Meet Our {un}convention Diversity Panelists: Lucy Baber

Meet Our {un}convention Diversity Panelists: Lucy Baber

I started considering how I could give back to the community with my art. During the summer of 2016, I had this idea to take candid family photos of black fathers with their children, in an effort to change the negative media narrative that black fathers are all "deadbeat dads" and "criminals." I am proud to live in a very racially integrated area, and I realized that the amazing black fathers that I know just don't fit that narrative. I wanted to give them a voice—to offer a platform for them to tell their stories. And then of course, after the presidential election last year I felt an even stronger sense of urgency to get this message out. That's when my project "100 Black Dads" was officially launched.

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Real Couples // Cathedral Wedding: Laura + Marc

Real Couples // Cathedral Wedding: Laura + Marc

When it comes to seeing people that have storybook love, Marc and Laura take first place. After dating over three years, Marc sang a song he wrote to Laura during his proposal. The theme of prayer over their relationship hit a new level at their wedding. There were tears during the big moments, laughter in the small ones, and fun dance moves during the reception. Marc and Laura are a couple that leave you feeling complete joy.

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Real Couples // Vintage Glam in the Summer Heat: Keisha + Larry

Real Couples // Vintage Glam in the Summer Heat: Keisha + Larry

The heat was impossible, but Keisha and her girls handled it like champions for pictures before the ceremony, and although we didn't get to shoot outdoors with the guys, Larry and Keisha's outdoor portraits make it hard to believe it was so hot outside! Watching Larry with his family and friends, it is easy to see why he is liked by everybody, and he could hardly make it down the aisle for his ceremony because he made sure to acknowledge everyone and say hello.

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Wedding Inspiration // Asheville Glamping Elopement

Wedding Inspiration // Asheville Glamping Elopement

North Carolina photographer Latoya Dixon and her husband, Lee, are just as gorgeous on the inside as they are on the outside. When I started planning this shoot, I knew they would be perfect for the spot! They had a courthouse elopement and didn't have a big wedding. So, we treated her like a bride. She went dress shopping for the first time with her mom! We had her makeup done on site by my amazing makeup artist friend. It was amazing!

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Real Couples // Sunflower Sunbath: Lauren + Sean

Real Couples // Sunflower Sunbath: Lauren + Sean

Broom’s Bloom Dairy has fields of crops all over in Maryland, but Lauren and Sean told me about the sunflower field that only blooms for a tiny amount of time (coupled with the temptation of fresh made ice cream), and this is where we found ourselves in an afternoon as the sun began to sat. The flowers were a maze we escaped into, muffling the sounds from the rest of the farm. We were suddenly isolated, surrounded by sunflowers, and showered by sunlight. 

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Real Couples // Old Town Alexandria Summer Engagement: Lauren + Micah

Real Couples // Old Town Alexandria Summer Engagement: Lauren + Micah

We first met at the University of Maryland where we would meet every now and then for lunch with a group of mutual friends. Our relationship grew very naturally. We started as friends and as time went on, our lunch meetings with our friends became lunch dates with just me and Micah. We spent a lot of time getting to know each other. One of our favorite places to spend time together has always been Old Town in Alexandria. We both enjoy being outside and being near water. The day after my birthday (February 19, 2016), Micah had my best friend invite me to get my nails done and go to happy hour. After Kristian and I left the nail salon, she suggested we go to Old Town for dinner and drinks. When we arrived in Old Town, Kristian pulled up next to Founder’s Park (which is right along the water). She handed me a box and told me to look at what was inside. On the outside of the box was a note that said “Open and walk towards the light in Founder’s Park.”

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Real Couples // Knoxville, Tennessee Soulmates: Randall + Jenna

Real Couples // Knoxville, Tennessee Soulmates: Randall + Jenna

We met in 2014 at Carson Newman University. I had just graduated from UC Santa Barbara and transferred to Carson-Newman to finish graduate school and my last year of volleyball. I remember the first time I saw him. I was in the cafeteria, and he strolled up on me trying to ask me whole a lot of random questions like I was the new one at school. He was good-looking, so it didn’t bother me too much. Soon we started to hang out more and more and became really good friends. I remember always having the feeling that we were going to know each other forever, but I thought just as friends. I wasn't ready to get in a relationship, and he was still being whoever he was. But eventually, a love began to blossom between us. Fast-forward two years later to the weekend of my graduation, my family all came down to see me and out of the blue, he popped the question!!! I was so surprised but very happy. What I like best about our relationship is that nothing felt forced. Everything just felt easy and natural.

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Woke Wednesday // Meet St. Louis Photographer Raquita Henderson of Pinxit Photo

Woke Wednesday // Meet St. Louis Photographer Raquita Henderson of Pinxit Photo

For Woke Wednesday, we chatted with Raquita Henderson, the photographer behind Pinxit in St. Louis, to discuss how she started photographing weddings at age 13, how she risks losing business by being vocal about her values, and how much she deeply loves weddings.

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Elopement Inspiration // Playful Bohemian Woodland Celebration

Elopement Inspiration // Playful Bohemian Woodland Celebration

The inspiration for this styled session was dreamed up and brought to life by the Creative Director, Robyn Fryer of Vivid Detail Event Design. It was a collaboration that was months in the making and came together beautifully with the help of a wonderful team. We wanted to create a wedding that was simple, yet elegant, and something a bit nontraditional while still showing the beauty the South has to offer. Being an elopement and intimate wedding photographer, I enjoy capturing the details surrounding a couple's big day, as well as their connection to one another. So often couples can become lost in the grandeur of a larger wedding, so something small allows the couple to be in the moment with one another and for the day to be truly about just the two of them.

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Woke Wednesday // Meet New York Photographer Amy Anaiz

Woke Wednesday // Meet New York Photographer Amy Anaiz

Liz: So what does your business look like today, nine years later?

Amy: Prosperous.

Liz: That's great to hear. And reassuring to all of us who are younger in our businesses.

Amy: I've had opportunities that I never would have imagined nine years ago. I moved here with 2K in my bank account with a hope and a dream. I had no apartment; I slept on my aunt's couch for months, but slowly I've made a way. Nine years later, I live in a brownstone and make enough money to support myself, my family, and then some... So that makes me proud of myself.

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Real Families // Courageous Love: Chardee

Real Families // Courageous Love: Chardee

I greatly underestimated the journey to motherhood. I had nine months to change my mentality and to become the woman and mother I have always dreamt I'd be. I've learned more about myself in these past months than I have in my 28 years on earth. I wanted my maternity session to reflect that growth. My journey hasn’t been easy to say the least, but I have and will continue to overcome all obstacles in my way. At the time of my session, I felt confident in my new role of Mommy-to-be. Megan and Garrett were spot-on with a location that would reflect this change. Mansions are beautiful and known to  symbolize wealth. I found beauty in my transition from independent young woman to highly-favored young mother. I have now become rich—rich in knowledge, strength, and unconditional love for another. Like a mansion, the home for me and my daughter, Ava, will be built brick by brick on a solid foundation of faith. I’m so thankful that I have pictures that truly depict the woman I have now become and the mother that I know I will be. 

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Real Couples // Rooftop Engagement: Brandon + Traci

Real Couples // Rooftop Engagement: Brandon + Traci

"Brandon proposed on March 15, 2016. It was a Tuesday at 5:30 pm to be exact! (laughs) He got my best friend to lure me to the Sheraton rooftop in downtown Columbia. Right before I walked to the bar, he popped out of the stairwell, got everyone's attention, got down on one knee, and asked me to marry him!!!"

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Real Couples // Coworkers Turned Lovers: Myeshia + Derrick

Real Couples // Coworkers Turned Lovers: Myeshia + Derrick

We met in Washington, D.C. while working as armed security officers at the U.S. State Department. Both of us worked in the Control Room during most weekends. Those long shifts brought us time and conversation, and I began to fall for his charismatic and funny personality. In December 2012, it was time for me to re-qualify with our work weapons. I knew that he previously helped other officers prepare for their qualification, so I used it as my opportunity to get to know him outside of work. While I failed to inform him that I had already passed my qualification, I mustered up the courage to ask him for his "assistance" anyway.

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Real Couples // Love & Board Games: Alex + Brooke

Real Couples // Love & Board Games: Alex + Brooke

Brooke and Alexandria are a couple who exude warmth. Spend 2 minutes with them, and you feel like you have known them your entire life. They are a couple whose love grew quickly and deeply, and you could not imagine one without the other. Brooke wanted to surprise Alexandria with a session that captured who they are as a married couple and that included some board games, some cuddling, laughter in spades, and that warmth that just brings you into their story.

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Woke Wednesday // Meet Makeup Artist Brittney Taylor

Woke Wednesday // Meet Makeup Artist Brittney Taylor

Feminism is touchy for me because I feel it was created (or given the title and taken mainstream) by white women and fails to include black women. Black children, women, and men are my FIRST priority and who I scream the loudest for. So when something puts that second, it's hard for me to carry the title—although I do understand and agree with the views of feminism. I would say I'm an advocate for social justice because I do believe in equality, and I know the system is fucked up. What it all means to me is pulling your head out of the sand and saying, "That's some bullshit, and it's not okay," and then doing whatever you can to change it.

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Real Couples // The Real Thing: Leah + Darius

Real Couples // The Real Thing: Leah + Darius

We met in January of 2014 while attending Tuskegee University. I was apart of the Golden Voices Choir, and Darius was apart of the ROTC program. I was asked to sing the national anthem at their battalion by one of the members in the choir who also happened to be in the ROTC program. When I arrived to the program, out of everyone in uniform Darius stood out the most. He was standing up tall and had a huge grin on his face. I then asked my friend who he was, and she was clueless, especially on his relationship status. So then the investigation began. As she returned with answers she said, “He is single and will be talking to you after the program.” My body flooded with nerves, excitement, and acute nausea.

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