The Gorgeous Wedding of Dolly and Matt

by on Jul.31, 2011, under Wedding Photography

This wedding blew me away. From the salon, to the church, to the reception... everything was amazing. When I first meet with a client, I try to help them understand that great photography can happen if you do two basic things. Number one: Let there be light! Number two: Give yourself time. Dolly and Matt did a wonderful job of both. All the locations had great light, and we had plenty of time to be creative and really get some wonderful shots.

We started the day at PJ's Salon in Fairview Park. This place was so much fun. Lots to shoot, huge windows, and just a great atmosphere to keep things chill while the girls were getting ready. From there, we moved to Dolly and Matt's home. I always encourage clients to get ready in front of a window, which can seem a bit weird to some... "You want me to get ready literally in front of the window?" It's an odd request, but it yields such beautiful photos. After getting Dolly and the girls into their dresses, we headed to the church.

The church was Our Lady of Angels in Cleveland. All I can say is wow. The ceilings in this place are so ornate and the space is so large you would think that the royals were getting married here. Fantastic choice and a really nice ceremony. After shooting some formals in the church, we hopped in the cars and followed the limo over to a local park. Now, this was one of those days where the temperature was already hitting the high 90's, but the humidity made it feel like 110. It was blistering hot. The best thing you can do in this situation is have all the guys leave their jackets in the limo, and move fast. We used the shade as much as we could to our advantage and actually stayed outside for quite awhile. After the park, we were on to the reception.

We pulled up to Ridge Manor over in Brooklyn, Ohio and when we walked into the main hall, I was amazed at what I saw. The D.J. company, Rock the House did a transformation of the space that really made things look first class. I remember pulling up to the reception hall and thinking... oh great, there are no windows, but Dolly and Matt picked a company that went all out. The uplighting around the room, the spotlights on the cake, and the monogram on the dance floor brought the space together and made things look spectacular. The evening was so much fun to photograph. The music kept everyone on the dance floor until the end of the reception, not an easy task for any D.J.

A beautiful day all around and I couldn't be happier for Dolly and Matt. Congratulations you two!


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To our dear friends, Chris and Brittney

by on Jul.07, 2011, under Uncategorized

One seldom gets the chance to shoot the wedding of a best friend, typically because a bridal party is involved, and you just don't get the opportunity. When Chris and Brittney decided to move to Texas, I have to admit I was a little bummed. On the one hand, I was overjoyed for Chris to find a great new job that would allow him to utilize his creative talents, but on the other hand, I knew that this would mean I wouldn't get a chance to see or work with him as often. It's a double edged sword, but I find that we all have our paths to follow, and the path to his new wife was absolutely the right one.

Chris asked Brad and I to come on down to Katy, Texas to "take some casual pics" here and there. Of course, for those of you that know me... there is no casually shooting a wedding. (To my credit, I did try, and yes, I still remembered to have a great time with my fiance) ;)

A few weeks before the wedding, Chris asked me to give a speech. I really was honored that he asked me to do that considering there wouldn't be a best man or maid of honor at the ceremony. (I still tease that speech = best man) It made sense. Brittney's father and grandfather talked about Brittney and how she grew up and what a strong person she is. So, here was my opportunity to share with everyone what I knew about Chris and how he developed his relationship with Brittney.

I guess to recap, I wanted to share a few words that I talked about at the wedding because the story of Chris and Brittney is really a beautiful one. For those of you that know Chris and I, we are extremely calculated people. We research everything. Cameras we want to buy, software we want to try, techniques we want to use on the next shoot... our planning process is what some may call... ridiculous. For as long as I've known Chris, he's always wanted to talk things over with me if for no other reason, to reassure him that he's making a good decision.

Chris had been living in Michigan for a little while and was starting to meet a few people through work... yada yada. One evening, he decided to attend a party at one of his co-workers houses and that's where he met Brittney. Brittney was the chance-roommate of Chris' co-worker. I say chance because I believe that she found the "need-a-roommate" listing on Craigslist. After one or two encounters with Brittney, I could tell that for Chris, this was no ordinary girl. He would not stop talking about her. Then, of course, the facebook photos of the two of them started popping up, and well... we know how the story eventually winds up.

Now, the funny thing is that when Chris was about to introduce Brittney to everyone, he told me that she's very opinionated and I actually might not like her. I remember thinking, "Finally! Someone who can help Chris make up his mind!" Over the next few months, their relationship grew strong. Eventually, Chris gave me a call one night, and told me that he was going to ask Brittney to marry him. He didn't know when, where or how as of yet, but the key here was that he knew for a fact that she was the one. No advice needed. No user reviews to investigate on amazon required.

I told Chris that if he knows... he knows. About a month later, I see a ring, and shortly after that, they're engaged.

I've been a best man "officially" twice... (It's up for debate as to whether or not I can say "three" times. Ahem... Chris...) :) and obviously I'm not the one who's married...yet. However, I think that I give good advice when asked, so what I told Chris and Brittney at the wedding reception was that no matter where life takes them, be it Ohio, Utah, Michigan, Texas, or beyond... remember that they both have friends and family that love and care for them and that at the end of the day, those are the people who can be counted on to be there for you. Always.

And so, I say to Chris and Brittney, congratulations on your wonderful marriage. It was a pleasure and an honor to be your guest / one of your photographers. I hope that you look back on your wedding day and remember all of the laughs and bittersweet moments fondly. I love telling stories... and it was a privilege to tell yours.

All the best,


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The Wedding of Jackie and Mark

by on Jun.17, 2011, under Client Slideshows, Wedding Photography

I first met Jackie and Mark at our last wedding of the 2010 season. Jackie was a bridesmaid in Jessica and Kevin Schulze's wedding. The entire bridal party was a lot of fun to work with, so I knew that I was going to have a great time working with Jackie again.

We started out the day at Neon Salon in Sunbury. The girls arrived early to get their hair and nails done. A couple of the girls wanted to open up a bottle of champagne for some mimosa's and I remember thinking, "You may not want to point that in anyone's direction". The girls took the bottle outside and tried to remove the cork which just so happened to fly about 30 feet across the parking lot. Hilarious. :)

The wedding was great for me because I got a chance to shoot in my hometown of Westerville. The ceremony took place at St. Paul's which is a staple in the Westerville community. Beautiful weather, everyone was relaxed... couldn't have asked for more. I met up at the church with one of my up and coming shooters, Brooke Mott. (who did a great job I might add...) Between the two of us, we were able to capture some wonderful moments.

The reception was amazing. We were shooting at the Royal American Links country club, which is a great location because of the variety of areas to shoot in. Everything there is goregous. We were able to run around the golf course for a bit and shoot some fun group photos. The night flew by as the dance floor was packed up until the end of the reception. Kudos to the D.J. who did a fantastic job.

Congratulations to Jackie and Mark! We had a blast working with you!



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Katie and Matthew – An Engagement at Miami University

by on Jun.11, 2011, under Uncategorized

This is no doubt one of the coolest campuses I've ever visited. The blend of old and new buildings is gorgeous. Miami University, located in Oxford, Ohio is the home of one of my good friends, Matt and his new fiance, Katie.

Matt and I go back a few years where we met at the International Lilly Conference on College Teaching. I love to teach just as much as I love to shoot photography, and this conference has been a great home for me to learn about becoming an awesome instructor. Matt and I presented a workshop together last year on "new tech tools to use in the classroom" as well as a featured session on "what students really hear". Over the years, we became good friends and so of course I jumped at the chance to give Katie and Matt some awesome engagement photography.

The day started out sunny, but incredibly humid. I knew that I wanted to knock out the "sun-kissed" shots early so they literally wouldn't melt in the extreme heat. After running around the campus for an hour or so, we decided to grab a quick bite to eat. During dinner, we realized that Miami was in the path of a major thunderstorm so we camped out in the restaurant for a while until things settled down. Luckily, after the storm had passed, the humidity dropped down and it was relatively cool outside. So, we continued with umbrellas and came up with some really cool photos.

Just like an Ohio evening, it was cloudy until right around sunset... then, the sun comes out, it gets beautiful, and we were able to end the shoot with some of the best shots of the day. I was really happy with how the photos turned out, and I hope Katie and Matt can look back on our little adventure through the weather and smile.

Congratulations to Katie and Matt! I had so much fun working with you guys!






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Kylynne and Justin

by on Jun.03, 2011, under Wedding Photography

I've always enjoyed working with Bowling Green grads. We always tend to swap stories about crazy nights in downtown BG, or argue about who had to walk farther in 6 ft. of snow... and so when Kylynne and Justin chose us to be their photographers, I was thrilled.

We started off the day at Shaper's Salon in Marion. I've worked with Char (the owner) a few times now and we always seem to come up with cool ideas for shots while I'm there. It's a lot of fun mixing it up with the girls early in the morning. Break the ice. Make people feel comfortable. Relaxed with photographer = better shots.

From the salon, we moved on to the church, Emanuel Lutheran. This church is amazingly beautiful with it's blue ceiling over the altar and amazing pipe organ. It was a bit dark in the church, but the d700 performed great. What I always tell aspiring photographers is that you have to understand what your camera can do and not do. You can go nuts on ISO so long as you get the right exposure. Too far underexposed or overexposed and that's where noise becomes a problem.

After the wedding, we moved on to the reception at Brookshire in Delaware. This was a very nice reception hall and it had a great lobby. The Chiavari chairs were an excellent touch to the room and really made things look great. Kylynne and Justin also had an awesome ice sculpture made with their names and B.G. Falcon logo embedded into it. So cool!

It was a fun night of dancing and certainly full of memories. Congratulations to Kylynne and Justin!


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The 2011 Photo Cover Contest!

by on May.30, 2011, under Uncategorized

Hey everyone!

This year, I'm submitting another image for the 2011 Photo Cover Contest for Professional Photographer Magazine. Last year, we won 3rd place for reader's choice! I would be honored and grateful if you would click on the link below and vote for our entry this year.

This is Ava, our flower girl from one of our favorite weddings this past year, Tara and Joshua Kemp. Let's make her number 1!

Click here to vote:

Thanks everyone!


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The Cleveland Sight Center

by on May.27, 2011, under Uncategorized

Let me start off by saying how thankful I am for being invited to help out Progressive Insurance volunteers with a wonderful community service project. Last weekend, about 70 volunteers from various departments at Progressive Insurance volunteered their time and effort for The Cleveland Sight Center's Highbrook Lodge. This place is awesome. For those of you who don't know what this is:

"Highbrook Lodge, the first camp in the United States built specifically for blind or visually impaired persons, was opened in June 1928, the gift of three pioneering Cleveland Sight Center volunteers and early supporters: Prudence Sherwin, and Ida and Josephine Grasselli.   Five miles south of Chardon, Ohio, it is named for a rippling stream that descends the length of Highbrook’s gently sloping hillside. 

It is a place where independence and self-sufficiency are encouraged, campers can improve orientation and mobility skills, increase their ability to live independently and, most importantly, learn while having fun surrounded by natural beauty."

Bob Kochmit, the camp manager, had an ambitious list of projects that needed to be completed before the camp opened... and we were happy to help.

After a full day of work, Bob sent me the list of what was accomplished:

- 50 tons of stone were used to pave 708ft of walking track…
- 10 yards of mulch were laid on 375ft of sensory trail…
- Over 500 fallen branches were removed…
- 10,000+ beads were sorted…
- 1,000+ crayons were sorted…
- 15 gallons of paint were painted with 19 paint brushes…
- 3,500 lbs of furniture were moved…
- 1 sports and recreation shed was moved…
- 9 Gallons of off-road diesel were burned in the equipment used…
- 8 ropes course elements were cleared of debris…
- 1 mouse had to find a new home…
- 1 Conestoga wagon had it’s top restored…
- 50 plants were placed in the ground…
- 24 gallons of water were drank…
- 100,000+ smiles will happen because of your hard work…

This was such a wonderful experience all around and it felt great to work alongside such motivated, well-organized and caring volunteers.

I wanted to post some photos and a quick video to show all of you just how much we were able to get done. Thanks to Progressive Insurance and The Cleveland Sight Center for letting me come along!



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