Brody & His Run-In with the Police

This guy looks innocent enough, doesn’t he?  He’s just your run of the mill 4 year old enjoying a round of delicious Oreos… or so you think.  You see, this laugh right here, it’s downright evil.  On Brody’s 4th birthday I posted  the following:


Happy 4th birthday, my little love! Today, on this special day, I would like to tell you that I fear you may turn out to be a serial killer when you grow up. I mean, you definitely have a leg up on Ted Bundy, and you’ve only been around 4 short years.  
You have charm and charisma that rivals a french pool boy, yet I turn around often to find you sneak attacking your brothers.
Your smile can get you out of almost any predicament in our house, yet your cunning moves can send your brothers into tears.
There have been times that you have loved me so hard that you nearly strangled me, and many more times that your excitement has led to your fingernails drawing blood in my arms… neck… face.
You love hard, and you fight harder, my dear Brodrick. I wish you many more happy birthdays to come… and my fingers are crossed that none of them are behind bars.
PS. I’ll delete this if Dateline ever calls me for an interview. I’m ride or die for you. 

Brody’s birthday was in June.  My foreshadowing of his future run-ins with the law is both ominous and slightly comical given the fact that I thought his first face-to-face with the police might come maybe fourteen or more years down the road… not 4 months.

It was busy wedding season, and I had asked one of our young (high school aged) babysitters to have a daily gig at Larkspur.  She came Monday – Friday from 3-6pm as I had a shoot almost every day for 3 months straight.  She was/is a major help for our family.  The boys love her, and she has become a staple at our house!  Brody actually loves her the most.  He talks often about his love for her, and how he will marry both me and her someday.  I would leave Brody at home with the sitter each day, and they would walk the trail together to get the bigger boys from school.  Brody loved this routine.

On the day of “the incident”… I didn’t have a shoot.  I reveled in the idea that I could run to the grocery store while the babysitter did her daily routine.  The mistake I made was telling Brody that I didn’t have to work.  He lost his mind that he couldn’t go to the grocery store with me.  I had a TON of things to purchase, so going solo was really what I wanted to do.  I slipped out of the house even though he was upset, and figured he would calm down when they left to get the big boys from school.

Boy was I wrong.

While at the meat counter I get a text from the sitter that Brody had BOLTED from her care.  He had ridden his bike that day while she was afoot, and she just could not catch his little maniac feet that sprinted like hamsters around the circles of his pedals.  She had been looking for him for quite some time.  The neighbors were looking for him too.  They had received word from other neighbors driving in that they had seen him riding out on the street… towards the grocery store, of course.

I get a few more text messages that they REALY CAN’T FIND HIM.  At this point we’re about 20 minutes into the ordeal and I realize that this is pretty serious and that my FOUR YEAR OLD was roaming busy streets and intersections all by himself.  Smith’s (which isn’t the grocery store I was at) is easily 2 miles from my house and there are several intersections in which Brody would have crossed traffic ALONE!  I panicked.  The biggest fear, of course, is someone taking him.  I kept running it through my head that he can get hit (okay, maybe just bumped) by a car all he wants… break a leg… break an arm… I can handle that.  Just don’t let someone TAKE HIM!

I called the police the moment I sprinted out of the grocery store.  I frantically asked for whoever was patrolling the neighborhood to just have a look out for a little baby boy on a tiny red bike riding all by himself.

As I drove from the grocery store that I was at to the other store that Brody was allegedly barreling towards, I see a little tiny dude and a little tiny red bike being held by a crossing guard.  Bless that man!!  I was still on the phone with the police dispatch, and I yelled, I found him, I found him, but I don’t know if I ever even hung up my phone.  Brody was wriggling like a worm on a hook trying to break free.  My car tires screeched around the corner and I stopped… likely in the middle of the road.  BRODY FROZE.  I ran to the crossing guard, tears streaming, and swooped him up.  I checked his body for marks, made sure he was safe, held him long enough for him to know that his safety was my main concern… and then the switch flipped, and I got MAD.

The mother-scolding began, and you wanna know what that little punk kid did… HE YELLED BACK AT ME!  He was pissed that I wouldn’t take him to the store.  He yelled that it was my fault because if I had just taken him to the store then he wouldn’t have had to run away!!!  My mother-blood boiled.  I put him into his car seat knowing that I had to get out of there because if these people saw me lose it on my 4 year old after he had just RAN AWAY from my house… child protective services would be BANGING down my door.

We got back home, and within the 2 mile car ride Brody’s swagger wavered drastically.  He knew he was in trouble.  We stepped out onto our driveway when suddenly three police cars came zooming down our street.

I pushed Brody’s little back towards the middle of the driveway, and told him that those police officers were here for HIM, not me.

Hopefully, this is my little runaway’s last encounter with the police, but I have a feeling that this is jussssst the beginning.

2016 on Lock. We Out.

I know that this might come as a surprise, but I don’t always love going out to shoot a wedding.  Shooting a wedding day is absolutely grueling.  For 8-10 hours straight you’re on your feet, carrying pounds and pounds of gear, schlepping even more gear around with you, and being asked to stay in a creative headspace for an entire day.  Additionally, you’re dealing with an anxious bride, drunk wedding guests, and loving mothers who only want the best for their baby girl’s day.  You’re in a constant state of ‘on’ and ‘fix it’ mode.  Waves of issues come flying from every angle regarding the need for so many things thing… There’s always a need for the best light… How to pose a couple, the bridal party, the details, the family photos… Grandma can’t walk up the stairs… Brother is missing… The marriage license was left at the hotel… There’s nowhere to park for miles… it’s 115 degrees outside… Your $5K camera/lens just crashed to the ground onto the cement… The ceremony is starting an hour late… A bridesmaid’s dress won’t zip… errrr… the bride’s dress won’t zip… The groom can’t tie his bowtie… etc… etc…etc…

So, I might be committing photographer suicide by saying it on the internet, but shooting isn’t my favorite part of the job.  I do like to shoot, but mostly it’s because I like the images that the act of shooting produces.  I love the planning, designing and styling that I do before shoots, and I like to hang out with my clients and get to know them more… but my butter is this right here.  I like to do the designing that comes after the wedding.

I love to lay out blog spreads, design album pages, and I’m not too shameful to admit that my addiction to curating my Instagram feed is part of what drives me too.

The images below are a representation of just a few of my absolute favorite wedding images from 2016.  When scrolling through these images, the thing that stands out to me the most is that almost any image can be paired with another.   The cohesion of this collection of images makes my photographer heart flutter.  I can honestly say that I am finally beginning to see images that look the way that I saw them in my head, and that I am just now starting to see that all of the work is beginning to pay off.   I have such a long road to travel in order to be creating better photographs, but at least I can feel confident in knowing that I’m getting there!

MAJOR MAJOR thank you’s go out to all of my bad ass friends in the industry who made all of these images possible.  I can’t make pretty photographs without so much insane talent pouring their heart and souls in to these wedding.  These people, (you know who you are)…  are everything.

MAJOR MAJOR MAJOR thank you’s to all of the insanely gorgeous people you see in these photos!  I can’t believe that I get to spend my days with so many phenomenal and kind people who trust me with their wedding images.  You are the foundation of J. Anne Photography.  Without you this business couldn’t breathe, and neither could I.  Thank you, thank you, thank you for such a wonderfully gorgeous 2016.

I wish that I could sit and list all of the major players in all of these images, but it would be far too long of a process to go through… and there are probably another 100 photos that I could add to this blog… not to mention all of the engagement sessions, boudoir images, family photos, and that small trip to Paris in October… but, we’ll have to get to all of those on a different day, and in MANY MANY other posts!!

They just keep going and going and going…

2016 on lock.

We out.




Surprise Wedding Proposal :: Ashley & Will

Like most good conversations, alcohol played a major factor in my conversation with Will almost exactly a year ago.  It was chilly in Charleston, SC on the day of Paige and Colby’s wedding, but we were out on the dock baring the elements with vodka there to warm our souls.  Will and Ashley are good friends of Paige and Colby, so they attended the wedding as guests, and I was there to photograph the wedding.  I sat on the sofa, casually sipping a cocktail while I took a break from shooting, and Will… who had been maybe not-so-casually-sipping… sat down beside me.  He told me of his plans to propose to Ashley, and asked if I could make sure that I was involved so that it could be photographed.  We tried hard to curb our enthusiasm since Ashley was just a few feet away from us, but my photographer-heart was elated!   For one, I had never shot a surprise proposal before and for two, it was WILL & ASHLEY!!

Will and I texted for several months.  We worked hard to try to come up with a plan of how to surprise Ash, but everything was veto’d because of one major element of non-surprise… Ashley knew me.  If I “randomly” showed up at their nice dinner… or popped out of a bush while they took a romantic stroll, then Will’s cover would obviously be blown.  So, we got a little bit more clever, and decided to do the exact opposite.  We decided to make the photo shoot front and center.  The photo shoot became our cover.

I faked a story to Ashley and one of her best friends, Olivia, who is also one of my beautiful brides, about needing to shoot something pretty for fun.  I told her that I felt stifled and just needed something beautiful to photograph to get back into my groove.  From there, it was planned that Olivia and Jace would get dolled back up in their wedding clothes, and I convinced Ash that I wanted to do more of a full bridal party… so I twisted her arm into being part of the shoot, and then Ashley twisted her sister’s arm and made her be in the shoot, as well!

I remember that Ash texted me one day saying that she couldn’t believe that Will was so on-board for the shoot, dare she say… excited even!! She thought that he would hate being asked to take photos for no damn reason in the middle of the desert on his day off… as most boyfriends would be.  I quickly texted Will telling him that he needed to play the pissed off boyfriend card a little harder!  ha ha ha!!!  It was just so much fun to plan this proposal right under Ashley’s nose!!

There wasn’t a single hiccup in the plan.  Nobody stuck any feet in their mouths.  Nobody accidentally said too much.  It all started off just nice and easy… a pretty shoot in the desert, just as we planned all along.
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I absolutely died over this loose french braid that Your Beauty Call mastered on Olivia!!  I also remember whispering to Olivia that I was just stalling time because I wanted to make sure that I played the “styled shoot” gag long enough…. ha ha ha!! las-vegas-wedding-photographer-proposal_0004 las-vegas-wedding-photographer-proposal_0006And then it happened.  The entire group and I had a key phrase for when we were going to isolate Will and Ashley.  I was going to say that I wanted to do some bridal party photos without the married couple, and told them that they could take a break.  As Jace walked by, I said… “Jace, do you think that you could grab me a water from the car?”  That was it!  That was the cue for them to beat it! :)las-vegas-wedding-photographer-proposal_0005

After a few shots of just Will and Ash, I told them that I wanted something different.  I wanted a photo where they would walk into each other rather than just be side to side.  So, I separated them and said that I’d count to 3 and then they could turn and walk before grabbing hands when they met.

And then WILL DID THIS!  ha ha ha!  So so so perfect.  It might be my favorite photo of the entire day!  So much excitement and anticipation was building for everyone involved… and then we got the thumbs up… it was go-time!las-vegas-wedding-photographer-proposal_0007 las-vegas-wedding-photographer-proposal_0008

Will and Ash stood and talked for a moment… we couldn’t hear what he said exactly, but Ashley told us later that the first thing that he said to her was… “So, you know this isn’t actually a styled shoot, right?”  And then he got down on his knee and asked her to spend her forever with him.las-vegas-wedding-photographer-proposal_0009

And…. she said yes!!!   (Good thing, or this adorable card that She Paperie made for the shoot would have had to go in the garbage!!)las-vegas-wedding-photographer-proposal_0016las-vegas-wedding-photographer-proposal_0010 las-vegas-wedding-photographer-proposal_0011 las-vegas-wedding-photographer-proposal_0012 las-vegas-wedding-photographer-proposal_0013 las-vegas-wedding-photographer-proposal_0014 las-vegas-wedding-photographer-proposal_0015
A family photo with Charlie, their pup, and a group photo finished off the time spent on the proposal, but Will wasn’t finished.  He had another surprise up his sleeve!  He whisked Ashley away to a HUGE surprise engagement party in which so so so many people had flown in to celebrate their amazing day… I mean, childhood friends were popping out from behind walls, and tears were being share by the bucketful!  To say ‘amazing’ would be an understatement… ‘phenomenal’ too little of a word…. it was downright everything.  It was a fairytale.

The crazy beautiful florals and floral DOG COLLARS were created by the floral goddess herself, Layers of Lovely!!

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