Mrs. Falcon: A Windthorst Bridal Session at St. Mary’s Catholic Church

Miss Tanna Sales became Mrs. Falcon on Saturday, July 29th in front of God, friends, and family at the historic Saint Mary’s Catholic Church in Windthorst, Texas. But several weeks ago, we did her Bridal portraits in the same location.

It was a gorgeous, warm sunny day. The bride looked practically angelic! I’ve been waiting to share these portraits since the day we shot them, so I’m happy to finally be able to, now that she’s a married woman! 🙂

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Tanna, you made the most beautiful bride! I can’t wait to sneak peek your wedding photos very soon!

Mr. & Mrs. Spence: a Wichita Falls Wedding at French Country Meadow

I LOVE shooting weddings, but I love it even more when I get to work at a brand new venue. I work in Wichita Falls a lot, as that’s where I grew up, and I was stoked to find out that a family there had built a gorgeous barn to be used as a wedding venue. French Country Meadow is such a gorgeous place. Its red structure is nestled in a large field out on the rural end of Falls Town. The big windows allow so much natural light that’s a dream for any photographer. It’s just so unique to that area! I can’t wait to shoot here again!

Haylee and Ryan decorated the space in the most unique, beautiful way that I had ever seen. Mayfield Events brought their vision to life with greenery draped down a large curtain, flanked by cacti and a rustic wood sign that would be incorporated to the ceremony. Fresh florals, live moss, and antiques topped the tables in one of the most unique centerpiece layouts I’ve seen in my 6 years of shooting. Words don’t do it justice; you just HAVE to see these!

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Ryan wasn’t the only one who teared up during the Bride’s entrance…

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Congratulations, Mr. & Mrs. Spence! Your wedding was one of my favorites so far this season. It was so unique, and so beautiful! I hope life is well in New Mexico!

 

Vendors:

Photographer: Swan Photography
Venue: French Country Meadow
Event Planner: Mayfield Events
Florals: Shelby Viator, Mayfield Events
DJ/Uplighting/Decor: Mayfield Events
Catering: Gypsy Kit
Makeup: Kandace Burns Beauty
Dress: Willow by Watters
Bridal Salon: Lulu’s Bridal

Mr. & Mrs. Holubec: a Brunch Wedding at the Sanford House

John and Laura have been one of the sweetest couples I’ve ever worked with. I absolutely adore photographing them. At each of their sessions, magic happened! When Laura told me that they were having a brunch wedding with a donut cake and mimosas, I was even more excited! Side note: I personally live for brunch! It’s my favorite meal and I could eat it every single day. Enough about me and my love for waffles; picture time!

 

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Congratulations, Mr. & Mrs. Holubec! I loved everything about your wedding.

Photographer: Swan Photography
Venue: Sanford House Inn & Spa
Florist: Floralee
Donuts: Bakery Donuts
Dress: Ava’s Bridal

Chyanna + Spencer: An Austin Engagement Session

It makes me so happy when my friends get engaged, and Spencer was no exception. We went to high school and church together, and upon graduation he went off to the Air Force Academy, where he met Chy. They bonded over both having served missions for the LDS church, later falling in love.

We met up in Austin (the music capitol of Texas) for their fun filled engagement session. We started out in Zilker Park for a bit of a natural feel, then meandered over to the Hope Outdoor Gallery for a quirky pop of color. The pair will be committing to each other for time and all eternity this July in the Salt Lake City LDS temple.

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Mutual weirdness forever. ❀

Congratulations, you two! You’re the perfect match. Thank you so much for meeting me in Austin so I could document your love story.

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Forest + Falls 2017

This blog post is probably going to be pretty lengthy, so hang in there! It’s going to be pretty raw and personal as well. If you’d rather not read it and just see some photos from my trip, keep scrolling 😉

From April 23-27 I spent time with about 150 other creatives at a photography workshop in Tennessee. I had booked my ticket back in 2016 when I saw the lineup of photographers who I’ve admired for years. I had been so excited for this camp for months, y’all. If you know me personally, then you are aware that I suffer from anxiety and I’m an extreme introvert. I’m so socially awkward it hurts. It’s so bad that I’ve had people tell me (after they get to know me, of course) that they just thought I was a stuck up b**** because I wouldn’t approach anyone. It sucks to hear, and it’s the furthest thing from the truth, I just usually can’t bring myself to just walk up to people and open up. If someone approaches me, then it’s all fine, but it’s me taking the first step that’s the hard part. I went alone to Tennessee, which was about 13 hours away from home, one way. I didn’t know anyone personally, just a few casual FB acquaintances. I even posted in the Facebook group for the workshop about a week out letting people know how awkward and introverted I am. I was assured that there were a ton of people that were the same way, so I felt so much more comfortable going into it. When I drove up to the camp, my anxiety started to creep in. I shook it off and just went in to register, immediately striking up conversation with my soon-to-be roommate, Melissa. After getting signed in, I went to my cabin to begin unloading my stuff and was invited by a large group to come get a beer. While part of me was excited to be invited and involved already, the other part of me was screaming internally and I literally ran the other way, making the excuse that I had to keep unpacking. A few minutes later I convinced myself to go up, but hovered on the edges, doing my best to make conversation. How hard could it be? Everyone in the group were all there for the same reasons as me. So why couldn’t I just let go? The night went on and dinner was served. I was relieved to find a table with other quiet introverts where we could make casual conversation and people watch. I pretty much fangirled when I saw Ben Sasso and Ryan Muirhead (they’re the 2 I really wanted to learn from) and everyone at the table kind of laughed at me. Fast forward to 10:30 p.m. and Melissa and I decided to check in to the inn at the state park due to bathroom privacy issues. In hindsight, I feel like in doing so, I missed out on a lot of the connections from actually staying in the campground, but that room was almost a sanctuary to me at certain points. If you’re not an introvert, you probably don’t understand that being around large groups of people literally suck the energy out of you. The mornings were fine, but by night 2, I couldn’t even stay long enough to hear all of the speakers (sorry Benj Haisch!) because my anxiety was taking over so bad. After being so excited about this camp, the last thing I expected to do was hide away in a hotel room and cry… yet that happened on more than one occasion. As I sit here in my cozy little office at home, I’m so mad at myself for not just staying. Even after listening to Keely Montoya speak about overcoming anxiety, I couldn’t do it. I left on Wednesday evening in the middle of the styled shoots because I just couldn’t do it anymore. Instead of saying goodbye to the friends I made and photographing the beautiful models that were brought in for us in this gorgeous state park, I packed up my toaster on wheels and drove away, sobbing and so angry with myself. I should’ve gone up to the groups that I heard were going to shoot at the waterfalls or the suspension bridge. I should’ve just battled the feeling inside me harder. Instead I lost. I lost to my crippling anxiety. I lost out on making some gorgeous images in one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. I lost out on meeting some amazing people. I lost to the voice in my head saying I wasn’t good enough and that no one liked me.

It wasn’t all bad, though. The classes themselves were so, so, so informative. I came away with so much that I know it was worth it. Katch Silva reassured me that I was doing a good job and how to foster real emotions with my clients. Chad Braithwaite taught me to always have a backup or 5, and then when you have those in place, add in a couple more because losing images is not fun. Hearing the horror stories about corrupt cards, unhappy clients, theft, lawsuits, and melted computers from him and some of the other attendees made me cringe, but Chad’s Minion onesie definitely helped lighten the mood. Margaret Jacobsen taught me to see humanity everywhere and to “give no fucks” (**I apologize for anyone reading this that doesn’t like profanity. I, myself, swear pretty heavily, but I do my best to keep it in check around clients**). Sara Byrne spoke of confidence, brand building, and just being yourself, both in your business persona and how you actually are. Sam Hurd blew my mind with his magical in-camera creations. Cody Harris re-ignited my passion for travel (as if it needed it. My wanderlust is at an all time high right now), and explained that practice really does make perfect. No matter how long you’ve been a photographer or your skill level, everyone needs to practice. I do believe I was one of the first ones in the room for Ben Sasso’s class. He’s been one of my favorites for several years now, and his lesson about posing and directing did not disappoint. He also left us all with some pretty memorable quotes, like, “FUCK YEAH! I stayed that bitch DEAD!” and “We all have oceans of art inside us. Don’t let it die within you.” Ok, ok, so the first one was just for laughs. And sometimes even he isn’t pleased with every single shoot. The other one is so true. As photographers, we’re artists. We don’t just have a camera and click a button for a paycheck. For me, photography is about documenting different parts of life, savoring a moment that will otherwise be gone. My Dad has Alzheimer’s, and the photos of him throughout his life are so incredibly precious to me. He doesn’t really recognize me anymore, but sometimes when you show him photos from the past, he lights up and will occasionally tell you about what was happening in his life at the time. Gabe McClintock’s lesson segued pretty well from Ben’s, in that you need to create from the heart. “Create work from a personal place, not a public place,” he said. “Be honest with yourself and realize that you’re comparing your worst with the assumed best of someone else. You never see the entire story, only the highlight reel.” I know I can sometimes get jealous of what all the big name photographers in my area are doing, and how much they travel, etc. I’m human. It happens to all of us. But I know I just need to push myself to continually get better and remember that just a few years ago, I was shooting in little old Burkburnett, Texas and not much else. Now, I’ve been blessed to travel to Hawaii, Canada, Louisiana, Utah, and other amazing places. I feel that almost all of us start pretty small. I need to be more patient with my growth. And then there was the highlight of my entire trip to Tennessee: Ryan Muirhead. I think Ben described it perfectly when he said he has an “existential crisis” every time he listens to Ryan speak about his work. You guys, I was crying like a baby. Not only because of some of the subjects of his photos, but because his work touched me so deeply. It’s so raw, so beautiful, so real. It isn’t just about photographing pretty light and gorgeous wedding dresses. It’s about documenting reality, making the people that see your images feel something. I was at a loss for words. I remember calling my husband afterwards and just crying (yeah, I cried a lot this past week). He asked if I was upset, and that wasn’t it at all. I just felt… broken, but in a good way. I felt like Ryan really set my soul on fire. That may sound odd, but if you sit down and just listen to him, I bet you’ll feel the same way. The entire hall was silent for almost 3 hours. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time and I just didn’t want it to stop. Ryan, I know I thanked you in person afterwards, but it was probably all gibberish because I was crying so much. I connected so much because of the doubt, the anxiety, the weight from society’s expectations, the love for The Used, and the passion for photography. Even now, I’m not doing his speech justice in the least bit. It was an experience. It was earth shattering and life changing. If I would’ve spent as much as I did, driven as far as I did, and only got to hear Ryan speak for those several hours, it would’ve been worth it. Absolutely.

Now to lighten the mood with some pictures for all you TL;DR people!

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Phil Chester showing us how it’s done!

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The guy on the left is Paul and he had the most fantastic laugh I’ve ever heard. Seriously, it was infectious. Paul, you’re a gem.

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A little bit of iPhoneography from the hike down to Fall Creek Falls. My legs felt like Jell-O and then the hike back up… I thought I was going to die. It didn’t help that I was completely soaking wet. Cold water + skinny jeans + long, steep hike = exhaustion. Totally worth it though.

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These two are getting married in 2 weeks!

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These two have been married about a month. They were so in love! I could photograph them all day long.

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My original cabin was decked out with this awesome banner by Chelsea. I saw it and said, “I’m in the right place!”

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Suzy & Frank crushed it with the modeling game. So good!

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After shooting these two, I’ve decided that every couples session needs a hammock.

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Ryan Muirhead photographing Sam Hurd. I feel like my life is complete.

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Even though I may have lost to my stupid anxiety, I made some pretty great friends and overall had a fantastic time. HUGE shoutout to Cody and BJ who made all this happen. If you’re interested in going in 2018, it’s gonna be even more crazy. 5 days, 31 speakers. Until next year, friends!

 

Meagan + Scott: A Sundance Square Engagement Session

I love my Wichita Falls clients! It’s always great to photograph love stories, but even better when you’re able to do it with people who come from your hometown. I photographed Meagan and Scott last night in Downtown Fort Worth and I can not say enough good things about their session. From the light to the reactions to the weather, I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect evening.

One of the reasons I recommend having an engagement session to all my clients is that not only do you get more photos of you and your fiancĂ© together, but it’s the chance to work with your photographer before the wedding day in a more casual setting. Based on last night, I have the feeling that Scott and Meagan’s November wedding will be incredible.

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Nothing like being able to watch the sunset over downtown! It was a gorgeous day for a gorgeous couple. Congratulations, Scott and Meagan!

PJ & Elias: A Destination Anniversary Session in Maui

This session was absolutely a dream come true. Not only because my work took me all the way to Maui, Hawaii, but because I went to that tropical paradise with one of my favorite couples on the entire planet. PJ and I have been the best of friends since meeting in 2011 at Applebee’s, where we both waited tables. She’s such a genuine soul with the best sense of humor. Not only was she at my wedding, but she planned my Bachelorette party! We don’t need to go into details for that one, though! HAHAHA!

Anyways, back to the point: I’ve been photographing her and her wonderful family pretty much since the year after we met. We don’t get to spend much time together anymore since she and Elias are living life out in sunny California, but catching up in Maui was the best!!! Mr. & Mrs. Johnson-Saucier celebrated their 4th wedding anniversary and I’m so honored to have been able to document it.

We started off on one end of the island where we fought against some crazy wind gusts, and then drove off to Little Beach where I would love to camp out and be a beach bum 24/7.

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I cannot wait to go back. It was an experience I’ll never forget. PJ & Elias, thank you both SO much for this opportunity. You are the best! Here’s to 4 years, and forever after.

A Sneak Peak Inside My Home Office

My hubby and I recently upgraded floorplans in our apartment complex, and with that came (finally!!!) a third bedroom, aka: my home office! It’s been a long time coming. I feel like I’ve been planning the interior design longer than I planned my own wedding! Haha

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Succulent Terrarium: At Home
Geometric Vase: At Home
Ghost Chairs: At Home
Tufted Bench: At Home
Office Chair: At Home
Throw Pillows: Target
Rug: Target

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One of my favorite parts of my office is my “Instagram Wall”.
Square Prints: Parabo Press
Storage Cubes: Target

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“Live What You Love” print: Target
Narwhal: White Faux Taxidermy
Texas: Frank & Joe’s Coffeehouse
“Love”: client gift (Thank you, Sarah + Nathan!)
Picture frames: Target
Custom watercolor print of Vancouver: FatFrogPrints – Etsy
Desk: Family heirloom passed down from my Dad
“Out Dream Yourself”: Pretty Post Calligraphy

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Big props to my friend/peer Jessica Rambo for helping me build my gallery wall!

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I LOVE chocolate. That bowl will always have some sort of chocolate in it, so if you’re over for a mentorship, consultation, or even just to hang out, help yourself!

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There’s a few things missing that will be added in soon, but for the most part: this is it! I spend a good majority of my day in here. I feel that it represents not only me, but my brand extremely well. Come see it in person! And while you’re here, Marc will make you the best latte you’ve ever had!