manchester, UK

Cold, dreary and wet are three words I would use to describe Manchester. I loved this city so much -- funny, because I didn't really expect that I would. There were so many different cultures thrown into this city. I stayed right off of the curry mile . . . a mile of food, grocery stores and shops owned by people from all over the world. There were lots of art and history museums to enjoy during the day, bars at night and coffee shops all the time, of course. 

if you have any questions at all about manchester, email me and i can give you all the travel tips. (mostly I will just tell you stories about how i messed up and not to be like me.) You can also totally skip my long post and look at the photos -- the city was fun to capture. Manchester was one of my favorites and I had the pleasure of seeing it with some wonderful people. 

 

 

Levi & Lindsay

Levi and Lindsay and their story gets me all excited. I've known Levi for what seems like forever, he was my boss back in my barista days (BEST BOSS EVA) and he's officially adopted the "big brother" role in my life. I haven't known Lindsay as long, but it feels like it. She's personable and sweet -- I totally approve of my big bro's choice. ;) 

They wrote out their story on their own wedding website, so I'm gonna cheat and send ya'll over there for more. (they tell it better than I) click here for the link! 

Their engagement shoot included lots of dancing, listening to Jon Bellion and heart-to-heart talks. We laughed a lot too -- they're pretty dang happy. 

Joshua Tree

I wanna start this all off by being super honest and stating this fact: I've felt uninspired with my photography lately. really uninspired. and I'm not talking about the "rough-week" or even "rough-month" uninspired, but the kind of uninspired that drags on for what seems like forever. Actually, the last time I was inspired was out in Joshua Tree -- when I attended this workshop. 

I know I've shot lots of pretty weddings lately. I know I've traveled TONS. but I just haven't felt that urge, that desire to just grab my camera and shoot in months. I definitely very much enjoy photographing my clients but I haven't wanted to take photos for fun, for myself. I haven't wanted to create for the sake of creating. It's discouraging. 

All that to say (before this becomes a pity party . . . queue Elton John's "sad songs"), if you're a creative and not feeling very creative -- it's okay. As Ben Sasso says, "we're all in this together". I DO know what I need to do to get outta this rut. I need to plan a shoot with some people that I'd be stoked to photograph, photograph them for free (money adds pressure for me guys), and get off my butt. I just haven't got there yet. I will. 

Let's throw it back to mid-September of 2016, when I was camping in the desert with a bunch of rad photographers and feeling very inspired. I met wonderful people. guys, the creative community is so encouraging and even stronger than I thought it was. Ben Sasso and Katch Silva are so down-to-earth and I learned lots from them. 

These photos are mostly just random photos of photographers photographing photographers (there's a lot of "photo" in that sentence). Joshua Tree national park was gorgeous, the people I camped & hung out with were amazing and I'm grateful. 

Joe & Sarah

NOVEMBER 12TH, 2016

What a wonderful day this was! I didn't get to meet Joe and Sarah until the day before their wedding, but they are some of the sweetest people ever and we hit it off instantly. Their wedding was a destination one for them and their family while I was glad to shoot another wedding in my favorite place to call home -- Louisville, Kentucky. 

Joe and Sarah have a sweet, quirky and steady kind of love. They both are apart of the US airforce (Sarah was serving literally DAYS before her wedding -- how amazing is she?) and have traveled far and wide. It was such an honor to be able to photograph their wedding! 

coordinator: Alexis of Weekend Wedding Warrior

venues: Caldwell Chapel & CQ Princess

second shooter: Danielle Martin of Chapter 25 Photo

officiant: Pastor Gerald Faulkner

cake: Louisvilleicious Cake 

DJ: Randy Embry of Triangle Talent DJs 

florist: Rose & Honey Floral

Jess McGhie

manchester, UK || jan 2017

(yes, it's been like 3 months but I still exist) 

I'm reallyreally excited to share this session with y'all. (it's a good way to break the silence of blogging, right?) I got back from my overseas trip about a month ago, and while I was overseas I had the pleasure of meeting + spending time with the lovely Jess McGhie. She's a photographer too, and her work is full of life, travel and love. (basically she's perfect.)

since we're both photographers, of course there had to be a photo-shoot of sorts, ya know? we both did shoots a little different and a little out of our comfort zone. I tried some different poses, tried to incorporate more movement and directed the emotion I wanted from the photos, instead of relying on her emotion to shoot. But I still tried to capture Jess's personality, cause she's got a great one. She's dramatic and blunt -- in the most chill and sincere way. And she's got lotsa jokes to tell. 

here's the lovely Jess, peeps! 

makeup: Afshan Akhtar 

outfit: ralph lauren (shirt), h&m (jeans), new look (shoes)

 

personal | petra & travel thoughts

this year has felt like a whirlwind, but at the same time, I've never felt more steady as a person. never have I felt more confident, never have I felt more myself, never have I felt more free. and I'm also learning that it's not always about me or what I want or how I feel. honestly, I don't really want it to be all about me. I want to live this one life to the fullest . . . serving, laughing, adventuring, crying and loving recklessly. life has been awful sometimes but it's also awfully wonderful if you choose to look at it that way. 

I'm enjoying time with my family  after over a year of not seeing them and eating a lot of hummus. They live in Jordan and I'm glad I could scrounge up enough for a ticket so I could hug their necks. 

here's a list of things I'm thankful for this year and some photos from our mini family vacation out to Wadi Rum & Petra. 

  • rain, cold yet still comforting on my skin 
  • music (hi my name is kendra and i live for music) 
  • being able to go new places 
  • friends (i've listened to "where the hell are my friends" too many times. guys. i miss you) 
  • but really, my friends. i've moved too many times to count and i'm so grateful for relationships throughout it all. 
  • photography, this gift God gave me that fills me with joy and gives me a chance to give back
  • being young and single and free and reckless and, as a result, having good stories to tell (that i probably won't tell my kids one day, unless they really beg) 
  • books. because i'm not v smart and books hold lotsa wisdom. 
  • the chance to be with my family and hug them lots. (except Anna and Samuel, who are still studying in the states for the holidays. y'all are dearly missed!) 

I do realize that I'm grateful for very cliche, simple things but I really do find the most joy in those things. okay? okay fine. 2016, you were horrible and wonderful all at once. and the horrible things ended up being wonderful things, so I guess it's fine. 

cheers, y'all! 

 

 

 

Nikia & Matt

In-home sessions are all the rage in the photography world, but maybe for a good reason. It's the simple moments that make up the best days of our lives: messy unmade bedsheets, coffee breath and short walks on a Sunday morning. Although snazzy new outfits, perfect hair and a full face of makeup can be fun for photos, the real moments are just as vital to remember -- if not more important. 

Nikia and Matt have a simple, genuine and whole-hearted kind of love. They're the sort of people that make dorky jokes, laugh a hella lot and send you home with a movie to borrow (yep, they're my favorite sort of people). And Maverick, the dog, is the absolute cutest. 

enjoy the photos, peeps. 

Maggie McDowell

I've been thankful this fall to be able to photograph some of the coolest seniors ever -- Maggie being one of them. She has such a kind heart, but she's also not afraid to talk about deeper subjects. And boy, can she nail that model death-stare for the camera. 

Maggie -- you were a joy to photograph; a joy to spend time with. here's her senior photos! 

personal | still searching

[WARNING: non-professional, very real + messy blog post below.]

i sit here, piles of editing and texts to respond to, but my mind swirls and swings from one question to the other. 

who do i trust?

who do i believe? 

who's really right? 

is there a God? and if so, do i find him by listening to him, or do i listen to him through other people? do people's opinions matter? and if so, are they clearly right or wrong, or is there a bit of truth and lies mixed in with everything? 

these (and oh so many more) are the questions that have crowded my mind in the past few months. 

i remember having these questions three years ago, before i fell madly in love with Jesus again, and i remember being scared, confused and shamed. now i feel free, reckless, confused and maybe a little terrified. 

i remember being sixteen years old in my home school co-op days. my dad, leading the bible study, asked us what God had been teaching us. i, in my blunt overflowing state, said, "well, it's hard to answer this question, because honestly i'm not sure if i believe in a god right now." 

dead silence. oh shit (maybe it was crap in those days), i thought, that was not the right thing to say

i think i had a meltdown in the middle of that group because it was between that or bolting out the door -- i wasn't sure which one was worse. and now, three years later, i stand here with a foggy head and open heart. 

i'm not sure what to believe. who to believe. Christians have been some of the kindest people i know but also the ones to wound me deepest. after all, we're just human. we all fail; we mess-up. 

we are all searching. if we're not, we've settled or already chosen something to hope upon. something or someone to believe in. and no matter what we choose, it's gonna take some faith. faith in something. hope in something. 

what is my something? i don't know. it's probably different than your something, but more similar than you think. 

let me tell you: i'm but a whisper. life is but a blink. it's wild, scary, and spectacular -- all those things and more. i'm so small, i know hardly anything and sometimes i wonder if what i'm doing is hardly anything. i'm not really all that great, even when i get all caught up and think i am. 

i keep choosing to believe God's there; that i can trust him. he's always had my back before. i'm just not sure how all the rest fits in. 

i stand here, still confused but still wanting to love and serve. i leave for the middle east in 13 days to serve and am i ready? heck to the no. i'm so far from worthy, especially where i am now. 

but i'm going, mind clouded with questions and all, heart open and still searching. always searching. 

 

songs atm: 

inner peace, jon foreman

i have this hope, tenth avenue north

she said, jon foreman

 

and here's some self portraits i took the other week because i can't make a post without photos, ya know? fyi, i normally barely wear makeup and don't look this serious. but whatevs. i shall end this serious, rambly post with a dorky photo of me dancing with the self timer. classy. 

see? classy. if you read this far, thanks friend. hope you are having a wonderful day and don't forget to keep searching. 

xoxo,

kendra

Baker & Tiffany

Both Baker and Tiffany are some of the chillest, laid back and kind-hearted people I've met. Our initial meeting lasted longer than any other I've had, and in the best of ways. Much to my excitement, I got to hear their story: how they'd known each other since elementary school and eventually had their lives woven together close enough for Baker to get down on one knee and ask Tiffany to marry him. pretty adorable, right? 

Nothing can really be more adorable than photographing them, either. Even though it was pouring down rain for half our session, I'm grateful to have clients who are adventurous and not afraid to get a little rained on or muddy. I'm really grateful. 

Shout out to Harvest Coffee and Café for having yummy drinks and being cozy & dry. okay -- now enjoy the photos of this adorable couple! 

Gerry & Sameera

Gerry and Sameera have a whole-hearted, crazy and joyous kind of love. You can see it written all over Sameera's face and you can sense it when they walk into a room. These two -- Sameera with her spunky kindness and Gerry with his outgoing charm -- have been wonderful to work with these past few weeks. 

Their wedding was wonderful, too. It was gorgeous, filled with good people, and loud in all the best of ways. Gerry & Sameera, thanks for everything and cheers to the Coopers! 

venues: Mellwood Arts Center, Redeemer Lutheran Church, Hyatt Regency 

makeup: Ariel Moore 

second shooter: Tabitha Booth Photography

officiant: Pastor Ensley 

cake: Adrienne & Company 

DJ: Michael Robinson of DJ Out Here

 

florist: Ray Herdt 

caterer: Saffrons Restaurant 

 

  

Jaicee & Danny

Lifestyle and "real life" shoots are my favorite to capture. Genuine moments, like your family making pancakes on a Saturday morning (even if the kitchen is a mess) or the way he helps her down the stairs, holding her hand: these are the moments you'll want to remember. Not the awkward "everyone stand here and look at the camera. CHEESE!" photo. I try to make my clients comfortable so they can be themselves and then I can capture photos that are more real and more them. It's challenging since everyone is different, but it's oh-so-rewarding. 

While I was out in Joshua Tree, California at Ben Sasso and Katch Silva's workshop last month I had the privilege of being able to photograph the lovely Morgans. They've been married for a few months now. I hadn't worked with any couples that had already been married (only minutes after their ceremony) so it was a wonderful experience. 

check em out! 

Dan & Tori

Frankfort, our little Kentucky capital, is one of my fave small towns. Gardens are my fave to shoot in. and Tori and Dan are some of my favorite people to photograph, so as you can imagine, I had a pretty fabulous time shooting this wedding. 

I had the pleasure of working with Dan and Tori last fall during their engagement session and I also worked with Tori back in the day as a barista. good times. check out their engagement photos here

Tori and Dan's wedding was simple and sweet, filled with hopeful promise and family. There was quite a bit of laughter involved, too, which is also my favorite. 

here's the photos and a shout-out to all the lovely people involved: 

hair: Allure Salon

venue: First united Methodist Church, Liberty Hall Garden + the Patterson's home

officiant: Roger Williams 

flowers: Flowers by Sharon

photobooth: Little Black Photobooth

cakes: Tinkers Cake Shop

dress: Bridal & Formal

 

 

 

 

Trey & Erin

Summer weddings can be hot, like the sticky-sweaty kinda hot, but with all the emotion and excitement it's easy to forget about the heat. Trey and Erin's wedding was one of those: hot yet full of good times. Trey is quick to make Erin laugh with his goofy, fun spirit and I think Erin keeps him in line. ;) She looked stunning -- it certainly was a beautiful wedding. 

(warning: random rant ahead) Lately I've been feeling a little (ok, a lot) overwhelmed with the amount of photos I have to cull, to edit and deliver, especially with working a part time job during the week and shooting on the weekends . . . but I also need to take a moment to feel thankful. Thankful that I have people to photograph. Thankful that people trust me to document their wedding day and other events. I really have enjoyed all the relationships I've built and photography makes me feel more alive than ever. y'all are wonderful and I'm very very grateful. 

here's those pics! (and shoutouts to the wedding vendors) 

second shooter: this adorable chic named Erin Drysdale of Erin E Photography

venue: Shelby Hills Farm

officiant: Ben Henry 

makeup: Jessica Land 

DJ: Ron Middleton

hair: Rebeca Lemes 

 

Gerry & Sameera

So. I get to photograph these two as they get married tomorrow and boy, am I stoked. I have a crap ton of pictures to edit and blog, so what better day to post their engagement session?

Gerry and Sameera are hilarious, genuine and very madly in love. We walked around St. James Court here in Louisville, smelled hydrangeas and ended our session on a rooftop with some dancing.

Yes, so now you know why I'm excited about their wedding tomorrow. enjoy the photos! 

Morgan St. Jean

Music is something that I'll cherish my whole life. I can't remember the last time I spent a day without listening to music and musicians fascinate me. really. I freaking love musicians. 

I was thrilled when my new friend Kylie (Kylie rocks guys) asked if I wanted to photograph her musician friend with her while I was in California. Of course I said yes and of course we jammed out to her friend's music on our drive out from Joshua Tree to LA (more on that later. been swamped lately). Morgan St. Jean is the talented and gorgeous artist I had the pleasure of photographing. She's outgoing, confident and honest. And she has a killer voice. Y'all should check her out

Also, Los Angles was wonderful and I didn't want to leave: then at the same time it's good to be honest. Make sense? 

Here's those photos. 

 

Chicago

Yay for exploring big cities with your bestie. 

^ that sounded very giddy. But I'm writing this late and Chicago makes you giddy. 

There was a lot of traffic and we were probably lost 79% of the time. But we had good coffee, rode bikes (aka lugged bikes around everywhere), I got to ask random people to model for me and Amelia modeled for me everywhere. We made lots of bean puns (WHATCHA BEAN UP TO). Amelia made a dare that we had to give our numbers out to one guy by the end of the three days. I won. She planned out all the details and DJed on the ride up and I don't know what I would've done without her. 

Well, that's all for now. I might post a video at some point if I ever can find a spare moment to edit it. It took me almost 3 months to make this post. so. We shall see. 

cheers! 

Kendra

Collin & Katie

Collin and Katie had their first date over ice cream at dairy queen -- except Collin argues that it wasn't a date and that a date had to be fancier, experienced over real food. Plus both of them were trying to figure out if it was actually a date or if they were just grabbing ice cream as friends. Gotta love those awkward dates, but it doesn't matter cause they went out plenty more and got married last month. 

Katie is one of the sweetest and joyful people I've ever met. Collin is honest; constantly looking for ways to serve others. Together they're perfect and I'm so happy for them. 

We almost stepped on a snake (no joke), sweated a lot, got eaten by bugs and waded through fields of tall grass. It might sound miserable, but there was also lots of laughter and wedding cake. I'd say the day went pretty well. 

here's a shout out to all the people who helped make July 17th great:

second shooter: the lovely Lindsey McDonald 

venue: Eden Springs Farmstead

officiant: Blake Lawyer

makeup: Julita Nance

florist: Dixie Florist 

DJ: TNT Productions

cake: Valerie Armstrong

 

 

 

Courtney & Meghan

Joy,  generosity and intimacy were all brought to the table at Courtney and Meghan's wedding. I think theirs was the smallest wedding I've shot yet, but I love how unique and intimate small weddings can be. Everyone came together to make the day perfect. Meghan's dad was there in spirit, his photo hidden in her bouquet of flowers that she carried with her as she walked down the aisle and danced in Courtney's arms. Danielle, Meghan's identical twin, was constantly serving and glowing in happiness for her sister. (They look exactly alike -- even Courtney mistook Danielle for Meghan when they first started dating.) 

Courtney and Meghan are both some of the selfless people I know; they are constantly thinking of others and even more so on their wedding day. They made sure my second shooter and I had plenty to eat (he ate my steak though. thanks Ben) and sent us both home with succulents and flowers. Not only do they care for others, but they share an even deeper love for each other and for the Lord. 

Meghan and Courtney, I wish you two all the best and was honored to be your photographer. 

venue: Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill

second shooter: Ben Calhoun (some of his photos are scattered into this blog . . thankful to call him my friend!)

hair: Holly Kell

officiant: Andy Lawrence

ceremony music: Luanne Lawrence

florist + decor: Brenda, Danielle (she also did Meghan's hair. like what) and Meghan herself

cake: Martine's Pastries

invitations: Minted

dress: David's Bridal

 

Anna Pearcy

Senior sessions are the best. We stood in cornfields. We chased chickens and picked flowers. There was lots of hair whipping. Anna even brought her horses into the shoot and the way she cares for them is so precious. 

Anna -- thanks for letting me take your photos and for not thinking I'm insane (even after all my corny jokes. get it? ahaha)