I am so completely and utterly excited to let you all in on some pretty big news for all of us here at Pepper Nix Photography. Pepper Nix Photography has just won Best of State for 2012!!! This is the third time that the Best of State judges have honored us with this award and it feels AMAZING. We especially want to thank all of our fabulous 2011 brides who let us document one of the biggest events in their lives – it is because of you that we had great images to submit!
I’ve gone missing from my blog for about a year. People have asked where I’ve gone, what I’m doing or even if I’m still doing weddings. Part of it is that I became so incredibly busy with weddings and brides that maintaining the blog began to rival my toaster on the List of Pepper Priorities. The main reason for the blog slip is that I’ve been struggling with the slow and sometimes painful march of change, and to be honest, it’s difficult for me to write something peppy and upbeat when I’m feeling down in the dumps. Not that my blog needs to be peppy and upbeat all of the time, but since this is a WEDDING blog, and I am a WEDDING photographer and frankly, I thought I should wait a bit. At least until the rawness of it wasn’t so, you know, raw. But here’s my story.
Last summer and after some significant change, my faith in marriage, in love, and in weddings themselves, became a bit battered. Maybe it happened suddenly, or maybe it happened when I wasn’t paying attention, I’ll never know, but that summer my hope and my faith took a serious hit. (The specifics of this change are really boring. You’re trucking along, then there is a breakdown somewhere along the way and you only just realize it, but it throws you and changes your plans.)
I have always believed that what I do for a living is something wonderful – I document the most important day in a relationship – its birth. I am there at the very beginning, and because of the work that I do, people will be able to remember that day. Because of what I do, generations who are not yet here will be able to look at these pictures and realize what happened at the beginning. I believe that what I do is very important, and in all the fun and playful joy that my work entails, I take my job very seriously. And I seriously have fun doing it!
So I was seriously concerned at the time, because I only had 6 days to somehow recover from this change and do a fabulous job for my bride in such a short time. Her name is Jani, and she is wonderful and beautiful and kind, and she was so excited to have me as her photographer. I have never once thought I wouldn’t do a great job for a bride. But everything I do is based on my belief system, that love is real, and that all I have to do is be ready to catch that fleeting moment to document it, to preserve it forever. But my faith in love was a bit battered and for an artist in the wedding industry, that can be a bad thing.
My road to healing all started that same week with Jani & CJ. I worked hard that morning to do my job and to do it well, but internally I was struggling. I was listening to them taking their vows to be loyal and true, and at the same time frantically listening to the advice the priest gave [there must be something in this sermon that might save me from this change!]. But I was just sad, and I really don’t fake my emotions very well. When I am happy, you know it. And when I am sad, you know it. And I was very very sad, listening to this beautiful ceremony, and wondering what it all was for, questioning my purpose.
The ceremony was over. And the most remarkable thing happened. As Jani and CJ were walking down the aisle, smiling and laughing, they got to where I stood at the end of the aisle. (This is the point at which each and every of the 385 weddings I’ve photographed smiles at me and keeps walking.) Jani & CJ stopped right outside of the chapel, kissed, and then turned to me and hugged me! It was a great bone crushing hug, and the three of us laughed and cried, and they told me how happy they both were that I was there to share this day with them. It was my favorite moment at a wedding ever. EVER. I realized something very important in that moment. Though life as I knew it was crumbling, and my perception of things were changing, love itself was not shattered. Love was not dead! Love was VERY REAL, and it’s different for each person. And just because it was changing for me did NOT mean that it wasn’t real, present and very much alive!
The whole week I had thought that I needed to get happy to go to the wedding and do my job. But the truth was that I needed to go to the wedding to be happy again.
In that moment, Jani and CJ, you restored my faith in love and in marriage. You reminded me that weddings are important, that what I do is important! That day, I told you both how much you meant to me, and I told you that one day I’d tell you the story why. And that’s the story. I was the lowest of low and you reminded me of the joy and the passion that every bride and groom feels. And that it is real. I am eternally grateful to you both, and I wish you much happiness and success!
So that was it. No matter what was going on in my personal life, I have had a wonderful year with my brides, witnessing, reveling and capturing their love. I have been able to love, and to hope, and to rejoice at each wedding along with my brides. I am so grateful to all of you, you will never know how much I have loved being able to bask in the glow at each ceremony.
So here’s what is up with me. Things are new. Things are slightly different. I believe in marriage and my part in it. I’m a mom, and I’m going to teach my son the importance of marriage. And at every ceremony I go to, I feel that sense of hope when I see the bride walking down the aisle. I silently cheer inside, a big YEAAAAAAAA!!!!! when the couple kisses at the end. I have the best job in the world, I really do. Hello, my name is Pepper. I’m newly single, and I am an excellent wedding photographer. I believe in weddings, I believe in marriage, and I most definitely believe in love. And I will forever be grateful to Jani and CJ, for lifting my spirits that day, for sharing their joy with me and reminding me of what I have known all along.
I thought this would be a sad and difficult post to write, but as I write it I’m looking at the picture of them walking down the aisle, and remembering how I felt with that great big hug! It was too magical to feel anything other than awesome.
OK, so new year, new blog format, new ideas, new Pepper. Sure, I’m a single mom now, so I may not have as much time to spend on blog posts as I did in the past. But there will be a lot more of them, but they may be much much shorter, showing just a couple or even a single image. A snack sized version if you will. But like most things in small packages (babies, diamonds, candy), I can promise it’ll be a yummy, sweet and something to savor.
Hey everyone! Just wanted to let you know I’ll be gone for the next few days – I’m shooting a wedding in Mexico! I’m super excited because not only is the couple totally rad, but I will actually get to experience warm weather for a change! Does anyone have any requests for stuff they’d like me to bring back? Another thing I love? Non-stop flights to Cancun. That is really just the greatest thing ever. Thank you Delta Airlines!!! OK, see you guys on Monday then – Cheers!
When I gave birth to my son Zen 2 years ago, something snapped inside of me. I went from being a very laid-back person about all things baby, to being crazy protective of this little guy! I took thousands of pictures of him each month, wanting to document his every movement, only to decide that I couldn’t possible share them with anyone but family.
I mean, there are psychos out there who will see my beautiful son and try to take him!!! [I blame this on paranoid mommy brain]
But as he tried the potty today, it suddenly hit me how quickly he is growing up. I sat down to write today’s blog post, the only pictures I want to share with you all are the ones of the person who has affected my life more than any other – my son. Tonight, I didn’t want to bring you someone else’s story. I wanted to tell you mine. I hope that’s OK, and that you enjoy your Moment of Zen.
This is Zen at 4 months. I have a perfectly good reason for not taking pictures of him when he was smaller. When he was first brought home, I was busy taking care of him and I simply forgot that I had a camera. At about 6 weeks, he turned into a terrifying scaly reptilian monster. [As I write this, I realize that one day he will read this and be sad, btu I am sorry son. You looked repulsive.] At 4 months, he got cute, and i got out my camera. And no, I am not going to show you my reptile son. I am going to save those for his wedding day. And then he will understand how much I love him.
Happy Monday everyone! I was talking to someone recently who was asking about the Albums I offer. I asked if she subscribed to my Album Monday column and she was genuinely surprised. Although she reads all of my blog posts and has been for several months, she didn’t realize that Monday had any significance. And that fault lies with me for not explaining it! So welcome to Album Monday!
Each and every Monday I present another Album for you to view, ooh and ahh over. All of these Albums are actual albums ordered by real brides who had real weddings which I really did photograph. I will show you the Album in great detail, tell you all of the specifications, and then after I present what it looks like on the outside, I’ll let you take a peek at the guts of the book, and you’ll see the final design.
Why Album Monday? Well, here’s the deal. I think it’s easier to decide if you like something if you can see it. Sample Albums in my studio are nice, but here are the numbers. I work with 3 different Album Companies. Each one of those companies offers a completely different selection of covers and options, about 80 apiece. So we are looking at 240 cover options right there, and that doesn’t include anything like slipcases or accent panels. Factoring those in, we have over 19,000 different options to choose from. I love my studio, but I do not have room for 19,ooo sample albums. I just don’t. So the purpose of Album Monday is for my brides to see what is new, what is current, what Album I got in last week, and what other brides are doing. Get ideas, get inspired, and have fun in picking what you want your family Heirloom to look like!
Today’s Book is completely custom, and I do mean completely! Karen picked out the elements of 5 different Books that she liked, and we combined them into something truly spectacular! This is a 200 side 8×8 Wedding Book, holding 300 images exactly. The style is called Paris, but we upgraded the material to the Italian Dark Woven Leather. We added a picture to the front cover, and also a slipcase, also in the Italian Dark Woven Leather. Instead of the silver end sheets, we had custom color printed end sheets, and a different one for the front of the Book than for the back of the Book. Enjoy!
Oh my goodness, you can totally tell when I’m slammed busy just by following my blog – when there are no posts it means I ran out of time! My husband is away this week for a conference, and so I got the spend all that time alone with our son Zen!
I think Zen is pretty awesome, but he’s a handful. And a half.
So long story short, no blog last week pretty much. But here it is finally, the conclusion to Sophie and Aaron’s Wedding Day!
And the Wedding Album!!! OMG OMG OMG, I have been waiting and waiting to share this with you until I posted the wedding, and i couldn’t do that until after the magazine came out, so you see I’ve been waiting months and months!!!
We wanted to continue the Red theme from the wedding day, and we were able to perfectly match Sophie’s red sash and shoes to a leather I carry called [appropriately] Scarlett O’Hara. How perfect is that?!
Sophie’s Album features 161 images on 80 sides in an 11×14″ Horizontal Album.
The red leather covers the spine and back cover, but the front cover is part of the ARMOUR series, a picture printed onto a metal cover. It looked exquisite! I have no idea how the process works for printing onto metal [but if I did do you think i would be foolish enough to spill my secrets?!]
On each Monday, we showcase a different Wedding Album that we have produced. Today, for the first time, Pepper nix’s Album Monday segment is featuring an album produced by someone else – the editors of Utah Bride and Groom magazine!
Of the hundreds of wedding photographers in Utah, and from the thousands of weddings that were photographed, the editors of Utah Bride & Groom magazine select just 6 to showcase in their magazine each year. This is the fourth year that Pepper Nix Photography has been selected to be featured, and we would like to say to the editors of Utah Bride and Groom, thank you – clearly, you are brilliant, and you have excellent taste!
I have been waiting to show you this wedding ever since I learned that it had been selected to be featured, and I just got the PDFs this week from the editor to share the full article with you! [The PDfs from Utah Bride and Groom are SO much better then the scans from my scanner...]
This great article [spread over 6 pages!] told in great detail of Sophie & Aaron’s courtship, wedding plans, and finally, the execution of their Wedding Day.
It was a fabulous article, but of course, there are limitations with printing and page space [honestly I could have filled an entire magazine with pictures from this weekend!], so here for you now are my favorites from their Wedding Day!
I had so much fun with these guys, I got to spend the entire weekend with Sophie & Aaron!
I can’t believe that this entire week got away from me! It’s mid-April, and I feel like I’m in the middle of June it’s so busy! Right now we are in the middle of a ton of bridal sessions, engagement sessions, most brides getting married in the summer put off their engagements and bridals until the weather got nice, and this week, it got NICE!
The Wedding so nice it came back twice! Well, not really, this Album from Aaron and Sophie’s wedding is for Aaron’s mom Barbara.
It’s a 60 side 11×14 matted Album, which is nice to show because it’s something a bit different! In a matted Album, instead of the images being printed on one solid sheet, they are printed and placed individually, with a matte around them. It doesn’t get more traditional than this for a Wedding Album! However, even with the tradition of the mattes, we were still able to make it solidly ours by custom designing the mattes.
I bought a new camera last year and wanted to rigorously test it out before the Wedding Season got under way, so I brought it to my Aunt Krissie’s graduation. Krissie got her Masters degree in clinical psychology, and we all went to Boise to surprise her and support her!
My Aunt Krissie actually lived with us when I was growing up. Even though she is my mom’s sister, she is 17 years younger than Bobbie and only 8 years older than me, so really, she’s more like my big sister than my Auntie.
Krissie and her husband live in a home with tons of west facing windows, the light pours in and I was just having a ball. I was also in a really big B&W mood, and since this was all experimentation, I had a blast.
About once a year, I get a phone call that sucks. A distraught bride, or a broken-hearted groom, calling me to tell me that my services will no longer be needed. Those calls are never fun. Usually there are tears, maybe they give me an explanation, maybe not. Sometimes it’s too painful for the caller to do anything but cry. I never want anyone to have to feel that, the pain of being rejected by the person you believed you were going to spend your life with. It sucks.
My son Zen is obsessed with Bulldozers. First it was trains, but OMG trains were so 2 months ago. So now it’s Bulldozers. To be honest, I don’t know the difference between a bulldozer and a tractor and a backhoe and any of the other big yellow things out there digging up the streets, but he does. The city is redoing the roads outside of his pre-school, and every day they go out for recess, and none of the two year olds play, they all line up at the fence and watch the bulldozers at work. And I can hear my son yelling with excitement “BULL BA DER!!! BULL BA DER!!!!!
Cool. I went to bed way early last night and strangely woke this morning at 6am feeling awesome and refreshed, and… I got to watch the sun rise. Well, kinda. We live at the base of Little Cottonwood Canyon, so technically I am still watching the sun rise [it should clear the mountains in another hour], but still! Sunrise. Pretty cool.
Wow. I have never had an experience like this before in my entire life. I had the opportunity to be a witness.
Me. A witness! Seriously, do I have the world’s greatest job or what?!
I am SO sorry for not posting at all last week except for my weekly Album Monday column. Please know that if I don’t post for a little while, it is because things got so busy and so crazy that I just couldn’t. My priorities are, in this order, family, brides, taxes, blog. And if my family or my brides or my accountant needs my time, it the blog stalkers who suffer.
I’m freaked out by the weather. My husband thinks I’ve been watching too many scary movies, but I just think that when there is thunder and lightning outside, there should be rain. Not fog and snow. It’s so foggy I can’t see my backyard clearly. Seriously, fog and snow and lightning is like the perfect combination for axe murderer weather. Right?! Oh well, I had a great day in spite of the weather! I got to spend most of my day indoors shooting a gorgeous bride at the super swanky St. Regis in Park City, so I am not complaining!!!
Cold cold cold cold!!!!! Heather & Mike’s reception was held at the stunning Log Haven restaurant up Millcreek Canyon! Log Haven has won a ton of awards for their food from every place that gives out awards [I can't name them all, but they have the cooler-looking awards hung on a big wall when you walk in]. Log Haven also has a special place in my heart as being the location where I met my husband!
I love this church! St. Thomas More is not only named after my all-time favorite Catholic Saint, but it’s bright and has huge windows to let the light in! Plus these really cool colored stain glass blocks behind the altar that bring a dash of zazz to a religious event.
OK, I know it’s April Fools Day, but really? 2 feet of snow?! C’mon!!! I had already officially declared it to be Spring. TWICE. And now this. 2 feet of snow in my yard. They say it’ll go away pretty quickly and that this weekend is gonna heat things up, but all I know is that I literally had to shovel my way out to my mailbox this afternoon.
Whew! Sorry to post this so late, technically for half the country it’s not even Monday anymore! My excuse: I was busy all weekend shooting and entertaining friends from out of town. It was so much fun though! You know sometimes when you have house guests and you just can’t wait until they leave? This was totally not that. This situation was the kind where you say goodbye to your guests, and you walk back into the house, and it feels emptier and not as awesome. It was a really fun weekend.