Tianjing and Jared got married (sneak peek)!!!!

Hey everyone! Long time no see! Hopefully I’ll have some time to update you on all the fun going on in my life but for today, let’s celebrate my two dear friends Tianjing and Jared who got married last weekend at the Chapel at Red Rocks here in Colorado. It was a beautiful wedding on a beautiful day (the rain waited until we were safely inside for the reception) and I had the honor of being their photographer (along with my friend Jem!). Having a second photographer made all the difference compared to the first wedding I photographed where I was the sole photographer. I feel like Jem and I just waltzed in and took control of the situation by taking awesome pictures. I got to be extra bossy – not only did I tell Tianjing and Jared what to do, but I also requested shots from Jem too (we split up the work so that we had different lenses on our cameras to get a wide variety of shots without having any downtime to change lenses). Plus it was a lot of fun to be working with someone instead of just running the show by myself!

Aaaaaaanyway, let’s talk about the bride and groom! I’ve known Tianjing since the first week of our graduate program here in Colorado. Tianjing showed up late so she missed the annoying 2.5 weeks of orientation that we all had to go through but we were fast friends anyway – I think it was our combined love of eating and being silly that did the trick. Ever since then, we’ve been getting together randomly to cook or go out for delicious food (one example is our trip to Aspen)! One day when we bumped into each other in the Cell Culture Facility at school, Tianjing told me she’d met a guy…. As she told me more and more about him, I knew he had to be someone special and I couldn’t wait to meet him! I finally did and as I sat across the table from Tianjing and Jared at a Korean BBQ place, I couldn’t believe how perfect they were for each other. I had this thought over and over again pretty much every time we hung out after that and it was definitely at the forefront of my mind on their wedding day.

I truly enjoyed taking your pictures, guys. It was so fun capturing all the giggles, smiles, and kisses that made up your wedding day. I wish you two all the happiness in the world. :) Stay tuned for a deluge of pictures!

That’s it for your sneak peek, folks! I hope you enjoyed them. What’s that? You want just onnnneeee more? Okay….

Esther and Felix are getting married this year!

Hellooooo world! It’s been forever since I posted. But what a good time to start posting again when I have Esther’s and Felix’s engagement pictures to show you! We had an eventful February weatherwise – it was the warmest February on record and also the snowiest! How does that even happen?! Anyway, all that snow made for a beautiful backdrop to take pictures with Esther and Felix! I’ve never had snow around for engagement pictures and it turns out that it’s really fun! We had some snowball fights, Felix stomped out their wedding date into the snow, and they made some snow angels together. It was kind of awesome.

I first met Esther in 2013 when she interviewed to be a postdoc in our lab. We pretty much hit it off right away (especially after experiencing an awkward brunch together on the last day of her interview) so I was really happy when she and Felix decided to move here! Since they’ve been here, we’ve done a lot together – Esther and I did yoga with butterflies; Esther, Felix, Cobalt, and I started a tradition (called “noodles”) of going out to dinner on Friday nights with any lab mates (and their significant others) who are free/hungry; we watched Germany win the World Cup together; etc. We spend so much time with these two that I was really excited when Esther asked me to take their engagement pictures! In October, Esther and Felix are getting married in Germany! I am so excited for you guys and I really hope that Cobalt and I can get over there to be there for the big day! Congratulations again, you guys!

Eric and Clara got married (sneak peak)!!!

This weekend, my friends Clara and Eric got married! Eric works in the lab next to ours and has helped me a lot with my complicated data analysis problems and Clara is his crafty bride. Every time I see her, she is making something awesome (a new wallet, cute stuffed mice for the children she nannies for, etc etc etc). One time, Clara and I escaped from a party to go to Michael’s Crafts and get painting supplies. It was an awesome adventure. Anyway, there’s something special about these wedding photos I’m sharing with you today. I often bring my fatty DSLR to weddings to take pictures of the bride and groom but this time Eric and Clara asked me to be their official wedding photographer! WOW! So Cobalt and I headed up to Rocky Mountain National Park this past Saturday with my DSLR and all three of my lenses! It was epic – generally I think photographers get more than 2 days notice about photographing people’s weddings so this one was a lot of playing everything by ear and herding family and bridal party members around to make sure I got pictures that I thought Eric and Clara would want. Overall I think it went smoothly – it was a beautiful day at the park and Eric and Clara were so happy and fun to photograph. They had a short ceremony in the morning and the rest of the day was spent frolicking with family and friends (and lots of eating). It was a great day and I feel so honored that I got to be such a big part of it!

Now onto the pictures! I took over a thousand pictures that I am going to be slowly editing when I need a break from science this summer but for now here is a sneak peak so you can see for yourself how beautiful this day was! :)

Because this was my first wedding ever, I thought I would write a little about my experience and give (myself and anyone else who is interested) some reminders/tips. First of all, I LOVED photographing the wedding. I’m not going to lie; it was kind of fun being bossy to get everyone positioned for pictures. Also, I relished all the thinking I had to do about poses, lighting, where I should be, etc. I was so happy and in my element being creative!

Finally, two lists to sum up my reminders/tips:

First: what to bring for a “survival kit.” I brought bandaids, tissues, water, and hair clips. I should have also brought sunscreen because we all fried to a crisp out there. >_<

Second: some things I think will be important to remember when prepping to photograph a wedding/engagement session.

  1. Get to know the bride and groom – I think this was easy for me because I work with Eric and I see Clara a lot too. This is really important though because I want to take pictures that capture the couple’s essence and I want to put them into poses that seem natural for their personalities
  2. Ask the bride and groom beforehand for certain pictures that they definitely want – this part caused some stress on my part during this wedding because I didn’t know which family members had come and I didn’t know who wanted to be photographed with whom. Also I think if the bride and groom and the photographer have an idea about the “set list” before the wedding, it helps the photographer plan the shots and the timing needed to get all of them beforehand.

That’s all! I hope you liked the pictures! I can’t wait to photograph more weddings/engagements/special events! Let me know if you want me to do something for you! :D

Congratulations L and J! :D

The signing of the marriage license

Cobalt and I have been having a bit of a hard time these past few weeks (and not just because of my super sprained ankles so we were overjoyed to be part of something awesome last weekend: my friend L got married!

For the record, I am pretty sure that L was the second person I met here in Colorado because we were roommates during the biochemistry department recruitment weekend here at CU! My other friend LJ beat L only because I met her two weeks earlier at the UW recruitment weekend.

Geez stop reminiscing Potassium and get on with the pictures story already. So Friday was a beautiful day for a wedding! It was so warm outside that Cobalt and I didn’t have to put on jackets as we drove across town to the Boulder County Justice Center. There we met up with some of our other friends and L and her soon-to-be-husband J. We had some photo time in the courtroom before the judge came in so I hobbled around on my poor little ankles and got pictures of everyone pre ceremony. The ceremony was short but sweet and then we all got to sign the marriage license as witnesses! Talk about a special marriage license – clearly their marriage is highly approved of because it has not one, not two, but seven witness signatures. When Cobalt and I got married in California, there were some ridiculous rules about marriage license signatures (all of the signature must fit IN THE LINES OF THE BOX OR YOUR MARRIAGE LICENSE IS NOT VALID!). Yikes! So this was much better. :) After the ceremony and license signing we all braved the crazy rush hour traffic to go out for Korean BBQ. It was delicious and a really fun evening! Cobalt and I left full of food and really happy to have spent such a good evening with friends. Thanks L and J for letting us be a part of your special day. :D

One more thing I have to say before we get to more pictures: trying to hobble around on sprained ankles and get nice pictures without falling over/distracting from the ceremony was hard work. I was sad that I couldn’t put as much focus on the photo settings that I wanted to use as I usually do but I think the pictures turned out good anyway. See for yourselves!

L and the girls
J and the boys
So serious during the ceremony…
Except here when they are giggling because we made them kiss again… :D

And now it’s your turn: During dinner, L asked me “Potassium, when do you start to feel married?!” and I said it took a bit. Not that I didn’t want to be married to Cobalt or wasn’t ready for it – mostly it was just so crazy how one day I woke up and wasn’t married but then I went to bed married. How did that happen so quickly?! My brain took a while to adjust to the rapid change! Now I am asking you! When did you start to feel “married?” Was it immediate or gradual? Did something happen (i.e. filing taxes jointly for the first time, moving in together, etc) or did you just wake up one day and feel married? :)

Engagement Pictures with Jennette and Kegan!

A few weeks ago (before all this crazy rain started), I had the honor of taking engagement pictures for my friends Jennette and Kegan. It was kind of awesome because I’ve gotten to watch their whole relationship from the very beginning. I met Jennette because she did her masters research in my lab and I totally remember the snowshoeing trip where she met Kegan. I also remember meeting Kegan for the very first time when he came to our lab to pick up Jennette for a lunch date. Awwww the memories… and more to come! I am so excited you guys! :) Anyway, we met up at Chautauqua Park for an engagement photo session and it turned out to be a lot of fun. I am normally skeptical of doing fancy pictures at Chautauqua because it is a very popular hiking destination and is often full of people just waiting to get in your super cute portraits. It also has really weird lighting during most parts of the day so you have to plan your photo sessions just right. All that said, however, we had a great time and the photos look amazing. Thanks so much Jennette and Kegan for being good sports while we trekked all over hills and rocks and fields to capture your awesomeness as a couple!

And now a few more of my favorite pictures…

This one turned out so epic… I kind of love it… :)

Some things I learned while doing these pictures:

  1. As I previously mentioned, I learned that Chautauqua has a lot of cool places (hidden from the majority of hikers) for neat pictures
  2. Bushes are not my friends. I edited a lot of these pictures with the help of my nephew and he and I ended up getting really frustrated when we would come across a picture with Jennette and Kegan looking adorable and a giant bush blocking one of them… way to go setting up that shot, Potassium. :p
  3. I had a lot of fun with Jennette and Kegan because we’d find a cool place to shoot pictures and then they’d start suggesting poses/ideas/etc that they wanted to try! It challenged me to be more creative and thoughtful with my poses/angles/etc.

Wow… it’s been a while since I’ve written. Life has been a little insane here for me and Cobalt. More about that later maybe but first and foremost, how the heck are you?! Anything exciting going on? If so, please tell me because Cobalt and I could definitely use some cheering up. :)

Engagement Pictures with Melanie and Joel!

A few weeks ago, I had the honor of doing engagement pictures with Melanie and Joel! Melanie and I met at our friend’s superbowl party a few years ago and we bonded over being able to make weird noises (haha… seriously…). I am sure L was super happy that she introduced us after that part. Anyway, now Melanie is engaged to Joel and they asked me to do their engagement pictures! This was my first time meeting Joel and I have to say, he is awesome. And he and Melanie and super adorable and perfect together. We had a ton of fun with these pictures and I am very honored that they asked me to take their pictures. I hope they enjoy them (I should be getting them in the mail by the end of the week)!

Some things I learned doing these pictures:

  1. It’s fun! I love getting to know couples and figuring out how to take pictures that show off how awesome, adorable, happy, etc they are.
  2. Taking engagement pictures is inherently a bit of an awkward situation so the faster I can get everyone laughing, the more comfortable we all feel and then the pictures turn out more awesome!
  3. My two lenses are not equal in awesomeness.
  4. I need to take a lot of pictures because sometimes people blink!

What have you guys been up to lately? I took engagement pictures for my friends J and K this weekend so be prepared for more adorableness in the near future! In lab related news, there is a lot to get done if I really want to do graduate within the year so this is going to be an interesting school year…

Happy birthday Cobalt!

Cobalt wanted three spoons to eat his birthday tiramisu cake when we celebrated his birthday early last weekend!

It’s Cobalt’s birthday today! Cobalt, I’m sorry I’m in France on your birthday but I still hope you have an amazing day. I am so excited for you to get here and join me too!
Love you,
~Potassium :)

So… what’s going on with you guys again?

I apologize for the lack of post yesterday… food poisoning makes fools of us all… :(

Anyway, it’s time to continue the Cobalt and Potassium saga (part one is here in case you missed it)!!! Are you excited?! You should be! It’s time to learn about the “not dating” years….

This is a perfect example of us “not dating.” Look how disinterested we seem to be in each other at this party…

Year One – What do you do if you really like someone but you are scared of relationships?
We left off on the beginning of Cobalt’s and my first date, back in October 2007… I was super nervous as I was getting ready for our date that we wouldn’t have anything to talk about. It turned out to not be a problem and we had a great time. We went to go see Dan in Real Life and then we went out to pie! It took about two dates for us to realize that we really liked each other but we were both a little too scarred from past relationships to really start something serious. So we decided to go slow. This worked out great for both of us because we got to hang out pretty much all the time getting to know each other.

Unfortunately for us, some of our friends thought we were going too slowly and took the matter into their own hands. By February 2008, I was starting to do a lot of traveling across the country for various grad school interviews (I was gone pretty much every weekend on a different school’s dime – kind of cool but also really exhausting…). Around Valentine’s Day, I was in Washington state and one of our friends told Cobalt that I needed more out of our relationship (not true at all… I was quite enjoying the glacial pace of our relationship to tell you the truth). So when I got back from my trip all excited to hang out, Cobalt told me that we had to “break up” because he couldn’t handle being in a real relationship. I put on airs about whatever because we weren’t in a real relationship anyway so we couldn’t even break up… but it actually really hurt because I realized how much I actually liked him…

Thus began the really awkward phase of our relationship where we “weren’t dating” but we still really liked each other so we still hung out all the time and pretty much acted the same as when we were “dating.” We had weekly date nights, I went to see horror movies with him and the guys, Cobalt pretty much refused to hang out with some of his other friends unless I was there (there was an incident when he and one of our mutual friends, C, showed up at my apartment one Friday night when I was curled up in my pajamas watching TV because he wanted to see me… C was annoyed… for good reason), we attended all parties together, we danced together at clubs, etc. The awkwardness was compounded of course by the fact that I was most definitely moving come August 1st to start graduate school in whatever fine institution I decided to attend…

Year Two – Potassium moves away….
So, as you know, I chose to move to Boulder in the end. It seemed like the best fit (as much as I complain about grad school now, this school seemed like the place I was supposed to be when I moved here) and it was a nice 7 hour drive from Cobalt (I’d be lying if I said I didn’t take that into consideration when I chose this school… even though we were in an awkward not dating phase, I still felt like he was important in my life). Two problems: 1) I didn’t have a car and 2) as soon as I moved, Cobalt and I both realized that we wanted to be in a relationship with the other person but we were unsure about how the other one felt about us – thus providing the awkward context for year two…

Cobalt dealt with it by casually dating other girls because he wanted to see if it would make me jealous (it did) and because he was convinced I was going to find the love of my life here in Boulder and he didn’t want to be heartbroken when it happened. I dealt with it by throwing myself headfirst into grad school (which isn’t hard to do when you have research, classes, and teaching to do every day) and, after discovering the Cobalt was dating someone new and then not talking to him for two weeks, pretending to not be jealous whenever other girls were brought up in the weekly letters we wrote each other (except for those two weeks). Things went especially funny when I did occasionally get to visit NM and Cobalt and I fell back into our normal not dating but doing everything together pattern only to be forced back to reality when I had to go back to Colorado. Towards the end of my first year, things started to change though and I think we both started to (finally) figure out that we might mutually really like each other. Of course, it would be too easy to come out and just say that so it took the whole summer for us to really figure it out. First Cobalt came to visit me in Boulder in May 2009. It was like a change of scenery (hanging out in Colorado instead of NM) was all we needed to allow our relationship to go from really liking each other and pretending it’s not a big deal to really liking each other and maybe being open to admitting it? Nothing really happened and we didn’t talk about it. We were just kind of cute in that “I really like you” way that we probably were like in the very beginning of our relationship back in 2007… Then I bought a car (finally…) and later in the summer, I drove down to NM for a week long trip to congratulate myself for officially finishing my first year of graduate school (complete with finishing the first part of my qualifying exams – a really really really hard written exam on pretty much ALL of biochemistry). This is when it all FINALLY clicked and Cobalt and I actually had the “do you like me? cuz… I kinda like you… a lot…” talk and we started actually dating – though secretly… kind of… because it was still scary to admit we were in a relationship after all those years of confusion…

Speaking of confusion, our friends were very confused. They’d pretty much given up hope about us ever getting together after that whole Potassium-hasn’t-talked-to-Cobalt-for-two-weeks! thing. It took until Halloween 2009 for the majority them to finally figure out that they were actually together! I’ll tell you though… it made me SO HAPPY.

Whew… that was long and convoluted… you’re lucky you just had to read a few paragraphs of craziness instead of live two years about it. Now it’s your turn. Last time you all told me awesome stories about how you met your SO. Now tell me the gory details about the beginning of your relationships! Was it all good and fine once you finally got together? Were you helplessly confused? Did your friends mess it up? Did your friends approve? I want to know all!

The Cobalt and Potassium Saga – Part 1

Turns out there are no pictures of me and Cobalt from this phase of the relationship so we’ll have to go with an early “not” dating phase picture…

Valentine’s Day got me thinking of how Cobalt and I ended up together so I decided it’s time to tell the story… This is the first part of the saga of Cobalt and Potassium. I should warn you… it’s kind of an epic story. So let’s start at the top.

How we met, part 1
Cobalt and I actually met on NYE 2006/2007. My friend from college T was throwing a big New Years party in her hometown in NM. She invited me and my boyfriend at the time to come celebrate with all her high school friends so we all flew in in the middle of a ridiculously snowy day (that’s right, my first view of NM was of it covered in snow… this is weird). I was lurking by the food table (this is common for me at parties) when Cobalt and the guy who was his best man at our wedding showed up. They pretty much stayed long enough for us to get introduced and for Cobalt to squish my face and then they left. Real romantic… ;)

How we met, parts 2, 3, etc
Fast forward to the summer of 2007, when I moved to NM to do a post baccalaureate program before going to graduate school. It was a tumultuous time with me moving to a completely new state all by myself and with me and my boyfriend breaking up, getting back together, going on a break, getting back together, etc. I believe Cobalt was also having some similarly complicated girl problems at the time. We remet in June at a dinner with some of our mutual friends (people I met at the NYE party) and we realized we lived within blocks of each other. Cobalt got my phone number so that he and his housemates could invite me to stuff (seeing as I was new and I didn’t really know anyone). Two months later and boy/girl problems ended, we met again at another mutual friend’s function and Cobalt came up to me saying “Heyyyy! It’s your phone number that’s been on our fridge for the past few months! We should hang out!” I said “Okay…” We saw each other randomly at various mutual friend gatherings after that but nothing really happened until we ran into each other at a Halloween party. Cobalt told me we should go see a movie that week and so the Cobalt/Potassium saga began….

How did you meet your SO? Were you instantly involved from that moment on or did it take some time for you to get to know each other? Let’s discuss…

Next time – the “not” dating phase of our relationship…

6 months already?!

Yesterday was Cobalt’s and my 6 month wedding anniversary! Time sure has flown by! It feels like we just got married only a little bit ago… We’re looking forward to the next 6 months of our married life together and beyond!

Picture: Those are my wedding shoes and Cobalt’s favorite mismatched Converse shoes. To celebrate our day, we went out to dinner at our favorite fancy restaurant in Boulder – Agave – followed by perusing the bookstore and getting frozen yogurt for dessert. Mmmm… good date! :)