BIRTHDAY, Say what???? | Personal

Oh HEY, it’s my BIRTHDAY TODAY!!!! WHOOP WHOOP!

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So, I will apologize first for sucking at staying updated with blogs. Wedding season is CRAZY. This month alone is JAM packed with fun: 5 weddings, many sessions, bachelorette weekend madness, and 3 weeks plus some days from MY WEDDING DAY. EEEKKKKKK!!!

For my birthday I ALWAYS love to celebrate with y’all and spread the joy. This year I will be doing some awesome giveaways, but you have to share and follow the rules to enter…..are you ready for these?

1. A FREE mini session PERFECT for the holiday season.

2. 50% off Bridal session

3. The BIG one here, $500 off any wedding package for a 2017 or 2018 bride

How to enter to win these giveaways: COMMENT on this blog, tell me a little something something about you, and/or your family or spouse to be. SHARE on Facebook. SHARE image of snappy birthday on instagram and TAG me @crystalreyns AND #crystalsbdaygiveaway

Good luck you guys, now I’m off to hunt down a sugar free cupcake for my PAPA’s 82nd birthday today. Yes we have the same birthday and it is kinda awesome 🙂 🙂

Brooke’s Bridals | Crystal Reyns Photography | Louisa, Va Wedding Photographer

Not everyone is up for a sunrise session…but Brooke was ready to go at 6:30AM. So lets all give a round of applaud for her looking amazing as a bride that early in the morning.

The sunrise glow was PERFECTION, and Weston Farms offered the perfect backdrops Brooke was wanting as a country bride. The pond, the grape vines, fences and tall field all matched perfect with her cowboy boots.

Here are a few of my favorite from Brooke’s bridals from Louisa, Va.

 

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Bailey turning 3 | Crystal Reyns Photography | Louisa, Va Portrait Photographer

I got to meet Miss Bailey last year for her two year old portraits. At that time she was not a fan of being in front of the camera. After a year of growing more into being a toddler Miss B was all about being in front of the camera and showing me all her personality, which I LOVED.

Miss B is fun, wild, and a little bit sassy, all and all a fun loving little being that loves the outdoors.

Enjoy some moments from Miss B’s Session at Weston Farms in Louisa, Va.

 

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Summer a bald beauty at 13 | Inspiration Shoot | Louisa, Va | Crystal Reyns Photography

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SUMMER!!!

A gorgeous, strong, confident, and HAPPY young lady. A THIRTEEN year old when she lost all her hair in just TWO weeks. This shoot was planned to inspire and lift her spirits, but little did I know she would inspire me more than anything I have ever done in photography.

We met before sunset, a little after Kat’s Hair Studio spend some time doing Summer’s makeup for the shoot. Summer was all smiles, she owns exactly who she is hair or no hair. We chatted during her shoot, and I learned all about her family, her best friend Maddie that has been a bald beauty too so they have a special bond, and all about school and how some kids are so mean to her because she doesn’t have hair. She smiled after telling me this, I realized she is one heck of a STRONG young lady.

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Here is a little about Summer from her Mom, Sharon: “Summer L Stauffer born March 18, 2002 in Fredericksburg Va. In early October of 2015 she was washing a car with a friend and I noticed a bald spot on the side of her head. We went to the doctor and confirmed it was Alopecia. It took us about three weeks to get into a Dermatologist who officially diagnosed Summer with Alopecia Universalis (AU) on October 29 2015. From when I noticed the first bald spot until the time that all of her hair had fallen out was about two weeks, four days before our appointment at the dermatologist. They informed us that day that AU is one of the rarest forms of alopecia and her case was especially rare because of how fast it happened. There are three types of Alopecia:
Alopecia Aerata
Alopecia areata, the most common variation of the autoimmune disease, presents itself as round, smooth patches of various sizes.
Alopecia Areata Totalis
Alopecia areata totalis presents itself as total loss of hair on the scalp
Alopecia Areata Universalis
Alopecia areata universalis is the rarest form of alopecia areata and presents itself as the loss of hair over the entire scalp and body
Alopecia is not contagious. They don’t know exactly how or why some people develop it. It is an autoimmune disease that is normally brought on secondary to some other medical issue or diagnosis. The easiest way to explain what and how it works is that your body is allergic to your hair. Now keep in mind this is not the technical definition, just an easier way to explain. There is no cure for Alopecia. However there are treatments to help the possible regrowth of hair, injections, creams, squaric acid. None of these would have been beneficial for Summer. The only possible one they suggested would be the squaric acid treatment. After talking this over with Summer she decided against it. Basically they would put this acid on her scalp in hopes to cause an allergic reaction and her body would attack that and leave the hair follicles alone to regrow hair. On top of my 13 year old female child, at the time this all started, losing all her hair she was going through some medical issues as well. Summer missed a lot of school between the middle of October until December when we were able to finally get her on home bound school. She went back to school part time in January and returned full time April 4. Through all the lab work, scans, ultrasounds, visits to the ER, the Gastroenterologist, Primary doctor, Oncology/Hematology, Orthopedic and physical therapy they have still not determined everything and what was happening with her. She is being treated for stomach issues with medicine that seems to be working, a liver mass that they have been watching, and still trying to figure out what is wrong with her back and the pain there.
Summer has met people within the past six months, complete strangers with Alopecia as well, who have come up to her and asked if she has Alopecia and that she inspires them and makes them want to be like her, to have her strength and own what obstacles that have been placed in her path. They hide behind wigs, hats, scarfs and make up because they are scared of what others will say and not comfortable in their own skin. A woman stopped us walking out of the store around Christmas time and was amazed of how Summer was “rocking” the bald head. She gave Summer a hug said “God Bless you I want to be like you.” They look at her father and I and tell us that we have raised a very strong young woman. I hope so. We always tell our children that they are who they are meant to be.”

Summer is a big sister:

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A best friend:

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And an amazing, inspirational person!

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Ashley’s Hometown Bridals | Crystal Reyns Photography | Louisa, Va Wedding Photographer

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When Ashley had contacted me to capture her next chapter in life with the man she had been building a life with for FIFTEEN years, I was totally honored. Not only would that day be special, but I actually grew up with Ashley and she was the first bride I would have to capture their day that I had known since the days of the elementary school bus. So so so many days on Ms. Baber’s bus riding to Jouett.

Ashley wanted to stay in our home town for her bridals, it’s where she grew up, feel in love, and built a home for their life together. In choosing a location…..needless to say we picked a few.

The town of Louisa as that is where we are from, its a small town, and we may have hated it growing up, but it is a part of us. Weston Farms for the gorgeous lighting, and our elementary school.

All bridals are extra special to me, but this one right here hit home. This woman that I knew from a little girl that was a friend walking across the road to catch the school bus that I would get to capture walking down the aisle to her next chapter in life. Thank you Ashley for allowing me to capture your beauty as a bride!!

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Kat and Tiff | RVA Engagement Session | Same Sex Wedding Photographer | Crystal Reyns Photographer

Where to begin on this couple….

They are amazing, fun, totally in love, and LOVE to flirt in front of the camera. I absolutely adored working with the couple as the camera just loves them. And I love the vintage twist to this session.

RVA was the perfect setting for this couple and that pop of red. That sunset glow just loves y’all!!

What y’all may not know is we had to cancel their session TWICE due to rain…..and seriously what a blessing that was to get this perfect day at Maymont.

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Seriously those eye lashes though

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I love their laughs

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Love is love!!!!

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AND THEN…… the funniest part of their session:

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Thanks Kat and Tiff for being SO much fun!!!

Rule of Crumb | Feature Friday | Crystal Reyns Photography

YAY for feature friday, and getting to feature another awesome small business woman.

This month’s feature friday goes to the one and only, Rule of Crumb, Miss Jami that has been ROCKING out some custom cookies. I am beyond proud of what she has done in a year, and you can SEE how passionate she is about her cookies! Check her out on FB and give her a like here: Rule of Crumb

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I got to spend a little bit of time with Jami one evening watching her do her thang…… and a little interview on getting to know this BOSS LADY:

How did you get into making custom cookies? It started by doing a bridal shower for her sister in law, and googled how to make starfish short cookies for favors. Then realized it wasn’t that hard, then started making cookies for birthday parties and posted a picture on Facebook and it went viral from there by getting requests for preschools, and gender reveals etc. So it just sort of happened.

What makes you passionate about Rule of Crumb? I really like to do my own thing. May be the stubbornness in me, but I like being my own boss and being in control of everything. I feel better about everything when I am completely in control. I have always been a little crafty so it was a natural thing.

Can you see you going full time?
Yes, absolutely. Ever since I was little I thought i would be a business owner I just never knew what it would be in. Very happy with where my little business is going.

What can we look forward to from rule of crumb in the next year? Going full time. I would really like to start doing classes, like a wine and design type except with cookies in the home with friends.

What has been your favorite thing about working in the cookie world?
Really love coming up with the perfect thing for the perfect event and seeing the clients reactions and knowing I knocked it out of the park.

What is your favorite event to make cookies for?
Baby showers, there is something about little onesies and baby stuff that I love.

What was you turning point for rule of crumb? When I started my facebook page a year ago, and I didn’t expect it to be much, and thought it would be an easier way for people to get in touch with me, and it BOOMED.

Tell me us who Jami, owner of rule of crumb is: I am really boring. I like being at home, and I have always liked being creative and being able to run my business out of my home has been amazing. I never thought cookies would be a big hit, but you can personalize them for anybody and anything. We live in a pinterest world so it makes it FUN.

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Sawyer is ONE | Personal | Dog Cake Smash | Crystal Reyns Photography

I know y’all see me post quite a few cake smashes through out the year. Y’all know I LOVE them. And I LOVE my fur babies…. so for our little guy Sawyer we HAD to do a cake smash.

He had his first studio session the day after we got him, he was 8 weeks new, and what seems to be so tiny compared to now. Back then he was calm, sleepy, and not the most coordinated. We began a hashtag to follow his grow and it was so fun to watch over the past year. #watchsawyergrow

NOW being the bit ONE, he is SSSSSOOOOOO energetic, which is a huge change from having lazy pugs. He is a morning dog and doesn’t let us sleep in, he listens pretty well, he loves to chase ANYTHING that will move, including all his fur brothers, a ball is his best friend, and he still loves to cuddle he just doesn’t know his size.

So March 24th 2016, happiest of birthday to our biggest baby Mister Sawyer Duke!!!!

Here is the many faces of Sawyer:

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And this DOG cake 🙂 It is made from bananas, peanut butter, flour and eggs. The icing the greek yogurt chips melted……easy peeeeezzzzyyy and they LOVED it!

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And he was afraid of it…..I guess he thought he would get in trouble LOL

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Where have I been in 2016 | Personal | Catch up| Crystal Reyns Photography

I haven’t blogged in so long…….YIKES…. I apologize guys!!!!

A few have asked where have I been…

Well I took a nice break during what we call our ‘slow season.’

From January to now, we have been cracking down on our wedding planning and we have gotten a lot done, which a blog will be coming on the ins and outs of wedding planning and how NOT to let it get the best of you. I have said YES TO THE DRESS over at my favorite bridal shop, Urban Set bride and couldn’t be more proud to be an urban set bride!!!

We had a fun snowed in weekend with the blizzard, which I would normally venture out into and want to shoot kids, families, baby bumps…..but for once I wanted to be at home cuddled up and just watching the snow and able to take it in without ‘working.’

Traveling, y’all know I love to travel. We spent a nice weekend away at a wonder bed and breakfast in the mountains. I’ll tell y’all what, I think EVERYONE should put that on your bucket list if you haven’t. I know I want to do it again already.

I decided to take a day position at a wonderful company, and I am loving…. BUT that isn’t slowing down the wedding season or sessions, as my weekends are still for photography and some for living 🙂  I will gladly say that the 2016 WEDDING SEASON IS FULLY BOOKED as well, and we have already started BOOKING for 2017!!

Like most families we have been dealing with quite a bit of winter sickness and that didn’t leave me out this year. From a little cold to now bronchitis right before the beginning of my season. Thankfully I have an amazing doctor that wants to nip it in the bud as much as I do…..shout out to Stacy at Va family practice….thanks girl!!!

And last but not least….we decided to add another one to our family….. 🙂 🙂 🙂

MEET Kevin…..(as in kevin bacon):

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And lets not leave out mister Sawyer, as he will be turning a YEAR this month…..which means a special shoot just for this big boy. And look at the size difference from him to kevin……and yes he did try to eat him…..but NO PIGS were harmed!!!!

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New Years Resolutions | Divine Dimes Fitness | Feature Friday |Crystal Reyns Photography

HAPPY NEW YEAR

With the new year comes those new years resolutions. What is yours? As a bride myself I know my goal it to look a certain way in that wedding dress. Maybe to tone those stubborn arms and be a little more active….maybe a few other goals.

I have been working with Shayna for some time, and she is the best personal trainer for women, in my opinion. She knows what works and customizes workouts for each individual. And she may kick your ass right in to gear, I know she did for me. She has helped with meal prep and a meal plan, and also how to stay on track outside of the gym. As a busy individual I have limited time, she worked up an at home workout plan for me as well. She can help you REACH YOUR GOALS TOO!!

What I love about Shayna is that she is so passionate to help people reach their fitness goals. When someone reaches their goal, even a small one, she is just as happy as they are.

Shayna is also an AWESOME FITNESS BLOGGER. She discusses a lot of topics we as women are afraid to ask. One of my favorite blogs of hers has been Problem Areas and Exercises on how to fix them, this is definitely a good read for anyone that has struggled with any problem area.

Any shoot with Shayna is sure to be fun and full of laughs. This shoot we planned was for HER. To embody who she is. She is a mom, a personal trainer, a bikini competitor, a friend, a fiancé, and a bad ass business woman….. BOOM!

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Shayna is now offering some FUN HIIT classes on the weekends that DDF clients and friends can join, they are a touch of dance, cardio, stretching and just sweaty fun to kick that booty in gear.  You can contact Divine Dimes Fitness here.