Blog : Styled

Hula Hoop

Hula hoop photos

 

Hula Hoop // Playful lifestyle editorial

For the past five years, it has been an immense pleasure and privilege to tell everyone else’s stories – their love stories, their wedding stories, their family stories. But now it’s time to start telling some stories of my own.

I have no idea how this works for everyone else who is a creative, but for me there is often a soul-crushing gap between what people are willing to pay me to photograph and what I want to create for myself. And because of this, I’ve reached a tipping point: I can no longer live with the unspoken rule that the stories in most of our lives that matter are about getting married, buying houses, starting families. Those are lovely stories, but there is so much more that I love about life that my heart yearns to share in photos and in words than will fit into the wedding and family stories I’m hired to tell.

A few years ago, I sat in a workshop where the teacher asked us about a time that we remember choosing to be happy. One where the situation we were in maybe wasn’t all unicorns and rainbows, but rather than succumb to the feelings of drowning or overwhelm…when did you choose to be happy?

I think I might be in one of those times right now.

I need to know that there is more fun to be had in life than only just weddings and kiddos and falling in love, and we need things in our lives to remind us of the big happinesses, but maybe even more important, the little ones too. The happy moments we get to see every day, or maybe just the ones that we see in passing and want to keep forever. My heart is open to making it, whether I make it for myself and share it with you or we get to make it together.

Here’s what I know to be true: even though I get to spend life with a person and two cats that I love to pieces and we enjoy owning and renovating a house and thinking about kids someday, those big stories have mostly turned out well because I/we choose joy in the little moments. And sometimes, I have to fight for that joy. I don’t win this war with my emotions every day.

But what I found this year is that in the moments when stress and anxiety feel like they are closing in (and there have been so many moments like that), I have a happy place I can return to. And I need to tell you the stories that live in my happy place, because I hope that they bring more good things into the world, one small image at a time.

Most of the stories I want to tell have a bunch of things in common: warmth, bright colors, playfulness, humor, movement, flowers. But also, self-love, femininity, inclusivity, diversity, and strength. Some have origins in childhood, or books, or travel, or yoga, or in the thoughts and musings of other people.

This one came out of a song that got stuck in my head, one that I heard during a workout – something I learned how to do for happiness and mental clarity this year, not just for coercing my body into what I think it should look like – and that song made the workout (and then the rest of the day after) feel so much more cheerful. It also takes me back to being a kid, hula hooping with friends in backyards and kitchens and basements, and watching my sister make our entire elementary school laugh at a talent show by hula hooping while simultaneously doing the chicken dance. And then it was inspired beyond that by visiting the birthplace of hula dancing, where the pineapples and palms and sunshine abound. Bits and pieces of all of these things can be found like treasures hiding in these photos.

Pouring my heart into bringing some of these ideas into life is where my intuition is telling me to go in 2018. It’s a shift – one for which I’ve been clearing space for months – and what I’ll be working on while I’m traveling for the first part of the next year. The past few months have been full of learning to say no when I feel like I don’t have a reason, taking a leap that financially things will work out, and trying to tune out the noise of my ego that is fueled by validation and mindless entertainment by listening instead to the secrets I can only find in the quiet places of breath, heartbeat, and stillness.

I’ll be sharing more of these personal things here and on instagram (and when I’m here less, I’m usually there more…mmm, like pretty much all of this year)…and can’t wait to see what the new year’s adventures have in store!

(PS. Speaking of store…there’s a completely NEW print store!! Just click on the *Shop* link up above, or click here to get cheerful art for your walls!)

 

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Model: Morgan Gingerich
Hair & Makeup: Andrea Mitchell

Pool Party in the Desert // Palm Springs photographers

Pool party in the desert

 

Pool parties in the desert always seemed kind of oxymoronish to me. I’m not sure if you know this, but if playing in the water is your idea of fun, the desert isn’t exactly the place you’d think to go. Or so they say. Maybe they haven’t been to Palm Springs, where a pool party in the desert is very much the legendary thing to do.

And yet, it seems like the desert should get a chance to play too – the actual desert, not the man-made one – so we ditched the hotel pool for just a bit to make sure the desert got its turn. Got all dressed up and literally took the pool party to the desert…and tried to make it look just as fun. (And those pool floats? They magically fit in my carryon…but not so much in the trunk of our little beetle convertible.)

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What I’ve learned from photographing yoga // Annapolis yoga photographer


Courage. It takes courage to try something new, to do something outside the circle of comfort, even just to get started.

Over the holiday break, I sat in my hammock chair and made goals for the new year. To find a community. To find new things to photograph. To use the quiet winter time to stretch (literally and figuratively). To do things that nourish my soul. One of those things was to find a way to photograph some of my other passions…like yoga.

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Cointreau Garden Dinner Party for Glitter Guide

Garden dinner party // Anna Reynal Photography

 

Just a Cointreau garden dinner party to inspire your al fresco dining dreams.

 

Doesn’t this make you want to sit outside in the last remaining light of the day, giggling and eating and drinking with your besties as twilight falls and the lightning bugs twinkle in the trees?

Oh girl, me too.

 

Garden party flowers // Anna Reynal Photography Garden Dinner Party serving // Anna Reynal Photography Cointreau cocktail ideas // Anna Reynal Photography Garden Dinner Party // Anna Reynal Photography Garden party drinkware // Anna Reynal Photography Garden party platter // Anna Reynal Photography Garden party table setting // Anna Reynal Photography Garden bar cart Anna Reynal Photography-70 Garden Dinner Party Anna Reynal Photography-56Cointreau Ricky cocktail Anna Reynal Photography-87

 

Styling by Caitlin Kruse, Paper by Poppy + Scooter. See more from this party on Glitter Guide.

Color wheel inspired wedding // Featured on Rock n’ Roll Bride

 

Occasionally, I find myself in a pinch me moment. And sometimes I have an internal struggle about saying it out loud, or broadcasting it across the internet, but I’m really trying hard to remember to celebrate the wins, because one of my truths is making a point to cherish the things – big or small – that bring about joy.

Having this color wheel inspired wedding photo shoot featured on Rock n’ Roll Bride and working with a team of amazing creatives to make it come to life was one of them.

First, I should mention that Rock n’ Roll Bride was has long been one of my favorite wedding blogs for the types of weddings I love – free spirited, colorful and unique. Getting to be a part of it is a long-time dream come true, and for that I feel so incredible grateful to Kat and the editorial team.

But most of all – making new friends and working together to create a dream wedding that was a different take on what a wedding looks like, one that doesn’t shy away from color or boldness, or making a statement, will probably be one of the highlights of this year for me. This team was filled with some of the most creative ladies (and a gentleman or two) in the wedding biz who pulled out all the stops to make this come to life. And I owe them all the thanks for believing in the vision.

Most especially, a shout out goes to Pop the Cork Designs for dreaming it up and being a sounding board and a visionary. Big picture people are my favorites, and Jenna knows how to hustle and bring an idea to life. I’d pick her (and all of the rest of these dreamers) to be on my team any day of the week.

I love these images with my whole being, knowing they are a teeny window into the things my heart calls for and wants to make more of.

 

 

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If I had a confetti canon, I would set it off for each of these amazing creatives:

Styling: Pop the Cork Designs
Location: The Loft at 600F
Dress: Wai-Ching
Groom’s Attire: Banana Republic
Bow ties: Boutaugh
Flowers: Petals and Promises
Stationery: Kristen Caudill
Hair: PSC Hair Artistry
Make Up: Behind the Veil Beauty
Rentals: XOXO Vintage
Cake: Cakes by Rachael
Chocolates: Sweet Meat Chef
Candy: Bash Event Design
Welcome Gift: Marigold & Grey
Geometric Details: 1 Pixie Place
Geometric Details: Nikki Cross Applesauce
Table Numbers: Winston & Main

Cheerful style // XOXO Vintage Rentals

Anna Reynal | Cheerful Photographyhttp://annareynal.com

 

“The genius is really in curating things from the past and reviving them in the present”
– Johanna Blakley

 

I was listening to the TED Radio Hour on my run this week, and those words by Johanna Blakley just struck me. In context, she was speaking about fashion and the ability of designers to bring back classics that feel relevant and fresh today, mixing them with current trends and styles for a unique look.

And this, making vintage modern, is what my amazing friend Amy of XOXO Vintage does with her furniture and props…and her pretty things are all available to rent for photo shoots and weddings!

Each of her pieces are handmade with love; she has an eye for unique furniture and accessories with good bones that just need a little extra TLC. While they may start out looking like they belonged in a bygone era, Amy transforms them into statement pieces that fit into modern settings but still have character and history. She truly is a genius at bringing new life to old things.

But what’s more…Amy is a creator at heart. She doesn’t just deliver rented pieces or reupholster furniture – all of which she does, in fact, do on a weekly basis. She makes each and every rental personal. I’ve watched her put menus on mirrors and draw on doors to turn each piece into a signature item for a wedding, event, or styled shoot. Creating furniture pairings to match the style of an event is a gift of hers, and she goes the extra mile to personalize the treasures for each person who rents her pieces.

We made a date to make photos of some of the newest inventory in her collection, and Amy put so much thought into the styling of each piece. I love the silhouettes on the pair of doors that would be so lovely as the entrance to an outdoor ceremony site. The lighted anchor above the navy sofa is just the perfect pairing for a nautical cocktail lounge. And the wood-topped ironing board as a cake table is just the most adorable new use for an old thing I’ve ever seen.

 

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And of course, you don’t just have to have a wedding to use these lovely pieces…they make great props for engagement sessions, head shots, and almost any other portrait session or party you can think of!

 

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Want to rent props for your wedding or portrait session? Get in touch with Amy! Want to make beautiful photos for your wedding or of your pretty things? Let’s work together!

 

 

 

Featured // Piñata Wedding Inspiration on Capitol Romance!

 

You guys!! I’m not going to lie, I let out a little scream of excitement this morning as I was leaving the gym, when Amy texted me to let me know our piñata wedding inspiration styled shoot was up on Capitol Romance today! I’ve been dying to share it with you!

This Piñata inspired wedding photo shoot has been living in my head for almost a year, and I’m so thrilled to see it come to life and be featured over on DC wedding style blog Capitol Romance! Bree, who curates Capitol Romance so beautifully, has such a fabulous eye for off-beat, non-traditional, and modern style, so it is such an honor to have this photo shoot shared by a blog that embodies the things I love most about weddings!

Just like any wedding, this was totally and completely a team effort and I absolutely loved working with every single one of the artists and creatives who made it happen (hint, hint: if you’re looking for amazing people to help you bring your wedding dream to life…these are your people).

Love to // Invitations: Kelly Nealon // Venue: Powerhouse DC // Hair & Makeup: Behind the Veil, LLC // Florals and table design: Bella Fiori Couture Floral, Linens and Events Design // Furniture: XOXOvintage // Desserts: Sweet Hearts Patisserie // Dress: Garnish Boutique

 

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Happy Friday!

Photografriends

 

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The more I get to know other photographers, the more grateful it makes me to be a part of a creative community.

It’s so funny how you hear about other people, you see them post on Facebook and you have tons of the same friends, but yet it takes awhile to get around to meeting in person. There’s an anticipation that builds up around actually seeing each other face to face…and I always feel a little bit star-struck, like I’m finally meeting someone famous.

Which is why I so loved getting to meet some of the local photographers whose paths had not yet crossed mine at other networking events – and catch up with others who I haven’t seen in awhile. We grabbed drinks (or in my case, a bowl of brussels sprouts – I’m rather obsessed with them at the moment and they’re a perfect appetizer!) and then spent the evening roaming the streets of Annapolis with models. Yes, models. Like we were the paparazzi. Life long dream accomplished.

The whole point of the outing was to play around at sunset and into the dark and to try different things with off-camera lighting. I brought along a light stand, a shoot-through umbrella, and two flashes in addition to my regular bag of lenses and things. I really ended up loving these from the sunset portion of the evening though…and it really shows why the golden hour is the very best time for portraits!

 

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It was so fun making new photografriends and playing in the streets at night. Can’t wait to do it again!

Oscars Party Inspiration

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adore the Oscars. It’s probably my love of gorgeous people in beautiful clothes (okay, let’s be real here…it’s like watching grown-up prom without having to be a part of the drama), but awards season is pretty much what gets me through winter.

And really, what’s more fun than watching the awards with your friends…and making it a celebration? I know there are plenty of significant others who would be glad to be off the hook for watching a three-hour awards show spectacular…mine included.

While the idea of an Oscars party is far from original – there are so many amazing ideas on Pinterest to get you started – when I suggested an Oscars party styled shoot to my super creative partner-in-crime who is a fabulous stylist and interior designer, Caitlin, we decided to do it in a completely different way.

Yes, the Oscars are Hollywood’s most glam occasion, but the heart of the event is really all about celebrating the very best of the best in film. So we picked our favorite director – Wes Anderson – and channelled his aura to create a fun and quirky Oscars party!

Almost everything in this photo shoot was DIY, from the paper-covered books with the names of the Best Picture nominees to the  popcorn containers made from paper lunch bags and the whimsical portrait gallery of Best Actor + Actress nominees that could easily take the place of an existing family portrait gallery for just one night. I hope it gives you plenty of ideas for making your own night of Oscars fun!

Want to know more about the inspiration for this shoot? Check it out on The Everygirl!

 

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See More From Oscars Party Inspiration

 

And last but not least, it wouldn’t be the Oscars without an *acceptance speech,* and I really must thank a few very important people: obviously, Caitlin who turned my crazy vision into a reality – and that, my friends, is a major accomplishment; The Everygirl for featuring our work on their site, for which we are so incredibly grateful – we love The Everygirl (and you should too!); my mom, for letting me go antique shopping in her house; and last but most certainly not least, our significant others for allowing us to turn our homes upside down to make this happen.

So who do you think the Oscar will go to?

A Winter Wonderland Portrait Session // Kinder Farm Park

I want to put on a soundtrack of winter carols every time I look at these photos.

This is Caitlin and her sweet family, Trevor and Bentley – they are probably the most adorable little trio ever. If we’re being totally honest here, and I assure you, we are, they are – as Mary Poppins would say – practically perfect in every way. She’s an interior stylist and he’s a designer. Kind of a dreamy match, really…and in more ways than one. She’s excitable and bubbly, he’s collected and calming (and has the most enviable man style, I kid you not). But even better – they are fun and cheerful, share so much love for each other, and are two of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. And I just love them to pieces.

Oh, and then there’s Bentley. If you don’t die from cuteness overload, you are officially a grinch and there is no cure for you. I want to just scoop him up and give him loads of kisses…which I have no doubt he would happily return.

Once you see the excitement on her face, it probably goes without saying that Christmas is Caitlin’s favorite holiday. So we put on a little celebration on a chilly Saturday morning…

 

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Hope this brought some holiday cheer to your Monday, friends! Have a beautiful day!

PS. I am so grateful to Jess for connecting me to Caitlin. You were so right :0).