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WHERE ARE THEY NOW – MAY WEDDINGS TAKE 2!

Here we go again!! WEEEE!  OooO my good gracious me!  THIS was definitely a blast from the past!  Let’s do this – May Weddings TAKE 2!

First up, Nicole and Jim!  They were my SIXTH wedding EVER (I can remember those early weddings…I can’t tell you what number each are now…HA!).  We did their engagement session late winter/early spring of 2017.  This was Kari and I’s VERY FIRST SHOOT together!! WHATTTT?!  EEEEKKK!  You see, I started this whole crazy career in 2015 on a whim.  The next year in 2016 I was blessed to be allowed to shoot for some photographer friends of mine as a second shooter (WHICH I’d really really really love to do again if any of my friends need me on a day I’m not booked).  2016 was the year of me really figuring things out on the business end – anything from how I wanted clients to sign the contract and pay the retainer to how I was going to build a team.  See, I knew by the end of 2016 and after my 4th wedding that fall I was going to want a dedicated team coming with me in the future.  It was just too stressful to do what most wedding photographers do and hire independent contractors they didn’t know and scramble to find them week after week.  So, I booked Nicole and Jim (I believe…in January) and then Kari booked me for her wedding a month or two later.  Kari and I had mutual friends and we started chatting via email about anything and everything.  You all know the story!  She talked about weddings and how she’d even worked for David’s Bridal at one point.  I asked if she wanted to become an assistant…and BOOM.  Our friendship both personally and professionally was born!

Nicole and Jim’s engagement session in Youngstown was our first trip together.  And we got these beauties!  I’m still SO SO proud of my earlier work.  I hope that doesn’t make me sound big headed.  It’s just that you hear these stories of photographers who go back and take down their old work from their blogs because they’re embarrassed of their early work when they were still very green and figuring things out (trust me…sometimes I do look at photos and cringe a bit…but not often).  It’s usually those family sessions I did for free with selective color that make me want to crawl in a hole and die…or those newborn photos where the baby’s face is smashing in a plush rug (*face palm moments to this day*).  EKKK!  NOW THAT is cringe worthy but never engagements or weddings for me…which is telling.  It was this year I realized that eventually I was going to JUST do weddings.  I never got that weird, nervous feeling when I did this stuff with couples and THAT it how I knew it was meant to be for me!  I’m still so proud of my old work and so happy to be showing you these two and their engagement session!  Enjoy!

Doesn’t this bridge feel magical?!

You’ll be seeing this bridge here again for their wedding too!!  I’d love to go back there!  It was SO beautiful!

Then, just a few months later…they tied the knot in May of 2017!  There was color pop like you wouldn’t believe and Disney feels everywhere!! Nicole is a HUGE Disney fan so she was sure to incorporate this into her wedding – complete with a tiara!  I remember Kari taking over and styling that ring shot (which is still one of my favorites….EVER!  You all know I’m a control freak so it’s definitely saying something about Kari that I let her jump in there and do this for me!  TO THIS DAY, I tend to love my assistants’ shots more than my own detail shots because they’re just so dang clever and unique.  You all are THE BEST!  I also love that my assistants aren’t afraid to say, “Hannah.  Stop.  Just try this.”  You all know I need that sometimes and THAT is the kind of team I always dreamed about!

Who remembers THIS “iconic” Hannah Barlow Photography getting ready photo?!  I obviously can’t take credit for the idea of ladies in front of the window getting ready because it’s so easy to put some girls there and take a shot (most all photogs do it when there is a window available) but it was this photo that EVERYONE talked about for a very long time!!  I was just so excited!  SOOOOO excited!! This one actually still hangs in my studio in the entry way!

…and then, just this past June, I did Nicole’s sister’s wedding (Hey, Jenna!).  These two ladies put them side by side recently on social media and it made my heart so happy!  Her dad said the sweetest thing that just made my heart MELT (it was exactly what I needed being cooped up during COVID-19).  I hope he doesn’t care if I quote him.  He said, “I remember installing that window 32 years ago. I was so mad, it came to the house white instead of brown vinyl on the outside. Had to put it back in the box and reorder it. Held the house up for a couple of weeks. Finally got the new one. At the time we only had one child, a 2 year old boy Zach. Never in my wildest dreams did I think both my daughters would get their pictures taken in their wedding gowns in front of that window. You’re both so beautiful.”  Just so you know Zach, when your day comes…I’ll be there!  Even if you don’t hire me, I’ll be outside that window cheering your photographer on and then we’ll make your parents three giant canvases of this baby!  But really…it’s these kinds of moments and photos that get me so excited for all the weddings I have coming up with brothers and sisters and friends I’ve already photographed before.  We’re going to be redoing A LOT of these kinds of replicas!! Go away, corona!  I need to get back out there!

Nicole did NOT skimp on the details!

They had a sweet, religious ceremony!  I still love that Nicole wore a ballgown.  I’m a ballgown kind of gal too and it’s not a trend right now (although I’m told by Sorelle that it’s coming back)! WOOO!

This was Kari’s first wedding with me and she’s the one that started taking the “behind the scenes” shots in the beginning.  So, you can all thank her for this!! It’s actually kind of how the photos like this you get to see all the time were born!  Yep!  She started taking them and I was like “ooOoo yea!! I should take some of you too” and then we just started using each other for test shots (like this one below of me) and VOILA!  So, funny things about this photo that are going through my head right now.  I NEVER…EVER…wear my hair down at weddings anymore.  Nope.  I remember Kari used to literally hold it out of my face because it would get in the way of my camera sometimes when it blew in the wind or when I was hanging over something.  Good grief…what a waste of a good assistant’s time, right?!  Another thing…that was the first and LAST time I ever wore that dress.  It’s got a strange lining on the inside that literally STICKS to my shorts and it rode up ALLLL day long.  Again…good grief.  I’ve got bigger things to worry about on a wedding day!  HA!  Last thing, I still stand like that…but not as much!  These photos showed me how badly my posture was (and still is sometimes).  I learned that good body mechanics are EVERYTHING on a long wedding day on your feet AND it’s just better to stand correctly to get a good, solid photo!  Unrelated to the photo below, while I was digging for these photos on my 2017 hard drive, I also realized how far I’ve come with being organized.  I’ve always been an organized gal, but I used to just use small hard drives and plug in a new one once the other one filled up.  So, I have like four hard drives for 2017 and the weddings are just scattered everywhere on them.  Now, I do two hard drives PER YEAR…double copies.  Boom…everything in one place!  I love it so much better!

BUT ANYWAY…now that I’ve rambled.  After that ceremony and their bubble send off (I think it was bubbles…) we then moved on to all the formal photos  of the family and then this bridal party who did NOT disappoint!  I remember Nicole gave me an impeccable timeline and we had gobs of time for photos!

Who remembers these cuties?!

AHHHH! If I don’t get to do May weddings, I’m just going to have to keep coming back to these!

This one below was always one of my favorites!

We went back to that bridge!  Gosh, I don’t have any other photos like this on my hard drives!  2020…you better bring me BIG things for this year!! We all deserve it!

Then, we went to the reception hall and soaked up all the Disney goodness!  SooOOooo good, right?!  That glass slipper still gets me excited!

Oooo HEYYYY!  That guy in that military uniform should look familiar!  That’s Jack, Jenna’s husband, and Nicole and Jim’s brother in law.  He was one of my June grooms last year!  Nicole and Jim’s reception had lots of dancing and I remember that’s just what Jim wanted!

…and they ended it on a high note!  WITH A TWIRL!! WITH.A.TWIRL!  I remember being SO tired on the drive home from this wedding.  We drove home, right Kari?  I don’t feel like we stayed over night but I remember being tired in the car.  This was all still pretty new to me.  I didn’t know you HAD to hydrate like a marathon runner and you HAD to eat and snack all day long for energy (which is why I now pack lunches and snacks for everyone on the team each wedding).  Otherwise, you get a “wedding hangover”…that’s when you wake up the next morning and feel hungover despite the fact you had zero ounces of alcohol.  It sounds bizarre but it’s true!  This was also a wedding I was feeling like, “I can REALLY do this…this may just become a full time gig.”  From the very bottom of my heart, I’m still SO thankful to couples like Nicole and Jim who took a chance on me.  Who trusted a brand new photographer with less than ten weddings under her belt to capture the most important day of their lives.  It’s because of people like you two, Nicole and Jim, that I’m sitting here right now with still 25 hopeful weddings couples to shoot this year despite this virus.  I couldn’t have done it without these early weddings and I’m forever grateful!

Happy almost THIRD anniversary to the Cserniks!  So, WHERE ARE THEY NOW?!  Well, let’s go back a bit.  For their first anniversary, Jim surprised Nicole with a family trip to Disney World…with the WHOLE family!  Last year they went to Kalahari!  In addition to their twins, Ana and Ava, they welcomed another fur baby into the family named Luna!  She’s a little black beauty (Lab/German Shepard/beagle).  Their other fur baby, Wilson, and her are buddies and play a lot!  Of course, the twins reprised their roles as flower girls in Nicole’s sister’s wedding last year!  Gosh, I was so happy to see the Parry family again, I tell ya!  But anyway, Jim and Nicole have been BUSY and bought a new home in Poland, Ohio which gave the twins their own rooms for the first time ever.  They’ve been busy remodeling the kitchen, updating the yard, tearing down wallpaper…painting…organizing…you name it!  Their home even has a craft room AND a woodshop!  They also got chickens….8 to be exact.  They were all supposed to be hens and SURPRISE…one was a rooster.  Nicole said she bribes her neighbors with eggs even though they claim it doesn’t bother them (the crowing)…HA!  The Csernik family is staying safe (as much as possible) while Jim works and home schools the girls in 5th grade studies while Nicole ventures out to continue her work in a skilled nursing facility.  Stay safe, ya’ll!

———-

Alright! *cue the fast forward sounds*  Let’s just keep it going, shall we?!  Let’s go two years after Nicole and Jim’s wedding to Kristi and Justin who are up next!  OOo my goodness me!  Looking at these two makes me want to jump up and down…UP AND DOWN!  Jay Morris is probably shaking his head.  He has to deal with me a lot of this was one of those weddings he just kept laughing at me.  You see, Justin has this fun and witty personality and does NOT mind being in my photos.  Well, you already know where this goes.  Kristi was an easy client… and she’s super easy to photograph.  She has a sweet personality and is so great to be around.  I get so lucky with my brides but not many of my grooms enjoy (or at least act like they enjoy) getting their photos taken.  Enter Justin!  I honestly can’t remember if he DID love it or just put up with me.  Nonetheless, I got these amazing photos and was just SUPER excited about it all!  I do believe this was Lacey’s first engagement session (so basically her first time experiencing what this was all about).  Enjoy!

This walking one was always one of my favorites from their gallery.  It just felt so “in the moment’ if that makes sense!

They did an outfit change and then we got these beauties by Oglebay’s pine room!

Then, we were off to their wedding in May of last year!  It rained…surprise…on their wedding day!  WHYYYYY does the rain love me so much?!  GAH!  BUT…as I said in their original blog (HERE) … these two handled it better than anyone could have with HUGE smiles on their faces and the mentality that “we’re getting these pictures whether it’s raining or not”!  Do you all remember?!  I was able to execute this one thanks to Kari and Sam (I believe this was Sam’s first wedding) and Jay Morris of Jay Morris Video Productions who was (and always is) the perfect gentleman!

But first…her details!  This wedding was at Ebbert’s Farm in St. Clairsville, Ohio for the reception so that’s where we started the day!  Just look!! AHHH!! This greenery at this wedding was to die for!! Kristi actually doesn’t like flowers so she wanted less flowers and alllllll the greens!

I really thought the circles would be popular this past year but this was the only wedding we saw this!! GAH! Isn’t it so pretty?!

Succulents!!  She had succulents!! Succulents were all the rage in people’s home decor too so I figured that was also something that would be super popular.  Wrong again!!  Kristi nailed it with this wedding decor making is so unique and delightful to photograph!  For real!

Ebbert’s getting ready room can be tricky but Kari was nailing these photos from the side! AHHH!  Who doesn’t love a good black and white photo?!

Then, we headed to the ceremony!  Do you all remember this HILARIOUS moment that Justin and his brother thought the decorative confetti was PART of the boutonnière?!  Jay was already filming and hadn’t said anything either and we had a HUGE laugh and Justin said, “She would have killed me!”  But, of course, we took the photo anyway so I could blog about it!

Kristi also got Justin a belt…..and he didn’t have belt loops in his tux to wear it on his wedding day!  He requested this photo and I was so happy to humor him!  I’m telling you, I giggled this ENTIRE wedding!!  AHHHH!! I’ve got ALL the feels!

Their ceremony was beautiful!  Kari was seriously killing it this day with the angles!

This was Sam’s first wedding ever.  She was there just to watch and practice.  I always tell them (the third person training at the time) not to stress about their photos and that we pretend they aren’t there and don’t depend on their photos anyway so to just enjoy.  But then Sam NAILED her angle and I got three different shots of the first kiss and I just KNEW Sam was going to be A OK for weddings.  I mean, I literally had called off settings to her just minutes before this ceremony started and she was already taking photos like this!! WEEEEE!

Then, this couple went for it!  They didn’t care that it was raining!  Nope!  I busted out the umbrellas (which I ended up leaving behind accidentally…if you remember…and then Kristi was so kind and texted me one rainy wedding morning and brought them to me at a wedding later that fall).  I didn’t ask for Jay to hold that one over me either but he offered anyway and I remember thinking, “We make a good team!”

…and despite the crappy rainy day…there was NOTHING that was NOT happy or joyous about this wedding.  Aside from the wetness falling from the sky, you wouldn’t have known it was raining!  Look at their smiles and energy!! I tell ALL my couples not to worry about the rain.  I know that is VERY hard to do but take a lesson from these two.  It’s ALL in your outlook on the whole thing!  On a random note and now that I’m looking at this, Kristi’s dress was bustled.  I never noticed before!!  She must have UN-bustled it for our next set of photos! HUH!  I never noticed before!

After that, we then went to my favorite covered rain location!

See her train?!  Funny how I’m just now noticing that! HA!  Gosh, I’m getting all the feels….ALLLLLLLLLL of them!! Look how genuinely happy they are together! AHHHH!!!

I could just smile all day looking at all of these.  I’m hoping that some miracle occurs and I get to shoot some May weddings this year!  The May “green” isn’t like any other time of the year!  I still have two holding strong on their dates!! CROSS ALL YOUR CROSSABLES, everyone!

We headed back to Ebberts and the love and happiness just kept on flowing out of these two!  It is in their smiles or something.  I don’t know.  Can you all feel it even though you weren’t there?  When they smile…they REALLY smile.  Does that makes sense?  OR do I just sound like a quarantined crazy person?!  You can say the second…at this point…I’ll take ANY interaction! HA!

…and all that joy and love and laughter did NOT stop there!  I was taking photos like this one all night long at their reception! Gosh, I wanna go back!! Or I wanna go forward…I JUST WANT TO SHOOT WEDDINGS AGAIN!! AHHHH!!

Congrats to the Sloans!  SO, WHERE ARE THEY NOW?!  Well, right after the wedding Kristi and Justin took their honeymoon and then came back for what they call “crunch time”.  Justin was in busy season with reporting and Kristi was working on assisting with the first year of the Blame My Roots festival (the new Jamboree in the Hills weekend event).  They still have the same jobs and adjusting to this new schedule with their new office manager….their cat, Lilly!  HA!  I loved that so much as a cat person myself!  They’re still in their home together they had when they got married and are working on all kinds of upgrades – landscaping, painting, installing new lights, and all that fun stuff!  When I see them pop up on IG together, I always smile REAL big!  I’m such a stalker! HA!

ANDDDDDDDD they have an announcement to make!!! EEEK!! I’m telling ya!  It’s a Hannah Barlow Photography baby boom for my couples!

You all know I LOVE those details.  Donuts in the announcement.  Donuts at their wedding too!!!! COME ON!! Isn’t that AWESOME?!  Congrats to the Sloans!


That’s it!  That’s a wrap on these two May weddings!  I have a third May weddings blog (Take 3) coming up later in the week!! Check back!  AND…if you want to relive both these weddings, in full…use the links below!

Nicole & Jim

Kristi & Justin

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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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