Amanda + Tony: St. Francis Xavier Wedding

May 22, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

Amanda + Tony said their I do's this April and are officially husband and wife! Working with them was so much fun and they were a dream to photograph! Their wedding day was chalk-full of adorable little details that reflected them as individuals and as a couple. They both attended pharmacy school here in St. Louis, and when Tony proposed to Amanda he surprised her at work with a very special prescription bottle containing her engagement ring! I always loved this story and was thrilled to see that their wedding favors were none other than custom Rx bottles with a special message and candy inside - so cute! 

In the earlier part of the day they got ready at the Chase Park Plaza Hotel with their friends and family before heading over to St. Francis Xavier. Amanda and her bridesmaids were able to enjoy the new upstairs bridal area once we arrived. With its beautiful stained glass wall and extra room, it is a definite improvement to the prior downstairs space. I love that Tony + Amanda chose to have an unplugged ceremony - politely requesting that guests refrain from taking photographs/video during the ceremony so that they could be fully present. It always makes a HUGE difference when you are able to walk down the aisle seeing faces and not phones pointed at you. A definite recommendation for all engaged couples out there! 

The moment they had been waiting for was finally here and Tony was absolutely beaming as he watched Amanda walking down the aisle towards him. The readers read, the words were said, and pretty soon Amanda + Tony were hitched! Now it was time to celebrate with their wedding party and enjoy the beautiful weather! Thanks to the delayed start to spring, we still had some lovely white and pink blossoms, and Amanda had some adorable handmade signs for her bridesmaids (check out below!) 

Afterwards, we made our way back to Xavier for the reception and the room looked so gorgeous! Bright florals complimented dark accents, and the lovely generational photo table was a perfect touch. The aforementioned wedding favors were a big hit with guests and also served as entertaining rattles for the littlest ones lol. Their cake was classic and extra special as their beloved fur-baby made an appearance on the cake topper as well! The remainder of the night was spent enjoying time with friends and family and hitting the dance floor! 

I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to document Amanda + Tony's special day and hope you enjoy some highlights below!

Chelsea + Ryan: Engagement Session Shaw Nature Reserve

April 27, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

Hello spring! With all the back and forth with the resurgence of winter temperatures, I think that we have finally settled into a warmer pattern. This worked out perfectly for Chelsea + Ryan's engagement session at Shaw Nature Reserve.

Where to start with these two! They are both incredibly sweet people and compliment each other perfectly. Their chemistry together made for a very fun session, with plenty of laughter and snuggles as we ventured through the park. I really enjoyed getting to know them more and hearing more about their dogs, wedding plans, and trading funny neighborhood stories. It was a gorgeous evening and I could not stop myself from constantly exclaiming how beautiful the light was! Give me greenery, blossoms, and beautiful light - I am in heaven. 

Chelsea + Ryan's big day is coming up this October and there are some very unique features that I am over the moon excited about! Ryan is a pilot, so their wedding reception is going to held in an airplane hanger with three aircraft sharing the space with us. I am already bubbling over with ideas and LOVE when couples incorporate different elements into their wedding day. After all, every couple is unique and why not celebrate your union in a way that highlights your passions in life :-) 

Enjoy some highlights from Chelsea + Ryan's engagement session and be sure to keep an eye out for their wedding post later this year! 

Brittany + Lauren: St. Louis Palladium Wedding

April 04, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

Thank goodness for waterproof eyeliner and mascara, because Brittany + Lauren's wedding day was definitely a tear-jerker! It is to be expected when such lovely individuals decide to commit their lives to each other. During my first meeting with Brittany + Lauren one thought kept running through my mind - "I hope they pick me, because I want to shoot this wedding!" And lucky for me, they did!

Family and friends helped them to tailor the day to perfectly reflect them as a couple. All of the details that these two chose were beautiful, but it was really the love and emotion that shined through! While getting ready, they exchanged letters and both did first looks with their dads. That is when the happy tears started flowing. I knew then that their first look was going to test the limits of my camera's weather proofing lol. Luckily Nikon does a good job, but a little viewfinder "windshield wiper" would be nice. I chose a spot in Forest Park where Lauren and I waited for Brittany and the rest of the wedding party to arrive. Needless to say, their first look was SO SWEET! Photographing these two seeing each other for the first time on their big day was truly such a privilege. We continued photos in Forest Park and headed over to Lafayette Square before their ceremony and reception. 

The Joule and Palladium provided the perfect intimate space for their ceremony and reception. Between the two there is so much history. They originally were part of a city hospital campus and laundry facility. I love the balance between unique character features and modern updates! One of the many reasons St. Louis has such wonderful spots to photograph, is due to preservation and repurposing just like this. 

Once Brittany + Lauren were officially hitched everyone headed into the Palladium for the reception! Cue the waterworks again for two very touching speeches from both of their dads and toasts from their maids or honor. Afterwards, the newlyweds shared their first dance together to Ed Sheeran's "Perfect" (more happy tears). Then we were on to double the father-daughter dances and I am pretty sure that all of my eye makeup was gone after this. I feel so lucky that I get to witness such amazing moments between families. 

All of their guests danced the night away and enjoyed some fun with glow-in-the-dark ears and rings! I am so excited for Brittany + Lauren as their adventure continues! I had such a blast working with them and by the end was secretly wanting to be adopted into their families lol. Enjoy some highlights from their best day ever! 

Jackie + Matt: Graham Chapel and Chase Park Plaza Wedding

March 30, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

Spring is officially here and the 2018 wedding season is in full swing! This St. Patrick's day I had the honor of photographing Jackie + Matt as they said their I dos. These two lovebirds met during college and were so very excited for their wedding after being together for nearly eight years! I loved hearing about their journey together during our first meeting. Matt works in Alaska and Jackie works here in town with her dad; they really have a beautiful commitment to eachother and have managed to make the distance irrelevant. Being two adventurous hearts, they share a love of travel. They told me about some international trips they have coming up this year and I am super jealous. First on their list is Bali - need I say more! 

On their wedding day, Jackie + Matt enjoyed a fun morning of getting ready with their friends and family at The Chase. Can you say swooning over accessories!? Not only were her dress, jewelry, and shoes amazing - but I absolutely loved the glamorous "old Hollywood" look that her hair and makeup team created! The fabulous MW Makeup Designs has worked their magic again! Once Jackie had a special reveal with her bridesmaids, we headed off to Graham Chapel for the ceremony. The ceremony was a perfect mix of personal and traditional. Not only did their pastor have everyone laughing, but he also took some time to explain the significance of having their wedding on St. Patrick's day. He spoke about their love of nature and the significance of the color green, symbolizing love and new beginnings. 

After the ceremony concluded we began wedding party pictures, and found that one of the trees right outside of Graham was blooming a beautiful pink. Yay for spring! Despite the somewhat chilly and breezy conditions, Jackie + Matt couldn't take their eyes off one another and soaked in every moment. Our driver Mace of BEST Transportation (who is my new favorite) kept everyone warm inside the bus between shots, and wasn't opposed to my idea of giving the wedding party an ice cream break after Forest Park. Once we arrived back at The Chase, the newlyweds were able to enjoy their cocktail hour before we headed in for the reception. The starlight room looked beyond stunning! Jackie's choice of subtle hints of green with gold accents created a beautiful look, complete with a very popular champagne table. Saving Grace Occasions did a wonderful job coordinating and helping to bring their vision to life! 

Daniel and I are always reminded of how incredibly lucky we are to document these incredible moments in peoples' lives. Constant gratitude and awe as we tell love stories through our work. Enjoy some highlights from Jackie + Matt's special day!

Throwback Thursday: The Story of My First Camera

March 08, 2018  •  1 Comment

Recently, I was doing some reorganizing in my closet and stumbled upon the first camera that I ever bought. I tried to sell it once, but I am really glad that didn't work out. It serves as a fun reminder of the beginnings of my love for photography. So today I thought it would be fun to take a little trip down memory lane and share the story behind this first camera.

Growing up I always loved taking pictures. I burned through a ridiculous amount of disposable cameras (more than my mom cared to continue buying LOL). Back then I remember the excitement of taking those cameras up to the local grocery store to drop them off to be developed. Oh yes, I am talking about when Schnucks had a photo department and VHS movies for rent. After my umpteenth disposable camera I started saving for a real one. Babysitting money, birthday money, chore allowance - I saved everything. As I researched what "real" camera I wanted to buy, I focused on Canon. That was really the only brand that younger me had heard of. I settled on saving for the Canon Rebel 2000 that came in a kit, with a lens and a bag. After at least a year of saving, the time finally came when I was ready to head up to Best Buy and purchase my then dream camera.

I remember the sales associate asking me "was I sure that I didn't want to keep saving for one of the new digital cameras?" I was like, "No way, film is where its at!" Waiting long periods of time when you are younger is hard, and its also challenging to envision how much technology will change. Also to be fair, the digital cameras of those times were NOTHING like they are today. So I left Best Buy the proud owner of a new Canon Rebel 2000. When I got home I was so terrified of breaking my new prized possession. I fearfully attached the lens, inserted my first roll of film, and realized I had no idea what I was doing. Even so, I read the manual and started giving it a go. Now that I didn't have to rely on waiting for my next disposable camera, I was constantly taking pictures - of our pets, flowers, animals, and anything I encountered. Picking up the developed film and printed pictures was always my favorite part. There were lots of terrible pictures, but some good ones too. These prints made their way into an album (which luckily I also kept) and my love for photography continued to grow. My first year of high school I took a photography class and absolutely loved it. Getting to develop our own pictures in the school darkroom was AWESOME. I can still remember the dim red light and smell of chemicals surrounding us as we waited for our images to appear on the paper. 

I am really grateful for this first camera. I am also grateful that I have these printed pictures to look back on. In such a digital age, it is a good reminder that printed images allow you to stumble upon these fun memories from the past. My toolkit looks a lot different these days. My DSLR Nikon cameras and lenses blow me away with their capabilities, but my love for photography is still the same. I just have always really loved taking pictures.