Monday, April 30, 2007

Sahra & Scott

There was bat poop, scary movies, an elusive vernal pond and yellow flowers as far as the eye could see. Days just don't get more perfect than this.

We hiked, we huffed, we laughed, we loved hanging out with Sahra & Scott today. Our best bud Joey came along for the ride and together we all hiked to the top of Talcott Mountain to the incredible Heublein Tower. The views went on forever, the wind was crisp, and Sahra & Scott were perfect. The joy they take in each other is a blessing to share. To see their laughter is to watch love in motion.

So why, you may ask, are we just now getting this post up WELL after 1am? Well, this AMAZING couple not only asked us all out to dinner after the shoot, they then slipped their card to the waiter before we even knew what was happening! Since we had spent the whole hike back down the mountain talking about how much we all LOVE scary movies, we decided we had to go see Vacancy together. And that's just what we did, junior mints and all! How much am I LOVIN' these two?! :) They were telling us about all these cool haunted hayrides and ghostly taverns up their way...and come October we are sooo there! We can't wait! Thanks so much guys for the perfect kinda day.

Here are some of our favorites:

...and we almost stepped on this little guy

Friday, April 27, 2007

Pystal or Kraul?

We owe it to Krystal and Paul for giving us our sweet new nickname and dubbing us "The Marantz" (singular) at the last PUG meeting. So now of course we *have* to return the favor! Following in the grand Hollywood tradition of the greats like "Bennifer" and "Brangelina", we submit for your approval the following options:

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Bookmarkin' Some Blogs

So, I'm sure like many of you, I have an EVER growing folder of bookmarked blogs that I read on a regular basis (ehem, daily!). Well, I just added two more to the list that *never* disappoint! Jasmine has an *incredible* way with words and she always finds such a way to touch my heart with both her amazing stories and her beautiful pictures. And Chris does absolutely phenomenal work that is always a real inspiration to see. He also always has really fun tips for photographers that are *great* to read. Check 'em out if you get a chance!

And drop us a line in the comments if you have any blogs you think we should check out!

A Walk in the Park

This past Sunday, Jus and I took Cooper for a walk and a swim in the park. I always love doing that because you get to meet *so* many interesting people. The great thing about dogs (or at least ours anyway!!) is that they waste no time being silly and shy or waiting for someone else to come up to them. They just run right up and introduce themselves! Wouldn't it be awesome if people were more like that (y'know, without all the sniffing!)

So when you have a dog like ours, you very quickly find yourself being pulled (quite literally) out of your comfort zone. When you're doing the leash tango with a complete stranger in some crazy advanced game of twister, it's really hard not to at least strike up a conversation. This weekend was definitely no different!

We were on our way to the beach for a quick swim (for coop, not for us, as the water was BURRRRR-frigidy!) when we ran into this little super hero of a chihuahua who did not run, but BOUNDED up to us out of nowhere with all four feet flying through the air in supreme spiderman fashion. He ran superman circles around us at the speed of light (ooooh insert picture of carla and justin in their superhero shirts HERE!), adeptly tying us and his owners up in an impossible web of leash. you do in a situation like that, we got to talkin' :)

TURNS OUT, this couple (who we would've guessed were nearing their 50th anniversary) were brand spankin-newlyweds! How awesome is that?! AND they had known each other for over 50 years and had always had a crush on each other. Love it! WELL, if that wasn't enough, it then turns out that the man was also a Yale Law alum from back in the 50s AND had argued half the cases in my first year Constitutional Law book in front of the Supreme Court! He started telling us all the ins and outs of this one case and I was "OMG! I had an essay question about that! Where were you during finals?!" :) Super cool.

So I guess it just shows to go ya, it's really amazing how much life is just a walk in the park.:) My heart is so full!

We didn't get a picture this weekend, so here's one from his very first swim!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

99 Luft Balloons Go By...

It's such an amazing thing to have friends that will help you out on the drop of a dime. Today, Carla was so gracious to stop everything she was doing back at her studio to come help us out with a project we're working on. (I apologize to the couple who's album Carla was working on...that will now be one day later) She's such a sweatheart and just the kind of fun, engergetic, and talented person we needed to help make our project even better than we had ever *imagined* ! I can't even express how thankful we are.

We also have to send a huge thanks to Jacklyn who also came out to help us, and was a superhero in finding the perfect location...right in her own back yard.

Its going to take us some time to put it all together, but we can't wait to show you soon!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Where did the week go?!

Wow, I can't believe it's Friday already!

I was lookin at our blog and that our last post was Monday and I seriously can't believe how fast this week has gone by. I guess it's no wonder really with a week this full of fun.

On Wednesday, we got to go hang out with a bunch of really cool photographers at Robert Norman's place. Robert is such a cool, funny, genuine guy... and his house is AMAZING with all of this vintage furniture and old school toys still in the boxes. I really can't wait to go hang out with him again! We also finally got to meet the lovely Leslie Dumke (along with Kelly and Rachel) since we keep missing her at all the PUG meetings :) I just loved everybody from Leslie's studio and felt an instant connection with all of them. Such great people! And a big shout out to our good friend Steve De P for thinking of us and inviting us along. We had a rockin' good time! :)

We got up on Thursday and headed up north for lunch with my favorite birthday girl. Good food, good coffee, good times! After that we headed on up to Stafford Springs to round table with Paul & Krystal, Nikki and Zoe. I think that can best be summed up with: beautiful new studio, amazing chinese food (who knew?), fun with a mac photo booth, and trains passing in the night. I guess you had to be there! :)

So that brings us to today. Jus is off hanging out and shooting with the Amazing Graziers (ooh doesn't that sound like they should have their own trapeze act?) at a wedding here in Brookfield, CT. And, I just got back from hanging out with Jacklyn and looking through an insanely beautiful wedding she just finished up. She's heading down to NY now to show them to the couple and I can't wait to hear how much they flip over them! Sit down and talk with Jackie if you haven't had the chance yet...she is super talented and has an amazing eye.

Tonight we're off to Hartford for Carla's bash. And, I have a few surprises that I CAN'T WAIT for her to see. Hilarious! And then it's back for more fun tomorrow! I wish I could say we're gonna slow down for the weekend...but what can I say, that's just the way we roll! lol

Have a great weekend!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Virginia Tech Shootings

Our thoughts and prayers are with all the students and faculty, and especially the victims and their families at Virginia Tech. I just can't even imagine what it must be like for the parents waiting to hear from their kids or the students trying to track down their friends. Tech was one of our big rivals in college and I went to high school with several people who went there for school... and I just pray that they are all ok. This is so awful and I don't understand how or why things like this happen.

Faye & Stu

Here are a couple of shots from an engagement shoot we did this weekend for Faye & Stu. We had a great time hanging out with them and got to try some different things. They were such great sports...including sprinting across traffic to get these mural shots!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Raising the Bar

So we're sitting here at our massive dining room table (where actually most of the behind the scenes stuff for our business gets done)with our two laptops and a 20 in cinema display all in a row. Justin is beside me workin away on an update to the look of the blog as we speak..and I just got to thinking about all the AMAZING things that are going on in just our little neck of the woods.

The CT photographers are seriously ON fire!! With Carla, Amanda and Matt all getting sweet new websites, Studio Foto's awesome new client pages, and Steve DePino's rockin' business cards (of which I am now a proud owner! don't be jealous.), the CT PUG is totally workin' it! Steve came over to hang out on Friday night and we were just all talking about how awesome it is to be in such a sharing group where we can help each other AND push each other to be even better. There's no getting complacent around this group of amazing people because it seems like every single day the bar is being raised...and honestly, we wouldn't have it any other way!

Video At Last!!

Mary and I have been shooting tons of video over the past couple months, but we haven't been able to upload *anything* because we had to find a converter first. Well we FINALLY got it working so we'll have tons to share...and I thought we'd kick things off first with a little video from this morning.

This is why I'm the luckiest man in the world...what does my cutie fiance do when the world hands us rain storms? Run out and splash in it of course! :)

Saturday, April 14, 2007

New Info Boxes!

We've told a bunch of you about our new info boxes that we're super excited about...and since we just put a couple of them together for some meetings we have this week, we wanted to give you an idea of what they look like. They are 10x13 linen boxes that we fill with a bunch of cool stuff including our dvd, flip book and three magazines (Grace, Brides and La Bella) for mucho planning fun. Then we customize it with our ribbon, tags, etc with our branding on it, and finally finish it up with a personalized seal for each couple we meet with. Good times! :)

Thursday, April 12, 2007

How Stella Got Her Groove Back...

These past few days have just been so awesome for us and exactly what we needed! It's amazing what taking a little time to re-group and re-focus can do. With a little bit of rest and time to think, suddenly the ideas are just pouring out again faster than we can say them and we feel ready to take on anything. It's so true...when the heart is right, everything else will find its way.

Last night, Justin and I had the true blessing of hanging out and having dinner with Matt & Enna of Grazier Photography up in Boston. Talk about food for the soul. These two are the kind of people that you just know from the first second you meet them you're gonna fall in love with them! They are the most down to earth, genuine, sharing, open people you could ever ask for. They opened their doors and shared everything with us from album samples to their awesome heat embossed info packets with tons of great information for brides. Such an awesome idea! And we also had the great pleasure of meeting their adorable son, Ollie (Will was already asleep) and watching his favorite YouTube video: panda bear sneezing. :) hahah hilarious! what a doll!

We left for the night feeling so full (and not just from all the awesome food at Ten Tables!) and inspired by Matt & Enna. Their "follow your heart" approach to which weddings they take and how they run their business is definitely an example to live by. They are just true rock stars! And we can't wait until next March because they invited us to join them on their ski retreat for photographers up in New Hampshire. If it's anything like this dinner, it's gonna be AMAZING!!

Tonight, we round out our re-energizing with The Pursuit of Happyness. This movie came highly recommended by our good friend Paul, who said it got him all fired up to take on the world. We say, bring it on! (It, it's just what you bring!)

Monday, April 09, 2007

The Road Laid Out Ahead

I was reading Liana's blog this morning and she quoted a passage of scripture that spoke right to my heart.

Life has been so crazy busy for us lately that it literally feels like we haven't stopped moving since September when we got back from Partner Con. We had so many great ideas and incredible inspirations for our business from that experience that all we could think about was getting home and putting them into action. That's been a long road indeed because things like that never seem to happen overnight, the way you want them to. It seems like for every bump in the road that you climb over, just as you make it to the top you can begin to see the horizon stretching out flat in front of you and going on for miles and miles...and it becomes clear just how far you have to go and all that you have not yet accomplished.

This past week was particularly draining for us. It just seemed like at every turn our plan for our lives and God's plan were in a constant head on collision. Everytime we were trying to shift gears and switch into the fast lane, He was standing there with a roadblock, begging us to slow down. Stop even. When He finally got through all the noise and we stopped to listen, I was overcome..."shaken by the realization" of our mistakes. Hindsight is, of course, 20/20...and as the week came flooding back to me I could see all of His gifts and provisions for our lives. Each one cast aside because we'd been there, done that and were ready for something bigger. I felt like we had taken those gifts and thrown them back in God's face.

It is so incredible that He guided us to this realization on Easter weekend. For us, this weekend is what it's all about...a reminder that all is forgiven and that we have a second chance to get it right. The scripture Liana quoted is this: "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves." (Phil 2:3)

This time, we hear ya loud and clear!

Friday, April 06, 2007

Photo District News

Just wanted to give a huge shout out to all of the winning photographers in this years PDN wedding contest! This year's contest featured an amazing crop of photographers from all across the country! Among those being Matt Grazier of Grazier Photography, who we will have the awesome pleasure of hanging out with next week! Matt and Enna, We can't wait to see you guys!

We've been so crazy busy that we never got around to submitting again this year (last year we had a winner for the details category called "Go Speedracer, Go") Here's a shot of it that was also the cover photo for PDN online for the month of April '06.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Work it...Lemme Work it

Before wedding season gets all into full swing craziness, I just wanted to really encourage all you photogs out there to hit the gym, take up running again, make it back to those yoga classes you're still paying for...or whatever it is you do to take care of you.

It makes *such* a difference in your performance and keeping up your energy all day for the bride and groom. We *need* to be on from minute one to minute last, no excuses, because that's what our awesome couples are paying for! Jus and I have had a full time gym membership together for the past couple years...and after feeling so slammed for a few days following our wedding last weekend, we realized we must've been slacking for the winter months and now it's time to step it up again! So go grab your shoes and let's get physical, PHYSICAL! :)

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Traci Romano Events Officially Opens Today!

Just to let all of our brides out there know a little bit more about what Traci offers at her new studio...she has a full boutique with everything from bridesmaids dresses (Badgley Mischka and Vera Wang among others) to invitations to the fabulous Lollia line for bath & body (this stuff is INCREDIBLE and smells sooo good...AND it made Oprah's "O List" for her favorite things :) This is all in addition to Traci's full time event planning, which I have to tell you, to see is to be watching greatness at work. I never cease to be amazed at the ideas she comes up with for our own wedding...and right off the top of her head, as she catches a falling bridesmaid dress with one hand and hangs a chair accent with the other. She seriously rocks!

Besides all of that, she ALSO has a complete library and gallery of planning resources that are **complimentary** to anyone!! You don't have to be a client or anything...all you have to do is call up for an appointment! And every Thursday in April she's having an open house, so you don't even need the appointment. It's a *fantastic* resource with tons of information about her preferred vendors, which includes only the top florists, caterers, stationers, etc. And we're super excited to have been invited to be one of the exclusive photographers! What an honor to be among that kind of's such great company to be in! The gallery room is awesome and even has a big screen tv (I'm sure Jus could tell you the exact dimensions and number of pixels, but "big" will have to do for now :) so that brides can watch slideshows and grooms can watch football!

I'll definitely be going down a bunch as we look for invitations and such for our wedding, so drop me a line and we can go together!