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!!
Goofball isn’t a word I throw around lightly, but when it comes to Eliza and Ryan, they may be the most adorable goofballs I’ve ever met. Ryan is the man of a thousand hilarious faces, and once he got over his initial wariness of my camera (zoom lenses and stalking them from afar helped), he quickly warmed up his inner actor, and had Eliza doubled over in laughter for most of the shoot. We spent the couple of hours before sunset tooling around the Vaughn Woods in Hallowell for their shoot, and it felt like I was hanging with friends I’d known forever; they’re just that easy and comfortable to be around.
Eliza booked just the engagement shoot because their wedding isn’t planned until 2019, and she thought it would be a good way to see if we were a good fit–so I was thrilled when mid-way through the shoot she started to say things like, “When you shoot our wedding…”. These two drive 7 plus hours to see each other, as he lives in Canada and she lives here in Maine, and they don’t even think about the distance or the time–that’s serious love.
I’m so excited to work with them over this coming year and a half…and I love how their session turned out: I think it captures them and their love and laughter perfectly. 🙂
Of all the brides I worked with last year, I felt like I knew Angelina the best by the time her October wedding day arrived. We’d texted and emailed back and forth all year, brainstormed First Look ideas, and she’d even sent me pictures from her final fitting for her gown (which fit her perfectly). I knew that she was anxious to make everyone happy, but that she really just wanted a candid approach to documenting her day. I knew she was incredibly organized, sending me a shot list before I could send her my version. And I knew she was beyond excited to be marrying Tom with all of their friends and family there to witness it.
What I didn’t know was that after weeks of sun and warm weather, it would pour buckets of rain the day before and into her wedding day. But when my assistant and Second Shooter Extraordinaire, Jess, and I arrived, Angelina wasn’t phased at all by the weather. It looked like it would clear in time for First Look, so she wasn’t going to waste energy worrying about it. And that was Angelina: prepared for every possible outcome, but not at all phased if things didn’t come together exactly the way she’d hoped. She was the calm in the midst of the storm of excitement that defines your average wedding.
Her lovely family was the same. Her mom took the time to tell me why she’d encouraged Angelina to choose me, and she made my day in doing so. Her aunt was nervous about being dressed up (she was stunning) and her reading at the ceremony (it was beautiful and emotional). Her sister was teary as she walked down the aisle and looked on as her sister and Tom exchanged vows. And her step-dad was an adorable teddy-bear of a man, ready to do whatever Jess asked of him as she took charge of the groomsmen and the dads.
Tom’s family was just as much fun: His mother Kathie rocked the high glam look as she walked down the aisle in a full-length blue lace-and-sequin gown, and his sister Sheila made for the perfect centerpiece to the ceremony as the officiant. And even though Tom made clear from the very beginning he would be fine if we didn’t take a single picture of him, he still gamely played along…and I think he may even look like he’s having fun despite the cameras snapping away. 🙂
Enjoy these selections from their wedding: I know I do. And I’m so glad that Jess and I ended this 2017 wedding season the way we began it, feeling as if we were leaving our own friends and family behind at the end of the night. Angelina, Tom, and family: THANK YOU! (Scroll down to see a list of all the awesome vendors who helped make Angelina and Tom’s day so special!)
If you’ve ever lived through a Maine winter, you understand the need to squeeze every last drop of summer out of every single year…even when summer seems to extend more and more often into mid-to-late October–maybe even especially then. That never holds more true than when Portrait Season begins where Wedding Season leaves off, and judging by the crowds of families being led by photographers at the Vaughn Woods in Hallowell Sunday, we all knew last Sunday may be the last really nice warm Sunday we’d have before all the leaves are blown off the trees (because, say it with me, Winter Is Coming).
Fortunately the Vaughn Woods State Park is huge, offering LOTS of awesome locations for photos, so while my first session was able to get some portraits in by the pretty stone bridge and little falls that come down from the dam above, the rest of my sessions (two more family sessions and a senior modeling session) moved above the rocks to the beautiful sunlit field.
I’d love to hear what you think — and P.S. I suspect we’ll have a couple of warm weekends still ahead in November, but even if it’s cold, message me now to schedule your family’s lifestyle session!
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:
Nothing makes me happier than photographing my friends (or my friends’ kids). It feels like a gift they give me every time I look at the moments I capture with them. That’s part of why I’m so happy I was able to photograph my friend Mandy’s son Jack’s Senior Session–though I can’t say he was nearly as thrilled. He balked every step of the way about having Senior pictures taken at all right up until the moment he stepped out of the car at our shoot location. But once he was in front of the camera, his entire attitude changed, and he unleashed his inner Zoolander, posing effortlessly, and even suggesting more pictures when I was ready to move on. (His brother Gabe had no issue being in front of the camera as you can see below.) Jack even ate cold, flavorless ramen for a good five minutes while I photographed him from every angle without complaint. At the end of the evening he declared the whole session was a solid 6 out of 10…which for Jack means it was closer to an 8.
I’ll take it.