Friday, May 4, 2012

BETTER then prom??

By Kelly Frances

“So much than better prom!” were the words that repeatedly came out of my mouth that night. I was worried that I was going to start annoying people with it, but I couldn’t help myself. The anxiety and excitement that had been accumulating over the previous months had been more than justified. I was quite anxious about the ball because I’m quite ignorant about anything ROTC related. I was worried about making a fool of myself, but Dana made me look perfect which definitely boosted my confidence. I knew she would though- Dana can take a pile of garbage and turn it into the cover of Vogue.
My night started at 2:00pm (or 14:00, as Rowan would say) when I made my way to the France’s house. Dana immediately began piecing together the accessories to the dress. She already had more than enough accessories to select from, one of which was a gold purse that matched the gold sequins on my dress. She made gold scrunched accents with silver spirals that she attached to my 

shoes and purse that truly tied the whole outfit together. I put on the shoes and dress and my nervousness and stress level immediately depleted.
Moving onto hair and make up. Dana painted my face with gold lip gloss and eye shadow, everything matched flawlessly. Rowan managed to interrupt periodically with a time check that did nothing but add pressure to the situation. We had to be there by 5:30. My hair fell beautifully after it was curled. However, Dana knowing my hair -as well if not better than myself-meant that leaving it down for the entire night would not be a smart option. It’d fall less than half way through. Final decision, an up do. Of course, with time pressing, my hair wanted to be difficult during this process. But then I heard the wise words from Dana’s mouth, “Oh, I see what it’s doing” and her creativity and artistic ability really hit me. I can’t express how excited and grateful I was to have someone so insightful and brilliant to be getting me ready for the ball.
A few minutes left before we have to leave, Rowan gets dressed. While it takes me 3 hours to get ready, it takes him about 3 minutes. He looked so handsome; I was so ecstatic. The bow tie was a nice change to the uniform. I thought it made him look even more striking than usual. I don’t know how I managed to be the CO’s date, but I felt extremely lucky, and extremely worried that I would make him look bad if I said something stupid. So game plan for the night: Stand there and look pretty. Having that in mind, I felt a little more prepared and less likely to hyperventilate. He helped load up his mom’s photography equipment in her vehicle and we got in my vehicle. Like a perfect boyfriend, he told me I looked beautiful and had nothing to worry about.

Upon arrival, I was immediately impressed. The men were all in uniform, the girls all in dresses, out of the corner of my eye I saw a practice for the sword arch. "Oh my gosh, that’s so cool! It’s just like the movies!" -I thought. Fortunately, I didn’t say that aloud… Could’ve embarrassed my date within five minutes of being there. Dana wanted to get pictures outside before the sun skipped out on us but Rowan was too worried about getting ready for the receiving line. Being his mother and ruling over any ROTC command, she managed to get some shots before the receiving line.
Receiving line- aka moment of being introduced to everyone and hopefully not screwing up a first impression. Once everyone entered and we must’ve shaken 100 hands, I finally calmed down a bit. Hearing “I’m sexy and I know it” definitely leveled out some of the formality in the room. The sword arch proceeded with the announcement of princes, princesses, queen and king of the night. The tiaras and sashes were given out accordingly. Everyone was seated and Rowan grabbed me to go watch the King and Queen cut the cake. I’m thinking, you’re making me get up in front of everyone to go watch them cut a cake. But then, they cut the cake with a sword. Wait-what?

That is so freaking cool! Why didn’t I join ROTC?! Every time I turn around they have some amazing tradition to blow my mind. The Royalty owned the dance floor for the first song- so cute. Then the rest of us joined in to dance. Granted much of the male population could’ve used dance lessons- everyone danced! No one was awkward or boring; it was just good, clean fun. I love dancing. It surely kicked the last of my nerves away and I just had a lot of fun dancing with everyone. And Rowan danced with me all night, was a complete gentlemen, and treated me like a queen as usual-a refreshing change from my previous prom dates. I don’t know how I managed to be surrounded by so many wonderful people, but I don’t want to question a good thing.
My mom stopped by to get pictures with us which was really sweet. I was really happy she got to see us together all dressed up and whatnot. And I’m pretty sure the company enjoyed the highly anticipated dinner- Papa John’s. Dancing-eating-more dancing. I know it sounds dumb- but it felt like a dream, it was so much fun! The only negative to the night was the time flying. I must admit though, by the time things were being cleaned up and everyone was heading home, I was ready to call it a night. Dancing all night was my workout for the day-that’s for sure. It was a fabulous night with my prince charming. I felt like the luckiest girl in the world. I don’t know what girl wouldn’t enjoy getting all dolled up to dance all night with a handsome gentleman in uniform. 

The music was perfect, the food was yummy (first time trying pineapple pizza.. mmm), and my date is the best ever. I have to admit, hearing everyone call him “sir” and “CO” was another cherry on top to the magnificent evening. It was a breathtaking night and I will forever declare that it was “So much better prom!” 

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Adventures in Egagement!!

Ashley and Mike are THE Adorable ENGAGED couple of this year;-) Ashley had a killer wardrobe and when I got to her house for  MRTC or Mission Rifle Through your Closet, I was SOOOOOOOO HAPPY!!!! There was Bling to left, Bling to the right, dresses, shoes, and feathers.  
Yes, I was about to embark upon a photo adventure like no other. We were sisters on the same mission. The task at hand was to pull together a cool vintage look, that was authentically NOW and we had to convince a man to wear it TOO!! Possible?? Eh...We weren't taking no for an answer.

                    It was Fun, Poignant,  a 'lil' 'bit hokey, but a WHOLE 'lotta SWEET!

          These are the pages from their Wedding Guest book, starting with the cover, back and spine.

 We started our "Hollywood styled" adventure in Fellsmere,  Florida, home of The Famous Frog Leg Festival. More frog legs are eaten here then any other place, at one time, at one gathering. They even made it into the Guinness Book of World Records.
         The Rod and Rifle Club Allowed us a few shots in front of their stately manner, and another gentleman was kind enough to let us use his Vintage Jeep......;-)
        We ended our shoot in Wabasso, train hopping and shell skipping, me clicking happily away.

I rummage through people's closets and watch second hand romance!! What more could a girl want in a job?


Friday, February 24, 2012

Bridal Blah to OMGAGA!

Spice up your bridal look with Flashy-o-nista accessories...Yes, HONEY I said FLASHY!!! I'm making an admission, I don't LOVE to shoot the same ole, same ole, blah blah, white as white can be, wedding. Inspire me with color and texture and your pictures are sure to be completely unique and ones your girlfriends will envy and even try to emulate. Not to mention the fact that you will have given me the greatest gift of all, an inspiring portfolio. They'll call you a TRENDSETTING DIVA.

This shoot was visually stimulating!!! lol....I got to use the word stimulating!
OMG!! You plan on doing this ONCE,  so go out on a limb and make it ENCHANTING.
     We featured Bright, colorful bouquets with jeweled bits all over, and matching, jaunty hats with blushing blushers. We cooled it off with gorgeous shades of white and peach along with Feathers, raw silk flowers, winter berries and Gerber wrapped in pearls!
    Remind me why being feminine is so much fun? Oh wait, I just did!     

 If you're crafty, you may want to try your hand with a glue gun. I made the piece in the upper left corner. The jewels in the center of the silk roses were  earrings that were way too heavy to wear on the ears. I added a vintage hanky and a few feathers. The recycled ear fodder gave this blusher the right amount of romantic blingy. Buying a BOWDABRA is perfect for making neat bows of all sizes, and TRUST me when I say it should be a staple item in your craft arsenal. You can pick one up at Walmart for a whopping $13.96.

  Heavy earrings make earlobes saggy and baggy. You'll regret wearing them usually after its too late!! ( more on plucking the eyebrows too thin down a photo.)

If you don't happen to be the adventurous, crafty sort and want to rely on someone else's creativity, I found a girl on Etsy, THE WEDDING DRESSER, who dresses brides in true theatrical style.This ETSY store features feathery wraps and gorgeous hair accessories. They even recycle your gown when the whole hullabaloo is over. This includes dying it, and cutting it up??? Say what??? I want to get remarried just to have my gown restyled!

They don't grow back after a while gals, so BEEEEE careful.
  Favorite items from THE WEDDING DRESSER's SHOP :
These were MY personal favorites, yours may be different.
Flowers by:
 Pink Pelican Florist
Gowns provided by :
Aurora Unique Bridal Boutique
LA Bridal
Lara's Theme Bridal Boutique
Lindsay Naffziger
Cindy Goetz
Photography: ME

POST SCRIPT:  The other option could just say "Pfff", and wear red.
This was shot in White Sands, New Mexico

Monday, January 30, 2012

Tips For Great Family Portraits

This family gets an A+ for being so much fun! 
This subject was  inspired by a shoot I did a few weeks back.  

Family Portraits!...........To do, or not to do? That is the question!

    They are not for the feint of heart. The minute you make the announcement, the moans and groans ensue. They will complain in an attempt to have their way, but you want your way too, so you MAKE them do it. Suddenly everyone's grouchy. Well, what did you expect? Then come the threats.... I have heard mothers tell me tales of children and grown men who threaten them with "closed eyes", "crossed eyes", exposed tongues,"bunny" ears over a sibling's head, and....Broken cameras....GAh!! What's a woman to do but extort good behavior from her child with a promise of special candies from Cracker Barrel, and if they're older the bribes become pricier.

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So, what is the secret to creating a fun, and natural portrait session, where it does not appear as if, in every photo they have been threatened within an inch of there life? How do you make a successful family portraiture session fun?
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 Do something fun! First you must create an action for your family, an action towards the fun. Something that will get them moving naturally. What do you love to do together? Tennis, fishing, shopping, the playground?? Whatever it is, it has to be fun. 

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Do you love outdoors? Make a picnic lunch to match the theme of your outfits and don't tell them you've done it. Make it a surprise, because lets face it, who is not curiously excited over an unexpected surprise. Put beautiful cookies inside pretty purses (this creates detail as well as adds interest to a photo).  Your goal, is to get a family of complete and utter happiness on film, so you can look back, and remember, that you had fun. Your family was fun, and wow, what a great family portrait session that was. Lets do it again someday.
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      I Had a fantastic time with the Langford Brood, they were wonderfully charming while they were getting Quffed and Puffed. (slang for hair and make-up;-) I loved how little Chloe warned me, ever so nicely, that she would scream "coconuts"really loud if I burnt her scalp....LOL... and her sister Maddy told her mommy very sweetly that, "she didn't know how to wait!" (for her turn in the chair). We made Paper Chain hearts for baby Brother Payton. I had the girls write, his name, and the year of his birth, on the hearts. 

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Words for Payton: 
       Dear Baby Payton, 
  They love you and you're not even here. They placed your name on their hearts, then had these photos taken so you would know you are special. You are a highly anticipated event.

More Family Portrait advice!!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

D is Usually for Daneli, but today it stands for for DIVA

When Miss Lara Fiarelli of Lara's Theme Bridal Shop said, "I have this satin vintage robe with ostrich feathers up the sleeves, will you shoot me in my Boudoir? ", I thought," heck yeah sugar, how can I refuse?" I'm a sucker for vintage Lingerie and since I know Lara is a PRO at "setting the stage" (she is a seasoned Wedding planner/Floral artist) I was definitely looking forward to this Hollywood themed storyline like a huge slice of chocolate cake.
   Visions of Garbo lounging over a couch or Hepburn flashed before my eyes, but Lara is a redhead so maybe Greer Garson or Lara Bow were better inspirations.
 Walking into her home I was pleased, though not surprised to see that she had set the stage. On a make-up vanity sat an Iron Swivel Mirror, a vintage vase with a fern curling over the top, vintage diamond Jewelry, and loads of white feathers.  With bits of black peeping thru the robe, this Hollywood dynamo was well on her way.......
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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Little Princess

  It's no secret that I love to photograph children, and baby Lilly is one of my favorites. It could be her bouncy golden hair, that in the right light, surrounds her face like an angelic halo, or it could be her fabulous taste in faux fur boots, which I'm forever threatening to borrow. (She swears they won't fit me;) Maybe it's her hilariously, innocent statements which leave me in tearful giggles and her mother sending prayers heavanward.

      Whatever the reason baby Lilly is an amazing little girl who is as beautiful inside as she is out.

     This year based on a tip from a friend, (thank you Friend;-), we decided to shoot on fabulous Worth Avenue in Palm Beach Florida. Her 1st trip to Tiffany's left her feeling a bit disappointed especially when she realized the pretty blue wallets she was admiring were empty, but the shiny silver elevator left her suitably impressed. We peaked into Cartiers  window where she spied a gorgeous diamond necklace, and Chanel was sweet enough to give a stationary for a quick letter to Santa.

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     We negotiated a few pics in front of the square's giant Christmas tree on the condition she could toss some pennies into the nearby fountain, and we ended the day with a trip to sprinkles, the local ice cream shop, where she chose a lovely pink ice cream that happened to match her sweet little earmuffs and gingerbread pillbox purse. A fabulous end to a fabulous day, and a girl after my own heart. Baby Lilly, you are a gem.
Thank you to Lara Fiarelli of Laras theme for helping style this shoot! 

Friday, December 9, 2011

Happy birthday Gea!

It seems only yesterday that we took these pictures, yet it's been almost a year. If such a thing is possible, you get prettier with every birthday.
I am looking forward to sharing our latest works, an editorial for a bridal magazine. Happy birthday!!