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Summer

Samantha & John's Engagement Spotlight

Shoemaker Homestead

I have been waiting for this day ever since I met with Sam and John a full year ago! These two are the absolute sweetest, and they are getting married tomorrow at one of the prettiest locations, Shoemaker Homestead. Shawn and I got the pleasure to see their gorgeous wedding location during their engagement session, and I was just blown away. There are horses, a beautiful barn and gardens that have the most colorful flowers. If you want to check out their full engagement session feel free to head over to their original blog post. It is truly going to be amazing to see this homestead all ready for Sam and John to be married. Tomorrow is going to look like it's totally out of a magazine! Getting to know these two and their location over the course of their e-session was one of my greatest joys. It really did make this waiting game for tomorrow almost impossible. Leading up to this day, I do have to mention how incredibly organized Sam has been as a bride. I mean, she has been on top of her timeline and her family group shots, which is rare. It's been a total dream to have this super sweet bride keep us in the loop with everything. We get to attend and shoot a little bit of their rehearsal tonight, and I cannot even begin to describe how excited I am to see these two again and meet their families! If their families are...

Should You Do a First Look?

Things to Consider

At this point, more than a few of the wedding planning sites you are on may be telling you to do a first look. They give a run-down of what it is and of all of the good that comes from doing one. Some of those sites may even say that your photographer will tell you to do one. Seriously, though, who am I to say "you must have a first look"? I would be a complete hypocrite if I demanded that; Shawn and I didn't do a first look, and even if we had the chance to go back and have one, we wouldn't. One of the things we both wanted from our day was for the first moment we see each other to be when I was walking down the aisle to him. We instead did an alternative to a first look where we held hands and said a prayer while separated by a door frame. I'm so glad that we did it this way because it was a moment I would never take back for anything. It was special and real and -- yes -- there were tears <3. We knew in our case a first look wouldn't work. Shawn and I talked about it, we made our photographer aware of our alternate idea, and we planned our timeline accordingly. I had where we would be during that last hour of light for sunset all mapped out. I think the most important thing, if...

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...

April & Corey

An Enchanted Wedding at Liriodendron Mansion

Shawn and I finished August with April and Corey's Alice in Wonderland inspired wedding at Liriodendron Mansion. It was a breathtaking day, and most of the decor for the day was made by April, which was even more amazing. On top of the Wonderland details there was a huge surprise for their guests during the ceremony when a live hawk flew in and delivered their wedding rings! I had been looking forward to their wedding day since I met these two last Fall for their engagement session, and I knew then that they are the perfect pair. Getting to read their engagement story just solidified that thought even more "Corey knows I have a love for animals. One day he took me to the Maryland zoo in Baltimore and surprised me by telling me that we were going on a behind the scenes tour of the penguin exhibit! We were able to go in the penguin exhibit and be surrounded by dozens of curious penguins. The zoo keeper giving us the tour asked if we wanted a picture, which we definitely did! So when we got together to take the photo Corey got down on one knee and proposed. Of course I said YES!!! Even the penguins were excited for us; both Corey and I got little nibbles on the leg from our penguin audience!" How adorable! April and Corey are two of the sweetest people with the biggest hearts. I loved getting to know them and...

Kristy & Jonathan

An Annapolis Waterfront Engagement

I had been looking forward to Kristy and Jonathan's engagement session since we first started planning it in June. We had some trouble finding a date that worked for everyone, but when we finally were able to meet, it ended up being one of the most beautiful days of the summer. Their session kicked off at St. John's College, which was an amazing location with tons of intimate and romantic spots. From there, we wandered around the streets of Annapolis taking advantage of the gardens and all the cute side streets. Kristy and Jonathan are a really amazing couple. They are so laid back and - as everyone will see - adorable together! They have such fun personalities, which became really apparent when Jonathan changed into a button-up taco shirt. How fantastic is that? Their engagement session got Shawn and I even more pumped for their September wedding. They were discussing some of the details with us during our downtown stroll and I just know it's going to be a wonderful day!   ...

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...

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!   ...

Jenny & Kristina

An Engagement in Washington, DC

I adore these photos. These two women are the best. It was so easy to photograph them because they just make each other so incredibly happy. I'm pretty sure all I did this whole session was smile after every click. Their session was my first one in DC and I do not think we could have had a better time. We didn't get chased off any monuments, we had a squirrel audience, and we checked out the Library of Congress - an all around fantastic first shoot in the city! The squirrel was literally the most entertaining animal I've ever seen - it was so interested in what we were doing that I thought for a second it was going to climb up Jenny's leg for a close-up view of their posing. Thank goodness that it didn't, but I did get some pretty funny shots to remember the moment by :P.   ______________________________________________________________________________ ...

Laura and Michael

Clipper Mill Engagement Session

I met with Laura and Michael at Clipper Mill in the early morning hours of a bright sunny Saturday. Before we even started, I could see the glances that Laura and Michael gave each other, the big smiles, and small excited giggles, and I knew this was going to be an amazing session. They radiate when they are together and they spread it to other people as well because all throughout the shoot I couldn't help but smile and constantly say, "Awwwww"! We spent a good portion of the morning in the Clipper Mill area, and when we had fully exhausted the area, Laura suggested another gorgeous spot in the city - Preston Gardens Park. All around that area is just highway and asphalt; then you come to the park and it's like a little piece of perfection smack dab in the city. We finished up at the gorgeous fountain with a little impromptu dance between these two lovely people. I love being right about a session being amazing :P. Laura and Michael, I am so happy that I get to be a part of your big day and am looking forward to your beautiful December wedding!     ...

Thomas and Jessica

A Washington College Engagement

When I crossed the bridge into Chestertown, MD I was transported to a place I was not expecting. Washington College is set among a quaint little town right on the water with sailboats and fishing happening all around. I passed little shops and many people out and around a little fountain in the heart of the town. The campus is made up of classic architecture, which fit the name of the president the college represented. I understood why Thomas and Jessica picked the school that they attended to be the backdrop for their engagement session. Thomas and Jessica are not just normal alumni, that graduate and never look back, they told me facts about the campus and stories of their time there and really showed me how much they loved the school they hailed from. I enjoyed listening to all of their stories while they giggled to each other and made silly faces at one another. As the sun set, they showed me an area away from the campus that had views of the beautiful water. As I was snapping my last few images a lone, colorful, sailboat wandered into the shot. Perfect. Thomas and Jessica, you both have so much love for each other and I can't wait to celebrate that in just a couple months! ...

Lili and Alexis

A Fun Waterfront Couples' Session

In April, my friend Alexis (who some may remember) asked me about photographing her and her girlfriend, Lili. Unfortunately, we were all extra busy in April and May, but luckily in June we all were able to get together at Quiet Waters Park in Annapolis. Quiet Waters has to be one of my favorite spots, since it's so pretty and there are ALWAYS lots of places to shoot at; it seems like new places pop up each time :P. No matter how many times I photograph there, the people I am with always give the area a different kind of energy, which is my favorite part of the photo-taking. Lili and Alexis are so goofy, and filled with so much happiness and love. Even though this was just the second time I was meeting Lili (the first being at Leah and Glenn's wedding), I felt like we had been friends for such a long time - it was a wonderful time and I'm looking forward to sharing their images! :D   So perfect, right? Oh my goodness! :D ...

Lindsay and Stephanie

A Beautiful Summer Massachusetts Engagement

On June 1st, I had the pleasure of traveling up to Massachusetts to meet Lindsay and Stephanie and shoot their engagement photos. I had been in contact with them for a few months, but we had never gotten a chance to meet because of the distance in our home states. When my assistant (my fiance :P) and I arrived at their house (that they so graciously opened to us) I felt like I had known these two for years. They are absolutely wonderful and two of the nicest people I think I could ever have the chance to meet. For their engagement session, they had two locations planned out, the first was very close to their wedding venue in Bradley Palmer State Park. The park was gorgeous, vibrant, and the sun coming through the trees just made everything so warm and comforting. After about an hour at the park we ventured to our second location, which was Crane Beach on Crane Estates. The beach was absolutely fantastic! The weather was clear and perfect, the crowds were not overbearing and there was this great mansion on a beautiful green hill in the background. I cannot thank Lindsay and Stephanie enough for allowing me to shoot their engagement photos. If this was any indication of how their wedding is going to go, well, I am ecstatic and looking forward to their wedding more than anything else!     ...

Adventures in the Park

Take a Hike

So on Saturday, my boyfriend, Shawn, and I went to Patapsco State Park because it was close to my house and we wanted to go walk some trails. It was a pretty cool day (temperature wise) and fun to get out and do something natury :). I took my camera and took a bunch of pictures of the trails, trees, and of course Shawn :P. He actually didn't mind me having my camera pointed at him most of the time, he is a big ham so I think he enjoyed it quite a bit. Anyway, we stayed out there for about an hour and a half and then walked back since the park was closing at 8:30 and it was currently 8:40 :P. I took a little looksy at the images and decided that I haven't played enough with this pack of filters I got for Photoshop, so I did that! Got some cool results with it and I only used like....4 of the different color effects on my images and there are about 100 others! I gots a lot of fun ahead of me! :D IMAGE TIME!     ...