99 Portrait Party!

This is Rocky. Doesn't that face just make you smile?

Carissa and Sergio's album

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Bought a new old tub

We're planning for two bathroom remodels. I get Joe to do things by gradually accumulating all the stuff for the project, until he gets sick of storing it.

I finally found the right vintage clawfoot tub yesterday, and picked it up for $120. It looks like this now:

But I hope it will make our bathroom look like this, soon:

Ten things I would love for my birthday, part quatre

Thank you to my friend April for the French lesson!

I would really love a subscription to my favorite decorating mag, Livingetc. It's British, so it's upsettingly expensive ($149).

Monday, March 24, 2008

What are you digging about this blog?

You're reading it, so I assume you're digging something. Or maybe you're just very odd...

What are you digging about this blog?
The pretty pictures
The snarky observations
Bridget's fixation on food
All the cute pets
Home decor stuff
I'm new here and am not really sure I'm digging it yet
Free polls from

Ten things I would love for my birthday, III

Now I'm numbering in Roman.

#3: I need a new suitcase. See previous post. I think I could find this one on the baggage carousel.

Travel confession:

I drove over my fully-packed suitcase on my way out of the driveway the other day. Joe meant to put it in the car and forgot.

I've spent time in four different states in the last seven days and I'm a tiny bit burned out.

This is not my suitcase. Mine looks much worse.

Ten things I would love for my birthday, part deux

Someone better help me learn my numbers in French, because all I know is "deux" and I'm not even sure I spelled that right...

#2: A bunny

Look at this cutie. I think we need an office bunny to greet our clients. Of course this one's at a shelter - did you know your local animal shelter may have rabbits, hamsters, birds, and even fish?

Ten things I would love for my birthday

Inspired by a friend, I thought I'd give Joe (hi, honey!) some ideas for my 29th birthday this spring. I'm tough to buy for, as I already have most of the things a girl could want. Except for...

#1: A year's supply of Bath Bombs from Lush ($4-6 ea)

Don't bother with any of the others, it's the Butterballs you want. They're the easiest way to keep your skin happy in the winter, and they smell fantastic. I discovered these on our honeymoon in Ireland and had them shipped from Canada until we got a store in Detroit. If I've ever gifted you with one of these, they came from my secret stash, so you know I really really like you.

Wait 'til you see...

The results of our first $99 Portrait Party. I have not had so much fun since the time... well, let's just say it was a lot of fun.

Joe left the card reader at the office so I can't post pics until tomorrow. Stay tuned!

Working dogs

Here are two of my (rescue) chihuahuas in my desk drawer. They think they're helping me work.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Calling all bakers

In my early twenties, I learned to bake. I can share my secrets with you:

1. only use good recipes

2. only use good ingredients

2. don't screw them up

That's all it takes. I love fancy tools, like this copper bowl for a Kitchenaid mixer. Totally not necessary, but gorgeous. I saw it on the kitchn, a great cooking/food blog.

What are your must-have tools? I love my Kitchenaid mixer best, and then my collection of cupcake/muffin pans.

Here's that Westin pet bed

I love Starwood hotels

I fell in love with Starwood hotels (including W, the Westin, Sheraton, etc.) a few years back. It's the Heavenly Bed and Bath stuff, mostly, and the fact that they're so pet-friendly (they even offer posh beds for your babies). Oh, and they're all smoke-free, which has become an absolute necessity with my allergies.

Because I always travel on a budget, I'm all about the Starwood Preferred Guest program and collecting points toward free stays.

One of the best things about Vegas was the hotel, which is not Vegassy at all, which is probably why I liked it.

Wait! Don't go!

My blog numbers are way down this week, and I'm sure it's due to one of two reasons:

1. I've not been blogging because I couldn't get the internet to work in Vegas, or

2. Most of my readers are other wedding photographers who were all in Vegas, having trouble with the internet.

I'm hoping it's mostly #1. Fear not, dear readers! AirTran brought me back safely, and I have a lot of things to show you.

I just have to go get some breakfast first.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Lamp stickers

I like these decal things so much - someday all my "furniture" will be stuck to the wall. Much less to dust, and I would probably stop clonking my knee on everything...

Buy these flat lamps here.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Have I mentioned our $99 special?

Our first big portrait party will be held Saturday, March 22. Featuring our awesome "blank slate" backdrop and DMP's signature, laid-back approach.

$99 gets you:

• a 20-30 minute session at our studio
• online proofing
• a $50 gift card to use toward prints

Bring anyone or anything, just sign up now. Click here to register for your session.

Here are a few of our recent sessions:

A Boy and His Dog
Unique Family Portraits
Just the Pooches
Maternity Portraits

Lightbulb chandeliers

This is mostly for my friend, Will, who loves light bulbs ('cause that's how he rolls).

What a great, green idea, though. Make your old, burned-out bulbs into artsy, new fixtures!

Buy the kit here. Via apartment therapy.

Top Chef

I really like Top Chef, and the new season began with a bang. I love that they're in Chicago, too. Maybe if they have another live finale, I can go see it!

I don't know who I like best yet, but I think the right person got booted in the premiere.

Oh, and Stephanie, who won this ep, went to University of Michigan, like me!

Here's a really cool recipe from Season 3's Marcel (who bugged the heck out of me, but the guy can cook).

What happens in Vegas...

...every year is the very, very big WPPI (Wedding and Portrait Photographers International) conference. The trade show makes even the biggest Toledo bridal show look teeny tiny.

We make it a point every few years to go check out the newest products and services for wedding photographers, so we can always offer the best products and services to our clients. It's also fun to hang out by the pool in March.

So if anyone wants to have lunch in Vegas, I've got some time on 3/18 and 3/19. Joe will be holding down the fort in Toledo. I'll be blogging from Sin City, so stay tuned!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Finally! Book your $99 session!

Quick, before you forget! Book your $99 portrait session on Saturday, March 22.

Click here to hold your spot, and choose between Group 1 (11 a.m. - 3 p.m.) and Group 2 (3 - 7 p.m.). We'll email you back with a more specific time. There's also a link on our new website. We're only doing fifteen sessions this time around, and this price is too good to last.

$99 includes:

• a 20-30 minute photo session with our "blank slate" white backdrop. Bring your spouse, your mom, your kids, your dog, and whatever props you like - if it's legal, bring it.

• online proofing

• a $50 gift card toward prints

If you think you have too many ideas for 30 minutes, go ahead and book more than one session! Payments are non-refundable, but if you can't make it on 3/22, just get in touch to reschedule.

Really yummy dog food

Okay, I haven't actually tasted it, but my dogs tell me Merrick canned food is the bomb. Moms like it because it's made in America without any mystery meat (animal by-products, anyone?) or fillers (corn, wheat, and soy have no place in dog food).

There are several flavors - Thanksgiving Day Dinner is my senior's current fave.

For more info on what makes a good dog food, and to learn more about whatever you're currently feeding (you might be surprised), check out the reviews at Dog Food Analysis.

I love wacky appliances

I fancy myself somewhat of a kitchen designer, and I get a kick out of these ranges.

I can't say that I'd actually install one in my own kitchen, but they're good internet eye candy.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Cheap things to do, 3 of 10

Back to my series of cheap dates in NW Ohio and SE Michigan!

Groceries and dinner at Whole Foods in Ann Arbor.

Tonight, with the goal of filling our new chest freezer, we stopped by Whole Foods. I grabbed some of their all-butter puff pastry and ogled the prime, dry-aged steaks (it would be a shame to freeze those). If you haven't been to a Whole Foods, it's definitely an experience.

Then we got dinner: two slices of brick oven pizza - BLT for me, gorgonzola and wild mushroom for Joe (2 for $5), salads ($1.50 each), and grapefruit and pear IZZE sodas ($1 each). Oh yeah, and mini chocolate fruit tarts for dessert (2 for $3). Total for both of us, not including groceries: $13.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Sexy spicy broccoli

Yes, broccoli can be sexy. I'm SO making this tomorrow.

Here's the article, and here's the recipe.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Something different

There are a lot of photographers out there, so many that it can be overwhelming. What you'll notice about DMP is that we're consistently good and, well, different. For 10 years now, we've been specializing in photojournalistic wedding photography, starting back when nobody else was doing it. That means we're way ahead of the pack.

Now that everyone at every price point is claiming to be a photojournalist, you just need to look past the marketing and see the differences. Some are huge, some are subtle.

With every Decisive Moment package, we include an engagement session. We do these downtown, in and around our historic building where we work every day, not just a place where we come for a suburbanite field trip. We work with each couple and take the time to let people be their real selves, instead of putting them in the same poses as everyone else.

We look at our surroundings with fresh eyes and do something different every day. We are often imitated, but we don't let it get us down. A photographer who copies someone else's ideas never really owns anything. One who comes up with original ideas, though, never runs out of new ones.

In 1998, we started using the tagline A Different Kind of Wedding Photography, and that holds true today.

Here are a few of Sarah and Jason's engagement photos, shot by Joe. My favorites are in the elevator.

Click to enlarge.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Big boys don't pull their pants down in public

I'm not even a mom, and I loooove this commercial.

Click here to see - choose "the park".

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Speaking of renovations

Has everyone already seen photos of our house?

I can't find the photos of our kitchen before we gutted it, but here are the "during" and "after" pics.

Here's proof you don't have to know what you're doing to demolish your kitchen and rebuild it. You just need some power tools and a whole lotta crazy.

We refinished and painted the floor, added french doors, then rebuilt the walls and ceiling (with some help from my very clever brother). We installed cabinets, breakfast bar, counters, and appliances ourselves (okay, Dad helped with the dishwasher).

We did all the tile work, paint, and lighting (thank you, Will, for rewiring half the house). We only got professional help with the window, which added a lot of natural light, and some of the plumbing (which my brother-in-law started, but we could not finish).

I should also thank Stephanie and Bill, whose last-minute wedding booking put us over our goal for 2006, and allowed me to buy my wonderful Jenn-Air range with the warming drawer. And Greg, Michelle's talented husband, who custom made the fantastic stainless counters to my ever-changing specifications.

One last shout-out to my mother, who stitched the couture curtains with the orange rickrack.





Working with your spouse

Joe and I have been married more than 5 years now, and I must say it's going really well. We've built a successful business together, and renovated a home, and we're still in love.

We have learned, however, that we're happiest working in separate spaces. Today, we picked out a new office for me, just upstairs from our studio. I'm really looking forward to rehabbing my little rooms (the theme will be safari chic) this week, and moving my stuff in. Watch for before and after pics! It should be our quickest reno ever.

Pictured above is our wonderful wedding cake from Zingerman's.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Nancy & Karl

Nancy and Karl are the funnest couple, and their whole wedding was just joyful. Click here to see their Columbus wedding.


I'm getting older (my birthday's coming up! woot!), but I'll never forget grade school, when I first encountered copycatting. To this day, I see this kind of thing going on in the world of wedding photography.

If you're having trouble with this kind of behavior, I have a book for you.

It's the first day of school, and Ruby is new. When her classmate Angela wears a red bow in her hair, Ruby comes back from lunch wearing a red bow, too. When Angela wears a flowered dress, suddenly Ruby's wearing one, too. Fortunately, Ruby's teacher knows a better way to help Ruby fit in--by showing how much fun it is to be herself!

It really is more fun to be yourself. Stay tuned - tomorrow we'll cover lunchroom manners.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Love this bag

I'm not into designer bags, but I do love a practical one. I like black, silver accents rather than gold, and a comfy cross-body strap. Not too big, but not too small. This one is perfect, and my 29th birthday is coming up!

Fossil brand, from Zappos.

Bad hair day?

Don't worry! We now have a hat!

Isn't it fun? You'll see it modeled all around town by Joe.