An Alabaman’s California Wedding

Sarah Gilbert & Scott Ping

The Meeting:

“January 2007 I visited my sister at Ft. Hood, Texas.

One of her friends, Scott, invited me to go bowling with a group of people. We talked all night and he eventually got my phone number. We spoke often through texts and myspace.

I wasn’t looking for a relationship, but he really opened my eyes and I fell for him. Instead of flying back to California I decided to stay and moved in with my sister.

Scott and I became inseparable and on February 21st we were official. Eight years later we had the wedding on our Anniversary.”-Sarah

The Proposal:

“We rented a mountain cabin expecting to have our first white Christmas!

Unfortunately a rare storm hit and melted everything.

That night after dinner Scott suggested we go outside and roast marshmallows. With another let down, the fire was too wet to light. I tried to help for a while then gave up. Scott was determined. I let him continue as I stared at the clear sky and drank Meade.

‘Babe,’ he said. I turned and saw him still kneeling by the wood. ‘Will you marry me?’

After seven years, I was waiting for this and so excited blurted, ‘FINALLY!'”-Sarah

The Wedding:

February 21, 2015

At The Marina Village, San Diego CA

My little planner bride was so easy to work with. Lists are her thing, which makes us very compatible. She’s also a “DIY” girl, which makes her very lovable. Scott & Sarah’s colors were White, Gold and Champagne. Very classy. Her dress is from Cruz’s Bridal in Santa Clarita, CA. Her bridesmaids dresses, shoes and tiara are from David’s Bridal. The girls hair and makeup were done by Glam Dolls in San Diego. Marina Village also provided the catering, cake and desserts. Their DJ was Joe Valencia of Twilight Sound. Their officiant was Roger from Great Officiants. They made accommodations through The Seven Seas Best Western there in San Diego. Beautiful hotel grounds. And they registered at Bed, Bath & Beyond.

Congrats Mr. & Mrs. Ping!

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It’s my 1/2 birthday, don’t dump your load.

You may remember sweet baby Carter from his newborn shoot with the same dump truck. My how he’s grown! This dump truck was his daddy’s toy when he was just a baby. How sweet it is to carry on playtime with toys that have been loved by the one that helped create you. Continuing his dump truck theme, what could be better than using some manly toys for his background? And could there be a more perfect smash cake than “Dirt Cake” for a little boy? (Even if he didn’t even taste the cake.) Carter Allen, my little kitten, is 6 months old! He’s the cutest thing I’ve ever laid my eyes on. He’s finally eating solid foods, rather well I might add. He has the most mesmerizing raspy little voice, you’ll totally mush when you hear it. He’s pulling up on EVERYTHING, the boy just wants to stand. Not to mention his bear crawl is now a full on, I’m gonna follow you where ever you go crawl. And oh my gosh y’all, he’s already got TWO teeth! His two older sisters are starting to become just as “gaga” over him too, Cameron must know what he’s doing at all times and in the right mood needs to hold him for a while. Kiah is little mommy and always has tabs on the baby and his needs. I think it’s safe to say that Carter adores them as he listens so intently when his sisters are in his face and he laughing hysterically when they speak to him. Six months, in six months he’s become quite the character. He is true to his Talbert stud muffin reputation. A fact all the women in his life with testify to. What will he have accomplished by the next time we see him?!

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Beautiful Soul

Meet Jasmine.

Such a sweet and beautiful soul.

Jasmine and I met when I was managing Hollister here in Huntsville, AL. I was so awfully pregnant and had very little time before my due date. But we spent 8 hours a day together, 5 days a week. I could tell that there was something special about her. She talked about her blog and her journey. She shared with me her intent to let God live through her. To work for Him. I was blown away. She was determined to do what He had intended for her to do and I was taken back by her desire to be so pure. It was refreshing. Like I said, her soul is so beautiful. We linked up after some time when she was ready to get some pictures to launch her blog. I need not mention her outer beauty, see for yourself. But, I do have to mention how wonderfully easy it was to photograph her and her bible. As comfortable as ever she stood in front of me ready to bare her soul for Him and to begin her journey of truth, discovery and light. It was so incredible to watch. I hope that each of you take a moment to read her Blog, to find her Instagram and to follow her on Facebook. Her posts are so humbling. She has proven as a great reminder that we are all human, but we are because of Him. I can’t wait to photograph you again Jasmine & to watch you grow into your path!

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New Name Same Awesome Photographer

Deciding and announcing my new business name has been such a huge move for myself and my business. A scary and exhilarating one. But one I was more than ready for. When I created SDW Photography I decided on a name that reflected my personal name. And then I grew and I learned and I created this business that had outgrew it’s name. Not only because my real name had changed but because my shooting style and the way I presented my business had changed. So the process had started. I absolutely wanted the new face of my business to be an ever lasting one and I wanted it to have little pieces of myself in it. If you know me, you know I’m obsessed with cotton and antlers. I think it’s because the images I see when I think of these things are so light, airy and country. They’re beautiful in their own design. So I started researching and playing with ideas. Pinterest was of great help. I would often find myself looking at images like the ones below.

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And then I was introduced to this wonderfully amazing graphic designer, a friend of a friend (the best kind of friend to have). Ashley, with SwankyDuck, listened to my ideas and jumped on board! I got so excited to start making my dreams something in concrete! On to the lettering. I’m a sucker for sweet cursive swirls, so I knew my logo had to be represented in that way. Ashley knew exactly what she was doing when I told her this, but of course I found myself fantasizing about “ENTER BUSINESS NAME HERE” in beautiful calligraphy. Pinterest again was to blame for this.

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I mean really, my new name and brand was to be completely mine and original. The possibilities were endless and sometimes a little overbearing. Ashley and I met and consulted a lot during the process. She took my vision of cotton, antlers, calligraphy and everything else I desired and created something so beautiful! I love Ashley so much. She showed me progress every step of the way, which was so insightful to the process of her work. The name came easier that I thought. I had taken consensus’s on Facebook about ideas for my new name. But because I wanted it to be an ever lasting name I veered pretty quickly away from giving it my new name. Southern Cotton is a main background for me, one of my favorites obviously. In reality Southern Cotton picked me.


Then, all the sudden all that was left to do was to give this bad boy life! And Ashley did just take. The final product y’all, there’s no words for it other than PERFECT! My new name and brand represented me as a whole and it shines through something fierce. So without further adieu, Welcome to Southern Cotton Photography!