Frederick Wedding Photographer

Marigold + Dusty Blue Inspired Styled Shoot - Glen Ellen Farm | Frederick, Maryland

Blair and I have worked on many projects together over the years, and whenever she asks me to photograph one of her visions, I’m all in right away. She’s so talented and creative and so dedicated to executing her intentions and doing it well!

She and Brielle planned a gorgeous shoot to highlight the work of our amazing vendor team, featuring rustic golds, cool dusty blues, and a hint of the warm anticipation of summer.

This was more than your run of the mill styled shoot… This was an epic tale of steadfast loyalty, the bonding of girlfriends in a tough situation, and making executive decisions in a pinch to do whatever it takes to make it happen no matter what. We almost didn’t shoot….. and here’s why……

That evening before the shoot, many areas of Maryland and south central Pennsylvania received tornado warnings. The next evening I was heading to Glen Ellen Farm for the shoot, the sky was looking wild, in a cool moody way. The clouds were billowing and the sky was a deep gray-blue. And though it wasn’t raining, the winds were like nothing I’d seen in quite some time… I mean FIERCE and strong. I made it there safely, ready to roll…

Blair and Brielle were under the grand white tent that Glen Ellen has on their property, with the tablescape set, arrangements in place, and everything ready to go. All we were waiting on was the “bride”, our model.

The vision was to photograph against the sky, just outside the tent. As we were envisioning for the perfect spot to set up, a MASSIVE and I mean gigantic gust of wind came through and almost destroyed everything we were working with… Blair’s arrangements toppled over, a couple of forks flew onto the floor, and part of the side of the tent came undone. Together, the three of us with all of our strength got the tent sides back and secured the rentals, thinking of something to do.

As Freddie Mercury would say, THE SHOW MUST GO ON!

I was determined. WE were determined. With how much Blair invested in these gorgeous flowers, the hard work Brielle put in gathering all of the rentals and pieces together, the distance our model was driving, and the talent and time Voula our cake designer put into her masterpiece… We just HAD to shoot somehow.

Now as a note, we weren’t being incautious. We wouldn’t have continued on if we truly felt that our safety was at risk, it was just crazy winds we were dealing with.

After we collected ourselves after thinking that all of our efforts may have been for naught, we decided to GO for it! We carefully moved EVERYTHING from under the tent over to the old barn foundation setup on the property that would give us a bit of a barrier in the wind. Even though the lighting wasn’t ideal, re-staging everything gave us enough time for me to photograph our bride while we waited for the sun (that had finally come out, though the wind was still insane) to go fall a bit for some softer light with less contrast.

Long story short - it ended up being BETTER than we’d planned and hoped for and we felt so relieved, inspired, and proud of ourselves after the shoot was over. We did it, despite barriers and trials, and that’s what it’s all about. It made it more like a real wedding day when so much is out of our control anyway, even when things are planned as much as possible.

If you ask me, we rocked it!

So, friends… Here are a few of my favorites from the evening… I’m obsessed with the color palette… The pops of orange with the lazy tulips and kumquats are the perfect compliment to the mustard and blue-gray… Our model, Michelle, was such a trooper with my direction and ensuring to take such good care of the gown while we photographed. She’s absolutely gorgeous! And the team at JKW Beauty, my number-one referral for HMU artistry, did such an amazing job keeping her makeup light and romantic in a natural way. Instead of working against the wind, we tried to work with it and just have FUN…

After all was said and done, we packed up in the light of our SUV’s, and enjoyed Voula’s delicious cake before heading home and calling it a day - a day I’d call a complete success!


If you’re getting married or hosting an event and looking for an epic dream team of vendors for your wedding day to create the most beautiful table setting, cake design, floral arrangements, gown, hair and makeup, and rental pieces… Scroll down to the bottom where I’ve listed everyone’s contact info and give these girls a follow!

VENDOR TEAM

Florist + Vision: Blair Roberts, Sweet Blossoms LLC
Planning: Brielle Davis Events
Venue: Glen Ellen Farm
Hair/Makeup: JKW Beauty
Cake: Blue Lace Cakes
Invitation: Artisan Match Maker
Dress: Posh Bridal
Rentals: Something Vintage
Photographer: Kirsten Smith Photography

Jordan + Fitz : Spring Wedding at Stone Manor Country Club | Middletown, Maryland

When Jordan initially reached out to me about photographing her wedding, saying she and her fiance Brian (“Fitz”) loved to bar hop, hang out with their lab Ruca, and be part of anything food-related, I was like - yesss! I LOVE them! I knew instantly that our vibes would mesh and was so excited to get to know them and their story!

These two met at the Kent House Irish Pub in Towson, Maryland where Jordan has worked for years… (You may remember their engagement session there!) Her dad actually coached Fitz in Rugby years ago, and they suspect they actually played together when they were little. It’s so cute to picture them both together on the field, unknowing what their futures would hold.

They’re the kind of couple that just wants to kick back and have fun… and don’t take life too seriously. Their friends talk about how amazing they are to road trip with (which was mentioned quite a lot during speeches…) and how genuine, caring, and FUN these two are. They’re smiling all the time, and when they’re together, you can absolutely feel the chemistry between them. Jordan and Fitz are more than just husband and wife.. soul mates.. or “meant to be”. They are truly best friends, and the foundation they’ve created is so strong and will allow them to stand the test of time together as the years go by.

They’re definitely one special couple…

Thunderstorms were scheduled for the wedding day, but the skies cleared that morning and the temperature was at a perfect 72°.

Stone Manor Country Club had just finished brand new renovations on their property, adding on a beautiful brand new ballroom and patio, which are absolutely gorgeous! I was so impressed with how everything turned out. It elevates the space and makes for such a beautiful backdrop for a reception. This was the first time I had seen the new build-out and loved every detail!

Jordan and her bridesmaids (and “bridesbro” Alex!) were getting ready upstairs while the guys hung out in the ballroom where Jordan had surprised Fitz with his drum kit! It had been in storage for years and he hadn’t played in so long, so this was a really fun surprise for him. After a couple beers and some practice, the guys finished getting ready while throwing down on some pizza and beer…

Fitz was still practicing his drum skills after tying his shoes… :)

After hair and makeup, Denise, Jordan’s beautiful mama, helped her step into her gown. Before their First Look, she opened her gift from him - a pair of All Birds! I love this company… they are the most comfortable and long-lasting shoes I’ve ever had and have 3 pairs myself… I love her reaction to them, it was adorable! And of course the sweet words of his note sparked the water works…

Allie of Allison Marie Weddings planned the perfect spot for the First Look, in a pretty little shaded spot which was awesome since we were still working with the mid-day sun. They couldn’t wait to see each other and get the party started!

What’s a First Look without some pretty sweet dance moves??? Ugh I just love them.

We took a stroll around the beautiful property for portraits… And of course, they rocked it…

Jordan you are just so gorgeous!

Ruca arrived for a few pics with her mommy and daddy too!

A three-piece Irish band played during the ceremony processional and omg was that cool… You know the music from the best scene ever in Titanic when Jack and Kate are dancing below deck? That’s what it was like… The music is so beautifully rich, full of texture and story-telling… I loved it and could have listened to it for hours…

I love this shot of their officiant just as people were finding their seats…

Everyone was just so HAPPY and it was incredibly infectious… You couldn’t help but smile from ear to ear…

Jordan’s family stood embracing each other around her grandfather during the ceremony which was so tender and sweet. Their hand-written vows were adorable to listen to, making everyone chuckle and appreciate the bond they have. Jordan kept turning around and smiling, laughing with her family at different parts of the ceremony too. I love how close these two are with their families…

Mr. + Mrs. Fitzpatrick!

Cocktail Hour took place on the patio just outside the beautiful new ballroom… Guinness was served of course, along with an array of whatever you wanted to drink… Many were double-fisting which cracked me up! There was an EPIC Cigar Bar too, with Bacon Bouquets made by Jordan’s aunt - YES you read correctly, flowers made of bacon, a vast selection of cigars, candies, Fireball-soaked cherries dipped in chocolate (which were AMAZING I might add…), cake, treats, and goodies to take home…. It was amazing! Their guests were loving every single element and having the best time! I loved watching Jordan and Fitz mingling with everyone too.

The sky was so beautiful so we snagged a couple shots between sips of stout… :)

Before the reception started, I popped in to photograph the table settings and everything looked so beautiful! Fitz’s mom created all of the garland and flower arrangements for the reception. She did such an amazing job! They looked incredible!

Their First Dance was one of the sweetest ever… They just had FUN together… Jordan and her dad shared a precious dance to the cutest song called Little Potato, and Fitz and his beautiful mama shared a dance for a quick second before stopping the DJ to invite everyone on the dance floor with them to start the party!

Several of their bridal party members gave super sweet and equally hilarious speeches, which made everyone smile, laugh, and learn just a little more about how amazing these two are. I overheard several guests saying to each other just how these two are such “peas in a pod” and “perfect for each other”… :)

The night continued on with dancing, mingling, clinking of glasses, dance floor rugby, and a final drum solo by Fitz accompanied by his brother on guitar…

It was an absolute blast… a perfect day in every way… and I’m so happy to have been part of it.

Life is going to do some pretty amazing things for these two, and I can’t wait to see what those things are for them! They’re so fun to follow along with and I’m thankful to be able to call them friends!

Congratulations to the new Mr. + Mrs. Fitzpatrick… So much love to you both!

***

Dress: Betsy Robinson's Bridal Collection
Tux: Bonobos Clothing
Hair + Makeup: UpDos For I Dos
Invitations: Tomahawk Design Co.
Venue: Stone Manor Country Club
Planner: Allison Marie Weddings
Flowers: LB Designs LLC + MD Bay Blossoms
DJ/Band: Capital Celtic

Erin & Stephen : Springfield Manor Winery & Distillery | Frederick, Maryland Summer Wedding

Erin and Stephen are such a sweet couple that just love to be together. You can tell that they're best friends, put each other first, and just love to be by each other's side. They've been together for over 8 years and are finally husband and wife, something Stephen knew was going to happen since he met Erin. 

Their wedding day was everything I knew it would be - tender and sweet, intimate and special, and truly all about honoring each other and their unity before their friends and family. 

I met the girls as they were getting ready at RoseBrook Studio in Frederick, Maryland. Erin had written letters to each of her bridesmaids and handed them out shortly after I'd arrived. It was so special for each of them.. her two sisters, and best friends. Erin's sister Fiona is so good with hair and makeup and was working her magic on some of the girls while Brenda from RoseBrook was doing what she does best too... This part of the day was so fun!

I headed over a couple blocks to All Saints Episcopal Church where Stephen and his groomsmen were getting ready. I'm not sure I've ever seen a group of guys care as much about helping their friend get ready as I did with Stephen's groomsmen. They all had fun with it, wanted to pin on their own boutonnieres, help Stephen into his suit jacket, and did it all with smiles. It was so fun to watch.

The church was beautiful. I loved the stained glass windows and of course the red door!

After Erin got into her dress, she and Stephen had a little secret look to exchange letters and gifts to each other. It was really sweet and nice to have a quiet private moment before the ceremony started. Both of Erin's parents officiated and her brother escorted her down the aisle which was so special. Watch as their little nephew Lincoln kept wanting to join them at the front of the church during the ceremony... hehe. :) Afterwards, they got to ring the church bell! We climbed up into the tower and they rang it together. It was so cute!

We headed to Springfield Manor for portraits and of course, the reception! I loved the ballroom decor. It was beautifully simple and the flower arrangement centerpieces were stunning. Everything was tasteful and elegant.

After speeches, we headed out for some portraits after it got a little cooler.

These two make 90 degree temps look easy breezy! Erin just loved her veil and couldn't get enough of it. I bet she would wear it every single day if she could. :)

I was so happy that even after some recent flooding, the rows of lavender were still in tact. The evening carried on with dancing, corn hole, and a cupcake cutting! 

After their wedding day, Erin and Stephen spent their honeymoon in Italy where they saw so many iconic sights, tasted incredible flavors, and even took a gondola ride! Best of wishes to these two! I know life will take them on some amazing adventures together...

***

Flowers - Fiddlestix Florals
DJ - Shewsical Entertainment
Invitations - BettyLu Paperie (Etsy)
Dress - David's Bridal

BLOGS FOR BRIDES: Tips for Planning your Engagement Session

Alex & Paul | Inner Harbor : Baltimore, Maryland

Alex & Paul | Inner Harbor : Baltimore, Maryland


Couples typically aren't used to spending much time in front of the camera prior to their Engagement Shoot and Wedding Day. It's rare to find a couple who are both comfortable with being photographed and feel natural in front of a working photographer. 

When you see yourself in a photo, what do you typically notice? Is it your hair? Your clothing? What you're doing? The look on your face? If you're like me, you notice it all and critique every bit of it. So I want to make sure you not only feel comfortable during your Engagement Session, but also love the way you look and feel in your images to ensure the shoot is a complete success and maybe, just maybe, an unforgettable memory that you and your fiancé share together. :) 

In my experience in photographing couples together, I've witnessed aspects of the Engagement Session that work, and parts of it that don't. I've gathered together the most important elements for you to consider and compiled them into an acronym to help keep things simple and easy to remember:  LOVE!

Location
Outfits
Vibes
Expressions 


LOCATION

Comfort
It's so important to choose a place not only represents the two of you and your relationship, but somewhere you feel comfortable expressing that love. Not all of us are all about the PDA so if the privacy of your living room or the middle of a quiet forest is best for the two of you, then that's where we'll shoot! If there's a favorite bar on the corner where you grab a drink together every Friday night, then sounds like that's a winning choice. Maybe you have a place that feels really sentimental to the two of you - somewhere you like to spend time together to bond and feel at peace (my hubby and I have a favorite spot like this on the Eastern Shore) then perhaps we could photograph there! Pick a location in which you feel comfortable being a little lovey and smoochy together, and just really be yourselves.

Diversity
Choosing somewhere with a few different backgrounds, textures, angles, and even some things to do is a great idea. Not only does it inspire me to get creative with the shots while the two of you enjoy each other's company, but it gives a fun variance and and artistic feel to your final gallery. Try and look for a place with 3 "sub-locations" or highlights within it's vicinity. Perhaps your favorite brewery is on a super cool city street with cobblestones (spot 1), with an awesome window with a couple high-top tables to grab a beer together (spot 2), and an outdoor terrace or patio that overlooks the city skyline (spot 3). Say you want to pick something a little more nature-inspired like a local park. Look for a fun feature like a boat house or dock, an especially distinct row of trees or wooded area that's easy to walk through or around, and maybe a pretty wheat field or wildflower meadow. We will move throughout the shoot, spending about 15 to 20 minutes at each of these locations. This will add variety to your gallery and move the session along smoothly. 

Activities
I want you two to really focus on each other as we make the memory of your Engagement Session together, but if you're like my husband and me, sometimes it feels a little funny to repeatedly hold hands, kiss, walk, talk, and smile at each other for the entirety of an hour. As much as we love each other, we'd rather do something together while being flirty and sweet! So think of a location that offers something for you both to do to keep you interacting. A museum, restaurant or bar, or even a carnival are all great ideas. This way, we can tell a little story together and keep the shoot feeling authentic and organic. If you decide on a location that's a bit more down-to-earth, bring a little cheese and wine to enjoy or maybe a few of your favorite books with a blanket. Think about an activity that really represents you both, and is something you actually do together. 

Chrissie & Justin | Federal Hill : Baltimore, Maryland

Chrissie & Justin | Federal Hill : Baltimore, Maryland

OUTFITS

Style
Choose an outfit that you'd normally wear. If you go out and buy something fresh for the shoot, that's great! But don't overthink it. Again, you want to look and feel like yourselves. If you have a brand new pair of shoes on and you end up getting blisters while walking around during your shoot, that may be how you'll remember that time together rather than how much fun it was. Be comfortable and cute with a bit of style and flair without breaking the bank or misrepresenting yourselves through how you decide to dress. And don't forget to wear something appropriate for your location! Think about what would make sense to wear for the weather and location you've chosen. And feel free to bring a second outfit for each of you along too! 

Colors
Pulling colors from your wedding palette would be great but is definitely not necessary. Think about the location you've decided on, and then what colors would compliment the background of the place you've picked. I can help with this too if you'd like - I love helping with the outfit planning! Say we'll be photographing part of your shoot in a forest of tall old pines. You wouldn't want to wear green or brown because you'd blend right in with the background. Instead, a bold red, white, mustard yellow, or orange would look amazing against the color of the trees! Think about what colors might "pop". Bold colors are always great! Smaller prints and plaids don't always photograph as well as larger ones do. Try not to choose something that completely matches, but rather pick out outfits for yourselves with complimentary colors, tones, and prints instead. If you've chosen downtown Annapolis during the springtime and want to go with a navy and white color scheme, then I would suggest you wear maybe some cute navy blue shorts with a white tank, a cream cardigan or blazer, some cute sandals, and a statement necklace or striped scarf with hints of blues or another accent color - and he could wear khaki's, a white oxford with the sleeves rolled up, with a nice belt, some Sperry's, and a navy blazer. And make sure aren't both wearing the same color shirts or same color pants. You want to visually switch it up! Pick colors you feel good in. I personally love to wear fresh crisp white or an earthy olive green, so those colors would be my first choices. Look at a color wheel and see which tones and hues compliment others. Again - I'm here to help if you need me to! My couples email me pictures of their outfit choices all the time for advice. :)

Amanda & Joe | Ellicott City, Maryland

Amanda & Joe | Ellicott City, Maryland

VIBES

It's easy to get caught up in your nerves prior to the shoot, but try your best to relax! I'll help with that too, and coach you through everything so you feel most comfortable. Sometimes it helps to have a drink together before you meet up with me! Couples do that all the time and say it really helps to calm themselves down and take the edge off. I completely understand wanting everything to go well - I do too! I want the vibes to feel good, fun, happy, authentic, super chill, and natural. I really want you two to do your thing and enjoy each other's company. Be honest with me during the session too - if there's something you're not feeling or a direction I may give seems off or not reflective of the two of you - please tell me! I'm usually pretty good at picking up on those things, but communication is key in this relationship we have! I want you guys to love your images and to do everything possible to ensure that. So let's keep it cool and if need be, share how we feel along the way! 

Kirsten & Mike | Hauser Winery : Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

Kirsten & Mike | Hauser Winery : Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

EXPRESSIONS

This sort of goes along with the whole just relax and enjoy the shoot thing. But that's hard at first because it's not easy to find the balance of knowing the camera's there so you're being aware of your facial expressions, to forgetting your picture's being taken and just going with the flow. But the piece of advice I have is simply to not overthink it. Just be yourselves. Try not to laugh, smile, pose, or act a certain way because you're in front of the camera, but more so just try and tune it out and focus on each other. I'll get those laughing, smiling, sweet moments - I promise. It's my job to pay attention to those milliseconds in between the moments when the true essence of who you are shines through. So when you both just relax, be yourselves, and not overthink the way your face looks or what kind of expression you have, that's when you'll enjoy having your photo taken the most. When you see your images, you'll see your true selves. Throughout the session, try and really focus on each other and the life you're building together. Dig deep, think about this big step you're making, and most importantly - why you're making it. Look and really see the person sitting in front of you, holding your hand, walking beside you, and really allow all of the reasons why you're choosing them as your "forever endeavor" as my husband Tyler and I always say. :)

Michelle & Scott : Battlefields of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

Michelle & Scott : Battlefields of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania


Engagement Session are so much fun and I absolutely love them! It's such a perfect way for me to get to know you both more, witness your chemistry, hear your story, and become inspired by your love. It's truly a privilege I don't take lightly. I simply want to have fun with the two of you, let you guys hang out , relax, and enjoy your time together while I snap away at your precious and unique love, turning it into something tangible, long-lasting, artistic, and beautiful.

Do you have any questions about how to better plan for your Engagement Session? I'd love to help you and answer them for you! Email me at kirsten@kirstensmithphotography.com or visit the Contact page on my website to get in touch!