Josey is one of those shining examples of why I love photographing seniors. This intelligent, driven young lady was an absolute dream to work with. She has her own very unique style remiscent of what you'd see on the streets of a big city, at least, certainly not Natchitoches. Josey is graduating from Lakeview High School, my alma mater, and I feel she's really done Lakeview proud!
An Interview with Josey:
Emilee: What are your post-graduation plans?
Josey: After graduating high school, I plan on attending Oral Roberts University & majoring in Psychology & Evangelism/ Outreach with a minor in Christian Counseling.
E: What's your favorite memory of high school?
J: My favorite memory of high school... Well that's a difficult one. There are so many moments I have cherished that are filled with laughter. I got elected to state office which has been a crazy awesome ride. I got to serve as Chapter President for two years & Cadet Group Commander for one. I also got to start a Christian club called United Students in Christ.
My favorite memory would have to be the days upon days I got to spend in the AG department, working on random projects & laughing at it all. God truly used those people to mold me.
E: Out of all the classes and teachers you've had, what subject was your favorite and why?
J: My favorite subjects are English and AG!
While I have had wonderful teachers, my favorite would have to be Mr. Ryan Riley. He began teaching my freshmen year as an AG teacher & I am certain he will always have a place in my life. He has helped me so much both in FFA and in life. He has given me so much encouragement & laughter. I know God sent him and his wife, Bethany, to help mold me into who I am today. I thank God for them both.
E: What's one thing you wish you would have known as a freshman?
J: There are various lessons God has taught me in high school & it has been such a place of growth for me. Maybe that's what the one thing I wish I would've known. I wouldn't change anything that happened because I see where God has used it all for a purpose. I wish I would've known that in life that will be a lot of pain, but that doesn't mean that pain is pointless. God uses the pain to mold us. He uses the struggle for growth. Nothing is wasted when given to God.
She added this at the bottom of her correspondence with me:
Personal note: I just want to Love God with my entire being & point to Him with my life. That, that is my ultimate goal.
Also, I would highly recommend Bits of Flair Photography to anyone!!!! Emilee is a true gem. God has given her such a gift! She is efficient & kind while doing it all! Plus the pictures are SO AMAZING!!!! Thanks & God bless!
Please excuse my blush! Congratulations on your upcoming graduation, Josey!
Check out some of Josey's senior portraits below, taken in downtown Natchitoches, on Front Street, Beau Jardin and the Roque House Gardens!
I love weddings. Love them. They're always personal to the couple, they have significance. There are, however, things that I adore about my couples.
1. Not afraid to be nerdy
You're a fan of something like a book series or card game or even athletics? Let me know! I'm a fan of fans, for sure! Even if we're not into the same things, I can appreciate one's passion!
2. Treasures photography
Self-serving? Probably. Let's look at the facts, though:
A. Out of all your preparations for your day, what will you have after the wedding? A spouse, a gown (if you didn't rent or borrow) and maybe the top tier of your cake. Well, you'll also have your photos to remember everything else. I know that photos make a couple's top 5 things to have for the wedding at least! Plan accordingly and get that booked directly after the venue, just so you know it's covered.
B. You're not going to be paying attention to all the little details during your wedding. That's my job. You'll be much to busy getting married and then being whisked off to talk to some third cousin or another.
I like easy-going clients. I prep a lot for weddings. I'll ask you for your timeline, go through the general steps of your ceremony, ask you for clarified rules for photographers at your ceremony venue, talk with the other creative partners such as DJ, videographers and planners just to make sure we're all on the same page. So, trust me, I've got it covered. The only other thing I need from you is a list of names of guests to be in your formal photos, email addresses for your vendors and I'll cover the rest. If you're fine with a more hands-off role, that goes for parents as well, it will be the smoothest sailing you've ever experienced. Stay present in your day, and your photos will show you in a relaxed, warm-and-fuzzy mode, which is incredibly magical and makes for some wonderful photos.
4. They LOVE my work
Hopefully, you've come to me because you love me.
(I love you too!)
I'm not just a photographer, I'm in the business of customer service. What you see in my portfolio is the same style you're going to receive, but besides the photos, I'm your personal rock through the whole process. From the get-go, I can advise you on the timeline, suggest vendors that I know work wonders, and help you come up with an efficient way to keep your day running as perfectly as God will allow.
I had the extreme pleasure of photographing Belinda's bridal portraits at the Caroline Dormon Nature Preserve (the locals call it Briarwood) in northeast Natchitoches parish in Saline, Louisiana.
Let me give you a bit of the history of the place. Miss Caroline Dormon was a botanist, horticulturist, ornithologist, historian, archeologist, preservationist, naturalist, conservationist, and author . She worked to preserve Louisiana's native wildflowers on a piece of land that remains nearly as wild and untouched as when Miss Dormon was alive. Soon after, she started working for the Louisiana Forestry Service, and in fact, she was the first woman to do so. She actually worked with the US Forest Service to designate Kisatche National Forest as well... a national forest. It's still the only national forest in Louisiana. She did so much for our state while she was alive, and her legacy lives on in not just Briarwood, but Hodges Gardens and other similar locations, which she had a hand in the design and development.
It's kind of weird that a word like "beautiful" doesn't cut it to explain to you just how magnificent this place is. There are a few simple cabins that dot the landscape here or there, there's an education building and a small gift shop, but other than that, it's straight woods. I personally counted at least three ponds.
The preserve now holds functions such as nature walks, picnics and plant sales for its donors.
When I was invited by my fellow Cane River Photographic Society member and Belinda's now-husband, Jonas, to photograph B's bridals, OH BOY! was I ever excited.
Jonas had a handy list of locations he wanted to see reflected in the portraits in mind, we were chauffeured around by Mr. and Mrs. Johnson in one of their speedy golf carts around the preserve with my sister, Allison, playing assistant for the day. I'm glad he had a list or we would have been there twice as long! Everything is so beautiful there and we had a wonderful time exploring the place!
In honor of their wedding yesterday, here are a few of the photos from Belinda's bridal session, featuring an heirloom brooch bouquet and an absolute stunner of a gown from Azarue's.
You surely must know that I'm obsessed with the beautiful soaps from Bathhouse Soapery & Caldarium from Hot Springs, Arkansas. If not, please see this blog post! I went in recently to the Natchitoches boutique to grab something floral, and I walked out with more than a handful of slices, which, in my opinion, are PERFECT for spring! Clicking on the name of the soap will take you to it's product page on the Bathhouse website!
Rose & Lilac
How luscious does the top of this slice look? This is heavily fragrant, and omigosh this isn't your grandma's favorite rose scent, but I bet she'd enjoy it!
Personally, I think gardenia is the most southern out of all the scents. I don't know why, but it reminds me of sitting outside during the evening.
Venus is super lovely and probably the fruitiest floral I picked up.
I wish that Goddess had it's own page on the Bathhouse site. It's lovely and I can't adequately describe it. Sorry, y'all.
Bright, spring days. Lavender may be considered a "mature" scent, but my gosh this one is gorgeous!
I had to share this article that my friend Rachel Taylor over at Daylight Fading Photography shared on her photography page, but with a little insight from me, of course. The article is linked below.
I am a photographer, yes, but I'm also the first to scream at the top of my lungs that I'm a curator, too. See, I take photos of people, they then go on about their lives, not noticing the incremental changes they are constantly going through. Changes that are only evident if one has a perfect memory or photos to remind them of how things used to be.
I am a curator, like at a museum. I'm not preserving memories or moments for the right now, because what would be the point? You know what you currently look like, what your family looks like, what your love looks like. I'm curating these memories for the future. For your children to look at, for their children to look at.
The evolution of photo storage out-dates its previous incarnations. CDs, DVDs, and optical drives are all but obsolete. USBs eventually get lost or broken and many tablets and mobile devices don't have the ports to use them. Cloud storage might be the way files are saved now, but being able to access your photos whenever you want from a computer can be a hassle and it means few rarely do.
I'm willing to bet money that most of us grew up in households where the home was overflowing with photos. On the walls, on tables, mantles, shelves and even the fridge, were physical copies of photographs. You could look at them whenever you wanted, all you needed was light. Those photos lasted awhile, too, as long as they were well taken care of. Today, fewer people are printing their photos, and if they are, they happen to be using "convenient" and cheap drugstore printers.
Now, there's nothing wrong with that, except for the fact that these prints weren't made to last. They're quick and nearly effortless, and you get what you pay for.
Often, we wish we had more photos of an event or person, and most of the time, that thought occurs much too late.
So, take photos. They don't even have to be professional-quality (am I shooting myself in the foot here, or what?) just be sure to print them on materials that will last longer than just a couple of years. Technology changes quickly, and if you don't have access to pull photos off of discs, jump drives or other soon-to-be retro technology, you may be left without those memories.
If any of my clients or followers have questions about where to get great personal prints, please don't hesitate to ask! I will point you in the right direction!
The link to the WONDERFUL Huffington Post article that spurred this blog post.