Sunday, June 21, 2009

Brendon and Shannon's "I Do"

The immensity of the blue sky meets the silhouette of the snowcapped Rockies and the contrast of color strikes you speechless. White fluffy clouds float by casting shadows on green pastures occupied by wild horses and an occasional chirp is heard from a bird. In the beauty of all this, with the sounds of the rushing "Popo Agie" river a few hundred yards away, Brendon and Shannon became husband and wife. Everything about this wedding has been about beauty... their relationships with  their God, Shannon's heart, her dress, the location, and the love that was evident in their family and friends present. Beauty. It's what we crave.

I feel so honored to have been a part of their day and document their story for all to hear and see. A love story like theirs is one everyone should know about because it's such a picture of how God's kingdom can be present on this earth. He's here. He's present and active in our lives whether we realize it or not. He is good. He wants our dreams to become reality. Brendon and Shannon realize that and they're chasing after Him with their whole lives and their love story is no exception. Shannon... you have your prince, your husband, your ring, the dress... and in the background, white lilies... the ultimate symbol of of your prince sees you, and now, how your husband also sees you. It makes me so happy to know that you've found that. Don't forget to share it with everyone who will listen. :)

Many thanks to everyone who helped make their day awesome! Brandi Russell of Mel's on Main Hair Salon did Shannon's lovely hair, the awesome BBQ was catered by Raymond Benson of Porta Chef out of Colorado, Shannon's makeup was done by her best friend Kendra (who's an awesome graphic designer too... ;)), and Shannon's flowers were done by a local friend. :)

Friday, June 19, 2009

Brendon and Shannon's "Will You"

She had a HUGE crush on him. He secretly had a HUGE crush on her. They went to Vienna for a mini outreach with the YWAM Herrnhut base for the World Cup last summer. She got "stuck" with him one night. God spoke. Their worlds shook. Now here I am in Wyoming documenting their love story so all will know HE IS GOD.

So the intro is a bit dramatic don't you think? Me too, but the thing that kills me is it's 100% true. You think I'm joking... I'm so glad I'm not! Here's a bit more of an explanation...

I met Shannon in 2007 in Germany during our Discipleship Training School for Mission Photography. She was brushing her teeth when I introduced myself... and immediately we were friends. I love this girl. She sweeter than cupcakes, gorgeous, energetic, and such a woman after God's own heart! I met Brendon yesterday. HA! But from what she has told me about him, he himself, is a man chasing after God and they're PERFECT for each other!

There are very few stories I've heard that involve God so tangibly present in the relationship. For Brendon and Shannon, God is the ONLY reason they're together. Shannon's the kind of girl who throws God curve balls... she loves to test Him. As she's been praying for her future husband over the years, she's told God a few requirements... the next person she dated had to be her husband, she wanted a ring to know how much He loves her, and she wanted Him to give her a SIGN that that man was "the one".... not just any sign, but white lilies.  

They got pizza in Vienna one night. They walked around afterwards talking and found an awesome cathedral. They decided to explore inside the cathedral. Inside the cathedral was hundreds of white lilies and no one else inside but the two of them. Shannon almost peed her pants because He gave her the sign. Brendon was the one.

Brendon is such a man of faith and prayer. When he heard God's voice saying Shannon was the one, he freaked a bit because he didn't have a ring and he lived on a missionary's salary... nothing. So he prayed. He prayed hard. He talked with his friend in the states who did YWAM with him the year prior and they prayed together. Hard. That same friend had a sister who had a ring she didn't know what to do with. That sister prayed and decided she wanted to give the ring to Brendon. Brendon praised Jesus and proposed. The ring fit like it was made for Shannon's finger. God is GOOD.

And now, I'm in Lander, Wyoming to document the day they make vows to love and set themselves apart for each other with their family and friends and their God present. Here's some shots from our little last minute engagement shoot we did today...

Aaand a taste of main street in Lander... I feel a bit like a country girl :D

The weather was beautiful and the contrasting colors of the red rock, the green pastures, and the blue sky was breathtaking... we soaked it in for all it's worth!

Shannon found this awesome little door in the side of the mountain. This door and the surrounding run down farm was dated back to the early 1800s.... CRAZY!!

If you haven't noticed, I'm a HUGE fan of photo booth style portraits... the couple really comes out and has fun in them!

We even hung out in a country western bar complete with cowboys, beer, and a pool table. Here's a cute shot of Shannon pretending she doesn't know how to play pool... ;) Look at that look!

And this was my absolute favorite shot of the day... they swore they aren't photogenic. BAH HAH... whatever! How good do they look!?

Needless to say, I am STOKED to be shooting their wedding tomorrow and I just know it will be one I'll never forget. In going to the rehearsal tonight, I was taken aback at how BEAUTIFUL the place is. I can't wait to show you! Stay tuned....

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

When Times Get Tough...

I think you'll all agree with me, there are times when life just seems too hard... like there's so much out of our control and such difficult circumstances, it would be easier than making Top Ramen to just throw in the towel and say "I GIVE UP!" I couple summers ago, I was in that place and it seemed that all life consisted of was heartache, working to make money, going to the gym to blow off steam, and sleeping. One of my best friends Cricket suggested I "seriously" start an art journal. She used the word "seriously" because she knew I do art when I want to, but learning how to channel everything I thought and felt into art was different. I took her up on the challenge after I found a sweet papyrus accordion fold journal at Paper Source.... and since then, it's been one of the few outlets that "gets it all out", if you catch my drift.

Life has been more difficult than I wish recently, and there's way too much lack of control for my liking. So when Christopher told me he wanted to spend a Saturday afternoon with God, I jumped at the opportunity and readied my art box. I slowly set up shop with everything I had... my "schuff" took up the entire table and then some... and I began to paint. These are some of the things I made and I just wanted to share them with you because I think they're awesome!

This painting was basically heart overflow onto canvas. Life stemming from giving my cares to Him and the hope that He hears me.

This one I named "Growing Differently"...

I think it's awesome that, with the things God put in me, I am able to give everything straight back to Him both when life is beautiful and the sun's shining, and also when everything seems to be going wrong. Thank you Jesus! What are the things God put in you (aka gifts)? What are the things you love to do? How do you de-stress? Do you de-stress by doing what you love to do?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Dan and Hyunjung's "I Do"

A few weeks ago I had another chance to shoot with my buddy Justin Lee in San Diego. I wasn't sure what to expect, but all Justin told me was.... "Girl... this is a SWEET couple and a SWEET location!" Okay... so I left knowing just about that much and maybe a little more. We show up to The Grand Del Mar a little before we're supposed to be there, the valet parks my (Christopher's) little silver Honda Accord in between a beautiful Lamborghini and a classy Bentley, and then Justin and I got some lunch at the beautiful cafe and ate our lunch while enjoying the sun in the sunroom...

We met Dan and Hyunjung in their suite with the family all around.... it was a calm afternoon and the family was just beaming with anticipation. Here's some detail shots...

They were dressed in their traditional Korean outfits... so beautiful! I loved the colors and Hyunjung told us about how the outfits characteristically are made with contrasting colors like theirs. I loooooved them! Look at the detail of these clothes!

The grounds were AMAZING and so elegant! We took the happy couple all over the place taking Grace Ormonde worthy images. Here's just a few of my favorites I took throughout the day...

Side Note: This little guy was so cute in his little bow tie and tux... such a happy kid :)

Overall, the day was VERY relaxed, sophisticated and elegant, and intimate... I loved how there were less than 30 people involved and they enjoyed a simple and intimate ceremony with chairs set in a circle, and a private dinner in one of The Grand Del Mar's wine cellars. Many thanks to Paige Levy, the wedding specialist, for the amazing details and service for Dan and Hyunjung's day! That girl knows how to throw a wedding... let ME tell YOU!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Josh and Katie's "I Do"

Preface: I arrived a little before schedule at what I thought was the Wyper residence. Got my stuff, grabbed my coffee, put on a big smile and rang the doorbell with anticipation of what Katie looked like thus far in her "getting ready." A dog barked and a disheveled and rather sleepy looking woman I didn't recognize answered the door. A bit alarmed.... I asked " Katie here?..." Silence and stares. "Nope... I think you have the wrong house." Pause. "Sorry... " Door shuts. "Yup," I thought, "I'm an idiot." And that was the beginning of a rather clumsy day on my part.... good thing the wedding and people were AWESOME.

Real story: So I drove up the next street... (the correct one) and found the real Wyper residence. And as I hoped, Katie ran to get the door with her moussed hair flying and big smile extended to welcome me into the wedding day craziness. Her girls were all there getting ready in the bathroom.... curling irons were out, straighteners were heating up, bobby pins were scattered on every inch of the bathroom... and old friends gabbed about old times as they got beautified for the day. Katie immediately found her prized decor for the day.. her rings and her cowgirl boots and said "have fun!" I thought to myself, "Sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeet! This wedding's gonna be AWESOME!" And it was just that.... nothing short of AWESOME.... cuz that's how Katie and Josh roll.

She designed her invites, decided her colors, picked her dress, found the venue, decided on a caterer, had her cake designed and picked her decorator all within a few weeks of being engaged..... this girl planned a Martha Stewart-worthy wedding all on her own in less than 3 months. Katie's pretty much the awesome-est girl EVER. 

If you're wondering what Josh brought to the table for the AWESOME-ness of the wedding day.... he brought MAN-ness. Yeah...I made up my own word for it.... Josh is THE MAN. His face says MAN, his smile (Katie calls it his "smoldering" look) says MAN, and his dressy/casual/classy white button down, navy pants, and big silver belt buckle was the epitome of MAN. Katie the colorful, lacey, girly, beautiful bride... and Josh the solid, navy and white, tall dark and handsome groom. LOVED IT!

The celebration was painted with the love and full support of family and friends. Their choice of classical music filled the afternoon air as the sun shone bright and beautiful, illuminating her summery colors of white, turquoise, and pastel yellow. It was a beautiful wedding, and it was so much fun to be a part of! Here is just a feel for the day... (ps... give it some time to load)

Special thanks to Christopher for being the world's best 2nd shooter yet again, to Jay's Catering for the wonderful lunch, to the Wyper family for having the entire wedding and reception in their beautiful backyard, and Melody Brandon of Sweet and Saucy Shop for the super cute and yummy cake!
"Welcome and thanks for stopping by my blog! I've discovered recently that, in addition to photography, writing is a passion of mine and I've loved including you all in my personal journey this past year. So please feel free to read about my adventures, comment often, and enjoy my photos!"     - Kate Noelle | International Wedding & Portrait Photographer |