Monday, August 31, 2015

The Cubs, Cece's Speech, and My Dream.






Hey everybody!






I used to dream that the Cubs would win the world series. I've been a lifelong fan (if you scroll back years and years on here, you'll see) and the lovable losers will always have a huge piece of my heart, my hope, and my spirit.



The other night, I had a different dream.  It was a good dream. In my dream, Cece said, "outside" as in... I wanna go outside. Of course, to reinforce that behavior I took her directly outside so she could see that her words meant something to my ears.  It was a good dream. Nothing fancy, nothing fantastical, just my daughter talking.





But I woke up sad.



Over the course of her 2.5 years, I've heard her say a couple words; believe it or not, she has said "ousted" -- which is how her cute little mouth would say "outside" -- a couple times before (probably 8 or 9 months ago). I've since learned that children with autism can "forget" words.  And the more I've studied, the more I realize it's more like they "can't locate" the words they want to pull from their brain and say.  It's terribly frustrating because I know that she knows them.  I know that she thinks them.  I know that if I tell her we are going to go outside, she'll start heading to the back door.



A parent's dream is a powerful thing.  I'm using it as a goal to reach toward, and to fight for.  I don't know that Cece will ever say a sentence to her "Daaaa" but I'm here with open ears.  As for the Cubs, well... I'd take a World Series ring as a consolation prize.







Talk to you soon,

Dale



Gunther Family Portraits: A sweet story from the mom



Hey everybody!

I've got a really special post today.  I wanted Amanda to write the story from her perspective, and I just love the way she told it. Y'all... read this!


"A couple of years ago God started to put adoption on our hearts. We went through the paperwork process and opened our home as an adopt only home for the state of Arkansas. We waited and waited for God to give us our child, but the phone never rang. During the waiting time, I started to wonder if we should also open as a foster home. I told God that if He would give JJ the new job he had applied for and give me a bigger house THEN I would be a foster mom. We took a leap of faith and became a foster home. In January, Christopher and Matthew came into our little house. In March, JJ got the job offer he was hoping for. And in July, all four of us and the dogs moved into our bigger home. Did you notice that God didn't do it my way? In His perfect timing, God kept all of his promises to our family. On August 12 Christopher and Matthew officially became Gunthers and we so joyfully became a family forever." 


















Talk to you soon,
Dale

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Crystal Bridges Wedding and Reception for Caleb and Lindsey



Hey everybody!

Our coverage of Lindsey and Caleb's Crystal Bridges wedding ends today with the story of their sweet day.  The day was pulled off to perfection by the Bates-Reed team and Crystal Bridges provided such a sweet backdrop for the ceremony and reception.

Lindsey's girls were there to support her, pray for her, and help her get ready to marry Caleb.

Her daddy walked her down the aisle outside at Crystal Bridges.

This location was so neat (it was the first Crystal Bridges ceremony I've photographed at this part of the museum, and I loved it!).







I'm always in awe of the light in the Great Hall at Crystal Bridges.  Isn't it a cool view out that back window?  So neat.

Fabulous naked cake...



The bridesmaids and groomsmen had a lip-sync battle which had our couple dying!



Sweet ending shot with streamers (and they had bells on them, so it sounded so pretty as he dipped her back).  Just perfect.





Talk to you soon,
Dale

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Wedding Portraits Inside Crystal Bridges Galleries for Lindsey and Caleb



Hey everybody!

I've never photographed wedding portraits inside an art gallery before.  While I wasn't able to use flash and the lighting was set to view art (not photograph portraits), I was able to read the light and use my own little non-flash light to fill in shadows to create some really neat portraits with Lindsey and Caleb at Crystal Bridges.  Here are some of my favorite wedding portraits from the galleries and the grounds at Crystal Bridges.















Talk to you soon,
Dale

Friday, August 28, 2015

Crystal Bridges Wedding Portraits of Lindsey and Caleb



Hey everybody!

We set the scene yesterday for Lindsey and Caleb's Crystal Bridges Wedding - their details were so beautiful! Today I'm sharing more beauty by showing y'all how in love this couple is.  During their ceremony the preacher shared their story and I swear to you... love poured out and filled that place!  Lindsey got sick early in their relationship and tried to break up with Caleb "because it wasn't fair for him" but he wouldn't let her.  They've been together ever since and love and mutual adoration pours out of them.  Y'all... that's beautiful!






We got special privileges to shoot in the galleries (can you believe it?!?! I can't!) and I got SO inspired being surrounded by classic art with our couple.  How fun is this?



This couple exudes style, love, and fun.  More from their wedding at Crystal Bridges is hitting the blog tomorrow, yay!




Talk to you soon,
Dale

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Crystal Bridges Wedding Reception Details for Lindsey and Caleb



Hey everybody!

There are Benny Awards nominees all over the place in this post!  Lindsey and Caleb, along with the team at Bates-Reed Events, designed a wedding masterpiece!  It was stunning from head to toe.  And since there ceremony and reception were at Crystal Bridges (where lighting is fabulous), our job was a breeze!  Let's dive in!


I just love the FEEL of everything!

This room... this light!

And this STUNNING bouquet!  Breathtaking!

Also, I loved watching Amanda from Bates-Reed putting this cake together (who knew that was in her job description?!).  Such a beauty!



More from this divine wedding coming your way over the next couple days!

Talk to you soon,
Dale

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Morgan and Jon's Engagement Portraits, part 2



Hey everybody!

Oh, what the heck... a few more of Morgan and Jon on the blog today for a bonus treat. They really are a deserving couple and I can't wait to photograph their California wedding in 2016!
















Talk to you soon,
Dale

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Morgan and Jon's Fayetteville Engagement Session



Hey everybody!

I couldn't tell you how long I've known Morgan... years and years for sure. She's been one of my favorite bridesmaids (to some of my favorite brides, most recently Hope and Brandon).  She's silly and sweet - LOVES to have a good time, and it shows in her pictures.  Jon was fun too!  We cruised around Fayetteville and shot at some of my favorite little spots; take a look!


OMG... how cute is she?!?!

Benny Backlight - nothing in the world beats it.





Ahhhh. I love this one, y'all!



The way she looks at him gets me every time!



Oooohhh... soft and sweet. I could never pick just one favorite!

(should I post more tomorrow?) :)


Talk to you soon,
Dale

Abby + Austin's NWA Engagement Pictures

Hey everybody! Abby and Austin could be some of the only people to improve the perfect scenery offered by Crystal Bridges Museum and fa...