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Not Letting the Details Consume You

Something Borrowed, Something True

When you think of a wedding planning check list, what are some of the first things on your list? On my list there are: floral inspiration, venues, hair and make-up wizardry, dress designs, a whole ton of other things that - when put together - create a magical day for two very special people. When Shawn and I were organizing our day, every time I felt like all the important things were covered, someone would mention lighting, or our vows, or the guestbook and I immediately would realize that I had no idea. It wasn't until I started looking at resources like WeddingWire and utilizing Google Sheets for our guest list that details started fitting into place, and the nightmares of having a wedding missing something important went from once a week to once a month :P. I know Shawn and I weren't the only ones that have dealt with a check list that is more list than checked, but in the thick of it can be hard to stay positive and not feel overwhelmed. Seeing the way that some of our couples dealt with the anxiety of their details really showed me that there are some great ways to conquer the bridal fears. From Pinterest to dealing with late RSVPs, these couples kept themselves in fantastic order and can truly help others throughout the entire process.   Jen & Brock  "Definitely follow the local wedding blogs for inspiration, especially early on. We discovered...

Welcoming Pony Express!

Introductions

This blog has been such a long time coming. I have been wanting to formally introduce our dog, Pony, for a while now. I'm kind of glad I waited, though, because over the past 7 months we have gotten to know all of his goofy quirks and build up a semi-obsessive photo collection of him.  We adopted Pony (formally known as Indie) from a wonderful organization called PapAdopters. Our journey to puppy-hood was not easy, because we fell in love with a dog on the opposite side of the country. Shawn and I had always said "we'll get a dog when we have a house", but that never stopped us from Internet window shopping different local rescue sites, or making lists of what the perfect dog would be. While Internet looking, I came across Indie's photo. Something inside me just knew, and as soon as I showed Shawn, he knew as well: this was our dog. Reading what he had been through was heart-breaking. Indie was a 2 year old Papillon mix from California. The organizers at PapAdopters told us that they believe he was in a hoarding situation with almost 200 other dogs. He was malnourished, dirty, and his tail was stained yellow from having to sit in his own mess. Our hearts broke for him and I cried after hearing all that had happened to him since no animal should suffer through that. We carefully filled out the application, and heard back the next day...

My Favorite Wedding Photos of 2015

Year in Review

Every photo of Shawn and I is important, but the photos that we cherish and love the most are our wedding photos. We look back on our day and see the family that was present along with the memories that were created. Our love for each other and for the day itself shines in every single image. They are a wonderful representation of who we are and why our marriage is special. Those feelings we have for our photos are what motivates us to be our best possible selves for all of our couples. This past year we were able to photograph 17 amazing couples coming together in marriage. Each wedding was unique to the style of the couple, and every single marriage announcement, I teared up. Shawn and I got to do our first out-of-state wedding in Massachusetts, and because that was such a fabulous experience, we now hope to get more out-of-state nuptials! The best part about this year is that from these weddings, we came out with new friends that we are so excited for and are cheering for every single day. Gathering the images for this post was something that I wish I could do all of the time. Seeing these days unfold again was beautiful. Shawn and I are incredibly grateful for every opportunity that we have been given. We have really grown as partners and photographers so much over 2015. It was no surprise to me that I started tearing up at...

Marlayna's Charleston Portraits

Fun in a City Rich with History

Taking it back to Charleston! Last month I posted about my adventures in South Carolina for the Creative at Heart Conference. It was an amazing time learning more about running my business and how to appeal to new friends (and spoil the friends I already have ;P). What wasn't seen in that blog, though, was that fellow photo-friend, Marlayna (www.marlaynaphotography.com), and I had a little portrait session around this AH-mazing city! Charleston has so much to offer in terms of backdrops and perfect lighting. We spent about 30 minutes getting knocked around by the wind just so we could photograph the sun peeking through the trees. A truer #photographerproblems has never been spoken until just now, haha. The level of fun that we had while practicing our "posing" was hysterical. We both have plenty of goofball photos of each other to last a lifetime. I'm so happy to have spent a great day in a beautiful city that offered so much to us as photographers. It was even better that I got to spend it with a wonderful friend who is just as obsessed with buildings, trees, and sunlight as I am, haha! :D   ______________________________________________________________________________ Lols SUNNY TREE! ...

Lindsay & Stephanie

A Romantic Willowdale Estate Wedding

Hold on to your seats people, this post is going to be a long one. Lindsay and Stephanie were married on a gorgeous November day in Topsfield, Massachusetts at the breathtaking Willowdale Estate. Fall was still in effect in the Northeast with colorful leaves still filling the trees. The pops of royal blue and granny smith apple green showed up in their gorgeous flowers and fun Converse Chuck Taylor's. I could talk all day about the wonderful moments the wedding day contained, but the most impactful was when the officiant, Priscilla Gearney, pronounced Lindsay and Stephanie as wife and wife. The room exploded with cheers and applause - it was spectacular. I know I had a difficult time working through the happy tears that were clouding my vision, haha! "My fiancee & I are looking for a photographer to do our engagement photos as well as our wedding photos. Too bad we live in Massachusetts :(. Thank you again for your beautiful captured moments in time <3" This was from Lindsay in 2011, which was a year when this Britney Clause Photography thing was just a pipe dream. I had no style, no direction, my watermark was a layered paint brush in Photoshop. It wasn't pretty and if you go time warp in the blog there may be some of that left over. Yikes! However, through all of that "figuring stuff out" phase, these two women believed in me when I didn't even believe...

Ali & Matt

Romantic and Chic Country Club Wedding

When Shawn and I first met with Ali and Matt for their summer engagement session, we had a feeling that their wedding was going to be absolutely fabulous. Little did we know that not only was the day going to be beautiful, but that it was going to be filled with so much warmth and love from everyone involved. Ali and Matt were married on a gorgeous fall day at the St. Martin's in-the-Field Episcopal Church, a stunning location in Severna Park that was surrounded by orange and yellow leaf trees. Their family and friends all cheered when they shared their first kiss and gave high fives to the newlyweds as they recessed. The reception at Chartwell Country Club was glowing with flickering candles that created such a beautiful atmosphere. One of the most touching moments during the entire night was Matt's brother's speech; just thinking back to has me tearing up. We all take so much for granted, but not these families. They cherish their time with one another, and it absolutely shows with the amount of care that they have for one another. Shawn and I are so happy that we got to photograph this special day for these two incredible people. Ali and Matt are just amazing and I look forward to seeing where life takes them!   ______________________________________________________________________________ A little Blue Steel to finish off the portraits :P All of the amazing vendors that made this day the best day ever! Ceremony Venue: St. Martin's...

Charleston and Ice Cream

Creative at Heart Conference

For the past few days, I have been very busy in Charleston, South Carolina learning all that I can from amazing creatives at the Creative at Heart conference. One of the most important things I took away was to focus on the clients I have, not the ones I'm trying to get. All of my couples and families are incredibly special to me. Everything I have is because others believed in me and trusted me enough to let me photograph the most important time in their lives. I get so much back from all of the joy in my clients. You have all helped me reach a point that I thought was just a distant dream. While in Charleston, my fellow photographer friend, Marlayna (marlaynaphotography.com), and I dug deep and pretty much got to the root of what we want from our businesses. It was refreshing to hear "you're doing just fine" from Mary Marantz (justinandmaryweddings.com), and to be true to our story from Shay Cochrane (shaycochrane.com). Our brand should be authentic and in this creative world we need to be a positive community that builds with each other, not one that tears each other down. I'm blown away by the amount of information that I've taken in and I'm so excited for what is to come! Post conference, Marlayna and I did some exploring of the city. We got to see the Market, Rainbow Row, The Angel Oak, and Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams (who also...

Melissa & Joe

It's a Christmas in July Wedding

On Friday, Shawn and I photographed Melissa and Joe's "Christmas in July" wedding at The Mansion at Valley Country Club. It may have been a hot July day outside, but as soon as we stepped into the mansion it was a cool December evening. Melissa and Joe's guests were blown away at the attention to detail and many mentioned that all that was missing was snow. One of my absolute favorite details from their wedding was their guest book: their amazing florist (Raise Your Glass Event) set up a full Christmas tree in the foyer outside the ballroom with some red and white Christmas bulbs, markers, and hooks set up along side it. Guests were instructed to take a bulb, write their well wishes for the happy couple on it, and then hang it on the Christmas tree. By the end of the night, all that was needed were Christmas gifts for Melissa and Joe's daughter, Eleanora, to open :P. I am absolutely ecstatic to be sharing some of the wonderful images from their day. It is a wedding that Shawn and I will both remember for a lifetime. Thank you to Joe, Melissa, and Eleanora for allowing us to capture your beautiful day!   ______________________________________________________________________________ Melissa's mother made the cake and the delicious smell filled the entire mansion! So good! After their first dance, Joe and Melissa brought their daughter out to the dance floor :) A nice sweet cake cutting and then.... A second round of...

Kerry & Tommy

A Mountain Overlook Engagement

On Sunday, I had the pleasure of photographing Kerry and Tommy's engagement session at Sugarloaf Mountain. We had quite the adventure exploring this location, including: finding a baby snake (the area is home to the copperhead), an exhausting hike up the "stone steps", and a gorgeous view from the summit. Even though we were feeling that hike for a few days afterwards, it was a beautiful evening spent with such a great couple :). These two are longtime friends of mine and (fun fact) I set them up! I've know Kerry and Tommy both separately since high school, and knew they would be perfect for one another back then. Now, playing match maker can be quite difficult: you have to know their personalities, their likes and dislikes, if they can get along, etc.. However, with these two, it was something pretty simple that gave me the light bulb that they would be great together - Anchorman quotes. Good ol' Will Ferrell, haha! It wasn't until college that I was finally able to get Kerry and Tommy to meet, but I think it was well worth the wait. They've been together ever since and have one of the most fun, strongest, and most adventurous relationship. These two really are a perfect fit <3. That was all five years ago! It's incredible how fast time goes by; now these two are getting married and will continue the beautiful life that they have together. I can't wait to see what...

Samantha & John

A Lovely Homestead Engagement

On Sunday, Shawn and I traveled to the Shoemaker Homestead in Taneytown, Maryland for Samantha and John's wonderfully rustic engagement session! It was quite possibly the hottest day of the summer thus far, but that didn't stop these love birds from wrapping each other in sweet hugs. I was able to get glimpse of what their wedding day will be like since Shoemaker Homestead is where these two will be exchanging vows and dancing into the night. It is a breathtakingly gorgeous location and Laura, the owner, is as sweet as can be. I cannot imagine a more perfect place for Samantha and John to be married! Samantha and John both attended York College in Pennsylvania where they actually were neighbors for a bit. However, it wasn't until they ran into each other in Baltimore that they started talking and eventually dating. Being so close to one another, but never even realizing it until your paths cross in some fateful way, is really an amazing thing. I adore when love stories begin before either person even realizes it!   ...

Sara & Charlie

An Engagement at Mt. Aventine Mansion

I met with Sara and Charlie last Tuesday for their initial consultation. From that first meeting, I felt like I had known them for years. Both Shawn and I were unbelievably excited for their wedding. Not long after their meeting, we set up their engagement session for that Thursday at Chapman State Park. I had looked up some photo's online and I was blown away at how perfect it was. A tree lined driveway, fields, and the gorgeous mansion -  it was a dream! The two days that it took until their session felt like a lifetime, haha! During their meeting, Charlie mentioned that the spot that he proposed to Sara at was the same spot that he fell in love with her, and that their relationship just played in slow motion for him while he was proposing (how cute is that?!). I can honestly say that certain parts of their session played very much like a romantic movie with how they lit up in each other's arms. Sara and Charlie were constantly giggling, smiling, and exchanging sweet kisses while overlooking this beautiful piece of land. They are adorable together; with their dog, Hazel, the cuteness is totally on a different level! I'm starting my countdown early for their wedding in September 2016 :P!   :P Look at those eyes! Such a beautiful dog! ...

Hannah & Terry

Emory Grove Hotel Engagement

The morning of Hannah and Terry's engagement session was absolutely gorgeous. The sun covered the entire venue in a beautiful gold, which made every corner of Emory Grove breathtaking! The greatest part was that Emory Grove is where Hannah and Terry are going to be having their wedding. It was such a special morning and seeing these two in their wedding element just made me even more excited for their big day. I'm fairly certain that I hit a new record in awwing, which I'm sure everyone will be doing when they get a glimpse of Hannah and Terry's adorableness. These two are just too cute, and I adore the way they both look at each other. Their moments together during the session were so sweet and genuine that I was constantly doing internal happy dances, haha! I cannot wait for their September wedding! :D   ...

Brittany & Stephen

An Elegant Wedding at Ceresville Mansion

Brittany and Steve are such an amazing couple that Shawn and I are lucky enough to call friends. Getting to witness two people exchanging vows and sweet glances at each other is always something that makes my heart happy, but it's even more special when it's two people that I have gotten to see grow together over the years. After I had the honor of shooting their engagement session, I could not wait for their wedding day. It was a day I had a special countdown for in my phone, and whenever another week would tick by, my giddiness would just skyrocket! Everything about their big day was spot on. From the decorations to the weather there wasn't any more that these two could have asked for! Speaking of the weather and how perfect it was: the week leading up to Brittany and Steve's wedding was a complete wash with flood warnings all throughout Maryland. It rained every single day and there was even a call for rain on the wedding day, but, by the grace of God, the grey clouds cleared and the sun came out right in time for the ceremony. There was a lot to love about this day, but I think one of the best parts was their unity ceremony. I've seen a lot of unity candles and some sand ceremonies, but this was the first time I had seen the making of a PB&J sandwich. It was completely unique and THE cutest thing...

Adventures in South Carolina!

Two weekends ago my best friend, Christy, got married to the love of her life, Nate. I was in the bridal party of this beautiful wedding, and what a change it is from photographing weddings to participating! I actually got to dance! Every wedding I photograph I'm always silently singing along to the music, or tapping my foot, or even doing a light variation of the Night at the Roxbury head bob. I always keep it 100% professional, though :P. But at my best friend's wedding, Shawn and I completely put our dance training to good use and it was a blast! When the weekend was over I was sad about leaving, and even now I'm tearing up a little reliving all of the great moments I had with Christy, Nate, and their family. They now all live in North Carolina and I just need for teleportation to be a thing. Enough sappy stuff. Shawn and I ended up staying an extra day in the South and I just cannot believe how breathtaking it was. We strolled around the wedding site, which was at this great spot called Oldfield River Club and really enjoyed the change of scenery. I now want more than ever to photograph a wedding down in South Carolina or Georgia because those trees are on a totally different level. We went over to the Hilton Head area and determined that it will be our next vacation spot :P. Ate lunch next to the water, played some...

Heather & Tommy

A Fall Engagement

I know I've probably said this a million times before, but my favorite spot to shoot is Patapsco Valley State Park. It seriously has everything anyone could ever need for photos: fields, a cable bridge, rivers, train tracks, and tunnels. Each session I try to get a different look from each spot and I never have trouble finding new and interesting areas. Heather and Tommy are just under 5 months away from their May nuptials and there is no a better season than Fall to take engagement photos (I may be a little biased to the fall :P). The weather on this November morning was actually pretty perfect! The weather was cool, but it wasn't an unbearable freezing. These two just had to get close together in order to forget about the slight chill that ran through the air. I think one of my favorite things from this day was how these two looked at each other. Every time Tommy would look at Heather, a smile would spread across his face that just made it obvious how much he loves her :D. I can't wait for their wedding this Spring!   ...

A Day in the Life

A Christmas Thor-y

This Christmas was pretty cool. I received a lot of great camera stuff from my mom and step-dad and even got a Kinect from them too! What was more fun than the things I got was the fact that the previous night I had spent the whole day with parents and, since I usually stay next door at my grandma's house, I spent the night in my old room. It was a lot of fun getting to wake up on Christmas, go into my parent's room, and bug them at 7:30am, instead of having to call them, and then walk over, and blah blah blah boring stuff! Unfortunately, my mom wouldn't wake up, so I had to sit for 30 minutes with my dog, Thor, by the Christmas tree. I started thinking how his health and spunk haven't been what they use to be and that he's already 10 years old. I decided right there that I would show how Thor's Christmas went, it was a fun little project for the morning and helped past the time while my mom and step-dad slept (but seriously? Who sleeps on Christmas?).   Thor waiting patiently (much better than me) FINALLY! Mom woke up! Ready for presentssssssss   Hahaha   Wasting nooo time (he also stole a lot of his Busy Bones behind our backs)   After chowing on his treats, it was time for breakfast. But Thor's begging got him kicked out of the kitchen :P Thanking Mom for his...