Thursday, May 31, 2007

CT PUG Shoot Out Rocks the House!!

Last night was the first ever CT PUG Annual (bi-annual, monthly, can't we have another one today?) Shoot Out...and it rocked the HOUSE!! There were disco shirts, cowboy hats, feather boas, fake muscles. fedoras, pink ruffly tuxes and loads of fun had by all! Well over 30 CT photographers got together for a sweet shoot out on the beach, followed by hours of good clean fun around a campfire. It's so amazing to watch all these guys together....just running around on the beach laughing, having fun, and yes even some rolling around in the water just doin' what they love. To think that just a few short months ago almost none of us knew each other is really just *insane*...I gotta think Paul said it best: "Y'know Mary, this isn't just a group we have going here. I look around here and I think, these are friendships." And it's so true. I love all you guys! Your friendship blesses me every day I'm around you.

K, off to go meet with my group now!!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Regina Holder Rocks!!!

So Justin went down to check the mail today and he came back with this cute little box that had my name on it. I LOOOOVE love love getting mail so, as you can imagine, I was super excited! Then I saw that it was from my new BFF Regina Holder and I really flipped!!

Regina is AMAZING!! We met her in Chicago and had a blast hanging out. She and I got to talking about hair stuff (as girls will do from time to time) and she was telling me how bad most of it is for your hair. So I got all worried about all the stuff I was using and kept asking her about every single product I had in my bag basically. So what did the rockin' regina do? Order me a box of this awesome stuff, of course! It's called "Ojon" and this is what it says on the box:

"For over 500 years, the tropical ojon tree of Central America's rainforest has been known only to the Miskito Indians, referred to as Tawira, or "the people of beautiful hair."

How cool is that?!

Thank you my wonderful, amazing Regina!! Your friendship and your kind heart are such a blessing to me! Now, everyone should go check out her blog and tell her how unbelievably sweet she is!! (and maybe she'll send YOU cool hair stuff too! :)

Friday, May 25, 2007

What's on the playlist right now....

Just downloaded some songs that I'm really diggin' right now...check em out on iTunes and see what you think.

Fidelity - Regina Spektor (LOVIN' this song right's from the Stranger Than Fiction soundtrack which I also LOVE. Rent it tonight if you haven't seen it)

Makes me Wonder - Maroon 5
(super excited for their new album)

Last Night - Diddy & Keyshia Cole
(dunno why, just like the beat)
Candyman - Christina Aguilera (just plain fun)
Alive- Rebecca St. James (I've actually had this one downloaded for a while, but was reminded how much I love it when I saw it on Chris+Lynn's seriously rockin' video (absolutely AMAZING guys!) which you can check out HERE!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

There's Something About Mary...

Today is my Mary's birthday...every day that I'm with her I'm thankful that she came into this world, but on this day I always feel even more blessed. Her best friend, Joey (they've known each other since 7th grade and he'll be standing up as her "Man of Honor" come October), came to visit us last week. He was showing us that he had made the ring tone for when Mary calls him "Suddenly I See" because the very first time he heard the song he instantly thought of her. I was checkin out those lyrics and I think he got it exactly right:

Her face is a map of the world
Is a map of the world
You can see she's a beautiful girl
She's a beautiful girl
And everything around her is a silver pool of light
The people who surround her feel the benefit of it
It makes you calm
She holds you captivated in her palm

Anyone who has ever been around Mary for even a few seconds will totally understand...she has this way of filling up any room with a light that shines all around her that just pulls people to her. And I don't think any words could ever better capture that power than these ones.

Happy Birthday M!!!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Million Faces Campaign

It's been coming for a while now, and we're *finally* ready to announce the next phase for Portrait House... The Million Faces Campaign starts here!

The goal is pretty simple: get a million people to donate one dollar or more to have a snapshot taken of them in front of a black OR white background...that will then be added to become part of the million faces at (we're working on getting the website up now...I'll post the link when it's live)

Everything is happening *really* fast with the PH and Million Faces right now, so we decided to give them their own blog to keep everyone up to the minute on all of that. Make sure to bookmark it so you don't miss anything.

So far, besides our strong group here in CT, we've also had people contact us from CA & TX wanting to get involved. We fully expect this campaign to go national, so we need people leading the way all across the country. To that end, we're looking to build PH groups (much like our awesome Pictage PUGs!) in every we're putting out a CALL FOR LEADERS: if you wanna get on board for leading the group in your state, please post in the comments or contact us at

ok...time for coffee!! :)

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Catchin' Up

Wow...what a couple of days we've had!! First our rockin' engagement shoot on Thursday, and then Justin was off all day Saturday shooting a wedding with DJ & Brett. Good times! haha, I guess he's come a pretty long way from these days:

(That IS still his camera of choice, however! :)

So now we're pretty wiped out and just tryin to take it easy. Kickin' back with slipper socks is the BEST! Happy Sunday!

Friday, May 18, 2007

On the Other Side of the Lens

Soooo...Mary and I got to have our engagement session last night with the incredible David Jay!!! It was UNBELIEVABLE! The Awesome Brett Austin came out with us and captured some video footage of the shoot as well...and together they got some AMAZING stuff!! We are so blown away and blessed by them! Thank you guys for everything!

DJ had suggested shooting our pictures at night... which we were totally down for! But what none of us knew was that there was going to be a huge downpour just as we were about to shoot....BUT we were all up for a little adventure so we went with it!! I think the results speak for themselves!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The Must-Have Registry Gift

I know a lot of couples out there are opting to cut their registries way down in favor of the cash (yea, we hear ya!)... but trust me when I say if there is just one thing left standing on your list it has to be this book! Justin and I got ours last year at our engagement party and we use it ALL the time. It's all about learning to cook together and taking the time to really enjoy each other. It covers all the basics to help get you started and has some incredible recipes...our favorite is the baguette french toast (p.48). yum!

You can get yours at


The AWE-SOME Paul just created a forum for all us CT folk called CT PUG HOUSE

Check it out!!

May Shoot Out!!

The CT PUG is gearing up for our big May Shoot Out on May 30th. All the fun starts at 6:30 pm at Jackie's place...and we'll follow up with a BBQ on the beach. Seriously, did somebody say s'mores?! You KNOW you don't wanna miss this! Hope to see y'all there! If you're lookin for the food sign-up, just check out the comments section below!


Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Time Marches on....

Gosh! I can't believe that it was just this time last year that I was graduating law school. Sooo much has changed since then. It really makes me think about all the forks in the road that we come across in life, and how differently things can turn out based on those decisions. I can't even imagine what my life would be like right now if I had chosen differently...but what I do know is that it could *never* be better than it is right now. :) Here's to "Taking the Long Way Around."

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Shoot Sac!

Ooh I forgot to mention that I will soon be a proud owner of the rockin' new ShootSac made by the fabulous Jessica Claire. We got to have dinner with Jessica (and her fantastic partner in crime Keats!)our first night in Chicago and they are both such sweethearts! Since my birthday is coming up super fast (only 9 more shopping days left!!) Jus decided that one of my presents should be this sweet bag, complete with a teal cover called "calm" for ultimate accessory branding! :) I can't *wait* until the mail fairy brings me mine!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Help me, help you

Well...we're back from PatnerCon Chicago where we spent three of the most amazing days ever! One of the many reasons this conference is so incredible is because it's so small (i think there were just over 200 people there this time, and Pictage always sets a limit on the number of people attending) that you can really get a chance to sit down and get to know some of the most amazing photographers in the country.

Two incredible people we got to spend a lot of time hanging out with were our rockin' mentors, Nathan & Amber Holritz. Wow, I'm telling you there just aren't enough words to describe these two! From the very first day we met them they just went completely out of their way to include us and make sure we were having fun. And I only hope they know how much we appreciate that. They simply radiate the love they share for each other, their friends, and their family and it casts a warm glow on everyone lucky enough to be near them. If you ever get the chance to hear them speak, please please do this for yourself. They possess that rare ability to keep you hanging on the edge of your seat waiting for the next'll laugh with them and cry with them and just come out of it better for having had the experience. Thank you guys... for everything!

So, the big message we came back with from this PartnerCon (LA was: be open and sharing...and give lots of HUGS!) was that networking= helping the most people you can without regard for what they can do for you (both Nathan & Amber and David Jay talked about this in their sessions). This really hit home with us and so we decided to come back and put it into action.

So the next time we see you, we're going to ask you what we can do to help you. Whether it's something in your life, your business, your goals...whatever you're working for, think about what we can do to make it even just a little bit easier for you. If it's anything in our power, it's yours!

To kick things off, here's a little "help me, help you" inspiration from Mr. Maguire (**tushy warning: please do not view if you at all mind seeing Cuba from behind)

Monday, May 07, 2007

Best Travel Day EVER!

Wow...what an amazing trip out! Things could not have fallen into place more perfectly. We made great time getting to the airport even though there was supposed to be massive delays, parking and checking in were a breeze, and we SAILED through security (even though we had a huge case full of electronics). When we got to Chicago, all of our bags beat us to the baggage claim area and were sitting off to the side in a neat little pile for us (c'mon...when does that EVER happen?!) We walked out the door just as our shuttle was pulling up and when we got to the hotel we had apparently signed up for some priority program a while back which we had totally forgotten about. That meant that our keys were all ready set out and waiting for us and we get free internet and some other cool perks. Sweet!

At the Airport!

We're here chillin' at JFK just waiting on our flight....ooh actually they just called to start boarding so now we have to run. But think of us as we make our way to Chicago. Windy city here we come!

Mary makes travelin' look good!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Fun with Fashion!!

Yesterday, Jus and I headed down for a shoot in beautiful SoNo, and with Spring in full swing we couldn't have asked for a more perfect day. We're shooting a book for Traci Romano that's going out to wedding magazine editors all across the country (!!) and yesterday was for the fashion part of the book. Traci never ceases to amaze us, as she pulled together an incredible collection of gorgeous models, stunning outfits, and amazing details. Her studio carries collections from the only the most exclusive designers, including Vera Wang, Bagdley Mishka, Saeyoung Vu Couture and Thread... and, let me tell you the dresses are just *incredible*! Well, see for yourself: (And please forgive us for the massive amount of was hard enough for us to edit it down to this!)

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Mentoring Rocks! (The Sequel)

Justin and I are gearing up for our trip to Chicago for PartnerCon next week and now we're even MORE super excited to go because we just found out that we won the bid for a mentoring session with Nathan & Amber!!! The Holritz's ( that gramatically correct?) ROCK and they make such a beautiful, happy family. We can't wait to meet them because their work is just *incredible* the bring tears to your eyes when you don't even know the couple kind of incredible... and they always seem to have SO much fun whatever they're doing! I always love all the smiles I see when I check their blog. And I LOVE their idea for fun Mondays! So yea, we can't wait... and we just feel so blessed at the chance to learn from them. Our good friend Nikki also won the bid for Liana and our other good friend Enna is actually signed on to be a mentor for some lucky photographer... so needless to say Chicago is going to be a mentoring fest! Good times! :)

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Oh yea...

and check out our super cool new favicon (that little thing next to the url)'s on both the blog and our website now. good times!

You can get yours HERE!

Portrait House Update

Speaking of rockin' country singers...Mary's been busy on the phone all day with a handful of Nashville labels talking about The Portrait House. You wouldn't believe how many country singers there are out there who are actively involved with Habitat and we think it would be so awesome to get them on board with us, as well. We got through to the manager of one of the singers and are working on organizing a shoot with her. Nothing is set in stone yet at all, so please keep your fingers crossed for us! How awesome would this be for PH?! We are so stoked!!!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Shut Up and Sing

Just want to put in a huge RAVE for the documentary "Shut Up and Sing" about my ALL TIME favorite band...umm of ALL TIME :) , the Dixie Chicks...who totally ROCK, by the way!

I was a huge fan of them before the whole George W comment broohaha and I was an even bigger fan of them after the fact. Not necessarily because of the comment itself (although that wasn't bad either :), but more so because of the way they handled themselves during the storm. Regardless of what you think of the Chicks or of what Natalie said ("Just so you know, I'm embarassed the president of the United States is from Texas"), I think a lot can be learned about sticking together and having faith in yourself even when no one else does, from watching this film.

There is a really powerful scene where the girls are about to go on tour during the height of the backlash (when they're even getting death threats if they show up) and they had to decide whether to take a flat rate from the studio or be paid based on ticket sales. Everyone around them thought no one would come and was really putting the pressure on to just take the flat rate...when Natalie says "Y'know I would rather know that we took the risk and had faith and lose money than do what I think it's gonna do and sell out out and have to think everyday why didn't we just have some faith in know I didn't bet on myself when I KNEW I should." And, of course, FIVE Grammys later we know they made the right bet.

I could go on and on about the way they stuck by each other and stood for something and the unbelievable courage and composure they showed when taking the stage under threat of death and the crazy hours leading up to that night. But most of all it's about having faith in yourself and shutting out all the voices that would ever doubt you. Y'know what, just go watch it...because I'll *never* be able to explain it well enough to do it justice. :)