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.

Tennessee Lovers | Ragan + Maclin

My beautiful wonderful friends let me take more wedding photos of them post-wedding. I met them at the cabin that has been in the family for generations, built by the hands of the Williamsons. They took me to their favorite places on the land including the “party tree” where they had dreamed of having their reception. We partied together that morning. Ragan radiates beauty, she is a simply breathtaking bride and wife. Maclin cares for her in a way I dream of being cared for one day. They laugh a lot together. They hold each other tight. They believe in marriage for life. 

Fabrice + Katia | Lyon, France

This pair! What a memory to have! Back in April, I spent some time in Lyon, France visiting friends. While there, Kelly and Dave’s friends were excited to take some mock wedding photos. So they got all dressed up, and off we went for a short time in the city.

Fabrice spoke little to no English. Katia spoke English well and Kelly helped with any hard translations. Honestly, we just laughed the whole time. It was such an incredible experience to explore a city like Lyon. I couldn’t have asked for a more sweet and in love couple. I gave them questions to answer to each other to spark reflection over their relationship. I couldn’t get over the way they looked at each other, every touch with care and love. I didn’t want the session to end.

Exciting news! They just welcomed a sweet son into the world! Hope I can go back and visit one day.

thanksgiving | no phone, no laptop, just mountains + family

I spent most of last week with my family in a cabin tucked away in the mountains. I decided a while back (with much encouragement) to take complete holiday. laptop free. phone free. WORK FREE. It sounds simple, it really does. Even I thought it was kind of a small order, but as the weeks went by… the to-do lists grew and the editing pile built.

So, that week I learned two things.

1. It’s okay to sprint, as long as you aren’t trying a marathon at that pace.

2. Some times the second mile isn’t in reach, and THAT’S OKAY. You just have to let certain things go. You can’t manage it all. No one hates you for being a small person, with 24 hours a day.

After a long-haul 4 a.m workday/night, I woke up Wednesday morning and quickly packed. We hit the ground around 8:00a.m. At about 8:15, I deleted instagarm, facebook, and snapchat, and turned off notifications for emails, messages, whatsapp, and phone calls. I was officially off the grid.

The get-away was wonderful. I took about 100 photos the whole week… which is shockingly low in my books. I went on my first few hikes without a camera in years. Feeling a new sense of bravery climbing rocks and looking over edges with the lack of camera-anxiety. I wasn’t quite aware just how much I don’t try or do with my camera strapped to me.

Even when I wanted to, I couldn’t reach for my computer to check an email, or edit even when I was in the “mood.” Instead, I did lots of yoga, reflection, reading, and card-playing. I am slowly trekking my way through Creative Confidence by Tom and David Kelley. Gosh, what spark to light before coming home! Seriously, this book has me dreaming big, ready for action! Highly recommend it even though I haven’t even finished it yet.

For actual Thanksgiving, we all slept in till our hearts (and bodies) desired. We aren’t a major traditional-food kind of a family, so we opted out of turkey and stuffing for our family favorite: Raclette, the description for which is:

“Raclette was mentioned in medieval writings in texts from Swiss-German convents dating from as far as 1291,[4] , it’s a particularly nutritious meal, originally consumed by peasants in the mountainous Alpine regions of Valais (Switzerland), Savoie and Haute-Savoie (France). It was then known in the German-speaking part of Switzerland as Bratchäs, or “roasted cheese”. Traditionally, cow herders used to take the cheese with them when they were moving cows to or from the pastures up in the mountains. In the evenings around the campfire, they would place the cheese next to the fire and, when it had reached the perfect softness, scrape it on top of bread.”

“A modern way of serving raclette involves an electric table-top grill with small pans, known as coupelles, in which to melt slices of raclette cheese. Generally the grill is surmounted by a hot plate or griddle. The cheese is brought to the table sliced, accompanied by platters of boiled or steamed potatoes, other vegetables and charcuterie. These are then mixed with potatoes and topped with cheese in the small, wedge-shaped coupelles that are placed under the grill to melt and brown the cheese. Alternatively, slices of cheese may be melted and simply poured over food on the plate. The emphasis in raclette dining is on relaxed and sociable eating and drinking, the meal often running to several hours.”

AND lastly, in so many words, these are a few things, this year, I am thankful for:

  • My family, including time with my brother in law, Josh.
  • Freakin Memphis and its amazing creators
  • Opportunity and the risk friends and clients have taken to support me
  • Planes and tickets that have taken me around the world this year
  • Best friends who don’t let Facetime feel less than an in-person coffee date
  • Memphis water
  • Friends’ babies that make me want to hold a baby. (that’s you, Clark Daniel and Liam Knightly!)
  • Evergreen trees + wildflowers that sneak up in places they shouldn’t
  • The Michalaks, The Mustards, Sprinkle of Glitter, Our Tiny Tribe, and Safiya Nygaard (to name a few of the youtubers who inspire me weekly.)
  • Butternut Squash
  • Twinkly lights and brick walls
  • My faithful car that has carried me far

Here are a few of my captures from Thanksgiving in the Smokies: