Portland's Zac Young in next Top Chef

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Weehoo!! The cat is finally out of the bag so it's safe to share that Zac Young, the brother of 2007 emilie inc. bride Alisa (who also appears on our website video testimonials) is a participant in the next season of Top Chef on Bravo!! Zac heralds from Portland and is now the pastry chef at Flex Mussels in NYC (you might also recall that he sent scrumptious homemade bon bons to our St John wedding last year). Featuring only pastry chefs from around the country, "Just Desserts" promises a heaping of drama (as evidenced in this preview video), and you might just spot a few of the photographs I've snapped of their family over the years, too. Can't wait to tune in starting September 15th! Good luck, Zac! xo

* Emily and Joel marry in Homer, Alaska

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emilie inc. photographers: Emilie and J
ceremony: Saint John the Baptist Homer, AK
officiant: Fr. Andrew Sensenig
reception: Chart Room Restaurant Homer, AK
accommodations: Bay Avenue Bed & Breakfast Homer, AK
florist: DIY
cake: Dairy Queen (girl after my own ice cream heart!)
hair: Jeremy, Grass Roots Salon
make-up: Sea Glo Cosmetics
gown: Joyce, Something Wonderful Inc. Carmel, IN
honeymoon: Danali National Park, Alaska

Four years ago, Emily stumbled across my blog while searching Google for something and it popped up. She liked it, bookmarked it, checked in regularly, and when she got engaged and decided to marry her longtime love Joel in what was once planned as their honeymoon destination spot, Alaska, she sent me an enthusiastic email asking if I would consider the trip. Um, YES PLEASE!

How they met, in Emily's words:
Joel and I met in Rocky Mountain National Park in 2001. We were working summer jobs as "ranch hands" at a dude ranch. That summer was the beginning of a three year long distance relationship, driving countless miles to visit each other at Purdue U., and Ohio State. After a year of living in the same city (post-undergrad degree), I went back to Ohio State for veterinary school, and another four years of long distance followed. After graduation from vet school, Joel followed me to my current job in Iowa. Close to nine years together, and we're finally "gettin' hitched."

Alaska was everything and more than I imagined it could be. Booked more than a year ago, J and I knew this would be a highlight of our summer and indeed it was. Tho the sun only peeked out for a few brief moments on their wedding day, the scenery and small fishing town of Homer (four hours south of Anchorage) was just stunning.

Emily, Joel and their families made us feel so welcome, inviting us to join them and their 16 VIP guests at their intimate rehearsal dinner and morning after brunch. We had such a blast and, boy, did we laugh. There was a lump in my throat when it came time to say our good-byes and gosh, we really miss them already!

Take a peek at their album design and a few of my favorite images from the day below.


Every detail was well planned... from the luggage tags to the needlepoint labels on fleece blankets for everyone, and the sweetest welcome bags filled with lots of personal touches (including a T-shirt from Homer for our little peanut, sized at 6 months, perfect for next summer. SO thoughtful!).

Emily started the morning at a sweet little hair salon in town.

And then went next door to an even sweeter itty, bitty spa.

Back at their B&B, it was time to get dressed. Emily designed her gown and had it custom-made. Loved her shoes, in her wedding colors (teal and brown), showing off their family tattoo here (her last name is Whitehouse).



Our groom, Joel, featuring handmade boutonniere by Emily.

Emily's matching DIY paper bouquet.

And some of the other bridal party DIY flowers.





The sun said hello for a few quick moments!



The lupine was gorgeous.

We walked through the shops on the Homer Spit and these two were greeted with such warmth (even hugs!) by the locals.

One shopowner presented them with a gift. Emily, who admits she gets emotional at everything, was really moved by the gesture.

And then everyone toasted together at a local restaurant.

As the sun never really sets in Alaska at this time of year (it gets darker, but not until 2a or so, and never completely dark!), we didn't have the chance for a typical sunset portrait. That's a-ok, I loved taking this outside at would have been total darkness had we been shooting on the east coast (My body clock, on the other hand, had quite an adjustment settling back to sleeping at normal hours!).


Congratulations, Emily and Joel! Thank you again for treating us to one of the biggest adventures we have shared. We adore you and your families, and hope that you will all stay in touch (and maybe visit Maine one day?!)! Can't wait to hear about your honeymoon, and especially your parents' trip to see the polar bears up north! xox

Snapshot Studio at Roots Workshop

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After the teams were done sharing their slideshows with the group on the last night of the Roots Workshop, everyone was able to exhale and let loose a bit as the hard work was finally done. We had yummy pies and ice cream, hosted the (now annual) Chubby Bunny competition (images from that will not be finding their way to this blog. Some things shall remain a secret from the week!) and everyone piled into our sponsor photo booth, Snapshot Studio (created by Roots instructor Jenn Domenick), for some fun.






























Roots Workshop: day 5

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Thursday was the last day of the Roots Workshop, a day seemingly simple in scope, but always a hectic flurry of activity right up until our celebratory clambake dinner. It included final edits of everyone's picture stories, choosing a song by sponsor Triple Scoop Music, assembling slideshows and individual one-on-one mentor sessions. And once we finished feasting on lobster, we waited for the sun to go down and viewed everyone's body of work from the week on a screen under the stars (undoubtedly one of my favorite days of the year). There was lots of laughter, and even tears, as students and their instructors explained each photographer's assignment and remarkable growth transformation in front of the group. I'll be sharing those slideshows here, with a round-up on the week, over the next few days.








(This last picture taken by student Ian Riley)

Roots Workshop: Day 4

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Holy cow, how is it possible we're already on Day 4 at Roots Workshop? Just one more day to go! Today was the second day the students were out photographing their assignments, with visits from a mentor. The weather, fortunately, was on our side as were all of the fantastic subjects who so graciously allowed us to peek into their daily lives. Eric, yet again, did a fabulous job zipping around the island managing to capture each one of our 12 photographers working. Thank you, e!

More on the workshop blog here and follow our hilarious Twitter feed here.



























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