Almost nine years and over 320-ish weddings in, I’ve learned a lot about soul mates. I’ve learned that no two love stories are the same. Some happen instantly with a touch or a smile, some start as friendships that slowly evolve into head-over-heels love, some happen in the 20s, some happen in the 30s, and some…some involve second chances. The only thing I’ve found to be universally true of all the real-life love stories I’ve photographed? They never (ever) involve a white horse, no two “princes” look alike & real-life love is a million times better than any fairytale..

When Jill & I first met she had been searching for a photographer for months. A lucky google search for Figure 8 Island weddings brought her to me (score one for google). She sat across from me in the studio & shared her story. She beamed as she told me how Thomas felt like home. How he was the most perfect person in the world to her. How kind he was, how much she couldn’t wait for me to meet him. As she spoke, I kept thinking to myself how rare & special this girl is. Jill is as authentic as they come & by the end of our meeting we were hugging with tears in our eyes. I had never met anyone more deserving of beautiful memories captured. Our meeting reminded me what I love most about this stage of my career. Connection. In the days of 45 weddings a year I didn’t have the time or energy to fully invest in each couple and their story, but now with only a choice 12-15 weddings a year, I go all-in. And Jill & Thomas were 100% a perfect fit for me. One thing I know for sure? You’ll be seeing more of these two..their story is just beginning & I can’t wait to tell more of it as the years pass.

So what about Thomas, you ask? The minute we met right before their first look, he said “I have heard the best things about you, Kellie.” I smiled, hugged him & said, “ditto, Thomas. You have one truly amazing girl, you know..”

“Believe me, I know,” he said.

These two are the real deal & I will forever be grateful to Google for leading them to me…

Venue & Planning- Jenn Mitchell with Figure 8 Island Yacht Club
Dress- Monique Lhuillier
Florist- Beautiful Flowers by June
Cake- Anna Echols with One Belle Bakery
Hair- Sunny Lee with Harbor Club Spa
Makeup- Tess Wheatley with Blush
Band- Complete Desire
Videography- LifeStage Films

Comments: 5    leave a comment

  1. Stunning! Kellie – with a first look like that, don’t you wish you had all the time in the world with the couple?! Thomas, you were a handsome groom and Jill, so gorgeous! Love seeing family friends on your blog Kellie! Super job and precious! Only picture missing is my dad on the dance floor! (Doggie!) LOL!

  2. Stunning! Such a beautiful couple and wedding!

  3. So beautiful!!!!!! I love each and every photo. Just gorgeous.

  4. what a beautiful wedding and the dress is stunning

  5. simply beautiful :-)

Happy 2014, friends. Hope you all enjoyed a peaceful holiday with your families. The start of the new year offers a short break from weddings. Super short actually, as our first wedding of the season is in just 3 weeks in the mountains of Virginia. (yes, we are hoping for snow!) A few updates before I introduce you to the darling trio below. Our 2014 roster is nearly complete, with only two spaces left for the year. Spring is full, but there are still a handful of dates left for Fall…I can’t wait to meet the two special couples who are meant to fill those spots. If you’re considering my work for your wedding coverage, I look forward to hearing from you! Over the next few weeks you’ll also be seeing more 2013 weddings, along with a few personal travel posts. A new wedding will be showing up here late next week, so keep a lookout. Its a stunner.

…aaaand moving on to this sweet trio. I drove to Lake Norman in late November to spend the afternoon with Elizabeth, Christopher & their pup Milo. I had been waiting months to meet Elizabeth & Christopher, as they booked long-distance & our only correspondence had been via phone or email. These two were worth the wait. As I pulled into her parents driveway, I was met with the warmest hug & excited smile from Elizabeth. You guys, this girl. True beauty. She just shines from the inside out & radiates such joy. I don’t know many girls who can pull off a ponytail & just the slightest dash of mascara and look absolutely flawless. She is truly an effortless beauty, and their pup Milo is kind of obsessed with her. At least a dozen times during our shoot, I caught Milo giving kisses to his mom. (see below) Christopher is my style guru. Seriously, the guy has style for days. And the perfect spark of personality. I got to see a few of his dance moves on the dock during our shoot & its very obvious why these two have been together for so long. They are the very best of friends. The kind that live for snuggles in the hammock & uncontrollable laughter. When they contacted me about shooting their March wedding they let me know they were looking for truth captured in their images. They want their story told & I am honored they chose me to tell it through my lens. Consider this the first chapter…this chilly winter day we spent hanging by the water with Milo, baking homemade pizza, making the worst tasting hot chocolate in the universe (true story) and documenting a little slice of their life together.

Elizabeth, Christopher & Milo, thank-you. Can’t wait to see you guys in Palm Springs in March. So much love to you three.

Comments: 6    leave a comment

  1. oh, how perfect. So perfect.

  2. So incredible! Beautiful, gorgeous,,and honest. The very best word for these photos. Love.

  3. Awesome photos and beautiful couple.

  4. I LOVE THESE!!! the pictures perfectly captures the Love and joy this couple has. Really Beautiful.

  5. I don’t know if I have ever seen you look more beautiful…I have goosebumps. You guys are such an amazing couple and that couldn’t be captured more perfectly than these photos!

  6. You are not the average blog writer. You certainly have something powerful to contribute. Such an outstanding blog. beautiful photos too.

Hard to believe another year is coming to a close. 2013 has been so good to me. It feels like I have finally found that sweet spot where family life & work life can happily coexist. I set a cap of 12 weddings for this year & ended with 14 extraordinary couples. Only one of those weddings has shown up on this blog, so its time to play catch-up a bit and share more of 2013′s magic. Lana & Rizan are the perfect place to start..

A few years ago, I made a “bucket list” of venues I dreamt of working, in various locations around the world. Over the past 2 years I’ve worked two of them, and in March of 2014 I’ll be shooting at #4 on the list. The thing about having dreams become reality is…there’s always an unexpected truth that surfaces along the way. For me that truth is one I’ve known for a while: venues are great, but people are better.

As far as people go, Lana & Rizan are as good as it gets. These two are everything about my job that I cherish all wrapped up in one shiny, happy package. They give so freely that you feel loved the minute you meet them. It took all of 45 seconds into our first conversation to just know…they are my kind of people. Two stunningly soulful humans who are seven-hundred percent in love. Two adventurous spirits who have been inseparable since their first (not so stellar) tennis match. Until their wedding weekend in Turks & Caicos this fall, I had only heard little snippets of how they love each other through our conference calls & emails. Let me tell ya, to watch it in real-time is something special. If you don’t know Lana & Rizan personally, you might think the fact that they call each other “Angel” is silly, but its actually quite endearing. Their friends & family brought up the “angel talk” more than once throughout the wedding day, poking innocent fun at their nickname for each other. But what they all know to be true is this: two humans have never been more perfect for one another. After spending an entire weekend with Lana & Rizan, I witnessed firsthand how they light each other up, challenge each other & put each others needs before their own. An angel (according to the thesaurus) is someone who manifests goodness, purity & selflessness…and that definition fits Lana & Rizan perfectly. I’m blessed to count them as friends & will always be grateful they chose me to document their first memories as a family.

While in Providenciales, I learned the term they use to refer to the locals & it has stuck with me ever since. They are called belongers. How fitting that Lana & Rizan chose this heavenly place to join their lives. They are two incredible people who make everyone they meet feel like belongers. Lana & Rizan: thank-you my friends. So much love to you both.

To see more of Lana & Rizan’s day & watch their wedding film from Inkspot Crow, you can check out their Style Me Pretty feature here.

Venue- Gansevoort Resort
Hair- Tangled Salon
Dress- Enzoani
Sash- Romona Keveza
Wedding Shoes- Manolo Blahnik
Grooms Tuxedo- John Varvatos
Floral Design- Flowers by EA
Reception Dress- Cymbeline Paris
Reception shoes- Jimmy Choo
Veil- Boutique De Viole
Event Planning- Tropical Destination Management
Stationery- Envelopments
Cake- Grace Bay Pastry Chef
Cinematography- Inkspot Crow Films

Comments: 8    leave a comment

  1. I always get a bit of a flip in my stomach to see our work featured on Style Me Pretty. Today’s feature is no exception! Thanks to Kellie Kano, we were introduced to Lana & Rizan last year..

  2. [...] See more of this stunner on Kellie Kano’s Blog! [...]

  3. Everything about this wedding is breathtaking. The happy couple, the light on the beach. Just stunning!

  4. Kellie, honestly. These images are breathtaking! We (Philip and I) were drooling over how awesome your light is in these shots. I love some of the dramatic B+Ws too! You’re simply the best.

  5. Kellie, we can’t thank you enough for the wonderful gift that you gave us…images to admire for a lifetime so we can remember the best day of our lives! You’re so talented and so brilliant in your way of capturing special moments. Not only that, you’re the sweetest person ever! Thank you for being such a joy! So much love to you and can’t wait to have you capture more special moments for us! xoxo

  6. Special moments of two special people. Fantastic pictures! Great job.

  7. Increԁible!!

  8. Great photos. I love the way you capture the moments!

11.22.2013 | filed under: children, lifestyle, portraits

Have you ever woken up from a dream so vivid you could swear you just lived the events in real time? A dream so deep, it takes you a few minutes to realize its not real? Well, I have. Most of the time they’re just little snippets of my life thrown into hyperdrive fiction, or a ridiculous encounter with some absurd celebrity like Carrot Top or Weird Al Yankovic ( seriously, don’t ask..) but every now & then these dream scenes would give me a vision for a shoot. I used to have them weekly, until one day they just..stopped. Not gonna lie, I enjoyed the peaceful dream-free sleep while it lasted, but one summer night after a sun drenched day spent making memories & splashing at the pool with my boys, I dreamt of pancakes. Not just pancakes…a family making pancakes. A bright white kitchen, sticky-fingered kids, flour covered hands…a beautiful mess.

A few days later Candice’s email popped up in my inbox asking about my availability for a lifestyle session. We’ve been cyber friends for years, following each others instagram accounts and facebook posts, so before I ever stepped foot in their darling home, I felt like I knew them. I emailed back, told her about my crazy dream & asked her how she felt about making pancakes. If you know this family personally, or even just follow their lives via social media, you’ll know they love to cook. They’re big advocates of clean eating & organic living, so this pancake session was absolutely meant for them. Lucky for me, they loved the idea & we set a date to make it happen.

Within five minutes of walking in their door, a few quick hugs hello & putting down my gear bag, their three year old Stevie excitedly led me to her room & pulled out her puzzles. This kid, ya’ll. She had me wrapped around her finger in five minutes. This precious little human is every bit as vivacious, spunky & jaw-droppingly beautiful as her parents instagram pics suggest. So we played puzzles. And she called me “miss Kellie” and I could have seriously stayed & played with her all day. I made her a not-so-perfect cape & her daddy fixed it so she could fly. Baby Dani was sound asleep when I arrived, but she woke up pretty quickly once the cape flying & green monster chasing began. Dani is a cherub of a 3-month old, all cheeks & gummy grins. She comes alive when her sister pays her the slightest bit of attention & lights up when her daddy talks to her. Only 3 months into her sweet little life & its clear she loves her family. And truly…what’s not to love? Candice & Dan give every ounce of themselves to their family. They spend their days giving, building memories, living wholeheartedly. No moment is too small or insignificant to them. They dive in and live it all. I loved hearing Candice talk about how they don’t have cable because they would rather spend the money on cloth diapers for Dani. I loved watching this woman ( who says she never wanted kids before she met her husband) so effortlessly love her girls. I loved watching Dan be a loving husband and a silly, playful dad who is every bit the real deal. He’s the guy who magically squeezes into the girls play tunnel to create a “green monster” & chases Stevie around the house…

And so it went. An afternoon of life with the Lannings. Making pancakes, jumping in leaves, swinging high & living each moment in all of its beautiful, messy imperfection. I’m so grateful for silly dreams and this precious family for bringing them to life.

Comments: 13    leave a comment

  1. love love LOVE this session. I don’t know the Lannings personally – but have been following their work for a while now – and this session just seems to fit them like a glove. so good…

  2. there are no words that seem adequate enough to say how much we truly love these images. they are a true and pure representation of our family. they capture the essence of where our family is in this very moment right now. we will treasure these for always and forever. thank you for such an incredible gift. 30 years from now, when we look at these images…we’ll have such a beautiful captured moment in time to always treasure. thank you.

  3. You never looked better as a mom than you do right here Candice, and Dan is such a good compliment to you!

  4. Absolutely beautiful family. Gorgeous pictures. Looks like a storybook day!

  5. Oh my gosh…I could not love this more!! Every little thing about this session gives me goosebumps..Fabulous family and fabulous work!!

  6. GORGEOUS. LOVE LOVE LOVE Kellie!! Yet again, you’ve created magic :)

  7. Just perfect. Personal and beautiful. You are so good at catching these little fleeting micro-moments, Kellie. Also: had no idea about your badass prophetic powers. Sweet.

  8. What soul! Love this family and these moments. So sweet.

  9. Can you just come live at my house and take pictures of us all day everyday? K thanks.

  10. This house. This family is gorgeous. The images you captured of them – perfect. All of this – amazing! They will always cherish these.

  11. [...] the truest photojournalistic sessions we’ve ever had. The picture below is one that she took. Click on this link to go and see all of them along with her beautiful words that she gifted us [...]

  12. Compositions are tight and timing is unbeatable. I really like this! :)

  13. [...] via [...]

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