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!
Caitlin and Mason’s Findlay Ohio wedding was from start to finish, beautifully genuine. The details poured from every corner and yet it still wasn’t overdone. I think that has to do with how down-to-earth and honest Caitlin and Mason are. I got to know them both a little better at their engagement shoot in the fall of 2017, so on their wedding day, it felt like I was seeing old friends.
I met up with Caitlin and her bridesmaids at the brand new Hancock Hotel in downtown Findlay, OH for her and Mason’s mid-August wedding. The room itself was alive with laughter and natural light. The furnishings were gorgeous and the room is quite possibly one of my new favorite “getting ready” rooms to shoot in. Caitlin’s hair was intricately braided into the most spectacular mermaid braid. It was show-stopping. But not as showstopping as her Nicole Spose beaded dress. I’ve been to a lot of weddings and I’ve literally never seen a dress like this one. It was form fitting, elegant with its high neck, delicate with its sheer fabric, and absolutely made for Caitlin’s figure.
When it came time to head over to the First Lutheran Church, there wasn’t much travel time needed, as it was across the street. The entire wedding party was able to walk over. Talk about convenient. The back of the altar of the church had natural light flooding into the sanctuary which did make it a little more challenging to shoot than the average church, but it also provided such a unique and happy environment.
After they said “I do!” we all hopped on a bus and drove around to some cool local spots. Most notably was the bar owned by Caitlin’s family. As per tradition, she poured and served Mason a Guinness in her wedding dress from behind the bar. Then we had the entire wedding party come in for one large celebratory “cheers!” and photo-opp. Afterward, it was time to head back to the Hancock where the real party could begin.
I can’t thank these two enough for trusting me in capturing this perfect day. I simply can’t wait to see what the future holds for them both! 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
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!
My job often has twists and turns. Sometimes I’m not even sure where I’m going to be the next weekend. Karen and Jay booked me less than a week out from their wedding. I was excited, to say the least, but I also had no idea how much fun I was about to have at this wedding. When I walked in, Karen and Jay were in the same room putting together bouquets for their wedding day. After a few minutes of this, Karen rushed Jay out the door to go get ready. As I photographed her dress, different family members came in to visit her and see how she was. Her daughter carried her dress into the bathroom and helped her get dressed. Weddings are such a whirlwind. Karen had been dealing with so many little details from the day, it didn’t leave her much time to get ready, but Karen was nothing but jokes, laughs and smiles as everyone rushed about. Finally, with her dress on, she was flawless and it was time to tie the knot.
On a sunny and hot July evening, Jay and Karen exchanged vows in the outdoor courtyard of the Granville Inn. I have been to over 250 weddings, and I had never seen this before: the minister allowed for people to individually stand up and “bless” them with something, such as patience, peace, etc. It was so special and meaningful.
From the ceremony, just the three of us walked a bit around Granville. That day there happened to be an outdoor carnival. Karen and Jay immediately lit up and decided we had to stop there for some fun photos. I totally felt like a little kid again. These two are incredible in every way. At the reception, I asked Jay about Karen and how they met. He said he was tired of the dating scene because it was usually very superficial. When he met Karen, he was immediately drawn to how spiritual she was. It was her authenticity and devotion to God and him that he fell in love with. I can see why. She has an electric personality and I wish these two endless years of carnivals, dancing in the street together, and an unending love that grows with time.
I think the single biggest gift being a wedding photographer has given me has been reconnecting with people from my past on such a loving an important day as their wedding. I have photographed the weddings and special moments for people I’ve gone to high school with, people that I’ve gone to college with, people I’ve gone to graduate school with and people that I’ve met in while living in other cities. 17 years ago I was lucky enough to find myself working at ACCAD as a summer counselor for a women in technology program. Little did I know that program would change my life probably more than it changed any of the other girls attending the week-long camp. The other counselors became lifelong mentors to me and women that I continue to look up to and aspire to be. One of those women is Samantha. When she contacted me about her wedding day, to say I was honored would be an understatement. We FaceTimed together where I got to both meet her fiancé Lisa and start the ball rolling on planning their romantic Via Vecchia wedding.
Fast forward to their wedding day. It’s not often I get choked up on a wedding day, but when Samantha walked into the room with a blue sequined dress, I kinda lost it a little. She was so radiant. A little later, I was able to meet Lisa in-person for the first time in her suite down the hallway at the downtown Westin. It had felt like I had known her for years. Her brother and best friend were hanging out in the room with her and they had such great senses of humor, I immediately felt a connection with them all.
Lisa and Sam wanted so badly to get married in the alley at Via Vecchia, but the universe had other plans for them. It not only rained, but it down-poured to the point it was testing the capacity of the gutters. The entire ceremony setup was moved indoors at the last minute thanks to Via Vecchia owner, Michael, and Lisa and Sam’s friends and family. Let me tell you- it looked so amazing. I couldn’t get enough of the hot-pink uplighting. It ended up being the ceremony with the biggest visual cool-factor of the year. I know it wasn’t what they had envisioned, but it was just perfect.
My favorite parts of the reception were the speeches, as always, the shoe game where we got to see a little insight on Sam and Lisa’s relationship, and the sibling dance-off which was judged by Sam and Lisa’s parents. I’m not sure I’ve laughed that hard in years. Later that night, the rain stopped and so we snuck out and did a few evening shots under the Via Vecchia bistro alley lights. I can’t thank Samantha and Lisa enough for having me photograph their wedding. I hope you all love these as much as I loved taking them! XO Jess
You might remember these two from their engagement blog post last fall. All you have to do is be within 10 feet of these two to see how in love they are with each other. It is sweet, pure and genuine love. When one of them talks about the other their whole face lights up. That was one of the reasons I was even more excited to shoot this wedding.
Since the day we drove out to Wapakoneta, OH to photograph this wedding, I’ve been dying to share everything about this day with you! I’m not even sure where to begin with this venue. It’s in the middle of the country, but when you pull in it’s like it’s own little Mediterranean-inspired oasis. SoSerene is owned by a husband-and-wife team who have transformed their personal property into one of Ohio’s most unique wedding venues. Every detail you see in the entire place was handmade by one of them, from the carved marble accents to the stone outdoor pavilion where the receptions take place. When you think about just two people doing almost everything on the property and then you look around, it’s pretty mind-boggling. Lucilky for us, there was no shortage of beautiful photo opportunities.
I met Caitlyn and her bridesmaids at the pool house as they were getting ready. When I walked in I found Caitlyn with tears in her eyes. She was already emotional just thinking about Adam and the day ahead of her. The feeling was so mutual. When Adam saw Caitlyn walking down the aisle his eyes welled up with tears and it was just a magical moment I know they’ll always remember.
The pavilion they got married on was actually a floating dock! A lush garland of purple roses framed Caitlyn and Adam as they said their vows to each other. It was a hot and sunny day, but the wind was blowing softly. There was a weeping willow down by the pond. Mix one stunning wedding couple and a weeping willow softly blowing in the breeze, you get magic! The rest of the night was filled with nothing but laughter and happy tears. Caitlyn and her dad even surprised all of the guests with a choreographed dance!
Caitlyn and Adam, I love you both so much and can’t wait to see what the future brings for you. XO Jess
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
Ah, my cup runneth over in day 5, the last day of Babypalooza!! Today I feature the love of my life who turns seven months old today! Finney Roux, you are loved beyond words. You are so sweet, laid back and always flashing smiles to everyone in the room. You love to talk and say “da-da”. You always seem to be moving and will be crawling any day now.
You have been through a lot with us this year and have handled every hurdle without any kind of reaction whatsoever. From coming out purple and needing immediate c-pap, to moving into the hospital for over a week while your brave brother faced open heart surgery, to your countless ear appointments and tests, you have handled each thing we throw at you with total indifference and happiness! You are a true force to be reckoned with, my dear. Even though you are laid back and happy, you can still voice your opinion with a vengeance. You already have an amazing ability to hold a grudge that you inherited from your mama. You are always looking around and have a fear of missing out when mom and dad try to go on date night. You laugh gutturally like a little old man. You have precious almond-shaped blue eyes and only your mama knows the intricate patterns that can be seen within them. I stare at them as I nurse you and think about all the things I hope your little eyes will see someday. You are 7 months old but currently starting to fit into 12-month-old clothing. All of your teeth seem to be growing in at the exact same time so the next few weeks should be interesting. Time is already moving so quickly but I’m so blessed to be able to see you most of every day and watch as you figure out this big crazy world we live in. Thank you for being my beautiful daughter. You are my everything! My little slice of heaven.