One of the things I love most about the holidays is traditions. And one of my favorite traditions immediately following the holidays is this blog right here. Looking back at a crazy busy but beautiful year fills my heart with a lot of joy. Especially when I get to read what my clients had to say about their photos. I honestly don't think I made it through 1 response without getting a little misty eyed (which if you know me at all you know that happens often anyway, but still...)
So, after 26 weddings, 29 families, and 7 award winning photos I bring you a recap of 2014. I asked everyone to look thru the photos I captured for them this year and pick a favorite and tell me why it is their favorite. Some of them picked a few more then 1 (ahem, Sara & Seth I'm talking to you) and for a few of them I couldn't help but pick an extra photo too. My last 2 weddings of the year haven't seen all of their photos yet so I didn't think it was fair to ask them so I picked the last 2.
Here's the labor of love that was 2014. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did!
The Brown Family
What a difference 11 months makes! When we found out our first child was a boy, I was a little scared. Tea parties I can do, but a boy?! I felt totally out of my league. Then we found out baby #2 was a boy as well. Knowing the energy level of my first little guy at home I thought," Yikes, 2 boys!" As someone whose closest sibling is 8 years older, I was excited for them to have a sibling of the same gender that close in age as that was something I had never experienced. I was prepared for them to love each other and I was prepared for lots of fighting. What I was not prepared for was exactly what Katherine has captured in these photos. From the moment Thompson was born, Carter has adored him. As the months have gone on, Thompson now adores Carter. They are brothers and best friends. If one goes to timeout, the other is devastated. They are fiercely loyal and they have a love for each other that has not been taught. It is truly amazing to witness their friendship and it is such a privilege to be their parents and the people chosen to nurture this relationship everyday. Thank you Katherine for capturing these sweet moments of our family in 2014!
The Jenkins Family
I love it because it's what real life looked like in our home with our beloved Lennox. I will always cherish this picture and the reminder of friendship and love he brought to our family. We will miss him always.
Salena & Andy – March 8th
My favorite, although so difficult to choose, is the picture of Andy & I facing one another beside the large tree outside after the ceremony. The sun was out, it was just the two of us looking in each others eyes sharing a moment together before going in to the reception. The portrait layout allows for seeing the lace on the dress which was my favorite part of it & the lace on my veil, which was from my mom's wedding dress, and the bouquet made by our family friend, Andy's father's ring on his hand and the broach from my grandmother on the bouquet. It captured the emotion of the moment with glimpses of tiny details from loved ones still with us and those passed on but still influencing our lives. My other favorite is the one of my mom, Mamaw, sister-in-law, & my hands all together with our wedding rings. It's my favorite because it is the first and only wedding rings for all of us. A symbol of our lifelong commitment to our husbands. Thank you so much for the fabulous job you did on our wedding pictures! I can't tell you how many times I've looked back through them!
Sara & Andy – March 15th
It was very difficult to pick a favorite because we have so many! This image captures a very real and stolen moment, one after a very long and exhausting day in which we sought comfort in one another. We both remember this moment as being just the two of us and everything around us just faded into the background, like the focus does in the image. We are so happy with how the photos turned out!
The Williams Family
A top fav is the one of us crossing the street in the old city. I adore this photo because of its relaxed setting in one of our favorite places. It's unique and not like any pictures we have of us yet shows us all as a family.
The Ems Family
The Temples Family
My favorite photo is one of the ones.where Nora is kneeling in the buttercups and Chase is in the background sticking out his tongue:) it captures their cute and silly relationship!
The Simmons Family
This picture carries special meaning to our family. Katherine took our pictures just before we moved away from TN, and she had the great idea to take some pictures with the Tennessee theater sign in the background, since we would soon be moving from our home state. I love the emotions that this captures; both the excitement about the next chapter in our lives, and sentimentality of leaving a place we will always consider home.
Amy & Shelton – April 5th
Shelton and I love this photo. It was one of the first and only moments we had alone our entire wedding day. Katherine captured such a special moment at a unique angle. It is a wonderful reminder of how elated we were to FINALLY be married. We now have a large version hanging in our home! We still continue to love and treasure all of the photos you captured for us.
Megan & Brandon – April 19th
This is my favorite photo from our wedding because the sky and trees were so beautiful--the perfect backdrop! It made all the rain from that day totally worth it! Only God could paint such a breath-taking natural background for such a monumental and precious day!
Abby & Neely – April 25th
I think I like this one the best because its a romantic shot from a really cool angle, and I love all the colors, especially the way the light makes us look like we are glowing! By the way, it was so hard to pick just one...I have many favorites!!
Rebecca & Tim – May 10th
This is such a difficult question as we love all the photos - in fact we are having a hard time deciding what to frame! I think our favorite would have to be this one. When I saw it on the blog I just loved it - it perfectly captures a moment I will always remember, being surrounded by our friends as we looked at each other and it all sank in. I love that you were there to capture it, and every time I look at this picture it takes me back to that amazing day in our lives.
Chelsea & Travis – May 17th
Ever since I was a little girl, I dreamed of having my wedding on the beach at Harbor Island, our second home since I was a baby. When Travis proposed and I brought up the idea of a mini "destination wedding", it started to look like this dream could be a reality. Doing our first look in downtown Beaufort and getting married on the beach right in front of our home on Harbor was surreal and beautiful and magical. I felt pure, unadulterated joy that entire weekend, and I think this picture captures that perfectly.
The Caldwell Family
I will say generally that you captured our family looking natural and unforced, which I love. I think if I must pick one it has to be one of our whole family, so I will go with the one where we are in front of the lighthouse and all exchanging kisses. It is sweet, unique, the lighting is perfect, and most importantly it has all of us in it, which is rare since I am almost always the one behind the camera in our family (I'm sure you know the feeling!). We can't wait to do photos with you again soon!
Rebecca & Ben – May 24th
Amber & Ryan – May 31st
Picking a favorite was so hard, we absolutely loved all of our photos! After some time we were able to narrow it down to two pictures.
You really captured a candid moment of us perfectly! Ryan and I were attempting to cut the first slice of our beautiful wedding cake-- which we failed at on the first try. Ryan has spent a majority of the last few years making me laugh and this picture documents us so perfectly.
This is another picture we absolutely love. When we planned our special day I did not plan for rain--but it happened anyway! If you would have asked me before the wedding I would have been so upset with rain, I was set on having beautiful outdoor pictures. Our wedding day was so special that by time it started raining it didn't even bother me. When you asked us if we would go take outside pictures in the rain I had no idea they would be this amazing! You were able to turn bad weather into beautiful scenery with your magic. This picture reminds me that at the end of the day, the little things like a rainy day really don't matter at all! Again--we cannot thank you enough for giving us such a fabulous account of our perfect day. The pictures throughout the day create a story that I love looking at. Since Ryan and I didn't see each other before the wedding it is so special to see his day leading up to the ceremony. You were also able to capture every little detail that we missed on the actual day. You are so talented and we were so lucky to have you photograph our wedding!
Sara & Seth – June 7th
Okay, this was really hard. I love so many pictures!!!!! I picked way too many choices for my favorite….sorry???
Okay, of course I had to get one of Allison. I think this picture is hilarious. Everyone except people in my family thought she was coming up to pray with us and be super tender, several people told me they were so touched and even cried! In reality, she was so annoyed that the ceremony was taking too long and went up there to say, “What’s wrong with you? Hurry up and kiss him!” All I know is that in the middle of our prayer with both sets of parents I suddenly feel this tiny arm wrap around my waist and I was so confused until I opened my eyes and saw it was her arm! It did make the moment a little lighter since it was a heavy, intense moment of all of us praying over our marriage and being so serious. I’ll never forget how tickled I was after that! We call Allison, “Goose” because of her silly goose moments and that was definitely one of them. So glad it was captured. Okay, sorry I picked too many, but I couldn’t help it. Choosing just one of Allison was too hard. I wanted to choose like 18 of hers.
This is Seth’s favorite. I love this picture so much. We knew we were going to dip during our kiss, but everyone outside of the wedding party didn’t know we were going to do that so it was fun and unexpected. We wanted to be a little different with our kiss. I love the look on my dad’s face and Pastor Mel. I love all the green in the background, the tree, the arch, and the grass.
I adore this. We were so euphoric and just super relieved that the hard part was over. I didn’t have to worry about trying not to cry or trip, we had just gotten married and I couldn’t believe it was real life!
I LOVE this picture because throughout the day we kissed for pictures but it was always a quick peck, but this was a very real kiss. It felt like nobody was watching us and it was right after we had been pronounced as husband and wife. We were so happy and relieved the hard part was over. This is a wonderful memory for me. Thanks so much for capturing all these beautiful moments!
Chelsea & Will – June 14th
This picture was taken right after we had our first glance. It's beautiful to me because we were so happy, nervous, and it is just us two together.
Mary Kate & Brad – July 12th
I just love the bright green colors of the trees, the bright pinks from the flowers that were in bloom, and the lake behind us. Even though it was so hot that afternoon in July, you managed to make us both look graceful and flawless :) All of our pictures were wonderful but this is the one that I always seem to gravitate towards. I have it posted just about everywhere so that we can remember our fun and special day! Thanks again for such wonderful pictures!
Amanda & Matthew – July 19th
This is our favorite photo because it captures the excitement of our wedding day! We love all of our photos, but every time we look at this one, it fills us with happiness and is a great memory of our perfect day.
The Hutchison Girls
There's a lot I love. There is one pic where we are all together in the middle of the road. Any of those are fantastic!!! My favorite one is black and white and its Kenzlee looking to the side with her hand on the tree. Its my favorite because she's gorgeous and she doesn't know it. Her little personality was captured by you. Its hanging on our wall and we love it!!!!! These look like my kids whole demeanor wrapped in a photo.
The Arendt Family
Loved how you were able to capture Addison’s eyes.
Jennifer & Ross – August 9th
It's definitely got to be the picture of us in the car looking out at our wedding guests right before we leave the ceremony! Such a beautiful picture!!
The Peter-Fritts Family
Our favorite photo from Xavier's 1 month is with photo where Jackson's head is lying on Xavier's.
Amanda & Louis – August 16th
This picture was taken seconds after we were pronounced husband and wife and walked outside of the Church. It was one of the sweetest and most exciting moments of the day for us because we were able to soak in the amazing covenant that was just made. Everything had been moving so quickly and it was perfect to be able to pause and rejoice in the fact that we were actually married! Thanks again for our beautiful pictures--we love them and so does all our family!
Norah & Patterson – August 23rd
I think our favorite photo is the one of us in black and white walking into the reception, holding hands, looking at each other and smiling. We love that one b/c we are both so incredibly happy and excited to celebrate with all of our family and friends. Thanks so much again for everything.
The Payne Family
First of all, how can you ask me to pick a favorite? There are so many beautiful pictures!!! I love so many of Covey by himself, but I'd have to say my top two are of all of us.
I love the photo of us in the kitchen "making Covey's first birthday cake". As he sits there patiently stirring his flour that I so shouldn't have poured all over him ;).....Your one comment of "mommy looks too clean" turned into a perfectly non-poised photo of a family where the baby is the one behaving and mommy and daddy are playing with their food. I will be blowing this one up to put above the shelf in our kitchen!
Who doesn't love a baby in a bubble bath? The picture just looks so pretty and clean and the little smirk on his face is priceless. Love them all.
Candice & Jim – August 30th
There were so many great pictures of all of us from that day but this one is my favorite because of the happy memories that go with it and what it symbolizes. We began our marriage laughing, the kind of laughing that makes your belly hurt; tromping through wet grass (and a little mud) after a horrendous thunderstorm all while surrounded by so many who love us and covered by two rainbows. I figure it doesn't get much better than that.
The Dabbs Family
My favorite photo this year was too hard to pick just one, really I had over ten, but I narrowed it down to two. The first is the picture of the girls sitting in the chairs with the teacups in front of their playroom window. I love this photo because it shows how Amelia already loves to play pretend and when I look at this picture I can see how the two girls will grow.
The second is the picture of Ryan helping Amelia put her shoes on. This picture is so sweet and captures what a truly amazing Dad he is and how much she loves him. Every time I look at this picture in our home it makes me smile. Katherine, you did a fabulous job. I can't wait for our next photo shoot with you!
Ashley & Jeffrey – September 20th
Jeffrey and I absolutely love this photo! I don't think either of us could have had any bigger smiles on our faces if we tried. Having our family and friends come together for us, all in one place at the same time, was a day we will never forget. And leaving our wedding reception through a sea of waving ribbon wands capped off a night of nothing but love, happiness and fun, fun, fun!
Courtney & Alex – September 27th
Being as great as Katherine is at capturing the most intimate moments, it was extremely difficult to pick just one that was our favorite. Alex and I both love this picture for many reasons. Every time I see this picture, I smile because I feel as though I'm right back in that moment. We had just finished our first dance as husband and wife and we couldn't be more happy! Katherine caught us at such a genuine and special moment and we couldn't be more grateful to be able to look back at our pictures and feel the emotion behind that moment each time we look at it. This picture embodies all of the years we waited and dreamed of getting married. It finally became a reality and it truly exceeded all of our expectations. It was a perfect day, one that we will never forget!
Rachel & Ryan – October 4th
Our favorite photograph from our wedding is this one, a close-up of us dancing our first dance. We love the feel of this photo: the feeling of being in motion, the closeness between us, the glowing of the lights, the bright sky outside, and how everything around us blurs as we look right at each other. It shows off some of our favorite details from our wedding: Ryan's ring, my sash, the flowers, his cufflinks... little touches that made it beautiful. But most of all, it shows us connecting and sharing a moment of complete joy together! We both loved this photo, and when I asked Ryan what he liked about it, he said, "I was so nervous on our wedding day, but I always feel relaxed dancing with you, and it shows in this picture." It fits with one of our surprise favorites from our engagement shoot: the picture of us dancing beside each other with the mountains in the background. We figured that we would look completely dorky, but it's one of our favorites because it captures the fun that we always have when we're "in it together" (plus our amazing dance moves!). These photos do such a beautiful job of capturing the connection, energy, and joy that these moments hold for us.
Oh, this is hard! There were so many!! I love the ones with her interacting with her little brother....AND I love the ones of her sitting on the couch laughing AND crying when she read her letter from the groom. I think my favorite from this wedding was the one with the wedding rings on the little fall leaves. I remember driving in on the Rehearsal afternoon and noticing there was little to no color on the leaves yet. This was the very beginning of a lackluster leaf changing season...not sure where you found those three vibrant fall leaves, but you did it! This couple wanted a Fall wedding but the leaves were not quite cooperating that early in the season. You found these three little gems and created a sweet memory for them.
Janna Fowler, All About Weddings
Lara & Travis 1 Year Anniversary
We love this picture because of what it represents for us. It was taken in the spot where we got married a year before and is a powerful reminder of what that day represents. A day full of restoration and grace. It is also a sweet moment that we feel captures the beauty and simplicity of our first year together.
Melissa & Ryan – October 11th
We both decided that this group shot of our wedding party is one of our most favorites. This is because both of us can take one look at this picture and it takes us right back to our wedding night. It captures how happy and excited we were to have all of our family and friends together to help us celebrate our marriage. The lights look pretty, too. Thank you again for photographing our engagement and wedding. The pictures are absolutely beautiful and you did a beyond expectations job capturing this huge life event of ours. We are forever thankful!!
The Williams Family
Another fav is the one you recently took of us laying in the leaves. I love this photo because it truly captures the personalities of the kids and what goes on behind the scenes of a photo session with 2 toddlers. We also love the scenery and all of the bright colors captured so well! Thanks Katherine! Your work is fabulous and we are truly thankful to have met you 3.5 years ago!
Anne & Daniel – October 18th (Shot by Associates Chelsey & Melissa)
Daniel and I's wedding was beyond anything we could have dreamed. Everything was just as we had hoped with our friends and family by our side. As many couples experience on their wedding day, time flies by. There were many memorable moments on our wedding day that we will cherish forever. This moment captured while dancing is a special favorite. At that moment, the only other person in the world was Daniel. This picture captures the excitement, fun, and love shared between us.
I love this because it captures a side of both bride and groom that I saw in our meetings but is difficult to capture on the wedding day (kudos to y'all). But in that photo you saw a couple who knew the vows they were taking to be important and serious. Their expressions seem to say "I love this person and I'm never letting go". He looks like a leader in the photo and she looks like a woman with her husband's heart in her hands. It's very touching. Makes me melt when I look at it because I knew how important the ceremony was to them - how important the core of the wedding day is to their marriage.
Holly Lynch, The Season
Andrea & Alec – October 19th
We chose this photo because it was one of our favorite moments of the wedding and is very candid. There is so much love, laughter, & joy in this moment not only between Alec & I, but it filled the room. I remember my Aunt Jewel's roaring laughter & my sister Alyssa's whistling in the background leading up to this moment.
Just in case you were wondering, the second attachment was our second choice. Our expressions exude the emotions of love and joy the whole day & six years leading up to our marriage :) We also loved all of the sunset photos but we wanted to choose something more personal/intimate to our wedding. Thank you again for everything!
The Porter Family
It was hard to choose a favorite photo this year, but I picked this one because it captures my girls beautifully. It sums up my year with the new addition of our sweet daughter Emily and Addison's new role as fabulous big sister!
The Hart Famil
The Wright Family
My favorite photo from our shoot is the one of just Wes and Carson sitting on the steps. Wes, as you know, has been my best friend, and the love of my life for 17 years. When we were blessed with Carson we couldn't believe how much our love grew! It is my prayer that our son will grow up to be as great a man as his Daddy and seeing them together always makes me smile! I also just love how Carson sat like Wes for this pic. Thank you for capturing my boys in such a sweet way!
Carolyn & Dave – October 25th
This is our absolute favorite photo from our wedding. Both of our families have said how much they love it because of how happy we both look. I've shown this picture the most. Almost every time I show someone they ask "what did he say that got you so tickled Carolyn?" My response is "I was just happy to be married". That's why I love it; our feelings of complete bliss are captured in this photo. I'm so glad that I have this moment to show everyone.
The Day Family
We couldn't pick between these two pictures. We think they each captured the boys in a special moment that shows us a cherished part of their personality.
The Wilson Family
As a photographer who loves to capture REAL moments with my family, that often means I do not appear in the picture. I am so grateful to Katherine Birkbeck for affording me the opportunity to have these beautiful images of my children WITH me in them. I love this photo because despite the fact that I am a person who prefers to be behind the lens, Katherine managed to capture my *real* smile, gorgeous light AND keep the attention of a 5 & 6 year old. She is a true talent.
The Levenson Family
I love it because it captures my two favorite boys.
The Harris Family
I love these pictures because they capture the essence of what my family is right now, with two very active boys! They are sweet, rowdy, playful, and loving all at the same time. They make our lives a ton of fun!
The Hubbard Family
This is my favorite family picture. It really captures how happy we are as a family.
The Heffern Family
The three of us may be a small family, but we have a lot of love and I feel you can see that in this picture.
The Brown Family
JOY!!! This is our favorite picture this year because of the pure joy Katherine captured! We work hard in our family to be happy for all the little things in life. It can be so easy to get caught up in all the things you don't have that you forget to celebrate and be thankful for everything you do have. We are joyful that our family has grown by 1 this year and we are thankful to have 2 growing, happy, healthy boys. I think my boys are just so excited to play with us at the park for an afternoon! Katherine, thank you for capturing this adorable picture of our family! What an awesome reminder of a joyful love we have when our days get hard.
The Hulette Family
This is my favorite photo of the boys because it captures how much Jackson loves his new brother and wants to tell him about everything — and it makes me excited imagining all of their adventures together in the years to come! Thank you again for the photos!
The Needham Family
My favorite (and my husband's and mom's) was Zoe and I. I love it because it is incredibly hard to capture the facial features of a black animal in a photo and this one does so beautifully. It also reflects the spirit of my and Zoe's relationship; she has been my constant companion and walking partner for over eight years. Thanks so much for capturing a moment in time that I will always treasure.
The Lane Family
Caitlin & Nick – November 22nd
Olivia & Marc – Novermber 29th
The Peter-Fritts Family
From Christmas it would be the group photo with Jackson though we also loved the group shot of the kids from my side and of Xavier and Aaron together on their bellies. Thanks again. They all are so amazing.
The Howard Family
A black and white family shot. It may not be the picture with the best smiles and everyone looking at the camera, but it's a beautiful photograph of our family.
And lastly the award winners...
Thanks to the WPJA, AGWPJA and ISPWP for these!