October 2013 Archive

Chateau Country Club Wedding: Amy & Barret

Amy and Barret’s Country Club Wedding was the perfect mix of glam, hints of preppy fab, and the creams I scream from the rooftops about. And as I mentioned in this post, the lighting and locations throughout Amy’s entire day made it a photographer’s heaven and created the perfect setup for nothing less than perfection in her wedding portfolio. Amy was timid, but I could tell time and time again throughout her day, that she is truly loved by the people who surround her. Her friendships genuine, her new marriage, already deep-rooted in love and family–Amy’s heart shines golden. Scroll to see her soft details that made everything perfection.

After a long day of shooting, even Preston looked at me and noted how much Amy’s preparedness and trust in me as her photographer truly made the day one of the smoothest ever for us. I loved Amy and Barret immediately, but after hearing her desires for big hair, an intimate first look with Barret, and the most classy forms of bling, she had me.

A special thanks to the fabulous vendors…

The entire staff at Chateau Country Club

Gorgeous blooms from Claire at Blumen Lendle

Brock and Natalie at BGP Productions

Hair and Makeup from the girls at Candies & Company

Some dope beats from Quinn with White Oak Productions

Cake from Haydel’s Bakery


Amy’s nerves were playing games with her in the beginning of the day, but she took care of that like a girl after my own heart…

It’s a tie between birdcage and cathedral veils for me, but for Amy, oh my goodness she rocked this with her adorable bob like nobody’s business.

Recognize this little angel? It’s my sweet Ellis that I’ve been photographing since she was a wee little newborn. Ellis’s momma, Jennie, is a long-time friend and old roommate of Amy’s, and they were both in the bridal party. This alone, makes my heart so, so very happy.

It’s always a toss-up if the little ones will be petrified or excited to walk down the aisle. Well, little mister Braden did it once, then said ever-so-adorably, “C’mon Ellis, let’s go do it again!” The most perfect prelude to Amy’s stunning entrance…

I adore this photograph so much. This is Berklie, being held by her great-grandmother. Capturing moments like this fills my heart to the brim.

Amy and Barret, thank you so much for allowing me to witness and document your day. I’m ever grateful and wish you nothing but countless years of happiness.


The Cefalu Family

With all that is sweet, creamy, and classy, this little family stole my heart. The second Abby walked out in her lace dress paired with Ellis’ white smock, I knew we were set up for success. In the small amount of time I spent with the three of them, I could feel Abby’s sweet, gentle disposition, Ellis’ curious toddler nature, and Bill’s easy-going personality.

Look at this sweet girl. It must be something about the little girls named Ellis that I photograph, they are just some sweet, classy baby girls. And as it forever and always goes, the mother-baby shots got me, once again. The gentle aura of a woman and the sparkle her baby brings to her eyes will always be one of the most beautiful stories I could ever have the pleasure of documenting.

As if they weren’t cool enough, we added their sweet pup Bella in at the end of their session — and even she was a pro behind the camera! I even managed a few model poses of Bella before we wrapped it up.

Abby, Bill, and Ellis, I could not be more grateful that you requested me to to document this time in your sweet new family’s life. You guys are all things beautiful.

Laced, Smocked, and Creams

If you’ve never done a session with me, you may not know the praises I sing for laces and cream colors in photographs. The soft touch they add gets me every time. For all sessions, during our consultation process, I always recommend soft colors and creams. All photographers may not do this, but for me, I’ve found it matches distinctly with the style of my sessions, and also adds a soft, feminine look for women.

Here’s a peek of perfection from this sweet family I photographed recently — Abby, Ellis, and Bill. Yay for another little girl named Ellis to photograph! And Abby’s lace dress, oh my word, swoon…

Stay tuned for a full post of their session on Monday!

When a Bride Trusts Me…

Amy and Barret’s country club wedding this past weekend is a fabulous example of how perfectly wedding elements from lighting, to details, to location all can come together and make the lighting and photography angels sing happy, happy tunes. Aside from coming to the table with fabulous details, vendors, and locations, Amy trusted me completely with the schedule and creative direction of her day. Oh, AND her guests were very polite as to use no iPhones, iPads, or flashy cameras in the aisles to take away from the photographs and intimacy of her ceremony! Woop.

When choosing quality vendors, putting full trust in their recommendations as professionals, elements can come together to create your perfect day–the one you’ve envisioned, the one you’ve seen in on Pinterest, the one you’ve seen in other weddings they’ve advertised.  After all, that’s why you chose them. (:

Here’s a tiny peek at a few of Amy’s impeccable details that added to the perfection of her day. Stay tuned for a blog with her full wedding and vendors…

In the meantime, I’ve listed a few things to keep in mind when you hire a professional photographer that will help in getting you those Pintrest-esque photographs you’ve probably envisioned since you said, “I do.”

  1. GETTING READY LOCATION: While beautifully lit hotel rooms, country clubs, and plantations are another added cost for your already growing wedding day budget, they undoubtedly add a bright and airy picturesque feel to the start of your wedding day that sets the tone for your photographs. They are already clear of clutter and often well-lit, which helps eliminating distractions that you may not even realize take from the emotion of a photograph. Chelsey and Kaleb’s wedding here is a fabulous example of what I mean by this.
  2. DETAILS, DETAILS, DETAILS: If you haven’t caught on by now, I swoon over some details. It’s one of my favorite parts of adding my artistic touch to the wedding day. From table settings (which can surely be done on a budget in these Pinterest days), to perfume, jewelry, hair accessories, bridesmaids gifts, and shoes, all of these items come together to create an atmosphere around your day that is all your own. The more unique, the better! My brides find these elements in so many locations–Etsy, BHLDN, are among the top. The more you stay away from getting items like this at generic wedding places, sometimes the better.  I’ve found that the less accessories and personal touches a bride adds or provides to photograph on the wedding day, the less intimate the photos seem to be. If you missed it, I also wrote a post about being interactive in the creative process with your photographer, here.
  3. SETTING ASIDE TIME FOR PROFESSIONAL PHOTOS: This is another big one! Many of my brides choose to do a first look, which allows us a nice chunk of time to get some creative shots of the bride and groom that otherwise often get missed due to the fast pace of the day. For those that choose not to do a first look, I suggest a cocktail hour for guests or a block of time after the ceremony to get some creative shots. This of course, means missing part of your reception, which is why many of my couples opt for a first look, or at the very least, a large block of time before the wedding to do separate bridal party shots and as many family shots as we can. This keeps the traditional altar or indoors family shots to a minimum, which dadadadummm, maximizes the picturesque look of your wedding day! I wrote a blog post about more of my feelings and suggestions on this here, which I urge you to read if you’d like more information.
  4. LIGHTING: This is the absolute, without a doubt, biggest element that will add or take away from perfect documentation of the day. Photography (and videography) is ALL ABOUT FABULOUS LIGHT. I could scream this from the rooftops. Fabulous light will breed fabulous photography. Of course, there are some elements of lighting that cannot be controlled, like a dark church, but in all other regards, I urge you to pay attention to this factor when choosing locations for the day. Well lit getting ready locations, preferably with one or more large windows, and with reception halls, large, open dance floors, are among the top things to look for. We of course always bring alternative means of lighting dark areas, but there is nothing prettier in most photographs than natural light.


So, these are the main elements I recommend keeping in mind for the most fabulous photos! Happy Monday, friends!

Dougherty Family {Pensacola Fall Session}

While in Pensacola shooting a wedding recently, we were able to catch up with a few people who hold a truly special place in our hearts. As we walked up, I very unexpectedly heard, “Hi Kay-ee” from the little three-year-old I hadn’t seen in over a year, and my heart was in a puddle of mush on the floor.

This little project has been on my mind for a while, so seeing it come to fruition has left me with big smiles and a full heart. Shane, pictured in the green shirt, is another Marine and member of 3rd Force Recon with Preston. I met Shane just before meeting these beautiful people I blogged about recently, and he’s been a true, close friend to both Preston and I for the past six years. The truest of true.

Apart from being a beautiful friend and an accomplished Reconnaissance Marine, I’ve watched Shane instantly become the most perfect father over the past three years to the most well-mannered, stylish toddler I’ve ever had the pleasure of dancing the night away with. Yes, Leo took me on a “date” after our session for a little dinner and dancing. If you’ve never spent the night dancing with a three-year-old, I warn you, it will fill your heart with giggles and the best memories. I’m pretty sure Leo will steal your heart through these photos with his boyish good looks and generous dishing out of his love, just as he did mine.

Here’s where my “little project” came in. I mentioned to Shane that apart from capturing he and Leo, it was on my mind to have his dad in some of the photos. Shane’s dad, Pat, is a Vietnam Veteran and retired Reconnaissance Marine also. Pat was a machine gunner with Lima Company in 1969, then he was with 1st Recon Battalion in the 70’s. How cool is that?! Two generations of Recon and one ultra adorable little boy from the third…of course this needed documentation. Not to mention, we’ve known Pat almost as long as we’ve known Shane, and I know exactly where Shane learned to be such a pro-active, caring father.

And just in case you thought every family photo had to be perfectly posed, I’m here to assure you that, much like life, sometimes there’s just as much beauty in the more unkempt ones.This one below may not be perfect, but it’s more likely the one that would get framed in my house! It’s an, umm…”conversational piece.” You see what I mean? This little boy has my heart overflowing, as he clearly does to all of those who surround him.

And this beautiful soul here? Well, this is Brooke. When you meet her, you feel the love radiating from her bubbly, mindful aura. There’s something about a beautiful, smiling female–on that you know has a truly happy soul–that creates a more beautiful photo than anything else on Earth, to me. Brooke, your generous persona and the fulfillment I can see that you clearly bring to this family has left my heart so full.

Shane, Brooke, Pat, and sweet Leo, having the pleasure of doing life with beautiful friends like you gives me so much faith and fulfillment. Six years is only the beginning of the lifetime of adventures, love, and memories I hope Preston and I continue to create with you.