As you may know, last summer I had the absolute privilege and honor of interning with photographer Meg Perotti.  Throughout that time, she allowed me to join her on several engagement shoots to watch how she works and interacts with clients, directs poses, finds amazing light, composes shots, and so on.  I know that the wealth of knowledge I gained just from watching Meg is invaluable and I am beyond grateful for her kindness and talent.

Not only did she let me tag along, she also let me bring my camera and shoot alongside her!  With her permission, I will be blogging images from all those shoots, both to show you all and also to demonstrate my growth as a photographer in the past year.

This first one is of Tavia and Jose, a super sweet couple whose wedding will be later this year.  Meg has an amazing way of making her clients feel totally at ease in front of her lens, giving just the right amount of direction, and bringing out a warmth and natural beauty.  Here is what I was able to capture:

I'm in love with her shoes!!!



I AM … choosing to get things done today.
I WANT… to go on a tropical vacation with Kurt.
I HAVE … a sore ankle from falling down some stairs the other day... in high heels.
I KEEP … a stash of candles because I love lighting them when my house is nice and tidy.
I WISH I COULD … be a morning person.
I HATE … being late.
I FEAR … too many things that don't really matter at all.
I HEAR … the heater on full blast.
I DON’T THINK … I will ever get sick of chocolate.
I REGRET … not always listening to my parents when I was younger.
I LOVE … making things happen.
I AM NOT … going to stop taking risks.
I DANCE … like a crazy person sometimes, just to make my nephews laugh uncontrollably.
I SING … at the top of my lungs when I'm in the car.
I NEVER … will be perfect.
I RARELY … purchase new music. If I want to listen to a new song I just play over and over and over on YouTube.
I CRY WHEN I WATCH … nearly any movie with Rachel McAdams in it.
I AM NOT ALWAYS … focused.
I HATE THAT … there is always huge mess to clean up after I cook something.
I’M CONFUSED ABOUT … what is making all the sounds in this song and why I like it so much.
I NEED … to do my laundry... like, ASAP.
I SHOULD … workout today. Scratch that... I WILL workout today :)

Thanks Jasmine Star for the blog idea :)



There is so much about this little boy that reminds me of myself.  His temperament, his face, and his personality are so similar to me when I was a baby.  Before he was born, I was dreaming of photography.  My first photo shoot was of him in his momma's tummy.  After that shoot I started this blog.  His little life means so much to me and my journey.

One year ago, my nephew Josiah was born.  

One year ago, I started on this crazy-awesome path into photography.

In the past year, my nephew and my business have both grown.  Being an entrepreneur, like having a child, isn't always easy... but it's so totally worth it.

To celebrate his first birthday we did a fun smash cake session.  When we put the bright blue cake before him, he stared at it in curious amazement for a bit.  It was soooo cute!  Seeing him discover this new texture and taste and watching his chubby little hands dig in was precious.  

Happy birthday to my cute little baby nephew!



Here are two lists I wrote for Kurt in honor of his 24th birthday. 

First, 12 things I love about you:
1.  You are a man of integrity.
2.  You would rather read a book about theology than watch TV.
3.  You look really good in sunglasses ;)
4.  You are a poet and no one else knows it (except me!)
5.  You are really, really patient.
6.  You’re an awesome “Kuncle” to our nephews and you love kids.
7.  You hurt when I hurt and you rejoice when I rejoice.
8.  You are a great listener and you genuinely care about people.
9.  We make a pretty good team!  You truly are my other half.
10.  You actually don’t mind my glitter obsession.
11.  You’re not afraid of responsibility.  Rather than complaining about a situation, you do something about it.
12.  You are an amazing husband and my best friend!

Second, 12 things I have learned about you this year:
13.  You LOVE anything that’s pumpkin-flavored.
14.  You dig cooking shows.  I actually learned this about myself too, so I’m glad it’s a mutual thing.
15.  Although you don’t like to play video games, you still enjoy playing your Gameboy. Specifically Mario Tennis, haha.
16.  I don’t like the way you cook eggs. But you pour a mean bowl of cereal ;)
17.  Your new favorite activity is disc golf.
18.  You don’t mind driving really long distances. And you don’t mind me singing loudly on said road trips… or at least you haven’t complained about it yet ;)
19.  We’ve definitely got the same sense of humor. And I think you can read my thoughts...
20.  I am getting a little closer to really understanding that you love me unconditionally.
21.  You appreciate my home decorating skills.
22.  You love it when I cook for you and will eat anything I make for you with a grateful heart.
23.  You believe in what I can become and you believe that I am capable of achieving things.
24.  I wouldn't be who I am today without you and God's amazing grace.

12 + 12 = 24! 

Happy birthday to you, my darling love!  P.S. What a cutie pie!



For those of you who had the day off yesterday, I hope you had enjoyed an extra-long, relaxing weekend!  My weekend was filled with travel, birthdays, laughter, tears, exhaustion, and rest.  It was a little bit of everything really!

Lately I’ve been dealing with some mild physical consequences of being stressed and I am so not digging it.  So this weekend I made time to rest and get organized.  Celebrating my nephew’s 1st birthday was super fun and church on Sunday was wonderful.  Also, I’ve been forced into somewhat of an internet fast (as we deal with getting wi-fi set-up in our home) so I’m seeing that as God’s way of forcing me to disconnect a bit.

I’m limited to posting from my local Starbucks this morning, so I’m treating myself to a hot chocolate :) I’ve been filling out my Simplified Planner like crazy and compiling my millions of to-do lists into one master list.  Today my goal is to get things done while also making time for things that fire me up and bring me joy, so I can focus on those things rather than spend time stressing!

Here’s how I plan to work that into my schedule: This morning I started the morning off with time with God, reading the bible and praying.  Today, and hopefully everyday this week, I plan to workout.  I’ll get some photo editing done this afternoon after I go pick up groceries for the week. Later this week I’m going to stop by the mall to pick up some more candles from Bath and Body Works.  A lit candle with an amazing scent in a tidy home can be so soothing!  Thanks to Emeals I’ve got my meals planned for the week and will enjoy cooking a healthy dinner for my love tonight. Lots to do this week but lots to be grateful for too.

So, between time with God, exercise, eating right, being organized, getting work done and making time to relax, I hope to bring down my stress levels.

Here’s my question for you: What are healthy ways that you deal with stress?  How do you relax?



Beauty and grace.  Katie embodies both.  Today she turns 23.  I am so blessed to have her as my friend.  Last year I wrote this piece to commemorate our friendship up until then.  I am happy to report that our friendship has only gotten sweeter since :)

This summer I did a special anniversary photo shoot of her and her husband.  Below is one of my favorite shots of her looking oh-so-lovely.

Happy birthday Katie! I love you and hope you have a wonderful day!



Hello and happy Thursday to you!  I've really enjoyed getting back into blogging and I've loved reading all your awesome comments this week.  Thanks for reading!  

Today I'd like to share this lovely Be You art print from Sugar Paper, as a short and sweet little thought for the day.  The right font can bring me so much joy.  And, as you can tell from my logo, I am seriously loving me some gold.  Shine bright like a diamond!

This simple message describes exactly how I want people to feel with I photograph them:
If you're interested in being photographed by yours truly, please contact me! :)



Hey y'all!  I have wonderful news!  This summer I will be photographing... a wedding!  Yay!!!!

I am beyond thrilled that my amazing friends Michael and Jennifer have asked me to be the second shooter at their wedding.  Their love story is a real sweet one and there is nothing better than photographing true love!  Michael and Jen's relationship initially began as a friendship... a friendship that ended up blossoming into a sweet romance.  And this past November, after 7 years of friendship, filled with smiles, sushi, silliness, and surprise flower deliveries, Michael proposed to his best friend Jen and she said "Yes!"

After getting engaged, Jen posted a picture of the two from the very beginning of their friendship side-by-side with a picture from day of the proposal, stating:
"We've both changed and grown in so many different ways in the last 7 years, but the one thing that always remained foundational in our friendship was Jesus Christ.  Our worship of Christ will continue being the foundation as we go into marriage. :)"
Last spring, Michael posted a link on Jen's Facebook with 22 descriptions of Marital Love, and commented, "really really great list. we should pray through one a day haha."  Now, if their marriage looks anything at all like that list, I know these two will be in for a long, beautiful marriage and a happy, blessed life together as husband and wife.  I am sooo excited for your wedding, Michael and Jen!

Below are a few photos I snapped this Fall, just prior to their engagement.  Although these are not their formal engagement photos, I wanted to share them with y'all as we look forward to their upcoming wedding!



Before I became an aunt, I knew little to nothing about babies.  I didn't babysit in high school and when people around me did have children, I'd avoid holding them for fear that I'd make them cry. Babies always seemed so very fragile.

Of course, much has changed since my two nephews entered the picture... and boy, I sure am glad it did. Although children can be difficult at times, there is something so sweet, so special, and so exciting about watching a little life form before your eyes.  I get a front row seat to these boy's childhoods.  I get to watch their little personalities unfold.  I've been able to re-experience innocent wonderment, reliant trust, and jump-up-and-down-excitement all over again through these little boys, and those are gifts that I cherish deeply.

Now, being a Californian through-and-through, I LOVE the beach, but of course, familiarity breeds contempt (or in this case, indifference)... until I was reminded of how other-worldly it really is.  Recently my younger nephew experienced the beach for the first time, while the older one got to dig around in the sand and I was able to document those sweet moments below.  Because we were in Half Moon Bay, it was pretty chilly and the fog rolled in quickly, but it was beautiful, nonetheless.  My two beach babes had a great time and I was thankful for the reminder of just how much fun the beach can be :)



It's time for another Monday Mixer!

So what exactly do I mean? Here's a quick definition: Mixer /ˈmiksər/ n. An informal party arranged to give people an opportunity to get acquainted.

How it works: I will list off several random things and you can feel free to respond with comments on how you can/cannot relate or maybe even with your own random Monday list!  Let's do this!

My fingers are double-jointed. 

I am in love with white furniture. It's so chic.

I am the only person in my family who does not drink coffee... even my two-year-old nephew loves it!

My latest obsession is Seinfeld. I find it hilarious and entertaining.

I crave chocolate daily.

I'm slowly learning that less is more and small is the new big.

I finished my Christmas shopping early this year. *High-five myself*

Today is my half-birthday!  Meaning it's exactly 6 months until my actual birthday... Yay!

I believe in the power of prayer.

Mexican food can solve all problems.  It does for me anyway.

My husband amazes me daily with his incredible patience for me.

Brrr! I hate being cold. Bring on the warm sunshine!

Adoption is still a growing passion in my heart. One day, Lord-willing.

I (heart) scarves. Functional fashion!

We now have a television. And it's awesome.

I LOVE getting emails from people interested in photo shoots (yasmin@yasminsarai.com) and bringing beautiful ideas to life. Fun stuff!


Feel free to post your own fun facts in the comments! Happy Monday y'all!



This morning Kurt dropped me off at the aiport and I slept my way through a flight to Seattle, Washington.  As soon as I arrived in the Pacific northwest, it made total sense why people over here are crazy about their coffee.  The rainy weather makes me want to stay inside and get cozy with a mug of something warm.

So why in the world am I here in Seattle, you ask? Well, several weeks ago I shared my video entry for RESTART, a business makeover at creativeLIVE in Seattle, with one of my greatest inspirations, Jasmine Star.  Last year, when I decided to pursue a career in photography it was her words, on her blog, in her magazine Exposed, and at her speaking tour theFIX that helped me along early on and to have the opportunity to learn from her personally would be amaaazing.

Well, I was not chosen for the business makeover, but I was chosen to be one of the in-studio attendees... therefore, I am here in Seattle and tomorrow morning I get to be a part of the class... LIVE! I'm sooo excited!

In 2013, I am ready to face fears and embrace change; it's quickly becoming the theme of my year. From Jasmine's blog:
That's what RESTART is about: creating change. Lots of change. Because what most of us want are results, but we're also resistant to change. And change? Well, that's the grit that makes results manifest itself. The bigger the change, the bigger results. During RESTART we're going to deconstruct components of your business with a new purpose and rebuild these components throughout the makeover process. There will be an intention; you'll know why you're doing what you're doing. The best news is RESTART has little to do with me and everything to with you. Your dreams, your desires...and what we can do to bring them to life. Starting this Wednesday at 9am PST, and over the next three months, we'll rebuild the parts of your business that are keeping you from growing and connect with other photographers going through the same process. RESTART isn't about one person...it's about a group of people dedicated to making a change. 

If you are interested in checking it out, you can totally join in on the class!  Tomorrow morning, the class will be broadcasted online for free, starting at 9am PST through about 5pm.

I am ready to learn and do the hard work... I will try to post about what I'm learning, so check out my Facebook page for updates! See you online friends!



While I was in Phoenix this past summer at the SiteHouse GO LIVE Event with Promise Tangeman, along with tons of help getting our new websites up and running, all the attendees got new head shots taken!

And I came prepared to rock it out!  Mint nails, glitter, bows... I brought it all! ;)  I was even able to bring in Kurt for a few shots, which was so special to me because this day was our 1 year anniversary!  I'm so happy I have these photos to document it!

These photos were taken by the lovely Alejandra Vidal of Imaginale Design.  It was awesome getting to talk to Ale about photography and faith during my time in Phoenix.  We were able to connect on a bunch of things, so meeting her was definitely one of the highlights of the trip!  Be sure to check out her blog too... she does beautiful work and tells funny stories too!

I can't say enough about how awesome that workshop is... and from what I've heard, Promise might be taking it to a NEW city soon!!! ;)  Don't worry, I'll keep you posted!  For now, here are my head shots: