This at-home session was held at the Hughes new home in Rockingham County. Hilly country roads led me there on a humid Saturday morning and I was greeted warmly by a very vocal dog, chickens, rabbits, a blue-eyed cat and three sweet children. I’ve photographed Ashley and Bill many times before and I look forward to continuing this tradition. Their family just keeps getting better and better…and bigger!
Jen and Shawn’s friends and family gathered and filled the yard of a family home just outside of Harrisonburg on a very fall-like September Saturday. Brothers, sisters, aunts and uncles chipped in to help with to-do lists while kids ran and screamed and laughed. The cows watched the day unfold as the grey skies turned to blue and two lovers became one family. It was a perfect backyard gathering complete with mason jars, barbecue chicken, glow sticks, soft blankets and a glowing fire. Cheers to you, Jen and Shawn….and to many more lovely evenings, just like this one.
It’s refreshing to witness love. The kind of refreshing that wakes your arm hairs up. The kind that wells your eyes with tears. The kind that makes you feel that part of your heart that sits dormant through your daily routine. Ben and Kenny are refreshing. Their love is real and inspiring. During the ceremony the officiant took several deliberate moments to ask guests to let their thoughts and worries go. To be there with each other and with the grooms. She insisted. And for an undetermined amount of time, I forgot I was there to photograph a wedding. Love was so present as their family and friends stood to reach out their hands in acceptance as Ben and Kenny proclaimed their love. It was a beautiful day and a beautiful experience there on Sunnyslope Farm. Many congrats to you, Ben and Kenny…may your celebration never stop.
I’ve been looking at Jody and her sweet daughter, Ava, through my viewfinder for many years now. But on August 9, 2014, I had the pleasure of documenting a very special day for the two of them: a wedding day. Jody and Ava spent the afternoon getting ready together: hair, makeup, nails…the dress, the shoes. They were like a little team, helping each other out as the minutes passed by. Later that day the two loaded themselves into a golf cart and rode to the ceremony where Ava then walked her radiant mama down the aisle to marry the handsome Mr. Gary Trader. The ceremony took place on the hill at Packsaddle Ridge, in the presence of friends and family from near and far. As the couple sealed their promise with a kiss, the evening sun entered it’s golden hour and the lush greenery surrounding the golf course begged to be their backdrop. The kind attendants carted us around the course and when we returned to the reception, the party was in full swing. The guests danced the evening away, shared laughs and made new memories.
Congratulations to you, my friends!
I’ve always adored the idea of a woman with a pregnant glow. But it wasn’t until I met with Angel for our session that I truly appreciated what that means it all of it’s entirety. This gal blew me away. And it’s not like I don’t know her…I’ve known this girl for years. In fact, she’s one of my most favorite people. Her and her husband, Josh, are two of my close friends. Not close as in we hang out daily but close as in, they’ve been there. Ya know? They are great people and I would do anything for them. And I believe they’d do the same for me…because they have. It was an honor to help them document this special time in their lives. So many laughs and frantic, excited waving of hands. It’s what we do. I can not wait to meet this precious baby Shipp sailing our way in early September.
After spending the day with Jr and Brittney for their engagement shoot, I was pretty pumped about their wedding day. These two are so much fun to be around: laid back, fun-loving, free spirits with a genuine care for their friends and family. When you’re with them, you feel loved…and sometimes your face hurts from laughing. Their special day all unfolded within a 4 mile wide pocket in Rockingham County. Hair and makeup was done at Brittney’s house; first look and group photos went down at Lake Shendandoah; ceremony and reception was held in Grandma Burner’s backyard (Brittney’s grandmother). With a day this personal, I left feeling like family…and filled with s’mores. Surely the best kind of feeling.
It’s not uncommon for me to tear up when the crowd rises to welcome the bride. It’s emotional. The moment is slowed and you can see clearer, feel the air around you and the sound of a crying baby fades into the distance. When it’s one of my best friends that happens to be in that bridal gown, clasping her Daddy’s arm…well, let’s just say I’m thankful I have a camera to hide behind…as I say a quick prayer that auto-focus is doing it’s job because everything is blurry through the tears. Crystal Folmar was my roommate when she met Brad Fink. After their first date she was long gone in la-la-Fink-land. I knew it was only a matter of time before I would stare at them from behind my camera lens and document their special day. This event couldn’t have been more perfect for the two of them. We’re talkin’ cowboy boots, a barn party, homemade food, the smell of barbecued chicken and pork filling the air, country music, Loretta-style-ruffles, green grass, blue skies, tears of joy, belly toning laughter, endless brew and lots and lots of love. Hit play on your favorite country playlist and enjoy their special day through the photos below.