Jeff and Mikaela - New York Engagement Shoot

"I’m falling for you
As I'm standing here
And you hold my hand..."
colbie caillat - falling for you

Jeff and Mikaela. Wooow.  They are crazy.

No, seriously.  They are crazy.
Like if a SuperDooperLooper roller coaster and the squirrel running on my roof merged together and drank soda out of a straw made from Skittles.  And then got coffee afterwards, with cotton candy on the side it might be as crazy as this couple.  They're crazy.
Jeff is a retired Marine and works two jobs (one where he gets up at 3:30 am!) and Mikaela is about to head into law school.  So they are serious, responsible adults.  Don't get me wrong.
But they have this young, crazy, elementary-school-kid thing going on.  It's very fun :D
They only met a year and a half ago, and some would think that's really quick to be engaged.
But, as Jeff cooly said "When you know, you know."
This is very Zales commercial-y to me. SooOOoo romantic ;D
There's that big, beautiful smile! Mikaela is a whirlwind of talking, laughing, skipping and hair-flipping. She's just too fun! Jeff is going to have an awesome life with her.
Oh. And she's absolutely gorgeous. No big deal.
Part of their "young-ness" that I loved, was how crazy they were about each other.  They were always touching, exchanging glances, quoting inside jokes and basically smitten with each other.

After we did our formal-city-look, they changed into more casual outfits.  I personally LOVE them both.
Ah, wait. But first.  Their changing-room also doubled as Jeff's incredible, manly pick-up.  We had to grab some shoots in there :D

This was cute (and totally unposed.)  I told them to hop out and get changed.  This is what followed:
Mikaela: Tell me I'm a bird! Yeah... I'm a bird!

Jeff (quietly): Yes, you're a bird.  And if you're a bird, I'm a bird.
Mikaela: (giggles)
Alright. Enough cute.
Jeff grabbed his guitar, and we headed to a new location.  My first shot with their new outfits:
I got really excited. haha
And then this one happened, and I liked it even better. I just like my couples?
YOU ARE SO PRETTY. not fair.

I'm really a fan of guitars.
Hahah what trouble ;)

I had to corral them over and get them to focus for the next shots.  Sometimes life is just too exciting? Haha

And other times, your fiance is just too huggable :D

Man, I am out of things to say - I just love them so much!  I can't stand how cute they are!

Train. Clouds. Guitar. Kisses. Plaid. Boots.  I dare you to find something you don't like.

Waiting at a train - so old fashioned and perfect.  A very lovely way to end the shoot :D

Jeff and Mikaela - you guys made my week and I am so glad we got to hang out!  I'm so excited for you :D


I am a photographer and I love it.

I have a hit-counter on my blog.  Who doesn't?  It's the best though - I can see every single person who comes onto my blog, how they got there, how long they stayed and how often the return!  Pretty cool :D

Well.  The day before I left for Jamaica, I saw that someone had googled "I am a photographer and I love it."  Interesting google search, huh? 

Somehow those key-words fit my blog best!  Right over Zack Arias of OneLight fame.  I thought that was pretty fun! As I finished packing my flip-flops and stuffing another pink dress into my suit (just in!) case, I thought about that sentence.  I am a photographer and I really do love it.  Most people don't get to love their job like this.
(Haha I am also turning into a beast corsage-pinner.  I'm gonna start charging the big dollars... and make a blog about it ;D)

I'm sitting here right now listening to live music, while big palm fans spin over my head.  I can't see the ocean, but if I wanted to, I could get up and see it.  I'm in Jamaica for goodness sakes!  What a job!  I love my job locally too - see how happy I am getting onto the merry-go-round?

See my grinning like an idiot on the merry-go-round?
See me doing my job on the merry-go-round?

See me getting in trouble with the merry-go-round guy for not giving him a ticket when I got on the mery-go-round?  I was really, really excited - what can I say?

Thanks to my second shooter, Andree, for grabbing these shots of me doing my job, that I love, at Tara and Preston's wedding!  I need to go to bed so I have energy tomorrow at this fabulous destination wedding.  But I just had to blog, as a reminder to myself to be grateful.  I don't deserve to be able to do this.  It really is a gift and honor. 


Josh and Kelley {I'm Kristen - MD/DC/VA Wedding Photographer}

"Yes, I'll admit that I'm a fool for you
Because you're mine
I walk the line"
johnny cash - walk the line

This isn't the first time Kelley has graced this blog (she's often a bridesmaid in weddings I shoot.)
And this isn't the first time I've done a shoot for Kelley (I shot their little family last year!)
But this is our first shoot of just Josh and Kelley: a 4-year-anniversary shoot!

You all know how I loooove stories.  So bear with me while I tell you my Josh&Kelley stories.
Kelley was my literature teacher all through highschool.  I believe it was during 10th grade that she started going out with Josh.

I was at church, and one of  my classmates and I were talking in the lobby.
"Oh my gosh, did you hear about Kelley?"
"Noooo! What happened?!"
"She has a boyfriend."

I scanned the room for her, and quickly found her in little black heels, cute jeans and black top (aka: so cool).  I gushed like the nerdy-but-hopeless-romantic-sophomore that I was and asked all about it.  She smiled and showed me a picture and told me his name.  Oh siiiigh. How sweet!

Skip forward a few months.  The blah of cold Maryland spring was upon us, and I was peeved about spending my Friday in class (I think I had senioritis really early...)  Kelley was teaching well, but the day was kind of slow and everyone was rather ho-hum.

Our class was in the basement of Kelley's house, and it wasn't strange for mailmen, neighbors and friends to drive-in and out or ring the doorbell.  This particular day, we heard a car pull-up, door open and close and footsteps walking up the driveway.  Kelley completely froze as she listened.  I honestly didn't even hear the car, because I was so used to it.  But Kelley listened, then peaked out the window, saw Josh and with a huge grin apologized to us girls as she went running out of the room.

"She's in love with him."  That's when I knew.  I still didn't even really know this guy, and Kelley isn't exactly excessively cheesy about love - so I never knew how things were going.   But I knew right there and then that she was sold. 

She glided back into the room - rosy and distracted - and the "oh-this-is-adorable" factor only increased each month.  Josh proposed in NYC a few months later, and I remember seeing them holding hands practically hopping into church.  After I saw her ring and watched them walk inside, I teared up.  She seemed so happy.  I was so happy for her.

In October 2005 they got married and their tilt-o-whirl life together began!  From surprise pregnancy news, to emerergency delivery news, to crazy job news and moving all over Maryland news, they have had quite a four years. 

I think this Alan Jackson song sums up their life so far:
"Remember when we vowed the vows
and walked the walk

Gave our hearts, made the start, it was hard
We lived and learned, life threw curves
There was joy, there was hurt."

"Remember when old ones died and new were born
And life was changed, disassembled, rearranged
We came together, fell apart."

"Remember when the sound of little feet
Was the music
We danced to week to week
Brought back the love, and the found trust
Vowed we'd never give it up
Remember when"

Right now their "dance" is very much to little feet, tired mornings, runny-noses, regular life and an unclear future.   And they love it.   Josh just loves Kelley.  He works for her and his kids, he leads her and his kids, he sacrifices pleasure, ease and fun for the high-call of being a husband and father.

And Kelley has thrown herself into supporting her man, and raising her children.  It's not easy, it's not perfectly scripted and deliriously exciting, and that's why I love to watch them.  They are more committed then ever and it's because of something bigger then themselves.  God has been their rock from day one, and I love to see Him walk them through each and every day, step by step. 

And don't get me wrong - they aren't these gloomy, down, burdened people!  They are full of life!

I love seeing them rolling into church with their kids, smiling and talking and mingling with everyone.  I love Kelley's funny status's on Facebook, and Josh's big hearty laugh.  I love how close they are with both their families and how they go on all kinds of outings and adventures. 

I love how they really do seem more in love as the months go on. 

I remember last year at a wedding I was shooting, Josh came late as he was waiting to hear about a job.   It didn't end up working out, and I know it was hard.  Kelley ran and gave him a HUGE hug when she saw him, and told him how much she loved him and kept her arm around him the rest of the day.  It was so sweet.

Right off a movie set, I tell ya...

Josh and Kel, your marriage and love screams to the world "This is what it should be like!"  It's not perfect - it's very selfless and hard, but when you do the work, it can be completely amazing. 

I respect you both oh so much and I can't wait to see you turn old and gray together ;D

And we will close with my favorite of the day :D LOVE it!

Josh loves Johnny Cash, so this whole shoot was kind of "themed" off of that - so here is the slideshow to "Walk The Line." Enjoy!