Thursday, May 31, 2012

Lauren and Tadd's BONUS Wedding Portraits!

Hey everybody!

I just CAN'T STOP posting pictures of this amazingly pretty couple! Here are some more portraits we shot on their wedding day. Ahhhh....

fayetteville wedding portraits
fayetteville wedding portraits
fayetteville wedding portraits
fayetteville wedding portraits
fayetteville wedding portraits

Talk to you soon,
Dale

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Lauren and Tadd's Fabulous Wedding Portraits

Hey everybody!

It's gorgeous portrait time! Lauren and Tadd are both ridiculously-good-looking. We had two mini-portrait sessions on the wedding day: one right after their first meeting, and one as the sun was looking all gorge as it was setting at James at the Mill. Here are some faves...

Okay... so... God helped with this one (look at that light! with a perfect little wind blow!)
fayetteville wedding portraits
fayetteville wedding portraits
fayetteville wedding portraits
fayetteville wedding portraits
fayetteville wedding portraits


Talk to you soon,
Dale

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Lauren and Tadd's Fayetteville Wedding Story

Hey everybody!

One of the reasons you (as a bride and groom) want to hire experienced photographers is that there are going to be some really special moments that collectively make up your wedding day. Untrained photographers don't know what to look for, or can't anticipate these moments, or are too busy fumbling with gear when they happen. I love my background as a photojournalist because it gives me the expertise to capture moments. Check out my favorite moments from Lauren and Tadd's wedding below!

Their first look had some really sweet (and some really funny) moments. I decided to show you the sweet one...
wedding and reception details at James at the Mill

And of course, there's that moment when the bride is about to walk down the aisle with her father, him looking on... and probably as nervous as she is...
wedding and reception details at James at the Mill

But even if he is nervous, as any great dad would do (and Lauren's dad is a GREAT dad!), he swallows whatever nervousness he has and helps his daughter enjoy this moment of walking to her groom...
wedding and reception details at James at the Mill

A staple in any wedding... the first kiss as husband and wife is such a special moment!
wedding and reception details at James at the Mill
And off they go!
wedding and reception details at James at the Mill

Okay...
Gimme a break...
How insanely precious...
is this MOMENT?!?!
AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!! Lauren with her father-in-law... how touching!
wedding and reception details at James at the Mill

Meanwhile super chef Miles James was inside creating masterpieces for Lauren and Tadd's guests... and photographers! MMmmmmmm...
wedding and reception details at James at the Mill
wedding and reception details at James at the Mill

It's not the easiest thing in the world to get a really great wide-angle shot of a dance... but it happened here! Great light, great moment, composition fell into perfect place...
wedding and reception details at James at the Mill

Then the party got started. :)
wedding and reception details at James at the Mill

Such a great day filled with great moments. I love my job. {Portraits coming tomorrow!}

Talk to you soon,
Dale

Monday, May 28, 2012

Fayetteville + James at the Mill Reception Details

Hey everybody!

Boy oh boy... Lauren and Tadd had some fabulous details! Maybe my favorite part was the meal at James at the Mill, by James Beard nominated chef, Miles James. Not only that, but Anne Foster planned and executed the day to perfection! Yeah... we had a pretty good day (and ended with happy bellies!)... check out some fab details below.

wedding and reception details at James at the Mill
wedding and reception details at James at the Mill
wedding and reception details at James at the Mill
wedding and reception details at James at the Mill
wedding and reception details at James at the Mill

The story of Lauren and Tadd's wedding day coming up tomorrow!

Talk to you soon,
Dale

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Lauren's Fayetteville Bridal Portraits

Hey everybody!

Meet Lauren! She's hilarious and feisty, but intelligent and sweet... all rolled into one super pretty shell! :) Her Fayetteville wedding (with reception at James at the Mill) is coming up soon, but I wanted to start with a few of her fabulous bridal portraits.

Traditional Fayetteville Bridal Portraits
Traditional Fayetteville Bridal Portraits
Traditional Fayetteville Bridal Portraits

Talk to you soon,
Dale

Saturday, May 26, 2012

We Make Silly Music Videos - Ellie's Call Me, Maybe? Video

Hey everybody!

When Ellie and Lauren (aka: Aunt La La) get together, there's no telling what is going to happen!  A couple days ago they decided to make a music video with a choreographed dance to the new super catchy song, Call Me, Maybe? Yep... they're silly, and I love it.



Have a great weekend!

Talk to you soon,
Dale

P.S. If you follow Ellie's blog, diaryofadaddysgirl.blogspot.com - you already saw this. :)

Friday, May 25, 2012

Jamie and Ben's Outdoor Wedding Story... Tears Were Shed!

Hey everybody!!

Today I get to share the super sweet wedding of Jamie and Ben with you! You've seen their details and their portraits, but I saved this for last because it is seriously SOOOOOOOO sweet!

Here's our lovely bride getting ready...
Jamie's Teal and Yellow wedding

And then one of the most tender-est and heart-warm-iest first meetings ever.  She was a cryer for sure, but look at the love on her face as her groom holds her!
Jamie's Teal and Yellow wedding

How cool was this set up for the ceremony!  I love outdoor weddings!
Jamie's Teal and Yellow wedding

Another sweet moment during the ceremony...
Jamie's Teal and Yellow wedding

But nothing compared to THIS MOMENT!  Awwwww!!!
Jamie's Teal and Yellow wedding

Up they come to head off to the reception for their first dance!
Jamie's Teal and Yellow wedding

Followed by party time!
Jamie's Teal and Yellow wedding
Jamie's Teal and Yellow wedding
Jamie's Teal and Yellow wedding
Jamie and Ben... it was an absolute honor to spend your wedding day with you!  We look forward to your life full of happiness together!!

Talk to you soon,
Dale

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Outdoor Wedding Portraits of Jamie and Ben: And, How We Almost Got Shot By Real Bullets

Hey everybody!

Today I have some gorge portraits of Jamie and Ben from their super fab yellow and teal wedding that totally melts my heart! But first, I have to tell you the story of how we almost died.

We were hanging out before the wedding, just shooting some super pretty portraits (see below, duh) and all of a sudden some gun shots rang out. I thought people must be target practicing in a nearby field or something. Then, we heard more gun shots that accompanied the insanely frightening sound of leave in the trees over our heads being hit with bullets. Yeah... REAL BULLETS.

All of a sudden, I'm in SAVING PRIVATE RYAN! We got our first ever REAL bride and groom running shot. I didn't need to tell them what to do... we got the crap out of there! And now... enjoy the fruits of our labor!

Jamie and Ben's outdoor wedding portrait
Jamie and Ben's outdoor wedding portrait
Jamie and Ben's outdoor wedding portrait
Jamie and Ben's outdoor wedding portrait
Jamie and Ben's outdoor wedding portrait

So now you know what to do when you're on a shoot and bullets starts whizzing by... run like cray-cray!


Talk to you soon,
Dale

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Teal and Yellow Wedding Details of Jamie and Ben

Hey everybody!

I love Jamie and Ben's Yellow and Teal wedding colors. She is super artsy and Ben said there was a little bit of Pinterest influencing the wedding details, so we knew we were in for a treat. And it WAS such a treat! Every table top had it's own fabulous DIY details, and every little thing had an artistic touch by the bride. Have a look!

yellow and teal wedding details
yellow and teal wedding details
yellow and teal wedding details
yellow and teal wedding details
yellow and teal wedding details

More from this fabulous outdoor Arkansas wedding coming up tomorrow!

Talk to you soon,
Dale

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

365 Days After the Joplin Tornado, I Won't Give Up

Hey everybody,

It's dizzying to think that a year has already passed since the EF-5 tornado ran a path through the heart of my hometown. What's even more mind-boggling is wrapping my brain around what has happened to the community that shaped the first 25 years of my life. Last night, President Obama delivered the Joplin High School commencement speech and highlighted exactly what I'm talking about.

Among the president's words, these stood out most to me: "Some of life’s strongest bonds are the ones we forge when everything around us seems broken." Isn't that the truth? Families, neighbors, and strangers bonded together for the good of the Joplin community and began the recovery process with a determination of which I've never seen before or since.

Joplin has shown an unmatched resilience. Instead of feeling broken, instead of feeling sorry, Joplin felt hope. Joplin felt optimistic. Though there are many reasons, this is the number one reason I'm proud to say I was born and raised in Joplin, Missouri.

It hasn't all been good news, though. If you've been following my blog over the past year you know that I lost my sweet grandma in the tornado. As sad as that is, I also lost part of my mom and my uncle, who still find it hard to deal with the loss of their mother. I know Grandma is pain free hanging with Jesus, but seeing my family hurt is really hard to see, and I feel hopeless in trying to comfort them. They are plagued with "what if..." questions and have yet to fully recover from their loss.

Still, the good news outweighs the bad. My lifelong best friend, Tom, and his family (and 6 other families) received new homes thanks to the gracious hearts at Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. I've been to Tom's many times over the past year and our friendship is stronger than ever. I have so much respect for how he endured the tornado... keeping his family safe and then immediately going to the nearby nursing home to help rescue members of the elderly community. I've called Tom many things throughout our 20 years of friendship, and in May I got to call him "Hero."

So, here we are 365 days later. Life goes on. The world turns and we find a way to put pieces back together of a world the tornado fragmented. We lean on each other and build each other up because we are stronger when we work, live, and love together.

The most remarkable change I've noticed is how my sweet Ellie has grown over the past year. She was obviously scared the night after the tornado when I had her at my house and a storm approached. Watching her eyes at the sound of thunder broke my heart into small pieces. I wished so badly that I could assure her that no tornado was going to come that night, but could I really? Not responsibly. Instead I had to explain that life throws unexpected things our way and we just have to be prepared as best we can. It's a tough lesson for a dad to teach a 6-year-old girl. But maybe one of the best.

We grow when we find it in ourselves to help another in need. Over the next few days following the tornado Ellie thought of ways we could help Joplin, and her family. We bought new clothes and groceries for her grandma, and I gave a bunch of my clothes to her uncle Cory (both of whom lost their homes and possessions). Ellie was tough. Much tougher than I would've been at her age. Though she still doesn't enjoy driving through "the zone" and we drive around it when we can, she shared in being hopeful for the future. Weeks after the tornado she was again ready to make a difference. She hosted a lemonade stand and raised more than 700 dollars which she gave to her school, Irving Elementary (destroyed on May 22). Later today, Irving Elementary will break ground on their new campus. Ellie will be there.

As terrible as the tornado was to the Joplin community, it was a catalyst in the rebirth of a great city.

I love the lyrics from one of Jason Mraz's new songs, "I Won't Give Up" and think it's so fitting to describe Joplin, 365 days later.
"I won't give up on us
Even if the skies get rough
I'm giving you all my love
I'm still looking up
Still looking up"



Thanks for reading,
Dale

Monday, May 21, 2012

Houston Family Portraits, And A Quick Word on Adoption

Hey everybody!

If you're reading this blog, chances are you you know a lot about me! You've probably seen a lot of our images over the years but you've also allowed me to share personal things about my life. I love that about y'all! I love that every time I write something straight from the heart my inbox is full of emails of sweet support! Today I have an adorable family to tell you about!

Meet Carissa, Jerry, and Zach! Carissa is Mere's cousin who lives in Houston, Texas. She and her husband Jerry adopted Zach about a year and half ago, and he's been such a blessing to the entire family! Below is a cute pic I snapped of them when Mere and I were in Houston last month. Cute family, right??

I'm writing this blog to put some information out in the proverbial universe....Carissa and Jerry would love to adopt another baby! Zach needs a little brother or sister! They are currently actively looking for a special baby to add to their loving, Christian home! I'd love for you to help me spread the word! You never know how these things work out, or how God is going to work miracles, and I thought maybe He'd use my blog to help answer prayers!


Thanks friends!

Talk to you soon,
Dale

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Jamie and Ben's Wedding Teaser!

Hey everybody!

I can't wait to show this wedding with you! Make sure to check back over the next few days for full coverage of this FAAAAABULOUS wedding!!



Talk to you soon,
Dale

Stone Chapel at Matt Lane Farm wedding: Anna and Shelton

Hey everybody! Wonderful wonderful. That's how I want to describe Anna and Shelton's wedding day at the Stone Chapel at Matt La...