Even though this year has been challenging in knowing how to navigate a pandemic in regards to how to photograph weddings and couples, I find the engagement shoots I’ve done to be as close to “normal” as you can get. And for that, I am so thankful. Engagement shoots are so much fun for me because I love getting to know people a little better before their wedding day. It’s like we’re able to go on a small adventure together, which is bonding.
This was one of the coolest stories I’ve come across in my career! Marissa used to live in the house I live in now! She was looking up her old home online and it showed that my company was stationed out of there. Fast forward to her engagement, and she thought of me! My husband and I live out of the room she used to live in while we save up the funds to redo the owner’s suite. I can’t even tell you how happy it made me to meet them. It was also so much fun showing off the updates we’ve been able to do in the last five years.
Marissa wore the world’s most beautiful flowy dress to the Audubon portion of their shoot. And lucky for us, there was an intermittent wind that would blow through and make her dress come alive. Some of the photos just felt magical as I took them. A good wind will do that.
We rounded out the shoot with a small walk around German Village. The flowers and landscapes were showing off for us. Every corner seemed to overflow with early summer blooms and life. Thank you so much, Marissa and Chris, for this day. I can’t wait to join you at your wedding in October! XO J
Just a couple of months before this international pandemic reached our shores, Kati and Charles had already decided that they wanted to get married by eloping. You could say they did it before it was cool! WOW! What a perfect April day it was for their small intimate wedding. The sun was beaming down and all the spring blooms were bursting with life, color, and fragrance. When I arrived, I could see them walking towards the Schiller Park stage in the distance. Ever since I was little, my heart has always skipped a beat when I’ve seen a bride. And that day was no exception. Kati looked stunning in her cream lace dress. The only people there were Kati, Charles, Charles’ brother who was also the officiant and Charles’ parents. They set up a zoom call in the middle of the park so Kati’s parents could be there as well. The couple chose to get married in front of the Schiller Statue in the park, where the formal promenade comes to an intersection with the park walkways. The two of them exchanged handwritten vows and before you knew it, they were husband and wife!
Right after the intimate ceremony, we just strolled the park and took some beautiful spring photos. And keeping in true Schiller Park fashion, you never know what you’re going to get. As we were taking some portraits, a man nearby started to blast Nickleback over his radio. Kati and Charles had a very intimate Nickleback concert during their elopement photos. I’m sure it was the moment they’d always dreamed of.
This wedding was a perfect example of how love is stronger than any adversity. There is beauty and love even in the toughest of times. I can’t fully express how thankful I am to have been there to document this elopement. Thank you, Kati and Charles!
Happy Pride Month! I am so excited to feature so many beautiful couples this month on the blog, starting with these two. I have known Ben since I was 6 years old. When he asked if I would be the wedding photographer for him and his fiance Dustin’s wedding, I was so incredibly honored. Ben is exactly how I remembered him. A huge smile from ear-to-ear, genuinely invested in what you have to say, and just a really beautiful soul.
We took these photos the weekend of their actual wedding. It was such a fun way to celebrate early and get them a little more comfortable in front of the camera. I met up with Ben and Dustin in German Village and we just walked around, swapped stories, memories and laughed together. The funniest story was that the film “I Am Wrath” was filmed at his childhood Bexley home and he got to meet John Travolta. If you haven’t seen this film, it’s worth a watch. It’s so funny (it’s not supposed to be funny), especially if you’re from Columbus. They also filmed a lot of it at the barbershop my husband Scott gets his hair cut, Old Familiar.
In the next couple of weeks, I’ll blog about their wedding. It was intimate and perfect! Until then, I hope you love this fun photo session! XO Jess
Alaina and Megan are two of the sweetest people I’ve ever met. I just received the most beautiful and compassionate email from them last week regarding the whole COVID-19 situation, asking how I was doing and if I was ok. All the while, it is them (and all my 2020 clients) I feel for. It is a huge loss to plan a wedding and then have the plans change. People truly pour their hearts and souls into these events. These two have handled the ever-changing event landscape with a cool calm (or at least it seems like that on the outside). Megan even joked with me that they were now going to have the longest engagement in history.
Their wedding will be later this year with a smaller-than-planned ceremony, and a larger celebration to follow next year. I can’t even tell you how much I love their engagement shoot we did last year. It was so relaxed and fun with lots of genuine laughter and intimate embraces. We started at the Scioto Mile and ventured over to German Village for some brick-street quaintness. It was so fun just to explore the city and have nothing else to do but laugh and talk.
Next week I start shooting again, as they lifted the ban on non-essential work for photographers. I truly miss capturing these moments and am so thankful that these photographs already taken live on as the artwork of our lives. Alaina and Megan, I can’t wait to see you later this year and celebrate with you both!
I cannot think of a better way to spend my quarantine time than to try and catch up on blogging all the amazing sessions I’ve done in the past year. This one is super special to me. When Mike asked me if I wanted to take his wedding photos, I think I asked him if he was sure about 5 times. He is a photographer I’ve always looked up to and it felt like the biggest honor that he wanted and trusted me to be there to capture the day. Mike and Laura are two incredible people who you should be so lucky to know.
The day started with a few photos of Mike while he waited for his bride to arrive. He was nervously relaxed…I think more excited than anything. It was raining outside and Laura’s dad held an umbrella for her as she walked towards the Columbus Museum of Art. A smile lit up her face when she saw me open the doors and start taking her photo.
Once inside, Laura climbed the steps in the new Modern wing and turned the corner to surprise Mike with their first look. It was perfect and there was so much palpable joy radiating between them both. The three of us walked around the museum and took so many stunning photos. It was relaxed and silly, which are the perfect two words to describe them.
As the family started to show up, they all gathered at the top of the stairs in the new-ish Modern Walter Wing under a huge hanging glass sculpture called “Endeavor” by artist Lino Tagliapietra. The souring sculpture was a stunning backdrop for their vow exchange. Even though it was raining outside, the light poured in from the ceiling windows.
From the museum, we headed over to Harvest Pizza in German Village, which two weeks after this wedding, sadly closed. This space was incredible. You walked up a very old set of stairs in a narrow hallway. You emerged into this warm room at the top, just perfect for a 20-30 person celebration. Before the reception officially started, Mike, Laura and I slipped away for a few photos in the rain. When we got back, it was time to feast. Pizza, salad, meatballs, you name it. All served family style with love. I was even lucky enough to snag a seat at the family table, which was another reminder of how honored I was to be there. Space was tight, but I was able to get some killer lighting. I still look at the cake cutting photos and think the lighting looks like a Vermeer painting.
Congratulations to Mike and Laura who just celebrated one year of marriage! So much love to you both. XO Jess
As I’m now editing their wedding photos, I realized I never posted their engagement session from last year. I had this lofty goal to post about every single one of my couples that comes through the door, but this year that has fallen by the wayside, unfortunately. I’m so far behind in blogging that the next few are from last year. But they are from last fall which timing-wise works, so we’ll roll with it.
Eric and Morgan have been together over 10 years so when they decided to make it official, everyone who knows them I’m sure was ready to party right alongside them both.
I have known Eric only slightly longer than he’s known Morgan. We worked together for almost 10 years. He was my confidant- a wizard of all things construction and creativity and always up for Greek food (which if you know me, is my jam) He was (and probably is still) asked to do things he has never done before on a weekly, if not daily basis. That can be insanely stressful, but he always took it with a steadfast calm, or maybe just internalized the stress. My point is, his job isn’t easy but he always made it work. A lot of days I’d mostly see him in deep thought or concentration. So when I was able to spend the morning with him and Morgan last fall, I felt like I was getting to see a whole new carefree side of him. They have been together for a long time, but by looking at the way they interacted with each other, you’d swear they were still in the proverbial honeymoon phase of their relationship!
Eric and Morgan, I am so excited for you both and this amazing time in your lives. I’m honored to have been asked to be next to you as you said ‘I do.” You can also expect your wedding photos by the end of next week! XO Jess
Liza and Terri LOVE visiting G. Michael’s in German Village, so that’s where they decided to hold their intimate ceremony and reception for their wedding day last fall. I didn’t know it, but G. Michael’s will rent out the whole restaurant for you and your guest for a VERY cool experience.
We started the day with some portraits on the same block as the restaurant. It was very hot outside so we wanted to stay close so no one would get overheated. We then took all the family portraits to free up the rest of the evening for a celebration! When guests started to arrive, they were greeted with a cocktail and escorted out to the back patio. Liza and Terri were married by Terri’s brother in one of the most moving ceremonies I’ve ever been to. Because this was at G.Michael’s the cocktail hour and dinner food was nothing short of spectacular. If you can’t rent the place out for an event, definitely go there on a date night- you won’t regret it. After dinner, Liza and Terri did their first dance in the same room as dinner. They seemed to be in their own beautiful love-filled world. You could tell just by looking at them that they have a special love that is deeper than most. It was an honor to be there to not only photograph it but just be in the same room. Dancing slowly moved into the same room as the bar and continued into the night. As I left, I could see everyone laughing, embracing and soaking up those moments inside. I felt a natural high as I walked to my car. Thank you so much, Terri and Liza. You’ll never know how much it meant to me to be able to capture these moments.
When I first met Kendra, I felt like I was hanging out with the cool kid from school. She has fun hair and an awesome sense of style and self. Also, her middle name is Joy and just to be around her is to understand why. When I met Jacob, I felt like I was meeting a better-looking version of Prince Harry. They are both so laid back and easy to photograph together. They have a playful and loving way of interacting with each other.
Some of my brides might actually recognize Kendra, as shes a wedding and events coordinator for Tartan Fields. It’s actually where she and Jacob first met when he worked there as a golf instructor! So naturally, we started their engagement session on the golf course. Woods, wispy romantic grasses and two smiling faces, what’s not to love about this place. That mixed with some perfect lighting and I was in heaven! Speaking of perfect lighting, I adore having the opportunity to do a cool silhouette, and an embankment on the golf course provided the ideal opportunity. Big pillowy clouds offset against a bright blue sky were a stunning backdrop for these two. From there we went across town to German Village where everything was just the right amount of evening sun-kissed. I can’t wait for these two to say I do this November. Until then, I hope you enjoy these photos as much as I did taking them! XO Jess
Cool couple alert! Sean and Amber met me out at Stauff’s in German Village for a laid-back wonderful morning photo session in the fall last year. Sometimes I think it’s fun to just start with coffee and talking. I never drank coffee before I was 35 years old, so lately I find I’ve been making up for lost time and finding any excuse to drink it.
Ok, so there are two things that stand out to me about our morning together. One is the way they make each other laugh. It reminds me of me and my husband. I really think one of the deepest bonds you can have is humor. When you can have the humor/love combo, there’s nothing better. And it will get you through quite literally anything in life. It’s a natural high being around them.
Two, Amber is a taste-tester of chocolate milk and Sean is a self-proclaimed supertaster. I have never met a real-life taste-tester before. It was almost like I was staring at a unicorn. And then Sean informed me of what a supertaster was. It’s actually exactly what you think it is. It’s someone who has super tasting skills. I’m a supertaster when it comes to only a few select things like mustard or beets. Anyways, their amazing sensory abilities are another reason these two are a match made in heaven!
After coffee, we got lost in the streets of German Village, one of my favorite things to do. The weather was just perfect, flowers were still blooming because last fall was pretty spastic weather wise. In a few short weeks these two will say “I do!” and I’m so honored I get to be there and document it all for them. Until then, I hope you enjoy these photos as much as I did taking them! XO Jess
I’ve waited to blog this wedding for a very, very long time so I’m super excited for today when I get to share with you, drumroll, please… Carol and John’s wedding! Hanging out with these two gives me the same feeling as when my coffee kicks in. Pure, unadulterated joy.
We started our day with a first look on the patio of the Vue in the Brewery District of downtown Columbus. John was so excited to see Carole. As he was waiting for her, he was staring at one of the potted plants in front of him nervous and anxious to give his bride a hug! When he finally got to see her, he explained to her how he’ll never forget that plant and how much it means to him now. Lol!
We hopped on a bus and went to Schiller Park for some enchanting and magical photos. I’ve honestly never laughed so much on a shoot before. You’ll see why. I adore people who don’t take themselves too seriously- especially on their wedding day!
From there we utilized some rustic Columbus spots for more photos before we headed back. The green bridesmaid dresses were so striking. I truly wish more weddings utilized this color!
Their ceremony inside the Vue was filled with laughter and tears of joy. The setting was striking with its natural light and soaring ceilings. Immediately after the ceremony, Carole and John spent a few minutes together on the back patio with just each other. I was so glad to see them taking the time to do that because the party that followed was a throw-down whirlwind!!! Awesome speeches, a Dairy Queen ice cream cart, and some incredible dance moves were just a little of what made this party so memorable. I couldn’t be more happy for two people and thank the universe all the time for letting us cross paths!