I wanted to steal this dog!!

Hey ya'll!

So I recently traveled to my hometown of Richmond, Virginia and I finally got to be apart of THE Workshop Experience with Katelyn James!

Let me first start of by telling you that I have wanted to take the workshop experience with Katelyn James since high school! So this christmas my parents surprised me and made it all possible! Literally one of the best christmas gifts, and I am beyond thankful. 

I spent two days with Katelyn, her husband Michael, and 11 other photographers. We got to shoot along side of Katelyn, and learn everything she knows about the world of photography and the business side of it. They opened their beautiful home to us, and might I add that their house looks like it's something straight off of Pinterest! Katelyn is so talented! One of my favorite parts was that we got to share meals together and just talk about life and photography. They also provided some yummy meals to say the least. Another favorite part was just being around their adorable dog! Their dog is beyond cute, and I couldn't stop staring at their bichpoo named Bokeh. If anyone knows of Katelyn James they know that Bokeh is practically famous and his hashtag on Instagram (#bokehthebichpoo) has almost 1,000 pictures. Anywho, my two days with Katelyn James was everything I hoped and more and I cannot wait to put to use everything Katelyn taught me, and build and grow my photography business the best I can. 

Here are some pictures from the workshop and the styled shoot we did! Enjoy!


The above pictures are two I took during the styled shoot! 

Thanks for reading! Oh and don't worry Katelyn, I won't steal Bokeh :)

Vendors:
Gown, Urban Set Bride
Furniture/Rentals, Paisley & Jade
MUA/Hair, Emily Hudspeth
Cake, Sorby Sweets
Photography, Katelyn James
Florals/Styling, Amanda Veronee
Paper Flowers, Sweet Pear Paper

Calligraphy, Meant To Be Calligraphy

xoxo, 
Kristen Brooke Carden

she is my hero, and for so many reasons…

02/19/15

…Yes, my mom is my rock, my hero, my role model, and the list doesn't stop there. My sister couldn't have said it better so I am going to share what she said…

"My mom found herself pregnant at 14 with nobody to help or love on her. She later faced abuse & rape. I've had the honor of watching her (with my dad by her side the whole way) follow her dreams and open a maternity home for young, struggling, and lots of times abused women who find themselves with unplanned pregnancies & nowhere to go. I've watched the joys & the struggles throughout this process. They are trying to raise $25,000 to help support their dream & goal. It may sound like a lot but if everyone just gives a little, it won't be. I know there is always some organization to give to but I'm asking from the bottom of my heart to help my parents and the dream God gave them. They've sacrificed so much for this, you just have no idea. I'm SO proud and inspired. Unplanned pregnancies don't make a girl a horrible person, the consequence (which ends up being a blessing) is just greater than most other screw-ups that people make on a daily basis."
-Carrie Carden

Carrie couldn't have said it better, my parents are both incredible and my mom's story is one that is so captivating. Through God, she uses it to change the world and help so many. So if you feel led, please donate to Grace Home Ministries. A little bit can go a long way! Just go to www.gracehomeministries.org/donate, and that is where you can donate!!
Thanks so much for reading and for your support!


xoxo,
Kristen Brooke Carden

The Proposal!!

Welp y’all…I’m engaged….I am someone’s fiancé…. I am going to be a wife…very soon…. eeeeeeek!!!

 First off here is our God written love story,

You see ever since I can remember I have longed to be a wife and have prayed that God would provide a Godly husband that would not only love me unconditionally but also lead our family in the perfect way God has designed. My prayers were answered beyond my wildest imagination when Evan Holbrook asked me to spend the rest of my life with him on January 1st, 2015.
Our story began way before a relationship even started. In the spring of 2013, I moved to Katy, Texas to intern at Second Baptist Church for the summer. It was at Second that I met Evan but he barely said two words to me that whole summer. Part of it could have been that I was in a long distance relationship. That relationship unexpectedly ended late that summer and quite honestly it left me broken. It wasn’t long after hearing I was single that Evan began his pursuit of my heart by asking me out on our first date. Considering everything that was going on, I was very hesitant but I decided to go. I am thankful that I did because I will always remember it as the best date ever.
A week later I moved back to Virginia and said goodbye to the friendships and people I had met in Texas, including Evan, never even thinking that I would be back. It was while being home that God started to mend my heart like only He can. He showed me that I needed to spend sometime in a season of singleness in order to focus and depend completely on Him and not a guy. As a result, God blessed me with time to invest on friendships. In fact, I ended up with lifelong best friends. Evan pursued me in an entirely different way during this time. He sent me flowers, letters and prayed for me. We were never officially together while I was in Virginia and he was in Texas but we went through seasons of talking all the time to not talking at all. The more I sought God’s will for my life the more He stirred my heart to move to Texas. As much as I knew it would be hard to leave my family and friends and everything I had ever known, I knew I was supposed to go back and I wanted nothing but to be obedient to God.
I moved to Texas early January 2014 and few weeks later Evan asked me to be his girlfriend. I was in a completely different point in my relationship with God at this time and I had peace from Him when I said yes.  Over the next year, God grew us as a couple after growing us individually. God began to give me a love for Evan and a desire to serve him and with him, pray for him and encourage him and love him unconditionally. Evan had made a promise in his heart that he would only tell his wife that he loved her but Evan showed me his love for me in deeper ways than words throughout our relationship. What I love most about Evan is his heart for God and his heart for people. He makes me laugh like no one can and he makes me feel like the most beautiful girl in this world.
It wasn’t easy moving to Texas but God used it to stretch me in so many ways. I am so glad I listened, walked by complete faith and moved to Texas. It was there that I met my future husband! The Lord had a plan for sure since it was there that I found my best friend. When he got down on one knee and said those three words I had been waiting to hear (“I love you”) I realized then that he wanted to marry me…he wanted me as his wife and in a few short months I will be marrying my best friend!!

Fun Fact: Growing up people always told me I was going to be a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader and that I was going to marry a pastor. I would just laugh when they said that. Little did I know how sneaky and amazing our God is. I may not be in Dallas but I am in Texas and I am marrying a pastor!

 Now on to how the proposal went down!

I went home to Virginia for Christmas and later that week Evan flew down and joined me. At this point, my family and I had not done Christmas or opened gifts because my sister and brother-in-law were in Georgia for Christmas with his side of the family and we wanted to wait til we could all be together! On the afternoon of January 1st, both my sister and brother-in-law joined us in Virginia. We had made plans to visit Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens later that evening. For those of you who do not know what that is, it’s a massive garden and they light it up completely during Christmas time. It’s absolutely beautiful! Once my oldest sister arrived, we walked in. We hadn’t walked far when Evan handed me his phone and started playing a VIDEO (<--click the link to see) of him talking to me. Immediately, I started tearing up. Evan and I had not said “I love you” at all during our relationship) The video completely melted my heart and for the first time in a year he told me those three words! Some of you may be thinking that it’s crazy or thinking “I could never do that.” That was me too…it killed me not to say it and I used to go home crying because I just wanted to scream it from the mountain tops that I loved Evan so much. I am so glad that we didn’t say “I love you” though because it made the proposal beyond special and mean soooo much more. Also, did I mention that “words of affirmation” is my love language??? You can only imagine how hard it was for me not to hear those words. Any who, once the video ended, he pointed at the GoPro on the ground and at my family, it was then that he got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife and it was an unforgettable moment. It was AMAZING that my entire family was there to witness this INCREDIBLE moment in our lives! Afterwards, we left and went to our favorite pizza spot and were able to celebrate altogether. I couldn’t really eat because I was just so excited and my head was in the clouds. The night continued to only get better from there. We got home and sat around the Christmas tree in the living room altogether and opened gifts and had our family Christmas. Literally that day could not have been more perfect!

I cannot thank you all enough for all your love and support. Your sweet words on Facebook, Instagram and any social media. Evan and I feel so loved and we have enjoyed sharing our special day with you. We cannot wait to share our next special day as we get married in Texas on March 14th, 2015.

 I have been asked multiple times and on several occasions why we are getting married “so fast.” So a conclusive answer is… honestly why not?!? We never wanted a long engagement and we can’t wait to be Mr. & Mrs. Holbrook. The Lord literally made the 14th of March [we are aware its Pi Day haha], the perfect date for our family, friends, wedding party and us. Everything is falling together perfectly and we already have most of the wedding planning done. It’s been a blast! My advice to all the girls who are engaged is: if you don’t have to wait to get married then don’t! It is totally doable and I am not just saying this but we have not been stressed at all, its been a blast planning. God has provided everything we ever needed/wanted in such a short amount of time, even a honeymoon…Hawaii!!! For now, I am just soaking up every second of wedding planning, and most importantly preparing to be a wife to the most amazing person on the planet.
  
 Click here to read something from Evans perspective on our engagement/wedding/me. You’ll see why I am head over heels in love with this guy! Also, click here to see more pictures of the proposal!

xoxo,
Kristen Brooke Carden

Heidbreder Family

Family Session

When I saw this precious family get out of the car at the beginning of our session I was so stinking excited. They literally looked like they jumped out of a magazine or Pinterest. Their family is just beautiful and I fell in love with there two adorable kids Beau and Elliot. Kate is someone who I always have seen at church in passing and I always thought she was so beautiful and I always envied there perfect little family. So when she contacted me I was really, reallllllly excited to say the least to do a photo session with them. I look up to Kate and her passion for the Lord radiates,  I hope to have a family of my own one day like Kate and Oscar. I hope you enjoy these pictures as much as I do!
xoxo,
Kristen Brooke Carden

Audry Schaefer

University of Houston- Clear Lake Senior Graduate Photo Session

When Audry contacted me to take here pictures at her college I was so excited. I got to travel about an hour and a half to her school that is absolutely beautiful and take a few pictures of her with the "UHCL" sign and some outside with beautiful trees covered in moss. Audry was beyond sweet and what made her even more beautiful is that she didn't know how beautiful she truly is,especially in front of my camera. I am so glad I got to meet her and got the chance to travel to a new area. She is such a beautiful girl and these pictures truly show her beauty!
 xoxo,
Kristen Brooke Carden

Church Family

Family Session

Im excited to share with y'all yet another family session that I just love so much! It just happened to be with the Landon and Kristen Church, and there little one Liam. I met this couple when they were engaged actually back at Liberty at our first internship meeting to intern at Second Baptist. We went to a meeting to Skype with some of the staff at Second just to get to know each other and learn a little bit about our summers ahead as an intern. Now they are married with a precious little boy and we're all living in Katy... such a small world! I had so much fun during this photo session, not only because Kristen and Landon were hilarious but also because Liam would not stop smiling. He is such a happy and just perfect little baby. I love how these pictures turned out and I hope you all do as well! Enjoy :)
xoxo,
Kristen Brooke Carden

Fries Family

One Year Anniversary!

So this is a couple I did this past week and I am so in love with how they turned out. They came so prepared and made my job beyond easy. They were so sweet and I was blessed to be able to work with them! It is their one year anniversay of marriage and so they wanted pictures taken, and I was thrilled to take them! This time of year has been extremely busy because of the holidays and Christmas card pictures and must I say I love it! I cannot wait until one day when I can send out my own Christmas card pictures. I am a little out of order on my blogging so bare with me, but in the meantime I hope you enjoy the Fries family!
xoxo,
Kristen Brooke Carden




Jeffrey & Megan

ENGAGEMENT SESSION

So this is an engagement session that I got to do on one of my trips to Virginia. Not only was I back home and in Lynchburg, I was with one of my oldest friends who has known me since I was a baby basically. Jeffrey is not just a friend, he is like a brother I never had, we have endless memories together that I cherish deeply. From punching me in the nose during an intense game of basketball because I was beating him when we were very little, to vacations together, our trip to Orlando, D.C., and traveling all over Europe together for Student Leadership camps and so many more. I have gotten to watch you grow up and grow into such a Godly man who I am so proud of! Megan I am so happy that you guys found each other, I barely know you but you are so sweet and your love for the Lord shines and shines bright. I am so excited for your future together and to watch you guys on this next and beautiful chapter of your life!
 One of the sweetest moments during a photo session was this sweet one when they started praying!
xoxo,
Kristen Brooke Photography

Trevor & Kendall

These two are absolutely the cutest thing. They have been dating for 5 years if I remember correctly, since high school! Kendall contacted me about getting pictures done because Trevor was moving away to Wyoming and she wanted to get some pictures together before he left. They were so much fun to do a session with and their love for each other was so evident between them while taking their pictures! These pictures are some of my favorite that I have ever done, I hope you enjoy them! 
xoxo,
Kristen Brooke Photography


Caleb & Jillian

ENGAGEMENT PICTURES

Where to begin... I have known Jillian (my Alaskan best friend hehe) since the beginning of freshman year in college. She has seen me through a lot, the good and the bad through out college and has always been there for me. She has helped me start my photography business and been such an encourager through it all. I got to watch as Jillian and Caleb starting dating and watch their journey together as a couple. It has been so cool to see how the Lord has blessed them and how they are now engaged and getting married in June! God has truly blessed them and their obedience! Their love story has been fun to watch and even more fun having a part in within taking some of their engagement pictures. Whats even cooler is that my best friend and her hubby are moving to Texas after they get married because Caleb is from Texas. I cannot be more excited for you guys and love you both so very much! Jillian you are loved so much and hold such a huge part of my heart, I'm thankful for you and your friendship and grateful for all you have done for me!
I cannot wait till June 19th, 2015! 


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you are "good enough".

There is something that has been really laid on my heart lately and it's bothered me a lot the past few weeks. I have noticed lately how girls have little self worth, and how they never feel "good enough", and I'm preaching to the choir. I myself struggle with this so much but It wasn't till recently where I noticed that so many other people do as well. 

I'm going to be real with you. I have constant thoughts that run through my head on a daily basis how I'm not good enough because I can't write, I can't sing, I don't have the perfect body like the ones on the fitness Instagram accounts, I don't dress like all those Pinterest girls, I'm not talented enough, my photography is not good enough, I'm not smart enough and the list goes on. I'm constantly looking at other photography pages and just getting down because I'm like wow I'm terrible, these people are awesome. 

These are all lies.

 I've been struggling with constantly comparing my life, my skills, my photography & just everything to others & I've let it get to me.  I cannot compare my life to someone's highlight real. I need to seek God & let Him fulfill me because He is the only one who can and those are not thoughts of The Lord. Were all in different seasons of life, not making one better than the other. I need to live in the now and have holy confidence in my work & in my life & I encourage whoever is reading this too!

Don't judge or base your life upon other peoples highlight reals. those are just the highlights, be content where the Lord has you, because your there solely for His purpose. God knows what He is doing, trust Him.  

Don't take this the wrong way, I'm a pretty confident person. But it doesn't matter how confident one person is, they will always have these negative thoughts floating around in their head. 

"Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." - 1 Peter 5:8

Every negative thought about yourself is from the devil, he will try anything and everything to pull us down and away from Christ. Our job is to ignore those thoughts and crush the enemy by giving it to God when we have them. 

So I want to tell you one of my favorite stories I like to tell people and especially my small group of girls on Sunday mornings. It's kind of a gross and slightly an embarrassing one but it's great I promise. 

A while back I got the wonderful gift of scabies. If you don't know what scabies are they are small bugs that jump on you and get under your skin and move around and they itch really bad. They look like this......


 you're welcome... haha

Here is an actual picture of one of my wrist with the scabies, because who doesn't take pictures of their scabies, right?

Well these little guys only attacked my weakest spots on my body... Being that I was a competitive cheerleader, of course some of my most weakest spots are my wrist and ankles. They also attacked my knees and my lower back and the scar on my chin from a  surfing incident. All places where I have pain and where it's the weakest on my body. If your picking up what I'm putting down then you notice how my scabies seem very similar to someone we all know and hate. 

Just like my scabies and how they attacked me the devil is the same way. He knows your weak spots and he knows where your pain is and that is where he is going to attack you. The devil knows that I struggle with not feeling good enough so he uses that in every aspect of my life. 

Now what do we do when that happens, when the devil is full on attack mode? 

We ninja drop kick him. 

Just kidding. 

I have learned that when I'm in the word each morning and constantly in devotion with my Lord and Savior that these thoughts disappear and aren't there as much. 

Each morning I ask The Lord to fill me with his confidence, help me to feel my worth. Because guys you are so worthy. It doesn't matter what your past looks like or what you did last night. You are worthy! We have an almighty creator/heavenly father who loves us unconditionally (sings Katy Perry's unconditionally), who never forsakes us. He is always there and loves us no matter what. 

"For you formed my inward parts  you knitted me together in my mother's womb.I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. (Believe that) Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth." Psalm 139:13-15 

If you are struggling with constant negative thoughts that aren't from The Lord maybe you need more of Him in your life and less of something else. Let God be the one who guides you through your day and directs your thoughts, not social media, other peoples opinions, or the thoughts the devil plants in our mind to destroy us. 

I want to encourage you to make it a point to get in the word every morning before you do anything else, not just read it but study it. Maybe you already do this, I don't know. But talk to God and give it to him because God would never plant those thoughts in your head because he looks at you and sees his precious and beautiful creation. He awaits on you every single day. So rest in Him, ask Him to fill you with His holy confidence and to feel His worth. 

Remember: Who are we to define what makes us "good enough", just because your not a public speaker, have a fancy job, up on stage singing, don't have the "coolest" Instagram photos, or don't have the nicest car, home, or clothes does not define who you are and your worth. The only one who defines you is Jesus Christ. 

xoxo, 
Kristen Brooke Carden 
www.kristenbrookephotography.com

photo credit: Joylita Photography



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CROSSFIT ANNIHILATION IN HOUSE COMPETITION

So sometimes I take pictures of different things, one being crossfit. I like it though because it challenges me because its completely different. This gym is not just a gym, its a family and that was made apparent to me this past saturday. You will be able to see how obvious it is in these pictures how hard these athletes have worked and how strong they truly are. I hope you enjoy these pictures!
To check out the gym click here --->www.crossfitannihilation.com

xoxo,
Kristen Brooke Carden

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Ansley Harris

So on Wednesday I asked my sweet friend Ansley if she would come do a shoot for me possibly before she leaves today for college. I am so thankful she said yes because I am in love with these pictures and I hope you are as well! 

Last summer I was an intern for Second Baptist Church in Houston at their west campus in Katy, Texas. While being there last summer I met one of the coolest girls and got to hang out with her constantly, and her name is Ansley Harris. Since moving here I have gotten to be around her more and I am so thankful for each time I get because this girl is truly a blessing. She is mature beyond her years; I had to keep reminding myself sometimes that she was a senior in high school. She not only loves the Lord immensely but she shows that and it radiates from her which is so encouraging to see being at this stage of life. I remember when I was her age and a senior and that was rare to see. She is nothing less than a leader and a strong one at that. She may be younger than me but I look up to her and admire how much of a leader she is and I know everyone else does as well. She truly has such a gift within ministry and I know God is going to use that. College can be pretty scary going into freshman year but I know if there is any one person who can do it, it's Ansley. You are so loved Ansley, keep that light shining for Him. You are going to do amazing things, Auburn University is so lucky to have you!
While shooting Ansley with my polaroid, she goes "does this even work?", I replied with "yep" and immediately you hear a piece of paper pop out and it turned out that she had taken my picture while I was taking hers. It did turn out pretty cool and was so funny. 

xoxo,
Kristen Brooke Photography









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The Nix Family

When Kyle approached me about taking their family pictures I literally was so excited. Kyle said he was surprising Christina for her birthday, which was Friday the day of the shoot, with family pictures. It was such a joy being a part of Christina's birthday and how my pictures could be such a gift. I feel honored and blessed to have been able to take these and give them something they can keep forever. Their heart for ministry is so amazing and incredible to watch. I hope you enjoy these pictures of Kyle, Christina and there sweet little McKinley Lynn, as much as I enjoyed taking them and going through them! I am posting a lot because I literally could not just choose a few, especially coming from my indecisive self! I know your birthday was Friday Christina but once again Happy Birthday, glad I am apart of your lives!


So I have to share what was happening to get this picture above. What most of you do not know is that I was not only blessed with an amazing boyfriend, but a boyfriend who also has an eye for photography and helps me out above and beyond at all my shoots. From carrying all my props, making the kids laugh, and walking around taking pictures on his phone of possible spots to take pictures at. He is a huge help to say the least! He was hiding behind me and popping out at little McKinley over and over again and as you can see, she was loving it. 
 Notice in the picture above the lipstick kiss on her cheek from Christina!




xoxo,

Kristen Brooke Photography






Jeremy & Ellyn



Last fall is when I decided that I would turn my passion for photography into something real and make it into a business. With the help of one of my best friends, Jillian Floyd, and this couple I started Kristen Brooke Photography. This was the first official shoot I think I did and I just went back and re-edited these pictures the best I could. Back then I did not shoot in RAW, and for those of you who are not photographers, you have to shoot in RAW! Therefore, this made editing a little bit more tricky. Ellyn is a close friend who was in most of my women's ministry classes in college back in Lynchburg, Virginia at Liberty University. I remember asking if I could do a shoot of her and her boyfriend Jeremy to get my photography going and Jillian hooked me up with this awesome location! This shoot is one I will never forget because it literally was so much fun, and there was endless laughter. These two are hilarious! Now Ellyn is doing what I did last summer and is interning at Second Baptist Houston this summer, so its cool to have a familiar face here in Houston with me! I could not be more proud of Ellyn, her heart for ministry and to serve is so beautiful!
xoxo,

Kristen Brooke Photography

Haley & Ryan


I had the privilege to have a shoot with this fun couple last week and it was a blast. It was obvious how much these two love each other by the way they looked at each other, and that's what makes my job even more fun. Some of you may not know this but (fun fact) couple shoots are my favorite to do so when Haley contacted me I was nothing less than super excited to take their pictures and I am super happy how they turned out! 
I hope you enjoy, let me know what you think or your favorites in the comments box below!



xoxo,

Kristen Brooke Carden



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This is the beginning.

The beginning of something new, something different and something very challenging for me to do.
I personally am terrible at writing and when I put my thoughts down they normally turn out to be all jumbled and not organized at all, with a lot of grammatical errors. 
So please, bear with me as I try my best.

Photo Credit: Joylita Photography

As a photographer I am apparently supposed to do this thing called "blogging". Something I never thought I would do, but here I am, blogging my little heart away. This blog will be about my personal life, my photography, and about what the Lord is teaching me/doing in my life. 

For a while my family has been telling me to blog and I kept telling them I have nothing to write about and no one cares to know but yesterday a lady I met made me rethink that. I had a job interview yesterday and this lady and myself did not even talk about the job to be honest. We shared our stories and what the Lord is doing in our lives. I shared about my life and where I am at, and she was nothing less than completely interested and even got the "goosebumps" as we talked. She kind of made me realize how good God has been to me and how where I am at in life in extremely exciting which than made me really excited to be honest. So this is me, sharing my life with whoever is interested.

Thanks for reading!

xoxo,

Kristen Brooke Carden