When planning to share my favorite images of 2015, I had initially planned to do a post full of photos. Everyone seems to do a year round up of the best of the best, which I personally love looking at, but it was put on my heart to share my top 10 in a different way. With 40 weddings, I have witnessed too many precious moments to count, so nailing down only 10 was a challenge. I want to share the most special moments I experienced and witnessed this year, whether that be a moment I had during the day, a moment I photographed, a moment I heard, a moment worth 1000 words. I want to share with you moments that represent my business, my brand, and my heart behind photography.
Each of these images are accompanied with words that describe my brand, my style, my purpose and my heart behind Jessi Nichols Photography. And so it begins, the top 10 countdown for 2015!
10 // Tammy and Austin. March 13th.
Legacy: Tammy wore her grandmother's pearls on her wedding day. My heart bursts for traditions with meaning. Not only was the sentiment beautiful, but it was even more beautiful that her grandmother was there to put them on Tammy on her wedding day. My eyes immediately filled with tears when her grandmother placed the pearls around her neck, gave her a big hug and a kiss for good luck. My hope is that my business leaves a legacy, but more so, that images I have taken create a legacy within others marriages and families.
9 // Nicole and Joseph. February 22nd.
Genuine joy: Nicole and Joseph's first look is one of my favorites. Her reaction was precious, plus the reaction of her bridesmaids on the balcony made the moment even sweeter. Another fun fact from this sweet day, there was still snow on the ground that day and one of my best friends was the maid of honor! I strive to capture genuine joy, the kind where you still squeal every time you look at them.
8 // Jami and Matthew. June 5th.
Gracefulness: If there were to ever be a bridal party that was the definition of my brand, these ladies are it. Jami, my sweet bride, is the most gracious and kind person I've met. Each of her bridesmaids ladies were so kind, full of grace, and took a genuine interest in getting to know me. The florals, the venue, the people in it, all formed into one beautiful day. Not to mention, this is easily one of the best dressed bridal parties (including the men) that I photographed this year! These ladies represent my brand as a whole, in every way.
7 // Heaven and Logan. June 21st.
Light & airy: Spanish moss for the win. This is a favorite because this image brings back so many memories from this day. Braden was my second shooter which is always fun, it was easily the hottest day of the summer, and I squealed the entire time I took Heaven and Logan's portraits. If I were to define my style in two words, it would be light and airy, and I feel that their portraits depict just that.
6 // Brianne and Cooper. October 17th.
Feeling like family: This day is special to me in many ways. Brianne is the sister to one of my best friends, so on their wedding day I just felt like an honorary Tallman family member. It was peak leaf changing weekend in Black Mountain, so I'll let the fall colors speak for themselves. If you know me well, you know I love a pop of color and all things fall. I learned that I love intimate weddings on this day because they truly allow me to get to know guests and to take my time. My goal at the end of a wedding day is to not only be your photographer, but to truly feel like a friend and to be mutually welcomed into each other's families.
5. Nick and Laura. September 5th.
Power of Prayer: My heart and soul behind my business is to point others towards Christ through my actions, my work, my marriage, and the images I take. Laura being surrounded by her bridesmaids in prayer was moving, but even more so, her mother and mother in law were praying over them from afar. This moment was beautifully powerful. My hope and prayer for my couples is that they pursue Jesus whole-heartedly throughout their marriage, within their families, and find a sister in Christ in me.
4 // Carly and Jacob. October 24th.
Traditions with Meaning: Carly wore her mothers gown on her wedding day, her flowers were wrapped in lace from her grandmother's wedding gown, every detail had meaning. The sentiments, they get me y'all. It is such an honor and a privilege to preserve traditions within images.
3 // Kelly and Blake. May 17th.
Simplicity: The dreamiest portrait session I think I've ever had in the dreamiest place. This image is one of my favorites for multiple reasons. The light, the simplicity, the beauty of a simple image. Kelly did most of their florals and decorations by hand, making each piece of their wedding more significant and more meaningful. Her DIY wedding was featured on the Wedding Chicks wedding blog and will be featured on The Knot this upcoming spring. An image from this wedding also made it's way into Southern Weddings Magazine. Bride's stress over all of the details, what centerpieces should look like, how much flowers cost, you name it. But sometimes, the simplest and most thoughtful weddings are the most beautiful.
2 // Andrew and Calli. September 25th.
Raw Emotion: These two waited years for this moment. The heaviness, the anticipation, the joy you experience all at once when you see your bride walking towards you. I live for moments like this happening in front of my camera. They are moments you can't re-do, you can't predict, and that can truly speak for themselves.
1 // Taylor and Ethan. May 22nd.
Freezing a moment in time: I still get tears in my eyes when I look at this image from Taylor and Ethan's wedding day. They wrote letters to one another to read before their ceremony and each of them were in tears, along with myself and Sophie behind our cameras. Time stood still, it really did. When I think of my heart behind this business, I think back to this moment. A moment worth 1000 words, a moment you truly feel deep within your being.
2015 was one heck of a year. I grew so much, learned so much, and took away so much from photographing 40 weddings and countless other sessions. At the end of the day, it is all worth it. It is worth the countless hours of editing, driving thousands of miles, stress, and tears because moments like this happen. I am so thankful for the blessing of being a part of each of these moments and the countless others that were not featured on this list.
To my bride's, groom's, families and seniors: thank you from the bottom of my heart for one of the best years.