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LY Weddings: Lydia + Ben

I’ve spent so much time pouring over other photographer’s blog posts, trying to teach myself more about depth of field and off-camera lighting while also trying to get any information I can about posing people for photos. This self-taught photographer thing wouldn’t have been possible without the help of so many generous photographers that so willingly share their knowledge. But this way of learning has it’s downfalls…

My typical wedding prep looks like this:
Tuesday: finalize wedding timeline, confirm with second shooter, look at other photographer’s wedding portfolios and study their composition.
Wednesday: make sure the equipment I rented is set to arrive on time; look at other photographer’s work and think to myself, Oh my gosh what have I gotten myself in to? I suck at this!
Thursday: don’t sleep because my anxiety is so bad; look at other photographer’s work for posing ideas and decide that this is definitely going to be my last wedding because I’ll never be *that* good.
Friday: excitement sets in; anxiety sky-rockets; clean and pack gear, charge batteries, print timelines, etc. Scroll through my favorite photographer’s instagram pages AGAIN. Feel in adequate AGAIN.
Saturday: game time!
Do you see a trend? Comparison…trying to be someone else as a photographer instead of myself.

It had been months since I’ve photographed a wedding, so when Ben and Lydia asked me to be their wedding photographer back in the spring, I knew I had the whole summer to work through these insecurities and approach their wedding day as Lauren Young, and not Lauren Young’s version of ___________ (insert all of my favorite photographer’s names here). And the first thing I did? Vowed to STOP comparing my work to others! Vowed to get to know my couples, who they are, what their relationship is like, what makes them laugh, etc. I vowed to work on my technical skills this summer (editing, camera adjustments, etc.), spending hours staring at my own work!

And while I didn’t mean to fill half of this blog post with all of that, it just seemed like the perfect way to express how absolutely perfect Ben and Lydia’s wedding day was, on so many levels.

Ben and I go wayyy back (elementary school), but when my sister and his brother married ten years ago, I felt like I really got to know him and his family. So we’ve watched each other via Facebook graduate college and work our first jobs, always catching up at our nephew’s birthdays. And then as this photography thing has developed, Ben’s been an awesome point of contact for so many things: second shooting, a videographer recommendation to my brides, lighting questions, etc. Last October, we worked a wedding together – I as the photographer, Ben as the videographer. And that’s the first time I heard of this beautiful girl named Lydia. He grinned from ear to ear when he talked about her. And then a few weeks later I met her at a family gathering and she was just as charming and sweet as he’d let on.

Flash forward a couple months and the three of us are sipping coffee, making plans for their wedding day. We talked about their plans for a small, intimate ceremony with family in a beautiful inn in Chambersburg; about how they wanted it to be relaxed and focused on their marriage. We talked about how really, they just wanted to be married, no matter how it happened. While I love a good Pinterest-inspired wedding, what I love more than anything is a couple whose focus is on their marriage, simply.

So on a rainy Saturday in September, cozied up in the beautiful Ragged Edge Inn with their dear families, Ben + Lydia tied the knot! The ceremony was perfect; Lydia’s entrance down the grand staircase, their laughs as they got tongue-tied say their vows, their family watching intently and their huge smiles after they said “I do!” It was such a special – and PERFECT – day, from start to finish. And the best part? Simply that they are MARRIED. I just love these two!

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LY Families: The Buterbaughs

Some days I get up at 4:30 AM to blog, schedule posts, edit and answer emails; It’s so much better when I can fully focus on Jack and Annie when they wake, without *hoping* I can get an hour of computer time later in the day. But as of late, my sweet little Annie Kate’s been up a little before 5 AM, excited for Cheerios and mom snuggles. And while I wish I could sit here and work for hours some days…I know these little ones won’t stay little.

Needless to say, all of the blog posts I’ve had planned for the week are still unwritten…and probably won’t get written. And the writing is sometimes my favorite part of this blog (I guess that’s the Journalism major in me). But in an effort to keep sharing the work I love, my words on here will probably be fewer. But!… here’s to choosing babies over blog posts, having healthy priorities and showing myself a little grace!

It’s hard to believe I’ve known this sweet family since those two beautiful big sisters were tiny little girls! If you have the privilege of knowing the Buterbaugh family at all, then you know the love and gentleness that fills their home. I was THRILLED when Michelle asked me to photograph their sweet little boy Levi, and all that big Buterbaugh love that surrounds him! We spent a sunny Saturday morning cozied up in their home, laughing, loving on Levi, and capturing the whole thing. To sum it up…the natural light! the outfits! this FAMILY! It’s what my photographer dreams are made of. Enjoy my favorites of this beautiful family of SIX!

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LY Engagements: Emily + Mike

It seems that every time I sit down to put words to my pictures, I’m always writing about memories or past experiences. I write about growing up in little Smithsburg, Maryland and about memories with my cousins, and playing soccer, and old classmates and friends. I write about motherhood, but almost always after saying something about my own childhood. I’m nostalgic. I LOVED growing up where I did and am so grateful for all the experiences that have turned in to sweet, sweet memories. It’s no wonder my words often turn this way.

I also LOVE the people that fill this area. So it’s such a privilege when Smithsburg alum contact me to capture big moments in their life. I feel like we’re all a little connected; through mutual friends, church groups, family members, past experiences. When I received an email from Emily inquiring about wedding photography, I was ecstatic! One of the best things about this business right now is helping old school friends and acquaintences celebrate these HUGE life moments! (SO many Smithsburg weddings, here, here, here, here and here!).

Emily + Mike are planning what I’m sure will be a STUNNING wedding at Richland Golf Club in April of next year. And while I look forward to every single wedding I photograph, I’m especially excited for this one! These are two wonderful people, with big, kind hearts, ambition and so much love for each other. It’s so easy to see that they are the best of friends. And there’s nothing sweeter to photograph than that. Enjoy my favorites of Emily + Mike from our early morning in Harpers Ferry!

 

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LY Maternity: Abby + Brandon

It seems like every day I’m scrolling through Facebook seeing fresh babies or pregnancy announcements. I just LOVE this season – cheering on old high school friends as they become parents and raising my own kids alongside my friends children. It’s awesome. And this season of photography for me has totally been a reflection of this season of life: so many baby bumps!! and young families! What a treat. I just love making portraits for people to relive these sweet moments of life over and over again when the season has passed.

A few weeks ago I was wandering around Target when I received this phone call: “LAUREN! Can you guess who this is?!! Let me give you a hint: we went to school together for years! I used to hang out with your husband when we were kids!” So I started throwing out a few quick names that came to mind. After a few more guesses: “No…this is Brandon Fisher!” And after spending a few minutes doing the usual: what are you doing now? what’s new? where are you living these days? I was excited to hear that Brandon wanted me to photograph he and his beautiful wife Abby, who were expecting! I was even more excited when he asked if we could do them on their property in Waynesboro, PA (there’s just something so personal about doing a family’s pictures at their home!).

We had the best time catching up and celebrating Abby + Brandon and their sweet little peanut! Abby should be giving birth any day now and I can’t wait to hear of Baby Fisher’s arrival! Enjoy a few favorites of this beautiful Momma!

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LY Maternity: Becca + Mark

It’s hard to believe I’m writing this post. Although we’re in our 30s and having babies, it feels like just yesterday I was playing Barbies and Big Fat Whale (just a weird little game we made up…we were WEIRD) with this beautiful momma-t0-be. I remember when we used to sit in the pews at church playing MASH. Remember that game? With a few scratches of a pencil, we determined who we’d marry, the number of kids we would have and whether we’d live in a shack or a mansion.

And it’s funny to be at that age where all of those predictions we made way back when are unfolding! It’s both a relief and a joy to realize we both ended up pretty normal and are not living in shacks, despite the outcome of our countless games of MASH. In so many ways, however, I still feel like that middle schooler. I don’t feel responsible enough to be raising two children; I don’t feel old enough to be going to bed at 9 PM; I don’t feel mature enough to want to spend my money on a new stove. But here we are. And my oldest and dearest friend is about to become a MOMMY.

We spent a hot and humid evening at Blairs Valley Lake, and it was absolutely beautiful! Becca and Mark had a long road to pregnancy, so it [literally] fills my eyes with tears to scroll through these pictures. So much joy and anticipation! I’m so thrilled to share these pictures of my dear Becca!!! Cannot WAIT to hear of this sweet girl’s arrival!

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