Romantic Fall Bridal Session at Angel Springs Event Center in Austin | College Station Wedding Photographer
This was one of those bridal sessions where, put simply and eloquently, I just gEekEdDD out the whole time. From the details to dress to the bride inside it, this bridal session at Angel Springs Event Center in Austin was an absolute dream. Dana's dress is a legend in and of itself, having walked down the aisle with her sisters AND her mom! Yes, this incredibly delicate, unique dress is decades old! You're surprised, right?! Same here. It looks good as new and Dana is absolutely stunning in it. Each bride in Dana's family has made it her own, and now it's Dana's turn.
Getting to spend time with Dana and her family and friends a few weeks before the wedding was so special. Each bridal session always feels like a little gift I get to give to my brides. No matter what the weeks previous had been like, or even the day of, bridal sessions always end up being a necessary slow down for the bride, while also being a dreamy, joyful celebration of the bride, who is very deserving of being celebrated and feeling beautiful!!!!
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Hannah's Fairy Tale Bridal Session
Small Town Texas Bridal Session // College Station Wedding Photographer
"So, are you thinking more urban vibes, or field vibes?"
Then I did a happy dance.
I am the best version of myself in an open field. I knew Hannah's bridal session would soon be one of my favorites. There's just something about the sunlight illuminating grass as far as the eye can see that wraps you up in warm. But then throw in a bride wearing the most ridiculously perfect fairy-tale-ballgown BHLD wedding dress and put a camera in my hands and we're on to something.
Not to mention that Hannah is one of the most beautiful humans EVER and she looks stunning in every shot.
Why yes, that is a black diamond on her engagement ring. And yes, it is incredibly beautiful.
Actually, if you will indulge me, I'll compare photography to life for a brief moment! Shooting in an open field is actually a challenging lighting situation. It could be a risky choice as there is nothing to protect the subject from the intense light from the sun. Could being the functional word! In photography, choosing challenge forces creative and innovative ways to manipulate the light into a flattering image. And similarly, as in life, choosing to jump into a challenge will, as I've learned over the years, produce a variety of good fruits for our character like strength, perseverance, perspective, humility and gratitude. The variety of photos in this session, how each is decorated with light a differently, reminds me of all the different ways challenge grows our character. Okay, philosophical moment over. Just a thought!
Good grief, I can't with her ^
Okay wait. Philosophical thoughts are back. This bridal session in a field reminds me of the most beautiful metaphor for marriage. Marriage is a challenge, but it is also beautiful. I think it's beautiful because it is a challenge. Nothing truly worth having and keeping comes easily. To choose to marry it to choose to fight against challenge and reap the benefits a life lived in the full sun. As light in a field, marriage is full of variety.
It be whimsical and magical, like a bride's delight spinning in her gown.
It can be romance filled and fun, like a bride running through a field.
It can be revealing, forcing bright light upon the things we wish to keep in hiding.
It can be intimate and life-giving, being known and seen.
And all of this variety points back to Jesus, because marriage is a breathtakingly beautiful and intricate picture of life with Christ.
Hannah's tattoo says "love never fails." It was the theme of this splendid evening in the sun, running spinning laughing and playing, anticipating the beautiful journey of her marriage to Alex.
Okay, philosophy over again. But I should probably also mention another question I asked Hannah about her session:
"How do you feel about horses?"
"Um yes of course. I love horses."
Well then, let's get into some REAL trouble here!
I think if you ripped open my soul and did an analysis of the contents, the general idea of this bridal session is what you'd find inside. I wish every day of my life was filled with wildflowers, open fields, white gowns, horses, and Texas summer sunsets.
Butttt it still isn't over. Yes, you guessed it. One more location that is so pretty I want to cry.
If you're feeling generally uninspired in life, I encourage you to drive to and through a small town in Texas. Make sure your windows are down and the music is loud and upbeat. What you'll find in that experience is surely enough to fill your empty heart right back up.
Finally, the light began to leave. And God gave us a hug with the perfect Texas sunset.
I can't imagine a more perfect session for Hannah. She's everything you see in the photos and more. I'm beyond honored that she chose me to be her photographer and trusted me with these memories! Her wedding in June has already been blogged, so if you want to see more of her pretty face (and her hubby's handsome face) head here!
bonus: behind the scenes!
I had to add a little BTS section to this post because some notable things happening behind the camera!
First, Hannah's SIL, Susan, and sister, Tracy came with us and made Hannah's bridal session even more fun.
Second, Tracy protected me from certain death when my shoelace came untied and I ignored it because I was too caught up in the ridiculous bride + horse moment I was having. Thanks Tracy!
PS. This ^ is what an iPhone sees. This is what I see! ↓
I'd also like to take the time to tell you a small town tale of doing what you gotta do:
I'd had that field in mind for Hannah's session for weeks. I'd check on it periodically to make sure it wasn't mowed, and I'm telling you, as we pull up to shoot, with Hannah IN HER GOWN, some guy in a tractor is MOWING MY FIELD. Okay so technically it's probably HIS field but still. Despite this shirtless country dude mowing the field in a big-@$$ tractor, I wasn't going to let this steal our shoot. So as everyone sits in the car laughing, I sprint over and ask permission to use the field as he mows it. And, as a sweet Texan man, he kindly grants it. So during the entire field portion of this session, a guy was mowing the field where we were shooting bridals! It was hilarious. I was constantly hiding a big blue tractor from my shots and about every 5 minutes we had to run out of the way to avoid getting run over as he mowed the section we were shooting in. It was ridiculous and awesome and here's your proof:
Haha I love these so much. Hannah was such a trooper.
Okay one last funny BTS tid bit. In this shot below, Susan is walking hunched over, carrying the back of Hannah's dress so we could get this gorgeous walking shot without the danger of the dress getting stepped on and ripped by Flash, our hunky equestrian model.
Yes, Susan is literally crouching behind Hannah being a total all-star so we could get this shot! MVPs to both Susan and Tracy for sure.
Okay, that's it! This session was SO MUCH FUN and it really filled my heart with all of its many layers. Thanks to Tracy, Susan, and Flash for making it special and thanks to Hannah for trusting me enough to oblige when I said, "Okay now go run around in that field."
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These photos just pump me upppp. This whole session I kept making incoherent, involuntary giddy noises that should've made me embarrassed but didn't because 1) the bride is my dear friend 2) the groom is my dear friend 3) the dress had me like dear g o o d n e s s 4) and the venue offered the dearest space for it all to take place (not to mention the venue owner, sweet Stacey, who actually threw together the bouquet from an assortment of leftover and grocery store flowers!). The weather was perfectly cloudy to get some dreamy, lovely, airy shots, and then we found some shade to give Linds a few darker, more drama filled shots which were so fun. Lindsey and I have been friends since college and taking her bridals was both a gift and an honor. I love this girl dearly and dang if she doesn't LOOK GOOD IN THAT DRESS. Pause: Can I just share that on the actual wedding day the moment that dress got zipped up Lindsey started dancing. And what's funny is when I found my dress, I knew it was the one when I just started dancing right there in the bridal shop. So ladies, get you a dress that makes you shake it. Ok. Back to sentiment: Jake has been my friend since DIAPERS, so to say it was cool to photograph his wife's bridals is an understatement. Lindsey and Jake, I'm so excited for y'all and your life together! Love you!!
This styled shoot combines all of my favorite things: a simple white dress, golden hour in the Texas country side, a wildflower bouquet, and my dear friend Crystal. Though let's be honest, a "styled shoot" is just an excuse for us to play dress up and chase a little whimsy at sunset. But hey, I'll take whimsy in whatever way it wants to float through my life and make things all glittery and glowy.