SEVEN: A Super Volcano

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This kid is seven years old this year.  Seven is our family’s favorite number (Harry and I’s first date was on a seven, we got married on a seven, my first daughter was born on a seven, and my second daughter came home on a seven).  So we decided a while back, that we’d plan a trip with each kid in mind when they were seven.

For this trip, we had three things in mind: volcanoes, stories, and adventure.

We started off in Jackson, WY, where Bean did a high ropes course.  Showing some serious determination, she made it all the way through, her little body collapsing in my arms at the end from sheer physical exhaustion.  sarah gee-1608

There was lots and lots and lots of swimming…sarah gee-1492sarah gee-2309sarah gee-3232sarah gee-2038

And we dipped our toes in a couple of lakes.sarah gee-1807sarah gee-1821sarah gee-1791

For the stories part (she’s a story collector), we went to see some shows.  This was her dancing through the streets after we saw The Ballad of Cat Ballou.  sarah gee-1683

We took an unmarked path to a place the Grand Teton rangers wouldn’t discuss with me – Boulder Town, where tons of giant boulders were left behind by a glacier thousands of years ago (in our family, we call that glacier poo).sarah gee-1839sarah gee-1864sarah gee-1858

We learned lots about forest fires, and once had to drive 5 hours out of the way to avoid one. Thank you to the firefighters and teams that work on these!sarah gee-1901

My Bean’s biggest dream is to see an erupting volcano.  Since it’s really hard to make that happen, we went to Yellowstone to see a SUPER VOLCANO: geysers and mud pots, hot springs and fumaroles.  This was their first time seeing Old Faithful erupt.sarah gee-1905

And then was the coolest!  The girls did the Young Scientist program, for which they got to take a backpack out for a few hours and do a cool workbook.  It had a magnifying glass, rock samples, stopwatch, and coolest part of all: an infrared thermometer. You could point it at all the hydro-thermal stuff and get temperature readings.  It was hard for Harry to take turns with the girls…sarah gee-2143

And in this family picture, it looks like he’s shooting me.  Just an infrared thermometer, folks.  And Harry Gee.sarah gee-2145sarah gee-2203sarah gee-2221

We tried to go into the park later in the evenings, to avoid the crowds and to be there at sunset time.sarah gee-2259sarah gee-2265sarah gee-2274

So here’s the cool place to use the infrared thermometer.  Those different colors are different microbes that grow in different temperatures.  sarah gee-2394sarah gee-2405

We took a ranger hike, and this little bird walked right alongside the girls for like a quarter mile.  They LOVED it.  The poor ranger had to keep waiting for us to catch up.sarah gee-2327

And then, the ranger led us to a place where you could dig down in the sand and feel the heat from all the thermal activity underneath us. sarah gee-2359

We saw lots of animals, but our favorite were the bison.  And our most favorite bison activity was when they flipped over and scratched their backs on the sage, kicking up all kinds of dust.  sarah gee-2780

These two were sworn in as Junior Rangers in both Yellowstone and Grand Teton.  They also got badges for Junior Scientist.  The badges this year were extra awesome because this year is the Park Service’s 100th anniversary.  Bean says that she hopes to come back to the next one when she’s 107 and get another badge.sarah gee-2687

We went on a scenic raft tour that had just a couple of class 2 rapids.  sarah gee-2982

And Bean got to be our guide for a bit!sarah gee-2989

We did lots of hiking…sarah gee-2516sarah gee-2863

And when the going got tough, Bean helped her sister out.sarah gee-2898

Then back to Salt Lake City to hit up the museums there before our plane home. sarah gee-3088sarah gee-3136

These two.  Goodness. (They’re picking the noses of their animal hats).  sarah gee-2939

Finding the right piece

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These two are puzzlers. I made that word up, because a person who does jigsaw puzzles is actually called a dissectologist (thank you very much, Google), and dissectologist just makes me think of that time with the frogs in 9th grade when I almost threw up.

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So! Puzzlers they are. And photographing and editing their engagement session got me thinking a lot about how the act of doing puzzles is a bit of a metaphor for life’s journey, right?

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Sometimes it’s really frustrating and hard to make the pieces all fit together. We’re juggling so many things and have to make it all work somehow.

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Sometimes we have to take a break from the hard parts and get back to them when we can think more clearly.

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And sometimes it’s more fun to go at the challenge with someone else. A friend, a lover, a sharer of your joys and sadness. When you have someone else to help you, someone to share with you, it makes it a whole lot more fun.

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And that excitement and feeling of accomplishment when you put that final piece into place – whew! That’s a good feeling.

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Leah and Denise were happy together our whole session – from a walk in the park to cooking together, puzzling, and just being together. It was a great day. And they have surely found their perfect fit.

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Cracking me up

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Mary CRACKS ME UP. I mean, really. She has that subtle sarcasm that just makes me completely unable to be in a room with her without laughing out loud.

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And she and her whole family have mastered that thing where they just sit around and say ridiculously funny things, often without any expression on their own faces. Meanwhile, in the background, taking pictures, there’s me – unable to catch my breath from laughing. Makes me feel like I’m watching a sitcom from the live audience. But a really good sitcom – the kind you’d miss social events for or rush home to be in front of the tv by the opening song (you know, before Netflix).

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These awesome kids are from Mary’s previous marriage, and they have come together as a family quite nicely. I love how Mike is looking at her in this next one.

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My first email from Mary asked about engagement sessions: “I am in so much trouble for making fun of all of my friends and their engagement shoots—so we just need a couple shots, not a full-blown spread, ha.”

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And so we kept it simple. Pizza and cornhole at home with the kids, then beers out at the bar just the two of them.

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It was here that I learned their engagement story (an awesome one – well done, Mike) and we started talking wedding. “I’m just trying to block time devoted to wedding stuff or else I go down the rabbit hole and end up spending two hours evaluating different shades of blue for three nights in a row… “

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And after our session, the emails began: “Yeah, brace yourself. There will be at least one dumb question every week until November. And after, probably.” Me (secretly): Yes! Because I seriously smirk a little each time she sends me one (and for the record, her emails are not at all unreasonable or too much).

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And later, this one after a long list of all the cuteness that will occur at their wedding: “No pressure about how excited I am about our wedding photos… that haven’t been taken yet.”

No pressure, Mary. Got it. SO EXCITED for their day!!!

A Courthouse Wedding

sarah gee-5886“It’s a courthouse wedding. I won’t tear up for this one.” I’m not sure why I had this preconceived notion of courthouse weddings, or where it came from. I thought it would be simple and to-the-point (which it was), but for some reason I also thought that meant it wouldn’t be emotional.sarah gee-5896-2sarah gee-5912

Completely wrong on that one.

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Anytime two people are choosing to join their lives in love, there will be emotion. That’s part of it. For Sam and Jeanann’s wedding, their joy was all over their faces.

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We stopped at the Book Loft for some pictures, as they both like to read.

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Then over to Eddie Merlot’s for some good food and reminiscing about the day. And what a good day it was.

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My Wild Ones: The Best of 2015

I’m the kind of person that can easily get really overwhelmed with the sadness of the world at times.  This is one of those times.  And I know I’m not the only one.  When I get like that, I need to give my heart a break.  It’s not avoiding the situation.  Well, maybe it is.  But either way, I need it.  I need a break from the overwhelm, and need to take some time to remember the good.  This week, it came in the form of our yearly album.  A little late, sure, but on Wednesday from the hands of Bob our mailman, came all of our best memories from last year all collected and bound into one lovely book.

I get daily emails from Story People (you can get them, too, by clicking on that link there and scrolling down a tiny bit), and I stockpile them – keeping them unread until I need some lifting up.  Each little story makes me smile.  I have one framed in my home, and even though I know every word, I stop to read it often.  It’s amazing how Brian Andreas can string such a small amount of words together to create such a big feeling.

This week, this one made me smile yet again, and gave me some hope: “I always wanted to invent something that would move around & make funny noises & would change the world as we know it & I forgot all about that until we had kids & now I see I came pretty close.”

So here it is: my two little world-changers playing and laughing and crying and loving their way through 2015.  Same rules as always, in place purely to help me narrow it down: two pictures from each month, not from vacation, and they can’t have anyone else but my family in them.  This year I also added: must be horizontal, and no naked body parts showing.  Hope this gives you a quick break from the overwhelm this week.sarah gee-1264sarah gee-1296sarah gee-3560sarah gee-3597sarah gee-4642sarah gee-5052sarah gee-5760sarah gee-5775sarah gee-8022sarah gee-7999sarah gee-4532sarah gee-4752sarah gee-5321sarah gee-5128sarah gee-0998sarah gee-4214sarah gee-4875sarah gee-4844sarah gee-9989sarah gee-0438sarah gee-0541sarah gee-0485sarah gee-0771sarah gee-2225

Maybe, if you’re feeling the overwhelm, go spend some time with your loved ones.  Put the phone down or the computer away.  Party it up, get silly, dance and sing.  Love each other.  Remember, the good far outweighs the bad.

They waited twenty years for this…

(This post has a killer soundtrack, so head over here, hit play, and listen while you watch this story unfold because… goodness.)

These two waited a good twenty years for this moment.

Twenty years.

I am honored to have been around for a few of those most recent years.  I have documented time shared with them and their daughters and grandsons.  And a couple of years ago I had the pleasure of photographing daughter Jess’s wedding (one of my favorites EVER!).  sarah gee-0970I believe I’ve at least teared up at every wedding I’ve ever photographed.  Sometimes it’s an outright silent weeping.  I’m just emotional like that, and I get overwhelmed by all that love on such a big day.  Usually it happens once during a wedding, maybe twice.  But it kept happening again and again this time…sarah gee-0913I teared up when this little man came out all smiles in his suit, so incredibly proud to take on his big role in the wedding day.  I remember when he was little, really little.  He has changed so incredibly much over these past few years.  It was amazing to see him so proud and confident, overflowing with joy!sarah gee-0937sarah gee-1021sarah gee-1035sarah gee-1058It was my first time meeting this little one, and it was hard to pry myself away from that smile!sarah gee-1068I teared up again, just before Laura did, when I took this next picture…sarahgeephotography3…because I knew who was missing from it – Laura’s parents who had gone on.

This part was all smiles, because how awesome are these littles?sarah gee-1237sarahgeephotography1sarah gee-1408In their vows to one another, they both pointed out how they pledged these promises to one another long ago.  They have been through so much together – sickness, health, richer, poorer – they’ve been there and done that and are still holding on.  sarah gee-1421sarah gee-1453And then I teared up here a bit, when their officiant (Laura’s cousin David), asked them to look around and take notice of all these people who supported them and were there for them.  I know that they were happy that so many people had come to their wedding – it was a big deal and a big show of love.

sarahgeephotography2sarah gee-1466They danced down the aisle, then danced some more!sarah gee-1480sarah gee-1493sarah gee-1644Jess’s speech was hilarious and beautiful all at the same time, and ended with “Cheers!  To the weirdest family ever.”  And that made me tear up, too!  I know, I’m kind of crazy.  But you know, everyone’s family has some weird, right?  Accepting it and loving each other no matter what might just be what life is about.  sarah gee-1628sarah gee-1708sarah gee-1709sarah gee-1765sarah gee-1772“All of these lines across my face tell you the story of who I am, so many stories of where I’ve been, and how I got to where I am.  But these stories don’t mean anything, when you’ve got no one to tell them to.  It’s true – I was made for you.”  – Brandi Carlilesarah gee-1799sarah gee-1820sarah gee-1849sarah gee-1873sarah gee-1910sarah gee-1992sarah gee-2017And then this one.  For the love.  Fogging up my viewfinder with tears again.  Seriously, I have issues.  But they played “Wannabe” by the Spice Girls.  I know, right?  The Spice Girls are such tearjerkers…  I might be crazy, but I do have a reason.  It brought me right back to Jess and Theresa’s wedding, where their whole wedding party stormed the stage and sang this song to them.

sarah gee-2050sarah gee-2085sarah gee-2210_1It was an awesome day.  A really beautiful day that they waited such a long time for.

I know I talked a lot about my crazy tears through this story, but I hope the pictures brought you back to the real story here, and hopefully those crazy tears gave a little more of a frame with which to really soak it all in.

Good people here.  Good people and a beautiful day and lots of love.

Dana and Laura, thank you.  Thank you for continually trusting me to document your family’s best times and for sharing your story with me.  It is an honor!  You’re pros at this being together thing, so I don’t even have to wish you luck at marriage – you’ve got this!  Wishing you many more years of laughing and crying and writing the pages of your story.

If you’d like me to document your story, let’s chat here!

Venue/Flowers/Catering/Desserts/DJ: Water’s Edge

Dana’s dress and Laura’s outfit: Alfred Angelo

Rings: Andrew’s Jewelers

Real and true vows

The Wurmdells: Lisa Wurm and Joe Wendell.  I LOVE combining people’s last names to make a new one.  My favorite is my best pal Sarah Radke and her husband Jeremy Assell: RADASS – how amazing is that???  Strangely, they didn’t make it legal.

Back to the Wurmdells.  There are so, so many things I loved about their wedding (evidence: click here).  But one of my favorite things was their vows.  Just real and true and beautiful and meaningful.  I know this isn’t how we normally think of describing a couple’s vows, but they were… realistic.  They both know they will make mistakes and admitted this.  They both vowed to love one another anyways.  Joe realized there are feelings he hasn’t even had yet, and Lisa says they can’t possibly know what their future holds – but they want to go there together.  How beautiful is that?columbus ohio documentary wedding photographycolumbus ohio documentary wedding photographyI am so grateful they’ve allowed me to share their vows here (slightly edited for space), because their words to one another are far more meaningful than anything that I might speak.

Lisa:

“Joe, thank you for taking this leap with me. The leap is high and hard but we do it with intentions and with so much love in our hearts. We recognize that we aren’t perfect, that we need to grow separately and together, forgive often, and challenge each other to be better people. That’s what makes us different, that’s what makes us better together.”
columbus ohio documentary wedding photography“I know I am loved. And while you’ve treated me like a queen, you’ve never asked me to be anyone other than who I am, you’ve never asked me to remove any jewels from my crown.”columbus ohio documentary wedding photographycolumbus ohio documentary wedding photography“We can’t possibly know what will manifest in our lives, what kind of people we will be, what kind of experiences we will have, but I promise to hold on to the truth that is us, be faithful that our truth will see us through.”columbus ohio documentary wedding photographycolumbus ohio documentary wedding photography“I promise to give my best self to you. Sometimes that self will be less than it should be. I know it has been in the past. When my grief was tremendous, your love was bigger. When my suffering left me numb, your love made me feel again. When my heart was bitter, you helped me see life was still Sweet.”columbus ohio documentary wedding photography-Quick break from vows because this next picture cracks me up and I love it!-columbus ohio documentary wedding photographycolumbus ohio documentary wedding photography“I promise to let whatever happens to us in the future – to let it nurture our relationship, even if it feels impossible to handle – because our future belongs to us and we can make it ours.”columbus ohio documentary wedding photographycolumbus ohio documentary wedding photography“It may have been chance that brought us together, but it was through hard work and perseverance that has brought us to today. I promise to continue to work hard at our relationship and build a bright future with you.” columbus ohio documentary wedding photography“I promise to be your enthusiastic partner in life, in career, and in love. We don’t need a piece of paper to prove that but we know the piece of paper means more than that. Especially to people who weren’t allowed to have that piece of paper until recently.”columbus ohio documentary wedding photographyOkay, another pause.  Because woah.  Joe made a picture of what he thought Lisa’s dress would look like and gave it to her when he saw her for the first time that day.  He was pretty dang right on, eh?  Aaaaaaaaaannnddd, back to the awesomeness that is their vows.columbus ohio documentary wedding photography“I’m so grateful to call myself your wife.  Thank you for truly loving me.  I promise to love you with the same truth.”columbus ohio documentary wedding photographycolumbus ohio documentary wedding photography“Let’s go from here and create something bigger, something greater. Let’s go define the terms of our own lives, what it means to be married. Let’s go our own way, as we always have and never let anyone dictate to us if they think we are doing it the right way or the wrong way.  Let’s go out into this big scary world because life is short and I want to face it, together, with you, as my husband.”columbus ohio documentary wedding photography

And Joe’s vows:

“Lisa, above all things, I promise to love you always.”columbus ohio documentary wedding photographycolumbus ohio documentary wedding photography“I promise honesty, transparency, and loyalty.  My life is open to you and I commit it to you now.”columbus ohio documentary wedding photographycolumbus ohio documentary wedding photographysarah gee-2947columbus ohio documentary wedding photographycolumbus ohio documentary wedding photography“I promise to support you in all you do.  I will lift your spirits when challenge looms and celebrate with you in times of victory.”columbus ohio documentary wedding photographycolumbus ohio documentary wedding photography“I promise patience and understanding. Tho, there is much I do not know, and feelings I have not yet had, my love for you is constant and yearns to flourish.”columbus ohio documentary wedding photographycolumbus ohio documentary wedding photography“During our dark hours, I promise to fight for Us always. I will keep my heartfire stoked as we find our way back to the light.”columbus ohio documentary wedding photographysarah gee-3462columbus ohio documentary wedding photographycolumbus ohio documentary wedding photography“Today, I make these promises in good faith, but know that I am imperfect. As such, I will strive, with everything I have to fulfill them.”columbus ohio documentary wedding photographycolumbus ohio documentary wedding photography“I love you Lisa.”columbus ohio documentary wedding photographycolumbus ohio documentary wedding photographysarah gee photography4And then there were shotskis!!!  (Yes, I know that was a terrible transition, but how on earth else can you introduce shotskis?)columbus ohio documentary wedding photographycolumbus ohio documentary wedding photographycolumbus ohio documentary wedding photographycolumbus ohio documentary wedding photographycolumbus ohio documentary wedding photographyLisa and Joe, I am so happy to see you go out into the world together with those vows written upon your hearts.  I hope to see you fulfill every single one of them and make this life together meaningful and deep and glorious.  columbus ohio documentary wedding photography

Venue: Schiller Park and Germania

Dress: Wendy’s Bridal

Hair: Holly Clark with Salon Lofts

Makeup: Joy Mackey with State of Face

Flowers: Rose Bredl

Hairpiece, veil, jewelry: Trousseau Bridal

Tux: Romanoff

Ties: handmade by Joe and his dad!

DJ: PJ the DJ

Catering: Germania

Cake: A Little Slice of Heaven

BE

BE is how I’ve come to address Beth and Elizabeth whenever I’m talking or writing to both of them.  Their whole wedding was centered around that word, as their initials of course, but also as a testament to who they are and how they live this life.

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Among the many definitions of “be” on dictionary.com, my favorite is this one: to live.

To LIVE.

Now, if you’re breathing, you’re living.  But somehow, when you put that “to” before “live,” the whole meaning seems to change, at least for me.

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To live is not to just take up space here, but to soak up the minutes, to relish the experiences, to love people and places and ideas.

And that is exactly what these two are doing.

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And all that loving sends love right back to them.  They are surrounded by a community of really amazing people who care deeply about them, cry beside them, laugh heartily with them, and dance with them.  Others who are living it up just like they are.

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Beth had BE secretly embroidered into the hem of Elizabeth’s dress.sarah gee-7474

She cried when she saw it, but held it in, too, because… makeup.sarah gee-7547sarah gee-7573

They married at The Kitchen, a really amazing Columbus spot that their friends started.  If you haven’t been there, go for Taco Tuesday!  The Kitchen’s participatory dining re-imagines how we dine out and enjoy food with friends old and brand new.  It’s a kind of community space, which made it perfect for BE’s day.

Here’s B waiting to see E for the first time that day…sarah gee-7592sarah gee-7600Hi-fiving their awesome son!  Big day for this guy, too!sarah gee-7705sarah gee-7709

“Hey world!  It’s a big day!  My mommies are getting married!!!”sarah gee-7726

Then we took a whirlwind tour around Columbus, heading to Mike’s, where they had their first date…sarah gee-7751Mike came out to show them some love!sarah gee-7761…then to Bodega, where they had their first kiss…sarah gee-7767

…and to Blazers Pub, where Elizabeth found out just how high her skirt can go when she twirls.sarahgeephotography2Then back to the Kitchen to smooch up this dressed up little man!sarah gee-7901And on to the ceremony.  Lots of beautiful tears and smiles here.sarah gee-7978sarah gee-7983sarah gee-7985sarah gee-7990sarah gee-7995sarah gee-8007sarah gee-8017Their good friend read the Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage, and there was hardly a dry eye in the house.  When they set this date for their wedding, they didn’t know their marriage would be recognized legally.  sarah gee-8048

After the wedding, we headed outside for some quick pictures in the rain before partying it up at their reception!sarah gee-8091sarahgeephotography4sarah gee-8113

Beth’s sister did the flowers.  Aren’t they gorgeous?  Lots of love went into those.sarahgeephotography3sarah gee-8240sarah gee-8248sarah gee-8289 copysarah gee-8299Did you see that jager back behind the BE at the beginning?  Time to get this party started!sarah gee-8295sarah gee-8318sarah gee-8360sarah gee-8401sarah gee-8431sarah gee-8436sarah gee-8439sarah gee-8441sarah gee-8554sarah gee-8606

And then it was time for karaoke!  This party rocked on til the wee hours of the morning, and it was amazing!!!sarahgeephotography5sarah gee-8560

BE, I love you!  Thanks for reminding us all to live – to take each day and do all that we can with it.  To cry and to laugh and to love wholeheartedly and unabashedly.  It was a supreme pleasure to see you surrounded by such a family, a community – your tribe I think you called it – so many people whose lives you’ve touched tremendously and who have loved you right back.

And I leave you with an Irish blessing, since it’s St. Patrick’s Day today and I’ll bet Beth’s wearing a kilt somewhere!

May love and laughter light your days,

and warm your heart and home.

May good and faithful friends be yours,

wherever you may roam.

May peace and plenty bless your world

with joy that long endures.

May all life’s passing seasons

bring the best to you and yours!

 

If you just haven’t had enough BE yet, go check out their engagement session!

 

Venue/catering: The Kitchen

Flowers: Theresa “Aussie” Mooney

Dress (handmade locally and custom designed for her! So, so beautiful!): Bryston Walters

Makeup: State of Face

Suit: Men’s Wearhouse

Tie: Tie Bar

Crocheted daisy boutonniere: Jennie Hayes

Music: Christina Basham

A Year in the Life

sarah gee-4838Are all your best memories trapped in your phone, screaming to see the light of day, begging to be shared in a more lasting way? Do you worry that your kids will someday need a facebook account to see pictures from their childhood? Do you love the idea of having all those memories tucked in the pages of a yearly album that you can look through together and remember how Charlie lost his front teeth that year or how Eloise did that funny crawling thing with one leg in the air?

summer families sarah gee photography year in the lifeEvery year as a Christmas gift for our family, we make yearly albums that we LOVE to look through time and time again. We snuggle up on the couch and laugh and tell stories. We look through years past and marvel at how we’ve grown together.

families sarah gee photography year in the lifeWhen our friends come to visit, they page through them and always talk about how they’d like to do something like that with their own pictures.

sarah gee-5701LET’S DO IT! Let me take that off your plate. I’ve been thinking on it for over a year now, and I think I finally have a way to provide this for you!

fall families sarah gee photography year in the lifeI’m thinking four sessions of your choosing (one for each season), plus a “Day in the Life” session (a 2-3 hour favorite time of day for your family where I capture your every day). We take all these, add in a sprinkling of your phone pictures, and we’ve got most of the magic right there. But there’s more! At the end of the year, we get together. Over dinner and drinks at my place, we figure out the words to add to bring it all together as a beautiful testament to your family’s year.

sarah gee-3472And voila! There it is: your family’s most precious memories all bound together in a beautiful album for you to enjoy always! I’ll also make you a slideshow with music that you can share with those far away.

DSC_1789I am so, so excited to be offering this in 2016! I think it’s going to be outta sight!

families sarah gee photography year in the lifeIf you’re in, shoot me an email – sarahgeephotography7@gmail.com– and we’ll talk about all the details, or

sign up to hear more right HERE!

I have five spots to try this out this year, and three are already taken. I’ll be accepting 2016 families until January 15th. Let me know soon! So excited to hear from you!

sarah gee-5603

lighting each other up with laughter: a dayton ohio wedding at coco’s

I feel very lucky to photograph weddings for so many reasons.  But one of the big ones is this: there is so much we can learn from love.  Seeing how my couples love one another is amazing, and definitely not something I take for granted.  dayton ohio wedding As Jesse got ready with his “groomspeeps,” as they were affectionately dubbed, there was laughter and there was lots of fun for sure.dayton ohio wedding dayton ohio wedding dayton ohio wedding dayton ohio wedding dayton ohio wedding And as Ashlie got ready, with her mom and sister and friends all close by (I love the way her mama is looking at her in this next one!), dayton ohio wedding dayton ohio wedding …there was also lots of laughing.  Especially as they celebrated the little victories, like buttoning Ashlie’s dress and getting her veil in just right.dayton ohio wedding dayton ohio wedding But every time these two were together that day – oh!  The laughing!  When they saw one another for the first time, they LIT UP.dayton ohio wedding Ok, fine, so there was crying too.  But it was the crying that comes with the laughing and the love and says: “Holy smokes, we’re here!  It’s our day!  I love you so much I can hardly even stand it!!!”dayton ohio wedding dayton ohio wedding dayton ohio weddingdayton ohio wedding dayton ohio wedding dayton ohio wedding Surrounded by lots of love, these two.dayton ohio wedding They were married by their good friend, in front of a backdrop of green and green and just a few leaves beginning to let in the autumn.  dayton ohio wedding dayton ohio weddingdayton ohio wedding dayton ohio wedding dayton ohio weddingThere was laughing again as they said their vows.dayton ohio wedding

And they could hardly take their eyes off one another.  Not in that googly-eyed way, but in that way that showed they were so happy to be there together, experiencing this together. dayton ohio weddingSo maybe, just maybe, Jesse gets a bit of that glorious laughing from his mom.dayton ohio wedding dayton ohio wedding

As we had a few drinks back at 16-bit bar and arcade for their engagement session a few months ago, I remember being struck by how they laugh together.  When they see each other, they giggle, then as their time together goes on, those giggles turn into full-on, wide-open LAUGHS!  They make each other SO happy.  It’s awesome to see the transformation that happens when they are together.
dayton ohio weddingJesse’s suit was custom made, and even just showing Ashlie the purple lining made them both crack up.
dayton ohio wedding dayton ohio wedding dayton ohio weddingdayton ohio wedding dayton ohio wedding dayton ohio wedding dayton ohio wedding dayton ohio wedding dayton ohio wedding dayton ohio wedding
And so here’s the thing to be learned from this love: All that laughing makes perfect sense.  Because when you’re really, truly in some super love, life just feels more fun!  I know that they are there for one another during the rough patches, too – that they help hold each other up.  But the way that they laugh during the good parts is outta sight!

Ashlie and Jesse, you two really do light each other up!  Love to see you starting your marriage with such joy.  Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your day.  And thank you for reminding me that love and laughter go hand in hand.  I’ve been taking every opportunity lately to laugh with my man, and it’s been awesome!

If you are newly engaged (or know someone who is), and would like to chat about me photographing your love and laughter, I’d love to hear from you!  Let’s start up a conversation here!

Venue/Catering – Coco’s Bistro (the people here were wonderful, even clearing away tables to remove clutter from the background in the name of pictures!)

Cake – Ele Cake

Dress – Watters Bridal

Shoes – Kate Spade

Flowers – The Flower Shoppe

Makeup – Jilian Mason, Arc Artistry

Hair – Square One Salon

Suit – Renaissance

Cufflinks – CuFFactory

Music – Chic Violinista

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