A perfect day for Jalen and Natalie

Natalie and Jalen enjoy a perfect day! They planned a wedding at the end of September hoping for the fall weather. They were surprised by the heat but did get a bit of fall color. It is never easy to determine what the weather will be in St. Louis. We can have an early fall or a late fall. This year it seems to be coming a bit later than expected. That didn’t stop this wonderful couple from having a perfect day. We met up with Natalie and the girls as they got ready at a house near the ceremony location. The girls were putting on the finishing touches when we arrived. Everyone wanted to provide Natalie and Jalen with the wedding they wished. A first look started off the photos, Jalen was right on time giving Natalie a sigh of relief because she was anxious to see him. We set up Jalen in a position where he couldn’t see Natalie as she got set behind him. The magic began as soon as she tapped him on the shoulder. They smiled, laughed, gazed into each other’s eyes, and the love radiated off of them. They were ready to get married and we were ready to capture the moments. Since the wedding was on a Friday it was a bit later in the evening. This timeline gave us the opportunity to take the majority of photos prior to the ceremony. We knew there was a limited window of time at the Jewel Box, where the ceremony took place. So we planned on taking photos at other locations in Forest Park. Despite the unexpectedly warm weather, the day was perfect.. Natalie and Jalen enjoy a perfect day as some fallen leaves in the grass gave the impression that fall was on the horizon The wedding party had a fun time relaxing together before they headed to the Jewel Box. We were able to get hundreds of photos of the couple with all their friends and family. They seem very close to each and every one of them. They looked around them and wanted a photo with each person that was there to support them. Natalie shared the story of how they knew each person. They made everyone around them feel very important. Natalie’s father performed the ceremony, how special for the entire family. All of the parents spoke about the couple and the crowd finished the ceremony with a special blessing for them. The evening would not be complete without a party, and party they did. We were only at the reception for a short time but we know they had fun the entire time. Congratulations and we look forward to working with you again soon.     #ravettaphotography #fallwedding #stlphotographer #weddingphotography #weddingphotos #stlwedding #fallphotography

Brooke and Harold had a wonderful wedding

Brooke and Harold had a wonderful wedding and we were honored to be a part of such a perfect event. The day started of simply with us meeting everyone at the church about an hour before the wedding. It is not unusual to start photography at the church, but what is unusual is having everyone there exactly on time. Girls were putting on the finishing touches when we arrived. The boys arrived shortly after, also exactly the time expected, this gave us the perfect opportunity to take photos of Harold with his family. The church didn’t have a place to sneak out back with Brooke to take photos so we thought it would be best to save those until after the ceremony. This way she wasn’t outside as the guests started to arrive. A traditional ceremony started this couple off on the right foot in marriage. They are not the type to want to be the center of attention. However, during these moments they were just smiling and took time to enjoy the words of the priest. Brooke and Harold looked relaxed, ready to become husband and wife, and start the next chapter of their story. But before that next chapter begins they celebrated with an elegant reception at the Sheraton Westport. We had a bit of time before we headed to the reception for photos in Forest Park. The day was beautiful and we found the perfect spots to take some fall photos. The park may have been crowded with other couples or families enjoying the fall weather, but that didn’t stop us from capturing those beautiful memories. Brooke and Harold decided that their kids were going to have a break while they took photos at Forest Park. We wanted to make sure they were in plenty of photos during the day so we planned to arrive to the reception early to give the children time to take photos outside. They were excited to have time to take photos with Brooke and Harold, these are photos they will enjoy forever. The kids packed the dance floor the entire night. They had so much fun celebrating the evening. We enjoyed watching everyone have fun all night long dancing along to the live band. We look forward to working with Brooke and Harold again in the future after such a wonderful wedding. #ravettaphotography #fallwedding #stlphotographer #weddingphotography #weddingphotos #stlwedding #fallphotography

Andrea and Tim are getting married

Andrea and Tim are getting married and we are so happy to caputure the event. Andrea has known Karen and Lou Ravetta, the owners, for a few years now. Her family lives close to them and her parents are often socializing with Karen and Lou. Our studio worked with her for a mom and me session a few years back. It was such a great session because her and her daughter are super photogenic and know how to relax in front of the camera. Karen called the office and told us to hold the date for Andrea and Tim. At that point we didn’t have any information on venue or timing. They are just positive they want us there! Andrea and Tim will have a wedding in June of 2024 so having a fall engagement session was perfect. I had met Andrea many times while out at my parent’s house and during her last photo session with us. However, I had never met Tim and their new little girl. I was looking forward to taking some family photos during the engagement session. The day of the session was beautiful. The lighting was great and the temperature was amazing. We were able to take our time to get those perfect images. Andrea’s oldest daughter was such a big help with her little sister while I took photos of just Andrea and Tim together. We all laughed together when we tried a few “candid” type photos. Andrea and Tim wanted photography in motion but usually, it looks better when the photographer directs the subjects at least a little bit. This way they are facing into the light correctly with an appealing background. It may have taken a few tries to get the directions correct, however the results were magical. The smiles and laughter from Andrea and Tim truly show that they know how to have fun together. It highlighted their love ever moment of the session. Andrea and Tim are getting married and we will create tons of memories for them. We know it will be one to remember! #ravettaphotography #stlphotographer #engagementsession #forestpark #familyphotos #shesaidyes #theywillsayido #parkphotos #fallphotography

Fun and romantic engagement session

Some of our couples are fun, some of our couples are romantic and then we have those that are BOTH! This fun and romantic engagement session was just what we needed before the heat wave. We knew that the wedding photos would be taken in Forest Park so we decided to explore Tower Grove for the engagement session. The park is usually busy on the weekends so we picked a few spots at are a bit less travelled. These areas really gave us the opportunity to get creative without having to worry about people in the background. From the very first pose we knew it was going to be a fun and romantic session. Natalie and Jalen just fit together perfectly. They look loving at each other, they snuggle up, they act silly and they are up to go wherever we think might look nice. We started off with some simple backgrounds so we could completely focus on them. We could see the emotions, their hands linked together and the loving nuzzles as they got close together. This lead the session into some fun photos as Jalen twirled Natalie around a bit ending with a dip. Since we are at the park so often we enjoy utilizing new things, even if those things are not permanent. Some random cut down trees gave us the perfect high to take some hugging photos. Natalie got a bit of saw dust on her dress but we brushed it off while we walked a bit farther. We found a really nice field of flowers and a water feature. Since we had already done some intimate close ups and some fun photos this was a great opportunity to just let them interact. Like a photographer hiding while getting those moments that matter. The last thing before we ended was a fun trick where they “throw” each other a bit. It always ends in laughter, this was no exception, their wedding day is going to be so much fun. We know there will be a bit of romance in there too, see you next month.

Ashley and Ian

We waited and waited for this day to happen and it FINALLY arrived. We were waiting with great anticipation, therefore we know the family was overjoyed for this event.  Ashley and Ian have been together for many years. They may not have had love at first sight, in fact Ashley drove Ian crazy. But he soon saw what an amazing person she is and couldn’t live without her. They planned this event down to the very detail and it showed. Ashley and Ian knew planning a wedding was a big job so they welcomed the help from parents. When you are blessed to have parents who are willing to make your vision a reality your wedding is perfect! We began the day hanging out with the girls and boys as they got ready. The were not able to see each other that morning. However, Ashley did get a bit of a peak of Ian as he did some photos out front. The photos captured every moment of the morning from hair and make-up to a crazy pillow fight. Yep, while the girls jumped on the bed the boys had a pillow fight. The energy from this group of people is amazing. How could you not enjoy the entire day around such a great group! The photos started off with a first look where Ian almost fell to his knees when he saw Ashley. It was a perfect moment for them before we got into a few hours of photos. Yep, hours! They were able to take some time with just the two of them around the grounds. That was such a wonderful opportunity for them to just enjoy time together before the chaos. It wasn’t really chaos but we were able to do pretty much all the photos before the ceremony. We accomplished some fun wedding party photos, as well as, those perfect family photos. The flower girls and ring bearer kept it interesting by providing some comic entertainment as they try to walk out of the photos. Have you ever wanted to make your ceremony unique? Why not have your dad officiate! Ashley’s dad performed the ceremony which added that little extra special touch. The stories, the heartfelt words and the congregation fully invested tipped this ceremony to the top. How could this day get better after all that had happened up to this point? Well, an reception for Ashley and Ian with no detail left out. The cake, the décor, the speeches from loved ones, the dancing, the sunset photos and the epic send off. Seriously, just a perfect event from start to finish. Capturing another event for this family was an honor. Since we have known them for years.   #ravettaphotography #stlphotographer #summerwedding #weddingphotos #stlwedding #outdoorphotos #happytogether #allsmilesallday

Let’s take a walk together

We often go to parks or those typical locations for session. We love when it switches up a bit and let’s take a walk together. When you drive around your neighborhood do you see a nice wall, brick steps, maybe even some interesting landscaping. All of these things create beautiful and unique photos. We can meet near your home or perhaps there is a neighborhood you enjoy visiting. We walk around together and find areas to take photos. Of course, we are not up on porches or trespassing in anyway. Just using the surroundings to create the perfect photo. When you are part of our birthday club we have probably been all over the city. Let’s get out and go for a walk around your neighborhood. This is exactly what we decided to do for this birthday club session. It was decided to take a walk around favorite neighborhood, The Hill. We have been photographing on The Hill for over 40 years, there is always a new place that is interesting. The stone walls and cozy benches are perfect, not to mention the new Piazza has that wonderful water fountain. Since we were doing a bit more walking at this session we had lots of time to talk. We talked about the start of school, what fun travels happened over the summer and we couldn’t forget to talk about video games. All the boys love talking about video games, good thing we know a thing or two. However, they are always happy to teach us more. The weather was warm but not too bad in the shade. We could see that the smiles were getting a bit fake after a few blocks in our walk so we broke out some jokes to get him laughing. We have know him since he was a baby since he is part of our birthday club. There is one more session left in the club, but we know that we will still get a chance to see him. Perhaps around the neighborhood because it is one of our favorite places to go.   #ravettaphotography #stlphotographer #thehill #birthdayclub #outdoorsession #summerphotos #photosintheneighborhood #letstakeawalk

One year birthday club session

It’s hard to decide which sessions are our favorites during the birthday club. One year birthday club sessions are very exciting. But do we like them more than the newborn session? What about the 2 other sessions in between? There is also the other 13 sessions after one year! The one year birthday club session is definitely up there with our favorite sessions. The kids definitely start to show lots of personality. The session began with some family photos. We knew that we were going to do a smash cake at the end so we wanted to be sure to get all the other photos done first. The family photos went very smoothly, giving them lots to pick from when making selections. We were hoping to get some photos of the brothers but big brother was on the move. He is very fast and since little brother hasn’t quite caught up yet we only got a few of those. No big deal since this session was the one year birthday session and that was the focus anyway. Our big one year old smiled and laughed during all his photos. He even bounced right back after a tumble in the weeds. It was like it didn’t even happen! He is so easy going just like mom and dad. We moved around the park a bit getting different scenery options. He isn’t walking just yet, maybe a step or two. This actually helped because he was fully entertained by use being silly after we gave him a spot to sit or stand. The last thing was the smash cake, or cupcakes. He was definitely more interested in the cake tray than the cupcakes. Big brother wanted to join in this one year birthday club session so we were able to capture a few of them sharing cupcakes – super cute! Even though we didn’t have a smash we still captured this one year session. The kids grow so fast so having these photos will be a great memory. See you in 6 months!     #ravettaphotography #birthdayclub #stlphotographer #portraitphotographer #oneyearsession #oneyearsmashcake #smashcakephotos #happybirthday #outdoorsession

Mom is the favorite so we just roll with it

Sometimes I wish we could all roll with it like this family. Mom is the favorite so we just roll with it during the session. The plan was to photograph an 18 month session in the park. Mom has some thoughts about flowers in a basket and reading the favority books. However, Luella had other plans. She didn’t care about her favorite books, she just wanted her favorite person – mom. We know it is hard for little ones to sit without mom sometimes. We started of slow by having them play together while mom inched away a bit. She was never able to get too far! Lucky mom knew this might be an issue so she dressed ready to be in photos if needed. This is the personality we want to capture right now, all mom all the time. Most of the session turned into a mom and me session. These photos were quite perfect! Then after Luella warmed up a bit more she was willing to play with her brother for a few photos. These dancing and playing photos are very cute! We had to do a bit of zooming and cropping to get a photo of her by herself. However, what we did get was wonderful because she had a big smile on her face. Of course she did because she was still touching mom. We even tried handing off to dad while mom hid around the corner. All the little tricks we had Luella wasn’t buying what we were selling. This isn’t the first session where mom couldn’t leave and it won’t be the last. We are just grateful that when mom is the favorite everyone is willing to just roll with it. Truely these photos will be cherished because mom is often behind the camera, they will be enjoyed forever. #ravettaphotography #stlphotographer #birthdayclub #queenypark #momandme #photoswithmom #babygirl #outdoorphotos #outdoorsession #photographyoutdoors  

Summer wedding summer sweethearts

Elizabeth visited our office with Nick and her mom to talk about the summer wedding. They were great to talk with and we looked forward to photographing the wedding of these summer sweethearts. The couple made the decision to have just one photographer at the wedding. This is not as common because lots of couple feel a bit awkward doing those silly or romantic photos. The second photographer is there to capture all the in-between-moments during the day. All those times couple are acting silly with their friends or romantically look into each other’s eyes. Once we arrived we saw why they knew only one photographer could capture all they needed. From start to finish they we just having the time of their lives, enjoying every moment of this summer wedding! They got silly, romantic and everything in between. We started photography at the church. Everyone was perfectly on time giving us plenty of opportunity to get family photos prior to the ceremony. This opened up more time after the wedding to spend at the park. Most couples seem a bit nervous prior to the ceremony but these two were very calm. If they were nervous you would have never known! A very traditional ceremony surrounded by friends and family was perfect for this summer wedding. We were able to quickly do the family photos in the church. Couples usually don’t have a watch, it seems like these photos go on forever. However, we were done with everything in less than 30 minutes. It was great timing and relieving a bit of stress of getting to the reception on time. There was plenty of time left to have some fun in the park. These summer sweethearts were so lucky with the weather on this summer wedding in July. It was not too hot with a nice breeze. They really took every advantage of spending some extra time at the park to create photo memories. The wedding concluded with the reception at an event space where they met! How perfect, they even had a sign saying “we met here”. All the small touches in the room really added to the overall feeling of love. The room has comics they had sent each other, a crossword puzzle where the answers were all about them and a puzzle made from engagement photos. These touches showed how perfect this couple was for each other. We are honored we were able to be a part of this day and hope to work with them again in the future. #ravettaphotography #stlphotographer #summerwedding #forestpark #stlouiswedding #weddingphotographer #weddingphotos #summerweddingphotos #happycouple

Summer sessions in the park

We have such a fun time during our summer sessions in the park. We know that it is hot and the kids are going to be a mess quickly. Therefore, we pick shade spots and work as fast as possible. Using just  few locations with multiple poses allows the kids to play. Of course, if the kids want to move a bit more we are able to do that. Moving around is a luxury of the outdoor sessions. Indoors we are limited to where the lights are, but outside we can just move to a new location. The boys wanted to climb on the rocks in Tower Grove, all boys like to climb on the rocks. However, it was a very hot summer session in the park and the rocks are in the sun. We made a deal to take photos in the shade first before we did our climbing. The locations we picked gave us the chance to play peek-a-boo and slide down a tree. These areas kept the boys busy until we were ready to get out into the sun. A bit of climbing and then some races together really enhanced their personalities. We know our birthday club members grow fast when we only get to see them once a year. But these fun images help us get to know them even better. Some kids are ready to play with us while others want to just do their own thing. Either way we are able to capture them enjoying the sun during this summer sessions in the park. Since this family is part of our birthday club they know we are able to get those perfect images in only a short time. When working with kids time can be limited, the heat doesn’t help either. We worked quickly and were able to capture exactly what we needed. Looking forward to seeing you again next year boys!         #ravettaphotography #stlphotographer #summerphotography #siblingphotography #locationphotos #towergrovepark #hotouthere