Sunday, December 4, 2011

Jon and Marlena: married || lake tyler petroleum club, tyler, tx wedding photographer

This is the story of how a super-crazy-out there-never in a million years could that possibly happen-dream of mine came true and became an omyword-pinch me I'm dreaming-get out a'town-no way-I still can't believe that happened to me-experience.

I know you are all chomping at the bits to see the pictures from my VERY FIRST WEDDING to second my life, but if you would excuse me while I step up on my soap box and give a monologue I would appreciate your patience. ;) 
Way back when in 2008 or so I was introduced to the magical world that is professional photography. I will admit I was a bit intimidated. Dazzled, mesmerized, and enchanted, yes, but intimidated nonetheless. I fearfully gripped my tiny point and shoot Olympus camera facing the mighty gulf between me and that beautiful world that I had just found. My heart might've fallen just slightly at the hopelessness of it all. I knew that I would love to take f'real pictures, if you will, one day but the dream seemed really really really far away.
At the same time that I discovered this serious new side to photography I also dipped my toes into the giant ocean that is the pro. photographer blogosphere. 
One of the first people my search zeroed in on behind that sea of lenses was a girl from Frisco with a fancy rotating blog header, dreamy yellow background, amazzzing curly blond hair, the cuuutest little sister, a gorgeous style of photography, and a name catchier than Mickey Mouse himself. ;)
I found her through another awesome wedding photographer who had just hosted her as an intern.
Yes ladies and gentlefolks, through the spectacular Kristen Leigh I found the precious Jessica Shae. :)
Everything she posted was just so pleasant...Without any training or even much practice I became a blog stalker ;) I was also intrigued by the fact that she was just a young girl from Texas doing what she loved. No extra glamour attached. It gave my little spark of hope that maybe I really could do photography one day a reason to keep on flickering. I watched her business and work grow into something more and more beautiful month by month. I silently cheered her along as she became a newbie and then a legit wedding photographer. If it were possible I would have sent her all the love, pomp, and fanfare I could muster up right through my computer screen. 
As much as I love to chatter, I'll skip a few details and fast forward to January of this year.
I read her greatest blog post yet. If I was anymore sentimental than I already am {which would be dangerous} I would've bawled as I read her account of That Internship that had brought me to the front door of her blog in the first place so long ago. And then, she actually did it. She declared that she herself was hosting internships. 
I had just bought my very first DSLR camera in November {which had opened a new well of photographic happiness for me as you would imagine},  I was on the brink of beginning to slowly think about maybe biting the bullet {that pretty much goes against the whole idea of biting the bullet and defeats the purpose, doesn't it?} and starting my photography business and it just felt right. I thought I may be too young to attend but I sent the email anyway.
She accepted me.
I went to her house in Frisco in the blizzard winds of February. I was one of her first interns. Ever. 
That still doesn't even sound right. ;D
Fast forward again past a lot of precious details about how I soon became her friend and not just her cyber acquaintance/blog stalker.
And now we arrive at October 15th.
The day that I got to second shoot a wedding with Jessica Shae.

Let's just say I was battling over the top nervous/excited/butterfly-infested-stomach emotions. 
 But I had one of the greatest friends ever to be over the top nervous/excited/butterfly-infested-stomach-y with. :D As if it wasn't awesome enough that we did the internship together, we got to second shoot our first wedding together. Ridiculously great, right? I know!
And before the pictures reeeally start coming, I have to give a shout out to the bride and groom, Jonathan and Marlena Barber. Their wedding was like the PERFECT one to "cut my teeth" on. It was simple, laid back, low stress, gorgeous location, colors, lighting, and people. Seriously, it was a win-win all the way around. Alright, so here it favorites. :)
Jessica doing her thing :)
And Jon and Marlena doing theirs ;)

Marlena looked so lovely that day. :)

Spontaneous bear hug? Not quite...just pose coaching. ;)

 Check out the ring-bearer's peeking action ;)
After a yummy dinner of Mexican food, the music began. :D Jon's in a band! How cool is that? 
The even cooler thing is that he sang especially for Marlena. It was soooo sweet. :D
Then he put the drumsticks down and danced the night away with his gorgeous bride. :)
~Through Christ's Love 
P.S. Go check out Jessica and Rachel's posts about the day!! Them girls did wwwwonderful. As usual. :D

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thankful // Personal

The way I had envisioned this post last night at 5:45 is drastically different than how it is actually going to be. 

At that time I typed furiously away on my laptop, racking my brain to think of 99 things I am thankful for as we drove down a windy country road leading to our friends' house where we were to have dinner. 
The day before I had had the inexpressible joy of sitting down with my great-grandfather, Royce Brunson, to talk. Just talk...about anything and everything from his military experiences to his grandmother's famous egg custard. It was one of the funnest conversations I've ever had. For mementos sake I had my iPod sitting on the coffee table recording our words and I had my camera on a tripod capturing video. 
We talked for hours before Mama and I thanked him dearly for giving us his time and memories and got up to leave. He walked us to the door and I turned around to give him a hug. He hugged me tight, kissed me on the corner of my right cheek, and whispered, "Love ya, Shug-er" in my ear as I breathed in his scent deeply and felt the smoothness of his face and the roughness of his goatee. 
Back to last night...
We had a fun-filled dinner with friends and as the plates were taken away from the table, they pulled out a board game. The night was filled with laughter and then all at once my dad's cell phone went off. He had gotten a text. He jumped up, almost stumbling and ran as fast as he could out the front door. My legs felt weak as I got out of my chair and followed after him with Mama behind me. We rushed to his side as he said the words,
 "Something's wrong with Poppy."
 The words hit me like a speeding bullet that drove straight into my heart, tearing all the way through me. Before I could even comprehend anything and stop my head from spinning, he had called and gotten the news.
"He's gone. He had a heart attache around 10:00 and he...died...instantly."
All three of us fell into a heap of emotion on the driveway and hardly knew what to do. We made due with the vague and confusing words that came out of our mouths to explain to our friends why we needed to leave immediately and then drove quickly to the hospital. 
I felt like all the air had been taken from me. Stolen. I couldn't even cry. I felt empty and hollow like the shell of the girl that had been laughing cheerfully just 15 minutes ago...or like a faded memory of the girl that had just hugged this wonderful man the very day before.
I still feel numb in the depths of my heart and can hardly think straight to tell you the truth. But that does not mean I am in "the depths of despair."
You see, I always am aware that God is in control of all things. I also keep in mind that all things work together for good to those that love God and who've been called according to His purpose. {Romans 8:28} But there are certain times that He decides to show us a burning bush, a parted Red Sea, or the writing on the wall just for us to comprehend His Providence, Glory, Grace, Mercy, and Love. 
As I stood in the hall of the hospital I felt like I was drowning in the stark white surroundings and being blinded by the harsh florescent light. My family stood around with visible shock painted on their face. And then it hit me...
I saw him yesterday.
I talked to him yesterday. 
And I captured his happiness, his laughter, his smile, his memories, his mannerisms, his voice the day before the Lord took him.
Now its ours, a split second decision made in time to go visit him and hear things that we had never heard before.
He was a character, he was loving and funny, kind and compassionate, extremely wise, and so very meek and mild.
He was my Gran-Poppy and I needed that time with him. So now it will be easier for me to grieve, to remember, to cherish, and to feel again. My whole family will be able to benefit from those videos and recordings. I was preparing a time capsule and didn't even know it.
But the Lord knew...and He knows...and He will always know.
And He is so good. Immeasurably good.
Today I am Thankful that God is God.
And that God is Good.
~Through Christ's Love 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Madeline Rain: 5 months // paris, tx baby portrait photographer

It is always fun to schedule photo-shoots.
The anticipation, excitement, blog-surfing-for-inspiration, excess smiling and or crying out of nervousness {not that I've done this...much ;)} that takes place before The Day arrives always stimulates quite an adrenalin  rush and once its all over you feel so worn out you're ready to sleep for days.
Then there's something called spontaneity.
Definition? In this case it means, I was at my grandparents' house to hang out, they happen to be keeping my adorable 5 month old cousin and there's a pile of leaves in the yard...just her size {did I mention the lighting was lovely and baby Maddy has gorrrgeous brown eyes?}. It's times like these that I believe I would be pretty silly to pass up such a photo opportunity that has so graciously fallen into my lap. :)
This cousin may not strike you as familiar but if you've been anything close to a regular around here for a while then you probably have seen this blog post about her birth. She's grown bunches in the last 5 months. :)
Her precious hot pink boots and the leaves added a beautifully fun fall touch...
or tasty fall depends on which one of us you ask. ;)
Oh dear me, brown eyes are so pretty. They are deep and rich and dramatic in a way other eye colors simply can't be. However, blue eyes and all other light eye colors in general are usually easier to photograph because they easily capture light which is what you want when you're aspiring to take a stunning portrait. So when you actually do have surprising success at capturing lovely light in dark eyes you, or at least I, get a tad bit giddy and feel like I've hit a grand slam, out of the ballpark, during the World Series. It's a good moment. :D
ANYWAYS! Brown eyes...Maddy's brown eyes in particular...I love them :D
I also love that she is a very happy and calm tempered baby. :) Makes my job waaaay so much easier.
Her brother and Daddy have white blond hair and so I guess I always assumed that she would too...but I personally see some dark peach fuzz on that head of hers. :D
Did I mention that her boots are adorably awesome? Cause they are...I want some in my size...really!
YAY for babies in baskets! I know, I know...major cliche. But hey, usually ridiculously cute things are cliches. :)
Again...such a happy baby. :D
Prolly my favorite...yeah....pretty sure :) :)
Wow. Props? Outfit change? Maybe this was more of a legit photo-shoot than I thought. ;)
She was very fascinated with her tutu :)
Bubbles :)

Yeah, so...I'm sorta, kinda, reeeeally... love with baby feet. :D
Fall bokeh: yes please! :D
 For making the first, last, and all the shots in between a blast...Thanks, cutie. :)
~Through Christ's Love 
P.S. Are y'all ready for my big long list of things I'm thankful {to God} for coming this Thursday?  Probably more ready than I am!! ;)