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Tuesday
Jul152014

bryan & ali : the wedding

It was such an honor and a joy to come out of maternity leave for such a beautiful wedding. Bryan and Ali tied the knot at Five Oaks Lodge and the day could not have been more perfect. There was an 80 or 90 percent chance of thunderstorms all day and the good Lord smiled upon us and held back the storms until after the wedding. The storms brewed in the distance which made for unseasonably cool temperatures for an outdoor June wedding in Oklahoma.

Anne Marie at The French Bouquet brought Ali's vision of a dream wedding to life with her amazing talent. I mean come on, would you just look at this perfect bouquet?!

Bryan and Ali decided to do a first look which gave of lots of time for portraits before the ceremony.

They read each other letters and exchanged gifts. You guessed it, I was crying just watching their faces as they read.

Bryan gave Ali the most amazing piece of artwork. It was a map of Tulsa with special marks on the places they met, got engaged and got married.

Good luck was in the air.

Ali's Dad brought out a book that Ali wrote when she was a little girl as part of his toast. It was one of the most thoughtful and memorable speeches I have ever seen at a wedding.

Congratulations Ali and Bryan! Thank you so much for allowing me to be a part of your day. I loved every single moment of it.

Monday
May192014

photography workshop : summer 2014

I am getting so excited for our upcoming summer pro-photography workshop.

This is a one-day intensive workshop, designed to help you run a thriving business. The main areas of focus will be creating a successful business model, shooting techniques, posing, lighting and post processing.

The workshop will be held on August 23rd, 2014 in Tulsa Oklahoma. The classroom will be in Ashley’s gorgeous studio space.

Here is a taste of what we will cover:

  • Contracts, pricing, gear
  • How to get the right client
  • Advertising for free
  • Income and in person sales
  • Natural light
  • Off camera flash
  • Workflow, organization and balance
  • Post processing in Lightroom and photoshop

There will be a beautifully styled bride and groom shoot and your meals for the day will be catered.

In order to provide a more intimate and personal experience, space will be limited.

The investment is $625 and is due at the time of registration. I will send a paypal invoice for payment.

One attendant will go home with a brand new Shootsac and all attendants will receive a swag bag.

We have just a few spots left for this one so, email me at imagovitaphotography@gmail.com to register.

Monday
Mar102014

kathryn & chance : engagements

Hello blog world! It is so nice to see you again! I fell off of the map for quite sometime as someone in our family was sick with something or other. It feels so good to be among the land of the living again and welcoming spring into our lives.

Back in January on one of the warm days in Tulsa before all of the snow and ice came, I had the honor of shooting Kathryn and Chance's engagement photos. I cannot even begin to tell you how much I always love my clients and these two are no exception to that rule! They are just the sweetest couple, so in love and so genuine.

Congratulations Kathryn and Chance. I absolutely cannot wait until your wedding this summer.

The prettiest green eye award goes to.......Kathryn of course!

The wedding is on June 28th so, while we were shooting in a parking lot we looked down to see the perfect spot for a photo.

After walking around downtown, we ended our shoot at the top of the Mayo just in time for the sunset.

 

Monday
Jan202014

january thaw

One of my goals for this year is to document our daily life with my big girl camera. It is one of those goals that I want to write on my forehead and carry around with me every single day. Not one of the goals that I make and forget about next week. Looking back through photos of last year, I am so sad that most of them are from my phone. I am thankful for the camera on my phone for its convenience and ability to fit in my pocket but the photos just don't compare to "real" ones. Looking back at photos of my family, brings me more joy than I can explain. Kids and seasons of life grow and change so quickly that it is easy for me to forget. Photos remind me. They show me God's goodness like nothing else can.

We have had some amazingly warm temperatures lately in Oklahoma which has made it so nice to play outside.

My girl. She makes my heart burst.

I love this next image so much! There is something so beautiful to me about glitter mixed with dirt.

This girl has the best stink eye of anyone I know.

Then there is this kid. Five going on thirteen.

When I asked him if I could take his picture, he came up with some "manly" poses that he wanted to do.

Best friends. So different in so many ways.

Pay no mind to the leaves that we haven't gotten around to cleaning up. I love all of the huge gorgeous trees that we have at this house but.......whew.......the leaves and acorns are a never ending battle.

Tuesday
Jan142014

dallas & kaitlyn : the wedding

I am delighted to share our last wedding of 2013 with you. It was a lovely freezing cold December day at Bridle Creek. The details were wintery and romantic and the entire day was just so full of joy and love. Dallas and Kaitlyn along with their friends and family, were just a dream come true to work with. We could not have felt more welcomed or embraced by them. It was the absolute perfect way to finish up an amazing year of weddings.

The abundance of sweet treats at this wedding was killing me. This preggo photog wanted to eat it all!

Kaitlyn girl, you are a stunner!

Three words for you: dapper, dapper, dapper.

 

Wednesday
Jan082014

around the house : my happy place

One of my goals this year is to take more photos of day to day happenings around the house. I got away from that last year too much due to the combo of the ease of having my phone camera on me at all times and the fact that moving, demolition, renovation in the midst of raising a family is a big mess. But it is our life right now and I happen to think it is a crazy beautiful mess.

There is no rymn or reason to this post. Just a few photos from the past few days of being cooped up with the munchkins. As the years go by and especially when it is zero degrees outside, I am becoming much more of a homebody than I ever have been and will go for days without leaving house. I am not complaining one bit. Home is my happy place.

Auntie Loren came by the other day and gave Miss Penelope Pie her first haircut. She doesn't have much hair yet but the hair she does have grows out like a fountain all on the top and in the middle of her head. It makes for a scraggly looking comb over. I cannot wait until hair starts to grow on the sides of her head! Loren says that maybe a year from now it will start to even out.

Miss P wasn't too sure about the whole thing.

I am afraid to say that most days when hubby is at work, you will find us in our jammies well past noon. We lounge around, work on house projects and play. While I was busy painting the bathroom, I kept P busy with her crayons. This girl LOVES to color. (Unfortunatley not just on paper.)

Oh this girl.....she melts me.

The kids share a room and I will often find them playing in there together. Keegan has such a soft heart towards his little sister. She roughs him up on a daily basis and he just keeps on loving her. I'm pretty proud of that kid. These were the first photos that I have ever taken in that room with my big girl camera. We haven't painted in there yet, decorated or anything. As soon as we get some big projects on the main part of the house wrapped up, it will happen.

Pretending to go night night.

No day at home is complete for Keegan without kisses and snuggles from Daisy dog.

Sunday
Jan052014

quilt top frames

I thought it would be fun to post a little crafty goodness today to lighten up on all of my recent writing. ;) I made a few of these frames over Christmas as gifts and loved how they turned out.

I had several fabric scraps laying around in my fabric stash from an unfinished quilt top that I purchased at an estate sale. If you don't have quilt top scraps then any old fabric will do. The frames are of the cheapest kind straight from the dollar store. (Shoot! Now my friends that I gifted these to are going to know how cheap I was in my gift giving.)

I just took the backs and the glass out of the frames, cut strips of fabric and hot glued the fabric strips to the frames. Then I added doilies and yarn for the photos. On one I just wrapped it all around several times with zig zags so that I could stick photos or prints in between the yarn. On the other, I glued one piece of yarn and clipped the photo with mini clothes pins. Either way, they are an easy DIY gift. Of course, I had to make a couple for myself to keep and put in place of all of our Christmas decorations.

If you don't want to be quite as cheap as I was, then you can order a print like this one from Recipe For Crazy and include it with your frame.

Friday
Jan032014

expectations : a big ugly bag full

Expectations.

Such a heavy, weighty word laced with all forms of selfishness.

It is a really difficult one for me. Expectations……fair, unfair, spoken, unspoken…..They all lead down the same path to disappointment one way or another.

It breaks my heart over and over again and yet I don’t learn. I carry around my bag of expectations like a high priced Gucci bag that I have somehow earned and somehow have the right to show off, walking around slapping those I love with the weight of it.

It is gross.

I need to repent.

I need to be rid of this ridiculousness.

But it is tricky, especially because we don’t live on a deserted island all alone. We live in constant relationship with others. All healthy relationships have to have a give and take. We have to be there for one another, serve one another and love one another. But what if we feel taken advantage of, unappreciated or unvalued by those we love? We have all been there. We have felt the sting of feeling forgotten in a friendship, unappreciated by our children, overlooked by our spouse, frustrated by our parents. The list goes on and on.

How do we deal with that?

How do we throw out our ugly overpriced bag full of expectations gone unmet?

One glimpse into our world for advice on the matter and we will find a plethora of inspirational quotes and mantras telling us that if the person we are in relationship with isn’t treating us right then we should walk away. We should cut it off at the root and not turn back, for we were too good for them anyways.

We live in a world that tells us that more brokenness is the way to “fix” what is broken. This way of living just doesn’t work. It only breeds more selfishness. It only takes pieces of our hearts and hardens them, turns them black and lifeless.

Are there things that we can do within a relationship to help stop the disappointment of the unmet expectations? Sure. We can try. I for one, know that I could be a better communicator. But even on my best days of laying my heart out there in the most loving fashion, I am only human. I mess it up. Those that I love fall short, AS DO I. It is inevitable.

But…….(thank God there is a but) Jesus flips the paradigm. He teaches us to love in a way that feels completely unnatural.

Talk about a man who was unappreciated and undervalued! When I think about all that he went through while here on earth and all that he endured for me on that cross,  I feel like a total moron for thinking for even one second that I been unfairly treated. I am brought to my knees thinking of the ridiculousness of the things that I deemed appropriate to withhold my love for.

The truth of the matter is, that our human hearts only know how to love full of brokenness.

Love with expectations woven into its fibers just won’t stay in one piece.

If we can learn to lay it down and let Jesus truly invade our hearts, healing can come. Relationships can be restored and we can stop carrying around all of that extra weight of those heavy expectations.

Dear friends, this is not a one time deal. This is a breath by breath, moment by moment, day by day surrender.

HIS way to love is oh so hard and unnatural for us, especially when we try to do it with our own strength.

My hope and prayer is that I can learn to let him help me, learn to let him knock down walls in my heart daily so that HIS love can come in and all of the dead hardened pieces will fall away.

 After all…….His word tells us:

Love does not insist on its own way…….

It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Wednesday
Jan012014

peter & libby : engagements

Happy New Year everyone! I am loving the feeling of a fresh clean new day, new month, new year. A new story waiting to unfold.

I have some catching up to do on blogging sessions from the end of my year. Late fall and early winter is usually a time of hustling to get everything edited and delivered to clients before Christmas hits.

This is a darling engagement session that I did for Libby and Peter. I could hang out with these two all day. They are just full of life, love and faith. The kind of people that just plain make your day better.

Monday
Dec302013

2013 : our year in little squares

 

2013 was a challenging one for us. It was FULL of change on so many levels. FULL of growth, learning and just a whole lot of hard work.

We began the year by getting our house ready to sell. This meant a lot of finishing up remodeling projects. It took us five years to finish remodeling our first little foreclosure when we had only expected it to take one or two. But life did what life does and threw us quite a few curve balls and surprises along the way.

Penelope started walking and changing at warp speed from a sweet little baby to a spunky little toddler. As she grew out of being a baby, her and Keegan grew closer and closer and loved playing and fighting with one another only as siblings can.

Then we began our journey into adoption. The journey actually began long ago, before Nathan and I even got married. It was a dream and a hope that God had placed in our hearts even back then. We researched and researched and shed tear after tear over the overwhelming plight of the orphan. We found our agency, gathered endless paper documents and completed our home study.

I hosted my third photography workshop at Ashley's studio and spent the day with some of the most amazing and inspiring photographers. Helping others to follow their dreams is on the top of my list of best things in life.

Spring came and we put our house for sale and sold it within the first two weeks. All of the energy that we poured into that little house over the years paid off and for that we were so very grateful. We celebrated.....then we kicked it into high gear and scrambled to pack and find another house. On the day that Keegan graduated Pre-K, we came across another foreclosure that had lots of room for potential. We had also found another house that didn't need hardly any work, with land and a pool. (I'll post more on that decision process later.) We decided to go ahead and make an offer on the foreclosure on that same day. We found out the next morning that we had just signed up for another home renovation. ;)

With the help of family and amazing friends, we loaded up the Uhaul and moved. We closed on both houses on the very same day so we had to live with our in-laws while we ripped out 1975 carpet and installed new flooring. Oh and our Uhaul also got broken into in our new neighborhood before we had the chance to unload it. It was a huge bummer but it could have been much worse than it was. It was only stuff and stuff we can live without or replace. We were just thankful that our family was safe.

We moved into our new house about a week and were thrilled to all be together in our new (to us) 1975 brown dingy house. We quickly got to work on project after project to make this place our own. Hours and hours and more hours of blood sweat and tears (well, maybe not blood but lots of sweat and definitely lots of tears.)

Then came the whammy.

I found out I was pregnant. You can read more about that in this post.

We then had to put the brakes on our adoption and change lots of our plans.

We continued working on our house, Keegan turned five and we began home schooling. All the while Nathan was putting in long hours of work in the emergency room and I was shooting weddings like crazy. My busiest season hit smack dab in the height of morning (more like all of the time) sickness and extreme fatigue.

It was a hard season but God was still with us. And now we are in a different season with its own challenges. And you guessed it, God is still with us. With each passing day there are less and less surfaces in this house that are brown (or mustard) and dingy. And with each breath, each prayer, my heart is healing and getting used to the idea that HE has control, HE has a plan.

I am looking at this year ahead full of so much hope and excitement for what is yet to come. It might be hard, it might hold surprises but HE will be with us and it will be good.