Engagement Session: Maggie+Ben

Maggie and Ben both grew up in Hudson, attending the same school and church just years apart. They later ran into each other while working out at a gym after Maggie graduated and hit things off right away. I had the best time chatting and getting to know this couple as we explored and snapped photos in between. Not to mention, the early morning light is beautiful. I’m so thankful these two were game for waking early to meet me.  For any of you wondering if its worth waking up early for pictures, hopefully these images will help to answer that question.  m+b(engagement)-018-lowresm+b(engagement)-021-lowres4m+b(engagement)-049-lowres3m+b(engagement)-100-lowres21m+b(engagement)-296-lowres

Our Lady of Peace Wedding: Kara+Andrew

Kara and Andrew’s wedding day was full of one special moment after another, so narrowing down images to tell the story of their day was extremely hard. The moment Kara’s dad saw her in her dress for the first time was priceless and so fun to witness and I loved capturing everyone’s reactions. The weather that day was incredibly rainy, but for some reason the sky cleared up every time we needed to go outside for pictures. Immediately after taking pictures on the patio at Kara’s parents house the rain started pouring down.  During the ceremony the thunder boomed and the buckets of rain came down, but five minutes later when it was time for the processional, the sun came out and from then on the rain was not an issue. Once the reception started the party began! Kara and Andrew hired the best DJ I have ever experienced because he had the guests dancing and partying before the festivities even began and the fun continued throughout the entire night. I loved their tradition of family and friends singing the couple a song while they cut their cake. And from then on it was pure entertainment to watch all of the dancing and let me tell you, the bride and groom had some serious dance moves:) Kara and Andrew, I wish you all the best in this life together!

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Brookside Farms Wedding: Katie+Dan

Katie and Dan are just a blast to be around. These two seem to be up for anything, so much that they willingly jumped into a lake for their engagement session. Their wedding day was no different. I arrived to Brookside Farms in pouring down rain, only to find one very happy bride who was not letting the rain affect the mood of the day at all. She told me she had umbrellas and was ready to get pictures rain or shine. Katie and Dan’s wedding gave me an idea of who they were as individuals and as a couple as everyone smiled and laughed from beginning to end. I saw happiness and I too had a smile on my face all day. From meaningful, yet hilarious wedding vows, a dancing processional, to smashing cake into the best man and master of honor’s face during cake cutting, they were true to themselves and what makes them special. This wedding was a true celebration from beginning to end; and wouldn’t you know the rain stopped just in time to enjoy a beautiful sunset. Congratulations, Katie and Dan, it was such a joy to capture your day!

Vendor Credits:

Venue: Brookside Farms

Florist: Twigs and Twine

Caterer: Ivan’s Diner

Cake Artist: Johnnie’s Pastry Shop

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Cleveland Engagement Session: Kristen+Billy

They both grew up in Northeast Ohio and were set up by a mutual friend after she moved to California. They hit it off and she moved back. While most people would think its crazy to want to live in Cleveland instead of San Diego, a gorgeous night like the one below definitely doesn’t hurt the pros vs cons list for Cleveland. Not too mention they are getting married at Mapleside Farms this coming October and Autumn in Northeast Ohio is nothing short of gorgeous. But really, wouldn’t you live just about to be with the one you love? Congratulations, Kristen and Billy, I’m really excited to capture your wedding day!

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Engagement Session: Courtney+Rick

Engagement sessions are just so fun for me. I love getting to know a couple better before their wedding day and these two are so relaxed and fun to hang out with. We started out at a Fireside Book Shop, a place Rick and Courtney frequent in downtown Chagrin Falls. After exploring the bookstore we headed to the wonderful Chagrin Falls Popcorn Shop and had fun getting some casual shots enjoying ice cream and popcorn before exploring more of downtown Chagrin Falls. And you just can’t leave this area without checking out the waterfall below the shops. I can’t wait for their wedding this September!C+R(engagement)-043C+R(engagement)-014C+R(engagement)-004C+R(engagement)-029C+R(engagement)-080-lowresC+R(engagement)-074-lowresC+R(engagement)-082-lowresC+R(engagement)-091-lowresC+R(engagement)-149-lowresC+R(engagement)-138-lowresC+R(engagement)-130-lowresC+R(engagement)-100-lowresC+R(engagement)-275-lowresC+R(engagement)-264-lowresC+R(engagement)-207-lowresC+R(engagement)-213-lowresC+R(engagement)-296-lowres

Willowdale Lake Country Club Engagement: Katie+Dan Engagement

They grew up in the same town and even though he was friends with her neighbor, they did not know each other. He was two years behind her in school and they just never crossed paths. It wasn’t until they met in college at Ohio State University that their love story started. Now this kindergarten teacher and civil engineer are getting married in less than a month.  We met at her parent’s house and I got a tour of the little community around Willowdale Lake that she grew up in. We even ended our time together (well, they did 😉 with a splash in the lake off of her grandparent’s dock. I’m looking forward to photographing this laid-back, fun-loving, risk-taking couple’s big day on June 20th, 2015.

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Brookside Farms Wedding: Selena+Jeffrey

Selena and Jeffrey’s wedding day was simple and stunning. My absolute favorite moment of the day was Jeffrey’s reaction to his bride walking down the aisle. I mean, it was absolutely precious. My husband and I had such a fun time photographing this special day. Blessing to Selena and Jeffrey to a lifetime of happiness together!

Vendors:

Venue and Catering: Brookside Farms, Louisville Ohio

Flowers: Twigs & Twine

Cake:  Ann’s Cakes

Hair and Makeup: The Hair Shoppe

DJ: B & F Sound

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Selena+Jeffrey Wed video from Jen Claytor on Vimeo.

What’s in a Wedding Client’s Final Package?

Presentation has always meant a lot to me. You could give me rock and if it was wrapped in beautiful packaging I would think it was the greatest thing ever.  I get seriously giddy over beautifully presented things. Capturing people’s stories is such a gift to me and I want my clients to know that I am so thankful for their business, so it is important to me to create a final package that shows that. This year I have been adding to and tweaking my packaging in order to add a thank you gifts for my clients.  I absolutely love putting these together and sending them off to the happy couples.  Take a look at what’s inside.

Salted Caramel Truffles by Bittersweet’s

Chevron Paper Bag and Baker’s Twine by How Joyful

Wooden Engraved USB drive by Photo Flash Drive

Natural Business Cards and Custom Logo Stamp by Hello Cheerio

4×6 Prints by Miller’s Professional Imaging

White Shipping Box found on Amazon.com

Colored Notecards found at Jo-Ann Fabrics

Various Rubber Stamps from Hobby Lobby, Blossom Stamps and How Joyful

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Engagement Session: Sean+Ally {Why Engagement Sessions are Important for Your Wedding Day}

 

This coming Saturday I kick off the 2015 wedding season for jclaytor photography, so I thought this week I would blog about wedding topics. Today I want to discuss engagement sessions because this should be the first step in your whole wedding photography experience.  Engagement sessions are included in my wedding package because I believe they are really helpful in creating your best wedding day pictures.  If you are going to invest money into capturing memories that will last a lifetime, don’t you want them to be the best they can be?  Let me explain how your engagement session can help you and your photographer (yes, you are a team) create wedding day images you will happily look back on for years to come.

Many times I’m told a couple does not want to do an engagement session because one of the individuals (most often the groom) does not like to have his picture taken. That’s right, I said ‘his’ because it is rarely the bride that does not want pictures.  I’m here to tell you that if this is the case for you, then you are the couple that most definitely needs an engagement session! Not just for your own sake, but for the person photographing your wedding. If there is ever a way to get over insecurities of being in front of the camera, it is absolutely being in front of the camera. My job as a photographer on a wedding day is to capture who you are as a couple, but it is also my job to help you feel as comfortable as possible.  When I meet a couple at their engagement session I get to see what they are like together and also their individual personalities, quirks, insecurities, etc. I get that not all people like being in front of the camera, so if I get to figure out what your style is and what makes you comfortable before your wedding day, then we are one step closer to creating those natural and beautiful images you desire for your Big Day.

Then comes the question of, “What if we had another photographer do our engagement pictures already?” I understand this happens, but if your photographer includes the session in the price, I highly recommend taking advantage of the session because:

1. Why wouldn’t you want more pictures of you as a couple?

2. You will allow your photographer to have a much better idea of how he or she wants to direct the two of you on your wedding day and what you are comfortable with.

3. You have an idea of who you are working with.  Is your photographer able to give direction? Is your photographer easy going, maybe a tad bossy or difficult for others to work with?

Personally, I love the time I get with the couple during their engagement session because I have time to get to know them, their story, where they both grew up and how they came to be a couple. This is absolutely one of my favorite things because I love to tell stories with my pictures and it is so much easier to do when I get to know my subjects.  I guess I am one of those people who feels awkward in front of the camera and I am shy when attention is on me, so having someone I trust and know behind the camera is important to me.   You see, how you and your photographer work together is just as important as the final images that will be created when it comes to enjoying your wedding day to its fullest.  My goal as a wedding photographer is to make a couple feel at ease on their special day and allow them to enjoy every moment the day brings while capturing the story of Them.

Before I sign off I would love to share some images from my latest engagement session with Sean and Ally in downtown Hudson. I had a great time sitting in Open Door Coffee Co. getting to know them and the breezy walk we had together around the downtown area after.  Enjoy!

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New Year’s Eve Wedding: Frank+Mary Lou

Let me just start out by telling you that New Year’s Eve weddings are a ton of fun! Everyone loves to party at a wedding and on New Year’s Eve, so it is just brilliant to combine the two events. The day started off at Primp Parlour in Macedonia (cutest little salon I’ve ever seen). Love, love, loved the robes the girls were wearing and it was fun to sit back and watch everyone get ready. Then we headed off to Signature of Solon Country Club to get ready. Credit for the beautiful flower arrangements goes to Baumann’s Florist of Stow. Once everyone was dressed in their wedding attire, Frank and Mary Lou delivered letters to each other before heading off to see one another for the first time. It never gets old watching a bride and groom see each other for the first time. Precious.

I loved that Mary Lou was going to get outdoor pictures no matter what, I mean, I’m all for it! We had pretty mild weather through Christmas, but New Year’s Eve was so cold it took my breath away. We worked as quickly as we could and then raced back inside to do a few more photos and we were off to Hudson for the ceremony at Christ Community Chapel. The ceremony was lovely and simple and then we were on our way back to Solon to celebrate the night away! Blessings to this incredibly sweet couple. It was such a pleasure to document your wedding day.          ~Jen   1234235687111213161514171819202122