The Womb Haircut (Oklahoma Wedding Photographer, Destination Wedding Photographer)…

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Kids will make milestones.  They are celebrations of growth.  They are moments in time we want to freeze.  They are specks on the radar of life where I lose my ever lovin’ mind.  Yes, of course, I want my children to have these milestones.  I know it reflects that they are becoming their own person.  I do cherish each stage for what it is.  But, Heavens to Betsy, I’m insanely sentimental, and as I get older it has reached profusely obnoxious levels.  Two and half years my son’s hair grew.  As I stood in the salon, I thought, “Those are the exact hairs that were on his head when I gave birth to him.  Those very hairs were the ones he had in the womb.”  Oh, Sheradee, come down from the crazy place.  You are not going to keep those tiny baby hairs God formed on his head there until he’s 23.  Or can I?  Can I grab him and run right now?  What was intended to be his first haircut, was a glamorous trim.  I’ll admit it.  My husband insisted we take him to the sweet stylist, Karen, who use to cut my husband’s hair.  Karen is on the short list.  You know the incredibly short list of women allowed to kiss my boys.

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I love Karen, and I knew I could con her into leaving the curls.  I secretly knew she’d be on my side.  So, we loaded up and road tripped 45 minutes.  He fell asleep on the way there.

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Karen kissed all over his precious cheeks while she casually trimmed his blonde locks all the while he was nearly comatose from not having a nap.

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He slept while my last grip on his babyhood fell to the floor in chunks.  I kept every last hair…every last womb hair I kept until I had a hairball like you’ve never seen.  The trim was indeed casual, as there wasn’t much hair gone. I couldn’t stand to actually “cut” his hair as in a visible difference in length cut.  A few weeks passed, and I knew it was time.  Time to stop living in denial that I might be raising Samson.

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I was raising a boy genius yes (notice the t-shirt), so wisdom he already had, however, it was a haircut he needed.

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This time we went to Andrea, a stylist who is not a road trip away.  And this time, the boy was awake.  Wide awake.

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I’m certain I looked this side of ridiculous grabbing each blonde curl as it hit the floor and tucking it away into my womb hair envelope.

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The boy, however, rather enjoyed his haircut.

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So much so that he asked me to take him to “Disney World” after ward  (also known as Barnes & Noble to the reading world).

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He shook the stray pieces of hair from his cape onto the sparkling salon floor, and just like that, the womb hair was gone.  His boy hair curled up just enough to frame his face with the cutest little pieces over his tiny ears.

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That face I’ve been in love with since I saw it.  It was slightly different, slightly more grown up than before the cut.

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It was perfect.  He was still a boy genius, I have a ziploc bag full of womb hair to pull out and show his future girlfriends, and he still believes Barnes & Noble is Disney World. Everyone wins.

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www.sheradeehurstphotography.com

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Mark + Misti’s Snow Wedding (Oklahoma Wedding Photographer, Destination Wedding Photography)…

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Long before this wedding, I saw it in Mark’s eyes.  I saw the way he looked at Misti.  In fact, the first time I met him, I told him in my best Beyonce, “You better put a ring on it.”  I think I was even shaking my finger and dancing a little bit.  Fast forward to after the proposal, he told Misti, he didn’t even know that was a song when I said that to him.  So, he either thought I was slightly odd or very good at developing lyric.  (Both can be true at times.)   I giggled a little to myself while I photographed their rings thinking of that.  And I promise you that look I saw him give her when she couldn’t see him, I’ll never forget it.

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Snowstorms wreak havoc on meal planning, seating arrangements, and what not at winter weddings.

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It seems like a planning nightmare.  However, for one moment, if you step back from the near panic attack that well meaning guests inflict by their worry and last minute declines after RSVP, take a step back from it, and really take a good look around you.

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There is a gorgeous day waiting to be yours.

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Winter brides, embrace the snow, embrace the ice, embrace that people just can’t deal.  And, live it up…it’s your wedding day.

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And like Misti and Mark’s, it’s an incredibly beautiful day.

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Misti let go of the cancellations, the food orders, the particulars that can creep in and create worry.

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Sporting a brilliant smile, her bridal gown, and snow boots to match Kristoff from Frozen, she laughed in the snow.

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She soaked in the day.  She embraced the snow.  And it. was. beautiful.

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And you guys, he still looks at her that same way.

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Here’s to a life of ditching plans and finding peace in that look.

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www.sheradeehurstphotography.com

Location The Hall at Railway House, Rings Mitchell Jewelry

 

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Matt + Cassandra {Oklahoma Wedding Photographer, Destination Wedding Photographer}

Details of weddings do tell stories, but the emotions, for me, are the heart of the day.  A laughing bride, or a crying bride, or a little of both, it lets us into her inner most feelings on her wedding day.  Matt and Cassandra’s classic black and white day, needed only the color of their happiness to brighten it.  I think you’ll agree, their emotions were heart warming.  From her glow while she got ready to his reaction when he saw her during the first look under the tree.  The bridesmaids and the bride even had special Toms so that they could comfortably dance the night away.  It was a beautiful night.  The kind of night that when I go through the images, I can’t help but smile with them.

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http://www.sheradeehurstphotography.com

 

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Love Can Build A Bridge, Steve & Maree’s Engagement Session… {Oklahoma Wedding Photographer, Destination Wedding Photographer}

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Remember that song The Judds sang, Love Can Build A Bridge?  As I slowly rocked back and forth desperately attempting to balance myself to photograph this gorgeous couple I was reminded of it.

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This bridge, it looks like something straight out of a movie with hobbits, it’s so authentic.

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I instantly felt the connection Steve and Maree’ and her family had to this beautiful hidden treasure in their back yard.

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The bride’s mom and dad laughed telling stories of Maree’s childhood.  This swaying bridge was home to many memories and most importantly, it was built by Maree’s Dad.

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It must have taken him months to dangle and secure each slat until the bridge finally stretched across from one side to the other.  It created a fairytale like feel in the already very enchanted woods.  They laughed about memories of Halloween parties and the creaky bridge being the perfect scare tactic for the older kids to use on the younger kids.  After years of memories, here their full grown daughter stood with her soon to be husband on the bridge Maree’s dad put so much into making.

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That’s a moment where the sentimental mother in me wants to stop what I’m doing and hug Maree’s parents and cry.  And, let’s be honest, I would have if I felt like I could have got steady enough footing to actually move or even exhale a little.  From where I was standing, I could see the pride in their eyes though.  She’s all grown up, but just like love can build a bridge, love too, can build a daughter into a bride.

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And what a lovely one she’ll be walking down the aisle to marry Steve arm and arm with her father as she holds the hands that built that bridge and helped build that daughter.

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Congratulations, Steve and Maree’! (Check back when I blog their May wedding to see the barn her dad’s hands built and how it shaped Steve & Maree’s love story, too.)

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Merry Happy Cattywampus Whatever (Family, Oklahoma Wedding Photographer)…

I haven’t blogged since October.  It’s probably my longest stretch until I say that next time.  So to usher in the new year, I thought it was time for some Hurst Christmas Photo Booth fun…about one month late.  We don’t do Pinterest baking and hand stamped wrapping paper at my house.  We bake, and I set off the smoke alarm (numerous times over Christmas), and we wrap, but it looks like my kids did it.  So, our family tradition is the Hurst Christmas Photo Booth. We do the photo booth every Christmas Eve in my office studio.  We use a remote to shoot our own family photos.

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You can even see the remote in some of the images.

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A few are even blurry, because, well, no one is behind the camera.

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That’s to add charm, you know.

Since I’ve been absent from the blog world three months, here’s a quick update. Our sweet dog, Chee Chee passed away.  We got a new dog, Willie Nelson, who yes, resembles Chee Chee quite a bit.  Willie Nelson made a photo booth appearance too.

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It’s fun when Willie Nelson makes an unexpected appearance anywhere.  Am I right? Also, mid way through the photo booth my middle child left the photo booth and put on some red lipstick.  I have to really watch this one and the red lipstick.  But, if ever there was a time for red lipstick, it’s the Hurst Christmas Photo Booth.

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This Christmas Eve my husband got off work just in time for us to set the self timer for a family photo too!  It’s cattywampus, but so are we.

7D9A8486 wMerry Late Cattywampus Whatever from the Hursts.

http://www.sheradeehurstphotography.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Kindness Matters (Photography)…

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I’ve always love the lyrics to the Jewel song, “In the end only kindness matters.”  In life and in work, I truly believe that.  At the end of the day, when it’s all said and done, was I kind?  We had a rough couple weeks recently when the kids got a stomach bug, and then our family dog passed away.  While some fantastic things were happening with my business, personally there were a few sad days.  In the midst of it, a package from Florida arrived on my doorstep.

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Inside the box was the most sincerely written card and a box of gifts.  The gift givers were a couple that crossed our paths a few months ago on one of the most exciting days of their lives.

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In February, as my family walked into the Magic Kingdom for the first time, we stood before the famous castle.  My husband starts nudging me and directing my attention to a man who was proposing to his girlfriend right in the middle of the Magic Kingdom.

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I grabbed my camera and photographed it for them.  After the beautiful moment, I got their e-mail address and sent them the images.  This kind couple packaged and shipped a thoughtful box of thank yous.  The words they wrote in their thank you card were so heart warming.  They also sent chocolates and a statue with Mickey and Minnie that says, “And they lived happily ever after.”  My oldest daughter quickly staked claim of the statue for her room to remind her of the proposal she saw.

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Also in the box was a small piece of fabric that says, “Kindness Matters.”  I held it for a minute, thinking.

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This I’m going to frame, I thought.  When it’s just been a rough week, I want to look at that and remember, beyond all the “problems,”  kindness matters.  It’s so interesting the way God introduced these then strangers into our lives.  There are many more “strangers” that will cross our paths in different ways, all as an opportunity to show that kindness matters.  Kindness matters, when nothing else does. Thank you, Michelle and Kevin.  They don’t call it the Magic Kingdom for nothing.

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See their engagement post here:http://wp.me/p3hmbh-vH

http://www.sheradeehurstphotography.com

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Pre-K The Sequel (Family)…

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This isn’t the first time these boots have seen the first day of Pre-K.  Yes, it was just a few years ago the tan, slouch boots danced their way into the school building while the video camera rolled.  My oldest daughter donned them as a new era dawned in our lives…the school years.  See I know what these boots started.  They marked the day that my baby started to become a little girl.  And now, like a song on repeat, the cycle has started again with my second baby girl.

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Albeit, in a much, much different beginning, but it’s started.  This time those tan slouch boots didn’t skip, but rather quietly and bravely inched into the Pre-K classroom.  Last time they paraded in on my oldest daughter’s feet with lots of bouncing , jumping, singing, and dancing.  This time, my peanut wore them as she ventured into her classroom to immediately plop down next to her best friend.  Yes, this is the day that laying in her underwear and wearing Nutella on her face take second place to the dinosaur song in music class.  I don’t think school is the big bad wolf.  I don’t even think it’s close.  In fact, I think it’s happiness and rainbows and youth, and that’s so darn hard to accept as a parent.  I don’t doubt the education or the care of my children, in fact I know it’s nothing less than top notch.  However, it’s the first time I let go of my tight grip on those five little fingers since the day they appeared on Earth, so there’s some adjusting for mom.

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It’s the time when I said, “You can do this!” and thought “But I can’t.”  It’s sad, not because it’s some terrible thing, but because it’s some wonderful thing.  It’s sad because she got in the car when I picked her up after her first day, and honestly answered, “No” when I asked, “Did you miss me?”  It was only two and half hours, but I know.  I know what happens in two and half hours at Pre-K.  I know, because I’ve done this before, with these very boots.  I’ve stuffed my heart in these little boots before and let them walk in the door to Pre-K.  So, I know that by May, those boots will be too small, and that tiny piece of my heart will be smarter, bolder, and ready to take on the world.  It was hard.  It was hard to let go of her hand.  I had flashbacks of cooking dinner with her in that baby carrier on my chest.  Then I thought of that incredibly clingy monkey baby who gripped her feet so tight around my waist that it was easier to just carry her everywhere I went rather than put her down on her own.  But I know that this time if I don’t let her go on her own, she’ll be monkey wrapped around me until it’s obnoxious.

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I wasn’t the only one letting go of a hand that’s been there since the beginning.  This little guy was letting go (well for two hours a day) of his his partner in crime, his candy stealer, his interpreter, his best friend.

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So, I, make that we, let go of her hand.  I pulled her close and squeezed her harder than I ever have.  I slowly walked back to the car with her dad and her brother’s blonde curls blowing in the wind.

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My husband got in his truck to go to work.  Me and the boy started for the long two mile drive home, just the two of us.  Tears streamed down my face as I looked at her empty car seat, just like when I dropped her sister off a few years ago.  Then, out of nowhere, the sweet blonde behind me began shouting, demanding that I hold on to one of his feet while I drive.  He insisted, “Hold my soot!” (That’s foot.)  So, knowing that his cowboy boots will all too soon make their way through the doors of the school, I held his right foot all the way home.  I continued to cry until he started shouting in his caveman voice about giants, and spiders, and monsters.  Then I laughed out loud, but I didn’t dare let go of that foot.  What on Earth will I do when I drive away and there’s no high maintenance “giant” begging for my attention in the back?  What will I do when I finally drive off in a completely empty car?  The better question is what on Earth will *they* do with the opportunity ahead of them?  It’s hard to swallow, but preschool rocks.

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(The First Day of Pre-K for my oldest is posted here: http://sheradeehurst.com/2011/08/22/pre-k-go-away/ )

http://www.sheradeehurstphotography.com

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Confessions: Dog with A Blog (Don’t Tell Disney)….

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Hey, It’s National Dog Day! Yeah, that’s me talking to you.

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So, I’m guest blogging for my person, Sheradee. (That’s me above in the pink bean bag.)  It’s my first time to blog, so pardon the spelling.  I have the tiniest little nails to type with and I have cataracts, and I couldn’t bride any of the three little people around here to type this, mainly because two of the three can’t spell.

So, the subject at hand is wedding photography, but stay with me to the end because I’m dishing up confessions on my person, too. I’m celebrating National Dog Day with some photographs of dogs and weddings.  Below is Danielle and her pup, and Jessica and her big baby proving that bow ties are not just for humans.

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Now, I know my person, Sheradee is known for making confessions on the blog.  Bet she never ‘fessed up to this???  (See below.)  I’d love to give a photo credit here, but I don’t know who the photographer was on hand that day at the pet store about ten years ago when it was right before the 4th of July, and my person was feeling all patriotic and did this.  And then, in a weird twist of events, a friend of hers put it on a customizable coffee table book.  And so now this treasure of me, will live in history forever.

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Yeah, that’s me draped in an American flag.  Long before she had those three little people, she dressed me and acted like I was a child.  I must say, it was a relief when the little people started filling up the house.  No more velcro on my belly or weird fake wool sweaters around my neck.  Although, there were some weird outfits that transpired when the little people got big enough to put doll clothes on me.  Those I’ll never speak about in public.  Never.  These days I’m just strolling naked through the house, like a geriatric dog should. Sure, I’ve got some grey these days, okay a lot of grey, but I’m finally comfortable enough in my manhood to sleep in a giant pink bean bag, and I’m looking pretty good for being 16.  Happy National Dog Day, Ya’ll!  XOXO, Chee Chee7D9A0597

http://www.sheradeehurstphotography.com

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America, I Present to You, Your President At Age 7 (Family)…

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I have a brilliantly talented seven year old who surprises me with breakfast in bed regularly, eagerly does laundry, and yearns to be educated in every possible subject.

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Dance lessons, yes please! Swim Team, for sure.  Jump Rope club, can’t miss it.  Running Club, a must.  Gymnastics, without a doubt.  Voice lessons, have to.  Guitar lessons, how awesome.  Drama lessons, please, please mom?

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There’s nothing this kid won’t try.   Her ambition has lead her to experience things I never, ever thought would be “up her alley.”  She’s proved repetitively that her alley happens to be anywhere she paves it.

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She blazes a trail everywhere she goes, and she leaves a streak of sunshine behind her. Her smile has a power over me. It’s why I fork over all my money for her interests or challenges or maybe just for a gigantic pink bean bag she needed in her room.

7D9A9668 7D9A9669She has declared that she may one day run for President of the United States.  There’s also that restaurant she wants me to run for her.  And of course, performing on stage may take a little time away from all that too.

 

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She may one day be your  President, America, but for now she’s tearing up the guitar for anyone who will listen, performing on her pre-Broadway stage of my fireplace, and conquering one fear at a time and bringing home first place ribbons to show for it.  (That’s another blog post.)

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Say she can’t; she will.  And when she does, she’ll remind you that you thought she couldn’t.

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I won’t let you down America, I will raise your first ballerina President and proudly hand her over in her tutu for her patriotic duty when it’s time.  It’s likely I’ll have an empty wallet and an exploding heart.

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Go into this world and use your talents for good, baby.  When the White House gets too hectic, don’t forget the tune to your favorite song.  When the pressure of foreign policy is eating your lunch, don’t forget the steps to your favorite ballet.

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7D9A9689 When your kindness isn’t well accepted,

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don’t forget to give more.

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When the day has been long,

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don’t forget your mom’s number.  I will always be your biggest fan.

 

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Red, White, and Blue Engagement Session (Photography)…

morrison 12Steve and Lindy dressed in patriotic colors and wanted a rustic feel to their engagement shoot.

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When it all came together, it was completely Americana, and seems perfect to share on the end of the 4th of July weekend.

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The rusty nail wedding ring image, the red flats, and of course, their contagious smiles, made everything perfect.

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The nasty black and white skunk that showed his colors during the shoot he, however, didn’t make the blog, nor did I photograph him as I was was running the other direction screaming.  Sorry, Steve and Lindy, I wasn’t prepared for that wildlife interruption!  But these two carried on like pros after our stinky guest made his appearance.morrison 8 morrison 5morrison 11I’m so very thankful that I live in a country where I can pursue this business of showing others love through images.  Thank you to the many who have given so much, so that we can experience so much.  God bless America.

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Special thanks to McGranahan Barn. www.sheradeehurstphotography.com

 

 

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