Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Don't Get Left Behind! [Plus Win Something Cool]

Hello faithful Stellar Propeller friends!

Thank you for following Stellar Propeller adventures and taking time to read fun stories, see incredible people, places, and sometimes things, and to experience the unexpected happenings behind the camera.

I am continuing this Stellar Propeller blog journey at a new site and I'd love for you to join me!

Please visit me at

Each week I'll post tips, stories, and pictures of the week.  I'll even be doing some contests to win some pretty awesome stuff.

In fact-be sure to check out Friday, February 14th's post for a special lovie dovie picture with a special lovie dovie contest.  You could win something for your sweetheart. . .or for yourself.  No judgement-it's that awesome.

Thanks again for your support!

See you at The New Stellar Propeller Blog!

Don't get left behind!  Follow me to my new blog!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Winter Wedding Photos 101

So you want to get married in the winter? In the bleak, cold months of the year with no leaves and no warmth and no birds chirping in the trees?  Well, first of all, I salute you. If you're getting married in the winter, you're probably an against-the-grain, march to your own drummer kind of person, and that's something I like. Or maybe there's another reason, like deployment or job situations or little ones. Whatever the reason, I hope this blog can make it less daunting and more appealing, as I've photographed enough winter weddings now to have stockpiled a few do's and don'ts. One thing's for sure: Winter weddings can actually be fun!  So get excited, cause here we go:

1. Think about the space. Especially the spaces that have 4 walls around them. Most wedding parties can be up for a few outdoor shots when it's below freezing, but it's best to have at least 2-3 places in mind that would be fun for indoor photos. Think of places with architecture you enjoy, good natural lighting (read: windows! skylights!), appealing art on the walls (nudes aren't perhaps the best backdrop for wedding photos), interesting sculptures, fountains, etc. If it's around Christmastime and you'd like to incorporate some decorations that you didn't have to buy or make yourself, think about doing photos in a nice hotel that's already done the hard work for you. One couple asked a local candy store if we could photograph inside their Wonka-esque space, and those photos are some of my favorites. Whatever the space, though, make sure you find out if taking photos there is alright with the owners/management. And by all means (even though people are more lenient on ladies in wedding gowns): get permission!

2. Think about the color.  With the aforementioned lack of leaves on trees and the grass not so green (on either side), infusing color into your photos is a great idea. Props can make this easy, and in these photos below you can see what a difference some pink balloons and red straws/Izze drinks can make in the otherwise bleak background. Props are also a fun way to incorporate any inside jokes you share with your spouse-to-be, as I've had one couple use some very colorful rock climbing ropes in their photos because that's something they love to do together. If you have a membership to a botanical garden, this is a great option as they usually have both color and indoor/outdoor options. Just know that the great outdoors don't have to be off limits altogether in the bleak mid-winter if you can incorporate color. It's like having pictures in Oz versus pictures in Kansas :)

Pink balloons can do a lot for a dead landscape!

3. Think about the temperature. Summer weddings are the dream for girls because we get to prance around in sleeveless dresses and soak in the sun. Winter weddings... not so much. And as much as your bridesmaids love you and are honored to be standing with you on this glorious day, they will probably love you even more if you don't turn them into icicles by parading them all over town without said sleeves on this glorious day! I've seen lots of creative ways to accommodate this dilemma, from shooting more indoors (like I've already mentioned), to buying matching scarves as a bridesmaids' gift, to thermoses full of hot beverages waiting on hand. And brides, don't forget about yourself either. A simple shawl can be both a classy and utilitarian way to combat your own frostbite. And, of course, that man of yours should be offering you his jacket anyways ;) A recent wedding I shot in Louisiana had a hot chocolate bar at the reception, and that was definitely a crowd pleaser. But, I have to say, my favorite way to combat the cold (that never fails) is a good old fashioned dance party! So, don't be afraid to bust a move, and know that you don't even have to wait til the reception to do so :) 

Thought this shawl was super classy and helped keep the warmth in. 

The wedding party was oh-so-thankful for this free standing fireplace. Hot chocolate/coffee bar, complete with your choice of mallows and creamers.
See? This guy ain't cold.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

All I Want For Christmas is ... to go VIRAL :)

I won't waste too much time typing this blog. I made an umbrella tree this Christmas, alongside my very supportive roommate. We want to get it pinned. Not in any formal ceremony, but in the ceremonial way of Pinterest. The problem? I have no Pinterest. This is usually surprising to people (which is fine), but I already have a whole slew of things that suck my life and time away and I was just trying to avoid having one more. My roommate and I have one goal of living together, though, and that's to go viral, and we realize that Pinterest is just the place for this handcrafted gem. So I'm just posting this so people can repost it to Pinterest (read: all the people I've lovingly coerced into doing so). So here's my photo. I don't know if it's Pinterest worthy, but if you read this and care to help me and Caitlin reach our dreams, let the pinning begin :)

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Floods, Fire Ants, and Friday the 13th

The fact that we were able to do this photo shoot is basically a miracle. It was scheduled during the week of what would become the worst flooding in Colorado history. Highways were destroyed, homes were washed away, lives were lost. And here in Colorado Springs, the rains came down and the floods came up, too! Leading up to the Friday of the photo shoot, I just kept my fingers crossed and hoped for the best because I'd been majorly looking forward to it! Thankfully, the weather did exactly what we needed it to.

Rebekah and Emily (the high school seniors who are the lovely subjects of this shoot) have become near and dear to me in a very short amount of time! They are identical twins. They grew up in Italy from age 3-17, so they are not only bilingual but they also have a super cute Italian accent to their English :) And they make me both laugh and think a LOT. They're pretty wonderful.

The first part of the shoot was in an open space right across the street from where I live; I've been wanting to photograph there for a while. But of course I couldn't just do a "normal" shoot up there; I had to suggest we haul a recliner to the top of the hill! (which is where the fire ants come in) I didn't realize how heavy a recliner becomes as one has to cross a street and climb a Colorado hill with it. Let's just say it took the place of my Jillian Michaels' workout that day. Then, we were so tired when we got to the top that we kinda set the chair down wherever, and that "wherever" just happened to be on top of a large fire ant hill. So my thighs were burning the remainder of the shoot until I fell asleep that night... and not from climbing the hill! I think I was bit at least 5 times. Did you know those little buggers have VENOM?!

 In other news, I recently discovered a photo technique called steel wool photography, and these 2 were the perfect candidates to do a test run with! This part of the shoot involved lots of things including, but not limited to a whisk, steel wool, a camelbak tube, 2 tripods, a headlamp, a 9 volt battery, and a cave! They were such great sports, even though being up on Gold Camp Road in a cave on Friday the 13th was a little spooky at first. When Emily took her turn on cave duty, she sang Brandi Carlile at the top of her lungs the entire time. I thought she was just being funny, but when we got back to the car she told us she sings when she's scared :) At any rate, it was a very eventful shoot and they are such beautiful girls (inside & out), so I hope you enjoy the pictures!

Sisterly Love ;)

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Destination: Wedding!

This summer has been a combination of things that I love: traveling to beautiful places, telling stories through photos, and being with wonderful people! I feel so blessed to have set my eyes on some of the places I've visited this wedding season. From the gardens of England, to the beaches of the Gulf of Mexico to an Indian wedding near Aspen, to the wildflower ridden hills of Crested Butte, this summer has rocked my world! Not only were these places lovely, but these people also... some of them have been my dear friends for years and some I've only just met, but I had a genuine blast at each one of these sacred events.

At the last wedding, I received one of the greatest compliments of my life. Before I get to that, there's one thing you should know about me: I LOVE to dance. I've even had friends tell me I should market myself as The Dancing Photographer. So I was dancing to some hip hop in between photo ops with these lovely Indian women (and with the bride's permission, of course), and one of them came up to me at the end of the night with her lovely accent and said, "Ohhh, Allison, watching you dance is like watching Cirque de Soleil." Speechless. So many emotions. Could've died happy... as long as she meant it as a good thing  :) 

Small showcase of the dance moves.

The BFF and I. Showcasing our full service photography. We make signs, we take kids to the potty, and of course, we sing when "Don't Stop Believin'" comes on. 

Here are some highlight shots from the summer:

Windsor, England.

St. Petersburg, Florida.

the breathtaking Crested Butte, Colorado

Glenwood Springs, Colorado

Saturday, March 09, 2013

The BFFs.

Let me tell you something about my best friends in the world, dear reader. They are FUNny. I'm talking clever, I'm talking witty, I'm talking inappropriate in all the best ways possible. The point is: I love these people. They're some of the best ones I've ever known. I had the chance to do a photo shoot with not one, but both of them last summer. Yep, last summer. Almost a year ago and I'm just now posting it (throwing up the guilt trip wall now for my own protection). One of my best friends is a fellow {amazing!} photographer but lives in Tennessee (, so we like to team up whenever possible, and the other one is ... pregnant (among other things). Well, she was last summer, anyways. She now has a beautiful, playful, and chubby little boy named Garrett that we all love. But before we knew Garrett, we had this photo shoot and had a lot of fun in Knoxville around dusk at a little park. And since these are my BFF's, I know they'll forgive me for all the funny outtake pictures I'm about to post AND for taking almost a year to post them. Right, guys?  :)

Who's excited for parenthood?

Add caption

A time for everything: a time to kiss and a time for funny faces.

Well, hey there.

It's for shots like this that I LOVE Matt & Lindsay.

And this.

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