April 26, 2015

Indianapolis, Here We Come

I’ve been thinking about this blog post for some time now with a mixture of emotions.

After telling our close friends and family in the past few weeks, we finally announced our big news last night: Chris & I will be moving home to Indianapolis this summer. We are so incredibly excited, but I’m not gonna lie…this is hard. Cleveland has been home to us for the past three years, and neither of us would trade our time in this city for the world.

I still remember when Chris called to tell me he was interviewing at the Clinic back in college. I had never really even heard of Cleveland, and immediately went to google it to find out about the city we could potentially find ourselves :

Screenshot 2015-04-26 21.34.36

Haha! A few weeks later, when he was accepted into the program, we made it “official”:

Screenshot 2015-04-26 21.33.55

Thinking back on that day, I remember being THRILLED to start a new adventure with Chris. I was a little worried about the unknowns of course, seeing as we knew no one and obviously little-to-nothing about the city itself (…it’s on a lake?! Really, Sami?!), but I was never scared. I figured we could do anything for a year, and we’d find ourselves back on the road towards home in no time at all.

But then this crazy thing happened.

Cleveland became our home.

It’s where we shared our first apartment, found a church family, and made our first married-people friends. It’s where we discovered new restaurants, got lost on the shoreway, watched the sun set over Lake Erie, and ran along the shoreline. It’s where we sampled Cleveland breweries, hiked through the MetroParks, attended Dollar Dog Nights, and practiced marriage: loving each other intentionally, forgiving each other daily, & putting God first.

Cleveland is where Chris and I learned how to do life together, and that will never change. The last three years have been beautiful ones, and it’s hard to imagine living anywhere else.

But it’s time.

Because, despite all of these amazing things, Cleveland has also been where we’ve cried over far-away family issues. Where we’ve driven hundreds of hours back and forth to stay a part of our families’ lives despite the distance. Where we’ve missed out on important events and every-day occasions: soccer matches and football games, birthday parties and wedding showers, home-cooked meals and lazy Sundays. While our life has gone on here, our families’ lives have gone on as well, and it’s a hard thing to face. At the end of the day, as amazing as Cleveland has been, it has always been missing that.

There is so much more I could say, but for now, I want to leave you with this:

Thank you.

Cleveland would never have meant to us what it does without your support, encouragement, and love. We have found better friends here than we could have ever imagined and a better church home than we could ever have hoped, and that means the world to us.

More specifically, for this business here and the supporters here, I wanted to say thank you, too. I don’t know if I would have ever officialized this journey if we had stayed in Indy three years ago,  and I know for a fact I could never have done it without your support.

For now, I wanted to answer some questions you may have. I’ve tried to anticipate as many as I could, but if there is anything I’ve missed, please please please don’t hesitate to leave a comment or shoot me an email!

When are you moving?!

We will be staying in Cleveland through the beginning of July in order to wrap up the school year and be here for my June weddings! For any weddings I have booked after June, I will be happily traveling back to NE Ohio with some good tunes & road snacks to boot!

Are you still booking Cleveland portrait sessions?

YES!!!! I will be doing business as usual in Cleveland through July 18th. While I do have plans to arrange returning-client weekends in Cleveland in the future, I most likely will not accept individual portrait inquiries in the area after our move. However, I will be sure to announce any weekend trips we take! To stay up-to-date on our travels and make sure you’re in the know for when I will be back for a weekend, make sure to subscribe to The Newsletter!

Are you still booking Cleveland weddings?

YES!! Cleveland will always be home, and I am so excited to travel back for the fall weddings I already have booked — and any future #CLE brides that come my way! So keep passing my name along, folks :)

I’m an Indy gal…can I book you for my Indianapolis wedding?!

Please & thank you!!! Ahhh!!! I am SO excited to re-launch my business in Indianapolis this summer and have several exciting things up my sleeve for the transition :) And, like always, this girl laaa-loves to travel! So even if your big day is taking place outside of the greater Indianapolis area, shoot me a message and we’ll chat! Oh, and I would greatly appreciate any referrals, too! We do know a lot of people in the area still, but moving this business is a whoooole ‘nother ball game; any help we can get is greatly appreciated!

What about for my Indianapolis family, senior, anniversary, or newborn session?

Yep again! Be on the lookout for portrait session updates and announcements in the future. I will be able to take a limited number of portrait sessions this summer and fall, and can’t wait to work with new and old families alike! :) 

And, because no post is complete with some eye candy, here are some of my favorite images from Indy sessions to date!

Indianapolis Engagement Session by Sami Renee PhotographyIndiana Museum Family Photos by Indianapolis Photographer Sami Renee Photography

Indianapolis Engagement Session by Sami Renee Photography

Indianapolis Engagement Session by Sami Renee PhotographyIndianapolis Engagement Session by Sami Renee PhotographyAgain, thank you, thank you, thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for making these past three years the best yet.

I know this won’t be easy, and if I’m being honest, the “what ifs” swirl around my mind daily; I’m surprised to find myself scared this time around. Scared to leave the life we love, scared to move back home and never find our “place”, and scared to say goodbye to an amazing job with wonderful students and the best clients a photographer could ask for.

However, just as I did three years ago,  I choose to remind myself today:

“And [God] determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far forom any one of us. For in him we live and move and have our being.” Acts 17: 26b-28

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

“And the peace of God, that surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7

Love love love,


Indianapolis Wedding and Family Photographer Sami Renee Photography

*quote by Virginia Woolf



  1. Rachael says:

    LOVE your quote :) I a rooted, but I flow – great philosophy for this transition. Awesome post!

  2. Jess says:

    In TEARS!! Love your post, love the message, love your story and LOVE YOU!!!

  3. Deb says:

    I know this was so hard for you to write but once again, you nailed it! Love you and about half way through I started crying. Thank you for being you!

  4. […] Indianapolis, Here We Come, by Sami Orndorff was a great read for multiple reasons. Firstly, she’s a best friend of mine and she’s moving back to Indy. Secondly, she clearly articulates so much of the bittersweet-ness of moving and being obedient to God’s leading. Moving is scary. The idea of building a life somewhere new, even if it’s a familiar place, is downright terrifying. She honestly communicates the tension of excitement and fear. […]

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Sami Orndorff is a Wedding Photographer & Lifestyle Newborn Photographer located in the greater Indianapolis area.