Ashlie and Joe’s Fort Desoto Wedding

 

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Last month I had the pleasure of photographing one of my friend’s wedding…which also happens to be my first! I was so nervous and excited. Nervous because everything that I usually photograph can be retaken if it doesn’t come out perfect. Weddings can not be retaken and that scares me to death. BUT I was excited to be doing something out of my comfort zone and because weddings are just always so beautiful.

I knew right away that I wanted to photograph the bride getting ready for her big day…and I’m so glad I did! It captures her emotions perfectly.

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I won’t make this post too lengthy with words…I think I’ll just let the photos speak for themselves.

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Let me just chime in here to say HOW FREAKING ADORABLE are these two??? I can’t take it…their happiness and love is truly infectious.

I wish them nothing but love and happiness for the rest of their lives. I can not wait to see what the future has in store for these 2 newlyweds!

Christmas Mini Session, Lakeland FL

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This season has been so busy for me! I couldn’t be more thankful for all of it. I try to update every week but between holiday sessions, Christmas shopping, planning my son’s 3rd birthday party and celebrating my 10 year wedding anniversary it has been insane! I’m finally able to start catching up now. And why not start with this adorable mini session???

This little girl is SO funny. When we first started the session she would not smile for me, even though she knows me and she usually poses for me right off the bat. Thankfully she warmed up to the idea of taking pictures and her faces were PRICELESS.

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Of course I absolutely love this family. They are one of the families who have been so supportive of me during this journey into photography. Megan is always happy and thankful, she’s very encouraging and I can’t say enough good things about her. (And if you’re interested in LulaRoe you should check out LulaRoe by Megan and Ashley .)

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Last but not least can I just say how adorable is their little dog??? I love pet sessions…animals are 100% part of the family and I hope more of my clients include them in their future sessions!

 

Family of 3 Christmas Mini Session, Tampa FL

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One of the best parts of being a photographer is the sweet families I get to meet. I’ve always considered myself to be shy and reserved…but there is something about the camera that makes that part of me disappear. I feel so in my element and conversation just happens naturally; thankfully! If anyone knows me I can be pretty awkward at times.

I think it also has to do with the fact that my clients are amazing; I had never met this family before but when we spoke on the phone before their session it was literally like talking to an old friend. I can give thanks to Melissa for that because she was so welcoming and just easy to talk to.

I also love that she sent me a picture of their Christmas cards using these portraits…which I LOVED. They picked the perfect pictures and the perfect design.

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This image is definitely because of her mommy! I could not get her to smile for me…I wasn’t winning her over; even with cookies! But Melissa was able to get her to giggle and I was all over it and it was so worth it!

Phillips Christmas Mini Session Lakeland, FL

 

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Christmas is my favorite time of year; it always has been. When I was younger it was for the obvious reasons of gifts. As I grew up it became more about spending time with family; less about receiving gifts and more about giving them.  I truly enjoy gift giving, I love that it can make someone happy even if only because of the thought.

My son’s birth only added to my favorite season since he was born 2 days before Christmas. So because the holidays are so important to me, personally, for family reasons…I absolutely LOVE that as a photographer I get to capture Christmas memories!

This has to be the best part about being a photographer…seeing so many families and their happiness around the holidays.

 

There is also something about children and Christmas…it amplifies the wonder, excitement, and innocence in them and their parents. I love it all, honestly. Plus the outfits are usually so freaking cute! Be prepared for an overload of Christmas portraits…but they are so worth seeing. 🙂

 

Family Session Lakeland, FL

I had planned on posting a session last Sunday…but then I heard about the Texas church shooting. I suppose you could say that I’m an “empath”. I feel things deeply; even when it doesn’t directly affect me. I mourn people I don’t know. Mass shootings are always horrible…but when children are involved it just breaks me. I needed time to myself; “step away and pray”. It could be very easy for me to fall into a dark, sad place filled with fear and worry thinking that this is our world now. But I know that for all of the darkness there is so much more light. So instead of letting the darkness consume me I’m letting the light fill me. I’m focusing on the good in this world; not the bad. I’m focusing on the beauty, not the ugly.
So it’s perfect that the session I’m posting tonight is of this family. They are sweet, genuine, good people.

There is also a funny story behind this session (which also proves how good natured they are). When we first got to Lake Mirror it started sprinkling so the girls went to find shelter and the guys stayed where they were. A bird was resting on the wall and it did not seem fazed by them. The bird let them touch him and hold him…for a moment. Then when he tried to fly away from them he ended up in the lake. That is when we realized that he was hurt. He was flapping his wings trying to get out of the water but he couldn’t. Two large swans started towards him aggressively; he desperately tried to fly up but just could not. We were all starting to freak out because after all, it was our fault he was in this situation. So Chase climbed over the wall and into the lake to save him. It seemed very dramatic until we realized the water was only one foot deep. Once the bird was safely back on the wall he started hauling butt away from us. I couldn’t even get a picture with Chase and the bird after he was rescued. He was over us.

This was my first session with all adults…I’m mostly used to families with toddlers or babies. So it was definitely a different experience for me. It made me realize I need to focus on actual poses. I lean towards natural moments but I should be able to guide them into those natural positions. That is something that I am learning.

I’m so thankful they trusted me with their family portraits. It was definitely a memorable session for me!

LuLaRoe by Megan and Ashley, Lakeland FL

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Can I just say I LOVE taking pictures of these two! I’ve known Ashley since high school and she’s always been such an amazing person. It’s so funny to me because we both started our own business ventures this year…mine with photography and hers with LuLaRoe.DSC_0237

 

I love that we both started our business around the same time because personally, she has been such a huge support for me. She has reassured me when I needed it; she has referred her friends and family to have sessions with me; she’s given me advice or guidance whenever I’ve needed it. Her sister, Megan, has been a huge blessing as well. I had never really known her prior to this year but she is so easy to talk to and she has lifted me up when I’ve been doubtful about my photography skills. Megan has also left stunning reviews for me and also referred her friends and family. These two girls are just such amazing people.

I’m not necessarily a leggings type of girl…but I did buy 1 pair from them (Minnie Mouse with a camera of course) and they are super soft. Plus I love the customer service these girls give and the fact that if there are ever any issues, tearing or holes that pop up; they refund you or give you store credit. I seriously just can’t say enough good things about these two!

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Anthony’s 1st Birthday Cake Smash Session, Plant City FL

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Today is this little man’s 1st birthday party and I just wanted to share a few words about his mama and him.

When I look back on some of the darkest moments of my life; I see mostly my family as my strength…but there was a light in those dark days that didn’t come from just my family. It came from one of my best friends…she was there beside me through so many painful moments; she was like a ray of sunshine in the middle of the storm. She taught me so much about myself, about friendship, and about life. So when I found out she was going to be a mother I was SO incredibly happy because I knew she HAD to pass that light on; this world needs it more than ever.

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Today, her perfect, adorable, amazing little boy turns one and I am so proud of the bright, beautiful soul she is raising. Everyone who meets him loves him, everyone who sees him sees the pure joy that he naturally has. I hope he knows how loved and appreciated he is; today and everyday. Happy birthday little man!

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