Friday, June 24, 2011

Jessicas baby shower

I'm sure you remember Jessica from the December wedding & the May materity session. Although she doesn't look very pregnant in the chair, she is I promise, almost ready to pop. Check out her new rocking chair, totally matches her baby decor & she loved it!
She makes these ballerina tutus with headbands & the photo below is an example of the one she's making me as a prop, replace the polka dot tie with zebra print & I'm good to go. It's hard to make it out (if you click on the photo, it will show larger) but it's pink, black & white, comes with a headband & big pink flowers. I'm going to see if I can get her to make me a set of wings as well, why not, I think little girls would love to be a fairy or butterfly. She sells these so if you're interested, leave a comment & I'll forward the info to her. I bet she'll customize one for you as well.
She wasn't the only one pregnant at the shower but is definitely the furthest along in this photo.
And the winner is....the teeniest baby, how cute was that little creation.
Grandmas can't wait to meet Madison. I can't wait til I get the phone call she's having the baby, I'm so flipping excited & excited for the entire family. Jessica is one of those people I feel blessed with each photo session I get with her. What a wonderful woman who soon will be a wonderful mother to a beautiful baby girl. Win River did a great job with the banquet room decor, thanks a bunch ladies.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda....

I couldn't find my feet to walk through the door after so much time had gone by, how do you explain that life got in the way....?
Sometimes I wonder if I should even put my failures on my blog, is it going to keep people from contacting me, is it really meant for me to share even the things I feel in my heart now I shoulda done differently. After all, it's out there for everyone to read, to judge, forever! However, If I'm going to continue to grow with my photography successes, I should be completely honest even about (what I consider as) my failures. After all, learning includes making mistakes, even in the business aspect of it all.
So, here's the splainin'....Earlier in the year, I got an email regarding taking photographs at a gym, not just any gym, a gym without treadmills, stair climbers, bicycles or any machines, just using weights & your body. Totally new to me as a person, little lone as a photographer. I had already envisioned images I would love to capture at a gym & a place without machines wasn't in that corner of my idea, but if it helps me grow, I'm up for it. I responded, met the owners at the location & discussed what we all wanted to accomplish with the images. Then life literally got in the way & time went by so quickly, not to mention, winter seemed to drag on forever. A few months later (I know, I know), I sent them an email & it went without a response, I felt a like a flake. I had let too much time go by without any communication but what would I have said & I couldn't find my feet to walk through their doors & explain. There was no job issued, nothing really scheduled, no contract of any kind, just me casually taking photos on nicer days so we could fine tune the details later. Don't get me wrong, if there had been a formal session scheduled of any kind, I would NOT have been MIA, I would have done what needed to be done. But how do you explain something without sounding like you're making excuses because in all reality, you are. Besides, what was happening wasn't something I felt comfortable telling anybody especially strangers & I don't like sounding all whiny in the first place. So much had hit all at once with little time to focus on myself, even when I tried. I think that's what makes me regret what I didn't do the most & I've really had a hard time letting this go, to chalk it up to a lesson learned & just move on.
Well because I am who I am, I called them today, maybe it was stupid, I don't know. I honestly couldn't take a possible face to face rejection, I had no idea what the outcome would be & still don't but that wasn't why I called them. It wasn't about getting the job back, it was about saying sorry. I will say this though, I feel a whole lot better. Getting that finalized no matter the outcome felt like the right thing to do. It had nothing to do with them, it had everything to do with what life was dishing out.
What did I learn business wise? To just show up next time, look the part, even if I had to hitch hike (yes my car having tyranny problems was only 1 of my reasons). Maybe I thought of this job as more of a casual learning experience, doing something new, when in fact, I should have treated it just like a wedding. Every job is equally valuable to me & I'm really blessed for each one I get, even the one's that take me out of my comfort zone. So there, it's out there for the world to read & I'm ok with that, I think, lol. The photo above in Hawaii is not one of my reasons, it just puts me in my happy place. Maybe now I can move on.....& I will, closure is good for the soul.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Yes I cry (A lot) at weddings,...Don't you? - Jennifer & Daves wedding

Introducing Mr & Mrs David Russell!! This wedding was a true symbol of love for me & shows how a God loving couple can make the best of a day that I'm sure Jennifer had planned for a very long time. The only thing she didn't want to happen, was rain. Well, God has his own path for us & although we want it our way, it really is out of our control. I started praying weeks before the wedding that it wouldn't rain on their day, Jennifer even put out a request on fb trying to acquire reinforcements for the best weather outcome. She said she could handle anything else going wrong on her day, she just didn't want it to rain (neither did I), she didn't want the "good luck" it was supposed to offer. Well, the way I see it, God might have tried to grant our prayers but he couldn't hold back his emotions & just had a good cry,... All day. At least I wasn't the only one, lol. The DJ offered me to get behind his booth for a few photos so I could see the people on the other side of Jennifer & her dad dancing, I only had a few seconds & I was absolutely bawling by the time I left the area as I zoomed in the shot. As I made my way back over to Jon, he took one look at me & started shaking his head with a huge smile, once again calling me a softy. Gotta love an emotional photographer, at least I hope it's a good thing. So, yes, I cry (A LOT) at weddings, don't you? I do it no matter how hard I try not to & as my friend Tina E tells me, "it's not a bad thing". (Hey Tina, POKE!!!, LOL. I crack myself up.) What a wonderful day, even with all the last minute rainy day changes but sometimes things can't be helped & you make the best of it. You know what kind of day it's going to be when the bride has to ask how she's walking down the isle just minutes before entering a ceremony of the totally unknown, lol. Jon told Jennifer during the money dance, "you look beautiful, you made such a wonderful time out of this day, despite the conditions. It could have easily turned out to be a bad thing & you made it good". What a wonderful thing to say & so very true. A huge Congratulations to Dave & Jennifer. You made the day shine through all the rain & I loved witnessing your wonderful day....through my lens & tears. How can I keep from loving you both, thank you, Enjoy!
Jennifer made all the wedding flowers & floral decorations. I thought the bouquet was real cause it was in a vase in the dressing room, I felt a little silly but that just shows what a wonderful job she did. The Ranch provided an arch & it was beautiful by itself, when Jennifer added the flowers, it looked amazing. What a crafty woman.
Jennifers mom made the wedding cake, isn't it beautiful? Katie (sister-in-law bridesmaid) said she couldn't stop eating the shells, I should have tried one but I unfortunately didn't get a piece of cake, my bad. I know I missed out on something yummy, it wasn't intentional but the evening went by pretty fast. Marissa was my 2nd shooter & the 1st time photographing with me. She took these cake photos (among many other great photos) & she really enjoyed herself. I'm very proud of how she conducted herself & just kept doing her best. Couldn't ask for a better 2nd shooter to work with & it helps that I love her so much too. I hope I wait a long, LONG time for her wedding day. I will be an emotional mess that day, I guarantee you.
Jennifer is so pretty, even in her robe, I loved her wedding colors.
Isn't he handsome. Right after taking these photos of Dave all dressed up, I showed Jennifer while she was in the dressing room, maybe I shouldn't have but I didn't want to be the one crying, lol. Actually Jennifers mom was doing quite a bit of that in there as well.
The best man is also his dad, his groomsmen were Jennifers brothers. Soon after these photos were taken, her brothers had to go to the ceremony site & help rearrange tables, chairs & tents to help keep everyone dry, they never made it back for photos with all the guys. That's the way it happens sometimes, I'm glad I always plan for anything to possibly change, cause it has & will.
LOVED her veil, her dress too but when I seen her veil, I fell madly in love with the incredible details. She almost didn't wear one, so glad she changed her mind.
LOVE the photo above of Jennifer working it, she was so flipping gorgeous!
You wouldn't know Abi had different kind of tears flowing right before I snapped these photos & right afterwards, my daughter offered to let Abi hold her ring if she could be strong & make it through the wedding without anymore worked, yay for my daughter, I never would have thought of that, besides I don't wear a ring I could give to a child to hold.
Her dad turned his head when he seen his baby girl all dressed up for the first time in the dressing room doorway, probably to keep from crying. It didn't work, totally priceless, yep, tears were flowing for me too.
Jennifers maid of honor in photo above, (our right side) was one of her best friends, her bridesmaid on our far left is her sister-in-law (married to one of her brothers) & the bridesmaid on our left (next to her), is her brothers girlfriend. I wonder if that's why Jennnifer had "If you like it then you shoulda put a ring on it" during the reception, hmmmmm? She stated 95% of the people at the wedding were family (or soon to be). That kept the day nice, relaxed & full of love. I got a few photos in the only shelter close to us, so glad it was there, it's the only reason we didn't get wet during a few photos. The dresses would have shown every drop. If you click on the photo above, you can see the rain in the shaded area at the top of the photo.
She walked down the isle to "Marry Me" by Train, I cried & will every time I hear that song from now on. Jennifer put a lot of thought into her day, The isle went from being long & beautiful, with incredibe details & lots of time to get positioned for great photos, a few short steps just outside of the lodge. Jennifer wasn't fazed a bit, it's not what was planned but that didn't keep even the strongest of men from breaking down when they seen what a gorgeous bride she was. Somebody even handed Brandon a tissue, awww, he's a softy too! Lots of softies!! How can you Not cry?
Yep, Dave was a softy too, what a happy man!!
I loved this pastor (I was told he married other family members of theirs as well), his words held their love in conviction. I honestly couldn't hear every word being said, I was positioned partly in the rain & I can't hear very well in general but tears flowed in a personal way for me. He made you feel the importance of the vows being spoken along with a little humor when Dave got a little anxious to kiss Jennifer too soon. Look at those smiles.
Dave & Jennifer chose to perform communion, the pastor told the couple,....During their marriage, if they ever come to doubt (and other reasons), to grab something to eat & drink & perform communion again to relive their vows....That's the way I took it, of course I was crying during most of what he was saying so can't remember word for word. The point is, I Loved that advice, I never heard anything that completely touched my soul & I see them doing it down the road, just to reinforce how they felt on this day. I was meant to be at this ceremony.
Ok Dave (lol), Now you may kiss your bride.
Dave didn't get enough the first time so he went in for another kiss, yep, I was still blubbering.
Check out Dave hugging his mom in the background of the photo above & Jennifer just couldn't keep all that happiness in once she seen her grandma.
I totally bawled (big shock huh, lol) during the toasts, especially when it was Jennifers big brothers turn, note the hands on Daves neck & shoulder. You don't have to hear what's being said to see the absolute love this family had for this man. Ok, I'm crying again just seeing it....
Jenn had "Always be my baby" played during the father/daughter dance, yep, I bawled. David danced with his mom to Rascal Flats "My Wish", yep I cried again.... at least I wasn't the only one.
Ok, Just to clarify the photo above, Brandon caught the garter but is still married to Amber, no worries family readers. The DJ had everybody involved in the bouquet & garter toss, that made it pretty fun. The photo below totally cracks me up.
This family can get it's freak on, Salah & Abi kinda stole the floor until "Ice, Ice, Baby" came on, then Amber & Laben took over, so much fun.
LOVE this photo with the bubbles & the expressions.
And off they go... The day went by so quickly. The rain flowed constantly before, during & after the wedding, no kidding, there were only a few minutes all day that the lake (or big pond) didn't have rain rings hitting it. Jennifer said later that day, she was glad the way it turned out, it made it more cozy. What a great attitude, see how blessed I was to witness their day & I think I got a glimpse of what Jennifer see's in Dave,....a strong, quiet, loving man of faith, leading their new path together, a parents dream husband for their precious baby girl. I already know what Dave see's in Jennifer (it's what she's full of....), lots of patience, love & fun. What a lucky couple, here's to many years to come....
Oh yeah & the food, OMG, amazingly yummy. Jon made me a plate of several things & I cleaned my plate in no time flat, even the DJ mentioned how amazing the food was. Thank you "Aunt Beth". Their families pitched in so much to help with this day, to make it as perfect as possible...You couldn't ask for more love.
I know I didn't add many photos to this post, I hope to go through on a later date & add more here & there. With saying that & based on what happened this day...Here's to making plans, lol :)
So I shed some tears (ok, ok, a lot of them) but we ALL had a really GREAT time!!!!
Location: Lazy K Ranch (Whitmore)
Flowers: by Jennifer Russell (bride)
DJ: Mike Flanagan

Friends & Viewers