• studio3z photography {the blog}

    If you have landed here...bless your soul.  Welcome to our little tiny corner of the cyber world, based out of Cincinnati, Ohio. Below you will see favorites from our sessions we do professionally, and also loads of personal nonsense that we hope at least will entertain you.  If nothing less, you can keep up on our adorable children.  Really, they are worth the trip back here time and time again in and of itself.

    My name is Jess.  My hubby is Brett.  We are crazy about each other, our 4 babies, and our art.  Welcome to our world.

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Monthly Archives: March 2011

happy first anniversary {to ashley and adam}

To my baby sister and her hubby….

Happy First Anniversary!!  I love you both, and it has been a joy watching you two grow and love together over the past year. I know the first year of marriage can sometimes be the hardest….you are learning how to live with someone other than yourself, and how to care for your new half.  By the grace of God you have made it through, and our prayer is that it may carry you through all that you face together.  Adam, we barely knew you when we shot your engagement session, and now it is so apparent how much you love my sister.

{I still tear up (ok, I flat out cry) whenever I watch the gorgeous film of the wedding day, by Cincinnati Filmmaker Studio Z Films.}

I am so grateful for the happiness you guys have found in one another, and I hope to be wishing you two a Happy Anniversary 49 years from now too.:)
Much love to you!!!

March 7, 2011 - 10:14 am

Shannon Selim - Woohoo! I am the first to comment on this post. This fine lady is one of my favorite people on the planet. I’m so happy for you guys and proud of you for loving each other well for your first lap of the journey. These two will do much of excellence in the years to come! I love you guys!

Happy Anniversary!

March 7, 2011 - 10:51 am

Maggie - Awwwh, you’re the sweetest sister ever. Happy Anniversary Ashley!

March 7, 2011 - 12:22 pm

becca~capturingsimplyjoys - wow! just beautifully moving, tears here too and i’m not even related :) such a beautiful, heartfelt service! congrats to ashley and adam!

March 7, 2011 - 2:37 pm

brett - merry anniversary ashy and adam!

March 7, 2011 - 5:36 pm

AnneMarie - This photo is beautiful! From the setting to the props to the positioning of the sun. You’ve got talent!

March 7, 2011 - 7:04 pm

Jess W. - Happy 1st Anniversary “Precious” and Adam!! May you have many, many more to celebrate!!

March 7, 2011 - 8:54 pm

Ashie and Adam - Thanks for always making us feel so loved. You are an amazing sister and an amazing friend! Love you always.

March 8, 2011 - 10:33 am

Casey - this is so beautiful.

March 10, 2011 - 11:49 am

Tabitha Blue - This is still one of my favorite photos!!! Love it! You’re family is an inspiration to me as well…. and love that you homeschool. We are getting close to school age, and I’m considering it myself. :)


March 19, 2011 - 2:17 am

Anna - I just LOVE that picture so much! It has stayed in my mind since you first posted it on the blog over a year ago – for me it has everything! Love, love, love! :)

March 22, 2011 - 11:52 pm

grace @ wedding favors - Hi, I love watching engagement, pre-nuptial, wedding videos. Any videos related to wedding, I like the elegance in them. This video is just amazing and the song is lovely!

wppi {my take}

Last week Brett and I were in Las Vegas for the mecca of photography conventions that happens every year called WPPI. This was our first time going because our kids were finally old enough that we felt ok leaving them for so long, and everything seemed to work out for going.  To be honest with you, I was a bit unsure of the overload of THOUSANDS of photographers, going to huge classes of people, in a city that doesn’t want to sleep. Being the introvert that I am I was nervous about draining myself quickly because frankly, my partying days are long done. ;)

Getting on the plane to head home I thought back over the previous 5 days in somewhat disbelief. You see, I actually had a GREAT time at WPPI.

So why did we even go you may be asking? Well, for a few reasons. 1.) I wanted to see what the hype was about. 2.) I wanted to hear a few people speak (including our pals Bobbi + Mike) 3.) We wanted to have a session done for our upcoming rebrand- remember, photogs from around the world come to this, so it was ideal for having our photos taken! 4.) We wanted to visit some good friends that we rarely get to see that live in Vegas.

Before leaving for Vegas, I asked around for tips about the best way to handle WPPI.  Some answers were: wear comfortable shoes, keep a water and energy bar on you for all the long lines you will wait in, bring hand sanitizer for all the hand shaking (Ok, that was my add-on….). Most often I heard, “Plan on feeling very overwhelmed.” Well I took this very seriously, and prepped for it.  While there, I talked to people who were burned out by day 2 or 3, and I was still having a great time. Here are some things that I think helped our experience go well, and helped us not feel like we were LIVING at the MGM for 5 days:

-We began by renting a car…FREEDOM, but with long waits on parking.

-Brett’s brother came in from LA to hang with us the first 3 days and we had such a great time.  He reminded us (numerous times) that he must really like us, because he’s not a fan of Vegas. I just love our traveling trio….

-We hit up Trader Joe’s on the first day. Our room had a mini-fridge so we had cereal and milk, coffee and cream, salsa and chips, and loads of snacks. This was GREAT because Brett and I are not meal skippers. This allowed us to eat before our 8 am classes and avoid the huge Starbucks line.

- We visited some very good friends that live out there, and enjoyed “normal” life and great conversations on three separate occasions.

-On the second day we went out to Red Rock Canyon for our shoot, and we returned a few days later with our new and very refreshing friend Gabe for some exploring. I can’t say how invigorating it feels to just get away from the city and breathe a bit.

-We are foodies, so anytime we travel we make sure to escape to great restaurants in the area. In fact, because we stayed in the side towers of the MGM, we didn’t even walk around the main MGM through endless jingling/jangling slot machines until the 3rd or 4th day! Roaming the city and beyond made it feel more like a vacation.

-We saw our first Cirque show compliments of Jason- Brett and I loved it.  Thank you Jason!

-It was fun being able to break out of “Mom” mode for a couple days and play dress-up.;)

-We enjoyed meeting people and making some new friends. Meeting Gabe of Perspectiveye was seriously one of our favorite parts of the whole trip. Brett and I  love being able to “invest” in a single friendship much more than hanging with groups of people….Gabe is a kindred spirit, so after hanging for the majority of a couple days, it was sad when we had to part ways! Seriously, so awesome to meet great people out there in this big world. :)

*Here a few photos, most of which were taken with a point and shoot camera.

March 4, 2011 - 12:03 pm

Gail - I need to spend some more time with you next year at WPPI because I feel like I never left the MGM. And I kind of hated that aspect of Vegas (but I’m gonna agree with Jason and say it’s not my favorite place in the world!)

Thanks for all the hugs you gave and I’m so glad we got to see you on my birthday!

Thanks, too, for the tip-off ot Gabe — his work is AMAZING! And if you two say he’s a kindred soul, well, how could I NOT like him:? :)

March 4, 2011 - 3:41 pm

Gabe - thank you so much for such kind words. and i agree 10000%…meeting you both and getting to know you two over dinner, car rides and a short but chilly hike out at Red Rock was easily the best part of my 2011 WPPI trip. you both are so humble and genuinely kind and even though our visit was short i know it was simply just the start to long friendship. thank you both for just being you and i look forward to many more chats, hikes and car rides.

March 4, 2011 - 4:06 pm

shannon selim - Gabe’s stuff is awesome! Your guys’ passion is what makes your work so good, keep it up! I want to be a pro so bad… :)

March 4, 2011 - 6:22 pm

Mel - You guys are hot.

March 6, 2011 - 9:27 am

Alyson - YOU ARE GORGEOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

March 7, 2011 - 12:54 pm

Sarah Rhoads - So beautiful to meet you both at WPPI! We had such a blast photographing you guys :) You are going up on the blog today! yay! :)

March 7, 2011 - 7:34 pm

Stephanie Lyell - Just wanted to say I saw your beautiful shoot on Sarah Rhoads’ blog. They are just beautiful!

March 10, 2011 - 3:57 pm

Abigail Smith - Hey there! You probably don’t remember meeting me in the Starbucks when I was with Gail and her lovely friends. I just saw the photos of ya’ll on Sarah Rhoad’s blog and wanted to say how great they are! Ya’ll look amazing! Also, I’m glad to hear your WPPI experience went so well. :)

March 26, 2011 - 8:03 pm

Maya Laurent - I am so loving your hair!!! Seriously…it is gorgeous! And we need your food tips next year!!! :) Glad you guys enjoyed your first WPPI.

inspiration {a little give and take}

I can’t believe it’s been over a week since I last posted! We were out of town last week for WPPI (more on that to come)….and I was honestly surprised at how much fun I had. I also realize that I still haven’t posted the winner of the calendar/inspiration contest, so I plan to do that now…….

First of all, I just LOVED hearing from all you about what inspires you.  So many of you shared such wonderful pieces of yourself, and you in turn inspired me on many levels. I was so inspired in fact, I decided I would give away two calendars and pick two winners.  Randomly I chose from the comments, and  Kate of Nesting Elm Photography and Casey, of Casey Clark Photography will be receiving one of our calendars.  Congrats, and I hope you enjoy!

Speaking of inspiration, I’ve been gathering up some for a dining room redo. When we bought our house five years ago, Brett and I had a long history resembling gypsies….living in apartments and townhouses, and never having much say in painting. This was our first dining room that we had all to ourselves with the freedom to paint, and I had been DROOLING over red dining rooms. Red was all the rage….six or seven yrs ago.  I of course painted it red and honestly, I have loved it for years.  If you have a red dining room, I understand why. It’s warm. It’s cozy. Quite frankly, I have grown a bit bored with its redness, and  I’ve decided that I want more of our personality in the room.  I want it to be for everyday use, not such a “formal” type of room.  This got my wheels a spinning…….

The number one thing I love about my dining room is the attached solarium that floods the room with natural light.  Seriously, it 100% makes the room (hence the sheer curtains).

The piano will stay, but that’s it. I will be selling, tossing, chucking, and donating nearly everything else….Oh! Except for the green chair (that Brett hates).  Bought that fun little guy on Craigslist about 4 years ago.  He may even stay in this room, who knows.

Below is a little mood board I put together to try to focus “my vibe” that I am going for.  Special thanks to my girl Gail who told me about the mood board site I used.  Warning: It’s fun.

These are some ideas I have for our future room:

-Large rustic table (I wish w/salvaged wood)  that I won’t have to worry about water marks or dents from the kids

-Still uncertain on chairs….suggestions?

-2 or 3 large globe lights w/Edison filament style bulbs

-Chalkboard wall where our current buffet sits- still unsure sure of paint color for the rest of the room….

-Clean square black and white prints of the four kids about the future buffet/sideboard

-Around the piano I want to hang a few prints- ideas are vintage maps, favorite city prints, gig posters, family silhouettes….this wall will most likely resemble clean-chaos. Do you know what I mean? Someone please understand and help me feel sane…

-A fun, standout little table for my record player in the corner, that can house my record collection (that I plan to have)

-Curtains: something simple that will still allow nice light to flow through

            Last year it was the new office, and the year before the basement studio. I’m hoping to begin this project this Spring and I’m giddy about it. If you have any tips or ideas, I would LOVE to hear!

            March 1, 2011 - 10:55 am

            Kate - I AM SOOO EXCITED! THANK YOU! and i LOVE the table and chalkboard wall!! those are a MUST! :)

            March 1, 2011 - 11:01 am

            Steph - IDEApaint! (it’s basically paint that is a whiteboard) we’re putting it in a part of our basement this coming spring/summer.

            March 1, 2011 - 11:15 am

            laurie eller - we’re working on our living room/dining room this spring too. after many paint swatches and testers we’ve decided to go with Porter Paint – Autumn Aqua (7058-1). it’s glorious. :) it even comes in a spray paint too so you can go to town on ikea frames and what not. i get a LOT of my ideas from the two youngsters, john and sherry over at http://www.younghouselove.com check them out. i think you might like them too. :)

            March 1, 2011 - 11:20 am

            Mel - Ummm I love your current dining room! But I also understand when u need to change it up. Have fun!!

            March 1, 2011 - 11:53 am

            Natalie - I like the metal chairs best, your mood board actually reminds me of one of my favorite restaurants in NYC, Bareburger. They use a lot of repurposed materials i.e. cork. Might be something to consider. It might be fun to use music posters to tie the piano and record player into the rest of the room. Or maybe maps of where your favorite artists/concerts are from.

            March 1, 2011 - 12:27 pm

            Lindsey - Before you toss let us know! We’d be happy to take some things off your hands! :)

            March 1, 2011 - 1:07 pm

            Hal - I’ve been looking for a buffet like yours for years, what style would you call it? I’m having NO LUCK.

            March 1, 2011 - 3:29 pm

            nelly - “clean-chaos” : I definetely see what you mean. I do that with pictures and cards a lot. So cool.
            I think I have an idea you might like for the chairs, can mail you pictures if you want.
            Have a great time decoring !

            March 1, 2011 - 11:28 pm

            Maggie - Ahhhhh it’s so good to have you back! I love a dining room re-do…everything you’ve picked looks totally awesome. Must say I am sad to see the red go…I just love how the curtains match perfectly but are light and barely there with all that natural light! Good luck…we know how you are when it comes to picking colors ;)

            March 2, 2011 - 1:48 pm

            Jen H - Jess- I love it!! I love everything you always do :-) I saw this lighting fixture and it kinda reminded me of the ones you have pictured on your moodboard http://www.cb2.com/lighting/accessories/firefly-pendant-lamp/f5281?fromLocation=search.
            Can’t wait to see the end result! Oh, and I think a bench on one side of the table would be cool too.

            March 4, 2011 - 12:00 pm

            Gail - LOVE IT!!! And you and I are in SUCH similar boats…I’m painting our brick-colored living room in an off-white to brighten things up and oh man, it’s going to be a PAIN painting over that!

            On the chairs, what if you offset the head of each side of the table with ghost chairs? I LOVE these and think they could be cool!


            March 8, 2011 - 1:32 am

            Casey - So very thankful.
            Thank you thank you!!

            March 12, 2011 - 12:11 am

            Betsy - That mood board site is awesome!

            Wow, Edison filament style lights? Where the heck did you find those? Awesome!

            Does chalk board dust drive you insane?

            Love ya!