always been

But I never set out to be a photographer. I was (and still am!) going to be a writer. And then as I worked toward that writing goal, someone put a camera in my hand and asked me to try telling stories with something besides words. So with an English nerd's love for character and tone, a romantic's love for poignant beauty, and a realist's love for imperfection, I dove in.

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always been a

That was back in 2010.

Since that time, photography has changed much of my life. It's brought me some of my dearest friends. It's reshaped the way my husband Danny and I view serving others. It has even literally taken me around the world. One thing that hasn't changed: my soul-stirring desire to tell stories that feel so real you're sure you knew them before you heard them. Or saw them. It's my privilege to tell those stories for my clients, and for the generations of their families still to come.

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Jes + Travis and their Family – Lifestyle Portraits at Daytona Beach | Central Florida Lifestyle Photography

Monday, July 8th, 2013

After eight years of marriage, four little girls, and four deployments for Travis, he called Jes — from overseas, during his latest deployment — this winter with a surprise. They were going on vacation to Florida this summer, he told her, to spend a week at Disney and a week at the beach where she has so many fond memories of time with her family when she was a child. Oh, and by the way — while they were there, they were going to finally throw that wedding they’d missed when they got married at a courthouse before Travis went to basic training.

I was absolutely thrilled for Jes, and thrilled for Travis — and for the four little girls, who thought their parents’ wedding was just about the most exciting thing ever. Well, at least the ones who were old enough to understand thought so. When they weren’t thinking about how much they loved their first experience at the beach.

We met up with Jes and Travis and their girls a few days before the wedding as they spent the evening splashing in the waves. A traditional engagement session wouldn’t have worked too well — they had four girls headed four different directions! Playing with them at the beach their mother had grown up on was the perfect alternative.We pretty much fell in love with these four girls.

Madeline, who wanted to head out into the big waves, because she was big, too. Sophie, who mastered the boogie board in a matter of minutes. Lucy, who wanted no part of the surf but loved the sand. Evie, who was really focused on learning to walk while her older sisters swam.Notice that spec at the far right of the picture. It was a bird swooping toward the water, not a shark fin!
I just love this. Mom and her big girls.Someone finally headed into the water of her own free will. . . .Love this! This girl had enthusiasm by the bucketfull.As we got closer to the golden hour, the sun overpowered the clouds and we had the most delicious sunset.Say what?!It’s easy to see why Jes loves this beach so much.See even more in their slideshow!
I am so, so happy to know that Jes and Travis plan to return to this beach with their girls often, continuing Jes’s family tradition! I’m happy for them, and I’m happy for us — because we don’t want their wedding week to be the only time we see this wonderful family.

Stayed tuned — the gorgeous wedding is coming to the blog later this week!

~ Laura + Danny

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