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Hello, 2016! by Zac & Kaitlin

What an amazing year 2015 was. So many fun portrait shoots, dreamy engagement sessions, and wonderful weddings all in one year. We are beyond grateful for all of our amazing clients-turned-friends that entrusted us with capturing their big moments. Being in the hospitals with brand-new newborns, watching fathers tearfully give their precious daughters away in marriage, and seeing shocked faces of friends as their boyfriends get down on one knee and ask the most important question of their lives. We have been there - and we are so grateful. And now we look onto a new year, 2016 - with more big moments that we get to be a part of. We are in awe.

Here are just a few of our favorite images from this past year...

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Zac is 25 by Zac Simmons

This past weekend we celebrated my sweet husband's 25th birthday! Twenty FIVE! When Zac and I met he was 16 and we have been on an amazing adventure since. We wondered out to Sundance Square and enjoyed the beautiful weather and some amazing food! We brought our camera along and snapped a few pictures throughout the day. To my amazing husband, my best friend, and even my business partner - happy birthday. You are the most compassionate man, filled with so much creativity and love. I love you more than you know and cannot wait for the next 25 years with you (and then 25 more, and 25 more, etc.) :D

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Best of 2013 // by Zac Simmons

Happy 2014! (I know, I know I am a bit late - but hey it's only February, right!?) As I woke up this morning, huge snow flakes were falling and perfectly laying on the ground. I was elated! It is a rare sight to see in the great state of Texas - so as you can imagine I was jumping for joy. I quickly made some hot tea and then just starred in amazement. Zac's job allowed him to go in a bit later in the morning, so we just sat... and starred.  And it was awesome! I quickly pulled out my phone to snap a few pictures of this beautiful morning that I knew would so quickly melt away. That is often our hope as photographers, to capture beautiful moments that only exist once before we move on. Our desire is to simply be there with a camera, watching quietly, as you enjoy the moment. So thank you for sharing those times with us, whether that is asking the love of your life to marry you, meeting your child for the first time in a hospital room, or walking down the aisle...we were honored to be there to capture it all. So here is to 2013, a year of sweet sweet moments. And on to 2014 - let's go! 

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Why it is OK to NOT do a First-Look by Zac Simmons

My husband and I have had the amazing pleasure of shooting many many weddings this year and we have seen so many different ways to do things! We have shot an entire wedding that was performed in a different language that what we speak. We have been called into be emergency photographers for a handful of weddings. We have cried, we have laughed, we have shared some of the neatest moments with our clients - and for that we are so so thankful. 

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Travel | Santa Barbara, CA by Zac Simmons

This past week we spent in the beautiful city of Santa Barbara, California. We had a day or so of work to do and the rest was play, much needed play. We shot video and photo for a corporate shoot (soon to come!) but afterwards we went on our beach-getaway-second-honeymoon-adventure! I wanted to share our travel on the blog today!  

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The funny thing is when Zac & I travel, we put down our equipment and simply explore - leaving the majority of our pictures to be taken on our most convienent camera - our phone. So here is a look at the West Coast through the lens of an iPhone...

After the 3:40 AM plane ride was over - we reached the beautiful sunshiny California. The temperature was a stunning 63 degrees when we landed. After our work was over... we literally ran to the beach. The staff at our corporate shoot was so fun to work with and handed over a prepared list of the BEST things to do in Southern Cali, and there we had it - our guide to the week made by locals. How awesome!? 

 

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We explored down State Street which is the main street in Santa Barbara, loaded with shopping, cute coffee shops, and the best food. Zac ate sea food almost every place we went, and I had a burger alongside him - literally the best burger I have ever eaten was in CA. I don't know what they feed their cows there, but it was so yummy. 

 

SANTA BARBARA | CALIFORNIA

 

We also went to the beach that day, and as you can imagine we were the palest people there :). And as you can also imagine, we left being the most sunburn people there. We walked to CVS where they were OUT of aloe. #fail BUT we made a pretty cool sand castle and took a dip in the COLD ocean.  

 

The next day, we drove down to the valley - filled with vineyards and beautiful mountains. We got to go to a lavender farm....literally one of my dreams. It was BEAUTIFUL and smelt like heaven.

We drove back up to Santa Barbara after our scenic tour and went to a public showing of North by Northwest in the Sunkin Gardens. A local had invited us the day before, and we sat with her and her boyfriend. They were as sweet as pie. 

Eva Marie Saint (she plays the sassy detective) was there, a few rows in front of us, and she gave an exclusive interview about working with Hitchcock. She gave us a inside look into the filming of North by Northwest and where to look for little "easter eggs". It was amazing. 

The next day....

HOLLYWOOD

We made the short drive to LA, to tour Hollywood and Beverly Hills. It was so much fun, a little overwhelming, lots of traffic, but worth it. We walked down Sunset Blvd. & Hollywood Blvd. to see the iconic TCL Chinese Theater, Dolby Theater, and the Walk of Fame! We went to SWEET! - the candy store that Willy Wonka based their set off of. We hopped on a tour bus to see the Hollywood sign, some star's homes, and Rodeo drive. We also got to eat at one of Gordon Ramsey's restaurants.... I almost fainted I was so excited. I don't cook much besides chicken, BUT I LOVE Chef Ramsey, and secretly aspire to be the best-home-cook-slash-foodie-blogger-slash-food-photographer. The food was awesome, slightly on the pricey side, but good! Lastly, we drove to Santa Monica to the infamous pier and back to Santa Barbara on the beautiful Hwy 1. 

 

On our last day there we went back to the beach and then did some more exploring around the beautiful city and then went on a sail boat tour! It was pretty cold - which was okay with me - but I had to load up on my good 'ol friend, Dramamine to make it through. It was our first time on a sail boat and it was neat to watch them put up the sail and direct the boat! 

 

And then

back to

Texas,

the state

we love

oh-so-much!

 

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Charlie | The Mosaic Church | Chicago, IL. by Zac Simmons

  Charlie.

Charlie.

I (Zac) am in Chicago right now serving The Mosaic Church on a mission trip with First Baptist Church Denton.  My purpose is to come capture on camera what is happening here at The Mosaic and to bring that back to the congregation along with what the group here is doing over the week. While I was at the church last night, I got to connect to this awesome man, Charlie. Charlie has been in Chicago for a little over a year now, he has travelled all over the country to different cities fulfilling what he believe God has called him to do, minister to the the homeless by being homeless himself. He has sold all that he has, given up all comforts and continues, everyday, to trust in the Lord’s provision for his life. About a minute into our conversation he started leading me through the book of Revelation, answering doctrinal questions with excellence and directly quoting the scripture all through out our talk. Next he moved onto the book of John. Again, quoting and leading me through in our heart to heart banter. God was so powerful in our conversation, He was encouraging me in a dry spell I have been having recently with God. For those of you who have been praying for me and pray for my wife and I continuously, I thought you would be interested to know that the Lord is using us and our gifts. He has blessed us with to reach the world, whether that be through our business, encouraging brides and grooms on one of the most important day in their lives, or going around the country and capturing men like Charlie who have a story to tell of how the Lord changes lives drastically, not only when Jesus was here on earth but continues today to radically impact people in all walks of life.

Please continue to pray over the next few days while we are here in Chicago that the Gospel will be clearly presented on ears that desperately need to here this good news.