The Baker Wedding- ALEX GOT MARRIED!!

House of Amsel Photography

On the evening of November 2nd 2018 my bestfriend and business partner Alexandra got married. She married her best match, Mr. Matthew Baker.

The wedding had been in the making for a year, to which destiny had been planning for a lifetime.

I believe if you can get through wedding planning for a year, then your marriage will for sure last forever! kidding aside. The days leading up to the “big day” were surely crazy. Then just like that the morning of the wedding came and everything seemed to be in place and as it should. The stress was off and the celebration had begun. Both Matt and Alex’s families lovingly surrounded them. Taking in each and every moment they could. As a friend watching this, it was just amazing. Photographing it, wait.. did I mention I was photographing this thing? Well, I did. So, watching this unfold in front of me was surreal. I wanted everything to be perfect. Every detail and emotion to be captured. It was hard. Thankfully I had a friend 2nd shooting with me. Thank you Raquel. That helped so much!

Back to the story. The venue was magical. If you have never been to the Shenandoah, you absolutely need to make a visit. The Blue Ridge mountains are breathtaking. Matt and Alex have an immense love for nature. Like, every day off together they are exploring and hiking every inch of Virginia. Vacations don’t include a spa or martinis on a beach. They include 14+ mile a day hikes through the countries largest mountain ranges(maybe a nice distillery here and there). This is them. So, I really couldn't imagine a better place for them to get hitched. Saying “I do” atop a cliff seems unreal to most. To me? friggin magical.

The entire day fog rolled over the mountain peaks. Clouds kept lingering making it known that soon the rain would come. Thankfully, the day before the couple made the decision to have a private ceremony at the Stoneyman Summit. The only thing Alex wanted was to have pictures on the mountain. The couple, myself and children, their parents , the officiant/bestfriend, his wife and bridal party, climbed a half mile to the top. Oh yes, their puppies Kai and Ellie hiked up there too! I can’t believe I forgot to mention Kai. The only other “man” Alex would ever marry. In my opinion her true love. Can we take a moment to thank Jesus for making dogs?… Amen.

Since the portraits were already done, we didn’t have to worry about the pesky rain.

Promptly at 4:30pm the rain began while Matt watched his bride walk down the aisle, accompanied by her dad and handsome Kai. They gave both the dogs bones to keep them occupied at the ceremony and proceeded with their vows. Which included some comments about their love of football followed by sealing the deal with a kiss! The weather made the ceremony so cozy. The stone fireplace was roaring while adorned with beautiful florals. The wagon wheel chandeliers’’ were glowing a warm yellow. It was quiet enough to hear the crackling of the fresh fire wood while the guests listened so intently as they professed the love they intend to share with each other forever.

The reception was essentially a love balled for the two of them. Family and friends gave their stories and thanks one by one. Each had one commonality, they both are amazing people. Matt’s grandfather closed the speeches with a lovely toast followed by dinner. A huge BBQ dinner with all the fixins’ . Then it was party central with the most rockin’ live band. No, not a traditional wedding band. “The Holly Montgomery Band

We(Matt, Alex , my husband , and myself) saw this band the night they got engaged. This was the day Tom Petty died. We danced while this band played in remembrance of him and in celebration of engagement literally until the placed closed for the night. When we left the establishment all Alex could say was “I am booking them for my wedding”. That they did. The band serenaded the couple with their rendition of “Tennessee Whiskey” then proceeded to bring the house down with raspy blues struck voices and guitar riffs to die for.

It was a day to remember.

Matt and Alex I wish you many years of love.- Stefanie

It was really hard to narrow down a photograph story for this post. But, I believe 90 something images will do the trick. I hope you enjoyed the story now take a look Below!

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Stay Tuned for the private mountain top ceremony and portrait session!

We love our clients!

There is one thing that we can't say enough. WE LOVE OUR CLIENTS!!!!! Each and every sessions we have a blast! When we look at our "job" as a whole, it's hard to really put into words how thankful we are to get to do this for a living. There is only one reason this works out. That my friends is because of you!!! Here is a look at some of our favorite sessions over the past couple of months!

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Williams Maternity Session

Anddddd before you know it its  practically JUNE!!!! These weeks have really gotten away from us. Between sessions, weddings, all these beautiful children being brought into this world honestly the last thing I remember is this blog. Which sounds horrible, but here I am making another attempt at blog normality. 

This family right here is so very close to my heart. I worked with Nick & Brittney at the Cheesecake Factory for years. We were all so excited when they got married, and now are ecstatic that they are welcoming another sweet child into the family! 

We had so much fun planning for this. As what is becoming a common theme with this 2018 weather, we had to plan for a few days to avoid the cold and the rain, but we lucked out with the most beautiful evening! 

We spent the evening photographing away in the most beautiful golden light. It was a dream come true, and their love shone right through the photographs. 

We cannot wait for this new addition to be here. Show this family some love! 
 

Abby | Birthday Session

The week has come and gone! Stef is home for vacation so that is fantassssticc! .I honestly don't even know how we both ran businesses without each other at some point. It was so hectic all the time. It is true, teamwork does make the dream work. 

This week we had to reschedule a few sessions due to this cold, nasty weather! It is April for crying out loud, where are my warm 60 degree days!  Thankfully we had a few weekdays open that made it easy, but really! I wish Mother Nature would just make up her mind already. 

There was a lot of snow on the ground for Abby's birthday too. An abnormal snow storm blew in right before her at Royal Horseshoe Farm. We were a little worried about the mud, but it turned out to not be an issue at all. What a dream this session was. When Abby's mom contacted us about doing pictures for her birthday at a horse farm, we were ECSTATIC! If there is one thing we  love as much as people, it is people and their animals. Sparky was the chosen horse for Abby's birthday. She got to brush him, saddle him up, pick out her helmet and we were off! She was such a natural at taking the reigns, she lit up the whole room with her happiness riding him. The employees at Royal Horseshoe were so accommodating to us, I can not thank them enough on spot recommendations to letting me follow them around with my camera for a few hours. This was such a fun time!! 

Happy Birthday, Abby! We cannot wait to see what this amazing life has in-store for you.  

 

Emma | Lifestyle Newborn Session

BLOG POST MONDAYYYY!! 

This Monday could not get here quick enough. We have had so many great sessions this past week, we just want to edit them alllll! So thankful that Monday's are typically more restful which means more can get done.  It really helps that it's a tad cold and cloudy, which makes me want to enjoy my time inside even more. 

It was a little chilly the day Emma was born too! We were so excited to get to see her only 3 days into her earth side appearance.  Her little lashes & toes and milk spots we just so cute. As a company, Stef and I find it so important to offer sessions that fits every family.  Emma's mom got a lifestyle session and some pictures of Emma and her big brother Thomas together! Thomasdecided that his fireman outfit looked amazing and we actually loveeee how that turned out. Emma's real life protector. Of course Ryder (the first baby) had to jump into some too. Thomas keep calling her "Sister" and Emma "baby sister". HOW.STINKING.CUTE (also have I mentioned how much we love having dogs in our sessions?)

Thank you for letting us spend the morning with you guys!!! 

 

Duke Family

And just like that two weeks of blog posts missed. Whoops. The sickness got a hold of us, and we are just on our way from getting over it.  It always seems to go around one last time before it warms up outside. Which it FINALLLLYYYYY is.  It sounds so crazy to say, but Stefanie and I are pretty much booked up with family sessions and weddings until the beginning of July.  We have a few Thursdays open and THATS IT! How blessed are we to do something we love, with clients we love even more, all the time!? 

It astounds me constantly this life & the relationships we build. I have know this family for upwards of 8 years! ( crazy, right? I remember when their youngest was still in her mama's tummy) So when we got the chance to photograph them before their oldest took on a new journey to Colorado, it just filled my heart. We had such a fun time running around Old Town and enjoying the rare winter sunshine! 

Also, look at the fur baby they brought. For anyone who ever wonders, WE LOVE DOGS. So feel free to bring them. Puppas are family too <3

 

Riley Sage | Newborn Session

Here we are, Winter is finally coming to an end. Yet, as I type this we have a snow warning in our area and I'm kindddddaaaa hoping it misses us. I'm all about winter for about a month, but after Christmas if it just turned into Summer you would not hear me complaining. We just had to set our clocks forward, and our sessions are getting planned for later in the evening (FINALLYYYY) The sun setting so early really is not good for anyone. 

Spring brings a bundle of new possibilities. Including so many new little ones! Riley was our second Spring baby born and man what a joy she is! You can already see how great of parents Kristin & Dustin are going to be. They have been ready for her arrival since our maternity session with them in the Fall! 

Whoever says newborn sessions are easy.... man, they are wrong. Newborn sessions are fun and meticulous. They test your patience, your skill as a photographer and an improve thinker. They are everything but easy, and Riley reminded us of that! Two hours in and we could  not figure out what this little babe wanted, until we did. She just wanted to be  so, so, soooooooooo warm! Heating pad and space warmer on high, A/C off! She bundled up and let us pose away!!! So excited for the images we got, scroll through to see!!! At the end there may be some pictures of their maternity session too ;) 



 

Ariana | Two Weeks New

Man oh man. It is baby season over at House of Amsel. Ariana was our first of three little ones being born in the next two weeks! Words can't describe the happiness we see in all our new families and this was no different. Both her mom and dad were glowwwwwing in a way only new parents could. With each pose we did, they were laughing and smiling with excitement for the finished product. 

Newborn sessions are a fun kind of challenge. You really never know what you are going to get. Stef and I were so lucky in with little Ariana because she slept THE WHOLE TIME! For people who know how newborn sessions go, this is extremely rare. I don't think we saw this little angels eyes once! She allowed us to pose her and wrap her ten times over and she Did. Not. Move. 

Click through the gallery to see how well she did!!! 

 

Mondays & Mason

How do you feel about Monday's??? 

I feel like so many people are hit with the Monday blues. Traffic picks back up, you're stuck in the office. Maybe forever watching a clock.  Everyone is back to the rat race, especially here in Northern Virginia. 

Now, you guys may think I'm crazy but MAN do I LOVE me some Mondays. Stefanie and I are usually working out bootys off on the weekend. Between being a mom to two boys, doubles waitressing at the Cheesecake Factory, weddings, sunrise sessions, consultations, cooking dinner, I feel like we hardly even realize the weekend is here before it's over! I wake up on Monday's while the whole world is getting back to it, and I get to sit back, relax and look at the beautiful images from weekends past. 

Speaking of which... 

We got to hang out with one of our most favorite families last week and see Mason one last time before he was **officially** THREE. Every time we see this little boy, he keeps us on our toes and probably grows another solid half inch. Not only that, but his vocabulary and speaking has grown immensely in the past 5 months, it really just reminds me children are incredible. Make sure you scroll to the last pictures to see how little Mason was when we first got to meet him!!! 

Sam | Valentines Day Session

Cupid struck our hearts at this session!

We were so excited when Sam's mother emailed us as our first shoot of the year! I mean come on, look at how adorable this little man is!!!! Seriously, his cheeks, big eyes and beautiful attitude. Let me tell you, this little boy is ALWAYS happy, even when we dress him in 3 different outfits every time we see him. 

Our session started finding the perfect place to photograph Sam in the comfort of his own house. We are so lucky his mom is a prop QUEEN. She is filled with so many ideas and we live for it.! Don't grow up too quick Sam! We can't wait to see you next time!