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Surprise Trip To…France!

It’s no secret that I have the world’s most wonderful husband. But to prove this even further, Adrian managed to pull off the mother of all surprises. It was a beautiful Wednesday morning – the sunlight peaked through our curtains, the bed sheets were soft and cozy, and Adrian reached over to wake me subtly by placing his arm around my waist. I turned over on my side to face the love of my life. He smiled, told me how much he loved me, and then asked me to look under my pillow. I thought it was an odd request, but from the smirk on his face I knew it was something good. I pulled out a sheet of paper, which my newly awakened eyes could hardly read. Somewhere on the page I saw the words “New York City to France.” I was confused. “What is this?” I asked. Adrian told me to keep reading. I soon realized I was staring at a flight itinerary, and that the date of departure was for that very day! I didn’t know what to say. I don’t even remember what I said – it’s all a blur. But I know for sure that I threw my arms around Adrian and told him how much I loved him. He knows how much I love adventures, especially spontaneous ones, and boy was this spontaneous! I packed my bags and a few hours later we were on a plane to France. Our dear friends, Greg and Kim, were getting married that weekend in Monaco, but I just assumed we wouldn’t be able to attend. Little did I know what Adrian was scheming! I was so happy that we had the chance to be there for them on their wedding day (wedding pics coming soon!) as well as the opportunity to see the breathtaking coast of France!

The beautiful city of Nice:

France is filled with medieval towns that are still inhabited. We saw this one off the highway and decided to explore…

The gorgeous country of Monaco was a relatively short drive from Nice. It was stunning!

As a sidenote, once we arrived in Monaco I realized both Adrian and I were wearing Club Monaco attire. How appropriate :)

A beautiful view of the beach in Nice.

The town of Eze is another medieval town still inhabited, which was built on a cliff overlooking the Mediterranean. The beauty of this town is unreal. It was probably my favorite part of the trip!

We also spent some time in Provence in a town called Avignon, where we stayed in an old monastery which was converted into a hotel!

One American Starbucks tall latte equals 10 European small lattes.

This is where the Pope lived during the Great Schism. Poor Pope.

That night, we decided to randomly drive through the mountains to explore. The drive was probably the scariest of my life, but it was worth it!

A random village we discovered on our drive.

Unfortunately, we didn’t make it for lavender season. These fields in the Spring are filled with lavender!

Adrian was on Cloud 9:

I thought this would make the cutest bouquet for a French inspired countryside wedding!

christine - Lauren, I have no words. One breathtaking picture after another. This is the trip of my dreams! :) And one day, when I buy a house in southern France, I’m painting my shutters pink.

gabrielle - those grapes! wow! all the pictures we’re great, but that one had me staring for a loooooong time.

Jenny - Yeay!! finally! Amazing pictures! This truly is the mother of all surprises! You’re a lucky girl!

Gabi and Chris - Loved your album. Sweet story how quickly you two got there:) May God continue to bless your marriage! – Gabi & Chris :)

Anca Pop (Vancea) - Just… Lovely

ozzy Garcia - Ok, next time you guys are taking me! All joking aside, these are beautiful images. I love the feel of these towns.

RachelV - What beautiful pictures! Sneak me into your suitcase next time.

Crystal & Jeff: NYC Engagement

Crystal and I go way back. Like waayyyyyy back. All of my fondest childhood memories include Crystal somehow, somewhere. Endless sleepovers, passing notes about boys in class, and trips to the Hostess store down the street from her house where we stuffed our faces with powdered doughnuts are just a few of them. Needless to say, when Crystal moved to Tennessee in junior high, I almost died. What was I going to do without my best friend? Somehow, we managed to live through the traumatic experience and wrote letters and called each other all the time. After all these years, we’ve kept in touch, and when Crystal contacted me to photograph her wedding, I was honored! The thought of photographing my childhood best friend’s wedding brought tears to my eyes. I suggested Crystal come to New York for a fun engagement session, and I was surprised that she actually came all the way to Tennessee for these photos! Enjoy!

Locations: Central Park, Flat Iron District, Times Square

Click here for a slideshow!

Diana Lupu - GREAT spots, great outfits, FANTASTIC job! Love em sweets!

Featured: TriBeCa Spanish Modern Wedding Shoot

A couple of months ago, I had the opportunity to work with several lovely local NY vendors to put together an “inspirational” wedding photoshoot. I shared my vision with Ara of Rock, Paper, Scissors Events and I am so happy with the way she put it all together! We tried to choose a theme that would truly be inspirational to brides, so we decided on “modern Spanish.” We’ve seen endless modern interpretations of French themes, but never of anything with Spanish influence. We were inspired by the flowy yet modern feel of Flamenco ruffles, Spanish architecture, Spanish lace, and Flamenco fans. Our color palette was lavender and red, with a hint of black and a pop of orange. One of my favorite elements of the shoot was the paper flowers. Ara created these herself, and they turned out amazing! They added depth and dimension to the layout, as well as a beautiful mix of color. Blossom and Branch also did an amazing job with the arrangements and bouquet, which used our color palette perfectly to fit into our theme! And the cake by Elegantly Iced incorporated the Flamenco ruffles beautifully. The shoot took place at a stunning private penthouse and rooftop in TriBeCa, and additional shots of the couple were taken in the surrounding neighborhood.

We also had the opportunity to work with some gorgeous models, Anca and Dumitru. Actually, they are not real models (surprising, right?), but they are friends of ours who have been married for a few years and are the parents of two darling little boys. They had the perfect look for our theme, and since they weren’t too thrilled with their own wedding photos, they were excited at the chance to dress up and take photos all over again. My very good friend and amazing photographer, Diana, also came all the way from Florida to help me with the shoot, and Ben of Nevaeh Productions was able to come from Chicago to capture the setup on video. We all had a blast working together, and the result was beautiful!

The shoot was featured today on Merci New York. See it here!

Event Design: Rock, Paper, Scissors Events
Flowers: Blossom and Branch
Calligraphy: Love Jenna
Cake: Elegantly Iced
Dress: Marchesa, courtesy of Gabriella Bridal
Hair Accessory: Sara Gabriel, courtesy of Gabriella Bridal
Bride’s Hair: Stacy Pitt with Styles on B
Bride’s Makeup: Anni Bruno with NYC Faces
Furniture Rentals: Taylor Creative
Linens, Glasses, Plate Rentals: Party Rentals LTD

Jennifer Olariu - ABSOLUTELY STUNNING! YOUR VISION WAS INCREDIBLE! i love every detail! The photos are perfection:)

Diana - AHHHH!!!! LOVE THEM ALL! You did so amazing and I’m so beyond proud to say i even KNOW you. =) My little creative genius…it’s FABULOUS!

gabrielle - beautiful usage of lilac, so unexpected! brava!

Gabrielle - the color i mean, not the flower ;)

christine - I have no words. Lauren, you did such an amazing job coordinating everything!! And the images are beautiful!

Laura - Amazing shots, Lauren! You are truly gifted!!

Amira Harris - Gorgeous. Stunning shots.

alessia cerqua - Love it, super!

Kim & Greg: Brooklyn Bridge Engagement

Kim didn’t even want to go to the party, but somehow all her friends convinced her. And now Kim looks back at that night with a smile on her face, because that’s where she met Greg. She spotted him from a distance and thought she would approach him to say “hello,” and when he said “hello” back in his charming French accent, the rest was history. =)

Both Kim and Greg are dear friends of ours, and we are so blessed because of their friendship. Kim has a great sense of humor, a kind spirit, and being around her is always fun and uplifting. Greg is the type of person who is always there for you and loves to help others. As a couple, Kim and Greg are just perfect, and I can always sense their deep love and dedication for each other. We recently had the honor of being part of their beautiful wedding in France, and I can’t wait to share those images with you! Until then, enjoy this gorgeous couple in the most perfect light by the Brooklyn Bridge.

Click here for a slideshow!

Lauren Gabrielle Photography | Surprise Trip To…France! - […] spontaneous! I packed my bags and a few hours later we were on a plane to France. Our dear friends, Greg and Kim, were getting married that weekend in Monaco, but I just assumed we wouldn’t be able to […]

Social Art, the Language of Memories, and Branding

Yesterday, I had the privilege to attend the amazing PDN Photoplus International Conference at the Javits Center in Manhattan. After jitters of excitement and tears of encouragement, I left so very inspired that I wanted to share what I learned with you. I attended three seminars by three of the most inspiring photographers I know. Here is a bit of each of their presentations – I hope what I learned can inspire you, too!

Chase Jarvis: Creativity and the New Social Art of Photography

Chase Jarvis has impacted the photography industry in countless ways. The main focus of his presentation was the idea of “social art,” a concept he admits is difficult to explain, but described as art that is “incomplete without the participation of the other.” He stresssed that we have a moral obligation to create and share how we created it with others, because it is simply more beneficial to everyone for the world to become more creative. He featured a panel of photographers who shared their stories of success (and failures) and who are not afraid to expose their “secrets of success” with other rising artists. I was inspired by Chase’s transparency and honesty in all that he has experienced to be where he is today. Although initially he was shunned by peers in the industry, his openness has only made him more successful. Chase features several videos and articles on his blog to help photographers through his own experience, and he often features other photographers and professionals to share their experiences as well. Chase also launched CreativeLive, where he broadcasts free live courses for photographers and artists over the internet. I have personally gained so much from these courses, and I hope that other photographers will take advantage of the resources made available by Chase. For more about Chase and his work, please visit his blog here!

Elizabeth Messina: Getting to the Heart of Wedding Photography

“Photography is the language of memories.” I know of no photographer who exemplifies this better than the person who said it, Elizabeth Messina. I was so privileged to hear her speak yesterday about the idea that as wedding photographers, we are storytellers not just of someone’s wedding day, but of their life. She challenged us to find bits and pieces of a person’s life on their wedding day and to photograph the story, not just the event itself. Elizabeth has exemplified this in her own work. I’m warning you, once you visit her blog you will be addicted. She is a very talented (and famous) film photographer, but she is also a mother of three, a wife, and a sensitive and loving person. After seeing her in person for the first time, I immediately saw her personality in her photos – soft, sensitive, warm and personal.

*Images by Elizabeth Messina

Jasmine Star: Developing Your Wedding Brand

Last but certainly not least, I finally met the one person who has influenced my photography the most – Jasmine Star. Jasmine is an inspiration for so many reasons. She built her business from nothing and became one of the top 10 photographers in the world within three years of launching her business. She believes deeply in transparency and in sharing her experience with others, which has made her a HUGE name in the photography industry. Recently, she shot an entire wedding LIVE in a project put together by Chase Jarvis just to be a help to photographers around the world. Yes, this means Jasmine is giving away her “secrets” to her competitors, yet she still manages to be amazingly successful. Jasmine attributes much of her success to the way she branded her business. In a time and place where photographers over saturated the market, Jasmine was determined to find a way to stand out without a budget to advertise, without fancy equipment, and without the experience other photographers possessed. Jasmine used the skills she had, namely writing, her personality, and her blog, to stand out among other photographers and as a way to connect with potential clients in a medium that was new to the industry. She encouraged us to use our own assets to bring out who we are to clients, and she emphasized the importance of branding as an essential element of a successful wedding photographer. Visit Jasmine’s blog for a daily dose of humor, education, love and gorgeous images!

Happy Weekend!