So. That is an insane amount of images...I know. This is proof of why it is so hard for me to put together blog posts. I am the queen of taking too many shots. ;)
This engagement session was so.much.FUN.
Rachel and I grew up together. She is younger than I, but we knew each other from school / church as kids. I had the pleasure of working with her at two previous weddings where she happened to be a bridesmaid - also where I had the chance to meet her beau, Eric.
Rachel and Eric remind me A LOT of my husband and I. They are total goofballs together and are buddies who just happen to be in love. We have very similar tastes and I can't even begin to tell you how pumped I was when Rachel contacted us about shooting their wedding and engagement session.
Rachel is a creative lady and I was so excited about this idea for their engagement session. Here is a little bit of the story from Rachel's blog:
As you may have guessed, Eric and I aren't a super "schmoopy" couple... our relationship is pretty much one big laugh fest, making stupid jokes and poking fun at each other. So we didn't really think a typical engagement shoot with lots of holding and caressing and gazing into each others' eyes in the middle of a wildflower patch was really "us" (hey, there is nothing wrong with those shoots. Personally, I think they're gorgeous for the right kind of couple!). I had the idea months and months ago to have a county-fair-themed engagement shoot, and thankfully Amber from the INCREDIBLE Look Here Photography (umm.... have you seen their work??? I'm so blessed to have the chance to work with them) was 100% on board for something different.
It's even more lucky that one of the nation's largest county fairs just happens to be the Great Darke County Fair, right in my hometown of Greenville, Ohio. So Eric and I traveled back to Ohio for the photo session before the last weekend of the fair in late August. I was nervous going in, because I'm pretty much the least photogenic person on the planet... I was completely afraid we'd shoot for hours and have no decent shots thanks to my derpiness in front of the camera. But Amber worked her magic and managed to get some great shots where I wasn't making the most awkward faces known to man (Eric, on the other hand, was calm... he's a natural).
The photos that follow are the result of nearly four hours of shooting (we probably had about 15 other poses/scenes and probably 400 more shots throughout the night that aren't pictured), some fantastic direction from Amber, a ridiculous amount of food (Fiske fries, cotton candy, kettle corn, Strawberry Lemonade Shake Up.... if you're from Darke County, you know we had to gets shots with all the perennial favorites), some of the nicest folks that let us pose (riding rides and playing games for FREE... never say carnies aren't kind people), a bunny, tip-toeing around cow patties, and about two dozen onlookers watching, cooing "Awwwwwww" every time Amber prompted us to "smooch." It was such a fun night, and I'm so happy my little pipe dream of a concept was brought to life so beautifully by such a talented photographer.
Rachel & Eric - many thanks guys. We can't wait to see what the wedding day brings...
See you in Milwaukee!
Amber & Rob
We have been neighbors with Liz's family for over 7 years. So, I have known Liz for quite sometime. She has grown into such an intelligent and beautiful woman. She sure made a great decision when falling for Cory (who is probably one of the nicest guys you could meet).
We are so thrilled they have asked us to photograph their wedding day, we know it will be amazing. We decided to hold their engagement session in the always gorgeous Oregon District in Dayton. We always manage to find fun and unique spots for backdrops, love shooting there.
For example - as we were walking and talking through the alleys of the oregon district we found the wall that had "They are watching" written on it - I thought it was a cute little tid-bit to get a photo with and I said, "I wonder what it means?" Cory said that he saw the mannequin heads in the window when we were walking and talking, but didn't say anything. The arrow in the "They" pointed to these creepy dudes in the window. I love when people do weird stuff like this, it keeps things interesting. :)
Our good friends, Ryan and Denise, were in town a few weeks ago with their adorable little guy, Mr. Oliver. This was the first time we had a chance to meet Oliver in person, even though we have watched him grow-up via Facebook.
Ryan has been a friend of ours for years. The first time I met Ryan, he was singing in my garage with my older brother's band. I was in the 8th grade I think? I remember I made him mint tea because his throat hurt from the 5 hundred times they made him sing the song Glycerine, by Bush. ;)
A few years after that, he became Rob's roommate. They lived together and I was always at their house hanging out. LOTS of funny memories came from that time in our life. Then, Ryan and Rob were in a band together - this time, no Glycerine.
And finally, Ryan married us on our wedding day. We couldn't think of anyone better - and we were so thankful he said yes. I don't know how many times during the ceremony, I would look up to see a huge Ryan grin on his face - and it calmed my nerves and made me smile.
Then there is Denise - who I have become friends with basically via the Internet due to the distance between us. We realized we had quite a bit in common - a love for graphic design, reading lots of blogs, and photographing our families way too much. ;) Oh, she is also a sweetheart...
Denise is also a photographer (a very talented one at that) and we decided to swap photo sessions when they were in town visiting. I am so glad we did. Denise captured images of my family that I will truly treasure. Little snippets of our life at this time, which has been pretty darn hectic - but also, pretty darn amazing.
I hope Denise, Ryan, and little Olvier feel the same way about the images we took of them. Oliver is at such a fun stage - the never wants to sit still not even for a second - stage. ;) I really do love this age. Totally spontaneous and full of energy. I know Ryan and Denise were chasing him around the entire time they were home - and loving every minute of it. It made me smile.
We love you guys and can't wait to see you again.
Amber and Rob
This last set of images - they literally made me laugh out loud. They were all captured in about 20 seconds and they had to be viewed as a sequence. Oliver kept pulling Ryan's hair and as you can see, it hurt. Obviously, Ryan and Denise are our friends - and we know they won't hate us forever for posting these images. If it were a regular client, I wouldn't put them through this embarrassment, but Ryan - you can take it. This CRACKS me up. You can tell by Oliver's face in the last shot - he TOTALLY knew what he was doing....LOL - love ya! ;)
I did it. 365/2011.
A part of me hoped this project would slow down time. I thought if I could remember one moment from each day, they might not flow into each other like they always seem to do. I thought it might be a way for me to feel like my life isn't moving faster than I can keep up. I learned quickly, that wasn't the case.
Although the project did not help slow down time, I am still thrilled I did it. My weird obsession with documenting my life isn't going anywhere, I know I will always feel like I am not remembering it enough or savoring it enough.
I watch others live their lives without capturing them...just living in the moment and then letting them pass by. It saddens me, yet I envy them at the same time. A balance I try to keep = always trying to remember what has happened, yet focusing on what is happening now and moving forward.
2011 was an amazing year for our family and I am so glad I decided to start the project with it. Hundreds of wonderful moments as a family, as a couple, as individuals. We took a few fabulous vacations, we went to a couple amazing concerts, we made wonderful new friends who have helped us grow, we volunteered time to the community, we had even more (and some repeat) photography clients who were awesome, and we accomplished our dream of starting a coffee shop.
As I look back at these photos, this project, this year...I am thankful. I am thankful for every single day I am here. Every day I am lucky to have. There isn't one single thing I would change. Every day I am thankful.
I will be continuing this project into 2012. Who knows how long it will last. All I know is that I love it. It has allowed me to remember what has happened, yet focus on what is happening now and move forward. Balance is good.
2012...I am ready. Bring it.