Photography By Melodie Rhae: Blog en-us (C) Photography By Melodie Rhae [email protected] (Photography By Melodie Rhae) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:30:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:30:00 GMT Photography By Melodie Rhae: Blog 120 120 You have to see Patrece & Tom's engagement photos You must know I am absolutely obsessed with my sweet college friend Patrece and her adorable family? Yes, I totally am. Anyway, Patrece and Tom are GETTING MARRIED. I know it's been a year since I blogged, and I'm always saying I'm going to keep after it (bear with me folks, I am less than a month away from finishing grad school)...but I'm keeping this short because I just want to share all of Patrece and Tom's gorgeous engagement photos. 

BONUS: This is also a look at how baby Bash has grown. Remember baby Bash???
























Well this family has done a lot of amazing things in the last few years, and when they got engaged, I hoped and prayed, and I was heard. Patrece secured me for engagements and their wedding. I'm honored and thrilled to get to continue documenting their journey as a family. 


Without further ado: 









[email protected] (Photography By Melodie Rhae) Sat, 16 Nov 2019 20:36:04 GMT
Boyer Bliss | Oklahoma City Wedding Photography How fun is it when you get to watch a friend find true love and happiness?


Bonnie and I met while we were in journalism school. From afar, I've watched her fall in love with all kind of crazy locations in the US, telling incredible stories and sharing her awesome talent. 

She's back in Oklahoma City, and from the moment she got engaged, a little piece of me thought "Oh PLEASE let me photograph her on that day."


So my glee was palpable when she contacted me a few months ago, asking if I was available. A beautiful October day, at one of my favorite venues in the Metro? YES. 

And so, Bonnie and Bryce began preparations for their glorious day. Hair began that morning at Duncan Bros. salon in Edmond,
but Bonnie met with Artistry By Alyxis for her gorgeous wedding day makeup look. 

Meanwhile, Bryce donned a dapper navy suit from Macy's, and bridesmaid Alexsis helped pin on boutonnières crafted by Yours Truly Florist. 


Of course, who is really the most excited for weddings? The flower girls, of course! Family helped get them ready for their big day. 


Finally, our bride was ready to put on her absolutely STUNNING gown from Bella Rose. 

Mom helped button up the incredible lace gown and I think every one of us in the bridal suite found themselves breathless. I mean...Bonnie looks like a wedding dress model. 

What is better than a bridal party that cries when they see how lovely you are? 

And just like that, it was time for a wedding. As everyone got lined up, the girls took a moment to lift Bonnie and Bryce up in prayer. 

These moments are a blessing to witness. Rare glimpses into an immense and powerful amount of power in faith and love. 

Dad came in to greet his daughter, and you could feel the pride radiating. I like to duck out at this moment to get into the ceremony space and give the bride a moment with her family. It's usually the only second of peace and quiet they get all day!

After the wedding party was assembled, Rose Briar assistants closed the door, preparing for the big reveal. 

Y'ALL. Bonnie and Bryce were MOVIE STAR-quality bride and groom. Their reactions had me crying almost instantly. 

This is it!

Their mothers lit the unity candles, a moment highlighting the joining together of the two families. I know plenty of weddings do this, but it always inspires a little flutter in my heart. Marriage needs all the support it can get. 

The Boyers had all the trappings of a perfect wedding- love and laughter and happy tears. 


With the rings, they wed!

Ahhh weddings, you laugh. You cry. You walk out with a spouse!


Seal it with a kiss! Tip- I take like...75 photos of this moment so I can make sure I get a great shot of your first kiss as a married couple. But make sure it's still a good one. If you're nervous, just count to 6 or so before you break it. 

Of course, doing something super cute like touching foreheads afterward and whispering your love for one another is perfectly acceptable, touching and adored by guests. This is YOUR day to shout to the world that you found the one your soul loves. Milk that moment. 

And always do like Bonnie & Bryce- walk out to a song of victory- Boomer Sooner!


Rose Briar is one of my favorite places to shoot a wedding. The space is a playground for photographers. The outdoor spaces are filled with magical, twinkly lights. 

And they love to put on a good time. That good time was helped along by some delicious bbq from Swadley's and an excellent cake. 

First dances are such a nice way to get a moment together, even if all the eyes are on you.

And flourish with a dip at the end. 

I cannot thank Bonnie and Bryce enough for the privilege of sharing this special moment with them. Bonnie, it's good to have you back in the Sooner State. 


Congratulations, Mr. & Mrs. Boyer. 

I end with the beginning of your lives as one: 


[email protected] (Photography By Melodie Rhae) Thu, 01 Nov 2018 15:24:46 GMT
The Penningtons Take DC! Hello again! 

Life has been super crazy the last few months! I started grad school, started a second business, took on a second job (transitioning to the library field), submitted my resignation for job #1, redid the floors & renovated the living room, watched Tucker learn &  grow, and then as of yesterday, added a new puppy to the family!

Somehow in the middle of all that, we found some time to head up to the east and see my family! Mom got a job in Maryland, which is a beautiful place. They live somewhere along the Pennsylvania border. I honestly didn't take too many pictures in the days surrounding DC because I was too busy soaking it in with my eyes!


Fun story about this cardinal: I fully believe that cardinals are the spirits of our loved ones. This one is definitely my grandma. 

My Izzy. This sweet girl has been in my family since 2007. She's getting older, but hasn't lost her playful spirit and love of belly rubs. 


It's been a little over a year since I saw my mom, dad, & little brother. Conveniently, their new home is only a few hours from one of my best friends, so we made plans to meet up in our nation's capitol. It's a trip the Penningtons have never made before, so off we went!

We hitched a ride on the Metro, which was the best public transit experience i've had in the US (Japan's was phenomenal but I digress). 

Traveling the Metro with a toddler was pretty great! Tucker loved getting to see the sights and practice saying "HI!" to EVERYONE. 

First stop was food- maybe a block from the White House is this awesome place- GCDC. We happened to pick this spot at random. Turns out it was national grilled cheese day. The restaurant was also celebrating their birthday! The sammie featured here is their Young American. HIGHLY recommend it!


After lunch, we made our way to the white house. Here's a photo of my mom and dad (mostly my dad) cuddled up and taking in the view. President Trump was there that day, but it was a very important day and then there were some media events, so we had to check out the pad from afar. 

I took about a dozen different pictures of the Washington monument, but this one was my favorite. We picked the most lovely day to go to DC- it was in the mid 70s and sunny. DC, much like Oklahoma, had a late start to spring. This meant we got to see the early part of cherry blossom season. The city smelled AMAZING, everyone was in a good mood, and we got a good dose of vitamin C!

Then we set our sights to the Capitol Building. 

As you can see, it was quite a walk. so we took a quick break to check out a piece of history and take Tucker on his first carousel! He had a good time! Ryan swiped my camera and turned it on me. it was nice to be in some good photos!

I'm not kidding. It was a PERFECT day weather-wise. 

We finally made it to the capitol. I think here is where we realized we had already walked 4 miles for the day. Worth it. 

Here's my little brother, checking it out. 

Of course we got a few family photos in! How could we miss out?

And of course, we needed a nice pic of me and the best friend. Beth here is a DOLL. We met in college. Since then, she has traveled to great lengths to see us in person. She took the time to be in my wedding. She drove halfway across the country to meet Tucker and was a MODEL visitor for a new mom. She was the one who suggested we find a way to meet up during our visit east. I don't know how on earth I got a best friend like her. But I'm counting my blessings. 

Messy boy needed a wardrobe change. This shirt felt perfect!

Then it was off to the next adventure! On the way, I shot a few photos for brother. He's a TALENTED musician and needed some new cover art for the tracks he's dropping (if you like rap, check him out HERE)

We got a late start, so the next adventure was the last for the day. But boy was it worth it. We made our way to Arlington National Cemetery and witnessed the Changing of the Guard right around magic hour. The experience was somber, and breathtaking. And by grace, Tucker fell asleep on the walk up to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, so we were able to stay and observe quietly.

It was a beautiful experience, and the walk was so lovely. Lots of time to reflect on the meaning of service and freedom. 

We took dinner at a District Tacos spot- a local chain with some of the most amazing tacos. I was too hungry and tired to take photos there. Just trust me on this recommendation. 

Other highlights included this ultra tourist-friendly wall and some tasty ice cream! In total, we walked more than 7 miles!

The fun was NOT over yet, however! We walked out aching feet to the Metro, headed back to the Park & Ride station when suddenly, an announcement!

Dance crew Legendary Boyz was on our car & performed really quickly! I wish I'd flipped my camera over to video, but I managed to get a few good shots out of the experience. These guys are MAD talented. 

It was a whirlwind trip- we left on a Tuesday evening and got home that Saturday. It was filled with adventure, fun, laughter, great food and the greatest thing of all: LOVE. 

We watched the sun set from Dallas that Saturday and I reflected on all the memories we packed into this little trip. My heart was full. I know we'll head back soon. 

[email protected] (Photography By Melodie Rhae) adventure adventures boyz cheese dc family gcdc grilled legendary photography street travel washington Mon, 23 Apr 2018 00:11:31 GMT
The "Easy" Way Out Happy World Breastfeeding Week!

I'm fortunate enough to have an artform by which I can explore and share my life, coupled with a platform to share with others. Usually, I blog about the beautiful people who come into my life through my business.

This post isn't about clients for once- it's about me. 

Well, me and my son. Have you met Tucker?

This brown-haired, blue eyed little monster is the love of my life. But we had a little problem. You see, breastfeeding for us is a little different. 

When Tucker was born, he latched right away. This surprised all of us since he was born via emergency c-section, and sometimes there are breastfeeding problems that accompany deliveries like that. But Tucker nursed wonderfully throughout our whole hospital stay and in the first few hours we were home. 

Then suddenly, something changed. He shrieked with hunger and anger at my breast. I tried and cried for hours. 

I admitted defeat- my son needed his belly filled and I couldn't do it. Off went my husband to get formula as I tried to comfort Tuck. 

He sucked down the bottle. A few hours later we tried the breast again. Same deal. Down went the bottle. 

The next morning, we had a visit with the pediatrician. A self-proclaimed breastfeeding expert (NOT an IBCLC or LC), she set us up with a nipple shield and supplemental nursing system. 

Basically, a plastic nipple to go over my own, and a little tube connected to a milk-filled syringe. I was instructed to pump and use the SNS/Shield until Tucker was comfortable nursing again. 

That didn't go well. Ryan had to go back to work and our families had to leave. So I had to arrange pumping time, set up the SNS, finagle Tucker on to was not working, it was stressing me out, and everyone was unhappy. 

I had a great breast milk supply, so I started searching the internet. I learned about exclusive pumping. When I told the pediatrician the next week that I was thinking of doing that, she laughed and told me not to bother, as I would dry up completely. This confused me and didn't sound right- I'd read story after story of women pumping for more than a year or two for their littles. So I persevered. I told her he breastfed at home and bottle fed pumped milk out & about. I lied-ish to my son's doctor. 

We've since switched providers, and our new doctor is VERY supportive of the way we decided to breast feed. 

Exclusive pumping is an adventure, an exercise in patience, and a labor of love. 

This is a look at my life as an exclusive pumper:

Direct nursing isn't the only time "gymnurstics" comes into play. Oh yeah, the bottle-fed babes like to move around the second they figure out how to do that. 

Tied to the pump and tied to the app that reminds me it's time to pump. For fellow moms- the Pump Log (iOS only) app is amazing. 

I keep the electric at work so I can pump at my desk and avoid having to lug it about. 

Speaking of work- this is how I pump! I use the Freemie Collection Cups, which sit in your bra cups and are sort of boob shaped. It's not totally discreet, but I can pump with my shirt on. My workplace is super supportive of my breastfeeding journey, but I don't like disappearing all the time. 

At home, I usually use my manual pump- an Avent Comfort. I love this pump, and it empties me just as well (sometimes better) as an electric. I like being able to move around, set it down quickly, and not have to sit straight up to pump. Tucker obviously likes its chewable qualities

There is always milk on my coffee table. ALWAYS.

Being a mom on the go is tough, especially with my crazy schedule. Pop into my home and you'll probably find my pumping bag- a spare diaper bag I in which I stuff all my pumping accessories, snacks, water bottles and medication. 

One of the "perks" of pumping is that I don't have to sit around waiting for Tucker to finish nursing. Though if I'm being honest, I would rather him nurse. 

But this is the worst part. I pump on a schedule most days, so I can be sure to make enough milk for Tucker. I'm not, currently. I'm coming up a few ounces short each day, which means we dip into the freezer stash I built up. I know the stash is exactly for this- when I'm no longer pumping enough to feed him. But every bag taken out before I wean stings a little bit. 

Pumping can be extremely lonely. My awesome husband gets up with the baby since I get up to make food. But it is sometimes 4:45, I'm the only soul awake in the house, and the only companion is my phone. 

Pumping is exhausting. It is very physically demanding. It makes moms feel like they're not spending enough time with their baby. Toss in the pain of feeling incapable of taking care of your baby "the way nature intended". Sprinkle in nursing attempts that end with tears or literal physical pain (Tucker bit me a few weeks ago so bad I bled. No more nursing attempts here). 

We're doing it well, though. Tucker is 9 months old, was exclusively fed breast milk until he started solids. He continues to receive his primary nutrition from my breast milk. I had stashed 1,000 ounces in our freezer. Because of how well exclusively pumping works for us, I was able to donate a few hundred ounces to one baby and generous sample cans of formula to two other babies. 

Directly nursed, bottle-fed pumped milk, formula fed or any combination of the three our babies are getting fed. We're all just doing the best we can, right?


At the end of the day, this is all that matters. 


Breastfeeding moms who need to use a pump- here are some of my favorite resources:
Obviously the Le Leche League. LLL is an international organization with tons of help for breastfeeding mothers. 
Amanda Glenn's Exclusive Pumping website is a favorite of mine in our situation. Sample pumping schedules, recommendations on boosting supply, tips and items to make your life easier, and stories to inspire you to keep going! 

Likewise, the facebook group Exclusively Pumping Mamas - where EPers gather to talk about these issues and share in the joys and struggles of our unorthodox breastfeeding experience. I also love Exclusive Pumping Mamas - Exclusive Group. 

If you're looking to get off the pump and establish/return to nursing, Back to the Breast on Facebook is a great community. 

Those looking for breast milk to cover the gaps in their own supply can check out Eats on Feets or Human Milk 4 Human Babies for contacts to donors. Likewise, you can become a donor that way. 

[email protected] (Photography By Melodie Rhae) baby photography baby pictures bottle fed babies bottle nursing breast is best breastfeeding breastfeeding moms breastfeeding week exclusive pumping exclusively pumping fed is best oklahoma baby photography oklahoma moms world breastfeeding week Tue, 01 Aug 2017 09:30:00 GMT
Justin and Tosha | Tulsa Wedding Photography Oh. My. Gosh. Y'all. 


Justin and Tosha's wedding? It was like a DREAM. 

This amazing couple met me when I was a million years pregnant. I shoved my swollen feet in some tennis shoes, and we explored Ray Harral Nature Park in Broken Arrow. Here's how THAT went: 

Yeah. It was amazing. 

Justin and Tosha have a flare for the outdoors, while still being classy as all get out. 

That was clearly reflected in their wedding day. Tosha and Justin married at a beautiful, tree-filled venue in Catoosa called the Hidden Porch. I was OBSESSED from the second I pulled in. Trees everywhere, lights strung about. They didn't have to try hard to make the space amazing.

What really made the day gorgeous was their extra attention to decor. Tosha's mom worked in floral arrangements, and she created magic with Burnett's Flowers. 

She dressed in a stunning cap-sleeved gown from Facchiano's Bridal. Justin fell into the Cala Lilly Plum scheme with a royal purple vest beneath his tux from Alyssa's Bridal and Tuxedos. 

The day was cloudy with a little rain in the morning for good luck! The cloudy atmosphere really set off those lights. 

Tosha and Justin are all class, but they're not afraid to have fun. The ceremony ended with a sweet gag playing off their unorthodox height difference. 

We broke from the group for formal portraits. Tosha looked like a grown-up fairy princess and seems totally at home in front of the camera. They were a dream to work with, and I was able to snag them a little private time before the rceeption. 

They went right into the first dance after signing the marriage license- and it seemed like that private time continued as they danced to "A Day Like Today" by Bryan Adams. 

We all enjoyed a light and delicious meal from TW's AFAB Catering. Guests filled up sweet favor bags with delicious candy (in the  CUTEST display!) then it was time for cake and a bubble send off. 

I and Tosha's Uncle captured a little bit of video. I'll share that when it's all done!

Thank you, Tosha and Justin!


Are you engaged and looking for a wedding photographer in Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas or Kansas? 
I'm excited to tell love stories - check out my contact page for wedding photography package pricing, or contact me so we can customize coverage to fit your needs!

[email protected] (Photography By Melodie Rhae) broken arrow catoosa hidden porch owasso tulsa photography tulsa wedding photographer tulsa wedding photography Fri, 14 Jul 2017 12:12:34 GMT
Baby S | Fresh 48 in Norman, Oklahoma Happy birthday, Baby S! 

I wrote about Patrece's gorgeous maternity session a couple weeks ago. When we were talking, it almost sounded like this sweet little nugget might come a couple days later! Patrece and I stayed in touch, and man, I really thought she'd go sooner. But she made it all the way to the day before his due date. 

 Baby's dad, Tommye, texted me Monday morning to tell me Patrece was almost ready. I anxiously finished my work day and hit the road to Norman. I was so hoping I'd make it in time to really welcome this precious guy into the world. Little did I know he came pretty fast!

This sweet new family had just moved up to the Mother/Baby suite of Norman Regional Healthplex a couple hours before. Though I was sad to miss the big show, I was so happy they got some time to take in the excitement and bid farewell to  their visiting family. 

I spent three hours with this precious crew. I'm glad I didn't start offering this until I became a mom. It felt so important to me, and it was exciting to be able to remind Patrece with some authority "It's OK, and you're doing great."

Guys, she really was. She claimed she was nervous and scared she'd hurt that precious baby (what new mom isn't? They're soooo tiny and fragile-looking). But physically, she handled her son with calm confidence. 

Daddy was doing great, too. When I got there, Baby S woke. He got up and comforted his son as if he'd been doing it his whole life. 

The pair looked at Baby S like he was absolutely priceless. He totally is.   

At one point during skin-to-skin, Patrece drifted to sleep. I know that sleep- it's the most amazing sleep you get. Your body, mind and soul know this is exactly the way things are supposed to be. I cried a little during this visit. Patrece looked so beautiful. She was maternal perfection. 

Baby S seemed pretty content there as well. 

I raced home afterward- it shook me a little to think of how few days had really passed in my own son's life, yet he was already so big. Baby S outweighed Tucker at birth by 5 ounces. Looking at Tuck now, it's hard to believe he was tinier than him!

Without further ado, I present a black-and-white selection of my favorites from this sweet Fresh 48 (or rather, Fresh 4! :) 



[email protected] (Photography By Melodie Rhae) baby photography baby pictures birth photography birth story fresh 48 hillcrest hospital maternity packages maternity photography maternity photos newborn packages newborn photography norman norman babies norman family photography norman family pictures norman newborn photography norman oklahoma norman photographers oklahoma baby photography oklahoma city maternity oklahoma city maternity photography oklahoma moms tulsa newborn photography Wed, 25 Jan 2017 18:34:32 GMT
Patrece | Oklahoma City Maternity Oh how I love maternity photos! Pregnancy is such a beautiful moment in a woman's life. I can't get enough of those lovely bellies- one of those truly womanly shapes. 

Patrece and I met in 2011 when we were freshmen in college. We joined Alpha Phi Omega within a semester of each other. She always impressed me with her huge heart. 

In 2014, she took on the challenge of organizing our Soonerthon team. Soonerthon is the University of Oklahoma's Dance Marathon event for the Children's Miracle Network. Teams are matched with miracle children for some inspiration to raise funds. 

Our beautiful miracle child, Jalisa adores Patrece. The two became inseparable and Patrece found a little piece of family in Norman. It was during that time I knew Patrece would become a fantastic mother. 


Flash forward to 2016, when this lovely woman came to me asking when I was due with Tucker. She had a big announcement and she needed a little help getting some photos taken. I hoped but I didn't want to pry. Unfortunately, we worried about me traveling to her so close to my due date. 









A couple weeks later, the big news was out- Patrece was expecting! She got in touch with me in December asking for recommendations of local photographers. I was absolutely willing to pass on a few names, but I couldn't resist offering up my own name since I'm not on any travel restrictions anymore! To my delight, Patrece was actually hoping I would be able to make it down to Oklahoma City for her maternity, birth story and newborn photos. 



We're anxiously awaiting the arrival of her sweet little peanut, but until then, please enjoy these photos of the most beautiful momma I've seen in a long time!


















[email protected] (Photography By Melodie Rhae) baby photography baby pictures maternity packages maternity photography maternity photos newborn packages newborn photography oklahoma baby photography oklahoma city oklahoma city maternity oklahoma city maternity photography oklahoma moms tulsa newborn photography Sat, 14 Jan 2017 00:29:22 GMT
Fresh 48 I wish I'd done this for me. I'm 2 months postpartum and loving my time with my adorable son, Tucker. 

Some of my favorite photos are moments he shared with his daddy in the hospital.  Tucker was so tiny and the little booger grows SO FAST.

But going through those photos I took, I realized the only photos of me are grainy cell phone photos. They're dark and not terribly flattering. I love them, because they capture those precious, precious hours, though I wish I had some nice images I could feel comfortable sharing. I wish I had some beautiful photos I could blow up big and later show my precious baby.

In 2017, I want mommas to see photos of themselves that are as beautiful as we see them. For every ounce that your family, partner or children find you beautiful and strong, I want you to feel that and hold on to images that truly display that.

So in 2017, I'm opening my calendar to Fresh 48/Birth Story options.

What is a Fresh 48 session?

It's a largely unposed session where you just snuggle and gush over your baby, while I take photos of it all. The timing is based on what you're comfortable with- whether you want me there as soon as babe makes the entrance or in the first quiet hours at home with your new addition. 

Ready to think about it? Let's chat using the contact page. 




[email protected] (Photography By Melodie Rhae) babies baby photography baby pictures birth photography birth story fresh 24 fresh 48 hillcrest hospital newborn photography oklahoma oklahoma baby photography st francis hospital tulsa tulsa newborn photography Fri, 30 Dec 2016 12:49:15 GMT
Back at it!  

I'm back in the game! It's been a lovely maternity leave, and we're so in love with our little nugget, Tucker!

He made his appearance early in the morning, two days after his due date. It has been a beautiful and exhausting ride. 


I have some big plans for 2017, and I hope you'll be part of them! This is absolutely the year I will be blogging more, and the year I hope to fill with tons of photos and a solid move to hybrid shooting (film & digital). I took my analog camera for a few spins during a wedding in August and loved the results- hopefully this year holds more of this!


Here's a little peek at some of the film work I did at that August wedding! Cheers to the holidays! I wish you all the happiest! 


























[email protected] (Photography By Melodie Rhae) Oklahoma city wedding photographer baby photography newborn photography oklahoma baby photography oklahoma weddings tulsa newborn photography tulsa wedding photographer Sat, 10 Dec 2016 02:49:45 GMT