Archive for the ‘Featured’ Category

Valerie & Grant

July 6

Hey friends! Happy Thursday!

It’s been a whirlwind to say the least over here.¬†I’ve shot 3 incredible weddings in 2 weeks, one of which was in Spain, and it’s been SUCH a blast and it feels like I’m just now catching my breath from it all. With another amazing wedding in store this Saturday, this stretch has been one of the busiest I can ever remember in my business. I can’t wait to share more in the coming weeks!!

Right now I’d love to share just a few of my favorite moments from Valerie and Grant’s amazing day. Where to start with these two? ¬†I knew after taking their engagement photos that this couple would be a great time. I’ll never forget making a quick stop at Grant’s place in downtown Chicago for a wardrobe change during photos. I walked in, saw Chicago’s skyline through his windows AND almost simultaneously noticed his porch, and KNEW we had to take a few out there. After all, it’s not often I have a balcony up in the sky to shoot with. I told them to pour a glass of wine and sit your butts down and enjoy each other while you have a drink. They probably thought I was crazy! ūüôā But I still have people talk about those images! If you need a refresher, you can find those images here.¬†

These two married tied the knot at St. John’s in downtown Indianapolis with a serious party (and some of the best speeches I’ve heard to date!) at the beautiful Indianapolis Museum of Art after. I loved spending the day with their sweet friends and family. It was a perfect day with plenty of sunshine. It may have been a little sweaty at parts – hey, it’s Indy in June – but these guys were such troopers. Man I had such a blast shooting portraits of these two! Can you say models? Oh also, Grant is going to Harvard business school in the fall. So, they’re crazy smart too.

Valerie and Grant – I’ve so loved getting to know you guys during this special time in your lives. Thank you so much for the honor of being your wedding photographer. I wish you two all the best and can’t wait to see how your life unfolds in MA! xo

Possibly my favorite image from the wedding! Val, you are STUNNING!

Love this shot my sweet second shooter, Gail, captured of Grant getting ready.

I’ve so enjoyed getting to know this couple. They have such bright future ahead!

This is one of those images that I think their kids will especially love one day. Such a beauty.

Such a fun group! What an amazing day this was!

What a long way I have come since day 1 of business. I am so grateful.

There’s just something about a moody black and white! <3

Look at that bling! ūüôā

Timeless beauty.

Their first look was so sweet! A few weeks before their wedding, Val emails me telling me of this idea she has to do their first look on this rooftop. Her father owns the building so we’d have access and privacy for a first look and I was sold. I really prefer a first look with privacy. It just lends itself well to the couple really having an uninterrupted, special moment to themselves. When you think about it, a bride and groom don’t get much time to themselves on a wedding day. Val and Grant’s first look was one for the books!

It was also a bit windy up there ūüôā love this image!

Handsome groomsmen. Thank you to my second shooter, Gail, for capturing this! It was such a treat to have Gail team up with me at this wedding.

Val and Grant had their ceremony at St. John’s downtown on Capitol street. I’m always so blown away by the ornate details all throughout this church!

I was mildly obsessed with this space for their cocktail hour. How INCREDIBLE is this backdrop!?

Val’s dad gave a touching welcoming speech…

I always love to photograph the parents during speeches. They always have a glow about them. ūüôā

The best man’s speech had everyone laughing!

I LOVE this image of Grant’s mom!

Married!!!

Now let’s party…

 

What an incredible day!!

Stay tuned for so much more, friends. Until then, have a great night!

Washington D.C. Wedding – Kali + Ryan

November 2

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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! ūüôā

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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! ūüôā

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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! ūüôā

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

October 11

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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! ūüôā

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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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Downtown Indianapolis Wedding: Katie + Chris

October 10

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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! ūüôā

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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  Рshot 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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Riviera Maya Wedding: Liz & Mike

May 24


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Hi friends! You might remember this sweet couple. Seems like forever ago that they first emailed me about flying¬†out to photograph their Riviera Maya wedding. I remember where I was when I got the email. I had my laptop with me and was working from Cakebake that day. Just a glorified excuse really to buy myself a hot chocolate and macaroon. I’m not that fancy but that place makes me feel that way. Anyway, it was a cold day with tons¬†of sunshine pouring through the window next to me¬†when Liz’s email found it’s way to my inbox. I clicked my way through and saw she was a close friend of a past bride (hi Amy!) and knew that meant she was good people. I met with Liz and Mike the next week, hit it off and marked off May 7th, 2016 in my calendar to photograph their wedding.

Their wedding was nothing short of wonderful. Heartfelt is really the word that comes to mind for the entire weekend.¬†When you have dozens of people fly out to Mexico to celebrate your wedding with you, you know you are well loved. That was the case with Liz & Mike. I felt completely at home with them and their friends the entire time. What’s the saying – you are the company you keep? 100% the case with Liz and Mike’s awesome family and friends.¬†The first full day we were there, I had friends and family come up to me at a pool party saying, “You’re Caitlin right? We’ve heard so much about you!” I was blown away honestly. As a vendor, when someone treats you this way, you really just want to knock it out of the park even more for your clients. Such sweet people.¬†Every single person at this wedding made the celebration that much more¬†enjoyable.

The real stars of course being Liz & Mike. I’m having a hard time coming up with words special enough for them. There was a time, years ago – maybe seven or eight, when I first entertained the thought of pursuing photography seriously. I once dreamt about what it would be like to have a couple fly me out to their photograph their wedding in a beautiful place. All I can say is I couldn’t be happier it truly happened for the first time¬†with Liz & Mike. In an industry that is so saturated with so many photographers, it has meant the world to me to be with you guys during this time. Thank you for the honor of documenting your special day. You guys are the best of the best. I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for you guys!

Special thanks to El Dorade Royale for the accommodations and for helping Liz & Mike’s wedding run through perfectly. Also special¬†thanks for the many, many cheese quesadillas. You’re the real MVP.

For those keeping up with things around here, you know I just invested in a new film camera. When some of my first scans came back like this one below, I was pretty giddy with excitement for what’s to come. The most beautiful thing about film? This image is untouched.

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A film shot of the stunning bride that I love so, so much. I can imagine her kids seeing this some day and honestly being blown away by how gorgeous their mom is. You know when you get old enough to care about these things? I can remember coming to an age where I’d come across a photo of my mom in her younger years, and it may be that I’m drawn to photography already, but I just remember thinking, “Dang! My mom was a knock out!” I feel like this could be one of those photos for Liz & Mike’s kids. So timeless and effortlessly beautiful.

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Meanwhile, handsome Mike getting ready in front of an orange wall that I love very much.

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Cheers! It is certainly not very often that I have a beautiful beach to photograph so I took full advantage even in full sun.

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Mike looking so handsome. The guys spent the first part of the day hanging out in the pool having drinks. Not a bad way to spend the morning of your wedding.

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Liz’s dad was with her all day : ) what’s better is that’s Liz’s mom holding the bouquet. I love small details like this.

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Moments before her brother walked her down the aisle..

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Liz, you looked flawless.

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Look at all of those beautiful people that came out for this celebration!!! Seriously, if this isn’t a testament to how wonderful this couple is, I don’t know what is. These guys were a blast!!! And that view? Take me back!

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The new Mr. & Mrs. Seidl! : )

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Towards the end of the night, we were told about surprise “fireworks”. I was told they’d last 15 seconds and if I’m being completely candid, I didn’t know how impressive they would be seeing as we were on a resort. But then this intense flash of light started, sparks were flying and these two were dancing around like crazy. Everyone was cheering! It moved SO fast and all I could think was how awesome this moment was for them! All credit goes to my assistant, Ben, for capturing this awesome moment. What a way to end the night!

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Thank you so much to my talented second shooter, Ben, for all of your wonderful help. Have a great night guys! xo

PS Liz & Mike’s engagement session at Oliver Winery for a trip down memory lane.

PPS I appreciate you!

20 Things I Wish I Would Have Known in 2008

May 18

I started my business in 2008 the summer before my senior year of college. Here are 20 bits I would have loved to know then.¬†My hunch is someone in the universe could stand to read a few of these things. If that’s the case, I hope this finds its way to you!

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  1. Quit the comparison game.¬†I am begging you. First and foremost. You have no business in comparing your story to someone else’s highlight reel.
  2. Save for taxes.¬†Just do it. Save 25% of every paycheck to put towards taxes. This way, you won’t plow through a travel size bottle of Tums come the month of April. I’d love to sit here and tell you that I’ve been hugely successful at this in the past but that would be a big fat lie (hey, I’m not saying business ownership is easy!) but I’m honestly making strides to improve in this area.¬†I will thank the hours I spend a day listening to the Dave Ramsey podcast for that. My dad would be so proud of that endorsement.
  3. You don’t have to go into debt to build a successful business.¬†You really don’t. My advice would be to rent gear to help build a portfolio before buying something you can’t afford. Growing a business is hard enough.¬†If possible, and I encourage you to find all means possible, avoid putting the pressure on your art to perform so that you can pay a credit card bill every month.
  4. Forget the numbers. No one cares how many likes you get or followers you have. Just stick to putting meaningful work out there and the rest, with patience and persistence, will take care of itself.
  5. Ask as many questions as you can.¬†Know how many people in my immediate circle know two things about business ownership? Zero! I literally knew nothing about owning a business when I first started out in 2008. Ask a ton of questions and don’t be afraid of looking dumb. I’m still asking them every day. We all have to start somewhere.
  6. Quality over quantity. Focus on your clients.¬†Instead of focusing so much energy on how you can book more clients, focus on treating your existing clients really well. ¬†Send them a hand written note. Check in on them. Ask if there’s anything you can do for them. Whether it’s one client or fifty – ¬†manage and exceed their expectations. One happy client will take you much farther in your business than chasing others.
  7. Find what works for you and own it. ¬†I made an expensive mistake in my first few years of business. I bought the newest camera body at the time just weeks after it came out because everyone else was buying it and I ended up hating it. In fact, that camera sat in my bag collecting dust up until a few weeks ago when I traded it in for a film camera. To this day,¬†my set up is minimal. I don’t have all of the lenses and camera bodies and gadgets in the world. I’m okay with that. I’ve still built a brand with a strong heartbeat that I’m incredibly proud of. I found what works for me right now and I’m confident in it. Find what works for you and have confidence in your system, too.
  8. Never let your business come before your family and friends. Your business should serve your life. Not the other way around. Keep your loved ones closer than your work.
  9. Cheer her on, too. There are tons of talented people in the world. (Including you.) Remind them of that.
  10. Slow seasons will never go away. Plan accordingly.¬†Indiana never disappoints. Always crappy conditions for photos in the winter and somehow I’m always “surprised” by this. Lol. But the beautiful thing about slow seasons is that they give you a chance to recharge and regroup. Have a project and some extra work lined up for the colder months. You will be grateful you did.
  11. Done really is better than perfect. ¬†Photography might be one of the worst professions to go into if you’re at all a perfectionist –¬†“Maybe if I slave away on these photos for another five hours, THEN they will be perfect!” –¬†Your photos will never be perfect. Good news is your clients didn’t hire you for that. They hired you for your eye¬†and your heart. Focus on delivering those two things and you’ve done a solid job for them.
  12. Stop over¬†thinking it.¬†Honestly, there have been so many times recently where I’ve talked myself out of sending a nice email or leaving an encouraging comment on social media because I was worried what others might think of me. Seriously? That’s a bunch of garbage. Don’t overthink kindness. If you have something nice to say, say it. You will feel better.
  13. No one cares what you’re doing. ¬†“In a good way!”¬† [said like the elf in santa’s workshop from the movie Elf) ¬†Really though, most people are just worried about themselves and don’t have time to worry about what you’re doing. I recently read Elizabeth Gilbert’s¬†Big Magic¬†and my favorite chapter¬†talks about this journey of being paralyzed from fear of what others may think of you in your twenties only to realize in your fifties and sixties that no one ever gave a crap what you’re doing. It’s so true! This of course feels so¬†liberating as it frees you up to do those things you love without reservation. Just do things that fire you up and get out of your head.
  14. There’s a great big world¬†out there. Don’t forget it.¬†Perspective is powerful.
  15. You can’t please 100% of the people 100% of the time.¬†I once woke up to an angry email from a very disappointed mother of a bride who was devastated I didn’t get a photo of the flower girls.¬†That particular wedding day felt very rushed and despite my best efforts, I admit I fell short and didn’t get that photo for her. I felt awful. Or how about the time I lost half of a ceremony photos from a wedding, including the first kiss, and the intense urge to sob that followed when I first came to the realization? What can I say? I’m human. Mistakes happen. But I will say these are two I haven’t made since. You learn, you give yourself grace and I’m here to tell you life does go on.¬†As will your business if you choose to grow from it.
  16. You will fail often.¬†Behind every social media account is a long¬†list of failures that lead to their success. It’s just part of the equation. Keep on keepin’ on!
  17. ¬†It’s a process. ¬†If overnight success were a thing, everyone would do this.¬†You won’t experience overnight success but it is up to you to count your successes and celebrate them along the way. What’s that saying? “There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.” ¬†Why do I feel like that could be the only content for a book on business ownership? Just one page, one line. That about covers it. It really is a process, so enjoy the ride.
  18. Stay in your lane.¬†You have no business fixing anyone else’s problems but your own. The best thing to do is work hard, be kind and stay in your lane.
  19. Show gratitude.  To your support system. To your cat, Pazzo. To your clients for supporting a dream of yours. To all of the people who have help you travel up to this point. Open gratitude attracts wonderful things. Be grateful.
  20. ¬†Remember how far you’ve come.¬†I remember being stressed out about paying $300 rent fresh out of college. My first wedding I charged $500 and just last week I had an insanely awesome couple fly me out to Mexico to shoot their wedding! Hard work pays off so just keep going. A friend of mine sent me a wonderful card last week with an illustration of a cartoon atop a hill with the words behind her reading, “Remember how far you’ve come.” Take stock in where you’ve been and revel in all that’s to come. If you let it, it will blow you away
A Couple Cooks

May 16

Hi sweet friends!

Something a little different today but oh man these make me happy. I recently connected with my new friends, Sonja & Alex, from A Couple Cooks РI brought along a roll of film and an enthusiasm to capture them in their element. These folks make beautiful food and have a strong heartbeat to their brand that will inspire you to get in the kitchen and have some fun. It was fun to see their process Рfrom pulling all of their ingredients together to snapping a photo of their creation to share with their following. Enjoy a few photos of them and their adorable pup, Luna, in their magazine worthy kitchen. Seriously, how can you not want to be in there all the time with all of that white and natural light?

On the menu this particular day? Thai salad with peanut sauce! So colorful and yummy!

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Best Of: Getting Ready

April 18

One of my favorite parts of a wedding is the getting ready stage. Those moments before slipping on your dress with your girls at your side. The anticipation and excitement makes the photos so special to look back on. Narrowing down to my favorite top 10 was no easy task but man do I love these women and these moments so much! Enjoy a few of my favorites moments with brides just minutes before walking down the aisle…

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1 (!) This image of Gabby kills me every single time!

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Okay and 4 bonus because I feel like it! I was fortunate to photograph one of dear friends, Katie, on her wedding day. I’m biased but of course I love this photo of her.

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And I love this photo of Katie holding her mama in one hand and Kate Spade heels in the other. Don’t even care there are boxes of donuts in the back! ; )

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FEATURED: Black Tie Bride

March 20

Happy Spring, friends! Excited to see Peter and Teresa’s beautiful April wedding featured on The Black Tie Bride today. Great way to kick off spring with a gorgeous couple and all of those pink peonies! Aren’t peonies the best this time of year? Check out the feature here!! x0 -C

 

PUBLISHED: Wedding Day Style Issue

December 19

Revisit Lesley + Colin’s gorgeous wedding here. Thank you so much for the feature, Wedding Day!