Fort Smith, ARkansas
I am so happy to finally announce that I am one of the 30 selected winners of Rangefinder Magazine’s 30 Rising Stars of Wedding Photography for 2021.
I got the announcement about a month ago while at a wedding. Since that day, Ive been living in this little secret wonderland of bliss. Im still in shock. I can’t believe this dream of mine has finally manifested itself into my reality. Especially in a year when Ive struggled so much in my personal life.
Growth I Never Expected
In my submission, they asked about your growth as a photographer. Here is what I shared.
“I truly feel like I have had the most growth as a photographer since the pandemic hit. It created a sense of “I need and want to slow down.” Unfortunately, in Arkansas, the world kept turning as if nothing was happening and weddings, although downsized and adjusted, kept on schedule. I kept on schedule. Everything was beautiful, but all the stories ended up being similar because the schedules were the exact same. I had a desire for more freedom in the day and to document more than just the typical.
I knew I had outgrown my current brand and would need to start fresh to attract couples with a similar vision. What The Dogwood Collective had become was beautiful and was profitable, but it wasn’t driving me, inspiring me or serving me in a way my soul longed for. I reached out to Soultwin, and they’ve helped me breathe life into my new brand, Stori.
The best part is that I feel like I can be my true self, which is a bit whimsical, a bit messy/chaotic who is basically a 30 year old grandma (not literally).
Since the start of my rebrand process, I’ve gotten on social media less, had dance breaks, taken slow walks around the neighborhood and started reading again. This all plays back into my weddings because this is the energy I now walk in with. I’m not rushing to tell the story, but soaking up every bit page by page for my clients.”
I never expected that in my season of slowing down and changing that this would happen.
Thankful Doesn’t Begin to Cover It
I am so grateful for every couple and story I’ve been able to document over the years. It’s you who made this gallery even possible.
Im thankful for my photography community. You have supported me and cheered me on. Some had even invited me alongside some of your own couples to help tell their love stories too. I’m looking at you in particular, April.
I am thankful for my best friend Sheila.
Im extremely thankful for my husband Chris. He has never said no to any of my dreams, and willingly sat at home with our children while I ran off, creating many of the images below. for loving me steadily.
Lastly, thank you to Rangefinder Magazine for seeing me and inviting me to be apart of this legacy.
To the other 29 Rising Stars of 2021, your work is absolutely stunning and I am honored to be among you for this prestigious award.