There’s cute. There’s adorable. Then there’s little Lily Shoemaker. Sorry folks, she’s been spoken for – she’s already betrothed to our son, Andy. Is that weird? We thought so, too. In all seriousness, Lily and Andy are not betrothed, however, the four of us have joked about it as parents enough that one might think they actually are.
Andy and Laura are two of our dearest friends. Andy and I spent a semester of college rooming together in an apartment while at Focus on the Family’s Leadership Institute in the spring of 2005. They live in Chicago and we are only able to visit with one another once every 2 years, but they remain two of our most trusted and beloved friends. We were soooooo excited when they told us this spring that they were going to make the trip out east to visit us so we could all meet Lily and they could meet our little Andy.
Andy and Laura will be heading out of the country as missionary’s to Ecuador in the coming year so it made for a bittersweet reunion as we will probably not get to see them again for another couple years unless we can make it down to visit them – which we hope and pray we do! OR if plane tickets all the sudden plummet in price – then maybe we’ll get lucky! To find out more about what they are doing with their ministry in Ecuador please go to the website listed here. If you feel God tugging on your heart to give to their mission, then please do so. http://www.theshoemakers.blogspot.com/
Everyone, meet the Shoemakers!
This past Friday I got to ditch out of rural Lancaster, PA and head for the big city. Dan Smith in the city would make for a solidly entertaining reality show. Mostly I just get really anxious. slightly sweaty, and very confused. Needless to say I was a little nervous about making it through the wedding day without getting lost. Fortunately for me they had a trolly we could ride in all day! This was the first time I got to shoot a wedding spending all day in downtown Philadelphia within a block from City Hall. Justin and Katie planned their day perfectly and we had plenty of time to take the trolly around downtown for some awesome photos at Love Park and the Philadelphia Art Museum where we did their engagement photos. To top it all off their reception at The Crystal Team Room in the Wannamaker building was absolutely stunning. The cocktail hour alone was astounding, not to mention the dessert room that topped off the night.
Nevertheless it was a fantastic day to spend with some really awesome friends on their wedding day. Katie was stunning and her smile lit up the day – while Justin and his groomsmen’s sense of humor made for a lot of laughs. Thanks so much for having us be part of your wedding day and tell your friends in Oklahoma about Dan Smith Photography so I can come visit!
Here’s a couple of my favorites from their wedding day…
There are so many good things to say about this couple that I don’t even know where to start. Not only are they just incredibly adorable, but they are also two of the kindest and most genuine couples I’ve been blessed to befriend. Really, clients are not clients to us, they very quickly become friends. I felt this way about Andy and Sam immediately. We met with them at Rock Bottom Brewery almost a year ago to discuss the possibility of shooting their wedding and I remember leaving that meeting with my fingers crossed really hoping that would choose me as their photographer. SO THANKFUL that they did!
We did their engagement photos a couple weeks back in downtown Philly and on June 2nd I packed up and drove from Lancaster, PA to shoot their wedding in Camden, NJ. After a long morning on 76 /676 through Philadelphia, we finally made it out to the camden area. We were hopeful to be shooting at the Camden waterfront that day, but unfortunate for us there was a free country music concert happening at the Tweeter Center – so instead we sat in some unexpected traffic. We made due and ended shooting at the reception location at The Camden County Boathouse – a gorgeous venue right on the river. The night was a blast and we really hope to get to shoot again there soon!
Here’s a couple favorites from Andy and Sam’s wedding day!
I really love shooting weddings, don’t get me wrong. But what I typically dislike about wedding days are how time-crunched and quick you have to move on your feet with creativity. You really have to think on your feet fast and work with your surroundings. This is why weddings can be so stressful for the photographer. However, there are those bridal shoots I’m lucky to do a couple times per year where time is not an issue and I can be as creative as I want. The only time you’re racing against is light.
Mara is a friend of ours who we attended Eastern University with in St. Davids, PA. She since married her best friend, Shane, and they moved to downtown Lancaster, Pa and have two adorable sons. Mara was feeling like her wedding dress was collecting dust and didn’t have a use for it anymore. So she thought, “I don’t have any girls, so I’m not going to pass the dress on. Why don’t I wear it one last time, get all dolled up, and completely destroy it?” These are questions that more brides should ask themselves. We love Trash the Dress shoots and typically they end up being a cross between a Flaunt the Dress and Trash the Dress shoot which is even better. So Mara, who is a professional organizer, threw out her predicament on FB offering her services in exchange for a photo shoot. Naturally, the very disorganized and messy Smiths jumped right on this idea.
So we booked the shoot, and got a brand new organized basement out of the deal! Thanks for your awesome skills and time, Mara! Here are some of our favorites from your Trash the Dress/Flaunt the Dress shoot.
It’s starting to become the norm for us to travel from Lancaster, PA to Philadelphia to meet with clients. I count myself as blessed to have such an awesome client base out of the Philadelphia area so as much as we absolutely loath the Schuylkill Expressway, we don’t mind the commute. I met Gabe and Stephanie at a former client’s wedding and am excited to be shooting their wedding this September! We met up with them a couple weeks ago in downtown Philly at the art museum as well as 7th and Walnut to spend some time getting to know them and capturing their engagement photos. I always love leaving engagement sessions thinking – “yeah this wedding is going to be a blast.” What I also love about getting to work with couples is finding out their story and getting to know them on a more personal level. There aren’t many professions that you can honestly say your constantly making new friends – but I am lucky to have one of those jobs. Meet Gabe and Stephanie! Here’s some of our favorites from their engagement shoot!
There are weddings….and then there are celebrations….and then, if you’re really lucky, sometimes, just sometimes, you’ll get to experience a true wedding celebration. Matt and Alyssa’s wedding day was filled with excitement from the moment we showed up to the moment we left. Everyone at ever minute was always having a good time and that’s truly what makes a wedding day stand out more than others. Alyssa looked stunning in her dress and hair – I personally thought she was right out of a bridal magazine. She was so laid back and fun all day and truly, (this is some advice to all brides out there) – having a laid back and fun attitude on your wedding day sets the mood for everyone and everything else. The reception was by far the most fun and yet ridiculous reception I’ve ever experienced which is why I’ve included a lot of reception photos in this post. I hope you guys enjoy their wedding day as much as I did and can take away some of the emotion and joy from these pictures that I took away from the day. Here’s some of our favorite moments…
I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am about shooting Andy and Sam’s wedding next weekend! This couple is so stinking adorable it just makes your face melt. Seriously, though, Lauren, Andy, and I (yes it was bring your family to work day), had a blast meandering around Philadelphia a couple weeks ago with these two lovebirds. Their wedding will be so much fun! Here’s a couple of our favorites from the day!