Awhile back, we shared with you that we hired a newborn photographer for when our little one arrives. A few months back, we also hired a birth photographer & we’re really excited about it!

We realize you might have never heard of birth photography or you might be thinking, “Why in the world would you want to have that experience photographed?!” To that, I would respond, “Why in the world wouldn’t you want that experience photographed?!”:)Yes, I realize that I’ll be in pain. I’ll probably be sweaty, sans make-up, tired exhausted, puffy faced, and emotional. Those things are all a part of the labor and delivery experience. I’m fully aware of that & I’m completely okay with it because I want photographs of the moment that our little human being we created enters the big wide world and takes his or her first breath. I want photos of us as a family of three together for the first moments that reality comes to fruition. I want to be able to look back on those first moments of my child’s life forever & recall just how beautiful and euphoric that moment was. I want to be able to share those photos with my baby when he or she grows up. And I don’t want Josh to have to worry one bit about taking photos or even having his camera. He’ll be plenty busy being my birth coach during labor & being in the moment once our baby arrives. I want both of us to experience the moments after our baby arrives unadulterated by thoughts of “Oh, we should get a photo of this.” Thankfully, because of Lauren Grayson Photography, we’ll be able to do just that.

We  met with Lauren in the beginning of September & chatted over a delicious Cracker Barrel breakfast. She is super sweet & approachable. I have no reservations about having her in the room photographing our baby’s birth. Her work is so emotional and stunning & when we were talking with her, we could tell that she truly loves photographing births and feels passionate about the importance of capturing those first moments in a baby’s new life.

We’re really excited that we have the opportunity to hire a birth photographer & we’re even more ecstatic for the anticipated results! Mini Menning will be here before we know it & it’s becoming more REAL to us each & every day. Only nine or so weeks to go! Eeeeek!

P.S. You should “Like” Lauren Grayson Photography on Facebook if you’re interested in seeing GORGEOUS birth photos, newborn photos, and family photos!


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Hey! So we photographed our last wedding of 2014 Saturday. The year went so quickly. Sometimes when we think back on it, it definitely feels like we photographed 41 weddings & other times it’s all a blur & we are just thankful that we survived.;)We do want to thank all of our 2014 couples for being amazing, fun to work with, and for treating us so well! We love this business because of YOU & we’re thankful for you! I can’t wait to show this photo to Mini Menning & tell him/her about the 30 or so weddings for which he/she came along for the ride. We don’t have any more weddings until after his/her arrival. So after Christmas fun with family & friends, we’ll be in full-out baby prep mode, which we’ve been admittedly putting off until after wedding season for us. Focusing on our business & our clients was top priority!
Another fun event of the weekend was choosing the Menning Family Christmas Tree. We went out into the wilderness (lol) of a nearby family-owned tree farm to search “the frosty majesty of the winter landscape for that most important of Christmas symbols” to quote Clark Griswold. Although the landscape wasn’t very frosty & the temp was around 40 degrees, we still felt in the Christmas spirit walking around the tree farm with my parents.Aren’t my mom and dad cuties?This is the “I’m holding a saw” face.Baby’s first Christmas tree farm experience:Now that we have our tree up, it’s probably time to decorate it.:)Only nine days until Christmas! We truly hope you & yours have a wonderful one!

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Sometimes you meet a couple & you can instantly see that they’re the perfect match- that is definitely the case with Marjorie & James. They light up when they’re around each other, they have so much in common, and they are best friends. The day not only joined James & Marjorie as husband and wife, but it also joined them as a family with their daughter Abigail. It was a joy to witness.
The ring bearer was “Ring Security” and got to wear these shades & carry this safe down the aisle. It was cute.Abi & her new dad before the wedding:Marjorie & her bridesmaids had a lot of fun throughout the morning/early afternoon getting ready for the day. They’re all so laid back & fun.She received a special gift from James before the wedding. After she was finished reading the card, she sighed and said, “I love him.”
The ceremony was personal & beautiful.Of course, the bride & groom are very important during the wedding ceremony, but we also love to take photos of the people who mean the most to them as they witness the union. Marjorie’s mom said she couldn’t be more thrilled that Marjorie was marrying James and that the day had finally arrived.This part of the ceremony joined Marjorie, James, & Abigail as a family.I love how he looks at her with such love.It was a little chilly, but Marjorie was glad that the snow stuck around that day to go with her pretty blue & silver color scheme with snowflake details.The decor was largely DIY & Marjorie had done most of it herself!:)She did a wonderful job.Everyone had a lot of fun celebrating.I can’t remember the exact number of years that these two love birds have been married, but it’s more than 60! They’re really sweet.Thank you, Marjorie & James, for choosing us to photograph your wedding day! We wish you two & Abigail many blessings & happy years together!

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Many exciting things are happening in the Menning household & we’re simultaneously overwhelmed with joy & overwhelmed with uncertainty. Time has flown since we found out that Mini Menning would be making his/her appearance! There are only 11 weeks (give or take) to go! I’ll just be honest & tell you how I felt last week as I prepared to register- beyond overwhelmed and unworthy. Throughout my pregnancy, I haven’t had too many of these moments, but when they happen, they are VERY real & they cannot be ignored. A few days before we had planned to register, I sat and thought about strollers, crib mattresses, car seat safety ratings, bottle sizes, decisions about sleeping arrangements, and everything else under the sun Babies R Us roof. I’m generally a rational person, but somehow I allowed my emotions to conquer me & my crazy thoughts ranged from “I have NO idea which swaddlers to register for!” to “I’m not going to do a very good job at this ‘mom’ thing.” Wait, what? Yes, my brain spewed that negativity. I, thankfully, recognized that I was really not doing myself any favors by thinking those types of thoughts, calmed down, confided my thoughts to my sister Angie, a friend, and Josh. Just getting out my thoughts to them helped so much; I oftentimes try to be tough, but I know we’re not designed to go through life alone & we need one another! After talking with them, I felt much better- I was back to my rational self & certain that I’d have moments of insecurity as a mom, but that loving my baby and doing my very best is all it will take to be the best parent I can be.
Josh had fun with the scanning gun & definitely scanned a few items when I wasn’t looking- a stuffed Donatello from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was among the treasures he found.:)It was so cute to hear him talk about how excited he was for our baby to be fresh out of the bath & wearing a hooded bath towel. Here’s my friend Jill! I’ve known her since elementary school & she is an awesome mom to two beautiful & smart girls. I was so glad to have her there giving suggestions and helping us along in the registry process. Thank you, Jill, for always being a great friend! (Even when you’re making the “hehe, I’m scanning your baby bump” face).:)Testing out the gliders was a fun part of the day. We’re excited to be embarking on this new journey & season in our life together; it certainly won’t be without its overwhelming moments, which is why we’re incredibly thankful to have each other, our family, and our friends! Despite all of my crazy feelings I had last week prior to registering, the process was really easy, VERY fun, and something I hope I won’t forget.

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We’re excited to share this wedding with you today; the entire day was gorgeous! The rustic elements combined with the beautiful colors & the stunning florals created one lovely day! Not to mention the most beautiful part of the day-  Jennifer & Tim’s love for one another. When Tim saw Jennifer & her father walk down the aisle in the rustic barn at The Links he was blown away. I can’t wait for you to see his reaction! Everything about this day just makes me happy. I started off the day with Jenn & her bridesmaids at Visage Hair Salon in Poland.
Josh started off the day with Tim & the groomsmen at Tim’s house.See what I mean about the colors?! I LOVED this color palette!Handsome guys with their bowties.Wild Flower Cove did an excellent job with the flowers for the wedding day! They were vibrant, fresh, and added an amazing pop to the decor.
As this adorable flower girl (dressed in her way too cute Etsy find) walked down the aisle, everyone read her sign. When Jenn & her dad started walking down the aisle, Carrie Underwood’s song “Look at Me” played. Tim had turned his back until he heard a certain part of the song & then turned around to see Jennifer. Just wait until you see his sweet reaction.We love shooting in the barn at The Links at Firestone Farms. Weddings are always pretty there.Their wedding ceremony was short, sweet, and personal. All of the guests in the barn were thankful for the heaters that Jenn & Tim had rented for the occasion, as it was slightly chilly there that November day.Stinkin’ adorable!How lovely are these ladies?!
They work out.Even though it was November, we still found some color and texture & I love the bride & groom photo session. The rusticness fit well with the theme of the wedding day.And these two are one stunning couple.We love when couples use the photos from their engagement session to decorate at the reception. Jenn’s friend Rachel Sedlacko made this pretty cake.Burlap & lace details are always nice.The bridal party intros were a hoot.Tim’s sister shared the story of how Jenn & Tim met by being introduced through her. It was funny and sweet.Maid of Honor Samantha told cute stories of her friendship with Jenn & how Jenn & Tim are perfect together.Best Man Michael did a great job with his toast to the couple, as well.The dancing and partying was nonstop fun the entire reception.The guests all went outside for sparkler fun at the end of the night & Jenn & Tim said goodbye & jetted off to Jamaica after a wonderful day celebrating their love with family & friends.:)Jennifer & Tim, thank you both so much for choosing us to photograph your wedding day! We had a great time with you two & know your future together will be fun & full of happiness.

If you’re new to the blog, Josh & I are full-time wedding photographers in the Youngstown, Ohio area who love our clients, have two silly pugs, and share tidbits about our life & our work here on the blog. You can follow us on social media, too:

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