ShelleyElena Photography

Heather & Nick's Wedding!

Heather and Nick became Mr. and Mrs. Ortner on January 13th, 2012 and it was glorious.  I know Heather from church and was excited for pretty much the past 8 months about the wedding, especially knowing Heather's super classy style and fun personality.  Sure enough, the wedding did not disappoint.  More than anything though, I love that Heather and Nick's wedding wasn't just about a day, it was celebrating the fact that God brought these two together for the rest of their lives. When I arrived at Arbor Pointe, the reception hall where everyone was getting ready, I was blown away.  Not only is the venue itself gorgeous, but all of Heather's hard work paid off and it looked stunning, with a romantic, Victorian-inspired theme. But I'll show you that stuff later!  I like to be chronological so we'll start with the girls getting ready.  To date, this wedding produced a few of my most favoritest detail shots ever:

P.S. Heather made her bouquet and her mom made the garters.  Do you think I can convince them to go into business with me?  They'll make stuff and I'll just take photos of it.  I think this is a good plan.

Look at these gorgeous girls.  They are wonderful and make awesome models!

I can't get over how beautiful Heather was/is all the time.  My sweet second shooter caught this next photo, which I adore.

Now, on to the very dapper men!

The light outside was heavenly.  And Nick looked as awesomely cool as every groom should look on his wedding day.

We then headed over to the Texas Baptist Children's Home chapel, where the ceremony was to be held.

I love the delight in the Lord and delight in one another that shone so clearly throughout the ceremony.

I know I've said this countless times before, but I love my job.

Now you get to see reception photos!  So many beautiful details!

They even had a hot cocoa station!  And combining two of my favorite things, Heather found unique gourmet popcorn and displayed it in an old suitcase for favors!  The beautiful cake was created by Classy Cakes by Lori and the grooms cake (Heather and Nick both went to Tech) was made by my wonderful friend Sonnet, of Sweet Intentions.

Can you tell this was a fun wedding?!  And it just kept getting better!  Gobo Entertainment did an amazing job with lights and music to make the reception quite a party.  But by now your eyes are probably glazing over from all the photos, so I'll try to wrap it up.

Yes, that is the bride doing the splits in her dress.  I hope everyone else is as ridiculously impressed as I am.

Congratulations, Heather and Nick!  Y'all are awesome and I know your marriage will be too!


It's Christmas!  So, like a good blogger, I wrote a Christmas post.  If if doesn't seem very holiday-ish at first, stick with me and you'll see the connection eventually.  Sometimes in the midst of doing photography as my business I lose sight of the brilliant reason I love taking photos in the first place: to reflect the beauty of God in His creations.  However, God was gracious enough to knock me off my feet last night when I saw this photo from my family's hike at Enchanted Rock and remind me of exactly why I do what I do.  (I'll show you the photo now if you promise to keep reading)

I had simply snapped this photo in between goofy photos of my parents, but the simple beauty and symbolism strikes a deep chord in me.  The man's purposeful stride towards his wife reflects the whole message of Christmas: Jesus came to us.  He pursued us because he loves us.  He didn't wait for us to come to him, but made himself nothing, a humble servant and was obedient to the point of death.  But death couldn't keep him down, so now we are free to live in the love of God, all because Jesus came to us.  I'm overwhelmed with that relentless love, the passionate pursuit of God as he defeats sin and reigns as Lord in our hearts.  And this is why I celebrate Christmas, but it's also why I long to take beautiful photos and be a loving daughter and a faithful friend every day.  Because every day I get the chance to worship the God who came to me and gave me life, not just on Christmas!

I told you it was a Christmas post :)  Have a beautiful day!

P.S.  Who wants to take engagement/wedding/senior photos at Enchanted Rock?!!?!!

Emma is a Senior!

I know that I'm getting old, because I keep telling people like Emma how weird it is that they are driving or graduating, because I remember when they were just a little squirt.  Ok, so I don't use the word 'squirt', but I'm sure that Emma is getting tired of me exclaiming over the fact that she's a senior!  Seriously though, I've known Emma most of my life and I loved spending time with her wandering around South Congress and Barton Springs.  She is a beautiful person on every level.  Since I'm living in Georgetown now I don't get to see Emma as much as I used to, but luckily we run in the same circles when it comes to Christmas parties, so I've gotten to keep up with her over many games of fireside Rock Stack :) See what I mean?  Gorgeous.  The light couldn't have been better!

I loved all the pretty blue walls to show off Emma's pretty blue eyes!  We then wandered over to Barton Springs and got some AMAZING shots showing Emma's dance skills.  Even though it was about the fifth time I said, "Wait, I have one more idea," our sunset silhouette photos were totally worth sticking around a little longer!

See what I mean?!  Ahhhhh I love my job!!!

Kim & Thomas!

Yay for sneak peeks!  Let me tell you though...they take a lot longer than you'd think because I am so indecisive when it comes to picking a few photos!  This was my first wedding at Angel Springs and it was beautiful!  I loved that the wedding was pretty small and really did feel like a bunch of friends and family hanging out, having a good time.  Thanks for including me in the fun, Kim & Thomas!

Drew & Karen Sneak Peek!

It was a dark and stormy night...just kidding...sort of.  Drew and Karen's beautiful Cimmaron Hills wedding was threatened by the first rain storm in what seems like 5 years, but the festivities continued without being dampened (sorry for the terrible pun)!  Seriously, the rain could have made them super stressed, but I loved how Karen and Drew were just so happy to be married, rain or shine! Enjoy the sneak peek!  And yes, that is a camo vest and tie that Drew is wearing :)

Ashley & Parker: Kindred Oaks wedding (pt. 2)

Ok, here's round two of Ashley and Parker's wedding!  As you may remember, we left off as Ashley's father walked her down the aisle.  The ceremony followed pretty much as ceremonies do, but with the unique infusion of love and joy that makes every wedding special. Because we'd already gotten the formal photos done, we got to go straight to the reception!  And as you can tell by how the wedding party entered, it was a good time.  Parker & Ashley's first dance was super sweet- they danced to Leighton Meester and Garrett Hedlund's "Give in to Me."  As I was shooting, I was frustrated that I couldn't get any shots without people in the background.  But then it hit me- how awesome is it that Parker and Ashley are starting this part of their life together literally  surrounded by people who love and support them?  Love when revelations hit me while I'm taking photos.

Seeing the beautiful sunset behind the reception hall, I grabbed Parker and Ashley after their first dance while everyone was getting food and got a few more shots of them.  Little did I know that these would turn out to be some of my favorite bride and groom portraits yet.

Enough of the adorableness and back to the party!  Dinner was catered by CJ's, an awesome catering company that I've worked weddings with before and am always impressed by the food.

After dinner it was time for dancing!

Receptions are just filled with so many fun things- cake, dancing, photobooths- what more could you want?  The "Angry Bird" grooms cake by The Cakery in Lubbock was definitely a favorite.  And as you can see, people really had a good time dancing!

After much more dancing and fun times, it was time for Parker and Ashley to make their grand exit!  And I'd say an old red Rolls Royce is a pretty fun way to exit as a newly married couple.  Don't ask me any more about the car, because I don't know anything about cars, but it sure did look pretty!

Many blessings on y'all's marriage, Parker and Ashley, it was such a joy to document the beginning of y'all's life together!

You are the beauty

I love the way God has given us so many ways to express our amazement at His beauty.  Right now I'm reveling Gungor's new album, Ghosts Upon the Earth, especially the song "You are the Beauty."  While listening to the song, I opened up this photo in Lightroom and decided that I really just couldn't keep either reflection of God's beauty to myself.  But as with any good creation on this earth, a photo or a song is only a reflection, because He IS the beauty!

Kindred Oaks Wedding: Parker & Ashley's sneak peek!

This past Sunday, much of central Texas watched anxiously as fires spread across the countryside.  But in the midst of the fires and the drought and the heat, Parker and Ashley were blessed with a beautiful wedding at Kindred Oaks.  All day I was praying that we would get some clouds, that it would cool down, and that the gale-force winds wouldn't blow everyone away, and indeed, by the time I arrived at Kindred Oaks, everything was perfect! One of my favorites moments occurred right before the photo on the left.  As she held his hand, Ashley looked at the new wedding band on Parker's ring finger and asked how it felt.  "It feels big," he responded at first, feeling the weight of the ring, but after a looking at his wife he added, "no, it feels perfect."    I hope that these photos (and the many, many more to come) convey that sweet contentment Ashley and Parker exude when they're together.

Kim's bridal photos!

I love exploring new places to take photos, but the Dunvegan Keep certainly wins for the most unique.  With a variety of interesting sculptures and doors and gateways, we were kept quite entertained during Kim's bridal shoot.  It felt a little like we traveled through time and around the world, all the while in a residential area of South Austin.  Her lovely bouquet from A Matter of Taste in Georgetown added a nice touch to the shoot, but ultimately the photos turned out beautifully because Kim is gorgeous! I'm so glad that I can share a few of these now that she's married!

Jimmy & Destiny's Engagement Shoot

I love when clients really get excited about doing a shoot, so I was pumped to hear that Destiny had a bunch of fun ideas for her and Jimmy's engagement session.  Between exploring the Zilker botanical gardens, stopping by a few places in Austin, and ending at the Oasis, we got some beautiful shots.  Jimmy and Destiny have been together since high school, and their commitment to each other is evident in the way that they are so comfortable with each other.  I really enjoyed running around Austin with these two, so I hope y'all enjoy a few of their photos!

Drew & Karen

I'm totally a country girl at heart, so getting to do this engagement shoot in the Hill Country near Leander was awesome.  I love the way that the Texas country is so beautiful, even in the middle of a drought!  And how much better is the hill country when you get to hang out with an awesome couple?  Karen and Drew were so fun to work with- I can't wait for their wedding later in the year!