SHANNON AHLSTRAND photography: Blog en-us (C) SHANNON AHLSTRAND photography l m. 216.392.2810 e. (SHANNON AHLSTRAND photography) Mon, 13 Nov 2017 14:15:00 GMT Mon, 13 Nov 2017 14:15:00 GMT SHANNON AHLSTRAND photography: Blog 120 87 Charlie & Tommy Got Married!  

There certain moments in all of our lives when it comes to love, romance and the stuff of great love stories when we wonder, "Will that, could that, ever be me?"  


Then you meet your best friend, and they become the love of your life.  Sometimes it hits you square between the eyes, and sometimes it embers slowly over time.  And then you realize that you have it.  You have him, and he loves you.  And you can't believe that thing you couldn't imagine could be yours is happening ... your Wedding Day.  


And after all those times you watched so many others do those "things" ...


... posing for pictures with your own posse

... sharing your vows

... having those bubbles shower your own faces

... being the newlyweds on the party bus

... and embracing each other in your own first dance  


... you're doing them with this person you utterly adore ... surrounded by the friends and family who adore you too ... and it's so much better than you could have ever imagined.  


To Charlie & Tommy ~ You are So Loved.

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March 18 Liz+Rob One week ago today, Liz & Rob got married at the romantic and rustic, Brookside Farms in Louisville, OH.  Liz was calm, cool and ready to enjoy her best day ever.  As she dressed - I asked where Rob was hiding away.  She smoothly replied, "Oh, he's right behind that door."   The one only 8 feet away ?!?!  Yep, that door.  

They made their way upstairs to the twinkle-lit barn where they still got to experience the emotional and magic moment of seeing each other for the first time before their ceremony.  It was a wet and snowy day, but with Liz's super trooper friend crouching in the trunk space of my RAV-4, the 4 of us plus my 6 foot assistant piled into the car and we drove to the covered bridge for some soft, tender, (freezing cold!) winter pictures.  

Then, they created an unforgettably personal ceremony by having their Made of Honor and Best Man each share "How they Met" stories as a prelude to their vows.  

Liz spent a lot of time personalizing all the little things ... from handwritten notes to each guest as table cards, to a making their Program into a Liz+Rob trivia activity book, to a selfie booth and wall collage - all their guests enjoyed every bit of it, and I enjoyed getting to see all the love they got to experience that day.  A toast to you! xo


Music by Flash and Sound Events

]]> (SHANNON AHLSTRAND photography) Sat, 25 Mar 2017 23:59:10 GMT
Baby "T", 6 Days New, We Love Everything About Baby You Our baby girl, so sweet and small; snuggled up into your baby ball.  

Awestruck and humbled; you are pure perfection - and forever is yours, our undying affection.

]]> (SHANNON AHLSTRAND photography) Portraits ahlstrand and best cleveland family newborn oh photographer photography shannon westlake Thu, 08 Sep 2016 16:17:36 GMT
Welcome, JP - You're 8 Days New Baby JP, one of a kind, like no other ... except, well, um ... you look just like your brother!  I MAY have called hime by his big brother's name the whole time - but I was reassured I wasn't the only one.  =)  Having photographed his Big Brother when he was a newborn, I was tickled to experience their similarities -  they are both long, they both like  their legs stretched out and they are both super chill babies.  Welcome, little Sir!  You have a huge family and vast network of friends who are so excited you're here.  xo


]]> (SHANNON AHLSTRAND photography) Cleveland Family Photographer ahlstrand cleveland natural newborn photographer photography premier shannon westlake Fri, 02 Sep 2016 10:10:07 GMT
Kate & Kevin Tied the Knot! Beautiful Kate & Kevin sweetly exchanged their vows among an intimate gathering of family and friends last Saturday evening to mark another milestone in their special journey together.  Although my massive collection of big black golf umbrellas were back in the studio that evening, we didn't let a little Cleveland shower stop us from capturing some incredible wedding night portraits thanks to the chic, gleaming, city cool of the new Hilton Cleveland Downtown Hotel.  

Congratulations to this very special couple! xo


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Congratulations, Katie & Booey! A cloudy day and a little downpour didn't stop Katie & Booey from driving off in a vintage Chevy Convertible - with the top down!  This amazing Ohio City couple's wedding day perfectly captured the best of Cleveland's revival.  They got amazing city views on the Superior Viaduct next to Luca Italian Cuisine, then back to their rustic no-rules, all-charm church in Ohio City.  With a reception at Aloft catered by Lago, their backdrop all about the glowing lights of the Flats East Bank, a blazing sunset, and kissing high in the sky at the top of the Ernst & Young building.  With 2 hours to kick their party into full swing, DJ Goodwin instantly had everyone moving after the First Dance.  I love seeing my couples so happy, and this pair of friends, sweethearts and now newlyweds were all smiles from beginning to end.  xoxo



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On Rocky River Beach: Kids Having Fun to the Setting Sun POP QUIZ!  What's the BEST way to get pictures that tug your heart & make you miss your kids, even though they are standing right in front of you?

1.  Force them to sit still        2.  Tell them to look happy       3.  Cue them to say, "Cheese"   

BUZZ!!  TRICK QUESTION!  The answer is ... Get out of their way and let them play. I am sure my little muffin in the bottom pictures has already lost his baby cheeks - but he'll always be the "Tiny Beach Thinker" to me.  xo

]]> (SHANNON AHLSTRAND photography) Family Park Photographer Portraits River Rocky cleveland lifestyle photographer portraits premier Wed, 21 Oct 2015 15:09:45 GMT
This Family in Ohio City makes Urban Grunge look Cute & Pretty Phenomenal Fall Family Photos can happen anywhere.  Grassy field lovely, but not required.  Plus, if you know where you're going, you can style your wardrobe to perfectly pop against your surroundings.  Nick & Pesarakphorn picked a gorgeous ivy wall in a gnarly-seeming, yet delightfully clean & empty parking lot on West 25th Street.  I thank them for the honor of capturing their first family photo shoot since the addition of that little guy!  

I hope this sweet series of their even sweeter family, set in their home away from home, will help them miss us just a little, until we see them next Spring.  xo


]]> (SHANNON AHLSTRAND photography) Ahlstrand City Cleveland Clevleand Event Family Grunge Lifestyle Ohio Photographer Photography Portraits Premier Shannon Urban Sun, 18 Oct 2015 14:12:39 GMT
Brodie's Good Vibe Tribe For Throwback Thursday today - I'm honoring this extraordinary family.  12 months ago, they were dancing in their fall Maternity pictures.  5 months ago, we were in their home, enamored by Brodie's delicious newborn-ness.  30 days ago, they were told that 3 month old Brodie needed a liver transplant.  And 4 days from now, this momma and Brodie will be in surgery, to replace Brodie's liver with a section of Traci's.  Within days, they had 1000's of supporters on Facebook following their page, "Brodie's Good Vibe Tribe"; there is spirit gear, and the most positive spirited, precise, thorough and informative series of explanations and updates from Traci herself I have ever witnessed.  I'm sure we all question how we'd personally handle such devastating news, and all I can say is that I think we all would like to be as strong as Traci, Russ and Harper.  xo   Visit their local supporter, to see how cute this baby is now - it'll melt you.  xo 

#brodiesgoodvibetribe #myclientsmyfriends #whenyougiveyouget

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2105 Senior Portrait #27 - Some City & Soccer Cool, casual, confident, charismatic, and cordially cooperative with my city scenes - Jack rocked it.  


With 1 in college and 3 in high school, Jack's mom may have her hands full, but she's so collected, I could see where Jack get his demeanor from.

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A terrific young man with a terrific year ahead of him, 


Wherever Jack goes, I'm certain he'll make his family proud.

]]> (SHANNON AHLSTRAND photography) Ahlstrand City Cleveland Lifestyle Ohio Photographer Photography Portrait Portraits Senior Shannon Westlake Mon, 05 Oct 2015 14:32:45 GMT
The Power of Wedding Vows When You're Already a Family When was the last time you thought about your wedding vows?  Did you write or own?  If you didn't, what would you say now?  What's changed?


Heidi & Ryan exchanged highly personal vows in front of 70 guests at Crockett's Run in Hocking Hills OH.   They made me think:  As families, we struggle, we triumph.  We race through our days, and give thanks with our inside voices, but probably not as often with our outside voices.  Let's all be sure to thank the person we've created a family with.  We've weathered the "bad" and created so much "good".  They deserve to hear all the NEW ways you appreciate them.  Let's make some promises that REALLY hit home - like when Ryan promised Heidi that he'd look in more than one place for the thing he wanted before asking her where it is.  All the wives, I think, shed a tear.  =)


If you're like me and my husband, on anniversary night, you'll clink a fast toast of "Love you Babe", while reveling in the calm quiet that happens when the kids are not around.  Our 9th anniversary is this week, and I think I'll tell him what my own inside voice is thinking when my outside voice is asking why the trash is still sitting in there.  I'll write some new mind-blowing promises of my own, like actually having bread in the house when he's looking to make himself as sandwich.   I'll make him look me in the eye as read them.  


In my mind he'll swell with tears and gush with emotion.  But in reality, he'll giggle and ask "So when do those start?".  And I'll burst out laughing and reply, "I don't know, eventually."   And that will be "us".  But he'll know that I know, I notice and that I care.


Then happily onward to another year of life, love and family memories.  xo




]]> (SHANNON AHLSTRAND photography) ahlstrand cleveland crockett's hills hocking photographer photography run rustic shannon wedding Mon, 05 Oct 2015 11:18:30 GMT
Big Brothers Make it Messy Painting Mommy's Baby Belly In the hectic minutes of daily life, slowing down to focus on the arrival of a baby can get lost in the shuffle.  Jill made sure to make space in her time with Tommy and Luke to celebrate their changing family -- and give their baby brother a preview of what's to come:  messy, joyful, unscripted, roll with it, family love.  When baby Henry grows up, he'll be able to see his unborn self in front of the playset where he rode a big boy swing for the first time.  They will look at the street they lived on as Jill and TJ help them reminisce about memories they created in that neighborhood, at that time in their lives.  And they'll see how cool their mom was, as long ago as and early as "way back then".  As a lifestyle photojournalist, the most important stories I cover, are yours. xo

D4S_6630_HighRes D4S_6396_HighResD4S_6396_HighRes D4S_6455_HighRes-2_PSD4S_6455_HighRes-2_PS D4S_6505_HighResHold our hands and we'll show you how, to be happy, be you and enjoy the now ...


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Maggie, Luke & Brennan make Three for our "Twice as Nice" sweet Family DSC_5576_LowResProofsDSC_5576_LowResProofs DSC_5533_LowResProofsDSC_5533_LowResProofs D4S_7767_LowResProofsD4S_7767_LowResProofs DSC_5607_LowResProofsDSC_5607_LowResProofs


Big Sister Maggie loves her twin baby boy brothers, Luke & Brennan.  Everyone is getting on track and Kelly & Mark make an extraordinary team.  Congratulations to these sweet treats - you are over a month old already!

]]> (SHANNON AHLSTRAND photography) avon bay big sister with newborn cleveland lifestyle family photo shoot natural newborn photographer north olmsted ridgeville river rocky twin newborn boys village westlake Thu, 27 Aug 2015 16:46:55 GMT
The Best of Between the "Cheese!" Did you know that a 12-person group is the perfect "small" amount of "a lot of family" for a group photo?   The Ganor/LoBue clan weathered the drizzle at Edgewater Park and we all had a great time.  Did we get the coveted "everyone looking and smiling shots"?  Yup!  But my favorite shots of the day were between the "Cheese!".

1.  Little Anthony was our camera-shy-guy ... and, like in the books "Pete the Cat" ... did it foil our chances at great pictures?  Heck no!  The shyer he got, the more the family shouted, "Everyone stare at Anthony!!!" - and it's my favorite shot of the week.

2.  We told the kids to race to the bench and as Dominic's mom uttered the words, "I guarantee his shoes will fall off" - it went flying in the air.  

3.  When we told them to wait for the signal before racing back - how do you get running kids to stop?  The family's reaction cracks me up!  

4.  When Brad and the boys jumped in for a father-sons picture, I said, "Now mush your cheeks!"  And Luke did just that!

Do you have a large extended family but think getting a group picture would be too hard?  If so, come spend an hour with this crazy camera lady and I guarantee we'll get the shot and have a ball.  Do you have kids who are camera-shy or unpredictable?  It'll be the best shot of the day. xoxo


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]]> (SHANNON AHLSTRAND photography) Fri, 26 Jun 2015 17:16:24 GMT
She Met me in St Louis but Married me in CLE When I told my colleague, Frank Caruso, that I could cover a Monday afternoon wedding on Huntington Beach my first thought was - gotta get the perfect spot.  The sultry summer day drew a lively speckling of sunbathers - so - when I saw that the perfect spot on the perfect rock, under the perfect tree, with the skyline perfectly in the distance - was empty - what did I do?  Ran wildly through the sand, clumsily jangling my photo gear everywhere so I could seat-save Natasha & Tyrone's wedding spot for over an hour like Elaine on Seinfeld in the movie theater.  

I'm so glad I did because Natasha Baker and Tyrone Hunt had chosen to drive all the way from St. Louis to exchange their wedding vows in our very own Cleveland.  The Plain Dealer and WKYC thought it was pretty cool too because they came too, filming the ceremony as follow up coverage from 2 days before!  Alone with the their Minister up on the rock, their tearful joy had everyone choking up.  Such a gift!  

Then, out of the blue, a lady who lives near the beach ran up to us and told the couple how touched she was that they picked Cleveland for their wedding and made a point of finding them on the beach to give them a small gift to say congratulations.  C'mon - if that's not a great example of "We Are CLE" that what is?!

Below is a sneak peak of their wedding day photos, plus, this WKYC segment and article with a 10-photo gallery by Gus Chan.  Yours truly managed to photo bomb photo 2 & 5.   #sweetstory #huhsothat'swhatIlooklikewhenishootpictureshmmm

And for all of you out there - I would seat-save just as crazily for you. xo


]]> (SHANNON AHLSTRAND photography) Cleveland destination wedding Huntington Beach Wedding Natasha Baker St Louis couple Tyrone Hunt Tue, 23 Jun 2015 16:15:01 GMT
Baby Brodie's in the House! "Baby Spud" is finally here and his name is Brodie!  Traci, Russ and Harper hosted this picture perfect photo shoot in their home and as a bonus, Brodie slept for hours and hours after I left.  I was especially impressed that his big sister Harper was soooo patient and knew exactly what to do.  Deliciously delightful, we can't wait to watch you grow!  xoxo

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]]> (SHANNON AHLSTRAND photography) Newborn bedford cleveland newborn oh photography shannon ahlstrand photography Tue, 02 Jun 2015 15:01:25 GMT
Happy Anniversary to Gary & Nicole! A year ago this time, Gary and Nicole celebrated their wedding with a sunset on NY's Hudson River.  Together, they survived one of life's most harrowing journeys and the visible bond of their friendship makes the sweetness of their romance all the more touching.  Their wedding song was Jason Mraz's "I Won't Give Up" and if it doesn't give you some goosebumps ... listen again!  

A toast to Gary & Nicole xoxo


]]> (SHANNON AHLSTRAND photography) shannon ahlstrand photography the grandview wedding photographer Thu, 28 May 2015 13:40:37 GMT
Time Hop Tuesday with 6 Month Mae If you need a quick pick-me-up, say "Hi" to an already super happy baby.  If their toothless smile doesn't do it, ask them if they are SOOOO BIG!  Baby Mae couldn't sit up for very long, but that's okay!  We caught her on the way down, then stuck in her a bucket.  Ta Da!

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Up, Up & Away! Who's the Superman of Your Father's Day? Father's Day is only 1 Month Away!  Who's the Superman in your life?  Skip the 5x7 photo gift and click below to see one of these wayyyy cooler desk toppers.  Book a mini now to avoid the last minute cost of rush shipping on your gift!  



Who's Your Superhero?Greatness comes in all sizes! Who's Your Superhero?Greatness comes in all sizes!

]]> (SHANNON AHLSTRAND photography) Fri, 22 May 2015 13:55:47 GMT
Jen & Dave, "No Sweat"! Baby William is their best gift yet If you were at Jen & Dave's wedding, then you'll remember their awesome & hilariously fun sweatbands!  Watch to see who it fits best.  And if you've never heard Jack Johnson's beachy, breezy voice welcome a tiny baby into the world ... now you can.  Congratulations to this sweet family - William is already 6 weeks old! xoxo


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