Tuesday, January 31, 2012

M s I t K u E d

I am the eldest in my family and the only girl... sometimes, well, many times, the boys forget that I am a girl and make me feel like I'm truly a part of the gang. I am just one of the guys for them... awkward? No! I am very close to all three of them and although they treat me like I am their little sister, I know that with a stern glance or a deep yell I can nonetheless always intimidate them. The best part of being their older sister is definitely disciplining them... Ohh the perks of having younger siblings. 

While the boys have grown up to be bigger than me and attempt to boss me around quite often, I can still see the little skinny boys they used to be running around the house chasing me. Just in the past two years they have suddenly grown from my little brothers to becoming my brothers. No minuscule adjective necessary. 

And they are also very, very talented. Each one of us in my family has been blessed with an artistic talent. I suppose we merely have the gene and we are very much thankful for it!

My brother Michael is a writer, like me. He is a really, really good writer. The both of us enjoy writing poetry and I think he is amazing at it. A few years ago he embarked on his "I want to be a rapper stage" and, quite frankly, I thought it was merely a stage. Let's preface... in middle school he went through many stages of what he wanted to be. At some point between 6th and 8th grade he was adamant about becoming a gardener. 

Did I make you giggle? Because it made our family giggle... we eventually realized what he meant was a landscape architect. The phase, like many before it and after, quickly faded. So when I realized he was writing his very first rap song two years ago I did not think the phase would last long. But it did. And it evolved. And it continues to evolve....

My brother Michael is an amazing lyricist. He makes me very proud to know that his English college courses are adequately implemented in his verses. Mike, make your professors proud!

It is Michael that helped me find my own niche in the rap industry... remember my rap video I made about my love for photography? It was all thanks to him. 

I am delighted to call him my brother. I am proud of the hard work he places into each word he notes. Most importantly, I am very proud of the dedication, devotion he has to succeed. The future has great things for him, I know it. 

Michael has entered, for the second year in a row, a contest where he writes lyrics and makes a video to a supplied beat. To win, he requires your help. I would like to please ask that you help me to help him by voting for his video. You can vote daily and I will love you forever if you can please vote for the next few days and spread the word with everyone you know. He needs all the votes out there!!!

Here's how...
Use the following link to cast your vote daily:
Vote daily until February 12, 2012.

We truly appreciate your help, thank you!

Please note, I do not like to curse and as much as I am hesitant to hear a bad word hear and there I am delighted to share with you my brother's video... please vote!!!!!!!!!!!

Go Michael!!!! Ahem, I mean M s I t K u E d
He wrote his lyrics, filmed the video with a digital camera (go Nikon!) and edited the video all by himself.

***I need to create a follow up to my rap video... ideas?***

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sand, glitter, a bride, and an alligator.

This weekend was jam-packed with a beautiful bride, tons of sand, sparkly lace and an alligator!!!!! Oh how fun! If I didn't have muscles Friday night, I most certainly do now... my legs are so sore as is my booty from squatting down, getting up, and rolling - literally - on the ground for two full days of shooting.  This weekend has left me bruises, sand in my ears and buns of steel.

And my hands, oh my little itty-bitty hands are very much tired. My camera is little but still heavy... I should probably put the neck strap back on.... hmmm, there's an idea Marisol!

How's this for juxtaposition of what my weekend consisted of...

Thank you Yva and Sofi for all your help this weekend! And Valerie, you are amazing with your brides!!! Working hard feels oh-so-good... Someone is going to have to drag me out of bed tomorrow morning!

This week I'm looking forward to: Making new friends, Top Chef Texas, Sofia's Birthday!!! What about you?

Make it a great weekend friends!!!

Saturday, January 28, 2012


Yva and I drove to South Padre Island today for Mariel's bridal session... On the way over we discussed all sorts of crazy stuff - our plans for a motorcycle/scooter gang, ninja skills, and our sorority sister Sofia's future. It was during our discussion of the bright future Sofi has at her fingertips that I too asked Yva a very important question...

Attorney. Photographer. Ninja. 

What should I be? Quick, pick one!

Why can't you combine all three? Oh yeah... Yva, you're a genius. 

Rewind about 25 minutes prior to the conversation and drive. I sneak up behind my youngest brother and karate chop him on his back. "Did I catch you off guard?" I ask him. "Umm, no. I heard you coming behind me," he replies. What?! I was so totally practicing my ninja skills. He heard my car keys jingle as they flung around from my back pocket. 

Okay, so I have yet to perfect my recently acquired ninja skills. But, yes there is a but, I am always ninja-ing around during my sessions and weddings. I climb trees, roll on the ground and inconspicuously photograph wedding days. Surely, I am a ninja. 

Whoah. My logic is a little off there but Yva and I realized that I can already be, sort of, a ninja and a photographer. Thus, decisions are not that hard. She also then proceeded to suggest I become ordained and marry people, umm... Yva are you crazy?! 

So what's my point? My point is I can be whatever I want to be. As long as I want it ;)

Which brings me to the following... Yva has been wanting to do some more hands on assisting and, as promised, I wanted to teach her to photograph effortlessly. And today she did! My little Yva, you have tons to learn as do I but you are a complete natural in my eyes. 

Since I cannot yet share with you today's bridal session... how about I share with you Yva's photos that she took of yours truly.

I'm a natural... ninja that is!!!! Here I am, incognito. 

Way to go my young grasshopper Yva. Yippee! You photographed manually and learned to compose artistically. Ah-mazing :) This weekend is filled with a bride, good friends, sand, and a full day of boudoir sessions tomorrow. I'm such a lucky gal to have great help... for baggage, work, and always a good laugh. 

You can do whatever you set your minds to my friends. Anything you wish, you can do it. I'm a photographer and, in my dreams, I am the greatest ninja - ever. Be an attorney, that is in God's hand if it'll end up in my future. ::crosses fingers:: 

Have a beautiful weekend my friends!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Happy Birthday AJ!!!

I was elven years old when my little brother AJ was born. I changed his diapers, washed his bottles and taught him how to walk. If I close my eyes, I can clearly see him walking through the house stumbling with his chubby little legs. I get quiet and I can hear him "oohing and ahhing" as he screams for someone to reach in his crib and take him out to play. I can hear his baby talk progress as he learns how to speak and eventually correctly pronounce my name. I can see him, a baby grow up into a toddler and eventually be ready for elementary school. 

Mary! Mary! He always calls my name. Except now I look up rather than down to speak to him or listen. I can no longer call him my munchkin... he's practically a giant! He has surpassed me in height a fews years now and seems to continue to grow every day. I look at him and wonder where the time went. One minute he was a baby clinging on to me and now he carries my bags for me. Wow. Can you imagine how my mother feels?

I am very protective of my three younger brothers. I am their big sister and they are like my three children. I worry for them. I discipline them. I jump for joy when they are happy. I can't believe they are growing up so quickly. AJ, my middle little brother has just turned 15 today! Whoah!!! 

I was scared the day my mom was rushed to the hospital after the stove, pictured in the background of the image below, caught on fire. Mom was trying to stop the fire and rush Michael and I out of the house safely all while being 8 months pregnant. She tripped and fell prompting the early labor of my little brother. I remember she was rushed off and I was afraid I couldn't accompany her. That night, this kiddo arrived...

Kitchen looks good now... and so does my handsome little brother. AJ, I love you so much! I am so proud of the young man you are becoming and wish you a very blessed life! Hugs :) 
Xoxo, Your Big Sister :)

Good night friends!!

Friday, January 20, 2012

A little prose to warm the soul...

...Miss Dickinson says it best.

If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain;
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again
I shall not live in vain. 

- Emily Dickinson 

It's been an extremely rough week. C'est la vie.
Cheers for a better next!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

For your Valentine...

I can certainly thank a special lady for instigating this following post...

Due to a special request, I have decided to host a day of Valentine's Day Mini Boudoir Sessions. It will be a one day only event where you can feel sultry, sexy and absolutely beautiful. Sessions will be 25 minutes long and you can wear up to two looks. You'll get your images on a private gallery for you to view and share with your Valentine. Included in the session are two (2) 5x7 Photographs, making them the perfect gift for your beloved. If you are interested and highly covet a romantic and unique gift for your sweetie pie, then this is the session for you! 

So pull out the red lipstick, false eyelashes and best smile for an amazing session celebrating the art of being a woman. Oohh! And wear your favorite outfit ::wink wink::

Please note that the sessions will take place next weekend and will only be held on the set date. In order to fulfill orders in time for the February holiday, and due to the nature of the work entailed, I am only available to offer the session on January 29th. I am willing to open up the morning of the 28th as well IF there is a demand for it. Call me to discuss a time slot. The sessions will be held at a romantic and beautiful location. All you have to do is show up and smile :). You may feel free to bring a friend for encouragement and motivation. Oh! And remember, You are beautiful!!!

For further details and reserving your spot, please give me a call at (956) 569-2257. I should note that I am suffering a sore throat and either sound like man or have no voice... perhaps a text message may be better. Regardless, call me! :) **You can also email me at mary@marisolizaguirre.com or yva@marisolizaguirre.com

See you soon!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


My internet is down for the day so here I am late night blogging from my phone. Since my scheduled blog post will have to wait, I thought I'd share with you a few things about myself.

I love...

Furniture shopping
Scented body powder
To Do Lists
Beans (Yumm!)
Classical Music.

Things that inspire me...

Happy people
World problems
Personal obstacles
Sorority sisters

Who keeps me strong...

What about you?

Good night :)

Monday, January 16, 2012

Blue Monday.

I came across an interesting article on the internet early this morning and it, quite frankly, just made me giggle... I am not superstitions so the spookyness of Friday the 13th doesn't spook me. But maybe since the Friday did not get to me, Monday decided to come after and bite me hard in the tush.

Let me explain.

Of all the days, today - Monday - I woke up later than usual. Felt sicker than before. You see where I'm headed here? I bit my tongue last night as I effortlessly ate french fries as if I had never eaten a meal before in record setting time. So today, the entire half of my right tongue is swollen. Then, I was due for a trip to the orthodontist - ouch. Focus Mary, Focus...

And some punk made me cry last night so I woke up with the worst swollen eyes in a while. Yikes! Trust me, today I was not a pretty picture. 

For most of the morning I could barely hold my eyes open to see... Then comes lunch time and my chicken sand which is missing most of its chicken. Sigh. It's a good thing there are bigger problems in this world. I can overlook this. 

Blue Monday, you may have attacked me but guess what... I'm still standing!!!! Take that gloomy Monday....

I'm jumping in my bed and cuddling the rest of the day away. Oohh, here's the article I mentioned: http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/blue-monday-monday-january-called-depressing-day-year-experts-dispute-formula-article-1.1007019  In it they discuss how the third Monday of the year is typically the gloomiest and most depressing day of the year. Umm, yeah today was the 3rd Monday... grrrr!

What would make my day so much better? A full dose of Drop Dead Diva so I can fall in love again with the ever handsome Grayson. ::googly eyes::

How was your day?!


Sunday, January 15, 2012

Anatomy of the Website.


If you noticed, the Blog got a fresh make-over a few weeks ago. With the blog's new look I remembered it has been almost a year ago when I decided to completely re-design my website and provide it with a very much needed facelift. It was meant to be a weekend project that essentially turned into a month long full of late night creativity. But my goal was accomplished. I am very proud of my website on so many levels. Thus, I wanted to share with you my insight on creating my virtual space...

Let me preface - I am not a graphic designer. I do not know too much HTML. I do not know technical design aspects. What I do know, though, is what I like. 

When I began the re-design process, I wanted the entire site to feel inviting, welcoming, cozy and be a reflection of who I am - my personality. I wanted you to go online and gather a sense of who I am as a photographer and what type of images I enjoy creating. I also wanted it to be fully informational.

Did I achieve my goal? I like to think so but, friends, I'll let you be the judge of that. 

Anyway, I wanted to explain the components of my website, why I chose to do things a certain way and, hopefully, encourage you to share the site with all your family and friends ;)

In terms of software, remember I do not know HTML. Okay, I lie. Sorry! I do know a little about computers, html and all that geeky stuff. But, but it is definitely not my forte. So a few years ago when I was looking for software to use to create my site I came across a program called SHOWIT. When I read up on it and after downloading the program, I realized it was exactly what I had always dreamt of! Personally, I think it is the best and its purposes serve my need plus creativity. The possibilities are truly endless. 

Word of advice, it does cost a pretty penny but, like I just said, it's pretty :) It is definitely a wise investment if you like to create your own site and have lots of fun and freedom doing so. Another plus, it comes with it's own hosting - made my job so much easier. Total perk :)

Okay, so let's move forward with my website... 

On my landing page, also commonly referred to a splash page, I decided to use recent favorites. I noticed I change the image every 4 or 5 months... at least that was the pattern since last year. The landing page is the very first page my clients see when they type in the url (http://marisolizaguirre.com). I created it to appear and then automatically disappear while introducing the home page. <-- Took me a while!

The landing page (above) automatically takes you into the home page of the site. No need to click. I sketched this out on a piece of paper and from here I built my website. I wanted the look to be a mixture of classy, romantic, feminine and whimsical. It has the same color scheme that my office, blog, packaging and everything else I use for my photography uses. When you visit the website, my virtual home, I wanted it to feel as if you were coming in to my office and meeting with me in person. I wanted it to be ME :)

For the About Me section, I wanted to write to you - the reader. I don't favor writing in 3rd person... I am talking to you and I want you to know it. ::wink::

I also have a page where I discuss the Philosophy of my Photography. Although I am a philosopher, I don't go into my world views and/or existential angst discussions... ha! Instead, I want my potential clients to know what my photography is about, my style, and why it is so.

Yva, my lovely assistant made her debut on the website a few weeks ago...

I also decided to throw in a page about my policies... very important. It's good to have your target audience informed.

The calendar on the website is highly important for me. I thought it was a great component to add to the website. That way you are aware of my availability. This is one of my favorite pages... I think it's cool :)

I also have a Client's section where you are able to view your wedding album design and approve it or note any changes we need to make. You can also link out to the proofing galleries where the actual images are stored for online viewing... more on this towards the end.

As for the Gallery portion of the website, I opted of having a specific gallery for each category of photographs I capture...

Weddings. {I included Bridal and Wedding Images here.}

Life.  {I included Newborns, Children, Families and Portraits here.}

Boudoir. {Solely boudoir.}

Then I also included a few featured collections... What I mean by that was that I thought it was imperative that my potential clients see what an entire collection looks like. What do I mean? Websites usually hold snippets of sessions and weddings for very obvious and practical reasons. But I wanted my future brides to catch a glimpse of a collection in its entirety... Engagement Session, Bridal Session and the Wedding. 

Here's Candace and Billy... one of the featured collections. The gallery begins with some of their engagement photos...

 ... and some of Candace's bridal photos....

... and, of course, wedding day images.

There is also a F.A.Q.'s section on the website. I came up with these questions on my own and I consider this page a work in progress. I have more questions and answers I want to include. If you have any suggestions, please feel free to share! I'd love your input :)

The Love Letters section is basically just a page with testimonials... nice comments from my past and current clients. Their form of appreciation... an appreciation I am forever thankful for.

The contact page has all the necessary information for you to get a hold of me :) There is also a contact form you can use for quicker messaging.

Taking a few steps back... the Album Shoppe has all the current Wedding Album Designs for my clients to review as previously mentioned.

Here's an example of a wedding book proofing gallery...

As for music, I searched for weeks for a perfect song I could include. While some photographers do not like music on their websites, understandably so, I like having a tune to accompany the viewing experience. But, you can easily turn the music off by clicking on the speaker sounds at the bottom right hand corner. I also set the volume really low so that you're not frightened if you forget you have your speakers on... just looking out for ya'! 

Here's the tricky but extremely important part... having music on your website can step on toes... copyright toes, that is. No matter how much I wanted to include music from some of my favorite artists I opted against it for the mere and simple fact that I did not have a license to use their music. Thankfully, however, there are options - plenty. 

I used Triple Scoop Music which has a great selection of music for photographers and other creative individuals to license and properly use by purchasing a license. Here, I found the perfect song to accompany the personality of my website, my brand, my photography and me. I chose a beautiful song called God Is by Faith Rivera. I immediately fell in love with the tune the moment I previewed it. It tugged at my heart on so many levels. In my opinion, it reflected my photography and myself in its beautifully written lyrics.

Where I am GOD IS
Where I stand GOD IS standing strong
Where I breathe GOD IS breathing life
In & out & through me…as me

Where I sing GOD IS
Where I dance Joy lifts my feet
Where I live Beauty's flowing free
In & out & through me…as me

Where I doubt GOD IS the faith in me
Where I cry GOD IS the comfort there
Where I seek GOD IS the answer
Here, now, forever & ever & ever…

Where I speak Truth is
Where I work Love is my career
Where I play GOD IS playing boldly
In & out & through me…as me

Where I am 
Where I stand 
Where I play
Where I work & breathe & move & be

Where I sing
Where I dance
Wherever I go
Where I pray & take & give & live


God Is by Faith Rivera

I don't have a studio and, instead, photograph out in the world - where I am happiest. I absolutely love my job and my most important aspect is photographing humanity in its natural element - the world. When I began this journey of building a business, I knew I wanted to photograph the world; it's beautiful and God created such a beautiful place, studio if you will, for me to use. Why would I not want to be out and about?! Thus, when I heard this song it was perfect for me and my brand. This song defines me who I am as a person, not just solely as a photographer. Plus, how could I go wrong with... "Where I work Love is my career..."

And, while the following is not on the SHOWIT platform, I figured I'd share with you my Online Proofing Gallery that I use for my client's images. I use Zenfolio and I am quite happy with it. It is simple and basic but gets the job done. This is what the gallery looks like... still keeping with the color scheme I am literally obsessed with. It, too, matches my office :) I have been using both Showit and Zenfolio for two years going on three... I think I am definitely a fan.

There you have it... the anatomy of my website. I worked very hard to create it. I hope that is serves its purpose fully. What do you think? http://marisolizaguirre.com 

**If you're a photographer and need help with your Showit website, I'd be happy to help or at least chat with you :)

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

01.07.2012 in Black and White.

I spent the first saturday of 2012 enjoying the sunlight and the company of my beloved mother. For the first time in a very long time, I had no previous plans to adhere to, no work and nothing else to do other than have fun. So what is a girl to do you ask? Shop :)

This is what a drive on a beautiful Saturday afternoon looks like... monochromatically.

I took these images from the passenger seat of my car trough the window as my mom and I shopped. Some are blurry, some are over-exposed while others are under-exposed but all straight from the camera. In each one I saw something... I was wearing my glasses ;)

Happy Day!

**Lovely song... "City Lights" by Brett Bixby.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


My eyes are straining. 

Let me preface...

Beginning in middle school my vision began to weaken and the need to wear glasses arose. No biggie. But at every new optometrist visit my prescriptions kept increasing dramatically. Yikes. Eventually I graduate to contact lenses and felt a little bit of normal. Except for when I had to take them off and wake up without them. That was my least favorite part of contact lenses. Every morning, I could not fully see until I had them on... total drain. 

But it was a routine, my routine.

Eventually I became a candidate for lasik eye surgery and felt brand-spanking-new when the eye mask came off the next day. Granted, I had the worst, really *the worst* bruising IN my eyes for about two months. Talk about being blue...

But seeing, seeing was amazing. So sharp I could see a haw pick a needle from miles afar. 

Okay, so maybe I couldn't see the needle but my point is that my vision was as sharp as tack.

Umm... but now I am back to wearing glasses. And lately, over the past two months I have been filled with frustration because I feel as if I am literally losing the power in my little, itty bitty eyes. I have resorted to wearing glasses full time and am so bummed out. 

The straining to see clearly leaves me frustrated, annoyed and anxious. 

Can you imagine if all my images came out like this... 

{The gorgeous Christina.}

I like the look but not for an entire collection ;) Ha! I think it's safe to say I will be wearing my glasses at all weddings from now on... ha ha! 

P.S. I was not wearing my glasses when I typed tonight's post... oopsie ;)

Good night!

***Did I just blog about my vision... umm, yes I did. Yikes!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Year in Review... 2011.

The end of 2011 marked the end of my second wedding season.

I survived, yay!!!

2011 has been {____insert a multitude of descriptive adjectives here_____}. The best of 2011 is that the year made me stronger, much stronger. I have learned an immense amount of knowledge on various subjects, photography and life included. 

Another year and I am wiser. Thanks be to God. 

I have so many wonderful memories from 2011 and the romantic weddings I was blessed to be a part of. Jennifer & Rodger, Itzel & Nathan, Jenny & John, Virginia & Omar, Brycee & David, Leslie & Rick, Cinthya & Orlando, and Christina & Marco... Thank you! Thank you for allowing me to share with you on such amazing days. I wish you all the blessings in the world as you embark on your lives together as husbands and wives. Be blessed!

2011 was a year full of love...

2011 was a year for growth...

2011 was a year to teach me...
  1. Speak up.
  2. Dream big.
  3. Say no.
In my personal life, 2011 was a year that pushed me further than before. I fell, deeply, and picked myself back up. I am ready to do it all over again, as many times as necessary until I reach the end of my journey. 

Afraid to be
Afraid to see
Life around me
Keeps moving slowly
Where am I?

I am here
I am here 
Come and get me

Stay with me
See only me
Say you'll have me
Say we'll be.
2011 © Marisol Izaguirre

In 2012 I will shine. Brightly :)

What I look forward to...
Being humble. Being free. Being happy. Being me. 

"Just hold me close... don't patronize me..." - Bon Iver

I have no regrets.