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. ūüôā

 

 

 

Angelina + Tom: The Wedding

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. ūüôā

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!)

 

Nolan + Liz: The Engagement Session (Extended Cut)

I first met Nolan and Liz when I photographed Sean and Johnna’s wedding earlier this year, and we hit it off almost immediately, so I was thrilled when Nolan asked if I was available to photograph their February wedding next year. Nolan is a goof ball who helped Sean and his other groomsmen to perfect their modeling faces, and Liz is a quiet, beautiful complement to Nolan’s big personality. I can’t wait to open next year’s wedding season with them (especially since they plan to do a swing for their opening dance!).

I think my favorite engagement shoots are the ones where I follow a couple around doing things, and Nolan and Liz’s was no exception. We toured all over Camden’s pretty downtown area (Nolan and Liz were completely uninhibited about having pictures taken in the middle of crowds of tourists, which was AWESOME!), and then we headed up to Mount Battie for the sunset.

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Marathon Lifestyle Sessions Day: Sneak Peek

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!

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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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Angelina + Tom: Sneak Peek

After a wedding, no matter how late I get home, I can’t wait to load the cards and start importing the images into Lightroom, so I can reassure myself the day went the way I thought it did as I shot it. I was even more excited last night because it was my first wedding shooting with the new Nikon D850. Fast forward to midnight when I still hadn’t been able to load a single image into Lightroom because apparently Adobe hasn’t updated yet to read the RAW format the D850 uses (I could rant about this forever, but this is about Angelina and Tom, not me!).

So I woke up this morning and googled my issue, and I finally found a work-around…one that unfortunately would involve 10 hours of file conversion, but when those files finally were importing into Lightroom, let me tell you…the wait was totally worth it! I could geek out for hours about the detail the D850 captures, even in low light conditions. But instead, I’ll tell you how much I enjoyed getting to know Angelina and her family, Tom and his. While Tom could have gladly foregone ever having a single picture taken, he was an excellent sport about letting us take lots of him anyway, and Angelina’s smile lit up every space she was in. Angelina’s family treated us like family, and I will forever be grateful to Ginette for helping Angelina make the decision to choose me to photograph their special day! Here’s a very small sneak peek of their beautiful wedding day, with many more to come in the coming days!

That gorgeous day wouldn’t have happened without all of the following vendors and all of their hard work!

 

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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.

Lexy + Jimmy: Love at First Flight

As my second shooter, Jess, and I made the long drive down the coast from the mountains of Western Maine, we were beyond excited. Lexy and Jimmy’s day was finally here, and the weather couldn’t be better: The day dawned breezy and humid, but no clouds dared mar the sky. When they finally started streaming across the sky at twilight, they only appeared to give the gift of a gorgeous sunset complete with a rainbow arcing across the sky.

Of all the couples I worked with this year, I felt like I knew Lexy and Jimmy the best going into their big day: I had done their engagement shoot last fall, and we kept in close contact throughout the months between then and their special day. And the day was an emotional one: Lexy and Jimmy had each prepared sweet letters for each other which they read before the ceremony. As Lexy read hers, she fretted about her makeup (“I wasn’t expecting to cry!”) and smiled tearily as she read Jimmy’s words for her. Lexy opted to go the traditional route and not let Jimmy see her before the wedding, so her bridesmaids got creative to help ensure Jimmy’s first view of her was coming down the stairs toward him, escorted by first her grandfather, then her father, at the ceremony. And when that moment arrived, and they saw each other for the first time, their smiles could have outshone the sun.

After the ceremony, the guests gathered below the Viewpoint for a huge group picture, where I was able to capture a picture of them and the gorgeous backdrop of the Nubble Lighthouse, then bride, groom, family, and bridal party met at the foot of the old mansion adjoining the hotel for their portraits. Despite the hot sun and warmer temps, everyone was upbeat, happy, and so much fun to work with!

Lexy and Jimmy met on an airplane headed home from Las Vegas, and thus their hashtag: #lovetakesflight, and the reception favors, bottle stoppers with an antique airplane rested on each guest’s plate. Guests also left little notes on the sign Lexy and Jimmy had set up to mark the beginning of their adventure together. Meanwhile, the Brandy Band killed through a seriously impressive set list of cover hits both classic and current that had everyone up on their feet, dancing (check out my recent blog about one pair of awesome dancers!) and singing along.

The bouquet toss was definitely one of my favorite series to shoot: Lexy and Jimmy’s single friends took it seriously (I’m pretty sure I spotted his sister Jenn doing some pre-throw stretching to ensure she was ready for the big catch!). Editing them later, I was literally laughing out loud at the antics.

Jess and I had a blast with Lexy, Jimmy, and all of their friends and family, and we’re so so glad they chose us to cover their special day!

P.S. LOTS of amazing vendors went into making this day incredible for Lexy and Jimmy!

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