I met Heather when I was a toddler so it's safe to say she is probably the friend I've known the longest in my life. We met at a toddler tap dance class and ended up dancing together for over 15 years! I started going to the same school in 8th grade and Heather was always there for me if I needed anything. She's the type of person you just can't help but smile around. She loves music, dancing, teaching, books and this amazing guy Tom. I actually never met Tom until yesterday... you can blame that on college days and life transitions for both me and Heather... but I always heard Heather talk about Tom and watched their relationship grow over social media. (How else do you stay connected in 2019?! Lol) Their love is so heartwarming. I could see right away that Tom is the guy for Heather. I've never seen her so completely happy. Life gets busy and we live 2 hours away from each other now but it's so special that we got to find time to meet up, do some photos. Heather and Tom... I am so happy for you both and I can't wait to see you two tie the knot this year.
Sue and Bill waited a long time for love and their marriage but planned their wedding quickly! Sue actually contacted me only about 2 months before the big day! They focused all of their attention on special details and family which made for a perfect, sentimental ceremony at Elizabeth Park in Hartford, CT. The couple had an amazing brass quintet from the Hartford Symphony Orchestra come and play beautiful music which carried through the air and attracted awed bystanders. A group of about 20 of their closest friends and family gathered around in the warm early June sunshine even after forecasts called for rain. (How lucky!) Sue and Bill read poems they selected for each other and had a special reading from Sue’s best friend. I couldn’t get over how gorgeous Sue looked in her tea length dress and the love-struck way Bill looked at her from the moment he saw her. The officiant was a judge that Bill has known for years from practicing law. Everyone at the ceremony shared stories, smiles and love that showed the true connection of the couple. While the band played, Sue and Bill asked each person to take an envelope from their chair and write a message for them to open later. The smiles on the guests’ faces as they penned their notes were endearing. The couple was going to brunch instead of a formal reception so the band played as they had their first dance in the grass next to the pavilion. It was adorable! This wedding proved that short and sweet can be just as impactful and meaningful as a larger wedding. One of the things I love so much about being a wedding photographer is seeing what each couples’ idea of their perfect day is and being there to capture those special moments no matter what they include. I love all weddings big and small, no matter the location or time of year. The things that matter most at each wedding are love, family and new beginnings and Sue and Bill had exactly that! Thanks Sue and Bill for having me as your photographer.
Here are some of my favorites from the day!
Justina and David will be getting married this September. We already did a beautiful engagement session last summer but Justina called me to do another session with the newest member of their family! Meet Chase. He is an adorable 7 month old French bulldog. He may be small but he has a big personality! You can see just how much joy he brings to Justina and David and it is heartwarming. We had our session in downtown Milford not far from where Justina and David first met. I can’t wait to be there in September when these two sweethearts make it official.
I originally made plans with Jocelyn and Kyle to have their engagement photos at Wadsworth Falls. When Memorial Day traffic changed our plans, we went to Hubbard Park instead. It ended up being a gorgeous place for photos. Jocelyn and Kyle brought their two adorable pups with them. I couldn’t get enough of the amazing sign Jocelyn found on Amazon. It says, “Daddy asked and Mommy said yes!” How adorable is that?! These two definitely have a special connection and were so great to work with. I can’t wait for their wedding next year.
When Samantha and Tom asked if their engagement session could be in a field of sunflowers, I absolutely loved the idea! We both did some research and found Buttonwood Farm in Griswold, CT. Every July, Buttonwood Farm has an event called Sunflowers for Wishes. They have acres of land filled with bright, blooming sunflowers with all proceeds from the event going to the Make A Wish Foundation. I couldn't dream up a more beautiful setting!
Samantha and Tom have a love that truly shines! Seeing them smile and share sweet looks surrounded by sunflowers and buzzing bumblebees was pretty magical. They are getting married this October and I can't wait to see these two carry their love into the next season and their new lives together!
Samantha's amazing, romantic flowy curls were styled by Under the Veil Hair & Makeup in Windsor Locks, CT. https://www.facebook.com/undertheveilhairandmakeup/
Special thanks to Buttonwood Farm for their amazing work on the sunflowers and their charity work for Make A Wish Foundation. https://www.buttonwoodfarmicecream.com
Megan and Cameron are an easy going and super adorable couple from South Windsor. We met up at Wapping Park in South Windsor for a summer evening session. The light was gorgeous and the fields were full of tall grass and wild flowers.
Most people know how much I love dogs (I LOVE them more than most things in life.) I was so happy Megan and Cameron decided to bring their fur baby Luna. Not only did Megan and Cameron share amazingly loving gazes but the way Luna looked at them was beyond heart- warming. Check out the photos below where you can see her looking up at them.
**my heart!!! ❤️ **
You can just tell how much love is shared here and it's amazing!
I'm really looking forward to watching these two tie the knot in September. I can already tell it's going to be a fun, sweet wedding!
I met Jillian more than 6 years ago when we both worked at Sear's Portrait Studio. We used to have a blast shooting family and kid's sessions together back when I was first starting my career. I was so excited and honored when she messaged me to ask if I would shoot her engagement session. Jillian and Bradley have been together as long as I've known them and even longer before that. They grew up together and are now going into their 8th year as a couple. How cute is that!
We decided to go to Valley Falls Park in Vernon, CT. The ice and snow made a beautiful, bright backdrop. Jillian and Bradley were amazing and went on a small hike with me, jumped right into a stream, walked out onto a frozen lake and trekked into a field of thorn bushes! I love when my clients are adventurous and will go with my ideas to create images for them. The results were more than worth it. I love the connection between these two, especially in the images captured of them close and looking into each other's eyes. They're so comfortable together and very much in love and it shows! I can't wait to be their wedding photographer this October.
Here are some of my favorite photos from their engagement session.
Years ago, a friend of mine told me at some point in my life, I should travel alone. At the time I thought what most people do, “Wouldn’t that be lonely?” “How could it be fun to travel alone?”
In the past few years, both through work and for personal trips, I started doing what I thought would never be possible for me…. I have been traveling alone.
I didn’t start with traveling alone. I started by going out to eat alone, checking out new places in my local area alone and going to new bars or stores alone. At first, it was awkward. It was like being on a bad first date with myself. I would sit and look around nervously. I’d feel weird when telling a hostess “just one” for dinner. But after a while, this amazing thing started to happen. I fell in love with my independence. I fell in love with my community and the people around me. I started to talk to strangers. I found out that people are truly amazing. You’d be surprised how much you can learn about a city, about the world and about yourself as a human being just by talking to a stranger. I pushed myself outside of my comfort zone and I grew as a person.
Traveling alone multiplied that experience ten fold. It can be overwhelming, exhilarating and absolutely mind opening. I routinely talk to whoever will listen on trips. Homeless people (trust me, they know a city better than anyone else and have the most rich, life altering stories you’ve ever heard), bartenders, people sitting next to me at the airport or the Uber driver that picks me up for adventures. On my most recent trip to Nashville, I talked to a homeless man for about half an hour about the treasures within the city, about his life and experiences. He still loved the city despite his hardships. His sense of humor showed with his sign which read, "I'm homeless. At least buy me a beer." (And I did!) He talked about how it wasn’t so bad being on the street in Nashville because he could sit and listen to all of the music. I wanted to listen to the music too, on every street I could walk down in my life. He was a wonderful man with sparkling eyes and a silver beard. I talked to an Uber driver that moved to Nashville from Louisiana when he mother got sick. His mother passed away but he stayed in the city where he met his wife and later had hist first child. He told me how he believed that was his fate. It made me think about my own fate and place in life. Yes, that’s right. A homeless man and an Uber driver had me thinking about my own life and path. Crazy right? Getting to be an outsider in a new place allows you to look deeply into the soul of a destination. Sitting back quietly and using all your senses to take a place in is completely different than exploring with a friend or group of people.
You get to go wherever you want to visit. You get to eat at whatever restaurant you want to eat at. Take as much time as you want. You get to learn about who you are when it’s just you and who you are away from the safety of your own home and comfort. At 30 years old, I’m still surprising myself all the time and I hope that never stops.
I hope you all get the chance to travel alone some day. I hope you do it more than once. I hope you start to see that traveling alone is never really being by yourself. It’s about being with the world. It's about meeting the people we share this world with. It's about finding out where your piece fits in this huge puzzle.
It’s only a lonely world if you make yourself all alone. Get out there and connect!
Here are some photos I took on my cellphone of some of the delicious food I ate and the lights of Broadway in Nashville.
I just got back from an amazing trip to Nashville, Tennessee for the Imaging USA convention and exposition. I spent four days at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Convention Center learning different techniques, checking out new products and networking with photography professionals from all over the country. It was truly inspiring and educational. I also got a chance to check out the city of Nashville. It’s a place full of music, delicious food, cowboys and lights. The city is alive and booming!
Some of the highlights of the convention were listening to talks by Joel Grimes, Joe Craig, Michele Celentano, Michael Anthony and Kira Derryberry, all of whom are leading photographers in their markets. I sat in on professional development courses that covered topics like wedding lighting, large group posing, portrait taking techniques, ways to stay creative and inspired and new ways to provide great service to clients. I learned so much and I’m excited to apply these skills in my own business in 2018.
After attending photography school, I decided to always make sure that my education continued. I strive to constantly learn about my field and my passion so that I can give my clients the best service and more importantly, capture their memories in a beautiful, lasting way. I believe there is always something to learn and always ways to be even better as a person and a professional. This trip was an important part of the educational responsibility I take on as a business owner and photographer.
Nashville was a great experience. I left feeling renewed, inspired and motivated. I want to thank all of my clients, friends and family for your support and for joining me on this journey. None of this would be possible without you in my life. Making your memories helps me to create my own. I am so grateful that I get to be your photographer. Thank you so much!
Here are some photos from Imaging USA. (All taken on my cellphone.)
Courtney Lynn Photography will be away from January 13-17 taking on an exciting opportunity for business education and growth. I will be attending the Imaging USA expo and conference in Nashville, Tennessee. This event is held yearly by the Professional Photographers of America organization and includes photography classes, speakers, an expo featuring photography products, services and new trends as well as a chance to network with professionals from around the country. I am looking forward to learning more, finding new ways to bring the best quality to my clients and keeping up with the newest photography looks, products and information. I am excited to pass along these new and amazing things to you and continuing to make Courtney Lynn Photography a business you can love and trust with your memories.
I'll be blogging more about Nashville and the entire event when I get back home so check back in next week.
As always, thanks to everyone who supports Courtney Lynn Photography and makes this growth and positive change possible.
I am so pleased to announce that Courtney Lynn Photography has won a 2018 WeddingWire Couples' Choice Award. The WeddingWire Couples' Choice Awards recognize the top 5% of local wedding professionals on WeddingWire that demonstrate excellence in quality, service, responsiveness, and professionalism. Winners are selected solely based on reviews from more than a million newlyweds and are determined by a combination of excellence in four factors: overall rating, total number of reviews, review performance from 2017, and consistency of reviews from year to year.
I want to send a special thanks to my assistant photographers and of course, to all of my clients. This would not have been possible without you! Your faith and trust in me and my team to capture such an important day in your lives is truly heartwarming and is why I love what I do.
I am committed to continuing to provide quality service and beautiful photography in 2018. I'm excited for a new wedding season full of love and smiles. I hope to see you in front of my lens!