It is with great pride that I’d like to introduce you to each member of our Arte De Vie family. Figuratively, and quite literally, we have become a family. Doug and I each used to have our own businesses. When we were in the middle of our own wedding journey, we decided to marry our businesses as well. Arte De Vie has been our ‘baby’ for the past two years. We have poured our hearts and souls into what Arte De Vie has come to stand for since its creation. It is still exciting to hear of people’s reactions when a client tells us their story of mentioning they booked with us. In a short time we have created a reputation that comes with class, honor, integrity, experience, and skill. We love what we do, and we are always striving to make things better. That is a big part of why we have added two more team members to ADV in the past six months. We are constantly striving to provide a memorable experience, beautiful photo stories, and superb customer service. We won’t settle for anything less. In keeping with these standards we’ve created for ourselves — we decided growing our team would benefit our clients. We are happy to welcome an album artisan to the mix, and an ADV concierge. You’ll learn all about our team below. We hope you’ll enjoy getting to know us better — and we can’t wait to meet you!!
CHEYANNE & DOUG …..Resident Photographers and Artists (Psychologists, Coordinators, Groom Wranglers, Computer Geeks, Graphic Designers, Color Specialists, Accountant…)
Ever since they fell in love almost 12 years ago while in college at WKU, they have been like two peas in a pod. While they pursued their love of photography, an outsider looking in could see their love story develop. It would only take Doug eight years to ask CheyAnne to marry him! If you search the site, you’ll find that story in it’s entirety. Along their journey though, they realized they couldn’t imagine spending life with anyone else. While they planned their own wedding, they also married their two businesses and created Arte De Vie in the fall of 2011. Now, on to the really good stuff…
CheyAnne is a cheese ball. Plain and simple. She loves corny jokes, and she’s not afraid to act a little goofy for a smile, and especially for a good laugh. She’s the girl next door. Your immediately comfortable in her presence, and you feel like her only priority at that time. Doug often says she has “the it.” Something that makes her sparkle.
Given a good night’s rest, CheyAnne is at her best in the morning — though she’s still trying to figure out the secret to early a.m. workouts. She needs those because her biggest weakness is fast food. Even though it’s not always satisfying, she’s a french fry whore, and just can’t get enough fries! :)
She’s a very loyal person — can’t get enough of her family and friends. CheyAnne especially loves cuddle time with her 9 nieces and nephews. (All of her bestie’s kids call her Aunt Chey too!) She also loves chick flicks — a true romantic at heart. If the movie stars Julia Roberts or Reese Witherspoon (her doppleganger!) she’s all in! She enjoys reading, but doesn’t have as much time for that as she’d like. Her recent favorite is Coming Back Stronger, the book by Drew Brees. And she loves to live by the principles of The Secret. Last year, together, Doug and CheyAnne forged ahead into unchartered territories with the Dave Ramsey financial plan. It’s changed their worlds and they plan to share more of that experience.
Finally, when she’s not working — this year is the year that’s all about balance — she loves snuggle time with Doug. They have a teenager– Ryan – their cat that thinks he’s human. He’s really like their child; he always has so much to say. And they also adore their Saints and everything Mardi Gras. Both are LSU fans as well, but college football is often overshadowed with Saturday weddings. CheyAnne also enjoys traveling to new places, and of course taking pictures of the journey!
Random fact….she’s scared of bangle bracelets. Amanda recently sent her about ten for her birthday, and it brought back traumatic memories of the last time she had been gifted bangles. CheyAnne finally got the bracelets on, only to find she could’t get them off. After fearing she’d have to cut her thumb or wrist off, she finally managed to get it off. She vowed to never wear another bangle.
Doug was born in Nola, but raised in Houma. He’s a perfect blend of both his parents. He has his mom’s laid back ‘yat’ attitude, to really not letting anything get under his skin. (This trait drives CheyAnne crazy at times!) And he has his father’s intense work ethic, always striving for perfection. Being a perfectionist can be a strength and a weakness he claims, because he realizes that almost nothing is ever perfect. It’s also this constant striving for perfection that leads him to be competitive in everything he does. CheyAnne knows that every time they pick up a camera together, it’s a competition — whether spoken or unspoken. Even mundane tasks around the home become a contest — and one of them will slip with a grin that says, “oh, it’s on!” Doug understands his competitiveness can also be viewed as a fault because it sometimes leads to missing out on enjoying the experience regardless of the outcome.
His favorite things to do in his free time include spending time with his wife. He realizes she’s truly his other half, and says, “She gets me completely.” He loves boats, scuba diving, traveling, dining out, wine, and learning how to cook. His other love, ranking right up at the top with CheyAnne, is Mardi Gras. He throws an insane amount of beads. CheyAnne has deemed him one of the top all-time throwers of Mardi Gras. He looks like a crazed lunatic with both hands reaching down into his plethora of bags, and coming up full — arms splaying out over the crowd as he releases the beads like rain. Oh, it’s the best kind of rain!
In college he initially wanted to be a DJ, but as soon as he took his first photojournalism class, he was hooked ever since. He worked at several newspapers along the way, and even for Sports Illustrated, before finding his true passion of documenting weddings. No matter how much his A-type personality might shine through, he’s quick to tear up at the smallest emotional trigger. He stills tears up anytime he recounts his own First Look with CheyAnne at their wedding, and watching her walk down the aisle with her father. “Some things should never lose their luster,” Doug says.
Things he doesn’t like include political correctness (he sometimes lacks a filter), personal space (CheyAnne and Doug are both huggers! You’ll often hear Titus advertise hugs, “They’re Free!), laws that ban the throwing of toilet paper from Mardi Gras floats, mean people, and football on small tv’s.
His favorite drink is Crown and 7 or red wine, specifically Pinot Noir from the Oregon and Russian River Valley area. His favorite food is Popeyes chicken. He’ll tell you that he wants it served at his funeral by Hooter’s girls, with a speaker in his casket playing Jimmy Buffet.
His strengths include putting his whole heart and energy into anything he takes on. He’s been told that he has a calming presence on the wedding day, which can come in handy when things get a little chaotic. He’ll do anything for his friends and family. And he’s the best at throwing parties and entertaining. He began a small tailgate of two tiny tents, a Margaritaville trailer hitch grill, a 4Runner, and about 20 people just two football seasons ago, and is now a monster tailgate with a 20×30 commercial tent, a custom 16ft trailer, a 4ft – 6 burner grill, satellite TV, deep fryers and about a 100 people strong! He’s just a little bit crazy! Or you could say he loves his Saints football. Which leads into Doug’s random fact.
Random fact….He cried like a baby when the Saints won the game against the Vikings to get into the SuperBowl. Like alligator tears, ugly face cry! Though — maybe he needs a new random fact, because I think just about every grown man that grew up a Saints fan was crying that night.
TITUS — Associate Photographer/Digital Technician
Titus is one of the most loyal people you’ll ever meet, certainly a good person to have on your team. His energy is contagious at times, and his charm definitely keeps the ladies – old and young alike – entertained and laughing. He often finds himself getting pulled out onto the dance floor at receptions. He’ll tell you that one of his strengths is his work ethic. He works hard, there’s no denying that. Arte De Vie has been blessed to have him on the team for the past three years. Titus was 82nd Airborne — so he’s a mule. There’s been numerous times he can probably recount working with us that he probably thought he was back with the Airborne guys. Second Line logistics often find us getting creative with how to get our gear from one place to another. Poor Titus — oftentimes he can be seen with two camera bags, sand bags for the lights on his shoulders, and a couple of light stands in tow — all with a smile on his face as he cracks some joke as he passes by you. He rocks!
What makes Titus tick?
Titus is a people person. The ladies love him, and the guys think he’s hilarious. And don’t be surprised if you hear him bust out some duck noises to get a smile from the flower girls or ring bearers. He’ll tell you that one of his weaknesses is that he doesn’t often keep up with current trends and info because he sometimes lives in his own bubble. That’s probably part of the reason why people like him more. He doesn’t put much stock into politics — despite not keeping in tune to those things, he can always bring a conversation to life. He doesn’t take life too seriously. Things that turn him off though are ungrateful or arrogant people.
Titus’ favorite television show is the Walking Dead – past favorites include Friends and the Family Guy. He’s a good ole Irish man, so it’s not surprising that his favorite drink is Guinness. Don’t try to challenge him in a drinking match though — chances are he’ll drink you under the table. It’s in his blood, plain and simple. Doug and CheyAnne have learned several an Irish jig working in an office with him for three years now. “Don’t go for the one, for the one, for the one….”
When he has time for hobbies, you might find him on the golf course or jumping around (I believe the term is moshing) at a Flogging Molly or Dropkick Murphy’s concert. His loves include music, movies, and of course his family and friends. Titus is from Nebraska — stay away on game day — words will fly, as with any avid sports fan.
Like most photographers/artists — traveling is a passion of his. Favorite destinations include Ireland and Costa Rica.
Random Fact – You may often hear to us refer to Titus as “Tutus.” We were attending a bridal show shortly after he started working with us, and they had mistyped his name on his name tag — hence the nickname Tutus was born. And much to his chagrin, it’s stuck!
AMANDA — Arte de Vie Concierge
Amanda is the newest ADV team member. She is our Arte De Vie Concierge. She helps with all things social media since that is a job in its own these days. And she also forwards on photos to our fabulous vendors after each wedding is complete. She’ll be the one to make you famous on a national blog as well. She’s learning the ins and outs so that she can best match your wedding to the proper site or magazine. What you don’t know about Amanda is that she and CheyAnne have been BFF since they were in sixth grade! People always (sometimes still do) used to think they were sisters growing up. For all sakes and purposes, they are. They can complete each others sentences, and have experienced the loss of loved ones, heartache, and of course all the good stuff too from weddings to births. CheyAnne was Amanda’s maid of honor, and Amanda was CheyAnne’s matron. Growing up they always thought they’d live near each other (they both grew up in Ky). Now Amanda is in Atlanta, and of course CheyAnne is in New Orleans. They figured if they couldn’t live together, they may as well work together.
What makes Amanda tick?
Amanda is a wife and a mother of two beautiful little girls. They are growing too fast!! Aunt Chey says they need to slow down because they are making her feel old. Her favorite television shows include Psych, Gilmore Girls, Homeland, Phineas and Ferb, and Tosh.O. You won’t however find her watching any scary movies; she refuses. Her favorites include Big Lebowski and Tangled. She hates putting the clothes away after doing laundry. And she’s a vegatarian/vegan 99.9% of the time, EXCEPT for a pulled pork BBQ sandwich — it’s a weakness. She loves to travel, take pictures of her kiddos, and play outside with their newest addition, Derby the puppy.
Random Fact…she loves to read anything…even random stuff like shampoo bottles and prescription inserts, constantly. Her husband used to call her car the book mobile because there were always books and magazines in it. There still is, always a magazine in the passenger seat. Her favorite books are 11/22/63 and Unbroken. It’s not surprising that her favorite monthly activity is her neighborhood Book Club — with books, wine and food. How Desperate Housewives!
RHONDA — Arte De Vie Album Artisan
Rhonda joined the Arte De Vie team in the summer of 2013. She’s always believed in true love, and used to want to be a photographer. In fact, right before she got pregnant, she had signed up for a photography class in Germany. But had to drop the class once she found out she was expecting because she couldn’t be around the chemicals. Huh, funny part to that story — she was pregnant with CheyAnne! Man – do genes pass along that strongly?! CheyAnne ended up becoming the photographer (and learning to play the drums, something else Rhonda always wanted to learn) so Rhonda has lived vicariously through her daughter. She was elated when she learned that CheyAnne had the confidence in her to join the team and help create the wedding albums. CheyAnne insisted with Rhonda’s attention to detail and love, of well, love – that she would be a pro in no time at all. CheyAnne’s suspicions were correct. Rhonda has been a very important addition to the team. CheyAnne was excited to have her Mom and best friend, Amanda, join the team because they both have been her biggest fans since she entered her first photo class at WKU 14 years ago. There’s already an instilled loyalty for our company and our clients. You can’t buy that kind of loyalty. CheyAnne knows that Rhonda and Amanda will love ADV’s clients the same way she does — with everything they have to give.
What makes Rhonda tick?
Random Fact….Rhonda once won a trophy at the drag strip. She raced in the powder puff series on a whim one night when she owned her IROC-Z28 red T-Top Camaro. She grew up going to the track because her father raced his whole life, winning more trophies than you can count. Obviously, it was in her blood! You go girl!!
VANESSA — Associate Photographer
Vanessa has worked with CheyAnne for a few years now as her second shooter at weddings. She also has her own business on the side. CheyAnne is so thankful that Vanessa is dependable, and can help be her left brain on the wedding day. She works hard, and together they’ve become a well-oiled machine. CheyAnne often wishes they had more time to learn random things about one another, because CheyAnne just learned most of these random facts Vanessa submitted for her bio!
What makes Vanessa tick?
Vanessa was born in a small town outside of Seattle, Washington called Black Diamond, in the foothills of Mt Rainier. (We are trying very hard not to hold that against her as the Seahawks beat our beloved Saints this year in the playoffs — as far as we know, she generally roots for the Saints. We’ll take a don’t ask don’t tell policy on the matchup between the two.) Due to her surroundings, her love grew for the outdoors, camping, hiking, nature photography and all the things that go along with living in such a picturesque part of the country. It does rain about 9 months out of the year there, but she claims when you live there it just seems normal! She moved to New Orleans in 2004 and fell in love with this city, “How can you NOT?!” she said. Her love for football, crawfish, jazz, food, meeting new people and all the wonderful things about this place grows more each passing season. Another side of her is always trying to figure other people out. She likes to listen to other peoples stories and find out how they got where they are and where life has taken them. Traveling is another passion of Vanessa’s. She was able to do a lot of traveling during her 20′s, when working for Alaska Airlines- it was such a wonderful time in her life exploring different cultures, experiencing the French culture first-hand and often relaxing in the hot Mexico sun. She still tries to travel as much possible!
Although she enjoys all kinds of food, and is always looking to try new things –Pizza has captured her heart. She could eat pizza and caesar salad everyday if she had too. She never considered herself a great cook, but since she became a mother her culinary skills have improved. The kitchen has become a place of discovery –she’s been trying new recipes, making fruit smoothies, perfecting her red beans and rice (and making sure there is always ice cream in the freezer). Movies are also one of her favorite things on earth. Her family is huge into the art form of a great movie, specific directors/actors, a great solid storyline with plenty of drama and suspense & also foreign films.
Last but certainly not least, what makes her smile the most are her beautiful kids, her husband John, all her family, and the joy, happiness, and challenges that part of life brings. Her two children are Ashleigh Rose 4 and Aidan 7, both are very high energy, funny, smart and super sweet! She feels so blessed to have the opportunity to do what she loves on a daily basis, and to be a part something as special as the vows two people take when joining their lives together. On the technical side she’s had a camera in hand since about age 12 and holds a degree in Commercial Photography from the Art Institute of Seattle.
Random Fact….Her first love was ballet. She’s been dancing since the age of 4. In retrospect, she believes that maybe that’s where her romantic side was born. Dancing is in her soul whether it be shaking her you know what on the dance floor to some techno or enjoying a local band at one of the many venues in town.