Surprises are fun, aren’t they?
Mon. June 8, 2009   my life

This year, my mom had a very big birthday (although I’m not going to mention which one). We decided to surprise her by flying to North Carolina, showing up at a play my grandmother was performing at, and giving her a good scare! My cousin Richard (the one in the video below on the phone) said we should wait in the elevator so that when she pressed the button to get on, we’d all be in there. It worked pretty well, I’d say–watch the video below.

And everyone wish a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my mom, Wendy! I wish we could have stayed longer but am so glad we got to spend your birthday with you!

Here’s the video–check it out! Do you think she was surprised?

Wendy’s Birthday Surprise! from jessica claire on Vimeo.

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Jessica’s Favorite Things
Thu. May 28, 2009   gossip

Today has just been one of those days that can’t seem to get off the ground. Instead of heading to the nearest Nordstrom or more likely, Nordstrom Rack, I spent a little time online this morning in deference to the work that really must get done today. Normally when this happens, I end up shopping online, but this time, I decided to be a little more productive with it and work on my Amazon aStore! So behold, below is my creation, a collection of my favorite things! I have a life/style section, a photography section, and a reading section.

Am I the only one that thinks this is SO MUCH BETTER than a wedding registry?

Take a look at the store, because on Monday, I’m going to be GIVING AWAY one of the items on this page to a lucky blog reader–just for fun!

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My Wedding: A Focal Point
Fri. May 22, 2009   plan!

I used to absolutely LOVE the show “Trading Spaces”. They’d come in, take some neighbors and $1000, and completely change the look of a room in someone’s house. Most of the time, the rooms were so extreme they were kind of hideous, but every now and then they would do something SO fantastic that it looked straight out of Elle Decor.

I remember one episode in particular where the designer had to convince the neighbors who were going to be doing the work to see her vision. She showed them an artichoke and pointed out how it was all different shades of greens and purples, cream and browns, and explained that it was going to be the focal point of the room. The neighbors looked at each other in complete disbelief that a vegetable was going to be their inspiration, but they went along with it anyway. I don’t remember what the room looked like exactly, but it was awesome, and it was all because of one little artichoke 🙂

Our wedding started much the same way. Now, I have been to many, many weddings, obviously. Although this makes planning easier in some ways, in another way it’s so much more difficult because there are SO many choices out there! Should the wedding be all piercing bright colors? Dramatic and all one color? Super modern like my hotel icon The Viceroy? With so many directions to ponder, Jeff and I started to talk about what kind of wedding would suit us, and all I was getting from him was “I don’t want it to be super girly”. Okay…check.

So what should be the focal point of the wedding? Well, I’ll be honest–for at least the past few years, I’ve been more interested in what shoes I’d wear to my wedding than even the dress! I thought it would be entirely possible (and not strange in any sense) to pick the shoes first and revolve the theme around them.

Of course at the time, I figured it would be MY shoes that would be the focal point of the wedding.

Well, it just so happens that Jeff and I were shopping one day, when we came across the perfect shoes and subsequent look of the entire wedding. Ladies and gentlemen, feast your eyes on these babies:

Yup, they are Jeff’s actual wedding shoes and the basis for our entire (and I hate this word but i’m going to use it anyway) theme! One more shot now:

More to come…stay tuned and happy Friday!

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Liana & Mike: Part 3 of 4
Thu. May 21, 2009   i do

Hello faithful readers! My body is slowly but surely adjusting back to California time, and I’ve got a TON of blog entries in the queue for the next few weeks. I’m also plugging right away on my own wedding plans, so I should have some new posts about that this coming week as well.

Instead of posting my images from Sweden today, I want to share a little bit more of Liana & Mike’s wedding, which I started posting a few weeks ago. The wedding was at Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills, which is just an amazing, incredible property. Look:

One of the moments that I love during a wedding is that little bit of time immediately before the ceremony where everyone is getting ready. It’s the height of the anticipation, and and the moment they’ve been waiting for for so long. Here’s the girls about ready to walk down:

One last look between Liana and her dad before he gave her away to Mike:

Lines lines everywhere:

The ceremony site–perfectly backlit, of course 🙂 That’s what you get when you shoot another photographers’ wedding!

A couple little ceremony details:

A great shot of Liana’s dress:

I love the feeling of this one–Liana’s expression and her Maid of Honor’s expressions just make it for me:

A prayer and a kiss…

And a newly married couple!! I love this series:

Might be my fave of the day:

They sneaked off into the bushes for a real kiss once they tied the knot 🙂

Seriously, the property is so flippin’ stunning:

Throw a beautiful bridal party in there and you’ve got a nice little photo:

Cocktail hour was simple and pretty in lovely light:

The setting is like a courtyard straight out of a European storybook:

A little sneak preview of the final part of the wedding—the reception!

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Istanbul: The Details
Tue. May 19, 2009   my life

Whew, I am finally home from Sweden and Turkey, and after sleeping through the weekend, I am finally feeling almost back to normal, even if I am still falling asleep at 9 and waking up at 5. Could be jetlag, could be my impending old age, either way, I’ll be glad to finally shake it off!

In my last post, I shared my images of the people I shot in Istanbul. My real love though, is shooting details and textures, and of course, locks! I tried to go through and pull out my favorites, but there were so many images that just looked better as a collection that I decided to share the gallery below instead. I’ll just post this one single image of my favorite shot of the trip. I had been wanting to shoot laundry hanging on a line for ages, but it took me this long to find the right scene–and I finally did! Check it out:

I’ll also share the one item I did bring back for myself. I do not like to buy a lot of trinkets or “stuff”, but I do love to bring home one really special item from everywhere interesting I go. I found this amazing bag, handmade out of pieces of antique persian rugs, that will make a great overnight bag. I had to use my powers of “turkish negotiation” to be able to get it, but I did! Here it is:

And of course, the gallery–check it out!

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