20th Century Theater Wedding-John +Emily

Emily and John don't skimp out on the details. Their wedding was beautifully curated one detail at a time. It started with a sweet gift exchange while they were getting ready for the big day. Emily's sister, Mary Beth sat in front of her and made her feel beautiful with hair curls and makeup. She wore beautiful little flowers in her hair that were a special part in her mother's wedding day. When it was time to go out for portraits, Emily made time to do a first look with her first love, her father. She made sure that behind her father's tie was a simple reminder of how much she loved him. As we went up the large stairs at Ault park, her soon to be husband waited for her at the top. The first look was simply adorable and magical and was followed by John's sweet words and promises to his soon to be wife. He shared his written vows to her at the top of the building. Her officiant wasn't someone she found online but a close friend that was near and dear to both John and Emily's hearts. The wedding took place in a beautiful theater in downtown Cincinnati. The lights on the ceiling set the mood for a wonderful evening. They became husband and wife and enjoyed their first meal together with all of their family and friends. When it was time for the speeches, Mary Beth surprised Emily and her family with a slideshow of old pictures showing how much love surrounded their family. Emily's father continued the surprises with a slideshow of pictures of Emily and her daddy. There wasn't a dry eye in the theater. They smashed cake in each others faces and danced the night away. This day of theirs couldn't have been more perfect. 

Emily and John,

It has been such an amazing year getting to know both of you. Your kind, sweet hearts are such a blessing to be around. Thank you for choosing me to capture all of your amazing details that day. I hope these photos remind you year after year of how much you are loved. 

xoxo Emily 

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My ONE word..

In 2013, my amazing mama (who is about as close to a perfect human being as you can be) started choosing ONE word to focus on in the upcoming year. New Years Resolutions never worked for her. She always had good intentions but she never carried them out. (Sounds way too familiar …like mother like daughter..)

When she chose her first word, she started searching for that word everywhere she went. She found that she was more aware of the word on coffee mugs, in scripture, and in everyday life! Once the year was up, she realized that she knew a lot about that one word and she saw it play out in her own life. 

In 2013 she knew she needed to be content…and thats where it all started. 

2013 // Contentment

We will never forget this time of our lives. We were ALL OVER the country. Mama knew she had to focus on being content where she was. 

2014 // Peace

Job insecurity struck during 2014. Mom spent her time focusing on having peace during the storm (lots of storms).

2015 // Hope

Another tough year, my mom lost her sweet mama. Mee Mee was such an inspiration to all. Mom was blessed to spend the last few months taking care of her and being by her bedside. She will cherish these moments forever. She had to have hope during this season of life. She clung to that word like never before.

2016 // Trust

Time to move again and this time God took my parents on a journey of trust. The job search is NO JOKE and your patience is tested each day. I will never forgot the way my parents trusted God during this time period. I’ve never seen anything like it. 

& finally..her word of the year this year is..

2017 // Believe

Who knows what this year will bring. She's ready to believe in the unbelievable. Believe when you don’t see it. & If it doesn’t happen..believe that something better is coming. 

My mama will continue to be one of the most influential people.. not only in my life but in many others! This year I’m choosing to reflect on my own word! It was tough finding just one word to focus on but as I thought through what my life has been like the past few years…I realized it was time to be much more INTENTIONAL with my time. 

This year I want to focus on being more intentional about cultivating relationships…intentional about our finances and saving…intentional about spending time with my creator..and intentional about creating white space in my calendar to be filled with bucket list memories that Josh and I take on this year. 

Intentional.

My word for the year!

Are you already struggling with your resolutions this year? Don't worry...January is only a trial run. Try picking a word for the year to focus on!! You’ll be surprised at what you can learn and do with that word in mind!

 

xoxo Emily 

A Refresher-& I'm not talking about Starbucks

I grabbed my bible this morning and read through Psalm 23. I was very tempted to just read through it like I always do. Like, I’m pretty sure my Sunday school teachers over the years made us say this out loud before snack time or something. If you’ve been in church your whole life, you're like oh yeah….Lord is my shepherd I shall not want yada yada, alrighty . But, as I read the verse, I tried to learn something new. Boy, did God have something up his sleeve! I swear sometimes God has a say in what song comes on next on my pandora station. “You make me Brave” by Bethel Music came on as I was pondering this verse. (cue the tears and praise dances). But honestly-how lucky are we to serve a God who knows us and knows what we need. I hope you find a different kind of encouragement in these verses today. He has made some pretty outstanding promises to us. My hope and prayer for you today is that you realize that you have a Lord that wants to pour over you with rest, guidance, restoration, pursuit, and a forever. 

The Lord is My Shepherd.  I shall not want. 

He gives me what I need. He KNOWS what I need. His promises are kept. 

He makes me lie down in green pastures

even when I have a million things on my to do list. He lets me lie down. 

He leads me beside still waters

He guides my moves. My hand is in his hand, following behind him. 

He restores my soul.

He renews me. He refreshes me. 

I will fear no evil, for you are with me.

He keeps me company and doesn’t leave me, not matter what. 

Your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

He protects me, makes me comfy in Him.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.

He pursues me every single day.

and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

amen & amen

 

30 before 30: A challenge to GO and DO

Real talk: I wrote this blog post on my 25th birthday.  [yes..in AUGUST].. Welcome to how crazy my life has been the past 3 months. Its been sitting on my computer through the move back to Ohio and never found its way back to the desktop. I started feeling sad when I couldn’t find it..but I did!

Birthdays are like the new year. 

Celebration. Sparklers. Cake. Horns…too much? Nope.

Every year I crack myself up by making resolutions and never completing them. The weight loss resolutions that sit on my counter and then eventually end up in the trash with the pizza box. But, I do love a fresh start. I love the beginning of a month. I love the new year. & I love birthdays! 

Birthdays are the bomb dot com in this household. Even when I was little, birthdays were a SUPER close second to Christmas. I absolutely love celebrating life and love and all things birthdays. This week I turned 25. A QUARTER OF A CENTURY. Thats halfway to 50…scary.

I started thinking about what I wanted these next 5 years to look like. I wish you could see my bucket list. It may look similar to yours. Looks like I have a lot of great PLANS. Nothing is crossed off. Nothing is ever completed. It hurts my heart to see all the great adventures that are PLANNED but never DONE. This is me through and through. I can plan the crap out of a day, weekly goals, yearly, and never do any of them. It got me thinking about my next 5 years and what I wanted to actually DO.

I want to make these next 5 years the most intentional years that I have ever had. I want to be able to look back on these last five years of my twenties and see more life, more adventure, and more love. 

When I started writing down places I wanted to go, things I wanted to see, people I wanted to bless, I started to feel a little twist in my belly. I know that twist all too well. Fear. Fear of not completing the list and failing. That might happen, but its about time that I step off my to do list, step out of my bubble and LIVE. 

1. Be debt free

2. Buy a house and make it a home 

3. Read the entire bible cover to cover

4. Save 3-6 months of expenses for emergencies 

5. Go back to Nigeria 

6. Buy a car in cash 

7. Become foster parents 

8. Have a baby 

9. Send 30 handwritten letters 

10. Go to a concert

11. Get a puppy [CHECK!]

12. See a broadway show on broadway 

13. Photography for a cause 

14. Visit Europe 

15. See 10 states 

16. Lose 30 pounds 

17. Create an inspiring working space 

18. Plant peonies 

19. Take a girls trip with the women in my family 

20. Mentor someone 

21. Travel with friends 

22. Go on an anniversary trip (or a babymoon-whatever comes first!)

23. OHIO sporting events- (Reds game, Bengals game, OSU game)

24. Finish a 5k [CHECK!]

25. Shoot 75 weddings 

26. Go to an out of state conference with a friend 

27. Make our wedding book 

28. Give a big anonymous gift 

29. Complete The Simplicity Challenge 

30. Visit Nashville & eat our wedding food again

 

I started searching my computer this morning to find this list because last weekend I got to check off my first item on my list!! For my besties bachelorette party-we COMPLETED the Jingle Bell Run! No, I didn’t run it.  (Thank goodness the list CLEARLY stated FINISH, not RUN. haha) This body is not ready for all that. But, it was a blast walking with one of the girls and seeing everyone dressed up for Christmas! 

& then I remembered that we can check something else off our list!! Our little family of two grew by four paws a few weeks ago!! Meet Maisy! She is the most precious thing. We got her from the Animal Friends Humane Society! She was dumped in a dark cemetery and brought into the shelter. When we first met her, she wasn’t even ready for the adoption floor. She was so scared and timid and didn’t like the shelter life one bit. But, a few days passed and she warmed up to us! She has been the most perfect addition to our family. She loves cuddling on the couch and playing catch with her daddy! We are so in love!! 

This was her first day in her new home..She wasn't sure about it. 

This was yesterday! I think she has warmed up just fine ;)

Two things off the list. 28 to go! I’m so excited for the upcoming new year and I encourage you to get out and live. Life is way too short to just watch Netflix. (Although-This is Us…SO GOOD.)

xoxo Emily

Washington Park Engagement Session // Scott + Lauren

 She opened the door one evening and looked at her roommate and said, "Scott Hileman is a man I could see myself marrying"

No, she wasn’t dating Scott at the time but he was always such a good friend and was always there to listen. 

Scott left Lexington to go home the summer between their sophomore and Junior year. She had broken up with her previous boyfriend and decided to keep in contact with Scott.

Junior year rolled around and they stared hanging out with each other. Their group of friends would plan something and then ditch and it would end up being just the two of them. That was perfectly fine with them.

When they started dating they just knew. They knew they had found their person. 

Lauren and Scott, 

         The moment I met the two of you I could tell how much you loved each other. The look in your eye when you look at each other is so adorable. I’m so lucky to be your photographer and capture your amazing love! Can’t wait for the big day!

xoxo Emily 

Fernbank Park Engagement Session // Mike + Ali

It was the perfect summer evening to enjoy a night out with the girls. Ali and her two best friends decided to stop by a friend's house before going out. They walked in and Ali saw someone she had never met before. It was a very brief meeting and the girls went on their merry way. 

 A few weeks later, at the same friend's house, was their end of summer party. Mike looked out for her the entire evening. He even ended up meeting her family that night!

He kept in touch with her through social media and eventually asked her on a date. Their perfect first date consisted of LaRosa's pizza, going back to his mom's house to study, and watching Pirates of the Caribbean, the Black Pearl.

Each day they would learn more and more about each other. They realized how much they had in common. 

Ali said I love you first, though Mike claims he thought it first. The debate continues but one thing is for sure...these two are in love and there is no doubt about it!

Ali puts it this way, “He is my rock and solace as I am his. We are each other's best friends & every little struggle & adventure only makes us grow closer.
We are beyond excited to see what the future holds for us!”

Ali and Mike, 

It's simply amazing that you are so perfect for each other. What an amazing feeling it is to realize you found your soulmate. I can't wait to capture your sweet silly love on the big day!

xoxo Emily

Riverside Drive Engagement Session // Rob + Kristen

He was getting ready for the Friday night homecoming game with his teammates. It was a big game and he had to stay focused. But, he couldn't help but notice the girl on homecoming court, dressed in a beautiful dress, throwing a football. 

A week later,  he spotted her selling shirts during lunch. At that moment, he swore he would marry that girl.

He mustered up the nerve to ask her to be his girlfriend one evening after getting ice cream with friends. 

She said no. 

He turned around and awkwardly walked back into his house. 

Kristen got in her car, drove to get her sister, and immediately told her she thought she made a mistake. They turned the car around, drove back to his house, and she told him she would of course be his girlfriend.

They dated throughout high school and then it came time to choose colleges. They ended up choosing different universities and though it was difficult at times, they came out even stronger. After seven years of being together, a month after she graduated, he got down on one knee and asked her to marry him. 

Kristen puts it this way, "I love that he is super goofy and that he loves my family. He is the type of guy that can talk to anyone about anything and he comes from an amazing family. He is great at connecting to people and he reminds me of my grandpa."

Kristen and Rob ,

You guys are so inspiring. Your love is so obvious and God's love shines right through the two of you. What a blessing it is to have couples like you on this Earth. I can't wait for the big day! 

xoxo Emily

Ault Park Engagement Session // Stephen + Blake

He walked into the kids department of JCPenney and tried to blend in. He didn’t have kids, so really, it was impossible. Maybe he could convince her that it was just a coincidence that he happened to be in that section of the store. He had to see her. 

He met her on the first day of freshman year. He sat three seats behind her in English class. She was beautiful. 

“Hey! You stole my name!” She looked confused but when he explained that his middle name was Blake and her name was Blake, it made sense. From that day forward, he decided he wanted her around, even if they would just be friends. 

Fast forward to Junior year. Stephen decided to ask her on the first date. It would be simple, dinner and a basketball game. She was so impressed that he was such a gentleman. Their friends were surprised to see them together, but they all knew they liked each other. 

Blake puts it this way, “Stephen has been my rock through these last 9+ years. We always knew we wanted to be in a good spot before we got married, but marriage was always a discussion.” 

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The two got engaged on May 7th. It was like any other Saturday for Blake. He led her to a grill out at the barn. She had no idea he was going to propose since this happened often. But, with their families surrounding them, he got down on one knee and asked her for forever.

Stephen and Blake,

    You guys are seriously the cutest thing in the world. The natural excitement the two of you have when you're around each other is so amazing. You two are going to do amazing amazing things. I can’t wait for the big day!

xoxo Emily

Mama's Backyard Engagement Session// Chris + Krystal

The river was still and calming. The two sat side by side in his truck listening to music. 

Their favorite way to spend time together.

It’s the sweet quiet moments together that mean the most to them. 

They met unexpectedly when they both arrived at the ski slopes one afternoon in early 2011. She didn’t have much interest in him but eventually agreed to see a movie with him. 

It was that day they knew this was something special.

She puts it this way… “They say finding your soulmate doesn't set you on fire or cause butterflies, but instead it calms and eases your soul because you know you are safe. That's what it was.” 

They started dating two months after their first date. 

Five years later, he took her back to where he first asked her to be his girlfriend, only this time, he asked for forever.

“He is my rock, my best friend, and I can’t wait to see what adventure lies ahead.” 

Krystal and Chris, 

I love your sweet story and the way you two complete each other. Your love is so obvious and I can’t wait to capture more of that love on your wedding day! You two are an inspiration to many!

xoxo Emily

Vinoklet Winery Engagement Session // Justin + Sarah

Always a bridesmaid, never a bride. 

Wedding seasons came and went. All of Sarah’s friends found their someone special. She would get dressed up, hair curled, make up done for every wedding and always wonder when the right guy would come her way. 

Fall of 2014, her and her friends were sitting around a table at the local coffee shop when the idea of online dating came up. Her friend had used an app called “Coffee meets bagel” and she rolled her eyes and didn’t think twice about it.

As she was clicking through channels one evening, she saw that goofy app again on Shark Tank. Maybe it was legit...Maybe she could give it a try. Little did she know, the guy that would one day become her husband was watching the same episode of Shark Tank and decided he would give it a try, too! 

They matched on the app and decided to go to the Tavern for drinks. She slowly opened the restaurant door hoping they would click in person. She sat down with him and before she knew it-three hours had passed and they had talked and laughed the evening away. 

Their second date happened that very same week! She went to his house to watch the UC game and they’ve been watching the games together ever since! 

After the first date, they both deleted the app without telling each other. They both just knew.

Fast forward to May when Sarah was graduating with her masters degree. Justin had told her that he wanted to take her to her favorite winery for a graduation gift! She had been wanting to go and take him there. When they arrived, graduation parties and family get togethers crowded the winery. It started to rain here and there but that wasn’t stopping the plan. Justin got down on one knee that day and asked Sarah to be his wife. 

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Sarah will be a bride next May. Its finally her turn.

A silly app brought the two together and they couldn't have dreamed up a better ending.

 Justin,

I'm so glad you took a chance on Sarah. Your life will never be the same. I can't wait to see how your relationship with her grows. Thanks for taking good care of her and always making her feel special. She deserves every ounce of that. 

Sarah,

Thanks for being my best. Seventeen years ago we met and your friendship continues to mean the world to me. Life is happier, brighter, and so much more fun with you in it. I'm so happy you found your love. It makes me happy to see you happy. Love you Sar!

xoxo Em

 

 

Riverside Drive Engagement Session // John + Emily

She had the perfect plan for her life. 

When a guy walked into her life, she wasn’t expecting anything to change. He was nice and she was glad he was on staff, but he didn’t fit into that perfect plan she had created. 

He was persistent. He saw something in Emily that he wouldn’t give up on. He asked her on a date. She accepted. But, never committed to going. He never gave up. 9 months went by without a single date.

Out to lunch with a friend, the discussion of John came up and she spoke words that she couldn’t believe came out of her mouth. “I miss him.” 

“Whats holding you back?” her friend asked.

Whatever it was that was holding her back from taking a leap, disappeared in that moment. She was going to risk everything. She was going to say yes. 

A date to the movies and back home to talk the night hours away. She told him she would be his girl. If he asked, she would be his girl. 

The moment she dropped her perfectly crafted plan, God gave her a man with qualities she couldn’t hand pick herself. 

Three little months later, he took her to dinner, brought her home to a candle lit backyard, and asked her for forever. 

They just knew. 

It was always you.

Emily + John, 

You two are such an amazing picture of how God can change our hearts. You were made for each other and I'm so glad you found one another. I can't wait for the big day next year! God is going to do such amazing things through the two of you! 

xoxo Emily 

Twenty Five Years Together // The Deer Family

As they simultaneously opened the backseat doors of the Drivers Ed car that day, they couldn’t have ever dreamed up the amazing life they would share together. High school sweethearts in Buffalo, New York-still young and so in love. This year they celebrate twenty five years of marriage. Twenty five years of adventure, struggle, love, growth, and sacrifice. What an amazing story of two souls that found one another by chance. 

Dear Amy, 

    It seems utterly ridiculous to try and put into words how I feel about the sacrifices you’ve made, the love that you’ve given, and the way you’ve become the piece of this family puzzle that holds us together. These twenty five years have proved that love can endure through life’s hardest challenges.

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Dear Amy, 

     I’m not worthy. I’m not worthy to be your husband and yet you still walk this journey with me and support me. I’m not worthy to be called your husband, yet you choose to love me each and every day. 

Dear Amy, 

    I’m so thankful for this spiritual journey we’ve been able to walk in and grow together. When Hannah was born and we moved to Ohio, we found our purpose then. We would no longer be high school sweethearts. We would be called “Mommy” and “Daddy”. Life had new meaning now. I’m so thankful for your willingness be a Mother rooted in God’s love. 

Dear Amy, 

    You are the one whom my soul has found and loves. We built our house in 1999 and still reside in it and I owe that all to you. Your selfless act of staying home and making our house a home for our children is one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever witnessed. To put your career to the side to support our family means the world. 

Dear Amy, 

    As the kids have gotten older and we’ve found more time to be together, I am looking forward to more adventures with you. You are my best friend, my soul mate, and every other cheesy title I can tack on. 

Dear Amy, 

    I look back 25 years and I’m still in awe of what we’ve been through, the family we’ve created, and our love that still runs so deep. I look forward to the years to come and I’m not worthy, but I am so grateful and so thankful it was always you. 

Fred and Amy, 

Your story is inspiring. The sad truth about life today is that the idea of marriage lasting a lifetime is ridiculous. It doesn't happen anymore. People have disagreements, they divorce, and the love they once found is lost forever. You have proved that marriage can last. Your marriage is a gift to not only the two of you but to your kids, your friends, and the world. Thank you for beating all odds. Thank you for showing us an example of what God intended marriage to look like. I can't wait to see what you both do with the next 25. 

xoxo Emily 

 

 

 

 

Ault Park Proposal Session // David + Alex

They met online behind computer screens.

It didn’t take long for Alex and David to meet each other. They decided they would meet face to face at 50 West Brewery.

As Alex came walking up to the front, David saw her and couldn’t even remember how to use his legs. At first site, David fell off the step he was standing on & Alex giggled. 

They walked into 50 West and were surprised that the Brewery had been booked for a private party and there was no room for the two of them. They decided to head over to Keystone, instead.

During the date, Alex told David about her little Kora. This didn’t scare him at all. David told her about his sister being a wedding planner and wanting to plan his wedding! This didn’t scare Alex at all either! As the date came to an end, Alex went in for a hug and David went in for a hand shake. They both died laughing and left each other smiling ear to ear.

The next date didn’t end with a hug or a handshake. The next date ended with a kiss and they knew this was something worth fighting for.

 About a month into their relationship, David met Alex’s little girl, Kora. The three of them met at Ault park where David eventually surprised Alex and Kora and proposed! Kora, David, and David’s dog hit it off immediately. The rain didn’t stop them and they played soccer together!

Alex puts it this way, “That pretty much sealed the deal and Kora and I fell in love with David. He really is the sweetest guy in the entire world. He works so hard and does SO much. We are so lucky."

David decided it was time to make Alex his wife. He wanted to completely surprise her! He had contacted me to do a session with them at Ault Park and planned to turn that family session into a proposal session! 

Not only did David propose at Ault park, later that night He took Alex to Keystone for a drink and then went back to 50 West for a “special brewery tour”. Alex quickly realized that this tour wasn’t a tour at all. All of their friends and family surprised her and the tour turned into a surprise birthday and engagement party! 

After he slid the engagement ring on Alex’s finger that day, he looked at Kora and gave her a sweet little necklace. He softly whispered to her, “You know how we always say 'Ohana means family'? Kora, will you be in mine?” 

David and Alex,

   Thank you so much for trusting me to document this amazing moment for the three of you. You both are such wonderful role models for Kora. I just adore that sweet little sassy gal and she is so lucky to have the both of you! I can’t wait to see how your family grows in the future and what amazing things the three of you will do! 

         xoxo Emily

Mt. Adams Engagement Session // Justin + Logan

“No matter what you do, don’t interview Hucke.” 

Butterflies filled her belly as she opened the door to the coffee shop. As a new member of a business fraternity at Miami University, she was required to practice her interview skills on a senior. She was a sophomore at the time- so this task seemed a little daunting. All she could hear were the voices in her head that reminded her, “Don’t interview Hucke. Don’t interview Hucke.” 

She interviewed Justin Hucke. 

Curiosity struck and she wanted to find out why everyone was telling her not to meet with him. 

She puts the interview like this, “We met at Starbucks, where I quickly realized why many people were intimated by him - he was blunt, to the point, and didn't seem interested in talking to some sophomore at 9am on a Tuesday morning...that is, until I told him that I was studying abroad in Asia over the winter term. His eyes lit up. Justin had studied abroad in China/Korea the previous summer and was in love with the Chinese language, culture, and food. The rest of our conversation was centered around his advice for being successful and enjoying my trip to Asia.”

The weeks following the interview, Justin and Logan continued to see each other at social events and in between classes with their group of friends. Justin was persistent in keeping up with their conversations via text and Logan was a little unsure about it. She even texted her mom one day and said, "This guy keeps texting me but I really don't think I like him!" 

That didn’t last long. 

Justin was so intriguing and pursuing. Each time they hung out they grew closer and closer in their similarities. Logan finally caved and that was the best decision of her life. 

Logan explains their relationship like this, “Justin truly is my "person" - we are the absolute best of friends and have begun to build a beautiful life together! We share so many of the same viewpoints - from politics, to how we want to raise our future children, to how we want to live our daily lives. We also share so many of the same interests (pandas, Starbucks, politics, Jeopardy/Wheel of Fortune, frozen yogurt, sight-seeing, traveling, good Mexican food, sushi, naps, and so many other things!”

Justin is her person. If she had decided not to take the risk to chat with Justin that day, who knows where life would have led her. 

Everyone might be saying “don’t”…but who knows what could happen if you “do”.

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Justin & Logan, 

You guys are so much fun to be around. Thanks for bringing so much joy to my evening. You rocked your session like pros. I can't wait for the real party!! 

xoxo emily 

The Farmhouse at Ormsby Temecula Wedding - Michael + Haley

The high school teacher yelled their names out loud over the class. Michael and Haley would work together on this group project. She rolled her eyes because she already knew what was coming. Michael would be sitting back and she would be the one taking charge of the project. Michael may have not done much work on that particular project but he got to work on something else up his sleeve shortly after. Michael was bound and determined to make Haley his girl. 

Their date started out like any other date. They sat, side by side, at the local cinema and talked for what seemed like hours. They got lost in conversation and eventually realized the movie had never started. 

They took the date back to his house and hoped for better luck. Michael, who didn’t often spend time in the kitchen, decided it might be nice to show off his “skills” and cook Haley dinner. How hard could it be? 

The pasta was undercooked but Haley ate it all up. Michael had worked so hard on it! After a movie that never started and a bowl full of undercooked pasta, they were inseparable.

Haley and Michael got married on September 9th in the backyard of a farmhouse in Temecula, California. Time slipped away that morning, as it sometimes does, and their planned first look never happened. The moment they would see each other would now take place as Haley walked down the aisle. Their little girl, Reagan, rode into the ceremony on the most adorable white wagon. Once she had made her way down the aisle, it was time for Haley’s entrance. As she locked arms with her daddy, Haley turned the corner, into the ceremony, and Michael’s jaw dropped. The rest of the day Michael couldn’t stop telling her how beautiful she was. 

The night brought a breeze as the two families threw the couple a huge party. Tacos were devoured, cupcakes were smashed, and Haley & Michael’s friends and family surrounded them on the dance floor. They ended the night running down an aisle full of fireworks. September 9th was one for the books!

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Michael and Haley,

   Thank you for choosing me to tell your story. I am so grateful that you chose me to be behind the camera on the biggest day of your life. No matter what comes your way, you have each other. Hold on tight! This life will bring its challenges, but I have no doubt that you two will conquer everything that comes your way, hand in hand. 

                                    xoxo Emily 

A special thanks to the amazing team that made this amazing day possible: 

Venue // The Farmhouse at Ormsby

Hair // Victoria Love 

Makeup // Kimberly Maldonado

DJ // "DJ Tony" Anthony Hernandez 

Florist + Cake // Vons 

Dress designer // Vera Wang 

Bridesmaid Dresses // Davids Bridal 

Mens Attire // Men's Warehouse

Catering // The Taco Man 

Second Shooter // Shana Wells 

 

Growing Old With my Clients

You may notice other photos on my site, social media, and my blog that aren’t wedding photos. To some, that may look a bit different than the typical wedding photographer. For some, that may even be the deciding factor in their decision on a wedding photographer. I’d love to share my thoughts on why I take on other sessions. 

Its as simple as this- I want to grow old with my clients.

….& my hubby of course too (: I don’t want to deliver photos to the bride and groom and shake their hands and say “nice knowin' ya". Thats not my vibe and that doesn’t fit my WHY behind this business. When I take you on as a client, I take you on as a friend. A close close friend that deserves my camera & my images for the rest of their life moments. One of the biggest compliments you can give me as a wedding photographer is to continue to work with me beyond your wedding day. 

Let me share a sweet story with you where I got to grow old with a client and her name is Maggie. 

On October 14, 2015 I met Maggie and Wes in California for our first session, a couple’s session! They were married with two kiddos and had never had photos taken before! I jumped at the opportunity to start to tell their story through professional photographs. They were sending Wes off on a deployment and these photos were able to give Maggie something to hold onto and look at while he was away. 

On February 18th, Brody turned one! She knew she wanted to capture the moment when her son smashed his very first birthday cake. He didn’t love the cake, the feeling, or the fact that everyone was looking at him, but he had a few bites & his big sister took over. It was priceless. 

On August 1, I got a call to head to the hospital, the THIRD kiddo was on his way! Once I arrived, the room was crazy-exactly as you would expect a hospital room to be with two kiddos and a baby! I felt so happy and excited when I walked in. The emotions, how big Brody had gotten, how sweet Kallie was with her brand new baby brother. I wouldn’t have missed that moment for the world! 

It’s important to me that your life and your story is shared…beyond your special day. As an Emily Rochelle bride, you have me for life. Lets grow old together. Lets continue to paint your beautiful story each and every year! Lets capture how stunningly beautiful you are with your huge pregnant belly, the tear that falls down your face when you hold your sweet new baby in your arms, the change over time as your family grows each year. I want to be your life photographer. I can’t wait to see where that life takes you next.

Downtown Cincinnati Engagement Session: Jeff + Morgan

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The Disney loving girl could not find her prince charming. 

Some had the looks, some had the faith, some had the humor, but none with the full package.  They came and they went.

One day, Morgan's mom gets a text message with photo of a guy her co-worker's husband worked with. A Christian?, an athlete? A servant's heart? Blue eyes?

Maybe he would be somebody worth meeting.

She was on her way to her best friend's wedding (that would be ME) as she was getting these photos and she felt like there was just something about this guy and she HAD to meet him. You can tell a lot from a smile, and his was made her go crazy waiting to meet him! 

She bugged her mom for two weeks for an update on what this Jeff guy was doing, why wasn't he reaching out to me, and if liked her picture. Maybe this was nothing

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My last night in Ohio before moving to California was spent with my bestie. We cried and cried and ate way too many cookies and all of a sudden we heard a facebook notification. Jeff had reached out to Morgan and was hoping to meet her soon! Facebook turned into texting, which finally led to him inviting her to play sand volleyball with him. They stayed until midnight just sitting and talking. Finally- someone who had a lot of everything she was looking for.

Finally-something that felt right.

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February 12, 2016-just a normal day in Morgan's second grade classroom-Jeff paraded into her classroom and got down on one knee in front of 25 eight year olds. Everyone screamed and she said YES! She wasn't sure if the kids were more excited that she had a "Beyoncé" (fiancé) or that the spelling test he interrupted was cancelled. 

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Morgan puts it like this, "Jeff just gets it he knows me, knows my passions, my loves, my dislikes, my hurts, he gets me. He's the kindest person I have ever met. He has been through more in his thirty years than many experience In a lifetime, but he has held onto his faith, the faith that leads me closer to Jesus everyday and has completely opened my eyes to what it is for something to just be "right".  He has given me a challenge in pursuing God in a way I never have before. I am so honored that he chose me to be his forever!"

Jeff,

You have stolen my best friend's heart and I'm so thankful you did. You make her smile more, laugh more, and love more. She means the world to me and I wouldn't just let her be with ANYONE (I made that very clear throughout the years!) Thank you for taking care of her, being patient with her, caring for her, and loving her deeply. 

Morgan, 

I can't type anything without going way overboard, getting emotional, and messing up all my words. So i'm just going to say this...I love you bestie. 

3 things I learned in my first year of marriage

1 | Don't stay awake angry.

Everyone always said "don't go to sleep angry". Right-thats important- but what about the other 16 hours you're awake?! You have to handle your issues right away and don't let them last too long! Josh and I always make it a point to settle disagreements ASAP. When we feel it coming on-we stop everything, grab the icing & graham crackers (this really happened once), and figure it out. Time is so important in a marriage and its such a waste to be upset with each other for longer than the argument itself. This has been such a freeing thing for us. We don't spend our days angry, upset, hurt, or confused. Life is too short to be angry. Kiss and make up. Quickly.

2 | Do finances together. 

Yes. Together. Josh and I took Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University together this year (more on that later). The big underlining principle is to do finances TOGETHER each month. I tend to be the math geek in the relationship but Josh is very much apart of our monthly budget. Making this a team effort, we have been able to pay off thousands of student loans and live comfortably. You hear it all the time-money is what people fight over most. If you do it together and everyone is on the same page-that completely removes you from the possibility of constant argument over spending and budgets. It ain't rocket science, y'all.

3 | Give and you shall receive 

One of the most important lessons I learned as a newlywed is to let go of my own desires and focus on caring for Josh. WHAT. Yes. When you let go of yourself and your husband/wife takes over caring for your dreams, your goals, your needs, its such a beautiful thing. We simply focus on making each other happy and our home is filled with happiness! 

No-Josh and I don't have it all together and we don't have it all figured out. But, our first year wasn't hard & it wasn't full of anger or loneliness. It was spent together-making memories. When God is the foundation of your life and your marriage-he blesses you in ways you didn't know existed.

I married up. I hope you will too! (: 

Rentschler Park Engagement Session: Mallorie + Chris

They were practically babies when they first met! She was in 8th grade-he a freshman. 

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 Engaged couple at Rentschler Park in Hamilton, Ohio.
 Engaged couple kissing on bridge at a park.

They were best friends all throughout high school and finally started dating her senior year!

She admits to putting him in the friend zone throughout all her years of high school but puts it this way: "He was always there for me and a great friend even when I didn't always deserve it. He is still that way. I don't know what I did to deserve him." 

 Engaged couple holding hands in front of stone building.
 Engaged couple at barn.

They went to Chattanooga, TN and went on a tour of Ruby Falls-a small indoor beautiful waterfall. A mile hike through caverns led them to the waterfall where he took her in front of the entire group and asked her to spend forever with him.

The ring was a perfect fit and so was he. 

 Couple nose to nose and smiling at a park in Hamilton, Ohio.
 Couple kissing on steps that say love.

Mallorie and Chris, you guys make me smile. As a military wife, I know how hard it is to be long distance and anyone who can survive years apart are gold in my book. I can't wait for you to finally experience some normalacy and finally be together! I can't wait for your big day! 

Eden Park Engagement Session : Josh + Maria

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He had his eye on the girl who transferred to Cincinnati Christian school during her junior year of high school. 

 Couple kissing on a bridge in Cincinnati, Ohio

She was pretty stubborn though, but he was determined. He wasn't about to let that girl slip away.

 Couple holding their wedding hashtag sign with matching chucks.

A year went by and Josh continued to pursue her but she wasn't having it! She wasn't interested in being anything more than friends. Josh never ever gave up.

 Couple dipping in front of the cincinnati skyline.
 Engaged couple looking at each other,

She felt really comfortable around him and they became good friends very quickly. He finally won the girl of his dreams over senior year of high school. She puts it this way: "I always say that he won me over when I realized he was pursuing me like Jesus pursues us. Despite my stubbornness and having a very independent personality, he was patient, kind, and caring. During some hard times he softened my heart and I realized that relying on someone else and becoming vulnerable wasn't going against being independent." 

 Engagement ring in chucks shoes.
 Couple looking at each other at Eden Park in Cincinnati, Ohio.

The stubborn girl gave in senior year of high school and it was the best decision she ever made. Josh was persistent and had his eye on the prize and wasn't backing down! They can't wait to collect more shoes, marry each other, and ultimately do life together (: 

 Couple dancing in front of a building at Eden park.

Josh and Maria, you two are so stinking cute its unbelievable. I'm so glad you chose me to capture the sweet moments between the two of you. Josh-I'm still honored to have photographed someone who was 7ft. tall. Thanks for that ;) I can't wait to celebrate your love next year! Its going to be a day to remember!! -Em