Then Comes a Baby in a Baby Carriage

One day my phone alerted me of a message, and even the chime seemed to linger with excitement.  It was an inquiry for maternity portraits.  Pregnant mommas are simply beautiful and a pregnant momma means I get to snuggle a fresh baby soon too… and I LOVE BABIES!!!! Even better is knowing the sweet couple who is going to embark on the adventure of becoming parents.  The greatest compliment to a photographer is the invitation to follow your clients through life.   I was blessed to capture Danny and Christina’s engagement portraits and their wedding day, and now the privilege of documenting their pregnancy with their first baby, Grayson Timothy.  Of course as soon as she unveiled his name I started daydreaming of the cute couple him and my Gracesyn would be.  I mean on nickname pairing alone it’s grounds for marriage right?!  Gray and Gracie… Grayson & Gracesyn… at the very least business partners!!!  Just think of the brilliant branding!!!  Sorry, wrangling myself back into reality.  Danny, Christina, and I sat down for coffee and tea just like we always had.  This time with renewed excitement for the future- first came love, then came marriage, and now ready for a baby in the baby carriage!  We planned the details of the when and where and waited for that to roll around.  It seemed to happen in half a snap.  With a huge winter storm threatening to ruin our plans we got a jump start on nature and pushed our session time to the morning.  We headed up the mountain in pursuit of snow and snow we found.

Christina tapped into her inner model and made the freezing breeze work as her personal fan.

#maternityportraitsinthesnow, #maternity, #growingbytwofeet

Really though not one of us dressed or accounted for the wind chill factor or the deep thigh high powder I kept managing to find.  We laughed a lot… mostly at me.

Christina wanted to mix some of the elegant pictures with some fun ones. So when Grayson becomes a teenager they can show him these pictures and let him know they really are cool parents.

I’m a huge fan of plaid and I was stoked Christina loves it too.  It brought this session to a level of comfortable that we all relaxed into…well except for the freezing cold bit.


We rounded the session off with a picture they can post when “it’s time”!  I can’t wait for my timeline to show that image!  Eek!  Danny and Christina thank you for letting me in on this precious time.  You will be fantastic parents!  ❤


Inhale & Exhale Blessings and Joy

#capturingessencephotography, #alegacycaptured, #jewishwedding, #inhaleandexhaleblessings

We have had the privilege to capture so many beautiful celebrations of love and marriage.  Each wedding holds a special place and offers a unique perspective of love, friendship, and romance.  When Ben and I get the opportunity to photograph a wedding together we consider it a date night.  It’s complete with a happily ever after unfolding in front us, laughter, great company, good food and cake!  We leave with the glimmer in our eyes for each other as it has us reminisce our special day.  James and Eryne’s wedding has claimed residence in my favorite weddings to date.  I was greatly anticipating the Jewish traditions throughout from a photography stand point, but I had no idea how my heart would be captivated and blessed from the wisdom and respect that Rabbi David and his wife Deborah ushered in.  There was such care to pause and pour into this couple, to reflect on what really matters, and to enjoy the here and now.  The family and friends that surrounded them was thoughtfully selected and seemed to inhale and exhale blessings and joy with the act of giving as well as receiving.

Neither James or Eryne could hardly contain their sweet anticipation to see each other for the first time that day.  Pure joy!

I could go on and on about their bridal party as well!  They were fun, energetic, attentive, beautiful and all the amazing things that we as photographers LOVE!  However, the one characteristic of this bridal party that stuck out the most: they were present.  Every moment they were engaged and aware so they could participate and serve James and Eryne so this day was at the peak of what it was dreamed to be.  It was a beautiful display of pure friendship.

At it’s marked time we parted into a men’s and women’s group and took part in the Blessing ceremony.  It was a time to slow all the noise down, focus on the heart of marriage, and share words of wisdom and blessings.  I am quite convinced this should become the norm.  It was absolutely beautiful!

The ceremony followed and it was just as incredible.  They were showered with blessings and declared their love to each other and their children.

After the ceremony we let the dust settle for a minute and then continued with our final formal pictures.  Pretty sure these guys didn’t have a bad side and we could have taken photos all night long, but they had a schedule to keep.

#capturingessencephotography, #alegacycaptured, #jewishwedding, #inhaleandexhaleblessings

We released the timeline into the professional hands of DJ Veach.  Guests stepped into our photobooth and exited with smiles and giggling.  There was dancing, great speaches and toasting to the couple and their future.

A sparkler send off was realistically the only way this night could be capped off- and so it was.


Even over twelve minutes long this truly is only a snap shot of the rich content of this wedding.  Every second was filled with purpose even if that was to slow down and breathe it all in.  Get a tissue ready, enjoy, and be blessed by the Gerhardt’s Love Story! ❤


Infinity and Beyond

#Capturingessencephotography, #Loveisintheair, #Alegacycaptured, #southernoregonweddings

With a wedding date of 8.18.18 it has to be a marriage that will last infinity and beyond right?!  So many beautiful details spread throughout, like the hanger that proudly displayed the wedding dress and boasting the bride’s soon to be new name: Mrs Burleigh.  The gorgeous bridal bouquet made of blue accented broaches (also incredibly heavy if you were wondering).  The best details of all however were the friends and family they had beside them and around them as they said their I dos.

Taylor, the bride’s son was a complete ham.  I’m pretty sure he could put up an ad and make a lot of money being a “rent a ringbearer”.  Ben and I have dubbed him the cutest  to date.  It may be that he stole our hearts by saying hello to Ben and giving me eyebrows (you know the up and down trick to let someone know you see them) during the ceremony.  So much amazing personality in such a tiny frame!

From her ruffly dress, gorgeous jewelry, perfectly curled hair paired with her natural beauty and bright blue eyes; Kayla was the crown jewel of the day.

CJ and the groomsmen were fun and a kept the party rolling.

The ceremony was short and sweet but again full of lovely details.  Taylor made sure all the ladies knew he was still available and give it a few years (like 20 just to be safe) he will be a great catch.  A sand ceremony with the three of them was a beautiful picture of their lives joining together, and rose pedals thrown as CJ and Kayla had their first kiss as husband and wife.

We took a few moments after the ceremony to take pictures of the entire bridal party and then I took the bride and groom off for some finishing photographs.

After that point the party was in full swing with etch a sketches, unicorn masks, photo booth fun, and lots of dancing.

It was a day to remember.  The snapvideo gives a glimpse into the beautiful day it was.  Thank you CJ and Kayla for choosing us to capture the beginning of your legacy.  Praying blessings over your marriage and life! ❤


Be Your Own Trend

#Pinecones, #CapturingEssencePhotography, #SOWeddings, #Loveisintheair

Black tuxedos and white princess ballgowns have their place in some weddings, but Ben & Tiffany prefer to cut away from trends and pave their own path.  Tiffany’s dress had remnants from her Grandma’s wedding dress adding an extra layer of significance.  Every stitch, rock, and frayed edge laced this dress with the bride’s personality.  There is truly only one woman who could have filled that dress’s shoes and that was indeed Tiffany.  She was stunning and very warrior princess slash goddess like.

Ben looked dashing as well and his smile could sell dirt to a mud puddle.  He was decked out in a leather bow tie and suspenders.  Tiffany’s man of honor also bathed Ben in her favorite cologne, fitting given she is an expert on fragrance.

The prep work had been done and the moment had finally arrived for the big reveal.  It was raw and real and everyone could feel the depth of anticipation and love they had for each other.  It was a beautiful ceremony and one hundred percent them.

We took a few minutes to take some more formal portraits.

I’m so happy for our friend Ben who found someone as equally as amazing as him.  She draws the best out of him and vice versa.  This truly is a perfect match!

The Tea Pot on Wheels was a fantastic venue.  The reception was set up on the hill over looking the river.  It offered beautiful backdrop for their dinner, cake cutting, first dances, and of course our photo booth!

It was a privilege to capture this wedding but even more so to call these two our friends.  Ben, we are so proud of the obstacles you have chosen to overcome to become the best version of you.  Tiffany, you are amazing, bold, honest, and freaking gorgeous!  We wish you the best in life.  ❤ ❤ ❤

Love Never Fails

#capturingessencephotography, #loveisintheair, #loveispatientloveiskind

Southern Oregon weather is predictable in one way…that it is completely unpredictable.  At the beginning of the week I checked the weather for Eddie & Kylie’s Saturday wedding: blue skies and maybe 10 percent chance of rain.  When I recheck on Friday: torrential downpour expected.  Not ideal for any wedding but especially not great for an outdoor wedding venue without an indoor backup plan.  Their family and friends found an immediate solution and got to work.  Come hell or high water (hahaha see what I did there) this wedding was going to happen!  Love never fails.

When I know the chances for rain are high on anyone’s wedding day I mostly worry how the bride is dealing with it.  I walked into the bridal room and Kylie was cool as a cucumber… a gorgeous cool cucumber I might add.  She was taking it all in stride and had her eyes on the real prize…becoming Mrs. Corona!

#capturingessencephotography, #loveisintheair, #loveispatientloveiskind

Eddie was helping with last minute details to make sure everything was perfect for his bride.  Once he had finished, we orchestrated the switch to the ready room so he wouldn’t see Kylie until she made her big entrance down the isle.

#capturingessencephotography, #loveisintheair, #loveispatientloveiskind

The rain varied in strength during the ceremony but the guests and bridal party stayed dry thanks to the preparations made beforehand.  We were working through our rain-guards on our cameras which is always a fun game to play but our gear remained protected.  The kissed sealed the deal and we headed into group picture mode.

#capturingessencephotography, #loveisintheair, #loveispatientloveiskind

Towards the end of the formals with the bride and groom the rain was exchanged for hail.  Yep, this is Southern Oregon in the middle of June! Regardless of what mother nature was throwing at us- Eddie and Kylie still looked amazing!

#capturingessencephotography, #loveisintheair, #loveispatientloveiskind

The reception flowed with traditions and fun.

They say having rain on your wedding day is supposed to bring the couple good luck. I’m not sure they will need the luck, but I wish them a happily ever after.  ❤

Check out their wedding snapvideo.

Over the Mountains and Through the Woods

Over the mountains and through the woods to Grandmother’s house we go.   Most kids need visual aids to differentiate between two similar parties.  For instance, growing up I had a Grandma in the brown house and a Grandma in the blue house.  My cousin, Julie, and I talked about this one day and then it went into a full blown memory lane of all our fun times we had at our grandparent’s house as kids.  From Easter wearing the frilly dresses searching for eggs hidden in the crooks of the rocks in the tulip bed, climbing hay bails looking for the hidden hen mines of eggs, and climbing trees and waiting for our turn (sometimes not so patiently) on the swing made from a piece of a two by four and rope.  My memory is dripping with great times spent in that brown house and most of them include my cousins.  Josh and Julie’s wedding was a beautiful testament of family. Our grandma was front and center taking in every moment relishing in the beauty she helped create. Cori, Julie’s sister was by her side as her maid of honor, my brother, Jeremy, officiating the service, and I was incredibly honored to capture it all. The seats were filled with family and friends beaming for this couple and every detail was beautiful and perfectly placed.

The bridesmaids helped Julie with her final preparations.  The groomsmen didn’t have much primping to do, but were available to keep Josh loose with humor.

Jules looked beautiful as always with an added dash of radiant, and Josh was cutely anxious to see his bride to be.

#capturingessencephotography, #cousinsarethebest, #applegateriverlodge, #loveisintheairJ_and_J_Wedding-509

Everyone looked dashing and prepped and ready to get the show on the road.

The stage was set, the people were seated and waiting, and the opening of Julie walking down the isle didn’t disappoint; tears flowed and smiles were everywhere.  Jeremy did a great job despite all my teasing over his man bun.  Josh & Julie’s vows were meaningful and well-written and they planted a tree in lieu of the traditional unity candle or sand.  The first kiss as man and wife was applauded all around and the exit was electric!

From that point my good friend, DJ Hope took this wedding into party mode!  The staff from Applegate River Lodge was incredible and served up dinner and filled glasses for the toasts.

We took a small break away session at sunset and literally stopped traffic all for the sake of amazing bridge pictures.

The rest of the evening was enjoyed inside for cake and dancing.

A magical day.  I’m so excited to see what the future holds for Josh & Julie!  ❤

Forever Begins Now

#capturingessencephotography, #loveisintheair, #vows

The day couldn’t have been more perfect: family and friends gathered around Boyd & Brittany as they exchanged their vows under the beautiful blue sky and surrounded by blooming flowers.  Their forever begins now!

#capturingessencephotography, #loveisintheair, #vows

I loved shooting this wedding and watching this couple interact.  Planning a wedding can be incredibly stressful, but these two only showed anticipation and excitement for their future.  Every glance between them was filled with joy and adoration for each other.

I tend to get a little emotional when the bride is a daddy’s girl because I flash forward to when my girls will get married and share this moment with their dad.  This was a magical moment for Brittany and her father and I may have cried just a little…I was also 9 months pregnant so I used that as my scapegoat. 😉

Throughout the ceremony and reception there was great words of wisdom shared, lots of laughter, and some good eats including tacos and cake… win! win!

You can tell a lot about a couple by the company they keep.  Sometimes the bridal party is like reigning in baby kittens and sometimes you win the lottery and have an amazing group like this one!  Good looking ladies and gents and respectful of the short window of time we had to get things done. ❤

Right around sunset we snuck away and got some photos by the river.  The lighting matched this beautiful duo and intensified their glow!


It was a fairy tale in the making and I do believe they will see their happily ever after!

Boys & Tonka Trucks

#Capturingessencephotography, #Infantloves, #boysandtonkatrucks

Shawn & Angela were meant to be parents and most definitely dad and mom to at least one little boy!  This little cowboy in training, Hudson, is one handsome fella.  We shot Angela’s maternity pictures right around her 36 week mark and decided to go to the same location and I also decided to combine the blog.  So a little then and now- inside his momma’s tummy and welcomed to the outside world.  Also, I can’t help but be in complete awe of Angela’s breathtaking beauty as a preggo lady- some women get all the luck!

I love watching a new momma breath in her baby and just radiate her love, but watching a daddy be smitten also catches my heartstrings.

#capturingessencephotography, #boysandtonkatrucks, #babylove

#capturingessencephotography, #boysandtonkatrucks, #babylove

I will tell you I’m not surprised by how amazing Shawn is with little Huddy because I have watched him treat Angela like a queen.  Men take note…be like Shawn and all the other good men out there- change diapers, take the fussy baby for car rides so momma can get some sleep, and just fall deeper in love with the woman who gave you the privilege to be called daddy!  A marriage is never one sided and parenting isn’t either so women be like Angela: value your husband’s hard work, take care of him when he get’s a man cold, and love that he gave you one of the best job titles of mommy!  These two are better because they have each other and adding little man to the mix was the best kind of bonus.

#capturingessencephotography, #boysandtonkatrucks, #babylove

#capturingessencephotography, #boysandtonkatrucks, #babylove

Yeah ending right here on that note of baby lips, chubby cheeks, and little man suspenders really wouldn’t be a bad idea, but maybe just a few more with tonka trucks and sweet swaddling.

#capturingessencephotography, #boysandtonkatrucks, #babylove

#capturingessencephotography, #boysandtonkatrucks, #babyloveHudson-94Hudson-99

Congratulations Shawn & Angela- you both are rock stars (but maybe just on this Angela gets the edge of being lead singer because let’s be honest I know what she went through for that little man to be held in your arms) 😉  He is truly perfect!!! ❤


Sweet Dreams are Made of These

#Capturingessencephotography, #EngagementPictures, #Dreamycouple, #Dreamylight

Let me go onto the record and say I would be thee worst car salesman and I have never been great a self-promotion.  So, at the bridal shows I display my work, give a basic overview of what I offer and talk as much as I feel the group in front of me wants to hear me gab.  The last thing I try and do is convince someone that they need me to be their photographer.  I just have always felt that if someone connects with my photography style, my personality, and our services fit within the budget then entering the business side of the transaction becomes the natural next step.  I met Brittni for the first time at the bustling winter session of The Ultimate Bridal Show in Southern Oregon.  We had the initial conversation and natural beauty always strikes me.  She wasn’t overdone, fake or snooty- but definitely gorgeous!  Of course I wanted her to love our work and book us, but I also wanted to know that if she booked with us it was solely because she felt we were the best match for her and her fiance.  She circled the show several times and each time with questions that showed depth to her decision.  I was certain when she left without booking with me that she had found a match in someone else, but I was pleasantly surprised to receive an email a few days later to set up a meeting.  When she booked with us and we started talking about her engagement session I grew incredibly excited about her vision meeting my camera.  She told me her fiance, Travis, owns this exquisite antique car that she wanted to incorporate on their beautiful farm land.  I will be honest people have spoken highly of their homes or cars before and they haven’t always been up to the caliber of their praise- so I have learned to lean lightly on my expectations and hope for the best.  Her boasting was modest if anything.  In my photography world, sweet dreams are made of these: beautiful couples, dreamy light, amazing (or beyond amazing) props, and a backdrop to tie it all back together!

They were so sweet together and even though they said they didn’t know how to “pose” I called their bluff- they moved together flawlessly!  The car itself pulls out some romance, and even though these might be a little forward for some I believe there is still enough room for classy “heat”.

#Capturingessencephotography, #EngagementPictures, #Dreamycouple, #DreamylightTravis_Brittni_Engagement-12#Capturingessencephotography, #EngagementPictures, #Dreamycouple, #Dreamylight

The only thing I was leery of this entire shoot was running into a snake…I hate snakes!!!  As we made our way down to the little river I was shaking in my boots.  It was worth it and no snakes to encounter that day thank goodness!


Then the dreamy light poking through the perfectly placed trees that laid just behind the patch of coveted long grass.  Pinterest is jealous!


I always get nervous for shoots.  This isn’t founded in self-doubt but rooted in a self-expectation to go beyond a photograph and seize emotion.  As we got to the end of the session I felt my nerves ease up and I knew we had captured something spectacular throughout.

#Capturingessencephotography, #EngagementPictures, #Dreamycouple, #DreamylightTravis_Brittni_Engagement-60Travis_Brittni_Engagement-63

Travis and Brittni you are a beautiful couple and thank you for entrusting us to record this time in your life.  We cannot wait for your wedding day!!! ❤


The 28th Dress is all Yours Jules!

#CapturingEssence, #LegacyCaptured, #FinallyHerTurn

Give me a minute while I clear my throat and wipe my eyes.  This one is going to be a doozy.  You know the movie 27 Dresses with Katherine Heigl and insert the coin phrase, “always a bridesmaid, never a bride.”  I love that movie, but I hate waiting to get to the perfect ending.  I also find myself silently cussing out George for being a blind moron for not seeing the perfect Jane right in front of him.  He instead falls head over heals for sister Tess… I mean WHAT?!!!!   All this happening while the silent undertow plot is developing between snarky reporter Kevin Doyle and the yes girl Jane.   In the end her happily ever after starts with all those who she stood beside and they are appropriately decked out in the dress or outfit Jane suffered their wedding in.  Why the cliff notes on one of my favorite movies?  Well, I wanted to reassure you true love is worth waiting for of course!  Also, I wanted to give you a clear picture of this beautiful bride who is also my amazing cousin (fanning my eyes so I can still see enough to type).  So many of my fondest memories include Julie.  Softball, climbing onto rooftops watching sunsets, feeding our grandparents cow Martha while trying not to get shocked from the electric fence, feeding the Koi fish and letting them suck on our thumbs, prom, inadvertently enrolling in University of Hawaii together, and strolling up to a beach that we had no idea clothing was “optional” (we found another snorkel spot fyi).  So you see, I and so many of her friends have this baffled confusion towards every guy who had opportunity and chose to be a moron.  However, I think we get to this part of the plot and realize that Mr. Right had never walked into the scene until now!  There was a different spark in her eyes when she talked about Josh.  After she told me about this guy I may have gone to his place of employment and watched him silently to see if he was a quality type…some people might call that stalking but I call it homework and being a good cousin. 😉  He checked out and I resolved to let things play out the way they were meant to- with a ring on her finger!

I felt incredibly honored when they asked me to be their photographer for their wedding and engagement photos.  We met up at a local park for the engagement session where I was able to properly get to know Josh.  Perfect pair.

He had just gotten back from a long business trip and still managed to meet my crazy demands for each shot.  You know like sitting in the middle of a bridge because that’s natural lol.  Have you ever wondered why we stage ourselves somewhere because it will look cool in a picture, but in real life it’s a super ridiculous place to just reside.  I hadn’t until that moment and now I just laugh every time I continue to place people for the picture perfect background.

As we walked up the path there was so many coves of opportunity.  We stopped at a few but light was starting to fail and we had a specific destination to reach.

A bench in a beautiful location overlooking a river; that was our destination.  It’s a place that will forever hold significance to them.  The first kiss in a forever relationship is something you never forget.

#CapturingEssence, #LegacyCaptured, #FinallyHerTurn

We ended our session at this skinny bridge, but continued our party at a local restaurant for dinner.  I enjoyed the catch-up session with Julie and filling Josh in on the family.   It’s only fair to give the guy a clear picture of what he’s really getting into.  I’m kidding, my family is mostly normal…mostly.

#CapturingEssence, #LegacyCaptured, #FinallyHerTurn

Josh & Julie {cheers} to your happily ever after!  Thank you for choosing me to capture it- ❤