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Sydney + Steven {Engagement} - Rodney, MS

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Sydney + Steven {Engagement} - Rodney, MS

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Hey there!

This week we are featuring one of our latest engagement sessions - perfect timing for Valentine's Day! Just as the weather was turning cooler here in Mississippi, we finally found a couple who wanted to brave a portrait session with us in a ghost town called Rodney. We've been out there exploring before but had never done any couples' portraits until now! Sydney and Steven were the perfect clients to go on this fun adventure with. They are such a sweet couple and loved seeing all of these historic buildings with us. 

Rodney sits just northeast of Natchez, MS so it's pretty close to the Mississippi River. There's a few different structures and cemeteries still standing in this little ghost town, but we just stayed around three structures while we were shooting: Old Rodney Presbyterian Church, Rodney Baptist Church, and Rodney Masonic Lodge. The town is not completely deserted; there are a handful of people who still live in the area, but all of the original structures have been abandoned for a long time.

Since the last time we came to Rodney (photo at the bottom of this post), the Masonic Lodge doors have been closed off  - it was in the worst shape out of the three. The Baptist church (circa 1850) is a beautiful white building trimmed with green shutters. Both inside and out, it has so much architectural charm that we love. The Presbyterian church (circa 1829) sits just across the way and is in much better shape. As a tall brick building right off the dirt road, it's hard to miss. It's famous for receiving the brunt of a squabble during the Civil War. According to stories we've read, the pastor at that time invited Union crew members from the USS Rattler gunboat to attend his service. However, Confederates heard about this and burst into the church to arrest them, violating their Sunday truce. When fellow Union crew members found out about the Confederates breaking the truce, they retaliated by firing a cannonball at the church. The damage is still visible on the front exterior. (In the photo below, you can see it in the brick, above the green shutters on the right.)

Happy Valentine's Day!

Until next time,

RD & Ashley

Behind the Scenes:

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Nadia + Ismael {Wedding} - Pearl, MS

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Nadia + Ismael {Wedding} - Pearl, MS

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We're back! 

It's been a busy few months! We've had so many weddings consecutively, and can't wait to share all of our new films and photos! It's been a great time, but we are glad to have a break soon.

One of our favorite weddings was Nadia and Ismael's. This was our first wedding to be a part of that was completely Spanish-speaking, as well as our first Catholic mass ceremony. We loved getting to know their family and all of their awesome cultural traditions! One of these traditions at the reception involved the couple standing on chairs, while their friends and family held them up. Her veil was held between them both, as other wedding guests tried to knock them over. We won't give away the rest, but watch their film for the full story! With all the excitement, their wedding day flew by. It was a truly original day, and we enjoyed being a part of it. We were not able to fit in their engagement session before their wedding day, so we ended up doing their session about a week after the wedding. It turned out better than we could have planned that way because we were able to get some amazing shots of Ismael and Nadia in their wedding attire as well! For any engaged couples who don't want a 'First Look' on your wedding day, this is a great alternative so you can have a full portrait session completely unrushed by all of the wedding day festivities. 

More to come soon!

-RD & Ash

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Katie + Seth {Wedding} - Cumberland, MD

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Katie + Seth {Wedding} - Cumberland, MD

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   Home, where your family (and dogs) welcome you with open arms (paws), and your Gram is waiting with a fresh batch of chocolate chip cookies. It's always great to go home, especially when your dear friends get married! We had a wonderful time filming and photographing Katie and Seth's wedding in Cumberland, Maryland (my hometown)! The wedding day felt like a family reunion, with familiar and friendly faces all around. Of course, some great friends were there as well! The Allegany Museum was a beautiful venue for a sunny July day. There wasn't a shortage of creative energy, as the historic Western Maryland scenic railroad train station was just across the street, and the grand Appalachian mountains rose up from the terrain. Katie & Seth's wedding video was particularly unique, with original music written by the groom, making for a compelling soundtrack. We filmed them singing the duet in a staircase at the museum. The first drone shot in the film was originally shot during the couples engagement session, at Swallow Falls State Park.

   We're looking forward to visiting Maryland again soon, to film another wedding! The colorful October foliage is something Mississippi usually doesn't reveal until late November, and just for a brief time. Shortly after, in November, we'll be back up for Thanksgiving, and for two photography sessions! It's been a blast coming to Maryland more often, and expanding our business as well! 

P.S. Sorry we missed a week we've been busy!

-RD

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Amanda + Matthew {Wedding} - Crystal Springs, MS

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Amanda + Matthew {Wedding} - Crystal Springs, MS

     Tucked away in the woods of Crystal Springs, Mississippi down a few winding back roads lies the Jackson Place. This beautiful barn was the location of an exciting wedding celebration. We had the pleasure of being the photographers and the videographers of Amanda & Matthew's celebration. Ash and I have traveled this summer to Jackson, Tupelo, Hattiesburg, Bogue Chitto, Grenada, Cumberland, Maryland, and beyond!!! Although we traveled to some of these locations after this wedding, it was nice to have a venue so close to home! Our dogs (Moses & Eydie) appreciated it as well.  It was a windy day so flying the drone was more difficult than usual. Thankfully, the wind receded once the ceremony began. I have yet to fly the drone during a ceremony, but it's sure to happen one day. We worked with some great vendors for this wedding, including: Sherry's Catering and Ricky McCraw mobile DJ. Venue: Jackson Place.

     As I've lived here in Crystal Springs for about two and a half years, it's been exciting getting to understand the area better. We plan to do a film on Crystal Springs at some point in the future (top secret for now). Everyday is a new adventure with Pioneer Productions. We've thoroughly enjoyed building our business as the future slowly irons itself out. We have big plans for the future, and God-willing those will come to fruition.

Proverbs 16:3 "Commit your work to the LORD, and your plans will be established." 

- RD

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Katie + Seth {Engagement} - Swallow Falls, Maryland

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Katie + Seth {Engagement} - Swallow Falls, Maryland

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Welcome to our new site design!! Still playing catch up on our blog...if you follow us on Instagram (@pioneerproductionsms), you have seen a glimpse of this gorgeous engagement session. We were so excited to finally get to shoot in RD's home state of Maryland! We started out walking through the trails at Swallow Falls State Park and ended lakeside at Herrington Manor State Park. This was our first session to use our new DRONE! (You'll be able to see some of our recent drone footage in our latest wedding films). The entire afternoon ended up being the best adventure - we explored, laughed until we cried, got some amazing shots with the drone, and saw a black bear in the woods. Katie and Seth were such good sports braving the waterfall! We will be back in Maryland in just a couple of weeks to shoot these sweet friends' wedding so stay tuned! - Ash

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Help Portrait - Common Ground Covenant Church

Help Portrait - Common Ground Covenant Church

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RD and I have some pretty important news! In April we decided to take a leap of faith and go FULL TIME with Pioneer!! Ever since we got married, we have been dreaming of working together full time. More specifically, we have been dreaming of doing ministry full time together: one day we want to plant a church for all people. But for now, we are having a blast traveling and meeting awesome people! Photography & film may not seem like a ministry at first glance, but to us it is. We pray for each person and marriage, and we love just being present on one of the most important days in our clients' lives. Most people know that I did photography professionally through college but stopped for several years when I started working full time in ministry. I also got pretty burnt out for a while because I felt like my creativity was being forced into a box in order to keep up with the photo trends that most potential clients wanted. I consider myself an artist first, business owner second. I think for RD it's the other way around, and that's why we make such a great team. 

For me, Help Portrait was my deciding factor whether to get back into photography professionally again. Help Portrait for us looks like setting up a day to do photos then ordering, matting, and giving away the photos to each family or individual for free. This is our second session with our church family at Common Ground Covenant Church. Common Ground partners with us in sponsoring these events by paying for a portion of the costs to get these prints to the families. We want to give away as many photos as we can. If you'd like to sponsor an event to provide free photos for local community members, please contact us or give online here. Specifically, I would love to do Help Portrait sessions for nursing homes, homeless shelters, adoption agencies, hospice care, and animal shelters - if you have a personal connection with any organizations like those, let us know. Aside from Help Portrait, we are also more than willing to work with our clients' budgets. Even for weddings, if our pricing doesn't fit your budget - come talk to us and let's figure out a plan to make it work! - Ashley