~ T-minus 20 days ~

I can't believe I am saying this...but we are 20 days away from the Shot Party!   So far we have folks coming in from 7 different states for this party!  I can't wait to meet all of you.
One month from tonight we will all be hanging out with Becker and Bobbi+Mike, eating good food, catching up with friends, and maybe learning a little bit about photography :)  

I, for one, am thrilled to attend the Lightroom Master Class.  I am an attendee just like you guys,  I'm there to learn, listen, and meet new friends as well.

If you haven't secured your tickets yet, head on over to www.StLouisShotParty.com  to register!

The goody bags for this years attendees are amazing!  The prizes are rolling in like crazy... one very special company just sent me a $50 gift certificate for every single person who attends...yes, I nearly fell over.  Oh, and are you a fan of Kelly Moore Bags? You just might get your hands on one at the party ;) 

Thank you to all of our awesome sponsors:

~ Megan and Danny ~

Megan and Danny are flying me to the beaches of South Carolina for their nuptials next year.   I'm so excited because we are going to turn it into a Manno Family Vacation as well :)   

We shot their engagement session downtown at the very beginning of this crazy heat wave.  For those who don't live in the midwest we've seen triple digit temperatures day, after day, after day.   It has been miserable and caused me to cancel about seven photography sessions.  We are all praying for cooler temperatures soon.

~ Handsome Baby Dylan ~

Welcome to the world Baby Dylan!  This cutie belongs to Sarah and Scott. They are the cutest parents ever.  They both happen to be from my home town AND Baby Dylan is going to be attending my moms daycare so he and Libby Lu are going to be great buddies one day :)
Isn't Momma Sarah beautiful?  She is just glowing, being a new mom looks really good on her.
Dad Scott really got a kick out of this photo shoot.  He was amazed at all the fun things I could get his baby to do!   I've had clients say "I can't even get my baby to sleep in a crib, how do you get him to sleep on a coffee table???"  or  "Can you come back and do this again at 2am?" If I've said it once I've said it a million times newborn photo shoots take patience, lots and lots of patience.
Oh and it also helps if they are totally milk-drunk :)
Somehow a four legged baby snuck in a few of these :)

~ Jamie and James - Married!! ~

I love this first photo, it says so much about their wedding day.   Sparkly hot pink shoes, aviator shades and rain on the window glass outside. 
Jamie and James snuck their wedding in just before this massive heat wave we are having.  They got married at Neo on Locust.  It was my first time shooting there, and I loved the venue.  Very cool, I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a contemporary wedding space. 
*Pardon this interuption for some photographer jardon*

Here is a question I get asked alot :  What is a tilt-shift lens?   In the most simple terms, a tilt shift lens picks a horizontal plane to focus on, blurring the rest of the photo above and below it that plane.  The photo below in color was not taken with a tilt shift.  Just your standard 50mm.
Now this black and white photo was taken with a tilt shift.  Notice their faces are in focus but above and below their faces is not.  
It's just another fancy lens to make your photos look cool :)  I do not own one, for the same reason I don't own a fisheye.  I prefer to invest my money in long term, work-horse lenses I can use all day.  These type of novelty lenses are just a bit of a "one trick pony" for me.  Once you've done a handful of shots with it you put it away to avoid over-kill.   

But when it's done right it looks pretty cool.  I love this photo below, the dude in the middle looks like a Bad mamma jamma  right?  (Thanks Stephanie for the tilt shift lens fun)
(More tilt shift fun below)
Jamie isn't just any other bride, she is a friend. I've actually gotten to know Jamie really well over the last couple years.  Her son Blake (handsome little blonde on the right) is best friends with my son, Rocky.  Blake is a great kid and I love that him and Rocky are such good buddies.  You always hope and pray that your kids pick good people to surround them and we love little Blake. 
We snuck out to the city garden and after only 15 minutes of shooting the sky looked like this: (I promise this shot was not edited, even though it looks like a vignette, straight out of the camera) that's one scary looking sky.
Jamie and her girls deserve some kind of medal, or plaque.  They did all of the set-up themselves.  I mean ALL of it.  They were hot gluing and be-dazzling into the wee hours of the morning.  Martha Stewart has nothing on them :)
Jamies daughter Kayla served as the maid of honor.  She gave one of the most poised, thoughtful, funny and sincere speeches I have ever heard.  I was so proud of her.  Her Mom and James hung on every word she said and beamed from ear to ear with pride. 
Jamie, James, Kayla and Blake.  Thank you so much for making me a part of your special day when you all "officially" became a family :)  I am so happy for all of you and hope to spend many more years hanging out with you guys.

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