Taylor and Joe take on Lancaster
Okay, I seriously need to learn how to not lose my sh*t when an amazing couple of mine shows up looking like this. Don't get me wrong, I am a down and dirty kind of girl, but DAMN! They look so good! Taylor was killing it in this super flirty white dress. Also, blue suits with brown shoes are a secret weakness of mine. After this session, I am so looking forward to their wedding because I know they will be pulling out all the stops and slaying!
I'm going to let everyone in on a little secret. If you read my bio you may have noticed that I have been in the food service world, serving and bartending, for over 11 years. I will never forget my start into this world. I remember applying for a job when I was a baby in college (aka a freshman) and not hearing anything back. RUDE!! My first taste into the It's time to pay for yourself if you want to be independent world was playing a cruel joke on me. Then to add insult to injury I saw a flyer at my college that they were hiring! Now, anyone who knows me understands that "no" is just not an option for me. While I understand that I might not be the exact type of person someone is looking for, I need to know why exactly that is. I try not to lead a judgmental life and pride myself on that fact so I need to know why I myself am being judged and ruled "not worth". Am I overreacting about not getting a call back about a job...? Maybe. Call it what you want, I call is spirited. So I take my spirited self to this restaurant and ask to fill out another application and speak with the hiring manager. 10 minutes later, I have my first serving job! I'm convinced it just got thrown away by whomever I turned it into the first time because the manager and I vibed really well.
So I call home to my parents to tell them the good news. Mind you, this was in January. Just a month before, when it was time to go home for Christmas break I barely had $5 to my name. As embarrassing as this is to admit, I actually had to go around to every girl in my dorm and barrow a dollar just so I could get gas to go home for Christmas Break!! Never again! This is what led me to being the hard working person that I am today... [cough - modest - cough]. Anyway, I call home, "Mom! Am I on speaker?", to which I was, "You're never going to guess where I got a job!". Then my Dad chimes in, "Hooters...". You know that unamused emoji face? That was both my reaction and I imagine my Dad's to guessing correctly. Yep, Hooters.
I feel like I can see my Mom rolling her eyes at me as she reads this. "Jes... you might want to think about taking that out. You never know what that might make people think of you." Mind you, this is something she has been telling me since High School and I get it more now than I ever did before. But it's also a part of me. I got my feisty personality from there and learned how to interact with just about everyone on the planet... trust me... there are some weird dudes who came in there. It also taught me how to read people which is super important when it comes to photography. I will know what you're feeling, and know how to calm you down if you need it, or make you giggle, or not take no for an answer.
Another perk of the job? I made SO MANY FRIENDS!!! HI HOOTERS FRIENDS!!!! I LOVE AND MISS YOU ALL! That is where I met this bombshell! Everyone, meet Taylor; she's cute, right!? I remember when I first met Taylor I thought to myself, I love her. I don't know why, because I don't know her well yet, but I love her. Then I found out, very quickly I might add, that we were peas in a pod. She is one tough, strong, and dedicated chica! When she wants something she goes after it. Throughout planning her wedding she was also finishing school, working, and raising an adorable young man. For those of you who think just planning is hard... add that too it. That's another thing I love about my brides... you are all badass!
On top of being a badass, she is also an Eagles fan. Working in a town that was so close to the Maryland boarder we were surrounded by Redskins and Ravens fan. Excuse me... I have to go wash my hands after typing those names. E-A-G-L-E-S, EAGLES! Yeah that's right... we can spell here in Philly!
Anyway, that was it. That is why I knew right away that I liked her. There is something about a Philly girl that just resonates with my heart. Don't get me wrong, I love and have friends from all over, but there is something that just speaks to my insides when it comes to my home city. I also think it was probably the smartest thing Joe could have done by proposing to her at an Eagles game. And I mean all out! On the field with their names in the lights! Like, What?!?!?! So much fun! Everyone, meet Joe. Isn't he handsome? While Taylor and I have stayed in contact over the years, I am guilty of not having lots of time to catch up on life. Enter in Facebook. Thank God (or Marky Z.) for Facebook. It allows me to feel like I'm keeping people super close even when I can't find the time. Some call it stalking... whatever.
From what I have creeped on social media, Joe has been so sweet with Taylor and her son Gianni. From what I have seen on Facebook, Joe has been loving and supportive of Taylor in every step of her life. And can we talk about the way he looks at her? I mean, come on! I also respect Joe on a whole different level because Taylor and I have similar personalities. I know I'm not the easiest person to be married to (Hi Steve!) so I know it takes a certain kind of man to be able to handle an independent woman. Hats off to you, Joe!
Sometimes the location seems like the most important part of your photos and I just want to tell you, it's not. I have to remember this for myself also. I'm guilty of having to find the most perfect spot and then spending the next 8 hours on Google making sure I know what every street looks like and how to get there. While it's not the most important thing, it certainly helps to be blessed by surrounding beauty. Taylor and Joe gave me some guidelines of what there were looking for and we decided on Downtown Lancaster. I studied the streets like I had never been there before and found all these cute little spots that I wanted to tuck into. Guess how many we went to? Zero! Zero of the spots that I found online. Instead we blew with the wind and had so much fun doing it.
Once we parked I scouted out the block we were on and fell in love with what I was seeing. We started in a beautiful parking lot - I swear that's not an oxymoron - and then happened on an adorable ice cream shop which of course we had to stop in. After a snack I reapplied, Oh yeah... there are more outfits! Lets change before I forget... that's how in love I was with their first outfits. Taylor and Joe turned into these parking garage ninja car changing champs. I'm not kidding... no shame either. Joe standing their naked and Taylor with a booty out... you're welcome everyone. We happened to be parked across from a little restaurant with twinkly lights. SOLD! We stopped in for a drink or two and took over. Let me tell you, the more wine and beer involved, the cuter they were getting. I fell in love and we also got a change to catch up over drinks!
While we could have sat here all night giggling at each other and talking smack on old customers (for all the Hooters girls reading... it was BFJ), the sun was setting and the light was running away from us quickly. I am primarily a natural light photographer. I love colors and vibrancy, but I also love bright and whimsical lighting. The sun setting on me isn't the end of the world, but it challenges me to use a different part of my brain. Thankfully Joe and Taylor were nothing but game. Thanks wine! So we packed up, paid even though we were being ignored... service industry issues... and drove to the closest park we could find. Again, Taylor was a changing ninja and came out in another adorable outfit. By the time we got to the park, the sun was all but gone. My beautiful golden hour had perished with no courtesy as the clouds had taken over. In it's place however was this super fun blue twilight light that I don't normally get to work with. Thank you rainiest spring in the history of anything Pennsylvania....
Thank you Joe and Taylor for trusting me with capturing these memories for you. Working with old friends is the best and most fun and I can't wait to celebrate your wedding with you!!