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Annie + Brian | St. Francis Xavier College Church + Forest Park Visitor Center Wedding

Annie and Brian met their first year at The University of Dayton. They had Monday night chemistry lab together  where they met and after countless weekly dinner dates, intramural volleyball games, and shared mass at the chapel, they were engaged in Annie’s Hometown of St. Louis at Art Hill in Forest Park making it the perfect place to celebrate their dream wedding.

On the day of their wedding, Annie opened the door to her family home rendering me speechless. She was magnificent.  Dad was totally relaxed while Mom was the cutest alternating between laughing, beaming, and crying at the sight of her beautiful soon-to-be-wed daughter.  The guys relaxed at the hotel and were all smiles and the perfect gentlemen.

Both of their faces when they saw each other were perfect – a look of complete joy and admiration for the other. Neither could stop smiling the whole rest of the day. They were married in the gorgeous St. Francis Xavier College Church and after the ceremony the wedding party brought their A game when we had them out in the cold (really cold) weather!

The party continued at the reception where the fabulous Alaynne Allen of Catering St. Louis had put together the most awe-evoking reception space with the most beautiful cake from Sarah’s Cake Shop in the center of the room. My friends at Bloomin’ Buckets did a magnificent job with the florals. Annie’s sister Emma made each of the table numbers by hand. It was perfect. The toasts had us all rolling and the Hog Trough Dance was a first for many of us and was an incredible addition to fabulous dance spectacular.

Annie and Brian – THANK YOU for letting me and Sherry be a part of this special day for you.

xo, Susie

Vendors:

Ceremony – St. Francis Xavier College Church

Reception – Forest Park Visitor Center

Catering – Catering St. Louis

Cake – Sarah’s Cake Shop

Florals – Bloomin’ Buckets

Invitations – Minted

HMUA – Blissfully Beautiful Bride

DJ – CJ’s Disc Jockey

Gown Designer – Hayley Paige

Bridal Boutique – Hyde Park Bridal

Bridesmaids Dresses – Brideside

Suits – The Black Tux

Jeweler – St. Matthew’s Jeweler

Second Shooter – Sherry Lane

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You will never regret documenting your family and your days within the walls of your home.  Embrace the chaos. I am reminded of so many amazing moments that were lost in the fog of motherhood because I chose to document our days.  It is a new year and ahead lies a new opportunity for you to resolve to document your days too.  Give the gift of memory to your small children of the beautiful laughter and madness-filled days that you shared together.

I encourage you to embrace the mess.  Embrace the tangly hair.  Embrace the spaghetti sauce on the ceiling and the water that spills over the walls of the bathtub. Find humor in the meltdowns. Document it all in all its glory.  Think less. Try less. Just shoot. Gain access to all my best tips here but here a few little insights to get in the game…

Capture “Normal”

The kids brushing their teeth.  Dad reading a bedtime story. Kids running around sans clothing.  Kids getting dressed to head out the door. The most mundane seemingly ordinary things are so unique for that given time that they deserve to be documented.

Slow Down

Chances are – it can wait.  It probably won’t be the end of the world of your kid show up late to dance practice or is late to school.  The grocery store or gym will quite likely be there if you show up 10 minutes after you intended.   Take a moment to savor the moment and if you want – grab a photo.  My daughter was no less than 20 minutes late to her first of few ballet practices and I did not and will never feel bad about that.  She quickly realized she didn’t like ballet but at least we got the leotard pics to remember it.

Don’t over-think it

We have a crazy amount of storage in our phones and memory cards.  Just shoot.  You can delete it later if you want.

Lighting

Indoor lighting can be difficult but it adds interest! Go with it.  It gives each image a character and tells a story.  The lighting might not be perfect but the moments are.  You can make things easier in the day and open windows and turn off the lights but you don’t want to limit yourself to only taking photos in easy situations.  Embrace the grain of dark photos.  Embrace the harsh shadows and inconsistent lighting.

Moral of the story

There are times to create beautiful look at the camera and smile-ish portraits.  There are also times to shift your thinking to the importance of the little moments that make life worth living.  They are worthy of the frame. I encourage you to slow down and tell your story the way nobody else could.

 

xo, Susie

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This sweet little guy Scott Henry was my last session of 2017 and he was simply as sweet as they come!! Not to mention he also had the cutest older brothers that stole my heart as well!! I just had to make one little joke and it was giggles for days. Thanks for having us out again for the newst addition Jen and John!!

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These two are St. Louis to the core!  They chose the historic World’s Fair Pavilion for their reception venue while getting married in an intimate church ceremony.  It was the perfect balance of love for family and love for all things St. Louis and Cardinals and Blues!  When they initially told me their wedding date and told me that they had secured the World’s Fair Pavilion for that date my jaw dropped knowing how incredibly gorgeous the park was oh that date the year before.  You never know with St. Louis weather what to expect so it could have been 90 degrees or 20 on their wedding day.  But wouldn’t ya know it – we had the most unlikely PERFECT 70 degree day in St. Louis on their wedding day.

 

The whole day was perfectly theirs.  The girls hung out at her parents house and watched the Mizzou game while they took turns getting dolled up in the makeup chair.  Alternating shouting at the TV and applying lipstick.  My idea of the best balanced gals.  On the mantle were three hand stitched baseballs with their names and wedding date in cardinal red.  The guys meanwhile hung out at the hotel where they too rooted on Mizzou and each proudly wore their Cardinals socks under their suits before heading to the church.  Jessica walked down the aisle with her dad to meet her groom.  They said their vows to her grandfather making it an incredibly special moment for the family before leaving to Henry Purcell’s Trumpet Tune.

 

We hit up almost every one of their absolute favorite spots before heading to the World’s Fair Pavilion including Kiener Plaza, Busch Stadium, Scottrade Center, and Forest Park where the leaves were a sight to see and I don’t know that I will ever see them as perfectly red as they were on their day..  We were thrilled to have the team of Shadow + Light there for video and we had so much fun capturing Jessica and John’s day together.  Will with Millennium Productions was a welcome face once we arrived at the World’s Fair Pavilion as we quickly realized things were about to get a lot more fun.  The dancing was non-stop, there was a s’mores bar, and a sparkler exit to top it all off.  Beyond thrilled that we were able to be a part of this special day!

 

Team of Vendors:

Church – Immanuel Lutheran – Olivette

Reception – World’s Fair Pavilion – St. Louis, MO

Florist – Wildflowers

Cake – Honest to Goodness Bakery

Invitations – InkSpot

DJ – Will @ Millennium Productions

Gown Designer – Eddy K Milano

Bridal Boutique – Clarice’s Bridal

Hair – Lyndsay L Salon

Makeup – Amanda Macia Makeup

Bridesmaid Dress Boutique – Brideside – Chicago, IL

Rings – Shane Co.

Suits – Savvi

Catering – Pasta House Co.

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The day will very likely come if you are a digital photographer.  The error message.  The pit in your stomach.  Your memory card is corrupt.  Profuse sweating and/or illness might ensue depending on what it is on that particular card.  The card pictured below was the card that single-handedly made me lose nearly two weeks of sleep.  The images on there were of a clients wedding day.

Tips for Memory Card care and general use…

  1. Store them carefully – I love my ThinkTank card memory card wallets. Just be sure you pick the one for your memory card type – SD or CF.
  2. Avoid filling your cards completely
  3. Format your cards – but be sure you have multiple copies of the images on various locations prior to doing so
  4. Format the memory card in the camera you want to use it on
  5. Remove cards safely when connected to your computer
  6. Insert the card safely into your camera
  7. Don’t turn off your camera too fast after taking an image
  8. Two is better than one if you are a professional – Consider investing in a camera with two memory card slots!
  9. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket – Shoot on multiple cards so if one is corrupt you aren’t at a complete loss

I think my card is corrupt!  What do I do?

  1. Don’t panic!
  2. Stop taking photos.  Don’t delete anything.  Don’t format anything.  Just stop.
  3. If you are trying to import on your computer and nothing is happening check the connection between the card reader and your computer
  4. Try a different card reader
  5. Try importing direct from your camera with the camera cables (that are probably still in the box)
  6. Download a recovery software – there are many free options available online (recuva for windows or photorec for mac or card recovery for windows and card rescue for mac)
  7. Check your local camera store – they often have more advanced recovery options available you can try
  8. Remain calm!
  9. When all above options fail – reach out to the team at LC Technology.  I shipped these guys my memory card when I had exhausted all options.  They were my very last hope!  I had a sick feeling in my stomach as I carefully packaged the card and sent it off in the mail.  They disassembled and access portions of the card I didn’t know existed.  They called to tell me they had recovered the images and I actually cried tears of joy on the phone.  This is how the card was returned to me next to a disc with all the recovered images.  I can not possibly recommend them enough.  When you think all hope is lost – Please reach out to them!

**It is important to note that if you have any suspicion that your card is corrupt and even if you were able to recover images off the card in question.  Get rid of it!  Save yourself the headache of going through this again and get rid of the card for good.  I usually sharpie a big X on mine before tossing them out for extra measure.

Please do not overlook this very important part of photography.  Amazing images mean nothing if you can’t access them when you are finished taking them.  I hope you don’t encounter this situation but if you do I hope this information helps you!!

xo, Susie

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