Baby Stella – A 6 Month Session

December 1, 2016

It was the honor of a lifetime documenting Stella’s birth story and preserving her first moments of life for her adoring family. She is such a special little girl. Her 6 month session came so fast, I feel like I blinked after her newborn session and there she was, half a year old already!

Aside from being adorable, snugly and generally delicious, she’s also the most polite baby I think I’ve met. She’s such an accommodating little model with her shy smile. Very inquisitive, she’d really rather explore the props on the scene than pay mind to the camera. And bravo to her family. They have possibly the best (definitely the funniest) techniques for getting an infant to smile that I’ve ever seen.

Congrats on your half-year milestone, Stella! Can’t wait to see how much you’ve changed next time we meet 🙂

<3

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Melanie + Jake

November 22, 2016

Melanie and Jake are indescribable. Like so many faerie tales, their story is rooted in the true essence of love: honesty, trust, forgiveness, humility and unwavering support through good times and bad. It’s been so fun editing their amazing wedding day footage. So much of it was filled with unforgettable moments that keep filling my heart the more times I watch it. I’m so proud they asked us to be their documentarians for the day!

They were married October 1st at the beautiful Ceilo Blu Barn in Fellsmere, FL, right down the street from where we call home. It couldn’t have been a more perfect day for a rustic outdoor wedding.

Special Thanks to the following vendors who helped make their wedding day Perfect!

Photography – Megan Ashley Photography

Video 2nd – Ashley Morgan / Ash + Meadow Photography

Officiant – Jessica Sweeney

Cake – Brittany Faria

Dessert Bar – Lea Ann & Jennifer Brown

Caterer – A Perfect Pear Catering

DJ – Dale King

Bar – Zak Kleckner

Baby Jack – A 6 Month Session

November 15, 2016

It’s so fun photographing infant life stages. A child is born, and in three months they are completely different. By 6 months they are nearly unrecognizable they’ve changed so much! Such is certainly in extreme demonstration with sweet baby Jack, who I have the distinct privileged of photographing in his first year of life. At 6 months old, Jack already outweighs my 15 month old. He’s sitting up, pulling himself up, crawling and making jaws drop wherever he goes. And. He’s. So. Cute.

Stinking Cute actually. I love him. I want to take him home with me. But his parents won’t let me, so I have to settle for these precious pictures of him and count the days till our next session. In less than three months this guy is going to be 9 months already and probably out running me haha

Ok, no more talking–Here’s Jack!!

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Melissa + Leif

November 14, 2016

Melissa & Leif’s Indiana wedding was full of love, energy, joy and excitement. But Mr. Hurricane Matthew tried pretty hard to prevent all of that from happening.

Melissa’s family (as well as myself and The Little Grip) were all traveling from Florida’s east coast–where Matthew was predicted to make a direct hit as a cat 4 hurricane only a couple of days before the wedding. We all scrambled to change flights, board up our homes, and make arrangements. Poor Melissa and Leif were so worried their wedding would be dampened by it all, but we all made sure their wedding day came off without a hitch!

Their wedding day arrived and we celebrated. We laughed. We put the worries of the storm aside. We enjoyed each other and I enjoyed being a wedding photographer for my friends.

Cheers to Melissa and Leif! You two are wonderful and I know your future will always be met with love, happiness and joy!

<3 Sam + The Little Grip
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Nora Turns One – A 12 Month Session

October 12, 2016

I’m certainly a little partial when it comes to Nora, since she is my only niece, but I have to say, she’s pretty much the sweetest, most delicious waddling 12-month-old I know. I can say that. Mine is now 13 months old hehe.

Like most girls her age, she has us all wrapped around her precious little fingers, especially when she cracks that crooked little smile, or throws out her bottom lip as you will see in the photos below. But don’t let that fool you! She is a tough little model if mommy and daddy aren’t in the picture! Luckily, “The Little Grip” was on set and offered her a small lemon he found in his adventures in the park and that really helped her warm up to the camera.

I’m so excited to share a small selection of photos from my time with her last week. I mean, it is her birthday, after all! So, happy birthday, Sweet Nora! We love you so much!

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Joann + Markus-Alan

August 23, 2016

Joann & Markus-Alan. I love them.

Sometimes I have a hard time describing my couples and I wish that everyone could’ve been in the room the night I described them to Dave (my partner and best friend). Time travel isn’t currently available in the App Store, so I will try my best to get the gist across.

Joann and Markus-Alan have deep and beautiful souls, and it’s the first thing you see when you meet them. Their lives are only strengthened by the road they’ve traveled together and their eyes still hold the spark of love at first sight. They’ve built a family together, and not just of those related by blood. They have a way of bringing you in with open arms, because that’s just who they are. They welcomed me and Dave in the same way. I just have to say this too. Hank (The Little Grip) has a serious crush on their youngest daughter, and I mean, can you blame him? I am generally a pretty happy person, but my cheeks HURT after their wedding day! There was so much laughter, joy, love and celebration. Those are standard sentiments for a wedding, but I’m telling you, I’m taking this one with me forever. I kind of want them to get married again so I can go back and celebrate with them all over again!

I hope you see why this couple is so special to me when you view some of the highlights from their amazing day. It’s real, guys. It’s just so very real.

<3 Sam + Dave

Many thanks to the vendors who made their wedding day perfect as planned:

Photo: Jaime D’Orio Photography

Video: Pear & Thorn

Venue: Harmony Golf Preserve

Florist: BlossomHouse Florist

DJ: Jon Green

Cake: Sip N’ Dip Donuts

Officiant: Bishop Kotal

Music: You Found Me First by Jake Etheridge / This is Love by Jake Etheridge featuring Marie Hines 

Licensed by The Musicbed

The Little Grip Turns One!

August 17, 2016

in 2015 I shot three weddings with a growing baby bump. I found by the 6 month mark I was having trouble snaking through dancing crowds without bumping into people with my large belly. I still laugh about that. My friends and family all joked that I was getting him into the family business at an awfully early age and we began referring to him as “The Little Grip”

Side note: A Grip is someone who helps in video and film production–typically sometime who holds lighting, unfolds stands, moves things around, etc.

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The Little Grip only a few weeks old

Our Little Grip (Henry) has been the light of our world. He’s just a generally happy little boy. He makes working on the weekends a tougher job than I ever thought it could be.

So, today is his birthday, and every new day I see him grow and change and I fall more and more in love with him every moment. There’s no describing the emotions I feel as I remember where we were one year ago on this day. The doctor laid our sweet Henry Marshall on my chest and the world as Dave and I knew it was forever changed. We knew love, but nothing like the love he brought into our hearts when he came into our lives.

Thank you, Little Grip, for choosing us as your parents. We love you more than we could ever have dreamed was possible.

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As a little added birthday surprise, we are honoring our little boy with a special promo for our clients! If you book a portrait session (couples, babies, family, etc) TODAY, we will take $50 off your portrait session! WooHoo!

Baby Jack – A 3 Month Session

August 14, 2016

Baby Jack is three months old and I got to take some time with him to document this stage of his life. Think about how little three months means to an adult, then imagine what it must be like for a baby. Three months may as well be thirty years for these little souls! And so much happens for them in those three months! Like little Jack, here, they roll over, start making the sweetest gestures and sounds, they can usually sit up decently well too! It’s amazing to me, and it’s one of the many reasons I love getting to do stage of life sessions with parents as equally keen on preserving memories of these incredible milestones!

I think by now it’s probably clear that I LOVE babies. I mean, I have one, right? Well, he’s about to not be a baby for much longer and I can’t put into words what kinds of emotions that lays on my heart. What I feel a lot of, though, is guilt. What a weird feeling, but it’s true. Why? Because of something a lot of my clients ask me:

Are you always doing photo shoots with your son?? You must have so many amazing photos of your baby, being a photographer and all!

And I usually reply with the whole The-Cobbler’s-kids-are-barefoot story. It’s sad. I haven’t had a photographer come to document his life stages, and I’ve only pulled my nice camera out a handful of times since his birth. I certainly don’t go to the lengths for a photo that I do for my clients. But, what I do have is nearly 100 GB of video and photos on my phone. But, oh, the quality is seriously not even close to the same as I can get when I’m working.

This is why I think it’s great when parents come to me for Life Stage photo sessions. This year is going to go by so quickly. I mean, we’re already planning Jack’s 6 Month pics! It’s all about the mysteries ahead for me. What’s he going to be doing next time I come over to take his photos?? Will I become a recognizable friend to this little guy one day? I sure hope so–because he stole my heart in this last session.

Just see for yourself <3

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Jaclyn + Brett

August 2, 2016

The week leading up to Jaclyn and Brett’s wedding, the weatherman called for a rainy Saturday. We all waited on the edge of our chairs, biting our fingernails, nervously staring out the window the night before the big day. It seemed an absolute certainty that their outdoor wedding at the beautiful Ponte Vedra Club and Inn would be pushed indoors. Well, Saturday came and though there was NO rain in sight, the sun was so blistering hot everyone decided to move the ceremony inside after all. Did that get our beautiful couple down? Not in the least! In fact, these two were so incredibly “go with the flow”, I don’t think they were at all disappointed in the scene change!

What I realized during my time with Brett & Jaclyn is that there’s no where in the world these two will ever be unhappy when the other is near at hand. Their eyes shine bright with the other’s love and that’s the most blessed scene of all. I smiled with them, even though their happiness was like a secret inside joke, I couldn’t help but feel happy around them.

We are honored to share our favorite moments of Jackie and Brett’s Ponte Vedra wedding.

Special thanks to the following vendors who made their day so special:
– Photographer: Emily Harris Photography
– Ceremony/Reception: Ponte Vedra Inn and Club, Jacksonville, FL
– Wedding planner/coordinator: Christina Kopecki
– Hair & Makeup: Studio Bride
– Bridal Gown Boutique: Vera Wang
– Event Designer/planner: Kelly Farrell
– Flowers: Anything with Plants
– Video: Pear & Thorn Productions / Chuck Peebles second shooting
– Band: The Rivertown Band
– Cake: Classic Cakes
– Lighting: Mark Grandin

Baby Stella – A Newborn Portrait Session

July 12, 2016

When I first met Emily and Amir, Emily was about ready to pop with their next baby already 40 weeks along.  Their two little boys Lucas and Brayden showed very little sign of the slightest pity to her position. Their stomping feet ringing throughout the house made me smile to myself. They truly are the epitome of the saying “Frogs and snails and puppy dog tails, that’s what little boys are made of”. I pictured my little Henry running full throttle like that one day. Not a twinge of dread, I promise!

Not only did they ask that I take photos of their sweet baby after her birth–they wanted me there for the delivery, too! I can’t tell you how excited I was. I had never been present for a labor and delivery outside of my own, and nothing in the world could be a more beautiful story than the beginning of a life.

So we waited–two whole weeks! But the result was nothing short of Amazing.

And here she is! Emily and Amir’s beautiful baby girl–Stella <3

Oh, and added bonus? They are big Chicago sports fans like Dave and me! GO BLACKHAWKS!

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