I blogged! I know you know this already because you’re reading those words I just typed into the blogpost but I’M JUST SO PROUD. Let me tell you, I thought that blogging was difficult to keep up with before I had kids but then my working hours got cut half in that transition to photographer-and-mom-Jillian which means literally all my working hours are spent on keeping up with email + editing + shooting (it’s a work-smarter-not-longer type situation over here while simultaneously raising babies but then sometimes I’m also editing photos at midnight so, ya know, a bit of both haha). But I made room for this blogpost the past few days (even though there is a wedding edit I’m working my way through and about a dozen emails waiting for a response from me and two photo sessions that need culling) because I realized my blogging rate kind of makes it look like I’m not shooting much these days when the reality is I’m still shooting SO MUCH and still very much love my job I’m simply lacking in the work hours to actually share much of my work in blog format. There’s also the whole “no one looks at blogposts anymore because we live in an Instagram world” but the fact of the matter is that my work is best viewed/understood in a longer storytelling format than in single, square images because my heart for documenting weddings is to do so very much in a storytelling form so BLOG I WILL (try). Lalalalala that’s so many words just to explain my lack of blogposts and the explanation for why you should join me in being very proud of myself for getting this post up hahaha. NOW ON TO THE REAL REASON WE’RE ALL HERE:

You guys, I just love Allie and Connor. I love them. I love their sincerity. I love their quick wit. I love the way Connor looks at Allie. I love their smiles. I love their obvious love for their families and their families’ obvious adoration for the two of them right back. I love that they had a mini donkey at their cocktail hour and that Allie had specifically called ahead just to make sure it was “the fuzzy one” that was coming. I love how kind they are to everyone. I love their ease. I love that Allie told me so confidently in the middle of a crowded reception dance floor THREE YEARS AGO (when she and Connor were in the wedding party of Natalie and Kevin‘s wedding that I also photographed) that they’d be getting married and that I would be the photographer at their wedding too and now HERE WE ARE. So I’m obviously a REAL BIG FAN so I’ll stop my love letter now and show you some of my favorites from their wedding day back in January. And when I say “favorites” I also feel the need to acknowledge that some of my favorites didn’t even MAKE the blogpost which feels lame because it’s like WHEN ELSE AM I GONNA GET TO SHARE THOSE WITH Y’ALL but also I didn’t think anyone would make it through a 500-image blogpost. I’m already questioning if I’m deterring y’all just by the amount of words I’ve written before getting to the already mega-long post so HUSH ALREADY, JILLIAN.

These next ones are from when Allie’s dad saw her for the first time all bride-ed up.

Be sure and take a moment to really look at Connor and Allie’s facial expressions in these next two photos — the depth of mutual respect and trust I see in these next photos between the two of them for real makes me get all weepy.

You can see in the bottom right corner of the first frame that their flower girl caught them kissing right after the ceremony and they had to backtrack real fast hahahaha. Right after this the flower girl told them that at her wedding she wouldn’t be kissing anyone.

(Please don’t miss Allie’s face when she caught a glimpse of her parents slow dancing together)

Guys, to give you some context, when those streamer cannons started going off for the exit they were SO INCREDIBLY SURPRISINGLY LOUD (because we were indoors + there were a lot of them going off at the same time) so looking back at these photos of their reactions running through them cracks me up.

I look at these photos and am just so thankful this is my job (bonus: a job I love that I can still do while also staying home with my two small children) and that these are the people I get to serve. Unbelievably thankful. Also jazzed that Kari coordinated this lovely day plus I always do a happy dance when Holly Viles Design is on floral duty.

Vendor Team:

Planner: @kariellenevents
Photographer: @Jillian_zamora_photo
Venue: @thenestatruthfarms
Video: @Tylerandlindsey
Wedding Gown:  @AcherieCouture
Alterations: Luis Nazario
Tamale Cart: @Thetamalecompany
Makeup:  @meaganbechtel
Florist:  @hollyvilesdesign
DJ:  @leforcedj 
Coffee Cart: @jedidiahcoffee
Bar: @hdliquidcater
Catering: @magdalenastx
Cake: @amusebakeshop
Rentals: @grandeventstx  
Beer Burro: A One of a Kind Pony Party

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.

Well you guys, this blogpost is going to be an extra special one because this was the wedding day of my brother and now sister-in-law. And man oh man, these two mean so much to me. As I was looking back through these images for this post I was laugh-crying at how happy they were on this day and how truly extremely grateful I am for them to have found each other. Beyond the bride and groom themselves having my heart, my husband was a groomsmen, my daughter was a flower girl (you’ll notice a slight mom bias in how many photos of her ended up in this blogpost but sorrynotsorry hahaha), the wedding took place at our Uncle James and Darren’s backyard + these were some of the last photos ever taken of our dear Pap before he passed away just two short months after. Last year was the hardest one I had lived through for a variety of reasons but Jacob meeting Liz and their subsequent wedding 11 months later was (and will always be remembered as) the bright brightest spot in all the hard.

A collection of five photographers, including and primarily myself, actually contributed to telling this wedding story and I’m thankful for each and every unique perspective they brought to telling it. Jacob actually was the groomsman/videographer at mine and James’ wedding eight years ago and there is something so special to me of having the wedding video being from my little brother’s perspective of the day. So Jacob not only gets wedding images from the perspective of his big sister, but many more loved ones as well. There wasn’t a set second shooter because it was such a small, intimate backyard wedding plus James (my resident second shooter) was a groomsmen/brother-in-law so he wasn’t always available. Although I was the main shooter, the groom himself + James tag-teamed groom prep time, during family portraits that I was in Hannah Higgins stepped in (she hadn’t planned to but she showed up early and I preferred someone who already knew how to work a camera over a random relative haha). When Chris Newby showed up for the ceremony I held out a second camera and was like, “WANNA SECOND SHOOT?” He said yes and captured some really beautiful moments during the ceremony — super appreciate for you, Chris! And then James photographed the reception exit (and snagged one of my most favorite send-off photos of all time) because he’s a good husband and because Juniper hadn’t napped that day (you’ll see a photo of her towards the end running wildly through the front yard having stripped off half her flower girl outfit hahaha) and just needed momma to hold her so how was I supposed to turn that down?

All this to say — it was a really, really sweet day and I’ll just let the photos do the rest of the talking (edit: I actually ended up inserting a lot of sisterly commentary into these, my bad). It started on a bright November morning in Stephenville, Texas.

Jacob and the groomsmen had stayed just a couple of blocks over from where the wedding would be so Jacob took a morning stroll over (his film camera in hand) after getting ready.

All of the beyond stunning florals were done by Scott’s Flowers — the best in all the land (and I don’t think that’s just niece bias talking).

Jacob was only a LITTLE giddy to see his bride soon. You’ll notice that he and Liz both are super-expressive and there is literally nothing I love photographing more than people whose faces show every ounce of joy + excitement they’re feeling in that moment.

IT’S LIZ AND I LOVE HER!!!!

Okay I know it’s a GIF and it’s moving but really try not to miss how Jacob had tears in his eyes before he even turned around to see Liz for their first look. Just the fact that he was mere moments away from seeing his bride was enough to bring on the tears.

These are all my siblings (I’m in the floral dress hugging my 6’8″ baby brother) and I love them all so. Our sister was actually in between round of chemotherapy for the leukemia she had been diagnosed with earlier that year and we hadn’t known if her immune system was going to be strong enough for her to fully take part in this special day but we are so thankful to the Lord for her being strong enough to be present + of course take part in the sibling hugs this day entailed. We certainly do not take that for granted.

Chris snagged these next few of Jacob walking into his wedding ceremony like “IS THIS REALLY HAPPENING??”

Both Liz + Jacob were struggling to hold it together during the parental prayer at the end of the ceremony.

I’M LAUGH-CRYING AGAIN LOOK HOW HAPPY THEY ARE TO BE PRONOUNCED HUSBAND AND WIFE OH IT’S JUST SO SWEET I COULD BURST.

Juniper didn’t care if he was the groom, she was NOT having any celebratory post-ceremony kisses from her uncle Jacob hahahaha.

I’ve literally never seen my momma happier than dancing to “Loves Me Like A Rock” with Jacob. (MAYBE her happiness matched this at the births of her grandchildren, but I’m not even 100% sure of that hahaha)

That’s my sweet dad blowing bubbles at them from a foot away.

Oh what a joyous, joyous day it was. Love you, Jacob and Liz!

This first image was the original inspiration for this particular post. I loved the clear narrative all wrapped up in a single image — Kelly prepping for her wedding in her parents’ home while the dress she’d wear to walk down the aisle to Nic waited patiently for her to put it on in the next room. Once I had grouped my favorites from Nick and Kelly’s wedding together for a blogpost I soon realized that quite a lot of them were in black and white too. Then it hit me — why not an entire blogpost in black and white?

I appreciate the simplicity of black and white, how with the color gone you’re given the opportunity to pay more attention to the composition of each frame. I’ve also always been drawn to the mood a black and white edit naturally brings to an image. Lastly, I just really enjoyed that narrowing my options down to only the black and white ones forced me down from my usual 200+ image blogposts hahaha.

So here you are. A wedding day in the bride’s small hometown where the warmth from both sides of their families flowed into each and every facet — one example being the Nic’s dad, two little brothers + his cousin making up 4/5ths of the groomsmen.

A story told in black and white.

I will forever love a goofy sibling photo.

I can’t remember exactly what this little boy was yelling, but I vaguely remember it being some form of greeting to Kelly + Nic once the ceremony had started. His laughing eyes and the dad’s sheepish smile are my favorite parts of this one.

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