Zionsville Engagement Session | Rescheduled Wedding Day

We thought we would be celebrating Haley and Tyler’s wedding this weekend at The Omni Severin Hotel in downtown Indianapolis but unfortunately they have had to postpone the big day due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our hearts break for this couple and all couples who have been affected by this. Thankfully love isn’t cancelled and we are excited to celebrate with them on their new date later this year.

When capturing a couple’s engagement session I like to have them pick a starting point and we go for a walk. Our couple chose Zionsville, Indiana to capture their engagement session. We walked down South Main Street through the center of the village. Zionsville is the perfect place for picturesque engagement photos, lights hang in the trees, there are white picket fences and exposed brick everywhere.

As we walk I look for natural interactions, I offer prompts to help with posing, and we get the opportunity to know each other better. I love when I have the opportunity to work with couples before their wedding day. When the day finally arrives it takes away a little stress because you know what to expect from each other.

We ended our session at Heritage Trail Park just on the other side of downtown Zionsville.

My favorite photo from this engagement session was taken through these yellow flowers in a parking lot at the park. This photo proves that awesome images can be captured anywhere.

We hope Haley and Tyler are still able to celebrate together in some way. We look forward to being able to capture your wedding day surrounded by the people who mean the most to them.

Elisha Kaldahl is a wedding photographer located in Indianapolis, Indiana specializing in wedding photographer. She has answered all the questions the internet tells you to ask your wedding photographer.

The Questions |The Answers | Your Wedding Photographer.

If you have been on the internet planning your wedding for any period of time you have likely come across all of the articles that tell you what questions to ask when hiring a wedding photographer. I have answered them all for you!

1. Is my wedding date available?

Check in here to see if your wedding date is available.

2. What style do you specialize in?

While we primarily specialize in photojournalism, we utilize a variety of styles to capture a wedding day. Photojournalism can also be referred to as candid or documentary style photography. This means that we do our very best to let you enjoy your big day without producing many overly posed photographs and capture the events of the day as they naturally unfold. We want you to look back on the memories of your wedding day and really be taken back to your day, to relive the excitement and love you were feeling. We do not want you to look at a photo and think about the things your photographer made you do to create it.

That does not mean that we only capture unposed or candid photos. We will guide and pose you through the traditional parts of the day like the family formals. (That is unless you have family that naturally congregates into pretty lines.) During the couple’s portraits portion of the day we will walk you through prompts to encourage natural and beautiful interactions. We will also use lighting, angles, and other tools to take artistic photos as well.

3. What exactly is included in your packages?

Every one of our wedding packages includes hours of coverage, (hours vary depending on the package you choose), online delivery of all professionally edited, high resolution images, print release, assistance with timeline prep and planning, and a personalized app that holds up to 100 of your favorite photos. Our most popular collections include two photographers and wedding albums.

If you don’t see what you are looking for we are always happy to customize a package to meet your needs.

4. How long after the wedding do we get to see the photos?

We upload sneak peaks to Instagram from your wedding day! Beyond that we upload additional sneaks to social media in the days following your wedding.

5. How long after the wedding will we receive the images? How will they be delivered?

Wedding photos can take up to 6-8 weeks for delivery. The memories of your special day will be delivered via an online gallery where they will remain on my server for 365 days. During that time you may download them onto an external hard drive or USB, I also have USBs available. After 365 your photos will be stored in archive.

6. Will you be my actual photographer, or will it be one of your associates?

I will be the one who photographs your wedding day and works with you to develop your timeline leading up to it. Brian, my husband, is my committed second photographer so my couples are never surprised about who will be working with them on the wedding day.

7. Will there be a second shooter or any assistants? Is there an additional fee for each?

Let me start by explaining the difference between a second shooter and an assistant. A second shooter is a qualified photographer whose job it is to photograph your wedding day. A second photographer may capture moments from an angle the lead photographer is not covering, (i.e. the groom’s face because the lead is covering the bride) a separate event, (such as groom prep) or those in-between moments such as guest reactions. An assistant’s job is to assist with lighting, cameras, lenses, etc.

A second shooter is included in our most popular wedding collections. Depending on the complexity of the wedding day I will have an assistant. There is never a fee for either.

8. Do you have backup photographers who will shoot the wedding if you’re sick?

I will start by saying I have never missed a wedding day. I am married to a photographer and part of the wedding photography community in Indianapolis. In the event of a highly unlikely actual emergency I would be able to replace myself with someone of equal quality.

9. What is your timeline for my wedding day?

Every wedding day is unique and so is every timeline. I will work with you to create the timeline that works best for your wedding day and your vision for your wedding day photos.

10. Can I request a specific list of shots I would like?

Absolutely. This is your wedding day and what’s important is that we capture what matters most to you.

Before your wedding day I send out a detailed questionnaire including who you would like included in the family formals list, what parts of your day are you most excited about and and any additional shots you want me to capture.

11. Have you shot at my venue?

I have captured wedding days at many of the venues in Indianapolis so there is a very good chance that I have shot at your venue. In the event that I have not captured a wedding day at your venue I am happy to scout it out.

12. Will all the photos be edited? Is that done before I see the proofs?

Yes! I will edit all of your wedding day photos. Editing includes color balancing, and slight adjustments to vibrance and contrast. If you would like to see before and after edited photos you can view them on my Insta-stories under “tap to edit” @elishakphoto.

13. Do you shoot both digital and film?

I only shoot digital photography.

14. Do you have a contract?

Yes. I have a contract that is mutually beneficial to both parties written by an attorney. It’s available to you via my secure online booking portal. I encourage you to read through it and you will be provided with a copy. I am happy to answer any questions you may have.

15. What is the deposit and total fee?

A $500 retainer and signed contract hold your wedding date. The remaining balance of your chosen wedding collection is due 30 days prior to your wedding day.

16. How many weddings do you do a weekend?

I only ever shoot one wedding per day with a maximum of three per weekend.

17. Do you have insurance?

Yes. I have business liability insurance. If your venue requires a certificate of insurance I am happy to provide one.

18. Do you charge a travel fees?

Within the state of Indiana we do not charge travel fees. If you are planning a destination wedding outside of the state of Indiana we will create a custom quote to capture your special day anywhere in the world.

19. Can we order prints from you?

You can order professional quality prints from my lab directly from your online gallery.

Included in all my collections is a print release allowing for you to print from any lab you choose.

20. Will we receive high resolution images?

Yes. I only deliver high resolution images to my clients.

21. What will you wear to my wedding?

I typically wear black on a wedding day. I find that most wedding vendors are wearing black to the event and it allows me to blend into the background. However, if you are having an afternoon garden party wedding and would like another color palate I am happy to accommodate.

22. Do you offer engagement sessions? Do you cover pre-wedding events such as the rehearsal dinner?

Absolutely! We do offer a collection that includes an engagement session, however we are happy to capture any pre-event session that you would like.

23. Can I share my photos on social media?

Absolutely! These are your photos of your wedding day, you are absolutely free to share them on any social media platform you would like.

24. What kind of equipment do you use and do you have back-ups?

I am a Nikon shooter. On most every wedding day I use a variety of full-frame Nikon cameras and Sigma Art lenses to capture the moments that mean the most to you. For at least part of the day I wear a holster that allows me to carry two cameras with a variety of focal lengths to capture your day. I also bring a variety of lighting equipment and detail styling accessories.

25. Will you co-ordinate with our videographer?

Absolutely. I often work with videographers.

I will take the time to coordinate with as many of your vendors prior to the wedding day as possible, including your videographer. I find that photographers and videographers work very well together, we have the same goal, to serve our client.

If you’re looking for more checkout my website at elishakphoto.com. My favorite way to answer all of these questions and anything else you want to know is over coffee or a cocktail. We would love to hear all about the plans you are making for your wedding day and what means the most to you!

Did I forget anything? Please let me know in the comments!

Wedding Day | Avon Wedding Barn | Sunflowers and Boots

The bride and groom, Rachel and Mike, are truly lovely people who are without a doubt adored by their family and friends and I am honored to tell the story of their stunning wedding day. The bride chose sunflowers for her bouquets, navy blue as her wedding color, and cowboy boots for her September wedding day at Avon Wedding and Event Barn and the couple planned to get married under the large Catalpa tree on the property. It had started to rain early in the day, almost moving the ceremony into the barn itself but it cleared up during bridal prep allowing for the ceremony to take place outdoors. There is an old saying that rain is good luck on a wedding day, I can’t promise it was the rain, but this wedding day was perfect.

Avon Wedding Barn is a 100 year old Amish built barn located just outside of Indianapolis in Avon, Indiana on a sprawling six acres that includes a babbling creek. The couple had a first look on the bridge over that creek which is located down the hill from the barn. The groom keeps his back to his bride, she walks to him and taps him on the shoulder, I stay back to let the couple have some time to take each other in and enjoy the moment. One of the benefits to having a first look is that couples are able to see each other privately, without the eyes of every wedding guest on them.

The interior of the barn is gorgeous set up for the reception, lights are wrapped around the wooden pillars, party lights hang between the beams, chandeliers hang from the ceiling, and white chairs sit around round tables set with blue table clothes and yellow napkins. Atop the wooden circles are white lanterns containing flameless candles, vases of yellow flowers, small cups of popcorn for snacking and the s’mores favors the couple chose for their guests.

The couple danced their first dance to LANCO’s “Greatest Love Story” DJ Connection had the honor of providing that song as well as the soundtrack for the rest of their day.

The groomsman from this wedding day were so much fun! In some time we had between the ceremony and reception, while capturing some of the more traditional portraits, the guys decided to have some fun with the bridesmaids’ flowers.

Wedding Day | Moontown Brewing Company

Detail photo of the bride and groom's wedding bands tied to a burlap bow and styled in front of the wooden box the couple had made for their wedding day.

Moontown Brewing Company located in Whitestown, Indiana is the perfect place for a couple who loves brewing beer together to get married. Moontown Brewing Company began as Whitestown Grade School and opened in 1895, in 1915 the high school was built, between 1939-1941 a gymnasium was build to connect the two schools. The school closed in 1963 and was used for multiple purposes over the years but was eventually left vacant until 2017 when Moontown Brewing Company began renovations on the property.

The original windows are in place with the steel frames restored and new glass in place, the markings on the gymnasium floor are repainted in their original places, salvaged bleachers (including carved initials) created wood trim, and multiple layers of paint behind the stage are left from plays that were performed at the school.

Photo of the bride in her wedding dress in front of the stage where she would be married. Party lights hang from the ceiling, layers of paint from plays past on the exposed brick wall behind her.

The wedding day began with bridal prep at Studio 2000 on the circle in downtown Indianapolis. Once hair and make-up were complete the girls went back to their hotel room at Home 2 Home Suites by Hilton where Colleen, the bride and her bridesmaids finished up make-up, had a few drinks, ate chips with queso, salsa, and guacamole, and played What the Meme.

This couple chose not to have a first look so we hid the bride behind the fermentation tanks before the ceremony started. The groom, Phil, and his groomsman were on the brewpub side of the brewing company getting their boutonnières pinned on by the wedding coordinator. When it came time to walk down the aisle the couple chose “The Throne Room Theme Song” from Star Wars episode IV, A New Hope.

Bride with her bridal party hiding behind the fermentation tanks in the 1915 Room of Moontown Brewing Company before the ceremony started.
Wedding planner pinning on the groom's boutonniere before the wedding ceremony.

The couple’s first dance was to “I Will Follow You Into the Dark” by Death Cab For Cutie but their first dance was noting compared to their last dance. When I discuss timelines with couples I normally tell them that once you feed your guests, they watch your first dance, and you give them cake they will start to trickle out. The groom told me that would not be the case at this wedding, and he was absolutely correct! The guests at this wedding were the couple’s families, closest friends, and the groom’s fraternity brothers and they all stayed until the end and sang and danced to a finale song. This should not be surprising because when I asked the couple what they were most looking forward to on their wedding day they responded with, “Having all our friends and family together in one place since they live all over the place now.”

The final song of the night, the groom, celebrating with his closest friends and family, was crowned with greenery from the centerpieces.
The groom crowned.

Colleen and Phil are truly amazing people who are clearly very well loved by their friends and family. We were honored to be able to capture their wedding day for them and work with their team of vendors. The wedding planner, Stephanie Smith and Madeline Lewis Designs brought this day to life, DJ Connection provided the music that kept the party going, all of the beautiful flowers were by Lilly Lane Flowers, The Cakehole provided the amazing wedding cake, and Moontown Brewing Company provided catering and beverage.

Avon Gardens Wedding

This small October wedding took place at Avon Gardens in Avon, IN. In early October the leaves on the trees in Indiana are typically still green as was the case for this wedding day. The ceremony site is a secluded lawn, a pond sits behind a wooden arbor decorated with burgundy and pink flowers to match the couple’s wedding colors. The bride and groom stand atop a cobblestone platform to exchange their vows in front of their closest friends and family. Burgundy ribbons are tied around the white guest chairs lining the aisle and pink flower petals created a defined path for the bridal party’s processional.

The bride wore her step mom’s wedding dress, the train of which spills over the platform. The groom wore a handsome Burgundy suit and sage green shoes. The bride had four bridesmaids who all wore burgundy floral printed dresses, the maid of honor was the bride’s sister. The groom had three groomsmen in charcoal gray suits as well as one dog handler who can be seen standing with the groomsman although the couple’s dog is not visible in this photo, he was there. As evidenced by guests holding up their cell phones this was clearly not an unplugged ceremony.

The couple chose to have a first look at the bridge on the property. As the bride was walking down the stone pathway towards her groom I couldn’t help but notice that she passed directly under the “and they lived happily ever after sign” hanging from the archway and I knew I had to capture the moment. Her groom can be seen standing on the bridge in the distance with his back facing the camera. The first look allowed the couple time to walk the gardens and photograph couples portraits prior to their ceremony.

Avon Gardens sprawls across more than five acres located at the corner of North County Road 625 East and East County Road 91 North. We chose the winding paths throughout the gardens to capture the couple’s portraits and the tree swing makes for the sweetest photo op.

The property was decorated perfectly for October with pumpkins and gourds with many of the flowers still in bloom. You can see white candles lining the winding path to the bridge, they are lit and attended to by the venue’s staff as night falls over the gardens creating beautiful backdrops for photos.

The flower girl at this October wedding was the bride’s three year old niece. When the little girl saw her aunt she ran over to show her the pretty dress she was wearing for her wedding day and leaned in to give her a kiss.

The flower girl was completely mesmerized by all the wedding day festivities and bebopped between the bridesmaids and her aunt during the ceremony. When it came time for the couple’s first kiss the little flower girl happily watched from the aisle.

Wedding day first kiss at Avon Gardens. The groom's wedding band now viable on his finger. The flower girl watches fro the aisle.

We are honored to have captured this very special day for this lovely couple. We wish them a lifetime of love and happiness.

Stone Creek Lodge Wedding

This couple met in a Blockbuster in 2001, they were friends for years but later lost touch. Thanks to Facebook, their friendship was rekindled and they started seriously dating in August 2012. Donny proposed to Kim in their dining room one Sunday night five years ago. Kim jokingly refers to their engagement as the sequel to the movie The Five Year Engagement. Their journey to “I do” may be longer than most, but it was well worth the wait.

The wedding and reception took place at Stone Creek Lodge in Crawfordsville, Indiana on 8.18.18. The venue seats 200 people for ceremonies and this couple had a packed house. This venue sprawls across 25 acres and is gorgeous both indoors and out. The details are stunning, just look at this chandelier.

The couple’s English Bulldog Modey was part of the celebration all day long, he even dressed the part in a doggie tuxedo.
The couple wanted to have a first look and they wanted Modey to be able to be a part of it. There is a bridge at the back of the property is where the groom waited for his bride. The coordinators arranged for the bride to be brought to the bridge via a golf cart. The bride walked the length of the bridge to her groom, he turned and saw her in her wedding dress. Modey happily stood by, happy to be wherever the couple was.

Modey rode down the aisle with Donny in his little red wagon with a sign that read “My humans are getting married” on the front and “I do” on the back. He went back to collect Kim and then tried to nab a front row seat before he had to be ushered away.

The rest of the day went off without a hitch! Kim and Donny said “I do,” cut the cake, and danced the night away.

I have to show you the wedding cake! This chocolate cake featured chocolate ganache was accented with strawberries. On top of the cake were two little pigs.

We are so happy to be able to document this couple’s wedding day for them. We wish them a marriage full of love and laughter.

Indianapolis Zoo Wedding

Alyssa and Chase met while they were in college eight years ago and have been together ever since. Chase popped the question, Alyssa said yes and within six months they had planned a beautiful wedding at the Indianapolis Zoo.

Bridal Prep for the big day started and the J.W. Marriott in downtown Indianapolis. The soundtrack included 90’s alternative and The Backstreet Boys which was Alyssa’s favorite boy band growing up.  Alyssa was surrounded by her mom, her tribe and pink champagne. Eye-Do provided stunning on-site hair and make-up.

The Indianapolis Zoo one of the most unique and memorable wedding venues in Indianapolis. Alyssa and Chase chose the Efroymson Wedding Garden for their ceremony and the reception was in the Hulman Riverhouse. Before it was time to say “I do” we took some time to explore the Zoo and visited with the elephants and giraffes. 

This couple opted not to do a first look because they wanted to see each other for the first time as Alyssa was coming down the aisle. She was escorted by both of of her dads.

It was worth the wait. I cannot put words to Chase and Alyssa’s reactions seeing each other for the first time on their wedding day, thankfully my camera can tell that story.

We took some time to do the couple’s portraits after the ceremony and receiving line. It gave Alyssa and Chase some time to catch their breath and just be alone together for the first time as husband and wife in the Zoo’s gorgeous gardens. They were able to catch their breath and just be together as a married couple for the first time.

When you step outside of the Zoo you enter White River State Park which provides breathtaking views of downtown Indianapolis. The couple looked so forward to taking photos there and even though the timeline was running tight we made it happen.

To tell the story of the wedding day, I have to show you the wedding cake. This simple but elegant cake was made by Indy Cakes and was adorned with flowers. Alyssa and Chase are not really “cake people” but they did not deprive their guests of the traditional treat. The layers were strawberry, red velvet, and vanilla with a white buttercream icing.

The bride and groom danced their first dance to Jamie Lawson’s Don’t Let Me Let You Go. 

To end the night Chase and all of his fraternity brothers serenaded Alyssa.

Alyssa and Chase are lovely, down to earth people who were surrounded by so many who so obviously adore them and it was an honor to capture their wedding day. The couple left the next morning for their honeymoon in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Universal Studios Florida. 

Send your congratulations to Chase and Alyssa in the comments and tell us what zoo animal would you want in your wedding photos!