Spring is Springing up all over!!!

Spring Family PhotosWe’ve been meaning to post a quick Happy New Year, but somehow it’s March already!!  2020 was one crazy year and we are hoping that the worst is now behind us. While we were in the throes of lockdown, toilet paper shortages and learning new and creative ways to celebrate life’s occasions, one thing became abundantly clear to us … that family is the most important thing there is.  Throughout the chaos of the last year, we circled the proverbial wagons, pulled our loved ones close and held on.  We felt the heartbreak of loss together, and the joy of the limited times we could celebrate. Who would have ever thought that a shared po-boy in the driveway could ever taste so good? [True story!]

 

Now that we can start to move around a little bit and slowly start sticking our toes back out into the world, scheduling a family photo might be in order.  Spring is springing all over the place, and Easter and Mother’s Day are right around the corner, all great reasons to get your spring family or senior photo sessions on our books!

New Orleans Senior Photos

Keep in mind that between weddings, events and holidays, our schedule gets packed, so book now to get your preferred date.

 

We offer family sessions Sunday through Friday and occasionally on Saturday depending on our wedding schedule at any location of your choosing. For more information about our family sessions, follow the Lifestyle link on our website.

New Orleans Family Photos 1

You can grab your spot on our schedule by clicking HERE.

 

Still need more info?  Just fill out this form here:

 

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Unmasking the Myth that Pinterest DIY’s are Easy

Container Garden

When I married Steve, I moved into the house that he had owned for the last 30+ years.  By all accounts, it is a lovely house, and with a few feminine touches, it has become a quite comfortable home for us.  The only thing that makes me a little crazy is that it has no yard space and I love to be outside.  After three years of exploring every possible nook and cranny of the property and wracking my brain for areas where I might create a garden/patio oasis (yes, I even considered the roof), the only outside area I could find to build a little garden/patio oasis was to take over half of the driveway.  That’s not a huge problem, since we have plenty enough parking space … but we do live on a very busy street.  No problemo!  I’ll just go to Pinterest and find one of those simple DIY Projects that are all over the place and find a creative way to build a privacy wall.  Why Pinterest?  Because everything on there looks so beautiful, and can be done in, what, like 3 Easy Steps!  Well, that was just before Christmas last year, and the conversation went something like this, “Hey honey …. don’t stress about my Christmas gift!  I just want you to help me build this simple little privacy planter that I found on Pinterest.”  And so this project began.  I honestly should have known better, since as a photographer, I’m constantly met with clients’ unreal expectations for images that they find on Pinterest, to which I explain that I will use  their Pinterest suggestions as inspiration, but I cannot replicate those images exactly.  I should have listened to my own advice.

So the Pinterest search led me to a moveable living privacy wall made of horse troughs!  Wow!  I had thought of the idea of planters but all of the larger ones I had found were rather pricey.  I thought the horse troughs would be much cheaper and, to boot, I could make them moveable, which was a plus since I had already bargained for half of our driveway and Steve still wanted access to one of our garages that I would be blocking off.  But here’s the catch … I didn’t have a clue where to get a horse trough.  I live in the suburbs of New Orleans, and they don’t sell these things at our local feed store.  Our local feed store doesn’t actually feed anything much larger than a Great Dane where I live.  So I hopped on the Internet and found the troughs I wanted.  They were made by Behlen Country, and they could be delivered to our house for a fee equal to the cost of the troughs themselves.  Hmmmm … this was starting to get quite pricey, so I had to start thinking.  As I often do, I went directly to the website for the manufacturer to see where they distribute in Louisiana and found out that there is a store in Lockport, Louisiana that is a distributor for Behlen Country horse troughs!  Yeah, that’s a 90 mile round trip from New Orleans, and given that we do not own a pickup truck, it was U-Haul for the day.  And there we were, exploring the sugar cane fields of Louisiana on a crisp, spring afternoon, pulling our horse troughs behind our Mustang, somewhat resembling the Beverly Hillbillies.

Urban GardenI was so excited to finally have my troughs in my possession, and couldn’t wait to begin filling them with plants!  But first, Steve wanted to put them on wheels, since we were making a moveable living privacy wall.  He calculated that one these horse troughs, which were 2 X 2 X 5 ft, would weigh approximately 2,500 lbs. when filled with dirt and plants.  He was very concerned that any wheels we attached would have to be large enough to evenly distribute that much weight without having the bottom sag.  Further, he became concerned that if we bolted the wheels directly to the bottom of the planters, that the wheels could rust and the planter would no longer be movable.  So we started looking for welding fabricators to design a frame in which to hold the troughs.  You know, finding someone who wants to deal with a small job such as this and deal with an impatient woman who is getting desperate for outdoor time, can be quite the challenge.  An Internet search and Facebook plea sent us on a lot of leads that just came up kind of empty.  So we put our heads together and came up with an option that we knew we could fabricate ourselves (or with the help of someone we knew could do it … thanks to our favorite trim carpenter Jared Marcell) and designed a pallet-type stand that we could place the trough on top of.  When and if the planters need to be moved, we could accomplish that with a pallet jack.  Yes, I now own a pallet jack … doesn’t every girl have her own pallet jack?  Try not to be jealous girls … that man of mine buys me the best gifts! 😉Urban GardenWith my troughs in hand and a plan to make them mobile firmly in place, I was ready to start assembling!  We decided we could lighten the whole trough just a bit and help with drainage by  packing the bottom with soda cans.  We had been saving cans for a while, and Steve’s sister gave us her supply, as well.  We started by packing in the cans as tightly as we could, and then covering them with a layer of weed cloth.  We decided not to punch holes in the bottom of the trough, as that would disturb the galvanized coating that keeps them from rusting.  The soda cans allow the water to drain off, and there is a drainage plug that we have left open for excess drainage to run out of.Urban GardenAfter the weed cloth, we added a layer of peat moss, about 3 or so inches thick.  We then started filling the troughs with a mixture of top soil, compost/manure and potting soil.Urban GardenAnd finally, we added in some blue spruce juniper.  We found these at Lowe’s for under $15.00 per plant, and given that we needed 12 for the whole project we were looking for something nice that didn’t bust the bank.  Steve and I went on a crazed scavenger hunt to every Lowe’s in the New Orleans Metro area, buying out their inventory of blue spruce juniper until we had finally found enough.  (I even withheld the name of these plants from my bestie and told her she couldn’t go buy one until I had secured enough.  It’s OK now Rachel … they are blue spruce juniper.)  My plan is to let them take for now, and then in the spring, I will add other cascading plants into the plant beds to make them fuller.  We were able to complete two of the planters, and are looking for either more soda cans so we can complete the other two, or an alternate method of adding lightness and drainage.  We’re still thinking on that one.  But … I am loving my outdoor space, which my kids have now dubbed my “secret garden”.  Yes, I am sitting outside writing this, underneath the stars and sipping on a glass of wine and I’m pretty happy with the way this project turned out.  I lost track of how much it cost a long time ago … I’m sure I could figure it out, but why torture myself at this point.  Sales on patio furniture have come and gone since this “easy” DIY began nearly a year ago, but my plastic adirondacks are standing in quite nicely for the time being!  I plan on staying off of Pinterest for a while and the next time I see some easy DIY project, like cool Halloween cupcakes or something, I might just check out Sam’s first!”

Urban Garden

Updated to show progress:

And check out updates at the Secret Garden’s Facebook page HERE

Container GardenUrban Garden

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7 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD UPGRADE YOUR HEADSHOT NOW

New Orleans HeadshotIts 2021 and we’ve now been through an entire year of staying socially distanced from friends, co-workers and loved ones. The Internet and social media are some of our main sources of connection and work from home is becoming the norm. More and more, people are interacting with us and getting to know us via that little 1×1 square we put out into the world as our profile photo.  Believe it or not, what you put into that square matters. Sure, we all have a camera on our iPhone and it’s so easy to just turn it around and take a “selfie.” A selfie is fine for your personal social media platforms. But if you are interacting with social media for your business, upgrading your headshot to a professional image may be well worth the investment. Here are a few reasons why:

1. First Impressions are Lasting Impressions

New Orleans HeadshotConfirming that old adage, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression,” research conducted by Princeton psychologists confirmed that it takes a mere 1/10th of a second to form an impression of a stranger from their face. You have a tenth of a second, literally the blink of an eye. Shouldn’t you be putting your best face forward?

2. Friends Don’t Let Friends Use Selfies – Hire a Pro

New Orleans HeadshotAs tempted as you may be to use an iPhone selfie, just don’t. Likewise, just because your friend has a “nice camera” does not ensure that the images they produce are going to be professional quality. Professional photographers study lighting and posing and know how to make you look like the best version of yourself. Tiny, seemingly subtle movements can make a big difference.

Fun fact … did you know that the direction of a head tilt can convey either a masculine or feminine body posture?

3. May I Have your Attention, Please?  

New Orleans HeadshotThanks to the increase of electronic media, we are bombarded with marketing and messaging now more than ever.  Everyone and everything is vying for your attention at once. It is currently estimated that the average person will encounter between 6,000 to 10,000 ads of some type every single day. And there you are just trying to be you and make a good first impression with your profile picture. You could always try a fancy head bouquet when you need to stand out from all the noise, but if you’re not quite up for that, having a professionally made headshot will help. People do recognize professional imagery when they see it, and it will make you get noticed.

True story … a client once came in for professional headshots, (suit and tie) and while we were at it, he asked for a casual look to put on his Match.com dating profile. A week later, he sent us a note to let us know that interest in his dating profile had gone through the roof! Nothing changed but the image. Same great guy that was there all along, but his professional image got lots more visitors stopping by to check out his profile. He’s married now!  We don’t know if we can take credit for that, but we know we did play a part in helping him attract attention. Whatever your reason, going the extra mile to have a professional headshot made will help you to stand out from the crowd.

4. Seriously?

New Orleans HeadshotYes, seriously. Remember when I said that first impressions are lasting impressions? Taking the time and effort to invest in having a professional headshot makes a statement that you are serious about your endeavor, whether it is your career or your dating profile. A professional image sends a message that you are willing to go that extra mile to make yourself stand out.  It could be that something extra that gets your resume pulled out of the heap for a second look, or gains you a “swipe” in the right direction.

5. Hello, It’s Me

New Orleans HeadshotYour headshot image should be thought of as your personal branding statement.  It’s your opportunity to show the world who you really are. A lifestyle branding headshot can capture more than just your face, and be shot to showcase more of your personality. Perhaps you have an interesting or creative job or hobby that you’d like to portray, which won’t be captured accurately with a conventional suit and tie portrait. By upgrading to a lifestyle branding headshot, you can express your true self.

6. Hello, It’s Still Me

New Orleans HeadshotHas your look changed recently? Perhaps you finished your beard during quarantine!  Maybe you completely changed your hairstyle or color, put on or took off a few pounds, or anything else that may have you looking a little different. It’s a great time to upgrade your headshot to keep your image current and keep you recognizable! It’s important to project an honest and accurate portrayal of yourself.

7. New Year, New You

And if you have made some changes in your appearance, why not celebrate it and treat yourself to a brand new headshot? It can be quite empowering to have a professional portrait of yourself. Sometimes, feeling a little fancy may be just the boost in confidence you need to encourage you to hit “send” on a job application, grant proposal or any other goal you’ve had your eye on.

Special Pricing!

We’ve given you just a few of the many reasons you should upgrade your headshot image, but if you’re convinced that you should book a session to get your headshot upgraded now, you are in luck! For a limited time our headshots are specially priced Buy One Get One Free! If you would like to take advantage of our Buy One, Get One headshot offer, click HERE for all the details.

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New Orleans Courtyard Wedding at Hotel Mazarin // Stacy + Jay, Married

Oh 2020, you’ve given us challenges and time and again, we’ve watched love overcome. Weddings have had to reschedule, downsize, move locations and undergo all sorts of other twists, turns and uncertainties this year. But what we’ve learned now that we are on the back end of this year is that if there is a will, there is a way.  Of course, we have also learned that Stacy is the mother to 6 boys, while simultaneously homeschooling and attending law school herself, so we are pretty sure she has a Wonder Woman cape hidden somewhere in her closet, and we knew that if anyone could make a wedding happen in 2020, it would be her! And so she did.  In late November, Stacy and Jay were married in a gorgeous, candle lit ceremony in the courtyard of Hotel Mazarin.  Utilizing the courtyard area for both the wedding and reception, the whole event was able to spread out in a safe, outdoor space, that was both beautiful and romantic.  By all accounts a great time was had by all!  Congratulations again to Stacy and Jay, and wishing you so many years of happiness!

 

New Orleans Wedding at Hotel MazarinNew Orleans Wedding at Hotel MazarinNew Orleans Wedding at Hotel MazarinNew Orleans Wedding at Hotel MazarinNew Orleans Wedding details at Hotel MazarinNew Orleans Wedding at Hotel MazarinNew Orleans Wedding at Hotel MazarinNew Orleans Wedding at Hotel MazarinNew Orleans Wedding at Hotel MazarinNew Orleans Wedding at Hotel MazarinNew Orleans Wedding at Hotel MazarinNew Orleans Wedding at Hotel MazarinNew Orleans Wedding at Hotel MazarinNew Orleans Wedding at Hotel MazarinNew Orleans Wedding at Hotel MazarinNew Orleans Wedding at Hotel MazarinNew Orleans Courtyard Wedding at Hotel MazarinNew Orleans Wedding at Hotel MazarinNew Orleans Wedding at Hotel MazarinNew Orleans Wedding at Hotel MazarinNew Orleans Bride and Groom visit Bourbon StreetNew Orleans Bride and Groom visit Bourbon StreetNew Orleans Wedding at Hotel MazarinNew Orleans Wedding at Hotel MazarinNew Orleans Wedding at Hotel MazarinNew Orleans Wedding at Hotel MazarinNew Orleans Wedding at Hotel MazarinNew Orleans Wedding at Hotel MazarinNew Orleans Wedding at Hotel MazarinNew Orleans Wedding at Hotel MazarinNew Orleans Wedding at Hotel Mazarin

Vendor Love:

Venue:  Hotel Mazarin
Florist:  Nola Flora
Dress purchased from:  Suite Bridal Atlanta
Dress designer:
Cake:  Haydels
Band: The Wise Guys

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