Sunday, August 26, 2018
By Abbie
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For an August wedding, the weather wasn't nearly as warm as all the smiles that surrounded this beautiful couple on their special day. Erin and Ryan just couldn't stop grinning from ear to ear all day long and it was heartwarming to see their love unfold. After the most beautiful ceremony at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis, the wedding party headed to our favorite "green" location in Lafayette Square Park for their portrait session where they knocked it out of the park! I loved the way their color palette was so elegant and classic and popped against the backdrop in the park. We also stopped at an urban location to contrast their elegant style against the backdrop of the city where they fell in love. 

We always love working with the incredible team at The Caramel Room and Erin and Ryan's rooftop pig roast was no exception. Their professionalism and attention to detail make every wedding held there beyond incredible! The smiles lasted until the very last song and our smiles pop back up every time we see their photos. Happy Anniversary you two and thank you for choosing Abbie Take Pictures!

Eric and Ryan's Incredible Vendor Team: 

Planner: Bride

Ceremony venue: Cathedral Basilica St. Louis 

Reception venue: The Caramel Room at Bissingers

Catering: 23 City Blocks 

Florist: Snap Dragon Studios

Hair: Salon Dacota

Makeup: STLooks- Jaclyn Retherford

Cake/Dessert: 23 City Blocks 

Ceremony music: The Cathedral St. Louis Cantor- Stephanie Crawford (soloist and Cantor), Benton Blasingame (organist)

Chairs: The Caramel Room

Linens: Bride/Etsy

Favors: Bride/World Market

Transportation: All About You Limos and Transportation

Gown: Simply Elegant Bridal

Bridesmaid dresses: J. Crew

Tuxedos/Suits: Mens Warehouse (groomsmen)/ Brooks Brothers (groom)



Wednesday, July 25, 2018
By Abbie
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Turner : Senior Pictures : Marquette High School

Being able to capture Turner's senior pictures was just the next chapter in my story with the Cook family. I was lucky enough to photograph Turner's two older sisters' senior portraits as well and I was so excited to spend some time with the youngest Mustang in the bunch. Turner played football and baseball for Marquette High School so I knew we had to get some photos of him in his element. He also has a killer smile that I wanted to make sure I showcased in his photos and getting him to smile was almost too easy. Such an incredible young man! I can't wait to see where his bright future is headed! Good luck at Dayton and thank you for choosing Abbie Takes Pictures!  

Big thanks to Marquette Senior High School for letting us shoot on the baseball and football fields! 


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Friday, July 20, 2018
By Abbie
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It's no secret that I'm not the best as blogging.  However, I'm working hard at getting caught up over here!!  I can't believe it's been ONE YEAR since Emily and Paul's big day.

Being with these guys on their big day was an absolute blast from start to finish. I shot Emily's brother and sister-in-law's weddings and it was great to spend another wedding day with this huge, loving group! We had a perfect summer day and their color pallet of navy and blush was so beautiful to photograph. Plus, look at those smiles...I mean, c'mon! 

These two are so goofy together and I could not stop laughing! However, my clients always surprise me and I loved how these two brought their "fierce" faces to their portrait session. Between their hilarious facial expressions and their huge wedding party, we had such a blast shooting their portrait session in Downtown Saint Louis and Lafayette Square Park. If you couldn't tell by the smiles on everyone's faces, these two have so many people in their lives that are happy for them to join together as husband and wife. With Rockstar DJs at the helm, all of their friends & family kept the dance floor packed all night. Tapawingo Gold Club was the perfect setting for the reception.  It was obvious that everyone had such a great time!

Happy Anniversary Emily and Paul and thank you for choosing Abbie Takes Pictures!  



Emily and Paul's Incredible Vendor Team: 


Ceremony & Reception venue: St Stephen Protomartyr and Tapawingo Golf Club

Catering: Joe Boccardi's

Florist: Jill Springer

Cake: Nothing Bundt Cakes

Ceremony music: Rockstar DJ

Linens: Jill Springer

Transportation: All About You Limos

Gown: Sophia Tolli from Mia Grace Bridal

Hair & makeup: Amanda Bluestein

Bridesmaid dresses: Adrianna Papell

Tuxedos: St Louis Suit Co

Friday, October 20, 2017
By Abbie
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Being a business owner is no joke.  It takes massive amounts of organization, forethought, courage and a ton of patience.  Running Abbie Takes Pictures is the hardest thing I've ever done in my 37 years, but it's also the most rewarding.
For almost 8 years, I've been at the helm of this company, wearing all the hats.  Photographer, editor, secretary, President, VP of Operations, assistant, janitor... you name it, I've done it.  As ATP has grown I've slowly allowed myself to ask for help with different tasks.  However, it's never been easy to let someone else be in charge of one of the most important things in my life.  In recent years, my staff has really helped me learn the value of trust and teamwork.  ATP wouldn't be what it is today without the hard work and dedication of everyone that's been a part of the ATP Staff.
With that being said, I have been thinking a lot about the future of my business.  Someone recently asked me, "Where do you see your business in five years?  Ten years?  Twenty years?"  That one question really got my wheels spinning.  
Currently, I am single-handedly shooting over 30 weddings a year and have been for several years now.  That means 30 weddings, 30 engagements and over 100,000 images to edit... not to mention all the family sessions, newborns and high school seniors I shoot every year.  After analyzing our numbers (inquiries & workload), I realized just how many potential clients I'm turning away.  You guys come to me because you know you can trust me to consistently capture your adorable families and your special moments and milestones... and it crushes me every time I have to hand one of you to another photography studio because I'm already booked or because I'm too busy.
When that certain someone asked me that important question, a lot began to change for the future of Abbie Takes Pictures.  It has become clear that it's time to expand and change things up a bit.  This announcement today marks a new phase of ATP that I'm incredibly proud of, as it's a huge step towards expanding my dreams and reaching some pretty big goals.
Without further ado, meet Heather:
I met Heather over 2 years ago at a panel discussion I was speaking on.  After the event, she approached me about my Business Coaching program and the rest is history.  She then spent several months with me exploring her future path as a photography business owner, while also working full-time as an ICU nurse.  After she finished my Business Coaching program, I asked her if she wanted to intern for ATP. 2 months after that, I asked her to join ATP as a Staff Photographer.
It was through this journey that I learned a lot about her.  Within the first few minutes of meeting her, I knew we'd be close friends for the rest of our lives.  What I didn't know was just how instrumental we would become in each other's lives.
First, I learned that she is INCREDIBLY funny.  Her sense of humor is second-to-none.  Secondly, it was very clear that her photography skill set was very, very solid.  She has been photographing people (families, kiddos, weddings, etc.) for over 15 years and is incredible with her people skills.
I say all of this because it has become clear to me that I'm ready to add another wedding photographer to the ATP Team and Heather is the perfect fit!  She will begin shooting weddings in 2018 as we move towards the goal of me shooting a little less over the next few years.  (I'm learning that I need to take a day off every now and then!)
Also, a lot of you already know Jen:
She's my right arm, my partner in crime, our ATP Lead Staff Photographer and ATP Office Manager.  She also runs her own photography business that specializes in newborns and families.  After many discussions and a lot of planning, Jen is now taking over the ATP Newborns!  She's been by my side for over 10 newborn sessions the past 6 months and is, quite honestly, doing a better job then I have been with a lot of her innovative ideas with props and posing!  I couldn't be more proud of her skill set, her talent and her work ethic.  As many of you already know, we are SO LUCKY to have her!!
Now I know what a lot of you are thinking: Will they take photos like Abbie?  Can they do Abbie's job?  I can assure you, without a doubt, that these two women are completely and fully capable of producing images with the signature "Abbie Takes Pictures" style.  They've both been by my side for quite some time, not only learning my signature posing  and lighting techniques, but also learning the way I like to capture the essence of our clientele.  Heather and Jen have consistently, time and time again, knocked my socks off with the images they are producing!!!  (GAHHHH!  I'm so excited about this!!)
Sooooooooooooo, yeah!  That's the BIG NEWS!  We've got a lot of new changes and additions ahead at ATP.  I'm so excited and so proud to have an incredible team by my side as we move forward together to capture all of your special memories and milestones!
Monday, June 19, 2017
By Abbie
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Abbie's Summer Bridal Party Tips & Tricks to Beat the Heat!

It seems that we've jumped right into the summer season!  Time has flown by and we're already two-thirds of the way through June!  Around this time of year I always have a very serious conversation with each of my summer-season couples about the heat and how to keep afloat with all the sweating that will inevitably occur on their big day.  I'm not one to mince words and I feel like being as open and honest as possible about the craziness that can happen if you're not prepared is the best way to prepare everyone for the heat!

You have to remember that everyone in the bridal party will be wearing more layers than normal... so when you factor in the extreme heat and a 2-hour outdoor portrait session, things can get pretty awful.  These are things that we've tried and seen work year after year.

I always go over the following information during the final timeline meeting with each couple but recently I realized that many people could benefit from these tips that I've learned about over the past 8+ years of shooting weddings!  Please feel free to share this candid information and let me know if you have any other things to add to the list!!


Here are my ATP Summer Wedding Bridal Party Tips & Tricks:

  • Have plenty of cold water available at all times!  This is truly a lifesaver!  Remember that you can’t regulate body temperature if you’re not well hydrated.  Make sure your bridal party keeps you both hydrated throughout the day and remind them to keep offering you water!  Having a Hydroflask or a Yeti with ice and water on hand is also super helpful.
  • Take several dry washcloths and get them wet.  DO NOT wring them out!  Roll them up and place them each separately into their own Ziplock bag. Then place them all in the freezer. RIGHT BEFORE you depart for the wedding day – or wait as long as you can – take the bags out of the freezer and place them in a cooler full of ice.  Have them for the bus during the portrait session!  These frozen washcloths make such a nice way to cool down when it’s incredibly hot!
  • Make sure to have 1 hand towel for every person in the bridal party on the bus. Everyone will need to be wiping sweat and having a towel is nice for this! 
  • Make sure your deodorant is also an antiperspirant.  Don’t be afraid of getting clinical strength


For our ATP Brides: 

o   Feel free to wear cotton shorts under your dress if it has many layers.  The heat can cause extreme sweating and having cotton shorts to help absorb the sweat can be a game changer.   Your thighs are probably going to rub together – which will cause the dreaded and terribly uncool “chub rub”!  Look for bike shorts, anti-friction bars, Body Glide, or anti-chafing powder gels and creams.

o   Put some baby powder WITH CORNSTARCH (the kind with the BLUE LID from Johnson & Johnson is my favorite!) between your thighs, under your boobs, at the small of your back and even in your shoes!  This will help absorb the sweat.

o   Have deodorant body wipes on hand! (Our FAVORITES are Ban Cooling Deodorant Wipes!)  These are GAME CHANGERS!!  They are perfect for freshening up after being out in the heat.  We use these at every wedding!  Have these for the boys, too!

o   Have 1-2 extra pairs of underwear.  When you get to the reception, you’ll feel gross and disgusting from all the sweating and having some clean undies really helps you feel refreshed!

o   Remember that any kind of liquid makeup will “melt” as you sweat! This goes for foundation, eyeliner, etc.

o   Dry shampoo is nice to have on hand if your hair gets sweaty.

o   Blotting papers are nice to have on hand.


For our ATP Grooms:

o   Bring at least 1 extra white button down to change into throughout the day. You’ll feel refreshed and probably smell a lot better. LOL!

o   With that being said, you should also bring AT LEAST 1-2 extra undershirts. Tell your groomsmen to do the same! 

o   Always have deodorant on hand.

o   It may sound funny, but using the dry shampoo that your bride will have on hand may be nice if your hair gets too sweaty.