Adrift In My Mind at Peckerwood Garden

August 5, 2015

One of my favorite things about being back in Texas is collaborating with some incredibly talented friends! Bri, of Adrift In My Mind works with reclaimed wood to design art pieces and furniture with a modern, southwestern vibe. Just my style! I’ve love Bri’s style and work so much that I’m commissioning her to design a desk for me. I literally cannot wait!

Last week we drove out to the very outskirts of Houston to shoot at the incredible Peckerwood Garden.  They have a stunning collection of agaves and other plants from Mexico and the American southwest. It was the perfect backdrop to highlight Bri’s beautiful work.

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Moody Tropics Editorial

July 24, 2015

When inspiration strikes, I try to run with it. The stars aligned for this shoot when my gorgeous roommate was in town and I was dying to do a shoot in my favorite nursery in Boulder before I moved away. They have an incredible atmosphere of gorgeous tropical plants and lush ferns. They were my go-to for cacti and succulents, but for this project I wanted to feel like we were deep in the jungle with just a touch of glam. I styled Melly up with some gold jewelry, minimalist outfits and then got creative with some glitter, my favorite!

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model: Melanie Nikolitsch // jewelry: personal & Madewell // styling & photography: Alyssa Renee


Melly + Salih :: Colorado Engagement Photography

April 14, 2015

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I truly do see the love and adoration between these two and it’s beautiful to witness! Melly was my room mate for six months when she moved to Boulder from Germany to be an au pair for the family upstairs. When they came back for a visit a few weeks ago, I knew I had to get these two in front of my camera!

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I mean, what a beauty!

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One thing I love about these two is their tenderness for each other. She’s sweet, curious and genuine. He’s playful, light-hearted and kind.  Salih is always there for Melly, to hold, to support and more often than not, to make her smile. And smile she does!

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Love you Melly + Salih!  Come visit again soon, I miss you and America does too!

Life - Photography - Travel

Living Wanderlust + A Pig Dog

March 25, 2015

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Meet Oaklee the pig dog! I met her when she still had her pink pig nose but she’s all grown up now. She’s on quite the adventure with her human.

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Ever since I did a little exploring on my own during my solo road trip adventure, I’ve had a pretty serious case of wanderlust. Just go. Drive through the mountains, chasing the sun. That’s what Tim and Oaklee are doing. Just driving through the Rockies, Canada, who knows. Living simply. Breathing fresh air and listening to the sweet sound of silence.

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Just look at the wisdom that hides behind those eyes!

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Oh and she dearly loves her human. : )


Ali + Mark :: Colorado Engagement Photography

March 16, 2015

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Okay, I lied in my post title. Alison and Mark had a lovely late summer wedding in Alison’s hometown in Maine, so technically this was their six month anniversary shoot (even though they didn’t know it had been six months until I told them, ha)! I’ve been dying to shoot in these two locations in Boulder, and they were kind enough to model for me.

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I asked Ali to wear her actual wedding dress because 1. I love it, 2. I knew it would be perfect for this backdrop and 3. who doesn’t want to wear their wedding dress again!

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Thanks Mark and Ali! Y’all are the best!

Life - Photography - Travel

Eat, Pray, Love pt. 2 – The Road to Marfa, TX

March 12, 2015

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When I was first planning my road trip, I needed a reason to swing through Santa Fe besides making my trip a lot longer and more boring than it had to be.  After a few minutes of research, I found this Texas Borderlands road trip guide and Marfa, TX stood at the center of it all. This quirky little one stoplight town in the middle of west Texas desert is a bizarre mix of art, culture and slow, small town living.

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I deliberately planned my drive heading east through Valentine, TX so I’d pass by the famous (read: Instagram gold) Prada, Marfa art installation. The creators originally intended to let the building become decrepit and degrade back into the natural landscape, but a few weeks after the reveal, the “store” was broken into and shoes and bags were stolen. Now there are security cameras, the building is starting to show wear and tear. I’m dying to see it again in five or ten years!

Fun fact: The shoes and bags inside are real Prada (although post-vandalism the bottoms of the purses were removed and replaced with a security device) and were chosen by Miuccia Prada herself!  (Read more about the installation here and here.)

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Only a few miles after gawking at and eventually passing by Prada Marfa, a billboard cheerfully welcomes you to Marfa, TX!  At this point I was so excited I finally turned off my Harry Potter audiobook after an eight hour binge.

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As I was on a budget for this trip, I chose to stay at the cheapest and coolest (IMHO) local lodgings – El Cosmico.  All the teepees were taken, even in the middle of December (damn you, hipsters!) so I went for a safari tent.

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Funny story. I wasn’t too worried about sleeping outside in freezing weather because the beds were equipped with a heated mattress pad. The first night, I turned that thing up to high. I really couldn’t tell a difference but when I rolled over, I felt some warmth on my hand so I knew it was on. I was curled up so tight in the fetal that night I might as well have been in the womb! Embarrassingly, the next night I figured out that there were two controllers for the mattress pad that heated opposite sides of the bed. Sooooooo, I slept on the cold side of the bed the first night but at least I was toasty the second night! Go me.

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And of course I had to try and get a little night photography in because the stars were INSANE! Not too bad for my first try, I don’t think. : )

Read more about my Eat, Pray, Love Marfa Trip here. Stay tuned for part 3! 


David + Liz :: A Fun Urban Engagement Session

January 28, 2015

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These two lovebirds were a total blast to work with.  I forgot how much fun location scouting was until I spent 20 minutes driving and wandering around the coffee shop we had agreed to meet at, discovering some new, fun backdrops to work with. Anyways, these two are particularly special to me because their fall wedding will be my first solo wedding! I could not be more excited but I’m also grateful I have almost 10 months to practice. : )

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DIY Chunky Crochet Infinity Scarf

January 20, 2015

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Winter may pretty much be over in Houston but I’ve made another warm and chunky crochet scarf in preparation of heading back to Colorado. Check out the step by step DIY on The Nectar Collective (which is an amazing blog you should check out even if you hate cool things like crochet. : )

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Photos of me (and adorable dog that I’m in love with) by Michelle Able.


Winter Floral Arranging

January 19, 2015

Before I left Colorado for a short sabbatical in Texas, I paid a visit to one of my favorite shops in Boulder, Sturtz & Copeland.  This cozy, lush little nursery is a true local gem. I may or may not have spent $80 in there before, with half of that spent on air plants (of course!). They started offering free classes on floral arranging, from tablescapes to live wreaths! I knew I had to check one out and now I’m addicted. It’s a totally awesome problem.

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They had a whole assortment of beautiful greenery to use as the base of your arrangement at $3 per 2 lbs which was waaaaay more than enough. Pinecones, berries, baubles and all kinds of containers were available to use and it was hard to not pick them all!

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How gorgeous is this tropical + wintery hybrid arrangement?! It was one of the examples she brought out for the class and I wanted to steal it! I’m definitely trying an arrangement with these beauties next time.

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It was a lot of fun seeing how different everyone’s designs were! The shimmery mercury glass container I picked really added some holiday flair to mine and is totally my style. (If it ain’t sparkly, shiny or metallic, it ain’t cool.) The star of the show though? Definitely the heart rose (or at least that’s what I think they’re called?), it’s pretty beautiful.

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Life - Photography - Travel

Eat, Pray, Love pt 1 – The Road to Santa Fe

January 17, 2015

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Before Christmas, I did something I’ve never done before. I drove more than 2,000 miles over the course of 5 days through Colorado, New Mexico and Texas. (Let’s be real, most of it was Texas!) It. Was. Incredible. The solo holiday road trip was so much less stressful than airport madness and seriously good for my soul. I visited with friends I hadn’t seen in a while, witnessed incredible landscapes and discovered my eternal love for Texas martinis (up, dirty and infused with jalapeños #drooling).

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Before I left, I told some friends of my plans and their responses really stuck with me. One was impressed, “By yourself?! You are so brave, I could never do that!” and the other’s response made me smile each time I thought of it afterwards – “It’s like your own ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ trip!” Initially I giggled off their comments, but then I realized they were actually pretty dead on. It’s not something that everyone could (or even want to) do and I’m proud of myself for seeking out adventure. I needed some fresh air, a new perspective, soul searching and some unplanned, raw experiences. That’s exactly what I got.

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To make the trip a bit more interesting, I rented a tilt shift lens that I’ve been dying to play around with. I still don’t think I have it entirely figured out, but it was a fun creative challenge and I’m really loving the dreamy style. A goal that I’ve given myself for this new year is to really hone in on my creative style and have a bit of fun shooting anything and everything I can get my (usually glittery) hands on!

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I’m splitting up the trip into several, easily digestible posts so I don’t go too photo crazy in one post, although it is tempting. These photos were all taken in New Mexico with the exception of the first image of my beloved Boulder Flatirons.

Check back in for the next leg of my trip! The weird, the creative, the quiet, the one and only … Marfa, TX.