Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Outside The Box

I am awkward in front of the camera. Really awkward. Giggly, shifty, nervous chatter about everything-in-the-world kind of awkward. Maybe it's the fact that I spend so much time behind the camera and not in front of it. It's my security blanket. Sure, I can stand and paste a smile on. I can make a ridiculous face. I cannot, however, look even slightly normal when a camera is pointed my way.

Or so I thought.

The tables were turned during my recent trip to Las Vegas. My new (and uber talented friend) Sasha, was kind enough to turn his lens on me. He was patient, totally non-judgy of my faces, and made me feel kind of like a model. Which is pretty cool.

At some point, my brain shut off and instead of the constant
"Suck in!"
"Oh no. My chin. It's so weeeird."
"Don't blink."

I started to relax. Thank you Sasha for helping me outside my box, filling my head with knowledge, and taking some stellar pictures!

Photos by Sasha, a San Francisco wedding photographer.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Anjuli & Brian: Wedding

He waited. Strong and silent. The doors creaked opened behind him and his breath caught in his throat as he listened to her footsteps come closer.

She walked slowly forward, her eyes teary and a smile tugging at the corners of her mouth.

And he waited.

She came up behind him and gently folded her arms around him, laying her head on his shoulder. He turned slowly, and seeing her for the first time on their wedding day, he smiled back.


Anjuli and Brian, thank you. I can't describe how grateful I am that you chose to include me on your wedding day. You allowed me into your lives, your moments, and your love. A love that resonated clearly through the air, like a silent bell, with a force that transcended words.

Thank you.

I hope you have an amazing time in Bora Bora. I can't wait to hear all about it!

Happy Thursday!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Kisses & Disses: Airport bookstores & Icy Puddles

"Are you sure you don't need a book?"

I nodded, pushing a loose strand of hair out of my eyes. She studied my face closely before turning away and running her fingers lightly across the spines of the books behind her. She lingered on one, a bright orange paperback with a glossy cover.

"This one. You'll love it," she whispered softly.

She pushed the book gently into my hands and nodded slightly, a smile spreading across her face.

And I did.

This leads me to my first installment of Kisses & Disses (a weekly blog series borrowed from one of my favorite photographers, Jasmine Star.

This week's Kisses go to:

*Airport bookstore ladies. My 2-hour layover in Denver was made much better with that book.

*Little Bee - not only was it a great read, it was exceptionally well written. It was funny, thought provoking, and a little heartbreaking. It's also the first time in a long while I found myself bookmarking excerpts to revisit later.

*DVRs. There is something amazingly awesome about going on a trip, and coming back to all your favorite shows. Ready, waiting, and commercial-free. Thank-you Charter!

*Three-year olds that wrap you a present out of socks. Just because.

*Etsy. Because it's amazing and addictive.

This week's Disses go to:

*COLD WEATHER. Didn't a certain groundhog tell us we had some warm weather coming??

*Freezing puddles deeper than your ankles. Because they're cold and are obviously trying to end the life of your brand new shoes.

* *Etsy. Because it's amazing and addictive. ;)

Happy Tuesday!

Just a twinkle..

That's me right there. (Or would be minutes from this picture being taken)

Doesn't look like much, a light turning off in the midst of 10,000 twinkling city lights. Just another flicker in a much, much larger picture.

But there I was.

And that flicker?
That's the moment my life changed.


Las Vegas was...amazing. I have the tendency to shy away from new things. Something scares me? Seems like too much? I can always find something else, something that won't leave me feeling quite so overwhelmed. That's how I felt my first night there. Overwhelmed and a little lost. My hands were aching from wandering around the city with my bags in tow.


Internet, this girl was a little scared.

And then the next day came. In daylight, the city didn't look as large, or nearly as daunting. (Perhaps it was just my lack of caffeine.) I went to my first class and made my first friend. And another, and another. The anxiety I'd felt the day before melted away and was replaced with a desire to create. I was in an amazing new city with sixteen thousand other photographers. A melting pot of creative energy where everyone was open and ready to share. My mind was on fire. I talked (with my hands and in abundance), danced, and took some amazing pictures. I also made what I'm fairly certain are some pretty solid friends and valuable creative resources. These people are amazing.

I also got to meet Nigel Barker. And although it may not seem life-changing, the view was certainly nice. :)

More to come soon.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Las Vegas Bound!

Hey guys,

I'll be flying out tomorrow morning for Las Vegas! There, I'll be packing my brain with new information, working on some amazing shoots, and being a cheesy tourist! Stay tuned for some awesome updates. :)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

101 IN 1001

101 IN 1001

In an attempt to keep myself on track, I need lists. I need goals written and numbered, my dreams laid out in such a way they can't easily be back-burnered. I'm a list girl.

This is my list. A complete list of 101 things I want to do in the next 1001 days. I will be referring back to this list as I work on checking things off. And you? Well internet, I need you to hold me accountable.
*Bolded items are completed

Start Date: February 15, 2010
End Date: November 12, 2013

1. Get a custom blog that matches my website.

2. Make dinner every night for an entire week. (0/7)

3. Read ten books to benefit my business. (0/10)

4. Plant flowers around the house. (landscaping)

5. Keep above flowers alive for more than one month.

6. Attend a Mike Colon workshop.

7. Attend a Jasmine Star workshop.

8. Blog every day for one month. (0/30)

9. Blog once a week for a year. (0/52)

10. Learn to tango.

11. Visit Italy.

12. Start sending out business holiday cards.

13. Take a pottery class.

14. Keep the house squeaky clean for one month.

15. Finish painting and decorating the house.

16. Purchase a jacuzzi.

17. Build a pergola to go over said jacuzzi.

18. Spend more time with friends.

19. Host a dinner party.

20. Design new client packets.

21. Order all new sample albums.

22. Get new headshots for my website and blog.

23. Go on a mini-vacation with a friend.

24. Buy a new car.

25. Attend WPPI.

26. Visit Biltmore Estates again.

27. Put more framed photos around the house.

28. Donate $5 for every item on my list that is not completed at the end of 1001 days

29. Get a tattoo.

30. Go on a cruise.

31. Get published in a national blog.

32. Get published in a magazine.

33. Invest in the stock market.

34. Put money into a CD.

35. Run 2 times a week (for 2 months).

36. Fly in a hot air balloon.

37. Participate in another bridal fair.

38. Shoot a destination wedding.

39. Make sushi..successfully.

40. Buy the wand tv remote. Because it's life-changing/magical.

41. Visit the Harry Potter theme park.

42. Go hang gliding.

43. Become a better pen pal. (Reply within 1 week)

44. Visit 5 new states.

45. Restore a vintage camper.

46. Take aforementioned camper on epic road trip.

47. Create an Etsy page.

48. Create a savings account. And don't spend it.

49. Make 5 local photography friends. Meet monthly.

50. Meet James Marsters.

51. Create a Twitter account and use it.

52. Swim with dolphins.

53. Collaborate with a local videographer for a promo video.

54. Learn to play poker.

55. Keep an indoor plant alive for 1001 days.

56. Find and purchase Raspberry Lambick. Delicious.

57. Have a guest blogger.

58. Be a guest blogger.

59. Get a macro lens.

60. See a Cirque du Soleil show.

61. Take 20 self portraits. (0/20)

62. Run a marathon.

63. Join a book club.

64. Go on a Bioluminescent Bay kayaking tour.

65. Learn to limbo better.

66. Get fresh flowers weekly.

67. Get canvas prints made for my house.

68. Reach 500 fans on Facebook.

69. Buy a Chanel bag.

70. Don't complain about anything for a week.

71. Learn a poem by heart.

72. Make a custom recipe book.

73. Meet my biological father.

74. Take a dance class.

75. Take a family photo.

76. Get scuba certified.

77. Play laser tag.

78. Read all of Jane Austen's books.

79. Do a sunrise photoshoot.

80. Enter a photo in a print competition.

81. Donate my photography services to a charity effort.

82. Re-organize my computer files.

83. Visit Edgar Allan Poe's gravesite.

84. Go bowling.

85. Go through the Apartment Therapy Cure, from start to finish.

86. Learn how to use a sewing machine.

87. Write 1 blog a month for 1 year with an interview of a local vendor.

88. See a drive-in movie.

89. Host a game night.

90. Learn how to make a good gumbo.

91. Go on a photographer's retreat.

92. Purchase all the Susan Stripling Think Books.

93. Go camping.

94. Take a self defense class.

95. Assemble the playground I bought a YEAR ago.

96. Bake something fun and new monthly. Document with pictures.

97. Write, illustrate, and print a children's book. For me and the boy. Just because.

98. Keep my car clean for at least a month.

99. Scuba dive a coral reef.

100. Go to the shooting range once a month.

101. Take 5 free classes from Hobby Lobby. (0/5)

And because I've talked for a long, LONG time now.......photographic proof of accomplishing goal #83. And lookin' suuuuuper dorky because I was too paranoid to let someone else hold my camera.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Marissa and Jake: A Valentine Love Story

It starts with a dream. An idea burning so brightly in my mind, I have to make it real. A flurry of cutout hearts, dainty pink petit fours, century old valentines. The idea starts to form itself, and I just try to keep up. A few weeks ago, some dear friends came together with me on this idea, and ran with it.

Marissa and Jake, thank you for being you. Thank you for letting me make this idea a reality. Thank you for being in love.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Internet, I love love love styled sessions like this one. There are many more to come in the next few months! If you are interested in a styled session please contact me at moonbellephotography@gmail.com and we'll work together to brainstorm an AMAZING session for you!