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Donohue Family | Lifestyle Family Photography | Waco Wedding & Family Photographer

baby boy in crib | lifestyle family photography in Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography

First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes some of our 2015 J&M Sweethearts asking us to take portraits of their new little one and us saying, "YES, PLEASE!!!"

mom feeding baby on couch | lifestyle family photography in Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography

We had the privilege of photographing Mike & Rachel's gorgeous and so fun wedding at the Horseshoe Bay Resort in Horseshoe Bay, Texas in the summer of 2015. (See their seriously awesome wedding reception where they were the lead singers of the reception band here.) They were such a loving couple and we continued to keep in touch long after their wedding. Fast forward to 2016, and we found ourselves congratulating them on their first little one!

One day our phone rang and Rachel was on the other end. She asked if we'd be available and interested in photographing her and Mike and their new son, as well as Mike's daughters. Of course we were! We discussed some options for the family portrait session and decided an in-home lifestyle session would be perfect. And so last week, I (Melaina) drove out to their beautiful home in China Spring to photograph the new addition to their family.

Mom feeding baby while Dad drinks coffee | lifestyle family photography in Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography

Photographing a family in their home, documenting what real life looks like in this particular chapter of your family's love story, is one of my favorite things to do. There's just something about having those moments recorded, to look back and see your home, to see the nursery your baby slept in, to see a photograph documenting the countless hours you spent feeding and rocking your baby on the couch or in the rocking chair. It tells the story of your family for years to come, and serves as a memorial to help you remember with clarity this time in life. 

I wish there was a better word than neat to describe it, but it just is so neat that we were there to photograph the day Mike & Rachel said, "I do," and now we were able to go into their home and photograph this next chapter in their Sweetheart Story. And what better way to document little KP's first Christmas than with images of his family decorating their Christmas tree?  

Mom, dad and baby snuggle on the couch | Lifestyle Family Session in Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
Family poses on couch | Lifestyle Family Session in Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
Family decorates Christmas tree | Lifestyle Family Session in Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
Family decorates Christmas tree | lifestyle family photography in Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
Family decorating Christmas tree | lifestyle family photography in Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
Dad holds new baby by Christmas tree | lifestyle family photography in Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
baby lays on homemade quilt | lifestyle family photography in Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
Dad holds baby son | lifestyle family photography in Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
Dad holds baby | lifestyle family photography in Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
Dad holds 2 month old baby | lifestyle family photography in Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
baby son in crib | lifestyle family photography in Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
Mom dresses crying baby | lifestyle family photography in Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
Mom snuggles infant son | lifestyle family photography in Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
Mom kisses baby son | lifestyle family photography in Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography

Thank you, Mike & Rachel, for the honor of being in your presence once again, documenting your love story!

 

Kyle & Ashley | Love in Waco Session | Waco Wedding Photographer

Wedding Ring and holding hands | Love Photography in Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography

We've lived in Waco now for 8 years, and with each passing year we fall more in love with this city. I mean, it does help that Waco is growing and getting more and more cool things (#thanksFixerUpper). But one thing we love to see is the revitalization of the downtown area. So many cool, local-based shops are popping up in the store fronts, and one of our favorite things to do on a date night is to walk around downtown and check out all the neat businesses. 

And one day I had an idea...what if we photographed a couple's date night in downtown Waco? What if we asked a couple so obviously in love to walk around in the city we love, all while taking some romantic portraits?

Luckily, we had the perfect couple in mind

Couple hugs outside The Findery | Love Photography in Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography

Kyle & Ashley met through the college ministry at our church and were married this summer. These sweetheart newlyweds are in the first months of their marriage, and are the embodiment of the phrase "the honeymoon phase." And we are sure that stage is going to continue on for many years with these two. 

Couple portraits outside The Findery | Love Photography in Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
Couple's portraits | Love Photography in Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography

They were game to go on a downtown Waco adventure and explore some fun date night spots in our cool city. We started off at The Findery, a fun store full of unique finds for home decor right down the street from the Magnolia Silos. And then we moved on down the sidewalks of #Wacotown to the beautiful historic Praetorian Building. Inside on the ground floor are two new shops, Interior Glow and Bru Artisan Coffee Works. Kyle & Ashley explored the beautiful shop and enjoyed their drinks, and then headed outside for an impromptu slow-dance in The Praetorian's parking lot. We finished off the night at one of the best places to end a romantic date night in Waco, Hey Sugar. It is a candy store like no other and a really fun place to order an ice cream waffle cone. Sitting outside, eating an ice cream cone and hearing the live music and the city life on Austin Avenue...I can think of no better way to cap off a romantic date night in Waco.

Couple outside of The Findery | Love Photography in Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
Couple walking hand in hand | Love Photography in Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
Couple portraits downtown | Love Photography in Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
Couple's portraits downtown | Love Photography in Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
Couple portraits in downtown | Love Photography in Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
Couples portraits downtown | Love Photography in Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
Couple hold hands at coffee shop | Love Photography in Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
Couple dancing in parking lot downtown | Love Photography in Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
Couple dancing in parking lot downtown | Love Photography in Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
Couple on ice cream date | Love Photography in Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
Couple portraits outside of Hey Sugar | Love Photography in Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
Couple eating ice cream downtown | Love Photography in Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
Couple kisses at a table | Love Photography in Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography

Thank you so much, Kyle & Ashley, for going on a date and letting us tag along. We hope these images will remind you of this special time in your marriage and all your romantic dates in Waco.

Jason & Anne | Brazos River & Baylor Engagements | Waco Wedding Photographer

engagement portraits by Brazos River | Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography

Have you ever been around a couple whose love was so lived-in and easy it was obvious to everyone? Like they seemed so connected to one another and sure of themselves in their relationship that it felt like you were in the presence of a deep-rooted love? That's what it feels like for us every time we're with Jason & Anne. 

We met these two recently over coffee at Starbucks, where we excitedly welcomed them into the 2017 class of J&M Sweethearts. We chatted about their dreams for their wedding and we learned their story. And it's the type of everyday love story that makes you realize love is real and possible. Jason & Anne were a part of the same small group through their local church, and from there their friendship began to blossom into something more. One day when Anne was going to help her friend move, Jason volunteered to help. When they finished early, the three set off for a hike in Cameron Park. A couple weeks later when Jason invited Anne to go hiking again, she left her friend behind. And so began a Waco love story of hikes in Cameron Park, ice cream dates to Heritage Creamery, and spending time talking and swinging on the green and gold swing in front of the SUB on Baylor's campus. Early in their relationship, Jason took Anne on a walk along the Brazos River and stopped at a small pavilion where they could talk. It was in this pavilion they had one of their first DTRs (define the relationship talks) and agreed they were exclusively dating. 

Fast forward to October of this year, where Jason brought Anne once again on a walk by the Brazos River, stopping in "their pavilion." Only in this DTR, Jason got down on one knee and asked Anne to be his sweetheart forever.

engagement portraits by Brazos River | Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
engagement portraits by Brazos River | Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
engagement portraits by Brazos River | Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
engagement portraits by Brazos River | Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
engagement portraits by Brazos River | Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
engagement portraits by Brazos River | Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
engagement portraits by Brazos River | Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
engagement portraits by Brazos River | Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
engagement portraits by Brazos River | Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
engagement portraits by Brazos River | Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
engagement portraits by Brazos River | Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
engagement portraits by Brazos River | Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
engagement portraits on green and gold swings at Baylor | Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
engagement portraits on green and gold swings at Baylor | Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
engagement portraits on green and gold swings at Baylor | Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography

Congratulations, Jason & Anne. We had so much fun photographing your engagement portraits, and we can't wait to photograph your wedding!