New Website!

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!

Julie and Jennifer's Cincinnati Engagement

One of the best parts of being a wedding photographer is the fact that it allows me to be surrounded by my favorite thing in the world, love.  Unconditional love, family love, friend love, lover's love, it's what makes life worth living and it's my greatest inspiration.  People are all diffent at expressing their love.  Some are shy and reserved, some are open and want to show it to the world.

 I come from a family of huggers.  I love to hold hands and touch and smell.  Getting people to open up in front of the camera is my favorite.  It takes trust.  It involves all five senses working together.   It's easy to simply make someone look good, it's when I capture real emotion that I feel like I have done something really special.

This shoot with Julie and Jenn was one of those shoots where I feel like I was able to capture the pure happiness these two feel for each other.   We walked around Northside stopping whenever we saw something that caught our eye.  Autumn was showing her most beautiful colors and Jenn and Julie were bursting with love.  I am so excited for their intimate wedding next year and so thankful they trust me to capture their love.

cincinnati weddingJen and Julie wore their Tie the Knot bow ties for part of their session.  Here is a little more info about this organization from their website tietheknot.org.

"Tie The Knot was founded to combine all of our favorite things: humor, style, individuality, fashion, art, and equality. Founded by Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Justin Mikita, the goal of Tie the Knot is clear: to advocate for the civil rights of gay and lesbian Americans throughout the United States and to look damn good while doing it.

It’s simple: We will release a collection of neckwear seasonally, inspired by our favorite art, fashion, things we see on the street, and things in our living room. Each bow tie will be produced in limited quantity to inspire and promote uniqueness & individuality. All proceeds from the sale of the bow ties will go to various organizations that are in the trenches fighting for the civil rights of gay and lesbian Americans every single day."

You can purchase these unique ties at The Tie Bar here.

Kate and Erik's Clifton Engagement Session

I met Kate and Erik in the gaslight part of Clifton for their engagement session.  Though they no longer live in Cincinnati, they spent a lot of time in this part of town throughout their college years.  It was nice getting to know them and hearing about how they met.   Kate and Erik met back in the Myspace days. Erik's band  at the time Till Plains had a show and Kate went to see them.   Little did she know she was going to meet her future husband that night.  They spent some time as friends, going to shows and hanging out.  Eventually friendship turned into love.  I am looking forward to their wedding next year. 

Rachel and Brad's Downtown Cincinnati Engagement

 I met Rachel and Brad downtown for their engagement shoot.  We wandered around Findlay Market and then headed down to The Banks.  It was a pleasure getting to know them and hearing about how they met.  Brad kept Rachel smiling, which brought out her adorable dimples, I love that.   I am looking forward to their Clifton wedding next year!

Jacqueline and Chip Columbus Park of Roses

Jacqueline and Chip met through mutual college friends.  At Halloween time they would have a friendly pumpkin carving competition. Jacqueline thought she had Chip beat with an elaborate design she worked very hard on.  Chip decided he not only wanted to win the competition, but also wanted to win Jacqeline's hand in marriage.  He carved "will you marry me?" into his pumpkin.  What a sweetheart!  Needless to say, he won the competition, and later this year his prize will be seeing Jacqueline walk down the aisle to become his wife.  I am so happy they chose me to photograph it. :)  

I met Jacqueline and Chip at one of their favorite parks in Columbus, The Park of Roses for their engagement session..  Whoa!  What a beautiful place.  I was overwhelmed by all of the beautiful color and fragrances.  Apparently the roses hit their peak in August, I will definitely be heading back up there to check it out.

Sometimes I like to pull toys out of my camera bag and experiment.  I love this one.

Caroline and Stephen Rabbit Hash Kentucky

I met this gorgeous couple along the river in Kentucky at a little town called Rabbit Hash.  Stephen grew up in Boone County so this place has always been part of his life.  It was the perfect spring day.  We met right before sunset and the wind was blowing just right.  Caroline greeted me with the warmest smile.  She is a total sweetheart. I was in heaven taking these photos.  Caroline and Stephen are adorable together.  Caroline is a very modestly beautiful girl.  It was nice hearing Stephen complimenting her throughout the evening.  Caroline was a skater for Disney on Ice so Stephen being the sweet guy he is, took her to Disney World to purpose.  I love it! Thank you so much for this amazing evening you guys!  I cant wait until your wedding in the fall!A couple of polaroids from the shoot.

Stephanie and Chris' Kentucky Engagement Session

I met Stephanie and Chris at their house on one of those rare warm winter days we had right before Christmas.  We took a few pictures with their sweet dog, Lola and then headed out Route 8 along the river in Kentucky.  It was nice getting to know them.  After about 5 minutes in the car I felt like I was hanging out with friends.  ;) They are getting married in a few months in a friend's backyard in Campbell County, my favorite kind of wedding.  Stephanie has so many neat ideas, I cant wait to see it all come together.  Thanks for the fun day Stephanie and Chris, cant wait until the wedding.    

Megan and Ryan's Williamstown Lake Kentucky Engagement

Megan and Ryan's love story is so sweet.  Their parents have been best friends their entire life, so they pretty much grew up together.  It wasn't until they were stuck on a cruise ship together for a family vacation that they realized their life long friendship had turned into love.  And now they are getting married, how exciting!   We did their engagement photos at Megan's family lake house on Williamstown lake.  The wonderful thing about Kentucky is the farther south you go, the more beautiful it gets.  I love these photo.

Carly and Ryan's Boathouse Engagement

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.  

Jami and Jason's Kentucky Farm Engagement

Jami and Jason are planning to get married next summer.  Jason is headed to Afghanistan for work very soon so they wanted to squeeze in their engagement session before he leaves.  I had a wonderful time exploring the  Kentucky Woolfest farm in Pendleton County for these very special photos.  Thanks for the fun photo session.  Stay safe and hurry home Jason!

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. :)

Christina and Brandon's Cincinnati Engagement Session

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.   

Laura and Eric's Cincinnati Engagement

Laura and Eric came all the way from Virginia Beach, where they are both architects for their engagement session.  Laura who is from Cincinnati met Eric while attending grad school at the University of Cincinnati.  After school they both got jobs in Virginia Beach, where Eric is originally from. They decided they wanted to have their wedding here in Cincinnati.  I was thrilled when I received an email from Laura saying she was looking for a photographer who is fun, has a bit of an artistic edge, and finds beauty in even the smallest things...totally me!  I am looking forward to their wedding next month at the beautiful  Krippendorf Lodge at the Cincinnati Nature Center.

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!  

Katie and Chris Keeneland Engagement Session

Last week I drove to Lexington for this special engagement session at Keeneland.  These two were so awesome to be around.  Katie is full of so much energy and Chris loves to sit back and watch her go. :) They balance each other out perfectly.  Chris is a firefighter in Lexington and Katie is a designer whose company Kavatee, which she started with a a friend from Design School, is launching a really  awesome new product, the Neckalina this Friday.  See their feature on Cincy Chic. Katie is wearing a necklace from the collection in these photos. It is too cute!  I adore the vintage dress she picked up on Etsy too.

Katie and Chris, I am so excited for your wedding at the Cincinnati Art Museum later this year! Thanks for choosing me to be part of it. :)

Tiffany and Andy's Kentucky Engagement

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!