Sisters, entrepreneurs, business partners, best friends, partners in crime- we are the girls behind the cameras. We are Dear Grace Photography. Here is some fun stuff about the sisters of DGP.
We cry during the father daughter dances at wedding receptions because we think of our wonderful and supportive dad who danced with Brittany almost 8 years ago to “Kind & Generous” by Natalie Merchant at her wedding. We think of the future when he will dance with me at my wedding. And we think about one day when Brittany’s sweet and spunky threenager Quincy will be twirling around in a white dress with flowers in her hair with her handsome daddy. The time is flying by and she seems to grow every day. We look at all these sweet girls and their strong and sweet and crying dads and we see the day when this was Brittany and will be me and then will be Quincy. It is such a sweet and tender moment. When asked what the best part of a wedding is, it is surely a tough choice, but the father daughter dances really tug at our heartstrings and are some of our favorite photos of the day.
We constantly get asked if we are twins. We aren’t twins and there are actually 6 years between us. But this question is so fun & we accept it as a compliment! Brittany is my big sister, who was pretty much born to fill that role. She is a fierce protector, a sweet friend, and a loyal confidant. I like to tell her that her spirit animal is a bumblebee- she works hard to provide for her tribe, she is beautiful and graceful, she is a vital part of her family unit, and she is so loyal that she would do anything at all to protect the ones she loves (especially me). She begged for me to our mom. She pleaded with Santa Claus for years to please please bring her a baby sister to love. She prayed at night before bed for Jesus to send her a tiny sister. She got her wish and she kept the promise to Mom and Santa and Jesus to love and care for me. Gosh I am a lucky girl. She is my second mother, my biggest fan, my sweetest friend, and my honest and constructive critic. She took me everywhere with her growing up and I am so grateful that that wasn’t a phase. I get to continue to be her tagalong shadow even into a career. How amazing is that?!
We grew up in a family full of people who love photography- our grandpa & our mom specifically always had a camera in their hands. Our mom had her own photography business as a side hustle while we were growing up, so seeing a #girlboss in action was the norm for us. She taught us how to be bag carriers, wedding assistants, and reflector-holders, and the rest is history. Her love of photography was in her genes, passed on from our beloved Papaw (Mom’s dad). He is a natural behind the lens and is still at it, capturing some beautiful photos of our family and especially of little Quincy. We love our family so much, and their support for our business is astounding. One example of many is our sweet Mamaw, who keeps up with her Instagram page just so she can like all of our photos and then flips through our feed when we are together to tell us which are her favorite.
Our business name is not random, it’s carefully chosen and well loved. Our good friend Hollie kept encouraging us to go into business, even when it was Brittany running the show alone (except for wedding days). Hollie asked us to photograph her sweet daughter, Grace, who was only 5 years old at the start of it all. She kept paying us, even when we tried to say no. She told us, “If you have one customer, you have a business!” She was so full of pride for our business and encouraged us to take the leap. We love her and her family and Grace’s sweet joy that she brings to everyone. The other reason for Dear Grace is that we sat back and thought about relationships and marriages and, in a word, what the most important thing to carry into a lifetime of togetherness was. It was grace. To have grace and compassion and to love your spouse as Jesus loved His church. It is a dear and precious love that Jesus has for us, and that we should have for each other. We are so grateful for this love and our business name reminds us of the love of friends and Jesus and family.
On hard days, which are more common than you might think, we have to sit back and remember that we created this business from the ground up & that is something to be proud of. Five years ago, Brittany left a good paying corporate job and started this crazy and rewarding and terrifying adventure. I was in college and waitressing but I still loved the idea. I wanted in on it, in any capacity I could be. So we started with weddings on the weekend and I was her assistant at first, who had a camera and got some side shots. I continued to learn and practice and hold this business so near to my heart. I was in college for Social Work, but I was so drawn to our business that I knew I had to make the choice to pursue it. (I still love my degree and don’t regret the lessons I have learned through it. In fact, I use a lot of my skills from college daily in our business.) I graduated college and became a business partner in December of last year. I knew immediately this was not going to be easy, but it would be something so special. I was so right! Since then, we have continued to grow and have even opened our own studio. We have nearly filled up the calendar for this year and next (and even into 2020!!!) We continue to learn new skills and cultivate relationships that we cherish so much. We are so excited to see what future holds and who we will get to meet and capture life’s greatest moments for. Thanks to our supportive family, followers, friends, and future clients! We appreciate you all, love you all, and cannot wait to see what this year holds for you all!
Brittany & Hannah of Dear Grace Photography