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Planning was not easy for Faith and I. We had 3 other session dates in the books before weather and schedules finally aligned. But oh my, was it worth the wait.

We shot her maternity photos at one of my all time favorite spots, Rocky River Park. Faith was up for anything. Climb up this hill with me? Sure! Step on that Rock? Yes! Get your feet wet? I can do better than that! (Have I mentioned how much I love it when my clients aren’t scared to try things?)

We ended our session in Lake Erie, and I think Faith looks like a straight up mermaid in that gorgeous white dress! I can’t wait for baby Lailani to get here and see how pretty her mom is.

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When I was about 8 years old, I only wanted one thing for my life – to be tiny. I’m not talking lose-a-few-pounds tiny. I mean straight up fit-in-your-pocket tiny. Honey We Shrunk Ourselves was my favorite movie, and The Borrowers wasn’t far behind. The idea of being enveloped by my surroundings was the most wonderful thing my little mind could have dreamt of. I imagine that’s how little Jack felt during the evening we spent at this Sunflower Field*.

Jack’s little personality was as big as the sunflowers towering over him. Every discovery he made came with a brand new expression on his face. And if we looked hard enough, I’m sure we could find a little pocket that would be just his size. ; )

*f you haven’t heard about this gorgeous spot in Avon, you can read all about it here.

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You know when you meet someone and it feels like you’ve been friends forever? That’s Lori. We sent numerous emails before we finally met in person but as soon as we met, I knew this was going to be a good thing.

She’s an incredible musician and needed some photos for merch she’s selling at her next show. When Lori was describing her vision for the shoot, I just got it. This shoot is an example of collaboration at its finest. The day of our shoot, it happened to be about 32 degrees too warm. We sweat our buns off. But in the end, we both agreed that it was so worth it.

Here are some of my favorites from our shoot.

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Let’s talk about marriage.

I spend quite a bit of time with engaged couples. They’re right in the middle of “Are the tablecloths the same white as the napkins?” and “ Should we rent the limo for 3 hours, or will 2 be enough?”. From the moment the engagement is “Facebook Official” until the last song has been played at the reception, the decisions don’t stop. But when that one day you’ve spent a year planning together is over, what’s left?

I attended a small Christian University where the engagements were abundant, and remaining chapel skips were few. It almost felt as if college was a race, and a wedding was the finish line. Getting married was just what you did. But then college was over, and life was just beginning, and it became more and more clear that the time spent deciding on flowers would have been much better spent discussing your future. Because the friends that kept you close moved a state away, and the classes you had in common are just memories, and now you’re left alone together to work jobs you don’t love to pay the bills you wish you didn’t have.

Weddings are easy. Marriage isn’t.

Being married is both the hardest and most rewarding thing I’ve ever been a part of. We’re two imperfect people trying to be the best we know how for each other. But some days, I really want to watch crappy reality TV, and Stephen really wants to watch football and somebody’s gotta give. It takes sacrifice, and effort, and selflessness. Every day. Marriage is a promise. When we got married nearly 4 years ago, we made a promise in front of our friends, in front of God, and in front of each other that we will do the work that it takes to make our marriage work. That means that even when we don’t feel like loving each other, we choose to love each other. And I’m so lucky that I get to choose to love Stephen every day. Marriage is a big deal. Choosing one person to spend your lifetime with is huge, guys! Your house, and job, and friends will change, but your spouse won’t. Your marriage deserves all your effort. It’s worth it, I promise.

So since marriage is such a big deal, I think we should do more to celebrate it!

Introducing The Solidarity Sessions.

Solidarity: feeling of unity between people who have the same interests & goals.

These are full portrait sessions designed specifically for married couples to celebrate being married. Whether you’re newlyweds, or you’ve spent more years together than apart, your marriage is important. Spend some time together documenting what marriages can look like when they’re treated the way they deserve. Be proud of the effort you’ve put into your marriage. Show it off. Hire a sitter, block out the evening, and let’s take some photos together just like Elizabeth & Dillon did.

Elizabeth & Dillon were married last summer, and they wanted to celebrate a whole year of marriage together. We woke up way before the sun, and spent a quiet morning at the park where they had their first date. Elizabeth is so incredibly sweet and Dillon had us laughing the whole time. Our whole session felt like we were old friends spending a morning together. They even invited me to have breakfast with them afterwards! Elizabeth & Dillon are even more in love today than they were on their wedding day, because they’ve put in the effort. I can’t wait to see where the years take them.

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Remember that cute little baby bump I showed you a couple months ago? Well, baby has arrived, and he’s looking cuter than ever.

Sweet dreams, little one.

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“Oh come my love and swim with me, out in this vast Binary Sea.
Zeros and ones, patterns appear. They’ll prove to all that we were here.
For if there is no document, we cannot build our monument.
So look into the lens and I’ll make sure this moment never dies.”

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Since I started this business, the majority of my time has been spent with couples. Proposals, engagements, and weddings are my bread and butter. But that’s definitely not all I do. This spring, I spent quite a bit of time photographing all kinds of people in all different stages of life, and I kind of fell in love with Senior Portraits. There was a week in May where I had a senior shoot 4 out of 5 nights – and I absolutely loved it.

I remember being a Senior. Packing up my locker. Taking the last of my tests. Turning in my last paper. And saying goodbye to the friends I had known forever. It’s terrifying and exhilarating all at once.

 

That’s where Billy is. Leaving St. Ignatius, working his summer job, all while waiting to start something completely new.

 

We started our session in the Metroparks where Billy works, walked along the Rocky River, and ended up in one of my favorite spots in Cleveland – the Flats. If you look closely, you’ll also see a Cinemagraph from our session!

 

I hope this year brings great things for all of the 2016 Seniors I’ve met. And I also hope it brings the 2017 seniors my way, so we can make some more photo magic together.
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My maternity session with Katie & Mike was filled with some perfect sunlight, calm water, and the sweet springtime air. What more could I ask for?

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It started simple. “Hey, wouldn’t it be fun to play the whisper challenge with a group of our friends?” From there, the idea grew. “Maybe we could play some other games from The Tonight Show, too.” “Wouldn’t it be funny if we all dressed up like celebrities?” “GUYS! What if we recreated the show? We could create the set, and have Jimmy interview people!” From there, The Tonight Show Party 2016 was born.

My friend Bre approached me about photographing the party a few months ago. As soon as she began describing their vision, I was so in. She kindly let me know that I didn’t have to get in on the whole dressing like a celebrity thing, but we all know that wasn’t happening. I began planning my Drew Barrymore outfit immediately. After months of preparation, the night had arrived.

Jimmy Fallon himself greeted me at the door! Injured finger, and all. (What a class act that Jimmy is.) I had some time to mingle with the other celebrities before the show began. Let me tell you, the paps would have had a field day with the celebrity couples there that night –
Jimmy & Katie Perry, Adele & Jonathan Scott from the Property Brothers, his brother Drew & Gina Rodriguez, Me & Nick Offerman, John Cena & Zooey Deschanel, Zach Galifianakis & Demi Lovato. But perhaps the most interesting pairing of all was Justin Timberlake & Betty White. (Don’t tell Jessica!) We also had a special appearance from some very knowledgeable animal experts, and that B list actress nobody knows.

We started off with some interviews – Jimmy asked about our latest projects and got to know us a little better. Then the games began. Nick O. killed flip cup, the Whisper Challenge proved much more difficult than any of us thought, we tested our integrity with Box of Lies, and Zach Galifianakis’s lip sync rendition of “A Whole New World” could melt even the hardest of hearts.

Soon, our one hour time slot had ended, and it was time to call it quits. But no fear, we all quickly decided to make this an annual ordeal.

Here are some of my favorite shots from this unforgettable night.

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One of the things I’ve loved about starting this business has been connecting with people I haven’t seen in a while. Lauren and I went to high school together. Life took us both out of state for college, and 8 years later, we find ourselves back in the place it all began. I was so excited to meet her husband Dan & their sweet daughter, Hailee.

We, along with the rest of the West side of Cleveland, spent this gorgeous evening at Rocky River park. If I had to pick my favorite thing about Cleveland, it would 100% be Lake Erie. There are so many unexpected spots along the lake that are perfect for these warm evening sunsets. Hailee loved the sand, and I loved her little smile. It was a win all around. : )

With Mother’s Day coming up, I thought I’d show you a few of my favorite images of Lauren & Hailee.

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Sometimes I think about what it would look like to draw a pie chart of the thoughts that consume my brain. There’d be a big slice for my sweet husband, a smaller slice for all the chores to get done around the house, and a tiny sliver for the Project Runway I need to catch up on. But perhaps the largest part would be for the time spent thinking about this business.

I’m constantly reevaluating the way I take photos and run my business. I spend hours sifting through photos taken by both others and myself, trying to decipher what makes a photograph worth looking at. And in all my research, I think I’ve finally gotten somewhere. All of my favorite images have one thing in common. Trust.

Allowing me into your world is a big deal. I don’t take that lightly. Kissing in front of someone with a camera doesn’t usually come naturally. Sometimes the water I ask you to stick your feet in is a little cold, or looking into each others’ eyes feels a little strange. But I’m asking that you trust me.

Because when you do, I promise we can make a little magic.

www.ThisLovelyLight.com

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spring flowers, orchids

It’s officially Spring, and I can’t think of a better time to tell you all about something super exciting going on around here.
Building a business is a ton of work. I wouldn’t be able to do what I do without the support & encouragement of the incredible clients I’ve had. So here’s a big fat thank you.

From now on,

– If you refer a client to me for wedding photography and they book me for their wedding, you’ll receive a free mini portrait session!

– If you refer a client to me for a portrait session, and they book me you’ll either receive a $50 print credit to spend on professional prints or albums (if you’re already a client) or $30 off a full portrait session!

There is no limit to the number of referrals you can send my way!

Mini sessions earned will be 45 minutes in the location of your choice (within 30 miles of Cleveland), and can be used for any session including up to 3 people. Your free session must be used within a year of the date earned. To be eligible, it is the responsibility of the client to let me know they were referred by you, so make sure you tell them to give me your name! I will contact you once the client has booked with me.

Referrals and reviews are the only way I can make my business a success. There is no higher compliment than telling your friends how much you love the photos I took for you. I cherish every single kind word and referral. If you’re already a client, I’d love for you to take a second and write me a review, and let your friends know about me. If you’re not yet a client, but you really like my work, tell your friends and earn a free session!

If you have any questions about the referral program, or you’d just like to talk about what I last watched on Netflix, you can fill out the contact form on my site.

And in the spirit of giving, I made this little Spring playlist for you all. Enjoy!

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