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
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!
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
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
I met Natalie and Mike for the first time on the day of their engagement shoot. They also had their handsome dog Cooper with them. Dogs are the ultimate icebreakers. Cooper acted like he had been waiting his whole life to have his professional photos taken, and he did not disappoint. He fed the camera cute look after cute look and required very little direction- ideal client if you will. Natalie and Mike were pretty effortless as well. They were so laid back and at-ease. A few minutes into the shoot I felt like I had known them for a lot longer. I adored the story of how they met and keep replaying it in my head ever since I heard it. It’s a story that could be turned into a rom-com script. They both met while grocery shopping at a Whole Foods! They bonded over a discussion on hot sauce. Right then and there they decided to grab a drink together at Whole Foods, hung out into the evening and even kissed goodnight. The rest is history! How cool is that? Such a simple, everyday happening that turned into so much more.
We took these photos about 3 weeks out from their actual wedding. These two had a destination wedding last month in Florida and so they are already blissfully married! I can’t thank you both enough for having me take your engagement photos. I’m so excited to share these today and hope you love them as much as I loved taking them! XO Jess
As some of you know, our son was born with Tetrology of Fallot, a series of congenital heart defects. Two weeks ago we watched as he had open heart surgery for the second time in his little life. Going through an event like that really puts everything in perspective. It gives you a new clarity on what it means to deeply love someone and the importance of cherishing every moment.
Today we celebrate life! And I want everyone out there who has a beautiful loving family to celebrate with us! That’s why I’m offering a free 1 hr family session in the Columbus, OH area to one of my facebook or instagram users! To enter, like my page and tag two friends who you think have a beautiful loving family worth celebrating in the comments below. Winner will be announced April 2nd! In addition to the contest, I’m also offering $150 off any family sessions booked for April, May and June (only $350 for an hour session including all edited images!)
I feel like I’ve written this before, but I LOVE engagement shoots. It’s such a fun, laid back, pressure free experience that’s just so much fun it gives me a natural high each time I shoot one. No matter who it is or how nervous someone may be, the session is always so full of life and love. Who wouldn’t like that?
This year I had the honor of shooting not only in Columbus, but in Chicago as well. It was refreshing to bring a fresh perspective to some popular Chicago locations, as well as get a much-needed mini-vacation with the husband. It was a weekend filled with my three favorite things: Scott, photography and eating.
A lot of my local shoots happened to be in German Village this past year. I think people are drawn to the charm of the brick streets and homes that are so quaint it hurts. Columbus is just perfect for vast and diverse shooting locations. I seem to find new ones each shoot I’m on. I love all the color and variety you find in this city!
On a side note, I have a lot of people ask me what they should wear to their engagement shoot. I always say that bold colors are great on camera. Usually you want your shirts or outfits to be logo-free and not too complex of a pattern or design. You don’t want a photo background to compete with your outfit and vice-versa. Be yourself. If you don’t usually dress up in a suit and tie, then wearing that to your engagement shoot might not represent who you are as well as it could. Generally speaking, dressy-casual works well.
Below are a compilation of some of my favorite couple’s photos from this past year. I ended up having so many that I cut them down a bit so the post wasn’t too ridiculously long. A huge thank you to all of the couples who have trusted in me to document their relationships and love. I’m so excited for this year’s shoots to start (this weekend!).
I met up for coffee with Chris a few months ago to hear more about his wedding plans. He said he was thinking about having his favorite band play at his wedding. I asked, “who is your favorite band?” and when he said the Andy Shaw Band, a huge smile grew across my face.
You see, Andy Shaw introduced me to my husband through an unusual string of events. I told Chris the fact I met him, and his favorite band happened to be Andy’s band, was a cosmic connection and you can’t ignore when these things happen. Anyways, he must have believed me because he hired me and I was fortunate to shoot their wedding this past weekend along with the musical stylings of true, lifelong friends.
A Color Session With Teal Lighting!
Chris and Casey wanted to do a day-evening shoot, and so I decided to embark on a new type of session that I’ve always wanted to do with couples. I have since aptly named these sessions “The Color Sessions.” I think in a previous life I was a lighting designer.
I just love the way buildings and environments can change character when lit, especially with colored light. Within the dusk-evening time period, adding colored light to environments works extremely well and has amazing results. One of their wedding colors is teal, so we consistently used teal light throughout the session, but any lighting color is possible. Hit me up if you would like your engagement session to be a Color Session!
You will inevitably see from these pictures how laid back, fun and in-love these two are. It was an extremely fun night that my husband Scott and I spent with them Spoiler alert! Casey was a total knockout on her wedding day! I hope you love these photos as much as I do! XO Jess
Hooray! I’m finally on this year for my blog posts! Sad, i know, as its almost June! Hello, where did the time go? (whoops, i just remembered i still have some special sessions I need to post still from last year lol) As many of you know, this past winter was long and way too cold for humans. I think this past winter might have given me a touch of PTSD towards cold weather. Its not always like this in Columbus, but in early April it was still very brisk. Michelle had contacted me about updating her actor head shots. She is a local actress who will appear in The Merry Wives of Windsor at Schiller Park’s Shakespeare in the park. If you haven’t been before, this is a series of free Shakespeare plays that take place outdoors at night in the summer. A lot of people bring picnic baskets and relax under the stars watching some truly talented actors and actresses. You can see her perform this year from July 31st to August 31st. You seriously won’t regret going to this very unique Columbus experience! Even pets are allowed to come and share the adventure with you, which is always a plus in my book.
Michelle will undoubtedly be successful in whatever venture she peruses. I instantly felt like I had known her for years. Her bubbly, approachable personality shows through in these photos, which of course is the goal of a successful head-shot. I’m so excited to see her work that stage in a couple months. I could never been an actress and always admire those who are fearless enough to get on a stage and perform for others. She was so much fun to work with and I just know you’re going to see big things from her! XO Jess