We Will Be World Travelers (Pt III)

In 2008, I had just graduated and had started my state agency job. Around the same time, my grandfather died. Being that he was on the opposite side of the world with a rather large ocean and a prohibitively expensive planet ticket away, I didn’t have the time or the means to visit. I missed seeing him after he had been diagnosed with cancer and before he died; the last time I’d been in Japan was late 2005/early 2006.

It is what it is.

Next month, my mother, sister, and I will be going on a trip to visit our Japanese family. We will be out of the country for about two weeks, which is relatively short for a visit but all the time we can afford to spend now. I have weddings bookending the trip and my sister just started a new business and can’t take too much time from it. My mother will be staying on a little longer and will fly back separately. It was a real bear trying to align our schedules so that we could make this happen. For the longest time, Chieko and I talked about going to Japan to have our husbands meet our families, and we kept putting it off: “We’ll do it in 2014,” we promised each other, and now our grandmother’s health has provided a pretty great fire under our butts to get it done — even though our husbands actually can’t join us.

Things I’m excited about:

  • Seeing family after 8 years of being away. Eight?! Can you believe that 2006 was eight years ago?!
  • Immersing myself in the language. I don’t practice talking in Japanese enough and my vocabulary has sadly waned to a third-grader’s level.
  • Eating, eating, eating.

I just wanted to say, I’m really grateful for this job. My hours at the state agency were such that I would have been forced to work 2 years consecutively without taking a vacation day in order to take these 2 weeks off. With working for myself, I just had to check the calendar and find a chunk of time where I could fit the trip. Thank you to my clients and the continued support from friends, family, and past couples who keep spreading the word about me; I couldn’t have done this without you. Honestly.

2014 looks like the year of travel for me. In a few short weeks, I’ll be taking the long drive to Marfa for a wedding. With April comes Japan; I’ll be flying to California three times this year for weddings (two as a guest; one as a photographer), and there are a few teensy trips as well: Fort Worth, Houston, who knows where else. My schedule is still being decided.

Here are a few photos from my 2005/06 trip.

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Maeve & Jesse | olive & june Engagement Session

Austin greenbelt photos

Eyes twinkling, Maeve snuggled up to Jesse and steered her nose close to his. They whispered conspiratorially together, and as I was looking at them through my viewfinder, her in a black sheath dress, he in a sharp grey suit, surrounded by the gold and white of olive & june’s interior, I was struck by how effortlessly classy they were. Maeve and Jesse chose their favorite restaurant as the backdrop for their engagement session, and they were so comfortable I let them steer the session. Which turned out to be an amazing idea, as you can see by the ensuing photos.

We finished our session at the Austin Greenbelt and it was pretty much perfect. I’m so excited about their brunch wedding in October. Maeve is a graphic designer so I can’t wait to see all the gorgeous touches at their Barr Mansion wedding!

indoor Austin engagement picturesOlive & june engagement photosInterior pictures of olive & june austin artistic Austin engagement photos blue topaz engagement ring Austin wedding photographer Olive & june wedding reception Austin Olive June wedding couple Austin engagement photographer Greenbelt engagement pictures Artistic engagement photography

Awesome Wedding Photography Reviews (by Awesome Couples)

Every so often, I send out a feedback form for my clients to complete. It takes about 10 minutes of their time and I always appreciate finding out the reasons why people book me, what I did right, and what I can do better. And sometimes it just seems so sad to let these amazing comments sit hidden away, with only me to see them. So now I receive permission from my awesome clients to share some of the best parts of my wedding photography feedback forms. Here are some of my favorite reviews from some of my late 2012-early 2013 couples.

(Lest you think I’m pulling only good reviews from the pile — which, in fact, were all positive — I would like to do a little sis-boom-bah! and share that I currently have 13/13 five-star reviews on Yelp (with 3 totally legitimate, yet hidden, five-star-reviews there as well) and 8/8 five-star reviews on Wedding Wire. Ahem.)

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“We love our photos and they are priceless.”

“We knew someone from Offbeat Bride would be easy to get along with (and open to alternative ideas if we had any),” wrote Hannah and Brent.

backyard wedding photographer

“What Elissa provided for us was so much more than photographs.”

“From the very first email interactions with her to the day we received our final images, Elissa met and exceeded every expectation. Her attention to detail and level of professionalism gave us a sense of security that she was competent to handle such an important event… Every time we look at those images, we are brought back to our wedding day in a way mere snapshots could not achieve. Elissa was a dream to work with.

“Our wedding didn’t follow tradition in a lot of ways and we didn’t want to have to hold anyone’s hand through those more unusual aspects. When we saw Elissa’s body of work, we knew she was no stranger to weddings that broke the mold.”  – Jill & Zach.

bride and groom at cedar bend events outdoor ceremony

“Elissa’s strongest strength for us was her ability to help us relax and be ourselves in front of the camera.”

“We chose Elissa for a number of reasons. Not only was she on APW but she was LGBTQ friendly, which was a priority for us in choosing our vendors. After meeting her, we were drawn to pick her because of her awesomely dorky personality and picture quality,”  added Ashley & Sebastian.

Inn Above Onion Creek wedding // Elissa R Photography

“Elissa added to our wedding day.”

“The images and services received from Elissa were truly priceless. The images capture the the day beyond what we could have ever wished for in that she froze moments in time for us to cherish forever and caught glimpses of emotion throughout the late afternoon/evening that may have otherwise gone unnoticed or at least missed by some. She is brilliant and talented with her camera… The day of the event Elissa’s demeanor was very calming and reassuring… Elissa gave us a gift of memories that we will always cherish.” – Laurie & Mike

Artistic Austin wedding photography // Elissa R Photography

“She totally understood and captured the romantic vibe of everything.”

“After meeting with Elissa, we both felt very comfortable with her and I, of course, have faith that anyone who loves a certain BBC romance as much as I do will work well with me. Besides producing some amazing images, I think Elissa’s greatest strength with me was that she was able to take my half-formed ideas and build upon them in a way that turned out well for everyone. I felt like I was saying, “I don’t know — just something pretty?” most of the time, but the images I got back were perfect in a way that I never expected, especially given my poor articulation!

“I, and the rest of my family, were totally comfortable with Elissa and her assisting photographer on the day. She gave just the right amount of instruction, and was efficient and considerate of our schedule. The results are fantastic.” – Rebecca & Matthew

In the interest of not going on too much, I just picked some of my favorites. I am so excited to hear from my past couples and I’ll keep striving to do an even better job for my future couples.