Thursday, February 26, 2009

Impact Tip - Our new eco-friendly albums!

I am excited to be continuing to find great ways to make our company stand behind its mission of making an impact!

We now carry two albums that are eco-friendly, the first in the business and as far as I know, we are the only photographers in Chicago that carry these albums!

Our Impact Series is the world's first 'green' photo books.

Printed on 100% post-consumer recycled acid-free archival paper and utilizing environmentally sensitive materials, like hemp, from conscious suppliers.

The entire process is powered by green e-certified windpower. Carbon offsets and trees are planted with a portion of the proceeds from each book. Check them out!

Our 10x13 Impact album with custom photo cover

Our 8x10 Impact album with natural cover

Schedule a meeting to come and see these great new albums!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Schmooze Fest 2009

Some of you may remember me talking about a non-profit organization called "Walk the Talk". It was started by a good friend Bria Day and after I got some information, I decided to be an official sponsor. It is a great concept designed to get people out and about and stretching all of their muscles creative and otherwise. They have fitness, wellness, and art classes among many others.

I went to the kickoff Schmooze Fest on Thursday night at the House of Blues and it was a great turn out. People came to sign up for all the classes but there is still time to get involved.

See our name on the water bottle :) Bria schmoozing Look at all the people that signed up for boot camp! Hmmm, maybe this had something to do with it :) Smart Bria! Take this spring and give yourself something you need! Exercise, stress relief and community involvement!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Impact Tip - Are you moving?

Are you moving before or after your big day? Is your family expanding so you need more space? I actually came upon this site while looking for something completely different but I actually will be moving in April to get a little more room for the baby so I was thankful to find this as a resource.

Check out!

Anyway, this company was featured on ABC, NBC, CBS, Daily Candy, Environmental News Network and many more.

They say it best...

"Rescue, Resell, Recycle™ takes an innovative approach to providing low-cost, earth-friendly moving boxes. We "rescue" truckloads of quality used boxes from large companies that might otherwise recycle them or simply throw them away. We bring the boxes back to one of our regional distribution centers where they are inspected and sorted by size and shape. Boxes that meet our strict requirements for quality, shape and strength are pre-packed (along with convenient accessories) into our low-cost, earth-friendly "stacks" and "kits". We then "resell" those boxes to customers all across North America, via our website. We offer free shipping on any residential order and guarantee delivery in 1-2 business days. As we like to say, "you don't have cut down a tree to make a used cardboard box!" strives to be a zero-waste company. We "recycle" any boxes that don't meet our strict quality, shape and strength criteria by sending them to a traditional recycling company. is a win/win/win/win/win: for our suppliers, customers, employees, shareholders and the environment!

Many people think using a cardboard box once and sending it to the traditional recycler is the most responsible way to help the environment. In fact, we feel that most boxes that are sent to recycler are actually being prematurely terminated! The process of recycling cardboard boxes requires a great deal of energy, chemicals and emissions that have their own negative impact on our environment not to mention all the trees that still have to be cut down to make new boxes (even if they are advertised as containing some recycled content). At, we feel strongly that is it better to reuse a cardboard box at least once, before it is sent to a traditional recycler. By offering quality used cardboard boxes for less and providing free shipping anywhere in the US, we help our customers SAVE TIME, SAVE

So check them out to save some green! Trees saved to date...15,163!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

New happenings at Vrai!

Here at Vrai, we want to keep it fresh by updating our website a couple times a year. We have added new photos to every gallery and new sample weddings including one wedding, Julie and Ryan, shot by Molly and Aaron. Check out the new photos mixed in with some classic favorites to see how we are growing as photographers here at Vrai!

In order to continue to offer great service and great photos, we have added a new photographer to our company. His name is Aaron Brouwer and he is a great photographer with a background in nature photography like me! He also is an avid rock climber so I am sure you can see why he fits in so well! He will be our new office manager and my full time second shooter. He will also be available for limited Friday/Sunday weddings this season with a flexible package option. He has his own gallery with a sample of his work on our site.

Please join us in welcoming him to Vrai! Here are some photos from some recent climbing trips to get to know him a little better. You can also visit his personal site at for more information about Aaron and his background.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Max at 6 months

Friday I went to the children's museum to hang out with little Max. He was so cute and full of wonder at all the colors and things to do. It was really fun! I have enjoyed shooting him since before he was born and I look forward to more photo shoots with him and the rest of the family!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Impact Tip - Last minute Valentine's Day ideas

Last week I posted about the biodegradable vases which are not only great for weddings but great for a Valentine's Day gift for people who are thinking ahead.

But if you are like most, you wait until the last minute to do things and now you are scrambling for options :)

If you are traditional and like to give flowers and candy, ask about locally grown or/and in season flowers from a florist like Fleur. You can also look into They will have to ship to you but their flowers would be local to them. It can be tough to find local and organic flowers in this climate.

Also, you can choose fair trade chocolates sold at Whole Foods as well as other local chocolate shops.

If you are looking for something a little more custom, you can purchase carbon offset credits through TerraPass or donate to a charity in your loved one's name.

Surprise your girl with a romantic night with some soy candles and sustainable skivvies sets from Inhabit.

Or my personal favorite, schedule a massage and a great place to do that is the Soulistic Studio and Spa in West Town. They have a holistic approach to healing, massage, and being eco-friendly.

Whatever you buy or don't buy, sometimes the best gift is just to be appreciated so find a way to spread the love this weekend with your gifts or your words.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Chicago Style Real Wedding

Check us out in the current Mar/Apr edition of Chicago Style Magazine. Lisa and Steve were featured as one of the Real Weddings that took place at the beautiful Narnia Estate last fall.

They also have a story on how to make your wedding more eco-friendly. I especially love tip 6, find a "thoughtful photographer"! They describe our policy of going the extra step to give some of our profits back to the community supporting eco-friendly ideas. Check us out on Wedding Wire and Project Wedding now too. If we have had the pleasure of working with you and you were happy with your photos, please feel free to leave us a comment and help other brides find us too!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Impact Tip - Biodegradable vases and replantable flowers

I found some time to sneak away and post my weekly impact tip. This is great for upcoming valentine's day or your wedding! Check out Ideal Favors for these ideas.

Guys or gals...if you are going to give some flowers, why not say you care about your sweetheart and the environment and get her some flowers that will last as well as a holder that will not take up space in storage or cheap plastic that will just get thrown away.

These are perfect for wedding centerpieces too! People can take them home which will make them even more eco-friendly. Your florist can work with these and use uncut flowers for your day.