Celebrate the Real
 

No props, no Pinterest boards, no cliches.

 Just you...as you are...sharing this moment unlike any other. 

 

I am a storyteller.

I capture your day exactly as it unfolds. I shoot what I see...and what I see is absolutely wonderful. 

 

You are the story. 

You create the moments.

 
Photo by Carly Fuller

Photo by Carly Fuller

About me

I like sci-fi movies and mystery novels, bright colors and neon lights. I yell "Kitty!" every time I see a cat and I've been known to hum or whistle jazz standards to myself while I work. I love to travel, play games and have entirely too many craft supplies for one person. I will be dancing while I take photos at your reception and I will be absolutely giddy when the light is amazing and I nail the perfect shot.

Long, long ago in “The Land of Pleasant Living,” I studied photography in the basement of the Main Building at the Maryland Institute College of Art, where I was immersed in an environment of awesomely quirky, creative people. I graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts and completed an internship at the Baltimore Jewish Times, followed by a staff position there. I got to photograph everything you can imagine. Portraits, food, interiors, events, products, sports, more portraits, lots and lots of portraits.

I did this for four years until I decided I was cool enough to start my own business from my tiny apartment in Hamilton. As it turns out, running a business is super hard. And, while I was initially successful, like all entrepreneurs I experienced a lot of ups and downs. After much prodding from family and friends, I transitioned from photographing anything and everything to photographing weddings, and immediately I fell in love.

Since then, I’ve photographed hundreds of weddings and worked at too many venues to count. I’ve collaborated and co-edited industry blogs (like WeddingIQ), spoken in front of hundreds at wedding industry events (like WeddingWire World), and racked up all the awards and accolades a wedding pro is “supposed to have”

 

 

Why I celebrate the real

My Mom hated having her photo taken. She had an awkward smile. She would look off in different directions. The more you tried to coax her to look natural the more she would do weird things with her face. I was completely perplexed as to why this was such an issue for her, but I accepted it. I occasionally got a candid here or there but mostly just honored the fact that she felt uncomfortable and didn't take photos at all. 

When I got married in 2008 we had a small wedding in Tennessee with just a few family members and friends. We planned a more casual reception back home in Maryland for the rest of the family a few months later.  This meant hiring two photographers in two different locations. You would think this would be easy as I'm a professional and have lots of contacts, plus I know what I'm looking for. It took forever to find someone (two someone's) who fit our budget and I liked their work. 

I settled on Jason Putsché as our Baltimore photographer because when I looked at his work it looked exactly like mine. I love the images he took. It is an exact portrayal of what happened that day. He captured amazing candid images of everyone. I look back at these photos and I smile because I feel like I'm there experiencing it all over again.  I was sure he would get great photos of everyone but what surprised me were the photos of my Mom. She was smiling and in the moment. Unaware that he was photographing her. She was just being herself and enjoying the day.  She was wearing her favorite dress and she looked relaxed and happy. This is how I remember her.

My Mom passed away in 2015 after two years of treatment for cancer.  I was with her at every doctors appointment. I somehow managed to run my business and take care of her at the same time.  As soon as she got the terminal diagnosis I knew I would do whatever I could to help her in her final days, months, years. She was my best friend, my closest confidant, and I loved her more than words can express.  She made all the decisions about her care with my support and died with dignity, living on her own until her final days. I can only hope we all have the same privilege.

When clients ask me why I photograph for a living, or I see them stressing over the details of planning, I want them to read this story and see why it's so important to have good photography at every stage of your life. I didn't know my Mom would be gone seven years after our wedding. I wasn't thinking of the family members that would pass, I was thinking of my wedding day and how much fun we would have. But the reality is that these images are so much more precious now and I'm so appreciative that I chose someone who would focus on the joy and the laughter, not just the cake and the flowers. 

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Photos by Jason Putsché

Photos by Jason Putsché

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Why you should celebrate too

Because real is beautiful and I want to share it with you. I want you to see the amazing awesomeness that is your life. Everyone has something infinitely interesting about themselves. I believe that diversity is what makes the world amazing, and I’ve been privileged to photograph weddings of all types, from the ultra-orthodox to the completely unconventional. I’ve witnessed the blending of cultures and the creation of new customs. I support marriage equality as well as religious freedom.

In a nutshell, I want everyone’s wedding to be as one-of-a-kind as they are...and the people who want that too are exactly the kind of people I want to hire me. So it makes perfect sense to me: if I want to photograph weddings for real people, I need to be real too: I don’t take umpteen posed, boring portraits. I don’t shoot for Instagram. I don’t believe weddings are bound by tradition. I don’t believe how much money a couple spends dictates how awesome their wedding will be. I want to tell my dream clients’ stories through vivid, candid, magical images.

If you think we might be a match, I’d love to hear from you!

 

Favorite Venues

I can make anywhere look awesome but these are a few of my favorite spots. 

 
Wedding Ceremony at the American Visionary Art Museum

American Visionary Art Museum

Weird art, sparkly mosaics, and a giant pink poodle (which I think is blue now). It doesn't get much better than this. I love to hang out here even when I'm not working. Sometimes during the reception I just wander around trying to find things I've never seen before...and incorporate them into my next shoot.

The Baltimore Museum of Industry set up for a wedding reception

The Baltimore Museum of Industry

My family has lived and worked in Baltimore for generations. Exhibits throughout this museum detail companies and industries my family members have worked and helped to create so this venue holds a special place in my heart. Plus it has a cool plane hanging from the ceiling and lots of neon signs. 

Wedding ceremony at Corradetti Glass Studio

Corradetti Glass studio

This is an actual working glass studio. How fantastic is that? It's right next to Woodberry kitchen, nestled in the most amazing old warehouse buildings and within steps of the Gwynns Falls trail. 

1840's Plaza City Lites Room Diner

City Lites Room at the 1840's Plaza

What used to be the old City Life Museum is now a wedding venue with four floors of event space. My favorite, by far, is the City Lites Room which features an actual diner as well as murals depicting Baltimore. The DJ gets to spin from a replica movie marquee. Need I say more?

Couple on carousel at the Baltimore Zoo

The Baltimore Zoo

Not only does the zoo have beautiful grounds and an historic mansion but you and your guests get to pet real live zoo animals! Then we get to wander the park and exhibits, go on the carousel, and take photos in an old zoo cage.

Click Here for more venues. Don't see yours? Just ask , I've photographed a lot of weddings, I may have worked there.