Monday, June 2, 2014

Summer Time | Northwest Arkansas Photographer

Oh, the school year is winding down, my husband started a new job, and a bunch of little things have been happening that have filled my days and kept me away from the ol' blog.  And now summer is just around the corner!

If you've been following RLP over the years, you may know that in addition to my client work, I am also a conceptual photography artist and work mainly with self-portraits.  I've been doing it since 2006 and while I started with a 365 project, where you take one photo a day for a year, I've never ever ever finished.  Ever.  It's actually sort of sad and a little funny how many times I've started and then stopped.  But, I keep creating the portraits and maybe one day I'll start and actually finish. 


I've had enough requests lately that I'm now offering conceptual photography to my clients.  I'll be posting more details later, but if you are interested, send me an email and we can chat!

Here are some that I've been working on the last couple of weeks. 

Monday, May 5, 2014

Cassie and Ryan | Northwest Arkansas Engagement Photographer

Ooooh, this couple.  I had so much fun with them and I can't wait for their wedding this fall!  And I also love that their engagement session was in the middle of spring loveliness and their wedding will be in the luscious color of fall because those are my two favorite seasons.  :)

Sunrise sessions, how I love you.  The light in these are killer, guys! 



Drop dead gorgeous. 






I love how she adores him.



I always try to experiment a bit at one point during sessions and go into it knowing full well that it may not work out AT ALL.  This was one of those experiments.  I'm digging it. 
And I also have a not so crazy version of this sweet kiss, too, just in case they don't dig it. ;)


My fave!


After the session, we went to the Farmer's Market for a bit and had some really tasty goat cheese and some good eats from Kind Kitchen.  And then my family and I had a picnic at another local park.  It was just a perfect Saturday!  :) 

Thursday, May 1, 2014

And baby (finally) makes three | Northwest Arkansas Family Photographer

I love a story with a happy ending. 

They had been wanting a baby for over a decade before they finally had this little adorable sweetie. 
She is one of the cutest babies that I've ever seen and certainly one of the happiest!  Seriously, that little grin with her tongue sticking out makes me giggle every time I see it.  Sooo cute!

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She was just starting to sit up, but since this session, she's really mastered it.  Yay!!


You know I love getting a few shots of just mom and dad during family sessions!!



She's thinking, "Hey, crazy lady.  What's that big black thing in front of your face??"


Yeah, I think she is well loved, don't you?  :)


I love new families. :)

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Candice and Kevin | Northwest Arkansas Couple Photographer

Last week I found myself facing a free Saturday morning, so I put out a call to my facebook friends to see if a couple would like to come model for me.  Candice immediately messaged me and the rest is history.  They aren't engaged, but who says you have to be engaged to have fun photos taken, right?

They were one of the most easy going couples I've ever worked with, plus they were just so adorable with how much they were into each other.  I love when couples aren't afraid to show just how much they enjoy each other. 

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See?  Such a ridiculously cute couple, right?  And SO, SO sweet.  And did I mention they are both teachers?  Yeah.  Almost too adorable, I know. 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

A Wedding Story | Northwest Arkansas Wedding Photographer

Once upon a time, my husband and I were planning a wedding.  We had serious discussions on just what kind of wedding it was going to be and a Halloween themed wedding was actually a major contender.   We LOVE Halloween and all things horror and spooky, so a fun costumed wedding seemed like a really perfect idea to us.  Part of the theme involved groomsmen wearing these 'living' skull latex masks that were glued straight to the face and moved with the facial muscles.  We were also thinking of a medieval themed wedding.  I thought the idea of all of John's best friends in tunics with their long hair was just amazing.  It's probably a good thing I had never heard of Game of Thrones at that point!

  In the end, however, we decided to do a more traditional wedding.  We picked a venue.  I was looking at dresses.  I was buying wedding magazines for inspiration.  (What?  This was pre-Pinterest.  I've been married forever.)  But I was also asking about once a week, "You sure you don't want to elope?" I was only half-joking.   I had it stuck in my head that I was going to do something that would embarrass me as I was walking down the aisle.  John, though, wanted a wedding.  He was one of the very last of his friends to get married and he wanted to do it 'right.'

This is why, only three months after we became engaged, what he said to me one day in our little apartment completely shocked me.  I was knitting on the couch and he was reading in the chair when suddenly he said, "Soooo...  you want to go get a marriage license?"  I stared at him for a long time before I realized he wasn't joking, then I jumped up and grabbed the keys.

As we were driving to get it, we quickly discussed our plan.  Sometime within the month we would have a super small ceremony with a justice of the peace and our closest friends and family.  It would be small, sweet, and simple.  It was December, so it would probably have to be indoors, and we were brainstorming location ideas as we were walking to the car after we had purchased our license.  When you receive a marriage license, they also give you an info sheet of contact numbers for Justices of the Peace, so I decided to call one just to find out his availability, his rates, and any other information we needed, such as witnesses. 

What he said next would change everything.

"Well, if you have a fella and can meet me in half an hour, we can do it today."

And just like that, our spur of the moment idea to plan a simple, quiet ceremony became a spur of the moment idea to get married THAT DAY.

He wore flannel.  I had on jeans and a golden cardigan.  We met the JP in a little gazebo in a small park on a rapidly getting colder December day.  We have exactly three photos of the day before our little digital camera's batteries died.  One of the gazebo, one of us smiling at the camera, one of us kissing. 

We've talked about a vow renewal.  It may happen some day, but I would really want something quiet in the woods with our kids and a small handful of people.  Something not much different than what we did a decade ago, only this time we would have a photographer. ;)  In the mean time, I take thousands of photos of the two of us and our family.  It makes me happy. 

I recently took a photo of my wedding ring just so it would get some love.  I haven't worn it in years and years, but I adore what it represents, so I wanted it documented.  <3


Saturday, April 5, 2014

Tips for Brides and Grooms | The First Look | Northwest Arkansas Wedding Photographer

Most of my couples either know that the First Look is not for them or they know for sure that they do want to do it, but once in awhile I have a bride and groom who haven't put a lot of thought into it either way and want some more information before they decide.  This blog post is for those of you who haven't decided or who may not even know a First Look from a First Kiss.

Um, what exactly is a First Look?

Let's start with the basics and find out just what exactly is a First Look.  Quite simply, a First Look is when a bride and groom have decided that they are going to meet each other before the ceremony.  Yes, before the ceremony.  I can see some of you twitching right now and thinking, "You aren't supposed to see each other before the bride walks down the aisle!!! Are you crazy??" and that's okay.  First Looks are not for everyone.  Just like every wedding is beautiful, special, and unique for each couple, so is the decision to do or not to do a First Look.  And I'm completely fine either way.  Really. I know you've all heard stories of photographers insisting that their couples do a First Look, but that's not me.  I'm here to capture your story in beautiful images no matter how it is told. 

Sooooo, why DO people decide to do a First Look?

There are so many answers to that! 

Some couples decide to do a First Look because they aren't afraid of breaking tradition and they would rather free up time after the ceremony.  By choosing to do a First Look, they can then take the family formals before the ceremony and leave only wedding party and bride and groom portraits after the ceremony.  Maybe their wedding is later in the day and they know that there will not be light left after the ceremony and they really want natural light portraits.  Or maybe they want to actually be able to mingle with their guests at cocktail hour, so they do a First Look so they can do ALL of the portraits before the ceremony.  If this is the option for you, I will ask for at least ten minutes with the new Mr. and Mrs. after the ceremony just to get some portraits of the two of you after you are officially husband and wife.  Plus, you'll both have your wedding bands on for the portraits!

I have an amazing timeline with plenty of time for portraits, so why else would I do a First Look?

Some people are so nervous before their wedding day and want nothing more than a few moments alone to calm down with the person they love.  Or they want the time when they first see each other to be followed with the freedom to embrace, whisper to each other, hug, and kiss.  You can't really do that at the alter!  

I really want to go with tradition and wait until the walk to the alter to see each other, but I still like the idea of a First Look.  What about me?

Even though none of my brides have opted to go this route, there are tons of brides out there who wanted the best of both worlds and I think it is great.  All you have to do is look through Pinterest and see some really sweet examples.  Some that stick out in my mind:  having a door physically between the couple so they can't see each other, but they are able to hold hands, exchange gifts or letters  or having the groom wear a blindfold so they can still touch and hug but the big reveal is still saved for that walk down the aisle.  If this sounds like something you are interested in, let's brainstorm ideas!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Throw Back Thursday | Northwest Arkansas Photographer

It's Thursday and I'm jumping on the Throwback Thursday bandwagon!  I'm throwing it alllll the way back to the long ago time of the beginning of March. ;)

We decided to make a weekend trip to Dallas to hit Ikea (our first trip!!) and go to the Dallas World Aquarium.    
John and I hadn't been to the Aquarium in almost ten years when our oldest daughter was a baby, so it was really great to watch the girls experience it. 

It was a pretty sweet day. 

Here are just a handful of all the photos.  I decided that I wouldn't torture you with the hundreds of photos I took, but if you ever come to my house, I may show you their pages in my Project Life albums.  ;)

I think I know a couple of guys who would kill for that mustache.

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     I didn't think I was going to get a photo of this guy.  He was a busy little thing and wouldn't be still.


This sloth was so cool.  They have him out in the open with no cage with his little trees.  You can get right under him.  He had his head tucked under his arm for most of the time we watched him, but he did look up just for a moment.  :)


   Is it just me or does this frog look like he is plotting something??

Hands down, the jelly fish are always my favorite when we visit an aquarium.  I love them so much.

   The girls loved them, too.      


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It was a really packed day and everyone seemed to want to hang out in the shark tunnel.  I don't blame them.  It's kind of awe inspiring to see all the creatures swimming all around you. 

Looove this.

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Ugly little guy, yeah?


   Of course, no trip is complete without a silly bathroom selfie, right?  Even if the reflection does make it look like my kid is licking a faucet.