Bali Bound

As I write this I’m currently sitting on my brother’s couch in Chicago, his dog curled up next me. (Which I did instagram, since you asked.) We’re going to be heading to the airport soon… and flying to Bali. Yes, BALI. As in Bali, INDONESIA. Say whaaaa?!

If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, I’ve been hinting at travel for a bit. Well, here are the deets! Drumroll please… I’m going to be shooting the wedding of one of our very close friends and spending time with family in Indonesia! I feel so blessed to have this opportunity, not only to be able to celebrate the marriage of our friend and his new bride with my family in an incredible place (Bali!!), but also because I get to check off a big goal I’ve had since the beginning of my business: to shoot an international wedding! God is good, I’ll leave it at that :)

I won’t be blogging while I’m gone, so that I can fully soak up the much needed family and vacation time. But I will try to respond to emails in a timely manner! So feel free to get a hold of me that way if need be. And I’ll be back at it again full force after I get home on the 18th :) Until then, I hope you all are having a lovely October!

Rooms - October 9, 2012 - 10:55 am

CARISSA!! That’s so awesome. :) Have an amazing time, I can’t wait to see the photos!

Portrait Photographers Playa del Carmen - October 9, 2012 - 12:49 pm

that’s great!… have a safe trip :)

Park City Anytime: (Senior) Kate

Allow me to introduce you to the fabulous miss Kate! She’s a senior from Park City High School and I got to spend some time getting to know her during her senior pictures :) In case you were wondering, she is absolutely as lovely on the inside as she is on the outside! The day of her shoot we woke up to POURING rain, and almost considering rescheduling! Fortunately though, the skies cleared up a bit in the evening and Kate was more than willing to brave the chilly fall weather. I’m so glad she did, too, because despite the cold, the light was beautiful :) Enjoy some of my favorites from this gorgeous girl’s session!

Kate, you are a total gem! And in case you couldn’t tell by my never ending banter during the shoot, I had such a great time with you :) Haha. Thanks for being so willing to try all my ideas! I hope these pictures make you smile and bring back good memories of your senior year. Best of luck in college!

Yep, she’s pretty much a doll. 

So beautiful Kate!!

Love this smile :)


I pretty much loved her both of her outfits. But the maroon pants? RAD.

Adorable :)

This one. LOVE.

Workin’ it!

The yellow leaves were a perfect backdrop in my opinion!

I’ll finish up with this prettiness.

Hope everyone has a Happy Columbus Day!

Val - October 8, 2012 - 12:33 pm

Ok, these are amazing!!!

Backyard Wedding: Jessica + Gavin

Jessica has what I like to call a million dollar smile, the kind of smile that lights up a room and can brighten anyone’s day. In fact, it’s a smile that makes it impossible not to love her, which is exactly what happened to Gavin.

On this particular day though, there was something different about her smile. If possible, it was even brighter than normal. I’d dare say it rivaled the sun. Which was quite bright that day, just to let you know. She smiled as she greeted all of her bridesmaids. She smiled while she put her dress on. She smiled during pictures, smiled while getting hugs, smiled while dancing… But mostly, she smiled at Gavin. The man who had just promised to shelter and protect her, to care for her, laugh and cry with her, and devote himself to her for the rest of their lives. Mostly, she smiled at the man who loved that smile of hers more than anything else in the entire world.

Jess and Gav, what to even say… Your wedding was everything a wedding should be! And not because of all the gorgeous details, but because it was a complete day of nothing but love and joy, and a celebration of two best friends starting their lives together. It was so much fun, and SUCH an honor to be a part of!! May your lives together be filled with an even greater joy than the one you felt on your wedding day :) Much love and appreciation!

They had their wedding in the backyard of some family friends, and it was the perfect setting for them!

Putting on the final touches before getting dressed! And yes, smiling :)

Jess and Gav agreed to do a First Look. And pardon me for being a broken record, but you all know how I feel about First Looks… LOVE IT!

You guys are simply adorable. The end. 

So beautiful together :)


Love this!

I had to post a few of their rockin’ bridal party. All of their guys and gals were pretty awesome! 

After bridal party pictures, it was time to get married! 

Quick little story for this picture. Gavin was so excited to see Jess that he gave her a little kiss before he realized he wasn’t supposed to do that until the end! It was SO funny and too adorable!

It’s official!!!!

There were so.many. lovely details at the reception!! 

Pretty girls, pretty flowers, pretty dresses…

I snuck them away for just a few more photos in the setting sun, and I must say, everything about these pictures make me happy… Jess is SO beautiful and happy!


Oh Gavin you handsome fellow, you. 

I don’t normally post cake cutting pictures, but this smash was pretty epic ;) 

First Dance as Mr. and Mrs. :)

Congrats again you two!!! XO

sierra - October 6, 2012 - 1:17 pm

AMAZING! You are such a great photographer…. and not to mention these are some fine lookin folks! LOVE Jess & Gav!!!!


Erin - October 6, 2012 - 5:52 pm

I love all of these!!! You are so great Carissa!

Jess - October 6, 2012 - 10:36 pm

I love. The pictures. The day. You. SO amazing! Thank you so much!!!!

Tiffany - October 8, 2012 - 8:23 am

Beautiful!! Love all the details.

Melissa Kelseym - October 8, 2012 - 8:29 am

Beautiful, Carissa! I love backyard weddings.

Deer Valley Engagements: Colleen + Mark

Mark spotted her across the bar. The incredibly cute brunette with an infectious smile. But she was talking to someone else. One of his buddies, to be precise. In fact, it just so happened that he needed to talk to this guy. Which meant the cute brunette, too. But Mark is a gentleman, so he decided to let it go, or rather, let her go, and not make any moves because his friend had spotted her first.

That’s not how Colleen saw it. She saw it as the handsome guy who came over and struck up a conversation with a mutual friend, yet wouldn’t give her the time of day. And it bothered her. So much so, that the next time their paths happened to cross a few months later, she called him out on it. Straight up confronted him about avoiding her. Because that’s the type of girl Colleen is. And while some guys might have been intimidated by her forward, no-nonsense approach, Mark was intrigued. Apologetic, too, of course. But once he explained that he was trying to be a good guy and let his friend have a shot, Colleen was a little intrigued as well.

A few dates later, intrigue turned to like. And not long after, like turned into love… Now love is turning into an awesome Deer Valley wedding next summer!! I can’t wait for Mark and Colleen’s fab nuptuals to happen :) They’re planning a sweet and fun-filled day that I’m so excited to be a part of!! Enjoy some of my favorites from their chilly autumn engagement session.

Yep, they’re adorable :)

They’re also incredibly crafty, DIY people, and Mark handmade this awesome wooden ampersand!

It was a chilly evening in the mountains, but a little bit into the shoot the sun came out. Followed by RAIN. And it looked like glitter falling from the sky!!! SO COOL.


Ah! So pretty Colleen!!

Remember how I said they are crafty? Colleen made this adorable banner!! I was kind of obsessed with it. Also, they both work at Deer Valley in the winter, so it was only fitting that we got some chair lift photos :)  

This one needs to be on canvas if you ask me :)

So sweet…

Oh you two… Work it!!

LOVE this set.

I’ll finish on this sweet note :)

Mark and Colleen, thank you so much for such a fun evening in the crazy weather!! I’m so thrilled that I get to be the one to document your love… because it’s pretty magical :) Can’t wait for next August!! XO

Kelsey W - October 4, 2012 - 12:01 pm

Love the photos guys! You are crafty little people!

Colleen - October 4, 2012 - 1:30 pm

I feel kinda vain saying it, but I LOVE our photos! Carissa, you are THE best. We had a great time taking them and are so looking forward to next August!!

Beth - October 4, 2012 - 1:43 pm

These pictures are absolutely beautiful! You are a wonderful photographer! Colleen, you look STUNNING and I wish you and Mark all the best!

Jill - October 4, 2012 - 1:55 pm

Not vain at all! ALL of these pictures are absolutely amazing. I love how the story is written at the beginning too!! I just want to go back through and keep looking at them :)

ANA - October 4, 2012 - 2:51 pm

Beautiful!! I LOVE the pictures. They are simply amazing! You two look so in love! Can’t wait for Aug 2013!!

Aunt Sue - October 4, 2012 - 3:05 pm

Such a good looking couple in a breath-taking place.

Jennie Stevens - October 4, 2012 - 5:30 pm

These are SO AMAZING!! Truly captured some great moments <3. Congrats.

Alisa Habenicht - October 4, 2012 - 6:05 pm

Colleen, you are so beautiful. These are just awesome. I love them all!!

John and Judy - October 4, 2012 - 6:35 pm

Lucky guy Mark. What a beautiful lady.

Miche and Ben - October 5, 2012 - 3:26 pm

That you two love one another deeply shows through in every one of your engagement photos. We are so happy and excited for you!

Grandma and Grandpa - October 5, 2012 - 10:13 pm

Thanks for sharing your pictures with us. Anxious to meet Coleen. Come see us when you can!
Love, Grandma and Grandpa

mark - October 6, 2012 - 5:32 pm

thanks for the awesome photos they look awesome.

Jim and Millie Wine - October 6, 2012 - 5:34 pm

Awesome pictures guys..

Will Wine - October 6, 2012 - 5:39 pm

Very nice pictures!!!

Karen & Calvin Miller - October 9, 2012 - 5:39 am

Beautiful Pictures! We love them all. So happy for you guys.

Jo Chytka - October 10, 2012 - 1:47 pm

These are so beautiful, and we are so happy for both of you and us!!
Love you both
Mom and Dad C.

Wedding Wednesday: Engagement Sessions Part 2- What Not to Wear

Ok, this post isn’t so much about what NOT to wear as it is a few tips on how to figure out what you SHOULD wear for your engagement outfits :) I just couldn’t think of another catchy title. Ha.

So, you’ve heard all the reasons why engagement sessions are awesome, you’ve decided to do one, and you’ve set the date and location for your shoot. Exciting! Then it hits you. What on earth are you going to wear?! Jake and I recently had our pictures taken for our anniversary, and I’ll be honest, I had NO idea it would be so difficult for me to figure out our outfits! (Which is actually what sparked the idea for this Wedding Wednesday series!) It totally brought me back to what it feels like to be on the OTHER side of the camera, which is sometimes easy for me to forget… I wanted to look pretty yet still be semi-comfortable while also being stylish but not look like I was trying too hard. Phew! Mouthful of a sentence. Anyone with me?

Well, before you go rampaging through your closet or running to the nearest J. Crew, here are some guidelines that will hopefully give you fabulous outfits without a ton of stress :)

1. Keep it Simple. Solid colors and light patterns photograph extremely well, while any sort of wording or really intense patterns tend to be distracting and draw attention away from you guys! The simpler your outfit, the easier it is for you to figure out, and the nicer it photographs. So try not to think too much into it!

2. Don’t forget about the location. When you’re deciding clothing colors, take the location of your shoot into consideration. Are you doing your engagements in a wooded forest area? That means there will be a lot of green tones, so for example, wearing a green blouse might not be the best option, but a purple dress would totally pop. Or vice versa, if you’re having them done in a downtown urban area, that usually means warm reddish tones, so wearing cooler muted tones could be a nice contrast. And on a similar note, the style of your clothing should compliment the area you’re shooting in as well. While a cute flannel top and jeans could look great in that wooded forest setting, it probably wouldn’t look right in a manicured garden area. Of course, it all depends on the look you’re going for, but keep in mind an outfit that might look awesome at one location can lose it’s pizazz at another if the colors and feel don’t mesh well!

3. Accessorize and layer. I’m a BIG fan of layering and accessorizing to add a little spice… Doing your engagements in the fall? Wear a pretty scarf! Are you donning a lovely but simple dress? Add some sassy heels or a fun pair of earrings to give it personality! Are you planning on more classy and neutral colors? Put on some red lipstick for a pretty pop of color! Winter engagements? Layer with a vest, tights, and boots for super cute look! The possibilities are pretty much endless. Necklaces, earrings, bracelets, belts, scarves, hats, cardigans, hair up for one outfit and down for another… Just adding a little something extra to your outfit can be the perfect way to make it unique and feel complete.

4. Coordinate, but don’t match. There is a bit of a difference between matching vs. coordinating you and your fiance’s outfits. While you obviously don’t want to clash, if you match perfectly, it can look like something right out of awkward family photos ;) For example, if you’re wearing red, don’t feel like he HAS to wear red too. It’s best to pick a couple colors and then coordinate with different shades! Cute spring colors of soft pink, jean blue, ivory… Trendy summer colors of mint, cream, navy… Bold fall colors of dark gray, mustard yellow, maroon… Lovely winter colors of berry, champagne, and brown… Just a couple combos to get your creative color juices flowing!

5. Feel Good. This is probably the MOST important tip!! Seriously. If all you’re focused on during the shoot is adjusting your dress, or whether your pants look good at a certain angle, or if your shirt is hanging right, you won’t be able to let go and enjoy yourself! Whatever your outfit is, it should make you feel so good that you forget about what you’re wearing because you’re not worried about it. After all, when all is said and done, your engagement pictures are about your LOVE, not the super cute outfits you put together :)

And because I know you’re all just dying to know what outfits I picked for Jake and I, here they are!!

For the first outfit I chose a lace dress and spiced it up with a brown belt, brown boots, and big gold earrings! Then I had Jake in a gray shirt and dark jeans, but tied that into my outfit with his brown shoes and a brown belt as well.

For our second outfit I went with a cream blouse and mint pants with a pretty mint necklace, and then Jake wore Navy and gray to compliment it. (Yes, one of the color schemes I listed above. I guess I’m a bit partial to it!)

(Photos taken by the wonderful Heather Nan!)

 While I probably made the whole outfit ordeal much more difficult than I had to (I didn’t really think of these guidelines until AFTER the fact…), in the end I’m really happy with what we wore because they totally made me feel good! And like I said, I think that’s the most important part :)

Hope that helps some of you in your outfit planning endeavors! Happy Wednesday.