Confessions and a little contest :: my not-so-secret love for TV

I almost kissed the guy from Charter as he left our home in late January. why? Well I’ll tell you. He gave me one of the greatest gifts a person can get. A beauty to behold and truly a life changing device.

We got a DVR.

For most people, a DVR is a simple piece of equipment that makes watching television a little more convenient, but for me, it is something almost too wonderful for words.

I’m scared to admit this because I’d hate for you to think I’m mindless, a loser, and have no life, but I’m just going to say it: I LOVE watching TV.  LOVE it.  Maybe it’s just because I love getting caught up in a good story, or perhaps I’m just a sucker for drama…. but I’m slightly, and a bit shamefully, in a little bit of love with TV.

I’m a busy girl, though, so I unfortunately have little time for TV.  Seriously, how could I possibly squeeze in all my favorite shows when I’m busy shooting sessions, taking care of my family, and maintaining  healthy relationships with my friends, amidst a slew of other things?  A night spent in front of the TV is an anomaly in my life, but when those days do suddenly appear, I’m just about as happy as I can be. But now that I have DVR, I can watch my faves whenever I want. Stupendous.

So, it’s Monday and I’m still in a sugar coma from all the candy I ate yesterday (You had me at Hello, chocolate bunny), and in honor of my little obsession with the boob tube, I’ve compiled a list of my favorite programs and why I love them so much for your viewing pleasure :).


Well, duh.  Of course this would top my list of favorite shows.  If you follow me on Twitter or are my friend on Facebook, you’ve see my absolute LOST geekiness on display.  Although I’ve been less than thrilled with this season (up until the Richard episode… oh my goodness, that was amazing!!), I’m so looking forward to having all our questions answer and seeing a redemptive story unfold.

The Office

If you’ve ever worked in an office, you know at a least one of these characters.  For me, it’s Michael Scott.  Yeah, that’s right… when I worked my 9-5 job many years ago, my boss was sometimes just like Michael Scott.  He’d yell “Get me Armani on the phone!” from his office, or sometimes he’d lay on the floor and demonstrate the newest ab exercise he had learned.  I think Phillis worked a few doors down from me, and Dwight, yeah, he was there too :).

Laguna Beach

R.I.P., Laguna Beach.  You weren’t very creative or realistic, but I for some reason couldn’t stop watching you. PS, I still hate you, Kristen.

The Bachelor

Ok, now I’m a little embarrassed to admit this, but I have not missed one second of the Bachelor for the last 3 seasons.   I know it’s staged and audacious and the whole premise really is ludicrous,  BUT, I think it’s an interesting study of what a guy or girl is willing to put up with on the quest for love.  And , of course, I love the mid-show discussion on facebook :).


One of the funniest new shows on TV.  Quick wit, great characters, and clever writing make me love this show more and more every week. That, and the  Abed and Troy segment at the end of each show… those guys crack me up.

Modern Family

I am never home when this show is on, so I watch it on Hulu, and it’s one of the highlights of my week.  That little Columbian kid who talks like he’s 30 kills me.  And Phil Dumfy… so dumb… so hilarious.

Biggest Loser

Although it’s a long show which could totally be condensed into 45 minutes or less, I still watch it every week on hulu.  For some reason, I always feel sick after I watch it, though.  Maybe it’s all the candy I eat during the show….

30 Rock.

Tina Fey.  Need I say more?

American Idol

So who do you think will win?  My guess is that it’s gonna be Crystal Bowersox, but I kinda love Andrew Garcia.  But please, American Idol Producers, please nix those group performances.  They stink.  always.


Just started watching this new show, and I’m addicted already. I think it’s going to develop into something really worth watching.


I’ll admit that this show is unbelievably silly and most of the actors have little to no musical talent, BUT I can’t stop watching it!  I don’t know what draws me to it… it must be all the 80’s music..

So now that I’ve blown my cover as to what a serious dork I am, it’s your turn to join in the conversation :). And to inaugurate my new blog, I think a contest is in order…. and all you have to do to enter is leave a comment on this bog post with your favorite TV show and why you like it. I’ll pick a winner at random tomorrow at 9am, and that random commenter will receive a $25 iTunes gift card, which you can use to buy more TV shows for your iPod :).

Happy commenting!

Elizabeth Ruck - My absolute FAV is “Flash Forward”. Can’t get enough of it…kind of wish it was on every day. 🙂 But…then I’d never get anything accomplished, so it’s probably for the best that it’s only on one day a week!

Bridget - I LOVE any CSI show. Most of the time I have figured out who did it long before they end it, but I love all the cool technology they use. I am just a murder mystery girl at heart.

2nd love – UFC fights or WEC fights. Who doesn’t love watching 2 guys beat the snot out of each other?!?!?!

Brandy Nieters - I am glad I am not the only one that loves, loves, loves TV. My favorite would have to be The Office…I look so forward to the new episodes!!

Patrick - LOST has become my favorite show of all time.
It’s incredibly smart, twisted, and completely chaotic.

I will admit that this season has been frustrating, but likely because the ending seems to be so far, yet only 7 episodes away.

30 Rock, Glee, and Community are also personal favorites.

The site looks great!
Hope to see you soon.


jamalyn - definitely the office (because I have your old job – I know who you are talking about and it made me spit out my diet pepsi – too funny) and before this gig I resided in a cube city that was too hysterical to even talk about… oh mr scott… (i think he stole my name tag when he left – lamo) LOL

Robyn - It’s hard to pick one show because there are so many that I love! One of my newest favorites is The Marriage Ref on NBC. They have a panel of celebrity judges and listen to husbands and wives argue about a ridiculous problem and then vote for a winner. It has me actually laughing out loud every week! Love it!

Lisa - My fave TV show? SO HARD to pick a favorite! Right now, I’m going to go with Biggest Loser. It’s inspirational. And I actually like that it’s longer than most shows. I “watch” while I’m editing photos so I actually run out of shows that I like. If I’m not mostly done with an engagement session by the time Biggest Loser is over, I’m in trouble.

Lindsay - Glee is one of my favorites. I love the lines written for Sue – so bizarrely insulting! Though 30Rock, Community, and Mad Men are all tied for second place. Don’t make me choose a winner!

admin - Jamalyn – I knew you would understand who I was referring to :). No boss is quite like Bruce :).

Lisa – I do exactly the same thing! I edit while playing the biggest loser on Hulu and I always set my goals in terms of what I can finish while the show is on. the thing that really makes me angry, though, is that they wait a whole WEEK before they put the next episode up… so when I’m seeing commercials in real time on TV, I’m actually a week behind and it gives away too much info. But it is still a great show :).

Lindsay – I think you’re right… the lines written for Sue are the best part of the show! I laugh hysterically when she insults the other teacher’s hair!

Kathy - Wait…we can only pick ONE?! But you got a whole list! 😉 Narrowing it down is not easy for this fellow TV addict. While I too love Community and Modern Family, and am totally obsessed with LOST, I have to admit that the FIRST show I MUST watch each week when playing back the DVR is The Vampire Diaries. This show just has it all for me: mystery, vampires, romance, great story-lines, witty dialogue, and lots of pretty pretty guys to look at. 😉 It reminds me of the glory days of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Love it.

Ashley - Parenthood is fantastic I am drawn to it like a moth to a flame. I gets better with each episode. A new fave this season is Big Bang..I cannot get enough of Sheldon…BAZINGA!! And Greys I literally started watching the fourth season I had to go and purchase the first three seasons! That lead to me escaping from the world for weekends at a time to do nothing but watch Greys episodes…hard to admit, It took me about 2 weekends and I was caught up 🙂

Elizabeth - Lisa,

If ever there is a show to be addicted to, it is Dexter on Showtime. I’m one of those girls that likes to have the T.V. on but usually find I rarely get the chance to sit down and watch; however, ever since my boyfriend introduced me to Dexter, one of my favorite things to do is have “Dexter nights” and catch up on the seasons I’ve missed. Once you pop, you can’t stop…so you might as well grab some Pringles while you watch.

admin - Elizabeth – I watched the first two episodes of Dexter on while I was editing the other day… and what I discovered was that it’s DEFINITELY not a show to watch while I”m working :). It was so funny as I was crafting these beautiful and romantic photos of couples in love… and there was a psychopath talking about how to neatly murder someone in the background :). So, I decided that when I watch Dexter, it HAS to be on the TV and not the computer while I’m working :). And anyway, when I’m working, I’m mostly just listening to the show anyway, an Dexter deserves dedicated time on the big screen :).

Stacie - I have to say I watch almost every show you watch, but Community is the best. I remember seeing the previews for this show and saying how funny it looked. It’s one of the few shows that I literally laugh out loud. I LOVE Abed!! He is the funniest person on the show. I have to admit Chevy Chase is always great to see too. 🙂

Sarah Marie - As you probably already know, The office is most likely on the top of my list. It was the first season of any television show that I watched completely through. But a new show that has tickled my musical fancy is GLEE….I find it so entertaining, it is like a guilty pleasure. The song, the dance, the drama…ahhhhh…..just thinking about it makes me want to catch a sneak peek of it. But alas responsibility is calling! Great blog Lisa, like always!

Jon - Gotta love Thursday nights on NBC! Granted, LOST and Glee make Tuesday nights another good night of TV, but you cant beat a night with Community, The Office, AND 30 Rock. If we could get rid of Parks and Recreation and add 30 minutes to one of the other shows that would make Thursday night even better 🙂

Amber - I hate to admit it but I actually watch Dancing with the Stars. I also love me some Community, 30 Rock, Cold Case as well as Glee.

Rachael Whitney - I am slightly embarrassed to say my favorite show is Vampire Diaries…What can I say, I was bitten and now I’m smitten!

Faith - Its so hard to just pick one favorite so I’ll list the ones that I watch on a weekly basis!
1. One Tree Hill– I don’t know why I still love watching this show. It has gotten a lot better ever since they fast forwarded four years, but I do miss Lucas and Peyton…
2. Biggest Loser– Love this show because I feel it is very inspiring and yet so guilt inflicting at the same time!
3. Glee– Even though I just jumped on this band wagon at the end of the last season, I can’t get enough! I so wish my high school would have had a show choir!
4. Grey’s Anatomy– Some of the character story lines are getting a little sketchy, but I still have to watch it each week!

And there you have it– those are my weekly (or weakly, both apply) obsessions! Thanks!

Sarah - My favorite TV show is LOST. You might automatically disqualify me for saying this, but I’d never seen an episode before last September. My husband had been trying for months to get me to watch it, and I finally gave in. Three months later, I was caught up to the end of season 5. No other show I’ve ever seen has made me care so much about each character; has made me laugh, cry, gasp in shock or dig my fingernails into my husband’s arm in fear all in one episode. No other show has such deeply developed plot, characters, and symbolism. Other shows entertain me, but LOST has my utmost respect.

Brit - And, this is why we should hang out more, because I seriously LOVE TV like it is my job (and I’m not just saying that). My DVR gets a crazy workout every week.

And, now for the faves? Boy this is a tough one:
1. Modern Family
2. Glee
3. Grey’s Anatomy
4. 30 Rock
5. Cougartown
6. Private Practice
7. Project Runway
8. Kell on Earth
9. Parenthood
10. and, I’m going to stop because I just realized how ridiculous I looked….

Kendall - We, too, LOVE our TiVo, and record WAY more shows than we could watch on a regular basis. Here are my favorites, in random order!! 😀

1. The Office-Craig and I have all the seasons on DVD and are hooked on that show like none other!
2. Biggest Loser-Another one we enjoy together.
3. Parenthood-the drama and reality of the show combined make it irresistible to a stay-at-home mommy! 😀
4. Shear Genius-I know that Bravo shows aren’t always that appropriate but something about the combination of hair styling and competition make it a huge draw to me!

Lauren Scannell - LOST tops my list bc I spent about a couple of months in Fall 08 catching up and joined the rest of the fanatics! If something can captivate me like that than I am a huge fan!

glee also rocks my socks…yay Apr.13!

Nicole - okay lisa, you know we have bunny ears only…so this DVR you speak of is crazy talk. But, with that said, I do log into faithfully every week to watch Grey’s Anatomy. Patrick Dempsy. Enough said.

Audrey - Lisa, we’ve always had kindred hearts from the day we met when it comes to TV shows. I share all of these loves for these shows as you do. But currently, my favorite show is 30 Rock. The whole cast is so dynamic, there’s no story line to follow so if you miss a week you don’t feel lost, it’s just sheer hilarity.

admin - Stacie – when I first saw the previews for Community, I thought it looked ridic, and I wasn’t about to waste my time watching it (I though Joel McHale seemed like kind of a pompus jerk) but boy was I wrong! I LOVE that show! It’s not even been on for an entire year and the characters are already so well developed… I especially loved the end of the Halloween episode where Abed and Troy are talking like Batman :).

Jon – it’s so nice that we’ve been married for 6 years and I’ve had a blog for most of those years and this is the very first time you’ve actually left a comment. melt my heart. but, um, you can’t win the contest for obvious reasons :). But I love you 🙂

Amber – that Kate Gosselin is so horrible… but that’s what keeps me coming back to Dancing with the Stars! And I’m so glad to hear that you’ve jumped on the GLEE bandwagon :).

Sarah – I can so relate! I started watching in season 4 and we watched it all in 20 days. Every night I would dream I was on the island and I was always trying to book weddings while on the island… it was bizarre.

Brit – if TV could be a job, I would be all over that. Actually, I was part of a focus group that watched a tv show then shared our opinions about the show. I got paid 80 bucks, so it was kind of like a job I guess….

Lauren – Lost is OBVIOUSLY the best show on TV 🙂

Nicole – you kill me, girl. I’ll see you before the sun rises 🙂

Audrey – you are so right… being able to jump in to 30 rock at anytime is way cool.. that’s why it’s so easy to start watching but so hard to stop!

Laura Neff - I absolutely and always will LOVE Buffy the Vampire Slayer. What can I say? I’m a sucker for a hot vampire 🙂 I own all 7 seasons, and all of the Angel spinoff seasons. I’m always a fan of a girl who can kick butt! And like the rest of you I too am addicted to TV:

1. The Office
2. Grey’s Anatomy
3. Private Practice
4. Parenthood
5. Modern Family
6. I recently got sucked into the Marriage Ref!
7. Legend of the Seeker-most of you probably don’t know this show, but alas my secret is out- I am a closet fantasy/sci-fi geek 🙂

friendors « beeing miss argyle - […] hate me), we DO share the same love for TV. As in we LOVE it (you can refer to her recent blog post for proof).  Not to mention that she is an honestly good and down-to-earth person, who has a huge […]

Friendors | Weddingbee - […] don’t hate me), we DO share the same love for TV. As in, we LOVE it (you can refer to her recent blog post for proof). Not to mention that she is an honestly good and down-to-earth person, who has a huge […]

| landlocked bride | midwest wedding inspiration - […] hate me), we DO share the same love for TV. As in we LOVE it (you can refer to her recent blog post for proof). Not to mention that she is an honestly good and down-to-earth person, who has a huge […]

Dave and Laura :: Engaged!!

During the spring in St. Louis, you never know just what to expect.  It could be sunny and 70, and the next day you could get near freezing temps with flurries.  Well, a few weeks ago, that’s exactly what I found myself shooting in… a beautiful sunny and 70 degree day for Rachel and Dave’s engagement shoot and then the very next day we had a near freezing temps with some oh-so-cold precipitation for DAve and Laura’s session.  I wore the same flip-flops to both shoots.  Footwear choice fail:).

When Laura and Dave scheduled their engagement shoot, we were pretty limited on dates because they live outside of St. Louis and would only be in town for a limited amount of time.  So when it started on raining on the day of their shoot, we were literally left with no choice but shoot their session in the rain, which, by the way, I have absolutely no problem with.  In fact, I quite enjoy the challenge :).

I’ve shot quite a few sessions in the rain and as a wedding photographer, you have to be prepared to shoot in whatever weather you’re dealt.  I’ve developed a few tips on shooting photos in the rain, should you be faced with a similar situation :).

One key to getting great photos in the rain is to carefully choose a location that is covered but still has a great source of  natural light.  In Laura and Dave’s shoot, we decided to meet at the World’s Fair Pavilion at Forest Park because the structure is quite large, but has huge archways which let in beautiful light, as you’ll see in the photos.

Another key to getting great photos in the rain is to bring a good attitude :).  Check out Dave’s mad jumping skills.  I could have posted a dozen of these shots because we had him jump over and over and over again… it was great :).  And Dave had a great attitude, which of course, made this shot loads of fun for us all.

Aren’t they adorable???  I love these two :).

This little guy showed up towards the end of the shoot.  I heart well-behaved dogs.

And there’s more of that fun I was talking about :).

Bringing an umbrella is another thing to remember when shooting in the rain.  I had this golf umbrella in my car, which worked great.  If you’re brining an umbrella to the shoot, I’d suggest bringing a large, solid-colored umbrella if possible.

Thanks, Laura and Dave, for being so great to work with amidst the weather.  Can’t wait to see you again in June!

Brit - Love the light in these – even though it rained!

And, also love all of the LARGE images on the new blog!

what to wear :: Great Spring Looks for Family Photo Sessions

One of the questions I get on a regular basis regarding photo sessions is “what do I wear?” So I thought I’d devote an entire post to my thoughts on the subject of fashion for photos.

Whether you’re taking engagement photos, family photos, or headshots, many of the same fashion theories apply, but since I have an upcoming family mini-session, I’ll cater most of my comments toward dressing a group :).

It just has to GO
The first suggestion I have for dressing your family is to avoid being matchy-matchy. We’ve all seen the typical family portrait of a group clad in white collared shirts and light-washed denim… and while this may have been popular in the 90’s, outfits like this generally look a little dated and lack personality. And that also means if your family has matching paisley shirts and zebra striped pants, you may want to consider picking different clothes:). Instead of thinking of every outfit matching exactly, try to think about them GOING together. The colors and textures and styles need to all look good together, so try to pick a color scheme and style and stick with that. In the example below, I’ve picked outfits that are all casual, so the style is consistent. The colors aren’t all the same, but they do go together and compliment each other well.

all outfits from gap and oldnavy

Let one outfit or piece be your inspiration
Let’s face it, when it comes to family photos, mom is usually the one who is picking out the clothes for the family. As a mom, that’s exactly what I did for our recent family photos. So, before we started picking our outfits for our fall family photos, I knew just one thing: I wanted to wear a pair of tall boots and skinny jeans. Knowing that that one thing HAD to be in my ensemble, I picked the rest of the outfits to match my boots. Maybe for you it’s a cute little ruffled cardigan that your daughter has, or maybe a stylish hat that you MUST see your husband in. Or maybe you’re obsessed with Anthropologie like I am and HAVE to wear one of these adorable new dressed that I’ve noted below (hint hint to anyone who is married to me who is thinking of buying me a present in the near future :)). Whatever that must-have item is, start with that and work from there.

Avoid too many loud patterns
The focus of your photos is YOU, so let your clothes compliment you rather than overpower you. Patterns are totally fine as long as they don’t distract from your face. Also keep in mind that you don’t want competing patterns among your group being photographed. Like in the example below, there are just a few patterns, but none of them are overwhelming, so they still go together.

all outfits from gap and oldnavy

Love some LAYERS
I LOVE layers. LOVE THEM! Layers are a great way to add depth and interest to a photo without being distracting AND it gives you the option of shedding or adding layers to create a new look. Scarves, hats, jewelry, cardigans… all wonderful! Just be cautious to not pile the layers on the kids so heavily that their faces are blocked :).

Don’t feel the need to buy new clothes
By no means is this post meant to cajole you into buying a whole new wardrobe for a photo session. Chances are, you already have a great assortment of clothes in your closets already that would work well for a shoot. But, if you feel the need to go shopping and want a buddy, I’m always looking for an excuse to escape to the mall, so hit me up :).

Be yourself
So, as I mentioned before, when we had our family photos done last fall, I really wanted to wear skinny jeans and tall boots. And I did. And I looked a little ridiculous. That look is totally not me AT ALL and I really wish I wouldn’t have worn that. I should have just worn something that looked great, but was still ME. I kinda felt like a poser. So learn from my mistake: BE YOURSELF when choosing an outfit. If you’re super casual and classic, don’t feel the need to go all rocker-chic. Or if you’re New England preppy, go ahead and don a sweater around your shoulders. Or if you love the way you look in trendy clothes, don’t feel like you have to wear something simple with khakis.
-sidenote for those who care :: I still really love the way skinny jeans and tall boots look, so I’ve slowly worked them into my wardrobe as a staple and I no longer feel like a poser :). I just needed more casual tall boots and pair of skinny jeans that looked better on me. Done and done :).

Lauren - I LOVE the Anthropologie dresses!! Very cute!

Von DeVore - Great informative post!!! Very well explained and illustrated.

Lisa Scherer - I LOVE this post. As a photographer myself…I think it should be so easy for my clients to pull together wardrobes. Since my family is having our family pics taken (first time in 2 years) I totally see where the stress comes from. This post helped a ton…love it!

2011 Fall Family Mini-Sessions :: Sunday, October 30, 2011 » Lisa Hessel Photography Blog - […] and even though it was structured for spring photos, the general concepts are still applicable:) And just speaking from personal experience, it’s good to think about what you will be using […]

Rachel and Dave :: Engaged!

It was only fitting that my first engagement session of the spring would be scheduled for a day where the weather was absolutely divine.  As I headed out the door, I slipped on my flip-flops and smiled… I love me some flip-flop weather :).  And Rachel and Dave… what a great couple.  The were complete naturals in front of the camera, and their enthusiasm was positively inspiring.  Seriously, people like Rachel and Dave are why I love to do what I do  :).

See what I mean?

Love these.  the sun was so golden… something I always miss during the winter months.

And of course we had to make a stop by my favorite alley


So romantic .

Seriously, Rachel and Dave, you made my first shoot of 2010 SO perfect.

Thanks, Rachel and dave for making my first shoot of 2010 one of my favorites EVER.

Brit - Yay for first new blog comment!

LOVE the new look. These photos are great. I really love the light! Brady said he loves the new look, too!

Dave and Laura :: Engaged!! » Lisa Hessel Photography Blog - […] that’s exactly what I found myself shooting in… a beautiful sunny and 70 degree day for Rachel and Dave’s engagement shoot and then the very next day we had a near freezing temps with some oh-so-cold precipitation for DAve […]

Dave and Rachel :: Married » Lisa Hessel Photography Blog - […] knew from their engagement session that Rachel and Dave were photogenic, but on their wedding day, my camera loved them even […]

Confessions :: I’m a sucker for a cute guy in a faux hawk

I’ll admit it:  I love a guy with a good ‘do, especially if it’s a faux hawk.

And not too long ago, my little guy had his first haircut and got none other than a faux hawk.

Yeah, I know, he’s pretty cute in that hat. What you don’t know, though, is that he HAD to wear that hat… not because it was too cold outside, but because THIS was underneath:

He wasn’t just having a bad hair day… this is his every-hair-day. It was getting long and out of control and kind of old man-ish, so we had to do something about it. We took him to this super-cute place called Snip-Its and it was on.

They even put on a cute movie to distract him while he was getting his trim

I think he kinda liked the trimmers

And of course the proud papa

And a style I just adore

Pretty sure he digs it too

mary - this is toooo stinkin adorable!!!

Christine - Could this kid BE any cuter??

Angela - He’s so cute, Lisa! I love your blogs. 🙂