Happy, Wednesday! OoO my goodness. This Renshaw Farms wedding Chelsae and Tyler put together last Saturday gave me the warm and fuzzies for SO many reasons! First, it was a “transition” wedding for me. That’s a wedding where I notice ALLLLL the bright greens from spring and summer start to fade away. That means my photos start to look a bit different and that means fall is coming. Yep. I immediately noticed the grass wasn’t quite so green which means I can do different things with my couples. This usually happens in September but this dry season has accelerated the process a bit. Second, as I was driving in to Renshaw Farms in Freeport, Pennsylvania (which I’d never been to before), I kept noticing the sky. Yep, THE SKY! It was an amazing “sky day” for photos and I was hoping it would hold (it did). Third, I got to shoot with Kari. She hasn’t shot a wedding since last November with everything going on and this was going to be her first and only wedding for 2020…WAAAAAA!! There were other familiar faces at this wedding too!! I could go on and on but just know I was feeling it for this day! WEEE!! So yea…no matter what…it was going to be a GREAT day…AND…no rain in the forecast!! WOOOOO!! It’s been a while since I could say that! So, here you go…just look at what I drove into! I couldn’t help myself and started taking “test shots” from the parking lot! It doesn’t even look real! I’m no landscape photographer but this was getting me all kinds of excited! Chelsae and Tyler…you wedding day was perfect!
Even their ceremony spot was gorgeous. I was able to do a complete 360 and the sky and landscape was just breathtaking in all directions!
So, this day was unorthodox for me. Well, I guess it’s not so abnormal for a 2020 wedding at this point…but it was different for me nonetheless! You see, this is Chelsae and Tyler’s “first wedding” or their “practice wedding” as Chelsae later called it! They had the full blown shebang planned for this day but COVID, of course, had other plans. So, we split up their coverage so we could capture the memories of both days. Tyler had me coming in at 1:30 and staying for just a few hours with no detail or getting ready shots until next year! So, I got to meet right up with the guys right off the bat! Yep! I did come early though to get SOME details…because, you know, it makes me itch not to have SOME! So, I actually got there about 20 minutes early to meet up with Kari (I missed her so much) and was able to take time to get shots like above. Also, who recognizes that guy on the far left (below)? Yep!! That’s Mr. David DeShong…Kari’s husband and past Hannah Barlow Photography groom. I know I have some very new loyal blog readers here (Hey, Chelse! <— different than the bride…for clarification) so I figured I should introduce him again so this blog makes sense. Kari (my first official second shooter ever) was my bride before she became friend and Hannah Barlow Photography assistant. She and David hired me to be their wedding photographer years ago and then our friendship grew. Tyler and David used to work together so when Tyler and Chelsae needed a wedding photographer, my name came up!! The rest is history!! Ok! There ya go! And here we are now! Back to the blog…so, Jason (one of Renshaw Farms owners) picked us up on the tractor to head on over to see the girls. He probably thought I was crazy from moment one. I was flying around getting some dinner detail shots and ceremony shots and he asked if I wanted to walk or ride. I told him “ride” but them proceeded to run up the driveway for just a few more shots…if you’ve met me…you can just picture this happening. BUT LOOK at the back of the tractor! So cool, right?!
SURPRISE! I was scouting out locations for the first look when Chelsae asked for a few getting ready photos. Kari came and got me and we snapped a few. I was drooling over the details of this dress!! GOODNESS!
I mean…she even had a mask made out of parts of her dress. Amazing masks call for COVID photos, right?!
It was time for the first look! I’m giggling just posting these because I keep reliving Kari’s reaction. So again, it’s been a while since I’ve shot with her. What I love about all my assistants is that we all have our “styles” and we all have our preferences for ways to shoot and we all have our favorite pieces of gear. Kari can NAIL focus from a mile away and she’s more obsessed with flash than me. She also hates shooting in direct light so she had a total “stink face” moment when I decided on the first look here. Tyler told me they were going to ride to the sunflower field for the first look but that meant they’d see each other and I really wanted them to have a real first look. Jumping right on the tractor together without a second alone? Nope! No way! I just couldn’t have that without them having their “moment” just the two of them. Plus, I mean…THE SKY AND LANDSCAPE…it was too perfect! So, here we are in the direct sun. I was shooting from behind and Kari was shooting from the side!
First looks are SO nerve racking! AHHHHHHH!! We don’t want to miss a second! I gave Kari the side eye as I was bringing Chelsae out and she was over there panic resetting her camera while this was happening. That’s right. She didn’t TRUST ME! Can you believe it?! She thought I had her all set up wrong so she took it upon herself to “fix” things with her camera settings. You know what that means, right? I had to individually edit her photos from mine to make them match. If I was allowed to backhand her like you see in cartoons, I totally would have! HA! We DIED laughing after it was all over. Chelsae and Tyler were just living their best lives, of course, with no idea what was happening behind the scenes. David, Kari’s husband, just shook his head after it was all over because it was most certainly a “Kari move”.
…but THIS is why we do first looks. This is why I insisted they have a moment before we get on the tractor. I’m always all kinds of smiles while photographing moments like this.
I always tell my couples there will come a point during your first look where you’re done chatting with one another and ready to move on. Tyler and Chelsae had that moment so then I just HAD to snap just a few formal shots (I mean….that sky, after all) and then we walked back to the tractor!
We had everyone now!! Off to the sunflower field. THAT’S RIGHT. You read it correctly. Jason told me there was a sunflower field where they wanted to take photos AND this was the first year for it too!! WOOOOOOO!!!!
This was really my “test shot” but really…THE SKY! Who is sick of me saying that? I know…I know…but it’s been a long long long time since we had a perfect…and I mean PERFECT…sky day! And the sunflowers…we can’t forget the sunflowers!
So, if you had told me orange and blue would look THIS good together, I would have told you you were crazy. Fun fact: Did you know orange statistically is people’s least picked favorite color? Well…well…well…this color palette had me jumping up and down. I’m not sure anything would have been more perfect for this location and setting and it’s just going to keep getting better…and better…with these photos!
Ok. If you’ve photographed with me or been photographed by me, you all know I do the “group hug”. Every group gets it. It’s often a favorite for families and the women…but the men NEVER…and I mean NEVER…know what to do. It’s so consistent with the “you want us to do what” that we always just laugh because 90% of the time the guys just kind of weirdly football/locker room hug. Well, this was a Hannah Barlow Photography first because I’m not even sure what those two on the left (below) were doing. I mean..the other five got it right…what the heck are they doing over there?! Also, that’s David…and HE KNOWS BETTER! I can’t even quit laughing! David has not only been photographed in his own wedding but multiple times by me. Oy. That just tells you how long it’s been since I’ve had him in front of my camera. It made for a great outtake though which I can assure you will be in the end of year blogs!
…they got it together though and the girls were having a great time watching the shenanigans from the tractor! Kari’s always been really good about catching ALL the moments going on that I’m not photographing!
I’m telling you…that blue and orange is doing things for my wedding photographer eyeballs!
Looking good, right?! RIGHTTTT?! Look at her veil, it was in on the action the whole time! PERFECTION!
These girls were rocking it and let me tell you… it was HOT! How this bridal party managed not to get sweaty and shiny, I’ll never know because I was sweating in ALL kinds of places…yuck! Seriously, my mom probably reads these blogs and dies inside a bit! Sorry, mom!
Oooo Chelsae!! CHELLLLSAEEEE!!! Can you all hear my screams and squeals and allllll the Hannah-isms?! Holy crap. HOLLLLY MOLY! Let’s just set the sky aside…and the sunflowers aside…and that DRESS aside…and talk about Chelsae and her veil. The veil wasn’t exactly flying like I usually like it to (it did for a few seconds as you can see on the top left photo below) but then it started to do it’s own thing. It’s like it was meant to be and that veil had a mind of its own and was like “Hannah..you just let me do this” and look what it did! These may be my favorite veil shots EVER! Also, a few are compliments of Kari too. If there’s one thing about Kari that is different than all my other shooters, its that she isn’t afraid to get right up in my business (and sometimes directly in my shots…HA!) for sake of her own photos and I love that about her! I mean…sometimes she was directly BELOW me squatting on the ground!
It’s so amazingly beautiful I can’t wait to get some emails and messages asking me how I photoshopped that sky and background. Nope. No filter…no photoshop. It’s 100% REAL! I have the originals to prove it but it’s just so gorgeous even I still can’t get over it!! AHHH! I was shooting the wider angles and Kari was shooting the closer ones (bottom photo below).
Of course, we had to play with the train! I took SO many bridal shots!
All right…all right…all right! <— Said in my best Matthew McConaughey voice! Deep breaths! As if I wasn’t already excited enough at this point…then we added Tyler and it was pure wedding magic gorgeousness! Feast your eyes on a plethora of photos compliments of Kari and I and I’m pretty sure there was an equal amount of my photos and her photos!
When I’m in love with the colors, I don’t usually love the black and whites…but I LOVE the black and whites too!!
We also added in mom with her daughters!! Do you remember her from the engagement session? I was loving Chelsae’s mom’s dress! These ladies take a fine photo!
Then, Jason (because he’s awesome) offered to take us over to a white barn that he said was pretty popular for photos! Let’s do it!
More black and whites for the win!
I’ve posted the more serious photos at this point but don’t worry…there was plenty of love and laughter to go around!
Kari and I had SO many different angles. She’s funny…she was looking for the long/big lens which has notoriously always been her favorite. Just look at that bouquet shot she grabbed all while I was off to their right doing the full body photos (below).
Then, one of the bridesmaids suggested this photo and I loved the idea! THAT DRESS though!
Just a few more before we headed off to the ceremony!
So, “the dip” used to be a thing that I did with all my couples. It kind of faded off over the years once I found some other poses I really really loved…but Kari reminded me and these two NAILED it. It was the perfect way to seal up the end of this first look/photo session before we took the tractor back to the ceremony location!
It was Kari’s idea and we all loved it! “Just hitched”…except they weren’t quite hitched YET but so soon! Look at the happiness coming off of them! Soon to be Mr. and Mrs!! That’s right!
I have this deep need and love for detail shots. So, while we were waiting for everyone to get seated, I grabbed the details off Tyler and snapped a few. EVERY gallery needs JUST a few!
Then, it was time to get prepped for the ceremony and I want you to all meet Bobby! He is family and was assigned the role of filming the ceremony. He was SO concerned about not getting in my shots and was so so so sweet! I told him not to worry…stay shoulder to shoulder with me and we’d be JUST fine…but he still worried. I promised to throw the professional elbow if necessary! HA! He worried so much that when I tried to get a photo of him he was trying to get out of my shot! So, everyone meet Bobby! He’s the best…and I told him he better turn in his single card because I’m coming for him in a few years with my camera so he better be getting married! HA! But really, wouldn’t that make for an AMAZING blog post?!
Here we go! It was a beautiful ceremony!!
Can you stuff more joy into a photo? I really don’t think you can and Kari can take credit for this one! Mr. & Mrs. Scherling, everyone!
Then, it true COVID fashion, they went right into their first dance after the ceremony so we could remain outside safely!
THEN, we went into family formals in a shadier spot and I took MAYBE my VERY favorite family photo EVER! We were doing Tyler’s side of the family with his grandma and I asked his mom if she wanted a photo too!! So, she ran over and got her brother. I figured they would just stand beside her…NOPE! These two “kids” jumped right on their mom’s lap and her expression was priceless. I hope…OoOo do I hope they have another photo just like this from when they were little kids because putting these side by side would e PERFECT!! I mean…don’t you just LOVE this photo?!
After family formals were complete, they rounded up the bridal party for one more shot…COVID style…or Corona style! However you want to see it!
Then, right before I left, they cut the cake and all Tyler wanted to do was sneak one last kiss in for a photo op and Chelsae surprised him and shoved that cake RIGHT in his face! We all had a great laugh and it was the perfect way to end the gallery!
BUT WAIT…there’s more! Kari and I walked outside to clean all our gear up and get it packed up in the car so I could take off and I saw a left over Corona bottle…with a bag on the top? I still can’t explain that one AND there was a mask next to it. I mean, if this isn’t the poster picture for 2020 weddings…well, I don’t know what is…so THAT is how I ended the gallery! We’re making the best of 2020…I tell ya!
That’s it! That’s a warp on “round one” of Chelsae and Tyler’s big day(s)! As much as it sucked coming into wedding season this year and as much stress as these couples have had to deal with, it’s kind of amazing that I get to photograph TWO weddings for many of my couples. Chelsae did email me and remind me we’d have to top these photos again next year and I got all kinds of stressed and sweaty. I mean, that’s a whole other challenge I’ve never considered. AHHHHHHH!! How in the WORLD will I top that sky and those flowers?! AHHHHHHHH!!! It’s definitely going to be a challenge but I’m up for it! I’ll “know” these groups going into these weddings next year and that’ll make it all the more sweeter (and easier). I’m thinking of it like I think of engagement sessions. Those sessions give me the opportunity to get to know people so it’s not awkward or weird on the wedding day AND it’s just easier to pose them. The same will apply for the second half of the COVID weddings. OooOo exciting things are coming in 2021! I just know it!! Now, I can’t wait! 2021 is going to be absolutely awesome! You may never see me outside my office with the amount of editing I’m going to have to do but still…weddings GALORE!
Alright, that’s it! If you want to see Chelsae and Tyler’s fall engagement session, you can do It HERE. I got to meet her mom back then when she watched their fur baby for us. He wasn’t invited to the wedding though! HA! But he does have his own Instagram page I shared earlier in the week! I just keep throwing out HUGE congrats to this couple. I know it wasn’t easy getting to this point but they did it…we did it! It’s so exciting we get to do it AGAIN next year!! WOOOOOO!! So, check back a little over a year from now to see them again. I’m pretty excited to do it again!! Let’s do this!! Congrats to Mr. & Mrs. Scherling! Give them ALL your Hannah Barlow Photography love!
…and here is the photo Kari and I took as soon as I arrived this day…I really missed her SO much! She isn’t blonde anymore either. I’ve never known her as anything other than a light blonde so this was weird to me!…and she always looks fab…and I look 30 years older! You’ll have that! I love her dearly! High five…we nailed this one!
Bride’s Gown – The Exquisite Bride, Allure Couture
Bridesmaids’ Gowns – One Enchanted Evening
Men’s Attire – Men’s Wearhouse
Jewelry/Rings – Mathew Jewelers (Cranberry), Abbey
Hair/Makeup – Glamorous Productions, LLC (Coraopolis, PA) – Chelsea Szost
Florist – Family Friend (Michelle Calvert)
Cake/Other Desserts – Mona Steinbeiser (Family Friend)
DJ/Band – C.J. Bennett – Pittsburgh DJ Company
Catering – Patrick Moore (Family)
Transportation/Limo – Jason (Renshaw Farms Owner) via the Tractor <— And I LOVED it!
Save the Dates/Invitations/Programs – Shutterfly
CeremonyReception Venue – Renshaw Farms
Officiant – Michelle Trumble