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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Romantic Anniversary Session | Hannah Barlow Photography | Pittsburgh Wedding Photography

Happy Thursday, everyone!!! OoooOo mylanta!! MY GOODNESS!  I can’t even!  You do NOT want to miss this session I did recently!! Seriously…stop what you’re doing right now and meet the latest HBP couple on the blog!

Ashley and Todd!

PLOT TWIST:  They’re already married!

So, a little back story here.  I’ve known Ashley for a while.  Granted, I don’t know her real well and on a personal level as she’s enlisted in the United States Air Force with my husband and actually worked under him at one point.  That’s how we met!  We’ve run into each other from time and time and my husband has always had nothing but good things to say about her!  She’s one of the boss ladies now too!  She was also one of the many who were deployed last fall along with my significant other.  That was one of the many reasons these two decided to go for it last August…tie the knot…after planing a wedding in just six weeks!  When Ashley reached out to me and asked me to photograph her wedding…I was already booked, of course!  They did find a photographer for their big day though but still wanted some Hannah Barlow images in their lives at some point (seriously…you all make me blush) so she scheduled this 1st anniversary session last year…and while she was deployed overseas.  That’s right!! This has been on my calendar for almost a year and we shot this session ON their first anniversary just a few days ago! EEEKKKKKKKKK!!

It was everything I’d hoped it would be and MORE!  FOR REAL!

So, I’ve never seen Ashley in anything but her uniform that I can recall.  You know…those camo, non-fitted things that have pockets everywhere (I mean…they’re not for fashion anyway so I get it).  I guess I HAVE seen her “dressed up” now that I’m typing this up and thinking about it but only for the military banquets and again…that was still a uniform (just a dress uniform)!  So, you can imagine my excitement when I pulled up and saw these two dressed in their best!! I mean….THAT DRESS is a long way from a military uniform!  I’ve also never seen her with her hair down!  It was hard for me to contain my excitement…and he wore a suit too.  HE WORE A SUIT.  One more time…it was August…not at a wedding…and he wore a SUIT!  My loyal blog readers know what happens when my guys get dressed up! 

Yep!  I get way too excited for my own good.  I take WAY too many pictures!  I squeal the entire time!!  Lucky for me…Ashley and Todd actually enjoyed my excitement and passion for photography…Whewwww!  At least…that’s what they told me! HA!  I bet a lot of you just lie to me!  I know I’m a wee bit of a crazy person when I get excited!  You can tell me!!  It won’t hurt my feelings!  My husband has been giving me “the look” for almost 17 years!  It’s usually followed by, “Why are you SO LOUD?!”

I’d also like to mention that it was about 90 degrees and HUMID!  I kept asking Todd if he was ok and he just kept assuring me he was fine and kept plugging along!  I mean…LOOK!  There wasn’t a pose or moment they didn’t look like this!  Todd is also one of those men who just couldn’t stop looking at his wife and often gave her a peck on the cheek…not because I told him to but just because! JUST BECAUSE!  Seriously, my photographer heart could burst!

I mean…I’m usually not a fan of foliage in black and white but I couldn’t help it with these ones!  There isn’t a thing I don’t love about all of this and even though I DID tell Ashley to do the famous HBP shoulder sniff…they remained connected.  Nothing got awkward.  There was no nervous laughter!  Their loved just poured out of this pose!

I told them at one point they belong in a story book! 

The sun was setting and the light was leaving so I did just a few more natural light photos before switching it up a bit!  I also love that she’s short because that gave me plenty of dress to arrange! I had also done a wedding the day before so I was still in full wedding mode (and my car was still packed and my cameras were half dead…HA!).  All my gear is going on vacation to the Canon factory for maintanence after this year!  They deserve it!

So then I channeled my inner Ryan Nolan (of R. Nolan Photography) and busted out my off camera flash.  I told you all at the beginning of the year I was done fighting with the natural light! Yep!  That’s right and I’ve stuck to it!  When I can’t have my own ooey, gooey light, I’m using the skills I possess to make my own light (which Kari LOVES…and I always tell her to stop letting me be lazy and make me get out the extra gear I spent so much money on and just use it).  The results are ALWAYS phenomenal!  This sealed the deal…it is coming with me everywhere I go from now on! 

I also filled the frame which I tend to never do and I just love these two sets SO MUCH! SO MUCH!

I joked with these two about their skin tones because my husband and I are exactly the same.  I have more olive skin tones and my husband has more pink skin tones.  Ashley and Todd are no different!  My husband even joked when before left, “You’ve seen Todd, right?!” because he knows that sometimes I gripe when editing our own photos because he makes me look SO GREEN! HA!  It can make it a little tricky when it comes to colors and what not but, for whatever reason, this session’s photos were some of the easiest photos I’ve taken and processed in a long time!  My goodness…I want to do it again!  Let’s do it again!

She’s so fierce in this one below and Todd still holds his ground.  We all know there is give and take in every relationship.  These two just blend and it was amazing to see while snapping all of these! It was also so nice to get to hang with Ashley a bit more and see her outside her work environment.  I have a sneaking suspicion Todd and I may have crossed paths at an Air Force event (probably the banquets) but I’m seriously terrible with names (you all know that) AND remembering who I’ve met and not met! Todd, I apologize immensely if we’ve actually met before! HA!  There are SO many people I get introduced to at these things…and for like 15 years now!  I’ll tell you all my secret…I always say, “It is nice to see you!” and that way…whether I’ve met them or not…I’m covered! HA!  I really probably shouldn’t admit that but you know me…I say entirely too much in my blogs and have no shame!  Speaking of the banquets – if you’re reading this and you’re in charge…let’s spice those things up, shall we?!  Maybe have a party afterward…push back drill a couple hours…THAT WAY we can all hang and get to know each other more.  You know…boost morale!  Have some fun!! Let’s do it!! I volunteer to help plan (John’s going to kill me).  Ok…sorry, everyone!  It was worth a shot! HA!  Back to the session!

…and he still was wearing his suit! GAH!

I mean really…you can’t get much better than this!

AND THIS!  They NAILED the dip!

Then, we moved on to a different location…and even in that heat…he STILL had his suit on!  THAT is dedication to a photo session!  I was sweating in places that my mom would kill me if I mentioned on the world wide web!  So, I can’t imagine how dehydrated he was after this!

All angles are good angles for these two!

It’s very rare I have the guy look at me and not the girl…and I’m 99% sure I didn’t even prompt this one but I love it SO MUCH!  This was the whole session – them just being natural and me just squealing and overwhelming my memory card with all of this megabyte goodness!

So then they did some dancing!

…one more because I can’t stop over sharing!  I really didn’t think that spin would work given how long her dress was…but they managed…and nailed it!

They did some walking and snuggling in the woods too!

You’ll notice he finally did lose the jacket but was sure to roll his sleeves up so it still looked “put together” (as I like to call it).  Again, I didn’t prompt that…that was ALL THEM!  I could write a whole blog post on “what you SHOULD DO for your session…” and just channel these two!

A few more because while I’m never really done…I really wasn’t ready to let go of these two!

Nope…not done quite yet still!!  I also wanted Ashley to have some HBP detail shots since I wasn’t able to be there on her big day!  I really need to figure out how to split myself and do two weddings in one day.  GAH! Wouldn’t that be amazing?!  I was at Emily and Aaron’s wedding last year and it was amazing too so I can’t complain.  I am SURE Ashley and Todd’s was amazing, as well!  I really need to figure this out! HA!  I’m missing out, I tell ya!  Didn’t we predict cloning would be happening in 2018?  What happened to all that?! <— I’m kidding.  Don’t anyone go political on me, please!

Anyway…they probably thought I was crazy.  I asked Todd for his jacket for the background.  I grabbed my reflector and laid it on the ground.  I laid his jacket down on top of that.  That flower is a dead weed I pulled on our way back to the car! HA!  I can’t imagine what’s going through people’s heads when I do these things.  But look how great!  

…and her rings are rose gold, ya’ll!  ROSE GOLD!

It’s funny.  I’m definitely a creature of habit.  I hate change.  I tend to get myself into a “routine” and get afraid to branch out.  That’s where my assistants come in for me BUT they weren’t here that day.  I’ve never thought to use the groom’s jacket for detail shots and this may have just changed everything for me!! LOOK how beautiful!  KARI!  JENNA!!  I’ve taken a lot of good ring shots recently that I love…but this one may just be my favorite!  Beware grooms…as if I haven’t bothered you enough…I’m coming for your jackets now too!

CHECK OUT the side of this ring too!  Again, I had to get creative!  Ashley asked if we could use her dress in some too and I thought that was an amazing idea (see how people inspire me to do different things?!).  So, I had her sit down next to this stuff and on top of my reflector and I literally used the bottom of her dress for this creation! 

Amazing, right?! 

So, that’s a wrap on this one!  Thank you for reading!  I think it’s important to note again that these two are a military family and deserve a huge “thank you” for their service!! If Ashley is anything like my husband, she probably doesn’t feel she needs it.  Todd is probably the same.  It used to be weird for me when people thanked me too.  I mean…us spouses get to stay home.  We’re not really in any danger (except danger of losing our sanity) but I guess it makes sense.  It’s crazy to think that this time last year we were all gearing up for the next deployment.  I’m sure Todd handled it better than I did but it is still hard.  It’s sad to think that Ashley and Todd missed out on the first 5-6 months of their marriage but that’s the sacrifice we all make when we agree to be a part of the military.  They missed all the first big holidays together as a married couple too.  Heck, like I mentioned before, she booked this session WHILE deployed overseas.  Even I’m guilty of getting so caught up in life that I forget there’s ALWAYS someone out there missing their spouse!  I just can’t believe it has been a year for all of us already!  I’m also so thankful every single one of them made it home!  That’s the most important part of that whole paragraph!

Anyway, a HUGE “HAPPY ANNIVERSARY” goes out to these two!! I’m so touched they decided to spend part of their day with me to get these beautiful memories captured!  I’m also so touched she was so insistent on getting SOME photos of them together with an HBP stamp on them!  I hope they both love them as much as I do and wish them years and years and years of happiness together (and hopefully no more deployments…but lets be real here…we all know better).  Maybe the next go round Todd and I can take a selfie on the runway during the homecoming and we’ll post in on Instagram to celebrate! HA!  You know me…I’m a tad bit crazy!  I love when couples come around again and I almost ALWAYS get a selfie with them!

Happy Thursday!

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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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