st. louis engagment

Macy & Bobbie Engaged/Belleville Illinois/Jheart Photography

When Macy & Bobbie called me and told me about their plans for an intimate backyard farm wedding, I melted. I am a huge sucker for the small romantic weddings, especially if it’s on gorgeous family farm property where you know it’s safe to have a big party!

These two beauties met while working together, which now days seem extraordinary because seems like everyone is meeting online. The Saturday we worked together was that crazy, 60 degree weekend here in the midwest, confirming how bi-polar midwest weather is! Since it was SO beautiful, we took it to the streets and started off in their town of Belleville. Macy & Bobbie wanted to shoot downtown in the heart of the city for some beautiful urban looks. Downtown Belleville reminded me so much of Historic St. Charles with cobblestone streets, old adorable houses that look so cozy, and a really cute businesses along the main strip. Bar Seven is where we ended, was such a fun dive bar with a super cute alley way, that we obviously took advantage of.

Macy & Bobbie were such a joy to work with and to get to capture their love in my lens. I am stoked to be at their wedding in September. I already feel like one of the family and it makes me even more excited to meet the whole family!

St. Charles Photographer/St. Charles Family Photographer/Cherish & Steve 1 year

Cherish is my "best good friend"...said in my best Forest Gump voice. She is the kindest most genuine person I know. I don't think words can express how beautiful it is to see her happy in love. Bonus points because Steve is so good to her and an amazing man. I was beyond excited to shoot these. We even had an adorable doggie crash the party! 

St. Charles Wedding Photographer/St. Charles Photographer/Hailey & Joe Engaged

I had such a good time with these two. Hailey and Joe have been together for 4 years and are getting ready to experience what the Navy military life has in store. Hopefully he will be done with basic in time for the April wedding! Joe is a more quiet person so I was nervous at first, but then as soon as he started to interact with Hailey, he loosened up and they connect so good. I do believe that Joe's quiet jokes is what keeps Hailey around. Joe is a volunteer firefighter for Dupo IL and when Hailey said she wanted some pictures with the fire trucks I was ready! I love that they added a special touch to their session.

Hailey & Joe's April Wedding is going to be an awesome start to the Jheart 2018 wedding season. Both of them are so sweet that it does not surprise me that they found each other and fell in love. 

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 Wedding Photographer/St. Charles Styled Shoot at The White Owl

This was my first ever styled shoot and I have to admit I might be addicted. Getting all the details together, low pressure to get amazing shots, and just laid back fn. It also totally helps that Megan & Tyler are so happy in love that it burst through my camera. I met Megan through a job as well as college quite a few years ago. Seeing her grown up and happy in love was such a blessed bonus to this shoot. Tyler is hilarious and constantly made her laugh, which always rocks pictures. 

I also need to thank the amazing hair & makeup gal Amanda Darby Bluestein with The Maplewood Beauty Bar Salon. Her skills behind the chair never fail. Seriously look her up if you are in need of wedding hair and make-up. She will take care of you! 

Thank you so much to The White Owl for allowing us to use your beautiful venue.

Disclaimer...this is a style shoot...the couple pictured did NOT get married :-)

St. Charles Wedding Photographer/St. Charles Photographer/Claire & Michael Cannon Beach

I recently spent a weekend in the mountains of Portland Oregon & one beautiful day at Cannon Beach with Claire & Michael. I know I usually am a St. Charles Wedding photographer, but when and friend of mine, Cieara with Cieara Ruess Photography went on a luxury trip we knew we had to find someone to shoot and we were so blessed with Claire & Michael. 

Claire and Michael met when her Dad invited him to their church's swing dancing club because he knew Claire & Michael would hit it off. Now, two and half year later they are still dancing together in the kitchens of their parents home. I don't know about you, but that is the most romantic thing EVER. They even showed off some of their moves for us!It is always pure joy when I get to shoot couples that have bursting love like these two. 

I do hope you enjoy the pictures as much as I enjoyed shooting them. 

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 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.

St. Charles Photographer/Family Photographer/Wedding Photographer. - But I don't like pictures....

As a photographer, I have heard so many times...

"But I really don't like my picture taken.." or "We don't know what to do in pictures..."

Let's talk about this...

It's OK! Totally and completely ok! 85% of the couples I get behind the lens have NOT, I repeat, Have NOT had professional pictures taken, separate or together. After engagement it's just something that for the next few years is probably going to happen a lot. You will do engagement, then wedding, then maternity, newborn, family...and it will go on and on so that when your kids get older or you get older you have documented memories. Those documented memories are important!

One way to help this awkward feeling, find a photographer that makes you comfortable. One that can make you laugh, giggle, smooch, snuggle, and relax during your photo shoot together. Being able to relax is one of the biggest factors to getting natural pictures. Meet with your photographer, see if your personalities go well and that you will be able to be yourself around them. Doing this will make all the difference when it comes to seeing your end product and cherishing them forever.

Can you believe the pictures below are all of clients that had never been in front of the camera? Clients who "aren't picture people"? They are....and they worked because I believe making clients feel comfortable and relaxed is a huge part of the photography art form and it is extremely important to me.