J3Designz

Hi, I’m Jess! I’m a wife, mother, daughter in Christ and lover of all things that inspire.  I am the proud creative mind behind J3Designz in Fort Wayne, Indiana. I’m a “General Hospital” junkie, cinnamon rolls are my guilty pleasure and I love restoring old furniture. Here you’ll find tons of beautiful photographs of my amazing clients along with gushings about my favorite li’l man Jaxson and his adventures with me and my awesome husband Justin. Check back often as I have lots to say :)

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Ariana | Senior Photography | Fort Wayne Portrait Photographer

January 22nd, 2014

This past year I was so blessed to have AMAZINGLY BEAUTIFUL young women to photograph. Ariana was one of the most gorgeous girls I’ve had the pleasure to work with. She was so comfortable in front of the camera, had an amazing sense of style and was totally involved in the planning of her session. [...]

 

This past year I was so blessed to have AMAZINGLY BEAUTIFUL young women to photograph. Ariana was one of the most gorgeous girls I’ve had the pleasure to work with. She was so comfortable in front of the camera, had an amazing sense of style and was totally involved in the planning of her session. Most of the time my clients leave the creative process up to me (which I love of course) however, it is awesome when a client comes to me with ideas of her own.

Ariana is a very artsy girl. I love that! She is studying in the south now, so I’m totally jealous she is missing all this amazing snow!

Take a look at this stunning lady!
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For most of my late teens/early 20′s I was a red head, so I have a special love for girls who wear this color. She ROCKED it didn’t she?
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I love how my senior girls end up trusting me when I head toward a photo spot. We were literally in the back of broken down shop in Grabill, Indiana. I loved the dilapidated white walls against her army green dress:)
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These two are probably my favorite images from Ariana’s session. I love how she rocks both of these looks, and those eyes?? Are. You. Kidding. Me!
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One of my favorite spots to photograph is in Grabill, Indiana. Ladies, for your senior session, let’s brain storm about where you’d want to go for yours! Email me to reserve your senior portrait session.
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Finding elements within our location to use in the picture is one of my favorite parts of being a photographer. Loved finding this as we were out walking around.
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Ariana, it was so wonderful spending the afternoon with you on your session. Your beautiful heart is going to take you many awesome places!

Visit J3Designz if you want to chat about your senior session!
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Marissa | Senior Portraits | Fort Wayne Photography

January 15th, 2014

Though she is more than half way through her first year of college now, I had such a blast photographing Marissa during her senior year of high school. We hadn’t met prior to her photo session and when she arrived I was blown away by her beauty. She had the most beautiful hair! One of [...]

 

Though she is more than half way through her first year of college now, I had such a blast photographing Marissa during her senior year of high school. We hadn’t met prior to her photo session and when she arrived I was blown away by her beauty.

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She had the most beautiful hair!
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One of the things I loved about Marissa was how laid back she was. I love working with girls who are beautiful and don’t feel the need to make a fuss about it. But she really is so so beautiful!
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Look at those gorgeous eyes. I think she is Kate Middleton’s twin :)
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Congratulations on your first year of college Marissa!
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Mary Jane & Ben | Fort Wayne Wedding Photography

January 12th, 2014

Mary Jane and Ben were married on a brisk day in April and though the weather did not cooperate very much, true to character they made the best of their day. I was so blessed in 2013 to have some amazing brides who really went with the flow! Mary Jane and Ben are that perfectly [...]

 

Mary Jane and Ben were married on a brisk day in April and though the weather did not cooperate very much, true to character they made the best of their day. I was so blessed in 2013 to have some amazing brides who really went with the flow!

Mary Jane and Ben are that perfectly matched couple: the cheerleader and the football player madly in love. Though they are still just newlyweds they will be welcoming a little baby into the world in just a few weeks! I’m so excited to continue documenting their life together. But before I can photo that squishy little bundle of cuteness I want to introduce you all to this amazing couple.

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What I love most is when my brides (and grooms) trust me. With the weather not being fantastic we decided to do pictures inside the Grand Wayne Convention Center which, as a photographer, doesn’t thrill me. BUT, I still needed to be able to give Mary Jane and Ben beautiful images regardless of the setting or the weather. Setting up the shot on the left, Mary Jane thought I was crazy asking her to put the veil in front of her face. I asked her to trust me, and I think the finished product is beautiful!

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Such a pretty lady!
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My favorite photo of Ben with his groomsmen!
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My gosh are they beautiful or what!
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There is just something reverent about a Catholic wedding ceremony. This family, let me tell you, they were a close bunch! I loved seeing their grandparents holding hands and praying during the ceremony! And their church was SO BEAUTIFUL!
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Then it was time for photos of the new Mr. & Mrs.
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The “jumping” photo was wildly popular in 2013, can’t wait to see what THE photo for 2014 is :)
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All of the fabulous details from Mary Jane and Ben’s wedding. I loved the little bits of personality they chose to incorporate into their wedding. If you notice Mary Jane’s bouquet, she had little pictures of all their grandparents surrounding her bouquet! Ladies, your wedding dress is so beautiful, don’t let it hang on the ugly plastic hanger you get from the bridal shop. You need to get a personalized hanger like MJ did. You can find them HERE
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As is tradition at most wedding receptions there was a maid of honor and best man speech. But there was an added toast from Mary Jane’s dad. He sure loves his daughter and it was so evident by his beautiful words to the new bride and groom. If you’re planning your wedding I suggest asking your parents if they want to say anything at the reception. It will be a truly memorable moment :) Big shout out to Dave for doing such a great job at his speech!

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Mary Jane and Ben had quite the fun reception!
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MJ and Ben were all about keeping things low maintenance so they chose to go with a vendor who could take care of all their needs for the wedding day from the reception, catering, entertainment, cake and decorations.

The Shiloh did a great job with their wedding!
And that beautiful church was St. Peter’s Catholic Church in downtown Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Congratulations Mary Jane and Ben on a beautiful wedding day and an even bigger congrats on your new baby coming later this month! Enjoy your happily ever after :)

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Danielle & Vincent “Sonny” | Fort Wayne Wedding Photography

January 11th, 2014

For those of you who have missed the news this week, Fort Wayne has experienced a blizzard. Frigid temperatures would be an understatement and to say we’ve been a little stir crazy would be beyond accurate. I realized this week while twiddling my thumbs that I have neglected my little corner of the internet. 2013 was [...]

 

For those of you who have missed the news this week, Fort Wayne has experienced a blizzard. Frigid temperatures would be an understatement and to say we’ve been a little stir crazy would be beyond accurate. I realized this week while twiddling my thumbs that I have neglected my little corner of the internet. 2013 was met with A LOT of business and in an effort to keep delivery time short for my clients I decided to take a little break from blogging. But a little break turned into a huge break! I’m so excited to show off all the amazing work from this last year. Hopefully it will bring some sunshine and cheer to otherwise gloomy days ahead!

Danielle & Sonny’s wedding was beautiful to say the least. Not only are they beautiful people on the outside but beautiful people on the inside as well. I always try to encourage my brides and grooms to have as stress free of a day as possible and am so proud of Danny and Sonny for implementing that thought.  They chose to get ready at the home of a family friend, and when I say home I mean HOME. It was perfect for getting ready: tons of space, beautiful setting and tons of natural light.  For future brides, choosing the location to get ready is important if you want beautiful photos of that process. What Danny and Sonny maximized on was getting ready and doing photos in the same location.

Ladies, when you’re getting your makeup done think of the place you’ll be at. Is there a lot of natural light or is it in a dark home or hotel room with bad lighting? Better lighting=better makeup=better pictures. Just a little food for thought
Without further adieu here are my favorite images of Danielle & Sonny’s wedding day:
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Aren’t they beautiful?
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One of the things I loved about the setting we were at was the balcony that overlooked their property
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She is stunning. Truly a photographer’s dream :)
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I loved the home-like feel of these images, a roaring fire in a beautiful fireplace, gorgeous window light…..
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The architecture of this house was amazing. And Sonny? Well he knows how to look good in front of the camera :)
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The way they love each other is adorableblog7

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Sometimes I like the added feel of texture to an image.
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Danielle and Sonny had such a great wedding party!
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Hands down, my favorite wedding dress shot ever!
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Their wedding day was so pleasant and wonderful but I loved getting to see them dance at their reception!
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Then it was time to party!
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And finally, all the fabulous details from their amazing wedding day:
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As you can see in the detail shot, I loved the personalized welcome chalk board that greeted Danielle and her bridesmaids when they were getting ready that morning. Great idea from ladies at Pin-Up Curls

Big thanks to the other fabulous vendors that day:

Church: Christ’s Hope
DJ: EMS Disc Jockey Services
Bakery: Courtney’s Bakery Side note, Courtney’s is who I recommend to all my brides! She has done my wedding cake too :)
Reception venue, catering and florist: Ceruti’s Danielle & Sonny held their reception in the Diamond Room, which has very modern décor complete with diamonds in the wall!

For the newly engaged couples, we are still available for dates in 2014 and have started reserving dates for 2015, visit www.j3designz.com to learn more or to email me.

Danielle and Sonny, thank you for trusting me with your love story. Enjoy your happily ever after!
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Happy Love Day! | Share the Love 2013

February 14th, 2013

Happy Love Day! I hope the last couple weeks have brought you as much joy as they have brought my family and me. I consider myself to be a fairly loving person, especially when it comes to my family. But I wanted to challenge myself to love one those who aren’t in my “circle”. What [...]


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Happy Love Day!

I hope the last couple weeks have brought you as much joy as they have brought my family and me. I consider myself to be a fairly loving person, especially when it comes to my family. But I wanted to challenge myself to love one those who aren’t in my “circle”. What I realized is that beyond the blessing I showing to others, I was actually the one being blessed. To see the smile on a stranger’s face after something I had done just to spread the love of Jesus warmed my heart in ways I didn’t think it could. The last couple weeks I think have shown Jaxson what it means to be a servant of Christ too. I definitely don’t intend for this post to be a showcase of all the great things we did for an applause but simply to show you through the eyes of others what loving each other can do.

A couple weeks ago when we got all the snow in Fort Wayne I decided one of the ways to Share the Love with the husband was to get out and shovel the drive way before he got home so he didn’t have to do it. No big deal. But it kept snowing….A LOT. I shoveled the driveway twice! The second time was after I had picked up my son from school. I let him know I’d be outside for a while clearing off the driveway and as I was finished, I decided I should do my neighbor’s also. When I went to tell Jax that I’d be next door shoveling our neighbor’s driveway he looked at me and said, “what are you doing that for?! He has a snowblower!” It was an opportunity to teach Jaxson about loving on other people just for the sake of loving on other people. He liked my answer and put on his boots to come and help me shovel snow. :)

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I also felt the rewards of strangers sharing the love to people, from a door held open to my coffee being paid for not once but TWICE in one week! And in a profession that is so closely tied with me and who I am, receiving emails from clients letting me know how much they’ve treasured their photos makes my heart so happy.

In a time where so many people are screaming about the breakdown of our nation, the gun violence, the poor state of our economy or just the blunders of daily life, it can really be a lift to the spirit to know that there are peopleA LOT of people who still want to make a difference in the world, one open door or smile at a time.

So I challenge you, even though the official Hallmark day of Valentine’s is half way over, continue spreading the love the rest of the year. What a wonderful place this world would be if we all just decided to love each other as God commanded us to do. If you want to share the ways you’ve been sharing YOUR love, join our Share the Love linkup:



I hope all of you are having an amazing love day and know that you are so loved!!
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Heather & Chris | Fort Wayne Wedding Photographer | Fort Wayne Embassy Theatre

February 6th, 2013

I love getting to photograph beautiful brides and Heather is one such beautiful girl! I had the pleasure of documenting Chris and Heather’s gorgeous September wedding. Heather started her day getting pampered with all her lovely gals at Elevation 138 . Chris and Heather chose to see each other before their ceremony so we could [...]

 

I love getting to photograph beautiful brides and Heather is one such beautiful girl! I had the pleasure of documenting Chris and Heather’s gorgeous September wedding. Heather started her day getting pampered with all her lovely gals at Elevation 138 .

Chris and Heather chose to see each other before their ceremony so we could get awesome photos :)
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How cute are they?
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One of my favorite pictures from the wedding, this is Heather’s sister seeing her for the first time in hair/makeup/wedding dress. Thanks to Amy Baxter for doing such a beautiful job on all the ladies’ makeup :)
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Heather made such a beautiful bride didn’t she?
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And this handsome guy….he did a pretty good job too :) (I should also add he’s an Aussie!)
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The minute I met Heather I thought she looked Maggie Gyllenhaul, would you agree?
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LOVED these dresses, so flattering on all these beautiful girls:
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The lines to the windows of the Grand Wayne Center make for such a great backdrop. I loved getting to see the blue sky and clouds in the reflection…
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One of my favorite shots of Heather and Chris…
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Best. Wedding Party. Shot. EVER!
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Seriously, Heather you are just gorgeous.
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Signage in pictures makes my heart happy. There’s only “one way” to go about this life, and that’s to be loved :)
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Happy wedding party
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All the lovely details from the wedding day:
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The trimmings of the day all courtesy of Wedding Dreams by Linda . And their reception was held at the always fantastic Embassy Theatre .
What would a reception be at the Embassy without having your name in lights?!
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To bring in part of Chris’s Aussie tradition, they had many speeches during dinner, from the maid honor, best man and then the fathers of the bride and groom. Such a great way to get to know the couple through the eyes of those who love them.
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Entertainment provided by Urban Legend . If you’re looking for something different for your wedding reception, live music is the way to go and this band is amazing!

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People from all over the world came to celebrate with Chris and Heather, great memories were made that’s for sure!
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Praying lots of happy memories for these two in the years to come.
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Mikayla’s Watch Me Grow Sessions | Fort Wayne Children’s Photography

February 4th, 2013

This sweet little lady is one of the kids I’ve had the pleasure to watch grow for a full year. It amazes me how much children change both physically and developmentally in one short year. Mikayla had her big FIRST birthday in December and was showered with tons of love by her mamma and daddy [...]

 

This sweet little lady is one of the kids I’ve had the pleasure to watch grow for a full year. It amazes me how much children change both physically and developmentally in one short year. Mikayla had her big FIRST birthday in December and was showered with tons of love by her mamma and daddy who are COMPLETELY in love with their little princess.

So here’s Mikayla over the last year:
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Three months old, she wasn’t really a fan of smiling yet but boy was she cute! We found some gorgeous landscape at Salomon Farm
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Six months is my favorite age to photo babies. They can sit up and are so happy at their new accomplishment! For Mikayla’s session we hung out at the always beautiful Foster Park
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Love love LOVE her big blue eyes :)
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Nine months old now and she is on the move, but I just had to capture these long eye lashes :)
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Sadly Fort Wayne doesn’t have a ton of options for indoor space when the weather is cold and yucky, but, thankfully the The Grand Wayne Center offers lots of light and most importantly WARMTH.
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My biggest hope is that Mikayla will look back at these pictures someday when she is grown and be able to see just how much her mamma and daddy love her.
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Little girls in tutus are beyond adorable!
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Are you kidding me with this cuteness? Lace dress and pearls!
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And what would a one year photo session be without a cake smash?! Look at that sweet face…
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I’m so blessed to have gotten to know this amazing little family and can’t wait to see Mikayla grow into a beautiful young girl. If you want to book your own “watch me grow” session for your little one, send me an email

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Share the Love Campaign 2013

February 1st, 2013

I want you to stop for a minute, when was the last time you did something for a stranger to warm their heart? Held a door open for an elderly woman, paid for the person’s coffee behind you in the drive through, listened to a stranger talk about their grief, or simply smiled at the [...]

 

I want you to stop for a minute, when was the last time you did something for a stranger to warm their heart? Held a door open for an elderly woman, paid for the person’s coffee behind you in the drive through, listened to a stranger talk about their grief, or simply smiled at the man standing on the corner of the street? What if every person in the United States did ONE random act of kindness? That would be 313,914,040 acts of love towards a person we don’t even know, can you imagine the impact it might have on the world as we know it?

Certainly I’m not starting a campaign to change the world but I am asking you to join me in a campaign to change the world around YOU. As we all know, Valentine’s Day is approaching, those with significant others are waiting in excited anticipation to see what kind of chocolate, jewelry or fancy restaraunt might be given to show love to another. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t hope for a little blue box with a white ribbon containing something sparkly, however, this year, I’m focusing on sharing the love in a different way.

1 Peter 4:8 tells us, “Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.” And one of my favorite verses from the bible says, John 13:34-35 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” I know some of my readers might not be Christian but I find that these verses can pertain to anyone no matter their religious affiliation. Loving others is one of the greatest acts of humanity we can do. And so I encourage you to:

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So what’s this all about? The great part is there is no right or wrong way to be part of this! (whew! pressure’s off). You can show a random act of love every day if you want, one time, a thousand…..the point is between today (February 1) and Valentine’s Love Day, to show someone a random act of kindness and love. If you are a Facebook, Instagram or Twitter user and want to upload pictures from your adventures use #ShareTheLove2013 There will be people all across the country posting about how they are spreading the love so it will be awesome to watch this campaign grow!

There is a fantastic group of women I am partnering with to get this thing started and they will be posting as well. My amazingly sweet friend Lyndsay way down in the warm state of Florida is the brains behind this operation. If you’re looking for style inspiration her blog rocks! (And she’s a pretty awesome photographer too!) The rest of ladies I am partnering with are below:

Kacia
Wynne
Scarlett
Sarah Beth
Corinna
Jenna
Sarah
Karrie
Holly
Kristian
Annie
Andrea
Katie
Ashley

I know some of you might be thinking “well if it’s supposed to be a RANDOM act of kindness why are we going to talk about it?” To me, you aren’t boasting about what you’re doing, you’re encouraging others to do the same. It can be small things so don’t get over whelmed. Today for example, as I was packing up my SUV with groceries I noticed a little old lady almost finished with hers. It is 6 degrees here in Fort Wayne and instead of her having to find the cart return I offered to take the cart back for her so she could get back in the car and warm up! You’ll find that not only will you make others feel all warm and fuzzy but YOU will too!

On Love Day there will be a nation wide link up that you can see what everyone has done over the last two weeks and share some of your stories as well. (Link for that to come later). So that’s it….no sweat, no money or limbs being sacrificed just get out there and show people the love in your heart!

And what would a love post be without showing people in love?!
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Happy Love Month Everyone!
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Jessica + Nick | South Bend Wedding Photography | South Bend Country Club

January 28th, 2013

Happy Monday everyone! Hopefully everyone has had a terrific start to the week despite this yuck weather we are having in good ole Fort Wayne, Indiana. I am so SO excited to showcase this wedding from December I couldn’t have hand picked a more beautiful bride (or handsome groom). Jess and Nick’s wedding was the [...]

 

Happy Monday everyone! Hopefully everyone has had a terrific start to the week despite this yuck weather we are having in good ole Fort Wayne, Indiana. I am so SO excited to showcase this wedding from December :) I couldn’t have hand picked a more beautiful bride (or handsome groom). Jess and Nick’s wedding was the final one of 2012 and what a way to end the season!

Without further holdup, I give you the incredible Mr. & Mrs!
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I loved that Nick and Jess chose to see each other before the wedding. Typically with winter weddings, it’s a good idea to do that so that the photographer has enough day light to work with in order to get awesome pictures:) (And it gets the jitters out of the way before the ceremony).

It’s not too often you see the father of the bride on his knees bustling a wedding dress! Jessy’s dad was so involved that day and what a sweet way to begin her day than with her mom and dad!
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At long last it was time for these two to see one another. Jessy was so nervous and excited :)
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Despite the freezing cold weather, Jess and Nick picked a breath taking spot to have their photos done before the ceremony. The crazy beautiful University of Notre Dame campus .
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Seriously, this girl could not be any more beautiful. I could have photographed her ALL. DAY. LONG.
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This guy isn’t too bad either ;)
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One of my favorite images from Jess and Nick’s wedding day:
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Loved all the windows inside the buildings at Notre Dame. Natural light is key for awesome images folks!
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This is my favorite shot of Jess. Straight out of a magazine I tell ya.
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Every bride needs a shot showing off the back of dress, and showing off her tiny waistline! Loved all the pickups in her dress :)
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They are going to make cute babies some day…
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Pretty sure this was a pinterest idea!
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The architecture inside the buildings on Notre Dame’s campus is insane!
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Finally, it was time to get married!! Love love LOVE these two shots of Jess and her dad, so priceless :)
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Jessica and Nick held their ceremony and the beautiful New Life Church in Osceola, Indiana.
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I love it when couples decide to write their own vows, it makes the ceremony so much more personal and we get to hear some of the depth to their relationship!
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They look so happy :)
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South Bend had some really awesome photo ops. Lots of fun brick walls and string lights. (huge props to the wedding party for freezing their tushes off to get these pictures)
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Lots of laughter happened that day…
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And what would a wedding be without handsome men in tuxes?
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This was one amazing group of people to hang out with for the day!
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Jess did not want her wedding pictures to be “christmasy” even though they got married in December, but how could we NOT take advantage of all the Christmas lights hanging around :)
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Even though it was A: Pitch Dark and B: FREEZING cold, we just had to get a jumping shot for the bride:
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We stopped by the historic Tippecanoe for some pictures and my gosh is it beautiful at night!
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The awesome details from Jessica and Nick’s wedding and reception:
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Jess and Nick chose to do their first dance before dinner. I like this idea as it makes sure that the guests are focusing on the bride and groom instead of cramming food in their mouths :)
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They chose Michael Buble’s You and I as their first dance and it was one of the most beautiful first dance’s I’ve seen in my years a wedding photographer. Their DJ, Sensational Sound had a spot light right on them with the blue uplighting in the background which made for SPECTACULAR color. If it fits in your wedding budget, I highly recommend having Uplighting .

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The ballroom at the South Bend Country Club was absolutely breath taking.
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Nick made sure to make the garter toss fun and more like his personality. Perhaps a little embarassing for him because he had to wear these goofy glasses, and do push ups in front of the whole reception…
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So as not to get away, he made sure to tie Jess to a chair :) (public service announcement, no bride was hurt in the process of this event)
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And what kind of princess would she be without a dress change?….Jessy and her bridesmaids gettin’ down at the reception.
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After the reception was over we drove down the main street of South Bend to find this awesome street with globe lights hanging. Perfect setting for an end-of-the-night shot. Amazing.
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Jess and Nick, from the bottom of my heart, I wish you all of God’s blessings and many long years of happiness. Enjoy your happily ever after!

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Waiting for Guiliana | Fort Wayne Maternity Photography | Kendallville Windmill Museum

January 17th, 2013

Pregnant women are so beautiful. I love the way they cradle their baby bumps and lean to one side as they sway back and forth rocking their precious babies inside their womb. I love the smiles as they look down at their stomach realizing there is a tiny person growing inside of them. This beautiful [...]

 

Pregnant women are so beautiful. I love the way they cradle their baby bumps and lean to one side as they sway back and forth rocking their precious babies inside their womb. I love the smiles as they look down at their stomach realizing there is a tiny person growing inside of them. This beautiful mamma-to-be was as beautiful as they come. Although her precious baby girl arrived already, I wanted everyone to see how beautiful she was when carrying her sweet Guiliana…

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Her handsome hubby Mark is going to be a great daddy
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Love the coloring of this and the sweet way Mark is kissing Casey’s hand:)
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My favorite :) Look at that blue sky!!!
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