I am definitely an animal lover :-) Just last night Sean and I were at the county fair wandering around petting all the cows and horses and rubbing noses with the huge tent of rabbits. (There are few things cuter than a baby cow :-) But most of all I love dogs - especially mine. The bigger and furrier and more rambunctious the better. So when Meghan and Billy asked me to come to their house to shoot their engagement photos with their two dogs, I was thrilled!
Meet Meghan, Billy, Dexter and Yogi.
We had a great time running all over the yard - Yogi wanted to give me kisses and Dexter thought about eating my lens cap :-D We laughed hysterically trying over and over again to get two big puppies to sit down and smile pretty for the camera.
Dexter is a golden doodle. ( golden retriever + poodle = big soft ball of blonde fur) is just a baby - still a puppy!
Yogi is the big dog of the house, and very sweet.
After wrestling with the dogs all over the yard it was time to put the 'kids' in the house and have some time for one-on-one.
Meghan and Billy are such a gorgeous and easy going couple - they've known each other since high school.
So cute :-)
Instead of traditional favors, Meghan and Billy have decided to make a donation to help animals in need and will be using some of the images of their furry friends on the favor cards at the wedding! Keep yours open for their wedding photos coming October 2009! Thanks guys - I can't wait!!
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I hope these were worth the wait!! Here's the rest of Amy & Ben's day :-)
The sun was high overhead as the bridesmaids helped Amy out of the limo and ushered her up the steps into the bride room in the church.
The flower girl was peeking out of the curtains into the sanctuary - very mischievious ;-)
The church was gorgeous with lots of natural light streaming in through the high windows. Musicians played live music as guests were escorted to their seats.
Remember I told you that Ben was feeling a little anxious for this moment - he couldn't wait to see her :-) When she appeared at the back of the aisle with her Dad and made her way to the altar, I turned to see Ben holding back tears. It was one of the best groom reactions I've seen :-) Sometimes you can't hold that much happy in !
After some photos at the church we took the limo to Twin Lakes for a few shots by the lake. The sun was hot and very bright so we tried to be quick!
It never fails, someone always wants to hoist someone! I don't ever bring it up as a suggestion because not every bride or groom really wants to be picked up for fear of falling - but it never fails. Someone in the crowd shouts "You should pick him/her up!!" And there they go again :-D
But when it's all in good fun it always makes for hysterical pictures!
After some time at Twin Lakes, we moved on to the reception at the Four Points Sheraton in Greensburg. Some details of the evening - floating candle centerpieces, and a cake that filled the whole room with a delicious sweet smell. Later when they cut this cake it was the most moist sweet delicate - mmmm - I could have eaten 3 pieces.
The rings - I know the flower shot is an old stand by but sometimes I think simple is best. Ben custom designed Amy's engagement ring with light blue accent stones since it was her favorite color.
So there's a story behind this next set of images. Remember how I mentioned I ended up in the doctor's office after this wedding? Well this is why - I had scoped out this field next to the hotel in advance and it looked like a great spot for some sneaky romantic shots during dinner. Amy and Ben were SO AWESOME and earned at least 300 photo bonus points for being willing to tramp out into this field of flowers and grasses just as the sun was setting through the trees.
Then for even more points - they agreed to sit down among the flowers - Ben fell in a hole and ended up feet in the air but they were great sports about it. They were so happy that day and having fun.
I love this image - and that's why it was worth it when just a few moments later my left eye started to feel itchy and painful and raw. But I paid no attention because I was trying to work the sun angle and capture all this romance!
Ben in the field - left image by the talented Anna.
Back inside it was time for the first dance and Amy & Ben were amazing with a choreographed song.
This couple has moves ! Left image by Anna.
The dance floor was packed most of the night. We were having a blast watching everyone out there. My eye however was starting to swell and hurt more and was watering.
This guy right here is what makes this job even better.
He was moving to a groove only he could hear and didn't need any dance partner to slow him down.
When Anna and I left it was almost midnight and the party was going strong! I drove home with my left eye closed. The next morning I thought I had pulled an eye muscle - I had a stabbing pain and couldn't wear my contacts. I added up that in the wedding double header I'd taken over 5,000 shots in 48 hours and probably had squinted through the viewfinder twice as much. It was logical that I might have like - broke my eye.
I decided to try the wait-and-see method of treatment. Three days later it was still swelled and killing me and I finally broke down and went to the optometrist. Fearing the worst I sat there kicking the bottom of the chair because I couldn't actually kick myself for injuring my most important tool of all. Luckily it wasn't permanent. In fact - it was an allergy. Apparently while I was out there wading around in that field and commando crawling through the grasses I got into something that I was allergic to (I was previously unaware that I was allergic to anything environmental) and then proceeded to RUB IT DIRECTLY IN MY EYE. Smaaaaarrrtt..... So no contact lenses, and no picture taking for a whole week. A whole bottle of prescription drops later, the swelling finally subsided.
I was so glad when Amy and Ben got back from their honeymoon to hear that they were unaffected by the trip to the field and I hadn't sent them to St. Lucia with temporary blindness. Whew!!
They were SO GREAT :-) I can't wait for their after session!
Reception: Four Points Sheraton, Greensburg PA
Florist: Brides and Butterflies, Adamsburg PA
Entertainment: Flipside DJs (John Wiggins)
Cake: Can-Do Creations (Pam Haines) BEST CAKE I EVER TASTED!!!!
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It was a hot sunny day back in June when Amy & Ben tied the knot. Amy and the girls got ready at the Four Points Sheraton in Greensburg where the reception would be held later that night. The guys were at Ben's brother's house next door to the church. Amy was cool as a cucumber - Ben was a little anxious, he wanted to make sure everything went according to plan. And I think deep down he knew that when the moment came to see her coming down the aisle toward him, it would change his life forever. (And he couldn't wait for it to happen :-)
Amy's dress was amazing - Anna and I were already ahhing over it when the girls got back from the salon.
Ben's idea - Amy wore a bracelet with their wedding date written in beads with her gown.
In the next room, the bridesmaids were getting ready to go as well. Their housekeeper at the Sheraton had left them extra bottles of water for the wedding party and a note that said
"Congratulations! Have a great day!! You're hskper, Grace :-) If you need anything call me!"
Top right image by Anna.
Then it was time for the dress. (This is why you have bridesmaids :-)
I love this shot by Anna.
When Amy was fully assembled ;-) her Dad came down to see her in her wedding dress and this was his reaction when he walked through the door to his little girl.
Moments like that are what make this job so important to me. So that memories like that can just freeze, just stay, don't pass by fleetingly - just stay perfect just like that.
More photos to come! (Wait till you see the shot that put me in the doctor's office! It was worth it!)
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The rest of Heather & Kris's wedding. Did I mention they were a super-fun carefree couple? No stress here - they came to have fun and get married and celebrate!
Here's Heather with her sisters and cousins while the rest of the bridesmaids were getting ready to walk down the aisle.
Remember I said this was a HUGE wedding party - and these are just the guys! Kris, plus the dads, plus the ushers and groomsmen made 16 men in all. Whew! We were challenged to find a piece of shade big enough to cover the whole wedding party!
This reminds me of shooting little league teams :-)
The ceremony site before the guests were seated.
Heather and Kris decided to include a sand ceremony after their vows. It's a great alternative to a unity candle for an outdoor ceremony. After all - if you lit a candle and then a stray gust of wind mysteriously poofed it out, that could be seen as a bad omen ;-)
Sand stays put.
Not to mention it's easier to keep around the house later !
A looooong receiving line - so much joy to be spread around :-)
Image by Anna.
Inside the barn before the guests came in for dinner. Their colors were canary, tan, and light peach. It was light and summery and they used daisies in their boquets and centerpieces.
Heather downstairs in the barn coordinating the entrance with DJ Rockin John - (he's a great dj if you need one!)
When it was time to be announced, they played the Chicago Bulls theme song and the wedding party made up their own entrance complete with wild cheering and tear away pants! Heather and Kris ran through their "teammates" who formed a huddle and rallied and cheered while DJ John kept the smoke and the bubble machine firing!
After dinner we snuck outside for some alone time with Heather and Kris to just relax and be themselves.
They were instantly awarded 100 photo bonus points for being willing to lay on the grass for a few shots :-D I love it when couples are adventurous!
In true pittsburgh style, Kris wore his steeler socks under his tux. They had a great time hanging out with friends and Heather's Dad thanked Kris heartily for the chance to witness a good cake smashing (especially since it was his daughter).
We'll talk more about cake smashing at a later date.
Later it was time for the bouquet and garter toss, when Kris threw it over his shoulder - it hit the floor and the guys had to make a dive for it. Right image by Anna.
Congratulations Heather & Kris - I hope everyday is half as fun as your wedding day for the next 50 years :-)
Ceremony/Reception site: Lingrow Farm
Entertainment: DJ Rockin John
Cake: Debbie Sutara
Salon Services: Fashions-A-Head Salon & Day Spa
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Heather and Kris were married in June at Lingrow Farm and I have to say - they might hold my personal record for largest wedding party. Seriously, they were like a coed professional sports team with flowers. It was pretty wild, Anna and I walked into the salon with rows and rows of chairs and realized that every person in the whole place was a member of the wedding party! It was like being backstage at a runway show.
There was enough hairspray in the air to freeze frame a flock of geese!
Fashions-a-Head does a fantastic job and are unique from other salons because instead of all your bridesmaids waiting their turn for hair and make-up, the salon brings in a stylist for every bridesmaid so that all the girls can get their hair done at once. Heather, 10 bridesmaids and her mom were there for hair and makeup and it took less than 2 hours start to finish.
Now that's salon-tastic.
The whole place was full of giggling and nail polish - we loved it. Because after all, if you can't be a little girly on your wedding day, then when can you?
While the girls were finishing their make-up we headed back to the farm to meet up with the guys. Kris was handling the finer points of boutonier pinning.
I promise to keep blogging since I'm so far behind! Thank you faithful readers!!!
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At long last - I know these pictures were literally ages ago - all the way back in June. (That's how far behind this blog is - I really will catch up though!) The Lingrow Portrait Day was a big big success and as usual I had a blast spending the afternoon out in the sunshine with some familiar faces, and some new friends. Although no one brought a fishing pole, and I never found the inflatable orange couch I wanted - it was still a great day for photos.
Meet the Kingera's :-) They were married last fall at Lingrow Farm and unfortunately I was already booked for their date and wasn't able to be there with them. How lucky am I though that they decided to come back for a visit and some "belly shots" as they await the arrival of their first little one :-)
Of course I asked if they were waiting for a boy or a girl - Julie said she thought it was a girl, but her husband is convinced that it was a boy. He "saw the sonogram photo - and trust him - that was no girl " ;-) Either way they are waiting until the delivery date to find out - SO EXCITING! Actually - since these photos were in early June - they might already know! And if they don't yet - they'll definitely be finding out soon. Julie - if you read the blog - How are you guys???
Familiar faces back again were the Emili's :-) This post will just be loaded with little emoticon smileys of every variety so just smile along with them. Everytime we get together we have fun and get to catch up on the latest - they are expecting another grandchild for next year!
Do not. Do not ever. Play cards with these girls.
More familiar faces and friends as the day went on. If any of you were reading last year - you'll remember the three amigos Kate, Syd, & Jake. Well they were back this year and brought along Kate's brand new brother and the latest addition to the family, Aaron. Kate is a whole new persona as a big sister and takes her job very seriously.
Very very seriously. I love this picture.
Still getting used to having such a tiny person around - I asked her and she said he still can't play soccer yet and he screams a lot - Kate is sometimes wary of him when he's fussy. But here I asked her to tell him a story to make him feel better. She was telling him how much she loved carrots and he would too.
And then the cousins arrived and the amigos were a quartet! It was so good to see Syd & Jake feeling happy and healthy and playing in the grass. It hasn't been an easy year so far for them, but they're doing great. Jake was very proud of his missing tooth - apparently the tooth fairy was very generous ;-)
Aaron has no idea yet how his life will take shape surrounded by these three. A big sister and two cousins to be both a family and a friend. Always there to beat up bullies and yell for mom over spilled bubbles and skinned knees.
Being a kid should last at least the first 50 years of life.
There's one month left of summer - don't miss it.
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Ok so I wasn't there for the actual proposal - but I thought it would get your attention as a catchy title ;-)
Actually Jessica and Jaison asked me to return with them to the scene of the proposal for their e-session before their wedding this november. I couldn't help but ask about the story. Apparently, (and I'm paraphrasing here on my bad memory) Jaison lured her to the stone mansion at Hartwood Acres last year to attend a 'wine tasting'. Well as they turned in the drive and approached the parking lot, Jess noticed the place was deserted - no other cars - and signs saying that the wine tasting had been cancelled/rescheduled etc. Since they were all dressed up with no place to go they decided to go check out the mansion anyway - maybe there was a tour or something they could catch?
Jaison leads her to the stone patio that overlooks the grounds, gets down on one knee, tells her how he feels, and asks her to marry him. She accepts! And then realizes that there are friends/relatives hiding in the bushes with cameras and the whole thing was planned from the beginning!! As if that wasn't sweet enough, he leads her to the back drive of the mansion where a car and driver are waiting with champagne in flutes engraved with the date and he takes her to dinner at their favorite restaurant. Afterwards they go to another favorite spot (a sports bar I think to catch the game....not sure my facts are right here) and a big group of friends and relatives are waiting for them when they walk in the door cheering them on!
I definitely made Jaison re-enact the whole thing for me. It was great to be there with them to relive such an amazing memory. As far as proposals go that was above and beyond compared to what most guys plan these days and it was nice to see at least one man keeping the romance alive :-)
After hearing the story we roamed around the grounds for some photos.
I loved this tree - it had huge branches that spread out like arms (like the tree in The Lion King) and having changed into more casual clothes Jess & Jaison were happy to climb up in it.
It's so hard to pick which photos to post - I wanted to take a few shots of her ring (which is GORGEOUS) but it was hard to find a flower or a stem strong enough to hold it up (yes it's that gorgeous) so you'll just have to wait in suspense till November.
Also - if there are any guys out there planning a proposal - I would love to hide in the bushes and the capture that moment on film for you! I have telephoto equipment and camoflauge - maybe even a ghillie suit - really this could be cool - CALL ME! Or I could just dress like a tourist and pretend to be bird watching :-D
Congratulations Jess & Jaison - see you in November!
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