FAQ: What is an Engagement Trailer?

For this week's FAQ post, I'm tackling a topic near and dear to my heart, our Engagement Trailers!  Perhaps you've seen these short videos that accompany our engagement shoots and wonder what they're all about?  Wonder no more!

1 - What is a Faces in Focus Engagement Trailer?

A Faces in Focus Engagement Trailer is a short video that comes with every single engagement session we shoot.  Set to music that fits our couple and around 2-5 minutes long, it's a short preview of the love and excitement surrounding the big day "coming soon".

2 - Why call it a trailer?

Ever gone to see a movie at the theatre and sat through a trailer or two (or 10 it seems like nowadays)?  Same idea with our trailers, a short video to get you excited for the big event!

3 - How can I get one?

Our Engagement Trailers are complimentary with each and every engagement session you book with Faces in Focus.

4 - Who can I share it with?

Everyone!  We use the video-sharing service Vimeo for our videos, so you can easily share, post, tweet, link, email, text... you get the idea.  Part of the fun of getting engaged is sharing your love for each other with all your friends and family and our photos and Engagement Trailer let you do just that.

5 - You got any examples?

Sure we do, check some out!




6 - How do I schedule one?

Click HERE to fill out our form and schedule your own engagement session and trailer! We can't wait to hear from you!



Face to Face: How to Plan Your Portrait Session Outfit

This past weekend, Daylights Savings Time ended. I turned the clocks back, hopped on the couch, excited that I'd get an extra hour of sleep. I even went to bed at a reasonable hour to actually ENJOY it. And then... I woke up at 6AM, approximately 1.5 hours sooner than I planned. I mean seriously ya'll? The one year I didn't waste my Daylight Savings Time running around til 2AM, using up that precious hour, and I wake up EARLY?

The irony.

BUT nevertheless I did get a few things accomplished so not all was lost. In fact I edited an entire session from Saturday, and my goodness if these guys didn't look absolutely adorable! Which brings me to my post today (5 points for a seamless segue!) - how to plan for your portrait session!

This video includes some tips about:

  1. Selecting the style for your session.

  2. Finding the right location for your style.

  3. Planning your outfits for any weather.


Now this is our very FIRST video, and we plan on making lots and lots of little tweaks, but we appreciate any comments, or suggestions! And if you have any questions you'd like us to answer, leave them in the comment box below!

Thanks! :)


FAQ Friday : Why should I buy an album?

I thought I would touch on this topic today for a couple of reasons. One reason is because i think albums are a beautiful, simple, long-lasting way of collecting your memories and i absolutely love them. Two being because I often find myself explaining the beauty and necessity of an album to clients because, as mentioned in reason one, I absolutely love them!

Here are my top three reasons for why an album is an awesome investment.

1. Instead of a boring album filled with 4x6s, you get a story telling book filled with images.

2. You can get them in smaller sizes like 4x4 or 8x8, perfect for bringing with you to show family and friends anytime. Ideal for new mommies, newlyweds, or families!

3. You're guaranteed a good quality, durable album that will last much longer than prints from your local drugstore.

I recently ordered an album for the mother/daughter session I did last November (here). It was a perfect collection of the best 30 photos in a clean, high quality album. The client loved it and I couldn't have been more happy with the results.

The full spread pages are usually my favorite. They just stand out so well!

And it's super easy to add more images - why order ONE 4x6 or 8x10 when you can have an album filled with all the photos?

FAQ Friday: Macro Mode and Daylight

I love Facebook. Not so much for personal use anymore, but it is truly a great way to connect with you (i.e. the WORLD). It's a good way for me to update you on the latest going-ons, to answer questions, and to give you a glimpse into the quirkiness (is that a word?) that is me and Faces in Focus.

This week on the Faces In Focus Photography Page, I asked you guys if you had any questions about photography that you'd like me to answer. These are simply my opinions, thoughts, and personal knowledge on the topic, of course, but if they help anyone at all, then great!


Ay Vee asked, "What are your favorite tips for shooting in macro mode?"

Personally, I tend to keep my camera in Manual mode all the time. It lets me control all of my settings and with a macro lens, I can get the effect I so desire. But if you're using a DSLR, OR a point-and-shoot camera, Macro mode is great for getting those gorgeous shots, right up close. To get the best photographs in that mode, the three things I would try to remember most is:

1. Composition - In such an up close, detailed mode, it's important to know where the focus point is and to learn some basic rules to guide you, such as the rule of thirds. A picture of a flower is beautiful. A picture of a flower from a different angle or with only certain sections of the subject in the frame is unique and different and even more intriguing!

2. Good Light - In macro mode, it's preferable not to use flash, in my opinion and instead try to use natural light to illuminate the subject.

3. Aperture - If you have the ability to change your aperture, this is a great way to make your pictures pop. The lower the number (f-stop) the blurrier the background, which makes your images and subject sharper and bolder.

You would be surprised to know how much control you can have even with a point and shoot. Playing with your settings, such as aperture, can make a big difference!


Trisha asked, "For outside shoots, what's the best time of day?"

Early in the day, after the sun rises and late in the evening, just before sunset, are my two FAVORITE times for photographs. The light is soft and glowy, ideal lighting. It's the most romantic time of day and I certainly try to schedule sessions later in the day whenever I can!  That's how you get pictures like these...


Hope this helps, and if not, let me know! If you have any more questions, certainly feel free to ask in the comments section below or on Facebook. I'll definitly attempt to answer them on another FAQ Friday post!


FAQ: Second Shooting

For any photographer, the only way to truly improve is by practicing. Over and over and over again. Practicing in this lighting, that lighting, this angle, that angle. Without trying things from every perspective, it's really quite hard to understand why the camera works the way it does. But while that may be great for improving your skill and know-how, it won't necessarily help you handle a wedding.

I've heard people say that wedding photography is one of the hardest types of photography. Why? There are so very many facets to it- the family, the details, the bride herself. You don't want to miss anything. On top of that, you've got a million chances for something to go wrong. Can you stay on top of it all?

The best way to truly grasp how a wedding works and how to handle any obstacle is by photographing weddings yourself. Of course, booking a wedding with little to no experience is pretty difficult to do,but there are plenty of photographers in the area and sometimes, with a little courage and resilience you can get someone to throw you a bone and let you assist them. Here are a few tips I've learned from second shooting myself.

1. Be Courageous

My best friend and I started Faces in Focus Photography unofficially in 2010 with a few weddings under my belt, some basic training and a strong desire to succeed. By 2011, I had realized something - I could be awesome. I could be amazing, even. But not at the rate I was going. I had to do more, be more, try more. After some encouragement from an amazing online forum of photographers, I got courageous and began researching my local photogs. I wanted to see what they did and what wonderful things they could teach me - if they were willing. I took time out each day, perusing websites and blogs. Then I wrote heartfelt, personal emails to each and every one. I told them what I admired about them, how beautiful their work was. And then asked them to have coffee. That was it. I sent about 15 different, personalized emails. Few responded at all. But one surprised me. She was sweet enough to not just invite me over to talk, she showed me photo-shop tips, critiqued my work and even invited me over again a couple weeks later! Through her I met other local photographers, and have had the privilege of building friendships with many of them. This month I'll have had the privilege to second shoot for two incredible people.

So be courageous. Take a risk. The worst thing they can do is say No, right?

2. Be Professional

If any of you reading knows me in person, I'm kind of a pipsqueak. I'm about five feet tall and my voice makes me sound like I should be in the Minnie Mouse club. So for me personally, I find it super important to walk tall, and look fabulous pretty much everywhere I go! If I carry myself well, I'll look a lot less like a middle schooler! :) Essentially I want people to feel confidence in me every aspect, from the way I dress to how I assist.

3. You Work for Them, Not You

In this transitory stage of building my own business, I have to remember that if I want the opportunity to assist, I need to keep in kind who I'm helping. If you're in it to simply build your portfolio and your business, then that's not really fair to the person taking a chance on you, is it? I know that I'm willing to carry any light stand or bag, hand out as many of the main shooters business cards that are necessary and crawl through any field if I have to. Because isn't that how you show your appreciation? I mean really and truly? You might miss an amazing shot right then but that main shooter will be happy and the next time, she might let you tag along again. And THEN maybe you'll get the shot. In the end you'll have something better than portfolio material - trust. And friendship.

4. Know the Etiquette

This will make or break your relationship. Things to remember - DON'T hand out your business cards. DONT tag their clients on Facebook. ASK before posting or sharing 2nd shooter photos that reveal the client. If all else fails, or if you're unsure - have a CONTRACT. These may seem minor or unimportant but remember point #3 -you work for them. That means full support and honesty. It will do you a world of good.

5. Be Humble

These photographers you'll meet and work with, many of them will know things you don't. They'll understand why some photos turn out wrong. So when they critique you - CHERISH IT. Bundle those words of wisdom in your arms and squeeze them tight. Have them engraved on a plaque. Or, in a more realistic manner, write it down. Don't get discouraged or upset. Take it with a smile and apply. That is how you'll truly grow!

6. Have Fun!!

Last weekend, I was a third shooter and I was so nervous. I didn't know what to expect. What if I messed something up or got in the way? What if all my pictures came out terrible?! I was nervous.

But for two hours before the wedding, I laughed, cracked jokes, dodged tornadoes, and eventually,I wasn't really nervous anymore. Becki and Judy were constant sources of advice, willing to take free moments to teach me this or that. They let me try new things, shared their equipment, and gave me tons of opportunities to build my portfolio as well. After 12 hours I was exhausted, and yet so exhilarated! I had learned much more than I already knew and had had a blast doing it! It was amazing. I remembered that, yes, I COULD be awesome. Amazing even. And I was doing things right.

I hope this helps. Obviously I'm not a know all on second shooting, but I hope this helps at least one person out there!

Thanks for reading!


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FAQ : What Should I Wear?

I remember getting engaged and taking our engagement pics. This essentially involved ransacking my closet trying to find the "perfect outfit." Thankfully, I have a pretty style savvy mother who managed to dress both me and Brian in three adorable outfits. Crisis averted.

Unfortunately, I can't loan out my mom, but I can give some pointers I learned from both her and the world wide web.

1. Be comfortable so you can be confident.

I am by no means camera shy, but I am fully aware that many people are. While I will do my best to make you feel comfortable,I think it is essential that you wear something that you're comforable in. Why? Ever wear that strapless bra with that super cute dress but spent the entire night adjusting? What about those five inch killer stilettos that cut off the blood flow to your pinky toes? Were you feeling confident. Uh. No. 

Bottom line - wear that super cute outfit. But if you know you can't wear five inch heels without going bow-legged or breaking a heel, come up with a backup outfit. 

***Bonus Confidence Tip: Get your makeup/hair done. I know we can do it ourselves but it really goes a looooooong way to make you feel beautiful and confident.***

Dress your best! - Burlington NC Portrait Photographer

2. Complement, don't duplicate!

It's not a requirement to match but it does give a nice flow and feeling of unity to any session. However there are many ways to match. The four year old twin girls look... or the subtle way of complementing each other. I suggest the second one! That means if ladies are puting on that sexy LBD, guys should match the style and wear something dressy as well. Jeans and a t-shirt just don't work with red stilettos and a black dress. On the flip side, sneakers, and boy shorts don't go with that four-piece tux.

You catch my drift.

Color-wise, if you're going to wear the same colors, stick to neutrals. If not, remember to complement - brown and green, black & white, etc. There are a million color combinations. Just try to stick to similar tones.

Complement each other - Burlington NC Family Photographer

3. Know your body.

While I know guys have it easy (you lucky dogs!) we chicas, well, don't. We have to worry about the shoes, the hair, the jewelry AND the outfit. And that's okay because we've been doing it since forever. However, remember to do one thing - know your body.

No matter what you look like, you already know what looks good on you, what your flaws are, and your problem spots. We all have them and hate them. When you get your proofs, that's where you'll look first. So hide them. Avoid your trouble areas and wear clothes that complement your best features. 

Don't wear baggy clothes - they WILL make you look bigger. Black is slimming - so it's usually a good choice. play up your strong suits. Accentuate them and they'll look amazing on camera.

4. Bring extra clothes and accessorize.

An extra outfit or two can't hurt - trust me. You may want a second opinion or to change if we go to a different location. If we sit on the grass, you may get dirty, so an extra dress or pair of pants could really come in handy. I'm a heels girl so by all means wear them. Rock them. But be smart and bring a pair of flats for between locations, or for just walking around.

Also accessorize. Especially if they're great definitions of your love and your personality. I know it's all about the ring (for e-sessions) but scarves, earrings, hats - they make great pops of color and add personality to the picture. Ditto for the guys.

One of my favorite examples below - guess what her name is? And yes it has EVERYTHING to do with the necklace!

Accessorize! - Burlington NC Engagement Photographer

I'll probably do a follow up post for families and such, but this covers the basics. For a few more pointers, feel free to check out this article from Dallas photographer, Stacy Reeves. She knows how to tell it like it is. Or pop me an email below and just ask! I'll do the best I can to help!

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FAQ : Online Proofing

Since I started this business, do you know what has become the hardest part on the business side of things? Proofing & ordering. I think I made it as complicated as humanly possible!! I was asking for orders by email with nothing but a proofing gallery and order numbers. Money had to be mailed or delivered in person. It was just so overly... complicated! 

But now? Not so much.

I've finally made it easier, with a new online proofing system - http://proofs.facesinfocusphotography.com. All sessions will be posted there with passwords. You'll get reminders every fifteen days or so. Orders can be placed online, paid online, and received at your front door in a matter of 3-4 weeks! If you're local, I've even included an "In-Person Pick Up" option.

Hopefully this will make orders for future (and past) clients a whole lot easier. Which is OBVIOUSLY what I want for everyone. Complicated is soooo last year. :)


The Other Side of Ariana

I've been battling a cold this week. So far this cold is winning. I may have overdosed on DayQuil and NyQuil a bit but it's allll good. I seriously need some deep deep rest and to stay in a bed for a good 24 hours with some soup and Netflix. In the meantime, however, I worked on a few cool projects. 

I actually got a little arts and craftsy for some of my final packages! After packaging some proofs for a couple clients, I got creative with it and I really like how they turned out! 

Both clients LOVED it so I'm pretty sure this is the way i'll be doing things from now on!

Metal container wrapped with green and black and white swirl ribbon|Burlington NC Family Photographer

The inside is filled with black tissue paper. The photos are wrapped with a green ribbon, and CD's are packaged with my green and black ribbons - both of which I think completely match my brand and logo!

Ribbon-wrapped photos and packaged CDs by Burlington NC Wedding Photographer

Packaging by a North Carolina Lifestyle Photographer

And just to put a little flair, I try to include something small and personal from me. For one client it was rings. For my other client, I decorated the outside of the box with the initials. 

Antique rings given as gift from Faces In Focus Photography

Then they're packaged all neat and pretty on the inside.

Packaging supplies from Michaels and put together by North Carolina Photographer

Final Product packaged by Burlington NC Wedding Photographer

And that's it! My clients have really loved it so far and I plan on working on it until it's absolutely perfect!!

Thanks for reading!


2010... in Focus.

It's been a year. A year of ups and downs. A year of striving for clients and striving to be a better photographer. A year of budgets and pricing and branding and redoing websites. A year.

I think I've grown A LOT as a photographer over the past few months. My technique, my understanding, and even my style. I better understand myself and I wanted to take some time to review my favorites from the past year with you guys!

Jessica & Aaron's Greensboro, NC Wedding

Burlington NC Wedding Photographer

Burlington NC Wedding Photographer

The Coxes Mebane, NC Family Session

Burlington NC Family Photographer

Burlington NC Family Photographer

Lisa's Lake Mackintosh Portrait Session

Burlington NC Portrait Photographer

Sarisa & Justin's Henderson, NC Encore Session


Burlington NC Wedding Photographer

Burlington NC Wedding Photographer

Burlington NC Wedding Photographer

Jason & Leah's Alamance Arts Council Anniversary Celebration

Burlington NC Family Photographer

Burlington NC Family Photographer

Kasie & Ryan's Elon, NC Maternity Session

Burlington NC Family Photographer

Burlington NC Family Photographer

Peter & Arwen's Elon University Engagement Session

Burlington NC Wedding Photographer

Burlington NC Wedding Photographer

Burlington NC Wedding Photographer

Burlington NC Wedding Photographer

The White's Elon, NC Family Session

Burlington NC Family Photographer


Burlington NC Family Photographer

Trish & Toyoko's Lake Mackintosh Family Session

Burlington NC Family Photographer

Burlington NC Family Photographer


The Russo's Burlington, NC Newborn Session

Burlington NC Family Photographer

Burlington NC Family Photographer

Burlington NC Family Photographer

It's been a good year. A really good year. I can't wait to see what next year brings! Oh and be sure to tune in Thursday - that big announcement I've been talking about? It'll be announced that day. Make sure you stop by and see what's happening! :)

~ Ariana

FAQ: What I've Learned So Far

This is Faces In Focus Photography's first year. I can honestly say that I've taken more pictures this year than any other year in my life! But when you take that many photos you learn. Quickly. What not to do. What doesn't work. How to customize the settings on your camera. How to edit. How to use the available light. How to... well, you get it.

You learn. A lot.

In a couple days, I'll be doing a "2010...in Focus" review post. As I've looked through those pictures, I've seen changes in my technique and use of light. 

For example, our first Faces in Focus session ever was the of the Cox family back in June. That day I took this photo of oh-so-adorable Josiah.

While my favorite picture of that session by far, it would have benefited quite a bit from being backlit , with more light on his face, and having a bit more breathing room for cropping. Any crop not in a 2x3 ratio would pretty much ruin the aesthetic of the photo.

I didn't quite grasp the concept of back lighting though, so I practiced. In September, I took this picture.

I LOVE this. No it's not perfectly exposed or flawless but I had a glimpse into the kind of pics I wanted to take and what feeling I wanted to evoke.

My latest session that was outdoors was Trish & Toyoko's, where I took this picture.

This picture makes me proud. Again, I'm not proclaiming that it's perfect or that anyone else should do it like I do. What I'm saying is that when I took this picture, I intentionally illumitated the background of the photo creating a glowing halo effect. The way they look gives off an almost editorial feel. And best of all, they look beautiful.

THIS is the kind of picture i want to take. The style I want to define me. The feeling I want to evoke.

I've got a long way to go. But i'm learning. And I can't wait to try new and more challenging lighting situations. Because how else will I learn?!

Thanks for reading!


FAQ: Prints

I'm so excited to tell you all what I've been working on this past week or so... PRINTS!

Seriously I have been researching companies, looking at samples, determining costs, all so we can present you with the best and prettiest of everything!

One of the first things I'm excited about are the Fuji Deep Matte Finish prints. No matter what size prints you buy, they'll be on a great quality paper but with your larger prints (11x14 and up) they will have an additional stunning finish that I can't even quite describe. It's not shiny like most prints. Instead, it's a soft elegant look. It looks great on a wall OR in an album (or in a tree, or in a box, or with green eggs and ham!!). Any photographs you order from us will be top of the line and I'm really happy to be able to present such a beautiful quality print.

Another thing we'll be offering soon - METAL PRINTS. No seriously. Me.Tal. Like, you know, what your car is made out of (i think...)! Hehe I don't quite know who came up with this unique concept, but they. are. Stunning! Vibrant colors on a very unique, edgy, metal background. And there are so many ways to hang them! It's up to you of course, but you can choose to have them "float" off the wall (that's the automatic choice if you don't say otherwise by the way). Or we can have them drill holes in it and hang it that way. And the coolest part? They even come in CIRCLES and OVALS! I think they're the coolest thing since sliced bread. (And wow, I'm pretty sure I lost all cool points by saying that!)


(***Pictures above and below borrowed from vendor website. Only shown for limited time, until I get my samples in the mail!!)

Along with the metal prints, we'll be offering very unique float mounts as well. They too seem to "float" off the walls and are a unique and less expensive alternative to the canvas and gallery wraps.

Anyway I just thought I would share. All of these items are unique, modern, and still overwhelmingly elegant. They're the ideal way to show off your prints and I hope you guys certainly try them out. Trust me, NOBODY is going to miss your gorgeous faces on these stunning items. It's totally win-win!!

Thanks for reading!


FAQ : The Final Product

I've been blogging for months now. I think it's time I start answering some of those questions many of you will probably ask anyway. So I'm officially starting a new segment called FAQ Friday where I'll answer some commonly asked questions. Some may be obvious, others more obscure, but all are in an effort to help you understand Faces In Focus, how we operate, and how hard we want to make you happy. So here goes!


I'm a strong believer in the fact that your last impression is almost as important as your first. So we take great care to provide the best final product we can. The best quality prints. Usually a handwritten note. And the prettiest possible packaging we can do! 

We sent off several products recently. Albums, CDs, etc. And in doing so, we started to hone in on what our brand really is, what it should look like, and how it should feel. In the meantime we're currently working on a logo that brings it all together.

So in case you're wondering what you'll be getting in the mail long after your session is over, here's an idea...

FAQ : Wedding Albums | Renaissance

There are a lot of facets to photography that go far beyond taking a photo. There is the actually understanding of the camera itself, then lighting, post-processing, and then final products - prints, albums, etc. And that's barely scratching the surface. But it's all a part of what makes up "photography." 

So it was no surprise when Kristi asked me to redesign her wedding album. For almost seven years she has held on to an album she hated. As in hated. The binding had fallen off, the mats were slipped into stiff plastic pages, and the cover was totally old-fashioned. The poor album wasn't Kristi's style at all and despite holding beautiful pictures, it was not what was expected and was disappointing. It was everything she never wanted.

Gold gilded edges - Burlington NC Lifestyle Photographer

Old fashioned album - Burlington NC Lifestyle Photographer

A couple of weeks ago, Jeremy & Kristi celebrated their 7th wedding anniversary. I was so happy to be able to give them their gorgeous new album right around this time.

I looked into a lot of album companies. Kristi had printed photos in a matted album, so I had to find a specific album to match what we were working with. 

Ultimately Renaissance Albums provided exactly what I needed. Their Library-Bound leather albums were beautiful. The sturdy mats give a clean, finished look. Once it was all put together, I had the stunning, timeless, high-quality album that Kristi wanted.

Library bound leather album - Burlington NC Lifestyle Photographer


Silver gilded edges - Burlington Lifestyle Photographer


Black matted album - Burlington Lifestyle Photographer


Renaissance Albums - Burlington Lifestyle Photographer


Renaissance Albums - Burlington Lifestyle Photographer


Black Leather album - Burlington Lifestyle Photographer

If your wedding album is falling apart, there are plenty of ways to update it. Email us at facesinfocus@ymail.com for a price quote!

Happy Anniversary Kristi & Jeremy!



Over the course of the past few days, there’s been an incredible online course from photographer Jasmine Star. She spent several days enlightening us to what she does. It was amazing and while my hand is cramped into writing position from all the notes and my husband has almost banned the name "Jasmine Star" (and also J*, Jasmine, and the words "ghetto fabulous") out of our home, it was well worth it!

The one thing that I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, especially as I’m defining myself as a photographer, is something she assigned all of her students. They were asked to think of three words that defined their style as a photographer.

I’ve been considering this a lot. What three words do I want to come across in my photos? Here’s what I came up with…


I’m one of those girls who cry during television shows and chick-flicks. I can’t watch A Walk to Remember without a box of tissues. I’m just that corny. And I LOVE IT! I love my inability to hold back tears during a significantly emotional moment in Grey’s Anatomy. So when I think about myself as a photographer, I want my pictures to evoke the same emotion. I want my brides and friends to look at the photo and say, “Look how in love they are!” As I grow as a photographer, this is one word that I will use to inspire me, and I would hope it would be reflected in the way I pose them, the way they look at each other, and in the way I capture them with my camera.


My husband and I are totally into PDA. And not the gross make-out-in-public kind of PDA! The hold hands, kiss on the cheek, always hugging kind. In photos, I really want people to see the personality and love between whomever I’m photographing. Looking back through my portfolio, I have a tendency to eliminate any negative space. I’m up close and focused on that smile of happiness unseen by anyone else but me. While I still need to work on incorporating more of my surroundings in a flattering way and using light and landscape to my advantage, I don’t necessarily want to stop getting up close and personal. I want to capture raw emotion at its finest.


I think that the wedding day is the one day every woman should be allowed to be totally conceited and look in the mirror and say, “I look fantastic!” When I look back on MY wedding day and at the pictures my photographer took of me, I get all giddy and can’t help but say, “Look how great I look! I’m adorable!” And while that’s totally conceited and I really am not that self confident, that day, I was. That day, I was gorgeous and I was gorgeous for me and for my husband and that was all that mattered. A lot of people won’t like your gown. Others won’t like your hairpiece or veil. And still others will think your makeup could have been better. But that shouldn’t matter and I want every bride I ever photograph to look at her photos and every time get giddy and say, “I looked so beautiful.”

So those are my three words. Those are the words that inspire me, that I look for, and that I want each photo to convey. Those are the words that I would hope the bride who hires me would connect with too.

Thanks for reading! Have a wonderful week!


P.S. I know you guys are just DYING to see photos of my Shelby, like I promised, but I have been soooo busy. But I plan to put photos up of her on Thursday so don’t worry!

And here’s a sneak peek of this past weekend’s event!

Hi, I'm Ariana and I'm a...

Don't finish that sentence.

So Sarah and I got together last night and had one of our infamous brainstorming session and an interesting topic came up. What kind of photographers were we? Yes we technically offer pretty much everything, but when it's all said and done, if there was only one field left in the entire world to be a part of, which would either of us want it to be?

While we differed in our choices (i'm all about the romance, she's all about the togetherness of family) I found it interesting how we work together. We've done a few sessions in the past couple of months (ranging on both ends of the spectrum) where I was utterly amazed at how easy it was to work beside her. We never tripped over each other or had to question who was directing. While one was adjusting or thinking, the other easily took over the session and continued the flow. It was fascinating that the way we communicate to each other in our every day lives continued even when we are working.

Now don't get me wrong, I never expected us NOT to be able to work together. I just am surprised at just how WELL we do.

But we still went back to that pivotal question. What kind of photographers were we? And it came down to this.

Hi, I'm Ariana, and I'm a wedding and lifestyle photographer. And my best friend? She's Sarah, and she's a family and portrait photographer.

And that's Faces in Focus.

I think I just came up with our new tagline.

Thanks for reading!

~ Ariana


And for the sake of having a picture, here's a picture of Shelby (left) & Bentley (right). They're brother & sister. Bentley lives with Sarah and Shelby is my baby girl. They both think they are human and at the time being are satisifying our desire to have children! :)

Shih Tzu Dogs - Burlington Portrait Photographer

Don't Rain on My Parade

If you're a Glee fan, you'll likely remember this song from sectionals. Here are a few lyrics.

Don't tell me not to live, just sit and putter 
Life's candy and the sun's a ball of butter 
Don't bring around a cloud to rain on my parade 

What, you ask, is the point? (or more accurately, why in the world is she talking about GLEE?!)

The point is... RAIN. And weddings. And rain on wedding days. And how to deal. :)

I think one question that comes up for a lot of brides is what happens if it rains. How will we take pictures? Will it mess up my hair or dress? How will it affect my schedule?

It rained on my wedding day. And surprisingly, I had never actually considered that it might do that! In my mind, I just figured that it wouldn't happen, because that would be inconvenient and unfair. However, it did. And I realized, I'm really not that important! Not to the clouds anyway! But here are a couple things I learned.

1.Take pictures outside anyway - it's a great opportunity to rock a black umbrella!

Just picture it - stunning white dress, bold black umbrella, brilliant greenery behind you... it's the ideal picture! And in case your mental camera is out of batteries, here's how it looks:

Marcus MacDowell - Perfect Pixel Photography

This turned out to be one of my favorite photos, along with the rest of the umbrella pictures. So be bold girls! 

 2. Your dress is incredibly resilient!

My incredible friend, Shanna, drove us around that crazy day and had the brilliant forethought to carry out a HUGE pink blanket. We used this to protect my dress from even touching the ground and getting mud or dirt on it. Great right? But hello?! It's RAINING. My dress is getting WET. Oh em Gee. Yes, I was that dramatic. But girls, I'm happy to say that my dress did not fall apart, melt, or come apart at the seams. However my dress was satin, so if your dress is taffeta or chiffon, you may want to consult your bridal consultant, just in case. :)

3. The rain enhances a gorgeous background!

And by that I mean, when everything is wet, it shines. And when it shines, those colors are so much more brilliant in your photos, as shown below.

Marcus McDowell - Perfect Pixel Photography

The pavement was a more brilliant black, the green was much more vibrant and really enhanced the subjects of the photos, making the groomsmen truly stand out. 

So while rain is a formidable opponent and may delay things just a bit, it can be worked out, I promise. Hair can be retouched, makeup can be reapplied. Girls, the ONLY one who can rain on your parade... is you. So be fierce, rock it, and have the time of your life. It's your WEDDING day!

Enjoy it!