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Taking the Family Formals Outside

So this may seem a bit untraditional…but we love when couples choose to take their family formal photos outside! Of course, lots of couples really want their family photos taken inside the church and of course we have done that many times and it is definitely an option. But there are a few reasons that we love taking the family photos outside!

1. Better Lighting – You probably already know that we LOVE natural light! It is so pretty and flattering  and makes your family formals look more like a family portrait then just a snapshot in the church.

2. Relaxed Images – Everyone tends to feel a bit stiff when standing at the front of the church, but when everyone steps outside things just feel a bit more relaxed. Instead of tense shoulders and forced smiles we get more natural posture and genuine smiles.

3. The Backdrop – When we take things outside we can find the perfect backdrop for your images, and make them more cohesive with the portraits of the two of you. There is also going to be more space outside which gives us the opportunity to get a bit creative.

Here are a few examples of how pretty outdoor family photos can be.

The Orchard Azle Wedding PhotoBoone North Carolina Wedding Photographer PhotoVintage Wildflower Wedding Inspiration PhotoRobert Carr Chapel Wedding Photographer PhotoFort Worth Botanical Gardens Wedding Photographer PhotoThe Magnolia Dallas Wedding Photographer Photo


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Bethany McDonnell

What a great reminder! I plan to push harder for this our next wedding…and make sure there is definite shade available in case the family photos get delayed to the sunniest part of the day :)

Our Random Life #27

Writing these posts makes me so aware of another week that has passed. I started typing about how I haven’t had Jamba Juice at all this week, and then I remembered that one morning trip when Jeremy got out of class. Oops…I got a small though…so that has to count for something…right?

We had a mid-week date at Olive Garden and it wore Miss Stella out…she just had to lay her head right down on the table for a bit of rest. We decided that she was in a breadstick coma. On the topic of carbohydrate goodness are my Biscoff cookies…it is an addiction…and now that I think about it I think they would go perfectly with some Jamba Juice. You may have had these amazing cinnamon cookies without realizing it if you have been on a plane anytime recently. That is where I was first introduced to these little British cookies…and now that they are available in America…I am addicted.

I did a lot of reading this past week. I started and finished Seven by Jen Hatmaker in less than three days. This book is a game changer…I laughed and I cried and I am not exaggerating. If you have ever felt like your life has become consumed with excess…you must read it. When I finished that off I began Weird by Craig Groeschel, and it is awesome already. I am hoping to review my April booklist soon!


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Lauren Marie

I really liked 7, it was an eye opener for me. I haven’t yet read a Craig Groeschel book yet, but he’s been on my radar for quite awhile! Thank you for sharing your reading material! I’m an avid reader!

Simplified Life | One at a Time

If you are anything like me you have a list of things that you want accomplish and be better about in your life. More organized, spend time reading the Bible, read books, blog more, have more dinner parties, exercise more, cook more meals, spend more time with your kids, make your dreams happen…is this registering with anyone? I should preface this post with saying that I have not always done things this way. But, when I made a shift and began thinking this way I started to see myself accomplishing goals and making things happen.

So, what is this magical secret I am going to tell you??? Well, it isn’t magical and it isn’t a secret so I hope that you are not disappointed! It is simple…one thing at a time. I have had many times when I have just felt stuck so I decided that starting Monday (I would always start Monday, or on the first of the month because I am OCD like that) things were going to change. I was magically going to turn into super-woman whose house was as organized as the Container Store, who blogged every day, while cooking gourmet meals, reading my Bible and of course vacuuming my house in high heels with a baby on my hip. But guess what happened…nothing, I would be so overwhelmed with the expectations I had made for myself that I would end up feeling like I was failing at everything. And, that just wasn’t a good feeling.

Then I had this thought, “What if I pick one thing, and devote my energy to it”. I am only telling you this because I know it works, instead of trying to do it all pick one thing and once that thing is a habit in your life than move to the next thing. You know that I am a big believer at setting goals, and I blog about my goals each month. I think the problem comes in when too many big goals are set, there are so many things that it is hard to focus on what you are trying to accomplish. Blogging was a big one for me…I enjoy blogging, but I was always a here and there blogger. I blogged when we had a wedding, or a session and then if I had some brilliant thought I would blog it, but I couldn’t get consistent. When I devoted time to blogging, took time to plan things out, brainstorm topics and make it normal part of my day…it happened.

Time in Scripture has been this way for a long time. Trying to add it to my list of things I need to do better never worked, but when I said this is important and I am going to make it happen, and I focused on it, it became a normal part of my day.

Taking time to read has been another big one for me. I love to learn and feel good after reading a good book. Two things came in the way here. The first was that I just wasn’t making the time. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that I didn’t have the time. In actuality, I was spending time that could have been spent reading good books scrolling through Facebook and probably stalking someones pictures (but not commenting, because everyone knows you are Facebook stalking if you comment on old pictures). The other problem was that I would start five books and six months later I would be halfway through all of them, but not finished with any of them. Had I picked one I would have finished it and moved to the next.

I guess I just feel like we live our life with a lot of “somedays”. We think that someday we will have time for the things we want to accomplish. In reality, we accomplish the things that we make time for…so make time for things that matter!

What are you going to make happen in your life?

Make Time for What Matters Photo

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What a sweet quote, beautiful post!

My Love For Spotify, and My Top 10

I work better when I have music on, it helps me stay focused and make it through a busy day. I used to be an avid Pandora listener. I had a bunch of stations, but I would get so frustrated when I would run out of skips, and be forced to listen so music I didn’t like. I also felt like I ended up wasting time skipping songs or switching stations, just a few seconds here and a few seconds there, but it adds up and it would just distract me. Then a few months ago I found Spotify…and if you haven’t found it yet, and you like music…you need to go to it now! There is a paid Premium version, but I have been using the free version for months and it is great. I liked Pandora….but I LOVE Spotify.

In Spotify you can make playlists and fill them with whatever songs you want. You just search the catalog and find any music and you can listen to it for free. It is an awesome way to find new music or create a playlist of all your favorite songs. There are some commercials, but they are very limited. We listen to it just about everyday while we work. It is totally legal, but it almost makes me remember those days of downloading music from Napster…yes, I am that old.

Here are some of my current favorite songs…AKA, these each get played probably 3 times a day in Spotify! These are all from my Worship Playlist which is what I am listening to 98% of the time (Sometimes we take a Veggie Tales break), but you can find ANY kind of music on Spotify.

1. Oceans (Where Feet May Fall) by Hillsong United (You have probably heard me mention this one…it is so good! I just keep playing it!)

2. None But Jesus – Hillsong United (Love this one, such a great reminder of our purpose in life)

3. The More I Seek You – Kari Jobe (I guess I just love this song because I know it is true, The more I seek Him, the more I find Him)

4. As We Pray – Gateway Worship (Just found this song last week, one of my favorite songs about prayer)

5. Clear The Stage – Jimmy Needham ( Heard this at our Church’s revival last year…convicting…every time)

6. The Church – Elevation Worship ( I heard this song on a Church’s website and hunted it down, such a great reminder of the Church’s mission)

7.  Healer – Kari Jobe (This is probably the song I would name if you asked me what my favorite song was)

8. All The Poor and Powerless – Travis Cottrell (This song breaks my heart for missions every time I hear it)

9. Dessert Song – Hillsong United (One of my all time favorites)

10. You Are Good – Gateway Worship (Reading through the Psalms for the past two months this has been such a great theme song)


What are some of your favorite songs right now?



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Rachel McCloud

On my spotify list I have.
Commitment by Sanctus Real.
Your Love is Like a River by Third Day.
Morning has Broken by Third Day.
Be Thou my Vision by Jadon Lavik.
Strangely Dim by Francesca Battastelli.
The Broken by Bebo Norman.
Words by Hawk Nelson.
Fly Away by JJHeller.
For Your Splender by Christy Nockels.
Ever Lifting by Christy Nockels.

I love your list :)

Montana severe

I love Kari Jobe, and the ones of hers hat you mentioned I completely love. I really am loving these…
Carry me- josh Wilson (I too struggle with panic disorder, and this song has the words I couldn’t say)
Whatever’s you’re doing- Sanctus real (speaks to my life)
Let the waters rise- mikeschair
Steal my show-
You are for me- Kari jobe
Yours forever- Dara Maclean
All this time- britt Nicole
They just believe- josh Wilson
Came to my rescue- hillsong
And so many more! ;)

Jennifer Liong

your #1 is my #1 right now too! :)

Kristin’s Book List | March 2013

I am always on instagram with pictures of my most recent reads so I thought I would do a recap post for the blog every now and then with reviews of the books I am reading so that you can check out some books that you may want to add to your library. Here are a few recent books that I have been enjoying. This month the books that I read happen to all be Christian books, though the reviews will often include business, finance, photography and parenting books to name a few. I am always looking for suggestions for great books to add to my list of things to read, I don’t really read fiction, but like most other things so be sure to give me your suggestions!

Your Beautiful Purpose| Susie Larson

I really loved this book! The author talks alot about finding purpose in our lives, and discovering the purpose that God wants us to have, even when we are having the most mundane of days. She uses a ton of personal stories from her own life, and is so real about the journey she has been on. One of my favorite parts of the book was when she talked about the different seasons that we face in life. Seasons of stretching our faith, refining our faith, purifying our faith, and times of forward movement. She discussed what trials we face in each season of life and how we can draw closer to Christ throughout every season. I would definitely recommend this book to any woman who has ever had big dreams, but felt like maybe they were “too big”.

Call of a Coward | Marcia Moston

I received a free copy of this book from Thomas Nelson to review, and I really enjoyed it. It is kind of like a missionary biography of a modern day woman. Marcia and her husband lived an average middle class life, until her husband came home one day to tell her that he had felt God’s call to foreign missions. She felt so inadequate  and didn’t really want to go, but the book tells the story of how God changed her heart in a little Mayan village in Guatemala. I found it so interesting to hear her story of not feeling the same call as her husband at first, but trusting him, and trusting that God had a plan through it all. I was also struck by her struggle with trusting that they were doing what God wanted them to do, but struggling with the impact that this life would have on her daughter. She tells the story with humor, but also with raw honesty. She is so candid about the way she felt and the thoughts that she had through the whole process of becoming missionaries to Guatemala, and also how God changed her. She talked about many of the day to day happenings in the small village that they ministered in, but she focused more on what God taught her through the day to day life as a missionary wife. If you like missionary stories you will definitely like this book.

One in a Million | Priscila Shirer

I first heard Priscilla Shirer speak last year at a ladies Bible study at our church, and I instantly fell in love with her sweet heart. This book caught my attention with the back cover that says “What if life on Monday was as powerful as church Sunday?”. I loved the entire book! She talked about how so often we are the biggest obstacle in our walk with God, she used personal stories to show how this has been true in her own life. How so often we pray for God to use us, and then get scared when He starts to because it is scary and the path is unfamiliar.  I think that my biggest takeaway from the book was to want to live, eat, breath my faith in Christ so much so that I am not concerned about the people that think it is silly, or disagree. It gave me such a desire to live out my faith boldly. Can’t recommend this book enough!

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Tammy Damore

They all sound inspiring, but especially the first one!

Montana Christine

I’m going to have to grab a copy of One in a Million. I got goosebumps just reading your review….

Montana Christine

Tammy, I am currently reading Your Beautiful Purpose and I highly recommend it!