In the end... | Wedding Photographer in Burlington, NC

So honesty time... This past weekend Faces In Focus had it's first wedding (photos will be up on Wednesday). Officially unofficially. And i'm not sure if I'm supposed to tell you all that, world, but I feel I should. Because otherwise I couldn't tell you about how much I learned in such a short span of time.

The past few weddings I've photographed were very relaxed, no pressure weddings. Friends of mine who didn't mind me taking a few extra pictures. And while I loved how they turned out, I had yet to experience a complete, on my own, this-is-your-JOB-so-don't-screw-up kind of wedding.

And experience I did. Saturday was a blaze of revised schedules, guys who are wondering why I'm ruining their relaxing morning of video games with my darn camera, and several "What do I do now?" moments. It was quite a rush when I had an idea, and I was able to make it come to life. And then a disappointment when I got home and realized it wasn't as awesome as I hoped, or that'd I'd overexposed someone's shirt or face.

In the end, I was happy with my photos. Happy with the fact that I was actually able to make all the craziness in my head actually appear on camera. Happy that I had pictures I'd never taken before, that were new and different. And, in the end, I was disappointed. Because I didn't speak up when I wanted. Or direct the way I should. Or explain in a way that made them understand.

But, really, in the end, I learned. I grew. I felt it in my bones that I hadn't just accomplished something that I imagined, but I'd taken a step up in the growing process. I was learning. And next time, I'll be better. Better than before. Better than ever.

I just hope that in the times after that, I can say the same thing. Because, in the end, all the matters is that you grow.



Thank You Husband.

Yesterday was an emotional roller coaster, and somehow you managed to ride the entire ride without throwing up so I just wanted to say thank you.

Thank you for jumping up and down with me when I got excited.

Thank you for calming me down when I started freaking out.

Thank you for telling me that I would be great and to stop being nervous.

Thank you for listening to my incessant babbling about photography that occurred the rest of the night!

Thank you for not saying that I should have never got my hopes up when it all came crashing down.

Thank you for letting me cry and keep you awake to the wee hours of the morning.

Thank you for wiping my tears away because I was sad.

Thank you for reminding me that I'm worth it.

Thank you for hugging me this morning and not telling me to get over it.

Thank you for being my husband.

So yeah, thank you for all that. You're amazing. And I love you. You make me very happy.


Losing things in plain sight | Burlington, NC Wedding Photographer

I was a little remiss about what to write about today. I had a few ideas but hadn't decided on one yet. So I wrote them down. On a bright HOT pink sticky note.

Five minutes later, i reached for my sticky notes to write another idea... and it's gone. I mean literally, it's missing. I searched for another five minutes trying to figure out if I dropped it on the floor, if I was sitting on it, or if I threw it in the trashcan. Iliterally checked the trashcan. Because how often do you misplace sticky notes when you haven't MOVED from your SEAT?

I believe this happens to me at least once a day. Sometimes twice. And I never understand it. Three hours later, I'll sit down and BAM, it's right there. In front of me. Where I know I looked at least twenty times. So maybe tiny little creatures live under my desk and run around moving stuff just to mess with me! Because how else can I explain it. Unless I'm LOSING MY MIND! Which is quite possible. However I'd rather blame it on the little creatures. Because that certainly goes a long way to convincing people I'm not crazy, doesn't it?

I wish I had some moral of the story. Something like, "Don't write your life on sticky notes, it might get stolen." But frankly I'm just annoyed that I lost my post-its. Again.


P.S. By the way, I found the sticky notes. Those annoying little pests had thrown it on the floor under my desk BEHIND the trash can. Those rascals. I should call an exterminator.

To tweet or not to tweet? | Burlington, NC Wedding Photographer

THAT is the question. No, seriously, it is. I've been going back and forth with my husband Brian. 

What's the point? No one knows you!

But Brian, how will they know me if I don't give them something to know! Hello?! Duh!

Since I so obviously won that argument with my convincing rebuttal (you know, the DUH! part) I've officially started using Twitter. I mean I've been on it for quite some time, and follow some people. And currently three out of my six followers are related and haven't been on in over six months. That being said, I'm jumping in anyway!

So I'm being all fabulous like Kelly Moore Clark & Jasmine Star. Who want's to be fab with me? 

If you'd like to follow me and my sarcastic, boring self, then hop on over. And if you want to be cool and win arguments with a simple Duh! then follow me and learn the ways of the Ariana.

Yes I'm lame. So?

Happy Tweeting!


Inspired by a Star | Burlington, NC Wedding Photographer

So while I was on vacation, I wanted to accomplish one thing - read through Jasmine Star's entire blog. She's an in-CRED-ible photographer that I immediately began to admire from the very first post I read. While I'm only about halfway through (since she's been blogging since 2006!) I've already learned so much!

From a photographer's standpoint, she's smart and innovative. Her pictures continually tell the story in every shot, and have this incredible way of taking pictures that makes me feel like I can reach out and touch the people. She's quite amazing.

But what I really, really love about her? She's HILARIOUS! I mean rolling on the floor, tears streaming, can't catch my breath funny. (Which, more than likely, would probably get me bonus points in her book, simply because I think she's funny!) And we eerily have way too many thing in common. For example, she thought Wicked was the best musical by far - which it is. She has an odd obsession with Post-it Notes, and clearly agrees that they're the best thing 3M ever created. Ever. She gets together with her friends to watch America's Next Top Model, which I think is fierce.

But the biggest kicker? She's half Puerto Rican. JUST LIKE ME!! 

So while I try to get rid of the notion that we're meant to meet one day (since that's highly unlikely), I read her blog. From beginning to end. I try to absorb everything I possibly can because Jasmine Star is a photographer I want to learn from.

That's what I'm doing now, sitting in pajamas, drinking Mountain Dew, reading her blog and taking notes - on Post-Its.

And since the first thing I learned from Jasmine Star is that all posts are better with a picture - here's a snapshot of my very well written notes... 

Learning how to brand and run a business via Jasmine Star's blog. 
Notes taken from reading the entirety of Jasmine Star's blog. 

Headaches, Tears, and Wedding Dresses

So the other night, I had a massive headache. Like, can't open your left eye because it hurts so bad - that kind of massive. Meanwhile, I was supposed to be packing for my upcoming trip. Not the most thrilling of evenings.

I popped on the TV, hoping for a distraction and, lo and behold, I came across a show called Say Yes to the Dress. I don't think I've ever actually watched this show but I figure hey, dramatic girls in white dresses can't really make you feel any worse, can it?

I watched about three episodes - cried each time. I mean it's been months since my wedding, I should be over this right? WRONG! I mean who knew it could make me so happy seeing the look on a woman's face when she just knew she had the found THE dress. Whether it was tears, or that shocked silence (because she just couldn't believe THIS was IT), tears literally welled up in my eyes each time. Literally! I almost got up and put on my wedding dress, just for an excuse to wear it again. Unfortunately (or fortunately) due to my recent move, it was hanging up in a closet... behind about ten boxes. I guess I'll save that for another day.

If you've read this post, you would know how crazy last year was for me. So many weddings, so little time - you would think i'd be wedding-ed out! And yet, I still LOVE weddings. LOVE them. The details... the dresses... the love. Above all, the love. It's in everything - the guests, the bride and groom, even the cake topper! Everything means something, and I guess that why I love photographing weddings. Because how often do you really get to capture true love?

And my post just got really, really CORNY! But who cares? I'm a sucker for weddings.

And proud of it! 



P.S. and just for the sake of having a photo here's a pic of the wedding dress that sooo completes me...

Image courtesy of our wedding photographer, Marcus McDowell of Pixel Perfect Photography.

Image courtesy of our wedding photographer, Marcus McDowell of Pixel Perfect Photography.

Nikon D5000 | Burlington, NC Lifestyle Photographer

I've been a film junkie for years now. Since I learned photography with my handy-dandy Canon EOS Rebel, I only used black and white film. To me, you couldn't get much better quality than that. Digital always lost something, like the photo had somehow lost the soul, the personality I try so hard to find. Of course I know A LOT of people who would disagree, and I have to admit, I've slowly come around to the idea that digital isn't so bad and goodness gracious I better keep up with the 21st Century.

But if I was going to switch from film to digital, I knew I had to do it big. It had to be a GREAT camera with a quality that critics raved about. And I think I found it! The Nikon D5000 seems like a great transitional camera. It has some great features, but since I'm relatively new to digital, I'm going to have to study up on those. Good thing I'm a fast learner! :-) Can't wait to try out my new camera - I'll have to let you know how it goes!


Forever etched,


The year 2009... | Burlington, NC Lifestyle Photographer

A word from Ariana:

In 2009 I attended five weddings, ten bridal showers, three graduation parties, one baby shower, one graduation, and one engagement. I planned my own wedding, was a maid of honor in my best friend's (and co-photographers) wedding, was a bridesmaid in a third wedding, planned four of the ten bridal showers i attended, helped with the baby shower and two of the graduation parties, and was the sole paparazzi of the oh-so-romantic engagement.

So guess how many of these events I caught on camera? Out of all twenty incredibly special events? TEN! And they're some of the most unexpected pictures I've ever taken! The wonderful part was that since I was so closely involved most of the time, I had the glorious opportunity to always be behind the scenes. The photographs I took were things nobody else had the opportunity to see - like my best friend putting on her fake eyelashes for her wedding, or my dear friend getting her hair done. I got to be there all day, snapping away at every chance i got. 

I look back on the past year and think, what will make Faces In Focus different from everybody else? And i know what it is. It's getting to know my client, establishing a friendship, and becoming their eyes from the moment they begin that day to the moment it ends - whether it's a graduation or bridal shower, an engagement shoot or a wedding. It doesn't matter, because no one can see everything that goes on, but maybe two people can. And three people? Well that's the icing on the cake!

So what will YOU get from Faces In Focus? All the time you need, two extra pairs of eyes, and everything you didn't know you missed forever etched onto photographic paper. At a price that you won't drop your jaw at either. But that's just a minor plus.


Forever etched,