It’s been a hot minute since I’ve blogged, but it feels good to be back – real good! I’ve got some spicy content to share with you this Valentine’s Day. It’s the gift you didn’t know that you needed. I honestly could not have picked a better day to share some pictures from the engagement shoot I did with Alisha and Joey last Sunday. Love was certainly in the air that day, as well as snow…and lots of it.
For those of you who know me well enough, you know that I’m a lover of snow. Sorry to all the haters out there, but being able to shoot in the snow is pure magic to me (you’ll see why), and so many other photographers. So homegirl was PUMPED. That’s me, I’m homegirl. Luckily, Alisha also shared my level of excitement when the snow predictions came through prior to the shoot, and Joey…well maybe not so much. Finally, after years of anticlimactic winters, this was our year. We got the snow we’ve been waiting for, and then some. The timing could not have been more perfect, as we didn’t originally plan on doing a snowy engagement session, but Mother Nature felt like it needed to happen.
We had the entire place to ourselves, well, minus the extreme sledders. No coats were worn, but Alisha and Joey had no problem snuggling up and keeping each other warm. They were the ideal company to have with me on a snowy excursion – game for whatever and ready to embrace every bit of weird and wild I threw their way. No complaints. No questions asked. I also love how they allowed the silly side of their relationship to shine through. Seriously, no amount of cold could get in the way of us having an absolute blast together. I mean, come on, there was even a mini snowball fight that took place just as the sun started to set.
BEST. DAY. EVER.
To say that I have been looking forward to doing an engagement shoot with Carrie and Chris for a long time is an understatement. But really. Carrie reached out to me back in November to plan something, and we immediately started bouncing ideas off of each other. We agreed that a winter engagement shoot would be ideal – that way we could do a shoot in the snow *cough* playinthesnow *cough* and it would be as epic and magical as you would imagine. Well, Mother Nature decided that wasn’t the plan. There was hardly any noteworthy snow. There was minimal magic. It was kind of a bummer, but obviously not a deal breaker. And so the waiting period began…
Flash forward a few months – the holiday season died down, the winter slump was over, and we were surrounded by lush greens and beautiful flowers once again. I see you, spring! We were on it, especially because we knew summer had intentions to skip right over spring. The new plan was to do a shoot at Marsh Creek, but also throw in a bit of a small-town urban vibe, for good measure. I met up with Carrie and Chris at a fun newish spot in Phoenixville called The Analog Room (RIP Club 212), which is the upstairs portion of The Bistro on Bridge. If you aren’t familiar with the place, I highly recommend you look it up – it’s a happening spot and a great place to mellow out, have a few drinks, and play some retro arcade games, or larger scale classics (I see you Jumbo Jenga), or you know, do a photo shoot. Plus, it’s essentially rooftop beer garden and the views and ambience don’t disappoint.
The plan was to sit down, have a few beers, and chat before hitting the town. We got to talking, and the good times immediately started rolling. I’m pretty sure we actually spent more time laughing than talking. That’s how I knew this was going to be one for the books.
Once we romped all over Phoenixville, it was time for a change of scenery. We headed over to Marsh Creek to bask in the brilliance of the golden hour and enjoy the tranquil views of the lake, plus we didn’t want to miss the promising sunset. Fun fact: they made a pit stop along the way to get Carrie’s pickup truck (that’s right) and cowboy boots, to authenticate the experience. We honestly couldn’t have asked for a more perfect evening.
My shoot with Carrie and Chris was a genuinely great time. I laughed, they laughed, we all laughed together. My cheeks were sore the next day from smiling so much – smiling because I knew the experience was raw. I walked away that evening knowing that something HUGE had happened. There was no shortage of laughter and love throughout the day. Nothing was forced or awkward. The moments they shared between each other were authentic and the emotion was real. I have the pictures to prove it! They were completely down to earth and down to have a good time (looking at you Busch Light). My favorite part of the shoot? I asked them if they’d be willing to show me their first dance if I played THEIR song. Without any hesitation they went right for it. Chris even started singing to Carrie, which may or may not have melted my heart a little bit. OK, a lot. What a great couple. And honestly, can we talk about how good looking they are? Phew.
Carrie and Chris, thank you SO much for asking me to capture your engagement pictures for you. I can truly say it was a pleasure and an adventure. Exactly one year from today, you will be doing this all over again, but as husband and wife. I’m so happy for you two – you deserve all the happiness in the world. Congratulations again!
What’s better than a long holiday weekend you ask? How about a long holiday weekend celebrating the marriage of two fantastic people completely surrounded by nothing but family, friends, and good vibes? Oh yeah! I did that. This wasn’t just any old holiday weekend though, it just so happened to be Memorial Day Weekend. For those of you who may be reading this without any knowledge of Catherine and Jake, aka the bride and groom, both actively serve in the U.S. Coast Guard. Needless to say, Memorial Day Weekend is kind of a big deal.
The day started off with a lot of uncertainty, specifically regarding the weather. Fear of the notoriously unpredictable spring rain storms were looming, but as no surprise to anyone, the heat and intense humidity came in and stole the show…not away from Catherine and Jake, though. That was impossible. At the Gallagher family residence, the girls (yes, all SEVEN Gallagher sisters) were getting glammed up and having a grand old time playing tunes, sharing laughs, and playing around with the most adorable little crew, consistent of: Mary Grace, Claire, Ryan, and the newest addition, baby Erin (scroll for cuteness below). The guys, on the other hand, were having a little hotel pre-party of their own filled with plenty of pizza and beer to keep everyone at ease.
The ceremony was held at St. John Neumann Church, in Bryn Mawr, and it had all of the quaint charm you would want at a Church wedding. Aside from the moment Jake and Catherine said, “I do”, I have to say that the runner-up for best moments was when Colleen sang Ave Maria and moved everyone in the Church to tears. I got chills then and am even starting to get emotional reflecting on it now. Truly unforgettable.
The real party started when all of the guests and bridal party arrived at Downingtown Country Club. This venue is notorious for hosting some great weddings, and the Gallagher-Vickers Wedding was no exception. You always know it’s going to be a great time when guests get up and start dancing on their own. That’s how it was THE ENTIRE TIME – hardly anyone sat down. There was such an influx of love and excitement throughout the entire day, but the reception at DCC, quite literally took the cake. You could just feel the energy radiating from everyone throughout the entire evening.
Catherine and Jake, you two are very deserving of such a perfect day. Sela and I were so honored to be able to spend the entire day capturing the love between you, your family, and your friends. Your good vibes are infectious, and your selflessness for serving our country is something that no words could ever do justice. THANK YOU for letting us be a part of your day! We look forward to your upcoming adventures in Cape May this summer. Endless Congratulations!
Also, I want to give a special shoutout to my very special 2nd shooter, Sela, who is an absolutely fantastic shooting partner and an even better sister (keeping the family theme for the wedding).
Guess who’s back on the blog today? You guessed it – the Wolfe family! It felt SO good to be back taking pictures for Ben and Courtney again, but as an added bonus this time, we also shined the spotlight on big sister Zoey and the soon-to-be baby Wolfe. Baby Wolfe is only a few short weeks away from coming into this world. What better way to start off the year than with a new addition to the family? It was a FRIGID Sunday afternoon, but luckily Ben and Courtney wanted to have the session indoors – in the baby’s new & completely decked out ADORABLE nursery. I know who I’m calling when my room needs some remodeling!
All I could think about while working on these photos is how lucky I am to be able to capture and share HUGE life moments such a this.
Courtney & Ben, I am sending nothing but love and happy thoughts your way as you prepare to welcome a new addition to your family. This little miracle will soon make your world happier and more beautiful. A grand adventure is about to begin. Wishing you a safe delivery.
Let me start this post by saying that this family shoot was one that was VERY special to me. Why, you ask? Well, for one, it was my first time doing an official family photo shoot (what the heck?); but more than that, it also happened to be a shoot for someone I’ve had the pleasure of growing very close to over the last year, and her family too, OF COURSE! My good friend (who also happens to be a co-worker), Melinda, asked me if I’d be up for the challenge of doing some family photos with her, Brian and the kids. She said she had a vision of doing a fall shoot on the street in front of their house, because it is completely lined with trees that have an impressive track record for painting an ideal fall scene on a yearly basis. My response: challenge accepted…also, what challenge?! In my defense, I’ve had the opportunity to meet, hang out and play with all of these kids, so I wasn’t walking into this without prior knowledge of what I was getting myself into – not that it would have swayed my decision one bit. What did I agree to? If you don’t know Kollin, Erik, Bailey & Landon, I’d say you are missing out! These kids are sweet, well-mannered, fun & down for whatever; I guess being cute also helps a bit here and there too. For the record, I guess I should also mention that their parents are pretty awesome people as well. I mean, we all know these qualities MUST come from somewhere. Okay, I was being modest…Melinda and Brian are fantastic people who have treated me like family since the day I met them. I guess this explains why I’m constantly hanging out at their house on the weekends (thanks guys). Though, I will say, I think their dog Jack probably shows me the most hospitality out of the group, but that’s a story for another time. Needless to say, accepting this so-called “challenge” was nothing short of a great decision. There was no shortage of personality during this session, LUCKILY, because that’s what makes me love doing what I do.
The party started with a couple of haystacks and a few miscellaneous pumpkins, like all great parties do. The golden hour was upon us and time was of the essence. With that, I leave you with these — this is what a good time looks like:
Melinda, Brian, Kollin, Erik, Landon & Bailey, thank you SO much for asking me to help capture these moments with you. We definitely covered a lot of ground in a short span of time, but I can’t think of another family who would have been more up for the task than you. I definitely had a blast doing this, and can only hope that you guys found enjoyment outside of the blinding sunlight, awkward poses and forced smiles. It wasn’t that bad, was it? I know I’ll find myself laughing about some of the unforgettable moments for a loooooong time. Thanks for the smiles and the laughs, you guys are truly beautiful people. All the love!
I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Ben and the rest of the Wolfe family (pack) for a several years now. So when Ben met Courtney, it would only be a matter of time until Courtney and I also became acquainted with one another. I remember her flying in from Illinois pretty regularly, and when she would visit, a group of us would get together and “hit the town” to show her what our neck of the woods was all about – Amish, Wawa, the Phillies and Eagles and, of course, cheesesteaks. As most long distance relationships go, Ben and Courtney took turns taking trips to visit each other…but that soon got old. Needless to say, Courtney was Mrs. Right for Ben all along, because she ended up making the decision to take the leap and move to Pennsylvania to start a new chapter of her life – a life with Ben – which would soon become a lifelong story. A part of me would like to think that this decision came as a direct result of all the memorable times we would have hitting the town, but we all know it was because of Ben (and still partially for that reason too). When Ben and Courtney approached me about potentially shooting their special day for them in Downingtown (my hometown), my immediate thought was OBVIOUSLY! These two know how to make each other extremely happy, but more than that, they also know how to also make everyone around them extremely happy. Not to mention, they also know how to throw a HELL of a good party!
October 1st was a day full of cloudy skies and lots of emotion. Nerves were setting in regarding the weather, but the amount of love and joy shared amongst the families and friends that were gathered together to celebrate Ben and Courtney brought enough light through the clouds to make the day absolutely perfect.
Here is just a taste of their day. Enjoy!
Ben and Courtney, thank you SO much for choosing me to capture these forever moments with you and allowing me to be there to celebrate your new life together. I wish you both nothing but the best of times ahead. Congratulations again! I love you both.
I would also like to give a HUGE thank you to my old friend Hayley Bitner (Facebook | Website) for being by my side and helping me capture all of the magic throughout the day. I couldn’t have done it without your help, support and remarkable talent. You’re the best!