It’s family time over here on the blog!! And one of my favorite families gets some love today!
This is the McKee family. I met Stephanie at Ouachita Baptist University (Go Tigers!). We called her Tate in her time at OBU because of a random moment in Francis Crawford (freshman girls dorm) where she called herself that and it stuck. Like really stuck. There might be some people from OBU who have no idea her real name is Stephanie.
Stephanie is kind and fun and loves her friends well! One thing that I love about her is how she shows up for people and how intentional she is with her friendships. Like for instance, this past weekend she went with some girls to New York and then just because it was close decided to hop over to Boston to see our friend Kristin, who just recently moved there. SO THOUGHTFUL!! But that’s just who she is!
I have loved getting to be around Jesse, her husband, and her three beautiful boys over the years when I have the honor of photographing their family!! And I am so thankful to call her my friend!
I hope you enjoy looking through some of their family photos from earlier this year!
Billy and Courtney are ON THE BLOG!! Yippee!
I had a blast getting to know Billy and Courtney and getting to be a part of their day! These two had been together for a long time and so everyone was thrilled that they were tying the knot! A common theme in the brides and grooms that I get to work with is that they are so kind and laid back on their wedding days, and these two were no different. They savored the day, soaking up all that was around them and enjoyed it all!
The ceremony was at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Dallas (which is a gorgeous church!) and the reception was at City Club Dallas. The view from this incredible reception venue was STUNNING! There are wall to wall windows showing all of downtown Dallas! It was a beautiful backdrop to their reception.
One of my favorite things from this wedding was the location of the cakes. They were set up right in front of these huge windows that overlooked the city. And for this Dallas Cowboys fan groom, it was pretty sweet that you could see all the way to Jerry-World (ATT Stadium) from those windows!
Hope you guys love checking out Billy and Courtney’s wedding day!!
Also, shout out to past bride, Jennifer Hornung for passing along my name to Courtney! You are the best!!
Happy Wednesday friends!! Skylar and Matthew are on the blog and, you guys, the details at this wedding were to die for!
Joey and I walked into the reception and it literally took my breath away. The most beautiful blue and white florals were all over the long tables that filled the reception. The cake was on a gorgeous antique vanity table. They built these incredible doors lined with greenery that was the backdrop for their ceremony. Fabric and florals draped the staircase. And each guest had their own bag of popcorn waiting for them at their seat. And all of it was STUNNING!
Also, these two were the most fun to take pictures of!! They were game for all the pictures! It makes wedding days so fun when the bride and groom make the picture taking a part of the fun and not just a background item of the day.
And lastly, one of the most special moments of this day for me, was the father of the bride speech during the reception. Skylar’s dad said the most beautiful words to the bride and groom. But most of all, I loved how he built up his new son in law, and let him know how much he loved him and how thankful he was for the man that Matthew is. It was very cool and spoke volumes of the kind of dad he is!
Hope you love looking through this day!!
Oh man! I am excited to share this wedding with you guys today!! Introducing Justin + Anna on the blog and sharing one of the sweetest weddings that I got to be a part of in 2018.
This wedding was so special to me. I have known Anna’s family for a while since they are neighbors to my parents and in-laws. This was also my first time at this venue and it is one of my very favorites!! It’s gorgeous and the people who work there are so kind!! (Go check out Bella Woods if you are planning a wedding!) But what made it even more special was the ceremony!
First, Justin’s uncle did the ceremony. His uncle also happens to be the father of Anna’s best friend. So he knew these two very well and so the ceremony was personal and intimate, even with a room full of people. Justin and Anna decided to do some worship songs during their ceremony and the entire room was filled with voices singing praises to God! It was powerful and Spirit filled and in my personal opinion, one of the best ways to start a marriage. AND the part of the ceremony that got everyone was when Justin surprised Anna with another beautiful, sparkling wedding band (pictures included of her expression… you must check them out!).
Everything was unique to Justin and Anna, each detail beautifully thought out to represent who they are and their love for each other! They were surrounded by friends and family who had no trouble celebrating them because everyone knew this was a good match.
Hope you enjoy checking out Justin + Anna’s wedding day!!
(P.S. My hubs did their video too. You can check it out here.)
Venue: Bella Woods Event Venue
Wedding Design & Coordination: CM Events & Design
Cakes: Mara McCoy
Flowers: CM Events & Design
Videography: JW Productions
THERE’S A NEW BLOG POST!! WHAT??? Y’all, my blogging situation has been terrible. You know… life, kids, running a business… blogging got shoved to the very bottom of the to do list. BUT now I have help!! My sis (my new hired assistant) is helping me go back and blog some of the best weddings and photo sessions over the last few years! Up first, Cathleen & Zack!!
These two got married last December and you guys, it was SO COLD! If you are living in Texas right now you may be thinking, what is this “cold” you speak of?? Well it does exist and come December we may have some cold weather again. In the meantime you can look through these pictures and dream of that nice chilly weather.
It was a gorgeous, cloudy, cold day at the end of December and much to my delight Cathleen chose white and an emerald green for her colors. It was all stunning!! And very classy! These two had an incredible group of men and women by their side as they made vows to one another. Their families were a blast and one of my favorite moments of the night was when Cathleen’s dad welcomed everyone at the beginning of the reception and proceeded to share the gospel. The entire day was filled with joy and honor to the God who created them and orchestrated this day!
Now Zack and Cathleen are coming up on their one year anniversary and have been living it up in Southern California! Their instastories make me a bit jealous. 🙂
Hope you have fun checking out their beautiful day!
P.S. My insanely talented husband Joey was the videographer. If you want to see their video click here.
Venue: The Rockwall Manor | The Springs Event Venue
Dress: Made By Allure Bridals & purchased at Lulu’s Bridal Boutique
Bridesmaid Dresses: Azazie
Tuxes: Vera Wang and rented from Men’s Wearhouse
Caterer: Rob Gates – www.colemountain.com
DJ: Chris Brown
Videography: Joey Williams – To watch their video click here
Getting ready to have your pictures taken can be a very stressful experience, especially if you have children involved, am I right? I have been in your shoes and I know! It is always such a good reminder to me what my clients go through to get ready for a session when I have to do it for my own family and y’all, it is nutty and chaos (but also so worth it)!
So first let me say, I am so thankful that you show up with your people all dressed in cute clothes, with hair done and give me all of the big smiles! It’s a big deal that you are there and ready to go and I am impressed and grateful!
Second, I have learned some tricks along the way that may help those of you who have a particularly stressful time getting to a session. I have put together a list of helpful hints that, I hope, will make your session experience so much easier and a FUN experience, instead of a stressful one.
So, here they are! Feel free to leave me some comments below if you have found some other great tricks!
- NAIL DOWN THE DETAILS. Make sure you know all of the details for your session. This includes knowing what time your session starts and having the location mapped on your phone a few days ahead so you know how long it will take you to get there.
- GET THE LOOK RIGHT DAYS BEFORE. Try on clothes beforehand (not at the last minute) and either take a picture so you can see how you look in it or send a picture to a trusted family member or friend and get confirmation on whether or not it looks good. You can also lay out all of your family members clothes and make sure the colors and styles go well together. Make sure clothes fit right and there are no visible stains. (I’ve got a lot more on this in the “What to wear for your session” blogpost)
- HAVE CLEAR COMMUNICATION. Communicate clearly with your children and spouse (or anyone else involved in your session) your expectations. Include what time you need to be in the car, make sure each person knows what they are wearing, who is dressing small children or doing hair and any other desires you have for your people. It’s ok and highly recommended to have a clear plan of action! I have to be reminded of this too, people can’t read our minds, so we must use our words. 🙂
- GIVE YOURSELF PLENTY OF TIME TO GET READY. This is mainly for moms and senior girls. 😃 If you can swing it, spend some money on getting your make-up and hair done (or get a friend to come help you). I can help you get in touch with some great girls who can come to you, so just let me know. In my experience, you will not love a photo of you if you don’t FEEL pretty. So plan plenty of time for self-care.
- BE FLEXIBLE AND KIND. The most important part about a great shoot is a great attitude and an open mind. It’s easier said than done, but try to create a fun atmosphere prior to your portrait session and during it. On the way to your session listen to fun music or practice smiling and making silly faces in the car. Don’t sweat the small stuff. It’s NEVER worth having an argument with your family twenty minutes before your session. No issue is worth sacrificing your joy, especially IN the moment. Try not to nag your kids (or your spouse) for their imperfect behavior or smiles at the shoot. Just roll with it. Lifestyle pictures are my favorite and that’s when you get some of the sweetest moments. I take a lot of photos and clients are always amazed at what is captured in the midst of what feels like chaos. Try to have fun!
My little guy Griffin was not in a smiley mood the last time we had our own family pictures made. I mean, he should know the drill… he is the child of a photographer! But we made it work and our sweet photographer snagged this shot and it makes me giggle every time I see it! Photo by Natalie Pitts Photography
- MAKE IT A WHOLE DAY OF FUN: Go into this experience with the thought that this will be a fun day out. Plan to go get a fun meal, or ice cream, or go to a special place after pictures are done. Use this as incentive for your children to have a great attitude during their pictures. (Incentive is a kinder word for bribery… incentives and bribes are equally welcome.)
- BRING SNACKS (or incentives): If you have small children, or even big children, bring some snacks to keep everyone happy. Here are some great snack options: puffs for babies, fruit snacks or applesauce packets for toddlers, skittles for older children. Steer clear from things that could get all over their mouths or clothing.
- TRUST YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER: I will help pose your people, give direction, interact with your children on their level to make them feel seen and heard and give them the freedom to be themselves. I will tell you when you look great or when I know I got a great shot of you or your family. I want to make this as fun and relaxed and enjoyable as possible for you and you can trust that I will do my job. So relax and enjoy the experience!
- Figure out the person in your bunch that is the hardest to dress. In my family that would be me since I am surrounded by boys. 😃 So I pick out what I want to wear first and then find things for my people to wear based on that. For others, it may be a size issue or you may have a child who is super picky about what they wear. So find the outfit for that person first and then base everyone else’s clothes around them.
- Wear clothing that makes you feel good. Wear colors that work with your skin and hair coloring and fits that flatter. If you don’t know what that is for you, then I recommend checking in with a trusted friend or family member. If you feel good about how you look then you will feel more at ease during your session and love your pictures even more when you get them back!
- Hire someone to do your hair and make-up. Or you could even hire someone to help be your personal shopper or create outfits for you right from your own closet.
Mrs. Megan Pena is on the blog in her gorgeous wedding dress! I know I say this about all of my sessions but I seriously loved this bridal session! Megan was absolutely stunning in her beautifully romantic dress. With her mom, and a few of mom’s best friends in tow, glasses of champagne and the lovely Poetry Springs Event Venue as the backdrop, this whole session turned into a memorable, fun experience! Megan has a deep love for all things Disney princess so we had to create some princess moments to capture! But what made this the most special for me is that I have known Megan for a long time and she is kind, and passionate, and loves Jesus and is full of joy! She is confident and in control and is going to be the most excellent teacher! Her tribe of friends and family love her fiercely, with good reason. It was a joy to be around her and her community! Hope you enjoy her bridal portraits!
Just like a true princess, she kissed a frog!
I am THRILLED I get to share with you Cassie’s bridals. Beaux and Cassie got married last weekend and I have been waiting to reveal these pictures to the world and I am so excited you get to see this gorgeous bride! Cassie found me through a mutual friend and the moment I met her I knew I would love working with her. She is kind, compassionate, fun and has a gorgeous smile! I loved getting to capture these bridals for her in such beautiful historic Dallas locations. Take a moment and check them out!
Munger Place Church – http://www.mungerplace.org/
The Old Red Museum – http://www.oldred.org/
Dress from Terry Costa – https://www.terrycosta.com/
Flowers from Antebellum Designs – https://www.facebook.com/antebellumdesign
Hair & Make-up – Lindsay Dyson at https://www.facebook.com/Billie-Dean-Beauty