Courtney and Sam Mt. Airy Forest Engagement

Back when I was huge and pregnant I got to spend some time in Mt. Airy Forest with these two love birds.  Autumn's beautiful colors provided the perfect backdrop for their engagement photos.  I am  thrilled that tomorrow I get a chance to hang out with them again at their wedding!

See you very soon, Courtney and Sam.  Thank you so much for choosing me to document your day. MtAiryForestengagement_0990MtAiryForestengagement_0991MtAiryForestengagement_0992MtAiryForestengagement_0993MtAiryForestengagement_0994MtAiryForestengagement_0995MtAiryForestengagement_0996MtAiryForestengagement_0997MtAiryForestengagement_0998MtAiryForestengagement_0999MtAiryForestengagement_1000C

Christina and Brandon's Fall Cincinnati Wedding

This is my last wedding of the year and it is another beautiful one!  Christina and Brandon were married at The Bell Event Centre.  It was a gorgeous fall day full of lots of color and sunshine.  Christina looked stunning in her dress from Kotsovos.  These two currently live in Chicago, but are originally from the Cincinnati area.  Friends and family came from all over the country to help celebrate their love.  It was a classy night filled with tons of fun, I was happy to be part of it!

I started the day at Christina's parents house, where the girls got ready.  As soon as I saw this window I knew I had to use it for a dramatic bridal portrait.

So pretty!  Christina's makeup is by Brideface and Jen Nally styled her hair.   We had to include a little bit of Cincinnati into their pictures. The guys looked sharp in their gray suits and paisley print ties. I love the way the color of the girl's dresses popped with the fall colors. The beautiful Bell.

I won! Raw Artist Cincinnati Photographer of the Year

I am so excited to announce that on Thursday I was named Raw Artist's Cincinnati Photographer of the year!  Raw Artists is a nationwide,  independent art organization for artists by artists. Their mission is to provide independent artists within the first 10 years of their career with the tools, resources and exposure needed to inspire and cultivate creativity.  I was asked to participate in one of their monthly  shows back in July.  It was a ton of fun.  At the end of their show season they held an online contest and people had to vote for their favorite Raw Artist to represent their city in the national contest.  I was chosen as one of the four finalists.  Thursday was the semi final round where I was judged by the audience and a panel of three local judges.  I was only allowed to display 5 pieces.  I choose to show some pieces from this body of work.  My good friend Marti, of Marti's Floral Designs helped me create an awesome display for my work.  I was so proud to see it all come together.  I hope to have some pictures to post to my Facebook Page soon.  I was a nervous wreck that night... One of my favorite sayings about art is that it is not a competitive sport, but man I wanted to win. :)  At around midnight after all of the voting they announced the winners from each category and I couldn't believe it when they announced my name!  YAY!!!  So the next step is the national awards.  My online portfolio will be judged and the winner will be announced later this year...fingers are crossed!

I want to thank everyone who came out and supported me that night.  You made me feel so special.  This has been a crazy emotional year for me, so I also want to thank all of my friends and family for supporting me and encouraging me to keep fighting for my dreams.  I love you all so much!! xx

Sarah and Karen's Northside Cincinnati Engagement

I love when couples choose locations that have special meaning to them for their photo sessions.  It makes the shoot so much more personal.  I met Sarah and Karen in Northside for this very sweet engagement session.  Northside is where they had their first date and their first kiss.  It was a real pleasure getting to know these two and hearing all about their love story.  Unfortunately, the state of Ohio still has a ban on gay marriage so Sarah and Karen are officially getting married later this year in New York.  They will be having a commitment ceremony at the Bell Event Centre .  I am honored they want me there to photograph it.

Special thanks to Rachel at Brideface for dolling the girls up for the shoot, they looked fantastic! I met Sarah and Karen at the Northside Tavern, where we planned on taking a few photos.  There was a wedding reception at the bar and I could not get in due to a line down the street.  I spotted Karen in the window and decided to shoot from outside instead.  I love the way these turned out.  Magic.Northside is full of color and interesting art.  We had a little fun with some of the wall murals. :)Love. Sidewinder Coffeshop where they had their first date. We headed over to Covington to get some images along the river. 

Hannah and Jimmy's Military Engagement Session

August seems to be a tough month for soldiers.  Two members of my family have been called to duty and lately I have been getting a lot of inquiries from military couples who are interested in setting up a photo shoot before their significant other leaves.  I hate that these couples will be separated for such a long period of time, but I am very happy I get to help them create special memories they will be able to hold onto while they are away.  Part of what I love about my job and what I think I'm pretty good at is allowing the couples I photograph to really connect during the shoot.  I encourage a lot of kissing and touching.   Getting your picture taken can be a little nerve racking.  By finding comfort in each other I am able to capture real moments, and if kissing embarrasses you then I usually get to capture a pretty amazing laugh. :)  I like to give people a good variety of intimate images and nice formal pictures.

Hannah and Jimmy have been together for five years.  They are planning their wedding for next August.  I was happy to hear they wanted to sneak in an engagement shoot before Jimmy leaves for Afghanistan.  They were both down to earth and we had a great time driving all over Kentucky to take these images.  I just love how good Hannah's red dress looks with Jimmy's military fatigues.  Lots of love to you Jimmy, stay safe. :)

Courteney and Drew Cincinnati Zoo Engagement

Last year Jen Weber of Your Wedding by Jen and I created Cincinnati's first alternative wedding expo, Love+Bash.  If you read my blog regularly I am sure you know all about it. :)  Because we were so excited to be bringing something so unique to Cincinnati we decided to have a contest to go with it.  I love to shoot alternative/offbeat weddings.  I asked couples to send me their wedding ideas/love story and I would chose one to shoot for free and Jen would offer them full planning.  Tons of other amazing vendors got on board and we ended up with a wedding giveaway worth almost $10,000.  I got some really awesome entries,  it was tough choosing a winner.

Courteney and Drew's story really stood out to me.  It wasn't just the fact that they are planning a carnival themed wedding with rides, a concession stand, and all of the fun games you see at a carnival. This did sound pretty amazing to me, Umm I want to take pictures on a carousel. It was also the love story Courteney sent in with her entry.   It was so sincere and heartfelt.  She admitted she thought Drew was a tool in the beginning, I loved her honesty.  She talked about all of the sweet things he did to win her over and prove her wrong.  He encouraged and supported her before he even got a first kiss.  She talked about how positive he is  and how eventually a friendship blossomed into love.  The story was about 5 pages long, but I enjoyed reading every bit of it.  Needless to say I found my winners.

I have really enjoyed getting to know Courteney and Drew through their planning process.  They are a blast to be around.  I cannot wait to work with some of my favorite vendors on their wedding in May!   Your Wedding by Jen planning/event design,  Marti's Floral Designs on flowers/event design, and the super talented Kristen of Five Dot Design is in charge of all of the paper goods, this will be a wedding to remember for sure!

For Courteney and Drew's engagement session they wanted to do something unique so we headed to the Cincinnati Zoo.  We got VIP access to some of the animals thanks to Drew's good friend Travis,  who happens to be one of my first clients ever!  Small world!!

p.s. For those of you wondering, Love+Bash 2012 is in the works...stay tuned!

Kelly and Justin's Historic Covington Engagement

Last weekend I had the pleasure of hanging out with Kelly and Justin in historic Covington for their very special engagement session.  I had a blast getting to know them.  They are so laid back and cool.  I am so excited for their wedding next year at Moonlite Gardens! I have been dying to do a wedding there. ;)  Thanks for the amazing day Kelly and Justin!  

Candice and Chris Cincinnati Riverboat Wedding

Candice and Chris were married on the B&B Riverboat, The Belle of Cincinnati in front of their dearest friends and family.  They had originally planned a destination wedding in Florida, but their sweet little girl Sophia came down with a sudden illness that required them to stay close to home so that she could get treatment.  Their journey has been tough, but these two are strong and the love they have for each other and their family is where they get their strength.

It was one of those super hot days we had in July, and as soon as I met up with Candice and Chris of course it started to rain, like major downpour rain.  I am not going to lie, I was a little nervous.  Throughout the past year and a half that  I have been shooting weddings, I have yet to have a rainy day wedding.  Not only were we planning on shooting their portraits outside, but the location on the boat where they were to be married was on top of a boat with no shelter.  Candice and Chris weren't phased by the rain and we decided to go ahead and drive to the location and hope for the best.  That's when the magic happened. After driving for about 10 minutes, clear skies, dry grass, perfect weather. Candice looked amazing in her Nicole Miller dress.This is their sweet Sophia with her Grandpa. Have I ever mentioned  how much I adore Marti of Marti's Floral Designs?  Because of their change of plans, Candice had to do a lot of last minute planning.  She contacted Marti about a week before the wedding about putting together bouquets and boutonnieres for the wedding party.  In the wedding world July is BUSY! It is hard to squeeze in time for yourself let alone last minute clients.  Marti was so understanding, she went out of her way to create these spectacular flowers for Candice and Chris.  They were perfect.  A polaroid of the couple. :) Ok I am going to go ahead and declare this the best cake I have ever had at a wedding, period.  Ahhh I remember some kind of lemon filling, it was to die for.  Chris' aunt,  Moe Thie is head of the Bakery Hill cake department at Midwest Culinary Institute.  She created this amazing cake for the couple.  After the wedding and dinner cruise we took the party to the landing for drinks and dancing. It was so much fun I ended up staying 2 hours past my scheduled time.  Highlight of the night...breaking it down on the dance floor with Candice's Dad to Salt and Peppa. Epic night!

Darienne Cincinnati Senior Portraits

Darienne and her family came all the way from Pennsylvania so that I could photograph her senior pictures.  They planned their family vacation around the session.  Way to make a girl feel loved! :) Darienne's mother started following my blog after seeing photos I took at Amber and Brian's wedding last year.  She is the sweetest,  I was blown away when she sent me the nicest condolence email when my dog passed last year.  How thoughtful!  Since Darienne and her family have never really had a chance to see Cincinnati I wanted to show off our wonderful city with a little tour.  We went to  Ault Park, Sawyer Point and Downtown for photos.  It was a great time.  Darienne is a huge animal lover with a heart of gold. She has a wonderful future ahead of her!  Huge thanks to  Kelly of Cinci Makeup for dolling Darienne up for these very special pictures! :)cincinnati-senior-portraitscincinnati-senior-portraitscincinnati-senior-portraitscincinnati-senior-portraitscincinnati-senior-portraits

Love+Bash

Sunday was a proud day for me, I had a smile plastered on my face all day long.   I still cant believe Jen and I did it.  We came up with the idea for Love+Bash 6 months ago and Sunday we made it happen.  We couldn't have done it without the help of some of the most kick ass wedding vendors, hair stylists, make-up artists, stylists, and models in the city.   Our goal was for all of these creative people to showcase their work in a setting where the sky was the limit.  They took it to the moon!  I  am so thankful for all of the amazing people who helped us create such a spectacular event.  Everyone brought it and everyone should feel as proud as I do.  I also want to thank everyone who came.  It was great to meet so many new people and to also see so many of my clients and friends there.  I wasn't able to get very many pictures, I was so busy and my hands were shaking from nerves.  Luckily Andrew Ducker Photography was there to document the day for us.  Thanks Andrew!  Head over to the Love+Bash website to see his pictures.

The floral designers made these fabulous bouquets for the fashion show. Row One by: Inspired Floral Design and Marti's Floral Designs Row Two by: Yellow Canary Row Three by: Inspired Floral Design

The 70's Inspired table designed by Your Wedding by Jen, Inspired Floral Design, and Sweet Cakes, Ltd. Events.Katie of Inspired Floral Design made this dream catcher out of embroidery hoops and hemp string.Jen found these squirrel place card holders at a thrift store.  How perfect! These little guys were the stars of the show.  From the Kitschy table designed by Your Wedding by Jen, Marti's Floral Designs, and Five Dot Design.This was my display.  I brought in my record player and used records for my signage.Sweet Cakes Ltd. EventsLewis&Cruse Jewelry made from your wedding flowers.

Gowns by BeartieMy sister grabbed this picture of all of the vendors.

Cincinnati Wedding at The Bell Event Centre

I feel very fortunate for the opportunity I had to travel to Mexico earlier this year to photograph Shanean and Ryan's destination wedding.  I got another opportunity to spend time with this gorgeous couple at the Bell Event Centre for their reception recently.  The Bell, which is a renovated church/bell and clock museum/event space is loaded with charm; vaulted ceilings, antique clocks and bells, colorful stained glass, marble and terrazzo floors.    The Bell Event Centre offers the option to have your ceremony and reception in the same location.  There is a beautiful courtyard that overlooks the city that is perfect for cocktail hour and photos.  The food is so, so good.   I feel safe saying it is the best I have had at a wedding to date. :)  They can accommodate up to 350 guests and have a full service staff of chefs, servers, bartenders, ect. that are very professional and courteous.   It was wonderful working with such an outstanding group of people. :)

See images from Shanean and Ryan's destination wedding here, their sexy day after beach shoot here, and underwater fun we had in Mexico here.

Shanean is so beautiful.Inside The Bell Event Centre.  There is a huge collection of bells and clocks to admire throughout the venue. Shanean's mother made their cake.  So good!! Time to break it down! Shanean and Ryan have a super fun group of friends! :)I made a slideshow of the images from Mexico so that all of the guests could see the wedding.  I love this image of Shanean enjoying it at the end of the night.  Thanks to my assistant, Justin for capturing it. 

Sweet Little Elin

Whenever I am editing a newborn session I end up with a lot of dramatic black and white images.  To me there is nothing more beautiful than natural window light to add to the drama.  Pictures become more than snapshots, they become art.  I had the pleasure of visiting one of the most beautiful homes I have ever seen for sweet little Elin's newborn pictures.  An entire wall full of gorgeous light, it was amazing! Remember Jessica from this maternity and this newborn session,  she has an awesome interior design blog called Cape 27.  Check out her post about framing the pictures from Zoey's newborn session.  To me, there is nothing more important than a clean white mat when displaying images, especially black and white images.

Instant timeless art.

The Abandoned House

This house is an enigma to me.   Apparently, it was abandoned years ago.  It is as if the family just vanished, leaving behind all of their belongings.  There is really great furniture inside and a few vehicles on the property.  It does not look like it was a fire.  I tried looking up the address to find out what happened and nothing came up.  So strange.  The light was beautiful.  I hope I can go back when it warms up.

Thanks to Crystal for being my amazing model.

Friendship Park and a pretty bride

Jessica, beautiful, beautiful, Jessica.  Thank you for rocking out another photo shoot with me. :)

I photographed Jessica's wedding a couple of months ago.  I asked her to get back into her dress for an informal bridal shoot, no pressure, just fun.  We met at an awesome park along the river called Friendship Park.  The park is full of some of my favorite things, gorgeous plants and art.  A perfect backdrop for sweet pictures.

Here are a few of my favorites.