W E D D I N G || Amy & Tom- Rider Ranch, Idaho

Amy & Tom have a love story that leaves single people sighing. Their infatuation with one another goes beyond the shared love of guns, law inforcement, and their sweet boy Carter. It goes into their kindness and respect for one another. You can tell they genuinely want the best for each other. They seek to help the other be the best person they can possibly be, while cherishing and celebrating who they already are. That’s the caliber of love that challenges other marriages–it certainly challenged TJ’s & mine.

When it was all said and done, we left while they were still laughing, mingling, and music was still blasting through the air. Between the nerf gun shooting range, the incredible selection of spirits and pizza, and their history-steeped handfasting ceremony, this wedding has to be one of the most emotive, organic examples of what it means to truly love another person. As we watched them greet their guests with hugs, laughter, and real joy, and as they moved through the crowd, hands subconsciously intertwined any time they were forced to separate and moved back together, eyes constantly resting on one another, you could see that each table went from being happy to completely overflowing with joy. It was an incredible phenomenon, to see their love and personalities create such a warmth and happiness in those they chose to surround themselves with. It’s one of the few receptions I’ve gone to where everyone was having so much fun, hardly anyone left by the time we were done shooting.

We’re still swooning, but while we could wax eloquent about the details and the kilts and the brooch and the pizza, Amy & Tom hired us to document their wedding with cameras. So we did.

Oh, and don’t forget to check out a special surprise link at the bottom. Those vows of theirs….gah.

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Gah. They light up the whole ranch with their smiles, right? Check out more from their day, and some special video highlights that we snagged!

Special Thanks to the following vendors:
Makeup/Hair: Ashley Cook
Florist: Flowers by Paul
Catering: Nate’s New York Pizza
DJ: Ward Crawford

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W E D D I N G || Miranda & Robert — September 6th, 2014

Some of my favorite weddings have been held in a backyard, surrounded by family, friends, and food. To be honest, I *adore* them. To be surrounded by familiarity, to know where all the bathrooms are, to be able to raid the fridge when nerves hit–it’s pretty invaluable.

Add to that the gorgeous country chic look of this house, surrounded by wheat fields and gorgeous trees, and the beautiful laughter of each person there to celebrate the day, and you have a recipe for an amazingly gorgeous, incredible day.

Miranda and Robert laugh at the same jokes. They danced to music we couldn’t hear, they drank heartily, they kissed heartily, the said their vows with intense grins on their faces….all in all, they’re completely and perfectly meant for one another. To say I adore them both is an understatement. I demand they get remarried at least once a year, so I can recapture their amazingness. That’s not a lot to ask, right?

A link to their gorgeous FUSION Video (which includes a couple surprise video clips!) is at the bottom!

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Click the video below to be taken to Miranda & Robert’s FUSION Video!!!!

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W E D D I N G || Taija & Desmond – Spokane, Washington

There’s something about getting married in a house full of memories. Antiques, beautiful walls crowded with family portraits, delicate figurines on shelves, and an atmosphere of comfort greeted me as we arrived to capture Taija & Desmond’s incredible day–as well as a host of the most cheerful bridesmaids in THE ENTIRE WORLD. While booming laughter sounded from the basement, where Desmond and his Merry Men were getting ready, Taija and her girls were laid back, chill, making jokes, and remembering great moments from their friendships.

One of the most incredibly important parts of this day, for me (as a nerdy girl that loved Sailor Moon in High School and felt awkward and “different” all through high school) was the level of acceptance for Desmond and Taija. They played Korean Pop Music, they locked arms and skipped into their reception, laughed with wild abandon, danced as if they were the only ones in the world, and made nerdy reference after nerdy reference–and everyone there smiled, laughed, and enjoyed it.

I know that you’re probably thinking “Well, yeah, it’s their wedding.” But…to me, it was even more special to see people that I genuinely think are some of the coolest people I’ve ever captured, in their element, surrounded by people who celebrate their unique and awesome personalities. It was, without a doubt, one of the happiest and most jovial celebrations we captured, and I have no doubt it went on for quite some time after we were finished.

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Oh, but that’s not even close to all. We also made a FUSION Video of their incredible day, highlighting all the amazing, throwing in even MORE sneak peeks, and maybe even a couple video clips of their incredible day! Just click below!

Thank you again for allowing us to capture your special day, Taija & Desmond! We adore you, and your entire amazing group of family and friends!

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E N G A G E M E N T || Kayla & Nate

It’s been on my bucket list to shoot in a wheat field at sunset for quite some time. So when Kayla and Nate approached me to capture their engagement session in the sun-kissed wheat fields that surrounded her families old victorian homestead, I arrived to their shoot levitating, I was so excited. Nate has the humor of his two beautiful sisters, Danielle and Arica (both of whom I’ve photographed in the past!) and Kayla is the perfect balance to his boisterous, joyful ways with her incredible smile, and serene demeanor. Between exploring a home full of history and floral patterns, and the wheat fields that ended up being way less delicate then I had ever imagined, the images we captured are definitely some of my all-time favorites.

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Looking for a family shoot? October is Family Month! Our Family Shoots (regularly $185.00) are being discounted to $135.00 for a 1-2 hour shoot, and 5 digital images from the shoot. Additional images will be available for purchase from your proofing gallery for $17.50 each, or you can purchase in bulk to save money and get more memories! We’re only taking 15 sessions this year, so get in quick, because once November hits, we’re bundling up, and staying home to enjoy the holidays! Contact us at shmilyface10@gmail.com OR 509-994-9323!

E N G A G E M E N T || Tori & Tommy || Sunset Shoot

Tori is my secret twin–but with more tattoos, and better fashion sense. She laughs at lame puns, loves to doodle, can hang out at the kitchen table for hours and rock out to chill and happy music, and understands that a good vent sess is occasionally needed to make a heart right. Tommy is her incredible fiance. The way he holds her like he knows she’s meant to fill his empty spaces, the way he cherishes her smile, and the way he looks at her with joy and genuine interest when she speaks tells me that he’s her perfect other half. Plus he cracks me up, which gives him a huge thumbs up in my book. Together, they’re an amazing couple.

Moreover, they can BRING IT to a shoot. We shot the first half of this shoot at the good ol’ Finch Arboretum ( I love the variety it has to offer) and the second half of this shoot in an undisclosed field in the middle of the Northside of Spokane. A small distance away, cars hummed away on the freeway, and fires made the air slightly hazy. It all came together to create a sunset shoot that I just adore. Completely.

I hope you adore it too!

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E N G A G E M E N T || Tiffanie & Chase

Tiffanie & Chase are incredibly adorable together. Besides the fact that Tiffanie has freaking incredible hair, and Chase has a wicked sense of humor, they were laid back, chill, friendly, and totally understood my deep and abiding need to make strange noises whenever they did something that made my heart happy. While their wedding is still a year out–we’re super stoked for it–Tiffanie definitely has an eye for detail and style, and I *know* her wedding is going to reflect that amazing talent!!

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Thanks for such an awesome shoot, Tiffanie & Chase!!! We can’t wait to do more with you!!!

P E R S O N A L || Wake Up Calls

Monday had been marred with stress already when I got the news that my Dad had a heart attack. Being the first time my Dad has really ever been at a point where he was actually down and out, I was thoroughly shocked. And a little scared. Okay, a lot scared.

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I finally got to see him today, all snuggled up in a hospital bed, wrapped in those crunchy, unsoft hospital blankets, wrapped in light from the huge windows, spearing watermelon and fake eggs with a stainless steel fork. He was quiet, and soft spoken. His jokes came, as they always did, but the delivery was less than boisterous. It was then that it hit me. My Dad was human. Vincible. Not INvincible. Not eternal. He was very real. Very human. Prone to crazy things like getting sick, and having heart attacks, and being betrayed by his body, a body that was always fit and in shape. That man that always seemed to stand against anything and succeed….was laying in a bed, trying to get back up as quickly as possible.

I don’t know why, but when I got down to my car, and looked at my hands, I started to cry. I know it’s warranted, healthy even, to process emotions. And I know I’m not the first person to shed tears aplenty in that hospital parking lot. I bet some other person was also sitting behind the wheel of their car, hands gripping on to the steering wheel, as if squeezing it would give them the answers, or at least the solace they so desired.

But life’s funny that way, I guess. One minute, you’re fighting personal demons, thinking about how much you need to do, mentally calculating how many weddings you need to book in order to travel to Ireland and capture thick green hills and crashing waves and old cobblestones, the next, you’re calling siblings, making sure they have someone to hold on to, and making sense of the madness, and trying to quell the overwhelming desire to drive 150 MPH all the way to the hospital.

I guess I’m writing here because words make more sense than swirling heart ache. Typing it out makes more sense than thinking it and trying to make sense of it all in my head. Transparency, and responding in love, my two mantras, have always served to give me solace, peace, and answers when I needed them, so I use them now.

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So today, I’m holding myself. I’m allowing myself to have moments to feel it out, to let the emotions wash over me, to accept that we’re all getting older, that life has a cycle, that fear and anger are emotions with as much right to exist as love and graciousness. I’m reminding myself that I don’t have to have all the answers. But even more importantly, I’m reminding myself that I’m not in control. It doesn’t have to be okay by me….I just have to tip my hat at it. It’s a lesson that keeps lapping at my toes, like a tide rushing in to smooth and refine the sand. I have no control. And even if I hate it, sometimes, just knowing it’s a thing is all I need.

And I’m gonna make more time to be with my family, regardless of the fact that we’re hours apart. Distance is nothing compared to the missed memories I was regretting as I waited to hear how he was doing. My Dad, thankfully, is made of crazy strong stuff (he’d have to be, to drive himself to the hospital while having a heart attack), and he’s already chomping at the bit to go back and do more fishing. I love my Dad, and my family, and I need to make sure I let them know it, not just with words, but with actions too.

❤ Thanks for letting me share my heart here, captive audience. Now go hug a family member or a pet or a piece of furniture. Something. Go on! Get!