Paris

While scrolling through these images I need you to imagine Paris in the boiling heat, because that's exactly what it was like during our 4 days in the city. It was magical, but really hot.
This is a photojournalistic view of Paris through my eyes, I hope you enjoy. As a recommendation 4 days is definitely a perfect amount of time to view Paris. We walked about 12 miles a day, which should be your goal when you go to Paris (perhaps reduce that to 5 miles/a day if you come in the winter). Walking truly is the best way to explore any city, we learned that quickly this summer. Exploring a city by foot lets you see far more than any walking tour/hop on, hop off bus will ever get you. Just walk, OK? :)

Here are our recommendations of places to go while in Paris -
- Ó Chateau was our favorite restaurant that we stumbled upon and went to two nights in a row. The service is great and the food is superb and not too pricey. We ordered Foie Gras both nights, and I still dream about how good that meal was.
- Explore Montmarte! Such a beautiful area, it can get a little touristy but if you give yourself time to wander you can explore streets that are off the beaten path.
- Don't go to the Eiffel Tower, just view it from afar at night when it sparkles. Unless you love touristy things and crowds, then GO!
- If you are a Midnight in Paris fan, do your own self-guided tour of the film locations. You can just google where to go. :)
- Buy Macarons from Ladurée. It's expensive, but truly the best macarons you'll ever have.
- EAT all the pastries, croissants, bread, crepes you can find!! YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE.
- Find a Franprix supermarket (they are everywhere) and buy freshly made OJ for real cheap.
- Go to Luxembourg Gardens at sunset, bring a good book and a bottle of wine and read at the many chairs that are available. Luxembourg Gardens is a beautiful garden oasis right in the city.
- GO to Versailles and pay extra to get the fast pass and skip the lines. Whatever it costs for that fast pass it's really worth skipping the lines. Take it from someone who didn't do that and waited in line for 3.5 hours to get in. Versailles is absolutely worth the trip and make sure to commit a full day to exploring the castle and gardens. 

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Europe Blog

Day 1

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Day 2
Thing to know - Look right first, then left. In order to avoid being swashed by a car, 3 bikes, a double decker bus and the taxi's.
Remembered the joys of walking in this city. I walked 9 miles! 
Trying to change our vocabulary to fit in. We are trying to use the words "outrageous" and "grim" more often. Apparently Londoner's refer to our neighborhood as Grim. Thanks to my study abroad program, adjusting to life without seeing Bentley's and Maserati's on each street corner has been hard. Haha, thanks for creating ridiculous expectations study abroad!
On a regular basis I'm always wondering if people think I look like an American, just because of what I'm wearing or how I look. I think I can pass for a local until I open my mouth, and pull out my camera....

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Day 3
Another 5 miles walked. I think I'm getting too ambitious too early. How can I keep this up? 
I walked most of the Southbank today, from the Southwark Bridge to the Lambeth bridge (which encompasses Westminster Abbey/Big Ben, The Globe, and the London Eye. Did you know that Big Ben is under construction?? A bit sad, as that part of the city doesn't look the same without him. 
London really comes to life in the summer, and today was a lovely example of that.

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At the beginning of the day I stopped in to do some work at a Cathedral that has been transformed into a coffee shop!

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Oliver and I explored Portobello Road. We had both been there when I studied abroad 5 years ago, but it was fun to go back. The street food is probably the best part. 

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After walking through Portobello Road we stopped to rest at Holland Park. Such a charming park, but let's be real what park in London isn't charming?? We spent our whole time at the park people watching. Our favorite is listening to kids British accents. They are ADORABLE. They could say anything and we think it's cute. Also, every one smokes here!!! Such a bummer. I keep thinking it must be because week isn't legal? I don't really remember people smoking as much when I studied abroad. 

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This picture below is a market that's only a 10 minute walk from us. In general there are far more markets in London than I could have ever imagined. Most people just think of the main ones - Camden, Borough and Portobello, but between us and Borough Market (which is only a 20 minute walk) there are 3 other markets! Endless food options here. I was thinking I'd come back to the US fit from all my walking, but I think it will all just even out and I'll come back looking the same.

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June 10th-15th in Newcastle
Oliver has a travel job here. Our hotel is about 20 minutes from the city, so I ventured out  yesterday to check it out. I'm a classic American, so even if a city in the UK is subpar to the Brits, it's still awesome to us because of the old buildings, unique shops, and ALL the accents. Newcastle had it's own charm, and I enjoyed exploring it by foot. 
This whole week I've worked in the hotel lobby, getting loads accomplished. I photographed two weddings before we left for London, so my plan is to edit them before the week is done. Doing well so far. 

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SCOTLAND
This past weekend after our week in Newcastle, we took the train up to Scotland.
Last summer one of my brides Kristyn (who has turned into a dear friend) moved to Scotland with her husband, Seth, right after their wedding. We have kept in touch through out the year, and when Oliver and I found out we were heading to London for the summer - she was the first person I made plans to visit. Kristyn and Seth live in St. Andrews, that's where Seth is going to school. I had been to St. Andrews once before while visiting another friend 5 years ago when I studied abroad. Ironically I'm pretty the weather was the same the last time I was there and that was in February. The best way to describe Scotlands weather is,  an autumn season that never ends. 
Kristyn and Seth were wonderful hosts and tour guides of their home and we enjoyed every second wandering around with them (in the rain) and experiencing Scotland and the magic that is St. Andrews. For all you Royal family obsessed people out there, St. Andrews is where William and Kate went to school. 
So here are some pictures from our time in St. Andrews.
 

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If only we dressed up this well for American weddings!

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After St. Andrews we did a quick trip to Edinburgh. I took mostly film photos while we were exploring Edinburgh, so hopefully those turned out!
Edinburgh was REALLY touristy - beautiful city - just packed with people. My favorite thing about the city is how high the streets are, and how hilly it is. Makes for a dramatic appearance. 

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We had a full week! This past week was our first full week in London, and it was delightful. Last week the weather was perfect, but this week London is experiencing a HEAT WAVE. The perks of this is that the city is beautiful and comes to life! Blue skies for days, no clouds, no rain - just sunshine and warmth. Feels a lot like summer, and we like it! 
This past week I covered a lot of ground in the city walking, and exploring new areas. Last week I walked 54 miles. Here are the photos I have to show for it. 

 we saw a rooftop film in Shoreditch

we saw a rooftop film in Shoreditch

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I road on the train with LOADS of people heading to the Royal Ascot one morning. It was a dream.

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everyone was taking pictures of Winston Churchill's statue, so I gave these ones some love instead. 

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when exploring London I've learned to always look down every alley way, because you never know what you'll find!

 some film scans from the week

some film scans from the week

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Apparently this is the alley way that inspired Diagon Alley in Harry Potter. This shot was taken on my phone, the right one on film.

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Another peek down an alley way and I walked straight into a photoshoot!

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One of my favorite things about markets when I studied abroad was the mulled wine you sipped on as you wandering through the vendors - in the summer the equivalent is sangria. Even better!! 

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guy on the side of the Thames, making sand art

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Last night we saw a show at the Globe Theatre! Wonderful venue, and an iconic thing to cross off the list of things to do in London. We stood for 3 hours while watching the show, that's what most people do and that's how you get the cheap tickets. I'll be honest, the first half of the play was pretty hard to follow, but by the second act I think we had it all figured out. While exploring I usually just have my film camera with me or my phone. My camera is a bit bulky to lug around while exploring for the day. In case you were wondering. 


 

 

 

Pyne & Smith Spring/Summer Collection

Pyne & Smith is one of my favorite dress companies, let me tell you why.
Joanna, who is owner of the company, is dedicated to ethical and sustainable production of her dresses. Her dresses are zero-waste, which means that the scraps left over are donated to recycling facilities to be repurposed, and she gives them to schools, quilters and crafters. So cool!!
Joanna's dresses are made with 100% flax linen. She gets her linen from other ethical sources.
Pyne & Smith dresses are made California by Joanna and her incredible seamstresses. 

I own two Pyne & Smith dresses and my favorite thing about them is their versatility and how comfortable they are. I own a black dress that I wear when photographing weddings, and then a very summery one that I could easily dress up or down. Pyne & Smith dresses look flattering on everyone. I feel like I can truly say this because I've photographed these dresses on many women, and each one looks like they were made for the dress. GO check out Pyne & Smith, her dresses are worth every penny you pay and more. Be a conscious consumer, and know WHO MADE YOUR CLOTHES.

*As usual I did a collaboration with some other wonderful brands for this photoshoot. Read between the images below to see the brands and products.

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The ring in the top right image is from Soko Ethically made jewelry.

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The shoes are from Lotta From Stockholm, which are handmade wooden clogs.

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This necklace above is from Mulxiply, which sells jewelry and other accessories made by women in Nepal who have been or were at risk of being trafficked. 

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The ring above is also from Soko

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Pyne & Smith just added button downs and skirts to their collection. There are so many ways one can accessorize the button down, with or without an ascot, and skirt, with or without a belt. 

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These chukkas are Cristha Design. Handmade leather shoes from Guatemala. She is an incredibly talented shoe maker, check out more of her leather boots and shoes in the link.

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Ring above is from Mulxiply.

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Collaboration shoot with Cristha Design

Cristha from Cristha Design makes handmade shoes in Guatemala. Her shoes are all leather, and made with love. As you may know I'm quite committed to supporting and photographing for companies that ethically/sustainably make their products. Cristha is a perfect example of that. These boots are beautifully made and have a very unique pattern on the back, which makes her boots really stand out from other leather booties. She is currently crowdfunding, please go check it out! 

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This shoot also included a pair of clogs from Lotta from Stockholm . These clogs happen to be mine, and I adore them! They are so comfortable, and so cute to wear with jeans, skirts, dresses you can dress them up or dress them down. Lotta's shoes are also handmade in Sweden!! Go check them out!

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This maroon dress is from Due South Lafayette. Due South, is an adorable boutique in Lafayette Colorado. 

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Mata Traders | Fall Fashion #youcandoanythinginadress

Fall shoot with Mata Traders!! 
All of the dresses shown are from Mata Traders and so is the jewelry. The bags that are featured are provided by ShopJoyn. 
The purpose of this photoshoot is to showcase Mata Traders fair trade dresses, and to give inspiration on how to layer them for Fall and Winter. 
This shoot is also great inspiration for the Dressember campaign that happens in December, to fight sex trafficking. The goal is to wear a dress every day in December, to raise money for anti-trafficking efforts. This shoot can help you see how to accessorize and wear short sleeve summery dresses, and wear them comfortably for the colder weather. The hashtag during Dressember is #youcandoanythinginadress to show that girls can wear dresses every day of a month, no matter what you're doing - you can do ANYTHING in a DRESS!

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Brittany & Colin | Engagement Session, Guanella Pass

These are dear dear friends of mine, and it was a complete honor to photograph their engagement session, even more so to get to photograph their wedding this December. Which I'm so excited for!!
Thanks for adventuring with me Colin & Brittany, you two are champs for braving the cold. 
**Brittany's three dresses are from awesome ethical companies, don't forget to check those companies out!

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Brittany's dress & jewelry are from Mata Traders

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Brittany's white dress is from Judith & Joe.

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This floral dress is another piece from Judith & Joe.

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