a little something different today.  in one month, the blog is going to go dark and while for the most part, this blog has heavily emphasized and focused on the work of wedding photographers.  that’s not to say, there have been plenty of people that are in this wedding industry who have shed so much love on this blog.  they’ve become dear friends of mine and i’m truly honored and proud of them.  some have a vision that truly aligns with what you believe in and it makes it just a little easier to be bowing out knowing that the world of wedding photography still has a place that believes in those moments captured forever.  some also put up with your crazy antics and partnering with you to raise over $100,000 with three different fundraising campaigns to help those in need.

that darling friend of mine is Lucia of UTTERLY ENGAGED.  this woman is a powerhouse and it’s been absolutely wonderful to see how much she’s grown and how she manages to overcome despite her own personal griefs and obstacles.  i am lucky to call her a friend.  i am so very lucky.  Utterly Engaged started off as an online magazine and has now turned into one of the most beautiful and spectacular print magazines out there.  each piece is incredibly and breathtakingly thought out.  and while, the shoots are sometimes styled, my heart is so full when Lucia picks the most talented wedding photographers out there to shoot them.  from the tiniest details to the gorgeous lighting, each issue has taken my breath away.  and i recommend that all wedding photographers start following Utterly Engaged and trying to submit and partner with Lucia.  you’ll be in very good hands.

a few months ago, Lucia had asked me to write a little something for Issue 3.  i’ve included it below and it’ll be one of my last personal posts on here.   i hope it shows why i have always admired and valued wedding photography and what wedding photographers are capable of doing.   thank you again to Lucia for inviting me to be part of her beautiful magazine.  even though it was a hard one to write, it’s one of my favorite pieces i’ve ever written and accompanied by some wonderful wedding talents.

photography: Mary Claire Photography // styling and event planning: Rachael Ellen Events // video: Nicole Traveller Films // gown: Chantel Lauren Designs // floral designs: Calie Rose Floral // cake : Pippa Cakery // jewelry: Katie Waltman Jewelry // stationery and calligraphy: Ruffled Ink Designs // hair and makeup: Vivian Makeup Artist // models: Chelsea and Jordan

Time is funny. It’s the one thing that we cannot hold on to. It’s one of the most frustrating things about our lives. I can’t count how many times I have said, “I wish I could turn back time” or “I just wish there was more time”. Time goes by without batting an eye. The world keeps spinning. However, on occasion, time has stopped for me. I’ve lost plenty of people in my life – friends, cousins, aunts, and uncles – but on June 6th, 2013 time froze. My sister’s boyfriend of eight years suddenly collapsed. He was a brother to me. He was my sister’s forever. I will never forget the moment I learned of his death. The blur and the shock the days after are indescribable. Devastating news blindsides you. It whips the breath from you. It’s one of the only moments when times stops. Almost as though it’s being kind just for one second, to let you catch your breath.

I can’t begin to describe what it was like the days after. Seeing someone you love lose the love of her life while trying to figure out how to cope with your own grief is a whole different ball game. The hardest part of the struggle is that none of my family, especially my sister, got to say goodbye to him. I still want to rewind back time to hug him and tell him how happy I was that he was part of our family, but more importantly, how extremely grateful I was that he was my sister’s partner in life. They loved each other to the moon and back and back and back times infinity. They had a kind of love and respect for each other that others always admired. Something that my sister said during his memorial has always stuck with me: “I often find myself wishing so hard to go back in time just to be with you again. But one thing I realized is that there is nothing about our relationships that I would change. You and I knew how much we loved each other.”

It got me thinking about what I could do to make sure that IF I suddenly had to leave earth today, I had done everything in my power to make sure all the ones I love knew that I loved them and that no word was left unsaid. I didn’t want the feeling of wishing I could go back in time to change something or knowing I didn’t have the chance to tell someone how blessed I was to have them in my life. I have always appreciated my life, but since his passing, I look at every second of my day as a gift. No matter how bad the day is, I try to learn something from it.

I think that is why I am drawn to photography. With one click of a button, a moment is captured forever. Time stands still in that single frame. You will forever remember the feelings of the moment you felt whenever you look at that photo. It’s why I love to emphasize the photographic aspect of weddings. Yes, the details, the décor, and the backdrops are beautiful and important, but it’s the moments that make that day. The images last a lifetime. Many of my photographer friends receive emails from their previous clients after someone they love has passed on, appreciating that the photographer took an extra minute to capture that one portrait, that one candid, that one moment.

While I would never wish upon anyone to go what my family went through—and for those who have, know that you aren’t in this alone—what I stress to others is that because time never stops for anyone, do what you must to cherish each moment. Appreciate it. Savor it. Treasure it. Hold on to it.



confetti throw fridays is where after spending my thursday nights scouring through my blog subscriptions and social media feeds, i pick my favorite images from any of the wedding photographers i am following and showcase them each week in the friday post.  it’s a chance to show off the hard work that wedding photographers have been up to.  in all honesty, i see it as a way for wedding photographers to cheer each other on and give high fives to each for the stellar work.  never see it as a competition or a let down if you’re not on here, always see it as motivation and to throw confetti for your peers in this industry.














LA and OC friends, don’t forget about GO WITH LOVE tomorrow from 10-4! more details HERE.

give a little this weekend and love a lot every day all day.

have a great weekend!

*throws confetti*



i’m in love…

with Iceland.

i get it now.  after seeing so many of my wedding photography friends head off to country midway between the states and europe, an itch to visit started to happen over the past few years.  then as plans actually were established and the reality of getting to go to this place set in, i kept my expectations low and worried that jumping on the bandwagon was not going to hit expectations.  but the minute i got off the airplane in reykavik, a rush of energy i can’t describe took over and all i wanted to was EVERYTHING I COULD POSSIBLY COULD while i was there.  i highly encourage all of you to go if you get the chance.  i encourage you to take photos for five minutes, put your cameras away and just stand there and take it all in.  breathe it all in.  savor that very moment where you’re standing.  i can’t tell you how many times that as soon as i took my photo and snapchatted or what have you, i put my phone away and would stand/sit there and just be in total awe and got lost with where i was.  i feel so lucky that i got the chance to go to this magical place.  i still can’t believe i was there.  i want to go back already.

 below are a few from my instagram feed.  they don’t do that place justice.  so you really need to go see for yourself.

i know quite a few more friends are heading there in the coming weeks, so i’ve listed recommendations below.  more than happy to talk more about Iceland with anyone who is planning on going.  i typed out a lot of the places and sites how you would attempted to pronounce it or type it in into your GPS. if you google them, you’ll get it with all their accents over and with the right letters.  the key is to say all the places really fast and under your breath and it’ll sound like whatever you’re pronouncing over there.  ahaha.
just a few tips:
1.  check to make sure your credit card does not charge the extra 3% to use it over there.  if it does, bring cash and exchange at a local Iceland bank.
2.  be prepared to eat lamb and/or seafood a lot.  if you eat meat, must try the lamb stew anywhere.  if you eat seafood, try all fish, langoustine and mussels.  don’t worry you’ll be walking it all off by hiking all places.
3.  sheep are everywhere.  they’re like the bison in yellowstone national park.
4.  if you want to pet those Icelandic horses, just find a safe place to pull your car over and don’t fall into any gaps between you and the horses.



Reykjavik Lights Hotel


Noodle Station



Reykjavik Roasters


best bet is just to walk around downtown





 Geysir Hot Spring Area


Thingvellir National Park






Sudur Vik


 Hali Country Hotel (only if you go visit Jokulsarlon Glacier for the day)






Crashed Plane (use this link to find it)

Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon (further east of Vik, but worth the drive)



Hotel Sol


Hraunsnef Country Hotel

Settlement Center







Fjoruhusid Cafe










Blue Lagoon Cafe





Blue Lagoon

just a note that these are places that I stopped at.  there are far more here and in between each where you could just pull over your car and take photos and admire all the beauty.  in fact, i encourage you to rent a car or camper van so you can stop at your own leisure to enjoy everything possible.  there was a lot of driving involved- almost 3 to 4 hours each day to cover everything, but every minute was absolutely worth it.

i can’t wait to go back.  this time to see the northern lights.  it’ll be like confetti in the sky.



a lot can change in one year.

through sweat and tears, i’ve managed to still keep this blog going, 100% due to all these truly talented wedding photographers and friends who constantly send me features.  i’ve also moved into a new full time day job at a new smaller, much smaller, company.  all my days are spent helping find new talent to work at the company and it consists of a lot of emails, scheduling, logistics, phone calls, meetings, etc.  because it is a smaller company, there is no way to hide- any lack of effort on your part, you will be exposed.  and let me tell you guys, i absolutely am in love with that challenge.  i’ve thrown myself into this job the past few months and maybe got slightly exhausted, but the hunger and drive to do really well keeps me going.  for those who are familiar with my blog and me, you know that i live for that stuff.  for the past six years, i’ve somehow managed to sneak this blog in amongst a full-time day job, working front desk at a workout studio, trying to deal with the needs of family and hoping to keep friendships alive- with only a slight, almost noticeable loss of sanity.   this blog has been purely a labor of love.  i’ve never really believed in sponsorships or ads because i know i could never guarantee inquiries or bookings.  therefore, always felt grimy about the idea of moving towards that direction.  i have adored every minute of this and what i have been able to create and showcase here.  it’s been an honor to feature so much talent.


again, a lot can change in one year.

it’s super hard for me to write this so i hope you all understand this was not an easy decision and respect my thoughts. and so here it is…


there were a multitude of factors that led me to this and i shall try to articulate them as best as i can below.

1.  i have always believed that if you find joy in something, you keep that joy no matter what and make those sacrifices.  it’s what i’ve done for the past six years in order to keep this blog going.  but there was a tipping point for me this year.  when the Nepal earthquakes happened, Utterly Engaged and I tried to do our usual round of fundraising and rallying our community to help others in dire need.  in 2011, when Japan had their deadly earthquake and tsunami, our community came together to raise about $74,000 in two and half weeks from about 1,400 individual donations.  $74,000 in two and half weeks.  this was before Instagram, so we were relying on Twitter and Facebook and word of mouth.  in 2013, when Philippines was rocked with a horrid typhoon, a handful of photographers came together to offer sessions as donations and word of mouth helped us raise about $19,000 in two and half weeks.  this time around for Nepal, we barely reached $7,000.  it was incredibly disheartening for me.  no matter how much we tweeted, posted on FB and Instagram, we seemed to be met with radio silence.  barely anyone shared the post, let alone donated.  first realize, i never EVER expect people to donate.  i understand not everyone is in a financial situation to.  i do appreciate those who donated even just $5.  but it was truly shocking to me to see how hard it was to get people to share our posts AND worst of all when they share a caption on Instagram, people would simply “like” the photo and that was it.  no one paid attention to what was actually being said in the caption.  as frustrating as this was, it made me realize how self absorbed we seemed to have become and i didn’t want to be part of it anymore.  it was disgraceful.  i felt that somewhere along the lines, social media has given everyone the “ok’ to be “all about me”, it has fed egos and made everyone an “expert”. part of the joy of blogging was the fact that i could use this as a platform to do good.  but seeing how this community became harder and harder rally the past two times, i’m sorry…it just sucked out the joy.  which leads me to…

2.  the wedding photographer community.  let me be clear, this blog doesn’t run at all without the wedding photographer community.  i’ve been beyond lucky to grow an audience of solid gold wedding photographers organically.  the support for this blog has been absolutely amazing.  the submissions keep growing and the readership keeps expanding.  every day, i am lucky to discover new talent.  i’m incredibly flattered that so many of you keep spreading the word about this blog.  which is why bowing out from the blog was a hard decision to make. but there was an adverse effect with this growth, at least for me.  it’s two fold.  when i first started this blog, it consisted me of emailing photographers directly to ask their permission to use their images.  this established these beautiful friendships that i cherish so much.  with the growth of the blog and having submissions come in, which i am so grateful for, the double edge sword is that genuine and authentic relationship seems lost.  as much as i appreciate the love and the wanting to be on the blog from so many wedding photographers, i feel guilty that i don’t truly know who these people are behind the lens.  i miss the interaction.  instead of saying “thanks for your submission and files, you’ll be up on this date”, i long for the “hey, let’s google hangout now”.  the other aspect of this adverse effect is that  as a sort of “third party”, i sometimes feel the wedding photographer community doesn’t fully appreciates what they get to do.  there are definitely some that are so happy to capture the best of moments of a couple and you see it through the joy of their work, but there are more than a handful who seem to constantly whine and complain about the smallest things.  the negativity and noise are often so petty, and it doesn’t make me happy to represent the community.  i’m not sure what happened over the past year or so.  i’m sure that because i’m in my little corner of the earth, i’m only exposed to just a tiny population of it.  but still, where’s the heart?  maybe i’m just naive and i say, when you have a job you love, stop complaining so much.  sure, you get your bad days, but focus on what you get to do and why you started it in the first place.  if you still don’t love it, get out…stop dragging everyone else down. which leads me to…

3.  i started to view this blog as a chore.  and that’s not why i have this blog.  this is supposed to be my hobby.  i want to love the things i do and pour my heart into it.  i don’t want to resent this blog.  this blog came into my life at a time when i was bored and wanted to do something fun and different.  i had NO IDEA what path it was about to take me on.  but i am SO incredibly grateful for it.  at my 30th birthday party recently, more than half the people there were wedding photographers or friends i had met through blogging.  i felt so blessed to have these friendships via the blog.  i have thoroughly enjoyed the doors this blog has opened me to.  there’s an entire world out there that the general public isn’t aware of.  but as with any job and hobby, i’ve had to make a lot of sacrifices and my family has probably been hit the hardest.  given that i have a full time day job, when i come home, i’m exhausted.  it’s a struggle to have to answer more emails again when i get home since that’s what i’ve been all day long.  i usually end up doing all my blog work on the weekend- that consists of answering all the emails, downloading all the images for the next week, culling and selecting images, writing up all the posts for the following week and scheduling all of those.  that usually ends up being about 8 hours of weekend day leaving no time to really hang out with family or by myself to just relax.  and this is just the basic responsibilities of being a blogger, let’s not forget about the fact that you have to tweet, instagram, phhhoto, snapchat, facebook, pinterest, and who knows what other thing is next that you have to do to keep on top of the game.  now that i’m 30 and not getting any younger, i want to enjoy myself and savor my time with my family and my quiet time for myself.  i. need. a. break.  selfish move, but hey, i’m fortunate enough to have a day job that i get along with and that i can fall back on.  which leads me to…

4. i could never be a full time blogger.  i’ve realized i’m not a fan of the attention and who are all these strangers?  maybe i’m just getting older..ahaha.  i’ve been at this as a hobby for six years and  i’ve truly valued the genuine and authentic relationships more than anything and above anything else.  i don’t have a lot of followers on my social media feeds, but i notice the more i gain, the more i get anxious about the photographers i featured that day- did they get more click throughs, did they gain more followers, did they get enough likes from the photo i picked on instagram…the thoughts are endless and when i don’t meet expectations, i’m disappointed.  then it’s this domino effect of i’m not doing a good enough job.  no one is listening anymore.  i’ve missed the boat.  all that anxiety is so silly compared to the bigger picture, but it seeped in and that’s when you realize, maybe this blog isn’t your hobby anymore if it’s not making you happy and giving you anxiety.


i hope that this doesn’t make me sound unappreciative and ungrateful for this blog and those that follow it.  because i sincerely do feel honored and flattered that so many of you have sent your work this way to be featured on here.  the amount of squeals of delight when i see certain submissions roll in, the pride i have felt to see photographers grow in their careers, the 2398443982475843998475 images i have looked at of pure, raw, beautiful emotions and love….nothing will ever compare to that.  even to this day, i am still receiving utterly beyond words beautiful work from talent all over the world.  i 100% believe that i’ve had the fortunate experience of featuring THE most talented and world renowned wedding photographers out there.  i also have to say that you have been there for me through the worst of times.  as many of you know, i’ve lost a few dearly loved ones while i’ve had this blog.  the one that blindsided me hit me the hardest and every day i still struggle a little bit.  but there aren’t enough words to describe the outpour of support in the aftermath and still to this day.  thank you from the bottom of my heart to each and every one of you for coming here day in and day out to look at the blog.  i wish i could hug every one of you and throw some confetti your way.

what does this mean for the rest of the year?

i’ll be accepting submissions til they fill up the rest of the year.  i’m already at mid- October.  i am still 100% committed to and dedicated to all posts through the end of the year.  half of me feared to make this announcement now as maybe submissions will stop, but at the same time, i wanted to be as fair as possible to you all.  i still semi want to do a “best of 2015″ collection again, but we’ll see if when i do my call out for it, if we get enough interest.  it would be totally awesome to have that as the last thing on the blog.  that project is something i always treasure doing.

so there you have it.

six years of absolute labor of love poured into this thing called a blog.

i’m obviously still around to hang out with people.  duh.  you might see me pop up on a few other things to help wedding photographers out, including attempting to be a photographer’s assistant at weddings here and there.  so i’m still here, just not ON here.  definitely feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions.

and again,  no amount of words can really truly ever describe the thanks and appreciation i have for all the experiences, friendships, love and support not only for this blog, but for me personally for the past six years.  i hope to continue some of these outside of the blog.  but ultimately understand that this might be the end of the road for others.  thank you for giving me the gift and opportunity to cheer on so much talent and fall in love with wedding photography and storytelling.  it’s been an honor.

i’m leaving you with some of my favorite images that have stood out in my mind and from photographers who have meant the world to me for the past six years.  just a heads up, there’s a LOT of images.  it’s hard to pick from 29743379284756379 plus images that mean so much to me over the past six years so bear with me.






















































these are only 50 images from 50 different wedding photographers that have made an impact on my life.  this is only a small handful.  the best part is all of these have become personal friends and i am incredibly blessed and so proud to know each and every one of them.  please know that every single photographer that has sent images in or have reached out in some form or another has made the blog for the better.  again, thank you so much.

p.s. i’m on vacation for the next two weeks so no posts.  follow where i’ll be on instagram and snapchat (confettiwizard).



full disclosure: this is an extremely heavy read with mostly just words and a lot of feelings.

the flashing line has been blinking at me for the past half hour, i’ve procrastinated this post by trying to find the right music to get me in the right mindset to write this post.  i’m even trying to find lemon cake recipe’s for my mum’s birthday next weekend too (don’t tell my mum, please).  my brain is also fatigued from a tiring week at work.  and honestly, just emotionally fatigued from trying to hold it all together as i knew this day was coming up.

and that’s the thing about grief, there are some days where i am so tired about it, i don’t want to write about it. and some days it just pours out of me and i have endless things to say.  a couple of posts this week could not have come more in perfect timing.  the first was Sheryl Sandberg’s.  i encourage all to read it if you want a tiny glimpse into what it feels like in the immediate aftermath of a sudden loss.  every word she wrote was exactly how i felt after losing Mikey.  then A Cup of Jo wrote one on grief as well.  and what resonated was this passage from Lament of a Son:

Rather often I am asked whether the grief remains as intense as when I wrote. The answer is, No. The wound is no longer raw. But it has not disappeared. That is as it should be. If he was worth loving, he is worth grieving over.

Grief is existential testimony to the worth of the one loved. That worth abides. So I own my grief. I do not try to put it behind me, to get over it, to forget it… Every lament is a love-song.

so here we are, two years later.

for those new to the blog, two years ago today, my entire world stopped.  i can take you minute by minute to exactly when i got the news.  i can even make your hairs stand up on your arm by telling you that when my sister got the call, i was in nyc, three hours ahead of her time, and i woke up in a panic feeling something had gone terribly wrong.  she didn’t call me with the news til four hours later, waiting for me to wake up.  but i will just never ever forget it.  my first thoughts immediately went to my grandma had passed, or mum/dad didn’t make it.  never EVER had it crossed my mind that it would be his name i would hear.

“Mikey passed away. Mikey’s gone.”

Mikey was my sister’s fiancé.  they had been together for eight years.  they were it.  they were that couple where you thought, “how do they make it work?” and “do they ever argue?”.  he became my brother over the years.  the one who kept me company when my sister had to work, the one who spent endless hours talking to me about history and war stuff, the one who made me pancakes just how i liked whenever i visited, the one who would pull up his pants chest high, create an underbite, pull his glasses down his nose and speak in a dodgy british accent to make us all laugh. he was family.

on June 6th, 2013, Mikey collapsed.  they say it was sudden heart failure.  he was 36 years old.

yes, you read that right.  36 years old.

the first year consisted of incredible pain.  the first year was blundering and stumbling through the pain, shock, and disbelief.  please note that i am speaking as the sister of someone who lost the love of their life as well as someone who lost a loved one.  the first year truly was a struggle.  a struggle to see my sister go through it all, a struggle for me unsure of who to go to to grieve her own loss, a struggle to balance and be strong.  there was a LOT of anxiety and a LOT of tears.  i had to learn how to hold it together for her.  i flew up and down to the bay area and back to be with her.  my world in LA was put on hold, in order for me to help make sure her world went around.  that’s the thing about grief, and i’ve reiterated it before, there isn’t a manual on it and everyone handles it in their own way.  i like to write about, my sister does not.  i talk about it with my parents a lot, my sister does not.  i let her come to me to talk about it when she wants to.  there is no need to push and prod her to speak about it.  she needs to speak on it on her own terms.  so needless to say, the first year also included a lot of learning.  this was the “new normal”.

so year two.  my sister moved down here with me.  there was less anxiety of how she was doing because she was less than 20 ft away from me.  however, there WERE slamming of doors as we learned how to live together once again.  patience was tried.  and any time it became too much, of course it stirred up all the longing for things to be back to how it was.  year two was supposed to be the year of “this was supposed to happen now”.  it was supposed to be a joy.  my sister passed her boards, graduated from her fellowship program, and found a permanent job.  she was supposed to share this with her partner in life.  so as happy as this is, there is that tiny part which can not escape you that thinks, “but wait, he was supposed to be here.”

admittedly though, year two was more bearable.  i think you could say we adjusted.   reality set in and this is the life for us now.  is it any easier?  fuck no.  i still hate that i’m in this situation.  in fact, just about a month ago, i had the thought that two years was coming up and thought to myself, “hey we did ok!”  then no sooner than an hour later, my sister came in, in tears, remembering that that day marked their ten year dating anniversary.  so no, it doesn’t get any easier.  and i still have moments where i shake my head and remind myself that he isn’t here and go through a rollercoaster of emotions.  but i do have to say, it gets “better”.  you figure out your footing on how to deal with the overwhelming sadness that hits you randomly.  when the turkey in the supermarket reminds you of that one thanksgiving where there was so much leftover, he was so happy to eat it for two weeks after, and you just stand there right in the supermarket, letting the tears fall.  when the opening notes of a song that they both loved comes on the radio, and you quickly change the channel before she can hear it, then your eyes well up remembering that this is your new reality.  grief, you fucking phantom limb.  you always know it’s there.  and some days, it decides to not show itself and some days, it decides to come out in full glory and that gets pretty debilitating.

here’s a few things that i’ve learned about grief.

1.  it’s ok to not be ok.

2.  you have a choice each morning to get up and make the most of your day.  do it because he doesn’t have that choice anymore.

3. avoid social media.  it will make you angry and depressed to see how friends find the most petty things to complain about and wail about how sad their life is.  but you can’t be angry at them, their lives go on too.  at the same time, I would never wish this upon anyone else.  and for those who are in the same boat as me and have lost someone, there’s this secret club where we’re all in it together and you feel less alone.  the biggest difference in year two with friends is that they’ve stopped asking how i am.  as though it never even happened.

4. lean on family and close friends.  tell them when you aren’t feeling ok.  they don’t know and have no idea how to deal with the grief either.  they’re petrified of saying the wrong things and most likely will.  they’re just as confused as you are about what to say and how to feel and what to do.  but for me, the simplest of act of just talking to me helped.  don’t leave me in the dark.  i thank the handful of friends who unbeknownst to them have helped me through many a wretched day or put up with my emotional rollercoaster.

5.  take deep breaths.  long walks to clear your head.  carry tissues with you at all times.

6. give yourself the chance to smile again.  we had more laughs this year.  gosh, it felt good.  it felt good for myself.  it felt good to see my sister really laugh and smile again.

7.  no matter what shit day you’ve had, don’t forget to tell your loved ones how much you love them.

8.  Grief, when it comes, is nothing like we expect it to be. … Grief has no distance. Grief comes in waves, paroxysms, sudden apprehensions that weaken the knees and blind the eyes and obliterate the dailiness of life. Virtually everyone who has ever experienced grief mentions this phenomenon of “waves.”

- Joan Didion

last night, i finally asked my sister how she felt about this day.  and we talked about Mikey.  i wonder how she holds it together some days.  but seeing her hold it together keeps me together.  i still can’t imagine what it must be like to lose someone she loved to the moon and back and back times infinity.  but as you might have heard me say before, they left nothing unsaid and i think that’s one of the most comforting, but heartbreaking things about their relationship.  i expressed how i have a fear that i’m starting to forget him and his mannerisms.  so we started sharing memories and even watched a video she had stashed away.  it’s a weird indescribable feeling of watching someone on the screen that has passed.  you want so badly to reach into the screen to hug him and beg him not to go.  but it’s so oddly comforting knowing that these photos and videos of him exist and are here forever.  and ironically enough, my sister shared a passage with me that i shall leave with you.  in hopes that it helps a few others out there as well (you know who you are).

“You want a physicist to speak at your funeral. You want the physicist to talk to your grieving family about the conservation of energy, so they will understand that your energy has not died. You want the physicist to remind your sobbing mother about the first law of thermodynamics; that no energy gets created in the universe, and none is destroyed. You want your mother to know that all your energy, every vibration, every Btu of heat, every wave of every particle that was her beloved child remains with her in this world. You want the physicist to tell your weeping father that amid energies of the cosmos, you gave as good as you got.

And at one point you’d hope that the physicist would step down from the pulpit and walk to your brokenhearted spouse there in the pew and tell him that all the photons that ever bounced off your face, all the particles whose paths were interrupted by your smile, by the touch of your hair, hundreds of trillions of particles, have raced off like children, their ways forever changed by you. And as your widow rocks in the arms of a loving family, may the physicist let her know that all the photons that bounced from you were gathered in the particle detectors that are her eyes, that those photons created within her constellations of electromagnetically charged neurons whose energy will go on forever.

And the physicist will remind the congregation of how much of all our energy is given off as heat. There may be a few fanning themselves with their programs as he says it. And he will tell them that the warmth that flowed through you in life is still here, still part of all that we are, even as we who mourn continue the heat of our own lives.

And you’ll want the physicist to explain to those who loved you that they need not have faith; indeed, they should not have faith. Let them know that they can measure, that scientists have measured precisely the conservation of energy and found it accurate, verifiable and consistent across space and time. You can hope your family will examine the evidence and satisfy themselves that the science is sound and that they’ll be comforted to know your energy’s still around.

According to the law of the conservation of energy, not a bit of you is gone; you’re just less orderly.


—Aaron Freeman

so Mikey, wherever you are, drinking your Guinness and watching your Canucks, we love you and still miss you. every. single. minute. of. the. day.  i still give thanks for you being in our lives.  for being part of our family, for loving me like a sister, and most of all, for showering my sister with love like no other.



do you ever find stuck or stumped in a life situation? do you ever find that you end up talking yourself in circles about the situation and for the life of you, being unable to figure out what to do next?  you just wish that there was just someone you could chat with that really understood what you’re going through or has been through the situation- whether it be business related or some personal struggle.  or maybe it’s this giggle that you just need to share.  or the fact that you think you’ve figured out how to be most successful in cutting confetti and know the best bits of paper for the most ideal floating confetti.

that has been me.  fact- i live a double life.  during the day, i am part of the recruiting team for a entertainment tech/digital media company.  i work from as soon as i wake up through 10 pm at times.  that world is quite a bit different from this blogging and photography world.  there are times during the day when i see something going on in the wedding photography world that i look up from my computer and want to vent to my coworkers, but i know they will have no flipping idea what the heck i am talking about and no idea how to help me.  so that’s when this community comes in to play.  almost immediately, i will message a close wedding photographer friend or any one in this blogging world i am close with.  they talk me through the issue and help come up with solutions.  i have relied many a time on that advice to help make this blog better.  so i truly believe in the essence of a community and therefore am excited and totally 100% support for this retreat.

Kym Ventola, the one behind this, is a dear sweet friend of mine.   in her little ways, she’s been there for me…whether through social media or physically in person at the rare times we end up being in the same city.  i treasure this lady’s friendship with me and she’s truly an inspiring woman.  what i like about Kym is that she is whole heartedly willing to admit she doesn’t have it figured out.  she’s had her struggles as well, but wants to help others through similar situations and be able to learn and grow from others as well.  i am thrilled she is doing this and the ladies she has partnered with for this include quite a few more ladies that i am uber proud to call friends and have admired for their strength.

what do i love about NINE?

NINE is a retreat for women.
NINE is education and relaxation.
NINE is a safe place for us to support each other.
NINE is a place to be honest and humble and to find the answers we desperately want, but don’t know where to find them.

what else is NINE going to offer:

  • growing your business, while creating more time for yourself, your family and your friends
  • taking control of your finances; learn to save & spend wisely
  • discovering and defining your passions and responsibilities
  • overcoming fears & guilt
  • talking about anxiety and depression
  • getting inspiration and support from our humble, kind, loving and insightful speakers
  • vulnerability
  • community: meet and connect with incredible women
  • creating habits in your daily routine for success
  • photography: we have many photographers attending and will answer any questions you have
  • “dressing your truth”: does your style reflect who you are deep inside?
  • learning simple, healthy makeup tips for a busy schedule
  • learning quick & easy workout routines
  • healthy eating: juice and smoothie lessons to improve your health
  • yoga on the rooftop each morning
  • sharing dinner on the beach with new and old friends, at sunset
  • laughing….a lot.
  • some extra surprises along the way too!


if this sounds like something you’re interested in, NINE retreat is

September 21-24 | Venice Beach, California

and i have a special promo code to use for THIS WEEK ONLY.  enter everours9 at checkout.

and obviously head on over to NINE Retreat for the full list of speakers and for more information.

never ever underestimate the power of just spending time with other women in this community and developing that genuine friendship.  those bonds are truly some of the ones i cherish the most.  as cheesy as that sounds….i will yell it from the mountaintops.  that’s how strongly i believe in the simple power of gathering a group of women and each discovering their strengths and realizing they aren’t alone in anything in life.  and let’s be honest, hanging out in the beach house should be the cherry on top.

so again, head on over HERE to learn more and register.  and don’t forget the special promo code!



i’m usually the positive one. the one that is like “go team!”.  the one that cheers everyone on and rallies.  i absolutely love being able to support what wedding photographers do because i do love their work and their ability to capture the most beautiful and touching moments of one of the most important days of people’s lives.

but i also like being the transparent one.  i like to be real. and that might make me sound needy and insincere if i do it too much, because trust me, there are definitely some people are do talk so much what they’ve been through on social media, i cringe too as it just comes off as preachy and self centered.

but here i am today with a plea for help.

many of you are sitting right now reading this from your phone, laptop, tablet or what have you in your studio, office, restaurant, coffee shop or bed.  with a coffee in hand, eating your kale salad, or grilling your steak or what have you.   and because this blog caters to wedding photographers, i am going to call you out specifically.  some of you are getting inquiries and bookings maybe this minute, or this week or the next month that i bet you are in the ranges of $1,000 to $9,000.  i have posted this plea in every one of my social media feeds and Lucia and I have strive really hard to think of who else to reach out to.  and while i am happy that many of you are sharing these posts about what we’re doing.  the donation amount has remained pretty stagnant.  and i get it.  i totally and utterly get it.  i am not rich by any means and i like having money to be able to support my lifestyle.  in fact, sometimes i am a downright worry wart and hide in my apartment refusing to hang out with people because it means spending money which i am terrified i might not have next week if i lose my job.  no one can guarantee job security whether you’re in corporate America or self-employed.  so trust me when i say, i know.  but for pete’s sake, give up that cup of coffee or that kale salad and just donate $5 or $10.

it makes a difference.

i saw it happen when we did For Japan With Love.  that $72,000 plus didn’t come from people donating chunks of money like $50 or $100 or thousands.  it came from over 1,400 individuals that were donating $5, $10, or $25.  yeup, that’s right.  all of us coming together in small ways to help for a larger cause.  people in need and oh how they needed our help and support.  we are in a position to give it to them, so please just reexamine your priorities for the next two weeks and help us raise funds to help Nepal.

the media here isn’t really covering it because apparently riots, violence, celebrities and their lifestyles are far more important issues to cover.  a natural disaster in a third world country apparently is not as of a concern.  but here’s how i see it,  not all of us were Haitian or Japanese or Filipino when those major disastrous natural disasters happened.  the bottom line is we are humans.  we are all human beings.  and as human beings, we have the undeniable power to be compassionate, to be in a position to help one another, to have empathy. 


the death toll has now surpassed 4,800.  over 9,200 are injured.  over EIGHT MILLION people have been affected.

it wasn’t just an earthquake.  it wasn’t just a 7.8 earthquake.  it was also an avalanche that took lives and injured and stranded others.  many of whom are still missing.  it was also an earthquake that caused a 6.7 aftershock.  it was also an earthquake that caused landslides that resulted in 200 more people missing. 

so please, instead of spending 5 minutes scrolling through your instagram or facebook or what have you. please take a moment to put yourself in their shoes and what would you hope someone would do for you?  then do it.  donating takes less than five minutes.  and that $5 or $25 or $100, no matter what the amount, i promise you’re going to help a life.  and i guarantee that it’s a feeling that will make you feel 100% full.   please head over HERE to donate and please help spread the word and keep Nepal and surrounding areas in your prayers and thoughts.

click image below to go directly to donate.

if you are a photographer that wants to help in other ways, please email me.  i would be ever so grateful.

for more information too, please head to FOR NEPAL WITH LOVE.

thank you for listening.

take care.