The following blog post contains a photo video link to raw, emotional, and beautiful images associated with childbirth. While some of the photos are a bit more revealing, none are inapropriate and all are to be celebrated. *Please Note: To protect the intent and heart behind this video, I'd rather you didn't open the link if you think you'll be offended. All images in the photo video are used with permission by the parents.
I witnessed my first birth when I was just 15 years old. It was hospital career days and a few of us decided it sounded more fun than going to school, so we hopped on that bus and away we went. My friend and I ended up in the OBGYN ward where, in the few hours we were there, a gal went into labor with her fifth child. Not only were we present for the birth of a 10lb boy, but the Dr. invited us to stand right next to him. Since then, I've been privileged to be present at six more births (not including my three sons), the most recent being just this past week. I've loved every one of them.
My beautiful friend and her spouse gave me the privilege of photographing their son's birth during their home delivery. It wasn't just a documentary of a precious new life entering this world, it was a time to uphold my friend in prayer; to support her in her "race" as she pushed to the finish line; literally. It was reflection on the goodness of God and His miraculous creativity as this mom's body went through the labor / delivery process in a perfect, harmonious way. And the love: Watching how Steve cared for Summer in his attentiveness, gentleness, encouragement and support; that, my friends, was witnessing beauty personified.
Below is the link to Henley's birth day. While it's a little lengthy (a little over four hours crammed into a ten minute video), it's worth the watch. My desire is that as you watch the images scroll by, you'll find your own heart celebrating the blessing of new life. Oh, and before I forget completely, here's a shout-out to a most amazing, professional and caring doula / midwife team: Shannon with Vintage Doula out of Rapid City, SD and Jeanne with Womankind Midwifery out of Pine Haven, WY.
On a hot August day in Ypsilanti, Michigan with 300 of their family and friends in attendance, my parents pledged their love to one another before God.
Today marks the 54th anniversary of Richard and Marguerite Remington, a true mile-stone and testimony in today's era of disposable relationships.
While putting this blog together, I asked my dad what the success of their relationship was attributed to: "First and formost," he said, "our faith in Christ." I'm so thankful this is a value they instilled in their children. In me. He also said that their wedding vows had to be made good on every day. They weren't something repeated once during their wedding then forgotten. They had to be honored.
And without sounding cliche', the quote, "Live well, laugh often & love much," sums up their marriage well.
Happy anniversary mom & dad. Thank you for being such an example of a marriage full of love, respect, joy, sincerity, sacrifice and romance (even after all these years.... ;)).
Last month while at the local Starbucks, this little gal handed me my tea at the drive-up window. While driving away all I could think of was how naturally beautiful she was and that I wanted to photograph her. It's still a little awkward for me to just randomly ask a stranger if they'd be willing to let me photograph them, but I was kicking myself for not asking, so I turned around, stuttered out who I was, what I did and asked if she'd be willing to let me do a photo shoot with her. I handed her my business card and drove away.
This year's weather has been unpredictable at best, so once Jillian connected with me (and I am so glad she didn't just blow me off as some weirdo....lol), we did a spontaneous, "Let's meet, and how does tonight work for you, and oh, would you be willing to drive out to the middle of nowhere to the ranch because there are poppies blooming and the evening light is so beautiful there and it's not raining?"
I love when models aren't afraid to try different, out of the box, poses. When I asked Jillian if she'd mind standing in the creek, she kicked her shoes off and waded right in. Seriously, I was, and still am, obsessed with these water images and have more to edit at some point.
You can tell a lot about someone by just watching them. There is not only a natural beauty and poise to Jillian, but a gentleness of heart that is very apparent. Don't get me wrong, she has some serious spunk to her as well, but, while not trying to sound overly philosophical, I just kept seeing little peaks of a deeper maturity, a bit of an "old soul," if you will.
Because life is busy, I have to put these images aside for now and move on to some other projects. But here are just a few more photos that are SOOC (straight out of the camera, no edits).
A quick backstory: With This Ring was a project created by the directors of our area photo club to showcase the creative talents of local photographers and was open to whomever wanted to be involved, which ended up being eight of us. One of our bridal stores got behind the project which allowed us access to gorgeous wedding gowns. A model-call was put out on facebok and each photographer was paired with a beautiful / handsome model(s). Gifted makeup & hair artists came on board as well as a local florist shop which created exquisite floral creations at their own expense. Each photographer was given complete liberty to come up with a vision for their shoot as well as control of their own locations, styling, etc., which for me meant rich, deep and bold colors, something a bit aggressive.
May weather in Wyoming is totally unpredictable, and while I planned the whole photo shoot for outdoors, the days leading up to the actual event were not looking promising, so I needed a back-up indoor location. Because the whole vibe I was after was more Bohemian, I really wanted to find a venue that would be non-traditional. Our community has a serious lack of old, cool buildings, so I started searching real estate sites to see what might be available. Thankfully I found an empty warehouse that a local realtor allowed me access to. All I needed to do was push a broom around and I had the perfect location for my wedding shoot.
Ok, I may have gone just a little overboard, but I figured if I was setting up a pretend wedding shoot, then I may as well set up a pretend reception tablescape. In the warhouse was a locking storage cage complete with pipe racks and built-in shelving units. This was where I chose to set up my reception. My model Cassie, helped me create a really cool fabric strip / plant wall off the metal pipe rack. And setting the table up, which in actuality was just one of the storage shelves, was truly a fun, creative outlet. By the time I was done with the whole set-up, I wanted to have a real party in there. It was just that cool.
As I made plans for my shoot, I realized I wanted more people involved as opposed to just a bride, so I was fortunate to end up with a really fun, somewhat goofy, very photogenic group of models to work with. I think they were just perfect for what I had envisioned.
Decided to go a little dark and over-emphasized on this image "just cuz."
And by mid-afternoon, the clouds parted and the sun made it's presence known, so we hopped in our vehicles and visited a secluded little pond site on our family ranch.
All in all, I'd say that with the copious amounts of talent, imagination, donations and hard work by all involved, this year's With This Ring photo event was a huge success. I'm seriously looking forward to future projects.
I had so much fun planning this whole shoot that now I wonder if I ought to throw my hat in the ring as a wedding planner.........nahh, probably not.......maybe?
Make sure and take a look at all the credits below. Oh and one more thing; no, two more things: First, come out this Sunday, May 31st to the Gillette Camplex for the first With This Ring Bridal Expo. I'll be giving away a few great prizes at my booth (and knowing me, I'll probably go overkill on that set up as well. Just sayin'). And second, we are all extremely excited to have Wyoming Weddings do an article on the project in one of their future issues. Which totally rocks!
*Event - With This Ring, NE Wyoming Photo Club*Models - Cassie Nesbitt, Kierra Wood, Caleb Swan, Cody Schumacher*Hair - Jade Novatney *Makeup / shoot assistants - Vicki Nesbitt, Jamie Craft*Flowers - Spring Creek Designs*Bridal gown-YTT Bridal*Accessories - Evermore*Floral turntable - Heaven To Earth*Lighting - Michelle English*Location - Pickrel Land & Cattle, CO*Location - Berkshire Hathaway Home Services of Gillette, Grant Edmunds, realtor*Limo service in last photo - Prestige Limo Service
Last weekend while NE Wyoming was under winter weather warnings, we were 600 miles away in beautiful Kalispell, Montana for the wedding of two precious friends. Tim and Liz are one of those young couples who pretty much exude life. You can't help but be happy when you are around them. They are fun, adventurous, outdoorsy, spunky, happy. Give me a sec and I am sure I can find a few more adjectives to sum them up.
*Engagement Photos By Cassandra Pickrel
For this wedding, I was second shooting for Liz's aunt, which I'd never done before. I have to admit, it was pretty fun just running around behind the scenes, catching the random moments and not having to be responsible for the whole shebang. Liz's aunt was incredibly gracious and I did make sure and get her permission to post my photos since I wasn't the offiial photog.
It was truly a beautiful day. Temperatures hung around the mid-sixties, the sky was clear (not the greatest for photos, but it just didn't matter), Flathead lake was calm, and there was the gentlest of breezes. And oh my goodness - the bride was absolutely radiant.
Tim's mom blindfolded him and he had to stay that way until his bride started down the aisle. What a pricelss and tender moment.
Weddings are such a gift. And watching Tim and Liz pledge their hearts together for a lifetime, knowing that they will be stronger and happier together than ever apart, I was honored to witness something so sacred.
‘May the Lord bless you and protect you.
May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you.
May the Lord show you his favor and give you his peace.’