Shooting this wedding came up out of the blue for us. I got a call less than a month out asking if I could shoot this weekday evening wedding. I didn’t have anything else scheduled so I booked it.

I’m so glad I did.

There was one terrifying factor to this wedding — the ceremony was going to be a candle-lit outdoor wedding . . . at night. Not sunset. Pitch black + candles. I’m not typically one to shy away from a challenge so I decided James and I would make it work.

I had talked to the bride and groom, Elena and Steven, to see how they’d like their wedding photographed — with or without flash and they said their hope was for mostly atmospheric shooting that didn’t detract from the ceremony. So James and I sloooooooowwwwwwwed our shutter speeds and shot with available light and I very much enjoy how the images turned out so true to the atmosphere of the ceremony.

Directly after the kiss, Steven prepared to stomped on a glass in the Jewish tradition. Right as this was about to happen I hear James hit the ground with a soft thud. I think I remember guffawing behind my camera while shooting the breaking of the glass because I honestly thought that James had tripped on a tree root because it was seriously SODARK. BUT when I saw the image that James got by hitting the ground so fast I wanted to hug him and throw him a party.

After the ceremony we took family portraits followed by some moody off-camera flash bride-groom portraits.

The above image is still one of my favorite bride-groom portraits of all time. And that’s coming from a photographer who would choose shooting with natural light instead of flash 10 times out of 10.

 I loved this wedding that popped into my life so unexpectedly with its last minute booking because it turned into hitting the ground for a shot of breaking glass, using flash photography to photograph a newlywed couple running through the woods at night and getting to work with one of the nicest group of people we have had the pleasure of meeting.

Happy Friday, friends!

You know what is super-fun to do on a Friday afternoon? Reliving a bit of Hadly and Adam’s November 2011 Palace Theatre wedding day in downtown Grapevine.


Their ceremony was literally on stage. In a theatre. Red curtain and all. I loved it.

And Hadly’s J. Crew wedding dress? I’m going to have to say that it might very well be the loveliest wedding dress I have ever seen in my life. I adored everything about it and it certainly didn’t hurt that the girl wearing it was just as sweet as the dress itself.

Adam looked quite dapper in his wedding day attire as well!

When Hadly, Adam and I first got together to discuss their wedding I knew that this was going to be a very special experience for me as a wedding photographer.

They are both artists, and therefore highly valued photography. They told me of their plans for an intimate theatre wedding that they wanted focused almost more around friends and family that themselves (because that’s just the type of people Hadly and Adam are). They told me they desired photos with a photojournalistic flare and more than anything they wanted me to have freedom to go for shots that I might have been too afraid to take at other weddings in fear that I might miss a standard shot I knew I was supposed to get.

This was an interesting thought as I went into this wedding day. Yes, there was freedom in it, but also the pressure of delivering something extra-especially-special. Going into the day I wondered if I would choke or thrive in this freedom.

My hope is that I thrived.

Sure James and I still shot the classic shots a wedding photographer needs to get — the processional, the vows, the family portraits — but I loved knowing that Hadly and Adam trusted my intuition more than they desired all of the go-to wedding day shots.

Their ceremony was short and sweet but also filled with some of the most poetic, beautiful vows I’ve heard to this day.

Pssh.  Artists.  Am I right?


I always love, love, love images taken in the freshest, most dear moments directly following being pronounced husband and wife.

After portraits we headed into the sweetest of receptions, filled with first dances between a new husband and wife, heartfelt toasts by brothers and sisters, and lots of conversations amongst friends. You could feel the intimacy and genuine enthusiasm for Adam and Hadly throughout the small room.

 Hadly and Adam were sent off with chorused applause and many warm smiles.

Thank you, Hadly and Adam for letting us document your lovely wedding a year ago next month. We treasured it.

Also, someone please hire me to shoot a wedding at the Palace Theatre because I cannot wait to shoot there again.

Meet  Caxcy and James.

The look on Caxcy’s face ALMOST represents how giddy I feel to be finally posting their pictures. Almost.

Caxcy had e-mailed me a couple of months ago telling me that she wanted to do a shoot that embodied Dallas.

At night.

After reading that e-mail I turned around to my husband and told him, “No way.” A night shoot scared me.

He made me do it. Well, he convinced me I should. And I’m so, so glad that he did.

Caxcy and James were a photographer’s dream. They came dressed to the nines, having a vision for their shoot and were ready to work. it. out.

I adore that smirk on Caxcy’s face in the picture on the left. It’s right before it explodes into that full blown grin in the picture on the right. She knew it was coming.

Funny enough, “Caxcy and James” began when James and his friend were scoping out girls at  church in high school. The two boys agreed, “I’ll take this one and you take that one.” Well James and Caxcy stuck. Caxcy joked that this means God wanted them to be together.

Waiting for nightfall, we started out in a nearby empty construction site.

I’ve recently developed an affinity for blurred motion portraits. Just wanted to let you know.

Even at the risk of sounding cheesy, I’m just going to say it.

Caxcy, you shine. Like, light-up-a-construction-zone shine.

At this point in the shoot we began to integrate the flash — the picture on the left is naturally lit and side-right lit with the flash.

I don’t know WHY they waited until this far into the shoot to whip out their secret handshake from high school. I was impressed.

Get it, James.

Next we went indoors for some shots at their wedding reception venue across the street from the Magnolia hotel.

Right before we were about to leave the building I spotted this light blue chair. I almost passed it up, but turned around and decided to try it out. It definitely ended up being one of my most favorite photo spots of the night.

Don’t they just look straight out of a magazine?

We finished off our shoot with some downtown Dallas street shots.

Caxcy and James, thank you for asking me to do something I had never done before. Thank you for trusting me.

And I couldn’t have done any of this without my husband, James. He was my flash-man. His intuitive, smart, artist abilities came to my rescue. James, thank you for knowing me and for knowing exactly where to be without me even having to ask you.

And TO thank him, I serenaded him in the car ride home with “Yooooouuu, light up my liii-ee-ife!” He totally appreciated it.

**Special thanks to Krista Jones of Bayside Bride for spending her time today explaining photo resizing just out of the goodness of her heart — it made the photos on my blog look the way they’re supposed to! I appreciate you, Krista!***

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