Matt & Jenay’s Wedding . Ft. Wayne IN Wedding Photographer, Columbia City IN Wedding Photographer, Midwest Wedding Photographer

fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0150Matt & Jenay’s wedding, in downtown Tampa, FL, couldn’t have gone smoother.  The ladies were done with hair & makeup hours ahead of time.  We had cool overcast skies, for beautiful lighting.  Everyone had a smashing time.  And these two got married!!  Mission accomplished!fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0151My second shooter was Shelby of Shelby Glynn Photography, out of the Tampa area.  She got shots of the guys getting ready while I was with the ladies.  She was a gem!  So glad we could work together!  fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0152fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0153fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0154fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0155fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0156fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0157fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0158fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0159fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0160fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0161fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0162fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0163fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0169fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0164fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0165fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0166fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0167fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0168First look on Jenay’s bridal suite balcony, at the Aloft Hotel.  It was such a great spot to shoot… private, and a beautiful view of the city!fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0170fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0171fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0172fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0173fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0174fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0175fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0176fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0177fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0178fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0179fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0180fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0181fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0183fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0184fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0185fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0186fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0187fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0188Next we headed to the The Rialto Theatre, where the ceremony & reception were held, for more portraits.fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0189fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0190fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0191fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0192fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0193fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0194fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0195fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0196fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0197fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0198It’s time to get married!  Matt & Jenay had Instax cameras for guests to snap their own selfies and add to their guest book.fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0199fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0200fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0201fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0202fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0203fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0205fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0204fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0206fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0208fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0207fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0209fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0212fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0213A few more portraits after the ceremony…fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0214fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0215fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0216fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0217Thanks Shelby, for these rowdy groomsmen shots.  😉 fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0218fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0219fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0220fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0221Erica with The 7th Floor Plan, was the wedding coordinator for the day and she & her team hustled so hard to get this place looking amazing AND flipping the room from ceremony to reception in only 45 minutes!  Great job ladies!fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0222fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0223Let’s start this party!fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0224fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0225Welcome Mr. & Mrs. Radauscher!fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0226fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0227First dancefort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0228fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0229fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0230Father daughter dancefort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0231fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0232fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0233Mother son dancefort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0234fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0235fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0236fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0237fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0238fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0239fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0240fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0241fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0243fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0244fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0245fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0246fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0247fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0248fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0249fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0250fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0251fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0252fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0253fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0254fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0255fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0256fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0257fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0258fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0259fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0260fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0261fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0262fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0263fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0264fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0265fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0266fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0267fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0268fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0269fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0270fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0271fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0272M & J had cake balls for dessert!  They were beautiful and even more delicious!  Made by Sweet Doctors out of Sarasota.fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0273fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0274fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0275fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0276fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0277fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0278fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0279fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0280fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0281fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0282fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0283fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0284fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0285Love you guys!  God bless your marriage!fort wayne indiana wedding photographer_0286


Wedding Coordinator – The 7th Floor Plan

Wedding Venue – The Rialto Theatre

Second Shooter – Shelby Glynn Photography

Cake Balls – Sweet Doctors

Florist – Flower Child Florist

Getting Ready location – Aloft Hotel

Mini Sessions vs. Full Sessions . Ft. Wayne IN Family Photographer, Columbia City IN Family Photographer

I almost called this “Pro’s & Con’s of Mini Sessions vs. Full Sessions”, BUT it really just comes down to preferences.  So I don’t want to say one way is BETTER than another way.  It’s totally up to the photographer and client as to what they prefer.  If you’re considering having your family portraits taken, this might be really helpful for you to find what fits your preferences best!

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(Disclaimer: Every photographer is slightly different in how they price, shoot, and deliver their sessions.  So this post is tailored to your experience with me specifically.  This is how Valerie Joy Photography does sessions.  But it may overlap to other photographers in various ways.  I’d suggest clarifying with your photographer how they do things.)

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Mini Sessions:

-Location is chosen by the photographer, not the client.  Typically a themed session (Fall, Christmas, Snow, Sunflower field, Studio backdrop, etc.)

-Photographer chooses the dates that clients have to work around.

-$125.  Lower total cost compared to Full Session.  But not as good of a deal if you break it down per minute.

-15 minutes of shooting.

-Fast paced, to get the most photos during our time together.  This naturally doesn’t leave much time for personal discussions, or breaks for fussy children.  (It has happened that a child was fussy during their mini session, and the gallery was very limited because of that.  If we’d had more time, we could have taken a break to have a snack, and I could have delivered a much larger gallery.)

-Approximately 30 images in final edited online gallery for download.

-Best for clients on a smaller budget, families with members who can’t make it through a full hour of shooting, clients who prefer multiple smaller sessions per year, or only want a handful of images for whatever reason.

(If you want to know when I offer Mini Sessions, be sure to follow me on Facebook & Instagram to see those announcements.)

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Full Sessions:

-Location is chosen by client (based on photographer suggestions, if needed.)

-Client chooses the date and time which works best for them (within photographer’s availability, of course.)

-$250.  Higher total cost compared to Mini Session.  But a better deal if you break it down per minute.

-60 minutes of shooting.

-More casual pace, allowing kids to relax between poses, and photographer and client to get to know each other a little bit.  This pace usually leads clients to be much more comfortable in front of the camera.

-Approximately 120 images in final edited online gallery for download.

-Best for clients who want a larger gallery with LOTS of variety to choose from, who want to have more of a say in when & where their session is, and who want an individualized, relaxing experiences.

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If you’d like to book a Full Session with me, my favorite season for photos is almost here (FALL!!!!!) and my schedule fills up quick, so contact me ASAP!

Matt & Jenay’s Engagement . Ft. Wayne IN Engagement Photographer, Columbia City IN Engagement Photographer

I had the privilege to photograph this adorable couple last weekend while in Sarasota, FL visiting my family.  It brought back a lot of memories, as I’ve known Jenay since she was in elementary school, and we took pictures on the same property where I was married, all in my hometown!  What a nostalgic experience!!

fortwayneengagement_0337I asked Matt & Jenay during our session to describe each other in 3 words.  I think I may start asking all of my couples this!  I loved what it told me about each of them, and about what they cherished in each other.fortwayneengagement_0338Jenay said that Matt was:  Goofy, Loyal, and Cuddly

Matt described Jenay as:  Original, Bold, and Attentive to Detail

(I know…that was more than 3 words, but I’ll allow it. 😉fortwayneengagement_0339fortwayneengagement_0340fortwayneengagement_0341fortwayneengagement_0342fortwayneengagement_0343fortwayneengagement_0344fortwayneengagement_0345fortwayneengagement_0346fortwayneengagement_0347fortwayneengagement_0348fortwayneengagement_0349fortwayneengagement_0350fortwayneengagement_0351fortwayneengagement_0352fortwayneengagement_0353fortwayneengagement_0354fortwayneengagement_0355fortwayneengagement_0356fortwayneengagement_0357fortwayneengagement_0358fortwayneengagement_0359fortwayneengagement_0360God Bless you two!!  I can’t wait for the big day in November!

Payne Family . Ft. Wayne IN Family Photographer, Columbia City IN Family Photographer

While back in my hometown of Sarasota Florida last month I did an extended family session for my Aunt & Uncle and all of their kids and grandkids.  (I’m a tad partial to these folks!  I love them and miss them so much!!)

An Extended Family session is 2 hours long which allows plenty of time for multiple poses of every combination!

Combinations I typically take: the BIG family, individual families, kids, individual kids, couples, Grandma & Grandpa with the grandkids, adult siblings & spouses, and any other cute moments that happen naturally! fort wayne family photographer_0020fort wayne family photographer_0021fort wayne family photographer_0022fort wayne family photographer_0023fort wayne family photographer_0024fort wayne family photographer_0025fort wayne family photographer_0026fort wayne family photographer_0027fort wayne family photographer_0028fort wayne family photographer_0029fort wayne family photographer_0030fort wayne family photographer_0031fort wayne family photographer_0032fort wayne family photographer_0033fort wayne family photographer_0034fort wayne family photographer_0035

Comingore Family . Ft. Wayne IN Family Photographer, Sarasota FL Family Photographer, Columbia City IN Family Photographer

I first photographed the Comingore family 5 years ago when little Zeke was a newborn!  (the little guy in grey)  I love seeing them grow year after year, now Zane being a teenager, and little Remi the new “baby” in the family.  We had a sweaty but gorgeous evening together in Sarasota last week!

Miranda & Tom, You’ve created a beautiful little tribe!Fort Wayne family photographer_0100Fort Wayne family photographer_0101Fort Wayne family photographer_0102Fort Wayne family photographer_0103Fort Wayne family photographer_0104These beauties were perched on a tree as we started our session!  I had to stop and take their photo too!Fort Wayne family photographer_0105Fort Wayne family photographer_0106Fort Wayne family photographer_0107Fort Wayne family photographer_0108Fort Wayne family photographer_0109Fort Wayne family photographer_0110Fort Wayne family photographer_0111Fort Wayne family photographer_0112Fort Wayne family photographer_0113Fort Wayne family photographer_0114Fort Wayne family photographer_0115Fort Wayne family photographer_0116Fort Wayne family photographer_0117

The Webster’s: Day in the Life . Ft. Wayne IN Family Photographer, Sarasota FL Family Photographer, Warsaw IN Family Photographer

I flew back to my hometown in April, and while I was there I got to visit a dear friend.  A few years ago, her family moved out to the country, and she and her husband have really established a homestead out there; compete with a homeschool room, goats, chickens, bunnies, and amazing home design everywhere.  Becca & Erik are so talented!

This shoot was a typical “Day in the Life” of Becca and her two children.  Unfortunately, Erik couldn’t be in on the session because he was working.  But the other three were amazing models!fort wayne family photographer home shcool_0196fort wayne family photographer home shcool_0197Follow Becca’s Homeschooling journey on Instagram: @mirthandqueryfort wayne family photographer home shcool_0198fort wayne family photographer home shcool_0199fort wayne family photographer home shcool_0200fort wayne family photographer home shcool_0202fort wayne family photographer home shcool_0221fort wayne family photographer home shcool_0201fort wayne family photographer home shcool_0203fort wayne family photographer home shcool_0204fort wayne family photographer home shcool_0205fort wayne family photographer home shcool_0206fort wayne family photographer home shcool_0207fort wayne family photographer home shcool_0208fort wayne family photographer home shcool_0209fort wayne family photographer home shcool_0210fort wayne family photographer home shcool_0215fort wayne family photographer home shcool_0211fort wayne family photographer home shcool_0212fort wayne family photographer home shcool_0213fort wayne family photographer home shcool_0214fort wayne family photographer home shcool_0216fort wayne family photographer home shcool_0217fort wayne family photographer home shcool_0218fort wayne family photographer home shcool_0219fort wayne family photographer home shcool_0220

Savannah is 7! . Ft. Wayne IN Family Photographer, Sarasota FL Family Photographer, Warsaw IN Family Photographer

Savannah turned 7 last month!  And she was such a willing model for her “7-year-old” photo shoot!  This girl is a performer and had lots of pose ideas for us to try out!  Such as: Cartwheels, Splits, Jumping on the Trampoline, and the ‘ol hands-in-the-air gymnastics pose.

After those fun poses….(insert crying laughing emoji) we tried a few of my boring ideas.  😉 Love ya, Savannah!

fort wayne family photographer_0150fort wayne family photographer_0153fort wayne family photographer_0151fort wayne family photographer_0156fort wayne family photographer_0152fort wayne family photographer_0154fort wayne family photographer_0155Dad came home from work just in time to get in a shot!fort wayne family photographer_0157fort wayne family photographer_0158And we took a couple cousin shots for good measure!  fort wayne family photographer_0159

What to wear for your Engagement Session? . Ft. Wayne IN Engagement Photographer, Sarasota FL Engagement Photographer, Warsaw IN Engagement Photographer

Engagement sessions are possibly my favorite type of portrait session to do!  I LOVE love!  So to have two fiancé’s in front of the camera is super sweet to me!

But before you go into your engagement session its important to put some thought and effort into your look to make sure your photos are the best they can possibly be!  Here are a few tips to consider…

Coordinate but don’t match.

A good rule of thumb is one or two pops of color between both of your outfits, and the rest can be neutrals.

(Neutrals: denim, black, grey, brown, khaki, white, cream, navy. Get it?)

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Dress for your portrait LOCATION.

Springy blooms?  Go with lighter neutrals or soft pastels.what to wear engagement session fort wayne photographer_0102Summertime picnic in the park?  Stick with light weight clothing to stay cool.what to wear engagement session fort wayne photographer_0110In home session? Don’t be afraid to get a little romantic.what to wear engagement session fort wayne photographer_0117Holiday time engagement?  Get festive for a few shots.what to wear engagement session fort wayne photographer_0111Winter session?  Stay warm, so you’re not miserable! And layers look great when it’s chilly out.what to wear engagement session fort wayne photographer_0119

Take this opportunity to dress up a little bit!

Go shopping for a new dress, some new heels, get your guy his first suit!  Pay the extra money to have your hair and makeup done professionally.  It can give you a really good idea of how you’ll look on your wedding day.  You’ve only got one shot for that, so it’s a great chance to practice during your engagement session!  Pay attention to your nails as well, as I’ll be focusing on your left hand for a few shot.what to wear engagement session fort wayne photographer_0108

Accentuate your best features. 

Got great legs? Show them off with a cute pair of heels and cocktail dress!what to wear engagement session fort wayne photographer_0103I love Teresa’s red hair, and she did a great job accenting it with her dress color!what to wear engagement session fort wayne photographer_0104

Bring along a prop that fits your relationship!

A bouquet is a gorgeous accessory to make your photos extra classy.what to wear engagement session fort wayne photographer_0118Is one of you musical?  Maybe we can work that into a few photos.what to wear engagement session fort wayne photographer_0105Like having fun together? Be playful with a classic tree swing, or old fashioned bicycle.   what to wear engagement session fort wayne photographer_0106Winter session?  Work a fun activity into your session!  (Ice skating, sledding, snowball fight.)  Winter is fun!  Don’t miss out on the opportunity to laugh together.what to wear engagement session fort wayne photographer_0114Bring along a bottle of your favorite beverage for a toast!what to wear engagement session fort wayne photographer_0107Accessorize with a hat or light shawl.  Then take them off for a totally different look!what to wear engagement session fort wayne photographer_0109what to wear engagement session fort wayne photographer_0116

Get your ring cleaned before your session.

I always take a few shots of your bling during our session.  Close ups, on your hand and on it’s own.  So the more sparkly and smudge-free, the better!what to wear engagement session fort wayne photographer_0112

Bring multiple wardrobe options to your session.

It’s a great idea to bring a casual option and a formal option to your session.  This way your final gallery will have even more variety.

what to wear engagement session fort wayne photographer_0120what to wear engagement session fort wayne photographer_0121what to wear engagement session fort wayne photographer_0122Find my Pinterest board of wardrobe ideas here!

Hiring your Engagement Photographer . Ft. Wayne IN Wedding Photographer, Sarasota FL Wedding Photographer, Warsaw IN Wedding Photographer

If you’re in the midst of wedding planning, or looking forward to that exciting season in the future, here’s something to consider when choosing your Engagement & Wedding photographer….

There are several benefits to choosing the SAME photographer to shoot your engagement session and wedding day.  Some things to consider…  fort wayne engagement wedding photographer_0131

  1. Being in front of the camera is hard for most people.  It’s a little uncomfortable at first, and you’re not sure what to do with yourself.  But think of your engagement session as a practice run for your wedding day!  It’s a learning experience for couples AND photographers on how to get the best images together in this unique client/artist relationship.  Couples can learn posing techniques during their engagement session that will make portrait time on their wedding day much smoother!  Every photographer works a little differently, so learning your photographer’s specific instruction really helps you feel more confident in front of the camera.  Your photographer is also learning what poses YOU look best in, so on the wedding day they know exactly which ones to jump into.fort wayne engagement wedding photographer_0134
  2. In addition to learning posing techniques, you also get the chance to test your chemistry with your future wedding photographer.  If you enjoyed yourself during your engagement session, felt comfortable and encouraged, and are happy with the final images, then you should feel pretty confident working with them again for your big day!  (*AS LONG AS you’ve seen a solid portfolio of how they handle shooting a wedding day in all lighting situations.  Engagement Sessions are a lot more controlled than wedding days!  So, while figuring out how good your chemistry is, it’s also equally important that you feel confident in their technical ability to photograph in any situation. ie. dark church, bright sun, dark dance floor, etc. )fort wayne engagement wedding photographer_0133
  3. If you’re using the same photographer for your engagement session & wedding day, you’ll end up with consistent images.  The style of the final edited images will feel cohesive, which is nice when framing photos around your new home together.  Using two different photographers MAY mean that you get two different shooting/editing styles.  It’s not a right or wrong thing, just consider what you’d prefer before making the decision.fort wayne engagement wedding photographer_0135
  4. Your wedding photographer spends about as much time with you on your wedding day as your significant other!  Weird, but true.  They’re with you every step of the day; from getting dressed, to romantic portrait time, and touching base throughout the rest of the evening.  All of that to say, it’s so helpful to achieve a certain comfort level with that person; to have spent time getting to know each other over the months leading up to the wedding day.  And the engagement session is the perfect time to establish that relationship. fort wayne engagement wedding photographer_0132  (Just for the record, I don’t typically make people hold hands and skip. 😉  But these two are hilarious and their session was full of goofy poses.  So I love that black and white engagement image because it’s so specific to their quirky personalities.  Not everybody can pull that off.)

Payne Family . Ft. Wayne IN Family Photographer, Sarasota FL Family Photographer, Warsaw IN Family Photographer

Meet the Payne FAMILY!   Tanner (my cousin), Elisabeth and baby Jude.

I got to photograph Tanner & Liz’s engagement session & wedding a few years back, but this was the first time I photographed them as a family of 3!  We were together in Florida last week and squeezed in a little portrait session in my parents backyard.  They live in California now, so I only get to see them about once a year.  It was so nice to catch up with them and see them in this new role as parents!

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