This sweet boy is O.N.E. and as cute as a button! I loved spending time with him and his mom at the University of Tampa. He loved his bear rug and fourth of july themed balloon :)
We woke up the next day to a beautiful sunrise over the ocean and were ready to go explore! We loaded into the vans to go to a local church and the service was truly incredible. Most of the service was spoken in Spanish and roughly translated into English, but I left completely in AWE of how big God is. It hit me that He understood every word in Spanish and English. That he is not just my God in America, but he is the God of this nation in the Dominican Republic and is the God of the entire universe. My thoughts are miniscule compared to the matchless knowledge, wisdom, and power that God has. After we returned to the hotel we had a little down time which made for an awesome opportunity to reflect and rest. That night we went into the community we would be serving in for the next week, and attended an outreach session where we fellowshipped and worshiped together with the Dominican people. The Dominican band played first, and then they asked our worship leaders, Erica and Gabby, to come lead us for a few songs. And let me just tell you they did an incredible job. They started singing the last song of their set acapella, "From the Inside Out", because we didn't have a track. The coolest memory for me (I'm getting goose bumps while write this again) was when the Dominican band knew the song and while Erica and Gabby were singing, they started looking at each other in excitement like "hey we know this song" and picked up their instruments and started playing along with Erica and Gabby in perfect harmony worshipping the Lord together as one people. It brought me to tears, just seeing the unity in the body of Christ. Knowing that the cry of all our hearts, Dominican and American, is to bring Him praise!
From the Inside Out: (Hillsong United)
A thousand times I've failed Still your mercy remains Should I stumble again Still I'm caught in your grace Everlasting, your light will shine when all else fades Never ending, your glory goes beyond all fame
Your will above all else My purpose remains The art of losing myself in bringing you praise Everlasting, your light will shine when all else fades Never ending, your glory goes beyond all fame
In my heart, in my soul I give you control Consume me from the inside out Let justice and praise Become my embrace To love you from the inside out
Everlasting, your light will shine when all else fades Never ending, your glory goes beyond all fame And the cry of my heart is to bring you praise From the inside out Lord my soul cries out.
Chase and I had the most incredible weekend with Darby and Tommy! Not only did we get to have a fun couple's retreat, but we also got to capture their love on camera. We started off Saturday morning with an early sunrise session on Dog Island, which is the coolest (almost deserted) island with beautiful sand and shells. It is where Darby's family has a beach house and has been vacationing all their life. After the pictures we hung out on the beach for the rest of the afternoon and then headed to Tallahassee to a place called The Grove. This house has been in Darby's family for quite some time, and it holds so much history and memories. We could not be more excited for y'all! So without further adieu, here are a few of my favorites :)
For those of you who haven't heard I recently have taken a part time job serving as the High School Ministry Assistant for our church here in Tampa called South Tampa Fellowship. One of my first jobs was being in charge of planning this trip to the Dominican Republic for 46 students, which has humbled and stretched me in the best way possible! I wanted to share some of what we experienced while we were there, just to share with people and serve as a reminder to me of how God moved in incredible ways on this trip. Slowly I want to try and make sure these stories make it to the blog. I figured it would be easiest to break it up day by day! We arrived to the Dominican Republic on Saturday afternoon. After we had made it through the airport and through customs, we had about an hour bus ride to our hotel. We managed to arrive at our hotel just in time to catch the most incredible sunset over the ocean. DR is truly a beautiful island with crystal clear water, beautiful beaches, and tropical plants. That night we got to meet Kenneth and his wife Valerie, the missionary team we would be partnering with for the next week. They are incredible and have such a heart for the Dominican people. Kenneth cast the vision to us of what the next week would look like and how he wanted us to help partner with him! Here are a few pictures from the first night! Stay tuned for more :)
I am so thankful that I know each one of these girls and could not be more excited for them! Senior year is a crazy time, but how cool is it that they have already decided where they are going to college?! The best is yet to come, trust me :)
There is something so contagious about these two. I mean they truly radiate joy when they are together. It was so fun for Chase and I to get to spend this afternoon with them chasing the sunset. Check out some of my favorite shots below (including some fun bloopers in the middle :) ) Shannon and Hayden, we love y'all! Thank you for choosing me to take your engagement pics!
When Emma reached out to me and said she wanted to surprise her husband, Chad, with a photo shoot on Valentine's day I was so excited!! Not only was the surprise successful, but they are so photogenic and the portraits turned out so well. I absolutely loved that Emma incorporated Chad's grandmother's mink into the shoot. They are such a beautiful couple!
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
Mr. and Mrs. Benton McBride
Benton and Chelsea's wedding day was a dream. Their intimate ceremony was held at Siesta Key Beach, FL, which is known as one of the prettiest beaches in all of the US! Lovely red rose petals were scattered up to the altar and a beautiful sunset lit up the entire sky. My favorite detail from their wedding was a monkey (yes, you heard me right) at the reception! Benton and Chelsea's love for one another was so special to see. It was a privilege to shoot this wedding with Jana Candler, of Jana Candler Photo. Here are a few of my favorite shots below.
I had the best time taking Mary Helen and Luke's Plant Senior Calendar pictures! Here are a few of my favorites. There is a picture of the actual calendar at the end. It is seriously so cool to see your work in print. Thanks Mary Helen for asking me to take these :)
I absolutely love capturing proposals! There is nothing posed about them, just pure, raw unfiltered emotions. I just can't help but squeal with excitement every time, because this is the beginning of a couple's beautiful future. It is an honor to me to capture moments that can be passed down from generation to generation.
I met Shannon shortly after moving down to Tampa. I've quickly come to treasure our walks along bayshore, hanging out at church events, and our maybe too frequent Chipotle dates :). I remember when Shannon and I first starting hanging out that she mentioned she was dating a really sweet guy named Hayden and they were getting pretty "serious". So I was really excited when he contacted me about a month ago asking to help him plan how to surprise Shannon with a (stunning, might I add) engagement ring! So Hayden hatched a plan, and I followed along nervously thinking that I was going to mess something up (because I am terrible at surprises) . I told Shannon that I really needed her help photographing a kindergartener's birthday party around noon and begged her to come with me. I got her in the car with my spare camera for her to use, and headed to Curtis Hixon Park where Hayden was waiting. Once we got there I finally told her that we weren't there to photograph a birthday party and handed her a hand written note from Hayden. Now I'll let the pictures tell the rest of the story...
P.S.- It's a really happy ending :)
I had the privledge of shooting this rustic barn wedding at Lindsey Plantation with my sweet friend Jessi, of Jessi Nichols Photography. It was such a special day celebrating the marriage of Kyle and Lauren. It was obvious to me only just meeting them the day of their wedding how genuine their love for each other was. The ceremony was held outside in a beautiful field followed by such a fun reception inside a gorgeous barn where the guests danced the night away! Congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. Neely! May the Lord continue to bless and guide your marriage.
I had the best time with the sweetest couple! Their love for each other is so special. I loved how Daniel made Lauren laugh the entire session. I am so excited for them as they get married TOMORROW! Much love to you both as you enter into the sweetest adventure of your life.
This past weekend Chase and I made a trip to Clemson, SC for the Homecoming game. The first morning we were there was extra special because we got to spend time with Keri Anne, Will, Max (their sweet golden retriever), AND... their baby girl that is on the way. My heart nearly exploded just from being able to see them and see how radiant Keri Anne is!! The beautiful fall weather truly just added a whole level of gorgeousness to this shoot. It was such a special day! Here are a few of my favorite pictures of these two love birds in maternity bliss! Baby Rachel is coming in January! I can't wait to meet you, little one. You are already adored and loved unconditionally.
Meet the Greening family! I had the best time getting to know them and be able to play with their two precious boys. It was a beautiful night in South Tampa.
Congratulations to the sweetest couple I know! Conner proposed to Mary Beth right next to the river at Falls Park in Greenville, SC. It could not have been a more beautiful night. I sneakily hid in the bushes to catch some of these precious moments! I cannot believe that it has been a year since this moment. Chase and I are so blessed to have y'all as friends!. We love you so much. Can't wait to see what God has in store for your life together :)
I had the best time taking these lovely bridal portraits of my sweet friend Amanda. These were taking at her grandparents house and were so special. All I can say is wow, Phil you are one lucky guy! Praying blessings over y'alls marriage!
I have absolutely loved getting to know Kaitlin over these last couple of months! Not only is she extremely gifted at writing, graphics, and web design, she is also seriously stunning! I mean come on! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for empowering me to be able to do what I love and share it with the world. Make sure to check out her blog at http://www.sew-my-soul.com.