We LOOOOOOVE Lisa and Patrick, and of course, their cutest little guy – Timothy!! My husband, Terrence, and I did their wedding video four years ago, and we are so blessed to still have them as clients and friends in our lives!!

I was so excited to bring my new chair out and play at Mount Charleston! We snagged sooooo many amazing shots today! Here’s a quick two pics I wanted to get up before I went out and played with my little ones!

Enjoy! xoxo,

Suzi

P.S. Don’t forget to book your holiday session! For every friend you refer, you get a $25 credit toward products!!

Just found The Bell Event Center for a gorgeous wedding venue location in the Cincinnati area. Oh my – sooooo pretty! I love its historic properties. It actually used to be St. Paul’s Church and was built in 1850, which means that it looks like a church on the inside, equipped with gorgeous architecture and stained glass windows, but the pews are no longer there. It then became a bell museum and became home to many types of old bells, clocks and bell-ringing things, and now that it is an event center, the name The Bell Event Center makes perfectly logical sense.

The Bell Event Center offers an in-house photo booth, candy station, centerpieces for the reception tables, and a gourmet in-house executive chef, who prepares truly amazing appetizers and main dishes.

They have a warm and friendly staff and make sure that couples have a fantastic experience at their venue.

If you are looking for a Cincinnati wedding or event photographer, please drop me a note on my contact page so that we can chat about all of the fun details for you big day!

xx,

Suzi

 

 

 

 

Coming all the way from Russia, Anna and Max both love to travel, and have made a business out of it! They couldn’t imagine a better place to tie the knot than Vegas. Within days of deciding to get married, they contacted Lighten Films to create a movie of their experience here in Vegas and develop a concept film / short movie  of an exciting plot that they came up with. They shared their ideas with Terrence of Lighten Films, and as a screenplay writer himself, he came up with a script that brought their ideas to life! Together, we hired actors, such as the great Joey Ciccone, to be our main villain. The film also required a helicopter scene, a rented corvette, an Elvis in a pink Cadillac and two 12-hour days on set! Oh, the fun we had!

These photos I shot were very impromptu. We hadn’t planned on taking any photos, but since I was helping in the filming process, I couldn’t resist snapping a few photos while on set! The last photo was shot by Kira who did their Just Married Session! It was one of the last photos from the session and my favorite!

 

  • TARA - Very nice! The bride has a very Drew Barrymore look to her.ReplyCancel

  • joeyciccone - Suzi and Big T-Terrance are the nicest people you could ever meet and work with real pros and a great crew to boot.There quility speaks for itself!Suzi did not mention she was with child and it could have come any second what a trooper.We where all familia on the set and I had a great time.Terrance and Suzi gave me freedom as an Actor.Been in this Biz for 30 years from Miles Davis to Indies.If you come to Las Vegas this is the team you want and need to give you memories at a high pro level.My names Joey Ciccone and I Endorce this ad.Suzi you gotta shoot me do you have any others I can purchase or use for my book.Excellent-Happy Happy Thanksgiving.xo JoeyReplyCancel

  • Jonathan Wells - Pictures look awesome! That shoot was so much fun to do, Thanks for letting me be a part of it. Will we be able to see the finished product? Regardless, You guys do a fantastic job and it was great working with you.ReplyCancel

Here is the newest addition to the Lighten family. Meet Genesis Jade. 🙂

I was privileged to shoot alongside friend and fellow photographer, Norina Leyde, of Maple Hill Photography. She gifted me with a newborn session as a baby shower gift and invited me to bring my camera and shoot alongside her if I wanted to.

Of course I wanted to. LOL! I couldn’t pass up the opportunity. Norina is a wonderful newborn photographer and has tons of great props in her studio! The first two photos were shot on my bed, and all the rest were shot in Norina’s studio!

Thanks Norina!! Sorry we ate up so much of your time!! Newborns have no conception of time! LOL…

One of my clients/friends, Tara, gifted me with this totally adorable baby cocoon! She made it herself!!The owl hat is totally boyish, but I wanted to try it on her anyway. She wasn’t a fan. LOL.

 

My doula, Shannondoah, captured this sweet moment on her camera.Here is Miss Genesis on her birthday. 🙂

Genesis was born at 6:16am on October 7, 2012, weighing in at a healthy 7lbs 8oz.

Although this pregnancy started off with a lot of worry, I prayed heavily and reminded myself that God is in control. As most of my blog readers know, our last pregnancy ended up in tragedy, with a severely brain-damaged preemie baby, who is now 2 years old, and 100% reliant on parental help for survival. She cannot swallow, sit, stand, speak or convey emotion.

After living through every parent’s worst nightmare, you can imagine the amount of fear a new pregnancy would bring about. Terrence and I had discussed Savannah being our last baby, donated all of our saved up baby gear and clothes, and weren’t expecting to conceive again.

Lo and behold, the morning sickness started up…

I bounced back and forth between hiring a regular OBGYN, a parenatologist or going with a midwife. I had appointments with several, received ultrasounds to monitor that I wasn’t having any placental issues, like I did in my previous pregnancy, and at 6 months pregnant, I decided that I could trust my body and trust in the Lord to allow me to have a safe and healthy home-birth and hired a mid-wife. Obviously, my decision, was not decided rashly, but took much careful thought, research and prayer to come to feel comfortable with my decision.

My doula, Shannondoah, helped me with a lot of fear releasing, and I kept reminding myself of a very motivating thought that one of the midwives I interviewed shared with me.

As I asked her about the safety of doing a VBAC, she compared it to driving a car. She said that millions of people drive their cars every day to work, to school, to the supermarket, etc. Do they get anxiety every time they get in their car? More than likely not. Although people die in car accidents every day, the survival rate is much, much better than the death rate. People know that there are certain risks that increase car accidents, like driving under the influence or having a pre-existing condition, like seizures, that can inherently increase the risk. But, accidents are less likely to occur, if you are aware of the situation, focused on what’s going on in front of you and around you, don’t ignore danger signs, and know that ultimately God is in control. 🙂

This made an incredible amount of sense to me.

Even after she shared this with me though, I continued to research, research, research, because, after all, this is my life, and my child’s life that I’m making a decision for.

We were expecting Genesis to arrive 10 days early as my first two children arrived 10 days early, weighing in right around the 6lb mark. They were relatively easy births.

Well, 10 days came, then 9, then 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3….

We were getting worried, as she still hadn’t arrived and my husband had 3 weddings closing in over the course of a 36 hour period during my final home-stretch. He was going on 4 hours of sleep in 2 days, and after his 3rd wedding ended on October 6 at 10pm, my water broke. LOL. I labored at home in a birthing tub, and 8 hours after my water broke, I delivered Genesis into my loving arms. I was expecting to cry with happiness, but I think was just too exhausted and wanted to focus on making sure she was in perfect health.

She’s perfect, and we are so in love, and God IS in control. 🙂

 

 

 

  • Emily - Congratulations! She is absolutely precious and what an incredible story!ReplyCancel

  • Terri Nelson - Indeed your faith trusting in The Lord Jesus Christ proved that He is in control for by Him all things consist. I love you, Genesis and the whole family. Praise God from whom all blessings flow… Glad I could be there! MomReplyCancel

  • Lisa - You are both such inspiring parents. God has worked 4 little blessings into your lives, and they have two God-fearing parents to be thankful for. Thank you for sharing your heart, your struggle and the happy ending!ReplyCancel

  • Sara - Hey Suzi,

    Congratulations on the birth of your beautiful baby Genesis. Such a lovely name. I hope you and all the family have a wonderful New Year, and Jamie and I are looking forward to coming out in 8 weeks!

    xxReplyCancel

Since I had the privilege of photographing a wedding in California this summer, my hubby and I decided to make a week-long vacation of the trip. Before heading to Laguna Hills, we went to Carlsbad, California for a family vacation at Legoland!

Take a look and see what fun we had! 🙂

xoxo,

Suzi

The excitement of having a baby shower was very overwhelming for me this time around with Lighten Baby #4 on the way. With being on a very strict bed rest the last 4 months of my previous pregnancy, and with the devastating outcome of the circumstances under which Savannah was actually born, the reality of having a baby shower just wasn’t going to happen. I carried a lot of emotional baggage from my last pregnancy, and this time around, I wanted to embrace an event that would celebrate the new life growing within me, totally problem-free.

Our little Savannah will be turning two in just three days. We didn’t celebrate her first birthday and don’t plan to celebrate her second one either. We figure it wouldn’t be much of a celebration with her sleeping or seizing throughout the party. She spends the majority of her days sleeping, staring at the wall, or having seizures. We have never witnessed her smile, show any type of excitement or happiness, or have any desire to eat through her mouth or play. She doesn’t have the ability to hold up her head, sit up, reach for objects, or swallow. My husband and I struggle daily with our emotions for this child and what the best options are for her. We hate to see her suffer, and pray daily for guidance to make the right choices for her and our family.

My friend, Kira, who began to work for us just before the problems with my last pregnancy came about, volunteered to host my shower for me! I was so honored by her sweet and generous gesture! I realize that throwing a shower for someone is a huge undertaking, and I have a very limited number of friends that would even consider to take on such a task. So, a HUGE, ENORMOUS thank you goes out to Kira for all of her hard-work and time that she placed into making my vision come to life.

Teresa, from Flora Couture, definitely can’t go without some MAJOR recognition as well! She is responsible for taking all of my pinned photos on Pinterest and compounding them with some of her own flair to truly make the banquet hall, at Bear’s Best, look fantastic – truly so warm and inviting!! She did all of the floral arrangements, most of the decor, and the beautiful backdrop behind the cupcake-table, minus the banner (which Kira hand-made herself). These ladies really made my oh-so-girly shabby-chic bruncheon a fabulous event!

We were extremely fortunate that Gordon at Bear’s Best allowed us to use his newly remodeled banquet hall for our shower. I loved the new refinished ceiling, and the new carpet is such a lovely neutral color with a beautiful pattern! Also, the gold chivari chairs that come standard with all of his wedding packages, are simply stunning and complimented our feminine and elegant baby shower perfectly!

So, I’d like to invite you to take a glimpse into this very special and important day to me. Also, speaking of inviting, the day couldn’t have happened without the actual invitations! I designed them myself and then hand-decorated each one individually with love, lace and other little odds and ends. Each invitation is unique and a great deal of care went into making them.

I truly feel so blessed and humbled by all of the loved ones that came to support this very special occasion for us and take time out of their very busy, hectic lives! Thanks to all of those as well who simply couldn’t attend and sent gifts through the mail! Totally didn’t expect that, but was so grateful!

Lastly, I also need to point out that the my camera was passed back and forth throughout the event between myself, Kira, Terrence and Stephanie, so I obviously couldn’t have taken all of these photos, especially, with me being in so many of them, LOL!

Beautiful floral arrangements by Flora Couture.Kira made this beautiful donut hole cake!Kira also made these home-made cinnamon buns!I made the honey cinnamon butter, and Kira made the cute mini pancake stacks.I made a fresh berry and fruit mixture to eat either individually, served in the cups with fresh whipping cream, or to add on to top of the guests’ freshly made waffles.Kira made these vintage ornate flowers made from paper and were adhered to barren tree branches and accented with pearls for a delicate and dainty accent piece to our waffle station table.We served two types of tea sandwiches. I made these ones.These beautiful crates filled with Baby’s Breath sat on the gift table, provided by Flora Couture. Kira and I both had some vintage books that we also used for decor. These were actually inspired by Morgan and Shelby’s wedding!! (See previous post)Kira provided her trunk and candelabra for the gift table as well!This lovely table and chest of drawers with flowers was also brought in by Flora Couture.More decor by Flora Couture sat on our Raffle Prize Table.Kira has some amazingly talented baker friends whom she solicited to make these gourmet dainty cupcakes! They were a sight to behold! I didn’t actually get to taste one, but I’m sure they were out of this world!In the chaffing dish, we also served “pigs in a blanket,” which were thoughtfully made by my friend and assistant Stephanie the morning of the shower!I also made the filling for the chicken salad tea-sandwiches, and it was a group effort between Kira and Stephanie to hand-cut out the heart-shaped pieces of bread and get them filled the morning of the party!Here is our pretty beverage/refreshment table, where we had cucumber and lime water, and pink lemonade.I found some really nice gifts for our raffle table, and we also had three of our guests contribute prizes to our raffle! Stephanie, my assistant, and now owner of STK Weddings and Events, LLC, has a garage full of all sorts of fun decor items that she let us borrow for the shower, like the tree branch stumps and mason jars covered in lace.Here is a close-up of our waffle station!The amazingly talented Stephanie also made the beautifully ornate food description cards – they were simply gorgeous, and I couldn’t have been happier with how they turned out!Here is a close-up of the lovely flag banner that Kira handmade!I absolutely adored the cupcakes that were framed with lace and topped with a light lavender icing.More gorgeous floral by Flora Couture!Raspberry and cream-cheese bites!Here is the beautiful and amazingly talented Teresa from Flora Couture!Yours truly, with my hubby, Terrence. He was the only guy at the shower, as this was an all ladies’ event.My friend/assistant Stephanie and friend/past bride Tara!(left)The waffle station went over quite nicely! (right) My beautiful sister-in-law, Kim.My mom (left) and daughter Arielle (right). Do I really need to specify who’s who? LOL…I asked Teresa if she had any pink parolsols we could hang from the ceiling to represent the whole “shower” concept, and she totally pulled through! I LOVED how this looked hanging overhead the gift table!The fabulous Liz modeling her vintage attire and picture-worthy shoes!My sister-in-law Renee with our niece Venecia!Me, with another past bride and friend, Cathi!Daddy and Arielle.Mommy, Daddy, and Arielle.Me, amidst a sea of presents! I am actually holding a hand-made baby blanket, gifted by friend and past-bride Tara!I think Kira snagged this totally cute pic of my legs! Thanks Kira! 🙂Raffling off our prizes! (The guests were given tickets upon arrival for wearing vintage clothing, bringing Seventh Generation baby diapers, donating a raffle prize, and for winning at baby shower games.)Here’s me with the hostess with the mostess – Miss Kira herself! There are barely any pics of her as she was so busy with a lot of the behind-the-scenes work or behind the camera!Flora Couture also provided this vintage bike, complete with a basket of Baby’s Breath, as an entry-way piece.Here’s another shot of our guestbook table! Kira gifted me with a maternity session, which I used as a family baking session in our kitchen! Seeing as how we were just days away from the shower, I edited them myself that night until 4am and designed the guestbook to get it back in time for the shower!These ornate entry-way Baby Shower trees were also provided by Flora Couture.Here’s a group shot of all of us gals!Thanks so much for taking a glimpse into my baby shower! Hope you enjoyed seeing all of the photos as much as I’ve enjoyed sharing them with you all!

Venue: Bear’s Best

Floral & Decor: Flora Couture

Dress: Jen Clothing

Hat: Electric Lemonade

Shoes: DSW

Invitations: Vitamin C Photography

Photography: Vitamin C Photography

Cinematography: Lighten Films

  • jesszwo - SO beautiful! You look wonderful Suzi! So good to hear you are feeling so great and that this pregnancy has gone so smoothly for you. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Angelica - This was one of the best baby showers I have been to hand downs!I am IN LOVE with the name you and Terrence have chosen!ReplyCancel

  • TARA - Suzi! I had a wonderful time! Thank you for letting me celebrate with you. 😉ReplyCancel

    • Suzi Lighten - Tara!! I had a wonderful time too! So glad you could share this special day with me! Thank you for coming! Angelica!! Thank you so much! It was a joy having you come and celebrate with us! And I’m so pleased you that you love her name! We are quite fond of it too! 🙂 Jessica!!! Thank you so much! Miss you all so much. We are discussing a possible trip out there this winter! 🙂ReplyCancel