Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Sweden from the iPhone

First of all, I'm sorry my posts didn't go through to my blog while I was in Sweden.  I think my emails were too large for mobile posting.  I did try to send in posts.  If you're friends with me on facebook, then you saw some pictures that I posted while I was there.

I have so many things to share with y'all about my trip to Sweden!  It was truly one of the most amazing trips I have taken.  I'm overwhelmed with where to start, and to keep myself from rambling on I'm making a list of why this trip was so awesome!
  1. I went to Sweden!
  2. I went to Sweden with my sister (in law) Rachel!
  3. I went to Sweden with my sister, Rachel, to shoot a wedding!  Thank you Rachel for this amazing experience!  I had so much fun as your 2nd shooter!
  4. I went to Sweden with my sister, Rachel, to shoot a wedding for one of the most friendly and beautiful couples I have met, who also had amazingly friendly and fun friends that traveled all the way from the States to attend their wedding.
  5. The people of Sweden are genuinely friendly, helpful, and speak English.  Seriously, I can't get over the friendly people of Sweden.  Note to everyone reading this: next time you run into a Swedish person visiting the States, please go out of your way to be friendly and help them (it's the least we can do).  Rachel and I were talking with Josefin and Scott (the bride and groom) about this, and Scott mentioned he cringed thinking about Swedish tourists stepping off the plane in Chicago or Newark and possibly being greeted by grouchy, mean Americans.  So let's be nice to everyone!
  6. SAS (Scandinavian Airlines) is a great airline company.  The seats were comfy, the flight attendants were nice, they served free wine, and the food was great!  
  7. Stockholm is a beautiful city with clean streets, a clean subway, very nice taxi cars with nice taxi drives, and friendly bus drivers that go out of their way to help tourists.
  8. Old Town (Gamla Stan) is a beautiful part of Stockholm with old, narrow cobble stone streets [which makes for a pretty setting to take pictures of each other....yes Rachel and I held a mini photo session for each other :) ]
  9. In the summertime, Stockholm gets about 20 hours of daylight.  The sunset takes a couple of hours, it's very beautiful and with dramatic clouds.  Even at midnight, it wasn't pitch black outside. 
  10. Rachel was an amazing travel partner - we had a blast hanging out together for 8 straight days.  You know it's a good sign when on the last leg of our trip (our flight from Newark to Raleigh), we were bummed that we weren't sitting beside each other on the plane. 
  11. Sweden makes for a very visual stimulating experience - we took A TON of pictures!  Granted we were photographing a wedding, but even without the wedding festivities we would have taken a lot of pictures.
So now onto pictures.  I haven't sorted through the TONS of photos yet, so I'm sharing my iPhone pictures with you first.  Some of these are straight out of the iPhone camera and some are edited with the Instagram App.

The much needed cafe latte on the day of our arrival.  We landed at 7:30am and didn't sleep much on the plane.  Our hotel room wasn't ready until after lunch.  So we drank a huge cup of caffeine and hit the streets of Stockholm exploring.  What's funny is we did the same walk on Sunday that we made on Tuesday when we were extremely tired and jet-lagged.  On Tuesday we would have told you we walked 2 miles both ways, but in reality it was less than mile (one way, 1.6 miles round trip walking).

The House of Parliament which is right by one of the bridges into Gamla Stan.  Stockholm is made up of 14 islands, so there are a lot of bridges, and water is always near you.

 Another cafe latte (this was a popular order for Rachel and me), paired with a chocolate mousse cake for me of course, and blueberry pie with the infamous Swedish Vanilla Sauce (now that I think about it, Vanilla Sauce should be on the numbered list on one of the great things about our trip).  Vanilla Sauce is fabulous (yes I like a dessert item that isn't chocolate!).  You can top off any dessert with vanilla sauce, and you can put it in your coffee (I'm not sure that its use as a coffee creamer is the popular choice for the Swedish, but it was good!).

The views from South Island (Sodermalm) were incredible!  This island was one of my favs.

On South Island, there are more hills, and at times you found yourself eye level with roof tops or in this case a church steeple.  Very cool!

Another View from South Island

Stunning, on South Island

I told you cafe lattes were an everyday habit for Rachel and me (sometimes twice a day).  The creative heart cafe lattes were served to us at the Modern Art Museum.  This was our only "dud" of the trip.  It was the only rainy day.  The rain ruined our outdoor plans so we re-grouped at the Art Museum.  Unfortunately, the exhibits they had on display were depressing and disturbing - Rachel and I agreed they were definitely not inspiring!  If the exhibits would have been different it is a great museum. Its lunch cafe has great views of Stockholm by the water.

 The view from our room at Sodertuna Slott (the castle where the wedding took place).

Axe Throwing to start the wedding day!  Josefin, the bride, hit the target on her first try!

More views of Stockholm

Chocolate Balls...Yummy!  They reminded me of the no-bake chocolate and oat cookies, and the white stuff on the outside is like oversized sprinkles.  They had different types of chocolate balls, but I only tried one other type.  As you can see they are pretty big, and the goal of the trip wasn't to gain 10 pounds, it would have been hard work to try all the different types.

I just thought this was pretty with the ivy was growing on the buildings.

This was around 11:30pm on our last night in Stockholm.  Rachel and I enjoyed a nice long walk back to our hotel with Josefin and Scott, and as always the views were incredible and the company was too!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

We're here!!

Our hotel is beautiful! Although we can't check in for another couple of hours. Stockholm is beautiful! The buildings are colorful and so far nice weather and I'm not cold!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Leaving on a BIG plane

Headed to Sweden!

Last August, my sister in law asked me to shoot a wedding in Sweden with her. How could I say no to that?! We're flying out today! It looks like we're staying for a few months but we're only gone for a week.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Karsyn & Kamryn: a slideshow

Check out these cuties!  These girls have the most gorgeous blue eyes.  Ending at the pool was really fun too - it eliminated any forced, fake smile that Karsyn has now learned.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Beautiful Sisters

Hello blog family, if you have been reading my blog for a while then you are familiar with the Rose Family.  I photographed their daughter Karsyn for her 1st and 2nd birthdays, and this year, her 1 year old sister Kamryn joined in on the fun.  They are beautiful little girls with 2 completely different personalities.  Stay tuned for the 2nd post on these cuties, where we ended the session at their awesome neighborhood pool where they have an amazing kiddie pool.

Here is Kamryn at age 1, she's just a wee little baby, so petite!  Karsyn definitely had the baby rolls at age 1, but no Kamryn.  

Here is Karsyn, she will turn 3 in July.  Her smile will melt your heart!  Well her real smile will melt your heart, she's at the age when you ask her to smile it doesn't look anything like a smile, don't worry I'll show you!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Brown Family

Okay, I promised a full post on the Brown Family, here it is!  This is my cuz's family (you must say that in a redneck accent when reading that, that would make Donny (my cousin) proud).  They have a beautiful home on Lake Wylie, and it made for a great location for family pictures!  I can't believe how much Olivia and Sydney have grown up!  Olivia loves posing for the camera, and I didn't know she would be my toughest critic for this session.  Sydney thankfully is over her "avoid eye contact with camera" stage, but keeping her still for that family picture is like trying to keep a bucket with holes full of water.  Here they are...all grown up, Olivia on left at age 7, and Sydney on right at age 5.

This is everyone's favorite family picture of the day, it is awesome!

Well this might be Donny's favorite picture, because this was his idea of a great family photo :)

I thought this was cute how tickled Olivia and Donny got over jokingly pushing each other over the edge of the deck railing into the water.

This is a cute picture of Amber and Sydney.  What's cute is Sydney's "I'm innocent" look - this was seconds after the silly face picture that I featured on my Contest Blog entry.  I read a good article the other day by my wedding photographer, Tamara Lackey.  She was talking about how important "the Mom" is in the role of booking and organizing a family photo session.  So a huge thank you goes out to Amber and all of the other moms that put the work into getting a family picture!  

Here is Olivia working the camera; she also picked the location and the pose.

And here is wild thing Sydney.  I will never forget this moment of Sydney flying up the driveway (clear the roads in 11 years when she gets her license) in her 4-wheeler, "Saving the Day" by saving the turtle from Brody, the puppy.  Yes that is the turtle in the brown paper bag, yes she spontaneously held that turtle high and proud, and yes she was going really fast even though you can't tell from the picture (I told y'all they could have scared the turtle to death!).

I also told you, she doesn't stay still for long....

And last but not least, you can't leave out Champy, their oldie goldie retreiver.