Louis Bryant Photography: Blog http://www.lb3photo.com/blog en-us (C) Louis Bryant Photography louis@lb3photo.com (Louis Bryant Photography) Mon, 04 Dec 2017 15:27:00 GMT Mon, 04 Dec 2017 15:27:00 GMT http://www.lb3photo.com/img/s/v-5/u617015066-o151069632-50.jpg Louis Bryant Photography: Blog http://www.lb3photo.com/blog 120 66 Hansi & Chinedum pt. 1 http://www.lb3photo.com/blog/2017/11/hansi-chinedum

There's something to be said about trust. This occasion involved a lot of it and for that I am grateful. Up until recently, for the past few years I never quite knew what my situation would be months, weeks, (sometimes) days in advance. Hansi and I engaged in a brief conversation a year prior to her traditional wedding date, and I honestly had no idea where I'd be, yet I somehow knew I'd be available.

 

Well, that year involved a move to Oakland, California, a trip to Thailand, a trip to Ghana and a lot of questions about what's next. Let's just say... I found my way. Enough about me! 

Immediately upon meeting Hansi and Chinedum our energy magnetized. I was honored to be apart of such a special and momentous day, but also thrilled to shoot my first traditional Nigerian wedding. This is not your average white wedding, in act there will be another day for that in 2018. The energy of the room defeated my jet lag as vibrant colors bounced light reflected from soulful smiles and proud traditions. 

Before arriving to the venue I had to sneak a peek of Hansi getting ready.

 

Now, the real fun starts! We departed for the venue which was already bustling with people dressed in their best and finest traditional wear. Hues and tints cover the spectrum of radiant colors as head to toe is a wrapped vibrant and elegant fabrics. 

Once everyone was settled the formalities began with the MC guiding the patrons through the events of the night. There were introductions, permissions sought and granted, parents of both sides gathered, conferred, danced and celebrated.

Chinendum makes his appearance as he and his groomsmen snake through the space of gathered onlookers.

Hansi makes her first appearance in her beautiful yellow dress. Sisters Cynthia and Linda trail the patient and proud stroll as patrons flock to her pathway to have a clear view of her beauty. Along with this presentation comes a lot of attention and... money! Dollars flew like small birds and landed to the floor to be swept and collected.

 

Father join together to affirm the traditional union between their son and daughter. 

Dancing and celebration continues as patrons make way toward dinner and refreshments. 

Hansi makes a second appearance this time wearing a coral colored dress.

 Once Hansi and Chinendum are united they make their way to the dance floor and Chinedum has another surprise!

The parents from both sides join together with their newly united children. 

Cake cutting and celebrations!

This union was an experience wrapped in traditional fabrics of culture as vibrant as the headdresses upon the sea of African royalty within the room. This cultural experience of tradition and love is one I will long remember.

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louis@lb3photo.com (Louis Bryant Photography) love nigerian tradition traditional wedding wedding west africa http://www.lb3photo.com/blog/2017/11/hansi-chinedum Tue, 28 Nov 2017 05:00:00 GMT
Introducing Colt http://www.lb3photo.com/blog/2016/8/introducingcolt Sunday was a very special day for me. A day that felt like three sunrises. It was on this day that I was able to embrace the newness of a child. There is something refreshing about holding a newborn baby. Now, don't mistake this sentiment for baby fever or anything! It's just quite amazing to harness a new life. Be that a chick, a praying mantis, or even a fish. It's quite an experience to observe, with smiles painted across the diameter of your face.

That newness is like spring or that first dip in a cool pool. Also, not only was I in the presence of a fresh baby placed on this all but perfect world, but this fresh and pure son is also MY godson! It is amazing at what words can actually do, because the moment Reno spoke this into existence a jolt of energy has been instilled within my spirit. A new responsibility that feels really staggering and astounding. Colt, isn't my son by birth, however, I have this incredible honor to be a positive influence in his life just as his father. 

This was a special encounter. One filled with family and new interactions and the longest time I have ever held a newborn!

We welcome you Colt! This world is not pretty, but there is beauty everywhere. Happiness and the pursuit of that is your right, so always seek what you desire. Be fair to everyone and embrace challenges with the diligence of your hardworking parents. Be disciplined, and ALWAYS grind. Be amiable and remember to be kind. Hold on to those you love, but don't be afraid to leave things behind. Cherish the small moments you find. 

I can't wait to be best friends!

LB

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louis@lb3photo.com (Louis Bryant Photography) baby newborn portrait http://www.lb3photo.com/blog/2016/8/introducingcolt Tue, 30 Aug 2016 22:44:20 GMT
Once I visited Peru http://www.lb3photo.com/blog/2016/6/once-i-visited-peru Peru is a charming place to visit. Aside from visiting and witnessing the reverential Machu Picchu and seeing an alpaca or two what else do you think of when you here Peru? I know what comes to mind after spending about thirty days in a country that possesses thirty of the world’s thirty-two climates. I think it was the trickiest place to prepare for because four days you will be submersed in the roasting Amazon Rainforest and the subsequent week you’ll be winding down the side of a glacier-capped mountain. The variety of weather was only the tip of the iceberg for the interesting facets of Peru. 

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A group of school-girls meander away from their group preparing to march in the Plaza de Armas in Cusco, Peru.

 

One place of character and beauty is Ollantay, which is located in the Sacred Valley of Peru. We slept under heavy alpaca blankets in a humble pueblo named Pachar where our students were paired off with families for a full immersion experience. The days consisted of Spanish class in the mornings and community service in the afternoons.  Here goliaths surrounded our presence and made the existence of man seem minuscule.

 

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Ellen and Rolando walking back to the Sacred Valley Project girls dormitory after a full day of service.

 

Aside from the service and language classes we were exposed to many parts of the Peruvian and Incan culture. We ventured through ruins, marketplaces, villages, farms, mountains, rivers and lagoons. We saw smiles from boys and girls, mamis dawned in their chompas and monteras, and men escorting their bulls. I distinctly remember hearing running water, there was always water – even in the desert oasis Huacachina! We ate cuy (guinea pig), alpaca, fresh fish, smoothies with frogs, and chomped on chichi morada.
 

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Saturday morning offers opportunity to visit the local markets where exchanges between the community can occur. A woman wearing a montera, traditional to her region in Ollantaytambo, is having a conversation with a merchant in the distance.

 

 

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The monteras we wear: A mother prepares her son to exit from a truck that just arrived to the local market.

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A woman walks the street toward the market wearing her montera distinctive to her region.

I couldn’t write something about Peru without exposing my experience about Machu Picchu - it is everything that people say it is. The mystique, the presence, and the beauty in craft are beyond description and even the photos used to depict the occasion.

 

Description: Mac HD:Users:User:Desktop:Peru Blog:LB3_6097.jpg Early morning mystique of Machu Picchu 

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A different perspective of the ancient site – the presence.

 

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Students learning about the Incan history from our co-leader Raul – the beauty.

After departing the wonder we visited a pueblo located near a lagoon – Huancaya. This is where I gained first hand knowledge on how to experience altitude sickness. The pain was relentless throughout the night but I could not help but appreciate that experience because I believe seeing such pristine beauty was worth every distressing moment.

 

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The lagoon at Huancaya as our boat makes its way to a breathtaking waterfall.

 

Description: Mac HD:Users:User:Desktop:Peru Blog:LB3_7730.jpg Not only in the darkest of night do you feel the presence of the surrounding mountains, but you know the heavens are gazing upon you in irony. Huancaya at night.

 

The last great memory I have in Peru is when our last week was approaching and the amazing experience we had at Huacachina. The surrounding desert humbled our presence as you would gaze upon a horizon stretched across with massive dunes that resembled a frozen sea of sand. Being there was certainly an experience I think every man, woman and child should experience. Surround yourself with desert and feel the presence and absence of self.

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A torn Peruvian flag atop a sand dune truck as the vast presence of the Atacama desert stretched in the background.

 

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A great “last” moment that warms my soul - A fine group of students for the Latin American Spanish Immersion and Community Service Gap 2015 fall semester.

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louis@lb3photo.com (Louis Bryant Photography) landscape machu picchu peru http://www.lb3photo.com/blog/2016/6/once-i-visited-peru Thu, 30 Jun 2016 22:20:07 GMT
The ideal love story has yet to be finished - The Wallace Wedding http://www.lb3photo.com/blog/2016/5/wallacewedding “We’re all a little weird. And life is a little weird. And when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall into mutually satisfying weirdness—and call it love—true love.” 
― DR. Seuss

When pondering the institution of marriage and digesting the concept of love and its distinct attributes one can easily define the notion of love as a beautiful thing. With all of the visuals, emotions, songs, holidays and media associated with love you can not help but to observe it on a daily basis - analyzing its worth, comparing logistics to hope, dreaming of another life (with someone), the possibilities are inevitable and endless. 

I may not have been there from the start, but my presence in Amanda & Michael's life was pretty important at this stage. Throughout my time around the couple I witnessed the essence of pure love. Beyond just a beautiful thing. I sensed an unstoppable power of spirit in their union and love was just one of the components that make them exciting to describe.

Amanda complements Michael like Ash and Pikachu and their connection is undoubtedly interwoven in the spirit of God, love, trust and joy. Michael is there for Amanda like a doubles partner, top spinning head over heels for their love. He serves (for) her and their opponent is the rest of the world. Without a doubt this newly installed representation of love is full of energy, laughs, smiles, support, and God. 

Beginning the day with Amanda and her ten bridesmaids was a treat. A Mom proudly stares on as a calm bride-to-be receives beauty enhancements, Beyonce plays in the background, and dresses drape the walls surrounding the room in shades of African violet and amethyst. A lone ivory dress beautifully claims a presence in the room. 

 

 

Amanda receives the final touches prior to slipping into her ensemble. Her calm demeanor not only made photographing her easy, but set a wonderful tone for the party.

Michael & the fellas!

 

An excited Amanda approaches the the venue awaiting her entrance.

Joy at the alter.

 

“You know you're in love when you can't fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.” 
― Dr. Seuss

 

“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” 
― Lao Tzu

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louis@lb3photo.com (Louis Bryant Photography) couple love marriage wedding http://www.lb3photo.com/blog/2016/5/wallacewedding Wed, 18 May 2016 14:00:00 GMT
Here's how love looks...Reno & Artie Wedding - Costa Rica 2015 http://www.lb3photo.com/blog/2015/10/heres-how-love-looks-reno-artie-wedding---costa-rica-2015

Love is patient.

I truly believe in that phrase because since I have know the groom, Reno, for over half of my life I can say that he has very patient and that patience has blessed him with a love that has enamored his soul. Artemis (Artie) is an angel and her presence in Reno's life has produced a joy that I was honored to capture in the beautiful country of Costa Rica.

This destination wedding was full of laughs, smiles, hugs and energy. Only the closest of friends were surrounding the beautiful couple in the Westin Resort on the Guanacaste province beach. The weather (as anticipated) was beautiful and hot! There was a threat for thunderstorms to impose on the couple's bright day but that did little to stop them from planning the most memorable day of their lives.

Being a friend and professional photographer for the couple, I was able to hone in on the moments that truly made them special. As beautiful as they look kissing in front of a beautiful sunset, they look just as amazing laughing and making funny faces at one another. That's what makes them them.

The day started with beautiful weather as they prepared for the day in their respective rooms. Nerves did not show on their faces, it appeared to me anticipation and excitement. Artie and company began with make-up, champagne, dancing, and jumping on the bed. 

 

Reno was preparing in the company of his friends Devin and "Snow." While others (friends and family) were in the pool enjoying the amenities of the resort. Reno resembled the tall football version of James Bond as Devin helped him with the final touches and preparation for his dark blue suit.

 

 

After a lovely ceremony presented by the longtime friend and officiant, Devin Parker, the guests roared in cheers as the fun was really starting to begin.

 

 

 

 

 

We stepped on to the beach to take portraits after the traditional family portraits and God blessed us with a sunset to highlight their special moment. Artie glowed brighter than the sun and her beauty took little effort to flatter because she is a lovely woman.

 

 

After a short session on the beach it was time for the reception. After toasts, food and drinks...dancing in the rain was about as good as it can get. What a fine way to end an evening! Again, I felt lucky, blessed and honored to be apart of their day not only as their photographer but as their friend (for life!). 

 

To see the album of their day visit: http://lb3weddings.zenfolio.com/renoartieweddingday

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louis@lb3photo.com (Louis Bryant Photography) bride costa destination groom love portraits rica wedding http://www.lb3photo.com/blog/2015/10/heres-how-love-looks-reno-artie-wedding---costa-rica-2015 Fri, 02 Oct 2015 19:55:28 GMT
Michael & Amanda - We loved with a love that was more than love" - Edgar Allen Poe http://www.lb3photo.com/blog/2015/5/michael-amanda---we-loved-with-a-love-that-was-more-than-love---edgar-allen-poe

I think writing this should be easy because I know one of the subjects is pretty much a version of me. From Adventure Time  fan to middle school teacher. Wallace is not only a new client but good friend. I had the pleasure of working with this young man as  a teacher in a  mutual elementary/middle school. I knew him as a first year teacher bursting with energy to convince the young minds to explore our world. 

Then we no longer worked together but a friendship I considered our connection and therefore we stayed in touch. This was a good thing because Wallace (known as Michael) was such a positive spirited person.  I never saw that flame of enthusiastic energy in many other teachers so I knew it was a personality attribute. Then I heard about Amanda... people at school gave testimony to meeting Michael's girlfriend, and I was presented with words like amazing, beautiful,  and  perfect. ( Sorry Wallace). Unfortunately for me, I was never within proximity of Amanda when Michael invited her to our workplace.

 

Once I met Amanda, I knew that 1)  they are perfect together and 2) Where can I find one like her?! She's beautiful, just as quirky, and positive like her fiance. The shots were actually fairly easy because as someone told me it's easy to photograph beautiful people. Well, I found this couple to be stunning together and what made the experience better was their playfulness. 

I was blessed with the opportunity to use my talent to project Michael and Amanda in the same light in which the world should recognize them. That is, fun, beautiful, honest, humorous and adoration. Amanda and Michael are absolutely amazing for each other because every smile is reflected upon the other's face, every laugh is echoed within their hearts and every kiss is desired upon by those who knew what love could be.

 

We took a trip to the National Arboretum which is actually 10 minutes away from where I currently live. The venue has been used for several of my locations for head-shots, family shoots and engagement shoots, but with its vastness how could you not utilize all this beautiful space?!

Amanda and Michael emerge from the car with energy to make this session an experience to remember. We walked over to the azaleas  exhibition and started  shooting. Michael presented a number of serious looks but remained his goofy self throughout the entire time we were there. This made it natural and fun for our shoot to proceed. Honestly, I wish more of the men on these shoots would act like Michael. It has a sense of undying confidence that helps portray a true relaxed self.

After we left the azaleas we traveled through the high grasses toward the columns which led to a beautiful presentation of violet and lavender colored flowers which complemented their ensemble. 

 

I enjoyed the experience because II was able to capture the beauty and quirkiness of this amazing relationship. Next comes the wedding!

 

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louis@lb3photo.com (Louis Bryant Photography) engagement friend love http://www.lb3photo.com/blog/2015/5/michael-amanda---we-loved-with-a-love-that-was-more-than-love---edgar-allen-poe Tue, 26 May 2015 02:30:00 GMT
Guatemala for me... http://www.lb3photo.com/blog/2015/4/guatemala-for-me

Was a true gift!

What could have been a tumultuous trip for some turned out to be an amazing dive into Latin American & Mayan culture. I began my journey by missing check-in for my Copa Air flight and thus initiated a typical April day (for me). However, I was not going to let that stifle my already fun packed spring break (VA Beach & Richmond was an amazing treat). So, I hopped on the later flight and arrived in Panama City around the same time I was scheduled to board had I taken my original flight.

This was a fun flight due to my engaging conversationalist of a row-mate. His name was Alexander and he's a seventh grader (ironically I teach sixth) that goes to an international school in Guatemala City, His English was impressive and we entertained each other through the entire trip. Once I arrived I passed through security with my camera bag and duffle bag full of rolled clothes stuffed like pieces of crab meat in a can. Once I made it outside of the terminal I met with my friend AnaLu and we traveled to her family's beautiful home.

It was pretty late when the flight touched down therefore I was unable to see much of the skyline or surrounding (volcanic) landscapes. As exhausted as I was I passed out with so much anticipation for the next day. Only... I had the slightest idea of what entailed in tomorrow's adventure. AnaLu explained to me that due to her busy schedule and my erratic behavior to do things without much planning she arranged for me to see her country through her friend. All I knew was that I had to be ready by 9:00 AM for fun and adventure. Where I was resting my head was in the middle of Guatemala City, so I hoped it was someplace where I would be surrounded by space and an unobstructed view of where the clouds roll in from. I woke up anticipating something but honestly had no clue what to expect, which is kind of how a lot of things happen in my life. 

I was first greeted by my friend's amazing father who extended his home space for me to rest my head and eat with the family. After preparing for my day I was welcomed by a stranger with a smile. This young man happened to be about my age and as the day progressed we found out we're very similar in thought and approach on life. I had no agenda or itinerary so the trip was totally up to Eliezer, which was fantastic. The three hour drive west from the capital city through Chimaltenago arriving in the town of Panajachel. From here we parked, took some time to walk through the area and even to the waterfront. From this point you can see the three volcanos: Toliman, Atitlan, and San Pedro outline the landscape like silent giants observing a small occurrence. All throughout the trip I would just gape at the titans that looked down on me. We parked the car in a car hotel, armed myself with my camera and ferried across Lago de Atitlan. After catching a few shots the dangers of the water sprays had me find shelter for my camera. Once we arrived in San Pedro my smile grew wider as it seemed as if I arrived in a mini paradise. The tuk-tuks zoomed by and the storefronts were not shy but even after getting a block past the ferry-dock I was surrounded by an awesome Mayan culture. Eliezer did a great job! The mountains, volcanos, the lake and the people were just what I needed. The perfect getaway and prescription for peace was traveling here and I was immersed in the soul of the country. 

I had the option of staying in a hotel that overlooked the lake and provided opulent services for their patrons or I could do a home stay at a friend of Eliezer's. My eyes widened the moment he mentioned the word "home stay" and we boarded in the middle of this quaint town. From the rooftop of  their home you can see the hundreds of other rooftops trying to all peek over each other to get a glimpse of the beautiful Lago de Atitlan.          

The next day we woke up early to see the sun creep over the surrounding mountaintops and fill the cloudy blue sky with radiant light. With calls from roosters and morning birds, it was a peace that had me without urge or assessment. It felt good to just enjoy that without the cries of the world.

We set out to walk the streets of San Pedro (had I had more time in the country I would have toured Santiago, Santa Cruz, and San Pablo).  Everyone was headed somewhere: young kids in their uniforms smiling endlessly with friends while they are headed to school, teens riding in tuk-tuks to their high-school , while the men set off to work. Then you turn the corner to see a flock of women head to church. The city has a daytime liveliness. 

We headed up the side of the volcano and stopped a uniquely placed building that turned into an overlook stop for visitors. It cost about .50 c each for us to get a higher perspective on San Pedro and the lake. The owner was slow to wake from his resting place but was kind and greeted us by stowing his loyal guard dog. His name is Lorenzo

Walking down the side of the volcano was pretty awesome with the sounds from the forests, farmers working in the distance, and occasional passersby it was an unexpected treat.

Later we made our way to the market where colors of fruits were not the only visually vibrant things in the local market.

The trip continued to be an amazing adventure where I absorbed the beauty and charm of the Country of Guatemala. Leaving San Pedro was the last thing I wanted to do, but it also meant there was something next. On the way back from the lake we veered to the right and headed toward Antigua. It was beautiful that day, pretty much perfect and although the city was bustling with a plague of tourists and tourist attracting shops. The architecture and Volcan de Agua or Water Volcano was stunning to see and capture. We walked a bit and ended up eating and feeling exhausted from the full day. Besides...I needed rest for the next day I had the opportunity to teach kindergarten and pre-kindergarten english and math class! (I did not bring my camera to work, ha!)

After an impromptu mother-daughter portrait session I rested a bit and went to AnaLu's college Rafael Landivar University where I just meandered around the campus and watched the sports teams practice in the cooling evening. It reminded me of the college days of glee and goodness (which could easily be ignorance, ha!)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

 Shortly after her class ended and the sunset we went over to Cayala to have drinks with friends.It was my last night in town and I spent among great people with laughs 'til tears formed and smiles that stretched cheeks. I will be back because I have more to see, I will be back because I want to see the people I have initiated a friendship with and I want to come back because I love Guatemala.                                                                                                                                   

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louis@lb3photo.com (Louis Bryant Photography) Guatemala friend landscape portrait travel http://www.lb3photo.com/blog/2015/4/guatemala-for-me Mon, 27 Apr 2015 02:38:33 GMT
"The Best thing to hold onto in life is each other" - Audrey Hepburn | Tracy & Carter Engagement http://www.lb3photo.com/blog/2015/3/TracyandCarter

There is something poetic about Tracy and Carter's love. Having the honor to photograph them was a treat but getting to witness their interactions was a bonus. Carter treats Tracy like a rare flower, as he delicately strokes her hair as if caressing a flower's petal. 

We spent an early Sunday morning in Georgetown walking the beautiful (almost empty) streets capturing moments that best tell their love story. We started out near the old canal and as I am capturing, my assistant is video recording the session. This is a first for me, but probably not the last seeing that this video will be incorporated in their wedding that I am honored to photograph.

As we were setting up for our first location I asked Tracy to show her ring in one of the photos and she looked a bit puzzled and said "Well, actually...I..." and before she could finish Carter said, "Actually, I have something for you." And at that moment I was able to witness and capture Tracy receiving (and first seeing) her engagement ring. This beautiful ring slid on to her finger as easy as it was to say "I love you" to Carter. Her natural reaction caused a beaming smile and glowing spirit. 

We progressed closer to the waterfront where the waterfront invited the sun to peer through the clouds. The warmth complimented the beautiful couple in many ways and the sun shined through at the ideal time. 

jl_wed_00175jl_wed_00175WWW.STUDIOTRAN.COM

This exclusive occasion is just the exciting beginning to a beautiful bond that has solid root in trust, love and faith. I can't wait to show you the wedding photos!

 

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louis@lb3photo.com (Louis Bryant Photography) engagement love portrait http://www.lb3photo.com/blog/2015/3/TracyandCarter Sat, 28 Mar 2015 12:38:03 GMT
'O' this love of theirs... Andre & Shanyon Engaged http://www.lb3photo.com/blog/2015/3/andreandshanyon

There was a stillness in the Baltimore air and nostalgic echoes from excited fans await weeks before flocking to the stands of Camden Yards. But for now the Yard belonged to Andre and Shanyon, a beautiful couple full of energy and love. What better way to show the world your love than to show it in the place you love: Oriole Park at Camden Yards. 

 

Once standing within the walls of the arena, a person automatically begins to gaze upward and appreciate the eight story B&O Warehouse that frames the territory. Only today was different than most seasonal days because we were the only ones in the park. As peaceful and humbling as the ballpark can be, I could still hear fans crying out and the voice of the stands cheering Andre and Shanyon as they displayed their love. 

I have known Andre for some time and it was a great honor to capture the source of his smile and joy. Once you meet Shanyon can't help but understand why he's so happy. She's beautiful, fun (camera ready) and full of smiles. Their personality compliments one another, so I know O's games must be a blast.

Although the morning air was cool the couple kept warm in each other's arms .

We ventured from the ballpark to the sports history museum.

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louis@lb3photo.com (Louis Bryant Photography) baltimore engagement friend love http://www.lb3photo.com/blog/2015/3/andreandshanyon Thu, 19 Mar 2015 00:04:14 GMT
Loving & Laughing - Ronald & Crystal http://www.lb3photo.com/blog/2015/2/loving-laughing---ronald-crystal

How did we embrace winter? With smiles and love, in fact some may say their affection warmed the region for the weekend. Well, instead of feeling the temperate weather I was able to witness a warm front of joy.

It all began at my home/studio where Maeion Bryant and I met our clients Crystal and Ronald. Spending a moment to get acquainted and having a makeup session always helps prior to putting a large black cannon (not the brand) in someone's face and saying "just be natural." Well, it didn't take long before the entire group was laughing and cutting jokes as we made our way down the pier. What started as simple direction evolved to just touring National Harbor with me as some paparazzi capturing the moments. 

Crystal and Ronald are such a vibrant joy to be around that it did not take much push for emotion and affection to be displayed. Between his humorous comments and Crystal's infectious laugh, there's no guessing that these two were made for each other. I even commented a few times mentioning, "you're so much fun to photograph!" I did not even notice that our hour session slipped past because we had "tea time" while our tea (barista?) server danced through the shop. Once the wardrobe change was complete we headed back to the street.

While walking about we passed empty storefronts as the National Harbor was just beginning to stir wake. A completely fun experience that was full of energy and life, thanks Crystal and Ronald for sharing your connection through me.

- Louis

 

 

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louis@lb3photo.com (Louis Bryant Photography) engagement love washingtondc http://www.lb3photo.com/blog/2015/2/loving-laughing---ronald-crystal Tue, 10 Feb 2015 00:55:05 GMT
Two Tigers Kissing Under the Tree : Reno And Artemis Engagement Session http://www.lb3photo.com/blog/2014/11/two-tigers-kissing-under-the-tree-reno-and-artemis-engagement-session  

Towson Tiger LoveReno & Ratemis met at Towson while playing sports for the university.

Gloves!

That's the first thing that came to mind as I saw the forecast for Saturday morning's temperatures. I don't know many things but I do know I dare not ask a bride-to-be, "are you sure??" The answer is and always will be "Yes!" Plus, despite the chilly temperatures the sun was optimal for lighting and casting beautiful vibrant colors without having to adjust in post. So... again: Gloves. 

I honestly thought about my fingers, needing to grip and focus and zoom and shoot, but then I thought about my subject's (Artemis') hands. (Reno would be alright!) It would be a shame to have her out there in a beautiful dress, awesome shoes and have  her hands freezing, unable to grip her man-fiance and show off her beautiful ring. So, after buying gloves I met Reno & Artemis at Maeion Cosmetics, which is also my mother's cosmetic business. We spent the morning preparing for our day long adventure, which entailed a morning location shoot on campus, a change (then brunch) and a shoot in Mt. Vernon, then a transition to our final destination which was at Federal Hill: American Visionary Arts Museum's facade.

I've known Reno from my adolescent years and we've always remained close friends. Although we were in the same school and in the same grade I always considered him my older brother and looked toward him in many ways for guidance. He inadvertently was also a great guide on how to find and cherish a woman. He's a man and as tenacious as our kind can get I have never seen him act like a dog. So, if anyone deserves a wonderful woman... it is Reno.

On the flip side... she is no ordinary woman. It takes patience, kindness, openness and a large sense of humor to accommodate her preferences and Artemis exceeds what I would consider the bare minimum for the term a wonderful woman. She has a smile that holds your attention, but then when she speaks you meet her eyes and listen. In addition there is her ambition, her energy, her sweet heart and her fun personality that magnetize anyone for positive interaction. Watching these two interact for the day was an honor because love played itself out in all of their quips, comments and interactions. 

Their theme is the Great Gatsby, so a classical look merges with a modern swag (people still say that right?) Nonetheless, what I am attempting to show you are snapshots of the love that I admire and hope to someday share with my own Greek goddess. 

 

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louis@lb3photo.com (Louis Bryant Photography) baltimore engagement love shoot http://www.lb3photo.com/blog/2014/11/two-tigers-kissing-under-the-tree-reno-and-artemis-engagement-session Wed, 19 Nov 2014 01:56:07 GMT
Lubim ta | Ayóó ánóshní | I Love you http://www.lb3photo.com/blog/2014/10/lubim-ta-ay-n-shn-i-love-you

I was welcomed to Denver by two vibrant and smiling faces. Two faces that were excited to get married. Two faces I was going to photograph. To face this task I came with my tools, creativity and preparedness. Well, entering the state of New Mexico at a late hour showed me how I was unprepared for the cold weather. However, that wouldn't stifle the efforts and ambition I summoned to create a beautiful collection of love. 

The next day, we ventured out to view the venue and lighting (to analyze the conditions expected for that time of day). Unfortunately, we were greeted by an overcast and whipping winds. Amazingly, the winds were blowing and the clouds remained still. (Quite an experience). Then the clouds broke and hail, rain and more rain fell. In different areas of the Angel Fire township some areas remained dry. At an elevation of 8500 feet my head was also unprepared for the activity and sustained a day long headache. Yet, I remained fully functional and ready for the next day's magical moments. The forecast announced an 80% chance of rain so decisions had to be made. Weather dictates the outcome no matter how hard and thorough you plan.

I was unaware of where we would be shooting, but I was aware of who I'd be photographing and I made efforts to ensure comfort and positivity. I was helping with moving furniture and assisting with preparation then I met William's family. He has two awesome brothers that love and support him very well (like a family should). A very optimistic and vibrant mother that provided such great motherly guidance and love. A great father that was beaming with pride. I was surrounded by many amazing people that showed so many reasons about why this couple deserved to be together. The best part about this experience was my role. I was one of the "amazing" people William and Kamila chose to be apart of their big day...I just so happened to be a photographer too!

The next day arrived and the phones immediately went to weather apps to check the forecasts. The chance of rain decreased which was a relief, gray and cold is much better than rain and wind. So, the day began and as much as stress tried to be apart of the day, it was declined a seat in this houseof positivity. Myself and the maid of honor made sure to keep smiles and hope as the theme for the day. 

The happy moments couldn't be denied.

Sealed with a kiss. 

The next day yielded beautiful colors, and temperatures that we couldn't resist capturing. The wedding portraits were brief the day before just because of the possibility of having moments like this to shoot.

Rich colors and love blend to solidify this union.

 

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louis@lb3photo.com (Louis Bryant Photography) travel wedding http://www.lb3photo.com/blog/2014/10/lubim-ta-ay-n-shn-i-love-you Thu, 30 Oct 2014 00:25:08 GMT
My Watch Still Works http://www.lb3photo.com/blog/2014/10/my-watch-still-works

I was searching through (virtual) stacks of photos in my library as a small favor to a student I worked with and I realized (rather revived) my love for Thailand and the culture. My reinstated and reenergized faith in the South East region of Asia gets me excited for the next season. Throughout my stay I encountered many beautiful moments that summoned a new appreciation for life. 

A poem from my stay:

 

Now that you've got to witness
   the mission and prerogative of Rustic business
I want you to think to yourself...
   how will I make a difference?
 

The feeling is gripping
   but the outcome is lifting,
like a smiling child in a language unknown
or a heartbeat produced from a love poem.
What will you do?
   In the matter of a few days
 Rustic presents service efforts in a variety of ways.

  Thai-down your judgements
release your reservations
come to a foreign nation 
  and embrace the "land of smiles."
Welcome Home hugs and "kaup cum kraup"
   teach little ones to Bob and Float so that we can stop
  the mistakes of drowning. 
The vast rice fields surrounding our base
pay homage to this beautiful place.
Students will Teach and Tutor to give Thai students an English future.
Make a change while there's a Language Exchange!

While we plant rice to yield the cash crop of Thailand's fields.
Assisting farmers, not becoming a bother 
    like the ants and the bees.
But before we get to Rustic ties 
  and faster than you can say
"swaddee kraup"
we will see filled bellies from
Meals on Flip-Flops.
Life seems so sweet and simple
when the peaceful words bless you
from the monks in the Buddhist temple.
And the colors and traditional statues
make everything seem all right.
You learn and appreciate more 
once you do your part in Buddhist Life.

Yes, its "so rustic," but this pathway
 is the one to take,
it requires a little work,
   we put our Hands in the Dirt.
but what we see is beauty pouring out from the heart
So I ask you again...
   how will you make a difference?
    How will you do your part?  

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louis@lb3photo.com (Louis Bryant Photography) thailand http://www.lb3photo.com/blog/2014/10/my-watch-still-works Sun, 19 Oct 2014 14:16:53 GMT
Bracelet Girls and Bamboo Trains - Cambodia http://www.lb3photo.com/blog/2014/9/bracelet-girls-and-bamboo-trains---cambodia  

In between traveling from Battambong, Cambodia to Phnom Penh our group stopped in a small village just outside of the  city that operated the bamboo trains. The tracks were constructed during the time of the French colonization. Once large metal steam engines traveled from this direct line from city to city. Unfortunately, their demise was met when the Khmer Rouge reigned over the country and enforced their harsh rule over Cambodia. Such trepidations always allow me to appreciate a local's smile. 

During our stop my students (who I was co-leading for a photography trip) were literally mobbed by a dozen children holding a variety of colorful bracelets around a paper towel roll holstered by a string. These children (mainly little girls) hounded my students for money to sell a bracelet and their were quite feisty in their proposals. 

"You want to buy bracelet?"

"No, thank you." 

"Why, you not buy bracelet? Your friend buy bracelet."

"I don't have any money."

"You lie, your friend said he has no money and he buy!"

"I'm okay."

"Buy a bracelet, I made you grasshopper, and you won't buy bracelet."

 

All the while this may sound like a simple conversation, but as tones and glances are exchanged, many of these little girls get emotional and competitive. In fact I saw tears and yelling at one moment, and partly because I submitted and purchased a bracelet. Let me tell you about it.

Three Sales GirlsHiding bracelets from the camera

I was leading our students with my friend/coworker Mary and as we quietly toured the village on this decently warm day we were followed by three wide eyed girls.

Of course they questioned (interrogated) us about how and why we aren't capable of purchasing their bracelets. I had $20.00 USD on me and I think two bracelets costs $1.00 so, I wasn't ready to scrounge around for change. Eventually, the dialogue shifted from inquiring about our purchasing to conversations about their English ability (which was pretty good). They replied that they learned from approaching so many foreigners. 

The girls were sweet as they led our tour and helped us find our students (so, we can also convince them to purchase bracelets). During the tour the middle girl politely asked if we wanted to come over to meet their mother and grandmother. 

This is what I enjoyed most about my stay in SE Asia, the cordial approach to meeting people and the feeling from meeting families. Mary and I followed the patterns of small feet leading to a small house along a dirt road about 75 yards away from the train track. 

The grandmother was sitting in the back of the house on a small chair, but she quickly rose to her feet upon seeing us and shook our hands and smiled. She greeted us with Khmer phrases that we were familiar with. The mother came from inside the house and greeted us as well. The grandmother decided to stand and offered Mary and I seats. The little girls conversed with us more and also translated things to their elders. We all smiled and enjoyed homemade tea while the little ones pulled out puppies. 

One thing I noticed as we sat in the back area of the house was the grandmother's work. She must have had a few dozen bracelets in her lap that she was making from vibrant colors in a variety of patterns. Seeing how her effort was then translated into the little girls tireless energy to sell struck a cord.

We eventually concluded our visit and as we walked down the street (the girls accompanying us), we were asked one more time about buying a bracelet. At that time I paused and said, "come with me." We walked back to grandma and I took a twenty dollar bill out my pocket and requested that they all share. She smiled, gestured and confirmed.

The next thing I said to the girls was "Now you have to take a break from selling and just have fun with us." 

They shook their heads and smiled. We walked more and played, laughed and explored. Eventually we met up with our students and a new bamboo train had arrived.

Mary with the youngest sisterMary and I were walking with three sister and this little one was getting tired from walking

The girls smiled, and then pulled out their paper towel rolls and vanished, they had more money to make for their family. 

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louis@lb3photo.com (Louis Bryant Photography) Cambodia http://www.lb3photo.com/blog/2014/9/bracelet-girls-and-bamboo-trains---cambodia Fri, 26 Sep 2014 00:05:00 GMT
Smitten Wittens http://www.lb3photo.com/blog/2014/9/smitten-wittens “Dreams do come true, if only we wish hard enough. You can have anything in life if you will sacrifice everything else for it.”
J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

The air was crisp.
  The sky was clear.
The sun beamed gently upon the myriad of smiles and faithful supporters.
God was present.
  In this presence the blending of hearts and the meshing of lives created a union framed in love.

The day was truly a gift because as stated above the weather had been at its best. Who knew several months earlier that desiring a rainless day was and understatement for having the quality of day that was provided. Evan and Allison were photographed by me for their engagement shoot. I always think that is an ideal situation because it really establishes a great rapport and relationship with the couple in order to meet their needs. This comes in handy when it comes to planning for themed weddings an understanding the demeanor and character of your subjects.

Luckily for me Evan and Allison are playfully, energetic, easy-going and full of undeniable love. So if my mission was to capture magic in the form of a photo that can speak to this day, then I would confidently say I succeeded. The day started out with Evan arriving to assist with the audio set up and shortly after Allison arrived with her smiling entourage. The energy was high and thriving through the air without a look of concern or nervousness about the upcoming vow exchange and "I do." As the ladies prepped their bride-to-be and the men groomed (pun) themselves it was a great opportunity to capture the lovely details of the day.

Once people were put together and the reveal was approaching I witnessed Allison beaming brighter than the beautiful garden style wedding that was awaiting her. Evan was patiently (and excitedly) waiting by the North side window staring out on to the Rockville Civic center grounds. I wonder what was going through his head? The best part about my question is we will never know (unless he cares to share) but I do know what was going through his head as Allison came from around the corner and Evan was permitted to turn and see his bride-to-be.

The RevealAllison approached Evan as he waited on the balcony.

 

It is honestly on my list for most touching moments. I felt honored to be one of the only people to witness such adorn and admiration for the respected other half. They hugged, they smiled, they embraced each other and they wanted to kiss but they waited until permitted.



 

The ceremony was beautifully decorated with accents of magic and pixie dust (really they had Pixie Sticks!). The sun chose to hide behind a barrier of trees and the soft light complimented just about any angle I was privy to shoot from. At one time I was able to capture the bridesmaids wiping tears simultaneously as Allison announced her vows.

Simulatenous TearsThe bridesmaids were all crying at the same exact moment Allison read her vows.

Shortly after the ceremony and traditional portraits I had my (limited) time to shine and capture the magic I felt without wearing the bride and groom out.

The fun didn't end here. After dinner, toasts, and blessings the guests were able to show how much they loved being around the newlyweds by dancing to the bride and groom's tunes that were on the top charts throughout all the years they had been together.

 

Just to all around a spectacular day filled with moments that coincide with the phrases "true love."

 

 

#smittenwittens

 

 

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louis@lb3photo.com (Louis Bryant Photography) wedding http://www.lb3photo.com/blog/2014/9/smitten-wittens Wed, 24 Sep 2014 00:24:34 GMT
Kum http://www.lb3photo.com/blog/2014/9/kum Kum age 57 Mahout to Pai Tong for 30 years

At age 57 Kum wants the world to know one thing... "Come to Thailand!" He wants the world to see how amazing and beautiful the land of smiles can truly be. Having the opportunity to converse with Kum was a treat because he has had a bond with Pan Tong for over 30 years. What was striking about this conversation was the fact that Kum stated that Pai Tong really cares about him. As we continued talking he was making it clear that throughout all the years the elephant seemed to look out for him (which seems to be the same relationship Brandy and I have). The notable characteristics of Pai Tong were that he sits with his feet point straight out and he loves to play games with his trunk. Being a Mahout is not really difficult to do and the money is enough to support his daughter and two sons. He said he loves what he does.

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louis@lb3photo.com (Louis Bryant Photography) elephant portrait thailand http://www.lb3photo.com/blog/2014/9/kum Sat, 13 Sep 2014 23:30:00 GMT
Samaan Jai http://www.lb3photo.com/blog/2014/9/samaan-jai

This was a very brief conversation because as stated previously Mahouts (to me) as like Thailand's cowboys. If we can characterize a cowboy I would say, hardened, brut, rustic, or even badass. One phrase I would not use to describe someone in this occupation is talkative and boisterous, needless to say the comments and dialogue that were brief, but meaningful. 

Jhon Phen is the name of his elephant and  for the past ten years he has been with him day in and day out. At age fifty six and one son he wants to provide for his family, like most of the men I was able to converse with. He noted that Jhon Phen is friendly with all other elephants but some days he won't let him Samaan Jai ride. I guess if Panwonjao was the naughty girl then John Phen must be the bad boy. Sisters Leila and Emma were partnered with the Samaan Jai and John Phen to create an unforgettable experience.

 

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louis@lb3photo.com (Louis Bryant Photography) elephant thailand http://www.lb3photo.com/blog/2014/9/samaan-jai Sat, 13 Sep 2014 00:30:00 GMT
Niah http://www.lb3photo.com/blog/2014/9/niah

Niah Niah with Ruthie & Josaephine      

      Niah has been with elephant Panwanjao for eight years and he has appropriately titled her the "Naughty Girl." During our brief conversation he described her stubborn behavior as a trait he finds humorous. "She doesn't like to listen to people" and prefers not to have anyone ride her. Luckily my girls Ruthie and Josephine were tough, despite the hardship their elephant companion presented. Niah is fifty-four and he was explaining the importance and family. After eight years of being with Panwanjao he is reluctant to do anything except for his job because he said "if I stay home then I don't get paid." He said that caring for his elephant isn't hard work and considers his elephant to be a close friend with a distinct personality. This is particularly important when your job day in and day out is to care for a single big-bodied soul. Sadness would overwhelm his soul with his friend Niah explained to me as he carved bamboo effortlessly into a useable cup for drinking. 

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louis@lb3photo.com (Louis Bryant Photography) elephant thailand http://www.lb3photo.com/blog/2014/9/niah Fri, 12 Sep 2014 00:00:00 GMT
Jan http://www.lb3photo.com/blog/2014/9/jan Jan Jan - 9 years a Mahout to Wandee- Asian elephant

Witnessing Jan and his gentle beast Wandee for the past week was a treat. Aside from the forty eight year old having more tricks and pranks than a 12 year old, he possessed a laugh and  smile that was contagious. He reminded me of someone you would coin as the "favorite" uncle because of his playful nature. He sat aside the smiles and laughs for a few minutes to tell me that Wandee, who was one of the favorites, was his companion because she chose him. He said the feeling was intrinsic and they both knew they were to be bonded for life. He has only been Wandee's master for nine years, but saying only doesn't mean the task is an easy one. Being a Mahout is a day to day commitment that requires patience, trust, discipline and rugged strength. One of the things Jan enjoys about Wandee is the fact that she is fairly easy to control. She's always notorious for hitting other elephants when it is too hot. Jan is also supporting two daughters and loves them dearly.

Before concluding Jan had a message to the world: "Come to Asia because the elephants are amazing creatures that need to be helped and saved."

 

JanThe always humorous jan

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louis@lb3photo.com (Louis Bryant Photography) elephant thailand http://www.lb3photo.com/blog/2014/9/jan Wed, 10 Sep 2014 23:30:00 GMT
Tawee http://www.lb3photo.com/blog/2014/9/tawee        

Having a moment to speak I sat next to Tawee and he described his ten year commitment to elephant Boonmee. The soft spoken spirit of this fifty three year old man was delighted to discuss the relationship and experience with his elephant. As my questions were translated his eyes met directly with mine to display an essence of sincerity. He then proceeded to tell me that his love for elephants had been a lifelong feeling. His efforts not only support the life of an animal often misunderstood and stereotyped but his two daughters who were off at school. He had been paired with Boonmee for ten years, but knows the connection is beyond the life they know. Some of the aspects about his elephant that he feels are distinct to Boonmee are the slow saunter and undeniable lust for sugar cane and bananas (what elephant doesn't right?), but what he felt was dear to him was the fact that Boonmee really gets along with people. That is an important characteristic because once a week we would rotate a new set of students to pair with a Mahout and an Elephant and in order to preserve the positive image of the giant gentle beast it is kind of key not to have a EWA (elephant with an attitude).

 

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louis@lb3photo.com (Louis Bryant Photography) elephant portrait thailand http://www.lb3photo.com/blog/2014/9/tawee Tue, 09 Sep 2014 22:57:35 GMT