Monday, July 31, 2017

Jessi & Justin's Amelia Island Wedding

Even though this is a post for Jessi & Justin’s beautiful Amelia Island Wedding. I have to preface this a bit and let you know up front this is much more than happily every after. Their wedding day was not only about their commitment to each other but in merging their families and bringing their girls together as sisters.

It is a story of determination, courage and discovery. Sometimes the sweetest things in life come when we least expect them. After the storms, challenges and obstacles are overcome you find yourself standing at the peek of a mountain that you didn’t even realize you had climbed. We are blessed in this life when we find ourselves standing there on that peek overlooking the journey that got us where we are today. And we are even more blessed to have those who encourage us to go farther, never stop growing, learning or being our best self.

Jessi is that person- she is an inspiration in every aspect of the word. An encourager who won’t let anyone or anything stand in the way of lifting others up along with herself as she reaches and re-sets her goals.

We have been friends over a decade and I loved her since the moment I met her. She’s incredibly sweet, funny, thoughtful and the girl can seriously bake some delicious cakes!!! We’ve laughed, vacationed, cried and had many amazing girls nights out together. She is everything friendship and loyalty is supposed to be (yes, Justin- you are super lucky!) We all know that past relationships can be hard but they can force growth in such an amazingly positive path that we may not have reached otherwise- I think both Jessi and Justin have overcome so much but also have become so much stronger as a result. I have told Jessi many times she is such an inspiration and just had to take this opportunity to tell her again.

It’s no simple task to blend two individuals but it’s even more delicate when you are blending two families. Jessi and Justin took so much care and attention to include their girls in every aspect of planning and getting ready for the wedding and even incorporated specials gifts for them into the ceremony.  It was so incredibly beautiful to see the wedding and celebration through their eyes. I am thankful to have been there not only to capture these beautiful moments but to see first hand the love Jessi and Justin not only have for each other but for their girls as well.

Enjoy :)

We started at the salon for hair, makeup and lots of giggles with all the girls as they got pampered for the big day. From there we headed to the beachside hotel for finishing touches.

The girls were so excited to hold the door for Jessi & Justin's first look. They were beaming with excitement the whole time and couldn't wait to see Justin's reaction to his beautiful bride. 

Soft sprinkles of raindrops ended our pre-ceremony formals and everyone sprung into action relocating the ceremony chairs from the beach. Jessi and Justin handled everything with such grace and it was clear that these two were happy to focus on the bigger picture- they were marrying their best friend no matter where the ceremony took place. 

My absolute favorite part of the ceremony was when Jessi and Justin presented the girls with beautiful silver lockets. I don't think there was a dry eye in attendance.

The rain fell softly through the vows and cleared just long enough for us to finish up the formals and for Jessi and Justin to take a little walk for the first time together as husband and wife before it started to drizzle again. 

The reception began with such a lovely prayer from Justin's dad and guests enjoyed delicious goodies from a local beach fave, Slider's. Everything was beautiful, smiles, toasts, dancing and conversation all around. It's one of the absolute best things about small, intimate events. The couple gets to visit, hug and spend time with everyone there- they get to really be present, unhurried and truly take it all in. 

Below are the wonderful vendors who did such a wonderful job on this very special day:
Girls Hair & Jessi's Makeup: The Beauty Bar
Hair: Chelley Ellis, Teenies Inc.
Venue: Ocean Club of Amelia
Cake: Jessica Getzlaff

Congratulations & Love You both!!!

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Baby Patrick {Family Fun}

Let's continue right where we left off.  Sweet baby Patrick is home with the coolest big brother and sister that love to laugh, cuddle and help in any way they can. It's so fun to see how the image series turn out when kids are just their silly selves. They will never, ever be this little again and seeing them with their new baby brother is just short of heaven. In addition to Patrick's newborn session, it was important to me to capture what this time in life looks like for the whole family. 

There's just something about the way they look at their new little baby brother that is so full of awe, curiosity and promise. Oh, the adventures, fights, tattles, lessons and a lifetime of firsts these three will have together.

And now, possibly my favorite nursery of A-L-L time! Harry Potter fans everywhere are smiling a cheesy full-teeth grin right along with me in seeing all the fun hand crafted little details in Patrick's room. I think I may need that "...up to no good" artwork in my office ;) And to top it all off, Hedwig hangs out right there in Patrick's crib to keep an eye on things.

Up next are some very special images for Connor and Paige. We had tons of fun hanging out in their rooms and playing with their favorite toys. Sometimes my favorite thing to do is to just sit back and watch the imagination at work. A simple car or airplane becomes a full scale rescue or invasion. Unicorns can fly for days to reach the party that Princess Poppy is throwing.
Everyday, a new adventure.

Paige was so happy to show me her big girl room with all her new books and desk. She even settled in and shared a story with me. She loves to learn but also knows how to have F-U-N!!! With her leading the way for her younger brothers, there is no doubt in my mind these kids are going places!

Monday, April 3, 2017

Baby Patrick {Sneak Peek}

Meet sweet Patrick. He's a snuggly bundle of joy and has just come home to two of the most amazing parents in the world! I can't even put into simple words how incredibly blessed I am to know and to have worked with Ryan and Caitlin since his big sister Paige was a newborn. I have also enjoyed loving on, photographing and snuggling with his big brother, Connor as well. 

My eyes may have watered just a bit seeing their images large in canvas on the walls. So for me, as much as for them, it was such a very, vey special session.  One that I will A-L-W-A-Y-S cherish!

Seeing how much Paige and Conner have grown and taking some time to be a little silly while Patrick was getting ready for his pictures was such a highlight for me. Their little personalities and giggles made my heart so full.

Patrick did wonderful with his session. Full and happy he slept through the first half but most definitely favored keeping his gator blanket close. But once his little eyes opened, he was wide awake and didn't want to miss any part of the rest of the fun. Ahhh, those BIG baby blues will just melt your heart!!!

I can't wait to share more images later this week with some fun we had with Paige and Connor in their rooms with their favorite toys. And I am still geeking out over Patrick's Harry Potter nursery, there may be some HP Marathons in our future! Caitlin and Ryan, thank you so very much for inviting me to be part of such a wonderful time for your family! xoxo

Thursday, December 1, 2016

The Figueroa Family

With each year I spend photographing families and sweet babies, I am more thankful for the people brought into our lives. I am always amazed at the intricate navigation that happens to bring people across your path. God is truly a master at this and Kristy and her family are just another prime example of His blessings!

This year we have worked hard and are taking the final steps in creating a non-profit, TeamUp Foundation that has been near and dear to my and Adam's heart for years. Our vision is to support existing organizations that are currently doing phenomenal work in their areas of expertise as well as support private individuals and families as we could. Through strategic partnerships with other like-minded businesses, we are creating a network of consistent funding to be able to help when and where we can. As we grow our goal is to expand into scholarships and grants to others in various areas of need. As a photographer, I have always donated my time and talent as much as I could with various organizations and events. I love giving back and have prayed about being able to do it more. Now I can!

Kristy's family is one of the first we were able to arrange this very special session for. Her family's journey is very similar to our own and has been rocked with a heart-shattering brain tumor diagnosis for her father, Bob. I know first hand what they are going through and when she mentioned her parents would be in town and that they would love to schedule a session I knew exactly what we needed to do.

Bob was rushed to the emergency room the evening before his grand daughter, Emma was born. Completely across the country in California they scheduled a biopsy which revealed the tumor was cancerous and surgery quickly followed while baby Emma was experiencing her first few days of life right here in North Georgia. The degrees of emotional strain were unimaginable. The shock, fear and hope that comes with any life-changing diagnosis and the euphoric joy of a new innocent life entering the world. Bob's surgery was successful and removed the tumor that was nearly the size of a lemon. But the cancer is extremely aggressive and Karen and Bob stay very vigilant with his medications, therapy and continued treatment to keep him healthy and active.

This session means so much to me but I know it means even more to Kristy and her family. To see and preserve how much joy "GoGo" has for his grandchildren and his excitement to meet the newest one expected next her by Kristy's sister is just so inspiring- it truly is what life is all about. People often wonder what wealth and success look like and I would say to them, just look at these... this is what it looks like!

What we can do with TeamUp will open up many opportunities to do more special sessions like this and other projects. If you would, we would love for you to join us in praying for continued blessings so we can continue to bless others :)

We would also love for you to join us in continued prayer for Kristy and her family, especially sweet, precious GoGo! He is very much looking forward to spending more time with Mia, Emma and the newest grand baby in 2017. He and Karen also have a vow renewal planned in Hawaii early next year. We will all be praying fervently for continued health and safe travels for them all. xoxo!

Pay it Forward: 
We are so thankful to be embarking on the next step of launching TeamUp Foundation and our efforts to support other non-profits, organizations, youth programs and families. In this journey we have partnered with FireFan, A new Free Live Sports App launching this Fall that is sharing a % of their in-app purchases and advertising with their participating affiliates. Please join us in our #iplaytogive campaign and click the here or the image below to sign up. We will follow up with you on how to download the app and play along with our TeamUp Leagues! Thank you so much for joining the team!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

The Peterson Family

I have had the pleasure of watching these precious girls grow over the past five years! I absolutely treasure my time spent with each and ever student at First Baptist Academy and this family is just one of the many reasons why :) Their sweet momma is the picture of grace and I loved seeing them all have fun together and being silly with Dad... hugs, kisses and piggy back rides by the river- it doesn't get much better than that! 


Pay it Forward: 
We are so thankful to be partnered with TeamUp Foundation and their efforts to support other non-profits, organizations and youth programs. A new Free App from former EA Sports/ Madden Football designer, Mark Mongie is launching this October that is sharing a % of their in-app purchases and advertising with their participating affiliates. Please join us in the #iplaytogive campaign and click the here or the image below to sign up.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

The Holliman Family {Big Brother Hunter}

There's a lot of things I love most about Florida... Disney, the sunshine and beautiful beaches are definitely near the top of the list, but it's reconnecting with family, friends and lifelong clients that fill my heart! I was soooooo overjoyed when Stacie shared the news that they were expecting baby #2 and that it would mean a new little brother for Hunter!!!

Stacie, Chris and Hunter all share my love for the beach so of course sunset at their favorite spot was the plan- complete with playing with some bubbles for Hunter at the end of the session, here's a sneak peek of some of our favorites :)

Pay it Forward: 
We are so thankful to be partnered with TeamUp Foundation and their efforts to support other non-profits, organizations and youth programs. A new Free App from former EA Sports/ Madden Football designer, Mark Mongie is launching this October that is sharing a % of their in-app purchases and advertising with their participating affiliates. Please join us in the #iplaytogive campaign and click the link to sign up below. 

Friday, September 2, 2016

Mersberger Wedding

I definitely have to preface this post with I think what many will find obvious- I absolutely adore this couple, their family and everything they stand for. This no doubt is a super-deluxe edition of wedding posts but I just had to share all the emotion, details, love and excitement that this family had. I hope you enjoy and please join me in congratulating the newlyweds!!!

I could not have imagined a more perfect day or setting for Caroline and Nathan to exchange their vows. Spending the afternoon watching these two send notes and gifts to each other amidst the preparations spoke volumes of the thoughtfulness and communication that these two already had for one another. Planning a wedding has so many details- flowers, cake, dresses, guest lists, menus, invitations, etc. To see that they took the time to remember the special little things and sweet love notes- not only for themselves but for their parents as well, was so encouraging.

Pair that with the lifelong friends and family that were by their sides, this definitely was a day celebrating a love that has grown and flourished for many years. I am so excited to share the images of their beautiful day- the details and fun little touches that put their personal touch on each and every part of the wedding. From the whimsical socks to the heirloom handkerchief used to wrap Caroline's bouquet, everything worked together to reflect these two and their family and friends who are so dear.

There's certain special moments of the wedding day that over the years I have learned are so very precious. While I love the details and documenting the preparations of the day- there is something so special in the gaze of the mother's and grandmothers as they look on as the bride gets ready. The small tears in a fathers eye- whether of the bride or groom. There is no doubt they see that little boy or little girl they taught to take their first wobbly steps or to ride a bike. That they are such a ball of emotion brimming with pride and also knowing that their son or daughter is embarking on the first steps of building their own family. It's absolutely priceless and as a mother myself, I have grown to appreciate it more and more with each family I am blessed to work with.

I love how Caroline chose to surprise her Dad with a special first look for just them two before the ceremony began. So incredibly sweet.

Following the ceremony and formals we marched right on into the reception where the big party was kicked off in style! The wedding party entered dancing their own unique stye and set the stage for Nathan to twirl Caroline right onto the dance floor for their first dance as Mr. and Mrs. That set the stage for the rest of the evening, partying and dancing late into the night with toasts from Dad and longtime friends until finally it was time to go out with a bang...and sparklers!

Wedding Vendors: 
Venue: The Wheeler House
Flowers: Funky Mountain Flowers and Gifts
Photographer: Kathryn Brown
Videographer: JMcLane Productions
Catering: Talk of the Town
Hair & Makeup: Level Spa Salon- Rian Bradford, Allison Strub & Caroline Mersberger
Cake:Lush Cakery
DJ: The TC Show

Pay it Forward: 
We are so thankful to be partnered with TeamUp Foundation and their efforts to support other non-profits, organizations and youth programs. A new Free App from former EA Sports/ Madden Football designer, Mark Mongie is launching this October that is sharing a % of their in-app purchases and advertising with their participating affiliates. Please join us in the #iplaytogive campaign and click the link to sign up below.