Cassi and Eric | Boise, Idaho Engagement Photographer

Cassi and Eric are the hip, stylish sort of couple that my husband and I aspire to be but can never really pull off.  Really.  We never like what one another is wearing and one of us always thinks they are more with it than the other.  Who knows who’s actually right.  But Cassi and Eric really, truly are stylish. And super cute to top it off.  We had such a lovely evening taking engagement pictures downtown Boise before heading up to Table Rock.

Table Rock is such an iconic place in Boise. I’ve grown up seeing the cross lit up on the hillside, but I’ve never actually been up there until this engagement session.  And boy, it sure didn’t disappoint.  Table Rock itself is beautiful, but I loved the rocky, sage-brush covered hills that surrounded the area.  And to make it even sweeter?  This is where Eric proposed to Cassi.  What did I tell you? Sweet, right?

I can’t wait for their wedding in Boise next year!  Not sure what Cassi is wearing, but Eric promised to wear a bow tie.  Which makes me excited times 10.

Enough of me jabbering on and on.  Now for the pictures!

Craig and Ellen| Boise, Idaho Wedding Photographer

I feel like I’m always saying about this about clients, but Craig and Ellen really are so very much in love.  In cased you missed it, you can see their engagement session here.  If you saw their engagement session, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. So in love.  Which made their garden wedding in Boise, Idaho all the sweeter.  Every moment was so filled with emotion and tenderness.  Which makes my job as a photographer such a joy.

Their first dance made me cry.  I always get a little emotional during weddings, but this is the first wedding that actually made me cry while on the job.

Craig and Ellen, thank you so much for asking to be your wedding photographer.  You truly had such a beautiful wedding.  You are two of the nicest people, and I wish you all the joy and happiness life has to offer.

And now…for the pictures!

Take Me Down To The River | Boise, Idaho Engagement Photographer

While we were living in Moscow, I so missed living near the water.  Having grown up in Boise, I took advantage of all the rivers and lakes right in our backyard.  And when I worked in Glacier-more rivers and lakes. And Dakar was surrounded by the sea.  So, yes,  while living on the Palouse, I very much missed the water.  And so did Lamine.  Now that we’re back in Boise, one of our favorite things to do is walk along the greenbelt and dip our toes in the river.

Since we’ve been back, I’ve been wanting to do a session near the river.  I was so happy when these two obliged.

We met early in the morning down on the river bank.  We had the river and the area completely to ourselves.  Just the quiet morning breeze stirring through the trees and the sound of water slipping up the shore.

 

 

Surine and Tim | Boise, Idaho Engagement Photographer

I’m so excited to share these images.  Surine is a good friend of mine, and is also the funniest, sweetest person I’ve ever met.  I wish I could have video taped this session just so you could see what I’m talking about.  But I didn’t, so you’ll just have to take my word for it.

 

Surine, Tim, and I headed out to the Western Idaho Fair in Boise for some super fun, colorful, and playful engagement pictures.  Surine actually has an engagement session scheduled at the end of September, but she really wanted to take advantage of the colors and festivities at the fair.  So stay tuned next month for more pictures of Surine and Tim 🙂

We started things off with a good water gun fight. All engagement sessions should start with a water gun fight.

Next, a quick outfit change and ride on the carousel!

And the Ferris wheel! Love this shot.

 

Announcing Mini Sessions! | Boise, Idaho Photographer

I’m so excited to announce that I will be offering mini sessions for the first time ever!

What are mini sessions, you ask?  Mini sessions are just that-an abbreviated (and cheaper!) form of a regular session.  I will set a location for us to meet, and we will have a 30 minute session.  This can be a family session, a couple session—whatever you choose! In the end, you will receive 10 high resolution images on a disc as well as a 20% print discount if you order through me. 

Sounds like a steal, right?  It is!  And to make the deal a little sweeter, I’m offering a $50.00 discount if you refer a friend and they book a session as well. 

I’m going to be offering these mini sessions on September 23 and October 05.  So mark your calendars now!  You can contact me by filling out the contact form on the upper left hand menu or sending me an e-mail at smballo@gmail.com.

P.S.  Mini sessions are a great opportunity to get your pictures ready for holiday cards!

 

Craig and Ellen | Boise, Idaho Engagement Photographer

There is so much that I want to say about this session.  So much that I want to say about this unbelievably gorgeous couple. I don’t even know where to begin.

I wish that every session was like this one-so full of love and romance, oh, and gorgeous light.

Ellen and Craig are getting married in September, and they’ve already sent out their wedding invitations, but I love that they still chose to have this engagement session.  Not because they needed the pictures for their invitations or save the dates, but because they wanted pictures of just the two of them. Happily in love and engaged. And I LOVE that! That’s exactly what these sessions are for-to capture the love between two people.

And I think we managed to capture that in these images.

Oh-and did I mention that I can’t wait for their wedding!

So gorgeous, right?

Seriously cannot stand how beautiful these two are.  And the light?  So perfect.

Did I mention yet how funny these two are?  I was laughing so hard during this session!

 

 

Casting Call!

For those of you in the Treasure Valley, it’s Western Idaho Fair Time!  YAY!

If you don’t know, I LOVE fairs.  Cotton Candy, corn dogs, ice cream potatoes…Ok, I know those are all food related, but you get the idea.

I’m looking for a couple willing have they’re engagement session at the fair sometime this week.  The shoot will be from 7:30-9:00 ish with some flexibility on the day.

Let me know if you’re interested! Fill out the contact form above if you want more details.

Thanks so much!

Senegal, West Africa| Before I was a Photographer :)

I get so many questions about my time in West Africa-specifically in Dakar, Senegal.  For those of you who don’t know where Senegal is, it’s in north-west Africa.  Just a little ways below Morocco, if that’s helpful.

I spent my last semester of college studying in Dakar, and I absolutely fell in love with it.  Well, I fell in love with Dakar, but I also fell in love with the man who is now my husband.

There’s so much that I could say about Senegal-so much that I want to say.  But it’s hard to put a place like Dakar into words.  Words don’t quite cut it.  Nor do images. Because so many of my memories are based on scents and sounds and the kindness of the people I met there. And it’s hard to put all of those things into a blog post.

But Senegal is a big part of my life. Not just my past, but my present and future.  I have family and loved ones there, and I know I will always be able to have a home there.

A few quick things about Senegal.

1.) It’s safe.

2.) It’s a democracy and has a stable government.

3.)  Senegal is known for the hospitality and generosity of the people who live there.

4.)  Although they are probably better off than a lot of other countries in Africa, life is still a day-to-day struggle for a large portion of the population.

5.) It’s beautiful.

6.) If i could go back tomorrow, I would.

Ok-take it easy on me with these pictures.  These were all taken with a point and shoot way before I knew anything about photography other than I enjoyed it.

This was the University campus. Not too shabby, huh?

And this was my neighborhood. Senegal is full of contrast.

 My typical form of transportation. A guy hangs off the back door and shouts the direction that the bus is headed. You wait for one that’s going in your direction

Ridiculously gorgeous beaches.

Lamine and I when we were dating.  It’s soooo humid there. Excuse the sheen of sweat in all of these.

More buses.  This thing is totally moving in this picture, by the way.  In case you couldn’t tell.

 

Ack! I don’t even want to show you this, but I spent a week in a little village and they loved playing “dress up the toubab.”  Toubab means “white person” or “foreigner”  in Senegal.

Here’s one of me looking normal to balance out the craziness of the last one. And Lamine, of course. Isn’t he cute?

Dakar. Such a beautiful city, but so chaotic and full of so many contrasting elements.

 

Senegalese grocery store. Well, it’s not really just a grocery store. They sell a little bit of everything. And what you see in the picture is pretty much it. They’re TINY! And they’re on pretty much every corner. Miss these!

 

These little girls were so gorgeous! Ugh, those big, brown eyes just kill me.

 

 

Well, that’s all for now.  I hope we get to go back to Senegal soon. Then I can post some real pictures 🙂

Thanks for looking, and I hope this answers a few of the very general questions that you may have had about Senegal and my time there. If you’ve got more, feel free to ask away.  I’ll save them up for another post soon.

Deann and Derek | Boise, Idaho Engagement Photographer

Deann and Derek have the honor of being one of the only couples that has ever agreed to do a morning session with me. I offer the option of a morning shoot to every couple I shoot, but they are only the second couple EVER to have taken me up on the offer.  And they were fantastic sports.  I love morning sessions for lots of reasons.  It’s cooler, quieter, and the light is gorgeous.  And speaking of gorgeous-I couldn’t ask for a more gorgeous couple.  Just look at them!  They’re adorable.

Despite the early morning start (ahem, 6:30 AM on a Saturday), they were willing to go along with me dragging them all over downtown Boise and through the Boise foothills.

Thanks Deann and Derek for being willing to get up so early.  And for making my job so easy by being so darn cute.

 

What did I tell you? Adorable!

Since we had such an early start, we grabbed a cup of coffee at Thomas Hammer in downtown Boise.

 

 

Something Simple, Something Wonderful

This post is for me. This is because, sometimes, I forget that the perfect picture isn’t always planned. Most often, it’s not. None of these were posed. None of these were staged. Just a few moments caught in between folding laundry.

 

 Something really quick about these next shots–As you can see, my son is not a slim, trim baby. He’s a chunk. Always has been.  He gained a pound a week for his first 8 weeks of life. He’s actually slimmed down quite a bit. He was such a rolly poly baby that he could never make his little toes reach his mouth. He would try. He would pull at his feet and grunt, but his “little” belly would always get in the way. It’s only recently that he’s been able to make his foot reach his mouth. So, while it’s a little delayed, it’s a pretty big triumph.

 

 And here is where the song “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes” comes on. And he turns into a dancing fool.

 

 

 

 

 

 

One Summer Evening | Nampa, Idaho Wedding Photographer

Earlier this summer, I had the opportunity to assist in shooting a wedding with Heather from Heather Sali Photography.  Carolyn and Russ had a beautiful, intimate wedding ceremony at their family home overlooking Lake Lowell.  It was a perfect, sunny summer day. And you couldn’t ask for a prettier bride or a more handsome groom.  I’d never met Carolyn or Russ prior to the wedding, but it was so obvious how in love they were.

And the details of this wedding? Incredible.  Each guest walked home with a small bottle of wine labeled with the Bride and Groom’s initials and last name.  The flowers were stunning, the cake was perfection, and they even had a Shelby GT to pose with! All in all, an amazing day. Without further ado, here are some of my favorites from Carolyn and Russ’s perfect wedding.

I just love the shot below.  The bride’s best friend (best friends since middle school!) flew all the way from Hawaii to attend the wedding.  This is the moment when she first saw Carolyn in her wedding dress.

 

 

 

Congratulations Carolyn and Russ!  And thanks to Heather for letting me part of capturing this beautiful day.

 

A bit about me.

My husband and I speak French at home.

I love spicy food.

I always imagine myself becoming a runner, but it never seems to happen.

I adore my husband and son more than words can say.

I am not a very tidy person, though I’m trying to be.

I love coffee, but only with cream and sugar. Lots of cream and sugar.

My grandma taught me to knit when I was five years old, and I can still make nothing more complicated than a scarf.

I worked in Glacier National Park for three summers. And I lived in a bus.

I am a morning person.

I love my baby’s boy’s rolls 🙂