I knew from the moment I first talked to Ashley when she called about booking me for their 2018 Sugarloaf wedding this past summer that we were going to get along swimmingly. My instincts are rarely wrong, and they didn’t fail me this time either. As Ashley and Matt approached the benches in front of Higgins Beach in Scarborough, where we had planned to meet for their engagement shoot, I could see her warm, friendly smile from a block away. It was colder than we’d expected–a warm front would blow in the next day causing large portions of the state to lose power for days, but Saturday was brisk and breezy. Still, Ashley’s smile never dimmed, and she was game to dance, sit on the wet sand, or explore the landscape of Higgins Beach without a single complaint about the weather or the wind whipping at her long dark hair.
In between shots we got to know each other, chatting about their work and mine, their progress on their wedding plans, and so on. This is what I really LOVE about engagement sessions, and why I’m a firm believer that even the most camera-shy couples should include one in their package: it’s an awesome opportunity to get to know each other before the big day. And Matt, Ashley’s fiance, confided he’s not thrilled to be in front of the camera, but you’d never know it to look at his pictures. That’s because over the course of a session, we’re all getting more comfortable together until before you know it, you’ll stop noticing my camera clicking away in front of you, and you’ll stop formally posing, and instead, you’ll just start being who you are with the love of your life…while someone happens to be taking a picture of you doing it (yay me! This is why I love my job!).
Ashley and Matt are my last engagement session of the 2017 season, and I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to work with each and every one of my couples in 2018. Here’s to an awesome year, guys!!
Joanna first contacted me about her engagement session early this summer. She was the rare bride that wasn’t looking to book me for her wedding because she and Charles had elopement plans in the spring, but she wanted something special for her engagement session. We met in Bar Harbor, and my Second Shooter Extraordinaire, Jess, came with me for the shoot, grabbing some shots along the way, but mostly hauling my gear as we trekked all over Acadia Park, from the scenic trails around Jordan Pond House to the breathtaking views at the top of Cadillac Mountain, and even at one point hiding in the bushes with a speed light aimed at our adoring couple.
Joanna and Charles were sweet, quietly teasing one another and laughing throughout the shoot. It was a delight to be able to document their love story over the course of those couple of hours…enjoy! (Jess and I also spent part of our excuse-to-have-a-girls’-weekend taking each other’s portraits in Acadia the day before, and sometime soon I may actually get around to posting those!)
I met Liz and Nolan photographing Sean and Johnna’s wedding (they were both part of the bridal party), and I was seriously thrilled when it worked out for Jess and I to shoot their upcoming wedding next February–Liz is a quiet beauty, and Nolan is a high-energy riot, and together they make an adorable couple. We brainstormed a bit about where to shoot their Engagement Session, and I’m so glad Nolan threw Camden into the mix because I’d never actually photographed there. More on that fun afternoon later, but for now, enjoy these few images from their session!
I had a seriously hard time editing Melissa and Michael’s engagement shoot: not because the editing itself was hard — most of my editing now doesn’t involve much more than a quick crop or black and white conversion — but because it was so incredibly difficult to cull my favorites. The light at Gilsland Farm at sunset was so beautiful, Melissa and Mike were so comfortable and easy to shoot, and the love between them was so obvious–how to cut down 500 amazing shots to a manageable number seemed an impossible task to figure out.
Somehow though I managed it…and I LOVED shooting at Gilsland Farm. If you get a chance, you should totally check it out. It’s in Falmouth, and it’s part of the Maine Audubon, and while I was there, I actually managed to walk up on a young bald eagle, perched on a pile of brush, and then watch, mouth agape, as it took off with a few slow sweeps of its enormous wings under the huge overhanging branches of the tree above it and then out to the great beyond. (Scroll all the way to the bottom of this post for a peek!) I went home thinking I had maybe just experienced my best engagement shoot of a whole summer of amazing sunset engagement sessions.
And as promised…that eagle, caught from about 100 yards away with my 70-200mm zoom:
Some of you may know I entered a photo of one of my 2018 couples, Alexa and Joe, into Down East Magazine’s Annual Reader Photo Contest. It’s currently trending #1 for the Lifestyle category, and #7 overall, thanks to all the love it’s gotten from you all! Could you help it stay in that spot (or move up)? All you have to do is VOTE (if you haven’t yet, or try again, because sometimes you get to vote twice!), and SHARE it with your friends so they can vote, too! I’ll love you all forever if you do! (And who am I kidding? I’ll love you forever anyway…but VOTE still!) Here’s the link: VOTE HERE!
When we scheduled Melissa and Mike’s engagement session, I think we all thought it would be a perfect early fall day with just a hint of chill in the air. What we got instead was a day we would have cried for in August: 85 degrees, humid and still. We all melted a little (well, not Melissa — she looked as gorgeous and fresh at the end of our session as she did getting out of the car at the start!), but the shots were well worth it, as we wandered around the scenic trails of Maine Audubon’s Gilsland Farm in Falmouth. And Melissa and Mike were so much fun–relaxed and easygoing, and so so adorable. I can’t wait to work with them over this next year! Enjoy their sneak peek…there’s more to come!
I think I’ve mentioned before that my nerves always ramp up before an engagement session. Even though I rarely book a wedding without at least a phone conversation with a prospective couple, living in rural Maine means it rarely works to schedule an in-person pre-booking meeting, so that means the engagement session is the do-or-die moment the couple and I size each other up and learn to be friends — all in the space of approximately two hours!
Alexa and Joe were that rare couple that immediately put me at ease. Their warmth is contagious; it forces you to relax. And WOW, their chemistry is crazy. I usually try to give my couples a little time to warm up to being affectionate in front of the camera, but Alexa and Joe didn’t need time. They’re clearly happiest when they’re closest, and that made my job soooo much easier. And have I mentioned how right Joe is when he says Alexa is “ridiculously photogenic”?? She could give lessons to women everywhere (including me!) on how to be comfortable in front of the camera! (Her secret? She fessed up to watching a LOT of America’s Top Model haha!)
See for yourself: the hardest part about editing their shots was choosing the best shots. There were just too many! Besides how gorgeous and adorable they are, we toured all over the Rangeley Lakes area at sunset, and the setting made for an incredible backdrop for their shoot.
I’m so excited to be working with you guys over the next year, Alexa and Joe! Thank you for choosing me!
P.s. You may recognize Alexa and Joe from the photo of them in a canoe currently holding the #1 spot in the Lifestyle Category of Down East Magazine’s Annual Photo Contest. If you’d like to help me stay there (and move higher in the overall rankings), pretty please, please, please take a minute to vote: http://downeast.com/photocontest/?contest=photo-detail&photo_id=62314 — and SHARE this post or the link with your friends! Thanks guys!!
So remember that thing I said in Jordanna and Paul’s sneak peek about “squishy, squishy mud”? I never saw myself as the type of person who’d be okay with wandering through muddy sea flats with a couple, barefoot, mud squishing between my toes, but as it turns out I am that kind of person. We picked our way over a muddy path around the sea grass, small bugs darting around our feet, until we reached the rocks that mark one point of Winslow Park.
The inlet spread out around us from there, a view of picturesque boats at Jordanna and Paul’s backs. By now we were all laughing, and Jordanna and Paul seemed completely at ease with my camera whirring away–so yes, picking your way across squishy, squishy mud with two people you may not know very well at first (and there is no other word so perfectly suited to the type of mud we found ourselves sinking into) is a perfect bonding ritual, and it left a memory I won’t soon forget.
I LOVE the way Jordanna and Paul’s images came out, and I especially love the way their parents’ classic-style L.L.Bean bikes were able to become a stand-out prop. I can’t wait to see how their Save the Dates come out! Thanks for choosing me, Jordanna and Paul–I can’t wait to work with you guys again come next July!