Archive for August, 2010

August 27, 2010


ashley and bobby met at eagle’s landing where they both worked. the first summer they were too shy to even say hello, but by the second summer when he was a cart boy and she was a beer girl, they finally talked and the rest – as they say – was history! we began the session at the coconut mallory where they are having their reception – then it was off to the beach and we wrapped up the session at eagle’s landing – naturally. the chemistry between these two was apparent from the first snap of the shutter and I loved the juxtaposition of ashley’s fabulous dress & shoes with bobby’s casual look. very them! 











see you guys in october! I can’t wait!!

August 27, 2010


when I arrived at their house before their e-session, baby wyatt was in the process of eating lunch. mom erin had told me that he was feeling a little under the weather but you’d never know it! the first time I sat down with erin wyatt was with her and was just the happiest baby I’d ever seen and this day was no exception. erin & mac met at his restaurant belly busters in ocean city and they are getting married at the sunset room – one of our favorite venues! we had decided that we were going to shoot part of the session as a family session – complete with dog mia :) and then do some photos of erin & mac.  

look at those eyes!!



this shot cracks me up – mia is such a good girl!











I had so much fun with you and your family and am looking really forward to working with you for your wedding!

August 27, 2010


bev is best friends with one of raye’s former brides melisssa – so this past wedding show season we were seeing the two of them everywhere excitingly planning bev’s upcoming wedding. when bev called us to shoot the wedding, we were really excited. the first time I sat down with bev & tom I had the best time. they have such a spirit of fun when they are together and were smiling & joking the whole time. when it came time to talk about their e-session, they knew that they wanted to shoot part of it at the green turtle in salisbury because that’s where they met for the first time so we started there – first shooting outside and then moving inside complete with a couple of cocktails! after that it was off to salisbury park







see you two in a couple of weeks!!

August 24, 2010


I met up with christine & bill in annapolis for their e-session and we had a great time – I was especially fond of the fact that christine is an eagles fan and that bill brought me coffee! 2 things that are very close to my heart! these two are just fun – as we wandered the streets of annapolis, they were so filled with energy and SO obviously smitten with each other.  bill is actually a photographer too for the military and once we had gone to a couple of spots, he was reading my mind as we approached the next location – a future wedding photographer perhaps? he’d be great! what I loved was that we had time to really talk and get to know each other better and I am so excited for their wedding!



love this one….









thanks for a great session! I’ll see you soon!

August 20, 2010


meet anna – our worcester prep senior rep! for my senior sessions I like to include some of the many things that make students approaching their final year of high school so fun – their hobbies, interests and where they like to go. and the beach is always a popular location! so I met up with anna and her mom at assateague for the first part of her session. part two was at a horse farm that we shot yesterday. anna was so much fun! I was laughing the entire shoot – and yesterday was just as great – look for part 2 in a few days



I LOVE her hair!! very jealous :)






stay tuned for part 2 – thanks anna!!

August 20, 2010


kellie & steve just hired GPA recently for a wedding in mid-september so we had to get their e-session done asap. I could tell when we initially sat down to meet for the first time that they were going to be fun to work with! when we met up in berlin, steve hinted that he may not be too fond of having his photo taken which I totally relate to – I hate it! I think a lot of photographers do. but as soon as he looked at kellie it was like he was a pro – they were so cute together! we started the session in berlin and then went to assateague












I’m so excited for your wedding at lighthouse sound – a great couple at a great location! see you soon!

August 20, 2010


I met up with jessica & danny at winterplace park. it was my first time there and it was such a happy discovery! it is beautful with amazing walking trails and just a really serene location. they brought their two dogs which always makes me happy. we had a great morning strolling, talking and stopping here and there to take some photos. jessica and danny have a wonderful wedding planned for next month and I’m so excited to work with them again soon!





I love this little patch of light



jessica has the most beautiful blue eyes!




thanks for a great morning – see you soon!

August 16, 2010


if you’ve read my blog for a while, you’ve often heard me refer to the palette – most of you know what this is, but I haven’t really described it in detail. and to be honest, I’ve tossed this post around in my head for days and I’m still not exactly sure what to say and how to say it. I guess a small history would be a good place to begin. while I was in school in baltimore for photography at MICA, I got my first restaurant job and loved it from day one. I love the energy, the comradery, the hours and the lifestyle – all of it. and even after school was over, I stayed in the restaurant business - from ocean city to boulder, colorado – everything from server, to bartender, to regional manager. when I moved back to the shore in 2002 it was the first time I dove seriously back into my photography, eventually opening gillette portrait arts in 2003 – but still worked in restaurants on the side. In the back of my head I, like many who have worked in the business for years, thought it would be amazing to open my own place – and in 2005 one of my dreams became a reality. at the beginning the place was a little 30 seater bistro I named the palette. in the years since we expanded to the second floor, doubling our capacity – we began live entertainment, welcomed our amazing regulars as well as new guests and had an amazing journey. In the last year however, gillette portrait arts has grown to levels I never thought possible – and while I am beyond grateful, to say I’ve been stretched thin is an understatement. several months ago my husband and I had a long discussion about all of it and when he looked at me and asked me “if you had to choose one – what would it be?” and I knew it was gillette portrait arts. I’ve been so blessed to not only realize one dream, but two! I feel like the luckiest girl in the world – but it’s gotten to be too much. so three weeks ago I sat down with the person who makes the palette possible – my manager and one of my best friends hope. in just a couple of days, her youngest is leaving for college, leaving hope with an empty nest for the first time in decades. from the first time I met hope years ago, I knew that she wanted to go back to school once all of her kids were out on their own and that time has come – so here we were. we both still love the palette and the amazing place she’s become – but there were other dreams outside the walls of 104 west green street and we couldn’t do all of it. so as we sat in her living room the decision was made to shut her down. at first, the decision was to do just that. shut the doors and turn off the ovens. I was contimplating moving my studio over there because it’s such a gorgeous building – there wasn’t really a full plan in place, just a closing date. speculation began, as it tends to do in a small town – some of it amusing, some of it far fetched and frustrating – but it was obvious the word was out and spreading like wildfire. so I guess I shouldn’t have been as shocked as I was a few days later when calls starting coming in from people interested in the palette. not just the restaurant as a business, but the palette for what it’s become and what it’s come to represent. after meeting with some of the interested parties, it was clear to me that the perfect person was going to take the palette into her next chapter and his name was phil. I met phil cropper through my friend kala years ago, but his reputation in the hospitality industry preceded him. phil is someone who approaches his work with zest and unmatchable creativity and when he expressed interest in the palette, I knew it was meant to be. the ideas and plans he has in store as he moves forward to re-open the palette are sure to thrill our regulars and his new guests as well. I am so excited to see how our little place thrives under his care. we are going to be open on a modified schedule through friday august 27th when we shut her down in style with the zen monkeys rockin’ the house and then phil will get in the next day to work his magic for his grand re-opening september 3rd. he will continue live entertainment with some of our favorite bands – keep a eye on your inbox as he unveils his plan for the palette!

this was NOT an easy decision and it continues to be difficult as the realities sink in. this past friday as the mood swingers were in full tilt, hope and I were behind the bar in tears – both happy & sad. the palette has been such a huge part of both of our lives, and as we wrap up our part in it’s running, there are bittersweet moments. I am beyond excited to be able to devote all of my professional time into gillette portrait arts. kristie and I have so many ideas and plans to take GPA to the next level and now I’ll have the time needed to turn these ideas into realities. I look forward to spending more time with my friends and being able to travel to see people I haven’t seen in years. being able to spend more time with my amazing husband is the best part of this decision and we may even find time to finally go on a honeymoon!

the outpouring of inquiries, love and support from all of our guests and friends has been amazing. It struck me on this past first friday that we truly achieved what we had set out to do – from day one we wanted to be a place for folks to come for great food and service and we did that. I think what I didn’t expect was that we became people’s “place” – the place you go to celebrate, to be together, to feel at home. that’s going to be what I take with me as the days wind down – that the palette became bigger than a restaurant – it was a family and for that I’m truly grateful.

I want to close with thanking everyone who rode this crazy train with us

all of our amazing guests & regulars – YOU are what made every service fun and kept the doors open – even through a massive recession. we are eternally grateful for your support & love!

our musicians: phil knight, slim denunn, dark gold jazz, the raucous brothers, cherrybud, the rukie dize band & the larks – thank you! the zen monkeys – so happy you’ll be with us on the last day – I’m a little biased because there’s a family connection – but I love you girls and love the energy you’ve brought to the palette! and finally, the mood swingers who were our first act and set the bar for palette entertainment – thank you thank you thank you!!!!

former employees bradfield, david, ashley k, linda, sue l, kayla, leah k, mariah, jamie, kala, prescilla, barry, sarah, lee, marie, susan, sheila, ashley, leah r, amanda b: whether you were with us for a summer or several years – thank you!

bridgette hillagoss & leslie bounds: 2 recent newcomers to the palette but are lifesavers as we wind down – thanks so much for your help!

amanda grames: put some plans on hold to help us out until the end – thanks girl!

kristie cooper: yep she’s part of the palette too! kris has been with us on and off from the beginning and will be there closing night. I’m so happy I get to keep working with my girl at GPA – you’re like my daughter/sister and I love you like crazy

taylor waidner: you grew up and came into your own while under the roof of the palette – I know you’re going to thrive in college & beyond

chef jim lewis – from helping me paint the outside before we opened to creating the menu and cuisine that would define the palette – I’ll never be able to thank you enough

jude robinson – was onboard with me before the ink was dry. jude was the pinnacle of professional service and part time den mother :) love you!

chef eric “moose” waidner – you stepped in when I needed you and FAR exceeded my expectations! you’re going to do amazing things in your career and I’m proud the palette has played a role in the amazing chef you have become.

ann & randy coates – who knew I was just crazy enough to open the palette and supported me every step of the way. you’re always there for me and I appreciate it more than you’ll ever know.

my grandparents paul & ethel gladding – rarely does a day go by when I put my key into the door of the palette when I don’t think of you – some of my fondest memories were made with you in this very building when I was little and it was evelyn’s. I wouldn’t be in snow hill without you and I have loved having guests come in who have told me stories about you from way back when. I know had you still been here, you would have been at a special table every night.

my parents cornelia & rockwood gillette – I learned what it took to open and run a business by watching both of you – you were both such amazing examples. I am so grateful that dad was able to see the palette in it’s early stages. I like to think you can both see what’s happened and what your lessons helped me create over the past 6 years – I miss you both SO much 

the hubs roland whaley – easily the most patient man in the world. you let me work insane hours, often surviving on pizza for days at a time. you built us a beautiful second floor dining space at the palette. you’ve spent almost every friday night home alone with our dogs waiting up for me to get home so I could tell you how the night went. you’re my biggest cheerleader and part time therapist. I don’t know what I’ve done to deserve someone like you to grow old with but I love you more than anything in the world!

hope waidner – girl, I don’t even know what to say. the palette wouldn’t be the palette without you. you know me better than practically anyone. you were there to prop me up when dad got sick and I hope I was there for you as you had your own burdens. you knew when to call me in and when to send me home, when to tell me what I needed to hear and when to edit out the useless noise. you knew my looks and spoke my language. you have become a best friend and a sister and to thank you would sound trite. I wish you all of the happiness you deserve and know that working apart will only bring us closer – I love you and am grateful for you forever.

August 12, 2010


meet the beautiful allen family! their grandmother judy won a session I had donated to a fundraiser for PRMC and she wanted to use it for photographs of her grandchildren. considering that the family is pretty spread out, we had to organize a time when everyone would be on the shore and we got a gorgeous day for the session. the kids were so fun and great to work with – the oldest of the bunch assisting with the youngest and everyone just loving being at the beach!



some of them had the bluest eyes I have ever seen!






I think she was getting a little tired of me – but I still love this shot :)





August 10, 2010


I had been waiting in anticipation for this wedding all summer. when I first met crystal & jason at their home, they just epitomized funky style and creativity – my kind of couple! but when I found out WHERE the wedding and reception were going to be, I was over the moon! ceremony – the historic senator theater. reception – baltimore museum of industry. seriously – pinch me! I also knew that they were going to take over a lot of the extras – from the flowers to decor and it was destined to be awesome! now every wedding has a little drama, even something as small as losing the back to an earring – but crystal and jason had a bigger hiccup than most. see I went up to baltimore about a month before the wedding to meet with crystal at the senator so we could look around and pick out some shooting locations. once we got there we attempted to open every door but it was locked up tight. crystal tried to call and nothing. baffled, we drove to the bmi and it too was closed, but a nice employee let us in so we could at least scope it out. 2 days later I got an alarming email from crystal saying that the senator was closing, or at least changing hands and it was unsure if the wedding would indeed take place there. fortunately, after some stress and massive efforts on their part, the powers that be made it possible for crystal and jay to have the wedding of their dreams!




love the veil, love the dress, love the light – love it ALL!


center stage at  the senator



I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I love me a weepy groom!





gettin’ steamy in the stairway…..


jason’s kids and wedding party were SO much fun!


yep – I have the coolest couples ever! my couples willingly climb rusty sculptures in their wedding attire to get the shot




some photobooth fun! we had a blast working the booth with this crew



I’m SO happy for you guys that everything worked out. it was such a fun and magical day and we are so grateful that we were there to witness it all. I know you’re going to have a life together full of fun, laughter and happiness!