Traveling to Guangzhou, China to help my sister bring home my new niece was one of the most surreal, amazing experiences I've had. My niece adored exploring and walking around the city, so we were lucky enough to be able to visit several gorgeous parks, climb a mountain, see some temples, and even spent a day at a safari park. If you're looking to see more travel photographs, then my recent Iceland trip or last year's Peru trip would be the way to go. Just as a reminder, I’m always looking for an excuse to travel, so if you are planning a destination wedding or adventurous elopement I would LOVE to be part of it.
I've been in the mood to shoot during blue hour lately. There is just something about that time right after sunset that allows for play in so many ways— switching up shutter speeds and accessing a whole different color palette. For this session, we got the most gorgeous golden hour complete with a light rainstorm, a small rainbow, and a stunning sunset— as well as an interesting blue hour as well.
Abby and Schyler have been together as long as I can remember. I first photographed them dancing at my senior prom. Over the years, I've loved watching their big milestones online— including seven years of marriage and two sweet children. They've had so many amazing big moments together and have supported each other through some really hard times too. Despite all the years, as they played together and goofed off during our session they were giving off some serious newlywed vibes. It's obvious that they are just as in love now as they were ten years ago.
Abby made me cry, when the morning after the session she wrote me, "Thanks again so much for last night. For us, it was more than just a photo session. It was nice to be a little more carefree and focus on each other. We got to reconnect in a way and play around like we were young again thanks to you. You are so amazing at what you do and you made us feel super comfortable all while having fun. Thank you so much."
For Amanda & Gil's blog post I wanted to try something a little different. Their garden wedding had so many gorgeous greens and Whitehall has lots of lovely colorful wallpaper as well...but every time I went through the images the black & white versions were what stood out to me. I've always wanted to share a wedding in just black & white, so today I'm taking the leap! Please keep in mind I delivered both color & black and white images to them, you can see some of the color versions on Instagram, but I'm excited to share the monochrome versions with you all here!
Amanda & Gil had been in a long distance relationship for a couple of years while Amanda worked in Iowa and Gil worked in Louisville. Now they are happily settled in Texas. Their wedding was a celebration of their new marriage of course, but it also felt like a celebration of finally getting to live together. I really enjoyed documenting each of them interacting with their parents and their side of the wedding party before the ceremony— you could tell how much everyone in their lives cares for them. Giving them the space to have some time together alone in the gardens after the ceremony allowed for some really sweet and intimate images as well. They used Amanda's grandmother's cake stand and the knife her parents used at their own wedding. I really loved getting to stay all the way until the end of the night when they left Whitehall in their getaway car with all their friends and family waving on the front porch. I feel like the images really speak for themselves, so that's all I'll share!
Lauren and Dean's intimate, historic wedding in Paducah, Kentucky is literally what wedding photographers dream about. Not only was it filled with gorgeous details and dreamy light, but they have such a big love for each other and everyone around them, and it really came through in their images. I feel so lucky to have been a part of their wedding day.
Driving down to Paducah from Louisville was a wonderful way to start the day. It's easy to get used to how stunning Kentucky is, but as I drove through the rolling hills in Western Kentucky I was in awe. I always get "warmed up" on a wedding day with detail shots— Lauren's dress was so perfectly her. I couldn't even imagine how she found one to fit her style and personality so seamlessly, but soon I learned that her mother Amy made it by hand and it all made sense. In eleven years of photographing weddings, I don't think I've seen a handmade dress - let alone one sewed by the bride's mother! All of their details felt that personal and I absolutely loved it. Dean said, "Lauren being a graphic designer by trade really helped keep the aesthetic timeless and classic. She has a great eye!" and I couldn't agree more.
For their ceremony, "we wanted to incorporate both our religious upbringings in the service. It was important for me to include some Filipino traditions, the coins, cord, and veil, in the service to honor my heritage and our commitment to each other. We skipped the candle lighting and some other traditions (sand, ribbon, etc) and trimmed down some of the Christian traditions to just what we wanted and felt was right."
My favorite moment of the day ended up being their favorite moment as well, which makes me incredibly happy. After the dance floor had been going for a little while, the sun was getting pretty low, so I snagged them and we snuck out to the fire escape to watch the sunset. I always try to give me couples a breather to reflect on the day and really take it all in at some point and I'm so glad they enjoy it as much as I do.
I'll leave you with some words of wisdom from the couple, "I got this advice from a bunch of people for our wedding day, but I'll pass it along: The day goes by so quickly so it's important to stop worrying about everything and slow down and notice all the details and the little moments. Also to make sure to take time to be alone together and enjoy some moments alone together as newlyweds."
Venue: The Grand Lodge // Florals: Flower and Furbish // Wedding Gown: Made by Lauren's Mom, Amy Smith // Bridesmaid Dresses: Weddington Way // Groomsmen's suits: Indochino // Caterer: Tomi Blom with The Grand Lodge // DJ: Sound Services DJ Entertainment // Cake: Artisan Kitchen // Make-up: F.A.C.E. Makeup Artistry // Hair: Megan Bandera // Bow Tie: Tie Bar // Cufflinks: BHLDN //
Last year Micaha & Austin introduced me to one of my favorite places in the world: Michler's. Their engagement sessions is still one of my favorites, and Michler's now holds a special place in my heart. I've been *literally* every single time I've been to Lexington since... I just love it that much. So when Stephanie & Brandon suggested doing their couple's session in the greenhouses I was over the moon.
Not only did we get to use all their gorgeous plants as a backdrop, but Native Cafe was open so we got to talk Harry Potter & Star Trek over beers as well. My favorite engagement sessions are the ones where I get to basically be a (welcome and fun!) third wheel on a date. Stephanie & Brandon plan to elope on their anniversary this year in Pennsylvania— it seems like the perfect fit for them.