First look bride and groom wedding tips outdoor night wedding with vintage string light romantic portraitPin


The First Look. Most brides either love the idea or hate the idea. The decision to “look or not to look” is a very personal one, but I thought I would shed some light on the subject from both the photographer’s and the bride’s prospective. In case you’re not sure, the first look is when the bride & groom see one another before the wedding ceremony. Usually the photographer has chosen a picture perfect spot for the first look and captures the joy & excitement that the couple experiences in those first moments.

first look bride and groom outdoors at night under vintage string lightsPin

Let me be clear, I am very PRO-first looks. I truly believe that it is SO beneficial to the both the bride and groom and the photographer. Not to mention for the flow of the day. Here are some of the reasons why you might consider a first look.

Your wedding day will be a whirlwind, no doubt. With a first look, you get to orchestrate an intimate time for the two of you to really admire one another. You get to do things on a first look that you wouldn’t get to do when you just walk down the aisle: like talk to each other, hug for 5 minutes straight, or even jump up n’ down with your “oh my gooosssh we’re getting married” giddiness. In fact these may be the only quite moments the two of you get alone together the whole day. The biggest reason why a bride doesn’t do a first look is because she thinks that it won’t be as special when she walks down the aisle. Honestly, nothing will ever take away from that moment. Even if your groom has already seen you in your gown, he’s never seen his bride walk toward him to become his wife. There’s nothing else like it. And you’ll see it in his eyes. Guaranteed.

bride and groom portrait eyes closed romantic next to barnPin

As a photographer I think first look photos are some of the best from the entire day. The emotion is so raw and real. It’s unbelievable. From there we go right into the couples “romance shots”. Taking that time before the ceremony to do photos allows for so much freedom and flow for the rest of the day. Think of it as “insurance”. More often than not, things don’t run exactly on schedule on a wedding day. Say your ceremony starts a little late, then family portraits run behind because no one can find Uncle Jim, leaving you with only 20 minutes before the sunsets which means not much time for photos. Nothing makes me sadder on a wedding day, than when we have to rush through a couples’ romance shots. These are the most important images of the day. These are the ones that you will display on your wall, the ones you will look through a million times and the ones you will use as your profile pic! You don’t want to risk not having enough! And if the day is running smoothly and you’ve done a first look, well then you just have time to relax and hang out with your guest at the cocktail hour – which is always a good thing!

First look between bride and groom outdoors backlight lens flare hugging smilingPin

Lastly, (and I hope this doesn’t sound vain) but you’ll be the most “photo-ready” if you do photos beforehand. Think about, you’ve just gotten your hair & make-up done, your lipgloss is fresh, and every hair is in the right place. Let’s be honest, every bride wants to look extra GLAM on her wedding day. And while you certainly will be the entire day, you’ll be the most stellar right after everything is fresh. The more beautiful you feel, the more confident you will feel in front of the camera.

Again, a First Look is not the traditional thing and ultimately the choice is yours. If a First Look isn’t your cup of tea, that’s totally fine. However, if you’re open to it or have been considering it, I say DO it! I have never had a bride who has done it later wish that she hadn’t.

First look bride and groom under veil outdoors backlight sunset lens flarePin

Confession: When my husband and I got married (almost 12 years ago, that’s right I’m old) we did a First Look and it was awesome! He was less than thrilled with the idea of standing alone on a stage with 200 people staring at him while he waited on me to walk down the aisle. So we did a mini walk through an hour and a half before the ceremony and I’m so glad we did. When I saw Kyle for the first time that day I didn’t want to walk slowly down the aisle, rest my hand on his arm and turn toward the officiant. I wanted to run up to him give him a big hug and a kiss and cry (a little-that’s what waterproof mascara is for)!

I’m so glad I got to be silly and emotional in private – and not in front of everyone we invited to the wedding. And when I walked down the aisle for real it was still special. The difference was the look of abject terror in his eyes was replaced by a knowing smile. A big “yeah, that’s my wife and we’re getting married smile”, and I was able to maintain a mild speed walk down the aisle.

Here are some first look shots from Adrienne and Eric’s wedding. See what I mean?? Priceless images!


first look bride groom outdoors under tree modern boho wedding purple and whitePinfirst look bride groom outdoors under tree modern boho wedding purple and whitePinfirst look bride groom outdoors under tree modern boho wedding purple and white kissing couplePinfirst look bride groom outdoors under tree modern boho wedding purple and whitePin




wedding guest book image purple and white flowers bride groom champgne glassesPin


Everyone has seen the traditional white guest book accompanied by a gold pen for guests to fill endless rows of lines with their signatures. But does anyone actually keep and look at that book after the wedding is over? A savvy bride like you would never waste money on something that doesn’t bring value to your life. There are countless ways for you can make your guest book reflect your personality, relationship, and style. Here are 4 that are gaining popularity:

1. The Signature Mat

wedding guest book alternative matted photo with signaturesPin

Signature mats in a frame are a great alternative to the traditional guest book. Each guest signs there name on the mat provided with the frame. You can add your favorite engagement image to the mat at the wedding, and afterward replace it with your favorite wedding image. You now have a custom piece of art to decorate the walls of your new home! Ask your photographer if they offer these or purchase one your self from a local frame shop.

2. The Video Guest Book

Forgo the whole book concept altogether and have guest express their wishes and congratulations live on video. Ask your videographer to do this for you or go DIY with an app like Videobooth.

3. Custom Photo Guest Book

wedding guest signature book with photo cover of engaged couplePin

This album is very much like a custom designed coffee table book that one would keep in their purse to show off professional portraits to their friends. However, the difference is that this guestbook album is usually printed in a larger format (the following photos are from an 8×8″ book), and include more “open” space throughout the book for guests to be able to write comments and congratulations to the bride and groom. This “open space” could be solid white pages spliced throughout the book, or light backgrounds, or even faded out pictures to allow black ink to show very clearly.

So, in the end, the couple not only has a fabulous book of loving and memorable comments (as opposed to just signatures), but also a very timeless and stylish album of their engagement session. See if this is something your photographer offers.

wedding guest book with mark twain quote to get the full vaule of joy you must have someone to divide it withPin

wedding guest book engagement photo full page with room for signaturesPin

3. Thumb Print Poster

Thumbprint wedding guest book alternitaive thumbprint tree hand drawnPin

Perhaps you would like to decorate your new home with a beautiful piece of hand drawn art like this thumbprint tree from LiWedding. Displayed on your entry table with an acid free inkpad that matches your wedding colors, your guests will bring this tree to life by adding their thumbprints and signatures.

4. Decorative Signature Rocks

signature rocks wedding guest book alternative decorativePin

If you want something really creative that can also be displayed in your new home, try having your guest sign rocks. No, really I’m serious have them sign medium sized decorative river rocks with a felt tip pen such as a fine tipped Sharpie. You can some at a craft store or Amazon and scatter them across your entry table at the ceremony. Provide a bowl or vase for guests to drop them into once they have signed their name or written their message. After the wedding you can use them as vase filler for floral displays or place them in a decorative bowl on your coffee table.


Do you have a great guestbook idea that we don’t have listed? If so leave it below in the comments!



Bridals aren’t what they used to be! Gone are the days of stiff poses and over-hairsprayed up dos. Today’s brides are fun, creative, and beautiful and our bridal sessions are designed to show you just how gorgeous you really are. Schedule your hair and make-up trial for the same day as your session or make an appointment with one of our preferred stylists. Put on your dress and we’ll go have some fun!

Want to bring your groom along? We’re cool with that! We call it a Day After Session. You can schedule it before the wedding, or weeks after it’s all up to you. It’s a great chance to get some more romantic images of the two of you without worrying about the dress, or use a different location than the ceremony site. And it’s included with our Essential and Blue Label packages.

Amanda’s family raises show horses and she was planning a country elegant wedding, so she really wanted to bring her Dad’s favorite horse along for the session. We shot her session at the gorgeous Sorrel Canyon Ranch and took full advantage of their horse barn, beautiful fields, eclectic saloon barn, and expansive sunset skies. Below are some of my favorites.





I’m excited to announce that I will be leader for 7th Annual Worldwide Photo Walk™ right here in Brownwood Texas! The world’s largest photo walk will take place in over 1,200 cities on October 11, 2014.


The Worldwide Photo Walk is the world’s largest global and social photography event, and has grown immensely in size and popularity since the inaugural walk back in 2007. Last year alone, over 30,000 photographers of all walks of life and skill levels took to the streets to explore their corner of the world through photography.


The concept of a walk is simple. Walks are created by Walk Leaders in cities all over the world. Interested participants sign up on the official website, meet at the designated locations – downtown areas, zoos, business parks – and spend about two hours socializing, capturing images and sharing amongst like-minded individuals. After the walk, groups convene at local restaurants or taverns to continue with photo sharing and networking.


In addition to enjoying a day of photography, participants will also have the option of uploading their favorite picture to the Photo Walk contest for a chance to win a one-year subscription to, along with many more amazing prizes, including a Grand Prize winner and 10 finalists selected by Scott Kelby.


While only one image can be submitted to the contest, participants are highly encouraged to share as many images as they’d like through our official Photo Walk group on Flickr at Flickr is one of many valued sponsors to partner with this year’s Worldwide Photo Walk.


There is no fee to participate, but pre-registration is required. All an interested participant has to do is visit, locate their city and complete the free sign up. There is also an application to complete if potential participants would like to become Walk Leaders and host a walk in their city.



We enjoy engagements so much that we include them with our with all of our wedding collections. If you  are booked for less time or booked with another photographer we are still happy to offer you a session and create some wonderfully personal art for your home. The best part of the engagement session is that we get to know you better as a couple and see how you interact together in front of the camera. This can be very important on the wedding day and doing an engagement session can make a big difference in how we photograph you on the big day. Whether your a cool vintage style couple or have an edgy modern style we strive to capture your true personalities and rockin’ relationship. Sessions are laid back, relaxed, and never stressful! Our average engagement lasts around an hour and a half and you are welcome to change clothes to get a variety of looks. Leave the matching white shirts at home though!  Color, patterns, hats, and accessories are your FRIENDS!

Liz and Chase are getting married next year and decided to get a jump on their wedding planning and shoot their engagements this summer. Since Liz has shown horses for years and loves to ride and Chase is the quintessential Texas country boy, doing their engagement session at Sorrel Canyon Ranch made perfect sense.  The views at the ranch are to die for and we could incorporate Liz’s love of horse too. Blow are some of my favorites… enjoy!




Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...