Kristin and David’s wedding was a showstopper. From the stunning setting of St. Joseph’s Cathedral in downtown Columbus, to the intimate reception at Via Vecchia Winery, this wedding was eye candy all day long. I was just at St. Joseph’s shooting again two weekends ago, and I realized when you’re in St. Joe’s, it makes you feel like you’re photographing royalty. The whole ceiling seems to glow a warm golden color. The stained glass windows dance with color. The smell of candles wafts in the air. Momentarily, you might think you’ve been transported to an old European Cathedral.
Kristin wore a long cathedral veil. Have I ever mentioned how much I L-O-V-E long veils? This complimented her dress absolutely perfectly and when she turned the corner to walk down the center isle of St. Joe’s, It was a magical moment. The simple Calla Lillis she carried were so elegant and modern. David’s face says it all.
It was scheduled to pour on this late June wedding day. We were lucky enough to plan out some fantastic indoor shooting locations, but the rain also held off each and every time we had the opportunity to do outdoor photographs. But rain it did. It’s strange, but for me, the rain added a romantic feeling to this wedding. I’m sure that had a lot to do with the Via Vecchia venue being so intimate inside. Because of the bad weather, all day the light seemed a little softer and a little warmer. And oh the magical wind. I love wind on a wedding day. It makes for some unpredictably amazing photos and it has the ability to bring a wedding dress alive!
A huge thank you to Melissa Jones who second shot this wedding with me. I hope you find these photos as beautiful as I do:) XO Jess
I thought I would bring back a little summer fun with today’s post.
Turning ONE is a big deal. You get to smash cake in your face an no one will judge you- in fact, it’s encouraged. You can crawl or drag yourself through the house, and again, no one will judge you. There are usually lots of balloons and tons of people come out to give you loads of cool gifts that make noise (because it’s always fun to give other people’s kids gifts that make noise). And at ONE, it’s the perfect time for a photo shoot. You’re almost a toddler, but you’re still a baby in a lot of ways. What a fantastic milestone age…and literally up until age 29, you only get to celebrate each birthday only once.
What makes birthdays even more special is when you can share them with family. I remember when Addie was all but a toddler herself, and now she’s helping usher in that era for her little sister, Jordyn as she turned one. Neither of these two are scared of the camera which I, of course, adore. Cute and colorful outfits were expertly matched for this summer at-home session. It was a hot summer day so we divided the session between indoors and outdoors. Addie took me on a mini tour of all the things she loves in her life from Soccer, to the large outdoor trampoline, to the neon bracelets that she bought with her own money! Jordyn’s face lit up when her big sister was in the room. She enjoyed being dressed in frilly skirts but also loved getting messy with her smash cake. I can’t get over how cute these two are. I hope these pictures help you remember the simple joys of being a kid at summer time without a care in the world! All I know is I turned 32 ( errr…29 for the fourth time) last month and I wish I could have had a smash cake, too!
Happy fall everyone! I’m pretty behind as far as blogging goes. It’s been a year since Randy and Jess met up with me for their engagement shoot, and now it’s about four months after their wedding. Time to start blogging!
Randy and Jessica’s wedding was the first time I had been to Liberty Presbyterian Church, and needless to say, I was blown away. The exterior looks like a huge barn and the inside has a lodge-like feel to it. The light the that beams in through the windows bounces off the wooden benches and gives a warm glow to the whole sanctuary. The wedding coordinator that works there was so nice and I must brag about her, because it’s really great when Columbus wedding vendors are welcomed in a kind, professional way. Liberty Presbyterian has some beautiful countryside around its grounds. When the sun is setting and that warm light hits the tall grass fields, I am always reminded of why I love Ohio so much.
Jessica’s bridesmaids wore long and flowy light pink dresses that were just perfect for spring. Just like Randy and Jess’ engagement shoot, they included their little dog Teddie in their ceremony as well! Teddie wore a little doggie tuxedo and was walked down the isle- it was beyond cute. I think more couples should include their pets in their ceremonies. He was really good and didn’t make a peep the entire time.
Their reception took place at the Hilton Polaris, which has one of the coolest lobbies ever. I want to transplant their fireplaces and chairs into my imaginary Pinterest Home. But for now, it served as a fantastic backdrop for these two and some great post-ceremony shots.
A special thank you to Mike Stempler for second shooting this wedding with me. I hope you all just love these photos! XO Jess
I literally can’t believe it’s already September. Stephanie and Jason’s wedding is this month and I wanted to show you their romantic engagement shoot before their big day. Stephanie told me they love natural settings, so I couldn’t help but take them to my all-time favorite place in Columbus. My husband Scott and I love it so much we actually had our wedding photographs taken in this stretch of park as well. I’ve always kept it as a private place, but every time I walk this length of land, I can’t help but admire its beauty and I have wanted to do my own photo shoot there for a very long time. This was the shoot! I told them this was my dream shoot, and I think they might have thought I was a little crazy. On a picture perfect summer day, we went into the woods and went exploring. Off this trail there are a few make-shift Tee-pees. I always tried to build make-shift forts when I was little, so it is so much fun to be in a place where you can feel like a child again. When the sun hits the river just right at certain times throughout the day, the water sparkles like a million dancing diamonds. The light trickles through the tops of the trees and illuminates a canopied pathway. It’s not only a romantic spot, but it’s tranquil and peaceful. I love the way Stephanie and Jason interacted with each other. All it took was a glace from one of them to get the other giggling. They have this amazing laid back nature to them so I know their wedding is going to be genuine and so much fun.
After my dream shoot we went to some alley corners of Columbus. I love the nooks and crannies you can find here if you’re eyes are open to them. I hope you love these photos and keep your eyes peeled for their wedding photos coming soon! XO Jess
Sometimes it’s necessary to plan weddings long distance. With phone meetings, facetime and email, the world is a lot smaller place. I met Eric over the phone when he was researching wedding vendors from Ohio. They seemed like such a great couple over the phone, and the way he talked about his fiance Rachel was simply heart-warming. I was so excited when he asked if I would be the photographer for their wedding. I was even more excited when we decided that my husband, Scott (aka my partner in crime), would be coming with me to Cleveland for this event. When I arrived at their wedding, I hadn’t actually met either of them yet. In a way, I found this extremely exciting and fun.
Boy were we in for a treat. This wedding was a fusion wedding of Indian and Chinese cultures combined in a Christian faith. Each of the bridesmaids wore vibrant blue saris. At first look, I thought they were all the same, but in fact, they were all very different deep blue patterns. Eric and Rachel were married in a beautiful old chapel, Harkness Chapel, on the campus of Case Western. Their ceremony included a Chinese tea pouring ceremony and a lot of beautiful hymns and music. After the service, the campus and the nearby park, Wade Lagoon, provided modern, fun and stunning backdrops for wedding photos.
The ceremony was so much fun, as a few friends performed a custom song and some members of the bridal party performed a skit about the couple. The dance floor was full all night long with some pretty amazing dance moves. The one thing that I’ll always remember from this wedding is how loved these two people are. People of all ages and cultures were under one roof pouring love onto Rachel and Eric. Even though I hadn’t met them before this day in-person, I left feeling as if I had known them forever. We were so honored to be a part of this special day and I hope you enjoy the photos as much as we enjoyed taking them! XO Jess
I met Lisa my sophomore year of college at The Ohio State University, when she unexpectedly became my roommate (the roommate I was supposed to have wanted to room with a friend of hers). Since then, over 10 years ago, she has become very much a part of my family. I have always felt like meeting her was a major turning point in my life. In 2001, while we were roommates, she met Steve over AIM (does anyone still remember what that was? Also, this wasn’t completely random- i went to High School with Steve and he was on my AIM list.) Well the two of them quickly fell in love and became inseparable. In 2009 they were blessed with the beginnings of a beautiful family and welcomed Chole Bella into their lives. Just last year, they welcomed the cutest boy in the world, Judah Nathan. I have secretly, or not so secretly, wanted to see Lisa in a wedding dress, though. I had just always wanted to see a day where Lisa was in the spotlight, and I could gush over her publicly and she’d have to sit there and take it. You see, she’s always lived her life for other people. It was beyond exciting for me when she told me she was getting married! I felt so blessed to be standing next to her, Steve and their families as they took their vows in the Short North at Ray’s Living Room and art gallery. Stunning artwork adorned every inch of the gallery, providing the perfect setting for such an intimate wedding. Rigsby’s caters this particular venue and it was nothing short of outstanding. A special thanks to my beautiful friend Carmen Hall from Portraits by Carmen in Grove City who came and helped shoot this wedding with me, as I couldn’t shoot and be in the wedding at the same time. Enjoy! XOXO
Andrew and Jess are officially married! You might remember this couple from their engagement shoot that I posted on here late last year. In May, my wedding season officially ramped up with their wedding.
This was also the first wedding I’ve shot since getting back from WPPI earlier this year (Wedding & Portrait Photography International). WPPI was a three-day intensive convention with over 15,000 of the world’s best photographers who gathered to learn, experiment, and see the latest and greatest products that are now on the market. I’ve wanted to go to this convention for over three years now, but have always found excuses as to why I couldn’t go. This year I promised myself there would be no more excuses. It definitely changed my life and I’ll be forever grateful to my travel mates and the great speakers I was able to learn from and meet. Needles to say, when I returned I was excited to get back to shooting. And with wedding season now in full swing, I love looking back at Jess and Andrews’ wedding day photos.
It was a picture perfect Ohio day. Cool, crisp, beautiful lighting and colorful backdrops everywhere I turned. Jessica’s dress also happened to be drop dead gorgeous. We were able to shoot photos at that magic hour when the sun cuts its rays through the trees and leaves everything glowing in its warm light. The trees at the reception venue, The Lakes Golf & Country Club, created the perfect backdrop for the evening. Dinner and dancing was held under a large flowing fabric canopy tent.
I am so honored to have shared this incredible day of love with them and get to know them better over the past year. Andrew and Jess love photography, traveling, and they don’t take themselves too seriously so it was definitely no surprise I love them both. Enjoy! XO Jess
Whenever I meet with a couple, I always ask if they have ever had their photos taken professionally before. I think I currently have a 100% response rate of “No”. When we meet up for our sessions, I usually hear that one of them or both is nervous. I was too the first time Scott and I had our pictures taken…actually it’s one of the reasons I like to stay behind the camera. The key is to just have fun, be creative, and always feel free to share thoughts and ideas for fun pictures! And this shoot was no exception. It was extremely hot outside (goodbye temperate, cool summer- hello hot muggy heat), but we had so much fun running around the Whetstone Park of Roses. All of the roses were in full bloom which provided a spectacular landscape for some beautiful photographs. Some of them ended up looking like a beautiful technicolor lovey dream-scape, wouldn’t you say?
Katie and Mike have the cutest ways of interacting and making each other smile and laugh. I think you can really see this in the way the look at each other. Katie’s smile was truly brighter than the sunshine!
I love a couple that shows some Ohio love! It is, after all, the best-shaped state, almost like the heart of the nation. I loved Ohio’s old travel motto “Ohio-the heart of it all”. It seems to be true, also. Everyone I’ve ever talked to either knows an Ohioan or has lived in Ohio. You can’t say that about too many other states. The second half of our shoot together was relaxing in their back yard, enjoying some Ohio brews. This was such a great way to end the day. So relaxing and the pressure was off. I hope you enjoy the photos we captured! XO Jess
Traveling for photo shoots is very exciting. It gets you into unfamiliar territory, which keeps you sharp and attentive to the world around you. Seattle was my destination for this rainy/hailing/sunny weekend engagement session. Yes- we had all three weather patterns in the span of three days.
Bridget had told me that they lived on a houseboat, but I didn’t really believe it, or I guess it didn’t completely register until I got there what that meant. They live on a houseboat. A legitimate houseboat….floating, tied to the dock houseboat. And the dock they live on is like stepping into a fairytale. Front stoops lined with buckets of blooming flowers. Kayaks angled against every house. Ferrys full of tourists riding by the rows of houses. Bridget told me that they can kayak to happy hour. I was not in Columbus anymore.
The night I arrived, they took me to a micro brewery for some down time after a day full of travel. They said microbreweries are located almost on every block in Seattle. I had one of the best grilled cheeses I’ve ever had from a food cart parked outside. People are free to bring their dogs into the breweries, which made me wish my little puggle Rugby was with me on my adventure.
The next morning Bridget and Aaron made me a delicious breakfast and we decided to go to Pike Place Market for some morning photos. The market was so alive with tourists, colors and fantastic aromas. The market flower booths brightened the day, as it was pouring outside. We grabbed lunch at a restaurant that was in the movie “Sleepless in Seattle” and as we sat in a corner booth, we watched the world outside. We could see the beautiful waterways, Ferris Wheel and boardwalk through the rain. As we drove to our next location, it started to hail. The ground was covered and looked like it had snowed! We decided to call it a day at that point. Later that evening, we all sat by the fire in their wood-burning oven and watched a movie.
Sunday was much better weather wise…perfect, in fact. We went to Discovery Park which is a stunning beach nestled right next to an old lighthouse. Picturesque would be an understatement. As we stood near the building, Bridget spotted a swimming seal in the distance. Was I really about to get on a plane to go back to the heart of the Midwest? Yup. And then before I knew it I was gone. A whirlwind weekend that I’ll never forget. I hope you love these photos as much as I loved taking them! XO Jess
I hope everyone’s week is going well. I keep telling myself THIS snow is the last snow of the year- and I haven’t been right yet, but if I keep saying it- it will be true one of these days. I have a special post for you today! Earlier this month I had the opportunity to do an incredibly special set of head-shots. Unlike a portrait session that gets a little more artistic, these head-shots will be used for competition.
First of all, can you believe how beautiful she is? Yea, me neither. Kara is the reigning Miss Cuyahoga County, is a contestant for the upcoming Miss Ohio pageant, and in less than six months, she COULD be the new reigning Miss America…which is really fun to say! She has my vote all the way (even though I’m fairly certain it doesn’t count). Kara started with pageants when she was in college at Ball State University. Since then she has been quite successful and now is her time to really shine under a larger spotlight. As a LGBT friendly company, I love to meet and work with other fellow advocates of LGBT rights. Kara has built her platform on the acceptance of the LGBT community. As if that wasn’t enough she is crazy smart AND dances.
Me, my husband Scott (acting as my assistant) and Kara braved the 22-degree weather earlier this month to shoot inside and out at the Grange Insurance Audubon Center in Columbus, Ohio. Yes, that’s right- some of these photos were taken in below freezing conditions. Between shots, Kara wrapped up in a cozy sweater to stay warm. The orange accents of the building paired perfectly with her bright purple one-sleeve top. She told me that she wanted her personality to come through in the pictures, and I think they completely do. Her eyes speak volumes about the kind-hearted, upbeat and down to earth person she is. Keep your fingers crossed, because come mid-June, those other contestants are going to have their work cut out for them.