My favorite place in the world is my grandparents house. My family and I have gone there every summer growing up and I still go there with my family every summer now. It is a place where I walk in and can instantly breathe deeper, and feel my mind clear. We don't really do a whole lot when we are there. We help grandma pick beans, cucumbers, and tomatoes. We make food and attempt to clean up after ourselves. We have cooking competitions, play games, take naps.... My mom plays the piano, while my sister and I fight over whose turn it is to sing a song. We swing on the giant swing set overlooking the garden till it is too dark to stay out without the mosquitoes eating us alive. I bother my grandma with sewing projects that she probably doesn't want me to do (on account that I don't actually know how to sew...so I have to ask for instructions for every step). We go up in the mountains and have a picnic, pick flowers, and hike up to the top of Jaws. We watch the sunset from the back window...with the tree that is in the pictures below silhouetted on the skyline. It is a place I bring my children every year and they are growing to love it as much as I do.
And the last, yet most important aspect of being at my grandparents house is that they are there.... My grandpa telling jokes that I only sometimes understand. My Grandma working so hard in her garden, making macaroni and tomato juice soup (I know it sounds gross, but it is THE BEST.) My Grandpa mowing the lawn with whatever toddler is there at the time. My favorite laugh of Grandma's that sneaks out when she really thinks something is funny.
I can hear her chuckling now thinking of telling them that this is the most special place in the world. I think she would believe me, and yet the other part of her would think of all the hard times that I don't really know about. I have experienced the ideal version of this home; the one were my troubles can be forgotten, and my heart can feel light. However, I know that there have been hard times. That they have worked together to make this the home that it is. They have worked, prayed, laughed, cried, dealt with loss, and gone through so many phases in their life in this house. What I have appreciated the very most is the love I can feel they have for each other. I wouldn't say that they are excessively mushy together, but it is one of those things you can feel tangibly when they are near.
Their children and grandchildren rotate through their home ALL SUMMER. They have given us so much throughout the years, just by being there, and always making us feel wanted and welcome. I feel certain when they meet our Father in Heaven again, that He will tell them He is so immensely proud and pleased to call them His own; for they fulfilled their mission here by creating a place of peace for their family. A true Heaven on earth, for us, their children, to call home.
This was my favorite shoot of 2015! It was also featured by Utah Bride Blog, which was very exciting for me! It was the first time I had ever submitted anything anywhere, so I was nervous and SO excited when they said yes! The location was perfect, the couple was perfect....so many things went into this shoot that made it perfect. I thought I would list them for all you engaged couples out there wanting to know how to make your engagement session as wonderful as this. (of course, we are going to exclude the fact that Kaitlyn and Michael are unfairly beautiful ;).....) ALL of these can be applied to any kind of shoot (family,maternity,ect....)...so this goes for everyone!
1) THEY TRUSTED ME COMPLETELY - This is the MOST important thing. When I am at a shoot and I feel that the couple totally trusts me and isn't worried about controlling the situation themselves, it unleashes my confidence and creativity! So, pick a photographer you LOVE and trust them. They will feel it, and you will be allowing them to do their VERY BEST job!
2)They came with a GREAT ATTITUDE - Nothing will kill a shoot faster than if you have someone who is not happy about being there. Not only will it effect the pictures, it will effect the way your fiance' feels when they go back and look at the pictures. They will remember how unhappy you were and that will always cast a shadow on the experience and pictures. Also, kind of the same with the first point, your photographer will feel it and although they will probably still do a great job, a poor attitude will not help unleash their full potential.
2)Their CLOTHES FIT - Nothing will look worse than if your clothes don't fit you well. I always suggest that as you are deciding what outfit to wear, to have someone take some pictures of you in them Then you can see how they look in a picture. Also, wear something that you FEEL amazing in.
3) They wore outfits that MADE A STATEMENT!- Personally, my favorite thing is when the girl wears a dress! Dresses just make the shoot feel high-end and really make a session pop!
4)Kaitlyn got her HAIR and MAKE-UP PROFESSIONALLY done- I cannot emphasize enough what an impact this makes! Sure, you think you do your make-up just fine....but I PROMISE you that a professional will do a better job. #fact :) same goes with your hair. Cassie Brimhall (instagram @cassie_brimhall , 801-341-5041) did Kaitlyn's beautiful hair and Make-up and it looked FANTASTIC. It is an investment into your pictures....and I promise it is worth the money.
5)They RELAXED and had fun! I realize this one is a little tricky since everyone has different levels of comfort with getting their pictures taken, but just try your best. It really will show in your pictures. Also, a good photographer will be able to help you out with this. Pick someone who you can feel comfortable with and enjoy their company.
6) Last, but certainly not least, pick a PHOTOGRAPHER THAT LOVES their job. I am pretty sure that clients never question when I am doing an engagement session if I am having a good time. My husband occasionally has come to assist me and he has asked me before, "Are you REALLY that excited? Or is it just to make them feel good?" Although I do love that it makes the couple feel excited and confident... YES, I REALLY AM THAT EXCITED. I sincerely have a BLAST when I am shooting, and I think is has a huge impact on my client's experience.
NOW without further adiue............
One of my favorite parts about being a photographer is getting to do sessions for friends and family! This is my brother-in-law, Mattson...and the lovely lady is my future sister-in-law, Ally! Yes, he was 13ish when I got married....so that makes me feel a little old. Didn't I just barely get married!? I guess not. 10 years flies by. I am so excited for them! They are so sweet together. Selfishly, I am also excited because I am getting alot out of this marriage because.... Ally is awesome! And we all know that awesome sister-in-laws are an important part of life. :) I should know, I already have 5 others who are ALL amazing!
We had quite the adventure getting to our location. There was a little (aLOT) more snow than I was expecting, and we took Mattson's little sedan. We
might have definitely did get stuck in the snow and a couple of kind Utah truck drivers had to pull us out. haha- Makes for a good story later, right!? This is the first half of the session. Mattson was a trooper. Both Ally and I had boots on, but he was walking around in dress shoes! He was quite cold, but was a great sport and didn't complain one bit. (Which you photographers out there know.... we REALLY appreciate that!) He seemed to just be content to get to cuddle with his bride. We drove to a second location; I'll share that half another day!
This might be my favorite family session of the year! The Finau's were so wonderful and kind. AND most importantly, they totally trusted me and did whatever I said! I love when people do that! :) And yes, that is all real sky. AMAZING hu?
I was so excited to do this session, mostly because I had/have a GIANT crush on her red hair. I mean, LOOK AT IT! When I would go to fix it in the session, seriously, I was in awe. Never a tangle. When I said this to her, she said, "oh, yeah, when it's straight it doesn't really tangle." Are you kidding me!? serious hair envy. It started misting/sprinkling during the session. In one of the pictures you can see the drops around them! Rachel and Mitch were so cute together. They are married now and Rachel was a beautiful flawless bride. In Rachel's words, this is how they met...
"Mitch and I met in beginner social dance class at BYU. Both of our inspired mothers forced us to sign up and we agreed under certain conditions. Mitch said he would stay if there were some cute girls and I said I would stay if there were some fun guys. The first time we met, we were trying (and failing) to dance to 'Shake it off'. After half of a semester of dancing and flirting, Mitch FINALLY asked me out and we have spent every day together since!"