evident exclamation

Growing up in Europe, we focused on Shakespeare and literature in school. Clearly, sentence structure has never been my strong suit. After years of studying play writes, I suppose it started to resonate with my emotional side and contributed to my love of writing (casual writing of course).  I’m sure a love for writing was the last thing on my mind while sitting in Mrs. Jones’ English class in the 6th grade at Marymount {Paris, France} and having to write a timed 1000 word essay on the motifs and themes in As You Like It.  Most likely…it was written through blurry eyes and on tear stained college ruled paper…because 2 hours wasn’t enough time to write everything I had to say!!  If Mrs. Jones saw my writing today with constant grammatical errors and the abundant abuse of exclamation points…she might be the one shedding tears.

I don’t know when exactly I began my incessant love affair with exclamatory exclamation points. I think it began during my corporate days.  Corporate business and I just don’t mesh well. One can only read so many emails a day that are inundated with stale remarks and every sentence ends in a period. Blah. I think everyone’s suits and pencil skirts were just a tad too tight…so much so, they forgot what it was like to be happy!!  It was evident that happiness had no place in emails.  I’m sorry, but if your emails are full of periods…it makes me wonder if you’re lacking serotonin or just plain ticked off!!  If you’ve ever received an email from me, you very well might be wondering if I’m cracked out on caffeine and in a place where it’s nothing but sunshine and dandelions! Which to answer that…not always, but usually…yes!!

Opening up Bailey’s very first email….there they were….a plethora of repetitive exclamation points!! I knew before ever reading one single word, that I was going to love this girl!!!!  And then I read the email….to which it was confirmed. I loved her!! Everything about Bailey was bright and happy! Even in emails…happiness is possible and so very contagious!

Bailey and Zach’s Rosemary Beach wedding day {put on by the fabulous Jen2 from It’s A Shore Thing} finally arrived!  At first glance…my assumption of the bright and happy Miss Bailey in emails, was exactly the same in person.  Going through their precious pictures confirmed that not only is Bailey bright and happy in her words, the same in person, but equally as evident in pictures!!! Her and Zach’s love is radiant in every possible way!

So while my emails and journal entries my be grammatically incorrect with poor sentence structure and end with an enormous amount of eye rolling exclamation points….if they bring about a bright happiness…then to me it’s a job well done!!!  And if my words don’t muster any cheer….hopefully happiness is found in Bailey and Zach’s wedding day images!

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growing in spontaneity

Every now and then…you just have to get away. To clear your mind, calm the noise, awaken your soul, challenge your creativity, and ignite your passion. It’s easy to get lost in chaos…never taking time to just be and refuel.

Over a year ago, I remember having the same feelings as I did this past October.  Needing more. While at times my reality is grounded in reason, I still have a spontaneous spirit and a heart for wonderlust.  Sitting at my desk one Sunday afternoon in October…the latter took hold, as I hit submit to being creatively inspired.

November arrived and I boarded my first flight out to LA for Junebug Weddings’ Fashion Forward Wedding Photography Workshop.  Even though I’m a wedding photographer, the element of fashion forward was slightly out of the box for me, but one I always found to be intriguing.  So I set forth to learn and be challenged from photographers who {each different from the other} I have admired and adored for quite some time.

Brian and Allison Callaway are photographers who I found a few years back…no lie…via twitter {@MrFrostings} and my guilty pleasure for The Bachelor. It’s the honest truth.   Stumbling upon their work, I was instantly captivated by how it put a genuine and bright smile on my face! Spending the afternoon with them, Brian and Ali were vibrant, infectious, full of laughter and so down to earth in their honesty of how they shoot and run their business as destination photographers.  Watching them interact with their clients and the way they saw light was eye-opening and gave way to a new perspective.

2012 was my first time to WPPI {Wedding & Portrait Photography International Expo} and while walking through all the prints hung from print competition, there was one image that caught my eye.  I’m not exactly sure how long I stood in front of this particular image…but it’s probably safe to say, people were most likely becoming concerned for my well being.  It was then that I learned of Roberto Valenzuela.  His romantically timeless images had left me truly speechless.  and I’m not one of few words. usually.  His work needs no words….I could sit in silence all day long and be in awe of his talent and the way he captures beauty.  However, I highly suggest he not remain silent…listening to him talk is entertainment in and of itself!  Learning from him was a surreal honor.

The every so lovely and incredible Sue Bryce.  I could probably spend a whole day talking about how not only can this lady capture a woman’s beauty in a way I’ve never seen…but her heart of gold is true beauty at it’s finest.  My words are far from doing any justice to the person Sue is…but by the end of day two…there I stood 3 feet in front of her while she spoke with unstoppable tears rolling down my cheeks.  Every word that left her tongue was empowering, encouraging, and so utterly raw, there was no way to walk away not being completely moved and challenged.  Mixed with her Australian humor, her words also brought an unquenchable laughter to my tear and mascara smudged face.  Sue left my heart with an irreplaceable warmth and encouragement…where in the grand scheme of things may be small…but to me…it was truly great.

As forever grateful as I am for all the photographers and vendors involved who gave and taught graciously, I have to give a huge thanks and big hugs Christy and Blair {of Junebug Weddings} for offering such a wonderful opportunity and experience.   My words of gratitude, I know, fall short for each and everyone one of these individuals….but for this girl who took a spontaneous step forward, now feels as though she stands a tiny bit taller!! So thank you! xo

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Photography Instructors: Sue Bryce, Roberto Valenzuela, Callaway Gable

Teaching Assistant: Nikki Closser

Venue: Vibiana

Decor Design: Revelry Event Designers

Tabletop Floral Design: Eddie Zaratsian Custom Florals & Lifestyle

Tableware: Casa de Perrin

Invitations & Paper Goods: East Six

Candy Table: Two’s A Party

Hair & Makeup: Tammy Yi

Wedding Dresses & Veils: RMine Bespoke

Floral Hair Crowns & Accessories: Celadon & Celery Events

Jewelry & Accessories: Enchanted Atelier

Models: Dylan Marie Quigg, Monique Victoria, Jamie Litt

Videography: Long Haul Films

Sponsors: Rayce PR, Fotofafa, ProDPI, Scott Robert Lim, WPPI, Peachpit Publishing, Rangefinder

Photographed at the Junebug Weddings Fashion Forward Wedding Photography Workshop.

sweet sightings

The arrival of a new year also brought the arrival of new sweet sightings!!  Along with Nina and Chris’ wedding being featured in print, is also Genny and Logan’s wedding in Mississippi Magazine’s Wedding Register, as well as Anna Lisa and Andy in Alabama Weddings Magazine!!  Along with featured weddings in print, I always light up seeing weddings featured online!!  Be sure to take a peek at all the different features below!  Huge thank you hugs go out to Weddings Illustrated, Glamour and Grace, and Carats & Cake!!  In the midst of all the feature fun, I was so excited an honored to be asked to be apart of Wedding Chicks, Once Wed, and Grey Likes as a preferred vendor!!

One feature that has me floating on cloud nine, was to see a few of my images appear in Junebug Weddings Fashion Report.  To see my images paired alongside photographers I aspire to have even half their talent someday….is one of the most surreal honors.  I’ll blog more about this tomorrow and all the amazing people involved…but for now, I can’t thank Christy and Blaire enough for putting together such an incredible experience for so many!

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Mississippi Wedding Register – Genny + Logan’s Seaside Wedding

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Alabama Weddings – Anna Lisa and Andy’s wedding

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Northwest Florida Weddings – Roxanne and Tyler

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Junebug Weddings – Fashion Report

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Wedding Illustrated – Suzan and Christian’s Rosemary Beach wedding

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Glamour and Grace – Chelsea and David’s Rosemary Beach Wedding

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Grey Likes – The Grey Collective

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Once Wed – Vendor

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Wedding Chicks – Vendor

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Carats & Cake – Paige and Patrick’s Rosemary Beach Wedding

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Wedding Thingz

Beverly Hills 90210

Growing up, I used to watch all the old {yes…black and white} Hollywood films with Clark Gable, Elizabeth Taylor, Audrey Hepburn, Ginger Rogers, Fred Astair, Grace Kelly, Dean Martin {I could go on, but you get the point.}  That era of Hollywood glamour fascinates and captivates me.  I’m always shocked when those my age know nothing about these actors/actresses and their films.  We’re talking genuine talent and true classics here people!  Watching classic films from the 1950’s warms my heart as much as good ‘ol southern soul food.

Haley, David and I go back to 2009…the year they got married!  As soon as the two were hitched, Haley, a Southern Mississippi girl, moved to Beverley Hills with her new husband.  I remember mailing them their box of wedding images and getting a real kick at the fact that her zip code was 90210!!  When I announced I was west coast bound, Haley immediately asked if we could do a shoot in their old hood…Beverly Hills 90210.  And not just in the city of Beverly Hills.  But the Beverly Hills Hotel.  Y’all.  For it being my first trip to Tinsletown, I was floating on could 19 and was far surpassed giddy!  I was practically face-smashed to the taxi cab window while we drove down Sunset Blvd. and pulling up to the hotel.  I was awe struck.  And to be honest…I felt slightly inferior!  Who am I kidding…I felt very inferior!  Here I am…just a small town, southern  girl with a camera walking through the doors of the Iconic Beverly Hills Hotel {presumably with celebrities. At least I assumed so when I heard a hotel employee say they would escort them through the back hallways to avoid a busy hotel lobby.  Unfortunately, I’m terrible at recognizing any celebrities whatsoever..so I have no clue who any of them were. Oh…and I should probably state that I walked through those doors with a flip flop that broke from all the walking.  At that point, you could add homely, small town southern girl with a camera….}

The awe didn’t stop there.  Haley and David’s session ended in a little park area on the street where Father of the Bride {which happens to be one of my all time favorite movies} was filmed.  Granted, I never saw the house, but it didn’t matter…I was strolling the streets {with a broken filp flop, mind you. That I managed to staple with the Beverly Hill’s Bellboy’s stapler.  I kid you not. Just go ahead and laugh it up.}  Before we knew it, Haley, David and I had been shooting for hours with a lost sense of time from all the lighthearted laughter and catching up chatter.  Haley and David  are equally as beautiful on the inside as they are on the outside…their souls are beyond sweet and radiant!  Had Haley not had to get back to work and I on my way to Santa Monica, we could’ve spent all day together laughing and sharing stories!

Here I am two months later and still feel like that day was merely a dream.  No need to pinch me though…I have pictures to prove it wasn’t!

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Holly Clarke Gardner -

So yeah, these are just a wee bit gorgeous… Beautiful work, adorable (and beautiful) couple) and funny write-up. Time to get some new flippy-floppies! 😉

LeAnn Beatty Nethery -

Wesley Ann, this is just the best blog post…of course I am a bit prejudiced about the photos, but I also love your description of your visit to Beverly Hills. I am always hoping to get a glimpse of Doris Day & Rock Hudson (but like you I am awful at recognizing celebrities)! Thank you for staying in touch with Haley. Hopefully you can photograph my grandbabies one day! You are AWESOME!

Jo Ann Beatty -

THESE ARE THE GREATEST I CAN THEM REAL OFTEN I ADORE MY GRANDDAUGHTER AND HER DAVID THANK FOR DOING THAT

GRAND MOTHER SAYS AWSOME

west coast journey

Here I am in the sunshine state…where no sunshine can be found and dreaming of a warmer California day.  Two months ago, I boarded a westbound flight heading to LA for the first time with an excitement and eagerness to learn, grow, be challenged, and step out of my comfort zone.  I’ll blog later about the journey, but for now, what met me in California were familiar faces, big grins, and warm hugs!!

Those who follow my ramblings might recall that I actually began this crazy journey in the wedding industry back in 2006…but as a wedding coordinator rather than a photographer!  While planning weddings for a resort here on the coast, Anna and Mark were one of my very first couples!  Out of all the couples I’ve had the opportunity to get to know and be apart of their wedding day in one way shape or form, Anna is one who I’m still in contact with, a friend, and been along for the long haul of where I started to where I am now!!

As soon as I posted that I was going to be headed to Los Angeles, an email popped up in my inbox from Anna saying she wanted to do a session!  Her email made my day knowing I’d get to see her and Mark after all these years!  Once this Florida girl made to way to the other coast, the 3 of us met up at Santa Monic Pier for ferris wheels to hills backdrops and ended the night in downtown LA at the Standard Hotel. For a girl’s first trip to LA, it was a full and incredible trip for sure..but seeing friendly, familiar faces is what made it memorable!!

So while it may be gloomy and chilly here in Florida, knowing I’ll be back in Tinseltown in less than 3 weeks for 2 more shoots has me in all smiles with warm fuzzies!

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s Beverly Hills post!!!

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Melanie Resch -

Love these!