Andrea and Brooks are two people with giant hearts. When I first met them on an icy winter day, I heard more about their hearts and lives than I did about their wedding. And I knew I was going to adore this couple when Andrea was overjoyed at the idea of printed photos and Brooks realized he had lived in the same tiny town I now live in. Over the many months between that meeting and their wedding I got to see how their two personalities were intertwining to create a day their friends and family would cherish. When the day finally arrived, it was obvious that their faith and tradition were their priorities. Emotions were high and while he typically takes everything with a smile, Brooks reaction when he saw Andrea for the first time…well if you didn’t love him before you loved him even more then. His reaction and their ceremony as a whole just showed the depth and of this commitment between the two of them. Guests were treated to an evening of drinks and dancing at Raspberry Plain in Leesburg, Virginia. I think Andrea and Brooks left with sore feet from dancing as well as sore cheeks from smiling. The day was a gorgeous reflection of who they are as a couple. Andrea and Brooks, congratulations. May your marriage be as vibrant and love-filled as the two of you.


I don’t know if these two could get any cuter. But their silly attitudes, big eyes and brotherly love were just too much for my camera. We were actually there to shoot portraits for big brother Trey when his little brother had to get in on the action. I think it was well worth it. You two were just too much and can jump in front of the camera any time!

Later this week I will be sending out information for this years fall mini sessions. Perfect timing for all of those classic holiday cards. If you are interested please email brittanydefrehnphotography@gmail.com


Nora G. I don’t know if there is a sweeter name. I fell in love with this little family the minute I talked to her momma. We have too many things in common and her outlook on motherhood is just spot on. It is so clear that this little girl has two wonderful parents who have as much invested in helping the world as they do in this little gem. I spent an afternoon with them in the city in their beautiful apartment and I couldn’t have enjoyed our conversation more. And the nursery… such a perfect combination of delicate baby and aspiring world changer. I look forward to seeing this little lady grow!

Traditions are a huge part of our family. Some revolve around meals, others revolve around places we visit at different times during the year. To give you a sampling, every Valentines we head to our favorite local spot for Chinese food. The kids come with us and we go home and watch a movie after. Every spring we host a traditional Seder dinner with as many friends as we can pack in our house. We go through the Haggadah and enjoy each others company. During birthdays we make special place mats, a tradition my mom started with my sister and I. For Sean’s birthday he must have his favorite homemade blueberry birthday pie and a trip to the Shenandoah for tubing.

The official definition of tradition is ” a way of thinking, behaving, or doing something that has been used by the people in a particular group, family, society for a long time”. We have many of them and chances are if you are friends or neighbors or even aquaintences we have brought you in to be a part of traditions at one point or another.

Knowing this, it is no surprise that we were excited when Jill and her family invited us to Lakeside, Ohio for a week. Lakeside, Ohio was founded in 1873 and generations of her family have spent warm and steamy summers on the cool shores of Lake Eerie. It was truly unlike any place we have ever visited. Everything was within walking distance. There were kids riding bikes up each street in a way you can only imagine in the movies. There were arts and craft projects during the day, concerts every night, and everyone in town gathered on the pier for a 9PM sunset. It was like summer camp and even better, each camper/person you spoke to had a family member that had come to Lakeside generations ago that started the tradition of heading to this tiny town each summer.

One afternoon, Jill and I headed to one of her family members cottages and peered at all of the black and white photos of her relatives standing on the same big porches we were. I was in love with the fact that it didn’t matter where you ended up living, that is was important that each summer you ventured back to Lakeside. As a family we soaked in the history of this tiny town. We went fishing early in the morning off the dock, ate at the Patio for donuts, collected lake stones to paint and took day trips to nearby Put-In Bay. I fell in love with the tiny streets lined with by historic vibrant cottages decorated with buntings,and twinkly lights and American flags. I left Lakeside with such a deep thankfulness for how traditions shape us and our family and how when we share them with friends we welcome the opportunity for new traditions to begin. Until next year Lakeside…

It is the season of sparklers. They add to the magic of any celebration or ordinary day. Whether you are eight or 80, you probably love them. Andrea and Brooks loved them too and this little dip and kiss at the end of the night was perfection. I want this lightning bug, steamy nights, big starry, sky sparkler season to last as long as possible.