Old Town + Bosque Engagement | Albuquerque, NM | Stephanie + Kai

They met through work in New York City, and became friends instantly.  Over time, Kai developed feelings for Stephanie, but it was never the right time to act upon them.  Until, it was Valentine's Day and Stephanie was so sick.  Kai crafted a plan, and told Stephanie that he had ordered her favorite for her; Chinese soup, and that it would be delivered shortly.  Part of that story was true; Kai had ordered her favorite soup, and it was being delivered shortly -- but not by who she expected. Before she knew it, there was Kai, standing at her doorstep... soup and flowers in hand.  They've been together ever since, and they rest is history as they say.  :)

I was dying of sweetness as they told me the story as we strolled through Albuquerque's Old Town.  It's been years since that day, but they're as smitten as ever, and it was such a joy to photograph their engagement and wedding while they were in town last week!

Thank you S + K, for such a wonderful evening and for welcoming me into this happy time! 
Also, a big thank you to Lucy from Lavender + Rose Hair and Makeup Studio doing wonderful work for this session.

Casas de Suenos | Albuquerque, NM | Erin + Zach

Erin and Zach met in college in Colorado, and spent their days walking to classes together while their love story began.  They quickly fell in love, and since then have moved to Arizona together.  When we captured their engagement session (check that out HERE) in Phoenix, it was easy to see that Erin carries herself with such class, and Zach is absolutely smitten with everything about her.  I knew right away that their wedding day would be filled with poise and joy, and I was absolutely right.  They gathered in the gardens of Casa de Suenos, surrounded by family and friends while they said their vows.  And danced the night away under the string lights, with smooth moves and roaring laughter.  The day was perfect, from the way Erin's dress fit her like a glove, to the sweet way Zach looks at his beautiful bride with pure, overflowing love.  Oh, and the whiskey toasts during the ceremony, those were awesome too!  :)  

Thank you so much E + Z, for choosing me to capture such a special day!  It was an honor to photograph, and a pleasure to be by your side!

Also, a big thank you to the vendors who helped make the day so wonderful!
Venue  |  Casas de Suenos
Dress  |  David's Bridal
Hair + Makeup  |  Salon Helena
Florist  |  Enchanted Garden
Shoes  |  Amazon
Jewelry  |  Brides Family
Paper Products  |  The American Wedding
Suit  |  Men's Wearhouse
Officiant  |  Jim Hering
Cake  |  ABC Bakery
DJ  |  Dream Factory Productions

Baseball Field + Sand Dune Engagement | Albuquerque, NM | Celeste + Brandon

Years ago, Celeste and Brandon met at a baseball game.  As the game begun, they didn't know each other a bit.  But, by the games end, they knew they had to see each other again!  When they told me this story, and that they wanted to start their engagement session at a baseball field, I was so excited!  They showed up absolutely adorable, and rocked their cuteness on the field in the hot New Mexico sun.  Then, we adventured outside of Rio Rancho to the sand dunes and captured their sweet love as the sun ducked behind the horizon.  

C + B, thank you for such a fun evening!  Everything was absolutely gorgeous and I can't wait to capture your wedding at Hotel Albuquerque next month!  

Also - a big thank you to C. Johnson Makeup for your beautiful work! 

Tent Rocks Engagement | New Mexico | Bryanna + Dustin

Meet Bryanna and Dustin. I'm extra excited to share this gorgeous engagement session today because they're sweet friends of mine. Sweet friends that I met years ago when I photographed their family for the first time. We connected right away, and have had so many memories hanging with our kiddos, having mama's night out, and everything in between. Our families have grown, we've grown, and this year - they'll officially become Mr + Mrs!

I am SO excited for them and so honored to capture this special time in their life. As we adventured through Tent Rocks for their engagement session I realized I was witnessing a lot of similarities between our hike and their life. Him grabbing her hand often, supporting her when she needed it, and she encouraging him as well. Him calm and happy, her silly and kind. As the hike would get harder, they would pull together and worked as a team - and there, surrounded by beauty all around, my heart overflowed with excitement of all that was to come for these two.

Thank you, B + D, for being so wonderful during our session and always.

Casas de Suenos | Albuquerque, NM | Emily + Luke

To say Emily + Luke's wedding day was an epic celebration...well that would be putting it lightly.  You see, Emily and Luke are teachers that live in the Philippines.  But, it hasn't always been that way - they met in Egypt, when Luke landed a job where Emily's parents were his bosses!  He says he was excited about the new job, but even more excited about Emily.  If you ask him - he knew he'd marry her the moment he saw her.  He was head over heels for her, and I'd say that hasn't changed a bit.  As time passed, they fell in love, and since then have continued their exploration of the world - but now, as they begin the school year in Manila, they're officially Mr + Mrs! 

They promised to forever in the heart of Old Town Albuquerque, NM - and Casas de Suenos, with family and friends gathering from 13 countries from around the world!  From Poland, to Ecuador, the Ukraine and more - people came from far and wide to celebrate two of the kindest, most loving-hearted people I've ever met, and it was incredible!  Emily + Luke did such a great job incorporating their love for the world and it was clear that these two have a passion for travel, gatherings, and a whole lotta' fun - with banners made of world maps, and luggage tags as favors!  From the delicious food, to the wild and fun mixture of music, and the sound of unfamiliar languages traveling through the air - the day was one I will never forget, and always hold dear to my heart!  Oh, and the amazing lip-sync surprise during toasts was a "remember-forever" moment too! :)  Scroll down to see what I mean! 

But first - the biggest thank you, E + L!!!  You two are incredible, and I am so honored to be a part of your special day and to capture your love story!  What.a.wonderful.day!!! 

And, a big thank you to the team who helped make this day great!
Venue  |  Casas de Suenos
Dress  |  Ann Cuantico
Shoes  |  Ecco
Hair |  Kayla Chory with Heart + Soul
Makeup  |  Nina Simbana
Florist  |  Ansely
Rings  |  Tiffanys + Jared Jewlers
Suit  |  Ann Cuantico
Officiant  |  Hany Salam
Cake  |  Laura Keen
DJ  |  TJ

Hotel Andaluz | Albuquerque, NM | Maria + Lisa

Maria and Lisa wed on a day full of so much love, and huge smiles.  A day, to be honest, that I didn't even know was happening the morning of.  During the mid-morning I got an emergency call from a photographer in the industry notifying me that the hired photographer was in the hospital and asking if I was available to photograph the day.  Instantly I cleared my day and jumped into wedding-prep mode - knowing that these sweethearts couldn't go through their special day without someone there to capture the moments.  I'm so thankful I did, because Maria and Lisa were absolutely wonderful.

They celebrated their day with their closest loved ones, incorporating things that reflected them so well; a Buddhist ceremony, great food, and fantastic dancing!  Family and friends smiled down to the soul while they laughed, hugged, toasted, and enjoyed the celebration of two incredible souls.  Souls that smile in each others presence - souls that hold the kind of love that warms your heart and reminds you what love is all about.  

Thank you so much for having me, Maria + Lisa.  Thank you for welcoming me in, and trusting me with your moments!  Sending all my love!

And, thank you to the team who helped make this day great!
Venue  |  Hotel Andaluz
Dress  |  Dillards
Hair + Makeup  |  Shears to You
Florist  |  Silver Springs
Rings  |  Zales
Suit  |  Suits Unlimited
Officiant  |  Al Soto Sgi
Cake  |  ABC Bakery
DJ  |  Joseph Chavez

Isleta Resort + Casino | Albuquerque, NM | Condola + Matt

Over a decade ago Condola + Matt went to prom together!  What they didn't know then was that when this year came, they would be promising to forever surrounded by family and friends.  It was a stunning day at Isleta Casino + Resort, filled with gorgeous details, laughter and hugs, and so much love!  Their families gathered on the courtyard as the sound of a harp travelled through the air, and you could see the excitement!  They said their "I do's" and celebrated the night away with lots of great food, great dancing, and so many smiles!

C + M, thank you so much for choosing and trusting me to photograph your wedding day.  Everything was beautiful, and I'm so honored to get to know you + be a part of this special time!

Also, a big thank you to the vendors who helped make this day wonderful:
Venue  |  Isleta Resort + Casino
Dress  |  Alfred Angelo
Hair  |  Saundra Horton
Makeup  |  Genica Lee
Florals  |  Botanical Design Studio
Centerpieces  |  Marisela Serna
Bridesmaids Bouquets  |  Bride
Shoes  |  Betsey Johnson
Jewelry  |  Etsy
Rings  |  Mark's Diamonds
Tux  |  Mr. Tux
Officiant  |  A Grand Beginning - Lynn Grand
Harpist  |  Melissa Spencer
Cake  |  Isleta Resort + Casino
DJ  |  Too Hot to Stop

Botanic Garden + Banque Lofts | Albuquerque, NM | Karyth + Merrill

As I stood with Merrill, waiting for Karyth - he was calm, cool and collected.  He took a deep breath in, let it out, smiled, and said, "I'm so ready for today!"  He knew that it was going to be a great day; and he was right!  Shortly after, Karyth arrived to the Botanic Gardens to see her Groom for the first time.  She took a deep breath in, let it out, smiled, and said, "Here we go!".  She walked to Merrill, and as they embraced my heart nearly exploded.  They were both so excited for the day ahead, and I was so excited to capture every bit of it! 

The sun was hot, and the breeze light, as family and friends gathered on the rooftops of the Banque Lofts.  Laughter travelled through the air as the flag waved above the band, and drinks were poured over ice.  Karyth and Merrill promised to forever, with their closest people upon that rooftop, and danced the night away -- and there, as the sun dipped and the moon rose, all was absolutely perfect.

Big thank you to the team that helped make this day so wonderful!
Venue  //  Banque Lofts
Wedding Planner // Alena Swanson
Dress  //  David's Bridal
Hair  //  Friend of the Bride
Makeup  //  Alanna Garcia
Florist  //  Charlotte's Flowers
Shoes  //  Dillards
Jewelry  //  Dillards
Rings  //  Helzberg Diamonds + Lilly Barrack
Suit  //  Men's Warehouse
Officiant  //  Mauro Montoya
Cake  //  
Calligraphy Design //  Silver Swirl
DJ  //  Dion Duenas
Band  //  Step In
Transportation  //  Albuquerque Tourism + Sightseeing Factory
Second Shooter  //  Jessica Sego Photography

Isleta Resort + Golf Course | Albuquerque, NM | Jessica + Michael

It was a day filled with sunshine, a bit of a breeze, and so much excitement at Isleta Resort + Golf Course.  You see, Jessica and Michael are high school sweethearts - so this wedding wasn't an introduction of one family to another... this was a gathering; a full blown celebration with people who have known and loved each others for years.  It was filled with big hugs, loud laughter, and so much support from those that have watched them grow, separately and together.

They seamlessly mixed blush pink with a bit of country, tying in their roots from Edgewood, NM, and it.was.gorgeous.  Family and friends admired each others intricate boots, and laughed as they thought of old memories together.  And while we're talking about gorgeous...let's talk about Jessica's smile!  She exudes such joy, and you find yourself happy to just be in her presence ... but the best part?  Michael makes her smile so much!  Together, they're the cutest couple, filled with smiles and sweetness and you just can't help but want to hang out with them all the time!  The way they look at each other, it's easy to see that they have such a wonderful love.  A love that they found early in life, a love that they've held on to.  A love that makes them stand by each other, through tears and laughter.  A love where they can comfort each other, encourage each other, and have great dance parties together!

J + M, thank you endlessly for welcoming me into such a special time!  I'm so honored and thankful, and wish you the very best in all that's ahead! 

Also, a big thank you to the vendors who made this day great:
Venue  //  Isleta Resort + Golf Course
Dress  //  Davids Bridal
Hair  //  Patricia Hatten
Makeup  //  MAC
Florals  //  Pam Ball + People's Flowers
Boots  //  Cavanders
Jewelry  //  Nordstrom + bracelet was borrowed from grandmother
Rings  //  Shelton
Suit  //  Men's Wearhouse
Officiant  //  Paul Martinez with De Novo Pastoral Services
Cake  //  Isleta Resort + Golf Course
DJ  //  Jose Holguin with Complete

Sandia Crest Engagement Session | Albuquerque, NM | Angela + Ronnie

Recently Angela, Ronnie, and I hiked up to the coolest stone house at Sandia Crest to capture their sweet love.  While we hiked, Angela beamed as she told me about their first date -- at the stone house.  She said they grabbed dinner and headed up the mountain to watch the sunset, and all was wonderful.  That was until they realized that they were now at the top of a mountain, in the dark, with the feelings of mountain lions following them close behind.  "It was spooky!  And I later found out that Ronnie was scared too, but he wouldn't admit it at the time!", she giggled.  Thankfully, they made it down the mountain sans mountain lion attack, and with a butterflies in their bellies from a great date.

Fast forward and they're still full of butterflies and so much excitement for their wedding day this fall at Sandia Resort + Casino, and I couldn't be more excited either!  Sending you the biggest hugs A+R, it was so great to spend the evening together!  

Casas de Suenos // Albuquerque, NM // Rachel + Justin

Rachel and Justin have such a sweet love.  A kind of love that is patient and kind, the kind of love that makes them giggle sweetly and snuggle closer.  The kind of love they both waited for, and that they're both so thankful to have.  Their love spreads happiness, and it was clear that all that attended their wedding day were so incredibly happy to be part of their love story.  They said their vows on the most gorgeous of days; a day in the midst of May storms but that turned out filled with sunshine and blue skies, and so much love.  Even Rachel's sweet grandma was able to travel in from across the country, and the tears flowed as she toasted to the newlyweds and spoke of memories and how proud she was of the two of them.  And as the sun ducked behind the building, family and friends danced and celebrated the newlyweds, and all was absolutely wonderful! 

Thank you so much Rachel and Justin, for welcoming into your lives, and trusting me to capture your special day!  I'm so honored and thankful to cross paths with you!

And, a big thank yo to all that made the wedding day so great!
Venue // Casas de Suenos
Dress // David's Bridal
Hair // Manny at M & Company Salon
Makeup // Ivy at M & Company Salon
Florist // Diamante Floral
Shoes // DSW
Jewelry // Dillards
Rings // John Thomas Jewelers
Suit // Mr. Tux
Cufflinks // Etsy
Officiant // Michael Summers
Cake // Simply Sweet by Darci
DJ // Too Hot to Stop
Second Shooter // Falling Star Photography

San Tan Brewery + Mountains Engagement Session | Phoenix, AZ | Erin + Zach

Erin and Zach met in college, and walked back to their dorms after class together.  As time went on they walked the route together time and time again, and somewhere along the way their love story began.  

Since then, they've moved to Phoenix, and it was so fun to capture them in their new state and soak in that dessert heat!  We started their engagement session on the patio of San Tan Brewing and talked about the cool music projects Zach's been working on, and how Erin changed her major seven times!  They giggled as they thought of life's twists and turns, and nodded together with sweet smiles as we chatted about how it all brought them to here and now.  To end our session, we went to San Tan Mountains and they held each other close and snuggled sweetly as the sun dipped behind the mountains.  To say I'm excited to capture their wedding in Albuquerque later this year, is a total understatement ... and to say that these two are adorable together would be one too.  ;)

Thank you so much, Erin + Zach, for a wonderful evening in Arizona!  I can't wait to see you both again!! 

La Cumbre + Albuquerque Old Town Engagement Session | Albuquerque, NM | Jessica + Michael

Years ago Michael asked Jessica to be his girlfriend.  Time has passed, and now these high school sweethearts are tying the knot in less than a month!  And last week, I had the pleasure of getting to know them, and capturing their sweet love.  Jessica is the kindest girl with a day brightening smile, and Michael is so caring, and it's clear that he's completely smitten with Jessica.  As we sat on the patio of La Cumbre Brewery for their engagement session, the wind would gust, Jessica would shiver, and Michael would pull her close to keep her warm.  They sipped beers, giggled tons, and melted my heart every bit of it.  As the sun went down, we stopped by Albuquerque Old Town and captured the gorgeous spring flowers.  They held each other close, kissed slowly, and it was pure heaven!

Jessica + Michael, I can't wait to capture your wedding day at Isleta Casino next month - it's going to be absolutely wonderful!  

Organizing Your Business with Honeybook

Hi Kayla!
My photography business is going great and I'm so excited.  However, I'm feeling overwhelmed with all the things to do, and figuring out how to balance everything.  Specifically, behind the scenes.  What do you use to keep yourself, your calendar, and your files organized?

Thank you!
Lost in the Piles on My Desk

Dear Lost in the Piles,

Congrats on your photography business going well - that's great news!  And, I want you to know that I've totally been there - in the depths of papers and piles, and no idea how to keep track of everything.  I also want you to know, that I'm super excited about the easy-peasy answer I have for you!  You ready??  HONEYBOOK.  

If I told you it changed my life and my business would you believe me?  'Cause that's what I'm sayin!  Seriously.  Here are a few of the reasons I love this business software so dang much:

1.  It's so pretty.  Ha.  Now, I know what you're thinking.  "She's listing that it's pretty as her first favorite?!".  I am!  Because if you're anything like me, it's important to have something that is pretty to organize all the important things.  It keeps me motivated and happy, and makes me excited to go in and work on the things that usually don't look as pretty (contracts, invoices, checklists, etc.)  AND, it makes everything pretty on your clients end too, win-win! 

2.  Speaking of Contracts, Invoices, and Checklists...  Honeybook allows you to send all of the above to your clients, and more!  Essentially, Honeybook creates a little folder for each client, and holds all of their information in one place.  No more searching through endless emails...simply go to your clients folder and all of the information will be there for you and your clients to refer back to.  Talk about life saver! 

3.  Reports.  As a business owner, it's so important to know the details of what's happening in your business.  At one time I was putting all kinds of information into spreadsheets, notebooks, and graphs to try to understand the stats of my business.  It was all in a different place and hard to keep up with.  Honeybook automatically takes your stats and puts them into charts so you can quickly see how you're doing at any point in time.

4.  Synced Calendar.  Oh I love the calendar!  With a husband with a crazy work schedule and two little ones, it's crucial that we have a calendar that can hold all the things.  I love Honeybooks calendar because it syncs seamlessly to our Google calendar, and we can see what's happening in my business and our families schedule at a glance.  It will automatically put in events from my clients folders, and even let me know if I've about to schedule something when there is already an event in the calendar for that day/time.  SCORE! 

5.  The Collaboration.  I can't tell you how many times I have emailed a big 'ol list of vendors to try to ensure that everyone is on the same page.  It's time consuming, and easy for information to get lost in the process.  I love that Honeybook gives you the ability to add vendors to your clients folder - so that they too can see the information that pertains to them; timeline, etc!  It's so wonderful to give my clients the ease of having the information ready for all the vendors, and the assurance that we're all on the same page and ready to work as a team on their special day! 

6.  The ease.  Truly, this is one of the easiest softwares I've ever used.  It's simplistic, user-friendly, and sends me tips, notes, reminders, and so much more to ensure that I'm using it to it's full potential.  It makes me want to organize files, and if a software can do that, it's pure gold!  

In short:  If you're feeling overwhelmed and/or are wanting make your clients experience seamlessly organized and super pretty -- you need Honeybook, my friend.  Use THIS LINK to head over to Honeybook to check out more! 

I hope this helps guide you to a more organized desk, and much more ease in your day-to-day tasks.  Cheers to organized files! :) 

xo,
Kayla

Tanoan Country Club Engagement Session | Albuquerque, NM | Rachel + Justin

Oh my goodness, I love this sweet engagement session and I can't wait to share!  We began Rachel + Justin's session at the cutest little trail that is right by their house, and Daizy was loving it!  We strolled around, soaked up the sun, and giggled at Daizy who was incredibly tempted to chase baby bunnies.  After a quick drop-off of the adorable, soft pup - we met up at Tanoan Country Club to finish our evening.  

The weather was perfect, and the light was incredible, but what really stole my heart, was Rachel and Justin.  They cuddled sweetly and excitedly, as they thought about their upcoming wedding day.  Justin held Rachel close, and as the breeze blew softly, she melted into his embrace with pure joy.  (And also told him, "If a gust of wind blows, you hold here!" While holding her dress snug around her tush. ;)  Team work.  They're off to a great start already!)

Thank you so much for a fun and gorgeous evening R + J!  I can't wait to photograph your wedding at Casas De Suenos!

How Can I Be a More Prepared Second-Shooter?

Hi Kayla!
I'm at the beginning of my photography journey, and I'm super excited to be second-shooting some weddings with local photographers this season.  This will be a first for me, and I was hoping you could give me some advice on what I should bring / do / not bring / not do / etc.  What would you appreciate if I was working for you?

Thanks for any help!
First-Time Second-Shooter

My cute second-shooter (and husband) helping me with things like reaching tall places. ;)

My cute second-shooter (and husband) helping me with things like reaching tall places. ;)

Dear First-Time Second-Shooter,

Congrats on photographing your first weddings with primary photographers this season!  I'm so excited for you!  I love that you're thinking ahead and wanting to be well prepared!  Below is my best advice for when you're second-shooting:

1.  Communicate Expectations.  Learning from experience - every primary photographer (and second photographer) has different expectations.  The best way to ensure that everyone is on the same page is to talk it out!  It can be nerve-wrecking, especially when you're beginning, but it's so important to make sure you're both on the same page about what each of you is expecting from day-of, and after!  Talking about things like who's gear you'll be using, if you can use the images after the wedding (and how and when), payment details, and other things that one or both of you are concerned with, will save your sanity later.  

2.  Bring Anything and Everything That You Think May Be Helpful.  If you and the photographer agree that you'll be bringing your own gear, make sure that you're well prepared; batteries are charged, gear is clean, you have extra memory cards, etc.  Additionally, make sure to pack extra things that may help your photographer; extra AA + AAA batteries, rubber bands, bobby pins, safety pins, $5 in case of emergencies, etc.  If your photographer is in a pinch and needs an extra AA on the fly, they'll probably happy squeal when you pop one out of your bag -- you're there to have their back after all.  ;)

3.  Have Good Etiquette.  This can be different for everyone - but in a nutshell, I chalk it up to using general good manners, and then going above and beyond.  You're there to make the photographers life easier, and to serve as a wonderful addition on this couples special day.  Being a second shooter, you've got a bit less stress, and maybe a bit more time to slow down.  This gives you the opportunity to love on everyone there, to hold the door open for Grandma, help a bridesmaid tie her sash, grab the couple a glass of water, help carry bags for your primary photographer, etc.  Being alert and ready to help others with a smile will brighten everyone's day, and will reflect well on your primary photographer.  However, it takes a tight-rope type of balance -- you must also be ready for your photographer at the drop of a hat (AKA not disappearing because someone needed help on the other side of the resort), and you'll need to notice the moments that it's best to step back and let the moments happen so that the day is unfolding naturally and you're not in their intimate moments.  

4.  Notice Your Primary.  When photographing a wedding, it's great to have another point of view, but also a different type of shot.  So, notice your primary - glance over at them.  Are they using their 70-200?  Pop on your 35mm.  Are they shooting with their 50mm?  Use your 70-200 for a bit.  Noticing where your primary is and what they're using, and doing something different will help them have a good variety of images for the final delivery.  

5.  Have Fun!  Wedding days are so much fun!  They can get wild and busy - but stay calm and do your best!  Remember, you're there to be helpful, and to capture this couples special day -- and as long as you do both of those things, everything will be great! :)

I hope this helps guide you through, and gives you a starting point to great success in weddings!  Cheers to a wonderful wedding season!

xo,
Kayla

Marble Brewery + Albuquerque Bosque Engagement // Karyth + Merrill

This brewery + bosque engagement session has me totally smitten, and I'm so excited to share!  Karyth + Merrill had originally decided on a different starting location for their engagement session and we were all set.  One evening I received an email from Karyth saying that they were hanging out on Marble Brewery's rooftop, totally in love with it, and wondering if we could change their location.  Immediately I was excited to capture them in a spot that made their hearts pitter-patter, but my excitement level increased as I realized it was only rock's throw to their wedding day rooftop venue.  Swoon!

So there we sat; on our newly selected patio, all alone as the sun beamed down, yet the air remained chilly.  Karyth and Merrill cuddled close as the breeze blew, and giggled sweetly as they sipped their cold beers while the sun slid slowly towards the rooftops.  When their cold beers were long gone, we adventured over to the Bosque to capture the two of them in the peace of Albuquerque's sweetest gift.  They walked hand in hand, laughing with each other as they dreamed of the days ahead.  As the sun went down they held each other close, and just as Merrill pulled Karyth in tight to kiss her slowly, the clouds rolled in and rain softly fell on their shoulders...and there...all was absolutely perfect.

Thank you so much K + M for a wonderful day - I can't wait to photograph your wedding at The Banque Lofts!

How Do I Photograph Intimate Ceremonies and Elopements?

Hi Kayla!
I'm about two years into my business now, and I'm loving every bit of it.  BUT, I'd love to know how I can attract more of the type of weddings I'd like to shoot.  I've fallen in love with the intimate ceremonies, specifically elopements.  Is there a way I can reach these types of clients so that I can shoot more of what makes my heart skip a beat?
Thanks a bunch,
Smitten for Small Ceremonies

Dear Smitten for Small Ceremonies,

First, I love that you're thinking ahead in your business and that you know what you love!  Narrowing down your niche is so important, and helps you serve your clients even better!  So way to go!  

Now, lets dive right in, yes?  Here's the thing:  people are going to see what you post, and connect that service to your brand in their minds.  Meaning, showing what you'd like to photograph more of, will bring you more of that!  You'll attract people that also enjoy small ceremonies, intimate moments, elopements -- and hopefully, couples that are looking for their elopement photographer!  Score!

Need more content of elopements to show?  Good news!  Something like an elopement is much easier to set up than something like a resort wedding.  Grab a couple friends, arrange for wedding attire, and head out to your ideal elopement location!  You'll have the opportunity to choose the style, set things up how you like, and schedule the time of day for ideal light - giving you your ideal elopement ceremony.  Taking the time to set this up will give you the content for website, your blog, Facebook, Instagram, and more!  

I hope that helps get you brainstorming on how to further reach your ideal clients + photograph your favorite type of wedding day.  Here's your homework:  don't wait!  Start today.  Reach out to friends and vendors and see who is willing to help you make it happen!  Remember, you're smitten + you've got this! :)

xo,
Kayla

Albuquerque Botanic Gardens Engagement // Condola + Matt

The day began with heavy showers and dark clouds, and as the day went on, the skies looked scarier by the minute.  The gloom overtook the city, and it was nothing but black clouds as far as you could see.  Condola and I went back and forth about embracing the storm, or rescheduling, but Condola said she was willing to brave it - so off we went.  As we entered the Botanic Gardens, we went straight to the atrium, seeking somewhere, anywhere that was dry.  We began our session, and after a few short minutes we realized that the rain had stopped, the clouds had parted, and it was like the skies were calling our names to come outside!  

We adventured around the gardens as I captured Condola and Matthew and their sweet love.  She sighed a big sigh of relief, and he held her close surrounded by all the beauty of spring in Albuquerque.  It was absolutely gorgeous, and I can't wait for their special day in June!  

Thank you so much C + M -- it worked out absolutely perfectly.  I'm so glad we braved it, and I'm so thankful for both of you, and that sun that decided to poke out! ;) 

What Details Should I Be Photographing on a Wedding Day?

Hi Kayla!
Let's chat details, can we?  I'm talking about those beautiful photos of all the bride and grooms details.  How do you make sure that you have access to the details that you need, and how long should I allot into the schedule to capture these details?  I want to ensure that I'm capturing the details, but not sure how to make sure that they're available + that I have enough time.  Any advice?
Thanks a bunch,
Stumped at the Details...

kayla kitts photography - sarah and travis-1.jpg

Dear Stumped at the Details,

Great question!  Wedding days are full and fun...and fast!  And it can be tricky to make sure you're capturing everything - the couple, the guests, the venue, the details, and more!  But, all of these things are needed in order to tell the story of your couple's special day.  So, my first piece of advice is to communicate what you need to your couple.  You want to ensure that you're all on the same page - and that you have the necessary items + the necessary amount of time - to be able to capture it all. 

I find that capturing all of the details at the beginning of the day helps ensure that they do in fact get captured, that everything is clean and perfect, and that nothing gets lost in the shuffle.  I let my guests know that if they can have everything ready and set aside when I arrive, I can photograph them and then we can move through the day knowing that is taken care of.  It lets them rest assured, feel organized, and helps the detail photos all look cohesive by being taken in the same light + location.  I also let them know that I need about 30 minutes to photograph details.  We work this into their timeline, and often times it works out just perfectly that she is then finishing hair + makeup and we continue through the day.  

I send the couple the following list of items, letting them know that while they may or may not be including everything on this list into their wedding day, it is a list to get them started.  I also let them know that if they have something extra special (grandma's jewelry, a letter from mom, photos on a table, etc) to let me know this then, so that I can give it some extra love / be keeping my eyes open for it while the day proceeds.  

The Detail List:

dress
veil or hair pieces
rings
shoes
bouquet
perfume
gift for the groom
jewelry
borrowed + blue


vest + jacket
cufflinks
ring
shoes
boutonnieres
cologne
gift for the bride
invitation

 

There it is my friend.  The simplest steps to ensuring you are capturing those details with the attention to detail that they deserve.  :)  See what I did there?  

Let your couples know what you need, when you need it, and for how long -- and often times they'll thank you for guiding them and make sure that you're all set!  I hope this helps you start your wedding days off with organization and a whole lot of pretty! 

xo,
Kayla