First blog post in... way, way too long! With my last couple years of undergrad, I've been pretty overwhelmed by school constantly. It's been a rough couple last years. Photography has been on the back-burner, and I'm excited to have time for sessions I haven't had time for in such a long time.. So what a perfect first post back to the blog- the gorgeous Hagewood girls for their Mama & Me session! Have you ever seen such sweetness in one set of pictures?! I'm completely in love with these pictures, and I'm so glad I decided to offer Mama and Me minis this year! I love the neutral, simple set-up that photographs so beautifully! I'm still offering these minis for a while, and they would be the perfect gift for Mother's Day!
Jessica and Kevin.. these two were the sweetest couple! Ahh! A few months ago, I got an email from Jessica. She and Kevin were planning their wedding at Rock Creek Farm (see Casey + Luis' Rock Creek Farm wedding HERE), and while scrolling on the Rock Creek Farm instagram page, Jessica saw a few of Casey + Luis' wedding pictures RCF had shared! Jessica loved the pictures she saw, and she wanted a wedding photographer who knew her venue. She booked BOP for her wedding, and here we are! I could not be more excited because I love RCF! There are so many locations for portraits all over. It is my favorite venue I've photographed!
Fast forward a couple months to Jessica and Kevin's engagement session! The day started off very dark and cloudy, and to be honest I was so nervous that the light was not going to work for their pictures. I always want to be able to give the BOP style to all my couples, and I need sunshine and good light for that! Due to scheduling, we really needed to go on with the shoot, so I drove to Belmont's campus (Jessica's alma mater) and we started shooting. After the first few pictures, the sun came out and shone beautifully for nearly the whole session! I was so thankful! Jessica and Kevin killed it with their outfits, and we had such a great time getting to know each other while shooting.
I love these engagement pictures, and I'm so excited for Jessica and Kevin's wedding this summer! I know it is going to be incredible!
Doesn't this rose garden set remind you of Beauty and the Beast?! Thank you Belmont for the perfect locations!
My best friend is getting married! AHHH! 3 years ago I met Kendra through a mutual friend. We ended up sitting next to each other in choir, and we became friends. This was the semester I was considering changing my major to music. Kendra was there for me and answered my (many) questions on how to be a music major! After the major change, the next semester we wound up in nearly all the same classes, and our friend group was formed! At Christmas of that year, Kendra had 2 roommates move out and was praying she'd be able to find people to move in. At the same time, I was praying I'd find a place to live in Clarksville because I was commuting and it was really taking its toll on me mentally and physically! Kendra texted me on Christmas break and said "I know it's a long shot, but if you happen to want to move in, we really need another roommate." I texted back "YES" and basically the rest is history! That was 2 years ago, and we've been through it all.
One of the highlights of our friendship was being in on Kendra's proposal! Kendra and Billy were already together when we became friends, so I didn't get to hear about their first dates or stay up late giggling and deciphering the meaning behind text messages, but I really love Kendra and Billy together. They've grown so much together, both just as people and in their faith.
A week after the proposal, Kendra asked me to be her maid of honor! After 4 years of weddings, I am so ready to be the maid of honor! Originally Kendra thought the few photos we took at her proposal were enough, but I told her she had to have an engagement session. She later said she was glad I made her take more photos! These pictures are some of my favorites ever. It's always super special when you're photographing someone you love so much, but they also had perfect outfits and we had great weather and the peak of the fall leaves. I am so excited for their wedding, and I am excited about how we're doing the photography! My 2nd shooter, Carly, is going to be shooting as 1st shooter all day except for any moments I'm not in, like bride and groom portraits! I am a self-proclaimed control freak, so knowing I'll be able to photograph some details and some portraits helps me rest easy. ;) So finally, go look at their pictures! Leave a comment and tell Kendra and Billy how gorgeous they are!
Favorite. Maybe ever.
The chin grab always makes me giddy!
Kendra's ring is perfect. Exactly what she wanted. Perfectly sparkly on her hand. In love.
Some things to note:
1. I'm not and I don't want to be salesy. It's 100% not who I am.
2. I built my photography business on just sharing me and trying to never be salesy.
3. I actually love these products.
This post is not supposed to try to convince you of anything. I hate whatever the hot thing is to sell as much as the next girl. I promise. When I see social media posts about a fad product, I usually roll my eyes and think "that doesn't work and you're not going to make any money"...
So then... Why Monat?
Monat became popular in the photography community, and I watched as photographers I have followed on social media for 5-6 years began using the products. It started with Sarah Hill. She posted the most incredible before and afters to show case how broken and damaged her hair had gotten and how Monat was healing her hair. I thought it was amazing, but Sarah has thin, fine, straight blonde hair. I have none of those things! So I didn't do anything about it.
Then another photographer I've followed since I started photography, Rachel Vanoven started using Monat. I've always been a little obsessed with Rachel's hair because it looks similar to mine. It is big and thick and curly, and in a world of thin haired blondes, I've kinda always loved Rachel's hair (and her pictures and just who she is, but that's beside the point). Rachel is good friends with Sarah, so Rachel started Monat. She didn't have damaged and broken hair, but she needed help with manageability. She needed something that worked on dry, curly hair. And that made me intent on following her Monat progress. What sold me the most were 2 things: the curls she got using the Curl Cream and her before and after of just a blow dry with no heat tools. Her before picture looked like blow dried curly hair, which is a giant no-no if you're not planning on spending the next 2 hours straightening the mess you've made. Her after pic of a smooth blow out convinced me. The fact that Rachel could wear her hair both naturally curly and blown out straight meant these products weren't going to alter your hair in a negative way (like a chemical straightener).
The nail in the coffin was seeing posts from my photography friend, Christy Spurlock. Unlike Sarah and Rachel, I had actually met Christy in person (6 years ago at a photography workshop! Before I could even drive! haha) and we were friends on Facebook. Christy has curly hair as well, and I knew she'd be able to help me get on the right track with products that would work well for me. Christy is also a mom of two special needs boys, and I knew she was the person I wanted to support.
I began using Monat the day after Christmas, and after one week I was in love. My hair is dry, coarse, thick, curly, and wiry in the back. In one week, I could not believe how much softer and less wiry it was. I'm going to be real. I did not have bad hair prior to Monat. In fact I got compliments on my curls all the time. But I just thought, what if I didn't have to straighten my hair before I could curl it with a curling iron? What if the back of my head didn't make me cringe when I saw it in pictures (it was just a super funky texture to the curl pattern)? Also, Monat styling products don't make your hair crunchy, and prior to Monat, my hair was either frizzy or crunchy and only some delicate in-between on really good days. And within a week my curls were soft. Even with product in them.
I did not start Monat haphazardly. I have been interested for probably 6 months. I've researched and researched and researched what I was getting in to. I have watched these friends literally change their lives with the business of Monat in the 6 months since they started. This is a new company (oh and it's an American company with American made products), and I got excited watching others get excited about Monat. I just want my friends to know this shampoo is changing my hair, and if you're not 100% happy with your hair, it can help you too. :)
To get in touch with me, send a text, Facebook message, or email to email@example.com
What I Use:
One of my favorite parts of being a wedding photographer is meeting so many sweet people! Emily and Rhett are no exception to that! Emily and Rhett are both teachers, so they fit in perfectly with my BOP Teacher Tribe. ;) I love their story of how they got together; Rhett's mom, who teaches with Emily, set them up! So perfect! Emily and Rhett are getting married in March, and their reception will be at the Belle Hollow. I think the Belle Hollow is one of most perfect venues in Clarksville (my best friend is getting married there in July!), and I'm so excited to shoot their special day! Emily and Rhett are as sweet and precious as they are cute, and I had a great time at their engagement session in October. It was a chilly day at Radnor Lake, but the light was lovely and Emily and Rhett rocked their session! Enjoy some of their engagement pictures!
I LOVE LOVE LOVE Emily's ring! It is perfect!
Shelby + TC promised forever to each other on top of the bluff overlooking the river. The sun shone through the trees and out over the rolling hills. The wind blew a warm, humid breeze that could have been easily mistaken for an early summer day rather than a fall evening. It was the epitome of a sweet country affair. After the ceremony, Shelby and TC visited with their guests and got down on the dance floor. To wrap up the night, their friends and family wished them off with sparklers.
Shelby and TC, you two made the perfect bride and groom! You two were focused on one thing all day and that was marrying your best friend. The rest didn't matter, and it all turned out perfectly. From being in on sweet moments like the first look with Shelby's dad to the look on TC's face when Shelby walked down the aisle, this wedding was a reminder of how incredible it is to capture such emotional and heartfelt moments. I hope that these photos are passed down for generations and your kids and grandkids will look at how in love you two were (and still will be).
This blog is just a short snippet of the day and a preview of the full wedding gallery. Here are some of my favorites!
Shelby and the girls sipped mimosas and sang along to some of the best of 90s country music. If I'm listening to country, it better be some old hits, and I was humming along too! ;)
This little was so sweet and was the happiest baby all morning!
There's nothing sweeter than a bride and her momma on the wedding day!
I was in love with all the purples! Somehow purple is a color we haven't shot a lot of, and I just loved it!
How perfect is this cascading bouquet? So elegant and gorgeous!
I don't always include a lot of family formal pictures in the blog post, but I just thought this one was too sweet to pass on!
Shelby and her dad were brought to the ceremony site via horse and buggy! Southern romance at its finest.
The look on TC's face as Shelby walked down the aisle... priceless!
I couldn't resist snapping a few shots of Shelby's brother Jordan and his girlfriend Taylor.. the one on the left was just a candid moment.. too precious!
On the right is Katelyn and Morgan, a BOP bride and groom from 2016! I love running into my former couples at my weddings!
Welcome to the longest wedding blog post possibly ever. There were just so many images from Casey and Luis’ celebration that I had to share! This wedding was a career highlight for me. Casey and Luis have become some of my favorite people to work with, and their wedding was so incredibly styled and detailed.
Casey and Luis were the sweetest bride and groom. While getting ready in the morning, Casey complimented her bridesmaids on how fantastic they looked, how beautiful each girl’s hair looked, and how well done their make up was. Casey even complimented my outfit, and wished me a happy birthday (my birthday was the day before!). On her own wedding day, Casey was most concerned with building up her bridesmaids and friends. Luis was no different! Luis also wished me a happy birthday, and he made each person present feel important and loved. I brought along Carly as always, but I also brought along one of my best friends Kendra to assist me. Casey and Luis thanked Kendra for being there and treated her like an old friend just like they do everyone they meet.
Casey and Luis got ready at the reception venue, Rock Creek Farm in Gallatin. The weather wasn’t too kind to us, but it rained off and on and we were able to get done all the pictures we needed to get done. Casey and Luis exchanged personal vows on either side of a stone wall. Casey promised to “Sing along to your made up songs, except when it’s better as a solo. Then I promise to dance along.” Luis promised to “extend extra patience when he tells the waiter ‘We need more time. My wife hasn’t decided what she’d like to order yet.’” The bridal party and my team and I laughed and shed a few tears alongside them.
After the vows, it was time to head to the Church of Our Savior for the ceremony. While the priest spoke, the rain poured down on the roof of the building. Casey and Luis promised their lives to each other, and sealed their marriage with their own secret handshake and an epic, dipping kiss.
In the way the weather seemed to do that day, it let up and we were able to make it back to Rock Creek Farm and take bridal party pictures as well as bride and groom pictures. We finished Casey and Luis’ pictures just maybe 2 minutes before the bottom fell out of the sky. Casey and Luis entered the reception, and their family and friends cheered. This is where the weather decided no longer to comply with our wishes.
Rock Creek’s reception space was under a chandelier-lit pavilion. The rain plan was to lower down plastic tarp rain covers to keep rain from blowing into the pavilion. What no one saw coming, however, were the fierce winds from the severe thunderstorm that blew the rain covers in towards the guests, food, cake, and DJ equipment. The tarps were weighted down with metal beams, but the winds were so powerful, the beams had no effect. Immediately the groomsmen and friends ran to literally “hold down the fort”. Casey and Luis began dancing and showed their guests that a little storm (okay kind of a big storm) wasn’t going to ruin their party. The rockstar employees of Rock Creek Farm began moving the valuables out of harms way. The food and cake were moved back into the kitchen and everyone braced for the worst of the storm. The DJ kept the party going as well and played funny songs like Toto's "Africa" to put a light spin on the storms.
When one cell of the storm passed, the venue owners informed us we needed to move into their own home on the property. In 6 years of weddings, this had never happened at Rock Creek Farm! As Casey and Luis do, they simply moved the party inside the house. The employees plated the food and brought it, plate by plate, to the house to begin feeding the guests. The speeches were made, and Casey and Luis danced their first dance all in the kitchen of the house. When the worst of the storm was over, we were able to move back to the pavilion and keep partying on. And party on, they did! Casey and Luis threw a party unlike any I’ve been to. All of their friends and family danced like they’d never run out of energy. To top off the night, Casey and Luis made a grand exit through sparklers.
Casey and Luis, your wedding was a dream. In all of the ways that it “went wrong”, there’s no couple who could have smiled and danced through it all like you two. It was an honor to serve you and tell your love story. I’m kind of devastated this is our last time to work together (for the forseeable future), but I’m hoping to get to be a part of the stories you want to tell for years to come!
Casey's maid of honor and big sister, Erin, played such an important part in the day. It was so fitting for Erin to be the one to help Casey into her gown!
2 of the most precious sisters. Ever.
The grand reveal to the bridesmaids!
Casey made the most stunning bride.
Casey's sister, Erin, and Luis' sister, Melissa, were really feeling the sweetness of the vows.
THE most gorgeous wedding party! I'm such a sucker for navy suits, and the mint could not have looked better on all the girls! Not to mention their colorful bouquets. Just in LOVE.
Luis and Brendan have a serious brother-in-law bromance. Brendan is married to Casey's sister, Erin!
How did so much red headed gorgeousness end up in one family? They are so perfect.
This could probably be my favorite shot of all time.
Holding down the fort.. But not without a selfie (see far right) ;)
When the party moved into the safety of the owner's gorgeous home!
So I didn't get the typical golden hour photos I always like to get on the wedding day, but I did get some pretty magical rainy photos. :)
I love my job. I really really do.
But sometimes it's 85 degrees with so much humidity that you could drink the water out of the air. And sometimes you step into a GIANT HOLE IN THE GROUND. People, I'm talking this hole was the size of my thigh and when I stepped backwards into it, I fell until I was sitting on the ground with one leg in the hole. I knew that hole had to have belonged to some very large animal (probably with really sharp teeth and claws), and I've never been so grateful to have not had my foot bitten off by said probable large animal. 10 minutes into the session, and I could have been a gone-er!
Dramatics aside, I actually still love my job. And all of the unique challenges it presents. I dug my leg back out of the hole, I dusted off my poor camera which had banged into the ground when I fell and had a nice layer of dirt on the outside of the body, and kept going. Perseverance at its finest. ;) Haha! Despite the events that occurred, Bethany and Tyler's session was gorgeous! Okay, it was really hot, and I was sweating like crazy. But we found little pockets of perfect light, and those shots are my favorite! Bethany literally looks like a model, and I hope I was able to capture Bethany and Tyler's love in a way that's true to them. Bethany and Tyler's love is so sweet. I love the obvious way that Tyler loves Bethany. And I can't wait to photograph their wedding in just a couple of weeks! Summer weddings, y'all, that's my favorite!
Sessions with me aren't perfect. I'm clumsy and trip all the time (okay the hole wasn't my fault though), it's usually hot, we're often fighting off bugs.. but if we can get through all of that and have some gorgeous images, then I feel like I'm doing things right. And that's what keeps me loving my job, Really really loving it.
Bethany and Tyler are huge Preds fans (like real fans before they were in the Stanley Cup playoffs). To remember this super exciting year for hockey in Nashville, Bethany and Tyler wanted a few pictures of them in their jerseys!
I believe that Luis and Casey were clients hand-picked for me by God. They sort of stumbled into my business by happenstance, and I'm so thankful! You couldn't dream up two people more wonderful than Casey and Luis. They are both such sweet and lovely people, and I am so thankful I've gotten to know them! Casey is one of the most beautiful humans on the planet with her gorgeous curly red hair. Luis is handsome and so sweet and charming. Both of them were so excited for their engagement session, and they rocked it out. Casey and Luis are so natural in front of the camera, and they made my job so easy! Casey told me she really wanted to end the engagement session with a paint fight! That was a new one for me, and it was so cute and fun to photograph! Casey and Luis are just a fun couple, and it was the perfect way to end the session!
Oh, Hope and Greg. One of my most favorite sessions from the fall is hands down their engagement session. Hope and I have been friends since Kindergarten. We played on the same elementary jr. pro basketball teams. We had sleepovers and played with our American Girl Dolls. We played volleyball together in middle school; Hope cheered for the high school football team, and I played in the band. Our lives have sort of always intermingled, and I love that part of living in a small town.
Hope has one of the most beautiful souls. She is sweet and kind and a woman of God. I couldn't have even imagined someone better for Hope than Greg. Greg went to a different high school than Hope and I did, so I had only heard of him throughout their relationship. I finally got to meet Greg at the engagement session, and I was blown away at the very apparent match these two were. Greg is every bit as kind and sweet as Hope, and he truly wanted their engagement session to be such a positive experience for them! Sometimes the guys aren't too excited about pictures, but Greg was! It was so refreshing to be with two people so in love and so excited for their future together.
Hope styled their session perfectly, and she also incorporated several DIY elements. She made the banner and even the pillows! Hope and I share a love of crafting, and I can't wait to see what she comes up with for the wedding!
Hope and Greg, thank you for choosing me to document this exciting time in your life! I am so excited for your wedding, and all the things we have to photograph between now and then! :)