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More sour candy, PLEASE

My husband Jamie’s birthday was Monday– he turned 24 (YIKES we’re getting old)– and as usually happens when I sit down to write in a card for him and reflect on our relationship, I can’t help but think about all his crazy quirks that make me simultaneously smile and want to punch him in the face. I was thinking about how lucky I am to have found and managed to hang onto someone as adorable and kooky as he is. Mainly because I need someone around who can deal with all MY eight billion levels of crazy. I love that we get each other’s weeeeird sense of humor, that really only a handful of people have ever been exposed to– namely, Jamie’s high school friends (we try to pretend we’re normal around everyone else). We walk around the house talking in bizarre voices, making up accents and words, and turning what we’re saying into songs (always a fun game!).

[For instance, and I kid you not, this just happened exactly as I was typing that last paragraph: Jamie walked in from the other room (which is now his very own office– my birthday present to him) and said, “Awww, Steve made his way back up to the tippy-top of the tree!” Steve is the raccoon who has found a happy home in the tree directly beside our back balcony. He’s quite cute, but as we own a coon hound and all, we couldn’t spend much time with him or Gretchen would get really jealous. And then start baying. Loudly. She IS a pretty scary dog, after all. :) But yes, Jamie did name the raccoon. Then tried to lure it onto the balcony with dog food. Which Gretchen smelled from inside the house and went berserk. And then Jamie had a conversation with Gretchen, asking her if she wanted to be best friends with Steve. Because, you know, that’s the kind of thing we do around here– have conversations with animals. And then respond to ourselves in animal voices, as if we are dog whisperers and know exactly what they’re thinking.]

Pardon the digression. Where were we? Ah yes, Jamie’s neuroses. One of my favorite topics of conversation. Not that I don’t have my own, of course. In fact, a lot of ours are really one and the same. But we don’t like to admit that, so we bicker. But since I have a blog and Jamie doesn’t, I get to pick on him and ignore any similarities in my own behavior. Yep, I just went there. MY BLOG, MY RULES.

Jamie has a very impulsive and addictive personality. What I mean by that is that he will go through these phases, but take them to a level far beyond where most normal people would go with a phase. For instance, he might decide one day that in order to be healthy, he must take a multivitamin and five different specific supplements every day. And so he will do it. Every. Single. Day. Or he literally will not be able to sleep at night for fear of dying by way of multi-vitamin deprivation. Or, for instance, he used to sometimes enjoy soy products, but when he saw a documentary which involved a man growing boobs because of excessive soy intake, he refused to ever touch anything with soy in it ever again (even though the guy on TV was probably a rare and extreme case). Like he literally WILL NOT take a sip of soy milk and swears that if he does, he will get man boobs. And since the idea of having a husband with man boobs doesn’t really appeal to me either, I let it go.

Jamie’s latest fixation involves massive amounts of sour candy. We literally make at least four trips to the grocery store a week for a sour candy run. Because every night when we sit down to watch a TV show, or to catch up on House or The Office on Hulu, or to watch our latest Netflix or Redbox movie, he gets twitchy and anxious if he has no sour candy to gorge on. But we don’t just get ANY sour candy and eat it ANY old way… because that would just be too normal for the Trinker household. Oh no. It has to be a specific kind of sour candy. No sour Starbursts (too soft). No sour powder candy or goopy stuff (child’s play…. psssh). Sour Patch Kids are acceptable, but not ideal. Sour Skittles are a good ole standby, but lately it’s been all about sour straws and sour ropes and other various string-like sour things.

And do we rip open the package as soon as we sit down on the couch? Most certainly NOT! Timing is crucial in these life-or-death situations. The candy (or any other snack for nights when, horror of horrors, we have none in the house) must NOT be consumed or even OPENED until the actual show starts. NOT the commercials. NOT the main menu screen. NOT even the opening credits. Which is why, every time we go to the movie theater, I end up crouching in embarrassment because Jamie’s the only one who hasn’t already rustled around, opened his candy, and started eating by the time the first super quiet, serious scene starts. Inevitably, I’ll miss some important line due to the CRACKLE-CRACKLE-CRACKLE of sour candy wrappers, because it isn’t until that precise moment that Jamie feels it’s permissible to start eating. You know, the whole moviegoing experience might be completely ruined because of one ill-timed bite. And I even made a new discovery about candy consumption rules just last night when we sat down to watch Shrink with Kevin Spacey (excellent movie, btw. LOVE Kevin Spacey). The menu screen was off, the opening song and credits were well underway, but Jamie hadn’t even touched his candy yet. I looked over at him and said, “I think it’s safe to eat your candy now.” I may as well have said, “I think it’s safe to saw off your left hand now,” because Jamie turned to me and said, in ALL seriousness, “NO. I don’t start eating it until the DIALOGUE has begun.” OH. Pardon me. Allow me to hit pause for one moment and jot that one down on my handy list of Jamie’s-crazy-rules-that-make-absolutely-no-sense-at-all.

But I don’t dare pause it. Why, you ask? (Haven’t you figured out by now that it’s useless to ask why in matters of Jamie’s habits?) Because if the show or movie is paused, I will almost always have to start it over at the beginning, because heaven forbid one batting of an eyelash is missed in all that commotion.

What’s that? You think I’m kidding? Oh, well clearly you haven’t experienced a typical TV-watching night at the Trinkers’. Lord knows we can’t do anything without a good bicker over each other’s crazy habits and total stubbornness and inflexibility at the thought of having to change them for even a moment.

But you know what? I like my relationships weird. As dangerous as some might think it would be to stick two very stubborn, obsessive, impulsive people together in a close living arrangement, for us, it works. We never fight about anything big, because we get it all out in mini arguments over crap that doesn’t even matter. Like when I tell Jamie he should have put his blinker on to get over, or when he reminds me ever-so-sweetly for the ten millionth time that the dishes piled up in the sink need to be done. On the stuff that REALLY matters, we couldn’t agree more. We’re absolutely the best of friends. And crazy as all get-out.

That’s why I love Jamie. And that’s why I’ll tolerate a once-daily trip to Smith’s for a sour candy fix. Because there are some things in life that just REALLY matter. And at the end of the day, no matter what arguments we’ve gotten into over stupid things, I lay my head on my pillow and sigh with satisfaction that I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that Jamie is the love of my life and will be by my side no matter how crazy we get (and at the rate we’re going, this could be a feat of monumental proportions). I am so blessed.

Update on our raccoon friend from Jamie, as of 3o seconds ago: “Steve’s still out there munchin.’ He’s a hungry boy!”

p.s. I should have mentioned that it’s also difficult to stay angry at someone who is THIS good-looking:



Jamie - It’s all lies…

bmerkl - I am laughing so hard I almost woke the other Jameson up. Great post!

Debbie - The sour candy is to balance out the “sugary sweet” side of Jamie. I’m his Mom, I had to say that. Wonderful blog Morgan-right on the money!!!!!

megan - Love love love this blog post! Why?! Because its true an we’ve lived moments like those mentioned above with you, and the life of the Trinker’s never ceases to entertain us. This is why we are friends, and that quirky weirdness is just a fact of life and the fact that you embrace it makes me love you both more!

jen smith - gah Morgan I laughed OUT LOUD. how wonderfully human and strangely comforting is your neurosis. I mean really. you guys will be a hilarious old people.

He’s a HUNGRY boy! hahaha

Meet Arielle

Anyone who knows me knows. Yes, it’s true, I have a bit of a girl crush on Zooey Deschanel. From the first time I saw her face in Almost Famous five years ago, I’ve been kind of obsessed. For awhile there, the only movies I could find her in weren’t really all that great (i.e. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Failure to Launch, and The Happening)… but then I think she found the role that was made for her in this year’s (500) Days of Summer. So, so good. When I heard her sing in Elf, I was pretty shocked by her voice, too…. so when she released an album with M. Ward under the name She & Him, I was pretty much instantly smitten. Everything about her just screams “adorable.” Okay, so you don’t believe me? A) Go listen to She & Him’s Volume One and B) look at the pictures below:

from a spread in Domino magazine (R.I.P.):


from a spread in InStyle magazine:


from a spread in Nylon magazine:



This blog is not about Zooey Deschanel. It’s about a girl I met who looks a whole lot like her. :)

A few weeks ago, Arielle came in our store and ordered her usual venti nonfat chai latte, and when she left, I turned to Camron (my fellow barista/master of knuck-breaking) and asked her on a scale of one to ten how weird it would be if I asked Arielle if I could photograph her. You know, because she’s so darn cute and has such good style. NOT because she looks like an actress-turned-singer I happen to be obsessed with. OF COURSE NOT. Camron assured me it wouldn’t be weird at all, so I mulled it over and thought that maybe, just maybe, I’d work up the nerve and put myself out there and possibly look like a complete idiot. A week later, I hadn’t seen Arielle since then, and I was in the back room on my break, and suddenly Bryan ran back and was all “YOUR SUPERMODEL IS HERE!” And I almost fell on the floor and died of embarrassment on the spot. But instead I was all, “Ummm…. Uhhhh….. Welll…..” And Bryan said, “Just go talk to her!” And I said, “Errr, I don’t know….” And then HE said, “Well, it’s okay, Camron already told her.” Pardon me? What? She’s standing right out there and she KNOWS I’ve been photo-stalking her? AWKWARD. So I quickly grabbed a business card out of my purse and went out there. And asked her. And she was totally cool about it. Unlike the stuttering, red-faced me. So one thing led to another, and before you know it, we’re Facebook friends and we’re setting up a shoot. Yesss!

I could go on and on about all the things that made this shoot so perfect. But when you have a girl who looks like Arielle and has mad style, the perfect golden 5 pm light, a professional makeup artist and friend and master flash holder (go Tamilyn!), and a gorgeous urban setting…. Well, it’d be pretty hard to screw it up. So thank goodness I didn’t. At least, I don’t think so. :)

I just can’t get over these images. They were so much fun to take, and so much fun to edit. I almost didn’t want it to be over! So enough of my rambling…. Onward!

This wall? Didn’t even know it was there until five seconds before we shot on it. Pretty much the best discovery ever.


This makes me think of 60’s French movies, a la Brigitte Bardot.


Arielle was all, I don’t really model so I hope you can get some good stuff out of this. And I ask, are you kidding me?!


Big. Blue. Eyes. Love.


Simply lovely.


Thank you golden afternoon light for making my life.


I’m still not actually sure what I did with this one, processing-wise. But I LOVE it! It feels like a faded Polaroid photograph from the 70’s.


One of my absolute faves.


I feel like the only things missing from this image are Humphrey Bogart and a cigarette.


Then we went inside to the store where Arielle and Tamilyn work, Bohme. Tamilyn insisted that we use this fabulous brocade wall to shoot against. Good call, Tamilyn. Also, it should be noted again that I have never had a flash holder quite like this girl. I was just expecting her to stand there with it, but she was all over the place, totally following where I was going with the camera and which angles Arielle was facing. It was pure magic. Tamilyn, you’re awesome. Okay? Okay.


Arielle also wanted some shots in her very first Anthropologie dress. (We have a mutual love. I should not live and work so close to that store.) Isn’t it adorable?


And of course I had to get some BFF shots. Tamilyn and Arielle, you guys were AMAZING. Thank you so much for not being totally creeped out by me, and for going along with all my suggestions. I hope you love these images as much as I do.


And moral of the story: Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. Or at least have a coworker do it for you. :)

And what would a good post be without a slideshow? CLICK HERE TO WATCH IT, and please enjoy “Sweet Darlin'” by– who else?!– She & Him. (Sorry Arielle, I couldn’t resist!)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Jamie - Your best yet.

Alexandra - Morgan, these are SO beautiful!!! Seriously you keep getting better and better. I love ALL of them! Great work!

Tara Rhee - Ok, I can totally understand the Zooey girl crush…we’re in the same boat there. Now that I’ve confessed that, I have to tell you that this whole post just made me smile. These photos are absolutely gorgeous and after the 4th time of looking at them, I just had to tell you how talented you are. You are my favorite person to internet stalk because I feel like I always get something out of your posts. Not only are you amazing with words, your images always tell me a story. Morgan, you truly have a gift and thank you for sharing it with us.

daniel - If this is the pay-off for putting yourself out there, feel
free to keep doing it. Absolutely amazing.

Tami Ichi - I love them! They look amazing!

carly - Okay.



Okay. First–SO GOOD. Second–Well done on the processing, Mo. I love how you emphasized her gorgeous eyes and just let them pop naturally. No need to Ps the crud out of them–I appreciate that so much. Third–you still loving the 50mm? I’m wondering if that was the lens you used for this shoot (or most of it)? Fourth–I’ve been trying to develop a B&W LR preset like the one you (maybe) used in picture #15–can you help a girl out? And fifth (and last)–Favorites are 2, 11, and 17. Hands down. Keep it up! ♥

megan - I SO can’t get over how much I love her eyeliner! She totally ROCKS it! Amazing!

Debbie - Ditto Jamie’s comment! She has a young Elizabeth Taylor look. Stunning!!!!!!

Carol - I just have to say…STUNNING!! Granted, Arielle is my niece and I’m definitely biased but these shots are absolutely amazing! Great lighting Tami! Arielle, you are breathtaking and I’m not surprised at all that Morgan wanted to capture you on film! Morgan, I’m a fan of Zooey too and I like the comparison!

Halie - these are really good Morgan! you are so talented.

alicia - Arielle,
What a beautiful shoot! The photographer is amazing and you my dear, are a divine subject! Love to you! How fun!

Amanda - I think this is your best yet and my fav!! I love her look! She sooo looks like Zooey!!

Arielle - I was shocked to see the results of the shoot. Morgan, you were fantastic. I love everything you did! This shoot was meant to happen, that entire day worked out to our benefit. So glad I walk into Starbucks every single day! Thank you thank you thank you!

Camron - I love these. It’s so fun to look at when you know the people in the pictures. Thanks for the shout out:) The knucks are healing nicely!

Gwen - WOW! These are stunning! Love the “Polaroid” one too!!

The Pettey Family

I know this is my second blog post OF THE DAY (crazy!), but I’ve been on a roll being really productive, and once I finished editing this session, there was no way I could just sit on it and wait a couple of days to post it. So ta-da!

A couple of weeks ago, I had just finished doing a shoot for Red Butte Garden, where Jamie works, and I was riding the train home, when I looked at my phone and saw I had a missed call from a Salt Lake City phone number I didn’t recognize. So I listened to my voicemails, and I heard one from someone named Emily, who was interested in having me do some family photography for her. I just figured there had to be some way she had heard of me, through someone I knew here or something. Well, I called her back, and it turns out her husband Sean had randomly stumbled on my blog back in the summer. When they recently had talked about getting some family pictures done, they remembered my website, and one thing led to another, and I found myself booking my very first session with a Salt Lake City family I had never met before and who had found me on the Internet. I was so excited when I got off the phone, I started texting Jamie immediately. I was all, you are NOT going to believe this! Of course he was excited too…. maybe not as much as me, but then, I tend to take geeking out to a whole new level sometimes.

Even though I didn’t meet the Petteys until Halloween morning, when we did our shoot, I knew we’d hit it off. I mean, for one, if they liked my style over other photographers in the area, I knew we were bound to have some things in common. And boy, did we! I nearly died when they told me one of the things that drew them to me was my Jenny Lewis blog post (and then later when, on Facebook, Emily said she was listening to Rilo Kiley). That pretty much put them in my Book of Awesome right off the bat. Then, Jamie and I got so wrapped up in their family dynamic. Their girls, Megan, Anna, and Eloise, are absolutely precious. Seriously some of the most beautiful children I’ve seen (however, when you see where their genes came from, it’s pretty understandable). And they were just so sweet. At one point, Anna came up next to me and pointed at one of the memorial buildings in Memory Grove park, which is where we were shooting, and said, “I think you’d really like to take a picture of that.” And I smiled and told her I’d really like to take a picture of her in front of it, and she said, “Okay, sure!” and ran right up there. They were all just so at ease in front of the camera, which of course makes our job a piece of cake.

Thank you Sean, Emily, Megan, Anna, and Eloise for allowing us to photograph you. It was an honor and a joy, and we couldn’t have asked for a better “first family” to come our way!

And now for the goods…. Don’t you just love this willow tree?


I was so nervous that all the leaves would fall off the trees by the time the shoot came, so on my walk with Gretchen every day, I would cross my fingers before we got to the park, praying it was still gorgeous. And despite a snowstorm earlier that week, everything was still so colorful, and the weather was perfect. Oh, I do love fall shoots!


This one feels very Central Park-esque. I know, I know, Salt Lake is a pretty far cry from New York City, but what I love so much about where we live is that you can go one way and be 5 minutes away from this gorgeous park, and go 5 minutes the other way and be right in the middle of downtown. It’s a perfect balance. So I definitely love the combination of nature with the buildings in the background.


Are you kidding me with how beautiful these children are?! When Jamie and I were telling them all how good-looking they were, Sean was like, I bet you say that to everyone you photograph. And I was thinking, oh, you just wait til these get on the blog. Sean, are you convinced now? ‘Cause I’m sure all my other readers are. :)


Jamie thinks Megan looks like a young Julia Roberts. I have to agree.


This one, I think, is my absolute favorite. With all siblings in this age group, especially sisters, there’s always going to be fighting and bickering, but then moments like this, when you can see so clearly that they do love each other…. oh, it just melts my heart.


Another favorite.


This shot is one of Jamie’s. I love how he captured not only the girls, but also Sean and Emily watching on in the background. Such a sweet moment.


Did I mention how much I love fall shoots?!


And another favorite. I love the energy and the expressions and just how happy the whole scene is.

pettey-family-16Hope you guys enjoy your photographs!

Now for the slideshow. So based on our mutual love for Jenny Lewis, I really wanted to use one of her songs. Unfortunately, about 95% of them are not family-friendly or even very optimistic, so imagine my sheer joy when I stumbled on a song called “Barking at the Moon” that she wrote for the movie Bolt (which involved Miley Cyrus and a talking dog- enough said). It was perfect! And also fitting because during the session, we came to a consensus that dogs are definitely way better than cats.



carly - Great, great job, Morgan. Processing is fantastic. Colors are popping so beautifully! And what a precious family! Those girls are GORGEOUS! Way to have fun and play with your clients! That’s what makes exceptional photography and you nailed it here. Keep it up!

Emily - Thank you! We had such a great time, and we absolutely love the shots. We couldn’t be happier!

Alexandra - Great work, Morgan! My favorites are your favorites – the one of the three kids, and the shot of the two of them together – simply beautiful!

Debbie - You are going to be one busy photog when the Pettey’s show these photos to their family and friends! Happy memories captured once again! Lovely!