This Pride month, I thought I'd do something that I don't normally do, post a blog that's a little more personal. On May 28th, Jackie and I celebrated our 2nd year of marriage, something that wasn't legal all that long ago in the great state of West Virginia.
Last year, we were in the middle of moving into our home and dealing with all the issues that come with being a first time home owner, Jackie had two sprained ankles, and we just didn't get to celebrate our first anniversary the way I wanted. In my eyes, that meant I had to go a little bigger this year to make up for it. What better way than to visit our wedding venue, Rich Farms in Smithfield, PA, for a picnic and some self portraits?
Morgantown, WV Engagement Portraits at the Botanical Gardens
I had the pleasure of meeting Samantha at a bridal expo this winter in Morgantown, and sadly, I was already booked for what I know will be a gorgeous, intimate wedding. I was pretty bummed out that I wouldn't get the chance to work with Samantha and Charles, but as luck would have it, they contacted me for their engagement portraits! After multiple rain outs, mother nature finally cooperated and allowed us to capture some gorgeous engagement portraits at the Botanical Gardens in Morgantown, WV.
When Cullen contacted me saying that he was ready to pop the question and needed my help to pull it off, my heart melted. I couldn't believe this kid that I watched grow up, captured his senior portraits, and watched get thrown out of my best friend's room all these years was ready to ask the love of his life to marry him.
When the weather didn't look like it would cooperate, we quickly came up with a plan B because Cullen couldn't possibly wait one more day.
I'm not sure what I love most about this engagement portrait session in Thomas, WV. Its a tough call between the people in the photos, the fact that we spent the entire day drinking good coffee and eating great food, or that the Sarah & Brandon let me do whatever I want and only slightly complained about the heights once. *cough, Brandon, cough*
There's not much that is more special than standing next to your best friend when she marries the love of her life. Lucky for me, I was given the honor to not only stand next to Ashley and Kimmy on their big days, but also capture their special memories so that they could treasure them forever.
It takes one minute in the same room as these two to see the love that they share. I have to admit, I'm not sure I've ever seen a couple like Tony & Kaitlin. They are both so in tune to each other, that its as if no one else is in the room, but somehow at the same time, they make everyone around them feel welcome and loved.
Amber & Nick chose to celebrate their love in front of their very closest friends and family. In front of the Eva K. Bowling Library in Waynesburg, PA, these two vowed to love one another through all their adventures, multiple Subaru's, and as many dogs as possible. With such a small wedding ceremony, it was easy to focus on all their happiness and the emotions of everyone involved.
One of the parts of my job that I love the most is getting to work and collaborate with wedding clients again and again over the years. Usually I have the chance to catch up with a couple for family portraits, anniversaries, newborn portraits. In this case, I had the pleasure of spending an evening with this couple's fur daughter for her cake smash!
There are few things I love more than a couple just being absolutely ecstatic to have their engagement portraits done. These two made my heart absolutely happy when they told me that they were struggling to pick a location for their portraits .... because they wanted to include their love for ice cream. Luckily, I knew just the place in Pittsburgh for these love birds to snuggle up and eat ice cream sundaes!
I always long to capture a snowy, portrait session in the winter. Snow photos can be so much fun and add so much more to a session.
For some reason, we always wait until its freezing out to capture Olivia's portraits. We always have a blast though. Being able to capture Olivia's portraits every year gives me some time to reflect on the amazing woman she is turning into.
Its hard for me to believe that in just a few weeks, she'll be turning 16. I haven't decided if I'll be driving after that or not. lol. It may not be safe to do so.
Freezing our butts off for this session was well worth it. We even took some time to include a few smoke bombs. They may not have all been successes, but it made for a lot of laughs, which makes it worth it in my book.