From Panic to Bliss

It was so last minute. The sun was on it’s way down instead of up. It took forever to drive back to the marina from the beach we were at. And I was panicking. When we arrived, Pete jumped out to inquire about renting a boat, the one thing we both really wanted to do on our anniversary vacation in Tahoe. I had given it up to save some money and we went to the beach instead. Because it was a nice day. The ONLY nice day we’d have while we were there as we found out shortly before we made our way there. And I just suddenly said ‘let’s do it’. So we hopped in the car and drove for what seemed like two hours back to south shore. When Pete came back to the car, he told me they weren’t renting the smallest ones because it was too choppy. I was convinced they were trying to squeeze our wallets dry so I began having a little, tiny, baby, panic attack. He added up the numbers for me and I shook my head wildly and declared ‘no. no no no no no! We can’t do it, it’s too much’ So he got back in the car and I nearly cried. The water was RIGHT THERE. And I wanted to be on it SO BAD. The ONE thing I wanted to do, I said. I’m so disappointed. So with that, Pete declared ‘we’re doing it then’.

We got out of the car, grabbed our stuff, ran in, paid, and walked to the end of the marina to claim our boat. When we got there, the man under the little tent said ‘alright, I gotta tell ya, it’s REEEEEEEEALLY choppy out there’. I could feel myself deflating. But we continued to our boat and our own personal ‘expert’ walked around in it and showed us everything about it and spoke so fast and in such an obvious routine that I missed pretty much all of it. And I was panicking. The more he talked, the more I heard ‘REEEEEEEEEALLY choppy out there’ and the more I was hating the thought of letting go of that much money only to have an awful time and IN THE DARK because the sun was going down. I said quietly, ‘I don’t know if i want to do this. I don’t think I can do this’. Pete said ‘baby, you need to make a decision’. I couldn’t I was frozen. I was wilted. I was done. And then it happened. Pete straightened up and said ‘you know what, we’re doing it’. And I just said… ‘ok’. I gave up control and said to myself, ‘at least I will have done it instead of wondering how it would’ve been’. And so we were driven out to the buoys, our ‘expert’ departed and we were on our way.

As soon as Pete began accelerating, I began smiling. And then laughing. And then screaming with laughter. It was amazing! It was like a roller-coaster on water only not scary! We sped along through the middle of the lake toward Emerald Bay and I went up to the front of the boat. I got soaked from the spray and I screamed with laughter the entire time. I wasn’t just having fun, I was having the time of my life. When we arrived in Emerald Bay, I had left my worries and inhibitions about 5 miles back and we cruised slowly around the tiny island and waved to the two other boats in the bay. I decided to lay on my stomach on the tip of the boat and let my hands run through the water as we cut through it. I felt like a child. A happy child. I enjoyed every sight, sound and touch there was to be had and I was relaxed. When we left the bay we sped along the west coast to the north since it was smooth and glassy and beautiful and when we finally turned back, I decided that standing up in the boat was the only way to travel. So i did. The entire time. All through the choppy water and spray. And it wasn’t dark, not even close. And I smiled. And I laughed. And I screamed with laughter. And my thighs got a little workout too. It was more fun than… I can’t remember. I went from panic to bliss in about 2 minutes and I’m so thankful to Pete for ‘taking the reigns’ and making me do it. We all need someone who pushes us out of our comfort zones and out of our pity parties into life. And I lived more that day than on any other day I can remember. xoxo- D

Happy Anniversary to Us!

5 years. I know. 5 years ago I married the sweetest man alive. The man who doesn’t just love me, but he spends every waking moment trying to make me happy. It hasn’t been an easy job but I love him for doing it.

Our Wedding was the culmination of so much… we went through a lot to get to that date, August 28th 2005. To say it was worth it doesn’t seem quite enough. Our date was changed twice and it was probably one of the most difficult things I’ve endured (due to the circumstances, not just the logistics of course). Because of that fact, neither Pete’s parents nor his best friend could make it out from England on the actual date. I offered many times to change the dates again but Pete wouldn’t have it. He was getting married on August 28th and nobody was going to stop him.

I was so worried I’d be one of those brides you see… you know those girls? Those girls that are so nervous and concerned with every detail that they miss it? They miss the whole day. I didn’t want to be one of those girls. I wasn’t sure how it would play out, after all, I’d planned the entire Wedding on my own and never had any drama because, well… being ME, I didn’t think to ASK anyone else’s opinion on what I wanted. It just all went along and my little (okay big) Wedding binder and I were quite a happy little couple. But when the day arrived, I felt no nervousness, no need to control anyone else… I was just happy. And I had a blast. Like, for real.

The ceremony was the most difficult portion of the day since I was in 4 1/2″ heels that were half a size too small and if you looked closely, you could see me shifting back and forth on each foot while I pulled the other one up and twirled it around a little to get some relief. But it really was perfect. Even with the intense pain. It was beautiful and fun and intimate and romantic… everything it needed to be to represent US. When we walked outside from our first dance to see the tables all set up around the fountain in the courtyard, white linens, flowers and candles glowing under the darkening sky, we caught our breath and declared it the most beautiful thing we’d ever seen.

Two days later, this northern California girl was transplanted into Brooklyn for nearly a year. And what a year it was. We thought it was some dimension of hell we’d been dropped into and I could still list the hilariously awful complaints about our apartment on Vanderbilt ave. But you know what? It still feels like home. And believe it or not, I miss it. I lived in the same house for 28 years and then 10 months in this crazy place in the middle of Brooklyn still feels like home. It was OUR place. Neither of us knew anyone there and it was us against the world. That apartment was our sanctuary, our life, our little nest. I still cry a little when I think about it. I’ll let you use your deductive skills to determine whether or not I’m crying a little now.

5 years. 5 years ago I married the sweetest man alive. I wish I could do it again.

Yes, that’s me dripping with vintage rhinestones that 5 years later… I’d wear again! Except maybe without the tiara that my friends wouldn’t let me take off, lol. In all fairness, the birdcage veil did need something under it. Okay, enough with the fashion talk. Images taken by Mary Murphy

Jen - Danielle – you are as gorgeous today as you were 5 years ago – inside and out!! (although I didn’t know you on the inside 5 years ago…:) I can only imagine! Congratulations to you both on 5 years of marriage! It’s a beautiful journey that just keeps getting prettier by the day!!September 6, 2010 – 10:50 am

Jenn jenn - Love you guys, hope you had a fabulous weekend away, and yes your wedding day was beautiful! XoxoSeptember 6, 2010 – 3:38 pm

Melanie - What a beautiful day it was! =)September 8, 2010 – 2:48 pm

Tara and Carlos Get Married

Their Wedding day had Tara’s bright, beautiful, sweetness permeating every little nook and cranny. Her raspy, bubbly voice filled the room and when she laughed, I swear it got brighter. Her two favorite men in the world (Carlos and their son, Nathan) were in a room nearby and the longing to be with them was palpable. Tara and Carlos have a love story whose exact plot seems to be debated by many. But it is a long story. A VERY long story. In Tara’s words, they’ve been together FOREVER. Whatever the twists and turns of their story, they belong together.

Here are some highlights from their beautiful day…

Reading a special note from Mother to Son…

Sand Ceremony Fun…

One of my favorite moments of the day that I rarely get to capture…

Tara and Carlos sang to one another as the music played over the garden and the ocean which brought tears of joy…

A moment between Mother and Son…

That ended with a sly low-five…

Tara, you are STUNNING!

My favorite…

An amazing location I spotted on the way to the ceremony site…

What would a shoot with me be without a little passion…

When we returned to the car from our location, Tara realized she’d left her shoes in the road!

Party Time…

A lovely & personal touch, Wedding photos of the family…

Dancing as Husband & Wife…

A beautiful moment with the Father & the Bride…

Sassy Tara…

Sara Gorski - Gorgeous!! So great to see the story unfold, it was such a beautiful wedding. Loved how you were able to capture the family feeling with their son, and keep things looking romantic with fitting with their theme. Great to work with you Danielle!!

SaraSeptember 2, 2010 – 7:31 pm

Jen - Your work is incredible Danielle….! I love it….September 2, 2010 – 11:53 pm

Tweets that mention Tara and Carlos Get Married » — - [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Sara, Tara Walker. Tara Walker said: RT @calisara: Tara & Carlos get married! How they included their son, beautiful images captured by @DanielleF [...]September 7, 2010 – 8:40 pm

How I got my wings

Walking into her home was like visiting an fantastic city that I’d never been to and could only hope to never leave. I was 16 when Mary called me and offered me a job 3 days a week as her assistant. She heard about me from my friends mother and she hired me without ever meeting me in person. I was both incredibly excited and nervous. And maybe 5 minutes later I had made a unspoken and possibly even subconscious decision to be in the photography business.

Mary was a bright light in my world, a riot of color. Her home was never quiet, never boring. Her style influenced me greatly and I was able to find myself in it. I’ve cropped more negatives and designed more Wedding albums than I care to remember but no matter what I was doing I always felt the purpose of gorgeous images and I was always happy about it. When I bought my first ‘real’ camera (Mamiya RB 67 – a monster of a camera and that’s just fine considering how beautiful the pictures that came out of it were) I could’ve come out of my skin with pride and excitement. Mary had taught me the basics and I would be testing and tweaking and testing some more for years. And if I’m being honest, I still am.

Mary made me laugh, she made me feel envious (and still does) over the incredible items in her closet, but mostly, she gave me hope. She never made me feel like photography was out of my reach. Instead she praised me with words like ‘innovative’. Mary even photographed my Wedding for next-to-nothing just out of the kindness of her heart. I can’t ever thank her enough for being who she has been to me.

After being mostly out of touch for several years she came across my website and declared to me in an email that she nearly DIED when she saw it. She wanted me to do a shoot for her and she was so incredibly proud of what I’ve done and that it was more than she ever dreamed for me. Um…. first of all, best email EVER. Second, of COURSE I’ll do a shoot for you!

Here’s my favorite…. (there’s more concepts and I’ll post more later but C’MON! I’m SO in love with this one!

Ps. Mary is currently working on a new website, I’ll post the link soon!

your favorite Jenn! - Beautiful!July 23, 2010 – 2:59 pm

Rita Ramirez - You are hands down one of my favorites!! Great, great work!September 1, 2010 – 8:07 am

Sarah’s SF Boudoir

I LOVE LOVE LOVE when other photographers want me to shoot for them. I said to my hair/makeup artist the day of the shoot, ‘she’s coming out from Texas. She’s another photographer actually’ and she looked at me as if I should be having a panic attack and said ‘oh my God, are you nervous?’ And of course, in that instant, I started to freak out a little. OMG, should I be nervous? I should be nervous!!! And then I remembered that I’ve shot for other photographers before and it was always fun and it always ended up being a great shoot. So, I shook it off and went about ordering my soy latte.

And another, and another. I had a shoot the day before and for some reason, my body refused to wake up. These are the times I pat myself on the back for never doing a shoot without a hair/makeup artist. That’s a built-in, guaranteed hour and a half of nap time. Yeah, you heard me. I straight up LAID down on the couch in the loft, pulled a blanket over myself and NAPPED. Okay, I didn’t exactly get to ‘sleep’ per-se what with being 10 feet away from the action and having to offer mumbled opinions on how tousled I wanted her hair but I nonetheless made a total ass out of myself by napping on the job. I promised her very firmly that I would get ONE more coffee and I would be totally normal. And I was. Thank God.

Sarah was giggly and adorably understanding and when we finally started shooting… whoa. I didn’t expect what I saw through my lens and I was pretty darn stoked. It still amazes me… the pure magic of what happens between when the client walks in and when I finally click my shutter. I don’t know why I get to be so lucky as to witness something so spectacular, but I’m grateful. Sarah emanated beauty and grace (with a few giggles thrown in for good measure) and even though she was a photographer herself, she never questioned me for a second, she never offered a differing opinion, she never behaved like anything other than a sweet girl who was trusting me to make her look good. Amazing.

There were a few moments during shooting where I just had to stop and put the camera to my side and just plain freak out. Hopefully you’ll agree with me that in one of the shots below (her back is to the window), she is basically a dark-haired Blake Lively. Work it Sarah. I’m not mad at it.

Oh, and can we talk about Sarah’s fabulous Vintage leopard-print coat?

denise - These are GORGEOUS, what an amazing job you did!July 12, 2010 – 2:35 pm

Chris Rebo - Absolutely stunning set! THe first one and then the last 3 totally amaze me. Keep it up!July 13, 2010 – 8:51 am

angel - As always, I love your work and seriously enjoy reading your style of writing.July 16, 2010 – 7:38 pm

Jen - Whoa… you are amazing!July 16, 2010 – 11:48 pm

Sarah - Thank you Danielle for your magic! I am thrilled with the photographs~ you have such an eye…making me feel so alive & beautiful. :) July 18, 2010 – 9:15 am