Hollye & Carter | A Heartfelt Backyard Wedding

brenizer method panorama for wedding photographers

A tear rolled down Carter’s cheek. And another. And as I took my eye away from the viewfinder for a moment during their ceremony, I saw that everyone in the backyard was openly dabbing at their faces with balled-up tissues. The guitarist strummed on, his voice filling the warm air. Hollye and Carter looked at each other, smiling shyly at their intertwined hands.

I don’t usually play favorites with the weddings that I shoot, but I am always extra excited about backyard weddings. Hollye and Carter’s marriage started in the yard of her childhood home; they both got ready in her old bedroom; no fanfare, no fuss about seeing each other before the big moment. A child of the theatre, the house was filled with mementos of young Hollye through the ages. When Hollye contacted me about her wedding, she only asked that we keep the posing to a minimum: “Carter and I are both actors,” she said, “so we value the candid shots a lot more.”

This wedding was beautiful: warm and full of joy. It’s such a pleasure to share Hollye and Carter’s day with you…

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Sailor Moon Crystal vs. Original Anime & Manga

While I was growing up, I straddled two cultures and visited Japan every summer in elementary school. As a child, I fell in love with the anime Sailor Moon from the moment the pilot aired.  I got my grubby little hands on the Japanese manga books, trading cards, videocassettes mailed from cousins overseas, and my obsession blossomed to nerd-tastic proportions. Over my formative years, I spent a lot of money on Sailor Moon merchandise, so when word trickled down the grapevine (in my late twenties) that there was going to be a re-boot of my favorite childhood animation, I was ecstatic.

Although I wouldn’t say that the new Sailor Moon Crystal is a real re-boot. It’s more of a re-do, to translate the manga into an anime more faithfully. The old 1992 anime was full of filler episodes that showcased villains-of-the-day, and with 200 episodes spanning several years there’s a lot of extra fluff. It looks as though each episode of the new Crystal will follow the old manga acts without too much distraction, though it’s hard to tell from just the first episode.

All of this leads to my really nerdy blog post that has nothing to do with weddings. The new Sailor Moon Crystal (available to watch for free on Hulu!) means I have a great excuse to pull out my old manga books and the old anime, watch and re-watch, and write a blog post that compares and contrasts. Let’s go!

sailor moon crystal manga comparison

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Working for Yourself: 2 Years

Two years. I can’t believe it’s been two years. The texture of the state agency cubicle walls has almost faded from my memory. Dry eyelids stinging as I blink myself awake at some unpleasant hour in the morning: a rare occurrence now. Life now is consumed with the “new mundane”: charging batteries, checking emails, and always making sure that backups are backing up.

Last year, I wrote a small count of things accomplished since hanging up my agency lanyard. Since then, I’ve been actively changing focus in how I want my life to be. It’s interesting: when I worked and had no vacation hours, I thought traveling was a fantasy. It was something so far beyond what I could afford — in both time and money — that I discouraged myself from being interested in travel. But now! After making very good headway into getting over my (somewhat crippling) anxiety, travel is my friend. In the gap between last July and the end of the last month, I’ve visited Cabo, Japan, Marfa, San Francisco, Tulsa, and Los Angeles. And next month I’ll be on my way to Montana, a state I’ve never visited before, to photograph a wedding!

japan tripcabosan francisco

I am far from becoming an “international wedding photographer.” But… I am becoming a bit more of a traveler, and that’s always a good thing.

. . .

It’s weird; I feel like, for the most part, I’ve always worked the way others expect me to work. Homework, college essays, deadlines, 8-hour days. It’s been difficult to wrap my head around the idea that I don’t need to ask permission to act the way that I want to. I remember hearing another businesswoman say at a small conference that it was this light-bulb moment, that she didn’t have to ask to do something, be something. The beauty of being your own boss is that you can make a choice and then follow it. It’s freeing but also terrifying, as this direction can bring you goodness or it can be the start of an unraveling.

Though I have taken a long time to understand that I don’t have to ask permission from anyone, two years later, I’m finally starting to embrace the freedom. I’m learning how to dance for the first time, and I’m traveling more than before. And during the slow season this summer (as Texas wedding season slows down during the hot months) I’ve decided I’m going to write a book — kind of like NaNoWriMo, but in August instead of November. I am excited to discover — or in the case of the writing, re-discover — hobbies.

Onward and upward; here’s to year three!