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Wedding Photographers In Maryland

A Foxhill Park Sunset Engagement Session

Erin & Chris

Last Wednesday, Shawn and I traveled to Foxhill Park in Bowie for Erin and Chris's engagement session. Shawn and I were so excited to meet up with Erin and Chris along with Chris's sons, Carson and Reece. Erin and I had been texting back and forth leading up to their session, so I already felt like we already knew each other. As an added bonus and making us love them even more, they got us a bottle of wine as a gift! How friggin' sweet?!  My favorite part of their engagement shoot is it doubling as a family session. Involving Chris's sons really made the evening extra special. Carson and Reece added a lot of laughs to the photos as they heckled Erin and Chris from afar, hahah! But seriously, these boys are so well behaved and kind. It was amazing getting to meet them and see their excitement for their dad and Erin's big day. It's important to note that this was our first time at this location and, oh my goodness, what a hidden gem! There's such an old world charm to this park with a stone bridge and towering trees. I seriously felt like we accidentally traveled to Ireland for a second. On top of all of that, the park is pretty small, so it is incredibly easy to navigate around. Everyone needs to check this park out!  Before the evening ended, there was a quick outfit change and a stop at the baseball field...

A Must-See Emory Grove Hotel Wedding

Christa & Grant

Pulling up to the Emory Grove Hotel, I was armed with my weather app and rain coat. Shawn and I were so ready for crazy elements, because the entire week there was a 100% chance of thunderstorms. But wouldn't you know, there was someone looking out for these two, and the rain didn't come until we were all safely indoors eating dinner.  A wedding like Grant and Christa's doesn't happen often. The family bond, the friends surrounding them, and the sense of togetherness all fit into the day perfectly. There's an electricity in the air that let's you know "this is going to be awesome" - and it was. My absolute favorite moment has to be when Christa opened her gift from Grant. Neatly packaged was a sweet note, a bible given to Grant for his dedication as a baby, and a bracelet Grant had bought while in Zambia before meeting Christa. Gifts that were destined for Grant's future wife that he had kept specifically for the wedding day. I'm getting chills all over again!  If there is ever two people that deserve all the love and happiness in the world, it's these two. They simultaneously kept so many wedding traditions, while also making the day unique. Their ceremony decor in the tabernacle reflected their rustic Americana inspiration, while the recessional parade made every single guest feel like they had a role in the wedding. No detail was too small to be thought about, which made the...

5 of the Best Groom Reactions

Wedding Day Cheer

You know how sometimes you just need to do something that will make you smile? Not anything ridiculous, just something that will make you feel good. This week, I've been working on some pretty exciting things, but I gotta admit: I'm feeling a little tired. I needed this post to just be me writing about something I adore, and one of my favorite things is amazing groom reactions. What can I say, I'm a sucker for a dude that isn't afraid to share his heart.  Over the years, we have seen many different groom reactions. There's been laughter, deep breathing, tears, and so many more. Every groom reaction is so full of joy and it truly makes the wedding feel complete. We've seen guests, of course, be excited to see the bride, but what we see more of are guests taking bets on a great reaction from the groom. It's so funny to watch grandpa study the face of his grandson, waiting for the reaction of a lifetime.  At this point in the season, we've experienced a full gamut of emotions. The groom reactions have been extra stellar this year, and I really just want to show off a handful of them. Like I said earlier, these images all make me feel ridiculously happy, and I wanted to bottle that happiness up into a blog post :).  1. Smiling so hard your jaw hurts 2. "Can you believe this?!" 3. A quick moment of...

6 Money Saving Secrets for Your Wedding

Tips & Tricks

When Shawn and I were planning our wedding, we cut corners in a ton of ways. We made our own centerpieces and cake stands, and I learned calligraphy specifically for the invitations. Having the wedding we wanted for a price we could manage is important, and I know we aren't the only ones who were looking for money saving secrets. Now, don't think that DIYing is the only way to save money. Finding savings in any area of a wedding is a big boost for anyone's big day. After all, less money spent elsewhere means more money on the things you care about most!   Since we are wedding photographers and see so many beautiful days, and so many crafty brides and grooms that truly put us to shame. We've been able to witness the best ways to save money, while still throwing one epic party. There's probably way more than 6 money saving secrets, but this quick list will help any couple cut costs and stress. It's your big day, and none of the preparation should be spent arguing over a budget. Do It Yourself (DIY) Decorations We aren't saying couples have to DIY every decoration, but every little bit does counts. If you can save money by creating your own centerpieces or arbor, then there's the flexibility to put that money elsewhere. You want a dream day, and there's nothing saying that you can't have that while also putting a sweat into creating something amazing. One of...

4 Questions to Ask Yourself

Finding "The One" Wedding Photographer

While preparing for your big day and hoping it all comes together, it's easy to feel like the dating process all over again. Balancing the bittersweet emotions of anticipation, excitement, fear, and hopefulness. This is especially true for your wedding photographers, who you are entrusting with preserving a huge life event for generations. That's a big responsibility, even when you are dealing with those of us who have years of experience and knowledge. You only get one chance for your wedding. So how do you know it is a good choice you can be excited about? They might meet your checklist of requirements, but is that sufficient to finding the perfect wedding photographer? Finding "The One" Wedding Photographer Having gone through it ourselves, we know that feeling of searching for the perfect wedding vendors. Besides budget and guest list, it's one of the biggest stressors of preparing your nuptials. First, there's the balance between cost and value, finding vendors who have quality work but won't break the bank. Then you hope they are available on your date. You spend some time in meetings or email exchanges before narrowing down to one vendor. Finally, you weigh out your options and put money down to lock them in for your date. Everything is finalized, and the commitment is real. So, before you invest, what are some important questions you two can ask yourselves to be certain you won't feel buyer's remorse? Editing Style Does their editing style match what I want...

A Sweet Liriodendron Mansion Wedding

Melissa & JJ

Melissa and JJ couldn't have asked for a more gorgeous day at the Liriodendron Mansion. The temperature was great, the Maryland humidity was manageable, and the 70% chance of rain never materialized! It was what you expect for a perfect summer day, and it makes me so happy that it fell on Melissa and JJ's wedding! Before I go jumping in, this place may look very familiar. Well, that's because we actually shot another wedding there the previous evening! The Liriodendron is so grand, we chose to hit it up the very next day, haha! Seriously, though, this venue is absolutely so stunning. Melissa and JJ found THE greatest venue for their vows and gathering of loved ones. I think the awe of this venue hits everyone a little differently. Some people walk right through to the ceremony space, face the mansion, and get are awed with all the architectural beauty. Others see what's going on inside of the mansion, and are charmed by the history. It's a fantastic place to kick off your lives together and give your guests more than they ever bargained for ;P. Something I really enjoyed about Melissa and JJ's wedding is that they fit so well together. Not only as a couple, but also with their families. Melissa's three niece's adore JJ, and it was THE cutest thing to see them grab his arm and just hold onto him. I feel like kids are the ultimate judges of character, and the way JJ interacts...

An Inspiring Liriodendron Mansion Wedding

Jillian & Robbie

What an incredible wedding to witness! Jillian and Robbie are married and I am still lost in all of the wonderfulness. I'm sure my excitement was obvious from their engagement spotlight. However, their day at the Liriodendron Mansion was even better than I imagined. The emotions were so powerful, and everyone was so happy for these two. It was a fantastic gathering in a gorgeous space! Pulling up to the Liriodendron Mansion, I was instantly hit with so much joy. I expected Shawn to tell me to get it together, but he was also feeling giddy. I cannot stress enough how great of an impact these two left on us. Their sweetness and love for one another is one of a kind. Right before their first look, Robbie's hands were shaking, but when he finally saw Jillian, the nerves calmed a bit and the biggest smile spread across his face. They immediately wrapped each other up in comforting hugs and started giggling.  When it came time for the ceremony, the sun was shining and the mood was pure elation. Seriously, about a week ago, the forecast was nothing but rain. But now that the day had arrived, the most gorgeous golden light shown through the trees. I honestly do not believe these two could have asked for a more perfect day! Their handwritten vows to each other, the little smirks Jillian kept passing to Robbie, and Robbie's mom holding on tight to her dad's hand. It all added to...

Jerusalem Mill Engagement Session

Melissa & JJ's Spotlight!

The day is finally here! Melissa and JJ's wedding has arrived. Last Fall, we met up with Melissa and JJ at the always beautiful Jerusalem Mill. We made sure to get there early to beat the crowd, and we were lucky enough to catch some morning fog. It was so wonderful seeing these two and hanging out for the morning. Anyone that gets up at sunrise for their session wins so many respect points from us, haha! The fall morning at Jerusalem Mill was a perfect atmosphere for Melissa and JJ's session. The red barn, the ruins, and the river all offered a unique vibe to the session. I loved how rustic, but modern their engagement felt. Not to mention, adding in a couple that is really, really fun pushes the session to a whole new level. From the very moment we kicked off the shoot, Melissa and JJ were smiling and having a good time. Is there anything better than a cool location and a great couple? I don't think so! As we get ready to head out to Melissa and JJ's wedding at Liriodendron Mansion, I am overcome with joy. If I have to guess how the day will go, the only word I can think of is: flawless. I think their day is going to be very heart-felt and beautiful. They have a terrific relationship, and their love for one another will shape this day into everything they ever dreamed of. Ahh! Shawn and I cannot wait...

Susquehanna State Park Engagement

Jillian & Robbie's Spotlight

It's wedding time! I cannot believe that it is Jillian and Robbie's big day tomorrow. It seriously feels like yesterday when we met up at Susquehanna State Park for their engagement session. In actuality, their session was way back in October, haha! I don't know where the time has gone, but I'm really happy it's finally here. That said, it's not really wedding time until I revisit their engagement in a spotlight post! The thing I loved the most about their engagement was the incredibly special spot they chose. Susquehanna State Park is a place that is familiar to these two. They are so attached to it, Robbie actually proposed in the park, with a photographer in the bushes capturing it all. When Jillian and I were first emailing, she sent me the proposal photo, and it was in that moment I fell for these two. They are 100% the sweetest pair, and it shows in everything they do together! From beautiful fields to gorgeous water front, Susquehanna has it all. Wandering around the park with Jillian and Robbie, it became obvious why they love it. The park is amazing, and they even have some old railroad tracks going right through it. I'm going to anxiously awaiting our next visit, haha! I already know their day is going to be memorable. They are exchanging vows at the Liriodendron Mansion, which is breath-taking. Witnessing their day is going to be a dream come true. Jillian and Robbie are wonderful...

An Unbelievable Annapolis Engagement Session

Christa & Grant

There's something special about sunrise engagement sessions! I don't know if it's the way the world looks or what, but sunrise may be my new favorite photo time. Everything seems so soft and airy. Pair that with the Annapolis waterfront and - my goodness - it's Heaven! I think it's safe to say that Christa and Grant are phenomenal. Not only did they drive an hour for their session, but they were so full of energy for their engagement. They had no problems walking around Downtown Annapolis just exploring. The best part is that they were just as amped over cute doors as I am, haha! The true test of a BCP couple is being excited over interesting buildings and cobblestone ❤️. Every second of the morning spent with Christa and Grant was fun. Interestingly, they had never been to Annapolis before, so Shawn and I also got to be mini tour guides. We took them around Ego Alley, Main Street, the State House. We even saw Larry Hogan out in his yard walking - our very own Maryland celebrity sighting 😛. I'm so glad that Christa and Grant were staying in Annapolis for a little bit after the session, because it's so full of amazing things to see. One thing that is easy to say about these two is how they have such a wonderful spirit. About a week before the session, Christa emailed me saying how it might rain, but that they didn't want to reschedule, and were...

An Intimate Matthew's 1600 Restaurant Wedding

Michelle and George

Saturday was a day of double celebrating. For starters, we had Michelle and George's wedding in Catonsville, Maryland at Salem Lutheran Church and Matthew's 1600. Then we were also celebrating my birthday! What better gift is there than doing what you love?! Not to mention that the weather was out of this world. Blue skies, sunny, and the perfect temperature. I don't think there is anything better than that! Leading up to Michelle and George's day, there was a lot of heartbreak. Michelle's father passed away right before Christmas, and I know the powerful emotions that come from that type of loss. Then in April, they had to say goodbye to Michelle's dog, Wrigley, who became George's best friend as well. It was not the easiest path to the wedding day, but these two held onto each other tighter and tighter through every storm. Even though the pain will never completely go away, having each other will help it ease little by little. It was such a joy to be involved in this day. Everything from Michelle getting ready to the thank you speech at dinner was filled with elation. The intimacy in the wedding allowed for them to celebrate with all of their closest friends and family on a very personal level. They chatted and laughed with every single person. I know that at the end of the evening, everyone was able to feel like they were a big part of the wedding. Michelle and George are so incredibly...

A Lovely Middle Patuxent Environmental Engagement

Michelle & George's Spotlight!

It's wedding time for Michelle and George! Shawn and I are so excited to see these two and celebrate their love. But, if you haven't noticed by now, I really enjoy reliving engagement sessions. It's a wonderful time to reflect, and I just adore looking at the photos again. Michelle and George's session at Middle Patuxent Environmental Area was ah-mazing! The area is right in Michelle's (and now George's) backyard and they are always spending time on the trails. That special aspect to their location only added more fantastic feelings to the e-session. Leading up to Michelle and George's day has not been easy. Michelle's father passed away in December, and then their furry friend, Wrigley, also left the world this past April. It's been a hard time, so seeing these engagement photos fills my heart with so much happiness. We were able to include Wrigley in a lot of the photos that I know fit in perfectly with Michelle's collection. Chatting about wedding plans while also laughing about Wrigley's puppy-like attitude was a memory I will cherish. Shawn and I enjoyed getting to know these two so much during their engagement session. It felt like we got such a deeper glimpse into their relationship that has made me 10 times more ecstatic for their wedding. Their wedding day is going to be one filled with so many beautiful emotions. For one, the day is a celebration of so many relationships. Michelle's parents were married on June 10th 50 years...

A Dreamy Mt. Washington Mill Dye House Wedding

Kaitlin & Ben

Holy cow! I cannot believe that Kaitlin and Ben are married! It was every great feeling in the world coming together for a magical day at the Mt. Washington Mill Dye House. This has been a day that I've been looking forward to since the very first phone call with Kaitlin and Ben. I knew these two were perfect when chatting with both of them on separate occasions and hearing how equally excited they were to marry each other. It was one of those moments where you could just hear the person smiling on the other end of the phone. I may have squealed more than a few times during those conversations (classic Britney). My eagerness for this day was crazy. I woke up on both Wednesday and Thursday last week thinking that it was Friday because I was so ready for their wedding. Rain was nowhere in sight, the air was summery, and the mood was 100% perfect for Kaitlin and Ben's wedding. All of those wonderful feelings culminated into a first look that was filled to the brim with so many emotions. Ben had been saying all day how he wasn't nervous, and I truly believe he had 0 nerves. What he did have, though, was an incredible amount of anticipation to see Kaitlin. When that time came, his heart started pounding and he could not keep the happiness inside. Their first look was totally amazing, and Kaitlin was right: Ben did cry! All the special moments in...

A Snuggly Clarksburg Engagement

Kaitlin & Ben's Spotlight!

I am so unbelievably excited for Kaitlin and Ben's wedding today! I've been anticipating this for so long, and I'm ridiculously happy it's arrived! I cannot wait to see all of their planning come together. Their big day is going to be at the Mt. Washington Mill Dye House, which is beautiful on its own. Seeing it all happen for these two is going to be the best. But, first, I need to revisit their at home engagement in Clarksburg, Maryland. I've talked a lot about Kaitlin and Ben's session. For starters, we got cookies, which instantly makes any couple our BFFs. However - more than that - I feel like we gained two friends. From our time with these two, we were not only able to see how well they fit together, but how well our own personalities mesh with theirs. They welcomed us into their home and it immediately felt comfortable. There wasn't any awkward moments of all of us getting to know one another. We simply walked in and stood around their kitchen island chatting about TV shows. Best. Everything about their engagement session was marvelous. Kaitlin and Ben are such a wonderful pair. They have this spark between them that you can instantly feel, which leads you to feel so incredibly comfy around them. I cannot even begin to imagine the energy Kaitlin and Ben are going to have today. There are already butterflies fluttering in my tummy just thinking about it! Shawn and I are...

Montego Bay, Jamaica a Fabulously Caribbean Wedding

Katelynn & John

Katelynn and John are married! I, for one, could not be any happier for these two. We were hyped the second we stepped foot on the plane from Baltimore to Montego Bay, Jamaica. Not just because this was our first international wedding, but because Katelynn and John are two of the loveliest and sweetest individuals. Whenever we get to see people come together with this much love and support for one another, it's amazing. I may be tearing up right now, but no worries, I'm totally able to complete this post, haha! I don't think these two could have asked for a more beautiful day. For starters, they were married in Jamaica, where the beauty is always overflowing. But they also had an intimacy to their day that was so thoughtful. The vibe was so relaxed. John's exact words when asked if he was ready: "I'm marrying my best friend... what is there to be nervous about?"  How flippin' cute and true. There's nothing to be worried about when you know your making the best decision ever. When it came time for their sunset ceremony, it was already quite an emotionally exciting day. When Katelynn's cousin got up to speak, I'm pretty sure everyone had to take a moment to wipe their tears. Her words were perfect. Getting to see the strength that John gives to Katelynn is really wonderful. I know first hand the love that is required after losing a parent, and seeing the...

A Brookside Gardens Engagement

Katelynn & John's Spotlight!

Oh my goodness, I have been waiting for this Brookside Gardens spotlight for an entire year. I'm so happy to finally be posting it! Katelynn and John are getting married tomorrow in Jamaica (Montego Bay, to be exact). Shawn and I could not be any more pumped for their day if we tried. Seriously, their day has been a countdown since our first meeting, and it's almost here! However, before we start getting enthralled in Montego Bay, I need to revisit their engagement session. Seeing their e-session always gives me butterflies, so this spotlight definitely has me giddy. They chose the beautiful Brookside Gardens as their location, and we were so excited to shoot here. We had tried for years to get a session at the exclusive gardens, but never made the cut. The officials must have known Katelynn and John were special, because their sunrise session went off without a hitch. It was fantastic getting to wander around Brookside Gardens with these two. I feel like we always get a greater sense of a relationship during an e-session, which just solidifies why it's my favorite part of the process. We became friends right from the beginning, so chatting and laughing with them was second nature. Shawn and I have loved every second of getting to know these two. Through the #JamaicaMeAdams Pinterest board, to celebrating Friendsmas, it's been an incredible joy to have these two as friends. I'm feeling all emotional as I gather images for this post...

A Rustically Chic Robin Hill Farm Wedding

Alyssa & Ryan

Saturday was such a perfect day for a wedding! Especially when combined with the views that Robin Hill Farm provides. It was breath-taking, and I knew before we arrived that this wedding was going to be spectacular. The rustic charm of the barn (heh, rhymes), the greenery of fields, the sunset - it was all amazing! I loved every ounce of personality that Alyssa and Ryan put into their decorations and their day. The rustic, chic vibe fit them perfectly. I always feel that the ceremony is like a movie trailer. The hype starts as guests begin taking their seats, you see the excitement from the groom, and then - the big moment - the reveal of the bride. Everyone does a little gasp, and a collective "aww," and a few eyes may start to water. Alyssa and Ryan's ceremony was exactly that: wonderful and thrilling. It made me so happy to see these two come together and really be present for every moment. We even got some laughs from the tightly tied rings that best man, Cody, was tasked to unravel. The ceremony really set the stage for the rest of this fantastic day. After their vows, we headed out for a few portraits before dinner and dancing. I am seriously in love with everything at Robin Hill Farm. They have such a serene landscape that I could not stop saying "wow" over. Honestly, I could have spent the entire evening photographing Alyssa and Ryan in...

Quiet Waters Park Engagement

Alyssa and Ryan's Spotlight!

We are gearing up for another wonderful wedding weekend! Alyssa and Ryan are getting married this Saturday at Robin Hill Farm. The weather is looking truly fantastic, and I just cannot wait to see these two again. But, before we get to the wedding, I have to revisit their stunning engagement session at Quiet Waters. I love the Annapolis area, and that has probably became very obvious over the years. It is - of course - on my list of favorite locations. There's so much greatness in the area from downtown to the parks - Annapolis has everything. So when Alyssa and Ryan chose Quiet Waters for their engagement session, I did a little dance. I mean, on a bad day, the park is beautiful. So on a great day, it's phenomenal, haha! Ryan and Alyssa's engagement session was so much fun. We started off in the garden area, just getting warmed up. I remember very clearly that these two were naturals from the start. They are so comfortable with each other, it was easy for them to have a good time together. Even when our plans in the park changed, they were willing to adventure around. It was their cool and calm demeanor in hiking that ended up paying off big time with a breath-taking sunset. Seriously, the most glorious orange and pink sky I've seen. I really don't think I'll ever be over it. I'm confident that, much like their engagement, Alyssa and Ryan's wedding day will...

A Patapsco State Park Engagement Adventure!

Leah & Kevin

When I think of the most fun I've had on a session, I'm forever going to think of Leah and Kevin's engagement. They have made Patapsco State Park my number one favorite location. Not only were Kevin and Leah amazing, but the weather yesterday - my goodness! It was completely out of this world! I don't know why Spring keeps coming in and out, but if it could stay 72 degree, I would be happy with that, haha! Before completely diving into the session, it's important to note that I'm a complete dog freak. It takes a strong hold on my dignity to not roll on the ground with a fluffy puppy. So when a couple tells me they are bringing their dog, my excitement level goes through the roof. When Leah emailed me and asked if it was okay they bring their pup, Union, I just about squealed with joy. That handsome man of a dog is so sweet and photogenic! I was in the love from the very first second. Note: if you don't want to fall into an adorable hole, please do not go and search the #germanshepherd tag on Instagram. You'll have a good time, but you may end up adopting 29 dogs. Enough about fur-children, let's get back to Leah and Kevin. From the very start of the session, these two were flawless. They non-stop joked with each other and just had a blast. These two are a couple that you can look at and...

A Gorgeously Serene Engagement at the Peace Park

Jeannine & Pema

Sunday was such a perfect day! We met up with Jeannine and Pema at the Peace Park and - wow - what a beautiful place! It was so calm and serene. The world felt so wonderfully still for those couple of hours. The rushing cars and busy areas around us just sort of went into pause mode. It was an incredible feeling. In addition to being such a stunning location, the Peace Park also carries some sentimental value, since it's where Pema proposed. The lush gardens within the meditation areas must have soothed any pre-engagement nerves. I'm so happy that Jeannine and Pema chose this spot for their session. It holds such a special place in their heart, and getting to experience it with them was really fantastic. It's also safe to say that Jeannine and Pema are total rock stars. My greatest fear for the session was rain. The weather called for partly cloudy weather, and during our ride out to Poolesville, it's down-poured. I kept worrying that at any moment, Jeannine might reschedule, but they luckily pulled it out. Even when it started sprinkling mid-session, they shrugged it off and kept posing expertly. It was a great lesson in "don't sweat the small stuff," because not even a minute after the drops started falling, it totally stopped. These two are definitely my new heroes! Walking the trails and going through the meditation areas really put us all at ease. It's a powerful location that I totally...

A Beautiful Dockside Wedding at the Anchor Inn

Megan & Dave

Holy cow, talk about a stunning day! Megan and Dave's wedding at Anchor Inn in Pasadena couldn't have been more perfect, even if it tried! From the waterfront views, to the beautiful weather - the day was just great. The thing I love about the Anchor Inn is how the sun filters into the reception space. It gives every single detail an ethereal glow that makes me melt. The space is so incredible and it takes my breath away. Before fully diving into the day, I have to say: I love a groom that is involved with the wedding and has fun with it. In my questionnaire, there is a vendor information space. I always like to give credit where credit is due, so I compile a list of the vendors for things like this blog. One of the biggest vendors involved is, of course, the wedding planner name. For Megan and Dave, the wedding planner was ... Dave! Now, I know that he was the one filling in the questionnaire, so I feel like creative liberty may have been used at some points. But still, it's evident how much these two worked together to create such a gorgeous day. Add all of Dave's funny comments throughout the questionnaire to my adoration, and these two are my new best friends (whether they accept it or not :P). Each and every piece of the day held a part of them. From the love bench that acted as a guest book...

Patapsco & Ellicott City Engagement

Megan & Dave's Spotlight!

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

A Stunning Pier 5 Hotel Wedding in Baltimore

Chelsea & Ryan

Chelsea and Ryan are married! Oh my goodness, the day could not have been more perfect. With awesome details, lovely emotions, and a little replica of their cute pup, Koda, as their cake topper - it was all amazing. I've been in awe of their Pier 5 Hotel wedding since Saturday, and - honestly - I hope that feeling never ends. It's been an incredible two years getting to know Chelsea and Ryan. Their day is one that I've been looking forward to for such a long time. Of course, I'm totally happy that we now have all of these gorgeous images to share, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little bit sad that the day is over. 100% my favorite moment will always be Chelsea's first look with her dad. I was not expecting the wave of emotions that hit everyone to happen, but it was beautiful. It seriously took me a minute to gather myself, and thankfully there was a pile of umbrellas that I could fumble with to make it look like I wasn't crying, haha! Once we all composed ourselves, we made our way to the Holy Cross Catholic Church in Baltimore, which is absolutely stunning. It was a breathtaking ceremony to witness, but the what blew me away the most was the gathering after the marriage declarations. Both families came together in a very tearful and emotionally charged moment that just about made my heart explode. Afterwards, we all hopped...

College Park, Maryland Engagement

Chelsea & Ryan's Spotlight

It's crazy that we are now two just DAYS away from Chelsea and Ryan's wedding. Our countdown has been going since June of 2015, and I'm totally stoked we are this close to the big day. I feel like the time has gone by so quickly, especially after their engagement session at College Park last year. It is so true that once the e-session is complete, the rest of the time goes by in the blink of an eye. At least for me it's that way, haha! If you follow me on Instagram (@britneyclause), you are probably very familiar with these two. I'm pretty nuts over them since they are ridiculously sweet and so kind. Shawn and I had never seen a lot of College Park prior to their session, and they took the time to give us little facts about the campus and guide us to the best spots. It's such a beautiful location with huge colonial buildings and a really wonderful atmosphere. The thing I loved most about Chelsea and Ryan's engagement session is that they chose a truly special place. Their relationship began on the stunning campus and it only made sense to include that in their engagement. The university means more to them than just where they lived and walked to class. It will always be the very first stepping stone in their forever. Shawn and I cannot wait to celebrate these two this Saturday. It's going to be an absolutely amazing time. I for...

6 Tips for Wedding Day Speeches

From Shawn

Hi everyone, Shawn here! As the weather warms up and wedding season commences, there is a lot of excitement for the couples beginning their life together. Most of the responsibility for a successful big day - including happy guests - falls on the shoulders of the bride and groom (and hopefully a select few who are tasked to delegate). However, in pretty much any wedding, there is an event where the loving friends and family have a chance to give back: speeches. I know that speech preparation varies from person to person, with some planning ahead and printing out several pages of amazing content, and other individuals waiting until the day of to give a more dynamic presentation (of which I am guilty). Through my personal experience giving speeches as a best man and a groom, as well as witnessing countless speeches, here are some recommendations I've gathered to make the best possible speech for a wedding. This applies to bridesmaids or groomsmen nervously preparing words, fathers or mothers expressing joy, or brides and grooms who want to politely aid (or warn) one of their upcoming speakers.   1. Set the Mood through Structure Weddings are very sentimental events, since they mark a huge point in the lives of the couple. But that doesn't mean they can't be a lot of fun, too! A wedding speech balances a fine line between the sincerity of the moment with the lighthearted fun of the celebration. Preferably, speeches capture both of these...

A Comfy Cozy At Home Engagement

Kaitlin & Ben

This past Saturday, Shawn and I traveled out to Clarksburg for Kaitlin and Ben's at home engagement session. Now, before I dive in to all the amazingness, I just have to say: I love at home sessions! My absolute favorite thing about them is that the couple is comfy from the get-go. It's their space they are building together, and it has all the warmth and coziness they are used to. Not to mention, I feel like we get a better understanding of who the couple is when we are in a space that is so central to them. Everything from who does the cooking to how they watch TV is something we love learning about, but often don't if it isn't somehow brought up. Being in the place where couples do their day-to-day living inevitably brings up these little details and stories, and it's fantastic. This weekend, oh my gosh! I'm going to kick it off by saying I'm totally crazy about Kaitlin and Ben. Any couple that is comfortable enough to bust out some goofy faces and admit they watch Real Housewives are my kind of people, haha! As soon as we walked in to their gorgeous house, we felt like friends. We stood in the kitchen for a little bit and just talked about their neighborhood and their wedding. It was so comfortable and natural. Honestly, after chatting on the phone with them a few months ago, I suspected this is how it would be. Kaitlin and...

Centennial Park Photo Party

AKA Weirding Out Strangers

Shawn has been sick the past few days, and I've been feeling a little meh myself. I'm not sure if I'm getting sick or just in a funk, but I'm loading up on Vitamin C, just in case. Either way, by Tuesday, I was pretty sure that this week was a bust. Truthfully, the whole month has been a little strange. I've been feeling a smidgen at odds with my camera, and I wasn't sure how to fix it. I never thought that a fun day of shooting was what I needed until after Marlayna asked if I wanted to go to Centennial Park (which you may remember from Alexa and Eddie's engagement session or Lisa and Michael's snowy shoot). Turns out, even as a photographer, you need to have non-serious shoot days! Who would have thought?! I know that I most recently went out for the snow day, but this week's adventure was different. It was fun and exciting to be shooting portraits, but also posing for them. Now, I'm not the most confident model, but I was feelin' it on Tuesday. I finally got to unleash my years of ANTM knowledge all over Centennial Park. I'm not entirely sure if I would have made it past the pre-prelimary cycle of any modeling competitions, but I made my attempts! Sometimes it's necessary to step out of your comfort zone and just be a goofball. At the end of the evening, I think both of us were feeling a lot...

Snow Day in Maryland!

Winter has Finally Arrived...in Spring

If you follow me on Instagram, then you've probably seen my rants about this winter. If you don't follow me on Instagram, why not?! (@britneyclause). The season has been lackluster to say the least. But, FINALLY: Winter. Has. Arrived! The weather channel was reporting a good 6-10 inches of snow for our area, which had me real excited. However, what we ended up getting was about 2 inches with a life time supply of sleet. I'm not going complain too much, though, because seeing the ground covered in crispy snowy goodness is still better than the naked ground. I'll take whatever snow Maryland offers, even if it is a bunch of slush! When the snow was originally predicted, I figured we would just stay inside, cuddled up with some hot cocoa. But then I thought that if this is the only winter storm we get, I want to take advantage of it! It's always easy to get Pony outside, but Shawn... he's a different story. Shawn isn't a big lover of the cold, so I was sure he would try to veto my backyard adventure. However, he great thing about him is that he is a wonderful husband and didn't fight me at all :D! The thing I enjoy most about a snow day is how serene everything feels. It always makes the world feel so quiet and calm. I remember as a kid going outside and laying in the fluffy snow just enjoying the silence. It drove my...

The Why Behind Session Timing

"You want us up when?!"

This is the time of year when a lot of our couples are planning their engagement sessions. Whether they are dreaming of a "lost in the wood" session or high fashion city shoot, timing means everything. For Shawn and I, breaching this subject is a point of contention. We are both night owls, so whenever the thought of early morning comes up, we both kind of shudder. However, we recognize the beauty in small crowds and fabulous light. Our couples, though, don't always know of those benefits as well as we do. It means so much to me through chatting with our couples that we are able to provide them with loads of session information. One of the biggest things we cover before an engagement session is the timing for a session. So what better way to benefit everyone than through a blog? There are pretty images below, so everyone stick around until the end :P. What is proper timing? One of the first things I want to touch on is the best hours of the day to be out. We have found that for sunrise sessions, we want to be shooting 30 minutes after the sun has risen. For sunset, we like to give ourselves 2 hours before the sun has fully fallen. These times are typically called the "golden / magic / perfect hour," but I just like to say "ohhhhh, mah gawsh! Best!". Here's a cute little info graphic I've created...

A Fells Point Sunrise Engagement

Arianna & Tyler

On Saturday, we met up with Arianna and Tyler in Fells Point. It was such a gorgeous morning with these two. Admittedly, it was a bit chilly, but the stunning backdrop of the city was just too good to miss. Fells Point is so incredibly beautiful. Shawn and I don't go into Baltimore often, but when we do, we always go to Fells Point. I don't know if my love for stems from all of the restaurants, the shops, or the views. Actually, it's probably all three of those things, haha. Everything about the area is so unique, and it's absolutely perfect for an engagement session. Speaking of perfect, Arianna and Tyler - I'm still not over their session. These two are total movie stars. There was a moment when we were out on the Fells Point pier, the wind was softly blowing, and the way these two were looking at each other - ahh! It was seriously something out of a romance film. I told them early on in the session that I would do a lot of squealing, but I'm not sure if they were quite prepared. Watching these two interact, I fell in love with their relationship even more. All you need is just a few second with them to see the deep love that they have for one another. Arianna and Tyler fit so effortlessly together. They wrap each other up in each others arms and it's like the entire world disappears for them. Tyler...

An Enchanting Wedding at Fort Myer

Kristin & Andrew

This has been the hardest blog to write. Not because of a lack of words, but because I could talk about Kristin and Andrew for days. I have been so excited for their wedding since we first met on Google Hangouts two Decembers ago. As I expected, their day was absolutely gorgeous. The weather was on point and their location at Fort Myer in Arlington, Virginia is a total stunner. My favorite detail has to be the history of Old Post Chapel where Kristin and Andrew had their ceremony. About 44 years ago, Kristin's parents had their wedding in this chapel and her sister had her wedding there just a few years ago. That little sentimental fact still has me smiling, since it's little personal things that highlight the couple and makes each wedding unique. I know I mentioned it in their spotlight post, but I don't mind reiterating that these two are the greatest. Shawn and I were well aware that we were going to have fun with these two. What we didn't know was we would leave their day with an immense feeling of friendship. They care so much about the people in their lives, and that extended to us on Saturday. Their sweet and genuine personalities left us feeling so incredibly happy. The simple act of gathering the photos for this blog post filled me with so much joy. Especially when I think about the A+ dolphin sounds Kristin would make to keep Andrew laughing during portraits...

Old Town Alexandria Engagement

Kristin & Andrew's Spotlight

I've been anticipating Kristin and Andrew's engagement spotlight since we shot their session back in July, haha! Their gorgeous e-session took place in Old Town Alexandria, and I am still not over how much fun it was. We met up in the early morning hours, and it honestly felt like they were life long friends. We had a great adventure through the city, and we also caught loads of Pokemon. Seriously, never in my life did I think we would play Pokemon with a couple, but Kristin and Andrew are that fantastic :P. Engagement spotlights are some of my absolute favorite posts. Not only do we get to relive an awesome shoot, but we also get an extra day of celebrating the couple. Kristin, Andrew, and their families are working hard to bring everything together for this Saturday. They are tired, stressed, but - most of all - excited. My goal with this little injection of pretty is to ease some of the nerves and add to the anticipation. Kristin and Andrew, I'm sure, are well aware of how fabulous they are. They are truly one of a kind and I'm hoping that post wedding we keep in contact and remain friends. Honestly, I have never had a bride put on their timeline that Shawn needs to be ready to play Super Mario with the boys. But that's different for this wedding, and I'm totally obsessed. We've always said that our ultimate goal is to make our couples feel like...

2017 Goals to Elevate Our Business

Happy New Year!

Is it seriously time to start writing a new number on everything? I feel like 2016 flew by, and I'm not really sure I'm ready for the new year. I mean, I guess it doesn't really matter if I'm ready, because it's here. The time cannot go backwards, so it's time for me to think about my 2017 goals. I'm not really a fan of making resolutions. They terrify me and I feel they are counterproductive. You set a resolution once for the entire year. When the countdown hits zero, you either succeed or you don't. Even if you came close, you still feel the crushing defeat which is very demoralizing. Any deviations are just "excuses" for not accomplishing your predefined resolution. Basically, a resolution motivates by guilt and the negative feelings associated with anything short of success. That's not a healthy mindset when trying to grow and improve, since it's harder to take big risks when you have the fear of failure. Instead, I prefer to set goals for myself, which are similar but different than resolutions. Goals aren't all or nothing. You can come close to completing your goals, and still feel accomplished. They can adapt to any changes in lifestyle or priorities without having to feel like you failed and started over. Also, I feel like it's much easier to exceed your goals but keep going without putting your work down and feeling like you're done. Goals are just a nicer concept that - given the...

Wedding Favorites of the Year

See Ya Later, 2016

Today has been the blog I have been most looking forward to since January! It's time for the wedding favorites of 2016! I love this time so much because it always brings back so many wonderful memories. From rainy days to 100 degree days, weddings are my absolute favorite. I feel so much joy when looking back at all the couples we've gotten to interact with. Every single one of them have been so good to us and given us a greater purpose in our business. This year in particular has been hugely instrumental to the changes that are coming in 2017. From website updates, to small changes in our interactions. I feel like 2016 has been a year of great influence to our lives and we just cannot thank our couples enough. Shawn and I do not take for granted a single ounce of the love and support that our couples give to us. Shawn can attest that the thank you cards that we receive always bring such a huge smile to my face. They honestly make our day. It's interesting that sharing our wedding favorites year in and year out is really more of an excuse to brag about how wonderful the people in our lives are. I could seriously go on forever about the sweetness between Sara and Charlie during their first dance. The bravery that Emily and Jon shared going out in the rain for portraits. The laughter from Alyssa as Matthew started break dancing...

Thank You So Much

Personal With a Touch of Sappy

It's officially that time when the holidays start gearing up, and we take a break from being behind the camera. It's the end of the 2016 wedding season and we feel great. Our level of enthusiasm isn't because we get our weekends back, but from a place of thanks. This year, 15 couples let us in to their lives to capture the start of their forever. I never in a million years thought we would be at this place, photographing wonderful people on their gorgeous day. My heart is unbelievably full today, which is why I need to say thank you. I'm starting to tear up a little bit just thinking of every smile, laugh, and (obviously) tear that occurred over this season and all the ones prior. Over five years ago, I shot my first wedding. It was for a good friend, and I had no idea what I was doing. I called upon all my schooling when it came to posing and lighting, and I practiced so much. However, nothing could prepare me for that day. The weather was rainy, I couldn't figure out my flash, and I didn't know how to assert myself. I felt like a complete failure, and as I packed up, I told myself I would never do another wedding. But then my friend came up to me and wrapped me up in the biggest hug in the world. It was in that hug and through her excitement having me as her photographer...

What Do I Do With My Hands?!

Tips & Tricks

We photograph a lot of couples and groups, each with their own collection of unique traits and attitudes. It's a lot of fun to get to know these different people and what makes them special, but it's also interesting to see common threads that link everyone together. Sometimes, it's a pure excitement to be in front of the camera, and other times it's a lack of confidence in modeling abilities. Couples or individuals have warned us before-hand that they feel they aren't photogenic or great at having their picture take. But we have awesome news to the doubters: it's impossible for us to not capture gorgeous images of you! We're not just saying that idly, either, since everyone has the capability to look stunning, no matter what. You can trust in our experience as professional photographers that we will find the perfect way to present you. One of the most common concerns that we get from those who lack faith is not knowing how to pose, specifically on what to do with hands. Hands can be awkward when left hanging at your side, but they need to be comfortable and not distracting when placed elsewhere. During sessions, we've seen people situate their hands three or four different times trying to find a spot that works. We definitely provide instruction when this problem arises, but we understand that having the information before the session is the difference between eager for a session or being scared of it. The tips below apply...

A Beautiful Dulany's Overlook Wedding

Chelsey & Taylor

Goodness gracious, today's blog is absolutely fabulous! On Sunday, Shawn and I traveled out to Dulany's Overlook in Frederick for Chelsey and Taylor's rustically fall wedding. Pulling up with the scenery left my jaw on the ground. As you drive up the long driveway, the estate appears like something out of a Disney movie, and I fell in love immediately. Inside the house, every room is so immaculate, it's like they were taken straight out of a magazine. There is so much charm at Dulany's Overlook, I couldn't pick my favorite section if I had to. It was one of the most gorgeous fall days. The sun warmed the air and kept everything bright and cheery for their ceremony in the trees. Surrounded by orange and crimson leaves, these two could not have planned for better weather to celebrate their union. There is something incredibly special about Chelsey and Taylor. When they are together, it's awe inspiring. I can say without a doubt that the only nerves from the day were because they were so ready to be husband and wife. Both Chelsey and Taylor were calm during the walk down the aisle. I know the second they met at the end of the aisle I had tears rolling down my cheeks. After the ceremony, there were plenty of people were outside and enjoying the cocktail hour before dinner. The reception space took place in a beautiful barn with enough space for lawn games out back. My favorite part...

A Cozy Gettysburg Engagement

Sarah & Brandon

I am super excited to share our first ever camping engagement session! We met up with Sarah and Brandon at Gettysburg National Military Park on Friday evening. The forecast had been calling for storms all day, so Sarah and I were obsessively checking the radar. Luckily for us, the weather man was incorrect because the only thing in the sky were perfect clouds. It was honestly the best evening. Even with us having some slight trouble finding an accessible battlefield, this was a wonderful night. Shawn and I were amazed by the historic beauty in Gettysburg, but what we were most looking forward to was photographing Sarah and Brandon at their campsite. Sarah has been coming to the Granite Hill Camping Resort with her family since as early as she can remember. When her and Brandon began dating, he was obviously brought in on the family tradition. It's a very special place to them, and surely one that will be special in the many years to come. I can already imagine their own children running through the fields and roasting marshmallows over the fire. It's sweet to think about what this place means to them and it's really awesome that they brought us into this sentimental spot to capture their engagement photos. Chatting more with Sarah and Brandon, it's so easy to see how well they fit together. They both love telling jokes and being goofy, which I think is the most important aspect in any relationship. If you can't...

A Sunrise Engagement at Jerusalem Mill

Melissa & JJ

Fall is finally starting to make it's appearance, and I could not be happier about it! On Sunday, we met up with Melissa and JJ at Jerusalem Mill Village. It's a perfect little spot that offers up so many different looks. There's a field with terrific views of the changing season, ruins that create an old world feel, and a relaxing river that looks like a painting. Everything in this area is so beautiful, and I'm always in awe whenever we get the chance to photograph here. Being with an amazing couple like Melissa and JJ in this surreal location that is out of a magazine makes me so giddy. Any time that we get to spend with a couple is fantastic. We get to know their relationship, how they interact, what makes them laugh. It's great to see and it makes us even more excited for their marriage. The best thing about Melissa and JJ is that they like to have fun with each other. They make each other laugh and do goofy things, which is the kind of love that makes me smile. During every session, there is a point where we all get comfortable with one another. The walls come down and it's almost as if we have known each other for a long time. We reached that point in Melissa and JJ's session very early on, so the entire time shooting we were joking and laughing with small bursts of hilarious posing. My favorite pose from...

Middle Patuxent Environmental Engagement

Michelle & George

On Thursday, Shawn and I met up with Michelle and George for their cool autumn engagement session. The location for their shoot was, conveniently, right in Michelle's backyard. How cool is it that she lives right beside the Middle Patuxent Environmental Area?! Walking on the trails of this gorgeous spot, it was hard to believe that civilization was so close. It seemed like we had stepped into a totally different world. Middle Patuxent Environmental Area has so much to offer: there is a small pond area, a grassy field, and even a bridge that passes over a river. This location is so perfect, and I'm really glad that Michelle suggested it. The greatest part about any session is getting to know the couple. Michelle and George are such an adorable pair. Shawn and I loved strolling through the environmental area with them because it allowed us to chat about everything. The biggest topic was Michelle's dog, Wrigley, who is a super handsome 12 year old Golden Retriever. Age is no hang-up for Wrigley, as he still possesses all the sass and spunk of a 4 year old pup. We really enjoyed watching these three interact with each other, since everything they did was sweet and fun. George even took a little break to run around the environmental area with Wrigley, which had us all laughing since Wrigley is still a speedy little dude. I'm having the best time getting to know more about these three with every passing day. Shawn...

Locally Grown & Sustainable Love Styled Shoot

Baltimore Bride Feature

Our locally grown styled shoot is one that I have been waiting to share since September! Not only is it low-key and intimately sweet, but it is also jaw-droppingly gorgeous. Much like the previous styled shoot Marlayna and I did, the vendors that we worked with completely knocked it out of the park. From the table florals to our bride's make-up, it is all stunning. Everyone worked so hard to make this shoot feel like a beautiful dream. It has totally paid off with our Baltimore Bride feature. Check out our Locally Grown feature on Baltimore Bride! My favorite part about this shoot has to be that the vendors we used are all from the Baltimore area. La Cuchara, our spectacular setting, is a charming, Basque inspired restaurant located in Clipper Mill. They source all of their ingredients from Maryland farms and markets, giving wonderful business to locals. It was a pleasure working with Candace Cage Design who took elements from the restaurants lattice design plates and incorporated them into the invitation suite. Marlayna and I are still in awe of those invites. Local Color Flowers brought so many vibrant florals to the tabletops and ceremony space. It's absolutely amazing to see a florist work, because they have such wonderful vision and it's almost magic to see them piece it together. We also got to include two perfectly crafted floral pressed guestbooks from UpDown Press and Bindery, which added a great pop to our reception scene. The loveliest part of...

A Stunning Elkridge Furnace Inn Wedding

Emily & Jonathan

Shawn and I have been eagerly awaiting Emily and Jonathan's wedding at Elkridge Furnace Inn. We first met with these two last year at a little bagel shop in Ellicott City. Over breakfast, we were able to get to know each other and get excited for the big day. I love the meetings where it feels like we are talking with old friends. It just makes us even more excited for the big day and for the sweet couple. Emily and Jonathan are two fantastic individuals. Emily is beautifully hilarious, and I found myself laughing the entire day thanks to her. The kindness that she exudes made me feel like I've known her for years, even though we had only met once before the wedding day. The way she complements Jonathan's easy-going and cool demeanor is amazing. It made me giddy to see the excitement on Jonathan's face on the wedding day. He is caring, thoughtful, and, like Emily, fun. When these two got together for their first look at the Renaissance Hotel in Baltimore, my heart was so happy. I was seriously tearing up watching Jonathan take his bride into his arms, and I am just so in love with these two. The greatest thing about Emily and Jonathan is that they are up for any adventure. They were up for doing their first look in a light drizzle, portraits in Federal Hill with umbrellas, and night photos in a damp garden. Nothing fazed these two, and...

Engagement Session Preparation

Tips & Tricks

It is always a little daunting to have photos taken. It's not something that is normal for day-to-day life and can be one of the hardest things to prepare for. For me, I instantly clam up when a lens is pointing at me. Spending so much time around cameras does not prepare me for being in front of the camera. I know that most couples feel the exact same way as I do. The great thing is, there are ways to prepare for your engagement session that will greatly put your mind at ease. Engagement photos can feel very strange and it can often times seem like your relationship isn't accurately portrayed in them. When we chat with our couples about their engagement shoot, one of the most common thing is someone in the couple not understanding the point of these photos. They don't care, they hate their photo taken, or they just want to hire us for the wedding and be done. Unfortunately, that's not how this all works. We want to experience your relationship in advance. With our photos, we get really wonderful emotion because we don't just show up on the wedding day. Our bond with the couple is what creates a genuine interaction and ability for them to show us who they are. Your photos are important, and we want everyone to feel something when they look at your photos. The following advice to prepare for your engagement session all go hand-in-hand together. If each...

Overcoming Social Anxiety

Personal

I have struggled with social anxiety since as early as I can remember. Any time I've been in situations that require me to interact with people, I become nervous, I stumble over my words, and my hearing starts to feel like I'm in a tunnel. I became afraid of talking to people because I have this overwhelming feeling that they are judging everything I say. My attempts to communicate with people can best be described as a car trying push through through a concrete barrier. The car is my words, and the barrier is my brain blocking my voice. How social anxiety has affected my life Social anxiety has made me a doormat over the years. Someone who can't defend themselves because they are terrified of speaking up. I've lost potential friendships because of this fear, and I don't want to be like this anymore. I'm envious of the people that can freely chat with someone who they haven't met before. People who can make a phone call without needing a script. Even people who can write a blog post without having to psych themselves up. I want to show my goofy and fun personality to people, and I want to make friends genuinely. But my normal interactions are seriously stunted to the point I just clam up and stay quiet. It's been especially critical in my job as a business owner and photographer. There's no way I could continue to grow my business and be successful if I wasn't...

A Breathtaking Wedding at Flora Corner Farm

Sara & Charlie

When Shawn and I met Sara and Charlie a year ago, we knew instantly that they were special. From the way they look at each other, to the way they speak to one another. They are sweet, loving, and, above all else, perfect for one another. Getting to know their personalities at their engagement session filled us with so much anticipation for their wedding day. Shawn and I had no doubt their wedding at Flora Corner Farm was going to be fantastic. What I did not know was  how many wonderful emotions would be present in their day. Arriving at their gorgeous venue, excitement was pulsing in the air. The only time that Sara's smile faded from her face was when she read the beautiful note that Charlie had written for her. I'm pretty sure that Sara didn't even get through the first line before tears began to fall. The most adorable part of this story is that, across the venue, Charlie was reading the note that Sara had written for him. He also only got a few words in before needing to pause to compose himself. Shawn and I were well aware that we were not leaving this wedding without shedding a few tears ourselves. Everything for this day was magnificent. From the bouquet to the music, Sara and Charlie were enveloped in so much life and love. The chic romantic ambiance that Flora Corner Farm has is unbelievable. The gorgeous ceremony site is framed with vintage chandeliers...

Sara & Charlie Engagement Spotlight

Mount Aventine

I'm not sure if I can harness the excitement I have for Sara and Charlie's wedding day, but I'll try. We met these two over a year ago, and from that first meeting, we knew they were something special. That was reinforced at their engagement session in Mount Aventine a few days later. The day was warm and typical for July, but Sara and Charlie came ready to cuddle despite the heat. When you meet a couple that just loves being in each other's arms, you know that you are in the presence of a great relationship. Sara and Charlie spent every second laughing and enjoying this moment in their engagement. Walking around Mount Aventine with them and their dog, Hazel, is something that I want to do every day. I'm serious when I say they have one of the best relationships. Charlie is the jokester and Sara is sweet beyond belief. They balance each other so well, and they are really adorable. Reading over their questionnaire, I couldn't help but smile and tear up over the evolution of their relationship. Everything about these two is thoughtful and respectful of one another. It's amazing to hear about and it's even better to see. I know I said in their engagement post that I was starting their wedding countdown early, and I totally did. Luckily the days passed quickly enough to the point that we are only 1 day from wedding bells. I'm giddy and a bit teary over...

Alexa & Eddie

Centennial Park Engagement Session

The best thing about any engagement session is walking away from them with new friends. Getting the opportunity to interact with people that we may not have had the pleasure to otherwise meet always makes me so incredibly happy. On Saturday, we met up with Alexa, Eddie, and their pup, Benji, at Centennial Park. I love this spot, It is seriously one of my favorites because of how gorgeous it is. Centennial is a beautiful park with a lot of green, but tons of variety. It's perfect, and I was giddy the second Alexa and Eddie chose it. Their engagement shoot had been planned for months, and I was eagerly looking forward to it from day one. Chatting back and forth with Alexa, I got the sense of how sweet and genuine her relationship with Eddie is. Getting the chance to see them interact with each other reinforced everything I already felt for them. When a couple spends their entire engagement session cuddled up with each other and giggling, you know it's going to be a fabulous shoot. That is exactly what these two did from the moment we arrived at Centennial Park. They have such a strong connection that is evident from just a few seconds of being in their presence. Wandering around Centennial with these two and getting to know them was an absolute joy. We loved hearing about their adventurous date nights under the stars. Spending the evening with them and Benji capturing all of the...

Katelyn & Zach

An Intimate Annapolis Court House Wedding

We have been so excited and ready for Katelyn and Zach's wedding at the Annapolis Court House. We worked with this couple before with family portraits a couple years ago, and have been looking forward to their wedding ever since. It was wonderful being able to see them again, and meet the rest of their family. Their wedding was small and intimate, with just the immediate family in attendance. That didn't make the day any less exciting for these two, though. Both of them were just as nervous as every other couple. Emma, their daughter, was especially adorable and seemed to be just as excited for them. She handled the responsibility of standing up next to them during the ceremony, and was sure to never stop grinning. You could tell how much she loves Katelyn and how happy she is for her dad. The sweet and concise ceremony packed in a lot of emotion, while providing lots of time for the celebration afterwards. Before they went off to Sorrento's with their family, though, we took the couple and Emma to the Maryland State House. They have such an aura of calm around them, which was the perfect style for the day. It almost felt like we were just spending a warm day in Annapolis with friends. Getting to share this experience was a wonderful change of pace from our normally hectic and exhausting weddings. This day was no exception to reminding me how much I love taking photos in Annapolis...

The First Look Explained

Tips & Tricks

Whenever the question of a first look comes up, we are almost always met with an excited bride and confused groom. It's no fault of the groom that he doesn't know what this wedding trend is. We generally give the bride the chance to explain it, if she is familiar. But it's still kind of difficult to find the right words to describe it. When we explain it, we want to be informative and still give all the sweetness that is involved. The benefits and trade offs are not always immediately obvious. It takes both people to decide if a first look is right for them. Having to find the right words to make a confident choice is a challenge. We want to give you the resources that allow you both to be at peace with your options. So we are excited to give you the information about a first look, and the tools to know if it should be a part of your wedding day. What is a first look? The easiest way to explain a first look is that it's a chance for the couple to be with each other before all of the craziness starts. It's an intimate moment that you two get the chance to share on a day that is all about your love. A first look is never rushed or forced. It's honestly the most exciting time during the wedding, besides the declaration of marriage. The process of this romantic event starts...

A Perfect Wedding at Riverside on the Potomac

Christine & Jon

Magical doesn't even begin to describe Christine and Jon's wedding day. From the perfect weather to the gorgeous scenery, it was like being in a dream. Their style was amplified by their stunning location at Riverside on the Potomac in Leesburg, Virginia. When Shawn and I pulled up we were immediately in awe. Since the venue was a bit away from the road, there are some spectacular views everywhere. Clear skies and perfect weather were ideal for the ceremony on the edge of a lovely pond. Wide open fields, a large rustic barn, and a mountain off in the distance spoiled us. The dress by Anjolique Bridal and flowers from Affordable Arrangements captured the grace of the venue. Even smaller features the location has like an antique car, flower bed, and horses next door gave us plenty of spots for pictures. Later in the evening, everyone was treated to vibrant colors that lit up the clouds in the sky. It was all definitely a sight to behold that left Shawn and me a little breathless at times. Christine and Jon are amazing, and not just for their skill in picking the gorgeous Riverside venue. As expected, both of them were nervous but excited. But that didn't keep them from having fun with their friends while getting ready. Their bridal party did their job by keeping the couple (and us) laughing while they prepared for the day. Their officiant, Randy Miller, led a very beautiful ceremony and knot tying. The vows...

The Importance of Saying No

Confidence with Compromising

  The words yes and no are very powerful. Couples and vendors alike can get hung up on the negativity of the word no, which can make both sides feel insignificant during wedding planning. I've had plenty of situations where I know that I shouldn't be saying yes. Yet, since I didn't want to step on anyone's toes, I bit my tongue. Occasionally, my inability to voice my opinions caused a hiccup in my business. The biggest problem with this is never feeling in control of my success. I would do things for my business because it's what everyone else was doing, or because it's what was being demanded of me. It wasn't until this year that I took the reins and began exercising my right to say no. Shawn's and my main priority with couples is to have a friendship that is fun and enthusiastic. If there are certain goals or relationships that aren't being positively fostered, reflect on the situation and weigh the pros and cons. We don't want to tell people we aren't going to do something without reason. We have a thoughtful process that we follow in order to make sure our couples (current and potential) are aware that we are looking out for them. Saying no to things that add stress One of the biggest things that I think couples and vendors need to ask themselves is if certain requests will add too much stress. Weddings already carry a lot of pressure with...

Great Falls Park

Sunset Hike

This weekend, Shawn and I took a quick trip down to Great Falls Park and did some intense location scouting. We've heard of this amazing spot for years, but haven't been able to check it out. It wasn't until one of our couple's mentioned it that we decided to make the drive down to Virginia. There was no better time to visit, since it was the Centennial for The National Park Service. Not only was there free entry to the park, but they were also showing Wall*E in the evening. I don't think Shawn and I could have planned our impromptu date hike any better, haha! Walking around the park, I honestly could not believe how beautiful it was. Sure, the temperature in August isn't ideal for a hike, but as we reached the edge of the cliffs the view took our breath away. There was a slight breeze from the falls below that filled the air with a wonderful crispness that cooled the scorching heat. As a result, near the edge of the rocks, it was as if fall had already arrived. Shawn and I found this amazing secluded spot to hangout and dream about the e-sessions that we hope take place here. As the sun was setting we strolled around a little bit more. We found the Matildaville Ruins, which were incredibly interesting to see and learn about. Back in 1790, there was a town constructed whose economy relied on the Patowmack Canal. When the canal closed, the...

BritneyClause.com Website Update

from Shawn

Photography is more to us than just capturing gorgeous photos. A big part of Britney Clause Photography is the people we interact with. We love meeting with clients, talking about engagement sessions over email, and bonding over common interests. Getting feedback is an important part of growing as a company and individuals. Our big goal was making an update that would provide these opportunities to hear and converse more with everyone. We are always looking for ways of expanding our reach and ability to communicate. We've made a few huge changes, so check them out below. Talk to us on the Blog First, and perhaps the biggest update, is that the blog now has commenting! We used to have this feature years ago, but had to lose it with the new and cleaner site design. We've missed this feature, since we love having more opportunities for feedback on our posts. At the bottom of each blog post is a new comment section, similar to what you'll find elsewhere on the Internet. Being able to communicate directly to blog posts means being able to share your opinion and voice more readily. Whether it's a sneak peek of your wedding or a personal post from one of us, you can now join in a conversation directly with others. There are still some features that we'll be adding over time to boost our relationship and connection. Commenting is just the first update to a long list of what we want to accomplish...

The First Touch Explained

Tips & Tricks

When we meet with a couple, one of the questions we ask them is if they are doing a first look. Most of the time, our couples do go for the first look, which we enjoy. It's a great way to get intimate portraits and a sentimental memory. However, not all couple are fans of being that non-traditional. They will often mention how they don't want to see each other, but they still want to do something. That's when Shawn and I suggest what we like to call the "first touch". This option is amazing for the couples that want to have a moment together, but also want to save the big reveal for the aisle. Shawn and I totally understand this option because it's what we did. For those who don't know Shawn, his personality during stressful situations is incredibly calm. It's something I knew I needed when planning our big day. The only problem was that we both did not want to do a first look. So I scoured Pinterest and found a sweet alternative. It allowed us to share a beautiful moment, while still seeing each other for the first time right before our vows. On our chilly, rainy wedding day when everything was going crazy, all I wanted was Shawn. Our first touch was exactly what I needed in order to calm my brain (which was working overtime). I know I've talked about our experience a few times. It's important, though, because it made us...

5 of Our Favorite Poses

Tips & Tricks

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

White Water Adventure

Weekend Getaway

The trips that Shawn and I have been able to have this month have been amazing. This past weekend, we took a weekend adventure with friends up to Confluence, Pennsylvania. We were able to camp and white water raft in the cool Yough River. It was a great time to get away to relax. With weddings about to pick up again, having a chance to get outdoors and hangout with friends is exactly what we needed. The Trip We left on Friday afternoon, spent most of Saturday white water rafting with Laurel Highlands on the Lower Yough River, and came home Sunday. Of course, the weather did a good job at scaring us. With the forecast calling for thunderstorms on Saturday, we weren't sure if our white water adventure was going to happen. Lucky for us, the storms stayed far away, and we were able to show the river who's boss. In fact, the sun gave us a very hot and sunny trip on the water. Our sweat drenched us before even touching the water. Thankfully, the water was a refreshing chill we got to enjoy during the calmer parts of the river. The immense humidity, though, gave our two Eagle Scouts a surprisingly difficult time trying to light our campfires. With some perseverance, we managed to get the damp wood lit and a nice fire going. All of our meals were done over the camp fire. We had ground beef foil packs with vegetables for dinner the first...

The Key to Wedding Planning Perfection

Something Borrowed, Something True

Since I'm waist deep in my watching of the Olympics, I'm seeing the word "perfection" everywhere. It's an interesting idea that shows up a lot in sports, and also in wedding planning. There is an insurmountable amount of pressure on today's brides and grooms to have that perfect day. Your decor needs to be new and fresh, and you need to be over-accommodating for your guests. It can be incredibly difficult to balance. However, the greatest shift I've seen in our couples is that the perfect day to them means doing what makes them happy. Following happiness makes the planning process run so smoothly. At a certain point in our wedding planning, Shawn and I had to put aside what our guests would like and do what was best for ourselves. Naturally, we were still concerned with throwing a great party. But when we thought about what we enjoyed, the pressure from "perfect" vanished. We created our own idea of what was best for our day, and it made a huge difference. Seeing couples come to the same conclusion as us is fantastic. There is always the fear that, because of sites like Pinterest, the need to chase a flawless wedding is stronger than ever. Reading the positive advice fills me with so much joy. The key to wedding planning perfection is to throw out the idea of perfect. Focus on the fact that your happiness going into marriage will take you much further.   Marielle...

Wine Making at Brews Up

Berlin, Maryland

Oh, what a weekend it has been! On Saturday, we went to Berlin, Maryland with Brad and Eddie to make wine at Brews Up. And no, we did not stomp on grapes like in I Love Lucy. Instead, the wine making class at Brews Up guided us on the steps we needed to follow when using a wine kit at home. It was incredibly informative, and we all got to participate in the mixing, bottling, and corking process. The owners, Tony and Molly, are super kind. We were able to ask them any and all questions. It was awesome, since we had a lot, haha. While making wine was great, my favorite part was the tasting we got to do. The flavors at Brews Up range from full bodied reds to basically Jolly Ranchers in liquid form. I'm a sweet wine kind of person, so when the owner mentioned their Black Cherry tasted like candy, I was totally on board. Mine and Brad's favorite, though, was the Cucumber Melon, which was described as "a day at the spa." It's a super light and fresh tasting wine, and the perfect drink to melt away stress after a long day. The total experience lasted about two hours. By the end of it we were all extremely happy along with slightly tipsy :P. Our day finished up in the adorable town of Berlin. We went to lunch at a diner that was in the movie Runaway Bride, Rayne's Reef. As you...

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...

Finding Our Niche

Micro Changes, Macro Results

In this blog post, I want to explain our unique focus as wedding photographers, and how it positively affects our business. Before diving in, let me explain some background. I've been searching for my place in the photography world since 2011 when I created my business. At first, it was incredibly easy to pick the path I wanted to follow: couples, engagements, and weddings. I've always felt more comfortable in smaller groups, even when I was a kid. The connection that I was able to build with a couple was always much more natural. The journey of finding my place became a little more difficult when it came to perfecting my editing style. But after some consideration and basing it on my personality, I decided to focus on more bright and colorful images. In November, I attended the Creative at Heart conference. One of the speakers, Shay Cochrane, figuratively slapped a bunch of us in the face with "finding your niche." The entire conference was abuzz with ideas of what made their work different and what set them apart from the masses. I felt the tiniest amount of imposture syndrome, because I had no clue what made my business awesome. It wasn't until I read Shawn's blog post a few weeks ago that I realized our niche was staring us in the face the entire time. Our Niche The benefit of our husband and wife team is getting to show balance during the wedding day. It's not...

Samantha & Tim

An Unforgettable Wedding at Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center

The day has come for Sam and Tim to exchange vows at the Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center, and it is one Shawn and I will remember forever. Like their engagement session at the couple's home in June, the wedding was very intimate and personal. The Environmental Center was a bit of a drive out from the main road, but reaching the clearing with the main building, it was easy to see why they selected it as their special spot. It is a cozy building with a small pond right outside the wall-length windows. It is a gorgeous location, with plenty of tall trees to provide enough shade for anyone who was enjoying some of the summer air. Sam and Tim were incredibly ready for this day. They both had an electrified buzz about them, and even their fur-baby Lincoln (who was also one of the groomsmen), was pacing around the venue with alacrity. When it finally came time for the ceremony, and Tim saw his bride walking down the aisle, all the nerves and anticipation were able to be released and he let out one of the biggest smiles I've seen. Neither one of them dropped their smile for a minute, except for the happy tears during very romantic vow exchanges. Even their personal friend and officiant, Shar, had a tough time holding back the emotions. To finish up the ceremony and seal the kiss, all of their groomsmen stood up holding instruments, and played while the entire wedding party...

Serenity Blue & Cobalt Styled Shoot

Charm City Wed Feature!

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

Kristin & Andrew

Old Town Alexandria Engagement

Bright and early on Saturday morning, Shawn and I headed down to Old Town, Alexandria to meet up with Kristin, Andrew, and their fluffy pup, Murdock. We also had our friend Karen with us to keep an eye on Murdock, and Andrew's cousin, Frank, was there to catch all of the Pokémon that were encountered, haha! Kristin and Andrew's session was the first time that we were meeting in person. For their initial consultation, we had a Google Hangout's call that lasted over an hour, so I had an idea that when we officially met, we would be very fast friends. I'm not sure if it was the donuts that they brought to the session or just how sweet of a couple they are (probably a mix of both), but it immediately felt like we've known them for years. It made the entire session easy and comfortable. Wandering around the empty streets of Old Town was a total goldmine. Every single corner, alley, and building offered something new and exciting. Whether it was a pop of color or an interesting roadway, we could have spent 10 hours just exploring all of the nooks and crannies of the small city. I loved that we got to this location at sunrise, because that allowed us the opportunity to avoid crowds that would have definitely distracted Murdock. Instead, he was a true model that complemented Kristin and Andrew's power couple status. For the second half of the session, we took a 5...

Still in a New York State of Mind

Adventures and the City

I've been so crazy busy with my June weddings and gearing up for gorgeous engagement sessions that I completely have been neglecting an amazing, fantastic, out of this world trip to NYC that me and my best friend, Brad, and I took in June! Let me set the stage for you: I had just gotten back from my May trip to New York and was settling in back to home life when I get a text from Brad asking me how the city was. I started filling him in on all of the new experiences I got to try (subway system and taxis). At some point in our text stream, Brad sent "I wish we could go adventure in the city together." While reading his message, I shrugged and replied "Let's do it!" Once a discussion of dates happened, I immediately got on megabus.com and booked us two tickets for a day trip on June 16th. Saying that we were excited is a total understatement. Brad and I had this "New York City life" dream since we visited the big apple 10 years ago for my 17th birthday. This impromptu day trip was going to be the best part of our year. We arrived in the city at 10:00am, which gave us 12 hours to walk around, hail cabs, and - most importantly - eat lots of different food. Our first stop was Cafeteria, a super modern and trendy restaurant in Chelsea. Even...

Family Formals: Reduce the Chaos

For Your Day

There are a lot of important things couples try to perfect for your wedding, like the sweet first look, the heartfelt and poignant ceremony, and the rockin' party. With all of these bits and pieces to worry about, it's easy to miss another big stressor: family formals. These photos typically take place right after the ceremony and with you and your partner and your close family, while the remaining guests enjoy a smooth cocktail hour before dinner. They provide a great opportunity to slow down and capture some precious memories to be used for everything from wedding albums to Facebook profiles. However, what should be a calm and special moment immediately trailing an emotional ceremony, can quickly turn into an upsetting hassle on your big day.     The Scenario Imagine you just finished exchanging vows and sharing your kiss. As soon as you get back down the aisle, you are directed over to a shaded area near by where you can take a few moments to chat, giggle, and spend some time together as your family is collected. As Shawn is gathering parents, siblings, grandparents, and others, we notice some aunts and uncles wandering over to congratulate you and see what is going on. When Grandma is brought over, I begin to set up the shot, and it's gorgeous. She congratulates you, gives the you both a quick hug and kiss on the cheek, and I wait for everyone to settle in before asking the group to...

Guys, It's Your Day, Too

from Shawn

When it comes to wedding planning, it's no secret that most of it is geared towards the bride. The broad generalization (whether it's true or not) is that the female is the Creative, who has been planning the wedding since she was little, and is the most capable person. Everything involved with the wedding is making these childhood dreams come true, and the guy is just a lucky participant in this occasion. In fact, it seems to be a rule of the universe that most conversations about wedding planning include a passive comment like "It's her day, after all!" It might be the gentleman passing the responsibility of choice to his future wife, or it might be used by an in-law or friend to override an unpopular decision, but Britney and I cringe whenever we hear this phrase. It gets to be rather demoralizing for a male and helps feed this notion of "her day." Just in the process of our own wedding, I've had these circumstances occur: Filling out a form for a wedding expo which asked explicitly for "Bride's Name" but not mine. Getting a call from a vendor asking to speak to Britney even though I gave my name and number on the contact list. Having my name spelled completely wrong on a form with a potential vendor (they spelled Britney's name correctly). Being generally ignored in conversation while vendors make direct eye contact with Britney. Britney and I worked hard...

Sam & Tim

A Comfy Home Engagement

I don't know about everyone else, but when it's storming outside, I just love being at home on the couch. That is precisely how the day was spent two weeks ago with Sam and Tim for their at home engagement session. It worked out pretty nicely that it rained most of the day (and even during their session) because it made the cozy vision that Sam had that much warmer. There was also a threat of a tornado in the early afternoon, which added a bit of excitement, but by the time evening came there was just a light stream of chilly droplets falling from the sky. When Shawn and I arrived to Sam and Tim's beautiful home, we were greeted by their fur-child, Lincoln. He's probably the most calm and soft Labrador I've ever met and was SUPER snuggly. Lincoln was constantly checking out my camera and making his parents laugh. I'm sure if he could, he would have been the third photographer :P. At one point when Sam and Tim were cuddled up on their couch, Lincoln decided that it was his turn for photos. So after he smothered his parents in kisses, he went into his best America's Next Top Doggy pose; it was the cutest! Shawn and I had the best time with these three. From Tim filling their home with music on the organ (and Sam's brave attempts at being his playing partner) to them being on the front lawn cracking jokes to make...

Emily & Cal

A Classic Wedding at Overhills Mansion

I love walking into a bride's getting ready area and feeling the buzz of pure excitement. The environment is full of smiles and laughter, and the best part is that the bride is at ease instead of nervous. Not that there is anything wrong with a nervous bride, but nerves can sometimes lead to stress, and that is the last thing that needs at her wedding. Having already spent some time with Emily and Cal at their engagement session, I knew that their wedding was going to be unbelievably amazing. These two were so ready to be married, and the Overhills Mansion in Catonsville was the perfect setting. My most favorite moment was during their first look when Cal got to see Emily in her gown. He slowly turned, and as his eyes caught glimpses of her, he started moving back in order to take in all of her beauty. It was so romantic and sweet, especially when he had to take a few moments to catch his breath since Emily put him in such a shocked state. It easily made it on my list of the top 5 best reactions, haha! Watching these two and all of their family and friends celebrate almost ten years of their love was something that Shawn and I will never forget. At one point during the speeches, two of Cal's groomsmen delivered a speech together that I don't think left a dry eye in the room. They were so genuinely happy that Cal...

Jessica & Adam

A Breathtaking Waterfront Wedding

"I knew she was the one the first time I heard her say 'I love you'.  Hearing those words come from her in a way I had never heard them said before struck me in such a profound way.  I had never heard such genuine love spoken before Jessica nor had I seen it.  The way she looked at me I knew right away I had finally found the love of my life." I'm a total crier when it comes to weddings, and during every part of Jessica and Adam's day I found myself tearing up. It didn't matter if it was the bridesmaids watching Jessica get final touches on her makeup or the last dance where Adam and Jessica were enveloped in each other's arms, it all created such a beautiful feeling. My favorite part of the day was getting to watch Adam's face light up as he saw Jessica come through the doors and down the aisle. His nerves had been on overdrive the whole day. I seriously thought for a second that he may pass out in anticipation for the ceremony to begin. It wasn't until Adam saw Jessica come around the corner that relief washed over him and a smile spread across his face. As Jessica walked toward Adam she paused halfway down the aisle so that Adam could meet her and they could take the final steps to the arbor together. Honestly, at that point in the ceremony (which...

Emily & Cal's Engagement Spotlight

Rocks State Park

I get so excited when it comes time to prepare for a couple's wedding, and I've been anticipating Emily and Cal's wedding for what feels like forever. There are just three days until these two tie the knot, and I already know it's going to be a fabulous day. Emily and Cal are getting married at Overhills Mansion, which is definitely a favorite venue of mine (see Jennifer's & Brock and Kelli & Aswhin for more images of the venue). It's such a beautiful spot that feels very much like a hidden gem that is dropped in the middle of Catonsville. This venue is beyond perfect for Emily and Cal's classic wedding, and I'm super looking forward to seeing all of their decorations and planning come to life! Thinking back to Emily and Cal's engagement session at Rocks State Park, I'm reminded of how incredibly sweet they are with each other. The way that they look at one another, you can tell that they share such a wonderful and deep connection. There was a moment when we were finishing up the session that they both changed into superhero shirts and had a stare down with each other. I think that was the exact second that I realized that this couple was going to be a dream come true, haha! I love re-living all of the fun times that were in their session, especially since they had their three dogs with them. Adding a furbaby to any session...

Alyssa & Matthew

A Magical Wedding at Billingsley House

I had been ready for Alyssa and Matt's wedding since we shot their engagement session last year. Not only are they incredibly sweet and kind to others, but they have such an amazing connection with each other. It was easy to tell they were dear friends right from the very start. When Shawn and I pulled up to the Billingsley House in Upper Marlboro (the same location as Alexandra and Sean's wedding last November), my mind was already going nuts with excitement. This venue is one of a kind, with beautiful views of the Patuxent and an excellent tented area, which gives any reception a very fancy but open feeling. Driving up the tree lined drive-way, we could see the perfect pops of coral and mint, and we could also see the most interesting tree centerpieces on the colorful rectangular tables. The tree branches and paper leaves added a dimension to the reception area that wouldn't have been achievable with just vases and flowers. Immediately upon walking into the space, I was filled with a sense of overwhelming happiness thanks to all of the details that fit so perfectly together. All of Alyssa and Matt's unique decor was from the mind of their wedding coordinator, Christina. She put in so much time into every detail, and I was amazed at how she captured Alyssa and Matt's personalities in the decorations. Christina's attention and care to the small things filled the reception and ceremony space with so much magic. My favorite...

Fun Birthday Memories

DIY Celebration!

When it comes to my birthday, I usually think up a few different grand ideas of what I want to do. However, as the day approaches, I always get so busy that I just never follow through with my own plans. This year was different, though. I wanted to have a party that could be relaxed, fun, and give people an excuse to eat lots of food. As Shawn and I racked our brains figuring out how to get all three of those things into one space, a message from my best friend about a BBQ acted as a lightbulb moment for me. Shawn and I have a unique living situation. We live in a house that has been converted into three different apartments, and my parents own the house that we are currently staying in. They also live next door to us, so we currently share a huge backyard with them. It's a beautiful space, and last summer they put in a fire pit so we could gather as a family and hangout. With all of this and also the idea of a BBQ in my head, I just dove right in to wanting to have a backyard bash. The biggest challenge was figuring out where everyone would sit. I found that 84 Lumber sold picnic table blueprints with the wood for just $97 (compared to tables at other stores which were around $300). It did mean that we had to cut and build the tables, but Shawn...

Alyssa & Matt's Engagement Spotlight

Ellicott City

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

4 Tips to Keep Costs Under Control

Tips & Tricks

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

Samantha & John

A Rustic Wedding at Shoemaker Homestead

I think I'm still in shock from Sam and John's beautiful wedding at Shoemaker Homestead. I just cannot get over how the weather forecast predicted 100% chance of thunderstorm for the time the ceremony was to start. I know the Weather Channel can very often be wrong, but the color of the sky in the morning was matching what a storm would look like, so I was a bit worried. However, when Shawn and I arrived and walked in to greet Sam, she was so positive and happy. The weather seriously couldn't put a damper on the fact that she was marrying her best friend. Not only was she positive, but Sam also was prepared. She read up on advice that I shared about having a rain plan and bought some super cute umbrellas from Ikea. I'm convinced that when you think happy thoughts (and spend a bunch of money on rain gear) the weather will completely change it's mind and be gorgeous. That's exactly what happened for Sam and John and I couldn't have been more ecstatic that they didn't need to change any aspect of their wedding plan. Not only was the weather on point, but the emotions within this day were on a whole different level. No one could keep a dry eye throughout the day. Tears were shed while Sam was getting ready, since her dress was the same dress that her mother wore almost 30 years ago. And there was no shortage of feelings from...

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...

Our Geode & Watercolor Styled Shoot

We've Been Featured!

Well, it's finally here! The Smitten Magazine issue featuring the Spring styled shoot by Marlayna and me is now live! We are so honored to have our names in such a beautiful collection of styles, recipes and photographs. It truly feels like a dream to have our work recognized, especially after the difficult process of getting it submitted. I still remember when we got the email from the editor of Smitten telling us that she loved the shoot and wanted to put it in Issue 15 of the magazine. Cue the tears and the giddy bouncing up and down in our chairs. Once we settled down we realized that we had to wait an entire month and a half until June for the magazine to come out, which seriously felt like an eternity. I don't know how we made it through, but here we are! Check out the Fresh Issue here! The most rewarding feeling was going to Smitten's site and seeing that beautiful cover image, and then flipping through the first few pages and seeing our faces (that sounds vain, but it was really friggin' cool). Seeing our images alongside so many other talented photographers and beautiful couples made all of the stress and worry completely worth it. This feature is not just for us, but for all of the amazing people that helped make our Pinterest inspiration board come to life. The florals from Nature of Design were beyond anything that we could have imagined. Janet and...