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!