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Maryland Wedding Photographer

The Manor House at Commonwealth Magical Wedding

Andy & Arthur

I can't think of a better way to end the year than with Andy and Arthur's wedding at The Manor House at Commonwealth. It was honestly such a perfect day. Now, it did look like it was going to rain, but that had no impact on the calm and happy mood.  Weddings are absolutely magical to me. I use the word magic to describe weddings 99% of the time because I'm obsessed with the concept. Magic doesn't have to be sparks flying from a wand, or gross ingredients mixed in a cauldron. It can be a feeling. A feeling that leaves your stomach doing flips and ready to do everything. It's exactly what I was feeling the second we saw Andy on Saturday.  Even more exciting? We got to experiment with a new type of wedding portraits. Since both Andy and Arthur weren't feeling a First Look, but wanted photos at the Manor House in the daylight, we tried something else! We've dubbed it the "Save the Surprise" portraits because it has all of the fun of regular portraits, but the groom never sees the bride! Yup, Arthur kept his eyes either closed, or in a different direction from Andy for their first set of portraits. We got to wander around the Manor House with the last bit of daylight AND have Arthur surprised when he saw Andy coming down the aisle. Legitimately Hannah Montana-ing with the best of both worlds.  Ohh, it was such...

Chic Love at Mt. Washington Mill Dye House Wedding

Leni & Danny

We have a handful of venues that are our favorites, and Mt. Washington Mill Dye House is one of those places. Every single wedding that takes place at the Dye House is always perfection! I don't know what is about this magical location, but it just brings out the beauty in everything. Coupling that with Leni and Danny's fully realized vision by Celebrations, LLC, the day was elevated more.  There are not enough adjectives in the world to describe our feelings over witnessing Leni and Danny's day. Start to finish, it was full of love, romance, and family. The sense of togetherness was not only present within Leni and Danny's relationship, but also throughout their family and friends. They created a day that was so connected, and welcoming. Honestly, the second we walked into the bridal suite, we didn't just feel like photographers, we felt like friends.  Leni and Danny have this aura around them that is so inviting. They are completely lovely, and when they get to giggling together it's THE sweetest thing. It's gonna sound real creepy, but I adore watching them interact with each other. They are always showing their affection for one another, either in a light back touch, or holding hands. Even the way they look at each other shows the spark of their connection. It's a romance for the ages, and I feel so lucky to see! It only makes sense that the romance had a fairytale wedding day to match. Mt...

Washington, D.C. Tidal Basin Sunrise Engagement

Michelle & Arby

There hasn't been too many glorious, gorgeous days this summer. There's been a few, but not enough. It's been so humid that sometimes it's hard to breathe. However, that all changed for Michelle and Arby's engagement session. On the morning of their session, it was breezy, sunny, and cool. It was honestly the most perfect morning to be out and about at the Tidal Basin. Every second spent outside was enjoyable and - for once this summer - we didn't leave a session needing to tap into our spare clothes that we keep in the trunk :P.  This will be the 6,403,692 time I say this, but it rings true all the time: make your engagement session location special! Michelle and Arby chose the Tidal Basin for their engagement because it was where Arby asked Michelle to be his wife. They were surrounded by cherry blossoms and the cool spring air. There wasn't another place for their session to take place at because the Tidal Basin WAS it. It's such a sentimental place for these two. So when they mentioned they were interested in doing their session there, I was immediately on board. We also don't get to do too many sessions in DC, so a change of scenery was very welcomed :P.  Getting to spend the morning both of them was so great. They are easy to chat with and, um, REAL adorable. They just look at each other and start giggling. If that doesn't...

Love and Cookies at this Chanteclaire Farm Wedding

Emily & Mario

I have been waiting for Fall to show itself since the beginning of September. Now I realize that it was waiting for Emily and Mario's wedding to make it's grand entrance. Pulling up to Chanteclaire Farm in Friendsville, Maryland was like something out of a movie. Rolling clouds, rod iron gate, and a tree lined gravel road put us in a dreamland right away.  There were more than a few times that Shawn and I BOTH teared up during Emily and Mario's day. The first was when Mario read Emily's card. Her words to her soon-to-be husband were sweet and personal (and they didn't end up picking the same card, which Emily had low-key worried about :P). The second moment that got us was the first look between Emily and her dad. These few minutes ALWAYS get me, especially when dad let's his tears flow. Lastly, the part of the day that got me real good was when we were pulling away from Chanteclaire Farm. Reflecting on the day and the great energy from everyone made me feel so happy for Emily and Mario, I couldn't help but let a few tears fall! These two made this day incredibly sentimental and full of love. Yes, love generally does appear in a wedding day. But what Emily and Mario brought wasn't just love for each other, it was love for every single individual that a part of their day. They have a way of making every person they come in...

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...

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 ...

Alyssa & Ryan

A Gorgeous Engagement at Quiet Waters

This Saturday, Shawn and I spent the day with an amazing couple at Quiet Waters Park in Annapolis. It was one of the few days in May that wasn't plagued with rain, so we were able to get outside and really explore the park for Alyssa and Ryan's engagement session. Unfortunately for us, everyone else seemed to have the same idea, so we had to be extra diligent in finding interesting spots that weren't crowded with photographers. The thing that I love about Quiet Waters, though, is that around every corner is something new. There's gardens by the Blue Heron Center, fields by the amphitheater, and tons of trails. Add in how adorable of a pair Alyssa and Ryan are, and the crowded park wasn't an issue at all. My absolute favorite part about every single engagement session is getting to know the couple better over the course of shooting. We end up spending over an hour together, and typically there is a shared adventure mixed in there somewhere. For Alyssa and Ryan's session, there was the discovery that the road to the waterfront area was completely closed. I'm not a rebel in even the tamest sense of the word, so while it would have been easy to just hop over the barriers and try to make our way down the torn up road, Alyssa and Ryan were more than happy to go and explore an open hiking trail nearby. They were total troopers, and it definitely paid off, since...

Making Tough Calls When it Comes to Guests

Something Borrowed, Something True

Guests liven up a wedding like no other. From emotions during the ceremony to wobble skills during the reception, guests add an extra layer of fun to any day. However, before the wedding, it can be a little daunting coordinating for all the attendees. There's addresses to gather, families to figure out, and seating charts to map to maximize everyone's enjoyment. I know from my own experiences that it can be exhausting, but the thing that worked for Shawn and me when taking them all on: set a cap on guests and hold strong to that number. For our wedding, Shawn and I decided that we would do a couple of things in order to keep our list manageable. Our first decision was to not invite children except for the two in the bridal party (my niece and nephew). The second thing we decided early on was to keep our family invites to parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and first cousins. Shawn has a huge family, and while we didn't want to exclude anyone, we had to think of costs and what wedding size we could manage. The last thing we did was to put the number of seats that were being held in their honor on our guests RSVP cards. We kept this to just two seats for each of our guests, and they were super respectful of our request. I've heard horror stories of people crossing out these numbers and writing in their own, but luckily, our...

6 Tips for Emailing Styled Shoot Vendors

For the Creative

Continuing my series on organizing a styled shoot, one of the most crucial parts to planning and executing a styled shoot is connecting with other creatives. Sure it may be possible for you to make invites or put together bouquets, but why would you want to if that isn't your specialty? In photography, it's kind of like thinking a cell phone will be the same quality as a DSLR. The easiest and most organized way to connect with others is to email the vendors you think would best fit your plan for the shoot. You can lay out your ideas after research, send them links to Pinterest, and give them a feel of your personality. I'm a big advocate for text messages instead of taking phone calls (sorry mom), so emailing is where I find the biggest benefits to communicating. 1. Create a canned response email. When Marlayna and I were reaching out to vendors, we used a canned response that allowed us to save writing time, which conveyed who we were to our new connections. We tried to cover the date that we had in mind, the general location (we hadn't yet finalized a venue), and what we were looking for. This allowed vendors to see that we were serious and had our thoughts in order. The only change we made to each message was to add some personalization. Here is an example of one of our canned responses to a local dress shop (name redacted since we...

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...

3 Reasons Why You Should Not Direct Message Vendors on Social Media

Tips & Tricks

Social media is a resource difficult to live without in today's society. Of course, there are those strong individuals who can go more than a day without checking their accounts or uploading selfies, but they are in the minority of people. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and even Tumblr, are all platforms for people to showcase their personalities and find people that they want to know more about. In most cases, these vessels are also used by professionals to display their talents and attract potential clients. One really awesome feature that most sites boast is the ability to direct message (DM). It's an amazing resource that allows you to stay connected with friends and keep up with the people you may have lost touch with. It's an important feature in the world of social media, but a lot of times, we don't realize the short-comings that can also surface from it. Today, I want to spend a little bit of time talking about the problems with DMing your potential wedding vendors instead of reaching out via email or their website. If this can save one message from getting lost and bring you closer to the vendor of your dreams, then it has done the job :).   The 3 Reasons Why You Should Not Direct Message Your Wedding Vendors: 1. The Message Request Folder The biggest problem I see with DMing is when you message someone's personal account, your inquiry will most likely end up in an alternate area that...

8 Reasons Why You Should Consider Doing a Bridal Session

Tips and Tricks

Weddings today are a lot different from what they were 30 years ago. There is less of a hold on tradition and more focus on relaxed fun. Certainly, I'm not saying that people didn't have fun at their weddings in a pre-Pinterest time, but we cannot deny that there has been a shift in what couples are doing for during and before their nuptials. There are engagement sessions, first looks and styled elopements. Things that my parents never thought of doing are now staples in the wedding planning process. Bridal sessions are a major event that I feel is on the rise in popularity. A few years ago, these shoots mainly involved just the bride, but I'm seeing more and more couples do these together, and it's pretty awesome. For those who aren't familiar, if an engagement shoot and a first look decided to have a child, a bridal session would be the final product. They are a lot like an engagement shoot in choosing a location that isn't your wedding venue, but the bride gets to be in her gown and the groom is in his suit. Usually these sessions are done right around when your hair and make-up trial happens, since you can take advantage of being all fancied up with the cosmetic style you'll have on the big day. A lot of the time, family likes to attend, which is great because there are a lot more hands on deck and they get to be more...

Maximize Your Time with Your Photographers

from Shawn

Shawn here! Today's blog post is an advice post for people preparing for their wedding, but it also applies to any Maids of Honor, Best Men, or parents who want to help out their friends and family. We have seen a lot of different weddings as photographers, and each one has it's own unique blend of personalities and attitudes. Some of our couples have are very diligent with a schedule and planning, others like to play the day by ear. Families can be extremely helpful and attentive to the bride and groom or they can be more excited about seeing family that live across the country. But when it comes to capturing your day, we want to make sure you get the best quality possible. There are some simple steps you can make before you get swept up in the day that will help us immensely into packing as much as we can into our limited time. Before the Wedding It seems that couples are usually so excited about getting married, they unfortunately overlook the hours before they even prepare to say "I do." It's important to remember that it's your "Big Day" and not just your "Big Few Hours." The time prior is just as critical to the success and enjoyment of your wedding, and it's very easy to underestimate how much time and energy is put into the first few hours of your time with us. Leave Time for the Details One of...

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!   ______________________________________________________________________________ ...

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...

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     ...

The Beginning Steps to Organizing a Styled Shoot

For the Creative

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a little bit about the styled shoot that my friend, Marlayna, and I put together. The time leading up to the shoot was exciting, frustrating, and - at times - overwhelming. But we kept pushing forward, because we knew at the end something great was waiting for us. We truly weren't expecting all of the hard-work and beauty that everyone contributed to this day. Even though our final images have to stay under-wraps for now, I wanted to start a conversation about the behind the scenes of the shoot. As I said earlier, there was a lot that Marlayna and I put into this, and I feel like there is so much that we can share regarding the process of planning and executing. I am totally aware that there is just too much information for one blog, so I'll be organizing my posts into the different parts of a styled shoot. Organization is the key to staying sane. If you are planning a styled shoot either on your own or with a fellow creative, please utilize a service like Google Drive. I cannot tell you enough how huge this was in keeping us on track and professional. The ability to have a cloud system that can share spreadsheets and documents is a total lifesaver. For our shoot, we started by creating a shared folder. Anything that we needed from that point was readily available in the form of a spreadsheet...

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...

Why I Have a Wedding Day Questionnaire

Getting to Know You

One the emails that I look forward to sending to our couples is their wedding day questionnaire. The main reason we send this out is because it allows Shawn and I to get to know the couple on a deeper level, and I love seeing what they type out. The form itself is split into different categories that, when completed, paints us a perfect picture of the wedding day. Of course, there are basic logistical questions that cover locations, honeymoon length, the main contact's phone number, etc. But then there are sections that are dedicated to the bridal party, family, and vendors. It's extremely in-depth (and a lot to fill-in), but when Shawn and I originally planned out the sections, we tried hard to include some fun questions so that it isn't overwhelming for anyone. I also have a whole section dedicated to items "For the Blog" that asks the couple questions about their relationship and wedding. This part has to be my favorite, because the answers vary so much, but are always incredibly sweet. Usually the first question I check when I get a finished questionnaire is: "When did you know he/she was the one for you". That one question makes me tear up pretty much 100% of the time, because I feel like I'm getting a glimpse into the relationship that isn't commonly heard from. The biggest thing that I encourage with my questionnaire is to have fun with it. Shawn and I want to get...

Instagram's New Sorting (The Sky is Not Falling)

From Shawn

Hi everyone. Shawn again, and I'm here to present some news that interests me on more than a few levels. As a computer scientist with a special interest in the technology that makes sites like Facebook and Google tick, I've been watching the discussion about the major changes to Instagram. For those not in the know, Instagram is changing the way the news feed is sorted. Previously, your Instagram feed was reverse chronological ordering, with the most recent posts showing up at the top. The new ordering is going to use a mix of machine learning and magic (okay, mostly machine learning) to tailor your feed to how it thinks you would appreciate the content. Some people are scared this means the death of small businesses, enough to form an online petition to request a reversal of the decision. As a co-owner of a small business, I understand how there can be a strong fear of these changes that might make an already difficult job even harder. This is actually going to have an effect on getting content published, which is one of the hardest things as a small business. And it's scary enough trusting another company, let alone some mysterious algorithm. I'm here to tell you that everything is probably going to be okay, whether you are a purveyor of images or a casual Instagram user. Engagement and Instagram The excellent Instagram post scheduling site Latergramme has a blog post discussing the changes. It's worth a read, regardless...

Meeting with Your Photographer

Conversations Beyond Email

This past weekend, Shawn and I had two client meetings. These chat sessions are always really exciting to me because it's the chance to get to know someone and have comfortable conversations with them. After the meetings, I started to think of how important it is to me that Shawn and I get to have this time with our potential couples. I know I'm not the only one that is at least a little different in face-to-face conversations versus email. I am well aware that while my emails are thought out with conservative exclamation point placement and carefully typed words, real life me is just a ball of excitement that makes a lot of high pitched sounds when proposal stories are shared. It's a high priority to make time to get to know who you will be capturing your love on your wedding day. I know when meeting your photographer, there are time commitments to be considered and other places to be. But the best part about living in today's world is that we have the capability to meet over the Internet with services like Skype and Google Hangouts. For one of the meetings this weekend, Shawn and I got to virtually meet with the bride who was out of the country for school. Sure, we had to worry about the occasional lag, but the meaning and excitement behind the call was still there. Shawn and I still got to see the personality of this particular bride and she...

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."  ...

Instagram Analytics

Rising Tide Society Feature

Today has been such a productive and fantastic day! For one, my fellow photo-friend, Marlayna, and I have been working tirelessly on a really amazing styled shoot. Also, an article I wrote for the Rising Tide Society went live this morning! A few weeks ago I wrote my first technical blog post about finding the best time to post on Instagram, which included a short paragraph on three different analytic providers. After I wrote  the blog, I realized that I wanted to expand on the idea and reach a broader audience, since the information I gathered could be used by pretty much anyone. So I started digging deeper into my numbers investigation and honed in on what it was I wanted to provide people with: affordable resources that could be use to gain insight into your Instagram. I submitted a brief (although brief for me is 3 paragraphs, haha) synopsis of my goal and then I crossed my fingers that they would agree my ideas would be beneficial to the community. When I got word that my topic was something that RTS wanted to read more about, I did a short little happy dance and promptly started pacing back and forth thinking of the right words to include in the article. I was ecstatic, and it showed in my 2000+ word write up. Poor Shawn had to go through and edit my ridiculous word count down about four times (thanks, Shawny :P). I have never felt as confident as...

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...

How We Spend Our Off-season Weekends

No, this post isn't covering every single off-season weekend in the Squire household. If I went over the entire winter we've had that would be an incredibly long post and mostly just talking about how staying up to play the video game The Witness messed up our sleep cycle after a few late nights working the different puzzles. I have to thank my friend, Marlayna, for the game recommendation and subsequent obsession that Shawn and I now have :P. When we weren't busy drawing puzzle solutions, we spent a good portion of our Saturday and Sunday outside running around with our Pony pup. Thank goodness for the amazing weather, because we had been wanting to take Pony hiking since we first started the process of adopting him. We chose to stay close to home for this first adventure and went to Patapsco Valley's Cascade Falls Trail. Since Sunday was basically a preview of Spring, the hike to the waterfall was fun, easy, and I was able to take photos! (Something that wasn't fun, though, was figuring out that our little angel needs leash training.) We also got to take Pony to his very first dog park for his BFF, Benny's, first birthday party. Happy belated birthday to that adorable little furbaby :D! While these relaxing weekends are nice to recharges our batteries, Shawn and I are looking forward to the 2016 weddings and engagement shoots. I've been reading up and attending a lot of educational webinars that I know...

Venues I Hope to Photograph

Manifesting Dreams

As Shawn pointed out in his post on Monday, when he arrived back home from Arizona, he shared with me an itsy bitsy cold. I am a very dramatic sick person, so I was pretty much out of commission for a day or two. While sprawled out on the couch and binge watching Modern Family, I started to think about all the venues I've had the opportunity to shoot and all of the ones I have only been dreaming to photograph at. I've heard previously that when you want to make something happen, you should put it out in the world because it may manifest itself into reality. After awhile I started to really believe in that and started to be a little more genuine to myself. I was truly surprised in the effect that it had on my life and the positivity that it brought. So, naturally, I have started trying to work the magic into Britney Clause Photography. When Shawn joined me in 2015, he started to experience these beautiful places and adventures with me. After he came aboard, I really started to expand my view on what, where, and who I wanted to photograph. The "where" got me especially excited because I know there are an extraordinary amount of amazing venues in Maryland alone. So when I opened up my mind to all of the possibilities - oh man - that made me start to imagine big things for the future. I have a ton...

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...

Our Trip to Providence, Rhode Island

Travelin' with the Squires

I have a feeling this year is going to be a big traveling year for Shawn and me. Between conferences for Shawn and me just tagging along for the room service, I just know we are going to be able to experience some really, really beautiful places together. Our first trip of the new year was to Providence, Rhode Island. Shawn had a research meeting up at Brown, and when he asked me if I would want to go with him and make a weekend of it, I jumped at the chance. I love whenever we get to escape and spend time in a new city together. Since neither of us had ever been to Providence, it sounded like a great time to go and explore. When we arrived we found out that winter in Providence wasn't the greatest tourist time, which kind of makes sense because of the cold, but it was still super creepy to be in an empty city. Seriously, we ate at a restaurant for a couple hours and were the only patrons. I imagine that our presence was pretty exciting to our waitress (and the bartender), haha! Shawn had his meeting on Friday, so while he was gone I stayed in the hotel room and worked on developing a new venture that I am really excited for. Currently, it's still in the development stages and I'm searching for designers for logos, so I'm staying very hush about it for now (sorry :P)! That night we...