Sunday, September 29, 2013

Ryan & Mandy's Volunteer Wedding!!!

Ryan and Mandy has to be one of the most fabulous couples I have ever had the pleasure of working with!!!  I love when a wedding truly reflects the personalities of the bride and groom, and this whole day was such a wonderful reflection of these two incredibly fun people!!!

When I first met up with them for their engagement session, I knew they were going to be a blast!!!  We had so much fun and walked all around the riverfront and Neyland Stadium . . . they even let me take pictures of them in the locker room!!!

They had put together a spirited BIG ORANGE WEDDING to celebrate their love and their favorite team!!!  Rolls of thunder and monsoon-like rain threatened to dampen their day (literally), but these two didn't miss a beat!!!  They were so happy to be marrying each other, they were on cloud 9!!!  And I just cannot say enough about this wedding party!!!  The bridesmaids rallied together and picked up super fun orange and white balloons, plastic (for the bride to stand on in the soaked grass), and made sure everything was perfect!!!  Actually, I suspect if I hadn't mentioned it, you probably would have never guessed that it was storming most of the day on and off or that it was raining in the following big group picture . . .

Sooooo . . . without gushing further . . . I hope you enjoy some of these photos celebrating the love of a absolutely wonderful and gorgeous couple!!!!


Monday, September 23, 2013

Twins in the City!!!

Chicago better watch out because these two lovely ladies are going to take it by storm!!!  I was so excited to get to meet up with this fabulous family while I was in town!!!  They met me at the Adler Planetarium right before the Gold Cup started (I'd tell you about my adventure trying to get there having no clue what Soldier Field was, but that's another story . . . my husband was quick to educate me - haha!).  We had sooo much fun!!!

Alaina & Emma are such a joy!!!  They have unique personalities and are sweet, beautiful, fun, and smart (how many 1.5 year olds do you know that are bilingual!?)   =)  They took right off, showing me how exciting it is to run and play with bubbles along Lake Michigan with both the Navy Pier and three of the nation's tallest buildings behind you!!!  Seriously . . . it was like a dream come true!!!  Bubbles!!  Gorgeous water!!!  Fabulous carousel!!!  And a beautiful city!!!  All in one spot!!!

And after all this running and playing . . . they weren't tired in the least!!!  After an hour of modeling, they were ready to dance and cheer on the USA & Panama as they played one another in the final game of the Gold Cup!!!

I hope you enjoy their slideshow and feel free to check out photos from my first session with these lovely ladies HERE.


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Remembering September 11th - Beauty for Ashes!

September 11, 2001

World Trade Towers 1999
How does a single day manage to feel like it was both yesterday and yet a lifetime ago?  It always seems to sneak up on me.  And yet, the moment I wake up, I immediately realize what today is.  Images, video clips, and voices permeate every media and every place.  I remember.

It has been 12 years, and when I think back, I can still feel the fear, the overwhelming sadness and shock as if it were happening all over again.  But that is what the terrorists wanted.  They wanted to cripple us with fear and destroy us.  So instead, I choose to remember the LOVE & STRENGTH.

"Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America.  These acts shattered steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve." -- President George W. Bush, 9/11/01 at 8:30pm

New World Trade Towers 2013
I remember hugging my friends, my family, complete strangers.  I remember spending the evening and the next day surrounded by hundreds of other students of a variety of ethnic, political, and religious backgrounds all standing together praying, holding hands, hugging, waving our American flags, and singing "God Bless America, Land That I Love!"  I remember knowing with certainty that while the world thinks we can be a spoiled and apathetic people, we are not.  We may settle into our comfort zones like everyone else and bicker about the small things, but we are strong, unified in our love of our freedoms and our nation, and we are even a bit ornery!!!  Really, we're kind of like a giant family.  We may argue, protest, rant, and call each other names, but the moment anyone else lays a finger on our crazy Uncle Eddie, it's on.  Ok, so maybe that's more like a big Southern Family - haha!!

Anyway, the point is that I am so thankful and proud to be an American!!!  I'm thankful for the wonderful people around the world who have supported us.  I am thankful for the men and women who have risked or given their lives for us . . . the rescue workers, firefighters, EMTs, police, military, volunteers, the brave people who willingly crashed their own plane into an empty field giving up their own lives to save others . . . you will all never be forgotten.  And as for the rest of us . . . we learn, we grow, we rebuild our lives and make sure to teach the lessons we learned of love, unity, and strength to future generations.

On a side note, I was in NYC two times in 2001.  I went three months before and three months after September 11th.  That year was the last time I did several things in NYC.  I guess the memories of smoke rising up from the ashes really affected me.  I couldn't even bring myself to go down there for the 10th anniversary of the attacks (I was in the city that week).  The last time I went down there, a huge metal cross and an American Flag stood over the dirt and ruins.  However, a few weeks ago, I decided this was the year.  I am so glad I went!!!  The 9/11 Memorial is a beautiful and tranquil place to reflect and honor those who lost their lives that day.  The new World Trade Center buildings are gorgeous and stand tall, reminding us that we are strong and courageous, and something beautiful can be created from the ashes of tragedy.  

"The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me . . . He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives . . . to console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning . . ." -- Isaiah 61:1-3


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

It's That Time . . . Christmas Time Is Here (almost)

Hip Hip Horray!!!  In a few more months there will be sleigh bells jingling and chestnuts roasting . . . my absolute most FAVORITE time of year!!!

Sooo . . . it is time to start planning FALL & CHRISTMAS MINI SESSIONS!!!  

I will be offering mini sessions in the Tri-Cities on 
October 26-27th at two set locations . . . one will be more rural and one more urban.

Mini sessions will also be available in the Knoxville area at a flexible location 
October 20-24th.

All packages include a 20-minute photo session at the specified location along with the copyright release for the edited high resolution images.

Pre-Made Packages are $100 - $135

I would love to work with you to custom design a package, design and personalize Christmas cards or gifts, and more, so please feel free to ask.

The number of people, pets, or clothing changes is only limited by what you can squeeze into the given time frame, but I am more than happy to accommodate multiple people / children / pets.

**Please e-mail for detailed information and to reserve your spot**


Monday, September 9, 2013

Donovan, Class of 2014

I'm so excited to share these photos of my senior session with Donovan!!!  We met up at the old Spangler Farm in Chattanooga, and I have to be honest, I was overwhelmed with options.  Such a neat place!!  Donovan is such a great easy-going guy!!!  I had a fabulous time walking the property with him and his family, talking, and capturing this important time in his life!!!

Below is a slideshow of a few images from our session.  I hope you enjoy, and I hope Donovan has the BEST Senior Year ever!!!