Jessica Hickerson Photography » Blog

Nicole and Jason offered to model for a coaching session I taught last week. From her sweet style and New York accent to his trademark smirk and eyes he couldn’t take off of her, every moment of their mini engagement session was filled with love. In the middle of my teaching, the two of them practiced their favorite dancing-in-the-kitchen moves and instantly stole my heart. I am so grateful to know them and am excited to share a few favorite images:

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So here’s the thing: our honeymoon was actually seven months ago. We went to Hawaii and I decided to bring an old 35mm film camera instead of my “real one”. It was so fun to be in the moment and capture some memories in this sweet & simple way. But somehow in between home projects, holidays, work, and just life in general, I never developed the film. Until this week! I sent the rolls in to The FIND Lab and today these pretty memories flooded in to my inbox.

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Within a week of their engagement, there was an email in my inbox from Nicole asking me to be her wedding photographer. There was no date or venue, but she had known for a while who she wanted to document their wedding day (cue all my happy-photographer tears.)

I was privileged to meet and work with Nicole during college, and then photograph her family back in California a couple years ago. This was the first time I met Colton and right away I could see that the two of them just make sense. Despite their crazy heigh difference 😉 , they fit together like two pieces of a whole. Every big moment from the past five years has been celebrated with the two of them hand in hand; from graduations, new jobs, and moves across the country (including the move they are currently making this week!)

For their engagement session, Nicole envisioned something natural and easygoing. The two of them grew up by the ocean but also fell in love with the mountains in Flagstaff. I suggested we take a drive starting deep in Malibu canyon and chasing that gorgeous sunset light down to the beach.  Last weekend we did exactly that and it could not have been more perfect.

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The other day one of my brides asked me for advice for the last couple of weeks before her wedding day. Of course being an OCD-Type-A-List-Maker, my first thought was to go through my multiple page timeline and to-do list from my own wedding to try and remember where my head was during that time. I know I could rattle off a dozen tips like: getting a manicure but keeping the polish with you for touch ups, or going on a ” last date night” to calm your nerves, asking your caterer to put a slice of wedding cake in a to-go box, clearly labeling boxes of your DIY projects, designating someone to collect your gifts, making sure your vendors have an updated timeline, packing an emergency kit… I could go on and on and on.

But then I considered what really matters to a bride approaching her wedding day. Those little details and to do lists have such an overwhelming weight of importance now, but the moment the wedding reception is over there will be just one person lying next to you. And that person just promised to be in that very spot for the rest of their life.
That’s what the entire day is about; that’s the moment where you become part of something bigger than just you.
Give up.
Life is going to change.
Your relationship is going to change.
More than sleepovers every night and doing your taxes together.
You will disagree.
You will say things you regret.
You might not even like each other at times.
You might loose yourself once or twice.
There will be fights, dirty dishes, hand holding, and fast food dinners.
Milestones, broken dreams, house projects, and dinner parties.
Fits of laughter, butt grabbing, going to bed angry, and second chances.
There will be comfort and there will be fear.
But there will also be love.
A love that will surpass what you used to be capable of, and surround a world and a family that is all your own.
You will learn how to fight fair and accept the things you cannot change.
You will learn what it means to value someone more than yourself.
You will be the kind of happy that doesn’t properly fit into words.
So on your wedding day remember that things can go wrong. But even the rainiest day with the latest guest, missing vendor, and forgotten speech still brings you the best thing: a marriage. It’s big, messy and incredibly beautiful.
Take on these last days with an open heart. Celebrate the ends and the beginnings without letting them pass you by. Take it slow.
Give up.
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  1. I love a good adventure
  2. I have an obsession with Big Sur

Last month Sam and I took a trip up the California coast with our friends. We made a bunch of stops on the way including Cayucos, San Simeon (elephant seals galore!), and all the way up to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Our campsite was in the middle of the redwoods and next to the river in Pfeiffer State Park. It was perfect, despite the fact that I forgot towels + cookware- whoops!  Thanks goodness for the Big Sur River Inn‘s breakfast and forgiving adventure buddies:)

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Oh, we found a four-leaf clover on St. Patty’s day!

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We came across a little beach with the famous “keyhole” rock and the sand was PURPLE!

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Heres a little Super-8 video I took on my phone, because I really do think the best camera is the one in your hand!

If you haven’t been to Big Sur yet, go! Go now! Its magical and just breathtaking. I’m already having withdrawals, but luckily get to go back in a couple of weeks to photograph an elopement. Stay tuned

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  • Jerry & Ann Carroll - Beautiful pictures! Emma is our Great-Granddaughter, and we love her.greatly. We love Conner too.
    Thanks for posting those wonderful pictures.ReplyCancel