Family

This job, that we’re very lucky to do, absolutely influenced our decision to become parents. We’re fortunate to work with the most wonderful couples who often have close relationships with their families. We’ve heard beautiful speeches by parents to their children recounting the day they were born and watching them grow and become the person they are today. We’ve witnessed parent dances both silly and heartfelt. We’ve seen the proud look of a grandparent looking on at their children and their children’s children. We’ve done this while holding back tears from behind the camera – often not succeeding.

Later that evening while driving home we go over the day – recalling our favorite parts. They’re most often about the connection the couple had with each other – and the connection they had with their families. While discussing all of this, inevitably the topic of us having our own child would come up. Didn’t we want the potential to have that experience someday?

*****

One of the last meals I had with my mom I remember saying to her that I didn’t think I wanted to be a parent. She said I was young and that I’d likely change my mind. Then she died suddenly. Life became about surviving and pushing through the grief. Then it became about moving forward. Then it became about living fully, which included growing my business, traveling and running marathons. Through all these things Peter and I would discuss whether or not to become parents, but it never seemed like the right time.

My dad died suddenly in April of 2016. That summer we were sitting on the deck at my house and the topic came up again. I realized I had so many things from my parents that I’d like to pass along to someone – stories and music and life lessons and places that mean so much to me. That day Peter and I passed over the <50% mark to closer to 60% wanting to be parents.

Grief is a tough thing to shake though. That year was spent trying to figure out what my life was without either of my parents. The next year we lost my childhood home, which was like losing another family member. It also brought up the loss of both my mom and and my dad even stronger. I was in a hole of loss and sadness until early 2019. The fog began to lift and we started to envision what the rest of our lives would look like. After close to eight years of discussions we decided to try and add one more person to our family after so many losses. I realize this is something that is difficult for many people, including a few of my close friends. It happens that it was fairly easy for Peter and me – something that we don’t take for granted.

So here we are – a family of three. In part due to many of you who have emphasized how wonderful it is to be a part of something greater than yourselves. My parents definitely showed that to me too. It took losing them, plus a little distance from all that sadness to drive it home, so to speak.

*****

The following photographs are just a few of the many that came to mind when thinking about the weddings that we’ve been a part of with that family connection that we love witnessing so much.

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I plan on doing more personal posts along with showing weddings from last year and even the year before. I’ve got to be better at blogging. Hold me accountable please!

Strange Times

What strange times we’re all living through right now. All this isolation is making me feel closer to my friends and family. We may hardly see one another, but knowing we could at any time keeps us from connecting regularly. This forced isolation seems to have made us all feel like we should call/text and video chat more often. I’m enjoying it very much.

What makes this time even more strange for Peter and me is that we recently expanded our family. Our daughter Arden joined us mid-February, a few weeks before everything became very serious in the US. This means we benefited from family visiting in the hospital and at home. Friends (very much our chosen family) helped us out in ways we didn’t know we needed – bringing us groceries and meals; lending their ears when we felt overwhelmed by this new job we’ve taken on; giving advice, but allowing us to take or leave it. For those who could, the most important thing, and the thing we didn’t realize we would need so much, was visiting with us and lending their arms to hold our daughter into the wee hours while Peter and I caught up on sleep. That has all come to a halt for a very good reason, but man it’s been tough to lose that assistance and connection.

It’s been a long time since I’ve done a personal post – something I used to do all the time on my old blog. I miss having that outlet. I guess instagram took its place, just in a more abbreviated fashion. It’s feeling like it might be the right time to use this space again. I’d love if you would leave a comment – maybe about some topics you’d like me to post about – whether they be personal or about weddings or family photography. Words of advice are always welcome too.

I’ll be back tomorrow. For now though, be well in body and mind.

newborn

Banner image by the one and only Alexandra Roberts, AKA Auntie A!

Baby’s photo by her mom.

Mount Hope Farm Wedding | Greta & Jeff

Greta has been a friend of mine for over six years now. I told you how we met in their engagement post. What I didn’t tell you was how on one of our runs, a few months before she met Jeff, she said something to the effect of, “You’re going to photograph my wedding. I don’t know who the person will be that I’ll be marrying, or when, but I know you’ll be there.” This September her wish came true.

Jeff & Greta were married on a beautiful late summer day at Mount Hope Farm in Rhode Island. Peter and I stayed on the property. I woke up early to see a beautiful fog being slowly burned away by the rising sun. I knew it was going to be a good day. Then off in the distance I spotted a pink shirt running up the road amongst the trees. Greta was on her wedding day run – of course.

These two were completely surrounded by supportive friends and family. The toasts by their close friends were heartfelt and personal with some ribbing, but mostly lovely things to say about the both of them. Jeff danced an emotional dance with his sister, while Greta and her dad danced up a storm and had everyone laughing. We grabbed them around sunset for a few photos and to give them a few minutes to take it all in. Those are some of my favorite moments of the day. 

Peter and I were so honored to be there to see our friends make it official. We’re looking forward to see how their story continues.

 

Location: Mount Hope Farm

Hair & Makeup: New Leaf Studio

Florals: Studio 539 Flowers

Invitations: Caroline Foscato

Caterer: Russell Morin’s

DJ: DJ Mr. Berry Dress: BHLDN

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Dane Estate Wedding | Cailin & David

When I first moved to Boston (many years ago), I met David’s mother when I began photographing real estate for her. A few years later I photographed David’s sister’s wedding, and even photographed David for his business. When it came time to find a photographer for his own wedding, I was told he immediately thought of me. It’s wonderful to be there for so many big and small moments in the lives of one family. I don’t take it for granted at all.

Cailin & David are so easy to be around, which makes photographing them just as easy and the resulting photographs feel honest and true to them. Their wedding was on a beautiful day on the last full day of summer at the Dane Estate. In fact, their first dance song was “September” by Earth, Wind and Fire. Perfect!

Some details: They had a first look with each other and then one with their dog, who wasn’t able to stay for the festivities. The ceremony was performed by a good friend, which makes it easier for the personal stories to come out and the happy tears to flow. Many of Cailin’s family traveled from overseas, including Scotland. I loved seeing a fair amount of tartan in the crowd. To keep her dad close to her she wrapped his favorite tie around her bouquet. The evening ended with most everyone gathering round and singing an Oasis song together. I absolutely sang along from behind my camera and loved every second.

Location: Dane Estate

Hair: Vaini and Clark

Makeup: Bella Boutique

Florals: Natick Community Farm

Caterer: A Day to Remember

Baker: Icing on the Cake

DJ: TSG Weddings

Second Photographer: Brad Bahner

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Quonquont Farm Wedding | Sara & Andrew

Last September we had the pleasure of visiting Western Mass to photograph Sara & Andrew and their Quonquont Farm wedding. During my photography school days I lived out that way and loved exploring the winding back roads of the area. I only lived there for one year, but it still feels like going home whenever I’m out that way.

We really enjoyed getting to know Sara & Andrew – and their dog Moose. They’re fun loving and genuine people. We’re grateful they allowed us to see how much they obviously care for one another and let us photograph their love.

Happy Anniversary (and a few days), Sara & Andrew!

Event Coordinator: Maddy Oldenburg ofQuonquont Farm |  Location: Quonquont Farm |  Dress: Rue de Seine |  Groom’s  Suit: Tailor’s Keep |  Hair & Make-up:  Salon Herdis | Florals: Daisy Stone Studio |  Caterer: A Vermont Table | DJ: Shawn Santenello

Boston Engagement | Greta & Jeff

I’ve known Greta since the fall of 2013. She was the manager for my first ever Boston Marathon team. Over the years we’ve met up for morning and afternoon runs in Brookline and along the Charles. We’ve supported each other through races and life events. On our runs, I listened to Greta talk about her relationship with Jeff – how it grew and changed over time. And now they’re getting married this weekend!

I’m so excited and honored to be there to watch it all happen and to photograph this day for my good, good friend.

Jeff & Greta each brought a best friend along in their relationship together. Zoe and Bodie luckily get along really well. We had to get them in on the family photos, so we did two shoots – one in their neighborhood, and one downtown. The bench they’re sitting on is the bench where Jeff proposed last December.

On to the weekend!

Martha’s Vineyard Engagement | Kayla & Tucker

Crickets. I hear them outside, but I hear them in this space as well. I’m not going to make any promises, but I’m hoping to share a lot of shoots in the coming weeks and months. Such as these photographs, which were taken last summer on Martha’s Vineyard. Kayla & Tucker are getting married tomorrow. Sometimes I work better under pressure.

These two are just great. They showed us around the island and let us play with light, and the best part for me, I got to stand in water while taking their photos.

couple laughing walking on the dunes on Martha's Vineyard
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couple embracing and kissing as they walk up a dune path on marthas vineyard
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Overbrook House Wedding | Lindsey & John

This was our third Overbrook House wedding and it was wonderful. What I love about the Overbrook House is how each wedding can be as unique as the couple who plans the celebration. They’re all so personal and intimate – and tons of fun. As will happen sometimes – it rained on Lindsey & John’s wedding day. The rain and summer heat did not get them down at all. They rolled with it all – changing their ceremony location from outside to in, which created a cozy space for a very emotional ceremony. Then the celebrations continued under the tent – and back to the dance hall…for dancing!

A few favorite things about their wedding day:  

  • How much Lindsey & John were game to go out in the rain. Their photos show how the day actually was – which is real and great.
  • The art Lindsey created that was tied in together on their welcome sign, invitation, and even bottles of wine.
  • John practicing a song he had written for Lindsey before they did their first look – and then his performance during the reception.

There was so much of Lindsey & John, and the life they’ve created together, infused in their day. That’s the way to do it.

Some of the people who brought their day together:

Caterer:Tastyplates

Baker: Sarah Bouissou & Cape Cod Cakes

Florals: DIY with flowers from Bay End Farm

Makeup/Hair: Pauline Bouissou

DJ: Dakota Christmas of Murry Hill Talent (who was amazing!)

Invitations: Minted

Other weddings we’ve photographed at Overbrook House – Brenna & Nick and Megan & Chris

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Castine, Maine Wedding | Becca & Nick

It’s been almost a year since I last posted a wedding. Which is crazy to me because 2018 was filled with amazing couples and their beautiful weddings. Starting today I’m going to rectify the situation with showing you Becca & Nick’s day.

Their wedding was held in Castine, Maine. Peter and I had never been to Castine before and now we know we have to go again. It’s like stepping back in time a bit. Everything seemed quieter and calmer on the streets and shoreline of Castine. Becca grew up going there in the summers with her family and has happily brought Nick into the fold. They met on a research boat in Greenland. They told the whole story in their pre-wedding post. It’s a good one. Definitely check it out.

Being married by the sea seemed perfect for these two. However, storms and winds threatened to make their outdoor ceremony very eventful, so they chose to have their ceremony at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Castine, but not before doing a first look at their original ceremony location – Ft. Madison.

After the ceremony they made their way through the town to their reception at The Wilson Museum by way of an antique Saxon, driven by a friend of Becca’s family. Following cocktail hour, guests were led to dinner under the tent by a horn procession. Heartfelt toasts and lots of dancing finished up the evening.

Becca & Nick’s day was planned by the lovely Sarah Goodwin of Daisies and Pearls. The beautiful floral arrangements were by Michelle Peele Florals. Hair and Makeup were by Ariel Johnson. The delicious and beautiful food was by Trillium Caterers. The music that got everyone dancing was performed by the fantastic Sugarbabies (who we had the pleasure of seeing at our last wedding of the year as well). They’re one of our favorite bands for sure.

Congratulations, Becca & Nick. Though it’s a few months later – you’re still newlyweds!

Dog sleeping at family home on wedding day Groom looking in mirror while getting ready for his wedding day Mother helping her daughter get ready on her wedding day Bride and Groom first look on wedding day on Maine Coast Bride and Groom hold hands along Maine's rocky shoreline Bride and Groom on rocks on Maine's rocky shoreline Bride and Groom sit on a rock on Maine's rocky shoreline Castine, Maine church on wedding day bride walking into church with parents Bride and Groom hold hands up in celebration while guests applaud during ceremony Bride and groom exit the church after ceremony View from Saxon wedding getaway car Bride and groom in Saxon wedding getaway car Trillium Caterers hors d'oeuvres and cocktails Wedding guests Wedding tent reception on Maine coast wedding cake and centerpiece by Trillium Caterers and Michelle Peele Floral Bride and groom reaction to emotional toast given by her parents Bride and groom happy reaction to toast given by his parents Bride and groom toast at their wedding wedding tent at night along Maine Coast Blue summer evening light along Maine Coast on wedding day

Portrait Session Holiday Sale 2018

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+ $50 off mini-family sessions!

 

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Marblehead Sunset Engagement | Sara & Andrew

We’ll be heading out to Western Mass this weekend to celebrate with Sara & Andrew at Quonquont Farm – almost exactly five years to the day we celebrated with Maura & Aidan in the same lovely place. A few weeks ago, in between their move from California to Connecticut, we met up with Sara & Andrew on the North Shore to hangout. We ended up with a beautiful sunset over the harbor in Marblehead. Crossing our fingers for another beautiful day on Sunday. And now, I’ll let Sara & Andrew tell you a bit about how they met.
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Where and how did you meet?
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Andrew: We first met at a beach north of Boston called Phillips Beach. It’s located in the seaside town of Swampscott, where I grew up. We met the summer after we each had graduated from college. I moved-in with my parents while I waited for a sublet in Somerville and Sara moved in with her sister and her family in the town next door, Marblehead. We ended up at Phillips Beach due to our mutual friend Hannah, who’d invited each of us. Andrew went to Middle and High School with Hannah and Sara knew her throuigh college. Now Hannah is toasting us on our wedding day!
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Sara: I won’t be redundant since Andrew’s answer covers the details about how we met, so I will instead describe how we reconnected! Due to the complications of life, we went through a really painful breakup in 2012. I would make comments to my mom and sister every once in a while about how much I missed Andrew and thought we should be together; at first they didn’t take me seriously, but they finally urged me to get in contact with him if I felt so strongly. We spoke every once in a while over the next few years, but we were never in the right place at the right time about rekindling our relationship. We both moved away from Boston for graduate school.
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On Mother’s Day in 2015, I was with a friend working at a coffee shop in Berkeley (Philz, the best coffee ever!), where I was living for graduate school, and stepped outside to call my mom. All of a sudden Andrew walked by! I gasped loudly and hung up on my mom. Andrew was visiting friends and said that he was on high alert since everywhere he turned that day, he thought he might run into me – and then he actually did! We ended up going for a 3 hour walk, and we both spilled our hearts out. He then left to meet back up with his friends and travel back to MA. About 2 weeks later, I flew to see him – and the rest is history 🙂

Couple sitting on rocks at sunset Couple walking into ocean Couple smiling at a beach couple sitting on a beach at sunset

Andrew, What was it about Sara that first impressed you or caught your attention?
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Well….I’ll be honest and say that I can still remember the way she looked in her bathing suit. More so, I noticed her easy smile, the way the sun reflected off the water and lit up her eyes, and her playfulness and humor.
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Sara, What was it about Andrew that first impressed you or caught your attention?
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One of the first things that drew me to Andrew is his natural ability to take such good care of everybody around him. This manifests itself in many areas of life (including his career as a social worker), but I first noticed his love for hosting other people in his home. Andrew is an amazing cook and always invites people over for dinner. I think that this warmness is very emblematic of his values, and is one of the (many) reasons I can’t imagine spending my life with anybody else.

What are you looking forward to the most about your wedding?
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Andrew: As much as I’m honored that our family and friends will be celebrating with us and witnessing and supporting our vows to each other as partners in marriage, I’m also really excited for the brief moments of intimate togetherness: our vows under the chuppah, our brief yichud afterwards, our first dance, and taking a brief break from the party to watch the sunset. I also really enjoy dancing! 🙂
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Sara: When I think about our wedding day, I picture us under the chuppah holding hands, and looking out for the first time to all of our family and friends who have traveled to witness our commitment to each other. I think this will be such a beautiful moment and I get chills just thinking about it.

Arnold Arboretum Engagement | Carly & Alex

This weekend we’re heading up to Maine for the second time this summer to celebrate with Carly & Alex. This is a special one for us. Two years ago we photographed the wedding of Greg and Julie, Carly’s sister, in the same place – Kamp Kohut. The summer camp has been run by Carly’s family for a couple of generations, and Carly is continuing in that tradition. Carly suggested us to her sister and Greg after being a guest at Karla & Todd‘s wedding, who we’ll also see this weekend. It will be quite the reunion for us!

As I mentioned in my last post, one of the things I enjoy about my job is getting to know our couples – hearing about them individually, how they are together and how they met. I thought it would be fun to learn a little bit about each couple before their wedding day in their own words.

Where and how did you meet?

We met in 2014 in Israel on Birthright, although we were both living in Boston at the time. It was an eight day trip during one of the more intense times over the last few years where the country was really on edge and preparing for an attack. It took about 3 days into the trip for us to actually start speaking with each other, but we hit it off right away. On the way back to JFK, Alex had asked for a ride back to Boston and was introduced to Carly’s parents before the 1st date even occurred. Alex and Carly’s dad Dan hit it off immediately, speaking for almost the entire 4.5 hour ride back while Hanna, Carly’s childhood friend, sat in the backseat telling Carly’s mom Lisa all about Alex. We are so lucky to have Hanna celebrating with us at our wedding and signing our Ketubah, and our friend Sarah, who we met on our trip and helped orchestrate the proposal, will be marrying us!

Alex, What was it about Carly that first impressed you or caught your attention?

She has an infectious smile and generous personality. I can always spot her in a crowd because her face lights up and she does this cute little head turn thing along with it.

Carly, What was it about Alex that first impressed you or caught your attention?

Alex’s eyes definitely caught my attention first (and that of the whole group as he was given the superlative of “Best Eyes” by the group!) but sadly so did his clothing choices.  He wore these bright red swishy pants that can be seen in our first photo together. Unfortunately Alex still has them, but thankfully they don’t get worn very much anymore!

What are you looking forward to the most about your wedding?

We are most looking forward to celebrating with all of our favorite people being in our favorite place. We are sad to be missing a few key people in our lives but know they are here with us in their own way. We are so happy to be starting our married life together with all of these special people in this special place.