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Amanda + Collin | Engaged in Portland

Engagement photos are always a blast.  We get to play for an hour and just have FUN.  I get to learn about each couple and it's where our relationship as a photographer and clients really develops (HA! Photograph humor!)  But it's a whole different story when you get to photography your sister-in-law and her fiancé!  

Mr. Man and I headed to Portland for this session (and some much needed Chipotle).  We found the Portland Test Rose Garden in Washington Park and we immediately fell in love with it's beauty!  Not only that, but you get a clear view of the city peeking through the roses- it's such a special place!

Previews and Pre-tests

I love photography.  I always will and I will always continue to use my camera to try to show God's light.  However today I took the first step in achieving another goal for another passion: fitness!  I took my pre-test for the Personal Trainer certification!  And Ladies and gentlemen: I got a 54 out of 100 LOL

I have a lot of studying to do when my textbook arrives and quite honestly, I'm STOKED.  I am lucky enough to have two passions that I can carry with me every where the military sends us and I couldn't be more excited to be moving forward with both!  I'm about as excited as these little loves from this weekend when they found a baby crab!

Hickam Family Photo | Sweet Dahlia Photo

Yogis on the Beach!

I ventured out of my house one morning for sunrise yoga on the beach, which is as amazing as it sounds!  I'm so lucky to have found Yoga4Ewa, a local studio in our new digs.

I met Masami and Kim there who were on vacation from California.  They both had amazing stories to share and I found out that Kim was a yoga instructor and Masami an actress!  Obviously both of them would benefit from images and obviously I took advantage and asked them if we could play on the beach.

Later that week we got to meet again and got to take a few images with Diamond Head in the background.  It was my first official shoot for Hawaii and it was so therapeutic to have my feet in the sand and a camera in hand!  

Beach Yoga Ewa Beach HI

Liz & Wes | Wings Over the Rockies

I was so blessed this year to have a lot of weddings at beautiful and interesting places.  One of my top 5 venues ever has to be the Wings Over the Rockies.  Part of what made this venue so great, however, was the special tie this bride and groom, and their families, had to what the venue represented.

The brides grandfather served in the Air Force (and flew a decent amount of the planes displayed at the museum), another grandfather served in the Navy and the Wes just finished his assignment in Italy and is now in the Colorado National Guard.  The venue is dripping in history and it made the whole day (which was July 5th, by the way) a very special day.

I was also blessed to get to work with one of my absolute favorite people, Jessica Adler!  She always makes sure each wedding is well thought out and easy sailing-   All around, it was an amazing day and I am so happy I was a part of it!

Sweet Dahlia Wedding Photography | Wings Over the Rockies
Sweet Dahlia Wedding Photography | Denver, CO
Sweet Dahlia Wedding Photography | Honolulu, HI
Sweet Dahlia Wedding Photography | Denver, CO
Sweet Dahlia Wedding Photography | Military Weddings
Sweet Dahlia Wedding Photography | Denver, CO
Sweet Dahlia Wedding Photography
Sweet Dahlia Wedding Photography
Sweet Dahlia Wedding Photography
Sweet Dahlia Wedding Photography
Sweet Dahlia Wedding Photography
Sweet Dahlia Wedding Photography
Sweet Dahlia Wedding Photography
Sweet Dahlia Wedding Photography
Sweet Dahlia Wedding Photography
Sweet Dahlia Wedding Photography
Sweet Dahlia Wedding Photography
Sweet Dahlia Wedding Photography
Sweet Dahlia Wedding Photography
Sweet Dahlia Wedding Photography
Sweet Dahlia Wedding Photography

Arches National Park

After we were done visiting all of our family we could, it was time for a little adventure!  We left Colorado and set out for Utah for the Arches National Park.  We took about 2.5 hours to wander around and when we ran out of water, (Holy crap it was hot!) we got back on the road towards Salt Lake City for the night.

As a side note, if you're going to visit the arches, be a little more prepared than Josh and I were (this was a stop we made on a whim).  The arches you'll want to see are a little bit of a trek and we had a hard time finding the Delicate Arch which is the one I really wanted to see.  We were on a bit of a time crunch, so we didn't even get to see it, but we still saw a lot of cool sights!

It was also fun because I gave my 2nd camera to Mr. Man so he could have some fun as well and it made me wonder... what do non-photographers do for fun during a trip like this??

Sweet Dahlia Wedding Photography

This photo is actually in Colorado on I-70 heading towards Grand Junction.  

Driving through the mountains will NEVER get old!!

Sweet Dahlia Wedding Photography
Sweet Dahlia Wedding Photography
Sweet Dahlia Wedding Photography
Sweet Dahlia Wedding Photography
Sweet Dahlia Wedding Photography

Horsetooth

I have been able to visit Colorado a lot.  A few of the times I've gone home, Josh has been able to come with.  And out of those couple of times, we've never really been able to sync up with the rest of Josh's siblings.  This time was no different, but instead of getting to see his brother who lives in Fort Collins (who was busy that weekend) we got to see his sisters who live out of Colorado and came in to visit.

We took some time to head up to my favorite spot at Horsetooth (and then Chipotle...) but it was great getting to spend some quality time with them!

Sweet Dahlia Wedding Photography
Sweet Dahlia Wedding Photography
Sweet Dahlia Wedding Photography
Sweet Dahlia Wedding Photography

Frank the tank

We finally made it to Colorado!  We've been enjoying the cooler weather (compared to Florida... YIKES) and time with Mr. Man's family.  We only have one day left (don't worry- it includes a Rockies game...) but today we met our nephew-dog, Frankie! 

Sweet Dahlia Photo | Honolulu, HI
Sweet Dahlia Photo | Honolulu, HI
Sweet Dahlia Photo | Honolulu, HI

Sunflowers and Sleep

By the time we hit Dickinson, ND- my parents' new town- we were so exhausted, I seriously only took two photos.  We were completely useless and added with my parents' big move from Colorado to North Dakota, it was a relaxing three days of letting dogs play and hanging out.  

Next up: Colorado!

Sweet Dahlia Photo | Honolulu, HI
Sweet Dahlia Photo | Honolulu, HI

Lightning and Pancakes

The next leg of our trip was a two day excursion to visit my parents who just moved to Dickinson, ND.  We made the halfway point O'Neill, NE to visit my husband's grandpa.  We witnessed the most amazing lightening storm that went on for hours!  Had I been a more prepared photographer, there'd be better photos of it, but here's what I've got ;)  

Josh's grandpa spoiled us with more pancakes and bacon than we knew what to do with the next morning and sent us off on our merry little way!

Sweet Dahlia Photo | Honolulu, HI
Sweet Dahlia Photo | Honolulu, HI

Beign-YAY!

WHEW! 

So, after a little snafu with remembering which hotel we booked in New Orleans (no joke, it took three tries), our adventure got delayed.  Instead of a fun evening with Josh and I, we had to hit the highlights in about 30 minutes the next morning WITH the pups.

We found our way to Jackson Square and took the dogs for a little walk and that's when we found out we can add horses to the list of things our dogs are scared by!  The horses that pull carriage tours noticed Penny and immediately took interest in our little friends!  PLEO, on the other hand, wanted NOTHING to do with them!!

Once we got a few beignets from Cafe Du Monde in our possession, we went back to our car (it was hot! Poor dogs!) and got on our merry way.

We made it to Dallas just in time to get the last 7 minutes of beer sales at the Rangers/Royals game which is a win in my book!

Next Up: O'Neill, NE

Sweet Dahlia Photo | Honolulu, HI
Sweet Dahlia Photo | Honolulu, HI
NOPE!
Sweet Dahlia Photo | Honolulu, HI

Fort Walton Beach

Our time in Fort Walton Beach, FL is up, but we had one last night of fun at the beach last night.  As soon as we got to the water, there was a hermit crab walking towards the water and immediately jumped back into his shell when he heard the pups coming.  

I spend probably WAY more time than I should have waiting for him to pop back out so I could snap a photo of him walking, but I guess we've got three years in Hawaii for me to get that shot ;)

We did find a slug inhabiting a shell, though, so THAT was gross/fascinating and a fun way to end our beach time.

 

Next up: New Orleans!

Sweet Dahlia Wedding Photography | Honolulu, HI
Sweet Dahlia Wedding Photography | Honolulu, HI
Sweet Dahlia Wedding Photography | Honolulu, HI
Sweet Dahlia Wedding Photography | Honolulu, HI

PLEO! at the beach

My hubby and I are on the road after we finished our time in North Carolina.  This is a fun adventure for us and even though I'm done with weddings in North Carolina for the year, I still wanted to share photos from our cross-country tour!

Our first stop has been to Fort Walton Beach, Florida.  The Hubster has been doing some training with the Air Force so we've been here for almost three weeks.  There's an AMAZING local dog park, Liza Jackson Dog Park, with a little strip of beach behind it that our pups have been enjoying!  We also found some water toys for them and we have been having a blast!

Have you ever seen two happier dogs??

Sweet Dahlia Photo | Pet Photography Honolulu
Sweet Dahlia Photo | Pet Photography Honolulu
Sweet Dahlia Photo | Pet Photography Honolulu
Sweet Dahlia Photo | Pet Photography Honolulu
Sweet Dahlia Photo | Pet Photography Honolulu
Sweet Dahlia Photo | Pet Photography Honolulu
Sweet Dahlia Photo | Pet Photography Honolulu
Sweet Dahlia Photo | Pet Photography Honolulu
Sweet Dahlia Photo | Pet Photography Honolulu

The busiest week!

This past week was undoubtedly the most jam packed since I opened up shop on my own.  But now that I'm home and enjoying a tiny adult beverage, I'm so excited to share some extra previews from my week! 

Marybeth and Steven's engagement session at UNC Chapel Hill

Oscar and Anna's engagement session at the Duke Gardens

The 3APS Hangar for the promotions of Captain Henn and First Lieutenants Kehs and Soto

Stephany and Landon's wedding at the Oaks of Salem

Marybeth and Steven's Rehearsal Dinner at Melo Trattoria & Tapas in Durham, NC

Marybeth and Steven's wedding at Brier Creek Country Club

Thank you to all of the families who allowed me to be a part of such special days!

A beautiful weekend!

I've been working very hard for the last several months to work past the boundaries I'm familiar with so I can create more meaningful and impactful photography.  I am always my own worst critic when it comes to my images, but my inner critic was pleased with the work that came out of this double-hitter weekend!  Thank you to these two special brides for letting me in on two very special weddings!

Luke & Marty | Durham Engagement Photos

I have to tell you, sometimes it's hard coming up with places to do engagement photos.  Once you find a beautiful space, you tend to exhaust all the options and it's not any fun to do the same photos over and over with different couples.  So, the challenge is to find fun photographic play grounds, come up with as many different types of images as you can and find more places in the process.

Imagine my surprise when Luke and Marty suggest that we meet at the Tobacco District "near the water tower."  HA!!  That doesn't sound like it'd be an amazing place to play, does it?  

Well it was!

I'm a full on brick addict and the place was brick after brick after brick!  It was a dream to be there and with such a fun, young couple!  I'm excited to see what this couple has in store for their wedding day later on this month- they clearly have great taste!

Highgrove Bridal Portraits

After spending a few weeks relaxing in Colorado with my family, I was really excited to get back on the horse.  As soon as I got back into North Carolina, Brandi and I trekked to the Highgrove estate in Fuquay Varina (probably one of my FAVORITE places to shoot!)  Brandi is one of the few clients I've had that actually likes have her photo taken, so we had a blast playing around.  

Here are a few from our session!  Check 'em out!