the power of a photograph

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the power of a photograph

Above are some of the photographs that I cherish!

I recently went and saw the new Planet of the Apes movie and there was a scene about half way through after they had restored power to the city… and the leader of the humans was sitting at his desk and his tablet had finally turned back on. The first thing he did was go into in folder of photographs and look at one of two young boys. He smiled and began to weep while staring at the image. It never explained, but I can only assume that the boys were his children and they had died. The world around him was crumbling and he wanted to simply sit there and look through his photos… His memories.

Now, this movie is silly Hollywood entertainment, but in that moment I was truly moved and inspired at the concept behind what this man was doing and the power of a photograph.

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rocky mountain national park wedding photography

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 rocky mountain national park wedding photography

It was raining all day and I was hoping it would clear up for the ceremony… It did just that! The smell of the rain was in the air as vows were exchanged in the midst of a beautiful forest of trees with the sound of the running water from the river near by. It was truly magical.

Robyn and Dave had an intimate wedding ceremony along a stream near Sprague Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park with their family in attendance. It was was one of the most beautiful places I have photographed a wedding ceremony and was super excited to shoot somewhere new and so stunningly beautiful!

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estes park family photography *Nagl family*

I had a blast photographing this sweet family! I have the pleasure of working with Christie and Ty Nagl in the Estes Park Wedding Association. Christie is a lovely friend that I have had the pleasure of getting to know the last few years! She owns Bella Capelli, a hair and makeup company specializing in weddings in Estes Park. She and the lovely ladies who work with her create true masterpieces! Ty owns the Wheel Bar located in downtown Estes Park and also Nagl Wedding Photogrpahy. They are amazing people and have two of the cutest kids!

We went to Lily Lake for their family shoot and it was a true blast!! Here are some of my favorites from their session…

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estes park wedding photography

rocky mountain national park *Amanda & Brent*

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rocky mountain national park

The day after Amanda & Brent’s beautiful Wild Basin Lodge wedding we spent a couple hours wandering around some of my favorite spots in Rocky Mountain National Park not long before sunset.

It was a beautiful day!! Amanda and Brent were just as joyful and excited as the day before!!

I was super exited for this shoot! It’s always amazing to have so much time to photograph the bride and groom at a wedding and being able to venture around Rocky Mountain National Park was incredible. It’s one of my favorite places in world and I feel so truly blessed to live so close to it!

We started in a beautiful meadow near the Alluvial Falls and then headed up Trail Ridge Road to Forest Canyon overlook – what a gorgeous spot! When we were driving we were gaining a ton of elevation and literally climbing into the clouds! It was so gorgeous!

I absolutely loved this shoot and had a blast with Amanda and Brent!

Here are some of my favorites…

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*Amanda & Brent* wild basin lodge wedding

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wild basin lodge wedding

Amanda and Brent are a lovely couple. They had a beautiful wedding on Monday at Wild Basin Lodge and what a gorgeous day it was!

Wild Basin Lodge is such an incredible venue with the most amazing staff of kind and genuine people who love what they do and cherish their brides and grooms!

Amanda and Brent are a joyful couple and I truly enjoyed witnessing their love for one another and their kindness for everyone around them. One of the biggest blessings of my job is meeting incredible people that inspire me in so many ways!

I asked Amanda to tell me a little about how her and Brent met. Here is what she had to say…

“I met Brent at the local race track.  I knew Brent was made for me the moment I asked him if he wanted a beer and said no! However, moments later he tapped me on the shoulder and said he would like that beer. Brent has something warming about him, that I would not let go of for anything.  After being best friends for years there was no stopping it.  We would make each other the only thing that mattered to us.  I can truly say I’m about to marry my best friend.”

and their proposal story…

“Brent asked me to marry him on the last snow day in 2014. For some reason in my old age I have been remembering when the last snow fall of the year has been. When you’ve been with someone as long as I’ve been with Brent, it gets pretty hard to pull the wool over each other eyes. We started the afternoon at one of our favorite restaurants, in downtown Prescott. I was asked to join in a walk around the square, you could see the disappointment in Brent’s face when we walked around the corner and there were a million bikes ready to start a marathon. He asked me where I thought they were heading, I replied with another one of my favorites spot in town, Thumb Butte. So we headed to the house that we made our home together for the past 2 years. I took a nap as Brent worked on his Jeep. I came outside afterwards to bring him in for the day, it was freezing,windy, and the snow was starting again. He grabbed me and sat me on my favorite thing in the world; our dog house he built us. I knew it was coming so I closed my eyes so tight, I could not believe someone as perfect as Brent would ask me to marry him. I knew we agreed to be together for the long haul, but it still was surreal. As I opened my eyes to check out the most beautiful ring, the sun popped out of this one cloud and hit my ring so perfect, it was magic. As I said yes, the dogs went nuts as if they were agreeing.”

I just love their story and how fun loving they were the entire day!

Amanda’s brother married them – how special is that??

Here are some of my favorites from their beautiful wedding day…

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Cake : Colorado Rose Cake Company

Flowers : Floral Design of Europe

Dress : Melissa sweet

Hair and Makeup : Traci with Bella Capelli

Stay tuned for some photos from an amazing shoot we did in Rocky Mountain National Park the day after their wedding!!!

estes park photography *Lisa & Eric’s 1st Annivesary*

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estes park photography

I was over the moon with excitement when Lisa told me that her and Eric would be visiting Estes Park for their 1st anniversary! We decided it would be awesome to do a one year anniversary shoot while they were in town. It was more amazing that I imagined!

Lisa and Eric are two of the nicest people I have ever met!!!

I shot their wedding last July at Black Canyon Inn and Twin Owls Steakhouse. I had just returned from my 5 week Euroadventure right before their wedding. I had been looking forward to it since I shot their engagement photos earlier that year in Denver. They were so kind and genuine with one another and with me that I knew their wedding was going to be a blast and full of so much joy! I wasn’t wrong! Lisa was so laid back when I saw her that afternoon and so calm. Their families were more than welcoming and I became 100 times more excited right then!

Their wedding was amazing! It was a gorgeous summer day and everyone was awesome! Lisa and Eric made their day about their love for one another and their families and friends – it was a joyful experience to be apart of!

Anyways, I met Lisa and Eric at Lily Lake in Estes Park Thursday evening and we spent two hours wandering around taking photos and catching up. It was a blast and i’m so thrilled I got to see them again!

Here are some of my faves from the shoot…

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Since the first anniversary is signified by ‘paper’, Lisa made that awesome banner and she also made a bouquet out of paper, the pretty flower in her hair, and a prop for their cake! How creative and crafty is she??? I just loved all of the details and time she spent to make this shoot so special.

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Colorado Rose Cake Company made a beautiful and delicious anniversary cake for Lisa and Eric!!!

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Lisa made Eric an ‘adventure book’ for their anniversary… When she told me it was kind of like the scrapbook from the movie “Up” I knew it was going amazing and oh my! It was so awesome and creative! They will be able to fill it with their many adventures in the years to come.  Eric loved it!!

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HAPPY ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY to this sweet couple!! I wish you both many more years of love, laughter, and joy!!

estes park wedding photography *Kylie & Justin*

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Kylie & Justin – estes park wedding photography

I was so excited to finally meet Kylie! We had been exchanging emails and texts leading up to her wedding and I knew I was going to like this gal! She seemed so genuine, kind, and spunky and when I knocked on her door at The Stanley Hotel and she instantly gave me a big hug, I knew I was right!

What a gorgeous bride she was! I love love love her hair! She ordered her gorgeous hairpiece, necklace and flowers from Etsy. What an awesome resource for brides planning their wedding – so many unique and handmade items to add those special touches to such a special day!

Shortly before her wedding Kylie was given her great great grandmothers beautiful purple ring that is from the 1890’s. It went so lovely with her wedding colors and what a special heirloom to have with you on your wedding day!

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Justin’s sister, Jamie made the cutest sign for the wedding! Their ceremony took place at Lily Lake and it is a popular walking trail that attracts a lot of people – so to avoid chatter she made this super sweet and creative sign! What a unique and kind gesture!

I loved seeing Justin standing waiting and watching for his bride – so precious he was even taking photos on his phone of her walking on the trail towards him!

estes-park-wedding-photography-3They are such a beautiful and joyful couple full of so much laughter! It was so much fun working with them and such a pleasure to witness their love!

estes-park-wedding-photography-4Caught them taking a selfie! Gosh, they were so much fun!

estes-park-wedding-photography-5Congratulations Kylie & Justin!

engagement session France *Amanda & Jonathan*

I had the pleasure of photographing Amanda and Jonathan’s engagement session as we traveled through France last month. Amanda is my very sweet younger sister and I couldn’t be more excited for her recent engagement to Jonathan – an amazingly kind and hilarious man! I am thrilled for them and so excited for this chapter of their lives to begin.

So begins our two week long engagement session through Europe… We’ll start with France!

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Engagement session France

We started our journey in Bayeux and Honfleur – two smaller towns in the Normandy area of France. We visited gorgeous beaches and wandered around the towns. The photo below was taken at Omaha Beach. I love the cliffs and rich green grass growing on the sides of them… Such an amazing contrast to the beautiful blue water.

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I found this cozy spot while we were visiting Mont Saint Michel

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Couldn’t pass up the opportunity to jump on this awesome carousel right on the harbor in Honfleur

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PARIS!!!! I LOVE Paris!!! Everything about this city entices me. I have never felt such a pull to a certain location like I do to this lovely one! There were so many incredible spots for mini photo stops all over the city…

To celebrate their engagement we went to dinner at a restaurant that we found last year during our trip to Paris – it has the BEST pizza ever!! On our walk to the restaurant we stopped when I found this awesome wall… There are so many incredible photo backgrounds all over this city!

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The restaurant turned out to be a romantic spot for some photos 🙂

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On our way to Notre Dame one afternoon we walked by this building and I couldn’t pass by before snapping off some photos!

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We also walked around the corner and found this café nestled on a corner of the street in the Latin Quarter area… I convinced them to grab an espresso and indulge me for a few minutes!

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NOTRE DAME!!

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We spent an afternoon wandering around Père-Lachaise Cemetery… I have to say, this is the most beautiful cemetery I have seen. We grabbed some sandwiches on the way and enjoyed them on a shaded bench overlooking the cemetery and of course I couldn’t help myself and had to take some photos of the happy couple!

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The cafés are one of my favorite parts of Paris! They are around every corner and have such a relaxed charming atmosphere… I could sit there all day.

Jonathan and Amanda are so genuine with one another. I very much enjoyed spending time with them and cherish our time on this trip. They genuinely love one another and are just hilarious and a blast to be around! It’s such a different experience to take engagement photos for a couple that also happens to be family and that I get to witness their relationship first hand.

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And an engagement session in Paris wouldn’t be complete without the Eiffel Tower!

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I love Paris and I love photographing people who are in love – this was such a dream come true!!

Honfleur France

After leaving Bayeux, France we drove to Honfleur France – a gorgeous harbor town in the Normandy area of France.

When we arrived we dropped our bags at the hotel and walked into heart of the town that surrounds the gorgeous harbor. I had looked up a bunch of photos of Honfleur France before our trip and was super excited to stand at the harbor myself and take in the beauty of this small harbor town.

We ate lunch at a lovely restaurant on the harbor and then wandered all around the town – we only had one day and wanted to make the most of it.

There were small alleys that led to side streets and beautiful courtyards. When we turned one corner we saw a man giving dance lessons in the middle of the street.. I would love to live in a place where dance lessons are given spontaneously on the street in front of a restaurant!!

It was chilly, windy, and raining once the sun was starting to go down, but that didn’t stop me and my dad from sitting at the harbor waiting for the perfect light to take some night shots of the harbor. It was so worth it and I’m glad we did it!

Here are some of my favorites from Honfleur France…

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Here are some more.. Plus some of my hubby! He loved riding the carousel 🙂

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Bayeux France

I first visited France last year when we spent 5 weeks visiting 8 countries in Europe. It was my first time traveling to Europe and I was completely smitten! I loved everything about our trip and was ecstatic when we had the opportunity to take two weeks this year to travel to France and Turkey! I feel so blessed to be able to have seven full weeks of European travel in one year! To start off this series of blog posts from my recent trip I will begin with our two days in Bayeux France…

My hubby is huge history buff and was ecstatic that we would be spending a few days in the Normandy area of France!

When we arrived at the airport in Paris we were exhausted! We had spent most of the day on planes and in airports… However, we hit the ground running and headed to Bayeux France!

Bayeux is a quaint quiet little town!

We wandered around the town when we first arrived and had a delicious lunch at a Pizzeria… Yummm!! The restaurant had a lovely view of the Bayeux Cathedral. The next two days we visited Omaha Beach and Gold Beach, which are two of the beaches that were stormed on D-Day. We also visited Pointe du Hoc – this is a cliff that overlooks the English Channel on the coast of France. The German army had this area fortified  with concrete casements and gun pits. There were huge craters in the ground that were created from approaching troops bombs. It was crazy to see and be able to walk down in the craters, as well as being able to walk in the barricades. You could stand in one spot facing the gorgeous French coastline and gaze upon the clear blue water and then simply turn around to see destroyed barricades and huge craters. The destruction that was caused on D-Day is intense, but there is also so much incredible beauty!

We also visited a couple monuments and cemeteries for the fallen soldiers that lost their lives during D-Day.

France has so much greenery all over the place… Such lush trees and bushes!! I loved the canals and old stone buildings that lined the streets of this charming town.

Here are some of my favorite photos from our time in Bayeux France.

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Here are some more photos that I shot with my iPhone… The first one of the house is the adorable one we stayed in! It was so amazing and unique.

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Europe travel adventure

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Europe travel adventures are about to begin!!!

I am flying to France today!!! It will be a long day of flying for us (myself, my studly husband, my sister, and her fiance) as we leave from Denver, then have a layover in Toronto, Canada and from there fly to in to Paris!

AHHHH! I can hardly wait for this adventure to begin!

Last year we had our first European adventure and OH MY was it incredible! I had no idea how amazing it would truly be! We visited 8 countries in total over a 5 week period. We went to France, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Holland, and Belgium. I had never experienced anything like it! We had done so much research and tons planning went in to the trip (it was exhausting and overwhelming at times) that when it finally arrived we could barely contain our excitement!

This time around we are little more prepared and laid back about the whole thing – I cannot wait!!

We will fly into Paris and be renting a vehicle in order to drive to Normandy! My husband is stoked about this because he was super bummed we didn’t get to go last time and he is a huge history buff! From there we will drive back to Paris and spend 5 days wandering the beautiful city of lights! I loved Paris last time we went! It is such a romantic and historically beautiful city – If my hubs was on board I would totally move there in a heartbeat! Our last stop on this trip will be Istanbul, Turkey! I’m hoping we can take a day trip to Sile, which is a town right on the Black Sea – the photos look amazing!

We are boarding our plane NOW! I am not sure what wifi will be like where are staying, but I will try to be blogging about the trip! To follow along with my adventure follow me on Instagram for real time photos – @megsvisualpoetry

Click here for photos from my previous Paris adventure!

Travel Adventures

Travel Adventures

I am so excited for my upcoming travel adventures!!

I am at the airport in Denver right now!! Waiting to board my plane to Orlando, Florida! I will be spending a week visiting the most magical place on earth!!! The above photo was taken at a wedding I photographed on Sunday! When I walked into the reception room and saw it I was overcome with joy and excitement about my upcoming trip! I absolutely LOVE Disney!!

We we will also be visiting Universal Studios and taking a day trip to the beach! I love travel and I love adventures, so obviously travel adventures are my favorite!

We return late next Wednesday and then early on Thursday I fly out to Paris!! Oh my gosh!! I can’t believe I am typing these words!! I feel so blessed to have these opportunities!

We will be spending two weeks traveling through Normandy, Paris, and Istanbul! I can’t wait!

This is going to be an amazing three weeks full of adventures! I will be blogging as often as I can, but to follow my adventures in real time follow me Instagram – @megsvisualpoetry

choosing your bridemaids – helpful tips

Your bridesmaids are very important to your wedding day! They are the ladies who help you plan your entire wedding and will be there every step of the way on you very special day to make sure everything goes according to plan. Choosing who these special ladies will be can be a hard choice at times, but is a crucial one!

I have seen a variety of wedding parties… Some brides have only a maid of honor and I have photographed a wedding where the bride had 10 bridesmaids! It’s really your preference and who you want to stand with you on your wedding day.

After 7+ years of photographing weddings and witnessing just about everything that can happen at a wedding… My biggest piece of advice in picking your bridesmaids would be to choose ladies who you are very close with and share a special bond. I love the joy and laughter that is shared by a bunch of gals who really care about each other and are just having an awesome time! If you start to choose people for the sake of ‘choosing people’ it can become overwhelming.

Here are a few helpful tips from The Knot to consider when choosing your bridesmaids…

* How many bridesmaids do you want to have?

* More isn’t always merrier

* A bridesmaid doesn’t have to be a woman

* You can have two maids of honor

* It’s okay to have an uneven number of bridesmaids and groomsmen

Martha Stewart Weddings says…

* Being in a wedding comes with a lot of responsibility and expense – make sure everyone knows ahead of time what to expect

This is very important! Your bridesmaids will likely be paying for gifts, bridal shower, bachelorette party, hair and make up appointments, dresses and alterations, shoes, and accessories… I have been in 4 weddings in the past and I LOVED them all, but they cost a pretty penny! Be sure to communicate with your ladies what they have a head of them so that they can prepare.

One other thing I have picked up from brides and wedding planning is that when choosing your bridesmaids dresses be sure to take all of the ladies into consideration – everyone has a different body shape and looks different in each dress. You want your ladies to feel gorgeous on your wedding day – so be sure to choose a dress that everyone loves and feels amazing in!

I have always loved the idea that if your gals don’t know each other very well to plan a ladies brunch once a month leading up to the wedding – you can chat about details and gush about how excited you are!! Plus it’s a nice way to hang out a bunch before the wedding and get to know one another better. (It’s still an awesome idea even if your gals are super close!)

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I love this shot from Alica and Spencer’s wedding! Her bridesmaids were so amazing and helpful to her on her wedding day. They were kind and genuine and a blast once the party started! To see their full gallery click here !!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my sweet sister!

Today is a special day in my family… It is the day, 24 years ago, that my sweet sister was born!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!

I’m sitting here at 6:30 in the morning (I typically am not functional at this time of day, but was so excited to write this post and I couldn’t sleep) with a large cup of coffee (in my favorite New Orleans mug!) next to me pondering what exactly to write. I have so much I want to say, but I’m not sure exactly how to express it… Welp, here it goes!

Thinking back on the the last 24 years I am filled with joy and laughter – don’t get me wrong there were some rough years in there (my parents would have stories!), but all in all I cannot imagine growing up without a sister. I am so glad that we are only a year and half apart – this allowed us to still be close enough in age to grow up together and be able to relate to one another.

To share a few fun stories…

We would spend summers at our grandparents ranch in Raton, New Mexico and as kids this was the best thing ever! We would get up at 4am just to go with our grandpa to feed the cows!! Ha! It sounds silly, but it was so much fun for us. He would let us sit on his lap and ‘drive’ the truck! We would sit and look out the windows and watch the cows follow the truck as we released the ‘cake’ I guess it was called… They were cylinder shaped pieces of food or treats of some sort. I’m not too sure, but it was fun! We also loved when our grandpa taught us how to drive the lawn mower! They had a huge lawn and one of the mowers that you actually sat on and drove around. We thought we were so cool on the mower driving up and down the lawn as if we were driving to the mall or something! 🙂

My sister and I watched Xena and Hercules when we were younger (I found them on Netflix recently and oh boy – are they corny!) and we loved it! So, when we got to the ranch in the summer it was our own play ground! Our grandpa taught us how to saddle and ride the horses and he even let us ride them alone in the arena! So, of course two little girls that watch too much Xena and are left along with two horses… What else could go on… We pretended that we WERE Xena and Gabrielle (Xena’s best friend). Our imaginations ran wild and we were having our own adventures in that small arena, fighting the bad guys and saving the innocent villagers! hahahaha. We even played on the horse trailer and would take turns locking each other in pretending we had gotten captured and were in prison and the other had to make up a rescue plan!

THEN, on one of our family trips that we took to Hawaii (or maybe Mexico) we spent so much of our time in the huge swimming pool and discovered the Titanic… In the pool!! Well, not really, obviously 🙂 BUT there was a bar in the middle of the pool that had bar stools… So of course we would go under the water swimming in and out of the stools as if we were searching for the lost wreckage of a sunken ship.  We would come up for air to make a plan and then head back down to see what we could find…

Anyways, my point with these silly stories – is that if I didn’t have a sister then none of this would of happened and those are just a few of our many shenanigans! I simply cannot imagine not having my sister – it would have just been super lame growing up alone.

Those are stories of when we were little and weird 🙂 We have both grown up (for the most part) and have our ‘big girl jobs’ and whatnot, but no matter how old we get I will always smile and find joy in remembering how weird and silly our imaginations were.

My sister, Amanda Paige is kind and gentle. She is warm and loving and fun and crazy! She has a heart of gold that I am constantly amazed by. She cares so deeply for people! She’s my favorite person to sing every single song from the Grease soundtrack with (we take turns on who gets to be Sandy and who gets to be Danny!) She is smart and witty and I just love her to death!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my sweet sister!!! I hope to have adventures with you for many many years to come! I love you!

Here are some photos when we were very young and goofy looking 🙂

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and a few from the last few years… My sister was the BEST maid of honor EVER!!

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I love you so much ManDee and can’t image a life where you aren’t my sister!

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Again, HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the best sister a gal could ask for!!!

Photo credit :

Our awesome dad (my fave photographer ever!)

KJ and Rob Photographers (wedding shot!)

i’m a blessed gal

I have spent the last 10 days road tripping to WPPI in Las Vegas, driving to Laughlin, Nevada to visit my cousin, to the Grand Canyon (WOW!), to Moab, and everything in between! It was an amazing road trip with my favorite photographer – Dave Russell aka the best father ever!

I learned so much at WPPI and met some incredible people. I’m already excited for next year!

The biggest thing I learned from the speakers and many people I spoke with is that as a professional photographer I am not simply offering my clients coverage and images… I am offering them an experience! An experience that is unique to me. I desire to give my clients an incredible experience, not just beautiful photographs. While the images are very important.. They are not the only thing that matters. This experience starts with the first interaction I have with them and it is my goal this year to provide the BEST experience I can for my clients!

Anyways, on the drive home (when we weren’t pulled over taking photos every 20 miles) 🙂 I thought a lot about my business, the way I want to run it and my priorities. I plan to do some soul searching and reorganizing, but I can say I am super STOKED for this season to kick off!

Another thing I kept thinking about is how truly blessed I am… I have a business that I absolutely love and a passion for what I am doing. I have an incredible and supportive husband, and the best family ever! Life is short and precious and I too often forget that in the craziness of everyday life. I really want to work on cherishing every moment and living a life full of true joy!

Speaking of blessings… When I got home today I found a special gift that my sweet sister (in-law) had left for me… “Just because” 🙂 I love presents.. They are just so much fun! I was so touched by the thoughtfulness of this gift. It ties in my love for photography with a side of classy! I am so honored and joyful to have the family that I do!!

What are YOU thankful for today?? Take the time to really enjoy each moment… They are fleeting.

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