Destiny & Wyatt – Old City Cemetery, Lynchburg, VA

And then my soul saw you and it kind of went, “Oh, there you are. I’ve been
looking all over for you.

I am so behind on maintaining this blog. I have been to so many weddings, met so many beautiful people this year, and I am looking forward to slowly sharing those here. I will be kicking things off with the first summery wedding of the year, Destiny and Wyatt’s at Old City Cemetery right here in Lynchburg.

Now when I say cemetery you probably said – UMMMMMM!
But hold on. This cemetery is historic, and one of the absolute best places in Lynchburg to take photos. There are gardens, cobblestone streets, a chapel, a swing – you won’t remember it’s a cemetery at all. They even have a small bridal suite available.

While only suited for smaller weddings, if you are looking for an intimate ceremony location I would suggest this one! (Visit https://www.gravegarden.org/weddings/ )

Taking a look inside, you can see just the minimalistic white of the chapel is such a pure, vintage charm.

Inside the Comfort House (the Bridal suite!) they have tastefully decorated. It feels like a vacation home, with summery colors and comfortable seating areas. I will warn you it’s a little tight though, so maybe not best for a large bridal party!

Destiny did a great thing by starting me off strong early in the year with Father/Daughter first looks. I always recommend this to brides who are close to their fathers. I’ve also done brother/sister first looks if that relationship is greater or equally important to you! It’s just a special moment between bride and father, and gives you a chance to pay attention specifically to Dad and make him feel special.

Again, Old City Cemetery works well for small weddings. The space is tight to work in, so I did have to get quite close to our lovely couple, just to maneuver the space. Still, the light streaming in from the stained glass and windows is really gorgeous!

Now, you are asking, where in a cemetery would you take pictures that you won’t see a headstone? But take a look! Not a grave in sight. AND Destiny is a genius who coordinated her bridesmaids dresses with flowers actually in bloom. So complimentary.

This is one of my favorite bridal portrait sessions to date! Check out how great the cemetery can be for solitude, sweet moments, and UGH to die for lighting. Spring at the cemetery is surprisingly life giving.

I need to get back to editing October weddings, but can’t finish this without a shout out to Blackwater Creek Catering and Venue. This was the first wedding in their pavilion area, and it was really a great spot! Scroll through to see some fun times. And visit them at https://www.facebook.com/blackwaterchef/.

Thanks for reading! For more thoughts on this venue or a quote for your wedding photography, please contact me.

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Robin Dreeke, a tale of two headshots.

I’ve known Robin for at least 4, maybe even five or six years now. He was one of the first people to believe in me and my work and I will be forever honored that he not only let me do his headshots, but that I got them published with him in his first book, The Code of Trust. (Available on Amazon) The fun thing is that it was a lucky shot. This was before I really knew what I was doing and shot everything on instinct alone. It’s still a great shot in my opinion. But it was one of maybe three great shots in an album of 40+ photos.

We rise by
lifting others.
– Robert Ingersoll

Not only was I honored that Robin gave me the extra credibility of being a published photographer so early in my career, but I was so honored that he came back for more! We’ve been talking about doing a second headshot session for almost a year now and we finally arranged our busy, entrepreneur schedules to make it work! And this time. Boy, oh, boy! Three years, a photography minor, and a lot of hard work really showed. Instead of two good photos in an album of 40, it was, instead, a struggle to choose the best of the best, cream of the crop photos!

I love having shoots to compare to see how I’ve grown and although usually those shoots are children and families, this one was a really unique and inspiring shoot for me. When I first started as a hobby, I never intended to keep going more than a year or two. Somehow, however, a hobby turned into a love and passion that I will never give up.

So this is to the young entrepreneur. Artist, chef, florist, investor, musician- You can do this. Find the people that believe in you and trust you. Learn through your failures and never – absolutely never- give up. If this is your dream you have it for a reason. Find your why and never lose sight of why you love what you do.

Learn more about Robin and what he does at http://www.peopleformula.com/

3 Tips to Finding Your Perfect Photographer!

Not all photographers are the same. Joy Shots may or may not be the perfect fit for you and that’s okay! Here are theee things to think about when choosing your photographer or deciding if you mesh well.

First, and most obvious, style. What is their style like and is it what you want most in a photo? I almost guarantee you that within your price point there are multiple styles of editing. I have what I describe as a warm, vivid style. Others have more of a dark and moody vibe. Still others have a clean, bright, white style. Do your research. Scour Pinterest and make a board of all the photos you like, not for the posing, but for the editing style. Then look for who matches what you love.

Vision is probably the next most important thing. I feel like this has two parts to it. First, you need a photographer that has artistic vision. Do they use the same pose every time or do they have a variety? You want someone creative who can really bring your memories to life and make your wedding unique.

The other side of this coin is your vision! I know you’ve got a vision, even if you say that you don’t. Tell that to your photographer, or if you can’t verbalise it, do it visually. They need to be excited about your vision and able to bring that to life.

When Mercy told me her vision for a powdered paint shoot, we took time splashing Pinterest boards back and forth, planning exactly how we wanted to do it and bringing what she had envisioned to life. Little did she know that Steven and I were also vision casting for his proposal! Finding someone who can share your vision with passion, whether that is me or someone else, make sure you find that!

Finally, does your personality mesh with your photographer? You’ll be spending all day on your wedding together and you want to work well together and get along! I always make sure we sit down and have a conversation in person or on the phone before you book your wedding. We get to know each other and I can hear your vision firsthand. But I also strongly recommend that we do an engagement shoot! If your boyfriend is potentially proposing soon, consider dropping the hint that you want it photographed or let’s do a couples anniversary shoot before you even get engaged. My wedding packages also come with a discount engagement shoot or included engagement shoot. You need to make sure that you and your photographer mesh well and that’s best determined when you’re across a camera from each other.

Hope this was helpful! If you’re getting married soon or think that an engagement is in your future, let’s talk and see if we are that perfect fit. Email me and tell me about you!

5 Sappy Songs to Get You in a Wedding Mood

I get it. Sometimes you’re just not feeling wedding planning.

There is just SO. MUCH. TO. DO. If you have wedding planning to do, and you need something to get you in the mood, here are a few of my favorite songs that are calming but inspiring! (And, let’s be honest, kinda sappy.)

5- Mr. & Mrs. Beautiful by The Workday Release
Favorite line: “So someday we’ll dress up, pure intentions far behind us. Cause loving you tonight, means I’m ready for adventure.”

4- Wasn’t Expecting That by Jamie Lawson.
The first time I actually listened to the words to this song I almost cried. It is just such a beautiful and at times tear jerking picture of love and marriage.

3- Good Day for Marrying You by Dave Barnes
If you haven’t run across this one in wedding planning yet, I’m surprised. This is an acoustic jam!

2- How to Fall by Josh Wilson
Simple song about falling in love. “When you know, you know!”

1- Girl of My Dreams by Brandon Heath
This is one of my all time, overall favorites. From first meeting to walking down the aisle to empty nest, this song covers all stages of a relationship.

Hope this top five list helped get you back on track with wedding planning. You can do this friend! And ifphotography the next step on your wedding planning checklist, let’s talk!