28 September 2007


i slipped on the thin cotton, and left the string in the back untied, before wiping the sleep out of my eyes. the nurse had given me a thick plastic bag to hold my belongings during the surgery. i was excited. i was scared.

it has been exactly a year, since i was given the privilege to lay down my life for another: my sister.

our angel, courtney nicole blessed all of our lives, and with her signature, a single copper penny, she continues to impact mine. however, it is not my intent to "go there" with this blog entry. rather, i wanted to share this ironically gracious anniversary, where i thought i could save the life of another. yet, it was in giving myself away, that i have received more of life than i could imagine.

still broken, but even more filled with love; thank you courtney nicole, for helping to open my heart.

the night before the transplant last september. we miss you baby girl.

24 September 2007


realizing i had memories enough to leave out any spec of mystery in the life of my friend, i pulled the mic to my lips... but what could i share about jeremiah?

in that moment, i realized that i had been invited into something special. not only was i asked to be the best-man/photographer (thanks mark for helping me pull off the otherwise impossible feat), but i had become a part of carrie and jeremiah's life-long commitment.

feeling a sense of duty, a sense of responsibility, to walk alongside my two friends who have now become one, i am excited for the journey ahead. and i am comforted to know that my bride and i do not have to walk the same path alone.

carrie and jeremiah, we love you.

mark snapped these while i hung back with the guys.

having been to the rehearsal, carlie anticipated the flower girls 50 yard sprint... record time.

jeremiah goes big. a little something to make carrie sparkle just a tad more on their big day.

notice the pro-photog/deer-in-headlights on the right side. i'm glad you got this one mark.

have fun in jamaica mr and mrs fuller... you better come back with some sweet corn rows (both of you).

21 September 2007


two months in, and here we are: mr and mrs davis. to celebrate, carlie and i enjoyed some good cookin' at habana, a chic restaurant and lounge found at the lab. and we followed that with a marriage seminar hosted by rock harbor church.

here are a few self-portraits i snapped at the end of our day. isn't my bride adorable...

20 September 2007


almost two months in, and carlie and i are realizing the joys and realities of a life vowed to one another. monday night, we were blessed enough to spend some time chatting life with our friends and mentors dana and tami sanders. dana is not only a well-known photog and entrepeneur (which made it fun for me to talk shop a bit), but also a pastor & a visionary, with a true desire to change the world. and his progress obviously echoes out of the support from tami and their four beautiful children.

with a no-holds-barred mentality, carlie and i came away from the night unsure if we had just been beat up or replenished. to be honest, i think it was a healthy mixture of the two; what true friendship really looks like. orange county rockers thrice have a song that relays the message "true friends stab you in the front." so, often our culture is filled with false flattery, backed up with in-direct gossip or attacks, and it feels good to have friends and mentors to be real with. so, thank you dana and tami for your friendship. carlie and i hope that we can bless you more than you have already blessed us.

for everybody else out there, i encourage you to find people like dana and tami, and pursue those relationships passionately. often the student must seek out the teacher, and walking through life is much more valuable when done intentionally and alongside others.

16 September 2007


people say that real friends stick together. and i feel so grateful to understand this universal truth along my journey, our journey. i met jeremiah in the sixth grade, where we usually spent our lunch hour in mr. murphy's science room, building model rockets. yes, we were dweebs. not much has changed, other than the fact that we have somehow won over two completely amazing and incredibly beautiful women. i don't know how we did it, from rocketry club to scoring princesses, but jeremiah and i really have stuck together. we grew up together, and thus far have enjoyed each our own journey, side-by-side along the same path.

and things have not changed. both jeremiah and i vowed our lives to another this summer, and i look forward to continuing this journey with my friend. jeremiah and carrie, you guys throw an amazing party, and i can't wait to hear your stories from jamaica... see you soon.

taking some time to cut the rug with my princess.

contemplating sneaking a piece a little early.

and, stay posted for images from the wedding later this week...

09 September 2007


"i live you."

"i what?"

"i live you. it's our thing... kind of like a cross between i like you and i love you."

in fact masha and ruslan "live" each other so much, that ruslan had the phrase enscribed in the ring. and, as you can imagine, there was first a bit of confusion with the jeweler over the groom's request.

with an understanding of their "thing," i asked ruslan to kiss his fiance once again, and he joyfully obliged. carlie and i spent our time with masha and ruslan hanging out at the beach in ventura, my old stomping grounds. their excitement and giddy interaction overcame both carlie and i, to the point where we couldn't help but smile. and ruslan, though his exterior comes off rock solid, melted in the adoration of his ukranian princess.

masha and ruslan, thank you for being such a joy and inviting me into this special part of your journey. i can't wait for your wedding next fourth of july.

after waiting in line with the rest of the kiddies, masha had to go for a zip...

08 September 2007


i spent today with my bride. there is nothing i love more than reveling in the present with her. with an engagement shoot scheduled in my home town (go bulldogs!), carlie and i made the trek north from the oc. after hanging out with the fam, downing a couple of burritos at my favorite and most-secret mexican kitchen, and chatting about the two pounds baby charlie has put on over the past four weeks, my bride and i drove to pick up masha & ruslan.

thank you masha & ruslan for being so much fun! carlie and i are excited for your big day, next fourth of july. check back soon for a blog with images from the engagement session... but, untill then, here are a couple of shots of my amazing and beautiful assistant.

she didn't get out of this one in time. maybe i can just crop a little here, a little there...

not until after i took this one, did i notice the arrow pointing at...

06 September 2007


so, it seems that summer is here to stay. with temperatures busting thru the triple digits, and only a small wall unit air conditioner, intended to cool our entire apartment, carlie and i looked for relief this past weekend. we ended up hanging out with a crew of newlyweds in huntington harbor, took the duffy out for a cruise, played a round of bocce ball, and had some good eats at the poolside bbq where i shared my secrets for the perfect bbq corn. and yes, my corn rocked the party!

so, thank you mark and candice for hosting us, and thanks to your parents for opening up their new home to the bunch of us.

i borrowed mark's fish-eye and snapped this one of the girls trying to cool off from the heat of the day...

...but, poor carlie got an ear-ache from the plunge.

i think my wife is a shoe-in, on the pro-bocce circuit. seriously, look at that form.

keep it cool...

05 September 2007


it was much later than high noon, as the dust settled over the tracks, abandoning the empty cars in the orange and red lights of dusk. the place, a little town called garden grove. the challenge: mano y mano, two shooters, two couples, and not even 30 minutes of day light to spare.

both being green to the action-intensive arena of wedding photography, my colleague mark and i decided to hone our skills on each other in our first official shoot off. mark grabbed his wife, candice, while my bride, carlie, stood by my side, and we each took our respective time in a frantic race for the best photo.

at the end of the day, all four of us shared some good laughs, while mark and i came out with some fun images with our wives. not to mention, we each picked up a little more street knowledge of what it takes to "get the shot" when time is not in vast resource.

here are a couple of my favorites... with mark's shots to match.

images courtesy of mark brooke photography