Kyle + Sara :: An Intimate, Evening Wedding in Paterson, NJ

People might tell you that Instagram (and social media in general) is a waste of time, and that virtual friends aren’t real friends.
I don’t quite buy into that, because some of the sweetest friends I’ve ever made started out as virtual friendships!  Of course, it takes discernment … but I’m not going to talk about that in a post strictly dedicated to all things MUSHY LOVE STORIES and weddings. 😉

I would like to introduce you to Sara and Kyle, the sweetest virtual-turned-real friends. <3

 

Sara found me on Instagram because I shot one of her friends weddings, and I knew right from the start that we would be a good fit.  I was also walking through engagement at that time, so we were able to relate on many wedding planning issues!

It was such a joy to fly up to New Jersey and capture her and Kyle’s wedding day.  Enjoy a few of my favorite photographs!

I want to take a moment here to share a little bit of a photographers perspective!

Most photographers internally groan when they arrive to a session or a wedding, and find that the lighting is terrible.  It’s no different than any other job … there are certain key things you need in order to be able to provide the desired finished project.  However, the photography and wedding industry has played upon this need and created a completely unnecessary shaming factor.  Photographers are afraid to post an image on Instagram if it wasn’t shot in a white room with lots of natural light.  Somehow, it doesn’t meet the required “aesthetic.”

Don’t get me wrong.  I love a good white room with high ceilings and lots of windows! #swoon
However, I know that finding a venue like that isn’t a reality for most brides, and that shouldn’t change the quality of their finished wedding gallery!  Maybe the getting ready room isn’t bright + white + well lit, but that doesn’t mean that their story can’t be captured just like anyone else’s!

I shot several weddings this past year where there was little to no natural light, and frankly, I’m glad.  I don’t want to be a photographer who is only comfortable shooting images like 50,000 others in the industry.  What has happened to creativity?  What has happened to story telling?  As a photographer, my job is not to capture images that earn the worlds approval, but instead, to capture images that tell my clients story!  White or dark, colorful or pastel, classic or funky … I tell stories because I love the people behind the stories, and the different aspects of a wedding day just add to the charm.

No, I’m not saying hotel rooms are my favorite places to shoot.  Ice cream is my favorite, but I still love finding yummy ways to cook broccoli.  Get it?! 😉

Okay, okayyyyy … officially swooning!

This was my second time shooting at this venue, and I just have to say that I love it more each time!  There is a lot going on between all the glass and décor, but it gives everything such a natural and intimate feel.

Also, I LOVE that Kyle + Sara had games for all the guests to play together!  There were countless rounds of Jenga, with lots of laughter to match.  And look at that gorgeous chess set!!

Such joy!

Kyle + Sara, thank you for trusting me to capture your wedding and for sharing your little corner of New Jersey with me!  The weather might not have exactly cooperated, but that didn’t dampen your joy or love.  Congratulations again and here’s to many, many happy years together! <3

With a smile,
Olivia Marie

Conrad + Rachel :: A Woodsy Wedding in Half Moon Bay, CA

Conrad and Rachel are definitely kindred spirits.  The first time I met them, I kind of accidentally invited myself to Rachel’s parents house … well wait, let me start this story at the beginning. 😉

Last summer, I was visiting California to assist a friend with a wedding, and I found myself with two extra days, so I decided to look around and see who I could find in the Bay Area that would let me crash with them for a  few days and explore San Francisco.  It just so happened that Rachel’s sister-in-law, Taylor, was in the same online ministry group as me.  I had never met her, but I figured that if she loved Jesus she was probably safe to be-friend, so I messaged her and asked if it would be okay to stay with her and her husband.

Taylor and her husband Michael didn’t have a spare room, so they offered to let me stay with Rachel’s parents, who lived in the apartment above them.   Rachel’s parents made me feel right at home, playing board games together late into the evening and sharing their snacks with me.  During the two days I had there, Michael and Taylor invited Rachel, and her then boyfriend Conrad, to join us, and together we explored the West Coast, the Golden Gate Bridge, the official Ghirardelli store, Pier 39, and countless other places. Needless to say, we had a blast and I was so glad for my new found CA friends!

I was also privileged to hear Conrad and Rachel’s cute love story over In-And-Out fries.  The perfect mix 😉

Less than a year later, I saw that Rachel + Conrad got engaged and I was over the moon excited for them …. and immensely honored that they asked me to shoot their wedding!

What a joy it was to head back to California and spend a weekend with their family and friends!! We picked up right where we left off, and even though there were a few mishaps leading up to the wedding day, the beginning of their marriage could not have been more perfect.
I love you two!!

Here are a few of my favorite photographs from their beautiful wedding! <3

While I took Conrad’s and Rachels portraits, their family and friends played a couple friendly rounds of poker.  The winner had bragging rights, and all the cash went to the newlyweds honeymoon fund!  I was in love with this fun idea that is a win-win for everyone involved! 😉

 

Ending the day with a prayer that included all of the guests.  I can’t think of a better way to start a new marriage!

Conrad + Rachel –

CONGRATULATIONS AGAIN! I am thrilled for you two, and so honored to have been a part of your big day.

With a smile,
Olivia Marie

2017 In Review & a Special Christmas Discount!

2017 was epic.
I met so many beautiful faces,
heard so many sweet stories,
and traveled to lots of amazing destinations.

Capturing weddings took me from Florida, to Vermont, to California, and everywhere in between.  I am SO blessed to have a job that I love and am passionate about!

THANK YOU to each and every one of my followers, clients and friends that supported me and cheered me on in 2017. You guys are awesome, and I can’t wait to share 2018 with you!

When I wasn’t globetrotting, I was investing my time at home with my family and community …. that is, if I wasn’t on a plane headed for Georgia. 😉  My Sweetheart became my Fiance in November, and I can’t wait for my own wedding to roll around next year!

Engagement Photo credit to: Stephanie Brann Photography

All this engaged talk brings me to a very important point.  If you are newly engaged this holiday season, I’d like to welcome you to the “Engaged Club” with a warm hug and a special discount!

This offer expires on December 31st, so if you are interested in claiming your discount, hop on over to my contact page (link in button) to inquire about my package options! Mention code 

MERRYCHRISTMAS15

when submitting your contact form! 

The Clock is Ticking!

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Have you been eyeing my work for a a while, but haven’t got the chance to introduce yourself yet? Hey there, and welcome!  I am so glad you stumbled across my little corner of the web where I share cute people and their beautiful stories.  You could be next, you know! 😉

Conner + Emily // Engagement Session, Burlington, NC

Conner and Emily.  They are a one of a kind, head-over-heels-in-love young couple and I could photograph them allllllll day long.  Between their jokes and laughter, starry eyes, and adorable love story …

Emily didn’t like Conner, 
Emily still didn’t like Conner, 
Emily was sure she would never like Conner, 
Conner was determined to make Emily like him, 
but Emily still didn’t like Conner …

Emily was okay with Conner, 
Emily started confiding in Conner, 
Emily decided Conner could be her friend, 
Emily determined that Conner would be her best friend …

And Conner said “ABOUT TIME, NOW THAT I HAVE TO LEAVE AND GO TO BOOTCAMP.” 😉

They still debate over who said “I love you” first.  It was one of those hurried phone calls where they only had a few minutes to talk, and when they said their quick goodbyes, Conner swears Emily said “I love you” so he said it back.  Emily is sure that she only said “I miss you” and was shocked to hear Conner say “I love you” in return.

However, neither of them debate the fact that long distance relationships are hard. (I can attest to that!!!)  They wrote each other love letters every single day, even though Conner sometimes got in trouble for staying up late writing letters in the bathroom or under his covers.  Extra pushups didn’t deter him though! 😉

Conner and Emily brought some of their love letters to their engagement session and asked if we could incorporate them in some of the photographs.  I don’t think my fangirling was *obvious*, but it was intense. YES YES YES YES. Watching them crack up as they read mushy things they had written over the past year made my heart smile with joy.  Their love story is truly unique, and it has the goodness of God written all over it!

You know your clients are winners when they run – pun intended 😉 – with your wild ideas.

Even if that means falling into the thorn patch, and not letting that dampen the spirit of fun.

Real winners, you guys. <3

I often get asked if I encourage my couples to bring several outfit changes to their engagement session, and my answer is, “hands down, yes!”   I love it when my couples bring several of their favorite outfits.  You get several different looks and a varied gallery for such minimal effort, so what is there to lose?

Also.  Can we appreciate Conner’s humor? I had side stitches at times!

Would you just look at those adorable smiles!

Conner and Emily, you are true gems.  Thank you ever so much for your trust in me, and your sweet friendship.  Here’s to so many more memories, laughs, visits and years of celebration!!

Katie :: Bradenton, Florida // Portrait Photographer

This is Katie, otherwise known as Beach Babe.  I seriously couldn’t have asked for a more gorgeous evening or model to explore Coquina Beach on the Bradenton gulf shoreline!  Looooooooove me some golden hour, warm tones, and hearty laughter!

Katie, thank you for sharing your evening and sweet spirit with me! I appreciate our new friendship, and I look forward to working together again in the future!

xoxo, Olivia Marie