Traci and Troy Blog » Indianapolis Wedding Photographers

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  • a sibling photography team in Indianapolis, Indiana

Monthly Archives: March 2017

If you missed our post on Our Story, you may want to read about how our brother/sister photography team began, but I thought I’d explain more about our partnership on the wedding day. If you’ve followed our work, you know I sing the praises of Troy. He’s so much more than a second shooter; Troy is my shooting partner, and I love his work. We are a wedding photography TEAM.

We each have our roles we play on a wedding day. We have our system–and as one couple said on their review for “The Knot,” we have “our own language!” I know when he’s loving the shot and when he’s uninspired. He knows when I’m changing lenses and need him to take the lead. Our whole system happened organically. Interestingly, we never discussed our roles on a wedding day; they just happened. Here’s a look at our partnership and why two shooters are an advantage to any bride and groom!

(In each of the following images, I shot the image on the left, and Troy created the image on the right.)

1. We can focus on details. While I’m focusing on the “can’t miss” shots, Troy focuses on all the details– the bouquet, dress, jewelry, etc.

2. We can take risks. Troy’s images are typically my favorite, and I don’t mind admitting it! I orchestrate the shot– find the locations, analyze the light, create the pose, communicate with our bride and groom, and photograph what may be seen as more “typical.” You can depend on me! But Troy is our risk taker. He tries different perspectives, angles, etc. As with any risks, some do not work, but when they do, WOW!

3. We can provide two perspectives. We seek to look at things differently. We often use a different lens or stand in a different place. MOST of the time, I shoot full length while Troy is closer to our couples.

4. We can be in two places at once. Not only can we split up for getting ready shots, but we can be in two places during a ceremony and divide our time between family formals and shooting details in an empty reception room.
We know this day is one moment in time. There are so many events and emotions happening at the same time, and we’re grateful we can depend on one another to capture the fullness and richness of these days for our couples!

Because Troy works part-time for Traci and Troy, he’s a bit more behind the scenes in the daily operations, but he’s such an integral part of the wedding day! I’m going to speak more about our partnership on Friday’s blog post, but in the meantime, I thought it was important for you to discover a bit more about the man that takes so many of my favorite Traci and Troy images. Here’s 10 things you may not know about Troy in his own words:

1) I’m a family man. I’ve been married to my wife, Ashley, for almost 13 years. We’ve traveled together, lived in three very different places (Arkansas, Seattle, and now Indiana), and we’ve done graduate school and lots of different jobs over the years. But by far our biggest and best adventure has been our kids: Our daughter Calais is 7, our son Salem is 4, and our son Zeke is almost 2.

2) I’m a full-time mental health therapist. Technically, I’m a relational, psychodynamic psychotherapist in private practice with a leaning towards attachment, existentialism, object-relations, and self-psychology … but who’s asking? My interests right now are focused on trauma, neuroscience, the integrated self, and the benefits of mindfulness practices. If you can’t tell from the last two sentences, I can really geek out on therapy. I love that we’re all infinitely complicated, and at the same time, we’re surprisingly simple – we just want to be loved, understood, and connected with our selves and others. I’m grateful that I have the privilege to participate in others’ lives in the sacred space of therapy.

3) I’m a hobbyist woodworker. About five years ago, I decided I wanted to get into woodworking. Christmas, birthdays, extra spending cash – it’s all gone to buying tools, and for awhile, I hoarded every piece of free lumber I could find. I’ve finally graduated to rough cut hardwoods now, and in my basement, I’m drying lumber from an ash tree and a silver maple cut from our yard. If three years of drying goes well, I may end up with a dining table made by me from a tree from our own yard – now that’s idyllic. Shout out to Marc Spagnuolo at The Wood Whisperer for his many educational videos that have given me a fighting chance at being halfway decent at this hobby!

4) Podcasts are my new obsession. If you talk to me for 30 minutes, it’s inevitable that I will mention something about a podcast I’ve been listening to. Science, theology, philosophy, politics – I’ll consume anything in those areas. Some of my favorites: Ask Science Mike, On Being, Between Us: A Psychotherapy Podcast, Freakonomics Radio, Hidden Brain, The Liturgists, NPR Politics, On the Media, Planet Money, The RobCast, Science Vs, This American Life, Radiolab, TED Radio Hour, and You Are Not So Smart, to name a few 🙂

5) I’m a wannabe vegan. Most people look at me like I’m crazy when I say that. I get it. Veganism is extreme, and I crave dairy, especially cheese … and ice cream. And there’s nothing like a good pair of worn, leather boots. But I’ve watched too many documentaries about our systems of factory farming to not be disturbed. I currently eat about 90% vegetarian, so we’ll see if I can transition to vegan here in the future…

6) I live in a Craftsman-style home built almost 100 years ago. Our family moved into this home three years ago, and we are s-l-o-w-l-y making progress on updating it all. If you’ve owned an old home, you know what it’s like — there is always something else that needs done, but the character and charm are irreplaceable. Our current project: I’m building a set of built-in bookshelves with base cabinets in our living room, and we’re starting to plan for a full kitchen remodel. My dream is to build the kitchen cabinets myself, but Ashley is voting for the ease of IKEA.

7) I love Legos. When my kids discovered Legos, I was like a kid at Christmas all over again. My boys are obsessed with Star Wars Legos, and I spend lots of time in the evenings having minifigure lightsaber battles and rebuilding the sets for Salem that have been destroyed by Zeke. “We’re from the planet Duplo, and we’re here to destroy you.” Yep, that’s Zeke.

8) My heart is in Seattle. Ashley and I moved to Seattle in 2007 so I could pursue a Masters degree in Counseling Psychology at The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology. We lived in Seattle for 5 years, and part of our hearts will always be there. We made beautiful friendships, we lived close to the water, we saw the mountains every day, we drank great coffee, we hiked and snowshoed, we embraced a totally different culture, and our first baby was born there. I’ve always said that the city has a personality, and I miss it as deeply as I miss my dear friends.

9) Pull-ups are my favorite exercise. Like Traci, I love Beachbody workouts, but I don’t have the breadth of experience that she has. She’s completed quite a few of the programs, but I’m purely a Tony Horton guy. I got my first experience with Tony’s P90X in 2010, and I quickly developed a love for pull-ups – good thing because he does them A LOT. After kids came, it was difficult to carve 60-90 minutes out of my day, so I was giddy when his 30-minute P90X3 workout series arrived. Like always, I pushed it hard on the pull-ups until, unfortunately, I strained something in my elbow. Nine months later and I’m still nursing it. Tony says that aging is for people who don’t know better, but my lingering injuries would beg to differ. That being said, I’m not giving up. Pull-up bar, I’m still coming for you.

10) I’m indecisive. About almost everything. I recently listened to the Personality Hackers podcast about my Myers-Briggs type (ENFP). One main emphasis on my type was indecisiveness due to the world being full of possibilities. ENFP’s struggle to make decisions because so many other alternatives are also appealing. I laughed when I heard that. I always thought it was a bit weird that I hated long menus with too many options at restaurants, but turns out, I’m just a regular ol’ ENFP.




I wanted to wear an heirloom dress when I got married. The problem was that my parents married in 1972, and my mother’s dress was adorned with lace daisies and a high collar. It also rained the day of the their wedding. The dress got caught in the car door leaving the reception and was drug through mud. My mom didn’t clean it; she wanted it to stay JUST THE WAY IT WAS!

So yeah, my mother’s dress wasn’t an option.

My in-laws passed away shortly after we were married. At their estate auction, a family friend purchased a wood chest. We didn’t know it, but my mother-in-law’s wedding dress was inside! Fortunately, the friends gave the dress back to us. My in-laws were married in the late 60s and the dress is perfect– a classy, timeless, tea length gown with ¾ length sleeves and a boat neck. I sometimes wonder why my mother-in-law kept quiet about her dress. Perhaps she didn’t want to put me in an awkward position if I didn’t like it. It’s in our attic for my daughter to wear someday if she chooses.

Why was wearing an heirloom dress important to me? I’ve always been sentimental, and I love the idea of bringing a LEGACY of commitment into a wedding day. Sentimental items remind of us of the marriages that have gone before us. They’re a way to honor our HERITAGE.

But how do you incorporate sentimental items into your wedding day regardless of your wedding day style? A table with family wedding pictures is common, but what else?

Here’s some ideas we’ve gathered:

12 Sentimental Ideas for your Wedding Day

1. Reuse a cake topper from a relative’s wedding. Josh and Jocelyn’s cake topper was a family heirloom at their classy, romantic wedding.

2. Wrap lace from a loved one’s wedding dress around your bouquet, the bridesmaid bouquets, and/or the boutonnieres.

3. Wear your mother’s veil or a layer of your mother’s veil. Sarah wore her mother’s veil and it was perfect!

4. Sew a heart cut from your father’s or grandfather’s blue dress shirt on the inside of your dress. It can be your something blue!

5. And speaking of something blue, embroider your wedding date on the inside hem of your wedding dress with blue thread.

6. Add heirloom broaches to your bridal bouquet. Women at Delaina’s bridal shower gave her broaches that she used in her winter wedding bouquet.

7. Add photo charms of family members to your bouquet.

8. Ask your grandmothers to be your flower girls!

9. Wear a loved one’s ring in addition to yours. Abbie had the honor of wearing this cameo ring as her “something old.” It was originally Scott’s great grandfather’s. His grandmother, great aunt, mother, and two aunts all wore it on their wedding days!

10. Ask grandparents to participate in the wedding ceremony. They could play an instrument, read scripture, publicly pray for the couple during the ceremony, etc.

11. Wear a special piece of jewelry from a loved one. Kate wore her grandmother’s diamond.

12. Hire an artist to paint or draw your ceremony as it’s taking place.

What else would you add to the list?

For the past two years, we’ve participated in the Shoot and Share contest and it is SO MUCH FUN!

Here’s a bit about the contest from the Shoot and Share website:

“The Shoot & Share Photo Contest is the world’s only free & fair photo contest. Enter up to 50 photos in 25 categories. Anyone can enter photos, and it’s totally free! View the photos randomly and vote for your favorites. No one knows who took the photos, but everyone votes for the winners. The photos with the most votes win!”

And to understand the MAGNITUDE of the contest, there were over 332,768 photos submitted from 136 countries and more than 46 million votes!

Anyone can vote. We actually had fun voting as a family a few times. And it can be addicting. Four photos appear on the computer screen from the same category. You choose the one you like best and then another four pictures appear from a different category.

“Ok kids, we will vote for 20 minutes and stop at 8:45.”
“Mom, it’s 8:45.”
“Ok, just five more minutes!”

In the time I spent voting, I saw one of our images one time.

So why do we participate? It’s inspiring! It pushes us to think outside our box while still staying true to our style. While voting, we’re able to see the photos that we’re drawn to– the photos that catch our eye.

Last year we had one photo that made it to the finalist round. I knew we had an image that was a finalist this year, but we ended with FOUR images that were FINALISTS, and I thought a blog post was a better way to share them!

Our top finisher was awarded a Top 100 Badge in its category “Details: All Dressed Up” and was part of the “Best of the Best” round at the end of the competition!

Here it is! Avery and Kate’s beautiful flowergirl details!

And our finalists (finalists place in the top 3% of each category):

The adorable flower girl at Lance and Mallory’s wedding in “That Just Happened.”

Katie and her mom in “Emotion and Excitement.”

Strother and Sarah’s picture in “The Wedding Couple.” This photo was in the top 1% of images in this category that had 35,527 photos in it!

We’re honored. We’re inspired. And we can’t wait until next year!

About a year ago, I discovered a photographer that took pictures of kids’ bedrooms in the 1990s. She wrote a book titled In My Room: Teenagers in Their Bedrooms, and I was fascinated by the concept. Our childhood bedrooms speak so much about us, don’t they? I remember my teddy bear collection (don’t judge), the boombox that sat on the floor, my cream colored rotary dial phone, the pile of books next to my bed, the stickers on my closet door, the poster size picture of one of my best friends and me at a cross country meet… Looking back, it does tell my childhood story– my love of music, books, running, and talking 🙂 I committed myself to a personal project: documenting my kids’ bedrooms. They don’t understand yet. They think it’s a little crazy that Mom wants to take pictures of random things in their rooms.

I remember the stage when they started to fill their perfect decorated rooms with trinkets– when they started to have opinions about the room’s layout, the design, etc… Their rooms aren’t perfect anymore– they’re lived in and filled with their treasures– but they are part of their identities.

Their rooms tell their stories… their everyday, real life stories. Just as Salinger documented the 1990’s rooms “just as they are,” I wanted to do the same. Here’s a peek into Lydia’s world…