In Category: ‘Blog’

What a fun, fun wedding! I had a great time second-shooting this wedding with Renee of Studio Elle Photography back in September. By the time we are done shooting most weddings, I’m exhausted and ready for bed. This wedding was different. When we left, I almost felt like I was going to miss one hell of a good time. THAT’S the sign of an awesome wedding! Here are the photos I took of that day.

p876211951 4 Stacy and Matt   September 2013

 

This is one of my favorite things about second-shooting: Catching those sweet candid moments that I wouldn’t see if I was at the front of the church, where the main photographer is suppose to be. Here is Matt with his Mom and Dad, about to walk down the aisle.

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And the best man and maid of honor, enjoying the start of an amazing day.

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From the balcony, I captured these precious moments. What a sweet little thing this girl is!

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Blending in with the crowd, I got these ones.

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I love this one. Easily one of my favorites of this wedding. While Renee was with the bride and groom, I snapped a few of the bridal party, who were feeling good and letting loose.

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And finally, a few moments of the kick-ass reception. Lots of fun, lots of love. Big pat on the back to the people that planned this wedding. Great job!

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Thanks to Renee for paying me to do what I love to do, shoot candid shots of people having fun.

Click here to visit Renee’s blog post about this amazing wedding. Those pics are beautiful, Renee!

Congrats to Stacy & Matt! I hope your marriage is as fun as your wedding day! -kw

 

At the last minute, I was asked to shoot a surprise 60th Disco-themed birthday party. Yeah, they had me at Disco.  I was really hoping that it was going to be as fun as it sounded. Let me tell you, these guests DID NOT disappoint! There were so many cool and fun 70′s outfits at this party, I was surprised that people still had these types of clothes. One girl was wearing a floor-length, long-sleeved flowery bridesmaid dress. Sure, it looked great at this party. But I thought to myself, “Who holds onto this stuff?!” Well, someone with more closet space than me, that’s for sure. Not only that, there were funny references to the 70′s such as cocaine-laced nostrils, massive chest hair, and a fake ball-fro you could get lost in. Even the DJs dressed up for the occasion. It was great fun! Anyhow, here are a few of my favorites from the party.

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Happy Birthday Jim! -kw

Thinking about upgrading to the new iPhone 5? Well, before you sell that old iPhone or give it to your child to play with, listen up.

A few months back, the minutes expired on my pay-as-you-go (PAYG) phone. And while I love the ‘ol PAYG phones, I kind of got tired of carrying around two phones. (Totally petty, I know.) It wasn’t actually two phones per se, it was one cellphone and one old iPhone, which without a phone plan, was just a newer iPod Touch. You see, I have a hand-me-down iPhone 4. Frankly, I don’t actually NEED a smartphone, I just need a working cellphone, which is why this conversion works for me. The WiFi and other features of the Apple products are just a bonus. And it’s grown on me. Anyhow, since the minutes were expiring on my cheap PAYG phone, I asked my Tech-savy husband if I could just convert my iPhone 4, i.e. ‘fancy iPod Touch’, into a bona-fide PAYG phone. His stern answer: NO. Not one to back down so easily, I did what I do best. I researched online. Within five minutes, I found an old blog post explaining how to do such a thing. But that blog post was for converting the iPhone 3 into a PAYG phone. The size of the SIM cards have changed from the 3 to the 4 and 4s, so I had to dig deeper.

In a nutshell, I needed to find a PAYG plan from a company that sold a phone with a removable SIM card. The phone doesn’t matter whatsoever since I’m not planning to use it anyway. I just needed the SIM card and a PAYG plan. Many of the smaller PAYG phone companies that have helluva good minute and text plans don’t have SIM cards in their phones. What they have, I don’t know. It’s really a pity, though. Last year, I had a PAYG phone from Platinum Tel that cost me all of $85 for an entire year of calls and messaging. Talk about a steal! However, I was willing to pay a bit more just so that I can use my iPhone. Plus, that old phone had a tendency to drop calls which kinda sucks.

Anyhow, it was narrowed down to two, almost three phone companies: AT&T, Verizon, and almost, but not yet Virgin Mobile. Some of these companies offer PAYG smartphones now, but you have to pay for the smartphone. If you already have one, you can’t get on one of these plans (nor would you want to because they are priced higher to include the cost of the phone). No company that I know of has a PAYG plan in place for old, used iPhones. Nevertheless, using this method got me exactly that: A PAYG iPhone. It should be noted that the ‘smartphone’ part of this phone is only available when connected to a wireless network. The phone and messaging work anywhere and everywhere. But if I want to hop online or check the weather, I need to be near and connected to a wireless network. Do I wish it was a working smartphone 24/7? Absolutely. But as a full-time stay at home Mom and a part-time photographer, there is no way I can justify paying hundreds of dollars a year for a cellphone. The hub’s company pays for his phone, so we don’t need a family plan. I do realize that family plans are BIG money-savers, so if you have a few people in your family that need/want smartphones, that is probably the way to go. Except, of course, that you have to BUY a new smartphone.

So, deciding that AT&T had the best plan for me, I set off to buy a GoPhone. I went to the local AT&T store and somewhat told the surly girl working there my intentions. She quickly told me that no, it wouldn’t work for the simple reason that the SIM cards are different sizes. Besides, these companies would make a whole lot more money on smartphones if converting the old iPhones DID NOT work. After walking out of that store empty handed, I headed over to the local Walmart. At last, I found a like-minded dude working in the electronics department. This guy seemed to know his stuff and was surprised and impressed by my idea. Right away, he pointed out the differently sized SIM cards, but then followed it up with, “But you could buy a SIM card cutter and cut it into a Micro SIM.” This blew my mind. Just. Bang. I said, amazed, “You mean you just cut the card? And it doesn’t damage it?” At this point I was getting excited. I thought that finally, my plan just might come to fruition and (bonus!) I could rub it in my husband’s face! (Say Uncle!) Well, I bought the cheapest AT&T GoPhone at Walmart but I didn’t want to buy a SIM card cutter just to cut one measly SIM card. So yet again, I ran home and researched online how to cut the SIM card myself. With scissors. MacGyver-style. This is what I found. An adorable Australian college student with a template and instructions. Man, I LOVE the internet!

Here is the video:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZUpkX4P6FWA

Following his instructions, I cut that new SIM card (also called a Mini SIM) to Micro SIM size and popped it in my old iPhone 4. Poof! After activating the phone, it was a working, functioning PAYG non-smartphone iPhone 4. Now, it’s worth noting that I’m not a big phone-talker. In fact, I hate it. I don’t have that filter found in normal people wherein they stop talking before making an ass of themselves. So naturally, I prefer the thoughtful process of email and texting. Ah, texting. The plan that I have now, after experimenting with a few plans that proved to be not generous enough in the minutes/texts per $ area, is the $9.99/month for up to 1000 texts. And phone calls are 10 cents per minute. I rarely make/take calls on my phone, so it’s a deal for me. They have plans that have unlimited texts/calls for around $50/month, which is way more than I want/need.

While I realize that this plan is not for everybody, I do think it is ideal for me. I also think this plan is ideal for tweens or teens that want the latest gadgets, but no money to afford them. Plus, you can buy an AT&T gift card that can be used toward the minutes/text of a plan. So you don’t need a credit card to start a plan. Perhaps baby-boomers that want a phone but don’t necessarily need a smartphone could benefit from this too.

If you have any additional questions about how I did this or if you know how I can cheaply convert this phone to a bona-fide smartphone, I’d love for you to leave me a comment. Thanks! -KW

UPDATE 2/8/13: Platinum Tel now offers ‘BYOP’ or Bring Your Own Phone plans. You can buy SIM cards from them to use their plans with whatever phone you already have. Yep. I’m heading over there as soon as I run out of money on my current AT&T plan. Horray for PTel!!!

UPDATE 2/25/13: PTel’s SIM cards are the big ‘ol mama-jamas. So I used the video mentioned above to cut it. I decided to go with the Real Pay-As-You-Go plan and then bought a hotspot from Virgin Mobile. Figured that way I can use the WiFi for my phone, the kid’s Kindle Fires, and a future iPad that I’m toying with the idea of buying. That hotspot was on sale for $83 and change, then costs $30 per month (no contract) for 4G of data, which is more than enough for our needs. I could easily bump it up to $40/mo. for 5G and so on, but 4G should be plenty for now. Next task: Come up with a creative name for my hotspot… Oh, it is ON!

 

 

Remember my friends, Peas and Carrots? Welp. They finally did it. It’s done. They went ahead and got married.

I second-shot this wedding under the wonderfully sweet and friendly Renee with Studio Elle Photography. She generously let me do my thing and we worked together swimmingly. (Go ahead and check out her work. Seriously. She’s as sweet as she is talented.)

I really enjoy shooting documentary-style, and second-shooting weddings is the PERFECT opportunity to do just that. You see, Renee (or any other main photographer) gets all the must-have photos while I fetch the Gatorade and the groom’s Dad whom is shmoozing with the guests somewhere outside. (Yeah, I’m talking about you, Frank.) Yet when all are present and the main photographer is ready to go, she can do her thing comfortably and then I can creep along the sidelines and grab candid photos of things that happen during the day. Things that go unnoticed by most people. But for the stunner in the white dress and the dude by her side, they are the shots that trigger wonderful memories of that beautiful day. The big, huge day when rings and last names are shared.

Here are some of my favorites of that day…

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Shoutout to Justine Collier with The Hair Specialists in Hudson. She and her crew did an amazing job with the bridal party’s hair and make-up!

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Biggest heartfelt congratulations to the lovely Jaime and the wonderful Matt as they begin sharing bills and peeing with the door open. Uh, I mean marriage. Begin an everlasting and loving marriage. icon smile Peas And Carrots Get Hitched

-KW

 

 

One of my favorite things about being a photographer is that I get invited to some pretty important milestones in other people’s lives. Like a child’s first communion. And it really is a win-win for me and the client because Jen, who hired me to photograph her son’s first communion, doesn’t have to worry about getting photos of the day. She can just sit back and enjoy the ceremony and dinner, without the additional worry of sufficiently documenting it. These are some of the photos I took that day at the beautiful Blessed Sacrament Church in Warren, Ohio. Man, I hope to do more work in that church. It was so bright and airy in there, which is not typical of churches, as you probably know.

p730874251 5 Eddies First Communion   May 2012

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I love this one. The teacher was having the kids ‘practice’ holding their hands correctly in order to receive their first communion. Think he’s got it…

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Here, the priest is splashing holy water on the congregation. I had to duck and weave to avoid the water. Holy or otherwise, my camera is not a fan of water. No, sir.

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What do you do when you’ve had a long day and you’ve pretty much had enough? You cuddle with your Mama, that’s what.

p794873767 5 Eddies First Communion   May 2012

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Congrats, Eddie! I hope you feel as loved as I know you are. -kw

Well, after 3 years of taking a break from shooting weddings, I am… well, I guess I’m back… Hey, I had a kid in that time, so it wasn’t all pedicures and reality television!

Danielle the bride and I go way back. We played softball together back in Niles, Ohio when we were all boy-haircuts and  knee socks. So when I heard the news of Danielle and Jason’s engagement, I was sooooo thrilled for them! I met him a couple years ago and thought they were perfect for each other. Danielle is sort of the smart, loud-mouthed, I-do-things-my-way, witty one in the group. Which matches perfectly with Jason, since he’s all intelligent humor and laid back go-with-the-flow.  Both of them have gone through immeasurable loss and came out stronger and wiser on the other side. Like I said: Perfect for each other. Danielle insisted that I shoot their wedding, and I am really glad she did. I loved every minute of being there in Kansas City.  Dust off the ‘ol wedding attire and let’s do this!

First up: Rehearsal Dinner. Lots of laughs, hugs, and sweet sentiment. Not to mention heartfelt gratitude and meaningful gifts. Danielle can work the crowd like a true master of ceremonies! Her son is the same way. Both comfortable as the center of attention, cracking jokes and full of love to give and get. It really was such a beautiful segway into the wedding day.

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On the morning of the wedding, the girls spent hours getting their hair fixed and make-up applied. I’m pretty sure the guys woke up about 30 minutes before they were suppose to be at the wedding venue. Guess it’s not all bad, though. Getting pampered is quite lovely, no?

p864703544 4 Ross / Knoll Wedding   March 10, 2012

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Then. The dress. My God, the DRESS! Hearing Danielle talk about buying a dress only weeks before the wedding, I honestly expected some small, white cocktail dress. A pretty dress, to be sure. But nothing this gorgeous. Wow. Just. Wow!

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Sure, it took a few girls to help tie her into the thing. But it was worth it!

Then it was on to Livestrong Sporting Park. Danielle and Jason are the first couple to be married at the brand new stadium. What a labyrinth that thing is! Vast and spacious, and very, very tastefully designed, too. It was the perfect setting for these two huge soccer fans.

The couple opted to have a ‘First Look’ wherein they see each other for the first time that day, not at the ceremony, but rather beforehand at a predetermined location. A date of ‘check out how hot I look in this get-up’, if you will. As you can tell, they were both very pleased and excited about seeing each other all dressed and and ready to be married. Jason could barely keep his eyes off of Danielle.

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The ceremony was succinct and sweet. Lots of love between these two, as you can see. I also thought it was very sweet for the minister to include Danielle’s son, Nathan into the vows. Talk about an awesome kid. No shortage of love for that boy.

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Right after the ceremony, we headed out to the field to capture a quick shot with the scoreboard, proudly displaying their names.

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Then the party began! Drinking + dancing = FUN! A special visit from Calvin the Comet was a big hit with the kids, too.

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The vendors used for this celebration are as follows. Trust me, they are all WONDERFUL! From the make-up to the DJ, everybody did a fabulous job and was super helpful with whatever the couple or I needed. (Thanks for being great, all!)

Hair: Meggie Hilboldt and Abby Eckirt with Par Exsalonce

Make-up: Kate Webb and Staci Broski with 7th Row

DJ: Danny Haas with Premier Midwest DJ & Entertainment Services

Florist: Sarah Fischer with Joyce’s Flowers

Event Coordinator with Livestrong Sporting Park: Alissa Cunningham at Livestrong Sporting Park

Click HERE to watch the video showcasing a beautiful song and favorite shots from this wedding!

Interested in having me shoot your wedding? Awesome! Contact me for details. (I live in Cleveland, Ohio so travel outside of the Cleveland area includes additional travel fees.)

Are you in the Kansas City area and would prefer a local photographer? Check out my friend, the fabulous Shayara with Shayara Mauck Photography. She will totally rock your wedding!

If you are curious about Danielle’s Blog, I highly recommend checking it out. It’s thoughtful, heart-warming, smart, and funny!

Special thanks to Danielle and Jason for allowing me to capture your wedding day. I had a great time! Big hugs and best wishes to you both!

-Kristen

December 7, 2010 Finally!!!!

It’s been a long time coming, but finally, my website is here!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m so excited, I could burst! Take a look, check it out. There are some embarrassing photos of myself on there, so that’s always fun. As for this blog, expect ‘behind the scenes’ information on my photoshoots and what goes through my crazy head as I shoot or edit. Big shoutout to all the adorable clients I have displayed on my website. Seriously, how cute are they?! Hope to see your lovely face on my website someday as well. Anyhow, thanks for checking out my blog.