House to home: Our Colorado home makeover

A looooooong time ago I posted about the beginning of our home remodel. At that time our intention was to completely redo our Colorado house to make it more “us” and to camp out there for a good handful of years. Not too long into the process we began tossing around the idea of selling within a year or so after we remodeled and, accordingly, didn’t do much to make the home our own, because we knew we would be selling. For example, I painted a white world outline on my office wall (difficult to seen the images below), but didn’t finish the rest of my office which was going to have a travel theme. Our bedroom was also going to have a lot of nautical touches 0 a rope chandelier, wooden oars over the bed, etc, but we began changing our plan to make things more functional and driven towards staging it to sell, which meant keeping decoration to a bare minimum. A couple months ago we finally finished the remodel and both Adam and I are so proud with how it came out. We did it 100% by ourselves. Every floor board, every wall, every cabinet door, every square inch of trim. Last week we listed our house on the market, crossing our fingers that it sells quickly. In the meantime, though, my intention was to blog the progress as we went but since we knew we wouldn’t really be making it “our own”, I decided against that idea. However, I am excited to show you the finished results. Here are a few before and afters…

Living room:

Kitchen:


Family Room:

Adam’s Office:

Alicia’s Office:

Bathroom:

Master Bedroom: (after only)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Megan - July 21, 2014 - 1:54 pm

the%20sponge%20painting%20in%20the%20before…ugh…looks%20beautiful%20now!!

Megan - July 21, 2014 - 1:54 pm

the sponge painting in the before…ugh…looks beautiful now!!

gram - July 21, 2014 - 11:09 am

it’s so pretty, great job! praying that it sells quickly, Our Lord is a great realtor even when the house is not this pretty, I found that out lol

Sarah + Jeff’s Wedding at The Gershon Fox Ballroom

Last weekend Jeff and Sarah tied the knot at the Gershon Fox Ballroom in Hartford with the support of friends an family who traveled form around the world to be there on their special day. It was a day filled with a few happy tears, a lot of smiles, and so much laughter. Their day was everything they could have dreamed of and one that signified the start of a life together, one that is bound to be an incredible adventure and one where their love will always keep them centered.

 

 

Venue -The Gershon Fox Ballroom

Makeup – Catie and Amy

Hairstylist – Kelly Bard

Dress Boutique – Vows Bridal Outlet

Florist – Terri Voget at A Victorian Garden

DJ – Craig Harrington at White Label Wedding DJs

Cake Designer – Chimirri’s Pastry Shop

 

Meet Leanne + Hiro

Earlier this week I got together with Leanne and Hiro at their apartment on the campus of Yale University. They hail from Michigan and California, but met at 116 Crown when they were both in New Haven for work. Together with their two dogs, they have formed the start of an adorable little family and one that is full of lots of love and smiles. Their wedding will be held next year and they are having a handful of receptions and parties in different states which, if you ask me, is a fantastic idea because that just means you get to celebrate your love many more times over!

 

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Maria + Anthony’s wedding at Aria, Prospect CT

Anthony + Maria, a love story that goes much farther than just a man and a woman. Their wedding was a testament to the love that their families hold for them, a legacy that extends for generations back, and the ties and arms that turn friends into family with a smile and an openness that seems to be so prevalent in Italian families. This wedding was a very classy celebration of love on many levels, but at the center were Anthony and his dream girl, Maria. A promise to love and serve forever. And a promise for children. Because the Italian legacy of family has been passed onto them, and it’s a mantle they intend to hold up with honor.

The wedding party was stunning in rich black, a touch of glitz and sparkle, and clean and fresh white. A quick glance would make you feel surrounded by royalty, but a deep breathe would take your further into the air of warmth and elegance. A place of both comfort and style, and of course, so much love.

Makeup: Simply Gorgeous by Erin

Hair: European touch salon

Dresses: Maggie Sottero from Bridal Trousseau

Florist: Flowers by Danielle 

DJ: Jimmy Dee Music Productions 

Invitation suites: Praez Custom Invitations

Video: Abella studios

Venue/caterer: Aria

Cake: Luigi’s Bakery 

Event Designer + coordinator: Carissa at The Party Designers

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The light inside the grand entrance at Aria made for the perfect backdrop for wedding portraits

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I absolutely LOVE how Maria had all of her bridesmaids in white!

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The grounds of Aria were absolutely pristine, which made for perfect pictures!

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Just as we were wrapping up Maria and Anthony’s wedding pictures, the moon rise behind us in a bright fiery pink hue that was beautiful!

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Roza Sampolinska - July 15, 2014 - 2:20 pm

Wonderful!

Tea for Two: Posing a Bride

Quite possibly one of the most important images to take on a wedding day is the iconic portrait of a bride. While the candids moment are important and tell the story of a wedding day, it’s the portrait of the bride that will sit on the mantle for years to come. It’s that exact portrait that future granddaughters will marvel at, and it’s the one he will always look at to remember the stunning and delicate beauty his young bride was. Here are my tips for getting that iconic portrait:

 

1. It’s all about her

Before taking her portraits (and ideally, before she even get dressed), tidy up the area. There’s nothing more distracting in the background of an image than an empty water bottle, or the spanx packaging. As soon as I walk into the hotel room or home that the bride will be getting ready, and having her portraits in, I am immediately looking for the place with a combination of the cleanest background and best light. A clean background will make the focus of the portrait about the bride. Sometimes hotel rooms have pictures hanging that are unmovable, in which case I have a couple fabric backdrops that I keep in my car and attach to the wall with command hooks. A cheap, quick, easy solution to a distracting background.

2. Make it natural  

When posing a bride it’s important to keep the “posing” to a minimum if you are looking for a classic, iconic, and timeless portrait. Position her in “poses” that look and feel natural. This is also a fantastic time to work on flow posing, as the bride is often reluctant to move around a lot in the pristine dress she just put on. I generally have my brides in three positions, and with each position, I vary the poses. I always have them start by facing me straight on, arms slightly off their body (makes them look thinner, a common insecurity for women), or with their elbows tucked behind their waist. I do a few shots with and without her bouquet of flowers, full length and close up. From there, I ask my brides to bring one of their shoulders forward and stand at a slight angle either towards or away from the window, depending on the light quality in the room. Again, I take shots with and without their bouquet, as well as placing their hands in various places. Lastly, if the floor isn’t hideous (Hello, hotel room rug) and there is an attractive chair nearby, I ask the bride to sit down for a few classic seated portraits. Above all, all the poses and positions I put my brides into are natural and effortless.

3. Watch your light

When taking a portrait of a bride, it is so important to pay close attention t how your light is. Do you want your image to be dramatic and contrasted, or soft and delicate? Depending on the personality of my bride and the style of her wedding, I vary how I shoot her portraits. Generally speaking, though, when she is facing me directly, the light is coming in straight from her side, which creates a dramatic highlight-to-shadow ratio, really emphasizing those differences not only in her face but also in her dress and bouquet. I love how these portraits come out, but then I often have her turn slightly toward the window and instead of being 90 degrees from the window, I now place myself in the corner or directly in front of the window, so that the light on her face is mostly flat. This often blows out the dress a tad, but it makes her face glow and everything looks softer. Natural window light is always my main source (except when there isn’t one present, in which case I use an umbrella where a window would be) with the occasional pillow used to bounce a little light back. I also always make sure to turn off all lights in the room before she gets read and we do her portraits. A small lamp in the corner can easily put an unflattering yellow cast onto her dress and skin.

4. It’s all about shape

Most women desire to have the classic hourglass shape, so posing them in a way that either flatters their curves or gives the impression of them is important when photographing a bride. Generally speaking, women like their chin, arms, and waist to look small and well defined. Achieving this look can be done in a few different ways but my go-to methods are to have them push their chin toward you and down a bit, have their arms slightly off their body, and putting their hands on their waist. When her limbs, especially arms, are resting along her body, they often appear larger. In all the years I’ve spent photographing women, and in the countless women I photograph for glamour sessions, the number one complaint I hear is that they don’t want their arms looking big. Adopted from Sue Bryce, I use the chin-shoulder-hands-hourglass-connection method and mentally go through that checklist before I take each image. Make sure their chin is forward and down to reduce any potential for double chin, make sure their shoulders are relaxed, check the position and shape (should be relaxed) of their hands, make sure you can clearly see a defined waist, and then make sure that, above all, their gaze and overlook is connecting with the camera.

5. An eye for detail

There is nothing more frustrating than bringing an image into Lightroom or Photoshop, only to realize that the bride had a crazy hair flying around, basil between her teeth, or a hair tie on her wrist. And she’s getting ready, keep an eye out for these small details, and after you get her into her first portrait pose, do a quick scan. If you have a second shooter there, ask them to watch for the details as you are getting into your creative mode and flow, which can sometimes lead to missing those details. Hair ties are my nemesis.