Last week I had the pleasure of traveling about 40 minutes into Kentucky to photograph Courtney and Sam's beautiful wedding at the Josephine Center. It was a hot day, but that didn't stop us from having a blast. Courtney blew my mind when she walked out in her off the rack dress that fit her like a glove. Nothing inspires me more than love, and these two shared it freely with each other and everyone at their wedding. I am grateful for the opportunity to spend such a special day with these beautiful people. Thank you Courtney and Sam.
This past weekend I got a chance to meet up with an old friend and his new wife to photograph their wedding reception. Elizabeth and Josh were married in Mexico, they planned a celebration at Urban Artifact. Since most of their wedding photos were taken on the beach, we decided it would be cool to run around Northside to capture something a little different. I had such a good time. It had been a long time since I had a chance to do an urban shoot like this. This is only my second event of the year after having the baby, so pardon me while I post a ton of my favorites...inspiration was running wild for me this day.
This year has been a little different for me. Over half of the clients I have booked, I have not met until wedding day. They have mostly been referred by friends, and are drawn to my style of shooting via my portfolio. I always have at least one phone conversation, and many email exchanges before weddings day. It can be little scary at first, considering I will be with them all day on their wedding day. I have not had one bad experience with any of these weddings. In fact, once I meet up with the girl's and start photographing them, I feel like I have known them forever. This is exactly how I felt at Amy and David's wedding. As soon as I arrived to their apartment I was greeted with big smiles and just enough of a southern accent to make me feel at home. The first thing David said to me when I met him that day was that he was very emotional and was without a doubt going to cry. I was glad he felt comfortable enough to be so honest and open.
The day was one of those we had last month where the rain was lingering over us, but never really came. Amy and David's first look was one of the sweetest I have witnessed. Emotions were high and the tears of joy flowed unapologetically. I was so happy to have witnessed so much love. The day was super laid back and full of so many laughs. I was so happy have had such a wonderful experience with these two people. They got married at Friendship Park along the river in Cincinnati. It's a beautiful location with so many beautiful spots to take photos.
The weather this wedding season has been very temperamental to say the least. The wonderful thing is, Mother Nature showed up with rain and disappeared, leaving glorious light at all of the right times. Most couples would have freaked out having an outdoor, DIY farm wedding with rain. Not Jessica and Craig, they stayed so calm and smiled the entire day. I have never seen a bride who kept it together as well as Jessica did. What was important to them was their love, spending time with family and friends, and that they were getting married. I think the rain added a bit of uncontrolled chaos that made the day more memorable. It also gave me the opportunity to create some stunning portraits of Jessica while we waited in one of the barns for it to pass. Looking back at the day, I bet Jessica and Craig would agree that they wouldn't have wanted it any other way.
Neltner's Farm provided the perfect backdrop for Jessica and Craig's ultimate DIY intimate wedding. The scenery is stunning. It's here that I believe you get a glimpse of Kentucky at her finest. The farm is surrounded by hills and gorgeous trees. Jessica and Craig worked very hard creating all of the signs, the altar, and decor. Marti Heard Designs did a fantastic job, as usual with the floral designs and helped Jessica pull it all together. Everything had such a personal touch and was very creative.
When I met Jessica and Craig in Covington for their engagement session we got around 15 minutes of photos in before it started pouring rain. We decided to wait it out in my car, the rain didn't stop, but it gave us a good opportunity to get to know each other. They are a fun loving couple who I felt like I had known forever. I love when I click with couples so quickly. It makes spending time with them on their wedding day feel like way more fun than work. We met up again a week later for round two. This time the weather was perfect and I was able to take them to some of my favorite spots. I am very excited to spend the day with them at Neltner Farm for their wedding next month. Here are a few of my favorites from both days. Look how cute that dress is!
This love story is a very special one for me. Though I have gone back and forth in my head about how I want to write it. I decided the best thing I can do is be honest, to be true and hope to inspire people the way Kristen and Sean have inspired me. This love story is about strength, unconditional love, and vulnerability. It's about the better and the worse, the sickness and the health. I remember the day Kristen's mother called me to ask if I was available for the wedding which was only 5 months away. I was driving downtown, feeling a little crabby. I answered the phone while driving, something I rarely do. She sounded a bit nervous. She asked me if I was available on the date of her daughter's wedding and if I could shoot an engagement session within a few days of the phone call. She told me that within 2 months of getting engaged Sean, Kristen's finance had been diagnosed with stage IV Glioblastoma multiforme, a type of brain cancer and he was going in for surgery this week to try to remove it. I pulled over immediately. I snapped out of my selfish crabbiness and did everything I could to hold back the tears. Yes! I exclaimed to Kristen's mother. I will most defiantly do the wedding and I will clear my schedule for the engagement session ASAP.
When I met Kristen and Sean for their engagement session they were vibrant and happy. They joked a lot. I asked Kristen what her favorite thing about Sean was and she said she loves how smart he is. Sean said he loves how much she makes him laugh. I wanted to make sure the session wasn't about anything but them enjoying each other. It was the day before a life changing surgery, I didn't want any of the focus to be on that and neither did they. We laughed and talked and got to know each other. I left Kristen with a polaroid to hold onto while she was waiting at the hospital.
Sean's surgery went well. They removed a lot of the tumor, he has to go through frequent radiation and daily chemo treatments. He is currently still undergoing chemo to keep the cancer from growing They have to take things day by day, enjoying every minute they are given with each other. Something we all should do, really.
I hadn't seen Kristen and Sean since the engagement session. When I arrived on the wedding day I was so excited to spend the day with them. Everyone was in good spirits. Kristen looked absolutely stunning. They did a first look so they would have more time to spend alone that day. From the time Sean first set eyes on Kristen he lit up and admired her all day. Though Sean's cancer is something that has become an very important part of their lives, on their wedding day it was barely even mentioned. The day was about celebrating the present and their hopes for the future, about celebrating their love.
I have kept in touch with Kristen throughout the past few months since the wedding. I am so happy to say that Sean is doing great. He is still battling the cancer, but has not let it stop him from getting his degree, landing a dream job, and getting a house with Kristen. They even adopted a second dog, though I think that was more Kristen's idea. ;) I feel very fortunate that I have crossed paths with these beautiful couple. I hope the huge love they have for each other continues to give them the strength to continue living a life full of happiness together.
I can never say enough about how gorgeous the Bell Event Centre is.
I had an amazing time working with Sara and Forest. When they contacted me about setting up their engagement session I loved all of their ideas. They wanted to do something that represented their fun personalities. They gave me lots of freedom to experiment and were up for any crazy ideas I had. It was a pleasure getting to know them. I am sad that I wasn't available for their wedding later this month, it has good time Kentucky written all over it, my favorite.
This image is one of my all time favorites. I tell people all of the time, I never overly plan locations. Sometimes you gotta just keep yourself open to what inspires you and leave room for magic to slip in. We decided to stop by one of my favorite sunset spots when we were just about wrapped up. Construction trucks were driving on the other side of the levee, which sent dust flying everywhere. It made for a surreal, moody atmosphere that was just perfect. I snuck in a few polaroids. I love the way these turned out.
Oh how I am going to miss fall this year. The weather, for the most part, has been glorious. And those colors...please mother nature, just a little bit longer. :) I have had some very lovely shoots this year too. This one of Blythe and Derek was one of my favorites. They are total sweethearts. When they told me they wanted to take their engagement pictures somewhere where the color was nice, but also wanted a view of the city I knew Devou Park would be perfect. I have really enjoyed getting to know these two throughout their wedding planning process. Their are always smiling so big when I see them, I really enjoy that. I cannot wait for their wedding next year.
As I was going through Rachel and Brad's wedding all of the wonderful memories of the day came rushing back to me. I was reminded of Rachel's beautiful smile, and the way she lost control of her emotions thinking about Brad in his suit. I was reminded of the way Brad looked at her not only during their first look, but throughout the entire day, he was so proud to be with her. I was reminded that being around these kinds of raw emotions, being the person who gets to document and help savor these memories is very important. I was reminded that my job is very important. Just like everyone, there are times when I question the career I have chosen for myself. I struggle with self doubt when I don't get a wedding I really wanted, it sometimes gets hard for me to balance being an artist and a wedding photographer. But, when I look at what I am able to give people, to know that they really appreciate it, there is no room for doubt and worry. All that is left is a heart full of love and gratitude. Thank you Rachel and Brad for sharing your day with me. I am so happy to share these images with you.
Beautiful fall weather and so much love. This one was very special for me. I got to hang out and watch these two compliment each other perfectly.
After a long friendship, with lots of flirting, Kristen and Sean's relationship revealed itself as love. They were drawn to each other and couldn't deny it any longer. I asked them when they knew it was the real thing. Kristen responded, "I knew it was real one day when we were watching TV together, he leaned over to scratch my back. It was the first time we touched in a different way. He said " I knew when I took her for a long bike ride. She had been holding onto me all day. I knew she was the one."
They let down their guards and really felt each other, their hearts opened up to the love that they had for each other. So sweet.
It doesn't matter where you are, what you're wearing, or how much you spent on your flowers, to me the most important thing you can bring to your wedding day is a heart full of love and a smile on your face. Don't get me wrong, I adore all of the pretty details that make a wedding day special, but it's the emotions of the day that really sweep me off of my feet.
Julie and Jennie's intimate wedding was held at Venue 222 downtown. About 50 of their closest friends and family came to help them celebrate and support their lifetime commitment to each other. They presented each other with very personalized vows with promises to not only love each other but to also give each other the space they need to grow, and to be present while enjoying their journey together. It was so heartfelt and their chemistry together is inspiring to be around. During the reception I stopped taking pictures for a minute and just let myself really enjoy what I was apart of. It was overwhelming. There were people laughing and enjoying themselves in every direction I looked. The joy in the room was explosive. During that moment, there was no where in the world I would rather be. I was experiencing right in front of me nothing but pure love and it felt great. As I floated back to my car I just sat and soaked in how lucky I am for these amazing people that let me tell a piece of their story.
Thank you to all of Jennie and Julie's friends who helped make the day perfect for the couple.
This is why I love when couples do a first look. You get to spend some time enjoying each other alone, and I get to capture it. :)
The cutest ring bearer ever. Julie and Jennie's very talented friend Nuria made the ring bearer bag and designed all of their flowers.
I leave every wedding I photograph with a happy heart. Spending time with people on such a special day is something I am truly grateful for. Nia and Spencer were going to have a huge wedding celebration, but when they started thinking about it, they realized that isn't their style. They decided to have an intimate ceremony at Ault Park surrounded by their their immediate family. There were 16 of us gathered to witness their love. The weather was perfect and the couple was glowing. Their love for each other along with the support of such amazing families will make them unstoppable together.
See Nia and Spencer's East Walnut Hills engagement session here.
Nia's father was so happy for his daughter. Here he is helping her get into her dress. A beautiful bouquet by Courtenay Lambert. In honor of Nia's mother. After the ceremony we headed to Moerlein Lager House at the Banks for a wonderful lunch.
Alright so this is the longest blog post I have ever done, but I just can't help it. This wedding is very personal for me. Sara and Jeremy have been very good friends of mine for many years. When I heard they got engaged I knew I had to be the one to photograph it. Anyone who knows these two can tell you they are the kindest souls you will meet. Being part of their wedding celebration was an honor. All of their close friends and family headed around 3 hours to The Barn at Cedar Grove for their wedding. We spent the weekend sharing stories about Sara and Jeremy while enjoying a break from the city. We drank, we danced, we sang, we laughed, we saw stars, we almost sunk a boat. It was a spectacular wedding weekend. The wedding had so many personal touches. Sara made most of the decor. She has been saving bottles for what seems like forever preparing. Their good friend Rich officiated. Music was provided by their friends Stuart and Maya. Jeremy and his band The Tongue and Lips performed a special song for Sara and her dad. Everything was full to the brim with heart. I came home with the biggest smile on my face. I am still smiling as I go through and relive the day through these pictures. Thank you so much for your love and friendship Sara and Jeremy. And thank you for letting me be the one to capture your wedding. I wish you both a lifetime of happiness together!
Sara found two dresses she liked on Etsy. She worked with Ashley from Casablanca Vintage to create something that totally fit her style. Sara's Free People headpiece was the perfect accessory to such an awesome dress. Jeremy spent his time before the wedding rehearsing with his band. Sara's best friend/maid of honor, Emily made the fabric alter decor. So pretty. Sara's friend Lauren designed this beautiful cake for the couple. Seriously though, Have you ever seen a bride play wiffle ball at their wedding?! Sara and Jeremy's friend Brent (pictures above left getting down) made this awesome marquee.Sara and Jeremy are both artists. They gave me the freedom to do whatever I wanted with their pictures, so we made lots of art using Polaroids and my iPhone. More polaroids of a little bit of everything. This is an iPhone picture shot by my awesome assistant for the day, my boyfriend Chris. It still blows my mind. So dreamy!
I fell in love with Tina's spirit when she joined a friend and I for a night out last year, she has a very comfortable personality, like someone I have known for years. I met Joe soon after when they invited me out for dinner. We talked for hours about life, love, and following your dreams. We also talked about their wedding...I was blown away when they said they want to have a very intimate destination wedding in Asheville, North Carolina and they wanted to bring me with them. WHOA!! It is a dream for me to be able to photograph people I connect so well with.
For their engagement session we hung around Devou Park where they live and spend a lot of time. It was late in the day, the sun was shining and their love was a breathe of fresh air. Joe adores Tina, she is the gentle spirit that completes him.
I am so happy to be part of their love story.
Samantha and Heather's intimate ceremony was held in the backyard of a beautiful home owned by dear friends. It was a gorgeous afternoon full of laughter and love. Their close friends and family helped make the day extra special for the girls by helping with the food, flowers, and decor. Samantha and Heather walked around with huge smiles on their faces all day. At one point in the day I noticed Samantha tearing up, Heather asked her if she was ok. As Samantha looked over at all of the faces of support and love she replied, "I am just so happy." It was a moment I never want to forget. It was a moment that reassured me, that I was right where I needed to be. Celebrating love, documenting it, being part of something so special is the best feeling in the world. Samantha and Heather, thank you for letting me be part of such an amazing day. My hope for you is a lifetime of the happiness you felt on this day.Samantha and Heather are both teachers who love to read. They used books for their table decor. The guests were invited to take them home at the end of the day.
Sara and Jeremy are two very good friends of mine. I cannot wait for their Fourth of July wedding coming up soon. For their engagement session they wanted to do something fun and different. One night while we we were hanging out on their porch we came up with the idea of having a pool party in the their backyard with their good friends, Seth, Jamie and Emily. Everyone dressed up and really got into the theme. We cranked up the music and ran around the yard dancing and singing, it was so much fun! Here are a few of my favorites.
See a behind the scenes video from out shoot here
Jeremy always has great stories. These boots came from his dad. He won them in a pool game, how perfect!
Happy Monday everyone!
It has been an insanely busy past couple of months. Though most of my time is spent at my computer when I am this busy, I really look forward to the time I get to spend getting to know my clients during their engagement sessions. Last week I headed to East Walnut Hills for Nia and Spencer's laid back engagement pictures. I first met Nia at a bridal event. She was planning a huge winter wedding. After lots of thinking, she and her fiancé Spencer decided they were planning a wedding that did not fit their personalities at all. They are both super chill. They decided that is how they want their wedding to be...They changed the date, location, and cut their guest list down to immediate family and friends. I love this so much. Your wedding should be about you and what you want, not what you think you are expected to do. There are no rules. As long as you two are there, that is all that matters. :)
I walked away from this session smiling ear to ear. I felt like I just hung out with friends I have known forever. These two laughed, and laughed, and laughed. Spencer is full of jokes, but he is also a total sweetheart who kept telling Nia how beautiful she looked. Every time she looked at him, she would tell him how pretty his blue eyes were. It was very sweet. They like each other a lot and they weren't afraid to let me see that. My favorite! I can't wait to see them again next month!
Spencer proposed to Nia at Eden Park, they were surrounded by their close friends. He got down on one knee, but then he froze up and didn't say anything. Nia was just staring at him, like "do you have something to say?" He is very animated, this was when he was telling me the story.
When I met Rebecca to talk about her wedding we hit it off right away. I knew I really wanted to be apart of her wedding after just a few minutes of talking to her. She smiled a lot, and she was very enthusiastic about the details of her wedding. She is from a small town in Ohio and is heading back there later this year to marry her best friend Greg.
I met Rebecca and Greg downtown Cincinnati for their engagement session. We hung around one of my favorite spots talking and getting to know each other better. Greg told me the story of when he knew Rebecca was the one. They went to college together. It was Halloween and he wasn't feeling good. Instead of going out with friends, Rebecca cancelled plans to stay home to take care of him. He appreciated her giving heart, he said he knew she was the girl he wanted to be with. They were both cracking up the whole time he told the story. I am so excited for their wedding later this year, it's going to be such a good time!
When Annah contacted me about setting up an engagement session I was thrilled to hear her ideas. She wanted to shoot underwater, something I have only barely dabbled with, but I was excited for the challenge. Annah said she loved that my work has an artistic flair, and gave me the freedom to do whatever I wanted. A real dream for me. I met Annah and Julian at a friend's house early in the day. Once we got going it was a super exhilarating experience. I had practiced the day before with a good friend, but was still a little nervous. During my practice shoot I forgot one key element...goggles. Once I got those things went a lot more smoothly. I am very grateful to many friends who let me borrow their cameras for this shoot. And even more grateful to Annah and Julian for giving me this awesome experience. It is defiantly something I want to do again. After our super fun morning we all went home to get ourselves together and met back up at Highfield Discovery Park for part two of their engagement session. This park is so whimsical and pretty. The perfect setting for a photo session. Before I show you their images I want to share a little story about a kindred soul named Bob, who was our contact at the park. I shared this story on my Facebook page a couple of weeks ago, but I figured it can't hurt to share it again....I noticed Bob's wedding ring was very cool, so I asked him about it. He told us it was created 30 years ago, his wife has the only other version of it. "Of course it's much more dainty" Bob told us. The ring is custom made and inspired by the DNA double helix, the combining of two to become one. It was a great story and he was proud to tell it.
Every single thing about Kendal and Joe's wedding was from the heart, personal, and full of love. They spent many, many months making bird houses, pinwheels, kites, signs, a custom photo booth backdrop, and the most amazing altar I have ever seen. They wanted their wedding to represent their fun personalities. I was was bouncing around the park like a kid in a colorful candy store admiring and photographing all of the details.
Kendal and Joe decided to see each other before the wedding so we arranged a first look at the park. Joe, who is a master of all trades, was running a little behind because he had to sew a button for one of his groomsmen. When he arrived at the park I got to witness one of the most special moments of my career so far. When Kendal walked up to Joe and tapped him on the shoulder it was like an explosion of nerves was released, you could see and feel it. It was very emotional, I had to fight back tears while shooting. They found so much comfort in each other. Their love was radiating. This is why I always encourage my clients to see each other before the ceremony. Moments like that are what memories are made of.
Though Kendal and Joe spent a lot of time curating the perfect wedding the one thing, the most important thing I remember about the day was that big, colorful love they share for each other. Their friends and family were so supportive and happy for them. It was such a treat to be around. I have been smiling so much editing these.
Thank you to everyone who made the day even more special for Kendal and Joe.
Venue: Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park Event and Floral Design: Marti's Floral Designs Invites, Signs, Programs: Pinwheel Print Shop Custom Cake Topper: Melting Pot Love Photo Booth: Framster Kendal's Dress: European Bridal Jewelery: Macy's/Kate Spade Shoes: Seychelles Bridesmaid Dresses: Anthropologie Flowergirl Dress: Gap Joe's Suit: Egara Guy's Shoes: Vans Guy's Ties: Original Penguin Handmade Altar, wood signs, birdhouses, decor: DIY by the bride, groom, and family Guest Book Tree: Bleu de toi Cookies: Cookies by Sue
Cupcakes/Cake: JoJo’s cupcakes DJ: Jonathan Klein Ceremony Musician: Bryan McCartney Save the Dates: Hullaballoo
Wood Cupcake Sign, Chair Covers, Birds of a feather sign, and Fields sign: Mimi’s Vintage Signs
Caterer: Jeanettes Delicacies Photo Assistant: Andrew Ducker
P.S. One of their images is featured on the real weddings section of Huffington Post! How cool is that?!