Category: Celebrating the Everyday

Life of a Wedding Photographer – Behind The Scenes 2015

Celebrating the Everyday, The Story Beyond  //  

2015 is definitely a year for the record books! Not only have we interviewed and photographed close to 100 couples for Amazing Life Together on the Amazing Marriage Adventure, but we have also photographed many sweet couple’s weddings and engagement sessions! We traveled to 49 states and have put more than 40,000 miles on the RV! ;) We flew to more weddings this year than we drove to! We photographed Liz and Ryan couples in Italy, The Netherlands, Germany, St. Lucia, Illinois, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Delaware, New York, Virginia, and of course Maryland!

What a year! And by the looks of these photos, we certainly had a great time doing what we do! ;) Ohh the life of a wedding photographer!

That time Ryan slipped in the snow and was covered from head to toe!

I am not sure what these faces are… but at least we are consistent when checking our light! ;) I promise we are not in pain! lol!

Yep… this is pretty common!

Being a wedding photographer often means many different things on a wedding day. Ya know, like chair mover, wedding planner, bow tie tier, floor cleaner… you name it! ;)

Our RV even made it to a wedding! 

Even when you think you plan for everything, things happen! This rain came out of nowhere and forced everyone to take cover during the wedding! Which meant a lot of mud on the dance floor. :( Thats ok though… Ryan took care of it! ;)

That time we went on a 10km bike ride in The Netherlands to a castle for Renee and Joost’s engagement session and my bike tire went flat as soon as we got to the castle. lol.

Yep, we could photograph in the Germany vineyards every day! ;) 

Ohh Italy! Ahhh! Can we please go back soon?!? ;) Those few days documenting Casey and Alex’s Italy Destination Wedding are some of the most amazing memories we have as wedding photographers! What a treat!

This is Ryan’s reaction to us saying… “We are photographing a wedding in a Castle in Italy! WHAT!?!?! ;)” Or… he is doing his best Superman pose?!?

Photographing Tracy and Joe’s St. Lucia Destination Wedding was definitely a treat too!

That day it POURED the entire day!?!? 

Don’t worry- those are non-alcoholic beverages! ;)

Ohh Ryan! ;)

Yep, sometimes I just don’t even ask questions! ;) lol.

It happens. ;) lol.

The best photobomber ever! ;) Love him and love working by his side always!Here’s to a super exciting and adventurous 2015! So grateful for all of our couples who made it everything we could have ever dreamed it to be!

The kickoff to the most adventurous year of our lives (so far)

Celebrating the Everyday, Travel  //  

Last year at this time, we had handed the keys to our home off to our renters in Baltimore and made our way to Central PA with a moving truck full of our most meaningful personal possessions! We were nervous, excited, scared, hopeful, grateful, uneasy, confident, and eager all at the same time. We unloaded the moving truck into my childhood bedroom and waited incredibly impatiently for the RV to arrive for pickup in NY! Of course, the “perfect plan” was not a reality and after days and days of crazy stress… we finally accepted the fact that the RV would not be ready for pick up until after we returned from Africa. We turned our focus to Thanksgiving with our families and trying to convince them that despite what the press was telling them, we were not in danger of contracting Ebola! (Yes, although we were going to be thousands of miles from the Ebola cases in Africa… this was actually a really REALLY hard thing for our families and friends to understand!)

Growing up, neither one of us traveled much. Our families took road trips for vacations. We camped more than we stayed in hotels. However, somewhere along the way of growing up and becoming individuals, both Ryan and I developed a craving to see the world! We are curious about the world around us and want to experience the unique cultures that make this world so AMAZING!

Over two years ago, our friend Laura sent an email to her family and friends asking us if we would want to be a part of something near and dear to her heart! She was a Trek Coordinator for BuildOn, an organization that builds schools in developing countries and she wanted to lead a Trek with her family and friends! At the time, going to Africa was something we were excited about, but it was something we thought we would do after we explored other parts of the world… like Europe! Africa was on our dream travel list… but it was definitely not “next” on the list! ;) However, when one of your best friends shares her passion about something super dear to her heart and provides an opportunity to serve a community in a developing country together… it is a no brainer! We were in from the very beginning!

So, for over a year, a group of 10-15 people gathered together through monthly Google Hangout Meetings! Individually fundraising, together we raised over $30,000… enough to build a school in Malawi! December 1, 2014… we were on our way to Africa!

Ryan and I started our trip with a few days in Cape Town, South Africa before meeting up with the rest of the group! We had absolutely NO IDEA what to expect! And honestly, we were so busy getting our home ready to rent, packing our belongings, having a garage sale, buying an RV, moving our belongings, fundraising, planning for the Amazing Marriage Adventure (our year of living in an RV), filing our 501c3 paperwork for Amazing Life Together, and running our Liz and Ryan photography business that we didn’t really have a moment to think! We had absolutely NO IDEA how special and how beautiful Africa really is!

Over the next few days, we are going to share more from our trip to Africa. As we wrap up the most Adventurous year of our lives so far, it only seems appropriate to take some time to truly reflect on the experience that started the adventure! Reliving these photos brings back every single one of the emotions I listed above… and even more! We are grateful, humbled, joy-filled, passionate, open-eyed, and awe-inspired! This world is truly a beautiful place!

First stop… Cape Town, South Africa

After exploring a little in the afternoon, we decided to take a nap. When we woke up, it was about 9:30 p.m. and the only food option open was McDonalds! :( Our first meal in Africa was McDonalds. :(

The fresh Breakfasts in Africa is something we miss BIG TIME! Especially because this was our view each morning!

We accidentally found ourselves on a Toll Road. We paid about $3.00 to drive this most gorgeous drive we have ever seen! Chapman’s Peak Drive! Best road to get lost on ever!Pure HAPPINESS!Sunrise in Kalk Bay, Cape Town.

Muizenberg Beach, Cape Town is the most colorful magical place in the world! These are just little surfer shacks, but the colors have a way of making a dreamy beautiful beach even more AMAZING!Boulder Beach, South Africa.

Wine Tasting in Cape Town.We dream of owning a space like this where people can gather and hang out on comfy blankets and pillows in the grass with AMAZING food and drink! So incredible!
We drove out to the Wine region… Stellenbosch for an evening! First stop- the laundromat! ;)

That evening we went to dinner in town. In the middle of dinner, the waiter came over to tell us that the power was expected to go out at 8:00 p.m. They were having a blackout to conserve power in the area! They told us not to worry, they would bring us candles! ;) It was the most delightful and eye-opening candlelit dinner we have ever experienced! So tasty too! ;)On our last day back in Cape Town, we went to Neighbour Goods Market! It was such an incredible Food & Craft Market with the largest international food selection! It was a blast and is definitely a must do if you find yourself in Cape Town!That evening, we went on a full-moonlit hike at Lion’s Head! AMAZING! We read a few reviews online and many said it was an easy hike! After about 10 feet straight up, we realized we are quite out of shape! ;) We actually were late arriving because the GPS went to the wrong location! Once we actually found the correct place, we joined hundreds of other people who hiked it up as quickly as possible to make sure we made it for the sun setting and the moon rising! It was absolutely incredible and unlike anything else we have ever seen/done before! So incredible!South Africa blew away every expectation we had for Africa! We honestly had no idea what to expect… in fact, we expected everything to be like the Shanty Town in the bottom left picture! (There are a few Shanty Towns in the area, but throughout our few days in Cape Town, we only saw 1 or 2!) We had absolutely no idea how incredibly beautiful South Africa really is! It is gorgeous and we would definitely go back again! Next stop… Malawi!


The Story Beyond – Special Guests at Sarah & Trevor’s Wedding

Celebrating the Everyday, The Story Beyond  //  

Ever since we posted the photos from Sarah and Trevor’s wedding, we have had all kinds of questions about why there was a Raven’s wide receiver and a real penguin at the wedding! ;) Believe me, when it was all happening, we were pinching ourselves too! ;) So to  fill in the story, here is The Story Beyond from Sarah and Trevor’s wedding!

It is not often that I get to photograph the groomsmen with Ryan. However, for Sarah and Trevor’s wedding, it worked out perfectly that I would be able to join in the fun! As soon as we started photographing Trevor with his groomsmen outside of the Mansion House at the Zoo, one of Trevor’s groomsmen (who just happened to be running a little behind that day! ;) ) drove by with his window down frantically looking for a place to park! Of course while giving him a hard time for being late, the groomsmen just pointed him up the street and said park there quickly and then move your car later!

About 3 minutes later (not kidding, it wasn’t long at all) the security for the zoo came over and asked us if we knew who was driving “that car.” “That car” happened to be the car that the groomsman had just parked and he just happened to park Torrey Smith in. Whoops! ;) Of course everyone kind of just stopped in their steps and said wait… Torrey Smith is here?!? ;)

Now you have to understand, Trevor and Sarah are both HUGE Baltimore fans. Ravens and Orioles and everything in between! In fact, their toast given by the best man for the evening was all about their love for the Ravens! ;) It was so perfect that Torrey Smith just happened to be at the Zoo the day of their wedding!

Trevor and his groomsmen quickly jumped at the chance to have their photo with Torrey. And I must say, Torrey was incredibly willing and went out of his way to make Sarah and Trevor’s day! ;) Trevor invited him to the wedding, but he actually had another wedding to attend that evening (you know, Ray Rice?!? ;) )!

So anyway- that is the super fun story of how Trevor had an extra special groomsman for their wedding day!

And Tails, the Penguin… he was just hanging out at his home at the zoo and came by to say hi during cocktail hour!!! ;) So incredibly fun! Definitely a day we will never forget!

Blue Bell PA Wedding Photos by Liz and Ryan The Manor at Prophecy Creek

The Story Beyond – The Selfie

Celebrating the Everyday, The Story Beyond  //  

This photo just brings the biggest smile to our faces! ;) Without bringing that horrible song into your head… the words “let me take a selfie” has definitely been overheard at every single one of our weddings this year! It is always too funny to watch the action. I am pretty sure this photo was taken after Samantha offered multiple times to take the picture for her ladies, but they thought a selfie would be more fun! ;)

With the smiles on their faces and Samantha’s laugh (it probably doesn’t even matter how the selfie turned out!!!) I am pretty sure the experience did not disappoint! ;)

Blue Bell PA Wedding Photos by Liz and Ryan The Manor at Prophecy Creek

Whatever you are doing this weekend… do it with great fun! And while you are at it, take a selfie and share it on Instagram! ;) Tag us at @Liz_and_Ryan and @amzlifetogether so we can share in the fun too! ;)

Katie and Ben The Story Beyond Photo by Liz and Ryan

The Story Beyond – A bonus celebration!

Celebrating the Everyday, The Story Beyond  //  

We absolutely love the opportunity to capture more than “just the wedding day!” There is always so much that goes into a wedding celebration and it is usually those moments before and after the big day that hold such a special place in our couple’s hearts! For Katie and Ben, that is especially true!

We joined Katie and Ben and just a few of their family and friends on Fire Island on Thursday before their Saturday wedding. We photographed their engagement session that evening and then joined up with 5 of their family members and friends for an intimate dinner party! Greg and Rob, Katie’s uncles, welcomed us into their home in such a spectacular way and treated us to the most AMAZING dinner to kick the festivities off!

As we sat around the dinner table, we laughed harder than we have ever laughed! I am pretty sure that is not an exaggeration, but the truth! ;) That evening was the perfect example of what to expect over the next two days!- a lot of laughs and certainly a lot of celebration!

After the incredibly AMAZING dessert of grilled peaches and ice cream, Ben quietly got up from the table and whispered something into Sergio’s (the caterer) ear. Without skipping a beat, Sergio nonchalantly started placing champagne glasses on the table. I am pretty sure I was the only one to notice as everyone else was so focused on their cheeks hurting because they were laughing so much! ;) I quickly excused myself and went downstairs to grab our camera because I had a feeling something big was about to happen. Sure enough, a few minutes later, Ben had a special announcement to make. As everyone got quiet, Ben read an email from his phone stating that the offer he and Katie made on a house was accepted and they were now homeowners!!!! How incredibly exciting is that?!?! Their housing search had been going on for quite some time and they were about to move on without even hearing back from this offer because it technically had expired. But the night before their wedding festivities officially began, sitting around the dinner table with some of their closest family and friends, they received the exciting news and started the celebration early! ;)

I am so grateful we were there to capture that happiness! I am sure when they look back on their first home buying experience, that dinner will be one they remember full of stress relief and complete joy! ;) It was the perfect way to kick their wedding weekend off! ;)

Katie and Ben The Story Beyond Photo by Liz and Ryan