Stephanie- Sundrenched Self Love Session

wowwiieee! Here I am, again with another lil blog post! I LOVE blogging about self love sessions, so so much. They’re short and sweet but have so much goodness in them! Today’s lovely post is about fellow photographer, Stephanie Barone!! Omg. When a boudoir photographer trusts you to photograph their first boudoir session it’s kinda the biggest compliment ever…and also the scariest thing ever because someone who creates amazing work trusts you to photograph them and make magic ahhh!!!

I had some questions for Steph in regards to her session, because I wanted to see what her perspective was on being behind the camera, instead of the one taking the photos! First question was why?! Why did you do a boudoir session?! “I felt it was only fair to put myself through the same experience they go through. To experience the terrifying drive to the shoot, wanting to turn around every single second. Then the realization that you are actually going to stand in front of a camera, wearing very little. To the high of getting your hair and makeup professional done [molly is a queen!] and then the unmatched feelings when you are being a straight badass while the photographer works their magic.”

Steph loves being outside in the summer, and it was only fitting to do her first boudoir session outside in her natural element! She wanted her session to feel super natural, nothing over the top, so a simple bra and lace undie set were perfect. Molly did her magic on hair and makeup and kept it simple with some bronzey tones to compliment Steph’s summer tan and beachy waves to get that perfect bed head look!

Most of the time, photographers would prefer to be the one behind the camera and not in front of for Steph it was such a big leap to gain that courage to officially get in front of the camera for a session. Trust me, just because us photographers might photograph boudoir sessions regularly doesn’t mean we don’t get nervous too when it comes to getting photos of ourselves done! Steph said, “do. the. boudoir. session. You will not regret the uplifting and empowering feels that come along with it. [like when you force yourself to workout, you never regret it!] It’s so important to love yourself now. Not after you alter your appearance in anyway. But right now. As women, we are constantly so hard on ourselves and allow yourselves to listen to that degrading voice in our heads. doing one of these session will help numb that voice, even if its for a bit. Then it constantly gets drown out every time you take a peek at your photos. I’m not saying that it won’t be scary, but i am saying that it will be 10,000% worth it”

Hair and Makeup: Molly’s Chair

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Danielle & Brody - Backyard Garden Wedding

Danielle and Brody were my first couple of 2018 to get married! They made it official on a cloudy May day. It was absolutely amazing. These two planned everything themselves, it was a true labor of love from these two.

Their wedding day took place at Brody’s Family’s landscaping nursery. Danielle said “As soon as we got engaged, we knew that we wanted to have our wedding at the nursery. Walter’s Nursery is located in Point Pleasant, Pennsylvania and has been in Brody’s family for nearly 100 years. We knew that having our wedding at the nursery would be such a great way to celebrate our marriage at a place where we felt like we were at home. Situated between the canal and the Delaware River, we joined families and friends in our very own special place. ”

Even though these two were so hands on in the planing process, Danielle said it never really felt like it was her own wedding, but the moment she slipped into her dress and headed for the nursery, it kinda sunk in that she was getting married!

“if I could imbed any memory into my mind forever, it would be when we were pronounced. Our best friend Bryan married us and the moment he said “I now pronounce you husband and wife” I immediately felt my stomach drop, next I cried, he cried, we cried, and I felt his arms wrap around me. I have waited for that day since I was 12 years old.  ”

If you couldn’t tell, these two have some AMAZING style. I loved the contrast of black bridesmaids dresses with Danielle’s lacey long sleeved dress. The juxtaposition was just so perfect for her feminine yet badass style.

“The dress I wore was the first I tried on. My aunt and mom were the only people to witness me in my dress when I first spotted it on the internet and needed to see it in person. I had no idea what I wanted to wear but long sleeves was what I could always envision. The underlay of my dress was a nude warm color and ivory lace laid on top. White isn’t typically in my wardrobe so this soft combination felt like it was made for me.”

When I first met these two for their engagement session, Brody was wearing a hat similar to the one he’s wearing in these photos. I asked him if he’d be rocking one for the wedding day and they both said that Brody is never without a hat! I loved his all black look, and how it fit him and his style so well. “Brody wears black and only black, dressing him head-to-toe in all black (cue Johnny Cash) was fate. We didn’t want to completely take tradition away so he wore a black vest on top. Brody’s boots and hat were purchased long before our wedding and it felt so natural for him to wear what he wanted. Overall, the two of us didn’t feel it was important to follow wedding standards. We kept everything at low cost and realized it was more important to focus on the two of us rather than what we looked like. ”

Danielle and Brody really just wanted a laid back wedding filled with the people, food and music they love. Everything they picked out meant something to them and every person there had affected their lives in one way or another. “My mom bought flowers from multiple grocers and local markets, which we used to fill the upcycled wine bottles on the tables. Our bouquets were also made by my mom, using the same flowers and together we wrapped them up with faux leather of assorted brown colors. Our utensils for our food were eco-friendly. Our square cork colored plates were compostable along with our black flatware. My best friend and bridesmaid made all of the signage. Together we picked colors and she did all of the wording and creativity herself. The farm style tables were crafted by a friend, which embraced our stripped feel free of table cloths. The dance floor was old pallet wood from the nursery that was jazzed up by adding the checkerboard pattern to bring life to scraps. Our bartenders stood behind a beautiful bar that was supplied by our friend Bryan, as it once was a piece of furniture in his historical home. The more I think about all we wanted was something that was effortless. ”

During the reception as I was chowing down on the most delicious taco, my second shooter grabbed me and told me that Brody was getting his wedding band tattooed on. The tattooer, JP Conrad, a good friend of the couple, was a guest at the wedding. He creates works of art with both traditional machinery as well as stick and poke! JP came equipped with his tools and went to work tattooing Brody’s finger! Danielle said, “I like to believe that Brody and I are practical people. I am very honored to have been given such a beautiful ring from Brody in such a beautiful place. In return…he was unsure if he wanted to wear a ring himself. Brody spends most of his time fixing old motorcycles and cars. You’ll typically find him with his hands dirty, covered in grease. As a manual laborer, this deterred him from wanting a ring, so we improvised.”

“We didn’t tell anyone it was happening and we just let our friends and family watch as we drank, ate, and laughed. The day after, we both talked about our favorite parts of our wedding. We agreed on the ceremony being the most emotional but Brody’s dearest memory was the tattooing of his wedding band. It was truly something unusual, yet so memorable. ”

“It was principal that our wedding was going to be fun and emulate the commitment Brody and I have had for one another since we were 12 and now 26. Our day embodied multiple reflections of the two of us without taking away what was important like family, friends, gin, whiskey, and tacos. ”

Danielle’s Dress: David’s Bridal

Brody’s Attire: H&M and ASOS

Hair and Makeup: Molly Tanzillo of Molly’s Chair

Invitation: Minted

Cake/Donuts: Factory Girl Bake Shop

Catering: Local Mama Catering

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Engagement Session location Ideas in Southeastern PA

Welcome to my long overdue blog post about engagement session locations! If you’re reading this, I’m assuming you may need help with picking out a spot for your session! Wedding planning is full of so many twists and turns that sometimes picking out your engagement session location comes out of no where. Hopefully this post helps you out in narrowing down your choices!

Vintage/retro influence:Tara and George rented a vintage car for their engagement session! Tara found an inspiration photograph from a designer she follows and immediately fell in love with the idea. If you and your significant other adore vintage cars, why not have one in your photographs! If you have one of your own it gives you the chance to show it off and get some amazing photographs of it!

Your wedding venue:Danielle and Brody got married on a piece of their family’s property, which happened to be a landscaping nursery! These two invited me to visit the property before the wedding, where I also did a mini engagement session of the two of them! Having your engagement session at your wedding venue is a perfect way to scope out spots with your photographer before the wedding day! But, I would highly recommend making sure that doing a session there is okay, some venues may not allow it, so it’s best to contact your venue prior to the session to make sure they’re A-okay with it!

Museum:This location is definitely one of my favorites! Haley and Oliver decided to do their engagement session at their favorite art museum! This was such a fun way to showcase their interests and hobbies in their photos! We did this session in the dead of winter, and while we still did some outdoor shots, being able to walk around inside and warm up was great! A tip that we found to work in our favor, go closer to closing time. We went inside about an hour to close which meant that we had less of a hard time getting people in the background of the photos!

Local park:Okay, I know that a lot of people do their engagement sessions at parks, and it’s nothing out of the norm for me to suggest, but…Taylor and Ed suggested a park that none of us had ever been to, so we all got to adventure together and it ended up being so much fun. The day ended up being foggy and overcast with a lil bit of rain, but that didn’t stop us! I LOVE foggy days, so if your session calls for a day without sun, don’t automatically re schedule! The overcast weather will actually work in your favor! I find it makes my colors more rich in tone and I don’t have to worry about what the light is doing since it’s a perfect soft blanket of light!

Studio:This engagement session holds a special place in my heart, Hope is a fellow photographer and one of my good friends. Her and Joe did their engagement session in November and I believe the temperature was around 20-30…so we did a majority of their session indoors at my studio! We braved the cold for golden hour and then decided to use candle light for some amazing romantic shots. I LOVE playing around with different lighting sources, its a challenge but also lets me get creative!

In home:Doing an in home session is about as personal as it gets! Darrell and Jamille invited me to their home for their engagement session. The two of them renovated the entire house to make it their dream home, so photographing them in their own masterpiece was so special! I basically was just a fly on the wall while they snuggled watching tv and told me all about the renovation process!

Greenhouse:Okay, I have to say this is one of my TOP favorite locations to shoot at. Why? It’s basically everything proof…you can still shoot in a greenhouse if it’s raining, snowing, dead outside you name it! These photos were taken this winter and I don’t think you would know if I didn’t tell you! We even got a little sweaty towards the end! Any greenhouse is perfect, especially if your only option for an engagement session is in the winter and you really want those colorful blooms! Plus…who doesn’t love plant babies?!

First date/date night:Last but definitely not least, take your photographer to your first date location, or your favorite date location! Lindsey and Mike took me all around their little town where we photographed them around tons of little breweries, restaurants, markets and parks that they like to visit together! I loved getting to know more about them and their favorite places as they took me around! It totally made their photos even more meaningful since they were all taken at places they know and love!

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