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provo utah

STACEY+WOODY | old folks deserve pictures too

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STACEY+WOODY | old folks deserve pictures too

Old folks deserve pictures too.

It's okay, I can say that. 'Cause that's my dad! He and Stacey celebrated their two year anniversary while I was on a photo work trip out to Utah (I've got another one coming up, FYI!) so Stacey loved the idea of doing some pictures. Their wedding was in the tiny, rural town of Fillmore, Utah, right inside their historic brick home so it only made sense to keep the scenery cohesive by shooting their anniversary pictures in another tiny, rural area with a great wooden barn. 

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ALLISON+TIM | good light great horses but one snake
PHOTO TALK | shooting in the ugly times

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ALLISON+TIM | good light great horses but one snake

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ALLISON+TIM | good light great horses but one snake

"I have become a better person being with Tim. He has shown me patience, loyalty, and has helped me laugh in situations where I probably would have cried instead. He has helped me to slow down and enjoy the moment, and to have more of a grateful attitude." - Allison


You know that phrase "in your own backyard"? Like, "Wow, who would have guessed that world famous egg tossing champion would be born right in your own backyard" or "I never thought a live alligator would be thrown through a Wendy's drive thru window right in my own backyard". The phrase isn't a literal backyard, but merely implying a position close to home. For the case of that second example, close to home would have been Palm Beach, Florida

Here's another one. "Often the best photo locations are right in your own backyard" and I'm speaking literally here because we took these photos right on the property of Tim's old childhood house in his tiny home town. By the end of the shoot I was basically ready to form a business plan for Tim's mom to rent out the property hourly to photographers - they would be all over it! The meadows, tall grasses (yes, okay, with one snake), weathered picket fences, barn cats (NOT PICTURES BUT EXCELLENT COMPANIONS), mature trees, fuzzy dandelions, and oh yeah HORSES(!) were almost too good to be true... all in Tim's own backyard! 

In all seriousness, what a special place to capture in pictures. As we walked and talked, I heard about the sweet memories Tim has from growing up in this little green oasis on the outskirt of town. Now, he and his darling wife Allison have pictures from their one year wedding anniversary to add to those all those other special memories.

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ABBIE+JORDAN | abandoned mansion in the forest, in a good way
LANEY+BRIGHAM | the day I stopped shooting at golden hour

 

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LANEY+BRIGHAM | the day I stopped shooting at golden hour

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LANEY+BRIGHAM | the day I stopped shooting at golden hour

Photographers and golden hour are like peanut butter and jelly. It's one of the most common tips you hear - "golden hour is the best lighting for portraits" and yes. It typically is. Most portrait photographers who use natural light will begin their shoots 1-2 hours prior to sunset, some even prefer starting just 30 minutes before sunset to start their shoot the minute that bangin' GOLD, streaky, sun-flared-filled, warm, epic, sun-on-the-horizon movie scene light is alive. It is truly enchanting. For a long time, I sought this too.

But I didn't super love golden hour. My nightmares, I mean my literal nightmares that I wake up from in the night, are about shoots starting too late and the sun is gone and it's the middle of the night and I've got my camera and I'm panicking. Golden hour is a (relatively) small window of time unless you live in Iceland where they've got 3 hour sunsets half the year (goalz) and if a client is late, you can miss it. Watching the sun dip below the horizon as I get that text "15 minutes away!" has actually probably taken a few years off of my life.

But here's the story. I really misjudged sunset time for this anniversary shoot with Laney and Brigham. We arrived way too early! The sun was still pretty high in the sky and I was like craaaaaaap. To make things trickier, this was a location with no shade at all! I was squinting as I tried to check that my exposure was balanced and using my hand to shade my eyes the entire time. As I was driving home from the shoot, it still wasn't even sunset yet (typically photographers drive home in the dark!) and the thought running through my head was "OMG these might look terrible". I popped them into the computer later that night
AND
LOVED
THEM.

Cue epiphany.

SO BRIGHT. SO HAPPY. Sunset was SO far away that I wasn't stressed at all about running out of light. In fact, I felt more relaxed to take my time with each shot because I knew I could afford to take things slow. We could talk between shots for as long as we wanted. They told more stories of how they met and what was going on in their lives and I could just put the camera down and really listen rather than interrupt.

The colors were all so vibrant and lively! Laney and Brigham's skin glowed against the golden grasses and the blue sky was so vivid. These images truly reflected the brightness and happiness I strive to capture in every picture. Bright and happy is kind of my THING and this type of light, earlier than golden hour, just CLICKED with my style. 

So, photographers and golden hour may be peanut butter and jelly. But Emily and bright light might just be peanut butter and chocolate.

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PHOTO TALK | how to work the ugly times when life itself has been sucked from the earth
MARY JANE+MICHAEL | 41 years and a floral wedding dress

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