What’s in a year?

I have known Charlie’s mom, Stephenie since I was five years old. The story is always the same – My mother says, “I remember Stephenie – she called every morning at 6 AM to ask if you could come over and play.” 26 years later, and her hustle and drive are still the same.

When Steph first called me up for a maternity shoot in November of 2015, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that she and her husband, Matt had decided to wait to find out the sex of their baby.  I loved her decision and admired how calm she was in preparation for the next chapter of her life as a new parent.

Little did I know then, I would have the honor of photographing baby BOY Charlie through his entire first year of life…What a wonderful gift it was for me to experience!

With all the craziness of last year – I did not get to post Charlie’s photos as I had originally hoped – but something beautiful arose out of that – the chance to debut his first year altogether. Putting this post together brought me such joy – I loved seeing him, and his smile grow.

So, ladies and gentleman, with no further adieu, let me introduce you to sweet, sweet Charlie!

(Also starring Charlie’s big brother: Bruce, the pup)

 

Today is a day dedicated to love, so what better day to gush about John and Lauren’s engagement?!

I’ve known Johnny his entire life. He’s my brother, related by love.  The younger brother of my best friend, I’ve watched him grow up…even though he was taller than me by the time he was 12.

John is definitely his father’s son. He is happiest on the lake and is always working on re-wiring, building or blowing something up.  Anyone who knows him is shocked that he still has all of his fingers, toes and eyebrows intact.

The youngest of five kids, John has also always navigated life on his terms.  I mean literally, at age 2, he was climbing the (very high up) top pantry shelf by himself…  Whatever John has done in life, he’s done with determination and kindness; two amazing traits if you ask me.

When Lauren came into John’s life, it felt like she had been there all along. She just fit. She was family long before they were ever engaged… So to say we were ecstatic when John proposed, is an understatement.

For their engagement photos, we spent a cold, rainy winter afternoon inside a conservatory in upstate New York; the perfect backdrop for Lauren’s personality – because above all, Lauren is warm and loving. She loves her family, her friends and if she could save all the animals, plants and rocks of the world, she absolutely would.

Lauren and John have built a life together that encompasses who they both are individually and together.  Their love is easy, much like a calm, sweet summer afternoon on the lake. They balance each other out and never take each other too seriously. I can’t wait to watch them say I do.

Let me just start by saying that every wedding I’ve ever attended is beautiful and perfect in it’s own unique way. One of the best feelings you can have after you get hitched is to be able to look back and think, “I wouldn’t have changed a thing.” But speaking honestly, most of us who have been married would also (quietly) admit that there were parts of our dream day that we tweaked because of loved one’s wish or because we didn’t want to disappoint well, anyone. Wedding planning can be pressure central.

As my girlfriend and I were sipping coffee and gushing over how happy my dear friends, Molly and Anthony looked at their wedding, we both agreed that these two did it right. I have never been to a wedding where every simple detail completely encompassed who they were as individuals and a couple.

Married in their favorite park adjacent to their apartment where they’ve built their life, followed by dinner and drinks at the local Italian restaurant where the staff were more like family, Molly and Anthony’s wedding was truly emblematic of their life: simple and loving.

Molly and Anthony make the perfect pair for oh so many reasons, but what stands out is how they love – Not just how they love each other, but how they love their friends and family, too. They are always and unconditionally in your corner when life is gets tough. They think about their loved ones before themselves. They have a beautiful life and yet are never boastful about anything.

Molly + Anthony, thank you for allowing me the honor to capture your wedding and to stand witness to your love.  May the years ahead of you be filled with slow mornings and more joys than you can count. Whatever comes, know I’ll always be in your corner, too.

Life has brought me some pretty incredible friends along the way, you know?

Ryan and I used be desk buddies at our old job. We listened to music, shared snacks, argued about Michigan State and the other school that shall not be named and chatted about every day life. I still remember when he first told me that he was dating Stephanie. You see, it was a VERY big deal because Ryan has basically been in love with Stephanie since he was a kid.  I swear, their story is a romantic movie waiting to be produced.  It would go something like this:

Boy meets girl.

Boy pines over girl.

Boy gets the nerve to ask girl to prom and she says no (cliffhanger)!

Fast forward a few years and a college degree…. boy tries again.

Girl realizes what was under her nose this entire time….

Guy lands the girl of his dreams and they literally live happily ever after.

 

I mean, how adorable is that?

On a serious note, Ryan and Stephanie’s wedding was such an incredible experience to be a part of.  Every detail of the day was perfect. From their sunset ceremony where the warm light illuminated them as they exchanged vows, to the 5-piece band that killed it, to the dancing, to the incredible spread of food and spirits… It was such a night to remember. I feel so fortunate to be able to be a tiny piece of their story; one that I’m sure they’ll tell their grandkids.

Mazel tov, Ryan and Stephanie. Cheers to a wonderful life ahead.

 

 



 

I am not sure I have ever met a more beautiful family than Rosie and Daniel’s incredible group.  Much like your grandmother’s antique quilt, each vibrant piece of this family has been hand sewn together by love. It’s like everything that was ever meant to be, came together when Rosie and Daniel found each other. Their wedding day was filled to the brim with joy; beautiful, vivacious joy.  Honestly, I could go on and on about these two… but I’m pretty sure that as you scroll through this story, you won’t just see their joy… you will feel it. 


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