One of the greatest joys I have had this year as a photographer has been being invited to document the new stages of life for previous clients. While I have always photographed newborn & family photography, this year I have found a renewed joy and purpose in this work and it was been wonderful to capture these seasons of life for some amazing families!!Read More
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.
On a foggy spring afternoon I met A & E at Falmouth Light on Cape Cod. The wind came in off the water as boats sounded their horns in the distance. For most couples this kind of weather might not have been ideal, but for A & E it was the perfect setting for their Cape Cod engagement session. The Cape holds a special place in their hearts, so much so that they decided to host their wedding here later this fall. It was so lovely to share in this beautiful place with A & E and to experience all the Cape has to offer, fog and all!! Enjoy a few of my favorite images!!Read More
Yesterday I kicked off the Best of 2017 series with some of my favorite portrait work of the last year and today I'm sharing my favorite engagement images!! Looking back I was reminded of how amazing each of my DZP Couples are. I love the time we get to spend with each other before the wedding and the opportunity I have to get to know these wonderful people!!
I kicked things off in January for a cold and blustery session in Boston. Throughout the year my couples headed to the beach, estates, the city, even their homes, each session tailored to their unique relationship. Just as my portrait sessions, I made the goal to incorporate film and I loved the results!! Each session was as unique as the couple I was photographing and made for a beautiful year of images -- enjoy a few of my favorites!!Read More
Welcome to 2018!! One of my favorite ways to start the new year is to reflect on the year past and gather together my favorite images from the last 12 months. I'm reminded again of how much I love this "job", being invited into my clients' lives and documenting the precious milestones of life. (You can view the Best of 2016 here.) Pulling together my favorite images of the year is no easy task -- how can I choose? Each image feels so dear to me. I remember exactly where I was and what was happening in that moment. Joyful, quiet, intimate, happy, reflective, emotive, connected moments. Every time I clicked the shutter I have the opportunity to capture these moments in time for my clients. It feels so dear indeed.
To kick of the Best of Series I'm sharing some of my favorite portrait images of 2017!! I was happy this year to include film into nearly all my portrait sessions which was a creative add for me. My clients seemed to love that and I thoroughly enjoyed stretching my skill in film. I've got a long way to go, but I'm proud of how it tied together, nearly seamlessly, with my digital work!!
So let's get to the images shall we?! I was pleased to be invited back into the lives of my dear past wedding clients as they expanded their families this year... how lovely to see these lovely families growing!! Here's to 2017 and celebrating the big and small moments of life!!Read More
Lauren & Mike had a quintessential New England summer day for their wedding at Misselwood Estate earlier this month. Not a cloud in the sky with a cool breeze that drifted off the water's edge. Lauren and Mike had planned their wedding from Virginia and with the help of Lauren's Mom, every detail came together perfectly on the day of their wedding.
Misselwood Estate is a special place - tucked away on the coast of Beverly it offers spectacular views of Beverly and Salem Harbor and the coastline of Marblehead. For these two, the ocean plays a big part in their relationship and lives (they even named their dog Salty, love it!), so being right on the water was the perfect setting for their wedding. Plus it was a wonderful introduction to New England for their out of state guests.
Lauren & Mike, thank you for inviting my team to be a part of your incredible day. We loved celebrating with you and your loved ones and I hope that these images will serve as precious memories to you in the years to come!! Enjoy some of my favorites!!Read More
A Lakeside Inspired Wedding
Sometimes you just meet people and you click. Immediately you feel connected, like you could have been friends forever. That's how I felt when I first met Diana and Jon. We decided to connect at a local Starbucks to talk all about their upcoming wedding at Church Landing in Meredith, New Hampshire. And right away, I knew that I just HAD to work with this couple. They are two of the kindest, warmest people I have had the chance to meet, and I was honored to be a part of such an incredible day!
It rained, no poured, on Jon and Diana's wedding day this past weekend. But despite how much water soaked into the ground, Jon and Diana couldn't have asked for a more perfect day. Everything that they had dreamed of came true. Finally they were husband and wife and they celebrated every minute of their day together. Nothing is more enjoyable, more joyful, more exciting than having the honor of photographing two people who cannot wait to start the rest of their lives together.
Jon and Diana, I hope you enjoyed a rain free few days away on the Vineyard! It was a joy to be part of such a special weekend! Enjoy!
Church Landing is a BEAUTIFUL inn located right in Meredith Bay, it's almost breathtaking!
As a wedding gift, Jon gave his Bride a lovely string of pearls to wear on her weddings day.
Renaissance Florals did an amazing job with all the floral arrangement throughout the day. Diana's bouquet was just stunning!
Diana gifted Jon an amazing Victorinox Swiss Army watch.
Then it was time to get married... rain and all!
Jaques Fine European Pastries created a spectacular cake for Jon and Diana.
Time to dance!! Matt of World Record DJs kept everyone on their feet all night!
This Saturday as I frantically packed up all the items for Courtney's shower I knew I couldn't forget my camera. Ya know, my big, honkin' "real"camera. The camera everyone hopes I bring along because at all social gatherings, family or friend. I am the unofficial photographer. Saturday was Courtney's shower. My dear, beautiful, friend who will be getting married this May. My friend Liz and I had spent the last few months planning every detail of the day and I couldn't wait to document all of our hard work.
So after everything was set up and just before the first guests arrived, I got to work. I pulled out my big, honking, "real" camera and began to adjust my settings. Everything looked LOVELY and just standing by the cupcakes made my mouth start to water. But something curious happened as I went to click the shutter. Err. As in ERROR!
My card was corrupted and I wouldn't fire. WHHHAA? And in the hustle and bustle that was Saturday morning I had forgotten to grab a few extra memory cards. The person everyone counted on to document the day wasn't going to be able to and I think the room let out a collective, disappointed sigh.
But wait! Not all was lost, I still had my iPhone. And while the iPhone is no comparison to my big, honking, "real" camera, it would have to do. I worked with what I had and did my best. I was hoping this morning I could share with you some beautiful images from Courtney's shower. But instead a few iPhone pictures it will be.
If something does go wrong, work with what you have. Anything unexpected can happen, you always have to be prepared for it.
In the famous words of Tim Gunn, "Make it work." And so I did. Enjoy!
I have a little secret... Today is my birthday!! Right now we are traveling home from WPPI, one of the world's largest photographer conventions, held in Las Vegas. No doubt it's been a week of learning, dreaming and of course EATING. I'm sure I'll have lots to share with you about our trip when I return to the blog next week! But, today, I couldn't help dedicating a J'Adore post to my ultimate birthday wish list.
Why shouldn't I indulge in a little imaginary shopping on my birthday?! Won't you join me as I fill my invisible cart with these wonderful goodies?! I'm making a stop at some of my favorite stores! And if you're looking for a little belated birthday gift for moi, here's a cheat sheet;) Enjoy my ultimate birthday wish list, have a great weekend. I'll see you next week!
1. I've been coveting a Kelly Moore bag for a few years now. I love this version in camel!
2. These Tiffany earrings are just darling and I love them!
3. I LOVE all things Kate Spade and this iPad case does not disappoint!
4. Who knew that L.L. Bean made adorable accessories?! I discovered this clutch and it immediately made it's way onto my wish list!
5. Of course Anthropologie would make it's way on this list! I've been desiring this vase for a few years. Wouldn't it be perfect for my red and white kitchen?!
6. I'll add the matching L.L. Bean purse! I'd love to have an everyday tote like this!
6. I love this chunky necklace from Anthropolgie! Love!
7. We'll most likely be replacing my used CR-V with a new used CR-V this year. But I couldn't help this money-is-no-option addition to my ultimate birthday wish list!
This is the third day of a week long series highlighting several local New England wedding vendors offering up value tips and information to help brides through their planning process!
Today DJ Nate Downs has graciously offered to share his thoughts on the wedding reception and with tips on how to create a great party atmosphere for your guests. Grab a cup of coffee and get ready to take some notes as Nate shares all about making the most of your reception and DJ experience! Meet, DJ Nate Downs!
Hi! My name is Nate and I am a a professional wedding DJ from Dover, NH. Today I'm going to share some tips on how to make the most of your wedding reception and how to best work with your DJ to create unforgettable receptions!
Engaged couples quickly learn that planning a wedding is a time consuming and stressful process. With so many details to understand and plan for, it can be quite overwhelming. When it comes to entertainment, many couples aren't sure where to start or what questions to ask. While many books and websites offer basic questions to ask your DJ, (do you have reviews? do you hold liability insurance? how long have you been a DJ?), here are a few topics that are equally important to think about when planning your reception.
1. Personality. It is important to understand your DJ's personality and philosophy on wedding entertainment. Whether you are looking for a DJ who's quiet presence is offset through perfect song selection or for a line-dance leading, room commanding DJ there are many styles and personalities out there. When hiring an entertainer you should ask them about their level of interaction with the crowd, how vocal (on the microphone) they will be and if there be any surprises? Yes I said the word 'surprise,' as in surprise props or games involving the Wedding Party or your guests. Your DJ should understand that they are to follow your wishes and recommendations for the evening. You will want to consider the overall style of your wedding so that you can find a DJ to match. Think about the kind of atmosphere you'd like to create and find an entertainer with a similar personality!
2. Content. While your DJ has been entertaining for years and knows how to get your guests up and dancing, it is important to discuss musical content with him/her. Your DJ will want to understand the age groups of your guests, the genres of music of you would to hear throughout the evening and most importantly your 'request' and 'do not play' lists. Your 'request list' will hold valuable insight and help direct your DJ towards key artists and genres of music to be played. Try to include a small set of 'must plays' that are important to you, your fiance and your families. Your DJ will use their knowledge, experience and artistic freedom to mix your requests and other songs throughout the evening.
3. Uplighting. Uplighting, dance floor lighting and other effect lighting, have increased in popularity in recent years. Some DJs include a basic lighting package in their services and some sell them for an additional cost. Uplighting will splash color on the walls of your venue and provide nice ambiance. If your DJ offers lighting, I feel it is important to have an understanding of the lighting they will use. For example, LED lighting produces solid colors as basic uplighting or on the dance floor, does not spin. Whereas strobe lighting could be considered over the top. Ask your DJ for pictures or videos of their lights. If they don't have any, check out Youtube as every light manufacturer makes a video for each model light they produce. That way you can at least see the lights in action. If your DJ doesn't offer lighting think about looking into hiring a lighting company. Uplighting definitely adds much needed contract and interest to your reception images as well! Check out this example below of the uplighting I can provide at receptions.
Hopefully this has given you a little help in planning the entertainment aspect of your reception. Remember to ask your DJ as many questions as you wish and to make sure you are a good match in style and personality. Ensuring that you'll not only dance the night away, but you'll have the wedding reception you've always dreamed of!
Today I am so honored and excited to have Lena of Hair That Moves sharing her thoughts on wedding day beauty and tips on how to look your best! This is the second day of a week long series highlighting several local New England wedding vendors offering up value tips and information to help brides through their planning process!
Hi Lena! First, thank you so much sharing your thoughts on wedding day beauty! Would you mind sharing with us how you got started as a wedding hair stylist?! Sure! I started in the bridal industry about 8 years ago after leaving the salon I had worked in for 9 years. I realized that there was a huge need for brides to have on site beauty services. I began to travel to be onsite for the convenience of the wedding day schedule. I started to see it make a huge difference for my brides. I absolutely love traveling to weddings! On site wedding beauty is an entirely different world than working in a salon, something other hair stylist often don't even know about. I am lucky enough to be able to provide these services to brides to be! I also travel for everyday beauty services as well.
What should a bride think about when hiring a make up artists or a hair stylist? My wish is that brides would think and budget for hair and makeup as an accessory. Statistics show that beauty is 1% of a bridal budget. Brides spend a lot of money on their wedding dress, veil, shoes and jewelry, what better accessory is there than hair and makeup?! Hair and makeup are what help bring a bride's look together and complete. My hope is to encourage brides to think more about their wedding hair and makeup when putting together their overall budget and to leave room for this vital part of the day!
What should a bride think about when trying to figure out her style or look? The first thing a bride should consider while planning their style is choosing something that you feel comfortable in. If you're uncomfortable in your hair and makeup, it will show. Brides should also be considering the season and weather they will be marrying in as well. I also recommend asking your mom and groom how they like your hair the best. It seems silly, but when I have a bride that is unsure of the style they have selected it is usually based on those two opinions. The feel of the wedding, the style the design and the dress should also set the tone for the hair and makeup. Discuss all information to your makeup artist and hair stylist to create the best look for you!
Why should a bride with work a professional hair stylist or make up artist in the first place? Why is it important?
While there a lot of talented hair stylists and make up artists out there, not all of them are familiar with bridal work, schedules, time constraints, and most of all how to complete a style that holds all day and looks flawless photographed. Working on site and being able to create hair styles on demand in a short amount of time on large groups of women can be a whole art in itself. From a makeup stand point, not all makeup is created equal. Wedding makeup needs to last through sweat and tears and for longer than 8 hours. It also needs to look flawless in a camera and not all makeup is created equal! The better your makeup is, the better you will photograph. These are the types of things professional make up artists and hair stylists are trained to know about, and this expertise is vital to helping you look your best!
Whom ever it may be that a bride decides to work with, my hope would be that they would take the time to interview them. Educate yourself on the background and experience level of the person you will be working with and understand how they will work on your wedding day. This goes a long way in ensuring you have a great makeup and hair experience!
What are the favorite parts of your job/business? My favorite part of my job is helping people look and feel beautiful! It is my passion, especially on a bride's wedding day!
Thank you Lena for offering some helpful tips on wedding day hair and makeup! Check out some of Lena's amazing work below! She's provided me with some wonderful makeup and hair services for my own personal photography projects! She is a miracle worker and tamer of red frizzy hair!
Credit to Katelyn James above and Justin and Mary below.
Today marks the beginning of a week long series of valuable wedding related information, tips and tricks from some amazing New England wedding vendors. As I am away this week at WPPI in Las Vegas, attending the world's largest photography convention, several friends have graciously agreed to help man the blog for me! And in an effort to provide brides more knowledge and tools to help plan their wedding, I thought who better than to ask to guest blog than some amazing local vendors! To kick off this series, wedding planner Diana Ma of Diana Ma Weddings & Events will be sharing some tips and tricks on how to make your wedding day personal. It's all in the details folks, and Diana shares how:). So without further adieu, I'm pleased to introduce Diana! Enjoy!
Make Your Wedding Personal. Make it about You.
Your wedding is a celebration of your commitment and love for one another! It's a day brimming with love from all of your nearest and dearest. It's about joy and laughter and family and friends. Your wedding is one of the rare times when it’s perfectly acceptable to have every aspect of the day be all about you!
So, go nuts and infuse your personality as much as you can!
Don’t allow the details to daunt you though. Personalization is fun… I promise! You and your fiancé will have a ball brainstorming silly and fond memories of yourselves as children, calling to mind significant milestones and the people who've shaped you. This personalization can also carry over to young adulthood and re-tell the story of how you met, your favorite pastimes as a couple, foods you love to eat, places you've enjoyed visiting and silly phrases and anecdotes the two of you share. Do you have children? Find ways to include them and make their roles significant. Have a son or a daughter escort mom down the aisle, light the unity candle together, sit together at dinner. For more inspiration on involving your kids on the big day, please read my own personal account here. Your wedding day is not a time to shy away from expressing yourselves. Celebrate your life as it is! Celebrate your life for what it will become!
On a sheet of paper list all the categories that you can think of where personality can be injected. Start from the top and don't skimp on anything in-between. My approach to creative thinking is writing down everything that comes to mind, without consideration to the constraints, blocks or how-to’s. Sky’s the limit, folks! A whiteboard also works great for this.
I’ve provided a few suggestions to get the creative juices flowing. By all means, please don't stop at just these! Remember, we’re thinking big!
The Wedding Web Site. A wedding web site is a practical tool many couples use to communicate details that do not fit (or are inappropriate) on the invitation. If you have not set one up already, I highly suggest creating one (my personal favorite is from: http://www.weddingjojo.com/). Besides information about hotel blocks, directions, shuttle buses, etc., why not include a little backgrounder on how you met, the proposal story, something funny/goofy about the two of you. Don’t be afraid to pack it with personality…. Just keep it on the briefer side. (And don't forget, I offer personal wedding websites to all my bride and grooms! -- Deborah)
Engagement Shoot. If you have not booked your engagement shoot early on, I suggest you get the ball rolling! What a great way to get comfortable in front of the camera (I'm talking to you, grooms!). Use the images on your wedding web site, include your most flattering shots as part of your save the date. Don't be afraid to visit your favorite spots and hang-outs. Having an engagement shoot helps you relax in front of the camera and by the time the wedding rolls around, being photographed will feel like second nature! Plus you'll have beautiful images to incorporate into your wedding!
Ceremony. Are you going non-traditional here? Take your time selecting readings and songs that are meaningful to both of you. Do you have a favorite author or poet? For my wedding, I selected passages with content very personal to who my husband and I are as a couple. We chose passages that reflected our personal beliefs and values. Our wedding party was small - just our two boys, so we made sure to assign readings to siblings and parents. This way, important people in our lives felt included and loved. A beautiful way to honor special family members or friends that have passed is to keep a lit candle in their honor. When the ceremony completes, you can have your planner move the lit candle to a special table in your reception room. That way, your beloved is with you all night.
Reception. Go crazy here, as there is an immeasurable amount of things that could be taken into consideration when personalizing your reception! Below are just a few suggestions.
- Signature cocktail: Do you have a favorite drink? A cocktail shared during your favorite trip? Serve it as a passed during cocktail hour! And don't forget to create a sign to describe and display at the bar. Your guests will get a kick out of your sense of humor and silly story as they wait in line.
- Favorite childhood snacks: Have your caterer prepare a few of your beloved childhood snacks (sweet, savory or salty) and offer them during the wee-hours of dancing! Or, have the caterer prepare bite-sized versions of your home-style favs to be passed during cocktail hour. Or, do both!
- Music: Don't forget to consider sentimental or funny songs- from childhood or otherwise during the dances (father/daughter, mother/son), cake cutting or bouquet toss.
- Candids: Don't be afraid to display candids of yourselves as children, as young adults and as a couple throughout the reception. Throw in some photos of your family members too! Don't forget pets- especially pets that could not be with you on the wedding day. A cute idea – why not hang uniformly treated photos from the escort card display as like a family tree?
- Table numbers: Get creative with your table naming as well. Include your favorite activity/pastime/shared moment on the table number cards. It's a fun way to infuse even more personality! Just a word of advice here, if you pick names too obscure or hard to pronounce, include an actual number with the signs. Your waitstaff will thank you and perform a much more seamless job at serving your guests.
- Bouquet: Incorporate antique jewelry or an heirloom handkerchief into your bouquet handle. It's a beautiful and very personal way to honor grandma.
- Rethink the guest book: Why not make the “guest book” a fun way for guests to share advice! One of my past couples created two message in a bottle set-ups. One bottle requested guests to write messages or advice that the couple could read that night. Another requested that guests write messages to be read in 5 years time. Don’t be afraid to remix this tradition!
The care and attention you place in your wedding details becomes hugely apparent when you look through your wedding album. Witnessing your uniqueness as it leaps off the pages make personalization well-worth your time and effort. Besides your memories, the photos are really the only keepsake that will be kept with you forever. The actual day will be one of the most incredible, yet fast-moving of your life... seeing personalized details will help you savor the moments long after the day is over.
Best wishes and happy planning always! XO
Last month Jenni contacted me to see if it would be possible to squeeze in a family session while I was up in North Conway photographing the wedding of Abby & Devin. They are close friends with the couple and were in town visiting for the weekend event. Of course I happily agreed and we had the most lovely of days for their session. Not a cloud was in the sky and while it was cold, it was a rather seasonably warm day up in the mountains! Add one of the happiest babies, ever and you have the recipe for one amazing family session!
This family has been through a lot this past year but on that Sunday it was the furthest thing from their mind. They wrapped their around their giggling daughter and stole knowing glances at each other. Jenni and Erik were happy to be together and happy for their healthy and unbelievably happy baby. All the cares of the past year slipped away as they spent the morning huddled together, stealing kisses from their daughter.
Jenni, Erik and Tove, can we do this again?! I had so much fun with you three and hope you enjoy your images as much as I enjoyed taking them! Here's to many more years of a happy, bubbly, little girl and a family full of love!
To sign their guest book and to be notified when their images are online, click here.
We started the morning at North Conway lookout of Mount Washington. We had a perfectly CLEAR day with a full view of the mountain, you could even see the antennas at the observatory. For those of you familiar with the area, you'll know just how rare it is to have a view of Mount Washington without any cloud cover! It was beautiful!
Yay for mom and dad!
After the lookout we headed into downtown North Conway and made at stop at the railroad station.
Internet, meet the happiest baby that ever was!
Once her butt hit the ground she started to giggle uncontrollably and wiggle all around:)
Told you, happiest baby!
Our last stop was a covered bridge on the outskirts of town. The light was just wonderful!
Of course I had to get Jenni and Erik on their own too! (Don't worry, Tove was supervised :-P)
Erik makes Jenni laugh. A lot. :)
I'll end the session with one of my favorites!
It's kind of hard to believe how many things I have been able to cross of my 101 in 1001 since last month when I first posted about it. Quite honestly I thought some of things would be far off in the future or just too far out of reach. But I guess that's the power in spelling out your dreams. When you finally find the courage to say the things your heart desires, things just start to happen. This past weekend Dave and I spent a few days at Church Landing in Meredith New Hampshire. A few years ago we stumbled upon this hotel while planning a vacation close to home. The minute we first pulled up to the Inn, I melted. For whatever reason, this place immediately stole my heart. We spent the week here and enjoyed every minute of our stay. We loved it so much that we practically begged his sister to get married here, which they did:)! Ever since we have been dying to get back and the hubster made it happen this past weekend! As we sat in the outdoor pool, snow flakes gently falling through the air, I had a moment of "I can't believe this." I truly couldn't believe that we were able to do this. To steal a weekend away together, to be able to afford such a beautiful hotel to stay in. So many emotions floated around in that pool with us that it was almost overwhelming. But, just like he always does, Dave pulled me close and told me to breath. To enjoy our time together, to not worry about all of the reasons why we shouldn't be there, but just to enjoy the fact that we were. We were blessed to have everything fall into place so that we could go. Instead of worrying about the why not, I should be thankful for the present.
My goal on my 101 in 1001 list was to spend the weekend at Church Landing, and I never thought in a million years we'd be able to do that SO soon. But we did and had a fabulous weekend! But that's not the only time I'll be back to Church Landing this year. In fact, I'll be photographing a beautiful wedding there in September, a dream come true. I guess that's the power in putting it out there. And believe you me, I've never been the dreamer kind of person. I'm practicable and consistent and I've never truly given myself permission to just dream, big or small. But I've found that once you let go of expectations and just truly believe for the future, amazing things start. I being overly dramatic about a hotel? Probably. But there is a bigger picture.
If you've never allowed yourself to dream, to go after that life you don't think you deserve, take a moment today to step back. Say it out loud. In you car, in your room, at your computer. Say it to the wind, to God, to your dog. Just speak it out loud. Realize the power in accepting what's on your heart and believing for it. Who knows what life will bring. Your dream may not come true, but that's not the important part. Allowing yourself to open up to possibilities, to the what if, filling your heart and mind with faith, is what counts. That is what builds you up, moves you forward and fills your life. So take a moment today to say it out loud, speak your dream. Amazing things will start to happen. A good lesson for me to remember, every day.
I remember when Devin and Abby first approached me about their wedding at the end of 2010. I remember thinking that 2012 felt SO far away. And yet on Saturday, as they said I do, I remember thinking how fast it all felt, that here they were on their wedding day, saying their vows. Something that had previously seemed so far away, was happening right then and there. And then I wondered if they felt the same way. You plan and you plan for something that seems far off, an event in the distant future. And yet it all happens so fast. You blink and your wedding day is here, you blink once more and the day is done. I'm so grateful, that as a wedding photographer, I can steal those fleeting moments away for forever. While time marches on, a photograph is forever. On Saturday I was reminded that this is why I love what I do.
Abby & Devin, life returns to normal for you this week. There's a house to be cleaned, jobs to be done, pets to be taken care of. But yet something has changed. You are not longer two, but one. And while day to day life may look the same, there is an unspoken commitment to one another, a bond you now share as husband and wife. Yes life marches on, but it will never be the same. (and of course, don't forget there's a July honeymoon to look forward too!)
I'm honored that we were able to share in your day! I'm honored that I get to call you friends. Here's to starting returning to normal again. The same but completely different.
Ceremony & Reception | The White Mountain Hotel & Resort
Catering | The White Mountain Hotel & Resort
Florist | Blooming Vineyards
Wedding Dress | Essence of Australia
Hair Stylist | The Cut-Off Spa
Suits | Men's Wearhouse
Bridesmaids Dresses | Jordan's Fashions
Jewelry | Miss Meghan Elizabeth
Entertainment | Matt McElroy, Disc Jockey
Officiant | Cheryl Alander
I happily ordered a new backup body, another 5d Mark II, a few weeks ago and eve more happily crossed off one of my 101 in 1001 goals! It was such a great feeling knowing that my backup body was the same body that I used on the wedding day. What a relief knowing that if anything happened to my main camera, I'd have another waiting in the wings. What I didn't realize was that would be put to the test at my very first wedding of 2012! Right as I walked out of our hotel room, my two bodies collided every so slightly but at just the right angle. I didn't think anything of it and proceeded up stairs to the bridal suite. But when I went to photograph the suite sign I noticed something that made my heart drop to the floor. A giant crack on my LCD screen.
I started to internally panic, thank goodness the bride wasn't there because I had few minutes of freak out as I ran around the room trying to figure out what to do. Thankfully I remembered that I had two working bodies and immediately started photographing the details with my second body, which I had purchased for this exact reason! When my second shooter arrived, she took over and I tested out my camera to make sure it still worked. Luckily it did and I could use both cameras through out the day. But believe you me, I learned my lesson.
I've often heard people talk about making sure you have backup equipment. And if you don't own it, you should rent it. I've always believed them, but since I've never had a problem, I never gave it a second thought. But after this past Saturday I realized that it's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when. Your equipment is going to fail and you need to be prepared for it. You cannot stay to your bride, I can't photograph your wedding because I damaged my camera. You just can't.
So learn a lesson from me. If you don't have the funds to purchase a new camera body, then rent one. Always make sure that you have two. Because you never know what will happen. It's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when.
Thankfully this story has a happy ending. I was able to photograph the wedding and I've sent my camera off to Canon to be taken care of. I'm happy knowing that I made the investment in my business and for my brides.
In the wedding world, Jose Villa is the Brad Pitt of wedding photographers. Good looking, talented, and amazingly popular. There's a reason for all the hype. He takes ordinary and turns it into extraordinary, creating pieces of art and all around eye candy. When he announced he was coming out with a book, Fine Art Weddings, I knew I had to get my hands on a copy. It wasn't until this past Christmas, when I received one as a present that I finally got to know what everyone was talking about! Fine Art Weddings is an easy and quick read, nothing mind shattering here. Villa writes in such a way to make each photographic concept manageable and easy to understand, with most ideas things that professional photographers already know. But what is great, is that you see how Villa has evolved, how he has learned from his mistakes and how that influences him as a photographer today. For me, that's the good stuff right there!
With every beautiful image he shares, he also provides the meta data and the scenario in which the image was taken. A bride looking out the window, a groom laughing during a ceremony, a couple kissing under a tree. You read what Villa was thinking, why he photographed the image in that particular way and why he chose the settings he did. Because I'm the type of person that loves to look at images and try to figure HOW they were photographed or where the light was coming from, I found this part of the book to be so informative and interesting! It made me want to find a window, a bride, and to just start shooting!
Every part of the wedding experience from the engagement session to the wedding day to client service is covered by Villa. Step by step he writes through exactly how he approaches each area of the wedding experience, with of course, beautiful corresponding images. I appreciate hearing in his own voice, how he tries to capture a wedding day, and what his goals are for the images he captures. Reading about how his business has evolved into what it is today, gives me hope and a passion for great things in my own photography and business.
Ultimately this is not a book with ground breaking material. But what I think makes this book successful, is how Villa helps us to understand principals we as photographer already know but in new ways. And then how to apply those to our wedding photography. His images alone challenge me to be a better photographer and inspire me to push myself on the wedding day. Just having the opportunity to ready how Villa runs his business, photographs his subjects and handles his customer service is fuel to my fire. If you're a wedding photographer, this should be mandatory reading!
Next month I'll be reviewing Good To Great by Jim Collins so make sure to grab a copy and read along!
**Did you read along this month? I'd love to hear your thoughts on the book! If you haven't make sure to leave a comment below why you'd like to win your very own copy of Fine Art Weddings! I'll announce the winner this week!**
Some one recently told me that I am one of the most productive people they know. I thought they must be joking but the same statement came up in a conversation a few weeks later, maybe they were seeing something I wasn't. I've never thought of myself as the super organized, get-things-done kind of gal. I always think I could be MORE organized, MORE productive. But maybe that's my type A personality shining gloriously through. I've always been organized...to a fault. I'm the person that hates clutter, stray papers, and general chaos. Everything needs to have it's place, be put away and straightened up. It drives my engineer of a husband crazy. I once visited his office and almost dropped dead. His desk was barely visible with every inch of his cubicle covered in papers, notes and yesterday's lunch. I guess I should be glad he keeps that kind of crazy at work? My OCD tendencies would probably make me explode.
But despite how irritating my obsession with organization is to my husband, it does have it's benefits as a small business owner. I am a one woman show (with the help of a post processor, album designer, business manager and second shooter) and do all of the daily tasks of running a business on my own. (My office mascot plays the roll of napper.) If I were to try and tackle everything I need to get done on a regular basis without some sort of list, system or general idea, I would NEVER GET ANYTHING DONE. So I must keep lists. Good thing I love lists, because I spend all of my week making them, crossing them off, and then making more.
The more I chat with people the more I realize that this doesn't necessarily come naturally to all. I never thought that someone wouldn't want to plan out their day by the hour. But guess what, if you're a normal human being, you don't. For those of you normal people out there, I thought I'd share how I organize my business life and give you some tips on how to create time limits, goals, and how to set out on accomplishing those tasks. By no means am I the most productive or organized person (in fact the state of my cluttered desk is driving me bananas), but this is what works for me. I encourage you to find systems and organizational methods that works for you, and be diligent about implementing that into your business life. A lot of these ideas can also be applied to your personal life as well, so get out there and start getting organized!
1. Everything in it's place.
Everything in our house has it's place. The can food, the remotes, the mail, the dishes, the bed sheets, the towels. I could go on and on. When I need to find the towels, I know exactly where to look. When I need the black beans, there they are all lined up and ready to be used. Ahh, I get all excited just thinking about the effectiveness of organization!;) This same principal holds true in my business life. Take my email for example, everything is in it's place. I have my incoming mail and all appropriate folders on the side. Folders for clients, outsourcing, upcoming trips, insurance, my website, business manager. You name it, it has a folder. When I receive incoming mail I think about whether or not it can be filed away into a folder or if it needs to stay in the inbox so I can answer it that day. This system helps me to never feel completely overwhelmed by my inbox, allows me to respond to inquiries faster and I can go back and see all of my correspondence, knowing that I've responded and dealt with that email. (I even save emails that I've sent) There are many email applications that allow you to do this, I use Mac Mail.
Knowing exactly where to find things, whether that is in your email or in your file cabinet, goes a long way to helping stay productive. No wasted time looking for something you can't locate. Am I perfect at this all of the time? No. Don't put unnecessary pressure on yourself to be perfect at this or to grasp the joy of organization right away. Take baby steps, somewhere you know that you can implement this practice now and be successful and then move on to other areas of your business (or pantry cabinet.)
2. Time Limits.
In my recent read, Entreleadership by Dave Ramsey he talked about setting time limits. "You will either tell your day what to do or you will wonder where it went. The weird thing is, that the more efficient, on task, on goal you are with your time, the more energy you have.” BAM. That was all the encouragement I needed. I've always written lists, BUT I never gave any of those tasks time limits. DUH. Because you know what would happen? I'd take the tasks I didn't want to do and they would get pushed off to the next day. And the next day. And the next day. And before I knew it, tasks that should have been completed weeks ago were still on my to-do list. If you want to accomplish something you have to set an end date. You have to force yourself to make time for the task that has to be done. You maybe the most self disciplined person on the planet but I guarantee you that if you don't tell yourself WHEN you have to finish that project, that goal, that task, that to-do, it won't be completed. Set time limits.
I recently started to implement this into my business life this past January and it has revolutionized how I think about my business. If I were working for a company or a person they would expect me to get things done, on time and on track. I NEED to give my business and myself and my clients that respect by expecting the same thing.
3. Brain dump.
I love to brain dump. I have SO much going on in my head sometimes that I need to get a pen and paper and just write. Goals, thoughts, fears, joys, everything and anything gets jotted down. It clears my head and I am free to move onto to think about what is time sensitive stuff, what needs to be carried to later and what is just nonsense that is taking up valuable brain space. Brain dumps are my favorite activities and help give me a greater perspective on my current situation. If you're feeling overwhelmed with everything you're thinking about, get a piece of paper and a pen and write it down. Actually write it down. Don't use a computer for this activity. There is something therapeutic, relaxing and stress-releasing about writing down what's on your mind. This is a great activity to try at night if you can't fall asleep. Often my brain just won't shut off, but I find I'm able to fall asleep much faster after doing a brain dump knowing that it's all out and I can move on (to sleep!).
4. Get out.
For those who run a small business out of your home, you understand the challenges that this can bring. You wake up, go upstairs, turn on the computer and immediately start working. Before you know it, it's lunchtime, you're still in your pjs and haven't done anything except check Facebook and your email a hundred times. If I've had a day like this, I know that I need to get out of the house. I need a break and change of pace. These are the times I'm so grateful to have a portable office! I pack up my computer, my lists and I head to Starbucks. The people, the coffee and the bar tables get my juices flowing again. I'm in a different environment and I can focus more clearly on the tasks at hand. Now, I'm never without my lists and I know that since I'm out of my home office for only a few hours, that I need this to be a valuable, productive time. Therefore, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc, are not invited to this party. This is a two-three hour period of intense focus. I get out of the house, regroup at Starbucks and I'm ready to tackle the rest of the week at home. This particularly good for my social skills as well, since I actually talk to human beings instead of just my dog...
5. Set expectations.
You can write lists out, you can go to Starbucks once (or twice, or five times;)) a week, you can organize your inbox and filing cabinet, in fact you can organize your business to an inch of it's life. But if you don't stick to what you've set up, it doesn't work. You don't stay on track, you don't stay focused and you don't stay organized. You run your business, you're business doesn't run itself. You have to be your own boss and set expectations to get things done. Keeping this mind, if you set up systems that don't work for your personality, schedule or life, your organization is going to fail. Be realistic with those things and create systems that work for you. Make it easy as you can to stay organized and guess what, you will. Ultimately, like being on a diet, it only works if you stick with it. YOU HAVE TO STICK WITH IT. Sorry folks, there is no easy way around this one, the success and survival of your business depends on it. Expect more from yourself. Raise the bar and rise up to meet it.
Those are just a few ideas to get the ball rolling when it comes to organization in your life:) This is how I stay sane (most of the time;)) and I have found this this is how I best stay organized and productive! I'd love to encourage you in your own productivity so if you have any thoughts or ideas please feel free to leave a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Now go get your organization on!
To sign Devin & Abby's guestbook and to be notified when their images are online, click here.
What is it about winter weddings? There is just something so magical about a mountainous landscape, snow covered fields, and a beautiful, happy, couple in love! There is SO much more to come from Abby & Devin's wedding this past weekend up in North Conway at the White Mountain Hotel & Resort, so I hope you stop by on Friday to see more! For now here's just a tease of what's to come! Happy Monday everyone:)!
Have you had enough of us yet?! Today is the third day in my week long series, Meet The Parkers! A series to give you a peek inside our little family! Yesterday was all about our pup Maya and today I'm super excited to share with you my husband!If it's not obvious yet I love this guy! I count myself lucky to be able to call myself his wife! He's pretty special and now... I'm starting to gush... So instead of listening to me blab away, check out my interview with him below. Every wonder what's happening inside the brain of an engineer? Wonder no more...
1. First up babe, tell us a little bit about yourself?
I am a beer brewing, bacon loving, mountain climbing engineer. I grew up in New Hampshire, went to undergrad at the University of New Hampshire and then got my Masters at MIT. Oh, and I love my wife!
2. What is your idea of a perfect vacation?
A week in the woods in Alaska.
3. If you weren’t in the profession you are, what would be your other dream profession?
If I wasn't building jet engines I'd be a pilot. 'Cause my wife likes her Top Gun.
4. What is your favorite movie of all time and favorite scene in it?
Empire Strikes Back. The scene where Luke takes down the AT-AT. (what the heck is that Dave lol!)
5. Bacon or sausage?
Oooh, bacon. I love sausage, but bacon any day, every day...
6. What is one of your favorite memories?
Eating at a restaurant in the middle of the city of Puerto Vallarta, complete with tamales, cerveza, margaritas, a parrot and my beautiful wife. (That was a good day, minus the rain and running barefoot through the streets of PV!)
7. Do you have a secret talent?
I'm kinda proud of my tikka masala. (yeah it's goood)
8. Would you rather have super strength or super intelligence?
9. What is something you cannot live without (other than your lovely wife)?
10. What is the best thing you have dressed up as for Halloween?
Peter Parker as Spider Man. (you can thank me for that lovely costume:))
Thanks babe for sharing your deepest thoughts ;) Make sure to back tomorrow for the final post in the Meet the Parker series and read all about our love story!
Today is the last day in the Meet The Parkers series! It has been so fun sharing my family with you this week! As many of you know I'm married to the amazing Dave. But you might not know about our story. So I wanted to end out this week sharing with you a peek into how we met and how far we've come:) It's funny how some people can enter your life and completely change the direction in which you were headed.
Eight years ago I never expected to meet a man who would change my life. A man who would show me the good in the world. A man who, above all else, would love me, just as I was.
And yet, despite whatever future I had planned, God stepped in, placed this man in my path and my life would never be the same.
Eight years later I can't remember what life was like with out him. He is the yin to my yang, my perfect fit. He was created for me.
We have promised to take on this life, come what may and I stand taller because we walk through life together.
I hope we never stop kissing at red lights. I hope we never stop speaking our language. I hope we never stop squeezing each other's hands: I. love. you. I hope we never stop laughing.
Babe, if it's not obvious yet, I'm grateful for you. You build me up and make me a better person. Through God's love and wondrous plan He brought us together and I'll never be the same.
Dave and I met while I was at Northeastern University and he was getting his Masters at MIT. We had the same circle of friends and so it wasn't long before we connected. The picture below is the first night I realized that I had feelings for Dave. He however, did not feel the same about me! This night started a year of cat and mouse, me playing coy and Dave pursuing, until I decided to be his girlfriend;). (and dontcha worry Dave has been teased thoroughly for that tie;)).
2004 was a special year for us! It was the year that we officially started dating and also when the Red Sox beat the curse and won the World Series! We first bonded over our love of the Sox and so we are VERY sentimental about 2004:)
2005 was a year of transition as Dave graduated from MIT and started a new job. For a large part of the year, the future of our relationship was uncertain as Dave wasn't finding any jobs in the New England area. But right at the last minute, he received an offer for his current job! I couldn't have been more proud of my boyfriend and all he had achieved!
2005 was also the year that we became engaged!! I kinda knew it was coming. When your future fiance makes trips to New Hampshire on a weekly basis to look at "kayaks" your mind starts to wander;) And in a typical Debbie moment, I may have sworn at him the night of our engagement. I thought for sure it was all over, but that man sure is persistent and he still proposed! It ended up bein an amazing night and we look back on it fondly:)!
2006 marked the start of our life together. It's the year we committed forever together and finally our separate lives started to align:) I graduate from Northeastern, started my first real newspaper job, moved and got married (all within the span of two months!) It was intense, but I was happy to have everything happen at once! It so fun to look back on this time in our life. We were young and in love. We had no idea what the future held, but we were ready to jump in!
We've been together for eight years. And as we've changed over these eight years so has our relationship. We've become best friends, we've fallen deeply in love, and become one. Our story is not a love at first sight story. Our story is one of growth. But as we've shared in life together our love for one another has grown. With each year that passes our relationship changes and matures. Who we are as a couple today is not who we were as a couple last year. And I wouldn't want it any other way. I'm so grateful to have this man and to share in life with him!