Last summer, I had the honor of being cast in a four-part ensemble film called Droplets, now known as Background Noise. It’s a dark coming of age film, demonstrating the struggles of friendships, relationships, and the power of choice. In the film my character Grace plays an important role in Daphne’s decision making about where she wants her life to go and who she wants to be. But no spoilers!
In February I got to watch some of the footage from my scenes during an ADR session. This means I was locked up in a sound booth for a few hours recording my lines and matching my lips in the video so they could replace the bad audio with clean and controlled audio. I didn’t get to see all the footage, but what I saw was amazing! I was impressed by the vision of the Director and Crew and know this is going to be a huge hit!
The film itself doesn’t premiere until Fall, but there will be a viewing in May for cast and crew I can report on afterwards! It’s currently circling film festival submissions, so send us your best wishes! The teaser trailer already looks so good, I only have high expectations for the final feature. The cast and crew worked so hard and did just an incredible job, I can’t wait to see it pay off for them.
Let me know what you think of this trailer! You can only see me in a couple of clips, but the artistry is so great it’s worth the watch for that fact alone. More information coming soon!
If this were an April Fools joke, it would be the more elaborate joke of all time! But it’s not a joke, it’s very much for real. After five years as Katie Dessin Photography, after five years of blue being my identity, after five years of logos creatively representing my service in Oregon, I have allowed myself to release from that and find a new way to grow.
I've been told so many times by people close to me that my identity is equal parts photographer and actress, although this may come as a surprise to some. But it doesn't really stop there, does it? I'm a creator. I make a living off of photography. I fill my heart's desires with acting. I write because it makes me happy. I talk about skincare because it's important to me. I design because it's challenging and I like a challenge. I am not just one thing. To put myself and my business in a box was a disservice to my many passions and honestly my personality!
In January I was challenged to do something unorthodox with my business. What can be more radical than scrapping my title? I am Katie. This is me. I am multi-passionate. I want to share my acting journey with you. I want to proudly tell you how I stopped biting my nails. I want to show off photos of my clients. I want to write movie reviews! This is who I am. And if we only get one life on Earth, I want to do my work the way I feel called to.
Welcome to my new home. I'm so glad you're here.
I met Stephanie the way I meet a lot of my small biz friends, the internet! Or more specifically, facebook groups! We are both members of a social media empowerment/strategy group and every week there is a classifieds post to offer your services, seek out services, or establish a trade of services. I love taking a peek at this post every week because if I find the right fit, these posts are a really great way for me to get acquainted with other business owners in my area. This is especially helpful being so new to the Los Angeles area.
So in exchange for photographs, she was offering her expertise as a wardrobe stylist. The most SoCal trade ever? Yes. And I say that proudly! It seemed like only weeks before we connected I was discussing with some friends wanting to create a bunch of go-to outfits for my closet so I can be lazy and look great at the same time (anyone relate?). And not just the sweat pants and messy bun kind of lazy, but like the Steve Jobs lazy. The kind of lazy that says “I don’t have time to pick out an outfit so I’ll wear what I know I look good in so I can focus on my meetings and endless list of audiobooks in my Audible library” kind of lazy.
I’m the kind of shopper (or should I say, I USED TO BE the kind of shopper) that impulse buys based on what I saw someone else wear on Instagram. If the piece itself was cute, I wanted it. No matter that I didn’t love it on me or that it didn’t really speak to my sense of fashion. It was cute on the hanger and on all the other girls on social media! So in the cart it went. I struggled really defining what I wanted my style to be. I love clothes (as most women my age do), and I just want what I see when I see it! Yikes.
Have you heard of “fast fashion”? Jem introduced me to this term last year to keep me in check with my habit of buying cute shirts at H&M and Forever21. Basically all the cheap stores you shop at are CONSTANTLY adding new clothes to their inventory (Target included), so more often than not they aren’t making ethically conscious decisions and underpaying/overworking their labor to make deadlines and create an ever rotating collection of clothing. Not really something I want to morally carry with me!
So my issue became 1. I wanted to shop as ethically as I could, and 2. create a cohesive wardrobe that spoke to me and represented the person I wanted to be. This can get really pricy really quick!
And incomes Stephanie!
The very first thing we did together was create a pinterest board of my “wish list” items, and things I had in my closet already. This would help me eliminate all the items I didn’t love, make room for new pieces, and help Stephanie guide me into creating multiple outfits with what I had so we didn’t have to buy a brand new wardrobe.
To my surprise, I already had pieces in my “now” closet that I wanted in my “dream” closet! This made shopping with her so much easier. All I had to do was create a list of items that would fill in the blanks!
After we talked about my dream style, my sizes, the colors I loved, the items I did and didn’t have, she created an in depth PDF guide filled with my do’s and do-not’s, dozens of outfit ideas with images, and details on what to shop for myself in the future to create a cohesive wardrobe! I was blown away! She took so much of the work off my shoulders, and suddenly my dream wardrobe was within reach.
The Shopping Experience
Probably the best part of this whole experience was that Stephanie and I got two hours to shop together at a store of my choice. Maybe this seems like the opposite store of choice to go to with a stylist, but I decided on Crossroads Trading Co on Melrose here in LA. The reason? The compromise I made with Jem to still get my cute Madewell shirts and endless amounts of comfy tee’s was to shop consignment. Honestly there is nowhere I love more than Crossroads! The pieces I get the most compliments on always come from there, and everything is a fraction of the cost so if I’m feeling like buying five new dresses in one day, I can do so without panic ;)
When I arrived at our destination, Stephanie already had six pieces in her hands she wanted me to try on. We eliminated a few right away based on material, but the others we needed to see on to make the choice. I honestly LOVED having her there as a second opinion to judge without emotional attachment. When I shop by myself it’s so easy to talk myself in or out of a purchase that I might regret down the line. She was super logical with how to approach putting an item in the cart or putting it back on the rack. None of what I bought felt impulsive or unflattering.
She also gave me the permission more than once to break the rules. She said if I saw something I liked, try it on even if there’s something about it that made me hesitate. That’s how I ended up getting a really cute spring cami! I didn’t love the ruffles on it, but once I tried it on, I didn’t notice the ruffles at all! I already know it’s going to be one of my go-to shirts for the summertime. The color also wasn’t one on our list, but she reminded me that if I really love something, I’ve gotta go for it!
And the reverse happened a couple times as well. We found some pieces that were on our list, but once I tried them on, I wasn’t in love with them, whether it was the material or fit. Just because they were on our shopping list didn’t mean I HAD to buy them. That was a relief. I feel like the decisions I made were an even mix of logical and emotional. It’s not like any shopping experience I had before.
At the end of the trip I walked away with some new staple pieces, and unintentionally stayed under budget. We didn’t find everything, but that’s rare to do anywhere staying at one store.
Stephanie assured me that even if we didn’t get everything I needed, she would still be there to assist finding what’s left on our list. She’s created a list of exactly where to find everything I need to continue building my closet. She is also available to assist virtually for any other questions I have so there is no guessing. What a relief! Of course, shopping with her by my side is easy, but what happens when I have to do it alone?! But the advice she gave and continues to send my way has brought me so much clarity and confidence. I also feel assured that whatever outfit and fashion decisions I make from here are only going to continue helping me create that “dream” wardrobe. Even on the laziest of lazy days!
Have you ever considered hiring a personal stylist? I highly highly highly recommend checking Stephanie out, even for her freebies alone! She’s a kind spirit and is so inspiring to be around! If you’re considering working with any stylist at all, I say go for it!
Guys, this is a big confession: I've had McDonalds twice this month. And probably four times the month before. Something I've battled with is guilt associated with self care or "enjoying the little things" in life. And with full transparency, I don't feel comfortable with this confession!
If you've ever had two minutes with me, you'd know I'm not a fast food gal. There's a world of judgement out there, and I've built up a fear for it the more I engage on social media. But what good is that fear doing? Sometimes I want a hashbrown from the drive thru, and sometimes I want to eat lettuce for eight days straight. Neither is "better" than the other. (Ok hashbrowns are definitely tastier!)
I'm willing to bet there are a few of you who probably sighed at my confession, but probably more of you who stopped your scroll because you're there with me. This blog is for the latter group. The "we feel guilty for enjoying life sometimes and don't want to anymore" support group. I'm here for you, just like I know you're here for me. Can I get a "hell yeah" for that? Enjoy life guilt-free my friends. I'm learning to do that myself. Happy Friday!
At the end of January I made a trip back to Portland for a few photoshoots. One of those was for Keith and Jenny’s engagement shoot! Somewhere in the list of potential locations was the suggestion to shoot in the snow. It’s been a while since I had a full session in the snow, but I was SO excited when we put it on the schedule. I’ll be honest, I don’t travel to Mt. Hood enough, so I had no clue where to suggest our session would take place other than Timberline or Trillium Lake. Since we had already shot at Trillium Lake for their proposal, and since Keith and Jenny knew the locations WAY better than I did, I let them take the reins on this one. And so we ended up at Frog Lake!
I can only imagine it’s just as gorgeous in the spring time with the wildflowers and beautiful reflection of Hood in the water, but even with a heavy blanket of snow (and no reflection), I was stunned. Hopefully you can see why this gorgeous snowy engagement shoot is on my top five. I mean, basically if you bring your dog (say hello to Atlas) to your shoot, you’re gonna end up on my top five :P
Like probably most of you here, the first time I heard about “blue light glasses” was on Instagram. My first impression, was dang, those are cuuuute!!! Although that’s usually my reaction when I see anyone with a stylish pair of frames. Then it was mentioned in this post that these glasses were non-prescription used to protect your eyes from harmful blue light that’s emitted from technology, such as our phones or laptops.
Have you ever wondered why your eyes get dry, itchy, and red after a long day in front of the computer? Some of us even suffer from headaches after a long day in the office. When I was a kid, my mom used to say my older brother would get “box eyes” after starring at the television too long. No matter what the discomfort, odds are you’re experiencing this from blue light.
So in comes Felix Gray! I’ve seen a few ads on Facebook and Instagram for glasses that filter blue light, but after seeing the frames offered, customer support, and overall knowledge of their product. After a quick peek at their website, you can see they not only have classic frames, but fun seasonal options as well for those who want to bring their personal style into the look. They are also committed to excellence, and give you a breakdown of why blue light filtering technology is important to them.
Additionally, unlike other brands, Felix Gray offers a variety of different options outside of “prescription” and “non-prescription”. It was a brand I knew I could refer anyone to, no matter their needs. They have glasses designed with an added tint for nighttime wear before bed to help you sleep better. They also carry sunglasses (my next purchase!), and reading glasses for those who don’t need the full power of prescription.
What ultimately led me to try these out where the fact that working on the computer is unavoidable, especially with wedding season approaching. I’ve been known to spend 8-10 hours in front of a screen daily trying to accomplish all of my tasks. Not to mention time I spend on my phone on Instagram, texting, or answering emails. I spend a lot of time in front of screens. So what would it hurt to try these out? If they didn’t work, I could return them. If they did, we’d never leave each other’s side.
And alas, it was love at first sight. There is virtually no tint to the glasses, and when they’re on you can’t tell at all. They are also very comfortable and so so so cute! Of course, they needed to be. I personally picked the Roebling in Sazerac Crystal (a tortoise-ish pattern). I knew as soon as I tried them on, I would never want to take them off. So how do I try them out? I pulled out my laptop and I got back to work (aka scrolling the internet since it was after office hours). No fatigue, no dry eyes. Okay, I thought, maybe I just wasn’t on my computer that long. So I tried them on again the next day and kept them on the whole day.
Nothing. No fatigue. No dry eyes. My eyes were happy! And over a week later, they still are. I really know the difference when I forget to put them on in the morning. After using these consistently, my eyes actually start to get tired only a few minutes after staring at my screen. Seriously! I need them at this point.
I swear by these, guys. They are life changing. If you’re curious about getting your own pair, I HIGHLY recommend Felix Gray. They ship fast, they have an incredible customer support team, and their styles are incomparable.
Wondering how long to wait after the proposal to take those engagement photos? I'll give you a hint: there really is no right or wrong answer. But in the video below, I break down all the things you should consider when booking your session to get the most out of your time. From weather and personality traits, to technical aspects, you can find all of your answers here!
When Should You Schedule Your Engagement Photos? - YouTube
Nailing down the specific ceremony time for you wedding can be a headache. What are you actually supposed to consider when planning the time? Do you just choose one that looks good? What I commonly see happen is couples will plan their ceremony around a traditional "dinner time", or they'll plan it early so they can spend the rest of the night partying. While neither is necessarily wrong, if it's those gorgeous portraits you're after, you might be headed down the wrong path already!
Why? Well, as we all know "Golden Hour" is the best time to shoot those soft gorgeous portraits, right? But why? Because the lighting doesn't cause those harsh shadow and it's not as blinding to look towards the direction of the sun! So then why are ceremonies being planned for 3pm in the summer when the light is going to be right on your face?
With the extended amount of sunlight we have in the summer, I would recommend you take advantage of that and schedule your ceremony as close to sunset as you can get without interfering with other important photographed events (portraits, cake cutting, speeches, etc). And to make this easier on YOU, I've created an exact list of what times these would be for the summer months here in Oregon! You can check those out below.
What you'll see is that these ceremony times are about two-and-a-half hours from sunset. Although you'll have less sunlight after the ceremony, you will have likely missed the opportunity to be blinded while giving your vows! I think that's not a bad compromise.
June Sunset 8:45-9pm: // Ceremony Times 6:15pm - 6:30pm July Sunset 9-8:30pm: // Ceremony Times 6:30pm - 6:00pm August Sunset 8:30-7:45pm: // Ceremony Times 6:00pm - 5:15pm September Sunset 7:45-6:45pm: // Ceremony Times 5:15pm - 4:15pm October Sunset 6:45-6pm: // Ceremony Times 4:15pm - 3:30pm
And as a final note on choosing these ceremony times, ultimately where you are standing will make the biggest difference. If you're indoors, you probably won't have to worry about these specific times. If you're in an open field, it's incredibly important to take notes here! If at any point you are able to find shade, no matter how close or far you are from the sunset, it will benefit your images overall. That said, if the shade is spotty, or if your guests are only half covered, these times again will come in handy.
Possibly one of the more confusing pieces of wedding planning isn't really for the wedding day, but actually the day before. Rehearsal Dinners are meant to be relaxing, fun, and casual, but there's not much information on the whats and whys of the actual event. So to clarify, I've written a list of commonly asked questions regarding the rehearsal so you can take the pressure off and focus on planning a night to enjoy pre-wedding.
1. Who To Invite:
This list is up to you! This will be your opportunity to spend some personal time with the people you want to the most. Whether you decide to keep the list intimate, or invite a small crowd, you'll want to keep in mind that these guests should be ones you are looking to spend some extra time with, as you might not be able to chat with everyone on the day of your wedding.
2. Where Should It Be:
The best part about rehearsal dinners is that there are no real rules. If you want to have it at the venue, have it at the venue. If you want it in your home. Have it in your home. Favorite restaurant? Make a reservation. The only thing to keep in mind is cost associated with renting the space and how many people you plan to accommodate. Once you have the list, much like with your wedding venue, you can start narrowing down what is going to be the best place to host your rehearsal.
3. Do You Need Invitations:
If you're expecting to fill a ballroom of people, then yes, you will want invitations. Especially if your list is mostly out of town guests. Invitations are a great way to set the atmosphere of the event as well. You can have your invitation designer create a separate invite for the dinner that will still fit in with the suite if you're keeping the event as formal as the wedding. If your list is mostly close friends and family and you're wanting a very casual dinner, a detailed email will suffice.
4. What Happens:
No matter if you decide to keep it low-key or if you decide to make an event out of the evening, there will be a few key things that happen at every rehearsal. First and foremost, you'll be chatting with your guests. Like I mentioned above, you might not have the opportunity to chat with everyone who attends the wedding. So with those you decide to invite, you'll be able to spend a little more time with them catching up and talking about the big day!
During the dinner you will also have the option to gift your bridesmaids and groomsmen if you so choose. Some couples decide to exclusively do this on the wedding day, however for the sake of time and ease, there is an option to exchange these gifts the day before. This works especially well when your gifts will be used at the beginning of the wedding day, such as: bridesmaids robes or matching socks for the groomsmen.
Once dinner has wrapped up and dessert is being served, it's time for the toasts. Since it is the day before the wedding, it's suggested those who toast during the dinner should keep it brief. After all, they should be doing the big "You're made for each other" speech on the actual wedding day. Typically these speeches are left to the parents, the best man, the maid of honor, and then finally the bride and groom to each other.
Lastly, before the night is over, make sure to check in with everyone on last minute details. Make sure everyone knows where to be, when to be there, what to bring, etc. This will also be the last opportunity to exchange contact information. Designate a person of contact for the bride and the groom, as they will be way too busy to answer any last minute questions the day of.
When you get your album in the mail, the first thing you're going to want to do is tear open the packaging and flip through the pages while holding back your tears. While this is an appropriate reaction, I have a few tips to help you keep your album fresh so it can last generations.
Keep your album away from humidity and direct sunlight. This should be obvious! Keep those colors rich by keeping it away from the sun, and avoid any moisture to protect the paper from wrinkling or bubbling. Not a good look for your gorgeous portraits!
Have clean hands! This is especially important for those who have little ones on the way. If you get any dust, dirt, or finger prints on your pages, a microfiber cloth will be your best friend!
Store it flat, not upright. This will help the binding last longer! Besides, if it's laying flat on display in your living room, maybe you'll be more inclined to relive the moments over and over again
There you have it! Three big tips to keep your album in pristine condition for years to come. Anybody remember looking at their parents wedding photos? Let's hope our trends now aren't so embarrassing. Sorry, mom!