Boston & New England Wedding Photographer Deborah Zoe

Boston & North Shore Wedding Photographer creating timeless imagery for classic New England weddings with a fine art approach.

My Maternity Leave

I can't believe that I am officially writing this blog post!! But here we are, almost ready to welcome our baby girl into the world!! Appropriately I will be taking a maternity leave in anticipation of her arrival and for the first few months of her life. I wanted to share a few details with you of what that means for future, current and past DZP clients and what they can expect over the next months as we take a break to enjoy life as a family of four!!

  • Email will still be available, however my response time will be significantly increased. Please be patient as I respond to each email appropriately.
  • If you have an urgent matter you want me to be aware of, please make that clear in your subject line.
  • If you are a current client who has NOT booked an engagement session for 2018, I will be reopening shooting dates at the beginning of March. Please reach out to get set up as dates fill up quickly.
  • If you have an open album order or have yet to finalize your design, album design and production will begin again at the end of February. 
  • I will have dates open and available at the end of February, March, and April for portrait sessions. If interested in booking a session for your family, please reach out!!
  • The best way to stay up to date on important Deborah Zoe Photography news is to like the DZP Facebook Page as well as subscribe to the DZP Newsletter

I want to thank all my clients and supporters of DZP who have been so incredibly gracious and supportive of my family during this journey. We have felt so loved and we are incredibly grateful!! (Especially on long wedding days where you made sure I was well fed and hydrated :)). I look forward to sharing more of our journey once baby girl is here!! Thank you one and all!!

With much love from our family to yours, The Parkers

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Fine Art Print Shop

I bet you didn’t know that #deborahzoephotography has a dedicated Fine Art Print Shop!! Over this past year I’ve curated together some of my favorite travel and fine art images into a gallery where you can purchase ready to frame or hang art for your home!! These images are warm, serene and evoke a sense of place and time. I hope you’ll take a look through the gallery and find the perfect print for home!!

I'd love to hear from you too - what kind of images would you like to see in this gallery? What types of images are looking to feature in your home? Your feedback is especially helpful so I can tailor this gallery to fit your artistic and visual needs!!

If you'd like to have updates on upcoming sales and offers for the Print Shop, please be sure to sign up for the DZP Newsletter here!! Happy Shopping!!

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Fall Travel to New York City

I'm delighted to announce that we'll be returning to New York City in November for the third fall in a row!! 

As we do each year (my husband helps assist!), we will be opening up two specially priced couple sessions (either engagement or anniversary) while we are in the New York area!! See the details below. 

WHEN : Friday November 11, 2016 12pm or 2pm

WHERE : New York City or Brooklyn

WHAT : 1 hour couple portrait session (anniversary or engagement)

$400

If interested in booking a session, please email deborah@deborahzoephoto.com, I'd love to see you in NYC!! Want to see past sessions from New York City? You can see them hereherehere & here

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10th Anniversary Trip to the United Kingdom : Scotland Part 3

Today is the third installment of our 10th Anniversary Trip to the United Kingdom!! If you're just stopping by, this past July we celebrated 10 years of marriage with an unforgettable trip to London & Scotland. If you missed it, you can check out PART 1 and PART 2! Today we're finishing our trip with our last day on the Isle of Skye, Edinburgh and a short jaunt back to London before we left for home. Highlights include sheep (lots of sheep!), scenic views and hairy "heilan coos"!!

Sharing these images have been an incredibly fun way to relive our trip -- which went by in the blink of an eye -- just yesterday we were asking "Did we even go away?" It's crazy how you can plan and plan for a trip and then it's here before you know it. 

The last and final installment of our trip series I will be sharing where we ate, some of our favorite things and a quick review of our hotels and experiences. If you're planning a trip to the United Kingdom in the future, specifically London & Scotland, you won't want to miss that post!!

Today, enjoy some of our favorite images (and memories) of the trip in PART 3. Questions about our trip? Feel free to share them in the comments!!

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Our 10th Anniversary Trip to the United Kingdom : Scotland Part 2

I've been trying and trying to narrow down my favorites from our recent trip to the United Kingdom -- Scotland is proving to be extraordinarily hard!! I mean I just cannot pair down the amount of beauty that is the land of Scotland, there's just SO much to share!! So instead of the planned single post for Scotland I've broken it down into two postings. The first being today!!

(If you'd like to see PART I of our 10th Anniversary Trip to the United Kingdom, click here.)

We started our journey in Scotland by arriving via the super speed train from London to Edinburgh's Waterloo Station. Immediately upon arriving street level we heard bag pipes playing in the distance. Talk about perfection!! Edinburgh is just as you might imagine, filled with character and history. We adored Edinburgh, the sandstone buildings, the medieval history, the people, the charm. We had been told that Edinburgh is a unique and magical place and it was incredible to experience it first hand. 

Following our first night in the city we set out to the Isle of Skye and the Scottish Highlands via Rabbies Trail Burners. I cannot speak more highly of this company and our experience with Rabbies (you can read my quick review here). What followed were three days of beautiful scenery, history and Scottish charm. It left such an impression on us and we absolutely cannot wait to return. The Isle of Skye in particular is like a different world and we loved exploring the popular (and off the beaten track) scenic vistas. 

In today's post I'll be sharing a bit of Ediburgh Castle long with the first half of our trip to the Highlands (you'll even catch our first sighting of a "hairy heilan coo"!!) In PART III I'll share more of the Highlands and finish out our trip to lovely Scotland. When can we go back?!

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Island Living on Nantucket

It has been a dream of mine to visit Nantucket Island. I've lived in Massachusetts my whole life and yet had never visited this coastal oasis. When our good friends shared they would visit the East Coast in May we decided now would be the perfect time to make the trek to Nantucket!

I wasn't prepared for just how perfect Nantucket would be. Grey shuttered houses, creeping rose vines, white picket fences. It was almost more than my nautical New England loving heart could handle. If you are a fan of history, timeless style and that welcoming charm New England is famous for, then Nantucket needs to be at the top of your travel list.

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Travelogue : Rome, Georgia

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It's been a crazy season for us, both professionally and personally. Part of it has to do with the fall being the busiest time of year for wedding industry professionals. Part of it just has to do with the season of life that we find ourselves in now. I was wrung out, tired, sad. Last week, as I packed up my bags for a week away in Georgia, everything screamed, "DON'T GO!" Being the stubborn red head I am, I ignored those words and made my way to the airport. Everything be damned.

On my early morning flight I watched the sun rise over the horizon. Being a nervous flyer, being 40,000 feet above the ground would typically send me into a tailspin. I kept waiting to be nervous, for the moment that would make my palms sweat and my hear race, yet instead I found myself at peace. All the crazy that had been swirling around our lives in the days leading up to Pursuit suddenly seemed as small as the landscape below. 

Pursuit has changed much since the time years ago that I was introduced to it's founder, Karen Stott. Today it's a conference for christian woman creatives, women who love their business, love people and love God. It's such a rarity to be surrounded by such like minded people and it rejuvenated my soul in ways that I'm only now just beginning to realize. Talks ranging from motivational to actionable business advice. Times of rest and laughter. Praying together and sharing our lives together. It was just what my spirit had been longing for and it was completely unexpected. Every day I was reminded in some way that I was exactly where I should be. The voice screaming "DON'T GO" before I left was replaced with a "I'm glad you are here". 

The conference takes place at a magical place called Winshape. Everyone who has attended the conference years prior has talked about Winshape like it is some sort of oasis in the middle of the Georgian mountains. Before attending Winshape I was skeptical, I mean how special can this place really be? You know what? It is speical, it really is.  From the warm southern hospitality (sweethearts, yes ma'ams, door holding, my pleasures, smiles, are all foreign to Northerners!), to the sweeping views, to the quiet peace that surrounds the Winshape campus, all come together to set this place apart. It sounds almost foolish to talk about a place in a such a way, but for me the peace of Winshape was healing. It was just what I needed.

All too quickly it was time to pack up my bags again and head home. To head back to life and the craziness of mid-fall. But I left Pursuit changed, in part to the relationships, encouragement and knowledge shared. But mostly thanks to God, who used this time to pick me up when I needed it most, who used people to speak to my soul when I needed it most, who used this time to inspire me to dig deeper into my business and the talents I've been given. Pursuit was just what I needed, even though I wasn't sure I needed it.

The Pursuit Conference : A Conference for Creative Entrepreneurs
The Pursuit Conference : A Conference for Creative Entrepreneurs
by Deborah Parker

Travelogue : Charleston, South Carolina

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The City That Has Stollen My Heart

I had been told that we would love the city of Charleston but I was not prepared for just how this city would steal a piece of my heart. But then again, Charleston has a way of doing that...with it's southern charm and inviting personality Charleston is a place that's hard not to love. 

From the minute we landed to the very end of our trip Dave and I fell head over heals for the Holy City. Our first part of the trip was spent relaxing on Folly Beach at one of the most amazing B&B's...EVER. If you ever have the chance to stay at Regatta Inn you simply must. Inviting, cozy, relaxing. It was the perfect start to our trip and an incredible introduction to the Charleston area. Our second part of the week was spent at the delightful City Centre. The owners are incredibly friendly, knowledgable and hopsitable and made our stay in Charleston unforgettable.

I have a deep affinity for Charleston. Perhaps it is the romance or the charm or the brightly colored homes. Whatever the reason, I know that I must return to this beautiful city soon!! If you are getting married in or around the Charleston area, please email me! I would LOVE to photograph your wedding or engagement in this beautiful place! (Special rates available.)

Our trip to Charleston was purely for vacation but I thoroughly enjoyed bringing along my camera to capture the beauty we discovered. It's exactly as you would expect, filled with pastel colored homes, palmetto trees and spanish moss. What's not to love?!

Charleston, South Carolina by Deborah Zoe Photography.
Charleston, South Carolina by Deborah Zoe Photography.
Charleston, South Carolina by Deborah Zoe Photography.
Charleston, South Carolina by Deborah Zoe Photography.

Pink pastel homes abound, be still my pink loving heart!

Charleston, South Carolina by Deborah Zoe Photography.
Charleston, South Carolina by Deborah Zoe Photography.

Charleston is known for it's beatiful window boxes, they were stunning!

Charleston, South Carolina by Deborah Zoe Photography.
Charleston, South Carolina by Deborah Zoe Photography.
Charleston, South Carolina by Deborah Zoe Photography.
Charleston, South Carolina by Deborah Zoe Photography.
Charleston, South Carolina by Deborah Zoe Photography.
Charleston, South Carolina by Deborah Zoe Photography.
Charleston, South Carolina by Deborah Zoe Photography.
Charleston, South Carolina by Deborah Zoe Photography.
Charleston, South Carolina by Deborah Zoe Photography.
Charleston, South Carolina by Deborah Zoe Photography.
Charleston, South Carolina by Deborah Zoe Photography.
Charleston, South Carolina by Deborah Zoe Photography.
Charleston, South Carolina by Deborah Zoe Photography.
Charleston, South Carolina by Deborah Zoe Photography.
Charleston, South Carolina by Deborah Zoe Photography.
Charleston, South Carolina by Deborah Zoe Photography.

The courtyard of our charming B&B.

Charleston, South Carolina by Deborah Zoe Photography.
Charleston, South Carolina by Deborah Zoe Photography.
Charleston, South Carolina by Deborah Zoe Photography.
Charleston, South Carolina by Deborah Zoe Photography.
Charleston, South Carolina by Deborah Zoe Photography.
Charleston, South Carolina by Deborah Zoe Photography.
Charleston, South Carolina by Deborah Zoe Photography.
Charleston, South Carolina by Deborah Zoe Photography.
Charleston, South Carolina by Deborah Zoe Photography.
Charleston, South Carolina by Deborah Zoe Photography.
Charleston, South Carolina by Deborah Zoe Photography.
Charleston, South Carolina by Deborah Zoe Photography.
Charleston, South Carolina by Deborah Zoe Photography.
Charleston, South Carolina by Deborah Zoe Photography.

After a few days spent exploring downtown, we decided to head out to the countryside and explore the magnificant Boone Hall Plantation. Did you know they host weddings here?!

Boone Hall Plantation by Deborah Zoe Photography.
Boone Hall Plantation by Deborah Zoe Photography.
Boone Hall Plantation by Deborah Zoe Photography.
Boone Hall Plantation by Deborah Zoe Photography.
Boone Hall Plantation by Deborah Zoe Photography.
Boone Hall Plantation by Deborah Zoe Photography.
Boone Hall Plantation by Deborah Zoe Photography.
Boone Hall Plantation by Deborah Zoe Photography.
Boone Hall Plantation by Deborah Zoe Photography.
Boone Hall Plantation by Deborah Zoe Photography.
Boone Hall Plantation by Deborah Zoe Photography.
Boone Hall Plantation by Deborah Zoe Photography.
Charleston, South Carolina by Deborah Zoe Photography.
Charleston, South Carolina by Deborah Zoe Photography.

The handsome hubby:).

Charleston, South Carolina by Deborah Zoe Photography.
Charleston, South Carolina by Deborah Zoe Photography.
Charleston, South Carolina by Deborah Zoe Photography.
Charleston, South Carolina by Deborah Zoe Photography.
Charleston, South Carolina by Deborah Zoe Photography.
Charleston, South Carolina by Deborah Zoe Photography.

I mean can it be any more picturesque?

Charleston, South Carolina by Deborah Zoe Photography.
Charleston, South Carolina by Deborah Zoe Photography.
Charleston, South Carolina by Deborah Zoe Photography.
Charleston, South Carolina by Deborah Zoe Photography.

Thank you Charleston for our incredible stay...I cannot wait to return!

Travelogue : Our Trip To Walt Disney World

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If you were following along on Instagram then you may have seen some behind the scene snaps of our recently family vacation to Disney! We were lucky to travel with my parents over my Mom's spring vacation for some time in the sun and fun with the Mouse. I've been traveling to Disney since I was a kid so it was EXTRA special to be able to share in the experience with my parents and Jonathan. He did amazingly well despite the lack of naps, routine and abundance of big scary characters (which he grew to love)! We had a great time together and made some extra special memories! Now, when can we go back?! Here are few more magical memories, enjoy!! 

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Family Road Trip Down The East Coast

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If you've been following along with the blog over this summer you know that our little family of three had been planning a summer vacation road trip down the East Coast. Well it's hard to believe that trip has come and gone!! We had a great time exploring this beautiful country and though it wasn't always rainbows and kittens (read how we survived 1500 miles with a toddler here;)) we left our time in the car with some amazing family memories!! 

The reason WHY we headed down to Virginia was two fold. First we were itching for a vacation together and well, another trip to Disney was out of the question;);). Second, I was presented with an opportunity for business growth...a coaching session with friend and fellow photographer, Katelyn James!! It was an amazing time and I'm so excited to share all that we chatted about soon. For today I wanted to share some adorable pictures of our time together as a family.  

Man, I just love traveling with these two. It's so easy and smooth, Dave and I travel very much the same. Have you ever tried to travel with someone who has a different travel style than you? Terrible. We've been traveling so much together as a couple and NOW as a family of three that we've got a pretty good routine down. Grab baby, strap him down, pray. Haha, just kidding. Sorta;). 

We decided to split up our trips into four different parts in order to not only make the trip more manageable but also allow out opportunities to explore the places we were visiting. It just so happened that our first stop landed near Hershey, Pennsylvania. I had visions of a town made of chocolate and while my taste buds were sadly disappointed we had fun exploring the history of this sweet place. Ahh, see what I did there?;) 

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I think any good blog post should start with this sweet boys sleeping face. Ahhh, heart melt. Gettin' our learn on at the Hershey Museum. A tip to the wise skip this and stick to the free and kid friendly tour at the Hershey Chocolate World. The picture below is for my Mom...yes Mom the lampposts are Hershey kisses;)!!No we didn't buy that outrageous sized chocolate bar, just holding it up for reference. It's a Jonathan sized candy bar!!The next day we headed to Gettysburg. In all honesty I was doing this just for the hubs, I mean a really old battlefield? How could THAT be interesting? Much to my surprise I left our time at Gettysburg inspired and humbled. I actually want an excuse to go back!!Dave's wish list at Gettysburg was Little Round Top. This was the view of the battlefield below. The ground is COVERED in monuments dedicated to the many men to who lost their lives there... intimidating.Right in the middle of the battlefield, houses were scattered about. I tried to imagine what that would have been like. Pennsylvania and all it's charm.Like I posted yesterday on Instagram, Jonathan's hair has a life of it's own. I couldn't help get this perspective as he tugged at my leg. Now in Virginia we decided to make a stop at Shenandoah National Park, a beautiful spot!!After our time in the mountains and quick stop at Charlottesville we headed into Carytown, a cute little spot in Richmond. Reminded me a LOT of Congress Street in Austin. This is me about to devour a delicious lemon cupcake from Carytown Cupcakes:)!!The next day we made a stop at Historic Tredegar for the hubs, it was pretty cool!Directly across the street is the James River, it was QUITE impressive.Our next stop in our little trip was the BEACH. It just so happened that our trip coincided with a stateside trip of some of our good friends, friends we have not had a chance to see in years!! (Due to the face they live abroad) We had an amazing afternoon playing in the sand, riding waves and wishing that the world was just a little bit smaller...Enjoying the waves!!The babes... would you believe that these two are only like a month a part? Jonathan is a beast...A hop skip and a jump then suddenly we were in Brooklyn, the last stop on our trip. We were hosted by our dear friends Courtney and Dave and though we only got to see them for less than a 24 hour period, I'm so grateful for their hospitality!! Before leaving we decided to take a walk around the Brooklyn Bridge Park so Jonathan could see part of the Manhattan skyline.I love this park...it has such a family vibe combined with sweeping views of the city. Side note, in al the years I've been visiting Courtney in Brooklyn AND the countless times I've visited the city before, I've never been on the Brooklyn Bridge! One of my favorite pics of the trip, love these two!!There it is, vacation come and gone. But what a great vacation it was!! I'm always kinda depressed after a vacation, but Dave always puts it in the right perspective. There are great things in store for us this fall, as a family and as a business. While vacation may be over, there's so much to look forward too!! Bring it on fall!!  

Quick side note, I would LOVE to visit each of these places again and photograph a couple or two... know anyone getting married or celebrating an anniversary or engagement?! I'd love to connect!!

Travelogue : How To Survive 1500 Miles With A Toddler

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Last week we traveled a total of 1581 miles (though this is a rough estimate, pretty sure it was a lot more!) We packed up our family of three and headed on a mini road trip down the East Coast. I've taken this route many times before. To see friends in NYC, family in Pennsylvania, once as freshman in college for a trip to the Outer Banks and numerous times down to D.C. to see our best friends. I was sure that there was nothing on this trip that would capture my interest, I mean it's just been done before! 

Well here's the thing. This time we were traveling with Jonathan, all of this was new to HIM. In total he visited six new states and had LOTS of new experiences, like seeing the Manhattan skyline for the first time or basking in the Virginia sunshine. (I'll be honest here and say that all he really cared about were the new bird friends he made but a Mom can dream right?!) One of the beautiful things of being a parent is watching as your child experiences the world for the first time. It was pretty amazing to share with Jonathan this beautiful country, see some new things ourselves and build memories together. So how does one travel to eight different states and over 1500 miles with a toddler in toe... and survive?! Lots of patience, lots of tickles and lots of food. It was an experience to say the least and for the most part we have to applaud our little trooper who rarely complained, even when being stuck in the car for over six hours at one point. We traveled a lot, we saw a lot and we slept a little. I'm kinda tired just looking at this map...  

Here are a few things I learned a long the way :  

1. New Toys. This tip is all in thanks to my bestie Tricia, who has given me MUCH Mommy wisdom over the years. Before every trip she buys her kiddos a new toy. Nothing big or fancy, just something new, a special treat for them to enjoy on the trip. We've taken this approach and adapted it just slightly. We'll buy Jonathan a new toy (small and practical) before the trip and also introduce OLD toys that he hasn't played with in a while. For the most part this will entertain him for a while, provides a few giggles and gives me time to brainstorm how to keep him entertained next;). 

2. Spacing. On our trip we never went any distance that was longer than five hours or so. That seemed to be Jonathan's limit and quite frankly, ours too. I'm so glad we broke up the trip this way. Not only did we get to see more of the various stops along the way, it gave us opportunities to stretch our legs, run around with Jonathan and explore the world around us. Now, if we could only have predicted all the CONSTRUCTION along the way... 

3. Food. Our little boy is a BEAST. He's all muscle. In fact he's in the 97% percentile for height and weight and eats everything in sight. He's a non stop eating machine. In every day life it's pretty adorable but on a road trip when your options for food are well, less than desirable, it can be quite the challenge. We decided to pack a cooler and keep it fresh with ice and various things that our babe loves. Apple sauce, yogurt, milk. I also kept another bag close by with dry foods like cookies, food pouches, and wafters. Keeping Jonathan distracted with food was a HUGE help in insuring that he was happy and well nourished.  

4. Nap Time. If we could manage, we tried our best to keep Jonathan up until we got into the car. It didn't work every time but for the most part, if we played our cards right, we could get Jonathan to nap in the car, giving us grown ups some much needed down time to zone out the car window;):). We'd make sure to keep him active, running around throughout the day so that, fingers crossed, he might sleep in the car on the way back!! Scheduling when we would be in the car around his nap time was a lifesaver on this trip! 

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5. Do it Together. I'll keep it real. There was a lot of screaming too. Lots of food throwing. Lots of toy throwing. Jonathan might have even chewed through a board book at one point....(Dave and I are still impressed at this feat of bruteness!) But these were the moments that I just had to let it be. It was bound to happen on a trip this far and when those moments came, I would take a deep breath and look at Dave, who helped me to keep it together. It truly was a partnership traveling with Jonathan, keeping him happy, safe and entertained. I don't know how someone could do this on their own, I certainly couldn't!! Dave was the glue that held the three of together!!Side note, speaking of the hubs, Dave was my rock throughout the whole trip. I couldn't be more thankful to him for driving the WHOLE way (he insisted!) and using his vacation time to explore with our family while giving me time to grow my business. Man, that guy is the best.  

I know these are just a few simple tricks BUT I hope that maybe a tip or two was helpful to at least ONE person!! And I hope that you're encouraged to know traveling doesn't stop after baby!! It might look slightly different (read: a car covered in mushy peas...) but still the adventures go on!! The best part is that now you get to experience through the fresh eyes of a little one, a truly beautiful thing to witness. We have a lot of traveling to do together as a family and I'm pretty darn excited to see more of this world with my two favorite boys!!  

If you have any questions about traveling with a toddler feel free to email me at deborah@deborahzoephoto.com or leave a comment below!! Happy Traveling!! I'll be recapping more of our trip tomorrow so don't forget to stop by!!

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by Deborah Parker

Travelogue : Austin, Texas

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In three months we've traveled to three different states all with a baby under the age of one! We learned a lot about what it means to travel with a baby, how to keep your cool when you're tired and stressed out (or at least try!) and how to have fun as a family of three! It's been pretty awesome to have had the opportunity to visit friends, travel for work, and enjoy a vacation together as a family. Looking back I'm overwhelmed with gratitude for the experiences we've shared together this year, and it's only March! I can't wait for what the rest of the year holds!! 

This past week we jetted to Austin, Texas. Just in time for the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival which meant that Austin was buzzing with people, musicians and hipsters;)! It was great to see Austin really shine as a music destination. While we spent most of our time in the 'burbs of Austin with our dear friends Amy and Jon, we did get to enjoy a few days downtown and did some very Austin-y things.  

Austin is so different than Boston. It's a young city, with lots of young people. It's artistic and Texan and rustic and modern and eclectic. It's truly a mix of so many things and it kept my brain on overdrive as I tried to process it all! While I hate that our dear friends live so far away, I'll admit that it's pretty fun having an excuse to visit new places and have new experiences:)! 

While we were out west I took the opportunity to get Amy and Jon in front of the camera for a photo shoot! Their eighth wedding anniversary is later this year and they were excited to have some new pictures together! (Everyone should have an anniversary session, seriously!!) I'll share more of those tomorrow, but for now here's a recap of our trip to Texas!! 

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Roadhouse Relics mural in Austin, Texas
Roadhouse Relics mural in Austin, Texas
Roadhouse Relics mural in Austin, Texas
Roadhouse Relics mural in Austin, Texas
Roadhouse Relics mural in Austin, Texas
Roadhouse Relics mural in Austin, Texas
Roadhouse Relics mural in Austin, Texas
Roadhouse Relics mural in Austin, Texas
Roadhouse Relics in Austin, Texas
Roadhouse Relics in Austin, Texas
Roadhouse Relics in Austin, Texas
Roadhouse Relics in Austin, Texas
Roadhouse Relics in Austin, Texas
Roadhouse Relics in Austin, Texas
Roadhouse Relics in Austin, Texas
Roadhouse Relics in Austin, Texas
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Don't kill me for posting this Dave;)Amy works for the Texas School For The Deaf, she's pretty awesome!Apparently that is SO very Austin:)!Jonathan and I window shopped at the boot store:).While Auntie Amy smothered him in kisses.......Uncle JJ had a more adventurous approach;).I love this woman so much!!This is also very Austin and of course we had to stop and take a picture!Behind the mural is a place called Roadhouse Relics that hosts events in an incredible and unique space, filled with old relics and kitch. I LOVED IT!!As part of Amy and Jon's portrait session we stopped at Barton Springs, where the riverbed had dried up. It was so neat to see the Texan landscape and just how different it is from New England!The boy and his Dad...best buddies for life!Jonathan loved the rocks on the river bed!But I think he loves his Auntie Amy more;)!

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by Deborah Parker

Debbie Runs Disney : Walt Disney World Princess Half Marathon

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It's been a week since we returned home from our trip away to sunny Florida and the land of the Mouse. Good too, because it took a little bit of time for me to digest the trip and all the amazing things that we did together as a family. The main reason for us heading south was so that I could run my first half marathon, the Princess Half, at Walt Disney World. You can read a little bit more about the story behind that here. Seven months of training lead up to this trip and I truly cannot believe that experience has come and gone. It was more than anything I could have ever imagined, the best organized race I've ever done and a morning that was incredibly FUN. 

The race itself was challenging. While it's most flat, it's LONG and straight and at time a narrow course. The race also begins at 5:30am, forcing you to set an alarm for 2:45am or earlier. I'm SO not a morning person so this middle of the night wakeup call threw me for a loop. Add in the oppressive humidity (I've been running in sub 20 degree weather) and my body didn't know what to do. Regardless I pushed along and while it wasn't easy I was so EXCITED to be running the race I had been training for, almost since giving birth. It was a surreal experience and I'll admit that when I thought about it during the course I cried, just a little;). 

To celebrate my 30th birthday, which happened to fall on the day of the Half, Dave and I managed to sneak away a few days before and a few days after the race to enjoy the parks and resort together as a family. I've grown up going to Walt Disney World so to be able to share that with my little boy, well it was just an amazing experience. And while I know everyone says he might not remember it, we were amazed at just how much he enjoyed it! Jonathan being the people person that he is, couldn't get enough of the sites, sounds and a never ending amount of people to flirt with. Everywhere we went Jonathan made a friend. Including a stubborn little baby girl who didn't want his attention. Undeterred Jonathan babbled and batted his long eyelashes till she turned and smiled. Dave and I just about died.  

Overall it was an incredible trip, the first "real" vacation for us as family. It will be at trip I think we'll talk about for years to come. Nothing is more special thank creating memories with your family, I will treasure these memories for the rest of my life! 

Baby's first trip to the Magic Kingdom
Baby's first trip to the Magic Kingdom
Baby's first trip to the Magic Kingdom
Baby's first trip to the Magic Kingdom
Baby's first trip to the Magic Kingdom
Baby's first trip to the Magic Kingdom
Baby's first trip to the Magic Kingdom
Baby's first trip to the Magic Kingdom
Baby's first trip to the Magic Kingdom
Baby's first trip to the Magic Kingdom
Baby's first trip to the Magic Kingdom
Baby's first trip to the Magic Kingdom
Walt Disney's Wilderness Lodge
Walt Disney's Wilderness Lodge
Baby's first trip to the Magic Kingdom
Baby's first trip to the Magic Kingdom
Baby's first trip to the Magic Kingdom
Baby's first trip to the Magic Kingdom
Baby's first trip to the Magic Kingdom
Baby's first trip to the Magic Kingdom
Baby's first trip to the Magic Kingdom
Baby's first trip to the Magic Kingdom
Baby's first trip to the Magic Kingdom
Baby's first trip to the Magic Kingdom
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Baby's first trip to the Magic Kingdom
Baby's first trip to the Magic Kingdom
My first Princess Half Marathon
My first Princess Half Marathon
My first Princess Half Marathon
My first Princess Half Marathon
My first Princess Half Marathon
My first Princess Half Marathon
My first Princess Half Marathon
My first Princess Half Marathon
My first Princess Half Marathon
My first Princess Half Marathon
My first Princess Half Marathon
My first Princess Half Marathon
Baby's first trip to Walt Disney World
Baby's first trip to Walt Disney World
Baby's first trip to Walt Disney World
Baby's first trip to Walt Disney World
Baby's first trip to Walt Disney World
Baby's first trip to Walt Disney World
Baby's first trip to Walt Disney World
Baby's first trip to Walt Disney World
Baby's first Mickey Ears
Baby's first Mickey Ears
Baby's first Mickey Ears
Baby's first Mickey Ears
Baby's first Mickey Ears
Baby's first Mickey Ears
Baby's first Mickey Ears
Baby's first Mickey Ears
Baby's first Mickey Ears
Baby's first Mickey Ears
Baby's first Mickey Ears
Baby's first Mickey Ears
Walt Disney's Wilderness Lodge
Walt Disney's Wilderness Lodge
Baby on grass in front of Walt Disney's Wilderness Lodge
Baby on grass in front of Walt Disney's Wilderness Lodge
Baby on grass in front of Walt Disney's Wilderness Lodge
Baby on grass in front of Walt Disney's Wilderness Lodge
Family trip to Walt Disney World
Family trip to Walt Disney World
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Planning a Walt Disney World Wedding? Let's connect at deborah@deborahzoephoto.com to chat about how we can work together to photograph the wedding of your dreams!!

Traveling With Photo Gear

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Tips on Keeping Your Equipment Safe and Secure

This past week I had the pleasure of traveling for work and for fun!! Last December a dear friend and fellow photographer, Emilia, invited me to Chicago to second shoot with her (check out the beautiful wedding here). I was beyond excited because I absolutely LOVE Chicago and have been dying to photograph a wedding there. Our dear friends and family also live in the area I brought the hubs and babe along too.  

Since this was a semi work trip it meant that I not only had to bring along luggage and our baby gear, but my photo equipment as well. While this was the first time I've traveled with a baby it wasn't the first time I've traveled for business nor the first time that I've flown with my gear. It can be a bit nerve wracking if you've never flown with your photography gear before so here are some tips to get you from here to there with peace of mind.  

Use The Right Bag

If you're going to fly, you're going to need the right bag to transport all of your important gear. My rule of thumb is to have all of my gear, if possible one me at all times. I use the Think Tank Airport International V2 bag for all of my traveling (and on the wedding day). That bag can hold two bodies, all my lenses and flashes as well as all my batteries and any equipment accessories I might need on me like the hyperdrive (Plus I can also shove some flying needs like magazines, water, and an iPad in it too). It's sized to be a carry on bag and has fit in every plane I've flown in. The key to this bag is that it can be used as a carry on meaning that I can have my gear on me and in my sight at all times.  

Never Check Your Gear (if you can avoid it)

If you can avoid it, never, ever, check your gear. We all know how baggage handlers throw, crush, and abuse luggage. Can you imagine what would happen to your gear if you checked your bag?! Not to mention it could all be lost! I shudder to think of the thought. Be proactive in helping your gear stay safe and protected and use carry on sized bags that fit either under the seat or above so. And another rule of thumb, place your bag directly above your seat, if you can. Call me obsessive but I like knowing where my gear is at all times. 

Be Prepared

ANYTHING can happen while traveling. Even if you plan on using your equipment bag as a carry on sometimes it can be checked. For example, the plane might be too small for your bag or the flight might be full and all the space taken. If possible, keep your body, your cards, a spare battery and as many lenses as you can fit, and shove them into another bag you have with you. That way you minimize the amount of gear that will be out of your possession while on the trip. Or if you can gate check the bag, you'll lessen the amount of hands the bag has to go through before it can be back in your care. Additionally, if you can get a seat up near the front, you'll be able to board the plane ahead of other passengers diminishing the likely hood that precious overhead bin space will be taken up by bags. (Or you can travel with a child under two like us and received priority boarding, what what!!) We love flying jetBlue, as they always have lots of space, and the cheapest non-stop flights for this scaredy-cat who hates to fly. 

Travel Light

When I can I try to travel with as little as possible. Instead of bringing large light stands with me to Chicago for example, I used these collapsable ones. And instead of bring every lens I owned, I try to pick the most versatile lenses I could. This allowed me to keep everything to one bag and it kept me from killing myself with heavy bags and clumsy accessories. I could move quickly without holding up my husband, the baby or other passengers. If I am traveling VERY lightly I use this Kelly Moore bag which can hold my gear, a laptop, an iPad and any flying needs I may have like water and snacks.  

Insure

It probably needs to go without saying but if you plan on doing ANY traveling, even just to local weddings, insure your gear. You've spent hundreds, if not thousands of dollars on your equipment, and it's worth the investment to have it insured PROPERLY. Make sure that your equipment coverage is specific and covers you for out of state and out of country travel. Make sure that you understand the ins and outs of your coverage (what is covered, what is not) so that in the case of an emergency you know that you are protected. And as a side note, if for some horrible reason you ever loose your gear or it is stolen, find out where you can rent gear while you are traveling. You never want to have to say to a client that you are unable to work because your gear has been stolen or lost. I love working with Hill & Usher for my business insurance needs and feel safe and secure as I travel.  

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This past trip was a an experience to say the least. But with the help of my amazing husband, we made it through security, boarding, deplaning and baggage claim with little stress and NO missed bags or missing gear! Hurray!! I was so proud of our success I made the hubs take a picture with all our bags and baby. Badabing, badaboom!

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by Deborah Parker

Travelogue : The Windy City, Chicago

Monday and I'm back at it! We spent the last week traveling in the mid-west visiting family and friends. Today I'm spending the day catching up on office work, blogging and editing. But of course I couldn't pass up the opportunity to share with you some of my favorite images from the past week! 

Chicago just might be one of my favorite cities. Shh, don't tell Boston. Well maybe it comes in a close second. There's just something so intriguing about the Windy City. It's much larger than Boston in population and size but yet it's always so friendly and quaint, maintaining a small city feel.  

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We started our time in the city visiting Millennium Park. I could hear a wave of beautiful classical music drifting in from somewhere. I thought it could be on a sound system but as I followed the music I discovered the Grant Park Orchestra rehearsing for their evening concert! We stayed for a while letting the music wash over the entire park. It was magical. The concert area of Millennium Park is simply stunning. It's huge and impressive and a great way to take in a concert!Directly opposite the concert venue is Cloud Gate which my family affectionately refers to as The Bean, but don't let the artist know. Can you spot my Uncle and I? We thoroughly indulged our touristy side this trip. And while we've already enjoyed The Bean and taken our pictures in it's reflection, we couldn't help but do it again!Just a short walk down from Millennium Park is the Chicago Art Institute. We didn't get a chance to go as there was a huge line and we were immediately distracted by the Starbucks across the street;).Next to the Art Institute is a beautiful and secluded garden with amazing views of parts of the skyline.Our next stop was Michigan Avenue also known as the Magnificent Mile. It's the Newbury Street and 5th Avenue of Chicago. Full of shops that Dave wouldn't let me go in;).Along Michigan Avenue are a few historic Chicago buildings like the Wrigley Building......and the Tribune Tower. As we checked out the Tower I reveled in my former life as a news photographer for a bit. I watched staffers enter and exit the building pretending, just for a moment, that it was me. Throughout the lobby are inspirational quotes about the importance of the news and good journalism. And I couldn't agree more! And here is my jokester of an Uncle showing off the famous Chicago pigeons;).And here are a few photos off the trusty iPhone. 1. I may 28 but I still love traveling with family:) 2. My Aunt and Uncle have an amazing luxury van that we get to indulge in when we're visiting;). Note to self, don't sit in the way back and watch Aerosmith videos. Car sickness ain't pretty. 3. My Dad, Dave and Uncle Fuzz joking around. 4. We played a family friendly game of mini golf. The Hammond's (my Dad, my Aunt and I) against the married into the family (Dave, my Mom and Uncle Fuzz.) They KICKED our behind;).5. You can't come to the Midwest without indulging in some frozen custard. I may or may not have indulged a few times. 6. Dave playing with our Godson Mason. 7. Besty shopping time! 8. Spending time with old friends is the best:).9. The Chicago Brauhaus did not disappoint. My clothes were much too tight after dinner! 10. The Bean...er...Cloud Gate. 11. Familia! 12. An obligatory couple vacation shot;).Chicago we love you and can't wait to visit again soon!

Categories: ,
by Deborah Parker

Travelogue : San Antonio & Austin, Texas

It's a busy week around here! I had a portrait session in Newport, Rhode Island today, I'm modeling for a workshop in Connecticut tomorrow, I have a wedding on Friday and Saturday and I'm finishing off the week with an engagement at Ocean House in Rhode Island on Sunday! I'm tired already;)

Last week I was traveling through Texas visiting one of my best and dearest friends, Amy. She and her husband live in Austin and she's been begging me to come out and visit. So I cleared a few days, bought some plane tickets and headed west, er, south, to the Lone Star State. It was a whirlwind trip but we had lots of fun and I truly enjoyed exploring this part of the country. Here's a short recap of the trip. Enjoy!

We started off the trip in San Antonio. Of course I had to see the Alamo...

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The Alamo is located right in the heart of San Antonio and is surrounded by a beautiful park and gardens.

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I was clearly obsessed with all the cactus. We don't have much of those here in New England!

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Next we played tourist and took a boat ride on the Riverwalk.

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A few days later I had to check Allen's to find the perfect pair of cowboy boots! I found them, but I didn't take them home:(

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Me and my Amy. Ok ok, it's not the most flattering picture but hey it was like a MILLION degrees out! Oh, Texas in the summer!

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Amy and her hubs Jon. They're cute:)

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Austin city skyline!

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Of course we had to hit up a food truck. Our choice: Gourdough's.

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by deborahzoe