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  • WELCOME!

    Hi I'm Jenna! I'm a photographer in rural Maryland & available for travel. My studio is located in downtown Westminster, Maryland at the Historic Westminster Inn. I'm also thrilled to be a member of the Center Street Wedding Collective. Contact me today! Jenna@JennaShriverPhotography.com or through the contact form.

Nathan and Rachel’s Rockland Estates Wedding | Maryland Wedding Photographer

Nathan and Rachel’s wedding day was nothing short of a dream come true. From the incredible group of co-laborers (i.e.: wedding vendors), to the miraculous window of weather during a VERY rainy spring week, to the sweetest, beautiful couple both inside and out; their celebration was simply a dream come true. Every wedding that I have the privilege of documenting is an honor for me because the most meaningful and purposeful part is the joining together as husband and wife. Nathan and Rachel’s wedding celebration flowed together seamlessly and seemingly effortlessly because Marcie had her hand in it from the very beginning. Her touch was evident in everything from the design, florals, and decor, to the food choices, the gown and bridesmaids’ gown selections, and the group of vendors involved. What a joy to document the engagement and wedding day for such a genuine and beautiful couple with some of my sweet wedding vendor peers! Links to vendors can be found at the bottom of this post.

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Vendors:

Planning, Design & Florals: Celebrating Love by Marcie

Paper Goods: Beloved Paper

Makeup: Made Makeup

Hair: Bombshell Beauty Works

Catering: Rouge Fine Catering

Venue: Rockland Estates

Ceremony Backdrop: White Glove Rental

Farm house table rental: Barnes Farmhouse Tables

Bride & Bridesmaids: Jenny Yoo purchased at Posh Bridal Couture

DJ: Shew-sical Entertainment

Video Production: Toybox Productions

Cake: Sugar Bakers Cakes

Tent Rental: Elite Tents and Events

Jeweler: Colonial Jewelers

Bride’s Hairpiece: Twigs & Honey

Groom’s Suit: Hugo Boss

Groomsmen’s suits: Men’s Wearhouse

Photography: Jenna Shriver Photography

 

 

Letter Legacy: Caleb’s first birthday | Joy and heartbreak

One year. Today one year ago I held you in my arms for the first time. You had beautiful dark hair just like your daddy that fell out a few months later to be replaced by strawberry blonde. You had and still have the sweetest chubby cheeks and biggest blue eyes. I’m most definitely smitten with your adorable little self, but I’m even more in awe of your happy, sweet, and gentle heart that is already apparent at such a young age. You have taught me so much about joy, both the happy, over-the-moon, kind of joy and the deep, difficult-to-fight-for joy in the midst of heart break.

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See, you won’t understand for a long time, but my best friend, your “Aunt Anna”, lost her precious baby boy Camden just three weeks after you were born. Your Aunt Anna and I shared so much together since we were pregnant and due around the same time. We had wonderful plans of raising you boys and Noah together. Weekly play dates and shared milestones. Shared joy. But that all came crashing down suddenly and unexpectedly. I was holding you when I read the message from her with the gut wrenching news. My heart shattered. It took all of me to carry you to your dad before I collapsed on the ground sobbing. I’ve lost loved ones close to me, but I’ve never known heart break that deep. I could not imagine losing one of my sons. How was I even going to be able to be a friend to her? I had no idea the depths of the pain she was and would be experiencing. What if she couldn’t or didn’t want to be my friend anymore? What if seeing you, Caleb, would just be too painful for her? Would that mean that she’d never be able to look at me again, too? In the days, weeks, and months that followed the loss of Camden I feared the possibility of losing my best friend. But time and time again she invited me into her pain and grief when she was able. What a beautiful, amazing friend Anna is to invite me into the most tender and wounded places of her heart. God carried me through those times. I had to rely on the Holy Spirit to give me wisdom beyond my own capabilities to know what to say and when, and how to pray for her and with her. I’m sure I did not always do that perfectly, but I tried. Mostly, He taught me to rely on Him, to hold onto Him as the anchor in this terrible storm. Then I would come home to you, beautiful, sweet and happy you.

How was I supposed to fully enjoy my son when my best friend, my sister, was without hers?

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That was and still is the difficult thing for me. I’m so grateful for you. Beyond words grateful. This tragedy has put so much into perspective for me. Every child is such an incredible gift. You are an incredible gift! But, it has been a deep struggle in my heart to be full of joy for you when I know that Aunt Anna is without her son. For the first few weeks and months every time I looked at you I thought of Anna and Camden. I had to fight for joy with each of your smiles, milestones, and even the late nights and difficult times.

We can hold joy in one hand and grief in the other. Joy and heartbreak can exist together, but Joy must be fought for.

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I can tell you, son, that this past year has been one of the hardest, most devastating, spiritually-stretching years, between the loss of your great-grandfather to cancer just a month before you were born, then the loss of Camden just a short three weeks after you were born. You came into my world while my heart was war-torn and weary. But, it has also been the most joyful year because of you and Noah, and the most holy experience of my life to be called into such a unique and difficult role to be both mother and simultaneously a soul-sister of a grieving friend and my grieving family. I’ve felt God carry me through some of the most difficult tasks this past year. He’s given me depths of strength and peace like I’ve never known. So today I’m celebrating the gift of you AND grieving the loss of what we thought today would be a year ago.

Some things in life don’t go the way we thought or planned they would. But that doesn’t mean that God isn’t there and that His heart for you isn’t still good.

My heart for you and Noah is that no matter what would happen in your lives that you will cling to God. Wrestle through the tough questions. Allow sorrow and joy to coexist in your heart simultaneously. Allow yourself to be angry with him. Because when you seek Him with all your heart He will meet you there. He will heal your wounds and your heartbreak and give you strength for each day. He will give you life and peace in the midst of the unthinkable. He will turn your mourning into joy. He will grow and mature you to be a man after His heart. My momma heart wants to wish only good things for you, but I know all too well that if we live long enough we will experience deep pain. Because, son, this isn’t our home. Our home is Heaven with our Father. So while you’re here, seek Him. Just seek Him with all of your heart and He will meet you there. It’s as simple as that. My desire for you is that you would know your heavenly Father deeply. What I’ve come to know is that I’ve learned more about the Father’s heart in the valleys of life than on the mountaintops. So don’t be surprised when those deep, dark valleys are suddenly in your path.

13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. – Jeremiah 29:13

 

31 What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? 32 Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? 33 Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself. 34 Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.

35 Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? 36 (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”[o]) 37 No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.

38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[p] neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 8:31-39

Caleb, the original meaning of your name is “dog or bold”. Immediately after you came into this world I had to be bold. Well, I guess I didn’t have to be, but I’m sure glad that I chose to. I boldly followed God into the dark unknown of walking through unimaginable grief alongside Anna and while extremely difficult and imperfect, it is holy to grieve with someone and be all that God enables you to be for them when they are in need. I’m certain that the meaning of your name will come into play in your own life in the future, but your name and the timeliness of it has already been a marker in my life. Owen has a few meanings: young warrior, well-born, and noble. Because you’re God’s, you’re well-born and noble. You’re meant for great things in His Kingdom. I know that God gave you your name because He has a very special purpose for you. What an honor it is to be the mother to you and Noah. Thank you, my sweet boys, for being my joy in difficult times.

 

June 30, 2016 - 3:10 am

Gail Wroten Hosmer - This is beautiful, Jenna!

June 29, 2016 - 10:22 pm

Marcie Lenick - So, so beautifully written Jenna. Truly God’s heart for each of us. Caleb and Noah are truly blessed to have you as their momma. Love you and your precious heart my friend. Xoxo

June 29, 2016 - 9:52 pm

Mary Brunst - absolutely beautiful Jenna! Thank you for sharing your beautiful and godly heart, for living out your faith so tangibly for God’s glory! Love and hugs to both you and Anna!

June 29, 2016 - 7:40 pm

Anna Kerns - This is so beautiful! I love you!! Thank you for sharing your incredible heart. And most of all, thank you for sharing life with me. All the conversations, all the tears, all the prayers have meant the world to me. You are truly a gift from God to me. I love you soo much Jenna! <3 I’m celebrating darling Caleb today as he turns one! So thankful to be his Aunt Anna, and your best friend!

Our First House and What’s Next for our Family

It’s difficult to believe that five years have almost come and gone. It seems like just yesterday that Justin and I were handed the keys to our first home just two days before our wedding. Well, this season for our family is coming to an end and a new one is springing up! Our house is under contract and we are under contract on a new one! I definitely choked back tears watching the “For Sale” sign go up in the front yard. It’s hard to let go of a season that meant so much to me, to let go of a place that holds so many memories and is the physical location where so much transformation happened in my life. But God is teaching me that we need to let go of certain seasons in His timing so that He can give us something that is better for the next season. A closed fist can’t receive anything and great things never come from comfort zones. (If you can make it to the end of this post that’s where I share the story of selling the house and buying our new one).

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Five years ago we fell in love with this little house on the hill. And five years later it looks a little different. We fenced in the back yard to make it safer for the boys and our pup.

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When we moved in there were two large trees in the back yard and a jumbled mess of a concrete patio. Within the first month of us living here we were hit with a huge hurricane which took down one of the trees. Miraculously the tree landed perfectly UPHILL in between our shed and the neighbors. If it would have landed downhill it would have landed on the enclosed porch where we were sleeping. Thanks to family members we were able to remove the other tree, all of the concrete, and level out the back yard so it would be ready the following summer to install the fence. We couldn’t have done it all or afforded it all without the help of our family.

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The room below has served many different functions. It started out as my office. Once Noah began crawling (read: unplugging my hard drives), we moved my office to the downstairs bedroom out of reach. This sweet sunny room now serves as the kids’ play room/mud room. Very appropriate for little boys I think. ;)

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Oh the living room! It seemed like all the rooms were either too bright or too muddy. We had so much fun updating the paint colors and making this house more home-y.

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I think the dining room transformation is my favorite! From the built ins to the window seat, my vintage-loving heart had so much fun with this space!

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The kitchen is the mildest transformation because we couldn’t quite afford to replace these old cabinets or counter tops. But a fresh coat of paint made everything brighter, a blank slate for the new owners! Oh, and we finally added a dishwasher after not having one for four years!

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The downstairs bedroom, which functioned as my office for the majority of the five years we lived here.

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I apologize for the quality of some of these images that were taken five years ago! But, it’s just evidence of growth right?! lol

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This is Noah’s bedroom. We wanted to make the room feel bigger and brighter so we ditched the dark colors in favor of neutral grays.

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The larger of the two upstairs bedrooms was supposed to be the nursery. It ended up being our room and the nursery. We were a bit tight, but everything we needed fit into this little room and worked for us for the past few years. Justin and his dad did an amazing job updating this room!

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Jenna Shriver Photography Maryland Photographer_Our First House_What

This is what we fell in love with: the charming character of this 100 year old home that has the most beautiful view of the sunset over the mountains. One of my favorite things about living here has been the view and listening to the church bells chime on the hour and sing familiar old hymns that I grew up singing in church. It has been good for my heart.

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So how did this all come to pass? We have been house hunting for just over two years and were beginning to get pretty discouraged that we’d never be able to afford a home the size and age we were looking for located out in the country. We stumbled across a house at Christmastime that we loved, however when we went to see it the property just wasn’t kid-friendly. So we sadly let that one go only to be surprised to find another one come back on the market in our price range just a few months ago. It had previously been under contract (which is why we didn’t see it listed at Christmas), but the contract fell through recently. The funny thing is that the owners are distant cousins of mine whose one daughter is my age. We met in middle school and I have memories there of our time together. :) I even went on a girls vacation with them one summer in high school! So prior to us going to see the house I kind of remembered what it was like and was unsure whether it would be a good fit for us. However, when we walked through I mentally counted up everything on our wish list and realized it had EVER SINGLE THING on our wish list… and more. Justin and I both felt like we were supposed to pursue it, but here’s the clincher: we had to sell our house before being able to put an offer on that one. Talk about scary! We could end up homeless with two kids in the middle of my busy work season! So we prayed. And miracles just started pouring out. First, our agent suggested we let the owners know that we were the ones interested since we knew them and just ask if they’d allow us to do a contingent offer. An offer contingent on the sale of our house is basically unheard of because of the type of sale that the owners had on their house. But we asked anyway. And within an hour or two I got a call back saying that they granted us a 45-day contingency window! WOW. I was blown away by God moving on our behalf to let us know that YES we were taking steps in the right direction and that He was going to provide in ALL ways and give us peace to keep following Him in this.

So the next step was to list our house. We hurried to get the house ready, finishing up projects we had been putting off and cleaning up. So we set a meeting with our agent to submit our offer to the sellers and while we were at that meeting I get a text from my cousin, Derek’s, fiance Rachel that they’d like to come see our house that night if it suited us. So I finished up photographing our house that afternoon just before Justin headed off to work and Rachel and Derek came over to check out our house. I can’t tell you how much fun I had showing them around and talking about features that I loved about the house and things that we wish we could’ve done before moving. I had been praying for the past year or so that God would provide the right buyers for our house and the perfect time, for us and them. When they left that night I genuinely did not expect anything from them because I didn’t want them to feel any pressure to choose our house over others just because we are family. But the next morning I woke up to a text from Rachel letting me know that they fell in love with our house and after sleeping on the decision, wanted to buy it from us! This part – Derek and Rachel’s story woven into ours has been the sweetest gift of this whole thing! I was seriously struggling with the idea of listing our house and having strangers walking through it, uprooting our lives for who knows how long, and potentially people buying it who wouldn’t care for it like we did. Us having no connection to the future owners to be able to enjoy and celebrate what their story holds during their season here. I didn’t even tell God any of that outright that I can remember, but He knew. And He romanced my heart all the more by abundantly blessing us in each of these ways. Only God can orchestrate stories to intertwine so perfectly. We are thrilled and full of joy to be handing this sweet home over to them soon and stepping into a new one for our family.

We are currently under contract with the new house and waiting to hear if our offer has been accepted. The story is still unfolding and we would appreciate any and all prayers that everything from here on out would flow just as smoothly as it has so far. We would love for things to move quicker than anticipated so that we can settle sooner on both houses to allow Rachel to not just move in on time, but ahead of schedule so they can do a few things to the house before she needs to move in.

I hope that if you’ve read our story that you can see God’s abundant goodness shining through! He’s not just a good provider, He loves to provide abundantly! I pray that your faith has grown in reading our story and that you would dare to ask Him to provide abundantly for you, too! I’m certain that the story He is writing for you will be perfect for you and surprise you in ways both big and small.

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May 21, 2016 - 6:35 pm

Amy DeVries - I saw your link and saved this to read when I had time because I know you’re a good decorator (and photographer!) and I wanted to see your photos. I’m so glad I read what you wrote, too. Beautiful! God is good. Thank you so much for sharing and I will keep you in my prayers. <3

May 19, 2016 - 5:03 pm

Renee Wilhide Lease - To add to this, God’s timing for Rachel Hessman and Derek Lease couldn’t be more perfect either as she has renters needing to move into her place in less than two months, allowing her a place to live and time to do her special touches and upgrades to the kitchen before they are married. I prayed for God to open doors, literally and figeratively and that is exactly what He has done. Of course, the final outcome remains to be seen, but He has a perfect plan, whatever that outcome may be, it will work out.
: )

Megan & David’s Engagement Session | Maryland Wedding Photographer

Megan and David’s engagement session in beautiful New Windsor, Maryland late this spring was the perfect way to capture their love and celebrate their upcoming marriage! With the wet and rainy spring that we had here in Maryland I think the day of their engagement session was one of the prettiest evenings we had all spring. Megan and David are public servants with a love of motorcycles. She’s a nurse and he’s a volunteer fire fighter in his free time. We enjoyed incorporating their careers and passions into their portraits. My friend, Stacy, of Stacy Bowen Floral Design provided a beautiful bouquet for the formal photos, and Nicole, of Blush by Nicole, provided beautiful hair and makeup! It was fun to do a collaborative engagement session with these talented ladies! I know that Megan felt extra special that day. I’m excited to celebrate with Megan and David for their wedding at Springfield Manor this October!

 

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My favorite <3

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Bouquet by : Stacy Bowen Floral Design

Hair & Makeup: Blush by Nicole

Arrick & Amelyah: Westminster, Maryland Newborn Photography

What an absolute joy it was to photograph these sweet newborn twins for their parents! Newborn photography has a growing special place in my heart as a photographer and momma. I have two under three years old and I’ve experienced just how FAST the time flies. The few weeks after babies are born are a complete blur for the mother. She’s sleep deprived (maybe for the first time, which is overwhelming) and healing from whatever birth she had. For me, it was nearly impossible to remember those sweet, tender moments in the midst of the shock of all the change. So I find such joy in capturing those memories for other mothers to hold onto. (Images captured at the Studio on Center Street by Jenna Shriver Photography. Westminster, Maryland Newborn Photography)

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Though Arrick and Amelyah were born premature, at three weeks old for their newborn session they were happy and healthy! I love the simplicity of these close up detail photos of their sweet little feet!

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Their take-home outfits were very special to their mom, Keri, so we couldn’t neglect a few photos in them!

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Keri is one of the most beautiful mommas! She exudes joy, which just makes her that much more naturally beautiful!

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