Sunday, July 27, 2014

Summer Vacation #1: Puerto Rico

I can't believe it's almost August! This summer has been crazy. We've been doing a lot more traveling than usual, and it's been so fun! One of the perks of being self-employed is that I can (sometimes, anyway) take time off work to go on my husband's business trips with him. And they're usually in interesting places! In June, we went to Puerto Rico! We stayed in the heart of Old San Juan, and I loved it. 


Especially the cobblestone streets. 


And the old, colorful, architecture.





Our hotel was right across the street from this gorgeous cathedral.







There was some amazing plant life both in the rainforest and around town.





I wish I knew the names of all these species! (If you do, let me know!)






And of course, the beach was lovely!




Stay tuned to my Etsy shop--some of these images will be showing up there soon! And coming up next on the blog: vacations #2 and #3! :)




Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Tom & Lucy: Married! (Ocean Springs, Mississippi Wedding Photography)

I'm finally ready to share another wedding with you, blog readers! This one's the most anticipated of all for me, because Tom and Lucy are not only a precious and beautiful couple I've had the pleasure of photographing--they are also my dear friends! It was such a joy to share this monumental day with these two lovebirds. 


The bride and some of her bridesmaids began their day at Shear Attitude Studio



It was fun to watch the progress of these elaborate hairstyles. Lucy's even required the use of a metal coat hanger! 


I made sure to get a shot of the lovely veil before she put it on. It was her "something borrowed" and belonged to her "big sister" from her sorority!


Of course, there were more gorgeous accessories for me to capture when we arrived at the Gulf Hills Hotel to finish up the preparations.



Lucy's mom, sister, and friends were so attentive. I know she felt pampered, and I loved seeing these sweet moments through my viewfinder.


Meanwhile, my husband was at Tom's house to photograph his getting-ready process, which, of course, was much simpler. He even had a few spare moments to tickle the ivories. That amazing grand piano was his wedding gift to Lucy! I'd say he's a keeper!


The anticipation mounted when we arrived at our church, which looked as beautiful as ever despite the pouring rain.


The bouquets by Lady Di's were perfect.



And check out Lucy's ring! I'm kind of in love with this shot of it on the piano.



Putting the dress on was a team effort--clearly a labor of love.



And so worth the effort!


Look at this stunning bride! She really was glowing.


We couldn't venture off the covered patio because of the rain, but I love how these portraits turned out nonetheless. 


In fact, I like it that you can't even tell it's raining in the background, because that's how it felt, too. So much sunshine in these smiles that I barely noticed the clouds!


I've got sunshine... on a cloudy day.... (Sorry. But you know you were singing it, too. ;))


Beautiful, aren't they? (Just don't mention to Tom that this is Kentucky blue. ;))



Lucy and Tom chose not to see each other before the ceremony. I'm usually a big proponent of a "first look," but I must say that sticking to tradition made for some fun suspense in these moments right before the worship service began. I felt like I was in on a juicy secret! 



And I know they were happy with their decision when this big moment came.



It was a heartfelt and Christ-centered ceremony. Rev. Scott Castleman did a fabulous job including personal anecdotes from his time with the bride and groom, illustrating how clearly their love for one another is founded in the love of Jesus for us, His church.


One thing I wish more people did at weddings? Congregational hymns! I had never taken photographs while singing before, but when I heard the organ start playing this tune, I knew I could not keep quiet.


Great things He hath done, indeed!



The rain let up just long enough for some quick group photos outside, and I could not be happier with the results. The color of the dresses against the rained-on foliage is so fantastic, and I even love the shiny wet cement. :) It's the perfect setting for this stunning wedding party!


Reception time! The ballroom at Gulf Hills was decked out and ready for a party!


The first dances were adorable.


And the food was plentiful and delicious. I had seconds. (Thanks, Broome's Catering!)


RuffWater Band provided fun, high-energy music that kept the dance floor full all evening.


There were a lot of impressive dancers showing their stuff.


But Sarah the junior bridesmaid was my favorite. :)



The cake from French Kiss Pastry was as tasty as it was pretty. I can still taste that strawberry filling.


I think it's safe to say that a good time was had by all. :)


The bride and groom were swept away in a gorgeous antique convertible, the perfect getaway for this traditional southern affair. 


It was a beautiful, joyful day, and I feel honored to have been a part of it. But the wedding, I know, will pale in comparison to the marriage. These two are the real deal, and I can't wait to see how God uses their union. Congratulations, Tom & Lucy! To God be the glory!