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

Guys, this session is my whole heart for all family photography. As much as humanly possible, I want you to play and enjoy and  remember how much you love love love being theirs.

Keep in mind, I say that as a parent of a three-year-old myself and BELIVE ME I KNOW that sometimes things are not this playful — that sometimes we have to adapt and calm and soothe and just breathe with our small children to get them through a storm of feelings they don’t yet know how to process. But those moments, of being the calm home-base for our children, can be beautiful too.

More than anything, I don’t want family photos to just be portraits of people standing next to each other. I want them to be portraits of people connected to each other, engaged with each other and enjoying each other.

Here are some of my favorites from Hana + Elia’s delightful mother-daughter session (from a round of mini sessions I did at the Lumen Room last August) where we blasted “The Greatest Showman” and they sang and twirled and laughed and were together, connected.

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.

Okay, okay, okay, it’s been three months since I’ve posted to the blog. IN MY DEFENSE THOUGH, I have had a child in that timeframe so that’s a pretty dang good excuse for being behind on blogging, ammiright? But if there is a reason to come back to it, it’s that maternity leave will be ending tomorrow with Katie and Kyle’s wedding and I just realized I’d never gotten their rainy day Oklahoma City engagement session up here. We had game-planned for a sunny (hot) June evening but a huge rainstorm blew through OKC just an hour before we had planned to get started. We rolled with it, changed locations to a hotel rooftop bar that we could shoot indoors until the rain chilled out and turns out I’m completely obsessed with the images we got that day of the city lights reflecting off the watery midtown streets.

My most favorite memory from this day was when Kyle opened the champagne *but* it wasn’t as big a POP as envisioned so he shook it and tried again and guys, I’m not exaggerating when I tell you it went everywhere. Katie’s hair was wet, her dress had champagne all over it. My camera lens had champagne all over it. When you look at the photos, you can see champagne dripping off of Kyle’s hands. Their reactions were hilarious and made some of my favorite photos from the day.

Katie and Kyle, cannot wait to meet back up with y’all tomorrow for your wedding day! My wedding day wish for y’all is may there be plenty of champagne to celebrate but may none of it be dripping off your clothing (but if it is for any reason, you had better believe I’ll get some photos of it).

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