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I leave every year with excitement and anticipation for the new year and memories from the previous 365 days. By far, the most significant life event for me was becoming a mom. Kittredge made this one of the most wonderful years of my life. I don’t think I’ve ever laughed and cried so much, nor felt so alive. Oh, and tired ;)

I had a truly fabulous wedding season, and I celebrated with many incredible people. I enjoyed every hike, every beautiful conversation, every photograph, every sunrise + sunset, every adventure, and every ounce of honest emotion that I was honored to witness.

With the addition of our sweet baby boy + maternity leave, I was fortunate to book most of my work closer to Asheville this season. However, I thoroughly enjoyed our travels to Colorado, Michigan, South Carolina, Oregon, Virginia, New York, Pennsylvania, and all over North Carolina for various sessions and weddings.

I have to give major props to my interns this year. Mor + Lucy helped carry me through the season with sleep deprivation and hours behind the breast pump. They were an invaluable part of my 2017 team, and I couldn’t have made it through 25 weddings without them. I also want to give endless thanks to all of my couples this year. Everyone was incredibly understanding and supportive of my maternity leave and pumping breaks.

And, of course, the biggest thanks to my husband for holding down the fort at home. For helping me through labor, long editing days, late nights, weekends away, diaper changes, chores….I could go on and on. I just adore sharing this life and being parents with you.

Sitting 40+ weeks pregnant at the beginning of 2017, I was concerned that becoming a mother would overtake my desire for this work, this art. However, it has only solidified the significance of what I do. Time is precious. Fleeting. It restructured my priorities and helped me say no to so many unfulfilling things that wasted time (read more about my 2018 goals here). I want to fill my days with my family and friends that bring an incredible amount of joy to my world. I want to spend my days pursuing this career that I love so much. Making photographs of moments that matter. Of laughter, love, honesty, creativity. Chasing sunsets, mountains, and purpose. These are thing things that set my heart ablaze.

2018, I’m ready for you.

Without further adieu, here are my favorite memories from 2017.

 

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  • jenny - these are breathtaking. every. single. image. and you are the slayer of black and white editing!ReplyCancel

  • Lauren Cooley - Megan these are beautiful!! All of them make me smile! Happy 2018!ReplyCancel

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Let me introduce Melissa + Matt by sharing that their Christmas card featured Matt’s beard with ornaments dangling from it. My favorite thing about this couple is that they aren’t afraid to be themselves.

They were married on land in rural Pennsylvania that has been in Melissa’s family for generations. I enjoyed listening to Melissa reminisce of childhood memories at the farm. It wasn’t a large wedding, but everyone that mattered to them was present, especially their dogs, Axel + Skynyrd.

We spent at least an hour exploring the property for photos with the last glimpse of the sun on the horizon. The evidence of our adventure clung to Melissa’s beautiful BHLDN gown. We returned to the pole barn, which had been transformed with M’s vision. Guests sat around the tables enjoying themselves as the night drew to an end.

With the campfire hot and drinks in hand, everyone studied the sky to watch fireworks dance with the stars.

 

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After a long, fun wedding day, Brianna and Josh wanted to spend the next day relaxing. I stopped by their hotel room at the Grand Bohemian for a little while to just hang and capture a few moments of the newlyweds while they were on cloud nine.

As much as I love climbing mountaintops with my couples, I also love the challenge of making a variety of images in one room with one window. It helps that these two have such natural chemistry.

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Brianna and Josh have been dear friends over the past three years of working together. I can’t even remember how we originally connected, but I’m so glad our paths crossed.

They originally wanted to get married in Michigan, but they ultimately decided to caravan their friends + family down to Asheville for a small wedding in the mountains. Brianna and I have at least 100 emails between the two of us, trying to plan the perfect experience for everyone. They settled on Black Balsam Knob after having their first look at Looking Glass Falls. A few of my favorite moments:

// Emery (their daughter) dancing like a princess in her little white dress while everyone did hair and makeup. I loved how she hammed it up for the camera!
// Josh gifted Brianna something old (grandmother’s diamond pendant), borrowed (her mom’s earrings), and blue (inscription on the bottom of her shoes). They were such sweet, sentimental gifts.
// We met at the waterfall for their first look, and Brianna was so excited that she practically ran down the stairs. They both shined with pure joy the entire day.
// Brianna and Josh decided to share vows privately before everyone arrived for the ceremony. Their promises were incredibly thoughtful, which had them both in tears.
// Before we hiked to the summit, Josh buried sorry pieces in the forest in memory of his grandparents (they played the game every day). Their absence was truly felt by everyone.

I adored working with Lucy for this wedding! A few of hers are scattered in here. Flora made the stunning bouquet + hair piece. Andrew Abajian rocked the cinematography.

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I remember how strong the wind was this day. How it slapped our faces. How it molded her hair and whipped her dress around him. I remember the goosebumps we all had when we left the rocks and found sanctuary in the woods.

I remember how Adam held Crystal. How she grasped his face. How tender they were with each other.

I remember how their touch brought warmth to the chill that early fall delivers.

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Kitt // The First Year

Kittredge Emert, you turned one year old this week. The past 365 days have been some of the happiest in my life. I knew motherhood would change me, but I didn’t know it would make me a better person. You’ve helped me become more patient, joyful, and thankful. I never knew how deep the love of a parent was before you.

Of course, this year has been challenging I didn’t know I could function on so little sleep for this many days (and counting). But, you are worth every diaper change, every sleepless night, every mess, every scar from pregnancy and birth. It’s an incredible privilege to be your momma.

My friend, Cheyenne, puts together a video each year for her kids and shares them on her blog. I thought it was an incredible idea, as most of our videos are scattered on various hard drives. Or, they’re buried in our phones. Encapsulating each year in one video is an easy way to revisit and celebrate the journey every trip around the sun. When we were pregnant, our birth class instructor (and our doula) asked us to choose a song to sing to our babies every day. We sang Two Of Us On The Run by Lucius every night to Kitt, slow dancing with a huge bump between us, tears running down my cheeks most days. It’s extra special to have this included at the end of our video.

Forever indebted to Elizabeth for being there for the birth and capturing the most beautiful images (Almond Leaf Studios). The birth clip in the video is also by Elizabeth + Dave.

The above two by my dear friend, Alicia White.

The above image by my crazy talented friend, Abbi.

Kendra did an incredible job capturing Kitt’s baptism.

Thank you, Amelia, for snagging this one for us!

Can’t wait to share the photos from our session with Meghan.

  • Jacque Adams - The tears are streaming down my face. Beautiful year, beautiful family!ReplyCancel