Hey! First we want to say thank you very much to everyone who booked a mini session to help with Ashley & Billy Spriggs’ mission trip with the World Race! All of the sessions are booked & we couldn’t be more thankful to each & every one of you who booked a session to help with this awesome cause! So thank you, thank you, thank you! You rock!

It has been awhile since we’ve done a “what we’re into lately” post & it’s very safe to say that our life has changed dramatically since our last post because we had a baby! Everyone says that having a baby completely changes your life, which makes sense, but living the reality has helped us to understand just how much your life changes. My friend came over last week and said something like, “You can just sit there for hours watching them lay on a blanket on the floor and you really wonder what you did with your time before they were in your life.” True!

What we’ve been loving lately is obviously Tenley! We’ll be able to say that for the rest of our lives.:)What we’ve been loving specifically about Tenley is how she is becoming more and more aware of the world. She interacts with us a lot more now with her smiles & her laughs. It’s adorable & melts our hearts! We also adore her little snorts she does. . . it cracks us up! We say she learned to snort from her pug siblings & that it allows her to assimilate into the pug pack! HAHA!

She turned two months on Friday so we took her photo with her stuffed bear for size comparison. She’s surely growing! “Grandma’s Little Cupcake” is getting big!:)

T-2-M_0001T-2-M_0002She loves her daddy! She bats her eyelashes at him & flirts.T-2-M_0003T-2-M_0004Kisses from mommy. I’ve never kept track, but I’m pretty sure she gets hundreds daily.T-2-M_0005Something else we really like, but haven’t been doing enough of lately? Making pour over coffees! We went to a class at Generations Coffee House (<—- check out their new website!) and the owner, Christian, showed us the awesome process of making a pour over with a V60. With the pour over brewing method, you’re in charge of each step of the brewing process so you can make yourself a very special cup of joe. You control the temperature of the water, the type of beans, the fineness of the grind of the beans, the type of filter, the strength of the taste of the coffee, and probably other technical things I’m forgetting (it’s science!). Brewing a pour over cup of coffee is like doing a science experiment in your kitchen each morning to provide yourself with the tasty goodness of the warm hug that is caffeine extracted from a coffee bean. Totes amazeballs, yo.;)After our class at Generations, we bought the necessities to brew a pour over at home (you can buy these at Generations). Maybe we’ll do a How To on the blog about it, but for now, we’ll just say it’s fun to do & it makes an impressive cup of coffee! If you’re not into doing it yourself, just go to Generations & they’ll hook you up with a pour over (or a latte or a cortado or a cold brew or . . . you get the point:)). Here’s a cell phone snap of part of the process with the V60.
IMG_20150421_073144In other news, Josh bought a drone. Yes, a drone. That flies in the sky. When he was opening the UPS package he reverted to his six-year-old self on Christmas morning. It was cute. He has been having a lot of fun with it & preparing himself for video shoots with it for Menning Photographic Films. He straps our GoPro to it & zips it around over our house & the surrounding fields. It’s very cool, but I’ve been kind of nervous to try to fly it because I don’t want to crash the thing. I’m sure I’ll eventually get the courage to let ‘er rip.:)Stay tuned for cool stuff from Menning Photographic Films & follow our Facebook posts there to see what we do with this bad boy!T-2-M_0006

See past What We’re Lovin’ Lately posts HERE & HERE. And follow along with our daily adventures on Instagram.

Brittney & Tyler make each other laugh & want the same things in life. They were both really excited to get married and enjoyed a lovely traditional wedding day with a lots of pretty details. Just wait until you see Brittney’s dress. It was absolutely perfect for her! I met the ladies at Luxe Hair Studio in East Liverpool. This was the third bridal party I’ve shot there & the stylists are always fun and do a great job.
Brittney enjoyed a breakfast of champions. . . a Tootsie Roll (her fave) and strawberry Red Bull.The robes were personalized for each bridesmaid & were so adorable.Josh met the guys at the church. Tyler had some unique socks.Getting that dress up there was difficult, but I’m so glad I did it!She got her gorgeous gown at Toula’s Bridal.She was so over it.:)The ceremony was short & sweet. It was just right!The happy new married couple!Dried lavender met them as they exited the church.The groomsmen were enjoying paparazzi status.A quick stop to grab a couple photos with their pup:And we were off to The Links at Firestone Farms for some bridal party photos!Heroic.The ring bearer, Isaac, in this photo. . . awwww! Kid has personality, for sure.We escaped the wind in the pretty barn.Clendenning Florist made the pretty bouquets.They’re such a great looking couple. . . Barbie & Ken, cry your hearts out!:)
Just enough of a breeze blew through the barn to catch Brittney’s veil in the perfect and most romantic way.Keys for place cards are super popular & cute. These ones also served as favors for guests. They have bottle openers on the end.

The Links (no secret it’s one of our favorite venues!) was looking great!Tyler & Brittney aren’t big fans of traditional cake so they cut a cheesecake that Brittney’s grandma made. And the guests enjoyed ice cream from Brusters!
Tyler’s brother’s toast made everyone laugh and quite a few people cry.Yasmine confidently and beautifully delivered her toast.The newlyweds played a round of The Shoelywed Game.Then cut their cheesecake. . . Then they swayed around the dance floor to Lee Brice’s “I Don’t Dance.”
Party time was underway & everyone had a great time on the dance floor. . . especially the kids!
The sunset was absolutely gorgeous that April evening. This was, by far, the best April we’ve ever had for weddings!Brittney & Tyler, congrats again! We’re so excited for you two to enjoy the future together as husband and wife!

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UPDATE as of April 26, 2015- ALL SESSIONS HAVE BEEN BOOKED. Thank you so much to everyone who booked a session to help with this cause!:)

We have a huge announcement for you today & we’re really excited about it! Because of this awesome business of ours, we get to meet lots of people. Meeting lots of people means hearing lots of stories. Hearing lots of stories means being touched by others’ circumstances and endeavors.  Being touched by others’ circumstances and endeavors is what brings us to the HUGE announcement:

For the first time ever, we’re scheduling a day of mini sessions! People have been requesting this from us for years & we finally decided to do it. Our motivation behind this is the HUGE part & there’s a little story behind it:

We photographed Carissa & Josh’s amazing wedding at Stambaugh Auditorium last August & during that day, I met Ashley Spriggs (the groom’s sister) because she was a bridesmaid in the wedding. You guys know we love staying in touch with our couples, right? We’ve found that most of our couples become our friends & Carissa & Josh are no different. . . these two are so sweet & selfless. I mean, a police officer and a nurse? Servants’ hearts! Anyway, I saw on Carissa’s Facebook one night that her sister-in-law and brother-in-law had a goal of embarking on an amazing missions trip to 11 countries over 11 months to be a light to the world, to love on orphans and widows, to serve others, to help others, and to spread love, joy, and hope. I was so inspired by their drive & courage. I talked to Josh (my husband Josh. . . not our groom Josh) and told him I wanted to help somehow. Of course, Josh was completely on board! So we contacted Ashley & Billy and sat down to brainstorm how we could partner with them. Ashley & her husband Billy need to raise $34,000.00 by the end of this year in order to go on this missions trip. And believe me, the $34,000.00 isn’t going toward 5-star hotels and gourmet meals! These two will be sleeping in tents and going days without a shower on this trip, but they’re willing to make sacrifices because of the call on their hearts to help others.

So that’s where the mini sessions come in. You get fun & pretty family photos to treasure for years to come & you also get the satisfaction of knowing that you were part of the team of people to send Ashley & Billy to third world countries to help “the least of these.” (Matthew 25:40- “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’” And aren’t we ALL the least of these?).

We’re asking for at least a $100.00 donation for each session booked.  (You can always feel free to give more if you’re able!) One hundred percent of every single dollar collected during these mini sessions goes to Ashley & Billy for the World Race.

So don’t delay in contacting us to schedule your mini session slot! These will go really quickly because people have been requesting them for so long!

HERE ARE THE DETAILS:

When: Sunday, June 7, 2015 with a rain date of Sunday, June 14, 2015

Session Times:

3:00 p.m.- booked

3:30 p.m.- booked

4:00 p.m.- booked

4:30 p.m.- booked

5:00 p.m.- booked

5:30 p.m.- booked

6:00 p.m.- booked

6:30 p.m.- booked

7:00 p.m.- booked

7:30 p.m.- booked

8:00 p.m.- booked

8:30 p.m.- booked

Where: Firestone Park- 338 East Park Avenue, Columbiana, OH 44408

What’s included: 20 minute session for immediate family with one outfit; 10 retouched high resolution images; printing release

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions:

What’s the World Race? 

It’s an 11 country 11 month missions trip. You can read more about it on their website.  This is from their website: “Have you ever wondered if there’s something more out there? If there’s more to life than empty traditions, routines, and working 9-5 everyday to achieve the impossibility of the American dream? It’s because there is. There is a generation of radicals whose heartbeat is to see a changed world. It’s a generation that’s dissatisfied with the status quo and is actively rising to the challenge of seeing the world transformed through tangible expressions of God’s love. World Racers are seeing lives changed in nations all over the world. It is a journey to 11 countries in 11 months to serve “the least of these” while living amongst real and raw community. It facilitates discipleship through the process of discovering into the abundant life He promised. It requires Luke 10-like faith. The World Race will call you out of your comfort zone and giving you exposure to what God is doing in the world before you commit to the American dream. Because it’s not about you, it’s about the Kingdom.”

Who are Billy & Ashley Spriggs? 

Obviously, it’s difficult to sum up people in a little blurb, but here’s a bit about them from their blog:

In 2011, when Billy & Ashley first met, they knew they were going to spend their lives spreading the gospel of Christ throughout the nations. It was the very beat of their hearts! Now, here they are, about to embark on one of the craziest, life changing adventures yet. The best part is, they get to do it TOGETHER!

Billy is a 27 year old Pittsburgh-er who loves the outdoors, quoting movies, gathering and sharing odd facts, and all things sports-related. (No, seriously, he is obsessed with ALL Pittsburgh sports!!). He is always open to try new things and push the limits of adventure. He is passionate about discipleship and building things.

Ashley is a 24 year old Ohio girl addicted to coffee, building relationships, reading, and exploring cities. She will graduate in May 2015 from Liberty University Online with a Bachelors in Psychology and a double minor in Criminal Justice and Church Ministries. She is passionate about human trafficking and loving on the orphans.

Separate they are two very different and unique individuals, but together they are one force to be reckoned with!Spriggs_0001

In September, they will be launching on a long-term missions trip called the World Race. For 11 months, they will dwell in 11 different countries where they will serve “the least of these” and will leave all that they know behind to see the Kingdom come to earth.

The 11 countries they will be traveling to are: Uganda, Rwanda, Ethiopia, India, Nepal, Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Honduras.

You can get to know more about Billy & Ashley by visiting their blog/website here: http://thespriggs.theworldrace.org/   They’ll also be in attendance at the mini sessions so you can chat with them more about their mission!

You can also get to know them better by watching the video Menning Photographic Films crafted for them:

The Spriggs World Race from Menning Photographic Films on Vimeo.

Can we order prints from our session?

Yes, you can order professional print products from your session through our website. We’ll be able to share more information with you about that via email.

Is there a limit to how many people we can have in the photos?

Yes, please limit the participants to your immediate family (parents & children). If you’d like to schedule a session with extended family like grandparents and cousins, for example, please contact us about a family session, which is longer in duration, can include more than one location, and can include more than one outfit change.

Are the photos we receive from the session edited?

Yes, the 10 digital images you’ll receive will be retouched. This includes basic retouching to make the image the best quality possible for printing, but it does not include extensive retouching.

Are the photos we receive high resolution?

Yes, the 10 digital images you’ll receive from your session will be high resolution so you can print them up to 16×20. We recommend ordering anything larger than a 16×20 through our professional print lab, as the quality will be much better than a consumer printing lab.

Can we change outfits during our mini session?

No, we ask that you do not change outfits during the mini session.  If you’re interested in a session with more than one outfit, we ask that you schedule a family session, which is longer in duration, can include more than one location, and can include more than one outfit change.

Will there be a backdrop for the photos?

The backdrop will be good ol’ Mother Nature! Our photography style is natural & candid. We love nature!  Here are a few examples:

Kridler_0245Postle_0324Ogrodnik_0115Sluss_0057Slaughter_0011Speaking of your photography style, what is it?

Our style is timeless and candid. We want you to hang on to these photos for years (hopefully even generations) so we aim to capture real moments and the natural interaction between you and your family members. We don’t use strange filters on our images or edit them in any over-the-top ways. Our editing process is merely to enhance the image and make it the highest quality possible to print and enjoy. . . we don’t want your images to seem outdated in a few years because we used trendy editing techniques so we edit as cleanly and timelessly as possible. We will say, “Hey, look at the camera and smile” for a shot or two, but mostly we’ll grab candid images of you & your family hanging out and having fun!

What happens if the weather is bad on June 7, 2015?

If the weather is inclement on Sunday, June 7, 2015, we have a backup date of Sunday, June 14, 2015. If we’re rained out on June 7, your session will be rescheduled to June 14, 2015 at the same time of day it’s scheduled for on June 7, 2015. In the event that both dates are bad weather, we’ll have to figure something out! We’re praying that isn’t the case!

How do we schedule our mini session and reserve our time slot?

Contact us as soon as possible via email or telephone- info@menningphotographic.com or 330.651.4849 to schedule your time slot. These are first come first served. Your donation ($100 minimum) is due by May 27, 2015. If we do not receive your donation by May 27, your spot is not reserved & will be given to someone else. You can pay by sending a check to Menning Photographic at 42631 Crestview Rd Leetonia, OH 44431 or via credit card or PayPal (ask us about this option & we’ll email you a PayPal invoice).

Thank you very much in advance for your support of this mission! We’re really happy that we’re able to do this & we’re excited that you’ll get to be a part of it while getting some new family photos!

Connect with us & see more of our work here:

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Exciting news! You may have noticed through Instagram or Facebook that we’ve been shooting some videos for local businesses. You might have wondered why we were doing that. After all, we’re wedding photographers, right? Well, you’re right. We are wedding photographers. But we’re very excited to announce that we’ve added a new bit of fun to the mix! We’ve launched Menning Photographic Films!

Menning Photographic Films creates compelling story-based business videos that are a powerful marketing tool for any type of business. The videos allow any business to highlight what makes them special, appeal to their customers in a unique & creative way, and forge a lasting impression that’ll convert viewers into customers & customers into raving fans! We’ve been doing a lot of research on videos & we’ve found that a business’ website is 50% more likely to show up on the first page of an online search when that business has a video on its website. Additionally, 60% of online audiences view videos. Picture your business communicating with viewers not just through text, but through compelling cinematic video that they can see, hear, and connect with emotionally. That’s pretty darn powerful! That can make a difference for your business & we’re stoked to be providing this service with our new business venture Menning Photographic Films!

Check out our website where you can view our recent video work & be sure to drop us a line. We’d love to chat with you about your business’ video needs! Yay for expanding our horizons & taking on new challenges! It keeps us growing & developing & we’re excited for what’s in store!

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My G-ma hasn’t been feeling well recently & she has constantly been on my mind. She is most definitely one of the strongest people I know! I’m very thankful that she’s resting and taking time to recover so I wanted to write this for her so she can (hopefully) feel encouraged and have something to read while she’s resting.

My memories of G-ma begin so early that I can’t exactly pinpoint an age at which I started to build a memory bank filled with her beautiful face & lovely smile. She has simply always been in my life. I got to live with her for a while as a baby while my parents moved from one home to the next and I feel that built the foundation of our closeness and my admiration for her. She has always been someone I look up to. When I think of how to describe her, a few words come to mind: strength, beauty, poise, determination, perseverance, intelligence, and steadfastness. This woman faces adversity with her head held high & doesn’t back down from any challenge. Even more impressive than that, she doesn’t want any credit or accolades. This blog will probably make her blush, but I can’t hold it back. When a writer feels inspired by someone and needs to release those pent up words and memories from her heart, she has to write them down or she’ll burst. So share I must.

A few memories of my childhood: My Mom & Dad pile my sisters & I into the imposing blue station wagon with the rear facing seat in the back. Unadulterated excitement oozes from our small beings; we’re headed to grandma’s! The ten minutes it takes to drive there are almost too much for my small body to handle as I bounce my legs to release energy & ask my parents, “Are we there yet?” When we finally arrive, I bound toward the house, pigtails flying. G-ma & Tata greet us and hug us; I can remember how they smell & how their house smells. . . clean & fresh like fabric softener. Immediately, I’m treated to a cookie from the cookie jar. In all my years, I’ve never come across that cookie jar empty. G-ma always had the newest Disney movies and a satellite dish with the Disney channel, which we were very excited about, but we never just vegged in front of the tube until it was dark outside & almost time for bed. G-ma was always creative and resourceful when it came to finding games for us to play. I remember her cutting the top off of an empty laundry detergent container so we could use it to catch a tennis ball that we’d throw on top of the slanted garage roof. She explained how we could play different games with homemade toys like that & we were always occupied and having fun at her house. . . she never let us get bored!

Another favorite memory I have of G-ma is that she trusted us to walk the 1/2 mile from her house to the convenience store to pick out penny candy. She’d give me and my cousins & siblings each 50 cents or a dollar and send us on our way. We felt so independent and carefree as we traipsed down the sidewalk careful not to drop our coins on the way there and hanging onto our candy bags for dear life on the way back as we popped Swedish Fish and Sour Patch Kids in our mouths and kicked rocks. G-ma always knew how to make us feel special and loved while also allowing us to foster our independence and maturity.

When we had the privilege of going to G-ma’s after church, she let one of us ride on the “hump” in the backseat of the Lincoln (the armrest that pulled down in the middle). It was always a treat & the kid whose turn it was to ride there was full of giggles & grins. She would even take the route we loved her to take- up “The Big Hill”- so that we could pretend we were on a roller coaster.

G-ma makes the best roast, potatoes, carrots, corn, and noodles on Sunday afternoon. That smell wafting through the house is something I can never forget. Eating Sunday afternoon dinner at G-ma’s is better than any fine restaurant because it’s cozy and warms your heart as it warms your belly. While we’re on the subject of comfort food, G-ma’s CoCo Wheats cannot be duplicated. She corners the market on CoCo Wheats and no one else in the entire universe can make them as perfect as she can. Spending the night at G-ma’s meant waking up to CoCo Wheats and buttered toast to dip in them while sitting and watching cartoons with the TV tray and pretty much feeling like a princess.

In all of these memories, I find a common denominator: G-ma always makes me feel special. She has nine grandchildren and now 13 great grandchildren and she has the ability to make each and every one feel like the most special and loved.  There’s nothing quite like the love of a grandparent.

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  • April 19, 2015 - 3:24 pm

    Annette vanhorn - This made me and my heart ☺ I have done your G-ma’s hair for many years and had just found out Thursday from your Aunt Brenda how sick she has been! My prayers are with her and all her Family members!ReplyCancel

    • April 23, 2015 - 4:02 pm

      Menning Photographic - Thank you for your prayers, Annette! :) ReplyCancel

  • April 23, 2015 - 3:49 pm

    Larry Workman - Danielle, That’s sweet, glad I got to share some of those special moments. LarReplyCancel

    • April 23, 2015 - 4:02 pm

      Menning Photographic - Thanks, Dad. Love you.ReplyCancel