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The Dress That Keeps Going… and Going…

Well I know I haven’t blogged a lot lately. Honestly, I’ve been spending a lot of time getting our new blog, All Things New, up and running and that’s been really fun. But a few weeks ago we celebrated our anniversary! Can you believe Tony and I have been married for a year! I sure can’t. It has flown by.

So for our anniversary we wanted a little getaway so we went up to Big Bear, where my parents have a little cabin. It was nice to get away to the mountains and just rest and connect. Knowing we would go out to dinner to celebrate, we had an idea.

Some of you remember the story of my wedding dress. Well part of that story involves the fact that my mom actually wore her dress out to dinner for their first three anniversaries, sans the veil and capey-train thing. The next year, she cut it off a little. And the next year…. mini skirts were in. I don’t know if that doll was a gift from my dad for their third anniversary or what… I hope not. :)

But can we please talk about that beehive? I believe my mom called that a “wiglet” or a “cascade”. Whatever. It’s tall.2014-05-20_0018

So why not carry on that tradition and wear that same dress, in its current state, out to dinner? I made sure I brought a tri-pod so we could at least attempt to take some photos.
We went out for Indian food and had a great time. And other than one congratulations from the next table over, who of course thought we had just gotten married (we chose not to correct them), pretty much all we got were questioning glances. Not even a free dessert! Come on people!

Stefanie & Will- French Estate Wedding


From the first time I heard from her, I knew Stefanie’s wedding was one I wanted to be a part of. As she told me about dressing up in Star Trek costumes and doing a photo shoot right after they got engaged, I knew that Stefanie and Will were people I needed to know! These two are fun, silly, and caring. They invest time in their friends and because of that it is obvious how much their friends and community love them. Their day was full of love and support for these two as they start their journey together.

This was my first time at the French Estate. I love all the little details.


Stefanie wore her grandmother’s watch. Doesn’t she look beautiful?

In honor of Will’s love for all things Star Wars, each of the groomsmen had a little lightsaber in their boutonierre. I told you these people were fun!


And here’s the man of the hour lookin’ all handsome and stuff!

The two of them decided to do a first look, almost always my favorite part of the day! I just love his expression as she snuck up behind him.

And how perfect that the words “enjoy this moment” were right above their heads.

They are just so sweet together!


Will’s gifts to his groomsmen were these daggers. Such a dude.

And these bridesmaids were so so fun! Stefanie has a deep deep love for Sidecar Doughnuts so one of her gals made sure she had some on her wedding day.

They took a moment in a little corner of the house to exchange gifts for each other.

Gorgeous bouquet by Michele at Magnolia Design

All of their guests were invited to come up and join in prayer over the couple.

Woo hoo!!!

I love these moments right after the ceremony. A dear friend’s embrace, a bride twirling in her dress, and saying hi to a friend tuning in via skype from Africa.

All of their details were just beautiful. Another friend of theirs hand drew all of the table names. Each table was named after a song and when that song was played, the table was dismissed to visit the food truck.

You can certainly tell a lot about a couple by the toasts their friends and family give. These were so perfect. Funny but incredibly heart felt and with a lot of depth. A great way to describe Will and Stefanie!

Yep, they had a food truck. Awesome!

I loved everything about the cake table: the hand made paper chain background, the rustic but elegant cake and  the groom’s cake that Will loved so much he refused to cut into it!

So silly!

A beautiful evening under the stars, complete with s’mores!

They exited through a tunnel of glow sticks since, as Stefanie said, “it’s kinda like lightsabers!” Always thinking of her man!

I know I say this a lot, but it truly was an honor to be a part of your wedding day. I feel like my life is better because I’ve gotten to meet you. I am encouraged by your love for one another and the deep love that your family and friends have for you. Stefanie, let’s get together with our men folk soon!

Love, Jen

Aubrey & Stephen- Orange Circle Engagement Session

I double dog dare you to look at this post without a smile busting onto your face. You can’t help it! These two are possibly the cutest darn couple you ever did see. They are absolutely adorable.
I first met Aubrey when she was a bridesmaid in Ashley & Matt’s wedding. Then again when she was a bridesmaid in Haylee & Adam’s wedding. She is one of four amazingly sweet friends who have all been in each others weddings. And I have been extremely blessed to be there. It makes it really nice to arrive and already know half of the bridal party! How cool is that?!?
Anyway, I’m going to stop talking now and let you just feast on the cuteness that is these two.

I can’t wait for your wedding you two!!!!
PS- a big thank you to Will from Vintage Bicycle Restoration for letting us take photos with his awesome truck! He just happened to pull up right as we walked by. I wasn’t gonna let that opportunity pass me by!

Spring Mini Sessions! May 3rd, 2014

I’ve often had people ask me if I do mini sessions. Since I like to have a good hour and a half to really get a variety of looks for a family, I chose not to do mini sessions….

Until now!

For one day only I will be offering 7 mini sessions. Yep… just 7! So if you’re interested reserve your time slot right away!

*update* there are just 2 spots left!

2014-03-24_0001Here’s the deets:

Saturday May 3rd, 2014 in Orange County (exact location TBA)

$175 includes:

~20 minute portrait session

~3 retouched digital files

~a viewing gallery of approximately 30 images to choose from

* the fine print *

~mini sessions are available for families of up to 6 people

~ a $50 non-refundable deposit is due at the time of booking

~prints, canvases and additional digital files are available for purchase

~a CD of all edited images from your session is available for an additional $175

Here are the time slots:


3:30 pm

4:00 pm

4:30 pm

5:00 pm

5:30 pm

6:00 pm









Will & Stefanie- Crystal Cove Engagement Session

This is Will & Stefanie.
Fact: They are awesome.
They are smart, silly, and self-proclaimed nerds. But I’ll tell you what. They are a blast to be around and their love for each other shows all over their faces. They so obviously adore each other. They are getting married in less than three weeks and I can’t wait!

One of several personal dance parties we had.

Can we talk about this sunset? It was an amazing night at Crystal Cove.
Just another dance party. No big deal. Nothing to see here.


Girly Girl Baby Shower- Redondo Beach Photography

I’ve been on the party circuit lately and I love it! Remember Becky & Bobby’s fairy godmother? Well I knew I loved her when I first met her, but I’m loving her more and more all the time! She is one of the most generous people I’ve ever met and it has been so much fun to get to know her and see how much she loves and blesses her family.

Teresa recently threw a baby shower for her daughter, Jill, who is expecting her first baby in April. It was such a fun party and they made me feel right at home and just like one of the guests. Just look at all of the beautiful details!
The guest(s) of honor.
Cecilia from Royal Elegance Designs is the one who made all the magic happen!
And here’s the fairy godmother herself!
The daddy to be showed up to help carry all the gifts home.
He’s a huge Dodgers fan. How adorable is his face, watching his bride open gifts for their daughter?
They were starting this girl off right! Can you even stand these little shoes?
Such a fun way to spend a Saturday!

What are you doing this weekend?

Come Learn with Me!

So for those of you that were hoping my announcement had something to do with me being pregnant… well… you might be pretty disappointed. I’m not. Pregnant, that is.

But for those of you who are wanting to start a photography business or are feeling stuck and wanting to take it to the next level… well, my announcement may just be great news for you!

I am so excited to offer, for the first time, one-on-one mentor sessions!

I have been running my photography business for almost nine years now (wow, has it really been that long?!?). I’ve done some things right and have fallen flat on my face at other times.

But through the trial and error of it all, I’ve learned A LOT! I’m an open book and I love sharing what I have learned with other photographers. I have created these one-on-one mentoring sessions to help you learn in the best way possible so I will be completely open on how I run my business, from client meetings, to pricing, to final product.

Everyone is at a different place, from dreaming of breaking into the photography biz to needing that extra push to grow your business. Let me help. Your one-on-one session will be customized to fit YOU and what YOU need most. Here are the details:

Mentor Session Postcard


A fun announcement coming Monday!


Room for Two- a.k.a., how to turn a super girly room into something relatively suitable for a man.

A couple of years before I got married I painted my room pink. I was embracing my inner girly-girl and figured I’d better do it now, because if I were to ever get married, pink probably wouldn’t go over well. Well when I said it was time to paint, Tony, the sweet husband that he is said he didn’t mind the pink, as long as we mixed in other not so feminine colors. Like grey. So cute. But no. I would never do that to him.
And besides, pink definitely didn’t match our new bedding.
So here’s the before (s):
… and the after!

I love love love our bedding and the texture of it!


Our headboard was made from an old door that Tony’s dad picked up somewhere. We had used it for the wedding for our escort cards.

And then we stripped it down and voila!

The Mr & Mrs were wedding gifts and we figured this was the perfect place for them. Don’t tell, but we don’t actually sleep under our respective signs. But “Mrs. & Mr.” just doesn’t have the same ring to it.

Since we decided to get a Cal King sized bed, and boy am I glad we did, we didn’t have any room for bedside tables. But you need somewhere to set a glass of water, or a book. So we came up with these.

Tony built them and I finished them to match the headboard. They are just the right size and exactly what we needed! And man was it fun to take blowtorch to that wood!

Who doesn’t love a good makeover?

It’s one of the things I love most in life. Breathing new life into something old, beat up or broken. Or just plain ugly! When I bought my house I didn’t have a ton of extra cash lying around so I spray painted a heck of a lot of furniature. Tony and I have a joke that if it stands still, we paint it. Those same pieces have now been reincarnated several times over as I do my part to fully destroy the ozone layer. Is that even a thing people say anymore? Oh well, I just totally dated myself.
This piece here was a fun little project. It was my great aunt’s dresser that my mom insisted I take. My mother has a really hard time letting things go. Where I would try to sell an item on Craiglist or simply donate it, my mom will hold onto it because surely there is someone who could use it. Seriously, she would still have my furniature from my childhood bedroom if my younger cousin hadn’t have needed it. So when my aunt no longer needed this beast of a dresser, my mom insisted I take it because a.) it has a lot of storage, and b.) it would be great in a nursery someday. I’m not pregnant. Nor was I when she said this right after we got married. So after I picked my jaw up off the floor from this statement, I decided to take it.
It sat in the garage for months, with Tony using it as a work bench. *side note- let’s talk about that wood stacked in front of it. How awesome is that? We’re going to make something really cool out of that. I’m just not sure what yet.
For a while I couldn’t decide what color to paint it. Would it look nice white or black? You can see my experimentation here. I thought that if I painted it white it might have that Hollywood Regency look about it. But come to find out, all that detail on there was plastic. Wood grained plastic. Yuck! So I decided to take on off to see what was underneath. Bummer, just particle board with big holes in it.
As I expressed my disappointment, Tony said, “Babe, think about who you’re married to!”
And this project just got a little more interesting.
We had some old pine that we had picked up somewhere, but it looked way too new. We aged it using steel wool and vinegar. Look what a difference that made!
So after we painted the rest of it a light grey, here’s what we ended up with.
I even repurposed the knobs. They were white ones I had saved from the kitchen cabinets when I replaced them years ago. See… this is why I keep everything! You never know when you might use it! And I usually do!