Adventuring in Iceland 2017

Its amazing how God knows exactly who you should be with and how well you will work together. I am so thankful that God choose us for each other and that we share the same love for traveling and adventures. So when Stuart & I got married we made it a goal to see all the natural wonder of the worlds together. About a year in and we already have 2 checked off the list!

Aurora Borealis✓(March 2017)

Harbor of Rio de Janeiro

Grand Canyon✓(November 2016)

Great Barrier Reef

Mount Everest

Paricutin

Victoria Falls

 

I am excited to share a few photos from our trip to Iceland, I'll be posting a separate post from Ireland. I may have taken a lot of photos. And by a lot I mean over a thousand, poor Stuart ;) Its just so amazing beautiful in both of those countries.

We explored around Iceland in a camper van, we thought that would be the funnest and that way we could do whatever we wanted and wouldn't have to be in a certain place any night. We could just take our time.

Iceland in the winter is amazingly beautiful, black volcanic rock, pop up snow squalls and green moss.

We landed at 4:45am and slept a little bit in the airport. We picked up our camper van, made a stop at a grocery store and started our adventure!

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We went snorkeling between the two tectonic plates. Snowing like crazy above us, yet a brilliant blue and as clear as your eye could see, below us. The water was melted glacier water at a balmy 33 degrees. Dry suits for the win... you also feel like a penguin in them and can't move very well, but they kept us warm.

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That night we walked into town and went to a local pub. The food was amazing, Stuart got whale with a maple gaze and I got a burger with a crepe on top. Both were delicious and we don't have a photo of either. This was the only sit-down  restaurant we went to, besides the little walk up shacks. Food there is very expensive so we made grilled cheese and PB&Js the whole trip. Yes, we felt like kids, but really. How amazing are PB&Js?!

 

We camped in a random place and really had no plans for that day, so we just started driving. We ended up exploring a few little towns and soaking in some hot springs. It doesn't get much better than that.

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Oh, the famous Icelandic hotdog. I loved. Stuart, not so much. Its such an odd combo of flavors, almost a little fishy, maybe a hint of peanut butter, some crunchy and onions. We bought them at a super cute shack in downtown Reykjavik.

That night we set out to see the Northern Lights, it was pretty cloudy but they still came out for us!!

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 Bring rain gear. We got soaked hiking behind waterfalls. But so fun!

Bring rain gear. We got soaked hiking behind waterfalls. But so fun!

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This was the most amazing fried fish I have ever had. It might have had something to do with the incredible mountains in the background, the awesome trailer we bought it from, the fact that it was caught that morning and about as fresh as you could get. But either way, it was wicked tasty.

 This little gem was called the Secret Lagoon. It was amazing of course. I mean how can it not be when its freezing outside and snow is falling but you are soaking in a natural hot tub?!

This little gem was called the Secret Lagoon. It was amazing of course. I mean how can it not be when its freezing outside and snow is falling but you are soaking in a natural hot tub?!

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They say if you don't pet an icelandic horse while you're in Iceland, did you really even go?

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It is a little bit of a walk to get out to this pool, but oh so worth it! We had made it a goal to soak in a hot spring every day in Iceland... Goal accomplished.

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Hiking out to this plane was not on our list of things to do. I thought it would be fun but there was other things I wanted to do and we didn't have a ton of time. BUT.... the day before we had to fly home a huge crazy snow squall came and the roads became un-passable. So we only had a few hours the next day and we were driving and saw a parking lot full of cars and of course we were curious. So we started walking.. and walking.. and walking. 2 miles in and we saw the plane. The photo above is what I like to call natures snowballs. The wind was blowing so hard the day before during the snow squall that the snow literally rolled itself into snowballs. It was pretty crazy. If you keep walking past the airplane, you will come to the ocean. Black sand and huge waves. It was awesome.

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Stuart not as impressed with the snow as I was ;)

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The Blue Lagoon. We did this on our last night. Being in so many hot springs and not liking crowds, I contemplated canceling our tickets. I had it in my head that it was a tourist trip and I didn't want to go. Um. I was SO wrong. Yes, its touristy. BUT so amazing. Guys, seriously go there. It was awesome. I feel like I can't quite explain how amazing it was. It was snowing pretty hard while we were there and we hardly noticed because you are floating around in a huge hot tub.

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Chris & Sara {Wedding Day}

Perfect weather (despite it snowing like 3 days before lol), beautiful venue, two beautiful people in love, surrounded by their family & friends. Dolce Norwalk is an incredible venue & the staff there was so helpful. I am so excited to share these photos, sorry for the overload! Its hard to narrow it down when the day was perfect <3

{Getting Ready}

 

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{First Look & Portraits}

Chris & Sara choose to do a first look and all of their portraits before the ceremony. It was beautiful & they were able to spend cocktail hour with their guests. It made for such a relaxing day!

 

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{Ceremony}

 

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{Reception}

 

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Vendors

 

Venue- Dolce Norwalk Flowers- http://www.fleurescentflowers.com/ Cake- http://www.dimarepastry.com/ DJ- https://www.bookthedj.com/ Makeup- https://www.youmakemeblush.net Hair- http://www.pjandcompany.com/home.html

Adam & Kathryn {Old Orchard Wedding}

Last week, Heather and I made our way to Hannibal, MO. A quaint little town where Mark Twain was raised. Even more exciting, Hannibal is home to one of the most amazing wedding venues, The Orchard. Adam & Kathryn got married under a huge silver oak tree, surrounded by family and friends. The love they share is strong, but their love for Jesus is even stronger! They live a mission filled life and I am so excited to see how God uses them, as His hands and feet.

The Orchard has been added to my list of favorite venues I have photographed. Everything the couple needed was there, and oh so beautiful!

The couple got ready in the old farm house. Married in the yard.  Danced the night away in the big old barn, across the gravel driveway.

The Details

 

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Getting Ready

 

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Adam and Kathryn chose to not see each other before the ceremony, but wanted to have a prayer together.

We were so honored to be able to capture the beautiful moment for them.

 

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The Ceremony

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Mine forever!

Bridal Party Portraits

 

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And when we showing up matching the wedding party, a photo is in order ;)

 

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Dancing under the stars

The Reception

 

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Hope you two are having the best time in Mexico!!

Dominic & Caitlyn {Wedding Day}

Dominic & Caitlyn, it was such an honor to be in Aruba with you two <3 We loved celebrating with you and spending time with your family and friends! I am so excited to share these photos, it was such an amazing day I could hardly choose what photos to post. I'm gonna stop talking and let the photos speak for themselves <3

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{getting ready}

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Caitlyn, you were such a beautiful bride!!

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{ceremony}

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{bridal party}

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{portraits}

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Pretty much models, you two :)

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So beautiful!

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{reception}

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Tom & Breffni

Ah, where to begin?! This was a dream come true! An amazing, fun loving couple in a location you see in movies (literally, cause its where Game of Thrones was filmed)! We had such a great time photographing this couple ay Murlough Bay when we were there last month! Tom is an incredible wedding photographer in Northern Ireland, it was such an honor to do this session for them.

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Winter Styled Shoot

Creating a styled shoot has been on my goal list for awhile now and a few weeks ago I finally made it happen!! Through it all I was able to meet and work with some amazing creatives in the Northwest Ohio area. It was such a great day seeing everything come to life. Everyone was awesome and I couldn't be happier on how it turned out! I had the hardest time narrowing down the photos, so get ready for an overload! Be sure to check out the websites of everyone involved, they are listed below.

 

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Models: Lande Hancock Instagram: @landerae93 Youssef Jabaly Instagram: @youssef_georges

Photography: Sarah Kilgus Instagram: @sarahlanzkilgus Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Heather-Sarah-Photography-110089039042733/ Website: www.heatherandsarahphoto.com

Decor: Cheryl Ametewee Instagram: @theretrodollhouse Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/retrodollhouse/

Makeup: Jessica for Makeup by Amy Lewis & Co. Instagram: @makeupbyamylewis Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/makeupbyamylewis/ Website: www.makeupbyamylewis.com

Hair: Emily Myers Instagram: @gussyupboutique Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GussyUp419/

Cake: Nicole Callis Instagram: @columbussweetsandtreats Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ColumbusSweetsAndTreats/

Flowers: Jenny VanHoutte Instagram: @gardenview_flowers Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GardenviewFlowersJerryVanHoutte/?pnref=lhc Website: https://www.gardenviewweddings.com

Etched Glasses: Shawn McKeon Instagram: @swissmisscloset Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/shop/SwissMissCloset?ref=si_shop

Calligraphy: Lindsay Whitlow Instagram: @lindsaycwhitlow Website: http://whitlowdesign.co

Venue: Nazareth Hall Instagram: @nazarethhall Website: www.nazarethhall.com

Grooms Attire: Ticknors in Toledo Instagram: @ticknors Website: www.ticknors.com

Ben & Cayla {Engaged}

These two. They are made for each other and they don't let anything get them down, including a cold, rainy New England day. We met up at Storm King Art Center in New York, I pulled up next to them grabbed my camera and shut the door. With the keys inside. I learned a couple things that morning. One, I have the most amazing clients who are patient and easy going. And two, AAA is a wonderful thing to have!

Ben & Cayla, thanks for being awesome! I am so excited for your wedding and through rain & locked cars, you guys rocked this shoot!!

One more special thing about this couple, we photographed their sister's wedding this past May!! It makes my heart so happy when we get invited back to siblings weddings!

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You two make such a beautiful couple!

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Andrew & Meagan {Wedding Day}

The forecast called for rain all week, but it didn't dampen their spirits! We had a rain plan and we were ready! Fast forward to the wedding, the most beautiful Autumn day. I think there was a lot of people praying, and God heard :)

Andrew & Meagan, what an amazing day! Thank you for letting us be a part of it and celebrate with you! You are a special couple and that was so clear on your wedding day. Surrounded by family & friends, it was easy to see how loved you are!

Hair & Makeup: Salon Vogue
Dress from: Mariellas
Flowers: Wild Flowers
Venue: Tunxis
Cupcakes: The Cupcake Bug

{Getting Ready}

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{Ceremony}

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{Portraits & Bridal Party}
 

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Cutest ring bearer ever :)

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{Reception}

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First dance song: "From the Ground up" Played for them by their friends, Cody Griffen & Mike Thomas

Mother/Son dance song: "A Mothers Song"

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A Journey

Anyone who reads our blog knows, while we are good at blogging our weddings, we rarely post anything else. You can blame that on me, since Sarah is in charge of blogging the weddings and I, well, am obviously not a great blogger! I wanted to share a bit about my personal journey as the newborn part of our business. When we started out we photographed everything and everyone, everywhere! We learned a ton those first few years: about cameras, photography, running a business, and ourselves. When we started getting comfortable with kids, families and weddings a few years into our official business, I found out I was expecting (again). Naturally, I wanted newborn pictures of my 3rd baby and, with a little research, a whole new world opened up. I discovered studio style newborn photos, of peacefully sleeping angelic newborns instead of the pictures I had of my first two: red from crying, cross eyed in photos, laying in awkwardly posed angles.

This was before pinterest was a thing (imagine all of us who wedding planned back then!) and Facebook wasn't super popular. Somehow I still found Rachel and she changed my life. Rachel's business started a few years before our own. Her personal story of her young adulthood resounded strongly with my own and where I was coming from. I found her because she had poured herself into newborn photography and self learned a ton of tricks and tips that she wanted to share with others like herself. I bought her very first original posing guide and she became something like a star to me. Little did I know that a few years later with a lot of practice and a business well on its way, I would have the chance to spend some time with her and learn from the best of the best.

Which brings me through the next few years and into the present. The newborn workshop I attended was the week of my 28th birthday and was undoubtedly one of the most exciting things I have been able to do! After following her and learning from her online for so long, she became the most famous person I would want to meet. I would have chosen to have a meeting with her over any famous people I could think of. I learned so much from this amazing lady and she stays involved and in touch with everyone she has taught. She has really made us all apart of something bigger than just another workshop, talk, or class.

I was thrilled when she released her newest workshop. This one is based on outdoor family photography and posing. It's full of videos where you can watch how she interacts with clients, poses them and edits her sessions afterwards. It has all the basics, making it perfect for any photographer, whether they are just starting out or advanced and wanting to up their game a bit. We all start somewhere and Rachel just gets that, and is genuine in her helpfulness. I have been asked how I got started and what has made my business grow. If I could give one piece of advice to anyone who shares the love of photography, is looking to make it into something a little more, it would be to ASK QUESTIONS. Remember, we all started somewhere. Also, find a good person to mentor. There are so many terrible workshops out there with people looking to just make money off of you. Spend your money wisely. I highly recommend this amazing teacher and all her workshops, computer or in person!

Here is a link to Rachel's E-Workshop: http://www.rachelvanoven.com/shop/family-eworkshop/ trust me on this one, its an investment that is worth every penny and more!

Annnnd, since our blog is based on photos, here is some from my workshop with Rachel, along with some recent favorites!
 

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I met some of the best girls at the workshop and made some new friends. We were also the first workshop where a bunch of vendors got together and donated some of their props with a special thanks to Rachel's sister Karis for setting it all up. We were pretty much like a bunch of two year olds on Christmas when we got to open our bags :D

Nick & Gosia {Wedding Day}

A couple years ago we were shooting a wedding and as we were leaving the reception, we heard someone yell out "You guys are awesome and we are going to hire you for our wedding!" Fast forward to right now, they are married and we were so privileged to be there helping celebrate their day!!

These two are made for each other. They  have an awesome love story and a beautiful little boy. They got married on Nicks fathers farm and it was perfect. Backyard weddings are my favorite...hint hint to anyone planing a backyard wedding :) They did such a great job planning and decorating, so much love poured into it. I had the hardest time trying to narrow down photos for the blog post, so get ready for a photo overload!!

{Getting Ready}

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This photo makes me laugh, he did NOT want the boutineer on! :)

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{Ceremony}

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{Portraits}

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{Reception}

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Ben & Christa {Wedding Day Portraits & Reception}

Ben & Christas wedding weekend was perfect. The rain held off for photos and when it did rain, nothing could damper their day.  Surrounded by family and friends, you could see how loved they are! Congrats again you two, it was such an honor for me to be a part of your day! <3

Amazing flowers by Weeping Willow Florist

Hair by Salon Bliss

Decorations by Retro Dollhouse

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You make a beautiful couple, your love for God and for each other shines!

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Congrats again you guys!

Chris & Ashley {Wedding Day}

Chris & Ashley, what an amazing day! Thank you for letting us be a part of it. Everything was beautiful, and you made the most beautiful bride! I hope the first couple weeks of married life has been incredible and we wish you the best and all the blessings for your lifetime! <3 Enjoy looking back our your day!

{Getting Ready}

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Ashelys Mom had the most beautiful prayer before the ceremony started. Ashely, you made a stunning bride.

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First look with her Dad, so sweet <3

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Their first look, so beautiful!

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{Ceremony}

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{Family}

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{Reception}

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Ben & Christa {Engaged}

Flowers, laughing & love.

Those words pretty much sum up this shoot. It was a beautiful night, exploring the little town of Defiance, OH. Shout out to Kirchers Florist for letting us photograph in their amazing greenhouses!

 Fun fact, Christa and I were roommates last year, and Ben was my husbands roommate for a couple years :) Ben & Christa, I am honored to be a part of your big day. You two were made for each other and I can't wait to see what God has planned for you!

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Never stop laughing together <3

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Felice & Sarah {Wedding}

Felice & Sarah, we are so happy for you guys. It was an honor to be a part of your day. Feeling the excitement of your closest family and friends, seeing how loved you are <3 And what an amazing wedding. The setting, the details, everything was perfect. Enjoy reminiscing on your day!

{Getting Ready}

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{Ceremony}

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{Portraits}

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{Reception}

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Caitlyn & Dominic {Engaged}

These two. The sunlight. And the beach. It really can't get much better! We spent the evening walking around Island Cove park, laughing & talking. It felt like we were hanging out as old friends, not that we had met just hours before!

Dominic & Caitlyn, I hope you can always look back on these photos and remember this stage of life. How Dominic made you laugh and how he looked at you. How you guys are just met to be, anyone could see that. Enjoy the preview, I can't wait to show you the rest! And thanks for such a fun evening :)

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 Ah, aren't you guys just the cutest <3

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Chris & Melissa {engaged}

Sunset. A family farm. And a beautiful couple in love. It doesn't get much better than that. <3

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Melissa, you are stunning.

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Some of the most well behaved & photogenic dogs ever :)

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Such a beautiful couple! 

Chris & Melissa, I had so much fun hiking around the farm with you! You guys are awesome! :)

Micheal & Heidi {wedding}

Micheal & Heidi, your day was amazing. The unexpected snow & freezing cold didn't dampen your smiles. When I chatting with Micheal right before the first look, I said, "Micheal, she looks beautiful!" His reply? "of course she does!" :) And he was right, Heidi you were a beautiful bride. Your love was evident, they way you held each other and breathed it all in.

Enjoy looking back on your day! <3

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Ben & Lora {wedding}

Ben & Lora were guests at a wedding we photographed a few years ago. When Lora emailed us last year that she got engaged and wanted us to photograph her big day, we couldn't of been happier. One way to describe their day was, joy. You could see the joy just radiating off of their faces. They are such a special couple and you could tell how loved they are. So many friends & their family came out to celebrate their big day.

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