This was a wedding two years in the making for me. As soon as I heard Mike + Denise’s vision for what they wanted it to be, I was in.
Denise is a wedding planner, and it showed in every tiny, personalized detail – from their homemade jam as wedding favors to the way they honored all their family before them. Mooreland Mansion was the perfect setting for their perfect day.
I’m going to let you in on a little secret. After years of shooting countless weddings, there are still [frequent] moments that make me cry. During their first look, Mike + Denise read each other some of the most thoughtful, meaningful, and well written words I’ve ever heard. I cried my way through the whole thing.
When I get to spend my weekends at weddings as special as this one, it’s a challenge to make sure my photos do these moments justice. I hope that as you scroll through these images, you’ll feel just a portion of the emotions that were present this day.
Venue | Mooreland Mansion
Catering | Normandy Catering
Hair + Makeup | Blushing Beauty Salon
Bride’s Dress | BHLDN
Groom’s Tux | Macy’s
Bridesmaid’s Dresses | Bella Bridesmaids
Florist | Amanda Joy Events
Desserts | Hummingbird Bake Shop, Mason’s Creamery
Stationery | Minted, Beacon Lane, Paper Love Club
Videographer | JV Weddings
DJ | A Bride’s DJ
When I started taking photos so very long ago, I wasn’t sure where I wanted to spend my time, but maternity + newborn photos weren’t even on my radar.
Years later, and countless new families under my belt, I’m just really glad things worked out the way they have, because I get to meet people like Shilpi + Nanak during some of the most special times of their lives.
I can’t wait to meet another little one.
Man, this winter’s been brutal. I’m the first one to appreciate a good snow storm, and I really don’t even mind getting bundled up to go outside. I generally really enjoy the winter time. But by the time March rolls around, I just want to be outside again. So on this particular twelve degree day, we did just that.
Kylie + Paul were referred to me by another photographer who wasn’t available to shoot their wedding, but if you ask me, it all feels a little like fate. Their wedding this October is actually on my own wedding anniversary, and if I’m being honest, I turned down a couple weddings for that day because I intended to keep the weekend open to celebrate with my husband. But once I learned all about Kylie + Paul, the wedding they’re having and the kind of people they are, there was no way I could turn them down.
Kylie + Paul live in Wheeling, WV and ventured to the arctic white north for their engagement session. I was so excited to finally meet them, and man they didn’t disappoint. They have no more experience in front of a camera than any other engaged couple, but their chemistry made all the difference. When two people are in love, and they allow themselves to forget about how cold it is, or what’s going on around them for a second, I can get images like these – open mouth laughs, genuine “warm me up” cuddles, and a little taste of what their love looks like in a single still frame. As an added bonus, we got to hang out with my friend Nick. He’s their wedding videographer, and he captured this whole session in motion! I can’t wait to see what kind of magic he worked.
The new year is one of the things I live for. My heart loves change, and January 1st is just what it needed. The last 4 months or so of every year get a little crazy for me, but never have I experienced busy like the end of 2018. I was shooting constantly, and editing every moment that I wasn’t, I was editing. If you know me in real life, you know that I generally feel most fulfilled when I’m working , but as I slowed things down in December and really began to evaluate the last 12 months, I realized that I was creating habits that I didn’t want to bring into the new year. I had given up all my weekends for work. Most weekdays looked like 12 hours in front of the computer. I was a slave to my phone – checking emails and DM’s while I ate dinner, and as I was falling asleep. I put work before most other things, and left myself without any time of my own.
Transitioning into full time photography has been the most wonderful + challenging things I’ve done in a while. Every day, I get out of bed so excited to begin my day – grateful is an understatement. But it’s also forced me to look far deeper into myself and my strengths + weaknesses than I ever have. Have you done that lately? It’s not much fun. I’m finding the ways that I fall short at the expense of no one but myself.
In an effort to be the best Allison + photographer I can be this year I’ve decided to implement a couple new boundaries for myself.
I’ve decided not to schedule anything on Sundays.
Sunday weddings are the only exception.
Because of this, weekends are going to book up a little extra fast,
so it’s safest to contact me about 8-12 weeks before you’d like to schedule your session!
This year, I’m actually going to keep business hours.
No more 10pm emails for this girl.
Not only do I want to be a more balanced human being, but I’d like to be the best for my clients and I know that I can’t do that unless I’m taking care of myself. I hope you’ve found ways to be kinder to yourself this year, as well.
Ok, that’s certainly enough about me.
One of the incredible couples I got to work with last year was Greg + Deana. Greg is a videographer and he happened to be shooting a wedding alongside me. (I’ll be blogging that one, too!) We exchanged information at the end of the night, and a few weeks later, we all drove down to Athens for their engagement session! Greg + Deana met at Ohio University, and wanted to take their engagement photos in the town that’s so special to them. We woke up before the sun, and I thanked the heavens for this gorgeous fog that made an appearance just for us. We stopped at the bar where they had their first date, and walked through campus together. I know I say this way too much, but this was one of my favorite sessions of the year!
You know that feeling when a song can take you right back to your first slow dance? Or you get a whiff of that distantly familiar perfume your grandma always wore? I’m such a believer in the relation of seemingly minute details to the nostalgia it can later bring. When I photograph your wedding, I want to show it all to you.
I remember on Ben and Audrey’s wedding day, the steady pattern of clouds + sunshine. I remember Ben and his guys watching the office on their phone before the ceremony began. I remember the calm, unspoken love that I felt when I walked into Audrey’s hotel room at Glidden House where she was enjoying a slow morning with her girls. Most of all, I remember the sound of the Cleveland Air Show just before their ceremony began. To me, it wasn’t a nuisance, or unfortunate timing. It was just another one of those details to remember.
Ben + Audrey, Congratulations on your beautiful wedding, and more importantly, your beautiful marriage. I hope that every time you see these photos, it brings you right back to that day.
Planning | Cassie Mullins Events
Hair + Makeup | Sin Pretty Beauty
Bride’s Dress | Abbot Bridal
Bridesmaid Dresses | Bella Bridesmaids
Tux | American Commodore
Florist | Dietz Falls Floral
DJ | Cleveland Music Group
Catering | Sausalito
Cake | Luna Bakery
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned that although I’ve become proficient at it, I can’t stand small talk. Four years sitting at a receptionist’s desk has taught me to how to talk about current events and weather patterns like a pro. I don’t know if it’s the fact that life seems to be moving at lightning speed, or I’ve grown to be an adamant old woman in the last few years, but I’d much rather spend my time getting to know the important stuff. I want to hear where you grew up and what your family was like. I want to hear all about what has made you who you are. And most importantly, I want to hear how you fell in love. Lucky for me, I can just blame my often imposing questions on the job.
I often book weddings before I’ve met my couples in person. So many of my clients don’t live in the area, so finding time to get together doesn’t always work out for us. This was the case for Kendra + Brad. They’re living in LA at the moment, and it just made sense to wait until our engagement session to meet. I knew quite a bit about them from our email exchanges, but you never really know a person until you’ve met. Meeting Kendra + Brad was like the 5% of Catfish episodes that have a happy ending. They were even more awesome than emails could have shown, and SPOILER ALERT, they’re pretty great looking, too. They graciously answered all my non-small talky questions and I feel like I know them so much better because of it.
One of my favorite parts about my session with Kendra + Brad was recreating a couple old photos of Kendra’s grandparents. Can I be honest for a second?
I care a whole lot more about what you’ll think of your photos in twenty years than what you think of them right now. Whether I’m photographing your wedding, or your family, I want you to pass these photos down for generations. That’s why I loved Kendra’s request so much – her grandparents’ photos stood the test of time. She loves them enough half a century later to recreate them.