Minnesota Senior Portraits Session

This past weekend I had my family reunion in Winnebago, Minnesota! My mother's parents live there and that is where we gather every July to reunite. My mom has four sisters and one brother who live all over the US, so we all look forward to seeing each other at the annual family reunion! Since I'm an only child, I really look forward to spending time with my cousins.

While I was in Minnesota, I was able to do a fun photoshoot with my baby cousin, who graduates from high school next spring. We did the photoshoot in a cute little farming town called Amboy, not too far from Mankato.

She's growing up so quickly! I remember years of getting little JCpenney wallet sized photos in the mail from her parents. It seems like time has flown by so quickly! Aubrey has turned into quite the fashionista!

San Francisco

Every fourth of July, my best friend Rachel and I plan a fantastic getaway vacation to do some relaxin’ and some explorin’! Last year we went to Bermuda where we went snorkeling and jumped off scary cliffs into the sparkling ocean. This year we decided to check out San Francisco! I’ve always wanted to visit SF and was ready to check it off my bucket list. This time I made sure to bring my nice camera rather than my point and shoot, so I could share some nice photos with you!

I flew there straight from Birmingham, so pretty much all I had with me was a rainbow of sundresses. Little did I know that I would be wearing layers of long-sleeve shirts for the majority of the visit. After meeting Rachel at the airport, we ventured onto the Bart train! We checked into our hotel and started walking around trying to find some good eatin’! We stumbled upon Espetus Churrascaria Brazilian Steak House, which was not in the nicest area but turned out being the most amazing meal. Luckily we got there right before they closed. After this fantastic meal we stumbled upon Mission, which soon became our favorite neighborhood of SF. Not only were the buildings covered with beautiful murals and paintings but there were tons of interesting boutiques. All of the boutiques and shops were creatively decorated. Clearly an artist community has taken over this part of the city. The majority of the boutiques were men & women’s clothing, retro furniture stores, and consignment shops. I was really impressed by The Common which had some stylish and custom fit clothing for men. After photographing weddings for the past 6 years, I’ve noticed the lack of options for men’s suits, ties, etc. This place blew me away with it ‘s variety of classy and funky options!

Seurat anyone? love it!

During our exploration of Mission, we stopped at The Green Arcade Book Store (to stock up on maps & SF travel guides) since we had nothing planned for the next 4 days. We then headed over to Al’s Comics on Market Street to see if they had one of our friend’s comic books. I’ve never seen my friend Jonathan Luna’s work in person, so I thought this was the perfect time to check it out! The store owner was so friendly and told us all about the Luna brother’s work. I ended up purchasing The Sword!

On our way back to the hotel we stopped by the most amazing art supply store in the world, Flax! Unfortunately you can’t order their stuff on a website…very very disappointing because there were so many things I wanted to stock up on…but knew I wouldn’t be able to stuff them into my suitcase.

Our second day in SF was spent in Chinatown, North Beach, and Fisherman’s Wharf. I have to mention to you that Rachel and I are a little crazy when it comes to walking. We really enjoy walking places! We walked all the way from our hotel near Mission to Fisherman’s wharf..and back?!

Our first stop in Chinatown was Great Eastern Restaurant for the best Dim Sum I’ve ever had in my life. Our friend Marithe recommended we drop by this restaurant and boy were we thankful for his recommendation! And let me tell you, SF’s Chinatown (in my opinion) is way more interesting than DC’s Chinatown and even better than NYC’s!

After walking through Chinatown, we realized we were in North Beach which is a fun neighborhood as well. We found a great Thai restaurant called King of the Noodle! You would not believe how cheap this meal was. I got Pad Thai for $5?! Seriously. I was shocked and skeptical as to why it was so cheap…but it was so good!

On July 4th, we went to Ocean Beach, the Full House…house (Rachel’s request) and then went to Japantown (my request). Of course we got to Japantown when all the shops were closed but we found a great restaurant called The Grove which was inside with large wide-open windows. I ordered a Beet Salad that was to die for. After walking the whole city, we headed back to hotel and got the motivation to see the fireworks at the Wharf! I’ve never seen so many crazy people in one place. SF’s 4th of July is a little more wild than DC’s :oD

The next day we got this crazy idea that we would rent bikes and bike over the Golden Gate bridge. Not only did we bike over the bridge (starting at Pier 39) but we bioked through Sasalito through the Redwoods, and ended up all the way to Tiberon. Of course we stopped for taco’s once we got over the bridge!

After looking at the map Rachel and I realized that we ran 6 miles, walked 24 miles, and biked 22 miles. I don't think that many people would enjoy vacationing with us :oD

I would have to say that my most favorite part of this trip was biking the bridge. I didn’t really know what to expect from SF but I enjoyed the lack of humidity, the creative atmosphere, and the amazing restaurants. I can't lie, after 4 days there I was happy to come back home to DC which is much cleaner and seems to be safer as well. It's always nice to get away for a bit but it's always nice to come home to my favorite city!

-Lisa Marie


I’m sure I say this a little to often…but I love my job…I work a little too much because I love it so much. After a busy Spring Wedding season I always take a week or two off for vacationing during the 4th of July holiday. I began my two weeks of vacation with Michelle Repici, Associate photographer for Sweet Tea Photography and owner of Meringue Design. We flew down to Birmingham to see her sister, Dee, and her niece & nephew Carter, and Claire. After an evening in Birmingham, we roadtripped to Grayton Beach which is between Panama City and Destin, Florida. I spent a little time soakin’ up the sun, running on the beach, and last but not least….eatting like a rockstar! We also fit in two photoshoots with Claire and Carter. Michelle styled the shoots and I photographed the little dumplins! In a few weeks I’ll show off the photos with the finishing touches that Michelle has put on them, but until then..enjoy!

Welcome Ms. Lisa & Aunt 'Chelle!

Is this not the cutest outfit you've ever seen?!

What a fashionable young lady?!?

Stylist: Meringue Design
Photography: Lisa Marie of Sweet Tea Photography