A sweet summer Army homecoming in Killeen, Texas!Read More
Every homecoming is different, and yet every homecoming is the same.
A homecoming is like a bare nerve- it is sensitive, it is painful, it is pulsating, and it feel like its about to tear.
And then comes that sweet moment - a white bus off in the distance - and noise falls ... time stands still, and the atmosphere changes.
Everything changes in that precious moment - because the wait is finally over.
SPC Hall - welcome home! Gaby and Payton missed you so much!
It was the longest wait - and the most emotional return. From constant rescheduling to an emotional rollercoaster, to finally a good day - the GREATEST day!
This Friday was the day Taylor and her babies got to welcome their soldier home.
The air was filled with anticipation, and nervousness, and so much love - and as soon as a glimpse of the white bus was seen, tears started to fill up the eyes. Tears of joy and tears of relief. Tears of happiness.
Welcome home SGT Elliott!
It was 2 A.M., the air was getting crispier, temperatures falling below 30 degrees but no matter how late or cold, you could feel the wave of warmth wash over you - warmth from all the raw emotion felt by the loved ones of the soldiers coming back from a long deployment.
Time away is trying - long time away is indescribable. So it is finally time to say:
Welcome home SPC Royster! You were missed!
I absolutely love photographing homecomings.
There is nothing like it in the world - so full of raw emotion. It even gets me from time to time and I'll notice I need to wipe away the tears.
Families get put through so much during deployments, it is hard to describe to anyone who is not part of that world. The tears, the joy, the hardship and loneliness - and of course the countless days, hours, minutes, that never seem to end - but they do end and when that moment comes, there is no bigger joy than that experienced by the re-united family.
It seems like forever ago I wrote the last blog. And rightfully in today’s day and age, I am no longer relevant if I don’t keep my blogging up so I will just say one thing - I took a really long break for the move back to United States and acclimation. But now I am back and I come back with a beauty.
She is a natural.
She glows from within.
And she is a fellow photographer too.
I keep on wanting to write and write but I will just leave you with this: how amazing would it be to celebrate Valentines Day by celebration You!
Boudoir is not just about being sensual - it is about YOU so let’s get together and have ourselves a Galentine!
There are times in life when I look back and just go: WHOAH! I am so blessed and lucky!
Sandra & Max's wedding (and engagement session and all the times we hung out before) are those moments in life that make me realize how amazing it is to be here, today, and do what I do!
I met Sandra & Max through a mutual friend at the beginning of the summer, and I couldn't believe it when they told me they wanted me to shoot their wedding. It was an honor and an amazing opportunity to experience a wedding of this size. With 150 guests and what seemed like multiple villages, the celebration was of significant grandeur. But to me the best part wasn't just the significance of this union: it was what I got from it - a feeling of family and friendship.
From the quite bridal morning, to the insanity of the reception, everyone involved in this wedding helped make it even better. It truly was two families uniting, it was the most honest celebration of love with so much laughter and happiness that even I wanted to break into a dance (thankfully I contained myself).
As I go through these photos of the day, I cannot help but smile, and my heart is full, and all I want to do is repeat it over and over again: Congratulations and Thank You Sandra & Max!
Here are just a few of my favorites from their day that I shot together with Kayla Williams from Heart and Soul Photography
I cannot rave enough about this beautiful session with Nina! Every shot, every moment we created magic, and the more we shot, the more I got to witness the love unfold! Nina was like a mythical valkyrie that stepped on this earth for me to capture her beautiful pregnancy. Her boyfriend Demetrius, equivalent only to Mars in his grace and masculinity showed such tenderness and love towards Nina. Together, they looked like they descended from the pages of mythology books, and I wish them nothing less but amazing adventures in their soon-to-be parenthood!
I am at a loss of words of how to describe this session! It was so beautiful and so full of love, that I feel like anything I say will only take away from the true feelings in these photos. So I will leave this session with beautiful Olivia, Michael & Aubrey right here, so like me, you can witness their family love and love for each other, as they celebrate their 4th anniversary and their daughters 2nd birthday!
Thank you for making me fall in love with love all over again!
Here is a little bit of a personal post.
Ive been in need of some creative spark, or a reboot, as my vacation plans did not go as I hoped. So what is better than vacation? (Well maybe nothing but this definitely came second best!) It is to grab you beautiful photographer friend, and head out to pick some local blueberries (and btw, they are amazing!) at a small farm surrounded by nothing but sun and serene beauty of Bavarian fields and then grab some dinner while doing some city shooting.
Thank you to my beautiful friend/model And O'Neal!
And here is my favorite photo of me courtesy of andionealphotography.com
At least once in our lives we all come across that one person with the timid smile behind which hides the biggest heart made of gold. I've been lucky enough to come across that kind of person not only in my person life but also in professional, and had the honor of documenting Maria and her family on camera.
Maria contacted me because she received a gift certificate for a family session and soon after I had her in my studio chatting about places we will go to do her session. Unlike many of my clients, Maria knew exactly where she wanted to shoot so I knew this will be a very fun evening that we will spend together. And I was right! Her three boys absolutely loved running around, climbing rocks, play-fighting, imagining we were cavemen, knights in armor, forrest elves, ninjas and samurais. (And I even got her husband Juan to smile on camera in a few photos, though I will not be posting them here to reserve those very rare and special photos for family only). So much laughter we all shared that my face hurt when we were done. But the most amazing part of our shoot was watching the relationships unfold before my eyes. To her boys Maria is a guardian angel that keeps them safe, warm and loved, and to the boys she is a role model, she is more than a mother, she is a muse, she inspires them and adds to each of their very different personalities. I hope I got to capture them truly as they are, and here are my favorites from our time together a while back.
I've been so busy lately that I honestly have been avoiding writing blogs. I didn't want it to be a tiresome text with some pictures that no one would read. I thought I will eventually get to point when I will write some amazing copy followed by mind blowing portraits and everyone will be in love! Well I definitely have some amazing photos to share, so let's hope I can keep the story up to par!
Adrianna and I go way back, we met around the time that both PCS'ed to Germany and for a long time it was random meetings in a dog park or at our mutual friends' house. And then one day I get a message asking me to do her in-home session. Back then I just lost my camera to the fountain incident so I couldn't do what she wanted me to do but I did come over to do a more in depth consult and see what specifically she had in mind. After a few hours had gone by I realized we no longer talked about her session but how I got into photography and what I do during my session, how I shoot, and so on. I can't remember the last time I was this excited to share my knowledge so I think we both just lost track of time. Almost a year later I found out that It was that visit that inspired Adrianna, and while she has already been shooting before, she now knew exactly how and what she wanted. It was this meeting, more than a year ago, that changed something inside of me, and I realized how amazing it is not just to learn, but also to share what I learn. I am no where near having enough knowledge to actually educate, but a big part of me is now even more driven, more sharing, and hopeful that I maybe I can inspire or pass on the little that I do know. And while I keep thinking up ways to do so ( and dreaming of my own shooting workshop), here are a few of my favorite images from Adrianna's graduation shoot.
Make up artistry: Stefanie Coronas
At the beginning of this year I pledged to myself I will not get behind on editing but I didn't get to keep my own promise and I have so much to catch up on. This past month has been a whirlwind of creative shoots, meeting wonderful people, amazing education opportunities and so much more. And as a result I am not posting fast enough. But I will get better, I promise.
One of my absolute favorite sessions was my first couple's boudoir I got to do last month. I wanted to keep it classy rather than hot and steamy and I wanted to recreate intimacy between my couple. So I set out to shoot a session I called a "Morning in a Life" where I would tell a story of two lovers who promised each other their hearts and souls.
From quite and shy, to gentle and soft, to happy and loving, sexy and sensual, to silly and bold - here is the story of Malik & Sitan.
Most every girl dreams of a fairytale wedding. I can say with absolute certainty that I did but unfortunately I never got to have one, and while I wish I had my own, I got something even better! I was a part of another fairytale, and I got to capture its' every moment.
On Friday June 1st Sophia & Daren (who by now have become my friends more than clients) stepped into the Vilseck courthouse to legally become man and wife and on June 2nd their very own fairytale wedding took place not even 5 minutes away from their home in Sorgof.
That Saturday morning I could barely sleep. Nervous and excited all I could think about was: it is finally here! Their most important day! Their wedding day is today! I couldn't wait to pack up all of camera gear and head out to capture the celebration of their true love.
And what a celebration it was! Two days of love, laughter, tears, cheers, and of course absolute happiness. Two days of genuine beauty and memories. I am still in awe from how amazing Sophia&Daren's wedding turned out.
When Sophia walked down the isle, Daren could hardly hold back tears and I doubt there was anyone in the chapel whose eyes remained dry. She was pure perfection, a true Hollywood beauty with a heart of gold walking towards a man she shares every dream with. With every word of the vows, every prayer, it felt like the room filled with light and unconditional love. As they held each other's hands you could see not a man and a woman but unity, and unconditional love. I couldn't feel more honored to be in their presence, documenting their special day.
When I think back on this weekend I realize I must have been blessed somehow! Not only did I get to shoot this beautiful rustic fairytale but I met amazing people through this journey. I can't thank Sophia enough for being some a wonderful mother and friend! And it was as if a fairy godmother gave me a special gift of my own - the day before the wedding I met another wonderful lady who helped me document the best day of Sophia&Daren's life. Andi O'Neal, my amazing second shooter, was willing and ready to help me shoot magic this weekend and I cannot express the immense gratitude I have for her! I couldn't have done this alone! Together we wish Sophia&Daren a long and happy life together as a family, we wish them compassion and understanding and everlasting love, and we are forever grateful for this amazing opportunity to meet you and now call you friends!
Here are a few of our favorites from your very special day:
MUA: Stefanie Coronas
Dress: Wolke7, Weiden
Florist: Derrfuss, Vilseck
Ceremony Venue: High Baptist Church, Vilseck
Reception: Landsknecht Stub'n, Sorgof
Cake: Pimp my Cake, Amberg
Catering: Metzgerei Humsberger, Auerbach
Groom Attire: Engelhardt & Walter, Amberg
Invitations: Weddingpaper Divas
Second Shooter: Andi O'Neal Photography
Let me tell you a story. A story of real love. The name of this story is Daren&Sophia. And here it goes.
Daren got to know Sophia just a few short months after he arrived to Germany for work - but he didn't actually meet her until some time later as she was still considering wether or not he was THE guy to go out with. How is this possible you ask me? Easy. Because they met on Tinder.
Their first date lead to dinner, then to a numerous hours of conversation and then every day spent together. Sophia described that time as that deserving of a princess, absolutely magical. Daren swooped her off her feet and it didn't take long to propose. He popped the question at dinner time, right before they were heading out to see a play in the Stadttheatre, in their favorite restaurant L'Osteria in Amberg. I honesty don't even know HOW they sat through that play, being freshly engaged but both of the places became significant to them and are now woven into the story of their love.
The day we spent shooting was probably the coldest April Saturday I remember to date. There was snow in the morning and it felt like temperatures kept dropping as we kept shooting. I am so grateful to both Sophia & Daren for getting through the day with a smile on their faces. I kept getting lost in their love and laughs and forgetting how cold it must have been for the two of them. But that is just proof enough that love warms all. I can't wait to shoot their wedding in June!
Have you ever laughed so much your face hurt and cried happy tears while the people in front of you shared moments of love and then at the end of the night as their car pulled away you felt imminent sadness? Well, this summarizes how I felt with Tara & David.
It is so hard to put in words the bond we formed while shooting their maternity session but most of all they made me feel like a friend. While behind the camera I get to witness a lot - I see love stories unfold, old flames reignite, and with David and Tara I saw more than just love - there was commitment, determination, passion and respect all woven together into these two individuals.
They told me they met while dancing (I later found out David is a Salsa Teacher) so I asked them if it would be ok for them to dance and me capture it on camera. They agreed and then blew me away! It was a complete transformation. There was no longer me, the camera, and them - it was JUST them in the magical palace of Eremitage. They danced and I was mesmerized. I felt like I was there - where they first met and fell in love!
How amazing is it that two people in front of my camera, two people I just met can transport me into a different place and time just through their dance!! I only hope I can do the same for them through the images I have captured!
I started writing this post about a hundred times, in my head, going over and over what I wanted to say, and each time I ended up writing an essay that no one will want to read. I am faced with a problem - how can I keep to a minimum the maximum emotion that fills me when I think of Isi & Zack?
No matter what I do, I can't seem to keep it short, so here it goes.
I met Isi about a week ago and after just a few hours of shooting her portraits and chatting in the car I couldn't wait to shoot her wedding. She inspired me to do more, to be better, and so I wanted to give back.
Pulling everything together that was around the house I came up with a wedding suite for Isi & Zack that included an invite, a reception card, and a translated menu for their dinner, and decorated my whole living room in what I thought fit the wedding scene. I kept wondering how to perfect it so it matches Isabel's personality and also fits with the theme of their wedding. All this even before I met the groom - Zack...Because I only got to meet Zack a day before the wedding. How crazy is that? But just like Isi - Zack left such an amazing impression that I knew I will do everything and anything to make sure their big day is beautiful.
And it was! Not even the hail and rain could ruin the day! Isi's laughter and her love for Zack lit up the sky - the cold and grey seemed to subside, and both of them radiated so much serenity and so much love that I couldn't get enough! The way Zack would look at Isabel, the way they joked with each other, the way their hands never let go - all of it was simply perfection.
They made me tear up so many times I was embarrassed of my lack of self control.
I can honestly admit that this Tuesday I met LOVE all over again - I watched it dance, and kiss, and laugh, and fill the room, intoxicating everyone in her presence - and I was honored to document it!
Thank you so much my dear friends for letting me be a part of your day!
Congratulations again and I hope you enjoy these few of my favorite images!