Holly & Austin Smith | Day After Session on Honeymoon Island, Dunedin, FL

Holly and Austin had been married 24 hours when we stepped onto white sands.
Florida, you boast of your beaches.
You aren’t bragging… you are the white crowned glory of the Southern coast.

I was prepared for sunset.
I was prepared for fine white sand, finding it’s way inside my bag.
What I didn’t expect, was the glorious backdrop waiting for me.

Instead of light and airy, golden sunset glow… God straight up painted His own story in the sky.
His ideas always outstrip mine.  I’d prayed on the way, asking for Him to show off.
He did, He does.  Because He’s so good at being Himself:  The Original Creative.

As an artist, passionate about deeper meaning,
I have to remind myself sometimes to stay in the moment with the client.
Because, they’ll move me.
The moment will hold so much more than a simple kiss.
It will speak, it will say a million tiny things.
This night, was no exception.
I saw so much more than just a beautiful couple at the beach.

I saw the story of marriage.
Woven deep, in dark shades of blue and gray, framing this darling young couple.
The skies were warring, lightning blazing in the distance… wind spitting sand and water in our faces.
I exhaled slowly, silently recognizing all the hidden messages in this scene.
Things, yet to be discovered, in the newness and sweet for these two.

Life’s storms can be nasty sometimes, making you run for cover together.
Even so, when you turn into each other, seeking comfort in the one you love.
Looking for his hand to steady your step.
Leaning in, letting him hold you, seeking each other…
well, marriage is devastatingly beautiful.

Having almost 2 decades of marriage behind me,
I’d say I do again.
And again.
And again.
Storms or not…
because, yes, they will come.
But they WILL go.

Holly and Austin, I hope you’ll love these images now.
And I hope you’ll love them even more in the years to come.
Because, man oh man… I adore the story we told.

I love how you hold each other with such tenderness.
Hold fast to Him.
To each other.
And you’ll weather any storm.

Holly and Austin, thank you for making art with me.
For saying yes, to anything I asked… and whisking me away to Florida for this incredible beach session.
Anyone else wondering if I shoot destination, ummm yes, I’m toooootallllly up for more destination weddings.  Florida, or anywhere else.  Let’s do this!

With gratitude,


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