Wedding Photojournalism: Danielle + Ben at Hotel Bethlehem, Bethlehem, PA on October 26, 2013

•May 16, 2014 • 1 Comment

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Danielle and Ben were a breeze to work for.  I knew that from the day we met but even more so while walking around Bethlehem, PA together last December during their engagement session (did you miss that post?  if so visit HERE).  They are a fun and go-with-the-flow kind of couple.  They let me do what I do best and explore my creativity.  They trusted my vision and were super grateful for my efforts (don’t take my word for it – check out their review of my work HERE).  It was really enjoyable to travel back to the town of Bethlehem for their wedding day.  Getting great images of the both of them felt effortless especially with my awesome co-pilot, Gretchen Johnson…couldn’t give me clients a complete documentation without her spectacular effort.  Danielle and Ben were in the moment and enjoyed every minute of their wedding day and then some.    Their venue, The  Hotel Bethlehem, is settled right in the heart of the city and it was a perfect venue for Danielle and Ben to celebrate their wedding day with their family and friends.  Their wedding date was so close to Halloween they went with an elegant and fancy vision complete with pumpkins covered in glitter and fun masks that resembled those of a masquerade ball.  Take a moment to check out a little taste of their big day.  (Check out Ben’s cuff links…super awesome transformers symbols and yes Danielle’s Dad did their father-daughter dance in Kermit the Frog Adidas sneakers 🙂 How cool is that?)

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Photograph by Gretchen Johnson

Photograph by Gretchen Johnson

Photograph by Gretchen Johnson

Photograph by Gretchen Johnson

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Again I wanted to share images of the heirloom keepsake box just as I did with the last wedding photojournalism post.  It is a piece I take great pride in creating as it exhibits my love for making beautiful art that goes beyond the solution of packaging the hard drive and DVD.  (The hard drive is not present in the images as I delivered it earlier to Danielle and Ben).

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Thank you to Danielle and Ben for having the utmost respect and confidence in me as their wedding photographer.  As with any wedding there are challenges to overcome with making sure the day is documented to its fullest extent.  I couldn’t have done it without my great friend, Gretchen, who provided not only the perfect complement of images to my own but continues to push me further as an artist with her insight and perspective.

Wedding Professionals from Danielle and Ben’s day:

Hotel Bethlehem – http://www.hotelbethlehem.com/ – Event Coordinator – Terry Marrow

Hair – Jen Grey

Baker – Cakes by Angie – http://cakedesignsbyangie.com/

DJ – A-plus DJ – http://www.aplusdjs.com/

Thank you readers, my friends, my family for your time.

All the best,

DZ

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Wedding Heirloom: Black and White Charcoal Drawing: Kaileigh + Dan – by Danielle Vennard a Chester County, PA Professional Artist

•March 5, 2014 • Leave a Comment

I have been an artist of many different types of media.  At a very young age I observed and learned about art and being creative via my father who also was an artist in the fields of painting, drawing, photography and sculpture.  Over my growth as an artist, I have used my photographs as a tool to create something that deviates from the original, making it unique to my identity as an artist.  Copying a photograph takes skill but to me the finished work is just that, a copy.  It doesn’t really show the true creativity of an artist.

Over the last five years I’ve focused my talents specifically on documentary wedding photography.  I long to revisit the fine art of drawing.  Last year I began offering my wedding photography clients a true heirloom.  It is a one of a kind piece of art that differentiates me from the ever-increasing number of wedding photographers.  I use images I have photographed on a client’s wedding day to create a hybrid drawing between what I see as realism and abstraction.  My clients give me guidance by choosing one or several of their favorite photographs for me to create from.

The latest piece for Kaileigh and Dan is the best collaborative effort I have had thus far.  I felt strongly that I had finished the drawing and sent the image below to Kaileigh to get their opinion.

Black and White Charcoal Drawing of Bride and Groom in an orchard on Avon Bleu Farm, Lincoln University, PA - Photography by Danielle Vennard Photographer - In Pursuit of Moments Unrehearsed - daniellevennard.com

Although hard to swallow at first, Kaileigh and Dan decided it wasn’t exactly what they were looking for.  I was unsure after getting their first reaction to the drawing what needed to be changed.  At one point I thought I was just going to have to start over from scratch and this had my mind second guessing my talents, effort, as well as whether it made sense for my business.  For a moment it felt like my Dad was there giving me his feedback and teaching me (again) to be more open to criticism, which at times can be my kryptonite.  As a creative individual it is really difficult to hear you missed the mark.  That, however, is a risk I choose to take in sharing my gift with the world to make art that is meaningful.

Thankfully, Kaileigh and Dan agreed to sit down together with me one evening to express to the best of their ability what the drawing needed to make it truly their work of art.  The decision was made to alter the original and not begin again.  By adding the tree into the foreground it broke up some of the evenness of the abstract branches, leaves and vines that had dominated the left side of the drawing.  The tree also helped push the viewer’s eye back to Kaileigh and Dan which is the main focus of the piece.  I am glad they didn’t just settle for what I thought was a finished piece and challenged me to push my creative potential.

Here is the final piece.

Black and White Charcoal Drawing of Bride and Groom in an orchard on Avon Bleu Farm, Lincoln University, PA - Photography by Danielle Vennard Photographer - In Pursuit of Moments Unrehearsed - daniellevennard.com

 The finished piece is a composite of these three different photographs I took of Kaileigh and Dan in the orchard on the Avon Bleu Farm where they were married.

Bride and Groom in an orchard on Avon Bleu Farm, Lincoln University, PA - Photography by Danielle Vennard Photographer - In Pursuit of Moments Unrehearsed - daniellevennard.com

Bride and Groom in an orchard on Avon Bleu Farm, Lincoln University, PA - Photography by Danielle Vennard Photographer - In Pursuit of Moments Unrehearsed - daniellevennard.com

Bride and Groom in an orchard on Avon Bleu Farm, Lincoln University, PA - Photography by Danielle Vennard Photographer - In Pursuit of Moments Unrehearsed - daniellevennard.com

I’ve also put together an animation to show evidence of the drawing from start to finish.

Animation of Black and White Charcoal Drawing of Bride and Groom in an orchard on Avon Bleu Farm, Lincoln University, PA - Photography by Danielle Vennard Photographer - In Pursuit of Moments Unrehearsed - daniellevennard.com

Although you are viewing it on a computer screen and it now exists digitally I stress that this artwork is all hand-drawn with black and white charcoal on paper.  This drawing and others like it commemorate one of the best days in a couples life.  It is gives them something unique to who they are, that can provide happiness to a wall of their home as well as become a priceless heirloom to their future generations.  Just as my father’s artwork, hanging on my walls inspires me, I hope that my work does the same for my clients and their children to express themselves creatively to the world.

Thank you for taking time out of your day to read about my black and white charcoal drawings.

If you would like to check out two previous black and white wedding drawings please visit my past blog of Christina + Tom here:  https://daniellevennard.wordpress.com/2012/12/05/wedding-heirloom-hand-drawn-black-and-white-charcoal-drawing-by-danielle-vennard/  as well as Megan + Brian’s Live Wedding Drawing here:  https://daniellevennard.wordpress.com/2014/02/05/wedding-heirloom-megan-brians-wedding-drawing-august-9-2013-live-drawing-during-the-reception/

I prefer to work from my own images but I have created from other sources of inspiration not of my creation.  If you would like to see more examples of my charcoal drawings that expand into portraits, animal life, and rock climbing than please visit a gallery on my personal Facebook page here:  https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.291328860516.324771.834805516&type=1&l=7766c0a989

If you or anyone you know would appreciate an original work of art like this don’t hesitate to get in touch.  danielle@daniellevennard.com or call me at 717-701-0363.

All the best to you, my fans, my supporters, my family, my friends,

DZ

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Engagement Session: Andrea + Josh at Silver Lake Park, Dover, Delaware on September 29, 2013

•February 25, 2014 • 1 Comment

Engaged couple sitting by Silver Lake, Dover, Delaware - Photography by Danielle Vennard Photographer - In Pursuit of Moments Unrehearsed - daniellevennard.comIt is always extra special when I get the chance to photograph friends.  Josh and my husband, Dann went to high school together at Smyrna High and have kept in touch through the years as they chose to live close to home following their adventures after college.  

After high school Josh spent five years in the US Marine Corp as communication technician which then transitioned into earning his engineering technology degree at the University of Delaware.  (Thank you for your service to our country Josh!)  

Andrea grew up in Alfred New York and ventured to Maine where she attended Bates University and received a Bachelors degree in Psychology.  After a couple jobs she decided the elementary class room was her calling.  She went back to school at Syracuse University and achieved a Masters degree in not only early childhood education but also early literacy.  With all those degrees she made her way to Dover, DE and became a first grade teacher.  

Six weeks after she moved to Delaware (September 2011) her new friends, Jill, Jenn and Jeff were already busy trying to set her up with Josh.  Andrea decided to meet Josh for the first time on October 30, 2011 and the sparks flew from there.

For their engagement session Andrea and Josh wanted to take a stroll through Silver Lake in Dover, Delaware.  It is the same place that  Josh proposed to Andrea on March 30, 2013 in a very unique and thoughtful way incorporating Andrea’s love for letterboxing.  Letterboxing entails carving a rubber stamp, placing it in a waterproof box along with a blank paper pad and hiding it.  Clues are provided online in order to lead other letterbox enthusiasts to its location.  For a more in depth explanation please visit:  http://www.letterboxing.org/faq/faq.html  So back to the story…

Josh designed and carved his own stamp.

Engagement Ring with will you marry me rubber stamp used for letterboxing - Photography by Danielle Vennard Photographer - In Pursuit of Moments Unrehearsed - daniellevennard.com

He then found an evergreen tree to stash it under at Silver Lake Park and posted clues online.  Andrea’s Mom helped out by alerting her to the new letterbox posting and got the ball rolling on the unexpected treasure hunt.  Andrea was able to locate the box and inside was a puzzle that Andrea had to decipher.  After it was decoded the message read “willyoumarrymeandrealovejosh.”  She said “Shut up” then came “Are you serious”  followed of course by a “YES!”

Part of their engagement session was to go back and document the proposal location with them along with the ring, pictured above.  Following the lake visit we headed into the historical section of Dover to get some images of them around the state buildings and brick walkways.

Engaged couple enjoying time under a large tree - Engagement Photography by Danielle Vennard Photographer - In Pursuit of Moments Unrehearsed - daniellevennard.com

Engaged Couple standing on the bridge at Silver Lake, Dover, DE - Engagement Photography by Danielle Vennard Photographer - In Pursuit of Moments Unreahearsed - daniellevennard.com

Engaged Couple together in historical Dover, Delaware - Engagement Photography by Danielle Vennard Photographer - In Pursuit of Moments Unrehearsed - daniellevennard.com

Engaged couple together in historical Dover, Delaware - Engagement Photography by Danielle Vennard Photographer - In Pursuit of Moments Unrehearsed - daniellevennard.com

Engaged couple together in historical Dover, Delaware - Engagement Photography by Danielle Vennard Photographer - In Pursuit of Moments Unrehearsed - daniellevennard.com

Engaged couple together in historical Dover, Delaware - Engagement Photography by Danielle Vennard Photographer - In Pursuit of Moments Unrehearsed - daniellevennard.com

Engaged couple together in historical Dover, Delaware - Engagement Photography by Danielle Vennard Photographer - In Pursuit of Moments Unrehearsed - daniellevennard.com

Engaged couple together in historical Dover, Delaware - Engagement Photography by Danielle Vennard Photographer - In Pursuit of Moments Unrehearsed - daniellevennard.com

Engaged couple together in historical Dover, Delaware - Engagement Photography by Danielle Vennard Photographer - In Pursuit of Moments Unrehearsed - daniellevennard.com

I will also have the pleasure of documenting their wedding in May so keep an eye out for part two of Andrea and Josh’s story.

Thank you for taking time out of your day to check out my latest creative endeavors.

All the best to Andrea and Josh as well as all of you.

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Wedding Heirloom: Megan + Brian’s Wedding Drawing – August 9, 2013 – Live Drawing During the Reception

•February 5, 2014 • 2 Comments

Last fall I was given the chance to break out of my comfort zone and do something I haven’t done since my time as an undergraduate art student at Kutztown University.  The opportunity of doing a live drawing was presented to me by my good friend and wedding planner, Tonia Lowe of Aribella Events, while enjoying one of our semi-monthly meet-ups at the local Starbucks.  I was a bit hesitant to accept her challenge as I was always a bit nervous in undergrad when a professor was looking over my shoulder to check out the progress of my live figure drawing.  In person, at a very important event such as a wedding, the pressure was going to be much more intense.

The plan was to photograph Megan and Brian’s first dance, download the images to my laptop, pick the best one and start sketching.  I anticipated their parents to be somewhere nearby to enable me to get a single image to work from with them in the background as the couple danced together.  As it turned out the seating assignments had gotten a little mixed up on entry into the reception.  I got a great image of Megan and Brian but none not one of the parents since they ended up at a back table nowhere near the dance floor.  Tonia suggested that I take some additional images of the parents during the speeches and it just so happened that all four parents ended up front and center to congratulate Megan and Brian.  I was able to put together a composite sketch using not one, but four different photographs.  Here are the images that gave inspiration to the finished piece below:

Bride and Groom enjoying their first dance togetherFather of the Bride giving a toastMother of the bride raising her glass in honor of the married coupleMother and Father of the Groom during the toast to the married couple

I was very fortunate to have received permission by the hired photographer, Lindsay Docherty, of Lindsay Docherty Photography to photograph during the first dance and parent toasts.  (Check out her blog post with lots of her awesome photographs from Megan + Brian’s Wedding at http://blog.lindsaydocherty.com/2013/09/philadelphia-wedding-photographer.html)  Being a wedding photographer myself I know the risk involved (from prior experience) in allowing another photographer outside of your studio to enter the mix and possibly get in the way of doing your job.  I assured Lindsay that I would park myself in one spot and respect the needs of her and her staff.    Everything went super smooth and she was even cool enough to catch a couple images of me working on the drawing.

Danielle Vennard working on a live black and white charcoal drawing during a weddingDanielle Vennard working on a live black and white charcoal drawing during a weddingDanielle Vennard working on a live black and white charcoal drawing during a wedding as the mother of the bride stops to take a peekHere is a documentation of the black and white charcoal drawing as it evolved from the progress I made at the end of the wedding night to finishing it up in my home studio:

Danielle Vennard Wedding Heirloom:  Black and White Charcoal DrawingDanielle Vennard Wedding Heirloom:  Black and White Charcoal DrawingDanielle Vennard Wedding Heirloom:  Black and White Charcoal DrawingDanielle Vennard Wedding Heirloom:  Black and White Charcoal DrawingDanielle Vennard Wedding Heirloom:  Black and White Charcoal DrawingDanielle Vennard Wedding Heirloom:  Black and White Charcoal Drawing

And here is the finished piece:

Danielle Vennard Wedding Heirloom:  Black and White Charcoal Drawing

Thank you so much once again to Tonia of Aribella Events and Lindsay of Lindsay Docherty Photography for giving me this opportunity to utilize another facet of my artistic arsenal.  It was an awesome experience and I am very much hoping that I get the chance to do it again.

Thank you the readers for your time and attention as I showcase another one of my many wedding adventures.

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Wedding Photojournalism: Megan + Alex’s Wedding at the Red Clay Room, Kennett Square, PA – August 3, 2013

•January 4, 2014 • 1 Comment

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You may remember this awesome couple from their unique engagement session with their horse, Foxski. (If you missed it take a quick peak to get the whole story from start to finish in the blog about their engagement session HERE)  We traveled back to Joan’s horse farm for the second half of the preparations following the hair appointments at Tranquility Day Spa.  Megan spent her morning getting ready with all her girls and her mom.  I expected there would be more photographs taken with the beautiful 4 legged creatures and I guessed right.  Joan, the owner of the farm, had another horse, Dylan, all done up and hooked to a carriage to give Megan and her girls a little ride and opportunity for me to get some more unique group photographs.

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Meanwhile my great friend and awesome photographer, Gretchen Johnson, was documenting Alex with his men at the Red Clay Room in downtown Kennett Square.  She is my go to girl and has been shooting almost all my weddings with me.  I value her different perspective and her talented skills in getting the portraits accomplished.  Although this is not the main photography style I provide, it is very important to include these photos to complete the day.  Gretchen’s background is in traditional family portraits so she is a great compliment to my style of photojournalism.  She is also incredibly fun to be around which always makes for a more enjoyable experience for my clients as well as me.

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Photograph by Gretchen Johnson, Second Shooter

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Photograph by Gretchen Johnson, Second Shooter

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Photograph by Gretchen Johnson, Second Shooter

Both parties were in great spirits and incredibly fun to work with which made our jobs a walk in the park that day.  Even though there were rain showers in the forecast, the ceremony was set to take place outside.  Megan and Alex were lucky to only have a very brief passing shower with blue skies and sunshine to follow.

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Photograph by Gretchen Johnson, Second Shooter

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Photograph by Gretchen Johnson, Second Shooter

Although the location was right in the middle of the town of Kennett Square, the property of the Red Clay Room gave the feeling of being in a wooded park.  This setting lent itself more to my style of wedding portraits because it allowed me to distance myself from the couple in order to create opportunities for more intimate moments.  This is in contrast to the more traditionally posed portraits that are included, but not the focus.  These were my personal favorites:

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They entered the reception to the welcoming sound of clapping, whistling and hoorays as they were announced for the first time as man and wife.  The DJ’s, G2 DJ Service, had the dance floor packed all evening with lots of variety of songs for young and old.

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Wedding Vendors:  Venue:  Red Clay Room Kennett Square, PA; Caterer:  Capazolli Catering; Hair:  Tranquility Day Spa (Essentials Day Spa); Florist:  Petals in the Park; Baker:  The Master’s Baker; DJ:  G2 DJ Services

I also wanted to include a piece of the experience of working with me after the wedding is all said and done.  Here are images of Megan and Alex’s keepsake box.  It is an old cedar jewelry box that has been refinished with natural polish.  Hardware is a mix between the new and old but old being revitalized with gold leaf.  The photographs are small metal, aluminum, prints chosen as one of their favorites.  The image on the lid is fixed permanently while the inside is magnetically attached and can be removed to be displayed elsewhere.  The ribbon and fabric touches are all based on the wedding colors chosen by Megan and Alex.  Each box houses a hard drive certified by the manufacture to preserve files for up to 100 years.  A disk with the custom slideshow is also included that can be played in any DVD player.

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To Megan, Alex and their families and friends:  It was an immense pleasure to be given the honor of documenting your important day.  I wish you all the best and many years of happiness, good health, and love.

To my second shooter Gretchen, you are my peace of mind that allows me to be the composed yet laid back artist that I am for my clients.

Thank you readers, friends, family and new comers for giving me a moment of your time to share with you the very special wedding of two really loving and respectful people, Megan and Alex.  Feel free to share any comments or provide feedback about the work below.

All the best,

DV

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Wedding Photojournalism: Kaileigh + Dan at Avon Bleu Farm, Chester County, PA – May 26, 2013

•August 29, 2013 • 2 Comments

2013-05-26 Kaileigh + Dan's Wedding Jpeg 1472 blog I was very lucky to be chosen by Kaileigh as her photographer since I know I wasn’t her first pick.  In fact, a great friend of mine, Tina Gwynn of Kristina Gwynn Photography, was asked to be their photographer.  Since their wedding date was quite popular, Tina was already booked for the day and decided to point Kaileigh in my direction.

Kaileigh, Dan and I met for coffee at the local Starbucks one morning and found out we have a bit in common including being young parents and loving adventurous sports such as rock climbing.  Even more of a coincidence is that Kaileigh used to climb at my rock climbing gym (Delaware Rock Gym) before she had her little boy.  We have plans to get her back into the DRG as well as introduce Dan to one of the most enjoyable sports on the planet (yeah I am a bit biased 🙂 )  Our sons are both into the same hobbies as well (cars, monster trucks, trains) so future play dates will happen for sure.

The wedding took place on Kaileigh’s Mother’s farm, Avon Bleu.  The setting was picturesque with one of the biggest trees I have ever seen literally serving as the ceremony venue as it blanketed almost all the guests.  The intimate reception was under the tent and had plenty of room for guests to enjoy dancing under the stars.

One of the most anticipated moments of the day for me was when Kaileigh, Dan, my second photographer, Margaret Jones, and I were able to escape to another part of the farm.  Kaileigh and Dan took a little stroll through a row of trees by themselves.  Meanwhile Margaret and I stayed back waiting for those special images to unfold.  The images we took during that stroll are currently being used to create a custom black and white charcoal drawing.  The drawing is the main reason Kaileigh and Dan ultimately hired me as their photographer.  I look forward to revealing this work in the not so distant future but for now take a look at the selection of images I felt stood out from the rest.  (Spoiler:  It is rare I ever see the bride and groom smash the cake in each other’s face.  I love how fun these two were 🙂 )

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Now for some bonus material:

I am really pleased to show a couple images showcasing the keepsake box I made for these two.  I took a leap this year and started surprising couples with a custom drawing inside the lid of the box.  The drawing can be detached if they would want to display it on the wall.  The box itself is an old wood cigar box that I strip down, refinish, replace hardware and then decorate based on the colors and characteristics of each couples wedding.

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That was quite a lengthy post but so glad you made it to the end!  Thank you for taking a look at the latest wedding photography as well as the little extras of the keepsake box.  I take pride in giving my clients such a unique gift and hope that it brings them smiles and love for all the years to come.  A great big hug and thanks to my second photographer, Margaret Jones, for all her efforts that day.

Until next post, all the best,

DZ

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Wedding Photojournalism: Natalie + Chris wed at Brittland Manor, Chestertown, Maryland on May 18, 2013

•June 26, 2013 • 2 Comments

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Natalie and Chris = Awesome couple

and

Brittland Manor Estate = Excellent location for a celebration

Then simple math would deduce that May 18, 2013 was a momentous, spectacular, and fun filled wedding day of love.

Enough said.  Go forth and enjoy the visuals of moments unrehearsed!

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I loved and enjoyed every minute of this wedding.  A big thanks to my lovely second shooter, Gretchen Johnson of Gretchen Johnson Photography.  Congrats to the lovely couple, Natalie and Chris!

Venue:  Brittland Manor, Chestertown, MD

Hair/Make-up:  Flow Salon, Chestertown, MD

Florist:  Wegman’s Florist

Caterer:  Garden and Garnish

Band/DJ:  Jenni Lily

Baker:  The love and care of family and friends 🙂

If you made it this far thank you so much for checking out the art.  If you feel so inclined leave a message below to let me know what spoke to you visually.  As always I am in pursuit of moments unrehearsed and can’t wait to share them with you.

All the best,

DZ

P.S.  If you missed Natalie and Chris’s Engagement Session at Brandywine Creek State Park in Wilmington, DE then definitely check it out HERE

P.S.S. the cupcakes were some of the best I have ever tasted…no lie 🙂

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Contact for 2013 Availability

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