I Love You.{I Know.}

I love unique. I love it when I’m asked to do something different. It’s challenging, it’s fun and I feel like I can be EVEN MORE creative. It pushes the boundaries.

Samantha contacted me recently to set up an engagement session and had mentioned they wanted the shoot at our local, public library. During our exchange of emails and getting details together, I asked her: “why the library?” and this was her response:

[I’m thinking of a thumbing-through-the-stacks-looking-for-love type thing. I’m an English teacher with a writing degree, so my whole life is pen and paper. I read fiction, and John reads nonfiction. We compliment each other in that way. One of the first things we ever did was exchange Harry Potter books. Our whole lives are built around the things that we love together, and libraries are the places where that happens. So, it’s less about The Library and more about the idea behind it.]

It was perfect. And I couldn’t wait! These are the pictures of their story. As we were walking through the genealogy department, a huge-impossible to miss, stained glass window scaled the east wall. John said: “When they built this library, they had local students create pieces of art for this stained glass window. My brother and I were some of those students, look….here’s our artwork.”

You don’t get more personal than that! Congrats Samantha and John….she loves you and you know….

 

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Randy + Laura = Madison Grace

Randy and Laura, I met them for the first time while shooting their maternity session. They were so cute, so laid-back and SO in love.

Then, I was lucky enough to be at the hospital minutes after the birth of their child. I love the stories that shape people’s lives and being able to put pictures with that story is my absolute favorite. I feel so lucky to be able to do what I love and freeze memories for people forever. Here’s a little excerpt of their story:

[Randy and I met in an evening Spanish class at UAFS in Aug of 2013 (that neither one of us really wanted to take). Every time I looked at him, he was already looking at me and vice versa. After a few weeks of class, we decided to study together before our first test. Three years later with a baby on the way and it feels as if we’ve never not been together.
We are anxious and excited to begin our journey as parents together! Hopefully Madison Grace will find her Prince Charming one day like I’ve found mine. Until then, I’m sure her Daddy will be her Prince Charming.] 

Here’s to a happy life Randy and Laura! Can’t wait to watch your family, your daughter and your love grow!

 

All Tucked In

“When you hold your baby in your arms the first time, and you think of all the things you can say and do to influence him, it’s a tremendous responsibility. What you do with him can influence not only him, but everyone he meets and not for a day or a month or a year but for time and eternity.” –Rose Kennedy

If I said that I get tired of going to hospitals and photographing newborns, I would be fibbing. The crazy thing is, I never cared for anything like that…until I became a parent myself. What a beautiful thing it is to see a new child’s first interactions with the voices it had heard for so many weeks before. I had the privilege of photographing this new member of the B family recently and I just LOVED going through the gallery….over and over and over again. Baby Tucker’s face is so sweet and to be able to capture this moment, freeze it and give his parents the gift of remembrance is so exciting for me. Tucker is a lucky boy. He has an older brother who he’ll be able to play baseball with and two parents who have very selfless jobs as educators. He is now part of a wonderful family of 4 that have great hearts, simply said. I’m so happy for you Tucker and I count out thousands of wishes for you and your dreams.

 

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A Crazy Kind Of Life

“What I love most about this crazy life is the adventure of it.”– Juliette Binoche

Here I am, focusing the lens, about to hit the shutter and the guy in my photo session gets down on one knee. Did I know about this? No. Did she know about this? No. We were totally shocked and if I said I didn’t cry, as I was shooting, I would be lying. It was one of the most beautiful moments I’ve ever been a part of. Now, I must disclose: she is one of my closest friends and I’m biased….but it was wonderful being there.

Shanda and Chase have a crazy life. They dated for years, broke up a couple times, moved away from one another a few times and yet, found themselves back together….in the same state….at the same time. What do people call this? Oh yeah, “meant to be.”

They knew they wanted to get married. She had just taken a new job in Arkansas and he had just graduated from pharmacy school. They bought a house and began their new journey together. About 6 weeks after they had moved in, I met Shanda for lunch. I was planning on talking about wedding plans, but she had something else she had to tell me.

Let me step back a bit. Shanda was basically told most of her adult life that she would probably never have children of her own. Without going into all of her medical history, it’s as simple as this: her chances were slim, very slim and Chase knew this and he was okay with it.

Fast forward to our lunch date. She sits down, looks at me and says: “I’m pregnant. It’s REALLY early, like we just found out. But I’m pregnant. I’m really pregnant.” I sat there, stunned and then I cried. It was such wonderful news, but not without reservations.

So, right there, over lunch, we planned on pictures for the spring. These are those pictures. These are the images of her, Chase and their unborn baby, Henry. These are the images of her becoming a fiancé. These are the images of undeniable happiness. These are the images of a new chapter in her crazy life.

Henry was born April 30th as a very healthy baby boy. I haven’t had the opportunity to photograph him yet, but you better believe that will be happening as soon as possible. Now Chase and Shanda’s life is even crazier than before, but I do believe they wouldn’t have it any other way.

 

 

Brandon + Erica = Ever After

“Life is a song – sing it. Life is a game – play it. Life is a challenge – meet it. Life is a dream – realize it. Life is a sacrifice – offer it. Life is love – enjoy it.” –Sai Baba

I stood to the side as speeches were given at this couple’s reception. The words brought laughter, but they also brought tears….heartfelt and sweet.

Brandon and Erica have known one another for years, but life took them separate ways. She had fallen in love with someone else, had children and lived her life. Many years later, when the kids were older and she was alone, Brandon walked back into her life with open arms and an open heart for the children that would soon become his. Brandon filled a gap and he filled it well. He went to the kid’s games, helped them with their homework and became Erica’s best friend. He also became a father and eventually, a fiancé.

Now, he’s a husband and she’s writing a new chapter in her book. She has a new partner, a new job, a new college degree and a new beginning. Capturing their wedding was an honor for me, the entire family was precious. So, cheers to you Brandon and Erica, I wish you all the happiness life has to offer.

 

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Newborn….New Interference

So I had a baby in late July and she’s a beautiful girl named Ellis. I’ve been shooting a little bit since her arrival, but haven’t blogged….AT ALL. It’s shameful, I know. I’ve been feeding, feeding, changing diapers, feeding, cleaning up projectile vomit, feeding, re-watching the entire series of Sex and the City for the millionth time and cherishing every single second of my time with my little girlfriend. So first, I have to show you my baby girl with her daddy….the rest of the photos are a hodgepodge of the last couple months and what I’ve been up to. Enjoy!

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Chris + Ashley = Baby Girl G

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Carly| University of Arkansas

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