Browsing Tag



Kim and Mark | Lake Tyler Estate

Sometimes I step back and am absolutely blown away by how blessed I am with the best couples ever.  Kim and Mark have such a sweet love for each other, and I was happy to bring their special day to life at their amazing home on Lake Tyler.

A few shots from my cell before the lanterns came in from the outside ceremony. So lovely!!!

Photos: Meredith Smeltzer Photography and a few from my cell phone

Styling: me

Rentals: All American and me

Florals: LaTeeDa Flowers

Cake: Sweet Creations by Jodi

Catering: Traditions

Events, Photoshoots

Pretty + Intimate Inspiration | Weddings With Style Magazine

Talk about dreamy- this shoot came together flawlessly!  As seen in Weddings with Style Magazine.  (woo!) All the little details are what matter most, and my job is to create an event for your guests that tells your unique story, leaving no loose ends untied.  Booking 2019 now!



Rentals: myself and All American Tent Party and Rentals

Florals:  Mandy Cathey Weddings

Desserts:  Social Bites of Ruston

Calligraphy:  Paperglaze Calligraphy

Photographers: 318 Collective

Rings: Bailey’s Jewelers

Models: Tim and Page Curry

Hair/Makeup: Meka Bennett

Gown: Fabulous Frocks Shreveport, Theia

Suits: Squires

Venue: Private Residence

Videographer: Cupio Media

Styling and Design: myself


Events, Photoshoots

The Truth About Why I Split

A question for the dreamers out there- How often do things go exactly the way you envisioned?  Never?  Then to you I say, Congratulations!  I’ve determined one sign of a successful small business is to stay flexible and leave room for growth and change.  Some aspects may be just as you predicted, but usually the areas that end up evolving can be one of your biggest strengths as a business.  In November of last year I launched Kristal Childs as a separate business and focus from Pursuing Eden.  With some direction from friends in the wedding industry, lots of prayer and deep thought I knew it was time.  But I’ve never really told you why… so now you’re about to be in on the truth.

First, you must know I love Pursuing Eden Rentals.  I enjoy meeting a need in my community for specialty rentals, and I enjoy providing a unique collection to inspire local brides and party throwers.  Notice my two key words here- community and local.  Rental companies are made to serve their area, and serve them well!  But after five years, I saw two holes in my business.

1.  I was personally being asked to design weddings, events and photoshoots in non-local areas.  I struggled with how to physically get a truck and trailer of rentals to an event many hours away without the delivery and labor charge getting terribly high.  Pursuing Eden is a very small business and we must charge for hotels for the tear down team, gas for the big rigs, labor expenses for the team’s drive time, wedding wait time, food, and the list goes on.  There is no way around the fact that the farther the PE team travels, the higher these expenses get.  So how do I personally serve interested clients with a local only rental business?

2.  Not every event needs Pursuing Eden Rentals.  I know, you’re thinking, “Wait, did she just admit that?”  But, it’s true!  Pursuing Eden is a SPECIALTY rental company.  We do not carry everything.  We do not want to carry everything.  I couldn’t figure out a way to serve clients who came to me for design help, but who didn’t need what Pursuing Eden carries.  Also, through Pursuing Eden, there wasn’t a logical way for me to schedule one-on-one consults with each client and help them compile a list of regular rental needs outside of Pursuing Eden, like tents, plastic tables, regular linens etc.  How do I personally help those who have needs outside of Pursuing Eden?

So my business, simply titled Kristal Childs, was created.  Now, when I am contacted by non-local clients I can easily use rental companies from their area in my design for their event.  No Pursuing Eden Rentals required.  Separating my event styling services from Pursuing Eden Rentals means I can travel anywhere in the US (and beyond!) to style an event.  All of my local brides who have hired me for my styling services are wanting to use Pursuing Eden Rentals, and that’s great!  But my goal is to use any vendors needed to create the absolute best event.  As a separate styling business, I can offer more suggestions and assistance with the design from beginning to end.

Also, when I am personally involved in photoshoots and events, I can now be tagged as a separate business on social media, so potential clients understand they have options.  We want everyone to know that renting with Pursuing Eden can be as simple as choosing whatever rentals they want, picking them up and returning them.  Or they can hire me for design direction, separately, if needed.

Another plus!  When I launched Kristal Childs, I was able to start offering interior styling as a separate service also.  [Edit: interior design services are now available through Abide Design + Home with interior design partner Kim Whyte.]

Now lets talk about this gorgeous shoot at The White Sparrow Barn with some of the best vendors out there, recently featured on Wedding Sparrow!  I’ll let the images speak for themselves…


Take a look at the list of amazing vendors below:

Photography: Brandi Smyth

Flowers: Mandy Cathey

Rental Props: Pursuing Eden

Cake: Social Bites

Rings: Lollars

MUAH: Meka Bennett

Stationary/Calligraphy: Paper Glaze


3 Reasons You Should Hire a Photoshoot Stylist

I know, you are a very creative and talented photographer, and you may be thinking, “I’d never hire a photoshoot stylist- I know how to design!”  This post may be for you.

Three reasons you really should hire a stylist:

1.  Two heads are better than one.  A good stylist will listen to your vision and merge them with their own creativity to produce an outstanding shoot.  Remember, a stylist’s job is to make the photographer look better!  Your ideas are great, I’m sure!  Why don’t you combine them with the ideas of other experienced professionals to create a shoot that sets your work apart?

2.  Wedding blogs and magazines want to feature photographers who connect with other vendors.  They see enough submitted posts by DIY photographers… I suggest you work with and credit a stylist to help you appear even more experienced and legit, and to make your submission stand out.

3.  On the photoshoot day, your job should just be taking pictures.  Leave setup and staging to a stylist!  After shoots I style, I repeatedly hear how stress-free and focused the photographer felt.  They were able to focus on the art of photography, imagine that!  On the other hand, I also hear many regrets when a stylist isn’t brought on board, including: I thought I had enough product but the scale was off, it looked good in my head but something was missing when I set it all up,  or I ran out of time to do all I had envisioned.

These photos are from a shoot I styled a couple years ago that were published in Smitten Magazine, Style Me Pretty and more.   Brandi Smyth, photographer,  and I worked together planning this,  and the results were loved by thousands!








You can find some some great stylists out there.  I urge you to connect with one for your next shoot.  Curious to see how I can help?  Shoot me an email- I’d love to work with you!


Photography: Brandi Smyth 

Gold Sheer Dress: Handmade by MDSewingAtelier

Grey Chiffon Dress: Paolo Sebastian from Nearly Newlywed

Hair Piece: Cristina Vine by Jannie Baltzer

Hair & Makeup: Bel Viso Makeup Artisty

Groom’s Attire: Tallia, courtesy of John Pickens

Cakes: Silver Palate Cakery 

Rentals: Pursuing Eden Rentals

Floral Design: Mandy Cathey

Paper Goods: Chez Rivage

Styling: Me

Events, Personal

Arden Rose | First Birthday

Christmas is so soon, and here I am sharing some summertime pictures!  But, I think you will want to see these.

Everyone talks about the immeasurable love you have for your children, but I did not understand until God sent this beautiful ray of sunshine into my life.  And to know He loves me as His child… I do not deserve it!  Thank you, Jesus for making a way.

Our sweet girl Arden Rose turned one in July, and we had such a happy party!  I’m honored to say her big day was featured on Kara’s Party Ideas‘ Blog, Facebook and Instagram accounts very recently, and I can’t wait to share it with you now.

© Jill & Kay Photography

It didn’t take long after AR was born for everyone to start asking what her first birthday party theme would be and how we would decorate!  Most importantly, Doug and I wanted the party to be a place for our family and friends to gather together, spend time with those we don’t get to see often, and especially to celebrate Arden Rose’s big day!  My parents, “DeDe and PopPop”, enjoy cultivating their yard and flower gardens, so I decided their beautiful backyard would be the perfect place to party.  Arden Rose’s personality is dainty, soft spoken and reserved, so we thought the design should be girly and organic, with a touch of glam.  The first detail we chose was the fabric for AR’s party dress, which DeDe lovingly made by hand.  With the coral, peach, tangerine and pink color palette selected, we were ready to plan!

To welcome everyone to the party, we set up a display of AR’s month-by-month photos and a time capsule box for guests to write notes, advice or scripture for her to open when she turns 16.  We used a market cart and other props to create the feel of a fresh flower market.

© Jill & Kay Photography

© Jill & Kay Photography

© Jill & Kay Photography

Curved under a grove of trees, we set out mismatched chairs and barnwood benches around a long row of tables with organic loose weave cotton and gold sequin runners which showcased amazing fresh florals.

© Jill & Kay Photography

© Jill & Kay Photography

© Jill & Kay Photography

Since July in Texas is hot and humid, we opted for a morning brunch party and served scones, donuts, fresh fruit, quiche and gluten free muffins made by my sweet friend, Kimberly.  Organic milk and orange juice were offered in the cutest little milk bottles, displayed in a vintage baby bathtub.  I hand-lettered in gold all of the eats and treats signs.

© Jill & Kay Photography

© Jill & Kay Photography


© Jill & Kay Photography

© Jill & Kay Photography

© Jill & Kay Photography

© Jill & Kay Photography

The sweets buffet, cake stands and gold sequin backdrop showcased AR’s smash cake, which was also made with love by her DeDe.

© Jill & Kay Photography

© Jill & Kay Photography

© Jill & Kay Photography

© Jill & Kay Photography

© Jill & Kay Photography

© Jill & Kay Photography

© Jill & Kay Photography

Arden Rose is blessed with the best Aunts, Uncles, Grandparents and friends, who all came to celebrate with us.   I made a backdrop of flowers for AR to open gifts in front of and I think this was my favorite spot at the whole party!  Seeing her precious face light up with each present brought so much joy to us and to our guests.  Arden Rose is one loved little girl.  Her favorite gifts were her books, vintage piano from her great-grandmother “Temah”, and her dolls, especially Polly, handmade by DeDe in a matching party dress.

© Jill & Kay Photography




© Jill & Kay Photography


© Jill & Kay Photography


© Jill & Kay Photography

To thank all of the littles for coming, we made coloring books full of AR’s favorite things, and DeDe made felt crayon caddies, staying in the party’s color palette.  Playtime in the yard consisted of bubbles, foam noodle games and other toddler toys, and it was a big hit too, with quilts ready in the shade for cooling off when needed.

© Jill & Kay Photography


© Jill & Kay Photography

We decided to hire professional photographers to capture the memories for us, and I am so glad we did! I am very thankful we can look back on these photos in years to come and remember all the wonderful details: smiles shared, hugs given, prayers lifted up, and memories made.

Back to December (but still hot down here in Texas at the moment!); I wish your family a very merry Christmas, and pray for Jesus’ unconditional love to be made real in a special way in your life during this season.

Photography:  Jill and Kay Photography

Rentals: Pursuing Eden Rentals

Florals:  La Bella Blooms

Stylist: Me