Behind the Scenes in 2014

Behind the Scenes in 2014

Somehow, it’s mid-February and I’m just now getting around to pulling this blog post together. But late is better than never, and it’s been kind of fun looking through all of my 2014 weddings over the past few days. I’ve been thinking a lot about where I’ve been over the past year, and getting super excited as I’m preparing for the 2015 wedding season to begin soon!!

So today is all about remembering what went in to documenting beautiful couples and extraordinary days. It’s a fun look back at this previous year, and just a glance at a few things that goes on behind the scenes.

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So, first off, I just want to say that Lucas and I are SO BAD about taking behind the scenes photos. I’ve tried to make a point to get a few shots of us working, but we get really focused on the day and our couples that most of the time we just completely forget. There aren’t very many photographs in this post, but they’re all that we took. ALL YEAR LONG.
But one shot I ALWAYS get is Luke standing either where the first look or couple’s portraits are going to be. Just to be ensure that the light looks okay and we don’t waste any time.

In the photo above, Lucas is actually standing in the middle of a parking lot, and later we created one of my FAVORITE photos from the entire wedding season here. In a parking lot.

Because art is everywhere.

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I’ve also attempted to incorporate more film photography into my weddings. There’s me with my (GIANT) Pentax medium format camera, and I absolutely LOVE that thing.
So. So. So. Much.

But it’s incredibly heavy and so it spends most of it’s life inside my bag. But one of my goals for this next year is to use it for a more significant portion of the wedding day, because the photos that it makes? Seriously magical.

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This is the story of my life. If there’s tall grass, a bush, or a tree in the area… I’m probably in it.

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Because our couples are so much more than clients.
They’re friends.

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Oh hey, good lookin’.

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This photo is a wonderful reminder of the importance of trusting your second photographer. Because my back was turned and I didn’t even see this photograph.

But Lucas did, and it ended up being one of my favorites from the entire day.

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Can you find me amongst the sea of guests? :)

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Over the past year, I was so. incredibly. blessed. to work with some of the most fantastic couples. Seriously. I don’t just say that because I have to or because it sounds good, but I truly believe it with everything within me. What we do would be nothing without each and every couple who trusted Lucas and I to document the thousand ordinary moments that made up their extraordinary wedding days.
And that means the world to me.

The Great Arkadelphia Ice Storm of 2015… Except…

The Great Arkadelphia Ice Storm of 2015… Except…

As I sit here, cross-legged at my desk with a cup of tea warming my hands, I can’t help but smile.

Saturday was an absolutely perfect Valentine’s Day – 70 degrees, sunshine, with a slight wind. Lucas and I spent the entire afternoon just being outside – walking on trails, going on adventures, and grilling out front.

And today, we woke up to a layer of ice covering absolutely everything. Our town is so woefully unequipped to handle any sort of weather that our electricity decided it was just all too much and gave up. So here I sit, typing this in the dark, and laughing inside about how silly Arkansas weather is and how blessed I am to be in a position to just enjoy whatever it happens to throw at us.

Even if that means it’s 70 degrees one day and 30 the next.
:)

Since today was the first day we’ve had even remotely winter-like weather all year, naturally we had to go explore. Mostly to go to the store and get groceries for dinner (and 15 loaves of bread because YOU JUST NEVER KNOW WE MAY BE STUCK FOR DAYS #southernsnowpanic #justkidding), but also just because it hardly gets below freezing and who knows if it will do it again this year?

So here’s to random adventures with your spouse.
To living in the moment and enjoying what it brings you.
To remembering that life is short and each moment is sacred.
To finding beauty and art in the smallest thing – from a ice hanging off a bent branch to the colors of a cold day.

Happy Monday, friends.
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Statements That Define Me | IV

Statements That Define Me | IV

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what I believe.
About whether or not I actually believe the things that I say I do. Or whether I just say I believe it because I’ve been told that I should.

So, even though it feels unproductive, I’m spending today thinking about why. Forgetting about everything I’ve been told and everything I’ve thought to be true in the past, and truly asking myself why I do this. Not why I think I should. But why I actually do. What I truly believe.

“Do not ask your children
to strive for extraordinary lives.
Such striving may seem admirable,
but it is the way of foolishness.
Help them instead to find the wonder
and the marvel of an ordinary life.
Show them the joy of tasting
tomatoes, apples and pears.
Show them how to cry
when pets and people die.
Show them the infinite pleasure
in the touch of a hand.
And make the ordinary come alive for them.
The extraordinary will take care of itself.”
― William Martin

I believe this.

The Best Advice for an Artist in an Industry of Imitation

The Best Advice for an Artist in an Industry of Imitation

I took a break from blogging for the past week because I spent the majority of it at a professional conference in Nashville, TN. And I still haven’t perfected the art of blogging in advance.
But I’m working on it.

Anyway, while I was gone, I spent a three days sitting in classes and learning about business, photography, and marketing from some of the most well-respected professionals in my industry. Yet the most profound thing that I took away wasn’t a new technique, skill, or trend… it was simply to be ME.

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See, this is an industry where it’s all too easy to be just like everyone else. To do exactly what industry leaders tell you to do… just like everyone else. And before you know it, your business is just one of a thousand identical businesses. Commodities. All poor, dim reflections of an original they’ll never quite be.

So let’s separate ourselves from the masses.
Let’s worry less at what other people are doing and focus more on the unique task The Lord has called us to.
Let’s turn our attention to artists in all genres and away from our peers and other wedding photographers.
Let’s continue to develop our own personal styles by practicing our craft daily and doing art for art’s sake.
Let’s do personal projects.
Let’s be less concerned about whether or not people like what we do. Because art is subjective.

Let’s rebel against imitation.

“People are in a hurry to magnify themselves by imitating what is popular – and too lazy to think of anything better. Hurry ruins saints as well as artists. they want quick success, and they are in such a haste to get it that they cannot take time to be true to themselves.”
– Thomas Merton

5 Reasons Why Bloglovin’ is Incredible

5 Reasons Why Bloglovin’ is Incredible

A few weeks ago, I stumbled across a service called Bloglovin‘… and it’s absolutely incredible.
If you.
You know.
Love blogs.

Basically, bloglovin’ is an online service that allows you to follow all of your favorite blogs, then shows you new updates from all of the in one concise feed. When you click on a blog post, it marks it as “read”, and opens the post in a new browser with a special bloglovin’ header. From there, you can read the post, add it as a “favorite” to refer back to later, go to the next unread post, and share the blog to social media if you’re particularly in love with it.

It’s basically a combo instagram/pinterest/news feed for blogs, and I’m completely and totally smitten. Here’s the top 5 reasons why –

1. Favorites.
I loveloveLOVE that I can click on a “heart” at the top of the blog post and it saves it. I have all sorts of fun blogs saved now… from smoothie recipes to helpful articles I want to refer back to later. It’s just. so. handy.

2. It’s a great tool to gain exposure.
If you’re a blogger, you want people to be able to find your blog. This is simply one more way to make that happen. In fact, I found a fantastic designer on bloglovin’, and I’m officially 1000% obsessed with her blog. Seriously. I read it every day. On most days, it’s one of the first things I do when I get to work in the morning.

3. Stats
Bloglovin’ has a wonderful statistic section, which helps you understand how many people are clicking through and looking at your blog. For those of us who love stats. :)

4. There’s a fantastic mobile app. 
So. You know. You can easily read on the go.

5. Less reliance on Facebook.
Previously, if I wanted to follow a blog, I’d “like” their Facebook page and rely on Facebook to update me when they posted. Except that Facebook is continually showing less and less content, so it’s becoming more and more common that I miss posts that I care about reading. Bloglovin’ doesn’t hide any posts – it’s all there and it’s easy for me to ensure that I don’t miss anything.
This one is my favorite.

If you’ve never heard of this wonderful service, go check it out!
Seriously.
It’ll change your life.
And if you’d like to follow my blog over there, feel free to do so by clicking here!

Happy Monday, friends!

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