San Francisco

Last weekend we made kind of a whirlwind trip to San Francisco. We left early Friday morning and got back late, LATE Monday night (technically, Tuesday morning…at 2AM). We originally had plans last year to do a Seattle to San Francisco road trip, but that plan was put on hold when we went to Alaska instead. When we got an invite in the mail for a Santa Clara wedding, we figured it was the perfect opportunity to check out San Francisco since we didn’t get a chance last year.

We arrived in San Francisco just after noon on Friday, hopped in our rental car, and went straight to In-N-Out burger. I’m not sure I get the hype, but it was fine (except for the french fries…WTF). After that, we drove through downtown San Francisco, across the golden gate bridge, headed towards Muir Woods. We spent a few hours walking around the park. It was pretty breathtaking.

The next morning we woke up early and went back into the city for our Alcatraz tour. We hung out near the pier for a little bit, eating breakfast at a nearby cafe and watching Georgia Tech football on ESPN (noon eastern kickoff = 9AM pacific…not something I could get used to!). Then we hopped on the boat and headed over to the island.

We did the audio tour, which I thought was just ok, but David liked. After the tour, we walked around fisherman’s wharf a bit (of course stopping to see the sea lions).

We also walked to Lombard Street nearby (the famous crooked-est street) and Ghiradelli Square. Then we hopped back into the rental car and drove over to Crissy Park. It was a pretty overcast day (although not that foggy, strangely) so my photos of the golden gate bridge are just “eh”.

For our final day, we stayed in the Santa Clara area and had brunch (a very SF-ish thing to do, right?) and had a blast at the wedding. It was not a typical “American” wedding, so that was interesting and fun.

Our flight the next day got delayed by several hours, so we spent a lot of time at the SFO airport…*yawn*. We landed back in Atlanta around 1am, picked up our bags, and took our inaugural Uber ride home…with the world’s most talkative Uber driver. I think it took me a full week to catch back up on sleep after a jam-packed weekend, but it was definitely fun. Hopefully we can return to California and San Francisco in the future!

Kaitlyn’s “Newborn” Photos

Well because of so much business this summer, it took 6 weeks for me to be able to capture Kaitlyn’s “newborn” photos. All of the research I did said it was best to take them in the first week, but it just didn’t happen. I think they still turned out…okay. Yes I am super critical of myself and look at certain ones and still think “yep, that looks like someone’s first attempt at taking newborn photos”…which is true and everything, but yeah, it was a learning experience. The whole session took about 3 hours, including setup, rearranging furniture, and patiently waiting for her to fall asleep! I went and ransacked Target beforehand to pick up a beanbag, some blankets, hats, and other props. I also got trash bags (to place between blankets in case of an accident), disposable wipes, and chip bag clips (to clip the blankets to the back of chairs).

We set up in Kaitlyn’s nursery, near the window. The lighting conditions weren’t perfect, and I wasn’t sure how to fix it, but I made do. You can see that some of the lighting is kind of direct/harsh, but at the same time I had my ISO set to 1000 so that I could keep my shutter speed above 1/50 or so. I’m sure I could have spent more time rearranging furniture and trying to find the best light, but I made it work and just lowered contrast and increased shadows in post processing. I also used the CoffeShop Baby PowderRoom Photoshop action to get rid of redness and smooth out some baby acne. I typically very rarely do any post processing in Photoshop (unless it’s using content-aware fill….love that!), and just stick with Lightroom, so that was also a re-learning process.

OK, let’s finally get to some of my favorite photos. First I took some “awake” photos. This was also a decent time to capture some detail photos, as long as she wasn’t being too squirmy.

This one is cute, but the coloring in it drives me nuts and I am having a hard time getting it right!

So  that’s it! Those were some of my favorites, and there weren’t too many more that were “publish quality”. So yeah, lots of work! I’ll go back to photographing things that don’t pose as well as a bowl full of jell-o now…

Summer Business…Busy-ness

Just checking in over here — more summer busy-ness (or business?) has kept me from blogging.

We attended a beautiful, beautiful wedding in Newport, RI. Somehow I kept it together to serve my bridesmaid duties even though I was fighting a serious cold the entire week beforehand.

And then of course, ice bucket challenges…

And most recently, my first “newborn” photo shoot. Of course with my dearest niece, Miss Kaitlyn. I have a bunch of photos to share so I’ll have to make  a separate post.

While I’m enjoying the remaining days of summer, I am seriously ready to wear my boots and sweaters. I’m done with you 95 degree weather, and 80% humidity!

Summer Happenings

Summer is typically a little nuts, hence the blog silence lately. A few things I’ve been up to:

1. Re-thinking the deck space. We sold our old patio dining furniture and grabbed a few adirondack chairs and a fire pit from Lowe’s. A much better use of this space, and we can’t wait to start using the fire pit…ya know, once it gets below 75 degrees here at night! More deck improvements are in the works, too (more furniture, deck painting, etc).

Also a few plants I haven’t killed (yet). A jalapeño plant, sweet potato vine, petunias, and some potted boxwoods.

2. Ultimate! Of course summer wouldn’t be summer without summer league ultimate. I love my team, the “Heisenbros” (Breaking Bad rip off..). If only I could get rid of my old lady knee and foot aches and pains!

3. Working out and eating healthy like a crazy person! I started the Jamie Eason LiveFit program. I’m currently on week 6 so it is starting to kick my butt. I’m not following the program diet exactly, but I am trying to eat “clean” 90% of the time. Eating clean also means I’m cooking my own food a lot, which is time consuming, but I’m learning to figure it out (aka making large quantities of food at once and then eating leftovers). One of my favorite things to make is egg white and banana protein pancakes for breakfast (4 egg whites, 1 mashed banana, cinnamon, vanilla extract, with no syrup and usually some type of fruit on top). Lunch is typically grilled chicken salad, and dinner is fish/other protein with veggies. And then healthy snacks throughout the day (yogurt, more fruit…I’m kind of a fruit-aholic).

4. Wedding season! We’re off to Boston/Providence/Newport RI in a few weeks. Of course we had to 1st celebrate the bride. Later this summer we’ll be in San Francisco (YAY!) for another wedding. I think that will be 11 flights this year. Pretty sure that is a PR.

5. Spending money on non-exciting house things. This seems to be a theme this year after the roof leaking. Want to see pictures of our new garage door that looks exactly like the old garage door? No? Yeah, doesn’t make for good blog content, I know…


Until next time!

Warwick Wedding Weekend

Summer is always so so busy, but I just wanted to post a few of my favorite photos from my brother-in-law’s wedding a few weeks ago in Warwick, NY. It’s about 2 hours outside of the city, and a very cute and quaint place (especially for a wedding). I wish we could have stayed longer than a few days but unfortunately vacation days are limited!

Wedding location and where we stayed for the weekend — Inn at Stony Creek Bed & Breakfast. Unfortunately the entire house did not fit in my carry on bag or else it would have come home with me.

David and I before heading out to the rehearsal dinner

Beautiful ceremony :)

My (other) brother-in-law and David performing a reading during the ceremony


The grooms :)

The gorgeous sunset that evening

My goober husband on the dance floor

Road Atlanta

Last weekend we headed to Road Atlanta with the in-laws to celebrate Father’s Day. I have never been to a race track before, so it was definitely interesting. Good people watching as always, and I attempted to take a few photos to distract me from the sweltering heat and humidity.

There was a really sharp turn right here so I would sit here and wait for a car to spin out into the dirt and create a cloud of dust. It made for a neat effect.

Who said minivans weren’t cool?

This guy got bumped and almost lost control (you can see the back right tire is not touching pavement here). Yikes!

My father-in-law’s coworker racing his Mustang (with Georgia Tech colors, of course!)

Dining Room Update

A lot of progress has been made on the dining room lately, so I guess we’re due for an update. This room is about 90% finished and I’ll probably just tweak going forward. No room is ever completely finished, right?

Since last time I shared, the ceiling has been repaired from the roof leak (hired out) and painted (by me), the walls have been repainted (Sherwin Williams Naval), new chandelier installed (by us! without burning down the house or killing each other!), new buffet lamps were purchased, and the curtains were hung. Doesn’t seem like that much work, but it definitely adds up when it seems like the weekends go by in the blink of an eye. We’ve come a long way from baby poop colored walls on closing day…

And then sat empty for almost 3 years, but with smurf blue paint that I got tired of…

To now…with a darker paint color and actual furniture!

My favorite part might be the curtains. They are mostly blue with a tiny bit of green in them. This photo is probably the best representation of the wall color (Sherwin Williams Naval). The hunt for arm chairs for the head of the table is just going to be ongoing.


I think I am going to turn my attention back to the basement next, which is currently a disaster zone…

Karen + Kyle + Baby Bump

After a few weather-related delays, I finally got the chance to take some maternity photos for my sister. I can’t believe she is due in less than 4 weeks! I wasn’t super confident that these would turn out ok since it was my 1st ever maternity shoot, but I think they aren’t that bad! Here are some of my favorites…

Rome Recap

Rounding out the last of our trip was Rome! (Check out my earlier recaps of London and Paris)

Rome was my favorite! Maybe it was the perfect weather, or our posh hotel room, or the delicious gelato every night…or all of the above. Rome was very different than London and Paris. For one, we basically walked everywhere. In London and Paris, we were hopping on and off the subway everyday but Rome was “small” enough that most places were a 20 minute walk away. We took a taxi trips only to/from the airport and Vatican City. There was also just something about how OLD everything was that really amazed me. Makes you wonder if anything that is built today will still be standing 2,000 years from now.

Here’s all of the spots we visited in Rome:

  • Colosseum
  • Roman Forum & Palatine Hill
  • Trevi Fountain
  • Pantheon
  • Vatican City (We did a guided tour that included the Vatican Gardens, Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel, and Saint Peter’s Basilica. In retrospect we should not have done a 5 hour tour on the last day of our trip when we had already been trekking around for almost 2 weeks. We were SO TIRED.)

From a photography perspective, I had to deal with a lot of scaffolding (again!). The Colosseum and Arch of Constantine are being refurbished over the next several years. That just means I’ll have to come back once they are done! ;) Here are some of my faves from Rome: