This rarely happens but I am a bit speechless over last night’s wedding. St. Mary’s Chapel in Natchez, MS isn’t out of a book of fairytales, it’s REAL LIFE. I just…wow. This 1800s woodlands surrounded gem has stolen my heart. Who’s going to be next to say their vows here? I’m in!
Last night was everything. What a beautiful group of vendors for Laini + Dave’s wedding. I am so excited to get into the studio to edit the rest of these photos this week. ♥
Coordination: Uncommon Camellia
Accommodations: The Mazant
Hair + Makeup: Just Face It
Ceremony + Reception: Music Box Village
Catering: Congreso Cubano
Bakery: Shake Sugary
Ceremony Music: Roy
Cocktail Hour Music: Jackson
Second Line + Hora: Kinfolk Brass Band
Reception Music: DJ Doug Funnie
Rentals: True Value Rental
There are a number of unique details and moments in this wedding, but the one that stands out most is the moment I walked into Ashley’s hotel room. I was greeted with such warmth and one of the BEST hugs I’ve ever received in my entire life. It was the kind of hug that served to remind me just how lovely it is to form genuine relationships with my clients. Ashley and I had spoken on the phone prior to her and Tommy’s wedding day, but we had never actually met. That open arms acceptance carried on throughout the evening and before Taylor and I wrapped things up later that night, I began to feel like a member of the family. I’m fairly certain that these two have a lifetime of laughter and warmth ahead and I am so glad I was invited to play a teeny tiny part in their life puzzle!
Venue: 30 by 90 Nola | @30.90nola
Second Line Band: Pocket Aces
Florals: Leaf and Petal | @leafandpetalnola
Event Planning: Mise En Place Events | @mepeventsnola
DJ: David Storm with Omega Sound & Entertainment |
Furniture Rentals: Lovegood Rentals | @lovegoodrentals
Hair: Marisa Dimperio, Juli Santana
Makeup- Melissa Fiore
Ashley + Tommy
I have known Theresa for many years now and it has been a special treat to watch her relationship with Jon first bud and now blossom. I was so excited when they reached out to me to see if I was available for their wedding day and after they’re engagement session I am just feeling all the feels for this dear friend of mine.
Theresa + Jon
Avery Island, LA
Florals: Pick-a-petal // @pickapetal
Venue: Messina's at the Terminal // @messinas_at_the_terminal
Dress: Town and Country Bridal // @townandcountrybridal
Wedding Day of Coordinator: Caitlin Ridley // @pan.and.ink
Engagement sessions in New Orleans can be so so so beautiful but sometimes come with the price of insane humidity and heat. Somehow, these two looked incredible from start to finish and they waltzed through the French Quarter with me smiling and laughing. Much of this is to be owed to the talents of hair and makeup artist Bethany B (@alchemisblonde on instagram).
I love the complimentary scenery of the Quarter and New Orleans City Park. Both offer such vibrant colors, textures, and great natural light. Southern charm is in no shortage either. It feels really good to be back in the studio on a regular basis, editing joyful images to mark these exciting milestones for my clients.
We recently began homeschooling all three of our kiddos (Theo mostly just pours out too much glue, but hey, he’s only almost 3) so striking a balance between schooling, work, and leisure was one of my main focuses early on in the season. I made a commitment to rise early during the week so I could drink coffee in peace, take a walk during sunrise, and then hit the editing block for an hour or so before the kids woke. Then it’s breakfast, chores, lessons, and free time (for them) while I either do more chores or answer emails. Before I know it, it’s lunch time and I’m ready for another cup of coffee and some quiet time or a good long run (alone!).
By Friday, I am ready for Friday. Lol! Here’s to all of you out there, running the hamster wheel with me. All of the hard work seems to amplify the joy I feel in downtime. I am grateful for all my callings, be it one that puts me to work at home with my family or with you, dear friends!
Do you ever feel like the stars aligned in order for a specific moment or event to happen in your life? I do not know which stars they were, but I am grateful as all get out that they lined up just right for Juliet and Michael to come my way. Not only were they a dream couple (+ one most adorable furbaby, Roxy!) to photograph but I feel like Juliet and I have become friends. She is the amazing talent behind my new logo and all of my new packaging materials. Y'all need to check her out. Her patterns and designs are crazy gorgeous and she put her talents to good use throughout their wedding decor and design. Michael is also a crazy talented musician! I found their wedding day left me feeling so cheerful and energized because of all the bright spring blooms! Enjoy! (PS: I am jetting out to catch a train, so this is just PART 1 of the day!!)
- Second Shooter: Hannah Herpin
- Planning: Mise En Place Events | Christie Chopin
- Venue: Race and Religious
- Flowers: Poppy and Mint Floral Company
- Video: Eskimo Love Stories
- Dress: BHLDN
- Cake: Shake Sugary
- Invites - Juliet Meeks Design
- Favors - Love Life Soap Co.
- Makeup/Hair - Glam Nola
- Officiant - Beaucoup Blessings
- Ceremony Band - Gumbo Trio/Jazzman Entertainment
- Reception Band - Nola Dukes
- Catering - Catering D'Orleans and La Cocinita
- Bar - Elio's / Catering D'Orleans
- Lights/Tents if needed: Southern Hospitality Event Rentals (Rob Verdi)
Venue: Longvue House and Gardens
Accomodations + Prep : Hotel Bienville | Ceremony : New Orleans Pharmacy Museum | Reception : Muriel's at Jackson Square | Second Line Band : | Planning : Weddings by Lulu | Flowers : Erin Steen | Reception Band : | Hair & Makeup : Holly Manders from Just Face it Beauty
I just can't even with these two. I photographed Sarah and Chris years ago when I was just getting started in wedding photography. What a blessing to have stayed in touch over the years. I had the best time with this precious duo along the Amite River.
The opportunity to experience other cultures and their rich traditions is one of the biggest perks of being a wedding photographer. Tina and Spencer's Persian American Wedding at the Westin was steeped in meaningful traditions and family moments. A big thanks to Mike Lirette for second shooting with me and capturing so many awesome shots of Spencer getting ready with his groomsmen! Stay tuned for Tina's awesome City Park bridal session. I've been dying to share it but had to wait until the wedding passed. :-D
If Heather and Dave had been any sweeter and easier to work with I think my heart may have exploded. This relaxed pace, family friendly wedding day couldn't have turned out better! Blue skies and puffy white clouds over Jackson Square during the ceremony, an awesome second line to the reception, followed up with good eats and libations at Napoleon House. It has been such a busy Spring that I'm not much for words at the moment, I'll just let the photos tell the story!
- Planning: Weddings by Lulu
- Hotel: Bourbon Orleans
- Ceremony: Jackson Square Park
- Reception: Napoleon House
- Second Line Band: Breed Brass Band
- Reception Band: Slick Skillet Serenaders
- Flowers: Erin Steen
I had the BEST time yesterday at the Something Blue Bridal Show at Generations Hall. New Orleans Weddings Magazine pulled out all the stops in creating an unforgettable and beneficial evening for guests and vendors alike. I barely had time to sneak a cookie my booth stayed so busy all evening. It was such a treat to meet all of the couples, brides, family and friends who attended. Here is a little peek at my booth! Also, if you attended the show then I have a special offer for you if you book before March 31st. If you need a photographer and you like saving dollars, wahoo, send me a little note!
I'll be announcing the Engagement Session Giveaway Winner this Saturday on Instagram. Be sure to follow along, @gabbychapin_photography, to see the results and get updates on new happenings. The wildflower fields are coming this summer and that means off season mini sessions galore! Y'all do not want to miss it!!!
I want to give a special shout out and thanks to the following people for helping to make my experience at the show so successful...
- Nola Flora for the stunning arrangement. It made me wish I had a bigger table so it could stand alone. The jasmine continues to become more fragrant each hour it seems and I am enjoying the flowers next to computer now!
- My amazing mother, Mary-Ruth Chapin, who is a very talented florist in Baltimore, for taking time out of her visit with us to sew the curtains for my backdrop.
- My husband, Jason, for coming to my rescue SO many times during the planning and prep process. This was my first bridal show and without him I would not have those gorgeous prints you see hanging and on the table. He told our 24" printer who was boss (it was not me!) and also took an entire day off work to help me problem solve when I realized my backdrop stand was likely to topple if sneezed on once I hung those heavy framed prints. He built a stable, inexpensive support structure out of pre-threaded metal pipes and fittings. It was easy to assemble on my own and fit in my little 4-door sedan. Heck to the yes y'all! I should also mention that sprayed the pipes with gold glitter and looked like he had spent the day on Bourbon Street doing who knows what instead. Hah!
- Amelia's tiny hand below helping me taunt y'all for the Engagement Giveaway!
- Juliet Meeks and her incredible talents. Not only are her and Michael featured at my booth (Greenhouse Kiss), but she is the artist who managed my re-brand and designed that gorgeous logo! Going through that process with her was a game changer for my business and I am so proud to display and put to good use all the beautiful material she put together for me!
I am so excited to finally let the news out, and while it may not seem like much to many, it is a BIG THING over here for the progress of my business and home life. This year marks NINE years in business and I am gearing up to serve you better than ever by cutting the clutter and refining the product and experience that I deliver to YOU.
When I created my business I wanted a name that was timeless and open ended because I wasn't certain where the road would lead. I initially chose G. Chapin Studios for four reasons and they are listed below.
- "Studios" gave me a sense of freedom to explore not just my photography, but also my painting. I wasn't sure if I would pursue both at the time so I liked a name that wasn't too specific. AKA, I was nervous to specify. See #4.
- It polled well against the other options I presented to my friends. AKA, I wasn't confident enough in my own voice and preference. See #4.
- It felt classy and tasteful. Pretty much the only reason that doesn't point to #4.
- FEAR. I wanted to use my name, Gabby or Gabrielle, but I was afraid to put my gender out there on the front page. Because I was working in a male dominated industry at the time I began my business, I assumed that the one I was moving into would be the same. I did not have the same mindset that I do now as this confident, decisive, and curious business owner and artist I've become. I feel a little too proud right now with this update, which is a far cry from my beginning when I felt some excitement but mostly fear and trepidation.
I have been pondering the idea of re-branding and changing my name for about 3 years and throughout most of 2017 I gave myself a great deal of space to seriously entertain the idea and its implications. Early last fall I wrapped up an engagement session with a couple whose wedding is now just around the corner. As I was talking with the bride-to-be, Juliet / @julietmeeksdesign, I was reminded of her incredible talents. I casually dropped hints and the end of our session that I might need her services and then not so casually threw myself at her feet (in an email) and asked her to PLEASE HELP! Whatever your beliefs, the Universe, or God, knew what he was doing when he sent her to me. I took a leap of faith and took the money I was going to save after cancelling some advertising online and redirected it on this big project. Throughout the last two months of 2017 I sat with my heart in quiet, as much as one can get with young twins and a two year old, and asked myself what purpose my business was serving in my life and the lives of others. I questioned my goals, strengths, weaknesses, triumphs and mistakes. I took notes on all the important stuff and THREW THE REST AWAY in the garbage, right next to fear.
This business that I have built up is one of the biggest public expressions I have ever made of myself, but it is bigger than that. It is also an expression of every single person that I've ever photographed and that's why this change is so HUGE! I am ready to let go of fear as a decision making factor in my life, though I find it easier to start with my work than I do my personal life, fyi. When we make decisions based on fear, quite simply, we hesitate. We miss opportunities and we don't take risks. When we don't take risks we don't fail and when we don't fail we rarely make discoveries that lead to greatness or the advancement of our craft.
This re-brand was a chance to make that shift visible and tangible, not just for me, but for everyone I am blessed to serve. I feel so proud to present my work beneath branding that is true to my roots. The "G" pays tribute to my original business name "G. Chapin Studios" and the leaf embellishment an elegant way to express the importance of nature in my life and art. My original logo was a singular tree and it seems fitting to move forward in this way. Juliet seriously hooked me up! Not only did she design that beautiful new logo at the top of the page but she custom designed a brand pattern I'll be using for tissue paper, personalized thank you cards, business cards, and more. She was an absolute dream to work with and while the product she delivered is stunning, the process of going through the work was even more trans-formative than the face lift on my website. With each step of the process I had to let go a little bit more. That voice in our head often wants to hold us back and play it safe, but the more I let go the more I found clarity. It wasn't long before I noticed a clear shift in the relationship I have between myself and my art, and it. was. powerful. Sometimes, in order to hold on to our most meaningful goals and dreams, we have to let go.
In order to hold on to your dreams, you have to let go of fear.
- Gabby Chapin
Nothing beats the anticipation of a proposal! Jonathan and Ashton are blessed beyond measure by each other and I am so grateful to have been their chosen photographer for this special event in their lives. It was a gorgeous day along the levee and the sunset over the Mississippi River gave us picture perfect light!
Initially Jonathan had planned a picnic proposal along the grassy area of the levee but about an hour before "go time" I got a slightly panicked text that said "She wore pointy heels, move to plan B". This message made me giggle and his flexibility proved to be a promising quality. The whole thing went off without a hitch.
Rain does not ruin.
This was a good day. It was so great to get outside and play with this energetic and wonderful family. The Sewells used to live up the road from us but now live in Mississippi. I was very excited when they agreed to meet along the beach around sunset for their family photos. It was a little windy, but I think the crazy hair made for some awesome shots!
Every year December seems to bring a handful of beautiful blessings my way in the form of elopements and surprise proposals. I look forward to this time of year with a childlike anticipation, wondering if and when I'll get a message for an event just like this. Lisa and Rock's Elopement at the Tree of Life in Audubon Park was a bowl of sweet treats. Lisa is one of my most loyal and long standing clients (I like to think we're friends too!). Years ago I met her when a mutual connection set us up for her Senior Portraits and since then I have photographed a number of life events with Lisa.
It was with great pleasure that I attended and documented this intimate ceremony under one of the most spectacular trees on Earth. If you've never been to see the Tree of Life you must make plans to spend an afternoon sitting beneath her expansive branches and breathing in the years of time she has been witness to.