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STORIES of LOVE

Thanks for stopping by our blog! Here you'll find some of our recent work and even some stories from our personal life! Relationships are our first priority and we love to share the joy our couples experience on their wedding days as well as share the joy in our lives with our clients!

HOW DO I BOOK WITH YOU?

In order to book your wedding with me, you’ll need to sign a contract and pay a $1000 non-refundable retainer. Portrait sessions require a $125 non-refundable retainer. All contracts and payments are processed online, so no need to print or mail any paperwork!

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO RECEIVE OUR IMAGES?

You will receive your finished wedding gallery from me within 6-8 weeks of your wedding day. You’ll see previews within 24 hours! All portrait sessions are delivered within two weeks of your session.

HOW FAR IN ADVANCE SHOULD WE BOOK?

Weddings are typically booked 10-12 months in advance, but feel free to reach out if your wedding is sooner! If I’m not available for your date, I’m happy to help find you some other great photographers who are.

SHOULD WE BOOK AN ENGAGEMENT SESSION?

Yes! If you can, I highly encourage booking an engagement session with your wedding package. I believe that an engagement session is a valuable time for you and your fiancé to get to know me and feel comfortable being in front of my camera before your wedding day. It’s always good to get all of those nervous jitters worked out so you can be relaxed and confident in your wedding images.

CAN I SHARE MY WEDDING OR PORTRAIT IMAGES ON SOCIAL MEDIA?

Of course! Every session or wedding that I photograph includes the edited, high resolution images with a print release. You are welcome to share and print the images. The only thing I ask is that you not edit or alter the images after they have been delivered in order to preserve the professional quality.

DO I HAVE TO BOOK A SECOND PHOTOGRAPHER?

Booking a second photographer is a personal preference that is completely up to you and your fiancé. I recommend a second photographer if you have a large family or more than 150 guests. but there is no requirement. Booking a second photographer offers another perspective of your wedding day and reduces the amount of time needed to photograph details and bridal party before your ceremony.

ARE YOU INSURED? DO YOU HAVE BACKUP EQUIPMENT?

Yes and yes! I believe that any vendor you are considering for your wedding should be fully insured and have an emergency plan in place for equipment that fails or unexpected life events. All of the equipment I own is professional grade and ready to go for your wedding or portrait session. In the event that I have equipment that fails, I have matching back up equipment that is just an arms length away so I don’t miss a moment on your big day!

I’m just going to pretend like I’m actually caught up on blogging by sharing this Maryland engagement session with you from this past weekend! I’ve kind of come to grips with the fact that I’ve blogged one wedding all year which means you’ll have tons of pretty images to look at over the winter once I make it through busy season!

Lauren and Will are getting married in the early spring, and believe it or not, their engagement session was the very first time I met them in person! I felt like I had known these two forever! This session was one that was full of so much genuine laughter and such a good reminder of why I love being a photographer so much. It’s always really special to work with a couple that just radiates with joy when they are around one another, and Lauren and Will were no exception to that.

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baltimore-engagement-sessionStyling | Ruie and Grace

I can’t believe that I’m saying this, but we are buying our first home!! This process has taken nearly two months, it’s happening during busy season, and I’m thoroughly convinced that I’m never doing it ever again. Kyle and I have agreed that we’ll add additions and make our tiny new house a mansion before we do this whole process again. Getting approved for a mortgage takes forever, and there is no such thing as privacy when a bank wants every single detail of your entire life spelled out on paper.

Nonetheless, we got approved! We don’t settle on the house for another two weeks, but we are SO excited to make this little house of ours a home. When we were shopping for houses we agreed that it was important to have more experiences together vs. more house because after all, who wants to spend all their free time cleaning and working on house projects? I’ve enjoyed the process of simplifying our things (although we still have a long way to go) and I’m looking forward to living in a home that we chose very intentionally.

Check it out! We are probably the most excited about the fact that all this house needs are some color on the walls to make it our own, but the house is in pristine condition 🙂 We have an acre of fenced in yard for the dogs to run and plenty of room to add on in the future. Kyle’s first project is putting a deck around the pool and an outdoor kitchen!

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10422973_10203458525963662_6632293126303886912_nOne of the things I’ve always wrestled with around my business is whether or not I want to be a full time photographer. There is a part of me that would do anything to be home with my kids and pursue my business and creative passions, but there is another part of me that loves my professional life and the work that I do full time. This year I took a full time job, which is going very well, I might say, but I’m also really busy with my business because I had planned on pursuing it full time. Life has a funny way of throwing curveballs at you!

As I’ve adjusted to a demanding business and full time job, two kids who increasingly need more of my attention and married life, I knew that somewhere along the way I was going to have to make some sacrifices. While I have no intention of stopping photography, I have had to turn away business to leave time for my family. But, the good news is that I am adding onto my team so I can continue to serve my sweet couples and families while also preserving the time with my growing family (no, we aren’t growing any time soon, no baby announcements here!).

Next wedding season, my wonderful husband, Kyle will officially be one of my second photographers! Not only are we looking forward to spending more time together, but we are looking forward to loving on each of our couples as they celebrate one of the most special days of their lives. Kyle has a tremendous eye for detail and his work complements mine perfectly, so it works out nicely that we can shoot weddings together!

The other addition to the team is a good friend of mine, Kim! She owns her own successful photography business, 14114028_10208763085688775_1804521094_obut has begun taking on more second shooting and associate work to also preserve the time with her sweet boys. Next year Kim will be one of my associate photographers and I couldn’t think of someone more perfect for the role! Kim will take on weddings of her own under Shannon Ensor Photography, but clients can still expect the same edits and style for their final images that they would receive from me. The good news, as my associate photographer she will also be able to accommodate my clients that are on a little bit of a tighter budget. I know that wedding planning is expensive, believe me, I totally understand. It’s important to understand what your priorities are when spending your wedding budget, but I also want to be able to meet the needs of my couples without breaking the bank.

That being said, we are still accepting 2017 weddings and hope to hear from you soon! Email me to inquire about your 2017 wedding! We still have openings for early spring and summer!

As we head into the fall season, I also head into a season where I’m helping my brides and couples plan their engagement sessions. I don’t blame them for waiting until the fall for their engagement photos, the weather lately has been hot and sticky!! Soon enough we’ll all be complaining that it’s freezing cold and snowing. Oh the joys of being a Marylander!

Today I want to share with you my top five locations for sessions as many of you are starting to think about fall family and engagement sessions. Maybe these will be popular spots for your family, or maybe they’ll just help you get a better sense of what type of location interests you the most! Have any other spots you love? I’d love to hear about them!

  1. Union Mills Homestead. This is definitely one of my all time favorite locations. Not only is this close to home for me, but it has SO many options for shooting and it has options that work regardless of the time of day your session is. I’ve done weddings here too, but it’s the perfect spot for any kind of portrait session or engagement session.

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2. The Sunflower Garden. This location is very seasonal, but has always been a favorite spot of mine. The owners of this property are some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet and they are always so welcoming when I want to bring my couples here. July, August and September are the best times to visit because their gardens are in bloom, but if you are looking for a colorful, summery and vibrant spot, this one is for you!

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3. Howard County Conservancy. This is one of my newer favorite locations, but it’s another outdoorsy, simple, but beautiful spots. There are lots of shaded areas, which is always a good thing. There are tall grasses, a barn, a garden area and tons of sweet spots to cuddle up to the ones you love for some gorgeous images!

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4. American Visionary Art Museum. This spot is for the couple that wants to be outdoors without the park feel. There is a lot less greenery, but still tons of color and variety for great images. One of my favorite things about this spot is the proximity to Federal Hill Park which has a gorgeous view of the city and some more pretty greenery if you wanted to incorporate a little bit of that into your session.

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5. Baker Park. Located in Frederick, Maryland, this park is HUGE and it gets the most beautiful sunsets. Here you’ll see weeping willows, a large bell tower, open fields, a duck pond, a red covered bridge and tons of options, all within walking distance of downtown Frederick. I lived in Frederick for a few years so this town will always have a piece of my heart, but will always be a favorite spot for me to shoot in!

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Limited 2017 Wedding Openings // Now scheduling Maryland Engagement Photos for Fall 2016

What to wear…I know that for me, this can be a challenging question on a day-to-day basis, but particularly challenging when considering what to wear for photos. Especially for us ladies, its easy to start overthinking things and then ending up spending entirely too much money on the ‘perfect’ outfit (sorry, boys, we do try to stay out of trouble!). I’m going to share with you my top three tips for selecting clothing for your upcoming shoot.

SIMPLE IS BEST. The best piece of advice I can give you for your session is to pick clothing that is comfortable and not fussy. When you have to think about adjusting your clothes or fluffing your top to be ‘just right’ it’s really easy to end up looking uncomfortable and stiff in your photographs. Your $20 Marshall’s shirt that you wear all the time is likely to be the most flattering when compared to a $200 dress that you just bought and are unsure of how it looks on you. Wear clothes that you feel comfortable and confident in and you can’t go wrong!

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DON’T OVER COORDINATE. I’m all for matching colors guys, but don’t over do it. Pick complementing colors and have one person wear patterns while the other person wears a solid color. You want to have some variety in your outfits so you don’t look too matchy-matchy.

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DO YOUR HAIR AND MAKEUP. Or, have it done professionally. Your hair and makeup make a big difference in your images and I want to make sure you love the final product. A professional will likely put more makeup on you than what you would have done yourself, but don’t worry, it will photograph well. Make sure you feel confident about the way you look, but trust that a little more makeup won’t look overdone in your images. Many of my brides will tell you that working with my personal stylist for their engagement sessions was amazing and totally worth paying to have their hair and makeup done for their shoot. (Rule + Grace offer styling for sessions and my good friend Bethany of All Aglow Beauty also does an incredible job for hair and makeup.)

View More: http://shannonbishopphotography.pass.us/jordan-mike

If you still have questions, feel free to email me! I’m happy to help!

Maryland Maternity Photographer | Wedding Photography in Maryland | Family Photographer

One of the most popular questions I get from brides is ‘do I need a second photographer?’ It’s a good question and one that has a different answer for every wedding. Some photographers will tell you that you never need a second photographer because they’ve been shooting alone for years. Others will tell you that you always need a second photographer, or that their package automatically includes one. Well, for me, its one of the add-on options for my couples because I believe that if I can save a bride a few dollars to put towards something else in their budget then I should!

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There are two times when I will recommend a second photographer to brides.

#1. If you have an unusually large family that can be difficult to keep organized. When I say unusually large, I’m talking 30-40+ people in your family portraits. The family portraits are often times the most stressful part of a wedding day for brides, and for many, they aren’t expecting that. I have a really good process down that keeps this time stress free and simple. For larger families, having a second photographer makes it easier to manage the large group by having an extra set of hands to get the next grView More: http://shannonensorphotography.pass.us/jessica-donnieoup of people ready when it’s their turn to be photographed.

#2. If you have a really tight timeline but still want photos of getting ready. Sometimes it makes more sense to have two photographers instead of adding additional hours of coverage to your package. If the groomsmen are getting ready in a different location than the bridesmaids, the second photographer can take care of their getting ready photos and the photos of the guys together before the ceremony.  By doing this, we can save ourselves about ten minutes of bridal party photos after the ceremony and people don’t feel as rushed. And, it gets your bridal party off to the reception which is usually where they are excited to go!

Other times when you might want a second photographer might include doing a first look, or maybe you just want more photos from a different perspective. They are all valid reasons, but it comes down to preference and often times, budget. If you can afford a second photographer and feel like it might alleviate stress related to the timeline of the day then my advice would be to go for it!

Want to know another little fun fact that is often a frequently asked question? My second photographers are girls that I work with on a regular basis that I know and trust. I don’t hire students or newer photographers to learn during your wedding day because I recognize that your wedding images are precious memories that you only get one chance at. Pictured above, Anne is one of my most frequent second shooters and we’ve gotten to be pros at bustling dresses!

What other questions do you have for  me? I’d love to answer your questions on the blog! Feel free to email me so we can chat!

I feel like I say this all the time, I’m so behind in blogging. Life these days is insane. It’s normally busy, but right now its insane. Nonetheless, life goes on and as usual, I have some pretty incredible clients! Matt is my husband’s cousin, so it was nice to be able to photograph family members during a really special time in their lives. Matt and Brooke welcomed their little man into the world a few weeks ago, so be on the look out for his newborn pictures coming to the blog soon!

When Brooke got our of their car dressed in her white, flowy dress and flower crown, I seriously went to photographer heaven. I love maternity sessions, but this one was perfect. Absolutely perfect. Congrats to the Ensor family on welcoming little Knox into the world.

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Maryland Photographer | Maternity Photographer | Maryland Wedding Photographer 

Where do I even start with these two?! I had so much fun getting to know Sydney and Hank during their engagement session earlier this summer (I know, I know, I am really behind in blogging). I went to college with Sydney’s sister so when she reached out about her wedding I was thrilled! They have two little boys (that are SO cute) and they’ll be tying the knot in October. Sydney was adorable, all she wanted was good pictures for her save the dates, and I think we did pretty well! Sydney’s save the date came in the mail yesterday and was so cute. Congrats on your engagement Sydney and Hank, I can’t wait for your big day!

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Maryland Wedding Photographer | About Shannon | Contact

By Alissa Griffith, Rose Gold Events

Since I’ve done this wedding thing so many times, a lot of the hitches in the day are predictable to me. But chances are you’re planning a wedding for the first time—so, the stuff that’s obvious to me, won’t be obvious to you until it’s happening. So, whether you hire a coordinator to put out fires for you, convince a friend to be your stage manager, or you’re running the show yourself, here’s some of the best tips and tricks I’ve learned from years of going to weddings!  (And no, I’m not just talking about a bag with extra bobby pins and tissues—though that’s a good thing to have too!)

1.HAIR AND MAKEUP ALWAYS TAKES LONGER THAN EXPECTED:

Are you getting your hair and makeup done professionally? This applies! Are you DIYing your hair and makeup or getting help from a friend or family member? This still applies! There is just something about hair and makeup on a wedding day that practically never fails to take longer than we expect (especially if it’s more than just you getting ready). So instead of planning to be ready at exactly the time your photos will start—aim for 20-30 minutes before that.

2.TELL A LITTLE WHITE LIE…OR A FEW:

I always recommend telling your family, wedding party, and maybe even your partner a few little lies during wedding weekend. Just let them all know that they should be at the rehearsal at 4:45 instead of 5:00pm, and at family photos at 3:20pm instead of 3:30pm. This is one of the best time saving tricks to make sure that people are where they need to be when they need to be there. And since late happens, a white lie or two won’t hurt them (and will ensure some buffer time for the latebirds.)maryland-wedding-photographer-celebrations-at-the-bay

3.DON’T STARVE…ANYONE:

Wedding days can feel really hectic and crazy, and one of the things that almost always gets left to the wayside is eating. That goes for the couple, the wedding party, the vendors…everyone but the guests. Have a plan in place ahead of time so that the whole wedding party gets fed while they’re getting ready—this will keep a lot of people from becoming hangry!

Also, your vendors need to eat. They love you, and they’re there for you. But without food they tend to forget how much they love you, if you get my drift. And while at some smaller weddings it can be nice to sit with the guests, contrary to popular belief, vendors almost always prefer to sneak away to a quiet spot to shovel food into our mouths and recharge.

Please, please, please make sure there is enough food and enough time for everyone (yourself included) to eat!

4.NOT ALL PENS ARE CREATED EQUAL:

There are about 10,000 different versions of a guestbook out there in Pinterest-landia and beyond. Regardless of which version you choose: test out the pens that you’ll use in advance. It’s a bummer when your guest book, (or guest picture frame, or guest quilt,) is covered with smears before you ever
get to read it.

5.WIND AND ESCORT CARDS DO NOT MIX:

If you’re having an outdoor reception and you plan to assign seating—avoid the simple trifold card. Why? Just imagine a bunch of tiny pieces of paper with peoples names on them…flying around the yard. Think: chalkboard, mirror, glitter sculptureswood blocks… pretty much anything but tiny cards for an outdoor space!

And while we’re at it—alphabetize those suckers in advance. There is nothing worse than scrambling to put 200 items in alphabetical order just thirty minutes before guests start arriving!

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6. MAKE IT OFFICIAL:

Want to have a legal ceremony?  Don’t forget to bring your marriage license with you to the venue, and leave time in your schedule to sign that thing! Also, you have to sign it while all parties are still sober (at least in CA), so try to get that taken care of quickly after the ceremony. And then be sure it gets put somewhere safe (AKA give it to your wedding stage manager.)

7.WALK THROUGH THE DAY…BEFORE THE DAY:

A minimum of one time, (or twenty-seven times,) in the planning process—you should walk through the actual venue in person (and in your mind). This is the time to think about the flow of the day, everything that will happen at any given moment, and how it will all come together. This is when you’ll realize that you printed really beautiful programs…but you have no idea how guests will get them. Now, you know to ask your cousin Joe to hand them out. By thinking about the day from your perspective, a guest’s perspective, and even the vendors perspectives, you’ll be able to prepare for all kinds of kinks, and work them out in advance.

8.TAKE A MOMENT, OR A FEW:

I always recommend that my clients take a 10 minute break together after the ceremony. In Jewish wedding tradition this time is called the ‘yichud’, but I just believe that after the excitement and anxiety that can come with the day and the ceremony, taking a moment to breathe is essential for everyone! Try to do this together, but also, alone. When you’re walking back from the restroom— just stop, take a breath, remind yourself to appreciate your wedding day, and look out at all the people who are there because they love you and your partner. You won’t regret it.

9.BRING SOME SNACKS AND EXTRA HYDRATION:

View More: http://sbishopphotography.pass.us/doanRemember when I said earlier to schedule time and a plan to eat? Well, you still might end up hungry, dehydrated, and faint at some point in the
day. If you have a secret stash of protein bars and waters or Gatorades, you can refuel and get back to the party—stat!

10.CONFIRM…EVERYTHING:

This is task
that will be completely off your plate if you work with most coordinators and planners, but about a week or two before the wedding, you should confirm with all of your vendors and key players. Send out an email, your timeline, and your wedding day contact list to everyone involved. A lot of your vendors will ask for this, so it’s best to beat them to the punch.

It’s you and your partner’s day and you’ll be surrounded by loved ones, so put (or give) your phone away for the whole thing. Worried that vendors or guests will call you for important information? Pass it off to a friend or family member to manage. Kick the your phone habit for a day and stay present with your guests and y
our partner. Your emails and Facebook notices will all be there tomorrow! (I promise.) Not to mention—where, exactly, in your dress or suit were you planning on stashing that thing?


12.
SOMETHING WILL GO WRONG:

This isn’t just me being a Negative Nancy—this is the truth. No matter the amount of planning and effort you put into scheduling, assigning, and delegating—something will be forgotten, lost, or messed up on wedding day. It’s best to know that in advance.

That way, at 9am on wedding morning when you can’t find your shoes and your sister has to drive forty minutes back to the house for them, you can just agree with everyone and the universe that that was the big moment. And after that, it’ll be smooth sailing!

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One of the most frequently asked questions that I get is, how much time do I really need on my wedding day? It’s hard to figure out your timeline when you aren’t planning a wedding every year (hopefully not!) or when you have lots of moving parts and logistics that are still 10-12+ months away. Fortunately, I have quite a bit of experience in putting together a wedding day timeline and I’m here to help! I’m sharing some of my top tips for planning your wedding day timeline!

The first question you’ll need to answer is, are you doing a first look? Very few of my couples do a first look because they prefer to keep things more traditional and see each other as they walks down the aisle. As a photographer, I love having as much time as we can for your portraits, but as a bride, I completely understand the desire to keep your wedding day traditional. I don’t have a preference one way or another, but it does impact your timeline, so I do recommend making that decision as early as you can.

For the sake of keeping things traditional, let’s talk about a timeline without a first look, assuming you’ve booked a photographer for 8 hours. I recommend having me start about two hours prior to your ceremony. In this time I work on capturing details, bride getting ready, groom getting ready, the venue, the reception area and if time allows, the bridesmaids and/or groomsmen.

Regardless of whether or not you choose to do a first look, the one thing I always emphasize, and a good planner/coordinator should as well, is building in extra time to your timeline. I always help my couples build in about 30-45 minutes of extra time throughout their day because things will run behind. It’s okay that things run behind, and I do help keep things moving, but by giving yourself that extra time, you aren’t having to sacrifice elements of your day that might be important to you.

Take a look below at a sample timeline for an 8 hour wedding day with no first look.

  • 2 pm- Shannon arrives at venue
  • 2:10-2:35- Details (dress, rings, flowers, venue, reception)
  • 2:40-3:10- Bride gets dressed, finishing up getting ready
  • 3:15-3:35- Groom gets dressed, finishing up getting ready
  • 4:00-4:30- Ceremony
  • 4:40-5:00- Family Portraits (recommended to be immediate family only, extended family during reception)
  • 5:00-5:30- Bridal Party/Bride-Groom Portraits
  • 5:35- Reception Introductions
  • 6:00-7:00- Dinner
  • 7:00-9:30- Dancing/Cake-cutting
  • 9:30- Bride/Groom prepare to leave
  • 9:45- Sparkler exit

Of course, if your day isn’t traditional and you have a different vision for your timeline, that’s okay! The key to successfully creating your wedding day timeline is to give yourself more time than you think you need. If in doubt, ask your vendors for their advice and help. Most vendors should be experienced enough to provide you insight into how much time you’ll really need for the different elements of your wedding day.

Was this helpful? Let me know what you think!

 

Matt and Laura spent the afternoon with Brit (Ruie and Grace)  and I earlier in the spring and showed us around their home in Baltimore before we went to Cylburn Arboretum to wrap up their engagement session. Laura and I went to high school together and it was so nice being able to catch up with an old friend and hear about college and her relationship with Matt. This sweet couple is going to be getting married in 2018, in Germany!! Congrats Matt and Laura– you are such a sweet couple and I had so much fun documenting this exciting time in your lives!

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Hair and Makeup | Ruie and Grace

Katie and Ryan were one of my first couples to book their 2016 weddings and from the beginning I knew it was going to be such a special day. Katie and Ryan met online, just like Kyle and I did. It’s hard to meet the right kind of people when you are new to a city and you work a lot, so online dating can be a great thing! Ryan is a chef, and Katie is a nurse, but together, they are an incredible couple. I’m so excited to share the images from their big day this past April. They had some of the most beautiful details, but I have to say, the unplugged sign may have been one of my favorites! 😉

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Venue  |  Celebrations at the Bay

Photographer  |  Shannon Ensor Photography

Hair + Makeup  |  Vintage Veils

Day Of Coordinator  |  Ruie + Grace

Dress  |  David’s Bridal + Sheryl Kelm Designs

Flowers  |  The Flower Cart

 

 

This past weekend didn’t go according to plan– at all. We had rearranged our plans to be able to go down to the Eastern Shore to visit my parent’s new home. We would drive down late Friday and then come home Monday with all of the other five million people who had the same plans. None of that ended up happening and I’m actually really grateful for it. Though the change in plans came because of a death in the family, we ended up being able to see my mom and sister who are back in town for six months and we had three whole days as a family with NOTHING to do. Having nothing to do is pretty glorious these days.

I got to sleep in for two of those days and enjoy time in the pool with the kids. Kyle and I even got a chance to have a kid-free night out to go check out some properties since we are starting the process of buying our first home!

Life has been incredibly busy the last few months, but this weekend was such a perfect opportunity for us to hit reset and truly rest. On Sunday night I took the kids and my sister outside to play with smoke bombs because I was considering hosting “Smoke Bomb” Mini Sessions, but that won’t be happening! Moving kids, a puppy and short-lived smoke bombs are an extremely challenging combination. It was fun but not worth clients spending money for!

What did you do this weekend?

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Let’s be honest, I learned more than five things, but we’ll keep this short because you have to get back to your wedding planning and the rest of your beautiful life! I hope you enjoy our little blooper image just to show you that there are always imperfections in everything, even when it looks like its all put together!

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  1. I learned the value of a wedding planner. I was the bride who said, ‘oh no, I’ll be fine without a wedding planner.’ I thought I had it all under control because I’m in the wedding industry, I know what questions to ask, etc. Nope. Wedding planners are a god-send. They seem to be able to handle all of the wedding stress that I couldn’t and I wish I had appreciated that before. I didn’t end up officially hiring a planner, but I had a travel agent who was essentially my planner since we had a destination wedding. I would not have survived my 9 month planning process without her. So if you are doubting whether or not you need a planner, just book one. I promise you need it!
  2. I learned that less is more. When we got engaged our wedding budget was decent, not quite what the national average is (crazy, by the way), but it was plenty. Within a month of starting to plan, we needed to double our budget and I was still not getting everything I wanted. Needless to say, I was stressed and not managing things well. I had asked nine girls to be bridesmaids (love you all, but it would have been insane). I looked at Kyle one day and said, we just need to elope, lets just leave tomorrow. He said no, but he agreed to the destination wedding. Needless to say, our guest list shrunk to 50 people, two bridesmaids and a lot less decorations. Having a simple wedding that was all white with 25 of our closest friends and family was perfect. I won’t lie, there are elements of destination weddings that can be overwhelming, but our wedding was much more intimate and special to me because I had less people that I had to greet and talk to (and I had five days to talk to them vs. a few hours).
  3. Flowers are expensive. Who knew that flowers cost so much money?! Not me, thats for sure. Our resort wanted to charge me $400 for ten stems of peonies! That’s crazy talk! I told them I didn’t need a bouquet at that price tag. Well, I really did want a bouquet, but I was determined to figure it out once I got to Mexico. Lots of walking and $58 later, I had all the flowers I needed for my bouquet and my two bridesmaids! I’m all about a professional florist if you have a wedding that requires a lot of work and different arrangements, but if you just need a few bouquets, go for DIY and Pinterest will be your best friend!
  4. The people in their life will show you their true colors. I was amazed at how much my relationships changed throughout my engagement. People that I had been close to for a long time all of sudden didn’t seem to have much interest in wedding festivities or they brought drama around that was totally unnecessary. As a bride its both frustrating and heartbreaking to feel like you are losing friends at at time that is supposed to be the happiest time in your life. Looking back, I’m glad I got to experience that because I really know who my friends are. The drama didn’t linger, but I know who I can count on as Kyle and I are beginning our married lives together. Don’t let other relationships cloud your vision for your big day. It truly is about you and your husband-to-be and the people that love and support you will be there for you no matter what.
  5. Let it go. At the end of the day what matters is that you married the love of your life. It may not have been a perfect day and it might have rained a little, but regardless of the way your details worked out, your marriage is what matters. Kyle and I chose a destination wedding so we could focus on why we were getting married, not how we were getting married. That was the best decision we made in our entire engagement. My wedding day was beautiful and everything that I had hoped for, but my marriage with Kyle makes me happier than any of the details from that day and that’s what counts.

Have other questions about wedding planning (from a bride’s perspective, because I am definitely not a planner!)? I’d love to help! Email me at shannon@sbishopphotography.com.

Where to begin?! Kyle and I just got home last week from spending 10 days in Mexico– one of my favorite places to be! We couldn’t have asked for more beautiful weather, especially on our wedding day. During our trip we had lots of adventure an just as much relaxation- it was perfect!

Last year when we decided to have a destination wedding I was sure that it would all be a breeze and there would be no stress involved. While this was far from the truth, I was definitely much less stressed than I would have been planning a wedding at home. Surprisingly, the day that was the most stressful for me was the day of our rehearsal dinner. This was the day that most of our guests arrived to the resort and everything started to get very real! I remember sitting at breakfast on Sunday morning and anytime someone brought up the wedding I just started crying. Not sure what I was crying about, but it all became overwhelming. Fortunately I got it out of my system and wasn’t overwhelmed at all the day of the wedding.

One of my favorite wedding details was my flowers, who were put together by Brit (a bridesmaid and one of the wonderful women from Ruie + Grace). Our resort wanted to charge us insane amounts of money for some pretty horrible arrangements so we decided we would take a chance with whatever flowers we could find locally. On Saturday afternoon we lathered ourselves up with sunscreen, grabbed a taxi and headed into town to see what we could find. We found one little floral shop, a tiny little market with a few flowers and then a whole lot of nothing. We walked for quite a while and it was HOT. I was sure we would just have to settle for whatever we could put together from the local floral shop, but we kept walking for a few more minutes. Well, what do you know, we found a WALMART! In the middle of this town where we knew very little Spanish and everything was unfamiliar, we definitely recognized the Walmart sign! $58 American dollars later, we left with arms full of beautiful flowers and were so excited about what we could do with them! All of the flowers ended up making my bouquet and both of the bridesmaids bouquets with a few flowers to spare. I told Brit I wanted big, editorial type flowers and they turned our PERFECT! I can’t wait to see the photos Molly took of them, but for now I at least have my cell phone picture from the day after 🙂

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I want to save some of the sweet details about our wedding day for when we have photos and video to share from the day, so we’ll get into the fun stuff from the rest of our trip! Kyle and I were able to enjoy ample time at the spa (always a good idea if you ask me!), horseback riding and we went zip lining. We decided to relax as much as possible on our ‘honeymoon’ since we had spent five days running around with friends and family around the wedding. I am so glad that we did that, having quiet time isn’t something we get often at home and it was so refreshing to truly have five days with just each other.

We did have one little adventure on our trip that could have been very stressful, but thanks to an incredible travel agent and my wonderful husband it all worked out perfectly! Two days into our honeymoon, after we had moved to an adult only resort, we found out that most of the staff of our resort had gone on strike and our only options for food were room service (with a 2+ hour wait) or a buffet (which is terrible). With Kyle being a chef and him turning me into a bit of a food snob, needless to say we weren’t too thrilled. At 8:30 at night we packed up our bags, got our money back and went to a new resort that had great food and a much more appropriate atmosphere (the other place was a little too spring-breaky for our liking). By 10:30 that night we were eating an incredible meal and then relaxing in our room!

I brought my camera with me on our trip, which I usually try not to do because I want to be in the moment with my family and not behind the camera, but this trip seemed like it should be the exception. I used our GoPro a lot more than my regular camera, but we haven’t even taken that footage off the camera yet so that will have to wait for another day 🙂 For now, enjoy a few of the photos we took throughout the trip!

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Maryland Wedding Photographer | Destination Wedding Photographer | Maryland Portrait Photographer

 

 

 

It’s been a busy few months for me! Now that life is starting to get back to normal I figured I’d give everyone an update on all of the exciting things going on right now in our lives.

One of the last times I blogged (which was way too long ago, so we’ll just pretend like that didn’t happen), I was talking about how I had a few different career options in front of me. I was sure that the next step for me was opening a studio and pursuing my business full time, but God had other plans for me. I ended up taking a full time job with the Johns Hopkins University, Center for Technology in Education and I am SO happy with that decision. It’s so refreshing to go to work every day and feel motivated, challenged and appreciated by my colleagues and peers. My last job had its perks, but by the end I really felt like it was time for me to move onto the next chapter in my career. Now, I am the web and social outreach manager for my center and loving the opportunity I have to grow a communications program for such an incredible organization that is making a big difference in the special education community.

The other major life event in my life– the getting married thing– well that happened May 23! If you’ve been following along on Instagram (#HappilyEverEnsor2016) you know that we got married in Mexico! Our wedding week was amazing in so many ways and I can’t wait to share our wedding photos with you once we have them back. For now, I’ll post a few below! We had 25 people join us in Mexico and it was so special to have our close family and friends by our side for such a special time in our lives. I have lots of stories I can tell you about the trip, but we’ll save those for another post!

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Our wedding photos were taken by the lovely Molly Scott Photo + Video!

And last, but not least, the day after we got home from our honeymoon, we did something a little bit crazy! We got a puppy! Her name is Reese and she is the sweetest little Goldendoodle in the entire world. Being totally honest though, having a puppy is like having another toddler. She chews on everything and needs constant supervision. We love her to death though and I’m so happy we have a new addition to our little Ensor clan. Follow along on Instagram for puppy stories (Reese_Ensorthedoodle).

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Wedding season is in full gear for me and I am thrilled to have so many absolutely incredible couples to work with this year. I may even be getting the chance to travel a bit this year which makes my heart so happy! My calendar for the year is just about full so if you are considering a family or other portrait session, lets chat soon and get you on the schedule before I close my books for the year! Next year I will be taking on more family, maternity and newborn sessions, so if you know anyone looking for a family photographer I would appreciate the referral! <3

 

xo Shannon

Lori and I have worked together for the past few years so I’ve had the joy of seeing her get married, have her first baby and follow along on her journey as a parent! Lori and Craig have an almost-two year old little boy named Carson who is the cutest thing with lots of personality! Since the weather in February was a little chilly we opted to have their session in the studio and it turned into the perfect spot for their family portraits. Carson, a chef in the making, had a few portraits taken for his blog, which you can find here!

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1780b7d972597c24f15e67b0fe04f811Last week on the blog I shared a post about how the last year has been a journey in learning to value myself, my time and my talents and I wanted to dig a little deeper on that this week and share one of the things I’ve been learning about myself in that process. You can read last week’s post here.

Many of you know that I exploring a variety of options for full time employment right now and I have three really cool opportunities that I am exploring that are all very different and at this point its a waiting game. I’ve worked hard to show my worth and I feel confident about the choices in front of me, but waiting is so hard.

I’ve always known that I’m not the most patient person in the world, but searching for a new job, the right job, has been trying. It has been very difficult to go about my day-to-day life not knowing what my life looks like three months from now. I do know that I will be married and enjoying time in Mexico with friends and family, but I have no idea if I will be coming home to a full time job or the opening of a studio for my business.

I’m learning, through experience, that by being outside of my comfort zone and being forced to be patient I am really able to think through my decision making process in a different way than I have before. I tend to make a lot of decisions based on emotion and while that is good sometimes, there are other times when it doesn’t work in my favor. Choosing my next career move is a big deal, both personally and professionally. It’s a stressful decision, and if I was making the decision solely based on my emotion I can’t imagine how I’d be feeling by now. This waiting game is forcing me to think logically about my next move. And because of that, I know that wherever I land three months from now is going to be a good place. I’m going to be in a job or self-employed and I’m going to be happy and feel like I’m making a difference in the lives around me.

For now, I just need to have faith in the plan that God has for me and my family, even if that means I have to wait a few more weeks to see that plan unravel.

View More: http://amandasummersphotography.pass.us/downtown

Thank you Amanda Summers for the wonderful photo, as always! xoxo

Maryland Wedding Photographer | Maryland Photographer | Destination Wedding Photographer

Noah and Tracy spent Saturday afternoon exploring the downtown Baltimore area with me and Brit for their engagement session, and this session was one of my favorites! Thank you to Brit from Ruie + Grace for the wonderful styling, hair and makeup for this session!

Both Noah and Tracy enjoy reading quite a bit so they decided they wanted to have part of their session at a library. The Enoch Pratt Free library is huge and has tons of places to explore, so we made that our first stop. There was a subtle Harry Potter theme to this whole shoot–even their scarves matched the theme!

Since we had such beautiful weather we couldn’t pass up an excuse to do some outdoor shooting and we headed to Fells Point. I love Fells Point, but on a Saturday afternoon and 65 degree weather, it is busy!

Noah and Tracy– you two have hearts of gold and I am so excited for your upcoming marriage this fall! I am honored to be a part of such a special day and can’t wait to spend more time with you!

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Styling | Ruie + Grace

Maryland Wedding Photographer | Maryland Photographer | Engagement Photographer

 

 

12419124_10206252769858013_5472725541243489916_oHappy Monday, friends! I hope you had a fantastic weekend! I know that I enjoyed every minute of the beautiful weather we had on Saturday. We had our first engagement session of the season in Baltimore Saturday afternoon and couldn’t have asked for nicer weather! You can check out the Facebook page to see some of the previews!

I have big news to share with everyone! I know of a few special ladies that are waiting for this announcement today! We are releasing the details for the June 11 boudoir marathon in Baltimore, Maryland. This event is out lowest priced session and one that you won’t want to miss.

The June 11 event, likely to be our only summer event, will focus on your natural beauty. Before you get worried and start questioning all the things you want to do before you book your boudoir session (like lose weight, get in shape, do your hair, etc.), I want to remind you that you are beautiful. Inside and out, you are beautiful. These sessions are often booked by brides for their soon-to-be husbands, but these sessions are just as much about teaching you and helping you to love yourself unconditionally–just as you are. Hair and makeup go a long way to accentuate your natural beauty, but how many of us can actually make ourselves look like that every day? I want you to look in the mirror, regardless of the stage of life you are in and say, ‘I am beautiful. I feel beautiful.’ I don’t want your relationship with your significant other to define your beauty, I want you to truly love yourself.

On June 11, we  will have 12 more incredible ladies at the studio in Hampden, Baltimore for our third marathon of the year. As always, the studio will be styled by our favorite stylists at Ruie + Grace. The natural light studio will have several sets for you to use including a bed with white, fluffy linens, several different seating areas and beautiful floor to ceiling windows with white, billowy sheers. We will have a professional makeup artist on site who will be providing makeup services (which are included in the cost of your session). If you would like to add professional hair to your session, it is available, but must be booked at contract signing. The studio is completely private and you don’t have anyone else in the room for your session. Our events are open to women only, no exceptions. My number one priority is making sure all of our ladies are safe and comfortable.

Sessions will cost $435. Your session will be 25 minutes long and will include professional hair and makeup services, the beautifully styled studio, and 15 digital images. To reserve your spot, there is a $125 retainer and your remaining balance is due two weeks prior to your session. If you sign up with a friend, you will each receive an additional five digital images! We have 12 spaces open for this event and anticipate them selling out quickly! Our last event sold out in just three days!

Please fill out the following form to register for the event, or email shannon@sbishopphotography.com to request more information.

Maryland Photographer | Maryland Boudoir Photography | Maryland Wedding Photographer

12065766_10205624925602299_1282262769686163173_nA few months ago Kyle and I announced to everyone that we had decided to have a destination wedding. I mentioned in my post that one of the biggest reasons for this decision was because we wanted to focus on why were getting married, not how we were getting married.  As a bride, I know how easy it can be to let wedding planning consume you. It’s so incredibly easy to get lost in tons of pinterest boards and wedding blogs. As someone in the wedding industry, I felt a lot of pressure to have a Pinterest-perfect, picture-perfect wedding, but let me tell you, its expensive and its stressful. We had originally planned on having a Maryland wedding, but I quickly learned that I needed to choose a wedding that would require the least amount of decisions possible.

In the end, regardless of which wedding vendors we choose, or what colors we pick, we are married. The end goal in all of  it is to stay married. I mean, after all, what good are those Pinterest-perfect photos if you aren’t together anymore?

This week we have been working on finalizing our wedding plans and if there is one thing that I am learning in this entire process, its that I can’t sweat the  details. Things haven’t gone according to plan, and probably will continue to not going according to plan, but I’m learning that its okay for me to just let go of it. I need to put trust in the team we’ve hired to make our dreams come to life and just be excited about our upcoming marriage and time together as a family. If you know me well, letting go of the details isn’t easy. It especially isn’t easy when you have to change some of the biggest decisions you’ve made just a few months before your wedding. But, I know that through this stress and through the changes we are making, we are truly going to be surrounded by the people that absolutely love and support Kyle and I’s marriage. That was the #2 reason for the destination wedding–we wanted quality time with the people closest to us.

What we do know in all of this is that we have our venue, we have our family, we have each other, andddd… I have my dress! If the rest of the details don’t come together, it will still be okay!

I hope that this post can be a good reminder to all of my brides, and all of the brides planning their weddings that its okay to just let the details fall into place. Your wedding day may not be exactly how you imagined or go according to plan, but what matters is that you have the people you love by your side as you marry the man of your dreams (and you stay married to the man of your dreams!).

I can’t wait to be back in Mexico in just three months with this crazy goofball! Follow along on Instagram to see more of our wedding journey! #happilyeverensor2016.

 

Destination Wedding | Maryland | Wedding Photographer

CocoQuoteToday I’m going to tell you a story that is a little embarrassing, but it was a huge life lesson for me.

Last fall I got a call for a job interview with a company that I was really interested in working with. This was what I thought would be my DREAM job. It was in Washington D.C., like right in the heart of the city, it was doing all the things I love (photography, video, writing, talking–which I do a lot of). I went to this interview and I made a HUGE mistake.

My mistake was I tried to be everything that I thought they wanted. I answered questions with answers that I thought they wanted to hear. Guess what? They never called me back. They never even emailed me back. I spent a few months wondering what I had done wrong, what they didn’t like about me. I was really hard on myself for a while because I felt like I would never find another job that I loved with an organization that valued me.

Now, over a year later, and a whole lot of learning later, I figured out where I went wrong. I figured out where I went wrong with a lot of things in my life up to that point. I wasn’t myself. I wasn’t true to who I am and I showed no personality that would give someone the opportunity to connect with me and value me as a person, let alone value my skills.

Many of you know that I am currently looking for another job and I am unsure of what the future holds for me in terms of employment, but I do know one thing. I am being me. I am being true to who I am. When and if I take another job, it will be because that organization wants me, my personality and the skills I have to offer. I’ve learned that I have value and there is far more to me than a college diploma (which will look so pretty once I finally frame it!), there is far more to me than just my professional experience. My value comes from my heart, my passions and my relationships with the people around me.

I recently went to a job interview that went really well and one of the questions I asked at the end was ‘what concerns do you have about me?’ This question was surprising to the team I was meeting with, but it was a question that was really important to me. I want to understand and learn from all of the experiences I have and that question helps me learn from interview experience if I am not selected as the best candidate. The group didn’t have a lot of concerns, but one of the women in the group said something to me that meant the world. She said, ‘don’t stop being yourself.’ She appreciated my ability to be candid with them and appreciated that I gave them a chance to see me and where my heart is at. I left feeling good, I felt good about the job opportunity, I felt good about myself and I felt good about the fact that I was true to me and someone else found value in that.

So the lesson here, regardless of what you are doing or what goal you are trying to reach– just do you. Just be yourself. If people don’t find value in that, then just move on because someone else will love you and all you have to offer!

 

Maryland Wedding Photographer | Maryland Photographer

My mom told me a long time ago that I should travel as much as I can while I was young because once you get older its harder to get away from real life and all the responsibilities that come with it. Well, I have to admit, she was right. Life happened for me a really young age so I haven’t had the chance to travel quite as much as I would like, but my travel bug has definitely not gone away! There is something about leaving home, leaving all of your “stuff” and exploring that really helps you find yourself and get comfortable with the person you are.

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A few years ago (almost six years ago now) I had the chance to travel out to San Francisco for a trip that was life changing. I love every minute of that trip and am dreaming about the day that I get to go back! Not too long after that trip my parents made the decision to move to Hawaii which left the opportunity to travel their twice in a two year period. Let me tell you, Hawaii is breathtaking and absolutely worth the 11 hours of flying to get there. The air is so clean, the beaches are all beautiful and there is no shortage of things to do on the islands. Now, my family doesn’t live in Hawaii, but they live in the middle of the Australian outback. I’m not so sure about the ability to travel there, but we’ll see what the next few years hold for our family.

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One of my bucket list items for this year is to book my first destination wedding. I don’t care if its in South Carolina or Florida, just get me somewhere warm and I’m all yours for a few days! This year, for the first destination wedding I book, I am waiving all of my fees. Just pay for my travel and I’m all yours! Know someone who is having a destination wedding? Share this post with them, please! Interested in chatting more about your big day? Click here to get a conversation started!

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Destination Wedding Photographer | Maryland Wedding Photographer | Tropical Wedding Photographer

Last weekend was the first of our 2016 Boudoir Marathons and I am so thrilled with how everything turned out! We had eight incredible women join us for the first event of the year. Some were newlyweds, others were soon-to-be brides and some just came to feel beautiful and have the experience for themselves. Regardless of the reason for attending, each one of these ladies was beautiful and I am so proud of them for stepping outside of their comfort zone to be able to have beautiful, intimate portraits.

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Boudoir is a service that is relatively new for me, but I started offering it after many of my brides began asking for images to give to their soon-to-be husbands on their wedding day. I have very quickly fallen in love with being able to help women feel as beautiful as they truly are, both inside and out. Most people come into the session feeling nervous and unsure of whether or not they can even look sexy in photographs, but all of them leave feeling like complete rockstars.

The experience starts with a one-on-one dialogue with a personal stylist so they can get advice on how to prepare for the session. Our stylists, who you all know from Ruie + Grace, help with the coordination of attire, advice on skin care prior to the session and what to expect in terms of design in the studio. All of our ladies arrive knowing what to expect and are excited to see it all come together after a few months of planning. Brit and Emily did such an amazing job turning our studio into a beautiful, tranquil and bright space. They never cease to amaze me with their talent and hard work.

Once our ladies arrive at the studio they get top of the line hair and makeup services from one of our industry’s best, All Aglow Beauty. Makeup is airbrush and leaves their skin looking absolutely flawless for photographs.

My goal in all of my sessions is to make all of my clients feel relaxed and comfortable in moments when they are most vulnerable. I want each of my clients to feel like we are great friends and I want them to know that they can trust me to guide them in looking their best.

We are officially announcing the opening for registration for the next event which will take place on April 9 in Baltimore! We only have 8 spaces available. Sessions include hair and makeup, a styled studio, a 30 minute session and ten digital images. For one week we are offering an early bird rate of $475. After February 15, the price will increase to $575. To book your session you must pay the $125 retainer with a signed contract and the remaining payment isn’t due until two weeks prior to the event. Payment plans are available! To book your session, fill out our inquiry form here.

One of my clients left the following review after her session at the last boudoir marathon:

“I attended the Boudoir Marathon and I had such a great experience! I felt like I had already known Shannon when I first met her because that is how friendly she is. Her calm, patient personality is absolutely perfect for her line of work! I was very nervous because I had never done a Boudoir shoot, but Shannon and her fabulous staff made the butterfly’s disappear right away! Thank you so much Shannon and I can’t wait to work with you again!”

Here is a little peak into the set up for the last event:

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And of course, a few of our incredible ladies that allowed me to share a few images!

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Book your session for the April 9 boudoir marathon here.

Maryland Wedding Photographer | Maryland Boudoir Photographer | Maryland Portrait Photographer | Maryland Photographer

 

 

Belle

I can’t believe its February already! Sometimes I wish life would slow down a little bit, but I can’t complain because there is so much to look forward to right now! This past week my little girl turned four. It’s hard to believe that she is four already, I feel like she came home yesterday! We celebrated her birthday party at the Ballet Slipper with some of her friends from school and it was so sweet! More coming to the blog next week about her party.

At the beginning of January I made a list of goals, and today we are going to check in and see how I did on those goals!

Personal:

  • Have lunch with a close friend
  • Send a hand written note/gift to someone I’m thinking about
  • Take the kids to Port Discovery (If you are friends with me on FB you know that this already happened, but I promise it was already on my goals list for this month!)
  • Go to the gym at least 2x per week
  • Cook a new food!

Professional:

  • Finalize my 2016/2017 Client Guide to match my new branding
  • Get new packaging for my client gifts
  • Attend a networking event
  • Blog at least 3x per week
  • Finish all album orders for 2015 weddings

Alright, so not so great, but that means that this month I know I need to be even more intentional about my time. I definitely need to start going to the gym (which I haven’t done at all) and I’m going to try to step up my blogging game just a little bit more. I attempted to get new packaging for client gifts, but I bought the wrong size, so back to Hobby Lobby I go!

This week I am wrapping up the editing from the boudoir marathon that was over the weekend, finalizing details for our next boudoir marathon (you won’t want to miss this one!), and finishing up a website for a fellow photographer!

What are your plans for this week? I’d love to chat! Feel free to send me a message and lets grab coffee!

PS- If you are planning on scheduling spring, summer or fall portraits, lets chat and get them scheduled! I am taking limited portrait sessions this year and my calendar is booking several months in advance. Did you know there is a discount for sessions that take place Monday through Friday before 3 p.m?

 

 

Maryland Wedding Photographer | Maryland Photographer | Maryland Portrait Photographer

If you want to see the SWEETEST family ever, you won’t want to miss this blog post. Eric and Erin are two of the kindest people you’ll ever meet. And, they have the cutest boys Layton and Brayden. This spring they will be welcoming the newest member of their family to the clan and I can’t wait to meet him/her! Check out a few of Eric and Erin’s engagement-turned-family portraits from this fall!

View More: http://sbishopphotography.pass.us/ericanderinmarylandphotographermarylandphotographer
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Maryland Family Photographer | Maryland Photographer | Maryland Wedding Photographer

 

 

These two are my favorite. Their wedding day was so much fun and such an incredible celebration of their love for one another. I second shot this wedding with another local photographer, and I am so grateful for the opportunity to work with such an incredible couple. Kiona is also in the wedding industry, she makes absolutely beautiful wedding hangers for brides to use to display their gowns on. Check out her work on her Etsy shop!

Check out a few of my favorite images from Ki and Lou’s portraits on their wedding day!

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Maryland wedding photographer | Maryland photographer

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Last week in one of my blog posts I talked about how my word for this year was intentional. I chose this word after hearing Mary Marantz and a bunch of other incredibly talented and successful business owners speak at The Event. One of the other huge takeaways from this day was Mary Marantz’s ‘two minute next step.’

How often do we have little things in our life we need to take care of in order to take the leap towards our next goal, but we just glaze over it because we are so busy? Her point was to just take that step, do the thing that will only take a few minutes but will put you that much closer to a goal of yours. For Mary, this step was reaching out to a publisher about the book she’s been wanting to write for a long time.

So– my turn. What is my next two minute step? What have I been wanting to accomplish for quite some time?

I’ve talked a little about it before, especially recently, but that next step for me is creating a new branch to my business that allows me to pursue another creative avenue– graphic design. I love publication design, and I love helping other people bring their vision to life. Fortunately, I have so many people in the wedding industry that need help with just those things! In the last six months I’ve been working with other small business owners on developing their brand, their vision and their printable items to take their business to the next step. I have LOVED getting to know these other women who have incredible visions for their business and helping them bring that vision to life. I’ve been helping with their logo design, client guides, websites, advertisements and other content development. It has been challenging, but so rewarding and I’m excited to see where it takes me this year!

My next two minute step is announcing the launch of the new part of my business–Ensor Design + Co. I am currently in the process of getting a website up and running where I can display my portfolio of work and the process I use with each of my clients! I can’t wait to share more with you all in the coming weeks!

 

 

Maryland wedding photographer | MD photographer

View More: http://amandasummersphotography.pass.us/bishop

A few weeks ago, just before the holidays I posted on my Facebook page about how I was taking some much needed time off of work in order to spend time with my family at Christmas. I posted about how it was important to respect small business owners during this time because many people often believe that we are available all the time, no matter what. While there were parts of this post that I really did mean, I think I may have been able to chooser softer words that conveyed my intentions in a kinder way.

I want to start by saying, I never want anyone, especially my clients, to feel like I am too busy for them. I don’t want people to think that I’m too busy to talk to them or I’m too busy to respond to an email. The truth is—I am busy, but I’ve set boundaries in my business and my personal life so that I can have time for the things in life that mean the most to me. Those things include my family, my faith, my friends, AND my clients. Those things may fall into different priorities, but they are all important.

Abby Grace spoke at The Event last week about what she calls the Gentle No. Her talk resonated with me, and was absolutely something that I needed to hear at this point in my life. She made a point about how our businesses are what gives us the means to the life we love. We aren’t supposed to be run by our businesses, working 24/7. We work so we can enjoy the things in life that we value—things like our family and our friends. By saying no to the things that don’t enable our “yeses” we are freeing ourselves from being burnt out, from being stretched too thin and from things that don’t grow our business.

The real truth is that small business ownership requires sacrifice, but those sacrifices, according to Abby, should be the exception, not the rule. That doesn’t mean that I’m not going to be there when a bride needs me, but it does mean that I am going to continue to be intentional about how I spend my time. As much as I love what I do, I also love my family, I love my friends and I do need my beauty sleep (please read that in a sarcastic, funny tone—not a conceited one). I promise I’m grumpy when I don’t get enough sleep!

One of the things that I recently (as in the last week!) changed in my business is how I schedule client meetings. This time of year is FULL of client meetings—and while I love them, and I love a never-ending excuse for my favorite Starbucks drink, it is a lot of time away from my children. My weekends are limited during the year because of shoots and weddings, so the winter months are important to me as family time. As I head into the New Year and we get closer to wedding season, I am planning on leaving Sunday’s for family time and for a day of rest. It’s my day to look forward to when I have a busy week and know that I need a day to hit refresh.

My blog post the other day was about how my year is going to be filled with intention. It is going to be a year that I use smart decision making strategies to grow my business, develop my relationships and improve my work. I want each one of my clients to feel like they are my only bride because each one of their weddings has SO much value and is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I believe the best way for me to give that experience to each one of my incredible clients is to set boundaries, in every area of my life. It’s all about balance–I’m finally finding that healthy balance in my life, and it feels good!

What is your word of the year? What are you doing this year to set healthy boundaries? I love hearing other stories! Send me an email at shannon@sbishopphotography so we can talk!

Thank you Amanda Summers for the beautiful photograph of my children. You always do an amazing job!

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Over the last few months I’ve read blog posts from other business owners, and heard in workshops, that this year I need to pick a word. This word needs to describe what I want for my year and what my motivation is. I’ve thought for a while that it is going to be really hard to pick just one word– I mean I could pick happy, grateful, determined…all things that I want for the year ahead. But, I ended up not choosing any of those.

My word for this year is intentional. 

I want this year to be one that is filled with intention. I want the clients I work with to be intentional. I want to be intentional with my time– whether it be working, at home, or with my friends/family. I want my workflow to be intentional. I want to be intentional about achieving my goals. I want to be intentional about my attitude, my faith– everything. That’s my word!

I believe that part of being intentional, especially when it comes to goal setting is to be accountable. I want to be held accountable for whether or not I actually achieved the goals I set for myself. So, what better way than to share them with everyone?! Each month I plan to share a few of my personal and professional goals on the blog and then at the end of month I want to go back and revisit each one of those. Did I accomplish them all? Were they are all attainable? What worked well for me? What did I learn? I’m hoping that next year I can look back and say that I am really proud of all that I accomplished and continue on the path of setting and achieving the goals I have for myself.

So, for the month of January here are a few of my personal and professional goals!

Personal:

  • Have lunch with a close friend
  • Send a hand written note/gift to someone I’m thinking about
  • Take the kids to Port Discovery (If you are friends with me on FB you know that this already happened, but I promise it was already on my goals list for this month!)
  • Go to the gym at least 2x per week
  • Cook a new food!

Professional:

  • Finalize my 2016/2017 Client Guide to match my new branding
  • Get new packaging for my client gifts
  • Attend a networking event
  • Blog at least 3x per week
  • Finish all album orders for 2015 weddings

What are some of your goals for this month? I’d love to hear them and help you stay accountable! You can email me at shannon@sbishopphotography.com.

Maryland wedding photography | Wedding photographer

Styled shoots are a lot of work. Let me tell you, a lot of work. But, I can also say that without this incredible team of people, this year’s winter styled shoot would not have been possible. I am grateful for such a fun opportunity to see how other people in the wedding industry put their creativity to use in a way that makes my vision come to life. I worked with a few new vendors, including Intrigue Design & Decor and Bird of a Paradise Events. They rocked it! Sarah’s flowers were breathtaking as usual and Tiffanie, well, she can make anything happen!

Our models, Brent and Melissa, are a married couple who were absolutely perfect for this shoot. Melissa and I work together (at our day job!) and she needed a good excuse to wear her beautiful wedding dress again, so this turned into the perfect opportunity.

Brit, our stylist from Ruie and Grace, left us with beautiful words to describe the shoot:

The romance of the holidays was our initial inspiration. We pictured a juxtaposition of soft beautiful berry toned flowers popping out of the crisp white snow. Using a clean white table allows the flowers to really stand out. To create more interest we mixed lots of patterns and textures in the place settings. Antique candle stick holders were used to create height and interested in our centerpieces as well as highlighting a few select blooms. Snow, birch and shiny ornaments were added in to finish off the holiday feel.

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2016-01-06_00052016-01-06_00072016-01-06_00082016-01-06_00102016-01-06_00112016-01-06_00132016-01-06_00142016-01-06_00162016-01-06_00172016-01-06_00192016-01-06_00202016-01-06_00232016-01-06_00242016-01-06_00252016-01-06_00262016-01-06_00272016-01-06_0029And, this, was part of the on-site team the day of the shoot! From left to right: Alexis, Tiffanie, Shannon and Brit. Not pictured is the lovely Bethany is made Melissa look even more beautiful than she already is!

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Check back for the behind the scenes from this shoot next week! Are you a vendor interested in partnering for a styled shoot? I’d love to chat! You can email me at shannon@sbishopphotography.com

Venue | Raspberry Plains

Event Styling | Ruie + Grace

Hair and Makeup | All Aglow Beauty

Florals | Intrigue Design & Decor

Coordination | Bird of a Paradise Events

Stationary | Chelsea B. Design Studio

Photography | Shannon Ensor Photography

 

The good news about being way behind on blogging is that I have TONS of work that I can share with you during the colder months! This wedding was bar far one of my favorites from the 2015 wedding season. Stephanie and Mark, if you remember them from last winter in their snowy engagement session, are two of the most easy going, fun people you’ll meet! They laughed all the way through their engagment photos, and they kept smiles on their faces all the way through the crazy thunderstorm right in the middle of their wedding day!

This beautiful October wedding took place at Swan Harbor Farm in Harford County and it is a spectacular venue! If you are still on the search for your perfect wedding venue, I would definitely encourage you to check it out! You can visit their website here.

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I aView More: http://amandasummersphotography.pass.us/bishopm going to start this post by saying that the phrase, “when you plan, God laughs” is SO TRUE. I am a planner, I always have been. I like knowing what to expect, I like having a calendar to stick to, I like having control over my time and my life. As much as I like having that control, I think that God has other plans for me right now.

A few months ago I wrote a blog post about how I was content in where I was with my business, I had no intentions of ever being a full time photographer. (You can read that post here.) I was really content in being able to pursue my business at my own pace without feeling like I had to book a certain number of weddings or sessions, or charge a certain amount of money to be able to provide for my family.  Little did I know, just a month after posting that blog post, I would finish my degree and I would receive news that my full time job would be coming to an end at some point in the near future. As much as I whole-heartedly believe that I am ready for the next step in my career, I also know that it is incredibly scary to say that I don’t have another full time job lined up, and I don’t have another source of income that makes it a comfortable decision to not have a full time job with a regular paycheck. I may not have another full time job to go to, but I do have my business. I have worked hard for the last two years to build a business for myself, and I believe that it just might be my season to pursue this passion of mine to see where it lands me. I’d be lying if I I said I wasn’t scared or if I told you that I know for a fact that it will be enough. One thing I do know is that it is part of a plan that God has for me and my family and I intend to see where it leads me.

That being said, I’ll have a plenty of time to blog more (I know I always say that I will, but this time I mean it!) and my schedule will become a lot more flexible. I have also decided to take on more graphic design work– a passion of mine that often gets put on the backburner burner. I’m nervous and unsure of what my life will look like 12 months from now, but I’m ready to take a chance and see what happens! So, if you know anyone looking for a photographer, please send them my way! I always appreciate the referrals!

Wish me luck as I become a full time photographer in 2016!

Thank you Amanda Summers for one of my favorite photos of my two babies!

I know you are thinking, how many times is this girl going to change her website? This is, I think, the third big change I’ve done in the last two years, which is a lot–but there is a reason for that. As with any artist, tastes and styles change. My style has changed over the last two years and I have really developed my own style and my own voice in my photography. I want my website, my writing, and my photographs to really show that. I want my online presence to be true to who I am. I want to really represent myself in a way that shows my clients that they can trust me and they can trust the product and services I offer.

My name change isn’t fully official yet, but since it is a slower season for me I figured it would be a good time to introduce my married name to my clients to avoid any confusion in the midst of wedding season when I am getting married! I might be crazy to get married in the middle of wedding season, but I’ve always wanted to get married in May.

Many of you may know we are having a destination wedding, we are going to Mexico! We decided to forgo the craziness of wedding planning and have a simple wedding *near* the beach. I’m not a fan of sand, so we are getting married on a rooftop instead! I’d love for you to follow our wedding journey on Instagram– check out our hashtag #happilyeverensor2016. You can follow me on Instagram here.

View More: http://nicholemeredith.pass.us/happilyeverensor2016

Thank you to my sweet friend Nichole for this image! You can see more of our engagement photos here.

I met Alex and Jordan a few months ago when they began their search for a Maryland photographer for their 2016 wedding. They are both very sweet, genuine people that have incredible style. They knew they wanted to do something a little different for their engagement session so we began planning a styled engagement session at a tree farm in Carroll County, Maryland. Both Alex and Jordan are from Baltimore City so this was a nice change of scenery for them. Brit, from Ruie and Grace, was an incredible asset in pulling together all the ideas for this shoot. She helped Alex and Jordan with choosing outfits, props and then she arrived bright and early for hair and makeup. This sunrise shoot meant everyone had a 3:30 am wakeup call since we had a decent amount of driving to do in order to use this location. Both Alex and Jordan were a little nervous about photos but they were rockstars! They spent most of their session laughing and just enjoying the time together. I mean, after all, who wouldn’t have fun with a marshmallow fight and being wrapped up a blanket with a person you love?!

To view their full gallery click here.

Did you know that I offer styled engagement sessions for all of my clients? You get a personal stylist to help with your wardrobe, locations ideas, props, hair and makeup! For more information about styled engagement sessions with Shannon Ensor Photography, email me at shannon@sbishopphotography.com

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Ashley and Will met in Baltimore, so we started their session where Will proposed on the pier in Fells Point. We later went over to Patterson Park where we finished up the session with the pretty morning light. Brit, from Ruie + Grace, worked closely with Ashley to make all of her ideas for the shoot cohesive. Brit brought along all of the props to make this travel themed engagement shoot just perfect, including vintage suitcases and local maps!

Ashley and Will are both incredibly kind, genuine people and my time with them during their engagement session was so special! The love they have for each other comes so naturally and I think it really shows in their images.

To view their full gallery click here.

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