• welcome to the ayres photography blog-site!

    If you're looking for creative wedding or portrait photographers with a fresh perspective on the art of photojournalism, then you're in the right place!

    No matter what the occasion, we specialize in capturing emotion with our cameras; and, (most of the time) we can do it without anyone even realizing we're there! The results are natural, relaxed looking photos that reflect the true essence of who you are.

    So, make yourself comfy, and take a look around the site...if you think of any questions while you're browsing, please click the "contact" button to get in touch with us - we'd love to hear from you!

    *We are a small, exclusive studio, and in order to ensure that our clients have the most awesome and personalized experience possible, we take on a limited number of weddings each year. We get snapped up very quickly, so if you think we might be a good fit for you, hit up our contact form ASAP!

    Thanks so much for stopping by!

michelle + nathan

I took a blogging hiatus in 2014 so that I could focus on being pregnant and bringing our baby girl into the world!  Now, that that’s all taken care of, my hiatus is officially over, and I’m looking forward to getting back into my regular blogging routine.  My routine will definitely be a little bit different than what I’m used to (I’m writing this post with one hand and holding a tiny sleeping babe in the other!), but either way, I’m excited to share all of the beautiful moments we captured during our 2014 wedding season.  :)

In early May, we traveled to Lancaster, PA to capture Michelle and Nathan’s wedding at the Cork Factory Hotel.  Michelle and Nate live in Hawaii (lucky them!), but they are both from different areas of Pennsylvania.  They decided on Lancaster, PA as their wedding destination, because it was almost exactly halfway between their respective hometowns, and the Cork Factory Hotel had the perfect vintagey vibe they were going for.  We had such a great time at this wedding!  Michelle and Nate were kind enough to share a little bit about their wedding day from their perspective.  Be sure to read their comments throughout the post!

Michelle:  “We aren’t a traditional couple and we knew we didn’t want the traditional white wedding. The inspiration for our wedding day was vintage chic. And that’s eventually how we decided on the venue, Cork Factory Hotel, because it fit our vintage vision as an old Historic Cork Factory turned into a Boutique Hotel. We rented a ton of vintage items from Swoon Vintage Rentals to incorporate details like the typewriter, marriage themed books, antique keys, bird cages, and a navy velvet love seat for our Big Day. Nathan:  “When I turned around and saw my future wife for the first time during our first look, I knew it would be forever!”
Michelle:  “I loved seeing the aisle lit up by tons of candles as I got ready to walk down. It was great to see everything we planned come together for the first time. And then to see my husband waiting at the end of the aisle was an even more beautiful sight than I had imagined!”Michelle:  “During the wedding, we made it a point to stop and just take in all of our friends and family present on the most important day in our lives and it was a beautiful moment I will remember forever. Our colors were navy, white and yellow because Nate was opposed to anything pink. We used a lot of candles and flowers to make it girly enough for me. We had almost 150 guests and the place seemed so cozy and full of love. I really didn’t want a place where everything seemed too spread out. I wanted to feel my friends and family close to me on our Big Day and the candles really brought the warmth.”

Nathan:  “I loved looking out during dinner and seeing all of my friends and family clapping and singing along with the band and it was only the start of dinner service – that’s when I knew it was going be a great party!”

Nathan:  “Some of the little mistakes or mishaps that day, are what we love the most about our wedding months later, and still laugh about now that it is all over. Yep, we forgot to cut the cake!!!”

Nathan:  “Hearing all of the wonderful words of pride, love and encouragement from those closest to Michelle and I gave me so much joy and reaffirmation of my choice for a partner in life!”Michelle:  “Instead of a cake, we had a cupcake tower with a top cake tier that we had made specifically for Nathan and I to cut. The cupcakes were three different flavors red velvet, the bride’s choice- triple chocolate delight, and the groom’s choice- a bourbon and bacon soaked cupcake with peanut butter frosting and candied bacon crumble. The groom’s cupcake was everyone’s favorite and the first to run out!  As the party got even crazier, we forgot all about cutting the cake and throwing my toss bouquet that I ordered specifically so I didn’t throw my real one. Like I said, good thing we aren’t the traditional couple, because in the midst of the party we forgot to do all the traditional wedding things!”Nathan:  “The sparkler send off was the perfect way to end such a beautiful and fun celebration of our lives!”

Michelle and Nathan:  “My advice would be for couples to plan their wedding like it’s for them, because it is!  Allow the flow of your special day to allow you to be fully present for it.  Sometimes being traditional means not being able to truly see the result of all your plans. Some things we did to ensure we got to be a part of all our hard work was to do a first look, then take our pictures and the bridal party photos before the wedding. We decided to participate in our entire cocktail hour so we could spend as much time with our friends and family.  We got to meet and greet all of our guests in that way instead of while everyone is trying to enjoy dinner. Finally, we kept the entire event in one location so time was spent with friends and family all together rather than traveling from location to location.”

“Ben and Jenn were ambassadors of professional customer service from the initial call to the quick delivery of the photos.  They used their style mixed with our feedback to get exactly what we asked for and more.  Both Ben and Jenn were able to lead the bridal party in the right direction when needed, and caught the candid moments we wanted without people even knowing they were there.  Finally, the photo booth was one of the biggest hits of the wedding.  It was perfectly executed and the pictures were up within a few days!!”

rachel + tom

I’ve been so looking forward to sharing Rachel and Tom’s stunning wedding!  There was just so much to love about this day.  Rachel is an extremely talented artist, and DIY’ed just about everything you see in their wedding day details.  She designed their invitations, their table decor, their favors (yes, she absolutely DID hand paint 200 mini canvases to give to their family and friends) – the entire day has her artistic talent woven throughout.  Also, our new and improved photo booth, which we have now dubbed “Boothtastic” made it’s first ever public appearance at R and T’s wedding, along with a fun custom backdrop made of book pages, to complement their theme of books and art!  Definitely check out all the fun that was had in the booth!

Rachel and Tom so kindly took the time to share some beautiful memories of their day, along with some excellent advice about how to plan an incredible wedding.  Be sure to read their comments throughout the post!  :)

Rachel:  “Up until our wedding day I had spent hours making sure each detail was accounted for. Each moment of the day was scheduled and extra time was allotted into the day for possible delays. Everyone told me I was crazy for being so OCD about the timeline but it absolutely paid off. The morning of our wedding I woke up feeling 100% relaxed. Anything that went wrong at this point was out of my hands and I was okay with that.  I knew that we had one shot at this day and I wanted to fully enjoy every minute of it. I started by making a beautiful breakfast for myself and my Co-Maids Of Honor. We ate and talked and laughed. We never, ever felt rushed or anxious. It was so important to me to soak it all in. The time I took  to plan and revise my Wedding Day Schedule was so worth it. Our day could not have gone more smoothly and I don’t think I could have possibly been more at ease (without help from Prozac that is… just kidding!) So I guess my first memory is also a piece of advice as well! It pays off to plan accordingly.”
Rachel:  “I remember wondering what it was going to feel like to see Tom for the first time that day. We had chosen to do our all of our photographs before the ceremony (definitely one of the smartest decisions we had made).  I wondered if I would cry, or laugh, or feel nervous. But I never ended up doing any of those things. When I saw him and he turned around and saw me I just felt… good. I felt great, actually! It was so amazing to be able to hug him and touch him and talk to him without anyone else around us. We wouldn’t have had that moment had we chosen to save the photos until after the ceremony. The best thing about doing a “First Look” is that it didn’t in any way take away from what I felt coming down the aisle. In fact, I think it added to it. We hired a good friend of ours to play Beatles songs quietly on guitar throughout the entire ceremony. Waiting to walk down the aisle was the only few moments of the day when I actually got a little nervous. I couldn’t stop thinking, “This is it. This is the moment that we’ve built this whole day around. This is the most important part. This is the moment that will change my life forever.” And it did change my life forever.”

Tom:  “The first moment that sticks out to me has to be our “First Look.” I will say that this was probably the only point of the day where I felt a bit nervous. Just thinking about how beautiful Rachel was going to look gave me butterflies, and then to think that in a few seconds I could see her… And as if on cue there she was to take my breath away. To say she looked anything less than stunning would be an understatement. I just remember gazing into her deep blue eyes and becoming overwhelmed with a sense of joy followed by peace to know she was soon to be my wife. It was so nice to be able to have that time just with her and relish in what the next several hours were going to be like. It was great to find comfort in each other and talk out any nerves that either of us may have had.”

Rachel:  “VJ, our guitarist, began to play “Across the Universe” (my absolute favorite song ever) and my father and I stepped out into the aisle and I lost it. From that moment on, Tom and I both cried throughout the entire ceremony. Literally… we cried the ENTIRE time. We cried out of love for each other and excitement. We cried from the beautiful words spoken by our Officiant, Dennis DiGesare, and from the words spoken out of love by our family members. We cried thinking about how far we’ve come and how much further we get to go. It was perfection. I will never find the right words to express just how much our wedding ceremony meant to us. It was beyond anything I could have ever dreamt of feeling.”

Tom:  “The other moment that I will forever remember has to be the kiss. This is something that is pretty difficult to describe. Now first of all let me start by saying the entire ceremony was perfect. It was so personal and real and was filled with so much emotion, but to me its pinnacle was the kiss. I remember right as our lips touched and we held each other, it felt like everything else around us disappeared and it was just the two of us. It was surreal. It was an affirmation of our vows and a seal on our promise to love each other forever. I remember then looking at my wife Rachel who was crying as much as I was and her wiping tears off my face. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to duplicate the feelings I had that day.”

Rachel: “At the end of the ceremony, just before we walked back up the aisle as husband and wife, we hugged our parents. I had no idea until this point that both sets of our parents had been crying almost the entire time as well. I will never forget when my dad hugged me. He hugged me once, then my mom hugged me, then my dad hugged me again. The second time he would not let go. As I continued to hold on to Tom’s hand and hug my dad with my other arm, my dad cried bittersweet tears on my shoulder. It wasn’t until a guest yelled out, “Ya gotta let her go, man!!” that we were able to continue up the aisle. Everyone had a good chuckle after that.”

Rachel:  “As for my piece of advice, I could give you SO many. I already sort of gave one. But here’s the absolute most important thing I can come up with: make the ceremony your own. Sure, our reception was incredibly beautiful and I could rave about it for days, but the ceremony is the reason for the reception. Our union was so important to us. We wanted each piece to fully represent who are as a couple. We customized every single piece of our ceremony: Acoustic Beatles on guitar start to finish, a friend’s father as our officiant who gave the most beautiful sermon I’ve ever heard because he was able to personalize it, personalized readings and prayers read aloud by our loved ones, a gorgeous wooden cross at our altar, handmade by my father. So many other precious and incredible things happened during our ceremony and I will never forget any of it. So, that being said, be sure you leave your stamp on everything. When the day finally comes you will certainly feel engulfed in a love that is undeniably yours alone.  Also, when it comes to choosing your vendors: only cut costs where it doesn’t count! Flowers get thrown out and all wedding gowns are beautiful on a blushing bride. However, you have one shot to get flawless photos and throw one heck of a party and at the end of the day, that is all you will have left: incredible photos and stories. Because of this, we could not be more thrilled with our decision to choose Ayres Photography. We chose them the same way we chose our other vendors: amazing people that we could trust, get along with, and who we can feel their passion for their craft radiating from them. Bottom line: You can never go wrong when you go with your heart.”

Stacy Squires Photography - what a beautiful elegant wedding :-)

easton

I took these photos of baby Easton back in January when he was fresh out of the oven.  Even though he’ll be a year old in just a few short months, I wanted to share the memories captured during his shoot because they are so perfectly representative of what I always try to capture at a newborn/family session.  Whenever we are hired to document majorly amazing, life changing events in people’s lives, we try our very best to capture things exactly as they happen.  We do this so you can look back at the photos for your entire lifetime, and remember not only the events, but also how you felt in those moments.  :)

*To schedule a family session with us, hit up our contact form, or email us at info@ayresphoto.com.