March 2013 Newsletter

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Welcome to our very first Newsletter!


We've wanted to start publishing regular newsletters for a little while now and thanks to the help we've been getting from our amazing intern Sarah we are finally freed up to focus on some long-term projects.  We're really excited about connecting more with our clients and those who follow us! Pour yourself a yummy cup of coffee, settle into your chair and enjoy reading our newsletter.  If you think you know someone who might be interested in reading this stuff, please encourage them to sign up to receive these each month.  Thanks!


We hired our first paid Employee!


First and foremost, since we mentioned Sarah, we're very excited to announce we've hired her as our Creative Assistant! She has been working with us as an intern for the past two months and is kickin' butt. Welcome aboard, Sarah! Check out some of Sarah's photography here!


Shawna is going to Japan!


My high school friend Kate has been living in Japan with her husband for two years now, and ever since I’ve been saying I’ll come visit. When I got married in Italy this past October, Kate traveled over forty hours to be a part of the wedding. Well that did it for me! I had to make it happen. I ran it by Adam, aka most supportive husband ever, who replied, “Well let’s get you there.” So BAM – my ticket is booked for June! Now I will have two weeks to explore Japan with one of those rare friends you share a history with.  I’m burying myself in books and I’m learning of a country I really didn’t know much about. Japanese Alps, Onsens (the natural hot springs), Shinto shrines, Mt. Fuji, and of course: sake! I’m ready to get out my backpack and get on a plane!


Bienvenido a Miami


When Adam’s cousin Todd proposed to the love of his life Carolina in NYC the entire family was ecstatic! They are both doctors doing their residency at the University of Pennsylvania, having met while in a Grenada medical school. When they decided to get married in Miami, Adam and I were already thinking we wanted to be more than guests.  We wanted to make sure this day was captured perfectly. We all agreed it would be amazing to shoot their wedding. So when we get on that plane to Miami in a few days, all our photo gear will be coming along too! We both have never been to Miami but from what we hear it is a true melting pot. The best thing about travel is experiencing other cultures and Miami seems to have it all.  This will be a beautiful family wedding with a visually stunning cultural melting pot as the setting. Here we come Miami!


Guess who’s turning 40!


You would never guess by his handsome face but Adam turns 40 on March 6th folks! To celebrate we are meeting up with some of his closest friends in San Francisco at the end of March. Being with his people is what’s important to him. As far as having any panic on getting older he is quite the opposite. As I’m writing this I texted him, “How do you feel about turning 40?” He answered, “I’m excited about turning 40. I feel better than I’ve ever felt; married my best friend in a medieval castle, my job allows me to meet cool people, been doing some amazing traveling the past couple years, and my kids are happy and healthy. I’m blessed.” What a way to focus on the now! Happy Birthday, Baby! You are loved.


Rory and Ashley

  abstract canvas, brenizer method, iron mountain engagement session, lens flare, old poway park engagement session, old train, train


They're like us in a lot of ways, so we thought they’d be the perfect fit as our first featured couple. Ashley grew up on the west coast, but has ties to Cape Cod, spending part of her childhood there. Rory grew up in New Jersey and works as an engineer. Ashley loves country music and is spicy food fan especially enjoying Thai and Mexican cuisine. Rory’s still getting used to spicy food. Rory and Ashley fell in love after meeting on and are going to honeymoon in Bora Bora. Their perfect evening consists of a home-cooked meal, mainly by Ashley, to enjoy while watching some of their favorite TV shows like Modern Family, Parks and Recreation, Grimm, Revolution, and Homeland. We asked them each to share a fun travel story with us!


Rory~ My favorite international place I've traveled to is Queenstown, New Zealand.  I went there in spring 2011 in a 3 week long trip that also included Fiji and Australia.  To get to Queenstown, we flew into Christchurch and drove south along the East coast of New Zealand.  We did some hiking along the way through some amazing mountains and unreal glaciers. 


Queenstown is known as the adventure capital of the world. It being the home of bungee, the first thing we did was jumping off the Kawarau Bridge, the world's 1st commercial bungee jump site.  To follow-up, we then went sky-diving that afternoon.  The only thing better than jumping out of a plane at 15,000 feet was looking at the landscape of the Lord of the Rings on your way down.  It was an adrenaline packed day filled with crazy views! I can't imagine having a more exhilarating day than that, except of course my wedding day.


Ashley~ My favorite trip was Costa Rica. It is the one place I would love to live someday. It is the perfect mix of Mexico and Hawaii! The people are so nice and family-oriented! The climate and vibe is very Hawaii-like. Where the major difference lies is in the adventures! I went water-fall repelling, white-water rafting, zip-lining, rainforest hiking, and drove almost the entire countryside. I went from the Arenal Volcano to the Cloud Forest to the beaches of Playa Hermosa to the heart of San Jose, the capital. It was the best trip of my life! The culture is laid-back and everyone is so friendly. They have a saying, "Pura Vida" which translates literally to "pure life." It means to live life, having fun, drinking up all the moments happening now, not worrying so much about the future or the past. I tend to do this in my regular life so to get lost in the Pura Vida lifestyle was exhilarating! I can't wait to go back there again. 


Rory and I have been so many places individually, it's hard to find a place we both haven't gone to! We like going to new places and exploring the unknown. It has been hard to find our next great adventure. It seems as if I have gone to every place he hasn't and vice verse. We are looking forward to going to Bora Bora, a place so new to us. We plan on snorkeling, watching the fish swim under us in our over-the-water bungalow, hiking, and just relaxing! 


To see more pictures or to find out more about Rory and Ashley, click here to see their engagement session blog post.

In the latest photography news....


On display at the San Diego Museum of Photographic Arts (MOPA) until May 19th is Jessica Lange’s exhibit, Unseen. While best known for her acting career, Jessica Lange is also an accomplished photographer.  She studied art and photography at the University of Minnesota where she formed a close relationship with photographer Francisco "Paco" Grande. Some time later she shifted her career to acting, earning several Oscar nominations and wins.  In 1983 she won “Best Actress in a Supporting Role” for her work in the movie "Tootsie." In 1995 she won another Oscar, as “Best Actress in a Leading Role” for "Blue Sky".


Years later, her interest in photography re-kindled when her partner Sam Shepherd brought home a Leica camera from a movie set.  Her collection of 50 black and white images became the subject of the book "50 Photographs."  Aperture Magazine commented that "Jessica's photographs very much reflect her personality. They are delicate, but powerful... loving, warm, and extremely poetic."  MOPA describes her work: "As a photographer, Lange documents diverse cultures from regional and international travels. Alternately comforting and disquieting, the artist’s striking and unexpected photographs possess a kind of moody mystery that is appropriately cinematic."


Unseen showcases her travels throughout Mexico, Ethiopia, Romania, Russia, Finland, Italy, France, and the United States.  The exhibition runs from February 8th to May 19th.  For those of you who have not yet been to MOPA in Balboa Park, I highly recommend a visit there.  The photographic galleries are amazing. They also have a beautiful theatre where many local film festivals are put on display, including my favorite, the San Diego Italian Film Festival. Anyone who appreciates photography will be in for a treat.


Guess the Place

What famous building is this?  Enter your response in the comments below. We'll announce the correct answer in our next newsletter!    

The Sweetest Pie I Ever Made, and Runquist Barbera


I’ve wanted to make this pie ever since I saw rhubarb at the farmer’s market. It’s the most sour thing you will ever put in your mouth, but cooked with sugar….mmmmmm!  I honestly haven’t made a pie in over a year and completely forgot how to make dough. I went off an epicurious recipe because it had over 200 raving reviews. Everyone said they wouldn’t change a thing, that is was the best pie they had ever made. But I decided to make it my way and change a few things.


First I added pumpkin pie spice in the dough just because. I added a lot but honestly you can’t even taste it. So don’t bother with this and save your spice on better things. The dough was so easy I wondered why I wasn’t always making things with dough. Ha, easy as Pie, now it makes sense. That literally just popped in my head.


Then came the filling. I used frozen strawberries I had picked this past summer. I had them thaw over night in the fridge. They were a bit mushy but I think it’s fine. I was about 2 cups short on the berries so I pulled out a packet of frozen raspberries from the freezer to save the day. Then I added the rhubarb and my secret pie ingredient.


Secret Pie ingredient? Did you ever go for a piece of pie and the entire things falls apart and drips out of the crust? Well listen up folks because this is genius! Take a granny smith apple and grate it into the filling. The pectin in the apple will help hold the filling together so when you cut it it doesn’t spill out of the pie. I learned this from my sister who once owned a pie business in Portland. It works! Then you can pour the filling right into the pie.



I was planning on doing a lattice topping until I realized the next day was Valentine’s Day. And not just any Valentine’s Day but the first one for Adam and I as a married couple. I channeled my inner Martha and got crafty. I decided to dedicate the pie to my husband and write him a message with the dough. Choosing my message very carefully, I decided to leave my Shakespeare quote for another medium.  I cut out every letter and heart free hand, telling him I loved him on that pie. It was the sweetest pie I’ve ever made.



Wine: Barbera by Runquist



If you like your wine sweet and light you will probably hate this wine. Jeff Runquist's Barbera is dark in color and even bolder to taste. This is not a wine you can sip in a daydream. You will be aware of  it with every lift of the glass. Described as “rustic yet generous” it is our favorite and most loved wine. We recently brought this wine to a blind wine tasting, where it came in second out of 20 plus bottles.


The Barbera grape originates from Italy (we should have known) and has traveled to Australia, Argentina, and California, following the popular Italian migration patterns. It seems to have settled in well here in California as a Barbera wine festival has been planned for this June in Plymouth, CA.

At $23 per bottle this wine is a relatively inexpensive treat. We've only been able to find it at our local wine shop 3rd Corner in Ocean Beach. 3rd Corner also has a great atmosphere and delicious food. To follow this grape’s Italian roots, pair with Pappardelle with Lamb Ragù or a traditional Spaghetti Bolognese. Salute!

  1. Bethel Nathan – Ceremonies by Bethel
    Mar 1st

    Notre Dame, Paris!

  2. Dad
    Mar 1st

    Bascilica di San Marco

  3. Courtney
    Mar 1st

    Someone beat me to it! Notre Dame…Although the pigeon did throw me off and make me think maybe it was Venice! 😉

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