Two years ago my family and I made our way to Orlando, Florida. We are five deep now, surrounded by cousins and new perspective.
We have lived in three different cities and added three humans to our family in the past five years. We’ve been vulnerable as we navigated new cities with little community at first. And we’ve walked in abundance at moments - surrounded by family, soaking in the light of our newborn babies.
Our path has been guided by the pursuit of different things along the way but ultimately landed us here in Florida to be near family. And we are so thankful for that opportunity.
I've had the privilege of continuing to have some beautiful souls in front of my camera throughout our journey, and as we lay down roots here in Orlando I am happy to be offering family and lifestyle shoots and also booking weddings throughout Florida.
As I've been preparing to accept more work locally I have been pouring over images from the past ten years that I have been shooting professionally and I am truly humbled by the unique experiences I have had to capture people just being who they are. It is an honor to see the complex connections among people who love each other and to be trusted to document all the beauty that unfolds as a result. Looking forward to sharing that with our new community here in Orlando.
Photo by Megan Gielow
Christina and Blaise found each other.
They each spent years following their respective dreams all over this country and then fate delivered them to Nashville for a couple of overlapping months. In that time they found each other. And less than a year later, this day was happening.
There is a sense of abandon in their presence. Not the reckless kind. The intentional uninhibited kind that lets you find your soul mate and marry them within months. True whimsy and joy. There's no stopping them. And this wedding day was a reflection of that. It was a tribute to their unending faith with so much love and support from longtime friends and family.
To witness their connection was a beautiful experience. And an honor to document -- as Christina is a talented photographer herself.
Venue: The Lindsey Plantation, Tayors, SC
Georgina is full of soul. Her depth has depth. Sitting across a table from her is an invitation to explore. I have pondered books and art with her and followed those ramblings with meaningful contemplation about life and raising little humans. She makes my world rich and her friendship is a gift.
This is her home. Full of light and life. And that airy feeling isn't just beautiful interior design; it's an intentional lifestyle being lived and breathed by her entire family. It's a truly sacred place and I feel thankful to have documented just a bit of that life.
Each day that passes that I get to be a parent, I am more aware of the complexity of the love we have for our kids. It's hard to even explain -- so to be able to hold a camera in my hands and stop time for a few minutes truly gives a voice to the feelings. It's the most abundant interpretation of these fleeting, joyful days. And to be able to create that kind of art in someone else's home is a true privilege.
This is Georgina's sweet family.
Lauren and Gillon. Ay yi yi. Their wedding day was one beautiful exchange of words after another so, naturally, I feel completely inadequate to even attempt to describe the elaborate and hopeful nature of the connection they have in my own words. I almost asked them to share some of the heart filled words that were a part of their ceremony but I thought that would somehow cheapen them. The look on Lauren and Gillon's faces as they shared their vows...and the tremor in their voices as they swapped sacred strings of words. There was so much complexity, and yet still a lightness. Just witnessing it made me feel like I could do anything.
These are two of the kindest souls and it's just nice to know that people still find each other.
And this is Rocklands Farm. Most generous hosts.
The Snows. I tell ya. In just a sec.
Truth is after Amos came into the world, I was pretty sure that I never needed to do another day of work again. Ever. Just sit and be swallowed by his ever-changing world. There are still a lot of days that I hang onto that mantra. But in a lot of other moments I feel overwhelmed with gratitude that I get to document people for my living. That I get to witness all kinds of human connection and have the freedom to create something tangible...art that people will look at for years to recall the way that they loved and felt. Those moments exist in such a profound way on a wedding day, but they are uniquely raw and full of beauty on any old day at your house with your family. I have always loved photographing families. I'm just a family fan in general. So much truth and acceptance. And depth that doesn't exist elsewhere. I hated to miss out on opportunities to work with wonderful families, but I have passed on shoot after shoot over these past few months so that I could really embrace those same incredible moments with my own family.
Some perfect timing allowed me to spend an afternoon photographing some friends recently. They're friends who I met in the months leading up to Amos' birth (and Finn's - the blonde small fry). They're born a couple days apart and I've had the privilege of witnessing his mom and dad become parents. They've done so with such grace. Loving so deeply and intentionally -- creating such a peaceful environment for Finn to become who he'll be.
Raising a human is a journey. So rich and full of wonder. It's been nice to share it with these guys. And an honor to document them.
It's an honor just to document such important moments in the lives of the people I get to become friends with. I get to step into their world and experience a day that they've poured so much of themselves into creating. Each one different and beautiful. And every now and then a fancy wedding blog sees the beauty also and has to share it with the world.
Always an honor.
Ria. Such a beaut. Mostly because of the heart behind all that good-looking stuff. More to come soon.
Oh man. Such an incredible gift to have my family documented by Megan Gielow. I met Megan a couple years ago when she and her husband decided to embark on the adventure of moving to Charlotte from Michigan. They were just living on love and faith and decided to take a risk. I love that characteristic in any human but Megan isn't just any ol human. Since meeting her, she and her husband have become our neighbors and we've been blessed to spend holidays with them, to share butter and yard tools with them, to share in the challenges and joys of owning a small business, to swap leftovers of baked goods....Megan has inspired me when I'm out of inspiration, delivered coffee when I'm out of beans, wandered alongside me through our neighborhood on walks even when it's a sweat-fest.
They love our son and they make our life rich. And on top of all that Megan is a truly talented photographer. She has offered to document us at every crossroad, but Kevin is a sentimental home-video junky and I have a thing about the authenticity of photos that are made when no one is prepared for them.
Not sure what changed this last time that Megan offered, but I'm glad I said yes. Amos was a couple days over 5 months old and fresh off of an afternoon nap. I was channeling that "authenticity of photos that are made when no one is prepared for them" feeling. I got that shirt out of the dirty clothes and put it in the dryer. Also - I always have huge hair that falls out everywhere. I'm sure we are sitting in a pile of it in many of these photos. Kevin's shirt is clean. He's always clean. But never minds that I'm not. We kiss and attack Amos like this on the regular. I hope he's not scarred by it.
I love so many of the images Megan captured. Here are just a few. Thank you forever, Megan.
Jenny and Nick. So right together.
When I updated this site recently I read and reread my "about" section...added new sentences and then removed them and then added them again painted with different words. I wanted my heart to be known. For people to understand why I want to document their wedding. One of my favorite characteristics in a human is willingness to be vulnerable. Everyone has so much goodness deep down inside of them and I love getting to witness two people loving each other's deep-down-goodness. Knowing them in a way that no one else does and loving them for-and-in-spite of all of it. Documenting that kind of human connection inspires me. Each time it feels like I'm witnessing something sacred. And it's always a true honor to be invited into it.
Jenny and Nick had so much of that happening on their wedding day that it felt like their weren't enough minutes or equipment to capture it. I didn't even have the opportunity to meet Jenny and Nick prior to their wedding day, but Jenny had given so much of herself to every email we exchanged that I already knew she had this beautiful sense of self. Not the cocky kind that makes you want to punch someone in the stomach. The kind where someone knows who they are and embraces it, and because of that people are drawn to them. I hadn't communicated with Nick at all, but I knew that only someone wonderful could be marrying Jenny. Nick is humble and kind and full of life. And the two of them together are magic.
So thankful that I get to witness this kind of vulnerability. I've mentioned how much I love Madeline L'Engle's words on marriage before on this blog, but they are so present in my mind lately..."To marry is the biggest risk in human relations that a person can take. If we commit ourselves to one person for life this is not, as many people think, a rejection of freedom; rather it demands the courage to move into all the risks of freedom, and the risk of love which is permanent; into that love which is not possession, but participation."
A few images of a beautiful day at Magnolia Plantation with Jenny and Nick...