Ethan ~ Springfield, VT High School ~ Class of 2020

Oh Ethan, where has the time gone? Ethan was my first senior of the class of 2020. This is the first class that I have known the vast majority of them since they were little 5 year olds walking hand in hand with their moms or dads down the halls on their very first day of kindergarten. I subsequently met all the parents as the tears began to flow after we left our babies off in the classrooms. And in what feels like not much more than a blink of an eye, they are about to start their senior years. They have all had their own adventures, struggles and successes and I’m fairly certain this class will be remembered by the school district fondly. (Remember 8th Grade Graduation when they honored retiring teacher, Mr. Green, by each student handing him a golf ball while receiving their diploma?)

Ethan is ready to go into the world and leave his mark! He will certainly be remembered for his sense of humor and providing some of great entertaining moments of Apple Blossom Cotillion (have you ever seen another boy that can kick that well?!)

Congratulations Ethan!



Kelly & Laura's Adoption

What makes a family? Does your family consist of a group of close knit friends … or a couple of furry four legged creates …. or a single person who is the love of your life …. or a small herd of five children? No matter what your family looks like or the steps that it took to get you there …. there are other families with such big hearts they take in children that need a family to call their own.

A few weeks ago I had the great honor to watch the final steps of this process as Laura & Kelly formally welcomed two new faces to their home. All it took was a few pen strokes and the long & exhausting process was finally complete …. those two sweet little boys finally shared not only their home but their last name.

I’ll also give a big shout out to the Honorable Fred Glover, Probate Court Judge and the rest of the staff. No one batted an eye lash as the boys were just boys and explored ever corner of the Courtroom throughout the hearing …. they sat back and watched and let those boys bring a little extra bit of joy to their day!

Ben & Erika

The Blue Bonnets of Texas united with the Vermont Red Clover during Ben & Erika’s special day snuggled in the rolling green hills of southern Vermont this past June. They are such a sweet couple that are so incredibly in love and surrounded by friends and family that love them both just as much. From start to finish their day ran like a well oiled machine (Erika is the youngest of four so there is a lot of wedding planning experience in the family) with every detail well accounted for like lots of food & snacks around for the wedding party so they didn’t starve before they finally got to the reception! Ben & Erika treated their wedding party to a private cocktail time between the ceremony and the reception, with a quick trip to Trout River Brewery …. which also provided a great location for an extra photo op! And as well run as the day was, it never felt robotic or anything other than relaxed and stuffed with love ….. well, and lots of fun, because let me tell you while Team Vermont provided the gorgeous lush location for the wedding, Team Texas totally brought their dancing shoes and tore up the reception!

I do want to give a shout out to Boccaccio’s Salon. If you have never been there to experience what I would like to call the wedding circus, it is certainly a site to behold. The place can get pretty crazy but the end result of an entire wedding party with beautiful hair & make up is pretty spectacular …. Lori, Amanda, Jaime & Daryl certainly worked their butts off and everyone was done beautifully and on time!

Once again I feel so incredibly blessed to be included in such an important day and to be able to witness such an incredibly amazing day!

Vendor Credits:

Hair & Make Up - Boccaccio’s Salon

Ceremony - St. Mary’s Catholic Church

Post Ceremony Photos & Drinks - Trout River Brewery

Reception - Roundhouse at Jackson Gore at Okemo Mountain

Flowers - Marielle Floral Art

Cake & Sweets - The Bearse Bakery

DJ - Super Sounds Entertainment

Frank & Nikki

I find it such an honor when a couple hires me to shoot their wedding. It is a time to capture the expanding and intertwining of families and record the day for generations to come. Frank & Nikki were no different. Nikki made the most spectacular wedding entrance ever by arriving by fire truck (I needed to hop a ride myself to make it to the ceremony …. which has Chase more than a little bit jealous) … it was such a great personal touch to the event …. and made a pretty awesome prop for photos too! They also added a very personal touch by hosting the ceremony at the family orchard & sugar house in Putney!

Vendors for the event:

Ceremony: Harlows Sugar House, Putney, VT

Reception: Club VT, Putney, VT

Flowers: Janelle Haskell/Mariella Floral Art

Cake/Cupcakes: Katelyn Leslie & Joanna Este (friends of the couple, you need these kind of friends in your life … trust me!)

Stagner Family

Over Memorial Day weekend I had the incredible opportunity to capture one of my favorite families. The oldest daughter, Madee, had left for the Navy in November and was home for a couple weeks before being deployed to Sicily, Italy. Good luck Madee, I hope you have an AMAZING time!

Carrie & Jean Carlo

One of my favorite things about my bigger weddings is seeing how many people I have seen before at a wedding …. I call them threads. Even though I live in a not so big town in Vermont, I still get a little note of happiness when I see a guest from another wedding. Nothing was more true for Carrie & Jean Carlo’s wedding last month. You see, just a few years earlier (although I’m pretty sure it felt like merely months) I had the incredible opportunity of shooting Carrie’s sister Emily’s wedding. I was incredibly honored to be asked back into this family for another marriage ….. their family is so full of love and genuine happiness that after an 8 hour day I felt more refreshed and rejuvenated than most night’s sleep seem to give. I also had a blast watching these guests dance (they can dance for real!) …. and was treated to a demonstration that Bohemian Rhapsody can in fact be a dance song!

Here are a few of my favorite shots throughout the day (we had a jolly fellow join us for a shot of the wedding party!). Carrie honored her mother by wearing her veil, and a grandfather who was unable to make the trip from Europe by having his tau tied into her bouquet. The ceremony took place at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Springfield, VT with the reception following at the VFW. We also made a side trip to the Hartness House for some extra photos because the weather wasn’t particularly cooperative. Woodbury Florist provided the gorgeous flowers with Shaw’s baking the wedding cake.

Ocean Adventures 2018

About this time last year I looked at my calendar and realized I was lucky enough to already have three trips to the ocean booked for 2018. At the same time I was searching for inspiration for a photography project for 2018. It seemed to be the perfect solution ….. for the year I would go to the ocean at least once a month. We don’t sit still well and are often in Manchester so I made the commitment to just do it …. and I completed the project.

There is no question that I love the healing powers of the ocean … no matter the time of year. I find it just as healing and peaceful to stand on snow covered sand and listen to the rhythm of the waves, the cries of the gulls overhead as to stand there in barefeet in the August heat joined by the squeals of children playing in the surf (in all fairness you won’t find me complaining that February’s photos were taken in Amelia Island, Florida). It is a place to find peace and healing.

At no point did I feel overwhelmed by the commitment to make it to the ocean once a month …. even during the craziness of fall carving out that one day each month to ensure I completed the mission never felt like work, it was a gift I gave myself to take time and just breathe in the salt filled air and clear my head. I think that is the biggest lesson I learned this year, to take the time and carve out some space to just be. The second biggest lesson would be, no matter the weather pack extra clothing for Chase …. because he just can’t help walking to the edge and playing in the surf!!!!

I leave you with one of my favorite poem’s about the draw of the sea (the first line is almost always rolling about in my head), as well as one of my favorite shots from each visit.

Sea Fever by John Masefield

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,

And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by;

And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,

And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking.

I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide

Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied; 

And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,

And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,

To the gull’s way and the whale’s way where the wind’s like a whetted knife;

And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,

And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.

Can you still hear the bells?

Last weekend we bundled up Chase in his PJ’s and headed to the North Pole for a visit with Santa on the Hartford, VT Polar Express. This fundraiser for the Rotary Club of White River has quickly become a holiday tradition with Chase and is nothing short of a magical experience. Chase is a big fan of trains so even without all the holiday trimmings, this day is pretty amazing for him anyway. From the moment you board your train car all decked out for the holidays you are quickly transported into Chris Van Allsburg’s delightful story of a boy on the verge on belief in Santa …. The Polar Express.

Shortly after the train got moving a conductor stops by to make sure everyone has their tickets and punches them much to the delight of the children (what kid doesn’t love the magic of a hole punch and the flying confetti?!). We are then treated to the perfectly warmed hot chocolate and some of the most delicious sugar cookies I have ever encountered!

Before we know it, we have arrived in the North Pole where Santa Claus boards the train and delivers each child the first gift of Christmas. The happy squeals of children as Santa enters the train car help serve as a reminder of the magic this season really holds.

After a round of Christmas carols and delivery of the coveted peppermint candies Chase looks forward to each year, we arrive back at the Hartford train station with a little extra belief in our hearts.

Seeing is believing, but sometimes the most real things in the world are the things we can't see. - The Polar Express

reinvention

A little more than a year ago I was sitting back & watching the Blair + Thurston Retreat page waiting anxiously to see the announcement of their next location. I had already taken the survey for their next destination and was ridiculously excited to see Portland, ME as a possibility. The price of the retreat was significant and I wasn’t sure I could quite swing it depending on the location. And suddenly there it was ….. the location announcement was there in my email inbox and it was in MAINE!

Having had to travel by plane to get to the three prior Click Away Conferences I had attended, and a forth trip to Florida in the horizon I could not contain my excitement that all I would need to do in hop in my car and drive three hours!!!

The year passed quickly and in September it was time to head to Maine …. I was incredibly excited that I’d be meeting a friend I met at my very first Click Away at the airport. After a day of catching up … and meeting a few new friends for dinner …. I headed off to the Retreat … TERRIFIED! See, all the other conferences I’d been to where just that … conferences. There was tons of people there and you could easily hide …. this experience was going to be very different. We’d be receiving a first class education directly from some seriously talented photographers … but there was only fourteen of us …. there was no where to hide!

Bre & Elena are amazingly gifted and sweet photographers and businesswomen. They gave us all the advice that we needed in order to advance our own businesses further. I am not going to lie, that the feedback I received was easy to hear, but it was what I needed to hear … and quite honestly stuff that I already knew. It was time to really focus on the business side of my little photography business …. including a major overhaul of my website.

Upon returning home (and coming back to the reality of no personal chefs or yoga instructors on hand) I began to slowly work on compiling the images I wanted on my new website and the overall concept of what I wanted it to look like. Once the crazy fall began to settle down it was time to get to work and make it a reality …. including finally getting off butt and starting a blog. It seems odd to begin my blogging posting images from others instead of my own, but I wanted to share a little bit of that very special weekend. All images were taken by Bre, Elena or their amazing assistant Gabby!