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Marlayna Photography

I'm Happy it Rained on My Wedding Day

Tips and Tricks

Rain on your wedding is something that you don't even want to think about for fear that you may be jinxing the day. I totally get it, because when we were planning ours, we avoided any and all mention of rain. So what did I do when I checked the 10-day weather report and saw the little stormy cloud graphic? Well, first I cried, and then I got to planning. Besides marrying each other (which is number one on the priority list, no matter what), photos were important to us. We wanted to take advantage of the grounds at our amazing venue, so we came up with a photo rain plan. We purchased a clear umbrella to use, and started researching rainy wedding photos. Shawn's parents even took a trip to Ikea and got us tons of towels, bridal party umbrellas, and a blanket that I could put the train of my dress on so that it didn't get muddy. We were ready, and the fact that we were so prepared made all of the emotions that that tiny, evil rain cloud held completely disappear. When a couple ask me "what if it rains?" I let them know that rain just means we have to be a little more creative with their portraits. As a photographer, I'm glad to be challenged and to be in situations that aren't perfect . It's being able to produce beautiful images in a situation that isn't ideal that makes me feel proud of...

Exciting News About Our Styled Shoot

Smitten Feature

So I know I've been talking quite a lot recently about the styled shoot that Marlayna and I did, but that's because I'm really proud of everyone involved and what we were able to accomplish in such a short amount of time. I feel like most planned shoots don't happen within a month and a half (but I could be wrong, haha). We worked tremendously hard, and I fully intend on covering every topic that there is through this blog. I've already started a little bit of the conversation in my blog last week, which made me excited to share every happy, joyous, and heartbreaking moment that we had on this journey. One of the most amazing things happened yesterday: our first shoot - our little photo child - was accepted by Smitten Magazine. As embarrassing as it is to admit, Marlayna and I both cried when we got the email from Audrey, the editor-in-chief. Our entire goal for this shoot was showcasing everyone who dedicated time and their talent to it. After getting just a couple of rejections, we were feeling like failures in the publishing world. But then Smitten happened and our energy, emotions. and belief in love was completely restored! Can I just cuddle this exciting feeling for a little bit :P? Again, I'll cover ever single topic in the series on styled shoots, but just know that this acceptance did not come easy, and the joy of having our work recognized is really freakin' awesome. &...

Welcoming Pony Express!


This blog has been such a long time coming. I have been wanting to formally introduce our dog, Pony, for a while now. I'm kind of glad I waited, though, because over the past 7 months we have gotten to know all of his goofy quirks and build up a semi-obsessive photo collection of him.  We adopted Pony (formally known as Indie) from a wonderful organization called PapAdopters. Our journey to puppy-hood was not easy, because we fell in love with a dog on the opposite side of the country. Shawn and I had always said "we'll get a dog when we have a house", but that never stopped us from Internet window shopping different local rescue sites, or making lists of what the perfect dog would be. While Internet looking, I came across Indie's photo. Something inside me just knew, and as soon as I showed Shawn, he knew as well: this was our dog. Reading what he had been through was heart-breaking. Indie was a 2 year old Papillon mix from California. The organizers at PapAdopters told us that they believe he was in a hoarding situation with almost 200 other dogs. He was malnourished, dirty, and his tail was stained yellow from having to sit in his own mess. Our hearts broke for him and I cried after hearing all that had happened to him since no animal should suffer through that. We carefully filled out the application, and heard back the next day...

To My Husband on Our First Anniversary

I Love You

To My Husband In this extremely quick year of marriage, we have done so much together. From small road trips to adopting our Pony pup our life is my favorite. You have sacrificed your time to help me accomplish my dreams, and you have encouraged me every step of the way. I can only hope that when it comes time for me to help you, I can be as impactful on your work as you have been on mine. I promise, even though I know nothing about what your dissertation will be about, I will try my absolute hardest to learn. Us being each other's biggest fans is something I never expected, or knew I would need and want from a partner. You have been such a wonderful light in my life. Your happiness and calm demeanor brings me so much peace. It fills in a part of my heart that I thought would be missing forever. I love every new thing I learn about you. In the 5 years that we have known each other, I am always surprised and giddy to learn more about you. Your smile, your singing, your dancing at your computer while coding, are pieces of you that, when I'm feeling an ounce of sadness, I can look to and immediately feel a familiar rush of comfort. You are my touchstone and my home. To be married to such a dedicated, goofy, intelligent, non-judgemental man; I am fully aware that I am the lucky one...