Amy and Tom : Engaged

When I was emailing back and forth with Amy about their engagement session, I was so excited because she had some many great creative ideas for their session! I think it’s really great to be intentional about the locations you choose for a session because the location can be part of the story that the images tell.

Like this image… Tom and Amy have had a long distance relationship for years. Tom lives in Chicago. Amy just moved back to St. Louis. And the day before their shoot, Amy moved into a new place, which is where they will start their lives together… and also where we started our shoot.

Amy really enjoys being in the kitchen, so we took advantage of the beautiful light in her new place and shot some photos while she whipped up something fantastic.

Aren’t they so cute? Love these two.

Then we headed over to Forest Park for some photos outside. 

Thanks for showing me around your new place.  See ya this summer!

Best wedding toast EVER

I photographed Chris and Stacey’s wedding this past weekend at Chandler Hill Winery and there were so many great things about the event. You’ll have to wait a bit for my full report, but there’s something I just couldn’t wait to share. Check out this story:

Chris and Stacey moved from Seattle to New York so Chris could go to med school.  New York is quite different than Seattle and I’m sure moving all the way across the country was nothing short of daunting, but something made moving to New York a little easier.

They met at orientation their first year in school and became BFF’s almost immediately.  Jon and Heidi, and Leila and Ryan, along with Stacey and Chris had all come from the west coast all the way across the country to the Big Apple in search of getting medical degrees, and while the accomplished their goals, they found friendships that are quite indescribable.  All throughout the day and into the evening, these bff’s had more fun together than I’ve ever seen anyone have.  Watching them cry together and dance to together and laugh together was epic. It was like their relationships had transcended friendship and moved right into being more like family.  I loved watching them all together and it made me so thankful for the friends that I can share life with.  Friendship is such a blessing.

So, Stacey and Chris are the furthest thing away from pretentious than anyone could possible be.  They didn’t plan to have their wedding party give speeches at their dinner, but their wedding party had other plans :).  About halfway into their toast, I knew it was going to be something worth putting on video, so I switched my camera over to video and captured this.  Watch and laugh :).

Best Wedding Toast EVER from lisa hessel on Vimeo.

Brit - I love how you have taken to being a videographer 🙂 You’re too cute!

now, that’s a toast | landlocked bride | midwest wedding inspiration - […] wish I could tell the story quite as well as Lisa, but here’s the short of it. Chris and Stacey’s good friends planned a clever little […]

Stacey and Chris …and the people that make a wedding (part 1) » Lisa Hessel Photography Blog - […] they all are.   The BFFs from med school.  If they look familiar, you might recognize them from this post. And I have to say that after spending a day with all of them, I SO want to be their friends. […]

Erin and Patrick :: Engaged

Take a look at Erin and Patrick.  They’re great.

I love this.  They’re so in to each other.  love that. 

check out that little dude in the background. 

Erin, you killed it.  Isn’t her skin amazing?

After a day of clouds, the sun peeked through for just a moment.  And what a moment it was!

nancy bequette - Erin is so beautiful and they make such a cute couple. Great pitures!

nancy bequette - Erin is so beautiful and they make such a cute couple. Great pictures! » Engagement Photos - […] Hessel, posted our engagement photos. Erin looks beautiful! Take a look at a few of the photos on Lisa’s blog. We plan to select a few from the full list of photos (some of my favorites aren’t on the […]

Melody and Joey, Part 2

So after the tornado warning, evacuation to the caves, and a sky that all of a sudden became beautimous, Joey and Melody had a beautiful ceremony that went just swimmingly.

Joey’s sister performed the ceremony, which was so meaningful… and she did a fantastic job, might I add :). 


The food provided by Hollyberry was incredible.  

When Joey and Melody walked into their reception, they immediately took a turn on the dance floor, which was romantic and sweet. 

Melody’s dad was one proud papa. 

And then it was cigar time…

Don’t you just love when a bride shows off her new bling?

Melody and her maid of honor.  presh. 

Check out the maid of honor’s reaction to the shot they all took together

This moment was out of control hilarious.  You see, Melody and Joey and all their friends so enjoy being silly and singing and having a good time, which I personally think is quite endearing.  So, one of the members of the wedding party who will remain nameless asked the dj to play a special song and they all gathered round to sing together. It was quite a moment. I took quite a few photos, but to really capture how intensely serious these peeps are about their Disney soundtracks, I decided to flip my camera into video mode to record a bit.

small disclaimer… I am a photographer and NOT a videographer.  clearly.  This is the first time I’ve actually shot video footage with my 5D, but it won’t be the last :). Oh, and if you’re viewing this blog entry in an RSS reader, you may need to jump on over to the actual blog to see the video in all its glory.

Melody and Joey from lisa hessel on Vimeo.

Seriously, I love these two.  After what could have been a very stressful day with a very stress full twist(er), they bride, groom, and entire wedding party for that matter, were so light-hearted and fun, and it made my night.  And my week, really.

Dennis Bullock - Oooh, City Museum! What a great venue!

Melody and Joey, Part 1 :: To the caves!

This is a good story… one I’ve been telling to just about everyone I know.  It’s the story of how Melody and Joey got married.

The day started with a pop color…

… some gorgeous, soft light streaming through the window

… and bride who could not have been more excited to get married.  Melody is pretty fantastic in every sense of the word.  Totally laid back and calm and giddy and excited and just as adorable as she can be.

The forecast predicted rain, but we weren’t worried. Although the skies were gently precipitating, the light that shone through the clouds was marvelous.

And um, could Melody’s eyes be any more stunning? 

I wasn’t the only one who was dying to photograph the beautiful bride :). 

Melody and Joey opted to see each other before the wedding since their evening ceremony afforded them no time before the reception for photos.  I was so excited to have them all to myself for photos.  And Melody, well, she was excited to see Joey. Can’t you tell? 

I love this moment.  Jon did such a great job of capturing their excitement. 

Since it was steadily raining outside, we headed to the City Museum for photos.  The ceremony and reception were scheduled to be held on the second floor of the City Museum, and we couldn’t have asked for a better place to shoot considering the stormy weather. We started off with a few shots of the wedding party.  I told Melody I really appreciated what a wonderful attitude she had about rolling with the punches and shooting indoors because of the rain.  She’s so great.  She started telling this story about how she had heard of an entire wedding that had to evacuated to the basement because of a tornado warning.  “So I guess we can be thankful this is just rain and not a tornado,” I told her.  She agreed.  She’s so great. I took this photo, and then a man clad in a City Museum employee t-shirt yelled… 

…”EVERYONE TO THE CAVES!”  I thought it was a joke.  But it wasn’t.  Were we really being evacuated?  Yes.  Indeed we were. A tornado warning had been issued for St. Louis City and it appeared that a twister was headed right downtown.  Everyone in the City Museum was forced to go to the caves -a dark, unbelievably hot, two story set of man-made caves.  That particular day, however, everyone and their brother had come to the city museum to play.  So, hundreds and hundreds of museum guests -some smelling pretty ripe at that point- headed to the caves, with the excessive amount of people who couldn’t be squeezed in filling up the area right outside the caves… which just happened to be the ceremony location.  I’ve got to be honest… my heart started to beat pretty quickly at that point, and I got a little nervous.  It was hot.  I was hot.  I started to get nervous about a tornado actually hitting the building.  Then I started getting claustrophobic. Too many people.  Too much loud talking.  It was getting hotter and hotter by the minute. Our limited amount of time to take wedding party images was quickly dwindling.  But, out of the corner of my eye, I noticed Melody.  Still just as calm, adorable, and excited to get married as ever. She makes me smile.

So we rolled with it.  What better way to commemorate your wedding day tornado warning than a photo with your fellow evacuees? 

The evacuees, btw, LOVED IT.

After about 45 minutes of being confined in a tight space, the warning was lifted, and we resumed our regularly scheduled activities.  It wouldn’t be a wedding at the City without visiting the mirrored hallway in the vault room. 

The sun started peeking out and the ladies were just as happy as ever. 

This is so Melody and Joey.  Love these two.

The oversized hamster wheel is always hit.  

Melody and Joey did photo thank you notes for their guests, which I think is a marvelous idea!  This is just one of the options which happens to be my personal fav.  And would you check out that light??  Who would have thought that just moments before the sky was dark and gray and threatened to rip us to smithereens with hurricane force winds?  Ok, that might be a little dramatic, but you get the point :). 

So pretty.  To be continued…

Melody and Joey, Part 2 » Lisa Hessel Photography Blog - […] after the tornado warning, evacuation to the caves, and a sky that all of a sudden became beautimous, Joey and Melody had a beautiful ceremony that went just […]

Lisa - Your work is always so amazing, but this was above and beyond amazing. Awesome job!

Rachel Jones - What a wonderful story! The photos that were captured are truly timeless. Seeing the brides smile made me smile… I am still smiling. Thank you for the share. Rachel @Poshbyjones