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Hello, and happy November! Today I am writing to you to tell you (and show you) all about some photo/business fun I had while I was in Texas last month! You might have seen all this goodness posted on my social media (@sheabriannephotography), but here is the real deal! My film scans are back and I am sharing them with you today, along with some words about my experience.

Last month I had the opportunity to attend Bloom Bash Dallas, a creative business workshop for entrepreneurs. This two-day workshop was packed with break out sessions on everything from marketing to styling invitation suites. Guys, I learned so much and walked away with so many new friends! I’ve attended quite a few workshops now, but this was one of my favorites. I think the part I liked best was that this was a workshop for all kinds of creatives– florists, photographers, bloggers, interior designers, event coordinators, and the like. There was no sense of “competition,” but loads of excitement and encouragement for each other!

The learning experience included topics like branding, client experience, shooting in manual, blogging tips, and social media, and if you know me, these are my love languages. It’s always so refreshing to go to a retreat like this and being able to talk to passionate business owners who get excited about this kind of stuff and not feel like you’re crazy! In addition to these learning times, we also had some hands-on activities to practice our creative skills. These break-outs included floral design (which I learned I am surprisingly not that great at! haha), styling invitation suites, calligraphy (my favorite!), and of course, a full-on styled shoot with all the trimmings! I left Bloom Bash feelings ready to take my business to new heights, but also creatively refreshed because of all of this creative fun!

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In preparing these photos for this post the last couple of days, I have been considering what to write about Katie and August’s beautiful Big Cedar Shooting Academy Wedding. I thought about talking about sweet Katie is (because good Lord, is she SWEET), and I also thought about writing about how much I loved that there was the perfect amount of both August & Katie during this day– lots of flowers for Katie, and hunting lodge decor for August. I could talk about how beautiful Katie’s dress was or how perfect all of the details were, but what I really feel like I should talk about is how uncommonly blissful this wedding was. I don’t think I realized it on the day of, but this wedding was so much more than just beautiful. It wasn’t just that it went smoothly or that the lighting was perfect or that things just worked out. There are certain weddings that are simply unforgettable because of some unspoken, indescribable quality that is built by the most wonderful of people who are there and the love that they are sharing during this celebration. This is one of those weddings.

As a wedding photographer, I’ve seen a lot of weddings. Many might be surprised to know that all weddings are very different! The idea that a photographer can come in with a same-old, same-old shot list and sail through the day is a misconception. Wedding days are typically fast-paced, fun, beautiful, chaotic, emotional, and everything in between. Rarely can you completely know what to expect! However, I have to say that Katie and August’s wedding was different. The day went very smoothly, but aside from that, it was so joy-filled that it almost didn’t feel real. As I edited through these images, I found myself smiling at how big Katie’s smile was the ENTIRE day. Her happiness was so pure and unadulterated that it literally glows in these images. SHE glows in these images. And also, I found myself giggling a little bit because August is such a man– always composed and very serious-looking, but at certain moments, you see him looking at Katie with this slight grin and can just tell that deep down, she is his soft spot. Nothing is sweeter than those little nuances being captured throughout a wedding day. It’s those things that I live to chase after.

From the start of the day, like I keep saying, Katie was a total gem. She brought along her beautiful invitation suite (I mean, LOOK at it!) along with a soft pink bottle of perfume and her grandmother’s ring (her something old). I adored photographing these. Sidenote: the little leaves and flowers styled with the details? Totally just ripped them off a nearby bush to add some color to the shots! Katie, if you owned that place where you were getting ready, my apologies! Also, I loved Katie’s bridesmaids. Seriously. Best bridesmaids ever! They were so kind and so helpful throughout the day– and it didn’t hurt that they were all drop-dead gorgeous!

While I was shooting with the girls, August was doing some shooting of his own with the guys (gun shooting, that is). So typical for the guys to not have to get ready until an hour before the ceremony and to be doing something like that! When we arrived at Big Cedar’s Shooting Academy, I was so excited for the ceremony! This was our first time shooting here, and as usual, Big Cedar did not disappoint with this new venue. All of their viewpoints have amazed me, but this one?! PERFECTION. I mean, the sunset hits the hills like magic and pink and purple clouds were flooding the sky with this beautiful light. It was literally what my dreams are made out of! But, don’t take my word for it, look for yourself!

I could go on and on about why I loved this wedding and why I adore this couple so much, but I’ll continue their story in image form from here. Katie and August, we love you guys and were honored to be a part of your day. Thank you so much for choosing us and for trusting us with your wedding day! And to your families– you are so lucky to have these two in your life! I appreciate my couples and their families so much for making my dream job a reality, and for letting me be a part of such a special and beautiful season of their lives! I hope you cherish these images forever!

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To say I was honored to take these newborn photos of baby Bennitt is an understatement. I have known Charity for a few years now, and have absolutely loved getting to know her. She is one of THE sweetest and kindest and most joyful people I have ever met. I remember when I first met her was when I was looking for a florist for my wedding a few years ago. I remember two things about that meeting: I remember that she was so beautifully passionate about flowers, and I remember leaving wanting to be a more gracious and joyful person like she was.

When Charity told me she was pregnant, I was so excited! But little did I know I would get to have the honor of documenting this story with she and Ben. I know that many years down the road, this family will leave a legacy behind for this sweet baby; a legacy of love, joy, and kindness– a road paved by these two sweet parents. To think that I got to be the one to take these photos that their family might look back on someday to remember this legacy gives me such a full heart.

I hope that you enjoy this newborn story as much as I do.

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I made a mini road trip to Bolivar for this sweet anniversary/couple session with Terrie and Jeremy. I shot Terrie and Jeremy’s first anniversary photos last year in the most gorgeous field, and was thrilled to get to take photos of them again this year! It’s so amazing to me to meet up with clients just a year later and hear how much has changed in their lives in a matter of a few months. Aside from the adventure of marriage, this year Terrie and Jeremy have been on a new journey, which I loved hearing about on their session– and, it has a lot to do with this beautiful white house that we shot in front of!

This white house is where Terrie and Jeremy mentor at-risk youth in their area each week. Hearing their stories of these children, teens, and even babies almost brought tears to my eyes. They told me that while it is difficult, the reward is in knowing that they are feeding those who might not have someone else to take care of them– and by feeding, I don’t just mean a meal, but also the kind of food that feeds them emotionally, mentally, and spiritually through the Word of God, kindness, and unconditional love.

I love Terrie and Jeremy’s story and that I was able to capture this season of their life. My hope is that someday, many years down the road, they will look back at these photos and remember everything that took place in this house and on the chalk-colored sidewalk and know that what they did was worth it, and that it was good.

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Settled in the hills of Provence, France is a little town called Grignan. This was where the sweet vow renewal of this couple took place. A day filled with the faint scent of the end of lavender season, a gentle breeze, and the most bespoke of details. Looking through these images, I feel like this was all a dream. To be in France with such a kind, loving couple and documenting their love is everything I could ever hope for. I hope you enjoy the images of these two as much as I do!

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Venue: @domainedesarson | Model: @juliannaleemurphy
Florals + Design: @oleandercurated
Hair + Makeup: @jol_stylist
Julie’s gown: @clairelafaye | Tie: @neckandtieco
Ribbon: @honeysilksco
Sponsored by: @fujifilm_profilm | Film lab: @photovisionprints