Friday, December 18, 2009

Green Wedding Friday - DIY Sapling Favors

Giving the promise of Spring at your wedding is an eternal memory of you. Follow these easy directions to send your guests home with a baby tree.

Do It Yourself Sapling Favors

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

A Little Something For You

This month's desktop image is my Christmas Card to you. Please feel free to download and enjoy.

I love natural things. I love candles...I love the two together. I love the symbolism that an arrangement can make to signify the season. Freshen your desktop with this seasonal image.

Keep checking back for new images. Sometimes bridal, sometimes something different, but something always for you.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Green Wedding Friday - Fresh From the Kitchen LLC

Imagine a person that lights up the room and sparkles as she talks, that is innovative and takes the time to not only listen to her client’s needs but finds a way to accomplish their goals and you have the chef/owner of Fresh From The Kitchen, LLC. Noelle Salinas is the creative brain behind one of Phoenix’ newest and brightest catering companies.

I had the pleasure of spending some time with Noelle and couldn’t wait to learn how this young woman started in the catering industry. To my surprise, not only did Noelle start creating desserts at age twelve, but had the maturity at that age to file and claim her current business name. As Noelle grew, she took on more responsibilities becoming a personal chef, working private parties and free-lancing with other catering companies.

In October 2008 Noelle partnered with Theresa Noble to form Fresh From The Kitchen, LLC with Theresa in charge of operations and Noelle handling the creative and consulting end. Their dedication to their enterprise not only embraces excellent business practices but hold an eco-friendly philosophy. According to Salinas, “What makes us green isn't just in what we do (like recycling and using fuel efficient catering vehicles), but in our mind set. We think green and create green through our support of local farmer's markets, buying locally (which helps reduce carcinogens because no "shipping" required), and using as many certified organic foods as possible. Further, we are green by not being wasteful. We make our food very fresh, tasty, and nourishing. This reduces the need to bring tons of extra food that could go to waste; rather, just enough is provided leaving the client happy, full, and minimizing excessive left-overs. We also use herbs and fresh fruits from our yards and use earth friendly cleaning products for the clean-up of our events. We encourage the use of washable dishes eliminating the need for excessive garbage. No styrofoam packaging or otherwise is used by our company. We re-use many of the packing materials that are items come in. We even re-use old copies of business papers that have nothing official on them for taking notes and the like.”

Just like everyone else, I asked Noelle what her favorite dish is to make. Her response? “ I think I would have to say the one you order. I like making all our food items, and I think that is why our food taste better. It's all made with love for what we do.”

Fresh From the Kitchen can be reached at:

Noelle Salinas, Chef/Owner | 602-694-1197 |
Theresa Noble, Director of Operations/Owner | 602-694-2878 |

Friday, November 20, 2009

Wedding 101: Professionalism - It Cuts Both Ways.

Hiring vendors for your wedding? A while ago I published a wonderful guide to manners that was written by the equally wonderful Mrs. Hancock who runs among other things an etiquette division with her consulting business.

Today I'd like to illustrate the uglier side of what happens when a couple fails to contact a vendor when they change plans. The quote below is from my FaceBook page written in fierce frustration:

"Please know that when that professional agrees to an appointment with you that time is blocked out for you and you alone, no other job can be taken for that time. At the risk of sounding unprofessional, Thanks to the couple who booked a time with me 4 days ago then didn't show up. I turned down a last minute job to honor my commitment to you...your actions cost me $200. Thank you."

Only a few days after I wrote this, I saw a colleague's status line in which she stated that she had accepted a last minute call to meet with a couple on an already too busy Saturday. Not only did she make time for them, but she arrived early in the hope that if they did also she could give them a little more time...they never showed.

I'm hoping that these are isolated incidences that just happened to happen in the same week...I'm afraid they aren't. As people get increasingly busy, they feel their time is more precious than the people they are doing business with. If you are reading this I hope this isn't you, but if it is, please, before you cancel at the last minute or just don't show, take a moment to consider if the person so generous with their time isn't giving up something to help you with your wedding. Whether it's an extra 20 minutes playing with a baby or turning down real money to honor a commitment to you it's time we can never get back again...if you wouldn't take it away from your mother or bff, why do it to your wedding vendors...just food for thought.

Green Wedding Friday - Give an Angel and Be One, Too

Here's a funky little take home to decorate your guest tables, use to hold place cards or bag and hand out at the door.

Made in Guatemala by a rural cooperative, these bright, shiny ornaments are sure to add a lively fizz to your holiday decorations- they're made from recycled beverage cans. Bottle tops become angel faces, while the sides of the cans are refashioned into celestial robes and wings. A triumph of ingenuity and artistic vision over wasteful litter, these angels raise living standards for low-income families: a gift very much in the spirit of the season.
3"W x 2"D x 4"H

Click Here to Purchase

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Save On Your Wedding Photography By Booking Now!

I wanted to let you know there are just 7 days left and more importantly just a couple spaces left on our very limited sale on our wedding packages. If you are still looking for your chosen photographer, I hope you will be able to take advantage of this special offer.

Exclusive Limited Bridal Sale
The best opportunities often take quick decision making and are gone in an instant. This is one of those times. Save 25% off your original photography plan now. This means if you spend:

$2000 = Save $500
$3500 = Save $875
$5000 = Save $1250

Is there a catch? you bet. There are only 2 spaces available at this time and wedding must be booked within 48 hours of consultation. New clients only. No other discounts or offers apply and offer absolutely ends November 24, 2009. Events outside of Phoenix Metro area may incur travel fees which are billed at normal prices. If you are ready to hire your wedding photographer, there is no better time than now.

I hope you’ll call, email or facebook me to find out more about how you can get some of the finest wedding photography in Phoenix at the very best prices available for this kind of quality and style.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

How To Hire Your Wedding Photographer

I was cleaning out some computer files and came across this letter that I used to send out to brides who asked about my services. I think it is still timely, so I thought I would share it with you. Yes, it is a sales letter for hiring, well, me!

Thanks so much for considering Marcia The Art of Photography for your Wedding Day images.

I’d like to start by approaching the intangibles that you purchase when you make an investment in your wedding photography.

Availability: As a full-time wedding photographer I am available to you at your convenience, offering you the expertise only a specialist in wedding photography can provide. I limit my clientele to provide the time necessary to offer outstanding customer service. I’m there for you with the time to focus on your desire and concerns regarding the recording of the most important day of your life.

Experience: Technology has made it easy for almost anyone to record candid images, however, only time and training offers the experience to handle all the variables that come up not only on the big day but challenges that come up both before and after your wedding. I bring to the table 20 years of award-winning wedding photography experience. These years that I have successfully worked in this field is an assurance of not only candids that truly capture the moment, but training in formal photography means speedy and well planned flow for your family photography on your day as well as beautiful artistic images. Most of all it’s an assurance that I have the experience to help you attain your vision on your day regardless of the challenges surrounding that day.

Quality of Art: Art is very subjective. Some people are happy with basics, others want a different level. I bring a wide variety of concepts to my style of wedding photography. From traditional color and classic black and white to fine art and alternative processes, I offer not only an eclectic point of view that will make your album unique, but the knowledge of how to best utilize different techniques to enhance the storytelling aspect of your album.

Quality of Presentation: Your wedding album and other products are your first family heirlooms...the first volume in your own nuclear family history. It is only right that your investment buy you products that last not only your lifetime but allow you to hand your family history down to your children and even perhaps their children. I offer some of the finest albums available today. All of your images are printed on topflight quality archival photographic paper printed by fine professional printers and pre-press books that will enhance your home.

Now as to what I can offer you:

Consultation before and after your wedding day
Outstanding Album Design Service
PPA Craftsman Photographer and assistant
Your Wedding Day Coverage
Personal Website for 90 days
Variety of top quality albums

I believe that this includes not only the tools you need to make the best decisions in selecting your images for your album, but quality that will last as long as you need it to, the rest of your life.

Thank you very much for allowing me the time to outline our services. I truly believe that I can do an amazing job for you as well as offer you unparalleled customer service and satisfaction. I’m looking to the opportunity to work with you.
Marcia The Art of Photography

Two HUGE Specials!

Brides, Don't Miss This Unbelievable Offer ~~ Moms, Get Your One Stop Holiday Shopping Here

Exclusive Limited Bridal Sale
The best opportunities often take quick decision making and are gone in an instant. This is one of those times. Save 25% off your original photography plan now. This means if you spend:

$2000 = Save $500
$3500 = Save $875
$5000 = Save $1250

Is there a catch? you bet. This offer extended only to the first 5 couples who book and wedding must be booked within 48 hours of consultation. New clients only. No other discounts or offers apply and offer absolutely ends November 24, 2009. Events outside of Phoenix Metro area may incur travel fees which are billed at normal prices. If you are ready to hire your wedding photographer, there is no better time than now.

Free Christmas Cards
25 FREE 5x7 folded cards and a super price on your family portrait session, too. Through November 24, 2009, Family Portrait sessions are only $149 (normally $300) and include your first set of Holiday Cards (value $125). Choose from select styles that your friends and family will love and enjoy special pricing on gift items.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

A Little Something For You

Fall to me is about dark and rich colors. Found objects that covey warmth, like a dark wood bench. Photography is about finding the details within the objects, the design within form.

This month's desktop image is an abstract detail. Can you tell what it is? Please feel free to download and enjoy.

Keep checking back for new images. Sometimes bridal, sometimes something different, but something always for you.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Shooting With Keith At The Montelucia

Every so often I get to do something I secretly wish. One of my favorite photographers, Keith Pitts invited me to help photograph a very special wedding at the Intercontinental Montelucia. We had such a wonderful time working with Amber and Warren on their special day, along with Victoria Canada of Victoria Canada Weddings and Events. I wanted to share just a few of the images I personally shot and I'll let you guess which wish came true :-)

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Unique Photo Christmas Ornaments

I love antique photos...I love how they tell a story in each and every formal portrait, and I wonder who the people were and what their lives were about.

Each year I decorate a tree for my gallery that is chock full of photography theme ornaments and years ago I took a handful of antique photos and attached hooks to the backs. Now each time I decorate my tree I pause to think of these long ago people and what their lives might have been like during the holidays.

How might you do this with your own family photos? How about "antiquing" them in photoshop, mounting to board and hanging on your own tree? a simple project to do with the kids that helps them think about where they came from through the medium of photography.

Happy Holidays!

Friday, October 23, 2009

It's Our Wedding Anniversary, So Let's Trash The Dress!

Elham and Sam are so cute! she is refreshingly creative and he just sparkles when he looks at her. They decided that their third anniversary was the perfect time to do new portraits, so we met in the park with a stack of clothes and an attitude for adventure. When we realized that the children's fountain was running, we couldn't help but TRASH THE DRESS! Thank you Elham and Sam for such a memorable afternoon...I had so much fun with the two of you!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Portraits! Portraits! Get Your Portraits! Portraits In The Park Special

If you've ever wanted a special portrait created and didn't think you had the (pick your excuse ;-D):

A) Money
B) Time
C) Organization

Well, Excuses be Gone! (Sorry, Wayne Dyer). Three days only, next week only, I'll be setting up in a local park for casual lifestyle mini-sessions. Get that portrait you've always wanted and your Holiday Shopping done at the same time. Special package pricing includes options for Holiday Cards, Photo Jewelry and more. Times are filling up fast, so call for yours, now.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Secret Sedona Wedding

Here at last are the long awaited images from Dawn and Dino's wedding in Sedona. While it is always an honor to be part of a wedding, sometimes it's also a privilege. This was certainly the case with these two. Together for 20 years, they decided that it was time to have a very intimate private ceremony away from their home in Florida and then share the good news after the fact.

We started in Tlaquepaque, a wonderful shopping village that is patterned after a traditional mexican village. From there we found a rocky outcropping on the road to Red Rock Crossing where the ceremony took place. Margaret Van Damme of Van Damme Weddings coordinated and officiated this special day. Dawn wore a sweet Jim Hjelm gown...

....but wanted to "trash the dress" after the ceremony, so brought A SECOND GOWN purchased on e-bay(!) for that special part of their day! And what a day it was!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Green Wedding Friday - The Boojum Tree Hidden Gardens

Boojum Tree Hidden Gardens is a wonderful venue for your green wedding. Beautifully appointed with lush gardens and architecture, you need bring in very little to enhance the already beautiful surroundings. The Boojum Tree makes re-useable centerpieces available as well as suggesting plants as centerpieces that can be later given as favors.

Tasha Miller, event specialist at this venue, offers tips to her couples to help cut down on waste while offering suggestions on favors that will really be used rather than looked at once and thrown away.

Internal changes have helped make The Bojum Tree earth-friendly, too. Set-M-Up Bartending (inhouse bar service) makes recycling a priority and the office had gone paperless, offering you the convenience of email for your communication.

Whether you are looking for unique architecture or getting close to nature, Boojum Tree is a really lovely place for a wedding celebration.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

A Little Something For You

This month's desktop image is a street shot. Please feel free to download and enjoy.

Once I got to go to New Orleans. A city that celebrates death like it does life. I wanted to share this image with you for Halloween. Click on the image to download a copy of your own and freshen up your desktop!

Keep checking back for new images. Sometimes bridal, sometimes something different, but something always for you.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

101 Goals in 1001 Days - Update

It's been a while since I posted about this mainly because I've been caught up in life and not paying attention to the things I set out to do, but in one long weekend I managed to attain three very important goals ;-D

We used to go camping before we got married...a lot...and I loved it. Camping for me ended about eighteen years ago when the dog we had at the time made our last trip such a miserable experience that I could never really get my husband excited about it again. When I made my list one of the biggest goals was to get him somehow excited to go again. This weekend, for J.'s birthday, we finally did it. Three days, two nights at Wood's Canyon Lake on the Mogollon Rim with our neighbors, their kids, grandkids, 2 dogs and a kayak in tow. Almost freezing temps, campfires and coca cola cake, our current dog who relished every moment and one happy girl camper who finally got to get outside again.

We came home Sunday afternoon just in time to unpack and pack for a very secret elopement in Sedona. Take one beautiful east coast girl and mix with a very happy groom, a couple of girlfriends and a guy and magical things can happen. Portraits started at Tlaquepaque, a beautiful little shopping village in the heart of Sedona. Then a drive to a hilltop overlooking the valley. We got to Red Rock Crossing just in time for a sweet ceremony on Oak Creek, then our adventurous bride and groom changed into a gown and tux shirt bought just for the occasion and dove into a very chilly Oak Creek for a trash the dress session.

Our Beautiful Bride and Groom are keeping the wedding a secret just a little bit longer, so photos will come on the blog when they are ready to share, but in the mean time, I'll leave you with a photo of a very happy dog guarding her tent in the high country.

Goals accomplished:

7. Do a Trash The Dress Session
27. Go Camping
39. Photograph a Wedding in Sedona

61 to go.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

5 Things On A Sunday - Interesting Things Around The 'Net

Well, it's really starting to feel like Fall...the winter lawn is in, there is a nip in the night air and my thoughts are turning to All Hallows Eve. Here are a few interesting things I've found for your ghouling pleasure:

Do you Facebook? I've become addicted to Reign of Vampires. Come, be part of my clan.

It's time to start thinking about your once a year alter ego. Are you still on the search for this year's perfectly wicked ensemble? Maybe a fantasy costume? I spend a lot of time looking for ideas for my homegrown costumes and every so often come up with a really wonderful website. This one has a great variety and I'm loving these finds at Sexy Costumes. Find an adorably sexy costume for your party here.

Are you into Extreme Pumpkins? Me, too, although I haven't done any since moving to Arizona since they seem to rot faster than I can carve them in our wierdly dry weather. Some really great ideas at this website: Extreme Pumpkins.

Are you in charge of the office Costume Party? Here are some tips for this year's bash.

Ellen Pranks on People

Sunday, September 27, 2009

5 Things On A Sunday - Interesting Things Around The 'Net

Does it feel like Fall to you? I know it's that time of year when Starbucks kicks up it's menu with Pumplin Spice Lattes...makes me want to make muffins rich in chocolate and pumpkin, so this Sunday's post is a search for easy comfort food:

Easy Pumpkin Choclate Chip Muffins
My Favorite Butternut Squash Soup
Autumn Beef Stew
My Favorite Beer on a cool night - Guinness
...and what's crisp Fall weather (I know, next month) without a bowl of Chili?

Monday, September 21, 2009

Spotting Good Wedding Photography - A Public Service Announcement About Budgets And Pricing

We now interrupt your normally scheduled programming for this public service announcement...

Soon-to-be-marrieds please take a moment to think about this...the number one challenge that I and every other wedding vendor I know has when they pick up the phone is that the nice person on the other end of the line has absolutely no clue (or won't say) about how much they are willing to spend for their photography (or flowers, or, or, or) and what they expect as a product. Like most wedding professionals, I have a keen desire to help you have a perfect day. Like many in our industry, I am happy to customize a package that will work for you, but, and it's a big but, you have to tell me what you want and give me an idea of what you are willing to spend to have what you want.

Here are a couple of examples of recent phone conversations...check out the difference in the outcome:

Photographer: Please let me ask you a few questions so that I can understand your needs. How many hours do you think you might need for your day? Bride: I don't know...just for the ceremony and one or two photos after. Photographer: How long is your ceremony? Bride: I don't know yet? Can you just give me a price? Ummm, that's alot more than we wanted to pay...Photographer: Do you have a budget in mind for your photography? Bride: no, we really don't know what we can spend yet but I know it isn't THAT much...I'll have to talk to my fiancé and get back to you...

Now, How about this:

Bride: Hi, I'm getting married and wanted to see about prices??? I'll be getting ready at my mom's house in Tempe, the ceremony will be at St. Mary's Church and the reception will be across town at Mountain Golf Club. Photographer: Congratulations! So let's see, We'll need about 30 minutes for your dressing photos and isn't it about a 15 minute drive to St. Mary's from there? Approximately an hour and a half for photos at the church and then 30 minutes to Mountain...I think we're looking at between 5 and 7 hours coverage, wouldn't you agree? Bride: Oh yes, that should be about right...I was thinking more toward the 7 hours and I'd really like a great album oh, and of course the disc...did I mention I need to keep it around $2500? Photographer: Oh thanks for letting me know...I can put that together for you, now on 7 hours it would be $3500, but I'm wondering, do you think we would be able to accomplish everything for you in 5 hours? Then I could bring it in for $2800...Bride: I really appreciate your flexibility! You know, I would like to talk further and see what we can do, when is the best time to come and meet you?

In the first case, the photographer (in this case, me) has her hands tied...all she can do is throw some numbers and ideas out and hope that something sticks. The bride hangs up frustrated and unfulfilled and the photographer is equally frustrated because she (yeah, you know, me) couldn't help that bride and in fact has now contributed to making her decision making process more frustrating. No Win Situation.

Now, in the second example, we have a win-win. The Bride came to the table prepared. She had such a great experience on the phone that she has now furthered her photographer search immensely and assuming it is a personality match probably go on to hire our friendly photographer (once again, me). She has saved time and aggravation for herself (and, of course, me) by being prepared and open to a little flexibility for herself and her photographer.

So, which would you rather be? Crying in your beer with your co-workers after a slew of frustrating phone calls and no closer to making your wedding day plans or drinking Mimosas with your girlfriends because planning your day has been so easy that you really can celebrate? Hmmm... a little more champagne in the O.J.?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

5 Things On A Sunday - Interesting Things Around The 'Net

Came across a few interesting things during the week for your surfing pleasure:

WeddingWire’s iPhone App Lets You Plan Your Wedding On The use that time between appointments efficiently.

Pooch Island I think I need drugs to truly understand this artist, but in the mean time I'll just indulge in poking around his fantasy island.

Shameless plugs for me and my friend ;-D Larry James shares tips on getting the most out of Bridal Fairs...I'll be participating in the Chandler Hilton's first ever wedding fair on October 18th...come by and say hello.

If you love me you'll bring me chocolate - Wei Chocolate

And just because I got you to go on Pooch Island, I'll leave you with this:

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Scorpion Sting 3 Years Later

Today marks three years since the day I became a true Arizonan with my one and only scorpion sting. We live in true scorpion country...a swatch of Phoenix/North Scottsdale known as "Scorpion Alley" where there is a much higher percentage of the poisonous Bark Scorpion than many other parts of the area. Do we see scorpions? Every once in a while, yes. Do they get in the house? Well, yeah, that's where we usually see them if we're going to. Is it a big deal? Only if you get stung and make it one.

To celebrate this dubious anniversary, I thought I'd share a poem I wrote while clearing out the toxins from this e-ticket ride (yes, the wedding photographer writes bad poetry, too).

Hmm...does a scorpion bite?

If a scorpion could take a bite with his maw
Would his jaw hurt as much as a clip from his claw?
Would his bite on my leg make my head ring
As much as the toxin from his all mighty sting?

If a scorpion could take a bite with his maw
Would I have spent the whole night on the couch, enthralled
Exquisite pain in my toes, kissed on my lips
Toxins spread to my fingertips.

For the scorpion’s bite is all in his tail
Dagger of fire made my tongue wail.
A heavy syringe of power and lust
One more tiny warrior crushed dead in the dust.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Green Wedding Friday - Creative Custom Cardboxes

When planning her own wedding, Marni Gold was searching for a unique and secure way to store gifts and cards at her reception. Frustrated with the gaudy, tacky or just plain expensive options she was repeatedly coming across, she finally created her own custom cardbox that was simple, elegant, and understated while still corresponding with her theme. Out of this project, Creative Custom Cardboxes was born!

Starting at just $40, Creative Custom Cardboxes are as affordable as they are beautiful. Each customer can browse a wide variety of designs at before specifying the exact colors, number of tiers, and types of embellishments that will make her own cardbox one-of-a-kind. A true mother-daughter team, Marni and her mom work closely with their clients to bring their exact visions to life.

Marni uses recycled papier mache in her boxes and recycled/repurposed packaging for her shipping supplies as her contribution to the environment.

While there are few limits to how customers’ cardboxes can be decorated, Creative Custom Cardboxes has on hand a consistent stock of crystals, pearls, and variations of I DO and WE DO letters.

For more information, visit or email

Monday, September 14, 2009

Spotting Good Wedding Photography - Beauty In Motion

One of the most powerful techniques in photography is to capture motion in a still image. Blurring conveys movement, a feeling of time passing, romance, and in the right circumstances, a certain edginess that can enhance your story. Motion blur is different than an unfocused image. There is a sense of direction in a good motion blur image as opposed to just not having a point of focus. Below are prime examples of motion blur.

A good photographer will have a wide array of techniques like this mastered and available to use at your wedding if the situation fits. Much better to hire someone with a wide array of skills to offer you then simply accepting the basics.

Would you like to talk about your wedding day photography? Call 480.366.4476 or e-mail me at marcia (at) to set up a visit today.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

5 Things On A Sunday - Interesting Things Around The 'Net

What's better than a lazy Sunday...sleeping in a bit, a special breakfast...fresh coffee and the paper or surfing the 'net...

Here's my picks for 5 fun Sunday finds:

1. Want the skinny on your favorite prime-time shows? knows before almost anyone else...just don't tell anyone.

2. Canyon Glider...relax and fly, but don't let a downdraft throw you into a canyon wall.

3. Love to sing when nobody's home? Online free Karaoke can get you bumping and grinding.

4. Sunday is a great day to think "Green"...this a great place to start, Planet Green.

5. ...and what would a lazy Sunday be without Pee Wee Herman?!?!?!?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Weddings 101 - The Do's and Do Not’s of working successfully with your Wedding Vendors

In the busyness of planning a wedding it is sometimes easy to forget the business of doing it, too. Mrs. Hancock's Wedding Consulting and Planning Services has very graciously provided the following tips for making the best of your relationships with your vendors.

The Do's and Do Not’s of working successfully with your Wedding Vendors

Mrs. Hancock and Mrs. Bacon, Wedding Consulting Services

Many of us forget the genuinely appreciated niceties that show our genuine level of caring for others. All successful relationships, love or otherwise begin with kindness and respect. So let’s take this to the next step…

As a Bride and Groom we know you have a lot on your plates. Please realize, your vendors do, as well. All wedding vendors want to do the very best job we can for you; it's what we do and what we do depends on making you happy. If you're not happy, any referrals you may have been willing to send will not come our way and our livelihoods depend on your A+ rating.

Here are a few suggestions that will let your vendors know you respect their time and their expertise. Keeping these in mind will surely go a long way in cementing your relationship and will ensure you come across as kind and considerate, as well:

1). Always keep scheduled appointments, please. Emergencies are just that and one may pop up on either side at any time and we understand! When you schedule an appointment, be diligent about writing it down in your calendar, please. If your spouse-to-be needs to be in your meeting, put it on his calendar, too. A suggestion: send a text to him the morning of reminding him where he needs to be and at what time. As our time is very valuable, it may take us 40 minutes to get to you one-way and then we may need to be on the other side of town after our meeting with you. Or it may be that our calendar is booked steadily for a particular afternoon. When you cancel, are late or reschedule at the last minute it can cause us great professional harm.

2). Please always return phone calls promptly from your vendors (same day if possible). Our policy at Mrs. Hancock’s is from 7am to 12 midnight (unless it’s an emergency!).
Afford us as many contact numbers to reach you as you’d like.

3). When requested to provide information please be thorough and organized. Nothing is worse than making out seating cards and misspelling a guest’s name for example. Take your time with the details.

4). Always be on time for meetings! Punctuality is a sure sign of respect and good will.

5). Graciously accept you vendor’s input and suggestions. You’re always the final decision maker; but vendor’s are trained to think outside the box hopefully saving you time and money. No talented planner or coordinator will ever push their will on you.

6). Please budget for your down payments, due dates and final payments accordingly, always paying on time. Post dated checks handed off to your vendor will allow you ease, without having to mail or drop off a check to ensure it arrives when due.

7). Please respect your budget during planning. We can be miracle workers, but if you continue to add services or time, remember we may have to charge you additional fees.

8). Further, please don’t use the ‘I’ll call you on Tuesday or I’ll bring your deposit next week”. If you’re not interested in working with a vendor, that’s fine; we can take it! Not everyone will be a great fit and that’s what meetings and interviews are for. Please don’t string a possible vendor along.

9). Have a question? Ask, please! No question or issue is too small or too mundane for a professional coordinator. It is our job to inform and educate you.

10). Ask for references; always! A good vendor will be happy to provide you with strong references. Be on the look out for business who cannot provide references.

11). Communicate openly and honestly with your Vendors. Things will always come up or change; but we can’t assist you if we don’t truly understand your needs and/or concerns.

12). At a meeting consider paying for your Vendor’s coffee! Such a seemingly small gesture goes a long way toward letting your new employee/vendor know they’re appreciated.

Using these simple tips will keep your relationships running smoothly with your vendors and you’ll find, treating them with respect and kindness will go a long way to ensuring the planning process is as much fun as it can be!

Mrs. Hancock
Mrs. Hancock’s, Inc.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Being Blog-Kissed

I love know, when you feature a company or get featured yourself? Well, I just got kissed! Last week, I spent a couple of hours with Noelle Salinas of Fresh From The Kitchen, LLC as she peppered me with questions about my philosophies, photography and how they blended together to form the business I have today. Somehow from all my meanderings she managed to simmer up a wonderful article. The post broke just a few minutes ago and I am so thrilled to share it with you. Read it by clicking here ;-D

Monday, September 07, 2009

Spotting Good Wedding Photography - Rack Focus

Racking focus is that cinemagraphic technique where the camera starts with focus say, on a person in the background and that person becomes out of focus while a person in the foreground comes in focus. In wedding photography a similar technique is used often in the romantic portraits to offer additional drama in an image. I love this technique. Well done, it is the mark of a good photographer.

Utilizing different techniques adds variety and drama to your images. It is well worth finding a photographer that shows a bit of everything in their portfolio.

Would you like to talk about your wedding day photography? Call 480.366.4476 or e-mail me at marcia (at) to set up a visit today.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

5 Things On A Sunday - Interesting Things Around The 'Net

I admit it, I'm as bad as the next person about surfing the 'net - no, maybe I'm worse than some people. But, on the bright side, I like here are some fun picks for your pleasure:

1. The very first Droopy Dog Cartoon

2. Celebrity Gawking and Gossip at it's finest: PEREZ HILTON

3. Stunning Photography via National Geographic's Photo of the day.

4. Bubble Shooter, anyone?

5. ...and another old time favorite:

Friday, September 04, 2009

Green Wedding Friday - Sedona

Having a ceremony outdoors is a wonderful way to stay green. Yesterday I met my new friend Margaret Van Damme of Van Damme Weddings at Red Rock Crossing in Sedona where we are doing a wedding together next month. It is so beautiful there and the forest service will allow weddings on forest land so long as certain criteria is met to create as little impact as possible. Margaret regularly creates packages for her clients incorporating beautiful settings within the Coconino Forest.

Spending the day in Sedona gave the opportunity to try out the camera function on my new phone, so here are just a few images from the day:

Red Rock Crossing, 11am

Roots in the forest

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

A Little Something For You

This month's desktop image is sweet. Please feel free to download and enjoy.

Mmmmm!. Click on the image to download a copy of your own and freshen up your desktop!

Keep checking back for new images. Sometimes bridal, sometimes something different, but something always for you.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Spotting Good Wedding Photography - Dynamic Lighting

As portrait artists we strive to schedule our session to take advantage of the prettiest light of the day. Weddings don't allow that kind of luxury, so it is essential that your chosen photographer be able to read light at, well, the speed of light.

As you are interviewing photographers examine their portfolios for a range of variation in the images. Are the photos flat or are the faces softly rounded with dimension to them? Can you see a sparkle in eyes? Does this artist utilize different lighting situations such as edge lighting to create drama in her images?

Lighting is the most important element in good wedding photography. Make sure your chosen photographer can see the light.

Would you like to talk about your wedding day photography? Call 480.366.4476 or e-mail me at marcia (at) to set up a visit today.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Brides - Are Your Important Emails Going In The Junk Pile?

Hmmmm....just got an email from one of my favorite wedding coordinators asking me to please contact our mutual bride as she hadn't yet heard from me...but here's the thing, I emailed said bride two days ago and was starting to wonder why I hadn't heard from her!

In these days of too much trash emails, spam filters, junk mail filters, etc. we need to all be particularly vigilant in keeping track of who we've corresponded with and when it has been too long for a response back. I am ever so grateful that our bride let her coordinator know that she hadn't heard from me (and bummed that she evidently didn't get the nice email I sent her). I had it on my mind that if I hadn't heard from her by Tuesday that I was going to call her to follow-up. Now she'll get a phone call tomorrow morning instead.

One way I've found to combat the spam issue is to use Facebook messaging. I'm not saying it's perfect, as I have had a couple of messages delayed, but so far it has reliable and I don't have to worry about messages being labeled "spam" or "junk".

Soon-To-Be-Marrieds, make sure to add any wedding vendors you are in contact with to your address book and ask them to add you to theirs. Try to avoid what happened to me this weekend and save yourself time in the process. We're here to work for you despite what our computers have in store for us.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Ok, spread it around to all your soon to be married friends...It's Freebie Friday! The first couple to comment on my blog wins an engagement session from Marcia The Art of here's the fine print:

Engagement Session location is Scottsdale, AZ only.
Engagement Session must be completed by September 22, 2009
Viewing Session must be completed by October 6, 2009

What you get:
Pre-Session Consultation
Engagement Session
Viewing Session to select your images
Personal Website for one month
3 Artist Choice watermarked images to use on FB etc. to share with your family and friends
1 5x7 of your choice.

Book your wedding with us with in one week of viewing and receive a very special bonus.

Make sure when you comment on the Blog that you include your full name, a daytime phone number and valid email address. Remember, if I can't contact you, I have no way of giving you your prize. This contest ends Friday, 9-4-09.

Good Luck, Can't Wait To Work With You!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

We're #2! Thank You!

I'm so excited and once again I have to thank you, my readers, guest bloggers, supporters for being behind me and this blog.

Last night I couldn't sleep so I googled myself (ooh, sounds kind of dirty when I say it out loud). I found a post from Networked Blogs that ranks the 50 Top Blogs and was amazed to find this one at #2!

Below is the press release I just wrote as well as a screen shot of the page. Thanks again, because it's you that was instrumental in making this happen:

Networked Blogs has ranked Marcia The Art of Photography #2 in their Top 50 Blogs in the Phoenix, AZ region. Networked Blogs ranks it's top 50 regions in the world with Phoenix AZ being 24th of 50 world-wide.

Marcia The Art of Photography Gallery Blog is dedicated to providing timely information to soon-to-be-marrieds as well as showcasing the images created by Owner-Operator, Marcia Mauskopf, Craftsman Photog, PPA Certified.

Marcia Mauskopf is an award-winning wedding and portrait photographer based in North Scottsdale, AZ. She has been creating images for families since 1987 and has been designated as a Craftsman Photographer as well as being Certified by Professional Photographers of America.

Marcia's Portfolio can be reviewed at or in person by calling 480.366.4476

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A Big Thank You To My Readers!

Thank you to my wonderful readers! I just checked and between Facebook's Networked Blogs and various other feeds you number 215 strong. I really appreciate the time you take to check out what's happening and welcome any feedback or suggestions for other material to go on the blog.

...and if you are reading this but not yet a subscriber, why not join by clicking here for Facebook Networked Blogs, or, enjoy the convenience of receiving blog posts direct to your email.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Spotting Good Wedding Photography - The Difference Between Black and White and Really Good Black and White.

Beautiful B/W photography has a full tonal range from rich, deep blacks to clean whites. There's more to converting a digital photo to B/W than just hitting a button, and this is one of the ways to determine if a photographer can give you the quality you deserve.

Photo number one is low contrast and a little muddy. Check out number two, though. Sparkling eyes, glowing skin and depth in the background. Doesn't this photo look fully dimensional compared to the first? Which would you rather have framed in your home.

Here at Marcia The Art of Photography I strive to give you the very best quality prints and albums possible. You can always be assured of quality, style and service.

Make sure that you get the beautiful imagery that you expect.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Green Wedding Friday - Bella Cupcake Couture

Out of necessity and love of cupcakes; Bella Cupcake Couture was born.

Bella Cupcake Couture was created by Carrie Middlemiss after being laid off as an 18-year employee of a bank which collapsed as a result of the economic downturn. Carrie had always wanted to contribute and be a part of the cupcake community and saw this as the perfect opportunity to follow her passion.

After a year of research and talking to cupcake lovers and shop owners, she decided upon the idea of starting a company that sells custom decorative textile-inspired cupcake wrappers to hide the crinkly, translucent paper they're baked in.

Carrie wanted something fashionable for the bottom portion of her cupcakes and always said "Why should the frosting have all the limelight?"

Now, Bella Cupcake Couture offers posh and chic textile-inspired cupcake wrappers. The boutique-style designs add a touch of sophistication and elegance for any special occasion. Carrie envisions the wrappers, which are printed with soy inks on recycled paper, at weddings, bridal and baby showers and as birthday gifts, housewarming gifts and a little treat for yourself.

Our hope is that our Bella Cupcake Couture wrappers bring smiles to the ones you care about and create cherished memories with your friends and family. We want our customers to enjoy the simple pleasures and savor the sweet life.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Too Much Of A Good Thing

Sometimes good ideas take a life of their own and sometimes in life I just don't see the really big picture when I am trying to see "the bigger picture".

As you all know, I recently started a series called "Weddings 101" where I am having guest bloggers participate in helping in the education process of diy wedding planning. I think that this is such an important subject that in discussions with vendors I had suggested that they go ahead and put the information on some discussion groups thinking that I had them scheduled far enough in advance that it would not be an issue. After all, the important thing is that the information gets out to the people that need it and we all have different audiences, right?

It was an idea that was too good. In one case, I have been tagged several times now on one article that has gone viral. In the second case, I actually asked a vendor to write specifically for me only to see that article run as a guest blog by another photographer a few weeks before I had it scheduled.

The intent of Weddings 101 is to offer valuable assistance to the thousands of couples that get married each year and I believe that the information on the couple of articles in question is so valuable that I will still be running them here. Please be assured though, that in the future, unless I specifically say that I saw it somewhere and asked to re-run it, any guest blog you see here will be published fresh and new for you.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Spotting Good Wedding Photography - Does The Image Draw You In?

Effective wedding photography is much more than a recording of the good cinema, you should be drawn into the story, becoming not only an observer, but a participant in the event, even if you did not attend in person. When you are caught up the in the emotion of the situation documented, you know that it is a successful image.

In the photo below there is a palpable sense of anticipation. Just like the people in the audience leaning forward to hear every word of the ceremony, you have the tangible feeling of leaning forward, too, ready for the next image that completes the storyline.

Some photos are just a record shot, the best are filled with emotion, drawing upon your own to give you a sense of participation and timeless enjoyment in the magic of the day.

Would you like to talk about your wedding day photography? Call 480.366.4476 or e-mail me at marcia (at) to set up a visit today.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Puppy Love - Harley

How can you not love that face? Harley finally settled down enough for this shot at the end of a session that was pure kinetic motion. I don't think Harley stopped moving more than about 2 seconds during the 45 minutes I photographed him.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Spotting Good Wedding Photography - Is It Important? Soon-To-Be Marrieds, I Want To Hear From You!

Ok, so I gotta rant....I've had something on my mind for a couple of weeks and I'm going to just explode if I don't say something.

A couple of weeks ago I heard about a report on Fox News. It was an interview with the spokesperson of a leading bridal publication. She said that many couples are forgoing professional wedding photography in favor of having all their guests take photos and upload them to a single Flicker site.

I have to tell you - I have several hundred friends on facebook and twitter so I see a lot of wedding pics. Out of focus, cross lit, badly composed, overexposed and underexposed. Do I see good quality images? Yeah, once in a while, but mostly it's (see list above). I can't imagine those being my wedding photos, can you?

The wedding album is your new family's first history book. It is a documentary of the first day of the rest of your family's life. A life of quality and style who's opening images are ... SNAPSHOTS? I look at my parents album, a study is black and white, my husband's parent's photos softly faded color. Memories that can never be remade lovingly protected in ribbon bound albums of leather and paper.

Properly trained professionals have made an extraordinary effort to understand the nuances of the event and psychology of the day. Your professional photographer has mastered the technique, mechanics and artistry of her craft. Having a friend take wedding photos is no different than asking your neighbor next door to stitch up the three inch cut on your hand because she makes her own clothes.

A colleague of mine often says "The money you save on your wedding photography today is exactly the amount you'll spend in regret tomorrow". Sage words. How do you want to remember your wedding day? With photos off an i-Phone or professional photography that truly lasts a lifetime.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Freebie Friday - Win An Engagement Session

Ok, spread it around to all your soon to be married friends...It's Freebie Friday! The first couple to comment on my blog wins an engagement session from Marcia The Art of here's the fine print:

Engagement Session location is Scottsdale, AZ only.
Engagement Session must be completed by September 15, 2009
Viewing Session must be completed by September 30, 2009

What you get:
Pre-Session Consultation
Engagement Session
Viewing Session to select your images
Personal Website for one month
3 Artist Choice watermarked images to use on to share with your family and friends
1 5x7 of your choice.

Book your wedding with us with in one week of viewing and receive a very special bonus.

Make sure when you comment on the Blog that you include your full name, a daytime phone number and valid email address. Remember, if I can't contact you, I have no way of giving you your prize.

Good Luck, Can't Wait To Work With You!

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Weddings 101 - On Hiring An Officiant

In this first guest post Phillip Waring explains what goes into becoming a wedding officiant. Thanks Phil, for leading off this new series.

The Wedding Officiant: Clergy, Judge or Justice?
By Phillip Waring, Arizona Ministers

Weddings, mitzvahs, memorial services, christenings, communion, baby namings, funerals, and other significant celebrations are all performed by the clergy of many genuine faiths. However, men & women performing wedding ceremonies are regulated by Arizona State Law.

Only judges, justices and clergy of religious societies are authorized to perform legally binding wedding ceremonies in The State of Arizona. The marriage agreement or covenant is solemnized, or sealed, by the spoken word of a judge, justice or clergyman. Clergy and judges may ‘pronounce a couple legally married,’ and by law, only a judge can ‘pronounce a couple divorced’ from their marriage.

Arizona State Law makes it perfectly clear that people purporting to be clergy, whose self-proclaimed authority to perform weddings comes from the internet, are deceiving the public and are illegal.

No one can log on to a computer to become an authentic judge or justice. That would be illegal. Anyone impersonating a judge will likely stand in court before a real one!

No one can log on to a computer to become an authentic clergyman. That would be illegal, but because of ‘separation of church and state’ laws, no judge is allowed to confront those who do it.

Websites advertising to be churches offer free and for fee ordinations for people who want to skip training and verification of their religious intent. Many boast the fact that they are of no faith, but can still get away with authorizing fraudulent people to perform legal weddings.

Ordination is an “appointment to lead and solemnize” from a verifiable religious sect. Downloading or buying a certificate of ordination does not constitute a real ordination. No legitimate religious sect would vest this important authority in such a cavalier manner. Because the law shields those who abuse the privilege, mere peddlers become ‘ordained ministers’ whose only calling is to perform weddings for their own selfish gain.

Fake clergy hide under a veil of falsehood by proclaiming to be ‘wedding officiants,’ because they know they are not real ministers and become embarrassed when confronted about it. Arizona State Law does not authorize ‘officiants’ to perform marriage ceremonies. By law, officiants are judges, justices and clergy of religious sects.

Therefore, there are unscrupulous individuals impersonating clergy in order to trick unsuspecting couples into giving them money to perform their wedding ceremony. To refer them as legitimate clergy perpetuates the hoax, and in fact, demonstrates a lack of respect for unwitting couples and genuine clergy of faith. This may be a good time to consider the credentials or lack of credentials of those referred to couples as a minister.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Social Responsibility - A Call To Action

I just got home from an advanced screening of The Cove, a documentary of the dolphin slaughter that goes on in Taichi, Japan. There are times when we must all stand up against wrong, this is one of those times. Every once in a while it is our responsibility to speak for those who cannot...that time is now. I urge every single one of you reading this now to see the movie, tell your friends about it, blog, facebook and twitter to get the word out.

FIVE THINGS you can do now
1. Write to our leaders and help get the word out in Japan.
2. Learn more about dolphins in captivity.
3. Choose the safest fish to eat.
4. Help Save Japan’s Dolphins efforts on the frontlines.
5. Support the filmmakers with your donation.

A Little Something For You

This month's desktop image is a study in lights and darks. Please feel free to download and enjoy.

What is light? It's dramatic, it's extraordinary. I love what adding a light under the cake can do for a dark corner. Click on the image to download a copy of your own and freshen up your desktop!

Keep checking back for new images. Sometimes bridal, sometimes something different, but something always for you.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Spotting Good Wedding Photography - Special Effects

Used judiciously, special effects can add punch to an album, convey emotion and boost the storytelling quality of the image. Beware though, too much can date your wedding album as much as that brandy glass with the bride and groom that dates your parent's album.

Tell me which you like best and why. Photo #1 is classic color, #2 a special effect called "Ink", example #3 is cross-processed, and #4 is a photoshop action called D VLI.

Do you have a favorite? Let me know your thoughts. Do you think a wedding album should be solely color and b/w, let's start a discussion. leave your comments below and let's find out what today's couples really think of special effects in their first family history book, their wedding album.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Weddings 101 - A Primer On Planning Your Own Event

So, I've had this idea germinating for a while now...what if some of the leading wedding professionals here in Phoenix shared their thoughts with couples on what's important in hiring their vendors. What if they shared what they have learned from experience in real life in the field, the pitfalls they've seen other couples fall into, the ways around them. The stuff that the bridal magazines never mention.

What if they could do this in one common my blog!

Starting this month, Weddings 101 - A Primer On Planning Your Own Event will be a new segment right here. Phillip Waring of Arizona Ministers for weddings and more! will be leading with our first post. Watch for this segment (at least) monthly as we guide you through making informed decisions for your wedding of a lifetime.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Green Wedding Friday - Ollie The Trolley's Gone Green!

Any time you can transport a group of people at one time you save gas, pollute less, and have an opportunity for a little party. I'm all for that and that's why Ollie The Trolley has always been one of my favorite suggestions to couples planning multiple locations on their wedding day. Now the nice people at Ollie have gone one

Bio-diesel is sustainable because it is regrown instead of just taken from the earth. It supports our farming industry and runs cleaner than diesel, emitting less sulfur dioxide,carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and particulate matter. It even helps lengthen engine life as a natural lubricant for moving parts. The best part? Those ugly fumes coming out of most buses that we choke on? No it smells like fried food!

Congratulations to Ollie The Trolley for making the decision to help sustain our planet while making mass transportation for events a party on to itself.

P.S. Ollie The Trolley is now a part of our Great Green Vendors List, helping you qualify for a rebate on your wedding photography available through Marcia The Art of Photography.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Found on Facebook - Wedding Photography Article from Seattle Bride

Gotta love Facebook. A whole community of people finding interesting information and passing it around.

This is such an interesting article. How many of you are considering asking a friend to photograph your wedding to save money? Seattle Bride found a very good amateur photographer and had him shoot side by side with the pro's. He was blown away by the difference and graciously shared the experience in Seattle Bride Magazine.

Before asking your friend with the great camera, take a look at this...and while you're at it, let me know what you think. Always love your comments and this is the perfect subject for some lively dialogue. Let's chat about professional wedding photography.

Seattle Bride Magazine

Friday, July 24, 2009

Green Wedding Friday - adorable little vegan shoes

Is this too cute??? I found these little heart flats at Couldn't they go too well with a hot weather mini gown or a big phoofy princess dress? And the best part? They go with jeans on your honeymoon!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Update! Great Green Vendors Page Now Ready For You!

I finally got it done! There is now a link on the blog with links to eco=friendly vendors. Look up on the red nav bar and click where it says Great Green Vendors. You'll find Arizonans that care enough to offer green choices for you.

Soon-to-Be-Marrieds: Hire any two of these along with me and receive a rebate on your wedding photography. Already hired vendors with green practices not on my list? Let me check them out. If they fit our criteria they get on the list and you get the rebate, as easy as that!

Event Vendors: If you promote green weddings and are in the Phoenix market contact me, let's talk. I'd love to be able to include you in my rebate program.

We all need to do our part to reduce our carbon footprint, don't you think?

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Sneak Peak - Our Gorgeous 2010 High School Senior Spokesmodel Rebecca

Rebecca is our newest spokesmodel and did a great job of showing what she's got during her casual portrait session. We'll be doing a very special fashion session soon, but here's a sneak peak at how she has fun. We're now booking senior portraits, ask about our 2-1 special limited sessions through 8-15 only.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Green Wedding Friday - New Wedding Albums!

I'm so excited to present these gems! IRISbooks are from Canada and are eco=friendly! I love the robin's egg blue that I am showing here, and they also offer black, cream, red, green and taupe. The linen covers are gorgeous as are the marbled endpapers featured in their upper lines. Check it out: