31 August 2012

random // friday.

So it's a little late in the day for me to publishing a Friday blog post, but all day I've been brewing ideas for Friday topics and I'm just now getting to my computer.  I have a smattering of random stuff to share, and it's really not very well choreographed (i.e. topics are not particularly related to each other), so fasten your seatbelts (and I know you're going to love it anyway).

1.  Today I finally cruised over to Crafted at the Port of Los Angeles, the new permanent craft marketplace down in San Pedro!  I've known about Crafted since a few months before they opened up in June, but just haven't had the energy to drive over there (Los Angeles is a big place, people -- the port is not exactly down the street from me!).  Anyway, I took lots of photos and met Jonathan of Anon-Y-Mouse in person (super awesome guy, btw), who you may remember from this blog post a few months ago.  I also grabbed some macarons and a rad new necklace.  Full review of Crafted coming soon.  :)

2.  I am meeting with a couple tomorrow; they are getting married in November and I am super excited to *maybe* be shooting their wedding.  Cross your fingers and think happy thoughts for me!  :)

3.  I am going to meet Evani of Simply Evani in person tomorrow, finally!  We are blogger BFFs and I'm super stoked she'll be in my neck of the woods tomorrow so we can rendezvous at Urth Caffe.

 This is not me: I stole this photo from super-rad blogiversary sponsor Tammy. :)  Read the corresponding post here.

4.  Finally, I'm plugging some of my current giveaway sponsors, as they are all super cool and (as usual) doing super cool things.

  • Dana of The Wonder Forest has a design shop, Envye, devoted to her gorgeous, incredible designs.  Did you guys know Dana is responsible for my lovely blog design?  True story.  She's awesome.  Check out her stuff. 

  • Shannon Hearts and her Look Book are making me so excited for autumn it's not even fair.  There's at least a month of heat left before I can even think about scarves.  Hurry, cool weather!  And no, the rain yesterday (during which I went out in shorts and a cami tank) doesn't count.

  • Tammy over at Lemons, Avocados, and the Bay DOMINATED her vacation.  Read about it here.  I'm jealous that I do not share her incredible motivation for vacation time.  I am a couch potato all the way.

  • Kristina at Simply Bold proved that ombre is still going strong (this is NOT a trend I want to see disappear!).  She also makes me swoon for chambray.  You're my style icon, K!

  • Kinsey gave me some much-appreciated feedback on my photography ad button for her blog.  As a photographer whose style I adore, I LOVE that she repinned one of my boudoir images on Pinterest.  Thanks, Kinsey!  You made my day!

Oh, you haven't entered the blog ad space giveaway yet?!  What are you waiting for?  Seriously.  Redeem yourself immediately.  :)  There's more free stuff madness coming soon (SOON!) so don't fall behind!

Happy long weekend, friends!

30 August 2012

weddings // thursday love.

Happy Thursday, everyone!  I am taking a bit of a breather today to work on Anna Delores Photography goodies (i.e. editing my life away in Lightroom) but wanted to share with y'all some of the recent fruits of my labor.  The first two images are from Jenn & Ryan, who recently got married in Claremont, CA, and the third is from a family portrait session I did with the Kammerer family.

And don't forget to enter BOTH giveaways going on right now in celebration of my one-year blogiversary: enter to win ad space from a ton of amazing blogs as well as a photo shoot for you, your family, or your engagement!

Linking up with Lish here and Danielle here.

29 August 2012

Blogiversary giveaway: Ad space!

I hope you guys understand that, as part of the blogiversary celebration, I am hammering you with giveaways!  Any complaints?  No?  Good.

Before I forget to remind you, remember to enter the giveaway for a FREE PHOTO SHOOT from yours truly!  Enter here!

Now, on to our next awesome giveaway: lots and lots (and LOTS) of ad space on some of the best blogs on the internet!  I mean, check out that lineup!  Pretty amazing, right?

I am super crazy-lucky that so many lovely, wonderful blog friends have teamed up with me to help celebrate the Anna Delores blogiversary.  These amazing bloggers have all pitched in to give away ad space on their blogs!

So, here we go!  You know the drill -- use the Rafflecopter forms below, and GOOD LUCK!  :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Like I said, totally sweet, right?!  Good luck and keep checking back for MORE giveaway madness over the next couple of weeks!  :)


28 August 2012

Blogiversary special feature: Recap

The last year has been a fun, frantic, exciting, frustrating, learning experience and I'm so glad y'all have been along with me for the ride!  I love coming up with new ideas for blog posts and it's been equally fun and interesting to see what readers are more interested in.

Here is a list of the top blog posts, according to a very non-scientific combination of pageviews and comments, that have appeared on the Anna Delores blog in the last 12 months.  Enjoy the trip down memory lane with me!  :)

10. On trend: Summertime
9.  What to wear for family portraits
8.  Bridal photo shoot
7.  Mani Monday: Accent nail #2
6.  Take, use, focus: photography tips from Sadie Dear
5.  "Paris in Color" by Nicole Robertson giveaway
4.  Chevron makeup bag DIY from Simply Evani
3.  Wedding sign post DIY
2.  Susan Sabo Photography: shelter dogs

And the number one most frequently-visited post on the Anna Delores blog is the ombre manicure tutorial!

Thank you for helping me make the first year of the Anna Delores blog so much fun!

And don't forget to enter the first giveaway of the blogiversary celebration: a free photo shoot for your family, you and your fiance, or just for YOU!

27 August 2012

Blogiversary Giveaway: Photo Shoot!

I am so elated to kick off the Anna Delores blog's first blogiversary celebration!

It's been 268 posts and 12+ months of developing the Anna Delores entity, and to help celebrate what I'd say is a *not too shabby* year number one, I'm revisiting favorite and popular posts, what Anna Delores means to me, and, yes, tons of giveaways.

I have some incredibly generous blogger and handmade business friends out there who have generously given of themselves, both to the long-term growth of this blog in advice and support, as well as giveaway goodies for the next two weeks!  To you (you know who you are!), I can't express my appreciation enough!

So, let's get started, yes?!

I really don't think I could be more excited to introduce everyone to this giveaway.  Anna Delores Photography (i.e. yours truly!) is offering (drumroll, please!) a free two-hour photography session.

Yes, free. Two hours. Of ME. Photographing YOU (and perhaps your betrothed or your family, too). This is a $250 value, friends! 

This can be an engagement session with your love, a boudoir session (totally my new favorite), or a family portrait session!

Now, I do live in Southern California, so those of you south of Santa Barbara and north of San Diego can enter freely without hesitation, because I can come to you!  If you live outside Southern California, however, you're still eligible, but the winner has to cover travel expenses for me to come to you (or, for you to come to So Cal!  Either way!).

If the winners are an engaged couple, they will also receive 50% off any Anna Delores Photography wedding package should they choose to book me as their wedding photographer!

So what are you WAITING for?!  Enter now!  Use Rafflecopter below to complete all mandatory entries for giveaway eligibility.  And if you have questions (i.e. I forgot to mention something in the fine print), by all means, send me an e-mail.

Let the celebration begin, and come back all this week and next week for MORE awesome giveaway goodies! You won't be disappointed.  :)
a Rafflecopter giveaway
:: fine print ::
The giveaway begins on August 27, 2012 and runs through September 9, 2012.  Entries must be received by 11:59 p.m. PDT on September 9.  Photography session limited to maximum of five people and maximum session time of 2 hours; includes disc of at least 50 high-resolution, fully-edited images to print as desired and share on social media.  Winning entry agrees that images from their photo shoot retain the Anna Delores Photography copyright and are subject to use on the Anna Delores Photography [website](http://www.annadelores.com) and other related marketing collateral.  Wedding packages vary and options will be shared and discussed with the winning couple; wedding packages valued up to $7,000 (up to $3,500 savings for the winners).  Entries outside of Southern California (defined as south of and including Santa Barbara County and north of and including San Diego County) will be considered but are subject to travel expenses incurred.

23 August 2012

Thursday latelies...

I borrowed Kristina's weekly Thursday theme for this post, as it seemed fitting!

I have been majorly MIA the last few weeks (for which I sincerely appreciate your support and love!) and wanted to update y'all on some happenings in my world.  Are you excited?  ;)

First of all, fall 2012 marks the one year blogiversary of the Anna Delores blog!  The timeline is a little rough and I technically have posts dating back to early 2011 (my very first post EVER was August 2010, so I guess this would actually be my TWO year blogiversary!) but it's been about a year since I really got serious about the identity and post frequency of the Anna Delores blog.

COMING SOON!  Starts Monday, August 27

What that means is that I'm celebrating in a big way with lots of giveaway awesomeness and special features next week and the following week, so I hope you'll come back soon to check it all out (and get your chance at some of the amazing swag we'll be handing out!).  Just to tease you, we're talking gift certificates, ad space from some seriously amazing blogs, jewelry and accessories, and MAYBE even a photo shoot...!  Like I said, come back next week for all the details!  ;)

Next, I wanted to show you some of the stuff I've been working on that's kept me away from blogging.  The business of photographing weddings, engagements, and portraits is coming along, and I've very happily forayed into the realm of boudoir photography!

It is a crazy amount of fun, more so than I expected.  I also recently got some gorgeous new Lightroom presets from VSCO and they are SO MUCH FUN!  This is just a tiny peek at the images I've been editing lately.

More to come VERY SOON, folks!  Again, I appreciate everyone's support and patience... I am so humbled and honored by the love I receive daily from people I've never met in real life.  Your kindness is incredible, and for that I thank you. 

22 August 2012

Wedding Wednesday: invitations

Well, hello there, readers of the Anna Delores blog!

I'm Kristen Victoria, aka "KV," and I blog over at KV's Confessions. My slice of the internet started out as a place to document and share my experiences as I attended graphic design school. Almost two years and an Associate's Degree later, I'm still sharing my love of design, inspiration, life lessons and dreams, with bits of fashion, humor, and lots of confessions- mostly with sarcastic commentary ;)

But enough with the intros... I didn't come here to talk about me! I'm here today and honored to host Emily's weekly Wedding Wednesday! Today's theme?

Typographic Wedding Invitations

I've been married six years, so why are wedding invitations on my mind?

I recently had the pleasure of designing my best friend's -- a big task, to say the least -- and typography choices were a huge part of the design process.

Here were the results in all their printed glory:

Invitation Pocket Holders: Paper & MoreBelly Band Ribbon, Photo Corners: Michael's Craft Stores
Cardstock and Vellum Overlay: Xpedx, Printing: FedEx Kinko's

Needless to say, I was thrilled to be of service and help with delivering the first impression of her big day.  I was even more excited to play around with fonts -- it's kind of my favorite thing to do.  :)

It's definitely wedding season and I've seen my fair share of invitations lately.  My eye is always drawn to the typography-themed designs.  They don't typically include engagement photos, so to successfully pull off showing a couple's personality and wedding theme, it needs to be really well-designed and pristinely printed.

Here are a few typography designs that have made my designer heart melt...

image source: Minted, designed by Jennifer Wick
image source: Minted, designed by Potts Design
image source: 100 Layer Cake
image source: Impress Ink
image source: Minted, designed by Stacey Day
image source: Bow Arrow Paper Co.
image source: Jen Simpson Design

Now, I know some brides might be hesitant to withhold photos in the invitations (doesn't everyone see those on Facebook, anyway?), but I would suggest at least considering a simplistic and typography driven design. From a designer's point of view- it's elegant, modern, and oh so memorable! Everyone will be drooling and wondering how you pulled off such a standout introduction to your big day.

* * * * *

I hope I got your wedding inspiration wheels turning, 
and also hope you come visit me to say hello!

16 August 2012

Photo shoot: Poppy Gail

I had the pleasure of photographing lovely, adorable, sweet baby Poppy last month!  Poppy's mama and I are friends and bonded over lunch and mimosas before I got started snapping images of this one-month-old little lady.  Here is just a small sample of the photographs I snagged that day.  Isn't she the cutest?  Click here for the rest of the images of this gorgeous child.

15 August 2012

WEAR: what to wear for portraits

This past weekend, I photographed a sweet family of five.  When I was talking to the wife and mother of three about preparations (location, time, etc.) she also asked me what I suggested she and her family wear for their portraits.  I told her right off the bat to try to avoid logos, black and white or too-bright, conflicting colors, and not to be all matchy-matchy (they didn't need to all wear the same exact shirt, for example) but past that, I was stuck on what to suggest.

I did a little research (thank you, Pinterest!) and found some excellent recommendations for couples and families who are preparing to have their pictures taken.  For my own purposes, I want families and couples to feel relaxed and comfortable, and this can be strongly linked to what they're wearing -- if you're dressed up too much, you might feel stiff and awkward, and trust me, that will show in your photos!  I think it's better to convey your true selves for optimal photographs (though you should probably generally avoid sweatpants and running shoes).

A great piece of advice from photographer Lexia Frank: "The biggest myth I can bust here is that you do not need to match.  Actually, please, don't.  It is so fake and contrived, and as a photojournalistic photographer I’m doing my best to keep it real -- I just can't with matching outfits.  Coordinate, sure, but don’t match."

Here are some examples of what I love (and maybe a few examples of what I don't).

This first example looks good to me because it covers a couple of bases: it's not too matchy-matchy (the grouping of muted primary colors is coordinated without looking too contrived), it's casual and relaxed, and it looks like a natural setting.  This image shows the family in a context that could happen anywhere, anytime -- this photo could have even been snapped in front of their own home.  They look like they simply paused in their conversation to grin at the camera, and then continued on their morning walk.  I love that.

{image by Ashlee Raubach Photography}

I'm also a big fan of images that are candid and editorial.  I really love images in which maybe just a couple of people are looking at the camera, or no one is looking at the camera!  I think the photo below is a good example of this.

I like this portrait because, as I mentioned, no one is looking at the camera.  Mom and dad are posing, of course, but it's certainly not so formal or traditional.  I don't love it that it looks like the two older kids are about to fight, but I digress.  You get what I mean about candid, right?  Okay, moving on.

Here are a couple more examples of families unafraid of a little wardrobe diversity.  This next image actually has what I might characterize as TOO many patterns and it's almost distracting, but it kinda works.  What do you think -- too much or just right?

More pattern and color-mixing action that WORKS! 

I've also found quite a few outfit combination boards that mirror these types of ensembles: coordinated and cohesive without wearing identical outfits.  Here are some of my favorites:

Some additional tips for dressing for portraits, borrowed from various sources (check out my Portraiture board on Pinterest for more!):

  • Do stay in the same style group together.  If you’re going formal, you all need to be formal and likewise for casual.
  • Dress for the weather.  There is no sense in having a well-planned outfit but having the children freezing (or sweating) and unhappy during the shoot.  It will show through in the photographs.  Have backup outfits ready for cold weather.
  • Textures, patterns, and layers give interest to your shoot just as those same elements give interest in interior design.
  • De-stress beforehand, even if that means having a glass of wine. The kids can read your level of stress and will act accordingly.
  • Flowy dresses are always a big bonus; anything that shows movement will translate beautifully to photography.
  • Consider getting your hair and makeup professionally done; it makes such a huge difference in how you feel during the shoot and the final product afterward.
  • Have snacks for the kids ready, and make sure they get a good nap in.  That goes for you too -- remember, they can read your stress.
  • Trust your photographer.  Remember, it’s all about the light, the connection between you all, and the location.  A boring parking lot can be completely transformed once you step into the best light.
  • Give your photographer some space when she photographs the little ones.  Hovering parents does not help, no matter how much you want it to.  The very best images are not when they are smiling at the camera.
  • Only bring props that you feel are intrinsic to you as a family and that are interactive.  The main objective is to photograph the love and connections in your family, not the items in your life – unless they relate directly to your love.
  • Don’t put off shopping until the last minute and wear your clothes for the first time on your shoot.  You want to know what you can and can not do in them.  If you feel restricted, it might not be the best choice
  • Your shoes will be shown in photos, so don’t forget about that style!
  • Sometimes less is more, but that doesn’t necessarily apply to clothing! The less skin exposed the more we focus on your faces and the connection between you all, and the more timeless your photos will be.
  • Don't be late.  When that sun sets, it’s all over.

Do you have any good tips or suggestions for great family photos?  Share ideas or links below in comments!

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