The Gregory Family | A Downtown Jackson Family Session

Meet the Gregory family. A joyful, fun-loving, Jesus filled family that I had a BLAST spending time with recently!

The Gregory kids gave Ms. Karen a family session for Christmas. With a very active family of seven, we had to overcome some scheduling conflicts to make this family session happen… and I’m so thankful that Mr. Todd was such a trooper and didn’t allow his ankle surgery and cast stop us!

I first met Ms. Karen and oldest daughter Lauren when I was a missionary in downtown Jackson at We Will Go Ministries. In fact, the Lord spoke Isaiah 26:3 to me through Lauren just before I moved to the Middle East. “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you.”  This is a Word the Lord knew I would need as I faced so many challenges in the years to come. I met second born Rebecca this past fall when she became one of my 2019 #meridithleebrides !! I loved every second of my time with her and fiance Adam in December at their engagement session and I can’t wait to shoot their wedding in May!

The Gregorys chose Downtown Jackson for their session, and I am loving the urban feel of their images! We spent time on the corner of Capitol and Congress Streets, as well as just down the street at the Mississippi State Capitol. I especially love the shots in front of the white brick wall around the Govenor’s Mansion!

Karen and Todd, as I spent time with you and your amazing kids, the Lord kept bringing Psalm 127:3-5 to my mind. “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.” You have raised up your children in the way they should go, and now as you begin to release your arrows out of your nest and into the world I feel the Lord saying to trust Him to continue to build their lives on the firm spiritual foundation He laid for each of them. Oh what a beautiful heritage the Lord has given you in Lauren, Rebecca, Alyssa, Noah and McKenna!

Valen and Kody | A Proposal at McClain’s Lodge

Congratulations to Valen and Kody!! I was so excited when I first got the call to be part of this surprise proposal! I mean, who doesn’t love a surprise?!? Especially one THIS GOOD!

The plan was to set up family portraits at McClains Lodge all initiated by Kody’s mom Cindy. This plan worked perfectly with how I normally run my family sessions, which include not only the big family portrait, but break out sessions for each smaller family grouping, and also each couple.

We started with Cindy and Justin and their precious granddaughter Evelyn.

Then we captured some of just the two of them… because we should all have updated portraits with our spouse on a regular basis!

Next I took these precious images of Kayla, Patrick and Evelyn making sure to also include some shots of just mom and dad.

We then got pictures of the whole family together… We then moved on to a set of portraits of just Kody and Valen. After taking a few pictures, I gave Kody the sign that this was his moment. He twirled Valen around, told her how beautiful she looked and that he wanted to tell her that every day for the rest of their lives.

He then dropped down on one knee, pulled out the ring, and asked the big question… “Valen, will you marry me?”

As everyone celebrated Valen’s big “YES” to Kody, it was so fun to hear all the little details, how they came together and how everyone managed to keep the secret from Valen!

We continued taking pictures, and were sure to capture more full family portraits now that Valen had a ring on her finger!

It was also so fun to have Valen’s mom and step-dad there as well! They traveled from out of town to be here for this special moment… they were in on the surprise, but Valen thought they just happened to come visit the same weekend that Cindy planned family portraits.

We also had to get a picture in front of Kody’s new truck. She got white gold, he got platinum.

Mr. and Mrs. Wildman | A Rainy Day Mississippi Wedding at The MSU Riley Center

As Dan & Ronit’s wedding day approached, we all watched the weather closely. Praying for the Lord to move the rain and provide a beautiful clear day for their Christmas themed backyard wedding. But His plans were different, and the Terrica of Southern Productions was able to contact all the vendors and move everything to the MSU Riley Center Grand Opera House. This wedding day’s vendor team went above and beyond to make Dan & Ronit’s wedding day every bit as beautiful and special as their original plans. The show must go on and Terrica and her team brought everything together beautifully!

Vendor Team:

Planning + Florals: Southern Production Weddings

Catering + Rentals: Pretty Presentations

Wedding Dress: Forrest Paper and Bridal Co

Wedding Cake: Casey Mancini

Groom’s Cake: Margie’s Mixing Bowl

Officiant: Jim Cain

Hair & Makeup: Allison Lewis

DJ: Party Animals

Guitarist: Chad Perry Music

Justin and Kristy McGuffee | Parham Bridges Park | Maternity Session

Pregnancy is such a special time in a woman’s life. It is a season where she has the privilege of partnering with the Creator of all things to bring new life into this world. I am amazed by God’s perfect design that allows a woman’s body to grow and sustain new life.

Justin and Kristy are preparing to welcome their second and third baby boys into their family. That’s right, there are two bouncing baby boys in that beautiful belly! Judah and Reuben will join big brother Asher in making this a family of FIVE!

Justin and Kristy, your love for Jesus is evident in how you love one another and share His love with those around you. Your boys are so blessed to have you as mommy and daddy. As I am editing your images I have prayed for your family. I feel such great anticipation for what Papa God has planned for your family! It is not by chance that your boys are named after the patriarchs of Israel, but they will inherit a spiritual heritage and legacy to match their names. The Lord will use each of them to advance the Kingdom of Heaven in ways we can not imagine, and generations will be blessed through them.

Parenting is a crazy adventure of its own. Keep your eyes on Jesus and focus on Him, and he will lead and guide you through each and every step.

Psalm 139: 13-16

For You formed my innermost parts;
You knit me [together] in my mother’s womb.
I will give thanks and praise to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was being formed in secret,
And intricately and skillfully formed [as if embroidered with many colors] in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Your book were all written
The days that were appointed for me,
When as yet there was not one of them [even taking shape].

The Proctor Family | Parham Bridges Portrait Session

I had so much fun capturing these family portraits of the Proctor Family at Parham Bridges Park the day before Thanksgiving!

Mrs. Regina first contacted me early in November to see if I was available for Hayley’s upcoming June wedding at Bridlewood of Madison! In my initial reply, I sent over my wedding package information and suggested a meeting at my favorite coffee spot, The Urban Sip at We Will Go Ministries. Mrs. Regina quickly replied that they LOVE We Will Go and the Urban Sip! We both felt from that moment that this was a Jesus connection!

Annslea and I met with Mrs. Regina, and Hayley FaceTimed in from school. I so enjoyed hearing Hayley’s proposal story and wedding plans, and especially how Jesus is the center of it all! As we emailed back and forth about wedding plans, Mrs. Regina decided that she would also love updated family portraits while Hayley was in town for Thanksgiving. This also gave Hayley and I a chance to meet in person, which is so important to me! I always hope to begin a relationship with my brides throughout the wedding planning process so that I am a trusted friend on their wedding day. And I loved that I was able to meet and work with her whole family! I walked away from this session thinking, “this is a family I would love to get to know and spend more time with.” Their love for Jesus and one another shines through their beautiful smiles!

Proctor Family, I have prayed over each of you as I have edited these images. The verse the Lord has given me for you family is, My children, our love should not be just words and talk; it must be true love, which shows itself in action.” (1 John 3:18) I witnessed this verse lived out as I watched your family lovingly interact with one another. I pray these portraits bless each of you, and they will be cherished memories for generations to come.

The Holden Family | Terry, MS Family Portrait Session

This family holds a very special place in my heart. They are a HUGE part of my husband’s testimony of how he met and surrendered to Jesus.

The story begins with Ben, Mr. Gary & Mrs. Jamie’s son. Ben was the first person to invite Lee to a men’s prayer breakfast at Hillcrest Baptist Church. Lee experienced the love of Jesus and began going to church at Hillcrest where he surrendered his life to the Lord. During this season of early faith and growing in the Lord, Mrs. Jamie became what Lee calls his “church mom.” She and Mr. Garry loved him well and showed him what a godly family looks like. They are all a huge part in Lee’s spiritual foundation, and I was so honored when Mrs. Jamie contacted me about taking family portraits for them while everyone was gathered for Thanksgiving!

Three generations including Mrs. Jamie’s mom, their two grown up kids, and six grandkids made this portrait session quite an adventure! We had a lot of fun chasing the littlest of the family and trying to get them to laugh and smile for the camera.

As I have prayed for your family, the Lord reminded me of 1 Peter 4:8-9 “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.” Mr. Gary & Mrs. Jamie, you love well and show hospitality like no other! I pray that these images are a blessing to you and your family. I also hope that I was able to freeze time and capture the memories of these precious little faces that are growing so fast. I hope these images will be a family treasure for generations to come. 

The Massingill Family | A Fall Family Session | Parham Bridges Park, Jackson, MS

I woke up Friday morning to a torrential downpour. My heart sank as I thought about the family session I had planned with this beautiful family that afternoon. Before I even got out of bed, I checked multiple weather apps. All were in agreement that the rain should move out by lunch. I emailed Allison to share my findings and give her a few options: location change to avoid mud, or reschedule for a latter date. I was overjoyed when she replied choosing to brave the weather and go with my location choice of Parham Bridges Park! The walking trails would keep everyone out of the mud, and there are enough trees for the images to look like we are lost deep in the woods, giving them the outdoors feel they wanted!

I am SO THANKFUL they trusted me! Not only was the location perfect, but the Lord parted the clouds revealing the dreamiest light streaming through the trees!! This beautiful family + the dreamiest golden hour light = I had the hardest time narrowing down over 1,000 images to my favorite 20 for the blog!! Ok, so it was impossible. I finally got it down to 33!

The love this family has for one another is evident in through their joy and laughter! And Emerson, this precious girl!! She was the star of the show!!

Matt, Allison & Emerson, I have prayed for each of you as I have edited your images. The verse the Lord has given me for your family is Psalm 126:2 “Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. It was said among the nations, ‘The LORD has done great things for them.'” The Lord has indeed done great things for you, and  greater is yet to come! He has such big plans for your family! May the Lord continue to fill you with JOY and LAUGHTER all the days of your life!

The Spann Family | Natchez Trace Overlook

I first met Jonathan & Ashton Spann when they came to We Will Go with a volunteer team from Pinelake Church. They were working with another We Will Go missionary and sharing about a mission trip they had recently returned from. That mission trip was to the same Middle Eastern country that I was planning to move to at that time! We connected and shared our hearts for this beautiful country and people that Jesus loves so much! That was now about six years ago and Jesus has taken all of us on crazy adventures with him!

Since then, the Lord has moved the Spann family into Midtown Jackson to share the love of Jesus! As a missionary, I am so excited to reconnect with like-hearted friends who are advancing the Kingdom in our city! And I am expectant to see how Jesus is going to use our friendship to encourage one another as we raise our littles on the mission field and live out the two greatest commandments to love God and love our neighbors on a daily basis.

Jonathan, Ashton & Sadie, the Lord sees you. He sees your heart. He sees your sacrifice. And He loves your willingness to obey no matter what. Keep your eyes on Jesus. Focus on Him! Do not take your eyes off Him to even notice the storm going on around you. He has called you out onto the water. He has called you to walk on the water with Him. As I pray for you now, I hear the chorus to the song Oceans by Hillsong United.

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

His plans for your family are better than you can ever imagine!

Ophelia Elisabeth’s First Birthday

Happy Birthday Lia!! Beautiful girl, you are loved and blessed beyond measure!

Lia’s mom Jamie and I first met a few months after I moved to We Will Go Ministries in downtown Jackson. It wasn’t long before Jamie also was called to be a missionary with WWG and we became roommates for the first time. While the Lord was preparing me to move overseas, He was giving Jamie a vision of “crossing the Jordan” and taking new ground in Mid-Town Jackson. Jamie and Lia now live in a beautiful home she restored on McTyere Avenue near Milsaps College. Jamie and Lia are sharing the LIGHT of JESUS in a neighborhood that is important to the Kingdom!

Lia’s first birthday part was a sweet gathering of family and friends. Jamie incorporated many beautiful family heirlooms in the decorations and serving pieces… special ways to remember her grandmother. She even made her grandmother’s fried apple pies that have become a family birthday tradition!

Jamie, thank you for the honor of being part of Lia’s special day. We enjoyed celebrating your sweet baby girl!

The Nelson Family | A Rankin County Family Portrait Session

Do you have a friend that you KNOW the Lord put in your life? There is just that God connection that draws you together and connects you in such a special way. I am blessed to have a hand full of these “God Friends” in my life, and today I want to introduce you to one of them.

Kim and I met through a dear mutual friend shortly before I moved to Turkey in 2013. I was a missionary preparing to move to the other side of the world with a one-way ticket, a checked bag and a carry on… and Kim invited me to her home to share my story and vision with a group of ladies from Pinelake Church. These ladies loved on me, honored me, prayed for me, and supported me on my journey with Jesus in such a beautiful way!

Throughout my time overseas, this amazing group of ladies would send me care packages with notes and gifts just to let me know that I was loved and not forgotten. And when I was pregnant with Isaac they sent me a baby shower in a box from half way around the world! Kim’s prayers and encouragement in difficult times helped to keep me going when my flesh wanted to quit. This girl is a prayer warrior, and it has been an honor to be on her prayer list all these years!

Since returning to the US, it has been such a pleasure to get to know Kim’s husband Jared and their three beautiful kids Drew, Abby & Alex. Oh what JOY this family carries!!

Jared and Kim have also blessed us through their financial business,  Primerica business by helping us with with our investments, insurance, and a plan for retirement. Their faith shines brightly through not only their family life, but their business practices as well.

We are so blessed by the Nelson family, and I am honored to share these beautiful images with you!