If it weren’t for her, there would never have been an empty space, or the need to fill it.
— Nicole Krause, The History of Love

Cami Freaking Redding Y'all. No really. Cami + Sam are like the perfect exclamation point to just about any sentence. I don't know how your week was starting off but if you've made it this far without smiling, crying, laughing, staring, and swooning - you need to scroll up and start over. This wedding was our first official launch into full fledge production packages. We've partnered with videographers over the years and have had some incredible video friends run right along side us but this one was different. When we officially hired Brandon the goal was simple - powerful, emotionally charged, short videos aimed at accenting photos instead of simply creating a redundant story. Mission holy crap accomplished. Brandon is almost too far ahead of the curve at times and now that we're a full quarter of the way into the year with him these posts are going to be more and more frequent. OK back to Cami + Sam.

How do you go through your life with the last name "BEST"? No pressure right? Sam doesn't really have a choice but to be awesome but that doesn't seem to be much of a struggle. This guy is genuine, kind, and so real. I have to admit I'm a little protective about this girl and her family. Cami is the third Redding girl I've watched come down the aisle and though in the last two she was kind of the annoying little sister - she's definitely every bit the beautiful, witty, smart girl Sam deserves. To be fair I could write a book about these two. From the moment I heard from Cami and her sweet mom Kay I was pretty excited to see this all come together. Shooting at the McKinney Cotton Mill has been a bucket list item for me for awhile and this place did not disappoint one bit. So here's the backstory - when Cami + Sam drove in from Dallas for their engagement shoot it was raining and the shoot was one of the best I've ever done. In fact because it wasn't raining quite hard enough we sent them into a waterfall at the end of the shoot just to wrap up the awesomeness in a nice little soggy bow. When Cami drove up from Dallas for her bridal shoot it was 12 degrees out and had to feel like it was below zero. I think it was actually the coldest day of the year so far and again - rising to the occasion Cami pulled it off. I'm fairly sure she spent the next week or so sick but from the camera's perspective - worth it. So when we looked at the forecast on their big day and saw rain nobody panicked. I called Cami the morning of the wedding and asked her one simple question "What do you WANT?" - Against everybody's better judgement she said she wanted an outdoor wedding. So - in 33 degrees with mist in the air after a full day of rain and wind we rallied the troops and made it happen. The result was obviously gorgeous but what matters to me isn't how the photos look but the story these two left with. 

On Cami + Sam's wedding day they had a day full of 1. Emotion, 2. Memories, and 3. Love. CHECK CHECK CHECK. What else matters? I feel like I say this a lot these days but photographers shouldn't be the ones laying the train tracks - telling everybody what the photos are "supposed" to feel like - they should be the ones provoking when the train starts and stops and how fast it  goes. I want our brides to feel every minute of this day and I want our grooms to feel like they matter. I want our families to relax and enjoy all of the love in the room. I want my photos to express light and love more than anything else! 

Still reading? Either you're bored or fascinated so I'll break down the rest of it for you! A gorgeous kind girl in a white dress walked down an aisle to a smiling guy who was saying over and over again in his head "I just won the lottery". Then they danced, had a few drinks, ate cake, and went on a honeymoon. What I love about this job isn't what happens but why. If I looked at my job as a series of events like that I'd be bored out of my mind. In reality Cami was the dream bride but even more than that what made the day amazing for me was seeing two of my other favorite clients of all time standing beside her at the front of the ceremony. Meeting one of my past client's children and laughing at how cute they are. Hugging a mom and shaking a dad's hand that have trusted me three different times to capture these moments for them. Meeting a groom's friends and family and seeing the way all of those puzzle pieces fit together. Watching a group of friends and family rally in love and shiver their way through a freezing cold wet day so that these two could have the moments they'd been dreaming about. We love to say the saying "God works in mysterious ways". It somehow makes us feel better when we don't understand what's going on around us but the reality to me is that God works in love. You can trace everything with God's finger prints on it back to an act of love and weddings like this that are surrounded with so many kind of love are where God's best masterpieces start. Families are grown and raised and shaped because of these big days. Memories and laughter gives way to stories and happy tears for years to come because of this love. I can say I pulled off the trifecta with this bride and though I wish she had three or four more sisters I can finish out this amazing family's wedding photos knowing that every step of the way I was as in the moment as they were.

HUGE thanks to Cami + Sam for inviting my team in. Bringing a young videographer with an incredible vision to be a part of it all. Letting us drive 5 hours to join in with the family and shiver along side them. Getting wet and cold and soggy and smiling through it. Trusting me that being present was more important than being comfortable. Letting me tell these stories. I love the Redding family so much and can definitely say that this wedding was the #bestreddingwedding

SPECIAL THANKS TO NIKON USA for sending an incredible D5 camera for us to play with at this wedding and to BEDFORD camera for sending us down with a video stabilizer, tripod, and drone to play with.