Micah & Katy Engaged! // Wedding & Lifestyle Photographer in Clemson and Greenville, South Carolina

These fun friends are getting married in ONE WEEK! I can’t believe their wedding day is almost here! 🙂 I know both Micah and Katy from Crosspoint Church, and I was so excited when Katy contacted me about photographing their wedding, because I knew it would be a sweet day filled with friends and focused on glorifying Jesus through marriage. These two braced one of the coldest days we’ve had this winter to run up a mountain and play in front of my camera. Their love and joy is sweet, effortless, and honest. They’re also huge goofballs, so there were a lot of laughs, piggybacks, and dancing. 🙂 My absolute favorite kind of engagement session. I cannot wait to photograph their wedding in Greer next weekend. WOOHOO! Much love for the *almost* Mr. and Mrs. Greene!

 

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Geddings & Lakin Anniversary // Wedding & Lifestyle Photographer in Clemson and Greenville, South Carolina

My favorite thing about the fall? Getting cozy and fall colors. I wanted to do something a little different, so I reached out to my friend Brooke with Brooke Waters Pottery to feature some of her mugs in a cozy, fall anniversary shoot with my new friends Geddings and Lakin! Lakin has a degree in photography (get it girl!), so when I approached her about a cozy anniversary session at Chattooga Belle, she was pumped. I brought some coffee, we laughed, explored the farm, played on a giant swing, and laughed some more. I love the tones of fall colors, both clothing and nature. There is a depth and richness to them that makes me wish it was fall all year long. I also wish I could run around photographing people in love, goofing off, and snuggling up all year long too. 🙂 Thank you to Geddings and Lakin for being adventurous and fun!

Brooke Waters Pottery // Wedding & Lifestyle Photographer in Clemson and Greenville, South Carolina

It’s not everyday that I get to photograph an artist in her workspace. I met Brooke through the Rising Tide Society, and reached out to her to invite her to be a part of a little shoot that I’ll be blogging soon! 🙂 I was so glad that Brooke invited me into her studio, because I had the privilege of watching her work and seeing her heart in each piece of her amazing pottery! Also, Brooke is a straight up boss throwing pottery in her combat boots with clay in her hair. Oh, and she made the earrings she’s wearing. How cool is that?! It was incredibly refreshing for me to connect with another creative and photograph her doing what she loves. If you love one of her pieces below, check out her website (http://www.brookewaterspottery.com/) !! Much love for you and your craft, Brooke! 🙂

Will & Olivia Engaged! // Wedding & Lifestyle Photographer in Clemson and Greenville, South Carolina

Oh, man. These two are pure joy. Will and Olivia have quickly become some of our closest friends in Clemson, and I am so honored to be photographing their wedding this June!! 🙂 Bonus: Rob is a groomsmen, so that makes it even more fun! We wanted to go somewhere super special for their engagement photos, so we adventured a few hours out to Craggy Gardens packed with snacks and blankets…and then grubbed down on burgers in Asheville afterwards. True friendship. I love that we caught the end of fall and the beginning of winter in their images. Will and Olivia snuggled up, danced, and laughed all over the Blue Ridge Parkway, and it was so fun to document. It’s crazy how fast they can go from super goofy, wide-open laughing to extremely sweet and romantic. I just love them so much. More than anything, Will and Olivia love Jesus and invite others into their lives to display his love and truth. It’s been a blessing to witness, and I am convinced that their ability to serve others will only grow throughout their marriage. Much love for the future Mr. and Mrs. Ray!

Derik & Robyn Maryland Wedding // Wedding and Lifestyle Photographer in Clemson and Greenville, South Carolina

I met Robyn while interning with an anti-human trafficking non-profit in Euless, Texas one summer in college. Robyn is the epitome of kindness, so I knew her wedding day would be full of sweet moments. I was so honored that she reached out to me about traveling to Maryland to photograph their big day! 🙂 She and Derik have built an adventurous life together in Austin (who knew that this West Virginia girl would end up back in Texas!?) and it was so fun to see them together. Their fall mountain-top wedding in Maryland was hit with a crazy rain storm, but they handled the whole day with grace and joy. We snuck outside for some fun portrait in the rain and SNOW on-top of the mountain, and then partied all night at Wisp Resort. One of my favorite things about their wedding day was how they involved every important family member and friend. During the ceremony they gave flowers to their moms, were married by Robyn’s aunt, family members read Scripture and sang, and Robyn & Derik danced with all of their grandparents. Robyn and her bridesmaids surprised Derik and his groomsmen with a dance-off. Little did the guys know that the ladies had choreographed a dance ahead of time (you’ll see a few of those photos below!). Robyn and Derik (RAD) are simply full of life. I had so much fun celebrating you guys and reliving their beautiful wedding day through these images. Much love for Mr. and Mrs. Jones!

Vendors:

Venue: Wisp Resport (McHenry, Maryland)

Catering: Wisp Resort

Florist: Karyn Nicholson

Bridesmaid Dresses: For Her and For Him

Groom and Groomsmen Suits: Generation Tux

Cake: Mountain Flour Bakery

DJ: Paco Jacome

Ceremony Pianist: David Fanning

Leo & Sandra Engagement // Wedding and Lifestyle Photographer in Clemson and Greenville, South Carolina

These people bring me so much joy. Leo was the only friend we had when moving to Clemson, and I’m so thankful that it bonded us all together. We have had the pleasure of walking with Leo through different seasons of life and faith. I’ll never forget when Leo came with us to Christmas in Arkansas with Rob’s family and him telling us that he felt really ready for a wife but trusted God’s timing. He went back home to Colombia a few weeks later and came back all giddy talking about Sandra. 🙂 He told us how they were on a worship team together at church growing up and ANNOYED one another. Probably more than annoyed…more like strongly disliked. LOL Thankfully we all grow up a lot from high school (seriously, thank you Jesus!) and when they ran into each other in Colombia, they realized they actually enjoyed being around each other. Leo proposed when Sandra came to Clemson to visit in October, and they’ll be married in March in Bogota, Colombia!

Their engagement session at the Botanical Gardens was so fun! They spoke in Spanish pretty much the whole time and even prayed in Spanish, thanking God for bringing them together and for sweet time together in Clemson while I was photographing. That was a first for me, and it made these images even more special. I can’t wait for their wedding in Colombia and for Sandra to move to Clemson! ❤ Much love for these dear friends of mine!

Top 10 of 2016 ! // Wedding and Lifestyle Photographer in Clemson and Greenville, South Carolina

Every year Rob and I plan a date for New Years Eve wherein we create lists of our top ten favorite moments or experiences of the current year and the top ten things for which we are most hopeful and looking forward to in the next year! We started this tradition the first year we were married, and it continues to be a sweet time of reflection, evaluation, and celebration. It seems like such a natural time to look back on the year and remember what all the Lord has provided and brought us through, the joys and the struggles. For the sake of this blog post, I’m sharing my personal top joys of 2016. Here’s to being vulnerable and known!

  1. Sadie Grace (our niece) was born!!!curry-thanksgiving-13Sadie was born in June and is hands down the most joyful and smiley baby I’ve ever known. It is such a joy to watch as the O’Neill family grows and be a part of Jace and Sadie’s lives. I’m so thankful that I get to be “Aunt Ren” to these little ones. I can’t imagine our family without Sadie girl. She is pure sweetness!

2. I started my Masters of Social Work!img_9411

I transitioned back to a full-time student in January to study for a MSW. The transition was real, especially because my degree is an online program. I was forced to become incredibly organized and disciplined, and I am better because of it. My main study spots were at the public library and coffee shops around Clemson. Later in the year we repurposed one of our guest bedrooms into an office, but I will get to that later in the list. 😉 Many people who follow my photography do not know that I am also a full-time student. Sometimes the year felt lonely…being self-employed and studying online by myself can be isolating. However, I am gaining technical and helping skills that are equipping me for a variety of jobs in the social work field, which is worth it! I am a total geek when it comes to social work and have talked off Rob’s ear about random topics more times than I would like to admit. 🙂 I am fascinated and inspired by the work, human nature, and what it looks like to walk alongside people in the most difficult and most joyous times of life. I am beyond thankful to have the opportunity to study for a graduate degree and hope to spend my life serving the Lord in the social work field!

3. Of course…LC Photography!

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I opened LC Photography in late November of 2015, thinking “this will be fun” and “why not try and make a little money while having fun?!”. I was hoping to photograph or second shoot one wedding in my first year, and I have had the privilege of serving 12 brides and grooms in my first year and countless couples, families, and little babes. These clients mean so much to me and have allowed me to invest in equipment and photography gear that I never would have dreamed of buying my first of business! The growth in my little business has shocked and humbled me. I have invested in photography education from experienced and world renown photographers, watched several webinars, defined my own style, taught two workshops, and organized creative shoots. I have photographed in several states and am now looking forward to my first international wedding in 2017! 🙂 South America, here we come!!! Another impactful aspect in my professional and person life this year was friendships built with other photographers and creatives through the Rising Tide Society. I met nearly all of the photographers for whom I second shot and collaborated with this year through RTS. It has been a gift to learn from and alongside so many awesome creatives! Thank you to everyone who has supported my business and spoken kind words to me about my work. It means the world, and I am grateful for the opportunity to do something creative and life giving! (Thank you to Rainsford Photography for the awesome headshot!!!)

4. Hosting Christmas in South Carolina!

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If you’ve talked to me over the past few months, I’ve probably shared how excited I was to host my family for Christmas! I’ve traveled for every holiday since I went off to college, so it was soooooo nice to stay put for one Christmas. Plus, it was the last opportunity we would have to host our family before we move away from Clemson…crazy how fast time is flying by here! Our church family at Crosspoint is our absolute favorite thing about living in Clemson, and we were overjoyed to share our church with my family on Christmas morning. We playing multiple rounds of disc golf, cooked and baked what seemed like non-stop and therefore ate what seemed like non-stop too. 🙂 No complaining here! My family has always loved playing board and card games, so we played no less than 6 different games, including a few new ones as Christmas presents. We went to see the new Star Wars movie on Christmas Eve wearing matching t-shirts and loved every second of it. Family is a gift that we love and treasure, and I am so thankful that we got to end 2016 by hosting my loved ones for Christmas!

5. Family Wedding in Florida!

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My mother’s side of the family is from Pensacola, Florida, where we have visited at least once a year ever since I can remember. My grandma and grandpa’s house has been host to countless family Christmases, birthday parties, bayou days on the boat, and picnics in the summer. The wedding ceremony was at Pensacola beach, and the reception took place in my grandma’s backyard. The entire family was in the same place for the first time in many years since we are all now spread across the country and world (mainly talking about my cousins that got married and are currently traveling the globe…only slightly jealous!). My grandma has since moved into a memory care facility, and we will soon sell her home on the bayou, which she lived in for 40 years. The wedding was beautiful and an honor to photograph, but even more sweet was soaking up one last celebration with the entire family on the bayou.

6. Traveling and visits with friends & family

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2016 was full of travel and many visits with friends and family! I am so thankful that we live in a place that people want to come visit and that it’s only a short drive over to several states when people are passing through! Some visits were as short as a quick dinner or as long as a week in Arkansas with family. States visited in 2016 for personal and business trips include: SC, NC, GA, AR, VA, MD, AK, CA, TX, TN, & AL.  A few highlights: Surprising my mom in Alabama for Mother’s Day, Rob’s trip to Alaska with best friends, Cardinals game in Atlanta, Andrew staying with us during spring break, visiting two of my closest friends in Arkansas before they graduated, photographing a wedding in Maryland, driving the Shenandoah National Park, so many people crashing at our house on their way somewhere else, exploring mountain towns in North Carolina, and two marathons for Rob in Nashville and Charleston!

7. Creating an office space!img_1123

This may seem like a really strange thing for a top ten list, but there is something so calming to me about having a clean and designated space to work. As you could imagine with a home-based business and taking classes online, the couch can easily become an office. 🙂 We finally decided to turn one of our guest rooms into an office space for my school and business, and it has been so refreshing and life-giving. I am WAY more productive in a bright, open space like my office than in front of the tv watching The Office. 😉

8. MSW Field Practicum

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I completed my first two field practicum (internships) with an amazing non-profit and family resource center in the area. This experience was the first time I saw firsthand what the day-to-day life of a social worker is like, how to grapple with professional and personal ethics in social work, applying academic knowledge of human behavior and social work theory. The organization seeks to prevent child abuse and neglect through home visitation services and parent education. At times I felt so awkward providing tools to parents when I myself am not even a parent, but I learned so much about parenting behavior, home visitation, child development, the strengths perspective, etc. My time with this organization was so clearly a gift from the Lord and a solid foundation upon which I will build my career as a social worker.

9. Narrowing my social work interests to child & family services.

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So many of my passions overlapped this year, and along with my classwork and field practicum experience, I have started focusing on using my MSW degree to serve, protect, and empower children, specifically the early childhood population, and their families. Between serving this age of children in the nursery at church, my field practicum experience, seeking to start a mentoring program for this age with a non-profit that prevents domestic minor sex trafficking, and having friends with children this age, the Lord has developed my understanding of how important this developmental phase is and given me a desire to use my degree to serve children and families at this point in their lives. It has been humbling to work with families who have experienced immense difficulty and loss, yet I feel hopeful and look forward to learning how to best work with and empower this population.

10. Conversations and knowledge about social and political issues. Betcha didn’t see that one coming, did you?! 😛

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I have remained silent on social media about my political views, mainly because I have only seen these over-the-internet conversations lead to more strife and division. However, the 2016 election propelled me to read, learn, and listen to more political and social issues than I have in my entire life. Although I will not say the election or results of the election are “good” in and of themselves, I am thankful for the opportunities I have had to be challenged in what I believe is right, broaden my understanding of issues like institutionalized racism, and have real, meaningful conversations with people with whom I would normally not. Along with my MSW coursework, the election and state of social issues in the United States really provided for a humbling year of learning and asking God what we can do to be at least a small part of reconciliation.

 

I hope that this post encourages at least one person to seriously reflect on the last year, to search for how God was at work in your life, and become grateful for all of what 2016 had to offer! Much love for all of you that are a part of my life. You are a gift! 🙂

The Best of Fall Family Sessions// Clemson and Greenville, South Carolina Wedding and Lifestyle Photographer

This fall was so much busier than I thought possible…in a great way! I have been so incredibly humbled and honored to meet and photograph many families this fall! It was just one year ago that I decided to jump into starting my own business, and I confess that my attitude was much more “why not just see if this thing works out?!” than well-planned strategy and loads of confidence. It has completely blown me away how much the Lord has grown me personally and my business through this past year, so I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who trusted and invited me into your stories, precious moments, and families this past year. I am so grateful!

Since the fall was so outrageously busy, I have become so behind in blogging all of the great families I’ve had a privilege to photograph. So, I decided I would just share my absolute favorite images from all of my fall family sessions! Locations range from South Carolina Botanical Gardens, to homes/private property, farms, parks, etc. Some families are some of our closest friends and some are new friends! Here’s to all of the families pictured below, much love for you guys!!

 

Mr. & Mrs. Pew // Clemson and Greenville, South Carolina Wedding and Lifestyle Photographer

Morgan and Harrison are some of the most kind, fun-loving, and chill people I have ever met. When I arrived on the day of their wedding, Morgan was relaxed on the couch, just chatting with her bridesmaids. She told me that she wasn’t nervous at all, rather simply ready to be married to Harrison.

Less than 24 hours before their wedding in Rock Hill, South Carolina, the east coast was hit by Hurricane Matthew. Rock Hill was hit with a huge storm as a result of the hurricane, and everything was covered in mud and puddles. You would never guess that 24 hours later it would be the most sunny, beautiful day for their outdoor wedding! They were so thankful for the perfect weather to get married and celebrate with their loved ones.

Morgan planned the wedding reception around a fall/Clemson theme. There were pumpkins everywhere, and my fall-loving heart could hardly stop photographing them! They put together an elaborate orange and purple candy and sweets bar, which I may or may not have hit up several times. 🙂

While the details of Morgan and Harrison’s wedding were beautiful, they were most excited to be amongst friends and family. If you spend just a few minutes with them, you will quickly learn how much they care about people. They hugged and thanked me multiple times and welcomed me in like family. I was so honored to be a part of your wedding day. Much love for the newlywed Mr. and Mrs. Pew! 🙂

Vendors:

  • Dress: The Castle Prom and Bridal
  • Florist: Ribald Farms
  • Food: Courtney’s BBQ
  • Venue: Brakefield at Riverwalk
  • MUA: Amber Hilton

Williams Family at the Farm at Rabon Creek // Wedding and Lifestyle Photographer in Clemson and Greenville, South Carolina

Hello beautiful family!!! Tracy contacted me after seeing a maternity session for an old friend I photographed many months ago, and I’m so glad that she did! Tracy is a photographer herself, so I was absolutely honored that she trusted me to photograph her beautiful family. Jonathan, Tracy, and Briley were so much fun to meet and have play in front of my camera. 🙂 We walked around the Farm at Rabon Creek as Jonathan and Tracy asked Briley what sounds all of the animals made with a big smile! Tracy perfectly coordinated their outfits (including Briley’s little red shoes that I cannot get over) and added special touches like a chair passed down in their family. I hope that these images are enjoyed for many years to come. Much love for you, Williams family!

P.S. What you can’t see are the chickens following us around all over the farm making Briley laugh and me want to cry. Kidding…kind of. 😉 #notabirdperson