Leather and Lace Styled Shoot

Creativeness runs rampant in a photographer’s mind. The day to day sessions at times can become monotonous and we crave the intense creative outlet that comes the pressure-less. On a rainy summer day as I was scrolling mindlessly through my Facebook feed, ding a notification! OH JOY! I thought to myself another friend must have posted some weird click bait. Humm… better check it! What?! An event invitation? “Leather and Lace Styled Shootout” BE STILL MY HEART!!!

Cake by Nothing Bundt Cakes  Florals by Mokara Floral Design Furnature by Collective Charm Venue Mill Street Studio

Cake by Nothing Bundt Cakes
Florals by Mokara Floral Design
Furnature by Collective Charm
Venue Mill Street Studio

Now, if you know me at all, you know I’m a bit of a badass… well, I like to pretend I am. I did at one point own a motorcycle and got my license and I do indeed have a plethora of leather jackets and studded jewelry I don’t wear much any longer. But regardless of my lack of coolness lately, I was 99% down for a faux wedding with leather jackets, dark details, and motorcycles. Once I found out the bundt cake was going to be up for grabs after the shoot that 99% willingness turned into… YES PLEASE! I found out a couple photographer friends I’ve known for awhile were going to be attending. Stoked didn’t even cover it.

Hand lettering done by Eden and Vine

Hand lettering done by Eden and Vine

I walked into Mill Street Studio and fell in love with the gorgeous details that were laying all over. The amazing coordinators Megan Nixon of Megan Nixon Photography and Ashlee of Eva and Co Events were busy at work putting together Mokara Foloral Design along with the tasty wedding cake by Nothing Bundt Cakes.

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And then… The models showed up. Holy hotness Batman! I can’t even describe how beautiful Brooke was. I had worked with Brandon previously and I knew from the moment he walked in he would completely kill it. I was right. They both did an extraordinary job!

Makeup by Reign Beauty studio Hair by Shayla Thompson Dress by Fabulous Bridal

Makeup by Reign Beauty studio
Hair by Shayla Thompson
Dress by Fabulous Bridal

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From there the entire night was a whirlwind of amazing angles, smoldering facial expressions, pixie lights over lenses, and “OMG THAT’S PERFECTION!.” I couldn’t imagine a more ‘me’ shootout than this. Everything was incredible and I’m so excited to have been part of this incredible vision.

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After a couple hours of intense shooting we headed outside to an alley nearby where sat a motorcycle. A hot red Honda ready to roar. My eyes were as wide as a kid in a candy shop! Yes, yes, a thousand times yes!

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Work it girl! Work it!!!! Heck yes! Every shot was absolute gold! The chemestry between the models was electric and none of us would have imagined the intense shots we were getting. Brooke had the attitude that screamed “I’m sexy and I know it” and Brandon played the most enamored new hubby!

Thank you Megan Nixon Photography and Ashlee of Eva and Company Events for coordinating this perfect event!

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Hand Lettering Spotlight - CINCINNATI - Eden and Vine

Every once in awhile in this industry you find some majorly talented individuals. Less often these individuals prove themselves to be kind, generous, and friendly. Well, with Bethany Custer of Eden and Vine you receive the whole package. 

"Black is a happy color, darling" - Plexiglas sign by Eden and Vine

"Black is a happy color, darling" - Plexiglas sign by Eden and Vine

Bethany has an amazing talent with scripture. Her gorgeous lettering is perfect for any wedding. From invitations, to decor, to signage, to backdrops- this truly amazing woman can bring the most romantic lettering to any part of your incredible event. 

"Mrs. Jacket" hand drawn by Bethany

"Mrs. Jacket" hand drawn by Bethany

I've gotten to know Bethany over the past couple of styled shootouts I have done, and let me tell you she may be the absolute sweetest most warm hearted person I have had the pleasure of working with in a very long time. Her attention to detail is next to none and I can promise anyone who hires her will be amazed at the results. 

Leather and Lace wedding invitation - hand lettered by Eden and Vine

Leather and Lace wedding invitation - hand lettered by Eden and Vine

Contact Bethany for more information!

Email-
Edenandvine@gmail.com
Phone-
513-544-7834
Website-
www.edenandvinelettering.com 
Instagram-
@eden.and.vine
Facebook-
facebook.com/edenandvinelettering

Why Save The Dates and RSVP's Are Superfluous

How to save on small details

We all know that the internet is taking over the world. How many times have you neglected to send back an RSVP only to remember the week before and send a quick text apologizing and asking if it's ok you still attend? I've worked enough weddings and to know as weird as it sounds, wedding guests are no different. 

So, how do you deal with the ever growing inconvenience of extra guests showing up without RSVP-ing? Well, in all honesty you don't. It's going to happen one way or another. But here are a few options to save your budget from the little extras that don't seem to be as utilized any longer. 

Social media is booming. 99% of the people you're planning to invite are following you on some platform or another. So build your guest list quick and easy with facebook events or other online platforms that don't require the costly postage. Save yourself the card stock, envelopes, and stamps it takes to send out a card reminding people of the date and go paperless! *PSA* you may still need to order a small supply for those who are in the older generations and don't do the internet thing well or for those who refuse to fall down the rabbit hole of social media (bless their souls)

Minted Weddings has a gorgeous selection of save the dates, e-invites, and RSVP options
Paperless Post is another amazing option. They send out your stuff online for a small fee per product but they are absolutely amazing!
Appy Couple helps you build your own wedding website and gather all those RSVP's. It uses individual app technology to your guest list
Joy is a free website building platform based around weddings and their unique flair!

No matter what you decide to do whether it is ordering and printing save the dates and sending out RSVP's or using mostly electronic means of getting the word out- your guests will be ecstatic to share in your big day! So stress less and cut costs where you feel you need to!

Wedding Spotlight - Angelann & Nick

When Angelann's grandmother Edra stumbled upon me via Facebook, I didn't know quite what to expect. I knew that this adorable little grandma was looking for someone to capture her granddaughter's big day. I knew they were on a tight budget and were looking for someone who could work within it. At first, Edra posted an in search of ad on Facebook and I proceeded to message her. She was such a sweet person that my heart went out to the family from the moment we spoke. I was able to offer her my services at a price point she felt comfortable with. And I am so glad I did. 

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Going into the wedding I hadn't met the couple. I had only spoken to Edra online and wasn't sure what the bride and groom even looked like. I was nervous to say the least. When I walked into the gorgeous little church not 5 miles from my childhood home I felt so at ease. I met the bride as she was getting ready and was in awe of her beauty. Such a young bride but so full of wisdom and spirit. I instantly adored her. Angelann was an absolute vision in her mother's long sleeved bead and lace detailed dress. 

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Nick was also very kind hearted. I knew the moment he spoke of his future bride how pure their young love was. They had (shockingly) been training for MMA together and it truly brought them closer. I never would have expected to hear that out of such a soft spoken and incredibly cute couple. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Their wedding was incredible to say the least. Everything was beautifully put together with as much love as you would expect from a family as close knit as this was. Congratulations Angelann and Nick!  

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My Shooting Style

How I shoot a wedding and why I choose to do it my way...

I consider my shooting style as fine art documentary which is pretty much a oxymoron... and to be honest I am quite an oxymoron myself. There is no real definition of "fine art" photography but basically it means that the photographer is taking what is in front of them and capturing their own artistic vision of that subject. So I may place you in some random corner and you'll think I'm insane but when you see that photo you'll understand why. I see the world around me as a huge canvas. I place my vision inside my lens and see through another world. What does that mean for you? Your photos are unique. They don't just show you smiling. They show a goddess in a white dress beaming light out of her soul because that's how I see you. 

The "documentary" part of how I define my style is the trickier part. I capture moments of real life. Its as if one of my eyes is always hunting for the artistic flair, the other is searching for genuine emotion. Remember that corner I just placed you in? I'm using it to frame the most perfect moment as he kisses you. You live through my lens. Each moment I find will be captured as beautifully if not more magical than you remember experiencing it.

The most important part of my job is to capture your essence. I work to allow you to look back on your images and remember even the details you missed. I'm seeing you like you've never seen yourself before. And trust me... you're gorgeous!

5 Ways to be a Bride Vendors Will Adore Forever

Building a solid relationship with wedding vendors does more than you think.

Have you ever wondered what kind of person other people see you as? Not your friends or family; they all adore you to death! But total strangers? What first impression you set with people or what they remember the most about you after you walk away from your interaction? I know I do! Here are 10 ways to leave a lasting impression and be a bride all your vendors will RAVE about for years to come! 

1. Trust your vendors

A strong relationship is built on trust. And it goes both ways! Planning your wedding day is going to be an emotional roller-coaster to say the least. You will have so many ups and downs along the way but it is an amazing ride when it's all over with. Take a breath and let some of that worry go. You interviewed your vendors. You read reviews, googled them, spoke to them, met with them, reviewed their portfolios, signed their contracts, and hired them. Wedding professionals from all over the spectrum have talents in their own right. They're professionals at their craft for a reason. They know that portion of the wedding day in and out up and down round and round. You hired them because you saw something in them that you felt you needed to have on your special day. Don't worry about how many pieces of cake are left. Don't stress the DJ's timeline of special events. Let your photographer capture the important moments as they come. Allow your day of coordinator to worry about the perfect place settings. It's your day. Relax. And Trust who you chose to help you.

2. Laugh!

Humor is so important to your sanity even on a normal day! Let yourself laugh during your wedding day! Keeping a straight face the whole time while you worry about the smallest details will only stress you out more. So play! Trust me when I say allowing yourself to have some fun on  your wedding day is going to make it so much more memorable. Your bridesmaids will thank you too. You should all shake those nerves out in a random 10 second dance party while you get ready. Tell your most embarrassing memories before you take your big walk. Let your photographer get you in silly poses to get genuine smiles from you and your new hubby! Just... laugh!!

3. Stay in touch... without hounding

From the moment hired, your vendors are working on the most important day of your life! We are working on perfecting every aspect of our portion of your event. 0% of your vendors want to disappoint you. But we will have questions. We will need clarity or approval or extra information along the way. Please please please answer our emails or texts when you can. We know you're busy and we don't expect a response within minutes or even hours. But if you tell us the best way to get a hold of you is via Facebook please don't leave us on "read". We may get a great vision for your wedding from the moment we first meet but we definitely need to touch base occasionally. So, sign those contracts promptly. Answer those questionnaires. Pay those invoices. And most importantly follow up when we need you. On the flip side, refer to #1 and trust that we are indeed working on things for you and we love when you check in... respectfully.

4. Stand out

We love originality! Any special touches at your wedding will absolutely make your vendors remember you. Are your girls wearing converse? Do you have a special dance you're doing with your dad? Is your dress bright pink and cheetah print? (ok maybe that'll leave a different kind of impression) But you get my point. We love traditional weddings that are gorgeous and simple. Bringing you into your own wedding will have us ooo-ing and awwe-ing for years to come! 

5. Be kind

Your vendors know what you need at all times. We watch you throughout the day and make sure we are doing everything in our power to make your day great. Please treat us with the same kindness we're showing to you. If you notice we have been running around all day without stopping; remind us to hydrate because I guarantee you... we notice things like that. And we will love you for it. We definitely don't expect or want you focusing on your vendors at all.  It's your day you shouldn't be worrying about us. But if you do notice how great someone is doing for you give them an extra smile! Pleases and thank you's go so very far and honestly we probably won't even notice if you don't do anything extra to be kind... but we will notice when you do. And it's so amazingly beautiful in our huge creative hearts. 

What Should I Ask a Wedding Photographer When I Inquire With Them?

You know you want amazing photos but what else do you need to know?

A Guide of What You Need to Ask and Some of What You Don't

Good God it can be overwhelming to start planning a wedding. If you've never done it before it can be so difficult putting together your thoughts about what you need from different vendors. During an initial consultation you know to get a vibe from a vendor. You know to ask the standard questions that tell you who they are and what they do. You know to ask about their experience and the price point... but where do you go from there? I have had so many brides inquire with me and after asking very general information questions they kind of look stumped at a certain point. I do my best to fill in the blanks and answer questions they don't know they have but not every vendor will be as obnoxiously transparent as I can be. Here's some questions you don't know you should ask when you first speak to a photographer you're considering for your big day.

1. "Do you have a portfolio of your work?"
          You should absolutely be viewing a photographer's past work before choosing one. It's
          super easy to see a few good photos on an ad and fall in love but make sure you're seeing
          more than just a few examples they post because trust me we know our best work and we
          share it... often. Ask if they have a dedicated Facebook page or a separate website showing
          what they can do on a more consistent basis. 

2. "Can I see a full wedding gallery?"
          Seeing all the amazing photos on a photographer's portfolio is great! It gives you a view of
          their consistent style and overall skill. BUT as stated above, we don't post everything from
          each wedding. It would be impossible and take up too much space. You should ask to see a
          start to finish wedding (I'm not saying weed through 1000 images but see sections of each
          part of just one wedding) That way you can preview the types of shots they favor for
          different parts of the day.

3. "Do you always bring backup equipment?" 
          You really don't need to know if they shoot 'Canon or Nikon', what lenses they have, or
          what equipment they use as a whole. It's a foreign language to most people when it comes
          to camera equipment. Unless you're a hardcore photographer as well all you really need
          to worry about is if they bring extras. Will they have enough memory cards if they shoot
          digital? Do they have an extra camera body in case theirs *God forbid* fails in any way?
          Knowing they have an extra set of what they'll need for your big day is a huge factor in
          knowing they're prepared for the work load. (as a fun note here's whats in my bag)

4. "Do you have business insurance?"
          Ok, this is one most people wouldn't think to ask. Having insurance on not just equipment
          insures they will be covered if anything happens to themselves, you, your guests, or
          in the event of any type of camera disaster. Say if a child is running around your reception
          and they fall into a light stand and get hurt (looking at worst case scenario) are they covered?

5. "Do you have a contingency plan in place if you can't attend for whatever reason?"
           I guarantee their contracts cover their own butts if they can't make it. Do they cover yours?
          You want to make sure your photographer has backup photographers in line to pick up the date
          if something happens and they can't make it. Personally I have a huge list of girls ready to jump
          in if I get into a wreck on my way to a wedding and they're all fabulous enough to be trusted.
          Anyone you hire should absolutely have a "what if" clause in their contract letting you know
          you need not worry about anything leaving you high and dry.

6. "What style of shooting do you typically focus on?"
          This part is a bit trickier. You first need to know what types of shots you're looking for during
          your wedding. Do you want more posed formals? Candid? Documentary style? Staged documentary?
          Know what you like before you ask this. But ask so you know what to expect your big day to
          look like in the photos. If you are wanting a lot of raw emotions in your memories make sure your
          photographer KNOWS that is what you want. We don't know what we don't know. 

7. "What is included in your package?" 
          You will see a lot of set packages listed on websites. That's not to say we're not flexible with what
          we offer... at least most of us are. Talk substitutions if they aren't readily offering a
          perfect package for what you're looking for. A lot of us are pretty good about getting you what you really want. 
          If you're getting sticker shock just by asking for suggestions... talk to your favorites and see if they take
          payment plans! It helps to be spread out when you're spread thin. Trust me on this one.

8. "What would you do if..."
          Throw a random scenario at them and see how they think on their feet. That will give you a true
          vision of their overall personality and problem solving skills. Yeah, its an interview in all reality.
          Try "so my uncle is kind of a flirt when he drinks...*finish sentence however you like* and see what their
          reaction is. If you're looking for someone very professional and to the point they'll react formally and
          directly. Me... I would tell you I can hang with the best of them and don't get offended easily. 
          So, if you're looking for someone super flexible that can roll with the punches no matter what comes
          at them you're looking for a more easy going and humorous response. *Just an example*

9. "What is your favorite part of the wedding day?"
          What does that matter in a photographer? I'm crazy right? That's a lame question they'll just say
          everything! Wrong! This question tells you what they are going to be very passionate about.
          If the most important part of your day matches theirs it'll make for a great and exciting relationship
          working together because you'll already be on the same page from day one. 

10. "Is there anything special you do that sets you apart?"
          Yeah, that's a loaded and open ended question. It may stump some photographers and others may
          scramble for an answer they think you're going to want to hear. In all reality this can help you
          open up a conversation that very well may be a deciding factor. You're not looking for freebies here
          you're looking for someone who puts their hearts into making sure you have the most perfect day. 

Know of any you think I missed? Need advice on how someone answered one of your questions? Comment below!! I'm always up for helping and suggestions are always amazing!! 

What's in MY Bag?

A glimpse of my equipment and tools I use for weddings

Camera Bodies
     *Nikon D810
     *Nikon D5500 (backup)

Lenses
     *Nikkor 35mm 1.8
     *Nikkor 50mm 1.8
     *Nikkor 105mm 2.8 macro
     *Tameron 24-70 2.8 zoom
     *Tameron 70-200 2.8 zoom

Lighting
     *2x Yongnuo YN560IV
     *Paul C Bulff AB400
     *Gary Fong Lightsphere
     *5 in 1 reflector

Extras
     *Step ladder because I'm short as all get out
     *Ring of fire
     *Triangle prism
     *Chandelier prism
     *Surprise other things I won't tell you about

Wedding Spotlight - Christy & Ingrid

True love is eternal, infinite, and always like itself. It is equal and pure, without violent demonstrations: it is seen with white hairs and is always young in the heart.
— Honore de Balzac

 

 

 

Christy and Ingrid were referred to me by a former coworker. When we met I knew they were going to be a couple to last through the tests of time. You could see the giddiness within them from the first meeting. They were an unstoppable force of love and light. The best thing about them was they believed in their own love. You could feel the energy of their immense passion for their own relationship and the joy they held in being together. 

Their wedding day was a warm July evening.  

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Christy was getting ready in a conference room of The Phelps in Cincinnati, OH. She was glowing. Her bridesmaids were buzzing around her all working on getting ready around a huge table. Makeup sprawled around and little flower girls running and playing. The excitement was all over their faces. Christy herself was a rockstar. She had that born to be bad attitude and her diva persona made for some great photographic moments. 

 

 

 

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Ingrid arrived shortly after I did. We made our way up to the rooftop bar to take some bride tribe shots. The city-scape below made the whole scene urban and fun. People crowded around to watch the happenings as I posed the group together in different spots of the bar. We had so much fun and I know Ingrid was feeling like a boss! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The ceremony was in the garden behind the hotel. A magnificent little space with a fountain and patio furniture lining the spaces between the aisle. It was quaint and intimate and just what they had been dreaming of. 

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I learned a lot about different traditions that day. They had a rope ceremony, Christy's son presented the rings, lots of prayers, and a sand ceremony rounded out the events. Their faces all the while had spanning grins across them. During their ceremony, they are mirroring each other. Without looking at one another their facial expressions almost always match. When one smiles the other smiles. When one purses their lips so does the other. When one scrunches their nose as does the other. They don't even see the other doing it but almost as if they're one body they mimic the other's expressions almost instantly. It is by far one of the most awe inspiring things I have ever noticed in a wedding gallery. That, my friends, is a true sign or a soul mate. When you are so in sync with the other that an outsider notices something like this... its amazing...

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Love is love. No matter what your feelings may be on who should be allowed to love who. In my heart, if I see a couple true to one another that's love. It's no one else's relationship to be in and no one's job to judge. Except me. I judge the fact that they were the most loving couple I have ever had the pleasure of working with. Congratulations Christy and Ingrid. Many years of happiness and light your way! 

What is Love?

Where there is love there is life. ~ Mahatma Gandhi

The man had a point. Love is easy to describe and impossible to define. Of course, the dictionary will disagree but I personally believe that love is undefinable. We all have a different vision of love- a different view of its incomparable emotion and desire. Everyone has a different amount of need to be loved and show love. Everyone has a varied experience with love. To define love is to describe the sky to someone who has never been outside… so you may agree or disagree with my description… but here it is.

To me, love is more than just a feeling. I’m not naive enough to believe in prince charming whisking me away and the story ending with “and they lived happily ever after.” There’s more to it than that. Who knows maybe my prince charming will come riding in on his Harley someday (hey now, don’t judge! That’s horsepower too! Right?) but the “happily ever after” part; that’s where those fairy tales lose me.

Love is work and its sacrifice. Being in love is like riding a rollercoaster blindfolded. Those butterflies of anticipation show up out of nowhere. It throws you in opposite directions and shakes your until you feel it in your soul. Where those loop de loops make you dizzy and the corkscrews knot your stomach. Falling in love is exciting AND terrifying.

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I think my favorite thing about love is being on the outside looking in. No, really, I’m serious! Yeah, I have been in love a few times and I love my current crazy amazing man whom hopefully one day I will be able to refer to as my husband *hint hint* *wink wink*. But I live my love story every day. I know the ups and downs and twists and turns. It’s a familiar rollercoaster where the heights aren’t as scary and I know what’s around the next bend. I like seeing other people’s journey; or at least a piece of it.

Arriving at a location and seeing the excitement in a bride’s eyes fills me with a special type of joy. At that point they all become my sisters. I find happiness in their nervous smiles and anxious cracking voices.  Watching a groom see his bride for the first time in her dress is like being on the rollercoaster myself. Capturing that moment while he’s fighting back his tears is such an immense honor. I fall in love with their love each and every time.

Having an outsider’s perspective on so many different couples and their unique love stories gives me a chance to change my feelings about love over and over. Getting to experience other people’s profession of love takes away any jaded notions you once believed. It becomes pure again. It’s like getting to see your favorite movie or read your favorite book again- but for the first time!

So every time I photograph a wedding, newborn, engagement, or family session I relate to my clients in a way that I can actually sense the love that surrounds them and in turn feel it deep within myself.

So to me, love is many things and many feelings all wrapped into one. It’s a deeper connection mind body and soul. It’s a heightened sense of self mirrored by the look in someone else’s eyes. It’s security even through argument. It’s inner peace and tranquility when you’re surrounded by chaos. Love is what makes life bearable one way or another. Whether you love a person, a pet, a hobby, or even yourself…  “Where there is love there is life.”

Wedding Spotlight - Erin & Mikie

 

One crazy day in my life I walked into freshman year of high school and met a boy soon to be my best friend for the next few years in American History class. Good old Glen Este High School (may it rest in peace). That was... about 15 years ago give or take. Ugh I feel old now. Anywho... this crazy nerdy hilarious individual soon built a little birds nest of affection in my cold little emo heart. We were the best of friends. Fast forward to 2017. Mikie and I still had a friendly facebook conversation every now and again and I was happy to see he had gotten engaged to a woman I could only describe as incredible.

Erin contacted me about a month before the wedding date. I had offered Mikie a discounted boudoir session for his soon to be bride but never spoke about shooting their wedding. She told me she had a friend planning to shoot the wedding but wanted me there to work it as well. I was thrilled to say the least. 

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I got to the getting ready space early. Erin was inside a quaint house owned by her family and her girls were getting makeup slathered on them. We all laughed and talked as I got some gorgeous getting ready shots. Erin seemed like she had her nerves in check for the most part but her eyes gave away her anxious excitement from time to time. It was the cutest thing. About half an hour into it, I decided to walk next door to where the guys were.

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Mikie and his boys were playing pool, drinking aged bourbon (or whiskey I know nothing of the difference), and having a relaxing boys day it seemed. Erin's son Cooper ran around with the big boys being about as adorable as they come. You could see he idolized his soon to be bonus dad. There was so much adoration in that child's smile and the happiness in the room was palpable. I took some shots with my camera and then made fun of the groom a bit (as usual with the long time friendship) and made my way back to the main house. 

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I gathered up the girls and we headed to the back area of the house to another building. A funeral parlor owned by Erin's family. It was... creepy as all get out... I'm not going to lie. But it made for some gorgeous photos. The open spaces and old feel of the building were beautiful and almost made me forget it was a funeral home. Until one of the bridesmaids asked if I wanted to see where they embalmed people... nope... I'm good right here thanks. Erin made it fun though and I'm pretty outgoing so aside from the cold chills of ghosts walking around helping (duh) it was actually a very pretty place. 

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The ceremony and reception were at Pattison Park in Batavia, OH. Everything was perfect. The weather was gorgeous and the venue was small enough to be intimate and large enough to be accommodating to the whole guest list. My buddy from high school was teary eyed as his immaculate bride walked down the aisle. They were a perfect pair together standing at the gazebo. You could see the world go fuzzy around them as they stared into each others eyes. It was beautiful. Yes, I cried just a little bit. 

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The whole day was amazing. Bridal portraits at sunset, fun at the reception, Cooper stealing the spotlight during the first dance... I can't say enough how much I loved being a part of their wedding day. 

Now I have another great friend. Erin is one of the most genuinely sweet and funny people I have ever met. I adore her, cooper, and Mikie. Their family is what most wish they could build. Congratulations Erin and Mikie. Love you both!! 

"You know all those things you've always wanted to do...?"

"... you should go do them." 

This is one of the most inspirational quotes of my time. E.J. Lamprey hit the nail on the head with this one and managed to kick my hind end into gear in the process. 

Looking back on your life, most of you can attest to the fact that finding yourself is one of the most challenging parts of growing up. From elementary school on we are consistently asked "what do you want to be when you grow up?" A little later we get it from our family too. At that point it's on to "what are you doing with your life?" (Thanks Mom.) 

I was always artistic. Even when my answers to those questions included lawyer, psychologist, and journalist; I knew down deep I was truly passionate about all things creative. Fast forward to adulthood.

The moment I picked up my first manual camera I fell in love. I immersed myself in learning everything about how to take a decent picture. I had no idea what I wanted to be able to do with it, I just knew I had to master being "ok" at this. I had a hunger. I jumped in head first... and boy did I drown. 

My photos sucked! I had no idea what I had gotten myself into. My friends and family helped me practice a lot. They modeled for me, played dress up, gave me all they had in support and love. Some of them looked like Shrek. Green skin, overly color saturated. Others looked like they had a bad spray tan. Pumpkin colored skin... what?! I look back on those and cringe. But everyone loved their pictures. And that's exactly how I classify those; just "pictures."

I hit the books. I studied the exposure triangle and watched just about every editing tutorial on YouTube that I possibly could. I joined all sorts of Facebook photography groups and went to a TON of staged shootouts to practice and learn. Swearing up and down I would NEVER trust myself to shoot a wedding... until I did. 

My first wedding was a second shooting job. I had met a fabulous photographer through one of those Facebook groups and asked if I could tag along just to try it out and see if I liked it. The romance of it; the speed of everything that was happening around me; the couple's story... just... wow. 

I was enthralled! A few more test runs at second shooting and I agreed to solo photograph a friend's wedding. Eeak!! 

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You know that feeling you get when you wake up nerve-wrecked about to go to a job interview? I expected that feeling to hit me hard the day of the wedding. I didn't. I felt calm, relaxed, and ready. The only anxiety I had during the hours that led up to the wedding was about NOT having any anxiety about solo shooting my first wedding. It was bazaar to say the least. 

Everything went smoothly. We laughed and played and got some absolutely beautiful images that day (I'll blog that wedding soon I PROMISE). From that moment on, I knew who I was. I was- I am- a wedding photographer. I am a friend of each bride I work with. A buddy of each groom. A confidant, a planner, a scheduler, a shoulder to cry on, a joke to laugh at, a person who will kick an entire wedding party out of a room so you can take a breath and FEEL like a bride, and most of all... I am a memory holder. I capture your wedding day in a way you can only imagine... until you see your images. You will smell your flowers again. Taste your cake. Feel your dad's kiss on your cheek. See your mother's teary eyes. You will relive your best moments. Forever. 

I am a wedding photographer. Are you ready for me to be yours?

Wedding Spotlight - Lindsay & Jeriah

 

 

When I was asked to "second shoot" the wedding of Lindsay and Jeriah I was a tad bit intimidated. My friend Morgan had told me the bride was a wedding photographer herself. Since Morgan was taking lead on the wedding I thought, ok I can't really mess it up so hopefully at least the bride will be nice. I was worried as a wedding photographer she would be super picky and try to handle all her own posing. Boy, was I wrong.

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Lindsay was magnificent. She was every photographer's dream client. Gorgeous, kind, generous, funny, easy going, and understanding. She made our jobs so easy. 

We began our day with the usual set up. The girls were in the church bathroom getting ready together. It was a small venue but adorable. I knew from the moment Lindsay dropped trow she was going to be fun. 

 

 

 

 

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As her sweet little flower girl came to help her get ready, I teared up a bit watching the interactions between them. Lindsay was so soft spoken and gentle with the gorgeous little girl. They shared a few precious moments together and then finally it was time to go see her groom to be.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lindsay and Jeriah opted for a first look before the ceremony. I ADORE FIRST LOOKS! They give the bride and groom an few intimate moments together where they can let go of any of the pre-wedding stress and jitters. They get to have a true emotional reaction to seeing one another for the first time without the eyes of all their guests bearing down on them. It's moments like these that are truly special. 

As Jeriah waited for his perfect bride to walk up to him, the anticipation in his eyes was so real it was almost funny. He was so nervous/excited. I was enamored at how he was truly biting at the bits to see his future wife. When he finally got to turn around and see Lindsay for the first time in her amazing short sleeved dress, the flood gates opened. Poor Jeriah got caught on camera with tears in his eyes. I'm positive these are some of Lindsay's favorite images. It was such raw genuine love it almost made me sniffle a bit myself. 

 

 

 

Their ceremony was short and sweet. In a gorgeous little community church with bright blue and purple up lighting the mood was one of palpable happiness. Surrounded by friends and family, they couldn't have been more beautiful of a couple. 

 

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Lindsay and Jeriah traveled to the cutest little reception spot reminiscent of a camp ground with small log cabins littering the open spaces. They had opted for an afternoon tea type of reception with small finger foods and deserts to hold their guests over through their oldies inspired playlist of dances. It definitely fit in with their old soul deep love that radiated through them. 

All in all Lindsay and Jeriah had an amazing wedding day. Everything was absolutely perfect from beginning to end. Congratulations love birds! 

 

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