Last week I got to stroll the lovely streets of Georgetown with Diana and Barret, along with what felt like the entire student body of Georgetown University as there was some sort of graduation ceremony going on that evening! But nonetheless, we still had plenty of cute little spots to use that oozed that Georgetown charm!
Another sweet thing about this engagement session is that it took place exactly one month from their wedding day!! What a sweet way to commemorate entering your wedding month! And the actual date of their wedding has special significance as it is the anniversary of the day they met! And to top it all off, they are getting married at King Family Vineyards, which is where they met on that date!! What a sweet and special detail to their wedding day!
I had such a great time hanging out with Diana and Barret during their session! I learned more about their lives and love story and the fact that we all have some sort of degree in Mathematics! Yes, we’re nerds! I can’t wait to photograph their big day in Charlottesville in just a few weeks!!
To see more of my recent engagement sessions, click here!
This wedding was very special for many reasons. First, it was my first wedding back since the baby! I was surprised that I got through the whole day with no tears! The fast-paced environment of a wedding day can take your mind off anything! But also, it was at one of my favorite venues with one of my favorite wedding planners and the sweetest couple!
Janelle is a very design-minded bride so she designed every little detail of her wedding day! From designing all the paper goods herself to making sure every shade of blue and white went well together! That’s my kind of bride! Pippin Hill was the perfect backdrop for their dreamy wedding day! After stalking the weather forecast like a hawk, she got her dream sunny ceremony in front of the rolling hills of the Blue Ridge mountains! So needless to say, this was the perfect way to start of my wedding season!! Keep scrolling to see all the gorgeous goodness from this wedding!
Such a gorgeous glowing bride!
The sweetest first look! I don’t think Janelle’s smile could have been any bigger!
They read personal vows to each other after their first look and did traditional vows during the ceremony. Such a sweet idea!
Janelle even took notice that the bridesmaids dresses she picked out looked great in front of the main building! Love her intentional designing!
Janelle wanted a flower-drenched ceremony with petals galore!
You’ll probably recognize a few of these sweet gardens and streets as this was my 4th Colonial Williamsburg engagement session in a span of two weeks! But you may also recognize this couple as well! Chandy and Nick were the bride and groom models at one of my Audrey Rose Workshopstyled shoots almost 2 years ago! And now here they are, getting married for real this time, and I get to capture them again!
As this wasn’t Chandy and Nick’s first time in front of my camera, it came as no surprise that they were total pros! As was their sweet pup, Rosie! She rode along in style in her wagon throughout their session! I was so excited to see that Williamsburg was still and full bloom and was still looking as springy as ever!
Nick and Chandy met while both attending ODU. Their first encounter occurred at the lion fountain on campus, so it was fitting that Nick would propose there years later! Now they are planning their romantic black tie winter wedding for next January! Can’t wait!
My 3rd Colonial Williamsburg engagement session in two weeks! I’m certainly not complaining as it’s one of my favorite places! I could stroll around and get lost in this charming area all day! And doing all these sessions there has allowed me to explore new spots for shooting! These so many cute areas, it’s hard to choose!
Karen and Daniel met while they were both studying abroad in Paris! They quickly became friends, but it wasn’t until they returned to the U.S. that they decided they wanted something more and started dating. A few days later, Daniel drove all the way from Illinois to William & Mary and surprised Karen with flowers and a visit! And then to bring it full circle, he proposed to Karen years later during a trip to Paris during the evening light show at the Eiffel Tower! How romantic!
When we met up in Williamsburg for their engagement session, there was a big band of rain that threatened to disrupt our evening, but it stayed away just long enough for us to stay dry the whole time! It’s easy to see from the photos how sweet these two are! The way they look at each other and light each other up is so clear! And Karen looked stunning with her fiery red curls and flawless makeup by Holly from Blushtones! Can’t wait for their wedding in Lexington this fall!
I love the way Daniel looks at Karen!
This little garden was a new find for me and I love it!
To see more of my recent engagement session, click here!
These first few weeks back to work are busy ones! Nathan and Sam’s engagement session was actually supposed to be my first session back from maternity leave weeks ago, but we rescheduled due to weather more times than I can count! But I’m so glad we held out for better weather because we had the perfect spring afternoon for their Virginia Beach engagement session!
Nathan and Sam’s story has ties to many different parts of the country! They met at a dog beach in Florida while Sam was finishing her bachelors degree and Nathan was stationed at the time. Their mutual affection for dogs made it easy for them to hit it off right away! They now live together here in Virginia Beach where Nathan is a Navy pilot. Their mutual affection for their pup, Chevy, hiking and cooking a meal together at the end of the day has them loving life as they plan their dream wedding for this summer!
I love that their engagement session was actually a sort of ‘day in life’ for these two. Walking their pup around some of their local favorite spots- Pleasure House Point and the beach! Which is also how Nathan proposed while hiking with Chevy one day! Chevy was so cute just running circles around them the whole time happy as can be! You’ll actually see him photobombing a lot of their pictures!
Jill and Isaac are the definition of a power couple! They met while attending William & Mary and are now doing long distance while Jill is getting a PhD in Chemistry from UNC and Isaac is at Harvard Med! Smarty pants! They are both going after their dreams, while also keeping their relationship strong despite the distance between them. I’d say this makes for a great foundation for the marriage they are about to enter into!
Since their meeting place AND proposal took place at William & Mary, the nearby Colonial Williamsburg area was the perfect spot for their engagements! You may be having de ja vu from the session I just blogged a few days ago as we used a lot of the same spots! Two Colonial Williamsburg sessions in one week is definitely my idea of a good week! We had a gorgeous 70s and sunny afternoon to stroll the charming streets of the area. We chatted about their wedding, their courtship and plans for the future!
Their wedding venue, The Barn at Edgewood, is also a special place as it is a farm that Jill has known since she was 5! It’s also a gorgeous place to get married! Can’t wait for their wedding there next year!
My first engagement session since having the baby! Those 3 months of maternity leave were exactly what the doctor ordered! Healing from delivery, adjusting to life with a newborn and allowing my sanity to return just in time to get back into shooting! And I couldn’t have asked for a better engagement session to start off the season!
Stephanie and Phil are the sweetest pair of college sweethearts! We were originally supposed to do their engagements back in the fall, but with fall weddings and Phil’s schedule as a football coach, we ended up postponing until after my maternity leave. So I’ve been looking forward to meeting these two for a long time now! We had a gorgeous sunny afternoon in the beautiful Colonial Williamsburg area for their engagement session. They were total pros and so sweet to hang out with! We may have just met that day, but we instantly felt like friends! Despite the chill in the air, they were all smiles and joy! Can’t wait to hang out with these two again at their Pippin Hill wedding this summer!
Stephanie, you are too cute!
We weren’t sure if the tulips in the area would be in bloom quite yet. So when we snuck back to this garden and saw this sea of blooms, Stephanie couldn’t contain her excitement! This whole session just screams Spring!
Even this grassy patch was blooming with flowers that even matched their outfits!
My sweet baby James has officially transitioned from a floppy newborn to a plump baby! Month 3 has been so sweet and just keeps getting sweeter each day! So many new developments and changes each day! And if it’s even possible, loving him more and more each day. I’ve asked some of my friends with small children what their favorite age has been. And they always say the age they are at that moment, which tells me that it’s just going to keep getting better and sweeter! Child rearing is such a bittersweet struggle between wanting them to stay small forever, but also look forward to what the next day brings!
Here’s a look at how month 3 had gone!
So many new developments in month 3! Lot’s of smiles! And they are actually in response to things as opposed to just random. It’s the sweetest! And I feel like we’re so close to a giggle! Another new thing is sucking on his fist! He does it all the time and it’s too cute! He has also just now starting noticing toys in front of him! So crazy! He’s also a tummy time pro now, which is saying a lot given the size of the head he has to lift up!
I’m hesitant to comment on sleep because whenever I do, I seem to jinx myself. But sleep is slowly, but surely, getting there. His first stretch is usually 5-6 hours, then every 3-4 after that. So not terrible, but I had hoped we’d be closer to him sleeping through the night at this point. But I’m just trying to be patient and hope that we’ll get there eventually!
Speaking of sleep, he’s also been doing a lot of sleep in his crib this past month! I had been doing a few daytime naps in the crib every now and then to help get him used to it. Then we tried doing overnight in there and he did great! I honestly didn’t plan to move him to the crib until maybe 5-6 months, but he was doing well in it, so I figure we should keep it up! Granted, the nursery is connected to our bedroom, so it wasn’t a huge transition. But it’s been really nice to have our bedroom back! Watching TV before bed and not having to tiptoe around the room has been so nice! But since he still has some short stretches, we decided to do his first stretch in his crib and then the rest of the night in the bassinet. Once he’s closer to sleeping through the night, we’ll go back to do the whole night in the crib.
This was sort of my last month of maternity leave which is so bittersweet! Even though there’s been a lot of work done on the computer these last 3 months, I haven’t done any shooting, which is the longest I’ve ever gone without a shoot or wedding! But it was very needed! Especially since Branden is still working long hours and can’t really help with the baby. But next month is back to shoots and then weddings start in May! I have a hard time leaving him for a few hours, so I have a feeling that first wedding is going to be tough away from him!
On the flip side, Branden has had anything but time with James, unfortunately. We knew going into having James that Branden would have to work 12 weeks of 70-80 hour weeks shortly after he was born. It was just the way his schedule lined up. So he leaves before he wakes up and just barely makes it home in time for bath time and sometimes misses him altogether. So I feel for him that he’s been missing so much baby time these last 3 months, but this 12 week stretch is almost done and then he’ll have a few weeks of working less hours (maybe 50-60 hours a week) and getting more baby time!
I’m very lucky to be able to say that James is a very content and happy baby. He hardly cries, and when he does, it’s usually easy to know why. He’s content sitting in his little Sit Me Up chair or chilling on his boppy lounger while I shower. That combined with his personality starting to show has made it really fun to just hang out with him! We’ll just sit and baby talk back and forth and it’s so sweet!
Around the beginning of the 3rd month, we noticed that he seems to favor looking to his left side. This also led us to notice the back of his head is lopsided because he always sleeps with his head to the left. So we’ve been taking him to a chiropractor to help with his neck rotation and have been trying to keep him off his back when he’s awake. We try to put him to sleep with his head to the right, but he always ends up turning it to the left. So we’ll see if it gets better and hopefully we can avoid having to get him a helmet! Fingers crossed!
But overall, month 3 has been great! And I feel like I’m finally getting out of the new mom fog. If you’re a mom, you know exactly what I’m talking about. That fog that keeps your from thinking straight and makes you forget that a world exists outside your little baby bubble. We’ve been getting out of the house a lot more as it has become easier. My routine with him is also more consistent which takes the stress and guesswork out of the day allowing me to breath and live! I feel like I spend so much more time actually enjoying my baby instead of just constantly feeling frustrated and exhausted all the time. And I can’t ask for more than that!
And these photos have to be my favorite because he has so much more personality! And I finally caught some really good smiles!! I could scroll through these all day!
Oh my gosh, his face!
Now that he is not longer a floppy newborn, he loves being held up like this! But I’m a little more cautious when I do it now since he barfed all over my face and hair! Gah!
That little smirk! Heartbreaker!
He also LOVES standing up! Maybe we’ll have an early walker!
Now that he has better head stability, we’ve started using this Sit Me Up chair! He loves it! And it’s great when I need my hands free and don’t want to have to just lay him down. We always put him in it with his back to the TV, but he still manages to turn his head far enough to see it! Uh Oh!
Working on that smize!
And I’m dead!
Sucking on his fist is his new favorite thing!
This is pretty much his resting facial expression! haha!
Why does he look so old here?? Gahhh
Naughty boy!! haha!
Can’t get enough of his faces!
I LOVE putting him in real people clothes! Him, not so much.
Months 1, 2 and 3! So crazy!
The bloopers still crack me up too!
And some phone pics!
First time to church! Right picture pretty accurately depicts how it went. haha
And first brunch afterwards!
He’s growing out of clothes so fast, which means we had to put him in all the outfits that people gave us so we could send them a pic before he outgrew them!
Still loves bathtime!
Celebrated my sweet friend, Grier, and baby Walker who will be joining us so soon!
Tummy time pro!
And we got to meet my dear friend Audrey’s baby boy, AJ! Also, how is she sitting indian style 2 weeks after having him???
Need to work on our selfie game
First Tuesdays Together meeting!
Yard work buddy! Can you tell he’s not used to being in bright light?? My poor winter baby!
Loves looking at himself in the mirror!
Celebrated Miss Charlotte turning one!
To see more of our Sweet Baby James, check out these posts!
Normally I do this post around mid-December at the end of the year. Well, I guess late March is the new mid-December now that a baby is involved! I was tempted to just let it go and not do it for 2018, but this is always one of my favorite posts of the year! And this one is especially my favorite because you get to see my entire pregnancy through these photos! I was actually pregnant for ALL but 2 of my 2018 weddings! So crazy! The end of 2018 definitely presenting some challenges shooting weddings with my growing belly. But I made it through (with some help!) and had a great season!
Shooting weddings while pregnant was not only different physically, but also mentally. I viewed special parts of the day so differently. Like the mother-son dances gave me all the feels when I thought about doing that with my son one day! Especially one of the weddings where the groom’s name was James and they danced to Sweet Baby James! I won’t miss the achey back and feet that come with shooting weddings 30 pounds heavier, but I will miss all the help I was offered at weddings! I could get used to people offering to hold doors, carry my bags and get me water!
So enjoy my yearly post of allll the unflattering pictures of myself behind the camera! I usually don’t order these photos sequentially, but I figured I would this year so you can see the progression of my pregnancy!
Short girl problems! Always finding things to stand on!
The lovely Pippin Hill!
Treating myself to some warm Apple Cider on a cold wedding day. It was heavenly!
This was my first wedding pregnant! But I didn’t know it yet! I had a positive pregnancy test the morning after this wedding!
That side eye though…
One of the many HUGE wedding parties from 2018! And my cute second shooter/light tester, Bri!
When you and your second shooter are both JMU alum, you get picture with the groomsmen that was the JMU quarterback!
Can the photogs spot the cringe-worthy situation in the right pic? mmHmmm…
Navigating DC on a wedding day!
When you feet are super wet, you let them air out when you can! Don’t worry, shoes were back on when guests came into the room.
One of my favorite parts of the day- showing the couple their sneak peeks!
Hillary is like a little sister to me, so it was so sweet to get to shoot her wedding!
If you’ve seen my past BTS posts, you’ll know what this is- the evil eye!
Almost had a Marilyn Monroe moment!
Did you know that more often than not, I put the bride’s veil in myself then just have mom or the MOH pretend for a photo?
Bri takes her veil fluffing job very seriously!
Don’t fall in the water. Don’t fall in the water. Don’t fall in the water.
Second guessing how to spell BRIDE
The first wedding where I had a little sign of a bump! Can you see it??
Well, that’s attractive!
The test of a good second shooter is how many umbrellas they can hold at once!
Ready, set, go!!
Fun fact, there are actually TWO pregnant ladies in these pictures! Ashley was pregnant too, but it wasn’t public yet.
They weren’t kidding when they said to cherish every day with your baby because they grow so fast!! In just a month, our floppy newborn has turned into a real baby! He’s noticing the world around him, growing like a weed and flashing us the sweetest smiles! It’s really fascinating to watch him grow and change each day. I often find myself scrolling through the many pictures of him in my phone in disbelief over how much he’s changed. He doesn’t even look like the same baby we brought home from the hospital! All these changes are so bittersweet as it’s going by too fast, but I also look forward to the new developments that each day will bring!
Here’s an update on Sweet Baby James’ second month of life!
So how are we doing? I’d say it’s still just as exhausting, but easier in that we are getting used to it and developing a routine. And when I say we, I really mean I, as Branden is still working 80-hour weeks which leaves me riding solo most the time. So while I still can only manage to get one to-do list item accomplished per day, I do feel a little less overwhelmed as I get used to this new way of life!
My favorite part about this last month has been James’ smiles!! Each week he flashes us his adorable smile more and more and it gives me life!! We haven’t found a foolproof way to get him to smile just yet, but he does seem to like raspberry kisses on his cheeks! I could do it all day!
James is growing like a weed! And I can’t help but feel proud of myself as the pediatrician was surprised that we haven’t given him any formula because of how much he’s grown! I feel really lucky to not have any issues with supply and breastfeeding, as I know that’s not the case for everyone. And little guy’s head is still hanging out at 95th percentile!
My one complaint about this past month had to be nighttime sleep. I’m pretty sure I jinxed myself in my one month post when I said he had been sleeping well. Literally the next day his nighttime sleep became very irregular. Some night it’s 3-hour stretches and some nights it’s up every hour. The 4-5 hour stretches now only happen once every blue moon. I can’t deny that’s it been really frustrating to not be where I thought we would be at this point in terms of sleep. Especially since Branden is now working night shifts leaving me to do nights on my own. So I’m just trying to be patient and trust that we’re doing everything right and he’ll eventually be able to go longer stretches. Fingers crossed!
Something we started doing this past month is a bedtime routine which starts with James’ favorite part of the day- bathtime! It’s so cute to see how much he loves splashing in the tub!
Leaving the house is still seldom, but doesn’t feel quite as daunting anymore as we get the hang of it. It’s amazing how going out for lunch or meeting up with friends can make you feel like a real person again after being on house arrest for 2 months!
Branden and I actually had our first date night this month since James’ arrival! My mom came over to watch him while we went out for dinner and drinks! I’ll be honest that I was surprised at how I felt leaving him for the first time. I was pretty much an emotional wreck for the first hour or so of the night. It wasn’t until I got a text update from my mom that I started to relax. It’s amazing how much I missed him only being away a few hours!
And now for all the baby cuteness!! He’s just so cute it kills me!
Loves bathtime! But HATES being taken out of the tub!
I actually did my hair and makeup so we could get a few pictures with him in the nursery but he would NOT wake up! Oh well! He’s just as cute when he’s sleeping!
We loved having a few unseasonably warm days to enjoy some outside time!
He’s still a little too young to do the photos on his belly, but it sure is cute to see him try!
Oh, my heart!
Paint me like one of your French girls!
And a few of the many phone pics from the last month!
Baby shower for Branden’s coworker, also named Audrey. She delivered James!
Poor guy has no choice but to like golf!
Love my little man!
Our first walk in the neighborhood with James!
The pitiful, but kinda cute, face I wake up to so many times each night. And the sweetest gaze up at his Uncle Pete!
The first smile I caught on camera!
An outing to Top Golf with friends!
Instagram filters on a baby are just the cutest!
Our first date night as parents!
Feeling fancy at The Cavalier Hotel
Our newest dinner buddy. And buying a pair of ‘transitional’ jeans until my pre-pregnancy jeans fit again!
Want to read more about our Sweet Baby James? Check out these posts!