Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Amanda & Jason: Part One

Part of being a photographer for me means I <think> I can get away with not being good with words a little bit more than others and have been able to stand <hide> behind the photos, letting them speak for me.  I am so overwhelmed with the happiness it brought me to photograph the beautiful August wedding of Amanda and Jason that I am struggling to come up with the right things to say in this blog about a most perfect love-filled day in Southern California.

I’m going to split this wedding blog up into two parts because I want to show off so many photos, it would be just too much loveliness going on for one sitting.  Enjoy this part one, and part two coming soon!

I met Amanda only weeks before the big day through another beautiful Misfit Bride.   Amanda was in a pickle with the previously booked photographer in the wind.  Her wedding date had just opened up on my schedule; it was serendipitous for both of us. We met up and  had a delightful sit down at our local favorite, The Tea Gardens (Valencia, CA) where we went over the details.  Over tea and scones we discussed the time line for the event, and had a laugh just getting to know each other. Imaginations running wild we created “Yanni G” the ultimate in easy listening during our fun little visit. 

Fast forward two quick weeks, the night before the wedding event of the summer, my awesomely talented and loving husband/second shooter, Jon and I cleaned the cameras and lenses and talked about the wedding photographic plans. The next morning it was game time, and funny confession – I had Eye of the Tiger in my head that morning.  Amanda must have also because when I met up with her and her bridal party at the Hyatt getting ready she was gorgeous and ready for this most incredible day.

 Right away I started snapping away little detail shots of shoes, dresses, hair fascinators; all the things us gals just love.  Three beautiful brides maids and a handful of family waltzed about the room getting ready and getting things packed up.  Everyone was in high spirits, all so excited, so many beautiful, sincere smiles going on in there you would think straight oxygen was being pumped in.

 All of the finishing touches were done, and everyone looked red carpet ready.  It was time for the dress and a few shots before heading out.

 Meanwhile, at the Grooms "camp", Jon got plenty of fun shots of the guys getting ready, minus the pretty dresses of course.  Jon told me later when I asked how it was, that it was really relaxed and chill.  He said that Jason, the groom, was always “working” getting himself and family ready.  That Jason was a taking care of business, on-task and having fun doing it kind of guy. What a great man, soon to be a great husband.

Jon and I caught up for a moment on location with a little photo jibber-jabber about where we would be for the ceremony and we got ready for the “first look.”  In case you are lost, a first look is a little shoot where the groom and bride meet up pre-ceremony for the big reveal of seeing each other for the first time privately instead of during the ceremony.  We waiting anxiously, the bride was en route! And then, she arrived,...and his world was complete. 

 This is just the beginning,...

Part Two coming soon.
© Collette Lash 2012. All Rights Reserved. Do not use without permission.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Studio Renovations,...Almost Out of the Woods!

Towards the end of June, Jon and I took on giving the studio a little makeover.  Since day one I have hated, hated, hated the carpet and base boards, but there just was never the time to stop and redo everything.  Heck, it took me 5 years to even take a vacation which came promptly on the heels on completing the biggest parts of the renovations (I can't say it's finished until I have window covers!) We literally we're putting final touches on the paint, new base boards, and new floors less than 24 hours before we left plus editing clients photos.  Burn the candle at both ends? Yes!  You mean there is another way!?!

We have stripped carpet, prepped slab and put in beautiful, eco-friendly, renewable source bamboo flooring in our own home before, so we knew what we were getting into,...mostly.  There were a few hiccups in the slab prep, but it worked out.  I'm gonna upload some photos of the progress, I'll warn ya, it ain't pretty haha! I have so many lovely props, wardrobe and textures it's overwhelming, but with this renovation, I want to get back to clean design and getting rid of some items. I love the Edward Hopper feeling of the first photo, that empty mid-century chair spotlighted, it new things were changing, lol.

The rest of these images were shot on my phone, I just didn't want to bust out the big guns when it was so darn dusty! Here's Jon getting started drawing a line in the carpet for cutting, while I removed the rest of the goods from the other side.

Yay! The rein of the horrible carpet is over! If only it could talk, the stories told in this room, oh my! Next was creating our "Dexter kill room" This was fun.

By the end of the project I was losing my mind, I can't stand the hoarders look! Even if it's nicely stacked and a beautiful mix of antiques, vintage and just plain fun dress up! It was EVERYWHERE! Here's just one shot of the guest bed and a huge <neatly> piled wardrobe mound. I cannot express the amount of frustration I was having passing by this daily.  You don't think you're obsessive compulsive,..until you just are, lol.

On to the slab prep, now if you notice there is a strip of white at the left side. THAT was the hiccup we were not planning on.  The old man and original home owner who lived in the adjoining house (our house) to the studio and built this room was notorious for is short cuts, you have no idea how many close calls and how many times we've cursed his name.  He's on the other side now I'm sure laughing his ass off at us trying to un-do his "handy work" (Thanks a lot, Ken! And we'd appreciate it if you'd stop messing with the lights and knocking on things too!) 

So, this little short cut for leveling the new and old slabs? WALL PLASTER! 20 year old hardened and mean wall plaster that no amount of sanding, scrapping or grinding would get rid of, and it just wasn't a large enough project to warrant renting equipment.  We are putting in a permanent half wall at the edge of the slab at a later point, removing a lot of trouble trying to make the two level.  Thank God that was the plan all along or I would have overwhelmed, I can't always handle big change in plans like this.  We went all old ancient Greek classic sculpture style and hand chiseled a 2x16 foot strip of hell off the slab.   We're gonna need a bigger chisel,...Are we done yet?

And it's gone at last!

I did my Cinderella routine of scrubbing the rest with a heavy bristle brush, mopped and it was ready for the next step!  That step was taking a break with Velzy in the yard (Biiiiiiiiiig Yaaaaaaaawn!)

And so it begins! The awesome thing with this bamboo and the slab is that it doesn't need sub-flooring, Just some awesomely industrial and messy glue made for the flooring.

Ok, maybe one more break before I get back to it ;) My mask matches the wall! Once I luxuriated, on to the next! I won't lie, I was burning out.  I had reached critical mass with all the labor on my ever enlarging "alien" bump on my wrist and the disaster of having "work" life <wardrobe, props etc> everywhere in my home.

It took 3 days to get in all the new floors, with cutting and gluing. This was the last day of installation of the floors. It took another day and a half to do the baseboards, but I don't have any photos of the base board, do ya really need it anyway? ;)

And now they are all done! I wish I would have gotten some nicer shots than my phone photos, but we had to finish putting everything away and head out on vacation within a day. It was,...the FINAL COUNTDOWN!!! Yes, that just happen, and if you pictured Gob Bluthe dancing with playing cards and a scarf on his face when you read that, I love you.

Look at those purdy floors and tall, noble base boards! I'm in heaven! Now to move the familiar hell of wardrobe and props in, haha, I'll miss seeing you floors and boards!  I actually still haven't put everything back in because I'm hellbent on getting rid of somethings, they absolutely MUST NOT ENTER the studio, or they might try and stay.  Maybe I should do a "Barter Kings" style adventure with some of my loot and document it!

Getting mighty full in there, but still looks so incredibly beautiful and different, I am so happy. When all was said and done, this undertaking was right at about $600, amazing isn't it? A HUGE change without breaking the bank. Now to find reasonable roman shades and we'll really be in business ;)

© Collette Lash 2012. All Rights Reserved. Do not use without permission.