Fall in love in Asheville, North Carolina

I am totally a YES person. And in the spirit of collaboration, I always believe that I have something to learn and there is strength in the team over the individual. So when a dear friend + fellow creative told me of her new professional venture taking her private practice as a licensed therapist to a next level experience offering image consulting, I wondered how I could get involved. We kicked around the ball a few times, chatting varying concepts and even throwing together a few test shoots with her stylish self as our sweet model. As the fall colors of Western North Carolina reached the season's peek, we had our first project together outlined. Brilliant at most things she touches, this ladyboss played casting director and found our sweet + totally in love couple to play the part of falling in love with these lushes fall colors. With the perfect backdrop, authentically in love cast and vision for a true collaboration, all that was left was what to wear.  A stylist is nothing without her resources and pull it all together she did! With the generous support of a favorite boutique AND a vintage shop on Lexington Ave in downtown Asheville, we had our storyboard in order!

We love this shoot for so many reasons: we love Minx as one of Ashevile's best and long standing boutiques for a super cute, go to and always color-coded shopping experience. The Honey Pot, through it's various incarnations has remained a mainstay, vintage hub on the hipster drag that is Lex Ave. With Kyrie + Richard's budding love changing seasons in front of my lens, my job to photograph that emotion was pretty seamless. As we sprinted back down from 4800 feet in elevation to capture the remaining light of the day, there where cheers for each of our separate but equally supportive roles in encouraging the success of this shoot. {side note, if you haven't ever visited Asheville, NC, you may not know, but this kind of energy is palpable and regular. It is one of the very solid reasons I now call it base camp. Also, if you haven't visited, please do plan for a long weekend but please don't move there!! I took the last open seat but that's because I left my name on it when I left for Chicago 10 years ago!) Seriously though, capturing the magic of twilight at Craggy Dome, with perfectly suited lovers at the peek of Fall's brightest colors, with the making of such a dreamy crew was perfection. Here is a sweet interlude from Marisol, our thoughtful stylist and intentional af human being:

'Although styling, posing and getting the look right is the point, running up & down mountains with bags of wardrobes is thrilling and utterly life affirming. But I have to say my favorite part of my job is the conversations I get to have with my clients through our process together. Talking with Kyrie, I began to glimpse into the love that she and Richard have shared over the last year. It is dynamic and explosive, as witnessed in these shots; but even more so, their love is patient, accepting and entirely vulnerable. During my conversation with Richard, he echoed the sentiments of his beloved like a mirror meant only for the reflection of another. He noted the timeliness of this opportunity to publicly express their connection on film as it relates to growth in all areas his life. Synchronicity, folks. It's not a coincidence; it's universal law.  When we work together, possibility flows like honey'

With that, I offer this collaborative set of personal work on my professional channel because I love it that much! The old adage of 'if you love your job you will never work a day in your life' has never rang more true in my heart and soul. To all of the collaborators on this project and the various projects, both personal and professional I have on the stove at the moment, your energies fuel and inspire me beyond my best and worst dreams; after all, you can't have dark without the light.

Stay tuned for more pops of color from this team and many more collaborations. Remember, #strongertogether. 

love,

Rose + Co

My love is the color red: Chicago Indian Wedding Inspire

15 years ago, I was participating in a semester in India through my undergraduate studies and my host had invited me with as guest to what seemed to be hours worth of ceremony; I would later learn this was the last in a line up of 3 action packed, full length days of wedding festivities. The colors, the joyful shouts, the dancing and clapping surrounded me like an ocean of happiness. Somewhere, somehow, and very suddenly, with enough gentle shoves from my host family and amidst the different sounds and tempo so beautifully chaotic, I was photographing an Indian wedding IN INDIA!

 In my newly acquired, colorful sari, I stuck out like a sore thumb but was eagerly guided by uncles and aunties alike to be sure not to miss this photo op or that extra special moment. It was with this wedding that my love documenting cultural ceremony was born. Add a few more trips to my own homeland of Eastern Europe to view archival portraits of distant relatives in a WWII memorial and my life's work was laid out in front of me: retell meaningful stories of our human experience with my camera in hand.

Fast forward the tape a decade and a half forward and here I sit, penciling love notes about stories that mean as much to the people in these photos as they do to me. The colors, textures and immersive nature of Indian culture and celebrations, especially these weddings, melt my art heart. When offered the opportunity to work with the beautiful humans that are Rishi + Minal, I couldn't have been more excited to tell their vibrant love story.

Minal's elegant poise, stunning style and gentle playfulness are unique to anyone I’ve met. Radiantly beautiful and arrayed in her gorgeous lehenga, I couldn't help but notice the gentle calm she wore all day, mirroring the quiet elegance that she is.

Rishi's easy and funny banter made for animated photos while he waited to see his bride. His dapper manner as he joked around with his best buds perfectly suited the white tuxedo he wore later in the evening.

The baraat, a raucous parade led by the groom's family into the ceremony, was one of my favorite parts of the entire celebration. It was jovial, loud and just a little bit crazy.

The day of festivities was long, but it flew by in swirls of color and emotion; the ceremony was filled with auspicious blessings, the reception dazzled with animated dances and performances, and the speeches were hilarious as well as heartwarming; especially as Rishi dropped to his knee in front of a tearfully happy Minal.This buzz of love surrounded every single person in attendance and kept even the eldest of guests grinning all day and helping to close out the dance floor!My life as sociologist with a camera has never been boring. Documenting the love story of this strikingly gorgeous and genuinely kind hearted couple for 17 hours fits right in line with that amazing tempo.

To Rishi + Minal: you, your love and your culture are beautiful. It was my honor and very much a privilege to play fly-on-the-wall at your wedding celebration. While I've grown less shy and tad more bossy while directing portraits, your candid demeanor and unwavering affection shine through these images. Thank you for both trusting our photo team to experience your unique love. It is bold, beautiful and withstanding, just like your roots.

love,

Rose + Co

A very theatrical Chicago Wedding. Staring:Lani + Joe

It's safe to say your wedding day is your day to shine! Though in this case, these two people that make up the dynamic marring duo shine on regular basis, in their own light.  The blushing bride is hardly that, as she often graces the stage in front of many a packed house as a soprano vocalist and opera singer. Her latest performance accolades include sharing her lyrical talents with non other than Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in a recent visit the esteemed judge paid to Chicago. This wildly talented, perfectly poised sweetheart found her match in an equally talented, musically inclined gentleman composer that likely couldn't write a sweeter love song than the one he and his lady found together.  His gentle demeanor and graciousness through out their big day inspired a very relaxed and jovial wedding day vibe. With these stage notes in mind, it was no surprise that Lani + Joe chose their wedding ceremony to be fully composed around an amazing choral liturgy and their reception to showcase the many talents of their friends & family of performance prowess. It was, therefore, my  job to perfectly light this showcase of love!

Even in the highest tides of wedding season, finding the right light for our couple each weekend is really important to me. I don't have a standard list of locations I hit for every wedding and, in fact, I lean heavily on my lovebirds to tell me where the love to spend time, what spots in the city they call cozy and plan our photo tours accordingly. In this case, Lani + Joe really wanted to be sure we could capture some photos on their wedding day where they'd gotten engaged at Hollywood Avenue Beach. Fellow photographers out there know that beach lighting- with the exception of right before sunrise and right before sunset - is less than ideal. But most important to the Rose Photo mission of authentic storytelling, is listening to our clients and figuring out how to best tell their love story with our tools! So, with that, we went to the beach and I lit the stars of the show accordingly.

Lani + Joe, I would love to share with you just the one image that sums up the title of this blog entry as well as your pitch perfect wedding day and I'm sure you can guess which on that might be; but since I'm just the talent and not the editor, I digress.  Here is a sweet highlight real from a very dramatic and inspired wedding day staring a wildly talented cast of plenty!

 

love,

Rose + Co

Little kids in a big city: Downtown Chicago Family photos

Little kids with big dreams in a world class city are often my boss! This little lady is no exception to that rule and, in fact, her personality is bigger than big. Little Ms. L greeted me at the start our lifestyle family photo session last weekend with a hearty hand shake and boisterous intro stating that she was doing GREAT! With that energetic tempo, we traveled up and down the Chicago River Walk, danced under the newly installed Tony Tasset DEER sculpture and finally made our way for a sweet treat from Dylan's Candy Bar.  All in an afternoon of family photo fun, we got the good captures that we'd spent weeks planning for and even dodged a few meltdowns, because...well being a little big kid is hard work, especially in front of the camera! 

To my newest tiny boss, little Ms. L, thank you for being SO full of playful energy and playing along with our photo plan even when you'd had enough. It paid off in the end with a candy haul and, of course, these sweet photographs.

love,

Rose + Co

Asheville, North Carolina's own #MrsandMrAsheVegas tie the knot!

Where to begin with this one!?!? I spent 10 minutes writing about how I hate writing and just really prefer to make gorgeous photos instead. Then, I decided that writing a blog about love can’t include the word hate so immediately deleted that. I was told recently, to my delightful surprise, that people actually read this little ol blog thing of mine and don’t just scroll down to see the photographs. So, if you can’t already tell, I’m more nervous to write this one than the last but I now think - as I type- that is because I’m falling more and more in love with my work every day. It’s almost as though these little blog entries that once only served as love letters to my clients, as sweet notes of gratitude and honor to be included in documenting such beautiful ritual, can't go unwritten; at the very least they have to have some corresponding verbiage to go with the imagery. And so as my love for my own photographic work has evolved, so has my love…errr let’s say occasional ‘like’ for my letter writing. Hopefully, as I gush gloriously over this set of photographs (wait....don’t scroll yet!!) the words match in someway in strength and valor to the love that just pours out from these images. To say my photo work has evolved is an understatement. To say I actually feel proud to write about it is a small victory I can’t help but humble brag about. There, that’s my disclaimer. Now for the real sappy stuff!
                                         THIS PLACE. THESE PEOPLE. THIS LOVE
There is something intrinsically special about the hills of Western North Carolina. So special, in fact, that I myself, can’t stay away from the small mountain town called Asheville. Interestingly enough so goes the story of the beauty that was married recently in those glowing hills and inspires this entry. Jane had left and come back to good ol Western North Carolina a few times and as they say, the third time is a charm; especially when you're as charming as Jane Kramer.      On a previous stint in WNC, she had met with Jason for an interview for his online, local news and entertainment website, Ashevegas, for all things Asheville in anticipation of her first solo album. Then, when Jane returned to Asheville yet again, she followed up with him to ask him out!! Hello, modern day woman !! Though rumor has it, he'd never lost sight of her since that interview and was also quite delighted to see the wildly talented singer/songwriter back in the Blue Ridge Mountains. And so Mr. Ashevegas himself found his way to his heart's dream by way of the sweetest voice this side of the continental divide! His valor and dedication to Jane's happiness are unparalleled; you can seriously see it in his eyes (wait.... don't scroll yet!!). After she sang her custom writ vows to Jason, he replied to her with the focus and sincerity reserved for the one your heart waits for. He said in his vows 'I see you, Jane'. To be seen, isn't that what we all want....to be seen?


I saw their love, pure and true last weekend in the bright, fall light and am so honored to share these captures that inspire me beyond even my most poured over attempts at writing. I've been told you are always exactly where you need to be and I've not always believed that true. That very thought popped into my head over and over at this celebration of love as I noticed everyone on that splendid Mars Hill farm, dancing amongst the paper lanterns, howling through the slats of the old red barn and laughing to their hearts' delight where absolutely exactly where we needed to be. So, without further ado, if you haven't already, please enjoy the love that these two incredible souls share with one another. I am out of words and like my photography professors drilled into my head, 'you shouldn't have to say anything about your images. They should speak for themselves'. Well, too late !


love,
Rose + Co