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    Eric + Samantha | A DuQuoin Fairground Engagement Session, DuQuoin, Illinois

    17 May 2016

    Back in December, I received an email from Samantha asking to meet with me to discuss my wedding pricing and her big day. We decided to meet at her wedding venue (after her consult there) but we didn't realize they'd be closing at that time so we decided to head over to Barnes and Noble to the Starbucks. I LOVE me some coffee! Samantha brought along her mother and we spent about an hour discussing plans she had in mind for her wedding and what type of photography she was looking for. She values photography, which I love, and when I was driving home I received a text that she had decided to have me be her photographer! She said it didn't take her long to make the decision after meeting me and that made me feel good. I knew right from the start that we were a good fit, too.

    So what comes after a booking? An engagement session of course! We decided to shoot at the DuQuoin Fairgrounds in DuQuoin, Illinois. I shoot there a lot but it's always different with each couple. It has amazing light in the afternoon/evening and there are great places all around the grounds for different looks. There are sables for horses, a huge lake and there are these weird (but amazing) trees that I like to call bonsai trees but I'm sure that's not there real name. If you watched Saved By The Bell growing up you might know what I'm talking about LOL.

    An engagement session takes around an hour or so depending on location and in that time I get to know my couples and find out how they met and how the proposal went. Eric and Samantha are such a fun loving couple and it was so much fun watching them make each other laugh. Their love is contagious and I'm so excited to show you my favorites from my time with them.

    P.S. They are getting married at one of my favorite venues in June so stay tuned......

    Love this!

    Another favorite!

    Look at that bling! You did good Eric.

    They are repainting the stables and it was perfect timing for these pics.

    June 11, 2016 is the big day...so when we found a stable with an 11 on it, we just had to use it.

    Eric is a good nuzzler!

    I ABSOLUTEY love this picture!

    I took this picture on the truck of my Honda. Honda for the win! But seriously, how gorgeous is her rose gold ring!!???!!!!

    Dustin + Staci | Murphysboro Event Center & Country Engagement Session

    14 May 2016

    I received an email from Staci in January telling me that she was getting married next year, loved my work and was looking to get more information about my services. After things became official, we started discussing her ideas on the engagement session. She had already picked out outfits but we were still trying to narrow down locations. She then realized that she loved the Murphysboro Event Center in Murphysboro, Illinois. It is an older building and has great lighting from all the amazing windows they have. My step sister actually had her wedding reception there so I knew the place well and was able to get ideas quickly since I was familiar with the layout. 

    When we were finished there, we made our way back to their home to change and get their dog, Juno. She's adorable and just wait till you see her below. I always love when couples want their fur babies in some of the pictures. Juno rode along with us to family property in the middle of nowhere. It was a very long lane where a railroad used to be years ago. Staci kept saying how she promised they weren't kidnapping me LOL. We ended up in this beautiful open field and then an area with some big rocks, almost the feel of bluffs that you see in this area. 

    I had so much fun with Dustin and Staci and I'm glad I got to finally meet them in person. Staci values photography so much and I'm so honored that they picked me to capture their special day. They are getting married in January and I cannot wait!!!!

    Those windows are fabulous!!!!

    A favorite right here!

    I just loved Juno!!!

    Jimmy + Ashley | A Pere Marquette State Park Engagement Session

    10 May 2016

    People ask me all the time why I don't go to bridal shows to advertise my business. My reason, and only reason, is that I want to book couples on a personal level. When you go to a bridal show, brides aren't exactly looking to get to know you that day LOL. It's all rushed and there are usually deals that booths give out for booking them. In my experience, booking a couple who knows you and your work is a way better fit. When a bride contacts me to shoot her weddings, it's usually because she was 1.) she was a bridesmaid in a previous wedding of mine 2.) she has attended weddings that I've shot before or 3.) she's a family member or friend of a previous bride of mine. When we talk, it's like we already know each other and she knows my work as well as personality. In the end, I become friends with my brides and when I show up to one of the biggest days of her life, I'm not a complete stranger. I hope that makes sense LOL.

    I'm sure you're all wondering why I just wrote all that. It's because that's exactly how I met Ashley and Jimmy. Ashley is a relative of a couple who's wedding was just this past April. When I took the engagement pictures for her cousin, that's how she saw my work and my blog. She contacted me and we started talking about her wedding and the rest is history.

    I met them for the first time in person last weekend in Grafton, Illinois, a small town just past Alton. Grafton is a charming little town with the Pere Marquette State Park. That was the setting for their engagement session and it was such a great idea. I had never been there before but Ashley told me how beautiful it was and she was definitely right. I'm so excited with how these photos turned out and I'm even more excited that I now have two new friends.

    Enjoy looking through some of my favorites from their session. Hope you all are having a wonderful week so far.

    I love that we found some blooms!

    How cute are they!!!

    The view of the river was amazing.

    I hope I get this right.... but I'm pretty sure this was Ashley's grandmother's ring. It's gorgeous.