Jenna and Kevin

A couple of weekends ago, I headed to Goshen, Indiana to take photos for my cousin’s wedding. Again, my cousin, Jenna (older sister of Heidi, the bride in my last post), is part of my Illinois family. I basically grew up with this fun, purple-loving girl. I was delighted when Jenna and Kevin asked me to take their wedding photos. It was a beautiful day in a beautiful space with beautiful people. IMG_1508IMG_1507IMG_1508IMG_1528IMG_1538IMG_1545IMG_1561IMG_1565IMG_1574IMG_1576IMG_1582IMG_1602IMG_1615IMG_1617IMG_1621IMG_1624IMG_1632IMG_1640IMG_1648IMG_1652IMG_1661IMG_1665IMG_1666IMG_1674IMG_1681IMG_1689IMG_1729IMG_1743IMG_1784IMG_1790IMG_1806IMG_1818IMG_1891IMG_1896IMG_1902IMG_1909IMG_1915IMG_2002IMG_2027IMG_2075IMG_2084IMG_2151IMG_2174IMG_2190IMG_2195IMG_2212IMG_2270IMG_2272IMG_2326IMG_2392

Heidi & Hayden’s Wedding

Growing up in Illinois, my family lived pretty far from most of my relatives, except for my cousin Heidi’s family. Our families pretty much grew up together.

Today, I still live the closest to my cousin out of all my relatives. It’s great. I love these two and I was super excited to take their wedding photos back in Illinois. While the ever changing cloud/sun/humidity combination made for the hardest shoot I’ve had thus far, I think we still got a few good ones. After all, I think it might be impossible to take a bad photo of Heidi and Hayden. They are the cutest.

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Frey-Reyes Wedding

Last weekend, I found myself driving to northwest Ohio to take photos for my dear friend Laura and her soon-to-be husband, Israel.

I met Laura in college. It was our first year at Bluffton University. We were sitting in the hallway for some sort of required RA check in, when she asked me, “Hey are you Aaron Yoder’s sister?” (Turns out my brother had interned at her church the summer before).

From that moment on we were linked and our general connection eventually grew into a beautiful friendship and continued for four years, living as “neighbors” just down the hall.

I often miss living that close to my Bluffton friends, but am so grateful that my friendship with Laura has gone beyond the bounds of Bluffton.

It was actually quite amazing. The summer before, I had gone up to Pettisville, Ohio to visit Laura. We were hanging out in the pool when she told me about this guy from her gym who wanted to take her out on a date. She wasn’t so sure.

Fast forward a year later and I found myself taking photos at their wedding.

It’s funny how life works out.

I was grateful to be a part of their day.

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The Weber-Cressman Wedding

I was given the opportunity to take wedding photos for my dear friend, Ruth, whom I met during the 4 weeks of orientation in Chicago for Radical Journey. Although she was several years younger than I, we bonded right away. We were often in each other’s company, wondering what the up coming year would hold for us, me in South Africa and Ruth in Paraguay.

After our year abroad, we came back to Chicago for a week of reentry, but soon headed back off to our homes in the various parts of North America. Ruth lived outside of Kitchener, Ontario. I was heading to my parents’ home in Asheville, North Carolina.

Service is an interesting thing. Being a part of a group of individuals who all decide to give up a year of their “ordinary lives” and do something completely different is even more interesting. It has a way of binding you together in ways that don’t often form any way else. Since that last week in Chicago back in July 2010, I hadn’t seen Ruth at all and, minus a few facebook messages, hadn’t really kept in touch. But there I was last weekend, flying all the way to Ontario to stay with people I did not know and take photos of Ruth’s wedding.

I was honored and nervous, excited and apprehensive.

To my amazement everything went smoothly. It was so awesome to see Ruth again, this time in her home environment.

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The Crowe-Styka Wedding

At the end of October, I found myself flying from Wichita, Kansas to Madison, Wisconsin for Alicia and Neal’s wedding. It was a whirlwind of a weekend,that’s for sure, but I was so happy to be able to be the photographer for this wedding.

I met Alicia Crowe in high school. She was this cool underclassman who joined speech team, preforming in the same category as me. So technically she was competition, but we bonded over lame speech jokes and life cereal until a real life friendship developed. But then I graduated from high school and went to Ohio. Alicia graduated a year later and went to Wisconsin.

Fast forward a few years later to the summer I lived in Chicago. Alicia, who was just a train ride away in Milwaukee, met up with me for the day. We roamed the city together and caught up on each other’s lives. It was then when Alicia told me about Neal. She told me that upcoming weekend Neal had a surprise planed for her.

“He’s probably going to propose.” I told her confidently.

A few days later, Alicia texted me to say that yes, he had a proposal up his sleeve.

A few months later, they asked me if I would take their wedding photos.

Thanks, Alicia and Neal, for allowing me to be a part of your day.

Guth-West Wedding

On June 23rd 2012, I had the honor of going up to northern Illinois to take Heather and Jeremy’s wedding photos. It was a crazy weekend of traveling, but definitely worth it.

I arrived at Garfield Farms (in LaFox, Illinois) in the early afternoon, scoping out the location while I waited for the bride and groom. The place was rustic and gorgeous, ideal for lots of great backdrops and shots.  Since this was my first real outdoor wedding shoot, I couldn’t have been more excited to work with natural lighting and scenery.

Thanks to the farm and the happy couple, this wedding shoot went off without much fuss. It is wonderful when the bride and groom are so easy going and when I can convince the entire wedding party to jump. (You’ll see what I mean when you scroll down).

Overall, it was a fabulous day and I am glad I got to be a part of it.