Archive for 'Personal'

I dont even know where to begin with this post. Whitney has worked by my side for over a year now and I am SO SO SO grateful for her. Today I was thinking of her and how amazing it is to get to work alongside your best friends and it reminded me of this post. This is my long overdue one year anniversary but-really-its-her-14-month-anniversary post ;)

Whitney was a wedding planner before she came on staff with us as my second shooter. I LOVED that she had a lot of wedding related experience but I loved more that she was really fun to be around, eager to learn photography, loves Jesus, and makes me laugh like no other. It is a lot to give up your Saturdays away from your family to shoot weddings by my side. It is a job that not everyone is cut out for. My first two years in business that job was filled by my husband. I taught him how to shoot in manual and what to be looking for as a second shooter. He got pretty good at it (and on occasion still shoots by my side) but what I found was that my husband loved ME but he didnt love WEDDINGS. Having second shooters that love weddings is a big deal to us. It was convenient to hire my husband on Saturdays but it was more important to me to have someone that really just loves weddings/brides/love and all of the things that go into it. I am so blessed to have found such great people!

Whitney shoots almost all of the images you see of our pretty reception details. It is not really fair for the people that work with me because they literally get zero credit for the work that they do behind the scenes. Yes, the brand is called HolliB but the women that make up this business are truly what make it great. A lot of the beautiful wedding images that you see are only beautiful bc someone has pulled the train out of the dress or fixed a brides hair that was blowing. I cant take all the credit- I am only as good as the people working along with me. They deserve a lot more credit than they get.

Oh Whit…. thank you for bringing me lattes and unsweetened tea with strawberries, photographing the details, carrying my bags, texting me during the week 46 times per day, holding umbrellas, making me laugh until I cry, loving our clients so well, hanging all of the dresses, encouraging me, laughing at my jokes and also taking great photos… you’re my favorite.

I hope you enjoy some behind the scenes photos of my bestie, Whitney…

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FOR WHIT

I really do not even know how to start the introduction to this post yall. Shannon has been a dear friend of mine for the past 8 years. To be completely honest, my very first year in business I had NO idea what I was doing running a business. I had more work than I knew what to do with and was staying up crazy late to get it all done. My kids were babies and I was exhausted. My business had exploded before my eyes and I reached out to the only photographer in town at that time. I emailed Shannon as a complete stranger and she replied and asked to meet me for coffee. This was the beginning of a beautiful friendship. One that I cannot even begin to explain. The profound impact she has had on my life and my business as I was just starting out cannot be put into words. She spoke so much life into me and my business that first year I cannot even begin to thank her for her expertise and wisdom. A couple of years ago her family joined our church and we have gotten the priveledge to live life with them in a deeper way.  Shannon went thru a time of transition a few years ago and asked me to speak into various places of her life. We met once a week and invited each other into the deepest parts of our hearts. We spent time laughing, crying, I think we decided to run once, picked berries in a field with our kiddos, and most importantly held each other accountable.  For her to ask me for advice, after I had spent the first few years asking her for so much advice, was such an honor. It showed me that Shannon has a heart of pure gold and there is no place in her life that she is not willing to give away freely and no place in her life that she does not allow others to speak truth into. Living a life of purpose and intentionality is who Shannon Ho is.

Shannon has had this workshop in her head for a long time now and I just knew it was going to be fantastic. I am SO SO SO proud of her. She gave me a condensed version of one of her balance talks over six months ago over lunch (with the toothpicks holding up the forks) and I could just see the passion in her eyes.  I got teary the night she did the fork demonstration at the workshop because she was actually doing it- the thing she has dreamed up for so long. There are so many things that i am proud of her for but the thing I kept coming back to was just her YES to the Lord to give it all away. She openly and honestly shared every single ounce of herself over the course of the weekend (and many months leading up to the workshop) Every single detail was planned intricately and perfectly and it was such a blessing for each one of us there.

Shannon asked me to help her at the workshop and be the unofficial/official photographer for the weekend.  It was an HONOR to sit by her side and serve her over the weekend. I also got to share a bit too and it was fun to give away things that I dont even realize I have to give. I talked about my struggle with social media and how I have given it up for almost two whole years and how being “hands free” has blessed my business and my family life.  I loved meeting all of the ladies and building life long friendships. I loved serving and supporting Shannon along with some of my best friends. I loved having a weekend of worship, divine meals and late night heart to hearts. I loved sitting under a throw blanket and having coffee at all hours of the day. I loved getting to be still enough to listen to the Lord and to really learn the beautiful art of balance.

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The first afternoon was spent in Shannons home. She had her dear friend/studio manager Kelsey come in and share their client experience and ordering session process. When you first step into Shannons shooting room you just die from the amazing light. Huge windows, white walls and floors and then you die. If you are a photographer and notice these kinds of things that is :) 0007beautiful art of balance workshop 0008beautiful art of balance workshop 0009beautiful art of balance workshop 0010beautiful art of balance workshop 0011beautiful art of balance workshop

Whoever you are and wherever you are coming from… would you stop right now and say a prayer for our friend Kelsey? Just ask the Lord for a sweet blessing for her today! 0012beautiful art of balance workshop 0013beautiful art of balance workshop 0014beautiful art of balance workshop 0015beautiful art of balance workshop 0016beautiful art of balance workshop 0017beautiful art of balance workshop

There were SO many amazing parts of the weekend but I will say the late night talks on the couch were maybe my favorite. There is just something so real and vulnerable about sitting in a room of amazing women talking about fear and how it paralyzes us. We can look around the room and see ourselves in each other – the same struggles in different skin, the same fears with different names. It is freeing to say it out loud and be heard by other women. It helps to have milk and cookies at this time as well ;) 0018beautiful art of balance workshop 0019beautiful art of balance workshop 0020beautiful art of balance workshop

My love language is receiving gifts. I shouldnt have even gotten a welcome gift because I was technically a worker but man I love a basket with all my favorite things! I am actually sitting under my blanket as I type this! 0021beautiful art of balance workshop

Megan and Abbey are two of my dear friends whom I love SO much. It was SUCH A JOY to watch them joyfully serve and serve with them this weekend. These two mama’s made the most amazing food and loved everyone so well. They are two of the most incredible friends, women and mama’s I know. (sidenote: you may recognize Abbey as she has graced the blog quite a few times over the years. Someone asked me over the weekend what has been the coolest thing that I have ever photographed and without a doubt I told her it was capturing Abbeys daughter Annies story. Her birth at 3.5lbs, surgeries, getting cochlear impants and when she heard sound for the first time of her life. I told her I would find it and share it with her and you can see it HERE)0023beautiful art of balance workshop 0024beautiful art of balance workshop 0025beautiful art of balance workshop

Oh Julie Bennett. I first met Julie at a bible study at Baylor University when she sang a capella in a small group and blew me away with her talent. Our husbands were good friends in college and we occasionally run into each other here and there but it was such a joy to get to reconnect with her over the weekend. This woman BRINGS it in worship. She has such an inviting heart and is a powerful pursuer of the Lord. 0026beautiful art of balance workshop 0028beautiful art of balance workshop 0029beautiful art of balance workshop

I am pretty sure Whitney was saying something wildly amazing below. I LOVED spending the weekend with Whitney English. She is such a cheerleader of people and their talents and it was a joy to watch her encourage others in every conversation. She asked me one night at dinner what my BIG DREAM is. The one you dont tell many people and are too scared to really even talk about. I loved her heart and her eagerness to find that thing in people that is just below the surface but waiting to be pulled out. She is also HILARIOUS and I want her to move to Norman to hang out with me every single day.0030beautiful art of balance workshop

Can we talk about the throw blankets again? There are few things I love more than being under a cozy blanket. Worship on the porch under a blanket #divine0031beautiful art of balance workshop Our next speaker was Ashley Ann from Under the Sycamore.

I will be honest and say that I did not know who Ashley was before this weekend. I had never read her blog before the conference and after meeting her and hearing her story of how she quit her job as a successful photographer to spend more time with her kids blew. me. away.  Ashley’s presence made this weekend incredibly rich. 0032beautiful art of balance workshop The next thing on the agenda was a family session at Carlton Landing with the Humphreys family. If you havent been or heard of Carlton Landing you should check it out! Its such a cute little community! 0034beautiful art of balance workshop 0035beautiful art of balance workshop

After the shoot we had a picnic at the center of town at Carlton Landing. We sat around and told stories and talked about work and passion. We ended the night with smores and worship under the stars and I couldnt help but look around and be so grateful for each and every woman that was there. 0036beautiful art of balance workshop

These WOMEN ARE WORLD CHANGERS and I am SO SO SO blessed to know each one. 0037beautiful art of balance workshop 0038beautiful art of balance workshop 0039beautiful art of balance workshop

After dinner we sat around on quilts and told our favorite and not so favorite stories about being photographers. I have one story that wins all stories of crazy things that have happened at a wedding. Its not appropriate enough to share on the blog so sadly I have to spare you of this one. We also shared about the thing we love most about being a photographer and I stupidly answered first. I really love that I dont have to wear makeup or get dressed to go to work in the morning. Its my absolute favorite. Sometimes I see moms in dressy clothes and full makeup and I say a tiny grateful prayer that the Lord didnt call me to a job where I had to wear makeup every single morning. Some of the other girls had really great answers about loving people and such and I do love people A LOT and have MANY reasons that I love my job but man I REALLY love working in yoga pants at my computer most mornings.  I am sorry if that shatters any false sense of coolness you may have of me. I promise I wear actual clothes and makeup at weddings :) 0041beautiful art of balance workshop 0042beautiful art of balance workshop 0043beautiful art of balance workshop 0044beautiful art of balance workshop

It was such a treat to spend the weekend with Alyssa from Feast Calligraphy. I had met her a few years ago but I loved getting to know her and hearing her heart and her story.  I am excited to see the places her business continues to go! She is so talented. I am going to say it. I am not the best at calligraphy. I am practicing though and I LOVE the practicing of it. I love the slow and thoughtful pace that it is and I think I am already getting better.0045beautiful art of balance workshop 0046beautiful art of balance workshop 0048beautiful art of balance workshop

Do not be caught off guard this is not my work below. It is someone who is actually pretty good. Definitely not mine. 0049beautiful art of balance workshop

Our farewell dinner was such a treat. Our friend Emily did the flowers in copper guttering and only Emily could make something so beautiful. Whitney and I may or may not have spent 2+ hours hanging the string lights, busting fuses in the string lights, realizing the string lights have emotions and can only connect to a very specific amount of other string lights, sweating, cursing all of the string lights of the world, and decorating the tables but man string lights are the best thing for a dinner outside. RiiiiiGHT…. Whitney? 0051beautiful art of balance workshop 0052beautiful art of balance workshop 0053beautiful art of balance workshop 0054beautiful art of balance workshop

#thiseveningwasperfection

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Shannon will hate this picture of herself and she may even text me the second she sees it and plead with me to take it down. But man, this gal is beautiful…. so so beautiful. It is an honor to know her and live life with her. What a gift she is to so many people. Thank you Shannon from the bottom of my heart for asking me to come to the workshop as your friend. I cannot tell you how much it blessed me.0056beautiful art of balance workshop I will leave you with the goodbye gifts in their adorable wrapping. What an amazing weekend it was! {For those of you with us at the workshop can we all take a moment of silence and just think about this carpet again?! } 0057beautiful art of balance workshop

You can see a video of the workshop by our friend Lindsey HERE!

May 08, 2014

I was actually hired to do an editorial photo shoot of cows that are not my own cows… #dreamcometrue
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This is crazy, but we are celebrating Kim’s third anniversary as part of the HolliB Team. It seems insane that I haven’t introduced her before. In fact, as I started this post, I searched the blog to find her “introduction blog”, which is when I realized I had never formally introduced her. #hugefail

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Kim started working as my (Taylor’s) second shooter back in 2011 and has remained faithfully by my side for the past three years, going on four, this season. To even begin to describe Kim, is an impossible task and there is no way this blog post will do her justice, but I am going to try.

I have known Kim for at least eight years. We met when I was in college and I interviewed for an internship with her organization. I happened to sleep through my alarm and missed my appointment :), but she graciously gave me a second chance and we rescheduled to meet at a McDonald’s. After the interview, we drank Dr. Pepper and shared hot fries. And this is when we knew we would get along just fine. We remained great friends even after the internship and I moved in with her family for one summer, while David and I were dating. Since I lived with them while we were dating the four of us became quick friends and we still love to hang out together. But our double-dates have turned into small family gatherings, since we both have two kids now.

This is us at the U2 concert. Excuse my point and shoot camera (and the rando photographer who took the picture).

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And these little gems comes from our “Lost Party”. We hosted a party to watch the Lost finale and made everyone dress as a character. I am Claire (crazy Claire). And Kim is Kate (she had a woman crush on her, who didn’t really?) And did you notice Black Smoke in there? That’s Holli B herself. Ahhh those were the days… pre-kids (for most of us at least) … when we had time to dress up as  tv characters and go to an adult party for hours on end, not keeping track of time.

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This is Kim’s incredible husband, who loves her so well and supports her in everything that she does. (The HolliB staff really does have the best husbands around.)

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And these are her adorably cute boys, Evrett and Wesley. Aren’t they dressed so perfectly and totally handsome?

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They really are the funnest family.DSC_5731 fam

Sorry for the small family session post here, but I just love all these pictures and never got around to posting them last fall. I mean, come on… how perfectly coordinated are they? Leave it to Kim.fam2 And sometimes our kids have to come to the studio to “work” with us. #whatatrooper

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If I could only say one thing about Kim, I would sum her up with, “Kim loves life.” She is joyful all. the. time. And so positive. She loves being with people and honestly, she loves her job. Who doesn’t want to be around someone like that?

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She is the best test model…

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Kim has amazing style and I want to “pin” her outfit and attempt to recreate it every time I see her. We joke about who looks better every time we work together, but Kim always wins. #teachmeyourways

Kim is an unbelievable friend, who is hilarious, authentic, athletic, incredibly outgoing, so encouraging and a powerful prayer warrior. She is someone you want by your side at all times. And that is why we love working together. We have the best conversations on our way to work (over Dr. Pepper and hot fries of course) that usually leave us laughing until we pee our pants. #notreally #butithashappened And at the same time, I can’t tell you the number of times Kim’s encouraging words have gotten me through a rough day/week.

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And… can we talk about this hair?kim011Over the past few years she has grown so much as my assistant/second shooter. Not only has she developed her own style but her eye for capturing important moments has exploded. Let me explain, her eye has not actually exploded, because that would be awful, but she gives our clients memories captured as photographs that they can remember forever. When Kim “doesn’t have anything to do” she finds something interesting going on to photograph. Whether it be the groomsmen laughing, the handcrafted favors or guests mingling.

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These are just a few of the images she has captured that I absolutely adore. It definitely pays off to have a second shooter at your wedding… the additional vantage points and eyes to see what’s taking place “behind” the action is awesome.kim013

Thank you Kim, for the past three years! Thank you for serving the HolliB team and ultimately our clients so well. You are one of a kind and the perfect fit for us. You bring so much joy and enthusiasm to the HolliB team and I can honestly say that I wouldn’t be the person/photographer that I am without you by my side. So excited for this next wedding season with you.

Taylor here on this beautiful Tuesday… taking a quick break from maternity leave to show you some of my favorite pictures that Holli took during Benjamin’s birth.

Can I just encourage every expectant mother out there to consider hiring a photographer for their birth? This isn’t a cheap plug to hire Holli B, because we actually do not shoot births anymore. It is just a very strong suggestion from one passionate mother. Call me crazy, but I LOVE birth stories. I love hearing about the entire experience… how she labored, what she was feeling, what he was thinking… the emotions, the pain, the excitement, the anticipation. I. LOVE. IT. ALL. So when I was pregnant with my daughter 2.5 years ago, it was a no brainer for me to let Holli photograph it. And I was so glad I did. I LOVE watching the slideshow Holli created. I cannot count the number of times I have watched Ellie’s slideshow. So obviously we wanted Holli to come and photograph the arrival of our handsome little buddy, Benjamin. I adore these images and in the middle of the night, when I am dead tired and trying to stay awake while nursing him, I turn on the slideshow and cry almost everytime.

There is just no way to remember that day without these pictures. As I go back and watch (and rewatch and rewatch) Ben’s slideshow and even Ellie’s, I can remember what I was thinking and how I was feeling in those pictures. I remember being so ready to meet him. I remember being in pain. (I didn’t say I remember the pain, because I honestly don’t.) But I remember so much more because I am able to look at the photos and they take me back to that experience. One that I never want to forget.

So as you are planning for your little ones arrival and are shopping for cribs and strollers, I beg you to at least consider a photographer for that beautiful day. If you need some referrals, let us know, we have some fantastic photographers we can recommend.

 

ben 001 ben 002 ben 003 ben 004 ben 005 ben 006 ben 007 ben 008 ben 009 ben 010 ben 011 ben 012  ben 014 ben 015 ben 016I am totally in love with these next few pictures of David holding Ben’s hand.ben 013 ben 017 ben 018 ben 019 ben 021 ben 022 ben 023ben 028Ellie wasn’t sure what to think about this little man, but she warmed up pretty quickly and has grown to love him immensely! ben 025 ben 026 ben 027   ben 033 ben 034ben 029 ben 037 ben 038

Here she is… the rockstar, that left her warm cozy bed in the middle of the night to photograph Benjamin’s super speedy arrival! Thank you so much Holli, it really means the world to us to have these images forever.ben 024