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  • Psalm 19:1 // The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands.

    Thank you for visiting our space here online! As creators of images and lovers of marriage, we get excited about documenting the stories of awesome people in love. We are digital and film photographers based out of Gainesville, Florida but love to travel to be storytellers. Taking a candid approach to photography, we focus on photographing raw, organic moments to tell stories as the day naturally unfolds. We aim to capture love stories as well as build genuine relationships with our incredible couples. So, take a look around and feel free to reach out! We would love to share a cup of coffee with you. Our hope is that you’d allow us to photograph your day or moment and reflect the beauty of the story…

    the work of His hands.

Gainesville Family Photographer – June Carney Monthbook

Propagating basil

Halfway through 2020!

June was a little more emotionally exhausting than I’d like to admit, unfortunately, but we made it to the other side! A lot of heavy things had me feeling all the feels this month! There has been so much unrest in my heart caused by division in so many different areas. Everything from the pandemic to social justice issues. Exhaustion in the labor of making hard decisions for work and exhaustion from the labor devoted to disciplining our child. I told Wayne that after June, I need a few days off to just process and rest.

One of the really great things from this month that has proven itself life-giving is gardening! I have always wanted to grow a kitchen garden in my backyard, but I honestly didn’t think I could keep up tending one. Well… this season allowed me to experiment and fall in love with the tiny escape a few steps from my back door! While my collection of veggies and herbs are … small (that’s generous), it’s been my delight, as it has finally bloomed (check out the progress of the tomato plant below)! I got this propagated tomato plant in March! Hoping to move this small collection into raised beds in July!

covid gardening

I love getting to include Ethan in the process every day. We get up every morning and go straight to tending the “garden.” There is so much excitement for the everyday, itty bitty growth. Look at Ethan assessing the pepper plant below. This has been my absolute favorite thing about June! A friend recently pointed me towards comparing the lessons of gardening to the lessons of life right now. The seeds of labor, waiting and devotion will not return empty (Galatians 6:7). There will be a harvest, but the fruit has to reach maturity to enjoy.

Keeping that close to my heart for next month.

COVID GARDENING

When people used to ask me about my hobbies, I genuinely didn’t know what to say. I couldn’t think of any. 10 years ago while I was at school, I would say my hobby was photography. Now I try to draw really clear boundaries for myself since it’s become my career. Now, I can finally answer that question and it feels really, really good.

Out of all of my plants (besides the tomato one), I am most excited about my basil. I could add basil to pretty much any meal!

covid gardening

Another great thing about this month was that, while we are continuing to practice social distancing and wearing masks in public, we opened up our circle of exposure to two families, which has helped us mentally to have some people interaction with some of our people but has also helped us with the kids while Wayne and I both work.

Working from home with kids

The app Timehop yearly reminds me of my first hangout with Ashley. Since then, we will try to do something special to say “Happy Friendiversary!” The kids and I stopped by her house with empanadas and coffee in the morning. Ethan wants to grow up to be a “batographer” and he frequently asks to take pictures with my phone all of the time. Below is his portrait of Ashley and I unintentionally matching on our friendiversary. That night we picked up boba tea and sat in a parking lot reminiscing on the goodness of God in the last 7 years of friendship.

Since Florida transitioned into Phase 2 this month and we were given the go-ahead for shoots, we rescheduled a couple of sessions. My first session this month was a rainy one. Actually, it was POURING, but so romantic! I very much appreciated Makayla and Brandon’s go-with-the-flow attitude as they took pictures and got their clothes wet. It was worth it!

rainy engagement session

Then a couple more engagement sessions!

Funny story about the couple below. We had met during a FaceTime consultation earlier this month. My COVID childcare hours are different every day. I had a scheduling misunderstanding on the day of our FaceTime meeting, which meant I had no childcare during this meeting. While we were on the phone, Ethan walks out of the bathroom fully naked waist down and runs towards to camera to see himself on screen. Yup! Work from home vibes right there! Luckily, they have experience with kids, because a few days later, they asked us to be a part of their wedding!

Sarah and Ethan’s wedding celebration got postponed until September, but that didn’t stop this marriage from happening. This was one of the most emotional weddings I’ve been a part of. The guest list consisted of the couple, bridal party, parents, and siblings in the childhood home of the bride. There WAS NOT a dry eye in the house. Even the groomsmen cried. I can’t share images of the couple since they are keeping their wedding attire a secret for their wedding celebration in a couple of months, but below is a picture of their ceremony set up… and me social distancing, lol.

covid wedding

wedding photographer with mask on

Grad minis were a thing! Here is my friend Nathan and his number one fan throughout PA school. I met them during their engagement session, have photographed them for their engagement, wedding, anniversary, family portraits and now graduation. More importantly, they’ve become my good friends.

Pictures at UF

Ethan had a fort movie night at Auntie Ashley’s house! He stayed up late watching a Disney movie and eating all of the sweets that he doesn’t get at home!

Father’s Day was celebrated with a simple, relaxing day at home. The only thing that Wayne wanted to do was hammock in the yard and so he did… for two hours!

Selah turned 10 months and has discovered her voice! She is very vocal in her excitement and her discontentment. Ethan still lights her up when he comes into the room. Her favorite thing to do is to knock down all of Ethan’s Legos. PS. how cute is this little baby romper from BAUGhaus. Selah is ready for the summer!

covid family time

I LOVE HER PONYTAIL!

Time with Wayne has been very little with him being gone 67 hours a week. Between his internship, work, and studying I covet Friday night date nights. When we were friends in high school, I would sometimes go to his baseball games and cheer him on. We thought it would be nice to meet up at a baseball field for date night and share a pizza in the dugout. While the date was short, I was so thankful to step outside of the house with him and catch up.

I AM SO READY FOR HIS GRADUATION. Two more months!

In an effort to continue hard conversations about racial injustice, we bought Ethan some more children’s books. “Little Legends: Exceptional Men in Black History” is full of mini-biographies and accomplishments of black men that helped shape history. It came right on time for us to celebrate our first Juneteenth! The book is probably better for children a little older than 4 since it is a lot more narrative than pictures. The stories are still relevant because we got to celebrate accomplishments including that of film photographer Gordon Parks. Since Ethan wants to be a “batographer,” we had to read his mini-bio. We also read his “All are Welcome” book to generate more conversation about skin colors, loving others and standing up for injustices.

Towards the end of the month, I grew weary of being challenged by toddler reactions. A lot of tears as we continue in the long devotion of training and teaching. To be honest, I ended this month feeling defeated and insecure in my parenting. We are still working through big emotions and teaching Ethan helpful ways to express himself at the same time trying to cultivate faithfulness in the little moments. A friend reminded me that this is just like the garden. Tending, waiting, and even hopeful for the fruit of our labor.

Praying for the same delight in this type of tending, when the fruit is growing behind the scenes.
Hopeful for the growth in July… inside our home and outside.

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Kim + Kyle’s Vow Renewal | Alys Beach Wedding Photographer

Beach Elopement

I’ve known Kim + Kyle for a few years now. They are also local wedding professionals based here in Gainesville (they own Heart Happy Films). What an honor when they asked me to shoot their 10-year vow renewal. It took place in late March and was my last event before Florida officially ordered residents to stay at home. With the world rapidly changing, unfortunately, vow renewal plans were following suit in the need to adapt. Over the course of a few weeks, Kim and I had a lot of hard conversations. Ultimately, it was decided that a smaller, more elopement styled vow renewal was the best for them. While it was far from what they originally planned, it was the most beautiful, moment-driven day.

Every moment of their renewal focused on reminiscing about their love story that began even years before they got married. Something that I loved was that they made space in the day to reflect on their relationship. Kim looked through a memory box from their dating years before slipping on her renewal dress. They each shared special moments with each child while getting ready, so that they could look back on THIS moment when the kids get married one day. For Kyle, he shared a sweet reveal with Eva after she got dressed. As I shot this moment, I couldn’t help but think of one day in the future when they might have a father/bride reveal when she’s getting married. While hair and makeup took place, the kiddos played with the original cake toppers as if they were dolls. So crazy to think that they are playing with pieces of decor that were from the day their family began! Every moment of this day was intentionally planned to celebrate the past, be grateful for the present, and look ahead towards the future.

Kim’s dress was a flowy pale blue dress from Wtoo by Watters – perfect for an elopement. It had a romantic flowy material and delicate off the shoulder sleeves. When Kim got married 10 years ago, she wore a stunning gown from Wtoo by Watters. She knew that when she began the search for a vow renewal dress she didn’t want to wear a white dress and she also knew she wanted to go with a similar style as her original gown. She found this beautiful dress on a re-sale site. The dress was her size and fit her perfectly. It was meant to be!

The florals for the day were designed by my favorite florist Jenna with Baug-haus. On my way to the beach, I met Jenna to pick up florals. She sent me on the road with florals, a diet coke, and my favorite snack (so very kind!). I love having vendor friends who are… friends. Jenna designed a bouquet that was BEAUTIFUL but also was a nod to Kim and Kyle’s wedding day story. When they wed 10 years ago, their wedding took place in mid-May. Jenna used bright summer blooms to pop with color. Those brightly colored poppies were the real MVP of this bouquet! Add in some – snapdragons, butterfly ranunculus, ranunculus, and hanging pink peppercorn and we had a jaw-dropping bouquet!!  One thoughtful detail of Kim’s bouquet was the addition of little daisies Jenna added as filler flowers (Kim had daisies in her original wedding bouquet).

The beach was quiet and the sun was setting in the background as Kim + Kyle said their personal vows to each other. They reflected on the love they’ve shared for the past 10 years and what their marriage has brought them, as their kids played behind them in the sand. It was the perfect, most serene setting. What a moment to witness.

There were too many favorite moments about this vow renewal. It was so personal and emotional. Here are a few:
  • I absolutely MELTED over the snuggles Kim and Eva had on the bed before getting into their dresses. Sweet quiet moments together, before they met up with the boys.
  • The reveals with the kids were so cute! For Kyle, his moment was a bit more unplanned. Kyle was in the kitchen preparing things when Eva turns the corner, all dressed up in her princess dress. The actual reveal was supposed to happen later, but Evie walked out excitedly and surprised her dad. He got down to her level and just embraced her. I really love the shot where Tanner sees his mommy dressed up because you can peep Kim‘s reaction in the mirror.
  • The vows were so emotional. At one point Kim was crying and Kyle was laughing because he KNEW she was going to cry. It is SO them. When they kissed at the end, they had a crowd of strangers cheering for them behind me.
  • At one point, as the sun was going down during their portraits, Kim and Kyle sat on the sand to watch their kids play in the water. Kim has said that all her and Kyle had ever wanted from the beginning was a family together. Here they were, watching their next-generation play in front of them because of the vows they made.

Kim and Kyle, thank you so much for inviting us to document this renewal of your love! It was so special to be included in this moment of your life. Thank you for including me in such an intimate moment in your love story. Praying you both are blessed with many more years together!

Vendors who made this day extra special…Film Processing: The Find Lab | Florals: Baug-haus  | Hair + Makeup: Femme Akoi | Video: Aqueous Films

Elopement DresWedding Heels Summery BouquetMrs Ring Box

Beach Wedding Beach Elopement

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