From the lace to the gorgeous blush color palette this afternoon spent in Kentwood, LA was an absolute dream. I want to share some of my favorite shots of The White Magnolia Styled Shoot I was fortunate enough to be apart of!
Cool springs house wedding day
At first the two weren’t sure if they would be able to get married in front of the old barn on the property due to rain, but we all kept our fingers crossed! As soon as the ceremony finished & Elizabeth & Jason were introduced as Mr. & Mrs. Cross, rain fell from the sky!
best of 2019
Celebrating each couple’s unique romance is what makes being a wedding photographer so fun for me! Each wedding day is special and unique, varying seasons, flowers, and colors, but my love for each of them is always the same. I hope you enjoy my recap of 2019 weddings!
August 17, 2018
For so long I’ve been wanting to find the courage and all the words to put together this personal post. A career can either be a paycheck that sustains one’s life or it can be the cultivation of all their dreams coming true. But what happens when you have two careers you love? Two totally different dreams? What happens then? I’ve been asking that same question to myself for two years now, and now it seems I have finally found my answer.
Ever since I was a little girl, I have been enthralled with veterinary medicine. I vividly remember playing “doctor” on my childhood dog, Chloe, hoping one day it would be my career in life like many young girls do. The good news was that I LOVED school. I loved to learn. I accredit a major portion of this to my parents who instilled the understanding of the importance of education in me at a young age. Along with loving to learn I really did love animals so much. I loved to think about things from their perspective & I was enamored with the idea of being an advocate of health for a creature that is unable to speak. The love of veterinary medicine never died down in me.
Then I got older and met Hunter Levi. If you knew me as a teenager, it’s no secret I was boy crazy for sure. With Hunter, it was so different. By the time I was 16 we had been together for four years. I could see my future with him(you can read more about our story here!). An Acadian style home, and a big family running in the yard. Even at that young age, I believed in that dream as much as I do now. But where did veterinary medicine fit in all of this?
That’s when I found out about the Veterinary Technology Program at Mississippi State. The idea of having a career where I could be the advocate, educator, and nurturer that I always wanted without the immense pressure of vet school was the perfect fit for me. I could have my family I always wanted and a career that was accommodating to that dream too.
Then my third love came. Wedding photography. It was truly a love I did not see coming. If you’ve made it this far you know that I mean it when I say that I really did care about veterinary medicine . But capturing someone’s wedding day? That brought me joy. A kind of joy that can only be described as heavenly. I never thought I would be capable of something that brought me SO much inner happiness. I have no doubt in my heart that God wanted me here on this earth to photograph wedding days. It also helped that my business was able to fuel my way through my vet tech program. In May I was blessed to graduate debt free, courtesy of my very loving clients!
I want to add that my love of photography came at a time I so desperately needed something to believe in. I have always had anxiety but at this point in college it began to consume my entire world. My business was the only thing that brought me joy for a long time. It was the only place I felt wanted so I clung to it so tightly.
The vet tech program at Mississippi State University is incredible but no one said it would be easy. Being married to a husband that was long distance was NOT easy either. My senior year was by far the hardest. My business was growing quickly. I was in the middle of studying for my boards. I had a husband that lived 4 hours away. I had my first panic attack in December of last year. My body could no longer handle the stress of living three completely separate lives. Something had to give.
The worst part of my story happened in April of this year right before graduation. My final clinical rotation was a unnamed externship here in TN. I’d like to add that this facility is not in any capacity affiliated with my school. The very best day I had at this clinic was worse than my hardest day at Mississippi State. The people, techs, doctors, were so so so awful to one another and especially to me. I felt as though I could have fallen down & died on the floor and no one would have noticed. Imagine paying thousands of dollars to be someplace and they don’t take the time to acknowledge your existence. I came home and cried every single day.
Why in the world would I want to work in an industry where people act this way? Had I wasted my four years in college on a degree I didn’t love? Had God made a mistake by having me love two life goals on the inside? Note that I’m also in the midst of constant debilitating anxiety. I wanted to add in this part of this story for a very specific reason. First, if you read these next few sentences and it resonates with you, you need to leave that working environment. You are too worthy to ever be treated that way. Whether it’s your first day or your a seasoned professional, you deserve the courtesy of someone learning your name or at least attempting to. I will never ever willingly put myself in that kind of toxic environment. You should not either.
You see my problem now though? 2 dreams. A career versus a passion. Also a desire to stay home with a family one day far in the future. One I was even unsure about after I had just payed thousands of dollars for. What do I do? Which do I choose? I’ve been struggling with that question ever since the middle of my junior year of college. Also, MANY people have been asking me the question as well, “So what are you going to do after graduation?!”. They were hinting at, what are you going to pick? Wedding Photography? Veterinary Technician? Well I’m happy to tell you, I chose both.
This week I accepted a part time position at City Pets Animal Care in downtown Nashville, Tennessee. For a long time I was deep down afraid of having a job as a vet tech(see my externship experience above). Specifically I was afraid of being in a hostile working environment. My number one priority was to find a place that was safe to learn, safe to grow, safe to be myself. I could not have dreamed up a more beautiful, inviting, working space if I tried. My new job is in every way the polar opposite of my externship experience and brings out the parts of learning that I loved even as a little girl. It feels like home to me.
Working part time also means I get to spend the rest of my time growing my business. My other dream! The two loves of my professional life will now be able to coexist! FINALLY!
For SO long I was afraid of working part time. Did that mean I wasn’t a “good enough” working wife? Would people think I was lazy? Was I not a real photographer if I had a part time job? These questions haunted me for years.
After many months of prayer, therapy, and moving along into post grad life, I decided to choose that this was my life & I wanted to do what was best for me. I also believe that God did not create me to love just one thing. By loving three separate things, I have the ability to love more people and glorify Him in the process. I am SO excited for this new journey! I can’t wait to continue to grow my dreams for as long as I possibly can.
Design by With Grace and Gold. Photography by Jannah Alexander. Designed with Showit.
I was so happy to see this story and see how God has worked it out for you to do both careers you love! Glad we could be a part of helping you reach your goals. Ands we were absolutely blown away with how beautiful Staci & Luke’s engagement and wedding photos were that you created. Hope our paths may cross again one day. God bless you!
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