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Photography by Amanda Wilson

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▣ Derek + Kim | Armstrong Farms

August 18th, 2011


Since we are getting down the wire for wedding season, I wanted to share another great story from last year!  Derek and Kim were married last August at Fieldstone Barn near Saxonburg, Pa.  Derek and Sean have been friends since high school and so I was thrilled when Kim called to say that Derek proposed and they needed a wedding photographer!


Their location was perfect for a summer wedding complete with glowing sunset and string lights (two of my favs!).




After a great rehearsal the night before, they split into two groups.  The girls who were getting pampered at The Salon at Saxonburg, and the guys who set up 'man camp' out at the farmhouse.  For the girls, it was a relaxing morning of mamosas and laughter while the stylists at the salon prepped everyone's hair.  That's Kim on the right :-)  (I highly recommend the Salon at Saxonburg.  They offer everything from hair and nails to massage and spa services.  Excellent, excellent folks.)





Located on main street in Saxonburg, the salon is the perfect spot to get ready!






A quick group photo before I headed out to the farm house to check on the guys.




This is Kim's flower girl and the adorable tutu and pomander she had for the day :-)

Left image by Anna.





The scenery out at the farm is a gorgeous backdrop for photos.  (The critters are friendly, too!)




When I arrived at the farmhouse I found the guys in the midst of a serious cornhole tournament.  For those of you out-of-towners, cornhole is a game we play by tossing bean bags through a hole in a board.  Like the old school Toss-Across game.  And of course we keep score.  And there are usually beverages involved.




Having spent the night, the guys had their tents all set up.



Fieldstone is a newest facility at Armstrong Farms with heat and air conditioning and handicap accessible parking.




Derek just before the ceremony - loved the pink coxcomb flowers in his boutonierre.




Kim slipped into her dress in the upstairs room of the loft.  She gave each of her bridesmaids a beautiful pear necklace to wear with their dresses.  Bottom right image by Anna.



Kim's dress was really exquisite with embroidered details and a ribbon closure in the back.  Right image by Anna.




Derek seeing Kim for the first time as she comes down the aisle.  They crafted their own program fans with the pink and black wedding colors.




Their ceremony on the lawn under the big tree.



You can tell at the moment they are announced as Mr. & Mrs. Scalzott - soo happy :-)



A few portraits outside.




I love this one - that's Anna on the left crouching almost hidden in the grass shooting with her resulting image on the right.

You have to be willing to get adventurous to get good photos!




One my favorites :-)




The lower level of the barn was set up for dinner.  Going along with their music theme, each table was assigned with an artist; Ray Charles, Dean Martin, etc.



Yummy details!




I've been sitting on this shot for a whole year now.  It started as a "what would be the wildest ring shot you can think of " conversation with my friend and fellow photog, Sandy Yetter - and just a few weeks after that conversation I was presented with the right set of circumstances in the right environment.  I can't tell you how I did this shot (because a rockstar magician never reveals her ways) but I can tell you that #1 no photoshop was used #2 that is a REAL lily pad in a real pond and #3 their rings were never in any danger.  I always take the trust my clients place in me very seriously.




After dinner we did one of my favorite things to do at a wedding, sneak the couple out to a nearby location for additonal relaxed photos.  This image is a great shot by Anna.




A few romantic black and whites.






Right before we headed back to the barn I was toying with that string of lights and snapped this - one of my favorite shots of last year !  If only we could have found a way to plug in those lights!



Meanwhile back at the barn guests were mingling and ready to kick off the party!



Derek and Kim danced their first dance to Crazy Love by Van Morrison.  Kim also had ' Crazy Love' engraved inside Derek's wedding band.




Instead of cake, they had an ice cream bar and made themselves a wedding sundae to share!

These two images by Anna.



This is Eric, he'll be the best man at our wedding in 2 weeks!



Everyone had a fabulous time, to me there's nothing better than a barn party out in a field with good people, good food, and good music.  Check out the bottom left photo - he's going for the "that guy" award ;-)






Fieldstone barn has a square cut out protected by plexiglass where you can see through to the old barnwood floor before it was refurbished and the dancefloor installed.  Such a cool reminder that something old and run down can be brought back to a new life as a space to be filled with so much joy.


Happy one year Derek and Kim!  I can't wait to see you guys !





Ceremony & Reception Location:  Armstrong Farms - Fieldstone Barn


Stylist Services:  Salon at Saxonburg





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▣ Ashley + Tom | Armstrong Farms Wedding

August 5th, 2011


 Get ready for image overload!  I've been sitting on this one for a while - loved this wedding last year :-)


Ashley and Tom were married at Armstrong Farms on the rustic Westminster Preserve near Saxonburg, Pa.  It's a great tucked away spot with an old post and beam bank barn, a small lake, green fields, a farm house and a cottage to rent overnight, and lots of wide open spaces.




 Armstrong is also home to a herd to black angus cattle that graze in the pasture.



 The fun started on friday night when Ashley and Tom hosted their rehearsal dinner and welcomed their wedding party with a barbecue at the barn and moved everyone in for the weekend :-)



 Saturday morning dawned warm and hazy.  The girls spent the night and were getting ready in the farmhouse.

Top right and bottom right images by Anna.





 Meanwhile the guys were seriously stylin' as well.  Their light grey suits were perfect for the summer weather!

But this image is out of order.



 This is what they were REALLY doing when we got there. 



 Back to awesome style - I had been planning an image like this is my head forever and it was awesome to finally have all the right conditions to pull it off !



 Meet Tom - funny story about Tom - after our intial meeting when I sat down with he and Ashley to talk for the first time and go over ideas for the wedding, Tom added me into the contacts list in his phone so we could talk contract, timeline, etc.  And since my name starts with A-M.. I just to happened to be the name at the very top of his list by luck of the alphabet.  So for the months leading up to and even several months after the wedding, whenever Tom would carry his phone (or sit on it?) sometimes his phone would accidentally call the first contact at the top of the list at all hours of the day and night - me !  I got to have many funny one sided conversations with Tom's phone.  Sometimes I'd call back and leave a voicemail for he and Ashley just to say hey!  The best part was that months after the wedding when Tom was buying a new phone, he emailed me just to say that his phone would not be accidentally calling me anymore and to let me know that he and Ashley were expecting !  In fact, as I write this blog post - their first baby should be due in a few weeks! 



 But I digress.


Back to the wedding and the girls getting ready at the farmhouse.

 Image by Anna.






 Their ceremony was held at the lake and guests were given fans to waft away the July heat.



Love this image by Anna.



 Tom is clearly blinded by her beauty and the afternoon sun.   ;-)



 There are so many poignant moments during a ceremony; the moment the bride and groom see each other, the emotion of the vows, the first kiss, the joy when they are announced as a new married couple, but I always watch for this moment.  When a Dad walks a daughter down the aisle and has to let go of her hand.













With their ceremony and reception all in one place, we had lots of time for some relaxed photos.




 Another great shot of the girls by Anna.








This is their "Sopranos" photo ;-)



Dinner was served under a big white tent while the cake and cupcakes waited in the barn for later when the dancing started.



I suppose now is a good time to introduce you to Stella  :-D


Stella is a long time resident of the lake at westminster preserve.  Her favorite pastimes include following small children around accepting hand outs of any kind and walking up the bank and down the aisle right in the middle of the ceremony!



One of my favorite shots of me working, ever !!  Anna grabbed this one while Stella and I were talking things over.



It was a beautiful evening for photos.



After dinner we took Tom and Ashley in the golf cart to a more secluded field.

Image by Anna.



No room on the golf cart for Anna and I and all of our gear!  We hoofed it back on foot, but it was worth it for all these great shots in the flowers.



Still another favorite image by Anna.










FYI brides, if you put cameras on the reception tables for your guests to take photos, this is usually what happens to them.  For some reason kids get a big kick out of chasing and photographing the photographer !  I feel bad knowing that they will develope the photos after the honeymoon and it will be hundreds of bad photos of me!!



Night scene at the barn at Westminster Preserve.



Now for some action - their wedding was a stunning display of athleticism!  Ashley launched the bouquet and the girl in the light green dress made the leap and caught it.  But then her Dad stood up and announced she was WAY to young to participate with this crowd ;-)  (I think she was like 13?)  So Ashley did a re-throw and in the bottom photo you can see two of her bridesmaids actively lean out of the way as the bouquet falls between them in a deliberate dodge!

Left two images by Anna.



More athletic skills at work - Tom flings the garter through the rafters over his head and the gentlemen in the top photo snatches it from the air without ever spilling his drink !

Top right image by Anna.



The barn at Westminster is not sealed so you get to see the night sky through the cracks :-)







What an awesome wedding !!  Happy one year anniversary Schuetz's !





Ceremony & Reception Location:  Armstrong Farms


Catering:  Have Smoke Will Travel

















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▣ August

August 2nd, 2011




The Knot.com notified me this morning that there are only 33 days until our wedding.

33 days seems like 5 minutes judging by how fast the past 3 months have gone.





I shot this last year on a spur of the moment trip with sean near sinnemahoning, pa.  The real attraction was the view from the overlook, but on the walk up to the overlook I thought the sunset looked even better from behind the trees.


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