David & Kala: Kentucky Blue VA Wedding

Despite blog crashes and computer struggles, I’m finally able to post this wedding! Similarly, despite mid-July heat and threatening rain showers on the forecast all day, David & Kala’s Kentucky Blue wedding was probably the most fun wedding I’ve shot to date. David & Kala are a life loving, God loving, people loving couple. They were excited, patient, and energized their whole day (and they had a sweet bridal party that carried similar qualities). It was such a joy to be their photographer and experience them become one family! Congrats, Mr. & Mrs. Herman. Thanks for your patience with these photos! Enjoy some of my favorites.
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_MG_7907_MG_7882_MG_7944_MG_7998_MG_7908_MG_8011_MG_8286_MG_8299_MG_8317David and his groomsmen wanted some shots before the ceremony of them in a nearby home-gym. The images we got were priceless….

_MG_8027_MG_8031_MG_8127_MG_8140_MG_8061_MG_8099_MG_8160_MG_8175 _MG_8241_MG_8501_MG_8508_MG_8517_MG_8532_MG_8552_MG_8574_MG_8607_MG_8624Sweet shot of Kala by my second shooter, Rachel Hrovat:_MG_6827

_MG_8664_MG_8641_MG_8672_MG_8690_MG_8699_MG_8718_MG_8796_MG_8331_MG_8339_MG_8381_MG_8406_MG_8424_MG_8436Love Kala’s face here…._MG_8827_MG_8828_MG_8848_MG_8874_MG_8907_MG_9006_MG_9018_MG_9023_MG_9035_MG_9052_MG_0009_MG_0033_MG_0034_MG_0042_MG_9060_MG_9095Reception #1 in the church….._MG_9214_MG_9181 _MG_9288_MG_9280Sneaky Kala with the bouquet toss…..

_MG_9391_MG_9387_MG_9268 _MG_9492Leaving Reception #1 !_MG_9522_MG_9589_MG_9608_MG_9655_MG_9681_MG_9672_MG_9841_MG_9819_MG_9717_MG_9784_MG_9763_MG_9857_MG_9878_MG_9811_MG_9797_MG_0056_MG_9971_MG_9900_MG_9912_MG_0094_MG_0092_MG_0064_MG_0077_MG_0082_MG_9976
_MG_0041_IM_0023_MG_0014_MG_9927_MG_0133_MG_0142_MG_0148_MG_0158_MG_0216_MG_0184Reception #2: dinner and dancing time._MG_0266_MG_0258_MG_0299_MG_0319_MG_0370_MG_0555_MG_0419_MG_0475_MG_0565_MG_0569_MG_0609_MG_0604_MG_0585_MG_0556_MG_0563_MG_0739_MG_0705_MG_0714Appropriate shot to end on (sums up the night)…_MG_0716Congrats again, guys! Super stoked for you two.

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Tara & Matt – Engaged

October 2009. As an insecure, trying-to-find-my-place-in-this-world freshman, I tagged along to a house I had never been at to participate in the birthday party surprise for a girl I hardly knew, thinking, “This will be great… Wait, this is scary, I hardly know ANYONE at the party!… Buuuut I’ve met the birthday girl a few times and she seems nice… But I don’t think I’ll ever be her friend because she’s just SO COOL! Aaaa, I should leave… Oh no, too late now, she’s coming!” I remember that surprise party so vividly. There were dozens of people there to celebrate a freshman babe by the name of Tara Thompson. The Christian community at CNU has always been incredible, and especially my freshman year, the upperclassmen went out of their way to make us feel welcome and included in life at CNU. So in the midst of this birthday party, I remember looking around at the people gathered to celebrate Tara and thinking, “I want to be part of this community. And I want to know this girl that SO many people would come surprise and celebrate as a freshman on her birthday. She’s just so cool………..”

Who would have thought that night at the start of our freshman year that Tara Thompson would end up being one of my very best friends………. and that I would be doing an engagement shoot of her and her FIANCÉ just a few years later!?!

Tara’s one of those people who’s beauty on the outside is just a smidgen of the beauty that’s inside her. Her heart is unlike any other I know. She loves genuinely, she loves faithfully, she loves honestly, she loves bluntly, she loves encouragingly. When Tara cares for people, she gives 100%. She isn’t wishy-washy or half in. I remember a time during sophomore or junior year when one of the downtown guys from the DownTown Ministry Tara leads at CNU was in a serious car accident. Tara threw herself into praying and caring for this dear friend. She was steadfast in hospital visits and figuring out how to best serve him, and she constantly was reminding me to pray for him. Tara also loves openly and candidly. I can’t tell you how many times she has straight-up rebuked lies I was believing or spoken Truth to me in love, encouraging me away from frustration and disappointment (she makes it very difficult for me to keep hurt inside, the stinker….. she ALWAYS knows when something is wrong). Aaaaand she can also make me laugh. Like none other. She’s made me pee in my pants from laughing (maybe more than once). She’s a super goof ball (just ask her what she knows about armed robbery or how good she is at kitchen spatula singing to Grease‘s “You’re the One that I Want). I always wish we could have more time together when we hangout.

And now my darling Tara is getting MARRIED! Had you told either of us freshman year that Matt Hayes was gonna be her husband, we would have laughed and said, “Yeahhhhhhh… what?” Let’s just say, the dorky, handsome boy Matt from our early CNU years has become dorky, handsome man Matt. And MAN, is he perfect for my Tara. Matt is one of the most humble & gentle yet strong & leader guys that I know. He serves and loves Tara with such selflessness, putting her before himself and setting such an amazing example of Christ in their relationship. I remember this one time semi-early on in their relationship when Tara was digging into some theology and praying about what she believed about a certain doctrine. Matt took time by himself and with her to find biblical, sound teaching and wisdom on this doctrine and talk and work through hard questions with Tara. That’s just a tiny example of how he goes above and beyond to look to others’ interests and serve them before himself. I could not think of a better man for Tara. He calms her down, leads her  so well, has this hilarious quiet humor, and puts His relationship with Christ as a priority over all else. I’m so excited to see what the Lord has for their marriage and how they will continue to serve Him as Mr. & Mrs. Hayes!

I love you two so so much, and am so grateful you let me take these photos. Thanks for letting me be part of your lives!!

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Williamsburg Wedding: Dani & Ryan

I still quite vividly remember the day Dani asked me to shoot her wedding. It was last semester, fall 2012, and the five-foot tall, double major in English and Theater sat next to me as we furiously composed papers that were soon to be due. We were in Chinese Literature together, and both only had an hour to spare before class. In the midst of paper writing, Dani and I chit chatted, and I let it slip that I was getting into wedding photography. I swear she jumped in her chair and moved herself a foot closer to me, then stretched her fingers and said, “Ooohhhh you do wedding photography do you….????” She proceeded to explain how she and her darling Ryan were to be wed in February, and they had yet to solidify a photographer. That conversation led to another, and within a month or so, they had booked me for their early 2013 Williamsburg Inn wedding.

 Their late February wedding started out a bit rainy and chilly, but by the time the ceremony was over and we were doing portraits, the rain had stopped and it was a photographer’s paradise of an overcast sky and a happyhappy bride and groom. Enjoy some of my favorite shots from the day (including a few from my wonderful second shooter Maggie Gore!). Dani and Ryan, thanks for being such a relaxed, FUN couple to work with. It was seriously nothing but a joy to share in your special day with you.

This is what greeted me when I arrived at Dani’s house the morning of the wedding…. So precious.

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Williamsburg Inn! Stunning.

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Dani’s centerpieces were incredible… Perfectly blending her love for literature and theater (and Beauty & the Beast!)…

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Ryan LOVED this little phone booth near the groom’s prep room….

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Gazing at one another’s rings…..

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Beautiful reception room!

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Maggie’s fantastic shot from their first dance….. LOVE HER DRESS!

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SO so happy for you two!! Thanks for letting me be part of such an incredible day. My best wishes to you two, Mr. & Mrs. Doster!

 

Proposal: Matt & Tara

I seriously don’t know how to begin this post. What are you supposed to say about the engagement of one of your very best friends in the whole world?? How do you describe the flashmob proposal her boyfriend arranged with 30+ people that ended with a human tunnel leading her to her boy down by the water?? There are no words.

When Matt Facebook messaged a bunch of us with his proposal plans, I quickly volunteered to take photos. I was honored he wanted so many of us involved in this special night, and nothing would make me more glad but to document it. We all arrived at City Center (Oyster Point) in Newport News with plenty of time to spare before Tara would be led there by roommates, under the false news that they were going to celebrate a few friends’ internships and acceptance to grad school at one of the restaurants. Little did she know what was waiting for her…..

(Note: I switched on and off all night between using my strobe and shooting with a slooooow shutter speed…… I have so much to learn about night photography!)

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So so SOOOOOOOOO excited for you two!!! Matt, I know you’re one amazing guy to win the affections of my dear Tootie. She’s a gem.Take good care of her! Love you both!!!!

Throwback Thursday: Happy Birthday, David

Last week was my older brother David’s 25th birthday. So hard to wrap my brain around the fact that the four “older kids” in our family (as opposed to the three “little girls”) are all in their twenties. Where the heck has time gone…

This Throwback Thursday is in honor of David. He didn’t get to spend this past birthday as us Deans prefer with “sugar” cereal, a King For The Day crown, Happy Birthday signs around the house, and spoiling love and care from family members. Instead, he put his boots on and went about an army officer’s normal day in Afghanistan. He’s been there about eight months now, and MAN has it provoked growth in my prayer life! Any anxieties and fears have to be taken to the Lord daily because I am in no way in control of Dave’s safety over there. (Praise the Lord he only has a few weeks left and he’ll be out of Afghanistan and back to his post in Italy!)

To celebrate his belated birthday, the photos in this post show snippets of the past 25 years of David’s life. (That’s quite a few years so these photos compose just a short summary. ;)) Dave, I love you so much and am eagerly waiting for May when you come to the States and I get see your face in person! Thanks for making me proud and encouraging me through your faith, servant’s heart, humor, strength, perseverance, affection… and lushus eyelashes. 🙂 Love you!

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Yes, we WERE a darling, homeschooled, true-90s bunch…

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Skip a few years …… crazy as ever.

100_2096100_2171Plebe year at West Point….. true to his Black Knights.

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Best big brother…

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Granny and Papa Beaumont’s 50th wedding anniversary, 2008! David surprised them. 🙂

DSCN4312DSCN7233Ring Weekend at West Point, during Firstie (senior) year…

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Sandhurst military competition at West Point, 2010…..

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West Point graduation, 2010!

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Pillow fight with little Abby and handlebar mustache ……

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The parents and little girls visiting him in Italy before his deployment….

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Aaaand Afghanistan……….

beastafghanYes, ladies, he’s single…. But WATCH IT because you’ll have five sisters to go through first! 😉

Love you, Dave.

Throwback Thursday: Billy & Renee

Sorry I’ve been such a slacker in blogging this week! It’s been a long, full week and I’m so excited for the weekend. More free time to figure out my new iPhone, actually do my homework readings, cover some photography events for CNU, and watch the Superbowl with friends?? Yes please.

This week’s Throwback Thursday is from another wedding that I shot last fall but was unable to post due to blog complications. The darling couple is Billy and Renee Herbert. Billy was my brother David’s closest friend at West Point (USMA) and our family pretty much adopted him as a son and brother. Renee and Billy met through David when Dave and a group of his friends (church friends from home + Army buds on leave) went to NYC to watch 2011 become 2012. Renee was one of the said church friends, and let’s just say… Billy was one determined guy. Despite Christmas leave ending and his going back to Germany where he was posted, Billy chased after this little lady. Hours of phone calls, the finishing of his post in Germany, a move to Virginia, and not-so-many months later, our little Billy put a ring on it.

When Renee asked me to shoot their September wedding, I was thrilllllllllled. I hadn’t known Renee all that well before Billy started going after her, but the more we talked and the more I saw them together (Billy got posted to Arlington, Va, with the Old Guard when he finished up with Germany in the spring of 2012), the more I grew excited about his perfect choice of a wife.

I love you two very very VERY much, and I hope I’m around when little Herbert babies start popping out so I can take photos of them too. 😉 Enjoy some shots from your special day!

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Back to Renee….HerbertWedding_43 HerbertWedding_49 HerbertWedding_53Ceremony time! Here she comes…

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Billy’s Mom, Eda, and his nephew, Daniel…. precious!
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Love you guys! xoxo

Weekend At Home: The Patchwork Girl of Oz

This weekend I’m in Northern Virginia, home to see my sister Tori’s drama play, “The Patchwork Girl of Oz.” My roommate Arielle and I drove up yesterday evening through the snow and craziness of I-95 to arrive in time for the 7 o’clock showing. Though the drive was rather frightening, I was so glad when we arrived safely, with time to spare before the show. I pretty much tackled this guy when I saw him at the church (little brother Clarky)…

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He’s on crutches because he recently tore some ligaments in his right foot while playing basketball… crazy boy!tori_13webThe play was SO good! Tori and rest of our church’s Homeschool Co-op Drama Club did a fabulous job performing this stage adaption to the book by L. Frank Baum. The sets were incredible, the kids did great, and I was laughing all night. Tor Tor was a sassy Porcelain Cat, and she was incredible. SO proud of her!

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Yes, she’s the white feline in the unitard….

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Me with my Dad and all but one of my sisters. So proud of Tori!!

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This kid……

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The two cats, Tori and Wes (the Cowardly Lion)…

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Our crazy cat….

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Love her!

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So glad Arielle could come with me!

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My brother Clark (with the crutches) and good friend Chris….. 
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They’re ridiculous.

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It was a great night, and I’m so glad to be home and able to relax for the rest of the weekend. I love home. Now off to talk wedding stuff with my sister….. Happy Saturday!

Throwback Thursdays: The ’90s

Phewww… Made it to Thursday. It’s been a long week, and I’m excited to share this installment of Throwback Thursdays! Today’s edition brings you a small collection of photos that give you a glimpse into the ’90s, Dean-style. I’m one of those people who still has 1996 or 1997 come to mind when people say, “Remember ten years ago when…..” Haha, I still have trouble believing that ten years ago is 2003!

The ’90s were a fun time for the Deans. Four of the us seven kids were born during that decade! I have so many wonderful memories from those years, and looking through photos like these make me tear up, thinking how crazy different life is now. (It’s great, just different.)

Before getting into photos, here were some of our favorite pastimes during those years…… Remember any of these?

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MSB-Titlecard-magic-school-bus-32439016-932-706Aaaand in the world of photos…….

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Playing in the snow was difficult in those days when your legs struggled in anything higher than four inches… (and yes, those are plastic deer in the background… we loved them).

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Clark became a big brother in 1996 when Tori was born!

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Twins in sucking our fingers…..

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I loved these summer days. Despite only being five or six, I remember those summer nights in our old house, playing outside until sunset….. never lacking playmates!

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Beach vacations at the Outer Banks… Not a care in the world.

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Ah yes, attempts at the family photo……. Always a challenge.

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Yet some things never change……

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Most recent photo of ALL nine of us, from a few summers ago. So blessed.

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What are some of your favorite memories from growing up? (No matter what decade it was!) Leave comments! I’d love to hear. 🙂 Happy Thursday!

A Needed Laugh

Today has been one of those days. The kind when you get out of bed 15 minutes before class. When you can barely move because of the previous day’s workout. When you forgot more than one of the homework readings you were supposed to do. When you get off your bike and immediately trip, slamming your knees on the pavement first before the rest of you goes down. When you aren’t dressed for the negative a MILLION degree weather that’s come over Virginia. When you go to class and your professor adds assignments due next class period that aren’t in the syllabus. When you see friends and they ask if you’re tired. When you miss your family terribly despite it only being two weeks into the semester.

MMMMhhhmmmm…. love these days.

If you’re having a day like this, know that I’m 100% feeling your pain. (Literally. My knees are bruised and throbbing from my bike fall.) These next words and funny pictures are for you. I hope they put a smile on your face and bring you encouragement!

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, nor let them be afraid.” (John 14:27)

Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way.” (2 Thessalonians 3:16a)

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

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Snowy Night

As has been all over Facebook, the Hampton Roads area was showered with snow last night! It covered campus and drew many students outside to build snowmen and tackle each other in the snow. I wandered out there when I got off work at the gym around midnight, and it was beautiful. I love snowy, unique nights like these at CNU that show-off the campus’s beauty in a way we rarely get to see in Newport News. Here are some shots from last night. 🙂

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