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feeling super inspired…

Our friends Megan and Brandon are coming to visit SLC for the first time and stay with us over 4th of July weekend. We’re so excited to have visitors! It’s still kinda weird not really having anyone but each other to hang out with… it’s a good thing we’re both major homebodies and are totally content to hole up inside for hours and read and drink tea together. It has made me realize how much I appreciate our marriage. We’ve spent pretty much every waking moment together for the past three weeks and still haven’t killed each other. In fact, we still LOVE being around each other. Mostly, anyway. :) But it will be nice to see a couple of other familiar faces and spend some time with friends for a change of pace.

I told Megan that when they come I really want to do a maternity session with her. I told her not to worry, that I wouldn’t make her expose her belly and have Brandon make a heart shape with his hands around her belly button. YUCK. It seems so awkward to me. I would gladly do that for a client if that’s what she wanted, but for me, I don’t know. I think a woman’s pregnant stomach IS a beautiful thing, and I would love to photograph the silhouette of it, but the thing I don’t understand is that most women would be extremely uncomfortable baring their stomachs when they AREN’T pregnant, so why all of a sudden when they do get pregnant, they’re all about stripping down and baring it all? Eh, maybe it’s just me. Luckily Megan’s on the same page as me (she wasn’t even going to do maternity pictures because she’s so turned off by the ones you see hanging in the food court in the mall), so for the past week or so I’ve been doing some brainstorming for our shoot. 

A few things that have been inspiring me lately:

The movie UP! 

upfrontYou must see it right now. It is unreal how emotional and hysterical and poignant and insightful it is. As if we expected anything less of the Pixar people. Really. But aside from the storyline, I adooore the imagery of the house with the balloons.

And along the theme of balloons, I love THIS, from Funny Face with Audrey Hepburn (my favorite of her movies):

2843000476_d9e4021a2eI love this movie because it combines many of my favorite things: Audrey (duh), photography (Fred Astaire plays a fashion photographer and uses a Rollieflex that Erin and I drooled all over ourselves in envy of when I made her watch it with me), fashion (it has a lot of The Devil Wears Prada-themes throughout), song and dance numbers, and of course my favorite era that somehow I missed by a couple of decades. Boo. But I love this one montage where Astaire’s character is assigned to shoot Audrey’s character all over Paris for a big fashion spread. Oh my word. Eye candy. Like whoa. And I particularly love this shot of her with all the balloons in the most classic black dress OF ALL TIME. Could she be more adorable? Possibly? 

So I’m thinking balloons are going to need to be involved in the shoot, because they are colorful and classic and they just POP (literally AND visually!). 

While we were on our daily walk this morning, I was brainstorming about other setups we could do, and I had this vision of a picnic-type setup in a big field, with books, flowers, and maybe an old school bike involved. Very colorful and bold, but just simple and happy and classic. I envisioned about a million different poses we could do…. I hope you guys are ready for this! 

But the really crazy thing is that this morning I stumbled across Phoenix photographer Stephanie Fay‘s blog from J*‘s blog. Well, lo and behold, her second entry down was THIS. How perfect and EXACTLY the sort of thing I had conjured up in my mind! Love it! So that pretty much sealed the deal for me. 


Now the execution is the only obstacle left. Hopefully I can make my vision into a reality, and if I fail miserably… well, let’s just hope that doesn’t happen. :) It may seem silly to throw all my ideas out there before actually doing the shoot, but I thought some people might be interested in the beginning stages of the artistic process that goes into this. Sometimes it’s just pure flying-by-the-seat-of-your-pants and making do with whatcha got, but when I do have the chance to experiment and push myself (which is a lot easier when I have very attractive friends to use as my guinea pigs), it usually turns out so much better.

So we’ll see how it goes…


megan - Morgan you are so fabulous!! I don’t even have enough words to describe how excited I am for this photo session and that YOU are doing it for me! I LOVE all of ideas you mentioned and the fact that you totally understand what I’m looking for and comfortable with! I am heading out shopping this week, and if there is anything you can think of that I should get feel free to call!! I love you and feel so blessed to have such a talented friend to do these pictures with so much love and care. Can’t wait to see you so soon!! xo

Heather - Everyone knows you’ll come up with very creative pictures for your photo shoot with your friend Megan. Obivously by the landscape……but wouldn’t the totally awesome green apple in your house fit in somewhere????….not to mention your vintage chairs your have, inside and out???? Anywho, I’ll stay tuned….lucky Megan.

Meet the Merkls | Salt Lake City, Utah Wedding and Portrait Photography | Morgan Trinker - […] fiiiiinally reveal to you what I’ve been planning and working on for a few weeks now. (See inspiration post for this project.) I’ve been so, so, so excited about doing this, because Megan and Brandon […]

our new apartment! yippee!

So, I pretty much love the apartment we’re living in here in SLC. It was a craaazy process to snag it, but here we are! When we visited back in April, we thought it’d be no-problemo to find a decent in apartment in our budget in the downtown area, especially based on things we had seen on various websites and craigslist. WRONG. The “problemo” turned out to be our little 40-pound cohabitant named Gretchen. Almost NONE of the apartment complexes we looked at accepted dogs. Everywhere we looked we saw dogs, dogs, dogs, yet we couldn’t figure out where the heck they were living. After much discouragement and many, many blocks walked, on the last day we happened to check craigslist and saw a listing for an apartment in the top floor of an old historic house and wait for it… wait for it…. THEY TOOK DOGS! So we jumped on it immediately. We showed up and took a mini-tour with the guy who was still living here at the time (literally the whole thing lasted 5 minutes) and called the landlord Judy and set up an appointment to apply. We knew we had a little competition, so we took Debbie’s advice and offered to pay a little more rent (because comparatively speaking, it was on the low end for what we were looking for to begin with). Well, money talks, and we got the apartment! YAY! 

This place has everything we could have hoped for. Original hardwood floors, original fixtures like the kitchen sink and the amaaaazing clawfoot tub, tons of windows, great view, and fabulous location (on State Street, a couple of blocks down from the Capitol Building, in an old, gorgeous neighborhood, a few blocks from EVERYTHING downtown, as well as parks and trails and public transportation, oh my!). Since we’ve been living here, I made Jamie promise that wherever we live from now on, be it apartment or house or whatever, it has to have charm galore. Don’t get me wrong- the apartment complex we lived in back in Knoxville was nice. Brand new appliances, carpet, paint, etc. But maybe a little too… sterile and box-like. And we had filled it with furniture that was much the same. Don’t ask me why I went that path, of choosing stuff that was really modern and neutral and whatnot, but it was all impulsive and not really…. me. So a few months ago, I started replacing pretty much everything we had purchased less than a year earlier. We sold our couch, our table and chairs, our coffee table, and all all sorts of other stuff, and I started obsessively checking craigslist and local vintage stores for some unique finds. Jamie spent a lot of time rolling his eyes throughout this phase of mine. :) But the patience paid off, and all the money made and spent actually evened out really well. So I consider it to be more of a trade. Sort of. 

So to sum it all up, I feel like this apartment is so much more homey and comfortable and my style. It’s wonderful. Without further ado, the results:


img_0578bFirst, the porch. Obviously Gretchen has acclimated well. :)

Table and chairs, Target. Red cushions, IKEA. Gnomes, taken from my parents’ neighbors after they moved away and left them behind.



Window box, Home Depot. Table, repainted inheritance from my Aunt Amanda.




img_3217bI love that there are two doors that go out on the balcony: one from our living room, one from our bedroom.


img_3220bThe bedroom!

Furniture and curtains, IKEA. Comforter, Urban Outfitters. Green sheets, Target.


img_3225bTiny? Nah. I call it COZY.




img_3230bGretchen goes where the camera goes.

Kangaroo fur on the wall, a souvenir from Dave to Jamie awhile back. (It’s not my favorite thing in the world, but considering I control 95% of the decorating process, Jamie is uncompromising on his “manly” accessories. In a way, it’s kind of growing on me.)


img_0585bGotta keep the classics close by for nighttime reading.

Vase, a wedding present.


img_0589bWe have not had to turn the A/C on ONCE since we’ve been here. We leave the windows open all the time, and since we don’t have any close neighbors who can peek in, we can leave the blinds up too! And I mean, who would want to cover up the view anyway?


img_0604bMore inheritances.


img_0611bBehold, the Queen of the Castle.


img_3232bAnd this is the kitchen/library/keeping room….?

Shelves, lamp, and Audrey art, Target. Curtains, IKEA. Rug, Urban Outfitters. Black leather chair, Friends Antique Store. End table, Living Vintage. Kitchen table and chairs, craigslist.


img_3233bOld Coca-Cola sign, Nostalgia. Red metal cabinet, IKEA. Vintage hospital cart, Friends Antique Store.




img_3241bChest of drawers, IKEA. (Actually meant to go in the bedroom, but as there is absolutely no extra space in there, we have to walk a little further to get to our clothes in the morning. The bonus is that it can double as a serving buffet when we need it to. That is, if we ever make friends here. :) ) Handmade green bowl, wedding present from the talented Barron Hall.


img_3242bWedding images a la Andy Armstrong.














img_3254bBathroom! Clawfoot tub! Gorgeous blue tile everywhere! Big window! Looooove it.




img_3255bRug, Urban Outfitters.


img_3263bAudrey poster, McKays. Art print for Copeland, Mae, and The Working Title Show done by Leia Bell. (She’s the sister of Brian Bell of Weezer, and the daughter of Dr. Bell, a professor at UT that Jamie took a pop culture class with. That’s how he found her work on the internet and bought this print for me because it had 3 of my favorite bands on it. Little did we know at the time that Leia actually lives here in Salt Lake, and the show advertised was at Kilby Court, one of the most popular venues in the city. So cool!)




img_3271bLiving room/office/my husband.

Couch and chair, craigslist. Coffee table, end table, and office chair, Living Vintage. Aqua bowl, Target. TV stand/dresser, Knox Area Rescue Ministries. Desk, IKEA. Aqua lamps, T.J. Maxx. Aqua fan, antique market in Knoxville.


img_3275b“Call Again” poster, McKay. Curtains, Urban Outfitters.


img_3280bAqua vinyl chair, Living Vintage.


img_3281bStarburst clock, Living Vintage.


img_3282bThis is where all the magic happens…. :)


img_0633bHanging lamps, Living Vintage.


img_0638bAnd last but not least, looooove my vintage cameras!


So, that’s the grand tour! Hope you enjoyed it…. but just because you’ve seen pictures now doesn’t mean you shouldn’t come see it in person…. :)




Elisa - Morgan, it is DEFINITELY you and Jamie, and it’s so cozy! Great job! I keep forgetting that we share a deep love for all things Audrey. I have that book of memorabilia in your bedroom. I got several ideas for poses for my maternity shoot from it! I LOVE it! Hope y’all are doing GREAT!

megan - Oh Morgan, your apartment is absolutely adorable!! I love it so much!! We can’t wait to see it in person and absorb all of the retro fabulous-ness for ourselves!! Love you and am so happy for you and Jamie!!

admin - Thanks guys! I know, Elisa, I saw the book at your house when we were there for AK’s birthday! Oh, how I love her. So charming and timeless… I’ll have to flip back through the book, because I’m doing a maternity shoot for my friend Megan and I need some ideas!

kimber - i love this. love the infusion of color. your red kitchenaid is my orange kitchenaid’s utah friend.

Amanda - Morgan, love the apartment. The porch is so cute – love the colors….the table looks soooo good painted! Noticed the birdcage on top of the bookcase – I remember it sitting around your room at your Mom and Dad’s, just waiting for the perfect home. Also, noticed all of the jars you collected that are sitting on top of the kitchen cabinets. The blue tile and tub are some of my favorite things too!! The best accessory is in the living room…….. Jamie, of course!!! Tell him I send my love and the apartment is adorable. (after all, he did help out with the kangaroo fur!)

Melanie - I love everything that I have been able to see….(for whatever reason my computer will only download through the picture of the bathroom)…..The apartment is so you, with a little touch of Jamie. Remember to tell him “thank you” often for stepping back and letting you do things your way, as far as decorating.

I miss you more than you’ll ever know, but am happy that you are living your dream.

All my love, Mom.

Heather - The pictures and descriptions are great…they make the viewer feel as though they are actually there, at least for me. It is what I envisoned your place would look like, totally you! I have to say the characteristics of the inside and the outside look like something that would be in the south. I loved the columns and the porches. Tell Jamie hi, love ya and take care.

admin - Thanks Aunt Heather! I tried to make it as “me” as possible… with a little bit of “Jamie” thrown in too. :) And yeah, I’ve been surprised actually at how much SLC has in common with the South. We leave all our windows open, and the other night they were having a bluegrass festival close by, and hearing that made me think so much of home. Love you too!

Courtney - So, I’m totally sad I didn’t get to see the beautiful faces of you & Jamie before you packed up & headed west. Maybe one of these days I can get out your way. Would love to see you all again. Miss you. Seriously.

Courtney - OH – the apartment looks AMAZING by the way. I’m totally jealous of your ridiculous amounts of talent in both the areas of decorating and photography!!

Meet Tori | Salt Lake City Photography | Salt Lake City, Utah Wedding and Portrait Photography | Morgan Trinker - […] places in Knoxville, Living Vintage. I love the ladies there, and I’ve literally purchased half the things in our apartment from them. They have such great taste. Before I left, I got Erin and Sarah hooked on it too, so now […]

first impressions revisited

Alright, some of you may have actually watched the slideshow I made of our first visit here to SLC back in April, but I’m thinking that, counting my parents, I had an audience of 4, so I decided to go back and individually post some of the images included in that and provide a little commentary (which you love so dearly, Internet, I know) based on what we’ve discovered since the first impression we had of the city. Which was, incidentally, the same visit we came to sign a lease on an apartment. So good thing we liked it! (I’m telling you, sight unseen is the way to move. Nothing like livin’ on the edge. :) )

01bFlying at just before sunrise is SO much better. Totally pulled the I’ve-got-the-camera-so-I-get-the-window-seat there AND back!


02bTalk about FIRST IMPRESSIONS…. Man oh man alive!


03bNew license plate! (Utah, not such a good idea to give CHOICES, because of course Jamie and I had to debate the pros and cons of each one in the DMV. In the end, I won with the most colorful one!)


04bJamie’s new alma mater. This stadium was built especially for the 2002 Olympics, so it is niiice. With all the mountains surrounding it, I might actually want to attend a football game or two this fall.)


05bSo maybe you’ve noticed I have this thing for tulips?




09bGotta love that big blue sky.


10bSeriously, the mountains are so close you can reach out and touch them. Well, almost.


11bDon’t think the Utah sunsets need any more explanation…


13b…..because there are pedestrians EVERYWHERE! And bikes. And scooters. Plenty of sidewalks and even bike lanes. Awesome.


14bYou might be thinking to yourself, “My, what a lovely temple that is!” But nooo, this ain’t no temple. This is just a MEETING HALL. Built with the leftover chips of granite they used to build the real thing. The LEFTOVERS.


20bOne day, I will own one of these and park it in my yard. And you will be jealous.


25bHow can something be so happy and colorful and yet SO DARN CREEPY all at the same time? Man, and I thought Southerners had some interesting “yard art.”


26bA. Dor. A. Ble.


27bThere are many things to love about this image, but the awesome horse notwithstanding, take a lookie at the store window in the background. Pretty much my style frontwards and backwards and every which way. Loveeeee it.


28bLittle did we know that during our first visit, we happened to be in town the very same weekend as SLC’s twice-yearly conference, for which Mormons travel from far and wide to hear the President, Prophet, Revelator, and Seer (and yes, he is all these things, apparently) speak. There were Mormons EVERYWHERE, but there were also some protestors too. I guess they were Christians, but of the very fundamentalist yell-in-your-face sort. All the Mormons just filed right on past them, hardly noticed them I don’t think. Anyway, what’s been really interesting is finding out how much more diverse this city is than we expected it to be. I mean, obviously, the Mormons have the majority, and as a whole, Utah is an extremely conservative state. But downtown there is the whole other population of liberals and activists and whatnot. Like today, on a Sunday morning, probably 2/3 of the city was in one of the hundreds of temples around here worshipping, while outside a bunch of streets were blocked off for a huge gay pride parade. In Salt Lake City! Crazy, huh? There is a huge spectrum of beliefs and cultures and lifestyles and politics… way more so than we imagined. It’s made for some very interesting experiences thus far.


30bSnowstorms in April result in this.


31bAnd I kid you not when I say that almost every single day of the week, at any given time of the day, there is a wedding party being photographed in front of the temple. Sometimes two or three at a time! (They have to do all their pictures outside because non-Mormons, i.e. most photographers, aren’t allowed inside the temple.) Talk about a venue in high demand! Even last night, as we were walking home through the square, we watched a guy propose to a girl (with all their family around them) right smack in front of the temple. It is the place to BE.


34bIt’s our house!


35bEverybody bikes, which means they have some of the sweetest bikes I’ve seen.


42bThis, my friends, is the public library. How awesome is this? It’s 6 stories high and has a coffee shop and little stores at the bottom, and a MILLION places to hide away and read, and all the outside is glass so the views are unreal. And the lightrail drops off right in front, so you can just zip on over whenever you need to get away and curl up with a good book for awhile. 


49bYup. Probably gonna need one of these someday. :)


52bAgain, something you wouldn’t expect to see in Salt Lake. AT ALL.


53bApparently the Mormons love the Beatles even though the Beatles think that love (not Joseph Smith) is all you need.


56bI love these chairs because they remind me so much of pink plastic flamingos. And because they’re awesome retro metal patio chairs, which someday I will find. That is, if I don’t come back to Knoxville and steal Carrie and Shane’s first.


59bAh, Anthropologie. I think I can get used to having you, IKEA, Urban Outfitters, Forever 21, and American Apparel close by for once in my life.



Robert Gibbons - As a Utah native who has moved to Virginia for law school, I look at your blog and sigh with envy. You do a great job of making me homesick.