Wayne and Leanna

Such a sweet couple to spend the day with.  I couldn’t get over the perfection of this day or the simplicity of their love. It seemed to flow over to everyone who attended. Here are a few snippets of their lovely day.

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Wayne and Leanna

Sam and Fernando Engaged

My dear friends Sam and Fernando are engaged! Of course, Fern was a bit skittish when it came to photos, but part of my job is to change my clients’ perspective on themselves.  One of my favorite aspects of my job is when I get to make my clients feel comfortable in their own skin, and usually they don’t even realize they are changing throughout the shoot! This is where great humor and peace come in handy.  Check out how cute they are.

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Sam and Fernando Engaged

Nick and Lauren Engaged

So this is Nick.LaurenNickweb-72

And this is Lauren.LaurenNickweb-33

They are in love.LaurenNickweb-1 LaurenNickweb-7 LaurenNickweb-9

Nick is a goof. And Lauren loves that about him.LaurenNickweb-13 LaurenNickweb-22 LaurenNickweb-24 LaurenNickweb-27 LaurenNickweb-32 LaurenNickweb-37

They love to laugh and have fun. And I appreciate that so much. LaurenNickweb-42 LaurenNickweb-47 LaurenNickweb-51 LaurenNickweb-56 LaurenNickweb-58

Congrats to Nick and Lauren on your engagement!LaurenNickweb-65LaurenNickweb-20

Nick and Lauren Engaged

Brett + Jordyn

“Here.”

My teal and purple wind jacket swished loudly as I reached into my pocket to check the text.  Oh man, Oh man, Oh man.  My heart began to pound as I made my way through the overgrown bushes and trees.

The plan had been executed perfectly up until now.  My dear friend was about to be proposed to and the execution of said plan was well under way. She was about to be so surprised. And that was a miracle.

If you would have sent a hovercraft over the Palmer Hill (the only hill in Sarasota), one would have spotted a suspicious looking person in an abnormally large straw hat and 80’s windsuit, making their way through waste high shrubs clearly off any of the designated running paths.  One would have thought it disconcerting as said person crouched behind a tree for a second and then moved on.

I was looking for the perfect location.  I had disguised myself perfectly, each article of clothing was something I wouldn’t have been caught dead in.  Ok, that’s not really true because I love the ’80’s, but Jordyn wouldn’t recognize me. That’s all that mattered.

As I sat crouching in the high shrubs waiting to hear their voices, I periodically whipped my camera out to snap a photo of a weed.  I supposed it would be better to be thought of as a strange botanist than a creepy peeper with a camera.

I think my heart was pounding more than Brett’s. Was I popping the question? No. But I was getting the shot.

All went nearly 100% according to plan despite nearly running into them on the path, getting eaten alive by mosquitos, and sitting dangerously close to a spider web.  Those minor details were greatly diminished in light of the glory of the moment Brett got down on his knee underneath the sprinkling gray clouds.  *snap

So here are the *snaps. Hope you enjoyed a bit of my story. I wish the best for theirs. Here’s to Brett and Jordyn!

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Brett + Jordyn

Hayden and Morgyn

It was a mid summer day and there was a flurry of activity in Morgyn’s hotel room. Girls, flowers, and hair accessories scattered the room. The day had finally come and though she and Hayden had already exchanged their vows months earlier, Morgyn was still filled with nervous anticipation.

The day could have stood to be a bit cooler, but what’s to be expected on a Sarasota summer?  It couldn’t have been more beautiful. This couple was so fun and easy to photograph. My favorite part: anyone can see that they’re best friends.  They love to be around each other.  And that fact alone put everyone at ease. Here are some favorite shots from the day.

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Hayden wore his blues for the first look.HaydenMorgyn-86 HaydenMorgyn-90 HaydenMorgyn-94 HaydenMorgyn-96 HaydenMorgyn-100 HaydenMorgyn-107 HaydenMorgyn-109 HaydenMorgyn-159

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Hayden and Morgyn

Independence Day- Molly Kennedy

I remember the first time I saw Molly. I was sitting in room with live music when she walked to the front and sat at the piano to sing back up.  I was struck by her beauty, then by her confidence, then by her voice. This girl. I didn’t know where she came from or where she was going, but knew I wanted to be her friend.  We eventually met a few weeks later through mutual friends and it was purely quirky friendship from that moment on.  No I’m serious, we are really weird.

I preface all this in order to tell a story.  A story of how I’m realizing how truly impactful photography can be.

In the beginning of the month, I approached Molly to do a mini July 4 shoot. I had a couple ideas cooking in my brain and I needed a model.  I needed a Molly.  She was the only one I could think of who would be perfect for this.

Well thanks to Molly’s love for quality time and adventure, we woke up before the crack of dawn and drove out to the beach to catch these shots you see below.  Pity Molly- I made her do the weirdest poses and jump over seaweed like a million times. But man. Dang. Ya. This is what happened.  The light. The dress. The smile. It was all perfect.  But it was because Molly was who she is, and it was because she was in the photos.  After she saw the photos, I later received a note from her explaining a bit of her own story to me.

How many of you know that we as human beings can be our own worse critics.  We nitpick, we covets someone else’s features, we complain.  Things can go unplanned in our lives and we blame ourselves.  Girls, how many of us say, “I’m just not pretty enough” or “if only I would be different.”

Molly’s note thanked me, explaining how she had previously been feeling these things creep into her thinking.  But when she received the photos, she found herself returning to them repeatedly.  She expressed that there were a few particular photos where she just stared. “At first I felt so detached from them. Like I wasn’t looking at pictures of me.” As she kept returning to them, her perspective began to shift. “I began to see the core of who I am.”  That perspective being the truth. That the core of who she is- her identity- is good. Beautiful. Worthy.

I almost cried when I read it.  Anyone can see that Molly is gorgeous, but she herself needs to see and experience her own value and goodness.

How about you? What lies do you tell yourself in the mirror as you get ready for your day? What areas of your thinking need to be set right again?

If I can have one purpose or vision in my photographic career, it would be to show people their worth.  I think my slogan says it pretty well: “I show people the beauty they are living.”  My desire is not to have the best equipment or have the most clients.  I’ve become more intentional than that.  My dream is to show worth to people.  If that means that they change their self perspective while flipping through the photos, then that’s what it will look like.  But I think that this shoot has not only helped Molly. It’s helped me.

Live intentionally. Eliminate lies and speak the truth.  And for heaven’s sake, if you just can’t seem to believe them, invite me to do a shoot.  I’ll show you the beauty that everyone else gets to see when they look at you.  You might feel totally not put together but don’t you know? There is such true raw beauty in the mess.

And here is my beautiful friend in all her Independence Day glory. Dress by Anthropologie. Flower crown by Jarrett Atelier.  Beach and perfect day by God.

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and some bloopers:

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Molly July Four

Independence Day- Molly Kennedy

Morone Wedding

I’m just now putting this wedding on the blog.  Better late than never, right?

I love this couple.  Everything about them is sweet, gentle, and caring.  And they have a great story.  They met online.  I knew Trisha before she met Joe.  When I met them to go over wedding plans, I just looked at her.  She had this little glint in her eye that I hadn’t seen before.  And when she smiled, I’m pretty sure I saw one of her teeth do that sparkle thing you see in the movies.  Joe was in a similar condition.  They were smitten.  And I was smitten by their smitten-ness.  Don’t kill me for making up a word.

Here are the photos from their special day.

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Morone Wedding