Out of Office

Hi everyone! I just wanted to give you a heads-up that I’m out of the office (and the country) for the next week, so I won’t be able to answer any emails until next Monday!

See you all after a bunch of Canadian adventures!

And just so that this post has some photos, here are a few pretty ones from Sunday night’s wedding at the Umlauf, with Amy and Carlos :)

kimono wedding umlauf wedding

Leaving for a Conference, Whoa

In my Google Calendar, there’s a little notation for the week of April 22nd. It says in capital letters, “GOING TO CANADA PHOTO CONVENTION. (YOU HAVE TICKETS.)”

Because, without that notation, I’d probably forget that I’m leaving the country?

I’ve never been to Vancouver before! I’ve been to Kingston and Ottawa (and passed through Toronto’s airport) but this is a totally different area of the country. I’d never gone to any photography conventions before, despite wanting to crash WPPI in past years — I just never had the leave time while working at the state agency — and it occurred to me that I’d been doing this photography business thing for a while and hadn’t actually been to a large meet-up in a different city before.

I heard about the Canada Photo Convention sometime last year, and after looking at the lineup of speakers, the early bird price, and finding out that many photographers I looked up to were also going to be attendees, I committed to the ticket.

Honestly? I’m not sure what to expect. I’ve never been to a convention — and in my 2.5 years of doing this, I’ve only gone to one workshop — so I’m curious to see how much information can be packed into two 13-hour days with 13 speakers.

One of the things I find to be calming, while I’m anxiously awaiting for something to happen, is to plan out every little thing that could possibly need planning. What book will I read in the airport during my layover? What pieces of my makeup collection will I keep in my carry-on? What meals will I eat while in Vancouver? What clothes should I bring with me?

makeup and stuff

So here I am, virtually packing my travel kit. Feel free to gloss over this stuff :) Into my Kate Spade Cobble Hill Leslie bag (yes, I bought a designer handbag for the first time in my life!) I’m planning on packing…

[Just so you know, I’m linking to a bunch of stuff in this post! Full disclosure: the stuff linked to Amazon.com are affiliate links. Everything else — NARS, Urban Decay, etc. — are just regular links!]

  1. A screw-top pill bottle to store a glob of hand cream [TSA still allows this much, right?] and other odds and ends that usually end up lost in the bottom of a bag.
  2. I’m a believer in my Urban Decay Naked palette, but it’s too bulky to bring with me, so I got this cheapy Physician’s Formula matte basics palette from CVS. I was pleasantly surprised by the pigmentation and butteriness of this drugstore eyeshadow palette and would recommend it to folks who don’t want to shell out $27 for Naked Basics. CVS was having a sale on Physician’s Formula recently and I scored this for 40% off (about $4).
  3. I’m not bringing my bulky DSLRs to Vancouver with me, and instead decided to pick up a Fujifilm X100 as a traveling camera. Now that the X100S is out, people are unloading their used original X100 cameras so that they can upgrade. It’s a sweet little camera, and since I don’t have a personal camera anymore — everything I own is for my business! — and I’m also going to Mexico in May, I thought it was a good time to snatch up one of these beauties.
  4. I love my Revlon Just Bitten lip balm stains — they’re long-lasting, have no taste, and wear better than lipstick. Perfect for travel! I own a few colors but will probably just bring Romantic, my favorite pinky-purple shade.
  5. Passport, of course.
  6. My skin is not the best, so I wear NARS Sheer Matte foundation. I’ve used a lot of foundation brands and found that this one is gentle (MAC broke me out something awful) and provides great medium coverage. I’ll probably plop a glob of this in my screw-top pill bottle to avoid bringing the entire glass bottle.
  7. I love my Tarte blush! I own Dollface.
  8. Eyeshadow primer (I have a travel-sized tube of Urban Decay’s Primer Potion), and
  9. Blinc mascara — I love both.
  10. I read this book, With the Old Breed: at Peleliu and Okinawa, in 2006, loved it, gave it away, and realized I wanted to own it again, so I re-bought it! E.B. Sledge was a Marine who served in the Pacific theater during WWII. If you’ve seen The Pacific, the HBO mini-series, Joe Mazzello plays his part. I recently rewatched The Pacific and am back in a WWII kind of mood…
  11. I just discovered this stuff: Bag Balm. It’s such an un-romantic name and it’s made for vets to put on chapped cow udders… but damn if it isn’t the best hand and foot lotion and lip balm I’ve ever used. I’m used to more humid weather, so I’m a little worried about drying out on the plane, so I’m bringing a little bit of this with me!

… as well as the usual smart things like gum and a toothbrush, my wallet and perhaps some Canadian dollars.

I remember a mistake I made when I went on a school trip to Europe in ’06. On the way to the airport, my mother (who was driving me) asked me if I had any money. I showed her my credit card. She immediately told me to pull out all the cash she had in her wallet and exchange it for Euros. It wasn’t much — maybe about $50 altogether — and the entire two-week trip was total hell because (surprise!) a lot of places in Europe still prefer (or require) cash only. My workaround for the trip was to buy groceries at big-chain stores for my classmates with a credit card, and they paid me back with cash so that when we went to cafés and restaurants I wouldn’t be out in the cold. So now I’m wondering if Vancouver is like Austin — debit or credit all the way, baby! — or if the city prefers paper money?

It’s currently 80 degrees here in Austin, and Vancouver’s high is going to be 60… and its lows will be (gulp) 45. I’m trying to figure out what to pack that will give maximum warmth and flexibility while also not taking up my entire carry-on (because I am not paying the airline to check a bag (she said stubbornly)). We’ll be in a hotel conference hall for most of the time, but I know folks will also go out for lunch and drinks and so on, so I want to be prepared with extra layers! Still working on that bit, though :)

Any tips? It’s been a while since I’ve traveled!

Lacey & Andrew | Wedding at the Austin Wildflower Center

austin wildflower center bride groom portrait

Lacey and Andrew’s wedding at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center was so incredibly heartwarming and lovely. Andrew works as an arborist at the Center, so he helped build the new arboretum — and theirs was the first wedding out there in the trees! Their wedding was sourced by many family and friends — from the tent construction, to the handmade BBQ grilled on-site in new pits, they were everywhere, lending hands, working to make the wedding a wonderful success.

My favorite thing (besides the donuts in lieu of a wedding cake, since Andrew and Lacey got engaged at Ken’s Donuts!) was how casual and happy the entire occasion was. No one really seemed to worry about anything; things just happened organically. Guests arrived by school bus; the drinks weren’t anything froofy, just simple bottles of Topo Chico, Mexican Coke, and Lone Star; there was no cake-cutting or bouquet tossing or garter-snatching. It was just a sweet and intimate celebration, under the trees and a beautiful Texas sunset, on a warm March day. There was joy and happiness everywhere, and it really just… felt amazing.

I can’t share all of my favorite photos from Lacey and Andrew’s wedding, but here are just a few. Congratulations, you two!

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A few extra credits:
Wedding dress by Etsy artisan Soul Role
Wedding bands by local jeweler, Stone’s Throw
Additional Catering by Rudy’s BBQ and Counter Culture (vegan)
Live band: the Carper Family
Donuts: Ken’s