Archive for January, 2010

January 30, 2010


meet catherine – probably one the the easiest babies I’ve ever worked with.  her mom is a friend of my bride katie and gave me a call to see if I could come up to shoot on her last day of maternity leave. so off I went on a beautiful day to meet the family (and 2 adorable dogs) catherine rarely took her eyes off me and was a superstar! – jessica & bryant were pretty great too :)



love this shot!











the family has signed up for the “grow with me” package, so I will have the pleasure of working with them 3 more times in the next 2 years and I’m so excited – they are a really fun family and great to work with – plus I think that catherine’s cuteness will just get bigger as she does! thanks for a great morning!

January 26, 2010



my good friend and specialty cake baker extraordinaire susan weisengoff-patt has opened cake art – a specialty cake bakery! many of you are probably familiar with her work as head baker at classic cakes, but earlier this month she made the leap to go out on her own! the shop will be located at 113 west main street on the plaza in downtown salisbury. construction is underway and it’s going to be beyond cool! (I’ve seen the space and it’s inspiring!) in the meantime, if you want the coolest cakes ever just contact susan at and have her create something yummy and beautiful like this…..


or this…..


or maybe this…….


congratulations susan!! I’m so proud of you and can’t wait to see the amazing thing’s you’ll do with your own shop!!

January 22, 2010


okay… so when I posted angie & ben’s e-session photos, I had hinted that their story was a special one – but I was saving it for now. so, for you sentimental folks – grab the kleenex! angie and ben met when they were 14, started dating and were high school sweethearts until the military called and ben left town. as a result, they lost touch and moved on. well, maybe I shouldn’t say moved on – because as kristie and I discovered during the wedding toast and all of the stories being told during the wedding, angie compared every man she met or dated in the years between to ben. she’d tell her friends “he’s got brown eyes….like ben” or “he laughs kinda like ben” the only problem was that none of them were ben. during my inital meeting with them I found out that they both considered each other “the one who got away” for YEARS and it was only when ben was doing some work for a relative of angie’s in pennsylvania that on a whim, he asked how she was doing. as fate would have it they were both single and once the contact information was exchanged, that was all she wrote. sparks flew, emotions & feelings that never had gone away were re-kindled and here we were – at the tidewater inn, 30 years later – celebrating this lifetime of love. tears generously shed by all, laughter filled the room and JOY was everywhere! such a great wedding to start off 2010! angie is the type of bride who knew exactly how she wanted her wedding to be - from the dress she helped design to the birdcage veil she made herself. it was retro, funky and 100% pure angie


love this shot of angie



now check this bouquet out – crystals & feathers – love! I was a little obsessed with it



call me sappy, but I love a weepy groom….




angie had a second dress for the reception and this is the one we’re going to use for her trash the dress session – minus the fur jacket of course




thank you SO much angie & ben for including us in you very-long-time-coming-special-day!! much much love and happiness to you as you continue your love story!

January 08, 2010


you were warned!! in my attempt to keep current on the blog, I hinted that there may be photos galore of my dogs booker and sampson – and just 5 days later, they make their debut! well… at least booker does. booker is a bernese mountain dog and for those of you not familiar with breed, they LIVE for snow! I grew up in syracuse, new york and spent years in colorado – so I kinda live for snow too and it is a rare commodity in these parts – so this morning when I awoke to a fresh snowfall, the dogs and I raced downstairs to go play. sampson, our older rott/lab mix is not a fan and therefore ran out then in – booker however ran around like a mad man – throwing himself into the bushes so that snow would fall all around him. these photos were taken later in the morning after he had calmed down and I had consumed several cups of coffee


my boy knows the power of his cuteness and is not afraid to WORK IT


look for sampson to strike a pose soon!

January 07, 2010


the snow storms of the previous week had me nervous about getting a decent day for this session – but we got an AMAZING sunny and beautiful annapolis day! when I had my initial consultation with katie & james, I left our meeting thinking that they were going to be a great couple to work with – but I had no idea how just much fun they would be! I met up with them at their wedding location (stunning!) and then we took to the streets of annapolis. I swear that I never stopped laughing during the whole session. these two so obviously have a fabulous time together and it overflows to those around them. anything I suggested, they enthusiastically jumped on board and I’m so grateful to start of my 2010 season with such a great couple!






as we made our way down to the marina, we had a brief encounter with a beautiful newfoundland and got a game update from some folks partying on their boat (steelers & ravens were tied!! – ugh)









I had SO much fun with you guys and am beyond excited for your wedding – your energy is infectious and it’s going to make for one magical day!

January 04, 2010

they’ve known me since the day I was born and I spent my youth knowing them as “friends of my grandparents”.  they were always present at holidays and cocktail parties and while I always greeted them with a hug and a smile, I couldn’t tell you much more about them than their names: miss virginia and mr charles. all of that changed when I moved back to the eastern shore 8 years ago. my grandparents have been gone for years, as well as many more of charles and virginia’s friends – but they are still here, together. both over ninety, they still live in the home where they raised their family. they are my biggest fans at the palette, coming in for dinner at least two nights a week. they are at every party and event in town. since returning to maryland I have learned much more about virginia and charles outside of their friendship with my grandparents – I have learned how they met, how they made it through the depression, how the little town I live in has changed during almost a century and how, after 71 years of marriage they still have that sparkle when they look at each other. when I was a kid, I would take their coats for them as they entered my grandparent’s home for one of their many parties and now, at 40 years old, charles & virginia are my family. every time they come into the palette, I sit down with them and I learn something new – either about my family, my town but always about love. so when miss virginia said to me a few weeks back “you know, I think I might like a photograph taken of me and charles.” needless to say, I was thrilled. I have a similar photograph of my grandparents that hangs in my home, office and restaurant. every member of my extended family has this photograph – and we love it because of what it represents – history, commitment and the truest love there is.


January 02, 2010

it’s hard to believe that it’s already 2010 – it seems like only yesterday I was gearing up for 2009 wedding shows. but here we are again… as I sit in my office, surrounded by brochures to staple, promo cards to organize and new albums to unwrap for display – I am reflective of where I and my business were last year and where we are now. I’ve got the billie holiday playing and I thought I’d take a moment and share with you the wonderful things that happened last year and what we hope to accomplish in the new year


finally got the storefront studio of gillette portrait arts opened – while I don’t do much studio shooting, I’ve been longing for a place where I can display my work, meet with clients and have a place outside of my home to focus on my business. our location allows for this and much more and I love it!

senior portraits: this is a market that I haven’t really gotten involved with before. To be honest, I didn’t think my style of shooting would translate well with that age group – but how wrong I was!!! my senior shoots were some of my favorite of the year – I worked with such great students who trusted me as I trudged with them out into cornfields, into the ocean and onto train cars – just to name a few locations. I was so excited that they shared my vision for portraits that reflected them instead of using the same old location for each person. these sessions pushed me creatively and I can’t wait to work with the class of 2011!

love affair workshop: this is a workshop that I have wanted to attend for several years, but either haven’t had the time or the funds to make it happen. this year I knew that my sanity and the future of my business demanded that I go, so off I went to atlanta. I was feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, uninspired and kind of just stuck. the thing about love affair is that it wasn’t a photography workshop – it was more of a life in photography workshop. by that I mean that while we did have sessions on photoshop, lighting & the technical aspects of photography, what attracted me was that there were also sessions on marketing, publishing, studio organization, and just being a woman in this business and finding the balance that enables us to have a life outside of our business. I met amazing women who shared the passion for photography that I have and love what they do as much as I do. I left inspired, refreshed, crazy creative, overflowing with new ideas for my business and with a bunch of new friends.

being published: soon after I returned from atlanta, we found out that not only was one of our weddings was being published in what’s up weddings magazine - but that we also got the cover from a different wedding! a cover!! I was so excited and immediately posted in on facebook where we got lots of love from my love affair girls and our amazing clients

the knot: about 2 months ago we found out that we were chosen as one of the top wedding photographers in maryland for 2010 by the knot. the incredibly cool thing about this honor is that it was voted on by our brides.

my clients: speaking of our brides… this year has blessed us with the best clients EVER!! we have been amazed by your trust, your faith in us and we are beyond grateful that you have chosen me and kristie to document monumental moments in your life. from our couples, to families, to seniors and pet owners – you have inspired some of the best photography of our careers and become friends that we cherish. without you, there is no gillette portrait arts and we are forever thankful and blessed to have you!


now comes the hard part…. setting goals. I have always been a “live in the moment” kind of girl, which is great in certain aspects of my life. but I know that when it comes to my business, goals are incredibly important – especially this year when we intend to take gillette portrait arts to the next level. I want to continue the momentum of 2009 and to do that, we must lay down the foundation, follow through and learn what we’re doing right and what isn’t working along the way.

blogging: since this blog has been up and running – we have just been blogging about our weddings and sessions. our intent from the outset was to blog about us in addition to our photography and in that we have fallen short. my life heavily influences my work but to be honest, I have thought that it may be a complete yawnfest to readers looking specifically for imagery. but when I read other blogs where people share something as simple as hanging out at the beach with their dogs, I feel like I know a little bit about that person. I feel like I want to grab my dogs and go hang out with that person. and in something as personal as hiring a photographer, I think it’s important for people to get to know us outside of images. so even if it bores people to tears, I am going to commit to blogging at least every other day – whether I’m shooting for clients or not, even if an obnoxious amount of images of my dogs get posted, even if I post recipes I’m trying out, even if  share my obsession with america’s next top model… I will blog - and hopefully you will read :)

weddings: we have MANY new plans for our 2010 weddings (of which we’ve already booked 20 – yippee!) some involve surprises for our couples, some are as simple as new lenses and equipment, some are aestetic with new album and product options, some are personal goals including booking a destination wedding. but ALL are exciting and designed specifically to provide our clients with an amazing experience to complement their wedding day photography.

seniors: we want to recruit senior portrait representatives from every local high school. last year we had  5 which was great for our first year and we already have 2 for the class of 2011. so if you know of a student who may be interested, have them shoot me an email or give me a call for details. the reps get 50% off their entire package, free rep cards and up to $150  in free products!

workshops: we plan to both attend a workshop – preferably somewhere cool where we’ve never been, held by photography/studio owners whose careers we’ve been following AND hold a workshop of our own. I shot my first professional job 20 years ago, and while I don’t think that I’m the bees knees – I do think that I have a lot to share with others when it comes to doing what you’re passionate about for a living and have a blast doing it.

life outside of my business: is there such a thing???? some days both I and my husband doubt it! I must tell you I have been blessed with the most patient man – ever!  many is the night where he and our dogs go off to bed, while I’m in my office till all hours of the night and early morning editing, blogging and answering emails. and while I can’t guarantee that this will never happen in 2010, I do know that it will happen a lot less. I am setting office hours like any normal person – delegating certain times for client meetings, others for computer work, paper work, etc. why work this hard if you aren’t sharing it with the people you love? I’m tired of the words “some day” – my husband and I have yet to take a proper honeymoon and we’ve been married 4 1/2 years. I haven’t been back to colorado to see my friends in 8 years – my main new year resolution last year was to go to colorado – do you think I did it? no. some day is today, or at the very least tomorrow. at least once I week I plan to spend real time with someone I love – not through facebook, not through texting – but over coffee, or during a walk on the beach. I’ve been blessed with so many amazing people and a wonderful husband in my life – it’s time to start spending time with them. as far as the lifestyle/health issues that you’re kind of forced to face at the beginning of each year this I know- I need to quit smoking, I need to exercise more, I need to spend more time outside, I need to drink less coffee and drink more water, I need to eat more fruits and vegetables, I need to do more yoga to help my scoliosis – I know all this and I know it every year and I’m cautiously optimistic that I’m at a place in my life that I will accomplish some of it, if not all. but unlike years past I didn’t wake up on january first and try to do it all at once, only to fall on my face a week later. smoking is number one and I’ve set my quit date for a week from monday and hopefully after that, all will fall into place.

so there is it… my first official blogpost of the new year. I am looking so forward to this year – I love the clean slate feeling that turning the calendar brings and am anticipating great things along the way! ohhhh – another goal – post more personal images… so I will leave you with this photo I took of an assateague pony as I was leaving an engagement shoot – here’s to a amazing 2010 and to quote my friend davina “to a big, beautiful life without fear!”