When I launched the xoBeautiful sessions, many people had questions about what this all was, why I wanted to do this, and why it was so important. When things are so deeply in our own hearts, sometimes it’s hard to express fully the right answers to these questions. Today, as I share some of the first images from the sessions, I will try my best to explain.

I’ve done Pay it Forward sessions for a long time, and xoBeautiful is simply a new facet of something I’ve always done. Through the applications, I learned the stories of these strong, incredible women, and they inspired me. The goal was to empower women to claim their own beauty and strength … and of course, very few things make us feel as beautiful as our wedding dress. It all clicked.

Through these sessions, their stories are told. Some of them are painful, some of them are beautiful, and all of them are powerful and proud – and they should be. It’s been an honor to be involved in this project, and I’m sure you’ll see why. What you’ll see is not just where they’ve come from, but who they’ve chosen themselves to be now.

Many people are curious about the sessions themselves. My team focuses on pampering and honoring each woman throughout their session – seeing the glow they have and hearing how they felt like movie stars or royalty brings it all home. This is why these sessions are so important.

One of my favorite parts of the xoBeautiful is when I get to read the things their family member has written about them (we send this out before the session and family members prepare something and send it back to us). They suddenly see themselves through the eyes and hearts of the ones they love. There is something innately powerful about the words they hear.

To put it simply, the xoBeautiful sessions are all about showing women how beautiful they are and how amazing their story has made them. No matter how broken, forgotten, tainted or incredible their story is, this session allows them to rewrite parts of their story, on their own terms, and find their personal sparkle.

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  • Kate - March 27, 2015 - 10:29 pm

    This is incredible, Jen. Absolutely love this whole concept and how you brought it to life. I’m looking forward to reading each woman’s story.

  • Audrey - April 1, 2015 - 10:58 am

    I love this idea so much! What a beautiful heart you have to feature people’s stories!

  • Heather - April 2, 2015 - 10:54 am

    Beautiful images! They will truly capture each woman’s beauty!

  • Heather - April 2, 2015 - 10:56 am

    Beautiful images! This concept will truly capture each woman’s beauty!

what is xoBeautiful | see all xoBeautiful project posts

I’m excited to introduce Kalyn, our tenth xoBeautiful project reveal. Kalyn was photographed at one of the most gorgeous Egg Harbor Wedding venues. 7501 Mariner Road – One of the most Luxurious Door County Waterfront Homes. A dream location for wedding photographers Door County Wisconsin.


Kalyn’s Story in her words why she wanted to be involved in the xoBeautiful project:

I applied because I thought it would be fun to do a no stress session in my wedding dress. No chaos, just fun! Also, just to be around Jen and do something with her is so much fun. I felt so special working with her the day of our wedding day.

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As you may remember from my first post, I mentioned that I had loved ones fill out a fun survey about each lady. Kalyn’s mother filled this one out for her.

Describe her in 4 words or less: Beautiful,unique,excitable & kind.
Why do you feel she needs this day to feel beautiful and be a model for the day? Kalyn has had struggles in her life and deserves a day just for her.
When were you most proud of her? When she took on the role of motherhood and knew she would probably be on her own .
Does she have any hidden talents/funny personality traits? Kalyn can sing, but like her Dad in the car or bar she’s at her best.
What makes her special? Kind, witty, honest, excitable, loving, protective and loyal
What do you wish for her in life? Just to have peace and know she’s a good wife and mom .
What is her dream job? Working for Dale Jr.
Does she have any nicknames? Millie
Describe a funny memory or moment about her. When she was little it was a big deal to be in the truck standing on the seat arm around her dad’s neck & singing one of her favorites. Little Deuce Coupe (by the Beach Boys) she would sing “little loose tooth” and Bette Davis Eyes which is still one of her favorite songs.
If she could spend a day with any actor/actress for the day who would it be and why? It would be race car driver Dale Jr.
If she could spend a day with any band/musical artist who would it be and why? I’m stumped on that. She was raised on Elvis, Moody Blues & Neil Diamond. I’ll go with Bon Jovi !




And of course, I wanted to hear details from her wedding day! 

That beautiful day so long ago in September 2014!! Such a wonderful, fun day. The church in Little Suamico was our family’s church and it meant a lot being married there. The wedding reception was held at the Rock Garden in Green Bay Wisconsin.

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what is xoBeautiful | see all xoBeautiful project posts

I will be revealing the story of each of these incredible women over the coming weeks. I invite you to come along on the journey, and find your own xoBeautiful with me.

I absolutely fell in love with this style of session, and will definitely be adding this to my session line up soon.

In the mean time, if you would be interested in taking part in an xoBeautiful session in the future, please fill out the information below – you’ll get an early bird discount! Or maybe you know someone who deserves to sparkle? You can nominate them through this form as well:

Venues : Door County Waterfront Homes | Flowers: Blossoms of Door County | Wedding Dress: David’s Bridal | Hair and Makeup: Amber Knorn & Sara Miller

  • Pam Hedtke - April 25, 2015 - 7:15 pm


what is xoBeautiful | see all xoBeautiful project posts

I’m excited to introduce Lori, our ninth xoBeautiful project reveal. Lori was photographed at one of the most unique Wisconsin Wedding Venues: The Galloway House in Fond du Lac.


Lori’s Story:

I am beyond excited to participate in this shoot because although my wedding photos were beautiful….and I love every one of them, I was extremely sick on my wedding day and was not able to enjoy getting
photos done like every bride should. I was more excited to get out of the cold and lay down for a while then I was to actually get our pictures taken.

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I’m excited to introduce Victoria, our eigth xoBeautiful project reveal. Victoria was photographed at one of the most gorgeous Door County Wedding venues.


Victorias’s Story in her words why she wanted to be involved in the xoBeautiful project:

 I honestly never thought I would be chosen! In reality my application was a test to myself, and challenge to grow in confidence; constantly fluctuating in weight this give me a goal to adhere to and strive for. Also, being of a curvier size it has taken years for me to become comfortable, accepting of my body. It seems as thought this should not be the norm, but it unfortunately tends to be. There have been periods of my life where I have had an unhealthy relationship with food, and period I have eaten everything in sight! At 26,I finally feel comfortable in my own skin, I am happy to work out and be healthy but still enjoy food. I think it is awesome that you are wanting to showcase different sizes and styles of women. Not going to lie, I am freaking out a little bit- but also extremely excited!! I am a cosmetologist and tattoo shop manager (as well as offering permanent cosmetics) so any chance to be creative, or help someone else achieve their creative vision is something I am super passionate about! I just cannot wait to see what you come up with and all the different beautiful women you showcase. 

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I’m excited to introduce Courtney, our seventh xoBeautiful project reveal. Courtney was photographed at one of the most gorgeous Egg Harbor Wedding Venues.


Courtney’s Story in her words why she wanted to be involved in the xoBeautiful project:

First of all I am always amazed by your work! In the beginning of our wedding planning I wanted a winter wedding but I was voted against by my husband:)I also have a passion for photography and I think it would be so fabulous to be able to shoot a bride with your own creative ideas in mind. On my wedding day it was so busy and full of craziness I feel I didn’t get to just relax and enjoy every aspect. I can’t wait to see your work first hand. Thank you for choosing me for this photoshoot!

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Their story told by Jessie: Andrew and I met seven years ago while I was visiting my grandparents in Alabama. Two years later we really got to know each other when I spent the summer working in Alabama. He and his family went to the same church my grandparents did, so I spent a lot of time with him and his family during that time. We kept in contact via texting and facebook, and every time I would be down for a visit, I’d let him know and we would all get together. About two years ago we were talking, and he told me he liked me a lot and wanted to go out with me next time I was down to visit. We went out a few times when I was down there, and talked a lot during that time.

Fast forward to March, when Andrew flew me down to visit. The plan was that he was going to fly back to Wisconsin with me, ask my dad’s permission, and propose at some point during that time. The second day I was there, he had to work, but he told me he had a “gig” at a really nice restaurant, so I got dressed up that afternoon to go with him. We got there and were seated, but there was no one else in the restaurant. He decided that after we ordered, he needed to tune his guitar and warm up. He sat down, tuned, and started playing “Marry Me” by Train. He sang to me, and afterwards pulled the ring out of his guitar case, knelt down on one knee, and asked me to marry him. I said yes, of course, and now we’re getting married in September!

Ok, this is Jen here!! Can I just say that is my dream proposal. How sweet is he?? Really!! So now after meeting the two of them I truly had butterflies in my stomach. They are so perfectly similar. They both have a huge heart working with children as well their love of reading. Harry Potter and Star Wars being the favorites.


Our first stop was Bookworld in Marinette. The woman working was so kind in letting us have fun with these two book lovers. They above image was my fun little challenge. They had to close their eyes, spin in circles, stop, point and grab the first book they see!

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Strolling through the streets on Downtown Menominee, Michigan. menominee-michigan-engagement-pictures

See, Andrew he was frozen. Literally frozen. He was such a sport about it.  I believe it was under 30 degrees that day. A stark contrast to the warm temps in Alabama. menominee-michigan-engagement-pictures menominee-michigan-engagement-pictures menominee-michigan-engagement-pictures


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  • Shonda Alford - April 15, 2015 - 3:52 pm

    Love, Love the pictures! Thank you for doing them for Jessie and my son!

  • Allyson Alford - April 15, 2015 - 4:14 pm

    Very beautiful!

  • Heather - April 15, 2015 - 5:30 pm

    Thank you so much for such beautiful pictures! You are an amazing photographer!

  • Judy Hammond Owens - April 15, 2015 - 8:26 pm

    The pictures are great! Their personalities were truly captured. I love these two and am so happy for them!!

  • Kristen Tolly - April 15, 2015 - 9:28 pm

    Just beautiful!!

  • Robin Parker - April 15, 2015 - 9:56 pm

    A beautiful young couple. The pictures are beautiful and so natural looking.

  • Allyson Alford - April 15, 2015 - 10:16 pm

    Very beautiful!

  • Shonda Jones Alford - April 15, 2015 - 10:17 pm

    Love, Love!! Beautiful pictures

  • Emily Ryan - April 15, 2015 - 10:18 pm

    Beautiful pictures of a beautiful couple!

  • Sue Alford - April 15, 2015 - 10:27 pm

    Beautiful pictures, they truly look to be made for each other! Love them both.

  • Tiny Alcaraz - April 15, 2015 - 11:14 pm

    Beautiful pictures!!

  • Jarred Edgecombe - April 16, 2015 - 1:45 am

    Great pictures!

  • Larry Wilson - April 16, 2015 - 11:34 am

    Awesome love story !! Great pictures !! And Jessie you got a cool guy that you as a special young lady deserve !!