Fall is the perfect time to get those family photos taken! The weather is a little cooler and the leaves are turning beautiful colors on the trees. These photos can be incorporated into your Christmas card, or make perfect gifts for family. I have tons of props that can be used for your session, or just use nature itself. Pumpkins, old wheelbarrow, buckets, scarecrows, etc. can be lots of fun to incorporate into your session. We can even do chalkboard signs with fun words. For more information on pricing, location suggestions, and available times, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Photographer's Confession
A little over 2 years ago my life completely changed. My husband of 35 years passed away from colon cancer. My plans for the future took a very different direction. You never think when you get married you will lose your spouse sooner than you planned. We were supposed to retire some day, travel and grow old together watching our grandchildren grow up. Now it is just me that is supposed to do all those things. When my husband, Chuck, passed away, a big part of me died with him. My hopes, dreams and plans were now gone. I basically lost my passion for a lot of things...my work, my photography, my interests, my family and my friends. I was not sure what to do now that I was all alone. A big part of me wanted to shut down, curl up and hide under the covers never to be seen again, but I knew I had people depending on me and watching me to see how I would react. I felt I had to be strong for them.
I always thought I had a very strong Christian faith, but little did I know my faith was about to be put to the test. I had to trust God was going to take care of me financially, mentally and spiritually. I just did not know how much God was going to push me to make me the person I am now. What I have learned is that God will not put anything before you that you cannot handle. Sometimes we need to ask God to help us get through a situation, and not take the situation away. Believe me my situation of being a widow at 54 was not going away! To those of you that have lost loved ones, there are stages of grief that we all go through. The first year was a fog to me. Just dealing with the financial aspect and emotional aspect of Chuck's death was overwhelming and often a blur for me, but with the help of family and good friends I made it through. After the first year, I thought I am doing ok with this grief thing and was feeling pretty confident. Keep in mind I say the word "I". Even though I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior at the age of 12, I really had no idea what that meant. The second year of Chuck's passing came and that is when it all hit the fan so to speak. I continued to feel overwhelmed, sad, depressed, tired and run down, and it seemed like I was crying more than when he first passed away. I literally thought I was going crazy. I felt like I should be moving on, and making plans for my future. Again notice I say the word "I". I was still trying to do a lot of this myself, and not rely on God. I later find out the second year of grieving is the worst which I why I was not prepared for these feelings.
There were times in the second year I thought I would never get my joy and passion for anything back. I basically could not see the light at the end of the tunnel. I was just going through the motions. I am not saying this is a bad thing. Maybe this was my way of dealing with it all. I finally decided I could not keep going like this. Something had to be done! It was at that point I got on my knees and asked God to just take all this from me. I had been trying to do this alone and not letting go and let God take control. The way I saw it I had two choices... to start to live life again, or to stay the broken shell of a person I had become. I would tell myself "would Chuck want me to be without joy and passion the rest of my life?" Those of you that know my Chuck know he had a love for life and was always positive so I know he would want me to pick myself up and move forward.
With the help of counseling, great friends, family and my Lord and Savior, I was able to put my life back together again, but in a different way. I was still Valicia Bryant, but I was Valicia Bryant the mother, grandmother, friend and yes the hated word the "widow". I decided this past summer was going to be a time for me. I developed a consistent devotional and prayer time, got involved in church activities and Life Groups, spent a lot of time with my good friends Cathy and Kelley, and even took an unplanned 8 day road trip, which if you know me is hard to do. I am such a planner. LOL I spent a lot of quite time also listening to God. I think often times we talk to God, but don't take the time to listen to his response. I have developed a hunger for a deeper relationship with God that I have not had before. As all this was happening, I began to have a sense of calmness I have not felt in a long time. For the first time since Chuck and I heard the words "you have stage 4 colon cancer," I began to feel a sense of peace that only God can give. My joy and passion for life, work photography and just everything in general has started to return. Do I still struggle? You bet! Everyday, but I know when those waves of emotion hit me, I am not alone. That is when I seek God whether in the car, at work, home, etc. One thing that has helped me with my journey, is I have taken up running again. I love to put on Christian music and run outdoors to enjoy the beauty God has provided all around us.
I have learned with God ALL things are possible! You just have to let God take control and realize he knows what is best for you.
One of my favorite places to go in Rockwall is the Harbor. The Harbor has several restaurants, a movie theater, and lots of scenic places to sit and enjoy, or to take pictures. I love going out to the Harbor just before sunset and taking numerous pictures of the different stages of the sunset. I love the beautiful orange/pink colors. These pictures were actually taken with an iPhone 6. They turned out pretty good!
I recently got the opportunity to photograph these two beautiful sisters. This was the first time for the little one, but I got the privilege of doing a photo session about 5 years ago with the older sibling. This was so much fun! My favorite part is capturing the candid moments when the girls were just being themselves. I especially love the one of the little one looking through the spokes of an old wheel.
I love having family sessions at Harry Myers Park. There are so many unique areas to create many different shots! Harry Myers Park is located off Washington Street in downtown Rockwall. It is a hidden treasure with ponds, trails, picnic tables and lots more!
First Year Pictures
I had the pleasure of taking this little cutie's pictures recently. You can tell he is a very special little boy and is very much loved by his parents. His big smile lights up his entire face. His birthday theme was The Hungry Caterpillar. I was able to create a caterpillar banner and incorporate the book into his session. Thank you Strickland family for letting me be part of his special one year photos!
So excited that Shelby will be officially joining our family soon. As soon as I heard they were engaged, I of course took a road trip to Bryan/College Station to take their engagement pictures. Since they are both Aggies, the first pictures we took were in front of the Aggie barn just outside of Calvert. We then took a stroll to downtown Bryan to take a few pictures in front of some of the old buildings, and then of course we ended up on the A&M campus for our last set of pictures. It was such a pleasure to be a part of this and am excited about their upcoming wedding in September!
Eric & Leann - D D Ranch Wedding
I have know Leann for a long time. She has been through a lot the past few years so for her to find happiness again is truly amazing. This sweet couple got hitched recently at Double D Ranch in Mesquite. One feature I like about DD Ranch is the ability to have the wedding and reception all in one place. Thank goodness the rain took a break so we could get some great pictures outside. Happy 1 month anniversary to Eric & Leann! It was a privilege to be a part of your special day!
Matt & Shelby - Bluebonnet Fun
I always love hanging out with these two. It does not look it, but it was pretty cold the morning we managed to get in some great bluebonnet pictures before we froze. Nothing like beautiful bluebonnets in the spring!
Bluebonnet Baby - Rylee
I was so excited to take the first bluebonnet pictures of the year this past weekend. Little Miss Rylee just turned one and wanted to have her pictures done in bluebonnets. What a cutie!
Texas Bluebonnet Time
There is a very small window of opportunity for bluebonnet pictures. Usually the month of April is best if there is not a late freeze. Bluebonnets look best if we have had a lot of rain so hopefully there will be plenty of beautiful bluebonnets this season. Contact Val Bryant if you are interested in scheduling a bluebonnet session. 972-839-6720 or email@example.com
I love to capture those special moments in people's lives through photography. I am constantly looking at a scene and thinking how could that work in a photo session, or what angle would work to capture the beauty that God has blessed us with.