Frances + Alex - Lake House Engagement session

I met with Frances over coffee at the end of summer. When discussing what her and Alex like to do for fun, Frances mentioned spending weekends at Alex's lake house on Kingsley lake. I immediately got so so excited dreaming that'd we do their engagement session at the lake house. And so we did! A late September Monday, we drove an hour southwest to the almost perfectly circular lake (seriously, look it up on a map, it's pretty cool). 

We spent the evening dancing on the dock, drinking champagne. Frances and Alex cooled off in the lake and we (including their sweet pups) all watched the sky turn from pink to black. 

My awesome/talented/super cute bf (also named Alex) tagged along and grabbed some fun footage of our night which you can see that the bottom of this post.

If this doesn't make you wish you had a lake house, I don't know what will.

Nicole + Matt - Jacksonville Elopement

What's a blog post without starting about how I say "it's been a while since i've blogged."..?? But hey, I managed to get one post up amidst the busy season. I'll count that as a win.

Nicole contacted me late summer and told me that she wanted her wedding to just be about the two of them: her and Matt. When talking about the location she said "We're open to suggestions"- which are some of my favorite words from a future bride. 

We dreamed up the perfect elopement for her and Matt, based on their tastes and some of the best that Jacksonville had to offer. Nicole was open to all of my recommendations and trusted my suggestions/vendors. 

Everything was perfect and planned out. I even ran into Chandler (of Marble + Pine) the night before and she threw together a Trader Joe's bouquet....TRADER JOE'S. It totally shows how talented Chanlder is.  As we were nearing the time for the elopement, suddenly the Florida rainy weather threatened all of our plans. Frantic text messages back and forth even up until almost midnight, we ended up making the call at 4am the next morning. It meant, pushing the elopement back a couple hours back to avoid the rain. Thankfully, all of our vendors adapted and were able to still be apart of Nicole and Matt's elopement.   

Driving that morning, I was praying my butt off that the Florida weather would be wrong and God would keep the skies clear. As I was about 10 minutes from the location: BOOM, the skies were totally blue. I had actual happy tears in my eyes. We met at Big Talbot and their elopement began.

Wedding photographers dream of getting couples like Nicole and Matt. Couples that trust your vision and will get their feet wet/clothes dirty when you need them to trek to the spot you envisioned them saying their vows. Couples that laugh with you, compliment you and make you forget that you're actually working. 

Nicole and Matt climbed over fallen trees and trekked through the ocean water to get to the spot where I planned for them to say their vows. At one point, Nicole actually fell off of a tree trunk and into some branches while walking over. Ahh.

The three of us got to the spot after a twenty minute trek from the main entrance. I was so honored to witness Nicole and Matt exchange their vows on a black rock under a clear blue sky. After vows were said, long embraces and a few kisses, Matt helped Nicole back onto the beach. We made our way back; excited for some Community Loaves cake waiting for us and thankful Chris Aussem was awesome (I had to) and was super flexible when we ran late. 

At Community  Loaves, in the back garden, Chris played 'Coming Home' by Leon Bridges while Nicole and Matt had their first dance. After that, we cut into the Blackberry Poppy seed cake that Community Loaves made and popped a bottle of Krug Champagne. 

If I could eat cake and drink champagne everyday for breakfast... I think I would. 

It was such a sweet occasion and i'm so thankful for Nicole and Matt. We had loads of fun and I was so honored to be a part of their elopement. October 5th was the best day!

Here's Coming Home to listen to while you look through their photos: 

 

Locations: Big Talbot State Park // Community Loaves

Hair/Makeup: Blush and Mane 

Music: Chris Aussem

Cake: Community Loaves

Dress: Eliza J

Earrings: Dannijo

Matt's shirt/pants: Ben Sherman / Vineyard Vines

Flowers: Marble + Pine

Jennifer + Matt - San Francisco Couple Session

While in San Francisco, I had the opportunity to shoot lifestyle blogger Jennifer and her super sweet man, Matt. Jennifer runs an awesome San Francisco blog called Just Add Glam that covers topics like beauty, fashion, lifestyle and travel. She has quite the following with over 170k followers on Instagram and even Matt has started his own blog geared toward men that covers DIY, personal finance, fitness and health. You can check out his blog here!

It was my first time to the Sutro Baths and though I was so looking forward to a Califonia sunset, classic San Francisco fog took over and gave us a dreamy cloud backdrop. We had so much fun dodging the cold Pacific Waters dancing and laughing til the sun finally set. Blogging these photos is reminding me of the coastal bay area breeze and getting me so in the mood for fall weather!

Take a look:

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Abbey + Brandon Married

I first met Abbey and Brandon at their engagement shoot last November. As I started taking pictures, I remember the sweetness between the two of them. Abbey and Brandon were up for anything. They laughed, danced and laughed some more. I had so much fun with them during their session that I really couldn't contain my excitement about their May wedding. Engagement can be a difficult time for some but for others, the anticipation can increase the joy. And with Abbey and Brandon, the joy certainly did increase.

Abbey and Brandon were married on a Saturday afternoon in May. I shot a few photographs for each of them before they saw each other and was lucky enough to witness the way their demeanors changed. From the moment they saw each other, throughout the rest of the day and night, Abbey and Brandon had a sort of glow about them. Their joy and excitement were contagious. Simple greenery and muted pinks and blues complimented their perfect Spring wedding. With a whopping 20 maids and groomsmen by their sides, we had so much fun taking portraits beneath oak trees dripping with Spanish moss. After the ceremony, Abbey and Brandon trekked into some river mud (reminiscent of their engagement shoot) with me to catch the sunset. 

They finished up the night with a reception at a church nearby with more dancing, joy and some explosive sparklers (you had to be there). 

Enjoyyy!

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Karina + Troi Engaged

How are we in August already?? June and July absolutely flew by for me. Anyway, I thought it would be appropriate to blog this session since K & T's wedding is in 17 days (and I did need to blog)! I met Karina through a mutual friend almost three years ago. We connected thereafter and our friendship grew almost accidentally. I say accidentally because we would run into each other all the time at local Jacksonville coffee shops. It seemed that every time I would walk in to get work done, there was Karina. It happened over and over until we finally agreed to hang out ON purpose. Best series of accidents ever. 

One thing you should know about Karina is that she has one of the biggest, sweetest hearts of anyone I've ever become friends with. She loves fiercely and she's an amazing listener who gives the best insight. Her words are so raw and REAL. 

Then, not too far after we had become great friends, Troi came into the picture. 

Karina and Troi had been friends for years before their relationship bloomed into the relationship that overflows with fun, love and meaning. They have incredibly big hearts for people, for each other and for Jesus. These things are evident simply by just being near them. Karina and Troi are also the type of couple that third wheels (like me) LOVE to be around. I could go on and on about how much I love these two but I'll let these pictures show you a small glimpse into the joy that these two bring together. 

Their smiles say everything and I know I'm going to be an absolute blubbery, sobbing mess behind my camera during the ceremony. 

Mel + Jacob Engaged

This has to be my favorite engagement shoots in a while. I always love shooting in a new spot and running through the dunes felt almost like we were in a desert and not in Florida. Not only was the setting perfect, but Mel and Jacob are such an awesome couple! I met them a couple years back when they first started dating and hanging with them has always been a blast. 

Mel + Jacob met while they both were attending the University of Florida. After a few years of dating, Jacob proposed when they landed after a sky diving jump (so cool!). They constantly joke and laugh together and it's really the sweetest thing... it also makes capturing them SO easy. 

We started the shoot in Downtown St. Augustine (where they're getting married in December) and then explored the dunes in Anastasia Island State Park while the golden sun set.

(I couldn't decide on a few, so this a lil bit of a longer post for an engagement)

-Enjoy!

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Balcar Wedding

Miranda approached me over a year ago and briefly described the style she dreamed of for her wedding and I was immediately hooked. She had a vision of keeping things minimal with lots of greenery. When we met in person over coffee, she told me about wearing a flower crown and told me about some details she had planned. While the details were all very exciting, when I met Jonathan and Miranda I was so excited to see their sweetness amplified on the day of their wedding. I was so right, this wedding was one of my favorites. 

From being prayed on by their wedding party and family, to the messiest cake cutting i've ever seen, to sprinting (literally sprinting) through sparklers, the joy was just so obvious. 

 

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Vendor Love:

Venue: The Colonial Quarter // Flowers/Flower crown: Jade Violet // Miranda's Dress: One Fine Day Bridal  - Truvelle // Miranda's Shoes: Sseko // Hair:Angela Byrd // Makeup: Christina Burns // Bridesmaids Dresses: Azazie // Jonathan's Suit: Express // Calligraphy:  Audra Jean Calligraphy // Videography: Pine + Perfume

Special thanks to Alex Coleman for some rad, last minute second shooting!

 

Erin + Jared Engaged

We planned Erin + Jared's engagement session almost exactly a year before they say "I do". After Jared had proposed on the beach on a hot, August day we opted for a cool, March breeze in one of my favorite golden fields. They practiced their dancing while the sun darted back and forth from behind the clouds. These two had such a sweet comfort about the way they held each other. I'm assuming it was from the eight years they've been kissing and holding hands... (just a hunch...)

Their big laughs and the tender moments between them have me so so so excited for their March 2018 wedding!

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Ilaura + Drew Engaged

Ilaura and Drew met in college and have been living in long distance relationship for a few years now. Ilaura spends her summers in Alaska where she owns a gold panning tourist company with her sister and Drew plays baseball for a MILB team. It was so sweet to capture their love in the few months they have together every year.

We started off Ilaura and Drew's engagement session on Ilaura's parents property. It sits on the st. Johns river and is where they will be getting married this November. The property has a gorgeous dock, tall oaks and a small citrus grove (which will be full of fruit come November). Nugget, there golden retriever pup, joined us for some pictures before we moved to the beach. 

At the beach, we had the most perfect golden light and colorful sunset, probably my most favorite Florida beach session yet.

 

Abbey + Brandon Engaged

After discovering that the beach portion of Washington State Oaks was closed due to crazy damages from Hurricane Matthew, we decided we were going to make the best of the hour drive down to the park. Abbey, Brandon and I spent some time shooting around the gardens and adventured til we found a beach of the inlet that Washington State Oaks Parks is nestled on. We took off our shoes and hopped a little fence to get to the water. Abbey and Brandon didn't hesitate to get there feet wet and after a couple spins Abbey even almost fell in. It was a blast and I'm so excited for their May wedding on the St. Johns river!

ISRAEL

Someone asked me if I could describe my Israel trip in a word or phrase what would it be? After a half of a minute of thought, it came to me: "filled-to-the-brim". That was my phrase. I felt "filled to the brim" for ten days. I cried, I laughed, I was so full of emotions and challenged my entire trip. It was one of the most incredible trips I've ever been on.

For those a little more curious about why I went to Israel it was a trip called "The Caravan for Democracy". It's the non-jewish version of birthright (Jewish-American students get a free trip to Israel once they turn 18). So 250+ Student Leaders from around the country who weren't Jewish and had never been to Israel, applied to the program supported by the Jewish National Fund. A few of us got called back for a skype interview over the summer and then sixty eight students were selected from that to be split between two trips.

At first, I was intimidated by the other students attending. I was the only art major and many of the other students were from esteemed universities like Yale, Harvard and (THE) George Washington University. Most of these students were engineering, political science and international studies majors. Despite many similar majors, we were a diverse bunch. We came from different races, different states, different political stances, some of us were well traveled (or lived abroad) and for some, the trip to Israel was their third or fourth airplane flight ever. 

I'd like to think our diversity brought us closer. Our bus group didn't really have cliques and just about every time we sat on the bus, we'd all sit next to someone different. I found that this group was a curious one, I had so many incredible conversations and was asked many hard, but deep questions that helped me learn about myself. To add to the incredible qualities of this group, we had no fighting and no drama (how incredible and rare is that in a group of 30+ college students?). 

One of my new friends, Mike, said this about the combination of the community and experience: "putting me on the trip with the content alone would have been amazing. Putting me in an empty room with all of you would have been a blast. Combine the two? Changing." 

It was so changing. For many who know me personally, they know that this trip came at the perfect time, like a breath of fresh air. 

It wasn't all fun, but it was all moving.

I cried and prayed with Jewish women at the Western wall. I dipped my hand into the Sea of Gallilee and was left breathless at the thought that Jesus had walked on this water centuries before me. I brushed away silent tears as I walked through the children's memorial at Yad Vashem (Israel's Holocaust Museum).  I changed my 'scope' as I was challenged by journalist Matti Friedman on the issue of conflict between Israel and the middle east. 

Our trip was rich with conversation and talks with a diverse group of speakers. We heard from Kher Abez, a Bedouin (group of Arabs living in the Negev desert in the south of Israel) man and the struggles of raising his daughters in the small education system that exists for them in their area of the Jewish State. We heard from a disabled Israeli who was brought so much joy by being able to work at Lotem (An organization south of Haifa that serves to make nature accessible for people who have special needs). We toured Sderot (the bomb shelter capital of the World) and looked out over a hill where Hamas was probably digging tunnels and preparing for rocket launches against Israel. 

Another intense experience I believe we all had was on New Year's day. When we had boarded the bus, most of us extremely tired from the previous nights festivities, one of our chaperones Yishai, broke the news to us that 39 people were killed in a terrorist attack. The shooter had entered a club in Istanbul (just like the one we had been celebrating in the night before) and open fired, killing club goers from 14 different countries. Yishai didn't say this to make us feel bad, he said this to bring us to reality. Suddenly this was real, the Middle East wasn't so far. We were in the middle east, just a two hour flight away from Istanbul, Turkey. 

Experiencing Israel has given me a link to the middle east that I did not have before.

One of my favorite talks was about the efforts by Beit Hagefen, Haifa, Israel. It's a non-profit program that "believes in creating shared egalitarian spaces that contain the variety of identities and cultures in Haifa in particular and Israel in general". Some of the facets of the program include a library, an art gallery and after school programs for Jewish and Arab children. The woman who spoke to us had been working at the Jewish-Arab cultural center for over twenty years and hadn't seen an immense amount of growth in her time there, but still was passionate about how the program was bringing the Jewish and Arab communities together even if it had a smaller effect. 

I was astonished and inspired by Beit Hagefen and you can read more here at this site. 

It's hard to sum up my trip in a blog post or in photos. In fact, none of this really does the trip justice. Israel is not a place where photos are enough, you need to experience the people, eat the food, breathe the air.

I didn't want to come home. I wanted to stay in Israel, rich in culture, with my 33 new best buds.  There are moments and feelings I will never forget. I am so grateful I had the opportunity to experience it all and inspired to look at the world differently.

I also created a video... please don't expect greatness, I could barely figure out the focus, but you can view it here. 

Overall, I think I learned the more you discover about the World, more you realize you don't know much at all. We are complicated beings with complex problems. No answer or conflict is so simple, there are so many facets to any one problem. Borders, cultures, politics, and religion all entangle into a mess that is the conflict. I'm pretty sure I came back more confused about what I thought the conflict with Israel was about.

I do know this, I left a lot of a pieces of my heart in Israel. I left a piece with the Bedouins in the Negev Desert, a piece with the Druze in Isfiya, a piece with the Israeli's in Sderot and a piece with all the Israeli, Arab and Jews making an effort to make Israel a better country. 

Hallway of the Church Beatitudes

Hallway of the Church Beatitudes

Jewish men talking in old temple in Capernaum 

Jewish men talking in old temple in Capernaum 

The Sea of Gallilee

The Sea of Gallilee

Capernaum

Capernaum

Looking out over the Sea of Gallilee

Looking out over the Sea of Gallilee

Moshbutz! My favorite lunch place from the entire trip.

Moshbutz! My favorite lunch place from the entire trip.

An olive grove next to Moshbutz

An olive grove next to Moshbutz

View of Syria from the Golan Heights

View of Syria from the Golan Heights

Celebrating the fifth night of Chanukah in Kibbutz Gonen

Celebrating the fifth night of Chanukah in Kibbutz Gonen

View of Haifa, the third largest city in the State of Israel.

View of Haifa, the third largest city in the State of Israel.

Woman at Lotem explaining the Seven Species of Israel to us. (wheat and barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives (pictured) and dates).

Woman at Lotem explaining the Seven Species of Israel to us. (wheat and barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives (pictured) and dates).

Picking olives for olive oil at Lotem 

Picking olives for olive oil at Lotem 

View of Lotem.

View of Lotem.

A Druze women walking through streets in Isfiya.

A Druze women walking through streets in Isfiya.

Old City Jerusalem

Old City Jerusalem

All of the olive trees all over Israel were my favorite.

All of the olive trees all over Israel were my favorite.

View of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, part of the Muslim quarter in Old City Jerusalem.

View of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, part of the Muslim quarter in Old City Jerusalem.

Women at the Western Wall

Women at the Western Wall

Prayers overflow the cracks in between bricks of the Western Wall. 

Prayers overflow the cracks in between bricks of the Western Wall. 

Market place at Old City Jerusalem.

Market place at Old City Jerusalem.

Old city Jerusalem souvenirs for purchase.

Old city Jerusalem souvenirs for purchase.

Market pastries

Market pastries

Church of the Holy Sepulcre, Old city Jerusalem.

Church of the Holy Sepulcre, Old city Jerusalem.

Incense holders at Church of the Holy Sepulcre.

Incense holders at Church of the Holy Sepulcre.

A 25 minute hike up Mount Masada, King Herod's fortress 2000+ years ago.

A 25 minute hike up Mount Masada, King Herod's fortress 2000+ years ago.

Matt, Tremayne and Nick pumped for our Masada hike

Matt, Tremayne and Nick pumped for our Masada hike

Ancient, preserved tile on Mount Masada

Ancient, preserved tile on Mount Masada

A dead sea sunset with pink Jordan mountains.

A dead sea sunset with pink Jordan mountains.

View of Jerusalem

View of Jerusalem

Bedouin farm that grows herbs and medicinal plants. 

Bedouin farm that grows herbs and medicinal plants. 

A little bit of weed-whacking next to the drip irrigation system (invented in Israel in 1959).

A little bit of weed-whacking next to the drip irrigation system (invented in Israel in 1959).

Sheep at the Bedouin farm

Sheep at the Bedouin farm

View from the Hill overlooking the Gaza Strip from Sderot.

View from the Hill overlooking the Gaza Strip from Sderot.

Kher Abez speaking to us and feeding us in his Bedouin home in Beer Sheva. Also... this was one of the best dinners we had throughout the trip.

Kher Abez speaking to us and feeding us in his Bedouin home in Beer Sheva. Also... this was one of the best dinners we had throughout the trip.

Hydro-ponic system at Earth's Promise in Beer Sheva.

Hydro-ponic system at Earth's Promise in Beer Sheva.

Tel Aviv street corner

Tel Aviv street corner

Israel Independence hall located in Tel Aviv.

Israel Independence hall located in Tel Aviv.

The BEST falafel i've ever had.

The BEST falafel i've ever had.

No lie, I still dream of this falafel.

No lie, I still dream of this falafel.

Spices for sale at a Tel Aviv Market

Spices for sale at a Tel Aviv Market

Tel Aviv marketplace

Tel Aviv marketplace

Sunset view of Tel Aviv from Old Jaffa.

Sunset view of Tel Aviv from Old Jaffa.

Me happy as a clam and definitely NOT ready to go home after our last day in Tel Aviv.

Me happy as a clam and definitely NOT ready to go home after our last day in Tel Aviv.

My 34 best buds from all over the country (and outside the country).

My 34 best buds from all over the country (and outside the country).

A special thanks to:

The Jewish National Fund - for making the trip possible and recognizing the value in sending Non-jewish students to experience Israel.

Yossi- for being our fearless tour guide who gave us a neutral view on Israel, answering a million questions for us and always making sure our count-off was EXCELLENT.

Yishai- for always cracking jokes, adding onto Yossi's plethora of information, encouraging us to bring this experience home and constantly pointing out JNF efforts all throughout Israel.  

Audrey- for being our fantastic 'Mom' of the trip, taking us to urgent care if we needed and always looking out for us.

Omer- for never leaving one of us behind and always being Sababa.

Mohammed - for badass (it seriously deserves that word) bus driving.

These words and photographs do little justice to this incredible experience and i'm so blessed and thankful I was chosen to be on this trip with a phenomenal group of people. 

Imprint

So I wrote a little bit about these pictures, something I normally don't do, and you can read it, or just look at the pictures, I don't really care. This is kind of like an open journal entry and maybe it'll encourage you. 

 

Relationships are hard because people are messy. And that includes all relationships, friendships, marriages, romantic, non-romantic and everything in between. No one is perfect. Expectations, selfishness and motivations get in the way.

This collection of photos is a reflection of the imprints that two people in a relationship leave on one another. We invest ourselves in another person and no matter how hard we guard ourself, we face pain and hardships because we are imperfect. I’m grateful that creating is a part of my healing process.

It’s a beautiful thing- that we can let ourselves be vulnerable- that we can lose sleep, and appetite over losing another person. Loss is a part of life. If you think about it long enough, it’s fascinating that we can feel and connect with another human. We create all sorts of memories with a person where little things will trigger thoughts and feelings to remind you of the past.

I’ve discovered that the most important thing for me after facing loss is to keep moving and to invest myself in things that make me happy and drive me forward. Surrounding myself with good people and investing in new memories that help the wounds heal.

So now, I’m rejoicing in the wounds and not regretting the imprints because I’ve grown from them. In this new year I don’t want to wither; I want to bloom.

About the shoot:

Lexi Mire is amazing and was totally helpful in shooting with me. Juliana and Stephan are a super fun couple and were fantastic models. They totally didn't mind getting a little messy. In some of these shots you can see their matching constellation tattoos on their feet. All of these photographs were shot at Delo Studio in Downtown Jacksonville.

While planning and editing I listened to Wolves (Part one and Two) by Bon Iver and Ocean by Liza Anne on repeat and i'd say both of those songs were of influence.  

Wenzell Wedding

Chelsea and John's wedding was one of the most fun weddings I've shot. The two are from Georgia but decided to celebrate their love and marriage in sunny, Amelia Island. Their day was filled with crazy and fun moments through and through. Some of my favorites were when John got locked out of the church but was able to get in moments before Chelsea walked down the aisle and despite that frustration, he totally kept his cool. Another was when Chelsea decided sore feet wouldn't stop her during the reception and she threw on a pair of ultra-comfy adidas to rock on the dance floor...Also John had Westeros socks...

My second shooter was the loveliest Laina Bowen who does amazing work and also recently moved to South Carolina. If you're from that area, check out her work, she's a total sweetheart and so talented!

Chelsea and John are so in love and it's pretty obvious by the way they look at each other. The whole day, they were down for whatever I imagined in my head. At their wedding I felt more like a guest than a photographer, which is something I always love.

Planning+ Design: Simply Grace Events

Floral Design: The Wilding Collective

Chelsea's hair: Updo Guru

Chelsea's Dress:  Houghton NYC

Church: St. Michaels

Venue: Walker's Landing on Amelia Island

Bridesmaids Dresses: BHLDN

 

 

Baby Atticus

This newborn session is probably my favorite ever. I met Atticus' mama through her blog The Curious Natalia. Carla is one of Jacksonville's best fashion bloggers and is an absolute joy to work with. She's got a whole lotta Puerto Rican sass mixed with her sweet and modern style, you can see it all on her blog. Justin, her husband, is also so sweet with a great love for Carla and their new baby boy. The two adore each other and it just made sense they'd be great parents. 

Their home was the perfect place to shoot Atticus' newborn session. Carla and Justin styled little Atticus' nursery with geometric shapes and animal faces which fit into their home perfectly. This session also taught me that a swaddled baby is a happy baby! 

 

Alie + Connor

There's just something about the fair. The smell of fried elephant ears, the excess of bright, colorful lights and the stickiness of sugary cotton candy dripping from your fingers... To me, it's almost enchanting. 

I've been wanting to shoot at the fair for a good while now and I finally got my chance with Alie + Connor for this couple shoot. 

Alie + Connor are from South Florida but have a special place in their hearts for North Florida. So it ended up being no problem for them to drive up and spend their evening at the fair with me. We ate cotton candy, rode on a squeaky ferris wheel and played a few fair games to make some carney's happy. 

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Longsworth Family

Two blog posts in one month? Well, I'm finally getting back on my game (or trying to). This sweet little family session was one of my favorites in all of fall so far. Jordyn found me through instagram and we planned an adorable and organic family session in the golden light of an October evening. Not pictured below was the constant mosquitos that were biting all of us through the whole session. Hurricane Matthew did a number on all of the forrest areas not just with trees falling, but apparently with a huge growth in the population of blood suckers. I was not aware of this before the shoot, but thankfully, Jordyn, Brannon and little Wilder (how perfect is that name?) toughed it out and didnt stop smiling.

Courtney + Keegan Anniversary Session

I met the Mclanahan's two years ago and we became fast friends. They're some of the realest people I know. They're also hilarious together and it's so evident the two are absolutely best friends. Courtney is a mega babe barista/manager at Vagabond Coffee and Keegan creates music. They've been married for two and half years so back in September, I decided to take pictures at the place where Keegan proposed to Courtney three years ago. We sweat a ton because of the September sun but we also laughed and after, we filled our stomachs with drinks and burgers at an Irish Pub to celebrate a successful shoot. 

Anna + Josh Anniversary Session

 

First off, I love Anna and Josh so much! They are such hard workers and have such a passion for people like i've never seen before. Before meeting and becoming good friends with them I remember seeing Anna and Josh's wedding pictures. These two looked so in love and also... I totally thought they should be models. A year and a half later, I finally got around to taking photos of them for their 3rd anniversary.  We explored an open golden field (my favorite spot in JAX to take photos) Josh made plenty of crazy faces and noises while Anna and I just laughed at him until the sun set!

Ariel + Bige Married

Ariel found me over instagram, before I really even started shooting lots of weddings. I barely had a website and was still wondering if I was even going to dive into this wedding thing.  She contacted me in May of 2015 wanting to book me. From that time til about April of 2016, plans were changing constantly about where they wanted to get married, when and whether they were eloping or not.  I found the process pretty fun exciting because I totally trusted Ariel's vision and was excited to see what she ended up choosing!

When Ariel, her sister and I sat down to coffee at bold bean in February, Ariel told me about her details and her dream for her wedding. I could barely contain my excitement in shooting a wedding with a bride who's style wasn't completely dictated by "southern charm". We chatted about details and I fell in love with this wedding even before I shot it. 

Ariel was involved with each of her many details and had a great amount of help from her family, it was beautiful to see it all come together on the wedding day. She brought a geode specifically for me to photograph her rings in! Ariel also gave her bridesmaids sweet rings from Consider the Wldflwers . Instead of having a typical cocktail hour, they got cold brew from Brew Five Points to cool off guests before the reception. Her colors and theme were inspired by her wedding invitation by Archer and Olive. Together, her and Bige wanted their wedding to be minimal yet organic.

I didn't meet Bige until the day of the wedding but he was perfectly calm, cool and collected the whole day. He didn't complain once about the ninety degree heat in a full suit and was up for whatever pictures needed to be taken. 

At the beginning of the day, we planned for a first look, things ran behind and Ariel and Bige kept cool and embraced the change. No freaking out, nothing. They were just so psyched to get married.

Ariel and Bige were the sweetest and they have such a beautiful love. While I have too many favorite moments from the wedding, their first dance was definitely one of them. The song they danced to was "Crystalized" by Young the Giant (their favorite band). They were singing it to each other while dancing and I totally had some happy tears pooling in my eyes. 

 

Ariel has an overwhelmingly beautiful smile and laugh. From the photos you can actually see her demeanor change from cool and collected before the ceremony, to her hardly being able to contain a smile. This transition came from the moment she saw Bige and lasted til the end of the night. Absolute pure joy and bliss.

See if for yourself...