The Next Episode

It was at the West Elm Art of Wedding Planning event that I attended several months ago.  I was having a conversation with a wedding planner whom I had never worked with before.  It is no surprise that I have never worked with this planner because her events are not the same style as my wedding photography, so this conversation was not necessarily business related except for the fact that we were at a wedding event.  The conversation got interesting about something, and with no surprise to myself… I cussed about something.  It likely involved the f-word.  Because… the f-word and I… well, we’re basically best friends.  But anyhow… this caught the attention of the wedding planner in a way that excited her.  She too has a love for verbal cuss-bombs.  But the thing that she said next really surprised me.

“Oh, wow!  Maybe you aren’t as sweet as your style of photography?  I like you.”

This hit me like a big fat rock to the face.  I thought that I was doing a good job of letting the internet… and my couples… know my personality.  But obviously I wasn’t. If my industry peers didn’t even have a taste of my slightly obnoxious, foul-mouthed personality which is also laced with a bit of 90’s rap gangster… then how would any of my future couples?

I am sure that this comment flew right off of the wedding planner’s tongue without any concern of it hitting me so hard.  It was a flippant conversation, and there was no reason for her to think that I would take her words as deeply as I did. But, man, did I ever.  Her words sat at the pit of my stomach for months.  They were heavy, and I didn’t know what to do about them… I didn’t know where to take this information… and I definitely didn’t know how to change it.  With ‘it’ being such a huge part of my online representation, which directly impacts the type of couple I attract, and the weddings that I book… a sense of urgency, bordering on panic, set in.

I absolutely know that I am a genuine person in my one-on-one interactions with my couples, but this authenticity wasn’t being conveyed across all areas of my business.

Fast-forward a few months, and I found myself in a hotel room at the Four Seasons photographing my dear bride, Belinda, as she prepared for her wedding day.  The room was full of the hustle and bustle of every wedding day.  Beautiful women filled the room.  Dresses were slipped into.  Shoes were buckled.  Makeup abounded.  The detail photos had been completed, and it was time… time to slip Belinda into her dress, and make her into a bride.  But, as always… my brain was in Bravo-land. So instead of ask Belinda if she was ready to become a bride; I said housewife.  “Are you ready to make you into a housewife?”  And, yes, my grammar was exactly that atrocious.  Immediately following that comment… the next comment came barreling out of my mouth.  Wrecklessly.  There wasn’t any chance that my executive functioning would kick in and stop this comment from making its way into the universe… so without any concern of being offensive, per my usual, I giggled… “Are you ready to make a hoe into a housewife?”  In which riotous laughter immediately escaped from the core of who I am.

The next several minutes… far more minutes than the timeline allowed… were spent laughing with all of the girls in the room.  It became a jumping off point for discussing that this would absolutely be part of my tagline if I were ever cast for the pilot season of The Real Housewife of Las Vegas.  Belinda was not offended.  She is a dear friend, and knows me well enough to know that this sort of banter is just part of who I am… and I’m hoping that she loves me for it!

But, there is a huge concern on my end… so please, let me take a second to let Snoop, Dr. Dre, Eminem, and all of the other 90’s rap icons who collaborated on the Chronic 2001 record know that I deeply, deeply apologize.  Never in my 33 years did I ever think that I would be going against anything that you have ever taught me in your lyrics.  I am ride or die for you, but in this one situation, I hope that you can truly understand that you, my dear cronies, are in fact wrong.  You actually can make a hoe into a housewife.  Because I’ve been doing it for the last 5 years.

(Hoe being a term of endearment, and not the out-dated, slanderous term that you, my idols, have rapped about for decades.  Obviously.) 

So, with that, I introduce to you… the official… and unapologetically authentic… J. Anne Photography tagline.

Hoes Into Housewives

Las Vegas Engagement Photographer :: Christina & Mike

They had the same circle of friends for years.  Friends who all attended the same east coast college.  Went to the same parties.  Walked the same campus, and studied in the same classrooms.  But it wasn’t even on campus that Christine and Mike finally sparked a conversation; rather, the meeting of fate took place at a friend’s apartment.  But still, that wasn’t the moment that their lives forever intertwined.  They continued to roam the same campus, circle the same parties, and interact within their shared tribe before the romance between them heightened to the level of serious.  It took another two years, their senior year in college, for Christine and Mike to really start to see each other exclusively.  Which, for them, was perfect timing… because even though their lives circled one another’s for four years… their entire time at Northeastern University was simply preparing them educationally and emotionally for the life they were about to embark upon.  Together.

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Mike proposed to Christine the day after Christmas.  In every magical way possible.  They were in Canada for the holiday with Christine’s family.  And for Christine to have her family around is evvverything to her since she lives so far away from them.  Under the ruse of walking out onto a secluded frozen lake to “check the ice for a pickup hockey game later in the day” —wink wink — Mike got down on one knee with nothing but seclusion, magic, and snowflakes in the air.  He asked Christine to spend the rest of her life with him, as her husband… and she eagerly accepted.

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As I have mentioned several times in the past, a huge chunk of my couples come from out of state.  So there are always nerves when I go into an engagement shoot when I have yet to meet the couple.  But Christine and Mike were so so so much fun.  They laughed at one another, and with one another, almost the entire shoot… and it made my job as easy as Boston Cream pie.  Did you like that Boston reference?  ;)

Your Beauty Call was able to fulfill Christine’s request for a natural look to her hair and makeup flawlessly, and I can not wait to see their gorgeous work again on her wedding day!! Las Vegas Engagement Photographer _ Christine & Mike_0002Las Vegas Engagement Photographer _ Christine & Mike_0006 Las Vegas Engagement Photographer _ Christine & Mike_0007

I’m going to end with this photo.  Because….. duh.Las Vegas Engagement Photographer _ Christine & Mike_0008

#PNW Wannabe

I’m back home today after an amazing weekend visiting the Pacific Northwest, and I find myself jonesin’ for sailboats, sea life, and the slight tinge of marijuana in the air.  But most of all, I find myself missing the company of the ever-fabulous, and insanely talented, Melissa Kilner of Melissa Kilner Photography.  Melissa and I met last year at a conference, but we really only chatted for a very brief period of time as we sat and waited for a speaker to begin.  Back then, the conversation was easy; we laughed with one another, but we were just two people in a sea of thousands at the conference.  We followed one another via social media, and that, my friends is how we really began to see just how much our personalities lined up.  Melissa is full of witty humor, sarcasm, one-liners and a realness that I am instantly drawn to.  She has charisma about her that can not only light up a room, but can send it into side splitting laughter at the same time.

Melissa sent me a Facebook message several weeks ago asking if I would like to come up to Washington to second shoot with her, and I happened to on Facebook at the same time, so my immediate response… within milliseconds… was —-explicative— YES!… to which she responded that she had just chest-bumped her computer screen.  And thus, the internet love-affair began, which was just bolstered by three straight days of endless laughter, constant conversation, and scaring the shit out of her husband that he basically had two wives who spoke the same foreign language living in his house.

Melissa took the time to show me the finer things in life that included clam chowder by the docks, kayaking in the ocean, seals, grooms who ride yachts into their wedding ceremony, rain, clouds, trees, waterfalls, and shooting bridal portraits in a river.  Things that this desert rat will store in the memory bank under the category of “epic shit my job lets me do.”

Thank you, just doesn’t seem to cover it, Melissa.  Now it’s time for me to get you down here to Las Vegas and show you our finer things in life… like strippers and blow.

xo. 5N5A3520