Christmas in July 2018 | Natalie Asfoura

Happy Friday, everyone!

Today, I'm going to be on the topic of PHOTOGRAPHY FOR FUN! Yes, believe it or not, I still get to be creative as an artist after college. It's not always about the money...and sometimes, doing business like this allows for more creative space and relaxation as an artist!

Last year, a good friend of mine from middle school, Natalie, hit me up and asked if I'd be interested in helping her create a "Christmas in July" card. My answer was pretty obvious and we set a date for it to happen in Columbus! Natalie came down and we shot on site near my house! She loved our shoot enough to reschedule 2018's session, only this time, a little more thought out and hilarious. 

Natalie then sent me a meme (attached below) which made me crack up laughing! We were on a mission to get models, the appropriate clothing/visual and vehicle too! I reached out to a few of my friends and had a ton of awesome feedback about the shoot. Natalie and I were looking for 2-3 models and instead, had 4! amazing models! Natalie finally sent out her cards, so the coast is clear to share away!

A huge shout out to my models; Amber, Windi, Tiff & Jenna. Another huge shoutout to my favorite MakeUp artist, Tatum! An additional thank you to Jacob Ryan Blume for shooting with us, too!!! One more shout out to Jake Danieri for letting us borrow his '95 SUPER CLEAN Jeep!!!! And of course, to Natalie...I can't thank you all enough for making something like this come to life before my very eyes. Can't wait for next year's card/idea!!!

 

Mason Anthony | May 24, 2018

On my way home from Hawaii, I got a text from someone special! Keshia had been friends for years with Jason, my former fiancé who got struck and killed on a motorcycle in December of 2017. She was texting to let me know that her baby was born and that her and her partner, Wes, gave him Jason’s middle name.  I obviously couldn’t wait to get home and hold him.

Even with all the medical complications she was going through, Keshia made it a point to show up to Jason’s motorcycle ride to benefit the kids of Sullivant Gardens Recreation Center, which really meant a lot to me and I’m sure him too.  Eventually, I’ll be posting a blog with those images. We had a great turnout and I can’t wait to do it again next year for such a great cause!

Welcome to the world, Mason Anthony!

Patty & Bill | May 20, 2018

As I mentioned in my last blog, I was honored enough to tag along with my friend Shane to witness his Dad marry someone super special in Kauai, Hawii. (PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT! We were on another island and did not get to see/experience anything having to do with the volcanoes erupting!) I had never met Shane’s family, but he reassured me frequently to be myself and everyone would get along swimmingly.

Shane and I decided to show up a day earlier than everyone else to feel out the island, our condo and how far our bodies could walk in a day! We explored the south rim of the island on the first day, and then it was party time with Shane’s family!

When I posted the last blog, I purposefully left out Patty and Bill’s wedding images, as I wanted to honor them separately by giving them their own blog to look back on and enjoy. Interestingly enough, I got a phone call from Shane yesterday, stating that someone very near and dear to all of us, even to me…a completely good stranger, passed away yesterday. Details were not necessary, just hearing the news of her passing crushed my heart for not only her daughter, but for her grandkids with whom she’s been residing. Her granddaughter, Abby, told me in Hawaii that Grandma requested the presence of every single person in that house for a full-course dinner she had prepared for everyone. Despite her fear of flying/turbulence, this woman was 95 years old and made the trek from California to Hawaii for her daughter’s beautiful beach wedding. I don’t think she would’ve missed it for the world.

So today, I write this blog in memory of Grandma. I remember escorting her down the stairs on the wedding day as the photographer, helping to make sure that she got in and out of the car safely. She was patient, loving, kind and someone I will cherish and look up to for the rest of my life.

To Grandma!

Hawaii | May 2018

Well!  It’s obvious that it’s been a few months since I’ve written a blog, so this one is LONG overdue! Did you guys know that I went to Hawaii in May?!  Feels like just yesterday, but time flies…it’s been proven. Leading up to May 15, 2018, I lost several friends, family and loved ones to natural causes, accidents and overdoses. I was seriously looking forward to Hawaii for a recharge and a new, fresh outlook on life. The older I get, the more I realize that THIS is life…death is a part of it. I’ve learned one lesson fairly quickly-the intensity and frequent loss of loved ones can be straining on my work ethic. I become sluggish and unmotivated. All I want to do is sleep and turn my brain off from rotating in a million circles, getting nowhere fast.  Before I left for Hawaii, I informed family and friends to withhold any bad news (if any at all…) until I came back to Ohio. Thank goodness, I returned to NO bad news and felt refreshed as ever. 8 days just wasn’t enough. It never is!

The reason for this 4,500 mile trip was actually a wedding! My friend Shane, who I met while working at Starbucks in 2012, invited me to be his plus 1 to his Dad’s wedding. We shortly after bought our flight and started saving for spending money!

Fast forward, 5 months FLEW by. Next thing I know, I’m hopping on a plane, heading to a paradise that I’ve been DYING to witness my entire life. ((Fun fact; I made a goal for myself when I was 20 years old that I wanted to hit all 50 states before turning 30. Hitting, meaning I’m in that state for more than 24 hours! I have Alaska and Texas left!!!!!)) We landed in Lihue, HI on the island of Kauai, the “sleepy” island in the afternoon, headed straight to our condo, walked to the ocean—which was a 2 minute walk from our place and enjoyed the sunset, salt water and sunshine.  The next 8 days flew by like our trip never even happened. We knew it was going to happen that way, so I tried to get up early, photograph everything I saw and adventure like a pro.  I got to meet Shane’s family and felt right at home, like I was part of the crew the entire time. I adored them and am so glad I got to hang out and build new relationships with amazing people…and I got to photograph/witness Shane’s Dad marry an amazing, funny and beautiful woman. This trip was one for the books, that’s for sure.

Hawaii has a special place in my heart. I hope everyone gets to see this magical place at some point in their life. It’s too magical not to. Spend the money, you won’t regret it!

Enjoy!

 

Pet Friendly Hotels | Columbus, OH

Happy Thursday to my favorites!

There is a huge demand for animals participating in weddings, but in Columbus, the dog laws are a bit strict and don’t necessarily accommodate our furry friends.  That’s why I’ve compiled a list of pet-friendly hotels that will allow your pets to be a part of your wedding day, even if it’s just the “getting ready” part!

1) Hotel LeVeque is a 5 star hotel at an average rate of $229/night. I’ve personally been to the tower (which is partially residential as well!) and it’s STUNNING and worth every single penny, even just for the photography opportunity for you and your pet! Check it out for yourself!

 

https://autograph-hotels.marriott.com/hotel/hotel-leveque/

2) Drury Inn & Suites Columbus Convention is also downtown and accommodates pups. It is a 3 star hotel, meaning it’s a bit more affordable and in a friendly price range. Average cost per night is $150!

 

https://www.druryhotels.com/locations/columbus-oh/drury-inn-and-suites-columbus-convention-center

3) Hilton Downtown Columbus is one of my all-time favorite hotels in the city, not only because they’re pet friendly, but because the Gallerie Bar and Bistro is one of my ALL TIME favorite restaurants in the city! Bill, the executive chef there, has an incredible menu and is sure to have you leaving with a full and happy belly. If you’re into sharing your human with your furry loved one, they’ll leave just as happy!

 

http://www3.hilton.com/en/hotels/ohio/hilton-columbus-downtown-CMHDWHH/index.html

4) Hampton Inn and Suites downtown also accommodates pets for a fair price of $150/night and is centrally located in the middle of Columbus! The reviews of this hotel are 4.5/5 and you can tell the staff here strives to make their guests leave happy and have a superb experience. Check it out for yourself!