When Cassandra wrote to me about getting a family and engagement session, she mentioned that she’d love to have it at her home because her backyard was really beautiful in the fall. What I didn’t realize was that her backyard had a river, sweeping cliffsides and vibrant honey colored soaring trees. I felt like I had stepped into a dream-scape. And seriously, how cute is this blended family? Now that fall is giving way to winter, I thought a little more autumn color would be just perfect on this Thanksgiving weekend. 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
Chelsea and Chris had a visually romantic and warm winter wedding, only enhanced by the excitement of it being on the night before New Year’s Eve, or as I affectionately describe it, New Years Eve-Eve.
Their wedding took place on an unusually temperate late December day. The bridesmaids wore maroon full-length gowns and fur wraps. The women all carried bespoke wedding bouquets that were adorned with deep red and white roses. The men wore black suits with maroon accents. Chis and Chelsea did a “first look” where they saw each other before their wedding. They did this for logistical reasons because of the time of year the wedding took place. Sun-down was around 5:20 p.m. and they wanted some outdoor photographs, so we timed the photos to be from 2-4:00 p.m.
As a photographer, I often get asked what my favorite venues are in Columbus, OH. I always have the High Line Car House on my shortlist. The building was built in 1873 as the headquarters for the High Street railroad company. Inside, the building housed streetcars and 40 horses. Nearly 150 years later, it has been transformed into a newer Columbus event venue. The building has its original brick walls, soaring ceilings, and an industrial shell that is perfect just the way it is or as a starting point for romantic florals, decor and lighting. Huge rustic chandeliers accent the space with an old-world charm.
Photographically speaking, the venue can be dark and as a result, the person shooting needs to have mastered off-camera lighting techniques to allow for a well-lit environment while minimizing shadows. My goal is to always have the subjects I artificially light look just as good as if they were lit with natural light.
The street outside the venue still features its original exposed bricks. Years of traffic from streetcars, horses, and travelers have made the street warn and settled with time. This side street makes a fantastic location to photograph the couple and wedding party.
As the sun had just tucked under the horizon, Chelsea walked down a candle-lit aisle toward Chris. The ceremony itself was short and filled with lots of genuine laughter. Afterward, I had the honor of going back out with Chelsea and Chris and do some captivating night photography around downtown. When we arrived back at the venue, the warmth inside felt like a welcoming hug after coming in from the cold winter night. The rest of the evening was spent showering these two in love and laughter.
Excitingly enough, earlier this year this wedding collection was awarded the NACE Wedding Photography of the Year Award at their annual national conference. My husband and I got all dressed up and were able to have an amazing kid-free night together to celebrate at the gala. I felt like Cinderella!
Jennifer and Kyle were married at Worthington Christian Church on a temperate November day last year. Excitement grew as Jen and her girls got ready at the church. It was so much fun watching everyone come in and greet her with smiles, hugs, and laughter. Jenn’s Essence of Australia dress was stunning! It had lace on either side that dipped from the underarms down to the waist to create a sexy but sophisticated silhouette. She wore her hair back in a modern up-do that complimented her beautiful eyes and her warm smile.
When the suns ducks behind the horizon and the last bit of light fills the atmosphere with a light blue haze, that’s called blue hour. A blue hour can sometimes be challenging to shoot in but not on this day. The images we were getting were so elegant and oozed romance. The light from the Scioto Mile Bridge illuminated Jens cascading veil. Jen and Kyle looked so cosmopolitan against the modern lines of the bridge. A couple of details that I absolutely loved for the day that Jen wore was her grandmothers’ stole and her initials were adorned inside. Kyle also had a special embroidery inside his tux, their wedding date!
When we arrived at the High Line Car House, it was completely dark outside. I knew we wanted to get some portraits along the backside of the building so I brought out some off-camera lighting and we rocked it in the pitch black of night.
When you walked inside High Line, it’s hard to accurately describe the feeling. Madison House Designs had created an environment that wrapped guests in warmth, candlelight and every corner was dripping with greenery. A French provincial door was set on the sidewall, adorned with candles and the most beautiful flowers. The head table was crowned with the most breathtaking greenery and candles hanging from the chandelier. Overall, this wedding was nothing short of show-stopping and I feel so lucky to have crossed paths with these two! Thank you for the honor of capturing your perfect day! XO Jess
Elaine and Marcus’ wedding took place on a sunny mid-October day. Marcus wore a striking blue suit from the Men’s Warehouse and Elaine wore an elegant sleeveless gown from Le Jeune Marie in Columbus, Ohio. Their bridal party was comprised of their best friends and there was a woman groomsperson and a male bridesperson. The women all wore maroon, with the maid of honor wearing the same shade with a sparkly sheen. The women carried bouquets of deep red and white roses that perfectly matched their floor-length gowns.
As guests arrived, they were greeted with a champagne tower and encouraged to grab a libation before the ceremony took place. The use of clear chairs in the event space made the room feel a lot more open and added a splash of modern sophistication. For the actual ceremony, the weather was good enough to open the retractable ceiling/wall. This created a show-stopping backdrop and focal point, as the lines of perspective angled straight towards the bride and groom.
Cocktail hour took place outside as the sun set over the Columbus skyline. Being October, the air cooled off and started to become brisk, but not so brisk that it was uncomfortable. In fact, the cooler air provided almost a new energy for the rest of the evening. Candles were lit on all of the dining tables and guests were treated to a meal with a view. Speeches, dancing, and dessert followed into the evening. By the time I left, the bride and groom were blissfully dancing in each other’s arms.
The venue itself has a rich history in Columbus, OH. Starting as a hardware business in 1929, the loft-like structure was essential to housing heavy machinery. In the late 1990s, the dilapidated old warehouse building was rehabilitated and turned into high-end offices and event spaces. Just last year, the property added a rooftop event venue called Juniper which offers sweeping all-glass walls (complete with a retractable ceiling), amazing views of downtown Columbus, and a vintage high-end art deco flare. It is the first rooftop bar and event space of its kind in Columbus and to say it is competitive to hold an event there would be an understatement. Because this event space is brand new, Elaine and Marcus’ wedding offered their guests an original and refined view of not only the city but of what an event in Columbus can be.
Because this venue is situated on a rooftop with glass walls and ceilings, the logistics of photographing an ever-changing lighting situation becomes paramount. With most traditional event venues, you are in a dark room at night. They are straightforward to shoot if you know off-camera lighting and come prepared. With an all-glass situation, you can’t approach shooting your subjects the same way as you would in other venues. You must set up your lighting very specifically to avoid reflections, shooting at angles that hide your flashes and their falloff and try to make the imagery appear as naturally lit as possible with the outdoor lighting constantly changing. It is a true art to photograph an outdoor event that bridges day to night, which is essentially what you’re doing here, with the added challenge of avoiding reflections.
Jaimie and Dwayne were married last weekend, so I just have to share their romantic engagement session we did last fall at the Grange Insurance Audubon Center in Downtown Columbus. These two both have a very soft and laid back presence, which makes them really fun and easy to be around. The night we went to the Audubon, the lighting was nothing short of magical. As it happens often, I saw another photographer friend of mine shooting there that same night. Fast forward to Jaimie and Dwayne’s wedding, that same photographer was second shooting with me. It’s such a small world sometimes!
Be on the lookout this year for a blog post about their wedding! It was so breathtakingly gorgeous and everywhere you looked there were details galore. They even had printed out some of their engagement photos and had them on display at their reception! (which I of course loved!)
I’m so excited to finally get this out into internet land today. I’ve been sitting on it far too long. I hope you enjoy these as much as I did taking them! XO Jess
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
Kristen and David were married on a perfect fall day at the Derby house last year. Everything was green and the sun was shining! Kristen looked flawless in her dress and I was so excited for David to see her at their first look out on the back patio. This was actually the first time I had ever shot at the Darby house, and I hope to add this venue to my frequently shot list because it is super stunning and the grounds provide a perfect romantic backdrop. What struck me about these two that I didn’t really realize beforehand was how goofy and funny they are! It is seriously fun to hang out around them. They don’t take themselves too seriously which brought a whole new element of authentic joy to the day. Some of the photos taken at their wedding were actually some of my favorites from 2018. Especially the one where David is clicking his heels together as they walk off into marital bliss.
Their ceremony took place as the sun was low and golden in the sky. Immediately following, guests were treated to a cocktail hour on the patio overlooking a beautiful waterway that runs behind the property. Bistro lights started to glow as evening set in, and everyone soon gathered in the reception hall. Speeches, toasts, cake and delicious food were shared with everyone. After which, the party really got started with a live band playing! Live bands can really turn the party up to the next level, and this was no exception. People packed the dance floor the entire night. By the time I left, Kristen and David were blissfully wrapped in each other’s arms. Congratulations to you two and I hope you enjoy these photos as much as I did taking them! I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for you both!
I’ve admittedly been sitting on this one a while but am over the moon to share it today, and in the coming weeks, their wedding as well. Sarah and Rich actually eloped in a small ceremony earlier this year. This is the first time I had ever done an engagement shoot for a couple who was having such a small wedding, and I truly wish everyone did it this way! We had so much fun walking around the Topiary Park in downtown Columbus, talking about love and life and creating some incredibly fun images. I adore Sarah’s outfit. Any time you wear color, your images are going to be vibrant and eye-catching. Mixed with her stunning hair color, These shots have a really fun and funky vibe. I hope you enjoy these and keep a look out for their intimate wedding! XO Jess
Chelsey and Michael’s wedding was spectacular in every sense of the word, complete with a vibrant fuschia sunset the evening of their wedding at the Kingwood Center Gardens in Mansfield, about an hours drive from Columbus, OH. During the day, the sky had a thick layer of clouds, just perfect for shooting an outdoor wedding. The clouds turned the entire setting a giant softbox, lit to perfection.
I met up with Chelsey and the girls at a quaint little Airbnb not too far from the gardens. The multiple rooms were just buzzing when I arrived. Each bridesmaid had been given their own super cute robe to wear and personalized thermos to drink from. We traveled to Kingwood for Chelsey to put her dress on in a small private room with just her mom. The back of her dress was showstopping with lots of delicate buttons- perfect for photographing.
Chelsey and Michael did their “first look” out on the back steps of the estate. Never was there a more romantic first look location. Just the site of her walking out the door towards him pretty much took my breath away. I’m not going to lie, holding an outdoor wedding in Ohio can be a little stress-inducing. But if the weather shows up as it did on this late September day, it will bowl you over with beauty. Look at their ceremony pictures, guys! That’s real! That’s not a movie set. I guess what I’m trying to say is I want to shoot all the Kingwood Garden weddings, with one caveat. The couple has to be as cool and laid back as these two.
After their ceremony, we slowly walked over to their reception and shot some more heart-achingly gorgeous photos of them both together, freshly married. As we made our way over, the sky decided to treat us with the most magnificent sunset I’ve ever seen!