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Grand Forks Wedding Photographer: Julia & Kameron's Grand Forks Wedding At The Myra Museum

July 29th was finally here! For Julia and Kameron, it meant they can finally get married! I've been getting to know Julia and Kameron since November of last year and I can honestly say that they have been super excited about their marriage the entire time!

Their engagement session in May was one of the more fun ones I've done in quite a while. From us almost getting pulled over for illegal U-turns downtown right in front of a police car (oops)...to coffee, to talking about favorite movies and some life experiences...I really got to know them and it was that day that I knew I would have a great time spending the day by their side capturing all the amazing moments of their wedding come July 29th.

Like I said earlier...July 29th was here and man...was it a hot one! It was 97 degrees and humid and lucky for us all...we would be outdoors most of the day! (Light sarcasm). As me, Kameron, and all the groomsmen took off to get some pics in front of Ralph Englestad Arena...I knew I was gonna be a sweaty mess the entire day! I quickly had to shed my button-up dress shirt and immediately felt much respect for the entire wedding party who were in tuxedos and beautiful dresses all day and didn't complain a single time!

Everyone met up at Myra Museum and as we would photograph one group, everyone else sheltered themselves inside in the air conditioning and awaited their photo-op! Time flew by and soon it was time for Julia to walk down the isle. The ceremony was perfect as family and friends watched Julia and Kameron exchange vows, I couldn't help but notice how big the smiles were on the bride and groom's faces! All of their excitement to marry each had been building for the last 8 months and now they were letting it all out!

Everyone continued the celebration at the reception and as the sun began to set and the air cooled a bit, I pulled the bride and groom outside for one last photo...and as I left for the night, I knew I was lucky to watch 2 people as their life long dreams were coming true in front of my eyes (and lens). As happy as that made me...I was MORE happy to get home, sit down, and crank up the A.C. as cold as it would go!

Congrats Julia & Kameron!! 

Venue: Myra Museum  2405 Belmont Rd, Grand Forks, ND

Florist: East Grand Floral 1521 Central Ave NW, East Grand Forks, MN 56721 218-773-3400

Cake: O For Heaven's Cakes N More 1726 S Washington St Ste 68, Grand Forks, North Dakota 58201701-757-2253

DJ: Killin' It Entertainment  1234 s 14th st, Grand Forks, North Dakota, ND 58201701-317-8044

Hair: Dawn @ Ultimate Look  701-330-2574

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Grand Forks Wedding Photographer: Kathy & Kevin A Grand Forks Wedding At St. Michael's Church and The Alerus Center

Last winter is when I met Kathy and Kevin for the first time. Right away, I could tell they were the perfect couple for me to work with and I was so excited when they chose me to photograph their special day! 

It was late morning when the hustle and bustle of the day began in St. Michael's Church. I could hear laughter filling the church basement as I arrived and I could see everyone's excitement in their body language while they prepared for the ceremony to come.

I really enjoyed chatting with members of both families, as well as, friends of Kathy and Kevin's throughout the day and the photos seemed like they were taking themselves! As the start of the ceremony neared...the church got quiet as everyone took their places. 

One of my favorite things about photographing Catholic wedding ceremonies is that I love the art and symbolism used. St. Micheal's is a beautiful historic church and every time I photograph inside...it feels different somehow. 

As Kathy and Kevin's ceremony went on, emotions ranged from tears to laughter as the couple exchanged vows, kissed, and took their literal "first steps" as husband and wife back down the isle and out the church. 

The celebration continued at the Alerus Center where family and friends met to share heart-felt speeches, drinks, great food, cake, and dancing to help the newlyweds ring in their first evening as husband and wife. By the end of the evening I realized 2 things: I ate WAY too much gourmet popcorn! More importantly, I realized how blessed I was to be a part of such a meaningful day in the lives of such great people! 

Venues: St.Michael's Church   520 N. 6th St., Grand Forks, ND 58203  701-772-2624

              Alerus Center             1200 42nd Street South Grand Forks, ND 58201  701.792.1200

Florist: All Seasons Garden Center 5101 S. Washington St, Grand Forks, ND 58201 701-746-7777

DJ: Backspin Productions   1815 Demers Ave., Grand Forks,ND 58208  701-757-4300

Dress: Affairs By Brittany   224 N. 4th St., Grand Forks, ND 58201    701-772-3022

           Designer: Maggie Sottero

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Grand Forks Wedding Photographer: Kitty And Scott-A University Of North Dakota Wedding. Hopper Danley Spiritual Center & Gorecki Alumni Center

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July 1st had finally rolled around! I met Kitty and Scott 9 months ago...and since then, I've had so much fun meeting with them, getting to know them, and having the chance to brave -22 degree temperatures to get some engagement photos! 

The morning of their wedding started out with a downpour of rain, which had me worried because I was hoping for a lot of outdoor photos throughout the day...after all, we would be celebrating their marriage at the Hopper Danley Spiritual Center on UND's campus which is a favorite area of mine to photograph outdoors! 

By the time we all arrived at the Hopper Danley, the rain had stopped, the sun had come out, and the whole area was pretty much dry. Kitty and Scott both looked amazing and Scott's Mom (Cindy) was such a great assistant helping us trek all around the area as we stopped at location after location to take advantage of the beautiful landscape and warm summer sun! By the time we stopped to get ready for the upcoming ceremony, the bride and I were discussing who's shoes were killing their feet more....her's or mine! 

The ceremony, though brief, was packed full of heartfelt emotions and special moments...and as the couple walked back down the isle and out of the spiritual center, they were greeted outside by family and friends as husband and wife! 

The celebration didn't end there! In fact, it continued over at The Gorecki Alumni Center. The evening ended with some awesome food, delicious cake, Chippers (I ate more than I should have...but they ARE my favorite!), meaningful speeches and toasts, and the Bride and Groom making their very first memories as a new family! 

It was such an awesome day and it's been an absolute pleasure and honor to get to know Kitty and Scott over the last 9 months and to have the privilege to capture their special day! 

Venues:

Hopper Danley Spiritual Center & Gorecki Alumni Center

Contacts: Amy Sansaver   Email: amys@thegorecki.com   Phone: (701) 777-2611

                 Keeley Gregoire  Email: keeleyg@thegorecki.com   Phone: (701) 777-2611

Dress: Kristen's Bridal, 2650 32nd Ave S, Grand Forks, ND 58201   Phone: (701) 775-0567

Cake: O For Heavens Cakes, 1726 S Washington St, #68, Grand Forks, ND 58201  Phone: (701) 757-2253   Email: oforheavenscakes@yahoo.com

Florist: Wy's Floral   3001 S. Columbia Rd, Grand Forks, ND 58203  Phone: (701) 775-4677

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VIDEO SLIDESHOW

(Be sure to click the HD button on the video player!!!)

There are still some 2017 dates available for your Fall wedding. I'm also booking for 2018! Contact me now to see how I can help you with your photography needs!

Grand Forks Engagement Photographer: Sertoma Park & Downtown Grand Forks With Julia & Kameron

With their wedding fast approaching (in July), I was eager to finally get to work with Julia & Kameron who I first met back in October 2016! With everyone's hectic schedules, the Spring Holidays, and all the cold rainy weather...finding time for an engagement shoot was quite the task. 

We set Saturday, May 20th as the day we would try for our shoot. Friday's outlook for Saturday's weather had it 50 degrees and raining from 8am-11pm...so things didn't look good which made me super nerveous! Our shoot was scheduled for 9am at Sertoma Park in Grand Forks, but I showed up around 8:15 am and other than being a bit chilly...things looked pretty promising.

Once Julia and Kameron showed up, we had the entire park to ourselves and it was a fun and peaceful start to our session! As time went on, the park started filling up, so once we got all the shots we wanted, we packed up and headed downtown where we met at The Ember to warm up and refuel with some caffeine! 

Once we were warm and recharged, we walked all around downtown and got some great shots while exchanging stories about some of life's adventures! When it was all said and done, we spent the entire morning getting some great shots, getting to know more about each other, and what was supposed to be a drab, cold, rainy morning ended up being a super fun-filled adventure! 

I had such a great time and I am anxiously awaiting Julia and Kameron's wedding in July!

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Grand Forks Engagement Photographer: Sertoma Park Engagement Session VLOG

Engagement Session season is in full swing and keeping in the spirit of that...I made a super quick video featuring Julia & Kameron and our session we captured in Sertoma Park last weekend! Can't wait for their July wedding!! 

Grand Forks Photographer: California Landscape Photography

In the summer of 2015, my wife Sherry and I combined her birthday, our 1 yr anniversary, and our honeymoon and took off for a west coast adventure. I am just now editing some photos I was lucky enough to get the chance to take so I thought I would tell you the story behind one of my favorites! 

Being married to a photographer has it's advantages and disadvantages. I'm guessing that one disadvantage (for my poor wife anyways) is that whenever we see something amazing, we MUST stop and capture it. Well...imagine being with a photographer down in Yosemite National Park! One stop in our 2015 summer adventure was Yosemite...However, while in those neck of the woods, we chose to stay in Mammoth Lakes (which is amazing!). We spent 2 days in Mammoth and one morning the locals told us to check out Horseshoe Lake...so we did. 

We pulled up, got out of the car, and immediately I was stunned. Now, 2015 was the year California had a drought and there were huge forest fires in Canada so all the smoke was blowing into California causing a weird haze. Anyways...we were way up in the mountains and there was a small lake next to this big mountain side. At the base of the mountain side was this old wooden building that looked like a school house. The trees on one side of the mountain were crushed flat and the trees down by us were all drooped over like wet flowers. It was so weird! I remarked to my wife that it looked like a volcano blast had flattened everything. (I found out later that it WAS a volcano but the flattened trees were caused by an excess of carbon dioxide in the soil seeping from the volcanic gasses in the earth underneath causing the trees to die off). 

It was mid day and the sun was way too bright for any quality landscape photos. Plus there were too many people around...so we walked around and took some pics with our phones and had a great time. I told my wife that I was definitely gonna get up before sunrise the next morning and come back to get some great shots. She said, "Good luck with that! I'm not waking up at 4 am and going to sit in the woods up in the mountains in the cold!" I couldn't blame her. 

The next morning I got up, grabbed my gear, hopped in the rental car and headed back to Horseshoe! I have to admit...I was a bit freaked out thinking I was going to be alone up there. I kept visualizing fighting off a bear like Anthony Hopkins in THE EDGE! I got there and it was just before the sun rose. PERFECT! While I was waiting for the sun to rise...it dawned on me how truly amazing this all was. Most everyone I knew was most likely at home just heading to work for another normal day. I, on the other hand, was up in the California mountains, all by myself, about to watch the sun come up! There wasn't a soul for miles...the mountain air felt great...it was the most peaceful I've ever been...and it was a very spiritual moment. That moment was all MINE! I remember thinking..."It would be the greatest thing in the world if this is what I did for work!" 

As the sun came up, I got some great shots...but the most valuable thing I took were those 10 minutes I had all to myself on an ancient volcano up in the California mountains right at sunrise one August morning in 2015! I was bummed that my wife wasn't there with me to experience it...but then I realized that every once in a while, Mother Nature/God/The Universe (whatever you choose to believe in) gives you a moment that is just for you...and only you can appreciate it! 

I told my wife about my morning but there is really no way to do it justice. We went on to have an amazing time for the rest of our journey. I just got around to opening those photos up and I had a great time editing them. The one below is one of my favorites and every time I look at it, I'll think of the story I just told you. 

And that is what photography is meant to do...evoke emotion and memories!

Cell phone pic of my wife at Horseshoe Lake mid day! Normally, she would be under some water...but it was during a drought! Harsh bright sunlight....I had to go back before sunrise!

Cell phone pic of my wife at Horseshoe Lake mid day! Normally, she would be under some water...but it was during a drought! Harsh bright sunlight....I had to go back before sunrise!

Me at Horseshoe Lake the following morning right before sunrise! The only one around for miles. The entire mountain was mine for about 30 minutes and it was awesome!

Me at Horseshoe Lake the following morning right before sunrise! The only one around for miles. The entire mountain was mine for about 30 minutes and it was awesome!

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Grand Forks Event Photography: The 701 Grand Opening

I usually don't post any non-wedding related events I may shoot...but the event this post focuses on was awesome to be a part of and it gave me the chance to meet some amazing people...all while having fun. 

A couple months ago, I got wind of a new place opening up in downtown Grand Forks and from what I heard, I was eager to find out more. I met with Collin Hanson who was kind enough to give me a tour of the work in progress and explain to me what it was going to be all about. 

It's called "The 701" and it's a co-working space by Evolve Grand Forks designed for freelancers, remote employees, and independent professionals to work together and share resources and ideas. Located in the heart of downtown Grand Forks, The 701 provides a unique environment that promotes creativity and provides a sense of community for remote and independent professionals. Building a vibrant community of professionals not only makes for a fun place to work, it allows for access to a broad range of disciplines, practices and personalities, making it possible to expand one’s professional network in diverse and exciting directions.

Sounded like an amazing concept and I thought it was something that our area definitely needs. So when Collin told me about the Grand Opening I surely wanted to show up! Then I was asked to photograph the whole event with the Mayor and both ND Senators in attendance for a literal "ribbon cutting". Heck yeah!

The grand opening was pretty cool. The place was packed and there were no shortage of speeches from supporters including Mayor Brown, U.S. Senator Hoeven, and U.S. Senator Heitkamp just to name a few!

I was honored to be asked to photograph the event and would urge anyone interested in a place like The 701 to contact Collin Hanson or Brandon Braumbach and go check it out. It's always amazing when a community supports new ideas...especially ones that promote entrepreneurship, creativity, and individual growth.  

The 701

33 S. 3rd St. Suite D | Grand Forks ND 58201 | 701.335.7638

The 701 Facebook Page

Evolve Grand Forks Facebook Page

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ASHLEY, NATE, & EASTON - GRAND FORKS PHOTOGRAPHER FAMILY SESSION

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WINNERS OF MY GIVE-AWAY DRAWING FOR A FREE FALL FAMILY SESSION.

Back in September, I held a give-away drawing for a free Fall family portrait session on my Facebook fanpage. I was overwhelmed with all of the interest and participation. Ashley and her family were the lucky winners from the drawing!

When I contacted Ashley to tell her she was the winner, she seemed surprised and really excited to win! We immediately started planning and trying to schedule her free session. Uncooperative fall weather, along with the busy schedule of the beet harvest, foiled our plans numerous times until we finally got our chance this last Sunday (Oct 23)!

Though our shoot started out cold, windy, and cloudy...as we eased into it, it became a gorgeous October afternoon! Meeting, and working with, Ashley and her family was well worth the wait! Little Easton was a ball of energy...and though SOME of his smiles were paid for with bribes...he was a natural model and I even got a HIGH 5 from him when we were all done! 

All and All, this was an awesome experience for me (and I hope Ashley and her family enjoyed it too)! I will definitely be holding more give-away drawings in the future so if you'd like to be notified and take part...be sure to "LIKE" my Facebook Page HERE...and follow me on INSTAGRAM HERE!

Thanks to Ashley, Nate, & Easton!

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5 Tips For Better Engagement Photos / Grand Forks Wedding Photographer

Congratulations! You are engaged! Now-a-days, engagement photos have taken on a life of their own. Couples use engagement photos for Save-the-Date announcements, wedding invitations, wall art for their homes, gifts for family members, greeting cards, photos to display at the wedding reception, photos to view in wedding slideshows, social media updates...You name it!

So...how can you make sure that your engagement photos stand apart from the rest and leave friends and family members talking about them??? Follow these 5 tips and you'll be on your way to get some truly unique and memorable photos.

1.       Comfort is Key

Being in front of the camera can be a little unsettling sometimes…especially when you are asked to show intimacy with your fiancé in a public place. To make this insecurity a “non-issue”, set up a consult with your potential engagement photographer before your photo session. That way, you can ask questions, talk about ideas, and most importantly…you can see if you all “Click” and will be a good fit to work together.

Hiring a photographer who you can get along with and who can make you feel calm and “at ease” is VERY important…especially if you decide to hire them for your wedding day because they will be with you the entire day!

2.       Location, Location, Location!

Meaningful places help make engagement photos all the more special…but don’t be afraid to think outside the box here. If you want your photos to be different, then you can’t shoot in all of the same locations as everyone else. If your city has a landmark that EVERYONE has their photos taken at, avoid it…plain and simple.

Talk with your photographer about ideas for a unique photoshoot. Are there places that are special to you and your fiancé that can help tell your story? Does your city have other, less known, landmarks that help define it? Look for areas with different textures and colors. A lot of photographers come from ART backgrounds and know about things such as color theory, composition, leading lines, contrast, and juxtaposition…so discuss these things with them and don’t be afraid to use (and trust) their creativity.

3.       Wardrobe, Hair, Make-Up…

If you are unsure about what to wear or you don’t have a stylish wardrobe, consider consulting with a stylist. Go outside the realm of your regular everyday wardrobe. After all…this is a one-time event (hopefully). You want these engagement photos to stand out and make an impression on your family and friends.

Spend a little extra money and splurge on that dress you had your eye on…or that sport coat and watch your fiancé has been eyeballing. Avoid anything that will make you look dated. You don’t want to look back on these photos 10 years from now and wonder why you wore those skinny jeans and lady Gaga T-shirt! Also…avoid trying to match each other’s outfit. Instead, try and complement each other’s outfit. Don’t forget to bring accessories like shoes, socks, belts and jewelry too.

As for Hair and Make-up…Get both done by a pro and you'll not only look amazing, but the extra confidence will shine through. If you are hiring a makeup artist for the wedding, they will likely want to do a practice run, and the day of your engagement photos would be a great try out. If you are doing your own makeup, consider wearing matte since it photographs best.

If you want unique, memorable photos…the key here is to pretend you are movie stars, get all dolled up, present the photographer with the best versions of yourselves, and do something different.  

4.       Watch the weather…and the clock.

So…when IS the best time of day to shoot engagement photos?? Most photographers will tell you that the light is best in early morning, or late evening…and I’m sure most photographers will tell you that early mornings aren’t for them. So that golden time right before sunset is perfect.

The common misconception is that bright sunny days are great for shooting portraits. Quite the opposite is true. Mid-day, when the sun is directly overhead, causes many problems…such as harsh downward shadows over faces, Raccoon Eyes, squinting, Bright Blown-Out Highlights, and a few other troubles. So try to avoid scheduling your engagement session around mid-day, if at all possible.

If, however, it is overcast, foggy, or even drizzling outside….it can favor your photo session and you can get some interesting, great looking shots during mid-day.  

For the most part, it would be safe to schedule your shoot 1-3 hrs BEFORE sunset for the most flattering natural light possible.

5.       Printing

So, you paid all this money to hire a professional photographer. You paid more money for clothes, hair, make-up, and props…had a super fun time and got some truly stunning photos of yourselves and couldn’t be more excited about them. But when it comes time to order prints, you are satisfied by getting a few prints made at the local drugstore or Mega-Chain-Department store down the street!

Why spend hundreds, or thousands, of dollars on that whole experience only to have a $2 8x10 department store print in a $6 craft store frame? Getting engaged is one of the biggest moments of your lives and you should invest in preserving that whole experience by displaying a professional, museum quality, piece of art for your home. The difference between a store printed photo that costs $2 and a Professional Photo lab metal or canvas print that may cost a few hundred dollars can be vast. How do you think department and drug stores can offer you prints at such low costs? Probably because they are using cheaper inks, papers, printers, materials, and laborers.

The point? Your engagement (and wedding) are precious memories that you’ll want to remember the rest of your lives. They are priceless! So, if you treat them that way and invest in a quality piece of Art for your home…you’ll be able to admire it for decades!

REGISTER HERE

to win a FREE engagement Session with Shawn Morrissey Photography!!

Janelle & Mike / Grand Forks Wedding Photographer

The morning air was a bit chilly the day of Janelle and Mike's wedding...WELL...maybe that's because it was 7:30 am as I drove through the nearest coffee shop to make sure I had the caffeine fix that would supply me with the energy I would need to jolt myself awake. Normally...my wedding day shoots don't start until much later. This day was different though.

8 am sharp, I was to meet the bride-to-be and all her bridesmaids at OLIVIERI'S SALON & SPA in downtown Grand Forks and begin my day capturing the excitement, anticipation, and laughter as the women all got their hair and make-up done for the festivities that were to come later in the day.

The hustle and bustle of a normal wedding day usually brings a bit of stress along with it for the bride and groom. But both Janelle and Mike were super laid back all morning...and as the ceremony played out later that afternoon at the alter inside beautiful ST. MICHAEL'S CHURCH, everything Janelle and Mike had been planning for all the months before had finally come to be. There were both smiles and tears as the couple exchanged vows and became husband and wife. 

If any of you know Janelle and Mike, you know that the party definitely did not stop there! It continued at the recently remodeled RAMADA in Grand Forks. Everyone enjoyed an amazing dinner, some heartfelt toasts, lots of cocktails, and then DANCE MAN DAN cranked up the music and lights and kept the party going the rest of the night! Janelle and Mike spent their first evening as husband and wife surrounded by hundreds of close friends and family...all who were there to celebrate the new couple's amazing wedding day. 

It was an awesome experience and I'm honored that I was asked to be a part of Janelle and Mike's wedding day! 

If you would like to book me for your 2016/2017 Wedding...Contact me Now!

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A Bridal Session With Janelle

In mid-March of this year, I met Janelle and her wonderful Mother, Robyn at Janelle's Aunt's home for her Bridal Session. (For those of you who aren't familiar with what exactly a Bridal Session entails...you can find all the info you need RIGHT HERE!) 

Our intent was to capture some relaxed photos of the Bride-to-be in her stunning dress with no stress or time restrictions. Not only did we get to do that, but we also filled the afternoon with plenty of storytelling, laughs, idea sharing for the big wedding day, and even a bit of fun with Janelle & her Fiance, Mike's dog! 

All in all, I got some great images I think we could all be proud of, I met some awesome new people, and best of all...I think we all had a great time! 

If you are getting married in 2016/2017 and would like to book me for your wedding, bridal session, or engagement session...

Contact Me NOW!

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Teaching My Very First Photography Class

Art 280 Photography I Class

Art 280 Photography I Class

There have been a lot of "FIRSTS" for me in 2016! In late 2015, I was approached for a teaching position for the spring semester at Lake Region State College. I had never taught a class before but it's something I've always wanted to do. Though it was frightening to think about and I felt VERY insecure, I didn't let those negative thoughts sway me from accepting this great opportunity.

Luckily (for me), the class size was very small and I felt that if I could just plow through the nervousness and make it to the end of the first class...it would be a breeze from there!

Man...was I wrong! I struggled to find my way most of the first half of the semester. Once Spring Break came I reevaluated  my teaching strategy and made some changes and from then on, things seemed to go A LOT smoother. The students responded better and I felt that I had worked through my "learning curve" and got into a nice stride! 

Now that this semester is over, I can only hope that the students walked away knowing that there is more to photography than just an i-phone and Instagram! Teaching is a very difficult job in today's ADD/ADHD society. I definitely have a new-found respect for those in the education field! 

If just one student walked away feeling inspired and wanting to learn more about photography, I will feel I've done my job. If not...I can only hope to have another chance, make some changes, and try harder to reach that one student next time. After all, if I were amazing at everything the first time I did it...life would be pretty boring, predictable, and I would never know what determination and hard work were!  

Here's to trying new things, continuously improving, and not letting your fears and insecurities keep you from taking new paths in life!

"CHEERS!!" 

New Custom Flash Drives For Shawn Morrissey Photography!

2016 is bringing a whole slew of new products to Shawn Morrissey Photography. This is one of my favorites! It's a new custom engraved crystal Flash Drive with an amazing matching Snap box. I'm ecstatic with how they turned out and clients that I've already given them to have loved them! They're available through PhotoFlashDrive.com and am a huge new fan of theirs. These will be available for my weddings, engagement sessions, and bridal sessions. 

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If you are interested in booking me for your 2016 wedding, engagement, or bridal session and getting your hands on one of these amazing flash drives...please don't hesitate to CONTACT ME NOW!