Jamie + Daniel

Jamie and Daniel: the couple who laughed together, cried together, and had the most magical day surrounded by the most incredible people. They both attended Roanoke College where they met and fell in love. I was so excited when Jamie told me the entire wedding party would be going to the campus following the ceremony for photos. Talk about special!

Their wedding day also happened to be freshman move in day at Roanoke College so we had an audience for all our photos but this wedding party wasn’t shy and totally rocked it.  The campus is GORGEOUS so you put these two on that campus? Pure heaven. We walked down the brick path and I stopped in my tracks and thought, “No way is this real.” Spoiler alert: it was.

I don’t know if I can choose between two favorite moments of that campus trip. It was either when the college president was walking across campus and stopped for a photo or going to the gym where Daniel played basketball to get a photo with his former teammate turned best man.

The reception was one of the most fun I’ve had the pleasure of photographing. I quickly learned that the foundation of Jamie and Daniel’s love was rooted in having fun together. It was so apparent when they were surrounded by their family and friends just how much fun they have and how loved they truly are.

Throughout the day I spent with Jamie and Daniel, I learned one very important thing about them. They both married their best friend. I’ve heard it many times before about how you’re supposed to marry your best friend, but you can tell just by looking at these two that it is the foundation of their relationship.

If there was a theme throughout the day, it was friendship. Their friendship with their wedding party was so evident. Daniel and his best man going back to their college basketball gym. Jamie’s friendship with her father (cue my tears during their first look). Most importantly, the friendship Jamie and Daniel share. These two truly married their best friend and it was so inspiring to watch that love shine throughout your day. Jamie and Daniel, I was so honored to capture your beautiful day and I cannot wait to see where this love takes you. Enjoy the married life!

Huge thank you to the incredible creative team that made this wedding happen:

Florals: Green Designs, LLC 

Reception Venue: Silver Hearth Lodge

DJ: Master Taylor Entertainment

Cake: Shannon Theal

Catering: Center Stage Catering

Dress: Diamonds and Lace Bridal

Brooke + Cody

Brooke and Cody got married last week at the most beautiful venue in Charleston, South Carolina. We had gone there for Brooke’s bridal session a few weeks ago so I had an idea of the level of gorgeous to expect but you put these two in CHARLESTON? You can’t beat it!

This was one of the more emotional weddings I’ve photographed and I had tears in my eyes by the early afternoon which was before the ceremony even started. Man, I was in for it.

Brooke and Cody wrote letters to each other to read before they said their vows and it was the most beautiful testament to how much this marriage means to them both. The ceremony was filled with the most sincere and deep rooted connection between the most wonderful couple.

Brooke and Cody have been together since they were sixteen years old and we actually went to the same high school, I was just a few years ahead of them.

Can I just take a second to say that Brooke was one of the sweetest people at my high school and if it’s possible, she’s even sweeter now! I just could not get over how uplifting, loving, and beautiful day this came to be.

From the gorgeous and simple wedding dress to the way Cody looked at her during their first look, this was a day overflowing with love and happiness. If that’s any indication of how the rest of their lives will go, I’d say they’re off to a pretty good start.

 

Nico + Maria

Oh my goodness, where do I start? Actually, let’s start with Go Dukes! Nico and Maria met at JMU during their freshman year and have been inseparable since then. Their wedding day was an absolute blast and I was dancing right along on the dance floor by the end of the night.

Speaking of dancing, Nico and Maria turned their traditional mother/son and father/daughter dance into so much more. Check out the photos below for a glimpse of how much fun these two can have!

All throughout the day, you could feel the joy radiating through both Nico and Maria. I actually cried twice during their wedding day, the first time being during their first look. If you ever need to see a photo that encompasses what love is, just look at the way Nico looks at Maria. You can’t look at those photos and not feel a swell of love building in your chest.

Even though it was below freezing outside, these two powered through to capture some beautiful portraits. I’m not sure if it was adrenaline or she’s just that tough, maybe both, but Maria was such a champ for standing outside in her wedding dress in that brutal cold weather. I may be a bit biased, but these photos were worth the chill!

The ceremony was beautiful and the handwritten vows lead to the second flow of tears from yours truly. I lost count of how many eyes I saw being wiped during the course of the ceremony. I believe that to be a testament to how many people know the overwhelming amount of love these two have for each other.

Nico and Maria exchanged vows, rings, and a kiss before quite literally dancing their way back up the aisle. I went from happy tears to laughing in a matter of minutes and I loved every bit of it.

Reception time came and flew by! Thanks to a group of fun guests and in true JMU fashion, the dance floor was packed all night long. We took a break from dancing to head back out into the cold for a sparkler exit and then went right back inside to more dancing.

Nico and Maria, I cannot tell you enough how much fun I had and how happy I am for you both. Here’s to you and here’s to the married life!

 

Dwayne + Elisha

When you think about a wedding in a small town, you probably just pictured the exact wedding that Dwayne and Elisha had. This beautiful wedding included more laughing than I could have ever imagined! These two had been together for a decade before tying the knot so they have grown as a couple with a lot of the same friends and let me just say, they have some pretty great friends.

From the bridesmaids to the toasts, the whole day kept us on our toes and laughing all the way through the reception. The love between not only Dwayne and Elisha but between their families was so apparent and I can only imagine the life of love they’ll experience throughout their marriage.

There’s just something about a good ol small town wedding that includes old country music, cowboy boots, and plenty of comfort food to kick off a long and happy life. Dwayne and Elisha, here’s to you and a lifetime of laughter!

Season of hustle

I’m currently writing this post while standing in the server alley at my restaurant/bar job. This is just one of my three jobs and I don’t have a whole lot of spare time. I work a 9-5 job, Monday through Friday. I work here at this restaurant Saturday through Tuesday. This means I work seven days a week and on Mondays and Tuesdays, I work 14 or so hours. With any extra time, I work on growing my photography business. This means standing in this very alley answering client emails. It means bringing my personal laptop to my day job to edit my latest photo session on my lunch break. It means late nights and early mornings. It means taking a Friday off my day job and a weekend off the restaurant to travel for weddings and editing during the week when I can.

This is my season of hustle. And it’s so worth it. This is worth every early morning alarm and late night editing session. Every six hour drive to meet with a new client and six hours back. Not seeing my long distance boyfriend since July. It’s hard. Really hard. I’m completely exhausted but this will all be worth it when I can look back and say, “Look what I have now because of the work I put in then.”

I’m very lucky. I have a whole community of people pushing me forward. I have people at both jobs who believe in not only me, but my work. I have a boss at my day job who bends over backwards to support my business, even if that means working a little less there. I have coworkers and friends at this restaurant who are booking me themselves because they believe in me, my work, and want to be a part of my success story.

I’m not writing this in search of praise. I’m writing this to share the honest truth behind what you see on social media. I would LOVE to one day share my story of how I hustled hard and made it, but why should I wait until the unglamorous part is over?

This is my life right now and I’m so proud of where I’m at in it. I am even more proud to know that where I am right now will be something I look back on a year from now to see how far I’ve grown. And the year after that. I’m not afraid of hard work and sacrifices. This is my life and I have every intention of being proud of where I’m at, no matter what it looks like.

-Taylor

Click here to see more of my work.

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Jen + Sarah Engagement

Can we take a second to appreciate the fact that Sarah is from Louisiana and Jen is from New Jersey and they found each other and fell in love? If that doesn’t scream meant to be, then I don’t know what does.

These two woke up before the crack of dawn and drove an hour to meet me for their sunrise engagement session and man oh man was it worth the early wake up call. We were laughing and bonding from the second they stepped out of the car and we had a great time.

The beautiful mountain range I got to call home for 10 years was the perfect backdrop for stop #1 on our list and is one of my favorite places to go photograph. We took a break about halfway through to drive to downtown Winchester, which is the cutest spot. There were so many favorites from our walk downtown and I cannot wait to share these.

Jen and Sarah, you both were amazing to work with and so much fun and I’m already counting down the days until your beautiful wedding day!

Donnie + Aileen Wedding

Donnie and Aileen were absolutely amazing to work with! I have never seen a couple who is so loved. Friends and family were showering these two with so much love and support and it was so evident that they are so perfect together. It’s weddings like this one that truly reinforce how lucky I am to have this job. I get to be a part of a day that brings so much happiness into people’s lives.

The fact that it was pouring down rain for most of their wedding didn’t phase them one bit! We had a great time with the pink Cadillac under a covered walkway and from the looks on their faces, a little rain was nothing to dampen this day.

Aileen, you were truly the sweetest bride and I cannot thank you enough for all of your kind words and your selflessness on YOUR day! I hope you and Donnie have a life full of love, laughter, and soaking in all of the happiness you felt that I know was just the beginning of a wonderful life together.

Cody + Brooke

These two get all of the heart eye emojis! I have been wanting to do a photoshoot in Charleston, SC for probably forever and Brooke and Cody made that happen! I actually went to high school with both of these wonderful people so when they got engaged right after Christmas and moved down the Charleston, it worked out PERFECTLY!

We had so much fun during our photoshoot and even had a bachelorette party make an appearance at one point. We hit most of the iconic Charleston spots including the cobblestone streets, the pineapple fountain, the Battery, and of course, Folly Beach.

I couldn’t pick a favorite from this shoot so enjoy 40 of them! Congratulations, Brooke and Cody! You two were an absolute dream come true!

Donnie + Aileen

This location has become a favorite of mine when back home in Virginia, can you tell? Donnie and Aileen’s session was early and very cold. I was in town for Mitch’s college graduation and my only available time was early, sunrise early. To top it off, it was all of 35 degrees outside but these two were troopers and it was totally worth it! Though, the Cracker Barrel we ate afterwords definitely helped.

As willing as they were to agree to a sunrise engagement session, I can’t wait for their wedding in July! It’s going to be a blast and I can’t wait to celebrate alongside you both, not at the crack of dawn!

Brad + Abbe

This wedding was different for me because I was also invited to attend as a guest, before I was hired as the photographer. Brad happens to be my long time boyfriend’s older brother. With a family of 3 brothers, Abbe and I have learned to stick together when the family reunites. I’ve known these two since I started seeing Mitch way back in the high school years and they were the cool older couple in college.

As we all got older, Brad and Abbe got engaged and I still remember being with Mitch when Brad called to tell him he had popped the question which led to me violently whispering interrogations that Mitch deflected, he isn’t the sentimental type like I am.

Fast forward to Christmas and Brad and Abbe trusted me to take their Save the Date photos. This was back when I was still learning my way around my old Canon Rebel T4i and I remember thinking, “Man, I really want to photograph this wedding” but of course, I didn’t say that out loud. I mean, I was just a college student with a camera and an impossible dream.

Boy was I wrong. To say I was honored is the biggest understatement. The fact that Brad and Abbe asked me to photograph their wedding was a huge milestone for me. To me, it signified that I have grown and bettered my work enough that people I consider my family would trust my work. You always hear people say they don’t want to work with family, but I think it’s the ultimate sign of approval.

This wedding day was full of elegance, class, and love. The day started with a mimosa bar for the girls and a beer and BBQ for the boys, that’s how you just KNOW it’s a good wedding. I had a blast spending the day with such incredible people and I made some new friends along the way. Brad and Abbe, here’s to you!