Our Lucas Brent Turns 15 Months

Our Lucas Brent turned 15 months this week, and with all of this beautiful warm, sunshine-y weather lately, I put my camera in the stroller before we headed to the park! 

I loved capturing what our mornings oftentimes look like these days so that I can remember this fun, adventurous personality of his! BOY, is he FUN! He goes hard. Falls hard. Laughs hard. 

It makes it hard for this mama to let him keep growing up....but it just keeps getting better!

When I look back and remember Luke at 15 months I want to remember:

-How sweet of a spirit he has. He hugs everyone, and it makes me melt.

-How curious of a spirit he has. He is always watching what we're doing and wanting to help or copy. It seems as though he likes to figure out and see how things work (NO idea who he got that from...?! ;-) #davenportmen)

-How adventurous of a spirit he has. He's all in 100%, blowin' and a'goin'. I always hear comments about how sturdy and agile he is for his age, and I'm like...yep, oh, we movin'... ;-)

-How SILLY of a spirit he has. Oh boy--we crack up on the daily and never know what's coming next!

-How energetic of a spirit he has. pretty sure he has much of his mama in him--but I can hang, boy!  oh, I can hang! for now at least! 

-How social of a spirit he has. When he walks into a room or is around new people, I've noticed that the first 5-10 minutes, he's reserved and shy--checking out the situation. After that point, he's confident and on-the-go! Where's the party mom!? 

-How loving of a spirit he has. He's basically obsessed with babies and almost can't contain his excitement when he sees one. Like babies, he'll often come up to us and just stroke our faces or hug us so sweetly. I melt. Into a big puddle. (Though, in his energetic moods, we can get some excited-slapping. It's a thing. And we're thankful that at the moment he listens when we teach him "no" and to say "sorry" but patting afterword. I hope it lasts/sticks!)

-And lastly, how handsome he is. I know every mom says that about their babe, but I just think he's so dang CUTE!

Luke, we love you Bubba! Your daddy and I literally tell each other this everyday. We're so thankful the Lord entrusted us with you! It's a literal GIFT!!! 

If you want to be confident capturing candids of the moments you don't want to miss, you need to join many others in my spring photo challenge--because let's be real--WE'RE ALL OUTSIDE AND LOVING IT RIGHT NOW! Wishing you the the best and hoping you capture it all!!

How to Stand Out in a Saturated City {Part 3} My favorite

How to Stand Out in a Saturated City: Part 1

How to Stand Out in a Saturated City: Part 2

1.    Look up and don’t compare yourself to others in your city. Essentially, this is how you’ll stand out as unique, gain confidence and fit into the shoes you’re meant to fill

If you’ve made it to this blog post, it must mean that you’re truly desiring to get your name out—whether you’re moving your business, have just moved it or are struggling to get your name out in the city in which you are. And honestly, if you read any of these, this is probably my favorite.

So let me leave a little personal advice with you in this post.

I actually learned this when I lived in Las Cruces, but it transferred so well for me when I moved to Dallas. You see, when I started in NM, I started from the bottom. Haha.  Literally. I didn’t know what I was doing, and therefore, it showed in my work a lot in the early days. My work has and is continually being refined to fit my knowledge and style.

This is going to reveal such a sinful heart, but I’m being honest. I can remember looking at other local photographer’s work and feeling so much jealousy and judgment. I would pick apart their photography and editing, compare it to my own and essentially try to talk myself up (even when I was worse than them). In turn, this only hurt me more. It created such a bitter, lonely place for me to be.

When I realized the state I was in and realized the desire for other local photographers to have a relationship with me personally, not only photography-related, my heart began to change and my conviction was evident. I began to make friendships with these photographers and find my own style in the process. And as if that weren’t positive enough, I began to book more….BECAUSE of referrals from them. It was a two-way street: everybody was benefitting from this connecting. Friends, there truly are ENOUGH weddings to go ‘round. Enough sessions to go ‘round. Especially in Dallas! You don’t want to photograph a wedding EVERY weekend. Or at least I want to have a life. ;-) When I began to recite this very line to myself, it put so much into perspective and relieved so much weight from my shoulders.

Instead of comparing myself to the people around me and worrying that people would choose them over me, I began to look UP. I began to look OUT.

I started following 3 business religiously, because 1) I loved their styles 2) I loved who they were as people and 3) they shared much of their lives and business on their blogs, and I couldn’t learn enough from them.  All my time was spent learning about these 3 photographers who were in a much higher market than me, and I began to grow. I would browse their blogs before engagement sessions and wedding days so that I could be inspired by them. I perused their Instagram (and still do!) to find similar inspiration.

And when I began to do this, my work flourished. It stood out from the others in my city of Las Cruces, because I wasn’t trying to be like them. And in turn, I became confident in myself. I didn’t feel bogged down by the own jealousy and judgment I was inflicting upon myself. It was a different challenge.

So knowing this in NM, I carried it with me to Dallas. While I do know and swoon over many of the talented photographers in Dallas, I immediately stop browsing their website, blog or Instagram if it brings up feelings of insecurity in me. That’s on me. Not them. I’m the only one who can stop those feelings by changing my actions and what I’m feeding my creativity.

So with this being said, a huge encouragement from me is to: look up and out. Find your 2-3 photographers that you just love everything about. Follow them. Be inspired by them. Learn from them. And essentially put up your blinders to those around you who may (or may not) make you feel inadequate or insecure. You may just find yourself and style in the process.

And I’m wishing all the confidence in the world for you!

 Want to join in on my spring photo challenge?! 

Want to join in on my spring photo challenge?! 

How to Stand Out in a Saturated City {Part 2}

How to Stand Out in a Saturated City: Part 1

1.     Update your website/make a promo video

2.     Talk about your side hustle with others; don’t be shy

3.     Search for your tribe and connect with them

In my first post, you learned a little about my genesis with photography, how we seamlessly executed our move to Dallas from Las Cruces, New Mexico. Now, I might add that Jordan and I were both working full time when we moved to Dallas—Jordan as an ICU nurse and me as a speech pathologist in the Richardson ISD.  While it was the busiest time in my life working two fulltime jobs, the hustle was worth it. It allowed wedding photography to be a blessing and not a burden after working in the schools for 1 year. 

I shared how I marketed my business by offering free sessions before we moved, offering an unforgettable, loving client experience as soon as I came in contact with couples and tagging them on Facebook. 

So in this post, I’m going to share a little more about the logistics.

One thing I knew was that I obviously needed to update my social medias and website. I made sure to change my location to Dallas, TX and update my website with the best images I thought would speak to and stand out against other talented photographers in the areas. Because we all know, there’s incredible talent in Dallas.

So I thought about it and decided that a promo video would be an incredible way to stand out when brides look at my website. I knew that if others could see ME, see how I interacted with clients behind the camera and saw my heart behind my business in the form of a video, not just a bio on my website—that. That would help me stand out in this new city. It was personal. And not common for websites. 

Our friends from When It Clicks did an outstanding job creating a promo video for me that showed all of this--my light-hearted, joyful personality, my excitement and lack of talking during a photo shoot and the couple being photographed, laughing and showing off their love. I felt as though this was one way that I could stand out amongst the many other websites that didn’t offer a more personal touch.


And I have to say: many people who have booked my services, said they booked because they liked seeing who I was in my promo video. And these couples who booked because of that? They’re ideal. Our personalities match so easily, and it’s a fluid, fun experience for both of us.

Secondly, this might sound too simple, but I honestly struggled to do this at first when we moved: SIMPLY TELL OTHERS WHAT YOU DO.

I know, it’s too complex right? NO!! I’m going to give just a few examples of ways I booked clients by way of this:

·       I hung out with some of Jordan’s coworkers and when they asked what I did, I told them about my day job as an SLP and my side hustle of wedding photography—I received inquiries and have booked weddings because of this.

·       I met brides at Circle Seven Five, an organization that allows Dallas girls to network, connect and explore the city together.

·       I was slow to do this, BUT I shared my side hustle with the people I worked with in my schools—I have since photographed family members of coworkers AND coworkers themselves!

·       Bachelor watching hang outs—I’ve booked sessions from simply sharing what I do with people I’ve met from hanging out and watching the Bachelor at friend’s houses. I mean...it's the simplest, unplanned moments, y'all!

So the next time you’re in a group and someone asks what you do, don’t be hesitant to say what your day job and your side hustle is—in a sentence. It doesn’t even have to be a sales pitch. You’d be surprised how far this goes.

Lastly, I can remember searching Dallas Facebook groups for photographers who I felt had a similar look to mine, a similar faith as mine and desire to connect with others in the area. I simply reached out via email or Facebook message explaining how I was moving to Dallas and would love to grab coffee and simply connect to learn more about them. I made two sweet friends who I still keep up with today and oftentimes refer out weddings to them when I’m unavailable. The friendships are fun, and the connection, support is helpful!

Next, I'll talk about comparison and how it doesn't have to beat you down. I'm sharing from experience, y'all! It's my favorite post of the 4 in this series!

Dallas Arboretum and White Rock Lake Engagement Session | Alex & Julie

Well, goodness. 

Where to even start?! Except for--THIS COUPLE might one of the sweetest. One of the most beautiful. And one of the most fun couples to know and photograph! 

This bride Julie is the sister of another (equally SWEET and beautiful) bride Courtney who I just photographed, and I'm over here like, "how did I get so lucky to know them both!?"! 

But truly. It was only fitting that the sun would shine and the colors would pop for their session--if you know Julie and Alex, you understand what I mean. This totally defines them and the joy they possess! 

Literally--all aspects of their session couldn't have been more perfect. The weather was ideal. The rainy weather parted and left us with sunny skies on this Sunday, and the color was FOUND, y'all! We started their session at the Dallas Arboretum, and I'd say it was an early preview of the beautiful Crepe Myrtles and Dallas blooms. After walking our way through some of the most lovely parts of the Arboretum, we found ourselves on the same lake--just the other side of it. 

Similarly, White Rock Lake provided us with amazing light, breathtaking views and lovely weather. I think we can all agree that the location wouldn't have actually mattered with this couple--they're so beautiful and so in LOVE. BUT, my goodness, with everything aligned, it made for one of my most favorite engagement sessions ever! I left so giddy and so happy for Julie and Alex. 

They truly embraced the meaning of the session, loved on one another and were just so joyful that it made my job...so easy. So ideal! 

So now I'm over here like, "okay, September, hurry!!" :-)

4 Myths About Eating Disorders & How they Apply to YOU | By Ashleigh Partin

I usually am pretty vocal about the things that I'm passionate about, but I have purposefully have kept quiet about one of them that hits close to home. I either have been 1) too embarrassed 2) unsure how to share or 3) didn't feel a sure calling to share publicly via social media. But the truth is, I care so much about others I see struggling, because of what I walked through in the past. And lately, I've been reminded of the several years I walked through disordered eating. I have seen it in people around me, in people unaware they're trapped in it and have felt with some of my loved ones and brides. 

So when Ashleigh reached out to me about guest blogging, I felt it was the right fit for what's been on my heart. I desire for others to read these myths she's debunking on my blog today. I desire for others to feel freedom from the bondage they may feel to food. And I desire for my brides to feel confident and beautiful as they prepare not just for their wedding days--but forever. 

Thank you so much Ashleigh for your wisdom, heart and willingness to help others! 

Good morning LDP family! Big thanks to Lindsay for letting me take over the blog today. I love the brand and community she has created, and I am stoked to share with y’all a little bit about where my heart is and how it relates to YOU!

Let me introduce myself: My name is Ashleigh Partin, and I am a Registered Dietitian living and working in west Texas. Before your eyes get hung up on the word “diet” in my title and you assume you know what I’m here to say, take a deep breath and give me a chance to prove you wrong! I own a private practice, Ashleigh Partin Nutrition, where I specialize in nutrition counseling for eating disorders and disordered eating. I proudly denounce all things diet, and I work with my clients to relearn how to use their bodies’ internal cues to guide their eating. I firmly believe all foods (yes, ALL foods) can fit into a healthy life.

This week, February 26th through March 2nd, is National Eating Disorders Awareness Week. I could talk all day long about eating disorders (just ask my husband), but I have a few specific myths that I want to bust with you guys. I know y’all have jobs to do and families to take care of and weddings to plan, so let’s jump right in.

MYTH #1: I am not sick/thin/small enough to deserve help.

TRUTH: Do not be held captive by this lie!! First of all, NO ONE can identify an eating disorder simply by looking at a person. When I say eating disorder (I’m going to start using ED to abbreviate), your mind probably goes straight to a very thin, emaciated white teenage female. While this CAN be an image of someone with an ED, it is only the tip of the iceberg. EDs occur in petite frames and broad frames, small bodies and large bodies, men and women. And even outside of the diagnosable EDs, there is a whole spectrum of disordered eating that needs to be addressed as well. To put it simply, if guilt and shame over food or body image are affecting your life, YOU DESERVE HELP!

MYTH #2: This is normal.

TRUTH: Excuse me while I leap through my computer to grab you by the shoulders and say DO NOT BELIEVE THIS SHAM! Diet culture has normalized so many unhealthy, dangerous behaviors, and just the thought of this gets my blood boiling (not just a mild simmer, more like full on ready-to-pour-over-your-ramen-boiling). Let me speak to the brides-to-be here for just a sec: Do NOT let your wedding day be overshadowed by dieting or body shame. While I absolutely want you to feel good and be confident, that comes from loving and taking care of yourself, NOT from a certain dress size or a number on the scale. You should be able to look back in ten years and remember the joy of your first kiss as husband or wife, not the fear of eating your own cake at your reception or the anxiety over buttoning those last buttons on your dress (side note – You are not meant to fit a dress; your dress is meant to fit you!!). Moral of the story: EDs and disordered eating are not normal, and there are people (like me!) trained to help you overcome your struggles!

MYTH #3: Anything worth doing is difficult. It’ll be okay as long as I lose weight.

TRUTH: Hark the herald angels singing NO NO NO NO NO. EDs are incredibly dangerous. Some of the common health consequences of EDs include fatigue, hair loss, poor skin quality, muscle wasting, and heart failure. EDs actually have the highest fatality rate of ANY psychiatric illness. Let that sink in. Whether you are in a full-blown ED or somewhere on the spectrum of disordered eating, seek out help! Losing weight or fitting into a dress may seem worth the world to you now, but I promise, they are NOT worth your health or your life. Do I sound too harsh? Are you thinking that I probably need to take a chill pill and not be so hard on diets? I beg to differ. Want to know the #1 precursor to an ED? Any guesses? DIETING.

MYTH #4: If I abandon my rules, my weight will spiral out of control.

TRUTH: If you have been living with restrictive food rules and forcing your body to a lower weight than is appropriate for you, then yes, giving up your food rules may include weight gain. In other cases, abandoning food rules may lead to weight loss or no weight change. I like to explain to my clients that my goal is to help them find their “natural body size”, the size they are able to comfortably maintain. This means the weight where your body rests (usually a 10-15 pound range – scientific term is set-point weight) when you eat and move intuitively. Your body is wicked smart, and when you start trusting it, you will find a far more peaceful, complete form of health than dieting could ever provide you.

I hope that this post challenges you to think about your own food behaviors. If you identify with any of the myths above, please do not feel foolish. When it comes to figuring out how to eat and take care of your body, I think a quote by Maya Angelou says it perfectly: “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” If it is time for you to start doing better, here are some resources that you might find helpful:

Ashleigh Partin Nutrition, LLC



Facebook: @ashpartnutrition

*Located in Midland, TX, and taking long-distance virtual clients on a case-by-case basis. Please call for more information.

National Eating Disorders Association


Helpline: (800) 931-2237

Find an Eating Disorder Dietitian in your area: http://www.eddietitians.com/treatment-finder/

*Disclaimer: This post is intended for the public and is not meant to replace professional treatment. The goal of this post is to increase awareness of eating disorders and provide resources for struggling individuals to seek appropriate care.

How to Stand Out in a Saturated City {Part 1}

1.     Advertise on social media before you move

2.     Stand out by being different

3.     Offer contests in exchange for free sessions

4.     Wow with client experience

Jordan and I married in my hometown of Artesia, New Mexico to return to our college town of Las Cruces, New Mexico afterward. It was a sweet, slow summer in between undergraduate and graduate school for us, and it meant that I had the summer to learn how to use my camera while Jordan worked at Chick-fil-a.

I don’t know if I’ve actually ever shared this before, but…. I actually applied for a job on campus my first semester of graduate school, and while Jordan was praying I would get it (chick-fil-a couldn’t pay ALL the bills) ;-), I was secretly hoping I wouldn’t. I was sooo in love with photography and wanted all the time to invest into learning it.

I just had this feeling (SO ME), that there was something bigger in it for me. For us. I could go on to explain this emotional story about driving home from Starbucks after I launched my Facebook business page (so official, y’all) and specific lyrics to a song that came on, but I’ll save that. ;-)

To Jordan’s dismay and my delight, I did not get the job on campus.

I told Jordan, “don’t worry! I’ll take pictures! This is meant to be!” And honestly…it worked out just fine. ;-) We learned to live with little, free Chick-fil-a meals from receipts and budgeted with envelopes. This was honestly one of the sweetest seasons for us.

While I pursued photography, was studying in graduate school and we were learning to be married, we knew all along that we’d be moving to Dallas, TX after our graduation. Meanwhile, my business was seemingly growing from senior, baby and family photography (whatever paid the bills) in Las Cruces to wedding photography in and near New Mexico. This dream of mine to transfer my business to Dallas from NM became a reality, something to consider and implement.

But how? DALLAS? I mean, it was daunting. There were and are more than enough photographers in that city to not need lil ol’ me, another new-ish photographer. But we received some valuable advice from our friends from When It Clicks. They told Jordan that if we know we’re moving, to start getting our name out before we move. They said to figure out what makes us different from all the other photographers.


So we did.

I used Facebook and told friends and family about our move and business dreams. I posted contests on Facebook that required people to share my post in order to be entered into the contest. Winners won a free session with me when we visited Dallas/family before we moved. This allowed for not only ME to share, but other people I didn’t know to help me market myself in Dallas by them sharing my work on Facebook.

But I knew it didn’t stop there. I couldn’t just simply ask someone to share my post or “like” my page. There was no real connection involved by doing that. I knew the product and experience I provided my clients needed to be special, noteworthy. So what did I consider that made me “different”? My passion for marriage. It’s true. When Jordan told me that I needed something unique to help me stand out, I knew exactly what that was: my genuine heart for marriage and the couples I was coming in contact with. I love it. I love them. I don’t think this is always the case. Nor do I think this is by accident or coincidence. I genuinely want to know, be friends with and stay in touch with my couples after their weddings. I pray over their marriages and genuinely hope that when times are tough, they feel comfortable and able to seek pray, wisdom or direction from us.

So as much as I was able to, I aimed to love and serve my clients by the way I made them feel over email and during their session; I aimed to under-promise and over-deliver as far as the number of images they expected goes and other little areas in my business. I aimed to really try to over-deliver in any areas I had set expectations with them. I knew that this would help me stand out.


And so I did. Before we moved to Dallas in the fall of 2015, we had about 6-7 weddings already on the calendar for the fall in Texas. This meant that as soon as we moved to Dallas, I had engagement sessions for these couples. This meant that I had opportunities to love on, serve, surprise with a small gift (a date night in a box) and deliver images they loved. Before I even photographed some of these brides’ weddings, they were already telling their friends about my services. Not to mention, I was able to tag these couples on Facebook, which also stood out to their families and friends.

And this was the beginning of my breakthrough to stand out in a saturated city.

Though, it was foggy to me that I was actually “doing it” at the time. I hear people now who are surprised at how quickly Lindsay Davenport Photography was able to go full time and book 25+ weddings a year upon relocating cities. And honestly, I am shocked too. And humbled. I really am. But it just falls back on that feeling I had in college where I just knew there was something more for me in photography. For my family.

Next week, I’ll share a few more tangible ways I’ve reflected on that helped me stand out in a saturated city.

Downtown McKinney Engagement Session | Katie & James

Oh it's amazing how people cross paths. 

I mean this by how Katie and James met and how Katie and I met! 

I actually met Katie years ago in high school on a mission trip we both went on one summer. She, her mom and sister were their with their Texas church and me from my New Mexico church. At the time, I had no idea that I would ever live in Dallas or as close to her as I do. That fun thing called Facebook allowed us to follow each other ever since then, and when James proposed to Katie, she had an idea as to who she wanted to call--a connection from years ago on a mission trip! Small world, right?!

Well, the better "meet-cute" (you've seen The Holiday, right? ;-) ) was how James and Katie met! They actually were and still are teachers together in Sherman, and they couldn't quite help but notice one another at the school they spent much time at. Katie may or may not have been the one to introduce herself first, and I'm pretty sure it was clear that James was very happy about this. And when I say "clear", I mean, it didn't take but a few months for their initial introduction to turn into something much deeper--something that looks like a beautiful engagement! 

When I talked to Katie over Skype and learned more about their love story, I just knew they were a special couple to work with. The way she literally glowed over Skype (no, it wasn't just my screen settings!) and had the sweetest words to use when talking about him, showed me how sweet their relationship is. They are absolutely head over heels for one another. 

And during their session, I saw just that. I photographed just that! 

They were the best during a rather chilly session, and they made it extra fun for me! I can hardly wait for their wedding this May!! Katie is a bride who's as beautiful on the inside as she is outside, and I know that James had to see this from the moment she introduced herself to him!

Romantic Belo Mansion Wedding | Courtney & Luke

I don't really know how to begin this blog post except to say that I think it's fitting such a romantic and intimate wedding would be featured on Valentines Day, because....

Luke and Courtney's wedding day was this and more. 

Intimate, full of so much fun, classy and just overwhelming with love. 

I came home on cloud 9 and couldn't shake the excitement. I loved everything about the Shelton's February 10th wedding day--the couple, the families, the beautiful details, the vendor team and even our (chilling) overcast weather. Well, okay, I wouldn't have hated few additional degrees of warmth ;-). 

I met Courtney a couple years ago when I moved to Dallas and worked in Richardson at Prairie Creek with her. I thought she was the sweetest, prettiest, most caring teacher--each and every one of her kiddos were cared for and more. And it makes me think that Luke just has to be one lucky guy--I doubt he falls far behind on the list, judging on the way she loved those kiddos, don't ya think?! :-) I can remember talking to her about her boyfriend in New Orleans who she just knew she would marry one day. Hearing the way she talked about him and seeing the way she couldn't smile any bigger when she walked near him on their wedding day--it was priceless. 

They're so perfect together. And such a striking pair! 

I loved connecting the two pieces together and felt special knowing a bit of their history prior their engagement. What lucky people they are--lucky families, in fact! And I felt a part of both on their wedding day, celebrating and feeling all the feels right beside them! 

Courtney has such a fun and loving personality, and goodness gracious, you can't top how stunning she is! Add a gorgeous wedding gown, lovely bouquet of flowers and a happy groom, and you've got a recipe for a jaw-dropping occasion. 

And that is what it was. 

The Belo Mansion was such a romantic and beautiful venue to become husband and wife. Their reception was something out of a fairytale. As you walked near the entrance, you were greeted with faint colors of pink, soft whites in romantic florals and lighting. Once you entered, you were sure to celebrate until you simply couldn't anymore more! Thanks to the Ice House Band this was an easy thing to do!

What a dream--everything--such a dream! I'm so happy for this sweet friend of mine, and I couldn't be happier that she and Luke are now the Sheltons!! Love you guys!! 

How To Take Your Favorite Valentines' Picture

When you have heart eyes like the background of your son's Valentines' picture...

 His expressions make me melt. 

His expressions make me melt. 

A couple weeks ago we hosted our 2017 couples in our home, and I handmade this heart decoration. I honestly loved the pop of color it added to our house, and so of course, thought, "Luke would be so cute in front of it!"

If I had planned more extensively, I might have coordinated an outfit that doesn't have a dirty diaper in it, BUT....I just love it. We're so casual, and this is my babe at home most of the time anyway! 

I'm going to walk you through:

1) how I made the heart decoration

2) how I chose this spot and 

3) my camera settings in manual 

Step 1

So first things first, purchase red napkins (or pink if you want!), chicken wire  and nail pieces of wood together to make the frame--or have your husband do so! I requested my hubby to make a 2 foot x 2 foot frame, and I wouldn't have minded it being half a foot bigger. My hubby is quite the handyman, so he probably spent more time on the frame and stain than I asked, but I'm so pleased! Always ;-) 

Anyway, you'll nail the frame together, staple the chicken wire to the back, and then begin pulling your napkins through. I started with the middle/top of the heart and worked to try to make it as symmetrical as I could. Now, this is the timely part of the craft, so don't be in a rush! :-) You'll love the finished product! Leave it up in your home and then snap some pictures of your loved ones! 

Step 2 

First thing is first, you have to know from where your light source is coming. In my case, you can see which side of Luke's face is brighter, meaning the window from our dining room was on that side, illuminating his face. If he walked much further away or turned his back to the window, his face would be AWAY from the light source and thus, darker. When we're inside, we want our subjects facing the light source or at a 90-degree angle, like Luke is, if the light isn't too harsh. I'm going to explain an editing tip in my editing software below to further discuss this! 

Secondly, like I had mentioned more in depth in this blog post here, the distance between your background and the subject matters. It's what adds depth to the photo (as well as your aperture!). So I knew that I wanted to pull Luke forward, away from my desired heart backdrop. I knew that it would draw attention to him with the pop of red and heart bokeh in the background. 

Step 3 

Okay, so what's "bokeh", you ask!? Ah, I'm glad you did! Bokeh is the blurred background that's achieved when you shoot with a wide, or low aperture. So go ahead, put your camera in manual mode and check to see how low the lens will allow your aperture to go. If you have the kit lens that came with your camera, your aperture is probably limited to a 3.5 f/stop (aperture), which means you'll get some bokeh but not as pronounced as with an aperture of say, 1.8, 2.0, 2.2 or 2.5. Basically, the lower your aperture, the more room there is for error, BUT the more creamier the background with bokeh! 

So to give you an example: I was using my 50 mm 1.4 lens. (Side note: if you only have a kit lens, I HIGHLY recommend buying the nifty fifty--50 mm 1.8 FIRST) 

My settings with this lens were set to an ISO of 1250, aperture 2.0 and shutter speed 1/200. If you've heard me before, you know I personally don't love to go below a shutter speed of 1/160, especially with littles in the frame. My ISO was set as high as 1250, because it was later in the afternoon, and we were inside, which means...less light than outside! (keep in mind that depending on your camera, the ISO qualities range--1250 may cause some camera to look grainy; mine can handle!) My aperture was set to 2.0 so that more light could come in (wider hole) AND my background would be more blurred--more bokeh with the heart background! 

 Look! Even looks TOES are out of focus! Talk about amazing depth of field--that's ALL to the low aperture of 2.0!! In contrast, if my aperture was set to something high, like 4.5, 5.0, etc., then the heart would be more in focus, as well as his toes. Make sense?

Look! Even looks TOES are out of focus! Talk about amazing depth of field--that's ALL to the low aperture of 2.0!! In contrast, if my aperture was set to something high, like 4.5, 5.0, etc., then the heart would be more in focus, as well as his toes. Make sense?

You can tell in the image above, that I scooted Luke backward toward the heart. In the images above, he was pulled forward a few more feet AND our dining room table was partially blocking the light from the window. When I scooted him backward, closer to the heart but probably 5-6 feet in distance, the light was free to hit his face a little harsher--see his left cheek/the right of the picture. Because it slightly bothered me that one side was brighter than the other, I adjusted it in Lightroom, my editing software. I'm going to show you exactly how I edited these images in a video I recorded below! 

 See! Here's a before and after! You easily tell from which side the light source was coming! 

See! Here's a before and after! You easily tell from which side the light source was coming! 

Psssst. The Lightroom video will be available through the end of February 2018...so snatch it fast! 

Can't wait to see what you create, friend! Share your success and creativity when you capture it! I'd love to do a happy dance with you. 

Valentines Brunch | 2017 LDP Couples

And thank GOODNESS we meet again! 

It took some brunch and berry champagne to make it happen..at all once! Winning!

I started a fun thing last year when I hosted our 2016 couples for a fall-themed "We Love You A Brunch", so this year, since we had weddings go all the way up until December 30th of 2017, we had to hold off on our celebrations until February when my calendar slowed. So naturally, the theme fell on Valentines, which I honestly had a lot more fun with that than I imagined! I think this DIY heart decor piece that I made is here to STAY. I'm in love. 


But anyway, Kate from The Everyday Hostess, whipped up some super cute ideas and organized and styled the party leading up to. And she's so good at what she does! I loved the details she had in mind, and I had so much fun creating, hunting and gathering. As always. Creating, whether it be photography or styling details or parties, is such an enjoyment to me. So many ways to use and do it, and a fun way that I've learned lately is using creativity to serve others. 

I've always loved hosting.

Thinking back to my college years, I would always call up my high school friends at the beginning of winter and summer break for a get-together at the farm. It's so fun. Hosting in our home that we've put love into. It's fun. Seeing faces that I love and who I watched love each other is fun. Having so many special people under one roof, our roof, with my cooking (kind off--this year Costco helped!)--heart warming

And honestly, I have the sweetest couples, because none of them complained about half the food being hard, cold, warm, or late! Tee hee! MY lack of organization was tested this year, but I also had a babe juggling in the mix, so thankfully, I extended myself some grace too. Which, now would be the part that I insert "this is why I didn't take as many pictures--I was running late!"

But then I realized.

After the fact, I think I realized and was reminded about the purpose of the party anyway: to invite couples together and serve, thank and love on them. Plus, strategically SEE them again, of course ;-)

So if I had gotten consumed with the details, taking pictures and missed the big picture, that would've been too bad, right? ;-) Little heart check there. My husband planted the seed the night before and as the day got away from me Saturday, and I was left to be present (and pouring drinks), I felt like it was kind of confirmed. Serving them regardless of the documentation is better--it's a heart thing.

So. With that being said, I love every one of these couples. I've prayed over their marriages, as well as the ones who couldn't make it, and am on their team. I'm so grateful they were able to come together and meet, recognize and visit with one another. 2017 took us to some fun, amazing and new places. I was in AND photographed one of my bestie's weddings, flew to Mexico for a wedding and photographed so many precious, beautiful and fun celebrations in between. 

2017 was good to us. 28 weddings and every memory savored.

Cheers to supa sweet berry champagne! ;-)

A Winter White Sparrow Barn Wedding | Christopher & Hannah

Simple beauty can speak volumes--

Like Christopher and Hannah's entire wedding day. 

I think we all know that The White Sparrow barn doesn't need much because of how lovely it already is. And I think we can all agree that the details and florals put into the Thomas' wedding day were all on point. 

It was perfect. 

So elegant. So classic. So joyfully refreshing with greenery to delight in, florals to swoon over and  heirloom pieces to smile over. And I just adored--just adored--the way they tastefully and beautifully included bicycle wheels covered in greenery into their theme. With Christopher working at the largest bike shop in the country (did you know this is in Richardson?!) and Hannah joining in his love, it was just no question. That, and he proposed to Hannah in Colorado in the middle of one of their rides when the scenery was at its best. So they had to include bicycles into their decor. 

Details like these just make my heart happy. Elated. 

And Hannah. I already bragged on this girl over on her bridal session blog, but how lovely was she?!  I absolutely loved the details she had, such as her lace up heels, her veil, heirloom handkerchief, gloves and satchel--priceless and so lovely. They went perfectly with their wedding day, and added to the day every-so-beautiflly.. Christopher couldn't help but hold back tears as she walked down the aisle to him.  Her dad lifted her veil over her face to reveal even more so how lovely Hannah looked on her wedding day. 

It was perfect. 

A celebration as beautiful as the details followed, and the White Sparrow barn was the place to be Saturday, January 27th. It was an honor to be a part of it all!

White Sparrow Barn Bridals | Hannah

I love that I get to hold a megaphone (aka type on my blog) and brag on all of my brides and their beautiful qualities. 


I just love it. 

So Hannah here. 

This girl married her best friend, her partner in movie-watching, bike-riding and life-laughing, on Saturday, and it was just the most glorious, lovely occasion. 

And this means today, I get to share the bridal portraits we took of her before her wedding day and point out how incredibly beautiful she is not only on the outside (obviously!) but on the inside. From the day I met her at La Madeline and learned all about Christopher and her love story and the beautiful wedding at The White Sparrow they were planning on, I just felt like I'd known her for years. She has this very confidence about her that speaks the most positive and comforting volumes. Her personality is so vibrant and loving that she knows no stranger, I have to believe!

She loves the Lord, and it's apparent. I remember her describing how Christopher proposed to her in Colorado and how God's beauty in the nature all around them was just breathtaking, as he got down on one knee. And yes. I could completely relate. What a glorious moment to remember. I love that this is how Hannah sees the world: through a confident lens in whom she knows Jesus Christ to be which translate to her confident, fun love in Christopher. 

I can't wait to share their wedding day with you, because, oh boy, it was just beautiful! 

But until then, I hope you smile as you take in this sweet soul's inner beauty as well as that gorgeous dress, beautiful long veil and stunning heirloom pieces.

Hannah, you are so gorgeous dear! I know Christopher and everyone else couldn't stop thinking this all day on your wedding day! 

Southwest University Stadium & Union Depot Whimsical Boho Wedding | Josh & Lilly

If I could pinpoint one favorite thing about Josh and Lilly's wedding day, I would. 

But the truth is that there were so many sentimental pieces, creatively unique and incredible details, vibrant and whimsical florals and beautiful moments that all come to mind at once. 

I think about how special it was for this bride and groom to exchange vows and become husband and wife in El Paso's Southwest University Stadium, where they were the first couple to ever do so. Ever. Like, as if marrying each other weren't special enough, they happened to set the stage for future couples to see how romantic and warm it is to marry in such a vast, beautiful venue as this. Yes, of course, the fact that Josh has a rather extensive history and love for baseball helps add to the sentimental value. ;-) 

I think about the fact that Lilly designed everything. Her vision coming to life was a treat to photograph and a creative masterpiece, to be honest!

Part of this design, which I just adored (out of the many things), was this specific party of their vision for their wedding day: they brought pieces from their home, like the peacock chairs, throws and pillows so that it was like an extension of their home. They desired for their wedding day to showcase what they loved with everybody they loved. And it felt like so: very warm, inviting and FUN. Guys, it was FUN. 

Lilly literally didn't overlook one detail as she designed and planned such a warm, romantic wedding day with a hint of whimsical boho. And her dress, you guys! The sleeves just did it for me. But so did the weavings attached to the bouquets. But so did the flower pieces in all of the bridesmaids' hair. But...guys, this list doesn't end! :-) 

And as if these details weren't enough; it gets better.

Lilly wore jewelry that was great, great, great grandmother's. I want to say that somehow I added an extra "great" to that, but I believe I'm correct! Her veil was handmade by her Nana, and her mother wore it down the aisle, as well. The number of amazing details that went into planning and making this wedding such a joyous celebration is too many to list in this here blog! ;-) 

So why don't you enjoy browsing this one-of-a-kind wedding day that Josh and Lilly have to remember as their best party YET! What a beautiful couple with a beautiful wedding day! 

Luke's 1 Year Pictures... at 13 months :)

Heart melted. In a puddle. 

It turns out Luke's birthday falls during a busy time of year (not news to anyone but me!), so somehow I managed to let his 1-year pictures slip away. I wanted to spend some special time with him to capture his fun personality in a cute outfit, his overalls to fit his birthday party theme (Polar Express) and to follow the tradition that Jordan's mom started for his siblings: they all had their picture taken at 1 year old in a sailor outfit before they had their hair cut. (I'm so sad/ready to get his hair cut now...!!!)!!! Seeing the comparisons of Jordan's 1 year sailor pictures and Luke's just MAKE ME MELT.

So all of this dang cold Texas weather (I really have enjoyed it) just prohibited that from happening this past month! Luke's actual birthday is 12-14-16, which is a busy time of year for work for me AND right before Christmas. Next year, I'll know to start a little sooner! ;-) 

Because of the weather, I decided to book The Lumen Room, which was such a good decision on my part! It was fabulous, bright and white--just like I hoped. Plus, it wasn't freezing ;-) 

And it was so special, because Luke's daddy joined us, and I literally couldn't have done it without him! Luke laughed at him, cheesed for him, and his extra hands were so necessary!! Luke has surpassed walking all the way to running now, so every time Jordan would put him down, I'd snap pictures for a couple seconds before he ran off completely. Talk about strategic and a WORKOUT. 

Anyway, I LOVE that I got some photos of him with the big 1 balloon, with the CHOO CHOO behind him in his conductor's (birthday) outfit AND the traditional sailor outfit that many of the Davenport cousins have been a part of. I cannot wait to get these on our WALLS.

We just adore this baby boy. I truly just pray that I can remember these moment. I try so hard!