Friday, February 6, 2009

Another Big Check off the To-Do List...

As you know, I’ve been busy! And I say that with a capital B!

It took us almost a week from the time that we viewed Texas Old Town to actually book the date what with all the complications that we ran into unexpectedly, but we’ve got it done now. I went out of town for two days last week on a business trip, but still managed to get the contract signed and faxed in to Danny German, manager of TOT, and secured the deposit funds for him. It was crazy to do that from West Texas, in between various meetings and question/answer sessions, but I did it.

Next up, I started finalizing the other vendors for the wedding. First up was our photographer. I had come across this fabulously talented photographer during an internet search one evening several months ago. To be perfectly honest, I don’t remember if I found her website through or just on a general search for photographer…but find her I did! Her name is Christina Carroll, and I was blown away by some of the pics on her website. She seemed to have the laid-back, creative vibe that I was looking for in a wedding photographer, and I was quick to contact her with some questions.

You see, I don’t just want the standard canned shots on my wedding day. I want more. I want a unique perspective given to those shots, nothing too out there, but just more than the posed family portraits. I mean, I want those too…but I want some softer, romantic shots for us. You know what I mean? And when I ran through the gallery offered on her website, I was hooked – truly in love with her work and level of talent.

Being that it was early October when I found her shots, I stumbled upon the quite brilliant idea to set something up with her to do a photo session with my daughter and I for some family Christmas presents. I thought that this would be a great way for me to meet her, interact with her, see if I liked her and her work, and pretty much just make sure that my gut instinct that was telling me to book her for the wedding was right on. And you can always tell more about a person from the way that they interact with kids, right? Right.

She was more than happy to set something up with me and work around MY crazy work schedule, and we finally settled on a date at the end of October for the pictures. She had great suggestions for where to meet (I wanted outdoors) that met our needs and gave me some helpful wardrobe tips too. She was on time and professional, and my daughter and I truly enjoyed the afternoon that we spent with her.

I have to admit that when I booked the session, I was a little concerned. it was a nice chunk of change for me to pay, but would be more than worth it if she was half as good as the pics on her website told me that she was. And I have to admit, I owe her money! That’s what a FANTASTIC job that she did. (Not that I really owe her money, I just mean that I should have paid more for what I got back.)

She gave us three or four hours for the shoot, two different locations, and we did three different wardrobe changes. My daughter and I honestly felt like models. We were a little camera shy at first, but Christina made us feel relaxed and welcome, and before long my daughter was being the ham that she normally is when there is a camera around. Christina was great with her, and there were SO many shots that she captured that just define my daughter in the picture. Do you know what I mean? It’s hard to capture someone’s personality with a photo camera, but somehow Christina did it time and time again by catching looks that my daughter does that define her and who she is.

I truly adore the pictures that she did, and my family LOVED them to say the least when Christmas gifts were opened. Not only did she truly capture some great shots of me and my daughter, but she gave me so much for the money that was paid. On top of the time and patience that she gave working with us, Christina provided me with three disks that housed ALL of the pictures that she took that day. I have all rights to those pictures, so printing them was a snap. It was SO easy to work with her, and if there is anyone (not just brides) looking for a photographer in or around the Austin area, I would HIGHLY recommend Christina Carroll Photography. (I put a link to her website there – you can view her photos or visit her blog that show sneak peaks of recent shoots that she’s done…)

I had last spoken with Christina about the wedding early in December right after the engagement. I had asked about her availability in October/November and she was pretty open at that time, but warned me that after the wedding show in January held locally in Austin, she was expecting to get booked. Never dreaming that it would take us nearly two months to select the venue and actual date, I was sweating a little bit about whether she would be able to still do the photos of the big day.

So you can imagine my happiness and joy that I felt when I emailed her about the date and got her reply back that she was still free! (I was so happy that I started yelling YEA! in the car while my boss and I were travelling between Odessa and El Paso...I have to say that I nearly scared him to death!) But all's well that ends well, right? We didn't run off the road, and Christina now has me penciled in our her calendar to do our photos.

Wedding/Reception Venue...CHECK!

Two big items off of my to-do list....I feel like I'm making a little bit of progress!

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