• It's Our Passion To Capture Your Story In A Way Only A Photography Can...LINDSAY & BRANDON

Brandon and I pride ourselves on being pretty healthy. We rarely get sick, so when we do, we are all about the home remedies. One thing we always do is when one of us gets sick, the other of us will make fresh squeezed orange juice. This dates back to my late mother who, upon hearing a sniffle, would quickly run over a jar of this liquid gold. There’s just something about that tangy, pulpy sweetness that makes you feel like you can kick a cold straight in the nasty green face. We can just imagine that vitamin C pulsing through our veins ready to heal all of our afflictions.

Recently after travelling, Brandon and I both had bouts of sickness, worse than either of us had seen in years! For an entire week after a waterfall adventure in the Dominican Republic, Brandon had a sinus infection so severe he was down for the count for a week! While he recuperated in bed, humidifier on and essential oils diffusing, I was determined to do anything I could do lessen his misery. My first thought, of course, was orange juice. I pressed oranges ALL week long, and even made dinner most of the week (which, you guys know from my previous post You Cook I’ll Clean I am not very good at doing!), and he finally bounced back to health…just in time for me to get the flu. You guessed it – more oranges. He brought me all sorts of orange juice, soup, tea, and even homemade elderberry syrup. Luckily my illness didn’t last long and I was back to normal within a couple of days. Plot twist:the next day, the flu found him. As his fever spiked I was back to slicing and squeezing, straining and pouring. Y’all, we went through SO MANY ORANGES in that two week period!!!

 

And funny as it may sound, this blog post isn’t about the magic powers of oranges. We know they aren’t actually magical and they don’t cause immediate healing. The point, though, is this:

In marriage and in life, we aren’t always going to be able to operate at 100%. And when we are struggling, we need other people.

It’s not a show of weakness to have help from someone when you are in need. It’s just life. You may have health issues, job struggles, or family problems such that you can’t give your normal effort to your marriage. This is usually short-term, and it’s absolutely normal. It’s a season in which your partner can give a little more effort to meet the needs you can’t meet for that time. It’s an act of love: when your spouse can’t lift the heavy burden, your load will become heavier.

But you do it out of love knowing that you CAN, and because you love him, you WILL. And, maybe, just maybe, this is part of what you vowed to do when you stood in front of family and friends to confess your love and commitment to your spouse. Like a see-saw, sometimes when you’re down, he’s up, and when he’s down, you’re up. It still takes effort to keep the rhythm going, and if one person gets off the see-saw, the other person is never going to go back up to the top without them.

Love is a choice, not a feeling. Love isn’t always pretty: but maybe, just maybe it’s actually the most beautiful when it’s the most messy. When we use our marriage as an avenue to love and serve our spouse in the toughest of times, we strengthen our marriage and we are always the better for it. How can you lift your spouse up today?

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No matter how beautiful we think our brides, every single one has an area they are self-conscious about.

It’s sadly normal in our culture, and we are aware of that reality.

So, here are some tricks for minimizing your areas of concern during your engagement portraits.

THE BODY AS A WHOLE

Choosing a flattering silhouette and colors for your body is important. It can be fun and helpful to have an honest friend guide you when it comes to choosing waistlines and silhouettes. An a-line dress is the most flattering on a majority of ladies, while a nice body-hugging dress can be beautiful on others. It’s always a good idea to try the shape beforehand and make sure it’s bringing out your best features.

THE ARMS

A large majority of women always mention being self-conscious about  their arms. If this is you, we recommend avoiding sleeveless, strapless or thin-strapped dresses. Three-quarter length sleeves have a slimming effect and can be a wonderful way to detract from the tricep area that most of us ladies aren’t fond of. Pro-tip: Almost anyone should avoid cap sleeves for photographs. This type of sleeve stops at the largest area of the arm and therefore brings the eye directly to that spot. A jacket, cardigan or blazer will also help with structuring the way we see the arms in photos.

THE LEGS

Heels are a wonderful resource for women as they elongate the legs. If your skirt is a shorter one, we highly recommend heels to show off and lengthen your legs! Closed-toed heels specifically carry the line all the way to the tip of your toe, which enhances the look. (Just bring a pair of flats for any walking between locations. Your feet will thank you later.)

HAIR AND MAKEUP

Having your hair and makeup done can really boost your confidence, and confidence is of ultimate importance! We love when our brides have their hair and makeup done professionally before a session because not only does it give them an idea of what they will like on wedding day, it also gives them an extra pop of pizzaz and ties the look together. Yes, it’s an additional planning element and with this Tennessee weather we never know until the day before the session if we will be getting a “gully-washer” or not, but it’s worth it when you can splurge on beauty treatments like this. Have your makeup-artist use natural light when possible since that’s where you’ll be photographed, and ask your hair-stylist for extra spray to combat the wind getting to your style.

THE RING

Don’t forget your ring will be garnering extra attention and we love to get super close-ups of the bling, so pop in and ask your jeweler to shine it up for you before the session. Along those same lines, believe it or not your hands will be in photos, so remember to give them some love in the form of a manicure and lotion before the session. (If you’re interested in more thoughts on jewelry, look back at Part 1 where we discuss adding in some statement pieces.)

THE TAN

We know you want to have a golden glow, but trust us on this one: DON’T spray on the tan. I know it seems harsh to say, but we do not recommend spray tanning or any artificial tanning before photos. Artificial tan can easily create a synthetic orange tone and especially in comparison to your fella’s untouched skin, can look unnatural. We think that normal skin-tone is much better, even if you think you’re pale. It almost always photographs much more beautifully than a forced tan.

Stay tuned for next week when we chat about styling the fellas.

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You’ve been waiting for this for a very long time – now’s your chance to dress up and tell the world you’re getting married!

It might surprise you to hear, but we don’t think you can be TOO dressy. Honestly, when else do you get to rock a tulle skirt or fancy dress?

Apart from your wedding day, you don’t have too many occasions to glam up and rock it out for portraits. Go for it!

When Brandon and I had anniversary photos done on the beach, I purchased a long blue tulle skirt and we invested in a nice suit and tie for him. It wasn’t easy coordinating and shopping (we aren’t known for our clothing style), and it wasn’t exactly cheap, but I’m SO glad we dressed up because the photos feel even more special now.

If you’re not feeling like it’s a smart purchase for a one-time use, you can now just rent formal and semi-formal wear. Just visit a website like renttherunway  where you rent amazing styled dresses with ease! This is a popular option now, so there are many websites out there to choose from.

General engagement session tips

Planning is key. Always communicate your thoughts about the session beforehand so we can make sure we address any concerns and plan for the overall aesthetic you have in mind. Talking things out ahead of time also gives us the chance to ensure that we make the most of your photo session time. We will be offering tips on location ideas and the best time of day to shoot in later posts, but for now we want to answer one of our most frequently asked questions: WHAT SHOULD I WEAR?

Style

Dresses and skirts look amazing in photos because of their ability to shape you how you want. A longer or flowy skirt will not only flatter you, it will also create movement to the photos. We recommend this over pants or shorts because it adds an extra element of romance to the images.

Extra Special

To top this look off, you’ll love a touch of bling. Does your mom or grandmother have a special piece of jewelry (earrings, necklace or broach) you could incorporate to add in something beautifully sentimental? This is a great opportunity to borrow a piece to share your family’s culture and add the sparkle to your look. Don’t have a family heirloom piece? That’s ok, you can consider a piece of jewelry with bold color like a statement necklace to add in personality, or, if you prefer, a subtle flower crown can bring in an ethereal and romantic feel. Pro-tip: any special rings or bracelets that you want to incorporate should be worn on the right hand and we suggest keeping their size and color in mind while choosing, so as to not compete with that gorgeous engagement ring you have!

 Color

We often recommend solids instead of bold patterns and muted tones instead of bright colors. This way, the attention is on YOU and your outfit only enhances the beauty without overwhelming the image. Colors we love best for photos are: soft tones like light blues and greys, elegant creams and browns, and fresh light pinks and taupes. These colors almost never compete with a background and tend to go with any setting, which will help you make the most of your session.

Coordinating 

Most brides will choose their look first before deciding on their groom’s attire. This helps because we always recommend the outfits to be in the same color pallette so they don’t compete. Having them in the same family but not matching helps bring the overall look together. And to bring it up a notch, have an element of your guy’s attire match you: for example if you are in a blush pink skirt with ivory top and light blue jewelry, he could wear a navy blazer with a light blue or light pink tie or pocket square.

A casual look

Though most of our couples do tend to choose two different looks: a dressier and then a more relaxed outfit as well, we see a trend in most brides loving the dressier look. Those are the ones we see printed larger and more often.

That wraps up part 1 of our mini-series on engagement session styling. We will be sharing more in-depth tips as it relates to dressing for your engagement sessions in later posts, so stay tuned!

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Despite a very rainy spring, we truly lucked out with BJ and Abby’s engagement session. BJ is our nephew and we have been waiting for this sweet couple to make things official for a while now. It was a treat doing photos with them because they are so much fun. Abby choose a great location, and BJ was ready to make his bride laugh and beam with joy in their photos. Aiming for some blooms was a tough task because of several freezes after they first started to pop out, but Abby stood her ground and we are so glad she did, because the timing was absolutely perfect for these two. Just look at the dreamy sunlight at the bottom of this post! Here are a few faves from our afternoon of blooms, giggles and sunshine.

Might be my new fav ring shot (no photoshop needed!)That twirl though!! 

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On this very hill, Dalton confessed his love to Caroline and asked her to be his wife. Only six weeks before he would be deployed, these two precious souls decided to plan a wedding. In three weeks time, this family planned one of the most memorable weddings we have seen. Caroline stripped away the extra and focused on what mattered. She was the most laid back bride and truly wanted nothing but her groom. On a windy day in Whitleyville, Tennessee, this couple and their closest friends gathered on this hilltop for these two to become one in an emotional and beautiful ceremony. We loved that Caroline and Dalton both placed a huge emphasis for portraits, and we were lucky to have had an absolutely perfect afternoon of gorgeous light to work with. Now as Dalton preps to head overseas in service to our country, we want to share these special moments from their wedding day.

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