Category Archives: Beach

The truth behind our “picture-perfect” beach photos

I think about cutting my hair back to just above my shoulders from time to time. Typically 6 days out of the week my hair is in a bun on top of my head, a pony tail, or a braid. So I ask myself why I bother with having long hair if I’m just throwing it up out of my way. But then… about once a week (or maybe twice if it’s a date night, special occasion, or we’re traveling) I’ll wear my hair down and I’ll remember just how much I love having it long. So once again I’ll put off cutting it.

rach at the beach{from our most recent Destin trip – yes, I’m rocking my FitBit and hair tie as bracelets 😉 }

Ah, that pretty hair! But this photo is deceptive. You know how all those beach photos you see of Christopher and me look so perfect? Well, it usually takes ten photos to get ONE great one. The gentle breeze that we love all day long while being out on the beach turns into a WIND by sunset every evening. Making photos kind of hilarious. Please see below.

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This shot is also from our most recent Destin trip. Check out that wild hair. Absolutely fabulous. 😉 Poor Christopher usually ends up with a face-full of my hair while trying to get the beautiful photos we love. Click here to see the far more magical photo taken just minutes later when the wind died down a bit.

destin may 2016

This one makes me laugh because Christopher is attempting to tame my mane. This is a pretty regular occurrence when attempting to take beach photos. 😉 This photo is from our Destin trip this past May (prettier photos from this day can be found here).

DSC_4731 copy{Panama City Beach earlier this summer}

Even when it’s kind of wild, I still like my long hair. The upkeep can be a pain sometimes and I honestly am pretty boring with how I style it most of the time, but at the end of the day I know that I won’t always have long hair. Eventually the day will come when I cut it all off once again so I’m going to enjoy having it for now.

vow renewal in cozumelRenewing our vows in 2011 just off the coast of Cozumel on our first cruise (my hair had been cut just above my shoulders earlier that year).

By the way, for newer readers… I used to cut 10″ off my hair every year (about 4 or 5 years in a row) to donate to organizations that made wigs for cancer patients (my hair grows super fast so this was easy for me). I quit doing it a couple of years ago because I wanted long hair for our Italy trip in 2013. Turned out that I kind of loved that long hair so I’ve kept it around the last few years. 🙂

Why is your hair the length that it is (short, medium, or long)?

Have you attempted photos on a windy day and found yourself with a face full of hair? Even people with shorter hair have this problem! I know because I photograph them all the time. 😉

Love Rach


Destin Favorites Video

Destin has become a bit of a home-away-from-home for us. Christopher grew up going there as a kid and we have now been there together six times. We’ve fallen into quite the groove of how this trip goes. Even getting there has its own traditions. Leaving Memphis after work, Chick Fil A for dinner, Starbucks Reserve Store for a coffee break, and then crashing at my parents’ house late at night (they live 2 hours from Destin so they are a great place to stay when we get in at midnight so we don’t have to mess with late night check ins). Anyway, I wanted to share ALL of our favorites with you guys, but that would be a very, very long blog post. So I decided instead that I was going to film it. Enjoy!

Note: When I say “the best” this or that, I mean in our opinions based on trying the top rated places so far. Clearly we haven’t tried every single place in Destin (though believe me – we’re working on it!). 🙂 

Was your favorite part of the video the high five on the beach? Because it’s one of mine! Seeing my expression makes me laugh every time I watch it! 😉

Have you been to Destin? Do we share any favorites? And of course I’m always open to recommendations for trying new places if you have any!
Love Rach

Today we celebrate!

Hello friends! As many of you have seen from Instagram, we are currently in Destin celebrating our 8th anniversary so I’m going to keep this short and sweet. Just I wanted to pop in and say hello real quick. 🙂


Destin has been beautiful. As always. This place holds so many precious (and sometimes terrifying, ha!) memories for us. This is our sixth trip here together and it really feels like a home away from home for us. But more on all of that in a later post. For today I want to leave you with a shortened version of our wedding video. Because while we’ve been celebrating for the past five days with this trip, today is the official anniversary day. 🙂

Have a beautiful day friends!
Love Rach

Destin 2016: Things I want to Remember

We just got back from Destin. And it was lovely. So lovely. We went with our friends Brodie & Lyndal just like we did this time last year and we had a wonderful time!


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Christopher and the bird.jpg

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Things I want to remember:

– All the delicious seafood!
– Long walks on the beach (I’m not kidding about “long” – Christopher and I walked 30,000+ steps on both Saturday & Sunday!)
– How incredible Mimmo’s Italian Restaurant was (review & pictures here)!
– Listening to comedians on the car ride (Brian Regan always makes me laugh)
– Coloring (adult coloring books for the win!)
– Communion on the balcony with Brodie & Lyndal
– Soaking up the sun
– McGuires – oh, how we love McGuires (previously blogged about here – we have eaten here every year since 2012 with the exception of 2013 when we went to Italy and didn’t travel much else that year. They make a GREAT steak!)
– The perfect weather. It was 80 degrees, full sun, and breezy. Perfect beach weather. I didn’t break a sweat once!

It was a great sort of getaway. 🙂

Love Rach

Panama City Beach

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This past weekend Christopher and I went down to Panama City Beach, Florida to photograph a wedding.

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Big benefit of photographing a wedding on the beach… arriving early and hanging out on the beach. 😉 Originally we had planned to stay a few extra days at the beach, but we’re headed to Destin again soon so we decided to make this just a quick weekend trip. But we always love the beach so it was awesome!

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The weather was perfect, everything went smoothly, and the photos are turning out gorgeous. I’m still sorting through the 2600+ that we took to find the best-of-the-best to edit and send them, but so far they are gorgeous. I couldn’t have done this without Christopher as my co-shooter. He was incredible!

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One of my favorite parts of the wedding day was when one of the groomsmen gave a speech at the reception about how love grows. I was blinking back tears while trying to photograph it all. It was so beautiful and true. We were so honored to be chosen to photograph this day and to be included in all the wedding festivities. 🙂

rae and holly

And as an extra bonus, my sister’s family lives close to the beach so we love getting to see them when we go down there. We went to church with them on Sunday morning and then ate lunch together and spent some time together before we needed to leave. It was sweet, sweet time. So glad we got to see them even if it was short!

It was a good sort of weekend, friends. And such a blessing after such a difficult prior weekend. Hope you guys all had a wonderful weekend too!

Love Rach

Things I’ll remember from 2015

For my last post of 2015 I wanted to look back at some of the things that I know I’ll remember about this year.

princess party

A huge one for 2015 was that this was the year “my girls” graduated from high school. I’ve been mentoring them since they were in 7th grade so it’s hard to believe they are all off in college now. A favorite memory with them this year was our final princess party. It was precious. 🙂


We’ve had a lot of health stuff/surgeries/sicknesses/etc going on this year. Among them was Christopher’s ACL surgery in January and me getting food poisoning in the Dominican Republic. As hard as some of this has been and as much as I might like to forget those parts of 2015, I’m thankful for the way we so tenderly care for and support each other. And we have both been overwhelmed by the kindness and support of friends and family this year.

us on the beach3

A new thing for 2015 was the Our 30 Days thing we did. A break we took from “real life” to just be together. It.was.awesome. Since then we’ve learned to be much better about carving out time for us which I have loved!

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My photography business has continued to grow and I have continued to be amazed by the growth. I’ll remember 2015 as the year that I let myself get way overbooked (especially Oct-Dec). I came out of busy season with my head still attached so that’s good news, but I want to have a better plan in place for next year. I’m working on that. 😉 But all in all, this business has been awesome and I am unbelievably grateful for my clients, mentors, and encouragers. 🙂

us at grand canyon6

Of course, like most years, 2015 was full of traveling for us. My favorite trips were to Vegas, the Grand Canyon, Destin (even though we had a terrifying experience with a rip current this year, we still love Destin!), and NYC. And of course the Bahamas, but that is part of the next one…

us in nassau

Celebrating Christopher’s 30th birthday with a trip to Harry Potter World (that post is still coming!) and taking a cruise to the Bahamas! Awesome-sauce! Definitely a solid way to end 2015! 🙂

I’m not sure what all 2016 will bring our way, but I have a feeling it’s going to be pretty awesome! 🙂

Love Rach

A morning on the beach

I wake up when the sun rises. Even on vacation. So in the summers that means I wake up around 6 every morning. Which is great in day-to-day life because Christopher is an early riser as well. We love getting an early start to our day. However, on vacation Christopher usually sleeps in (and by “sleeps in” I mean 7-8am so still not late, haha!). During that hour or so that I’m awake before him on vacation, I usually take some time to spend with Jesus (in normal day-to-day life this time usually happens in the afternoons). Since we were at the beach this weekend, I could think of no better spot to spend with Jesus than to go watch the sunrise over the beach.

beach morning

I pray a lot. All throughout the day. In some ways it’s like breathing. Something that just happens because God is so much a part of my life. But taking time to sit down and rest in His presence is something that I really have to be super intentional about. So I have a prayer journal to help keep my mind focused. Day-to-day my quiet time with God consists of reading scripture and writing my prayers down in my prayer journal. But I’ll be honest, I often forget to just be still. To just sit in His presence and allow Him to speak to my heart.

beach morning2{my current prayer journal}

But this past Sunday was different. It was such a beautiful time of worship. I’d say normally about half of my prayers are prayers of thankfulness (because really, God has blessed me above and beyond what I ever could have asked for) and the other half are prayers of petition (“God, please heal this person. God, please teach me to love better. God, please forgive me for my selfishness.” etc). And that’s not wrong or bad. But that morning on the beach, there were no petitions. No asking anything of God. Just pouring my heart out in praise and thankfulness to Him.

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I was overwhelmed by the beauty and majesty of the creation surrounding me. So for an hour I sat on the beach and worshiped the Creator of everything around me. I took some time to just sit and be still in His presence and you guys, it was wonderful. The whole trip was fantastic and nurturing for the soul, but that specific morning was especially awesome.

Love Rach