D+K // Family Portrait Sesh

Look at this adorable little family. Look at them, so nonchalantly and happily hanging out on the beach, getting their family photos taken. Not a care in the world.  

What you can't see are the droves of beach goers around them. And I mean DROVES. Never in my life did I so completely regret my decision in not planning out this shoot more properly. Not once did I even consider the fact that, oh I don't know, it's summer. What do people do during the summer? Well, they go to beach. Sigh. And it gets better. The tide was coming in hot and the marine layer was already consuming the coast. So any lofty thoughts of having a bright and sunny shoot were directly out the window. Even bigger sigh.

But alas, we all gotta suck it up and do the job regardless of the circumstances. So I bit down hard and started shooting. Thank the good Lord these three were so easy-going, laughing and joking and flexibly playing along as I strategically photographed them, sans all the hot pink bathing suits looming in the background. It was hilarious and unnerving all at the same time. 

Take-way: be vigilante about location scouting during specific seasons. Or prepare to sweat like a beast during the entire shoot.

Now look at some pretty photos of cute people. 

Little dude was so done for.



Frocks of the Fox

So you know how when you go into your closet to hunt down an outfit, you always end up getting trapped by the clothes monster that tries to bite your face off with it's zipper teeth? Is it just me? Because your closet called and it's asking for an intervention. 

I blame my Polish father who keeps everything until it disintegrates and my practical mother who believes that only good clothes come from garage sales and thrift stores. While I'm grateful I've been taught to be frugal in every way, shape, & form, my existence is in jeopardy. I'm a bonafide hoarder and it MUST STOP. Here is where Frocks of the Fox comes into play. 

Back track about 6 months ago (give or take), I had this idea looming in my mind. Basically, I wanted to start an online shop to rid myself of the clothing that I've been clinging to for way too long. For whatever reason, I was convinced I needed to keep every little thing, just in case, becauseyouneverknow, theworldcouldcollapse, ANDWHATIFIDONTHAVETHATVINTAGECOCKTAILDRESSWHENTHEZOMBIESATTACK?!? I'm a slight lunatic. In any case, around the time I began dabbling with the idea, my buddy (hottie on the right) mentioned wanting to sell some of her clothing. Her closet is basically my closet's twin. What we both realized is that we A) need to join Shopaholics Anonymous and B) should probably start a little shop to sell our wares. So we did.

Mind you, the shopping hasn't really stopped. However, we now shop to curate our collection and make these items available to you without the endless and slightly unsettling time of digging through racks and racks and racks of clothing. We get our secondhand shopping fill, you get your one-of-a-kind pieces.  I say that's a win on all accounts. 

Nat & Livi trying to be models...

Nat & Livi being themselves.

We'll constantly be adding pieces on the regular. Plus, there's pretty pictures of pretty girls to look at. Give us a follow on instagram: @frocksofthefox


Nat & Livi

Senior Portraits & Why They're Lame

Oh, high school. All I really remember about you is how hungry I was all the time (bottomless pit over here) and how awkward every single moment of my existence was during those 4 years. I might as well say 6 years since junior high was just as, if not more, brutal. I clumsily made my way through my high school experience, ridiculously long limbs and all, hoping I was cool. I very much wasn't.

Then graduation was just around the corner and the excitement for freedom (kinda) was palpable. Just had to make it through senior portraits. You know, that right of passage where you attempt to be modelesque for some minimum wage employee of a massive, mediocre photography studio that SERIOUSLY abused the "chin leaning on fist" pose. I think the fact that my parents opted to keep the proofs and never actually ordered prints is a testament to how wonderful the end result was. 

Fast-forward about 14 years and you'll see a drastic change in the portraiture world in general. Digital has made a lot more possible in terms of shooting high-end imagery at a mid-level price. Quite frankly, the results are stunning all around. But honestly, senior portraits are still a bit… well… blah. Apparently I missed the memo where I'm supposed to take a regular teenager and photograph them to look ridiculously gawky and awkward. As if they aren't self-conscious enough. 

In my humble opinion, the game needs to be changed. So this is my answer.



The Weekly Roundup // Perseverance...

Before I dive into this, I think it's safe to say that I'm not exactly an inspirational person. I think I owned one of those posters of the kitten precariously clinging to a branch with the caption "just hang in there" but I'm almost certain I was mocking it from the get-go. However, I can be encouraging on occasion. We'll get to that...

The photos to follow were taken a long enough time ago that I can't really recall when the shoot actually happened. Because of that, I debated ever posting them for the mere fact that I was ashamed it took me so long to completely edit them. Additionally, I was extremely critical of the work. I had hoped for something different. I'm not sure what that "different" entailed but I looked at the photos and immediately began beating myself up. If you want a good example of self-deprecation, just glance in my direction. In any case, I let them sit and gather dust, as I do with many photos. 

But now we're here. And I'm posting these photos. And I think I might actually love them.

It's not to say I think they're spectacular and flawless. I see the work that needs to be done and edges that need to be refined. However, the fact that I refused to put them to rest speaks to the concept of perseverance. That's why I love them.

Failure is prevalent. It leaks into every area of our lives, day-in, day-out. We watch as our passions slip out of our fingers and we fall deeper into holes where we can't even reach helping hands. We linger at the thought of what could have been and chock it up to, "I'm obviously supposed to do something else". Because really, we're all just looking for little victories. Something that trumps the massive disappointment. And I think there's more than a few people who would tell me to quit and move on based off of the fact that I haven't had immediate results. Try a decade of perpetual 'not-gonna-happens'.  

But for whatever reason, I have this fighting spirit that's suddenly choosing to forget my once very palpable inability to follow-through. This is legitimate perseverance, where giving up just isn't an option. I'm speaking against my insecurities and inconsistencies because THAT is not actually me. And as far as I'm concerned, THAT is not who anyone is supposed to be. So I had over ten years of obstacles and mountains and vertical climbs. So what? And I haven't technically made my way over or under or through them. So what? Should I stop fighting? I think not. 

So persevere my little sloth buddies. Move at your pace. Validate your failures, both past and present and pick yourself back up. You're made for this.

Also, look at these photos. Because my friend is really pretty.

One day, I will expound upon modesty in photography. For right now, embrace the censor box.





I don't know if you know but a little birdy told me mini-sessions are on their way in March. And now you know.

For those who don't have a clue what a mini-session is, it's a photo shoot all shrunken down to a miniature size. Essentially, it's to get you in, out and done in no time, with a hand full of awesome photos of your family, your goldfish, your favorite blankie, whatever your little heart desires. I happen to think dogs are pretty rad little subjects.

I mean, this could be your dog. Just sayin'...

Dates & Locations

March 12: Nellie Gail Ranch - horses and trails and greenery, oh my!

March 13: Balboa Pier - who doesn't love the ocean?!?


30 min/20 photos/$180

For more info and/or to get yourself booked, shoot me an email at natalie@vonbutzandco.com

*Book on or before Feb. 21 and receive a 10% discount*

*Refer a friend and receive a 10% discount*

*Need I say more?!?*



P.S. This guy...

The Weekly Roundup // New Year's Shenanigans

What. A. Year.

It's been awhile. A long while. Like over six months while.

But I'm back in hopes that The Weekly Roundup remains weekly and not biannually. 

Long story short, this last semester of my life (because as a student, time is only broken down into semesters) was nothing short of hellish. Preface: I basically knew what I was getting into so I can't really complain. However, luck was definitely not on my side and between the heat wave, computer malfunctions, perpetual illness, lack of funds, car trouble and general sleep deprivation, I almost lost my mind. I  absolutely lost a few pounds as well. It was a cluster.

But now that I'm on the other side of it all and had a few moments to breeeeeeeeeathe, I've decided to change course and I'm feeling pretty good about it. More on that in future posts.

Right now, I choose to talk about the goodness of life. If you know me, you know that this doesn't happen often. I'm the worst cynic alive and manage to find problems with EVERYTHING. Don't get me wrong, I think being realistic about everything is a healthy way to be but I can make puppies and rainbows and unicorns a negative thing. I have problems.

However, lately I've been gifted the opportunity to get outta town a couple times and it has been such a wonderful thing. Sometimes, you just have to escape and be separated from your priorities for a short time to realize how small they are and how they don't deserve your anxiety in the least. But what's better is these mini-trips were a gift from an incredibly generous human I have the pleasure to call a close friend. She's one of those people who has a tremendous amount of favor in her life and is constantly paying it forward. Her sharing capabilities are off the charts and she basically makes me smile when I think of her. Again, if you know me, few people actually make me smile when I think of them. We shall call this little treasure "Buddy".

For New Year's Eve, we had the pleasure of using one of buddy's client's mansion cabins in Big Bear at no cost to us. So of course, Buddy went to great lengths to plan a less than 24 hour trip where we went hog-wild sledding and coloring and eating and barely making it to midnight. It was basically my childhood, save for the added spiked libations to keep our innards warm. We enjoyed ourselves beyond expectation.

Buddy is the best.

We keep it weird...

… and very rarely bring it back to normal.

Buddy in a nutshell. 

New Year's Resolution? Not so much. Resolutions seem like a sure fire way to crash and burn and fail. Instead, let's all just try to be better people than we were the day before. Go, team, go!



Sweet Salvage Rentals // Third Edition

A few months back, an event was held at Hotel Irvine to showcase the wares and beauties of a slew of different vendors who specialize in the wedding industry. Sweet Salvage Rentals had a few vignettes set up that I photographed specifically. Sunday mornings should always involve taking photos of pretty things at my leisure.

A funny and slightly unsettling moment was when the wind caught the window frame sitting behind the bloody mary carafes and down went the deadly, staining concoction all over the cow skin rug. Of course, my first thought was "ooooooh noooooooo! perfectly good alcohol ruined by our balmy, southern california breezes!" At least I'm honest with myself.




The Weekly Roundup // Technically Week 20


Like the beginning of almost of every single summer, I've been ill. And not just a little cold that ushers me into the writhing Orange County heat. But the kind of illness that hits you like a brick wall and thrusts you into the “just put me out of my misery” mode of living. I’m pretty certain that I went from almost having bronchitis to almost having strep throat to almost having a sinus infection to now merely fending off the sniffles (which I will attribute, in part, to allergies). Thanks to all of my accrued knowledge in alternative/holistic medicine, I managed to kick the infection(s) in a week. Take that, all you naysayers.

So yes, freedom. Freedom to jump right back into the grind and work these fingers to the bone. Hmmmm…

If anything, my body chose a great day to finally transition back into wellness. It’s warm but breezy with a slight humidity in the air and I’m loving it like it’s nobody’s business. Reminds me, just a touch, of childhood when I lived in the suburbs of Chicago. But I won’t go as far as saying the weather is even remotely the same. Basically, the summer months in Chicago are always somewhere between damp clothes and soaked clothes. Pitting out is the norm and sweaty hugs are not gross.

In a weird way, I feel rather renewed. And I better because I am about to start two 4 week summer school courses at a junior college and I’m fearing I will lose my sanity if I don’t lose my health first. A semester’s worth of work packed into 30 days? What could possibly go wrong? And I’ll most likely be surrounded by a bunch of men. Let the sexist jokes begin! That’s what I get for choosing a male-dominated field to venture into. Good thing I’m so tall and large handed.

In any case, some new photographic work will be gradually making its way onto the blog. Besides showcasing regular/paid work I’ve been doing, I’m getting back into personal projects that I’m antsy to execute and share. It’s been awhile since I’ve done anything creative just for creativity’s sake but I’m ready to tackle it and hearken back to my senior year of high school, when all this photography madness began and my brain was a whirlwind of ideas.

Ready… steady… go.



Sweet Salvage Rentals // Second Edition

This shoot was actually the first of the bunch for Sweet Salvage Rentals. We drove way out to Black Star Canyon where at certain moments, you forget you're in Southern California. Quite the opposite of the beach vignette. Endless, rolling hills and green, lush meadows aren't exactly common in these here parts so it was a bit of a treat to see the light streaming through the trees and feel a bit out of the ordinary of my day-to-day life. And let's all just be honest and say that we would love nothing more than to picnic like royalty in a meadow and nosh on some tasty treats while sipping mimosas as the grass cools our bare feet.

Yes, I'm a poet and I don't even know it.



Sweet Salvage Rentals // First Edition

Had the pleasure of shooting some product vignettes for the lovely Marnie over at Sweet Salvage Rentals. Though she's only been around for a short time, her warehouse is chock-full of goodies like you wouldn't believe! It produces the "kid in the candy store" affect for those of us with the one-of-a-kind furniture sweet tooth. 

For this particular shoot, we went down to the cove just below the Montage Resort in Laguna Beach. Like most days in Southern California, it was sunny and warm and the light was perfect. These are the days you almost forget that you're working. And if you complain, you're pretty much a brat.

Stay tuned for more pretties to come!



The Weekly Roundup // The Vortex That Is Life

I got caught in it again. That vortex known as life reached it's monkey arms all the way around me and violently pulled me in. And now I'm here two months later chuckling at my inability to keep a regular schedule each week. Someone needs to break some bad habits. Pronto. Initially, I started "The Weekly Roundup" shenanigans to keep me on track as well as be an alternate outlet of creativity. Obviously, this is going to be a little trial and error on my part. Welcome to my world.

So I guess this is where the update begins.

It all began with my birthday, that dreaded day of everyone's year where you realize you are so much older than last year. Why there has to be a day to commemorate these unfortunate moments is beyond me. Needless to say, I sorta spiraled into the abyss of dread and panic that seems to plague certain people of my age. You know, the ones who haven't figured out life yet and manage to find every single beginning of a beginning of a wrinkle, where all hopes and dreams go to die. That week was a relentless cluster of anxiety. And then the day came and alcohol was consumed and people celebrated with me and it wasn't so bad. I'm still a little shell-shocked and find myself lamenting in the never-ending existential crisis of "WHY?!?" But I've managed to pick myself up from my first world problem and get things done.

Besides the obvious mid-life crisis that threw me for a loop (in addition to day-to-day work), I've been taking classes. Because if you really can't gracefully put your youth to rest, go back to school. In all seriousness, I'm back in school part-time, dabbling with the idea of getting my studio engineering certificate and realizing that people who completely and totally understand music theory are my heroes. Granted, I seem to be having an easier time than most with the subject and find the puzzle that is music theory to be riveting. No joke. But I'm pretty certain homework will never be my friend. It's something I like to refer to as the hate/hate relationship. I hate it and it hates me and we all hate each other. And we spend way too many hours together hating each other. You can jump off a cliff, homework. But, of course, homework is vital to passing the class. So I must begrudgingly call homework my friend. However, I'll have you know homework was not invited to my birthday party.

The cherry on top of all of the wonderfulness of the last two months is my roll as maid-of-honor in my best friend's wedding. To preface what I'm about to say, I sincerely adore my friend with all of my black little vampire heart and I couldn't be more excited about her getting hitched in less than a month. But oh boy, bridal showers. And bachelorette parties. Really, it's planning parties/gatherings/life that I'm just not so gifted at. Apparently I don't have the Pinterest gene that causes me to gush over blush and taupe detailing that'll give this party just the right amount of romantic ambiance and oh my gosh, aren't those striped straws so cute when paired with the mason jars and burlap table runners?!?!? I think I just pulled a muscle rolling my eyes. Luckily, our friendship consists as a trio and I had the help of the matron of honor. We made it through with a little bit of stress, a lot of margaritas and primarily, our love for our friend. And wouldn't you know it, the mother of the groom said it was one of the best bridal showers she had ever attended. So many high fives to us.

And now, with a great sigh of relief, we are back to our regularly scheduled programming aka stressing about normal life.




Chris+Kirk // Engagement

Since it's supposedly the day of love and there's a lot of people loving each other and love is abounding and love, love, love, I thought I'd do a little post on one of my lady loves. She befriended me when I was the new kid way back in the days of elementary school. It's been two decades and despite our glaringly obvious differences, we somehow managed to remain friends. Best friends, in fact. BFFs til' kingdom come. Now she's being whisked away into marriage and I had the pleasure of photographing her engagement. I have not cried… not just yet...



RJPDesigns//Look Book

Despite the fact that my car broke down and we lost light like it was going out of style, we still managed to bust out these beauties for local jewelry designer Robert Palazzolo. Yes, indeed, I did have to step in as the model for this particular job. And of course, the lovely Collette stepped right in and worked her photography magic. The girl is a continuous rock star. 



The Weekly Roundup//Chapter Two

I could probably just leave it at that. But I won't. Though I will admit I watched the Super Bowl, mainly to witness the fiasco that IS Katy Perry. Extreme fannery of sports = not my thing. But when KP came out on stage, dressed as a Hotdog On a Stick employee, dancing with the now infamous sharks, I couldn't look away.

What really got my goat was finding out that many people did not know who Missy Elliot was. So while I was feeling all weirdly nostalgic, peeps were like "Katy's all about helping new artists!" Goodness, I'm actually that old.

You would think in this day and age, where information is literally at the tips of our fingers, ready and waiting to be absorbed, people would be knowledge treasure troves. But it looks as though cluelessness is on the incline. Or maybe the veil of anonymity was lost with the implementation of social media and really it's that the clueless individuals can now readily air their asininity at any given moment. And the rest of us are forced to be privy to such things.

Here's a clue: Google

However, thanks to all of you who have never consulted with your built-in thought filter, there is an endless supply of memes, GIFs, and Twitter/Facebook screen shots to really tickle my funny bone. Though it does have me gravely concerned for the future of America.

In other news, I have given up coffee. Hellooo snarky. I will be nicer next week


The Girl Who Gave Up One Of Her Favorite Things


This was an interesting wedding to shoot. Long story short, I came in last minute as a second shooter to a photographer who I had never even met. Not exactly ideal but I love this family and had to step in. Of course, I was in charge of the guys. And their guns. Guys+guns = severe lack of focus. They turned into little boys playing with their toys. More than amusing.

The gorgeous piece of property where the wedding was held actually belonged to the groom's parents and it was located in the mountains of Frazier Park, north of Los Angeles. A little birdie told me that Sons of Anarchy (a television show I have yet to have the pleasure of watching) filmed on the property. Apparently, it's quite the place to be.



The Weekly Roundup//Chapter One

Ah, yes. Here I am, once again, creating for myself a point of accountability.

I am a troubled blogger. Regardless of my adoration for writing and words and amusing people with said writing and words, my track record is atrocious. In addition, I think I've spent the last month working on photography-oriented tasks but haven't actually looked through a viewfinder in that entire time or posted any recent work. Because that would require looking through a viewfinder and creating work that can be called recent. Something is very wrong here.

Let's just say I have a special gift for imbalance.

So without actually implementing Project 365 both photographically and grammatically (because seriously, no), I've settled on a happy medium: The Weekly Roundup, where I roundup my week, just for you, because obviously I think my life is just that important to shove it down your throats on a weekly basis.

Really, I'm just attempting to kill 15+ birds with one stone. There will be no rhyme or reason to the content. Merely thoughts and photographs, whatever that may turn out to be. My challenge is for you to stay tuned. I can guarantee weird and interesting and a whole lot of sarcasm. And most likely a missed week or two or three.

And with that, here's a little excerpt of a wedding I photographed this last summer that WILL be blogged about very soon. It's a sweet photo of two very sweet people.



California-Chic Styled Winter Wedding

Oh there I go again, late to the game as usual. Forgetting that I have a blog. But honestly, it was the holidays. With so much eating and celebrating and procrastinating.

Back in early fall, I took part in organizing a styled wedding shoot. It pretty much exceeded my expectations. Could be that I worked with an extraordinarily talented group of people. Yup... that's probably it...

And with that, let's keep Christmas alive forever. Or at least until St. Patrick's Day.



Location: Noguchi Garden / Mastro’s Steakhouse in Costa Mesa, CA 

Rentals: Baker Party Rentals

Photography:  Von Butz & Co. Photography 

                         Johnson & Thomas Photography

Photo Editing: Johnson & Thomas Photography

Flowers:  Paul Fenner Floral Design

Dessert: Twinfully Sweet

Paper Goods: Where’s the Party

Hair (both Bride & Groom): Hair by Cherise

Makeup: allison escalante _MAKEUP

Styling + Coordination: Michael & Michelle of Baker Party Rentals

                                         Natalie of Von Butz & Co. Photography         

                                         Paul of Paul Fenner Floral Design

Models: Daisha Escamilla

               Michael MacGregor





How my family keeps ending up in Idaho for holiday is rather interesting. Let's just say we have adopted family that keeps inviting us up there and we keep answering the invite. Considering it's about a three hour flight, you can't really go wrong. And since I happen to be partial to lakes, rivers, forests and getting very lost in the wilderness where I don't burn the moment I step outdoors, I win. Technically, I win twice.