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    Welcome to the blog! My name is Nikki Tran and I am a Wedding & Portrait Photographer based in the wonderful Twin Cities of Minnesota. Snuggle in your cozy chair, grab a cup of tea, relax, and enjoy reading about my adventures as a photographer, a wife, and a mommy to a furry little child named Rusty. I am so glad you are here! Check out my latest posts on the right --->

Rob & Meghan ~ St. Paul Wedding Photographer

I know I’m early in posting this (usually I wait until Friday), but to be honest I’m taking the day off tomorrow. :) Between teaching and weddings, this girl is burnt out. We have another beautiful wedding to go to on Saturday (whoop whoop Sam & Jason!!) so tomorrow will be a refreshing break. So here we go!! :)

Omigoodness. Classic. Timeless. St. Paulian (it’s a made up word to describe this wedding). I can’t tell you how many times I squealed last week thinking about the wonderful details involved in this wedding. And then I squealed a lot more last Saturday seeing it all put together. Paul and I are originally from St. Paul. We grew up in the heart of it and to me, this wedding was home. It may sound weird to describe a wedding as home, but it’s so true. Rob & Meghan’s ceremony was at the beautiful St. Paul Cathedral and their ceremony was at the amazing James J. Hill Library. In between their ceremony and reception we rode a trolley around places I’ve been to so many times in my childhood. Because Paul and I live so far away from our families and upbringing, any time we drive through the familiar roads in St. Paul, a sense of nostalgia comes busting out and I fall in love with the old city all over again.  Stepping into the Cathedral was such a thrill for me – any time we went to the Cathedral as kids it was because of something significant; confirmations, Christmas mass, etc. It’s only natural that I get to add weddings to the list. :)

Enough about me! Onto my lovely bride and groom!

love when brides and grooms are excited about their wedding photography. And of course, excited to have us be there. :) Which Rob & Meghan both were. We were greeted and treated like friends by them the entire day – such an amazing feeling to work with people who appreciate what we do. Meghan was stunning wearing a gorgeous lace gown and classic pearls, and Rob looked so handsome in his classic black tux and bow tie. They got ready at the historic St. Paul Hotel in Rice Park (love that place), their ceremony was beautiful, as is all things in the Cathedral, and their reception?? Our jaws dropped when we walked into the library. Literally. Paul and I kept saying, “Wow…wow…”. Books galore everywhere!! Flowers, candles, a candy table – everything was absolutely stunning. Seriously! How much more classic could it be?? Rob & Meghan, we are so incredibly happy for the two of you and we just know you’re having an amazing time in Italy (soon to be Greece!). Thank you so much for having us be there with you – such an honor to know you! :) Can’t wait to see photos of Europe!! xoxo

Enjoy my favorites, friends and happy early weekend!! :) xoxo

Even their invites were classic. Love!!

Love this shot from where Paul and the boys were getting ready.

She’s even stunning looking at her dress. Geesh!!

I was so proud looking through all of Paul’s photos – he’s just too good. :)

Ha! Love it!!

Oh, Meghan. You are just gorgeous.

They had their first look outside the hotel – gorgeous garden.

:)

Love!!

I just love this place.

Goodness, this place is just lovely.

Just married!!

Oh Paul. Good job. :)

This was just to practice my lighting and I don’t know why, but I just love this photo. 

We stopped at Irving Park for some photos (my cousin was married here and that night I met Paul! Fun fact for the day! :))

I tell the girls to laugh and talk among themselves and I get the photo on the right – gorgeous ladies! And I tell the guys to laugh and talk among each other and I get the photo on the left – hilarious!!

Love!!

And we finished at Rice Park. :)

Seriously!! Love this place!

Even their coffee table was classy.

Hands down my favorite dessert table I’ve seen. We visited it too many times. I blame Paul.

A photo of my photo…:)

We were allowed to go in the book cases…yay!!

This is Paul’s. I have the best co-shooter.

The wonderful thing about two shooters – Paul took the photo on the left while I took the photo on the right. Completely different looks!

Ha! Love Meghan’s face!

Annnnd can anyone guess what they’re first song was?? Think classic…

Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help Falling In Love”. Favorite song.

Omigoodness, Rob & his mom were too cute.

Her dad was so sweet singing her an Irish tune. :)

Love when my couples want more photos at sunset. Because then we get photos that are dreamy like these…

You two look amazing. Seriously! (PS. I keep saying how wonderful Meghan looks – Rob, you looked so handsome too. Just so you know :))

Whoo hoo!! Stunning Meghan!

Love!! :)

Congratulations, lovebirds!! So happy for you!! xoxoxo

Bigger & Faster

We’ve added a new friend into our office this past week; my new computer and monitor. My laptop has been what I’ve been working on for the past two years and to be honest, it’s getting slow. Too slow for working on. Paul and I had gone back and forth about when to get something new, what should we get, etc. We window shopped at Best Buy a few times and then finally, after Photoshop taking years to save one photo, we decided it was time to move on. Paul did his research (you all know how much he loves researching) and we ended up getting this lovely:

 

Isn’t it huge??! I know! The best thing about our new purchase isn’t the size of the monitor, it’s the speed of the computer!!! Holy moley this thing is fast. It literally has cut down hours of my work time. Photoshop runs insanely fast, transferring photos takes seconds, loading photos takes less than a second – it’s just wonderful. And yes, the size of the monitor is fantastic. I thought it would take a lot getting used to since my laptop was only a 17″ screen and now I’m looking into a 27″ screen (and the edges are turquoise :))!! It’s wonderful! I see all of the flaws when editing (no worries – if you have a pimple of any size, I will see it and get rid of it), the resolution is just lovely, and the color is even wonderful. I worry about using monitors and not my laptop screen when editing because of the color difference, but after adjusting it a smidge, the coloring is just as good as my laptop. Hurray!! The only downside to having this computer is that it doesn’t have nearly as enough storage space as my laptop. So I can only have so many photos on my computer now, but I just use my external hard drive when I want to use old photos and such. Oh, and also, with the new monitor I have nowhere to paint now. :( My desk was also my paint space and now I have none…boo.

So, here are the links to the new products in case any of you are in need of a super fast computer and super big monitor (Paul could probably have gone in much more detail about these new friends, but I’m not much of a computer gal and I’m working on a wedding to show you THIS FRIDAY!! :))

Lenovo Desktop Computer (we got it off Amazon)

Samsung 27″ Monitor (again, we got it off Amazon but here’s the Samsung link)

 

Using the Extra Time

Like I’ve said before, I’m learning new things and seeing new things at every wedding we shoot. And there have been so many good ideas that I’ve seen my brides and grooms come up with that I thought I should probably share them to the rest of you lovely brides and grooms out there! :)

This past weekend Meghan & Rob had a beautiful, classic wedding – bow ties, lace, old books, a trolley, a library…I shan’t go on because you will see it on Friday, but there was one thing about their wedding that I thought I’d share today.

When we were going over their final timeline a few weeks ago, they wanted to add something that I haven’t had done at a wedding yet; extra family time. Usually when we finalize a timeline with any bride and groom there’s a set time set aside for family formals. They’re usually done in the church or ceremony site and it’s usually reserved for immediate family members – mom, dad, siblings, etc. However, Rob & Meghan have a lot of close family members and so they decided to set aside a half hour specifically for other family members. So, here is what their timeline looked like:

1:45pm – Formals

2:30pm – Ceremony

3:25pm – Trolley Ride/Photos with Bridal Party

4:30pm – Extended Family Formals

5:00pm – Arrive at cocktail hour

Once we finished the bridal party and the bride & groom portraits, we arrived back at the reception site where the guests were already beginning to enjoy cocktail hour. Meghan & Rob had already let family members know that if they wanted photos with them, to be outside; that half hour was specifically designed just for that purpose. Paul and I stayed outside with the bride and groom, had family members come up asking for photos, and we were able to get photos that, to be honest, aren’t usually possible at most weddings. Sure, the half hour with family cuts back on the bar-hopping/partying, but it’s a wonderful opportunity to get those photos of your family/friends that you probably wouldn’t get otherwise. I wish I would have thought of this idea.  I would have loved to have had photos of me and my aunts. Or me and my entire extended family. Or me and my cousins.

So anyways, a little food for thought my lovely brides. If this is something you would love to have, you know I’m always available to chat. :) Enjoy this lovely Monday, friends!! :) xoxo

Ashley Brooks - July 30, 2014 - 8:16 am

This is such a good idea! Darn right you could’ve used more photos with your cousins ;)

Nikki - July 30, 2014 - 10:01 am

I concur wholeheartedly! :)