27 January 2012

Fabulous Friday | Family Fun

This coming Monday and Tuesday we'll be saying goodbye to some of Ben's side of the family as they head back to their particular parts of the world (Africa and South America).  The fact that we have family in so many countries and on at least three different continents blows my mind some days.  Although, it doesn't surprise me at all that God would give me a family that's spread over the globe.

We've tried to make as much as we could of our time together since his sister, Jenna, and her family (the Wrights) came over from Africa in August and then his parents came from South America in October.  A couple of weekends ago we went up to Ridgecrest for a family weekend away and had a blast.  The ladies went to Biltmore Saturday morning and we spent the evenings playing games and spending some time in the Word and praying.

I'm so thankful for this family God has given me and that they have welcomed me with such open arms!

Since we were all together (and we aren't sure when that will happen again) we arranged things to get some family pictures on Sunday before we left.  So thankful for my tripod in times like these :-)

Our "for real" pose.

Our "goofy pose".

Our "1885/angry pose".

Our "funny faces pose".
(This one cracks me up every time...!)

And last but not least, a pose with all the grand kids!

20 January 2012

Fabulous Friday | Wedding Websites

The thing I love about my website is well... there are lots of things I love about it.  The number one thing is that since it's a ShowIt site, I can change it whenever I want to!  It looks the way it does because I'VE made it look that way.  And if you know me at all, I have zero talent for actual design.  (But, please don't judge the site too harshly right now because I'm in the process of updating the look and feel and everything about it!)

The number two thing I love about my site is what are called +sites (plus sites).  Oh my goodness... this may actually be a tie for my number one reason of loving ShowIt.  I can create as many +sites as I want!  And all of them can look completely different or have the same feel but with different pictures.  I'm getting better about offering these to my couples and am actually working on one now for one of my May 2012 brides.  Sometimes the bride and groom have already set up a site, so I will put one together with just their engagement and wedding photos so friends and family can go to one place to see their pictures.

Since I had this at my disposal when we got engaged last summer, I somehow found the time to put our own site together exactly the way we wanted it!  And there were plenty of times that someone found a typo or I just wanted to change something and it took me no time at all to do that!

So, if you're a photographer and looking for a website company, ShowIt is 100% worth it.  And don't be intimidated by the design aspect... there are stylegroups that you can use and drop in your own wording and photos, or there are designers out there who design sites FOR ShowIt!  Plus, it's an amazing community of people and the customer service is just amazing.

If you're a bride and groom looking for a photographer, I'd love to show you some samples of +sites that my past couples have had.  

17 January 2012

Engaged | Joanna & Ben | Greer, SC

Just over a year ago, Joanna started working at the church at a desk just outside of my office.  I'd met her the fall before on the high school retreat (we were both leaders) and all I really knew about her was that she'd gone to Erskine and had lived in France and Japan.  And was fluent in French.  But all of that changed really quickly as she adjusted her to job and I adjusted to her asking lots of questions each day!

Ben started working at Upward Sports after I left, but when he started attending Grace Church, his name was thrown around and finally we met in person.  And, if I'm not mistaken, it wasn't too long after that that he and Joanna met through a group of friends.  I remember slowly hearing more and more about this guy, but instead of it being from other people, the information was coming from Joanna... with a smile on her face that couldn't be wiped off.

I'm SO thrilled to be a part of their wedding day in May and to capture their beach wedding.  You two are incredible and it has been such an honor to watch as you've fallen in love and have let God mold and shape you as He prepares you to become one.

We met at Joanna's parents' house after a storm passed through for their engagement photos.  It was a little windy and still a little wet, but we had fun (with a little help from Joanna's younger siblings!).

I wish I could tell you they were laughing at how funny I am... but I think Joanna's younger brother had just said something funny.  Maybe I should have been taking notes while also taking pictures!


Yep, you guys have the model look down pat.

Could these two be any more adorable??  Or the light any better??  I think not :-)

Another favorite...

Joanna... you are stunning, my friend!

Sorry, Jo, I just had to include this one.  I love your laughter!

13 January 2012

Fabulous Friday | Memories

This morning I was reading chapter one of Counterfeit Gods by Tim Keller and besides getting a kick in the rear end, it reminded me of the ways God has worked in my life.  Throughout the Bible we see God acting and then having the Israelites (His chosen people) perform tasks or celebrations so that they can remember what He has done.  But even with those yearly reminders, they forget!  And it always blows me away.  But if I look at my life, how many times have I had to learn certain lessons over and over and over again?

The main point of chapter one was that the reason God doesn't give us the desires of our hearts is because 1) He's actually the One that knows best and what we really want and 2) that if He immediately just gave us what we wanted (or thought we wanted), we would turn those things into idols and push God to the side.  How can we even think of pushing God, the Creator or the universe, to the side for some of the crazy silly things we want and put importance on??  But... we do it all the time.  Shoot, I'm the worst at doing it!

As I was reading of Tim Keller's example of Abraham and how he and his wife Sarah longed for a son, I couldn't help but think of how my life mirrored theirs... not for want of a son (yet) but for a husband.  God created us to be in community, to have people that loved us and to love others.  But even with all of my amazing family and wonderful friends and amazing church community, I still longed for a husband to partner with for life!  Someone to call mine, someone to live everyday life with, someone to go to sleep with and wake up to every day, someone to wash clothes for, someone to brush my teeth with at night... yet year after year, birthday after birthday, Christmas after Christmas, I continued to do those things alone.

But now, at the age of 32, God has brought us together.  We're married!  I have my partner, my teammate, my cohort!  I waited SO long (although not as long as Abraham (100) and Sarah (90) did for their son) and I'm beyond thrilled that we get to spend the rest of our lives together.  But... if I'm not careful, if I'm not intentional about keeping God first in my life, Ben will become my idol.  And, as much as I love him, as wonderful as he is, as much as he loves me... he's going to fail me and disappoint me.  And I'm very much going to do the same to and for him!  Neither of us are perfect.  But God is.  And He's who we want to lead us and love us.

I'm thankful for the reminders of memories that God has left in my head.  I'm thankful for the lonely nights, the tears, the frustration, the days of asking over and over, "God, where is the man you have for me??"  And I'm thankful that through each of those days and those seasons, that God was steadfast.  His promises in His Word to love me and care for me and provide for me were always true and I always had Him to run to.

Ben is an incredible man and I'm thankful, honored, and dumbfounded that I get to be his wife.  But my prayer, and his, is that we never put the other before God.

We ventured out one night while on our honeymoon with my camera and tripod in hand.  After several attempts, we got this shot.  What I remember is ripping a hole in my jeans as I bent down to get things set up.  What Ben remembers is me screaming and jumping for joy that I was able to capture this :-)  I love this man...

12 January 2012

The Wrights | Powdersville Portrait Session

As Ben was helping me put away my Christmas decorations at the beginning of 2011 (11 months before we got married), he told me that his sister, Jenna (whom I had not met yet because she and her family are missionaries in Africa), had told him that from what Ben had told her about me and the way he spoke, that this time it was different.  She went on to let him know that it's easier to get out of where they live when it's NOT the rainy season... so, anytime before May and anytime after October.

I knew that I wanted to marry Ben, but we'd only been dating a short while and for us, we just needed more time to get to know each other and figure out what God was doing.  Who knew how right Jenna would be!  Luckily, they were able to come much earlier than the November wedding.  In fact, they came to the states in August and were going to be able to stay until January!  That's AGES!!  The only thing is that even "ages" go by quickly because here it is January already and they're just a few weeks away from heading out.

I'm so thankful for the time we've had with Ben's family - for the dinners, for the bible study Jenna was able to do with me at church, for the mini-family vacation we get to have soon, for the talks, the games, the laughter, and the craziness of all 7 cousins being in the same place!  I've been beyond blessed by this family that I have gained and am so thankful that we were able to get some family pictures of the Wrights while they were here.  Thank you guys for allowing me to capture this moment in time for you!

It started to drizzle on our way to take pictures but literally, as we stepped out of the car, the rain stopped!

The camera just really loved these two lovely ladies :-)

All of the kids are a mess... but there's always a little extra something in the youngest of any family!


I just couldn't help but include this one!  Jenna was trying to make him laugh but he just copied her!

Jim + Jenna = Love :-)

For the wedding, we gave our nieces and the flower girls necklaces with their first initial.

Y'all are just precious.

I'm a Greenville, SC based wedding and portrait destination photographer who loves to be behind the lens. I look forward to hearing what you think about the posts and images as I work with amazing people to capture life and give them images they love.
Check out the website! http://photographsbysabrina.com