A little smitten with black coffee and a lot obsessed with my white lab. In this black and white world, I'm a firm believer in the grey.
When I first got into photography I was an atheist.
Born and raised in a world full of drugs and rock and roll, going to school was an option for me. In my world, there were winners and losers and I wasn't sure where my family fell.
I spent my entire life running from Jesus, denouncing "Bible Thumpers" because there was no way a God would allow the things that happened to me happen.
And then 2014 happened.
I'd just graduated college and was marrying the man of my dreams.
While tying up the loose ends of wedding planning, I made a pit stop by my tailor's house for some dress measurements before I left town for my bachelorette party.
God was the last thing on my mind.
Before I left my tailor's house, she asked to have coffee with me.
"Have you ever accepted God as your savior?"
I looked at her as if she were stupid.
"No. And I don't plan on it." *polite, but annoyed smile*
"Oh, that's okay. This is really pulling on me. Just have a seat and repeat after me..."
Irritatingly, I sat down, and repeated after her.
All of a sudden, warm, gold-like glowing fullness washed into my feet and swept up my body. When I opened my eyes the day was vibrant. The birds were chirping. Everything was turned up. I saw colors and sounds that I'd never seen before. I thought she spiked my coffee.
Scared, I thanked her and left.
I was the running joke of my bachelorette weekend. A beach girl at heart, having moved to Georgia, I wanted nothing more than to feed some seagulls on the beach. Problem was, it was too early in the year for seagulls to be out. So the food I carried in my pocket that weekend went to waste. (haha)
On our last morning there, I woke up early to enjoy coffee on the balcony and finish a book my tailor asked me to read. After reading the last page, I closed the book. After some time reflecting, I opened the sliding glass door to grab fresh coffee and there was a bird. Sitting. Looking at me... On our stove.
I walked over to him, put my finger out, *hoping* (yeah right, eye roll!) he would let me hold him.
He climbed onto my finger, and instantly - that warmth- vibrant, gold-like feeling swept through my body.
And it was in that moment my life began to change.
Once I figured out the initially scary, warmly inviting feeling I felt was Jesus, everything began transforming.
I spent most of my life running from Him, trying to define myself as a free individual, only to turn up more chained down. As my relationship with Jesus matures, I'm learning that it's Him who breaks chains, and His perfect love that sets us free.
When I found Him, I found my passions, and the permission to follow them.
Spending my weekends photographing weddings and baptisms is pretty much the coolest thing in the entire world...
And this brings me to photography: the crux of how I fell in love with people.
(Back in the day I decided people were untrustworthy, and I found solace in animals.)
After everything shifted in 2014, I took my photography business full time. What started as basic job to make a little money has transformed into a soul-shifting passion full of purpose I would have never anticipated.
After having photographed so many weddings, I understand the importance of my role. I've learned that helping my couples plan their wedding day means the difference of them enjoying their day versus feeling stiff and rushed.
I want you to feel comfortable and at ease on your wedding day so when you look back through your wedding album, you remember exactly how you felt when your spouse pulled you in close.
How your heart felt when he kissed you.
You shouldn't feel forced when you're being photographed on your wedding day because these memories are too precious.
My cameras capture the last moments a bride has with her grandmother, and the first moments she has with her husband.
Photographing folks with their favorite people during the most precious memories of their lives has taught me to see the world differently.
The small, fleeting moments that God gifts us with are important, and memories are precious.
"So apparently we're freaking professional models!!! Holy crap, these are freaking amazing!!!"
To put it simply: I believe that every person deserves to be known because every story can impact the world. I photograph weddings because I believe in the power of two stories coming together. I capture moments so that I can give back tangible, physical memories to my couples to serve as reminders of who they are and why they love. I want my couples' homes to serve as a daily visual reminder of why they married the love of their life. Every marriage can be amazing.
The success of our world depends upon the people, which depends upon families, which depends upon parents... The success of parents depends upon marriage. Marriage is important. Families are important. Remembering how you felt on your wedding day means everything to a marriage.
WHY you love who you love is the most important thing in this world, and it is my determination to create BOMB images that will remind you of why you fell in love.
Why is this my passion? Because my story was quite different.
I sometimes wonder what would have happened if my mom and dad stayed married. If she would have had the wherewithal to seek help for their family when he hit her, or if he would have had the confidence to seek help for himself... Or for her when she had troubles. Maybe, I wonder, had they found a way to help each other, would my mom have struggled with addiction until it took her life? Would my dad still be living out what I know he desires so deeply to change? I'll never know.
I watched my mother allow men into our home so that she could afford to feed me and her addiction. I watched my dad struggle in his own difficulties... completely unable to help me because, for whatever reason, he didn't have the ability. I have such a deep desire to know (not that I would change *any*thing that happened, because its led me to a life of abundance that I love so much) who I would be and where I would have landed if my parents would have supported each other.
This is why I'm passionate about marriage.
People fall in love. Sometimes it's messy, and sometimes it's utterly magical ---
but one thing is certain: love is beautiful. And the world needs more people who know how to love.
This is why I'm passionate about how I run my business.
When we weren't at the lake in GA, we were at the beach in FL. I spent every waking moment in the water as a kid.
That's my dad, right there with the cigarette in his mouth. I was really close with him when I was little... He owned his own HVAC repair business, and I remember riding in his old blue work van with him to jobs. It didn't have seatbelts (or seats!) in the back! I'd spend the day exploring his clients' properties while he worked... We spent a lot of time together, and it was a blast.
My parents divorced when I was around 2, and my mom and I left family in Georgia and went Clearwater, Florida. My mom made a living as a waitress on the beach, and met all kinds of famous folks. I remember her telling me a story about Mel Gibson trying to get her to pull his hair to prove it was real. (she never pulled it...)
I also went to work with her a lot, and just walked the beach or sat in the hotel. I don't remember as much about those days, other than the sand being so insanely hot on my feet!! :)
Our home was constantly FULL of them. Always. My mother took them in - nonstop. (She had a huge heart)
I don't think there was a time in my childhood when we had less than 4 cats and 4 dogs, but we frequently had more- and it was awesome! One time she stole (legit) a monkey from a zoo (it's a long story). (No, this mountain lion wasn't stolen; he was my mom's friend's pet.)
Anyway... My mom instilled a love for furry creatures in my heart, and I always thought I'd grow up to be a veterinarian. :)
But I did not become a veterinarian; I became a teacher! A lot of people don't know this about me, but I actually hardly attended school as a child. There was a lot of addiction in my family, and my mom was much more of a friend than she was a parent so I really got to do whatever I wanted to do! I dropped out of 11th grade (somehow with As and Bs) and a short time later found myself graduating from college with my teaching degree.
I've always had a passion for helping, be it people or animals, and I thought teaching would be perfect.
My kids in my classroom were my WORLD. We did Yoga together, played games instead of doing worksheets, and best of all: we didn't only focus on what was on the test.
I poured into my kids and they poured into each other. It was an incredible journey, being a teacher, but I ultimately did not have the freedom to teach in the ways I knew they needed (bureaucracy) so I left feeling overwhelmed and defeated at the end of the day. I met with my principal in 2017, and we both shed tears as I resigned. It was one of the best decisions of my life.
Around this time, I married the coolest, smartest, funniest, weirdest, most loyal person I'd ever met. We met in 2006, started dating in 2010, and got married in 2014. My husband, Will, is basically the complete opposite of me. He's a DIY'er- knows how to fix absolutely anything (including completely rebuilding engines) and he's his happiest when he's tinkering. I, on the other hand, would rather be exploring the earth and hanging out with my kids or friends or something. (Anything but tinkering!!)
It's perfect because we balance each other!
After our wedding we left the country for 10 whole days! We stayed at Tango Mar in Costa Rica and It. Was. AWESOME. If we weren't galavanting around the sketchy outskirts of our resort, we were enjoying drinks at the pool. I laugh looking back because I remember saving all the fruit from my drinks for the lizards, and eventually they learned to follow me around because I'd feed them alcohol-infused pineapple and stuff. haha
We traveled on horseback, zip lined, and had an ATV adventure -- all through the rainforest, and saw so much stuff. It was incredible. We want to go back!!
We're a pretty busy bunch! My husband runs a retail store, I run this fantastic thing right here, and together we homeschool our kids. Most mornings you'll find the kids and I crowded around the kitchen table with homemade breakfast burritos. Afternoons are reserved for homeschool fun, and evenings are reserved for beer and conversation with just my husband and I. (Okay, not every evening...)
For fun we like to hit the go carts at K1 Speed - and - not to brag, but I currently hold #1 in our family's race times.
You deserve a customized wedding collection based on what you want; not a cookie-cutter price sheet.
Your story is unique. Your family is unique. What brought you here, to this moment, with your soon-to-be spouse is unique.
Your wedding photography experience should be a reflection of you.
You want an engagement session that isn't cheesy. You want a photographer who'll listen to your wishes, but so far they all just seems to just toot their own horn... You want to have fun, but you also want to look beautiful. And deep down inside, you want those romantic shots too...
After your wedding experience, I'll custom-design your album (which, spoiler alert: is going to be INCREDIBLE) and walk you through the process of ordering art for your home. Why? Because your home should be a reflection of your love story. A soft place for your family to fall, and a welcoming place for love.
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