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Ellicott City

Main Street Ballroom Spring-y Green Wedding

Emily & Matt

What a way to kick off the wedding season! We could not have asked for a better day than Emily and Matt's wedding at Main Street Ballroom in Ellicott City, Maryland! Seriously, every single heart emoji you could think of is exactly what I'm feeling right now! Before diving into the photos, I just want to say that Emily and Matt are amazingly sweet. I totally relate to their silliness and humor! Reflecting over their questionnaire, I couldn't help but tear up over how in-sync they are. I hung on strong for most of the questions, but then Matt wrote: "I know I’m a better Matt when I get to be around Emmy", and I lost it. Ugly tears all over the place. I love a couple where you can read one sentence and just know they are meant for each other. The time leading up to the wedding day only reinforced that feeling. This wasn't the easiest of week for Emily. She was hit with a medical emergency and was out of planning for a short time. In those moments, Matt really helped her a ton to not only feel better, but to remain stress-free. On the wedding day, he constantly was making sure that Emily had everything she needed and was able to relax as much as possible. Even with the hiccup early in the week, that would not stop the excitement and anticipation of the wedding day, though! We cannot say congratulations to Emily and...

My Experience with The Big Fake Wedding

Advice from a Photographer

I've gotten a lot of people asking for my experience at the The Big Fake Wedding. I participated in the Baltimore event in May. It was something I didn't think I'd be doing at the start of 2018, but I am very glad I did it.  When you are going through the day, you have to remember that there are a lot of key players. You are not the only vendor participating, and often times you aren't even the only photographer, florist, stationery designer, etc. on the scene. A few of the vendors may share your same passion, which is something completely different from a typical wedding day. The benefit, though, is that you get to experience a really unique evening that will make you excited for your business and the new friendships you'll develop. This post is in no way affiliated with The Big Fake Wedding. They did not ask me to write this post, and they did not supply any of the information enclosed. This post is 100% my own take on the day.  What is The Big Fake Wedding? In short, it's a giant party! For guests of the day, you'll get to witness a sweet vow renewal type of ceremony. You'll also get to interact with wedding vendors and see them in action. There's so much to see, lots of good food, and dancing! For vendors, you get the chance to really show off what you got. There's no such thing as "...

Snuggle Up with This Centennial Park Winter Engagement

Caitlin & Sean

Throwing it back to December with Caitlin and Sean's engagement session! Meeting up with these two was such a treat. They chose Centennial Park, which I have a history of loving. From their drives in Ellicott City and enjoyment of the water, it was an easy pick for them. If you haven't been to the park, plan a visit right now! The lake at the park is at the center of everything, with good reason! If you visit in the Spring/Summer you can rent kayaks and paddle boats. It's pretty cool! Needless to say, I was stoked that they chose Centennial Park.  We had such a great evening with these two. I always, ALWAYS feel that an engagement puts the planning and relationships into perspective. You take a moment for yourselves cuddle up for some cute photos while all fancied up! But the best thing about an engagement shoot is that WE get to see you two together. The goofy faces, the inside jokes; your personalities shine during engagement sessions and we soak it all up. We learn so much, and during Caitlin and Sean's session, we got to see how much Caitlin lights up around Sean. How much Sean loves making Caitlin laugh, and the enjoyment they get from being together. Their ability to be open with us allowed us to capture some incredibly sweet and silly moments.  After holding onto this session since December, I am so happy to show off more of these two...

Patapsco & Ellicott City Engagement

Megan & Dave's Spotlight!

It's Megan and Dave's wedding day! Oh my goodness, I feel like I've been anticipating this day forever. I know I normally post spotlights during the week, but for these two, I wanted to change it up a bit. Their session at Patapsco Valley State Park and Ellicott City was perfect. So I thought, "Why not look back at their engagement session on their wedding day?" Seeing their session again has me all sorts of excited. From the gorgeous waterfall at Patapsco, to the stroll down Main Street in Ellicott City. Their engagement just fills me with so much happiness! The thing I love about this session, besides Megan and Dave's wonderfulness, is seeing the city restored to its former glory. We photographed this engagement two months before the fateful flooding that happened in Ellicott City. The devastation to the shops, the sidewalk, and the people was immense and something no one will soon forget. However, Megan and Dave's session allows me to jump back in time, where I can catch a glimpse of the city I used to take for granted. We are more than ready to see Megan and Dave exchange vows. Meeting them for the first time at our local bakery was like sitting down with two friends. It carried over to their engagement session where we met their furbaby, Izzy, and continued to get to know their relationship. Now we are at the wedding day! I just know these two are going to...

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...

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...

5 of Our Favorite Poses

Tips & Tricks

We enjoy giving our couples freedom in their posing. We try to do minimal directing, because we don't want the shoot to slip into being stiff. Don't get me wrong, though, we still give a fair amount of direction. But we give each pose the chance to evolve. When we start off the session, we go with easy poses. Those usually include the chest-to-chest position. Generally, our direction is "face one another and get close". That sets the couple up for the basic look of the image Shawn and I want. From that point, we start easing in to tiny tweaks like having the lady give a small leg pop or for them to start telling each other jokes. All of these are very small things that affect the mood and look of the shoot. When a couple is having fun together, they are more comfortable and confident. When we set up our posing in a very basic way, it allows our couples to feel like they can breath. There is no way that Shawn and I can feel happy by precisely placing every piece of the shot. We know our couples won't be happy with that either. We need the couple to move and to naturally interact with one another. Once those first few shots are accomplished, the nerves melt away. In those instances, we're all able to learn about one another and have a really awesome session. Nice and close bringing chest to chest Think about whenever...

Serenity Blue & Cobalt Styled Shoot

Charm City Wed Feature!

I know that everyone is probably well aware by now that, back in March, Marlayna and I collaborated with a ton of amazing vendors on a styled shoot. I've been chronicling that journey in a few different blogs, and I absolutely love being able to share all that we learned. I think the most awesome thing about that day was that we did not just get one shoot out of it, but two, thanks to the generosity and hard working vendors that participated in the shoot. Due to their collective effort, our second shoot was featured on a local wedding inspiration blog called Charm City Wed on Monday! Check out the Charm City Wed feature here! We went into March 15th thinking that we were going to have one shoot and that was going to be it, but as the day evolved we realized how awesome our vendor team truly was. Everything during the day could be split into two different sessions from the stunning earrings by Rachel Mulherin, to the delectable food by Copper Kitchen. Items could be combined and separated in order to create two new worlds within a single day. We used the invitations that Pretty Peacock Paperie artfully crafted within the second shoot to add a different look to the rings from St. Johns Jewelers. Nature of Design, the fantastic florist, created two completely different fairytale-esque tablescapes that were so beautiful and unique. Bella Bridesmaids let us borrow six dresses that made each model take on...

Alyssa & Matt's Engagement Spotlight

Ellicott City

I cannot even begin to describe how excited I am that Alyssa and Matt's wedding day is this Saturday! It's felt as though it's taken so long for this day, and it's less than a week away. For their engagement session, these two chose to have their session in one of my favorite places: Ellicott City. This beautiful spot is filled with colorful shops and variety of textures that create a huge unique space. It is a photographer's dream location; every corner of the city holds something new and exciting. Anytime a couple wants their photos in the city, I pretty much jump for joy, haha! I can't go the entire spotlight post without mentioning the fact that Alyssa and Matt's outfits were on point. I've mentioned in previous posts how coordinating outfits off complimentary colors is the way to go, and these two knocked it out of the park. I always enjoy getting to look back at their session! Shawn and I loved getting to see these two interact with each other during their engagement. I don't think there was a time that a smile wasn't spread across either of their faces. Also, Matt's ability to make Alyssa laugh with a small look was beyond adorable. They are two of the sweetest people, and the fact that their nuptials are just a few short days away has me jumping up and down with glee. Their wedding is taking place at Billingsley House, which took my breath away the first...

4 Tips to Keep Costs Under Control

Tips & Tricks

We experienced first hand that spending money is inevitable when planning a wedding inspiration shoot. (Spending money for anything in life is pretty much a guarantee today, but that's a different discussion, haha.) At the beginning of the process for our Rose Quartz and Cobalt shoot, we didn't really think about the money that we would be investing in the session ourselves. When this styled shoot was just a small little baby, we only thought we would need flowers, a dress, and two models. But being the very high end thinkers and dreamers that we are, we noticed that this shoot was going to be much larger than having just three or four components. As Marlayna and I entered into the later stages of planning, we realized that in order to make this shoot match what was in our heads, we had to put forth some sort of monetary contribution. This included paying for the venue, gathering tablescape decor, and purchasing materials for our DIY activities. We certainly saved quite a bit of money by doing a lot of things on our own and gathering coupons for Target and Hobby Lobby. There is no shame in our coupon and final sales game, haha. We tried really hard to make sure we split the costs equally and that we weren't going ridiculously over budget for any one thing. We were thrifty in our purchases and definitely kept each other in check. And I never realized how awesome and beneficial...

Megan & Dave

A Stunning Park and City Engagement

I am just about speechless over Megan and Dave's Sunday engagement session. We started the evening at Patapsco Valley State Park, and those of you that follow along know it's my favorite place. There was some comedic mishaps with finding each other in the part of the park without a signal, but when we finally all got together, it was amazing! Megan and Dave are seriously the cutest couple, and they just so happen to be the parents of the most adorable little Frenchie named Izzy. I love when couples involve their furbabies in their sessions, because it brings a whole new personality to the shoot. Izzy definitely brought a lot of extra fun and laughs to the park. By some crazy chance, we had the entire Cascade Falls trail to ourselves, which was shocking considering Sunday was the first sunny day in weeks! After a quick wardrobe change and a short drive, we arrived at Ellicott City (another favorite) where these two took modeling to a different level. Megan and Dave are absolutely stellar. We were shooting well after the sun had already set, since I was pretty obsessed with their adorableness! The best part about these two was their excitement over their photos. They came ready with props, wonderful ideas, and ready for whatever we got into. It was simply fantastic. Ahhh! I adore them! Shawn and I cannot wait to photograph their wedding next April at the Anchor Inn. It is for sure going to be the...

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. &...

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...

3 Tips for Choosing the Best Engagement Session Location

Tips & Tricks

One of the biggest questions I get from clients: where should we do our engagement session? I can seriously pick locations for days. There are a ton of parks all around Maryland, and urban locations like Baltimore, Annapolis, and Washington DC are all within 30-40 minutes. The thing I can't search for in a location, though, is a place that you will click with and love. That's the reason I always suggest that you and your other half find a spot that you can envision yourself being in together. Imagine the session you want -- not one that you found on Pinterest or Facebook -- but one that you truly think will capture you two as a couple. Think of the environment that you enjoy and pick out certain aspects from it. Is there a lot of green? Water? Maybe there are some different unique elements like stone buildings? (If I just described everything that you are seeing, then I can suggest your session being at Savage Mill or Ellicott City.) Figuring out certain details that you want in a location can help immensely with searching for that perfect spot. A great example of picking out a location is how Shawn and I narrowed down our own ideas for our engagement session. For starters, I had outfits picked out months prior: a lace salmon color dress for me and a maroon button down with khaki's for Shawn; then an outfit change into more casual jeans and sweaters for later...

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...

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...

Alyssa & Matt

A Fall Engagement in Ellicott City

In September, I met up with Alyssa and Matt on Main Street for their Ellicott City engagement session. It was a perfect fall day with a little bit of summer warmth still lingering in the air. We began the session in a wonderful little garden right next to Patapsco river before strolling up and down the main strip of the city. The colorful shops lining the streets added a great touch to the location. It was pretty much like being in a candy store with all of the pretty backdrop opportunities :P. Shawn and I really enjoyed spending the evening getting to know Alyssa and Matt. They are such a fun loving pair and I don't think there was a moment during their session where they weren't smiling or laughing. We are really, really looking forward to their summer wedding next June at the Billingsley House -- which I'm positive is going on my list of "best venues ever"!   ______________________________________________________________________________ ...