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Last summer, I had the honor of photographing Lindsay Helzer Floral Design’s brand shoot. Lindsay’s florals have a unique edge and she is not afraid of color. All her work, (even the softer palettes) have a pop to them that is so fun to be inspired by. So imagine my delight when I was offered the opportunity to create a full brand identity for her with all that beauty in mind. Lindsay was actually featured on the cover of Magnolia Rouge this year — you can see that full shoot from her and Cassie Roch HERE.

A little known fact? My degree is in Graphic Design and my original plan was to become a stationary designer and sell wholesale to boutiques and larger companies like Anthropologie. I operated a small freelance company under my name and did small contracted jobs while pursuing a custom line of stationary… before deciding to pursue photography full-time a couple years ago. I have found myself really missing that creative time at my notebook, and often wish I’d have kept that dream alive awhile longer.

I think as humans we are always evolving and changing…which pulls our focus and goals into different spaces every few years. I feel a new pull back to my roots in order to pursue some old dreams I thought had died. To say the least, it was wonderful to work my old design muscles in creating this brand identity for Lindsay.

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If you are a creative business owner, particularly if you are a wedding vendor — I still take on brand identity freelance work and am always up for collaborating on a styled brand shoot. You can contact me at jennikupelian@gmail.com for information on custom pricing and options.

To see Lindsay’s beautiful work you can find here online and on instagram.

All Images shot by Jenni Kupelian in Portland, Oregon, unless otherwise noted.

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I really love smoothies.

I don’t claim to be a health guru, but one thing I’ve never had trouble with is making a morning smoothie, probably because I look forward to it! They are cheap, they are true fast food and if you make them a certain way (not the Jamba Juice way) — I’m assured by the internet that they are really healthy for you, so you know it must be true.

Let’s get right into it: here are three smoothies ranging from easy to more difficult that I think you’ll really enjoy! If you are a photographer, it’s a great thing to slam before going into a long day of shooting.

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This is one is fantastic on a rainy day, as it has a nutty almost Holiday like taste to it. It’s very simple to throw together and makes a great to-go smoothie. Drink it right away as it doesn’t sit for long before it starts to separate.

EASY: CINNAMON BANANA CHIA

2 Frozen bananas

1-2 Cups Almond Milk (depends how thick you like it)

1 Tsp Honey

1 Tsp Vanilla Extract

1 Tsp Cinnamon

1 Tbsp Chia Seeds put all in blender and blend away!

 

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If you have just a little more time, this zingy smoothie is one of my favorites. It is sweet with a citrus sour taste that will really wake you up. You can even freeze the extra and re-blend it the next morning.

SOME WORK: GRAPEFRUIT STRAWBERRY SUNRISE

*Adapted from Yummly

Fresh Squeezed Juice From ONE Grapefruit

1-2 Cups Almond / Soy / Coconut or Cow Milk (depends how thick you like it)

2 Bananas

8-10 Frozen Strawberries

1/4 – 1/2 Cup Vanilla Yogurt (soy or coconut yogurt works too!)

One Probiotic Capsule (open encasing and pour into smoothie mix)

Add Crushed Ice As Desired — put all in blender and blend away!

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This is my all-time favorite smoothie…but like all good things it takes some prep and work. The taste is an incredible mix of creamy and fruity, and I feel really good after I drink it.  This is a sweet, tropical smoothie — you won’t even believe it’s green! We invested in a really good juicer a few years ago just to make this recipe, and use it all the time. An affordable juicer from places like Target or Amazon will get you by in a pinch.

TAKES TIME: GREEN MONSTER

*Adapted from The Juice Master

Juice From 4 Apples (juiced with juicer)

Juice From 1/4 of a Pineapple (juiced with juicer)

Juice From 1/4 Cup of Fresh Wheat Grass (juiced with juicer)

Juice From Handful of Fresh Spinach (juiced with juicer)

1/2 Avocado

1 Tsp Spirulina – see here (can be purchased on Amazon)

1 Probiotic Capsule (open encasing and pour into smoothie mix)

1 Cup of Crushed Ice or Ice Cubes — put all in blender and blend away!

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These smoothies are even Corgi recommended, as my cooking assistant Walter will tell you. I hope you enjoy them…if you wind up making one please comment and let me know what you think!

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Brand identity escapes no one these days. No matter how large or small your operation is, you better have a slick business card or risk a slurpee to the face. I adore brand identity. In fact, I confess that I collect beautifully designed brands on Pinterest before bed most nights. Brand teaches our clients, even subconsciously, what kind of experience they will have with our services…often before they have even had one conversation with us. It also plays a huge roll in attracting the kind of clients that inspire us and is one of the best ways we communicate who we are to the world.

Exciting right? I think so.

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Yet, as wonderful as it is, it is literally awful trying to design your own band identity. I have a degree in Graphic Design, but it’s incredibly challenging to design for myself. I went around and around on so many logo drafts, biting my nails and second guessing myself. In the end? You have to just trust your gut and go for it. My original plan was to save all my drafts so that I could show the progress but sadly, I burnt them. Or my Corgi ate them. No matter what, those rough drafts are no-where to be found…vaulted for all of time. I simply can’t stand the idea of looking at my name in ANY more fonts.

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I’m thankful that my new brand and business focus is wrapped up and am excited to announce that my new photography website (that this blog is an accessory to) will be launching this week along with some fun giveaways! I hope you will stop by and let me know what you think! I’m not re-branding until after the apocalypse at this point, so while you take a look at my new site I’ll be in the corner with an Irish coffee. Hooray for a fresh look…hooray for finished projects! Hooray for Irish coffees!

Helpful (Hopefully) Tips For Getting A Re-Brand:

  1. Work with a professional designer. I cannot state this enough. There are many sites out there these days offering 5 minute logos and do it yourself solutions. If you are trained in design, go for it! But in order to really have a brand that speaks to your professional focus, represents you well, is unique, and gains you good clients…you’ll need to be working with somebody who knows their stuff. This will be an investment, but it will be worthwhile in ways you cannot imagine. Make sure your designer of choice has a portfolio you like and that you connect with them in a positive way, especially on communication.
  2. Make a Pinterest Board of color palettes, logos, and other inspiration that will help you carve out the beginning stages of your hopes and dreams. You may even show it to your designer (I like it when clients take time to show me inspiration) — however not every designer will find this helpful. Again, make sure you connect with them.
  3. Define your ideal client — this will help your designer develop an appropriate look.
  4. Jump In! The more committed you are both financially and emotionally to the project, the better it will be. Expect good things.

BELOW YOU’LL FIND JENNI’S SUPER AWESOME OBLIGATORY SURVEY…ANSWER IN THE COMMENTS SECTION!

What are your business and/ or creative goals regarding your overall brand as we go into Fall? Do you have a brand identity? If not, what holds you back?

 

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Last summer I was lucky enough to collaborate with Lindsay Strannigan, a marketing and event planning consultant, as well as the talented author of Portland Food blog, Rosemarried. She crafted a beautiful collection of summer recipes called “A Midsummer’s Feast” and I was honored to photograph it. Here in Portland we are experiencing a heat wave and this refreshing bisque was a real treat. You can partake of it as a chilled soup with a spoon in hand…or sip it by glass as a refreshing summer drink.

Recipe Credit : Lindsay A. Strannigan

INGREDIENTS

1 ripe cantaloupe

1/2 cup Greek yogurt

2 tablespoons cream

Juice of 1 lemon

1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

2 teaspoons honey

1 small sprig of fresh mint

Sea salt, to taste

 

METHOD

Peel and slice the cantaloupe into large chunks. Place the cantaloupe pieces, yogurt, lemon juice, honey, ginger, and salt into a food processor or blender. Blend until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Taste, and adjust seasonings as needed. Add in a few mint leaves and pulse a few times, until mint is chopped and incorporated into the mix. Pour mixture into an airtight container and chill in the refrigerator for an hour before serving. Prior to serving, stir in the cream. Ladle into cups or small bowls and garnish with a mint leaf.

Serves 6 / Cook time 15 mins. / Chill time 1 hr.

If you’d like to know more about the other summer recipes Lindsay carefully created, you can purchase A Midsummer’s Feast both in PRINT and E-BOOK….enjoy!

If any of you are doing any last minute decorating, here is a great little craft to add to your list. I love terrarium art, and am lucky to have a mom who is an expert in making them. On this project, however, I went it alone and kept it simple. I love how organic and green these are…they almost look born on the woodland floor.

What You’ll Need:

  1. Living Moss – I found mine in my back yard.
  2. Potting soil – any home improvement store or super market will carry it
  3. Mini-Crafting Christmas Tree – can be found at your local craft store
  4. Twigs or any other items you’d like to use as garnish
  5. Bleach *yes, you read that correctly
  6. A clear jar, vase or vessel – your local thrift-shop is a great place to start.
  7. Little rocks

Directions:

  1. Layer the following in the bottom of your vessel- rocks then potting soil then moss.
  2. Pour 1/2 cup bleach into a bleach safe bowl (one you don’t care about).
  3. Place the green trees in the bleach for about 30 secs (this will give your trees that minty teal color). Leave them in for 5 minutes if you want them white (or purchase them white).
  4. Pull the trees out, rinse them well, and then let them dry completely.
  5. Arrange your trees and other items at will! You wont need glue unless you want to make sure they don’t shift
  6. Enjoy. Terrariums need to be sprayed with water once a week if you plan to keep it growing or add to it after the holidays. Keep in an area with good sunlight (near a window).

If I haven’t said so already, a very merry holiday to you. There are some big changes happening around my neck of the woods come New Year, that I’m excited to tell you all about. Until then, drink of egg nog!

xo, Jenni