May 2 marked a very important day in Ann Arbor - graduation! Main St bustled with families and the sun shone high in the sky. I arrived at the Big House, where thousands of graduates sported their caps and gowns.
My friend from my church life group, DeeDee, introduced me to the Anifowoshe family. The family gathered together, young and old, to celebrate the graduation of their son, Josh. Each family member's face beamed with pride for the newest graduate.
The Anifowoshe family exuded fun and the aunt exclaimed, "Don't be too formal for the pictures, be funky!"
It was a joy to celebrate this special day with them. Congrats to everyone in the Class of 2015!
Lauren & Zack
April 18, 2015
Lauren and Zack are a beautiful couple inside and out. They met in the beautiful city of Bloomington, IN where we all attended Indiana University. Lauren and Zack worked together as RA's in Wright Quad, but surprisingly, it wasn't love at first sight. Overtime, their friendship blossomed into romance.
Bloomington is beautiful in the spring. With the sun high in the sky and cherry blossoms in bloom, the lush campus was our canvas. Lauren and Zack painted joy, kindness, laughter, and fun across our beautiful scenic locations.
We even caught the music school fountains when they were on! It was lovely to have a final hurrah around campus together and I wouldn't have wanted to spend this time with anyone else.
I feel extremely blessed to have joined you two during this exciting time in your lives. Despite Lauren & Zack's current long distance, I know their care, love, and patience with one another will transcend any time or place.
Best of luck to Lauren and Zack as they start their lives together as a married couple later this year in Chicago! Can't wait for your wedding :)
Beth & Michael
Beth & Michael hold a special place in my heart. I met both of them through our home church, CCCI, many years ago. Michael came first and one of my most distinct memories of him is when a group of us visited Russell Farms in the fall of 2009 and lassoed some bulls.
Beth’s family came a few years ago. I remember sitting in the same pew as Beth and her brother, Jonathan, meeting the Freije’s for the first with my friend, Jade. Not many people join our church for the first time while in college, so this day really stood out to me. Since then, both Beth and Jonathan have planted down their roots by serving in our youth group and becoming some of our church’s most beloved members and closest friends.
One of my favorite memories with Beth took place in the summer of 2012, where a group of us visited the Indiana State Fair. Here’s a look back at the same we met an Olympic swimmer (whose name I can’t recall) who competed in a relay team with Michael Phelps!
Anyways, enough about my memories and on to the wedding! Beth and Michael aptly chose to get married at our church, where they met. Our community has been buzzing and throbbing with excitement and joy for them since their engagement last fall. Beth blew everyone away with her charm and beauty while Michael’s emotion during the ceremony revealed how meaningful this day was.
After the ceremony, we took group pictures and a breather before heading to Flowing Well Park. God really blessed the day with bright sunshine and a cool breeze despite the unpredictable weather that can be Indiana. You could see the joy emanating from the newly married Mr. & Mrs. Meng.
They’re too cute, right? We drove to Oak Hill Mansion to meet up with the rest of the bridal party prior to the start of the reception. Upon pulling up to the mansion, family, friends, and loved ones cheered as Beth and Michael made their grand entrance. These two are dearly loved and cherished by everyone around them!
Purple and blue hues lit up the Oakhill Mansion banquet room. Free spirits and content laughter filled the air. Our church is full of many talented individuals, particularly in the field of music. Many members of our youth group had the opportunity to perform and provide live entertainment for the night.
September 20 marked the wedding of Beth & Michael. However, the day played a significant role for another member of the bridal party as well…Elia, the flower girl. Elia turned 7 that day. Beth & Michael graciously prepared a cake for young Elia and celebrated her birthday after cutting their own cake. And of course, the night wouldn’t be complete without some dancing to get the party started.
Here’s to Michael & Beth, a young couple full of humility, sacrificial love, and beautiful hopes for the future.
“May the Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face towards you and give you peace.” – Numbers 6:24-26
Jimmy graduated in 2012 from IU with majors in Accounting and Finance. Sarah spent her first two years at IU before transferring to IUPUI for the accelerated nursing program. One of the mottos of the IU Student Alumni Association is “Students today, Hoosiers forever” and it is so true! I treasured the time I got to spend in Bloomington with Sarah & Jimmy as we visited all of the iconic IU sights, starting with the Buskirk-Chumley Theater.
Sarah used to work at the YMCA and Jimmy frequented the gym on a daily basis. What started as a casual hello soon blossomed into a beautiful relationship.
Since I used to be a campus tour guide, I had the privilege of sharing IU’s legends and history in addition to simply taking photos. One of the longest standing traditions is kissing at the Rose Well House. If a couple kisses there on Valentine’s Day at midnight, they will be together forever! *awh* Since Sarah & Jimmy didn’t have the privilege of doing that as students, they completed the tradition that day.
When you’re at IU’s beautiful campus, you kind of never want to leave. Bloomington in fall is to die for. I love the autumn colors!
One of our last stops featured the red sculpture outside the IU Art Museum. Unbeknownst to many people, the huge arch is actually a whispering well :) You can whisper into the curved edge and hear the person on the other side perfectly (never mind the fact that you’re standing right next to each other).
To Sarah & Jimmy, a super fun and fun-loving couple beginning their new lives together soon! Thank you SO much for giving me the opportunity to go back to Bloomington and spend the morning with you. I can’t wait to be a part of your wedding in 2015! :) Blessings!
Phi Mu | Class of 2014
I’ve been photographing graduating seniors since I started photography, and it’s always the same bittersweet process. Who are seniors? They’re the men and women I’ve looked up to for years and years. People I want to be like. People whose lives I’ve envisioned living for quite some time. Before you know it, you are one of them. The only way to stave off the tears and melancholy is to celebrate, so that’s exactly what this shoot with the “White House” of Phi Mu seniors was – a tip of the cap to a four years well done.
I got in touch with these beautiful women through my friendship with Kelsey, my dear friend and co-leader in Greek Cru. We’re both entering the corporate world next year and it’s been beyond marvelous to share life together this year. Kelsey is intelligent, adventurous, gives great positive affirmation, enthusiastic, and loves the Lord. I love seeing her heart for others and her twin sister, Kristyn.
Sisterhood is a beautiful thing and graduation is even more special when shared with people who have been with you for the past four years.
To these Phi Mu seniors, beautiful girls with bright futures ahead. I’m sure the best is yet to come! Congrats!!
Kayla & Drew
I have been looking forward to the Wolfred wedding for almost a year now and it did not disappoint. Kayla and Drew live out on the East Coast, but came back to Indiana for the wedding. Drew attended Purdue and Kayla swam at NC State. They met over spring break during their senior years in Florida and from then, a great relationship was born.
The ceremony took place at the lovely Christ the King Catholic church.
After the ceremony, I followed the bridal party to a serene garden of Indianapolis outside the Indianapolis Art Center. Lush forests, pieces of art, and a long red bridge surround the center. What a gem!
We drove to the Fishers Banquet Center for the reception. I adored the orange color scheme, fabulous first dance, and delicious champagne, chocolate, strawberry, and gluten free cupcakes!
Kayla’s maid of honor, Maresa, outdid herself by reciting her speech in a poem format. So poetic, fun, and reminisced upon all of the amazing collegiate memories she and Kayla shared. Not to be outdone, Drew’s brother and best man, Mark, created a Powerpoint presentation and showed a childhood clip of Drew. Such a rollicking good time.
The night soon transformed into a dance party. The dancing culminated with a grand finale of the Wolfred men dancing to “Proud Mary,” or rolling around on the dance floor. I’ve never seen so many men having such a good time dancing before. It’s a Wolfred wedding tradition and I feel honored to have experienced it.
Cheers to Kayla & Drew, a young couple with the world ahead of them!
When I first met Aubrey & Kevin at Starbucks, Aubrey smiled and introduced herself to me, elegant and well-composed. Kevin shook my hand with a warm and genial “hello.” Their maturity, affection, and thoughtfulness towards each other shone through even then. It was a joy to join them on August 9, their wedding day, as they flew in from Virginia, joined by a multitude of friends and family.
Kevin and Aubrey first met in Washington D.C. at the Bottom Line bar, where Kevin worked as a bartender. Aubrey frequently visited because it’s the official Purdue Alumni bar of D.C. Kevin persisted in carding Aubrey every time she visited…and the sparks flew from there. Now, here we are at their wedding :)
The wedding party and guests assembled outside in White River State Park in downtown Indianapolis. With a bright sun shining overhead and a cool breeze drifting by, the pastor, groomsmen, and bridesmaids soon filed into place.
Having a “first look” before the wedding ceremony is wonderful – you get to spend some alone time together with your significant other before facing an audience, but there’s also something equally, if not more special, about seeing your bride for the first time walking down the aisle at the ceremony. Pure anticipation, butterflies in your stomach, and a smile that can barely be contained.
After the ceremony, we had some time to hang out with the bridal party outside the NCAA Hall of Champions.
The gorgeous rich purple colors and fresh green succulents decorated the reception hall. A wall of windows behind Aubrey & Kevin’s table illuminated the hall. It was time for delicious food and dancing the night away.
To Aubrey & Kevin, a gorgeous, intelligent, kind, and sophisticated couple with the world ahead of you. I wish you both the best. May God bless your marriage richly! :)
The fifth annual Raas Royalty competition took place at 7pm on February 8, 2014. With wildly high energy entertainment ranging from Pokemon to tropical Florida themes, it was a night to remember. Hundreds of visitors packed the Indiana University Auditorium and cheered for the 9 different schools represented at this year’s competition.
The Raas Royalty contenders traveled from all over the country for this night. Competing schools included the University of Florida, University of Rochester (NY), University of Houston, Carnegie Mellon University, Emory University, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Stanford University, and the University of Pittsburgh. The teams even featured creative names like Basmati Raas (haha). The school spirit and raucous, joyful cheering from each school completely blew me away.
As you can see, the costumes glittered on stage and each school incorporated creative stories into their dances that had the audience on their feet cheering or laughing for much of the night. A unique aspect of this competition is that all of the proceeds go towards Timmy Global Health, a nonprofit organization that provides medical services to underprivileged countries. What an awesome cause!
The fun didn’t end with the Raas teams as guest performances from other talented groups at IU took their turn. Alpha Kappa Psi and the Revolution step team, InMotion dance company, and acapella group, Another Round, graced the stage while the judges deliberated over the winners. I just loved every part of the night!
And finally, it was time to announce the winners. The sheer joy of taking first place in such a dynamic and exhilarating competition was palpable on each team member’s face.
To Raas Royalty, a jaw-dropping, heart-racing, and electrifying competition that will make you want to get up on your feet and dance. I have such an appreciation for this type of dance now and can’t wait to hopefully see it again in the future! Thanks for allowing me to document this amazing night. :)
Jon & Nicole
It was a huge honor to join Jon & Nicole on their wedding day. They’re a beautiful couple and it pulled on my heartstrings to document their wedding in Bloomington. Jon graduated from Indiana University in 2001 and they got married in IU’s iconic Beck Chapel. As an IU tour guide, I tout the traditions and legends of campus every week, so it was extremely rewarding to join them there.
Beck Chapel seats up to 65 people, so as you can imagine, each member of the audience experienced a very intimate ceremony. It was beautifully simple and simply beautiful.
Nicole captivated the eyes of everyone around her. Not only is she a stunning woman, but she also has a selfless personality and put the needs of everyone around her before her own even though she was the bride. She constantly asked others what they wanted and exemplified the opposite of a “bridezilla” in every way. She’s fun, quirky, and lit up the entire day with her smile.
Jon and his groomsmen have been friends since their days as fraternity brothers in Sigma Nu at IU. Since they had a chance to reunite at the wedding, we took the opportunity to snap some pictures in front of the chapter house. They embraced their college boyhood spirits and had some fun.
Nicole and her lovely bridesmaids received some camera time along NoJo (North Jordan) Ave as well, of course :-)
At this point in the day, our journey took an unexpected detour. Our limo driver hit an island in the road and our tire went flat. Well, that’s an understatement. It pretty much ripped – pretty amazing damage!
Completely unfazed, Nicole kept everyone cool despite the fact that the entire bridal party was stranded outside in the stifling humidity and blazing sun. The bridesmaids were wearing black dresses, the men had suits on, and Nicole was dragging along layers and layers of tulle. Not exactly what every girl pictures her wedding day to be like, right? Many women expect to be treated like princesses on their wedding day, but Nicole handled herself like a queen. She served everyone around her and kept them entertained – a sure sign that she’ll be a great wife in marriage, weathering the unexpected storms that every marriage is sure to bring once the pomp and honeymoon-ing fades.
We eventually got back on our feet and finished up our photos in downtown Bloomington on the square.
The reception took place in the Irish Lion Glen, an outside seating area of the Irish Lion, one of my favorite restaurants in Bloomington! Lit up with Christmas lights and crawling ivy on the walls, it looked like a small and serene utopia amongst the bustling college town.
Elegant purple and fuschia florals and decor adorned the tables, setting the stage for a memorable reception.
Oh, and did I mention that Nicole is with child?! Jon and Nicole decided to announce the sex of their baby with the color of their wedding cake. Talk about creative! Result? It’s a girl!
Congratulations to Jon & Nicole (and their soon-to-be daughter)! I wish you both all of the happiness in the world :)
It’s always wonderful to be back home in Carmel. Jessica reached out to me through mutual friends about taking her and Nate’s engagement photos. They met at Purdue University while receiving their MBA’s. Though they have questionable tastes in universities (totally kidding!), I have to admit that they’re a beautiful, intelligent, and mature couple with a lot going for them.
It was a beautiful day for photographs. We met up at Coxhall Gardens, where a wedding reception and senior portrait shoot were also taking place. I think that it’s easy to forget how beautiful Indiana is sometimes, but as the sun started to set, I remembered how gorgeous our lovely Midwest city can be.
When Nate proposed to Jessica, he led her while walking the dog to Purdue’s iconic Engineering Fountain. Meanwhile, he had Jessica’s family hiding on the edges to capture the big moment. Unbeknownst to the couple, it was fraternity rush week on campus, so there were lots of fraternity men hanging around the fountain. They provided a round of applause for Nate and Jessica when she said yes!
Even though I’ve visited Coxhall Gardens on many occasions, the miniature children’s city managed to evade my attention! Nate found this quaint little town and we had a little bit of fun.
Jessica & Nate will be tying the knot very soon – I wish them both the best in their married lives. Cheers!
Shenna & Dave
I’ve been looking forward to Shenna and Dave’s wedding for almost a year now!
You may remember Shenna from the Wimmer wedding that I photographed in the fall of 2012. Shenna served as Lindsay’s maid of honor, and one year later, she is now the beautiful bride. I had no idea that I would be making trip to Greentown, IN ever again in my life, but I feel so fortunate that I had the opportunity. From the sprawling fields of green to the rustic outdoor wedding in Shenna’s grandma’s back yard, this wedding encapsulated an elegant but homey feel. The bridesmaids got ready in Wilma’s (Shenna’s grandma) home, which had the most beautiful antique display I had ever seen.
Have I mentioned that all the women of the Stout family (Shenna’s side) are absolutely beautiful? They age exceedingly gracefully, as shown by the Shenna’s immediate family here.
Wilma, Shenna’s grandma, pulled out her wedding dress from many decades ago for a comparison with Shenna’s dress. Both are beautiful, in their own ways.
The wedding took place in Wilma’s front yard, where Trina (Shenna’s mom) and her husband got married as well. With a simple flowered arch, white lawn chairs, and tall adorned trees, the scene was set for a gorgeous wedding.
I met up with the bridesmaids first as we strolled the long country roads and mingled in the fields. The groomsmen were up next! They even pulled out a Tebow :)
The ceremony was beautifully simple and simply beautiful. I loved the look on Dave’s face as he waits for his bride and the huge smile on his face when he sees her.
I finally got some alone time with Shenna & Dave. They’re just a beautiful couple and clearly love one another very much. Just a few months after they started dating, Dave knew that she was the one. He bought a ring and stowed it away for a year until finally asking Shenna to spend the rest of her life with him. Talk about commitment! Shenna confided that they had a special face they liked to do together…grumpy cat. It’s great when couples don’t take themselves too seriously and this was a great example of that.
The reception took place in the lovely Roseburg Center in Marion, IN. It was delightfully classy and the Christmas lights really lit up the room.
The speeches by the maids of honor and the best man inspired laughter, toasts, and many cheers. Some were more inappropriate than others…
Shenna & Dave danced to “A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri for their first dance. It was by far one of the most lovely and moving dances I’ve ever seen. They shared really precious moments and it was just beautiful.
To Shenna & Dave, Barbie & Ken in the flesh. They are so much more than pretty faces – they have incredibly bright futures ahead and I wish you both the best with your new life in Virginia!
Brady & Stephanie
You may remember Brady and Stephanie from my last photo shoot with them in the fall. Hanging out with Brady and Stephanie is always a joy. This time, they had a new addition. Sadie, the adorable Golden Retriever puppy. How could you not love a puppy like that? We enjoyed the beautiful spring day in Bloomington together.
Brady and Stephanie were the cutest. They had the most wonderful matching spring themed outfits. They’re both sweet, genuine, and are the types of people you want to hang out with all the time. Stephanie is baby Alpha Gam and I couldn’t be more proud! Brady and I served as orientation leaders together last summer and had an absolute blast.
Brady and Stephanie bought Sadie just one month ago. Throughout our shoot, Sadie ran around, tried eating people, and shed fur at uncontrollable rates. Was she a bundle of fun and laughter though? You betcha! Brady and Stephanie also demonstrated mastery of the “Tyra Smize.”
To Brady and Stephanie, my dear friends who remind me of the simplicity of the good things in life, such as laughter, friendship, loyalty, and trust. And Sadie, a well-spring of laughter and unending fun.
Betsy & Stephen
Meet Betsy and Stephen. Two warm and goofy people who agree to disagree on sushi. The moment I learned that I would have the opportunity of photographing them, I knew that we had to have an urban shoot. They struck me as city slickers and fit the part perfectly.
Betsy jokingly told me that Stephen was ruining her “glamor smile” because he kept making her laugh. Stephen fully embraced this shoot and made all of the photos feel so natural. We took a stroll to downtown Bloomington and explored the city on this surprisingly sunny afternoon. The city wasn't the only beautiful thing that afternoon :)
To Betsy and Stephen, a heart-warming couple full of smiles.
Emmy & Ryan
With the sun in the sky and a swift but cool breeze drifting by, the marvelous Monday afternoon was a perfect time for photos. Enter Emmy and Ryan. When I walked up to them at Sample Gates, Emmy greeted me with a warm smile and Ryan reluctantly got up to join us. Clearly, this photo shoot was not his idea. Nevertheless, there was no way not to enjoy such a beautiful day!
Throughout our session, Ryan kept it cool while Emmy kept it fun. Usually the guys in the couple shoots give a pretense of at least trying to pretend that they are having a good time, if only to entertain their girlfriends. Ryan grudgingly played along. After a while, I think that Ryan couldn’t help but absorb Emmy’s contagious & light-hearted banter. Her goofy personality melted Ryan’s stoic face into a smile. At least once…maybe even twice. :)
I love photos like the one above because they’re so candid and real. I like to think about the message that each one conveys. The one above says to me, “Emmy, you are so loved!” It’s absolutely adorable. These two make me laugh.
Emmy scouted out a trench of leaves conveniently raked for us in front of the Chemistry building! (Ironic, no?) Perfect fall day. Last but not least, we had some fun in the setting sun. To Emmy and Ryan, a lovely couple with a bright future ahead!
Ashleigh & John
At the start of couple shoots, I usually have only met one of the people involved – typically, the girl in the relationship. I always start off with simple photos, watching them interact with each other. Each relationship works in different ways so capturing the essence of who they are isn’t always easy.
In this couple’s case, Ashleigh is sassy and John is sweet. He’s caring and a good listener while Ashleigh’s offhand comments make him laugh.
Luckily for me, Ashleigh found a great looking gazebo near the edge of campus. Beautiful, isn’t it? We spent at least a good hour there, making the best use of the shadow from the sun and the clean setting that it provided.
Since this was my first engagement shoot, we spent two hours on this shoot. 332 photos later, I knew that it would be difficult to choose a choice few to share. Something that always surprises me during couple shoots is how comfortable the two are with each other in front of me. I feel like a voyeur sometimes, watching such intimate moments. Couples usually don’t have many pictures together to begin with – not good ones at least. It’s their first time really seeing what they look like not just standing or sitting together, but being considered “together,” in a true couple way.
Lindsay & Chad
October 20, 2012
When Lindsay approached me about photographing her wedding back in January, I knew that this was a once in a lifetime opportunity. Lindsay and Chad radiate fun and I had a fabulous time celebrating and commemorating their special day. We first met up at the Kokomo Zion United Methodist Church to get ready before heading to the woods for some pictures before the bridal party arrived.
Lindsay has an eye for beautiful scenery and found this huge red barn out in the country. With such a good-looking bridal party and hoots and hollers all around, we had a wildly fun time despite the cold wind outside. Before long, a truck rumbled into the barn lot with the bridal party in tow. The girls looked lovely and pristine while the guys stuck their hands in their pockets and enjoyed some friendly banter.
What is a wedding without friends and a few tears? My favorite from the ceremony: Chad and Lindsay looking down the aisle at each other. Absolutely priceless. After the wedding, close friends joined the newly married Wimmer's to shuttle off in high fashion – a purple party hippo bus!! It was time to get the party started.
The name of the reception venue was “Celebrations,” aptly named and appropriate for the celebration of the Wimmers. With classic foods like macaroni & cheese and pulled pork illuminated by lovely glowing orbs hanging from the ceiling, the guests soon made themselves at home. Lindsay & Chad set the scene exploding in some dance moves during their grand entrance. Cheers to the Wimmer's!