What to Look For When You Don't Know What to Look For | Tip 5

Tip #5: Understand that the distance between your subject and its desired background has a purpose.

Did you miss Tip #1?  Tip #3? Or the intro to the series?  If you're new to the series, I have 15 tips in my series, and I'm sharing half on my blog and the others in my newsletter over the next month! I hope these can be helpful to you in your photography journey! 

I hear it all the time. “Oh, I love that door, wall, mural, greenery, you name it”!

My clients automatically start walking up as close to the pretty, desirable background as they can get, because 1) they love it so 2) why not stand right next to it?

This is where awareness and experience is so valuable.

If you posed your client up against a pretty wall, you might be surprised with your images when you return home to view them. Yes, they may be very lovely, but the image you had in your mind may not have been what you captured. Nor does it 100 % support the goal that your image is “client focused” with your client popping off the background.

Do you know why?

Because when you placed your subject up against this “pretty background”, it didn’t allow for much depth at all from the actual background, and depth is what we LOVE. Depth is what allows the wide open aperture (1.4, 1.8, 2.0, 2.5) to do its popular, desirable job, which is create "bokeh" and a subject that POPS off the image. So don't lose me here: first, you need a lens that allow you to shoot at apertures as wide open as these. Next, pull them away from their background to create depth. 

Your image is more “client focused” when you pull them forward a few feet (or several), because then they are completely in focus with a background completely blurred. And even more blurred than if they were standing closer to the background.

Notice this example here below. The desired background is the beautiful venue with the golden lighting reflecting off of it. Where I could have have them stand up closer to the building, instead, I pulled them forward drastically. Do you notice the effect with my client's popping off the frame?  


In this image below, we loved the succulents on the cinderblock wall. But instead of them standing up next to the wall, I pulled them forward a few feet and allowed for the depth and them to "pop" off the neat, unique  background. Catching my drift?!

Your client can trust you when you explain that the background will be much more beautiful if they step forward as far as you instruct them, because they will pop off the image beautifully with the lovely background still present. 

The distance between you and your subject can affect your bokeh, as well! 

In the image below, I pulled my subjects maybe 5 feet away from the wall. So yes, there was depth. BUT, do you notice that the picture on the left has more blur or bokeh behind it? In the same token, the distance between you and your subjects can create a beautiful depth effect, as well. While both of these images have the clients standing in the same place, I was standing maybe 3 feet away from them (closer) in the left image and maybe 10 feet away (farther) in the right image. 

While I love both images, there is more depth and "pop" in the left image, because I was closer to my subject (that was pulled forward from the desired background). 


So with that being said, there are two ways to create dreamy depth: 1) being the distance between your subject and the background and 2) being the distance between you and your subject. 

I must say that, like all of these suggestions, this comes with experience. Your eyes will be refined as you continue to browse locations or places around your house to place items or subjects, and you will continually build confidence. There is always room to grow in this category, and I try to challenge myself with this often when the time allows!

Happy photographing, friends! For more tips, sign up for my newsletter, and be on the look out for the launch of The Capture Course next month! Those who either attend in person or purchase the Capture Course online receive a PDF of all the tips combined. 

What to Look for When You Don't Know What to Look For | Tip 3


Tip # 3: Avoid posing a subject in direct sunlight.

Did you miss Tip #1?  Or the intro to the series?  If you're new to the series, I have 15 tips in my series, and I'm sharing half on my blog and the others in my newsletter! I hope these can be helpful to you in your photography journey! 

Well, hello! I’m raising my hand again here! This is something I did when I first started, because I didn’t know how to “find the light”. If you scroll to the bottom, I reveal this quite obviously with you!! 

I can remember taking my roommates engagement pictures after church one Sunday afternoon in the, yep, you guessed it, harsh afternoon New Mexico sunlight. I could’ve made this work had I positioned them either in the shade or with their backs to the sun (blocking the sun from coming into my camera—AKA “backlighting”), but I didn’t. I had them looking into the sun, shadows cast on them and the whole 9 yards.

YUP! Notice shadows? And how harsh the light is? I should have turned their backs to the sun so that there was even lighting on their faces, while backlighting them. 

YUP! Notice shadows? And how harsh the light is? I should have turned their backs to the sun so that there was even lighting on their faces, while backlighting them. 

But I didn’t know what to look for! My eyes weren’t trained nor was my knowledge sharp.

By avoiding placing your subjects in direct sunlight, you 1) avoid them from becoming too hot 2) reduce their eyes from squinting from looking into the sun 3) avoid harsh shadows and 4) allow for even light on your subject, which is very important. We’re always searching for the best light so that our clients can look and feel the best, as well as, our work look consistent.

To fix this, once you find the light, place your subject’s back toward the sun, allowing them to be “backlit” and have them look at you. You may need to use a tree, your hand or other object to block the sun from coming into your lens, because it will wash out your image (we dive a little deeper in how to do this in The Capture Course). When you block the sun from coming in, you allow for your image/subject to be crisp.

Think about the visor in your car: when the sun is shining through your windshield, it makes it hard to see clearly, so it’s necessary for you to pull down the visor to block the harsh sun for you. It’s a very similar concept as this. Next time you’re in the car and do this, think about the concept! Your eyes are the camera, the visor is your hand (or a tree/object), and the sun—is the same in both scenarios!

You’ve got this! :) Practice finding the light with someone you’re comfortable with before you take a paying client. This will bring you more confidence for when it’s your turn!

Happy photographing, friends! For more tips, sign up for my newsletter, and be on the look out for the launch of The Capture Course next month! Those who either attend in person or purchase the Capture Course online receive a PDF of all 15 tips combined. 

I'll see you there! 

xox Lindsay 

PS: I'm getting super vulnerable with you to totally prove that ALL of these 15 tips I'm sharing with you...are simply all the mistakes I made with my first sessions! Thank goodness all my roommate Jess could see was how IN LOVE they were in these photos! ;-) You guys, these are STILL on my Facebook! I posted these to my personal FB, because I wasn't even "official" yet with my LDP Facebook page! I'll probably share some more to give examples of WHAT NOT TO DO as I look back on my work. 

However, don't forget: you've got to start somewhere! For inspiration, read my thoughts on this here. 

What to Look for When You Don't Know What to Look for | Tip #1

Tip #1: be aware of trees in the background

You finally start to understand how to shoot in manual, you’re either nervous, starting to become comfortable posing clients or totally fine, because you know who your subject is, and the last thing you want to think about at this time is the composition and background of the image you’re about to capture. 

Thinking of the background? Are you kidding?! 

Well, as I mentioned in the first post of my "What to Look for" series, I’m here to point out some simple things to look for when you’re capturing an image that I don’t feel like I learned until years into my career. I'll be sharing half of them on my blog and the other half in my newsletter. And many are so simple! 

I’m sure I can look back on many of my sessions to see myself failing at what I’m about to share with you, but you know what? It’s not the biggest deal. It’s really not.

Unless you BOMB it, and it’s definitely possible! (Like the image below on the right--that's pretty tacky.)

What I’m about to share with you is something you’ll say, “ohhh, I would’ve never thought of that!”

And that is exactly why I’m sharing it with you!

Simply put: be aware of objects or trees growing out the back of subject’s heads.

Pretty ground-breaking, yeah? It’s something that I have just become quick at noticing when I’m posing my clients, so either a) I move ever-so-slightly or b) I ask them to move ever-so-slightly. Some cases can be more noticeable or unfortunate than others depending on how far the subject is from the tree or what the background object is.

So next time you’re being a boss and 1) shooting in manual 2) confidently posing and interacting with your clients and 3) all set up to capture your image, let me add one more trick to your balancing act and save you from this little oopsie that’s a possibility!

Happy photographing, friends! For more tips, sign up for my newsletter, and be on the look out for the launch of The Capture Course next month! Those who either attend in person or purchase the Capture Course online receive a PDF of all 15 tips combined. 

I'll see you there! 

xox Lindsay 

Romanic Hickory Street Annex Wedding | Kendal & David

Oh, all the florals, candelabras and chandeliers combined with Kendal and David's sweet love story--it's almost TOO MUCH! 

As soon as I walked into the wedding venue, Hickory Street Annex, I was greeted with the welcome table full of pictures of Kendal and David, a beautiful fall color scheme, stunning florals and details--it literally sent a surge of energy through me that lasted until we drove home. 

You can ask my husband Jordan! The Webb wedding was a BLAST to me! 

I always find so much fun photographing weddings with such stunning details like the Webb's, but what added to the joy for me was working with the families, experiencing cooler weather and learning more about Kendal and David's love story through their vows and loved ones' toasts. 

Ah, I'm all in. 

That combination right there led me to the giddy, cheerful self in the car on the way home. 

Distance, health and time. Kendal and David's love has grown stronger and more deep through the trials and accomplishments that they've experienced together. And it's truly so inspiring. Listening to their vows and seeing the two of them together after they committed to spending together forever was so amazing to witness and photograph. 

I loved seeing the subtle, sweet change there was in both of them from before the ceremony to after. It was like there wasn't a worry in the world after they said, "I do", and they were going to celebrate it! YES!

And can we talk about their reception decor? Everything from the color scheme to the candelabras and welcome table had my heart pitter pattering! Ah! Stunning! What a dream for Mr. and Mrs. Webb and their loved ones! It totally was! 

Enjoy all of the lovely as you browse what was the Webb's romantics Hickory Street Annex wedding!! 

What to Look for When You Don't Know What to Look for | Launch UNVEILED

So you’re finally getting the hang of this “shooting in manual” thing.

You’re starting to become familiar or confident with guiding and posing.

Finding the light is either a) stressful or b) becoming easier.

And you’re working hard to steady this balancing act known as “photography”.

Yes, I know.

If you’ve picked up a camera and desired to capture moments around the house, your friend’s engagement session just for fun or that stellar shot from your vacation, you’ve maybe realized that, “oh, there’s more than just clicking a shutter”, right?!


But, would you believe me if I told you that it doesn’t always have to feel so daunting? That it could one day become like second nature to you? Like how it feels to ride a bike or play music. I actually can’t vouch with that third one, because I don’t know how to read or play music, BUT I imagine it’s the same concept!!

This is one thing I’ve thought about the past couple years is how second nature it feels to 1) adjust my camera settings 2) be confident with my lighting choice for my subjects and 3) compose and find flattering backgrounds and angles.

Before I go any further, I do want to say that one of my favorite aspects of photography is that it’s a never-ending journey. There’s seriously always something new to learn, try or capture. With that being said, I think the best encouragement to myself or anyone is to humble yourself and always be open to learning something new, seeing new perspectives through your lens and challenging yourself in all of the above. It’s an exciting thrill to challenge yourself with such a creatively-rich, people-blessing, career-potential hobby.

So now that we’re all on the same page and agree how memory-enriching, head-scratching and creatively-quenching photography is, I want to invite you in on a new series that I’m starting for those of you subscribed to my newsletter. If you aren’t part of the fam, no worries, here you go!

I want to invite you into this series where I’ll be sharing what you should look for when you don’t know what to look for. We’ll be sharing half of our 15 (and potentially growing) topics on our blog and the other half in our newsletter.    

For example, after you’ve mastered your settings, chosen your lighting and posed your clients, you may not think to consider that tree directly behind your subject. Oops! Didn’t realize that you may have stood in just the right spot to unfortunately make it sprout from your subject’s head. But who thinks of that when they’re in their first couple years of business or hobby?! I didn’t, if I’m being honest! These are the tips that I’m going to begin sharing in each of my newsletters leading up to the launch of our video edition of The Capture Course the beginning of mid October.

Wait, did you catch that? I just dropped my big news:


So to those of you who are like, “Wait, rewind! How do I shoot in manual? What camera do I even need? Or “finding light” is even a thing!?” Yes, when I first picked up my camera to photograph my roommates’ engagement session to find that my pictures didn’t look like the ones I’d screen-shotted on my phone, I began researching. Began feeling the weight. And began my never-ending journey with photography. For those of you who are somewhere in the beginning, middle or end of this, I have the fix for you…

We have filmed a video recording of me teaching you how to shoot in manual, how to find the light and all of the things to look for that you don’t know to look for (included in this series), and it’ll become available to YOU come mid October!

So stay tuned and enjoy this series on my newsletter which will lead up to the launch! If you're interested in the online course, drop your email below. 

I hope I can help shed light to this creative, life-giving blessing of a hobby/career and open some doors for you! I can’t wait to be a piece of your journey!



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Dallas Arboretum Blush Romantic Wedding | Connor & Mallory

Romantic. Full of joy. Absolutely lush, lovely and light and airy. 

Oh, the Chamberlin wedding will forever be a favorite of mine! 

And for all the reasons, really. I absolutely just adored Mallory and her family. From the day I met her and her mom to the multiple email exchanges, I have still to meet kinder people than this family. What a sweet, lovely lady Mallory is, and she married her rock and love, Connor at the Dallas Arboretum underneath crepe mrytle alley, which is clearly as romantic as it gets! 

So natural, so lush, so incredibly gorgeous. 

And this was where their nuptial were.

This was where Mallory walked up behind Connor and called his name for him to see his bride for the first time.

This was where they twirled under tinkle lights and the Dallas night sky for their first dance. 

Where they danced and celebrated as newlyweds with all of their loved ones and had the best day of their lives. 

What a memorable, stunning day! 

And quite picturesque, I might add--Connor and Mallory photography beautifully together, and when at the Arboretum, they caused their photographer to struggle with bouts (lots of it) of ADD as she bounced around all over the place with excitement and visions of where to take pictures. A dream, I tell you! With this couple--a dream!! 

I just LOVE these two! They're so perfect for each other. And just like the officiant said (which made us all cry), the hands that they're holding will take them so many places. It's such a simple concept, but to imagine that those very hands they were holding in front of all of their loved ones would be the ones to witness so many milestones and excitement together--it's moving. 

Those hands walked down the aisle as Mr. and Mrs. Chamberlin, danced their first dance together and ate breakfast for dinner together. 

Yes! And it was delicious! The groom's cake, a pile of pancakes, was just the perfect detail to fit the theme! And I LOVED all of the details that this couple so thoughtfully planned out for their big day, and I'm so thankful they found one another! 

Marriage Mondays | Date Night In & Grocery List for 2

Happy Monday! We're kicking off our Marriage Mondays series again with a delicious and simple date night in shared by Kate from The Everyday Hostess. 

I'm such a fan of everything Kate does, and this date night is definitely one you'll want to plan soon! I mean, who doesn't love pizza, and who doesn't love an affordable date night?! She and Landon have prepped everything from the grocery list to the directions to make it simple and sweet for you and your love. Enjoy! 

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Dallas is a great place for date nights, whether you’re a faithful foodie or simply a beginner in exploring the bevy of craft-food options.

But sometimes, even in the trendiest of culinary culture, a night in can be the most intimate and the most economical date night! We love to experiment in the kitchen -- after all, what’s better in a marriage than a fun challenge together that ends in a (hopefully) tasty result?! -- so cooking dinner at home is something we look forward to.

Plus, a date night in yoga pants is a win in Kate’s book!

Some readers might be thinking, “Well that’s great, but I’m not very savvy in the kitchen.” And that’s totally fine. We aren’t talking bacon-wrapped filet mignon here (although Landon wishes we were) and it’s not like Gordon Ramsay is going to judge the finished product.

In fact, one of our go-to recipes for a fun night in is homemade caprese pizza, and you won’t believe how inexpensive and easy it really is with just a few simple ingredients and short steps!

Homemade Caprese Pizza

Grocery List:

  • 16oz. Pizza Dough (We like Trader Joe’s Garlic and Herb Pizza Dough)

  • 1 Tbs Olive Oil

  • 6 oz. of Pesto

  • Fresh Basil

  • 1 Heirloom Tomato (thinly sliced)

  • 12 oz. Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

  • Balsamic Reduction (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

  2. Layer a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  3. Remove your pizza dough from the package, place it on the parchment paper, and stretch or roll out the dough using a rolling pin into a 10in. circle (roughly)

  4. Drizzle or brush the dough lightly with olive oil followed by the pesto.

  5. Tear a few basil leaves and sprinkle on top of the pesto.

  6. Distribute the tomato slices evenly over the pizza.

  7. Add the mozzarella cheese and sprinkle evenly over the pizza to your liking.

  8. Place the pizza in the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes or until the crust is golden and cheese is bubbling.

  9. Remove pizza from the oven, drizzle your balsamic reduction over it and enjoy!

This is just one of our favorite recipes, but when it comes to homemade pizza, the world is your oyster! You can get as creative as you want, but the key is to find a combination of ingredients you both like. Then the experiment will be fun!

We’ve also ventured into barbecue chicken, buffalo chicken, chicken artichoke (wow, we must really like chicken), breakfast pizzas and several others! We enjoy crafting a recipe for the next homemade pizza, but if your mind is in weekend mode and you don’t want to do much thinking, head to Pinterest and search pizza recipes. Always a good place for inspiration!

Most of our pizza concoctions cost less than $10 to make. Throw in a bottle of wine and maybe a frozen yogurt run and you’ve got yourselves a quality date night! It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of things -- or even your Facebook feed or what’s on the TV -- but it’s important to always find time just to talk. Dinner at home is a built-in project and one-on-one time. Some of our best conversations come over a homemade meal and a glass of wine on our balcony, and some of our best laughs have come while whipping up a meal.

We highly recommend mixing a homemade meal into your dating schedule (yes, you should still be dating your spouse!). If you’re not a pizza fan, or you’ve tackled that challenge and want to try some more, find us at The Everyday Hostess and ask us some of our favorite recipes!

Happy cooking!

Landon & Kate Haaf

The Everyday Hostess

Hidden Pines Chapel Wedding | Joshua & Shelby

When I think about Joshua and Shelby, I think of friends. They, as a couple, and I’m sure individually, know no strangers. They are such kind, loving and welcoming people.

So when I think of their wedding day, I think of similar characteristics: it was warm, vibrant with joy, welcoming and full of worship.

I can’t imagine there was a guest attending who left unaware of what is most important to them: their faith and celebrating with everyone!

While both the girls and guys started their days getting ready in separate houses, their time was relaxed and enjoyable. I walked into the home where the girls were doing their hair and makeup to smell…wait for it…a pumpkin waffles candle from Bath and Body Works! This is a small detail, but in all senses, the day started off beautifully! From the memories of the smell, meaning fall is around the corner, to the clinking of champagne flutes from which mimosas were sipped, the morning paved the way for a smooth, fun wedding day to continue!

And while rain was a possibility, it wasn’t a memory on their wedding day. Only cooler temperatures, overcast skies and some sunlight right at “golden hour” for portraits when it counted. How perfect for Shelby and Josh! It made taking their husband and wife portraits extra lovely and beautiful.

Quite simply, after hearing the toasts of siblings, maid of honor, best man and family members, it just cued the thought to cross my mind, “these are my people”--the kind of people you want to be lifelong friends with. What a fun, loving, solid couple they are, and I can’t wait to see how they impact others in the future.

Both Shelby and Josh have the most contagious, bright smiles that can light up a room. I have to believe that Shelby’s confident smile walking down the aisle to Josh did just that. Similarly, when the two of them entered their reception as husband and wife, the entire ballroom was smiling ear-to-ear for this gorgeous pair.

And they celebrated the night away, dancing, laughing and toasting to the memories made that night and the many more to come. What a beautiful day August 26 was for Mr. and Mrs. Aguilar!!

You're Only As Good As Your Experience & Knowledge | How I Use My Nervces

If you read my first blog in this two-part series, you possibly resonated with my fears of failing after I pursued something I was passionate about, which happened to be photography. In short, I looked to pretty images on Pinterest, the standards I placed on myself and heard from society that attaining this perfection could happen fast and easily for me.

And it didn’t.

I was only as good as my current experience and knowledge.

Which at the time—was either zero to little, if I’m being honest.

I hadn’t read blogs, asked questions, watched YouTube videos or experimented with friends as subjects to understand how to pose them, work with light, shoot in manual or the other many learning curves that come with photography.

I simply hadn’t put in the time to gain the experience or knowledge.


And, if you’re anything like me, I’m willing to bet that if you’re pursuing something you’re interested in, you don’t mind spending hours getting lost in blogs, YouTube or attending workshops learning this craft of yours. It’s what I did! And I loved it.

Heck, I still love it! I continue to do this all the time in different, more specific areas of photography, business and marketing.

So don’t let fear or lack of experience stop you!

While my fear has changed to a healthy amount of nerves before wedding days or sessions, I’ve learned recently of a way to help myself use these nerves for the good.

How I Pep Talk Myself  

If I’m starting to feel nervous and believe the lies that I’m incapable of pleasing my clients (sheesh people pleasing is yet another blog, I believe!), afraid of “failing” or believing that I’m not “good enough”, I pull a “Jordan” and insert logical thinking. (hahaha)

Sometimes logic versus emotional thinking is just best. This is where Jordan wins. He’s the logic to my emotions, and we balance each other so well.


Firstly, as I drive, I remind myself of my purpose.

My purpose is to serve and love on my clients while doing my best to capture the memories on their wedding day so that they can relive each day after they say, “I do” with the ones they love.

For some reason, when I remind myself to simply do my best and serve and love on my clients, my nerves just go out the window. I’m not kidding.

My shoulders go down, and I think, “Oh, yes, I can DO this”!

Everything falls into place.

There have been days where I just KNOW I’m going to be late, and if you’re anything like me, your whole day can be thrown off if you’re afraid things aren’t lined up perfectly for you. So I remind myself of this logic: love and serve.

When I let this be my standard, my confidence in my photography skills and creativity truly flourish.

I wish I had pep-talked myself this way years ago, but thankfully, I’m learning and have it in my bag of tricks now.


Secondly, I remind myself that I’m capable of producing the work I’ve already done. The work that I’m proud of—I can do that again.


Lastly, I challenge myself to the idea that I can improve. I can improve in my creativity; improve in my decisions I make with light, my settings, my posing.

But there’s a threshold, right? Okay, don’t lose me here.

Here I am almost 4 years into wedding photography, and I come with my experience + knowledge + whatever I challenge myself to improve on, gain and learn in that wedding day.

From each wedding day on [if I’m constantly challenging and refining my art], I have the potential to get better. To become more and more like my photography idol, Katelyn James. But I couldn’t have accomplished this without 1) experience 2) knowledge or 3) challenging myself to grow.

If I went into a wedding day without applying myself, I could either accomplish what I know I already can or (hopefully not) regress. The decision is up to you.

When I leave a wedding and look back on the day and think: I served well, I did my best with the knowledge I already have, and I tried something creative and new, I feel successful. This is my goal.

If I get caught up in worrying what my couple thought, what their parents thought or what I could’ve done better, I’m wasting my time. Because while yes, I am in a service industry, I can’t be upset with myself if I know I’ve accomplished what I’m capable of and did my best with what I was given.

Logic. For the win.

There is so much room for grace in this scenario.

This logic saves my people-pleasing-self from being my own worst enemy.

Did you lose me? I hope not. In short, I want you to know that you can use your nerves for the good. Pull a “Jordan” and logically talk yourself through them. You have your own current, unique potential that you can intentionally grow each and every time you pursue your passion. Use it to serve, and everything will seamlessly fall into place.

Are you being realistic with what you can accomplish? Challenging yourself in little, reasonably attainable ways? Go and use your obvious gift to serve and love on your clients—extend yourself grace, and you’ll find that it’s hard to let the nerves hold you back.

Anything feels possible when you remind yourself of your reality. You are capable up to your own threshold that you work toward (time + knowledge + applied effort for growth & creativity).

So how are you getting experience? Gaining knowledge? Challenging yourself? 

You got this friend. Savor your journey.




When I Almost Put My Camera Down | Don't Let Fear or Perfection Hold You Back

When I first started my photography business, it wasn’t a “business”. Heck, it wasn’t even a hobby.  At least—taking pictures of people wasn’t a hobby. To me, driving around in the country or taking pictures of new, pretty things was more my hobby. But ask me how to use my camera, and my stomach dropped.

I literally can remember my soon-to-be-father-in-law (at the time) asking me at a NMSU football game how to use his camera, and I felt like an imposter. I was so embarrassed that I literally had no idea how to use my camera, although, I brought it to football games and everywhere I went to photograph in...wait for it: auto.


Why Perfect?

Why did I feel like an imposter? Why did I feel like I had to be perfect? Was it because everyone knew me as the girl who loved photography? Because I had already set unreal expectations before myself and the unfulfilling, dark road of perfection? Clearly, I should’ve extended grace to myself in this moment, because 1) I was in school for something OTHER than photography 2) I wasn’t getting paid to do what I was doing 3) I just liked taking pictures without the pressure! Lindsay, give yourself a break, sister!

Pictures for Pleasure

But over time, I continued to take pictures without expectations, just pure enjoyment. I would drive around in the country at home or out toward the Organ Mountains in Las Cruces with my music blaring, windows down, until I found something that moved me. That might sound silly, but to me, seeing God’s creation on country drives and then translating them to digital images is one way that stirred my affections for the Lord. It was and still is a sweet gift He’s given me.

Yes, at the time, I was still shooting these in auto ;-) No shame. 

Pictures of People

It wasn’t until my roommate suggested I take our other roommates’ engagement pictures that I had people in front of my camera for an actual “session”. I did what every new photographer starting out would do, and I took their pictures one Sunday afternoon after church when the sun was blaring, and the shadows were at their harshest. I took Jess and Ryan’s engagement photos, and all I can remember from that session were: 1) how happy they were and 2) how much fun I had.

It wasn’t until I got home that I realized they actually didn’t look like the photos I was trying to mimic on Pinterest or how I thought I was framing them. 

I recently listened to a sermon by Matt Chandler where he preached about society telling us that we have to be perfect at everything we do without working toward it.

I Almost Gave Up, Because I Wasn't Perfect

When I heard this, it brought back memories of deep frustration almost to the point of setting my camera down the first few months of launching by photography business. I literally almost quit, because I feared I would fail. Because I wasn't "good" at it. It was hard. It wasn't as easy as I thought it was supposed to be.

While the feelings of excitement toward this side hustle were always present, feelings of insecurity and frustration bombarded in quickly:

  • when I realized how my photos compared to Pinterest.
  • when I couldn’t produce the images I had in my head, and I had no knowledge as to why.
  • when I realized how my photos compared to the other local photographer’s.

I’m not kidding when I say that I remember staying up for hours and hours watching photography videos before a wedding one night, because I wanted my bride and her family to be pleased. I feared that I was incapable or that my work wouldn’t mimic what my brain thought I could do. I was afraid of failing. 

But you know what?

I wasn't capable. I wasn't capable of the perfection I held in front of me. 

I couldn’t walk out of my college bedroom with my camera that I shot in auto and photograph my roommate’s engagement session and create images that would be published in The Knot Magazine.  Or re-pinned 1047 times on Pinterest. I just couldn’t. I couldn't photograph my third wedding like Katelyn James without putting in the time, experience and little failures leading up to it.

It Doesn’t Happen Overnight.

I hadn’t spent anytime learning, anytime growing or anytime failing and getting back up to get me to where I currently was. 

It takes experience. Time.

There is grace. 

Society tells us we have to be perfect without the effort, and not only that, but that we can do it FAST. And that’s exactly what it shows us. We oftentimes don’t see the struggle; we don’t see the imperfection; we don’t see the frustration and grit that makes the journey extra seasoned in the end. And what can be most encouraging is seeing exactly that.

So, from the girl who almost put down her camera for fear of failing, for fear of imperfection, for fear of not being able to attain the images she imagined in her head--

Don't Miss Out

  • Don’t miss out on your journey of imperfection. This is where the lessons, satisfaction and grit comes.
  • Don’t believe the lie that whatever you’re pursuing will be met with instant ease, success or gratification.
  • Don’t forget about the journey, and don’t buy into lie that this journey isn’t worth it.
  • Don't miss out on the grace there is to constantly extend yourself. 

You didn’t learn to ride a bike overnight nor does a baby learn to walk overnight.


Anything Worth While Takes Time

Some dreams, some callings, some destinations take longer than we hope and feel is comfortable, but God is not powerless to grow you into what He’s called you to do or what He’s made you passionate about.

Do I feel like I’ve arrived? No, I realize my journey is never-ending. However, I can say that I see the difference from where I started and where I am now. And while I may not have this similar fear before a wedding day, I can still get nervous.

I'm On YOUR Team! 

And I want to share about these nerves and how I pep-talk myself before weddings in a second blog post to this 2-part series. I'm hoping to encourage you with the hobby that is too afraid of failing or you with story too similar to my own: set aside your fears, lean into the imperfection and grow. You've got this. I'm rooting for YOU!

So in the meantime, what are you fearful about pursuing? What are you passionate about enjoying? Write this down and allow yourself the grace and time to pursue it. Dive into it wholeheartedly and push perfection aside, because the journey is where the beauty and growth is. Don’t let society tell you it can happen over night.

Oklahoma Ranch Maternity Session | Sam & Meg

This couple you’re about to say, “wow, they’re lovely” about is a couple that Jordan and I love and look up to. They’re expecting their first little baby girl this October (so soon!!), and we, as well as so many others, are eagerly awaiting her arrival!

Her mama and I have been best friends since I can remember (way back when to the good ol’ softball days), and we were even in the same birth announcement when we were born! I’m two days older, with a birthdate of May 6th, and she’s May 8th. Frankly, ever person we meet when we’re together, we have to share this piece of information, just so that they know how close we are! ;-)

Meg, individually and together with Sam have been the truest of friends through some of my and our most devastating moments and through some of my and our most exciting moments. They’re as present, real, loving and fun as friends can be, and I can’t help but think that these qualities are also going to make them some of the best parents that are out there.

This little baby Donica is going to be so loved, so happy, so beautiful, and she can thank her parents for it all! I can’t wait for her to grow up and realize more and more how lucky she is.

Plus, Luke obviously can’t wait to grow up with a girly friend! ;-)

We took these pictures on their family’s land in Oklahoma, Lizzie Bee’s Florals added a sweet touch with the floral crown, and Pink Blush made Meg and her baby bump beautiful in the flowyhalter dress!

We love these people so much and can’t wait for them to experience the joy to come!

Piazza on the Green Romantic Wedding | Dillon & Sarah

Spectacular. Joyful. Elegant & Classic.

Once you understand how big of a wedding and house party Sarah and Dillon had at their wedding this past Saturday, you will instantly be able to judge the genuine character of this bride and groom--what lovable people, these two are! 

Sure, the large number of friends can suggest this to you, but once you interact with each individual whom was a loved one of the happy couple, you know that the Jones' were a pretty spectacular couple by the quality of their friends, as well. To have all these kind, fun friends who