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It Started with a Gym Bag.

This sweet and adorable couple met because of a gym bag. You see, a few months prior to their meeting, Devin noticed Monica on a bus. She was headed to the gym. (You go girl!). She left and he didn’t get her name nor her number.  Months later, he saw her again at the gym where they both work.  He recognized her by the gym bag and knew that was her. How cool is that.

Monica and Devin are the sweetest couple. They were married at The Grand Canadian Theater in Purcell, Ok, surrounded by family and friends from across the miles. This is one of my favorite venues. It’s elegance and class was perfect for their wedding day. Monica’s dress from In White in Lancaster, PA was beautiful on her. Lace with some beading detail on the bodice.  I don’t think I’ve ever held such a light wedding dress which she paired with some grey Converse for comfort. Devin and his groomsmen looked sharp in their suits from Jos. A Bank. The burgundy and grey with a touch of gold paired perfectly with the Venue.

Virgie May with Hair & Makeup by Virgie did a fabulous job. The bride and her tribe looked stunning. 

The cake and cupcakes from Okie Cookie Catering were so moist and can we just talk about the Fiesta Bar too. Yummo! Okie Cookie Catering did an awesome job and so delicious.

Everyone danced the night away before they left with a sparkler exit. (Gosh I love those).

Thank you for choosing Vanessa Wells Images to document your special day. It was such an honor.

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Milestone Photography Session

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Milestone Photography Session

This outdoor photography session, appropriately on-location at Oklahoma City’s Myriad Gardens,  celebrated a myriad of milestones for returning clients  Lane and Kearsten Westmoreland.


These outgoing jokesters and dog lovers used this milestone photography session as a vehicle to celebrate the big 3-OH for both of them, and though Sadie, Tobey, and Duke are clearly their furever furbabies, the real puppy love was obviously between Lane and Kearsten, still laughing, joking, smiling, and in love on their tenth wedding anniversary.   


Outdoor photography venues are a popular request in Oklahoma, and amid milder fall weather, Oklahoma City’s Myriad Gardens never fails as an awesome  outdoor on-location shoot. It says, “fun;” it says, “home;” it says, “outdoors in Oklahoma.”  


A photograph is snapshot in time, but it tells a story much deeper.  This milestone session captures turning thirty and marks ten years of marriage; it also a brief shot of  ceremonial grandeur for  Kearsten,  who just received a PhD in pharmacology from Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford, Oklahoma. 


The ten year journey of marriage, tireless work, studying, goal setting, mind changing, growing up together---the photograph is so much deeper than the paper on which it is printed.  


Congratulations Lane and Kearsten (and to Sadie, Tobey, and Duke--my how you’ve grown!) on a life well done, on a journey peppered with milestones yet a journey just begun.  I hope you enjoyed your outdoor session at Oklahoma City’s Myriad Gardens, and I hope you look at your photographs for years to come and remember the journey behind moment in time. 

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Certification and What It Means

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Certification and What It Means

One year go I started a personal journey in my photography career. A year ago I declared my candidacy with the Professional Photographers of America (PPA) to achieve my Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) certification.

I know you’re asking, ”What is a CPP?”. This is a program that assures others that photographers have the knowledge, experience and the desire to learn new skills and techniques on a continual basis. In other words, it is not a one time thing. We have to go thru recertification every three years to retain our credentials. It is also an acknowledgement of my professional qualifications. The CPP credentials serve to distinguish professional photographers who have demonstrated technical skills through a written examanation and an image submission. Image submission consists of 15 images, six (6) are compulsory and the remaining nine (9) are client based. The compulsory images must show certain lighting techniques, which compliment the subject well. There are about 15 judges during each round of image submission. I was shocked and even more nervous when I discovered this information.  Just imagine being interviewed by a panel of 15 judges. There are less than 40 in the state of Oklahoma. That is a very small percentage compared to all the photographers in Oklahoma.

Being a CPP is similar to a quality assurance certification, a credential consumers and businesses understand. It was really neat to watch my transformation over the last year. I could see myself improving in so many ways, from posing to lighting and understanding what I was seeing and performing. Most of all my confidence improved.

I chose to earn my CPP certification as way to set myself apart from the average “Joe”. I wanted to grow and challenge myself. I’ve never had any formal training and wanted to fill in the holes where I lacked knowledge. Was I scared, you better believe it. Was I challenged? Yes, most definitely, I had a lot of failures in this process, but in the end it was all worth it. I never gave up, there were times I wanted to, but then what would that serve? It would have meant time was wasted by me and I would have wasted my clients time. I don’t want to settle, I want to succeed. “If you’re not uncomfortable, you’re not growing,”, I heard this quote a couple of years ago at a conference and it totally blew me away. That quote has stuck with me ever since. It’s a reminder that if I am feeling uncomfortable then I am growing which is always a good thing.

If you want more information regarding the CPP program or PPA, I would be happy to visit with you over coffee.

Let a Certified Professional Photographer show you the difference and capture your families memories. Email me and we will set up a time to visit over coffee and danish too.

Special Thanks to Jennifer Tiffany of Jen Tiffany Photography for the awesome images and a Huge Thank You to all my clients for helping me achieve my certification. I could not have done it without you.

Last but certainly not least, a heart felt Thank You to two people who pushed me, advised me and just told me NO, go back and redo. I so appreciate their honesty in this journey. Dawn Muncy of Muncy Photography and Tony Gatlin of Tony Gatlin Photography you both are invaluable to this industry. Thank you for keeping me accountable, pushing me and for believing in me.

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