Sessen + Jordan | Urban Engagement Photographer

Meet Sessen and Jordan. For those Memphians who hang at Avenue, you know this duo. In fact, you probably knew them before they were a duo. I met Sessen in passing at Avenue Coffee. Immediately I knew she was such a encouraging and high-spirited personality. In full 901 fashion, I also met Jordan at Avenue. We had some pretty nerdy camera gear chats! Seriously, when I found out these two were dating, it was a fo’sho thing.

And now!!! – After hanging out for a whole evening, it’s fo’sho a  FO’SHO thing. They compliment each other beautifully. I can see how comfortable and joyful they make each other. It’s evident through even the photos that they feel comfortable to be themselves together. I mean, long story short, Jordan and Sessen killed their shoot. I’m honored they chose me to capture this season of life- all the excitement, new love, and anticipation. The wedding is going to be a freakin’ awesome. Enough chat, just scroll!

 

And for your own humor. Or maybe for ours… I’ve included the behind-the-scenes below! OFFICIALLY, y’all are the freakin’ best, Sessen and Jordan. Let’s see what we can manage to pull off come wedding day! Haha

Holi Festival ’18

Friends! I don’t want to type too much because the photos truly do all the talking. I had the absolute joy and honor to be a part of Memphis’s Indian Holi Festival. My sister and I drove out to the Indian Cultural Center & Temple. Upon arriving we were swept into the dancing and greeted with color-chalked hands. The whole day was filled with absolute joy. We danced together for hours, throwing color in the air and on each other. There were incredible performances by local dance groups as well. We didn’t want to leave!  On the way home my sister said, “I just loved that each person was covered by the beauty of color because they had been touched by others.” It really resonated with me. Community is so important; the presence of people that love you, laugh with you, challenge you, and fill your life with joy. I will never forget Holi Festival 2018. Thank you to the Indian Cultural Center & Temple for hosting this beautiful event, and thank you to everyone who welcomed my sister and me into every moment.

Chicago Wedding Photographer | Kari + John | Downtown Chicago, IL

There are these moments in your life when you meet someone and it just makes sense. For lack of a better phrase… it just is the way it’s always meant to be. That’s how meeting Kari and John was for me. I felt like within 20 minutes I had known them my whole life. We were dancing and playing. We were teasing each other and almost getting run over while running across the streets of downtown Chicago. I felt comfortable to be myself and fully engage in getting to know them.

I know the Lord completely set our paths to meet. After messaging for a mere 48 hours over Instagram, I was waiting at Wabash/Adams L Station for Kari and John.  I think my heart and mind were just overwhelmed with inspiration. The lights, cars, sounds, and skyscrapers surrounding us- it was perfection. I feel like John and Kari are such a combination of personality, humor, and culture. I mean the way they laugh together is just beautiful. Their smiles are gorgeous, and you know their home is filled with joy. I can tell they have encouraged each other to pursue different goals and dreams. They are passionate about people and bringing life to the party! I’m gonna STOP typing and let you get to know them for yourself!

With all this said, a huge thank you to Kari and John for getting downtown and slaying the modeling game! I cannot wait to see you guys again, because some how I just feel like that’s going to happen.

Emily + Brian | Interracial Memphis Wedding

I feel like I start every wedding blogpost with “Where do I begin?” But this time I’m serious. I wish you could have been there. Emily and Brian’s day was sheer celebration. The uniting of two incredible people who have seen each other’s flaws, and embraced them. Who have witnessed each other’s strengths, and only empowered one other to continue using them. Who have catalyzed growth in one another. Who are in pursuit of Christ individually to glorify God together. EEK. Y’all, I could go on. And it isn’t because I idolize Brian and Emily (like I do Kristin Bell and Dax Shepard..ehm..), but because they have welcomed wisdom, counsel, and mentorship. They have not hidden struggle for the fear of losing respect or integrity. In fact, by practicing transparency, they have only gained respect and integrity. It was a full house March 10th, let me tell you. If I hadn’t been behind the camera, my hands would have been red from clapping as they swept back down the aisle as Mr + Mrs Holmes! But I really am getting ahead of myself. Let’s start with the morning.

Emily was joined by some of the most wonderful ladies from every season and home of her life. The house was oozing with laughter, fruit, hairspray, and dresses. After an incredible brunch, Emily passed around some sweet letters. Mrs. Gluntz invited the  women for prayer together over Emily and her marriage, and followed with a beautiful testimony of God’s faithfulness and teaching through her own marriage. We all dispersed to corners of the house piling hair on the tops of heads, curling stray ends, and making funny faces in the mirror while layering mascara (we’ve all been there.) Emily chose to go minimal on her route of makeup. It was a true EmG move, and the lipstick was just the match. I hurried back from hanging with Brian to capture the most beautiful moments of her mama and aunt buttoning up the dress Eliana, her maid of honor, made over the last few months. It fit like a glove, made just for her silhouette. There were tears from all directions (including mascara draining down my cheeks as I TRIED to direct her. LOL). Brian’s best man’s daughters peeped around the corner bursting into squeals. 

Down Summer Ave a few blocks, at their soon-to-be home, Brian pulled out some fresh new shoes and his hand-made tie. Surrounded by his best friends, B greeted me at the door with a huge smile. It was THE day after all. In the living room cards were being played and jokes passed around. I pulled Brian into the kitchen for a quite moment as he opened Emily’s letter and gift addressed to her “future husband.” (If you are disgusted by how gushy and adorable it is, you need to stop now, I might put you over the edge.) Out came some awesome “nooo way, oh my gosh!”s and laughs trying to keep the tears in for later. “No she didn’t!” Inside was a book started nearly in the beginning of their story. Prints, memories, and notes of their journey so far together, followed with some incredible writing in her card (I’m sure!).

We got all the guys into the kitchen for their “groomsman” gifts. Aka, learning how to properly tie a bow tie. Not going to lie, by now I had gotten a text that Emily was ready to get her dress, so I didn’t stay for the full struggle that was going down. But rest assured, I know there was lots of blind leading the blind, lots of laughs, and of course, eleven properly tied bow ties at the end!

Em and B wanted to save their first look for down the aisle. So I took the guys to Overton Park. The nicest security guard let us snap photos and goof around in Memphis College of Art. These guys were awesome; I think you can agree, they killed it!

Next up were the ladies. Em was the only one with the traditional bouquet. She and her ladies spent the morning before wrapping and gluing eucalyptus to hoops for their “bouquets.” It looked stunning with each of their unique dresses and looks. I love all the personality and joy oozing out of these photos. The final countdown was on. We had roughly 15 minutes to get to the church when we left MCA. 

We got Em to the church just in time to have a quick prayer with her ladies. The chapel was filled with excited faces and friends greeting each other with handshakes and hugs. Everyone settled as the bridesmaids came through the doors, followed by precious flower girls, and a wagon of ring bearers pulled by one of Emily’s little sisters. We all rose as Mr. Gluntz came through the doors, with his arm linked with his eldest daughter. Em was stunning. Her elegant dress, huge smile, and swept back hair joined her down the aisle. Brian awaited his bride at the front. I’m not sure about tears between the two of them in that moment, but there were enough tears between friends and family, haha. Brian and Em wrote their vows; they had each other choking up and bursting out in laughter. It was perfect. Their mentors and parents gathered around them for a time of prayer, while the guests lifted up their own voices to the Lord.  Then they were announced Mr. and Mrs. Brian Holmes. We all went wild as they danced on stage before walking down! 

After many hugs, family photos, and all-around joyful cheers, we headed to the Brooks Museum with the wedding party. What a fun crew! Even though we were all ready to go jam at the reception, they made these photos so fun and full of memories!

Now it was time for Em + B’s portraits. The sun was setting quickly, so we only had about 10-15 minutes. We stayed in front of the Brooks for the whole time as it was the brightest spot, and just looked gorgeous with them in front! I love these photos so much. So much happiness to just be together, in each other’s arms. You can see the joy in each laugh and kiss. I love it. I love them!

My favorites. They are pretty much models at this point. 

And as the sun set, we drove to their beautiful reception where over 200 friends and family awaited the new Mr. + Mrs. Holmes! I could just gush for lines, but I’ll try to keep it short. There were beautiful details in corners, apricot jam drizzled over goat cheese, and sparkling cider for each table. After toasts and dances, the floor was open. And when I say we got down, I mean we got DOWN! There was so much freestyling and laughing going on, it was hard to keep up. Every time I turned there was an epic moment going down. Just keep scrolling!

Everything was winding down as we hustled outside! Right before Em + Brian headed into the night, they shared a last dance together. There were empty chairs, shoes spread across the room, and only a few cookies left in baskets; the room was used and loved well that night. I cherish the moment of capturing this dance so dearly. It was a timeless dance.

Emily, it was an honor to photograph your wedding. I love you guys so much, and will count it as a beloved memory forever. I cried, laughed, danced, and was so merry! I’m blessed to know y’all, and to call you dear. To many many more years of Mr. + Mrs. Holmes!

Just wanted to give a huge shout out to Jessica Lauren, who drove down from St. Louis in the midst of her own wedding season and hustle and bustle of life! Jessica, you made shooting Em and B’s wedding a dream. You were there before I even asked, you were one step a head fixing dresses, loading cars, and driving boutonnieres around. Its been an honor to get to know you better, and have you by my side. You are dear friend to Em, and I’m so thankful you got  to be here for this day.

Abi Powell | Cellist | March 2018

This is Abi. She’s a spunky 19 year old living in Tennessee. Abi studies cello at University of Memphis. I’m so excited to attend the one of the concerts her orchestra preforms! I asked Abi what women have impacted or empowered her in her life and how they did that. “My old cello teacher, Hannah, is the best person in the entire world. She is so honest. She wanted me not only to be a better cellist, but a better person. She seamlessly tied in cello with life; how I was suppose to treat people and handle situations. Another would be Jill. She’s accepted me into her family. Lets me be imperfect but also pushes me to grow at the same time. She feeds me, which is a huge love language!” Last year Abi had the opportunity to visit her father’s family in Germany. She spent time in the homes of her aunts and uncles with cousins and friends. “My great aunt in Germany really impacted me. She taught me so much about hospitality and love even when you can’t speak the same language.”

I also asked Abi what it meant to be empowered by others for her? “When people drop the competitiveness. When I feel someone being competitive it makes me sad, because they are losing the opportunity for community. It develops that “I have to better then you.” instead of sharing and learning from each other. Its really empowering for me when other people come together within the same art. ”

I also asked Abi what it meant to be empowered by others for her? “When people drop the competitiveness. When I feel someone being competitive it makes me sad, because they are losing the opportunity for community. It develops that “I have to better then you.” instead of sharing and learning from each other. Its really empowering for me when other people come together within the same art. “