My name is Diana Elizabeth. I'm a photographer, writer, graphic designer and model who had memorable days reporting from the LA red carpet for E! Online. I love sharing my life as a creative professional and the things that I discover along the way - with camera in hand.

My husband and I live in a restored 1952 red brick home that sits on a former citrus grove in Phoenix. I enjoy traveling, home improvement projects, and gardening. This is a glimpse into my life and work.

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phoenix-arizona-wedding-photography-new-york-garrison-east-coast-wedding-hudson-river021 See Aaron and Courtney’s Hudson River wedding

Good morning!  I have a few minutes before I make my coffee and must dash out the door in Hunter wellies to a tag sale by an interior designer friend of mine.  Rain isn’t going to keep me away from amazing interior decor deals, I seem to really enjoy being outside in the rain – crazy?

Super Bowl is this weekend in Glendale (a city next to Phoenix), which means nothing to me since my team isn’t playing (but one of my least favorites are, you know team rivalry) but it has incredibly affected life in Phoenix/Scottsdale these past two weeks, this week especially.  We had the Pro Bowl last week and now the Waste Management Open (golf) is going on as well.  This is all fantastic for the state but goodness is traffic horrific lately, I was ten minutes late to my hair appointment.

A few things I learned this week:

  • To never assume someone’s shyness or bad day means they are a rude person indefinitely.  Never to assume negatives, period.
  • I’m still learning to say no but I have a hard time overcommitting and then paying the consequences.
  • To slow down on everything – responding, planning, talking, all of it.
  • I’ve missed my garden so much, I’ll be perfectly OK with just gardening all the month of February.

Gotta run, hope you have a wonderful weekend – rain or shine! xx

Lifestyle, Personal

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I was inspired to make paper dresses from old maps by a few items on a flash home sale site but the price tag was $300-$400.  I know I spent a hefty price tag on this artwork, but that was an oil painting.

I found the Paris and London map at Aaron Brothers and these two 5×7 shadow frames (but they hold 4×6) on sale – the total was about $45 because of the buy one frame get the second for a penny – the sale might be over but it comes around again come summer time, July.

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You could also consider saving maps when you travel and just cut it out when you return.

Other places to find maps (which are really wrapping paper) at Paper Source here.

For the pleats in the dress I thought I would fold it, but that doesn’t work well AT ALL.  Instead I cut everything and just used ZOTS adhesives. I took out the mat board and would place it over what I was making to see if it was cut to scale or not.

My office is now overly full of art that I need to do a bit of rearranging or purging – I’m pretty sure it will be a purge.

Photography

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Wedding ring shots are important, but I wouldn’t say they are necessary for every wedding, it depends on your couple.

I do think it’s an easy and creatively fun shot because it allows you to story tell or capture the wedding in a unique way. My second shooter Amy loves taking the rings and doing something fun, but I have to admit – I like taking them as well and seeing what I can come up with.  Here’s what we’ve learned about nailing that ring shot.

Wedding ring shot tips:

  • Don’t put rings anywhere you could potentially drop them and never be able to find them again – like a bridge over water, a drain close by, or anywhere it can roll away and never be seen again.
  • Look for fun textures and or color – shadows too.
  • Consider using natural elements that showcase where the wedding is taking place (desert plant if it’s a destination wedding in AZ and couple is from another part of the country, or seashell if in Hawaii)
  • Clean the rings including if moving in a flower bouquet, pollen will show up using that macro, I’ve seen it!
  • Consider using wedding details that are around (see straw shot).
  • Shoot at F3.5 or higher (I never use F2.8, I want all the rings in focus)
  • Always check to make sure you have all rings in focus.
  • Watch your reflection in his ring, especially (you can fix this in post since most times you can’t avoid it)
  • Ask for help – for the rings that hang on a flower, my assistant holds the flower steadily if necessary, with her hand under the rings incase they drop.

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On another note – since Wednesdays were primarily my photography post days (I decided to go back to the themed days of the week) I need ideas on what to write about.  So if there’s anything in particular you want me to write about please email me or leave a comment or else some Wednesday posts may not happen.

I love to help so if you have questions, let me know.  Thanks for reading!

For Photographers, Photography

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Blush tote / Toothbrush / Luggage / Initial bag tag (small, not luggage) / Travel toiletry case

My girlfriends and I are heading to Las Vegas for a 3 night trip this early spring, I’m so excited I’m already buying things for the trip!  We had so much fun last year we are doing it again only this time flying in instead of driving.  This laser cut blush tote will be a great carry on and also bag to the pool.  I decided this was a good time to invest in a new luggage set.  Do you use the Vio Light toothbrushes?  I am crazy about them because of how small they are and I can take an electric toothbrush with me.  They came out with a destinations line – including Vegas!  I do have my eye on Paris and London of course. Also my travel toiletry bag has sort of fallen apart and so this patent leather Kate Spade will hold up well for the upcoming trips I hope to take.

Vegas for us means good food, pool time and shopping. What do you like to do when you go to Vegas?

Lifestyle, Style, Travel, Travel Tips

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L to R: Arizona Weddings, Angela Saban, la Ricki, Juju’s Tutus, Phoenix Bride & Groom, Brenda (Bella Lily), Victoria Canada, me, Stephanie Fay and Lauren Snow (many others not pictured this was end of the night)

Last week was a heavy work week for me, and this week is all social – the life of an entrepreneur.  If you’re lucky, your work is around really great company who you consider friends so it hardly seems like work!

Brenda had two preview parties for Bella Lily Bridal last week, industry and another for friends, the final days leading up to the grand opening to the public!  Here’s the recap from my iPhone.

We enlisted none other than the dessert table queen herself, Angela Saban who is a talented event designer (see wedding we did together here), and she bakes gluten free desserts and wedding cakes in the Phoenix valley for Angel Cakes Bakery.

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I decided it was time to bring out the sequin pants.

Tamara from Petal Pusher brought this amazing bouquet – I love her work!

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That’s owner Brenda above in the cutest skirt!

My girlfriend Nicole, former Miss Arizona America lives down the street and brought her gorgeous girls Miss North Phoenix, Miss Miss North Phoenix’s Teen and Miss Glendale’s Teen (Miss America system) to the boutique to browse.  I helped backstage zipping the contestants up backstage so I was happy to see them again.

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I snapped a pic of the tags we made for the items in the store, I just thought it looked so pretty.  The back has a space for the Style No. and the price in pink.   Custom tags make such an impression.

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The end of Friday night it was a scurry to break down the tables, put away the remaining desserts, take out the trash, and sweep the floors – we had a party the night before the Grand Opening!  As I prepared to leave – it was a slow departure let’s be honest, Brenda and I just thanked each other for the opportunity to work together.  I also have to admit I’m not a big crier – I’m very selective about what I cry about, I blame my eyes sometimes they work sometimes they don’t, but in this case, we were both overcome with emotion.  When you put your heart and soul into something and enjoy it, it’s an amazing feeling of being grateful to be a part of something big, and know you gave it your all.

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What touched me the most was when Brenda said she knew that I felt that this was just as much my place as it was hers, I’m glad she knew how much I loved this dream.  So a few tears, hugs, good happy thoughts and a little prayer before I left, Bella Lily Bridal opened doors the next day, at 9 am and welcomed 4 brides, two of which found their wedding dresses!  I call that a success, now go stop by – you can go in to browse but if you need to try on a dress, make an appointment, it’ll be easier for you.

See the photos of Bella Lily Bridal here.

Branding, Lifestyle, Personal

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Citrus is ready – and I’m excited to show you how to pick and juice grapefruits (or any citrus for that matter) right from my own backyard.

Check out the guest post feature on Best Friends for Frosting!

{Photo: Melissa Schollaert / Makeup and hair: Lizzy Marsh / Styling: Angela Saban}

Gardening, Home + Garden

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After many months of hard work, shopping trips, texts, pins, returns and exchanges, Bella Lily Bridal has arrived in the Northwest Valley of Phoenix in Glendale!  The store opens to the public this Saturday.

From the birth of the logo to being invited to work on the interior layout and design, this is my biggest and most proudest project to date.  The boutique is one of the first in the valley for an open concept bridal boutique, which is popular on the West Coast.  The vision was clean, timeless and upscale – I am certain we achieved it.  Every color, detail, book, lighting fixture, anything and everything you see was a team effort and had to get two yeses – from myself and Brenda.  There were some tough decisions, budgets to honor, but knowing that if you went with your gut on what you love, you can’t go wrong.  While owner Brenda Maldonado gives me more credit than I deserve, the style of this boutique is all her – I just had to help refine and pull it out of her.

Please join me in welcoming the latest boutique to the Phoenix Valley, Bella Lily Bridal! Thank you for riding along in this adventure with me until I could reveal all the hard work we’ve been doing.  I’m excited to share this space with you.

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Brides are booked in the Bella room or Lily room.  A Pretty Plum Sugar robe is in each dressing room for modesty purposes as they change from dress to dress.  Veils hang from a magnetic strip on the walls for easy grabbing and organizing.  There is also a magnetic strip inside each dressing room for dress clips (they tend to be large) and mock veils.

Shoes in multiple sizes also await for brides to try on with their dresses.  We borrowed this idea from the dressing rooms at Saks Fifth Avenue.

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A full-length mirror and small seat is in every room, and there are two viewing spaces for brides.  The platform was custom made by a talented carpenter friend.

Many of the items for the store were purchased at local stores around the Valley and popular online furniture flash sale sites.  Brenda and I shared two boards on Pinterest – one was for ideas, all the things we liked and another board was all the things that were purchased – even iPhone photos. This kept us on track so if we decided to make a purchase, we would move the item to the purchased Pinterest board to keep an eye on consistency and not over purchase.

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The longer I stare at that side table the more my heart longs to have it!  It reminds me of fish scales, or the siding of an old Victorian house.

Dresses hang on light, natural wood hangers.  The feeling of this modest space and open air space was to be light and airy.  You will notice an absence of black in the boutique – except for the cheeky chalkboard signs.

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Brenda wanted to go in different direction from the typical check-out consoles and explained her vision of a desk where contracts could be signed and payments could be made on her iPad.  At first I was hesitant since this was very untraditional but I’m so glad we found the right pieces to make it look like it belongs.

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It took over a dozen trips to find the perfect pillows and that we did! Metallics paired with neutrals and soft pinks and blues was our color palette – with a few surprising bursts of fuchsia in the right places. What we had to really pay attention to was making each piece was elegant and timeless – one can easily go overboard with too much sparkle or miss the mark.

The incredible wallpaper has a beaded texture and came from Holland.  It was an investment, but well worth the impact it makes on the space and no need for hanging artwork on the walls.

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 Logo, photos, branding and interior by me, a lovely Silver Spoon Studio project.  A behind the scenes design of a bridal boutique interiors and branding.

Branding, Lifestyle, My Work, Personal, Photography, Projects

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