Oroville Ca, Maternity Photography: Jessica and Matt

This little family will be welcoming baby number 2 in early October. They have decided to keep the gender a surprise which is incredible. I cannot wait for the big reveal! They already have Gabe who is so fun and sweet I have no doubt Baby number 2 will be just as precious!

Chico Ca: Maternity photography, Melville Twins

This party of two will become a party of four this October!  It was a great surprise when Lauren and Mike announced their pregnancy, an even bigger surprise when they announced twins!  I am so incredibly excited for this little family!  I cannot wait to meet the boys next time I’m out in California! 

Little Margot

This beautiful girl is so in love with her parents she just couldn't be away from them. We had some plans for her, but she had some plans of her own. I’m happy she chose to take control of the shoot because she gave us some beautiful lifestyle shots that truly capture the love from her parents.


The only thing missing was Margots brother and sisters.


The Pruett family

 I have been capturing this family for a few years now,  the last time I saw them they were cooking pancakes with a newborn.  Now both the kiddos are so big!  I just loved catching up and seeing their little family grow.  They are always so much fun to capture! 

Elora Kathleen Miller

I’ve thought over this blog for some time.   If I should post or not.   I tried for the majority of my pregnancy not to be boastful or over sharing as I too have felt the pangs of doubt in my fertility.   That wonder if “I’ll ever get that lucky”  that worry shifted into "Is my body ready to carry to term, Am I doing this right, it’s 24 weeks why haven’t I felt her move, is she  A positive blood type and we won’t be compatible."  As she grew and her kicks got stronger my worry eased.   I shared more, I talked about it more I got excited instead of being in fear.  Elora’s life has given me so much joy and has been a focal point for my friends and family after the Camp fire. She’s everything I never knew I was missing.  

I was very fortunate with my pregnancy, I didn’t have complications just worry.  I spent many nights watching her move in my belly, being excited for each kick wondering what she’d look like, who she’ll become.  Just knowing I was carrying a miracle, one that would better me, challenge me and one I love beyond measure.  As the days got closer to my due date I grew anxious, and nervous.  I am so grateful we chose to have a c section because the anticipation of a traditional birth would have driven me crazy.


Friday April 5th 2019 3:30 am.  

The alarm clock sounded as any other morning, just a few hours earlier.  Will and I got ready, we came out to the living room where my mom and sister were ready to go.  Mom braided my hair and it was go time.  We checked and double checked to make sure we had everything and we made our way to Midland Memorial hospital.  Mom rode with me.  We listened to Chris Stapleton  and chatted about life and how it was going to change.  When we got to the hospital we checked in at about 5AM.  As I got prepped for surgery it was very light hearted and at some bits quite funny.  I had no nervousness just excitement to see my baby girl for the first time.  At about 6 Will put on his dad scrubs and cap then fidgeted for an hour before they were ready to take us back.   Before we went back my  anesthesiologist met with us.  She was very business in the beginning but as we chatted she lighted up and she was by far my favorite medical professional in the surgery room. ( I’ll get to why later).  Soon she rolled me back into the OR and we got started.  My anesthesiologist was very clear in what to expect when I got my spinal block, this eased me so much because everything we spoke about happened and I didn’t panic at all.  The plan was right there in front of me I just had to follow it (in stressful situations this is the best way for me to cope. I appreciate a good plan). She made sure I was comfortable and made it very clear if I were to feel ANYTHING I needed to speak up.  I felt nothing.   Once I was all numbed up they prepped me and then brought Will back to join me.   The doctors chatted about their day,  Fleetwood Mac was plating in the background and it was just moments before we heard and saw miss Elora for the first time.   As my doctor was pulling her out he chuckled and said “Hey Emma, It’s a good thing we’re doing it this way,  I don’t think she would have came out the other way,   she’s big and healthy.”   

Seconds later I hear her first cry, Will is standing at my head petting me telling me “she’s here, she’s big”.  Some one calls out 

 "Birth time 7:52”  Birth weight “8 pounds 3 ounces”  As they take her to the table for respiratory to check her out and clear any obstructions Will just watched her so intently.  Meanwhile I was sorting out this tidal wave of emotions.  My eyes were instantly flooded when I heard her for the first time, watching Will walk over to her was a literal blur.  My anesthesiologist was there ( seriously the MVP) giving me the scoop on everything they were doing, telling me it's normal, that Elora was beautiful and she even let me peek around the curtain to see her.   I fought my fears and worries when I couldn’t hear Elora crying,  when I saw her purple skin.  I had so much worry but I knew we both were in capable hands so I dialed into the music playing and sang along to Rocket man.  Soon enough Will and the nurse came over carrying her to me.  I was already crying so I couldn't really see her well,  Them my amazing anesthesiologist came over with tissues and blotted away my tears (SHE'S SERIOUSLY THE BEST).  For the first time I clearly saw my daughter.  I wanted to touch her, kiss her.  But my arms were so numb I couldn’t lift them…. (Again I didn’t feel anything)  I think I muttered "she’s so cute, that’s my baby” or something along those lines.  Then I hear “dad can I have your phone to take pictures for you” ( YES!  That was my anesthesiologist). She snapped a few photos and then Will and baby went to recovery as they stitched me up.  That took the longest.  I started to get control of my arms, they were still heavy but I could lift them.  The nurse rolled me into recovery where Will was holding this little bundle of blankets and baby.  His smile when I came in the room was one I’d never seen before, or maybe it was just my emotions and how great it was to see them both again.  I wanted to hold her, to look at her but I knew I couldn’t do it safely on my own.  Soon the nurse came over and put Elora on my chest for skin to skin and then tried to get her to breast feed.  I don’t remember much of that nurse… I think I blocked her out because what I do remember is that she was very assertive and meant business.  They kept us in recovery for about an hour and then we were transferred to our suite.

Once we were settled in my Mom and Jenna came up to see us.  They too fell instantly in love telling me how she looks so much like me as a newborn.  They day was relaxed with baby cuddles, nurses here and there but quiet. Will’s dad came up from near Austin to greet his granddaughter and get newborn cuddles.   Later in the evening the boys joined us, they had gone to school as normal and our friends brought them down.  Brody was excited through out my pregnancy he was very interested in feeling her kick and asking questions where Tommy was more reserved.  When they finally met her they were both so excited however Brody was like “oh cool she’s here I love her now what else are we doing”. Where Tommy sat with her, not lifting his gaze, loving every second he got with her.  

While I missed being home, missed all the people who I wished could have met her in her first few weeks. My dad, my nephews, the great grandparents, aunts, uncles and all the friends who have been a part of Will and I’s journey; I have to admit I really loved the quietness in the room,  just being able to cuddle and love on my new baby without having to give her up every 20 minutes.  I just got to hog her!  


The first night was difficult I struggled with breast-feeding.  One of my nurses had to come in and give me a peptalk because I was so emotional about not being able to give her what she needed and that I wasn’t able to breast-feed correctly. I struggled with my incision being very painful as I didn’t want to take any opiate medications, the second evening I broke I had to get something a little stronger than Tylenol.


When the second evening came I had a bit more of everything handled, I knew what I was supposed to be doing and it went a lot more smoothly.  We were release the third morning, my sister drove Elora and I home she was nervous but I had plenty of confidence in her driving even in a different state.  The next few days we were in and out of the hospital is getting Elora‘s bilirubin tested as she was a little jaundice when we were released.  This was also difficult for me because I felt like I was failing her.  While I knew rationally I was doing all that I could I worried about the worst case scenarios. There was a couple breakdowns along the way but overall we got through it and everything ended up just fine.  The last two months have been some of the best moments I’ve ever experience, if not s tad emotional, sleepless and busy. 


Without further ado here are Elora’s newborn photos.   Some were taken her first week and some were taken her 3rd  week







Paradise Ca, Wedding photographer: Mr. and Mrs. Domenichini

Bri and Merill Domenichini, are by far two of the most incredible people I have had the honor of working for.  Their kindness and generosity knows no bounds and they have been so marvelous through the last 3 months I just don’t know what I would do if they were anyone else.  Their wedding was on a lovely property down a country road in Paradise California.   The wedding was on an October afternoon surrounded with great weather and old oak trees.   The day began with Bri getting ready with her bridesmaids having a few drinks, laughing and sharing stories.  Bri was a little nervous but it wasn’t due to her marrying her best friend.  The day was low key, relaxed and so enjoyable, surrounded with great hearted people made my job feel like a day off.  Merill and his groomsmen got ready down at the reception site, enjoying a few laughs and a few beers.  Merill was clear with his decision, he had no worry or nervousness he was just excited to finally take Bri as his wife.   

Bri and her father had a first look and my oh my how much that made me and every other onlooker cry. A man of strength looked at his baby girl as if for the first time and became overcome with emotion.  His love, and pride for his daughter was clear, he was glowing. 

The guests arrived and filled nearly every seat,  the ceremony began.  The bridesmaids were delivered to the groomsmen in classic model cars.  The flower girls met their ring bearers and walked down the aisle tossing out shot gun shells (bride and groom are both avid hunters).  Bri and her father came down in a Model T.  Once she started walking down the aisle Merill looked at his bride took a deep breath and attempted to hold back his tears.

  The ceremony was beautiful as the sun slowly hit the golden hour.  The couple exchanged their vows and sealed it with a kiss.  The same Model T was waiting at the end of the aisle to parade the newlyweds around their guests.  The ceremony was followed by a lovely reception with many wonderful people.  After dinner we swept the bride and groom away for sunset photos that over looked the valley.  Bri and Merill were complemented so nicely with the setting sun the whole setting was one from a dream.  As they returned to the reception the evening proceeded with toasts, cake cutting and the formal dancing. 

The couple shared their first dance under white lights as their guest surrounded them watching intently.  Bri was met by her father showing off some skills on the dance floor swinging his little girl around as if they’ve been doing this forever.  Merill joined his mother on the dance floor he spun her around and they laughed together once the song was over he gave her a final spin and escorted her off the dance floor.  Soon after the dances they called all the single ladies and gents for the bouquet and garter toss.  The evening continued with dancing and great company.  

I was fortunate to be a witness to these two getting married.  Jena and I had a wonderful time sharing the day with you both.  Thank you for everything you have done, and continue to do for those you love.  Your hearts are truly amazing,  I am so blessed to call you friends.

 

 

Bella Rosa Farms, Durham CA: Logan and Madison Zimmermann

 

Let start the story where Jena and I first met Madison.  Jena and I were promoting ourselves at our first Chico Bridal Show.  The day was long and we met many brides.  As the show started to calm a little, the crowds parted and there was Madison and her mom.  Jena and I called her over to the booth and we all instantly clicked.  I had her fill out my questionnaire and we chatted about how busy the show was and basically told her she needed to book us because she was a glass slipper fit.  When she walked away Jena and I both said “I hope she books us”.  

You know the connection you when you’ve met someone and in seconds you feel like you’ve known them your whole life?  That’s Madison, she just has that magic.  I sent out my many emails to brides from that day but I hadn’t heard back from her, I couldn’t figure out why.  So I went to social media to find her (sounds desperate now that I type this but I had to follow up with her) I found her on Instagram and she too had been wondering why I hadn’t made a connection to her… Turns out I mistyped her email by one letter and we both almost missed out. 

 We set up a meeting at the Tea Bar to meet with Logan and go over packages and get to know them.  We were in for a treat.  Not only is Madison an amazing person but Logan matched her wonderful qualities.  We all chatted about life, their story, his career, and all that they have faced together. There was no doubt in mind that they were meant for each other and just the way the both of them looked at one another there was so much compassion and love.  We booked that day.  We later met with them for their engagement photos where I learned that they both were masters at posing.  (We struck photographers gold).  After a year of talking here and there following them on Facebook and Instagram their wedding was finally upon us!  And what a day it was! 

            Madison and her bridal party got ready at the Hotel Dimond in Chico.  The morning was filled light hearted fun, champagne and great laughter.  The day continued where Jena met Logan at the venue and soon there after the bridal party and I cruised over to do the first look.  When Logan saw Madison for the first time he was in awe, he walked around her to take in and appreciate the true beauty of his bride.  After the first look we had a little fun doing wedding party photos where everyone was jovial and excited for the evening to begin.   

The guests arrived and the seating quickly filled.  The music cued and Logan began the ceremony.  The groomsmen and bridesmaids made their way down the aisle followed by Logan’s dad and the two adorable ring bearers.   The flower girl was very great at her job as she tossed the pedals for her bride to walk down the aisle.  Maddison and her father came down the aisle a little nervous but sure.  Logan watched his bride intently.  The moments we’ve all been excited for had finally come. The couple shared their vows.  The line that continues to stick out in my mind is “God saved me for you.” Life has thrown these two curve balls, separately and together but they are stronger and better for the experiences and embrace their struggles because now they have each other for all the days ahead.  

After the ceremony we took some sunset photos by the creek where once again these two nailed each pose I asked them to do.  We rejoined the party and the newlyweds had their first dance letting the guests and the rest of the world fall away for a few moments as they enjoyed being in each other’s arms.  The song ended and the world snapped back into place.  The night continued with hilarious and tear-filled speeches, AMAZING home made Donuts and so much more dancing.  

Jena and I enjoyed the wedding so much we had a hard time leaving even though our bodies were tired and we were withering away we didn’t want to leave too soon.  

 

 

 

Madison and Logan, Jena and I truly had a wonderful time.  We adore you both so much and we feel blessed to call you friends.  Cheers to you both for many many years!  So much love to you both! 

Chico Ca Wedding Photographer: Travis and Jessie McCarthy

 

Jessie and Travis have been together for 9 years, going through life’s many adventures together and encouraging one another to follow their ambitions.  Jessie and Travis share a passion for fly fishing which has brought them together for many different exciting trips and time shared doing something they both love.  It has been a great pleasure to witness their love and appreciation for one another.  Jena and I first met with Jessie and Travis for breakfast and the we took a trip up Highway 32, hitting the meadows near the creek and later they geared up for a few casts into the creek.  Through our day Jena and I kept saying how beautiful that day was and how much fun we were having.  That was just the preview of how wonderful their wedding day would be.  

 

September 8, 2018 we joined Travis at the barbershop where he was getting cleaned up for the big day ahead.  He and his groomsmen joked and chatted before heading off to Centerville estates where they would have a few drinks play some ping pong and pool before Travis would see his Bride to be.  

 

Meanwhile, Jessie and her girls were enjoying champagne and being pampered in a suite at Hotel Dimond. Jessie was glowing.  The girls moved from hair to make up sharing stories, jokes and memories.  Jessies mom watched Jessie intently throughout the morning, staying light hearted but also clearly so proud of her little girl.  The morning was filled with a lightness that made every moment special. 

 

Jessie and Travis shared their first look at the Honey Run Covered Bridge.  When Travis turned to see his bride his face lit up with such happiness and excitement it brought Jena and I to tears.  Travis and Jessie decided to share their personal vows during their first look.  They both shared such striking sentiments to one another with confidence and passion. (Again not a dry eye)   

 

The ceremony was one of many laughs and giggles as the officiant shared the individuals adventures before reconnecting with each other.  The evening proceeded with many more laughs and memories shared.  The toasts were heartfelt and some sassy but even those who couldn’t make it were honored and remembered.  This wedding wasn’t just a day for “I Do’s” it was a day where everyone celebrated two wonderful people becoming one, full of heartfelt blessings and so much love.  

 

It was a great honor for Jena and I to be a part of this day.  We absolutely adore you both!

Cheers to many wonderful years!

Chester Ca, Wedding Photographer: Mike and Lauren Melville

These two are set to embark on their greatest adventure yet.  With their impromptu hiking trips and camping trips this couple knows how to find their own adventure.  Mikes proposal was only to be completed at the top of Mount Lassen where we all knew Lauren would be in awe.  It was magical.  It was no surprise when their wedding was just as stunning.

 

This was a magnificently beautiful DIY wedding.  Lauren and Mike had family friends whom had property just outside of Chester California.    It was a short drive into the woods when the tree lines thinned and opened up to breathtaking meadows which lead to the ceremony site. 

 

The ceremony was lovely, the weather was perfect with a slight breeze. All were stunned to see Lauren walk down the aisle with her father.  Lauren wore a custom designed gown where she worked with a designer she found on Etsy from Bulgaria creating a one of a kind masterpiece. The officiant who was a very close friend was so moved her first words were “WOW YOU LOOK SO BEAUTIFUL”.  The ceremony short and sweet and sealed with a kiss!

 

We moved into the reception where all of their friends and family greeted them and wished them well.  Lauren kept the décor simple yet very personal.  When you walked into the reception site you were greeted with “Welcome to Melville” sign and a beautiful homemade collection of crocheted lace dreamcatchers cascading with white strips of fabric.  The tables were adorned with two custom made lanterns placed on wood rounds, eucalyptus and pinecones.  Their head table was decorated with a eucalyptus garland, a wood round, and her bouquet. They sat on a custom-made bench they had made from a twin sized headboard and footboard.  Along the side of the cabin they had old windows hung with photos of them for their guest book.  As the reception progressed we had heart touching speeches from the Maid of Honor and Best Man followed by cutting the cake.  The couple played it safe with forks however Lauren snuck in with a thumb full of frosting right on Mikes nose.     Later in the evening they shared their first dance, father daughter dance, and mother son dance, the night continued with many great dances and memories. 

 

Mike and Lauren, I am truly blessed to have you both in my life.  You both have a very special place in my heart and it was my biggest pleasure to help with and capture your wedding day.  Xoxo

 

Oroville CA, Wedding Photographer Honker Bay: Brian And Brandy Kerr

Brandy and Brian were such a fun couple to work with! We had had so much fun at their engagement session in Burney Falls and we were soo excited when the Big Day finally rolled around! As expected, their wedding was even more wonderful than the engagement shoot!!! 

Brandy is a naturally playful person and when she told us that she wanted to pull a prank on Brian, we were all for it! She had borrowed a, let’s say, dated, wedding dress from a friend and asked us to photograph her groom’s reaction during their First Look. Beforehand, she had told Brian how much she LOVED her dress and hoped he wouldn’t make fun of her and Brian, being the absolute sweetheart that he is, didn’t falter for a moment! Their First Look was so tender and sweet in a beautiful vineyard at their venue, Honker Bay. Little did Brian know that he was in for another surprise when she walked down the aisle in her REAL wedding gown!

Brandy was a vision as she walked down the aisle and only had eyes for Brian. They shared touching vows, a few tears of happiness and joy, then they were husband and wife!

Their reception was incredible; these two have so many people in their lives that care for them and the speeches given were all heartfelt and spoken with great love. Following speeches, there was a breathtaking sunset which beautifully framed Brandy and Brian as we stole them away for just a few more photos! The rest of the evening was full of laughter, dancing, and so much fun!!!

Thank you Brandy and Brian for allowing Jena and I to capture your gorgeous wedding! 

Chico CA, Wedding Photography CARD Center: Madeline and Taylor Robertson

Madeline and Taylor, Where to start?  This couple is extraordinary.  They have a very kind and down to earth nature that made them both great to work for. Jena and I started our day meeting up with Madeline and her bridesmaids.  Jena went to The CARD center to capture Taylor getting ready.  There was so much excitement and love throughout the day it was easy to get swept away into the bliss.  Jena and I captured so many great moments but one of our favorites was when Madeline saw her father for the first time.  They both were overwhelmed with emotion and it was a purely magical moment between father and daughter.  Soon after Madeline and her father walked down the aisle,  Taylor was in awe of Madeline and he radiated pure joy at the sight of her.  When they stood at the alter Madeline giggled with excitement.  They shared a sweet ceremony with many giggles and smiles.  The evening proceeded with dancing, Madeline and Taylor seemed to let the world fall away during their first dance leaving them the only ones in the room.   When all the formal dancing was done they showed their playful sides and mutually smashing cake in each other’s faces, sealed with a grinning kiss.  When walking away from weddings Jena and I usually share our favorite moments; This whole wedding was our favorite.  The people were all so kind and genuine that the “work” part of our day was clearly a privilege.

 

Thank you Mr. and Mrs. Robertson!  

Cheers to you both, we wish you many years of happiness.