Carly and Alexxa met me out on a late September afternoon with their beautiful baby Coby. For me, it was an hour that went by too quickly. It had been a few years since I had seen Carly.
Quite honestly, I’ve been avoiding writing this blog for the same reason I delayed writing about my friend Nicole’s wedding. I don’t want to sound like a creeper. But a superficially written blog won’t due for these two. So at the risk of sounding like a super fangirl, here it goes.
I met Carly working at a local production house here in Columbus over 5 years ago? I don’t know- time is more of a theoretical thing for me anymore. She was fresh out of college and super young, however, I’m at the age where I feel like most people are super young. What struck me about her right off the bat is how mature and true to herself she was. Those are two qualities it took me years and becoming a parent to accomplish. On her first day of work, Alexxa had sent her a huge bouquet of flowers. I remember everyone was pretty impressed by that. She had told me the story of how they met online very randomly and ever since had been inseparable. When I met Alexxa for the first time, I was struck by how similar these two are. They have a similar frame, same length and color of hair… same soft way of giggling at each other. They “look” like a couple. One time my husband and I did a face-swap and you couldn’t tell the difference (freaky to say the least). There’s a photo of my parents when they were in their 20s. They looked alike as well. You get it- sometimes you look like your spouse.
Fast forward maybe a year after meeting these two. Carly and Alexxa adopted their beautiful fur-baby Coby. We always bonded over our love of our dogs. My boy Rugby was my fur baby until I had human babies. Now sometimes I struggle to remember his name, LOL. I can say with 100% certainty that there has never been a more beloved puppers than Coby. I love when their Insata stories pop up- I always get to see some ridiculously cute photos or videos of Coby. * Rugby earmuffs for what I’m about to say* Coby might be the cutest dog I’ve ever seen.
Throughout the rest of my time working alongside Carly, I found her to be an incredibly talented graphic designer, patient with all kinds of personalities, laid back and super funny. It’s hard not to respect and admire her. So when she and Alexxa asked if I’d be their wedding photographer, I was beyond-words excited. I am so happy for these two as they tie the knot later this year. Until then, check out their engagement shoot. Their love for each other is palpable and extremely easy to photograph!
One of the things I love most about being around Terri and Liza is they act like a new couple even though they’ve been together for years. Both of their faces just light up when they see each other. To have such a palpable love I think is pretty rare. It also made photographing them extremely easy.
We shot their engagement session at the Community Garden at Franklin Park Conservatory on the most beautiful September evening when the golden sun was low in the sky. The warm glow of the universe only made Terri and Liza that much more beautiful together. A couple of weeks later, these two tied the knot in an intimate German Village ceremony which I will blog about in the weeks to come. Until then, I hope you enjoy these as much as I did taking them! XO Jess
Ok I feel like a part of myself has been missing and this is because I haven’t written a blog in a couple of months. I set the craziest goal for myself this year to do 100 blogs. I am at 50-something, so obviously I didn’t make that goal. But it did train me to write and write regularly. So much so I really missed it when I stopped. I missed sharing all these amazing stories with you. I missed going in-depth visually and sharing all these fun moments we’ve had together. So even though I’m still on the crazy train of editing, I’m making time for a quick blog so I can get my fix.
This is Mike and Susan. When I met with them they mentioned they had this special cat that started hanging around them and basically adopted them. I told them they should bring her to their engagement shoot, and sure enough when I saw them pull up in their truck, there was their cat on their dashboard. I was excited like a little kid. I had never done an engagement shoot with a kitty! This was a very special cat, though. When we did photos of just Mike and Susan, Mike put the cat down to the side and it just waited for them to finish getting their photos taken. It was incredible. They theorized that the cat knows she has it good and wouldn’t dare leave them for life in the streets again. My brother always claimed that cats were super intellectually smart, and this might have proved it to me.
Mike and Susan’s evening shoot led us to the Scioto Mile bridge downtown where a fire red sun greeted us with the most spectacular rich lighting. From there the sun was pretty much gone but we stopped at the Columbus sign behind 16-bit arcade downtown. A couple of weeks after we took these photos, these two tied the knot in a stunning fall wedding which I can’t wait to share in the coming weeks! XO Jess
I met Traci at a wedding show! I never really do wedding shows, but I was so excited to be asked to be a part of the one at the Nationwide Hotel and Conference Center and I couldn’t refuse. There was only one issue- it was exactly one week before I was supposed to give birth to our daughter! I looked like a beach whale. I was standing on chairs to get my booth set up- I’m sure I made more than one person nervous, lol. In walks Traci, cute as can be. She’s by herself because she came straight from work. We just started talking and I swear just talked and talked for a couple of hours like we had already known each other for years. She told me about the love of her life, Andrew, and how much they had already been through together. She confessed at the time she wasn’t yet engaged, but she accidentally found the receipt for the ring he bought, so why not start planning the wedding, LOL.
Fast forward to their engagement session date. I was driving to the Audubon center when I got a phone call from her. It was hailing golfball sized hail where they lived and was moving right towards southern Columbus. Needless to say, we decided to reschedule the shoot. And oh my gosh people, the weather on their re-schedule date was amazing. These photos couldn’t be more perfect! I just had to call a rain date on a couple this past weekend, which I rarely do. But it’s very much worth it sometimes.
I am so excited for your wedding in a couple of weeks, Traci and Andrew! Getting to know you both has been one of the highlights of my year, so getting to know your family also will be so much fun!
Hey guys! Jess here, straight off my triple-header weekend. Between Friday and Sunday, I took well over 10,000 photos. I’d say I have some homework cut out for myself!
Today I want to share Jackie and Terry’s engagement shoot! The moment Jackie stepped out of the car she took my breath away in her stunning flowy purple dress and fantastic red lipstick! I love women who aren’t afraid of a little color, especially on photo day!
Terry has lived all over the country and moved a lot in his life. I asked him how he liked Columbus, and his answer was just perfect. He said something to the effect of, “Of course I love it- I met the love of my life here.” AWE!!!
We did most of the shoot in German Village, a very eclectic part of town. During our shoot, we met a guy who couldn’t find where he parked his car the night before (no comment). We also met an older lady who made Terry try and fix her flower box because he was tall enough to reach it. People in Columbus are so like that- there just aren’t any strangers, LOL. Needless to say, we were making memories all over the place but one this is for sure: The weather was amazing and these two worked that camera to no end! I just love their bright and colorful collection. I can’t wait for their beach themed wedding!
Elaine, Marcus and their adorable mini Goldendoodle, Lola, met me out on a hot summer day last month for a seriously fun engagement shoot. We started the session at the Topiary Park in downtown Columbus and wound our way around the city to all sorts of cool hidden little spots. Lola was with us every step of the way. She got so many hugs and snuggles in the photos. When she wasn’t in the photos, she was supervising from the sidelines making sure mom and dad looked perfect.
I left this shoot with a natural high, and not just because it was 90 degrees and I was becoming dizzy. These two are SO MUCH FUN to be around. They are both laid back and have great senses of humor. They are so goofy and don’t take themselves too seriously, which honestly makes for such refreshing photos. Elaine’s pink flowy skirt matched the well-manicured gardens of the topiary park and some of the late-blooming trees in the area. Lola’s tongue matched the skirt perfectly as well, so you can just see how great the color compositions were!
From the park, they changed outfits and we went and had some fun in downtown Columbus at the new-ish “COLUMBUS” mural. They brought out their sunglasses and we all had so much fun sweating our asses off in the direct sun. My favorite is the jumping photo. I usually don’t have people jump for photos, but this year I’ve done it twice. It’s pretty great when they work out. Elaine and Marcus look like they could be in a Mentos commercial from the 90s! Thank you guys for braving the heat with me! I seriously can’t wait for your wedding. Until then, I hope you love these photos as much as I did taking them! XO Jess
I met Natalie and Mike for the first time on the day of their engagement shoot. They also had their handsome dog Cooper with them. Dogs are the ultimate icebreakers. Cooper acted like he had been waiting his whole life to have his professional photos taken, and he did not disappoint. He fed the camera cute look after cute look and required very little direction- ideal client if you will. Natalie and Mike were pretty effortless as well. They were so laid back and at-ease. A few minutes into the shoot I felt like I had known them for a lot longer. I adored the story of how they met and keep replaying it in my head ever since I heard it. It’s a story that could be turned into a rom-com script. They both met while grocery shopping at a Whole Foods! They bonded over a discussion on hot sauce. Right then and there they decided to grab a drink together at Whole Foods, hung out into the evening and even kissed goodnight. The rest is history! How cool is that? Such a simple, everyday happening that turned into so much more.
We took these photos about 3 weeks out from their actual wedding. These two had a destination wedding last month in Florida and so they are already blissfully married! I can’t thank you both enough for having me take your engagement photos. I’m so excited to share these today and hope you love them as much as I loved taking them! XO Jess
When Alexa and Juan came over to my house and described their wedding plans, I said an extra little prayer that they would choose me to help them document their love. Low and behold my prayers were answered and I feel like I won the lottery with these two. Alexa has an electric personality. She always seems to have a smile on her face that could light up a room. Juan is a little more reserved with his calm disposition but will definitely laugh and have a good time. Together they make the sweetest and happiest couple! They have the cutest way of interacting with private giggles shared only with each other. When they smile, both smile with their whole heart and its radiant. I’m not sure you could ever be in a bad mood around either of them. When I left the session, I felt like I was on a natural high.
On Mother’s Day this year, we started our session in Goodale Park, a place that has profound significance for Alexa. One of my favorite stops was under the most beautiful droopy tree that had names of other people in love carved on the trunk. It was romantic knowing how many people shared a few moments with each other in that same spot. You know a session is going to be good when in the first few minutes, the couple asks, ” are we going to get to dance?” UM, HECK YES YOU ARE! We danced our way through the Short North and even stopped into Jenny’s Ice Cream for a little reprieve from the heat (the sugar might have aided in that “natural high” I was telling you about).
Early next year these two will say “I do!” and I’m seriously beyond excited for some of the details they have planned. But until then, I hope you enjoy these beautiful photos of these beautiful souls. XO Jess
Kate and Chad met up with me in late April along the banks of the Scioto Mile. We ended up walking for about two hours around downtown exploring, which is actually my favorite way to shoot. Kate wore a beautiful lace blue dress which looked fantastic in literally every photo. You can’t go wrong with a solid color on your engagement shoot- but especially blue, red or green. I had mentioned the Ohio theater to them before the shoot and Kate loved the idea because she and Chad often go and see performances. As we were walking up and standing under the marquee, all of the glittery lights turned on- it was magical!! It was so well timed I thought someone working there had seen us taking photos and turned them on for us, but alas, there was a matinee they were getting ready for. From there we wandered around the Statehouse and took advantage of the Classical architecture. Kate told me about some of the Statues on the Statehouse grounds. Two of my favorites were the Statue of the famous military and political leaders from Ohio, and the new Holocaust memorial that was unveiled in 2014.
After our tour of the Statehouse, we ran across the street and walked through the Columbus Commons. I told you we walked a long way! By now we were in the groove and having fun. On our way back to the Scioto Mile we found a few nooks and crannies that were super picturesque. The grand finale of the shoot was getting to photograph these two in front of the Columbus skyline. The sun was direct and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky, but it was still so spectacular. I can’t thank Kate and Chad enough for being up for anything! I am so excited for their Grandville Inn wedding. XO Jess
So I was killing it with the blogging up until around January 20th. Why, you ask? Well, we had a few things going on. We welcomed our new beautiful daughter into the world. 1.5 months later, we moved into Children’s Hospital for a week while our son had open heart surgery for the second time in his little life. In between those two big life events, this session with Chelsea and Chris happened and I’ll tell you what- hanging out with these two was refreshing for the soul. This was a late February shoot, so the air was crisp, and let’s face it, the weather was exactly the same as it has been this week (groan).
We went to some of my old and new favorite spots (thanks to them!). We started the shoot at Schiller Park which is stunning any time of year. Then we just walked around some streets in German Village and enjoyed a few moments in the direct sun. You know that moment when the sun hits your face after a long winter? We had a couple of those moments- it was bliss. Most of my job is asking people to do things and watching how they interact. A lot of times it ends up with us all being completely goofy together and I can’t get enough of that. This whole session was like that. Dancing in the street? Check. Feeding each other pizza? Check. Kissing in front of a restaurant full of people watching? Check (Them, not me. lol). We ended the session at Mikey’s Late Night Slice off 4th street. Annnnnnd I totally over-ordered lunch (fresh off a pregnancy and still eatin’ for two). Do you see the way the pizza so perfectly accents that engagement ring? I think I need to make a habit of suggesting Mikey’s for more shoots.
Chelsea and Chirs- thank you for coming into my life (and thank you, Emmie and Rob, for facilitating that!). I can’t wait for your New Years Eve Eve wedding! XO Jess