255 Milledge, Hardeman-Sams House Wedding Photographer | Allie & Blake

Shooting a friend's wedding is a special, special thing. You have the chance to capture one of the most important days of their lives... and also gush over their beauty and the sweetness of them as a couple! Years ago, during my sorority & public relations agency days, I met Allie. She is a few years younger than me in AOPi, so our friendship really began when she was an intern at the company I worked for. It was a small but mighty team, so Allie and I worked hand-in-hand together on various projects and it was quite fun. She's fun-loving, hilarious, spunky, and beautiful inside and out... and also from Austin, TX which makes her like 1097398 times cooler from the get-go. She also loves to travel like I love to travel... so I love her.

Then she got engaged to Blake and immediately reached out to me to find out if I was available their wedding day. The wedding would be in spring, a shorter engagement, and happened to be Easter weekend, which was perfectly fitting for this couple honoring Him through their relationship and soon-to-be marriage. I couldn't be more honored to have captured it! Blake is in the medical school where Chip attended, and they are getting married at the same timeframe as when Chip and I got married - in spring of his second year, just before the first round of their big medical school test, the "Boards."

I couldn't help but get a little sentimental thinking about the life that is in store for them - one of a long road in medicine, but so much joy in teamwork, and one, without a doubt, of a life well lived. Within just a short while of getting to see them together, I have zero doubt that they are going to make a huge impact on their people and this world and have so much fun doing it! Their wedding at the recently renovated 255 Milledge, Hardeman-Sams House in Athens, GA was absolutely stunning and full of such amazing people! Their friends and family were so wonderful to be around and celebrated them so well!

Plus, I can't even tell you how special it was to see the look in Allie's mom's (and dad's!) eyes when she saw her daughter wearing her very own wedding dress. They had a few alterations done to it, and when Allie slipped into it, her bridal beauty was astounding! What a special "something borrowed" for her! I'm so excited to share a few images from their day!

Allie & Blake, a huge thank you for inviting me in to capture your wedding and to celebrate this time with you two. I am so proud of y'all and prayerful for the adventures to come. Allie, welcome to the medical spouse club - I'm always here for the celebrations and questions! ;) Blake, I loved your thoughtfulness and eagerness to see your beautiful bride walk down the aisle. It was definitely a special moment. I can't wait to see how He uses the two of you to impact His Kingdom! All my love!

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Venue: 255 Milledge Hardeman-Sams House | Wedding Coordinator & Florals: Sheila Rivera Weddings | Cake: Cecilia Villaveces Cakes | Catering: Mama's Boy | DJ: Rob Clark | Makeup Artist: Bombshell Creations | Hair Artist: Kim Finley | Bridesmaid's Dresses: Azazie | Men's Attire: Men's Warehouse | Rentals: Goodwin Events | Second Shooter: Ivey Gibb Photography

Augusta Country Club Wedding Photographer | Patricia & Stewart

It's so hard to believe that wedding season is officially upon us, and this past weekend we kicked off with the most beautiful, classically Southern wedding for Patricia & Stewart. These two and their family and friends are unbelievably kind and thoughtful, not to mention that they know how to throw a dance party! On the most beautiful spring day, we celebrated their "I do's," and I was so honored to capture it all.

Patricia first reached out to me after her roommate, Allison, and I began working together for her wedding day! Then, I discovered that she is also friends with Mary Helen - one of my favorite things about serving as a wedding photographer is getting the chance to befriend my clients and then serve their friends over the years... and see the my former couples on the dance floor again! With friends like Allison & Mary Helen, I knew that I'd love Patricia right away. Once I met her and Stewart together (and later Patricia's mom), I just knew we were with good people.

The wedding day was at Stewart's long-time church, and the country club he's grown up playing golf at - since Patricia's move to Augusta, these places have become "home" for her too - in fact, Stewart even proposed at the Augusta Country Club, so getting to celebrate their day there was so special. With a dream team of vendors from Karin of Cote Designs on florals and event design, the Cucumber & Mint ladies for hair & makeup, and Whitney of House of the Bride as the bridal attendant & official dress beautifier, seeing the day come to life for Patricia & Stewart was such fun. Not to mention that their families are some of the kindest people you'll meet, and full of life!

These two have a way of complementing each other so perfectly - Patricia's fun & humble spirit is the perfect addition to Stewart's family-focused & thoughtful demeanor. And holy cow, they were absolutely a stunning couple... perfectly classic for a beautiful Southern wedding! Augusta definitely showed off for us too with the amazing azaleas in bloom at Augusta University's Summerville campus for photos! I am so excited to share!

Patricia & Stewart, thank you so, so much for the honor to capture your day! I can't imagine a more perfect wedding to kick off my 2017 year with - you two kept me smiling all day long, and I love seeing the love you share! Now, enjoy every second of St. Lucia! Cheers to the Fishers!

Ceremony: St. Mary's Catholic Church | Reception: Augusta Country Club | Floral & Event Design: Cote Designs Florals & Events | Bridal Accompaniment: Whitney of House of the Bride | Bride's Gown: Anne Barge from House of the Bride | Bridesmaid's Dresses: Bill Levkoff from House of the Bride | Hair & Makeup: Cucumber + Mint | Catering & Cake: Augusta Country Club | Band: Complete Desire | Second Shooter: Casto Photography & Cinema

Barnsley Gardens Wedding Photographer | Mary Helen & Fisher

Mary Helen & Fisher first reached out about their engagement session without specific details in mind about their wedding day. When we began chatting, I knew from the start that their wedding was going to be special, wherever they had it, because what was most important to them was enjoying the weekend with their closest family and friends. They wanted something that felt true to them, smaller, destination and focusing on the beauty of their relationship and future together. And gosh, it was amazing - in fact, we're so honored that it's featured today on Carats & Cake!

Inspired by the natural beauty of the ruins at Barnsley Gardens and their own story and interests, Mary Helen & Fisher planned their wedding with a design focused on encouraging family and guests to spend time together! Mary Helen's loyalty to her people shines through and I loved seeing her vision of areas like the gorgeous lounges by CRUSH event rentals and the cigar bar (as a tribute to her Cuban heritage!) come to life. They truly let people interact and celebrate in smaller, more intimate spaces, while still feeling a part of the larger celebration - and Barnsley Resort was the most stunning setting to do it all! 

From the morning getting ready at one of Barnsley's cottages with all of her bridesmaids (in the cutest pajamas!) to actually getting to sit down to dinner with family, they wanted to prioritize the special moments. And on top of that, this photographer about died of the beauty that was first dances, cake cutting and more in the most glorious of light to kick off the reception! Dream! On top of it Bre Garvin for Juli Vaughn Designs created the most beautiful, wild florals that complemented the colors and environment perfectly. From Paper & Honey's perfect letterpress stationery to Mary Helen's amazing rings, the details couldn't have been more lovely. Mary Helen has some seriously good taste and planning abilities! So much so that, I've been encouraging her to become a wedding planner! ;) 

And in true Georgia Bulldawg loving fashion, they closed out their night with a snack from The Varsity! What'll ya' have, friends?!

Mary Helen & Fisher, your love and loyalty to each other and your friends and family is so strong, and I can't thank you enough for sharing that with me. MH, hearing your plans over the course of the year made me just that much more excited about your day. Once the weekend arrived, Chelsey and I felt right at home and had the most fun! Plus, Fisher, the moment you realized I would be joining you for the day is still a favorite of my career! I'm so thrilled that you finally get to be done with long distance and celebrate married life together! Sending you love!!

Coordinator: The Season Events | Ceremony: St. Mary's Catholic Church | Venue, Catering, Accommodations: Barnsley Resort | Florals: Bre Garvin for Juli Vaughn Design | Decor: CRUSH event rentals | Cake Artist: Honeymoon Bakery | Band: All In One | Late Night Snack: The Varsity | Stationery: Paper & Honey | Bride's Gown: Amsale | Bridesmaid's Dresses: Natalie Deayala from Bella Bridesmaids | Second Shooter: Chelsey Dellinger Photography

Augusta, GA Engagement Session | Rachel & Dustin

I first met Rachel when she was a part of the amazing Charleston Street & Greg Boulus Events team. She is an incredible planner and coordinated weddings I had photographed in the past! When I found out that her Dustin had popped the question, I was so honored that she reached out to have me capture HER day! These two are absolutely the sweetest together. Dustin is a true Southern gentleman, and the two of them are a perfect match. We started their engagement session at Hammond's Ferry (with unseasonably warm weather!) and finished out at Dustin's family's property & pond. Dustin is a fisherman through and through, so when I discovered the pond has a little boat available, I immediately knew we had to make use of that for their session! Cue all the Notebook & Little Mermaid "Kiss the Girl" references! Rachel & Dustin, I simply can't WAIT for your wedding day! It's going to be so amazing! I'm excited to share a few favorites from their session!

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Hopelands Gardens Engagement Session | Emily & Chandler

When engagement sessions get rained out, it's always a bit of a bummer... but when the rescheduled day looks like this, you just can't help but be grateful! Emily & Chandler's Hopelands Gardens engagement session in Aiken, SC couldn't have been more beautiful. These two are the absolute sweetest together and we had the most fun exploring the property (AND DISCOVERING THE MOST GLORIOUS CAMELLIA BUSH!) and talking all things weddings, food & life plans. Also fun fact, their wedding is Beauty & the Beast inspired, so those gorgeous red flowers couldn't have been more perfect. 

Y'all, Emily did this session 1. sick and 2. the night before she defending her thesis for her Masters in Psychology. This girl is amazing. And Chandler is incredibly kind (and shared all about the deals of Whole Foods closing in our town - which I'm still mourning). I can't wait for their wedding in June to celebrate more! Emily's gorgeous hair & makeup by Jen at Cucumber & Mint

San Francisco Engagement Photographer | Geales & Craig

Geales and I go way back... like back to middle school days back. Back when we all thought chokers were cool (oh wait... you mean to tell me, that's now??? wait... what?!). Sorry, back to regularly scheduled programming... Geales and I go way back. And then, we went to separate high schools, but when college time came again, we reunited in our beloved AOPi sorority! Our friendship has been such a blessing to me. Geales is one of the kindest people I know. She's also incredibly smart, an HR genius at Google in San Francisco, and a super-human marathon runner.

Then, there's Craig! Now, I've only met Craig briefly before while shooting Wendy & Travis' Athens wedding where Geales was a bridesmaid, but getting to spend time with them together in San Francisco was such a treat. Craig is another one of the kindest people ever, incredibly smart, a teacher genius for a school in the Bay area, and a super-human marathon runner. When Geales first began describing him on the phone one day when they had met, I responded: "So basically, he sounds like a male version of you?!"

Needless to say, they are the sweetest match, and the chance to capture their love is such an honor. I can.not.wait for their wedding this summer and to see my precious Gealesy become a beautiful bride and how much laughter and joy their is on their day! Now, a few of my favorites from their engagement session (where we snuck around the rain all day!). 

Cator Woolford Gardens Wedding, Atlanta, GA | Kristen & Jon-Michael

 

There are few things more flattering than when friends invite you to shoot their wedding - especially when one of the couple is a fabulous designer/hand letterer and the other is a crazy talented photographer! I first met Kristen through the Augusta, GA Rising Tide Society TuesdaysTogether group. We found that with every meeting, she and I would spend hours after the end of the meeting chatting about everything under the sun. Shortly thereafter, Jon-Michael was assigned as the photographer for an article I was featured in for Skirt! Magazine here! These two perfectly complement each other: from their love of gardening, to their welcoming spirits, to their passion for fostering cats, they fit together so well.

When Kristen and Jon-Michael began planning their wedding, I couldn't have been more excited that they invited me to capture their day! As a stationery and graphic designer, with a skill for all things event design, Kristen brought their garden inspired wedding to life with the most amazing team. Between her passion for gorgeous paper and lettering, and Jon-Michael's love of photography, I couldn't be more honored to have their wedding featured in print in the Annual issue of The Celebration Society and celebrate their love with everyone!

There were two major factors that would influence the where – it had to be easy for family to get to and it had to be spectacular. Kristen is a garden girl at heart and the two searched high and low for the perfect setting that would set the stage for their nuptials. They decided on the picturesque gardens at Cator Woolford. Its immaculate garden provided the perfect backdrop for the two to exchange vows in the peak season of summer. Armed with her florist friend Cherie from Waiting on Wildflowers, the two dreamt up arrangements that only accentuated the blooming garden. Cherie nailed it impeccably to create a garden soiree for Kristen & Jon-Michael's wedding.

The sun was certainly sparkling that day (whew... it was a toasty Southern summer), but it was a perfect match for Kristen's most stunning Jenny Packham dress & vintage inspired look by Cucumber & Mint. I absolutely love that she encouraged her bridesmaids to choose their own favorite floor-length sparkly dress! From their style to Jon-Michael's smile, this day is a forever favorite of mine. The two of them shared tears during a first look, and again during the ceremony on this sentimental, special and long-awaited day. There may have been tears from me too... ;)

In honor of their pet cats, Kristen & JM included signature cocktails named after each of the furry friends, and invited guests to a dance party and dessert bar full desserts home made by friends of the couple! And at the end of the night, the two exited through a sea of bubbles adorned with leis that were a surprise from their day-of coordinator, Meghan Bishop, to send them off on a honeymoon to Hawaii. I'm not going to lie, their radiance is still so fresh in my mind - such joy and excitement to finally be married!

Kristen & JM, words will never be enough to say thank you for inviting me to be a part of your wedding day and lives. Having friends as clients is such an honor, and getting to walk alongside you two in the season of engagement, marriage, business growth and now moving to Atlanta has been such a special opportunity. I'm so grateful for you guys... and the only thing that would make this better is if you were still living in Atlanta so that we could hang and celebrate your stunning feature in The Celebration Society! So much love for y'all!

And check out the amazing video from their day by Cre8ive Cinema!

Chateau Elan Winery Vineyard Wedding | Katelin & Adam

A vineyard wedding is basically my dream - the gorgeous, lush rows of vines and a stunning  bride & groom are a perfect combo! Overlooking rows and rows of grapes, Katelin & Adam said I do with such a gorgeous industrial chic wedding day at Chateau Elan Winery & Resort. With a hope of creating a wedding that incorporated the natural beauty, softness and organic feel of the vineyard alongside the industrial space for their reception, Katelin turned to her background in fashion for inspiration. Mixed metals, a custom boxwood wall installation and amazing wood textures made their reception beyond beautiful! Plus, Katelin incorporated her grandmother's heirloom jewelry into her wedding day style... and even when she stepped in an ant bed and had red wine spilled on her stunning dress, nothing could wipe that smile off her face! I loved seeing the two of them interact and sweet tears on their cheeks during the first look! And getting to work alongside Suzanne White of We Tie the Knots was a dream for this day with a destination wedding "feel," but just on the outskirts of their hometown of Atlanta, GA.

These two live in NYC, but attended Auburn University, so many of their friends and family traveled to join them for their special day! I absolutely love that Katelin & Adam chose a wedding venue that allows guests to stay on site so they could celebrate everyone the whole weekend. And, I am not going to lie, they had the cutest ring bearer I've ever seen! Their sweet fur baby, Flynn, was perfect the whole afternoon! After the ceremony, we finished out with couples portraits among the vines with the most stunning, golden sunset, an amazing dance party, and the Waffle House food truck! Such a great day for two amazing people!

And, I'm so honored to share that it has been featured on The Every Last Detail! A huge thank you to ELD for the gorgeous post!

Katelin & Adam, I couldn't be more grateful to have had the chance to capture your wedding day. From the moment I walked through the door you two made me feel like family. Katelin, your smile & joy lit up the room, and Adam, your sweetness to Katelin and all those around you paired with your humor were the perfect combination for your day! Oh, and Katelin, you can rap a mean Hamilton song, girl!! Thank you so much for welcoming me in, friends! Now I just need to get up to NYC to see the show with you! ;)

And finally, you MUST watch this amazing video from their incredible cinematographers that day: AWC Films! It's so beyond lovely!

Venue: Chateau Elan Winery & Resort | Planner: Suzanne of We Tie the Knots | Cinematography: AWC Films | Florist: Stylish Stems | DJ: Nice Entertainment | Hair & Makeup: Makeup by Karen | Tables/Chairs/Bars: Collection Event Furniture Rentals | Draping/Lighting: Unique Event Elements | Dance Floor: We Rent Atlanta | Stationery: Alee & Press | Linens: BBJ Linens | Chargers: Event Rentals Unlimited | Custom Wooden C: Host & Toast | Bride's Gown: Ines Di Santo | Bride's Shoes: Badgley Mischka

A year in review for LCP | 2016

As I was closing out my to-do's for the year for 2016, I remembered this end of the year post from Dec. 31, 2015. While reading it, I found I was amazed at how much has happened, changed & grown in two years, and even more so in the last year. I even got a little sentimental (surprise, surprise!) and decided it should be an annual thing. It allows me to look back fondly at the year, set aside the difficulties, and rejoice in gratitude for the amazingness! Plus, I almost see this as a yearly log for future "me" to remember where it all began and to see the progress, not perfection, that was made year after year.

I won't lie, I had full intention of writing this yesterday (Dec. 31, 2016)... but instead I spent the entire day prepping an amazing French-inspired dinner for friends to ring in the new year, and honestly, I don't mind that one bit. So even if this is a day late, I decided I'd still share the year in review for 2016 with a few highlights - my own personal "Top 9" if you will. Gosh, it was a good one! And here I am, cheers-ing to 2017 with you all on this New Year's Day!

1. Capturing everything from weddings to food & travel to branding portraits: If there is one thing that happened this year, it was that I was kept on my toes day-to-day in all things from weddings, to shooting food, to partnering with creative and food-based business to communicate their brand through imagery, ha. In every aspect of my business, my desire is to serve and love people exactly where they are. While the work may look different from shoot to shoot, the heart and the message is the same, and I'm grateful to be able to work alongside so many wonderful clients, companies, vendors, and friends. Even if my brain feels like it's in 7,000 different places each day, I wouldn't want it any other way for 2016. I learned, I grew, I stumbled, I stressed, but most of all, I celebrated in the good and bad and showed gratitude for the steps forward every day. I still have a hard time believing this is my job!

For a few laughs and to see more behind the scenes shots for the year, head here.

For a few laughs and to see more behind the scenes shots for the year, head here.

2. Going back to my roots  pursuing a new side of my business through messaging coaching & brand strategy: It's no doubt I love to dig deep with other business owners, craft a strategy, and help align communications efforts to ensure the message is on point and the target audience is reached. This year, I went back to my roots and rekindled that flame for writing and coaching others through communications, brand strategy, and often: transition. In fact, it felt like a bit of transition for me - back to something I've always loved - letting that public relations major and years of career shine again. It felt good!

In 2009, it began with my work as the Marketing Director of a local Chick-fil-A in college, then as part of the See.Spark.Go dream team serving clients like Nike, Airstream, The John Maxwell Company and more. After moving to Augusta and launching my business, I eventually took on the role of full time photography, and set the "pens" down for a season. I began seeing LCP as my new "client" - applying all I have learned in my major & career to building this business. Then, in January, I was invited to speak at the Rising Tide Society Leaders Retreat in Charleston about "Community Investment through Intentional Storytelling." It was scary, it was exciting, it reminded me how much I love to share and teach.

In August, the opportunity presented itself to fly to the former Rising Tide Society headquarters in Annapolis, MD to train their founders on public relations best practices. It was a privilege and an honor - and honestly, I still can't believe it. If you've followed me for any time now, you know that this is an organization I am so passionate about and believe so wholeheartedly in! Shortly after that visit, I signed on as a contractor for the RTS team, assisting in all things communications & brand strategy, and have been working alongside the Founder and Community team to craft strategy, write, and dream big. I still pinch myself daily that I get to serve an organization that is truly paving the way for community over competition in the creative industry!

Since then, I've begun coaching other creative and food-based businesses on messaging strategy, leading the charge in copywriting and communications for some amazing brands, and helping others define their voice in this industry. It's truly such an honor and so humbling to know that these leaders trust me with their brands. I don't exactly know what is in store for this portion of my business in 2017, but I sure know it's going to be something good!

3. Continuing to grow our Rising Tide Society TuesdaysTogether community, and finding community all over the world: And speaking of the Rising Tide Society, not only am I honored to serve alongside the leadership team, but I'm so grateful to lead our local TuesdaysTogether group in Augusta. This year has brought such monumental growth for so many of our members. It's so exciting seeing friendships form, barriers broken down, collaborations grown, and businesses built as a result of our group. I learn so much from our members and am inspired by them daily! One of my favorite memories from this year with our group was our Brunch Styled Shoot where we all collaborated to create the most beautiful shoot I could imagine - stunningly delicious food, gorgeous styling, & all about community. You can find all of the gorgeous images and vendors here! If you're local to Augusta & count yourself as a creative entrepreneur, we'd love to have you join! And if you're looking for something powerful like this for your city, join us here or apply to lead!

Additionally, I made the most amazing friends through Instagram, business, coffee chats, and more throughout this year. I can't imagine this business without them! And finally, I don't know where I would be this fall without my Mastermind group with 4 amazing ladies who speak encouragement and truth and honesty and clarity into my business. Cultivating community this year has been one of the biggest game-changers for my business and life!

4. Still being blown away by my amazing couples: Every year I say this, but I really believe it to be true: I have the best couples! This year, 23 genuine duos said "I do" in front of my lens - and 23 times, I was reminded of the honor it is to capture these people's first day of marriage. I shared a thank you and celebration in honor of those 23 here! And on their days I shared in the joy and love that emanates from two people in love surrounded by all of their favorite people in the world! It's pretty awesome. While I'll be taking on fewer weddings this year to speak more weekends at home with my family, I am counting down the days until getting to celebrate with my 2017 couples!

5. Food, food and more food: As always, food and travel dominate much of my adventures - and also photographic endeavors. I was so honored to shoot for some amazing restaurants, for the local Augusta Magazine, and even for myself at home to keep the creativity going and document delicious dishes. Food photography is one of my favorite types of photography. The colors, the textures and the variety is amazing! It's absolutely something I love to incorporate in the day-to-day and into client work!

We also consumed a lot of good food... homecooked, at our favorite spots, on our many adventures, and even tried out 6 different meal delivery boxes for our day-to-day meals in this busy season. I am excited to share more about that soon!

6. Travel: On our adventures, we pretty much design vacations around food (among other things... but mostly food). ;) We kicked off with the Caribbean and a trip to Harry Potter World (umm... amazing!), I took a workcation with my dear friend, Laura Foote, to Charleston for a few days, we spent a week in Hilton Head with both sets of families (and almost as many dogs as people), popped along coastal Georgia & South Carolina with friends, and we hopped on a plane to the most magical city, Paris, just the two of us. A highlight of the year for sure! January brings Charleston, Savannah & California (whew, big month!), May brings a potential European adventure, July brings Denver... and I'm sure there will be more added in there, as well! One thing is for sure, in business travel, I love traveling with and seeing my sweet friends all over the nation (literally, all over! I love this industry partially for that reason!), and in personal travel, I'll be hand in hand with Chipper.

Photo by the absolutely wonderful: Letters + Light Co.

Photo by the absolutely wonderful: Letters + Light Co.

7. My first magazine cover - and exploring editorial photography & writing: As a publicist, we would often encounter that the best pitches were when the entire package was ready to go: a killer story, impactful quotes, interview opportunities at the ready, and eye-catching photography all tied up with a bow. That, paired with a bit of hustle (and sometimes even crafting the article ourselves for editors in a pinch), honed my skills in the editorial world. When my dear friend, Layla of Glass of Rosé introduced me to the Augusta Magazine, I was so honored to have the opportunity to write and shoot editorial pieces for them throughout the year. There is nothing more special than seeing your work in print and being able to share a story with others. In October, I couldn't be more honored to have one of my images shot for Farmhaus Burgers featured on the cover of the Best of Augusta issue. I have that issue sitting on our side table and still am so humbled and in awe when I flip through that and other issues of the magazine to find my work printed. I am so excited to explore more editorial work in the new year!

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8. Embracing who I am: 2016 was a truly defining year. I made progress, I stepped back, I moved forward, I moved sideways, I struggled, I stressed, I rejoiced, I celebrated. But in all things, I did them alongside the most amazing family and friends, and realized one thing that is consistent. Those people love me for me, regardless of my flaws or quirks, and walk alongside me in the mundane days and biggest of excitements. While driving to the most beautiful of weddings in St. Simons Island, GA, I listened to Elizabeth Gilbert's Big Magic. If you've read the book, you may remember the chapter on Little Brother as a lobster in France. If you haven't read it, run, don't walk, to buy it now and turn straight to that chapter. It shares about embracing who we are, even if we feel like a fool, and I listened to the audiobook chapter 3 times in a row... and cried... every. single. time. It resonated with me. It hit home. 

It reminded me that I am the best version of myself... not a second rate version of someone else. And it challenged me to truly embrace me. Around the same time, Instagram stories launched, and it allowed me to "let my freak flag fly" as my hilarious friend/RTS coworker Kait Masters coined. My life isn't glamorous, most days I wear pajamas all day with messy hair, and I cry at commercials with dogs more than I should probably admit, but in the end, I've found that it's so freeing to rock my lobster (now that song is on repeat in my head) with all my heart - and I fully intend to keep doing so in the upcoming year. I hope you'll join me, friend.

Just me, lobstering out hard core at a wedding... only for this to be my top "liked" photo on Instagram of 2016. Ha!

Just me, lobstering out hard core at a wedding... only for this to be my top "liked" photo on Instagram of 2016. Ha!

9. Excitement & expectation for 2017!: In reflection on 2016, I am so grateful to everyone who helped make the year, and this business and life possible. It's unbelievable to think of the growth that the Lord has brought into my life and how He moves through this business. He has opened doors on so many amazing opportunities and welcomed people into this little corner of the internet. He's taken them out of the digital realm and into the real, raw, everyday life. I am full of such excitement and expectation for what is to come in 2017! Remembering Ephesians 3:20 today as I launch into the new year with renewed focus... "Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us." He is bringing immeasurably more - and I feel Him calling me to trust in the big and small, and in all that is in store! Closing out 2016, and amazing year full of so much growth, and welcoming 2017 with open arms! Let's do this, friends!

Lauren Carnes Photography | Behind the Scenes 2016

It's no doubt I love a good behind the scenes shot. I love that they peel back the veil (ha... pun intended) and show a bit of what it's actually like to experience a day in the life of LCP. There is a lot of sweat, a lot of laughter, quite a bit of hustle, and some seriously expressive eyebrows/weird facial expressions. Today you get to experience a behind the scenes look at LCP in 2016, featuring some commentary on the ridiculousness that is these photos, as well as some behind the scenes of the second shooters themselves who make all this possible! Oh it's a glorious post for sure! Enjoy!

"Here, let me give you a pep talk."

Be prepared for some really beautiful images of me in 3, 2, 1...

Photographing details is always super glamorous, especially when it entails posting up in the driveway.

Find Lauren...

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They do say "anything for the shot!"

Oh... you mean like that one time I got my bride stuck in a mud pit on a golf cart in her gown. Totally normal.

Light testing is always a beauty.

It's a rare occasion I sneak a peek to the couple of their portraits, but sometimes I just can't help myself.

"Oh you don't know how to cut the cake? No worries, let my get my flight attendant arms out for a quick demonstration."

I won't lie... pictures of groomsmen laughing make me like to believe I'm hilariously funny... when in reality I probably said something awkward or simply just asked them to smile at each other... ;)

The behind the scenes beauty/mirror selfies of food styling & photography. Once again... glamorous on the ground.

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That photo below of me looking up at the row of sparklers about to be lit? Pure fear.

Oh my gosh that laugh... but also... that deer!

Dinner: finally! Also... cat friend helping style details.

See center right: that's when I realize I am in the shot... woops.

I now bring you another rendition of: Lauren's weird expressions while speaking.

Also, the joy of seeing former brides and grooms at my couple's weddings! And then meeting apparently my twin in the bottom right corner!

And it wouldn't be a behind the scenes post without BTS of the folks who make these BTS images possible: my amazing second shooters, friends and more! Sorry not sorry in advance to you all... especially Chelsey, who you'll find doing things like shielding a hot spot of sun with her body, saving the day with her bow tying skills, and more.

I've taught her well on the flight attendant ways.

Remember I said anything for the shot: Becky's even willing to climb under the table.

Amy, featured below... she was a champ this day. In fact, she even got electrocuted when taking a picture of a baby lamb. Bless.

Planners & videographers - the two vendors we hang with most on a wedding day!

And thank goodness for my second shooters, who stand in for all my light, deal with my shenanigans, and even let loose a little with me when that perfect song comes on!

Special shout-out to those who made this Behind the Scenes post (and the year!) possible. I couldn't be more grateful for my second shooters and how they consistently support me and can basically read my mind on a wedding day. You all are gems beyond belief, and such dear friends to me. I am so proud of the photographers and people are, and honored to have you serve as part of the LCP team! Images of me behind the scenes by Chelsey Dellinger Photography, Casto Photography, Amy J. Owen PhotographyCarrie Joy PhotographyPaige Molina Photography, Tiffany Loera, Ivey Gibb Photography, Austyn Elizabeth PhotographyMackenzie Leigh, and Jon-Michael Sullivan Photography. And a special personal thank you to each of you:

Chelsey, you and I spent more Saturdays together this year than I even did with my husband... and I wouldn't have wanted to do that with anyone else. You're a woman of God, such a joy, so thoughtful and insanely talented. Thank you will never even do it justice.

Becky, you were my Chelsey of 2015 - the person who helped launch LCP to where it is today, and you're still one of my biggest cheerleaders and go-to girls for anything I could possibly need.

Amy, goodness you're such a light in this world. Your laughter is contagious and you don't skip a beat (even if you get electrocuted on a wedding day). Thank you for being an inspiration to us rising photographers to show us that family life is possible in this industry!

Carrie Joy, your name says it all: you are truly a joy! Thank you for loving my clients you join for on wedding days like you love your own. I so appreciate your honesty and sweet friendship!

Paige, you are precious and so much fun - and such a hard worker! Thank you for joining me on a wedding day without even having ever met! Now... I'm so excited for your 2017 with a new babe on the way!!

Tiffany, to think that we met at the Leaders Retreat less than a year ago makes me laugh. We truly are kindred spirits. I admire you so much, friend, and can't wait for January to come!

Ivey, what began as simply needing a last minute second shooter turned into a dear friendship. Your love of Jesus and servant-hearted nature is an inspiration, and I'm honored to see your adventures to unfold.

Austyn, you are another one of these women who shows me beyond a shadow of a doubt that family comes first, and photography is an extra added bonus. Your work is stunning, but your heart shines brighter. So grateful to know you - even if it's on complete opposite sides of the country... countdown to Cali begins!

Mackenzie, holy smokes... not only are you so joyful, hilarious and downright talented, but you're about to leave for Uganda for 2 years to serve. I can't wait to see how He uses your talents and heart for Amazima!

Jon-Michael, it's not common that a groom makes the behind the scenes thank you's, but capturing the styled shoot alongside you was such fun. You have an eye that absolutely blows my mind. Your drive and dedication is second to none, and I'm so excited to see what is in store for you!

To everyone who makes wedding days possible: THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart. You do not go unnoticed. You make the couples and families experience joy, memories and heartfelt gratitude for one of the most important days of their lives. And if you missed it... a thank you to my amazing couples!

And finally, to everyone who has given me the opportunity to capture their food, brand, speak or share my love for communications and brand strategy: I couldn't be more grateful. Seeing my passions get brought to life through this business is the most encouraging and exciting thing I could imagine. While the behind the scenes isn't always glamorous, the process and final product are so, so worth it. I am excited and expectant for what is in store for 2017!