Now booking 2020 weddings & families! 







Tips

My 3 Favorite Questions to Ask Couples

Tips & Tricks

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

Beat the Heat

Tips for Photographers and Couples with Hot Summer Weddings

Now that it's August, it's time for summer days to get longer and hotter. I'm having a terrible time thinking how it could be even hotter than July. But it's definitely possible with how ridiculous the weather has been this year. This season has been undeniably on the warmer side for us. Last weekend, we had Samantha and Tim's wedding happen during the peak of a heat wave. Their wedding was a light bulb moment for Shawn and me on how we handle weddings that are absolute scorchers. The tips that we've been able to pick up over the years have made our ability to manage 100° days in a healthy way. As photographers who prefer to work with natural light, we are constantly running around outside trying to find the best places to shoot. We get sweaty - scratch that - grossly sweaty. It's easy for Shawn and me to forget to drink water, to have a quick snack, and to take a break. While the tips below are primarily for photographers, they can also be helpful to couples or bridal party members looking for smoother photo sessions. A little bit of planning and foresight can prevent a lot of problems down the burning asphalt road. Drink plenty of water Back when I was a kid, I always scoffed when my parents would tell me this. It wasn't until I started running track in high school that I realized: staying hydrated is no joke. Even the smallest...

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...

Timing is Everything

Something Borrowed, Something True

For the first of many installments in the bride-to-bride wedding advice series, I'm going to the most obvious of planning tips: time management. From the questionnaires I send out, timing is the most referenced topic. The thing that surprised me the most in the responses, though, is that timing means different things to a lot of people. It isn't always about giving yourself more months to plan (certainly that comes up) but there are so many other factors to keep in mind during the process. I loved reading all of the responses and I found that getting this type of insight from real couples -- no matter how big or small the advice -- was wonderful. Before I share what these fantastic couples have said, I first want to share from my own personal vault of advice. For Shawn and me, we planned a Friday wedding due to our dream venue being completely booked up two years in advance. The idea of the wedding being on a Friday stressed me out so much. I wanted to be able to have all of our family and friends there and I was afraid that no one would be able to get off of work. I even had an awful nightmare where I showed up to the venue and no one was there, and even Shawn couldn't get off work for his own wedding in this terrible dream world. Pathetic, but such a deep and real fear I had. My...

Something Borrowed, Something True

A New Wedding Advice Series

As part of the process for getting to know our couples, I give all of our brides and grooms a questionnaire to fill out at their leisure in the weeks leading up to their big day. It has all of those technical questions about addresses and times, but the questions get a little deeper and more personal, too. One of my favorite things to read from the questionnaire are the tips that my couples give others who are in the beginning stages of wedding planning. Some of the tips are incredibly practical, like "make a budget and take one thing at a time." But some of the couples took the question to heart and provided a very thought provoking response, which made me start thinking about creating a series where I can share some of this amazing advice. My plan for this series is to focus on all of the great suggestions that my brides offer to help other real brides. Shawn and I have worked with all of these couples, and their heart really shows through in their words. My goal is to give you, my readers, some very useful information if you are -- or someone you know is -- in the thrilling journey of wedding planning! I'm so excited about kicking off this new series on my blog. I hope that it is informative and inspires people to evaluate their own planning process to maximize the awesomeness of their day. I plan on releasing the...