Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Getting Ready Details: What to have ready for your photographer


One of my favorite things to shoot on the wedding day is ready, set, encore... the bride and groom details. 

Ah yes, the gorgeous details. I love how the details tie everything together. It showcases the personality of the couple together, as well as the individual bride and groom.

You really get to see the heart behind the wedding. The sentimental part, and how it all ties in with the wedding itself. 

Now you might ask, what exactly are getting ready details? Well, I'm here to share a list of what brides and grooms should have ready for the photographer when they start the day.

Being a bride-to-be myself and super organized, I love lists (so that I don't forget), I wrote down some of the important things you may want to include (preferably in a box) for your wedding photographer. That way when you're getting your makeup done, celebrating with your girls, or the groom is with his guys... the photographers get to work! 

I also made and included a printout for you all the way at the bottom, so you can have on hand ;) Happy Wedding planning!


Bridal Details

 Wedding Dress (placed in bag) where the photographer can have access to it
 Bride's Shoes
Special Hanger (for the wedding dress)
All three rings (engagement ring, both wedding bands)
Veil +Hairpieces
Earrings/Special Jewelry
Necklace
Ring Box
Invitation Suite (rsvp card, addressed envelope, direction card) 
2 copies of Invitations (so the photographer can shoot both sides)
Special Keepsakes
Perfume (looks nicer if it is new and filled)
Bride's Bouquet
Gift from Groom
Letter from Groom
Vowbook/ Vows
Extra Floral clippings (florists are usually happy to include some)
Any other special keepsake
 
Groom Details

Groom's Shoes
Boutonnieres
Cologne (looks nicer if it is new and filled)
Cuff Links
Tie/Bowtie
Special Socks
Vowbook/Vows
Letter from Bride
Gift from bride  
Any other special keepsake

*Certain photographs 2nd Shot for Jennifer Larsen Photography & Tori Petrillo Photography

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Peace in the midst of chaos


To be honest, I'm not really sure where to start this post. It's been something that's been on my mind ever since this whole pandemic started, but I kept delaying it. Maybe because my feelings have changed every day and I don't want to write something that isn't truthful and then mislead you.  


But perhaps today is the day then. I keep looking for the silver lining in all of this. I originally had so many ideas of where this post would go, what I should say, what people would want to hear... but I don't have a written plan anymore. Just words that are being typed out as they come to my mind at this very moment.

 

My escape comes in writing form. Maybe I write because it establishes some type of order for me. I don't like chaos, so writing keeps me grounded. Or so it's what I like to tell myself.

But through these past few weeks amid this chaos, I feel God has been revealing hard truths to me about myself and how I perceive the world, which honestly doesn't align with Him all the time.

I'm not angry at God, on the contrary, I'm grateful He is so patient towards me, and that He lovingly points out the Truth.

Since the beginning of time, people struggled with the love of worldly things. And so of course once this whole pandemic came, it has shaken us all.
 

// For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. // 1 John 2:16


What is the meaning of life anymore if I can't have __________?... You fill in your blank.

But was this style of living really what God had intended when He created us? The stresses, struggles, money-hunger, climbing up an empty ladder, perfect house, lavish lifestyle really what God called us to freedom for?

Sigh. No, Jesus did not set us free for this.

I realized my own selfishness, wants, dreams, and desires. (I'm not saying the Lord doesn't care about our dreams. Of course, He does. But He gives us dreams and desires that align with His will once we are His.) And slowly, sometimes painfully through our spending time with Him in His Word... we realize that what we held onto for so long perhaps wasn't at all what Jesus wanted for us.

What is it that you have been expecting from God? I realize that we can become so obsessive with a particular thing in our lives, a need, a prayer... that we lose focus of the One that can give us far beyond what we ask for.

Paul prayed three times asking God to take away his "thorn in the flesh", and God said no.

// For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. // 2 Corinthians 12:8-9

As harsh as it sounds, I know the Lord always means well and has a reason and a better plan for us.  



I've been asked through a few close friends, how do I keep positive through all of this, in the midst of this uncertainty? And to be honest, it's not a matter of how, but NEED.

Despite my flesh telling me, "This Coronavirus isn't going to end anytime soon, all of the plans you wanted are over", I NEED to trust in what God says in His Word.
 

// And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose. // Romans 8:28


Despite my mind wandering off and thinking of all the "what ifs", I NEED to trust the Lord when He said I will overcome this because He already did.
 

// These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. // John 16:33


Despite the news, people, telling me "it's going to be this long", I NEED to focus on Jesus... not the storm. 

// And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. // Matthew 14: 29-32


I need to put all of my doubts aside because if I don't, I will go back to that dark place of thinking and just surrender to being angry, bitter, and anxious. A place without hope. I was once there, and I never want to go back. 



The Lord says he gives us peace, even when we don't understand it.

 

// And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. // Philippians 4:7


And through all of this, though I don't understand any of it, I wiped my tears aside and understood that it's not my duty to question what God allows or doesn't.
 

He just says, "Follow me" like He did with His disciples. (John 1:43 is one example when he calls Philip). 

And so I must do that, follow Him. 


It's okay if I'm sad sometimes, but after that, I need to be willing to trust in the Lord and His strength and know I will make it through.
 

// Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. // Matthew 5:3


// For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief. // Proverbs 24:16

And so while the world runs in chaos... I know it's all in order for my Savior. If He gave ME (an imperfect, sinful person) a chance to live with Him forever, I know He can and will put an end to all of this too, in His timing.


And with that, I know my life is no longer a question mark. But one of complete peace and surrender, to the One that gave it all for me: Jesus Christ, the God who created it all. ♡ 


Saturday, March 21, 2020

Joseph 1st Birthday | NJ Lifestyle Photographer

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This little love turns one next month! I've been photographing his beautiful family since before he was in the belly! We rolled around the grass outside and then came inside for some Dr. Seuss and cake smashing fun. His smile is contagious... here are my favorite photographs from their session, hoping it brings you as much joy as it did me!

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Monday, March 2, 2020

Stephanie & Adam | Point Pleasant, NJ Engagement Session


When I met Stephanie and Adam over coffee, their genuine personalities were evident through how they spoke with detail and kindness towards me. 

Their smiles and funny life tidbits kept me laughing and truly enjoying their company and stories. Adam proposed to Stephanie about 8 months after their very first date!

Stephanie grew up taking family vacations to Lake George, NY so Adam knew just how much this place meant to her. Adam had planned to go out by the dock that Stephanie grew up fishing with her dad and grandfather and then proposing to her. 

But it turns out the weather had other plans, and it was pouring rain. Adam wasn't going to let that stop him, so he insisted they walk out anyway. When they reached the bench, umbrella in hand... Adam took Stephanie's hand and told her how much he meant to her. Then he got down on his knee and asked her to marry him and spend their lives together. 

Adam says he even practiced opening the box at home so he didn't drop in in the lake! How sweet and thoughtful?! The rain couldn't stop Adam from asking Stephanie to marry him. 

I asked both Stephanie and Adam what they both loved about each other. Stephanie gushed on about Adam and said, 

"Adam is an absolutely caring, calm, and selfless being. I remember when I met him I told my dad that he was the "nicest person I've ever known" and I will always feel that way! I also believe he is the strongest person I've ever met. He makes me laugh every day, constantly makes me feel protected and appreciated, and makes me feel like he knows me better than I know myself at times."

Adam then said what he loved about Stephanie,

"Stef is an extremely passionate, caring person. She is selfless - always worrying about others before herself. Stef is the most positive person I have ever met. I love that she can make me smile and laugh at any given moment, especially when she starts singing in her lounge voice. She keeps me on my toes and there is never a dull moment with her."

They both grew up going to Point Pleasant, and so they wanted to have their engagement session taken there too. We had such a gorgeous (almost spring!) day walking around on the boardwalk, munching on Stephanie's and Adam's favorite snack: pink-frosted doughnuts, and laughing on the beach feeling like kids again. 

It was an absolute pleasure photographing Stephanie and Adam's love, and it has me SO excited for their wedding this October! Stephanie and Adam, I wish you so much love and joy and I am truly grateful you chose me to document your special day. Here are my favorite photographs from their engagement session!