couples photography

Boho Bridal Shower {Styled Shoot} -- Part Two

Yesterday, I shared some of my favorite images of the details of our boho-themed bridal shower styled shoot -- the food, candles, table set-up and all of the fun decorations and favors. Today, it's all about the models! This part of the shoot is where I am most in my comfort zone and at my happiest behind my camera. As fun as a creative detail shot like ring close-ups or flowers can be, capturing a story -- friendship or family or a love story -- is what brings me greatest joy!

We had eight female models who portrayed our bridal shower attendees at various stations along our shoot and then one of the ladies and her boyfriend who were not only SO cute but also SO in love! They braved a super-quick rain shower right before sunset photos and were patient as three photographers directed them towards their own styles. Me? I love a good romantic, fun shot. If there's a serious face, my camera might get sad, haha!

So, we created a calm, fun, laid-back atmosphere and we tried not to make any photograph too boring, slow-paced or uninteresting. Conversations, questions and always planning your next move while working out your current one make the entire process a little easier for everyone involved.

Enjoy the photos and please check out the amazing vendors who shared their talents, time, space and love with me this week! And a very big thank-you to our fantastic models!

Patchwork Planning {Planner}  Forget Me Not Vintage Inc {Rentals & Styling}  Monzie's Floral Design {Flowers}  Peculiar Culinary {Desserts} Woven the Shop {Dreamcatchers} The Hunter Collection {Pillows}  The Post Home and Body {Soap Favors} Christine Conrad {Jewelry}  Make Pie Not War {Rings} Thrift Store Decor {Candles} Ryan Kenton {DJ}  The Dusty Daisy Shop {Feather Name Cards and Driftwood Decoration} Momental Designs {Invitation Kit} TattooByYou {Tattoos} Confeteti Warehouse/Lavender Linens {Linens} Jammin Barefoot (Karen) {Jamberry Favor} Erica {makeup}

Wendy also worked with some FANTASTIC photographers, including: Kelley Spurlock Photography / Elizabeth Lilly Photography / Chelsey Travelpiece / Photography by Seneca -- thank you for sharing your talent and many, many laughs!

*Special thanks to Mandy and Doug Chapman, for allowing us to use their property and disrupt their lives for a few days! Your family is beautiful and we are all so grateful to you.

You can see more images, including behind-the-scenes snapshots at WZP Instagram and WZP Facebook!

Boho Bridal Shower {Styled Shoot} - Part One -- The Details

Sometimes, when all of the T's are crossed and I's are dotted, and a group of amazing creatives gather together and rainclouds hold off, magic happens. When models are as beautiful on the inside as they are on the outside and everything around you inspires you, special moments are captured. Such was the case with a styled boho-themed bridal shower shoot that took place earlier this week. Led by Candice of Patchwork Planning and Renee of Forget Me Not Vintage Rentals and Styling, our images now inspire others!

We were surrounded by the most beautiful color palette -- pinks and greens with a touch of whimsy --  and the most beautiful textures -- woven vibrant rugs and decorative dreamcatchers, lace dresses and floral crowns. Fabulous food with even more delicious displays and the blingiest chandeliers ever!

Tomorrow, I'll highlight some of my favorite moments between our models -- a group of eight lovely ladies (and one handsome guy!) near a fabric teepee, enjoying a delightful dinner set-up, wrapped up in a sunset in a field and more. Today's blog, however, is showing off all of the tiny little details that helped create a one-of-a-kind atmosphere.

I'm going to let the images tell the story, but please take a moment to acquaint yourself with the terrific vendors I've listed below!

All photos taken with my Nikon D700, switching up between my 24mm/50mm (with and without macro filters) and 85mm.

Patchwork Planning {Planner}  Forget Me Not Vintage Inc {Rentals & Styling}  Monzie's Floral Design {Flowers}  Peculiar Culinary {Desserts} Woven the Shop {Dreamcatchers} The Hunter Collection {Pillows}  The Post Home and Body {Soap Favors} Christine Conrad {Jewelry}  Make Pie Not War {Rings} Thrift Store Decor {Candles} Ryan Kenton {DJ}  The Dusty Daisy Shop {Feather Name Cards and Driftwood Decoration} Momental Designs {Invitation Kit} TattooByYou {Tattoos} Confeteti Warehouse/Lavender Linens {Linens} Jammin Barefoot (Karen) {Jamberry Favor}

Wendy also worked with some FANTASTIC photographers, including: Kelley Spurlock Photography / Elizabeth Lilly Photography / Chelsey Travelpiece / Photography by Seneca -- thank you for sharing your talent and many, many laughs!

*Special thanks to Mandy and Doug Chapman, for allowing us to use their property and disrupt their lives for a few days! Your family is beautiful and we are all so grateful to you.

You can see more images, including behind-the-scenes snapshots at WZP Instagram and WZP Facebook!

Ben & Megan {Engagement} -- An outdoor engagement session in Central Pennsylvania with Wendy Zook Photography

A lot of things have to happen in order to create a flawless, magical engagement session. And boy did the stars align on Saturday!

Equipment. Check! It was my first opportunity to use only my three favorite prime lenses and no zooms and I was SO pleased with the results. Sharper, in-focus images with beautiful bokeh.

Location. Yup! We used Ben's family farm (Picture field of wildflowers and tall grass perched on top of a mountain overlooking rolling hills of green as far as the eye can see), and two waterways nearby that had particular importance to Ben and Megan's relationship (like near the place where he proposed!). OH, and my apologies to the owner of the field on the drive to the reservoir. See, we were driving by and almost all three of us yelled to stop at the same time. You know you have magic then!

Weather. Partly sunny skies leading into a golden sunset. No one had to squint and there was no harsh light to deal with! The temperature was rather comfortable, too!

A cooperative groom. Um, yep! Ben actually suggested the first spot as we walked towards the aforementioned field on a mountain. His idea of a large apple tree was the perfect place to start! He was such a good sport, though -- jumping in a creek with cowboy boots still on and driving his brand new (like hours old!) truck down dirt roads!

A beautiful bride-to-be. Whoa. Megan is stunning, but she's radiant inside and outside. Her eyes are so gorgeous, she greeted me with a giant hug and she thanked me at least a thousand times. I loved her outfit choices and she looked like a model!

Authentic love. This is the most important part. Couples can be stressed from a busy day or from planning, can be self-conscious or feel unphotogenic. But you know what? None of that matters if you keep them comfortable and just let their love shine through above everything else. There are some beautiful catchlights in their eyes and mouth-dropping vistas in so many photos, but my favorite ones are where love is in the foreground. The way she looks at him... the goosebumps from listening to him tell the story of how they met... the kindness to each other.

Ben and Megan are getting married in November and I can't wait to get more time with them and capture more of their love story.

Portage, PA -- May 9, 2015

Looking ahead

I have loved the journey of Wendy Zook Photography so far and get so, so giddy when I think about what the future holds for this business/passion. (It's both, you know!) There are things like trainings and practice, mentorings and behind-the-scenes workshops and webinars. I don't believe you ever need to stop learning in any area and at any time. I pick up my camera at least a couple of times every day, whether it's aimed at my kids or for a brief lap around the block. Every click teaches me something.

Minor things like branding and packaging are in the works, too. You might have noticed my new logo and those fantastic headshots I've been posting any chance I get.

View More: http://hopetaylorphotographyphotos.pass.us/wendy-headshots

I'll be revealing a new pricing layout, too, in a couple of weeks. Part of the new packages will be careful consideration of what I want my finished products and offerings to be for my clients. Currently, my wedding and engagement packages vary in value based off of whether they include a gallery to order prints, an album, a CD or a mix of any or all of those. Soon, all of my packages will be based off of the number of hours and one simple end result -- a fantastic online gallery (and app you can download to any device!) that is easy to use with great, high-quality printing available through them at a reasonable price (or free digital downloads of high-resolution images to your computer or phone). Options like custom-made albums, holiday cards or a USB drive (instead of CDs!) will still be available but will now be an a la carte possibility to consider. These changes are meant to keep it simpler for clients to understand and have control over their final products.

One final tweak coming up for my wedding clients -- a second photographer option on your big day! Double the angles, extra shots and another set of eyes! I have been a second shooter and I am using second shooters this year and I can't tell you how exciting it is to have that other talented person working with the same goal -- to capture your story, in its entirety, of your wedding day. Ask my second shooters and they will tell you I go through a pretty intense process to find the best person for your day. A second photographer is a small add-on option you'll see when I unveil the new pricing soon.

Despite all of the changes, it's still me, it's still Wendy Zook Photography. We're going to work together to make your photo session easy, comfortable, special and timeless. We'll use things like a private Pinterest board to share ideas and likes or dislikes. We'll build a relationship to the point where you feel comfortable sending me a message or text with random questions or suggestions. I love getting to know my clients and watching them become friends.

"Potential" and "possibility" are two of my favorite words. I know Wendy Zook Photography has a lot of both of those in 2015 and I look forward to finding them in love stories, hugs, kisses and first looks.

So, stay tuned for all of the excitement! View More: http://hopetaylorphotographyphotos.pass.us/wendy-headshots

Hello, couples!

Is there love in the air or am I just on a chocolate high from my heart-shaped box of sweets? Definitely both!

If you are a recently-engaged couple, I want to be one of the first to wish you many, many congratulations! I'm so happy that you found me and this business I have built on passion and professionalism. I love photographing couples -- it's like hitting the pause button on different chapters of a love story.

I still remember the way everything felt when my now husband placed a diamond ring on my left hand. I cherish the photographs we had taken of us to capture that moment in time.

If you are recently engaged and looking for a wedding/engagement photographer, look no further! I still have several 2015 weekend dates available.

I'm also offering a special now through February 22nd! If you book by then, you'll receive 20% (yes, TWENTY! One-fifth!) off of my two highest wedding packages! This is an amazing deal!

Reach out to me on Facebook, Instagram or by e-mail (wendyzookphotography@gmail.com) and let's make plans to capture your love story! Congratulations, lovebirds!

The other side of the camera (Who is Wendy?)

I've been so overjoyed meeting new friends recently, thanks to the only-slightly-creepy world of social media and following and being followed by amazing peers and neighbors and everyone in between, that I thought I should do a post all about me. OK, that sounds a bit narcissistic, but consider it a "hello" more than anything else. Even if you've trusted me with capturing a memory in the past, I trust that we will meet again and I think it's important to know who's behind the camera.

Speaking of behind the camera, I found myself on the OTHER side of the camera recently during my mentorship with Hope Taylor Photography and Ms. Hope captured my awkward, uncomfortable self with great skill and a keen eye and transformed me into something worthy of a headshot! Haha! So clients, don't worry, I completely understand what it's like to have someone putting you in angles that maybe don't make sense in the moment because chances are something great is happening and you are going to be very pleasantly surprised.

View More: http://hopetaylorphotographyphotos.pass.us/wendy-headshots

So, hello! Who the heck is this Wendy Zook?

First and foremost, I'm Momma to Zack and Addie. Because of Zack, I am a lover of hugs, sloppy kisses and advocacy for Down Syndrome. Because of Addie, I am a lover of coffee, imagination and colors.

My husband bought me my first "serious" camera in the weeks after our son was born. Two years later, a friend needed a last-minute wedding photographer and the adrenaline, creativity and fun I felt in that day led to part-time pursuing of photography opportunities.

After leaving my full-time job one year ago, I began to dedicate time to Wendy Zook Photography. 2014 was about training and learning and reinventing myself and my passion. 2015 will be about even more incredible things. My hope is that in December we can all look back on this post and this moment I'm freezing in time and shake our heads with how far I've come and how far WZP has journeyed in just a few months.

I am an old soul trapped in a young heart.

I love classic films and current chick flicks but would rather have the radio on (Van Morrison on Pandora lately) or a book on my lap than see a TV on in the room. I wear ballet flats every chance I get and have a silly amount of shoes that look very much alike.

I love it when I capture a story with my photographs. Two people in love strolling through Christmas lights weeks after their engagement. A groom fighting tears as he watches his bride walk towards him. A new business professional finding himself. A woman who feels like a princess for the first time in her life. A woman discovering her sexy side after a boudoir session.

There is adrenaline and emotion (I'm probably crying behind the camera during your vows) in every session I do and I care about each client like a friend.

Aside from my family, photography is what brings me great joy.

It's been a slow journey, but it is a great adventure. And I'm glad you're along for the ride.

Mentoring with Hope Taylor

If you want to be the best, you have to learn from the best.And the lovely, lively Hope Taylor of Fredericksburg, Va., is one of the best in the future of photography. Her use of style and keen fashion sense plus a consistent beautiful golden light in all of her photos is going to take her so far. I was beyond blessed to have spent a day with her, soaking in all of her ideas, watching her in her happy place behind the camera and starting a very long list of things I am excited to do with Wendy Zook Photography.

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Hope reminds me of why I love photography. It's not just the fun hobby or even the occasional paycheck I get to bring to the family; it's about capturing moments and telling stories.

I am so excited to do many great things with WZP in 2015. My mentoring session with Hope is just the beginning. She has given me tools, but more importantly, confidence, encouragement, support and empowerment.

Below are some of my favorite moments from my day of braving the "cold" (those Southerners thought 40 degrees was chilly!), putting it all together and taking those very first steps in the very awesome direction of my future and my potential. Morgan and Johnny are a young couple who are so in love. They are just smitten with each other and it's incredible to watch. It doesn't just stop when the cameras go down. They were so patient with Hope and I talking technical jargon about ISOs and aperture and wide-open lenses.

And the Fredericksburg area is so lovely! This amazing and historic town with tons of character just comes out of nowhere as you travel down a quiet highway for a couple of miles. We did photographs at a Civil War battlefield site, an old silk mill, a gorgeous field draped in ivy and golden sunbeams and then caught a sunset at a nearby railroad station. Amazing!

I'll begin sharing some new things soon, so stay tuned! Make sure to check out this page to catch the last few days of my Valentines' specials!

Valentine's Specials

There are only six weeks until Valentine's Day! We just got through Christmas and New Year's Day and, if you're like me, the holiday decorations are just coming down and I am just catching up on unpacking and laundry and organization. But, before you know it, it's going to be time to recognize the significant others (or just some super-special people in your life) and we all know chocolate doesn't always win for most romantic gift.

So why not the gift of memories, captured by me?!

Wendy Zook Photography is offering not one, not two but THREE amazing promotions!

Pick the one that most suits your needs and wants and contact me ASAP before space and time both run out!

1. Boudoir Special This is a fun (no, really, I promise!) two-hour session at a private location with multiple outfits, props, etc. We will create a 10x10 album of at least 20 classy edited photos showing you at your sexiest to present to your significant other for a wedding day surprise, anniversary or Valentine's present. Cost: $125 (Must book by Jan. 15 and session must take place by Feb. 1)

2. Lovey-dovey mini-sessions This is a 45-minute session to take place at the location of your choosing. Great for gifts or for updating the portraits on your wall, you'll receive an online gallery of at least 20 photos plus FIVE complimentary 5x7s or THREE 8x10 prints. Cost: $95 (Must book by Jan. 15 and session must take place by Feb. 14)

3. Single and Super! So you're not taken? No problem! Grab a friend, grab your sisters, grab your pet pooch or any other loved one and enjoy a fun and easy 45-minute session at the location of your choosing, plus an online gallery of at least 20 carefully-edited portraits to view and order. Cost: $75 (Must book by Jan. 15 and session must take place by Feb. 28)

I can't wait to capture some love and joy these next six weeks!

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A & G (engagement)

It's not very often as a photographer that you're able to watch a future client/couple in real life before you're even hired. With Andy and Gina, though, I knew there was going to be a ring before she did! (Well, OK, I'm sure she had a hunch, but still...!) You see, I was the Maid of Honor at Andy's sister's October wedding, and while we were talking, Andy told me he was going to propose to Gina soon and he wanted me to photograph an engagement session.

I remember watching the way he looked at her with such love as they spun around on the dance floor and I can still hear her laughter at something he said to make her smile. I knew they were the epitome of love and I was keeping my fingers crossed that I would indeed be able to attempt to capture some of their story with my camera.

Fast forward two months to a chilly night at Peddlers' Village, New Hope, Pennsylvania, with a giant, gorgeous ring on Gina's left hand and a lot more of their laughter in the air.

Gina and I had shared ideas together on Pinterest, which is a huge help in making sure the photographer and the client are on the same page. (We even incorporated her love of running and the fact that he proposed at the end of a race into our session!) We had photos near a carousel, along quiet wintry paths, breaks along benches and inside of coffeehouses and so many "picture-perfect" stops in between.

I am so grateful for this time with Andy and Gina and look forward to watching more of their love story unfold.