Newborn Asha

Meet baby Asha, isn’t she stunning? I met Asha’s family around the holidays last year, they were new to the area and looking to have some family photos for their holiday card and I am honored that they chose me. They’re the nicest people, and their son Kavin, is not only sweet and adorable, but also the best dressed little guy I’ve ever seen. It was so nice getting to hang out with them while I took these photos, they are just so laid back and indulged my need to try out a multitude of props on their little one. Tina (mama), must share my excitement for knitted things, as she had already bought a few outfits meant for newborn photography which we enthusiastically included in the session!

I tell my clients that when I come to their home for a session, it might look like I’m trying to move in. I bring a lot of things,¬†and I mean A LOT of things. I generally advise clients not to dress their newborns in any fancy outfits…as cute and tiny as those little NB sized clothes are, a lot of times they swallow up a tiny little baby and don’t photograph well. I have lots of swaddles, wraps, bonnets, hats, headbands and other pieces made exclusively for newborn photography, and I will bring those items to your session based on your answers to the pre-session questionnaire. Mama just went above and beyond in this case ūüėČ

Enjoy!

 

Newborn Abigail

Katie (mama) and I were sorority sisters in college, but sadly had fallen a bit out of touch. When she reached out to me I was beyond stoked to get to hang out with her, and we managed to get some play dates going with our kiddos after the fact. And of course, I got to meet and snuggle with her adorable new baby Abigail. Total win. They are a beautiful and loving family, and it was so great to get to spend a few hours with them.

Let’s talk about homes and lifestyle photography. Katie is an interior designer, this will come as no surprise to you as you look at some of the images from this session. The home she shares with her husband Steve, son William and baby Abigail is decorated beautifully. I truly felt like I was walking into a design magazine, and ate up every minute of it. As a lifestyle photographer, when you go into someone’s home, you’re not always sure what you’re going to get. And that’s part of the fun and challenge of this style of photography. I aim to capture life as it is, for each family in their unique surroundings. I can tell you that my house is far from immaculate, and there are definitely a lot of art pieces and photographs that I’ve been meaning to hang but just haven’t gotten around to…and that’s life.

I’m dating myself here big time, but I remember in college accidentally taking a picture of my dorm room with one of those disposable cameras. When I got the photos developed I remember almost throwing that one out. But for some reason I didn’t. And here I am years later. I have that picture and I remember that picture because it captured a tiny little cement cube that was my home for a small window of time. ¬†Some day your newborn will be a toddler, then a kid, then a teenager. And if he/she is like 99% of teenagers, he/she will make fun of you. I imagine it’ll be like “granite counter tops? seriously mom?” And you can all have a chuckle about how early aughts you were. But¬†in all seriousness. I tell my clients that the only areas they should have tidy are their master bed and bedside tables since we usually do family shots there, the nursery to an extent, and then just have an¬†area clear where I will set up my newborn bean bag (if you’re going with the posed newborn session along with the lifestyle session). I know what it’s like to bring a new baby home, cleaning and organizing tend to fall to the back burner. Believe me, I’ve been there.

Baby Elsie Newborn Session

Despite Dad hailing from Jersey, this family is chock full of Mama’s Louisiana-born southern hospitality. No offense to Jersey ūüėČ This lovely family couldn’t have made me feel more at home as I carried in an SUV-load of newborn photography props and equipment. I ended up staying a bit longer than planned, but Becca (mama) was so gracious and welcoming, at a time when I know she must have been exhausted…although she certainly didn’t look it.

I’m loving lifestyle photography for the family shots, and then posed newborn shots in the same session for selfish reasons. I love capturing a family in their environment as they are in that very moment in time. Sure things might be a little crazy, having just brought home a new baby. But that time is so very fleeting. With lack of sleep that many new parents experience, I know that I have very little recollection of my children as newborns, and I cherish the photos we have of that time.

Then posed shots, I mean come on, I get to hang out with ridiculously beautiful newborns. What is there not to like about that? One of my favorite shots from this session is Elsie on her grandfather’s american flag. It is such a beautiful nod to a man who served our country, and¬†will go with a similar photo of her older brother when he was a newborn.¬†

Real Weddings: Ellen and Brad

Wills Invitation

I am so thrilled to see Ellen and Brad’s pastel wedding featured on Southern Weddings today! This wedding was¬†beautifully styled by Sage Nines Event Production and expertly captured by photographer¬†Mary Rosenbaum

I don’t always get the pleasure of meeting my brides and grooms in person, like Ellen and Brad who live a few states away. However, even¬†during the design process over email, I could tell that the bride had impeccable style, and I just loved the simple laurel wreath monogram that we created to anchor the invitation design.

It’s such a treat to see all of the details of the wedding come together on Southern Weddings. Best wishes to Ellen and Brad!

 

Baby Essentials | Birth to 5 Months

Every once in a while, I’ll be posting about things that aren’t even remotely related to letterpress or photography. This is one of those posts.

I’ll be the first to admit it, I knew nothing about babies until I had one of my own. I am¬†the youngest of four, and we didn’t live near any other family, so I just really didn’t get much experience with babies! I think a great way to illustrate this is in a conversation I had right before my wedding with my then-pregnant sister-in-law.¬†It went like this:

Me: ¬†The wedding venue doesn’t have any items that you’ll need for the baby, so you’ll probably want to bring your own crib, and that tall chair thing that babies eat in.
Sister-in-law: You mean a high chair?
Me: Yes! ¬†That’s what they’re called!
Sister-in-law: Well he’ll be 3 months old, so he won’t be eating solids, and won’t exactly have the head control for a high chair.
Me: Oh.

But, baptism by fire, right? ¬†Jacob joined our little family almost 5 months ago, and in that time I like to think that I’ve learned a thing or two about baby-rearing, including¬†some things that make it¬†just a little bit easier.¬†Links to the items are included with the product title. Some disclaimers: I’m writing this solely based on my experience, and am not doing so at the behest of any products or companies. Also, I am a letterpress printer, not a doctor. ¬†These are just items that worked for us. Always check with your pediatrician if you have questions!

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Food, Etc.

  • I went through two stages of nursing pillows. When Jacob was a newborn up until about 2 months, the only pillow that worked for me was (wait for it) (1)¬†My Brest Friend. It has a sturdy flat surface that made it difficult for his little body to slip in between the pillow and me. But once Jacob got a little bigger, the (2)¬†Boppy became a better pillow for nursing, as well as for tummy time and helping him to sit up.
  • When I was pregnant, I did a lot of¬†research on what was the best bottle for breastfed babies. I wanted to introduce a bottle somewhat early so that he wouldn’t reject it, but I wanted it to be as similar to breastfeeding as possible. Once Jacob arrived, I ended up purchasing a few that came recommended as best for breastfed babies and have found the (3)¬†Comotomo bottles to be our favorites. These are more expensive than I’d like to admit, but I really feel they’ve been worth it.
  • This one is by no means a necessity, but I just love it. The (4)¬†Boon Drying Rack has been a pretty adorable way to dry bottles, pacifiers and other baby items. And you can buy little twig and flower accessories. I mean, come on.
  • We have tons of bibs, but I always, always reach for the (5)¬†Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature bibs when we’re bottle feeding Jacob. ¬†The design is perfect at catching milk and keeping the rest of him clean and dry.
  • We’re heading into TMI territory¬†here…I’ve found (6)¬†Fenugreek to be a lifesaver in terms of boosting milk supply. Added bonus, it makes you smell like maple syrup. There are worse things you could smell like, amirite?

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Movin’ and Shakin’

  • (1)¬†Baby K’tan might not know it, but I think I’m their top salesperson on the east¬†coast. I love this wrap for carrying Jacob around, it’s so easy to put on, and he loves being in it, it’s instantly calming to him. This was the only way I was able to get the dogs walked and dinner cooked during those first few weeks with a newborn. As Jacob has gotten bigger, he still fits in the K’tan in different wrap styles, but I’ve also started using the (2)¬†Ergo, and have no complaints about that either. I chose the Ergo because I read that it was easier on the back than other carriers, and also didn’t place undue stress on the baby’s hips.
  • We did a lot of research before deciding on a carseat and stroller, and ultimately went with the (3)¬†BOB Revolution Stroller and the (4)¬†Britax B Safe Infant Carseat. The BOB is great for running offroading¬†in places where you wouldn’t think to bring a stroller, however it became kind of cumbersome for errands and everyday use. One day as I lugged Jacob and his carseat into my mom’s group, I noticed that all of the moms had little frame-type stroller thingies for their infant carseat, so I scooped the (5)¬†Safety 1st Clic It off of Amazon because it’s the only one I could find that worked with the B Safe. It’s been a great little stroller so far, very lightweight and awesome for¬†errands, like a quick run¬†into the grocery store. Quick tip about the BOB, you can find tons of them for sale on craigslist at a significantly reduced price.

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Entertainment

  • Jacob LOVES to kick his legs. He treats it like it’s his job, he gets this determined look on his face and he just kicks and kicks and kicks. This (1)¬†activity mat has been an amazing locale for his kicking adventures, and there are all kinds of things to keep him entertained while he’s hard at work.
  • Another thing Jacob loves for a good 10 minutes at a time? Chilling out¬†in his (2)¬†bumbo seat, which helps him sit up before he’s able to do so on his own.
  • Jacob’s grandma gave us the (3)¬†Fisher Price Rainforest Soother¬†for his crib,¬†and he¬†adores it. It’s a great way to keep him entertained, and buy me a good 15 minutes.
  • At 4.5 months, Jacob is only just starting to get old enough to enjoy his (4)¬†Exersaucer, but it’s pretty amazing to watch his awareness grow with every day. He loves feeling his feet touch the ground, and all of the music and lights on this bad boy.
  • The (5)¬†Exersaucer Kangaroo Door Jumper is hilarious, not to mention that¬†Jacob loves it. He loves practicing walking and bouncing in that thing, but my favorite part is the kangaroo tail popping out of the back when he turns around. Surprisingly, it’s really easy to move from doorway to doorway.

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Clothes and Blankets

  • Ever since I’ve known him, my husband has been on an eternal quest to find the softest blankets, towels, clothes, and materials¬†in existence. Of course he projected his¬†obsession onto Jacob¬†once we had a child, and so I found myself searching to find the softest onesies in the world. We tried out a lot of different brands, my favorite ones are the solid color creepers by (1)¬†Rabbit Skins. I don’t know that these are the softest onesies that ever existed, but they’re pretty soft, and I love all of the colors.
  • I can’t get enough of the (2)¬†American Apparel¬†Infant Rib Hats. Jacob has a few, and they are so stinkin’ adorable. He has a pretty giant head, and yet they’ve managed to fit him from birth until 5 months, and I think they’ll continue to fit for some time. Love them.
  • (3)¬†Aden + Anais Muslin Swaddle Blankets are some of the most versatile baby items we own. I’ve used them as a swaddle, nursing cover, floor blanket, stroller blanket, burp cloth, stroller cover, and the list goes on.
  • Before we were discharged from the hospital, the nurse told me that we could not cut (only file) Jacob’s nails until he was three months old. Impatient me tried filing his nails once or twice and decided it was a lost cause. That’s when (4)¬†GuavaMitts came in super handy. They look like adorable little baby oven mitts, but Jacob was unable to get them off, meaning that he couldn’t scratch himself, and that’s good enough for me!

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Stop the Tears!

  • I was blessed with a really happy baby. He really is an awesome little guy. But in the beginning, when we didn’t really know him, and he didn’t really know us, we ran into a few issues. Issues meaning he was crying, and we didn’t know what to do. As time went on, we started figuring each other out, and have found these things to be super helpful.
  • I never loved the idea of a pacifier for my children, until I had a child. A lactation consultant and the hospital advised that I get one that doesn’t look too crazy, so we went with (1)¬†Philips Avent Soothies. Jacob loves them, and an added bonus is that he looks like a sucker fish when he’s got one.
  • Newborn’s tummies are really small, and really new. It takes a while for their digestive system to work well, and so for the first month or two, they suffer from gas pains and stomachs upset a lot. This is when Jason and I turned to (2)¬†Gripe Water and Mylicon Gas Drops (at our pediatrician’s recommendation). Lifesavers.
  • Lastly, do yourself a solid¬†and download¬†a white noise app (3) on your iphone. It stops the tears every time. (Also addressed in the sweet dreams category).

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Bath Time

  • The (1)¬†Puj Tub¬†worked great for bathing Jacob for the first 3 months or so when our (2)¬†Whale Tub was a bit too big (note, as he’s gotten older, the whale tub is perfect!) ¬†It fits right in the sink, and I love that it folds flat when not in use, barely taking up¬†any space at all.
  • (3)¬†Mustela Foam Shampoo for Newborns is a Godsend. Jacob started getting¬†cradle cap around week 2 or so, so I tried a few different things including olive oil, Vaseline (as suggested by my pediatrician), lotions, and other shampoos. ¬†This was the only thing that worked. ¬†I still use it on him with every single bath, and we haven’t seen any cradle cap since!
  • The (4)¬†Bean B Clean Brush was another cradle cap reliever! ¬†We still use it for everyday brushing.
  • The hospital used ¬†(5)¬†Johnson’s Head to Toe baby wash, and we’ve been using it ever since.
  • I love animal hooded baby towels as much as the next girl, but I’ve found the (6)¬†SnuggleDry towel to be my favorite for drying off Jacob right after a bath. ¬†It has a neck strap so you wear it like an apron while bathing your little one, then when it’s time to dry off, the towel is right there so you can scoop your baby right out of the tub. It’s a bit pricey, but considering how often we use it, I’ve felt like it was well worth it.

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Sweet Dreams

  • We’ve all read The Happiest Baby on the Block, right? If not, here’s the deal. ¬†The author, Harvey Karp, says that the “5 S’s” are the secret to getting a baby to sleep. Swaddle, Side/Stomach, Shush, Swing, Suck. All of these have helped us with Jacob, although I think his favorite S is Shush. He¬†could be screaming bloody murder, but the second I turn on my white noise app on my phone, he immediately stops. It’s unreal. I highly recommend downloading one of the many white noise apps that are out there. (After a while you get tired of making the shushing sound yourself!)
  • The (1)¬†Fisher Price SnugaPuppy Swing has been one of our favorite shower gifts. I didn’t even register for this one, but my mom must have known better! I’m learning that just about everything you use to entertain your child requires batteries, and a screwdriver to put those batteries in. This is one of the few items that plugs into the wall, and for that I am grateful. Not to mention that it’s great at lulling my non-napping baby¬†to sleep.¬†Similar to the swing is the (2)¬†SnugaPuppy bouncer, I also highly recommend this item.
  • The (3)¬†Graco Sweet Slumber Sound Machine has become a fixture in our bedtime routine with Jacob. Actually it started out in our bedroom while Jacob slept in the bassinet, and stayed there¬†after we moved him into the nursery. It was actually kind of hard for me to let go, it kept lulling me to sleep for a few weeks before I decided that I should probably move it into the baby’s room.
  • I did a lot of research before buying a baby monitor. ¬†After all of that research I came to the conclusion that there are way too¬†many options out there…and that a lot of them seem great! ¬†We’ve been really happy with ours by (4)¬†Motorola.
  • I can’t decide if I love or hate the (5)¬†Halo SleepSack Swaddle. I love it because it was amazing at getting Jacob to sleep for 4 months. I hate it because now that Jacob¬†is rolling over, we’re no longer supposed to use a swaddle and I’m left wishing we could go back to using the sleepsack.

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Gross Stuff

  • Ok, here we go. Let’s talk (1)¬†NoseFrida. My husband gives me so much crap about this, and look, I get it, it seems really gross. But those bulb nose syringes¬†just don’t cut it, so I’ve been using the NoseFrida anytime Jacob gets a stuffy nose. You’re probably disgusted right now, so I just gotta say it: there’s a filter! Nothing gets into your mouth, I swear!
  • We have two types of diaper pails, and my favorite is the (2)¬†Ubbi. At first glance, it¬†seems really pricey for a poop receptacle, and it is. But¬†I believe¬†that in the long run, it saves you a lot of money. Other diaper pails require special bags that become pretty costly as you got through them, what I love about the Ubbi is that you can use any old trash bag.
  • (3)¬†Triple Paste is the best diaper cream I’ve found.
  • We have two bulldogs, we’re no strangers to poop bags and bagging poop. I’ve been keeping a roll in my diaper bag so that I can bag up any diapers that I have to change on the go. Let’s face it, friends will stop inviting me over if I leave stinky diapers in their trash cans! ¬†I’ve found (4)¬†these to be a great deal.
  • I went through one diaper bag before I found my current one. I’m notorious for needing giant purses, so a diaper bag was no exception. I’m loving the Chelsea Downtown Chic Satchel by Skip Hop. It has plenty of pockets to keep Jacob’s items organized, and a few pockets for my items. I love that it looks at least a little bit like a purse with all of the functionality of a diaper bag.

What are your favorite baby items? I’d love to hear what other moms love!

Real Weddings: Eva and Cashion

Eva came across my work online and contacted me to create her wedding invitations to match a wedding that sounded¬†like so much fun! ¬†I’ll admit, I was beyond¬†excited (and kind of wished I was invited) when she mentioned that guests would be given the option to camp over the¬†wedding weekend in gorgeous western North Carolina.

We went with a handwritten font for a casual look and feel, and I hand-splattered each invitation with varying hues of blue watercolor.  The final touch was hand painted ombre envelope liners for an artsy and casually elegant wedding invitation suite.

Eva was a joy to work with, and I wish her and Cashion all the best in their life together.

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Misheard Christmas Carols: A Collaboration

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Two years ago, I created my¬†“Misheard Christmas Carol” Christmas cards upon coming to the ¬†realization that “Here We Go A-Waddling” was NOT in fact, a song, that it was actually “Here We Go A-Wassailing!” ¬†Earth-shattering, I know. ¬†This led me to rethink other songs I may have been singing incorrectly. As it turns¬†out “Get Dressed, Ye Merry Gentlemen” is actually “God Rest, Ye Merry Gentlemen.” Who knew. I realized that these would make for some pretty cute Christmas cards, and the fun thing about being a stationer is that when you want a card, you can make a card!

However, when I came up with the concept two years ago, in my excitement I’ll admit that I rushed to create the cards, and was never truly happy with the design. As the 2014 Christmas season inched nearer, I decided that I wanted to revamp the cards, with entirely new illustrations.

I had been admiring the work of Cuddles and Rage  for some time, and realized that their disturbingly cute style was exactly what my cards needed! Liz was a joy to work with, and skillfully drew the ridiculously amazing concepts as you can see below.

I’m still working on the e-commerce function of the shop here on my website, so if you’re interested in these cards, check them out in my etsy shop!

Misheard Carols gents peas

Real Weddings: Jenny & Andy

I’ve known Jenny since the second grade, we played soccer together, lived through some questionable haircuts (ok, that’s more about me than Jenny) and remained good friends through middle school, high school, college and beyond! As you can imagine, I was so honored when she and her fianc√© Andy asked me to do their wedding invitations, especially since Andy is a kickass designer himself!

We met on a very rainy day in March in DC to discuss their ideas for the invitations.¬†Andy being the designer was focused¬†on typeface selection, paper type and pantone colors, whereas Jenny tackled the high level decisions. What a great team, right? ¬†Their September wedding was going to be at a stunning¬†vineyard in Virginia’s wine country, so¬†they wanted to incorporate a subtle vineyard feel into the invitations without¬†knocking guests over the head with a wine theme. ¬†Ultimately, we decided to go with a blind impression of a vine pattern surrounding the dark peach and grey text.

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The bride and groom, photographed by A.E. Landes Photography http://www.aelandesphotography.com

A blind impression surrounds peach and grey text

A blind impression surrounds peach and grey text on the response card. Design and letterpress printing by Lennah Press.

The peach and grey letterpress invitation drove the design for the rest of the suite

The peach and grey letterpress invitation drove the design for the rest of the suite

Jenny and Andy's letterpress wedding invitation

Jenny and Andy’s letterpress wedding invitation

Jenny and Andy's peach and grey letterpress wedding invitation suite

Jenny and Andy’s peach and grey letterpress wedding invitation suite

The Details card included information about accommodations and the couple's wedding website

The Details card included information about accommodations and the couple’s wedding website

And here are a few photographs of the wedding itself, photographed by the very talented Abe of A.E.Landes Photography.

 

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The interior of Bluemont Vineyards’ stable reception venue was beautifully decorated with pops of peach and orange. Photographed by A.E. Landes Photography, www.aelandesphotography.com

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Baby’s breath, orange roses and peach garden roses punctuated the bright colors on this gorgeous September day. Photographed by A.E. Landes Photography, www.aelandesphotography.com

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The bride and groom’s first dance, congratulations Jenny and Andy! Photographed by A.E. Landes Photography, www.aelandesphotography.com

Real Weddings: Deirdre & Jason

Photography by Elisa Bricker

Full disclosure, this is my wedding…shameless, I know.  When I first began the wedding planning process, I was so overwhelmed with choices and options that I felt paralyzed and unable to make any decisions!  Enter longtime friend and current wedding planner extraordinaire Meredith Zeller of Sage Nines Event Production.  We worked together for months to create a magical day.  It was the best day of my life, I truly wouldn’t change a single thing.

If you’ve seen my site, you might have guessed that coral is my favorite color.  With the now-husband’s go-ahead, it was a no-brainer that coral was going to play a large role in our wedding, with some help from some other faves: peach, mint, turquoise and gold.  It should also come as no surprise that one of the most important details to me was paper goods.  I enlisted Michele of Meant to Be Calligraphy to pen the calligraphy that I would letterpress into my invitation suite, and couldn’t be happier with the result.  However, since my designs were text heavy, I wanted to add a visual element to the invitation.  After much thought, I decided to dip dye each invitation in a pattern meant to echo the beautiful blue ridge mountains visible from the wedding venue.

I had such a blast designing and printing all of the paper goods for our wedding, it came a close second to marrying the man of my dreams!

Event Designer & Coordinator: Sage Nines
Venue: Inn at Willow Grove
Hair & Makeup: Le Mariee
Flowers: Sugar Magnolias
Stationery: Lennah Press
Calligraphy: Meant To Be Calligraphy  & Meme Davis
Cake Topper: Bonjour Poupette
Dress Designer: Marisa
Bridesmaid Gifts: Robes by Plum Pretty Sugar

See more of Deirdre and Jason’s wedding on Wedding Chicks

The bridesmaids in robes by Plum Pretty Sugar.  Photography by Elisa Bricker.

The bride and bridesmaids in robes by Plum Pretty Sugar. Photography by Elisa Bricker.

The ladies.  Photography by Elisa Bricker.

The ladies. Photography by Elisa Bricker.

Letterpress wedding invitations by Lennah Press.  Photography by Elisa Bricker.

Letterpress wedding invitations by Lennah Press. Photography by Elisa Bricker.

A close up of the closing page of the wedding program.  Photography by Elisa Bricker.

A close up of the closing page of the wedding program. Photography by Elisa Bricker.

Invitation Suite by Lennah Press.  Photography by Elisa Bricker.

Invitation Suite by Lennah Press. Photography by Elisa Bricker.

Beautiful flowers by Sugar Magnolias.  Photography by Elisa Bricker.

Beautiful flowers by Sugar Magnolias. Photography by Elisa Bricker.

Cocktail napkins.  Photography by Elisa Bricker.

Cocktail napkins designed by Lennah Press. Photography by Elisa Bricker.

Our bulldogs were there in spirit as the cake toppers.  Photography by Elisa Bricker.

Our bulldogs were there in spirit as the cake toppers. Photography by Elisa Bricker.

The couple (us). Photography by Elisa Bricker.

The couple (us). Photography by Elisa Bricker.