Sallee Cousins

I met Jennifer's girls last summer for a beautiful sunrise session at Bernheim. It was early and they made me work for it (except for Miss Kat- she's always up for a photo session) but the love they had for each other showed through and their session turned out to be one of my favorites.

Flash forward to this year, Jennifer contacted me and asked if I would be up to shoot a cousins session; my answer- umm, yes! I was amazed by how much the girls had changed in just a year- all more mature, Kat still loved the camera.

Their cousin session was fun, full of life and exploration- just how I like them. Little Mary was so independent and strong- she reminded me of my little Jojo. Here are some of my favorites from their session.

Location: White Mills Christian Camp

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Choosing the Right Wedding Vendors

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So he (or she) has popped the question and the initial excitement has worn off; it’s time to plan the wedding of your dreams. Whether you have binge watched every episode of “Say Yes to the Dress” and drool over big extravagant weddings you see in the magazines or you long for a small intimate wedding with unique details that capture your love story perfectly, choosing the right vendors is the key to having a stress free day. What do you look for when choosing the vendors for your wedding? Here are some tips below.

Price

Price. No brainer right? Maybe not so much. Let me tell you a story about a bride. Six years ago a bride married her soulmate on a blistering day in August. She wanted to look perfect on her big day so she hired a professional makeup artist (I have some AMAZING referrals if you are looking for one BTW). The trial run went flawlessly, contract was signed, and makeup artist shows up the day of the wedding and does her job. When the time comes to pay, the balance due does not match what the bride thought it would be. The bride didn't notice the fees listed in the contract for travel. Luckily the bride’s mom steps in and covers the remaining cost and the day is saved with only a minor panic attack (P.S. I am the bride; she is me). It seems like a no-brainer to consider pricing when choosing a vendor but its imperative to make sure you know the full price and what all is included or what you will need to purchase a la carte.

Style

Equally as important, is choosing vendors whose style matches your vision. Again this may seem like a no-brainer but taking your time and not rushing into choosing vendors is key. If you haven’t already, get on Pinterest and figure out what style you like. If it’s photography, do you sway towards bright and airy photos or do you see yourself swooning over the more dark and dramatic edits? When looking at venues do you prefer rustic or modern or somewhere in between. Get references from recently married friends and family or ask potential vendors for referrals. Take the time to research what you like and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Vendors want you to get exactly what you want; they want you to be happy with the end product because a happy bride is a good review.

Personality

Are you still with me? Good, because this could be the most valuable tip I give you. Choose vendors you mesh with. Let me say it a little louder for those in the back, vendors are NOT one size fits all. Just because you like someone’s work does not always mean they are the right person to do the job. Let me explain. Photographers, for instance, are with you pretty much your entire wedding day. Sometimes we see you cry, a lot of times we witness family quarrels, almost always we see you naked (not kidding here). We plan with you for months in advance and capture the love between you and your significant other on the day devoted just to you all. Having someone with you, that is in your corner, that can cry along side you, that can diffuse tense situations with family members, that can dance to the Cha-Cha slide with you (also not kidding, I will be dancing at your wedding at some point) is a crucial part of your big day. My job is not done if I haven’t made myself a part of your family and become your friend. So pick vendors whose work you like and whose personality you love. 

The selection process is tedious and sometimes long but do not rush it. This is YOUR big day. your only wedding (hopefully), so make it about you and your significant other. Meet with potential vendors in-person, if possible, to see their work, explain your vision, and make sure you can handle spending the most important day of your life with them. Oh, and have fun. Wedding planning can be stressful but you should also try to breath through it and enjoy.

Bridal makeup by Jennifer Whelan

Bridal hair by Tabatha Kenny

Bridesmaids dresses by Kimberly Phillips Clothier

Venue: Meade Breck Center

Got a good ol' friend here with me tonight so I guess I'm doing alright

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I remember putting on talent shows in Meagan's living room and making her mom and dad watch them. I remember cleaning her room numerous times (your house looks great in comparison btw, lol). I remember wrecking her go-kart (goodness knows I've always been a bad driver). And last week I had the honor of meeting her sweet newborn baby boy and capturing moments that they could cherish forever.

I love seeing Meagan and Stephen hold Chevy; it is love in its purest form. You can tell that they tend to his every need, give him more love than he could ever know and more attention than he could ever need. And he gives them so much in return. That sweet smile that he makes as he falls asleep that let's them know he is content, that way that he looks up at them and they know that he can see them and he adores them, and the way that just by being there he has given them the most special gift of all: parenthood. 

I tried to capture those moments for them because they are oh so fleeting. Before they know it, he will be crawling and talking and one day soon back-talking (we've all been there). I hope you all cherish your photos like I cherish the time we spent making them. Meagan and Stephen, you all are amazing parents! I love all three of you!

Love stories are my favorite

Love has been a common theme in my life lately; from my husband and I celebrating four years of marriage to photographing some of the sweetest couples I have ever met. There is something so special about everyday love. The kind that is so comfortable and natural yet surprises you every now and then by how electrifying it can be. The kind of love that withstands storms and hardships and happy tears and 3 am dances in the living room. Thats the kind of love that I have found and the kind of love that, I feel, like my clients have. 

Edna and Mugsy have been married for twenty-eight years; TWENTY-EIGHT years! in a world where divorce is common place, this is a huge feat. I have known them for so long and I admire the love they have for one another. Its long-lasting, filled with humor, a few eye rolls and lots and lots of love. 

Taylor and William are about to start another chapter of their love story by becoming husband and wife. When I first met Taylor, I asked her to describe their love and she used the word "weird". I love this because I feel like it is so true and so honest. Each love story is unique, full of different memories and personalities, and so, so weird. As I was editing their engagement pictures I could not stop smiling. The love that Taylor and William have is so apparent. I can't wait to help them capture their lives together and see that sweet boy of theirs in October.

 

 

Senior Nostalgia

Last Saturday I had my first senior sessions. Yes, I said sessions; I had two. Now, you all know that I love my babies and children, but there is definitely something special about my seniors. This milestone, my friends, is a big one.

I remember being a senior, feeling on top of the world (and like I knew everything…boy was I wrong). Filling out college applications, picking out a prom dress, wondering what I wanted to do with my life. Its been 8 years but I still feel the excitement, anticipation, that elation. I also remember being so sad. I’ve always been crazy aware of how fast life goes by and I try to cherish every moment.

I remember sitting at graduation, tears streaming down my face as they played song after song about goodbyes and listened to speeches about where our lives were going to go (why do they torture us tender hearted people for, lol).

My seniors on Saturday brought a lot of those feelings back up. If I had to give advice to them or advice to myself when I was their age I would say to live more in the moment. I was so worried about where I was going that I forgot to enjoy where I was at. I would also tell them to not be afraid to choose a different path; even if that path involves not going to school or traveling or doing something you never thought you would do.

Life goes by too fast. Before you know it you will be finding your soul mate, getting married, having kids. Take it all in; every breath. Live in the moment before it is gone.

Here are some photos of the awesome seniors I was able to meet along my journey. Good luck to you all and the rest of the 2018 class.