Sunday, May 31, 2009

Hailey and Matt's engagement session (1 of 2)

Hey everybody!

Let me introduce you to the most FUN couple: Hailey and Matt! The Dallas couple, both originally from Arkansas, has such a cute story (you'll find out more on that later), have cute personalities, and cute faces! Ha ha ha!

They made the drive up from Texas last weekend and had drinks with us at Common Grounds to plan the shoot. Because of the ominous forecast we decided to move the shoot an hour earlier, which proved to be a very smart move. During our shoot, it only rained when we were driving and then again right after I snapped the last frame. What great timing!

Here are some of the fun shots we got of the couple. Actually, there are so many we're going to post more tomorrow!

Talk to you soon,

Okay, not planned, but that little green leaf is the shape of a heart - we're so good... ha ha ha!

I adore the series with the tie!!!!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Martha Marie's bridal session

Hey everybody!
You know how much torture it is for me to hold on to these images and keep them a secret. But today is the day that I get to show you the lovely and gorgeous Martha Marie Lewis (as of today). She and Matt tied the knot, which will soon be blogged! In the meantime, check out the secret I've been keeping from you all!
Talk to you soon,

Friday, May 29, 2009

Bethany and Chris tie the knot!

Hey everybody!

It seems like forever since Bethany and Chris met up with us in Chicago for their unique and fun engagement session! We were excited to meet back up with them for their wedding here in NW Arkansas this past week.
Within this post is a lesson for photographers, brides, and grooms out there. You see, the forecast did not look good, as the sky grew darker and darker throughout the day. Now, I'm not one to totally ignore the weather, but I will say that stressing about it before it's time to stress about it, is unnecessary!

I'm not exaggerating on the time, literally 5 seconds after Bethany went inside the church after being photographed with her girls, the sky dumped, I mean DUMPED, down rain. Then, it rained the entire ceremony and ride over to Carnall Hall, but then guess what happened when it was time for the couple's portraits... not only was there no rain, but a freaking RAINBOW! No joke - check the image below.

If you followed me on Twitter that day, you already know all this, and got to see it play out (I told everybody early in the day that I wasn't worried)

Anyway, check out some great images from their day!

Talk to you soon,

He was quite the fan - actually, they both were!

Our lovely couple...

The flowers were by Jules Event Design:

Rad cake by Jennifer at Shelby Lynn's. Little Barack was the topper later in the day!

Two fun dance shots, one crazy, one sweet:

Talk to you tomorrow!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Gulf Shores Recap!

Hey everybody!

Meredith and I look forward to our annual vacation to Gulf Shores. She's been going there for so long, she actually has a schedule of what to do which night. Though we've tweaked it a little bit since Ellie and I have started coming, and because we can't be there on Saturdays due to our wedding schedule, we stick to a schedule.
It's a bit funny, though, as most vacation goes want to explore, see new things, etc. This vacation is not like that at all. We know exactly what we want to do, have picked out our favorite things, and aren't stressed by having to decide what we want to do and when we want to do it.
My favorite thing about vacation is doing the photo shoot with Ellie. I hope this stays a tradition as we continue to go back year after year. This year, because of a palm tree incident, we shot a lot less than last year, but it was still long enough to get some fun images, both of Ellie and of Caroline with Margaret Grace. Check out some of my favorites from the morning shoot below.
Talk to you tomorrow,

On a sad note, while we were all in Gulf Shores Mere's family lost a very special "member" of their family.
Their 17-year old Golden Retriever, Elliott, died. Losing a pet is so difficult, especially when they've been a part of your family for so long. Over the past year Elliott had become very ill. Mere is comforted knowing he is bouncing around in heaven like a puppy again!
Here is a pic Mere snapped of Elliott earlier this year. He was SUCH a sweet doggy!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Cory and Leslie tie the knot

Hey everybody!

Meredith and I recently got to shoot at one of our favorite venues for Cory and Leslie's wedding: The Botanical Gardens! This is such a beautiful place for a wedding. The weather was cool, and so were Cory and Leslie. I hear photographers talk all the time about a "laid back" couple, but they haven't met my fantastically cool couple!

We started the day out on the golf course while the girls got ready. In storybook fashion, Cory sunk a winning putt on the last hole (that's one of the first images in the slideshow). Another favorite part of the day happened when Cory and Leslie first saw each other. Not only was the first sight touching, but seeing all her friends and family peeking through the window with their cameras was a really sweet moment. After the ceremony and portrait session (which had amazing light, by the way), I love that Cory and Leslie took their wedding party to Shotz so they could have a quick drink and slam the ice-shot glasses (that is, they were made of ice) to the floor. It was quite a fun way to celebrate the new couple. Then we were off to Scarpino's for the rockin' reception. SUCH a fun time!

Below is a few of my favorite portraits, as well as a slideshow of the day. Enjoy!

Talk to you tomorrow,

Shot of the day!! My eyes oozed into a trance when I saw this!

A couple floral details:

Two yummy pics, a portrait and a kiss:

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Sweet words from a sweet mom...

Hey everybody!
How about this note we got from Candace and Mike, whose sweet little baby Ava we just photographed?!?! We just LOVE them!! Their family is so precious, and we can't wait until the next time we photograph them (which should be too long, actually!)

WOW!!!!!!!! I love them...they are sooo perfect!! The pics of her yawning just melt my heart and make me tear up!!! The "urban pics" of her are so cute!!!!!! You captured a one week old smiling and it is so perfect!!

I can't thank you guys enough for all the amazing pictures you have taken for us!!! THANK YOU!!!!!

Candace and Mike

ps. i don't think i used enough exclamation points to show you how excited i am... so here are a few more!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Happy Memorial Day: A Letter to My Sis

Hey everybody!

I didn't know my 500th post to this blog would be such a poignant one - in fact I've cried a lot already just thinking of what I want to write. Today, I wanna write a love letter to my sister, Melissa, who lost her husband in Iraq 6 years ago.

Dear Missy,

It's no secret to any of our friends and family that we had quite a crazy life growing up. Fun at times! Scary at times. Sad at times. We've experienced the gamut of emotions together... some of the happiest times in my life were when you and I were best friends at the Pearl house. I followed you around like a shadow (or a pathetic pup) and you were always so inviting. You helped me grow up, deal with grown-up issues, and protected me more than I ever realized.

It's not your birthday, but today on Memorial Day that I think of you, pray for you, and let my heart overflow for you. You've been dealt a difficult hand - something I would not (I am sure) be able to endure with such strength. Because of Jesse, I no doubt believe that you and I have very different definitions of the word hero. However, I want you to know that you are a hero of mine! Your drive to pick up the pieces of a shattered dream and raise two of the COOLEST boys I've ever met is beyond inspiring.

I love you so much. You are so special to me!
your brother


Here is another letter, this one written from Jesse, which was printed in Last Letters Home
Excerpt of a letter from Army Pfc. Jesse A. Givens, 34, of Springfield, Mo. Private Givens was killed May 1 when his tank fell into the Euphrates River after the bank on which he was parked gave way. This letter was written to be delivered to his family if he died. Melissa is his wife, Dakota his 6-year-old stepson and Bean the name he used for his son, Carson, who was born May 29.

My family,

I never thought that I would be writing a letter like this. I really don't know where to start. I've been getting bad feelings, though and, well, if you are reading this. . . .

The happiest moments in my life all deal with my little family. I will always have with me the small moments we all shared. The moments when you quit taking life so serious and smiled. The sounds of a beautiful boy's laughter or the simple nudge of a baby unborn. You will never know how complete you have made me. You saved me from loneliness and taught me how to think beyond myself. You taught me how to live and to love. You opened my eyes to a world I never dreamed existed.

Dakota . . . you taught me how to care until it hurts, you taught me how to smile again. You taught me that life isn't so serious and sometimes you just have to play. You have a big, beautiful heart. Through life you need to keep it open and follow it. Never be afraid to be yourself. I will always be there in our park when you dream so we can play. I love you, and hope someday you will understand why I didn't come home. Please be proud of me.

Bean, I never got to see you but I know in my heart you are beautiful. I know you will be strong and big-hearted like your mom and brother. I will always have with me the feel of the soft nudges on your mom's belly, and the joy I felt when I found out you were on your way. I love you, Bean.

Melissa, I have never been as blessed as the day I met you. You are my angel, soulmate, wife, lover and best friend. I am sorry. I did not want to have to write this letter. There is so much more I need to say, so much more I need to share. A lifetime's worth. I married you for a million lifetimes. That's how long I will be with you. Please keep my babies safe. Please find it in your heart to forgive me for leaving you alone. . . . Teach our babies to live life to the fullest, tell yourself to do the same.

I will always be there with you, Melissa. I will always want you, need you and love you, in my heart, my mind and my soul. Do me a favor, after you tuck the children in. Give them hugs and kisses from me. Go outside and look at the stars and count them. Don't forget to smile.

Love Always,

Your husband,



Today I wanna celebrate sacrifice. Giving to a cause bigger than oneself, even if it means losing what is most important to a person, is a such a real and powerful reason to be grateful. I'm grateful there are individuals like Jesse who are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for what is globally important.

Talk to you tomorrow,

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Gulf Shores shoot

Hey everybody!
While Meredith and I were in Gulf Shores, we shot an absolutely gorgeous couple: Sheryl and Justin. We've been getting a lot of emails lately from couples who want an engagement style session even if they aren't engaged. We're definitely happy to do this! Check out the sexy shots we caught of them!

Talk to you tomorrow,

Alaska Proposal; The Time I Almost Blew It.

Hey everybody! Did you ever know something 100% in your heart, but you almost screw it up?  So goes the story of my proposal to Tyler. ...