Jenna | Raleigh Bridal Portraits

Monday, April 29, 2013 Posted in Bridal Portraits 

I feels like I have been waiting FOR-EVER to share some of Jenna's bridal portraits!! We took them back in March, and Jenna and Eric just got married this past Friday! Wow...what a day! Here are a couple of my favorites of Jenna...glowing with excitement about her upcoming wedding. I think she's amazing!

Jenna's bridal portraits were taken at Highgrove Estate (the same place they got married). I can't say enough great things about Highgrove and their wonderful staff. I hope I get to photograph many weddings there in the future.

This is definitely my favorite!

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  1. Kim Johnson Apr 29th, 2013 10:37AM

    Gorgeous!!! Jenna is stunning

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Jenna & Eric | Highgrove Estate Sneak Peek

Thursday, April 25, 2013 Posted in Wedding 

Dear Eric & Jenna, Oh my word.....what a day!!! I'm sitting here at my computer, completely overwhelmed by the love surrounding your wedding today. The way your friends and family support you, cherish you, cheer you such a blessing to be around. I can't imagine a couple more perfect together than you two. Cheers to a lifetime together. Have an amazing honeymoon. I can't wait see you soon!


My goodness...there were so many times I cried along with friends and family. So many beautiful emotions.

I ADORED this bridal party! They were sooo much fun!

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  1. MOM Apr 28th, 2013 12:50PM

    Our beautiful Jenna! So in awe of you and your soul mate chosen for you by our Heavenly Father! God is so GOOD, and we are so THANKFUL!!!

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California Adventure Pt 3 | San Francisco

Tuesday, April 23, 2013 Posted in Personal I get to conclude our trip to California by telling you the perfect ending to an amazing trip. This part (in some way) is my favorite... Here are the links to the previous blog posts:: Yosemite, Big Sur.

So, on Sunday night, we made our way back to San Francisco for our last night in California. Shane had to be back at work on Tuesday morning, so he took the 6 am flight on Monday. That flight was much more expensive than the red eye, so I took the red eye Monday night. (Plus, who could blame me for wanting to stay in San Francisco one more day?!). On Monday, Shane and I woke up at 3:30am to get Shane to the airport in time for his flight. My original intentions were to watch the sunrise over the Golden Gate Bridge, but after I dropped Shane off, I figured that I could dream up a better sunrise on my own. So, I went back to bed...hehe


I was fairly exhausted after such a full week of adventure. I decided to drop my expectations of seeing e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g in SF, and ease into my day. So, I slept 'til 9, enjoyed 3 cups of Beruk's home roasted coffee, dropped by Sightglass Coffee roastery, and then met up with my friend, Neezar, in the city.

I first met Neezar at Dane Sander's workshop in NYC in 2009. We have kept in touch through the years, and I always love seeing him as often as I can. Neezar has one of the kindest hearts, and he knows how to make you feel so valuable and important. Once I met up with him, Neezar promised to take me to all the best spots to view the Golden Gate Bridge. First, we went to Marin Headlands (that was my favorite!), then we went to Saulsilitos. (I love the images Neezar shot of me gazing out to the bridge from Saulsilitos.)

After the Golden Gate Bridge, Neezar took me to an amazing seafood restaurant in Fisherman's Wharf, Scoma's. I always enjoy our deep, life-giving conversations that we have when we are together. (Thank you Neezar for your friendship and constant source of love and encouragement!)

After lunch, Neezar and I parted ways. I started to hit an afternoon wall...especially after all of that amazing SF sourdough bread! So, once I left Neezar, I decided to walk around the Palace of Fine Arts. I've always noticed this building when I've been in SF, but I've never actually stopped there. I can't even describe how peaceful this moment in time was. The grounds were very quiet, and not many people were around. As I walked around the cupula, I remember hearing the echo of my boots, and birds chirping excitedly at my presence. When I looked up, I could see bands of sea mist coming in from the bay. The sun was spilling through the trees, and I'll never forget feeling so small against such large and intricate architecture. This was one point in the day where time slowed down, and I had the chance to savor peace and beauty.

After the Palace of Fine Arts, I decided to check out Tartine Bakery. Driving from the Marina District to the Mission District was a blast. I loved all of the hills in the midst of such a busy city. Plus, the colorful Victorian row houses are always a treat to see. So, I savored the drive to the Mission District, and luckily when I arrived at Tartine, the line wasn't completely wrapped around the block. As I was waiting in line, all I could think of was how much I wish I could experience this bakery with my friends. At this point in the day, I missed Shane, Julie, and Beruk.

At Tartine, I ordered a lemon tart to go, then set my sights on Alamo Square to visit my childhood dream home: the Full House home. I ended up in Alamo square at just the right time....the sun was setting directly on the Painted Sisters, and I sat on a bench directly in front of the colorful row of houses, and enjoyed my lemon tart. While I was there, I met a few new friends from LA, and we laughed about how big of Full House nerds we all were.

This next part is my was a gift directly from above. I'll try to describe it's divinity, but it will be hard to truly sum up the ending of my trip in words. But, I'll try......

So, on my flight to SF on Tuesday, I finished reading a book that has completely changed my life, 1000 Gifts by Ann Voskamp. I started this book in May, and have slowly journeyed through it. On my flight, I read the one line that would completely impact this whole California Trip...this line echoed through my head everywhere I went, and it really rooted itself in me during sunset on the last day.

Is there a greater way to love the Giver than to delight wildly in His gifts?
Ann Voskamp

This line opened my eyes to the gifts and creativity of my he paints immaculate sunsets for me.....why? Just to enjoy them. So, as I finished up my lemon tart in Alamo square, I looked at the time and knew that I had about an hour left before the sunset. Of all the spots to watch the sunset, I knew that Marin Headlands would be the best vantage point. Especially if I wanted to watch the sun dip behind the bay, but as I pulled up Google Maps, I noticed a chunk of green, undeveloped, land a little further west than the Golden Gate Bridge. It was a little spot called Bonita Cove. So, I dropped the pin on my Google basically the middle of nowhere, and I began my journey to this mysterious point near Marin Headlands. In the meantime, an Instagram, friend who was in the SF as well, left me her number on one of my pictures to see if we could connect. Since I only had about an hour and a half of light left before I had to head to the airport, I was fairly certain that me and Heaven (my instagram friend) weren't going to have a chance to meet. However, as I was driving towards my mysterious location, I decided to give her a call. Would you believe that she was already at the exact spot I had dropped my pin if I told you? I'm being dead serious....Heaven Instagram friend who I had never met was already watching the sunset over the bay in the exact spot I was heading. It was so rare that it actually felt divine.

I parked my car in a dirt parking lot, and started walking down a path. Even then, I doubted that I would actually bump into the Heaven. As I was walking down this path with my camera, my breath was knocked out of my body by the beauty of the scene before me. All I kept repeating over and over again was, "I don't understand how beautiful this is. I can't even take in the reality of this moment. This is hard to fathom". I was stunned by the golden sun dancing on the blue waters and green cliffs. It felt like this moment was a gift directly from the Giver....straight to little ol' me. As I was squatting down to take pictures, this bubbly, short gal, with a smile as big as the Grand Canyon came skipping towards me. I immediately knew that this must be Heaven.

We hugged, and immediately felt like longtime friends. It was refreshing to be around another photographer that spoke my same language. Instead of us laying our cameras down and getting to know one another, we hugged then immediately starting taking pictures of the sunset. We were both drawn to this cove, and started hiking down this tiny path to get down to the water.

Once we were by the water, I began taking pictures of Heaven and then she started taking pictures of me. It was natural, was as if we both knew we were supposed to document this special moment in both of our lives. Our paths crossed but for a second, and in that second....we took pictures of one another dancing in the water, running into the sunset, laughing at the undeserved grace of heaven, and the amazing gift of life that we have been given. Of all the pictures I have ever had taken of me in my entire life....none of them compare to this moment. The pictures that Heaven took of me were of reckless abandonment....all insecurities laid aside. What Heaven captured was the heart of who I am and what I believe, and the pictures below are evidence of this. (Thank you, Heaven, for documenting these moments for me. I will cherish these pictures forever!)

Ending my California Adventure in Bonita Cove was the perfect way to conclude my trip. I learned to fully bask in the joy of the little moments of our trip, and I came back to NC more alive than when I left. Thank you for reading a piece of my story. I hope you enjoyed my California Adventure. I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below.

This is the view from Marin Headlands. It doesn't disappoint!

I LOVE LOVE this picture Neezar took of me being all gorgeous and stuff in front of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Palace of Fine Arts.

The Painted Ladies at Alamo Square. You should've seen me screaming, "Uncle Jessie.....come outta that house!!!"

This is the view from Bonita Cove. What did I tell you? Insane!

See....I told you so!

I have never seen a more beautiful sunset.

This is Heaven, and her beautiful smile!

There are no words to describe how alive this moment made me feel.

I love this one that Heaven caught of me looking out over the ocean.

I adore this one of Heaven playing in the water. I just love her!

This one takes my breath away. I love how Heaven caught my hair flying wild in the wind as I ran into the sunset!

This is another favorite. Unreal!

I love the way this one makes me feel beautiful...just the way I am. I love when pictures make you feel more beautiful than what you see in the mirror at times.

Thank you SOO much for reading about my California Adventure.

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  1. heaven Apr 25th, 2013 12:01PM

    oh my friend what magical days will greet thee. this evening was filled to the brim with perfection. ever grateful to instagram, to life, to you for this day. peace + love, heaven :) -- aka -- big smile..lotta teeth. giggle.

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