Rodden Family Session: Springfield Illinois Photographer

This family is FUN! My job was easy because they let their individual personalities shine. I can’t believe how well the outfits each girl wore spoke to who they are and still complimented each other. Plus I love all the colors. Nothing makes me happier as a photographer to capture people just as they are! We met through a small group at our church, so I had fun talking to them and getting to know them better throughout the session. Thanks for such a fun evening, Rodden family!rodden-145-lowresrodden-270-lowresrodden-113-lowresrodden-136-lowresrodden-262-lowres32rodden-207-lowres1rodden-183-lowresrodden-196-lowres4rodden-246-lowresrodden-130-lowresrodden-385-lowres

Brookside Farms Wedding: Allison&Sean

Prepare yourself for one of my longest posts of images. Ally and Sean’s day was the most perfect way to end out the 2015 year for my photography business. When we arrived to the farmhouse at Brookside Farms, music was playing and everyone was relaxed and having a good time. I remember being really aware of how happy the vibe was. This sounds normal for a wedding day I know, but you would be surprised at the wide array of energy coming from people on wedding days. This particular group of people had an impact on me and I was so excited to photograph this joyful day. I honestly don’t even know how to put the whole day into words without sounding cliche. Ally and Sean’s wedding was incredibly special and everything from the material they chose for their rings had meaning. These two are incredible together and they will serve this world in a great way because of their hearts and their strong relationship with the Lord. Ally and Sean, thank you for trusting me to tell the story of your wedding day through these images. Congratulations and best wishes to you both in this life together. Enjoy!swanson-002-lowres1swanson-032-lowresswanson-057-lowresswanson-062-lowresswanson-064-lowresswanson-092-lowres3swanson-133-lowresswanson-124-lowresswanson-126-lowres4swanson-170-lowresswanson-171-lowres5swanson-186-lowres6swanson-258-lowresswanson-262-lowresswanson-304-lowres7swanson-050-lowres98swanson-677-lowresswanson-695-lowresswanson-705-lowresswanson-899-lowresswanson-888-lowres10swanson-813-lowresswanson-451-lowresswanson-487-lowresswanson-486-lowres11swanson-497-lowresswanson-499-lowresswanson-1118-lowres12swanson-1038-lowresswanson-1041-lowresswanson-1863-lowresswanson-1866-lowresswanson-1871-lowres

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

Colored Notecards found at Jo-Ann Fabrics

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


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

First Congregation Church Wedding: Brad+Danielle

Hello World!  I have been away from the blog for quite awhile, but I am so happy to be sharing Brad and Danielle’s wedding with you today.  My theme word for 2015 is Celebrate!  Life is full of so many opportunities to celebrate the little things and that is what I want to focus on this year, to help me cultivate a heart of gratitude for the people and experiences in my life.  This wedding screams celebration and pure joy.  Literally, you could hear squealing and giggles from the bride/bridesmaids dressing room all morning long.  I couldn’t help but smile every time I heard them as I was walking around the church.  There was not a doubt that everyone was extremely excited to celebrate the story of Brad and Danielle and help them write the beginning of a new chapter in their life together.  I’m so thankful to have had my husband assisting me for this wedding and all the credit goes to him for some amazing shots of the rings and the groom and groomsmen shots.  Molly Taylor Designs created the absolutely beautiful flower arrangements for the ceremony and reception.  They really were spectacular. The wedding took place at the First Congregational Church of Hudson and the reception was at Firestone Country Club in Akron.  The details of this day were gorgeous, but nothing was even comparable to the joy that radiated from the bride and groom on their most special day.  Congrats to Brad and Danielle and best wishes for a long and joy-filled life together!  Enjoy some snapshots from their incredible day.  ~Jen215


Christ Community Chapel Wedding: Adam+Brittany

I met Brittany last summer when she was a bridesmaid in a wedding I was photographing.  She is just one of the sweetest people you will ever meet.  Seriously!  This summer I got a text from her saying she was getting married and I was so excited for her.  I had no idea who she was engaged to, but when I found out I immediately said a prayer thanking God for bringing this sweet woman, who I barely knew, into the lives of 4 people I didn’t know at all.  You see, Adam and his three girls had a hard year of loss last year and he and his family were lifted up in prayer many times during a bible study I was part of.  So when I realized that Brittany was becoming part of this family I had been praying for, I was full of emotion.  God’s Providence is so evident in their story and I love being reminded that even through some of the toughest times of our lives, God is still there holding us, seeing our past, present and future all at the same time.  Their wedding day was full of joy and it was so much fun to witness it all.  They are surrounded by an incredible support system in their family and friends and I saw that all day long.  Best wishes to this beautiful couple and all the fun memories they are going to make as a family of five!



I had to include these next few pictures of Brittany and her Dad.  When he saw her for the first time, his emotions were priceless.  Loved this.




And don’t even get me started on sweet Paige’s solo performance…just beautiful.



Cleveland Wedding: Kyle + Nicole

Kyle and Nicole had an absolute beautiful day for their wedding.  Their ceremony was at Ss. Robert and William Parish in Euclid and then we headed to the Lakefront to take some bridal party photos before heading to Windows on the River for the reception.  The wind was crazy, but the scenery was incredible and I just loved getting to capture the bride and groom in that setting.  Nicole’s dress was gorgeous.  She said it wasn’t what she had pictured, but her sister made her try it on and then there was no going back.  I thanked her sister for making her try it on because she looked stunning in it.  Not to mention watching it blow in the wind at the lakefront…I was flipping out ecstatic at the images in camera!

Everything about this day was simple, elegant and beautiful.  But, the thing that stuck out most to me was the strong family bonds.  Most wedding days are obviously about the bride and groom, and this one was too, but more so about the celebration as a family.  This was not a day all about the bride.  Nicole was thinking about everyone else.  She was thinking about Kyle when she decided to surprise him with a wedding cake that looked like a Stanley Cup.  And I’m not talking about a typical groom’s cake that a lot of people do.  This was their entire wedding cake.  You will see below Kyle’s reaction.  Not that he didn’t already know he chose an amazing woman to be his wife, but I’m pretty sure this reassured him he picked a winner. There were so many little things planned from surprising the bride’s grandparents with an anniversary dance to the yellow bracelets that everyone wore to show support to a family member battling cancer.  Oh and Kyle, his brother and his dad all have the same wedding band.  How cool is that?! It was a celebration of the joining of two families and it was one of the most joyful and beautiful celebrations I have ever witnessed.  Kyle and Nicole, thank you for allowing me to capture special moments from your wedding day and I wish you both so much happiness.    ~Jen