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Cheers to 2014.

Oh gosh. Where to even begin… 2014, you were good. Real good. Going back through a year’s worth of photos is a always a daunting task, and having to narrow them down to just a handful of favorites seems downright impossible. But man, whenever one of these posts is finished (just for fun, you can check out 2012 and 2013 too!), I find myself scrolling up and down, over and over again, my heart increasingly swelling with happiness and thankfulness that THIS is my job and THESE are my amazing client-friends. These wonderful people took me to Vermont, Mississippi, Virginia (3 times!), Atlanta, Nashville, Palm Beach, Chattanooga, and, of course, all over Alabama. They invited me into their homes and their gorgeous wedding venues to document the all-too-fleeting moments of the happiest days of their lives. They lifted me up time and again with their trust and encouragement, and it was truly a joy to stand beside them, camera in hand, lump in throat, sharing in the beauty of their relationships. I honestly can’t imagine a more fulfilling career. From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU for allowing me to have it.

As much as I adore my job and my clients, I’m really proud to say that 2014 was the year I finally achieved a pretty amazing work-life balance. I had to let go of some of my workaholic tendencies (being a social media and blogging machine, checking email at all hours of the day, and saying yes to every single opportunity, to name a few), but honestly that freedom has paved the way for me to be more content than ever with my life. Saying yes to more dinners with friends, shutting off the computer at 5:00 like a normal person, more traveling and days off, more hours spent on side projects and other creative outlets, and just having free time to be AVAILABLE for my friends and family when they need me and I need them… it’s a beautiful thing. And I’ve found that I return to my work with renewed passion, fresh eyes, and more creativity when I allow myself to simply be “away” from it.

In more personal news, this past year we bought and began renovating our second house (just a few streets over from our first, actually!). We’re so happy to have made the decision to stay planted in the city we’ve grown to love over the past four and a half years. The older I get, the more I appreciate having roots. By the same token, we decided that we should continue to make traveling a priority to satisfy our wanderlust, and in 2014 we were thrilled to return to some of our favorite places: Vermont, Boston, Colorado, Texas, New Orleans (twice for me!), and the Gulf Coast with friends. We also survived the grand adventure that was the Birmingham Snowpocalypse and a few months later, Jamie survived an airplane landing in the middle of the scariest tornado warning of the year. We said goodbye to our dear friend Brandon in July and mourned with Megan and her two precious boys. I started babysitting my “nephew” Buddy once a week (the best!), and I also got to see Dolly in concert in Knoxville with my bride-friend Ashley. We’ve grown to seriously love our church family and our home group at Mosaic. And Jamie proved himself to be quite the hobbyist again, this year picking up Legos and apocalyptic zombie games and rediscovering his love for fly fishing (in addition to guns, whiskey, college football, libertarian politics and conspiracy theories– you know, being Ron Swanson). I also doubt you’ll find a more devoted user of VolNation. I’ve loved my 6th year of marriage to this guy.

For a photo recap of our year, you should go follow me on Instagram (pretty much my only active social media account these days!). But for now, back to all the photographic goodness of each and every one of my weddings and portrait sessions this year. And because I just can’t say it enough… thank you. Looking back and reminiscing is fun, but I can’t wait to look ahead to all that awaits in 2015!

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Meredith Robinson - We couldn’t be any more thrilled to have had you there with us on that rainy, cold, beautiful and fantastic day! Your work is inspiring!
Meredith & Army

Elle Danielle - I miss your blog posts — but thoroughly enjoyed this binge opportunity!! You’re so talented and captured so many great moments in 2014.

Sarah Becker Lillard - I definitely miss your consistent blogging HOWEVER have so much respect for you pulling back and taking it off the table to do what MATTERS so much more – seriously, it is inspiring! That being said I obviously lobbied for this post and am so excited it is here (and look, I am in it!)!! love love love, S

Meredith Sledge - LOVE! Love love love.

Ashley Vibert - This just made my day Morgan!! Whenever I see your photographs I get giddy!! Great job as always!

Carrie Joy - Morgan – LOVED this post & seeing your incredible work :-) I’ve been thinking about you & visiting B’ham again lately (as I always seem to do this time of year!) and it’s amazing to see and hear about what you’ve been up to. You are always an inspiration. HUGS!!!

Andreina | Fly Away Bride - You have so many beautiful Pics. I think I’m going to Pin many of them :)

Laura + Jake // A Cozy, Wine-Colored Wintry Wedding

I have to say that winter weddings have really grown on me in my years as a photographer. Normally, I hate winter. I’m not a cold weather person, I loathe daylight savings time and the 4:30 pm sunsets, and generally, I just find myself counting down the days until warmer weather and more sunshine.

But these winter weddings? They’ve become a bright spot in the midst of the darkness and cold. I’ve come to realize that this is because a wedding is an opportunity to gather together in a cozy, warm environment, to share wine and delicious comfort food, and to bring laughter and sparkle to those long days and weeks of being stuck indoors.

From a photography perspective, winter weddings aren’t without their challenges, certainly. You have to contend with much less natural light for portraits and try not to torture families and wedding parties by dragging them out into the bitter cold when they’re not bundled up in sweaters and heavy coats. (Poor bridesmaids, especially, with those bare arms!) However, it not only be a rewarding challenge to make the most of less-than-ideal circumstances, but the light changes in such a way during the winter months that it can actually be quite lovely, if you’re able to capture a bit of golden light peeking through an overcast sky.

Laura and Jake’s wedding was the perfect illustration of the magic of winter weddings. I met Laura and her mother not long before the wedding at 1818 Farms in Huntsville to shoot her bridal session, and boy, was that winter golden light pure magic. (Not to mention all the SHEEP!) Then, when it came to the wedding day, we were faced with cold and overcast skies, and no, it wasn’t the most comfortable experience doing outdoor portraits, but… BUT! There was a certain coziness to the entire day that simply could not be matched in a warm-weather setting. The chill sent everyone indoors to huddle and hug on each other for warmth. Good food and wine warmed everyone’s bellies. And the love and joy felt throughout the day was such a welcome respite from the general bleakness of long winter months.

I hope you feel the cozy oozing out of these photos. :)

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Taylor + Bo // A Woodsy Maternity Session

I adore Taylor and Bo so much. Taylor is such a special lady, a talented photographer with a huge heart and adventurous spirit. It’s been such an honor to document these two together almost every year since I first met her– even more so now that they’re expecting their first daughter after a long and often painful wait.

We ventured out into some woods near their home and caught the most amazing late fall evening light. Do these two not make the most stunning parents-to-be? So happy for these guys and their journey ahead!

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