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.
I had the pleasure of spending the afternoon with this beautiful woman the other day. When we were going through her outfits for the shoot, her American flag swimsuit caught my eye. It wasn't until I was editing that I realized Memorial Day was coming up. Sometimes things just happen perfectly. Summertime, here we come! Before heading outside, we shot a few in her apartment. I love how these turned out. Hannah, you are so gorgeous.
It had been way too long since I had last updated my website. I have been in the process of rebuilding for years now. I would work on it for a few months then get busy and neglect it again. The company I used for my old website was great, but I needed something a little more user friendly when it comes to updates. A friend of mine turned me onto Squarespace. Once I started playing around with it, I knew I found my new platform. It is very easy to navigate and to update which is key for me. I feel like I am a pretty good photographer, but when it comes to web design I need things to be simple. I also need to throw a shout out to GoDaddy. I have been with them since I bought my first domain. Their customer service is out of this world. The representative sat on the phone with me for over an hour explaining SEO and other foreign web lingo to me. Im telling you, I am web illiterate, I feel like I have a basic understanding now. They also made the transition to a new site so easy.
With my new site I decided to have sections for all of my work, not just weddings. I have debated with myself over and over about having a seperate art site. Lately a lot of my wedding clients are mentioning some of the more artistic shoots I have done when discussing what they want for their wedding. I absolutely love that. I decided that all of my work represents me and my aesthetic, so why not just put it all out there.
I added an inspiration blog to my site called The Daily Dose. It is my little place on the web where I can share what inspires me. It's like a my virtual scrapbook. I hope you are able to find it inspiring as well. :) I am still using this blog to share all of the awesome weddings and photo sessions I shoot.
My new site still has the same web address as my old one www.nikitagrossphotography.com. I promise to update it often, so please stop by and say hello!
I had the amazing opportunity to collaborate with some of my favorite people for this styled shoot at Bakersfield in Over the Rhine. We wanted to do something unique and fun. Marti, of Marti's Floral Design styled the shoot and had this to say about it...Off the beaten path, not the typical love. Not the typical bride. That was our inspiration of this. Focusing on the love. Even if it is not the one that everyone sees as being normal. The casual wedding taken past the mason jars. We found so much inspiration in the casualness of a quickie wedding and how stylish it could still be. Bohemian meets Masculinity. We wanted to show that both could still be present in a wedding. Something to reflect both of them. Lace and leather. Guns and flowers. Not everything has to be typical for a wedding. Make it reflect the couple that you are and not a formality. Caroline and Jesse are the perfect image of the couple today. Off the beaten path, showing the love, and forgoing the typical wedding.
Brooke and Dominic's wedding was super special to me. I have been friends with them for years. I absolutely love them and their family. They are the most gracious group of people I have ever known. I was very excited when they asked me to join them in Key West for their wedding. The wedding was a laid back beach ceremony at the Casa Marina Resort. Brooke looked stunning and smiled the entire day. Dominic, who I thought would be nervous was calm and cool. I think I heard them say I love you to each other at least 100 times, it was so sweet. Brooke and Dom, I cant thank you enough for this amazing opportunity. I had a blast and I am truly honored you chose me to photograph your wedding. :) The night before the wedding Brooke and Dominic chartered a sailboat for a sunset cruise. It was so much fun!The wedding was so beautiful. The weather was perfect and the beach backdrop was gorgeous. Check out Brooke's killer shoes. Brooke is the only girl I know who isn't afraid to wear wedges like these on the beach. Dominic and his family own the Bell Event Centre. They had a reception there to celebrate with all of their friends and family when they got back. The amazing women of the Bell.
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 shot this super fun wedding at the Leapin Lizard in Covington last month. Lindsay and David were a blast to be around. Peacock feathers, jewel tones, an eclectic venue, a bride who sings beautifully, and a whole lot of love are what made this wedding so special. I am thrilled they chose me to photograph it.
Lindsay wore her late grandmother's ring. So pretty.Stunning! I loved her dress.Marti's Floral Design made the bouquets. I like that she added a twist on the brooch bouquet with the fabric flowers. Our transportation...a party on wheels. So much fun!Lindsay's sister sang a song to the couple during the ceremony. Highlight of my night seeing Lindsay sing. She has a beautiful voice. She and her sister are in a band called Tempted Souls.
I took a beautiful drive up to Jamestown, Ohio for Carly and Ryan's engagement session. They are getting married next year here at Carly's family vacation house. The house sits on a gorgeous lake. After a warm greeting by Carly and her family, I was given a tour of the ceremony/reception location. Talk about being giddy with excitement. I love backyard weddings that are comfortable, laid back, and full of personal touches. It was so nice getting to know Carly and Ryan and hearing all about their love story. They were so sweet together, laughing and joking the entire time I was shooting.
I drove home with a huge smile plastered on my face, attitudes are contagious and being around love makes me happy. I cant wait until their wedding! This is Carly and Ryan's sweet daughter.
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 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. :)
Christina and Brandon, both from Cincinnati met while attending Miami University. After college they moved to Chicago where they now live. While they were in town last week we wandered around Findlay Market and Eden Park to capture these colorful images. I had a great time getting to know them and hearing the amazing story about how Brandon proposed on Michigan Ave. in downtown Chicago. He had all of her friends and family in town to help celebrate after. I love surprises, it was a super sweet story. I cant wait until their fall wedding at The Bell Event Centre later this year.
Chris and Katie's wedding is my last wedding of the year and let me just say I am going out with a giant pink bang!! This wedding was full of so much style and personality. I loved everything about it. See Chris and Katie's Keeneland engagement session here.
Katie's dress she purchased at European Bridal fit her personality perfect. So cute and so much fun! I love the pink shoes! All of her girls signed special messages to her on the bottom.
Yes, even her ring is pink!Katie is an amazing designer, she made her invitations and program with artwork she created herself.All of the girl's wore gorgeous magenta dresses accesorized with a Neckalina. Katie and her BFF Valerie are the duo behind KaVatee, an awesome company that makes these 3 in 1 accessories. They are so hot! Check out their website here. Chris looking dapper. :)I love this one! Katie and Valerie, the duo behind KaVatee.
The Cincinnati Art Museum, one of my new favorite venues! Thanks so much to Meggie, the museum's wedding coordinator for once again for making sure things ran flawlessly. Katie's creativity was everywhere. Almost all of her decor is DIY. She created all of the canvases and framed signs as well as the centerpieces. Check out how cool her card holder is. And just when you think the party is over....Katie comes out with a pink limbo stick, YES!! Thanks to my awesome assistant Andrew for capturing this one, the limbo winner!
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!
I love every wedding I get the opportunity to photograph. There is something so special about being around two people in love. I love seeing all of the emotion and how happy people are together. Robin and Jeff are at the top of my list of favorite couple's ever. They are the most generous, gracious, laid back people you will ever meet. Together I just know they are going to be unstoppable. The chemistry between these two is infectious. All of the vendors involved in the wedding were smiling and singing their praises all night. It is because of people like Robin and Jeff that we love what we do.
Their gorgeous wedding was held at the Cincinnati Art Museum. I love that we were able to incorporate some of the museum's art into their pictures. Robin was the ultimate DIY bride. She made everything from her button bouquet (which was unlike anything I have ever seen), to the cupcake stand and menus. Instead of flowers her bridesmaids carried letters that spelled out Jeff and Robin's last name, how cute! She put a lot of work into her wedding and because of that her wedding was unique and personal. My favorite kind of wedding to photograph. :)
Robin and Jeff I can't thank you enough for choosing me to be your photographer and allowing me to spend this special day with you. xoxo
Art museum event coordinator-Meggie King Dj-Joe Hriffin Cupcakes Home Grown Cakes Make up- Heidi McKenna Hair-Jackie Uher Rawe Officiant-pastor Brian Eastman Second Shooter/Amazing Assistant Andrew Ducker
You might remember these two from their engagement session I posted here. Tiffany and Andy were married last month in front of their closest friends and family. It was a gorgeous day full of lots of love and lots of emotion. Tiffany was such a pretty bride and Andy was on of the proudest grooms I have ever seen. I had so much fun at this wedding. Thanks for having me Tiffany and Andy!
You might remember Brandie and Nate from their Mt. Adams engagement session I posted a few months ago. These two are so much fun to be around. They had one of the most beautiful weddings I have seen at gorgeous French Park. Brandie was the ultimate DIY/Etsy bride. There were so many amazing details that made this wedding unique. I think my favorite was the vases she made for her centerpieces covering them vintage table clothes and curtains she found at local thrift stores, oh and of course the peacock feathers everywhere, you know I loved those! It was one of the hottest days of the year, but that didn't stop anyone from having a wonderful time. Brandie and Nate, thank you so much for allowing me to share in this very special time in your lives, I had a great time at your wedding!
Her dress from Bridal and Formal was so, so pretty! Ok so we all know I love unique bouquets, I think this one is my favorite to date. So delicate and pretty. She got it from Croska on Etsy.This was my first experience with Funky's Catering. I was blown away, the food was delicious and their staff was very professional. It was a pleasure working with them.The gorgeous flowers are by Robin Wood. I love the colors Brandie chose.Brandie is so creative. Other Vendors My Assistant Natasha Loos DJ Maize Music Cake Artrageous Desserts Planner Tracey Reece Officiant Paul Ravenscraft Hair and Makeup Mitchell's Salon
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!
I love to hear the stories about how my clients met. Tiffany and Andy were set up by a friend. They both went out of their comfort zones and decided to meet on a blind date. They have been together ever since. I love that. They took a risk on love and it totally paid off. Andy proposed to Tiffany a few years later in one of their favorite cities, Nashville.
I am very excited about their wedding next month. I grew up in the same town as Tiffany and I absolutely adore her family. I cant wait to catch up with them at the wedding!
Over the past year I have gotten to know and really adore Emily and Jay. Emily is one of the funniest people I have ever met and Jay has a huge heart full of nothing but love for his new wife. Jay did this special little countdown dedicated to all of the reasons he thinks Emily is awesome and why he is so happy to be marrying her. He posted the countdown on facebook leading up to their wedding. I looked forward to reading them, he always made me smile. Sometimes they were super funny and sometimes they were super sweet. Here are a couple of my favorites "#35... I love that when regulators comes on and we have to sing duet style you always let me sing the Nate Dog part..."I laid all them busters down I let my gat exploooooode." How funny is that. I cant get this vision out of my head, the two of them singing this together, it cracks me up! "#6.... I like going out places with our friends and the looks we give each other from across the room. Like there's really no one else around, and anything or anyone else doesn't really matter." Now that is freaking love! and I like this one too "#15.... I love all the love letters that you write me. I have the top drawer in my desk at work full of them. I especially like the drawing of Ollie dog that asks if I want to marry his momma and adopt him!" but the best is #1 he posted it on their wedding day "because she said yes and today in front of all our family and friends I get to Marry the love of my life Emily Rose Russell" Doesn't that just melt your heart?
Emily and Jay's wedding took place at the breathtaking Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption in Covington. Emily and Jay are pround members of this church and were fortunate to be married by Bishop Roger J Foys, D. D.(that is kind of a big deal). After the ceremony we took a little detour to take bridal party pictures and then headed to the Madison for an afternoon reception full of love, laughter, and really good food. :)
Emily and Jay I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for making me feel so special and for giving me the opportunity to share this amazing day with you. I love how much you appreciate and cherish your pictures. I sent Emily this one below yesterday, she showed it to Jay and he said he was going to print it and keep it in his wallet, and that it is the kind of picture his great grandchildren will cherish. :) That my friends, is why I love what I do. :)
This was a very Etsy infused wedding. I will add the complete list of vendors at the end of the post.
Upon our first meeting Emily told me that the most important part of the day was this moment below. How cute is this cake topper? It even includes their sweet dog, Ollie. I love it!The karaoke after party was at Molly Malone's Irish Pub. It was too much fun! Emily is a blast! :)
Thank you to my wonderful assistant Andrew Ducker for helping me capture the day.
Dress: Bridal Bliss Designs, Alterations done by Tony King, Cincinnati Flower Girl Dress: Nastershum Girls' Necklaces: Marolsha, Muchodesign, ShopJoliette All flowers and veil: Meadowbelle Market Cake Topper: Concarta Love banner on sweetheart table: Raven's Bloom
All of the decor, signage, Emily's brooch bouquet, and desserts were handmade by Emily and Jay
See Emily and Jay's engagement photos taken in Covington here.
Green grass, warm smiles, rolling hills, uninhibited affection, pretty flowers, beautiful weather, and love, love, love. These are just a few reasons why I adored Ashley and Austin's gorgeous Kentucky wedding. See Ashley and Austin's farm engagement session here.