The New!

In case you hadn’t noticed, Elissa R Photography (dot com) has a new look! And I’m so excited!

I can’t even begin to describe how wonderful it was to work with Dameian Lott, the genius who designed and coded all of this for me. This is essentially going to be a giant love note about Dameian, and a long advertisement for you to hire him if you’re on the lookout for an awesome web guy.

new website by dameian

When a person starts thinking about “re-branding” or “updating the website” or whatever else, one always always always hears horrible stories. How designers don’t respond to emails for weeks, how they don’t listen to your criticism for what you want from your website, how it takes ages to get new revisions and your project goes past the deadline you’d like, and so on. I was actually very hesitant to redesign my site, even though I’d been using a template for about 2 years and was tired of looking at it, because I was scared of hiring someone and wasting a ton of money.

I’m happy to say that with Dameian, those worries were unfounded. He emailed back within minutes, listened to me carefully and encouraged constructive criticism, and while the site wasn’t launched exactly on time, I blame my two international trips for pushing back the timeline by a few weeks.

Ages before I’d even hired him — or had even considered redesigning — Dameian had shown such sweetness of character that I already wanted to be his friend. Fielding random WordPress questions I had, offering to host my site when I got frustrated by Bluehost’s excessive outages, helping my friends out when they updated something and broke their site — I already knew he was a good guy. When I saw what he had coded for Caroline Ghetes and Shari DeAngelo, I knew I had to get on his waiting list if I ever wanted to redesign.

(Oh, and this happened in Vancouver:

dameian club

Caroline and Shari and me, all Dameian clients, all ended up rooming together! I think this was a pic from Caroline’s iPhone.)

At the beginning of the project, I sent Dameian my “re-branding mood board” on Pinterest and he sent an initial mock-up. It was not my cup of tea — too bright, too peppy. I explained what I didn’t like about it, and the second mock-up was dead-on perfect. It was like he was in my mind. We just tailored all the little bits that had to be fixed, he coded it, did some trouble-shooting, and voila! While the project took a bit of time, it never felt wasted. The entire time we were exchanging emails to get the pieces lined up and perfect, and if there was a long silence I knew it was because he was doing stuff in the background that didn’t require my involvement.

Anyway, it was amazing working with Dameian. I sometimes felt as though I was incredibly needy — in all, we exchanged over 200 emails, emails that discussed all of the development in plain English so that I could understand what was going on — and he never seemed put out by it. Oh, and did I mention that in those emails he included nerdy lines referencing ASOIAF, Star Wars, and Lord of the Rings?

I mean, really, how could you not want to hug the person who is working his butt off on your site and sending you gems such as:

This staging site is obviously not ready for prime time and is like the 2/3 built Death Star at this point, so never mind the messy and incomplete bits.

I moved the date to the left. I was drawing a total blank on what to balance it with on the right so I put a kitty cat over there. (Elissa’s note: And there are cats! On every post! Do you see them? I’m such a cat lady that I think it’s the maraschino cherry on top of this awesome chocolate sundae.)

I’ve been going off nerd-adrenaline for the past 48 hours and if I don’t rest soon I’ll snap out of a haze tomorrow morning to myself in the garage sewing Rohirrim horse lord costumes or something.

There’s just no way.

I don’t know all the technical specs of this site — runs off WordPress, of course; Dameian set up some pretty grids for me, and it seems much more efficient than the template I was using before. I’m totally in love with it and would definitely recommend that if you want to spend your hard-earned dollars with a good person who runs a good business, take your money to Dameian!

Chieko & Robby | Puerto Vallarta Day-Of Session

puerto vallarta wedding

I’d never been to Mexico before, but the light in Puerto Vallarta was so amazing, and the beach at the Dreams resort was so gorgeous, that it made my already-beautiful sister and her handsome husband ridiculously easy to photograph. I did not shoot their ceremony, their reception, their cake, or their decorations. As the maid of honor, I watched Chieko walk down the aisle on our father’s arm, and watched Robby’s face shine as he recited his vows. We shot their day-of session in the thirty minutes between ceremony and dinner as the sun began to set. It was lovely and wonderful and I’m really happy for them :)

puerto vallarta wedding puerto vallarta wedding puerto vallarta wedding puerto vallarta wedding puerto vallarta wedding

Amy & Carlos | A Japanese-Jewish Celebration at the Umlauf

japanese kimono wedding wear

This was one amazing multicultural wedding! Amy is part Japanese, part Jewish, and Carlos’ family comes from Central America, so there was so much fusion happening in one place. The couple wore kimonos for their ceremony and changed into a western-style dress and a guayabera for the reception. They incorporated a Jewish glass-breaking at the end of their ceremony and danced the hora later on! It was such a blast. Here are a few of my favorite moments and details from Amy and Carlos’ amazing blended fête!

kimono wedding at umlauf austin wedding kimono details umlauf garden wedding austin tx flowers in hair for wedding wear a bolero over your wedding dress prada wedding shoes colorful hanging lanterns umlauf orange centerpiece decorations happiness at a texas wedding groom at umlauf weddingjapanese jewish celebration austin wedding photographerumlauf wedding photography jewish tradition of breaking the glasswedding hugsaustin cakeball wedding cakeaustin wedding photographer intimate wedding portrait umlauf first dance father daughter dance at umlauf umlauf wedding reception gangnam style at wedding reception hora at a jewish japanese wedding celebration umlauf bubble exit

A few more credits:
Florals by Petals Ink., cake by Austin Cake Ball, catering by Pascals, music by Live Oak DJ (who played Gangnam Style, and therefore I love)