top 10 2015 | wedding ring photos
top 10 2015 | wedding ring photos

It’s that time again. It’s time to look back at some of the best photos from 2015. Everyday we’ll be taking a look at a new category. Voting is open till 8am and the winners will be announced Monday. The winning entries will each receive a 16×20 print.

Today’s category: Wedding Rings

I love trying to capture what is unique about a couple and work that into a photo of their wedding rings. Here are some of my favorites from this past year.

Take a look at the entries then vote at the bottom of this post.

1. Glass

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2. Jenga

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3. Cork

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4. Bling

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5. Engaged

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6. Horn

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7. Caps

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8. Mickey Mouse

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9. Fight

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10. Cards

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top 10 2015 | engagement photos
top 10 2015 | engagement photos

It’s that time again. It’s time to look back at some of the best photos from 2015. Everyday we’ll be taking a look at a new category. Voting is open till midnight and the winners will be announced Monday. The winning entries will each receive a 16×20 print.

Today’s category: Engagement Sessions

Take a look at the entries then vote at the bottom of this post.

1. Fishing
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2. Billiards
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3. Hug
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4. Waders
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5. Reflection
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6. Lines
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7. Coffee
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8. Sunset
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9. Posters
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10. Shadows
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Ali & Greg’s Key Largo Wedding
Ali & Greg’s Key Largo Wedding

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When a couple entrusts me to document their wedding day, it really is an honor. When a couple is generous enough to fly me out to Florida to do that job… it’s an honor, and a mini-vacation. :)

I had such a great time getting to know Ali & Greg’s family for the few days I was with them. They are such a neat group of people and I can’t wait to share a little part of their story with you.

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Their rehearsal evening at the Key Largo Lighthouse was so laid back; full of laughter, and stories.  I could tell right away these two were surrounded by some serious amounts of family and friends.

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Of course Ali had her mother’s wedding dress altered and turned into her rehearsal evening dress.  Why wouldn’t she?

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Greg apparently has 3 super heroes for Aunts.  They ended the evening by singing a song about Greg & Ali’s story while dressed in appropriate beach attire.

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The only problem with getting married in Florida is that sometimes it rains.  From 10AM on, we were unsure if we would be able to have this ceremony outdoors.

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Ali wore a necklace that her dad gave her mom on THEIR wedding day, her grandmother’s earrings, and a ring her mother gave her when she turned 16.

Basically, every single tiny detail of this day was layered with depth and meaning.

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Of course Greg gave her some custom made shoes.  Why wouldn’t he?

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3 things I love:
1. Grandparents who take photos all day long.
2. Killer make up artists who make my job easier.
3. Bridesmaids who steam dresses while wearing them and try not to scorch each other.

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Seriously, everytime I turned around, this girl was hugging someone.  Her day was filled with love.

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1 hour before the ceremony.  Still raining outside.  Ali is looking out to check the weather AND SMILING!!!!

You can see the droplets on the door.

SHE KNOWS IT’S RAINING!

SHE’S STILL SMILING!!!

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Even though it was drizzling, they still wanted to have a First Look.  (Because they are awesome like that.)

I found a covered-ish area and stuck them there.  Ground was still a bit wet, but they didn’t seem to mind.

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And then, almost like magic, it stopped.  The rain was gone.  So in the span of about 30 minutes, we took every possible photo we could. :)

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I already mentioned they had a super strong family support group…  but my favorite photo of the trip was this next one.

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When you say “I know we are from Texas, but we are getting married in Florida on a Tuesday in January” and 67 people show up….
That’s a pretty good way to start your marriage.

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I’m super proud of the group shot with the whole wedding party and the flower girl in the middle.  She wanted no part of the photo shoot, but I was able to bribe her participation by offering her some Frozen stickers. :)

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Small children on the beach in fancy clothes are the best.

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Remember the super hero aunts?  Yeah, they made all the sweets for the wedding.  (Of course they did.)

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By the time the ceremony rolled around, the little one was done.  She made it down the aisle, tearing up along the way.  All the while wearing one of my Frozen stickers. :)

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Give it up for Curbside Gourmet.  Yes, please.

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Greg’s mother spent so much time playing with and enjoying her grandson.  Fully present and in the moment.

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I love watching parents during a couple’s first dance.  I love it even more when the Father of the Bride has a slightly disinterested look on his face that says… “I suppose she was bound to grow up eventually.”

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My favorite thing that happened during the toasts was how their friends didn’t just tell stories of growing up together, but also shared stories of wanting to grow old together.  Committing to being there for them moving forward.

“I wanna be the one dressed up in a bathing suit t-shirt singing at YOUR daughter’s wedding,” she said.

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I don’t even know.  But I felt like I should share it.

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The night kept getting better.

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Thank you guys so much for trusting me with your wedding.  Thanks for letting me join in on the fun and be a part of the family for a few days.  You are the best.

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Disney World 2015
Disney World 2015

So, after a few years of saving and planning and saving, we took a little trip to Disney World. This post is not for the faint of heart. So grab a sandwich, have a seat, and get ready for a billion photos.

We sat the kids down a week before we were going to leave and surprised them with the news.

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Those photos don’t really do it justice. (This little instagram clip is kinda a better look at their reaction.)

The first step on any successful Disney trip is driving.  Lots of it.  Enter iOS devices and headphones.

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17 hours later.  We arrive.  The lines to meet Anna & Elsa are typically up to 2-3 hours.  We settled on meeting these two plants instead.

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One of the perks of homeschooling and going to Disney in September is the parks are less crowded.  (As in, parts of it are empty at times.)

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The last time we went, Eli was not a fan of meeting any of the characters, this trip he was all in on the process.

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Hey look, it’s Aunt Gabby!

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The step-sisters and I have a special relationship.

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Eli managed to lose a tooth on the Haunted Mansion ride.

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If you have ever stood around waiting for a parade, you know it’s a super magical time for everyone.

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Later that day Eli lost another tooth. :)

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Each morning they pick a few families to help them “open” Hollywood Studios.  You get to hold a clap board and get some fast passes.  We soon realized, if you get there early and smile hard enough, you might get picked.  We managed to pull this off for all three of our Studios days.

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Luke was slightly terrified of the Tower of Terror.

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Sara and I not so much.

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Wanna save a million dollars on your Disney trip?  Pack your meals.

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Luke was chosen to drive a full sized “remote controlled” car at the Stunt Show.

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Things Disney is great at selling:

1. Yummy food.

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2. Lego blocks.

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3. Plushes.

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We felt like we would be bad homeschoolers if we did not visit the Hall of Presidents and American Adventure Pavilion.

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Jo kinda fell in love with Captain EO.

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Russell would not get out of my face ’til I saluted him.  We are now best friends.

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Festival of the Lion King may be our favorite thing ever.

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Finding Nemo the Musical may be my favorite thing ever.

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Kilimanjaro Safaris may not be Eli’s favorite thing ever.

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Things we learned:
1. Danielle is creepy. 2. We all fit in a phone booth. 3. Lists are better if there are three funny items.

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Danielle almost used the barf bag on Mission Space.

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Me channeling my inner Fast and Furious.

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Joseph has mastered the art of the ride photo.

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Hey, remember how they pick a few families to open Hollywood Studios?  Turns out they pick one family to open the Magic Kingdom each day.  It’s kinda a big deal.

You get in early, when no one else is around.

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They take your name so you can be introduced to everyone.

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You get to go around the park posing for photos wherever you want, all alone.

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You get to meet the opening number performers.

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They flirt with your son.

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You are backstage when the train comes out.

(This may have been my favorite moment.  As the train pulls in all the characters are waving at the hundreds of families waiting in line.  For one brief moment though, Alice turned and waved to our family.  It was just a little nod to the fact that we were back there, too.  We were in on the secret.  It kinda made the magical moment even more fun.)

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Then you, Mickey, and his friends get to open the park.

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You know what else you get?  A Fast Pass to meet any character you want.  Remember how Anna & Elsa had a 2 hour wait?  BOOM!  Front of the line!

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We adore the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse.

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DOUBLE RAINBOW!!

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Sara challenged Gaston to a reading contest.  Without hesitation, he took the book out of her hands, put it up on a ledge and said “Good luck reading it now.”  I love that guy.

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Of course they each should eat a cinnamon roll the size of their head.  Why not?

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I do like a good parade. But even more than the parade, I like watching my kids watch the parade.

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One more shout to Cindy from St. Charles, IL.  She totally made our trip when she asked us to be the Family of the Day.  You rock.

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Of course I didn’t just take photos, by the time I edited our home movie of the trip, it came in at about an hour.  I won’t ask you to sit through that, but you might enjoy this little 2 minute trailer.

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Brooke & Justin
Brooke & Justin

Brooke & Justin are the type of people that you feel totally at ease 12 seconds into meeting them.  Justin is a football coach at SMU and Brooke works in the recruiting department.  We had a great time going all over campus taking these photos.  Also, I’ve photographed dozens of couples on dozens of campuses across Texas…  shout out to Brooke for getting us the hook up and having a golf cart for us to drive around in.  25 cool bride points earned.

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