You loyal blog readers know what line is coming next! Ready?! NEW COUPLE ALERT! Goodness gracious, 2022 is going to be where all my wedding photographer dreams come TRUE, I tell ya! Gosh. It’s going to be amazing. Engagement session after engagement session I either run into a couple that I’ve met previously at another wedding OR…a couple like this…who I feel like I’ve known for a long time and it’s oddly comfortable from the moment we meet in person. So, with that being said and before I start off crazy right out of the gates…sit back, relax, and enjoy meeting Kimberly (Kim) and TJ! They’re the newest couple on my blog and not only am I excited to show you this session…I’m already DYING to see their August 2022 wedding in just under a year! Enjoy!
Kimberly reached out a few months ago and we immediately scheduled a phone consult for her wedding. I felt like we just clicked right off the bat. Conversation was easy. Her wedding sure did sound like a dream…and then she booked me! Cue all the Hannah-isms! Then, we started chatting about this engagement session and location. She ultimately chose the Pittsburgh Botanical Gardens which I’ve actually never been to before. So, I was extra pumped UP! Kim and TJ had scouted out locations prior to this so we met up in the parking lot, said our “hellos” for the first time in person, and then went to check in! Photographers: You DO need to schedule an appointment and do some paperwork. Please don’t skip this step. The staff are absolutely amazing and so helpful! Ok. Back on track. So…after a little conversation and me putting my photographer brain in drive, we decided to go to the lowest place first because it would get dark the quickest as the sun set. Little did I know, it’d be the trickiest spot of the evening too! Whoops!
The good news? They didn’t miss a beat…or step, in this case. I’m telling you…I really do feel like I’ve known these two. While Kim was checking in earlier and finalizing the details, TJ had grabbed a map and we had scoped it out together. Then, when we got down here, I immediately “yelled” at Kim and told her to “stop holding that dress so aggressively…we want dainty…jeesh!” And while I usually try to be chill at the beginning, I just felt like I could go to all out and just hammer down for photo time. I did. They laughed. We laughed. She got her dainty hands on board…and we took these beauties!
Back out we went to a more reasonable and easy spot…HA! I knew it’d get SO dark down in there quickly…so we had to take advantage!
Alright. At this point, I gave them the “Hannah Pep Talk” I usually give prior to the first photo being taken. Most of that pep talk is about controlling what I call “dead arm” and just laughing through the weirdness while you get used to my camera. They nailed it. The light LOVES these two!! It wrapped them right up!
Some walking and snuggling to the next location, shall we?! These two met back in 2018 during a Labor Day weekend get together with mutual friends. Kim tells me they really hit it off and then fast forward 6 months…Kim moved back to Pittsburgh to be closer to family and friends and reached out to TJ. The rest is history and these two have been together since 2019!
I feel like these two really just let their personalities go for this session and that made it just perfect. Before even reading their couple fun fact survey, I could have guessed their love languages after spending last evening with them (if you don’t know about love languages…look it up…it’s simply fascinating). Kim tells me TJ is clever and can be a hoot. He’s easy-going, patient and very much “go with the flow”. Yep. I totally saw that as he dealt with us two women trying to tell him he was using the map wrong. If you head over to my IG page, you’ll see a little of that when I post here in a bit! HA! It was also terribly hot last night around these parts. Sweat was pouring off all of us and you can’t even tell! Kim also tells me TJ is a genius of random facts and I’m kind of glad I didn’t know this ahead of time because I’m also a love of fun (and sometimes useless but intriguing) facts! I now remember I did tell them that blue eyes and brown eyes handle light differently in regards to sensitivity. It’s a good thing I didn’t go farther into how it takes more dilating medication to dilate brown eyes than blue! HA! Seriously…we could talk for hours! But again, getting off topic here! So, TJ turned around and followed it up with describing Kim as “pretty and fun…and a hard worker, great planner, excellent cook…and emotional”. Bring on the tears at the wedding! He also made a comment at this session about her makeup…and how she didn’t need it…and was beautiful just the way she is. I MEAN…I MEANNNNN. I’m going to be a sappy pile of wedding photographer goo on their wedding day. If you’re new here, I’m sorry. I can’t help it!
Speaking of tears. Kim told me TJ planned a whole elaborate proposal. He planned an entire weekend in her hometown of Naples, NY complete with inviting her family and best friend (all the way from Dallas, TX). While they were golfing, TJ got down on one knee at his favorite hole that just happens to have a beautiful overlook of the hills of upstate NY and popped the question….and Kim’s tears started rolling before she could even say, “YES!” My couples deserve to have novels written about them, I swear!
oOo and here’s that beautiful ring! I’m not one to predict the future…but I’m going to take a stab at it here and then see if I’m right when I come back and read this August 19th of next year (anyone who is new to the blogs…I go back and reread what I typed about the couple for their engagement session the night before their wedding). Kim stopped and watched me take these photos of her ring and said she wanted to see how it was all done. I just happen to love when people keep me company and don’t mind at all. She also mentioned that her mom (Hi, Mom!) has also become a blog reader (which is just simply making my photographer heart burst). So, I’m thinking next year…this wedding will be one that’s super laid back, very organized, go with the flow…and perfect. Maybe even complete with me and my assistant getting to do detail shots of all that wedding goodness with mom and bride keeping us company. We’ll see! To be continued…
I didn’t ask Kim but she sure did seem like a dancer to me. They executed this spin perfectly…not once…not twice…but THREE times!
It’s definitely the outfits and colors that got me for these two below!
Alright! On to a new location…where the photography gods at the Pittsburgh Botanical Garden said, “Let me just open up these trees right here and give you the most PERFECT end of evening light! Yes…YES…1000 times YES!
Every couple gets super cozy here at the end when we’re finishing up. Also, we had the most random Hannah Barlow Photography first. A little dog popped through the bushes and kept us company…literally followed us around.
One last photo for the night and we’ll call this engagement session for these photos at the Pittsburgh Botanical Garden a HUGE success! YAY!
The amount of love I have for this gallery can’t be put into words. I’m not even sure how the Hannah Barlow Photography team is going to manage this schedule next year. We might just have to draw straws to make it fair because picking and choosing who is a perfect fit for each wedding is going to be nearly impossible. Lucky me…I get to be there for them all! Wooo!!! As we walked around the Pittsburgh Botanical Gardens, Kim told me more and more about her wedding. She’s planning an Oglebay wedding that is pretty classic with some modern twists and emphasis on the details. It’s going to be “enchanted forest”…..ENCHANTED FORSET…with lots of greenery and lights! I can’t…I can’t with these couples! How I’ll hold it together and be the professional I strive to be…I have no idea! It’s going to be beautifully amazing and I’m here for it. Thank you for reading and have an amazing weekend!! I have a double header coming up! Let’s do this!