The easiest people in the history of the world to photograph. (Breelyn & Tyson)
The easiest people in the history of the world to photograph. (Breelyn & Tyson)

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Sometimes my job is way, way too easy.  Seriously.  All I did was follow these two around all day while they looked amazing, dressed amazing, and acted amazing.

The amazing started at the The Dry Bar in Dallas.

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That monopod you see belongs to Matthew Lee Moore.  Killer videographer based in Colorado.  Check him out.

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We then all headed over to Chapel Creek Manor in Waxahachie.  A gorgeous little venue where Bree & Tyson had perfect weather. (Of course they did.)

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Tyson even looks smooth when he leaves his shoes 1 hour away from the venue.

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First Look magic.  Yes.  Magic.

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I LOVE when guys do the spin around look.

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Slow clap for Platinum Petals.  They knocked it out of the park.

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Tyson & Bree even have perfectly awesome little people at their wedding.

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You may remember from her bridal session that Breelyn wore her mother’s wedding dress.

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Here is what she had to say about the dress.

It’s true that there is something ineffably fascinating, magical almost, about stepping inside a gown that has been worn and loved in the past… Especially by your own Mom.  When I was really young I used to stare at the picture my Mom had hanging in the hallway and dream about the day when I would look as beautiful as her.  When my time came to “dress shop” my mom took me in her room and told me she wanted to show me something.  There’s this old cedar chest that my parents have always kept at the foot of their bed that is filled with hundreds of heirloom from our family. She had jewelry, handkerchiefs, pictures, and newspaper clippings from my Mimi’s day along with her own items already placed in a bag for me to have.  I was in total disbelief that she still had these items considering we didn’t have much of Mimi’s things.

Then she pulled out her own wedding dress.  We both are teary eyed at this point and she said, “You don’t have to wear it – I just wanted you to see it.” – I immediately put the dress on and as she’s zipping me up it fit like a glove.  I walked around her room for a few minutes and looked at my Mom as she was smiling so big at me… I knew it was the one.  I told her right then I didn’t need to look for a dress, I had it.  A wedding dress symbolizes so much about marriage, and I couldn’t imagine anything more special that carrying on the legacy of love that my parents have for each other.  I love my Dad with my whole heart – they have fought for their marriage of 29 years and I admire them so much for that.

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Breath.
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Are we ready?
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How about now?
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Who needs a drink?

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No matter how amazing your day is… someone will always think it’s kinda boring and has gone on too long.

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Brides often give a little giggle when they put a ring on their groom.  It’s like they know.

They won.

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Who doesn’t love to flaunt their wedding ring?

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Every wedding I try and get a shot of the bride looking stunning while the groom is shoving food in his face.

Mission accomplished.

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Your toasts should always include you bending over backwards in full gut wrenching laughter.

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Let’s just say all of the paper lanterns didn’t make it into the sky.  Some may have fallen down in flames and been used to light other lanterns.

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As if their day was not great enough, they also had a killer Mug Machine.  Here are some of my favorites from the booth.

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Breelyn and Tyson. I love you.  Thank You for letting me creep on your day.

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top 10 2014 | the winners!
top 10 2014 | the winners!

Wow, last weeks Top 10 contest was the biggest ever. There were over 4,400 votes cast. (You people have a lot of friends.) The bridal category had close to 600 votes and was decided by only 1 vote. Anyway, here are the winners for this past year. Be sure and shake hands and say good game before you walk off the field. You couples that won, you can go to bed tonight knowing you are champions. You couples that lost…. you can go to bed tonight complain about the officials.

Engagement: Band
Marriage is tough.
Balancing marriage and work is tougher.
Balancing marriage and work when you work at the same high school is tougher-er.
Balancing marriage and work when you work at the same high school and both your jobs depending on how well the halftime performance goes is the toughest.

So glad that Katie & Joe trusted me to pull of this shot. I love it.

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Rings: Tweet
Nicole and Tyson met on Twitter. Yeah. Twitter. 140 characters at a time they fell in love. I would love to be there when one day they have to explain to their grandkids what Twitter was.

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Brides: Emily
I’m sure many an Aggie bride has dreamed of drinking a pitcher of beer at the Dixi Chicken in a wedding dress. Emily actually pulled it off.

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Mug Machine: Hair
Amanda and her friend had a KILLER wedding reception. It only makes sense that one of their Mug Machine images won.

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Random: Flower
This may honestly be my favorite “lucky” photo I’ve taken this past year. You can never predict what little kids will do. I never expected her to jump in the air as she tossed petals left and right.

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Wedding: Hug
It’s a bit ironic, but last year’s winning wedding image was also a hug that took place shortly after the ceremony. That’s such an unscripted time. It’s always full of so much emotion. I saw this moment unfolding and was so so glad that I was able to do it justice. Anytime part of your day involves the rebuilding of a family, I’m all in. Thank you Caleb & Sarah for trusting me with your wedding.

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Thanks again to everyone who voted. It was fun. Let’s do it again next year.

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top 10 2014 | mug machine
top 10 2014 | mug machine

It’s that time again. It’s time to look back at some of the best photos from 2014. 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: Mug Machine

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

Everybody loves a good photo booth. And these photos are some of my favorites form the past year.

1. Olan: Let’s be honest. Every couple needs a great portrait. And no one rocked those better than the fine folks at Olan Mills.

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2. Wine: Because liquid is fun to photograph.

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3. Beard: I might be a bit jealous.

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4. Hair: One of the perks of being a bride is your friends will do whatever you ask them to do.

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5. Sip: Ladies are almost always so much smoother than dudes when it comes to The Mug Machine.

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6. Chest: Ain’t no swag like married swag.

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7. Disco: Disco balls are fun.

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8. Bump: Disco balls are more fun when you pretend they are your baby.

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9. Force: All wives have the ability to use the dark side of the force.

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10. Family: Every time The Mug Machine is rolling families try to nail that perfect shot. It’s almost impossible with more than 1 tiny human. Only the most talented families can pull it off.

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It’s like rain on your wedding day
It’s like rain on your wedding day

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The best part of my job is the people. I have the greatest couples, and documenting their story is the best because it’s unfolding along the way. Parts of it are already there, but much of it happens “live” and in the moment. This is especially true of wedding days. And, as far as wedding days are concerned, JoDee & Mike had an amazing one.
You may remember them from their super great cooking themed engagement session. (Mike is the Sous chef at Lucia. If you are in the Dallas area, you should go eat his food.)

 

These two decided to get married at the Inn at BK Ranch just outside of Palestine, TX. It’s a gorgeous location and perfect for a weekend of wedding fun and goodness.

 

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Check out all the wedding pretty.  Doesn’t it all just look amazing?  Every detail has been thought through and planned out.
Enjoy it while you can…. SPOILER ALERT: Not for long.

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When I first encountered JoDee on her big day, she was doing what every sensible bride does on a Sunday: picking the winner of NFL games.
(Her mother and sister were also making their picks with input from JoDee’s Grandmother.)

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Speaking of her Grandmother: JoDee wore her earrings because she is super sweet like that.  And TOMS because she is super sensible like that.

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I adore the faces brides make when they are getting their dress synched up in the back.  Always the best.

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Some First Look magic.

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Wait… what… no bouquet?

Why no flowers JoDee?

“No particular reason besides I just find them silly. Like really. Stop and think about it. Why would anyone hold flowers… I don’t even own a purse; let’s just say I’m not a fan of carrying things about. So I opted for the flower crown.”

Works for me. :)

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So it started to drizzle at this point. So I said to JoDee, “Do we want to head inside or go ahead and knock out the wedding party photos?”
JoDee looked at me like I was a crazy person and said, “It’s just a little rain, we’ll be fine.”

629 Cool Bride Points earned.

Hey look everyone. Beautiful people, in a beautiful place, wearing beautiful clothing.

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JoDee’s dog decided picture time was over.

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About an hour before the ceremony time, it became clear that the rain was not going to pass over. I’ve seen this scenario unfold dozens of times: the will it rain/it won’t rain/please don’t rain/oh crap it’s raining dance that everyone does around the bride. As people tiptoe around the subject ,they try to ask her what to do or what she wants done on her most special day in the history of days.

This was no different. People went to JoDee to find out what she wanted to do and she started thinking through options and opinions. I found Mike and asked him if he wanted to go talk with JoDee and come up with a plan and he said, “Just do whatever she says.”

The thing is, it was not like a typical dude, just deferring to “whatever she wants; it’s her day.”

It was more like:
She is capable.
She knows what to do.
I trust her.
Well the more people asked, the more it became an issue JoDee did NOT want to deal with. So, she passed the decision back to Mike.

Then, as soon as it was in Mike’s court, he took it and ran with it. We are moving it inside. The rain is coming, so let’s get ready.

And just like that, without even realizing it, they did it.

They did one of the hardest things in marriage.

They faced a problem, tossed it around a bit, and then solved it by leaning on and trusting each other’s strengths and weaknesses.
Mike COULD have made the decision all along. Yet he was wise enough to respect and love JoDee enough to let the decision be her’s. When JoDee felt the burden of it become too much, she handed it off to Mike, trusting in him to work it out.

Talking through, juggling, and working out difficult decisions are what make marriages stick. These two put on a clinic on how to do it 30 minutes before they were married.

Well, eventually the rains came. In fact, it started to pour. All their friends jumped right in and started moving tables and place settings inside and up stairs. The rain had come and it was here to stay. The outdoor wedding had become an indoor event. A soggy indoor event. But no one seemed to mind. We were all making the best of it and they were still going to get married.

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Then something interesting happened. The clouds parted. (Well, more like it stopped raining.) For a moment, we were golden. We all ran outside and decided to try and do this thing as planned.

Here comes the bride.

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Mike’s father performed the ceremony. And being a basketball official back in the day, he even surprised them with a little wardrobe change.

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Then it started raining. Again. Right in the middle of their ceremony.

Someone tried to give JoDee and umbrella, but she refused it. I later asked her why and she said, “If the guests were willing to get wet, so was I.”
821 Cool Bride points earned.

Turns out, rainy wedding days are a bit of a tradition in Mike’s family. Both Mike’s siblings had rain at their wedding. A massive storm blew through the morning of his brother’s wedding and Hurricane Ike caused a ruckus for his sister’s big day.

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Eventually the party moved inside. (Sans table linens.)
The rest of the afternoon was spent full of laughter, memories, and toasts from family. Toasts that included a signed photo from Tony Romo. (Although the signature did resemble Mike’s brother’s handwriting.)

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Also, who doesn’t love the Mug Machine?

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Fun Fact: Dude in the jacket in the lower left, split his pants bending over for the photo.

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One million thank you’s to you two for letting me share in your day.

Thanks for trusting me with it.
Thanks for braving the rain.
Thanks for showing me how marriage is supposed to work.

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Shelby & Logan | Astin Mansion Wedding
Shelby & Logan | Astin Mansion Wedding

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If I had to sum up Shelby & Logan’s wedding day in one word, I would choose “relationships” as their word.  Every time I turned around, it seemed as if these two were deep in conversation or a moment with another person from their story.  Weddings are often a time when the bride and groom are surrounded by their friends and family, but they rush and events of the day make it easy to overlook the people they love the most.  Shelby & Logan spent their day fully present and soaking up every moment.

 

 

They were married at the historic and gorgeous Astin Mansion in downtown Bryan.  This place is amazing.  They are also home to Carriage House Floral who brought their A game.  Take a look.

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The ladies spent the morning like all good Aggie bridesmaids… Watching football.

 

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Right before she started getting ready Shelby’s mom gave her a few small gifts from herself and other friends.  Then they sorta broke down.  Just for a minute. :)

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Shelby’s maid of honor loved me getting this shot of her brushing her teeth.

 

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I love toasts.  They are super great.  I also enjoy finding the creation of the toast.  So many times I come across that moment, when a mother or father sit down to try and put into a few sentences, what a lifetime of raising and loving a child has meant to them.  It’s rarely an “amazing” or “stunning” image, but so many times they end up being my favorites from the day.

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Shelby’s dad was super sweet when he saw her for the first time that day.

 

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I love how Shelby went all creepy on Logan during their First Look.

 

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So, somewhere along the day, we got news that the cake had been dropped on it’s way to the venue.  Not cool right?  Of course Shelby responded how every bride should.  She was like, “No big deal, I’m sure it will all work out.” :)

 

And just like that Shelby earned 387 Cool Bride points.

 

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Can I tell you a little secret?

Everyone knows you are supposed to look at the bride when she comes down the aisle.  (It’s her day BLAH BLAH BLAH.)

And… all you professional wedding go-ers also know that looking at the grooms reaction is also a golden moment.

The thing is, and due to the angle and location, this is so hard for most of you to see: the mother of the groom is sometimes where it’s at.  :)

All mothers ever want is for their kids to have a fulfilling life.  It’s never about them being successful, rich, or even giving them grandkids.  They just want them to be full.  To know they have a teammate.  So when a mother can see her son, looking at the woman who will be his partner in life, his biggest fan, the one who will hold him, give him comfort, joy, and the security that she has given for all these years, it’s a special moment.  I love that moment.

 

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Right after the ceremony I heard Logan say, we should take a selfie.  Then Shelby said, I don’t have a phone.  Then Logan said, I don’t have a phone.  Then I said, I have a phone.  Then they selfied on my phone while i photographed them selfieing.

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You’ll be surprised to know that Logan’s grandmother is a fan of watching her grandson dance with her daughter. :)

 

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Sometimes I think the only reasons Aggies get married is so someone will photograph their rings.

 

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Hey, hey.  Guess what showed up?

 

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Not only was Shelby cool about the whole thing, she went over and gave the cake lady a hug and thanked her for making her another cake.

274 Cool Bride points earned.

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So many people shared so many great stories about growing up and raising these two.  I would love for you to hear them, but guess what?  I was only there to take photos.  Good news though!

Matt Johnson of FilmStrong was there.  He is a killer videographer based out of Dallas.  You should book him.

 

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Towards the end of the night, Logan surprised Shelby by playing and singing a song for her.  He also made all us other guys look like chumps.  :)

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These two ended the night how I believe every couple should end their night: with the dance floor all to themselves.  It’s totally a thing that feels right out of a movie.  I love it every time.

 

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Thank you guys for an amazing day full of laughter, friendships, and all around Aggie coolness. ;)

 

P.S.  You know what else was at their wedding?  The Mug Machine.

 

Check out my 10 favorites from the night.

 

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