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Up + On, On + Up

personal

Our muscles, which had gone from cold and shaky, were now hot and trembling. The shift in elevation, the pace, and even more the anticipation had contributed to our condition of tiredness, excitement, desperation and delight. We were almost at the top. We’d start the morning out exploring below sea level, with flippers on our feet, and masks covering our face. The water was cold, murky, any mystical. After a meat pie and hot coffee, we trudged on and up, up and on, willing ourselves to keep moving forward.

So much of life feels that way now. But, rather than a majestic view expressed with a sigh of relief at the top, there is question of success, and the many deliberations to wade through while hoping and praying, wishing the answers are written somewhere on some wall. One week from tomorrow, we will have reached the peak. It will be another six to eights later that hopefully the view will become some what more clear. With all of that being said, it is worth taking a moment right now to be grateful for all that has been able to accomplished up until this point, take a deep a breath, and keep moving forward.

australia-nelson-bay
Matt and I overlooking Nelson Bay, Newcastle, Australia | Feb 2015

 

 

Monthly Recap 3/16

personal

Anyone else feel like they have no idea what they did the past month? April is going to be intense and it seems like March was prep for it.

There was this wedding.

Film came back from IFL!! (And here).

I LOVED what this bride had to say about her wedding dress.

Made a last minute trip to go see this munchkin and his mama.

Artifact Uprising is having a sweet deal, now through April 12th.

And ate a grape fruit. Almost every day.

grapefruit

Chapel of Memories + Hewlett Barn | Wedding | Betsy + David

Mississippi

Dear Betsy + David,

Your wedding was full of  the sweetest tenderness. Betsy I love how you honored the memory of your mom by hanging her dress for all to see. And David, the look in your eyes as you promised to love her for the rest of your life filled everyone’s heart’s with joy. I wish you both the best and many thanks for including me in such a special day.

Cheers to both,

Nikki

We started out the day at Hewlett Barn, and even though rain had threatened all week, they day was perfect: cloudy, sunny, and cool.

Betsy + David Wedding | Mississippi State University | Chapel of Memories | Hewlett Barn

Betsy + David Wedding | Mississippi State University | Chapel of Memories | Hewlett Barn

Betsy + David Wedding | Mississippi State University | Chapel of Memories | Hewlett Barn

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Betsy + David Wedding | Mississippi State University | Chapel of Memories | Hewlett Barn

Which is exactly why I asked Betsy if she’d be ok with buttoning her dress up outside…. she was! 🙂

Betsy + David Wedding | Mississippi State University | Chapel of Memories | Hewlett Barn

Betsy + David Wedding | Mississippi State University | Chapel of Memories | Hewlett Barn

Betsy + David Wedding | Mississippi State University | Chapel of Memories | Hewlett Barn

Quick word about Betsy’s bridemaids: they were some of the best I’ve ever worked with, jumping to help at every chance they got, and showering the bride with compliments all day long….

Betsy + David Wedding | Mississippi State University | Chapel of Memories | Hewlett Barn

Betsy + David Wedding | Mississippi State University | Chapel of Memories | Hewlett Barn

And I must say, she deserved them all. Betsy, you’re stunning.

Betsy + David Wedding | Mississippi State University | Chapel of Memories | Hewlett Barn

Betsy + David Wedding | Mississippi State University | Chapel of Memories | Hewlett Barn

After the ladies were finished, the guys came to the Barn to get dressed.

Betsy + David Wedding | Mississippi State University | Chapel of Memories | Hewlett Barn

Betsy + David Wedding | Mississippi State University | Chapel of Memories | Hewlett Barn

Betsy + David Wedding | Mississippi State University | Chapel of Memories | Hewlett Barn

Meet the ultimate junior groomsman.

Betsy + David Wedding | Mississippi State University | Chapel of Memories | Hewlett Barn

Betsy + David Wedding | Mississippi State University | Chapel of Memories | Hewlett Barn

Beer: one of the best ways to calm pre-wedding nerves.

Betsy + David Wedding | Mississippi State University | Chapel of Memories | Hewlett Barn

Betsy + David Wedding | Mississippi State University | Chapel of Memories | Hewlett Barn

I must say David, you and your friends clean up quite nice.

Betsy + David Wedding | Mississippi State University | Chapel of Memories | Hewlett Barn

NMP_0042-hewlet-barn-indoor

NMP-0063-Chapel-of-Memories

The dress in the second image from the left is actually the dress that Betsy’s mom wore on her wedding day. They got married in the chapel, just like Betsy + David and it was the perfect way to honor the memory of her.

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Betsy + David Wedding | Mississippi State University | Chapel of Memories | Hewlett Barn

NMP_0096

NMP_0100

Betsy + David Wedding | Mississippi State University | Chapel of Memories | Hewlett Barn

Betsy + David Wedding | Mississippi State University | Chapel of Memories | Hewlett Barn

Betsy + David Wedding | Mississippi State University | Chapel of Memories | Hewlett Barn

Betsy + David Wedding | Mississippi State University | Chapel of Memories | Hewlett Barn

Betsy, I hope you love your stain glass window photo!

NMP_0140

Betsy + David Wedding | Mississippi State University | Chapel of Memories | Hewlett Barn

Betsy + David Wedding | Mississippi State University | Chapel of Memories | Hewlett Barn

NMP_0152

NMP_0153

Betsy + David Wedding | Mississippi State University | Chapel of Memories | Hewlett Barn

Betsy and David, I hope your wedding day was everything you dreamed it would be. Thanks for letting me be a part of it.

A First Look, To Do or Not?

real-wedding

It’s something I ask each and every one of my wedding clients, pretty early on in our relationship. During a phone call (or in person if it’s an option) and I get to hear a little bit of your story, talk about the vendors and discuss how the planning is (or isn’t) coming along. Then, I ask: “Have you thought about doing a first look?”  (It surprises me with how many brides have already made up their mind by the time they are talking to their photographer.) If they are doing to do one, the biggest reason for doing so is because they believe the day will go by more smoothly (and in some ways, it usually does). The number one reason is that brides don’t want their groom to see them before they walk down the aisle is for the sake of tradition, believing the drama will be all the better and his reaction that much sweeter.

starkville-ms-wedding-photography

Well ladies, I have some news for you. In the dozens and dozens of weddings that I’ve photographed, only two times  have I seen a groom have an emotional reaction to seeing his bride come down the aisle. Usually, the guys are standing to attention, putting on a brave face with clenched hands and a locked jaw, doing their best to hold it together. Fair enough. Hundreds of eyes are on the them, they are probably a little uncomfortable in their suit, slightly sweaty, and full of nerves. If they gave the reaction they wanted to, they’d probably fall apart.

first-look-the-venue-hattiesburg-ms-wedding-photographer

To put it simply, if you want a reaction out of your man, on your wedding, in your gorgeous gown, DO A FIRST LOOK!

jackson-ms-wedding-photography

An added bonus of doing one: you’ll be able to spend more time together on your wedding day. It’s a day that flies by and the person you spend the least amount of time with is the one you’re promising to spend the rest of your life with. By opting to see each other before the ceremony, not only will you have less to worry about after the ceremony, more time together, but time for hubby-to-be to adore you in your dress, and it may even lead to a few tears in his eyes ….and, who doesn’t want that?! (:

tuscaloosa-al-wedding-photography

PS. So, you can see all of my different logos on this post (whoa!). BUT, over the last few months I’ve been working with a designer and while we’ve got a ways to go, what is in the work is epic, absolutely gorgeous, and completely inspiring. I cannot wait to show you!

 

Street 14 Cafe | Astoria, OR | Lifestyle Session

personal

You couldn’t not be at ease there. The coffee was flawless, smooth and strong but not biting, hot but not burning. The surroundings were designed with aesthetics and comfort in mind and executed with perfection.

Stumptown Coffee, Street 14 Cafe, Astoria, OR

Astoria is a historic, beautiful little town complete with wonderful museums, picturesque scenery, and of course, Stumptown Coffee.

Stumptown Coffee, Street 14 Cafe, Astoria, OR

Stumptown Coffee, Street 14 Cafe, Astoria, ORMy dad with his older sister, and though it’s blurry, I find it rather beautiful.

Stumptown Coffee, Street 14 Cafe, Astoria, OR

This little munchkin. He smiles and cheers for her like no one else, and she whole heartedly adores him.

Stumptown Coffee, Street 14 Cafe, Astoria, OR

Stumptown Coffee, Street 14 Cafe, Astoria, OR

Stumptown Coffee, Street 14 Cafe, Astoria, OR

Stumptown Coffee, Street 14 Cafe, Astoria, OR

Lake Lowndes State Park | Engagement Session | Rane + Lucas

engagement

Rane + Lucas,

I love your story, that an app was what brought a software engineering student from Brazil and a girl from Indiana together. I love that you got to know each other on a long car ride. The simplicity, and sweetness of your relationship is so lovely. You compliment each other so well and your interactions are so comfortable and natural.Thank you so much for allowing me to photograph you!
I hope you love the photos.

Cheers,
Nikki

Rane + Lucas said they wanted an outdoor and nature setting for their photos. After looking at some different parks in the area, the settled on Lake Lowndes State Park and I think the setting was absolutely perfect.

Lake Lowndes Engagement Session

state-park-engagement-session

We had originally scheduled their session for the end of last week but due to MASSIVE amounts of rain, we decided it may be best to postpone until it dried up a little. I’m so thankful we did, not only so that we weren’t totally muddy by the end of the session, but it gave some time for everything to blossom….

Lake Lowndes Engagement Session

Lake Lowndes Engagement Session

Lake Lowndes Engagement Session

Lake Lowndes Engagement Session

Lake Lowndes Engagement Session

The two of you are so beautiful, and absolutely gorgeous together.

Lake Lowndes Engagement Session

We’ll end with this one because I think it’s my favorite. Rane + Lucas, many congrats!

Introducing Hannah

photography

Hello! I am thrilled to introduce to you Hannah, my second shooter for the 2016 wedding season. I’ve known Hannah for a number of years now and she has assisted me in a couple of weddings. This year, now that we finally live close to each other again, I’m so excited that she’ll be an official part of the team.  Here are 5 rather fun facts about her. 🙂

Portrait Photography

1. I started drinking coffee in 9th grade. At the time, I was doing ballet and was so exhausted so my mom gave it to me to keep me awake during school. Now, I literary can’t go a day without it.

2. My favorite place is Haiti. Every morning we had fresh mangos and now I can’t eat mangos from the States.

Portrait Photography

3. I talk in my sleep a lot… particularly when stressed.

Portrait Photography

4. If it was socially acceptable, I’d wear chacos all the time.

5. One of my favorite first dates with a guy was when we explored abandoned buildings. It may have included my trying to prove that I was brave but scared the whole time.

Welcome Hannah! I’m so pumped for this season with you!

 

Columbus, MS | Engagement Session | Tori + Jon

engagement

Tori + Jon,

You are the couple the photographers dream of. Aside from being beautiful, your kindness, love, and generosity makes you a delight to be around. Your winning smiles and quick laughter has a way of putting people at ease and  I found myself feeling like I was spending time with friends, rather than working with clients. I love that your families are involved in your story, that is was BOTH of your mom’s thinking that you two would be a perfect match, and it was on Thanksgiving beach trip that you two promised to spend the rest of your lives together.

I can’t wait for your wedding this summer!

Until then,

Nikki

We started out the session at the Columbus Riverwalk. Being that it was a little chilly, the fact that the sand looked like snow was kind of perfect. 🙂

Starkville, MS, Columbus, MS, Wedding, Engaged,  Portrait Photographer, Engagement photos, Downtown Columbus, Columbus Riverwalk

Starkville, MS, Columbus, MS, Wedding, Engaged,  Portrait Photographer, Engagement photos, Downtown Columbus, Columbus Riverwalk

Starkville, MS, Columbus, MS, Wedding, Engaged,  Portrait Photographer, Engagement photos, Downtown Columbus, Columbus Riverwalk

Starkville, MS, Columbus, MS, Wedding, Engaged,  Portrait Photographer, Engagement photos, Downtown Columbus, Columbus Riverwalk

See what I mean, they are gorgeous!

columbus-riverwalk-engagement-session

Once we finished up on the bride, we head over to one of my favorite spots in Columbus, Coggins Alley. A few years ago it was just a little alley way with some vines – now its a beautiful walkway with lush greenery, twinkling lights, and the perfect distressed brick.

Starkville, MS, Columbus, MS, Wedding, Engaged,  Portrait Photographer, Engagement photos, Downtown Columbus, Columbus Riverwalk

I think they liked it too. 🙂

Starkville, MS, Columbus, MS, Wedding, Engaged,  Portrait Photographer, Engagement photos, Downtown Columbus, Columbus Riverwalk

Starkville, MS, Columbus, MS, Wedding, Engaged,  Portrait Photographer, Engagement photos, Downtown Columbus, Columbus Riverwalk

We’ll end with this one because it’s just kinda perfect. Tori + Jon, congratulations! And I can’t wait for August!!