Samantha & Bryan | DIY Texas Ranch Wedding

milky way wedding photo

Sometimes you have an adventurous couple, who decide to get married a little bit off the path of civilization, who love star-gazing as much as you love taking photos of the night sky, and who aren’t afraid to try a different kind of wedding. Samantha and Bryan were so intrigued by my suggestion of a “reverse timeline” that they scheduled their wedding backwards: guests arrived, the bride and groom saw each other, everyone had a delicious vegan meal (by Vegeria) together, they were married at sunset, and then cupcake toasts and dances took place after dark. The best part was stealing off near midnight to a completely dark area on the ranch grounds and taking photos with the Milky Way in the background.

Here are a few of my favorite photos from Sam and Bryan’s wonderful, casual, homegrown, vegan, ranch wedding in Mason, TX.

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Halley & Carter | Engagement Session at Home

Consider having an engagement session at your home

Halley met me at the door of her and Carter’s Hyde Park apartment with a huge grin that showed off deep dimples. Traipsing up the stairs to their beautiful living space bathed in natural light, strewn up with homemade cards, and featuring a comfy couch, I was immediately even more excited about Halley and Carter’s at-home engagement session. It’s been a while since I’ve photographed a couple in their home, and I think it’s wonderful — I always ask my couples if they have any ideas for their engagement sessions, and suggest they pick a location that is significant to them: their favorite date spot, the place where they decided to get married, and so on. Well, the home is the most significant place there is! And I love that they wanted to feature their neighborhood as well. For this lady from Boston and this gent from New Orleans, it’s beautiful that they’re making a life here in Austin.

We got rained on a bit in the neighborhood, but I think it was perfect. :)

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Are We Human, or Are We Dancer?

degas

It’s been a couple of months since attempting my first “dance” experience, and I have learned that I am not a dancer. I honestly don’t know what I was expecting — it was difficult enough when I was 13 trying not to fall over my feet as my jazz teacher showed us how to do a kick-ball-change, but now at 29 maybe I thought I had gotten used to my gangly legs. Mm, not so much.

I am not altogether uncoordinated, and learning ballet positions bit by bit is fun because they are isolated exercises — I can get my foot to point and my leg to extend and it’ll look somewhat like it’s supposed to, but add in the other leg, or add in arm movements, and everything falls apart. When more than one limb is involved, I can feel the disconnect between my brain parsing out what I should be doing, and my arms and legs that are just flailing, and I realize, oh, dancing is hard. It feels like the buzz in the back of your head when you’re trying to solve a math problem that doesn’t make sense yet. Except, for me, the problem cannot be solved.

It’s funny — I thought that taking beginner dance classes would be freeing, like, Look! I have taken the first step to becoming a real dancer! Instead, it’s shown me that my strengths are elsewhere. I will probably never be able to present my creativity physically and gracefully. And this isn’t a defeatist attitude! Not at all! I’m still going to go to dance classes because, if I don’t take it too seriously, it’s fun and thoughtful and my mind is flexed in ways that it usually isn’t. But it’s also grounded my dreams very quickly (and somewhat harshly).

Have you ever done anything that’s outside of your usual comfort zone? How did it go?

Painting: The Rehearsal by Edgar Degas