Which is better, Christmas or Wedding Season?

My grandpa had three rules for men to follow when it came to getting married.

1. You had to be 25.
2. You had to have met, and liked, her mother.
3. You had to have seen her in a bathing suit.

Served him well, the man would have been married 70 years this year.

It’s advice I am 99-percent sure three guys I know have taken, because they’ll be marrying three of my favorite ladies on the planet later this year.

Yep, you guys, this summer is WEDDING SEASON!

It comes around once every few years (the last one was the summer/fall of 2010, and before that, one spanned the entire year of 2007). And I love every minute of it.

I’m so happy for all three of my girls and am honored to play a part in each of their days and the planning process. I’ve helped shop for 2 wedding dresses, done 2 save-the-date shoots and that’s just the beginning.

In June, we have Ashley and Matt’s wedding. I’m like 78 percent responsible for them meeting, so I take their relationship as a personal success. They are both amazing people that I couldn’t imagine my life without.

I was there when Ashley found her wedding dress. I will be there when everyone else who loves her gets to see her wearing it. And I’ll be that girl running around on the beach that day (yup, beach wedding, another reason I love her) trying not to get sand in my camera while trying to capture as much of the day for her as I can.

She wants me to take pictures. She trusts me. That’s scary, y’all. Engagement shoots you can schedule to do again. But hey, at least it’s a digital camera, so I’ll know how they turn out immediately. And I cannot wait to be there for her on her special day.

Rebecca’s up next, marrying Jered in July at a plantation in Tennessee. You see, I have a handful of people that I truly consider to be my soulmates, and Rebeck is right up there at the top. I love our friendship and am so happy for her and Jered.

I’ll be standing up there with her on her day, in my Kentucky blue bridesmaid’s dress (and a hidden UofL Cardinal temporary tat on my body so nobody gets confused as to where my allegiance lies), probably crying just like I will at Ashley’s because I am so glad my friends have found these guys to share their lives with.

And finally, in August, comes the party of the century. Rachel and Charles are getting married. And my family can throw down.

Seriously, we do Derby and Christmas up right and this, well, this will be a whole other story. People are lining up their transportation options (Cabs, City Scoot) back from the reception now. And it’s March.

I love Chuckie like a brother and have since they started dating, right after I left for college. So this is really just a formality. And making it all official and whatnot. And an excuse to have a huge party.

I was there when Rachel found her dress and, friends, she’s going to look so beautiful that day. It’s amazing. I’m loving being a part of the planning and prep process for this, and she and Chuckie were my guinea pigs for engagement photo shoots and save-the-date designs (which I’ll post a peek of once they’ve all been sent out, if I get the OK).

I’m a bridesmaid at their wedding as well, and we made sure those dresses had pockets because I’ll cry. I’m sure. Or, ya know, I’ll keep a flask in there. Some days I can’t believe she’s getting married and other times it feels like they’ve been married all along, there’s just this big-ass party the end of August that our entire family and tons of our friends will be there for.

So yeah, Wedding Season officially starts in June, but I’m already in the mode. Engagement photos, save-the-dates, wedding showers, dresses, hunting down (easy but also amazing) ideas on Pinterest for something crafty I can do for them as a wedding present, because I don’t do the registry for these ladies.

You’ll see pictures, hopefully, of all things wedding I can show you, before and after, but for now you’ll just have to be content with the building of the excitement, like I am.

‘Cause I. Can. Not. Wait!


Play photos, Act I

Remember when I told you how I learned to take pictures of things in motion? Well, now, I can take pictures of things when the lighting is horrible. And they turn out well! Who knew?

Everything I’ve learned about photography I’ve basically taught myself. Yes, I took a photo class in college, but that was kind of a waste because I got bad grades on all my assignments – which is bull because that picture of the egg on the floor of my dorm room is AMAZING, my sister has it framed and hanging in her room. B- my ass.

Anyways. In the past four years I’ve been working at a weekly paper, I’ve had to take my own pictures – which they don’t tell you in school because they figure you’ll work at a daily where people are hired JUST AS PHOTOGRAPHERS. Don’t get me wrong, I like taking pictures. A lot. I’m glad I get to do different things besides writing all the time because it keeps things changing and keeps them fun. I just wasn’t prepared to be a photographer when I started my first job out of college. And if you look at my pictures from that first year or so at that paper, you’d be like, “UM, YOU WERE RIGHT, YOU SUCKED.”

I’m 99 percent convinced that photography is mostly about luck. A co-worker (who is awesome at photography) told me once if you were seeing it and your eye wasn’t behind the lens, you were missing it. Watch stuff through the lens and get to shooting. The rest of the photography process is based on focus, lighting, your subject and whether or not you have shaky hands, which effects the whole focus thing.

In the past couple years, since I’ve been at a job where people actually take awesome pictures and could help me out a little bit, I’ve learned a lot. My co-workers have helped me out with settings and f-stops and ISOs and all that stuff I should have retained from Basic Photo, but didn’t. And with lots of practice and covering several different types of events, I’ve gotten better, I think. Hell, I even won a couple photo awards. So, chew on that, photo teacher that gave me a C.

This past weekend I shot photos of a play at a local high school. I got some good shots, I think. So many, in fact that I’m gonna show you some now, and show you some later. ENJOY!

Look who can take pictures of things in motion, finally

In keeping with the tradition of self-promoting my growing photography skills (or lack thereof, you be the judge) I thought you might want to see more of my recent photo work.

These are from the triathlon that recently ran through the cities where I live and work. I took pictures at the event and considering when I first started taking pictures for newspapers three years ago (at high school football games) and only got a good one once or twice in about 300 shots, I am pretty happy with these. It’s hard to capture motion – especially as quick as these guys (and girls) were moving. But I think I did alright.

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