STORIES of LOVE, LIFE, and HAPPINESS
Photography: Shillawna Ruffner Photography
Set Design and Styling: Natalie Allen Production Design
Wardrobe Styling: Cortnie Bigelow www.cortniebigelowstyle.blogspot.com
Hair and Makeup: Melissa King www.kingsksalon.com
Cupcakes: Leesa Booker www.cakesandmudpies.blogspot.com
Custom Bow Tie: Angela Munyer
Models: Erica King and Michael Rizzo
Combine all ingredients together and add lots of warm spring-evening light and a location with color and texture to die for. Shoot, process, and enjoy.
Here are a few quick shots from a mini session I did with my mom and step dad over Christmas. This Ah-Mazing location is just behind their house! When I saw it, I knew I HAD to shoot there and my mom and dad were more than willing to take advantage of me! 🙂 It’s so wonderful to be able to share my abilities for creating beautiful and meaningful images with my parents. And it was also really endearing to be able to capture some tender moments with them, displaying their friendship and deep love they have for one another. Merry Christmas you two!
Jill is WAY too humble! I mean, come on, her work is stunning! So I was definitely humbled when she contacted me a few months ago about doing a family session for her and her husband and two dogs (yes, that’s where the “double D’s” reference comes from…) Well, I wasn’t going to let the opportunity for her to return the favor pass me up! So Jill and I happily agreed to meet together and photograph each other’s family. What a fun experience!
I don’t know Jill very well, but I’m pretty sure the best thing about her is her smile and quickness to laugh. It’s awesome being around someone who seems to think that you and your family are the funnest (yes, I know that’s not a real word) and funniest people she’s ever met. And as for photographing someone with her kind of smile…I will let the photos speak for themselves. Jill is beautiful, Jesse adoring. And Rusty and Sophie? The perfect duo for my first family shoot including K-9s!
One of the best compliments I can receive is a job well done from a fellow photographer. I can only hope that Jill and her family love these pictures as much as I love the pictures she took for me. I really hope that she and I have the opportunity to work together again in the future as well as nurture a friendship outside of photography (because, yes, she really is that awesome to be around!).
Click HERE if you would like to check out Jill’s handiwork on my family portraits!
I was so excited to photograph Amberlyn and Eric! They are the most awesome couple ever and Amberlyn has a killer sense of fashion to top it all off! I love how these images turned out…the lighting was beautiful, the location was perfect, and I am so pleased that these two felt comfortable enough with me to allow me to capture their friendship and love. Sometimes I ask silly things of the people in front of my lens but Amberlyn and Eric were more than happy to accommodate me. Thanks so much for all of your hard work and trust!
Click HERE to view Amberlyn’s and Eric’s entire collection.
I can’t believe it! My little sister is getting married! I am so happy for her that she found such a great partner in life in Mike. My family and I met him for the first time about a week ago (we live all across the western US) and I think it’s safe to say that we all adore him! What a catch they have found in one another!
Audra and Mike decided they wanted a beach theme for their engagement pictures and we had so much fun rolling around in the sand and splashing in the water. Okay, so maybe I had a lot of fun watching them do it because it was pretty cold that day 🙂 What are big sisters for, though…it’s our duty to haze our younger siblings!
I am really looking forward to Audra’s and Mike’s wedding next year! They are planning a destination wedding (somewhere still to be determined in Europe or on a cruise) and I hope that I get to be their photographer for their very special day as well!
For two reasons:
1. I took these photos for Jeff and Hilary about two or three weeks ago while on a business trip to Tucson with my husband. I am finally home and can post them on my neglected blog!
2. Hilary told me that she and Jeff haven’t had professional portraits taken of them since their engagement pictures before they were married!
I met Jeff and Hilary through my sweet husband, Kevin. Jeff and Kevin graduated in the same major from college only one semester apart, and it was Jeff who persuaded Kevin to apply for his current job. (Thanks again, Jeff!)
I vaguely remember my first impression of this dynamic couple: Jeff was handsome and edgy, Hilary exotically beautiful and punk rock! Kevin and I loved hanging out with our new friends because of their easy way with each other and laid back demeanor. Nothing has changed over the 3 or 4 years since we met… except that their relationship has become richer, their confidence and charisma has strengthened, their love and devotion for one another has deepened, and – holy cow! – are they hot or what?!
I cannot believe how well these two photographed! I would like to take all of the credit for how beautiful these images turned out, but really, it has a lot to do with this couple’s willingness to be vulnerable in front of the camera. Their ability to let me into their relationship and catch them expressing their love through their body language. And it helps that they are both so stunningly gorgeous!
I had heard that another photographer had “moved into our group of friends” while my husband and I were in New Mexico for his job assignment this last summer. I was warned, “Shillawna, you’ve got competition.” Competition? Maybe. Except that I don’t need to mark my “territory” like an animal. In fact, I don’t even believe in “territory” when it comes to building relationships with family, friends, and clients.
When I was told to watch out for my competition my reaction was to call said person immediately and ask them to be my friend. Because THAT’S what I believe in. I believe in camaraderie, companionship, friendship, and community. I was soooo thrilled to have another photography buddy, someone whom I could bounce ideas off of, someone to learn and grow from, and hopefully someone to offer something to in return. I believe in building one another up, not tearing each other down.
When I emailed Lily, I was nervous as to what her reaction might be. Photographers seem to either share the same philosophy I have, or keep to themselves. I wasn’t sure which way Lily would go. To my great pleasure, Lily responded to my request for collaboration and friendship with open arms and I am now proud to call her my friend. Not just because we share a common interest…no, passion… for photography, but because I truly think she is a beautiful person both inside and out.
So, competition? Sure, why not. My friend and fellow photographer? Now that’s more like it.
Here is Lily and her handsome hubby, Joe. They were so kind as to sit for me for a mock engagement shoot. Need I talk about how stunningly gorgeous both of them are? I didn’t think so. And I was so grateful that they felt comfortable enough with me to let me act as a fly on the wall during their session. These images turned out so beautifully intimate because of their trust in me and my heart just sings when I look at the love and passion they have for one another.
One of the best things about being a photographer is the opportunity I get to see and capture people at their rawest, most emotional, and happiest moments. And it’s even more special when I get to do that for someone whom I dearly love!
Golda is another long time friend, a best friend, from high school and after. I met her freshman year in choir and we also had PE together. I think our friendship was cemented when Golda’s enthusiasm for the game of basketball landed me with a broken finger…and we were even on the same team! We have been through so much together, our friendship weathering completely different lifestyles, living states apart, babies, marriage, and time. I always say that you can tell when someone is a true friend if when seeing or speaking to them after years without communication, it’s like you were never apart.
Golda is dear to my heart. And Mike is dear to her’s… so I’ll just say it: I love you, man! Seriously though, Mike makes Golda happy. He loves her. He dotes on her. He cherishes every part of her. And he is making her an honest woman! 🙂 Ha, ha! j/k I am so happy for this sweet couple and their upcoming nuptials in May of 2010. And if I’m not too huge and pregnant, then I get to be a bridesmaid at their wedding! Here’s to the both of you…and that beautiful little baby that you have made together!