guest post

I'm on Facebook! + Guest Post

Yep. This little lady finally has a Facebook Page specifically for Imaginale Design!! And let me tell you, there's going to be some pretty ridiculous surprises I will have in a couple of weeks going on there. So hopefully you'll grace my page with your presence and like it :)

You know how I'm always talking about platanos? No? Then we're not friends on Facebook. DO IT :) Anyway, many people have asked me what the heck they are!! So when Kristen from In Sweet Violets asked me to do a guest post on platanos (cause who really cares about photography when we're talking about food here) -- I just knew I'd be doing your taste buds a favor. If you like bananas. Cause they're practically brothers. Otherwise you might hate them.

And that post is up! All about platanos. What they are, what they look like, and how to make them. Plus, some fabulous posts by Kristen herself. If you guys try this for the first time, PLEASE let me know. I love hearing about people's adventures in the kitchen. Happy Friday :)

Things That She Would Never Say

Happy Friday, Everyone! In case you've been living under a rock (or maybe you're just a little out of the loop), Ale's been out of town this week. But as you may have noticed, she has entrusted me to keep all of you up to date on everything that's been going on here at Imaginale Design. So while she is single-handedly hampering camp hormones, I thought you might like to hear a little something that Ale would never tell you herself: what makes Ale so good at what she does?

But first things first - who knows what today is?

It's ALE's 26th BIRTHDAY!!

Yep, my beautiful bride is year older, more stunning, and more stylish than ever (see below). Happy Birthday, sweetheart. I look forward to every step we'll take together and to watching you grow and mature in love and happiness. I love you!!! (Please don't hate me for posting this picture - just trying to keep it real!) :)

The very first Outfit Chronicles! Let's say her taste has matured a little since then!

Now - back to the task at hand. I would love to tell you that Ale asked me to guest post for you guys, but that simply isn't true. Honestly, when she told me she was looking for guest bloggers, my hand shot up like the nerdy kid in school. Pick me! Pick me! Why was I so excited to write on her blog? Sure, it might be because she has a much larger following than I do; but shameless plugs aside, it really was because I wanted a chance to brag on her a little bit.

If you've been following Ale's work at all over the past year, I hope that you would agree that her work is incredible and that her style is becoming more clear and refined with each shoot. When I look at her work - it's evident; but as an insider, I get to see her process. I'm her sounding board (and occasional second shooter), and as such I see her creativity in action on a daily basis. As a result, I appreciate her work more and more each day; and I believe without a doubt that she will be so much more than just another creative. Not because of what she knows, but because of who she is, particularly the following four key traits:

1) Giving: So much of human interaction is about personality. What makes Ale's personality so attractive is her willingness to satisfy the other person. It welcomes people in and eases down their walls. It allows her to easily build trust, because the other person knows that she has their best interest at heart. This trust is evident in her work and it permits Ale to exhibit her client's inner beauty along side their outer beauty.

2) Visual Storyteller: All photos/videos tell a story, but few truly capture the essence of the moment. Photographers are a dime a dozen - but a photographer who knows exactly how to capture a series of moments is truly valuable. Ale does just that - her brain is like a web of connections that is capable of syncing words, imagery, and music with emotion. She visualizes the finished product as she works - allowing her to know exactly what she needs bring that vision to life.

3) Capable: I had previously written inspired instead of capable, but all photographers are inspired. Inspiration is nothing without capability. Ale is inspired by everything (don't believe me, check out her Pinterest!), but even more importantly she is capable of realizing her inspirations. She understands lighting, angles, motion, transitions, and most other technical details of her work. Furthermore, she has the aptitude to continue learning new techniques.

4) Dreamer: Last, but not least, Ale is not afraid to dream. She believes in herself. She knows she has the talent and charisma to be a world class photographer/videographer (although, she may be too modest to admit it). So she chases that goal; and while she may be afraid of failing, she is always willing to dust herself off and keep on moving. On top of it all, she trusts her success to God, knowing that he has her best interest in mind and will work all things for her good.

Those four traits are what, I believe, make Ale so good at what she does. More specifically, its her unique combination of those traits that make her the artist that she is and that attract her friends and clients. For those who know her, would you agree? Are there any I didn't mention? Let her know in the comments what you think! That would be the best birthday gift you could ever give her (and it would let her know that I didn't scare away all of her readers...gulp!). Seriously. Until next time, thank you for letting me brag on my wife a little, and I hope that it serves to motivate you to harness those traits that make you the best at what you do!



How to Plan a Party Using Pinterest by In Sweet Violets

Kristen's party ideas will BLOW your mind. You think to yourself... how did she even come up with that?! Lucky for us, she's sharing with us her process in party planning while I'm at camp in Cali! So get comfy, soak up the info, and give her some love :)


Greetings Imaginale readers! I’m Kristen from In Sweet Violets Creative Services.

I’m so thrilled to be guest posting for Ale today. Like you, I love seeing what Ale is up to and her style is so inspiring. So, when I found out she had hopped on the Pinterest bandwagon, I knew I had to follow her boards. She shares a ton of fantastic fashion and photography inspiration on her boards.

I joined Pinterest early on, immediately seeing the potential of being able to collect ideas online. This is what my “pinterest-esque” organizing looked like before the real Pinterest came along.

These binders are full of craft, home décor, and party ideas that I ripped out of magazines or printed off the internet. I used to stock pile all my papers during the month and at the end I’d have this huge day of organizing them into clear sleeves and putting them away into their appropriate subject notebook.
Effective? Yes.
Daunting? Yes.
Space saving? No.

So, thanks to Pinterest I have been able to keep up with way more inspiration than I have before, in a cleaner, more efficient way. I still rip out pages from magazines every-now-and-then and put them in the binders, but Pinterest has become my go-to place for organizing great ideas.

My business, In Sweet Violets, offers graphic design and event planning services. Pinterest has become the fastest and easiest way for me to plan a great event. Here’s a look at how I use Pinterest inspiration boards to create an entire event:

Firstly, I keep a single board devoted entirely to parties

After meeting with a client to discuss what they’d like their party to include, possible theme ideas and a budget, I immediately start scanning my Parties board for ideas (sometimes, I’ll even take my laptop to the meeting and use the Parties board to show the client ideas as we discuss different options). I make a list of all the party elements the client wants, including invitations, decorations, food, activities and thank-you favors.

Lets say my client wants to host a baby shower with a “Classic Winnie the Pooh” theme, since that’s what the baby’s nursery theme is. I scan the Pinterest board for ideas and what luck! I’ve pinned a baby shower that has a Winnie the Pooh theme!!!

I open up the original link, and scan the post. Even though this shower used the more modern Winnie the Pooh and added Asian elements, it still has a few ideas I can use (like the guest book for example). The post also inspires me to create a “place” or “setting” for the theme. In other words, instead of putting Pooh and friends in an Asian setting, I think the Classic Pooh group would fit better in a woodland picnic --- who doesn’t love the idea of picnicking in the Hundred Acre Wood?

This immediately sends me back to my board to see if I can find any “woodland forest” related party ideas, and what do you know, there’s a whole slew of them:

These are all nameplate ideas, but their inspirational nonetheless --- and a great budget keeper because it reminds me that by going with the woodland forest idea, I’ll be able to use a lot of stuff from nature, a.k.a. FREE!

After scanning a bit further, I find another fantastic baby shower that, although it has nothing to do with Pooh, has everything to do with woodland creatures:

I love this whole post, and get ideas for not only food layout, but also the food itself. There’s not a lot of sweets going on here (most baby showers are a great place to get a sugar high), and I know serving more brunch-y items at an afternoon shower is the way I want to go with this event. I also love the idea of marking the cups with mini-clothespins and using the little Christmas tree as well.

One of my favorite things about Pinterest is the SEARCH bar at the top. I use this all the time when I need to find something specific. For example, this baby shower will be held at a home in large community of homes, so I need to make sure guests can find the house easily. I plan on having balloons placed strategically on the drive through the community leading the way for guests, but once they arrive I’d really like to have something on the door to say “Welcome, there’s a baby shower going on inside, and you’re invited to come on in!” I remember seeing a wreath made out of diapers somewhere on the internet, but can’t remember exactly where, so I go up to the Pinterest Search bar and type in “diaper wreath”. Lo and behold, there are lots of examples to choose from. I go with this guy because it has a really helpful step-by-step tutorial:

Putting an event together using Pinterest is not only easy, but its fun as well. I love collecting ideas and adding them to my boards, knowing that one day that single Pin could be the inspiration for an entire party! Whether you own a business or have a hobby that you enjoy, I highly recommend Pinterest for organizing your ideas. If you’re already on Pinterest, I’d love to see what ideas you collect! You can view all my boards HERE.

The Classic Pooh baby shower was an actual event hosted by In Sweet Violets this past March. Check out the party recap post over at the ISV blog and remember to:

-- Any crazy or creative party themes you've always wanted to try? My Mad Hatter theme party was probably my most ambitious one. I mean, marshmallow tree? That's intense.
Ale... from the past ;) --

Day 73: Back to Motherhood

Hello from Arizona!!

Goodness it is HOT. I'm from Texas, and Atlanta gets pretty bad too, but it was already at 94 degrees yesterday and all I could think was "This is not the worst?" The time difference has been crazy. Our flight got in at 10:30 p.m. Arizona time, but it was actually 1:30 a.m. in Atlanta! The worst part is by the time we made it to our hotel to go to sleep it was close to 3 a.m. Atlanta time!

I won't go into the details of our "home" search yet -- but it's been pretty challenging. Fortunately, when I got online to check my e-mail, I had about 3 guest posts!! So thank you to those who are submitting -- you are SUCH a huge help. I'll be featuring one of them today :)

This one is from another mother, Stacy Warmack. She took me up on my daily challenge and I love it! I love when people push themselves, especially when it's something outside of their comfort zone. She said: "I have a son approximately the same age as Alexander. Here are some photos of my connection with him. As you mentioned in your post, this connection is very consuming, and it's about all that I seem to have pictures of. The first one: Ian is two months old. He and I are snuggling in the morning, and he is shown next to where he had been for so many months. The second one, we're on one of our first long walks as I discover that I can easily feed him wherever I need to."

Thank you Stacy :) And since we're talking about babies and I'm a fan of them.. here's a blurry but hilarious one of Alexander from the Easter shoot:

He is too good at that eyebrow raise. I got it a lot! What the heck is she doing on the grass with that big, black, box thing? [eyebrow raise]. Mom. Inspect this please.

Haha. If I don't melt away tomorrow, then I think I should be able to post before heading out to Atlanta. Night! :)

"Grown don't mean nothing to a mother. A child is a child. They get bigger, older, but grown? What's that suppose to mean? In my heart it don't mean a thing." --Toni Morrison, Beloved, 1987
To participate in my 100 day challenge, submit your photo representing your interpretation of "feminine" and about a paragraph describing your interpretation to -- Read more about it here.