..Majewski Family | A Naples Mini Session..

Two years ago Aaron + Carly came to Toledo, Ohio to get married and I was blessed to have covered the occasion!!  So when they found out that I was on vacation in Naples, Florida {their neck of the woods} they got ahold of me!  They had just made an addition to the family and wanted to see if we could grab some portraits while I was in town.  Unsure if we were going to be able to make it happen, we found a time when both of us could meet.  The only thing was that there was a storm about to push through, and this wasn’t just a little bit of rain.  It was going to be a torrential down pour, and it was about to be on us.  With my hubby on the weather channel and radar apps, we had about 20 minutes to get what we could!

It was a quick hello after not seeing them in so long, but I got right to work!  I chatted and snapped as Eli + Brad played on the slides and Ayla lay milk drunk in her stroller.  I kept an eye on the storm that was brewing behind me, the wind began to pick up and I captured as much as I could in the short 20 minutes I had.  Brad had taken our kiddos to the car and got them packed up before the rain started, and as soon as the drops began to fall, we ran to the shelter!  We sat there finally getting to catch up, hoping the rain would pass and we could squeeze in a few more portraits, but it didn’t cease.  So while we didn’t want to call it quits, mother nature {or Florida nature, whichever you prefer,} had her own plans!

So a little about this new little girl! Sophie’s arrival was unlike what I expected! I thought for sure I would go post dates(which made me nervous as a NICU nurse). However I was 39+4 and my water broke at 6am! It was a Monday morning and conveniently Aaron’s parents had arrived from ohio the day before! Labor went from 0 to 60 with the majority of it happening between 130pm and 806pm! I was in the hospital I work at so it put me at ease knowing there were nurses and respiratory therapists right around the corner that I trust!! Sophie came pretty flawlessly with just a few pushes. She was born on May 12, 2014 at 806pm weighing in at 7 pounds 8 ounces and 19 inches long. She was perfect. She came at the perfect time because I was able to have some of my closest NICU friends there to take care of her and reassure me that she was indeed, perfect! Honestly, one of the best parts about it was the look on Aaron’s face. He just kept looking at her, smiling.

We are blessed. We have our little girl! Sophie has been a good baby from the start. She let’s you know that she wants something….sometimes loudly Eating, playing, pooping, hiccuping, and sleeping are her main priorities! Being a parent is the most rewarding job. It’s been a learning experience since day one. It is definitely different when it is your own and you don’t get to give them back at the end of the day! Seeing her grow and develop her own little personality is so awesome. Watching her calm and smile when Aaron or myself pick her up or walk over and talk to her makes my heart melt. She is like the perfect fit to our puzzle. The perfect mix of Aaron and myself. 

And isn’t she?!  She is an absolute little doll baby and she was so good throughout our little session!  It’s just a snippet of what I could have gotten, but love what I did have the chance to get!

Aaron, Carly, + Sophia!!  Thank you so much for thinking of me, and for contacting me for a quick session!  Yes, it was last minute, but it really did work out perfectly…despite the rain!  And as Florida would have it, the sun came out as soon as we were down the road!  I was so blessed to photograph you guys again and I know it will happen again in the future!  Congrats on your little sweetie pie, and enjoy all of the sweet moments that come along with it!  Until next time!

..MOTHER NATURE..

love, echo

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..Kris + Gretchen | A Hocking Hills Elopement..

I have to say, it’s not hard for me to get excited.  I’m a pretty happy-go-lucky kind of gal.  I enjoy the little things just as much as some of the big things in life.  So when Gretchen contacted me asking me if I would be interested in photographing her elopement, I was over the moon ecstatic!  One, I have never photographed an elopement before, and had always wanted to!  Secondly, it was going to be in ..Hocking Hills.., one of my favorite childhood destinations!  And lastly, Kris + Gretchen seemed like the sweetest couple, with four adorable children!  Sounded like a pretty good combination to me!

Kris + Gretchen met at each of their children’s playdates, and really hit it off.  A friendship turned into something more, and it wasn’t very long before they decided that being together was where they were the happiest.  Kris introduced Gretchen to the Hocking Hills area, and it became their getaway from home kinda spot.  One with nature, hiking, and some good ol’ exploration.  It was there, that Kris {without a ring} asked Gretchen to be his.  To journey in life together, raising their four children, and to ride the ups and downs of what the future held for them.  It was a happy day and they were more than ready to start their life together.  That is when they decided that they wanted to elope.

Elopement can be a huge decision for some couples, and others, it’s exactly what they needed.  Kris + Gretchen explained, We decided to elope because we wanted an intimate ceremony to mark the official beginning of our new family.  We wanted to create an environment in which we’d feel completely in the moment with each other and with the kids, and we also wanted to be able to balance the importance of the occasion with the needs (and attention spans!) of our four young kids.  We wanted it to be nice but low-key and it totally was!

The best part of eloping was that were able to keep things fun and relaxed throughout the wedding planning, ceremony, and the whole weekend!  As we looked for our ideal ceremony location in Hocking Hills we enjoyed many romantic hikes, during which we were lucky enough to spot a bluebird in Conkle’s Hollow and even a rainbow on our last visit before the wedding! We chose simple, cost-effective touches, like the bouquets, which Gretchen made from flowers we picked up at a local market the day before the wedding.

I met Kris + Gretchen, and their four little’s outside Conkle’s Hollow.  The early morning parking lot pretty much near empty, and just the way we wanted it!  After rounding everyone up, we ventured down the trail to the spot that they had searched out the day before.  The kids raced ahead, and when we arrived at their chosen spot, shouted to me, This is it!  The officiant, who had done this many times before, waited patiently as we set up the sand ceremony on a fallen boulder.  They then looked at me, You ready? Great, let’s get started!

It was much different than I was use to with a traditional wedding, and as Kris + Gretchen started their ceremony, I couldn’t help but smile.  Besides the officiant, and their four kiddos, I was asked to be there to capture this moment.  The moment they would vow to be together.  What. An. Honor.  That isn’t something I take lightly, and I am/was so blessed to be apart of it.  Henry, Grace, Clara, + Jack may not fully remember their parent’s wedding day, but they were too cute standing there supporting what was to become their new family unit.

In reflection, the newlyweds stated, It was a wonderful day!  Although stormy weather the night before made us nervous that we’d have to find a rain location, we woke on June 20th to sunny skies and good spirits all around!  Conkle’s Hollow was beautiful.  Gretchen especially loved the sand ceremony, in which we each poured our own signature color of sand into a glass vase to symbolize the beauty and togetherness of our newly blended family.  We are delighted that we could have our wedding in a location that is so meaningful to us, and that we can continue to revisit for years to come.  Also, we will never forget how our officiant, Frank (who was great with the kids) accidentally advised us to “forgive small farts”—instead of “small faults”—during the ceremony!  We couldn’t stop laughing about that!

Kris, Gretchen, Henry, Grace, Clara, + Jack!  I was more than honored to have captured your day.  As small and quaint as it was, it was beautiful!  In. Every. Way.  Hocking Hills has a still and quiet beauty, and when we added you on that wonderful morning, it was nothing short of perfect.  Thank you again for asking me to come and be apart of it, I wish the 6 of you nothing but happiness in your future.  Let there be laughter, joy, and blessings in your home for years to come!  And always remember to forgive small farts;)
..INTIMATE CEREMONY..
love, echo

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echoes of love

June Swiger - July 25, 2014 - 10:56 am

You certainly were in one of God’s cathedrals. Beautiful setting for memorable moments. Love, Gram and Edmund

Shelli Sanzo - July 25, 2014 - 12:42 pm

Those are gorgeous! I love the sand idea. Congratulations!

Michelle Montgomery - July 25, 2014 - 7:50 pm

Wow, what beautiful pictures of an amazing day! I felt so emotional looking through them all – so happy for you both. Wishing you an entire lifetime of love and laughter…. you both deserve it!

..The Gedeon’s | 15 Years Strong..

It’s crazy some of the connections you make in life.  I remember traveling as a little girl, and somehow some way, hundreds of miles from home, we would make a connection with someone.  It could have been something as crazy as running into one of my parents coworkers, or meeting an acquaintance of someone we knew.  You know, crazy stuff.

In June of 2011, I was asked to photograph Kathy + Tim’s wedding in Wyoming.  I’ve known Kathy ever since I was a little girl and was more than honored to be with them on their special day!  It’s one of those things, you never know who your going to reach, or who is going to end up seeing your images.  Well that ended up being the case with Topher + Colleen!  Colleen so happened to be roommates with Kathy at BGSU and they were great friends.  Unfortunately they weren’t able to make it out to the wedding in Wyoming, but saw their images online.

A few year’s later, Topher contacted me to surprise Colleen with a session.  Unfortunately, I was booked solid and told them I would love to meet up with them at some other time.  That time came, and as luck would have it, I was only hours of going into labor with Ayla.  Because of school schedules, sports, and the busyness of life they never ‘got to it.’  And I’m so thankful they didn’t!  They contacted me wanting portraits to celebrate their 15 years of marriage!!  Umm, yes please!

So like any of my couples, I love to know their story.  They met at BGSU {Go Falcon’s} during college and had met by mutual friends.  They never dated as a couple, but after they graduated, they ironically found themselves running into each other in downtown Cleveland.  {This is what I’m talking about people!}  He had moved there after graduation for a job and she was in search of a job in Cleveland.  Colleen said, We became reacquainted.  We talked on the phone the very next day…and the rest is history!

In the years that followed they have been blessed with 3 beautiful children.  Braeden is 12 years old, He is very active and sports-minded.  He enjoys all sports and always gives his all and his best.  He is a sensitive boy, and very kind and caring.  Mallory is 10 years old.  She is a caring child and very thoughtful.  She enjoys sports and reading.  She has always been very creative and is talented at crafts and decorating.  And Seth just turned 9 years old.  He is our funny kid who enjoys being silly and making others laugh.  He loves to read.  He is active in sports, but still enjoys hanging out at home playing toys.

As a family who is always on-the-go, they love to make homemade pizza’s with a movie night, work in the yard together, and just be home.  They also love to travel, and just finished a family vacation in Lakeside.  We can have conversations and it is fun to see the person that each child is becoming.  She continues, But when we have time at home with just the five of us, I feel the most content.  We are often on the go, taking the kids to activities, friends, events, etc.  So time spent together decreases the older the kids get.  Natural progression of life.

And life is too precious.  I am “learning” just how quickly life can go.  With Eli almost 3 and Ayla already turning 4 months, I know that time is going to come much sooner than I want.  Whether I’m ready or not.  Colleen surprised me, We are celebrating 15 years of marriage and these are the first outdoor photos we have ever had taken as a family.  Fifteen years can go fast, for many reasons.  For Topher + Colleen this was special.  Something they didn’t want to forget, because even they realized that life goes quickly.  We are proud to say we have had 15 wonderful years together.  It started as a romantic crush, turned into true love, and we were blessed with three wonderful children during these years.  Fifteen years, 3 kids later….here we are!

Sometimes you just have to sing, Let it Go…Let it Go…

Topher + Colleen!  I was so blessed to celebrate with you for your 15 years of marriage, and to take a minute to honor that, even after 3 kids!  It is so important to keep that relationship strong and by the looks of it, your doing great!  Thank you for allowing me to meet your family and for hanging in there with me after the birth of Ayla for a session!  Enjoy these images, and I can’t wait to do it again!  I hope the next fifteen are just as amazing!  Many blessings to you and your family!

..FIFTEEN YEARS STRONG..

love, echo

{Do you think you would like to have an Anniversary session with me?  Fill out the contact form at the top of this page and I would LOVE to hear from you!}

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..Holden Is One | Portraits + Some Cake..

This little man has been up to a lot since I’ve seen him last!  For starters, he turned ONE!!  I’m always so amazed at how quickly a year can go, especially when your a parent.  It’s so new and exciting to see your child run through all of the exciting phases.  I remember specifically saying to my husband one night,  I can’t wait to hear Elijah’s feet pitter patter down the hall.  We have wood floors, and before I knew it, it came, and I cried.

Nick + Jessi could hardly believe it either.  It’s like this parent-to-parent moment that you have.  Turning one is tough.  When I asked how they felt, Jessi said, I was very emotional about Holden turning one. I was so excited that a year had gone by and he was showing off so much of his personality and turning into such a wonderful and amazing little boy, but I was also sad that his entire first year was already over in what felt like the blink of an eye. I just want to savor every second with him and am really mindful of making time for him before anything else I need to do. 

Call me crazy, but at first, I felt like I needed another mom to tell me I wasn’t crazy for getting so upset that my son turned one.  Maybe it’s because you pour your heart and soul into your child, and to watch them grow is so invigorating.  You’re their biggest cheerleader, teacher, and master cuddler.  It doesn’t stop when they turn one, it’s just the beginning to even more exciting milestones.

Holden isn’t quite walking yet, but he sure can move!  That is until we were in the grass.  The poor little dude is still unsure about the green, prickly sprouts coming out of the Earth.  His safe spot was marked on the blanket, where he roamed back and forth.  He does have a ton of things he loves to do, including exploring.  Momma gushed, He is into everything! He is all about climbing up the stairs (thank you gates!) and getting into cupboards and drawers. He also is starting to talk up a storm and repeat a lot of what we say which is really funny and so adorable! He loves to read books. He will grab a book from the crate, crawl over to me and plop right into my lap and hand me the book. It is so cute! I feel like he is learning and doing so many new things each week it is hard to keep up! Outside his favorite thing is to splash around in the water table. He thinks he is just so funny when he scoops water out and pours it on the ground!

Amongst other things, they went on to say, We spend a lot of time together and have so much fun doing it. We love going to the park, the zoo, and playing outside. It is so much fun to see Holden get adventurous and try new things and we get to experience it together as a family.  Lucky for Jessi, she is a teacher and has a couple months off during the year to really spend time with Holden and soak in all of the summertime activities.  She explained that it is pretty tough when she goes back to work in the fall.  I am dreading having to leave him all day. I have absolutely loved spending the summer home with him and know the days are numbered until the school supplies start showing up in stores {I think some are already there!}.  I am grateful for my job and that it gives me extra time with him, but I always find myself wishing for just a little more! {How could I not! Look at his cute face!}

Speaking of his cute face…check out their adorable session and Holden’s cake smash.  He was pretty timid about diving into the cake, and with a little help he became just a tad more curious!

Holden!  Happy First birthday little dude!  Nick + Jessi, I have been so honored to cover Holden’s first year.  What a sweet little boy you have on your hands.  I love every minute that I spend with all of you and I can’t wait to continue to capture your family in the future.  You are truly blessed.  And parent-to-parent, it doesn’t get any easier, but it does continue to get more fun, challenging, and amazing every minute that passes by.  Until next time, blessings over your family!

..PARENT-TO-PARENT..

love, echo

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..Ethan + Shelbe | A Young Kind of Love..

Oh. My. Heart. This couple!! You are just going to fall in love with the love that they have for each other!  They are high school sweethearts, and we all know how much I love high school sweethearts!  But their story started wayy before they decided to give love a try.

Shelbe recalled, Ethan + I first met at a Halloween party when we were in 7th grade.  Ethan said, Like a little 12 year old gentleman, I shook her hand.  She makes fun of me everyday for that!  Shelbe continued, I thought, “What kind of weirdo shakes hands at 12 years old?”  Then our sophomore year of high school we sat by each other in psychology.  He didn’t really talk to me, but I always asked for homework help.  Then our junior year, we started working at the park together, and that’s when our friendship began.

Ethan finally mustered up the courage to ask Shelbe out, and on November 4, 2010 they became official. Who would’ve guessed that that would have turned into all of this?  She was the first and will be the last girl I will ever tell I love.  The first time took a whole lot of guts.  I danced around those three little words for about an hour before I finally told her.  Shelbe blurted, Finally!  He went on, She knew the whole time. She is something special and I wasn’t going to lose that.  We’ve continued to grow closer in every way.  She’s my best friend, teammate, buddy, soulmate, and so much more!  Our love story hasn’t been fully written, but I can tell you that this girl is the love of my life and I’m so pumped to continue writing this story with her!

Shelbe expressed this about her groom, Ethan will make the best husband for a million reasons.  He’s the strongest and hardest working man ever.  He never gives less than 100% and that beautiful example pushes me to be better.  I love that I’ve gotten to grow up with my best friend, and I know that we still have a lot of growing up to do. Why not endure that adventure with your best friend?  Ethan makes me safe, loved, and I know I can always believe in him.  He never let’s me down and his bad jokes always make me laugh.  Our love story is sweet and simple, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.  A fun friendship evolved into a love that is my favorite thing in the world.  I am just really blessed and grateful that the little 12 year old who shook my hand loves me back.

So you see now, my heart has melted.  For them.  For the young love that they have for one another.  For the dreams and aspirations that they want to pursue together.  The adorning kind of love that they have for one another is refreshing.  I wish I could capture it up in a bottle, and hold onto it forever for them.  But, I hope these portraits can be just a slim look into what the rest of their days will be together.

This one!!  I can barely stand it!!!  This is the epitome of a man melting in the arms of his bride!

Ethan + Shelbe, your day is so quickly approaching! I’m so beyond excited to see your dreams come to life and to capture the raw beauty that it will entail! Thank you for asking me to be apart of your journey, it’s already so beautiful!  I can only imagine what is to come!

..YOUNG LOVE..

love, echo

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