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  Posted: May 6, 2012 5:30 AM FEED
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First looks sometimes get tossed aside without any consideration. I've seen weddings go down both ways several times at this point, and I have to say I'd choose the first look time and time again. The intimacy, flexibility and emotions they allow can't be beat by a walk down the aisle in my opinion. If anything, a first look adds to it by taking the pressure off of both of you, allowing you to freely express yourselves and ultimately make your day more enjoyable. Today on the blog I'm talking about five reasons you should do a first look! If you're getting married, you should probably go read it right about now. 💁🏼

If you've done a first look, what's your opinion? Did you love it? Or do you wish you would've waited for the walk down the aisle? #mwpbridetribe
I had really grand plans for Halloween this year. I was going to capitalize on my growing belly and come up with a really genius family costume. And then October happened, and I'm like 'let's just run to Target and find the best toddler costume they have'. Because ain't nobody got time for Halloween creativity when they're up to their neck in shooting and editing. 😅

I've taken Beckett down the costume aisle at Target twice now. The first time he chose the llama costume. He said it was “cute”. I'm not kidding, you guys. And part of me wants to let him be it just so that when he's older I can say, "YOU CHOSE TO BE A LLAMA WHEN YOU WERE TWO." 😂 Is anyone else being a llama for Halloween? No? What are you or your little ones dressing up as?! 🎃

📷: @nataliefranke
It may have downpoured during their ceremony, but Lindsey and Kevin were greeted with a DOUBLE rainbow afterwards. How perfect, right?! These two had such a joyful day despite the less than ideal weather. Not even Mother Nature could keep them from grinning ear to ear and breaking it down on the dance floor at their reception. See more from their wedding day on the blog! #gettinpritched #mwpbridetribe
I started pulling newborn baby clothes out of storage last week to see what I could maybe use for baby-on-the-way. Side note: even the gender neutral stuff is tricky because Beckett was a summer baby and we'll be having a winter baby, but I digress. I was so surprised to realize that his teeny tiny clothes had kept their newborn baby smell. It gave me all the feels. 😭 It made me think of our precious first days together and how small and fragile he was and how quickly he's grown into a little boy. But it also made me even more excited for our new baby to join us in December. I can't wait to snuggle up to him or her, feel that soft baby skin and inhale that sweet newborn scent! 😍 #9weekstogo #mwpnewborn
I capture a bride and groom’s wedding day in the most beautiful and authentic way possible. A huge part of being able to do this though, is only adding to the joy of a wedding day, never taking away from it, and making the process an enjoyable one for everyone involved. While you might think that this is work that only happens on the wedding day, it actually starts long before that. Adding to the joy on a couple’s wedding day means taking the proper steps far in advance of the big day so that they feel at ease and comfortable when the day actually arrives. My couples *know* that I’m going to take care of them and capture all of the important moments, because we’ve done the prep work beforehand. It means taking the time to get to know my couples, so that when I pull the camera out on their wedding day, they feel like they can be their most authentic selves. Their photos, in turn, reflect that authenticity. They tell a story of who they were and what they felt in those moments. All of this behind the scenes work translates into a wedding day that’s the best, most joyful and most fun day EVER - because your wedding day should be absolutely nothing less than that. #alwaysaddingjoy #OctoberBusinessChallenge
I seriously canNOT believe it's been a year since Laura and Eric got married in Bloomington! Happy anniversary, you lovebirds! I hope your first year of marriage has been incredible. Here's to many more! 💗 #mwpbridetribe
There's nothing quite like working it in your rain boots in the middle of a field at #30weeks pregnant to make sure you get the shot, now is there? 😂🤰🏼

The rain threw a bit of a wrench in our plans last Saturday which meant we had to squeeze A LOT of pictures into a short amount of time - a much shorter amount of time than we had originally planned for. But you better believe we got the job done! My brides are so amazing at working with me beforehand and getting the prep work done, so that no matter what might happen on their big day, we're prepared and ready to show it who's boss. So take that, rain. 💁🏼 I'll always be SO thankful for my #mwpbridetribe 💗

📷: @taylorteppenphotography
But really though...isn't it? And couldn't we all use a reminder that being nice is always in style? The interesting thing is that we all interpret people's actions in different ways. My love language is words of affirmation, so if you speak kindly to me, I'll think you're the nicest person walking planet earth. I'll think about your kind words for days, and they'll bring a smile to my face. I'm actually NOT kidding.

My husband, on the other hand, is an acts of service guy. So taking the trash out, cooking dinner, doing a random chore or running an errand fares better in his book. I seriously think the five love languages and understanding how we all receive love and kindness differently is so fascinating and enlightening. What is your love language? What does "being nice" look like to you?
Currently seeking: MORE TIME. But isn’t that always October for a photographer?! At last night’s #tuesdaystogether meeting, I was reminded of the importance of business planning and running my business in a way where I focus on my vision, mission and overarching goals instead of running around frantically putting out fires. This can be easier said than done when things get super busy, but it’s still the best way to manage your time and tasks.

In other #tuesdaystogetherevv news, @bretandbrandiephoto are coming on board to co-lead the group with me, and I am SO excited to have them!! They’re super passionate about the @risingtidesociety, and I know that they’ll add so much heart and life to our group! 💗

Taylor and Nick are high school sweethearts who have been together for TEN YEARS this month! That's a long time, you guys. We chose New Harmony for their engagement session, and it was the perfect quaint and charming backdrop for their session. Check it out on the blog today!
A Saturday wedding means getting in all my family time on Sunday. You better believe I'll be soaking up every minute with this little stinker and his daddy today! ❤️
Today is WEDDING DAY for these two cuties!! This Tinder-born romance is the real deal, and I can't wait to document their love all day today! 💗 Happy wedding day, Lindsey and Kevin!! #gettinpritched
It's wedding prep day for Lindsey and Kevin's wedding day tomorrow!! I'll be charging ALL of my batteries and gearing up for tomorrow's festivities. There's a decent chance of rain, so I'll be scouting out some rain-friendly locations and packing up my clear bubble umbrella collection. No one wants rain on their wedding day, but luckily these umbrellas make for some pretty adorable photo props if you have to use them. ☔️ Here's to a productive Friday!

📷: @jasminestar
I'm going to let you guys in on a little secret. When your photographer delivers your images to you and then you take it upon yourself to slap an Instagram filter on it (or do any additional editing whatsoever), your photographer dies a little inside.

As professional photographers, we spend A LOT of time (and money) educating ourselves and perfecting your images so that they're in line with our style - which is presumably why you hired us. When you use that cool new app on your phone to make your face look blurred/plastic/blemish free or you put an Instagram filter over the photo so that you look like you just got a spray tan, that photo is no longer our work. It's a misrepresentation of our work. And I'm talking ALL about it on the blog today. Take a minute and educate yourself on why we (photographers) really would rather you not edit our photos via the link in my profile!

Bouquet by @petalandpine 😍
If you're an #indybride, #nashvillebride, #lousivillebride, #stlbride or anywhere-in-between-bride, I have some exciting news for youuuu! I'm currently offering ZERO travel fees to come to you and shoot your wedding in 2018. Not too shabby, eh? If you're within that radius and are on the hunt for a wedding photographer who will capture your day beautifully while still having fun, holla atcha girl and let's FaceTime already. 💁🏼 #mwpbridetribe
It's this guy's birthday today - the guy in the hat, not Beckett. The guy in the hat also happens to be my husband, best friend and Ben & Jerry's ice cream eating partner, and I'm pretty lucky to have him. For everything you do - from getting my car washed and watering the flowers (because let's admit it, I'm awful at both) to playing "get you" with Beckett to working so hard every day to build a life for us - THANK YOU. Beckett and I love you to the moon and back and hope you have the best birthday ever! Here's to 32 being incredible!! ❤️
Words tend to fall short in times like these. After all, there's nothing we can say that will undo what happened last night. There's nothing that will make it better.

Instead of using this tragedy as an opportunity to spew our differing views on various political topics all over our newsfeeds, let's stop. Let's pray. Let's remember how much love this world really needs, and let's take it upon ourselves to put it out there.

Go out of your way today and do something kind for someone else. Tell your partner how much you appreciate and love them. Tell your kids how beautiful and special they are. Tell your friends how grateful you are to have them in your life. Smile at a stranger. Tip an extra few dollars at lunch. Buy that coffee for the person behind you in line. Strike up a conversation with the person sitting next to you on the bus. In a world where you can be anything, be kind - especially today. 💗 #prayforlasvegas
Tomorrow is OCTOBER, you guys!! HOW DID THAT EVEN HAPPEN?! So naturally, I'll be spending today planting mums. My hope is that these require less watering than my impatiens did this spring, because I'd like to actually keep them alive. I absolutely do not have a green thumb, and I'm super thankful to have a husband who keeps an eye on the health of our flowers. If it were up to me, I'm fairly certain our whole lawn and yard would be dead by now. Anyway, maybe I'll even throw a few pumpkins next to those mums, drink a maple pecan latte and really get in the Fall spirit! Anyone else interested in being #basic with me?! 🎃☕️🍁💁🏼
It's officially Fall. And even though it only kind of feels like it outside, my calendar indicates that it IS in fact Fall.

Every week is filled with engagement photos, weddings, family photos and bridal consultations, and even though it allows for little rest, it makes my heart so full. Here's to a wonderful and busy season now before a season of rest (work-wise, not mom-wise 😉) when baby arrives!
Well, you guys, there's something I've been meaning to tell you for a long while now. Coming up in just over a month, I'll be speaking at the @sumoseminars Digital Marketing for Photographers online conference along with 14 other incredible people! I'm talking about... you guessed it... INSTAGRAM, but more specifically how to get in front of your ideal client using the platform. The other topics range from blogging to email marketing to optimizing your website to gain more traffic. And the best part? It's ALL online, so you can learn from the comfort of your couch and yoga pants with a cup of coffee or a glass of wine in hand. #winning

There's currently an early bird rate that you can take advantage of AND if you'd like an additional $50 off, use the code SPEAKER50 at checkout! You can find more info and register via the link in my profile. Just click on "Digital Marketing for Photographers Conference" through the link, sign up and I'll see YOU November 2-4! If you have any questions, leave them in the comments, and I'll get back with you ASAP!

Beautiful 📷 by @nataliefranke!