[b]ecker's blog http://blog.thebecker.com/ the becker photography blog en-us St. Louis Wedding photos http://blog.thebecker.com/index.cfm/postID/1125/St-Louis-Wedding-photos http://blog.thebecker.com/index.cfm/postID/1125/St-Louis-Wedding-photos Tue, 09 Jun 2015 16:18:00 GMT
I can see why she was bummed though... it was such a wonderful day. The couple was absolutely gorgeous! They we also so sweet to each other, and it was one of the nicest, coolest weddings parties I've ever encountered.

The ceremony took place at the Shrine of St. Joseph in downtown St. Louis as the reception was at the Top of the Met at Kemoll's. We also had some time to kill between the ceremony and the reception, so we went to Forest Park, and the across the river in Illinois to get some shots with the Arch in the background.

I want to thank the bridal party, and especially the bride, for trusting me and taking a nature hike into a remote area of Forest Park for the photos. Thanks for putting up with the bugs and the heat. I hope you'll agree that the results were worth it!

Here are a few of my favorite relaxed portraits, amazing details and real moments:

She was having a hard time believing the day had finally arrived:

Just working on a letter for her groom that he'd get to read right before the ceremony:

The only thing better than one Guaranteed Gorgeous bride is two of them!:

These two exchanged letters on opposite sides of a door right before the ceremony.

The church was absolutely incredible:

Look how excited everyone was right before they were pronounced man and wife:

Ashley's sister Alicea shot with me and caught this great moment (can you see me in this shot?):

Her bouquet was beautiful! (Nice job Marry Me!)

We made a stop in Forest Park for some relaxed portraits after the ceremony.

While the girls took a couple of minutes for some selfies...

... the guys were watching American Pharaoh race into the record books by winning the Triple Crown:

In between the salad and the main course, we snuck down stairs for a couple more portraits:

The Top of the Met has some pretty incredible views:

You're supposed to twirl her bro!

I have no idea?!?!?

Congrats to Sarah & Steve... I wish you all the very best! #Egarteverafter

Audrey Taylor has arrived! http://blog.thebecker.com/index.cfm/postID/1124/Audrey-Taylor-has-arrived http://blog.thebecker.com/index.cfm/postID/1124/Audrey-Taylor-has-arrived Mon, 01 Jun 2015 15:28:00 GMT
Today is her actual due date, but she was born this past Wednesday, May 27th at 10:58am.

She weighed 7 pounds, 8 ounces and was 20.75 inches long. Those are the stats, and now I'd love to tell you our story!

I was playing poker last Tuesday in my weekly poker league as I always do, when Ashley called me saying that her water broke while shopping at Whole Foods around 8pm. I immediately jumped in my car and raced home.

After showering and relaxing for an hour or so, we headed up to the hospital to get checked in. It was around 10:30 by the time we got to our room and she was only dilated to 1cm, so I knew we were in for a long night.

I'll spare you all of the details about labor, but all I can say is I sure am glad that women are responsible for delivering babies. I don't think I could have made it.

Ashley was so strong and did so good. She made it about 11 hours before she had to call for the epidural. Labor really got to be unbearable. I was encouraging her to get it hours before, but she wanted to tough it out. I know she was the one going through labor, but it was actually one of the worst nights of my life. It was so hard to see someone I love so much experiencing so much pain, and there was nothing I could do about it.

By the time they gave her the epidural and then checked her, she was already at 10cm and it was just about time to start pushing.

That part went fairly quickly and Ashley did great. We are so thankful for our happy and healthy baby girl and glad mom is doing great as well. Truly an answer to our prayers.

Here's our girl, Audrey Taylor:

An hour or so after the epidural kicked in, she was actually in good spirits and wanted to photograph her own birth with a selfie stick:

It's crazy... everyone says that the second your child is born, everything changes. I guess I just had no idea how much and how fast it actually happens! The cliches are true... at 10:58 last Wednesday my life changed forever. I cannot express in words the overwhelming pride and joy I felt seeing Ashley reach down, and pull our baby girl onto her chest. It was a beautiful moment that I will never forget (thanks to Aunt Alicea for capturing this special time in our lives).

And of course, we are in love with Miss Audrey... but I also have a deeper love and a lot more respect for Ashley. Motherhood suits her! It's only been 5 days, but to see how she takes such good care of Audrey is really a wonderful site to see.

Her first selfie!

After Audrey was born, she actually got to spend about 15 minutes on her moms chest before they cleaned her up and cut the cord. Even though I wasn't planning on doing it because I am very squeamish when it comes to blood and bodily fluids... I actually did man up and cut the umbilical cord. Yay me!

Once the weighed her and cleaned her up a bit, I finally got a change to play with her and hold her. I just love her so much!

My family!

She's always sticking her tongue out in pictures just like her dad!

Here's our birth team. On the left is Doctor Christi Menges. She has been incredible from he moment we told her we were expecting. Ashley and her have been friends for years as Ashley shot the birth stories for both of her little boys. We just adore her.

Kourtney is the doula Ashley hired to help her through the laboring and birth process. She was wonderful and I am so thankful she was there. I did my best to provide Ashley with comfort and support during the entire labor process, but Kourtney really helped out with counter-pressure during the contractions and massage throughout.

Ashley caught me loving on my girl!

My loves!

There's nothing better than spooning with this little nugget!

I find myself staring at her all of the time:

We left the hospital Friday around lunch time. I can't believe they let us take her home. What do we know about raising a child?

I finally changed the first diaper of my life after 41 and a half years. It was pretty bad, but there's nothing I wouldn't do for my baby:

Baby girl loves going to the milk bar!

I don't want to be one of those people who posts millions of photos of their kids on Facebook (although I really do want to), so Audrey has her own blog for those of you who would like to keep up with her daily adventures.

She's also on Twitter & Instagram @theaudreytaylor (I just wanted to claim her username... we'll only be approving people we actually know to follow her... the blog is open to everyone).

Ashley's Maternity Session http://blog.thebecker.com/index.cfm/postID/1121/Ashleys-Maternity-Session http://blog.thebecker.com/index.cfm/postID/1121/Ashleys-Maternity-Session Mon, 25 May 2015 17:05:00 GMT
I gotta say... pregnancy suits her! While her belly gets bigger, her glow shines through even more. She literally gets more beautiful each passing day and I can't wait to watch her be a mom. She's already done so much for baby Audrey. The nursery is amazing (she'll post images on her blog soon). She's also taken good care of herself by eating healthy, doing yoga and I am not nearly as nervous as I should be because I know she's going to take good care of both of us!

A couple of weeks ago, after the baby shower, our dear friend Katie Long from Switzerfilm took a few images of us in Forest Park (35 weeks along):

PS. I love the images that Katie took, but I've dropped 14 pounds since these were taken. Reshoot!!!!

And finally we took a few more this weekend at 39 weeks:

Callaway Winery Wedding http://blog.thebecker.com/index.cfm/postID/1123/Callaway-Winery-Wedding http://blog.thebecker.com/index.cfm/postID/1123/Callaway-Winery-Wedding Tue, 19 May 2015 16:17:00 GMT Callaway Vineyard & Winery in Temecula. It was a pleasure working with Jessica from Events by Annette and Staci's Floral Creations. Joe Photo also came along and shot with me!

It was so nice being back in SoCal and I just had a blast with this couple. They were so cute together and they friends and family were so welcoming.

Here are a few of my favorite relaxed portraits, amazing details and real moments:

The bride was simply stunning!

Her laugh was adorable.

The Sugar Divaz created all kinds of tempting sweetness.

Even though this shot is a touch soft, I just love the emotion and the feel of this moment at the end of the night!

Silicon Valley Engagement Session http://blog.thebecker.com/index.cfm/postID/1122/Silicon-Valley-Engagement-Session http://blog.thebecker.com/index.cfm/postID/1122/Silicon-Valley-Engagement-Session Tue, 05 May 2015 12:35:00 GMT
Here are a few of my favorites from the session:

Wedding in Jamaica http://blog.thebecker.com/index.cfm/postID/1119/Wedding-in-Jamaica http://blog.thebecker.com/index.cfm/postID/1119/Wedding-in-Jamaica Tue, 21 Apr 2015 15:33:00 GMT Ashley. The wedding took place at the Sandals Resort in Negril.

From the moment we arrived, the bride & groom treated us like family, and all of their guests were amazing as well. It was a super fun group and we all had a blast despite a little bit of rain right after the ceremony.

Here are a few of my favorite relaxed portraits, amazing details and real moments!

I love this... God forbid the groom get his hair messed up in the rain! You're busted Mike!!!

Be sure to check out Ashley's blog as she's posted a sneak peek of this wedding and will have more images soon!

wedding in asheville http://blog.thebecker.com/index.cfm/postID/1092/wedding-in-asheville http://blog.thebecker.com/index.cfm/postID/1092/wedding-in-asheville Sat, 21 Mar 2015 01:19:00 GMT Jessica Claire. The groom was a friend of hers from when she lived in NC. He was Super Cobra pilot who did several tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. I've also met the groom several times over the years and I was happy to tag along. I loved playing poker with him for 2 reason... he had awesome stories from his military career... and he's not a very good poker player and I usually took his $$$ ;-)

Here are a few of my favorite relaxed portraits, amazing details and real moments:

St. Sophia wedding & Athenaeum reception http://blog.thebecker.com/index.cfm/postID/1118/St-Sophia-Wedding http://blog.thebecker.com/index.cfm/postID/1118/St-Sophia-Wedding Mon, 09 Feb 2015 08:01:00 GMT St. Sophia's Greek Orthodox Church in Downtown Los Angeles followed by a lovely reception at the The Athenaeum at Caltech in Pasadena.

Here are a few of my favorite relaxed portraits, amazing details and real moments:

I love the detail in her Monique Lhuillier gown:

The grooms father officiated a small ceremony in the side chapel before the main ceremony took place:

This is one of the most beautiful & photogenic cathedrals in Southern California. Thanks to my lovely & talented fiancee Ashley Douthit for this sweet image:

This belly dancer was amazing and entertained the guests during dinner:

Fight on... to victory! I love when the USC marching band makes an appearance at the reception!!!! Go Trojans!!!

Barcelona http://blog.thebecker.com/index.cfm/postID/1117/Barcelona http://blog.thebecker.com/index.cfm/postID/1117/Barcelona Sat, 24 Jan 2015 11:45:00 GMT

I think my favorite part of the trip was visiting the La Boqueria Market just visiting all of the little booths sampling all kinds of different local fresh foods. Ham is a big deal in Spain and we had plenty of it throughout the trip.

Speaking of hams:

The don't quite display the meat selections like this at Whole Foods:

This actually made Ashley cry a little and then she claimed she was going to become a vegetarian. Just a short while later we had meatballs, sausage, ham and patatas bravas for lunch:

We spent several hours checking out La Sagrada Familia one afternoon. They started construction on this church in the late 1880's and it's still not finished! They are hoping to have it finished in 2026, 100 years after the death of the architect, Antoni Gaudi.

Even though it wasn't finished, it was still absolutely breathtaking. And just like the Taj Mahal, photos do not do this place justice. It's truly incredible and a site to see. Don't mind the cranes:

The detail is just mind-blowing:

I love how the steel organ pipes caught the light of the stained glass windows:

Here's a view of most of the city from a gondola we took to a castle overlooking the city and the Mediterranean. You can see the La Sagrada Familia just to the right of the center of this frame, right on the horizon:

The next day, we spend some time at the W, which is my favorite hotel brand in the world. This particular hotel is something special:

It was hard getting Ashley our of this chair swing.

You can see more images from this trip on my Instagram page.

Manhattan Beach Engagement Photos http://blog.thebecker.com/index.cfm/postID/1116/Manhattan-Beach-Engagement-Photos http://blog.thebecker.com/index.cfm/postID/1116/Manhattan-Beach-Engagement-Photos Mon, 12 Jan 2015 23:19:00 GMT

Of course I made them stand in front of the Becker sign:

And they wanted a photo by the mural of the bar where they first met over 4 years ago.

The rain started picking up, so we stayed under the pier for a bit...

Then we all got brave and weathered the weather:

I might have caught a cold that day, but I think it was worth it.

Note to photographers: The last few shots in the rain were taken by placing a 600ex speed light + MagSphere on a stand behind the couple, and triggering it with my Yongnuo YN-E3-RT wireless trigger.