DG Photography: Blog http://www.dg-photography.us/blog en-us (C) DG Photography info@dg-photography.us (DG Photography) Tue, 10 Oct 2017 16:19:00 GMT Tue, 10 Oct 2017 16:19:00 GMT http://www.dg-photography.us/img/s/v-5/u222045119-o250108568-50.jpg DG Photography: Blog http://www.dg-photography.us/blog 120 80 Family Session Outfits | The 3 Key Elements to Designing a Creative Look You'll Love http://www.dg-photography.us/blog/2017/10/family-session-outfits-the-3-key-elements-to-designing-a-creative-look-youll-love Hey ya’ll! So it's officially that time of year...the time when you're panicking because the days are getting shorter, the weather is getting cooler, and your window to capture this stage of your family's life is officially getting smaller and smaller.  

So maybe you've already booked your session and maybe you haven't.  BTW, if you' haven't we still have a few spots in the Styled Sessions with Everyday Beauty Co. on October 21st and it is going to SO. MUCH. FUN.  You can find more details about those sessions here. Anyway, so you have your session booked, and now you realize you have the perhaps overwhelming task of figuring out what in the world everyone's going to wear.  I usually get questions about what to wear so I *finally* sat down and thought about what makes a great look for family photos.  And because I'm not a big fan of micro-managing and telling people exactly what to wear because I think fashion is such a fun extension of personal style (and I don't want to tread on yours and make it just like mine because it's part of what makes you YOU), I broke it down into concepts and tips and elements to think about as you create your look rather than "wear this and this and this." So here is what you need know about putting together outfits for your family, whether your kids are two and four or you have five kids in their teens and twenties, or you're doing a session with your grandbabies (how fun is it that one of our Styled Session was booked by grandparents for photos with their grandbabies!) .  ANYWAY...There are three major components to creating a collective look that you’ll love:  

 

COLOR PALETTE

TEXTURES & PATTERNS

ACCESSORIES & LAYERING.  

 

Let me break it down for you and explain each of the different elements in detail.

 

COLOR PALETTE

Let’s start with color palette.  I recommend choosing at least two or three base colors to use as your foundation.  Start with one person’s outfit and begin building your color palette there.  It’s a good idea to just pay attention to what colors you love when you start.  Don’t overcomplicate it and think too much about the big picture when you’re choosing your color palette.  Nail down what you love about the colors of that one outfit, and build from there.  After you’ve picked your two to three base colors, I recommend branching off into complimentary tones for the rest of your outfits.  Think about paint swatches and how you often have a lot of colors in the same family.  Don’t try to match your base tones exactly.  Instead go for complimentary tones that are in the same family as your base colors, but perhaps a lot lighter or darker than your actual base color.  The goal is to have a lot of tonal diversity within a fairly tight color palette of two to four base colors.  One tiny diversion I highly recommend: It can be fun to add one well-coordinated "wild color" into the mix to add interest.  This can work without being overwhelming when you use great textures to balance it out, which brings me to my next component of creating your look...

 

TEXTURES & PATTERNS

Well chosen textures, patterns, and fabrics are truly what will take your outfit choices and color palette from good to great.  Fabric texture and pattern are a big deal.  

Let’s start with texture.  Here are a couple of examples to explain what I mean about fabric texture: soft flowy dresses; highly structured suits; a lace tunic; thick, comfy oversized sweaters; semi-structured button down shirts; fluffy faux-fur vests; soft and thick plaid button-down shirts; dark and fitted classic jeans; worn-in style jeans with knee rips; a tweed jacket with arm patches …the list could go on and on.  The point is, these fabrics all evoke a different feeling.  A suit instantly brings the class to a portrait, while a flowy floral dress makes a portrait feel inviting and accessible.  You want a combination of fabric textures to make your collective family look interesting and engaging.  Mixing soft or flowing fabrics with structured and stronger fabrics photographs fantastically, and I highly recommend it.  I do not recommend putting everyone in a similar texture (for instance, everyone wears a button down shirt).  Even if the colors are perfect, it’s a bit boring because there’s no textural interest.

 

Now let’s talk about pattern!  I LOVE to see a great splash of bold pattern within a family’s outfit choice.  Here’s an idea for how to incorporate pattern without feeling too overwhelmed: When you’re choosing your first outfit from which to build the rest of the family’s look, make it a strong pattern and pull the colors from the pattern as your base colors.  If you’re the only female in your family, or you’re even one of two of the only females in your family, it’s a great idea for this pattern to be your outfit (but not a must of course).  I’m loving the current floral craze (or is it just me who’s obsessed?! ;p) so picking out a floral dress or skirt for yourself can be a fun way to start building outfits for the rest of your tribe.  Don’t be afraid to incorporate more than just one pattern into your family’s look.  Bring in a second and third more understated pattern to compliment the look.  If you feel like the secondary patterns might be a touch bold, throw a solid colored jacket or vest over it so you just have a bit of pattern peeking out to add interest.  Which brings me to my third category for creating a collective look for your family that you’ll love...

 

ACCESSORIES & LAYERING

Accessories.  Ya’ll, accessories are the bomb dot com.  Statement heels, suspenders, hats, bold necklaces, vests, bowties, headbands, scarves, big earrings, you-name-it.  Accessories add interest and are a great way to bring more texture into your look.  I have yet to see an over-accesorized family so please feel free to go crazy.  Maybe don’t all wear hats or the exact same accessories, but incorporating one or two fun things into every person’s outfit isn’t overkill.   Add that jacket, cardigan, or belt to layer, and you’ll be good to go.

 

 

OTHER LITTLE TIPS

One simple thing to stay away from when dressing the fam is tennis shoes (think shoes that look like they belong on a runner or athlete or someone about to do a workout).  I know they’re comfy and everyone’s favorite, but it’s usually best if they aren’t invited to your photo shoot.  It won’t hurt their feelings if it’s just this once. ;)  The one exception I’d make for this is if you’re going for a sort of urban grunge feel and a leather jacket is involved.  Or if, you know, you own your own tennis shoe line.  Then you get a pass. 

 

Another tip, especially if you have older kids that are similarly sized, is to make sure not every single person wears jeans, or if you do at least try to break it up with colors/washes/wears/styles that coordinate well.  Or just be sure to add lots of layers and accessories to keep the collective look engaging.

 

And because visuals are the best help of all, I threw together a quick Pinterest board of family session outfits done well to get your creative juices flowing and to help inspire you to create a look that you love for your family!  

 

PINTEREST INSPIRATION BOARD

 

One other note that’s specifically for those who’ve signed up for the styled session that Everyday Beauty Co and I are holding on October 21st is this:  Be thoughtful of the space when you’re planning your outfits.  It is GORGEOUS and so many looks will photograph splendidly here, but there’s a couple of things that might not look quite right in the space because of it’s aesthetic:  Bold and rich colors are fantastic, but stay away from fluorescents and overly bright fresh colors and styles…things like lime green, bright aqua blues, hot fluorescent pinks, etc won’t look great in the space.  Instead go for deep forest greens, soft and muted light blues, deep wine colors or soft vintage colored pinks.   Pastels will look great.  Jewel tones will be stunning.  Fall colors will look fantastic.  Darks tones and light neutrals will be gorgeous.  Mainly just nothing that looks like it belongs in a fluorescent and balmy 'welcome spring' catalog.

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info@dg-photography.us (DG Photography) lifestyle portraits little ones portraits http://www.dg-photography.us/blog/2017/10/family-session-outfits-the-3-key-elements-to-designing-a-creative-look-youll-love Tue, 10 Oct 2017 12:36:25 GMT
Caroline | Senior | Worthington Christian http://www.dg-photography.us/blog/2017/9/caroline-senior-worthington-christian Awhile ago I got to have this stunning 2018 senior in front of my lens, and what a fun evening it was!  After we met for her consultation, I was struck by the way Caroline carries herself with a unique poise and self-assuredness.  Taking her portraits was nothing short of delightful, and I'm so excited to share this little peek into her session! Crushing pretty hard on this darling bike/dress/floral crown ensemble! 
^ One of my favs! ^ Caroline, it was such an honor to capture this sweet season of life for you!  


 

SPECIAL THANKS:

 

HAIR & MAKEUP | Tonya Kauffman

FLORAL CROWN | Roxanne Yoder

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info@dg-photography.us (DG Photography) portraits seniors http://www.dg-photography.us/blog/2017/9/caroline-senior-worthington-christian Fri, 01 Sep 2017 16:12:20 GMT
Jordan & Elizabeth | New York City Wedding Portraits | Brooklyn Bridge Park & Jane's Carousel http://www.dg-photography.us/blog/2017/7/jordan-elizabeth-new-york-city-wedding-portraits-brooklyn-bridge-park-janes-carousel Oh guys.  To say I have been excited to share this set of portraits with you would be a understatement of epic proportions!  Shooting in NYC was a dream come true, and to do be able to photograph not just any couple, but two people who are so very special to my heart made this gift feel completely over the top.  Have I mentioned lately that God is just appallingly generous?  I get all teary and humbled and in-a-puddle thinking about it.  Without further ado, check out two of my favorite humans in all of their stunningness below.  (...and yes, I just made up the word "stunningness") These photographs were made the day after Jordan & Elizabeth’s wedding.  Because of the location of their venue in Long Island and their wedding day schedule, there was no way to get portraits at the Brooklyn Bridge Park on the actual day of their nuptials, so we met the following evening about an hour before sunset.  The Brooklyn Bridge Park area holds so many of their significant memories, from sitting on the rocks by the water and chatting when they were first getting to know each other to Jordan’s epic sunset proposal.  It would have been so wrong not to come back to their little spot in the city, and I'm SO glad they made the effort for these portraits!  
"Just Married" looks awfully good on these two. 
Obsessed with the back of Elizabeth's dress!
You just can't beat a classic, black-tie vibe for groom portraits.  New fav! ...and Elizabeth killed it (as per usual)!  The camera loves this girl.
Love this one! *little photographer sidenote* While I had initially been hoping for traditional pretty sunset photos, I think God just understood what we really needed and gave us something better – overcast skies and a bit of fog.  I LOVE the hazy look of fog in portraits.  I’d been to this spot two years before on a weekend evening at sunset and this area looked nothing like it did the night we did Jordan & Elizabeth’s photos.  It was packed with people hanging out and wandering the boardwalk (which is a photographer’s nightmare when you’re trying to shoot for location).  I remember trying to get one photo that evening without random strangers in the backround and it was a challenge.  The overcast skies and mostly empty boardwalk were a gift straight from Jesus.  The perfect fog hovering just above the city skyline without obscuring it was Him just showing off. ;)
...the real them! ;p  Adore these two!
Night photos, I like you.  We should hang out more often.
Lady Liberty in the distance... Love the sentimentality of the shot above.  Jordan and Elizabeth had the coolest first dance and this was one of the moves from it.  It was Jordan's idea to do the pose and I love how it turned out. ...sooooo, I knew there was NO way I was going to be able to fit all of their wedding day photos AND these portraits into one blog post because blog size restrictions (boo!), so their WEDDING DAY blog post is still coming!  Until then, if you dig wedding day slideshows I highly recommend you check theirs out here!  

JORDAN & ELIZABETH'S WEDDING DAY SLIDESHOW

P.S. BIG thank you to Rachel of C&R Creative Studios for second shooting their wedding day with me!  

 

FLORAL DESIGN | Dream Flower Shop

GOWN | Lotus Bridal

GROOM'S ATTIRE | Foresto Tuxedo

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info@dg-photography.us (DG Photography) brides love stories weddings http://www.dg-photography.us/blog/2017/7/jordan-elizabeth-new-york-city-wedding-portraits-brooklyn-bridge-park-janes-carousel Wed, 19 Jul 2017 10:38:05 GMT
TJ & Maggie | Wedding | Nationwide Hotel & Conference Center http://www.dg-photography.us/blog/2017/7/tj-maggie-wedding-nationwide-hotel-conference-center TJ & Maggie said their "I do's" just a little over three weeks ago, and I've been so excited to share this little peek into their wedding day! As usual, the day started with photographing the little details, and Maggie's sparkly and sophisticated blush and gold details had me at hello. Maggie's namesake is her grandmother Margaret.  This gold, engraved "M" ring was hers before it was passed down to Maggie.
Such a sweet moment when her father saw her in her dress! Maggie was quite possibly the most thoughtful bride ever.  She'd had gifts and notes for her parents, her maid-of-honor, and her mother-in-law.   
Reading TJ's note to her...
 ...and opening the gift he gave her (a photo of the two of them)! First Look! This was such an incredibly sweet moment.  He was losing it, so she was losing it...and this is why I loved wedding days so much.
Love this color palette!
 Maggie was an absolute vision!
 Looking dapper!
 How adorable is little Jack?!
Taking the trolley?  It's more fun.  The bridal party was chauffeured to the church and back in this fabulous mode of transportation. Overcome again when she walked down the aisle... The new Mr. & Mrs. Miller! TJ's brother Shaun was his best man.  If you know Shaun, you won't be surprised that during his speech he had everyone cracking up, but he also honored TJ for the quiet and sacrificial ways that he has been there for the people in his life and impressed how deeply impactful TJ's sacrifices have been.  Shaun's sincere gratitude for who TJ is as a person was evident, specifically as he spoke of the the ways TJ had been there for him as he battled cancer over the past year.  The little practical ways we show up for people end up being the really big things that make the difference in someone else's life.  Shaun honored TJ so well for the ways he has been a quiet hero.   We sneaked outside for a few photos with that perfect bit of last evening light.  First dance as Mr. and Mrs. (and dying just a little over the shot below)! Father/daughter dance!
Congrats you two!  Such an honor to photograph your day!

 

SECOND PHOTOPHAPHER | Jessica Photography

FLORALS | The Flowerman 

VENUE | Nationwide Hotel & Conference Center

 

 

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info@dg-photography.us (DG Photography) brides love stories weddings http://www.dg-photography.us/blog/2017/7/tj-maggie-wedding-nationwide-hotel-conference-center Mon, 03 Jul 2017 12:51:20 GMT
Keith & Roxanne | In Sun & Rain http://www.dg-photography.us/blog/2017/6/keith-roxanne-in-sun-rain If these two aren't the cutest, I dunno what is...

It's almost the end of June now and over coffee the other day, Roxanne and I were reminiscing and I asked her when she and Keith actually met.  Get this...it was barely a year ago.  June-ish of last year.  They MET.  Ya'll, God can work miracles practically overnight, and you can find yourself blissfully catapulted into a whole new season JUST LIKE THAT.  In HIS time.  Seeing these two walking this fun and joy-filled season is so encouraging.  It's easy to feel like there's a lot of "not yets" in life, and I'm just reminded all over again that God doesn't take a vacation from being God.  He's always who He is, and whether we see it, believe it or are expectantly hoping for it or not, He is up to stuff, cleverly weaving our little life thread into His grand story.  That's great news on days when hope levels are low, and our perseverance feels like it's stretched a bit thin.

So back to Keith and Roxanne... They first met at church, and wound up in the same small group.  They connected immediately and talked often.  Four-five months in, their ability to NOT think about the other person was becoming increasingly challenging.  There's nothing quite like when you first start to figure out that you are falling in love to make you feel like you might be losing your formerly very rational mind. In the interest of full disclosure, they did have some hurdles to overcome to even start dating.  Not that you'd ever know it or even guess it, but there's a bit of an age gap between these two.  Before they started dating, they both needed to process a bit before realizing that their age difference simply didn't matter at all.  The most important things, like where they were at in their individual walks with the Lord, was scary awesome similar.  That's a bit rare, and they were wise enough to know that, so they jumped.  Because that's what you do when God puts someone utterly wonderful and completely surprising in your path.  You say 'yes' and things you thought mattered - they fade away so quickly that you wonder how you ever considered them a hurdle at all.
If you know Roxanne at all (she's a floral designer), then you know it's no surprise that she showed up at their engagement session with a gorgeous basket full of peonies, which of course delighted my little photographer heart to no end.
Have I mentioned that it makes me just so happy to see these two so happy?  
^ THIS ^

...this is the magic that happens when you have sunshine and rain at the same time.  In the words of William Paul Young, I think God is especially fond of these two.

Can we take a quick sec to talk about Roxanne's engagement ring?!  I love that it's a pearl!

So wanna know what was going on behind the scenes for these shots?  We were just sure (based on weather apps), that the sprinkling rain was going to be stopping anytime...but it just kept raining...and turned from sprinkling into POURING.  These two were SUCH champs about it too.  We'd wanted to get some shots inside the gazebo, so we decided to go get those while we waited for the rain to subside. ...and of course they rocked these too.
Every once in awhile, a photo will happen and it will evoke this feeling that reminds me of something true.  The photo above is one of those.  As soon as I saw it in post-processing, I was reminded of something Ann Voskamp says in The Broken Way.  She says that "love is a roof."  Truth is, Roxanne was fighting a cough that night, Keith was drenched, and sometimes life isn't anything like you expect it to be.  And when it isn't, sometimes, often times, most times, you just need someone to be a shelter for you.  "Love is a roof" and these two are that for one other in a hundred practical little ways already.   Coffee to the rescue, the evening came to a close on a warmer (and drier) note.     ^ another favorite ^    Love this custom engraved journal that Roxanne had given Keith when they were dating. Congrats guys!  So fun to have you in front of my lens and so very excited for August!

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info@dg-photography.us (DG Photography) brides engagements love stories http://www.dg-photography.us/blog/2017/6/keith-roxanne-in-sun-rain Sat, 24 Jun 2017 11:15:25 GMT
Jonathan & Tammie's Midwest Lakeside Wedding http://www.dg-photography.us/blog/2017/6/jonathan-tammies-midwest-lakeside-wedding Jon & Tammie tied the knot just a little over two weeks ago and I'm beyond thrilled to be sharing this little peek into their special day!  Jon and Tammie are both from the midwest with only an hour and a half drive separating them.  However, as fate would have it, they first met one another in faraway Thailand.  Go figure, eh?  Though they met in Thailand, it was several years before their casual acquaintance morphed into a serious relationship.  They started dating and though I'm sure they'd be the first to tell you things weren't perfect, Tammie expressed how completely different Jon was from anyone she'd ever met.  This relationship was simply RIGHT, and it led them to this wonderful Friday evening in June when they promised to love each other for a lifetime.  Enjoy this little stroll through the memories of their day! Tammie chose a romantic color palette of light blue with soft pastel pink accents. Getting ready...
 First Look! Crushing on this lovely bouquet by Root Design Company!
Tammie, you are just so very lovely! How cute are they?! Floral Confession:  As a general rule, I'm a lover of color in bouquets, but these bridesmaids' arrangements made a strong case for all white florals with greenery.  Stunning!  I LOVED them! Love the shot above.  I usually photograph this floral/shoe/dress detail shot a tiny bit wide and then crop it in post-processing to just showcase the details, but I couldn't resist leaving this one a little wider to keep Tammie and her two sisters' expressions (on either side of her).  Felt like a classic sister humor moment and who doesn't love those?! ;)
One of the things that came up repeatedly during speech time at the reception was how gifted Tammie is at relating to children, which deepened my appreciation for this moment that had happened earlier in the day.
Jon keeps Tammie laughing...as you can see...
 CLASSIC...and too funny not to share. ;p Sunset...
At dusk, Jon and Tammie headed out on...*wait for it*
...a BOAT!!!
Jon and Tammie, congratulations!  I was so honored to photograph your day!

 

2ND PHOTOGRAPHER | Tiffany Reiff Photo + Design

FLORAL DESIGN | Root Design Company

VIDEOGRAPHY | 714 Media Productions

 

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info@dg-photography.us (DG Photography) brides love stories weddings http://www.dg-photography.us/blog/2017/6/jonathan-tammies-midwest-lakeside-wedding Tue, 20 Jun 2017 18:24:57 GMT
Richy & Alyson's Wedding Celebration | The Pinnacle | Grove City, Ohio http://www.dg-photography.us/blog/2017/6/richy-alyson-wedding-celebration-the-pinnacle-grove-city-ohio Oh, guys...I'm just beyond excited to share this stunner of a wedding with you today.  Richy and Alyson's day was lovely in every sense of the word, from every thoughtful detail that Alyson had meticulously seen to in advance, to the moment when they were standing in front of one another doing their best to hold their emotions in check in front of their friends and families as they promised each other a lifetime of unconditional love.  Lovely - all of it!
Alyson and Richy chose The Pinnacle in Grove City, Ohio as the backdrop for their wedding celebration...and what a lovely canvas this venue is for a wedding day! Alyson's long time friend Chen was her *man* of honor! Alyson gifted her bridesmaids with these cute robes! Alyson's mother helped her into her dress... Alyson was an absolute vision in her stunning gown from White of Dublin.
HOW FUN is this bridesmaid (+ man of honor) reveal?!   Love this shot of Alyson!

Toasting to the groom! (...yes, in case you were wondering, I'm shamelessly digging classic black and white vibes for groomsmen photos.)

Alyson surprised Richy with this beautiful watch.

Oh, you know, just Richy casually killing it during his groom portraits...NBD. Can we just take a moment to note that Alyson created this beautiful calligraphy welcome sign herself?!  Told ya this bride saw to every single detail. ;) The big moment... During vows...easily my favorite moment of the day.  I love it so much, and it reminds me of how Richy proposed.  He'd had the ring for a few weeks, but one day they were in the middle of an argument and I love that instead of planning this big Pinterest-perfect proposal, he did something much more courageous, meaningful and significant:  

He moved towards Alyson while they were in the middle of a disagreement...and proposed right in the middle of what felt like a relational mess.  Isn't that exceptional, and doesn't that say something incredible about the love they share?  It's easy to extend love when we agree with others.  It is much harder to commit to keeping your heart open to connection with someone when you disagree with them.  ...and he did, and they are, and instead of proposing when everything was perfect, he proposed when it wasn't.  I love that so much because it means that they know love isn't always easy, and they are ready to love each other through the hard moments, and it makes THIS moment, the one where they vowed each other forever, deeply powerful.

The new Mr. & Mrs. Zhelezny!
First dance as Mr. & Mrs. Congrats Richy and Alyson!  It was such an honor to witness your day!

SECOND PHOTOGRAPHER | Mindy Danelle

VENUE | The Pinnacle Golf Club

FLORAL DESIGN | Madison House Designs

CAKE | Cakes by Cecile

HAIR & MAKEUP | Madison Mikl

VIDEOGRAPHY | Andrew E. Weber

INVITATION SUITE | Ink & Ivory

BRIDAL BOUTIQUE | White of Dublin

DJ | Josh Staley Productions

BRIDESMAID’S DRESSES | Wendy’s Bridal

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info@dg-photography.us (DG Photography) brides love stories weddings http://www.dg-photography.us/blog/2017/6/richy-alyson-wedding-celebration-the-pinnacle-grove-city-ohio Wed, 07 Jun 2017 17:03:14 GMT
Adam & Samantha | Engagement http://www.dg-photography.us/blog/2017/5/adam-samantha-engagement Adam and Samantha both love kids, so fate would choose the registration table at a kids' club at which they were both volunteering to introduce them.  I suppose the good Lord knew that Sami's bubbly personality would win over Adam's strong, not-silent-but-not-quite-as-chatty personality in no time flat.  These two are a match made in heaven, and the fun they have when they are together is nothing short of, well, the real deal - LOVE. On any given date night, you'll find Adam and Sami exploring the city, likely with coffees in hand (black for him and an iced caramel macchiato for her).  Sami wasn't sure if they'd ever been on a date that didn't involve a stop for coffee at some point, so it would have been downright criminal to NOT stop and get coffee the night of their engagement session. Someone...please, anyone, note the sign in the window because it was practically made for them. Sami is a vivacious soul.  This girl's smile and personality has the capacity to amp up the energy and atmosphere in a room the second she steps in.  She brings a hope-infused positivity to her world.  Quite simply, in an anxious world, she is delightful and refreshing.
Well if they aren't just so darn adorable, I don't know what is.
 My absolute favorite moment from the other evening’s session was when these two answered my question about how the other had changed them.  Sami said that Adam has changed the way she sees herself.  Raise your hand if you’ve ever believed a load of crap about who you are, how you look, or attached your value to your appearance, gifting or lack thereof, personality, you-name-it.  Cause I have too.  I could see it, you know?  When she said it…that Adam has changed the way she sees herself.  She said she didn’t use to have much confidence.  Love will do that.  It will straight up change how you see yourself.  Isn’t that so the heart of God?  And isn’t it so cool how He uses people to change our perspectives of ourselves?  To show us the truth about who we really are?  God is just so unendingly clever and generous in the ways that He extends His love to us.  Sami has changed Adam too.  She is vibrant and free-spirited and Adam said that she’s helped him learn to relax, loosen up, chill, have a good time…and to be a little more chatty.  Love will change you, and it should and it’s a good thing.  Moral of the story:  Let your people love you.  Just let them love you.  And be humble enough to receive their love.  It’s pride and fear that makes us hold on to the lies.  We think we need the lies to keep us motivated to change, but it’s really the Truth that sets us free.  Adam and Sami can testify. You two - it was beyond fun to spend the evening photographing your charming selves.  Can't wait to see you guys tie the knot come September!

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info@dg-photography.us (DG Photography) brides engagements love stories http://www.dg-photography.us/blog/2017/5/adam-samantha-engagement Fri, 19 May 2017 19:40:15 GMT
Marvin & Judith | Engagement http://www.dg-photography.us/blog/2017/5/marvin-judith-engagement Sometimes sparks fly instantly, and other times relationships need to be given a few years to find their way into being.  Marvin & Judith had been acquainted through mutual friends for quite some time before being bitten by the proverbial love bug. I actually quite love the way Judith tells their story, so I'm going to share tidbits from her reply when I asked her about how they'd met and fallen in love... "My fiance and I met years ago through mutual friends, though incidentally we were both dating other people at the time. We lived an hour from each other but would bump into one another from time to time and always got along well, though our periods of singleness did not overlap very well. Unbeknownst to me, he started becoming interested in me and started praying about it. During this period I was busy with work and doing international disaster response nursing."

*PAUSE*

Yes, I paused the story because YOU GUYS, I just need to elaborate a little about what Judith does for a living.  She's an international disaster response nurse, which means that she functions as part of a team that heads to the center of unfolding humanitarian crises and sets up emergency medical clinics.   Wherever the world is falling apart and the very places most people are fleeing, she boards a plane and heads for the epicenter.  Hurricanes, cholera outbreaks, war zones, you-name-it, she goes.  What she does is seriously, no joke.  On any given day, she can be heading to her regular nursing job in Canton, receive a call and be on a plane within twenty four hours.  Talk about holding your life loosely and living it for the good of others...pretty sure Judith has this down. So back to Marvin, and the love story unfolding...

"Finally after months of praying about it, while I was in Haiti treating cholera patients and helping provide hurricane medical relief, he received the go ahead from God to pursue a relationship with me. Within several days of returning from Haiti, we met up for coffee, ended up talking for hours, and the rest is history. :) A couple months after we started dating, I was deployed to the Middle East to help set up an emergency field hospital in a war zone for nearly a month."

Okay, sorry, but *PAUSE* again...it wasn't just the Middle East.  It was Mosul, Iraq, and if you've been following the news at all you'll understand why this was a much bigger deal than Judith even makes it sound in their story.  *unpause*

"Saying goodbye for that long, going into a dangerous situation, and being surrounded by the horrors of war definitely worked to affirm and intensify our feelings for each other. That's when we started realizing that we really didn't want to do life separately any longer." *PAUSE*...again.  Sorry (not sorry)...it's too sweet of a detail to pass up.  At their engagement session, Marvin shared that the moment he was most proud of Judith was when she stepped off the plane coming home from Iraq. "After dating for a whopping almost five months, Marvin proposed after getting me out of bed by throwing snowballs at my window. As he stood there on a ladder outside my room and I hung out the window with snow falling down on us, he asked me to be his bride. I had to ask him if he was serious, because I was so surprised, and because who proposes while standing on a ladder? He assured me that he definitely was serious so with that bit of information, I quite willingly agreed to be his wife." "I'm certain God has been creating us for each other all of our lives, it just took us a long winding road till we were finally ready for each other. I'm also certain that life with the man who proposed to me that night on a ladder, through a window, in the snow, will definitely being anything but normal and boring!"

*and we know this chic doesn't do normal or boring* ;)

Kind of adore the series of shots below.  Marvin has a roguish sense of humor and keeps this girl laughing on the regular. One of my favorite moments at their session was when Judith spoke about the moment she was most proud of Marvin.  She said there were many moments she was proud of him, but the one that popped to the forefront of her mind was a time when he'd quietly picked up the tab for a veteran, no questions asked.  Sometimes we think we have to be as awesome as Judith is and jump on a plane to be able to make a difference in this heart-breaking world, but I just love what SHE highlighted when she said what she did to Marvin: sometimes being a hero just means opening up your eyes to the world right in front of you and being courageous enough to give in beautiful, everyday, practical ways like Marvin does.  I love the way these two were both living generously before their stories collided.  Isn't God so clever at pairing people up?

Congrats, you two!  It was truly an honor and a delight to spend the evening photographing a peek into your story.  I can't wait for July! ;)

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info@dg-photography.us (DG Photography) brides engagements love stories http://www.dg-photography.us/blog/2017/5/marvin-judith-engagement Wed, 10 May 2017 19:34:18 GMT
Kevin & Miriam | Wedding http://www.dg-photography.us/blog/2017/3/kevin-miriam-wedding Kevin & Miriam met in January of 2013.  They were both attending Mount Vernon Nazarene University, but in a fun twist of fate, they first laid eyes on each other at a kids' basketball game in Miriam's hometown an hour from the college.  They made the cutest video of their story, and you can hear all about it from their own lips HERE They said their "I do's" on a warm, sunny day in July, back in Miriam's hometown where they'd first met.
Miriam gave Kevin an album full of photos of memories they'd made together since they'd met.  I thought it was a perfect gesture and a lovely way to remember and look back on all the little things they had experienced together along the way. Miriam and her mom having a moment not long before she walked up the aisle.  The emotion and magnitude of the day can hit at any given time, and this was sweet to witness.
Just married! (...and one of my favs from their day because look at those faces)!

The reception! 
Father/daughter and mother/son dances... ...followed by quite possibly the coolest first dance I've ever seen!  They killed it!   Congrats again, you too!  So fun to look back at these memories from your day!

 


Special thanks to Jessica Photography for second shooting with me!

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info@dg-photography.us (DG Photography) brides love stories weddings http://www.dg-photography.us/blog/2017/3/kevin-miriam-wedding Fri, 31 Mar 2017 11:46:07 GMT
Nick & Jenna | Engagement | Whetstone Park of Roses http://www.dg-photography.us/blog/2017/3/nick-jenna-engagement-whetstone-park-of-roses I'm so excited to be sharing Nick & Jenna's engagement session with you today!   Nick & Jenna first met in 2012 while they were attending Butler University.  Choir was just another class that both of them needed to check off of their lists. Little did they know that choir, of all places, was where they were about to encounter such a delightful plot twist to their stories.  Don't you love how the best story turns come in the most everyday, unexpected moments?  I think God loves to keep us guessing and does it this way on purpose.  Call me crazy, but I think God has a sense of mischief and humor when it comes to writing out His kids' love stories.  He loves to surprise us with good gifts when we are least expecting it.  Nick and Jenna are that - good gifts from God to one another.  They started dating several months later, and the rest is history.   Nick proposed in 2016 at one of their favorite parks in Indianapolis.  He saw to every detail and even arranged for Jenna's Columbus-based family to travel out and celebrate with them right after he had proposed.   Jenna is a radiant soul.  You can feel it when you meet her.  She is soft-hearted and kind and full of life.  She is a teacher, and after meeting her it makes so much sense that God would call her to shepherd little hearts.  At risk of gushing, I so love photographing people who've found one another because fun and laughter are their normal.  I think it's so healthy for fun and laughter to be a regular thing in our lives.  It can help keep us rooted in the goodness of God.  Having fun can be deeply spiritual because God invented laugher in the first place.  It can be a unique way of connecting to His heart.  Photographing people like Nick & Jenna feels like a sort of calibrating reminder of who God is - joyful, full of laughter, entirely GOOD. Jenna, you are stunning.

Congrats again, Nick and Jenna!  So excited for July!

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info@dg-photography.us (DG Photography) brides engagements love stories whetstone Park of Roses http://www.dg-photography.us/blog/2017/3/nick-jenna-engagement-whetstone-park-of-roses Fri, 10 Mar 2017 17:49:04 GMT
Richy & Alyson | North High Brewing & Jeffrey Mansion Engagement http://www.dg-photography.us/blog/2016/12/richy-alyson-engagement-north-high-brewing-jeffrey-mansion It was around eight months ago that I sat down with Richy and Alyson over coffee on a chilly evening and first heard snippets of their love story.
Columbus Ohio Wedding Photographer - North High Brewing - Richy & Alyson Engagement_0002Columbus Ohio Wedding Photographer - North High Brewing - Richy & Alyson Engagement_0002 All love stories are special, but theirs warmed my heart because Richy and Alyson don't hide the imperfect parts of their journey, which has me thinking they'll be starting their marriage off on the right foot.

Columbus Ohio Wedding Photographer - North High Brewing - Richy & Alyson Engagement_0001Columbus Ohio Wedding Photographer - North High Brewing - Richy & Alyson Engagement_0001 Columbus Ohio Wedding Photographer - North High Brewing - Richy & Alyson Engagement_0003Columbus Ohio Wedding Photographer - North High Brewing - Richy & Alyson Engagement_0003 These two initially met online, and first hung out on - wait for it- Valentine's Day weekend.  Isn't that fun?  They hit it off right away, and were officially dating about a month and a half later.

Columbus Ohio Wedding Photographer - North High Brewing - Richy & Alyson Engagement_0007Columbus Ohio Wedding Photographer - North High Brewing - Richy & Alyson Engagement_0007 They spent the summer together, falling in love, and working at helping each other make good life choices.  Alyson talked about a time when they hadn't been to church in a number of weeks, but motivated each other to go one Sunday.  That weekend their church just happened to be holding baptisms, and though they'd had no intention of being baptized that day when they woke up, God clearly had other ideas.  They both chose to be baptized, and though it was a significant moment for them each individually, it was such a sweet gift that they were able to experience that moment together. Columbus Ohio Wedding Photographer - North High Brewing - Richy & Alyson Engagement_0021Columbus Ohio Wedding Photographer - North High Brewing - Richy & Alyson Engagement_0021 Columbus Ohio Wedding Photographer - North High Brewing - Richy & Alyson Engagement_0043Columbus Ohio Wedding Photographer - North High Brewing - Richy & Alyson Engagement_0043 Columbus Ohio Wedding Photographer - North High Brewing - Richy & Alyson Engagement_0044Columbus Ohio Wedding Photographer - North High Brewing - Richy & Alyson Engagement_0044 Columbus Ohio Wedding Photographer - North High Brewing - Richy & Alyson Engagement_0045Columbus Ohio Wedding Photographer - North High Brewing - Richy & Alyson Engagement_0045 Columbus Ohio Wedding Photographer - North High Brewing - Richy & Alyson Engagement_0025Columbus Ohio Wedding Photographer - North High Brewing - Richy & Alyson Engagement_0025

Columbus Ohio Wedding Photographer - North High Brewing - Richy & Alyson Engagement_0035Columbus Ohio Wedding Photographer - North High Brewing - Richy & Alyson Engagement_0035 Alyson is a huge fan of craft beer, so many a date night was spent trying out local breweries.  Richy and Alyson were on a brewery tour when they first came across North High Brewing.  It quickly became a favorite spot of theirs, so when Alyson mentioned that she knew Gavin, one of the co-owners of the brewery, and that she was hoping to photograph some of their engagement session there, I was delighted!  I do love new and unique locations, and this was not only that, it was also a part of their story. Columbus Ohio Wedding Photographer - North High Brewing - Richy & Alyson Engagement_0010Columbus Ohio Wedding Photographer - North High Brewing - Richy & Alyson Engagement_0010

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North High Brewing - Richy & Alyson Engagement_0030 Columbus Ohio Wedding Photographer - North High Brewing - Richy & Alyson Engagement_0050Columbus Ohio Wedding Photographer - North High Brewing - Richy & Alyson Engagement_0050 Columbus Ohio Wedding Photographer - North High Brewing - Richy & Alyson Engagement_0031Columbus Ohio Wedding Photographer - North High Brewing - Richy & Alyson Engagement_0031 Columbus Ohio Wedding Photographer - North High Brewing - Richy & Alyson Engagement_0032Columbus Ohio Wedding Photographer - North High Brewing - Richy & Alyson Engagement_0032 Columbus Ohio Wedding Photographer - North High Brewing - Richy & Alyson Engagement_0033Columbus Ohio Wedding Photographer - North High Brewing - Richy & Alyson Engagement_0033 Columbus Ohio Wedding Photographer - North High Brewing - Richy & Alyson Engagement_0034Columbus Ohio Wedding Photographer - North High Brewing - Richy & Alyson Engagement_0034 Columbus Ohio Wedding Photographer - North High Brewing - Richy & Alyson Engagement_0036Columbus Ohio Wedding Photographer - 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North High Brewing - Richy & Alyson Engagement_0057 Columbus Ohio Wedding Photographer - North High Brewing - Richy & Alyson Engagement_0047Columbus Ohio Wedding Photographer - North High Brewing - Richy & Alyson Engagement_0047 Columbus Ohio Wedding Photographer - North High Brewing - Richy & Alyson Engagement_0048Columbus Ohio Wedding Photographer - North High Brewing - Richy & Alyson Engagement_0048 Columbus Ohio Wedding Photographer - North High Brewing - Richy & Alyson Engagement_0049Columbus Ohio Wedding Photographer - North High Brewing - Richy & Alyson Engagement_0049 Columbus Ohio Wedding Photographer - North High Brewing - Richy & Alyson Engagement_0061Columbus Ohio Wedding Photographer - North High Brewing - Richy & Alyson Engagement_0061 Columbus Ohio Wedding Photographer - North High Brewing - Richy & Alyson Engagement_0058Columbus Ohio Wedding Photographer - North High Brewing - Richy & Alyson Engagement_0058 We photographed the first part of their session midday before the brewery was open, then met up later that evening to finish their session and catch the pretty evening light at Jeffrey Mansion.

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Jeffrey Mansion EngagementJeffrey Mansion Engagement Jeffrey Mansion EngagementJeffrey Mansion Engagement Jeffrey Mansion EngagementJeffrey Mansion Engagement Jeffrey Mansion EngagementJeffrey Mansion Engagement Jeffrey Mansion EngagementJeffrey Mansion Engagement Jeffrey Mansion EngagementJeffrey Mansion Engagement Richy and Alyson, you guys were just too much fun to photograph.  Thanks for trusting me to capture this season of your story! Can't wait for the big day! ;) 

 

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info@dg-photography.us (DG Photography) brides engagements love stories http://www.dg-photography.us/blog/2016/12/richy-alyson-engagement-north-high-brewing-jeffrey-mansion Fri, 16 Dec 2016 19:08:12 GMT
Jordan & Elizabeth | 1950's Vintage Diner Engagement http://www.dg-photography.us/blog/2016/11/jordan-elizabeth-1950s-vintage-diner-engagement Can we talk about Jordan & Elizabeth for a quick second?  Because Jordan and Elizabeth are some of my favorite people, and talking about them is all kinds of fun.  I honestly don't remember when I first met Jordan...only that I got to know him a bit better because him and my husband Pete hit it off while they were both living in New York City back in 2009.  Pete moved back to Ohio, married yours truly, and his friendship with Jordan was something he would mention with sentimentality every now and then when something would remind him of some crazy adventure or stunt he and Jordan had pulled.  Last year, Pete and I trotted up to NYC for a weekend.  Pete had contacted Jordan to see if he'd be in town, and that's when we got to meet Elizabeth for the first time.  In two days flat, we fell almost as in love with her and her daughter Vanessa as Jordan clearly was.  Elizabeth is the kind of person who is good, kind, humble, and genuine...and she has this way of being all of those things while still calling things as she sees them.  I kind of love that about her.  Her and Jordan are a brilliant balance to each other.

A few months ago, Pete got a text from Jordan one evening: "She said yes!"  Jordan had *finally* proposed in one of their favorite spots in New York City, and even arranged to have one of their friends photograph it for them (nice move, Jordan ;).  Since they'd already been planning to visit us in Columbus, it was the perfect opportunity to photograph their engagement session. As always, we had a grand time with them, and taking their engagement photos was no exception.  Enjoy this little peek into their love story!

I often recommend that couples do two outfits for their engagement session.  For their second outfit, Jordan and Elizabeth opted for a vintage look and it was so. much. fun. to photograph!

  I'm not sure how dancing on the bridge started, but it did, and I love how these photos depict their relationship...fun, spontaneous, and a little goofy.
Next stop: diner.  Because finishing out the evening with a milkshake was a must. ;)
I love this last series of photos.  Technically, I had told them we were "done" shooting, so they were goofing off and these are some of my favorites...because it's real and ridiculous and wonderful and you can feel how much fun these two have together.    Guys...I can. not. wait. for your big day next year!  It's been such a privilege to witness your story! 

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info@dg-photography.us (DG Photography) brides engagements love stories http://www.dg-photography.us/blog/2016/11/jordan-elizabeth-1950s-vintage-diner-engagement Wed, 23 Nov 2016 20:49:34 GMT
Kassandra's Story http://www.dg-photography.us/blog/2016/10/kassandras-story Good Morning, World.  So this little blogging hiatus I've been on is winding to a close.  I've spent the last several months cuddling my baby Redd, and it's been all kinds of wonderful.  Most of my creative endeavors have been sitting patiently on the shelf, waiting for me to pull them into the light to be seen.  This past spring and summer was rich with stories.  I like to think that while they sit on the shelf waiting to be enjoyed and shared, they're gaining depth and flavor - like wine maybe?  Overused analogy, but there it is anyway.

It's no secret that what I love most about photography is the stories of those I'm invited to photograph.  One such story was my cousin Kassandra's.   Months ago she called me, long before we talked about a photoshoot, and unfolded a part of her story of which I'd been completely unaware.  I've known Kassandra my entire life.  And not just casually either.  She is family and friend, but before that first conversation I had no idea that she struggled with an eating disorder.  As we chatted and she told me about her journey into recovery, I discovered, not surprisingly, that eating disorders lurk unseen in the shadows of many lives.  Having an eating disorder has nothing to do with your physical size and everything to do with your mental state and perspective.  You can be extra thin or extra thick and not have an eating disorder.  You can look perfectly healthy and get two thumbs up from your doctor and have an eating disorder, because it's about the way you see the world. In the conversations that followed, Kassandra told me about how she'd struggled with the monster "ED" since junior high.  Lies love to weasel their way into our perspectives at vulnerable times in our lives.  They tell us untruths about ourselves, others, the world around us, and unless we know to meet them head on with Truth, we become slaves to them.  She was unequipped to fight the lies, so a cycle of binge eating, dieting, and clean eating became a way of life for her.  She would feel better about herself when things were "going well" but the root of the issue remained because the lies will ALWAYS demand more.  Always.  True freedom isn't found in being "thin enough" or "the perfect size."    Kassandra's journey into recovery didn't happen magically or overnight. It happened slowly, painfully, one step at a time.  It began with calling the lies what they are: LIES.  You would think that recognition of the lies would be all it takes, but it's not enough to just know something is a lie.  You must learn to fight those lies every time they come into your mind.  This is a complicated and messy war.  I say 'war' because recovery is not a one time battle.  Picture it like territory that belongs to you.  You own land on paper.  Freedom is YOURS, and though you never meant to allow lies to come in, they did, and they've overrun your life.  The war begins by taking back the land that belongs to you one battle at a time, one area of your life at a time.  Even after you've taken the "big cities" of your life, you'll have to fight them out of the "villages" and "border towns" of your territory.  Fighting lies in your life is as messy as war always is.  It's never neat, clean, or easy.  It is hard and painful, and you'll win some battles and you'll lose some battles.  

I think there are two keys to fighting well:

1) Learn to be kind to yourself.  I've got news for you: Jesus isn't mean.  He never uses the language of lies.  He is for you, and learning to value His Voice above the voices of the lies is step one and step two and step forty five and step four hundred thirty nine.  If you grew up religious, this is gonna be a tough one for you because we think condemnation is conviction.  It's not.  I know because I've felt both.  Conviction is one of the most beautiful things I have ever experienced.  I felt the KINDNESS OF GOD so strongly in those moments.  Who but God can make you feel so truly loved and valued while pointing out deficiency?  Conviction is amazing and awesome and something I actually want to experience more not less.  True conviction from God leaves you empowered to change.  A tip about condemnation: it comes coupled with fear, anxiety, and powerlessness.  It always takes a stab at your identity, and never brings hope for change.  You need to learn to recognize the spirit of condemnation, and turn away from it completely when it tries to speak to you because it's not the voice of God.  We think we need to give ear to condemnation because some of the things it tells us are "technically right."  What we fail to understand is that even if condemnation is telling us things that are correct technically, by listening to the the voice of condemnation, we are allowing it into our lives.  Even if it brings "correct facts" with it, it will never bring the power to change.  What it will bring is discouragement in droves.  I've found that the temptation to listen to condemnation in my own life comes from a place of fear that I won't ever "win the battle" if I don't "take control of my life."  Newsflash: You do not need more control.  You need need more trust that God will come through for you.  He is more committed to you winning your war for freedom than you are.  And that's great news, especially on discouraging days when our own strength is failing us.

 

2) Stay in the fight.  That doesn't mean you are constantly swinging your proverbial sword willy-nilly and racing hither and yon trying to do, do, do.  That's just stupidity that's probably driven by fear.  Winning a war is STRATEGIC.  Sure, there are going to be times when you have to fight a battle longer and harder than you have strength for.  That's a given. But a big part of staying in the fight is learning to rest really well.  Rest in the fact that God has your war.  ASK HIM where you are supposed to be devoting energy to win your fight.  Then devote your energy to that thing.  Check back in with Him for your battle plans regularly.  This is a long war, not a skirmish, so manage your energy and rest when He tells you to.  Don't waste your energy fighting battles He never called you to fight.  

 

   Eventually, you can and will drive the lies out completely. I'd be lying if I told you the threat won't always exist.  The lies will always be looking for a way back into your life and territory.  The beauty is that in the process of learning to fight the lies out of your land you will become someone you never anticipated you could be:

STRONG.  WISE.  COURAGEOUS.  BOLD.  FEARLESS.  UNASHAMED.

Kassandra is a living testimony of this truth.  She shares about her on-going recovery journey over at Authenticity & Grace. She'd be the first to tell you that she still has her days.  The lies still come calling, but they aren't camped out in her territory anymore.  That's the beauty of fighting all of the hard battles for freedom:  You develop the ability to fight off a lie and send it packing even when it ambushes you unexpectedly.  Freedom isn't the absence of struggle.  Freedom is quite simply embracing the Presence and Truth of Jesus as enough in the midst of struggle.

 

Kassandra, thank you SO much for inviting me into your story.  You are deeply beautiful, and it was such an honor to photograph you.

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info@dg-photography.us (DG Photography) inspirational portraits http://www.dg-photography.us/blog/2016/10/kassandras-story Thu, 20 Oct 2016 15:57:14 GMT
Alli | Senior | 2017 http://www.dg-photography.us/blog/2016/7/alli-senior-2017 So excited to share a little peek at Alli's senior session on the blog today!

Alli is an artist, and a very good one at that, so it only felt appropriate to start off shooting her session in Short North Arts District. Alli has spent her past few summers working as a caricature artist at the zoo.  Recreating Disney characters is another way she shares her talents with the world.  

I love the way artists see the world and paint it back to us with their medium of choice.  Alli is young, but she already shows such an infinity for painting and creating, and I can't wait to see where life takes her.

We shot the second part of Alli's session at Whetstone Park of Roses.  The roses are absolutely stunning this time of year!
Favs!  Love her smile in these!

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info@dg-photography.us (DG Photography) Whetstone Park of Roses portraits seniors http://www.dg-photography.us/blog/2016/7/alli-senior-2017 Thu, 21 Jul 2016 17:39:03 GMT
Tony & Nicole | Train Station Lifestyle Family Session | Jerusalem, Israel http://www.dg-photography.us/blog/2016/7/tony-nicole-train-station-lifestyle-family-session-jerusalem-israel Time?  It flies.  Or maybe it just flies when you don't want it to...or maybe the older you get?  Beats me.  Kids sometimes complain about things taking forever, and maybe that's just because they know how to really be in a moment wholeheartedly.  Anyway, my musings about how time flies is coming from a place of I-can't-believe-it-was-over-a-month-ago-that-I-got-to-spend-time-with-this-sweet-family.  I first met Tony and Nicole around ten years ago when I spent six weeks living in Israel with my sister Lori.  Lori hit it off with Tony and Nicole, and it's been the sort of friendship that even after Lori left Israel in 2009, they still pick up right where they left off when they see one another.  It was only natural to look them up and hang out with them as much as possible for the few days we were in Jerusalem. One evening we met them for dinner at an old train station that's been converted into a delightful little hotspot for families to hang out, complete with restaurants, vendor booths, shops, and a small stage for events.  We snapped a few photos outside before we headed inside the station to let the kids play. Below: The sibling version of hugging at ages six, four, and two.  It was a bit more like tackling, but their hearts were in it, and I'd say that's what matters.
Altogether, it was a splendid evening chasing these little munchkins around the train station.  I was thrilled to finally meet the famous Daniel.  He's been blogging for years now and tales of his shenanigans have provided me with hours of entertainment.  I was quite looking forward to meeting him.  He gave me a giant hug when we met, and I had a genuine fan girl moment. I briefly felt quite special, but he also showered the rest of our crew with hugs (pictured below making Lori's day with his sweetness).  This one does know how to work his crowd.  Daniel happened to be the lucky one getting swing rides from his dad.  Lucas and Raia crashed that party post haste, determined to get in on the action.
Fun fact about parenting three kids under six (not that I really know, but I hear and believe because the evidence speaks for itself):  Time to yourself is, well, limited at very best.  What makes this not just bearable but a good adventure is having someone to ride the roller coaster alongside you, with all the crazy twists and turns life throws your way.  Tony and Nicole have been married for twelve years, and it shows in the best kind of way.  Pinterest and social media will sell you a crap story about marriage.  Don't buy it for a second.  Real love isn't some sort of perfect life.  Real love is someone who stays on the roller coaster with you when life sends you over a crazy hill that makes you wonder if you're going to make it through the turns you couldn't have seen coming.  Tony and Nicole know a lot about riding the roller coaster well.  Is that a thing?  Because they've totally made it a thing - riding life's roller coaster well.  There isn't much about their life that's easy.  In the few days I spent with them, I walked away so inspired by how they LIVE.  They get up every morning with perseverance and courage to a story that is full of challenges.  I know I'm being all dramatic, but thinking about stories makes me think about heroes.  What makes people heroic is the way they show up, stay, and don't give up living a life that isn't about them.  That's how you live a beautiful story.  Tony & Nicole are living a story that is genuinely beautiful, and it's inspiring.  Generally though being an inspiring person isn't glamorous in actuality.  It is inspiring because it is difficult and it's being done in spite of seemingly insurmountable challenges.  This is the kind of courage that matters long term, that still shows up when you zoom out and look back in twenty years.
Who doesn't love a carousel ride? Love these shots of Raia and Nicole! Nicole and her family are originally from New York City.  Her parents are retired and spend several months each year living in Israel so they can be closer to their grandbabies.  The kids adore them, and their presence provides a bit of respite and margin for the kids sometimes battle-wearied parents. Raia's eyes are my new favorite.  Just saying. The whole gang! These shots make me smile.  They were singing to Daniel, running through a ritual he knew well, and the delight was palpable.  Having grandparents like these means you are automatically winning at life.
The kids' evening ended with one of life's greatest luxuries: ICE CREAM.
Heaven comes in a tiny cup.  Or so it would seem.
Based on Lucas' expression, Raia should most certainly be worried for the cone in her hands.
Partaking of the sacred cream is a responsibility Lucas obviously takes quite seriously.
Photographing this family reminded me how life can be simultaneously simple and complicated, beautiful and messy, hard and GOOD all at the same time.  I left wanting to embrace life as fully as they are.  You CAN face heart-boggling challenges and call life good at the same time.  It's not one or the other, and they are in the thick of rocking what it means to do a simple/complicated, messy/beautiful, hard and GOOD existence.  

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info@dg-photography.us (DG Photography) lifestyle portraits little ones http://www.dg-photography.us/blog/2016/7/tony-nicole-train-station-lifestyle-family-session-jerusalem-israel Mon, 11 Jul 2016 19:11:38 GMT
Roxanne, Dreams, Flowers, and Keeping It Simple http://www.dg-photography.us/blog/2016/7/roxanne-dreams-and-keeping-it-simple Did you know that carrying a dream might be the most difficult, healthy, and beautiful thing you'll ever do?  Because it might.

Carrying a dream is a whole lot like being pregnant, only dreams don't generally come with due dates that can be neatly marked on calendars.

Dreams come with tension.

"Follow your dreams."

"Go for it!"

"Make the jump."

...and all of the other pretty motivational quotes you can Pin to your heart's content.

(I've heard it all before and so have you.)

 

I don't mean to be cynical because there is truth in these lines.  There IS a time to do all of the things that the Pinterest quotes recommend.  Life does require action, but I actually wanted to talk about a very specific kind of dream today:

 

There are dreams that we have.  Then there are the dreams that are actually a part of who we are.  They are hardwired into our DNA.  I tend to think of them as the dreams that God instilled in us.  

 

The tension that makes dream-carrying painful is when you are hardwired with a dream, but life isn't giving you a landing space for the dream inside of you.  So you carry your dream and your world gets heavy with it and you can no more make it reality than a pregnant woman can make her baby come into the world.

This girl has been carrying a dream for flowers, but it goes so much deeper than just creating pretty floral arrangements.  

It's about touching people's souls with beauty that surpasses words.  It is not just flowers.  It's really a kind of way that she worships God.  It's a way that God reaches through her and puts His fingers on the hearts of others and extends His love.  That's what I just love about Jesus.  He is endlessly creative in the ways that He loves people. He deposits His creative ideas into people, and when they do their thing, His love is released into people's hearts.  

Worship is not something you do at church.  We should really get that out of our religious heads.  That is a teeny, tiny fraction of worship. Worship is the way you live your life and do your thing and extend the gift God put in you to the world around you.

I've noticed this belief within myself and within other creatives.  We feel our art deeply.  We know when something isn't quite right, and it drives us crazy.  We know we are called to more, so we chase it.  We hunt for fulfillment within our own creativity.  I don't know about you, but whenever I do that, I come up exhausted and empty.  

 

There's this chic I know who's like forty something and awesome.  Her hame is Rhoda and one time I sat in her kitchen after she'd just baked bread that smelled like heaven, and something she says a lot came to mind just now:  "It's simple.  We overcomplicate things all the time."  She was talking about Jesus and faith and following God.  We make it so much more complicated than it actually is.

You are called to offer the gift that God put in you to the world around you as an act of worship.  

 

It is that simple.  

 

Even when you don't have the perfect landing spot for your dream.  

 

I forget this all the time.  Things don't have to be perfect for me to worship God with what I do.  That doesn't mean your dream for more is not His heart.  You know better than to believe that lie.  We just short-change our right-now life when we forget that it is enough to steward our gift by offering in the small ways we can today.  

Roxanne does such a good job of offering in ways that she can in her present moment.  She works at a floral shop part time, but she is constantly giving flowers to friends and people that God puts on her heart and taking and making opportunities to do what she's called to do.  Even though she feels the tension of carrying a dream for something greater, she hasn't forgotten that it is simple.

 

 Worship is our uncomplicated expression of God's goodness.  

 

Roxanne expresses with flowers.  How you express might be organization or administration or loving your kids or leading well.  It doesn't define you.  It is just how you release who God is to the world around you.

As a creative I have a constant bevy of projects and ideas in my mind.  When I have incorrect perspective, they become heavy.  They burden me because they become things I must do as a definition of self, rather than what they were originally meant to be: an expression of love, worship, and who God is.  

 

Do yourself a favor and don't turn your worship into work.

 

Let your work be worship, and you might just find yourself holding something the hamster wheel of doing-it-all can never give you: fulfillment, joy, peace, and all of the other stuff that apparently comes as an epic package deal with the Spirit of God.  

P.S. The truth is that I wanted to share so much more of Roxanne's story.  People's stories have so much depth.  This woman has deep faith, and I might share a snippet of that part of her story one of these days too, but today's post needed to be about how to really LIVE, practically, in the middle of an unfinished story when the tension of how it will all work out remains to be seen. 

 

Hugs, Roxanne.  Glad I've gotten to see this latest chapter of your life unfolding up close.  You are walking it all with so much courage.

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info@dg-photography.us (DG Photography) for creatives inspirational lifestyle portraits http://www.dg-photography.us/blog/2016/7/roxanne-dreams-and-keeping-it-simple Tue, 05 Jul 2016 16:37:35 GMT
Daniel & Dimare Wedding | Columbus, Ohio http://www.dg-photography.us/blog/2016/7/daniel-dimare-wedding-columbus-ohio Daniel & Dimare tied the knot nearly two weeks ago today, and it was a celebration to remember.  They first met at a friend's house warming party, and though the spark was instant, it was a few weeks before Daniel messaged Dimare to see if the connection he'd felt could be something more.  It didn't take them long to realize that they'd found the real thing, and on Saturday, the 18th of June, they promised each other a lifetime of learning how to love each other well.  It was a beautiful day, and I'm excited to share this little peek into their wedding story!

The day started off with Dimare and her sisters and mother getting their hair and makeup done at the always fabulous Virtue Vegan Salon By the way, I have to give a little shout out to Virtue, specifically Jessica.  She was the stylist behind Dimare's gorgeous wedding hair and makeup, and she happens to be the one I trust to cut my hair as well.  It felt like such a small world when Dimare and I discovered this as we were chatting about wedding plans a few months ago.  I adored the style and look Jessica gave Dimare, but that's not shocking, because Jessica always does an incredible job.  And she is the sweetest, so sitting in her chair is winning all around.

From the salon, they headed to the church to finish getting ready for the big day.

First look - I always love these moments! 
Daniel surprised Dimare with a gift.  Judging by her reaction, I'd say he did well!
Ceremony! 
As they were getting ready to say their vows, the pastor turned to Daniel to say his vows first.  Dimare jumped in and asked if she could go first, knowing that if Daniel went first, she'd likely be too emotional to get through hers.  Everyone laughed, Daniel obliged, and Dimare made her promises first. ...and sure enough, after Daniel said his vows, Dimare was emotional.
Their first dance was followed by past stories and kind words from their maids of honor and best men. Daniel's sister Kara was overcome during her speech, so Daniel joined her for moral support.  Kara's words were a beautiful affirmation of the journey her brother has been on.  She spoke of how when Dimare entered Daniel's life, she knew it was something special because of the way Daniel changed in wonderful ways.  Love really does bring out the best in people, and Kara's words were a reminder to always see people the way God does - with eyes of love.  It has the power to change everything. Triumphant!  He beat her to the punch smashing cake in her face, but she flung cake at him from a few feet away and hit him squarely in the face.  Like a boss. Dimare's grandmother surprised her with a necklace during the reception.
Congratulations, Daniel & Dimare!  It was an honor to capture your day!


See Daniel & Dimare's wedding highlights slideshow HERE!

Special thanks to Jessica Photography for second shooting!

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info@dg-photography.us (DG Photography) brides love stories weddings http://www.dg-photography.us/blog/2016/7/daniel-dimare-wedding-columbus-ohio Sat, 02 Jul 2016 02:04:59 GMT
Cody & Mindy | Five Year Anniversary http://www.dg-photography.us/blog/2016/6/cody-mindy-five-year-anniversary Cody and Mindy are celebrating five years of marriage this weekend (June 18th to be precise), and I was so honored to photograph this milestone for them.

I first got to know Mindy a little over a year ago through this wonderful thing called The Rising Tide Society.  She is a fellow photographer, so we've shot weddings together on occasion over the past year, and she's become someone I feel blessed to call a friend. Macaroons are one of Mindy's very favorite things, so naturally they made an appearance at their photoshoot.  Because what celebration would be complete without macaroons from the always delightful Pistacia Vera? You should know, wine of any kind is not Cody's favorite thing, so when they toast, Mindy cracks open the bubbly and Cody pops open a Mountain Dew.  Mindy did make him try a little sip of hers again, just to be SURE he didn't like it.  He was less than impressed, and opted to stick with his Dew.

We finished out the session with a few photos in a wheat field as the sun was setting.
Checking out their polaroids! Cody and Mindy, it was an honor to document this milestone for you! Happy 5th Anniversary!  

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info@dg-photography.us (DG Photography) brides love stories http://www.dg-photography.us/blog/2016/6/cody-mindy-five-year-anniversary Wed, 15 Jun 2016 01:20:52 GMT
Colin & Andrea | Engagement | Highbanks Metro Park http://www.dg-photography.us/blog/2016/6/colin-andrea-engagement-highbanks-metro-park When I met Colin and Andrea for their engagement session, I was reminded of why I'm so excited to be photographing their wedding in a few weeks.  What is immediately obvious when you spend any amount of time with them, is how much they simply enjoy each other.  They are so very happy just being together, and the laughter they share is contagious.  Here's a little peek into some of my favorites from their engagement!

Colin graduated last month.  Throughout his last year of college, he'd been diligently hunting for a job, but somehow every opportunity he came across ended up falling through - until last month.  He was offered a job in...(wait for it)...Wisconsin.
Now that may seem like no big deal, but Colin and Andrea's lives are rooted deeply in central Ohio.  Both of their families are here, so the idea of moving, while exciting, also pulls on their heart strings. Sometimes God's timing is astonishingly short notice.  They felt confident that this opportunity was from Him, so their last month has been a crazy whirlwind of graduation, packing up their lives, moving Colin to Wisconsin, AND planning the remaining details of their wedding day while Andrea is in Ohio and Colin is in Wisconsin.  As I was listening to their story throughout their engagement session, I was struck by how at peace they seemed through all of the change they've been experiencing.  That's the beauty of walking with God.  You get to have peace in the middle of crazy circumstances.  They do, and it's a beautiful thing to witness.
Colin and Andrea are major fans of sunsets.  It's been their thing for ages now.  Colin even proposed on a lake at sunset.  Although the clouds were greedy that evening and hid the sunset, they got engaged anyway, because circumstances don't have to be perfect for a moment to be everything you dreamed of.  The clouds were more cooperative the night of their engagement session, and these are some of my absolute favorites from their shoot.

Congratulations, Colin & Andrea!  So excited for your big day!

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info@dg-photography.us (DG Photography) brides engagements love stories http://www.dg-photography.us/blog/2016/6/colin-andrea-engagement-highbanks-metro-park Fri, 10 Jun 2016 14:43:27 GMT