Monday, December 31, 2012

twenty-twelve | 12.31.12

Here it is friends, our last post of 2012.  And as such, we'd like to share with you a few of our favorites from twenty-twelve...

Jill's Top 3:

This is one of those - "I can't explain it... it's just a favorite" kind of shots.  Erika was on her was to meet Matt for their first look, and I snapped this right as she was stepping through the door.  You could feel Erika's excitement and enthusiasm, and it was contagious.  Well... maybe I can explain it.  :)

This was a simple morning in Kentucky, with the McCloud family, in a favorite spot.  The light was perfect, the water cool, and the laughter easy to come by.  It was a session that marked the end of our time in Richmond.  The images are beautiful, and the memories are so special.

Larkyn has been behind our lens... a lot.  So how fitting is it that she be our first session in Longview!?  She and Mr. Bill & Mrs. LaDonna came to Texas to visit us over her fall break, and we celebrated her 10th birthday with a cowgirl photoshoot... and a surprise birthday party!

Kay's Top 3: 

Okay... it's no contest what my top favorite moments/images of 2012 are.  NEW ZEALAND. (AND FIJI!)  I mean, I could post 100 "favorites" from that trip alone!  I gained so much experience and friendship from PhotoEX: New Zealand. Going back to that side of the world and doing a LOT more exploring is most definitely in my future.

[The 2 images below are the incredible stars at our campsite near the Franz Josef Glacier (top), and the sunrise at Te Mata Peak (bottom). Many more images to come soon!]

The way God worked it out for us to book Robert & Elise's wedding was so crazy cool.  To go from being 14+ hours away, to only 3 hours away?  There is no way I could have imagined it would work out so well.  And while the wedding was beautiful and the reception a blast... it's the moments represented in these images that I enjoyed the most.  (But I'm especially thankful to have found a great friendship in Robert & Elise!)

I have always enjoyed high school seniors. And when a high school senior shows up with a bow tie - it's even better!  Drew's session remains a great favorite for me.

And we couldn't let 2012 pass without Mom putting her two cents in... so here it is...
MOM's Favorite:

It was an undisputed choice... Julie Ann.  :)  And really... have you ever seen a little girl any cuter?

We feel like it's been a bit of a wild ride for us in 2012.  It marked the end of 5 years of business in Kentucky, and the beginning of what we hope is many years in Texas.  We went from the rolling hills of Richmond, to the piney woods of Longview.  And while it has indeed been an adventure - we are thankful for the direction the Lord has led.  Not only for our family and ministry, but for Jill & Kay Photography - and the opportunities that a new place always brings.  Goodbye, 2012.

Hello 2013. 

jill & kay

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve | 12.24.12

While we sing Christmas songs that make it sometimes sound like the night of the birth of Jesus was silent, still, and totally calm, I can't imagine that it was exactly that.  Between a host of angels who were bright and bold enough to terrify shepherds, and a birth in a stable that was probably also occupied by various critters and creatures, I'd say it was not a silent night.

But with that un-silent night - with the birth of Jesus, came the opportunity for peace. The opportunity for life, for love, for freedom. Such a tiny baby... an unfathomable gift.

That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, 10 but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. 11 The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! 12 And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in highest heaven,

    and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”
15 When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.

16 They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger. 17 After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. 18 All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished, 19 but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often. 20 The shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. It was just as the angel had told them.

                                                   [Luke 2:8-20]

So, Merry Christmas.  Merry Christmas because Jesus was born in a manger, crucified at thirty-three, and rose from the dead after three days, all so that we could have Life.  

Because of Christ, 

Jill & Kay

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

guntersville | 11.16.12

All my life I've driven through and around Guntersville, as it neighbors the town my mom's family is from.  That said, it strikes me as strange a bit that I've never spent time at the lake.  

Granted, I've never really been fond of water that I can't see through.  (This includes some mud puddles.)  Don't get me wrong - I'm an excellent swimmer, and thoroughly enjoy it, but eh... it's creepy sometimes, for multiple reasons.  (Plus, ever since I first experienced seasickness on an Alaskan day cruise at the age of 10, boats hold absolutely NO interest for me.) 

However, Lake Guntersville is absolutely beautiful.  And oh that afternoon sunlight! 

Enjoying these days of fall,


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Robert & Elise | Burleson, TX Wedding | 9.5.12

Around our house, the arrival of the daily mail always provides us with a little flurry of activity.  It's a race - who can get it first?!  On this particular day, its contents included a bright orange envelope, and we couldn't have been more excited!  There it was!  Elise and Robert’s invitation to our first Texas wedding!  The colorful array of flags imprinted on the invitation only enhanced our feeling that there was a huge celebration in the making.  And the best part!  We would be there! So hope you enjoy your peek at a few of the images from their day! (You can tell we're telling the truth about being excited by the sheer volume of exclamation points in just this first paragraph!)

Robert and Elise opted to see each other before the ceremony for a First Look.  Sure, not every couple makes that particular choice, but for the ones who do, it creates such a wonderful dynamic for fully enjoying the entire wedding day.  And, with a few moments to themselves, a bride and groom are given the freedom to express their truest emotions ... laughter, joy, and yes, sometimes even tears.  Priceless.

This was such a fun wedding party to work with!  

The guys had soooo many fantastic ideas for the pictures.

And boy did they do a great job of standing by Robert through out the day - even when Robert let the stress get to him and took off running down the street.  :)  Way to bring him back, fellas! 

So many of Robert and Elise's family and friends really made a commitment to be with them on their wedding day. Several of them came fifteen hours (and maybe more!) to be in Burleson.  Watching them interact, you realize that the only space in their relationships is a mere physical distance.  And even though we'd just met the bridesmaids - we felt like we'd been friends for much longer than a day.  (And we found that one of them is our neighbor!  Hi Jordan A.!) Also, it was fun to have Elise's brother, the other Jordan, on her side!

(Oh - I might add that you may have seen some of those friends before who traveled to be part of the wedding... Lindsey & Brett!  We actually met Robert and Elise at the Martin's wedding!)   ;)

If I am going to cry on a wedding day, these moments of prayer before the ceremony are the ones that bring tears to my eyes.  Such a sweet time to rejoice and thank God for His guidance...

Robert and Elise’s choice of this song as they entered during their ceremony accented 
their heart’s desire.

Let us come together
Walking in the Spirit, there’s much to be done
We will come reaching, out from our comforts
And they will know us by our love

We were made for kindness
We can pierce the darkness as He shines through us
We will come reaching, with a song of healing
And they will know us by our love!

The time is now, come Church arise
See with His hands, see with His eyes
Bind it around you, let it never leave you
And they will know us by our love!
                                ("By Our Love" | Christy Nockels)

It is always such fun for us to find out how our bride and groom first met.  So we did what all good Texans do... we ordered up a sopapilla (with a little honey, chocolate, ice cream and extra spoons) and listened to the hilarious account of their first meeting and thoughts of each other.  

It was in an early morning class - 8 o’clock - which according to Robert, “Elise didn't even come to class for the first couple of days.”  And then from Elise her first thoughts of  “who was this brown boy in blue shorts?! I want to know him!”  (And according to Elise, those shorts were not part of the dress code... especially not blue ones!)  The funniest thing was Elise’s determination to make Robert a coffee drinker:  “I started bringing him coffee to class in red solo cups every morning ... a different flavor each time.” The one apparent and continuous refrain from them both was how the Lord had brought them together then ... and now, for a lifetime.

"Hold with both hands ...
Each precious, glittering moment of your lives."

We would not mind photographing a wedding here again!  The lighting was gorgeous coming through the trees.  [And we won’t soon forget the power of prayers that moved the dark, rainfilled clouds and brought in blue skies ... Amen!]

Splashes of detail everywhere!  The elegant doors with “R” and “E” accent letters for the ceremony. Hydrangeas mixed with votive candles and tall glass vases filled with brown branches.  Bright red festive photo booth offering props for FUN group pictures.  The Mariachi band.  (I can still hear the reactions from the wedding goers as they heard the beginning sounds!  So great!)  Handmade cookies by Robert and Elise. Twinkling of the nighttime outdoor lights.  Mexican buffet. Cupcakes piled high with icing to finish out the celebration! Elise and Robert, you thought of everything!

Is it just us, or do you think there's a celebration happening?! 

As you can tell by Robert and T.J.'s state of "rest" on the floor in the bottom left of the next image... the bride and groom and their guests danced for hours at the reception.  And had an absolute blast!  

We are thankful, Robert & Elise, for such a privilege to be a part of this day with you and so appreciate your friends and family who made us feel like we belonged.  

We'll end with this ... such a reflection of your love for each other and those around you!

“You show that you are a letter from Christ …
written not with ink, 
but with the Spirit of the Living God.”  
                                 2 Corinthians 3:3 (NIV)
Jill & Kay

P.S. By the way - we've decided to adopt Robert.  He's the middle brother we never had.  Partially it's cause we look so much alike.  :)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

the truth about trees | 8.12.12

When you think of Texas, the majority of what comes to mind in the way of landscape is scrub brush and puny little Charlie Brown-esque twigs.  And rightly so.  It was a pleasant surprise to find that East Texas lives up to it's nickname of the "Piney Woods."

As little girls, Kay Lynn and I spent a lot of time in trees.  We didn't lack in the area of toys, but there was always something about a good climbing tree that couldn't be beat.  In my granddad's front yard in central Alabama stands a magnolia tree.  To passersby, it is simply that - a tree.  But the truth is, when you climb up into the branches, they can transform into the polished decks of a fine sailing ship, or the marble floors of a grand castle.  We've spent lifetimes on other worlds in the tops of trees.  

While we're not little kids anymore, we still can't pass up a good climbing tree.  :)

"Among the topmost branches of a tree,
most often lies the door to a secret world."
                   - Anonymous

The "behind the scenes" info on these shots... about a week after our time with the tree, Kay & I went to the Emergency Plus Clinic.  I had a big time sinus infection.  Kay?  Poison sumac... everywhere.  I could roll through a patch of poison anything and not come up with an itch.  Kay Lynn on the other hand, breaks out when she even looks at the stuff.  The pictures of the aftermath will not be shown.

So... the truth about trees, is that you never know what is in them.  ;)

Jill (a.k.a. Tree Climber Extraordinaire)