Thursday, July 21, 2011

Random Thursday Post: Staying Connected to your Children {The Silliest Father in the World who could use a voice lesson or two}

I know I've shared this before but I randomly found it looking for something else completely and his pure dorkiality (made that one up) never ceases to crack me up.

In all honesty, I'm lucky to have married a man who loves his kiddos so much he'll get up at the crack of dawn before work to make them videos to stay connected since he's gone before they wake in the morning. Have a good laugh on this beautiful Thursday....

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Los Altos Wedding Photography | Peter + Marissa | Featured on A Paper Proposal

We're excited to share that Marissa and Peter's beautiful engagement session shot at the Los Altos History Museum and downtown San Jose, California was featured today on A Paper Proposal! Thank you Monina Wright with Moderne Beauty for doing such fabulous work with our couple!

We love this blog-absolutely fabulous!! Check it out!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Seth + Gitanjali | San Francisco Engagement Session | Bellalu Photography with Luke Goodman Cinema

Today is a special day-not only because it's mine and Nathan's anniversary but also because we get to share the uber adorable Seth and Giti's out of control awesome engagement session! 
(yep, I said out of control awesome)

I think me and Nathan realized that we had "arrived" in regard to professional wedding photography when the clients who started to inquire for photography for their own weddings consistently were couples we INSTANTLY clicked with and felt like we could really see ourselves in. And I've realized there is a basic reason for this:

Me and Nathan fully believe the energy and vibe you give out into the world and offer other people is the same energy and vibe you will receive in return.

And this is the precise reason we clicked from the very first meeting with this adorable couple. Seth and Giti are hilarious. They love life and they're totally smitten with each other. They're not afraid to be totally goofy but also appreciate a more romantic vibe. And myself and Giti BOTH have crescent moon tattoos on our shoulder blade-HELLO FATE! ;-)

What's SO HARD in this business of professional photography is there are photographers EVERYWHERE-and with the introduction of the consumer DSLR camera they're popping up more and more day by day. Me and Nathan really had to search our souls to figure out-where do we fit in with all of this?

The bottom line is for me and Nathan it has always been and will always be about the EXPERIENCE. 

It's about Lindsey and Nathan being Lindsey and Nathan. We're high energy, we're goofy, we're hopeless romantics, we're touchy feely but also belly laugher's-and we're not looking to be hired as just another vendor on our bride and groom's list. 

Oh heck no. 

We pour our hearts and souls into everything we do. We realized last year that we needed to make it crystal clear that this is our style and this is what makes our hearts beat. Is the way we go about our photography perfect for everyone? Of course not! Otherwise the term "BellaLu Couple " would mean nothing. :-) But if we can offer brides and grooms a clear vision of what we do before they ever even hit the Contact Us button on our website then we are making both theirs and our lives easier. 

And when Seth and Giti hit that Contact Us button I truly believe they knew they were our couple. They were totally right. We are totally blessed.

So we're pleased post this fabulous session shot off the 101 in San Francisco, California. Half of our session was shot on Seth's old race car "Jackie" and the other half was in front of this awesome old shack I drove by once when I was totally lost and thought-I will shoot at this place one day when the time is right :) Special thanks to Monina Wright -my go-to girl with Moderne Beauty for the makeup and hair styling!

Over the next few weeks we'll be rolling out some new fun stuff that we feel will offer the world a better picture of BellaLu Photography-starting with this very session. We've hired Luke Goodman from Luke Goodman Cinematography to follow us around for a few weeks documenting us in our day to day lives and at work. He's done an INCREDIBLE job of truly capturing the REAL US-the good the bad and the ugly :) 

We've been beyond blessed to be working with him and his fiance Pamela-two of the most talented videographers in the industry. We're excited for things to come and hope you follow along with us on our journey! 

And with that, in case you haven't seen this floating around the BellaLu's the sneak peek behind the scenes look at Seth & Giti's session!

Our Wedding Story {5 years ago today}

 {Originally posted July 25, 2010}

I meant to do this weeks ago-life got in the way (i hate it when that happens). Then we got back from our "honeymoon" and walked into "crazy sick children hell". (i hate it when that happens even MORE)

I've had so many people ask for the details of why we did what we did this past week. What our "story" was and all that. Well I knew it'd be a short novel but finally here it is... :)

YES! Me and nathan renewed our vows last weekend! (crazy it's already been a week!) so many didn't even know we were doing it. Actually we weren't even sure we were doing it until pretty much the last second lol. But with a little push and some prayers to God we knew it was the right time.

Why now? What was wrong with your first wedding?

Well...we didn't have a first wedding. :)

I love watching people do the math after 1st asking how long we have been married followed by...."but old is bella??"

Nathan and I had been dating about 9 months when we got our big fat positive. We were both in college getting awesome grades and really active in all kinds of fun things. Nathan had a rather promising future as a drummer touring the country and I had just put a $370 down payment on a travel abroad summer trip through Europe.


We *thought* we were being smart about our "relations" but how smart can you really be when you're relating a little too close when you've got no solid marital foundation (or...uh...marriage?)

So we took a deep breath-dropped all of the "fun stuff" and decided rather than shot gunning a wedding we would invest financially in a pretty in depth program investigating a future as man and wife and preparing ourselves emotional, physically, psychologically and spiritually for our future together raising an unexpected little one. Would that mean marriage? Maybe. We weren't sure. But we WERE sure that our baby was going to have the same healthy start & well rounded nurturing childhood as any other child born into any other by the book household in America. We were two kids who loved each other endlessly & made a "mistake". We just had to do some hard work to swap that word out for "miracle" and we were set on doing it right.

We "graduated" from our pre-marital counseling a few weeks before Bella's due date. We were solid. We were ready. Nathan dropped drumming completely and put 500% into finishing his business degree so he could support his new family to be. I worked my butt off waitressing tables and finishing my semester and saving every penny up so I could stay home with our baby until she was 1 year (that was our goal-4 years later we're still going strong-a blessing indeed). Nathan & I spent forever on her nursery in our first "home" together painting it the perfect shade of light pink. It was around that time that Nathan proposed to me at the foot of the golden gate bridge on an ice cold night in san francisco. I was wrapped in a blanket and annoyed that he was making a ginormous preggo stand out in the cold so he could set up the stupid timer on the camera. I felt a little sheepish when I looked down and realized he was proposing to me with my beautiful, sweet & simple little diamond band (all we could possibly afford)

We knew what wedding we wanted-we would invite our large families and all of our friends! There would be flowers everywhere, perfect lighting, an amazing cake and band and LOTS of dancing! It was going to be awesome. Given that we had spent all of our money on getting the actual marriage set and grounded and into savings so I could stay home (although of course those were the best decisions we ever made) left us no money for a wedding. So we would wait until after Bella came and we could save up again.

But then about 2 weeks before bella's induction date, I think we just woke up one morning and realized....are we missing the point? We did all the hard stuff. We couldn't have had a better grasp on what our future holds together even if we had gone about the whole thing the "traditional" way. What was most important at the time:

1. we were ready. we knew what to anticipate. we were committed. we read the books. we did the worksheets. we had all of the sessions. this was it for life and we were giddy.
2. we wanted to enter the hospital to have our love child with same unifying name. Not sure why. we just felt it inside. that was more important than a wedding.

So......we went to the Nashville courthouse. None of our parents, brothers or sisters were living in Tennessee so we were totally by ourselves. We stood in the sweetest judge chamber. We said our vows. We exchanged rings. We donated money to one of the judges favorite charities rather than paying him a fee for marrying us (at his request). Oh and in case you're wondering, we chose the Vanderbilt Children's Hospital (for so many reason but that's another way too long story). Then we went to our favorite ***itty bitty*** italian restaurant on West End Avenue in Nashville. We called ahead. Nathan mentioned we were just married and were going to be having our reception there in about a half hour-just the 2 of us. The owner found some candles and adorable celebratory confetti and decorated our romantic 2 top in the corner.

We have not a single picture of such a perfect day.

Then 2 weeks later we had our miracle baby who showed us what life's all about.

Fast forward a few years later. We had slowly realized although we were 2000% supported in our decision to marry each other as we did, our families did somewhat feel they weren't able to "celebrate" our marriage with us. It kind of just "happened" and there it was. We have such a beautiful marriage and yet nothing that really "marked" it in anyone's memory or certainly in any photo album. I remember hearing my dad say for the first time just kind of in passing, "I never got to walk my baby girl down the isle"

it was crushing. it never occurred to me that forfeiting our "wedding vision" meant forfeiting other people's visions as well.

So we decided we would do a vow renewal. It wouldn't be a "wedding" but it would be big. It would have EVERYONE. Aunts, uncles, cousins, friends everyone. We would do it at 5 years. It would be a blast.

But then something about this year...we had some scary health issues happen on both sides of the family. The economy changed. We weren't sure where we would be living in a year. We ESPECIALLY weren't sure where everyone else would be living, My grandmother is in her 80s now and I already lost my grandfather. Oh and did I mention I just helped my sister plan the most incredibly dream wedding that I had always wanted and could never ATTEMPT to pull off myself even half as well? As much as I loved every second I sure as hell didn't want to do it again in a year!

Then a few months ago nathan and I popped into this TINY and indescribably charming restaurant in Carmel called La Bicyclette. You could never appreciate this restaurant unless you visit it yourself. There are literally 32 seats. That's it. Hardly room to move around. The food? impeccable. The vibe-even sweeter. We looked at each other and thought, what if we cut out all of the fluff and just did it here? find a beach in carmel the day of. renew our vows on the beach. have a intimidate dinner here right after? no we wouldn't be able to invite all of those that we would want to be there but we couldn't afford to anyway. It would be the bear necessities. Our immediate families. (on my side simply my mom, dad, stepfather, brothers, sister and grandmother-that's IT.) My dad getting to "walk" me. Nathan's mom getting to dance with him. ME getting to dance with nathan for the first time for goodness sakes. Why wait? Life doesn't wait. So what if it's not the 5 year. This is our life and this is how we're going to rock it.

And that's just what we did. I snagged a simple dress-a STEAL. we booked our dinner. We had exactly as many seats available as our immediate family and nathan's cherished friends who he was best man for. We sent out invitations. Then we didn't do much after that! The week of my sister in law and I went to a whole sale adorable flower boutique in los gatos. Looked for what "looked" fresh and pretty and in season. Decided on simple purple hydrangea. Ordered 7 bunches straight from the root. Picked them up in buckets of water the day of the renewal (my mom and stepdad would later stand outside la bicyclette in their dress up clothes and cut the flowers and set them up in their beautiful custom vases for the tables before heading off to the beach for the vows) Saw what flowers were pretty the weekend of and put together the bouquets and boutonnieres the night before in our hotel room ourselves. Told my sweet friend who makes wedding cakes to "go for it" and she did. She blessed us with a sweet cake. Hired 3 INCREDIBLE friends to take care of our photography, videography and makeup & hair. This was BIG for us because there were SO many people who we desperately wanted to be there. The only way we felt at peace was knowing we had hired the BEST of the best to capture it for our family and friends you were not able to share in person. Lots of laughs. Lots of tears. We wanted the vow renewal on the beach to be about me and nathan and celebrating our marriage. But the dinner-the dinner was ALL about our incredible family. It was an ode to them. We wanted to spoil them. We toasted them. We cried with them. We thanked them. For everything they have done for us in our journey. It was beautiful.

It was an amazing day and evening. A complete blessing from the God. We are very grateful.

That's our story-and we're sticking to it. When our images come back we will be so excited to share the details of our day but in the meantime-thank you everyone for all of your amazing kindness and support.


To see the full blog post on our vow renewal by Tanja Lippert Photography 
[sneak peek above]
go here: 

or watch the incredible slideshow she did for us here: