Earthy Maternity Shoot | Hannah Barlow Photography | WV Wedding Photography

Happy Thursday!  

This is going to be a goodie!

So, let's do it!


As I have gotten older, I've realized I need to appreciate both the big AND little things in life.  I know I need to appreciate the close friendships I have even when those close friends live so far away (and most of my close friends do unfortunately).  Life happens and people drift apart.  I've noticed lots of individuals come and go as life changes but the most important ones have remained.  So, why am I all sappy today?  Well, because of this girl!! Who recognizes her?!  It's Kari, of course,...former HBP bride, amazing friend, wedding assistant, and second shooter extraordinaire!

...and many of you know...she's having a baby!

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For those of you who don't know (I feel like I'm starting a wedding speech) or missed the other blogs or are just generally new to my blogs, Kari and I met back in the winter of 2016.  She was engaged to be married and looking for a wedding photographer!  She admittedly hired all "new vendors" to cut costs! HA!  I was new at the time with only ONE wedding under my belt.  So, she hired me (she's crazy)!  Her now sister-in-law is married to a friend of ours who served in the military with my husband.  They referred Kari to me and were the ultimate reason she found me.  I'm still SO thankful they sent her my way!  I could NEVER have guessed what would happen after our initial conversations!  Now, I can't imagine life (or Hannah Barlow Photography) without her!

Let's go back a bit more, shall we?!  So, like many of my brides, Kari and I kept emailing back and forth with details and ideas and everything wedding related...the works!  We chatted via email for a couple of months and then decided to meet up and do some fun, photo shoots (I was still building my portfolio anyway).  Her husband (husband-to-be at the time), David, also works on my husband's base so we figured we'd get the guys together and see how they got along!  You all know the struggle it can be to get guys to hang and be friends! Looking back...it's kind of weird.  I'd never met these people.  I invited them to my house for a BBQ and photo shoot!  Now, she's one of my closest friends and the person I email with all the funny stories and gossip!  John (my husband) and I always have SO MUCH fun when we're all together.  It's a match made in heaven all the way around - both business and personal life!

Here's a dreamy black and white image from our shoot.  Kari loves black and white!

So, Kari and I starting talking more and more after that initial meet up in 2016.  Today, we talk almost every day.  Back then she had mentioned she loved weddings, had previously worked at David's bridal, worked under a wedding planner, and loved photography.  I just happened to be looking for an assistant at that time.  It's just so crazy how it all worked out!  I don't usually believe things are meant to be...but this was meant to be.  I was still pretty new.  I had no dedicated assistant or second shooter yet so I asked her if she wanted to tag along!  She did.  The rest is history!  My business grew as our friendship grew and now she's a vital part of my company!  Sometimes I think my brides even love her more than me! HA!

So, that's enough mushiness for now!  Let's talk about these maternity photos.  Now that Kari knows what she's doing in the photography department, photographing her is HARD and nerve racking! HA!  She also loves photos that are nothing like I usually take...they have haze, they're "artsy farsty" (as she calls it), lots of lights and darks, and she could care less about skin tones!

Enter Hannah's nerves!

We also giggled the whole time because we're so "set" in our ways at weddings.  It's so easy for us now to shoot and pose and direct...but we had no idea how to pose her for maternity photos!  I pulled up Pinterest.  I did.  AND you all know how much I loathe Pinterest for photos!  Then, there's David.  He just stands around and puts up with our shenanigans.  He's so easy!  I had also brought my kids along (which I would never do with anyone else) and he kept them company.  My kids are HUGE fans of Kari and David...especially David!  I figured it would be good practice for them.  You know.  It's HARD to do anything with kids around!  This session reinforced that truth!

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So, we meandered around for a while and found this location.  So much green.  So much green everywhere!  Kari loves anything "earthy" and "artsy fartsy" but she also has difficulty making a firm decision on anything (some of you know the wedding bouquet fiasco).  So, I had to just pick and choose and hope (REALLY hope) she would like these photos when they were finished!  I kept channeling my inner Kari (which Jenna and I kept saying at the last wedding)...I shot landscape orientation...filled the frame (kind of...I really don't know how she does that)....channeled earthy.... Whewww!

We just kept switching locations and this one below had so much light.  So much.  This goes against anything I would ever do for a client.  So, it is a good thing she isn't a client anymore!  Kari, of course, LOVES these!  I do too but the orangish colors makes me itch a little bit!  Nevertheless, she's just beautiful, right?!  I just can't wait to get my hands on that little boy (my vote) OR maybe girl (Kari's vote).  I am firm boy.  Reagan, my daughter, is firm on a girl and I'm not really sure where David stands on all this!

Now, let's talk about real life Kari.  This is where I am going to pick on her a bit.  I made some comments in the last couple of weeks that I'd be editing these babies (no pun intended) until Christmas.  Welllllllll, Kari was in trouble after this shoot.  BIG TROUBLE.

For those of you who have met her and know her and love her, lets think about her at weddings.  She's so put together.  She keeps me calm.  She's organized and anticipates my next move or freak out.  She's organizes and designs the detail shots.  She never misses a beat!  Enter real life Kari.  The girl is usually late for things (but somehow we've never been late to a wedding).  It was even in their wedding program that their own wedding would probably start seven minutes late on "Kari time".  So, she gets out of the car this day and says, "I spilled water all over my dress" or maybe she sat in water too.  I actually think it was both.  Nonetheless, if you look REALLY closely, you can see it.  She had this HUGE round spot on the back of her dress.  GrrRrrrRr.  The bow was also wet.  GrrrRrrRRrrr.  I did A LOT of photoshopping on that dress.  She's also blonde (not her fault, of course) and I had to photoshop a lot of stray hairs out.  I photoshopped David's stray hairs while I was at it.  She also wore sparkly eye makeup that caught the light so well it left these bright spots all over her face.  I had to photoshop them out too.  I emailed her about it as I was getting cross eyed and her response was something like, "You're welcome.  That's bare minerals!" and I'm pretty sure she threw in the color palette too or something. HA!  This is also totally unrelated to this session but the girl can also NEVER find her keys or her phone...ever.  Never ever.  She's going to be even later once that baby arrives! Bahahahahahaha!  Every night, after each wedding, we sit in the car for an additional five minutes while she dumps her purse and looks for her keys! I'm not even kidding!  OOo and I also had to photoshop her nail polish off her fingers for this session...because I'm pretty sure she hadn't painted them in a month!  It's funny now...was not funny while I was photoshopping!  David just stands there and says, "Yep.  That's my Kari!".

But I love her and all her quirks.  I also love that she puts up with my Type A and "75% tyrant" <--- her words not mine, personality.  She makes my clients super happy too!  I'll take it!

So anyway, if any of you recall their multiple engagement sessions and wedding, these two are always steamy on camera.  They have no issues with PDA or posing in front of my camera (even before we were really friends).  It's amazing!! The whole time Kari was pregnant at weddings (I put her on maternity leave until September now), I kept telling people that we couldn't have her go into labor because David would have come riding in on his white horse to rescue her (for real...he would have).  I would have been in big trouble too! HA!  I even texted David every morning of each wedding with our exact locations (including addresses) just in case!  Kari, on the other hand, usually had no idea where were were going <---- hence why I had to text David! HA!  It's true. Half the time she has no idea where we're going BUT she does know the couple!  She always does some stalking and blog reading so she is up to date on my couples before we meet them!  She usually knows more about them when we leave too!

 These two are also another couple that popped right out of one of my romance novels.  It's sickening, I tell ya!  That's what I always tell them! I mean...David waits up for Kari after weddings (and we get home LATE sometimes).  She calls him on the way home and chats with him the whole time.  They tell each other EVERYTHING.  They're just so stinkin' sweet together!

Man...that light was giving me issues though.  At one point, I marked my spot on the ground with a pinecone thinking it would make the light consistent.  It didn't but at least I can do things like that and Kari doesn't think bad things about me! HA!  She also loved that these below photos were "dark" and it kind of made me crazy.  Isn't it amazing that we can shoot a wedding seamlessly having such diferent tastes?!

That light flare is so extreme and Kari loves it!  It's also a photographer's joke that when the colors are wonky....make it black and white!! So, we did!  She loves black and white anyway!

I particularly love this set!  Again, it's not really what I would do but what I was feeling like Kari would do!  It's just amazing to me.  I taught her almost everything she knows about DSLR photography, posing, shooting...you name it!  Then, she comes up with her own style and now I'm channeling it!! It's really pretty cool when you think about it!

OooOo yes...another difficulty on this session.  Their skin tones are SO different!  SO DIFFERENT! Dang you, David DeShong, and your tan!  It takes it really hard to get them to both look right!  This has always been an issue with them and Kari gave me some pretty hilarious commentary when we were sorting through the photos!

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THIS, I believe, is one of my favorites below!  That light was no joke!  So.much.light!  I know...I know...I've rambled a lot this blog post too!  I just have so much to say about these two!  I'll sum it up right here.  

I'm SO happy these two fell into my life!  I was so excited to be their wedding photographer and be a part of their love story.  I'm even more excited they are going to be parents soon!  I can only hope we'll have lots and lots more Kari and David posts in the future.  ALSO, Kari is going to take our ten year anniversary photos this fall.  Kari, when you're reading this, we need to get that date on the calendar now!  I totally forgot!  So, I'll be blogging HER photos of ME.  EEEKKKKK!! That'll be fun!  I hope to give my husband the "couple fun facts" just like I do all my couples!  Fingers crossed everyone.  As my friend Kat says, "cross all your crossables" just for good measure.  Getting my husband to participate in any of this AND let me post it will cost me big time! HA!  You know how I'm a people person and can talk all day long?  Yea.........he's the opposite! ;-)  The struggle is real.  Here's to hoping!

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And....last but not least...you all probably saw this one already.  I'm taking a composite workshop teaching me how to make fantasy like photos come to life!! It was totally fun!  I'm going to be doing this a lot in my spare time!  I love it!! I'm hoping to start going back through weddings and cutting out my couples and putting them into fun, dreamy photos during down time this winter!! Check back! <3 

So, that's a wrap on Kari and David's session!  Did I mention how much I love these two?!  I think that I did. ;-)  Kari mentioned way back that I could come during the derlivery.  Nope.  I'm good.  Been there.  Done that.  I enjoy my sleep too much! HA!  BUT I did promise to come and take photos afterward and cook her lots of food!  I bet they'll let me post those too! 

Happy Thursday!  Thanks for reading!


For those of you who missed it, here is their wedding. ----> HERE

Their engagement session (the official one). ---> HERE
**I'm cracking up that I called him "Dave" back then.  I NEVER all him that!**