Moody Ocean Prints

I’m currently in what seems to be a very slow process of  re-doing the gallery wall in our bedroom.  I just could not stomach the mis-matched (and scratched up) frames that were originally hung, and the art didn’t seem to jive all-together. I want all the frames to be a single color so it doesn’t seem so scattered, and I plan on replacing some of the art that is currently up there.

While I re-work the frames, and the layout on the wall, I’m on the hunt for some cool prints.  In our bedroom, we have various shades of blue, grey, and teal, and I want to bring these colors into the art in the gallery wall, keeping with a moodier, cool color palette.  Nothing too happy, bright, or playful.

I toyed with the idea of all black and white prints or photographs, but I think that might be a bit too boring unless I did the frames all gold – an idea which Kris wasn’t loving. I think he could love it after it was done, but I think I abused the gold a bit in our last apartment, so I’m going to initially try a more understated route with the frames.  I think I’m going to do all grey frames and if it’s too boring down the line, perhaps gold… or even navy might be fun.

Inspiration started with this first print, and kind of snowballed from there……..

So my question for all of you… is all the moody ocean photography too much together?  There are a few prints we have hanging right now that I do love by Claire Elsaesser that these would coordinate with, but I’m worried that more than one will be overkill?  Should I stick with one?  Do you have a favorite?


I’m a "Photographer" now that I know the word "Aperture"

You may have noticed that the quality of the photos I’ve been posting have been pretty lack luster… it’s because I’ve been using my iPhone for everything since our vacation (not to hate on the iPhone camera… it’s actually not bad).  On our trip to Cabo, Kris dropped our DSLR camera at the airport, and while the actual camera is fine (thank god) we found the lens in a million little pieces when we took the lens cap off.  Sad!!

Since then, I’ve been on the hunt for a new one, but as many people with these kinds of cameras know, the lens is the most expensive part!  A good lens will run well into the thousands of dollars, but for what I’m looking for, that won’t be necessary.

Basically, I want a lens that takes great shots up close.  So I can document my projects, our life, and take wonderful photos of family and friends.  I was so sad not to be able to bring the camera to my mom’s birthday!

I’m determined to find a good replacement that is a moderate upgrade from our original lens, so I’ve been reading a lot of reviews online.  If anyone else has ever tried to research technical gadgets online (phones, TVs, cameras, lenses) you know how confusing it can be.  There are a lot of resources – some better than others – but even the best end up throwing around super technical terms that are intimidating and unhelpful for us non-savvy photo takers, but one of my favorite bloggers Emily Clark, featured a guest post on lenses recently, and it was SO helpful!

For me, being able to read simple advice from a trusted source (a professional photographer, on a blog I read daily) means more than any CNET editor’s review, so obviously I paid attention!

The recommendation was to go with the Cannon EF 50mm f1.8 ii lens.  Gibberish people!  I have no clue what this lens is!! Luckily, Google has all the answers a girl could ever want, so from there I was able to solidify my decision.  I checked out the Google Images for this lens, and of course came across a ton of pictures that people had taken with it!  Boom.

Great pictures right?!  I realize now how creepy it is to have posted pictures of two random guys – one taking a smoke outside, and the other picking his nose (what are people using this lens for?!), but I think these portraits capture the “aperture” (wow, look at me using my new-found photographer lingo)… for those not in the know, aperture just means how blurry the background becomes when focusing in on a subject… apparently, this lens has a “low aperture” (aka extra fuzzy background).

What else do I love about this lens?? It’s cheap inexpensive – well… inexpensive as far as lenses go.  It’s $104 on Amazon right now, so in comparison to several thousand (or even several hundred) it feels like an absolute steal!

Now that I’ve found the portraiture lens I want, it’s time to start researching wider angle lenses – any recommendations??

Urban Dream

I recently discovered Urban Dream’s Photography on Etsy, and since I’ve been toying with the idea of a gallery wall in our living room, I’m looking for some new art…

Here are a few “befores” that we can base all the “afters” on….

This one was taken a few days ago when the morning sun was really bright and happy – I love that our living room has a full wall of windows that make the room so bright before I even head out for work!

 This one was taken last winter – obviously the decor has changed a bit with the addition of my new throw pillows and a new rug

As you can see, this wall is blah – totally uninspired.  The “artwork” is from Ikea (shocking), and aside from being boring, there are some other real problems with this wall.  For one thing, the frames are crooked – just slightly, but it’s enough to drive me CRAZY.  The frames were also hung too high for the couch, but after 30 holes in the wall, I was not about to hammer in 30 more to move these bad boys down.  Finally… one of the frames doesn’t have any glass! It shattered during our move, and you can definitely tell in this picture.  The one on the left doesn’t have a reflection because of the missing glass.  Not that it stopped me from still hanging it on the wall.  Ha!

To say that this wall needs a face-lift is an understatement.

So this brings me back to my original topic of Urban Dream.  Their photography is dreamy, and they have a whole San Francisco collection.  A few of my favorites??

Is there anything more synonymous with San Francisco than the bell of the trolley?? I think not – my first apartment in the city was a block down from a main trolley line, and you could hear them in the night when you were cozy in bed – I loved that sound… the sound of living in a city.

 This photo, using a Bokeh technique is so pretty – the Ferry Building at dusk.  I want this one for sure – with the deep blues, I think it will look really nice in the living room with our blue/grey rug.

 Sailboats will forever remind me of my father, and this picture at sunset just makes me smile.  I believe it’s taken at the Marina Green – one of the best views in the city.

An unpainted version of the painted ladies – speaking of, Full House was on TV the other night.  THAT was a throwback to my childhood!!  I love the high contrast setting in this picture – really REALLY cool.

Kris will have some appreciation of this picture, although I’m sure he’ll insist that I frame on of him surfing instead… I’m sure that can be arranged, but I just love the dramatic craggy rocks, and the foamy waves.Would it be weird to have a gallery wall based entirely around San Francisco, or is that awesome?  Obviously I’ll need to incorporate a few other pieces in, but I am leaning heavily toward the trolley, and the Ferry Building here.  And the sailboat…. heck I love them all!Check out the rest of Urban Dream’s collections here!

Back to the Future

Has anyone else tried StumbleUpon?  For those of you who haven’t, it’s basically a service you download (for free), and when you press the “stumble button” your browser loads a new page of totally random, cool content.

This is how I discovered Irina Werning’s Photography – specifically her Back to the Future series.  Her work is odd (after browsing through the rest of her site), but this series is kind of genius, and I could not stop scrolling through the photos.  In this collection, she recreates a moment in time from the past – down to the location, lighting, and people who were originally in the photographs.  It is absolutely fascinating…

I took the liberty of naming a few of my favorites… I especially love Portrait Session 🙂

Hula Dancers

Prim and Proper


Never too young for Porno

First Day of School


Portrait Session

Late Night Bus Ride

Engagement Photos: Balloon Save the Date

I have a total obsession with balloons.

I once saw this wedding show (I think it used to be on TLC) where a couple’s friends planned a wedding for them in 24 hours with the help of a wedding coordinator.  I distinctly remember the wedding planner vetoing the use of balloons, saying that they were tacky, cheap, and meant exclusively for children’s birthday parties.

I could not DISAGREE more!  I think that balloons are charming, whimsical, and just plan fun!  Take that TLC!  This photo is so simple and I am in love!

Enjoy the rest of the wedding / engagement photo’s I’ve pulled together that involve balloons.

balloon engagement shoot ideas

big red balloon engagement

balloon engagement session

Balloon engagement shoot

balloon engagement session

Balloons, Balloons, Balloons!

covered in balloons!



Kind of amazing… right?!?!

Vintage Photographs

I just got totally sucked into a new Tumblr blog today – Honey.  This site had amassed so many gorgeous vintage photographs, I just had to share.

There is something so nostalgic in some of these that makes me so jealous of my parents’ and grandparents’ generations.  I am so in love with the fashion – the feminine details, the curvy figures, the big glasses, the high waists and full skirts, the hats, the gloves, and the pearls (oh my).

Enjoy some pretty pics to make it through the mid-day Thursday slump.

Sweet Wedding Phototography

Photo courtesy of Style Me Pretty

Today I am in a day-dreamy sort of place, where all I want to do is think about weddings.  Isn’t this just the sweetest wedding photo?  My parents got married on a rainy day in April, and have been married for 37 years.  The Chinese believe that rain is a sign of luck on your wedding.  And I personally think that a photo of a couple under an umbrella is so sweet – a quiet moment snuggled close, with the quiet rain falling around you.


Who says rain on your wedding day is a bad thing?!

Style Me Pretty – the creme de la creme

So one of my amazing friends Aimee is just as obcessed with weddings as I am.  She got married just over a year ago, and while she loves the glamour, the details, and of course what the wedding symbolizes, the wedding planning experience was less than stellar for her.  To put it simply, Aimee’s mother-in-law was less than supportive, and did her best to undermine every decision she made.

Despite the hurdles with her in-laws, she was married to her long-time college sweetheart and they are currently living happily ever after.  Months after her stressful wedding, her florist approached her with an opportunity to get back in her gorgeous Lazaro wedding dress, and participate in a photo shoot for a Style Me Pretty submission.  I get a text from her one morning at work saying, “I am playing hooky from work and am wearing my wedding dress!”  Needless to say, I was shocked, intrigued, and a bit worried for her sanity at the same time.

Later, over cocktails she spilled the rest – “I am trying to get on Style Me Pretty” she exclaimed – she did not even need to say anything more. I have been a SMP loyalist for years, pouring over the endless gorgeous details of thousands of weddings, so I fully understand the importance of being featured on this holy grail of blogs.  We celebrated to the fullest – perhaps over-celebrated a bit ordering not one, but two bottles of champagne and very little dinner.

Over the next several weeks I checked StyleMePretty incessantly, looking for her lovely face, but nothing.  I had almost forgotten about the entire photoshoot when one day at work I was browsing the blog, and found myself staring into the brown eyes of my dear friend.

“OH MY GOD,” I squealed at work… let me interject to add that my team at work consists of baby 20-somethings who did not end up understanding the importance of any of this when I tried to explain my excitement.  Still buzzing with excitement, I shut the door and proceeded to call Aimee for the details, and then my best friend Kira to relay the details (a fellow wedding obsesser).

In few words, Aimee looked stunning in a very non-Aimee way.  To know her is to know the epitome of “classic”, and this photo-shoot was anything but – it was extremely avant garde and artsy – so lovely.

Go check out the rest of the gallery here.

Thank you to the very smart editors at SMP who chose her photo-shoot to post, and also for writing and maintaining one of the loveliest blogs I know.