“I’ve been with you such a long time. You're my sunshine and I want you to know that my feelings are true. I really love you. You're my best friend” // Queen
I think Kate Spade was on the right track when she said that. So I am here today to spread at little champagne and glitter around on the internet and brighten up your Monday! I just want let you all know why I love the stuff so much!
I mean, what can go wrong when you’re sipping champagne and throwing glitter?! Okay… so… yes… glitter is impossible to clean up so maybe you shouldn’t actually throw it but c’mon! I mean champagne in itself is the glitter of beverage world! And glitter just makes everything so sparkly! I find it difficult to frown when I’m drinking champagne surrounded by sparkly things.
Sometimes having your photos taken can feel like a job! #AmIRight?! And even though I’m a photographer and I LOVE taking photos, I totally understand people not enjoying the idea of having their photo taken! (Pssst, let you in on a little secret, I’m actually a terrible subject and feel really awkward having my own photo taken!)
Most of my photo sessions are about two hours long. Think of anything un-fun you’ve had to do that lasted about two hours. (Waiting at the BMV. Lengthy doctors appointments. Folding laundry. That one required history class in college at 9AM.) I’m sure you do not think back on those two hours with fond memories. Asking someone who doesn't really enjoy having their picture taken to endure a two hour photo session is like asking them to go to a root canal, and then be happy while you’re doing it. I get it.
I’ve spent many weeks trying to write other blog posts that I’ve been wanting to release and every time I sit at the keyboard my fingers grace the keys but do not move. The truth is, my mind has just not been on the subjects I know I need to write about. When I decided to write about those subjects, they were 100% all I could think about. But lately my mind has been elsewhere. It’s said you’re supposed to write what you’re passionate about, whats on your mind, and write from the heart. So here it goes.
I’m always thrilled when I have the chance to work in the beautiful Indianapolis Central Library. The beautiful floor to ceiling windows pouring in natural light and all of the old architecture in the old portion of the library. It seriously gives me all of the warm, happy, photographer feels. I don’t get a lot of opportunities to photograph in there but it’s always the first place I recommend when a client wants an indoor photo location. Especially if they love books. (That just makes it a double win!) When I was told that Jeniene currently lives in Las Vegas and they were wanting to do their engagement session as early as possible. Which meant winter in Indianapolis. So we decided on the Central Library with a short bit outside at the beautiful Monument Circle. It was just perfect.
Jeniene and Aymen met online last year and between Aymen’s silly sense of humor and Jeniene’s laid back and loving personality it’s no surprise that they fell in love so quickly. You can see how much fun they have together. I can’t wait to photograph their big day and see more of their love and personalities unfold in front of my lens!
Even though it was cold outside, and the library was a little crowded we had a blast hanging out together for their engagement session. And Jeniene was the true hero of the day braving the cold Indiana in January weather to have engagement photos on the circle. She’s used to Nevada weather but she still managed to look beautiful while freezing!
This year I kicked off my engagement session season early with this super fun engagement session in Downtown Zionsville. Living in Indiana typically my couples choose to have their engagement sessions in either the Spring or Fall. A few trickle into the Summer but usually it’s too hot and I’m too busy with weddings to do engagement sessions. But this year Kelsey & Colin kicked off my first session of the year by embracing the cold and having a January engagement session in the heart of the little town of Zionsville. And if you’ve never been, you should seriously go. It’s the cutest little town. I sometimes feel like I’m a collector of cute little towns. Living in Pendleton, I love the small town historic nature of the streets here and I love meeting couples who want to show me their small town. Or at least one that’s important to them. Although this isn’t my first time shooting in Zionsville, Kelsey & Colin did not disappoint.
Kelsey and Colin met at a Christmas Party at a cabin in 2015. They were able to put their IU and Purdue differences aside and focus on the things they do have in common; like movies, laughing, breweries, sushi, and their mutual careers in education. Less than a year after they met Colin planned the best proposal… ever. (No like, literally ever. Colin… fist bump bro. #ProposalGoals.) He planned it all at the cabin in Thorntown where they first met. Lined the dock with candles where he proposed to her with one heckuva ring! He planned it so that all of their friends joined them after the proposal for an engagement party. Definitely an evening worth celebrating.
Their mutual love of breweries was the bud of inspiration for their engagement session. Being winter in Indian we had to find a way to work with the cold without freezing off our bits! So we lined up two indoor locations they love in Downtown Zionsville, Rush on Main and Noble Order Brewery. In between we captured some photos on Zionsville’s brick sidewalks that line all of the historic the buildings, Lincoln Park, and a few in Bites Dessert Bar. It was definitely a blast and I can’t say I have ever laughed more during an engagement session, ever.
Being punctual is something almost everyone strives to be. No one wants to be late to work or their friend’s party. But no one especially wants to be late to their own wedding. So why is it that all too often on wedding days things run behind? Some say it’s the nature of the beast. There are so many different friends, guests, vendors, and moving parts that things are bound to run a little bit behind. And while this is true I believe there is one way that you can herd the cats, drink your champagne, and still be on time. You can have fun and still stay organized with one thing.
I know it’s that cheesy phrase your college prep teacher told you, but it’s true!
Let me paint a bit of a picture for you. (Well, let me draw you some stick figures because I cannot paint to save my life.) Your now fiancée just asked you those four faithful words; slipped a beautiful ring on your finger; you said "Yes;" took a picture for Instagram; texted all of your family and friends; and now you're sitting here looking at each other thinking, "Holy crap... what do we do next?!" Your recently married bestie may tell you, "Well you just HAVE to have engagement photos done!" and your other recently married friend may say, "Ugh, engagement sessions are so dumb, don't waste your money!" If you're here you may be on the fence about engagement sessions.
Engagement sessions that is. First off, I will tell you, they’re seriously one of my favorite parts of the wedding photography process. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I looooooove the wedding day. I really do. But there’s something magical about engagement sessions. There’s something so exciting about getting clients in front of my lens for the first time. Nurturing their experience in front of the camera and having tons of fun.
Sometimes people are skeptical if they need an engagement session. (They were listening to friend #2.) And I always tell people, it’s so important to have an engagement session and to do it WITH the photographer that’s photographing your wedding day if you can help it. (So listen to friend #1!) In my opinion these sessions are super important. I love this chance I get with my clients to photograph them without all of the hustle and bustle of the wedding day. No timelines to adhere to. No bridesmaids fighting for attention. No mom’s worrying about family photos. No coordinators fussing about staying on schedule. Just me. My clients. My lens. And the sunset. In a location of their choosing.
And if you were listening to Friend #2 in the two scenarios, you don't have to worry about the money situation because I’m so passionate about engagement sessions that I include them in all of my wedding packages. Cause these things are the real deal yo. So without further adieu I’d like to share with you.
Today is a little bittersweet. Because while I’m SO excited to share with you all my final category of my 2016 Favorite Photos blog series… the Wedding Couple category. Every wedding day is hectic. No amount of planning you do, timelines you make, or organization is going to change that. There are too many people, too many moving parts, and simply too much going on for a wedding day to be anything but hectic. This is why I am so insistent upon at least 30 minutes with my couples on the wedding day to get photos. Preferably I want 30 minutes of just myself and my second photographer with the couple but sometimes due to travel and location arrangements it ends up being an hour with my couple AND the wedding party. Which I will take over every family member you have looming over while we take photos. I’m also extremely persistent that my clients take at least 30 minutes prior to the ceremony to sit down, unwind, have a drink, and just relax before walking down the aisle. Trust me, you will thank me later! (And so will your venue! They don’t want you running around taking photos and doing other things as guests walk in either!)
That being said, couples portraits are some of my favorites. I think I’ve said this about every category… these are my OTHER favorite! Haha! Either way, I do love couple’s portraits. I love that quiet time with them just documenting their love. I love having the time to get creative with them. I always want my clients to have fun but also let out their romantic side. Sometimes my couples are like, “We’re not romantic really!” But everyone is romantic, they just show it differently. I enjoy giving my couples prompts and actions that allow them to laugh, cry, smile, or hold each other in a way that is natural to them. Even if it doesn’t FEEL natural at the time. (Because sometimes it doesn’t.) Sometimes what feels weird conveys perfectly on camera. And that’s what I love. I love taking a moment where my clients are like, “Uhhh that felt odd…” and then showing them the photo and they’re like, “Oh but look how cute we are!” #Success!
So let’s get to it huh?! The final top 10 of all of the favorites categories! The cherry on top of the milkshake. My amazing couples and my 10 favorite photos of them from 2016. Enjoy!
I’m excited to share MORE images today from my 2016 Favorites series. I’m getting a little sad because we’re at our second to last category, Wedding Portraits, which means that the series is almost over. So it’s a little bittersweet but I do enjoy this category a lot. The “Wedding Portraits” category is a BIT of a hodge podge, so please bare with me as you look through my top 10 favorite wedding photos of wedding parties, bridesmaids, groomsmen, solo brides, and solo grooms. Basically everything that isn’t what we’ve done so far or the wedding couple by themselves.
One of my favorite parts of this category is that it features a lot of wedding party photos. The friends you choose to have with you on your wedding day are so important and it’s important that they’re well documented. Typically these people are your BEST friends or your siblings. Either way, you’re extremely close to them and they really do set the tone for how the day is going to be. They can be so helpful and so encouraging during the nervous and exciting moments leading up to walking down the aisle. Having friends that can be there to literally and figuratively hold your train, help you tie your tie, button your dress, get you a drink of water, pat you on the back, or give you a hanky.
Outside of the wedding party this countdown includes photos of the bride by herself and the groom by himself, which I find to be important photos as well. Documenting how you looked by yourself, as an individual before the two of you became one is so important! Plus, you’re all gussied up! Might as well document that biz!
So let’s get on to the countdown and check out my top 10 favorite wedding portraits!
Yes! It’s here! We’re more than halfway done with the 2016 Favorites blog series and today I am going to bless your screens with the one category that may actually mean the most to me. I mean, I’m pretty darn passionate about engagement sessions but moments are really what make my job the best. Moments are the reason why I document weddings instead of any other type of portrait work. Yes, I realize weddings are events but there is a lot of portrait work on a wedding day, more so than a lot of other events. Moments are what fuel and inspire me me to work harder, click the shutter faster, pay closer attention, and ultimately do better. I don’t want to miss a single hand hold. That brief hug. Or even that one solo tear rolling down your cheek. I want to catch it all. It’s hard to catch it all, which is why my second photographer Stephanie is really helpful. But still. I want to capture all of your moments. Whether they’re funny or touching, I want you to have those moments.
This category is so important to me. It was so difficult to choose just ten moments to share with you, as most of my wedding days are moments. I hope you take some time to pull up a chair, bring your coffee cup closer to you and let it and these moments warm your heart. Feel free to text your loved ones after and tell them you love them.
Here we are at the THIRD installment of my 2016 Favorite photos… details. While details are not the MOST important part of your wedding day (I think we can leave that to the moments category) I do think it’s important to document your details. My goal when documenting a wedding day is to tell the story of your wedding day. So that when you and your children and their children look back on your wedding album you’re transported back to that special day. You see the colors. You see the fine little details that set the scene. You feel the emotions. But a key part of setting that scene is documenting the little details that set it. Maybe it’s the tiny locket with a photo of your grandmother that hangs from your bouquet. Maybe it’s personalized name cards you made sure to have at every table. Maybe it’s those shoes (you were determined to have) laying on a veil accented with lace from your mom’s wedding dress. These details may seem trivial but I find them to be an integral part of telling your wedding day story. So these photos may not be the MOST important part but they’re definitely PART of your story.
Another favorite part of mine with detail photography is that I get the chance to utilize my creativity in finding light, a location, and placement of the details themselves. Because of this I’m usually pretty proud of these images, they are 100% mine and my creativity. So take a moment to look through some of my favorite detail photos from last year.
Get hyped y’all!! It’s the second installment in the 2016 favorites blog posts! This installment?! ENGAGEMENTS!
In my opinion engagement sessions are a really important part of the wedding photography process. I love this chance I get with my clients to photograph them without all of the hustle and bustle of the wedding day. No timelines to adhere to. No bridesmaids fighting for attention. No mom’s worrying about family photos. No coordinators fussing about staying on schedule. Just me. My clients. My lens. And the sunset. In a location of their choosing.
I’m so passionate about engagement sessions that I have them included in all of my packages. I also have recently written a blog post that goes into each of these five reasons more in depth. If you'd like to read more about my love of engagement sessions, click here.
In 2016 I got to work with some amazing couples. Some I’ve already photographed their wedding. Some I have not. I cannot wait to see what my 2017 weddings hold and I cannot wait to photograph more couples this year.
It’s that time of the year again where I write my annual favorite photos blog posts. Same as last year, I have broken up my favorite photos into 5 categories: The Wedding Couple, Wedding Portraits, Details, Moments, and Engagements. But this year I have added a new category: Second Photographer.
It’s true that while I’m pretty darn good at what I do I can’t do it all alone. There are times I rely heavily on my second photographer. And while I do have a package that doesn’t include a second photographer, on days I don’t have my second with me I have to work twice as hard and there are moments that are bound to be missed. I simply cannot be everywhere at once and that is where having a second photographer REALLY comes in handy. Moments like cocktail hour; groom prep; and different angles during your portraits, ceremony, and reception. Primarily I work with my lead second photographer Stephanie Duncan but this year I was fortunate to be able to work with three other girls outside of Stephanie; Rachel Law (Rachel Susanna Photography), Robin Shannon (Robin Shannon Photography), and Alexis Coulter (Alexis Coulter Photography).
All of these ladies, especially my girl Stephanie, helped me capture moments that I could not have captured or came up with poses that I didn’t think of right away. It’s easy to feature only photos I’ve taken all year long and say that I am able to do my job all alone but it’s simply not true. These ladies were by my side this year working long hours, on their feet, lugging equipment, driving all over the place, and being incredible support systems. They have taken countless photos at all of my weddings this year and there’s no way I could whittle down all of their amazing images into just 10 photos and really do them justice but here are ten photos, featuring all four of them that stick out in my mind. I have them ordered from 10 - 1 but I’ll be honest, it’s difficult to rank them! Thank you ladies for all of your help! Cheers to 2016 and a toast to what’s to come in 2017!
A few weeks ago (gosh almost a month ago!) I was lucky enough to photograph a couple tie the knot in Franklin, IN at the Hillview Country Club. This duo have not just been a wonderful couple but I seriously feel like we’ve all become friends. We had such a wonderful time bonding during their engagement session in Bloomington on the IU campus where they both graduated from! After that I knew we would have so much fun at their wedding! Spoiler Alert: I was right. We had a flipping blast.
Miranda + Jordan met at The Ale Emporium while they were both watching a basketball game featuring their beloved IU Hoosiers. Although the team lost, they ended up winning and falling in love. Now two years later I get to show you guys all how stinkin’ adorable they are. They’re seriously the coolest. And their fall wedding filled with shades of purple, white, and orange was one heckuva good time. So come on over, pull up a chair, and check out this duo. You know you wanna...
Honestly... all of me... loves all of this wedding. Sarah + Steffan’s wedding at Mustard Seed Gardens earlier this October was a wedding I had been waiting on all year. Not to mention that I’ve been waiting for them to get engaged for like five years since I photographed them when they first started dating. But that’s another story for another day. I’m just thrilled that I was able to document their beautiful vintage elegance wedding at hands down one of the prettiest barns I’ve had the pleasure of working in! #AllTheTwinkleLights
Sarah + Steffan are the absolute sweetest. Sarah and Steffan met while attending Ball State in 2010 after Sarah returned from studying abroad in Japan. They bonded over a mutual love for Japanese culture and all things nerdy. Eventually they were engaged on a trip to the Chicago Botanic Garden to see the cherry blossoms and now here we are... wedding day! And Sarah is just like, the perfect balance of nerdy and stylish so I knew the wedding day was going to go swimmingly. She’s so stylish she has a style blog called Indy Dressed! And you should follow her on her website blog and Instagram in all of her Hoosier fashion and style adventures! As for the wedding day... it did go swimmingly, despite a little bit of rain! (Yes that was a water pun!) And we got some pretty stellar images.
This past Saturday I spent the most amazing day with a couple, their family, and friends documenting the moment they committed their lives to one another at The Biltwell Event Center in Downtown Indianapolis.
Julia and Andrew met at a golf event the summer before their freshman year at Butler University. They spent many years as friends, but EVERYONE else knew they were perfect for each other. They just didn’t seem to see it themselves. You can see it in the way they act around each other... the way they look at each other... they really are perfect for each other. Whether it’s golfing together or Netflix binging with their pup to exploring different Indianapolis breweries together the two of them are always in it together.
Seriously, this wedding was gorgeous. You should just see for yourself!
This past Saturday I spent my day with two high school sweethearts at White River Gardens and Historic Union Station in Downtown Indianapolis as they finally tied the night starting a new chapter in their life that’s been over ten years in the making. Jane, Sean, and I all attended the same high school... you know... way back when. They have been dating literally ever since I can remember. It was wonderful to get the chance to document their big day, especially since I photographed their engagement session two years ago! But they’ve been busy becoming big, fancy, doctors in Kansas City!
With Jane being of Vietnamese decent the duo opted to have a traditional Vietnamese ceremony in the morning with close family and then a Western ceremony following in the afternoon at White River Gardens. After a big break in the day for photos and relaxing they joined their guests at Historic Union Station for dinner, drinks, and dancing as they sealed off the night with tons of fun before they had to pack their bags again to return home.
I am so excited to finally get the chance to share this engagement session that I hopped on a plane and traveled ALL the way to California for! And trust me, it was worth every single cross country mile because this engagement session is for the books! Venice Canals Walkway and El Matador Beach are seriously TO. DIE. FOR. Throw some sunset light and one gorgeous couple and a sweet pup in there and you’ve got one killer engagement session.
Anna + Zach are freaking adorable and so stinking sweet. They met when they were working together in Chicago back in 2010. They were in the same orientation group together and then their cubicles were right next to each other! I guess it was love at first sight because they’ve been together ever since! Including moving out to California so Zach could finish school!
Seriously, you just need to keep on scrolling down and looking at these amazing photos. Because these two are pretty fabulous! I can’t wait for their wedding next year!!
Toni + Miah’s big day at The Kelley Agricultural Historical Museum was one heckuva day! I only wish I could have spent the whole day with them myself! Thanks to the amazing work of Rachel Law and Robin Shannon I was able to photograph another wedding on the same day as Toni and Miah’s while these two gals took the utmost care of documenting this duo’s memories! Their sweet, simple, and fun blush rustic wedding definitely looked like a good time! When I finally got to go through all of their photos and edit them!
I met Toni + Miah last year at Mackenzie + Casey’s wedding. Toni was Mackenzie’s maid of honor while I’m pretty sure I met Miah while he was driving a golf cart! :-D Throughout the night I watched the two of them interact, dancing together and having fun at the wedding. Already knowing that they owned a house together I knew it wouldn’t be long before they got engaged. It was only a couple weeks later when Miah proposed to Toni at what she thought was her birthday dinner. I’m so glad I met them at the wedding because even though I was already booked for the wedding date the ultimately picked we found a way to make it work and we got to work together at least in some capacity!
These two are just so sweet and fun loving. I loved spending the time I did get to spend with them and I am so happy I was able to help them out to the best of my abilities for their super fun big day!
Photo By: Rachel Law