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LY Weddings: Lauren + Jeremy

When I sit down to write a blog post for a wedding I’ve photographed, I’m often fumbling through the words to use as I try to sum up the day in my usual three paragraphs. And then I keep thinking to myself “come on, Lauren! This isn’t hard! Just write something.” But it IS hard; it’s hard because every. single. wedding I have photographed has had me in tears at one point or another; every wedding I’ve photographed has been moving and sentimental; they’ve all been fun and beautiful and they’ve each been filled with those little details that make the day that much more special. I’m going to sound cliche for a minute but holy cow…I’ve been so privileged to photograph some pretty incredible weddings with some pretty incredible people.

And here I am wanting to use all of those same words to describe Lauren and Jeremy’s beautiful St. Patrick’s Day wedding. But I won’t. Instead, I’ll tell you about the morning of their wedding day and Lauren’s home, filled to the brim with her best friends and best friends babies and her mom and her cats and so much happiness. Moana on repeat on the TV, makeup and hair products strewn across the kitchen counters and so much excitement for the day. I’ll tell you about Lauren’s Daddy and how she cherished every moment she had with him that day. I’ll tell you about Lauren’s beautiful mother and how she looked so adoringly at her baby girl all day long. I’ll tell about about the incredible Eldridge Furnace Inn that created the most beautiful backdrop to the day. I’ll tell you about Jeremy and how incredibly KIND he is. And his groomsmen! Ha! Such a FUN and SWEET group of guys! And I can’t not tell you about all of the Celtic influence on the day; the decor, the music! It was so awesome.

But most importantly, I want to tell you about Lauren and Jeremy. They are KIND and LOVING and warm and inviting and compassionate and so much fun. They are the best of friends and it shines through the way the not only love each other, but the way the love each other’s families. I’m certain of this: the world got a little sweeter when these two became one. I’m so blessed to call Lauren and Jeremy friends! Congrats you two! It was an absolute HONOR and JOY to photograph your day!

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I always give my second shooter, Kaila, a few minutes to play around with creative ring shots...and THIS IS WHY!

I always give my second shooter, Kaila, a few minutes to play around with creative ring shots…and THIS IS WHY!

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LY Weddings: Madi + Logan

This past October I celebrated two *official* years of being in business as Lauren Young Photography (and by “official”…I mean incorporated as an LLC and all that fun legal stuff). To outsiders I think this business probably looks slow-growing, a little messy, inconsistent, and unorganized. And quite honestly…it is ALLLL over those things! Haha! But while I’ve been growing this business I’ve also – more importantly – been growing my family. Our energetic, strong-willed three-year-old who starts his days at 5 AM and his sweet baby sis who seems to be following right along in her brother’s footsteps. My house is usually a disaster…but at least I deliver images in a timely manner, right?!

And this past season has been my busiest on the books with 3 weddings and nearly 40 (FOURTY!) sessions. To be totally honest…it’s been a huge challenge to balance my roles as a mother, wife and photographer. And since I made a promise to myself that I’ll never put this business before my family, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about how I want to move forward as a photographer: should I just focus on families and seniors? What if I eventually could get studio space…would I want to do studio photography? And weddings…should I continue shooting weddings? Newborns…should I try to learn newborn photography?

So I went in to Madi and Logan’s wedding last weekend with all these thoughts swirling in my head. And let me tell you a little bit about their day: to say it was fun, sweet, heartfelt, sentimental, special, beautiful, and meaningful would just brush the surface of their day. Madi spent the day surrounded by her AMAZING best friends, her sweet and laid-back mother, sisters, her almost-sister-in-law (and Batman! the dog!) and so many others that just love her SO MUCH. And Logan’s groomsmen had him laughing just about any time I was around them. It was a HAPPY, JOYFUL day with two good-GOOD-hearted, well-loved individuals at the center. It was just perfect.

I could write for days about all of the highlights of their wedding day. The gifts they exchanged; Logan gave Madi a plaque to hang at the front door of their home and Madi’s awesome gift of a guitar for Logan (there are two really great stories behind each gift!). Their special first-look at City Park; Hanging out (and laughing…mostly laughing!) with the bridal party during pictures at the park; the heartfelt vows; the loving pictures of Logan’s mother and father sitting at the front of the sanctuary, since they were watching from Heaven; Logan’s brother’s Best Man toast that had the whole room in tears; the beautifully decorated Museum of Fine Arts; Madi’s assistance at helping Logan get the garter off her leg (hahaha..still laughing about that one!)…I could go on and on and on.

What I’ll remember most about Madi + Logan’s day is simply the happiness that filled every single moment. Enjoy my very favorites of a very special New Years Eve celebration. Congratulations, Madi + Logan and THANK YOU for including me in your day. I’m so honored!! (And I kind of feel like part of the family)

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LY Families: The Clark Family

The cool thing about my journey in to parenthood is that I’ve pretty much been around babies my entire life. You see, I have this huge tribe of cousins…a bunch of which are a good bit older than me. So way back when I was in elementary and middle school, these cousins of mine started having babies. Nearly every year a baby was born…and I LOVED IT. I cuddled them and chance I got, willingly changed diapers and was usually playing with all of them at family gatherings.

And then my generation of cousins started having babies. First was my sister, then my cousin and his wife Rori..then my cousin Alyson. So in those early days and weeks with Jack – when he screamed all night, wouldn’t sleep unless I was holding him and would wake every 30 minutes at night for the first 6 weeks of his life – my sister and ALLLL these cousins that have gone before me were (and still are!) a huge source of encouragement for me.

But now I find myself so tied up with my own kids that I rarely get to just ENJOY the other awesome little children in this big, crazy family of mine. Graham and Walker, for example; Alyson + Chris don’t live in the area, so we only ever have a couple days every year to catch up and spend time together. So when Alyson asked me to photograph their family, I was so pleased. It was a little crazy in the moment, but we had the best time catching up and acting ridiculous to get smiles from the boys. Enjoy a handful of favorites of one of my favorite families!

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LY Families: The Unger Family

As I’m writing this, I’m simultaneously getting breakfast to my 2-year-old, trying to fold three loads of laundry and am crossing my fingers that my little 6-month-old will give me 20 more minutes before she decides to wake. It’s such a challenge these days; if I’m not taking pictures, I’m trying to effectively handle a two-year-old tantrum. Or struggling to entertain our busy little baby girl. And then there’s the editing (Oy…the EDITING). I’m usually up at 4:30 AM so the editing can get done while the kids are still asleep. And then the everyday stuff – cooking, cleaning, errands. Oh, and I forgot the rest of the business stuff: emailing, scheduling, accounting, blogging…

And the truth is I feel like I’m barely keeping things together on the business end. Taking too long to respond to emails, struggling to find the time to edit and constantly wishing I could improve so many aspects of my craft.

So I have so much love for all of you who have put up with this haphazardly-run business; whether it’s my less-than-average-at-best correspondence or my weird scheduling that best accommodates my responsibilities as a Mommy. You still trust me and still let me take your pictures. This is especially true for the Unger family. Afton emailed me last October about family pictures – and after failing to find a date that worked and a busy spring and my maternity leave…we FINALLY had the opportunity to photograph her and her sweet family. And it was [literally] the BEST NIGHT. Enjoy my favorites of this wonderful family (that I hope I get to photograph again sometime)!

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LY Engagements: Madi + Logan

I first met Madi a few years ago when she was a bridesmaid in her best friends wedding that I photographed. One of the cool things about doing wedding photography is that I kind of feel like an honorary bridesmaid all day. I mean, I basically spend the majority of my day with them; as their getting ready, for bridal party portraits, and as I photograph them on the dance floor. By the end of a wedding day, I’m a little bummed that I have to say goodbye to them and then hope I run in to them again sometime!

So you can imagine my excitement when news broke that Logan had proposed to Madi! I was secretly hoping I’d hear from Madi; I remembered thinking to myself at Kayla’s wedding oh my gosh I could be this girl’s friend! We have pretty similar personalities and she CRACKS ME UP! Sure enough, a few weeks later, Madi and I were sipping lattes and catching up on her NEW YEARS EVE wedding plans. Ahh! Think everything magical about New Years Eve and that’s exactly what Madi + Logan have planned for their celebration!

We spent the early morning hours of this past Saturday together. We shivered, laughed, told stories, laughed some more, cuddled a bunny (for real) and snapped some GORGEOUS engagement portraits of these two so that they can always remember the short-lived-but-so-fun season of engagement. Ahh..I SERIOUSLY mean it when I say I love these two! (Especially when mid-engagement session, Madi looks at my with a serious face and says, “Lauren, there’s a bunny in the car” and proceeds to tell me that it’s their baby and that they need to get a few pictures with it…hahaha!) Enjoy my favorites of these two…and their baby!

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