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BETTY & NELSON’S MEXICO WEDDING ON STYLE ME PRETTY!!!

I am so excited that Betty & Nelson are on Style Me Pretty today! This was such a memorable destination wedding for me and my team (the same one mentioned on facebook where the groomsmen had me on their shoulders for that perfect angle and the one where we ended up in the pool with our clothes on at the end of the night alongside Betty & Nelson and the rest of the guests). I am so behind on updating my site with new weddings from this past season… so here’s another new preview of my work via StyleMePretty!

TRAVELS | Exploring Puerto Vallarta

Recently I had the opportunity of shooting a wedding in Puerto Vallarta.  I was fortunate to have a day free to get off the resort to explore the surrounding areas of Puerto Vallarta with my Equipment Manager / Body Guard of International Travels {aka the husband} and one of my destination shooters, Jonathan who is a Chinese American fluent in Spanish and enamored with the Latin American cultures.

Being a photographer, you never have any pictures of yourself…. so I always end up doing these selfies in reflections {below}.

My personal travel style is not the kind that entails laying around at a resort pool side all day. I prefer what I call “mini-adventures”. When I travel, I love discovering “hidden treasures” not immediately known to tourists. I prefer to explore what life is like as a local, to meet locals, to eat what they eat and to understand life in another shoe. With the benefit of having Jonathan speak fluent spanish, we really had the opportunity to communicate with others. We discovered a sweet little old lady who sold these fresh press juices out of her home along a cobble stone street off the beaten path. While passing by a row of stucco houses, a door was left open which caused us to peak in. Jonathan saw a wipe board towards the back written in spanish listing different fruits with pesos next to them. Jonathan reasoned that she must be selling fruit so he proceeded to walk inside her home to ask. Unless you lived in the neighborhood, who would have known this lady sold the best press juices {always ask for no ice!} for just a few pesos. This was the first time I ever had fresh guanabana fruit and I am now obsessed with finding fresh ones here in the States.
We didn’t get the chance to eat brunch at the Mi Cafe {pictured above}, a cute little cafe that is supposed to serve amazing brunches, as recommended by a local (Canadian expat) who owns a pottery & cooking business in Puerto Vallarta. We did grab coffee there which was served with shaved cinnamon sticks and sat to talk with others for a while. 
Below is this huge beautiful tree we happened upon off one of the side streets on our journey to finding all the good local taco trucks. My husband was on a taco mission and we probably hitted up 3-4 taco stands that day. 
Mexico always seem to give me some of the most beautiful sunsets I’ve ever seen. I was so tempted to post all the images I shot of them but had to practice restraint as I curated the images for this post. When I see beauty like the images below, I can’t help but think how majestic is the creator of them.

Winter - This album is beautiful. I love the sunset pictures. The colors are just amazing.

Chau - So gorgeous

SNEAK PEEK | Puerto Vallarta

Just had to post a few quick snapshots from last week’s beautiful Valentine’s Mexico Wedding… I’m still gushing over the blush dress the bride wore which made its debut on Say Yes To the Dress {Season 8 Episode 14}.

And here’s an email I just received from the bride & groom from their experience with us! This makes my heart soar. Totally love that my clients (who usually become friends) appreciate the hard work and effort my team and I love to deliver.

Twah, 
We would like to formally thank you for the amazing performance you and your team gave during our wedding weekend.  If we had a peso for every time a guest mentioned how hard you and your colleagues were working, we could extend our world tour infinitely.  From the time you approached me when you overheard my concern about finding a quality photographer, to the first feel of your business card (if you invested that much in your business card, I could only imagine the time and effort you would put into our photos), to our in person planning meeting, I’ve always felt confident that no matter how our wedding turned out, we would walk away with high quality photos of the most memorable weekend of our lives.
 
Given just the sneak peek photos, our confidence in [the Twah Dougherty Brand] is fully validated.  Thank you! Thank you for your attention to detail.  Thank you for your preparation and professionalism (since when does a photog put the wedding day schedule together – only incredible ones likes you). Muchas gracias for your willingness to work well and cooperate with our videographer and other vendors. It all mattered.  Every minute detail mattered.  Adam and I were laughing because we noticed you at the huppah in one of our guest’s photos.  We didn’t even know you were there when we were saying our vows!  Very impressive on your part.
 
Your team was equally hard-working, sweet, and overall fun to have around all weekend long.  John even came into the gift shop to take some fun impromptu photos of my dad and I while we waited for the sun to reach its proper position for the ceremony. Thank you, as well, for your flexibility on that last minute schedule change.  You were very understanding and supportive.
 
We are happy to sing your praises on any website or social media page.  We’re happy to be direct references (email is most likely best for the foreseeable future) and promote SAL in any way possible.  Last but certainly not least, thanks for caring. Thanks for caring about what photos mean to a bride. Thanks for caring about the story behind the day and not the posed positions. Thanks for thinking outside of the box and trekking over rocks near the water’s edge to get the perfect shot.  IT WAS AWESOME.
All the success to you and your team.  
Sincerely,
Mr. and Mrs. Adam Koets

 

 

 

Lisa Laing - Twah, you are sooo talented. These pictures are amazing. You are such an artist. That’s what makes you such a great photographer. Your photos are works of art.

Darling… You Are Enough

Ok, for those who know me or had conversations with me, knows that I am a lover and not a hater (ha!). No, seriously. One of my pet PEEVES is when I hear a woman tearing another female down. I lack the eloquence of words to truly express my thoughts on this … and then one day I stumbled upon these 2 AMAZING articles (see below) that expressed perfectly what was in my heart. That was the beginning of my love affair with Darling Magazine whose slogan truly encapsulates how I live:  ”The Art of Being a Woman”.

I love that they break down the article categories into the different personas that defines the different parts in us. You have to go and explore their site to truly understand why I *LOVE *LOVE *LOVE this magazine/blog. I have always wanted to be a catalyst for change in the “culture of a women’s world”. And here it is, Darling Magazine starting the wheels in motion to making it happen (as seen in their Kickstarter Video). It’s a movement for true inner confidence, a sense of self and acceptance of our own flaws (and others’) with grace and humility. It’s also bold to not shy from mentioning the spiritual realms, in acknowledging God (the bigger picture beyond this physical world) in their articles. And below is probably the best mission statement I have read!


You can also purchase their digital or print subscription here.
As mentioned above, these were the 2 articles that made my heart sing:

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And if you love this, you will also love Making Things Happen, started by Lara Casey, another HUGE INSPIRATION of mine. So huge that I am working with her right now on the revamping of my business and brand… Be prepared with a new look and site coming late Spring! I am soooooooo excited and soooo overwhelmed but sooooooo ready!!!

Bre lyn sessions - These are great articles, thanks for sharing! Love the idea of what DARLING is promoting.

Boudoir….

I always get asked “What is a boudoir shoot?” Well, I wouldn’t be doing it justice by saying it makes a great gift for him. Because it can be so much more. “Boudoir” is literally defined in the dictionary as a women’s private sitting room, or as defined back in the 1700′s as “a room where a lady may retire to be alone, a pouting room”. I laugh at that old definition and how women have come a long way in society from having a place to “pout”. But some believe in order for women to be empowered, they must dress like a man, act like a man and be void of emotional vulnerability. I could not disagree any more. The female creature is wonderfully and beautifully made. We have a softer side and sensual side that defines our gender. Isn’t it more empowering to embrace ourselves, our curves or lack thereof, our scars, our build, our faces that are not symmetrical, our weaknesses… and make those our beauty and our strengths?

Having a boudoir session, can be like a place to retreat… but not to pout, rather to embrace… to celebrate who we are, how we’re made and being ok with our femininity and desirability. Having shot so many, I see how even the look in my client’s eyes are transformed after a shoot. They stand taller and float as they walk because we have just pulled out of them that inner vixen that they weren’t aware existed.

But I do want to clarify, that embracing your sensuality is not the same as using it to demean yourself… thinking that’s the only way a man would desire you. That is temporary desire and that is not what I am talking about. It’s digging deeper into your soul and pulling what you believe is true and love about yourself… because that is what shines and that is what becomes the deep rooted kind of desire that not only you will have for yourself, but will draw others to have for you as well. We are human and we long to be desired and accepted. And that is ok.

I am actually inspired from doing these shoots to want one for myself. Why not appreciate where I am now, before I get along in age and before the children come along….

Founder of Orphan’s Future Alliance is Engaged!

When Thai-Anh & I sat down in the East Village over Macha green tea, our conversations did not start with wedding talk. What should’ve been a client meeting to discuss wedding details turned into something more along the lines of “life aspirational” conversations.

Thai-Anh and I share a common bond & goal which is to always find ways to empower women. We both love mentoring young women in giving them the tools & guidance to create a successful path for their future. Thai-Anh inspires me as she is a “make it happen” kind of women. Not only does she volunteer in a mentorship program for girls but she has also founded a non-profit organization called Orphan’s Future Alliance (ORFA) which provides education for orphans in developing countries. There are tons of organizations out there that provide daily needs and necessities for orphans. What ORFA does is provide these children with an education to give them a better chance at an independent life after leaving the orphanages. In speaking with Thai-Anh, there was such sincerity of heart to want to improve life for these children and a passion for philanthropy that makes me re-evaluate what more can I do to make a difference in this world. I even love that Thai-Anh gave me great advice for my own my business because she “wants to see a woman business-owner succeed”.

I thought this is an appropriate post to end the year with as the Holiday Season wraps up and the spirit of giving tends to fade away with the ornaments and the lights… As 2012 comes to a close and we look ahead to the endless possibilities of 2013, I hope that you resolve to find ways to give and make a difference (big or small) in someone’s life in the new year…

Below are images from the recent engagement shoot I did for Thai-Anh and her wonderful fiance Elvir.

I really enjoyed hanging with Thai-Anh and Elvir as they goofed around in the New York City’s early morning… and they didn’t stop even when it started to rain. 
Thai-Anh has a twin sister, Chau who is also on ORFA’s Board of Directors. Chau came along to serve and help her sister carry stuff. Watching the interactions between the two sisters made me miss having my own sisters around. In the Image below, Chau was scrolling through images of wedding dresses to show me the finalist that Thai-Anh is contemplating on.

Make-Up done by Nam-Vo. Dress by Monique Lhuillier.

Looking at the End of 2012…

Happy 12.12.12
Wow this year is almost over. My goal before the end of 2012 is to add 1 more full wedding post on this site… In looking at the amazing list of weddings from this year made me a bit overwhelmed with too many different options to choose from.  So many beautiful brides, so many wonderful emotions and so many funny/love-filled moments I had the honor to witness and document.

So cheers to nearing the end of 2012 as we are on 12.12.12.

PREVIEW | NEWPORT R.I. | Chasing the Sun

Dream a little Dream… My heart has not stopped palpitating out of control as I finished this edit.

This Bride had her heart set on a beautiful sunset scene. But with her venue being on the East Side of the Island… A little creative timing allowed us to venture over to the West side and how worthy it was in chasing that sun. Can’t wait to post about this wedding!

F a c e b o o k   U P D A T E S