“Friends are the family you get to choose.”

It can be (and has been) said that I hit the jackpot when it came to my family. They are the most incredible people ever and I am so grateful for the opportunity I get to share life with them.

That being said, I am also thankful to have the most amazing friends. Some are near and some are far, but I truly believe at one point or another God has allowed us to share life and grow in such different ways. I will always cherish these people. Though I’ve been the worst at keeping the blog updated, I wanted to share two shoots I’ve done recently.

First, Ben and Paige… these two are two of the most unique and awesome people I know. I’ve known Ben for about 5 years and met his fiancee shortly after that… these two are set to be married at the end of the month and I couldn’t be more excited for them. They are Christ-centered, love Jesus, and their love for each other is so apparent. I could not have picked people more suited for each other than these two! I seriously just look back to their engagement photos sometimes cause they are such beautiful people…

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Next, The Sequeira Family… I could go on and on about them… They mean so much to me. Mom and Dad have always treated me like one of their own, and I have been incredibly blessed to have four separate friendships with each one of their children, as well as them being the closest thing to my own siblings I have. They are the most welcoming, fun, open, and fabulous family I know and I am grateful to have them be a part of my life as well as a part of theirs. I was able to do a little family shoot with them when their oldest son was home on leave. Though we miss him, when he returns it’s like he’s never been gone!

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I know I talk a lot about how blessed I am, but I can’t help it. I am truly thankful to God for all he’s given to me in this life. I use photography as a means to hopefully show people through my eyes how I see the world with all it’s goodness. By taking photos, I want to be able to help people remember the small, simple moments because those, more so than the “big moments”, are what makes life so great.

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“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.”

On March 8th, I had the pleasure of helping to plan and shoot my sister’s bridal shower. It was the most beautiful day, the weather could not have been more perfect, and we had the greatest time with her closest family and friends. I am so happy for her that she found someone to share life with. This shower was tea party themed with a little mimosa bar thrown in. For the mimosa bar FREE printable, click here! Congratulations Sandy Lou! Love you!

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“Every good and perfect gift comes from above…” – James 1:17

I whole heartedly believe every baby is a gift from God and should be treated as such. In my life, I have been blessed beyond words to have been surrounded with so many different babies… from cousins and nephews and friends… there’s nothing like the love you feel in your heart for these little pure and innocent creations. I tell people if you ever think you’re doubting the existence of God, just witness someone giving birth. You will never be able to doubt again. It’s incredible and indescribable. Only God can create beauty like that.

Baby Cassidy is such a sweet and perfect angel. Her parents are such an example to their children and to me on what it looks like to love God, love each other, and love other people. They are teaching their girls to walk in the way of the Lord and it’s such a beautiful thing to get to witness. Cassidy loves her mom, dad, and big sister so much and I feel so lucky to get to hang out with her and take her pictures. In February, we got to celebrate Cassidy’s 9 months with some photo fun and she was a champ!

Once again, thanks P+L for letting me take pictures of your sweet girl. She’s blessed to have you two as parents, just like I am blessed to have you two as friends!

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“Let us always meet each other with smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.”

 

 

I love engagements. I always have. Even when I was younger and I had friends with older siblings on the verge of marriage, I was obsessed with the engagement process and pictures. To me, they were a symbol of what true love looked like and the idea of a “happily ever after”. Now that I have grown, they mean something a little different to me now. They symbolize the promise two people have made to one another to love each other in the good and bad times. They symbolize commitment. Most importantly they symbolize the love God has for us that enables us to love someone else in that same way. I love engagements.

These engagements were extra special to me… Why you may ask?! Well because they were for my beautiful sister and her fantastic fiancé. These two were absolutely  meant to find one another. I couldn’t imagine anyone more perfect for my sister than Dave. I am so happy for them and their upcoming wedding!

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“You have not chosen one another, but I have chosen you for one another.” C.S. Lewis

About 5 years ago, I was blessed to meet these wonderful people. Throughout the years, they have shown me love, hospitality, encouragement, and fabulous hair (Shannon has been my #1 hairstylist for the last 4 years. She does AMAZING things with color. If only I could actually manage to style it as cute as her on a daily basis…). Their journey now has them in San Francisco and, while I am excited for their new adventures, I miss them dearly.

It was such a pleasure to take some pictures for them while they were back in Las Vegas for Christmas. They are so fun to hang out with, are always making me laugh, and more importantly always making each other laugh. It makes my heart happy to see two people that are in love and genuinely enjoy being around one another. They are most definitely best friends. It shows. And I like it.

To Shannon and Kevin: Thank you for your friendship and for allowing me to be a part of your lives. Can’t wait to take more pictures of you two… (Next time, San Fran?)!

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“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.”

I have been extraordinarily blessed with a good family. Seeing and knowing how hard this world can be at times, I have never been more thankful than I am now  for the family that I get to share life with. Are we flawed? Absolutely. Do we have issues that seem impossible? There’s no doubt. However, when push comes to shove, I can count on them for anything. I am loved. And I am extremely lucky.

All this to say, my hopes and prayers as we head into 2014 are for everyone to experience some form of this love in their lifetime. It’s rare. And it’s beautiful.

With my recent photo ventures, I not only get to experience my own family, but I also get to share in the joy of other peoples’ families as well. These last few months have been busy for Samantha Carrillo Photography, but they’ve been so blessed beyond words with love, joy, happiness, and excitement – a priceless and immeasurable gift.

From my heart to yours, Happy New Year! I thank you a million times over for allowing me to be a part of the many journeys you all are on. I am so thankful I get to do what I love to do. But know that it’s not WHAT I do that matters most, but rather WHO I get to do it with. I look forward to spending another wonderful year with all of you. God bless!

-Samantha

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