Disney Vacation Highlights - Part 1

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Well, we can say with a smile that we survived a week at Disney World (we just won't talk about chipped teeth or the plane ride home with a cranky child). It was a lot of fun--hot and exhausting, but mostly fun!--and it was all made possible by my generous mother-in-law, Gloria. She had been saving for years to take her grandkids to the most magical place on earth and this summer her dream became a reality. We stayed at a Disney resort, had Fastpass options for the rides (to eliminate long waits) and a pre-paid dining plan for meals. In short, Gloria is awesome! She made this a super easy vacation for us and gave Logan an experience that we as parents may never be able to replicate. We've said it to her a bunch already, but Gloria, thank you SO MUCH for your generosity in planning such a wonderful and memorable trip for us! 

I made the decision to pack only my camera body, one lens, an extra battery with charger and my cards for storing photos. As much as I wanted to document everything, I knew that I couldn't shed total parental responsibility and wander around with the camera glued to my face all day. Packing a minimal amount of gear curbed the urge. It enabled me to focus more on the experience in present time, rather than thinking about what it would look like later as a photograph. Compared to my usual numbers, I really didn't take many pictures. I did make sure to capture some images of each day, though, if anything just so Logan would have memories of the trip. He's almost three, but I don't know how much he'll really retain.

The following pictures are from day 1 in Animal Kingdom and day 2 in Magic Kingdom. We actually went to back to MK on the 5th day as well, but you'll see those pics in a later post. Now, onto our safari adventure. I really liked the hanging moss covering many of the trees.
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We hadn't even been at Disney 24 hours and Logan was fed up with my picture taking!
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"Happy 30th Birthday to Me!" It's my blog. I can toot my own horn.

My actual birthday is today, June 24, but I received this deliciously-bad-for-you-indulgence on Tuesday. Everyone, meet The Original Ice Cream Cake by Carvel (according to the box). This chilly delight came complete with frozen whipped cream icing. Seth listens well.
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And check this out! I received the above cake as a surprise while dining at the Crystal Palace in Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World! (Special thanks to the Yerington's for the cake!) Last week, we stayed 5 days, 5 nights in the resort and visited all the major parks (no water parks). Let's just say it has taken us just as long to recuperate, but was so much fun!
And speaking of Disney...here's a sneak peak of one sight we saw :) More coming to the blog this weekend!
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Amanda & Frank: a Saint Louis wedding, the Arch and Busch Stadium!

I had the pleasure of meeting Amanda and Frank through Darbi, an old college classmate of Amanda's and a fellow photographer who I've recently connected with. This was the first wedding I've photographed as second-shooter, and it was very rewarding and tons of fun! Darbi was great to work with because 1) she's really good at what she does, and 2) she gave me freedom to be creative and work independently. Not to mention that's she's just pretty easy-going and full of lots of laughs... as were Amanda and Frank and their 12-person bridal party!

For those who are familiar with my work, you know I approach photography from a documentary perspective, regardless of subject matter. If you're new to the blog, well, now you know :) Being that I was the second-shooter, I had even more creative license to record moments non-tradtionally and also experiment with a style that I don't spend much time on: portrait photography. We had a good 2+ hours to romp around downtown with the bridal party for creative portraits, and it was one of my favorite parts of the day. Because of this, I'll be posting waaaay more posed shots than you''d normally see on a single wedding post, but several still have a documentary flair about them.

Anyway, enough about all this! On to the photographs!

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Itching for more? I encourage you to check out Darbi's post on Amanda and Frank's wedding. You'll see a few more images I made while hanging with the guys, as well as my favorite arch shot with the bridal party, among others.

Amanda and Frank, I wish you all the best! It was fabulous and an absolute pleasure to be a part of!