Archive for December, 2011

December 30, 2011
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sampson and booker here! while the ladies are busy getting together images for next week’s ‘best of’  posts we thought we’d help out by taking care of the category that we love the most: our canine compadres :) this year at the studio we have hosted a number of dog benefit shoots and have raised money and food donations for organizations like the WCHS and safe haven who do wonderful work to help our dog and cat friends in need (yes… we even love the cats – but don’t tell anyone *wink wink*) raye and kristie assure us that next year will be even bigger with some on-location sessions and multiple day events. thanks from all of us here at GPA to those who came out this year, gave generously and introduced us to so many new friends!

December 29, 2011
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we are known as more of a family portrait and wedding photography studio so we don’t do a ton of senior portraits but whenever we are asked, we are thrilled! every session is a new experience and because we like to include the interests of our clients in the sessions, you never know what’s going to come along. last year it was horses and hockey gear – this year we had guitars and trombones :)  it’s such an hour for us to capture this special time in the lives of our seniors

December 28, 2011
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prepare yourself for a visual feast of wedding eye candy! we’re not sure if it’s the popularity of sites like etsy or pinterest (both of which we are all addicted to!) but 2011 was the year of the personal touch when it came to wedding details. having been a bride myself, I can attest to the thought that goes into flowers, favors and programs - and a lot of these items are gone once the big day is over. we have had so much fun getting creative with ring shots, wedding dresses and all of the awesome shoes! I love how the personalities of our couples became part of their wedding day with the addition of these creative choices that they made :)

December 27, 2011
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I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday with their friends and family! we’ve been off the blog for longer than usual tying up holiday orders and spending some much needed down time with our loved ones. we’ve also been choosing some of our favorite images from this past year and man it’s been hard to narrow it down! we’ve been blessed to work with SO many amazing people this year. so for the next week and a half we are going to cover everything from weddings to dogs and everything in between. we’re starting with e-sessions because they represent beginnings to me – it’s the first time that we work with our couples and it’s usually one of the bigger things that they do as they approach their big day :)  I really love these sessions because they allow us to shoot in a location special to our clients and we have time to get to know each other and shoot longer than we would have the chance to at the wedding

December 21, 2011
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during this rainy and dreary day I thought we could all use a little sunshine – so what would be better than a beach session featuring 2 of the cutest little girls ever?! I met mom samantha through my good friend and past bride jenni, in fact she gifted this session to sam and her family last christmas. we tried several times to get together before this day but the weather gods were not playing fair and due to high winds and rain, we had to postpone. finally we got a good day and even if it was a little chillier than we would have liked, the sun was gorgeous. the girls had fun running about the beaches as I tried to keep up with them – I had such a great time with this adorable family!

this shot of father and daughter doing the ‘mean face’ gets me laughing every time! :)

thank you for the super fun afternoon - I can’t wait to see these cuties as they grow!

December 19, 2011
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this is just one of many ornaments that my mother made over the years – this particular one has mini photos of me from a newborn to 3 years old and she gave is as a gift to my grandmother in 1973. christmas was always a huge deal in my family – both my mom and grandmother were decorating and entertaining divas. even though my mom and I spent christmas down here on the shore with my grandparents, our house in syracuse was still fully decorated complete with my mom’s ‘theme trees” - smaller trees were in practically every room. there was the pewter tree that had hand painted pewter ornaments that she had collected. there was the present tree which had miniature gifts that she had made by hand of all shapes, colors and sizes and the gold tree full of hand blown glass ornaments with bursts of gold and copper. all family ornaments, like this one were always kept in snow hill for the ‘big tree’. since my mother’s passing, I have inherited all of the ornaments collected over 4 generations. well this year I decided I was far too busy for a tree. I am not the martha stewart of holidays like the other women in my family, but I usually give it my best attempt. not this year – I had sessions to shoot, orders to fill and editing to finish. and I thought really, would it matter?? my husband didn’t even try to talk me out of it because he kinda knows when my mind is made up. so I proceeded with life as usual which included photographing a small wedding this past saturday. considering I was done at 2:00, I made the mistake of doing some shopping in annapolis. naturally crowds were hideous and the stores were loud, even over the ipod I attempted to drown it all out with. I stopped and sat down and witnessed families laughing and smiling, enjoying even the craziness of holiday gift buying. and if I’m honest, at that moment I hated each and every one of them. as I drove home I couldn’t shake this foul mood. one minute inside the doors of my house and roland knew something was up and as I settled into the couch I basically just lost it. the fact that I don’t have any immediate family anymore doesn’t hit me often, but when it does it’s rough. as I sniffled and hiccuped my way through the reason for my blues, he just held my hand and let me talk. sampson, the more emotional of our 2 dogs, was determined to get all 120 pounds of himself on my lap and lick away my tears. our other pup booker rested his head on roland’s lap looking up at me with his big kind eyes. I can only speak for myself, but more times than not it takes a mini-meltdown for me to have a breakthrough and as I calmed down I realized that I had more love on that couch than a lot of people ever have. I knew that I although I don’t have a traditional family anymore that I have such a big and beautiful group of lifelong friends who held me up during the loss of my parents. I realized just how lucky and blessed I am to have what I do and even though it’s okay to be sad, there are folks out there that have suffered far worse. needless to say the next morning after breakfast, roland and I were in the truck headed to the tree farm. as we debated the benefits of one tree over another, occasional snowflakes started to fall which surprised us both. I looked up, let one fall on my face and considered it a christmas blessing from those who have gone. I think it was also a clear message from mom and gram basically saying “it’s about time you got a tree!”  :) I wish all of you the happiest of holidays full of love, laughter and dog kisses!

December 16, 2011
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I had to dig back in the archives for jenni and tim’s photos. they were basically my first wedding as GPA. since their wedding day, they have welcomed sons rogan and evan into their family and I have been so grateful to be able to document it all! I become friends with a lot of my brides but few as close as jenni – we try to have lunch at least once a month and I’m so happy to consider her and her family dear friends.

  • where and when did you get married? we got married on June 5, 2004 in Newark, MD at my best friends Mom’s house.
  • was there a particular reason for choosing your venue? Tim: free  :)   Jenni: We chose her house because we wanted to have a backyard wedding. Her home is lovely and the backyard is huge with a nice pond and fields of flowers
  • what your most memorable moment(s)? Tim: Our vows and the banging dance party  Jenni: For me the whole day was memorable. I would, if I had to pick a ‘moment’ it was probably when I was standing outside the tent and I was watching EVERYONE on the dance floor. I remember seeing all of our family and friends and thinking how lucky we were to have them all here and to have found each other
  • if you had it to do over again, would you change anything and what/why? Tim: nothing  Jenni: If I had to do it over again I would have not taken on so much myself. I grew the centerpieces and made the favors – I almost gave myself an ulcer over the centerpieces!
  • where did you honeymoon? Aruba

December 15, 2011
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maybe I should have titled this blogpost – taylor and billy are married…. again :) here’s the story. taylor is the daughter of my friend doug and the first time I met her was when I photographed the wedding of doug and his wife jennifer. fast forward a couple of years and I had heard from doug that taylor fell in love and got married. I was really happy for her because in the brief time I spent with her at her dad’s wedding, she was so sweet. well it turns out that they got married at the courthouse due to billy’s military service and the time issues that can arise from possible deployments. so when doug gave me a call he said that taylor and billy wanted to get married again in front of all of their friends and family – yay! I got to the home of taylor’s mom and everyone was buzzing about excitedly. taylor’s gown was hanging in the living room and when I commented on how pretty it was, she told me that it was her mother’s dress – all taylor did was remove the sleeves and it fit her like a dream. the day was beautiful with the fall leaves in their last hurrah. I was so happy to spend the day with this amazing couple – all I had to do was look at billy as taylor came down the aisle to know that they’d get married 100 times if they could 

I loved absolutely every second of working with you both and wish you a lifetime of happiness and love xo

December 12, 2011
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last weekend we held our 3rd and final dog days event of 2011 – SANTA PAWS!! we had such an amazing time with all of the pups and their owners who came from as far as baltimore :) food donations were requested for safe haven animal sanctuary and our clients, as usual, were rockstars! we collected hundreds of pounds of food as well as toys, chewies and financial donations. I seriously don’t remember when I’ve laughed so hard - both while we were shooting and while editing the photos. the dogs that we photographed were awesome! all together we had the pleasure of working with emma, lola, zues, bo, beija, bella, ida claire, raegan, pearl, bunker and paxi. and so many thanks go out to all of their “parents” for helping us get their attention and getting them accessorized :) we have some really cool ideas for our 2012 dog days events – all dog events benefit local animal charities and organizations and we’re so grateful to help even in a small way with all of the wonderful things they do – especially in this season of gratitude.

thanks again to everyone who joined us for a great day – happy holidays to all of you!!

December 12, 2011
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there is something abouth this picture that inspires me. it reminds me of the saying ‘every cloud has a silver lining’  because it’s this huge pop of color where everything looks gray. and it’s just nice to remember or be reminded that there is always a silver lining to be found.

the last three weeks of my life have flown by in a whirlwind, to say the least. I welcomed my beautiful, perfect, healthy baby girl into my world on november 18th. and through all the challenges that being a new mom is full of – like not having the delivery I planned on, recovering from a c-section, a new level lack of sleep, figuring out what THAT cry means, learning what you really need in a diaper bag and how to get out of the house in a timely fashion and make it to (here or there) on time, among a MILLION other challenges – I just keep looking at her and thinking ‘wow’ I don’t care if I ever sleep again because she is AMAZING. and adorable, if I do say so myself.

and I am lucky because I have a husband who has been both supportive and absolutely darling and adorable with our new little one, through every challenge that having a baby brings for a new dad, too (including even some that we didn’t expect, like putting up with a new mom)

but in these last few weeks, I’ve also had to keep reminding myself that every cloud does in fact have a silver lining. as I embark on this new journey as a mom, I also find myself facing the loss of a loved one, someone very special to me. and while this is a tragic thing at any time, the silver lining for me in this situation is that I know that she is at  peace and that she has lived a good long life. I am so thankful to have known her and grown up with her. she has inspired me in so many ways. she has been a comfort, a friend, an inspiration and a pillar of strength. she’s spunky, feisty, hilarious, kind and strong. and as she has prepared to leave this life behind, she is leaving behind an impact on the lives of everyone she’s ever known or met. she is the first generation of the crazy kind of woman that makes up my family. the kind of woman I am proud of and proud to be. my little girl is named ofter her and I feel so lucky that they got to meet and spend time together these last few weeks. I will cherish the memories of their meeting forever and will always be thankful for every single moment we had together as four generations. and while bella may not remember it, we will be sure to tell her all about her great-grandma and how wonderful she was