Jodi: My favorite photographer.


On one of my annual visits home to Michigan a few years ago, my sister Abby mentioned something about Jodi taking amazing photos. Instagram was really new to me at the time but I followed her Giving Tree Photography page. Ever since then her incredible photos have been popping up on my newsfeed. I swore if I ever needed a photographer she would be the one. Now all of that sounds really weird even to me because I didn’t know her {yet}.

At the time, I was living and working in Georgia about 90 minutes south of Atlanta. I was so impressed by the way she captured the beauty of the world and the love that couples had for each other. She inspired me to buy a camera of my own.  I had been planning for a solo trip to Europe that fall and I wanted to tell the story of my journey through pictures alone. After all, the memories you carry home with you are by far my favorite souvenirs. I did some research and bought my first DSLR camera.

I am one of those people that can’t stay in one place for very long. I’m always thinking about what’s next, in life and in my career. As I was looking for my next job I came across a few quick fill positions, one in Hawaii and the others in Germany. I was utterly shocked! How were those jobs even available?!? So I emailed my boss and she said to go for it.The next few months went by in a whirlwind. Instead of a solo month of travel, I ended up moving to Europe. Three days later Dan and I went to a weekend long softball tournament. That weekend I started taking pictures and now I can’t stop. It’s a hobby I absolutely love.

After Dan and I got engaged we brainstormed a lot of options on how and where to get married (It’s a little complicated in a foreign country). We changed our mind at least a dozen times about the details. We both wanted something intimate and simple. We wanted our focus to be on the promise we were making and not on planning, so we chose to elope.

Originally (by this I mean plan #17) we were supposed to get married on Cala Conta beach in Ibiza, Spain. We were going to have friends of ours take pictures and celebrate with us afterward.  I’ll admit it was me that pushed us to plan #18. We were laying in bed unwinding after a long day. Dan was catching up on sports center news and I was flipping through Instagram. This picture below popped up and I said: ” #givingtreetravels”…that made me wonder… Maybe…just maybe Jodi would be free that weekend.

Now let’s just pause for a second… I’m a little bit crazy to think someone as insanely talented as her, didn’t already have a wedding booked for Fourth of July weekend especially because it was just a few weeks away.  I couldn’t help myself, I posted a comment on that picture… Something along the lines of “I wish you would travel to this side of the world for my wedding in Ibiza!”

Now I knew there was a 99.7% chance she would already be booked or reserving that weekend for some much-needed family time. She replied within 3 minutes and said: “email me and let’s talk”. I quickly emailed her and proceeded to jump out of bed and dance around the room.

Right about then, Dan thought I was literally insane. He said something along the lines of “Get your crazy self back over here and tell me what’s going on.” I quickly regurgitated the story above. Let’s just say he didn’t quite understand. He kept saying “Why her when there are hundreds of photographers here in Europe?”

Let me tell you why:

  • She captures love in its purest form.
  • She is artistic and outrageously talented.
  • She is brave and willing to hike, run or swim to get the best angles you can imagine.
  • She is a professional to the core.
  • She loves the outdoors and shooting in the beautiful, natural scenery God created.
  • She is flexible and spontaneous.
  • She works so hard and puts others far before herself.
  • She has such a huge adventurous heart and pours her feelings of excitement through her beautiful blue eyes.
  • Her teaser photos make you feel like you are standing right next to the couple she’s photographing.
  • After following her work for so long I knew without a doubt…If I didn’t pick her, I would forever regret it.

After a few (extremely excited and barely coherent) emails from me and a few super professional well-written replies from Jodi, we had a plan. Now I just had to convince Dan. That took a day or two but I won him over. The plan was to have Jodi’s husband come along as her assistant. (He was an absolute champ! He deserves a few gold medals in the husband/assistant Olympics but more on that later).

We arranged their travel so they arrived in Ibiza the day before us. I knew they would need it for the awful jet lag you experience flying this far East. We also wanted to give them time to explore the island and find the spots they thought would be great to shoot pictures at.

They met us at our hotel for poolside drinks the night before our ceremony. We laughed more than we talked. I think she was surprised with how relaxed Dan and I were about most of the details of the day to follow. We sipped Sangria and caught up on the changes happening near my hometown. We stayed up pretty late and decided to do our vows at sunset the next day instead of in the midday heat (SO thankful for that decision!).

The day of our wedding was absolutely perfect. Jodi captured the little things that we may have overlooked at the time but will forever cherish. Her husband Jeff was the best assistant ever. He dropped us off and parked the car miles away (or at least it seemed that far to me). He helped Dan and I rock climb down the cliff to take pictures by the crystal clear water. He carried SO MUCH stuff (shoes, the dress, water, snacks, multiple cameras, backpacks and lenses). I’ve never met someone so selfless and humble. He’s such a cool guy and I’m happy he was there to make things so easy for Jodi and us :).

After shooting photos by Cala Conta, the first beach Dan kissed me…. In true Antinucci fashion, we stopped for Magnum Ice Cream bars to celebrate. We had dinner at our hotel and then headed up to Es Vedra to do our vows at sunset. We left dinner slightly late and ended up hiking as fast as we could up the mountain. We finally arrived at the ancient tower and I put on my dress.

I knew from this day on my life would forever change. This was the easy part: getting all dressed up, professing our love to one another and promising forever. The messy, hard part was yet to come: fights over things that don’t matter, stubborn challenges and cheering for different football teams. Despite the crazy journey of life we had ahead of us, we were ready to free-fall together. (Figuratively and literally as we cliff dove into the Mediterranean Sea).

She captured it all: the smiles, the laughter, the “I’m too hot for this shirt,” the ice cream, the nervous trembles, the tears and the comforting {everything is gonna be okay} hugs. I honestly couldn’t have asked for anything more. Immediately after our vows, we ran down the mountain to soak up the last bit of sunset.

Jodi and Jeff treated us like family by laughing and celebrating with us. They made us feel so special. We are so very thankful for their friendship. We wanted their hearts to love this place as much as we did. We had them take a picture together at Es Vedra just before the last bit of light faded into darkness.

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They are an incredible team. They are selfless and loving, encompassing everything one would want in a marriage. After a long, happy, smiles and tear-filled day, they packed up to leave and we waved goodbye.

jodi n jeffJodi and jeff 2

 

The moment they left Dan leaned in and whispered to me “You know what, you were right. I’m so glad you picked her.”

I may be a little biased but Jodi will ALWAYS be my favorite photographer.

Love,

Jenny

Ps. Do yourself a favor and hire Jodi, you won’t regret it. Her website is Giving Tree Photography or you can follow her amazing journey of love on Instagram–> @givingtreephotography and remember: #givingtreetravels

jodi flower crown bodtke poloroids jodi yellow dress jodi water Resort-29CC-70CC-115CC-82 es vedra jodiEsVedra-68 CS-30

Disclaimer: These photos were borrowed from Jodi Bodtke 🙂

4 thoughts on “Jodi: My favorite photographer.

  1. Your photos are absolutely stunning! I have to say I am a little jealous that we didn’t know about her when we got married last year! Our photographer was horrible and didn’t even capture our first kiss as a married couple! 😦 I couldn’t believe how bad he was. Maybe we’ll have to do a shoot with her just for fun! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. It’s so hard choosing a photographer for such special moments in life. I just knew that she would be perfect. I hope some of my friends will choose her and have a great experience too! I’m sure if you contacted her she would let you know 😉 I hope you’re doing well. Come travel with me soon! Love, Jenny

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  2. Awwww that was beautiful! I am definitely going to start following her on Instagram…. 😘😍😍😍 congratulations again! Way to jump head first into life ❤️

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    1. She is absolutely the best! Just saying if you need a photographer for anything eventually…. 😉. She’s always game to travel! Happiness looks so good on you! Enjoy your new home❤️. Love, Jenny

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