I’m going to share with you some of my favorite images from the course of 2018. I am so unbelievably thankful thankful thankful to all the people who trusted me to document their lives this year. I know these moments are precious, I feel it in my bones, and I never take that responsibility lightly. I witnessed the very first day of many families, the additions of new life into the world and homes. I captured the momentous and also quite a bit of the everyday. With my camera I documented stories of love, hope, growth, waiting, beauty and joy. So much joy. What a beautiful year spent photographing some of the most beautiful souls. Thank you all.

It started off with Jessica + Ryan’s Hall of State wedding

Included a whole lot of families photographed in their homes (my favorite place to photograph families)

Shai + Brent made Dallas look real good for their engagement session.

My first ever round of mini sessions at The Lumen Room were so much fun that I planned a second round of mini’s just five months later. Here are some from the first round:

More state park weddings in 2019, please. I so enjoyed Adi + Julian’s relaxed and intimate Huntsville state park wedding.

I got the honor and privilege of photographing several previous brides’ and grooms’ welcoming new babies into their families!

I documented Jacob + Liz in their first home before they jumped into a brand new adventure together.

In April I flew to South Carolina for Emmaline + Nikita’s engagement session on Duke University campus.

Aanchal + Nick had two full days of wedding celebration complete with mariachi + barat!

Esther + Trevor’s SMU Perkins Chapel + Filter Building wedding day was a dream dream dream.

I so enjoyed shooting at The Darkroom studio for the first time for Taylor’s bridal portraits.

I don’t always get to do birth photography with my wedding schedule but it just so worked out for me to be at little Ella’s birth and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

Taylor + Johnny’s Brik wedding with Cloud Creative Events + Everly Alaine Florals was dreamy as all get out.

Annnnnd then came the second round of mini sessions at The Lumen Room (shot while I was 32 weeks pregnant).

Emmaline + Nikita’s wedding was my first Russian Orthodox wedding ceremony to photography, which was so fun. I so enjoyed their portraits + reception at Hotel Crescent Court.

Jessica + Kolby’s Cliff House morning wedding was such an absolute delight.

And I wrapped up 2018 with Katie + Kyle’s Oklahoma wedding at Southwind Hills.

If you’re still reading, GOOD JOB! It’s a longgggg post, a whole year’s worth, in fact!

 To end, I could think of no better way to further illustrate how much I value documentation and preserving memories than by showing that I do the same for my family. This year we were so blessed by the addition of baby boy Jones Cedar to our family. Here are a few of my favorite images I’ve captured in my own home over the past couple months since his arrival.

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She’s here — our darling daughter, Juniper Clementine, arrived at the end of last month. We are absolutely smitten. I have been soaking up each and every precious, snuggly moment with her during my maternity leave, hence the radio silence on the blog. But don’t worry, I’ll be back to shooting again full time in mid-November. In the meantime if you’d like a peek into my day to day with our Juni feel free to hit me up on Instagram: @jillian_zamora_photo. This photo was taken when she was just two days old and my-oh-my how much she’s grown already.

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In my last post I shared some of my favorites from Sam + Dustin’s Seattle engagement session (if you haven’t seen those yet, check them out here). This blogpost will pick up where that one left off and show some moments from the following day spent touring the city, followed by many grand adventures in Bend.

Day 1 // Seattle

I say “moments” instead of “highlights” because looking back at these photos I didn’t document all of my favorite things — like the DELICIOUS brunch where sweet Sam met up with us that was so much fun that I never wanted it to end. My dear friend Allison was in Seattle shooting a wedding the same day I was there for Sam + Dustin’s shoot so we got to MEET UP AND HANG OUT IN SEATTLE TOGETHER SO HOW COOL IS THAT?!?!?! Life is awesome. And her friend/room-mate, Natalie, was there too because she had second-shot with Allison the day before so I finally got to meet this girl that Allison had been raving about for months. Win-win. You’ll be able to tell we’re all photographers from the following photos because there are a lot of portraits — we just couldn’t help ourselves.

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The hands pictured above are mine — I couldn’t very well leave coffee out of a blogpost about a trip to Seattle. Photocred to Allison . . . or Natalie . . . either way WOO MILSTEAD & CO!

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The next leg of my trip was actually in pretty little Bend, Oregon to see the area where Allison had been living for the past year after she moved out that way for grad school. I had SO MUCH FUN on all the outdoorsy outings Allison took me on particularly because James is not a fan of the great outdoors, so while in Oregon I took every single opportunity I could find to breathe in the grandeur that is the Pacific Northwest.

Day 2 // Tumalo Falls

This morning was actually super-relaxing. I dropped Allison off at one of her grad school classes and then explored in town a bit on my own, got me some amazing breakfast and laid in a hammock drinking coffee reading Valley of Vision until it was time to pick Allison back up. For a small business owner whose work literally never stops, this was divine. Later that afternoon we met up with Allison’s boyfran Johnny to go belay down a waterfall. Just your average day in Bend.

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Below is my nervous laughter like I’m totally cool with the fact that my life was going to be in the hands of a guy I’d just met that day. (For the record, it turns out Johnny is pretty trust-worthy.)

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Day 3 // Smith Rock State Park

So the trees in Bend were suuuuuuuuper yellow (yes, all 8 of those ‘u’s are necessary) and we spent most of the morning marveling at this fact. The rest of the afternoon was spent at Smith Rock State Park which I really cannot state emphatically enough how beautiful it was. We hiked up Misery Ridge and you’ll notice there aren’t that many photos of our route up because I was panting too much to take photos, but the views were seriously so great I would do it again in a heartbeat next time I get the chance.

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Okay so there is a funny story that goes with the next two pictures. We were walking along the trail deep in conversation when we pass this 3-4 foot snake and Allison just walks right past it like it’s no big deal and I’m all “Ummm, shouldn’t we acknowledge this sizable snake with some sort of exclamation at the very least??”

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Not ten minutes later we’re still walking and talking and all of a sudden Allison lets out a full-fledged scream . . .

. . . AT THIS TINY 6 INCH BARELY-EVEN-A-SNAKE.

To this day I refuse to stop giving her a hard time about her inappropriately proportioned reactions.

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Day 4 // Proxy Falls

OH ME OH MY this was the day I saw the most beautiful site I’ve ever seen — Proxy Falls. We stopped for coffee in Sister’s and I looked every single person I passed in the eye just to check and see if any of them were Rainn Wilson (none of them were, but it didn’t hurt to make sure), then we set out on the most glorious road trip. First we drove through the lava fields (those were made of lava). Next, just picture this scene with me: winding mountain roads lined with massive trees filled with yellow and orange leaves, perfect fall weather, Sigur Ros playing on the radio, and your arm hanging out the window while you take it all in. I think if the ride to Proxy Falls had not been that momentous I might have straight up dropped dead when I first saw the falls but at least this way I had a bit of a warm up.

It was a little hike to the falls, during which we ate our delicious, home-made sandwiches that Allison concocted (but really, Allison, send me that recipe please) and before we knew it we there there.

Proxy. Falls.

Just . . . wait until you see the photos and see if you still think I’m making too big a deal out of this. Actually, the pictures really don’t do it justice, but at least they’re something.

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Obviously any of the photos that I’m in (other than this one below) were taken by the lovely Allison Harp.

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And as if one waterfall per day were not enough, we ended the day at Sahailie Falls.

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The next day I didn’t take any photos because my super-gracious host and I were out of the house by 6 a.m. to get me to the airport. That right there is the mark of a good friend.

Allison, let’s do this all again ASAP, mmkay? Thanks.

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All cards on the table, this will be a very long blogpost. At first I thought I would try and do two separate blogposts — one of my personal travel photos and one of my dear friends’ German wedding day. But when I tried to separate them, I couldn’t do it. The entire reason we went to Germany was to celebrate the marriage of Meagan and Marvin, so I couldn’t very well separate any of the trip from that. It’s what the trip revolved around.

Why do I have a friend getting married in Germany you ask? Because she met and fell in love with a German man, of course. When Kelsey and I found out the wedding would be in Germany we didn’t even hesitate for a second — we WOULD be getting on a plane in September to see our best friend marry the love of her life and there was no other way around it. So that’s exactly what we did.

As if LIFE COUDLN’T BE SWEETER than getting to travel across the world to be with our best friend, her fiancé and both of their families on wedding week, my little brother Jacob hopped over on a plane from Spain to attend/help me photograph the wedding! I swear my heart could have exploded from all the feelings.

// the farm //

The entire trip we stayed in a flat on a lovely little farm which was quite nice because it didn’t feel like we were foreigners staying at a hotel, it felt like we got to experience a little bit more “day-in-the-life” — we’d grocery shop at Aldi and buy way too many soft pretzels, prepare our meals together, drink coffee in the mornings and stay up way too late at night giggling just a little bit too loud.

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// the engagement session //

One evening Marvin so sweetly surprised Meagan by dressing up all dapper in his suspenders and tie (we had to look up a video on youtube to figure out how to tie it so THANK YOU, INTERNET) and we walked down the street to the village garden for a few engagement portraits.

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// hochzeitsblumen //

One morning we walked down the road from the farm and cut our own wedding flowers for the reception. It was GLORIOUS. GLORIOUS, I SAY! Where else can you do that???

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// the civil ceremony //

In Germany the civil ceremony is what makes the marriage legal, so the day before their wedding ceremony in the church Meagan, Marvin and the families gathered at what I’m going to assume was the German equivalent of a town hall for the civil ceremony, which was followed by a bbq at the Schaefers.

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// the wedding day //

The girls woke up at 6:30 a.m. to have a quick breakfast before Meagan’s hair appointment, the ceremony started at 2 p.m. and we left the reception at 1 a.m. Almost 20 hours of wedding-ing.

It was a long day but in the BEST possible way. If you want the mushy best friend take-away, my favorite part was when Marvin told Meagan in his vows that she was his treasure. CUE THE TEARS.

Germans know how to reception, let me tell you. First off, they START with cake and coffee. And not just one cake, but an entire table full of cakes. And then they visit with each other — FOR HOURS. And no one gets bored or leaves. It’s awesome. Then there’s dinner — I still dream about that schnitzel. Dinner was followed by a program put on for Meagan and Marvin where guests perform skits, put on game shows, or toast the bride and groom (that’s what all the American’s did BECAUSE IT WAS OUR FIRST GERMAN RECEPTION AND WE WERE NEW AT IT). During intermission there is — you guessed it — more cake and coffee and conversation. After the second half of the program there was a bit of dancing, some MORE FOOD, and then the send off. It was epic and never rushed and so very sweet. Yes, Germans know how to reception.

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Oh, hey guys, it’s me. Just shooting my best friend’s wedding in Germany, no big deal.

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I have to brag on Jacob for capturing these next couple of photos, because they’re so very good and I love him and don’t you all think he’s so talented??

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// the forest //

The day after the wedding we cleaned up the reception hall, ate lunch together one last time and then sent Meagan and Marvin off on their honeymoon. We had a few hours of daylight left so we decided to go on a walk to the forest because I would not be able to live with myself if I didn’t get to fully peruse such a magnificent setting when it was so close to me.

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HANNAH DID AN IRISH JIG IN THE FOREST AND THAT’S WHY SHE’S MY FAVORITE.

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// Koblenz //

On day one of being tourists we explored Koblenz, ate more schnitzel (BECAUSE GERMANY) and took a short little boat ride down the Rhine.

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(Fun note: you’ll find a similar self-timer shot of me and Jacob drinking coffee together at the tail end of my Spain blogpost, and we also have another like it from our favorite breakfast spot in Denton. I know, we’re cute.)

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// Castle vibes //

Because sometimes you need to wake up in Germany, drink a cup of coffee, and go walk around a castle.

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// Last night in Germany //

We finally made it through the labyrinth, packed up our suitcases, and seesawed at sunset. Ya know, just your typical German evening.

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Thank you to my brother for coming and taking any photo that I got to be in. You’re a gem and I love you.

Thank you to the Hodsons and the Schaefers for showing me and my brother so much hospitality that it was crazy.

Thank you to Meagan and Marvin for getting married in Germany and taking us on this grand adventure.

Thank you to anyone who did not go on this trip but still made it all the way to the end of this post. I award you 27 virtual high fives.

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