Make It Happen

Make It Happen

One of the things I love about weddings is that they are all different. Weddings all have different kinds of details at different venues with different timelines. Sometimes you have an entire hour to shoot the bride's details in a big beautiful room or you have a porch with great natural light that you can use. But sometimes you have a real "make it work" moment.

But the great thing about photography is that you CHOOSE what goes in the picture. You can choose not to show some things! I wanted to share a couple of pull-back shots from recent weddings and sessions so you can see what I'm talking about.

Working with the situation that you're given and making magic happen is so rewarding! I often love these shots more because of all the effort it took to get it!

Cindy & Kyle - Waterman's and First Landing Engagement Session

Cindy & Kyle work together, but didn't meet until a bunch of their coworkers went to Waterman's Crush Fest. Even though a storm blew through and canceled most of the weekend's activities at the boardwalk, they all decided to go anyway. And when Cindy met Kyle, there was instantly something special. Somehow she knew that this was different. And when you know, you know.

Kyle was the guy who was never going to get married. It wasn't a secret. Everyone knew it. And when Kyle's mom and sister met Cindy, they warned her. He wasn't looking for marriage. But something was different about Cindy. He wanted a future with her. He wanted a ring on her finger.

Cindy & Kyle spend a lot of time at the Oceanfront and often go to Waterman's for dinner. So it seemed appropriate for Kyle to ask Cindy to spend forever with him where it all started. At the corner of the bar, he quietly asked her the question he never thought he would ask anyone. Because when you know, you know.

So Waterman's Surfside Grille seemed like the obvious place to start their engagement session. And then we moved off the foggy beach and into First Landing state park with the most gorgeously bright fall leaves. Cindy & Kyle weren't looking for a posed session, so I stepped back and captured them just the way they are together. And it was perfect.

I can't wait to kick off my wedding season next year with their wedding in May! 

Are you looking for a wedding photographer? I'd love to hear from you to see if we'd be a good fit!

If you enjoyed this post, you might also like Anne Marie & Myles' fall engagement session at Oak Grove Lake Park.

Sunshine & Raindrops ~ Happy December!

Some recent sunshine & raindrops:

- Splitting Thanksgiving into two days. This year was the first since Ryan and I have been dating that we didn't share our Thanksgiving meal with both sets of parents. Instead, we had one meal on Wednesday with my family and a meal on Thursday with his. And I loved it! There are so many yummy dishes that we only make this time of year, so I always feel the need to eat EVERYTHING. But since we were spreading it out, I didn't feel that way at all.

- Not being in charge of cooking the turkey, stuffing, and other main dishes definitely has its perks, but then you end up eating weird dinners like this instead of all the yummy leftovers. 

- Not going Black Friday shopping. I have only waited outside for a store to open once, but have always done at least a little Black Friday shopping for the past few years. But this year, it just seemed like too much. I'm tired of the excessive consumerism of it. So instead we did a bit of decorating and had sushi with our family.

- Getting the Simplicity Itch. I blame Our Yellow Door, because I've been reading through her Simplicity blog series. But this has been on my mind a lot over the past few weeks. We have so much already and we have need for so little, but yet we keep collecting more stuff!

And a little NaNoWriMo Update:
NaNoWriMo is over and I won! I actually completed my 50,000 words a day early after writing almost 10,000 words between Friday and Saturday. It was amazingly fun, and I really enjoyed picking my writing hobby back up. One of the only downsides to pursuing photography full time was that I lost it as a hobby. Once photography became my job, I felt like I needed to leave it in the office and shut the door at 5 pm instead of spending all my evenings and weekends on it. So at least for the month of November, it was nice to renew my love of writing.
Some fun and interesting ways I made it to 50,0000 words:
- Changing my main character's name from Regan to Anna Claire. Words added: 300 (To be fair, I realized that her married name Regan Leland sounded awful, so it was begging to be changed.)
- Creating two characters whose sole purpose in the novel was to gossip about other characters. Words added: 782.
- Writing not 1 but 3 epilogues to the novel. Words added: 753.
- Having one character teach another a couple of line dances at a party. Words added: 706.
- Quoting a scene from You've Got Mail. Words added: 162.
- Including vows and other excerpts of a wedding ceremony. Words added: 846.
- Describing various buffets and meals in detail. Words added: 530.
- Writing the same flashback scene from the angle of each of my main characters. Words added: 1124.
- Describing one character's social media life. Words added: 655.


Photo from our anniversary session last year with Bit of Ivory Photography.

Giving Thanks

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Ryan and I kicked off our Thanksgiving weekend celebration last night with a traditional turkey dinner at my parents' house. Today we'll be enjoying the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, a big lunch with his family, and the Cowboys game.

There are so many amazing Thanksgiving traditions that I love to enjoy every year, but I have to stop and remind myself that the "stuff" isn't what makes Thanksgiving important.

So today, (as I should every day) I'll be taking a few minutes to rejoice in God's blessings this year and to thank Him for them!

I mentioned on Monday that I am trying to make thankfulness a habit in my every day life. I tend to be pessimistic and see the bad in situations, but for the past couple of months I have been keeping a gratitude journal. Before reading my Bible, I write down a few blessings from that day. Sometimes they are big things, but often they are small things that I would easily overlook. 

But what I love the most is how this habit forces me to find the silver lining in the disappointing parts of everyday life. God brought that little disappointment or struggle into my life for a reason and even though the full reason might not be obvious to me, I can find something to be grateful for in the situation.

Have you ever kept a gratitude journal? Leave a comment and tell me about it!

Stylized Shoot: A Thanksgiving Rehearsal Dinner

Stylized Shoot: A Thanksgiving Rehearsal Dinner

Thanksgiving is about family coming together around the table to celebrate the love that they share and the blessings of the past year. What a perfect way to celebrate a rehearsal dinner, which is already a celebration of two families joining!

The concept behind this Thanksgiving stylized rehearsal dinner was a fresh modern take on the traditional Thanksgiving table. Heart's Content Events and Design and I blended a cheery yellow and white striped tablecloth, mid-century modern side tables, and glossy painted pumpkins with shades of yellow. Steinhilber's provided the perfect backdrop, because it's the perfect place for a rehearsal dinner! Jess Barbini Hair and Kim Porter worked their hair and makeup magic on our beautiful model, Kirsten. And Sweet Temptations Dessert Cafe provided the delicious spread of desserts for our side tables.

I am so grateful for all these wonderful people who put time and effort into bringing the shoot to life! And I have to thank my handsome and talented husband for creating not only our stationary but also our mid-century modern side tables!

Sunshine & Raindrops - Spilled Wax, Jumping Ship, and Storage Solutions

Some recent sunshine & raindrops:

- As sad as I am to see fall officially wrapping up, I'm very excited for Thanksgiving this week. It's one of my favorite holidays, and gratefulness is something I've been trying to emphasize in my own life this year. And this week is the culmination of that!

- I'm not going to lie. I'm pretty excited to start cranking the Christmas tunes and put up the decorations this week. It's been hard to hold out this long!

- I felt like organizing on Friday, but once I got knee deep in the crazy crafting mess that is our spare room, I realized that the only solution was a built in closet shelf and a handful of tubs from Target. (I have a lot of crafting hobbies!) And that unfortunately brought the organizing to a screeching halt until January when we have room in the budget to spend $50 just on plastic tubs.

- I gave my fall centerpiece one last fling with a handful of pillar candles, but I couldn't find all of my candle-sized glassware... and the result was a kitchen table that now needs to be refinished from all the wax we had to scrape off of it. Oops!

- I am very particular about the color of light in our little yellow house. As a photographer, mixed lighting drives me crazy, so I prefer cooler toned light bulbs to the traditional warm ones. That way the light in the house matches the sunlight coming in the windows. And it's incredibly important in my office where I'm editing and displaying my images. So the excitement of getting light bulbs for my newly hung purple chandelier was a bit dimmed by the realization that they were much too warm. (Pun definitely intended!)

- There have been an unusual amount of typos on my blog lately. And for an English major, that's just not cool.

And a little NaNoWriMo Update:
I hit a creative wall last week with my novel idea and decided to jump ship to a new novel idea. So technically, my 50,000 words won't be on the same plot line, but I'm still considering it a win. This new idea allows me to wing it a bit more instead of constantly worrying about how historically inaccurate my story is becoming. And when you're 10,000 words behind, that makes a big difference.
As of last night, I'm less than 5,000 words behind. I will need to put in about 1.5-2 hours of writing every day for the rest of the month to win, but I'm absolutely determined that I will not lose, even if that means I'm up until midnight on Sunday night cramming in those final words.

But enough about that.... Happy Monday everyone! Check back Wednesday for my favorites from our Thanksgiving Rehearsal Dinner Stylized Shoot! It's full of bright yellows, glossy pumpkins, and some delicious desserts!