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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.

July Carney Monthbook | Gainesville Family Photographer

pretty drinks

This month was a busy one for Wayne with school and for me with work. Well, mainly just one week was jam-packed, while the others felt a lot like the rest. The days feel long because it feels like we are reliving the same day on repeat, for the most part. There was some celebration and inspiration that happened this month that added some excitement!

The opener for the month was a big Fourth of July celebration with our quarantine crew. We made a pretty large spread of hot dogs, hamburgers, and an epic red, white and blue charcuterie board. This year felt a little different due to the realities of social injustices and inequality for black lives. To be honest, the holiday felt a bit sour. While I am thankful to be an American, I want to see better for our country. You can love America and desire more for it.fourth of july decorations

I feel like I am Selah in the picture on the left … and 2020 is Ethan.

fourth of july family

Peep the CUTEST Fourth of July pocket tee and romper from Baug-haus!

Date nights! Probably one of my favorite quarantine dates yet happened the night after the Fourth of July. It was simple but incredibly romantic. We picked up Chipotle and sat at a nearby park to eat together. Afterward, we went to my favorite parking garage in town and drove all the way to the top where you could overlook downtown Gainesville. Wayne and I stood by the ledge and shared a lot of hard conversations about where we feel the Lord is leading after his graduation. I even said, “One year from now, our lives may look completely different! Who knows where we will be!” While it felt a little overwhelming not to have any idea where the Spirit is leading right now, we ended the conversation hopeful and excited because we feel like we are presented with a blank slate. Right after the conversation, we look out and find FOUR different firework displays across the city. BEST SEAT! We had the place to ourselves and got to watch the night sky light up.

COVID date nights

Another date night we picked up Mexican and went to a nearby field that had street lights so we could have an evening picnic. This date didn’t last long, because the food was subpar and the mosquitoes were rampant.

The socially distant photo sessions continued! Goodness, wearing a face mask in the middle of the Florida summer heat, while bringing a camera to your face is ROUGH. But I am so, so grateful to be shooting and I would much rather be safe for our clients. Below was when I got to explore a new site for shoots!

Bathing suit maternity

The next day I met these two cuties downtown! I forget how majestic the  Hippodrome is.

Downtown engagement photos

Wayne had his exit exam this month so Ethan got a lot more snuggles with Tori as Mommy and Daddy worked more. Thankful to have her in our lives as their nanny while Ethan is out of daycare, but I’m more thankful to have her in my life as a friend who will meet me where I’m at! Even if that means a 6a coffee date because sometimes that’s when I’m free and the littles are asleep!

Wayne passed his PT exit exam and has one LAST practical before he graduates in August. We have been waiting for this date for FOUR YEARS! Dr. Wayne Carney!! This month felt like a slow crawl towards the finish line. Crawling, but moving! Almost done!

Selah turned 11 months and her most monumental milestone this month was that she took her first steps. She really isn’t interested in trying unless you have a puff or a bottle in hand. Along with the first steps, she has learned to shake her head no and recognizes the word “doggy.” Ethan had some milestones too! He learned to spell a few three-letter words. As Wayne works from home part-time, he uses his extra time to teach Ethan. 

covid family portraits

I learned that Ethan isn’t a picky eater if you give him a salad packed with all the toppings. Here he is with his spinach, avocado, peppers, olives, cucumbers, tomatoes, feta, and chicken (he prefers without dressing… WHAT!).

COVID weddings! Kim and I masked up and shot a micro wedding, which is really popular now and consists of a celebration of 50 or less. The tables were all 6 feet apart and guests were required to wear masks. Before the wedding, Kim sent me off with coffee and snacks… because she knew. 

I got a lot of playtime behind the camera with three inspirational shoots in one week. To say I was EXHAUSTED is a severe understatement. The day after the wedding I photographed two shoots that a new friendor, The Shindig Co, put together. I got to reunite with my flower fave BAUGhaus to make some magic.

behind the scenes of a photographer

bride in a field

bluch centerpiece

…and I got to photograph one of my fave vendors in town!

In the next two days, I drove 11 hours between three towns in order to pick up essential items for the following shoot.
WELL. WORTH. IT.

Joyful Black Bride

Tori and I had office breaks to pick up boba tea like the old days. We also had office breaks where we ended up lying on the driveway because of exhaustion. We took some much-needed mental health breaks this month!

I love having Kim as our Associate because I have a friend with me at all weddings, but I also love having Kim as an Associate because… I’ve got a personal family photographer! Kim and I traded family mini sessions this month and it went so smoothly. We started out with Kim’s family. 

Covid family portraits

kids dancing

Then we moved to mine. This shoot really was the least amount of stress I have ever experienced on the other side. The week of family pictures was right around my crazy week, so my family didn’t go shopping for a new outfit… or even think of outfits from our closet ahead of time! We ended up with more casual outfits 30 minutes before our shoot! And I am really happy with the results. The best part… it was in Kim’s backyard! This is making me even MORE excited for fall mini sessions this year!

bw photos of family

Being in front of the camera with my family reminded me of a few things:

1. You really don’t need more than 20-30 minutes with children (hellooo, minis!)

2. Even as a photographer who knows all of the “poses” and looks, I need to be directed. It is helpful to remind myself of the perspective of the client… and it is helpful not to rely on my tripod for personal pics!

3. Wear what makes you feel confident. For some, it is more formal outfits, while others prefer something more casual. I didn’t take the time to go shopping prior to the shoot, but I am really glad I was forced to pick something from my closet. I chose something that felt comfortable and made me feel confident. This was the first time I genuinely felt at ease and myself at a shoot, which made taking direction from Kim a lot easier.

4. Trust the photographer when it comes to posing. Kim suggested I get on Wayne’s back for a shot. I normally don’t pose like that with Wayne, but we went for it! It was comical trying to jump in my wedges and skinny jeans and that led to my most treasured image. It’s blurry and I kind of really dig it. It reminded me of the moment and the joy behind it. I love it so, so much. 

piggy back engagement pose

I had the sweet pleasure of photographing an elopement for some friends from our church. It was just them and their immediate families under the shade of some beautiful moss. Because Florida is Florida, seconds after this image was taken…

COVID Elopement

THIS happened…

rained out photographer

My cousin and her husband drove through Gainesville and we met up at Target with with our masks, so that we could see each other. We circled Target twice as we caught up on recent life stories. Hanging out has a whole new meaning these days.

At the end of the month, I got a really sweet surprise! My tomatoes are turning red! Made my day. I even got more growth on some pepper seeds I planted. I am loving the hope found in gardening. I am finally going to be able to eat from my tomato plant next month! 

covid gardening

covid gardening

Looking forward to the next month with a heart full of hope!

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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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