Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Anna + Frank - Long Island Engagement Session

"What is one thing I love about Anna?"
He repeated it back to me like he needed extra time to think.
It wasn't though that it was hard for him to think about one thing he loved,
it was hard for him to narrow it down to just one.
I ummmm think ; )

After a slight pause, he said it was her laughter.
How once she starts, it would be a good ten minutes before she stops.
Her ability to laugh so easily and his ability to really enjoy it is what I love most about them.

They were silly, they were sweet, and they were fun.
They also flew in from Colorado for their e-session...
okay not just for their e-session but it sounded good, no? ; )
They came down to spend the best day of the year, Thanksgiving, celebrating
with family and friends as well as tying up loose ends for their wedding.

Anna and Frank are a little special.
So, I'm going to nix the 'small' (haha - when are my blog posts ever 'small')
talk and dive right into it 'cause this is a bigger 'sneak peek' than usual.

You see...Anna is one of my sister's BFF's.
I knew her back when 90's music was cool.

While this should make me feel old - seeing Anna with her love, Frank, makes me feel young at heart.

'I hope you dance...'

and live life with all heart...

They're in love.


Anyone remember Hollywood Squares?
Or as some of you have come to know...my 'frame within a frame' shot I try to do at each session.
I love when couples let themselves go a little bit...
it makes my heart happy.

Hellooo there beautiful...

Not too shabby my friend...


They were this stinkin' cute the whole time.

Herbs Love grows here...

A pretty smile and the real deal...

Whoooopie....as in hooray.
 (I know what you were thinking! ; )

These just make me looooove you both.
I love when couples have fun and actually play on our 'playdate'.

Anna, you don't have a bad angle.

This was a gift Frank gave Anna.
It was passed down through a few generations in his family.
They each wear half.
I love things that are sentimental...and folks who value it. 

I adore your whole vibe...

I think this captures the whole charming vintage/rustic fabulous-ness they have
going on for their wedding day...

I loved getting to know you on a whole new level.
Not just as my little sister's bff, but as a client, a friend, and a super kind person.
I adore seeing you both together. Your silliness, your happiness and your love had me at 'hello'.


Thanks Autumn...in a round about way for the referral!
Annnd also Mrs. Hudson for last winter's family session which I think kinda got us to this point : )


Before you go, leave your thoughts below!
20 comments = complimentary gift for the couple

Friday, November 25, 2011

The Kitchen Table - Domenic + Shannon

The kitchen table. 
That was her answer. 

And no, I wasn't asking questions 'Newlywed Game' style! ; )
The question was, 'Where is your favorite place?' 
She went on to say that it was a place of 'communication whether serious or comical.' 

It had to be hands down my favorite answer.

The kitchen is the hub in most homes. It's where we come together, to talk, to laugh, to cry...to eat, drink and be merry. There is no other room in a home quite like it.  Or any place for that matter. 
Did you notice how I didn't mention cook...that wasn't an over sight on my part! ; ) 

With the TV, computers and our phones it's hard for any of us to sit still these days. 
But a kitchen table you see forces us to do just that. 
While sipping our hot coffee, tea or wine we are focusing on none other then the 
person across from us and the words between us.

And it's the words between us that will actually bring us closer together. 
It's a place to debate, to discuss, to make jokes, and to tease.

Without the outside world stealing out attention words 'weigh' more. 
We don't just hear them, we almost feel them because we are able to take into consideration other things.
The tone of each syllable and the body language that accompanies every word.
The smiles that reach the eyes, and the lingering glances studying each others faces.

Domenic and Shannon I love that one of your favorite places is the kitchen table.
It's a small sentiment to who you are and what you are like when you are together.
Thank you for letting me capture a little glimpse into your world...

We were lucky enough to get the last few hints of color mid-November....



A cuddle...

Sweeping her off her feet...

The last frame of the day...

This was a big year for you both with so many new and amazing changes.
Thank you for letting me be a part of documenting such a special time in your lives.

You know that saying 'everything but the kitchen sink'?
During your move to your new home I hope you take along 
everything and that kitchen table.
For everything that it is and all that it symbolizes.


Thanks Frank and Autumn for introducing me to these two lovebirds!


Before you go, leave your thoughts below.
20 comments = a complimentary gift

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thankful - A Follow Up If You Were Following

I'm thankful to be able to do what I love to do. 
I thought that this would be no more than a glorified hobby,
and it has not only become my career of some sort, but a huge part of my life. 
I have been fortunate enough to be blessed with the most wonderful clients ever.
Each client who is actually now a friend. 

I still get excited when I get an e-mail from my web-site about a prospect/client.
It's my first peek into their world. Sometimes they tell me a little about themselves;
sometimes they even talk about some of you -
and what they have read and have seen here from what I post. 
Opening those e-mails is like opening up an unexpected gift. It never get's old for me.

The day that I opened one up from some random person about the whole grammar thing -
it was the last thing I expected. It caught me completely off guard.
I felt like the girl with her skirt stuck in her stockings, who is showing off her rear to the world.
As if that wasn't bad enough -
getting a letter sent home about it...after spending the day out and about. Oy vey!

As mortified, humiliated and sad as I was - believe it or not I was thankful. 
'Cause really...you want to know when you have spinach in your teeth, right? 
I kinda felt that way a little. 
I also thought - 'wow...85% of my clients are teachers,
 and if he is saying something about my grammar...what are they seeing and not saying?!'

I tried to ignore it, but I couldn't. I wanted to address it, but I didn't want to come off as a whiner
or sound bitter over the whole thing. I agonized over it and then came to the conclusion
that some people will accept it and some might become more aware of my weakness.
It is what it is.

I wasn't really expecting a response. I was just really posting a 'disclosure.'
But the notes that flooded my e-mail, this blog and my FB wall were some
 of the most touching things I have ever read. 

All I can say is thank you. 
From my toes to my nose, I'm filled with gratitude for what you all have given me:
the wonderful comments, the heartfelt words. The passion. The sincerity. 
Each and every one of you that took the time out of your day to write to me - 
words fall short of what it meant to me. 

I have much to be thankful for this year as I do every day. 
This little business has gone in a direction that I never expected or saw coming. 
I wouldn't be here today without the help of the most wonderful people ever. 

My family, who puts up with my crazy schedule,
late nights and cereal on the table some nights instead of a hot meal;
my husband who has gotten me through this hectic season by helping out with the kids
and taking off from work to balance the craziness;
my sister for all the little things that add up to be huge;
my graphic designer who is sooo patient with me, and not only comes up 
with fabulous unique designs, but is also at times my therapist.
Not that I really need one ; ) 
You can check out her Etsy shop here.  
My wonderful mentor Peter Tellone who has been so gracious with his time to help show me the way.
Take a peek into his world and amazing gift prints here.
And last but certainly not least, I'm thankful for each and every reader who 
puts up with my grammar hiccups, 
shares in my client's memories, and some of mine. 



And because posts are so much better with a picture...
I'm thankful for the delicious looking treats my MIL whipped up for the feast. 
They were gobbled up quick!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Full Circle - Mindy, Shawn and Marc

The boxes were filled to the brim in neat stacks all around the perimeter of their apartment. 
They were in the process of purchasing a new home, and pretty soon they 
would be leaving their old place behind. 
Their old place that was a treasure trove of fond memories for them...and for me. 

You see it was where I photographed Mindy getting ready in her wedding gown and where we peeked out the living room window to spy on her soon to be husband outside adjusting his tie.
It's where we sat watching their wedding slideshow huddled shoulder to shoulder
together on my computer at their dining table.

And it was where I met their new son for the first time and did his newborn session.

It's also a place that they will soon be telling Marc they once had all lived when he was little.


We strolled along the paths around the pond at their complex,
and I thought back to when I first met them.

It was a couple of years back when we sat in a little coffee shop planning their engagement session.
It was hard to believe that now we were running after their happy little one year old.

For me it was more then a session, it was a moment that came full circle. 

Full circle is a concept that we have all heard before.
To most it means merely coming back to where it all began.
For me it means being complete. Undivided. Whole.

Life moves on. Things change. We live and we grow.
Life may change around us - but sorta like the saying  'no matter where we go - there we are.'
I like to think that's cause we take moments and memories with us.

Each circle has a beginning, but really no end.

Seneca said it best, 'Every new beginning comes from some other beginnings end.'

Seeing where it began for you both and how far you have come - was like reading a book with a fabulous ending and finding out there was a sequel. 


Hope you all don't mind a quick stroll down memory lane with us...

Their e-session and wedding day...

The bun in the oven...

What a difference a year makes, eh? 
I brought along the same Christmas stocking to see how much he grew.
Marc was just as surprised as I was!

Hands down - one of the best kids I have ever worked played with.

He seriously smiled the entire time. 

Except for this shot. ; ) 
A little reminiscent of 'Home Alone' I think. 

My most favorite family images are those that are some what casual and in the moment. 
In between a laugh, a tight squeeze or sometimes mid-sentence.  

There are no words really to express what it's like to see a client living their happiest moments and watching the unmistakable looks of joy while documenting their lives.
There is nothing that makes me quite so happy as being there to experience that moment with them.

You know when you hear someone get the case of the giggles and you can't help but smile?
You know the smile. That big dopey, cheesy grin that just overtakes your whole face
and you feel giddy inside?! 
That's how I feel when I'm with my clients.
That is what you give to me Mindy and Shawn (and now Marc) every time I see you.

Thank you for having trust and faith and for continuing to share your milestones with me.
Love you guys!

Spelling, Grammar and Moments

Recently, it was brought to my attention that - to put it frankly - my grammar sucks. 
This character weakness is well known. I don't exactly hide it here.

It's something I pretty much knew, but I guess not to the point that I recently heard about it. It was the type of thing where upon hearing it, I wanted to crawl into bed and pull the blankets over my head for being so terribly embarrassed. 
I actually for a moment thought of not writing here anymore.

Just like all things domestic - there are some things I'm good at, and others...not so much.
I'll let you guess which way the domestic thing rolls for me.

I first want to apologize for my crazy slang, half sentences or run on sentences. I'm far from being proper. 
I may write 'here' instead of 'hear' or 'there' instead of 'their'. 
I may have a comma or an apostrophe out of place too. 
I do know better. 
But you see, sometimes I forget I'm writing to all of you. 
When I write, it's as if I'm writing in a journal for myself. 
The words pour out quicker than I can type them. 
I'm not thinking grammatically; I'm thinking of just putting the point down on paper to remind myself of a moment or of a thought before giving in to my drooping eyelids.

I'm pretty sure you wouldn't believe me if I told you I actually do proof read what I write. But those 3am late nights are tough. I'm tapping away at the keyboard after putting in a full day and sometimes there is not much else left for my brain to give at that point. Especially going on three hours of sleep from the night before. 
It's a poor excuse, but it's my reality right now.

While I would hate for you to think of me any less professional or educated than I am - 
I would rather you walk away thinking I'm real. 
I make mistakes. I think out loud. I write personally, not professionally. 
I'm not perfect and I hope you still like me that way. 
And maybe that's not the best approach. 
And maybe I shouldn't be starting my sentences with 'and' or 'but' or 'because'. But sometimes I do. 
I may write that way because of how it's forming in my head or maybe just for effect...or is it affect?! ; ) 
And that's okay. Because this here is my world. 

Some of you may be completely turned off by it and I completely get it. 
Some of you may see it as quirky and partially acceptable and not judge me by it. 
For those of you in the latter group, I love you for it.

I promise to try harder to watch the grammar or spelling errors but don't hold me too it. 
'Cause even though I promise to work harder on getting the house together...
we all know how that sometimes goes. ; )

On a side note, it was also mentioned that this blog does not give off a 
'good first impression' because of everything mentioned above. 
And this is what broke my heart a little. 

This blog is really not to impress anyone. 
It's to document life. It's a peek into moments that would otherwise go by unnoticed. 
Sometimes we all get caught up in perfection. I'm no stranger to that.

Sometimes though life is not about the perfect picture or the perfect blog post - 
it's about seeing the perfect moment. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Balance - Carolyn + Anthony

His eyes actually twinkled when he talked about the elaborate ideas he has for their wedding day.
Carolyn rolls her eyes and fakes being uninterested, while throwing her head back in laughter
like she does often when he talks.

You can't help but be amused by his enthusiasm.
Or by their 'he said, she said' hysterical way of debating.  
While he would prefer their day to be over the top - she prefers it to be sophisticated and elegant.

Like a teeter totter that can't make up it's mind, the balance shifts left to right.
It finally finds a steady rhythm and then comfortably rests in the middle:
among compromise.

Their like yin and yang - the best of both worlds.
Their individuality is not lost being together, but complimented. Beautifully.
Together they're balanced.


No matter how we look at life - it's always a balancing act.
We all have too many pots on the stove and too many balls in the air.
It's hard to prioritize when everything and everyone seems to need our attention.
Life is about compromise though, and never is it more apparent then when melting two lives together.

The biggest hurdle we as couples all face is finding balance.
Sometimes it feels as if we will never get there.
That the climb is too high to ever feel satisfied with where we are.
Maybe it's not about getting to where we want to go, but being happy with where we are.
Maybe that's balance?! 
Do we like the direction we are going in and who we are going with?

We have all heard time and time again: it's about the journey, not the destination.
The 'ride' - whether it's down your road or someone elses - 
is best when enjoying the company and the view...not thinking about how to get there.
Decisions are better when met in the middle.
By doing that, we are not choosing who's 'road' may be best,
  but rather paving a new one and in turn creating our very own 'memory lane'.

Life is meant to go off course.
Sometimes we will get our way, sometimes we won't.
Sometimes the road less traveled is the one you never knew you
wanted until someone else brought you down it.  
One way is not better than the other. Maybe it's all in the way we look at it.

Compromise = balance. 
Playing it 'fifty-fifty' or going in 'half and half'...makes any marriage a 'win-win'.


We pretended we lived here.

I about died when they told me they got a permit for this location.

Anthony has a way of making people laugh, especially Carolyn.
And Carolyn has a way of laughing with all heart.

And just in case you wanted to see it in color...

I spy...

So there is a rule in photography not to shoot into the sun.
But all rules are made to be broken, eh?
I'm diggin' the square crop on this too.

Some black and white shots for flavor...

'Leaves' me with a smile... ; )

Brings on a whole other meaning to 'falling head over heels' ; )
(inside joke...well kinda ; )

Couples that play together...stay together...

I can't help but grin a big goofy smile when I
see this picture. It makes me happy.

I love the paradox of the pastel and jewel tone colors below.

One last one...for the road.

Thank you Anthony and Carolyn for making me laugh, and 
for your extreme thoughtfulness and generosity.
Thank you for investing in such a cool location and having the patience with me 
when I acted like a kid in a candy store at the sight of our surroundings.
And last but not least, thank you for being so enthusiastic about working together.
It's beyond thrilling for me to work with couples like you who enjoy the whole experience.
Because we are not just taking a picture, we are enjoying a soon to be memory.
I love that you get that.
I'm super excited for your happy day next August!


A special thank you to Jill and Cam for sending Carolyn and Anthony my way!


Before you go, leave your thoughts below. 
20 comments = complimentary gift for the couple