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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Winter Wonderland Snowy Engagement Photos

This is IT! OooO my goodness ME!  Give me ALLLLLLLLLL the Hannah-isms today and ALLLLLLL the exclamation points (yes, even more than the average day and blog).  Mikala and Jordan’s engagement session is FINALLY here!  Not only is it the last session of the 2020 Hannah Barlow Photography year but it’s the second to last blog!  That’s right!  We did it!  We survived 2020 and this last one is great not just for the photos but because of the story!  So, please enjoy Mikala and Jodran’s winter wonderland, snowy engagement photos!  It’s their time to shine!

Ahhhhh!! So, Mikala and Jordan!  You probably recognize them, right?  Mikala’s cousin hired me a few years ago to do his wedding.  Then, her brother hired me to do his wedding a few months ago…and THEN, these two hired me to do their 2022 wedding!  This group has been so loyal and it warms my heart to pieces BUT they’re also super great people.  I don’t know how to explain it but couple after couple…we just click!  Our text threads are obnoxiously long and in a great way AND not just about wedding stuff…about everything!  They’re ones I definitely have to encourage to EMAIL ME any important stuff because 2 hours later…we’re back to texting about non-wedding related things and those important points get buried.  It’s amazing when you have a connection with clients like this!  So yea…I was pumped up about this session.  I’d “met” Mikala and Jordan online for my virtual meetings (which are starting back up in January).  I THINK I met Mikala briefly at the wedding a few years back?  I definitely met Jordan at the wedding a few months ago (maybe even before?)…but you get the picture.  So yea…I was pumped UP!  Because you ALL know I love when there is history.  Also, this session was a “mess” to get to…Oy!  I don’t ever ever ever like being anything close to a mess but ’tis 2020, I guess AND it all worked out!  We originally were going to do this at a different Christmas tree farm and then we had to change locations.  Then, I got COVID so the date had to be changed too AND then we weren’t even sure if we could do this particular day because of the snow!  It was all worth it in the end though because look at this SNOW….LOOK AT THIS SNOW!  OoOO M GGGG!  It all came full circle (and that’s my favorite).  This was meant to be!

Seriously, I was so afraid this one wouldn’t happen.  If you’re all sitting here reading this and looking out your window because of about 5-6 inches of snow?  Yea.  We shot this yesterday.  It’s about a 45 minute drive for me and while I don’t mind driving in snow, it did call for A LOT and fast and I didn’t know if I’d be able to get there.  I texted Mikala to confirm they were ok with driving in it too and she texted me a funny text saying Jordan said I just needed to get my chains on because they were super excited and we were doing this no matter what! Well, alrighty then!  I mean…let’s do this!  I DID tell Mikala to warn Jordan he had just earned himself ALLLLLLL the photos with that little comment though! HA!  In all seriousness though, I knew it’d be fine.  I even told my husband, “These are good people.  If I get stuck in a ditch, the groom will definitely come and get me!”  I mean, I’ve only spent a day with Jordan…but I was PRETTY sure he would come get me out! HA!  OooO my goodness ME!  This one below is one of my favorites!  Genuine laughs and squishy nose for the win!  We were having a GREAT time already…like five photos in!

For real, SO much fun!  This was that big, wet, fluffy snow and it was coming down FAST!  You all know me.  I’m a “clean” and tidy and perfection to detail kind of gal.  I had to move FAST and there wasn’t a dang thing I could do about the snow between us.  I kept telling them I’d photoshop it out (and I still intend to do the ones on their eyes/faces) BUT I kind of LOVE how it’s literally a winter wonderland WHICH Mikala said she always dreamed of for her wedding (so we can just check this right off the list for the engagement session).  And while we’re looking at all these smiles and laughs, these two had the AUDACITY to say they were going to be awkward in their fun fact survey.  Nope.  No way.  Nope.  I refuse to accept it.  They were SO excited for it to be their turn though and I think that shows – no awkward in site!

…and usually, when I ask couples to describe themselves, they give me a few adjectives and call it a day.  Not these two!  Nope!  I asked permission to just copy and paste what they had to say, so here you go.  Grab your tissues.  I can also tell you these descriptions are 100% sincere.  SOMETIMES I read stuff like this and give a little eye roll.  I mean, you can tell when people are just trying to put in some words.  Nope.  Not these two!  I’ve spent enough time with them now that I can tell you I can hear them saying the words about one another and they mean it!

Jordan described Mikala in this way…”

“Finding the words to describe Mikala is hard. Not hard in a bad way but a million things pop into my mind about her. She is so loving, caring, smart, hard working, beautiful and always puts a smile on my face so I guess you could call her funny even though I tell her she’s not. She puts all her love into our relationship and shows me so much love and our families so much compassion. She cares so much for people. From our families to her patients at the hospital. She has always been smart. Throughout school her brains helped her achieve so much. Even letting me copy her work in High School. She works so hard in her career as a nurse. And being a nurse isn’t easy. She deals with stuff I couldn’t even imagine but she continues to work hard and that caring and love comes out in her job. I can’t even describe how beautiful she is. She walks into a room and lights up my face everytime. Especially her smile. Her smile can put a smile on anyone’s face. She always cracks little jokes that thinks are hilarious and I tell her she’s not funny but she truly is pretty funny… sometimes…”

**cue the music**  I can tell you people like this DO exist…my husband is one of them.  We’ve been together 19 years this January and married for 12 years.  We get along great.  We rarely fight.  Life is pretty “easy” for us as long as we support each other and work hard BUT this isn’t about me…I just had to throw that out there! HA!

Mikala turned around with her response…

“I had Jordan write his portion first thinking I can piggyback off of it and say around the same things about him, but didn’t realize he’d write like that BRB as I cry. Jordan is honestly a dream. He’s my best friend and I couldn’t imagine life without him. He always knows the right things to say to make me laugh when I’m down. I tell him I’m the funny one but i’ll give it to him that he’s a close second. He puts me first no matter what and makes me feel chosen every single day. He works hard in literally everything he does. His love for me, our families, and God is infectious and makes it a point for everyone to know that he is there for them regardless of any circumstance. He is my partner in crime and I know that since I have him I have someone to go through literally anything with.”

Side note: I busted out laughing as soon as I opened their survey.  Most couples have just a few words.  Meghan and Nate had A LOT of words in 2017 when I did their engagement session.  Kenzie and Tyler were no different in 2019.  Mikala and Jordan kept up with it!  It’s just “them” and I expect NOTHING less and I love it so much!

Alright, back to these beautiful pictures!  Then, we did some walking and snuggling!  I say “we” and I mean them.  I had also said “our wedding” during this session and we all laughed…it’s not my wedding, of course, but with people like this…if feels like I’m a huge part though!

They look like they belong in a magazine!  I mean, come on!

I knew these two had “steamy” in them and they didn’t even mean to do it!  They absolutely 100% NAILED the “snuggle”. OooOo my goodness me!  I told Mikala we’re going to need an obnoxious timeline to get all these photos done at her wedding…their wedding…our wedding!

As if the end of my year wasn’t crazy enough with names – remember how two of my couples are “Allie and Zach”?  Well, Jordan is my SECOND “Jordan West”.  HA!  I mean, you can’t make this stuff up!  Someone get me extra Post Its!  I’m going to need them in the coming years!  I just wanted to point that out!  So, this RING!  Mikala and Jordan tell me they almost jokingly (ok, literally) picked out this ring one winter.  They were both still in school so as Mikala tried one on she liked, Jordan reminded her they needed to get through school first.  Little did she know, he went back the very next day and custom ordered one for her tiny finger.  A while later, Jordan planned a great proposal plan in Pittsburgh and asked two of his friends to come along to take photos and video the whole thing (WHERE ARE MY PICTURES AND VIDEO?!).  Mikala was told those friends just needed a ride.  One broke down incline later, they finally got to the top of another one where Jordan popped the question!

Alright!  So, I saw this amazing lake and all the dead stuff (you all know how I love dead stuff), and we moved on.  When I say the snow was wet, I mean it.  WET!  My camera was soaked.  I was soaked.  Mikala’s hair was soaked.  She didn’t miss a beat.  She threw on that hat and they said “let’s do some more!”  I asked them if they wanted snow on their clothes and hats.  They attempted to brush it off.  Mother nature had other ideas though…and again, while I normally don’t like the “messy” (wind blown fly aways or rain or anything that isn’t perfect attention to detail) this snow brought out some excitement in me I didn’t know existed and A LOT of beauty for this couple!

Seriously, it’s a winter wonderland and I just can’t get enough! AHHHH!

I’d like to call this outtake below, “you want me to do what?!”  Yes.  Eskimo kisses, Jordan…for that chain on the tires comment! You asked for it!  HA!

We laughed…and then they NAILED the eskimo kisses!

…and while we’re at it here…I want you two to do a model pose.  STOP IT RIGHT NOW.  STOPPPPPPPPP!!!!  They get an A+++…allll the pluses! If you’re new to me and my blogs, I apologize for all the Hannah-isms.  I promise you’ll get used to it and if you get to meet me at their wedding, it will all make sense and reading the next one will be easier.  If you’re NOT new to the blogs, I’m sure you’re reading this in your best Hannah voice and not stumbling a bit!  BUT YESSSSSSSSSS!  MODELS!

They nailed the model pose and then lost control and died laughing and I caught it all! WOOOO!

THEN, they got right back into it and the one below (to the right) I THINK is my very very very favorite!  I gave Jordan a 95% on his nuzzle earlier in the session without any coaching or prompting!  I deducted 5% because he put his face behind her hair and we all know I like my grooms to get their time to shine too!  Jordan, you gave me (us) the PERFECT nuzzle! 100% and some!

I mean, I was SO happy at this point.  I knew the photos would be amazing just like this couple and we could have called it quits but we always need JUST a few more!

Then, I asked if they wanted to dip.  They hesitated.  Jordan didn’t think they knew how or could do it.  I encouraged and coached just a bit and they NAILED IT.  We did have a funny moment though.  I told Jordan his ONLY job was not to drop her…and he almost lost balance and I yelled, “YOU HAD ONE JOB, JORDAN! ONE JOB!”  But that’s how it is with this couple.  I told them I really felt like I could give them a hard time and use and abuse them with all the poses and prompts.  They didn’t miss a beat.  They nailed it!  Oooo my gosh their wedding photos are going to be AMAZZZZZZIIIING!

That’s it!  We hiked back to our cars soaking wet and smiling and laughing (and I talked the whole time, of course).  And then we grabbed just a few more photos of this beautiful MARQUIS cut ring.  I have one myself so I love them…and a very small percent of diamonds have this cut!  It’s a club!

Wedding rings…Christmas ornaments…and snow…ALL my favorite things!

So, you need to check back in January 2022 to see these two do this again (but walking together back DOWN the aisle as Mr. and Mrs.).

…and we’ll probably be doing something like THIS again!  We’ll just be a wee bit (a lot) colder!

…and celebrating the night away!

I mean…do they not look great dressed up?! GAH!  I’m going to need a sedative at first to get me TO and THROUGH this day.  Then, I’m probably going to need a drink at the reception because these groups tend to have ginormous bridal parties (and rowdy ones).  And while I say that, I can tell you I’ll have all the help I’ll need.  They all made sure I made it down the hill at Tyler and Kenzie’s wedding (see the outtakes blog).  They offered to carry my gear.  Heck, Tyler (Mikala’s brother) fixed my light stands even!  So, yea…it’s going to be amazing.  The blog will be ridiculously long (I mean…if their engagement blog has this many words?  Brace yourself for impact in Jan. 2022).  AHHHHH!! I don’t know where to end it.  I just loved all of this SO SO SO much!  EEEKKKK!!  Ok.  I’ll end it here…with the last picture I took of Mikala and Jordan at the wedding a few months back WITH two other Hannah Barlow Photography couples! WOooooOoooo!  Sorry about your head, Jordan!  That’s a wrap on this one!

Happy snowy, Thursday!  Thanks for reading, everyone!

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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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