Griffin John Stewart Inouye :: 4 years old

March 26, 2011 :: 10:01am :: 9lbs 1oz :: 20 in

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That’s you, Griff.  Those were your stats on the day that you were born, and at that time it was the only thing that we knew about you to be true.  In this photo you were 2 days old.  It truly is amazing to see how much of a world-changing difference four years makes.

You came into this world wailing to announce your arrival.  And… entertainingly enough… you still do this.  You wail often.  And you are fantastic about making your entrance into a room.  At making sure that everyone knows you have arrived.  You have this way about you that makes people see you.  Hear you.  Adore you.

This little voice you have is beyond anything that I could have ever imagined.  It is so high pitched, yet soft.  Your voice is gentle and caring.  And that lisp… oh that lisp.  If it wasn’t something that would get you fired from jobs when you were 35… I’d want you to keep it forever.  It seems almost as though you have an accent, but I can’t quite figure out if it is a southern drawl or a dapper Brit, but what I am sure of… is that everything about you is all you.  You stroll, not march, to the beat of your own drum.  You are mild-tempered, go-with-the-flow, and kind.  You are very timid, but not shy.  You’ll talk to anyone around you who will listen, but if I ever dare to even attempt to toss you around a little bit your teeth clench and your hands are deadlocked onto any part of my arms that will keep you securely fastened to me.  Yet, Space Mountain was totally your jam at Disneyland last year, so maybe there’s still a little bit of hope for the dare devil in you.

To throw in one quick miracle… you’re learning how to share, and you do so with such grace.

Your Daddy says that the best thing about you is that you are his cuddler, and he’s right.  You are the only 1/3rd of the little half humans in our house who will lay in bed and snuggle for hours on end.  You bask in human touch.  It is your love language.  You insist on hugs and kisses throughout the day, and beckon for us to hold you and love on you.

You idolize your older brother, and you are beginning to see that there might be more of a friend, less of an enemy, in that little brother who stole the show from you a little bit too early.  Hudson are Brodrick have more similar personalities than you, so sometimes the two of them play together and you’re off on your own doing something creative.  But then sometimes the three of you all play together and it is simply magical to listen in on your conversations.  You are the one who carries on the conversation.  You force your brother to talk to you.  You communicate what games you are playing, and what the rules are… you ask Hudson several questions, and demand answers… and you laugh the hardest when something funny happens between the three of you.

There isn’t a way to sum up this post.  It seems as though I could go on and on trying to write to your future self… trying to explain to the 18 year old Griffin how freaking boss the 4 year old Griffin is right now.  So for now, I will end by saying that, Griffin, you can light up a room with your smile, your wit, and your charm.  People flock all over you, and marvel at how blue your eyes are… they fall in love with you in a split second.  And that is exactly what I did four years ago when I met you for the first time.  Lucky enough for me… I get to keep you.

I love you, PiePie.  Happy 4th birthday.

Love,

Mawwwwm.

View More: http://gabrielryan.pass.us/inouye-familyPhoto credit Carlie at www.gabrielryan.net

 

Downtown Las Vegas Wedding Photographer :: Emily & Jason

Spring in Las Vegas is such a wonderful time of year. The temperature is mild, a soft breeze can usually be felt prickling against your skin, and the excitement of beautiful days lingers in the air.  It was early March, and the long winter days had finally subsided.  Emily had checked all of the days off her calendar for the countdown until the day she became Mrs. Jason Marinaro.  Their wedding day had arrived, and it could not have been more perfect.

Jason and Emily chose to have their families enjoy a wonderful party at The Downtown Grand Hotel.  And that is exactly what it had been planned as from the very first time that I met with them.  The entertainment of their friends and family was always on the forefront of their minds, and all of their planning was finally coming to fruition.  The Downtown Grand Hotel is located near Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas where the city has been working hard to revitalize the old Las Vegas buildings.  It was my first time shooting a wedding there, and I could not have been more excited to mix the worlds of a beautiful blush wedding with the urban downtown feel.

Jason and Emily were both so laid back while they got dressed the morning of their wedding.  The groomsmen were a riot to hang out with, and the bridesmaids were stunning and kind.  We traveled very briefly down the street to First Good Shepard Lutheran Church to hold the ceremony.  The church is a traditional old chapel with beautiful stain glass windows, which was the perfect setting for Jason and Emily to exchange their vows before heading back to Downtown Grande to do bridal party photos around the area of the hotel.

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Emily’s dress. Oh Emily’s dress!! Such stunning back detailing, and the lace was beyond gorgeous!

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Jason knows my affinity for a bow-tied groom, and he took it one step further with giving me a dapper cream bow tie, with a classic black tuxedo.  Oh, and those flasks sure did prove to be a HUGE hit with his groomsmen {{wink}}.

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Due to phenomenal planning by Jason and Emily, we had a full two hours to do bridal party portraits, and bride and groom photographs.  They were so meticulous in making sure that we had plenty of time to spend as much time on photographs as we wanted, and having that kind of time was absolute heaven!!

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View More: http://j-annephotography.pass.us/emilyjasonEmily worked so hard during her engagement photos… and then again on her wedding day to convince me that she isn’t good at taking photographs.  Em, you’re just wrong, wrong, wrong!

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Jason and Emily worked so hard to choreograph their first dance, and it was magnificent to watch!! The chandeliers hanging all over the ballroom of the Downtown Grande are so magical and created such a perfect backdrop as the newlyweds swayed around the dance for the first time as husband and wife. It could not have been a more beautiful day, and I have to thank Emily and Jason, again, for being such a wonderful couple and for them allowing me to witness and document their wedding day!! Congratulations, Mr. & Mrs. Marinaro!!

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Venue – Downtown Grand Las Vegas
Ceremony Venue – First Good Shepherd Lutheran Church
Photography – j.anne photography
Hair & Makeup – Your Beauty Call
Floral – Jovani Linens
Invitations – Designed by groom’s sister. Printed by Paper & Home
Cake – Gimme Some Sugar Bake Shoppe

The Importance of a Second Shooter

My very first wedding was back in January 2010. It was a destination wedding in Lake Tahoe. It was the first wedding that I ever shot, and also the first wedding that I ever shot without a second shooter. Consequently, it was the last wedding I ever shot without a second shooter. It only took one time of not having someone there to back me up in order to understand the importance of having another photographer with me on a wedding day.

Nowadays, having a second shooter isn’t a choice for my couples. Every single one of my collections has the cost of a second shooter already built into the price. I do not offer my couples the choice to not have a second shooter, and I do not apologize for not allowing my couples to remove this option in order to lower their collection price. In fact, I have lost a wedding over not budging on this stipulation.

Here’s why:

1. Many people think that by having a second shooter there will be two people in two different places shooting two different things… thus more ground covered, and more photographs. To this, I answer… yes and no. For the most part, my second shooter stays with me for the entire day. Yes, there are situations when we have to separate, but I try to plan the wedding day timeline in order for this not to happen.

My role as the lead photographer, and the role of the second shooter are clearly divided, and the images that we capture are worlds apart.  I am the lead photographer; therefore, it is my job to know what needs to happen when, and how/where we will shoot each situation.  I shoot safe first, making sure to get the shots that I know my couples expect from me, and then allow myself to try new things, while Janelle spends her time acting like a fly on the wall to capture interactions between people, emotions, and different angles of the things that I am shooting.  So yes, more photographs are taken and delivered to the client, but it doesn’t mean that there are two people in two different locations. Throughout the day, Janelle and I work together nailing each point of the day in the timeline starting with the getting ready portion all the way through to the reception.  We work in tandem to fully document both the goings-on of the day, and the intimate relationships/emotions the inevitably take place during a wedding.

Below, while I was fully focused on photographing the family portraits for Andrea & Brian’s wedding, Janelle snapped this moment on the right when the groom’s brother and best man kneeled down to give the ring bearer and flower girl some much needed kudos for a job well-done… an adorable moment that I would have otherwise missed because I have a shot list that I have to nail in a very short period of time.

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2. Your wedding album will thank you. And when your wedding album thanks you, it can also mean that your future children thank you… your future grandchildren will thank you… your legacy thanks you.

My job is to tell the story of the wedding day. Almost all of my couples order a wedding album, which is the perfect vessle used to document this story. As I mentioned before, the second shooter can be in charge of the small “people details” that Janelle is so great at documenting. Often times this comes in the form of the couple’s parents watching on during the first dance, a grandmother wiping a tear during the wedding ceremony, and a photojournalistic view of the emotion of the day. Without these images, the wedding album can’t tell the full story.  For example, my main focus while photographing the first dance is making sure that I have “the shot”… how could I ever steal a moment away from Crystal & Jared below in order to survey the room and notice that the parents of the groom have their arms wrapped around each other while they watch their son dance with his for the first time? I can’t. And if I did, then I would be taking my attention away from the couple, which wouldn’t be fair to them.

In theory, yes… I could make sure that I have “the shot” and then take a second to look away, but what if… in that second… the groom dips the bride for the finale of the dance?  Or what if while surveying the room I didn’t notice that the father of the bride is taking a moment to steal his daughter back by cutting into the end of the first dance in order to begin his father/daughter dance?  I would miss that shot, which is a key moment in the wedding.  So, for me, I don’t feel like I can afford to turn away from the couple.

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So, in order for my couple’s future children and grandchildren to really understand the love that was shared on their parent’s wedding day, I need a second shooter there to document those moments. This way their wedding album can truly represent their love story.

This isn’t to discount any of the images that a lead shooter takes (obviously, duh…. that’s me…), but only show how a second shooter can add to the story because the pressure of nailing “the shot” isn’t on their shoulders.

3. This is a boring point, but a neccessary one. Technology. In this day and age, most photographers shoot with digital equipment. Our images are stored on compact flash cards in digital format. No matter how much a photographer prepares for the failings of technology… there is always a chance that a camera could quit in the middle of a ceremony. A CF card could fail. A lens could stop focusing… the list goes on and on. Yes, I have back up cameras, back up lenses, back up everything… but what I can’t back up is the time that it takes me to get to that equipment. My gear bag is not always right next to me while I’m shooting… or even if it was… could I get to my gear grab a new camera body, attach a lens, insert a CF card, and get my settings dialed in before the end of the first dance? Maybe. But more likely, no.

So, I view my second shooter as a safety net against technology. If a mishap were to happen with my gear, I can simply tell Janelle to take over lead shooting for the moment while I get to my back ups.

If I ever had to call a couple to tell them that I had lost their wedding day images from my CF card; I would likely vomit straight into the phone. But, I might vomit a little bit less if I could tell them that we still have Janelle’s images, or vice versa… depending on what type of malfunction took place.

I know that there are photographers who don’t shoot with a second photographer, and they do a phenomenal job. They could probably come up with a list of reasons why they don’t want to shoot with another photographer that would rival my list here… but my point of this blog post is to talk about what works for me and my business, and most importantly what I have found is most beneficial for my couples.

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