Summer Lovin’ And a Story About a Hammock

I am in Utah right now. Working a bit. Chillin’ a bit. Catching up with family and friends a bit. Mostly playin’ a lot! I love summer here. Especially the summer nights. I love summer nights in general, for summer reason they just spark memories of summer romance for me and I like those thoughts.

When my kids come to visit the cousins’ house they disappear. I don’t see them for hours, days, sometimes the whole week we are here. I look forward to the time I will have with them while on vacation and then when we get here I realize I am chump change compared to the cousins. It’s cool. I get it. I also get to nap while they are off making memories and playing in dirt pools.

Today I thought I would be cool to take my kids to campus, the place where they started, kind of, well, where their history started. Alright, the place where I met their dad and we fell in love. Let me hear it everyone, ahhhh…so, sweet!!!! I took them to the apartment complex where we lived while we were dating, then to campus where we would study together. At each spot I thought their enthusiasm would increase…”Tell us more Mom!! Show us where you picnic’d together and where you kissed under the umbrellas while it was raining. Fill us with the history of you and Dad!!! Please, we HAVE to hear more!!” It was more like, “Please, Mom, take us to the bathroom; we need a snack; where are the Cougars; how long do we need to be here?” It was anti-climactic to say the least, but my heart felt the nostalgia and I lived on that for a second, it and felt sweet. It took me back 14 years to a space and a place where an innocent love affair began and then developed into a laughter filled friendship, and finally a love that would lead to commitment.

Jaren and I dated a little while before I decided to take a break from school to pursue a humanitarian service project for a year and a half in Ecuador. Jaren was heartbroken for me to go; it was sweet. I was sad to leave him, but  knew I had to go. We promised we would write and keep in touch. At the end of my time their I was walking a local market. I came across a vendor selling hand-crafted  hammocks. I thought I would bring a few home for friends and family. I grabbed one for Jaren.

Today, on the way home from the tour of love, ahem, the tour of the BYU campus, we passed the apartment he lived in while we were engaged. It reminded me of that hammock. He strung it between two trees that were in the backyard. The summer before we got engaged we swung slowly in that hammock, together, our legs pretzeled, one of my hears listening to his heart pumping time, the other hear the cicadas, other summer insects’ night songs, and all the sweet words young loves say during a summer of romantic pursuing!

I’ll tell my kids that story one day, and they’ll listen, and think it’s sweet, or maybe not, but for me, it always will be one of my best memories from a summer of love!!

This entire summer I have been wanting to share Heather and Taylor’s Huntington Beach engagement images, but was waiting for the right moment, with the right story to share with them.

I think their love will always feel like summer love. Always.























































Here’s to summer love, wherever it may be, and however you may find it!! xx KJ



Kate Spade and the Perfect Accessory

If you know me well you know I live by several tenets. I won’t go into detail with my list, but several are common to most: live with integrity, be honest, leave it better than you found it, take yourself and those around you to higher ground in all you do and say, etc. etc. etc. I am sure those sounds like codes you all live by as well. My girlfriends also know that I strongly believe in the idea of retail therapy. I REALLY do believe that doing a little shopping and indulging in yourself, just a little bit, can be uplifting. It might be a temporary fix to a problem, and it might also give clarity on how to solve an on going problem: coping with a highly emotional child is much easier in a pair of Jimmy Choos.

I shot a wedding last summer in San Diego: Megan and Brad’s wedding. Like all the weddings I shoot, I walked away from this one saying, “That was my favorite!” They are all my favorites for their own reasons. Megan and Brad’s had many, but I was particularly magnetized to Megan’s choice in jewelry. She too is a total and complete Kate Spade fanatic. I walked in, saw the pink and orange, and green and turquoise boxes, and knew immediately, Megan was one of my people. The necklace she chose as her wedding necklace was the most powerful signature piece a bride could wear: elegant yet noteworthy, delicate yet powerful, stated yet understated. It was just all around magnificent. I knew I had to have it. Not steal it from her, but you know, get my own.

Ashley, my dear friend, and side kick at many of the weddings I photograph, couldn’t stop talking about it all the way home from the wedding. I was on a mission: I would find that necklace and call it my own. I was so obsessed I pictured myself sleeping in it!!

I was so tired after the wedding and the drive home, but I had to look on line to find it, and find it I did, and, then, I tried to find a knock off, something similar but a quarter the cost. It just wasn’t going to happen. Nothing I found could match the really Mackoy!! I had to have it, and I knew, one day I would find it and call it my very own.

Skip ahead to the dawn of Fall.

I found myself in crisp Boston, again, with my good friend Ashley. Boston is her current base, I was there to see her of course, and do a little work as well. I am a HUGE fan of all cities. I loved Boston the second I met it! It’s the most perfect little city: not too big, yet big enough, and SO rich in history and texture AND food!!!! Everything about that trip was so, uplifting. My heart was very happy in Boston. Again, I believe in retail therapy, and Ashley is a shopper herself, so she took me to a great row of shops. We popped in and out, enjoying the brisk when we stepped out, and drinking in the warm when we stepped in. We were almost to the end of the street when we saw it: THE KATE SPADE store!!!!! I turned to Ashley and she new without me even saying anything; we had to step inside, just to see.

I love the Kate Spade style because of the colors and the clean lines. It’s edgy fashinionista meets sophisticated debutant! We strolled around a bit, looking, chatting, and then, like a beacon, we saw it. THE necklace. And next two it? A half off sign. I looked at Ash, and this might sounds silly, but kinda, a little bit, started to get emotional. I took it off the neck frame, claiming it, and walked right to the register, well, I made a stop for a pair of earrings, but clutched the necklace the whole time. It was mine. I was happy. I wore it out of the store, and Ashley and I joked and laughed about our experience in Boston and how the necklace would always be a part of it.

I do love all accessories, not just this particular necklace, and I do feel they, like they are intended, finish an outfit. Roy and Brittany, arrived to their Boston engagement shoot with the only accesories they needed: each other and true love!! Brittany, like most brides, at their engagement shoots, was a bit, hesitant to start shooting. In her own words, “It’s just that these pictures are so important. I want them to be perfect because we will have them forever!!” I was touched. She understood the power of the photograph, and I understood the power of both: the photograph and the accessory!!! I shared with Brit and Roy the story of my necklace, then I opened my jacket and showed it to them!! Then I told Brittany, whose outfit couldn’t have been more fitting, and again she didn’t need ANY accessories, that I wanted her to wear my new Kate Spade for the shoot. I was endeared to her even more by her response, “Really? Wow! That is so generous!!” The truth is what Roy and Brittany shared, what all my couples share, with me is so generous. They all share their hearts and their love stories. Each engagement I shoot, each wedding day I photograph, I take with me a metaphorical charm, and I add it to this great charm bracelet accessory. It, next to the Kate Spade, is my favorite accessory. To Brittany and Roy, and all the couples I have met or have yet to meet, thank you, from my heart, for sharing so much of yourselves with me. Thank you for letting me into your lives to be a part of the memories you will have forever!! I love you all so much and am looking forward to being a sparkling accessory to you both TODAY on your wedding day!!

Here’s to Brittany and Roy, their romance, and the necklace!!2014-01-27_0007


























Looking forward to more celebrating with Brittany and Roy, their family, and friend in July at their Santa Barbara wedding!! Much love to you both!! xx KJ

A Fine Romance

I just got back from London, a soul’s journey for me. I needed the time to think, to feel, and to be alive. It was good, really good. I loved the moments I had to be still, to sit, and to watch the people. I was especially inspired by the couples I saw holding hands in the park, sneaking kisses and flirty glances on the tube, and holding each other tightly during the show’s intermission. It made me consider romance, and all its shapes and hues. It also made me feel grateful to be a part of romance, regularly- to be a romance historian of sorts. I am a romance researcher, fascinated by the story of human connection that leads to the iron strings of love and devotion.

Today’s romance is particularly special. It’s the tender and sweet romance we all pine for. It’s the romance that is true and everlasting. It’s the romance that respects each other’s opinions and differences. It’s the kindest most endearing romance I have ever seen, and my heart is filled that I will be a part of Stephanie and Tyler’s wedding day romance.

To all who will be in attendance, you’ll see what I am saying in regards to their romance, when he gets emotional as she walks towards him down the aisle, or when she smiles admiringly during their first dance, or when he gently kisses her shoulder during the toasts. You’ll see, and your heart will be inspired. To those of you not in attendance, I will share it here, and your hearts, too, will melt at a true illustration of genuine romance and love!!

Stephanie and Tyler, Thank you, from my heart, for sharing this time with me! I love you both so much and am so grateful for your friendship and examples in my life! Thank you for inspiring me! I am so excited for today!! Much love, KJ


As Sweet As They

Their wedding day will prove to be as perfectly sweet as they are.

Their love is so true. It’s obvious in the way they treat each other, and other people as well.

So excited to be a part of their wedding-day story.

Morgan and Chris, You, are the true, love story.

So very excited to be a part of their forever!!

Much love to a couple so very, very, truly in love with each other!!

So excited to share in it all!

A Lovely Deep Breath

Take in a deep breath from your heart today, it will feel like this looks!! Then as soon as you see your person hug him/her/them super, ultra, tightly!!!

Happy date-night, pub-crawl night, game night, reading a good book night, baking a delicious baked good night, snuggling a new baby night, planning a fun vacation night, evening-in with jammies, couch, popcorn, and good movie night!!!

And especially happy falling deeper, stronger, and more faithfully in love night!!!

Memories Waiting to be Made

I had a client meeting yesterday with a potential bride and groom. I get super excited for these meetings for several reasons: more people in love, more anticipated wedding excitement, the potential of being a part of another celebration of love, the thought of creating lasting, nostalgic memories for people, and the list goes on and on. I am so profoundly grateful to be the memory preserver!! Bottom line: I am flattered and so honored when a couple chooses me. I jump outside myself when I get that call or email that I get to be a part of their day!!

Danay and Eric make their promise this Saturday! I can’t wait to be a part of it! They are so fun, so full of life, so sweet and so in love. Saturday will be nothing short of an extreme pleasure!!!

Danay and Eric, here’s to you and all the pretty memories that are waiting to be made on Saturday; I can’t wait to be there!!!

Just Something

I am working on.

These images will always serve to remind me of one of my best grown-up days. Ever.

Just a couple glimpses of a place, and a time, that we have frozen forever, and before long, we will relive it all when the whole thing goes live, soon.

Thank you to Ashley, Kenny, Jess, Amanda, Kale, and the City of Palm Springs for keeping it all so real!!! Love you, much!!

Happy weekend everyone! May it feel like a vacation!!

So grateful, for good friends that I have had for years, and that I just barely met, who believe in me, and my dreams!! Thanks for being there, team!!

And a quick inside joke that only 6 people will get:

How Lovely They Are

I sent Kareem their final invoice a few weeks ago. He sent me a text and said, “Do, you mind if I call you? I have a few questions about the invoice.” I had barely come down with laryngitis and could barely talk so I text back right away that I didn’t have a voice but that I would be happy to help answer any questions via text or email. Kareem responded, “I am sorry to hear that. I hope you feel better soon!” He then went on to stay he was confused about the final numbers. Which made me worry I had done my math wrong. Which I had done. In their favor. Their final invoice, according to my calculations was lower than what they did owe. Kareem wanted to make sure that I was paid fully, what was due to me, so I wouldn’t be “shorted”.

And that’s the kind of people they are. And that is one of the reason I am attracted to them: they live with integrity. And that will always be one of human nature’s most beautiful traits! And these two both have it and live with it. And I adore that about them.

Their wedding day is obviously being planned as a celebration for them, but they have all their family members, best friends, and guests in mind. These two people care so much more about other people than themselves that they would, without hesitation give up their own dinner, at their own wedding, for someone who happened to have not been served, and they wouldn’t think two seconds about it, and they wouldn’t mention it again, and they wouldn’t be hungry the rest of the night because they would have been filled with the spirit of mutual love, respect, and joy for other people.

I feel so magnetized to them both, like they are my family. Like they believe in me and love me as if I was one of their own, and I know they will treat me that way on their wedding day, and that’s why I feel a profound responsibility to do my very best for them, because that’s what they would do for me!!!

I love them both. I love their little family. I love their friends. I love what they stand for and believe in, and I love the way they choose to live their lives and love other people. I am so happy to have met them and am so happy to have this opportunity to be a part of their life!!

Ashlie and Kareem, you are both so lovely!! I am so looking forward to Friday and the day with your families and friends!! Thank you, from my heart, for including me, and for being such good, kind, and nice people! I admire you so much!!

Aanika, Danny, and Skipping Stones Forever, Together

I love my job!! It doesn’t even feel like work; it feels like a gift, a pleasure, a treat!! I LOVE my…opportunity to experience, feel, witness, and photograph people’s love!! It’s rad, awesome, and so cool on so many levels!! I am profoundly grateful for what I do every weekend! It sounds cliche, but it’s the truth: I love the couples I photograph (I LOVE everyone I photograph)! I love their families and their celebrations and I feel blessed to be a part of their special days!!

Aanika and Danny are getting married on Saturday in Santa Barbara.

It’s going to be happy, all of it!! A happy, cheerful, fun, lighthearted day of much merry making!!! I don’t think any of us will stop smiling the whole day through!! It’s going to be the perfect day to celebrate them!!

They are the couple that skips stones together, walks the extra mile (up a really steep climb ;)) together, takes an extra minute on the beach just to hold hands and drink each other in before heading back to the busy of life. They are the couple that laugh at each other’s jokes, even the not so funny ones (and hysterical ones to other people: aka water shoes ;)); they are the couple that holds each other’s heart in each other’s hands and keeps it safe, and will keep it safe, forever.

They are the couple I love to spend time with, the couple I love to photograph, the couple I love to love!!

So happy because they are happy, together.

Here’s to Aanika, Danny, their timeless relationship, all their laughter, love, and a day they will never forget!!! Much love to them and their families!!! Excited for Saturday!!! xx KJ

Just Had to Share One

I am working on a project. These two are helping me. This is just one from our fun day of shooting in Palm Springs. A whole string of these are coming soon and the release of something BIG!!! I am smiling; I am so happy!!!

Just one for now. xxx KJ

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