Favorites of 2018

I cannot believe that 2018 flew by as fast as it did! I think 2018 was one year I will never forget because of the good that happened. Most of my wedding season I was pregnant with my little guy, and I really enjoyed working at each wedding with Barhett in my belly! I went in thinking I was going to be exhausted because pregnancy isn’t easy but to be honest with you I felt the best I had ever felt! I shot my last wedding at 36 weeks, and two weeks later I had a baby! I think what also made this year special other than having a baby were my couples, they were so patient with me and extremely flexible. When I told my September-December couples that I was having a baby they were so beyond excited for Christopher and I. They trusted that I would take care of them just in case something were to happen, and I am so thankful for that. I had such amazing couples this year, and I really would not be where I am today without each of them.

With each wedding and engagement session, some moments stick out the most and have become my favorites. I love all aspects of a wedding, and I love getting to know my couples at their engagement sessions, so I thought I would share some of my favorite moments and photos from a few weddings and engagement sessions and explain why!

Let’s start with engagement sessions! This moment wasn’t a staged moment; it shows the true joy that Danae was feeling in that moment. These two have such an amazing Jesus filled relationship, and it shows.

We had this awesome open house at Orchard Ridge Farms The Pavilion in the spring, and Cassie and Clinton were able to have a mini engagement session! I loved that I was able to hang out with them where their wedding will be taking place. I think it is kind of an awesome idea to take your engagement photos where your wedding will be because you’ll have the same look but a really neat timeline photograph! These two were also my models for a really pretty styled shoot I did in August!! I love using my couples as models, plus they get to be pampered for a day!  

That same day at the open house I met Kirsty and Paul, now with this open house, the mini engagement sessions were about 15 to 20 minutes long, so it isn’t the easiest to really get to know a couple in that amount of time. Well these two I felt so comfortable with and the next day Kirsty and I began emailing, and then they, later on, booked me for their wedding! See in those 15 minutes I made them feel comfortable because to be honest with you we all felt awkward, but when you embrace the awkward, you get some really awesome photographs like this one.   

During engagement sessions and weddings sometimes there are moments where the weirdest and most perfect things can happen like this moment for instance. Joe and Danielle earlier in their engagement session included Joe’s bike and then when we ventured into Cherry Valley for the rest of their session these two fine gentlemen were riding around town on their bikes which brings us to this awesome photo! I am pretty positive it really could not have worked out any better, and in the end, my groom was beyond excited for his engagement photos!
Oh, these two! Can we just say naturals?! Each couple goes into their engagement session telling me they are awkward, well to be honest with you everyone is awkward in front of a camera! You don’t have a camera in your face every single day so don’t expect to feel comfortable right away. After the first 15 minutes, you start to not really notice the device in my hand because I want you to feel like you have this weird third wheel friend that you are just hanging out with! By the end of your session you really don’t feel like you’re at your engagement session at all! With you feeling that comfortable you get moments like this one. I literally laughed so hard the whole 2 hours with Alyssa and Cole, and I learned a lot about them! When I was behind the camera and would let them take the lead, they were just so focused on each other and truly enjoying their mini “date” even though they had the third wheel friend tagging along!

I would say each one of my couples is a different side of my personality, and with Mandie and Kris, they are my extremely goofy side. I went to high school with Mandie, and I always loved how happy and straight to the point she was. We have walked similar paths and have gone through heartbreak but also found our people in the end. During their engagement session, I loved hearing Kris and Mandie’s story on how they found each other and how it just worked. He fits into her puzzle, and she fits into his. When you know, you just know.

If you know me you know my obsession with cows, I would totally get a pet cow, but they are a little large sometimes feisty like this lovely one named Dory. Now if you need a good ice breaker during an engagement session talk about the cow Dory who is sassy beyond belief. Dory really, I mean really wanted her corn so badly that she followed us everywhere through the cow pasture. I feel that because she didn’t get the corn, she wanted that she decided that she needed to be photographed peeing during Nick and Anna’s session. This entire time we were in the cow pasture all we could really say was Dammit Dory!   
First looks with dad’s get me every single time. The moment between Gabriela and her father was so beautiful. That’s his baby girl and that day from the first look, walking her down the aisle, and finally his beautiful speech you could tell he was so beyond proud of her. There is something about a father/ daughter relationship that is beautiful and special. Those moments make me crack just a little and I let the feelings compromise me as I work.

This photo happened to work out so perfectly! We were lucky enough that Megan and Nathan’s bridal party snuck into the Beloit YMCA to see if Megan and Nathan could maybe take some photos because Nathan loves basketball and is also a coach! By far one of my favorite photographs from their wedding because first, it was so unplanned and second, it was them! Having photographs that reflect you are so important and with these two they had a little bit of unplanned not so posed photos and planned posed photos!   

Dresses and colors! I was OBSESSED with Denise’s dress! Each bride has a different personality; I feel like their dress should reflect that
as well. I typically can guess what the bride will wear and about 75% of the time I can guess right. When I saw Denise’s dress is was perfect for her! It has some tradition, some glam, and some fun architectural lines. Literally a little bit of everything! That dress was made
for her! Ladies, it is totally ok to try on more than five dresses! I feel that when you go dress shopping that there is so much pressure on us to pick the perfect dress right away. Well, it doesn’t always work out that way, so you have to try on more than just a handful. You need to feel comfortable and beautiful in your dress so try on as many as you would like!   
Desiree and Brandon’s first look melted my heart! These two were so excited to BE married! When he turned around and saw her they both got so excited! Before Brandon turned around I took a photo of him staring at Desiree’s ring and I saw the sweetest smile. They were both so ready to be husband and wife that you could just feel the excitement just by looking at them!

Meghan’s heart on her dress and the snow. Her momma was not able to be with Meghan on her wedding day in person but holy Moses she was there in spirit! Meghan’s mom LOVED snow, and of course the second weekend of November we got a very brisk snowy day. Meghan knew that her mom was all around her because of that white fluffy stuff. She also was a part of Meghan’s dress and the hankies Meghan gave her dad and brothers. I didn’t know Meghan’s mom, but I sure could tell that woman made a beautiful impression on each person she met in life just by how people talked about her that day. She was not going to miss her baby girl’s wedding, and she sure was going to let Meghan know.   

Laughter is my favorite part of a wedding day, and I literally laughed the whole day with Katy and Ben. The first look I laughed extremely hard, the bride and groom photos I laughed the entire time, the ceremony every single person was laughing, and during the reception, Katy was laughing during their first dance. Their whole wedding was full of laughter and a ridiculous amount of fun with the most important people in their lives.   

I have never had a couple dance down the aisle after getting married until Samantha and Thomas’s wedding day! These two danced not just down the aisle but all night on the dance floor! These two were so excited to party and be married! I clicked with Samantha and Thomas right away over the phone when we had our first phone meeting so when thier day finally came I was beyond excited to be a part of the fun!

Ugh, Katelyn and Gregg, two people that I will forever have a special place in my heart for. They are so sweet together, and I feel like this image shows that. They didn’t want to do a first look; they wanted to do a first touch. The emotions that build up on a wedding day can definitely stress you out and give you anxiety so having a first look helps but what if you wanted to stay more traditional? That is where the first touch has come into play, and I love it! This moment was special because they were able to spend a little time together before the ceremony and get rid of all of those anxiety butterflies. This was one moment I didn’t want to disturb, so I stepped back and let them enjoy each others time before they were husband and wife.   
Well, I dont think I have to say much for you to understand why I love this photograph and moment so much. I think their faces say it all and this is another reason why I love my job. When I see two people who are in love and not just the sweet puppy dog love, its love that is deep down built on faith and trust. That love is what relationships should be built on and is very evident in photographs like this one.

Rain happens, you cannot control the weather sadly, BUT you can control how you react to the weather! Brittney and Timothy embraced the rain on their wedding day so beautifully. They weren’t going to let a little rain ruin their chances of getting photos taken outside. When I photographed their engagement session, they made it so easy for me because they had so much chemistry! Their wedding day was just the same. I didn’t have to guide them all that much because they just did things on their own and I got stunning images like this one! This couple and their amazing attitudes made that day one of the best.   

DANCE!! I LOVE it when my couples dance because not only do I get moments like this but the dance floor will be packed
! Your guests want to be where you are so if you are on the dance floor that is exactly where they will be too! Ben and Erica danced the whole night, I mean they even danced during their night time shot when I snuck them out for a breather! Almost in every photograph from their reception I have them in the background or in focus on the dance floor because they literally never left!

Amber and Cesar, it’s couples like this one that shows being with your best friend is all that matters in the world. They have been together for so long and have grown together through the years. When couples grow together, they know that they will stay together. On their wedding day they not only took care of each other but they took care of everyone around them, and I think it shows how big of hearts they have. I cannot wait to watch these two continue to grow even more as a couple throughout the years.   

Finally my last photograph of the blog and of 2018! Our New Year’s Eve was full of rain until about 5:30 that nasty rain turned into this gorgeous snowfall! Ben and Tara got the snow that they were wanting, and I was like a kid in a candy store because I knew we could have a photograph like this one! I love winter weddings, I used to despise snow, but after photographing weddings and sessions in the white fluffy stuff, you really appreciate its beauty. I feel like this photograph fit their New Years Eve wedding just perfectly. Ben and Tara were my very last couple of 2018, and I am so thankful that Barhett came early because I was able to sneak away from home for a few hours and photograph some important moments of Ben and Tara’s day. They were so understanding when it came to me not being able to be there the entire day and again it was because they trusted me that I would take care of them. I felt it was special that I was able to be there and witness these two good looking people get married!   

Well there you have it! My favorite moments and photographs from this year. I do have many many more but theres only so much typig this momma can do with a baby that wants to be snuggled!

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