Monday, March 31, 2008

Best of Weddings 2008!

What an awesome day!!!

Today we found out that we were selected as a 2008 Pick for The Knot Best of Weddings!!! I got the press release about that today and the banners that we can put on our website.

So here it is:

Just had to share more excitement from our world!!

Also, we are competing again in the Fox 8 Cleveland's Hot List...only this time in Akron/Canton and I would love all the votes we can get! Last year, we ended up in 3rd place in Cleveland!!

So here is the link if you want to vote for 831 Photography!

Fox 8 Cleveland's Hot List Voting

Thanks for sharing in our joy!!! God is very good to us!


Friday, March 28, 2008

Press Release!

I was thrilled to look in my e-mail today and find a press release from WPPI for my Accolade of Excellence. Reading through it made me smile and made me feel great about my accomplishment. I am not one to toot my own horn, but I was told that if I don't do one will. So here I am...toot...toot!! LOL is the press release (You can click on it to see it bigger! LOL). I forwarded it onto the Akron Beacon Journal, The Plain Dealer, The Canton Repository, The Suburbanite, The West Side Leader and Today's Bride Magazine. I would be so excited if it got published by any of them!

Thanks for sharing my joy with me!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Home Sweet Home

After a very long 12 days, we are finally back home in Akron! I had such a great time at WPPI, but I am also so happy to be home.

We flew back into Dayton on Friday night and then spent the weekend with Shan's family in Northern Kentucky. It was a lot of fun to hang out with Shan's brother Aaron, his wife (and my best friend) Ashley and their boys Peyton and Jackson. Our boys and their boys are very close in age (Peyton-6, Ian-4, Jackson-2, Christian-1) and she is expecting BOY #3 in August! Can you imagine?!?! 5 boys between us!!!! We have decided that Smith men don't make girls! LOL It was also great to hang out with Shan's Mom Vicky and his step-dad Chuck.

We had a wonderful Easter. The weather for church was cool, but sunny. Here are a couple of pictures of Ian and Christian before we went to church.

Christian made it through about 30-40 minutes of church before he got so restless that I had to take him out to the car. Ian did great in church and I was very proud of how quiet and calm he was.

Anyway...I am going to sit on my couch and enjoy the rest of my my house! I love to travel, but sometimes the best part about traveling is coming home!


Friday, March 21, 2008

More Vegas Baby!

We had a couple more great days in Las Vegas. I had the privilege of meeting Jerry Ghionis and hearing him speak on his natural and very artistic style of posing. It was amazing to see what he was able to create in very ordinary situations just by looking at his surroundings.

Shan and I spent a lot of time on Tuesday and Wednesday networking with other professionals in our industry and getting to know vendors. With our ambition to speak at next year's WPPI, we realized the need to get to know as many people as possible. Before I came to Vegas, I made it my goal to collect as many business cards as I could from fellow photographers. I think I did pretty good with my goal and I got a chance to talk to many people that I never would have met if I hadn't had this goal in mind!

Here is one more Las Vegas collage for you! I hope you enjoy it.


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Another awesome day in Las Vegas!

Monday was a fabulous day here in Vegas. The convention started and I had a huge list of things that I wanted to accomplish.

I had the honor of hearing Me Ra Koh speak on Monday morning. She is such a warm person and so willing to open up and let us see how she has become so successful. In the afternoon program, I was able to hear Sondra Ayers and Jerry Deck from Power Consulting (They are currently revamping their website). They helped me see that I already have a lot of the right business practices in place, but also helped me realize that it is possible to get to the next level. And for the evening program, I had the pleasure of hearing Jose Villa. He was extremely helpful with specifics on what magazines are looking for in submissions. This year I will be focusing a lot more on getting published and Jose provided wonderful, solid information on how to do this. Thanks Jose!

In the afternoon, we had the chance to meet Becker. He was doing free headshots outside of Paris and Shan and I got the chance to get our headshots done together. We also saw our friends Wendi and Devon and grabbed a couple of quick shots of them too!

After a full day of seminars and a couple of hours of walking around the trade show, it was time to get ready for the Giveaway Gala at the iBar in the Rio. This was a cocktail party that was sponsored by Photo Lovecat and Pay It Forward. Throughout the whole night, white beach balls with giveaways taped to them were thrown out into the crowd and people received a lot of great stuff! (We didn't ever end up catching one! LOL) More than anything, it was more of a chance to hang out with some of our photographer friends and get to know them better. You will see some silly pictures from us throughout the night!

I'm sure you can tell from the images, but we are having a great time and meeting great people! I will try to post later today some images from yesterday and I think that tonight we will head out on the strip and take some shots of Vegas! (Last night we stayed in and went to bed early because we had only gotten about an hour and a half of sleep on Monday night! LOL)


Monday, March 17, 2008

Viva Las Vegas!!!

I am in Las Vegas for the WPPI (Wedding and Portrait Photographers International) convention and having an absolutely great time!

Shan and I flew in on Friday night and spent most of the day Saturday and Sunday morning sitting in on the 16x20 Print Competition Judging. I had submitted 5 images in the Premier category. (Meaning that I had never competed in an International 16x20 print competition before) It was extremely enlightening to hear the comments the judges were making and to learn what they are looking for. All of the comments that they made about my images I completely agreed with...good and bad. Having this information will really help me in my future print competition submissions.

I am pleased to announce that I did earn an Accolade of Excellence for one of my images and it may be published in WPPI's Album 2008. This is the image that received the Accolade of Excellence. (I think that technically I am not supposed to know this, but I was sitting there when it was judged so I have early information!)

We have had the pleasure of hearing a number of amazing speakers already this weekend. We have heard from Me Ra Koh, Pepper Nix, Jules Bianchi, Sara France, Mike Colon, Joe Buissink and Denis Reggie.

We have also taken some time to relax and have fun. We have really enjoyed meeting up with our photographer friends from around the world and hanging out with them. We went to a party at Club Rouge in the Celebrity Suite at the Palms last night and had a great time socializing and getting to know some of our new friends better. Here is a quick collage of our first couple of days here in Vegas and some highlights from the Club Rouge Party.

We were also able to get some shooting time in with 2 models at the Club Rouge Party. The models were there for us to be able to practice our Couple's Boudoir photography and to gain some amazing images for our portfolios! Here is a collage of the work that I got last night. (Keep in mind with the boudoir images that I was shooting with 9 other photographers in the room at the same time shooting and we only shot for about 10 minutes! So these were quick captures and very on the fly! Of helps when you have drop dead gorgeous models to work with! LOL. Thank you Brittany and Justin! You were a blast to work with!)

Anyway...that is just a little update from me. We will be going to a formal cocktail party tonight, so I am sure that I will have a lot of great images from that to post tomorrow!


Saturday, March 8, 2008

Blizzard 2008!

So if you live in Ohio, you are experiencing this right along with us.

If you don't....enjoy a little taste of the Blizzard that we are sitting in right now! Ian had a great time outside building an igloo. (It even had a window in it! LOL)

We are cozy in the house and for the most part are enjoying the storm from the indoors. I have decided that I love Ohio winters...but only if I don't have to go anywhere and I can watch them from the warmth of my house!

The first images were taken around lunch time. We have had even more snow since then.

In the next 3 images, you will see the progression of Ian finding a "snowball", throwing it at Shan, and Shan's playful reply!

Here is Ian peeking out of his igloo. (He called it a snow fort.)

Back into the fort!
These 2 pictures are Ian looking out through this window. (Shan took these because I was too short to see him!)

The neighborhood looks good in a blizzard!

Hope you enjoyed our images from the Blizzard of 2008! For those of you in warm don't know what winter truly is until you experience a blizzard in Ohio! (I think we have over 14 inches of snow and it is still snowing!)


Monday, March 3, 2008

Free Birth Session!

I'm not sure how many people know, but I am expanding my photography services to include Birth Photography. Now before you get gory images from 8th grade health class in your head, the photography that I offer is very discreet, tasteful and full of emotion. Here are links to 2 births that I have photographed:

Lynsey Brooke

Jackson Carey

And here is one that my business partner Callie did the birth and I did the Day 2 images:

Ethan Michael

I have such a passion for birth photography (and wish I could come up with a better name for it...suggestions always welcome! LOL). I think it is an amazing time in the life of a family.

So I am having a contest!!!!

I will be giving away a Free Birth Photography Session, a free Day 2 Session and a Coffee Table Book with the images from the birth and day 2. A total value of $1300!

So how do you get this amazing package? Just write me an e-mail. Tell me about yourself, your family and why this would be something that you would want.

I will read all of the submissions and will choose a winner. I can't wait to see what I hear.

So drop me an e-mail at Please title the subject of the e-mail: Birth Photography Giveaway.

As with any contest, certain restrictions may apply. E-mail me if you want to know what the restrictions are.

Thanks and good luck to everyone!