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beautiful wedding invitations from Basic Invite

This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Basic Invite. 

In the process of planning your wedding, the invitation design is one of the first decisions you make. And it's an important one, as it's the first impression your guests receive of the beautiful event you're planning. Just as printed marketing materials should convey the essence of a brand, so your wedding stationery should embody the essence of your day.

With hundreds of color and design options, Basic Invite allows you to create a one-of-a-kind look for your entire stationery set, from custom wedding invitations to bridal luncheon invitations and wedding place cards.

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Use your favorite engagement session images to deign cool save the dates and even a personalized wedding guest book!

 

You can connect with Basic Invite through FacebookPinterestInstagramTwitter, and their website.

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Joy, anticipated.

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Joy, anticipated.

Bianca has been a dear friend of mine for a few years now. She photographed the birth of my daughter so beautifully, and will always have a special place in my heart.

When she asked me to do a maternity session during her first pregnancy, and that she just knew she wanted it to involve water, I was so excited! It turned out to be pretty much my favorite maternity shoot ever. My cheeks hurts from smiling by the time we made our way back to the car. 

Bianca and Justin have such a beautiful connection as a couple, which makes them fun to be around and so much fun to photograph. Their daughter, Joy, is truly a blessed baby to be raised by such amazing people!

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it's summer! {document it}

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it's summer! {document it}

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Often the moms and brides I work with are also their family documentarians—the ones making sure photos are taken during every event and vacation, and on most of the days in between. I get it, because I play that role in my own family. We want to make sure that it's all remembered: the big moments and the everyday ones, because we know how fast time goes.

Whether your camera is a big DSLR or an iPhone in your purse (or like me, some of each), there are ways to help your photos stand out and tell the story better. Here are a few of my favorite tips for getting better photos of your life and loved ones:

  • Vary your perspective. 

    Make sure to move around and see the scene in different ways. Get big-picture shots that show the setting, as well as close-ups of the details. 
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  • More than just faces.

Portraits with your subject looking at you are always nice of course, but make sure to capture some of the action too. Some of my favorite images are the ones in which no one is looking at the camera. Notice how your baby's toes wiggle and curl as she feels the texture of the grass, and snap a close-up of those delicious chubby feet!

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  • Find the light (and use it well). 

    In the middle of the day outdoors, this might mean looking for some open shade so your photos aren't overtaken by harsh sun. Indoors, I try to stay near windows and avoid artificial light sources in my photos whenever possible, and I never use flash unless I absolutely must, because it's simply not how the scene actually looks. 
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  • Know your equipment.

Learn to use your camera well! Practice nailing your focus so you miss fewer shots. Read the manual so that you can use more of the available features. If you own a DSLR or any other camera that allows you to shoot in manual mode, you will only be getting your money's worth if you learn to do so! If you're shooting on "auto", you might as well be using a much cheaper point-and-shoot. It's really easier than it seems. Check out basic online photography courses for this, from Click or The Define School
Even if you're just shooting with a smartphone, making sure you know how the camera works can make an enormous difference. One feature that I've noticed many people not taking advantage of: most phone cameras allow you to adjust brightness before even snapping the photo, by tapping the spot you want to expose for. For instance, if the people on your screen are showing up too dark, just touch one of their faces drag your finger up a little to brighten them more. 

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So you have all of these wonderful images, but now what to do with them? Please don't let them simply sit on your phone or hard drive. Enjoy them, and let them be seen! I've always loved creating albums, books, and prints from my images, and I also use them on cards and invitations throughout the year. 

I love stationery and paper. There was a time when I never would have considered an email invitation or card for an important event. The standard electronic cards seemed less special, often a bit cheesy and substandard in design, or let's face it: just plain ugly.
My goodness, has this changed! There is no longer a need to compromise good taste in the name of being earth-friendly and clutter-free. It was only after stumbling across Paperless Post last year that I began to see electronic delivery as a legitimate option for invitations, thank-you notes and greetings. I've used their paperless invitations and cards on a few occasions so far, and am looking forward to doing so again for my daughter's second birthday party in September (two years old! can you believe it?!?).

Paperless Post offers so many gorgeous options for weddings, baby showers, birthdays, holidays, and any other occasions. They've partnered with many leading fashion brands and lifestyle designers, including Kate Spade New York, Oscar de la Renta, and Jonathan Adler, so you know these designs aren't just run-of-the-mill.

This was our sweet, simple design for Eaden's first birthday last year.

This post was written in cooperation with Paperless Post, but represents my honest opinion and experience. 

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palm beach weekend

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palm beach weekend

This sweet family of three visited from New York City last August for a weekend on the beach at the Four Seasons, I was lucky enough to spend an hour with them during their trip. They made the entire session ridiculously easy—naturally doing exactly what I was about to ask them to do. It always feels a little like cheating when that happens!  

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wander joyfully

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wander joyfully

We arrived at the park just before the rain began. Already rescheduled once, with a deadline fast approaching, we waited and watched the radar on our phones, hoping it would clear enough to shoot. Finally it did let up, and Stephanie (our lovely model), Sondra (stylist and assistant), and I ventured out. 

During our time on the river, we encountered bugs, humidity, the mortal fear of tipping in the canoe while holding my camera, and other paddlers telling us they'd spotted a large alligator nearby. I have no idea how Stephanie managed to look incredible right up to the end, as I was a hot sticky mess by the time we pulled the canoe safely back to dry ground. The whole thing was a little crazy, but overall we had so much fun!

It turned out that this shoot truly embodied the adventurous spirit of the company it was shot for, Wanderer Bracelets. Wanderer's designs are all handmade in Bali, Indonesia, and provide fair wage jobs for local artisans there. The company also happened to be founded by a fellow alumni of my alma mater, Palm Beach Atlantic, and is located right here is West Palm Beach. 

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