Wedding WOW me please.

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Here ya go. I’ve been photographing weddings professionally since 1989… yeah – that’s right – 27 years. Yes… I am that old… and yes I started with medium and large format cameras (the stone age). So… after 900+ weddings – I can pretty much say I’ve seen it all. I’ve photographed in 40 states and 6 countries… from weddings with 500+ attending, to a Grateful Dead wedding a mile back in the woods in a field… goth weddings… balloon weddings… I don’t even know where to start.
 
I NEED SOMETHING CRAZY FUN. It can be an elopement or big wedding. I’m offering 50% off any one of my packages to the first wedding couple that can WOW me with the wedding they have planned.  Please e-mail my right hand Jenny at jennyb@fototails.com and I need a theme, a plan, your wedding date, your wedding location, how you met or your story, and why your wedding is going to be something I’ve never seen before. 
ENTRIES must be received before November 1st, 2016.  I MUST have your wedding date available to qualify.Jeanine Thurston_RR3

THINK OUTSIDE… no box required.

So, I live in this beautiful state called Colorado.  I travel all around the world to photograph in amazing places and I finally stopped to contemplate my studio in Denver.  I started to list off and ask people about all of the amazing places to photograph in our state and realized… I’ve only been to a very few in comparison to what is out there.  Then, I got a little excited that I have so much to explore and photograph HERE… within a day drive.  This summer I plan on hitting a handful of my missed opportunities to photograph in beautiful places right around where I live.

Next chain of thought as I looked closely at my calendar and see my time is completely booked for the next 4 months…. all shoots and sessions are on-location and mostly outdoors.   I DO love my studio, but it was time to consider photographing inside a box vs. photographing outdoors and at locations that are more about making memories and capturing the beauty that surrounds us.  When I photograph in other states and other countries I never consider photographing my clients IN A BOX of a studio… it is always finding beautiful and unique locations – so why would I settle for a box here in Denver?  Maybe to avoid weather and rescheduling, newborns… I know there are a handful of reasons why – they just don’t outweigh WHERE I love to photograph.  I like the challenge of outdoor lighting, I like people interacting with their surroundings, and I really like creating a real experience outdoors.

SO after two decades of a studio – MAY 30th, 2016 is my last day at my Denver studio.  I am taking ALL of my shoots exclusively outdoors and on-location.  It may mean a few rescheduled dates here and there… or an umbrella, scarf, or hat… but I’m choosing to stay true to what I want in images for every client – OUTSIDE – EXPLORE – NATURE.  We have been scouting new locations to offer people and some old ones that are always amazing too!

BOOK in advance so we can reserve time for you ~ currently we are booking out 16-20 weeks for weekend dates!  Soon we will be announcing styled shoot dates/locations too!

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5 Things to AVOID REGRET.

1. Create your path.  Be who you are and don’t let another create your path for you.  One of your greatest joys is the journey of finding yourself in life.  Don’t be afraid of judgement from others, and don’t fear your heart and opening it to others.  Walk your own path and know it is ok if people disagree with you.

2. Be giving.  Live your life by doing good for others.  Set selfishness aside and toss your ego in the trash.  Think about times when people made you smile, gave to you for no reason and pass a little of that along every day.  It is freeing, motivating and it makes your heart happy in the process.  Giving gives back 10 fold and feeds your sole.

3. Manage don’t micromanage.  Take a deep breath and let things go.  Make a conscious decision at some point in managing a project to let things play out.  Let go of your anxiety – walk away – and know that you don’t need to have control and know about every single detail.  You can always re-evaluate small flaws in your plan and make it better next time – and surround yourself with people who allow you to let go more easily.

4. Own yourself.  Flaws are in your mind – they are a product of your own creation – they are not real.  You’re skin, your weight, your shape, your scars, your tragedies, the way you think are all a part of you.  Just because you have been brainwashed that there is such a thing as beautiful or ugly doesn’t make it true.  Nobody is perfect and time spent thinking you are somehow less than perfect is wasting precious time that you could be using to enjoy yourself and all the people and things that you love.

5. Dreams are real.  You owe it to yourself to dream and dream often… dream every day, dream as BIG as you can and go with it.  Don’t ever feel that dreams and daydreams are a waste of time… UNLESS you never act towards them.  That’s right… they are only a waste of time if you don’t get up and DO something about them.  Pick one of your dreams and put your energy towards it today… put it in motion!  Every amazing idea, every amazing happening started with a dream… and happened because someone got up and decided that they would TRY to make it possible.

So get up today.  Be proud of who you are – and own all of your imaginary flaws that make you a beautiful and perfect individual.  Give someone a smile, a helpful hand, a meaningful compliment or an unexpected gift.  Start living one of your dreams.  And… let go of a handful of the “little” things that you are holding onto way to tight.  Avoid regrets and live your life in motion.

Photograper: Jeanine Thurston

Crisp Hoi An Pancakes

INGREDIENTS

BATTER

  • 1 cup rice flour
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

ASSEMBLY

  • 5 tablespoons (or more) vegetable oil, divided
  • 4 oz. small shrimp, peeled, deveined
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 4 oz. mung bean sprouts (about 1 cup)
  • Large green-leaf or Bibb lettuce leaves and mixed tender herbs (such as mint, cilantro, and Thai basil; for serving)
  • Nuoc Cham (click for recipe)

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

Calories (kcal) 330 Fat (g) 19 Saturated Fat (g) 3 Cholesterol (mg) 45 Carbohydrates (g) 32 Dietary Fiber (g) 2 Total Sugars (g) 2 Protein (g) 9 Sodium (mg) 410

PREPARATION

View Step-by-Step Directions

BATTER

  • Whisk flour, turmeric, salt, and 1½ cups water in a large bowl until smooth. Cover and let sit at room temperature 1 hour (this allows the rice flour to hydrate; the batter will get creamier as it sits).

ASSEMBLY

  • Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add shrimp, season with salt and pepper, and cook, tossing often, until cooked through, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
  • Wipe out skillet and return to medium-high heat. Add remaining 4 Tbsp. oil. Mix batter to reincorporate rice flour, pour ½-cupful into skillet, and swirl pan to evenly spread out batter. (Be careful: Batter will splatter.) Cook pancake, shaking pan occasionally, until almost cooked and edges begin to curl, about 4 minutes. Top with one-fourth of scallions, one-fourth of bean sprouts, and one-fourth of shrimp and cook until pancake is golden brown and crisp, about 1 minute. Using a spatula, fold pancake in half, forming a half-moon. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Repeat with remaining batter (mixing before adding to pan), scallions, bean sprouts, and shrimp to make 3 more pancakes, adding more oil to skillet as needed.
  • Cut pancakes into wedges. To eat, tuck each wedge inside a lettuce leaf along with some herbs and dip in Nuoc Cham.

Find the recipe here: Crisp Hoi An Pancakes.

Pure imagination

I have always been in love with this song since the first time I saw Gene Wilder sing it in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory when I was a kid.  It is a great set of lyrics to think about when you are in a creating mode.  I’m so lucky to have such an amazing team of “creatives” that help me play and make images while having fun.

 

These are some images from our Alice in Wonderland styled shoot…. a perfect theme for imagination.

Jill Scott Hatter

Jill Scott Hatter

Lyrics to Pure Imagination –

Hold your breath
Make a wish
Count to three

Come with me and you’ll be
In a world of pure imagination
Take a look and you’ll see
Into your imagination

We’ll begin with a spin
Traveling in the world of my creation
What we’ll see will defy explanation

If you want to view paradise
Simply look around and view it
Anything you want to, do it
Wanta change the world?
There’s nothing to it

There is no life I know
To compare with pure imagination
Living there, you’ll be free
If you truly wish to be

If you want to view paradise
Simply look around and view it
Anything you want to, do it
Wanta change the world?
There’s nothing to it

There is no life I know
To compare with pure imagination
Living there, you’ll be free
If you truly wish to be

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Jill Scott – MUA/Stylist

Samantha Koch – MUA/Stylist

Susan Dillon – Beautiful hat & Alice’s hair piece

Melissa Schans – Alice & Hatter Muse

 

Egg in the hole

Maybe egg in the hole won’t change your world, but fried egg in a hole made in some bread is one of my favorite things for breakfast lunch or dinner.  Best of all it can be done about a million different ways – so never grows old.

You may also know it as Egg in the basket, Betty Grable Eggs and has been adapted to things like “toad in the hole” for the sausage dish make in its likeness.  Really, all it involves is a piece of bread with a hole removed  and an egg in the center and then cooked with a little butter.

So here is just a slight variation from the traditional.

1 slice of bread

1 egg

1/2 of a sliced avocado

Salt & Pepper to taste

Bacon cut up into pieces.

 

That’s it – so yummy and no directions required – you assemble it how you wish and fry it in a pan.  I fight the normal and always put the “hole” to off center – so there is more room for the “extras” like bacon, scallions, chives, jalapeños, basil, honey … etc.  Cook the egg to your liking – soft, over easy, sunny side up, or hard.Egg in the hole Jeanine Thurston Photography_EIH_002

I cater to rock stars.

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“I cater to the Rock Stars.”

The people who own their imperfections and know that these are the very things that make them who they are.  The people who may know or not know that they are Rock Stars every day of their life.  The people who will look me in the eye and stand proud that they are special; as well as the people who don’t know… because I’m here to tell them, to show them, and to be their biggest cheerleader.

See, we are all rock stars at some level in our life.  What we see as rough around the edges can be years of trying to define ourselves or years of trying to escape our definitions.  The boy who is called crazy, the girl who is called self-centered… labels are useless pieces of information.  But what I like to do is see those things that make you different, show you that attitude and smile that you rarely see… and hope only to point out that YES, you are different.  You are different from everyone else on this earth… and if we were all the same, how boring would that really be.  So I feel honored when I get the chance to photograph you, because I study your face, your gestures, and the way you move and react to me any others around you because I’m searching for an expression or a “thing” about you that is different… I’m looking for you.

YOU ARE A ROCK STAR.

~Jeanine~

Photographer

Plan a portrait calendar

Busy is the word, and I always suggest taking time each year to plan a portrait calendars.  It doesn’t matter what time of year you start this, but taking a look at where you are in life with your family/children and making a decision on when professional portraits are best each year is a great way to get those memories at a time that works best for you and for your budget.

Here are some great times and milestones that will mean the most to catch with professional photography:

1st year: Maternity, Birth-3 weeks, When your child starts sitting up, when your child stands, first birthday

Youth: Formal portraits yearly(if you would rather have beautiful images vs. school photographs), Awards and recognition portraits when they have major accomplishments (this is confidence building).

Yearly: Family portraits, children’s favorite interests portraits, special outfits for holidays or from special family members, siblings portraits.  Parents… the most un-photographed couple and it is one of the most important to your children~make time for formal portraits of just the two of you every few years at least.

Generation portraits: children with parents and grandparents, mother or father & child portraits, grandparents with grandchildren, and formal portraits of grandparents.

For you:  Update business portraits every 2 years (yes, get rid of the HS photos on your LinkedIn page!lol),  make-over or boudoir portraits because we all need to feel extra special once in a while – and we also need something to look back at to remember what we were like – and your children will cherish photos of you throughout the years too.

Wedding: Yes of course – but also consider formal portraits with your gown when you have made some time and space without the hustle and bustle of the wedding day.

Love: Celebrate… anniversary, birthday ~special places & memories.

And although I could go on and on ~ start picking through the most important things for you on this list and start plugging them into your personal calendar and making your appointments… you can always re-schedule closer to a schedule date.. but if it’s not on your calendar then life gets busy and these very important times get pushed aside.  Make it real, and set up your portrait calendar.

Need help?  We have a yearly portrait planning date at the studio – it’s absolutely free, and booking with us personally is not required.  I just want to help you get on track to great memories that don’t go missed!

Contact us for details:  info@fototails.comJeanine_Thurston_Z_001

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Photographer: Jeanine Thurston

Photographer: Jeanine Thurston

Book your key vendors – without cutting corners!

“Planning ahead allows you more room to get vendors you want for your wedding day.”Image

I’ve had so many calls lately from people who had contacted me months ago about their wedding… and then call back only to find we have that date already booked.  My heart sinks, because some of them I would so LOVE to photograph their wedding.  I kindly hand them off to other photographers that I personally recommend – but hate the deep sigh I get from them when I tell them we no longer have their date available.

 I encourage anyone having a wedding to book your key vendors ASAP… especially ones that can only do one event at a time.  Wedding planner, photographer, videographer, DJ or Band… are mostly limited to one wedding a day – so make those your priority after you have your date & venue set.   This is such an amazingly important day and getting the vendors that you love can make a huge difference in how comfortable and carefree you feel on your wedding day.  Florists, catering, On-site MUAs, Stylists and cake should be next up – because although they may be able to do more than one wedding in a day, they still have limitations on how many they can do.

The “when to book” each vendor changes from year to year in your most loved wedding magazines (it almost changes as fast as your local weather forecast) and typically their ball park timeline only works if you have multiple choices that you love for each vendor.  If you have a specific vendor you want to work with, or an amazing vendor that does limited events to give you the best service and attention then you can throw all those timelines for booking out the window.   This is your wedding day – you deserve world-class vendors, and the memories of your wedding day are world-class important.

The DRESS… yes, that beloved dress that you want… can take months to get and even more time to get altered.  Many brides don’t realize how much time that can take… so find your dress with enough time – so you’re not cutting it too close to the wedding day!

Another great reason to book ASAP… is it gives you more time for financial planning for your event.  Many vendors will work with you on payment plans so that instead of “cutting” your budget and settling, it may allow you to get the vendor you want, the packages you want to make your day over the top amazing.

So get out a pen an paper and start making your priority list for your wedding day – make a wedding top 10.  Those top 5 vendors – book as soon as possible, and the the next five as soon as you can after too.

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