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Arkansas Engagement Photographer

 

 

 

~ARKANSAS ENGAGEMENT PHOTOGRAPHER~

Ok ok ok if you know Kristen and Trent in real life they aren’t really engaged and this isn’t really their engagement session but I am an Arkansas engagement photographer so I felt like with two beautiful young people that should totally get married I can title my post as such! Love you two!  Ok but really I’m friends with Kristen and Trent and they referred one of their friends (Hello Kiana!) my way for her wedding so I decided to return the favor and offered them a mini session!

 

It was freezing cold and a bit rainy that day so we just decided to stay in and shoot at their cute little home!  I’m so glad we did because HELLO all my feather pillow fight dreams came true! I can promise you next time someone suggests this to Trent and Kristen they’ll probably say no, F…E…A…T…H…E…R…S  EVERRRRRRRYYYYWHERE!!!!!!  But it was sooooo worth it!!!!! We had so much fun playing on their bed, pillow fighting, playing with Ollie, their adorable pup, dancing, reading, making coffee, and lots of snuggling and kissing!

 

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I’m usually not a fan of doggie kisses but I do absolutely adore this capture!

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This is what pillow fight dreams are made of! I can’t even tell you how many feathers were all over their room but I can tell you this session was in the fall and they are still finding feathers around their home daily!!!!!

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For some reason I just love these ones of their feet all snuggled up together!

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This might just be my favorite shot of the night!

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Northwest Arkansas Family Portraits by Erika Dotson Photography

I had the honor to capture the Morton family this fall and they are seriously my most favorite family ever! I just adore the images we captured from their family session! My kiddos fall pretty close behind theirs so I felt like I could relate to life with four! Their outfits were perfect and their little ones did such a great job! Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to document this time in your family’s life!

 

 

Arkansas Fall Engagements at Sassafras Springs Vineyard

Kiana and Riley wanted some photos with their pups but didn’t necessarily want them in ALL their photos. So, we decided that I would meet them at their home, capture some with doggies then we could head out to Sassafras  and capture some fall engagements.  They will be having their fall wedding at Sassafras Springs Vineyard and I couldn’t be more excited!  That outdoor ceremony location with the Chapel Ruins is awesome!

 

 

 

 

Warm Bright Sunny Arkansas Engagements // Courtney and Reeves

Trying to pump out some blog posts from all the work I’ve done all summer and fall! Yay! Courtney emailed me interested in having me come over to Jonesboro to capture her gorgeous wedding day so as usual I gave her a ring.  We clicked instantly! She was so sweet and we chatted all about her vision and what our plans would be! Love those chats! Fast forward a little bit and I invited them to shoot some engagements but seeing as they lived in Jonesboro and I live in Northwest Arkansas we decided to meet in the middle at The Buffalo River.  Let first explain that these two are saints, I had to reschedule on them because I showed up to second shoot a wedding on a Friday (in Tulsa) that was supposed to be on Saturday following day which is when we planned to shoot, then when we were meeting at the Buffalo the river was up (I had no idea….how do you even tell these things beforehand?), there was no cell service, we were driving back up the road separately trying to get a hold of each other.   IT WAS A MESS.  We parked my car at an elderly man’s home, I hopped in with them and we literally gave it a shot in the dark at to where a cool location might be! I’ll say we got lucky! I love how warm bright and sunny these engagements are! Oh and how could I forget the snake by Courtney’s door when we were all wrapped up ready to head home?!?!?!?  So many memories! I’m so thankful these two still trusted and believed in me, because I can’t wait to show off their wedding images!

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Pine Mountain Barn // Arkansas Timeless Wedding Photography // Jaycie & CJ

Jaycie and I had talked about a timeline a month before her big day and then the week of her wedding she decided she didn’t want a first look anymore. Without hestitation I wrote her up a new timeline and sent it along and let her know I was there to support her in her decision even if she wanted to change her mind again.  She went back and forth a few times on whether or not to have a first look. I later found out that she was very traditional and had waited for CJ and just wanted to have that moment where he saw her for the first time walking down the aisle.  I’m sharing this because I’m thankful that Jaycie ended up finally expressing how she wanted her wedding to go. In the end it’s YOUR day. It’s not mine, it’s not auntie so and so’s, it’s yours, and I 110% believe you should have the experience and memories that you had hoped for! Would a first look have made the day easier? Sure. Would it be what Jaycie and CJ wanted for their day. No. When I first started shooting weddings several years ago, first looks were a new idea and I tried to convince everyone that they needed one!  I regret that.  Now I’m here for my couples, if they want to have one…awesome! if they don’t, that’s totally fine too, we just need to build a solid timeline together.

Jaycie and CJ’s ceremony was full of love for each other but also love of the Lord. CJ’s father was their minister and a grandfather on each side had a moment to say a prayer for the couple. Sweet weddings like this are always a gentle reminder for the whole purpose of marriage. I’m thankful for their example. I’m thankful Jaycie and CJ had me for their photographer that day.

 

 

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Enjoy!

-erika

 

 

 

Bridal Session at Petit Jean Mountain // Arkansas Wedding Photographer //Jaycie

Jaycie and I had went back and forth on location ideas in Clinton, AR.  Having never been there I really wasn’t much help to be honest. Originally she had a cute little white chapel in mind.  A few days before our session she mentioned wanting to do her bridal session at Petit Jean Mountain. Excited at the idea, but also nervous because I had never shot there prior and I didn’t know the layout well.  I did a little homework (asked all my Little Rock photographer friends about the area and good spots) and I showed up a tad bit early to scope things out. We were ready and had a plan!

Jaycie arrived with her mom and her future mother in law, at the time, to help her move around in her gorgeous dress.  Petit Jean Mountain is not an ordinary location for a bridal session. Seeing so many bridal sessions on mountain tops, I was thrilled to contribute my art! Literally in the woods, we had to strive to keep her gown clean. Basically she was set up in a location and couldn’t move an inch without assistance!  I’m thankful those momma’s were with us because we needed all the help we could get between the veil, the flowers (by the FAB Magnolia Belle Floral), the train, and figuring out where we were headed! Thankfully CJ’s mom lived close by so she knew where everything was!

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Arkansas Wedding Photographer Erika Dotson Photography

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Thanks so much!

-erika

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mattie and Luke’s Backyard Reception | Intimate Weddings

I’ll be the first to admit I love a good backyard wedding reception! Intimate weddings are some of the best around! Seriously they are usually so laid back and so much fun but also so much sweat and tears have been put into them! Families all come together to help pull off a wonderful night!

Lot’s of these little details were handcrafted and personalized to these two!  Mattie’s sister, Haley, made all the signs! She has the best handwriting! There was a kids table, which I know my kiddos LOVED!  They made the hay bale flower D by spray painting the letter and filling it in with florals. One of my favorite touches was the barb wire vases, such a unique idea!  Then there’s their cake……seriously such a perfect fit!  Those little cake toppers might be the cutest things I’ve ever seen!!!!!

Everyone had a blast on the dance floor! I feel like having a designated dance floor for an intimate backyard wedding like this is a must! It provides a space where your guests will gravitate to dance and get all those candid dancing photos!

Mattie and Luke exited to the ring of a cowbell as they escaped into an old purple Bronco for their get away! They were showered with love and excitement! Thank you guys for allowing me to capture this special moment in your lives! I wish you the best throughout all of eternity!

Part 1: Getting Ready

Part 2: First Look

Part 3: Couple Portraits

Part 4: Ring Ceremony

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Southern Wedding Photographer | Mattie and Luke’s Ring Ceremony

As a southern wedding photographer, often, I’m traveling all over the state to document everyone else’s beginning.  I’m so thankful I was able to be such an important part of Mattie and Luke’s day to capture their story!  It was just so fun to see my entire family fill the roles of wedding party, officiant, parents, etc. too!  Even my four year old and her cousin came running down the aisle during their first kiss yelling “mooooooooom”!!!!!!  Goodness, gracious! So thankful they love our little ones! Pretty sure there were more ring bearers and flower girls than there were bridesmaids and groomsmen!!!!!

For their ring ceremony, they both prepared their own vows.  Luke’s blew everyone in the audience away! Luke’s sister, Tracy, is one of his closest siblings and Mattie’s best friends.  They ended up having her stand beside Luke as his “best sister”.  The bride was able to ride up to the ceremony on her horse, Z, which was such a dream for her!  She planned on having a cowhide runner but there was some confusion and they never got in the correct place, sometimes things like that happen! I feel like it’s ok though because we captured some detail shots on them! 😉

Mattie chose her front yard under the Walnut trees for her ceremony.  When her family first bought the farm they were much smaller.  They decided to build a house beside them and with time and love, they grew to be big and gorgeous southern trees. We had a beautiful August last year, and normally at that time of year they would have had a few walnuts falling on guests, but it stayed cool and rainy most of the month.  Jaime, Mattie’s best friend, played the piano while they braided a three cord strand that hung from the tree to symbolize the intertwining of their marriage with Heavenly Father.  Mattie’s sister in law, Ally, read a part of an LDS talk on marriage. And of course, the ceremony ended with what any southern gentleman would do, a dip kiss!

 

Part 1 – Getting Ready

Part 2 – First Look

Part 3 – Couple Portraits

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Mattie and Luke’s Couple Portraits

Let’s roll right into some couple portraits, they are always my favorite from the entire day! These images were taken right on her parents’ farm. That background with the rolling hills is breathtaking! Easily one of my favorite shots from the entire day was them holding hands, locked into each other’s eyes, walking away from that beautiful background behind them!!! All the heart eyed emojis!!!!!
 
Mattie’s gown was so unique, I’ve never seen anything like it! Of course, if you know Mattie, that’s exactly her. She’s stylish, confident, and not afraid to make a bold statement with her attire! Also, I’ve got to point out that Luke was lookin’ pretty sharp as well! That cowboy hat must have been the finishing touch!
 
When looking at your timeline I like to spend at least 30 minutes capturing your wedding day portraits. Obviously the more the merrier! Keep distances, locations, and transportation in mind when trying to plan this part of your day out.
 
Lastly, often people ask me questions about the portrait part of the day. Usually, people are worried they will look silly or won’t know what to do with their hands. haha It’s my job to make you feel comfortable so don’t worry I’ll help you out! Most importantly, I need you to enjoy each other. The smiles you see are genuine real smiles. I’ll set you up for success and make sure you look your best!

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Mattie and Luke’s First Look

 
As a wedding photographer, I love when my clients express interest in having a first look. A first look happens when the bride and groom see each other before the ceremony. I’ve had so many couples come back and tell me later that they were so glad they opted for a first look. They were so thankful they had time to themselves before the whirlwind of the day took hold! This is an intimate time with the two of you. You are free to talk, hug, kiss, share letters, exchange gifts, or whatever your heart desires. Make it unique and let your father walk you to your groom, allow your closest family and friends to be a part, or simply the two of you.
 
Here’s Mattie and Luke’s first look, of course, the horse wanted in on the action and that makes this all the more perfect for them!!!! The shot of her reaching out and touching his shoulder, it’s perfect! Then that smile on Luke’s face is genuine! I love it! Mattie takes a step away to show off her gorgeous wedding boots! We followed up with some wonderful portraits and I’m so thankful they chose to do one!
Part 1 – Getting Ready
Part 3 – Couple Portraits

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