Tag Archives: Outdoor Portraits

two men hugging under a tree

German Village Engagement Shoot

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

woman on a cliff

Dreamy Hocking Hills Portrait Session

I had the great honor of traveling to Hocking Hills last spring with the one and the only Shannon Goode from GoodeBeauty. She asked for a romantic and earthy vibe for the photos, and I said: “I’ve got the place for you!” I love it when people are up for anything. Together we ventured to Hocking Hills and when we arrived, it couldn’t have been more spectacular. There was a low-hanging mist around all the trees giving a creamy and soft feel to the photos. I just loved the outfits that Shannon picked. Bright and beaming colors were such a nice compliment to the romantic, earthy setting. Shannon has a soft and relaxed demeanor which makes her a very calming and grounded presence to be around. She is strong, stunning, and basically a force to be reckoned with both in life and in the beauty industry. Not only has she been in the beauty industry since 1997, but she is also a founding partner of the Midwest Beauty Summit. She has done my hair on three separate special occasions and each time has blown me away. I always consider my hair to be very difficult to tame, and Shannon has had the most effortless way of making it look absolutely spectacular.

I am so thankful for our time on this day. It was so great to get to know her, talk about life and business, and shoot some beautiful photos. I love you Shannon and hope I get to have you in front of my camera again!

a woman sitting on a rock portraits of a woman in the woods woman sitting next to a waterfall woman in the woods

kendra and andrew sitting on a bridge

Inniswood Metro Gardens Engagement Shoot

This spring is crazy, right? Besides the international Pandemic, we have seen so much rain this year it’s bonkers. Yes, I’m bringing the word bonkers back.

Last week I took my family to Hoover Dam for a much-needed outing. Ironically, there was almost no water flowing over the dam. I looked at my four-year-old and told him I would bring him back after a good rain and he would get to see how beautiful it is when it is flowing. The first time I ever saw the dam in person, even though I was born and raised in Columbus, was early last spring when I was lucky enough to photograph Kendra and Andrew’s engagement photos. All the rushing water going over that grand spill was so mesmerizing. I know if I take my son back now, his eyes will be as wide as mine were on this day.

Ok enough about the Dam. Let’s talk about Kendra and Andrew. They are a true love story if I ever heard one. They met when they worked together and slowly their bond grew. Late last year they were married in a stunning fall wedding and now they are expecting their first child! But before all of that, we met up and took some super fun and genuine images around Columbus. After the photos at Hoover, we ventured over to Inniswood Metro Gardens which is beautiful any time of the year, but especially in Spring. I think everyone should have a photo with their special someone under a tree that’s in full bloom. There’s something so timelessly romantic about Spring, which is also why it’s my favorite season.

In the coming months, I’m excited to share Kendra and Andrew’s wedding with you. Until then, dream of the rain stopping so we can all go stand under some beautiful trees.

A couple kissing in front of Hoover Dam an engaged couple sitting on a bridge an engaged couple walking through inniswood gardens an engaged couple sitting in a tree two lovers in a rose garden a couple walking through inniswood garden a couple kissing on a bench a couple standing by a tree in full bloom

Franklin Park Palm House Wedding Photos

Ok, prepare yourself. This wedding is so special, so loving, and so uniquely Tyler and Thomas. These two decided to stray from the typical event formula and instead of having a rehearsal dinner, they had an intimate wedding the night before their big reception! To make it even more fun, we did their engagement shoot right before they said their vows. I’ve shot over 300 weddings and this is the first time I’ve ever done one like this. It had everything. The small intimate ceremony and the large no-holds-barred party. Just perfect if you ask me.

We started the weekend of festivities at Goodale Park where spring was vibrant with its saturated greens. This was the first time I had met either of them, but you would never know that. It felt like I was hanging out with old friends. Tyler is from Canada so he thanked me after every photo I took, which just gave me a natural high from days. These are two of the sweetest people you could ever meet. As we walked and took photos, we slowly made our way down High Street to Hubbard Grille, where their ceremony took place. Hubbard Grille has a second-floor event space that is just perfect for a smaller dinner or event like this. And if you go there, try the Brussel sprouts. I don’t even like Brussel sprouts and I think it’s quite possibly one of the best things I’ve ever eaten.

Thomas’ dad officiated the quick ceremony and before you knew it, Tyler and Thomas were married! Together with their family they ate a delicious meal and celebrated into the night with wine and laughter flowing.

The next day, my second shooter and I met Tyler and Thomas at the LeVeque Tower in Downtown Columbus for a quick portrait session before we went to the big event. A man in a tux is a special thing to see, but two men in tuxes just took my breath away. The LeVeque was the perfect backdrop for their wedding attire. That art deco vibe matched perfectly with their dapper and sophisticated look.

Off to the Franklin Park Conservatory, we went! It was so much fun just to walk around and take a few photos. Then, the rest of the night after family photos was pretty much just documentary photography. Throughout the night, they had live music, speeches galore, and even a swing band with a swing dance instructor. This weekend was pure magic and these photos are so much fun to look back on as they celebrate their one-year anniversary this week! Tyler and Thomas, I feel so blessed to have crossed paths with you both. I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for you both! XO Jess

An engaged couple smilin in Goodale Park Two men in goodale park two men in goodale park for their engagement shoot an engaged couple at arch city tavern Hubbard Grille's special event space Intimate wedding at Hubbard Grille wedding portraits at leveque tower wedding photos at leveque hotel gay wedding at franklin park conservatory gay couple's wedding photos at franklin park conservatory franklin park conservatory palm house wedding food spread live wedding music at franklin park conservatory

Columbus OH Snowy Sessions

Happy Snow day everyone! I have a new-found appreciation for the snowiest of days since my son is absolutely crazy about them! He literally started speaking in tongues this morning when he looked outside and saw the fluffy white stuff covering our entire backyard. It reminded of me of some of my other snow-loving clients who had their snowy portraits taken with me earlier this year. So many snowy snuggles and huge bursts of laughter. There were even some puppy kisses too!! I hope all of you are able to get outside today and build a snowman like we did. Or, just enjoy these winter nuzzles from the warmth of your home. XO Jess

happy engaged couple

Columbus Fall Engagement Photos

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

Award winning High Line Car House Wedding Photos

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!

 

Jaimie and Dwayne hugging in the park

Grange Insurance Audubon Engagement

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

smiling couple walking the grounds of the audubon

kendra and jacob hug on tartan field golf course

Tartan Fields Engagement Photos

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

sarah and rich hugging in the topiary park

Columbus Topiary Park Engagement Photos

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