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Real Life Thursday – My husband’s beard

So this is one of those times I’m all like, “I’m gonna do ‘Wedding Wednesday’ or ‘Blog Monday’!” But I really want to infuse more of myself into this blog. So I’m going to try and dedicate Thursdays to blogs about what I’m doing, thinking, or even a photo from the recent week.

This week’s blog is dedicated the my handsome husband, who grew out his beard for my birthday and then let me gleefully shave it into different shapes. Someone told me it was WEIRD that I shaved his face but really, if you don’t shave your significant other’s face, THEN YOU’RE THE WEIRDO. BECAUSE IT’S SUPER FUN.

Anyway, this man was made for me. Clearly.

     

Carmen & William | Destination Wedding Photographer

Carmen and William were just so incredibly great together. I always sniffle a little when the couple cries during the ceremony. Even though they had a first look, which also included tears, their vows were so beautiful there wasn’t a dry eye in the house! They got married at the Paradise Cove Luau and while it was almost a “build your own wedding” shtick, all of their friends were helpful and super happy to be there! There was even two massive monk seals in attendence down the beach. Since there are only about 1,000 in existance, being visited by 2% of the population was pretty incredible!

I wish these two nothing but the best! Such a fun time! And any couple willing to wade through waist deep water for pictures is the best of the bold and adventurous!

Looking for your own wonderful wedding photographer? Head over to my website for some deets!
Destination Wedding Photographer

Destination Wedding Photographer

Destination Wedding Photographer

Destination Wedding Photographer

Destination Wedding Photographer

Destination Wedding Photographer

Destination Wedding Photographer

Destination Wedding Photographer

International Wedding Photographer

International Wedding Photographer

International Wedding Photographer

International Wedding Photographer

International Wedding Photographer

International Wedding Photographer

International Wedding Photographer

International Wedding Photographer

     

“I didn’t Unplug” – a true client testimonial.

Have an unplugged wedding

I met Nikki months ago and over email, we grew a wonderful friendship. When we finally met in person, it was all squeals and hugs! She had a beautiful ceremony on the water, with gorgeous mountains in the back. The only issue? Her guests were simply out of control.

Now, let me start this by saying that I love your guests. I respect your guests….as long as they respect your big moment. And my job is to preserve memories. The question is how do you react when your guests become too wrapped up in their own iPhone addiction and your memories are tarnished?

Why you should have an unplugged wedding

After the wedding, Nikki was in almost tears, because her guests had made her wedding about themselves. She had specifically asked for them to keep electronics out of the scene but they ignored her. Her…the bride. I speak with angry vehemence, because unfortunately for them, Nikki will most likely dislike them forever now:PAfter the wedding, Nikki was relieved all wasn’t lost (because I’m good at my job!) but some moments were permanently ruined, like when the Doug saw her for the first time and there was an iPad coming out of his shoulder! I even tried to adjust and she raised the iPad. The same thing happened with the first kiss and she ignored all of my quiet motions to have her step aside, forcing the professional first kiss photos to be from the side.

Look, not all guests all like this. Not all weddings have this issue. But just as a friendly reminder to my 2016 weddings: I give a generous discount for unplugged weddings. Because I want/need/wish for your happiness.

Benefits of an unplugged wedding

Without further ado, here is Nikki’s testimonial:

“I first learned of “Unplugged Weddings” after we booked Jenna for our photographer for our destination wedding. I saw a photo on her blog of a bride standing when the doors just opened and a gentleman popped into the photo with a cellphone in his hand. A beautiful, special picture was ruined. Why, so he could get a shot on his cell? I now know how that bride feels when she saw her weddings photos. Jenna did an incredible job photographing our wedding. But I too have some ruined photos. When my husband saw me for the first time, coming down the aisle his face lit up and smile was huge. The photo would have been beautiful, but my grooms mom and aunt were taking photos on their Ipad’s and you can see one of them in this very special photo. I am so upset that some of my photos have Ipad’s and cellphones in the background. Trust me, Jenna did her best to avoid them. Talk to your family and friends before your wedding about an “Unplugged Wedding”…Tell them to be present, and not watch your ceremony through a cell phone screen. Jenna will get the beautiful photos, dont worry.”

And don’t worry, they still got tons of gorgeous ceremony shots. Only a few were ruined by electronics, thanks to my yoga posing and ninja skills!

International Wedding Photographer

     

An Ode to the love of my life.

Photography by Jenna Leigh Photography

True love. Let’s be real, my search for true love is a big part of my Why for this business. I loved being surrounded by people who had found their other half. I get choked up at the first dance, at the intimacy and love of the moment. I love the flutters my brides feel before the first look. I love it when grooms cry out of happiness. Because that’s how it should be. Love is serious and fun at the same time. It’s a space to grow together and independently. And I’ve been search for years for it. I’ve been in relationships, plenty of them honestly, and THOUGHT I was in love.

Until I actually was in love.

I remember when I met him. We met online, like a lot of couples do. I saw his photo, his smile and my first typed words to him were, “what’s cooking good looking?” I knew just looking looking at his photos he was someone I wanted to know (I mean, he’s so gorgeous!).

Two weeks later, we met in person. Honestly, I had done so much dating that I hadn’t even dressed up. I had worked all day with meetings, had my hair in a messy bun and probably had sweated myself into the zone of, “shoulda showered” but shrugged it off. So many failed dates and relationships had made me ambivalent to dating. I reasoned this lazy behavior with, “well, my soul mate wouldn’t give a shit what I looked like….”

Then he pulled up in his gray jeep, got out of his car and flashed me his smile. I was speechless. Utterly speechless. Which is good, because he can talk enough for the both of us. I suddenly felt small, honestly. I wished I had showered, I wished I had done SOMETHING with my hair. I didn’t feel pretty enough for this charismatic handsome man who wouldn’t stop making me laugh. Our first date was wonderful, starting with tacos by the beach, which then led us to a nearby bar to get some beers. Then we were about to walk to our cars to say goodbye, when I realized I couldn’t bear saying goodbye. So I pretended to beg to put my feet in the water for a minute. Which led to another two hours of conversation. Our date didn’t actually end until the following morning around 10am. And I felt blissful. Like a part of me could relax and just be. The disquiet in my heart had literally settled. I had found a new drug, and I was terrified to lose it.

Photography by Jenna Leigh Photography

We didn’t make it official for another couple weeks, but every time we hung out, it was easy and fun. On Valentines Day, he buried me in the sand. On our first official date as a couple, I asked him to play the 36 Questions to Fall in Love, already knowing I wanted to love this man and to have him love me. He humored me and I learned how logical and intelligent he was.

In March, we went to on a staycation in Waikiki and I introduced him to the lifestyle of robes and room service. He showed me how to make excellent Long Island Iced Teas. We dressed up and went to eat food, getting drunk and probably making fools of ourselves. The following weekend, we went to Maui and I fell in love with him when I watched him help a pregnant woman walk out of a waterfall. The mindless kindness he exhibited made me realize that there was a softness underneath it all, a respect for those around him.

Photography by Jenna Leigh Photography

Then we broke up a week later. Yes, we totally broke up and for reasons I’m not entirely interested in discussing. For three whole weeks, I tried to pretend I was okay, that he had just been a fling. But when he reached out to me one day randomly, I realized I was still completely and utterly in love with him. So we got back together. And it was better than before, 100% better. I was so happy, I didn’t even know how to deal with it. I was the happiest I’d had ever been in my entire life, easily. And it wasn’t just happy for a couple hours, it was days and days and days of happiness. I found myself almost entirely selfless, gleefully selfless, a complete servant to love. He had started working night shift and I adjusted my schedule the best I could, waking up at 3am on the weekends and falling asleep at 6pm with him. We went on adventures every weekend, laughing and off-key singing through silly moments. Working out at the gym at 4am on Saturdays just for the hell of it.

One day he decided to challenge me to Chess. And kicked my ass, again and again. I hadn’t played in years. While he worked, I spent an entire week learning tips and tricks, while we played the Chess app on the phone. And finally beat him. Once. He introduced me into 15 minute Monopoly and beat me again and again, gleefully stealing properties and monies. I beat him. Once. This man challenged me, when I have grown used to being top dog in my life. I want to play him in Cards Against Humanity, but I’m afraid he’s still going to be more funny than me.

I knew from the start that if he let me, I would keep him for the rest of my life. And that’s what we’ve decided to do. This dude is stickin’ around y’all. We’re even considering getting him licensed to marry people, because with his good looks and talent for humor and MY photography skills, we’d be the best wedding duo ever. EVER.

The love of my life is named Mike. He’s excellent at winning games, stresses out when he doesn’t have his four meals a day and says hello to strangers while we hike. He’s also keeping me in Hawaii until October 2016, so make sure you give him a hug.:)

Photograph by Jenna Leigh Photography

     

Farewell FAO

So during my trip to New York last month, my client Blaine and I went to FAO Schwartz, a famous toy store that has been there since the 1800′s. Unfortunately, it seems as if not everyone values history and iconic places, because the building housing this famous toy store raised the rent so high, the toy store had to shut down. What the hell is this country coming to that this amazing toy store has to shut down?! So naturally, I needed to take PICTURES to commemorate the toy store I’ve loved since I was a child. Here is a dedication to this toy store, where large stuffed animals and men dressed up as toys will be missed.