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Lisa + Bryan | Rustic Garden Wedding | Destination Wedding Photographer

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Lisa is from New Zealand, Bryan is from Ohio.

Their paths crossed when Bryan was living overseas, and they’ll be starting their married life together in Washington DC. But first, they wanted to celebrate with their family and friends. Lisa is a talented graphic designer, and every aspect of their wedding, from the hand-lettered signs to the homemade food and the beautifully strung lights reflected her vision.

In her first email to me, Lisa mentioned that photography was especially important to her because so many of the people she loved in New Zealand couldn’t make the trip to America to be at the wedding. Her sister, who couldn’t make the flight because she’s pregnant, was able to see some of the wedding through a Skype call on a laptop that was perched on various hay bales throughout the night. Lisa’s mom gave two beautiful speeches to the couple – her own, and Lisa’s sisters’.

It’s weddings like this that make me realize, all over again, how important it is to tell the story of not only the wedding day, but of two people coming together, of the joining of families. I hope I did Lisa and Bryan’s story justice.

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Albert Palmer - Awwwwww…. I just love the field shots with the little lights in the background – they have a definite realism and emotion to them. Love.

Sara - Beautiful! I love her non-traditional dress and the intimate relaxed feel of the ceremony. What a wonderful way to start their lives together. Gorgeous photos, as always.

Avelaine Scyrup - Love the simplicity of it all. Very sweet!

andy stenz - Non-traditional = awesome. I think my favorite is them sitting on the pier.

Tyler - such a rad wedding. you killed this.

Layla - You have the magical ability to properly capture the emotion of whatever you’re shooting…and I actually teared up during their vows, because the emotion was obvious. Bravo, Anni.

Steph | bubblerock - Ah! You guys!!! All the way from NZ, we almost felt we were there. This is truly magical, one of the most meaningful weddings I have seen in a while. You both look so happy and Lisa: you are GORGEOUS!
Miss you in NZ but so happy for the two of you and this new chapter!!
Great photos of course, telling a beautiful story indeed!
LOVE the last one with the bonfire and their first KISS!!! YAY!

Steve Koo - Love the bonfire shots. Nice work!

jonny - love your style. love the style of the wedding. definitely the perfect storm for the day.

Mere - Beautiful! L&B we so wish we could have been there, but these gorgeous shots are the next best thing. Lots of love from all of us xoxo The Streets

Lyn Ismael-Bennett - Gorgeous photographs for two gorgeous people in love :)

John - epic last shots! Great coverage :)

Edric - Great set of images! The B&W with the couple framed with the trees is a great capture!

Mercedes - I love that she’s wearing a red dress! Such a sweet and special wedding and you did a lovely job of shooting it for them.

Ali - Your photos are so amazing! I love the shot of the couple standing on the dock.

Matty - You’ve captured the mood perfectly!

cathy poole - Just the best,have a happy life.Cathy xxx

Dana McDowell - Photos near water always are my favorite…and that little dock is so simple and lovely–so fitting for their wedding =)

Leigh - Such a beautiful wedding! And I just love that last campfire shot!

TJ - These pictures are absolutely stunning! I love the last shots in front of the fire! I love that her dress is not traditional. And I really wish I could hear her accent!!!
xo TJ

Jennifer - Wow you take amazing photos!

xo Jennifer


Thomas - Just so lovely wedding,views,photos and two beautiful people

WASIO - love the feel of all the photos! Beautiful work!

Jade Sheldon - What a lovely couple. I adore her nontraditional dress. And, wow, how amazing is that shot lit by the fire!?

erin @WELLinLA - As a bride who will be wearing a very non-traditional dress I so appreciate the way you’ve captured their special day! Beautiful photos, Anni!

Edgar Cabrera - These photos are gorgeous! Beautiful setting!

tina - Love your style! And love that the bride didn’t wear white! So pretty!

Joseph Delgado - What a fun looking wedding! The photos are amazing. They really capture the essence of the day.

Elaine - Lovely, love! Beautiful, non-traditional wedding and so well captured through the lens. Excellent job!

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Abby, Joel, and Lillian | a Family Session | Chicago Lifestyle Photographer

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Abby and I first started talking while we were planning our weddings online a couple of years ago. I was newly engaged right around the time she and Joel got married, but we managed to stay in touch anyway. So when Abby asked me to come up to Milwaukee to take some lifestyle photos – their first set as a family of three with their beautiful daughter, Lillian – I was beyond excited. We battled the Milwaukee crowds (President Obama was in town for a campaign stop, apparently Milwaukee is almost never crowded on weekends) and a sudden rainstorm, but it was well worth it to get to meet this sweet little lady. I don’t think I’ve ever met a baby quite so happy and full of smiles as Lillian is – it’s hard not to fall in love with that smile!

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Estelle - Okay. Cutest baby ever. Such a sweet shoot!

Layla - I am SO in love with this shoot!!!! Their family is so beautiful. Sweet Lillian!

JeeYoung - OMG Love this shoot! Those cheeks! I DIE! So cute!!!! Beautiful family Abby!

Abby - Anni, I *love* them! :) You’re such a fantastic photographer and you did an amazing job. Thank you so much!

Amanda @ The Fix-Its - I adore these! Great work!

Jessica T - What a beautiful family!! As usual, Anni — you did an AMAZING job but it’s not hard to capture suck great shots with a gorgeous baby like that!

Jill - Oh my goodness….what a fantastic shoot! That is one of the cutest families ever! I love Lillian’s top and matching headband. She is SO cute!!

Nicole - I love these so much! Such beautiful, natural photos & Lillian is absolutely darling!

Clare - Love every single photo! The last one is my favorite. Such happy smiles :)

Sara - Awh, how adorable! Great photos Anni :) I read Abby’s blog and her little girl is the cutest thing–so happy and smiley!

Sara - Gorgeous photos! This makes me so excited for our little photo shoot with Baby Mac in a few weeks! Can’t wait to see you!

TJ - These shots are absolutely perfect! Loving her happy little face. Perfect!
xo TJ

Jade Sheldon - Lillian’s smile just kills me.

Amanda Jane Jones - love that first shot. beautiful composition.

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Why You Absolutely, Positively Must Have a First Look on Your Wedding Day (or should at least give it a thought!)

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For those of you new to this wedding stuff, a first look is exactly what it sounds like – when you set up a time before the wedding ceremony to see your partner and take photos before the hubbub of the day really begins. Many couples are wary of this because they think it’s going to take away from that walk-down-the-aisle moment – I’m here to tell you it absolutely does not, and just why it’s so awesome. And you can trust me on this one, because I took my own advice on my wedding day. Actually, it’s one of my fondest memories of the day. So. Why are first looks so awesome?

1. They allow you the chance to have whatever reaction you want to seeing the person you’re going to spend the rest of your life with. So if you want to jump up and down, or whisper sweet nothings in your partner’s ear, or dance for awhile, you can – without any fear that your grandma or your great uncle is watching.

2. A first look gives you the chance to recharge. Your wedding day is going to be full of people who want to catch up, share their joy with you, and help you check everything off that list of yours before the ceremony. It’s a wonderful chaos, but having a moment alone with your partner is an absolute dream by the time you’ve been at the finishing touch, primping, and entertaining thing since early in the morning.

3. The photos are amazing. Any makeup you’re wearing is fresh, nothing has had the chance to spill and stain your clothes, and there’s time to hit up a few locations without worrying that you’re behind schedule. A few great portraits are easy to come by in almost any amount of time, but if you want any sort of variety, it’s worth blocking off half an hour or more for photos of just the two of you.

4. You can start on bridal party/family photos once you’re doing with couples portraits. This is especially awesome because it leads into my last and final point…

5. If you get all of this done before the ceremony, it means that after you kiss to make it official, you can party non-stop – no worrying about your guests getting antsy when photos run long while they’re waiting for dinner, or getting jealous that they have an ice cold beer in hand while you’re working your way through your fifth family photo of the night. Any photos that you want to sneak away for will be added bonuses, not something you have to worry about missing.

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Jennie G - Well Anni you have convinced me. We will definitely be doing a first look!

Kira - Such great advice!! I hope to do a first look on my wedding day someday, as long as the day allows for it. : )

TJ - okay, a little sad that i didn’t do a first look now. these are absolutely adorable pictures, and a great argument! :)
xo TJ

Dana McDowell - We got married at eleven in the morning. There was not enough time in the day (or week that my husband was on leave) to do much of anything, including a first look. Looking back, it would have been nice to have that time together before the ceremony–I hadn’t talked to him since the rehearsal dinner, and it felt unbearable to go through the entire ceremony saying nothing to him, but our vows!

Leigh - I just got married, and although I decided against a first look, you wrote a convincing argument :) Great points, and the couple above is so cute! I did get to say hi to him before the ceremony though! We did a door picture and I can’t wait to see the emotions and reactions our photographer captured!

Pati Mo - I never knew that, I’ll make sure I do a first look, i’m glad to know that it doesn’t take away from the experience of walking down the aisle.

hena tayeb - We did those.. I agree with you. It was great to just talk to each other, see each other before all the craziness began

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