It's been a little over a year since I took these photos of Hannah and Jake. We went out to the lake last summer and spent the evening by the water, playing music and shooting the shit until the sun went all the way down and we ran out of beer and the fire slowly waned. They love each other, yes, this is true. But the reason why I wanted to photograph them is because I have never met two human beings who so vividly act as one another's muse. Both of them are incredibly talented artists and watching the way they inspire each other has had me inspired for a long while. Jake's a pretty smart guy, so this week he asked Hannah to marry him. And Hannah is a pretty smart lady, so naturally, she said yes. To celebrate I finally finished these photos and I will share them with you here. <3
I left Connecticut yesterday feeling like a kid on their way home from summer camp. That happy, delirious kind of exhausted that only comes after a weekend of pouring your heart into something. Sam and Max were married on Saturday at Max's childhood home in New Hartford, Connecticut. Surrounded by family, friends, dogs, and blow-up pink flamingos, we celebrated. We danced. We cried. We drank whiskey and lemonade. I will never be able to comprehend how lucky I am to be a part of days like this one.
Here's the story of the day that two of the very best kind of people decided to keep each other around for the rest of all time.
rings: Nikolai Rose
make up: Jalen - Vibes Hair Lounge
hair: Kelly - Gallery Salon
taco truck: Taco Loco
cocktail hour: Catherine Gillespie
ice cream: Ben & Jerry's
cake: Hardcore Sweet
flowers: Sweet Pea's
max's badass attire: Freeman's Sporting Club
Second shooting by the lovely Samantha June of Arius Photography.
One of my favorite parts about being a wedding photographer is watching my couples grow into families in the years that follow their weddings. I was so lucky to photograph Katy and Tagg at their wedding celebration back in 2015, and now they're having a baby! A few weeks ago we went out to the KU Field Stations north of Lawrence (great idea, Katy) and made these photos during golden hour. First of all, I couldn't believe I'd never been to the field stations before. It's absolutely gorgeous out there, complete with a honeysuckle field I'm currently obsessed with. Second of all, Katy and Tagg are going to be a couple of the coolest, most thoughtful parents there could ever be. Thank you for letting me photograph you again! It's proving to always be a good time.
I knew right away when Morgan and Brady first reached out to me about their 2019 Kansas City wedding that we would work great together. We bonded over a mutual love for our dog-babies, as well as their incredible wedding venue, the Weston Red Barn Farm. I love how comfortable and silly Brady and Morgan are around one another. Taking their engagement photos was so easy and fun because of this. We explored North Lawrence and spent some time in this beautiful field of honeysuckle right off of a dirt road at the KU Field Stations. I’m so excited to photograph their wedding! A year from now we’ll be coming up on their date. The Red Barn Farm is by far one of my favorite Kansas City wedding venues and I am so stoked for the opportunity to go back.
To see another engagement session I’ve recently done in Lawrence, click here!
Here are some of my favorite images from Morgan and Brady’s engagement session.
Hilary and Mitch met at Hooters. The rest is history.
JK - there's more. These two were so fun to photograph! We lucked out on a super sunny day and decided to explore the alleyways of Lawrence and eventually head out to Clinton Lake for some photos at sunset. Hilary and Mitch made it so easy - they have a funny, lighthearted banter about them that made the laughs plentiful and the entire evening so laid back. My favorite part of the session was hands down the moment when I asked them to yell out their favorite body part on the other person. I'm pretty sure Hilary said "BUTT!" and I know for a fact that Mitch yelled out "Her hair extensions." Queue me dying of laughter.
Hilary & Mitch - thank you a million times for hanging out with me and letting me take these for you. I had a blast. Your wedding is going to be the bomb.com.
Usually, I spend this part saying nice things. About how the weather was wonderful, the farm was lovely, the kids were wild. Aundrea and Travis invited me out to their farm last fall to photograph their little family. TO BE HONEST: I had food poisoning this day and ended up being almost an hour late to the shoot. But, as all things happen for a reason, due to my tardiness I caught the most beautiful sunset and the sweetest moments that only occur at dusk on a farm. 7 dogs (knowing Aundrea this number might be higher by now.) Three humans. Countless pigs and cows and goats and turkeys and chickens later, they've built a beautiful home - and I'll let Aundrea take it from here:
"I’ve known since forever that adoption was the route for me if I ever decided to become a parent. We knew we wanted to adopt from the foster care system. I’ll never forget the day we got the call. It had been two months since we had been licensed and we waited, and waited. Days turned into weeks - which then turned into a few months. Then, one afternoon, the phone rang and we finally received placement. Travis (my husband) & I sat across from him eating dinner at the table that evening and just stared for 20 entire minutes. I’m not sure we even blinked. It felt as if we were watching a movie. This wasn’t real life. Fast forward two and half years, and here we are. It has been a whirlwind. One where we are, more often than not, on pins and needles, constantly holding our breath. Never knowing the next step. Navigating the court system, etc. It hasn’t been easy, and yet we wouldn’t change a thing. To see this little man’s smile, to hear his laugh, to dancing in the kitchen while scream-singing has made it all worth it. Every. Single. Day."
Here are the Shafers:
Happy Valentines Day, lovers! I'm so excited to share this Brooklyn wedding at The Green Building in Gowanus. There's a sweet spot in my hearts for a fall wedding in Brooklyn. Sunset in Gowanus is one of the best places in Brooklyn to catch those golden hour tones – in my personal opinion. We started out at their apartment on the Upper West Side of New York City, where Nicole and her bridesmaids donned their wedding clothes and Nicole surprised her family and friends with a beautiful veil. Their entire day was full of intricate surprises for their guests. Nicole and Zack wanted their wedding to be focused on giving their family and friends an incredible experience – complete with a Lebanese Food Truck (the chicken shawarma gave me LIFE) and a SURPRISE vegan ice cream food truck that appeared during the reception.
Another sweet detail of the day – Nicole’s aunt and uncle, Tom and Debbie, came early to the venue to build them a beautiful wooden chuppah for their ceremony. Tom also played the music during the ceremony alongside a couple of Nicole’s family members. All of the details of their day were so thoughtfully planned and none of it went unnoticed. Their enthusiasm for detail and the equality between both Nicole and Zack in their planning and the execution of their day was so refreshing. They invited a handful of couples that have demonstrated what a strong marriage looks like to give the seven blessings during their ceremony, and I think everyone watching had chills. It was so incredibly beautiful. The ceremony ended with Nicole and Zack both breaking the glass together – Nicole needed a couple of tries, but she did finally nail it with the help of her sweet grandpa.
It was an honor to be there and to photograph such a thoughtful event. Nicole and Zack are outstanding human beings and a joy to be around. Nicole and I both share a fervent passion for social justice, good falafel, and day dreaming about Elizabeth Warren becoming president one day. I’m happy to say that in addition to these badass photos we made together, we also made a new little friendship and gosh dangit, I just love them.
To see more of my NYC work, click here.
It doesn’t take much to convince me to take a trip to Texas. Austin is one of my favorite places, and I was so excited to travel down a couple weeks back to photograph Laura and Thomas for their engagement! Laura is a student in NYC and Thomas is a student in Austin, so they don’t see one another too often. Long distance for them is a breeze – they’ve been doing it for almost as long as they’ve known each other after meeting while studying abroad in Europe. We got together over a long three-day weekend and trekked up Mount Bonnell for some beautiful engagement portraits with a view. They’ll be having a New York City wedding this November, I can’t wait to photograph them again!
“We want our engagement pictures to be simple, romantic, and shaped by the nature around us.” Pia and Matt had a clear vision for their fall engagement session, and so many beautiful forces came together to make it happen. It’s not often that you get a warm sunny day in the middle of December, but we did. I'm so glad that Pia found me after searching for Kansas City Wedding Photographers on The Knot. These two met me at my house here in Lawrence and we drove out to the lake. I was so excited to show them around this area for the first time. Pia is from Germany and Matt is from Kansas City, but they met one another during their time in college in New York. I loved spending the afternoon hearing about how they fell in love (a story which I’m almost certain involved taping a classmate to a chair?) and hearing all about the time they spent together traveling Europe. They plan to get married in Austria in 2019 and I’m so excited to see how their story unfolds.
Earlier this year I started doing campfire engagement sessions with some of my couples – it’s one of my favorite ways to end the day. We all sat around a small fire near the water and shared a few beers. We talked about their wedding planning and about life in Europe vs. life in the states. I feel so lucky to have a career that allows me the flexibility of sharing these special moments and genuinely connecting with my couples outside of just taking their photos. I still can’t believe the weather was nice enough in mid December to end their engagement session with a campfire in Lawrence but I’m so glad that it was! I also owe a big thank you to my friend Cassoday Harder for coming along to assist so I could make this little video during their session. To see another one of my engagement sessions at Clinton Lake, click here.