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Pastel Loveliness at this Country Club of Maryland Wedding

Caitlin & Sean

Caitlin and Sean's wedding at the Country Club of Maryland was a total joy! This was another wedding where the rain couldn't keep a magical day down. Everything from the Oathing Stone ceremony to the Gangnam Style choreography was perfect.  No lie, there are many parts of a day that I tear up at: father daughter dances, toasts, and the bride getting into her dress. The moments that typically have a fair bit of improv to them, always hit me in the feels. The ceremony is generally the one time where my eyes don't get fuzzy with tears. Maybe it's because they mostly follow the same pattern, I'm not really sure. What I am sure of, though, is that Caitlin and Sean's ceremony left me in tears.  Instead of going the traditional route for their ceremony, they instead put a lot of personality into it. Their officiant, Rachael, was an absolute joy, keeping Caitlin and Sean laughing and the guests aware of why they were chosen as witnesses for the day. The ceremony was completely intentional and my favorite part DEFINITELY has to be the Oathing Stone. It was a beautiful moment that extended to their guests in the form of rose quartz stones that each guest received before the start of the ceremony. Those stones played a large part in capturing the well wishes of the guests for Caitlin and Sean. I loved the uniqueness and guest involvement in this kind of unity ritual!  Both Caitlin...

Love You to Infinity

Anniversary Galaxy Styled Shoot

This is something you won't see too often. Two photographer's acting as models for each other during the same shoot. Even more fun is that our husbands modeled with us! Let me set the scene for you. April 2017, Yayoi Kusama's Infinity Mirrors exhibit opens at the Hirshhorn in Washington, D.C. Tickets are sold out within minutes and the lines to enter literally wrap around the building. But by sheer luck, on two totally different days, Marlayna and I both get the chance to experience the exhibit with our husbands. It's after our separate visits that we both have the same thoughts of how magical it was to be in the spaces with our spouses getting lost in the idea of infinity.  To say that the exhibit is inspirational is: 1. obvious; and 2. a total understatement. It was soon after my visit that we both started talking about the idea of an anniversary type styled shoot. One that would allow Shawn and me to model for Marlayna, and for Marlayna and Adam to model for me. It felt like a big task at the time, so we let it sit.  That shoot sat in our brains with a random Pinterest board hanging in the balance for 320 days before we officially jumped into planning. When we got the ball rolling, we were 100% invested. We went all in with our DIYing mastery. Creating plates, hand dyeing table runners, staining a table, along with so much...

I Love the 80's with Celebrations at the Bay DIY Wedding

Leise & Chris

Oooookay, people, are you ready for this?! We've seen DIY weddings and we've heard the 80's music, but very rarely do the two join forces. That is, until Leise and Chris's wedding at Celebrations at the Bay. Where the bay, 80's neon, and Journey culminated into a really wonderful ceremony and reception.  Leise and Chris went above and beyond to treat their guests to a fabulous day. They both worked on so many DIY elements to make the wedding really theirs. A lot of times, we think "do it yourself" is to save on costs, but in reality, it's because stores don't specialize to our brains. Making exactly what we want is sometimes easier and makes the day an even bigger treasure. Leise put together so many large scale items such as the centerpieces, the welcome canvas, the photobooth, and their love story sign! Outside of the DIY, there was also the special favors that were brought from the Phillippines all the way to Pasadena, Maryland. Leise's parents carefully traveled with tons of mini guitars made out of seashells that were so unbelievably beautiful. They even thought of us, and gave us our own mini wooden guitars. It was sweet and unexpected! I may or may not have teared up when I opened the gift <3. Speaking of tears, the surprise that Leise got for Chris during the ceremony was COMPLETELY amazing! Leise wrote to me about two weeks that she had arranged for two singers...

Custom Wedding Party Invitations With Basic Invite

Guest Post

This week's post is a very special one from Katie at Basic Invite! She contacted me about doing a little guest post, and I immediately jumped at the chance. Basic Invite is such an awesome company to chat with; I've been communicating with them for a while now and it's been such a joy. They also allow you to create some pretty gorgeous paper products! I'll let Katie tell you all about that!  Spring is here and wedding season is not too far away. That means wedding plans and wedding parties galore! This is such an exciting time of year for many, whether you’re a bride or groom, a friend or family member of the former, or someone in the industry – wedding bells are definitely ringing right now, and you should all be looking forward to what’s coming… I know I am! There are quite a lot of plans ahead and that comes with a long to-do list, but that’s okay because I am here along with the stationery experts over at Basic Invite to help you out by giving you ideas and inspiration for all of your wedding parties! So, if you’re ready to gear up for engagement parties, showers, bachelorette celebrations, and rehearsals you’ve come to the right place. When it comes to wedding parties Basic Invite is stocked up on styles to suit every couple’s theme and style to make sure the pre-wedding invitations and celebrations are on point...

Throwback to Christmas at Pine Valley Farms

Kaitlin, Ben, & McQueen

I feel like I've been hoarding so many great sessions! In November, we met up at Pine Valley Farms with Kaitlin, Ben, and the newest cutie to their family, McQueen (Mac). You may remember Kaitlin and Ben from their fabulous Dye House wedding, and if you're a big Instagram animal lover, you probably know Mac too. I've been needing to snuggle Mac since the first time I saw a photo of him. He's so stinkin' cute! So when Kaitlin and Ben messaged me about a Christmas shoot, I was immediately on board. Pine Valley Farms in Sykesville is absolutely perfect. That's actually a total understatement because it's beyond perfection. There are trees as far as the eye can see, and it's such a picturesque location. It's also SUPER difficult to find a Christmas tree farm in Maryland that allows dogs, which makes Pine Valley Farms even more fabulous!  Right off the bat, these three came ready for fun. Mac was full of energy, which is no surprise since he's still a puppy :P. He was hopping and leaping all over his parents, who are well versed in his energetic ways. We could not stop laughing the entire shoot. It was legit difficult to leave because every time we hangout with these two (now three) it feels like catching up with old friends. It's so great anytime we get to hangout because, for one, puppy love and good conversation; and number two, home made cookies. These two are so sweet...

Rewinding to the Fall for this Loch Raven Engagement

Leise & Chris

I have simultaneously been super excited to share Leise and Chris's engagement and also desperate to hold onto it. Their session at Loch Raven Reservoir was during the height of the Fall season. The sun was setting early, the leaves were changing, and the air was cool. We actually weren't too sure the weather would hold out, but luckily, the drizzling subsided just in time for the evening session. Now, this wasn't a normal engagement shoot. We also had the added bonus of a family session! Leise and Chris each have a daughter, and the greatest thing about things their girls? They get along just like sisters! I grew up in a similar way; I had a step-sister that at some point lost the "step" and just became my sister. We laugh, fight, and miss each other just like siblings and it's been a relationship I always hold close to me. GD, if you're reading this, I love ya!  This entire session was filled with laughter and joking. Kaylie, Chris's daughter, has an amazing sense of humor that had Leise, Chris, and Nev cracking up the whole time. There's a level of comfort with this blended family that sometimes takes a lifetime to achieve. Seeing these four together is a beautiful, wonderful thing. The whole session has made the wait for the wedding feel SO long! We cannot wait to be in the presence of these four again. Leise has given me some insight in what their day...

Time to Make Those 2018 Goals

New Year, New Everything!

Happy New Year! Not gonna lie, I've been battling with what exactly to put into this blog post. On the one hand, I want to be positive and joyful, but on the other, I'm kind of not feeling it. I remember being so excited last year when I was writing a similar post to this one. Even in January, our 2017 felt special. We were looking forward to 15 gorgeous days lined up, shooting a wedding in Jamaica, and branching out into the community more. This year, though, already feels a little less balanced. There's more of a shift in my 2018 goals toward personal areas rather than professional. Where as last year I was amped for all BCP was going to be doing, this year I'm more excited for what Britney and Shawn will be up to.  What's coming To start, we're moving! In about 2 weeks we will be upgrading from our very small apartment to a larger space. This has been an "every year" goal, but since it's finally happening, it's real 2018 goals, haha! We'll still be renting, which a lot of people don't understand, but we are really looking forward to it! We don't want to settle on a place we don't see ourselves being in forever. We don't want to be in a starter home for only a couple years, and we don't want townhouse living. Our dream is to get the house that will see future generations playing, growing, and thriving...

Weddings, Engagements, Families - OH MY!

2017 Yearly Review

Welp, 2017 is drawing to a close, and it's that time again. Time to look back on the year and talk about the good, the great, and the surprises! In previous years I've made multiple posts for weddings and engagements, but I wanted to switch it up a bit and have them all together. A few of our wedding couples this year also had their engagement photos done in 2017, so I figured it would be adorable to do little side by side comparisons for those! Kind of like a before and after, only both times it's pretty and sweet, haha! But before I get to sharing, I have to gush a little bit first.   Weddings This year's weddings have been phenomenal. We've learned a lot, met a ton of great people, and have experienced some truly amazing events. Every time I think a wedding can't reinvent itself, it does! I'm honestly shocked at the amount of heart, love, and the occasional tears that go into every single wedding to make it unique and one of a kind. This year, we photographed 19 weddings. N-I-N-E-T-E-E-N. That's the most we've ever had and we can be more grateful for everyone that we got to capture. I'm tearing up a little bit, because I want to be honest and say that next year isn't shaping up to be the same. It's a little bittersweet to reflect on this time now, because I don't think next year will be even remotely as...

Snow + Catonsville = An Unforgettable Wedding

Leah & Kevin

What better way to end the 2017 season than with a snowy wedding?! I don't think there is a better way, to be quite honest. I am a big fan of snow and have been dreaming of a winter wonderland wedding forever. Most people think that any sort of moisture in the air during a big event is awful, but no! Snow is grand, and when combined with an adorable chapel in Catonsville, it's perfection! Leah and Kevin could not have asked for a more beautiful day. Start to finish these two had everything timed out and orderly. It's not everyday that a bride and groom run ahead of schedule, but when they do, it's heaven! One of my favorite details of the day was that a lot of the bridal party consisted of couples. To me, that showed a great bond between each and every one of their friends. They are all so close (and hilarious); it was an absolute joy getting to see them all stand up next to Leah and Kevin.  Ever since their engagement shoot over the summer, I knew these two had great things planned for their day. If you're having trouble remembering, they played in the river! If that doesn't show you how awesome a couple is, I don't know what will. But, as everyone says, you can plan a lot, but you can't plan the weather. Fortunately for Leah and Kevin, I think they both DID plan this weather, haha! The air...

Timeless and Chic Mount Airy Backyard Wedding

Arianna & Tyler

Can someone pinch me, please? I'm pretty sure I dreamed Arianna and Tyler's gorgeous day. It was that perfect! These two really transformed Arianna's childhood home in Mount Airy, Maryland into a wedding extravaganza that knocked me completely off my feet. I honestly cannot pick out just one single thing I love about these two; there's too much to list. However, if I had to pick one, it's the way they communicate. Arianna and Tyler can have an entire conversation in either inside jokes or quick looks. The latter really showed in the cake cutting where Arianna used her eyes to warn Tyler not to pull any cake smashing stuff. He saw her loud and clear, thankfully 😋. Yes, they've been together for over 10 years, but I think the most impressive thing is how they continue to find ways to bring each other joy. The smile on Arianna's face and the sweet way Tyler looks at her shows that their love is a "once in a lifetime" kind of love. Okay, I'm starting to tear up thinking about them, so I need to go back to gushing about this wedding. I feel like if I got the chance to do Shawn and my wedding all over again, I would hire Arianna and have a celebration to end all celebrations. Arianna totally knocked it out of the park. From the signage to the floral arrangements, everything had a plan. Oh yes, I did say floral arrangements, because Arianna put...

Married Under the Stars at Historic Savage Mill Manor

Brittany & Dan

I'm blown away by the celestial greatness that is Brittany and Dan's wedding. Seriously, they had the most unique vision for their day, and they rocked it. This was our first time at the Historic Savage Mill Manor, and it could not have been a better introduction. Everything about this venue is perfect. There's a handsome groom suite, a gorgeous ceremony backdrop, and classic great room for the reception. It offers everything a couple needs all within the walls of the manor.  Now, I'm not gonna lie, I was nervous leading up to Britt and Dan's day. Their ceremony was going to be at night, and that was a first for us! We've done portraits at night, but never a whole ceremony. It was hard for me to visualize how it'd all work, and I must have practiced different light setups 100 times. Walking into the Manor, though, the most incredible feeling came over me. I was ready to push myself creatively and embrace the uniqueness. Oh, and Shawn was cool as a cucumber, per usual :P. This wedding worked so friggin' well. Their entire evening was incredibly celestial, from the ceremony under the stars to the constellation seating chart. Brittany even gifted her bridesmaids with necklaces that represented their zodiac symbols. Everything just clicked for this wedding. Brittany and Dan's didn't overwhelm with their details, and they didn't underwhelm them either. It was truly an (inter)stellar night! By far, my favorite part of the evening was the ceremony...

Nostalgic Love in an Arbutus Backyard Wedding

Sarah & Brandon

Can I say that never in a million years did I think a wedding would happen so close to home? Literally right next door! My husband and I live in Arbutus, Maryland. A sweet little town that has its own Post Office, comic book store, and movie theater; everything a person needs. The homes aren't cookie cutter, but they all contain the same amount of comfort. Sarah and I have lived close to one another since I moved up here when I was 12. I'd always see her and her siblings playing in the backyard, having a blast with their dog, Holly. So seeing Sarah and Brandon exchange vows in the same backyard was phenomenal. The day started with a very easy commute. With a quick walk right next door. Sarah had everything ready for me, and the entire day had a very light and easy feel. If Sarah was stressed, she didn't show it at all! The guys were even less nervous, spending the afternoon playing Halo, haha! I love wedding days that flow so smoothly. These two have been planning their day for an entire year, so the fact that it all easily fell into place was a true gift.  Since we had been watching the setup of the day from our bathroom window, we were excited to see it all up close! I totally wasn't expecting a complete transformation of the backyard. When we stepped into the ceremony area I was in awe. Sarah's mom, Kim...

The Third Year of Marriage

You & Me...And Everyone We Know

Shawn, when I think about today being the official kick-off to our third year of marriage, I'm kind of shocked. It feels like three days ago we were exchanging vows in our 7 minute ceremony. Two days ago that we were adopting the only acceptable child for us (PONYYY), and one day ago that I posted about our second anniversary. You never believe a person when they say that the time speeds by, but it does. The moments and the years are gone in an instant, which is why I'm glad we spend so much time together. Whether that's discovering new places or just napping on the couch.  We made promises to each other 1095 days ago to always be there for one another, no matter what. Yeah, of course, we fight just like any couple. But the thing I love about us is that we communicate unlike anyone I've ever known. You're able to understand how I'm feeling based on my look, and allow me time to process, and then share with you my thoughts . You are never condescending, or snarky. Even though I'm sure it would be easy to combat my attitudes with your own, you don't. If I ask for help or just need someone to cry on, without a question, you are there. The amount of support you put into our family and friendships is unbelievable. When Brad and I came to you talking about audiobook reviews, you didn't stop us and tell us we...

Love, a Puppy, and Sparkle at Susquehanna State Park

Emily & Mario

I cannot tell you how stoked I am to be sharing Emily and Mario's engagement session. Their engagement at Susquehanna State Park was amazing! This was our second time at the park, which means we were able to explore even more! We may have gotten a little lost in the woods, but hey, that's all a part of the adventure 😛. Meeting up with Mario and Emily was already something we were looking forward to. I went to middle and high school with Emily, and we also played on the same soccer team, so reuniting was going to be a blast! Not to mention, we were getting together to photograph such a special time in both Emily and Mario's lives. I was over the moon with excitement. When you're kids, you don't think how your paths will intersect with some people, so getting the chance to reconnect with Emily and meet Mario has been remarkable, and being able to capture both their engagement and wedding is incredible. Bonus points for the fact that they involved their precious girl, Bailey, in the shoot! Bailey is a ball of energy and full of spunk. By the end of the session she was truly the star of the night. Playful, adorable, and giving us tons of puppy smiles - seriously nothing better! The thing I love most about Emily and Mario's engagement shoot is how open they were to us. They were willing to wander all over Susquehanna State Park, which - if...

Beauty at the Loch Raven Reservoir Engagement

Amanda & Jim

You may have noticed that Shawn and I have been playing around with some different shooting techniques. Prisms, string lights, old cell phones; it all lends something unique to our shooting while we overhaul our style. I have a future post in mind to explore this topic more, so I won't talk too much about it now. What I will shout about from the rooftops is Amanda and Jim's engagement session. Serious beauty happened on Sunday night at the Loch Raven Reservoir, and I don't think I will ever be over it.  We met up with these two at the Loch Raven Morgan Mill Road area, which was right at the heart of all the gorgeousness. I honestly wasn't sure what to expect since we had never been to Loch Raven Reservoir, but I'm now an eternal fan. There was ridiculously tall trees, sandy beaches, and way the light played on the water - STUNNING! I don't think we've ever had a greater introduction to a location. If everyone could have their engagement at Loch Raven Reservoir, that'd be great :P. I feel so thankful that we are Amanda and Jim's wedding photographers. They not only are up for an adventure, but they also are incredibly east to chat with. Jim quickly became our tour guide on Sunday, given that Loch Raven is where he grew up. The stories and bits of history were so fun to hear. It created conversations that flowed so easily and naturally. Amanda and...

A Perfect Wedding Celebration at Rocklands Farm

Jeannine & Pema

There's no other way to describe Jeannine and Pema's day other than "fantastic." The weather, the venue, the couple - it all came together so smoothly. Rocklands Farm is a beautiful location, start to finish. Pairing that with Simply Fresh Events, well, you can't go wrong. This was our first time at Rocklands Farm and I was in awe when we pulled up. It's a gorgeous estate with a big red barn and lovely vineyards. Best of all, it's all very close together. My brain definitely went into overdrive the second we arrived, haha! At the center of all this perfection is, of course, Jeannine and Pema. These two were legally married in July, but saved the party for September. Totally brilliant, since July was super warm this year! They had all of the details beautifully planned, from the dessert table (that Jeannine's Aunt baked and setup), to the backyard cocktail hour. Jeannine's dress was also out of this world. Like, there's unique, and then there's Jeannine's stunning tea length dress trimmed in navy lace. I am so in love with it!  I couldn't get enough of all the tasteful decor. Everything fit the day so well, including the band, Sookey Jump, which includes Jeannine's dad as a member. There's no getting over the easy going flow of the day. It was the greatest way to kick off a loving marriage! Congratulations to Jeannine and Pema! We had the best time celebrating, jamming out to all of...

A Historic Engagement in Savage Mill, Maryland

Brittany & Dan

The thing I love about living in Maryland is that there is no shortage of great backdrops. We have mountains, we have fields, and we have Historic Savage Mill. The most perfect little place for an evening engagement session. There are trails close by, a gorgeous bridge, and cute buildings! Does it get any better? For Dan and Brittany's engagement session, they really wanted to include the historic area. They'll be getting married in just over a month very close to Savage Mill, but their schedule will be a little full that day. They didn't want to miss the opportunity to shoot by all the amazing buildings, so they opted to do their engagement there! Truly the best of both worlds.  Now, I don't think any of us expected the bridge to be closed. Kind of a bummer; however, it gave us the chance to explore the area more. I've never leapt over giant logs and limbo'd under caution tape with a couple before. First time for everything, though, right? Haha! There really is so much to see and do in the area. I'm so happy that Brittany and Dan were up for the adventure! Hanging out with these two for the evening was so great. We got to have a ton of fun, both in our wandering Savage Mill and photographing. Shawn and I have been playing around with some different shooting techniques, and Brittany and Dan were receptive of that. There's nothing better than us cheering on...

A Mt. Washington Mill Dye House Stunner Wedding

Aimee & Mike

I love a good rain wedding. I realize I sound like a crazy person, but stick with me. If a couple is adventurous and recognizes that rain "ain't no thang," there are some truly amazing opportunities. Aimee and Mike's wedding at the Mt. Washington Mill Dye House was all sorts of unique, even if there was no rain. Adding in a little drizzle made the day extra fun. We were able to explore different areas, appreciate the bright greenery, and even clean out our car so we could act as a mini shuttle. It was all really, really great! I felt like the bond we had with these two along with their bridal party was strengthened because of the weather.  There is something about Aimee and Mike that makes us feel so totally at peace. I don't know if it's their calming nature, Aimee's incredible organization, or the fact that we just adore them. Whatever it is, we can't get enough. When a couple is so flexible with photos, I can't ask for anything more. We knew these two were up for anything at their engagement session. Aimee, with a freshly stitched knee, "jumped" over fences (with Mike's help). They climbed over rocks and did everything with a smile on their faces. I believe that is the moment Shawn and I fell in love with these two, haha! Their wedding was no different (save for the knee wound). They both were ready to have fun and...

5 of the Best Groom Reactions

Wedding Day Cheer

You know how sometimes you just need to do something that will make you smile? Not anything ridiculous, just something that will make you feel good. This week, I've been working on some pretty exciting things, but I gotta admit: I'm feeling a little tired. I needed this post to just be me writing about something I adore, and one of my favorite things is amazing groom reactions. What can I say, I'm a sucker for a dude that isn't afraid to share his heart.  Over the years, we have seen many different groom reactions. There's been laughter, deep breathing, tears, and so many more. Every groom reaction is so full of joy and it truly makes the wedding feel complete. We've seen guests, of course, be excited to see the bride, but what we see more of are guests taking bets on a great reaction from the groom. It's so funny to watch grandpa study the face of his grandson, waiting for the reaction of a lifetime.  At this point in the season, we've experienced a full gamut of emotions. The groom reactions have been extra stellar this year, and I really just want to show off a handful of them. Like I said earlier, these images all make me feel ridiculously happy, and I wanted to bottle that happiness up into a blog post :).  1. Smiling so hard your jaw hurts 2. "Can you believe this?!" 3. A quick moment of...

6 Money Saving Secrets for Your Wedding

Tips & Tricks

When Shawn and I were planning our wedding, we cut corners in a ton of ways. We made our own centerpieces and cake stands, and I learned calligraphy specifically for the invitations. Having the wedding we wanted for a price we could manage is important, and I know we aren't the only ones who were looking for money saving secrets. Now, don't think that DIYing is the only way to save money. Finding savings in any area of a wedding is a big boost for anyone's big day. After all, less money spent elsewhere means more money on the things you care about most!   Since we are wedding photographers and see so many beautiful days, and so many crafty brides and grooms that truly put us to shame. We've been able to witness the best ways to save money, while still throwing one epic party. There's probably way more than 6 money saving secrets, but this quick list will help any couple cut costs and stress. It's your big day, and none of the preparation should be spent arguing over a budget. Do It Yourself (DIY) Decorations We aren't saying couples have to DIY every decoration, but every little bit does counts. If you can save money by creating your own centerpieces or arbor, then there's the flexibility to put that money elsewhere. You want a dream day, and there's nothing saying that you can't have that while also putting a sweat into creating something amazing. One of...

A Dreamy Mt. Washington Mill Dye House Wedding

Kaitlin & Ben

Holy cow! I cannot believe that Kaitlin and Ben are married! It was every great feeling in the world coming together for a magical day at the Mt. Washington Mill Dye House. This has been a day that I've been looking forward to since the very first phone call with Kaitlin and Ben. I knew these two were perfect when chatting with both of them on separate occasions and hearing how equally excited they were to marry each other. It was one of those moments where you could just hear the person smiling on the other end of the phone. I may have squealed more than a few times during those conversations (classic Britney). My eagerness for this day was crazy. I woke up on both Wednesday and Thursday last week thinking that it was Friday because I was so ready for their wedding. Rain was nowhere in sight, the air was summery, and the mood was 100% perfect for Kaitlin and Ben's wedding. All of those wonderful feelings culminated into a first look that was filled to the brim with so many emotions. Ben had been saying all day how he wasn't nervous, and I truly believe he had 0 nerves. What he did have, though, was an incredible amount of anticipation to see Kaitlin. When that time came, his heart started pounding and he could not keep the happiness inside. Their first look was totally amazing, and Kaitlin was right: Ben did cry! All the special moments in...

A Patapsco State Park Engagement Adventure!

Leah & Kevin

When I think of the most fun I've had on a session, I'm forever going to think of Leah and Kevin's engagement. They have made Patapsco State Park my number one favorite location. Not only were Kevin and Leah amazing, but the weather yesterday - my goodness! It was completely out of this world! I don't know why Spring keeps coming in and out, but if it could stay 72 degree, I would be happy with that, haha! Before completely diving into the session, it's important to note that I'm a complete dog freak. It takes a strong hold on my dignity to not roll on the ground with a fluffy puppy. So when a couple tells me they are bringing their dog, my excitement level goes through the roof. When Leah emailed me and asked if it was okay they bring their pup, Union, I just about squealed with joy. That handsome man of a dog is so sweet and photogenic! I was in the love from the very first second. Note: if you don't want to fall into an adorable hole, please do not go and search the #germanshepherd tag on Instagram. You'll have a good time, but you may end up adopting 29 dogs. Enough about fur-children, let's get back to Leah and Kevin. From the very start of the session, these two were flawless. They non-stop joked with each other and just had a blast. These two are a couple that you can look at and...

A Stunning Pier 5 Hotel Wedding in Baltimore

Chelsea & Ryan

Chelsea and Ryan are married! Oh my goodness, the day could not have been more perfect. With awesome details, lovely emotions, and a little replica of their cute pup, Koda, as their cake topper - it was all amazing. I've been in awe of their Pier 5 Hotel wedding since Saturday, and - honestly - I hope that feeling never ends. It's been an incredible two years getting to know Chelsea and Ryan. Their day is one that I've been looking forward to for such a long time. Of course, I'm totally happy that we now have all of these gorgeous images to share, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little bit sad that the day is over. 100% my favorite moment will always be Chelsea's first look with her dad. I was not expecting the wave of emotions that hit everyone to happen, but it was beautiful. It seriously took me a minute to gather myself, and thankfully there was a pile of umbrellas that I could fumble with to make it look like I wasn't crying, haha! Once we all composed ourselves, we made our way to the Holy Cross Catholic Church in Baltimore, which is absolutely stunning. It was a breathtaking ceremony to witness, but the what blew me away the most was the gathering after the marriage declarations. Both families came together in a very tearful and emotionally charged moment that just about made my heart explode. Afterwards, we all hopped...

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...

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...

All Time Favorite Engagement Ring Photos

Including A Bonus Tip!

Engaged, married, and jewelry loving friends, this post is for you! Have you ever been going about your day, catch a glimpse of the ring on your hand, and instantly feel a surge of happiness? This happens to me a lot. I'll be working on something really intense and then the sparkle from my engagement ring will draw my attention. It makes me pause what I'm doing, and think of every happy moment related to my ring. Like many people, my engagement ring is very important to me. It's not only perfect, but it also has a special story behind it. During the creation process, Shawn actually got a diamond from my mom. She is a jewelry junkie who lives for the JTV (Jewelry Television). However, the diamond that Shawn asked for was from a ring that my dad had given my mom many moons ago. The value of my ring is priceless to me. Not only are the memories of our life tied to it, but the lives of my parents are also included. My dad may not have been able to walk me down the aisle, but having this ring on my finger made me feel like he was right there with me and my step dad. The importance of sharing the story is because it taught me the value behind every ring. We get the chance to photograph so many stories and I am always giddy when it comes time for engagement ring photos. Every couple...

2017 Goals to Elevate Our Business

Happy New Year!

Is it seriously time to start writing a new number on everything? I feel like 2016 flew by, and I'm not really sure I'm ready for the new year. I mean, I guess it doesn't really matter if I'm ready, because it's here. The time cannot go backwards, so it's time for me to think about my 2017 goals. I'm not really a fan of making resolutions. They terrify me and I feel they are counterproductive. You set a resolution once for the entire year. When the countdown hits zero, you either succeed or you don't. Even if you came close, you still feel the crushing defeat which is very demoralizing. Any deviations are just "excuses" for not accomplishing your predefined resolution. Basically, a resolution motivates by guilt and the negative feelings associated with anything short of success. That's not a healthy mindset when trying to grow and improve, since it's harder to take big risks when you have the fear of failure. Instead, I prefer to set goals for myself, which are similar but different than resolutions. Goals aren't all or nothing. You can come close to completing your goals, and still feel accomplished. They can adapt to any changes in lifestyle or priorities without having to feel like you failed and started over. Also, I feel like it's much easier to exceed your goals but keep going without putting your work down and feeling like you're done. Goals are just a nicer concept that - given the...

Wedding Favorites of the Year

See Ya Later, 2016

Today has been the blog I have been most looking forward to since January! It's time for the wedding favorites of 2016! I love this time so much because it always brings back so many wonderful memories. From rainy days to 100 degree days, weddings are my absolute favorite. I feel so much joy when looking back at all the couples we've gotten to interact with. Every single one of them have been so good to us and given us a greater purpose in our business. This year in particular has been hugely instrumental to the changes that are coming in 2017. From website updates, to small changes in our interactions. I feel like 2016 has been a year of great influence to our lives and we just cannot thank our couples enough. Shawn and I do not take for granted a single ounce of the love and support that our couples give to us. Shawn can attest that the thank you cards that we receive always bring such a huge smile to my face. They honestly make our day. It's interesting that sharing our wedding favorites year in and year out is really more of an excuse to brag about how wonderful the people in our lives are. I could seriously go on forever about the sweetness between Sara and Charlie during their first dance. The bravery that Emily and Jon shared going out in the rain for portraits. The laughter from Alyssa as Matthew started break dancing...

Engagement Favorites of the Year

Bye Bye, 2016!

I cannot believe how quickly 2016 has flown by, and that we are already at this point again. It feels like yesterday that we were doing our engagement favorites of 2015. How is it possible that we have already experienced another twelve months, and are merely a week and a half away from the New Year?! This year has brought so many wonderful couples into our lives. Getting to be a part of their wedding planning process has been really fantastic. As the year winds down, I love reminiscing about all of their sessions. Every engagement shoot gives us a glimpse into who our couples are and allows us to make fun memories with them. This year, though, I feel as if we have personally been able to open up, as well. We've been sharing more of who we are in order to connect to our couples on an even deeper level during their sessions. I don't think it's any secret that engagements are my absolute favorite aspect of wedding planning. They allow the couple to sit back and just be together. Sure, there is a little posing involved, but it always feels natural and comfortable. We want every engagement shoot to feel exciting, even to the most resistant partner. When we get emails or comments saying how nervous a couple was before their session, but became confident due to our encouragement and enthusiasm, it makes us feel so good. Our entire goal is for the couple to know ...

Why We Do Weddings

Hint: Because We Love You

The off-season always gives us time to reflect on our business. It gives us the opportunity to invest in our education and really dig deep while there's less on our plate. To answer the questions of how to improve, we have to first consider our foundation. For this reason, I've been spending time lately exploring about why we do weddings. No, I'm not suffering a quarter life crisis, and I'm not planning to do anything but grow, but thinking about our why helps me as photographer and entrepreneur. I've been photographing weddings since 2011. While I enjoyed what I was doing back then, I never gave it much thought into why I was doing it. I certainly did not envision my business going this far, either. It wasn't until 2016 that I felt the strong urge to relax my brain, take a minute to unwind, and figure out my photographic drive. Shawn posted an article about a Groom's role in his wedding a few months ago, and I felt a fire light underneath me. I realized after reading the post and having more discussions that we've always focused on not just the bride but both people in the relationship. We strive to make both sides feel important because they both are. We have been in their shoes, and know what it's like going through the wedding process. It's natural for us to be empathetic to all the love, concerns, stress, and gratitude that goes into such an important event. Feeling...

Thank You So Much

Personal With a Touch of Sappy

It's officially that time when the holidays start gearing up, and we take a break from being behind the camera. It's the end of the 2016 wedding season and we feel great. Our level of enthusiasm isn't because we get our weekends back, but from a place of thanks. This year, 15 couples let us in to their lives to capture the start of their forever. I never in a million years thought we would be at this place, photographing wonderful people on their gorgeous day. My heart is unbelievably full today, which is why I need to say thank you. I'm starting to tear up a little bit just thinking of every smile, laugh, and (obviously) tear that occurred over this season and all the ones prior. Over five years ago, I shot my first wedding. It was for a good friend, and I had no idea what I was doing. I called upon all my schooling when it came to posing and lighting, and I practiced so much. However, nothing could prepare me for that day. The weather was rainy, I couldn't figure out my flash, and I didn't know how to assert myself. I felt like a complete failure, and as I packed up, I told myself I would never do another wedding. But then my friend came up to me and wrapped me up in the biggest hug in the world. It was in that hug and through her excitement having me as her photographer...

What Do I Do With My Hands?!

Tips & Tricks

We photograph a lot of couples and groups, each with their own collection of unique traits and attitudes. It's a lot of fun to get to know these different people and what makes them special, but it's also interesting to see common threads that link everyone together. Sometimes, it's a pure excitement to be in front of the camera, and other times it's a lack of confidence in modeling abilities. Couples or individuals have warned us before-hand that they feel they aren't photogenic or great at having their picture take. But we have awesome news to the doubters: it's impossible for us to not capture gorgeous images of you! We're not just saying that idly, either, since everyone has the capability to look stunning, no matter what. You can trust in our experience as professional photographers that we will find the perfect way to present you. One of the most common concerns that we get from those who lack faith is not knowing how to pose, specifically on what to do with hands. Hands can be awkward when left hanging at your side, but they need to be comfortable and not distracting when placed elsewhere. During sessions, we've seen people situate their hands three or four different times trying to find a spot that works. We definitely provide instruction when this problem arises, but we understand that having the information before the session is the difference between eager for a session or being scared of it. The tips below apply...

Locally Grown & Sustainable Love Styled Shoot

Baltimore Bride Feature

Our locally grown styled shoot is one that I have been waiting to share since September! Not only is it low-key and intimately sweet, but it is also jaw-droppingly gorgeous. Much like the previous styled shoot Marlayna and I did, the vendors that we worked with completely knocked it out of the park. From the table florals to our bride's make-up, it is all stunning. Everyone worked so hard to make this shoot feel like a beautiful dream. It has totally paid off with our Baltimore Bride feature. Check out our Locally Grown feature on Baltimore Bride! My favorite part about this shoot has to be that the vendors we used are all from the Baltimore area. La Cuchara, our spectacular setting, is a charming, Basque inspired restaurant located in Clipper Mill. They source all of their ingredients from Maryland farms and markets, giving wonderful business to locals. It was a pleasure working with Candace Cage Design who took elements from the restaurants lattice design plates and incorporated them into the invitation suite. Marlayna and I are still in awe of those invites. Local Color Flowers brought so many vibrant florals to the tabletops and ceremony space. It's absolutely amazing to see a florist work, because they have such wonderful vision and it's almost magic to see them piece it together. We also got to include two perfectly crafted floral pressed guestbooks from UpDown Press and Bindery, which added a great pop to our reception scene. The loveliest part of...

Engagement Session Preparation

Tips & Tricks

It is always a little daunting to have photos taken. It's not something that is normal for day-to-day life and can be one of the hardest things to prepare for. For me, I instantly clam up when a lens is pointing at me. Spending so much time around cameras does not prepare me for being in front of the camera. I know that most couples feel the exact same way as I do. The great thing is, there are ways to prepare for your engagement session that will greatly put your mind at ease. Engagement photos can feel very strange and it can often times seem like your relationship isn't accurately portrayed in them. When we chat with our couples about their engagement shoot, one of the most common thing is someone in the couple not understanding the point of these photos. They don't care, they hate their photo taken, or they just want to hire us for the wedding and be done. Unfortunately, that's not how this all works. We want to experience your relationship in advance. With our photos, we get really wonderful emotion because we don't just show up on the wedding day. Our bond with the couple is what creates a genuine interaction and ability for them to show us who they are. Your photos are important, and we want everyone to feel something when they look at your photos. The following advice to prepare for your engagement session all go hand-in-hand together. If each...

Sara & Charlie Engagement Spotlight

Mount Aventine

I'm not sure if I can harness the excitement I have for Sara and Charlie's wedding day, but I'll try. We met these two over a year ago, and from that first meeting, we knew they were something special. That was reinforced at their engagement session in Mount Aventine a few days later. The day was warm and typical for July, but Sara and Charlie came ready to cuddle despite the heat. When you meet a couple that just loves being in each other's arms, you know that you are in the presence of a great relationship. Sara and Charlie spent every second laughing and enjoying this moment in their engagement. Walking around Mount Aventine with them and their dog, Hazel, is something that I want to do every day. I'm serious when I say they have one of the best relationships. Charlie is the jokester and Sara is sweet beyond belief. They balance each other so well, and they are really adorable. Reading over their questionnaire, I couldn't help but smile and tear up over the evolution of their relationship. Everything about these two is thoughtful and respectful of one another. It's amazing to hear about and it's even better to see. I know I said in their engagement post that I was starting their wedding countdown early, and I totally did. Luckily the days passed quickly enough to the point that we are only 1 day from wedding bells. I'm giddy and a bit teary over...

Alexa & Eddie

Centennial Park Engagement Session

The best thing about any engagement session is walking away from them with new friends. Getting the opportunity to interact with people that we may not have had the pleasure to otherwise meet always makes me so incredibly happy. On Saturday, we met up with Alexa, Eddie, and their pup, Benji, at Centennial Park. I love this spot, It is seriously one of my favorites because of how gorgeous it is. Centennial is a beautiful park with a lot of green, but tons of variety. It's perfect, and I was giddy the second Alexa and Eddie chose it. Their engagement shoot had been planned for months, and I was eagerly looking forward to it from day one. Chatting back and forth with Alexa, I got the sense of how sweet and genuine her relationship with Eddie is. Getting the chance to see them interact with each other reinforced everything I already felt for them. When a couple spends their entire engagement session cuddled up with each other and giggling, you know it's going to be a fabulous shoot. That is exactly what these two did from the moment we arrived at Centennial Park. They have such a strong connection that is evident from just a few seconds of being in their presence. Wandering around Centennial with these two and getting to know them was an absolute joy. We loved hearing about their adventurous date nights under the stars. Spending the evening with them and Benji capturing all of the...

The First Look Explained

Tips & Tricks

Whenever the question of a first look comes up, we are almost always met with an excited bride and confused groom. It's no fault of the groom that he doesn't know what this wedding trend is. We generally give the bride the chance to explain it, if she is familiar. But it's still kind of difficult to find the right words to describe it. When we explain it, we want to be informative and still give all the sweetness that is involved. The benefits and trade offs are not always immediately obvious. It takes both people to decide if a first look is right for them. Having to find the right words to make a confident choice is a challenge. We want to give you the resources that allow you both to be at peace with your options. So we are excited to give you the information about a first look, and the tools to know if it should be a part of your wedding day. What is a first look? The easiest way to explain a first look is that it's a chance for the couple to be with each other before all of the craziness starts. It's an intimate moment that you two get the chance to share on a day that is all about your love. A first look is never rushed or forced. It's honestly the most exciting time during the wedding, besides the declaration of marriage. The process of this romantic event starts...

The Importance of Saying No

Confidence with Compromising

  The words yes and no are very powerful. Couples and vendors alike can get hung up on the negativity of the word no, which can make both sides feel insignificant during wedding planning. I've had plenty of situations where I know that I shouldn't be saying yes. Yet, since I didn't want to step on anyone's toes, I bit my tongue. Occasionally, my inability to voice my opinions caused a hiccup in my business. The biggest problem with this is never feeling in control of my success. I would do things for my business because it's what everyone else was doing, or because it's what was being demanded of me. It wasn't until this year that I took the reins and began exercising my right to say no. Shawn's and my main priority with couples is to have a friendship that is fun and enthusiastic. If there are certain goals or relationships that aren't being positively fostered, reflect on the situation and weigh the pros and cons. We don't want to tell people we aren't going to do something without reason. We have a thoughtful process that we follow in order to make sure our couples (current and potential) are aware that we are looking out for them. Saying no to things that add stress One of the biggest things that I think couples and vendors need to ask themselves is if certain requests will add too much stress. Weddings already carry a lot of pressure with...

The Key to Wedding Planning Perfection

Something Borrowed, Something True

Since I'm waist deep in my watching of the Olympics, I'm seeing the word "perfection" everywhere. It's an interesting idea that shows up a lot in sports, and also in wedding planning. There is an insurmountable amount of pressure on today's brides and grooms to have that perfect day. Your decor needs to be new and fresh, and you need to be over-accommodating for your guests. It can be incredibly difficult to balance. However, the greatest shift I've seen in our couples is that the perfect day to them means doing what makes them happy. Following happiness makes the planning process run so smoothly. At a certain point in our wedding planning, Shawn and I had to put aside what our guests would like and do what was best for ourselves. Naturally, we were still concerned with throwing a great party. But when we thought about what we enjoyed, the pressure from "perfect" vanished. We created our own idea of what was best for our day, and it made a huge difference. Seeing couples come to the same conclusion as us is fantastic. There is always the fear that, because of sites like Pinterest, the need to chase a flawless wedding is stronger than ever. Reading the positive advice fills me with so much joy. The key to wedding planning perfection is to throw out the idea of perfect. Focus on the fact that your happiness going into marriage will take you much further.   Marielle...

My 3 Favorite Questions to Ask Couples

Tips & Tricks

The questions that Shawn and I ask during meetings with our couples aren't overly technical. We try to keep meetings with us as natural as possible. Occasionally, the meetings can feel like a blind double date, just because we really want to get to know who both of you are. When Shawn and I have a sense of what your relationship is based on, then we are able to give you a better idea of who we are. I know I have stressed this a million times, but we enjoy being friends with our couples. Last week, we sent our September and October couples their wedding day questionnaires. I've covered that topic in the past, but to recap: it's our online document that covers everything. It's extensive, and I would say it takes more than a few hours to complete. But much like our first meeting, it allows us to get to know the couple that we will be photographing. Yesterday, I got the sweetest email from one of the brides, Sara, saying how they had finished the questionnaire (like champs) and how excited her and Charlie were to see us again. From the initial meeting we had with them, Shawn and I really wanted to connect on a level that wasn't just "you're my wedding vendor". We wanted Sara and Charlie to feel happy that they chose us. The questions covered in their consultation were extremely important, and go hand-in-hand with the topics we cover in the...

Guys, It's Your Day, Too

from Shawn

When it comes to wedding planning, it's no secret that most of it is geared towards the bride. The broad generalization (whether it's true or not) is that the female is the Creative, who has been planning the wedding since she was little, and is the most capable person. Everything involved with the wedding is making these childhood dreams come true, and the guy is just a lucky participant in this occasion. In fact, it seems to be a rule of the universe that most conversations about wedding planning include a passive comment like "It's her day, after all!" It might be the gentleman passing the responsibility of choice to his future wife, or it might be used by an in-law or friend to override an unpopular decision, but Britney and I cringe whenever we hear this phrase. It gets to be rather demoralizing for a male and helps feed this notion of "her day." Just in the process of our own wedding, I've had these circumstances occur: Filling out a form for a wedding expo which asked explicitly for "Bride's Name" but not mine. Getting a call from a vendor asking to speak to Britney even though I gave my name and number on the contact list. Having my name spelled completely wrong on a form with a potential vendor (they spelled Britney's name correctly). Being generally ignored in conversation while vendors make direct eye contact with Britney. Britney and I worked hard...

Subways, Taxis, and Streetcars

My Trip to New York City

This past weekend my friend, Karen, and I traveled to New York City. Our mission was to see Gillian Anderson in A Streetcar Named Desire at St. Ann's Warehouse with a group of friends, and I would say we accomplished that and then some. As most everyone knows, the city is huge. We only had 2 full days to adventure, but in that time we got to see the Chelsea Market, wander through Central Park, experience the inside of lots of taxis, learn the subway system, explore the High Line, and eat loads of food. The most exciting part had to be riding the subway; I don't exactly know why it was so great, but I think it has something to do with the idea of learning something new and successfully navigating it. Of course Streetcar was 100% stellar. This production is deep, and getting to experience it in person is unlike anything I've ever seen. If you haven't seen it, I urge you to make the trip - it's worth it. The way the show is done is incredible. The entire stage area is situated in the middle of the room with the audience just a few feet from the scene. We were so close that when Blanche, the main character played by Gillian Anderson, walks around the stage, you have to pull your legs in so that she doesn't trip over your feet. And - the best part - as Blanche's mental state begins to be tested, the...

Jessica & Frank's Engagement Spotlight

An Amazing Summer Shoot

This Saturday is Jessica and Frank's big day! I have been excitedly waiting for their day to come, and now it is almost here! I know if I'm getting giddy, then the soon-to-be newlyweds must be on a totally different level of eagerness, haha. Way back in August, Shawn and I traveled out to Rocks State Park to photograph these two sweetheart's engagement photos. This park is seriously so beautiful. I just fell in love with the waterfall and all of the greenery in the surrounding area. We've shot here once before, and it is just incredible with all of the different looks it offers. I was even more excited to get to know Jess and Frank a little better, because one of my favorite things about engagement sessions is bonding with the couple. Seeing that they brought their adorable pup, Mufasa, with them made adoring these two even easier :P. Shawn and I cannot wait for their wedding on Saturday. It's going to be such a wonderful day, especially now that Spring seems to be here to stay!   ______________________________________________________________________________ ...

Sarah & Kevin

A Beautiful Ballroom Wedding at La Fontaine Bleue

Sarah and Kevin were married at the fabulous La Fontaine Bleue on one of the most perfect Spring days. Seriously, the sun was shining and the temperature was just right for a bride in a Cinderella gown, haha. Their wedding was intimate, romantic, and full of so much love. Kevin's reaction when he saw his beautiful bride coming down the aisle was so full of excitement that I thought he was going to burst. Probably one of the things I adore the most on a wedding day is when a couple softly sings their first dance song to each other. It's such a simple thing, twirling around on the dance floor and being so overcome with the song's feelings that you have to whisper certain parts of it in your beloved's ear. The moment Sarah and Kevin's song came on, Forever Ain't Enough by J Holiday, Kevin immediately took Sarah into his arms and started singing to her while dancing. Witnessing this filled me with so much giddy happiness, and it easily became my most favorite part of the day <3. Shawn and I are so happy for these two. I cannot say enough how wonderful and amazing they both are. We know that their marriage is going to be beautiful!   _____________________________________________________________________________   All of the amazing vendors that made this day the best day ever! Ceremony & Reception Venue: La Fontaine Bleue Caterer & Cake: La Fontaine Bleue Makeup: Kristen Goldberg Hair:...

Exciting News About Our Styled Shoot

Smitten Feature

So I know I've been talking quite a lot recently about the styled shoot that Marlayna and I did, but that's because I'm really proud of everyone involved and what we were able to accomplish in such a short amount of time. I feel like most planned shoots don't happen within a month and a half (but I could be wrong, haha). We worked tremendously hard, and I fully intend on covering every topic that there is through this blog. I've already started a little bit of the conversation in my blog last week, which made me excited to share every happy, joyous, and heartbreaking moment that we had on this journey. One of the most amazing things happened yesterday: our first shoot - our little photo child - was accepted by Smitten Magazine. As embarrassing as it is to admit, Marlayna and I both cried when we got the email from Audrey, the editor-in-chief. Our entire goal for this shoot was showcasing everyone who dedicated time and their talent to it. After getting just a couple of rejections, we were feeling like failures in the publishing world. But then Smitten happened and our energy, emotions. and belief in love was completely restored! Can I just cuddle this exciting feeling for a little bit :P? Again, I'll cover ever single topic in the series on styled shoots, but just know that this acceptance did not come easy, and the joy of having our work recognized is really freakin' awesome. &...

Sarah and Kevin's Engagement Spotlight

Gorgeous Morning Baltimore Session

I'm so incredibly happy to say that Sarah and Kevin's wedding is just a few short days away! I remember meeting up with them in September at Federal Hill Park for their engagement photos and chatting about how much time they had for planning. It felt like the months would take forever to pass at that point, but here we are, just a handful of days away! On Friday these two will be exchanging vows and celebrating with family and friends at the beautiful La Fontaine Bleue. Shawn and I are ecstatic to witness and photograph their day. Going through their engagement session for this little highlight reel brought back all of the giddy feelings I had while photographing them. These two are just the absolute sweetest, and the fact that you can see the love they have for each other is just amazing. I adore them so incredibly much. <3     ...

4 Ways We Prepare for Engagement Sessions

Tips & Tricks

The more days with perfect weather we have, the more and more I'm itching to get outside for some of this years engagement sessions. I am so excited for all of the couples that Shawn and I get to photograph, and all this sunshine is making it hard to wait for next month when everything fully kicks into gear. I wanted to do tonight's blog on how Shawn and I prepare for engagement sessions after a few months of not being behind the camera regularly. For future brides and grooms who are reading this: you are not the only ones who get nervous before photos. I'm not going to lie, it can be difficult getting back into the groove, and when I feel an ounce of jitters I become a tongue tied mess, haha. However, after doing this for awhile, I've been able to come up with a process that has knocked out a lot of pre-session butterflies. My steps help me, and whether you are a couple preparing for your own engagement photos or a photographer gearing up for a crazy awesome season, I hope these will be useful! My first step toward calming nerves is always getting to know the clients. Shawn and I meet with our couples, we send them welcome gifts, and I try to be in almost constant communication leading up to the session. The main motivation behind doing all of that is for everyone to feel very comfortable with each other...

Remember the Big Picture

Something Borrowed, Something True

Weddings are almost always viewed as the beginning of a beautiful life with your partner. It's exciting and special, and most of the time our imaginations build a spectacular day full of sparkle. But our imagination rarely takes into account the stress leading up to the day or the cost of that dream wedding. Both stress and money together can lead to a lot of heartbreak throughout the planning process if you aren't well equipped. Tonight's blog is about strategies to remaining sane when you are in the thick of planning. A few of our brides touched on this topic, and I found it fascinating how each couple dealt with things differently. From organizing finances to just remaining calm, the advice in this installment is very unique to the couple that wrote it. I must say, though, one of the common factors across the board is that at the end of the day you are marrying your perfect person. Even if the cake gets dented, or there is an accident which backs up traffic and delays your wedding, you still get to say "I do" and start your new beginning.   April & Corey "Really consider your dream wedding plans. It's so easy to feel pressured to find things that fit your theme, but really think about it because halfway through the planning process that probably won't matter to you anymore. Really all that matters is marrying the person you love."  ...

Preparing Your Special Wedding Details

Tips & Tricks

When you think of wedding of traditional wedding day photos, what images come to mind? For most people, they imagine portraits of the bride and groom in a beautiful setting, wrapped up in each others arms, or the groom's reaction when he sees his bride walking down the aisle. These huge moments that deliver the feelings of the day are definitely ones that I adore, but what about all the items and features that shape the look and theme of the wedding? When a bride wears the same necklace that her mom wore to her own wedding, it represents a really great bond between two women. While the object may be small, the meaning and sentimental value is huge, and really help make a wedding special and unique for the couple. It's surprising how the smallest bits of the planning process can help deliver the biggest impact. The first thing that Shawn and I do when we arrive at a wedding is gather all of the little mementos and accessories for detail photos. Those pieces need to have their moment to shine, because without them, the day would be missing that amazing sparkle. To all my couples, I recommend organizing your personal detail items into one place by creating "getting ready bags". Taking all the important and unique items that need to be photographed and placing them together in a bag means that when the photographer arrives, they can grab the bag and get started with the shots. It...

Website and Research Update

from Shawn

Hi everyone, this is Shawn with another update on what has been happening on my side. You can check out my other post for more information and the introduction. Off-season for weddings means that while Britney is busy handling all the incoming queries and a few other photography surprises, I've been hard at work adding some wonderful features to the site for all of our couples in addition to my other work. The improvements to the website are coming along nicely. There's a lot of things on my task list for improvements, such as a means to download all the images from your session which is more reliable and convenient. More importantly, we have an exciting new feature for all our past, present, and future couples: a client lounge! Britney mentioned one of the features briefly in a previous post, but there is a lot more exciting capabilities in store. The client lounge provides a central point of reference for all of Britney Clause Photography's couples. New clients will find inspiration on planning a wedding, from information regarding our services to helpful advice to making the most out of your engagement session and wedding. There will also be a neatly organized section for digital copies of contracts, paying your invoice, and - of course - seeing all the wonderful pictures from your photography. The full site is still getting completed, but we are both very excited to offer this integrated and complete experience as a bonus to everyone. Meanwhile, a...

Finding the Best Time to Post on Instagram

Tips & Tricks

About three weeks ago I decided to step up my Instagram game. I wanted to post more and earn new followers organically. I started posting whenever I thought about it, usually at lunch time or just after dinner. Eventually, I decided I needed to determine the best time of day to post so I could maximize the return on each post. [I want to preface that my following is relatively small, so the numbers that I receive are not astronomical at all, but still large enough for the data to be accurate.] My first post on my Instagram plan was just before noon (specifically at 11:45 am). Within the first hour I had received about 15 likes on the photo. I was pretty proud of that number, so that night I decided to post at 8:00 in the evening. My thought process for that time was people would be home, finished cleaning up from dinner, and ready to scroll through Instagram. Sounds plausible, but my post at this time only got 5 likes. Frustrated, I started looking at articles on Instagram post timing and found a Huffington Post article that really matched exactly what I was looking for. The best part about the article was that the research was done using Latergramme, which is an amazing scheduling service that I now use regularly. However, I wasn't sure if their analysis of times would be accurate for me and my readers. I wanted to find my best times to post...

5 Reasons to Take Advantage of an Engagement Session

Tips and Tricks

Since I've been stuck indoors for the past 4 days, I've done a lot of thinking about engagement sessions. Weird? Maybe. But engagement season is here and, soon enough, the weather will be gorgeous, the sun will be warm, and the snow will be not trapping everyone to their house. Ahhh, a beautiful day-dream, haha. The main thing on my mind is getting clients to recognize the benefit of a professional engagement session. It may be tempting to overlook engagement photos. The benefits of these sessions are amazing, not just for you as the couple, but also for Shawn and I as the photographers. I've taken note of the 5 main reasons to do an engagement session with your wedding photographer and I'm really looking forward to going over them: 1.) The biggest benefit is getting to know your photographer and their style. Every photographer is different between their shooting and editing style. My shooting style is relaxed, romantic, and fun with a huge focus on your natural interactions rather than looking at me and cheesy smiling. That's not something that couples can necessarily see just by looking at photos on my blog.   2.) You get to have real and true stress-free fun! There are so many things when it comes to wedding planning that get you into a hectic mood, but when you prepare for your session with your photographer you should feel at ease with the images from their portfolio and know that...

The Other Half

from Shawn

Hello everyone! This is the first in a new series that will be presented by a not-so-new face. My husband, Shawn, has been a huge inspiration for me and Britney Clause Photography. He's helped me build it from day one, and has been an integral part of everything I do. His monthly series should provide a different perspective from what I usually share, including a different opinion and more technical insight to things. Enjoy! ~ Britney After Britney started doing photography right after college (while we were dating) my responsibilities were very simple. I would go with her to shoots as another set of eyes and hands. I would be there to carry her bag , swap lenses, hold up a background blanket, throw leaves in the air, and other tasks trivial for people with four arms. Sometimes, I had the luxury of being the model myself (free professional headshots for life!) I've always tried to support her business and fill any needs she had. It's only natural that she would soon start teaching me how to use a camera, what to look for in a shot, how to adjust for lighting, and all the other various intricacies of photography. It made it much easier that I spent years looking at her photos, giving and listening to her input on how to shoot. Fast forward several months through a training montage, and Britney eventually trusted me as a second shooter at a wedding. It went very well, and even though...

My Favorite Engagement Photos of 2015

Year in Review

I am so shocked that the end of the year is already here! Today's blog has been an absolute breeze to write and a dream to pick images for. I've had in mind some of the images that I would use for today's post for quite awhile, but actually going through them brought back so many happy memories of the great people Shawn and I have gotten to meet. Over the past year, I have felt so much growth in engagements sessions; from getting couples to feel comfortable, to putting on the final edits. It's truly been a wonderful year. We have had our share of challenges, but, through facing them head-on, we have been able to completely obliterate any problems (hulk style :P). 2015 was also Shawn's first full year of shooting along side me. I can't speak for him, but I can say it has been the most amazing thing. I love working with my husband, we can pretty much read each other's minds and he helps me calm down in times of high stress. He is my rock and I cannot thank him enough for all the hard-work and dedication he has shown to Britney Clause Photography. There are not enough jellybeans in the world for me to pay him back with <3. Going forward into 2016, I hope to take my engagement sessions to the next level. Shawn and I are constantly learning in order to give every couple we have the best possible...

Sarah & Kevin

Sunrise Engagement Session in Baltimore

Early morning Baltimore sunrise sessions are some of my absolute favorite! It's so calm and peaceful that you almost forget you are in the middle of the city. Seeing the sun poke through the construction off in the distance gave the city a nice industrial golden look that was the perfect start to a wonderful session. Sarah and Kevin chose Federal Hill Park and the Inner Harbor as the backdrops for their sweet engagement photos. It was such a fun day with these two; even some of the ducks crowding the harbor wanted to get into a few shots :P. Seeing how much love Sarah and Kevin have in their eyes for one another made me that much more excited for their April wedding at the La Fontaine Bleue in Glen Burnie! Ahh - I can't wait!   ______________________________________________________________________________ ...

Katie & Matt

A Chic Wedding at Mt. Washington Mill

Katie and Matt completed my trio of weddings at the beginning of September, and it was one of the most beautiful weddings I've had the pleasure of photographing. Their wedding took place at the breath-taking Mt. Washington Mill-Dye House, which is a complete dream. My jaw dropped as soon as I stepped through the door's of the Dye House. Unique architecture, exposed brick, string lights creating a fairytale like glow over dinner and dancing; it's a space that doesn't need many additions to be perfect, but the small details that Katie and Matt did have played wonderfully with the overall atmosphere of the Dye House. In order to maximize time on their wedding day, I met with Katie and Matt at Fort McHenry a week before their wedding to take their bridal portraits. It was a new experience for me, and I think I may be in love with bridal portraits now. Katie and Matt were able to choose a location that had plenty of variety from bright green trees, to spectacular waterfront. They weren't limited to what their wedding venue had to offer and it allowed them a lot more time at the wedding to enjoy the amazing party. Shawn and I really enjoyed working with Katie, Matt, and their daughter, Larkin. Not only are they calm and down-to-Earth, but they are incredibly sweet. I look forward to any chance I get to work with these three again :).   ______________________________________________________________________________ The fabulous vendors that made this...

Jillian & Jack

A Classic Wedding at the Royal Sonesta

At the end of August I had the great pleasure of photographing Jillian and Jack's wedding. It was such an amazing day with this beautiful couple, and I am so happy that I got to capture these special moments for them. These two truly compliment each other so well, and one of the sweetest moments was when Jack saw Jillian coming down the aisle. Seeing his eyes well up with tears and excitement took this wedding to a totally different level. There was not a dry eye in the church when these two were announced as husband and wife. Even nature decided to shed some happy tears! There were a ton of precious moments during this wedding, especially during Jillian's dad's speech to the newlyweds, which I couldn't help but tear up. The amount of love that was incorporated into this day was one of the most beautiful things I have seen and I am so excited to be sharing some of these special memories! Jillian and Jack, I'm so happy that I was able to be apart of your special day. Your love is an amazing thing and I know you guys are going to have a wonderful life together! :D   ______________________________________________________________________________ Watching Jack and the rest of the guys cross the street with my second shooter (and husband) Shawn! Commencing the pocket square challenge While the guys came back to the hotel and hid, Jillian had her amazing first look with her dad :'D. Then the...

Jennifer & Brock

Romantic Fell's Point Engagement

Even though Jennifer and Brock are getting married next May, it hasn't stopped me from counting down the day until I get to photograph these two again. They are seriously the sweetest couple and had no issues being close and cuddly for their session. They just naturally went in to it; laughing, and giving kisses, they even walk down the street adorably! Capturing their happiness and giggle inducing love is why I cherish my job so much. This day was also extra special because it was Brock's birthday. I think that the universe knew it was his birthday/engagement session day and that all helped make the morning just amazing. The sunrise was pink and orange, the temperature had a refreshing chill to it, and the rain that was called for was no where to be found - it was like a weather gift from the gods :P. I am beyond excited to share these images, so I'm going to get on with the presenting!   ...