Posts tagged christmas
Anniversary Session at PPG Place, Pittsburgh
 @Jill Gearhart Photography (www.jillgearhartphotography.com)

You spend hundreds if not thousands of dollars on your wedding gown, and hopefully that cash means you feel like a million bucks on your big day, so why should the fate of your gown be a dark and lonely one in a garment bag in the back of your closet? It's becoming more and more popular for couple to schedule anniversary sessions where the gown gets to come out of retirement, and a bride gets to feel just as special as she did on her favorite day.

A few of my friends have done this, and if I still had my gown I totally would (more on that HERE), so when Kelly approached me about doing an anniversary session (I was a bridesmaid for her wedding), I was SUPER excited. We had such fun planning a mini wedding day, Kelly calling on some of the best local vendors in the industry to get her ready for her re-debut as a bride! Her gorgeous, soft up-do was done by Hannah at Cameron's Salon, the stunning makeup was courtesy of BethyMae, and of course, a girl's gotta accessorize! Kelly got a custom necklace made by Rosie at Miss Pie Jewelry!

Kelly and I have been close friends for quite some time, and there's not much she loves more than catching up with friends over a cup of coffee from the Commonplace (except shopping, of course. And LuLaRoe). Luckily her hubby also likes coffee, so it was natural that she and Jamison started off the anniversary session with a waltz into this super cool coffeehouse to share a cup in their Mr. and Mrs. mugs!

We intended to cut into their cake from yester-year, but none of us realized that it was akin to a delicious frosted glacier and would take several days to thaw out. There's your pro-tip: a week before your anniversary, set a reminder on your phone to move your cake from the freezer to the fridge. After the frozen cake and the hot coffee (and a few shocked stares from college students cramming for finals), we headed to Pittsburgh to get some magical photos in front of the Christmas tree at PPG Place.

As you can imagine, we got some crazy looks as we ran around both Indiana and Pittsburgh in the 17 degree weather in full wedding regalia, but I think you'll agree the end results are worth it! My awesome friend Jackie from J.jae Photography let me try out her super cool Mag Mod flash modifier, and when you throw in the gentle snowfall with this dreamy backlight, well, you just gotta see for yourself!

 @Jill Gearhart Photography (www.jillgearhartphotography.com)
 @Jill Gearhart Photography (www.jillgearhartphotography.com)
 @Jill Gearhart Photography (www.jillgearhartphotography.com)
 @Jill Gearhart Photography (www.jillgearhartphotography.com)
 @Jill Gearhart Photography (www.jillgearhartphotography.com)
 @Jill Gearhart Photography (www.jillgearhartphotography.com)
 @Jill Gearhart Photography (www.jillgearhartphotography.com)
 @Jill Gearhart Photography (www.jillgearhartphotography.com)
 @Jill Gearhart Photography (www.jillgearhartphotography.com)
 @Jill Gearhart Photography (www.jillgearhartphotography.com)
 @Jill Gearhart Photography (www.jillgearhartphotography.com)
 @Jill Gearhart Photography (www.jillgearhartphotography.com)
 @Jill Gearhart Photography (www.jillgearhartphotography.com)
 @Jill Gearhart Photography (www.jillgearhartphotography.com)
 @Jill Gearhart Photography (www.jillgearhartphotography.com)
 @Jill Gearhart Photography (www.jillgearhartphotography.com)
 @Jill Gearhart Photography (www.jillgearhartphotography.com)
 @Jill Gearhart Photography (www.jillgearhartphotography.com)
 @Jill Gearhart Photography (www.jillgearhartphotography.com)
 @Jill Gearhart Photography (www.jillgearhartphotography.com)
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The Light That Shines Brightest This Season | Indiana PA Lifestlye Family Photographer
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So many friends and loved ones we know struggle though the holidays. Whether it's keeping the stress at bay, or trying to fill emptiness left by a loved one passed, the "happiest time of year" sometimes just, isn't. The season of lights may just leave us feeling the darkness more than ever, and as my dear friend and guest blog writer Will reminds us, there is a light available for all of us that can permeate any darkness.

I hope you enjoy this very special guest post edition of the blog written Will and he and his wife's adorable lifestyle photos to follow!


Christmas Season is often filled with parties and time with friends and family.  Bells are heard from Salvation Army volunteers, gift-giving (and friendly smiles) are at their yearly all-time highs, and towns just like our Indiana, PA, have festive "light-up nights" across the US.  And then there's the food.  Lots and lots of good food.  For these reasons, and others, most would say that Christmas is their favorite time of year.  

With all of these highlights, though - life is REAL - and trials and hardships don't take a break during the Holidays.  For some, the Christmas-time joy of others becomes salt in the wound to the burdens that they alone bear.  No holiday cheer or gift given can fill the void of a loss or a circumstantial sorrow that many endure.  

That is the unfamiliar territory where my wife Joelle and I have found ourselves this December 2017.  Life's circumstances have left us hurting, and questioning our laid out plans.  Usually being ones to host Christmas parties and to "fa-la-la-la-la" our way through the end of the year, the unexpected suffering had us cancel the planning of the party, and left us looking forward to a hope of a better 2018.

When Joelle and I asked Jill to take a Christmas photo for us this year, we had intentionally planned to have only one or two shots - and that would be it.  As the single photo turned into a full session (you can't keep a good photographer like Jill down...and we didn't mind!), we were then asked by Jill to write this blog post.

As I considered a topic for the post, I reflected on the photos, and what has become a resounding and reoccurring theme for this season of our lives as a newly married couple.   It is often whispered to each other in dark moments where not much makes sense.  A weighty yet tender spoken phrase that is told to remind a spouse's hurting heart of what is true, even in the darkness:

"We're in this together."

Simply that.  We're in this journey, come what may, together.  For I've found, now more than ever, that the best gift that can be given is not wrapped underneath a tree.  And the most pertinent gesture of purpose and hope comes not in "Holiday Hoopla".  It's not found in circumstances.  It's only found in the personal reminder that you are not alone in the dark. The greatest gift that can be given is yourself.

As Joelle and I are Christians, our gift of our selves to each other is an echo of the great Giver - God - giving Himself to a hurting humanity, over 2000 years ago.  Jesus.  The person of God who came to give hope to those who saw none. That message has really helped us.  Life is REAL - and we need hope that is real.  Be it in marriage, or in life, I'm convinced that the gift of a person is what the world needs.  That's why God gave Himself, and why husbands, wives and friends do best to give of their selves to others. It took a photo session with Jill to remind Joelle and I that we are in this together, and so for that we thank you, Jill.

And for others reading this, I hope this post encourages you in this season, if you too are suffering.  

Joelle and I humbly say Merry Christmas, and may God be with you all of you.

"Joy to the world, the Lord has come, let earth receive her King."

Will and Joelle Rush

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Pastries by  Six Hand Bakery , Indiana, PA

Pastries by Six Hand Bakery, Indiana, PA

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What To Do With Your Wedding Dress After Your Wedding | Anniversary Session at PPG Place, Pittsburgh PA Family Photographer
 @Jill Gearhart Photography (www.jillgearhartphotography.com)

You spend hundreds if not thousands of dollars on your wedding gown, and hopefully that cash means you feel like a million bucks on your big day, so why should the fate of your gown be a dark and lonely one in a garment bag in the back of your closet? It's becoming more and more popular for couple to schedule anniversary sessions where the gown gets to come out of retirement, and a bride gets to feel just as special as she did on her favorite day.

A few of my friends have done this, and if I still had my gown I totally would (more on that HERE), so when Kelly approached me about doing an anniversary session (I was a bridesmaid for her wedding), I was SUPER excited. We had such fun planning a mini wedding day, Kelly calling on some of the best local vendors in the industry to get her ready for her re-debut as a bride! Her gorgeous, soft up-do was done by Hannah at Cameron's Salon, the stunning makeup was courtesy of BethyMae, and of course, a girl's gotta accessorize! Kelly got a custom necklace made by Rosie at Miss Pie Jewelry!

Kelly and I have been close friends for quite some time, and there's not much she loves more than catching up with friends over a cup of coffee from the Commonplace (except shopping, of course. And LuLaRoe). Luckily her hubby also likes coffee, so it was natural that she and Jamison started off the anniversary session with a waltz into this super cool coffeehouse to share a cup in their Mr. and Mrs. mugs!

We intended to cut into their cake from yester-year, but none of us realized that it was akin to a delicious frosted glacier and would take several days to thaw out. There's your pro-tip: a week before your anniversary, set a reminder on your phone to move your cake from the freezer to the fridge. After the frozen cake and the hot coffee (and a few shocked stares from college students cramming for finals), we headed to Pittsburgh to get some magical photos in front of the Christmas tree at PPG Place.

As you can imagine, we got some crazy looks as we ran around both Indiana and Pittsburgh in the 17 degree weather in full wedding regalia, but I think you'll agree the end results are worth it! My awesome friend Jackie from J.jae Photography let me try out her super cool Mag Mod flash modifier, and when you throw in the gentle snowfall with this dreamy backlight, well, you just gotta see for yourself!

 @Jill Gearhart Photography (www.jillgearhartphotography.com)
 @Jill Gearhart Photography (www.jillgearhartphotography.com)
 @Jill Gearhart Photography (www.jillgearhartphotography.com)
 @Jill Gearhart Photography (www.jillgearhartphotography.com)
 @Jill Gearhart Photography (www.jillgearhartphotography.com)
 @Jill Gearhart Photography (www.jillgearhartphotography.com)
 @Jill Gearhart Photography (www.jillgearhartphotography.com)
 @Jill Gearhart Photography (www.jillgearhartphotography.com)
 @Jill Gearhart Photography (www.jillgearhartphotography.com)
 @Jill Gearhart Photography (www.jillgearhartphotography.com)
 @Jill Gearhart Photography (www.jillgearhartphotography.com)
 @Jill Gearhart Photography (www.jillgearhartphotography.com)
 @Jill Gearhart Photography (www.jillgearhartphotography.com)
 @Jill Gearhart Photography (www.jillgearhartphotography.com)
 @Jill Gearhart Photography (www.jillgearhartphotography.com)
 @Jill Gearhart Photography (www.jillgearhartphotography.com)
 @Jill Gearhart Photography (www.jillgearhartphotography.com)
 @Jill Gearhart Photography (www.jillgearhartphotography.com)
 @Jill Gearhart Photography (www.jillgearhartphotography.com)
 @Jill Gearhart Photography (www.jillgearhartphotography.com)
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