March 20

Val + Xavier + Baby on the Way

Hi friends! Happy Monday! Wishing you all a productive week ahead. The smell of spring is in the air and I’m so excited for all that’s to come. I wanted to share a few of my favorite photos taken with my new film camera – the Pentax645nii. I bought this beauty from Japan a couple weeks ago (it came in LESS THAN 48 HOURS but that’s for a separate blog post, stay tuned!) and I’ve had so much fun getting to know the camera in all of it’s glory.

Val is a friend I met through my photo friend, Gail. I second shoot Val’s wedding a handful of years ago and it’s always a treat when that friendship extends past the wedding day – into each other’s personal lives. I’ve watched Val from afar grow her family from her and her husband to adding their little guy, Xavier, and now to their daughter who will be making her arrival soon. Love these precious moments and downright ECSTATIC to see what I’m going to capture with this camera this season. It’s gonna be nuts! In the very best way!

 

Film makes you slow wayyyy down, and appreciate any given moment for all that it offers.

Val has amazing style and is very good at curating in her life. She opens up a lot about minimalism online so if you’re into that sort of thing, definitely check her out on Instagram @valeriekeinsley and www.valeriekeinsley.com.

I do love this job.

November 2

Washington D.C. Wedding – Kali + Ryan

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Hey friends! Happy Wednesday and game 7 of the world series! Who else is super into this series?  I’m a huge fan of sports in general but baseball admittedly has always been lower on my list. This series though, I’m loving it and honestly who can’t get down to watch a good game 7? I can’t imagine how electric Chicago is feeling today. Cleveland too! I’m not mad at you! But you already took the NBA championship this year so maybe let’s not get greedy? It’s fun to bring up Chicago today because that charming city plays an important part in Kali & Ryan’s love story.

Kali and Ryan met at a chance meeting at a bar in Wrigleyville. Kali was living in Chicago at the time and Ryan was in town visiting for a couple days. The short version is that Ryan and his friends helped Kali avoid stepping in someone’s vomit at the bar. If that isn’t romance, I don’t know what is. I share this openly here because well, they do with anyone they meet (and their bridal party shared this story at their wedding, equally awesome!) and that’s one of the things I love most about these two. Down to earth, go with the flow, always a great time, don’t take themselves too seriously.  They parted ways after that meeting and the rest took care of itself. Did I mention they would text each other Dumb and Dumber quotes in the beginning days of getting to know each other long distance? They are a blast. And my kind of people for sure.

Their ceremony took place at the Spanish steps in DC and I always say I love to shoot outdoor ceremonies, but this spot took that feeling to another level. It was a dream! Afterwards they threw a serious party at Long View Art Gallery. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen that amount of people up and dancing the entire night. I suppose an enormous live band will help with that! A highlight of the night was watching Ryan and the bridal party do the dance to “Uptown Funk” together – a surprise to Ryan because he thought only his family knew the dance but little did he know the bridal party was in on the secret and learned the dance too. Fun fact, did you know there’s a Youtube video that teaches that dance? Brb while I go learn that.

If you follow the blog, you may remember Kali as my friend I studied abroad with in Italy. It meant a lot to photograph her as a bride and I’m so happy I was there to capture the day as it unfolded. Enjoy just a few of my favorites from their incredible wedding.

Kali and Ryan – Wishing you nothing but the best in your life together. You make a crazy awesome team and I can’t wait to see what’s in store. Thank you for the honor of photographing your wedding. I honestly won’t ever forget this day! 🙂

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So timeless and beautiful.

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BHLDN knocks it out of the park again! Seriously, do they design anything less than jaw dropping dresses?

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Details…

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Kali is a crazy talented designer who designed her wedding invites and they are among some of the most beautiful I’ve EVER seen! Such a fun touch to their wedding. When I found out she designed the invites, I knew I wanted to photograph their rings on her design. Done and done! 🙂

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Special thank you to Stem and Sprigs for your gorgeous flowers and artistry that day!

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Ahh Spanish Steps + Kali as an ethereal bride walking down to see her groom for the first time – basically a DREAM. What a freaking cool venue and a fun change of pace to photograph!!! This moment literally took my breath away. Kali has always loved Alexi Murdoch and walked down to meet her groom and have their “first look” in front of all of their guests to his song “Love You More”. To this day, Alexi Murdoch’s music always reminds me of Kali. This moment gave me chills everywhere and made me cry. I don’t like to choose favorites from a wedding day, but if I had to, this would be high on the list.

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Among the guests in this photo was a surprise overweight cat with a red collar that lingered the entire ceremony. One of the many fun details from this day! 🙂

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That LOOK on Ryan’s face! Taken for sure.

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You did it!!!! You’re married!

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But seriously, some major swagger at this wedding. Such great style all around.

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Such a great day with these beautiful people!

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Another special thanks to Alexa and Victoria with Long Aisle Events  for you perfect execution of this day. I know you had tons of help from a very talented bride with a great eye, but we couldn’t have done it without you and you two are awesome!!!

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Kali and Ryan arranged to have a tequilla shot ready for each of their guests to partake in- definitely a decision I can get behind.

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Their entrance into the party…

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…and that Uptown Funk dance I told you about. This honestly was one of my favorite reception moments ever.

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Not to be outdone by CROWDSURFING AT YOUR OWN WEDDING. We’ll end on this for obvious reasons.

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October 25

Hannah + Ryan

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Happy Tuesday, internet!

This super sweet team is getting married next July and I couldn’t be more excited to capture their big day. When I first met with Hannah over the summer, we hit it off instantly. Her sense of humor especially. I mean really, within five minutes of being around her, I knew we were on the same level and because of that I was at ease much faster with her from the get go. She told me about Ryan and how he proposed. How she actually met me years ago at a bar but because of my sketchy memory from that time, I don’t remember. Sorry about that, Hannah! 🙂

We took these photos around Hannah’s parents neighborhood. A neighborhood that I drove past EVERY DAY during my high school days and had never seen for myself. There’s something to be said for having a quiet space to take photos. It’s weird having your photo taken – at first. For some people it’s strange the entire time and I get that, too. I always say if you aren’t having fun, I’m not doing a good job.  I’m no stranger to those first few minutes with a giant camera in your face and the expectation to just “look natural”. I stopped trying to get the perfect photos with the perfect setting and backdrop long ago. For me it’s become much more about just slowing down with people who care a lot about each other and being able to create some space for them to enjoy each other. Having a quiet space without too many onlookers helps 🙂

Wait until you see their dog, Penny. Softest and sweetest dog I think I’ve ever photographed…

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Such a sweet pair…

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I’ll always tell couples to close their eyes and check in. We move so freaking fast these days, it’s rare we take a minute for something like this. Love this so much.

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I can’t wait to photograph you two as a bride and groom!

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PENNYYYY!! Sweetest little nugget ever.

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I love you, fall!!! You make photos feel extra warm and cozy.

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If I were you guys, I’d frame this for your parents and watch them cry when they open it as a Christmas gift. Is that just my mom???

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SO much more to come in the coming weeks. But did you all hear the Pacers season kicks off tomorrow? This girl is soon excited!

October 25

The Marra Family: Molly, Andy + Ella

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Loved photographing this sweet family! Molly and I went to the same high school and over a year ago, she was a guest at a wedding I shot in downtown Indianapolis. It was before she was pregnant with Ella and as were briefly were catching up towards the end of the reception, she said someday when she starts a family she’d reach out for photos. On top of an amazing wedding, it basically made my night. Well, it was wonderful to see that time come! There’s something really special about photographing a very new family in that first year. Ella is the sweetest and between the three of us we were able to capture some special smiles in that perfect golden hour fall light.

I also feel it necessary to mention my sincerest hair envy for Molly’s AMAZING locks. Maybe it’s because I tend to line up my subjects so they are backlit, and all of that dreamy light makes her look like she belongs in a hair commercial, but man – what a beautiful mama with a beautiful family! I sort of couldn’t stop talking about it. If you’re a female (or male) with amazing long and flow hair, you can probably expect me to comment on it at least 5 times while photographing you.

So happy for Molly and Andy! Love this moment so, so much….

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Is there anything sweeter than a dad with his little girl?

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I can’t get enough of their sweet pup in this photo. If the pet is around, I’ll always have them come in for a photo!

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The DOG IS SMILING! I can’t make this stuff up. Man what a fun little family!

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This dreamy fall light is already starting to fade. I’m going to miss it so much this winter…

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Ella – you are a doll!

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I’ll end with this shot because…look at that face! SO precious!!! 🙂

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October 11

The Dausmans: Jeff, Tigon, Bella, Lilah & Hudson

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They’re back! Dausman family! Yesssssss!

I’ve lost count how many times I’ve been lucky enough to photograph this family. Let’s just say I’ve been with them since Hudson was 6 months old and my business was, much like Hud, a baby at the time. Tigon saw something in my vision and has stuck with my over the years. I’ve grown a crazy since then and I know I’ll sound like a broken record here but I really do look forward to our time together every fall. I ran into Tigon at Target the other day before heading out of town and we caught up like old friends, after just taking their photos weeks prior. Everyone I’ve ever met through Tigon is just like her – warm and inviting. Which is why when anyone emails me saying, “Tigon gave me your name!”…I’m extra excited to respond. She’s good people. Her family is good people. I’m a lucky girl to know them!

Enjoy a few of my favorites from our 2016 fall family session. It was a fun challenge shooting in full sun but as always, this family looked amazing. Honestly at this point, are any of us surprised?

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I LOVE this portrait of Hudson so much!

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I’m not a parent, but I image this moment might make you melt. Such awesome kids!

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Tigon actually helps style her friends family shoots before they come to me. Can you blame them? She has incredible style. Definitely asked her where her shirt is from that she wore during this shoot. In case anyone wondered, it’s Jcrew. You can find it here – and it’s even on sale! 🙂

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Sweet Lilah. Always such a doll.

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Not gonna lie – I am really proud of this image. Some of the best images come when you go off script. I asked Jeff to hold Hudson and let him interpret the direction for himself and this is what happened. Don’t mind if I do! This moment is awesome!

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I actually sent Tigon the image on the right saying how much Bella looks like a senior in high school. Slow down time!

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What Hudson asks for, Hudson receives. Well if that means DABing, at least…

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October 10

Downtown Indianapolis Wedding: Katie + Chris

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Hey friends! So good to be back!

It’s been a little bit but for good reason. I literally have shot so much in the past month and between all of those photos and shoots and traveling, and a move too, it’s been crazy over here. I’ve been pouring over all of these images and film scans and wish I could just share them all at once for the world to see. Instead I will practice patience and know that tons of goodness will be shared over the next few months here.

Starting with Chris and Katie. As some of you might remember, I know Chris from high school. When I initially got the email from his fiancee, Katie, I was excited to get together to hear more. We immediately hit it off and it honestly felt like Katie and I had known each other for years. With each detail of their wedding plans they shared, I knew we were a perfect fit. From Empty Vase‘s florals to Chris’ navy tux to Katie’s show stopper Anne Barge dress – I was literally in heaven. There’s way too much to share from this wedding, so for now these will do.

To the newlyweds – I can’t thank you enough for this honor. I hope you love these moments as much as I do and share them with your loved ones for years to come. Wishing you guys all the best and can’t wait to keep in touch! 🙂

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Heaven. I was in heaven.

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Probably my favorite bridesmaid photos to date. So these were taken under a bridge next to the Mavris, where the reception was, and I always have to warn people that I like the location not so much for the setting but for the light. You can’t beat that natural light with the dark background! And the colors are insane! So gorgeous!

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Every photo in this post is film  – shot with Kodak 200 on a Canon 1v.

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The weather was touch and go for a bit on Katie and Chris’ wedding – in the end they made the call to keep their ceremony outside as they had planned and the skies cleared and the sun was shining. The recessional is always one of my favorite moments to photograph.

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My god a navy tux will never go out of style in my opinion. So handsome!

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Katie looked absolutely flawless and got way too many compliments on her dress to count and for obvious reason. With that light breeze? Incredible!

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So timeless.

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I’ll end on this because they even have the dip down.

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August 10

Katelin, Zach & Henry


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Is there anything sweeter than newborn bliss? Hold on, actually yes. Yes there is. Photos with a newborn, his parents and his big brother who happens to take his job very seriously. But really, the photo above to the left? So awesome! I went to high school with Zach. It was wonderful to meet his wife, Katelin, and be able to spend some time with them in their home documenting these first days as a family of 4. I couldn’t love these photos any more. Relaxing and soaking up their perfect little dude. They’re just simple moments that don’t beg for attention. When it comes to newborns, I always take more of a lifestyle approach in the photos where the baby is always being held and cuddled and loved on for sure. They are almost always more comfortable there anyway 🙂 we even got a few smiles from Henry. He did so well!

So happy for you guys. Wishing you all the best and nothing but newborn magic in the holiday season around the corner…

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That smile?! I’m done for! So sweet!

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Lol, the best dog. It can be SO hit or miss adding pets to family photos but I’d say this went pretty well.

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Perfect.

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August 2

DC Engagement: Kali & Ryan

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I’d say I kind of flew under the radar in high school. At the time, a lot of my friends were at another high school and while I kept a small circle of friends at Brebeuf, I wasn’t hugely involved. Kali and I actually went to high together but weren’t really friends at the time. Our friendship actually starts years later when we took an art class together at IU. I think it was a sculpture class of some sort? Help me here, Kali. Oh god, I’m forgetting. That’s how far removed I am from school. At any rate, Kali was the only familiar face in that class so naturally we sat next to each other and became fast friends. I’ll honestly never forget the day we talked about studying in Italy together. We were talking about it on a whim, but it quickly became more serious. Summer after sophomore year I made my plans and got everything in place. I didn’t see much of Kali that summer and leading up to leaving didn’t know for sure if she was planning on it, too. On my 21st birthday, my mom and brother dropped me off at the airport. We had a drink at a spot in Indy’s old airport. The bartender had the same birthday as me so we toasted each other. I remember walking up to my gate to see Kali’s friendly face and feeling so relieved that I’d have a friend along for this ride!

And oh man it was an adventure. Anyone out there study abroad? You know how you have memories with those people that can’t be touched? They’re almost holy in a way. We lived together in a tiny but quaint apartment a few doors down from our school in Florence. We had a bakery where I loved to buy meringues down the street and a convenient store called “Happy’s” around the corner. We were a 10 minute walk from the Duomo and the fresh market.  We ate way too much gelato, traveled the country together and were lucky to branch out to other areas of Europe including Germany for Octoberfest and Paris two weeks before Christmas where I cried when I saw the Eiffel Tower twinkling and Kali housed the best nutella crepe of her life. I am so happy I share these memories with her.

It’s hard to believe it’s been almost ten years. Kali found her match and they are getting married in DC in October and I am so looking forward to it! I was out in DC a couple weeks ago and we all got together for a few photos. So glad we did.

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Ryan is truly perfect for Kali and fun fact! He writes for the Wall Street Journal. So he’s definitely not an underachiever.

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For those familiar with DC, we took these around Blagden Alley per Kali’s suggestion. Worked out well as a backdrop! 🙂

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It’s a special feeling to see your buddy so happy. I am so excited to see her all dolled up as a bride!

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I encourage slow dancing pretty much everywhere.

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Have a great evening, guys! Lots of come.

July 25

Navy Pier Engagement: Jack & Paloma

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This couple has one of the best stories ever! Remember Catherine & Tommy? I shot their wedding back in 2014. Well, not only were they one of my favorite couples ever, but also Jack and Paloma met at their wedding. They were both in the bridal party and now are engaged and planning to wed in Spain!!! How awesome?! We met up at Navy Pier to take some photos and I’m so glad we did. These two are crazy about each other and it’s so clear to see. They are also so photogenic and made it so easy on me!

Thank you both for coming out!! So excited for what’s to come! : )

Initially, Paloma wanted these photos to be a surprise. So when they first showed up at Navy Pier, I knew to take a few photos hidden away  before running to up say hi and hug them both! I’ll be honest, I wasn’t sure how those photos would go seeing as Jack didn’t know I’d be there. And let’s be honest, unless a couple knows their photo is being taken, they probably aren’t naturally ready for an engagement photo to be taken. I kid you not, within 3 minutes of taking a few photos of these two without Jack knowing, he picked that flower (below) for Paloma and was putting her hair behind her ear. Ladies, we all know how awesome it feels when a guy does that. I was BLOWN AWAY and thought for sure they both knew I was there.

Nope, just turns out Jack is really that sweet. All of the time apparently. High fives, Paloma! You got a good one!

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Putting the hair behind the ear unprompted. So sweet.

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One of my favorites.

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These two plus Spain as the backdrop!? Amazing!

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And high fives, Jack! Paloma is such a gem.

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So happy for you two!

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July 25

Chicago Engagement: Valerie & Grant

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Hi there! Happy Monday!

I had such a fun time with Grant and Val on their engagement shoot in downtown Chicago. In between outfit changes (part 2 is coming soon) we took a quick break at Grant’s apartment. When I stepped foot onto his 32nd floor balcony and saw Chicago’s skyline before me, I knew we had to take some photos out there. We were warm from the first round of photos, so I had them cool down by kicking off their shoes and grabbing a glass of wine while we hung out on their balcony for a few. I wouldn’t consider myself scared of heights until leaning up against their balcony to get these shots. But really? This view! My apartment is on the 2nd floor in Indy and my view is the bus stop for little kiddos going to school. While it is definitely entertaining at times, it’s not this view. So glad we took advantage!

Also, Val and I hit if off almost instantly on the phone a few months ago. Ideally I like to meet with brides face to face so they know I’m a real person 🙂 but since Valerie and Grant are in Chicago and I’m based out of Indianapolis, we had to hop on the phone. You know how you get a pretty good idea of a person on the phone before meeting? Valerie didn’t disappoint. I am so looking forward to photographing their wedding next June in Indianapolis! Special thanks so Sara Fernkas for sending this sweet couple my way.

Enjoy part 1. Including appearances from the famous Doughnut Vault in downtown Chicago. Apparently this place sells out of their goods in no time each day. How adorable is their storefront?

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Hot hot hot! I think these two will look pretty incredible on their wedding day, wouldn’t you agree?

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This is a little different for me. Just like the dreamy feel. Looking forward to sharing more their session soon.

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