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I’m obsessed with Pinterest.

I am sure you have heard of it haven’t you?

If you have not gotten sucked in by the black hole that is Pinterest…maybe it is a good thing.

It is a social site that lets you bookmark, in different categories, blogs, websites, clothes, advice, eye candy, photography, EVERYTHING!!

I can easily spend 30 minutes pinning away crafts I want to try someday.

After I finish, I walk away feeling like I was really crafty, but in reality, I have nothing to show for it.

It is almost like the ultimate bucket list or what I want list.

Doesn’t it sound awesome?!

It’s my #1 go to place for planning dinner or finding gluten free yummy-ness.

I dream, I get inspired, I drool over outfits I could never pull off.


Last year I pinned a photo I took where I created “snow” using potato flakes.

Apparently, there are a lot of people needing fake snow because it got re-pinned over 4,000 times!

That is my most shared pin… EVER.

I am dying to try it again.

This picture of her blowing snow was taken indoors.

It was in front of a giant window, which helped it look more natural.


Now you know my little secret if you don’t live somewhere that produces snow.

I’m a little jealous of you right now.

It is 8 degrees. 8!!!!!!

I think the kids would really enjoy throwing fake snow.

I must be honest, I had fun throwing the flakes.

I bet there are some pretty creative pictures you could produce with the potato flakes.

I want to see them!

Will you send me the picture if you try out the potato flakes?!

Pretty please!?

You can send it to me at

Promise me you’ll send me a picture!

I hope you have so much fun!

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I got married young. I was 20. That day was a fairy tale. It was perfect. Looking back, the only thing I always said I would do differently is my photographer. I mean, he was ok. But 11 1/2 years later the only thing I have left to remember that day is my pictures! I shouldn’t have settled with ok. I should have settled with an AWESOME, knock-my-socks-off, cherish-my-memories-forever type of wedding photographer.

Fortunate for me, I happen to know an awesome-sauce wedding photog. She listened to my crazy idea about a couch in the forest preserve and made it happen. I strapped on my wedding dress and convinced my man to re-live our fairy tale.

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I’m not telling you all this just to talk about me. The purpose is to help YOU prevent this from being your story. Some things to consider before hiring your wedding photographer:

  1. MEET your wedding photographer in person.

Don’t you want to know who you are going to spend the whole day of your dream day with?! We went to visit and book our photographer at a studio. But we didn’t meet OUR photographer. We met a photographer. But not our photographer. It was a big company that had a handful of photographers that they sent out. Meet YOUR day of wedding photographer!

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  1. Like them.

Ok, you are going to be with them for around 6-10 hrs depending on your needs. Most of the weddings I shoot begin wherever the bride is getting ready. Talk about intimate. All the ladies are getting ready, hair and makeup is in full swing, people are getting dressed. It is SO important that you LIKE your photographer. If you LOVE the images and then meet them and don’t like their personality, don’t ignore that! You need to click with your photographer!

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  1. Have engagement pictures done. 

Having your engagement pictures done is like having a pre-wedding trial. You get to see how the photographer treats you, how they pose you, and how they make you feel comfortable. This is SO important! (Maybe I should have made this #1) This way when your wedding day comes and it’s time to do the bride and groom shots, you both are already comfortable together and know how he/she gives direction. Let’s face it, most guys are not super comfortable being in pictures. Typically, they dread it. This also gives your groom a chance to know what to expect and get done sooner!

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  1. Ask them questions.

How long does it take to get my pictures after the wedding?

How many pictures can I expect to receive?

Do you have a suggested timeline?

When should we get our engagement pictures done?

Write down your questions. They should be able to answer them pretty easily. This will be a good way to know if they are an experienced photographer or not.

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  1. Ask if they bring a second photographer. 

I may be a little biased, since I am a second photographer, but think about entrusting one photographer to get EVERY single moment of your day. It’s definitely possible. But why risk it?! Ceremonies can be unpredictable. People can be unpredictable. With everyone taking their own pictures and leaning in the aisles during ceremonies, what if your photographer is lined up to shoot the kiss as Uncle Bob leans in front of him/ her to take a picture with his iphone?! Exactly.

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  1. Discounted pictures=discounted service.

I get it; weddings are expensive, very expensive. Who doesn’t love a deal?! So get a deal on things that you can afford to get a deal on. Do you want an ipod playing at your reception? Or do you want a friend to DJ and play a music list? Or do you want a professional who knows how to work the crowd and get a party going? Pay for what you want. If you want a photographer to just capture some pictures and you don’t care about quality, get a deal! If you want someone to give you expert advice all along your engagement on how to set up a timeline for the day, how many hours you need, get back to you in a timely manner, and give you magazine worthy pictures then PAY for what you want. Don’t expect a rockin’ photographer at rockin’ bottom prices.

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  1. Treat your photographer well.

This should go without saying and shouldn’t be a problem especially if you like them already. Their whole goal is to make you look and feel beautiful (and happy) all day.



  1. Think about the light.

If you love the sun flare pictures in your wedding photographers portfolio, don’t start everything after dark. In photography world, noon is the worst time to shoot outdoors. We can and will shoot at that time but ideally, plan on having your most important pictures (such as the bride/groom portraits) taken about 2-3 hrs before sunset.

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  1. Forget tradition.

Just hear me out. I didn’t see my groom before our wedding because of tradition. There is something special about tradition. If it’s more important to you than photos then go with tradition. But if photos are MORE important, then see each other BEFORE the wedding. This is more intimate. The photographers are constrained to an aisle and rows of people during the ceremony. They can’t get close and move around you and not be distracting. I have seen my fair share of first looks (seeing each other before the wedding) and it is my new favorite thing. It gives the bride and groom a couple of moments together to hug, cry and ooohhh and ahhhh over each other.

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10.   Hire him/her again in 1 yr or 10 yrs or 25 yrs and re-live the moment.

While I was getting my hair and makeup on for our re-shoot, my husband arrived dressed and ready to go with a bouquet of flowers in hand. We then preceded to take some of my most treasured photos. Re-live the moment!

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If you are looking for a Chicago based wedding photographer (also willing to travel), I highly recommend Keren Sarai Photography. All the pictures in this post are taken by Keren Sarai Photography.

Thank you Keren for our pictures!!





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  • Nancy - OMG… absolutely stunning!! I do agree with you that meeting the photographer and vibing with him is very important. I am so glad I did. Thank you for sharing 🙂 Happy 2015!!

  • lindsay - I love that you do this shoot! Awesome tips too.

I want to introduce you to my impressive hair and makeup artist.

Her name is Michelle and she is beyond marvelous!

I have asked her to answer some frequently asked questions about hair.

If you have any questions, ask her in the comments and I will do another post.

Enjoy some hair tips!

sisters in a field of tall grass for a photo shootPINIMAGE
Where do you work?
For the past 7 years, I’m proud to say, that I’m part of an awesome team at Taylor Reese Salon in Highland Park Il.

Why did you choose to do hair?
Growing up I was always the one asked to put toys together. Straight from the box I would start piece by piece and what I anticipated was the end result, which was a happy cousin with a new toy to play with. And that led to drawing pictures taking an architecture class to somehow doing hair! I always thought of myself as having a creative mind…picturing something and bringing it to pass like sculpting hair for an event! It is really art if you think about it. And the end result is a fabulous look with a happy client.girl sitting on a couch in vintage nestPINIMAGE

What’s your favorite hair type to work with?
I love working with long thick hair.

What are some things you should not do to your hair before a shoot? (Like straightening your hair?)
As a hair stylist photo shoots are all about my models putting their best hair forward! Models want to look and feel their best and photographers want the ability to take and choose the best photo ever! What not to do before a photo shoot…hmmm if I had to choose one it would be NOT to have OVERLY conditioned hair. Each individual varies but, I want to work with a little bit of texture to achieve the best looks the photographer wants!bridal portrait at ella louviPINIMAGE

What is your favorite hair product?
Wow! What’s my favorite hair product? I wouldn’t even know where to begin. I’m not a big fan of sticking to one brand or a single type of hair product but I absolutely love healthy hair! So any types of serums, creams or hair protectants are what I would lean towards.

What is your must do for hair?
Maintain healthy ends! I don’t remember the last time a client left my chair saying they didn’t feel GREAT after seeing their hair getting cut. Getting a small trim every 2-3 months max is an absolute must. The hair looks lighter, healthier and has more shape and movement.girl laying down on bed smilingPINIMAGE

How do you want you clients hair to be when they arrive to get their hair done? (clean? dry? wet?) I guess it depends on the service they are getting. For photo shoots I prefer the hair clean and dry, for almost all hair cuts definitely wet.

Any hair secrets/tips you want to share?
Advice from a hair stylist? Accept what you’ve been given…whether long hair or short, thick or thin, black, gray or any color under the sun. We’re all different and also, all beautiful.sisters laying down for a photo shootPINIMAGE

Don’t forget to ask her a question if you have one!! (in the comments)

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  • Gretchen - What a great post! And what a treasure to collaborate with on photo shoots!

  • Cari - Such pretty images- great work!

  • Sarah Morris - Great tips!!!

  • SugaShoc Photography - Great tips for senior session!

  • Natural & Frugal: Raising 6 kids - Beautiful tips, I have always said the cutting the ends should be done

  • CourtneyLynne - Omg fabulous hair tips!!! Thank you for sharing ❤❤❤

  • Shanéy Vijendranath - These pictures are amazing and of course great tips. Thank you.

  • Shelah Moss - What great tips, thank you for sharing.

  • Jennifer Rudd - Great tips. I am still trying to embrace my long, thin hair 🙂