Monthly Archives: April 2008

9 – 1 = 8 Lives Left

This afternoon Chuck, Brayden, Hauggy and I took a walk at our favorite park. I was scouting a cool field where I planned on shooting Jill and Brandon’s maternity session in a couple of weeks. However, we won’t be going to that park again. We’ve been going to this park since Brayden was a few weeks old and I love it because there are so many cool trails to explore. We were walking towards a dam with cool graffiti on it and I hear Chuck yell, “Pick up Hauggy and RUN!”. I scooped Hauggy up and ran for my life, which is really hard to do with a 25 pound dog when I haven’t run in ten plus months. I knew from the sound of Chuck’s voice that it was either a mountain lion or a deranged man with a knife. We ran down a hill and got off the trail. We realized that we were going to have to walk back towards the mountain lion to get back to the trail. So, we started yelling help. As we were walking on the trails earlier I was cursing the mountain bikers who would go zipping up and down the trails, but now I was so happy for them because they could get to us fast. Two mountain bikers got to us right away and they escorted us back to the park.

Chuck told me when we got back to the car that he saw a big brown thing in the bushes about 200 feet away from us. He didn’t say anything at first because he didn’t want to scare me and he thought it was just a coyote. But, then it started running towards us and jumped over the bushes. That’s when he saw that it was a big mountain lion. I’m so glad I didn’t see it because I think I might have been too scared to run. When I called my parents to tell them, my Dad said that we did the completely wrong thing and should have faced it and made ourselves “big”. Dad, the next time you get chased by a mountain lion let’s see what you do! We were just trying to save your grandson and granddog. I think once I picked up Hauggy it gave up. The whole thing was so scary. I don’t even want to think about what could have happened. I’m just glad it didn’t. The statistics say that you are 1000 times more likely to get struck by lightning than you are to get attacked by a mountain lion. But, today was close enough for me.

I don’t even want to think about little Brayden on his chair in the middle of that field (because I probably would have taken his 3 month pictures there) and a mountain lion jumping out of the bushes or if I would have had pregnant Jill all the way out there who wouldn’t have been able to run. I’m going to start carrying pepper spray with me so at least I will feel a little bit more in control if I were in the situation again. I’m bummed because I lost one of the coolest locations to shoot at, but I will just have to find another one. Any suggestions for my maternity shoot?

And to make everyone happy after my scary story, here is a picture of Brayden Bittel. He was 4 weeks old in the picture. I love his toothless yawns! The shirt was given to him by my friend Jamie. He was supposed to wear it on Valentine’s Day, but he was still in the hospital. By the way, he slept through the whole ordeal. Even with Chuck running for his life he stayed totally asleep in his Baby Bjorn. Crazy kid misses all the fun adventures!


Posted in My Life | 10 Comments

Mr. & Mrs. Leeper

Nikki and Jeff’s wedding was full of unique elements that made for such a fun day! A vintage Porsche, a boat, and a cathedral length veil. Need I say more?

The day started off overcast and the weather forecasters promised drizzle, but as soon as we stepped outside to start Nikki’s pictures the sun came out to make Nikki and Jeff’s wedding day perfect! Nikki and Jeff were married at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Newport Beach. They left in style in Jeff’s Dads vintage Porsche! From there, the bridal party took a boat to the reception at the Balboa Bay Club. Talk about style! Most people get a limo, but Nikki and Jeff got a boat!

I’ve been so lucky to get to know Nikki and Jeff over the past few months! Their families are both so kind and welcoming and I feel so honored to have been part of their special day! A very special thank you to Brigid and Dave for the referral! It was great to see you two and I’m glad married life is treating you so well!

Nikki and Jeff, I hope you two are having an awesome time in Cancun and Jamaica! I can’t wait to hear all about it when you get back! Below are my favorites from your wedding day and a slide show! Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Leeper!

The girls got ready at Jeff’s parents gorgeous home on the Newport Beach peninsula.


All of Nikki’s jewelry were family heirlooms. Her garter has been worn by several women in her family. How cool is that?


Nikki’s Mom made her veil! It was so gorgeous! I love working with cathedral length veils.



Nikki’s flowers were done by Planit Floral and Event Boutique. So gorgeous!


I love the area behind Jeff’s parents house. It’s photographer heaven!




Nikki was such a stunning bride.


My favorite shot of the day! Actually, it’s probably one of my most favorite picture I’ve ever taken. I love everything about this shot!




The ceremony


Mr. & Mrs. Leeper!


Leaving the ceremony in style!




The guys were looking great!



I love how everyone is always so happy when they see a bride and groom! Everyone was honking their horns and yelling congratulations. It always gives me goosebumps!


Nothing says, “Just married” like a surrey with fringe on top!



Love these pictures on the boat



Nikki and Jeff’s grand entrance at the Bay Club




The first dance


Love this shot with Nikki and her Dad



And here’s the sparkler shot again just because I love it so much :)































Posted in Then Comes Marriage | Tagged , , | 18 Comments

Happy Earth Day!


Happy Earth Day! There’s always more that each of us can do to help our environment. Here are a few things that I do for my business to make it as “green” as possible:

I reuse the boxes that prints are shipped in. So, you will probably be receiving your pretty pictures in an ugly, beat up box. But, it’s what’s inside that counts, right?

I use rechargeable batteries in my flashes so I’m not throwing away batteries after every wedding.

I recycle my printer cartridges.

I do as much business via email and fax so I can use less paper. And, of course, the paper that I do use is recyclable.

Not business related, but I’ve been stocking up on the reusable bags from Ralphs and Trader Joes so I don’t have to use their plastic bags.

I am going to get better at turning off all my computers every night so energy is not wasted there.

And when my lease is up on my car next March I am going to probably be leasing a Toyota Prius. As much as I would LOVE a Range Rover Sport, it will be nice to save money on gas and help the environment at the same time!

What are things that you do to keep your business and life as environmentally friendly as possible? I would love to hear ideas from everyone! Happy Earth Day everyone! Go hug a tree today!

Posted in My Life | 9 Comments