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College Park, Maryland Engagement

Chelsea & Ryan's Spotlight

It's crazy that we are now two just DAYS away from Chelsea and Ryan's wedding. Our countdown has been going since June of 2015, and I'm totally stoked we are this close to the big day. I feel like the time has gone by so quickly, especially after their engagement session at College Park last year. It is so true that once the e-session is complete, the rest of the time goes by in the blink of an eye. At least for me it's that way, haha! If you follow me on Instagram (@britneyclause), you are probably very familiar with these two. I'm pretty nuts over them since they are ridiculously sweet and so kind. Shawn and I had never seen a lot of College Park prior to their session, and they took the time to give us little facts about the campus and guide us to the best spots. It's such a beautiful location with huge colonial buildings and a really wonderful atmosphere. The thing I loved most about Chelsea and Ryan's engagement session is that they chose a truly special place. Their relationship began on the stunning campus and it only made sense to include that in their engagement. The university means more to them than just where they lived and walked to class. It will always be the very first stepping stone in their forever. Shawn and I cannot wait to celebrate these two this Saturday. It's going to be an absolutely amazing time. I for...

6 Tips for Wedding Day Speeches

From Shawn

Hi everyone, Shawn here! As the weather warms up and wedding season commences, there is a lot of excitement for the couples beginning their life together. Most of the responsibility for a successful big day - including happy guests - falls on the shoulders of the bride and groom (and hopefully a select few who are tasked to delegate). However, in pretty much any wedding, there is an event where the loving friends and family have a chance to give back: speeches. I know that speech preparation varies from person to person, with some planning ahead and printing out several pages of amazing content, and other individuals waiting until the day of to give a more dynamic presentation (of which I am guilty). Through my personal experience giving speeches as a best man and a groom, as well as witnessing countless speeches, here are some recommendations I've gathered to make the best possible speech for a wedding. This applies to bridesmaids or groomsmen nervously preparing words, fathers or mothers expressing joy, or brides and grooms who want to politely aid (or warn) one of their upcoming speakers.   1. Set the Mood through Structure Weddings are very sentimental events, since they mark a huge point in the lives of the couple. But that doesn't mean they can't be a lot of fun, too! A wedding speech balances a fine line between the sincerity of the moment with the lighthearted fun of the celebration. Preferably, speeches capture both of these...

A Comfy Cozy At Home Engagement

Kaitlin & Ben

This past Saturday, Shawn and I traveled out to Clarksburg for Kaitlin and Ben's at home engagement session. Now, before I dive in to all the amazingness, I just have to say: I love at home sessions! My absolute favorite thing about them is that the couple is comfy from the get-go. It's their space they are building together, and it has all the warmth and coziness they are used to. Not to mention, I feel like we get a better understanding of who the couple is when we are in a space that is so central to them. Everything from who does the cooking to how they watch TV is something we love learning about, but often don't if it isn't somehow brought up. Being in the place where couples do their day-to-day living inevitably brings up these little details and stories, and it's fantastic. This weekend, oh my gosh! I'm going to kick it off by saying I'm totally crazy about Kaitlin and Ben. Any couple that is comfortable enough to bust out some goofy faces and admit they watch Real Housewives are my kind of people, haha! As soon as we walked in to their gorgeous house, we felt like friends. We stood in the kitchen for a little bit and just talked about their neighborhood and their wedding. It was so comfortable and natural. Honestly, after chatting on the phone with them a few months ago, I suspected this is how it would be. Kaitlin and...

Centennial Park Photo Party

AKA Weirding Out Strangers

Shawn has been sick the past few days, and I've been feeling a little meh myself. I'm not sure if I'm getting sick or just in a funk, but I'm loading up on Vitamin C, just in case. Either way, by Tuesday, I was pretty sure that this week was a bust. Truthfully, the whole month has been a little strange. I've been feeling a smidgen at odds with my camera, and I wasn't sure how to fix it. I never thought that a fun day of shooting was what I needed until after Marlayna asked if I wanted to go to Centennial Park (which you may remember from Alexa and Eddie's engagement session or Lisa and Michael's snowy shoot). Turns out, even as a photographer, you need to have non-serious shoot days! Who would have thought?! I know that I most recently went out for the snow day, but this week's adventure was different. It was fun and exciting to be shooting portraits, but also posing for them. Now, I'm not the most confident model, but I was feelin' it on Tuesday. I finally got to unleash my years of ANTM knowledge all over Centennial Park. I'm not entirely sure if I would have made it past the pre-prelimary cycle of any modeling competitions, but I made my attempts! Sometimes it's necessary to step out of your comfort zone and just be a goofball. At the end of the evening, I think both of us were feeling a lot...

Snow Day in Maryland!

Winter has Finally Arrived...in Spring

If you follow me on Instagram, then you've probably seen my rants about this winter. If you don't follow me on Instagram, why not?! (@britneyclause). The season has been lackluster to say the least. But, FINALLY: Winter. Has. Arrived! The weather channel was reporting a good 6-10 inches of snow for our area, which had me real excited. However, what we ended up getting was about 2 inches with a life time supply of sleet. I'm not going complain too much, though, because seeing the ground covered in crispy snowy goodness is still better than the naked ground. I'll take whatever snow Maryland offers, even if it is a bunch of slush! When the snow was originally predicted, I figured we would just stay inside, cuddled up with some hot cocoa. But then I thought that if this is the only winter storm we get, I want to take advantage of it! It's always easy to get Pony outside, but Shawn... he's a different story. Shawn isn't a big lover of the cold, so I was sure he would try to veto my backyard adventure. However, he great thing about him is that he is a wonderful husband and didn't fight me at all :D! The thing I enjoy most about a snow day is how serene everything feels. It always makes the world feel so quiet and calm. I remember as a kid going outside and laying in the fluffy snow just enjoying the silence. It drove my...

Sample Album Magic!

Shiny New Product Spotlight

Waiting on new sample material has to be the most exciting and nerve-racking experience. I recently got in my brand new sample album, and it just feels like a new chapter in product satisfaction. My previous sample album was incredibly outdated. I had graphics and borders, and the image placements were a little wonky. Getting this update was something I have been waiting for. Through updating my website and my pricing for 2017, I just knew I needed to boost the quality in my products to match what is coming very soon, and I'm so happy with the results. Before I dive in, I want to give everyone a little glimpse into the life of Britney. I'm not the only one that loves getting packages in the mail; we all know the feeling. The delivery truck arrives, the person finds your package in their truck, they come up to your door to drop off the large box. Meanwhile, you're peeking around the corner until they're gone because it's 3 pm and you're still in pyjamas. When you finally retrieve the goods, you run back into hiding- I mean - the house and begin unboxing. With my sample album, it was like unwrapping gold. The quality is magnificent, the design hits all my simplicity love buttons, and the smell is on point (yes, I'm a weirdo that smells her books). The Album Stats For my updated sample album I used RedTree Albums (thanks for the referral, Marlayna!). They're a fabulous...

Baltimore Chef Shop Cooking Extravaganza

Family Fun!

Last week, we had the best experience ever! Before I dive into all of the excitement, I want to give a little background. For Christmas this year, Shawn and I decided to gift new experiences to people instead of good ol' presents. We thought it would be fun to spend time together, rather than just give something that may be forgotten about and left in a closet. For Shawn's family, we wanted to do something that would bring us together and bond us in a new way. It wasn't easy finding something that we thought everyone would love, but when I discovered the Baltimore Chef Shop and all of the classes they offer, it just kind of clicked. The Baltimore Chef Shop The owner of the shop, Scott, actually created this space for the every day person. He wanted to give people the chance to learn how to create meals that were sustainable and they could be proud of. There is a class for everyone at the Baltimore Chef Shop. From artisan chocolate to Thai street food, there are no limits to what you can learn. Bonus points for also needing no experience. Shawn has never had the chance to flex his cooking chops at home. I'm too much of a food control freak, so he has about 5 xp in that skill. However, he did an amazing job, and I don't think there was a single point where he felt he couldn't do what was asked. It was awesome...

The Why Behind Session Timing

"You want us up when?!"

This is the time of year when a lot of our couples are planning their engagement sessions. Whether they are dreaming of a "lost in the wood" session or high fashion city shoot, timing means everything. For Shawn and I, breaching this subject is a point of contention. We are both night owls, so whenever the thought of early morning comes up, we both kind of shudder. However, we recognize the beauty in small crowds and fabulous light. Our couples, though, don't always know of those benefits as well as we do. It means so much to me through chatting with our couples that we are able to provide them with loads of session information. One of the biggest things we cover before an engagement session is the timing for a session. So what better way to benefit everyone than through a blog? There are pretty images below, so everyone stick around until the end :P. What is proper timing? One of the first things I want to touch on is the best hours of the day to be out. We have found that for sunrise sessions, we want to be shooting 30 minutes after the sun has risen. For sunset, we like to give ourselves 2 hours before the sun has fully fallen. These times are typically called the "golden / magic / perfect hour," but I just like to say "ohhhhh, mah gawsh! Best!". Here's a cute little info graphic I've created...

A Fells Point Sunrise Engagement

Arianna & Tyler

On Saturday, we met up with Arianna and Tyler in Fells Point. It was such a gorgeous morning with these two. Admittedly, it was a bit chilly, but the stunning backdrop of the city was just too good to miss. Fells Point is so incredibly beautiful. Shawn and I don't go into Baltimore often, but when we do, we always go to Fells Point. I don't know if my love for stems from all of the restaurants, the shops, or the views. Actually, it's probably all three of those things, haha. Everything about the area is so unique, and it's absolutely perfect for an engagement session. Speaking of perfect, Arianna and Tyler - I'm still not over their session. These two are total movie stars. There was a moment when we were out on the Fells Point pier, the wind was softly blowing, and the way these two were looking at each other - ahh! It was seriously something out of a romance film. I told them early on in the session that I would do a lot of squealing, but I'm not sure if they were quite prepared. Watching these two interact, I fell in love with their relationship even more. All you need is just a few second with them to see the deep love that they have for one another. Arianna and Tyler fit so effortlessly together. They wrap each other up in each others arms and it's like the entire world disappears for them. Tyler...