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My love story

10 Sep

All romances begin with a meeting.

The way I met my husband is pretty childish, whimsical and completely us. I was living in Germany at the time, but visiting my high school best friend in Lakeland, Florida where she attended college. Five college guys and five college girls hung out together on a regular basis. My best friend and Craig, my huband, were both apart of that group. In true Florida fashion, a downpour created a muddy mess on campus one afternoon while I was visiting. So, what were five college guys and five college girls, plus a friend suppose to do with these circumstances? Mud fight, of course!

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And that is how I met Craig: slinging mud and running all over campus in the rain. Can you see us in the picture? We are the back two on the left.

Two years after this picture I actually started attending the same college. By that time Craig and Karen, my best bud were great friends, which made it easy for all of us to hang out. We went every where together, the three of us: the library, cafeteria, walks around the lake, camping in Key West. I liked Craig, he liked me and we both confided in Karen this truth. She would “fall asleep” on our outings or “have to leave” after we all were settled into a study group together. What  a good friend!

We began dating four months after I started attending college, six months later we said, “I love you” for the first time and nine months after we were “official,” he proposed. Some say that it was fast, but for us it was perfect.

The proposal is a wonderfully romantic story, but I’ll save it for another post. Let’s just say that in true Craig fashion, he was HUGELY romantic, surprised me completely and I looked like this for my proposal.

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Even though I wasn’t adorable for the proposal, it was one of the best evenings of my life. Craig had become my best friend and I knew that life with him would make the mundane amazing. I mean, we met during a mud fight. How much better could this match be? And with all my enthusiasm for a new life ahead, it was time to start planning a wedding! We were going to get married the summer after Craig graduated, giving us six months to plan.

Enter the planning scrapbook. All of the things I liked, inspired me, struck my fancy were snipped from the magazine and glued into the scrapbook. Sometimes words escape me, but an image expresses my intent perfectly.  This book helped me share my ideas with others as I planned. Now, brides-to-be create boards on Pinterest or a wedding planner might create a  “mood board” for your event. Back then I had a glue stick and a pair of scissors. Look! I was ahead of my time.

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I was only *gasp* 21  when we got married, so I was still honing in on my style. My mom was willing to help plan the wedding any way she could, but there was a huge ocean between us as I planned. My magazine clippings gave me an idea of what I wanted, but I struggled to make my DIY, handmade, vintage wedding come true. There wasn’t Etsy and Pinterest back then to show you amazing artisan ideas to do on a budget. And I wanted something different than the traditional wedding that all of my college friends were doing. I was in a dilemma for making my perfect wedding plans come true, but I knew I was in love and the marriage was more important than the wedding. I knew I had that part right, so I just went with what I had.

The next step was dress shopping! The dress had to be perfect.

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{Stay tuned for more of the story about my dress, the photographer I chose, our engagement pictures and the wedding!}

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Fellows Wedding / Winter Haven Wedding Photographer

8 Mar

I had the privilege to photograph this intimate wedding in a cute Presbyterian chapel on a beautiful day in February. The day began gloomy, but as the ceremony approached, the gray clouds parted and we had beautiful weather for some outdoor shots of the happy couple in the church memorial gardens. It was a sweet ceremony with the couple’s children acting as their attendants. Close family and friends came to witness this beautiful profession of love and I was a fly on the wall, capturing all the beautiful moments the day held. To view more photos, click here.

Winter Haven Wedding PhotographerWinter Haven Wedding Photographer

Winter Haven Wedding Photographer

Winter Haven Wedding Photographer

Winter Haven Wedding PhotographerWinter Haven Wedding Photographer

Trash the Dress, Beach Style / Pensacola Beach Photographer

10 Oct

Here is a sneak peek from the day after session with Amanda and James Graves. Congrats to the happy couple!

Pensacola Beach Wedding Photographer

The look of love / Philadelphia Wedding Photographer

6 Sep

This weekend was spent in the lovely Philadelphia area as I caught up with old family friends and photographed a wedding. Here is an image of the bride and a reflection of the groom in their day after session. More pictures will be posted in the coming days.

Congratulations, Liz and Mickey!

Philadelphia Wedding Photographer

Vintage Blue Sash / Lakeland Bridal Photographer

17 Aug

I adore this dress! The blue sash, the tulle, the lace. I just love it! And Kayla’s piercing eyes make the dress sparkle even more. The dress is a genuine vintage bridal gown from the 1940’s- 1950’s. A couple of adjustments have been made to it, but it is a beautiful piece that I just loved working with for this shoot! Enjoy these images and head over here if you would like to see a couple more. Thank you to Costumes by Camille for the dress and Kayla for your willingness to jump into a hole with a wasps nest!

Lakeland Modeling Photographer

Lakeland Modeling Photographer

Lakeland Modeling Photographer

Lakeland Modeling Photographer

Lakeland Modeling Photographer

Wedding Anniversary / Lakeland Wedding Photographer

23 Jul

Today I celebrate 7 wonderful years of marriage to my best friend! We were married here in Lakeland in the church we still attend.  It was a wonderful and an emotional day. I was only 21 years old, and it was the best decision I ever made! My husband still is my best friend and now he is a wonderful father to our two beautiful children.

In honor of this day, here are a couple of images from my wedding. The pictures were taken by my friend, Nicole Abong, who specializes in photo journalistic photography. Of course, at that time everything was film, so all of these images are SOC.

Lakeland wedding photographer

Lakeland wedding photographer

Lakeland wedding photographer

Lakeland wedding photographer

Lakeland wedding photographer

The pastor is still our pastor to this day!

Lakeland wedding photographer

Lakeland wedding photographer

Lakeland wedding photographer

The first look / Lake Wales Wedding Photographer

6 Jul

One of the privileges of being a wedding photographer is being privy to intimate moments between a couple.  Something I offer to my wedding clients are a session called “First Look.” The couple decides to see one another before the ceremony in a private, quiet moment instead of with hundreds of eyes witnessing the first time the groom sees his bride. It is a very special time the couple gets to be together on one of the best and busiest days of their lives. I have the honor of capturing those first looks, first hugs, first whispered words between the soon-to-be married couple. It is one of my favorite parts of a wedding day! I smile like a crazy lady behind that lens because I know what a special and intimate time this is for the two of them.

 

Lauren and Craig allowed me to take these precious pictures of them on their wedding day during their “First Look” session at the beginning of June. This is the first time they saw one another and I snapped away at a distance, allowing the couple to simply enjoy one another. To any couple considering having the “First Look” pictures as a part of your day, allow these images to sway you to do it. Thank you, Lauren and Craig for letting me be a part of this very special time!

Lake Wales Wedding Photographer

Lake Wales Wedding Photographer

Lake Wales Wedding Photographer

Lake Wales Wedding Photographer

Lake Wales Wedding Photographer

Lake Wales Wedding Photographer

Lake Wales Wedding Photographer

Lake Wales Wedding Photographer

Lake Wales Wedding Photographer