FREE wedding photography by BURTco. | ethan & bethany burt | annual wedding giveaway | love intensely

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we've been photographing love stories for a while. we love marriage. and we love photographing an in-love bride and groom. every year we give one couple free wedding photography. it's just what we do. we've done it each year since we started our photography company. we want to always come back to thankfulness and gratefulness and remembrance. 

ethan and i met in november of 2009. we married very quickly after that and decided we wanted to anything we could to spend as much time together as humanly possible. going into business for ourselves would be the only way we say possible. we started photographing weddings together in 2012. we couldn't believe the response from family and friends and strangers. wanting to give us money in exchange for photographic memories of their lives and most special days. elation. every inquiry filled our hearts with glee and disbelief. and it happened again and again. we went full time in 2013. we focus on engagement and weddings. we're obsessed with marriage and love celebrating that part of life for other humans most. it comes easily to us. we seem to stay forever in that intense passionate "beginning" style honeymoon phase of marriage. it's certainly my favorite part of being married to ethan burt. by now we know that it gets even better. we grow deeper in love with each passing year. 

our goal is a simple one. we want to gift free wedding photography. 
we simply want to hear from you. we want to know your story. we don't want this to be a "likes" contest or a "how my story is the best and we deserve free photos" thing. 
we just believe in real love. and we'd love to be let in to your lives and love story. 
if you are getting married between january and september 2018, you are eligible to win. 
just email your story to burtco.weddings@gmail.com and share with us! 

we've been to maine and south carolina. florida and indiana. kentucky and all over illinois. michigan and arkansas. missouri and ohio. wisconsin and north carolina. we are the traveling burts. we're happy to travel anywhere to shoot your wedding so don't let geography worry you. we do ask that you help us get to you but your wedding photography is covered! 

this also isn't about what kind of wedding day you're going to have or what kind of day would make us happy to photograph. we have done all the kinds of weddings. big huge parties, barn weddings with hanging twinkle lights, outside her childhood home wedding, down by the lake with the craziest wind, middle of a rain storm wedding, elopement wedding with a tiny house airbnb and tacos on a tuesday (which is the wedding pictured here and was last year's winners and also some of our now closest people), hotel weddings, swanky warehouse weddings, high heels, bare feet, jeans on the guys, sundress gown. we love marriage. we love engaged in life and adventure couples. passionate about one another and ready for what real married life is going to be. just be yourself and tell us about how much you love your person. you don't have to write a novel or even be a good writer. i'm sure sitting down and quietly remembering your love story, even ten minutes could produce beauty. just putting your own words down is already a great story. tell us it. we cannot wait to hear all of your stories. 

you have until midnight cst on november 22nd to enter.
we will pick a winner and announce on thanksgiving night

xo,
e & b burt

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bridal & bouquet | bco. friday favorite | BURTco. wedding photography

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today's friday favorite is about launching BRIDAL & BOUQUET! 
so, what is b & b? i'm so glad you asked. 

i am obsessed with brides. obvious much?
and sometimes the wedding day just isn't enough time spent in your wedding dress, holding pretty flowers and celebrating being a bride and feeling beautiful. all of my brides mention this on the wedding day in some form of, "can i just wear this dress all day every day!?" well, now you can, for one more day, at least. and then have photos to last a lifetime. 

besides being married to the love of your life forever and ever, my favorite thing about you, bride, is your beauty, your dress and your bouquet. this wife life is such a beautiful journey, a gift, a more difficult road than ever imagined, and a dream come true. i love celebrating marriage and i love spending time with my brides. so i created this session, to take place in my new photography studio, so we can get closer in relationship and celebrate your married life while you prance around in your dress and we smell pretty flowers. 

i met with my favorite florist, kristine, for coffee a few months back and asked her to team up with me to create something super fun and super special. i was so happy when she said YES, instead of telling me i'm crazy. she was just as excited as i was and couldn't wait to get started. i love her passion so much for what she does and guess what? her favorite part of her job is the bride's bouquet! she is excellent at her job and i adore getting to know her.

bridal & bouquet. a session with me, in  your dress, with a gorgeous creation of blooms.
best idea ever? i have dreamed of this and i am bursting to announce it today! 

it doesn't matter if your wedding day was five months ago or fifty years ago.
you are a beautiful bride and i would love to photograph you! 
happy friday! 

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BURTco. engagement | will & amanda | louisville, kentucky | kentucky bride

there's just something about somerset, kentucky girls. 
they have become so dear. 
we've been traveling back to somerset each year of our entire career and it's all because of one wedding day. from one wedding we have then been blessed with building relationships with bridesmaids and guests who then become brides! and stay friends, the joy that fills my soul! we have stayed in touch, gone back to visit, had them over in our little home in danville, illinois and fallen in love over and over with them and their love stories. our hearts are forever tied to the somerset, kentucky area. and we will never stop being so overjoyed and amazed about it. 

will and amanda's story is one really of God. how he works and how he loves and how he moves and creates beautiful love stories. and how he surprises us with how perfectly he can craft a mate.

these two met at their childhood camp when they were adults and came back to work on the volunteer team in 2009. they came back two more summers. 2010 and 2011. 
they spent a lot of time together and with their friends. their first favorite memory is of a folk dancing night. they just danced the night away and had one of the very best nights of their life. their second outing together with friends was rock climbing. her best friend megan told her will was obviously digging her but sweet amanda was in total disbelief. ha! 

their first date was on august 4 of 2011. they enjoyed dinner with her parents on the front porch and then took a walk that would become the most memorable walk of their love story. amanda showed will her childhood church and they found out his grandfather was a paster there decades ago and his parents were also married there! how special! amanda was thinking in her heart how much she's always dreamed of being married there and also really wanting this to be with will. (which they will do on saturday!)

they both knew they wanted to be married to each other because of the collection of memories they were building together. they enjoyed being together way more than being apart and will says amanda is the best part of any day. after prayer and time away, he knew she would become his wife. upon meeting will amanda immediately thought that whoever gets to be this guy's wife is the luckiest. she is now the luckiest and she knows it. 

as a pair they are compassionate, almost always in a good mood, fun to be around, and up to do anything. they are honest and loyal, trustworthy and have adventurous spirits. when we met them for their engagement session they just had FUN things planned that also made sense to who they are. we loved that the most. they danced and ordered bourbon and enjoyed one another's company. the best way to be for a session. we were just along for the ride and we were so glad they let us in. we get to view their story in such a cool way. front row seats to such a special time in their lives. they trusted us to just do what we do, and they did what we asked of them which is to just BE as they are together. 

these two will become one this saturday. husband & wife. 

we are traveling to somerset to be with them, their families, closest friends. and to witness their vows, i will most certainly cry. they have become so special to us. this planning process has been such a joy for me because amanda and i have been talking on the phone every single week. talking more about marriage and intense love and true married life, to prepare and to just be there for one another. which is an even greater joy. we're already planning our trip to stay with them in new york next year! this photography life is beyond my wildest dreams. God has given us PEOPLE. his people. to stay connected to over the years. to follow along and to keep fellowship with no matter how many miles separate us. 

will cannot wait for his wedding ceremony. to marry amanda. 
we will be thinking of that when we photograph for them! 
and amanda cannot wait to proclaim her vows to will! i bet she might even shout them, she's been bursting all week with loud joy! 

and together they cannot wait to worship with their closest family and friends, and celebrate what God has done in their lives and the promises for their future. 

along with these photos i want them to remember these words. 
the words they wrote to us, telling us of their love story.
and letting us share online to be an example to other couples! 
to remember when the days get difficult and the mundane comes and the suffering happens, that they can be strong and remember that they've built a great foundation and can truly weather any storm that comes their way. 

and always, that they have friends in ethan and me. that we take seriously our role in all of this. we are just about as intense as intense comes.
and we will love them.

when to book | wedding season | BURTco. wedding photography

we get asked all the time, when is the best time to book the wedding photographer?

common order : date, venue, wedding planner (exciting news coming to our company about this part soon), wedding photographer!

a lot of our couples know they want us (which still gives me butterflies!), so they ask us for a list of dates in the months they like to ensure they get us! this has been the coolest thing ever. then they look into their venues and see which dates match up and pick a date that way. 

my opinion is you should book your wedding photographer as soon as your date and venue are locked in. we sometimes book out two, even three years in advance so getting your date 100% locked is the most important. once you're booked we plan your engagement session and start helping you make your wedding day vision come true. sometimes you don't have to have your venue locked in but your date should be. this is because weddings are first come, first serve and we can't move dates around for people because that would be chaos. we book and secure your date and then no one else can have it, and we're all yours! we book up all weekend. couples are getting married on fridays and sundays now, which is amazing because we can add more weddings to our season and get to work with so many cool and lovely couples. weekdays are getting more popular, too, and we're happy to do weekday weddings as well! 

we are with you for up to eight hours on the wedding day. we've done this a lot and we know how to cover the most important moments of the day without it being like you're spending a whole day taking photos. we want you to fully live your day. enjoy every single breath together. our favorite time is alone time with the bride and groom. ethan always says he just wants to photograph for like two hours, just alone with the bride and groom and then you go off and enjoy your whole day. we know that there are other important people and moments in the day, but this is our favorite part so this is where we put the most emphasis. 

we met in a nursing home taking care of the elderly. and nothing would bring them back to life like that one photograph of them and their best person, love of their life. and so that's what we aim to get you. that one perfect moment together. 

picking your wedding date and venue can be so stressful. we hope that picking your wedding photographer is easy. we just love love. we adore marriage. wedding photography is such a special thing that we get to spend our weekends doing. your one wedding day, your forever captured photographs. if ethan had his way, everything would be black and white. i am loving his romantic touch on the black and white edits, but i still love color, too. 

ethan and i are not a primary/secondary photography team. we are two professional photographers. you get both of us! you get two different people, different perspectives, different art forms. two people who believe in marriage so deeply. two very emotional in different ways angles on your day. 

bco. friday favorite | this whole studio thing | our love for danville, il | BURTco. weddings

we moved to danville a little over three years ago. 
we would drive around town, mostly downtown and we would dream and dream of where we would set up shop one day. we even almost bought a building downtown instead of a home and we were going to live in there and work in there. which is still an option on the dream table. 

so this friday favorite is still in celebration mode of the studio. and celebrating memories and the years of waiting and working and getting to the new adventures over much anticipated time. 

we have wanted a storefront for about the same amount of time we've been living in our city. 
we could just continue to work on location like we have done and will still do for our weddings and engagements but we also want to set up shop in our town. we want a meeting place with our couples and gathering space for all the people we are suddenly adding to our company (which is nuts and so much fun and also needs talked about soon) and just a creative office that is not also my home that has dishes to do and laundry that needs done. 

we are making this place our hometown. we are making our home here and we aren't leaving barring divine intervention. so we are digging our roots in and loving being here. 

so, this day last summer (the day these photos were taken) we met with the mayor and city officials to discuss our heart and our desires and options in danville. it was a great meeting but things still took another year or so of meeting and networking with so many people (which i LOVE) and now we are here today, with our first location with a building owner who is so cool and we love working with. YES! ahhh!! celebration sounds. 

this was a pretty day and we walked around to all the downtown buildings, we looked in windows and we talked to locals and shop owners and i got two new records, which i now collect even though i am still waiting to receive my very own record player. i want our home full of music all the time. we have a piano in the garage that i can't wait to fix up and get in the house. but that's a story for another day. 

we are dreamers. we are doers. i am not what you'd call a patient person. so waiting for this to become reality and also keeping it a secret has been STUPID AND VERY DUMB AND HARD FOR ME TO HANDLE. i've told all the people i could who i knew wouldn't share the information or lived states away and that still wasn't enough. i like to shout things to all the people.

i also want to remember the slowness of this day. so many dreams and our minds moving a million miles a second but still nothing we could do that TODAY to get a move on or own a building or rent or move in. so we came home and made lunch and rested and just calmed our breathing and trusted that in the right time we would be getting our own space. and that is now.
and the now is awesome. and we are living in thankfulness every day about it. 

it's beautiful. it's messy. it's fun. it's hard work. 
it's all the things we love. the risk, the reward. the joy. 

happy friday! 

bco. friday favorite | announcement | danville il

this week my friday favorite is that WE ARE OPENING A STUDIO IN DOWNTOWN DANVILLE!! AHHHHHHH. everyone FREAK OUT. 

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AHHH I'M STANDING IN MY STUDIO. THIS WINDOW AND SILL ARE STUPID AMAZING. I AM YELLING WITH HAPPINESS. HOW IS THIS EVEN REAL?!

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THE CEILING. 

more actual words and announcements are coming soon but today is just about FREAKING OUT WITH JOY AND THANKFULNESS. 

happy friday!

both worlds | at home with bb | wedding woman | also just woman

i really live the best of both worlds. i just didn’t know it until very recently.

i thought the one world was the only option. the world of business and wedding industry and always climbing for the top, more money, more name recognition, more about me, high energy that never stops, and endlessly stressful. when i lived in just this world, i wasn’t a version of myself that i liked. and i never slept. and i never relaxed. and i never enjoyed the best parts of my life. which does include the wedding industry, but it’s just not ALL of me.

the other world is the slow life. the waking up early to snuggle on the couch in the morning light with a cup of amazingly hot coffee. the slow life of walking around the neighborhood, knowing our neighbors, being invited to take food from a friend’s garden, enjoying fresh dinner around the table with loud kids and fun, adventurous, creative friends. watching our friend’s kids and being their auntie b and uncle e, cooking dinner for people in need, girls night on their front porch after the babes are sleeping, getting involved with our community doing things that have nothing to do with our business but everything to do with growing a healthy community, buying someone’s groceries, worshiping and breaking bread together and refocusing our hearts on what truly matters in this world.

some weeks i live in both worlds several several times.
this weekend i came back to my slow life from being on a high of the fast life and it took me a while to adjust back. but it’s possible. i know it’s possible now. i can be in the fast life in the morning and the slow life in the afternoon. i used to not be able to do this. i was fast life all the way, baby. no one’s gunna stop this train. but that train was a wreck. an exhausted wreck.

when you’re building a business you have to be a little crazy all of the time.
it’s a lot of work. and depletes a lot of energy. you’re basically putting yourself out there and begging people to want to work with you over someone else. and they have to have a good reason. but what i didn’t stop to appreciate until recently is that we’ve done it. sure, it has to continue and the hard work doesn’t stop, but it does sort of start to glide into a smooth rhythm. but i didn’t realize i had found mine. this sweet rhythm of hard, fast work, and slow, sweet living.

i can really have both.

friends are so important. friendly encouragement and support.
the best encouragement i’ve received in a long while was the P.S. section of my dear KaS and her blog post about me, about us, about women. she is so inspiring. and i didn’t ever realize that i could be inspiring to someone. that what i’ve done and have worked so hard for, someone else can see and says “hell yes, she’s doing it and that’s awesome”. she and i have thanked each other numerous times throughout our relationship and this is only one more small thanks. thanks never seems like enough. but i think over time, the relationship of thanks proves itself with the behavior and the sacrifice and the willingness to do anything for your people. so i hope and anticipate that being the case with KaS. this is what she wrote :

read the whole post here.

P.S. B. Burt intimidated me at first, too. She’s incredibly talented and loving, and her light shines SO BRIGHTLY, even on her darkest, most painful days. She’s living my dream of supporting herself with her camera and her words. And you know what? Instead of trying to one-up me with her talents and awesomeness, she encourages me to run toward my dreams and gives me advice every single time I ask for it. She is a mentor and a leader. She and E. Burt (her awesome husband) are some of the most genuine people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting. They are the kind of people you just want to know more of. Read her stuff.

“supporting herself with her camera and her words”
i have read and re-read those words so many times.
and they have played in my heart since the first viewing.

what a support of what i do. i actually love most how simple that sentence is.
a lot of people don’t get what i do. they don’t understand how this is a job. they only understand getting a degree and working the same job that makes sense and the company takes care of your taxes for you kind of job. but this is more messy. i (we) have to do all of these things ourselves. we are every single department of a working company. and just this year we were able to bring on some more people! we are expanding BURTco. and it’s crazy cool that it’s grown like this. way beyond my dreams of just wanting to shoot a few weddings with my husband and be together all the time.

the point is, it’s possible. and soon KaS will absolutely be supporting herself with this dream job that i have. it’s not unobtainable. i did it having zero know how! literally. it’s laughable!
and just because i’ve obtained it doesn’t mean i should hoard that. or that there’s no more room for anyone else so i should stick my tongue out at you and not let you in the door. no. my help or mentorship or advice will only be a tiny, TINY, part of your own success. it’s mine to share, and it’s yours to do what you will with it. your own determination and behavior and decisions will be what gets you there. i reached out to several people when i started. i got shut doors, tongues out in my face, incredibly willing mentors who are still my friends, and people who fight for my business and support me to the end. you bet i would choose the latter for you.

ethan worked three jobs for over a year to get us here. i worked 12 hour shifts and waitressed to get us here. it wasn’t easy or pretty. we moved in with pops (ethan’s dad. my dad, too. he’s the best) to save money when we were NEWLYWEDS, you guys. when you’re especially supposed to live alone. we missed each other for what felt like a long time and dealt with some really scary health issues with me in that time, but since 2013 we’ve been together every single day of our lives, working together and kissing in the mid-afternoon. it’s what we wanted to do with the little time we have on earth. togetherness, seeking the betterment of others and ourselves. how can we help? what can we do? well, people need people and no one is available because everyone wants more money and more vacation time and they are stuck in their day jobs. we said no. so we took the risk, jumped, had faith, all that jazz, and here we are today.

i stopped shopping. like, fully. i’m serious, ladies. he never shopped to be fair, but he stopped buying games and electronics and broken down computers to fix. we sacrificed. we did what we had to do. you literally cannot have it all. so something will have to give if you want this life. you will get so much more in a way you never expected but maybe you won’t afford the house you wanted. because i don’t understand buying above your means. i just don’t. you can never get ahead that way. we have more freedom because we worked harder up front. we bought a foreclosed house. it’s still not fixed up, everything goes back into the business. we save more than enough for taxes so there’s no surprises. going out to dinner is a LUXURY. and now only happens when our parents give us extra money for dates. (which is a really nice thing for parents to do). we make our own snacks to take to a picnic date, not eat out, no matter how good the restaurants smell as we walk by, OHMYGOSH. we do spend our money on coffee. that’s something we didn’t want to sacrifice. and two small coffees plus hours at a shop with dreaming and dating fills us, so it’s basically a necessity. we don’t buy things unless we have cash for it. we garage sale and thrift. we minimized a lot. and it’s been so freaking worth it. it feels so good to have less, be more available, and love our job.  

it was lofty. but we did it.

and now we are adding even more lofty goals for ourselves. for our business, for new businesses, for personal joys and goals and challenges. and it’s lofty. we are in a new lofty risky time. but i love it. and i’m at peace. which is a beautifully new feeling that i welcome. i know how to swim the unknowns now. and the dark murky water is no longer scary but almost comforting.

my friend and her words brought me back. they reminded me of where i came from. and i think that is one of the greatest gifts a friend can give. when you first start in the photography industry and then you sort of make it, or make it big, you’re supposed to be ashamed of the work you first did. “oh, gosh! don’t look at any work before 2013!! we were horrible! it was so bad!! trust me, i’ve grown a LOT!” i truly hate that. and i refuse. i’m proud of every single photograph we’ve taken. i was terrified but i did it anyway. i love every couple from the beginning to the now. the beginning trusted us when no one else saw. we didn’t have a website. we didn’t even have previous work to show off. they just met us, and said yes, we’ll take that risk. WHAT!? WHO ARE THEY EVEN!? amazing humans, that’s who. we think about them all the time. our very first wedding. how the groom played for his bride and the bride’s dad had the best smile we’ve still ever seen of a FOB. how the bride was stunning and relaxed. exactly my dream bride. and how that whole day felt. looking at ethan. him being the only other one who knew i was terrified, and he was, too. and yet at ease later in the day. like we really can do this. we are doing it. and the in love-eyes and smiles i got from my own groom all day long. and that first couple is still with us. they now work with our family photographer we added to our team last year. they’ve done session after session with our new girl and i could just squeeze them and kiss their faces forever for continuing to trust and use and love us. i will not forget this ever in my life.

i was just a girl with a stupid disease that couldn’t see past today’s pain.
i was stuck at home in pain, watching gilmore girls reruns on my couch and texting my husband how much i miss him while he has to work for us and how i hated my life (and breaking his heart). chronic pain is a really crummy thing and does awful things to the mind process. that was the roughest year of our life so far. (2011)

now i am stronger, learning exactly what my body needs to take the best care of myself while living with this horrible disease. i get to see my husband every day, for several hours, and hear things like, “i love running a business with you” and “you’re such a boss” and “you’re beautiful” several times a day. i still live with chronic pain but i have officially stopped feeling sorry for myself and have embraced the life that is fully mine to live. on the dark days i still can see the benefit to this pain-filled life. and i truly believe i will be better one day, and i will continue to do the hard work of picking my brothers and sisters up and helping them push forward to their own best life. we let this disease (or fear or doubt) run us for far too long. we can take back control and find our best life despite the pain (or fear or doubt). i am a living testimony to that.

i live my slow world every morning.
i wake very early so i can be alone with cat burt on the couch with coffee and snuggles. and a book. or notebook. or laptop. whatever the spirit moves me to do that day. i give up my own life, and do what i feel in my heart i'm being told. today it’s writing this. i woke up with this melody in my heart and i rose to write it down. for me, for you. just to have done it. to remember. to look back on when i forget.

the morning light is gently sweeping into my home, filling up my slow life and inviting me to rest.

i will work hard today. i will rest hard today.
that is my balance.
i have finally tasted balance and it is so rich, so delectable. so enchanting.
i will stay here a little longer before i get up and girl boss this day.

photo by ethan b in may 2017 at a lovely wedding day.

photo by ethan b in may 2017 at a lovely wedding day.

bco. friday favorite | the wedding anniversaries | love burt living

this friday favorite is about the wedding anniversary celebration double date every year with these two! this is our second annual! these guys have been our friends for years and years now and they were a bco. couple! (they had to be. we make our friends. duh) and each june we find a date night and celebrate both our marriages. us seven and them two. plus also, now their bebe!! this filled my heart so much last night and also made me dream of all the kids that will one day be in this photo as we keep growing both our families and keeping up with our june wedding celebrations as a huge family. (happy weepy face) 
we grabbed mad goat coffee beverages and treats, drove downtown danville and dreamed of seeing it revitalized and what we can all realistically do to make this happen for our community, took turns holding perfect baby t, and then relaxed together at the stephenson home, on the back deck in our pajamas. truly living our best life.  
i love the simplicity of just being together. it is as simple and beautiful as just sitting together on a back deck enjoying the summer evening breeze and a light rain. we came home and went to bed so happy last night. it's so important to celebrate community, marriage, friendship, and family. and we love getting to do this with our people. it's my favorite. 

happy friday, friends!

the wedding gallery delivery | BURTco. weddings

oh, wedding days give me such a thrill! 
i adored this wedding day. probably because ethan and i have come to love trevor & talissa so deeply in just a short amount of time. i just couldn't wait to share a few favorites, in honor of delivering their full wedding gallery to them today! i am anxious to see what their favorites are and so excited to design their wedding album. 

all the joy today. we get to surround ourselves with marriage and wedding celebrations ALL THE TIME. how could we not be happy about our job!? it's so good for our marriage, too. to hear vows every weekend, remember our own, and be thankful for this joyful married life. 

bco. friday favorite | love burt living | music and love and questions

last night on our way home from kentucky (we made a rapid speed trip for an e sesh and pulled into our driveway at 1:20 this morn) to help keep my driver awake we started asking each other questions.

1. what's your favorite color? and second favorite color? 
2. updated favorite food?
3. what's your favorite thing about being married to me?

our colors are still mostly the same. 
i forever love yellow first and grey second, e loves purple and forest green

ethan burt's favorite food will never change - fried chicken legs, and my favorite is fajita bowls.

now, the favorite thing about being married to each other answer always changes. and it's always my favorite question. i could probably write endless friday favorites about our favorite things about being married. 

my current answer was very long and used lots of run-on sentences. his answer was perfect and to the point, as ethan always is. mine was about how nice it is to be married to him. just knowing that he wants to be here. i love sharing a home and chores and responsibilities, love working with him, love that he wants to be with me all the time. love when he's happy and whistling through our home. love his boyish grin. and touching his beard. and smelling his face. 

ethan's current answer : he loves feeling the togetherness. his story is a unique one and for 10+ years he lived in seemingly endless loneliness. he never expected to be so happy with a wife. so the feeling of knowing he has a person, a forever together love, that's the best feeling in the world. and always, my smell. 

we love asking each other questions. and it's fun to always learn something new about each other depending on the answers. yes, we were only talking to get ourselves home. he was deliriously tired, trying to safely make it just 40 more minutes to home. but these questions are fun and get deep. and the memory will last forever. it's definitely going on my library cards. (more on that another time)

and we listened to our some of our staple favorite songs because we had discussed these with our couple over dinner and it got us all weepy just thinking about the words. these are songs we listen to before every wedding day to get us all prepped and primed for deep love and wedding day emotions. 

so this friday is all about gushy married love life, amazing music and good questions. 
enjoy some of our favorite songs! happy friday! 

bco. friday favorite | the traveling burts | always dating | love intensely

oh my soul! today is about the dating. and how good it is to be ethan's wife. 
ethan burt is a romantic. and he loves going on dates. with me! lucky, lucky. 
when we travel we have mini dates between work, amazing dates with our couples and then usually, if at all possible, a full dating day just the two of us. to explore, refocus, relax and enjoy.
these have quickly become my all time favorite memories of my life. 
i had no idea we would be traveling with this gig. but travel we do, and lucky i feel! 

we've recently shifted gears into being book people. we started out as movie people (our first date was to the movies, and most all dating life after that. movies, movies, movies), tv people, same show series every year people, but now we've also added reading. for a few years now we read one book out loud together and then several books on our own. we have very different reading taste, as you will see pictured below. he is boring and nerdy (but cute!) and i am entertaining but sometimes shallow (but also cute!) this also is a favorite thing about our life. i love growing in marriage. we've definitely become different people in seven plus years. but we've done it together. mostly. sometimes you have to be patient and wait for your spouse to grow with you. we've also been there. and taken turns being patient. but we are here now, and it's a great place to be. so we shop for books, browse libraries or used booked stores, sip the coffee, enjoy the scenery, dream of starting up other businesses, kiss a lot, laugh so much, and eat all the food. this is basically our date day, no matter what city we are in. so we are predictable, but it never gets old. it's always new. this every day love. today's friday favorite is a celebration of this life and this love. and this thankfulness in our hearts. 

the places we visited that are pictured : 
early girl eatery (great breakfast, cute location and happy workers) 
high five coffee (excellent, excellent coffee, customer service and atmosphere. top 10 favorite coffee traveling experiences for sure. ethan agrees)
double d's coffee & desserts (we did not purchase anything here, i just loved the look and location so i took this photo that i love. it looked like a really cool coffee bus and made me want one. of course mine would be yellow. or grey. i really loved this bus. what a fun idea!)
battery park book exchange (this place was very cool but the vibe rubbed me the wrong way. the people we kind of snotty or maybe i'm just too cheery for some people. we were brand new and didn't know how it worked and no one would help us. so we just figured it out. you must purchase a drink to sit and purchase your books before you can sit down and enjoy looking through the books. so, strike one. but we did. we ordered coffee that wasn't very good and then we purchased a lot of books. ha! they did help us load the seriously heavy book set into our car. we sat and enjoyed some new reads for a while until i couldn't handle being there anymore. i don't like to say mean things, but i wasn't happy with this place or the overall experience. but of course, with ethan anything can be made fun so it was still an amazing memory. but i would change the business plan if i was in charge) 

this trip is one of my all time favorites. the couple we were there working with are the chillest, babest pair. they did their wedding their way, and it was just so calm, perfect, happy and romantic. all the things we love about a wedding. they are overly generous and ARE love intensely. they are what we love a couple to be, so we all just perfectly meshed immediately. we did dating with them that was memorable, too. they told us their full love story which took a day. we ate, walked around, grabbed coffee, got their marriage license, walked around some more, drank more coffee, ate dinner, and heard their whole story. it was one of my favorite days of my life. to be trusted into someone else's love story, and asked to capture their love in a far away place, to be private and alone and the only two there. it felt so intimate, secret, the best type of romance celebration. i wish it's what we had done. but we didn't have anyone to take our photos! they are adventurous, they make us want to be more adventurous. they are loud in love, which, you know we are. we just matched. and i loved every moment of it. now we all follow each other's married lives online and hope to visit each other again one day. it will happen. i just know it will. but until then, memories. sweet memories. 

we have TWO amazing wedding days coming up tomorrow and sunday! 
and then on monday we get to see one of our couples-turned-absoulte-best-friends!  
it's turing out to be an excellent, full of love weekend. 
hope yours is amazing! 
happy friday! 

BURTco. engagement session | rainy romance & kissing in the market | wildwood market | indianapolis, in

oh, rainy engagement sesh of rob & whitney! you have my heart. 

it poured down rain the entire time we were shooting rob & whitney's sesh with a minor break at the very very end on our way to our cars. the rest of the day was clear and sunny. but this, this is what i love. this first shot above is now one of my all time favorites and i knew it would be the moment ethan and i ran outside in the rain together to get it. these two sweethearts were like "are you sure!" and i WAS. i was absolutely wearing the wrong shoes but thankfully that's the only bad thing about this day. they are really cute shoes but whatever. it's my own fault. whitney texted me a link to her dress on our way to indy and i was just stoked. she's gorgeous already but this dress was extra lovely on her. and when rob smiles, it makes you glad to know such a genuinely happy guy exists. they are beautiful together. they are kind to each other and have so much fun together. at our first meeting we had planned out the session. which included photos in their home with their pup and a walk around their favorite book store and shops. but their engagement day was crazy rain. not just a little drizzle. it was shoe-ruining storm rain. you absolutely can reschedule when this happens on your e sesh day, and a lot of couples do! but when a couple is willing to find another location that is indoors and meaningful to them and trusts us to get amazing photos within these limits, we go for it! rob called the amazing people at wildwood market and they were gracious enough to let us come shop and photograph! we drank coffee and ate the freshest fruit and had a lovely time. it's a charming market that r & w shop at all the time. it was so meaningful and during the session whitney was saying she likes this better than planned because these photos will remind them of all their memories here. thanksgiving shopping each year for gathering family and friends and how everything they need is right here in this little, gorgeous place. i absolutely felt in my element and i can't wait to show you this whole day. for now, just a sweet few. i truly believe they turned out better than the ideas we had planned for their day. memories like these last forever. and these photos will, too. 

bco. friday favorite | garden center love | BURTco. weddings

this friday is for featuring prairie gardens in champaign, il!

we love garden centers and this season we've been visiting prairie gardens a lot. 
it's been lovely to walk through the smelly goodness and loveliness of all the blooms and pots and soil. all the things that create a gorgeous garden and gifts for loved ones. 

we've used the garden for date days. we've used it for buying our house plants. and for engagement photos! one of our couples loves plants so pg was the perfect place to walk through and capture their love story! i truly love these images, they will be forever favorites. 
the memories created here will last forever now that we were able to capture them with our cameras. it makes us so happy that our couple loves these photos as well and prairie gardens was happy to see the work in their garden center! that's what i call a win win win. 

happy friday, friends! 



 

love burt living | our lately | welcoming a new season of work and lifestyle

life has been sweet. 
we're in a really good swing of things around here and we're getting ahead of work better this year than the last. ethan is in charge of editing and he's kicking butt. i'm so proud of him and THANKFUL THAT I DON'T HAVE TO EDIT ANYMORE. huzzah! 

we've been figuring out our roles in our company and it feels so good to be moving full steam ahead in our own roles and doing what we feel we were made for in this biz. ethan is the editing and finance dude (and many more things) and i'm the creative, emailer, market-head (and many more things), and also the girl who brings all the ideas to the table that ethan mostly has to say no to because i have expensive (but great) ideas.
we are having fun and loving BURTco. more than ever.
we rebranded just over a year ago and it was the best decision ever made. probably of anyone, in all of time. 

we are now in the very beginning of the crazy busy wedding season which for us lasts from about may to december. we don't really have an off season. so we have to figure out how to rest and be happy people and relax and also work hard. 

one new thing for us is having house plants to bring joy and fresh air into the home and home office. usually i kill every plant life that comes into our home just by looking at it. but we have new determination. i want to have plant life in our home and ethan is very interested in the NASA list of air purifying plants. (cute nerd alert. i love him)
to find our plant babies we have been visiting all the garden centers in danville and champaign and everyone has been very helpful and amazing with their plant knowledge.

resting. 
our theme for this year is "diligent work time and complete rest time" so, balance, basically. that's one of my favorite words and i've never really tried to use it. it is even tattooed on my body, fun fact. 
we live in a society that glamorizes busy. and in business if you're not busy, business must be slow and failing. so you must always present yourself as "oh my gosh, we're good but so crazy busy" i don't know how many times i've said this exact phrase. and it's my own fault. we all create our own lives and i was creating a stress-filled busy one for us. my poor, normally relaxed husband was dragged into this kind of life.

resting and not being busy and not being overrun by a to do list and things to accomplish is better and more responsible. and happier. 
and turns out we're more productive after we've rested.
after years of doing things the wrong and hard way i can fully say i am not about that "busy life". i don't thrive, i suffocate. i don't feel healthy, i want to run away and hide from my life and job. 

complete rest. 
in past years of building this business i felt guilty if i rested. 
couples are waiting on photos, i can't cook a meal that takes two hours prep time! no matter how happy cooking makes me. i have work to do, photos to get out, couples to make happy! we can't go on a date! or if we do, i have to stress the entire time and keep bringing the to do list into my romance. nightmare land. too long. there was no joy in the things that used to bring me joy. just worry and guilt. i didn't know how to time manage so i was just busy with stressing out all the time. 

it feels a little like a failure to admit i can't do it all. somehow we were taught that we should be able to and if we aren't or can't, then we just aren't cut out for this kind of work/lifestyle. but i call bull. i don't think anyone was designed for that life. all work, all guilt, little to no rest and a diet of junk food. that's not our design. our design is to cheerfully do good and hard work, and then to rest in the goodness. to rest and rejuvenate. 
without shame or guilt. and to eat more carrots than cheetos. 

we've had a lot of discussions about this. 
ethan tends to lean towards resting easy and i tend toward only working hard. once again a perfect opposite to attract our mate and help balance each other out. it's been so good to have the conversation "i hate this part of the job" and to sort out who does what so we can both love what we do and be thankful for it and do it cheerfully.
and we see yet again, communication for the win! 

i will work diligently all weekend but today, today i am resting.
it will look like drinking a coffee and peanut butter protein shake and sitting outside in the sunlight/shady goodness of my front lawn while reading a good book. and i will spend hours in the kitchen tonight, preparing a meal that will make ethan b so happy to have married me, and fill our bellies up and satisfy my soul. i will feel zero guilt about it and know that this is SO GOOD. life is good.
 

 

bco. friday favorite | learning to live the slow life | garden walks

my favorite this week is coming in a little late in the day. 
i had a full, awesome day and a mother-daughter banquet this evening. 
when i got back into town i realized our coffee shop closes in 15 minutes and figured i better get a cup of coffee and work on my post or else i would be doomed when i got home and was met with husband cuteness. it would all be over and i'd be met with kisses and snuggles and reading together on the couch. so here i am, sipping decaf coffee and writing about my favorite things. 

this week for my heart it's been all about the flowers. house plants. trying to pronounce names and smelling all the roses. we've been to about five different garden places this week and it's probably been my favorite week for that very reason. this year more than ever i have enjoyed the spring-ing new life all around. i waited and waited for the green to grow all around us. 

as a photographer i pay attention to the seasons because our couples want pretty flowers and green full trees for photos but also just as a human my soul really needed the green. i've even enjoyed the april showers this year because of the hope it gave me, i clung to it, and knew that soon we would have a lush garden around us. and sure enough, may has been absolutely gorgeous. my weary soul rejoices!

ethan and i have had a house in renovation mode for about as long as we've owned the house.
but we finally decided we couldn't wait any longer to have house plants. we looked on the NASA list of purest air cleaning plants and filled our rooms! i have no idea how to pronounce the names of these beauties but i love them. 

also, in our experience, the people who work at garden centers were amazing to us. helpful, patient, answered all our silly questions and helped me find plants that thrive on neglect. i am terrified of murdering all of these plants. 

we got so many succulents for the living room window sill, a tree thing and palm plant for my office and aloe vera and english ivy for the bedroom.
they make me so happy! i bet the workers are so nice because they are breathing in amazing air all day and fresh blooms all around them, filling their days with brightness. i would probably work in a garden center if i wasn't a wedding photographer. or if i wasn't allergic to a lot of blooms. 

so today is all about slowing down and breathing in. 
i created a more permanent yoga center in my office next to the plants. 
i think this is so important for me to have a spot during the day that i can revisit when i need to refocus and meditate. this industry and my personality is go-go-go but it's just not worth it. that's not a good way to live the one and only life i've been given. so i'm slowing down. planting flowers in my yard. hanging plants for healthier air and feeling fine. 

happy friday night, friends! enjoy your weekend! buy your mama flowers!

bco. friday favorite | blogger babes unite | kindred spirits| BURTco.

today we are going to venture into my personal life. my life of meeting other women, bloggers, wives, and mothers (well, they are. i'm not there, yet) 

today you will meet michelle. she quickly became my favorite "internet person" 
i love internet people. and i always will. some of my most cherished friendships have happened because of the internet. and michelle is one of those people. she also has a love of french food, reading and writing. so, i adore her. we got the chance to meet in person when i was doing our regular programed forever traveling for work business and it was a dream come true. we immediately just were great friends together. we shared a love for french onion soup and that's all there was to it. we were kindred spirits. we spoke truthfully and deeply and we just met. her baby also took right to my husband and so obviously i melted into a puddle. we got to meet a second time and i already am wondering why i am not there now. she's that amazing. 

i wanted to share about her. i think people and their lives are important. her living her life and doing her thing and posting about it online made me be able to meet her in real life. you will hear a little bit about how we met and how this all came to be from her story today, too. i am just so blessed by her. i'm so thankful she is bold and brave enough to live out loud. she inspires me. she makes me want to be my own type of brave here in my little life. i hope she encourages you. i know you will go find her blog and ig and just love her and her little gracie-face-babe. 

meet michelle :
Hello, readers and friends of Bethany! I’m Michelle. I live in Columbus, Ohio with my husband James and our 2 year old daughter Gracie. I spend my days wiping purple crayon scribbles off the walls and trying to figure out which crackers will be deemed an acceptable snack by my 2 year old boss, while my husband works two jobs in the pharmaceutical industry. We spend our evenings taking our toddler to the park and watching Netflix. We’re both musicians, and we played on the same worship band in college after he wooed me away from his friend that I was dating. Scandal! We live in the city, but I have secret dreams about backyard chickens and gardens. I believe my true calling in life is to read every book ever written. If I could get paid to sit in my local library and read and drink coffee, I would be the world’s most dedicated employee. I love to write almost as much as I love to read. I’m not the kind of writer who grew up keeping journals full of whimsical stories; I can’t write fiction to save my life. I’ve always been a voracious reader, but it wasn’t until my freshman composition class in college that I started falling in love with writing and the art of telling a story. True stories, as we all know I have zero ability to dream up a story. On a whim one day, I switched my nursing major to english. It took me several years to recover from the resulting panic attack, but I stand buy it as one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

My accidental love of writing is the reason I blog. It was my escape when I was in the trenches of a horrible job, and now it’s the place where I tell the world what it felt like when I was convinced I was going to die an early death of strangulation via the Baby Bjorn, what it’s like to be the only semi-normal person in a violently hipster coffee shop, and the 27 stages of putting a toddler down for a nap. Blogging and writing has been one of the biggest blessings in my life. It’s allowed me to turn my outrageously bad days into funny memories by putting them into words, to write about my faith and some difficult things we’ve been going through as a family, and it has given me some of the best friends. As an introverted hermit who also happens to be a SAHM, the adult interaction through blogging has been a lifesaver. The fact that people like Bethany are walking around somewhere in the world, and I never would’ve known about it without the internet, is an exhilarating and terrifying thought. Bethany and I first met online when we were writing for a Christian women’s blog. A few sentences into her blog, and I knew I found a kindred spirit. We had the opportunity to meet for lunch in December 2015 when she was in town. It was one of those rare moments where two friends just clicked. As trite as it may sound, I felt like I had known her my entire life. We see eye to eye on so many things, and she has been such a bright spot in my life. We met again at a coffee shop last summer. That afternoon of sipping coffee for hours while my daughter crawled around and explored goes down as one of my favorite memories of the year. Her blog and her friendship have been a huge source of encouragement for me in a very hard season of life. Her love for God and her husband and her intense faith has pushed me to be a better wife, mother, and daughter of God. If you’re reading these words, it means you know Bethany, and don’t ever forget what a blessing it is to have someone like her in your life.

LOOK AT THIS DELICIOUS BABY. GAHHH.

stephen & julie | danville, il | engagement

stephen and julie.

we had the honor of meeting stephen years ago when we first started photographing weddings, at his brother’s wedding! we were welcomed by his loving family and church family and since then we’ve been building relationships with all the siblings! we never expect working with siblings when it’s their turn (even if we totally desire it), so it certainly is a delightful surprise when we get to! when stephen messaged us we were beyond thankful we had their date open and couldn’t wait to meet with them for coffee of course, and meet his lovely julie.

i instantly liked them together. stephen is kind and thoughtful and julie is bubbly and always smiling. we shared a coffee date, talked a bit about wedding details and wonderful married life and then got to taking photos before they traveled back to south carolina that night!

they have a small university community and knew of each other. they would wave hello on the sidewalk long before anything began relationship wise. stephen thought she was so CUTE and emailed her to see if she’d like to meet up for coffee sometime. she said yes!

julie thought he was so very nice and they had a wonderful conversation. they agreed to have another coffee date! now their favorite pastime is coffee and togetherness. which we absolutely love about them! they also both love lord of the rings, which is our favorite, too.

together they are goofy and fun-loving. full of energy and endless love for each other and people. julie loves that stephen is so good with kids and just seems to have a general knowledge of just about everything! making for great and always interesting conversations.

stephen loves julie’s tender-heart toward all people. and her laugh, she’s always happy and loves the simple things in life.

stephen knew he wanted to marry julie by their second coffee date. he was worried she wasn’t going to come out on the second date because she hadn’t returned his texts when really she never received them! i can imagine how nervous he was and then how happily relieved he was when she did want to date him again! and julie knew she wanted to marry stephen when he, without a word, started cleaning up the tea mugs from a visit with his family and her mom. he just began to wash and clean up and she said YEP! i knew he was the one. sometimes it really is the simplest act that lets you know they will be your forever person.

they are so excited to be married. and we know they will be a perfect team.
the wedding day will be such a joyous celebration!

ryan & briana | champaign, il | engagement

my very favorite thing about ryan and briana is the way they look at each other. you can always tell the level of love people have for one another by the way they look at each other. and these two have it. the most intense love gaze probably of all time. maybe a close second to me and ethan. ha! i really love this kind of love. so does ethan. so meeting ryan and briana together for the first time was such a treat. ryan helped us pick out our new computer and then he told briana that we would become their wedding photographers. life is so crazy fun like that for us. we met for coffee first and then decided that soon we should also go out to dinner. and then plan the engagement session and also go out for drinks and really yummy dessert. it’s been quite fun becoming friends with these ones. i’m overjoyed to share their photos with you today.

the way briana looks at ryan makes me so happy for him. and, turns out that’s his favorite thing. he says (very romantically i might add) that her look lets him feel her fierce and intense love. every single time she looks at him. HOW WONDERFUL IS THAT? to know of your love’s love for you. so deeply. so truly. it’s a serious delight of my life to capture their love story. 

briana loves ryan’s endless patience with her when asking his opinion one million times over. she loves his passion, compassion and his deep, loving ways. he is how she always imagined how love could and should be. i am so happy for her to be loved so truly and magnificently by him.

these two were work mates and ryan experienced love at first sight. briana wasn’t ready for a relationship because she had made a vow to herself not to date a coworker. but she really liked ryan and thought there was something wonderful about him. she knew she wanted to marry him when he made her a cd with a handwritten note inside. he knew the moment he saw her.

two long years went by and they finally went on a date. briana wanted it to be so special and so fun so she planned it and then blurted out her plan and ryan was amazed that she picked a comedy club and dinner. they laughed and had the best time ever. it’s been all love ever since.

i am so glad these two found their way to one another.

it’s so special how we see someone wonderfully unexpected, meet, fall in love and then make a life together. a legacy has begun. all because these two say yes everyday to each other.

you’re going to love them. just look.

bco. friday favorite | daffodils & ink | BURTco. weddings

this friday favorite is so so near, dear and special to me. 
because it's ash. and words. and pretty art. and her story. 

words mean so much to me. they move me. they inspire me. they help me find my own brave. 

ash has been such an inspiration to my life. and i am delighted to introduce you to her and honored to share her story. today you will fall in love with her passion and her art and i bet even maybe be inspired to do your own thing in your own place.
wouldn't that just be the best thing that could come of this!? 

it is so important to share stories. i am loving fridays and the chance i now have to share so many incredible people and stories with you. i am thankful for social media and the souls that it's brought me close to.

please take a moment to go find ash online and give her some love!
i'm sure you will even find her art work necessary for your home, too. 
her work makes for the perfect wedding gift, anniversary gift, or just-because gift. 
we all could benefit from filling our home with true, inspirational words. 

daffodils & ink
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meet ash :

the day of my birth, my grandfather drove from new jersey to maryland with fresh-cut daffodils from his garden for me. they say i couldn't take my eyes off of them.

there was never a birthday without them--cut fresh, wrapped in tin foil or in a simple vase--until he died. 

they are a flower that has been part of my existence, and part of the fabric of my life. and each spring, when the daffodils bloom, i feel as if my grandfather, my hero, is a little bit closer. 

daffodils & ink is a long-time dream realized. for the last two years, i had felt a desire to open a hand-lettering shop, but the timing never felt right (either that, or i just couldn't seem to work up the nerve haha). 

but here we are, six months in, and i am still amazed every time someone is moved by my art and wants it in their home. what a gift to use words from those that have gone before me to inspire those around me today.

i am a wife to my best friend, mama to two sweetest little people, and friend to as many as i can be. most of my days are filled with mothering, schooling, dishes (the worst), laundry, freelance writing, and loving my precious little family and sweet community. one day i hope that my own words will come back (mothering in the little years have left me dry), but until then, i find so much solace, comfort, and encouragement writing out words of wisdom and beauty from authors that i feel like are old friends because of the impact and familiarity of their words. 

i hope that my shop brings you all of those things, too! 

trevor & talissa | champaign, il | engagement

talissa needed directions. she decided to stop in at mad goat coffee, danville’s local coffee shop, to ask a familiar face for help. she was on her way to a concert and wasn’t exactly sure how to get there. this night was different though. a new guy was working behind the counter. she asked him for directions and then also made a mental note to come back after the concert to see him again. this guy is trevor. and he couldn’t believe someone in 2016 would actually be stopping in to ask for directions instead of using their phone.

what a meet-cute.

two hours later talissa and her girlfriend go back to mgc. trevor, who is usually quiet with new people, surprised himself and struck up conversation with the woman who would soon become his. they talked about travel and quickly found out they have a lot in common. after this night they found each other on facebook and started looking for excuses to hang out again. trevor asked talissa out for a coffee date in champaign. they talked and talked about missions and different adventures they’d been on. after coffee they decided they needed some delicious bbq and continued to get to know each other, each asking question after question to learn about the other person.

talissa was happy to finally be on a good date and trevor was so fascinated with this girl who was getting him to talk more than he ever was used to.

trevor loves talissa. he loves how relationally minded she is. she is a great friend to him and to others. and he loves her love of Christ and how her actions show her faith.

talissa loves how trevor is gentle and patient with her and her feelings. and he balances her out. she loves his passion and heart for the church and his pursuit of excellence.

they both knew they wanted to marry each other on the same day, but didn’t know that until i asked them to tell us a little bit more about themselves. that made me tear up and i love that they now know that they both had the i-have-to-marry-this-person-feeling on the same day.

trevor felt called to seattle and talissa was in slovakia for a week long trip. they skyped and talked about possibly moving to seattle. talissa said sure! if this is what you feel God is calling you to do, then go for it. and he knew right then that he wanted to marry her. at the same time, talissa knew in her heart that she would marry him. and they are moving to seattle after the wedding day to grow God’s church.

the anticipation is welling up in me for this wedding day.

talissa wants to dress up, feel pretty, marry her man outside and celebrate.
trevor is excited to see his bride happy and emotional, see friends and family enjoy the great outdoors with them and begin a new life with the love of his life.

this, is the best feeling on earth.
this love intensely life.