I can’t believe I can FINALLY spill the beans. I mean, it’s been a huge secret that I couldn’t post about, talk about, or even text about.  You know… it’s REALLY hard to keep something so exciting under wraps for 5 WHOLE MONTHS. There was a time this last fall where I pretty much dropped off the face of the planet. Not much Facebooking, ZERO blogging, and only coming up for air for my wedding and portrait clients who were already on the books. I was living, breathing, and shooting a worldwide marketing campaign for Nikon.

LOOK. That’s the front page.

nikon advertising photography


Last week at CES, Nikon introduced their latest consumer DSLR, the Nikon D3300, and a few new lenses (such as the 18-55mm and 18-140mm). Among only a couple of other photographers from around the world, I was asked to photograph (and even design some shots for) this commercial advertising campaign.

I must have visited 100 locations while scouting, my producer must have put together 100′s of outfits, and we saw 100 faces. We filled out 100′s of forms for releases, permits, and shot lists, and I can’t even count how many days I shot for 18 hours in a row. Among bright sun and the most torrential of downpours, I pushed myself  to the limits technically (the histograms on my images would make any gear head weep) and learned brand new camera systems, lenses, and flashes on the fly that weren’t even on the market yet (that means no instruction manuals, ha!). Yep, I shot with prototypes that had secret code names and were taped up and blacked out like ninja equipment should be. Super Top Secret Mission stuff. And it was super exciting.

I photographed the actual camera in use, a beautiful horse, countless adorable kiddos and babies, a witty lacrosse team, gorgeous brides and grooms, some beautiful flowers, sparkly jewelry, textured ribbons, poppy candy, a vintage carousel, a modern Ferris wheel, an iconic landmark, beloved Bella Umbrellas, a violin recital, a family in a row boat, a beautiful lake, historic buildings, and create a special effects video of a bustling city. Our locations were vast, sometimes shooting up to 5 sets in locations all over the city in one day. And it’s finished.

The designers are still putting together a few more stellar marketing pieces, but here are some screen grabs of JUST A FEW of the images I’ve found digging through the various Nikon sites from around the globe. No editing or cropping allowed- All images are shown straight out of camera to show the dynamic range, color, and clarity of untouched files, while demonstrating some pretty specific camera functionality. It’s a pretty stellar consumer camera, I’ve gotta say!!



And one more thing… this is really dorky but kinda fun.  I’m now a cartoon on the Nikon Japan website. That’s my hair, my outfit, and my favorite motorcycle boots. And that’s one of my REAL bride clients helping us to demonstrate some off camera AND bounce flash technique. I’m probably most excited about becoming a caricature.




Lastly, but definitely not leastly, I want to give a shout-out to my STELLAR crew: Producer Laura and her assistant Jillian, Photographer’s Assistant Tre, Makeup Artist Megan and her assistant Blanca. We never would have completed this project so efficiently had they not been on board working their buns off. Thank you ladies and gent!

If you’re interested in checking out the camera and lens, visit the Nikon USA website for the D3300 and the Nikkor 18-55 lens to read about the features. You can even download some of the my sample photos in their full resolution from the Asia websites! You’ll find TONS more images if you dig through the different continents’ websites, many of which I took (This is for you, models!! Keep lookin- you’re in there’!)

This was an honor and an experience I’ll never forget. I really hope I get to do it again sometime real soon. Wink wink, nudge nudge.

  • Laurel McConnell via Facebook - Hey look. It’s the face of Lily West and Michelle Odo ‘s sweet babe #idawest. And the adorbs little rugrat of Kristi Hunnex. And the vavavoom legs of Laura Marchbanks Boucock and Tre Dauenhauer. And the beautiful mugs of Bridget Marley Trevillian and Jillian Cook’s daughter! The makeup of Megan Bingham was pretty clutch. And even some props by Christopher Smith and Bella Umbrella!!!!! Thank you everyone for your time and talents!!! Let’s celebrate and pop some champagne!

  • Van Spires via Facebook - Fantastic!

  • Kerri Zender Efendi via Facebook - So cool!!! You’re amazing!!

  • Teddi Yaeger via Facebook - What?! WOW! Way to go.

  • Teddi Yaeger via Facebook - And Ida to boot!

  • Jen Grosman via Facebook - Congrats!! So exciting!!

  • Laurel McConnell via Facebook - woops, sorry lil and michelle- I hashtagged poor Ida wrong! It’s #idafrancis !!!! #getitrightorpaytheprice

  • Ilan Grosman via Facebook - Very cool. Congrats

  • Phillipa Dugaw via Facebook - That is so cool. Congrats and great job.

  • Kristi Hunnex via Facebook - Yes!!! I love it. Kyleschreiner Kristinafardig Schreiner…check this out!!

  • Lily West via Facebook - WAHOO!!!! Awesome job, dude! Super proud.

  • Kendall Lauren Shea Nielsen via Facebook - That is SO amazing! Congratulations :D

  • lily - Laurel as a cartoon is amazing!! I want a cartoon!!!!

  • Amber Burck via Facebook - Wow, Laurel – hugest of congrats!! So rad that you got to do that!! :)

  • Laura Marchbanks Boucock via Facebook - Errrrrr mah gawsh! And now I need a nap.

  • Jillian Cook via Facebook - Ahhh!!!! Sooooo cool! Happy to have been a part of this super cool experience!!

  • Latasha Eaddy Haynes via Facebook - Laurel McConnell Photography so sos ososososososososooss soooooooooo proud of you! way to represent girl!!! #upperleftusa

  • Kelsie Carlos via Facebook - :)

  • Melissa McFadden via Facebook - Sooo cool. Congratulations!

  • Mindy Hamlin Rowser via Facebook - OMG Laurel McConnell Photography this is a fricken mazing! You are Amazing and should be so proud of your work! For most people this would be the highlight of their career – for YOU I know this is only a little part of your continued success!

  • Shana Stone Tinsley via Facebook - Congrats!!!

  • Nina Miller, Just Milled - What an honor to get to have this experience and be asked to work for Nikon. Good job Laurel! You are so talented at what you do and it shows. I love your little caricature – it totally looks just like you.

  • Bridget Marley Trevillian via Facebook - This is awesome!!!! I loooove that we are cartoons! I’m so glad I got to be a part of it :-) You rock!

  • Stephanie Wilson via Facebook - This is so incredible!!!! Congrats Laurel!

  • Eric R. Hanson via Facebook - That’s damn cool. I can’t wait for the manga serial.

  • 321 FOTO | photo booth rentals via Facebook - Wowza! That’s our girl!! you rock!!

  • Holger Kessen via Facebook - You deserve it! Congrats, Laurel.

  • Hannah J. Price via Facebook - That’s amazing!!!!! How exciting, congrats! We knew you were awesome :)

  • Michelle Mansfield Loretta via Facebook - I love your caricature!!!!

  • Hillary McConnell via Facebook - My Sista is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G !!!!! Way to go laurel!!!

  • Lynn Requa Currell via Facebook - that’s my niece. ….you go girl. So proud of you!!!

  • Jodell Egbert via Facebook - That’s super fantastic Laurel! Congrats! Looking forward to our shoot next Wednesday.

  • Betsy Henry Pringle via Facebook - Congratulations, Laurel!

  • Cindy Mangus BonDurant via Facebook - Congratulations. You are awesome and deserve the honor.

  • Irene Jones via Facebook - That is so cool!!!!!!!!

  • Brian Hartman via Facebook - Whoazza! Way to go, you deserve it Laurel.

  • Phil Holden via Facebook - Rock star! Congrats lady ;)

  • Hanna - Laurel, this is so great!!! Congratulations!!! You truly deserve it.

  • Allison Reynolds via Facebook - That’s incredible! What an accomplishment for your career. You are extremely talented!

  • Shannon Lassen - You are a rock star! Congrats, L and cheers! xo

  • maureen - I am so excited to finally see this. All the pictures are great but of course the bride and caricature are my favorite.

  • Anna Kessen via Facebook - This is so awesome, Laurel!!!

  • Yoko Morihiro via Facebook - Thank you so much Laurel, Laura, Gillian, Megan and Tre!

  • Frank Guglielmo - Very very cool!

For a little “Throwback Thursday…”  aren’t these just the cutest little things?! Melanie and James had us shoot their sweet little Peyton a few months back and we just remembered we took these shots of their cute little Accordion Books. They’re about the size of credit cards, but pack a wallop of a precious punch, don’t they?!

Accordion Albums

They come in sets of 3 and are under $100. You should get you some.

We’ve been talking about doing this shoot for YEARS. My dear pal and graphic designer Kerri and her screenprinting artist hubs Eldad always wanted to do a pretty post-wedding shoot for themselves. They were married a few years back and always wanted to recapture their adoration for each other in a uniquely designed setting, so when Kerri called me to say she wanted to SURPRISE Eldad with a shoot for their November wedding anniversary, well, I was ALL IN.

What resulted of the planning was a sweetly styled vintage teal, blush, and gold look, complete with suspenders, a crown of flowers, and a giant balloon.

Here are the sweet images we captured on a chilly winter day in the Discovery Park forest woods. I can’t get over this collection!!!


bride in dress theory blush wedding gown sarah seven
floral crown blush wedding gown
fashion bridal photography of pink rose flower bridal crown and statement necklace
hipster groom with chambray shirt and suspenders
casual groom laughing
handsome mountain man groom with beard
profile of groom
wedding couple in front of teal and gold ribbon curtain.
couple cuddling behind a curtain of teal and gold ribbons in the woods
sweet couple through a curtain of ribbons
teal and gold vintage themed wedding decor
fuschia and green wedding flowers
bride with blush gown on a vintage turqoise couch in the woods
anemone airplant rose bouquet teal gold blush vintage wedding decor
bridal fashion shoot in the woods vintage teal couch blush wedding gown
bride blush dress groom suspenders teal couch
bride and groom snuggle on the vintage teal couch
bride eating macaron and red lips
gold mugs and hot chocolate with wedding couple
bride groom vintage couch hot cocoa
bride and groom eating mini cheesecake
bride in viewfiender of vintage camera
groom vintage camera bride geronimo balloon
giant balloon like geronimo balloon with bride and groom
striped blanket bride groom picnic in the woods
bride groom picnic toasting

Design and coordination: Holly-Kate and Company

Floral crown, bouquet, arrangement, and bout: Floressence

Blush wedding gown: Sarah Seven courtesy The Dress Theory

Hair piece: Twigs & Honey

Furniture: Vintage Ambiance

Photography: Laurel McConnell Photography

Hair and makeup: Megan for Erin Skipley

Macarons: The Sweetside

Giant fringe balloon: Shop Spruce

  • Sam Amburgey via Facebook - Wow!! Love everything about this!!!

  • Jo Sutherland via Facebook - Absolute adoration!

  • Celia Curran via Facebook - This is absolutely lovely, Laurel! You’re always my first pick for wedding photography!

  • Shana Stone Tinsley via Facebook - Lush, gorgeous photos if a beautiful couple!!!!

  • Kerri Zender Efendi via Facebook - Laurel you’re amazing!! We’re in love, you’ve captured everything we wanted, Thank you so much!! YOU ROCK! Holly-Kate endless amounts of thank yous for everything. The shoot was magical!! Love you guys!

  • Brittany O'Brien via Facebook - Love them all!! Would you be willing to send me some of the balloon shots? We’ll hopefully be doing lots of those in the new year at the shop

  • Kendall Lauren Shea Nielsen via Facebook - Gorgeous!!!

  • Laurel McConnell Photography via Facebook - Brittany O’Brien YES!!! Can you email me the link to your new shop? I want to add it on the post too!!!

  • Carna Lapping via Facebook - Gorgeous… Both the pictures and the couple!! :)

  • Brittany O'Brien via Facebook - I emailed you! Thanks Laurel!!

  • Denise Cox Flanagan via Facebook - Gorgeous!!! Kerri, I can’t get over how much you resemble my Mom & our late cousin Ginger, in their younger yrs…Love, love your Anniversary photo shoot! Love to you & Eldad :)

  • Sharen Neale via Facebook - What a beautiful project!

  • Erin Brooks via Facebook - Ahh so beautiful! Love love love that gown and floral crown!

  • Bethnie Morrison via Facebook - What a special treat! You’re a beautiful couple!

  • Floressence via Facebook - So so so so pretty!! Good going, everyone – and nice double-use of the floral crown as a belt!! Wow, that was fun!

  • Connie Grant via Facebook - just stunning!!!!

  • Jaffrey Rose Bagge Koch via Facebook - Oh my gosh this is amazing! They are just so cute :)

  • Amber ChickSlap Ingersoll via Facebook - So utterly amazing! Beautiful as ever Kerri! :)

  • Jennifer MacNiven via Facebook - So very cool!!!

  • Carmen Denson via Facebook - Cutest couple EVER!! Love this!!

  • Barb Sennet Hauser via Facebook - Beautiful!

  • Carol Harrold via Facebook - so amazing – love love – one of my all time favorite posts from you!

  • Camille Lem - Laurel! You are amazing and they look so beautiful. I would love, love, LOVE to use some of these photos. Is that ok?!

classic car cadillac with bride and groom in seattle sodo district

The sherbert sun streams through the pink Cadillac as Steven and Stefanie sneak a smooch on this sunny Seattle day in Sodo.

Say that five times fast.

  • Laurel McConnell via Facebook - Right Stefanie Bounds and Steven??

  • Stefanie Bounds via Facebook - Omg looooove this photo!!! You are amazing! :)

  • David - What a gorgeous image! I love the light — well, everything! — about this.

So here’s the deal. You know me. You know I got together with some friends about SEVEN YEARS AGO and created a volunteer-based charity for our industry to do something GREAT. You probably already know all about this, so let’s do it. Put on your party shoes, bring your giving wallet, and wear your best 20′s/30′s/40′s outfit (or just come in your cocktail party attire!). C’mon down and let’s party for a GREAT cause. 


Put on some Edith Piaf, don your cloche and light your cigar. Chill some Lillet and mix a sidecar for your beau. Feel enveloped by the warmth of the strings and allure of the sexy clarinet coming from your gramophone. We’re excited to present this year’s Get Hitched Give Hope bridal gala in the alluring style of Art Deco, as if we were in the romantic city of Paris.

Donner avec amour. To give with love.


Who: Les mariés (you, the brides and grooms!)

What: Donner Avec Amour, our 6th annual bridal auction, charity event, and party, where you can get gorgeous goods for your wedding by giving back! Just look at a few of the AWESOME things up for auction:

When: November 14th, 2013 at 6pm

Where:The Four Seasons Seattle

Why: So that you can get gorgeous goods and services for your wedding, party it down, and come together for the sake of love. Your donations, bids, and tickets will be raising money for the Dream Foundation, which delivers final dreams to those who have been given a terminal diagnosis, and The Young Survival Coalition Seattle, which provides education and support to young women living with breast cancer.

How:GET TICKETS HERE. Ticket prices increase by $10 at the door, so get em now!

And if you’d like to see a teeeeeeny sneak peek of what I’ll be wearing, head on over to the Get Hitched Give Hope blog for an inspiration board, as well as all sorts of previews of auction goods and other wedding advice and stories from our guest blogger Sarah!

  • Hillary McConnell via Facebook - Super excited this year! I am actually a bride bidding on bride-y things!!