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Goodbye, 2019! It’s been GREAT! Love, This Wedding Photographer

Just For Fun

This one is for all my loyal blog readers.  It’s a long, random one (so random) and a summary of my year personally and professionally!  Feel free to skip to the end for a summary of all my 2019 weddings and a few thoughts about each of them!

GOODBYE, 2019!

———-

Holy moly…it’s the end of 2019 ALREADY!  Every year I tell all my wedding couples, “It will be here and done before you know it”, and that couldn’t have been more true for this year once again.  I have already found myself telling my 2020 wedding couples this too!  The 2019 weddings really did come and go so fast though and this year really made my heart hurt because I still want MORE.  How can it be over already!?  I mean…I celebrated my 4th business “wedding anniversary” this year already!  If you remember, when I first started out this crazy journey, it was on a whim.  It was a “let’s see what happens…”….”I always have nursing to fall back on”…and my personal favorite, “the license only costs me $150 if it doesn’t work out”.  Fast forward a little over four years and…….HOLY CRAP.  Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d actually be able to make this a career and keep it going.  So, thank you, all!!! I still can’t figure out how it all happened (and so fast) but each one of you who are reading this (among all the others) are the very reason why I can continue to seriously make dreams (both mine and my couples’) come true.  So, thank you…again…and again…and again…from the bottom of my wedding photographer heart! THANK YOU!  I am feeling pretty dang good right now…just as good as I felt while posing for Kari’s test shot at Marissa and Chris’ wedding (HERE)!  I pretty much feel the same way right now I did on this day!

When I was little (and I may have told this story before), my dad always said, “Choose a job you love.  It won’t feel like work.”  He’s so right.  2019 was the year I decided to really go for it.  What do I mean by that?  Well, I mean I booked pretty much every prime weekend available.  I looked at my calendar and nervous giggled this year…and took a deep breath.  In years past, I staggered weddings and weekends according to what I thought I could handle.  It wasn’t necessarily about the money and what I wanted to “make” consistently but about what I could handle realistically all for myself, for my family and personal life, and for my clients.  You all know I pride myself in getting galleries out quickly and I most certainly don’t want to rush things just for sake of finishing them all at the same time.  I want each wedding to be done the best it could possibly be but quickly so couples don’t have to wait.  So, in previous years, I looked at what I had booked…and what I thought I’d be able to handle and selectively chose to build my calendar in a sane way.  This year?  I went all in.  ALL in.  I only blocked off a few specific weekends and the rest were up for grabs (which is how I ended up with five November weddings).  This was also the first year I strictly held firm to only photographing engagements and weddings and couples.  OoOo my goodness me….it worked!  I kept up…it did NOT feel like work…and it was amazing!  AHHHHHH!!! I can’t believe it!

So, where do we start with an end of year blog like this?! It’s hard…even for a girl like me who can talk (and type) forever.  I’m not really sure where I’m going to start and end this so please just bear with me!  I’m just going to roll with it!  This is the time of year you’ll see a lot of creatives (especially photographers) melting down a bit.  We’re all tired.  Reallllll tired.  Many people watching and reading our posts simply don’t get it either.  I actually discussed this with a few people in the last couple of months.  When I was a nurse, I worked 36-48 hours a week, on average.  So, about 3-4 days a week.  Now?  I’m working 6 days a week during busy time AND sometimes 7 days a week when out of town clients need a Sunday session.  That’s 40 hours minimum during the work week (and you can add in the weekly evening engagement session so another hour or two).  Then, I have 8-12 hour weddings on Saturdays not counting travel time.  So, that’s roughly 52ish hours a week…and then if you have a Sunday wedding?  Well, you can do the math.  It’s funny though.  I really hadn’t realized I was working this many hours or this many days a week until it was brought to my own attention during a random conversation with a guest at a wedding.  It really got me thinking.  Why?  Well I guess because most days, this doesn’t feel like work!  Monday-Friday 8-4 are my office days (with the exception of a few Friday weddings, of course).  Saturdays…well, I’m at weddings most of the time.  This year I had a Sunday wedding too (Hey, Laura and Michael!) and every once in a while I have to schedule that Sunday session for the out of towners.  There was a period in November this year when I had a Sunday session one weekend and a Sunday wedding the weekend before…so no…I didn’t get a day off from photography for three plus weeks…AND I’M OK WITH THAT!  It’s crazy, right?  My dad was right though.  Find a job you love…and it won’t feel like work! Who knew?!

So, while it may be an unpopular opinion and thought for a wedding photographer this time of year, I’m not melting down but seriously flexing my muscles and feeling like super woman!! I’m not really feeling the burn out too much but empowered!  I photographed 24 weddings this year and every single couple got their gallery, wedding album draft, AND blog within 3 weeks.  FINALLY!! I’ve found a workflow that works! YESSSSS! *high fiving myself over here*  My business life ROCKED this year! WOOOOOO!!  I think it’s ok to brag a little, right? Now, I can take deep breaths because we did it and it’s a good thing because 2020 is shaping up to be REALLY crazy from May-November.

I say “we” because the Hannah Barlow Photography team had so much to do with all of this!  Kari, Ashleigh, Lacey, and Sam…I couldn’t do it without all you girls!  They may only be with me at weddings on the weekends and the occasional engagement session BUT they cheer me on while I’m editing, give me inspiration, and listen to me whine not to mention they always have my back!  They’ve help mold “the experience” into what I always wanted it to be and I can’t freaking wait to see what next year has to bring!! We’re all coming back too!! WooooOOooO!  The only thing that could make it even more perfect would be to have them in the office with me!  OoOoO dreams!  One day…just maybe!  I’d love to show you a group photo but it just didn’t work out this year!! Next year!! More dreams!

Speaking of the company and team and dreams, we dabbled in video this year.  We were so pumped up about it and still are…although we ARE tired.  It’s been a HUGE learning curve for all of us and we have big dreams and visions of what we want a Hannah Barlow Photography videography experience to look like in the future.  We’re so proud of what we’ve accomplished in such a short amount of time but not too proud to admit we’re not quite there yet.  We’d hoped at this point we’d be ready to book 2021 weddings and while we cranked out videos we could have never imagined…we still want to fine tune a good bit before we go full steam ahead!  A HUGE shoutout to the couples who let us practice on them.  I waited until the very last minute with each of them to make sure they hadn’t hired another videographer and then I offered up our services for free.  Sam was the lead girl on that with Ashleigh as backup!  We learned A LOT!  We also learned I talk entirely too much (which we really all knew already)….and that I should send a written apology to all videographers for the audio they have had to listen to with my voice…and for the amount of times my high strung bum stepped in front of them while filming.  To all videographers for 2020, I give you all permission to literally grab a hold of me and move me out of the way at future weddings! HA!  So yea…video coming sometime…we just don’t have a set date yet!  Big dreams!

I told ya…this blog is going to be super random!

So, let’s zero in on the Hannah Barlow Photography team, shall we?!  It’s been so amazing having these ladies by my side.  I even added them to the welcome pack!  So, let’s talk a little about them a little more, shall we?!

First up…Ashleigh!  You don’t see her as often, of course, but she’s ironically the one who has been with me helping me from the beginning!  Back before I had second shooters, she came as assistant and helped me with ALL the things so I could put all my attention on photos (because I was the only one taking them).  It all worked out!  I love her for it!  She probably rolls her eyes at me constantly because I call her the “lugger” meaning she’s always lugging my gear around and taking orders from me.  I don’t think she realizes how much I appreciate every single thing she does for me.  So, ASHLEIGH, “THANK YOU”!  As I mentioned above, she’s also going to be doing video when we make the jump one day.  She did some this year and her footage was rock steady….it was crazy!! She’s got the bug though and the beginning talent and we’re going to make big things out of this…I just know it!  Like Kari, Ashleigh tends to run late for everything!  We’ll be sure to NEVER let Kari and Ashleigh ride or drive anywhere together!  She may just be the MOST laid back one all of us though.  I don’t think I’ve EVER seen her get worked up about anything! So, here is a funny picture of Ashleigh I took of her back at Addie and Camden’s wedding (HERE)!  See?  She was lugging the bouquets around for me this day too!

Next up…Kari!  You all know the story by now.  She hired me when her late brother in law referred her to me.  Multiple emails later and we just “clicked”.  I did practice engagement sessions on her and David and lots of laughs later, we realized we had something going…we jived.  I asked her to come assist and next thing I knew, I was teaching her photography.  She was the first official “second shooter” on the Hannah Barlow Photography team and has become a very best friend.  Tragically, her brother in law passed away this past January.  He served in the military with my husband and it’s how we originally knew him (and subsequently met Kari and David).  It’s funny how that stuff happens, huh?  I remember sitting at that funeral right next to Kari and her mom.  My husband and David hung in the back.  We all mourned together and I remember thinking how fast our friendship had grown and how she’s become a vital part of my life – both personally and professionally.  Here I am getting all gooey…but it’s true!! They say friends shouldn’t work together.  Well, somehow we make it work!! It’s true.  I’m sure there are times she’s wanted to strangle me…but she’s never told me! HA!  She’s our fact collected and checker.  At any given wedding, she’ll know the names of every bridal party member and most of their life stories.  She’ll know unique facts about them by the end of the night and even provide statistics on the town where the wedding was held (she once quoted the population of Pittsburgh when we were discussing parking).  She’s SUPER laid back.  Half the time she can’t even find her keys or her wallet and she’s totally ok with that and will laugh hysterically while I sit there and once again say, “Are you SURE you have all your stuff?!”.  Like I said, she is also notoriously late too and I sometimes lie to her about when we have to start! HA! That came into play when I left her with Alyssa (WEDDING HERE) and told one of the bridesmaids to MAKE SURE Kari left with the bride on time.  Oy. So, everyone say “Hi” to Kari!  This was from 2017…she won’t let me replace her photo but you can probably see how much my photos have changed!

Andddd…now we’re on to Lacey!  When Kari had her baby, I knew I was going to need more help.  Lots of people volunteered but Lacey was definitely “the one”.  All the stars aligned with her.  Just like Kari, she had no photography experience so we taught her from the ground up.  She kind of shadowed Kari for a while, worked her butt off at home, and came with me to engagement sessions.  Now, she’s KILLING it.  She’s also a dear friend and has become another one I talk to almost daily.  Her husband and my husband serve together in the Air Force.  So again…our personal lives mix with our business lives…and somehow…we make it work!  Lacey is a witty one.  She makes me laugh hysterically all day long.  She’s either being Positive Patty and telling me to smell the flowers (which she actually had me do to calm down at one wedding when I was stressed about the timeline) or she’s the total opposite and telling it like it is!  There is no in between with her and I find myself cracking up laughing the whole wedding day.  She’s the one who started the “wedding Gods” phrase stating one wedding, “The wedding Gods are here with us today”….or she’s just telling it like it is when things are going wrong and we’re all laughing!  She’s also probably the most organized of the bunch aside from me.  She learned the Hannah Barlow Photography routine quickly and I often find her one step ahead of me when it comes to keeping the gear organized, batteries charged and all that jazz!  OoO we’re ALL going to miss this baby belly too!  Weddings will be much easier for her in 2020!  She was pregnant for almost all of them this year!

Last up, Sam!  Ironically, Lacey’s very first wedding to assist and photograph was Sam’s wedding!  I remember telling Lacey (and we joke about it all the time) not to get too used to a laid back wedding like Sam’s with a couple who can’t EVER take too many photos.  Sam’s wedding was one of a kind and back when she was “just a bride” rather than a second shooter, I used to rave about her wedding and she thought I was feeding her lines.  Now that she’s experienced what can go wrong and will go wrong at weddings, she sees it!  Weather…that’s the biggest thing we’ve had to hurdle this year!  ACK!  It was perfect at Sam’s wedding but not at the weddings Sam’s photographed this year!  I honestly can’t really tell you how it all began with Sam on the Hannah Barlow Photography team though.  Maybe she can tell me?  I just remember Kari, Lacey, and I continually talking about how much we loved Sam.  We talked about how we thought she had the perfect personality for wedding photography.  Somehow…she ended up on the team!  I don’t remember when I officially asked her.  I don’t even remember how we exactly executed it all.  Hmph.  But…HERE SHE IS!  She’s rocking it.  And somehow…she’s also a personal friend who also volunteers her time to work with me!  She was going to be our lead videographer BUT she also really likes photography…so really…who the heck knows what direction we’re going!  Maybe we’ll have TWO HBP weddings a weekend with me on one and Sam on the other…or maybe we’ll keep going full steam ahead with video.  It’s the end of the year.  No one really knows!  Sam is always calm.  She’s our free spirit and the lover of everything Taylor Swift.  She’s also the only one who will dance with me at wedding receptions and we quickly realized the downfall to video….is that you can’t dance.  Whomp. Whomp.  I think she may have picked up photography the fastest.  This year was her first weddings solo as my second shooter and she nailed it!  Our hopes and dreams are that she’ll one day be sitting next to me in the office doing video (or photo…again…we don’t even know) while I do just photo (def. don’t think video is for me…I don’t have the time! ACK!).  We’ll have festive outfits for the season too and coordinating coffee mugs!  Priorities, I tell ya!  OoooOOo dreams!  I think I text this one the most.  She probably needs a better data plan thanks to me! HA!  Hi, Sam!

So, yea…that’s the team!  How’d I get so lucky?!  I bet they want to smack me upside the head sometimes…but they don’t! I’m a lucky gal!  These girls are most definitely my friends who happen to work with me!  We make it work and I have no doubt we’ll continue to do it for however long they keep wanting to give up their Saturdays to play with white dresses!.  Maybe it’s because business came first and THEN friendships?  No idea.  We joke it works because I’m so type A and a control freak and high strung while they’re so laid back.  Maybe!  They calm me when I need it and I hope I pump them up when they need it!  I think all our unique quirks make for the perfect recipe.  I’m considering letting them jump in here and say some stuff about me…but that’s such a scary thought! HA! (Update:  I offered…they denied…Bahahahaha!)

Moving right along…this year once again showed me how wonderful my clients are and how good they are to me and the team and my company AND now each other!  I mean…I KNEW this already…but this year was another great reminder!! I text and communicate with many of my clients (even from years past) on a regular basis.  The Aisle Be Ready workshops were new this year and a huge success and I hope they continue!  The date for the next one is still to be determined, by the way!  I promise to post soon!  These meetings allowed me to watch my couples get to know each other.  They shared stories and struggles and successes and became friends.  It got me SO excited when I found out many of them had only met recently at meetings (because I’d hear them talk about each other and assumed they had known one another prior).  We’ve even extended them to going and having dinner (and the occasional drink…let’s be real here) afterward.  It’s AMAZING.  And if I didn’t think I felt extra close to some of my clients before, next year is going to exponentially “stressful” when some of their weddings roll around!  I have loyal attendees so our relationship is so much more now!  AHHHHH!! That makes the bar at their weddings REAL HIGH!  It’s like taking photos of Kari, Sam or Lacey…it’s stressful!  I’m close to them so it adds a whole other layer.  Ooo boy.  Long blogs coming to you next year!  I see it now!  Here is a photo of the inside of the studio and if you haven’t seen it in person yet…come to one of the workshops!

While we’re on the topic of my amazing clients and how much they care…a HUGE shoutout to Kristi (and Justin) for thinking of us MONTHS after their wedding!  If you recall, it rained on their wedding (HERE).  I gave them my two clear umbrellas so we could get these photos!  I actually forgot and didn’t get them back so I ordered a few more!

Then, Emily and Logan’s wedding rolled around and it called for rain…and I get this text from Kristi.  She watched the forecast AND found out where my wedding would be and offered to bring the umbrellas to me!  I mean…could my couples BE any greater?!  Nope.  I’m not sure it’s possible!  My heart about exploded!  AND she even left me a little gift and sent me a map of where they were located!! AHHHH!! HBP couples…I can’t get enough!!  You’re all seriously THE BEST!  Thanks again, Kristi!

Yep.  Just had to shoutout to her!  Moving along again!  It’s no secret I kind of hate Instagram and the “popularity” contest is has driven business owners to participate in.  I mean, there are even people “buying” followers.  Oy.  I don’t even have a personal account because I loathe it so much!  ACK!! BUT…next year, I’ve decided to roll with it.  Just like my blogs (which so many pros say are “all wrong”), I’m going to do Instagram “all wrong” and see what happens next year.  Hey, what can it hurt, right?!  I can always go back!  So, if you haven’t already…follow me HERE!

So, I mentioned above leaving Kari with Alyssa together at her wedding.  If you all remember that wedding, I had to make a last minute (and risky) decision to change the timeline so Alyssa could go see and get a few photos with her grandpa.  It was pushing it to get her there and to the ceremony in time but I wanted to make it happen.  I’m so glad we did.  That was the last time Alyssa got to see her grandpa before her passed.  Huge shoutout to Kari for making this happen and taking these photos! Thinking of your entire family, Alyssa!

We also lost Jenna’s grandma (WEDDING HERE) this year.  I just found out about it a few weeks ago and wanted to include her, as well.  I remember this moment she got to see her grandma at her wedding reception was very important to her.

Additionally, I know there were other loved ones we lost this year.  Every year people text me and “thank” me for taking the photos since they are typically the last ones they have of their loved one.  Trust me…I feel so blessed to be the one to take them and often share the feelings of loss when I see it pop up in my feeds.  Thank you all for including us as members of your family on your wedding days!  We so often share in your grief when we find out someone we’d met at your wedding has now passed.

So, on a more upbeat note…I have some funny “observations” I’ve made this year!  Are you ready?!

  • “DJ ANXIETY”.  I have it.  No, it’s not an official term…but it should be!  What is it?  Well, I’ve noticed I get this crazy anxiety when I see DJ’s listed who I don’t know.  Why?  Well, because I don’t know their style.  I don’t know how they operate.  I don’t know if my crazy, high strung, personality dancing near their booth will be “too much”.  I don’t know if they’ll let me go to the bathroom without playing the first dance song.  I don’t know if they’ll give me time to eat (hangry and my picture should go side by side in the dictionary).  Additionally, I don’t know what’s going to happen next and it makes my job a little tougher.  Where should my lights be?  Are they going to have the people stand behind the table or in front for speeches?  NO ONE KNOWS…AHHHHH!  I’ve done so many weddings now I pretty much can predict (in a way) what certain DJs will do next and it’s calming.  It also makes for a REALLY long night or a REALLY fast and amazing night depending on the entertainment…hint hint! 🙂  I do have a preferred vendor list!! Get with me!! You won’t regret it!
  • I often feel like security on the dance floor at receptions.  It’s like secret service, I tell ya!  You know how you see them scan left….scan right…scan left again?  Well, we do that.  We are just waiting for something to happen so we can lift our cameras and capture it!!  See?  It’s like a security team. And OoOOoO boy, we got to see A LOT on the dance floor this year!  Some of it I can’t even type in this blog! HA!
  • So, I made notes this year of things I wanted to include in this end of year blog.  I’d forget if I didn’t.  I wrote “Taking Family Photos Made My Heart Sing” and I’m dying laughing because I have NO idea why I did that.  I did a few family sessions this year…and remembered why I love weddings so much! HA!  I bet I meant that I loved MY family photos.  Lacey did them!! I’m forever grateful and they DO make my heart sing to have them! Thanks, girl!
  • I’m a good driver…except at weddings.  I drive like Cruella Devile at weddings.  It’s not a good thing, I can assure you.  Lacey has gotten to the point of watching my GPS for me because I’m pretty sure she’s just sick of me pounding on the breaks when I ALMOST miss a turn (ok…sometimes I do just miss them).  Oy.  I promise to do better next year!
  • Do you know what catch lights are?  No? Yes?  Well, I’ll tell ya!  Catch lights are those little dots (reflections) of light you get in the eyes when you take photos.  I’m obsessed with them and it’s the #1 reason I use flash…all day long!  It just makes the face “pop”, in my opinion.  Well, the team went on a paint and sip adventure last month….and I even painted catchlights in my Santa’s eyes!! #obsessed #itsasickness  I can’t ever get away from photography!
  • Speaking of being obsessed and having the sickness, Sam got a hold of us in our group chat and said she heard a popular wedding song come on over the radio and broke out in a sweat. HA! It’s one of the songs often played at the ceremony and she said it triggered her into thinking a ceremony was starting! She’s not wrong…I’ve had it happen! That’s how you know you’ve done a lot of weddings!
  • I may have told you all already how much I worked this year and how I didn’t care (I really didn’t) but I did try and take days off.  As I said, Sundays are my only days off most of the time so I forced myself NOT to check email or answer texts and just be with my kiddos and husband and family.  I turn my phone notifications off at night and on Sunday BUT it’s SO HARD not to check.  ACK!  Why am I this way?  I did REALLY good this year though!  I’m proud of myself!  So…if you didn’t get a response on the weekend…that’s why!

Alright, tying this one right up!  I share my business life with the world on here and Facebook and sometimes on Instagram.  It wasn’t a sham…it really WAS amazing.  I can’t say the same for my personal life this summer.  Good grief…I basically slid into fall sideways, I tell ya!

Oy.  It was a ROUGH warm weather season for us.  In mid June, I got rear ended by a truck going way over the speed limit while I was stopped.  My son was with me.  We were all FINE and walked right away…but it was the precursor for a whole summer of “are you kidding mes”.  Just a few days after that, my grandmother showed up and I thought she was having a stroke.  If you’ve seen me in a full blown panic, well…she was the total opposite of that.  Calm…cool…collected and willing to drive herself to the ER.  NOPE. I was not that calm but in that full blown panic.  Turns out she had Bell’s Palsy from a tick bite and Lyme’s disease.  All of you who saw me climbing through the grass at weddings and warned me about ticks this summer…it was all AFTER this incident so I knew the risks.  Oy.  Trust me…I check and watch!  I’m on it.  So, she recovered….and all was well.  A few weeks later my daughter was at a birthday party and we thought she broke her ankle.  The swelling was too bad to tell on x-ray so we had to carry her around for the 4th of July holiday until we could determine if it was broke (she’s 6….so not easy to carry).  Oy again.  It wasn’t broke though!! So, YAY!  So, car was fixable…no stroke…and only a twisted ankle!! WOOOO!! Go universe!  Then, right before we went on a boat trip, we had a major power outage.  We lost a fridge and freezer and most of the things in it.  No biggie compared to what we’d already dealt  with, right?  Powering on through summer!! Then, the night of Taelor and Justin’s wedding, I was home showering at 1 am and got that dreaded call.  My dad was having chest pain.  It turns out he was having a pretty significant heart attack and needed open heart triple bypass surgery.  Most of you know how close I am to my dad…I mean, he’s one of my favorite humans! He insisted I go on vacation anyway….because yea…this happened the day before we left.  I did…but ended up coming home early.  I’m happy to report he survived and was discharged home!  Then, just two days after he was discharged, I get a call from my grandma again.  She’d fallen…and broke her ankle.  After another trip to the ER, we found out she needed surgery.  Oy.  Then, just days after that…my dad was admitted BACK to the hospital with complications.  Deep breaths.  Powering through….everyone is still alive.  Then, after we got him BACK OUT…our whole family got hand, foot, mouth disease.  Stick a fork in me…I was done.  Check me out.  HA!  Anddddddd with all that, I still managed to get Taelor and Justin their wedding at about the 3 week mark.  They were the ones who had to wait the longest and I’m still so grateful for their patience.  Yes, I edited a lot in the ER (you know…the multiple visits) but I kept up!! So yea…I kind of want to give my personal life the middle finger (sorry…that’s just how I feel and no lady like way to type that) BUT we’re all alive and well and happy (except that darn fridge).  We all survived.  Everyone is happy and healthy and life is GOOD now!  Business life rocked.  So, I’m high fiving business life!  I’m even willing to high five personal life.  We made it!  WE SURVIVED! WoooOooOo!

So yea…I think that’s probably a randomly GREAT place to end this…don’t ya think?!  I can only hope that 2020 is half as amazing as 2019 was for professional, wedding photographer life!! I have a really really good feeling about it though! YAY!! Personal life?  It could use a tune up…yea?!  I’ll take it though!

Again, thank you ALL for reading and supporting me and continuing to be amazing!!!  You really don’t know how often I think about you all!  Don’t forget to head on over to Facebook again to vote for your favorite couple!! OR…click HERE!  The end of year competition is running right NOW!  Also, if you know someone who recently got engaged, send them my way!  2021 will fill up fast!  Go to the contact page at the top of my website to request more information!!

Goodbye, 2019!

Love, This Wedding Photographer!


Now, you can read on for some of my thoughts and highlights from all the 2019 Hannah Barlow Photography weddings!

Sara and Brandon were first up for the 2019 year!  I can’t believe they’ll be married one year in just a few weeks!! AHHHH!!  This wedding called for a foot of snow and we were ready for it!  I even packed an emergency overnight bag just in case.  Well, it ended up being too warm and RAINY so we made it work inside!  This wedding was so fun!  We got to see lots and lots of prior HBP couples too and her dress is STILL my favorite (detachable float not pictured).

Next up, Kristin and Tiffany!  I’ve known Kristin most of my life and was so honored to be the one to photograph her wedding!  She booked me just a few months before they tied the knot and their bold colors made me SO happy!  That tux is still one of my favorites too!! What a way to bring in 2019 than with my favorite dress AND then favorite tux at back to back weddings!

First wedding for the Spring was Kristi and Justin…and it rained.  Oy.  I should have known this was what 2019 was going to be like!  Nonetheless, it was outstandingly AMAZING!  Kristi’s vision for her wedding was to die for and it felt so unique.  I’ll always remember all the greenery she had EVERYWHERE.  The rain didn’t get them down either and the whole day was memorable!  It was my first time at Ebbert’s too!

Next up was the most swag rheumatologist’s wedding!  That was the joke during formal photos and Kristine and I still text and laugh and giggle to this day!  Their wedding was classic and elegant and they are probably my couple with the biggest height difference!! I’m still getting to live this wedding as Kristine and I are still finishing up her album and order!  We’ll get there!  But look…so classy and pretty, right?!

Mattie and Noah closed out May for us.  It wasn’t rainy…nope!! IT WAS HOT!  SO HOT!  It was so beautiful though and their wedding still feels like royalty!  They had an outdoor ceremony (I only had a few this year…whomp whomp) AND an outdoor reception!! They were the only ones this year!  And that purple!! I knew purple was going to be popular this year!

Jenna and Jack were next!  Lacey and I traveled to Youngstown for this wedding!! It was our only one this year that was truly out of town!  She did a beach theme and executed it perfectly!  It was a little warm which is typical for June and I’ll NEVER EVER forget their How I Met Your Mother tribute during formal photo time!  I did Jenna’s sister’s wedding too so it was nice to swing back around and spend a day with the Parry family again!  That dress too!! It was the only one like it ALL year!

Next…Jenna and Josh!  They were our ONLY downtown Pittsburgh wedding this year!  It was stunning and one of our other few outdoor ceremonies this year!  The colors she chose were perfection and I’m still drooling over the creativity she had for her wedding!  That skyline and stone is something that REALLY makes her photos stand out of the crowd too!! Just look!  I’m not sure you can really beat that backdrop, right?!

OoO Carmie and Primo and their BIG Italian wedding!! It was amazing!  Gosh…the atmosphere and the family dynamic…. it was ALL just so good!! She also gave me a unique color pallet I’ve never photographed and it made me so happy!  Additionally, can we just talk about that church?  Maybe THE prettiest Catholic church I’ve ever been in! Yep!

Addie and Camden! AHHHHH!! To the guy who really hates photos, you sure do take a great one, Camden!  I’ve been on that bridge a few times but never with the wind like that!  We laughed…and laughed…and while this wasn’t an intentional, posed shot…it became THE favorite for their wedding.  Camden just happened to be looking at her while she laughed about her dress and I just kept snapping because we were racing traffic….and it all worked!

OooO Taelor…Taelor…Taelor.  Where to begin?  First, this was at Bella on Enchanted Acres.  Goodness.  The venue itself says it ALL!  Then, you add in this bride and this very photogenic groom and you get beauty….and so much more!! This wedding was so memorable for so many reasons…including the ungodly heat AND humidity.  I’ve never sweat so much in my life!! AHHH!

Amanda and Tony!  This was one of three (I think) rustic, country weddings and it was lovely and amazing and these two are some of the sweetest and most humble people I’ve ever met!! Her best friend is a photographer too so it was very touching she chose me.  There wasn’t anything stressful about this day and I loved the unique location at her aunt’s house to take photos!

JULIE!  OooO Julie.  Where do I even begin?!  I don’t think I’ll EVER stop texting this girl.  I love her dearly.  It rained on her engagement session.  It rained on her wedding day….and we still got to take some of the most unique and stunning photos I’ve EVER taken in my wedding photography career.  She also got married on the Enchanted Acres but The Barn.  It was my first time there!  The rainbow…the fog…the sunset.  I mean…what in the world?!  I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to recreate images like this because it was 100% mother nature doing most of the work!!

Jill and Joe!  This couple takes an AMAZING photo…amazing!! I was so stinkin’ excited to spend time with her family again and to meet his!  Her flowers were probably some of my very favorite this year and her hair stood up against the summer elements and I still can’t believe it!  There is no bad angle for these two so photographing them was a breeze!

Abby and Todd!  Abby did a classic wedding with amazing details AT A VINEYARD!  She went through a lot of vendor stress to get through her wedding but she did it looking ever so stunning!  It was terribly windy too but that didn’t stop her!  I’ll never forget them walking through the vineyards while we were squished in with the videographers and she just laughed the night away and had a blast!! Ooo and she got married on Friday the 13th with a full moon!!!  I love that so much!

Haley and Derrick are next!  They were one of my other rustic weddings.  Derrick will tell you he was my biggest challenge this year in the groom department but we rocked it!  Her colors were my favorite fall colors for the year and her venue was the closest to me!  It was like a giant family reunion for me too because I went to school with most of her friends! oOoO and she was absolutely STUNNING.  Just look!

OoOo Marissa and Chris.  Marissa and Chris.  ACK! I’m sure you’re all sick of hearing it…but the sky and clouds and even the thunderstorm was perfect on this day.  The wedding Gods were most certainly with us this day.  I could go on and on and on but I won’t.  Just check out their blog to read allllll about it again.  It was pure perfection…yes…including that thunderstorm!

Em and Logan!  Emily is my soul sister in the organization department!!  I talked to her SO much leading up to her wedding and she attended all my wedding workshops!  She rocked a non-traditional fall wedding (in the color department).  It was pinks and purples with mums and white pumpkins and it was a breath of fresh air to photograph her fall wedding!  It was classic and her dress was stunning (and super cooperative to photograph).  I wish I could do this one again too!

Alyssa and Chas!  The first thing that comes to mind, “RUNNNN RUN RUN!”.  This was a fast paced wedding and this was the perfect couple for it!  Despite all my rushing and craziness, they couldn’t have enjoyed and loved each other more during the whole day!  They are absolutely amazing people and so fun to be around.  Chas is a true gentleman and their love for one another shines.  Ooo and can we just talk about their church?!

Katelyn and Josh! I’m not sure you can find two people who are sweeter and more kind than these two humans!  Their wedding was so laid back.  Katelyn wanted to look like a Goddess and she nailed it!  Those deep purple tones were something we hadn’t seen yet.  Her dress was one of a kind STUNNING.  They were also the first ones that let us dabble with video!! Thanks, you two!

Courtney and Matt!  Courtney was probably my easiest bride both leading up to the wedding and during the wedding.  She didn’t fuss and let me do my thing the whole time!!  They didn’t let their personalities get squashed and made sure to incorporate everything they love into their wedding day.  They clean up REAL nice too!

OooO Laura and Michael.  I’m not sure where these two humans came from but I consider myself very lucky to have met them.  Their wedding was one of a kind unique and amazing and filled (stuffed) with so much love and laughter and greatness I’ll never ever ever ever forget it!  Go ahead and read on to their blog to relive it again…be sure not to miss the reception part!! It’s the BEST part!

Bailee and Jacob!  They were my last minute booking…just three weeks before their wedding!! EEEKK!! She was my last rustic one for the year and it was stunning….and COLD!  She’s the brave gal that opted for an outdoor ceremony in November and somehow…she made it all work!

Kristen and Adam!  OoOo Kristen!  I love this gal so much!  I miss her already!  Her wedding will forever be in my memory bank because it rained…and it was dark….and her photos are just so them and unique and their wedding was grand and amazing and AHHHHHHH!!! I don’t want to ramble.  Just go ahead and check out their blog again!  I get the warm fuzzies thinking about this one again!

Last but not least…Rachael and Jared!  I don’t have their blog yet, of course.  I just shot their wedding a few days ago and I’m currently editing it!  We started the year with purple and we ended with purple and this warm December wedding could not have been a more perfect way to end 2019!!!

Well, that’s it!  24 weddings for me this year and the most I’ve ever shot in a year!! 26 weddings coming so far in 2020…let’s do this!! AHHHH!! So excited!

Once again…GOODBYE, 2019!  I’ll call you a win!

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i carry your heart with me(i carry it in my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done by only me is your doing,my darling)

no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true) and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant and whatever a s n will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows (here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

wedding

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Jane & Tom
Romantic, Wheeling Wedding

Taelor & Justin
Summer Bella Amore Wedding

carly & ryan
a rainy, barn wedding!

Sam & Joe
Armstrong Farms Wedding

Here on the blog, every couple relives their wedding day.

A Keepsake for Every Couple