Meagan and Blake's Wedding at Highline Car House

November weddings. It's dark early, it might be cold, snowy. And that's not a bad thing. Meagan and Blake had one of those dark, cold and eventually snowy days, but it was all exactly as it should have been. They had a wonderfully casual ceremony at Highline Car House, guests standing with drinks in hand. It ended with a bagpipe player leading them out. After which we ventured outside into the dark to walk some of the areas where they first lived together. It had been bitter cold all day, but a light snow moved in and I had them stay out for a couple more shots (it's always just a couple more shots with me... meaning like 50). With a little lighting magic I finally got what I was looking for, showed Meagan, and she knew it was worth a few goosebumps.  :)

Emily and Josh's COSI Wedding

Fun, personal, a little quirky, and a day to remember. Emily and Josh brought it all to their wedding. Sometimes people ask how we can photograph so many weddings and still stay interested, and ones like this are why. I always encourage people to do weddings their way, and these two did just that. From a big balloon first look reveal, to felt flowers and action figure boutonnieres, they showed up ready to go. We did some pictures around Schiller Park before going to COSI for the ceremony and reception.

This is the only ceremony I've seen where they were able to seamlessly combine a reading from a children's book, the firing of Nerf guns, and a nod to professional wrestling. After the ceremony we got to do some pictures inside the planetarium and progress exhibit before checking out the main reception hall. All of the tables were labeled with a different location from TV, movies, or books, and decked out with Funko POP figures to match (and they might be the reason I now have a growing collection of these little guys scattered around my house and office).

It was an amazing day and totally perfect for these two. A big congrats to Emily and Josh!

Heather and Joey's Wedding at Northbank Pavillion

Heather and Joey are two amazingly nice people and I was thrilled to work with them on a gorgeous October Friday. Full of fun details, dogs in tutus and tuxes, a sweet first look, and a perfect day at Northbank Pavillion, it was as good of a day as you could ask for!

Myisha and Priest's New Orleans Halloween Wedding

I always encourage people to do their weddings their way, and Myisha and Priest did just that. They rented a house on the lake and held a small ceremony on the dock on Halloween. When I first talked to her she said her theme was "Game of Thrones meets vampires" so naturally I was excited to see what they did (I may have even gotten a vampire costume myself to wear while shooting). The facemasks, crowns, and outfits made sure that nobody will ever pull off wedding attire quite like them!

After the ceremony we drove into the Quarter for a small reception. We went onto Bourbon St. for some pictures, and they got stopped by so many people complimented their outfits! It was so fun working with these two!

A big congrats to Myisha and Priest!

Libby and Joe's Wedding at Bryn Du

Bryn Du is a lovely spot for a garden ceremony, even when a little rain moves in toward the end. Things stayed dry long enough for us to get some pictures around the grounds before heading back inside for the reception. Libby and Joe were tons of fun to spend the day with! Fun fact - Joe runs a parkour gym - Parkour Horizons in Worthington. Check it out!

Patrick and Sarah's Wedding at Strongwater

The courtyard at Strongwater was the perfect setting for Patrick and Sarah's intimate wedding ceremony. More friends and family joined in for the reception to have good food, a spread of cakes and cookies, and party with the live band.

A big congrats to these two!!

Jared and Katie's Colored Powder Engagement Session

These two had seen some of the colored powder shoots I'd done, so they came to me looking to get messy! I was interested in doing it a little differently than I had in the past, so we started with some "normal" engagement pictures, got the newspaper shot, and waited until the sun went down. I popped up some lights and let them go crazy. These things are always hilarious!

Megan and CJ's Wedding at Bluestone

Surprise gifts are always great on wedding day. It's even better if you surprise your other half by having one of your favorite musicians come onstage to play during your first dance! CJ secretly arranged to have Josh Krajcik (you might recognize him from X Factor) show up to play a few songs during their reception, and needless to say, Megan was surprised and totally blown over. It was a perfect gesture and the Bluestone was an amazing setting for the day!

Erich and Laura's Wedding at Scioto Audubon

I always enjoy seeing how people include personal touches in their weddings. Erich and Laura had a day filled with things that were personal to them. The outfits were handmade by family. The copper flowers were made by Laura herself. The centerpieces were collections of little rocks, shells and fossils, which went perfectly with the pocket microscopes they had as favors. The ceremony, outside the Grange Insurance Center, included a water blending ceremony where they had samples of water from various places that were important in their lives, told stories, and mixed them together. Cap everything off with a celtic band, and it was an amazing day!

Jackie and Nick's Wedding at Hilton Downtown

Friends, family, a great location in downtown Columbus, and a perfect September day - Jackie and Nick had it all! They had their ceremony and reception at the always wonderful Hilton, take a break in between to walk down the street for some pictures. The reception ballroom was decorated beautifully and the band was amazing, but I think the highlight was a very heartfelt series of videos put together by Jackie's brother as a surprise. Everybody had the feels - all of them.

Congrats to Jackie and Nick!

2016 Favorites

I feel like I say this every year, but every year it rings true.

Wow. Thank you. It's going to be damn hard to top that.

I finished my last wedding in the wee hours of the new year feeling both exhilarated and exhausted and I wouldn't ask for it any other way. I had the privilege of working with 45 couples in 2016 and if I'm not worn out by the end, I haven't given you guys enough. Seeing my own daughter grow into an insufferably adorable 18 month old has helped put into perspective why I do what I do in a way that has greater meaning than I ever expected when getting into this. I could be photographing anything but I choose weddings because I get to care - about couples, their families, their friends. I could be doing anything for money (probably lots of easier things than running a photography business), but I choose this because I get to give something lasting to people, something that couples get to enjoy now and that hopefully, their kids' kids' kids will get to discover many years later and ask "who were these awesome people...?"

I had summer days where I soaked through one new shirt after another with sweat and winter days where I had ice forming on my face and I was grateful for them all.

So ... wow, thank you.

Thoughts for 2017 - The year is already filled out better than at this point last year and I have so many things in the works. I moved into an office in Grandview last week and I've already had seven couples come by and talk way more about their relationships than they probably expected when meeting with a potential photographer... and that's on purpose. I've recently watched a bunch of videos by marketing guru Seth Godin and he has repeatedly talked about making art. His definition of art was something like "anything that brings emotional labor to the table to make a connection." Translated for my world - good picture takers are a dime a dozen, but honestly giving a shit about people so that they feel it and pass that along to each other and everybody else - that's when you make art. The goal is making art with everybody I meet.

All that said, the title of this thing says 2016 favorites, though it should really say "I couldn't post a thousand pictures here even though I wanted to, so here are like 60." Seriously, I have so many good stories to share from last year that I'd need another year to get through them, but here's just a tiny sampling.

Cheers ~ Steve

Collin and Hollie's Creekside Engagement Session

A little rain won't bother you when you have nerf guns, bubbles, and beer for your engagement session. We strolled around Creekside leaving a trail of bubble residue and foam darts in our wake. Needless to say there was lots of giggling and I can't wait for their wedding in May!

Caroline and Geoff's Wedding at Kenyon

Hearing stories of how people met is always a favorite part of my first conversations with them. When the stories include bows and arrows and university archery club, that's even better. When they tell me they might bring said bows and arrows to the wedding, that makes me downright giddy. Caroline and Geoff were all around wonderful people to spend a very rainy August day with. The campus of Kenyon College is filled with gorgeous stone buildings and green spaces. This wedding was extra fun because their DJ (Rob DiPaolo with www.columbusprodjs.com) was a past groom of mine (and had a ton of Star Wars details in his wedding).

Thanks to Caroline and Geoff for letting me be part of their day! ...and for not sending any arrows in my direction.

Christyna and Ben's Wedding at Vue

After doing their engagement shoot, I was instantly looking forward to Christyna and Ben's wedding. A lot of wedding photographers will admit that spending long hours in front of the computer to edit pictures can get a bit tedious, but when you can relive so many good moments and hear Christyna's laugh in picture after picture, this one had me smiling throughout. We did their first look in a little courtyard by the main library and managed to snag a few pictures with the classic cars before running inside for cover from the rain. The ceremony and reception took place at a recently updated Vue, and the band kept the party in high gear all night!

Congrats to Christyna and Ben!

Amanda and LeVon's Wedding at Sheraton

Amanda and LeVon were married on a gorgeous August day at the Sheraton at Capitol Square. Amanda's dog was clearly the star of the show in the hotel room while getting ready (hey, dogs wanna look pretty too). We did a first look and pictures on the Statehouse steps before their ceremony outside at the hotel. Inside the reception, the whole room was alternating between laughing and crying during speeches, especially during LeVon's moving turn with the mic.

A big congrats to Amanda and LeVon!

Micah and Kenny's Wedding at Brookshire

One of my favorite parts of this work is getting the chance to see past coupled again. I shot Micah's sister's wedding a couple years ago, so I was thrilled when Micah contacted me about doing hers. With the addition of Kenny's side, it was a little familiar, a little new, and all around a great time! This was the second night in a row that I shot at Brookshire, which is one of those amazing spots you'd never know was there unless somebody told you.

Normally I tell couples that I don't typically need to be there until the very end of the reception, but the end of this wedding has me seriously rethinking that stance! So. Much. Fun!

Congrats to Micah and Kenny!

Dan and Angie's Wedding at Laurel Court

I was simply blown away by Dan and Angie's wedding at Laurel Court in Cincinnati. Starting with the venue - you just don't find many old mansions like this in Ohio. Then fill the space with more thoughtful details than I have room to show. They had everything from signature cocktails and an ice cream truck, to a face painter and our photo booth for entertainment. Most importantly, the space was filled with a palpable joy for these two beautiful people and their family.

Congrats to Dan and Angie!

Alys and Siobhan's Hocking Hills Wedding

I knew from our first conversation that Alys and Siobhan’s wedding would be instantly memorable. Found me on Offbeat? Check. Small gathering of family and friends at a cabin in Hocking Hills? Check. Board games? I’m in.

They did a first look along the trails surrounding Old Man’s Cave before heading back to Curly’s Cabin for a lakeside ceremony. There was chemistry, zombie readings, and a “ring bear,”  ending with a first dance in the rain and them literally running off into the woods.

Alys said her wedding would have a “wood nymph drags the scientist into the forest” vibe, and I couldn’t think of a better way to describe one of my favorite weddings to date.

Congrats to these two!

Mark and Emily's Wedding at Dock 580

You couldn't have asked for a better summer wedding day in Columbus. Mark and Emily did a first look at Franklin Park before heading off to Dock 580 for the ceremony and reception. They were rockin' cool socks, custom shades, and the purple and orange circle theme all day. Fun details filled the space and an all around great group of people made this an amazing day!

Congrats to Mark and Emily!

Jessie and Neil's Wedding at Pickwick Place

Jessie and Neil were married at the newly opened Pickwick Place event space in Bucyrus. It was a gorgeous setting, filled with all sorts of great details that any book lover will appreciate. The pies and soft serve ice cream were amazing, and only outdone by one heck of a sunset.

Congrats to Jessie and Neil!