Over the past 9 months Andrew & I have been getting to know our son Jack by his active hands & feet! With each growing rapidly in strength, I'm constantly reminded of God's marvelous design. Becoming a portal for his creation is overwhelming in the best way & I could sit criss-cross applesauce all day long just pondering the idea. However, I knew very early in pregnancy that I didn't wanted to "slow down." Although physically, it wasn't much of my choice, I intentionally set mental goals to not allow this exciting new transition into motherhood become an idol in my life. Thankfully I absolutely love what I do as a wedding photographer & capturing the love of others isn't such a shabby past-time. Whether we're lenses up in the chapel or editing behind the scenes, keeping busy provides an escape in having to lasso my mind from drifting off to la la land. Today I'm talking about the ups & downs through this season on the job & sharing the beautiful film images of our maternity session photographed by Rachel. Isn't she just so talented?
I need my husband for so many things & since becoming pregnant... so many more! Without a doubt, Andrew has been my saving grace this wedding season through his selfless acts of service. He loads the equipment, carries the bags & most importantly grounds me with perspective. Admittedly one thing that has changed since carrying Jack, is my abundance of energy. As soon as we reach the car at the end of the night the, first thing I do is toss my shoes (& all other publicly necessary clothing articles) in the backseat & sink into the passengers seat for a moment of prolonged silence. But all minutes in between us arriving & going home are handled with poise because of Andrew! His role arises most often as one of those guys on the snicker's commercials that rebukes the diva out of me by shoving a cliff bar in my face. They're not lying when they say YA NEED YOUR FOOD! Without him by my side to remind me of the importance of these amazing wedding days, I'd be lacking in contentment, lacking in creative vision & so so incredibly hungry.
Something's for sure - wedding guests have no filter. I can't tell you how many off-the-wall comments we hear about my belly on a wedding day. The most typical comments are "You're about to pop!" or "Oh, honeyyyy, you must be exhausted!" During one of our most recent ceremonies, a woman I'd never met before stormed toward me with a harsh grimace on her face & barked "you need to sit down!" Luckily the bride had already made it down the aisle & didn't witness the scene, but I was so shocked & confused. I told her gently that it was my job to remain standing & that I appreciated her concern which eventually with persuasion made her pull away... but not before she made her disapproval of me wearing heels known to all! I was also asked how far along I was by a sweet grandfather of the bride, but not in the typical way, he asked right down to the week! "Are you about 34 weeks now?" he says & he was right on the money! It was the absolute sweetest seeing this 75 year old man staring down at Jack with an ear to ear grin & I just knew in my heart he had a billion grandbabies who adored him. :)
Day in & day out of witnessing these countless brides making life-changing covenants with their husbands, I'm forced to reflect on my first days as a married woman. I remember my concentration shifting inwardly (in the wrong direction) as I became more familiar with any other human I'd ever had. This type of intimacy is such a curious thing, even appealing, but man does it sting to first see your selfishness so up-close! As a new wife, my identity was wrapped up in the actions i took to "better my husband"... how great i was at encouraging him, the amount of dreams he pursued with my helpful hand & ultimately his overall satisfaction in me by his side. Do you see the pattern in it all?
I, my, me.
As a sinner, then & today, I am constantly seeing things I need to change in my heart, but being broken without the ability to adjust them on my own, has brought peace, relief, comfort & closeness with my Savior. He is the one who I press on so fervently to be, because I am nothing without Him. As i basque in this swallowing truth I pray my dependence on Him never waver through marriage, through business & especially as a mother.
The only true hope of any success in raising a child, is for Andrew & I to fix our perspective not on who we one day wish to be as a husband, wife, father or mother but who God is & will always be outside us & deep within. My hope is that this little one sees two parents who are weak in the flesh, through their jobs & everyday lives who can do nothing on their own initiative… but anything through the Lord. My hope is that Jack believes in the pure truth of the Gospel, the beautiful freedom of God's grace & that together as a family we can share in a relationship that sharpens one another to be more like Jesus day by day.
Change is ever present, and all around us. It's a huge reason why the privilege of capturing precious, fleeting moments holds so much weight in our hearts, and our hands (literally :)). Over the last several months, there has been so many exciting and wonderful changes happening at Blue Barn behind the scenes. I am in complete awe at God's faithfulness to bring such joy and fullness into this business.
In September, we introduced you to sweet our newly wedded fall intern, Taylor Thomas. Then, in November we announced the addition of Andrew Lovette, debuting Blue Barn as two husband and wife photography teams, The Linders & The Lovettes. In December, you celebrated with us as The Lovettes announced growing a little team of their own (we love you already baby Jack)! And today, we're excited to finally spill the beans and introduce you to our THIRD husband and wife photography team, Taylor "Tatum" & Will Thomas!
Shortly after their summer wedding that The Lovette's photographed, we started looking for an intern for the fall to run our blog and social media. From the moment I read Tatum's application, I was immediately intrigued and drawn to her sweet and thoughtful heart.
As you know, Tatum did intern for us over the fall, which means she was in our office one day a week with both Taylor and myself, learning the ins and outs of everything that happens behind the scenes, the why behind what we do, and the heart of our brand from it's very core. Tatum fit into our workflow seamlessly, and her love for people and natural talent has been an easy one to foster and grow even more as she's become a Blue Barn Belle!
We'd love for you to take a peak at the (still) newlyweds below, get to know them more, and see some of Tatum's beautiful work. Tatum & Will are now accepting bookings for 2017 and 2018, and to learn more, you can contact us here or say hello to Tatum here!
Melissa DeLeon Styling | Photovision Prints
The biggest compliment I can receive as a photographer is when clients come back to have me capture milestone after milestone. If you don't recognize The McKinney's already, I highly recommend getting to know this amazing family starting from their Backyard Engagement Session, Durham Wedding, Sunset Maternity Session, and their adorable Newborn Session with their twin daughters, Rooney & Navy.
This six month milestone session tops the cake as my favorite family photos I've ever photographed. Shannon is a stunning picture of fresh motherhood, and our morning together was so sweet and relaxed.
Melissa DeLeon (fashion blogger at Mel In Chanel) did an amazing job styling the whole family for a seamless look. Below, Melissa was kind enough to share six amazing tips to pull your family's look together, too!
1. Find inspiration. Choose a color scheme, a pattern, a perfect setting, an image or a theme that will be the inspiration behind your photos. This will be your constant reminder of what you aspire your photos to look like.
2. Know your subject and your setting. Although you may have reserved a gorgeous space or venue to act as the backdrop for your photos, you are the subject of the images! Knowing your exact setting for the photoshoot is key, so that you can plan outfits accordingly. You do not want to fade into the background! Dressing in a color or pattern that contrasts with the setting will allow people to see you in the photos. I highly recommend doing your homework and even visiting the venue or looking at photos of it online, if any. Keep in mind seasonal changes, and remember that trees and plants change throughout the year. If you’re wanting a fresh green background, you want to take photos in the spring - not the winter.
3. Start with one item of clothing and build off of it. Find one piece that you love and that stems from your inspiration. Then, like a puzzle, work on finding pieces that fit around it. From that one item, it’s much easier to search for others that complement and look good together as a whole instead of working on several all at once. If it helps you, I recommend making a mood board.
4. Be cohesive. Choose an attire and a season and stick with it. You want to make sure everyone in the photo is dressed similarly, as if you are all attending the same event. Is the event black tie? Casual? Dressy? Is it summer or winter? Everyone in the photo should be dressed within that attire and within that season - whichever you choose.
5. Find a photographer who understands your vision and communicates well with you. Every photographer has his or her own style, and you need to make sure that their style and your style pair well together. Find one who is willing to listen and will offer up suggestions. The more they understand what you’re wanting, the more they can fulfill your wishes! After working with Rachel and Taylor on so many projects, I can tell you that they are the first photographers I call for all my photography needs. Both of these women have spurred on even more inspiration because of their communication and creativity. I’ve entrusted them with many projects and hope to work on many more. They’re the best of the best!
6. Wear something that you love and that suits your personal style. You need to look like yourself! This is my last and most important rule of thumb. Wearing something you wouldn’t typically wear will make you feel and look uncomfortable in the photos. If you don’t look like yourself, you won’t feel like yourself, and that will show in the photos. You want to be comfortable in what you’re wearing so that you exude confidence and look your very best.
As a bonus, were sharing the McKinney's style inspiration board below! Melissa and Shannon decided on the gorgeous Anthropologie dress as the base for the family's look, and pulled together pieces that would look cohesive, and relaxed with the natural outdoor setting. I'm a huge fan of all the timeless neutrals and blush tones that are soft and feminine, with just a touch of girly.
And PSST! We've partnered with Melissa to offer her styling service within several of our packages! Contact us for more information.
In June of 2012, I showed up to a wedding as the second shooter, not knowing anything about the bride and groom. After spending a short amount of time with Hannah and her bridesmaids before the ceremony, I distinctly remember thinking, "I want to be friends with her." Fast forward a few years and several dozen coffee (Jubala) dates later, Hannah is one of my dearest friends. Our friendship has challenged and refined me, and we've shared so many amazing memories together since - birthdays, coffee dates, Moscow mules, road trips, business ventures, and more photo shoots. This shoot in particular is by far my favorite time photographing Hannah and Sean (you may recognize them from our styled shoot featured on Love & Lavender). It was extremely cold that Sunday afternoon, so we kept the session short and sweet. But, a couple rolls of film were all I needed because let's be real, Hannah and Sean are gorgeous. More importantly, they love each other and know how to have fun and make the most of any situation. It is such an honor that I have been present for their wedding, and now this exciting milestone in their marriage! Seth and I cannot wait to share in even more adventures and make more memories as the years go on and families grow! :)