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Elizabeth Ryan Photography Blog bio picture

about us:

We are dream believers.  We are in love.  We want you to expect greatness.  We love city-living, but will never forget our small-town roots.  Family means the world to us.  Waking up with a smile on our faces every morning because we love what we do is our key to success.  We appreciate artHelping others is our passion.  We are spontaneous.  We can’t resist a good dessert. Traveling is always on our to do list.  Being Bucknellians pushes us to new heights.  We embrace technology and social media.  Meeting new couples that are madly in love makes us smile. We believe romance makes the world go round.  We will capture every detail of your day.  We love it when a bride and groom becomes our life long friends.  We specialize in weddings because it reminds us of how special every day is in our relationship.

Sharing our talent of emotion-capturing photography is what we do best.  And we can’t wait to share our talents with you.

We are Elizabeth and Ryan, and we are Elizabeth Ryan Photography.

Soul Satisfying | The impact of a Thank You

It is those unexpected moments that can literally just make a day, a week, a year.  Last week we were in the car driving when I heard the email ding on my phone.  To be honest, I am getting really good at ignoring that ding, especially when we are “out of the office” (or else it literally would consume our lives).  I ignored it, but Ryan started reading an email to me.  Ryan knows by now that if he chooses to read the email when I ignore it that he should only share it with me if it is “really good!”  As he began to read the email and then continued to read the whole thing, I was thinking “wow, this must be really good.”  And that it was.

It was an email from a special couple that we had photographed the night before.  By the end of the email, I was in tears.  Literally, I was driving down to Annapolis with eyes full of tears.  It was one of those moments where I felt like we were doing something right and everything that we set out to do during our session with that couple was accomplished.  You see, it is always our goal to be more than “just photographers.”  We want to be life changers and give people an opportunity to escape the everyday craziness of life to soak in each other!  After a photo session we want our couples and other clients to feel more in love than ever and to know that they are blessed in a special way to live the life they do.

Our special couple who wrote that special note reaffirmed that we did exactly what we set out to do!  There is something incredibly soul satisfying about having someone tell you you have reached your goal and have done it well…. Especially when that goal goes above and beyond “just” providing amazing photos!

As you know, we have been crazy busy with travel, photo shoots, and pulling the finishing touches together for our new brand launch!  WAHOOO!  We have been a little quiet on the blog as we get everything together.  It is CRAZY around here.  But moments like we had last week was certainly an amazing validation to exactly what we are doing and why we are doing it!  Words can make a huge impact on the lives of others and we are beyond grateful for the words our special couple shared with us last week!

Hope you find a minute today to share a grateful word with some special!  Who knows… it might make their day, week, year…?!

Answered Prayers | Janessa & Chris’s Newton White Mansion Wedding

It was a hot one.  Like really hot!  Remember that heat wave that the East Coast had where temperatures were in the 100s for a few days straight?  Yep, Janessa and Chris’s day happened to fall right in the middle of that heat wave.  However, to be honest, it didn’t phase them.  All that mattered was that the rain held off for their outdoor ceremony.

Janessa and Chris worked so hard on every detail of their special day.  They thought through every single logistical piece, but the ONE thing they cared the most about (that unfortunately they had no control over – or did they?!?  ;) ) was having their ceremony outside.  As the storms rolled in, the radar was not looking promising.  Honestly, the radar showed a huge line of storms that could not miss us.  As the guests were taking their seats outside, the thunder rolled.  At that time, a lot of eyes looked to the skies sending prayers above that the storm would pass.  God certainly had his hands on Janessa and Chris that day.  All of the prayers were answered and in God’s amazing ways, that line of storms split just before reaching the Newton White Mansion!

It was perfect.  Their outdoor ceremony went on without looking back.  A few cracks of thunder here and there, but I think that was God’s way of just reminding us he was present!  ;)  He was present in so many ways that day!!… most especially in joining this beautiful couple together!

Janessa and Chris, you two are amazing together.  You seriously complete each other in such a magical way!  You are a team in every sense of the word and it makes us so excited to know that you have found your perfect partner!  We wish you nothing but the best!!  Congratulations!

To see more of Janessa and Chris’s big day, check out their slideshow too!

Huge thanks to everyone that helped to make Janessa and Chris’ day so special!

Stationery:  The Paper Source and

Hair and Makeup:  Image Creators

Florist:  Soo Sun at Silverstems

Ceremony & Reception Venue:  Newton White Mansion

Officiant:  Pastor Alejandro Gaete

Ceremony Music:  Chesapeake Strings

Caterer:  Ken’s Creative Kitchen

Bakery:  Fiona’s Cakes

DJ:  Premier DJ Services

Transportation:  Bayside Limos

Bridal Salon & Bridesmaid’s Dresses:  Betsy Robinson’s Bridal

Groom & Groomsmen’s Attire:  Men’s Warehouse

Wedding Bands:  Zachary’s and Blue Nile

From the First Look | Brooke and Tony’s North Carolina Wedding

The day before their wedding, we asked them what they were most excited about for the next day.  Without hesitation, they both said the moment they get to see each other.  They had been imagining that moment for quite some time.  While walking through their favorite little vacation spot, the quaint southern town of Southport, NC, they came upon a pier where they knew they wanted to see each other for the first time on their special day.  They snapped a Hipstamatic photo of the pier and from that day on, that exact photo became their iPhone backgrounds and the backgrounds on their computer screens.  Throughout wedding planning when things would get stressful, they would look at that picture and always be reminded of what really matters… they would soon be Mr. and Mrs.

Tony was in place towards the end of the pier and Brooke took a moment to take it all in.  She was about to make the walk down the pier to greet Tony on this very special day.  At that moment, nothing else in the world mattered.  Tony was the only thing that she had her eyes on and he would soon be her husband.  Brooke made the walk down the pier and with a smile bigger than I have ever seen before, Tony greeted her!  This was that moment they had been dreaming about and this was that moment when they could soak each other in and remember what this special day is all about!

Ahhh!  Yes, you know we love First Looks and yes, you may know that Tony is my cousin, so this First Look was a little extra special for me…. that moment was incredible.  It still brings tears to my eyes as I go through their photos again and see the emotions on their faces.  We could have left them on that pier for an hour and they would have never even known that we left!  ;)  All that mattered in that moment was each other and that is what getting married is all about!

Tony and Brooke’s wedding was beyond incredible.  Honestly, there is so much that I want to share with you all because it was (as Tony would say) “totes” awesome.  Leading up to their big day, Brooke and Tony turned their regular weekly Date Night into Wedding Planning Thursdays.  They put so much heart and sole into every single one of their details.  Every detail that was a part of their day had special meaning!  We Skyped with Brooke and Tony a few times before their day and every time they shared a detail with us we would literally scream out loud!  ;)  Here are just a few of our favorite details about their day:

Brooke wore her mother’s dress (complete without any alterations needed!) and the veil that both her mom and aunt wore on their wedding days.  Brooke’s ring was purchased from the same jeweler in Williamsport, PA (right next to Tony’s hometown of Montoursville) that designed Tony’s mother’s and grandmother’s rings. Tony’s ring was purchased from the same jeweler in Brooke’s hometown where her father’s wedding band was purchased!  Brooke’s shoes were specially made to adorn one of her Grandmother’s pearls.  And maybe one of the most fun details… Brooke and Tony both wore different shoes for their reception!  Brooke had traveled abroad in Italy during college and would always walk past the Ferragamo store and ogle over the beautiful shoes!  ;)  She always passed them up waiting for the perfect excuse to treat herself!  And her wedding day was definitely the perfect excuse!  Tony wore his favorite Sambas that I am pretty sure have not left his feet since high school!  ;)

We could go on and on.  Brooke and Tony’s wedding was certainly something special and we are so excited to have been able to capture this meaningful day for them!  It was an honor!  Brooke and Tony… we are not sure where to begin but by saying Thank You!!!  Thank you for the opportunity to play such a special role in your day.  Thank you for being such an amazing couple and bringing those amazing smiles to each other’s faces!  And to Tony… thank you for bringing Brooke into our family!  We are super blessed to have her in our lives!  You two are so incredible and we could not be more happy for you!!!  Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Shurer!!

It was so hard to narrow down our favorite photos for this blog post!  To see more from Brooke and Tony’s amazing wedding, check out their slideshow!

Thanks so much to the fabulous Wedding Professionals and friends that made Brooke and Tony’s day perfect:

Invitations: StudioTEN15
Bride’s Hair & Makeup:  Pure Hair Studio
Florist:  Brunswick Town Florist
Ceremony Venue:  Trinity United Methodist Church
Caterer:  Coastal Catering and Events
Bakery: Nicole Buchanan Fine Cakes
DJ:  Brian Hood
Live Music for Cocktail Hour:  Caleb Davis
Bride’s Attire:  Mother’s Gown – Priscilla of Boston
Groom and Groomsmen’s Attire:  JoS. A. Bank
Bridesmaid’s Attire:  Suzi Chin By Maggy Boutique
Bride’s Rings:  Shire’s, Williamsport, PA
Groom’s Ring:  Schiffman’s, Greensboro, NC
Photobooth:  Elizabeth Ryan Photography
Wedding Planner:  Sandy Simpson (Brooke’s second mom growing up!)


Beachtime Lovin’ | Kaylene & Matt’s North Carolina Engagement Session

There is something magical about escaping the everyday craziness and soaking in the amazingness of life (especially at the beach!):  Taking a moment to listen to the waves of the ocean, hugging each other tight like no one else is watching, laughing uncontrollably when telling the person next to you why you love them so much, drawing in the sand and running through the waves.  Life doesn’t get much better than that!

For Kaylene and Matt, the last few months have been just a little bit crazy!  ;)  They welcomed their beautiful daughter Audree in April while in the midst of planning their September wedding!  Let’s just say- taking a moment to soak each other in has been one of the last things on their minds.

While we were down in North Carolina, we had the opportunity to change that for Kaylene and Matt!  We took some time to soak in the AMAZINGNESS of life and to celebrate the love that is surrounding them.  That love, that is so visible through every single smile on their faces, is a special love!  I am one happy girl to be able to say that special love and that special couple just happens to be my beautiful cousin, Kaylene, and her quite awesome fiancee, Matt!  ;)  Seeing their smiles and their happiness together left us with some pretty happy hearts!  Can’t wait for their big day in September!!

Kaylene, Matt, & Audree- love you guys!  ;)  Hope you never ever forget what that amazing smile feels like!  So excited for you!!! and so honored to play such a special role in your day!  (Did I mention, I am Kaylene’s Matron of Honor! ;)!!!  AHHHH!!!!)  Sending huge hugs!

A Kiss to Build a Dream On | Casey and Patrick’s Naval Academy Wedding

For Casey and Patrick, their wedding was one of the many celebrations they have had over the past few weeks.  Patrick had just graduated from the Naval Academy and they were planning their big move to the West Coast!  All the while they finalized the details of the wedding of their dreams.

I think it is fair to assume that for someone who grew up in the Annapolis area, getting married at the beautiful Naval Academy Chapel is a dream come true.  It is gorgeous and the tradition that comes with it makes everything extra special.  It was the perfect place for Casey and Patrick to exchange their vows and celebrate their wedding mass surrounded by their closest family and friends.

As Casey and Patrick made their way into the reception, they were greeted with pink ribbon wedding wands waving in the air!  The wedding wands had notes tied to them that read “A Kiss to Build a Dream On.”  Anytime a guest wanted to see Casey and Patrick kiss, all they had to do was wave their wand!  Lets just say, by the end of the evening Casey and Patrick shared many kisses!  And I think is fair to assume that every single kiss they shared will certainly guide them as they continue to make every single dream they have a reality!

Casey and Patrick, you have so much to celebrate and we are so happy for you!  This is such an incredible time in your lives and we are so honored to have been able to help you capture these special moments!  Thank you for the opportunity to celebrate with you!  We wish you nothing but the very best and can’t wait to one day visit you in San Diego!!  ;)

For more photos from Casey and Patrick’s big day… don’t miss their slideshow!

Many many thanks to everyone who played a special role in Casey and Patrick’s wedding day!

Ceremony:  United States Naval Academy Chapel

Reception:  Golf Club at South River

Caterer:  Golf Club at South River

Bakery:  Main Ingredient

DJ: Morgan Williams

Transportation: Blanchard Limo and Annapolis Trolley

Florist: Cache Fleur by Carolyn Bruckner

Stationery & Wedding Wands:  Allison Barnhill Designs

Hair and Makeup: Morgan Gerard Salon

Bride’s Gown:  Priscilla of Boston

Bridesmaid’s Dresses:  Priscilla of Boston

Wedding Bands:  Zachary’s

These are the memories that we never want to forget | Our Lives

Today is one of those days where we still have not taken the time to get out of our PJs and therefore we have cranked out a ton of work!  We are back in the office after spending the last week and a half in North Carolina, so there were a ton of little things that we just needed to wrap up!  In the midst of tying up loose ends, I can’t help but think about the last 10 days in NC.

A week and a half ago we headed down to Southport, NC for my cousin’s wedding.  We spent some time exploring the super cute little town and hanging out with family, while fitting in a few extra sessions along the way!  Five photoshoots later… we have quite a lot to share with you!  ;)  And we really can’t wait!  But first I need to process a few things from our trip and write down these thoughts before they get lost in the craziness of life!

When Tony proposed to Brooke, after jumping up and down with excitement for them, I couldn’t help but dream about what it would be like to photograph their wedding day.  Whenever our close friends or family members get engaged, the comment often comes up… we want you to photograph our wedding, but we also want to make sure you have a good time. It is always that exact moment that Ryan and I get fired up and try to explain to people what an honor it is to photograph a wedding and that we do have fun with every wedding we shoot!  Plus by photographing their day, we get to spend more time with the bride and groom than we ever would if we were “just guests.”  It is a no brainer to us; the choice is always to photograph their big day.

Tony and Brooke’s wedding is the first “family” wedding we have photographed.  Leading up to their wedding day, we treated them as we would all of our clients.  Going through the process of building their timeline, explaining the amazingness of a First Look, and doing everything that we could to make their day as stressfree and magical as possible.  After every email or Skype session we had with them, I walked away feeling like we are the luckiest people in the world to be surrounded by such amazing clients… and then reality would hit and I would be reminded that we are extra lucky because they are also part of our family!!!

Their wedding day provided a pretty similar experience of aha moments.  I won’t give too many details of Tony and Brook’s day away now because I want to save the magicalness for their very own blog post, but I can tell you that their wedding day was something special.  After a morning full of capturing incredibly meaningful details that Brooke and Tony had included in their day and then capturing their First Look, a wave of emotion came over me that I was totally not expecting!  I had just witnessed my cousin see his beautiful wife for the first time on their wedding day and I have never seen a smile quite like it from Tony.  Emotion came over me as I witnessed their happiness and realized that Brooke was entering our family and would forever bring that happiness to not only Tony, but our whole family!  We are pretty lucky!

There were multiple times throughout the day when I found myself in “photographer” mode and then quickly would get a reality check.  Looking out into the pews of the church and the dance floor of the reception and seeing them full of my Aunts, Uncles, and Cousins was so much fun!  The toasts on the other hand provided a little bit of a challenge.  ;)  My family is rather emotional!!!… and when Tony’s brothers stood up to give their speech, I quickly learned how to shoot with tears rolling down my face!  It was a challenge, but I can honestly say that I wouldn’t have changed that moment for anything.  There is nothing we would have wanted more than to be able to capture every single emotion and memory of Brooke and Tony’s special day… and that special moment was just one of the many that I know not only Brooke and Tony will cherish forever, but so will our entire family.

The week following their wedding (last week), our entire family spent the week down in Ocean Isle, NC together.  Four huge beach houses within 1 block of each other were full of our Aunts, Uncles, and Cousins.  It was pretty much AMAZING!  It brought me back to the days of being able to just run across the street to see MeMe and PopPop and share in Sunday dinners with the whole fam!  It has been awhile since everyone was in the same place at the same time for an extended period of time.  So, of course we had to capture it!  To many of our family members, with every photo we took we were “working,” but reality is, these are the memories that we never want to forget!  This is fun for us!

We are so blessed to have such an amazing family!  And looking at the photos we took over the past 10 days gives us another reminder of the emotions we are able to bring to our couples when they see their very own special memories captured in the form of a photograph.  We are blessed to do what we do and we can’t thank Tony and Brooke and our whole family enough for reminding us just how special a photo can be!  Love you all!

Palm Tree Dream | Kristin and Dan’s Punta Cana Destination Wedding

When Kristin was little, she dreamed of having palm trees at her wedding. Palm trees were just something that she loved!! In fact, she loved them so much she decided to take one to college with her! Every year, she and her family would pack up the back of the pick up truck with Kristin and the palm tree in the back. Kristin’s arms wrapped around it to make sure it was safe on the drive through Baltimore on their way to Towson.

Fast-forward 5 years… The tree is no longer living but her dream of a palm tree wedding was still alive. Kristin and Danny reunited at their 5 year high school reunion. They enjoyed the evening and parted their ways. The next day a group of friends were going out and Kristin decided to extend an invite to Danny… Thinking of course he had other things to do. But Danny jumped at the chance to spend another evening with Kristin! Their love took off from there!

As they began to plan their wedding, they just couldn’t find the perfect location for them in the Baltimore area! I am thinking it is because there were no Palm Trees… But that is just my guess! ;). Instead of just settling, Kristin and Dan decided to be adventurous and plan a destination wedding. They figured maybe their parents would join them… But little did they know that almost 60 of their closest family and friends would make the journey to the tropical paradise of Punta Cana to help them celebrate their special day!!

Kristin and Dan… Having such a large group of family and friends traveling thousands and thousands of miles to surround you on your special day is a true testament to just how incredible you two are! You are so incredibly sweet and a blessing to everyone around you!! Thank you for being such a blessing to us and for giving us the opportunity to capture your palm tree wedding dream!! Congratulations Mr. And Mrs.!!

Be sure to enjoy more of Kristin and Dan’s wedding by viewing their slideshow.

Huge thanks to everyone at the Punta Cana Excellence for helping to make Kristin and Dan’s wedding so perfect! And We would be remiss if we did not thank all of Kristin and Dan’s family and friends who made the trip for making us feel such a warm welcome! You all are amazing!!!

Are we Crazy?!? | Our Lives

Sometimes we look at each other and we literally say to each other, “Are we crazy?”  There have been quite a few of those moments over the last few weeks.  I am pretty sure we have logged more miles in our car and in an airplane than we ever have combined in our whole lives.  We have been all over the place… Spain, France, PA, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Chicago, Punta Cana… and North Carolina as I type this!  It has been crazy busy, but for two people who dream of our next adventure, we wouldn’t change a thing.

Earlier this week, we had the opportunity to hang out with two of our favorite people as we filmed a little video of ourselves.  Jeremy and Nick of Jeremy Mitchell Cinema came to Baltimore to film what some people call a “promo” video.  However, for us it was more like a documentary of our lives.  We took time to do some of our favorite things and reflect on the many blessings that make up our daily lives.  In the midst of the craziness of our schedules recently, those two days were exactly what we needed.

We are so excited to see the finished product!  And we can’t wait to share it with you all (but for now, enjoy a few behind the scenes photos)!!!

Huge thanks to Jeremy and Nick from Jeremy Mitchell Cinema!  What a team!  They made us feel like rockstars!  It was kind of amazing!  ;)  Love those guys!

*Thanks to Jeremy for taking some super fun behind the scenes photos, yes that is a camera in a grocery cart! ;).  Be sure to check out his Instagram feed @robertjeremymitchell for more!

Philly Fun | Dena and Kevin’s Engagement Session

When Dena and Kevin told us that they gained permission to shoot part of their engagement session at Citizens Bank Park, we were kind of excited SO PUMPED!  ;)  You all know our love of Philadelphia… but I don’t think we have adequately shared our love of sports with you!  We grew up as Philly sports fans and after I did an internship with the Eagles, our love for Philly sports teams was secured forever!… (Thank goodness the Phillies and the Eagles play in different leagues than the Orioles and the Ravens!)

Anyway… we were probably as excited as Dena and Kevin were to be exploring Citizens Bank Park!  As lifetime Philly fans, it was pretty awesome to be one of a handful of people wandering around the empty stadium.  It was kind of like a Field of Dreams!  ;)

Dena and Kevin both grew up in the Philly area.  Now living in Arizona, every time they come back “home” they have a whole new appreciation for their favorite places in the city!  We spent the afternoon with Dena and Kevin creating some new memories in their favorite places so that they never have to worry about forgetting what those favorite places look like!  We certainly had an afternoon full of Philly Fun!


This moment was perfect | Stephanie and Justin’s Beach Club Wedding

We arrived at the bridal suite full of bridesmaids.  The room was filled with energy as they finished their hair and makeup.  She sat at the center of the room and greeted us with a huge smile and open arms. As the makeup artist applied the finishing touches, she was calm and relaxed and laughed softly with her girls in anticipation of the excitement to come.

A few doors down, he finished putting on his tie and jacket.  Nervous laughter filled the air.  His groomsmen were doing their best to calm his nerves.  He slipped on his jacket, and with his friends by his side, he departed to prepare for the first look.

Along the water he waited.  Then finally, she appeared.  From afar, they greeted each other with laughter and giggles.  She approached and when they saw each other for the first time, Justin’s nerves quickly disappeared.  In this moment, with Stephanie in front of him, there was nothing to be nervous about.  This moment was perfect.

Below is why we love first looks!

Don’t forget to check out Stephanie and Justin’s slideshow for more photos from their amazing wedding day!

Venue: Chesapeake Bay Beach Club
Videographer: Post Script Productions