Lindsey and Austin's Industrial Chic Washington DC Wedding

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Lindsey and Austin are the epitome of industrial chic.
Emphasis on the chic.

But having known Lindsey since elementary school, that was not a surprise. You might recognize Lindsey and Austin from their Washington DC engagement session (check it out here) so you could say I was pretty pumped for their wedding. I was joined by my second shooter Linnea Marie Photography and we created some gor.geous images that I cannot wait to share with everyone. I cannot even choose a favorite moment! Her details were perfection, gathered with friends and family, asymmetrical floral arch, the tender moments that Austin wiped away Lindsey’s tears during their ceremony, the BAD ASS PORTRAITS, or the raging reception—wow! It was the first time I ever danced at a reception—so you KNOW it was great music to get my feet movin’. Feast your eyes, my friends…

Lindsey, you were a beautiful bride and I am SO honored to have been able to document your day.

Vendor list-
Photographer: Erica Dietz Photography
Second Photographer: Linnea Marie Photography
Gown Designer: Alexandra Grecco
Bridal Shop: Lovely Bride
Bridal Prep: Hotel Monaco
Groom Prep: Mayflower Hotel
Ceremony and Reception: National Union Building
Florals: Galleria Florist
Band: Bachelor Boys

Nikki and Lee's Wedding at The Barn at Ever Thine in Fenelton, PA

Where do I even begin with Nikki and Lee’s wedding? The hugs!

The whole day reminded me of the big family reunions I have with my family during the summer: surrounded by happy kids, laughing adults enjoying cold beers, soooo many hugs, and even a enjoying a bonfire with s’mores at night. That’s exactly the way a historic family-owned barn wedding SHOULD feel. The best part is that they had so many good, salt of the earth people for me to photograph. The Barn at Ever Thine was the perfect venue for anyone looking for a real, good time. I loved photographing the guests enjoying the property, whether it was a game of cornhole or watching the younger ones play touch football in the back—there were so many great documentary-style wedding photos just waiting to be captured. And so many great hugs! I was so happy that Nikki and Lee let me be as photojournalistic and unposed as I wanted for their wedding because I got to photograph so many big-squeeze-wrap-you-up hugs at their wedding. I loved every minute of it!

Nikki, wow, you looked incredible! Thank you to you and Lee for allowing me to document your special day.

Vendor love-
Photographer: Erica Dietz Photography
Second Photographer: Linnea Marie Photography
Hair and Makeup: All About Me Hair Studio
Venue: The Barn At Ever Thine

Kristina and Matt's Robin Hill Park Wedding

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Oh I loved this wedding.

A fellow photographer and crazily talented photojournalist asked me to shoot her wedding. It was the perfect opportunity for me to shoot pure, unposed, documentary style wedding images because here is a bride who literally understands what it means to have newspaper photographer experience. Ohhh geez ok pressure pressure pressure but spoiler alert—the day went perfectly.
I was ON it.
Authentic, funny, and just plain solid good moments would happen right when I would pick up my camera and hit the shutter.
I felt like I couldn’t shoot a bad frame.

Kristina, you look BEAUTIFUL in these images! I can’t tell you how much of an honor it was to photograph your wedding.

Vendor love:
Photographer: Erica Dietz Photography
Venue: Robin Hill Park
Bouquet: Etsy
Photobooth: Lux PhotoBooth
Hair: Angelina Mascarenhas
Makeup: the bride
Officiant: Ian Pisarcik
DJ: Top of the Line Entertainment

Chelsea and Adam's Crystal Room Wedding in Butler, PA

What did I love the most from Chelsea and Adam’s wedding? It wasn’t Chelsea’s gorgeous bouquet, her Sottero and Midgley gown, or classy chiavari chairs. It wasn’t the super trendy moongate arch, delicious cake, or the huge chandeliers at The Crystal Room.

It wasn’t any of the things.

My favorite part was watching Chelsea get choked up while looking at her guests.

You never remember to LOOK BEHIND YOU and see a huge, beautiful room packed full of all your favorite people and soak everything in but during Chelsea did it THREE TIMES! After their first kiss, after being announced into her reception, and then lastly towards the end of the reception. And her moment was captured every time.

I couldn’t have caught all these beautiful moments without my second photographer Pamela Anticole. Several of the photos below are her’s, and be sure to check out how my photos of Chelsea and Pamela’s photos of Adam compliment each other.

Vendor love:
Venue: The Crystal Room at the Butler Days Inn
Main Photographer: Erica Dietz Photography
Second Photographer: Pamela Anticole
Gown designer: Sottero and Midgley
Bridal shop: Sorelle Bridal Salon
Tux designer: Joseph Abboud
Tux shop: Men’s Warehouse
Hair: Bethany Sinclair
Makeup: Sabrina Selcer
Florist: Carolyn Schweiger
Bakery: Bella Christie
Moongate arch: Vintage Alley Rentals
Chiavari chairs and draping: Elegant Events by Andrea
DJ/Photobooth: Loyalty Entertainment

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Megan and Justin's Loving Portraits

If you know me, then you probably know Megan. She's my best friend. My ride or die. The peanut butter to my jelly. Anytime she comes to visit, we make time to shoot a portrait session because... heck I don't even remember why but it's tradition now.

And if you know Megan, then you definitely know Justin. He's her husband. Her rock. Her everything.

And if it was 51 years ago, these photos wouldn't exist. Their interracial marriage would have been illegal.

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In 1958, a black 17-year-old woman named Mildred Jeter married the love of her life, a white 23-year-old construction worker named Richard Loving. Today marks the 51-year anniversary of the 1967 United States Supreme Court decision Loving v. Virginia which struck down all anti-miscegenation laws remaining in sixteen U.S. states. Interracial marriage was finally made legal across the United States. Let that sink in... 1967. 1967.

Even though there has been legislation passed, there is still work to do to ensure that the tireless efforts of the Lovings is not merely relegated to a day, but more of an attitude of acceptance. Especially in today's climate, immigrants such as Liberian-born Justin have to fight for not only acceptance, but also the right to live here.

Thanks to Mildred and Richard, I was able to make these incredible portraits of my beautiful friends. And thanks to Mildred and Richard, Megan and Justin will be able to celebrate their 7 year anniversary. 

 

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Keira and Steve's North Shore and Strip District Engagement Session in Pittsburgh, PA

True story!

Last night I was scrolling through Keira and Steve's summery Pittsburgh engagement session that we shot back in July and I was smiling as I was reliving all the best moments that I had forgotten about: Keira's perfect white sundress, Steve's charming smile, and then suddenly I saw a COMPLETELY RANDOM photo of an almost naked middle-aged man getting a suntan in his lawnchair while smoking a stogie right in the middle of Keira and Steve's engagement session. I laughed and laughed. I had totally forgotten about this guy but after seeing the photo, I remembered the way he shamelessly presented himself right in the middle of the park was enough to break the ice during my engagement session with Keira and Steve and how we laughed and laughed about it. And then I thought, 'Yes, this is definitely something that I would shoot.'

One of the things that I preach when meeting with my brides and grooms is that as a wedding photojournalist, I will document your wedding day. I promise to photograph the good, the bad, and the ugly! Because the good and the bad are all things that tell the story of your day.

So when we are shooting your engagement session and we see a man wearing nothing but shorts and sunglasses, smoking a stogie, and sitting in a lawn chair to catch some sun on the North Shore, we will have a great laugh, and then I am going to shoot a picture of it and include it in your gallery. That's what happens when you book Erica Dietz Photography. You get candid photos of you and your loved one as you celebrate a huge milestone celebration in your life, and sometimes you get a picture of an almost naked guy tanning in a lawn chair while smoking a stogie AND LIVING HIS BEST LIFE like Keira and Steve did. Why?? Because I shoot everything--the good, the bad, and the ugly. And yes, I included the photo in the session below.

Keira and Steve, you are both my favorite type of people and I cannot wait to photograph your wedding on Saturday. And always remember to live your best life--no matter what!

Andje's Senior Portrait Session in Pittsburgh, PA

Life is short. Make it weird.

And quirky. And fun. And have random dance parties in the grungey alleyways in Pittsburgh's Strip District. And let me photograph it! Because Andje's high school senior portrait session was the weirdest, quirkiest, most fun I've ever had while photographing high school senior portraits. When I photograph senior portraits, I usually have to work to get to know my young clients. Sometimes I say or do stupid things to gain their trust and feel comfortable around me. 

But with Andje... OH HOW THE TABLES WERE TURNED!

I was struggling to keep up with her robust personality. This meant that I was no longer in control of the photoshoot in the most beautiful way possible. This time, I was the one who was pushed out of her comfort zone. Our shoot consisted of Andje being 100% unapologetically herself and me just trying to keep up and laughing the entire time. This was also the first (and likely last) time that I had to ask someone to "dial it back" hahaha. 

It was "The Andje Show" and I had a front row seat.

I always say that I try to capture someone's personality in photos, and I can CONFIDENTLY say that I captured Andje in these photos.

Andje, you are wicked smart, sophisticated, and you're crazy beautiful. Thanks for being you. 

Kaitlyn and Travis's Heinz Chapel Oakland Wedding in Pittsburgh PA

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Go call your mom. Tell her you love her.
Or maybe call your dad. Or grandma. Or brother or best friend or your college roommate.
Right now. I'll wait....

...

If this wedding has taught me anything, it is that we don't have as much time with our loved ones as we think we do so cherish the time that you have them. And also I still really love rose gold accents but that's not as important.

When I met with Kaitlyn, she mentioned that she moved her wedding ahead 6 months due to her mother's pancreatic cancer diagnosis. At that moment, I knew that this would be a special wedding, and that I was the perfect fit for what she needed. What did she need? She needed someone who could deliver all the normal wedding photos, as well as someone who could document her mother's presence without being intrusive. Fortunately, I have plenty of experience with this type of delicate photography from all of my years as working for the newspapers when I was a full-time photojournalist. I had to tell the whole story of the day, even the tough parts. No one had a better understanding of this than my second shooter Brian Henry of Evermark Studios. Brian also used to be a full-time photojournalist and is still heavily influenced by photojournalism in his own wedding photography work.

The toughest part of the day was the moment the DJ started to play Celine Dion's "Because You Loved Me" and watching Kaitlyn share a dance with her mother. Now, I don't consider myself to be an emotionally expressive person, but I struggled to maintain my composure. But I knew that I had to put my emotions to the side so that I could properly photograph and honor that moment for Kaitlyn and her sister Jillian. For Travis, for everyone there and for everyone who couldn't be there. I've been shooting weddings for 10 years and I'll never forget this. I cried the next day when I was downloading my images. Then I called my mom.

I asked Kaitlyn if I had her blessing to blog her images, and she graciously obliged. Normally, I don't even ask my brides, I just go right ahead and blast whatever I want but this wedding was different. Even with her permission, I still wasn't sure if I should share something so personal. Kaitlyn's expressions throughout the day were so raw and real and I didn't want to exploit that. But then I thought that even if a few people who saw these images took the time to reach out to their loved ones and tell them that they loved them, and hugged them a little tighter, then it would be worth it. I asked Kaitlyn if there was anything that she wanted to share about her mother and she said this, "She was a fighter. She never believed she was going to succumb to cancer. So, she rose above it." Anyone wanting to donate to pancreatic cancer research in her memory can do so by going to pancan.org.

On to the fun stuff...

Let's all give a SLOW CLAP STANDING OVATION for Kaitlyn in that dress! Wowza you rocked that gown. Your hair looked flawless and your makeup was on point. Travis, you are a lucky, lucky guy. One of my other favorite moments was watching a few hotel guests walk past the entrance to the reception and almost going in! So of course I shot their picture. And then I caught an actual wedding crasher dancing along! So of course I shot her picture! She's blogged below...

Kaitlyn and Travis, thank you for hiring me to document your wedding. It was an honor.

Vendor love~
Photographer: Erica Dietz Photography
Second Photographer: Brian Henry Evermark Studios
Hair: Samantha Topping
Makeup: Domenica Tendick
Wedding Gown Designer: Allure Bridals
DJ: Ryan Leech 2ndIINone
Florals: Friend of the bride's mother
Desserts: Signature Desserts
Ceremony: Heinz Memorial Chapel
Reception: Erin Sharpe Wyndham University Center

Becca and Ben's Wintery Country Club Wedding in Indiana, PA

I love when wedding clients intentionally hire me for my documentary-style photography vision. Becca and Ben were no different! 

When I arrived to photograph Becca and her ladies as they prepped and dressed for the wedding, Becca apologized for the hyper-colorful murals in the Sunday School room. Then she quickly followed up with, "But I bet you like this don't you!" Yes! I was all about it. This is how the room looked, this was real life. Some photographers would have cringed, but not me. I prefer to be different. I loved the way the animals smiled down on everyone as they finished their hair and makeup. But my goodness, look at that sanctuary! So moody, so good. One of my favorite photos was taken after everyone had left except for me and my second shooter Lou because we were packing up our gear. I saw a church worker extinguishing the aisle candles one by one. It struck me as amusing to see someone in regular clothes doing this task, surrounded by the ornate church and the remaining wedding bows, I just had to shoot a photo of it. Real life. As my favorite photojournalists like to say, "Show up early and stay late." I stayed late, and made that image.

And you can't have a wedding in Indiana, PA without hitting Vinegar Hill, aka "The Jimmy Stewart Steps". Oh and don't forget about Philly Street in downtown Indiana! It was so beautifully lit up. Of course, I am biased because that's where I grew up. As always, the Indiana Country Club was decorated so perfectly! And did you see that donut cake?? I photographed their rings on a donut because DONUTS!

Becca, you looked beautiful! That dress was made just for you. Thank you for inviting me to be a part of your day.

Vendor love:
Photographer - Erica Dietz Photography
Second Photographer - Lou Ruediger Photography
Reception Venue - Indiana Country Club
Gown Designer - Stella York
Bridal Shop - White Lace Bridal
Florist - Flower Gallery
Cake Baker - Margie McCullough
Donuts - Giant Eagle
Videographer - Erik Puskar
Make up - Bella Spa
Hair - Leann Knapik of The Hair Studio
Suits - The 700 Shop