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Best Betts Photography

There is Beauty in Every Moment

Kenny + Luisa Tie the Knot

On a warm July day in Santa Rosa, CA the weather was as gorgeous and sunny as the bride was. Not even a single bit of nerves as she got ready, Luisa had waited 10 years for this day and it was perfect.  She had her “Bride Tribe” by her side and Kenny waiting for her; she was ready.

Venue: Foxtail Golf Club in Santa Rosa, CA

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Kenny stood in the halls of Sonoma State University waiting to get his first look at his beautiful bride. She peeked out from the corner and made her way towards her man, gently tapped him on the shoulder and he turned.

Kenny + Luisa’s First Look at Sonoma State University:

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“You’re so beautiful.” he said as his eyes welled up with tears.

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Luisa pulled her tissue out and lovingly dabbed his tears away.

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Green Music Center, Sonoma State University

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After those few stolen moments together, Kenny + Lu headed off to Foxtail Golf Club to say “I do.”

As Luisa walked down the aisle, she greeted everyone in that bubbly way she has. She said hi to the golfers as they chipped balls on the course…

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and greeted every guest as her father escorted her down the aisle…

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and Kenny watched on. This was his Luisa and this is why he fell in love with her.

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When Kelsey Met Cody

On a night out with friends, as the music was thumping and the drinks were flowing, Kelsey met Cody. They talked all night and had a great time, but both were with other people, so they left it at that. The next time they met, they hadn’t spoken in months. This time, they were both single and the sparks flew.

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When Cody decided to ask Kelsey to marry him he took her to their favorite restaurant, Paesanos, followed by a romantic walk through Historic Folsom. Knowing she didn’t like too much attention, Cody waited until they got home. He asked her to marry him, she said yes. Now she’s his and he’s hers.

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Dear 2015…

…thanks for all the lessons.

Dear 2016,

I’m ready.

New Year’s Day used to make me sad. It was the day when Christmas was officially over and the house went from all of its festive holiday cheerfulness back to its boring old normal self.

My dream, when I was a little girl, was to have the coziest home ever at Christmastime. One that felt like my home did as a kid growing up.

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When I became a mom I began lovingly collecting ornaments for my boys; a new one every year so that they would have something to hang on their first trees in their cozy little homes that they made. My tree became filled with ornaments that had meaning and love behind them. Ornaments that were mine as a girl, ornaments that my grandparents had given me for my first tree, ornaments I’d had made for my growing family.

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So when New Year’s Day rolled around and I had to take down all these memories for another 326 days until the day after Thanksgiving, I’d get a little depressed. No more twinkling lights or gifts under the tree.

Now, I don’t get depressed anymore. Twinkling lights give way to clean sparkling floors and gifts under the tree are now treasured items that made everyone happy. New Year’s Day isn’t sad, it’s refreshing.  It’s the beginning of something new. Another chance to do all the stuff I didn’t do but wanted to in the year or years before. Another opportunity to make my kids say, “This was the best year ever.”

So, goodbye 2015. You gave us a lot to learn and a lot to look back on.

Hello, 2016. Let’s make this year one of followed dreams, amazing adventures, and too many memories to count.

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Angel + Her Girls

This is not to sound like an ad for Facebook or anything, but honestly, it has played a very big roll in my life when it comes to keeping me connected to my family and friends and helping me RE-connect with friends I thought I’d never see again.

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I got to photograph this beautiful family (and rediscover a friendship I’d thought I’d lost) recently and it’s all thanks to  Facebook. Angel and I became friends in Mr. Guyton’s 5th grade class at Bowling Green elementary. We stayed friends for 2 years until we left Bowling Green for middle school where we lost touch.

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Every once in a while I would think of my friend Angel & do a Facebook search for her, but surprisingly (not really) there are a lot of Angels with the same last name as she has.

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In the meantime, I had reconnected with another friend from good ol’ Bowling Green and as I went to leave a comment on one of his posts I saw that Angel had left a comment too! We started talking and blowing up his Facebook playing catch-up. Come to find out, she was actually back in my life longer than I’d realized as I recognized her as the receptionist at my kids’ pediatrician’s office! I’m just thankful I have a friendly disposition so I’d never been rude to her. Ha ha! And I’m so glad to be friends with her again.

 

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In This House…

My family…what is there to say about my family? We are a loud, opinionated, passionate, lovingly teasing, funny, ADHD having, crazy, nerd shirt wearing, adventure loving group of misfits that somehow all fit together.

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Through 21 years of ups, downs, sharp lefts, right drifts, and down endless roads of uncertainty (because that’s what life is) we have loved, laughed, yelled, cried, laughed some more, and loved even harder.

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Every year, for the past 20 years (give or take a couple here and there where I phoned it in), I’ve attempted to take at least one family portrait for our Christmas cards. Some years I couldn’t get my kids to keep a straight face for all the candy in the world and some years (okay…one year) things went so smoothly that I wondered whose family it actually was. But just like our family always does, we usually come out of these traumatic sessions (“Just smile and humor your mother, PLEASE!”) laughing and with photos that I’ll look back on with so much love.

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This is why I love photography. These moments. The moments where I’m rolling my eyes and trying to get everyone to “FOCUS!”, but when I see the photos I’m completely in love with their personalities and craziness and charm. I just thought I would share of few of them with you.

Jeremy + Amanda + Family

This beautiful girl has been a part of my family since she was a freshman in high school. I met her one day, when my son asked if his friend could come over after school for a few weeks while her mom worked. Of course, I said yes and once I met her I was glad I did. This girl brings light and joy into everyone’s life; a pure soul. And now she’s a mommy to 3 wonderful boys.

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She’s also a beautiful singer with a video about to come out

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and a wonderful make-up artist: Amanda Archer Make-Up Artistry

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Luisa + Kenny – Engaged

All comfy in her PJs, Luisa sat down to dinner when in walked her sister with her best friend…and her best friend’s brother, Kenny. They’d seen each other in the halls of their high school in Santa Rosa, but had no idea their sisters were best friends. The next day, instead of just passing each other in the halls, they sat and talked; butterflies…first dates…first kiss…fireworks…true love. And, boy, aren’t these two cute together!

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Here are just a few images from their engagement session at Fair Oaks Bridge in Fair Oaks, California.

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Twirling & Togetherness

“Find your tribe. Love them hard.” – Danielle LaPorte

Two hours in a stuffy car filled with four people and more vanilla scent than there is in any vanilla field in Guatemala, past foul-smelling cow pastures and sugar plants and spinning wind turbines. Through bay area traffic (thank God there wasn’t a Raiders game that weekend!) into hustling, bustling Alameda, just to see the beautiful smiling faces of my nieces as we walked in and they run up to hug us! Their little cherub faces give us a kiss and then run off to play in this vibrantly colored, sensory overload that is Twirl. It’s a playhouse on steroids and the kids are loving it.

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I smiled as I watched all the kids run around pushing strollers in space helmets (alien babies?), “selling” groceries at the grocery store, and cooking in their little cocinas.

I see my sister running around like a mad woman trying to finish getting things set up and greeting guests as they trickle in. Our parents raised us to be gracious hosts, giving hosts and she’s living up to that completely. She’s stressed to the max, but smiles as she sets out the cakes she dropped earlier. My mom and dad and my other sisters and I jump in to help and a look of relief comes over her face. This day will be special for her girls.

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We paint, we laugh, we make play dough shapes, we sing, we eat. These moments are what make us the family that we are. For all the stuff we go through, good & bad, we do it together. On the drive up here my dad said, “We’re a little dysfunctional, but we’re dysfunctional together.” I love it. This is my tribe.

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Wait for the moon.

“Wait for someone who could be the moon for you. Just as strong, just as steady, illuminating changes and seas and blooming flowers and summer nights. They’d wait for you in the dark. They’d dance around the sun. They’d receive your primal howls, your secret, your dreams and shifting tides. Wait for the moon. Wait for nothing less than what steals your breath. What breaks you open. What lures your soul. What helps you rise.” – Victoria Erickson

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