As I was putting together this post of Allison + Johnny’s cloudy walk through Brooklyn, right up to the water’s edge, I haven’t been able to get the chorus of the Avett Brother’s “I and love and you” out of my head.

“Brooklyn Brooklyn take me in.”

Although these two have no trouble saying I and Love and You — as you’ll be able to tell from these photos.

Not going to lie, I probably edited every single one of these photos abouuuuut seven times. I kept going back and forth between trying to make the photos appear sunnier than it was but then I would hate it because then the photos didn’t feel like that nighttime, cloudy walk through the city felt. So, as you’ll see, I’ve finally embraced the grey that cloudy sky dealt. This session shows one of my absolute favorite ways to take portraits, just exploring with a couple — a general destination in mind but with the photos less about a performance as much as focusing on genuinely enjoying our time, the company, the evening and, in this case, the city.

Goodness gracious I’m obsessed with shooting in cities. I love the natural energy, excitement and exploration that comes with being in New York City. There’s so much story there, hence why I can never get enough and am always looking for an excuse to go back.

And in case you made it to the end of the post and are scratching your head like, “Wait, didn’t I JUST see these people on your blog, Jillian?” The answer is yes and yes. The reason is that they are wonderful and I’m obsessed with them. Which brings me to the second song this post reminds me of, a Whitney Houston classic:

“AND IIIIIIIIII-EE-IIIIII, WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOUUUUUUUUUUU-OOOOO-OOOO-OOOO”

That song goes out to Allison, Johnny and NYC — xoxo, Jillian

 

Let me tell you what I liked about Megan + Brian’s wedding — they did what made them happy.

You’ll notice as you go through this post that they spent a fair amount of time on their wedding day off in the gardens, together. Because that’s what made them happiest. I loved it I loved it I loved it.

In her initial inquiry to me Megan wrote, “I want to look back on my wedding day years from now and feel the same feelings I did on that day. Your photography is beautiful and I think it does that.” It made me smile when I first read it and it makes me smile even now looking back on these images because preserving the mood and emotion are my top priorities as I walk into someone’s wedding day. Enjoy a glimpse into what Megan and Brian’s rainy-turned-golden Dallas Arboretum wedding felt like.

These images of Megan just minutes before the start of her ceremony, so thoughtful and so giddy, make my heart happy.

Vendors:

Venue – Dallas Arboretum

Floral – Gathered Floral Design + Events

Bride + maid of honor hair + makeup – Sydney Lopez

 

You guys, I could just about cry looking at these photos, reminiscing about this morning spent with Kelsey and Talon at sunrise along the Seine. What a gift it was to take these photos, in this truly magical city, of two such refreshing, lovely people! This shoot was invigorating. There are times when I put work out into the world and I really hope that other people like it, that they get what I’m going for, that it’s well received. (That’s the majority of the time and I don’t think it’s a bad thing, I just don’t want it to own me, ya know?) And then there are times like right now when I feel SO DANG STRONGLY about this work being everything that I want it to be, about it capturing that very morning and these very people that I’m happy with it just existing. I’m happy just to have made these photos. I’m happy just to have been there.

In July James and I had the immense joy of visiting some friends of ours who moved to Paris at the end of last year (HI, COLIN AND CINDY!! OH MY GOSH I MISS Y’ALL) and in the months leading up to the trip I saw Kelsey post on her instagram that she and her husband were going to be in Paris THE SAME TIME AS US. Funny story, we all used to live in the same city (Denton, WOO!) but never had a chance to actually meet in person so logically the time to make that happen for the first time was on the other side of the world, at sunrise.

Kelsey and Talon love big and that is for real one of my most favorite things to photograph. Other things to note — it was super chilly and James shivered his way through the shoot, my brand new shoes wouldn’t stay on my feet and kept slipping off THE. ENTIRE. TIME. and my eyes watered so much that Kelsey lent me mascara for the second half of the shoot AND taught me how to curl my eyelashes (HASHTAGfriend material). Also when we were all finished taking photos (Kelsey took some of us too and I love love love them so!) we all had coffee at Shakespeare and Co and sat at a table next to Dianne Wiest (which was especially exciting to me because I had JUST finished watching “Life in Pieces”).

Take me back, take me back, take me baaaaaack. As they say (“they” being Audrey Hepburn as a character in the movie ‘Sabrina’ so like, do I attribute that to the writer?? QUANDRY! I digress.) — Paris is always a good idea. Enjoy some of my favorites from their shoot along the Seine.

As you were reading the opening paragraph of this post you were probably rolling your eyes like, “Yeah, I’m sure that’s reeeeeeeeally hard for you to feel this strongly about photos taken in PARIS, Jillian.” (and first of all, touchè haha) but also I think that’s one of the joys of traveling to a new place to shoot and, in my humble opinion, it’s a reason to at least not rule out hiring a photographer you really connect with to travel to you to shoot.

There’s wonder that comes with fresh eyes.

And please do not hear me say that it’s impossible for people to maintain their air of wonder about the place in which they dwell (Y’ALL KNOW I LOVE DENTON), and there’s certainly something that comes with a photographer who is knowledgable of an area. But all I’m saying is, wonder is a magical thing. It’s an inspiring thing. And I will always, always be open to traveling to shoot in new places and bringing all the wonder with me when I do!

 

Ever since my childhood, when we’d watch Boy Meets World on TGIF every week, I’ve had a long-running obsession with Cory-and-Topanga type relationships. I mean, what are the chances of meeting the person you’ll marry and spend the rest of your life with when you’re still a practically a child yourself? There’s something about knowing and loving someone in some of their (and your) most formative years, emerging on the other side of adolescence together, entering adulthood together and being able to say, “It’s you. I still choose you. You are the one.”

Kim and Caleb, having first met each other as a freshman and a sophomore in high school marching band, have this tried and tested steadiness and sureness about their relationship that is so striking to me. Being invited in to the culmination of their nine years together at the point of their engagement and wedding was such an honor. Honestly at the wedding, being surrounded by the friends and family that had been there as witnesses to all the years of Kim-and-Caleb, I had the remarkable feeling that I had been given the privilege of jumping the line and walked right inside for the opening of a show that everyone had been waiting for years to come see. It was special and it was sweet and it was so very, very good.

You’ll see a lot of musical elements throughout their wedding day (LOOKIN AT YOU, FLOWER-FILLED TRUMPET) because they first connected in band and over music — Caleb is even a band director himself now! As always, getting to work with Jen Rios Weddings was THE BEST EVER and I cannot recommend her to my brides and grooms enough. Scroll to the end of the post to see a full vendor list — they’re all wonderful! And now for some of my favorite photos from Kim and Caleb’s Fort Worth wedding this June.

Videography | Handcrafted Wedding Films

Planning & Design | Jen Rios Weddings

Floral Design | Everly Alaine Florals

Desserts | sugar bee sweets bakery

Rentals | May I Serve U – Party Rentals and Staffing + La Tavola Linen Dallas + Pretty Little Plates

Paper | Ally B Designs + Goldie Design Co.

Beauty | Beauty & the Blush Artistry

Catering | Magdalena’s

Entertainment | Rob Williams

Ceremony | TCU Robert Carr Chapel

Reception | Brik Venue

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