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  • Writer's pictureElisabeth Dorosh

Rate the Date | Photo Session with Jenna Hidinger Photography

There is something so special about seeing photos from throughout a person's lifetime, especially ones from your own story. Memories of the time and place the photo was taken flood your mind and the emotions take you back to that frozen moment captured in a still frame.

Nazari and I will forever love reminiscing our wedding day by perusing through our photos and videos, because we are immediately brought back to how in love we were on our wedding day, and why we chose to get married in the first place. However, years into our marriage, we found that those were the only photos we really even had to peruse. I kept waiting for an "excuse" to invest in updated photos, and the only reasonable life event to warrant such a cause in my mind was seemingly having kids. However, eight years in and we haven't embarked on that milestone. BUT we realized that although we are sans children, we are not sans change and growth and this more mature love of ours is not only worth documenting, but necessary to document.

We firmly believe that our wedding day should not be our best memories together, and it definitely shouldn't be our only memories as a couple displayed around our home. When we see our anniversary photos, we don't just see pretty images, we see our more prominent matching smile lines, the level of comfort between us, and the way our love has grown over the years: the fruition of the hard work we've put into our marriage, and we are reminded again of why we embarked on life together all of those years ago.

We love decorating our home with these photos, new and old, because it floods our minds and hearts with memories of our life together and the love we share. Plus, it keeps those positive thoughts at the forefront of our minds - which in the chaos of life - is a gift that keeps on giving.

This photo shoot in particular was a great deal of fun to plan. A lot of time and effort was put into the logistics. But as life goes - much did not go according to plan.

  • We had intended to get Nazari his very own, much needed, fitted suit prior and that did not happen.

  • My hair had not been trimmed in 9 months, and I wanted to get that taken care of beforehand and that did not happen.

  • I had hoped to exercise more consistently and lose a few pounds in the weeks preceding the shoot, that did not happen.

  • We planned to have a professional florist create the bouquet of flowers, and that just never worked out - so Naz crafted it last minute with blooms from good ol' Trader Joes.

  • We agonized over the location, and finally settled on Hartwood Acres Mansion. Upon arrival, we discovered a surprise concert not listed on the venue page taking up the prime aesthetic real estate which substantially limited the areas we could utilize.

  • We watched the weather like a hawk, and although it said 0% chance of rain that evening, it precipitated for over an hour and wouldn't let up. My perfect hair day was ruined, and the curls I was so proud of morphed into frizzy waves that were not the look I had envisioned.

I share this to note that it is far too easy to put unrealistic and crazy expectations on ourselves for where we need to be before we would ever pay to be photographed and then never make it happen. But you know what? We hired an incredible photographer that we trust and who, despite the obstacles, captured breathtaking images we will treasure for a lifetime. In those photos are two people who are crazy about each other. So the few extra pounds, the frizzy hair, and the pivot in location aren't what I see. Instead, it's a man that can make me smile when I felt so bummed out and turn my night around when I thought it was a lost cause.

Regardless of your age, the amount of years you have been married, or what milestones you've yet to embark on - we cannot more highly recommend this date to assure you have all seasons of your marriage documented, to look back on over the years and see how your love has evolved and grown. You're story is worth it. (Plus, it really is a lot of fun!)


  • Something to look forward to as it must be scheduled in advance

  • A ton of fun to do together

  • You create memories that are preserved for a lifetime

  • A great excuse to get a dressed up

  • It's a unique date, and one you likely wouldn't do very often which gives it the novelty factor


  • It's definitely an investment (which isn't necessarily a bad thing!) You can likely anticipate spending $350-$550 for a 1.5 hour photo session with a professional photographer

  • There are a good amount of logistics to plan: date, location, outfits, photographer

  • It can be nerve racking to be in front of the camera (which is why it's so worth it to book an experienced photographer to help you feel comfortable and at ease!)

  • Often times, you get digital galleries and have to print the photos yourself, or make your own album, which can be a seemingly an insurmountable task if you're anything like the two of us ;) But even if our images live mostly online, it's still worth it for us!


  • First choose your photographer! If you live in Pittsburgh, you are so fortunate that there are SO MANY incredible options to choose from! In fact, Jenna of Jenna Hidinger Photography who took our photos for our six and eight year anniversaries is booking MINI SESSIONS NOW! This is a perfect option if it's been awhile since you've had your photos taken!

  • They will be on November 2nd from 2:30PM to 5:45PM.

  • Session are located at a Christmas Tree Farm in Lake Forest Gardens in Fombell, PA

  • All sessions include 20 minutes of on location photography, with 5 to 10 files delivered via and online gallery.

  • Investment is $275 + tax

  • Check out more by visiting Jenna Hidinger Photography

  • You can then choose a date that works with your schedule. We highly recommend booking your shoot for around golden hour, where the light is the dreamiest and most flattering! (this is within the final 2 hours prior to sunset, or the light just after the sun rises). You can also opt for your favorite season to fit your style and personalities!

  • Next pick a location you like: possibly a favorite place to go (whether it's a trail you hike on, a place you like to read together, an ice cream spot you frequent, or an urban aesthetic you love!), Just make it something that aligns with your personalities. You can even schedule the shoot around your home!

  • Lastly, and often the most challenging, is deciding on what to wear! This is a great excuse to get all dressed up or treat yourselves to a new outfit! We have had friends and clients utilize Rent the Runway! Or, you can opt for more casual attire, or your favorite go-to outfits to really capture the season of life you are in. For this session, Nazari borrowed a friend's suit!

  • Optional: Hair and Makeup! To make the experience really stand out and allow yourself to feel super pampered, you can plan to have your nails, hair and makeup (or even just one of those) done the day of your photoshoot. For this session, I had my makeup done by Alex of Alex_Makiel_Makeup who is literally the best there is. I felt so confident, and even though it rained, my makeup remained flawless! I did my own nails and hair, and my locks did not fair as well in the moist climate.

  • Optional: Props! These can be cliche and corny, but they can also be a ton of fun! For this shoot, we brought a nuetral bouquet of flowers, as well as champagne and glasses. Other fun options include biodegradable confetti or rose petals which make for some pretty magical photos!

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