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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Your Wedding Has Two Weddings
Your Wedding Has Two Weddings

Can I tell you a secret about your wedding?  On your wedding day, there will actually be two weddings taking place.  The one you planned for, and the one you may not even notice.

The one you plan for will be easy to spot.  It’s the one that looks like a real live Pinterest board.  Perfection will be everywhere you look.

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Time after time, it will feel like you are in a movie and you won’t believe that it’s actually real life.  I mean seriously… did you notice that field just above?

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As great as the wedding you planned is, sometimes there is even more fun and life to be had in the wedding you may not notice.

Like…. How adorable the little flower girls are as they wait while watching shows with matching headphones.

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How your groom and his aunt photo bomb your formal photos.

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That little moment of reflection as you film a message to your husband to be.

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How about that time your dad trips while walking you down the aisle, catches himself, and then you share a giggle over it.

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It only lasts 5 seconds, but when the minister tells you to turn and look at all the friends and family you have, soak it up.

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If it feels like everyone is watching you…. it’s because they are.  Every little girl is kinda dreaming she was you.

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And some little boys are trying to figure out what every older girl wants.

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Of course you want a photo with your sorority sisters.  You never figured your dad would want to jump in too though.  Right?

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Soak up every strange and awkward dance move your new husband has.  (And make sure it gets captured on film.)

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Rent the best getaway car you can.  But if it does not crank, don’t sweat it.  You’ve got plenty of muscle standing by.

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Plan your day, enjoy your day, just don’t miss the day happening behind the scenes.  You never know when lightning might strike.

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(You see what I did there?)

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Gwen & Vernon | 50 Years of Marriage
Gwen & Vernon | 50 Years of Marriage

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Sometime last year I came up with the idea of photographing couples who have been married 50+ years. I always love anniversary dances at weddings and feel like those are the couples we should be celebrating. It’s like 300 people come to cheer you on when you get married, but for some reason, the longer you are married, the less people celebrate or cheer for it.

(PS: If you know of a couple who has been married for 50 or more years, get in touch, I’ll take their photos.)

I don’t know if I could have picked a better couple to kick off this little series.

Vernon and Gwen were married January 16, 1965. That’s about 50 years and 4 days ago. ;) They were so so sweet and kind. Their relationship has such a security to it. One is not trying to outdo the other. As they tell a story they take turns handing off parts of the conversation to each other like olympians passing a baton. One of the first things that came up was the topic of movies and this was their exchange.

Gwen: “I love Cary Grant. How can you be so funny and look so good?”

(3 second pause.)

Vernon: “There’s only a few of us.”

I was hooked.

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As I photographed them they told stories about their journey and what it means to share a life with someone. I felt my marriage getting stronger just by listening to them talk about theirs. I loved watching them flirt like a pair of newly-weds. I loved the little looks she gave him when he was about to cross a line. I loved that Vernon’s office has a photo of the Mona Lisa next to a photo of John Wayne.

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At first my plan was to just do a few photos of them, but after about 30 seconds of hanging out with them, I knew I had to film them answering a few questions about marriage and life.

It’s not a LOL Instagram cat.
It’s not a dog riding a skateboard on Youtube.
It’s not even a super funny 21 random facts you didn’t know BuzzFeed list.

It’s just 2 people who have been married 50 years telling you what it takes to make that happen.

They may also give opinions on wedding budgets and saying yes to the dress. ;)

So, if you have 5 minutes to spare, you should watch this video.

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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 | wedding
top 10 2014 | wedding

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: Weddings

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

One of my favorite things about my job is how unique each of my couples are, even though I’m basically shooting the same event every weekend. They all vary so much from each other due to the personalities and stories that are unfolding each day. The reasons I love these images are not because they are the most technically “correct” or most beautiful image. It’s because I feel like they nail who each of these couples are in one single image.

1. Prayer: Megan & Stephen’s faith plays a huge role in their life. (They were married at a Biblical Arts Museum for crying out loud.) Anyway, this shot of them praying together right after their First Look, just nailed them and their day.

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2. Field: Amanda & Dale were planning on getting married back in 2013.  Illness and other issues forced them to have to postpone their day.  When April 2014 finally rolled around, you could tell they didn’t care about anything related to fancy wedding, appetizers, or linens.
They didn’t care if there were 500 guests or 5 guests. They just wanted to be married to each other.

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3. Horse: Katelyn & Chris know what they want; especially Katelyn.  I love brides who know what they want.  Katelyn wanted a few shots at the stock yards on her way to the ceremony.  We literally stopped traffic to get some shots of her and her wedding party.

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4. Century Tree:  If you know anything about Aggies you know they love their traditions.  (Sometimes a bit too much.)  Anyway, Emily & Lucas wanted to get married under the Century Tree.  It’s a rare sort of deal and a bit of a guerrilla operation to make it happen.  So this little moment where they were able to stand under the tree and look out at all of their friends and family that were their to support them, just made my day.

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5. Hug: I’m a sucker for families.  I’m a super duper sucker for families coming together.  So this shot of Caleb and his daughter hugging their new bride/mom five minutes after the ceremony, melted every part of my heart.

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6. Squish: Dani & Joey are super smart.  As in doctor smart.  As in MIT smart.  Yeah.  That smart.  Their wedding party was full of doctor smart, MIT smart people.  Doctor smart, MIT smart people are really good at being funny.

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7. Shadow: Beth & Tim may have been the most “present” couple I have ever photographed.  They were so aware of their day, the beginning of their marriage, the start of their life together.  The reason I love this image is because of how tender it is.  It’s exactly the way Tim treated and acted towards Beth all day.

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8. Selfie: Shelby & Logan can own any moment they want.  She is a lawyer and he is a game warden.  That means you can think things are going your way and you are in charge, and suddenly, out of no where, they step in and remind you they were there all along, making sure everything went as they had planned.  Right after their ceremony, they were gathered around their family and friends hanging out and talking,  and I was just snapping random photos.  Logan looked at me and said, “We want to take a selfie.”  BOOM.  Just like that they owned the moment.  Their whole day was full of things like that.  I loved them.

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9.  Shape: Jennifer loves her some architecture.  Went to school for it.  Knows it.  Lives it.  Could not stop blabbing about the Parador and how amazing it was.  I know she got married because she loves Ryan.  But, sometimes, I think she got married because she wanted an excuse to rent the building. ;)

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10. Swag: Hilary & Kirk.  Few couples intimidate me.  Hilary & Kirk were one of those couples.  Man, these two are full of such swag, it’s ridiculous.  They are so kind and a joy to be around, but at the same time, it’s like they are on a whole other level.  99% of the time when a couple walks over to their cake to be photographed with it, they look right at me and say “What do we do?”  Hilary and Kirk walked over to it and did that.  Swag.

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