Northeast Ohio Family Photographer

Children’s Lake Session – Northeast Ohio Family Photographer

About a week ago, I traveled to Chesterland, Ohio, for a session of brothers and cousins. This session was planned by their mother’s, as a surprise for the boys’ grandparents. You see, their grandparent’s house is just around the corner from this beautiful lake, and this beach is a place the whole family has loved spending time at over the years. The perfect spot for a photo session in Northeast Ohio! I love when families have sentimental locations for their sessions!

We did the traditional poses, the candids, and even the ones the kids will be embarrassed by when they are older. But, what fun we had!! Don’t worry, no child was harmed during the pool noodle fight! Boys will be boys, right?

If you are interested in a family or mini session with me, contact me by filling out a booking form on my website Lindsay Dawn Photography. I would love to work with you and your family! I am not just a Northeast Ohio wedding photographer, I also love working with local families.

Northeast Ohio Family Photographer
Northeast Ohio Family Photographer

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Lindsay Dawn Photography

Cleveland Engagement Session – Sarah & Matthew – Northeast Ohio Wedding Photographer

Last weekend, I had an engagement session in downtown Cleveland, with the most amazing couple. Sarah & Matthew were such a pleasure to be around, we had so much fun exploring the city and finding things and places that we did not even knew existed. We started at a very popular spot, East 4th Street, which is a booming part of the city’s nightlife.

 

Cleveland Engagement - Northeast Ohio Wedding Photographer
Cleveland Engagement Session – Sarah & Matthew – Northeast Ohio Wedding Photographer

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How adorable is this Northeast Ohio couple?! I am SO excited to be there wedding photographer as well! They are getting married December 23, 2018 at the gorgeous Windows on the River in Cleveland’s historic First Energy Powerhouse building. Can you even imagine how beautiful their wedding is going to be?! I can’t wait to take their wedding images at this dream venue!!

Downtown

Downtown

We wandered away from East 4th Street, and headed to Cleveland Public Square, which if you haven’t visited, you should!! There are so many great spots for photos, along with so many spots to visit and enjoy the day. Did you know that there is even a Taco Bell Cantina, where they serve margaritas? Yes, please! It is located just down from the House of Blues, which is another awesome Cleveland hot spot.

Downtown

On our way to the Free Stamp (those not from Cleveland, it is a giant rubber stamp statue, and it is pretty cool), we discovered a part of the city that none of us even knew existed. This huge open space, close to Lake Erie and the Browns stadium. Like Matt said, it didn’t even look like Cleveland, it was so cool!!

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How did this beautiful couple meet? They met at a coffee shop in college, just a simple meeting and look at them now. Matt proposed while they were visiting his family in Pittsboro, North Carolina for the holidays. On Christmas Eve, Matt took Sarah out to a nice restaurant for dinner, and after took her to see some beautiful twinkle lights and get some photos together. That is when he popped the question, and how fitting that their wedding will be just two days before Christmas this year!

Downtown

Now, I bet you can see and understand why I am so excited for Sarah & Matt’s Cleveland wedding this year! Not that I want to fast forward through summer, but seriously, it is going to be an epic wedding.

New Orleans Destination Photographer

New Orleans Anniversary Session – Destination Photographer -Northeast Ohio Wedding Photographer

Just last month, I attended the my fourth AKP Retreat, in New Orleans, Louisiana. It was, as always, an amazing experience. We spent four days exploring the city, talking business and photography, and meeting new and amazing faces. I find it ironic that this retreat was a year after my first AKP Retreat in Nashville, Tennessee. It was that retreat that changed my entire business, my focus, and my continued education. I cannot thank my dear friend, Aston Kelley-Werkmeister of Ashton Kelley Photography, enough for all that she has taught me, encouraged me, and inspired me. Not only in my business and photography, but in my personal life. I love you girl, I know you are reading this!!

Ashton knew of a fellow wedding photographer & her husband, both the team of Megan Crawford Photography in New Orleans. She reached out to Megan & Jarred, as the time we were there they were celebrating their five year anniversary. Lucky us, we got the honor of capturing their wedding anniversary photos! We had so much fun exploring the Garden District of New Orleans with these two. Such a sweet & gorgeous couple, and so in love!

 

New Orleans Destination Photographer
New Orleans Anniversary Session – AKP Retreat – Destination Photographer

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NOLA1

NOLA1

NOLA1

I had to throw in there some behind the scenes shots of my goofy friends, lol, so you all can see how much fun we have when shooting together. I love my AKP girls!! The trust and bonds we share are forever. These are my people.

I fell in love with New Orleans, and am now dreaming of going back as a destination wedding photographer. In another blog, I can show you two more couples sessions we did outside of the Garden District, in the French Quarter. I can find beauty anywhere, I can find the light and shadows anywhere, and I can make beautiful photographs anywhere for my clients. Planning a destination wedding in New Orleans, or anywhere in the world? I am your girl.

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NOLA1

NOLA1

Let’s talk about style. These two are the perfect example of what to where to your anniversary session, and even an engagement session. The mix of beautiful florals on Megan’s dress, combined with the clean blue suit that Jerrod wore, it is perfection. Have I ever mentioned how much I love a flowy skirt or dress in a session? They photograph beautifully!

NOLA1

NOLA1

NOLA1

I am a Northeast Ohio Wedding & Portrait Photographer, based out of a small Lake County town, called Madison. But, I have a wanderlust soul, and want to see the world. My goal for 2018 is to book my first destination wedding, and I can’t wait to see it happen! I would love to go back to New Orleans, but would also love to explore Maine, Oregon, Hawaii, Alaska, Mexico(I will be there in June!), South Carolina, and much more.

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NOLA1

Take a look back soon, for more couple’s from New Orleans!

xoxo

Lindsay

Lindsay Dawn Photography

Beautiful Greek Wedding – Cleveland, Ohio – Kim & Jerry -Northeast Ohio Wedding Photographer

I have known the bride, Kim, for a lot of years. Kim & I play pool on the same Northeast Ohio pool league, so I was so honored when she asked me to be her wedding photographer. I was hired almost two years before their wedding day, and had fun watching her plan her “Winter Wonderland” themed wedding over the years. Even more fun was spending the day with such an amazing wedding party, their family, and guests. Even knew a bunch of the guests and some bridal party members! How fun is that?

The day started early, with getting ready at Embassy Suites in Independence, Ohio. It is funny watching the differences of the girls getting ready, versus the guys. For the guys, it starts about 20 minutes before they have to be where they are supposed to be. For the girls, it is hours of hair & makeup, finding accessories, and making sure everything is in place. The team from Makeup by Madison & Co. did an amazing job with all of the ladies! And lets talk about the flowers! The bride and her friends created all of the bridesmaids bouquets themselves, and they turned out amazing. The bridal bouquet was created by one of my most favorite florists to work with on weddings, Bouts & Bouquets, they always do an amazing job. While the girls get ready, I love capturing the details, and Kim’s were so unique and beautiful. Did you see her shoes?! Jerry even snuck in and wrote a message for his bride on the bottom of one! She even carried with her a hankie that her Mother in Law carried with her on her own wedding day. Those are the details that I love!

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Kim&Jerry

Kim & Jerry decided to do a first look, and for a photographer, this made me so happy!! By doing a first look, we were then able to get all of the bridal party portraits done before the ceremony. So, after the ceremony and family photos, it was party time at the reception! Kim was a smart planner, and got a permit for us to take photos in a gorgeous historic theater in downtown Cleveland, called Connor Palace in Playhouse Square, and it did not disappoint. I even got the bride and groom on stage! After the theater, we snapped a few in front of the Cleveland Chandelier, always wanted to do that. From there, we made our way to the Cleveland sign behind the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

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Kim&Jerry

Kim&Jerry

Kim&Jerry

The wedding ceremony was held at St. Paul Greek Orthodox Church, and what a beautiful church it is. This was my first time being in a Greek Orthodox Church, and at a Greek wedding, and it was an amazing experience. The ceremony was so full of beautiful Greek traditions, that involved not only their bridal party but close family as well.

Kim&Jerry

Kim&Jerry

Kim&Jerry

Kim&Jerry

The reception was quite the party! It was held in an attached building, called St. Paul Hellenic Center, and catered by Brennan’s Catering. The food was amazing, I was lucky to have the delicious salmon dinner. Now, check out those cakes!! Rudy’s Strudel & Bakery did an amazing job on those cakes! I love how the groom’s cake is mudding on the formal cake! If you are from NE Ohio, you know what mudding is. Being a Greek wedding, they danced the traditional Greek Wedding Dance, my first time seeing such an awesome tradition. And the rest of the evening was an amazing party, everybody danced all night to DJ Christopher, who even created the awesome dancing in the clouds smoke effect for the bride and grooms first dance.

Kim&Jerry

Kim&Jerry

Kim&Jerry

I hope you all enjoy the images from Kim & Jerry’s wedding! It can give great inspiration for those planning their own wedding in Northeast Ohio, or even a destination wedding.

Lindsay Dawn Photography

Brides & Grooms, Do Your Research. Advise from a Northeast Ohio Wedding Photographer

I am a member of a pretty amazing group on Facebook, it’s called Northeast Ohio Wedding Resale. The group was formed by some pretty awesome photographers from Brass Key Photography, based right out of Northeast Ohio. Thanks to this group, a local “photographer” was caught using stolen images on his website, used to attract clients. This “company,” called Bou-Jai Studios, stole images from local photographers, online stock images, wedding catalogs, and even from a National Geographic photographer, and passed them off on their website as their own. Disgusting, I know. Sadly, this happens all the time. Since being exposed, they have taken all of their images down. You can view more about this subject on a website called Stop Stealing Photos, and can view the post here Bou-Jai Studios in Cuyahoga Falls.

Why am I telling you all about this? There are many reasons. First off, I want to expose this company so no one else is scammed by them. We all know how much of your hard earned money goes in to real professional portraits and wedding photos. No one deserves to be scammed by false hope, misrepresentation, or thieves in general.  Secondly, to expose this so called company for what they are. They stole other artists work. Work that they put their heart and soul in to, their own sweat and tears, and their own hard earned money. Lastly, I want you all to do your research when looking for your photographer. What kind of research? I will get in to that in my next paragraph.

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I know that a budget is a huge deciding factor when looking for a photographer, especially for a wedding. For me, being a wedding photographer, that was the largest part of our budget. I knew that these images were so important, ones that I want my grandchildren to look at one day. I knew I had to hire a true, honest, and talented photographer. The saying holds true, you do get what you pay for. So please, do not diminish your big day, by hiring just anybody because they will do it cheap. Either you are going to get scammed, or your photos will not be what they could be. Maybe they will, but it is a huge risk for such an important event.

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Always meet your potential wedding photographer! If they decline a meeting, run! Meet up with them, ask to see prints of their work, and always ask to see a few wedding galleries. WHOLE wedding day galleries! Do not just trust the pretty photos that they have on their website, or social media. As in the case I talked about earlier, had couples met with that company and asked to see the whole gallery from any of their images, they would have known they were scammers. Also, by viewing an entire gallery, you are seeing how capable the photographer is in all conditions. Not all locations have the best light, sometimes the bride is getting ready in a dark basement and the photographer needs to know how to handle the light situation, just as in an up-lit reception.

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Another great idea is to look at their reviews. Yes, there are not so nice people in the world that leave horrible reviews that have not even worked with the photographer(sadly it happens), but there are a lot of amazing and real clients that leave amazing reviews. You can view my Facebook reviews here, Lindsay Dawn Photography. And look at the photographers responses to those reviews as well.

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My final thought on this is to ask your potential photographer about styled photos. There is nothing wrong with being a part of a styled shoot, but there is a huge difference between those and a real wedding day, where you cannot control the elements. Below is from an amazing styled shoot I was a part of while in Baltimore. Is it gorgeous? Yes!Is it a real couple? Yes! But, all elements could be controlled and were planned by professionals in the industry. I have blogged about styled shoots before, you can find it here:  Styled Shoot.

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I hope you found this helpful while searching for your Northeast Ohio Wedding & Portrait Photographer. Happy planning!!!

Lindsay Dawn Photography

 

 

Styled Shoot – AKP Coastal Retreat – Northeast Ohio Wedding Photographer

Back in January, I attended my third AKP Retreat in Destin, Florida. What is the AKP Retreat? Here is a quote, from my friend & founder of the whole experience, “The Ashton Kelley Photography Retreat is a workshop for photographers. It’s centered around travel, motivation, support, creativity, and education. Our goal is to take you out of your comfort zone and introduce you to new people, new places, new destination portfolio opportunities, and the best vibes.” A lot of my friends & clients have asked me what these retreats are all about, and Ashton’s quote sums it up perfectly. Most importantly for me, it is about continued education for myself and my clients of Northeast Ohio. I love being a wedding photographer, being a part of such an important day, and by continuing my education I am giving my clients that much more every single wedding.

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What is a styled shoot? A styled shoot is NOT a real wedding, it is important to know that. On a real wedding day, your photographer has many different elements and surprises to deal with, for example: lighting changes, people in the way, extreme weather, pressure, etc.( This is why you ONLY hire a professional wedding photographer!) A styled shoot is controlled, to a point (we did have extreme cold and wind in Destin), and designed to perfection. It is designed to showcase beautiful and unique details to inspire couples, showcase the photographer’s destination wedding skills, create stock photos for the photographer, as well as forcing the photographer to think outside the box and expand their creativity.

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What else can be learned from a styled shoot? Different perspectives. By working side by side with other wedding photographer’s from all over the country, you see how others work, their own unique approach to details and showcasing them, as well as their own way of posing a bride and groom. Sometimes, the couple used as the bride and groom are models, and other times like in Destin, they are a real married couple. The couple in Destin were actually celebrating their 10th wedding anniversary!

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If you question whether a photographer is only displaying images from a styled shoot, ask them about it. When choosing your Northeast Ohio wedding or destination wedding photographer, be sure they show you real wedding galleries, of the full day! You want to know that they can handle the real elements of a wedding day, from the dark church basement to the uplighting of a reception. If they cannot show you a full wedding gallery, move on. You deserve the best on your wedding day!

DestinStyled

DestinStyled

See more on my website:

Lindsay Dawn Photography

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Lindsay Dawn Photography

 

Special thanks to my friend, Ashton, of Ashton Kelley Photography, for hosting another amazing experience. I love you girl! And, special thanks to all of the amazing vendors!

Event: AKP Coastal Retreat

Designs & Florals: Simply Gorgeous Events by Lara-Jill

Venue: Destin Bay House

Paper: Rock Paper Sisters

HMUA: Powder N Paint

Cake: Blue Lace Cakes

Ring Box: The Mrs. Box

Ribbon: illume Silk Ribbons & Adorn Company

Runner: Green Earth Studio