My priority to be more and do more and create an experience they will never forget Capturing their memories in a fun and memorable way is just as important as their beautiful images

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Oglebay Engagement Session | Hannah Barlow Photography | WV Wedding Photography

GOOD EVENING, EVERYONE! Is this real life?!  I mean…really…is this real life?!  I hope you all had a wonderful Wednesday!  I’m about to brighten it up a whole lot more! I would love it if you all would give a big, warm welcome to the newest couple to be in front of my camera!

Meet Meghan and Nate!  They’re a fabulous couple! You just wait and see!

So, Meghan planned this session well!  I knew it because she’s another one of my brides who has been kind enough to keep me in the loop!  I knew she was going to wear red (she had it all organized and sent me a PDF complete with wardrobe options.  I love a girl who is organized!).  I recently had a friend (Hi, Jenna!) tell me I was so organized it “was disgusting”…so I’m always happy to see I’m not the only one! Way to go, Meghan!  Makes me feel better about myself! We’re not alone in this world!

So, Meghan showed up in this red dress.  Holy moly, this dress looks like it was made for her!  Check it out! As my mom would say, “it hugs her in all the right places”!  And Nate came coordinated which just makes my brain SO HAPPY!  The pocket square was red….it was RED, people!  It all matched.  That umbrella is RED! (I realize you can all see this, but you also all know how excited I get about these things).  It’s really the little things like this that just make me so happy!

This photo below makes me want to sing a song! “Come away with me…”…. The romance between these two is off the charts amazing!  Wait for it!  The story is coming!

They do the most natural snuggles and they look so good on camera!

These signs were all handmade and while I am not one to carry props around (let’s face it…I already bring too much stuff and I don’t always use it all…it’s a sickness of mine), I encourage my couples to bring whatever they want!!   These just work with the whole scene, right?! I can’t believe I have to wait a year for this wedding! GAH!  The details are going to be amazing…so amazing!  And these two have such a beautiful love story leading up to their big day…I can’t stand it!  

Where are these couples coming from?!  I feel like I fell out of one of my daughter’s giant, fairytale books (you know, those ones where it’s one story after another….)!  I also remember that scene in Sex and the City where Carrie is reading Cinderella to Charlotte’s little girl and reminds her those stories are fictional and don’t happen in real life.  Well, while I once may have agreed, my couples are really proving otherwise!  Seriously, is this real life?!  How can it be?! 

So, these two have known each other for a long time…a LONG time!  Honest to goodness, their relationship started out as a fairy tale.  I kid you not.  Seriously, just wait.  So, stop what you’re doing.  Put the kids to bed.  Grab a glass of wine and the heart eye emoji.  You’re going to need all that!

So, Meghan danced at the Casey Sisters Dance Academy!  It’s such a small world because one of my very best friends from high school married the son of one of the owners (Hi, Craig and Nicole!)!  So, during Meghan’s senior year she noticed her dance teacher’s son’s friend (Nate, of course) started showing up at dance practice and not just at any time…but when Meghan was practicing, of course!  This good-looking football player, wrestler, track athlete, gentleman, kind-soul (I could go on and on..) made it a point to show up to the dance academy during his free time.  Of course, Meghan says the girls gave her a little bit of a hard time about it but she just kept on smiling her beautiful smile and soaking it all in.  They grew closer over time and at the end of the year, the academy decided to put on a show AND not just any show….but “Beauty and the Beast”.  Meghan was cast as Belle (OOooooOO you all know where this is going now, right?!) AND they didn’t have a Beast.  Well, Meghan, of course, enlisted Nate who had never waltzed (or danced that I know of) in his life.  He proudly took on the role and started attending practice.  Honest to goodness, before they were even officially dating…they were waltzing around the stage together as Belle and the Beast to “Tale as Old as Time”.  Get out of here! I know!  He hadn’t even officially asked her if she’d be his (in the girlfriend sense, of course) until afterward but she said “YES” and they’ve been together ever since!  Fairytale….seriously… does this stuff happen?!  When I’m old, I think I’m going to write a book about all my couples, I promise! 

I swear if they dance their first dance to “Tale as Old as Time”…I might pass out.  For real! I’ve already been told there will be waltzing and there will be a big ball gown.  How will I survive?!  Honest to goodness, I might hit the floor.  Anyone who has experienced a wedding with me knows the excitement and emotions that go into that day….I’m going to need a seat close by….for real!  It’s like my photography fantasy come true!

On the other hand, Nate did propose on a cruise ship after singing (karaoke) an Elvis Presley song – “I Can’t Help Falling in Love With You”.  He dedicated it to her and then dropped on one knee in front of hundreds of people afterward!!  So really…I’m not sure what’s coming at me when this wedding rolls around but I have over a year to prepare to stay upright!  There are so many possibilities! AHHHH! Ok, moving on! 

Of course, there was walking!  Look at their smiles!  Nothing but joy at this session!

…and spinning.  Meghan said Nate frequently spins her.  If my first real encounter with my future husband was as sickeningly sweet as playing Belle and the Beast…I’d probably be spinning the whole rest of my life too! Wouldn’t you?!

Ok, so you all remember that famous photo of the nurse and the sailor who kissed when the end of WWII was announced?  Well, Meghan and Nate replicated it…without even knowing it….and NAILED IT! GAH! One of my favorites, for sure!  As soon as I got home and saw this photo, I knew it’d be one of my favorites because it so reminded me of that iconic photo! I know where I’m getting my models when I do that 1940’s shoot!

…and the award goes to……Meghan and Nate!  These two also get the award for best shoulder sniff and head sniff! HA! Look at it!  AMAZING!  And yes, if you didn’t know…that’s how I get my couples to do this! Laugh if you will…it works!

The red was really working for any and all of the locations! Who doesn’t love a beautiful woman in a fab red dress?!  It’s actually on my bucket list to pose in a red dress and have my friend (Hi, Denise!) photograph me in front of the Met in NYC! The dress was my idea.  The Met was hers (she’s a New Yorker)!  So, I couldn’t have been more excited to be photographing a pretty red dress!  Meghan also chose red as one of her wedding colors! Just a note:  the rose on beauty and the beast is red if you didn’t know.  It’s all coming together! EEEKKKK! 

These two have modeling capabilities, I tell ya!  Nate’s hair is also so amazing (I didn’t tell him that day because he was being such a trooper and I didn’t want to freak him out! HA! I’m enough to handle as it is!).  Now, he knows!

Then, they changed into something more casual and comfy! Meghan and I are really on the same page with all of this.  She found this little spot in all these trees and it’s totally something I would have chosen! They jumped right in there and we made magic!  It’d also like to note that Meghan is no girlie girl.  Many times she was barefoot in all this muck (and sometime flip flops…you’ll never know!)

Of course, they danced in there too!  That’s normal, right?!  Slow dancing in the weeds?!  And these two didn’t just do the cheesy dance in a circle like I tell most of my couples to do…they swayed back and forth while giggling and smiling and generally enjoyed themselves.  I’ve done this move myself (my friend Kat made my husband and I do it once) and it’s awkward.  These two didn’t miss a beat though!!  The future Stifflers take on the dip! I LOVE it! LOVE IT! GAH!  We did do the traditional dip in the red dress, but I, personally, felt like the dress was holding them back and I preferred this version!  They’ll have the final vote, of course! OMG! Can’t you just picture her in the ballgown doing this?! AHHHHHHHHHHH!

…the most natural snuggles ever!  I can’t say it enough!

Blooper time!  Meet Lisa, Lisa, and Dave!  Meghan and Nate are currently residing in Florida and were in town for a wedding.  Our timing needed to be pretty good because they needed to get back to the airport so, the parents came along to enjoy all the craziness!! Well, Lisa (Nate’s mom) had placed scrabble tiles on one of the signs and I unintentionally knocked them off.  Because they were green, we could NOT find them!  I’m never one to miss an opportunity so I took this….AND, we did end up finding them!  At one point, I thought I was going to be shipping them a scrabble game! HA!  Bill, we missed you!!!!

For a few more photos, we headed to a more earthy location and a waterfall!  I also had to snap a photo of this gorgeous ring!

These might be some of my very favorites, but it’s so HARD to decide! 

AHHHH!! I just love the whole “feel” of these!

…and because they’re so great…check out my models! Seriously, they rock the serious faces!

These two will become man and wife next October!!  They’ll be married at St. Michael’s church in Wheeling, WV and then will be hosting a big, fabulous party in the beautiful Glessner Hall in Oglebay that night!!!! Don’t forget to check back!  If I don’t hyperventilate during the first dance, I’m going to have so many photos I’m not going to know how to narrow it down (which was a common theme for this engagement session too! HA!).

I hope you all enjoyed! Have a wonderful night!

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My priority to be more and do more and create an experience they will never forget Capturing their memories in a fun and memorable way is just as important as their beautiful images





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