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.
So excited and honored to be featured on Deco Weddings today! I adored Becca and Rich’s downtown Columbus elopement, their personal style, and all the love that surrounded them throughout their insanely fun day. View their feature here:
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
When I arrived at Morgan’s room on her wedding day everything was abuzz. There was a kinetic energy in the air that was just so happy! Morgan herself was nothing but smiles. The dress was hanging on the windowsill and from everywhere in the room, it served as a beautiful focal point. When it was time to put on her dress, Morgan and her mother stood alone in front of the window as she buttoned up the back of the lacy silhouette. One of my favorite things to photograph is a mother’s hands as they fasten their daughter into their dress. It’s a quiet moment filled with a stillness and a deep love. Right after her dress was on, Morgan was embraced with hugs from family and friends. It was now time to go outside and see Brian.
The couple saw each other for the first time on the grounds of the Nationwide Hotel and Conference Center. Morgan tapped Brian on his shoulder and as he turned around and saw her, his face was pure joy. He embraced her in a deep hug, spun her around and then it was time to go get married!
The ceremony took place at St. Brigid of Kildare. I think this is one of my favorite churches because it is so photogenic. So much so, we even utilized the grounds after the wedding for some of their portraits. From the church, we all piled onto the party bus and were whisked away to Highbanks Metro Park for some beautiful portraits in a more natural setting. We stumbled upon this old path that was grown over, yet perfect for dreamy wedding photos. After that, we got back on the bus and one of my favorite moments of the day happened. Brian started lip-syncing to Morgan on the bus. It was so adorable and you could just feel the love between them. After some photos around the NHCC grounds, it was time for their reception in the newly renovated Edgewater Room. Madison House Designs provided the stunning florals that accented every table. Speeches, happy-teared dances and an evening full of laughter and happiness followed. I feel so lucky to have been there to see and capture it all. Thank you, Morgan and Brian, for trusting me with your photographs! XO Jess