Julie & Micah | Outdoor Cincinnati Wedding04.17.14

Fairfield Ohio Wedding Photographer

Julie says that her favorite thing about Micah is that he shows her he loves her every single day. And THAT was my favorite thing about their wedding. I love observing couples, and watching Micah watch Julie was just so sweet. She is one lucky lady because he thinks the world of her.

These two got married on a beautiful, breezy day in a suburb of Cincinnati. Julie is the daughter of my former co-worker (Hi, Lisa!) and I’ve been so excited about this wedding since she booked last spring. Add to the fun Julie’s daughter, Jaylen, and you have one rockin’ wedding! :)

Julie and Micah, thank you for sharing your happiness with me. I loved documenting your big day, and I’m so excited to keep up with your newly joined family. :)

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Julie and Micah chose to do a first look before the ceremony …

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I love that all the guys, including the ring bearer, plus Julie wore Converse sneakers. What a comfy choice!

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So, funny story: At the exact moment of the first kiss, Jaylen yelled, “Ewwwww!” which obviously cracked everyone up. Looking at these photos though, I think a bug flew into her mouth, which was probably what she was really “ewwwing” about. Can we verify this, Julie? Lisa? :)

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Julie’s sister, Mallory, SANG the father/daughter song. Oh my goodness. Such a sweet moment.

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Julie and Jaylen had their very own dance too.

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Ceremony: Harbin Park
Reception: Receptions Fairfield
Florist: Two Little Buds
DJ: Everlasting Sounds
Bride’s Dress: David’s Bridal
Bridemaids’ Dresses: David’s Bridal
Tuxes: Men’s Wearhouse
Honeymoon: Punta Cana!

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Goodreads: I Am Malala04.16.14

I am Malala_Goodreads_0001

I’ve been doing a lot of reading since the beginning of the year, and am currently on books #7 and 8 of my 25 in 12 challenge! Speaking of reading two books at once … it’s not something I normally do but I find that when I’m reading a business book, I want to curl up with something a little lighter before bed. How about you guys? Do you read multiple books at a time? I’m learning to set aside my Type A ways and be open to change. ;)

Here’s my take on the books I’ve read since the beginning of the year:

Help, Thanks, Wow by Anne Lamott
I can’t believe this was my first Anne Lamott book, with how much my family and friends rave about her work. Lamott is just as witty, yet thought-provoking, as everyone says she is. She’s a smart writer, and this is a good intro book into her faith and how prayer plays a part in our everyday lives. (****)

I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai
I loved this book in a painful kind of way. Having not read much about Pakistan, and especially not by a Pakistani, Malala opened my eyes to another side of the conflict in that part of the Middle East. The short of it: At 15 years old and on her way home from school, Malala is shot in the head by a Taliban member. She survives (!) and dedicates her life to fighting for women’s right to education. (*****)

The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe
A touching memoir about a son’s (Schwalbe) relationship with his dying mother. Schwalbe’s mother was so inspiring and made me want to get out there and do something amazing with my life. (****)

MWF Seeking BFF: My Yearlong Search for a New Best Friend by Rachel Bertsche
I listend to this on my way to Chicago to meet three of my best friends from college. It really hit home at the perfect time as I was greeting and then saying goodbye to three dear friends who live across the country. Having moved multiple times in the last 10 or so years, I really identified with Bertsche, who found herself living in Chicago with no girlfriends and no prospect to meet any new ones. I loooove my friends and having close girlfriends is really important to me, so this book was fascinating and really made me think about friend-making post-college. (****)

The Forty Rules of Love by Elif Shafek
OK. I liked this book until the ending. I won’t tell you what happens, but for me it was just way too unrealistic and, quite frankly, really annoying. Besides the ending, I enjoyed the story that switched between an unhappy housewife in present-day America and various narrators in 13th-century Turkey, including the poet Rumi and his companion, Shams. This book is all about love (and spirituality) and what people go through to find it. (***)

And just to keep me accountable, here’s my progress on my 25 in 12. If you have any recommendations, send ‘em my way! :)

  1. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
  2. Help, Thanks, Wow by Anne Lamott
  3. I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai
  4. Film is Not Dead by Jonathan Canlas (in progress)
  5. Life of the Beloved by Henri Nouwen (in progress)
  6. Blog, Inc. by Joy Deangdeelert Cho
  7. The Forty Rules of Love by Elif Shafak
  8. Emma by Jane Austen
  9. The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe
  10. Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid by Jimmy Carter
  11. Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver
  12. Boundaries by Henry Cloud
  13. The Lemon Tree by Sandy Tolan
  14. The Story of Beautiful Girl by Rachel Simon
  15. Girl Meets God by Lauren Winner
  16. Tattoos on the Heart by Gregory Boyle
  17. And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini
  18. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
  19. MWF Seeking BFF: My Yearlong Search for a New Best Friend by Rachel Bertsche
  20. A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry
  21. The Paris Wife by Paula McLain

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Sarah & Anthony | Weymouth Country Club Wedding04.08.14

Cleveland Arcade Hyatt Regency_0001

I had the honor of documenting Sarah and Anthony’s beautiful, gilded wedding just a few weeks ago. My favorite things about their wedding:

  • Anthony’s excitement and nervousness to see his bride.
  • Sarah and Anthony’s pinky promise to each other during their wedding vows. So cute!
  • The beautiful sunset just outside their sparkly gold reception hall. I adore sunsets on wedding days.
  • The adorable interactions between Sarah and Anthony at the reception. I was grinning from ear to ear while going through their photos!

These two have something super special. Anthony looks at Sarah like she is the very best thing to ever happen to him, and Sarah is all smiles when her husband is around. You guys, keep that up throughout your marriage. I’m so honored to have photographed the first day of your journey together!

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Sarah’s sparkly Kate Spade shoes were so fun to photograph!

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Sarah and Anthony had a first look at the Arcade. My lovely second shooter, Markie, caught that moment below of Anthony waiting for his bride.

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That one up there on the right is a favorite! The gold on the stairs perfectly tied into Sarah’s theme.

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Succulents are such an awesome wedding favor!

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Ceremony: Medina Presbyterian Church
Reception: Weymouth Country Club
Florist: Farah and Nour
Cake Artist: Tina Lentile-Jackson
DJ: Divine Time Entertainment
Hair and Makeup: Rania’s Hair Salon & Spa
Bride’s Dress: Brides by Demetrio’s
Bride’s Shoes: Kate Spade
Tuxes: Men’s Wearhouse
Décor and Lighting: Simply Elegant
Transportation: A Touch of Elegance
Honeymoon: Jamaica!

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April Goals04.04.14

Lara Casey Goals
[Source]

April is all about recharging my batteries. March was a little crazy. OK, a lot crazy. I don’t think I fully understood how nuts it was going to be until I was living it! Four out-of-town weekends, three weddings, portrait sessions, a life-changing conference and general life stuff … whew. I’m standing on the other side feeling like a new person. I’m SO incredibly grateful that I ended the month with the Making Things Happen conference in Chapel Hill, N.C. Talk about going out with a bang! I have tons and tons to share from the last few days, but I need a little while to wrap my head around it, so look for a post in the next couple weeks!

In the meantime, MTH got me (even more) fired up about goal setting and I’m ready to tackle these April goals with gusto!

  • Read two books (25 in 12): Life of the Beloved by Henri Nouwen and The Forty Rules of Love by Elif Shafak. (I didn’t read as much as I wanted to last month, and I took on an unexpected book last month too, so I’m still working on the same books you saw in March!)
  • Finish my website rebrand (oh yeah!)
  • Enjoy a sunny vacation and my college BFF’s wedding (seriously cannot wait to be reunited with these ladies)
  • Book our plane tickets to Ireland and Scotland
  • Finish all editing/album design from last month (i.e., get all caught up before wedding season really begins!)
  • Take one weekday completely off to read, watch movies and recharge before it gets busy!
  • Spring clean our house
  • Design and order a sample album
  • Celebrate Easter surrounded by family
  • Find a new client proofing site
  • Find a new address book

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Jillian & Nick | Maternity03.28.14

Lake Forest Country Club Hudson Ohio

It was freezing, absolutely freezing, when Jillian and Nick and I met for their maternity session. The way this winter’s gone it’s not really surprising, but I was still a little bummed we wouldn’t be galavanting around the Lake Forest Country Club property. You know what though? Shooting half the session indoors really pushed me to use window light in new ways. I love the quiet photos of Jillian in front of the huge leaded glass window and the intimate ones of the two of them just inside the rim of light. Jillian and Nick are going to be fabulous parents, and even though they’re dressed for a boy here they’re being surprised in just another month or so! I can’t wait to hear if they’ll be loving on a little boy or girl. :)

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Fun fact: We learned at the beginning of the session that Nick is in Rotary with my dad. How random and funny is that??

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Jillian, you are gorgeous. I love this one of you + baby!

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They don’t look cold, do they? ;)

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Amber & Josh | Urban Cincinnati Wedding03.21.14

The Madison Covington Kentucky Wedding

Amber knew almost immediately that Josh was the one for her. It happened over Chinese food.

“I remember looking at Josh during our first dinner together at Friendship Chinese and immediately feeling like he was the one for me,” she said. “I went home later that night and told my roommates that I really felt  like I could marry him, which shocked all of us as I was never ‘that girl,’ but I just knew in my gut that he was my one.”

Amber and Josh are so kind. Some of the kindest people I’ve ever met. They’re positive and happy. They’re genuine, and after just one meeting with them you know that they are interested in you and what you have to say. They love laughing together, and they don’t take themselves too seriously. They support each other no matter what. Amber and Josh’s Cincinnati wedding was a joyful celebration because of who these two are separately and together.

Congratulations, you guys! Thank you SO much for your hospitality and generosity. I left your wedding with a big smile on my face. :) You two are the real deal.

The Madison Covington Kentucky Wedding

I loooove photographing weddings in Cincinnati!

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Beautiful, Amber!

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While I was with the girls, my fabulous second shooter Jeni was with the guys.

The Madison Covington Kentucky Wedding

Amber and Josh had the sweetest first look …

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Then it was off to Over-the-Rhine for some urban portraits …

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LOVE this shot that Jeni captured just above! The benefits of having a second shooter: While she was capturing this, I was capturing the photo above this one.

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You two are fun. :)

The Madison Covington Kentucky Wedding

Amber and Josh signed their ketubah before the ceremony.

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Ceremony and Reception: The Madison Event Center
Florist: Rosi Wood
Bakery: Gigi’s Cupcakes
DJ: DJ Toad
Hair and Makeup: Salon Beck
Bride’s Dress: Belle Bridal Boutique, Watters
Bride’s Shoes: Nina
Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Carrie Karibo Boutique, Social
Tuxes: Formally Modern Tuxedo (Chicago)
Transportation: Crown Car & Coach

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Baby Jameson | Newborn03.20.14

Mentor Ohio Lifestyle Newborn Photos

What a sweet session! Baby Jameson was not very interested in being in front of my camera, but he pulled through with a little help from mom and dad. :) Amy and Shaun are friends of ours, and it was incredibly special to see how awesome they are with their first baby. Shaun is a baby whisperer. For real. Jameson just melted in his dad’s arms, which was quite helpful and adorable to photograph. And Amy? She is the most happy, upbeat new mom I’ve ever seen. She has such a great attitude about motherhood and more energy than me! Jameson is one lucky baby.

Congrats, you two, on your little guy!

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Baby yawns are the best!

Mentor Ohio Lifestyle Newborn Photos Mentor Ohio Lifestyle Newborn Photos

And can we talk about how adorable Jameson’s nursery is?! Amy is quite talented. :)

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I love that one on the left up there. It looks like they’re having a little chat. :)

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See Jameson melting in his dad’s arms?? He is SO content!

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Love, love, love!

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101 in 1001: #57 Go on a Girls Trip.03.11.14

This past weekend my college BFFs and I traveled to Chicago to have a girls weekend in honor of our dear Susan who is getting married in one month! :D Four out of the five of us were there (Lindsey’s in Scotland with a new baby girl!), and it was SO good to see them and chat about everything and nothing all weekend.

Chicago Girls Weekend

Two of the most important things we realized over the course of the weekend were a) we look a lot older now than we did in college (what’s up with that?!) and b) we did some pretty weird things in college. I think we’ve always known the latter (I won’t even begin to get into our inside jokes), but every time we’re together we laugh so hard we cry over the random memories: the videos we made, the experiences we had that no one else would find funny and the things we did while cramming five of us into a 3-ish bedroom apartment.

Chicago Girls Weekend

Because we missed Lindsey and we can’t ever leave anyone out, we obviously made a paper-plate-on-a-stick version of her to tote around the city. I really wish I was kidding. Actually, no, I don’t. Because this is just another normal day for us and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Chicago Girls Weekend

Leah, the resident Chicagoan, lined up some pretty awesome stuff for us to do: a delicious brunch, manicures, aromatherapy making (see below) and more.

Chicago Girls Weekend

On the way home to CLE, I listened to an audiobook I’ve been wanting to read: MWF Seeking BFF: My Yearlong Search for a New Best Friend. It was the perfect read (or listen!) after a weekend with my own best friends. I realized, while listening to Bertsche talk about the different stages of friendship, that I am extraordinarily lucky to have many lifelong friends that know me inside and out. And these four girls, who I met freshman year of college in good old Morris Hall, will always be lifers.

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Baby Miles | 7 Months03.07.14

Akron In-Home Baby Photos

Everyone’s favorite redhead is back! Mr. Miles is 7 months old (7!) and as cute as ever. He’s crawling, standing up in his crib and wearing a fedora better than any baby I know. Check out a day in the life of Miles …

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March Goals03.03.14

Spring Flowers

Hello, friends! Happy March! We have SUN today, which gets me thinking about flowers and green grass and spring in general. I can hardly wait to see our flowers bloom again. :)

For me, March is going to be B-U-S-Y! Especially compared to the relatively quiet winter I’ve enjoyed. I’ve got three weddings on the books (but one is already photographed!), trips out of town and a conference to finish out the end of the month. My biggest goal is to keep up with it all while practicing my 2014 goal of balance. This will be a big test for what the summer might look like and I’m feeling good about it!

Over the last couple months I’ve been taking a tip from Nancy Ray and have been setting my iPhone alarm to keep me focused on each task. The rule is that I can’t do anything other than what I’m supposed to be working on until my alarm goes off. Then it’s time for a small break to recharge for the next task. So far, so good! It’s like a mini competition every hour … who will win? Me or my iPhone? ;)

  • Read two books (25 in 12): Life of the Beloved by Henri Nouwen and The Forty Rules of Love by Elif Shafak (Plus finish Film is Not Dead. I realized as I started reading it last month that it’s a book meant to be read a little at a time … not necessarily devoured while you’re laying in bed!)
  • Complete month #2 of Insanity (between being sick and falling off the wagon, I definitely let this one slide! Time to get back at it this month!)
  • Find chairs for our living room
  • Mentally prepare for Making Things Happen (if that’s even possible!)
  • Make time for at least two date nights with Nathan
  • Continue working on my good-side split (per #93 on my 101 list)
  • Book our plane tickets to Ireland and Scotland!
  • Finish my new website
  • Finish 2013 vendor discs (le sigh. This might always be on my list … I need to GET IT DONE!)
  • Give up sweets and take on a daily devotional for Lent
  • Celebrate my college BFF during her Chicago bride-to-be weekend!
  • See two more Oscar-nominated movies (my goal is to see all nine this year … five more to go!)

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