6 things // August Feels

Photographing: lots of engagement sessions. Portraits are my jam. I had a fun time with Alyssa and Krystel in North Park. The murals and the neighborhood in general are inspiring. - Suzanne

Watching: Game of Thrones. I'm so in love with Sunday. - Suzanne

Girl crush: On my acupuncturist Laurie Morse. She is such an extraordinary person and healer. She has taken me places I've never gone. I really value her perspective. I'm so appreciative of having someone so high vibe in my life. - Suzanne

Photographing: Working with Suzanne from Crown Weddings and Annette Gomez at last weekend's wedding was a great experience.  - Mike

Reading: I'm reading more. More about philosophy and listening to podcast on mindset and detachment. Really a turning point for me in this mid-life crisis. - Mike

Preparing: For our next Europe trip. Many hopes and dreams lingering in the air. Life changes seem to be always right around the corner. - Mike

xoxo
Suzanne & Mike

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4 Things // Beautiful Celebrations

Celebrating : Family dinner celebrating my brother's new license as a massage therapist. Oysters at Beer Fish is the way to go! I love celebrating. - Suzanne

Meditating : Jess Lively guided meditation is so interesting. It's a wild idea to choose your feeling for the day. I like to start mine as if I'm in Santorini, Greece after a bike ride and a swim in the ocean. - Suzanne

Dreaming of : Getting back in shape. Looking to clean up my diet and get back to a good clean eating routine. More hiking, running and boxing. When my body is peaking, my creativity peaks as well. My endurance for long wedding days and difficult situations are all positively effected by my fitness levels. - Mike

Photographing : Alexandra and Geoff's beautiful wedding day :)

Creativity Tell All // Chelsea White of Maderas Golf Club

Chelsea is such a beautiful soul. I met her years ago at a wedding she was coordinating. She is grace under pressure. One of the coolest experiences we've had together is when Alex hired me to photograph their proposal at the Marine Room in La Jolla. I fell in love with both of them in that moment. I know she will bring that joy as a wedding specialist at Maderas Golf Club

How do you continually stay inspired and creative?
You would think that planning weddings and events every day would mean that I would avoid doing it in my free time, but the complete opposite is true. I love planning dinner parties and summer BBQs at my house. The satisfaction I feel when I see all my friends and family enjoying the food and details that my husband and I put together for one of our get-togethers is all it takes to remind me why I love what I do. That’s why I strive to make sure all my clients get to see that reaction from their guests on their special day.

Is there anything special or unique about your morning routine?
I am absolutely a creature of habit. My alarm goes off at 6:30 every morning. My mastiff Oden comes over for his morning snuggles, i.e. slobber kisses, and then I roll out of bed to have my morning java with my husband (this part is key; no matter what the agenda for the day, I always crave a warm cup of coffee to start it off).

If someone wanted to break into your industry, what advice would you give them?
Do it! It’s so rewarding and beautiful! The details are crucial. I think after awhile some people in this industry find that weddings can be a little repetitive. When you’ve seen one blush themed colored ballroom, you’ve seen them all. But here’s the thing - it’s our jobs to be detectives and find out the little details that make each of our couples unique. It’s those details that are going to cut through the chaos of the day and make it unforgettable.

Did you always know this career path was ‘the one’?
I went to college to learn the art of advertising. I liked it, but I didn’t love it. It wasn’t until after moving back home and waitressing to support myself that I was forced to really evaluate what would make me happy in a career. One day I was at home thinking about the things in life that I really enjoy; entertaining friends and family, making and enjoying great food, meeting new people and pretty things like flowers, art, love, etc. Then I had this epiphany; like a full blown, stop you in your tracks moment. I wanted to be a wedding planner.

What season inspires you most?
My knee jerk reaction is to say Spring, but if I really think about it, Autumn is my favorite. I spent the majority of childhood in Wisconsin where the change in season from summer to fall was truly magical. There is something so refreshing about crisp air, leaves crunching under your boots and a hot cup of coffee (all the greatest things involve coffee.)

Do you have any funny short stories or embarrassing moments from when you first got started?
I can’t think of any one particular moment off the top of my head, though I do recall that when I first started out, I thought it was always better to have an answer to everything, even if it wasn’t 100% true. I’m pretty sure a few mothers of the bride and grooms had their corsages on the wrong wrist for quite a while.

I’ve learned that there is no shame in saying, “You know what, I’m not sure the correct answer for that, but let me find out for you.”

What is the best advice you have been given?
Be yourself and don’t be afraid to say no.

What is your dream project?
I’d love to create a successful blog that people actually want to read, or write a novel. I’ve always loved to write. If I’m honest with myself, it’s probably the way I communicate best. The tricky part is figuring out what to write about that you think people would be interested in. Or maybe the hard part is just deciding not to care if anyone isn’t. I’m working on it.

If there was a song that played every time you worked on your craft, what would it be?
I have the most spastic collection of Pandora stations ever! My mood and energy always reflect in my music choices, so it’s not unusual to hear Norah Jones if you walk by my office in the morning, “Country Love Songs” if you walk by in the afternoon and “Today’s Top Hits” if I’m about to head out for a wedding. You know it’s a really good day, though, when I’m blasting the Justin Timberlake Radio.

Is there anything in particular you are obsessed with these days?
Gardening and finishing the puzzle that I started last weekend. Life can be hectic, so I relish the moments where I can zone out, but still get something accomplished.

What would you do if you had $40,900 for a vacation?
I’d take off a year and plan an around-the-world excursion with my husband! I have this sometimes overwhelming urge to travel and I’d love to have the opportunity to let go of adult responsibilities for a bit and just get a taste of what the world has to offer.

4 Things // Tropical Love

So much goodness. 3 weddings and an epic event in two states. Mike and I are having all the fun this week.

Dreaming of: Today's Maui wedding for Francesca and Matt. It was so fun to photograph their proposal and now I get to meet all of their friends and family and photograph them getting married with my awesome sidekick Deme. - Suzanne

Listening to : So many podcasts as I drive around the island searching for the best coffee in maui. If you have any tips send them my way. - Suzanne

Photographing : Some people plan their wedding for over a year, and some people are so in love it takes a week.  I can't wait to set sail this weekend for a wedding on the bay. - Mike

Family : Twice a year my mom comes to visit from New York. She gets here on Monday for two weeks. My mom is one of my best friends. She's so cool and fits in wherever we go. I can't wait to grab a beer with her and try to find something new to show her. 

4 Things // Pride & More

Photographing : Friday was a 25 person wedding on a 90 ft yacht. It was amazing to float around the bay and be part of an amazing party. I was treated like one of the guests and the couple had the best sense of humor! The always amazing Annette Gomez did the florals. - Mike

More photographing : On Saturday I shot an event that had over 2,500 people. Very mixed cultures with a live band and crazy dance party. What a night! - Mike

Talking to: Gaidin Nordic Warrior the last week. This little guy has been so chatty. I've been waiting for so long to hear what he thinks and all of a sudden he is sharing a little more. It turns out he wants to go to the park or go swimming. These have been his most common thoughts. I'm in Aunt heaven.

Dreaming of: Alexandra and Geoff's beautiful wedding at the Grand Del Mar. I just love Alexandra and her whole family. We met at a gala at SDMA and she also modeled for me for Exquisite Weddings a couple of years ago. It's all going to be a dream. 

4 Things // Hey Hey Summer

Hey hey summer, goodbye June gloom =)

Dreaming of: Body surfing with Maryanne. I want the thrill of the waves washing over me bringing summer into my body and mind. - Suzanne

Photographing: My first homecoming. Mike has photographed a few, but this was my first time capturing someone get off a plane and come home to their family. It was so thrilling to  hang out with Katie and her 2 and 4 year old daughters waiting for their dad to finally come home. What a joyous moment. I felt so lucky to get to share it with them. - Suzanne

A corporate event at Estancia. Sometimes an event can be as grand as a wedding and it was fun to apply my wedding skills to a weekday event at one of my favorite places. - Mike

Hiking: I finally got one of those toddler backpacks to take Gaidin hiking just in time for his third birthday. Adventure is ahead for us. - Mike

Watching: John Lovell on YouTube. He's an interesting guy who links health, fitness, self defense and morals all in one. 

4 Things // Changes

Dreaming of : A couple of average days. This week has been a ton of change. Mostly good and a little bad. Even good change is change and for some reason all of the change has me spinning. I would love a couple of average days strung together. - Suzanne

Photographing : Tara and Jason's San Juan Capistrano rehearsal dinner at the Mission and wedding on their family's property. I'm so excited to see her dreams come to life with the amazing Donna Urban. - Suzanne

Reading : I just started reading Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. More on that to come! - Mike

Watching : The Lego Movie. I'm also looking forward to seeing my mom next month. She comes out a couple times of year from New York and it's always great to have her in town. 

xoxo

 

 

4 Things // The Arts & Artists

Dreaming of: I'm dreaming of going to NYC. I'm not sure if I'll have time to swing it this summer, but the artist Mark Ryden designed the set and costumes of the new ballet, "Whip Cream", and I would so love to see it in person. Fingers crossed! - Suzanne

Seeing: Last night I listened to Sebastio Salgado lecture at MOPA. I've been a long time fan of his work and it was so fun to get to hear him speak about his work and travels across the globe. - Suzanne

Birthdays: All week I worked on trying to change Suzanne's birthday from Friday to Saturday and then changing the location of the party without her knowing. I now respect anyone who can pull off surprises like that (I sure can't!). Our friend Alynn helped me so much. - Mike

Watching: The Old Man and the Old Moon at the Old Globe was an amazing story about the cycle of life and how decisions we make mold the past the future. It was done in a really playful and vintage way with shadow puppets, folk music and some really cool old school theater acting. - Mike

4 Things // Artist Statement

Writing : An artist statement. I love photography and I don't love speaking about my work.  It's taken me a couple of weeks to squeak it out.  I love deadlines so the struggle has to end at some point. ha! I'm happy with what I came up with, but definitely want to shape it more clearly as the project goes on. - Suzanne

Reading :  The illusion of Separateness. I don't love reading books set in war time.  It often shakes me to the core and leaves me a little broken. This book is more about the idea that we imagine we are more separate than we are, and that small acts can profoundly change the course of so many lives.  I love the style that it's written in.  The narrators flip back and forth and the author doesn't waste a word. - Suzanne

Excited for : June 4th portrait shoot. We are doing 20 minute mini sessions and maybe a pin-up/sexier shoot. I've been working on my portfolio and am so inspired by Suzanne's personal work. I'm excited to be mixing photography in with my other hobbies to create an art project. Stay tuned!

Dreaming of : Iceland again. What a great place with such freedom.

xoxo
Suzanne & Mike

4 Things // Back At It

Listening to : The Kitchen Sisters Present : The Hidden World of Girls with Tina Fey. This collection of emails, audio clips, poems, and stories travels to different corners of the earth telling stories about the hidden world of girls. I was feeling a little post vacation blues this morning and this gem cheered me up and made me feel more connected. Oh wanderlust. - Suzanne

Photographing : I'm so inspired by the Mitte district in Berlin. Life seems to be lived on the street. I felt like every apartment was empty Sunday afternoon and every man, woman, and child was out walking, biking, and lounging under the warm spring sun. It felt like a town and a city all at once. - Suzanne

Working on : I'm on a mission right now to get back into shape, on a proper diet, and back to martial arts. For the first time in 15 years I have allowed weeks to go without disciple in my categories like my diet. I notice this effects everything and I'm motivated to get going. - Mike

Listening to : Podcast by Jocko Willett author of Extreme Ownership.  I highly recommend his book and podcast.  I have been watching athletes and military service men in action. This always gets me motivated and grateful. Prague was an amazing chapter in our life and now a new chapter is starting. - Mike

5 Things // Prague Life

Dreaming of : Implantation in the next 48 hours. - Suzanne

Photographing : Prague. So many hours a day, every nook and cranny.  What a daily dream; a meditation, a photo walk and holding Mike's hand. - Suzanne

Drinking: A bunch of different local beers in Prague. I'm enjoying trying to get a feel for the culture and the daily life here. - Mike

Watching: We have been to the movies on three occasions. One was an amazing film at the Prague film festival about kids during WWII. - Mike

Reflecting: It's been a roller coaster ride. Being in a different place going through this new IVF experience has taught me a lot and given me some much needed experience. It's given me time to step out of my routine and see what issues I have. I really like it here. - Mike

xoxo
Suzanne & Mike

4 Thing // New Sights

Mike made it to Prague, yay! We are exploring and making the most of our time here. 

Photographing : Everyday Prague; the life, the cafes, the views. It's a romantic city and we can't stop trying to reflect something back that sums up how it feels to be here. - Suzanne & Mike

Listening to : The Royal Czech Orchestra at the Charles Bridge Palace.  Initially I was interested in being in the same room that Mozart once stood. Mozart! The real Mozart. And also where Milos Forman filmed "Amadeus". Milos Forman is such a cool director to me. The palace is stunning, it's so fascinating. Everywhere you look something else reveals itself to you. I was totally unprepared for the music.  The six musicians who stood 12 feet in front of me blew my mind.  It's rare to be in such close proximity to the musicians without anything obstructing your view.  We were in the second row of folding chairs. I could see every musician's hands.  4 violins, 1 bass, 1 cello, 1 opera singer and pure magic. The skill level was beyond comprehension. Their speed and dexterity, the way they anticipated each other's movement without a conductor made my heart literally soar.  As cliche as it sounds, I felt like I was flying.  Sometimes fast, or slow, darker, then romantic, surprising, running, walking, waltzing...flying. It all felt like flying.  It's such a small room that every person was a part of the energy. No microphones just incredible acoustics. - Suzanne

Dreaming of : Positive vibes and the stars aligning. - Mike & Suzanne

Exploring: The Torture Museum (Prague's darker side) with our friend Janna from Sweden.  It was a tiny little place with an odd narrow hallway. A short walk through a weird part of humanity. Better to look toward peace. - Mike

xoxo
Suzanne & Mike

One of my favorites from Berlin, a few days before coming to Prague. 

One of my favorites from Berlin, a few days before coming to Prague. 

Lately in my Extraordinary Ordinary Life...

“Taking pictures is savoring life intensely, every hundredth of a second.” 

~ Marc Riboud

This is an ode to instagram, to capturing moments on the fly and always having a camera in your purse.  I love curating a gallery of images that I can share of day-to-day life and sometimes days that are better than ordinary.  Here are some of my recent instagrams.

A few dreamy shots of a night in New York City with Mike and a road trip to Yosemite with my cousin Amber.

xoxo Suzanne

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If you haven't tried Instagram already, I say head on over and follow people all over the world to see their day-to-day and not so ordinary moments!

 

Lately I'm loving...

1: Pic-Tap-Go

~ This is  my absolute favorite phone app for perfecting photographs  ... and it's so simple!

2: The book 'Paris , I Love You but You're Bringing Me Down'

~ This has been one of my favorite reads by the pool.  Who doesn't love Paris? I thought this was such a comedic way of  displaying the up and down sides the city has to offer and how even though we might have the complete wrong rosy idea about what it would be like living in the city we'd probably still fall in love with it in the end.

3: The TV Show 'Scandal'

~My favorite guilty pleasure.  Seriously, I love Scandal way too much.

Xoxo, Suzanne

 

 

 

 

Movie night

For a long time now I have wanted to join a book club. Somehow in the last couple of years it hasn't happened.  I'm a making things happen kind of girl, so this surprised me.  A lot of my friends are in clubs and although I excel at drinking wine, chatting, and reading I have yet to get an offer.Until now that is. It's kind of a book club for movie buffs.  There is chatting, drinking wine, gin, vodka, and the occasional everclear ( seriously) and instead of talking about some cool book we've read we watch a movie.I personally like art films or bad chick flicks. Luckily our movie club leans to the artistic side. How could it not with Scott and Jenny from Quixotic weddings on the couch every Sunday we are all in town? So if you have a favorite movie that will impress Mike, Scott or Jenny let me know.  I am oddly competitive and want them to like my film choices the best :) Our first week I brought Rabbit Proof Fences. It's an incredible epic. And I love Australia. I decided there are bonus points for anything related to Australia, Italy, Iceland or the Galapagos.  No one had seen it and everyone seemed to be impressed. The only downside is now they know I cry during most movies at some point. The second week Jenny picked. City of God.  I have always wanted to see it but shied away from the violence.  It's definitely worth watching.  Put it in your Netflix queue.  I gave that movie bonus points for having a photographer as a main character. Sunday is my new favorite day. Happy Friday friends! Xoxo Suzanne

ps Hawaii pics to come soon.  Here is a teaser of a new friend I made.

 

get famous

Hey everyone! Ran across this flier and wanted to share, everyone should get famous and feed their greedy organ! As the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego describes it, "The human eye likes to selfishly devour contemporary art." MCASD's competition asked artists to create an original work inspired by the Greedy Organ eyeball. Twenty-five finalists will have their artwork displayed at the museum, and one lucky winner will have their work featured in an ad campaign.Check out all of the winning art at showcase event at MCASD Downtown on Thursday, June 21.

Love always, Saniya

shewanders photography, museum of contemporary art, greedy organ, eyeball, art contest

rooftop photos by Intern : Olivia

Howdy! I'm Olivia and I started interning for SheWanders last Spring. It was an experience I will forever remember and I'll always bear in mind the innumerable lessons I learned along the way. Suzanne and Mike are two of the greatest photographers, and people, that I have been lucky (and thankful) enough to have met. One awesome day at work, Suzanne and Mike took us interns to the top of a roof downtown. Not only did we get to dress up and have our make-up and hair done (by the phenomenally talented Audra René of Audra René Studio and her friend Elena) but we got to use Suzanne and Mike's incredible cameras and lenses to learn about photo-shoots, the proper positioning of models, correct exposure, and much more. One funny fact they taught us, which I'll admit I sometimes drop into conversations, that I thought was quite interesting, was that everyone has a masculine and feminine side to their faces. You just have to put up your hand, so as to split one's face in half and then decide, as the photographer, which side would be best for them to pose with. Of course either way they'll look beautiful, but who knew that a "better side" actually existed?? I will admit that now, when I try to look buff, I turn to my left ;) haha. I'm forever thankful for the time I spent at SheWanders and will carry the lessons I learned with me towards becoming a professional photographer. Thank you Suzanne and Mike!Wishing you nothing but smiles,

Olivia from the Wanderers  :)

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