st. charles wedding photographer

St. Charles Engagement Photographer/St. Charles Wedding Photographer/Maggie & Catie Engaged

Maggie & Catie are in the 2018 Jheart Wedding Line up. Upon speaking with Maggie I immediately knew this was going to be a great relationship. As soon as I saw them interact with each other I had no doubt this session was going to rock. I asked Maggie a few questions prior to the shoot and one was asking to tell me the story of your proposal and let me tell ya...Maggie did not miss a beat when planning this....

Maggie sent Catie on a scavenger hunt through family and friends. She had cards and flowers delivered to Catie by amazing friends and loved family. She chose all the most important people in Catie's life to present this next life step in all the important places of their relationship. Like the spot where they first met and that is just so beautiful. It really shows why when asked what Catie's favorite thing about Maggie is her big heart. 

Then, after 2 clues, and a lunch with her family here is what the third clue read:

"#3 - You've gone from 1st, to 2nd and now 3rd.  Where do you go from here? Run home! Meet me downtown at our favorite venue.  The home plate from Busch Stadium 2, is where I'll be waiting for you"

Catie then was proposed to with Maggie down on one knee and of course she said yes! 

These two really have an amazing love and being in front of the camera didn't phase it one bit. They really made my heart full after shooting them and I think it really shows in these pictures. 

St. Charles Photographer/St. Charles Wedding Photographer/Jennifer & Alex 5 years

A few years after I started my business Jennifer asked me to shoot their wedding. It wasn't just any wedding either, it would have been the first paid wedding in my career. It was this wedding that made me fall in love with weddings. The details, the excitement, the hustle, I really fell in love with all aspects. 

So naturally I was so excited when she asked me to shoot their 5 year anniversary back in beautiful Herman where they got married. We went to the Herman Hill Inn, Cottages, & Vineyards which is an adorable place to stay on top of the hill. It was so great to see these two still so happy in love. They have expanded now and have a little 3 year old boy name Lucas who I am dying to meet. Thank you so much Alex & Jennifer, it was amazing to see you and even more of a blessing to get to capture the love you two have for each other. 

St. Charles Wedding Photographer/St. Charles Photographer/My first few rolls of film

I have embarked on a new adventure to add to my business...shooting film. Yes, real load your camera 35mm film. So I went online, bought a Nikon F100, scooped up some cheap FUJI film from Wal-Mart to mess with at a lower expense because let's face it....I figured it wasn't going to really turn out. As well as ordered from Amazon 5 rolls Kodak Porta 400 from online for the good shots while in Portland. 

I got it in the mail. I loaded the film. I loaded the batteries. I snapped they shutter. I simply just fell in love....one snap after the other. I really think the best part was not knowing if they turned out! I had to trust my skills and the film. It was so beyond my normal adventurous stuff!

It's not easy...here is my first shot...my beautiful Gabrielle.

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Horrible right??? HA! But take a peek in to what I see....See that grain? That beautiful old school grain. It took me back to when I used to arrange my stuffed animals in my room with random objects and take their pictures with my old point at shoot 35mm....I am sure if I looked hard enough at my Mother's house I could find some of these pictures. This look and image...well it fuels my soul. Oh it fuels my soul, more than I ever thought possible. 

So next up I headed out to Portland...remember that blog post? If not view it HERE. You really should because it's beautiful. That post was all digital images that I just couldn't wait to share. But below is what film can do...what it does...oh it's beautiful...the grain, the color, barely touched by editing. 

Are they perfect? Nope. But they are a wonderful and perfect start to something will be so much fun.

I am beyond grateful that a good friend (and my wedding photographer) shoots film and brought it to me to try because she knew I would love it, and boy was she correct. You can take a peek at her beautiful work HERE. She has really become amazing at her film work! Take a peek at this beautiful film shot of my friend and follow photographer. 

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While shooting in Portland I found out I even LOVE the sound of shooting film. When I came home I naturally shot a whole roll of just my dog Rue...ridiculous I know, but oh it turned out so much better than the first roll! These are just a few of my favorites. Rue is a pretty amazing model. I know you all have seen her before!

I do hope you stick around to see how this new aspect of Jheart Photography grows. I feel like this fits my heart and soul so much which usually is the main key to success. 

So cheers to film & my Nikon F100. Can't wait to share more with you!

St. Charles Photographer/St Charles Lifestyle Photographer/ Mom Life meets Business Life - How do you manage?

I am adding a very intimate and candid moment to my blog today....a side that unless you read my personal facebook, you may not see...that I am a Mom of 4 kids and 3 step-kids which equals 7. Yup, that was not a typo...it's 7. 7 amazing children that I couldn't imagine my world with out them....but let's be honest....this.shit.is.HARD. The hardest thing I have ever done. To juggle school, feeding...my goodness the feeding and the snacks are a daily job on it's own, sports, church, washing clothes, making sure they brush teeth, cleaning rooms, wiping butts, my job..3 businesses, and a new marriage....How in the world is this even possible? It was exhausting just to type...

How do you juggle it? How do I juggle it? Juggle being a Mom AND being a business woman??

Humor & Balance....

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Humor is huge...like this picture...Back to school always floods a lot of emotions for me. Sometimes even the smell of the crayons, notebooks, and supplies at Wal-Mart can bring up these emotions. A big one most of us feel is Excited! Excited to have my daily freedom back. Where I can eat a candy bar in silence and not have to share. Where I can go to Wal-Mart without spending $50 more then I planned because somehow there are 7 things we didn't realize we needed until we touched base in the land of all the crap. I also get so sad. Sad that I don't get to see my kids as much. You know, wake up late, enjoy breakfast, plan our day, make them clean for me, playing games, and reading. It's sad to give up that time with them to others. Mad. So mad that I have to spend SO MUCH MONEY ON SUPPLIES. 7 kids starting school doesn't come cheaply but of course I fork it over for the cause. I will be happy my fridge won't empty so quickly because if one more person asks me for a snack I might have to be admitted. Anyone else's kids need a "snack" 4 minutes after ANY given meal?? I am always worried that I won't be good at helping with homework. The way classes are done now days always throw me off. I feel like they have made simple addition SO HARD. Us old people just don't get it. I know I will be glad to have more time for business. Fall season is always crazy and I enjoy giving my clients the attention their pictures are worth. Sometimes I worry I will struggle making my schedule work...cause that is the second BIGGEST part..Schedule...Between traveling, school events, blended kids, sessions, weddings, and practices...some days just don't have enough hours.

Before I even take sessions for a month, I block of dates that I refuse to work so I know to make time for family. Even if that means 10:54pm blogging sessions (like tonight). I make myself STOP at a certain time at night and some days I don't let myself START until a certain time of day. I schedule my blog, my shopping, my gym time, my Jesus time, and my family time. There is of course room for the spontaneous but to make sure my kids feel secure and that they have my attention, I schedule everything and I old school schedule everything with Pen & Paper AND electronicly, ie: my iPhone calendar. 

Don't get me wrong...some days end up like this:

Stressed, tired, and sitting in the tub with a bottle of wine! Business woman and Mom's are human too!  I wouldn't trade running my business, where I can make my own schedule to chose what I want to do with my time and when I do it, for anything in the world. I also try very hard to make sure my family doesn't suffer the stress as well. 

Plus, I love my job! Which is half the battle most days. Meeting new families and sharing my love for capturing those special moments is everyday different and cherished in my eyes. I love watching families come together and then grow. It's such a blessing to be trusted as that person in someone's life....to document the greatest moments of their life! WOW!

PC: Cieara Ruess Photography

PC: Cieara Ruess Photography

Always remember that with a little humor, a little balance, a lot of Jesus, and a lot of love...you can survive and accomplish anything. Don't give up, especially not on yourself, because most of all those little ones are watching and learning.

St. Charles Wedding Photographer/St. Charles Photographer/Stacy & Brandon Engaged - Busch Wildlife

I had the pleasure of doing Stacy's senior pictures a few years back and last night I had the joy of doing her engagement pictures to her high school sweetheart Brandon. They were so sweet and so much fun to work with especially since they needed no prompting when it came to the snuggling, kisses, and even giggles! Their June wedding is going to be absolutely gorgeous.

Congratulations Stacy & Brandon!

St. Charles Wedding Photographer/St Charles Photographer/Sara & Don White - Old Hickory Golf Club

Sarah and I met at another wedding I did for a friend of hers in St. Charles a few years back, one that I embarrassingly locked my keys in my car, but I guess for her it left a lasting impression! When Sarah first messaged me she told me that her and Don eloped in a very private wedding ceremony in their home, officiated by one of their friend. How romantic is that?!?! I am such a sucker for a romantic love story! I didn't get to meet and work with them until the day of which is usually not how it works, but I must say....they are an amazing match. Watching them together, work together with the kids, what they giggle about, how they love each other, was simply perfection.

Sarah & Don decided to throw a very intimate party to celebrate at Old Hickory Golf Club in St. Peters, which is a gorgeous venue to get married at. Decorated with gorgeous purple floral arrangements from Walter Knoll Florist. Sarah wore a beautiful unique navy dress with the perfect amount of lace. Not only did I get to hang out with Sarah & Don, I also got to meet their 2 adorable sons, ride around on a golf cart, AND get to try out glitter ball cake for the first time ever from Sara's Cake Shop (not same Sara as the bride!). It was truly a party to remember and Sarah has such a sweet family.

Congratulations Sarah & Don! Cheers to many years of love and happiness.

ST. CHARLES PHOTOGRAPHER/ST. CHARLES WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER/ WHY I PICK OUR SHOOT TIME

As we get into the Fall/Winter season of photography, I feel the need to explain why I pick the shoot times. It is also good for you to remember this when planning your Wedding day! It's even good to know these tricks if you are just a Mom or Dad trying to snap a few photos to remember the moment. One of the greatest things I learn is how to make my job a pinch easier to get product to you quicker. Number one on that list shoot times and sunlight....

Picture taken at Old Hickory Golf Course in St. Peters MO

Picture taken at Old Hickory Golf Course in St. Peters MO

See the above image?? This was taken at 4:30pm on a Saturday in July....I love this image. Love it, she is radiant and beautiful and loving her wedding day!

Know what is hard for a photographer to love??

SUNSPOTS....neon highlighted sun spotted grass all around. Now, with my experience, I knew where to place her to make the greatest image possible given the high harsh sunlight and as a result the image turned out beautiful. But because of the time of day, and the location, it really made it impossible to elminate ALL of the sunspots.

Photo taken at Quail Ridge Park in Wentzville Missouri

Photo taken at Quail Ridge Park in Wentzville Missouri

Now see THIS image....

This image was taken at 6:15pm on a June summer evening.

Can you see the difference? Can you see how less harsh the sun spots are but yet we are getting sunlight leaks from behind? Can you see the warmth in it?

THIS is why I chose the shoot time to be around 6:30pm.

Now, for weddings I don't always get to choose when shoot time is, but YOU as the Bride & Groom can keep this in mind! When planning your ceremony and picture time sit, think about when the best picture time will be. Ask your photographer if you aren't sure especially if you know the area you are going to be doing pictures. If you can't do all of your pictures during lower sunlight, make sure to set up sunset pictures with your photographer. A time where they specifically pull you out and do just 10 more minutes of intimate pictures with that beautiful low sun behind you. Photographers call this "golden hour"...but shhhhh you didn't hear it from me :-) And it is the greatest time of day for lighting to make your faces look better by minimizing shadows and highlights while giving you a gorgeous back drop of color. Obviously you need sun, but gentle sun beams are always going to go in your favor over high harsh sun.

So when booking this fall, know that shoots won't start until later in the day, with good reason, I promise! Remember this the next time you want to take your own pictures! You may not have professional equipment but you can always remember small tips and tricks to help you take great everyday images.

St. Charles Wedding Photographer/St. Charles Engagment Photographer/Amanda & Jake Engaged

I felt the need to add Amanda & Jake to the blog because they are apart of the Jheart 2018 weddings! I started blogging after their session, so it didn't go up immediately after the session.

I loved sitting down with Amanda to take about the wedding and the engagement shoot because her bubbly personality just boiled over. It's practically impossible not to smile with you chat with her. Amanda & Jake have been around St. Charles for quite some time and they plan to start their lives together their as well. We did the engagement shoot in a tiny town inside of St. Charles called New Town which seemed incredibly fitting. There are so many fun and unique spots to snap great pictures. I had a blast with these two, they connect so well with each other it made my job so much more fun. You can tell they have been together for awhile and really love and adore each other. The jokes and laughter were a fabulous added bonus!

I knew Amanda was going to be an amazing bride when the first thing she asked me was if I was bossy, because she knows she is going to need someone bossy! Sounds like I may have my work cut out for me but I am always up for a challenge. I am delighted to be able to capture their beautiful day.