I pulled up and instantly felt freedom in the air. Amanda&Adam invited me to photograph Koen’s first birthday session on their parent’s property. Their cow was wading in their pond. Their horse was grazing next to their pickup. Koen was wearing suspenders with no shirt. And he was free to take in all the life that surrounded him. Because once you got past the gate, there weren’t any fences. His boy joy felt so boundless in all that space. And so did I. So when Amanda mentioned a future session involving a pony, I think confetti exploded in my heart. Families and sessions like this are just special.
I met the Fite family in red clay and river water. Where moments could be messy and imperfectly beautiful. Where relationships could be playful instead of poised. And where real life could happen. In front of my camera. Oh, for more Saturdays like these spent with good folk like this.
Zipporah Song | 20 months today! We celebrated by playing dress up with “tat” (cat) and “burr” (bear). Your newest gifts from Dada. I marveled at your ability to know which is which, after just 12 hours with them. Your strong mind leaves me in wonder. Time and time again. This week alone, you recognized Dada’s office when we drove by and started waving to him. You named the animals from your favorite Baby Einstein, in sequence, before they even came on the screen. You placed the framed Piglet&Mama book page on your wall in the exact space it belonged in your book. And you regularly recite all the body parts of your barbie. You’re brilliant, baby. And beautiful. Oh, so, beautiful. Your hair is finally long enough to braid or put in pig tails. Your four tooth smile has more personality and versions than ever. And when you walk, you still lead with your belly. That sweet pudge is one of the few babyish things left of you. You’re right on the edge of independence. You no longer nurse to sleep. You lay in your grown girl bed, fidgeting, until your body and mind finally quiets. When you wake, you come to me instead of calling out. Last week there were three nights that I didn’t see your sweet face until the next morning. Miracle of all miracles! But we had company stay in your room over the weekend. And being close enough to nurse must have reminded you how cozy it is to cuddle at 2am. So I’ve been getting nightly visits from you this week. I know our nighttimes together are coming to an end though. You are needing me less and less. Our relationship is changing. And your other relationships are too. You’ve become so attached to Abee&Bpaw that you fought to stay at their house one day. That made me smile, because it’s just what we moved here for. You go ahead and keep learning love, songbird. And I will keep learning to hold you in looser ways. With my arms. My heart will always hold you closer than close. | Mama
When we announced we had photographed our last wedding two years ago, I knew that meant indefinitely. Though I asked God to restore that part of my business a few desperate times, I am thankful He didn’t. My heart had not returned to the industry. Truthfully, I was only asking for provision. Until Mary. Mary was living in OKC, having a destination wedding in DFW. I was living in DFW, secretly praying about a move to OKC. Mary had a vision to have her day documented in the most authentic way possible. I was a lifestyle photographer who believed that even wedding portraits could be about experiences. Mary’s ceremony and reception were scheduled 5 hours apart. I had a daughter at home that I didn’t want to miss all day. So this time I prayed from my gut. Oh God, please let this wedding be the start of something new for me. Not returning to what I know. But expanding my borders in lifestyle photography. This wedding was the answer to my prayer. I have never known such freedom, in all 50+ weddings I have photographed. Freedom to not work from a checklist. Freedom to capture relationships instead of Pinterest poses. I must never turn my back on this freedom.
Mary&Varea met and married in the same place. How many couples can say that?! This is the rose garden where he first professed his feelings for her. This is the library that the groomsmen joked only she could lure him out of. This is their real love story, played out on their wedding day. I just let them be with their memories. And they created magic for my camera.