Category Archives: German Village

traci and andrew in love in german village

Engagement Photos at the Grange Insurance Audubon Center

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!

Jacqueline and terry lying in the grass at Schiller Park

Engagement Photos in German Village

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!

kaila and brittany and their downtown german village wedding

Dock 580 Columbus Ohio Wedding Photography

When I think back to this wedding, I still think it was a wonderful dream. Everything from start to finish was so beautiful, laid-back, and genuine. Kaila and Brittany started their day getting their hair and make-up done in the same room. They then separated into two different rooms to put on their dresses for their first look. We did their first look in the heart of German Village on hot but beautiful June day. Both of their dresses were a pale blush color and very similar as far as the cut. The details, however, were very different and so striking on each of them. Their two dresses together were so breathtaking and all my second shooter and I could say was, “two dresses are so much better than one!” After a few shots on the streets of German Village, we headed over to Schiller Park. The beautiful park mixed with these two gorgeous ladies made for some seriously romantic photos.

Now it was time to go get married! The outdoor ceremony took place in Frank Fetch Park in the heart of German Village. The park had a small fountain that provided a warm ambient background noise. Each bride was escorted in by their immediate family up to a central arbor. They had their neighbor perform the ceremony and she read one of my favorite readings, “on marriage” by Kahlil Gibran. Vows were shared, tears were shed, and before you knew it, Kaila and Brittany were wife and wife!

From Frank Fetch Park we headed over to Dock 580 where we were able to get some of my favorite portraits from the day! After that, the real fun began and the night was filled with some seriously funny speeches, lots of laughs and two radiant souls surrounded by family and friends. Thank you, Kaila and Brittany, for having me as your wedding photographer. This was truly one of the highlights of my year! XO Jess

griffin and dan downtown columbus wedding

German Village Backyard Wedding

On the day of Griffin and Dan’s wedding, I met up with Griffin at her parent’s house. Griffin had told me that she wanted some of her portraits taken in her mother’s bathroom and of course, I said yes! But what I didn’t realize at the time, even though she explained it to me, was that her mother (being an artist) had transformed the entire bathroom space into the most stunning work of art. Everywhere the eye turned were the most beautiful mosaics made from broken tiles, beads and egg shells. I feel like you could spend hours in that room and only see a very small part of it. I loved the symbolism of taking Griffin’s portraits in this room. Her mother had started it as a tribute to her own mother, so in that bathroom was the warmth of multiple generations of women and an outpouring of creative love that only a mother can have, and only an artist can convey.

It was now time for the wedding so we headed a few streets over to Griffin and Dan’s place where they were to get married in their backyard. Everything was immaculate and perfectly groomed for the ceremony. Dan had tears of joy as he read a note from Griffin right before the ceremony. Griffin and her sister shared the sweetest moment in the garage right before the entrance music started. The flower girls had the best senses of humor. They walked down the aisle, stopped right in front of Dan and dumped out all of the petals in their baskets at his feet. The ceremony itself was probably no longer than 10 minutes, and before you knew it they were husband and wife and drove off in a white convertible!

I got to hitch a ride in their sweet ride and we rode around downtown Columbus for some portraits. When we made our way back to their backyard party, the food truck had arrived and was serving up hot bagel sandwiches. I always forget how ridiculously good a bagel sandwich is and the Short North Bagel Deli did NOT disappoint! My favorite part of their reception was Griffin’s dance with her Dad. In the middle, her Mom and sister joined them. A couple minutes later, all four of them turned to Dan, arms wide open, and welcomed him into their family hug-dance. His face as they did this was priceless. As the sun set, you could hear relaxed laughter, see amazing dance moves and feel the love in the air. I am beyond honored to have been with Griffin and Dan on this day. It was one of the highlights of my professional career! XO Jess

jennifer and kyle kissing in schiller park

Engagement Session in German Village

Jenn and Kyle met up with me for a short engagement session late last month so they could get an awesome pic for their save-the-date. Even though it was a shortened shoot, it felt like each click of the shutter just produced awesome images. I remember saying a few time, “well this is easy!”. We started at Schiller Park and wound our way around German Village for our mini-adventure together. Jenn actually sent me a few inspirational photos before our shoot. I was so excited and giggled a little when I opened them and saw that they were photos I had taken! It’s a huge compliment to find inspiration from your own photographer! As we drove around German Village, we hopped out of the car paparazzi-style at any place we saw and loved. Let’s be honest though, you probably could use any street in German Village for a shoot and have it turn out completely enchanting in photographs. We ended the shoot on a romantic high-note at Pistacia Vera. It was buzzing inside with lots of patrons but we were lucky enough to snag a table by one of their floor-to-ceiling windows. Jenn’s engagement ring looked so sweet stacked against some of their colorful macaroons. And there was nothing more perfect than the foam heart on top of their specialty coffee! I’m so lucky you both walked into my life and I can’t wait for your November wedding! XO Jess

Elopement in Downtown Columbus

I have a special treat to post today! My last post was about a small intimate wedding. And I mentioned that it really doesn’t get more intimate unless you get married at the courthouse. Welcome to kate and Jeff’s courthouse elopement! I am starting to be truly obsessed with courthouse elopements. They have an excitement that’s so different from the feelings of a big wedding! Only the closest-of-the close are invited. In fact, the last time I shot one it was just me and the couple. On this day, I arrived and was immediately struck with Kates warm and kind smile. She wore a short white wedding dress and her look was so classic. It reminded me of Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Her dress fit her like a glove and there was a good reason for that- she made it! Not only did she make it, but she made it using her mother’s old wedding dress. (Let the sentimental tears start flowing!) She even made pockets in the dress! As we waited, her mom stood next to her and just beamed from ear-to-ear. I know I ‘ll look just like her mom if my kids get married someday. At the courthouse, the hallway started to fill up with other families who were going to tie the knot. All cultures and all ethnicities were waiting for the judge to call them back for their turn to say “I do”. After a very long feeling few minutes, Jeff and Kate were finally called. We all went into a small room and the ceremony only lasted about 5 minutes. From there, the three of us drove around the city to find the cutest places we could find! I am so honored to have been with them both and can’t wait for the world to see how fun this day was! XO Jess

German Village Engagement Shoot

So I just realized I haven’t blogged Griffin and Dan’s engagement shoot yet which I’m about to remedy right now. These two were married a couple weeks ago in an intimate backyard ceremony that was swoon-worthy. But how can I tell you about that before I first show you how adorable these two are? For their engagement shoot we started with some photos in their German village backyard and then walked around their neighborhood, ducked in and out of alleyways, up and down brick-lined streets, and I made Griffin and dan kiss all along the way! Cuteness abounds.

Griffin wore a gorgeous blue bohemian-esque dress that took my breath away and looked flawless with her blonde hair. I loved Dan’s outfit but loved it even more when he described it as his “substitute teacher look”.

I know Griffin from high school but have admittedly only kept in touch since then through Facebook. I was so humbled when she approached me about her wedding photography a few months ago. I was also excited to catch up and meet her love, Dan. Griffin has a soft and collected way of speaking that is very soothing and genuine. Her presence is calming and her smile is infectious. Out of nowhere, she’ll crack a dry joke which is unexpected and my all-time favorite quality a person can have. Dan has a laid-back down-to-earth personality. He seems to be very go with the flow (at least as it relates to having photos taken). And I think my favorite part of spending time with them both is how they look at each other. So today I’m so excited to show you this super fun day, but I truly can’t wait to show you their wedding blog in the coming weeks!! Keep an eye out for these two! XO Jess


engaged couple hugging on stairs

Downtown Columbus Winter Engagement

Believe it or not, this engagement session is from the day after Christmas when Carole and John were still in town for their holiday vacation. It was a freezing cold day but super pretty- the kind of cold day you can still take a deep breath and feel refreshed and alive. And hanging out with these two actually gave me the same exact feeling!

We started off our shoot in German Village drinking coffee and hanging out- a perfect way to start a shoot if you ask me! We had never really met in person before this moment so it was nice to just take a little time to talk, laugh and warm up. We tried to keep most of the shoot inside because I think it was around 17 degrees outside. After the coffee shop, we headed downtown to the main library which made for a stunning backdrop for some intimate and more importantly warm photos! I just loved goofing around with these two- it felt like I have known them forever. I was on a natural high for the rest of the day. We might even meet up in the Spring for a mini outdoor session as well! Carole and John, thank you for being you! XO Jess

happy engaged couple standing in a wild flower field

Columbus Fall engagement

Let the fall engagement posts begin! Morgan and Brian met me out in early fall at Schiller Park in German Village. The weather was still warm, but there was a perfect fall overcast above us (Ideal for shooting!). Schiller Park is one of those amazing parks where you will literally see it all every time you visit, just like the state fair. As we were shooting, a family next to us was having their family photos taken- with their shirts off, of course.

Flowers were in full splendor. We ventured over to the book loft which always takes my breath away every time I visit. Morgan and Brian hadn’t been inside the store yet, but I assured them it was Columbus’ coolest fire hazard. So many winding hallways and staircases. Wandering the isles will make you feel like a little kid again. The outside is just as enchanting with overflowing flower boxes and painted red window sills.

From there we traveled to the Grange Insurance Audubon Center for their spectacular prairie-like grounds. When I was editing this collection, I couldn’t get Tom Petty’s “Wildflowers” song out of my head. I just love this song and think it would also be a perfect first dance song at a wedding.

While I was actually shooting these, however, I had Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now” in my head. LOL. This also happens to be the perfect song to play right when your coffee is kicking in. I find myself singing Queen in my head a lot at shoots.

I’m so honored that Morgan and Brian chose me to be their wedding photographer for their Nationwide Hotel wedding next year. The time between now and then will fly so quickly, this I know.  Until then, I hope you love these photos as much as I loved taking them! XO Jess

Engaged couple hugging in Schiller Park

A German Village Engagement

It was a perfect spring day with a subtle breeze in the air, just enough to make a small piece of hair come to life. Amanda and Eric met me at the Grange Insurance Audubon for their engagement session, and then we drove to German Village and took some more photos paparazzi style! I was a little obsessed with shooting in this area of Columbus this past spring. All of the brick streets looked extra quaint with all of the flower boxes having freshly planted flowers around every corner.

I can’t get over Amanda’s stunning eyes- they’re captivating. And they both have such a genuine smile- they make a super cute couple and will make a very good-looking bride and groom come this November. Until then, enjoy these photos! It was such a stunner of a day! XO Jess