Ladies and gentlemen, I'm thrilled to introduce you to my gorgeous friend, Hayley McQuaid. She has one of the most beautiful hearts and just so happens to look like a Disney princess. I've been friends with her and her husband for about five years so taking her bridals was a joy- yes, maybe a few tears were shed. Hayles + Carter, I love y'all something fierce and was so honored to be a part of your big day.
Working with fashion + lifestyle bloggers has been one of my favorite additions to this season. It's a joy to get to know these beautiful ladies! Dani was one of the first bloggers I shot in Austin and we had a blast! She's a natural beauty and was effortless in front of the camera. Since then I've had more bloggers join the roster and I'm always looking for more! These shoots are a dream for me, quality time and tons of laughs with new friends. I can't get enough.
Y'all, as I write this I'm watching a Harry Potter movie, listening to the rain with an open window, and drinking a glass of wine. This is the life. Also, I realize I am absolutely awful at keeping up with this blog.
I just had to share the beauty of Haley and Mike before their wedding day this weekend [and I'm not allowed to share Haley's bridal session yet, but I'm counting down the days]! I can't wait to get these babes in front of my camera again, because they seriously know how to model. Mike played football for Texas A&M so we got to go onto the field for a portion of the session. I spent four years in the stands and finally got to play on the field! Enjoy the images and send this deam couple tons of well wishes!
PS- I think their "Holy cow we're getting married" faces at the end are my all time favorite!
Woah. I can't even tell you what a dream come true this shoot was for me. Early into moving to Austin, I contacted Kali of Kindle and Gather, a wedding designer, to help make a vision come to life. We met over the next couple months at so many coffee shops to work out details, specifically our dream team of vendors we were dying to work with. Countless cappuccinos later, and this shoot came together without a hitch. It was featured over on Grey Likes Weddings a few weeks ago! From the table runner with a favorite poem scripted on it [written below], to the lush organic florals, to the cake that ended up being my dinner later that evening, this shoot was everything I dreamed of and more. Here are some of my favorites from the day, including a list of amazing vendors at the end!
The First Marriage, by Peter Meinke.
imagine the very first marriage a girl
and boy trembling with some inchoate
need for ceremony a desire for witness:
inventing formality like a wheel or a hoe
in a lost language in a clearing too far from here
a prophet or a prophetess intoned to the lovers
who knelt with their hearts cresting
like the unnamed ocean thinking This is true
thinking they will never be alone again
though planets slip their tracks and fish
desert the sea repeating those magic sounds
meaning I do on this stone below
this tree before these friends yes in body
and word my darkdream my sunsong yes I do
Photography: MADELINE HARPER PHOTOGRAPHY // Styling: KINDLE AND GATHER // Florals: BRISTOL LANE // Calligraphy: KINDRED PAPERY // Venue: THE CONTEMPORARY AUSTIN // Film Lab: THE FIND LAB // Rentals: 10TH COLLECTION // Cake: SIMPLY DELICIOUS CUSTOM CAKES // Hair + Makeup: Hannah Zieschang // Models: Jillian + Colton Moore // Dress: UNBRIDALED
Happy New Year, my friends! I hope this season has been full of rest and celebrations. This session I'm sharing today is so near to my heart. Becca has been a friend for a few years now, we've had the chance to shoot so many weddings together and watch each others businesses grow! Now I have the joy of capturing this engagement and wedding season for her and her fiancé, Will. They were a blast to have in front of my camera. Send them tons of love and well wishes!
Happy Thursday! I had a blast on this engagement session with Hannah + Nick. They braved a steep descent into the greenbelt after some rainy weather for some hiking around to get to the perfect location for photos! They exuded joy and a sweet love for each other. My favorite part had to be when they danced in front of the camera- my goodness, Hannah's dress was made for twirls! It made me even more ready for their upcoming spring wedding. Make sure to leave them lots of love and well wishes!
The first thing I noticed stepping off the plane was the familiarity of it all. The new surroundings somehow brought comfort, the scents of a developing country, the fact that I stand out walking through the airport all somehow confirming that this was where I needed to be. Haiti. A new country for me, familiar in it's developing infrastructure and cuisine, yet so new in the culture. Port Au Prince was larger than I imagined, sprawling with building layered upon building. We drove by the fish market with windows down [air conditioning is a luxury so we swapped air for clean scent without a second thought] and past the enormous marketplace. It was hard to distinguish home from abandoned store, both colorful yet having the same air of weather worn use. Metal siding count as roofs and gates in this land, motos run the streets and traffic has no laws. This country has so many hints of Nicaragua and Uganda thrown together, but there is a distinct vibe that I cannot place my finger on. Perhaps it's the spirit of a people who have survived such harsh natural disasters and yet remain hopeful. Perhaps it's the upcoming election that has the cities buzzing. Or it could be the recent local gossip just reaching the ears of a passerby. Regardless, Haiti welcomed me with arms wide open to explore the vibrancy found there. I touched down on the tarmac just a week before Hurricane Matthew touched down and am grateful for the timing of taking off two days before he stormed through.
I came to Haiti after reaching out to an organization called My Life Speaks, a multilayered advocate of community, education, and special needs awareness- just to name a few. I heard of them through several friends in both Texas and Tennessee alike and just knew it was an adventure I had to get on board with. I'll post more images from their organization over the following month! They reside in the village of Neply. A truly welcoming community, this village is nestled along a lazy stream and rolling pastureland. The mountains watch over this village hazily in the background, the beach only a ten minute walk away. My words cannot do the beauty justice.
The first day I walked around, I was welcomed inside by Asho, the resident ladies man, and his cat Mimi. We simply sat, the language barrier [theirs a mix of Creole, French, and English] not stopping the laughter or music from flowing freely. This is a culture that revolves around others. You walk the village not to get from point A to point B, but to mingle, linger, sit and talk, share space. I think that's what stuck out most from this trip. Oh the things to be learned if we simply paused to listen and to actively appreciate others. Neply is full of proud people. Not arrogant, but deeply in love with their country and home. Many have lived there for their entire lives and are comfortable sharing the joys of this village with outsiders, graciously accepting this English speaking girl in Chacos with a camera around her neck photographing everything in sight. Enough of my ramblings about Neply, the sweetest little gem of Haiti. There will be many more stories to come, but for now it's time for you to see a few glimpses of the beauty held there.
There is a spot deep in my heart for travel. Not the travel that hits the tourist traps, but the kind that leaves you in love with a culture and with admiration for a people group. My recent trip to Haiti inspired just that- a deeper desire to partner with organizations that celebrate these cultures and capture the work they do in these countries. If you have any organizations or nonprofits you love that could benefit from a photographer and storyteller on the ground, please comment with their name or send me an email telling me about them! I'm always looking for new causes to join and crusades to document!
Hey y'all! Let's just call it for what it is, I'm terrible at keeping up with this blog! But I've had some exciting work over the last few months that I'd love to share. So cheers to new beginnings and committing to keep this website up more! Up first is my beautiful friend Kali, owner and brilliant mind behind Kindle and Gather. She is a gem of a human, if you don't know her, you should! She let me take her head shots on film and then we got to work on a super special project together [more coming soon...]. Friends, meet Kali!
Happy Monday, my friends! I realized that I haven't shared this shoot that was so near and dear to my heart. Better late than never, right? My family is deeply involved with an amazing organization that advocates for sustainable health care in developing nations: One World Health. They throw annual fundraisers in the beautiful Charleston, SC and partner with some amazing artists to raise awareness of this organization and bring in funds to sustain the ongoing work. One of the bands, Needtobreathe, has become outspoken advocates of this endeavor.
I had the chance to photograph their intimate concert for this cause back in March and am finally getting around to sharing the images with you [plus a few from a bigger concert the following evening with a ton of talented collaborators]. Can we all agree that the lead singer, Bear, has the greatest expressions? It's so different than my normal style of photography- all light and airy, a fun change of pace! I adore photographing concerts as well as being able to tell stories of organizations I deeply believe in. This night? Dream come true.
I love in home sessions more than anything! I got to hang out with my dear friends Kristi and Luke in their home a few weeks ago on the way back from a work trip, and let me say, their house is a dream. They work at a residence and and vocational program near Houston that houses adults with special needs. Stopping in for the night, we got to catch up in their stunning home for a while and then I talked them into a few photos! They sent me home with freshly roasted coffee beans and an overflowing heart. Enjoy these two being hilarious in front of the camera as well as genuine models!
I had the chance to shoot my first newborn lifestyle session for the sweet Cash family in Austin, TX! They welcomed me into their home to meet their two week old daughter, Juliette. What a precious babe. She did amazing throughout the session, letting her mom and dad enjoy these tender moments as a family. Let me tell you, this is the first time I've seen a newborn soothed by the sound of a camera shutter. It was the best way to jump into newborn lifestyles, shooting both digital and film [featured here]. What a joy!
I am so excited to finally be able to share this session! Ashlea was a stunning bride- her session was filled with laughter and family. But even more gorgeous is her heart, sweet and compassionate and inviting. It was a joy to be a part of your wedding, my friends. Happy honeymooning, Ashlea + Erik!
There is nothing sweeter than a slow morning at home with those you love. I got the chance to capture Madaline and her sweet daughter Eleanor during one of these mornings. It was a joy to watch the two interact- Eleanor so curious and already independent, Madaline so adoring of her baby girl.
We do not believe in ourselves until someone reveals that deep inside us something is valuable, worth listening to, worthy of our trust, sacred to our touch. Once we believe in ourselves we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight or any experience that reveals the human spirit.
This January I had the chance to explore Ireland and England with my best friend Margaret, who is away at university in Manchester. This trip was one of the most rejuvenating, sight filled, fast paced two weeks I've had! I adored getting to see the bustling cities, gorgeous countrysides, and warm people these countries had to offer. I couldn't get enough of the local music in the traditional Irish pubs in Dublin nor the exquisite art in the Victoria Albert Museum in London. From the Blarney Castle to the Cliffs of Moher to traditional tea in the quaint city of Chester, it passed in a blur of history, culture, and pints of Guinness! This trip was overflowing with friendship and beauty. Here are just a few film snapshots from the adventure of a lifetime!
With a bride and groom as sweet as Samantha + Tyler, I knew this day was sure to be a blast. This couple set aside a few hours in between their ceremony and reception to take a limo downtown for photographs in downtown Nashville! Their wedding party was so much fun to spend the afternoon with and a blast to watch on the dance floor. I couldn't have asked for better families to work with at this wedding. What a joy filled day!
Happy Fri-yay blog! Nothing beats a fall wedding, especially with these two beauties as your couple. Haley + Andrew were a dream to work with, completely relaxed on their wedding day despite the forecasted rain. Their first look was a perfect moment followed by the rain holding off just long enough for a gorgeous outdoor ceremony! I couldn't get enough of Haley wearing her mom's cathedral veil. The whole day was a blast. [Especially when this newly married couple decided to raise the Kraken from the lake, pictures to come.] Their exit was made romantic and personal with heart shaped sparklers! Thanks Cedarwood, for hosting such a beautiful event. Hope your holiday week is beautiful, make sure to leave this couple tons of newlywed love.
Happy Friday, my friends. We made it to the weekend! I can't wait for y'all to see this sweet wedding. I knew Sean in college, we were in the same small group my junior year. I got to know the house of guys he lived in and let me just say- I love this group of friends, I've actually had the chance to shoot a few of their weddings. This one definitely stood out as being joy filled- Leigh Ann and Sean couldn't contain their giddy laughter under that huge oak tree during the ceremony. It was an honor to be a part of such a sweet day. It was held at the Winfield Inn, a stunning venue in Texas. This couple had a killer dance party at the reception, let me tell you, that guest list knew how to get after the dance floor. It was a blast to photograph. Enjoy the photos, friends, I hope they let you relive this beautiful day time and time again.
Happy Monday, y'all! Today is the best because I get to bring you one of the dreamiest sunrise engagement sessions to date. Ashlea + Erik are both from Brenham, home of Bluebell. You know it's going to be a perfect session when they bring a gallon of ice cream to eat at 7am- my kind of people. These two are so sweet and adventurous, they were willing to drive to Austin for this session. It was a dream, especially with these two models! Make sure to leave them lots of love!
Hey friends! This season has been marked by an abundance of work. It is a beautiful thing but it's easy to let go of creativity for personal enjoyment. I'm always terrible at bringing a digital camera to family vacations and over documenting every moment, rather than simply being present and letting work go. So on this latest family trip to Amish country in Lancaster, I left my digital camera at home and instead opted for my new film camera [insert happy dance here], bringing back the joy of photography for creativity and fun! Here are the scans that I just downloaded, I'm in love with film and the intentionality of having 36 frames. I hope this season has been beautiful and rich for you all. Remember to seek out the things that bring you rest and refreshment.