Ashley + Matt: The Engagement Session

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!!

xoxo

Eliza + Ryan: The Engagement Session

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. 🙂

 

 

 

Joanna + Charles: Engagement 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!)

 

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Liz + Nolan: Sneak Peek

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!

Engagement Session: Joanna + Charles

Joanna and Charles could not be cuter. Seriously. As I followed them with my second shooter Jess (we’d totally taken advantage of the opportunity for a girls’ weekend in Bar Harbor while we worked–more on that later) down the paths behind Jordan Pond House in Acadia Park, Joanna said she didn’t think she’d mind having paparazzi follow her, and as you can see, they’re both more than comfortable in front of the camera. But what really stood out to Jess and I as we spent the hours heading into sunset with Joanna and Charles was the quiet adoration they clearly have for each other, the way they looked at each other, the way they murmured little inside jokes to one another, teasing each other sweetly as we documented every word, glance, and touch. They are eloping in NYC, so I won’t be working with them on a wedding as I would with most of my clients, but I’m so glad I was able to be part of this special afternoon with them…and as you look through this small peek into that session, now you will be, too.

Engagement Session: Alexa + Joe

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!!

Engagement Sneak Peek: Alexa + Joe

I swear as the summer flies by, the engagement sessions just keep getting better (and that’s really a very high bar, because they’ve all been AMAZING!). Tonight I had the wonderful opportunity to wander all over the Rangeley area with Alexa and Joe, capturing their adorableness against the incredibly beautiful backdrop of the Rangeley Lakes Region. Right from the beginning, I loved the way they are together: the way Joe looks at Alexa, the way Alexa is almost giddy in Joe’s presence. Their love was truly a joy to capture.

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Sneak peeks are always sooo hard for me: I want to post everything, all at once! But this time, I’m going to build a little bit of anticipation for the awesomeness, so stay tuned for the rest of their love story in pictures.

 

Emma + Luke: The Engagement Session, Extended Cut

As we walked along the carefully manicured, forest-lined trails of the Granite Ridge Estate and Barn’s grounds, Emma remarked she wanted to feel like she was getting married in a storybook forest, and she couldn’t have picked a more perfect venue. Every detail from the pretty cupola at the ceremony site to the pretty trails through that forest scream “fairy tale”. It was a delight to get to meet Emma and Luke, high school sweethearts, and her mom and sister, for their engagement session at the same venue where they’ll be saying, “I do,” almost exactly a year from now.

We explored the trails around the venue and the “cottage” (i.e. huge lodge of a home) the venue uses as the “getting ready” area, getting some gorgeous views of the White Mountains in the distance–in fact, there’s a near perfect view of the ever-imposing Mount Washington from the Barn itself–picking out First Look possibilities, and of course, getting some great shots as we explored. Emma and Luke are avid outdoors people, so I tried to capture that in their shots.

After we said goodbye, I got a little lost going home, but I’ve never been so happy to get lost: driving slowly past the many ponds of Greenwood, Maine, watching the full moon come up over a sheer bluff bordering one of those ponds…and I even saw a moose! My heart was full with the beauty of that evening as I finally found my road home.

Emma and Luke, it was a pleasure meeting you guys, and I can’t wait for the year ahead! Thank you for choosing me to be the photographer to cover your storybook wedding!

Sneak Peek: Emma & Luke’s Engagement Session

I’ve never been to Norway before, so as my Waze guided me down the backroads of Maine between Farmington, where I live, and Norway, home to the Granite Ridge Estate and Barn where Emma and Luke will be getting married next year, I was surprised by how far it was. I know people who live in Norway, I thought. Do they really live this far away?

I missed the initial turn to the venue, a small dirt road off the Norway Center Road, but once I turned around and found it, slowly winding my way up the hill toward the enormous barn, I realized what an incredible location the area must be for weddings.

Emma and Luke had invited me here for their engagement session to give me a preview of the venue, and because it offers amazing views that proved to make a magnificent backdrop for their photos (soooo worth the drive out!). Check out their sneak peak here, and watch for the full blog in a few more weeks. Thank you, Emma and Luke, for choosing me as your photographer! I’m beyond excited for your wedding next year!

An Intimate Gathering at the Bethel Inn Resort

The day dawned cloudy with a chance of rain, but that only added to our excitement as my second shooter, Jessica, and I drove the winding roads from Farmington, where we live, to Bethel, Maine, to begin shooting Regina and Steve’s wedding day. Cloudy days make for excellent portrait days, and as we drove, Jess and I strategized, checking out a couple of possible First Look locations on the way. We arrived at the Bethel Inn Resort to find Regina serene and beautiful as Jody Newman from I Do Spas put the finishing touches on her hair and makeup. Tracy, her Maid of Honor, and Casey, her bridesmaid, chatted about who was most likely to cry at the ceremony while the I Do team worked on their hair and makeup, and Casey surprised herself by bursting into tears as she declared Tracy was more likely to cry (we all had a good laugh at that, too!).

Happy tears seemed to be the order of the day. Steve’s mother, Kim, couldn’t hold back her emotion when she saw Steve in his wedding suit, and Regina’s mother, Linda, hugged her daughter tight when she was overcome with emotion at the sight of Regina in her dress for the first time. One of the things I loved most about working with Regina and Steve was seeing how very beloved they are by their family and friends.

Jess and I also loved how hilarious the guys were to work with! Steve and his Best Man, Dan, staged their own First Look, and Steve’s brother, Jaron (who asked me in Steve and Regina’s pre-booking interview, If you could be any animal, what would you be? My pick: baby elephant. Jaron’s? Sloth.), kept us laughing all day long. The day wasn’t all laughter, though: even though Steve had insisted that he would not get emotional when he saw Regina (and she had agreed!), he couldn’t hide how moved he was to see her in her gown for the first time. And only a statue could not be moved: Regina simply looked stunning in her gorgeous gown, like a fairy-tale princess come to life.

Earlier, one of the locations Jess and I had scouted for First Look was the covered bridge at the foot of the Sunday River Ski Resort, and we were so glad we chose it! It was a perfect backdrop, especially on the slightly overcast day, and the beautiful bright blooms from Carol Duplessis of Pooh Corner Farm were the perfect accent for our shots.

The day flew by after that! The sun made a very brief appearance just before the emotional ceremony, kicked off by two of the most adorable and best-behaved flower girls Jess and I have ever seen, and performed by Steve’s Aunt Michelle, but Regina’s smile as she walked toward Steve outshone the sun. The rest of the day passed quickly in a blur of hugs, tears, and laughter. It was such a privilege to spend the day with Regina and Steve and their friends and family!

These vendors all played an integral role in making Regina and Steve’s day amazing! Be sure to check them out: