Fully feeling the effects of Summer over here, and these peonies are just the trick! Click to enlarge, download + enjoy.
Back in January, Trent joined me after a work trip and we met in Europe for our first overseas trip together. We each picked a place to visit: he picked San Sebastian, Spain and I picked Marrakech in Morocco. The two couldn't be more opposite, and uniquely beautiful in their own ways.
San Sebastian is known for having the most Michelin stars per capita (a lot of world-class chefs come out of here), and their beautiful scenery located in the bay. We enjoyed both the high-end and low-end food scenes, with dinner at Narru one night and strolling the streets another eating all the delicious Pintxo's (see below). We even rented a car one day and drove along the coast down to Bilbao to check out the Guggenheim, I highly suggest it. Photos below of San Sebastian, and all it's (delicious) charm!
Pintxo's (prounounced "pincho") are a glorious thing in San Sebastian. Every bar and restaurant sets up hundreds of different little sliced baguettes topped with all the delicious toppings you could think of, and you just grab them off the bar and load up a plate for, like, $2 euros each. On Sunday, we just munched our way through the old town and enjoyed the people watching in the town plazas and church steps.
A view of the bay from from hiking up to the top of Monte Urgall, and a view from our Airbnb terrace of La Concha Beach.
View from the top of the opposite side of the bay, which we drove up to Monte Igueldo in time for sunset one night.
And after an early flight, we arrived Marrakech the next morning. My heart couldn't stop smiling ever since we stepped foot in this magical place. We decided to stay at a Riad, which is a traditional Moroccon house or palace of about 10 rooms. The grounds are beautifully kept with a full wait staff at our beck and call. Our breakfast was waiting for us each morning by the pool, and our happy hour on the rooftop each evening. This was by far my favorite part of the trip, I highly suggest anyone look into a Riad if you visit. We chose to stay at Riad de Tarabel after reading their rave reviews on Mr and Mrs Smith. And I'm NOT really sorry about the slew of photos I couldn't decide between posting below... ;)
We were staying right in the heart of the Medina (a souk market full of Moroccan rugs, antiques, pillows and spices) and enjoyed getting lost in the winding streets. One of the sweet surprises was this Secret Garden in the heart of it all. We enjoyed a delicious lunch at the highly recommended Nomad with views over the market and couldn't believe the flavors we were tasting. Again, just the COLORS surrounding us were incredbile!
We enjoyed some fantastic dinners per our host's recommendation. We asked for one with a traditional Moroccan experience and he sent us to La Maison Arabe for an exquisite dinner poolside with live music, just dripping in authenticity. The other he sent us to for a bit more "lively" scene, Darna Comptoir. It was very dark and candlelit, and the live entertainment (belly dancers!) started at 10 pm around the whole restaurant. A fantastic way to end our last night in Marrakech.
Next up, we were off to Paris early in the morning to catch our final flight home. We only had one night on the first end in Paris, and one night on the back end but I wanted to make the most of it by showing Trent around one of my favorite cities. On our first night there, I took him to Bonhomie for a fantastic farm-to-table style dinner. On our last and final night of the trip, we waited patiently for a table at the popular Pink Mama and had a drink in their speakeasy No Entry (through the basement and meat refrigerator!) to pass the time. Yes it was Italian on our last night in Paris, BUT THAT BURRATTA and pizza and all the delicious things we ordered were insane. I'm telling you. Look it up next time you're there, you'll be thanking me!
After Alysun + Darien's winter engagement shoot last January where we almost froze to death, their autumn wedding in eastern Oregon in October was a very welcome change in scenery and seasonal colors. All of the trees were alive with fall colors, and Alysun looked stunning in her fitted wedding dress. And how cute is their sweet pup as the Dog of Honor?? This day was so full of love and celebration that I felt it all over again as I put this post together. Congrats Alysun + Darien!
I mentioned this on my instagram post a few days before Christmas that this year, my family was trying something new for the holiday. As my mother had passed away 3 years ago on January 3rd, it always makes the holidays quite painful for us. So we opted to skip out of town and fly somewhere ON CHRISTMAS! It was such a bizarre feeling to fly that morning, but everyone was so cheery and humming all the tunes. We decided on Puerto Vallarta and had a very delicious and beautiful sunset dinner on the beach at La Palapa Cocina. We stayed in an AirBnB in the Zona Romantica which was very walkable to everything. Keep scrolling down to see how we spent our week down there! I couldn’t believe how packed the beach was with locals celebrating Christmas Day.
One day we took a taxi out to Los Arcos beach which was about a 20 min cab ride. We found a guy there who took us out on his boat to snorkel around these beautiful coves and explore the colorful fish. I felt lucky we had our own boat instead of joining a bigger tour boat so we could swim around as we pleased and left when we were ready. Playa Mismaloya was a fun beach to spend the afternoon at.
Another day we signed up for a Bikes + Bites Taco Tour. It was a little further up north which was fun to explore another neighborhood called 5 Deciembre. We biked around to several different taco stands and learned what each of them specializes in and enjoyed tacos Al Pastor, Carne Asada, and Carnitas to name a few. We walked through the local fish market and ended enjoying a cerveza on the beach with the crew. Highly recommend this tour!
Dinner on the beach night 2 when Wyatt joined us at El Dorado followed by another amazing sunset.
For our final night, we had booked a cooking class at a private villa through AirBnB experiences (have any of you tried those?) at the top of this hill with breathtaking views. I couldn’t believe how far up the hill we kept driving! We were greeted with margaritas made with the owner’s tequila and learned how to make authentic guacamole, pork tostadas, chicken enchiladas and salsa w/ tomatillo. It was a great way to close out our vacation and get an authentic experience. I always love traveling with my family, it is such a gift to get that time together. I wonder where we’ll go next :)
Last September, my dad, sister + her boyfriend joined me in Greece (one of my DREAM destinations!) after my factory visit to Israel. I grew up buying Greece calendars, and my eyes could not believe what I was finally seeing right in front of me. It was everything I've ever dreamed of.
We started our journey on the island of Santorini and rented an AirBnB and car to see as much as we could. Santorini is known for their show-stopping sunsets, and they did not disappoint! We made sure to plan ahead and catch the views from some incredible restaurants, listed below each picture. Our favorite beach was Perissa, where you can rent beach chairs for $7 euros and swim in the Agean Sea. Though we stayed in Pyrgos with the house towards one end of the island, we enjoyed spending our time in Fira and Oia.
We ended our trip in Athens and I'm so glad we saved some time to spend here. It's home of the Parthenon and Acropolis, with a fantastic museum across the street giving you a solid refresher on the Olympic games and their importance to the Greeks and their Gods. We did a Bike Tour around the city using the company Athens by Bike and it was a great way to get a lay of the land and make notes of parts we wanted to get back to. I was blown away by how cute and European the city felt with all the restaurants spilling into the streets. We had a fantastic dinner at both Psarra and Ama Lachei that were absolutely lovely with their atmospheres.
Our time was incredible and the perfect end to the summer months. Check below the photos for specific recommendations on what to see!
I've blogged before about one of the shoots we had at Tyler Rye's Zion Workshop last fall at sunrise, but this shoot took a special place in my heart at sunset as the last shoot in our schedule. It was styled as a Native shoot with all kinds of goodies. We drove up to a cliff in the area and had to use ladders to get up and down from the location. We photographed as the sun went down and this real-life couple gave us stunning looks to shoot. The best part? We all got to sit around and dine on the delicious spread that Forever More Events had styled for us. It was a farewell to remember, and the photos still blow me away.
Let’s talk about Vendors! I feel so lucky to be hired by my clients to photograph their wedding day, and it means getting to work alongside some rockstar vendors in the industry. We work a long, full day to pull everything off together and it’s always satisfying to see it come to life through the camera. One thing that is so important to consider is feeding your vendors a meal during the long day. There is usually limited opportunity throughout the day to chug some water and down a Kind bar, and planning ahead with a meal for the vendors helps everything run more smoothly. People working the longest hours are the Planner, Photographer, Videographer, DJ and/or Band. Timing is everything and it usually works best to have us sneak away for a quick meal while the rest of the guests are eating and we’re not likely to miss a big moment. This lovely shot is from my last wedding in 2018 at the Ace Hotel. The staff took such great care of us and set up this little table for us out back. I’d eat that food over and over if I could, and I’m so grateful for my awesome clients who take care of us all!
Blakely + Brandon are the kind of clients that you become friends with after shooting their wedding. But quite literally, we did become good friends. They got married in the most intimate private club in Portland and the garden setting was simply a dream. Brandon was cracking us all up once again, much like the engagement session, and Blakely was a vision in her lacey back dress. One thing was clear, so much love was flowing through them and every guest that evening.
When two of your old friends ask for engagement photos in the vineyards sipping wine at sunset, it's an absolute NO DOUBT for me! We couldn't stop laughing and running around catching the twinkling glimpses of the sun setting. What a fun summer session this was back in August. I can't wait for these two to tie the knot next year!