Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Cupcake Project

Apple Custard Tea Cakes

Because winter season is slow season for my photo business, I am searching for fun activities to keep me and my blog busy in the down time. One such project is to bake a new type of cupcake from my book Cupcakes by Pamela Clark every few weeks this winter. I definitely have a sweet tooth and like to bake, I don't do a lot of baking from scratch, so I'm excited to start learning some tricks.

Although this recipe took me awhile to get to, I would like to present my first cupcake project, Apple Custard Tea Cakes! They weren't pretty, but man, did they taste good!

^First, you have to start with your recipe and ingredients. Today we will need butter, vanilla extract, sugar, eggs, self-rising flour, instant vanilla pudding mix, milk, a large unpeeled apple, and ground cinnamon. We are ready to bake!

^The custard filling comes first. Some of the instant vanilla pudding, vanilla extract, milk and sugar are heated together in a saucepan, then set aside to cool (covered).

^Line the muffin pan with baking cups. This recipe will make 12 small cupcakes or 6 Texas sized ones.

^Blend the rest of the instant pudding, butter, vanilla, sugar, eggs, four and milk until they are just combined on low speed. Then take it up a notch to medium until the mix turns a paler color.

^Pour first a little more than half the mix into the bottom of the baking cups, then distribute all of the custard mix in what will be the center of the cupcake. One note of my own... I noticed the custard tried to settle at the bottom of the cake, so a little more of your batter on the bottom of the baking cup is a good idea. Finish by putting the rest of the cake mix on top of the custard, being sure to cover custard.

^Core and slice your apple. The pieces will need to finely sliced.

^The finely sliced pieces (4 or 5) can be spread over each cake. Make sure to press the apples slightly down into the cake (just a touch, I pressed mine down a little too far!).

^Looking good! Now bake your small cupcakes at 30 minutes in a 350 F oven, or your Texas sized ones at 40 minutes at the same temperature.

^Meanwhile, mix your remaining sugar and cinnamon together...

^While your cakes are still hot, spread melted butter over each, fairly generously.

^Then sprinkle the cinnamon and sugar mixure, also generously, onto the cakes!

^Let them cool a bit on your wire rack, and then enjoy. They are good both hot and cold, but I was partial to having them warm. The apples really give it an extra kick!

^The finished product. As I mentioned, it's not the prettiest cake
I've ever made, but it sure was tastey! Give the recipe a try! For
more details on measurements and ingredients, send me an email
at, and I will you the full recipe.

Happy Cupcaking! 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A Great Gift for Christmas!

Black Friday Photo Gift Specials

Your wedding was beautiful, and you have the photos to prove it! Now, share your beautiful day with your family and friends as a gift for the holidays!

I've created a video DVD for just about everyone from this year (October brides, I will be getting to you soon!), so why not share the video with your parents or other family members as an easy keepsake gift this year? Don't remember what they look like or haven't seen them yet? Check out the sample DVD from Lance & Michelle's August wedding. Please email me today for the link to yours if you haven't seen it yet!

You can also order a copy of the wedding slideshow you received with your wedding order, a little cheaper but still a beautiful gift. There are lots of options for DVDs, check them out here!

Video wedding DVD with standard disc case: $20
Video wedding DVD with enhanced case (see example below): $70
Copy of your DVD slideshow with standard case: $10
Copy of your DVD slideshow with enhanced case: $60
SPECIAL DISCOUNT: Save 10% on your entire DVD order if you order 2 or more DVDs!
November 23 to November 30

^Just like your DVD case from your wedding, the enhanced case is a perfect gift!

Please contact me today if you haven't seen your slideshow or if you are interested in ordering a DVD. Portrait clients, it only takes a a few hours to whip up a slideshow from your sessions as well, so contact me today if you are interested as well!

If you aren't looking for a video, you can also purchase a beautiful mounted 11x14, on special now! Regularly $50, I am running a special for Black Friday (starting today and ending on November 30) that you can receive any print on mounted 11x14 for only $30, that's a $20 savings! Get your order in today!

^The added touch of mounting makes a print even more perfect!

If you haven't purchased a wedding album with your package, this last Black Friday special is for you! From today until November 30, if you order a softbound, leatherette, or acrylic album, you get two free 11x14 prints OR four free 8x10 prints (all unmounted). Size and pricing chart below

Softbound album: $250
Leatherette album: $300
Acrylic album: $400

To get these deals, contact me before November 30. Checks must be received before order is processed, but as long as you contact me, we'll save the deal for you!


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Welcome to the World, 3J!

November 12, 2010

Although since I'm quite a few states away, I wanted to formally welcome little 3J (which is short for J'aime Brunelle III!) to the world. My friend, Jennie, and her fiance, J'aime welcomed their little man into the world last friday, weighing in at 7 lbs, 14 oz, and 20 inches long. Since I won't be meeting him for quite a few months yet, here's a quick post dedicated to the little man! The above photo is 3J being held by his grandma, and the photo was taken by proud Auntie Jessica!

^Our Fall photo contest winner, a happy family in the making!

^3J's first portrait ;-)

^Pretty mama flaunting her cute baby bump.

^Number 23 on my list of Top 100 photos :-)

^Daddy's first toy will be 3J's too!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Top 100 of 2010

A Countdown

I've been trying to do a countdown of the year's best photos for two years now, but blogger just never wanted to cooperate. With the new set up, however, I am happy to announce that the world is now ready to see my TOP 100 of the year. It's hard to pick your favorites, especially this year, as I felt my abilities have grown a lot (lucky brides!), not to mention my camera is 10 times more amazing than ever before! I had to cut out a lot of photos I really love but below you will find my very favorites of the year!

The questions is... who will be number one? Any thoughts and ideas???

Although I realize the year is not quite over yet, my season mostly is, so you can forgive me for posting this a couple months early. Enjoy!

100. My dear friend in Florida, Ica and her baby, Lexi!

99. The Swain family, Bill, Jessica, Cuda, and Cam

98. My Roommate, Kristin, during my May bridal shoot

97. Pam and Bob, renewing their vows after 40 wonderful years of marriage

96. Trinity, a fabulous flower girl, playing us a tune

95. My beautiful sister at the May bridal shoot

94. The lovely Jenna, modeling for me with a pretty rose

93. Taylor, one of my favorite seniors, being a little Rock'N'Roll

92. Chad's engagement ring to Amanda, their getting married next year!

91. Beautiful August bride, Hollie

90. Liz and Bryan during a July Trash the Dress session

89. Another cute one of Jenna, in Holland

88. Sara works the architecture during a Trash the Dress session

87. Another awesome senior, Kassei, in downtown GR

86. BEAUTIFUL former bride, Susan during  her Trash the Dress in Illinois

85. My sister again, playing bride for me

84. Amanda and Chad during their engagement session.

83. Jilleen before her wedding back in June (first wedding I used the new D3 for!)
 82. Kassei, looking good in leather at the Amway Grand

81. Pretty mama to be (and 2009 bride), Trisha

80. The lovely Jamie and beautiful rose bouquet

79. Erin and Jeff at the capitol in downtown Lansing 

 78. Cindy awaiting her wedding!

77. Michelle and Lance looking fabulous in Grand Rapids

76. Jesica and Shawn after their fabulous fall wedding in October

75. Shadow of the Rabideau family during Terry and Cindy's engagement shoot

74. One of my favorite models again, Susan

73. Climbing the dunes at Silver Lake with Melanie and Walt (first EVER job for the D3)

72. Susan looking stylish in Naperville, IL

71. Amazing flowers at Walt & Melanie's October wedding

70. Billy and Shannon, dancing the night away

69. A great one of Lance and Michelle during their reception in Holland

68. Erin's beautiful rings and flowers before her September wedding

67. One handsome groom, Billy Considine

66. A cool shot of Angela's chamangne glass on the limo ride to the wedding

65. Claire's pretty lily

64. One the beach, looking out onto Lake Michigan at (almost) sunset

63. The Rabideau family on the huge tire swing at Calder Plaza

62. Melanie's silohuette before her wedding

61. Shannon's beautiful wedding dress

60. The girls having a good time before Terry and Cindy's wedding

59. Great selective focus of Janie, Darren and Eric, the Cronstrom's!

58. Simple but perfect shot of Terry and Cindy's rings

57. One of the best jump shots ever of the Cunningham family

56. Angela and Daniel's rings on a beautiful flower

55. Jeff and Erin's wedding party at the Capitol Building in Lansing

54. Sweet sky above Mike and Hollie

53. Great shapes with the Calder statue, Michelle, and Lance

52. Kassei looking beautiful in front of the Gerald R. Ford Museum

51. One of the contest winners this year... Susan and the lilacs

50. Playing with light, Cindy and Terry at their reception

49. Melanie getting blown away by the wind! Love the veil action

48. Taylor looking fabulous for her senior photos

47. Liz's close up during her Trash the Dress

46. A big kiss for Angela on her wedding day, to Dan

45. Kassei taking a big look at Grand Rapids

44. Love this depth of field shot at Jilleen and Daniel's wedding

43. Loving the roses at St. Veronica's Catholic Church in Eastpoint for Billy and Shannon's wedding

42. Kassei lounging at the Amway

41. A smooch from Walter to Melanie after their wedding

40. Six cool men, Jeff and his groomsmen

39. This one I took while side shooting for Misty Minna, that's Jonathan and Johanna

38. Tastey ice creams at Custard by the Dam in Rockford for me, Amanda, and Chad

37. Bouquet by Cindy, such awesome colors!

36. On the beach with the Cunningham family.

35. REALLY trashing the dress with Jake and Claire

34. Taylor is a beauty!

33. Life is beautiful, Trisha and baby Joe

32. Another contest winner... Amanda and Chad in Rockford.

31. Lance and Michelle's wedding party at Calder Plaza. Great day, great angle!

30. Brand new parents (3J came into the world on 11-12-2010), J'aime and Jennie, maternity shoot in Florida

29. Shawn and Jesica's first dance

28. Cindy and Terry in front of the fountain at the Gerald R Ford Museum

27. Sara and her shades for Trashing the Dress 

26. Melanie and Walt going in for a kiss on the dunes

25. And here they are hanging under a willow, keeping dry on their wet wedding day

24. Flower girl, Faith, waves around a sparkler

23. A great shot of J'aime saying hi to his son!

22. Angela and Dan under a still pretty fall tree in late October.

21. Jilleen and Daniel before their wedding

20. That's Sara again, displaying an awesome peony bouquet by Park Place Design

19. Meghan is a great sport at her Trash the Dress session. Love the water shots!

18. Do the dip!

17. Another beautiful shot of Cindy's bouquet

16. Nate and Katie under the Mackinaw Bridge.

15. We didn't need the umbrellas anymore, but this one of Jeff and Erin is a favorite!

14. Jason and Cheryl on the beach during a family photo session

13. Everything about this shot is great, the color, her eyes, smile, everything!

12. My favorite rose shot of the year, at Jamie and Dave's wedding

11. Little Darren playing with his blocks.

10. Welcome to the TOP 10! Jeff and Erin looking amazing

9. Walt and Melanie under the willow at their reception

8. Katie looking beautiful in black and white

7. Walt and Melanie on the beach

6. Susan looking stunning in sepia

5. Shannon, her bridesmaids, and their umbrellas

4. Taylor and her beautiful eyes

3. Michelle and Lance in a perfect portrait

2. Walt and Melanie is a perfect scenic portrait (my favorite)

1. NUMBER ONE!!! Shannon looks amazing here, she's beautiful the posing is perfect, the color accent is great, and the location is spot on. Congrats Susan, you are my number one photo of 2010!

Thank you to everyone for an amazing year of photography. Can't wait for 2011 already!
My photo
Capturing moments, creating memories.