With the year merely hours from ending…I thought I’d do a look back on what an incredible year 2016 was (by far the best yet).  From this year forward, I plan to blog the last day of the year,  with my top ten favorite moments of the year.  So below, are 2016’s top ten favorite moments! I hope you enjoyed this year as much as I did – and I look forward to making more moments in 2017!

  1. I went on a trip to Banff this past summer and met up with Steven and Stephanie for a couple session at Moraine Lake, which is easy one of the prettiest locations I’ve ever been.  To top it off these two had incredible chemistry (they happen to wedding photog’s themselves).  From walking some of the lake to climbing up a small hill for a gorgeous shot + running into a real life elopement, it was one heck of a day + one of my favorite shoots to date.   It was also awesomely picked up by Junebug Weddings.  2. Michelle and Matt’s wedding + sunset bridal session were moments I had such a HARD time narrowing down to post because they all were ALL MY FAVORITE.  These two were not only incredibly kind (and hello beautiful to photograph) but they also valued moments as much as I do.  From the incredible speeches at their wedding, to Michelle wearing her mothers dress, to wanting to do their bridal portraits in a place where they frequent often…it was truly a match made in heaven.  This image imparticular stood out to me because of the joy you can see in Michelle’s face – and that is exactly why I do what I do.  3. Gosh seriously, my couples this year were all incredible + such unique and beautiful stories behind their love.  Hannah + Chandler’s wedding was one of the only ones I shed tears on multiple times.  The love and grace this family expressed in everything, despite being handed a difficult card this year, was not only admirable, but was truly an example of how to live. Hannah and Chandler also completely nailed the veil shot in a way I haven’t quite been able to replicate it again, which is because they are literally perfect. 4.  You’ve probably already figured this out, but Katie Woodford has always been my go to girl on any creative idea that pops up in my head, because she kills it so effortlessly every single time. This shoot was one of those shoots that happened very spur of the moment + everything just aligned beautifully.  The romper, her emotion, the wind, the sun that day, just everything. Much like a lot of our shoots this one was done in less than twenty minutes and is my favorite portrait shot, not just of 2016, but ever taken.  Whenever I look at this image, I remind myself to live like Katie; joyful and embracing the wind (aka whatever life throws your way). 5. While this picture is incredibly unique in the nature of it being probably the first ‘no look’ photograph I’ve ever seen (and taken), what captures my heart about this moment was the emotion that was rolling moments prior to when this shot was taken.  Jordan and Dyllan had just recently exchanged letters/vows to one another prior to their first no-look ‘kiss.’  While they read silently, holding hands on each side of the door, the emotion you could see in their faces, alongside the energy that came from that moment was so powerful + beautiful, I know I’ll never forget it.  In some ways it really told me to hold out for true love, because if it’s anything like Jordan and Dyllan’s it’ll be incredibly worth it.  This wedding was featured on Ruffled Blog. 6. Heck Yeah Photo Camp was another highlight of the year, getting to learn from such incredible talent, alongside forging new friendships with photographers around the world – in one of the coolest places in the world (cough, Joshua Tree) you can’t get much better than that.  One of my favorite moments from this trip though, was actually prior to even arriving at camp.  When Jo and I arrived in Palm Springs a day early, we decided to drive around to get to know the area, since we hadn’t been before.  Throughout our exploration, and unbeknownst to us, we happened to pass by a botanical garden which we researched later that evening + decided to check out the next day before camp.  Literally, I kid you not, it was 114 degrees out that day, and while it felt miserable, the place it self looked amazing (I mean really, how often do you get to hang out in a cactus/succulent house?).  Since it was a weekday (and let’s face it 114 degrees) not many people were visiting the gardens, we had the green house to ourselves for a good 15-20 minutes – so we popped on some music and snapped some photos.   By far the coolest experience you can have when at camp!
    7. Tina and Trevor’s in home engagement session, was the first in home engagement session I’ve ever done, and I’ve got to say – if that’s what they are like, then sign me up for all of them because it was amazing.  Not only did their casa possess AMAZING light, their chemistry made the shoot exactly what it was.  Then, when they pulled out the flour and had a full on flour fight, ending in sweet kisses?  Yeah you just can’t get better than that.  I think this will stand out as my favorite in home session image ever.  8. Danielle + Christian’s wedding at Union Pine was the wedding I was dying to shoot all year, and one that I am so happy I did.  Obviously these two are completely stunning + Union Pine was absolutely stunning, but what I loved the most about this wedding? Was when the couple took the spotlight off of them and shared it with Christian’s brother, allowing him to have a first dance with his mother that he never had the opportunity to have.  The love these two have for one another, makes the world a better place + I was so lucky to have been able to document it. 9. I’ve been photographing Karissa + Derek since 2015, so when the time came for their wedding, I was so excited. These two have an undeniable chemistry + have a love that is so fruitful.  What I loved so much about this moment was how the sun light was beaming in-between them, almost as if God himself was using the sun to symbolize the light this union will bring the world.  10.  While the edit of this photo is different from the direction I’m going, I couldn’t NOT include my absolute, hands down, favorite wedding of 2016.  Rochelle + Pete’s destination wedding in Cabo San Lucas, was by far the best wedding experience I ever had.  Not only were these two completely amazing in front of the camera, not only were the beaches simply beautiful, but their family was SO welcoming it made it feel as though I was going down with exactly that, family.  No matter where this photography career takes me in life – I will always owe gratitude to Rochelle + Pete for taking a shot on me and flying me out to Cabo to capture this beautiful moment in their love story.  
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Everything you touch turns to gold. Well done Alex.

Such an awesome year Alex!!! I can’t wait to see what you accomplish this year! 😀

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