Engaged | Cassie & Jeff | Brecksville Ohio

It’s so strange how life is sometimes.

Cassie and Jeff are getting married Memorial Day weekend and love Cleveland.  They really wanted to incorporate downtown into their engagement session as they grew up here and are living downtown.  However, recently thieves are targeting photographers and are stealing gear at knife and gun point during shoots in Cleveland.  It’s happened in the past but according to the police, it’s been happening pretty frequently lately – even in places you would last expect this to happen (Voinovich Park).  My gear is insured but the last thing I want to do is put my clients in danger so I talked with them about moving their session somewhere else because of the crimes.  They agreed and we decided to move the session to Brecksville Metro Parks.  My husband followed up about the location (he was really concerned about me shooting downtown) and I told him about the move telling him that I’d be totally safe in the park.


The morning of our shoot I wake up to find out that 5 morons decided that trying to blow up the Brecksville-Northfield High Level Bridge at Brecksville Metro Parks was a good idea.  They went as far as placing the bombs at the base of the bridge and trying to detonate the bombs (which thankfully were duds).  The FBI got involved and the newswires were on fire.  I sat and stared at the news online with my jaw hanging open.  Well played Cleveland, well played.  I spent the rest of the day trying to ascertain if the park was open (found out 40 minutes before that it was) and then stalking the weather because it was hit and miss all day with rain.  Eventually we decided to go for it, bombers and rain be damned!

The weather behaved itself with a few close clouds but what we weren’t expecting was the total influx of news reporters on the park.  Cassie was following a list of locations in the park her sister had given her and we had no preconceived ideas of even using the almost-was-bombed bridge at all in the pictures, we were aiming for the cute white walking bridge nearby that just happened to be in the shadows of the big bridge.  So while shooting (and incorporating the big bridge into pics because at that point I HAD to) I ended up on TV because they were filming their 6 o’clock segments… live.  I’m still laughing.  If you look around :30 you’ll see me photographing them on the railroad tracks.

Thankfully the session went off without a single hitch and we had a great day!  Cassie and Jeff were crazy awesome and easy going.  Sessions are so much fun when people just trust you, even if you lead them to where a snake is residing!  Can’t wait to see these guys again in a few weeks!!!


engaged couple on swingset in brecksville metro park

Cassie and Jeff met on this swingset in High School so that was why this location was chosen.  Awww right?

engaged couple in cuyahoga valley national park in ohio

engaged couple on railroad tracks beneath brecksville-northfield high level bridge

This is the image I was shooting on the tracks* when the footage on the news was being filmed.

News Crews camped out at Brecksville Metro Park

I wasn’t kidding about the news crews.  They were everywhere – there were a few more on site and roaming around.

engaged couple outside in april in ohio

engagement session in a field in cuyahoga valley national park in Ohio

Right before this they ran into a garter snake in the grass, they persevered though and I love the result!

engagement session at brandywine falls in cuyahoga valley national park

After we left the park we headed down to Brandywine Falls for a quick wardrobe change and more pictures.  I LOVE this image.

engagement session at brandywine falls in cuyahoga valley national park

legs of engaged couple

engaged couple at brandywine falls in Ohio

Love Cassie’s makeup?  You should since my favorite makeup artist Jason Kelly did it!  I did a bit of a squee and clap when I heard this news!  YAY!!!

*Lately a lot of photographers have been getting hate mail for photographing on railroad tracks because they can be unsafe.  I wholeheartedly agree with this as more often than not, people are shooting on tracks without knowing anything about them i.e. things to listen for, knowing that it is in fact illegal and not knowing how long it takes a train to stop.  The only reason why I shot these is because a) I wanted to incorporate the bridge due to the events of the day and this was one of the few overlooks that weren’t bogarted by the multiple news crews and b) I know this particular train track schedule.  The train that runs here only goes on weekends and for “special events” which I knew there were none of on this date.  I also grew up alongside train tracks and photographed trains for about two years so I am familiar with not only the sounds of oncoming trains but I know how to hear & feel the rails to tell if there is one down the tracks.  If I didn’t feel 100% safe having them walk this short bit I wouldn’t have done so.

Ironically a train is passing near my house right now.  LOL


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