Rustic House Photography- Simple. Natural. Organic. Fresh Photography for awesome people.
I'm in the middle of an epic rebrand. New name, new website, no logo new everything. I thought to myself this morning that if I have the confidence to be a wedding photographer, and a mom and wife, I can have the confidence to re-brand. It's a very personal sort of experience, that makes me question everything I do, and then ultimately decide that I CAN do this, because I'm DOING IT. In the mean time, I had some down time which was nice. I could focus on rebranding. Everything is set except the last part of the logo and the website. The website might make me lose my mind- so many choices, and things to think about. But in the mean time, I was able to go back and rework some images I shot in Belarus a few years ago. They're important to me, not becuase they are my best work, which they definitely aren't but becuase they are what our life is: Starchenko living, Belarus style.
I'm learning to love Belarus. It's something of an acquired taste. I have to get used to the fact that a place that's existed under communism for as long as it did is going function differently, and that all the things I think and the way I do things need to sit on the back burner while I'm there. Apartment buildings covered in years of grime and struggle are everywhere. Sometimes the elevator doesn't work, or someone had too much vodka and the elevator is just unpleasant. After a good rain or snow, a taxi inevitably comes by and splashes dirty icy sludge or dirty warm rain water on me. This is a uniquely western experience: the locals know not to stand too close to the curb. People who drive drive cars everywhere don't know that. Everything has a nice grey patina to it: part of it is the convenience of concrete as a fast and easy way to house people and build buildings fast. Part of it is years of dirt building up.
But in exchange you get to buy fresh vegetables from people in the market everyday. Vegetables that have flavor and are a normal size. And chocolate covered cheese cakes, and draniki, and holodnik, Kvass, cucumber and tomato salad, okroshka, and beets that don't taste like dirt. And then, there are the wheat fields where everything is quiet and still (It's impossible to be sad in a wheat field, people! Try it!) And finally, the people, who when they warm up to you are the nicest people in all of Europe who go out of their way to make your feel at home. The picnics, the weekends at the dacha, the feasts, and the coming together of people you haven't seen in a long time. It's Starchenko living in Belarus. I'm learning to love it because it's a part of us: where Alex comes from and what I am learning to be.
Jeremy proposed to Laura in the form of a beautiful, handwritten letter that containing the words
"I want this to be the moment you never forget."
And there was no doubt that she would never forget it. And the words rang true again on their wedding day. When we arrived at the Sheraton, Laura was so calm, and so excited. She was glowing! And Jeremy was equally as excited. He is one of the most kind and thoughtful people I've met, and he was full of confidence that Laura was THE woman for him, and THIS was the moment they had dreamed of. Their first glimpse was very emotional, and I was rather swept up in it. I am so happy for them!
Laura and Jeremy are both loved by their whole family, who all eagerly participated in the planning and execution of the wedding- from the flowers, to the dessert table, to the get away rickshaw. This was a wedding crafted out of love, and the entire day was a beautiful never to be forgotten moment, an couple madly in love, embarking on their grandest adventure yet. And on a wider lever, of two families, coming together as one new and improved family.
Congratulations to Laura and Jeremy! May your life together be full of adventurous moments not easily forgotten!
Congratulations to Katie and Davey! Your wedding was a great way to start a summer of great weddings and I'm thrilled I could be there to share it with you!
Katie and Davey had a beautiful wedding in historic and picturesque Chickamauga, Georgia. The Gordon Lee Mansion is a quiet, beautiful setting, the weather was stellar, the guests merry. Katie and Davey were very relaxed, and joyful, and had eyes only for each other. I'm rediculously happy they are married, and I'm looking forward to watching them grow in marriage together. Enjoy the beauty of their day.
You can see the whole gallery here.
When I first met Elishia and Shawn, I was struck by two things: How well they worked together and their amazing sense of style. The two of them simply flowed into one another, and they were so at ease in each others company- probably because they've known each other for a long time. They have a connection that binds them together and allows them to move easily together and not worry so much about whatever else swirls around them. This type of ease- a beautiful mingling of love and firendship made for a great session. And their sense of style really added to the session- Elishia came prepared with great outfits, great ideas, and she looked stunning throughout the whole time. It was a photographers dream. I'm looking forward to their wedding in August, and I can't wait share the pictures of their great day! For right now, here are Elishia and Shawn- engaged- and I hope you enjoy the photos as much as I enjoyed producing them.
This might mark the first time I get teary while posting to my blog. The Styles are dear friends. So naturally I was very excited when they asked me to to come over and take their photos. Charlotte was the very first person I ever met at our church 5 years ago in Chavis Gym, one of many MANY places our church has met since it's inception almost 10 years ago. I remember sitting down in a seat in the back of the echoing gym, hoping no one talked to me while I was struggling through the haze of moving and the hottest summer ever in NC. But instead, Charlotte came over and sat down and introduced herself, and we've been in the same community group ever since. Fun Styles facts:
1. When we met, our children (which now number 2, with 2 more on the way) were just twinkles in our eyes.
2. Charlotte is from South Carolina and she taught me that the town of Greer in South Carolina is actually pronounced GRR- like a tiger. Really! And she has been a helpful decoder of all the complexities of living in the South (and there are many- mostly fun ones!)
3. Josh just graduated from law school. He's also one of the few people who can handily beat my husband in a game of Axis and Allies.
Josh and Charlotte are moving in a couple of weeks and as I edited their photos and uploaded them, I realized what a loss this will be to all of us who know and love them. BUT! They aren't going far, and they are going in the faith that the Lord has called them build up or start a church that loves Jesus and seeks to serve people who love Him more every day. And this is the best reason to let someone go. Plus, now I can say I know people in South Carolina!
So, if you know and love Josh and Charlotte, this is for them, and you. We love you guys and will miss you.
I love Cara's little face here.
Cara's hair actually looks like this in real life!! All us ladies should be so lucky, right?
You can see the entire collection here. Thanks for reading.