The first time I met Haley I KNEW that we were kindred spirits. I was sitting in Starbucks just before our set meeting time when the most beautiful girl walked in. She was so feminine pretty but totally rocking a black leather jacket with just an air of tomboyishness. She immediately struck up a conversation with someone in line and just exuded kindness and joy. I thought, “DANG! She looks like someone I would be friends with… I really hope that’s Haley!” Sure enough, it was her! Fast forward a few months to her engagement session and honestly- I was just excited for us to hang out and do their favorite things! For the first half of their engagement session we went with the “pretty” images, like photographers are supposed to do. The second half- we tried something new. I spent a little time getting to know both Haley & Shae and discovered how they would plan a perfect day for one another. I incorporated some of that into the planning for the last half of the shoot… and what I found was that it was both “pretty” AND incredibly personal and meaningful. What a win! I couldn’t be happier with the images. I am super excited about all of the fun that lies ahead with these two!
I am so grateful for the chain of events that lead to yesterday. Before I begin explaining about how I found myself deep in the woods on Skidaway Island running with everything I had- I will back up a tad to THE best decision I ever made.
I was living in Athens, Georgia- honestly at my lowest point in life. I was far from my family, heart broken, isolated and I just didn’t know what direction to take in life. I began attending Athens Church, which is a North Point Community Church partner church. I could write an infinite amount of blogs describing all of the good that came from the single day I stepped into the doors, but in this particular instance it all comes down to North Point’s mission to get people out of “rows” and into circles. They claim that life is best lived not just showing up and sitting in a row, but instead sharing your life with those around you. I joined a small group in Athens and found that it was something I never wanted to be without.
Fast forward TEN years and I am in Savannah- honestly living my best life thanks to direction I gained through NPCC and the support of my small groups… and the instant I decided to move I called the Life Bridge church office- also a North Point Partner Church… and told them they best be finding me a group. Haha! I found myself in Chris Raymond’s living room in a circle of some of the most phenomenal women. We did (and still do!) life together. We had no idea just how closely our lives would be woven together for good.
After all of the heart to hearts, encouragement… and yes often wildly inappropriate fits of laughter within small group I never would have been able to see just how beautifully our relationship would progress. When Chris’ oldest daughter Kate discovered she was pregnant and moved to Savannah we clicked instantly. She loves having photos taken and well, I love taking them! I felt SO DANG LUCKY when Kate asked if I would play photojournalist to the most scary then wonderful day of their lives.
Hunter and I were hiking waaaayyyy back in the woods of Skidaway Island when Lily- my intern and friend… who also happens to be Kate’s sister… calls to inform me that Kate has gone into labor and that I should hurry because she progressed from 1-5 cm within an hours time. I was deep into coastal trails, didn’t have my camera and was pressed for time. Hunter and I ran through miles of trails only to realize that we didn’t know which direction the car was in. We ran a mile and a half in one direction… and when we didn’t see the car we turned around and ran two miles in the opposite direction, to realize that maybe we had it right earlier but didn’t go far enough… hahaha! So we decided to split ways and whoever found the car first would get the other. Fast forward an hour of getting my camera and my GPS taking me to all of the wrong places and I arrived with just a little time to spare for Kate’s delivery. There was some concern that she would have to have a C-section since the baby was transverse, but the kind and brilliant doctor helped things along nicely and naturally. Six minutes of pushing later and Max was born! He didn’t breathe for what seemed like an eternity but I’m sure was not actually that long- so when we heard him cry it was such a joyous moment. Max has so many people on his team already- just look at all of the adoring faces! I am super pumped about watching him grow and seeing Kate be a rock star mom. Love you guys!
You can also check out Kate’s blog here. She was recently featured on Cosmopolitan and Starbucks!
Shannon and I have come a long way from when we created a different sort of wedding video, more than 17 years ago- the blessed union of her parakeets… haha! It was such a joy to be able to document a life long friend’s wedding. The Buie Barn could not have been a more perfect location for this southern bride. They go above and beyond to create idyllic wedding days. Gosh… and don’t get me started on the swing! Because of my longstanding relationship with Shannon… I had no hesitation in asking her if she would kick off her wedding shoes to stand and swing from a giant oak tree. I would have probably exercised a little more caution in my requests had I not known that Shannon also loves a little whimsy- so I proceeded on giving her a good push to really create a special photo. The Buie Barn is fantastic for providing so many great locations with photos in mind. My twinkle light loving heart was so happy when the sun had set and everywhere you look sparkled with glowy lights. It was also so sweet to see Shane’s reaction as Shannon walked down the aisle. I wish Shannon & Shane so much happiness and can’t wait to make new memories with you guys!