Wedding Archive

How poetic.

It doesn’t get any more “sunset ceremony” then this does it?  Working on my Can’t help but think that it’s pretty fitting to be working on a sunset ceremony as I close this chapter in my business.  It’s bitter sweet.   Mostly sweet though :) I have worked with so many wonderful brides – most of whom have become sweet friends. On to new beginnings!

Marriage Monday: Do you still like me?

“I know you love me…but do you still like me?”

I have found myself asking Graham this question a lot in the past year. 10 years into our relationship, 7 years into our marriage, 2 kids, two states, three houses and countless challenges later we are really good partners.  We help each other.  We love each other. We appreciate each other. But the constant, urgent, exhausting nature of this season of life with young kids has distanced the friendship in a way that makes me often question whether he still actually likes me.  Despite seeing the very worst of me does he still find me fun, funny, charming, or just needy and frustrating. haha. I know that I am not alone in this feeling.

I have been working on the wedding of a really sweet couple that I shot a few weeks ago.  When I look at their pictures I smile because what is so evident and refreshing is their friendship and enjoyment of each other.  Now, I am no marriage expert…but if I have learned anything, it is that genuine, transparent, selfless friendship is crucial to a healthy marriage. And you know what?  What comes so effortlessly easy in those early days becomes something that you have to intentionally fight for as the years go on.  And that is ok.  Actually, its more then ok.  I think God uses those awkward moments when you are sitting across from your spouse without anything to talk about other than the kids to 1)make us rely on Him (God, help me to be a good friend and spouse.  Help us to reconnect.) 2) to force us out of our selfishness (I can either work on this or I can be selfish and wait for him to make the first move and be bitter if he doesn’t) and 3) to really challenge us to ask what marriage is all about.  Is it really all about my happiness, pleasure, enjoyment fulfillment and when I don’t feel that any more then it’s time to move on?  That’s what the world would say isn’t it?  But the scriptures would tell me that marriage is about much more and that the “much more” is worth it. And I believe it.  I have seen it for myself.

We are working to rekindle the friendship.  Regular date nights help.  Long conversations help. Being honest about the situation helps. Asking meaningful questions helps. Growing together spiritually really helps. Breaking out of the routine and doing something fun and new helps. Putting each other before the kids helps. Prayer helps.  I’m praying that this year is one where, despite life likely only getting crazier, we will take the time to brush the dust off of the amazing friendship that brought us together all those years ago. And by God’s grace I am able to see it happening even now.





I heart Chic Sweets!

I secretly (not so secretly) love every opportunity that I get to do product photography.  I am not amazing at it by any standards but it intrigues me and prompts me to spend hours in magazines like Real Simple, pouring over page after page of clean stunning photography features. Couple that with my love of Natalie Clamp and her amazing Chic Sweets dessert creations and you have a photo shoot made in heaven (I am convinced that heaven will have a never ending dessert table…right?).  These are a few of my favorite images from a recent shoot that I did for Natalie of a few product features for her new site. BTW brides and moms I have seen first hand the stunning work that Natalie has done for wedding receptions, and special events like birthday parties!!! Check out the pink, red and gray dessert table that she did for Chloe’s 2nd birthday and the pink, yellow and gray dessert table that was featured in the Valley & Co Spring Ezine!

Everything is {new.changing.exciting.scary}

So here were are 10 days into the new year and I have entirely given up on the whole “2011 recap” blog post…and the whole “2012-big-things-ahead” post for that matter. haha  At the moment the only  big thing around here is my growing belly! But  the truth of the matter is that when I look ahead at the coming year I feel like I am in that moment at the top of the roller coaster, holding my breath about to take the plunge, not exactly sure what to expect,  both scared and excited at the same time. Ready. Set…

In just a few weeks (Lord willing) I will become “mommy” to a second little girl.  Two and a half years now into being a mommy to Chloe I more fully understand the weight of that task and the mere thought of the “bigness” of it is so overwhelming that it literally takes my breath away.  There just is nothing as {hard.amazing.challenging.exhausting.overwhelming.wonderful} as being a mom.  One resolve that I have for this year is that I am not going to attempt to “balance” everything.  It can’t be done.  You have to choose your priorities and the scale will and should tip in that direction.  Practically speaking for me that means there are a few changes that I am making for the coming year as it relates to photography.

1)I am taking a few months off for maternity leave, February-May. For those of you who are not yet mothers…this can easily be misunderstood as taking some much needed vacation time to sleep in and sit around in stretchy pants smiling at your new little bundle of joy.  For those of you who are mothers…you know that maternity leave is more of a necessity than an option.  As in…for the next few moths I will be running on 2-4 hours of sleep a night.  All of my clothes will be covered in either poop, vomit or breastmilk (sorry guys) making a “professional” appearance laughable.  I will be functioning essentially as a fridge…or 24 hour buffet.  My available hours for e-mail will be between 2am-4am but I will not be able to guarantee that they will be coherent, let alone sweet.  I may or may not know where my phone is to answer your call, and if I can answer I will likely have to lock myself in the bathroom to secure any silence or privacy. Just saying.haha. And yes, there will still definitely be stretchy pants and smiling at my new little bundle of joy involved.

2) I am not taking any weddings in 2012. I am actually really excited about this. haha. I have been planning this for awhile but my pride has kept me from making it “official”. But honestly,  I need the break.  I need to give myself time to figure out what it is going to look like being a mom of two.  I need to make sure that weddings are where I want to be focusing my business.  I need to have a year free from the pressure of keeping up with the wedding industry. I need to give my business and myself some time to breath, regroup, and gain some clarity before I charge ahead.  I literally do not even know what it means to just be a mom without business related “work” that I need to get done each day.  Thankfully, I am blessed with the opportunity to even do this without my family relying on my income.  I am really excited to take the pressure off of myself and see where things go.  I also really want to pour more of my time into teaching and mentoring other photographers, which leads to me to the next new change…

3) In addition to continuing to do workshops (the next ones will likely be in the late Spring) I will be focusing my efforts on one-on-one mentor sessions for beginner professional photographers. I am REALLY excited about this and if you are interested in hearing more you can check it out here!

Well, my husband just walked into my office looking incredibly handsome and said that he is taking “his ladies” out to dinner. haha.I don’t turn down things like that, so, I am off to doll myself up…in whatever outfit I can still manage to fit into…and join my sweet husband and precious daughter to soak up every last minute of “just the three of us.”

**Photo courtesy of Sarah Sandel Photography!

Giveaway Day #1: Oatmeal Lace Design clutch!!!


Amber Miller!  Congrats girl!  Just e-mail your mailing address to and we will get this gorgeous clutch in the mail to you!  Thank you to everyone who entered and don’t forget, you still have today (Saturday) to enter to win our day #2 giveaway!
Every lady needs a good clutch right?  A not just any clutch but a clutch fancy and feminine enough to carry at an outdoor wedding but casual enough to make you the most stylish lady at the grocery store!  That is precisely what I LOVE about this perfect fall clutch from McKay at Oatmeal Lace Design! Oatmeal Lace Design is an online boutique specializing in customizable clutches, diaper bags and other handmade goods. Whether you are planning a wedding, preparing for a new baby or just need a unique personalized gift for a friend, they have got got something for you!  Can I also just say that these make PERFECT bridesmaid’s gifts and can be customized to fit your wedding colors! Yes please!
You know you want one!  Well, for today’s giveaway you can win this unassuming little beauty for yourself pictured below!

Here’s how to win!!!! You will have TWO days to enter – both Thursday and Friday.  Contest begins TODAY Thursday the 20th and ends at midnight on Friday the 21st. The winner will be announced on the blog on Saturday!

To enter to win you must do each of the following:

1) “Like” both Shay Cochrane Photography and Oatmeal Lace Design on Facebook

2) Post the following on YOUR OWN Facebook wall “I really want to win this clutch from Shay Cochrane Photography and Oatmeal Lace Design

3)Leave a comment here on this blog post letting us know that you entered to win!

Good luck ladies!

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