Archive for July, 2012

July 31, 2012

the theme of july seems to be photographing brand new clients – and by brand new I mean that although we have communicated via email or phone we haven’t actually met until the day of the session. usually with most of clients, be it wedding couples, seniors, etc. I have had a face to face meeting with them before we work together to discuss their session or services. but I have to admit – I’m kind of liking this little trend. for rachael and adam’s session, I was initially contacted by his mom margy who works with a previous client. then rachel and I touched base to figure our where to have their session – because they are getting married down here on the shore, but they live in baltimore while adam is finishing medical school we both thought that a city session sounded like fun. we met up down by the harbor and immediately I knew that these two were going to be a lot of fun to photograph – they were so friendly and obviously quite smitten with each other :) as we wandered from place to place they would suddenly do these adorable things spontaneously and I was loving it!

you both were so much fun to work with! thanks for a wonderful afternoon!

July 30, 2012

I always love it when a family contacts me when they want to do a photo session while on vacation – I think it’s such a great way to document a time of togetherness as a family. the knupp family figured out that it had been over 4 years since they were all together which made this session that much more special. I had such a great morning chasing all of these awesome kids around the beach. and although I usually get get into the ocean up to my knees, a rouge wave knocked me over and came roaring over my shoulders. that was a first and I said a special thank you to my freakishly long arms for saving my camera :) this family was so great and I was thrilled that I could document this summer trip!

thanks again for a wonderful morning!

July 30, 2012

After getting over all of the general excitement about being engaged, the one part of the planning process I was looking forward to the most was finding the perfect dress. I had all of these amazing designs that I had saved over the years and many that I had come up with on my own. I thought, with all of these beautiful and stunning dresses to choose from, there would be no problem finding one I would love enough to get married in. Little did I know the challenges that would await me.

After a while I realized that instead of the common problem I hear from other brides about not finding a great dress.. I found too many. Now let me clarify – there were many that didn’t really work as well but my biggest issue was trying to pick ‘the one’ from among my favorites. For various reasons, I began weeding through my finalists and eliminating those that were too formal, too casual, too poofy, had too many flowers, prohibited movement to dance or had something that just wasn’t quite right. I quickly realized that my handful of favorite dresses had been dwindled down to none. That’s right; n o n e….

SO after a slight mental breakdown and another freak-out where I informed my family that they could choose my dress and surprise me with it the morning of the wedding, I reluctantly agreed to go back out there. I knew what looked good on my body, knew what didn’t and had a firm list of small things I really didn’t want. I wished desperately to be finished with this specific aspect of wedding planning and at some point I realized that I had gone to 10 stores in 3 states and had tried on approximately 100 dresses

Needless to say, I was beyond over it. Fearing that I really would resort to the family surprise dress idea, my mom and aunt took me back to the one dress store where I had felt completely comfortable and truly connected with the owner. Ironically, the store is called The Perfect Dress. I went in and explained my dilemma to Sarah, who after smiling and shaking her head at me said, ‘alright, let’s get to work!’ Without so much as hinting about my last visit, she put my number one dress in the dressing room for me to try on again. I was shocked she remembered! Once I had the dress all clipped on and was standing in front of the mirror she looked at my face and asked what was wrong. I explained to her my OCD problems with the bottom of the dress (looked too Belle-like). She told me I was fine for feeling that way and had me describe exactly what I had in mind. As I continued to peruse around the store, she was ferociously typing into her computer and talking on the phone. Just before I was ready to give up and go home, she came over to me with a huge grin on her face and informed me that she had spoken with the company that made the dress and that they were willing to change the bottom of the dress and suddenly my dream dress was a reality! I was floored and awed by her diligence to make sure I was happy. She truly went above and beyond the call of duty and I couldn’t be happier.

So after months of endless searching, I finally found/created the wedding dress of my dreams, and it wouldn’t have been possible without my family’s unyielding support and the wisdom of the one and only Sarah Dryden. To all of my fellow brides out there, the moral of my story is that there really is a perfect dress for every bride. You just need an open mind, determination, and patience (truckloads of patience) to find it.

July 28, 2012

Stacie + my cousin Rusty have been together for almost a decade and they are best friends.  To see them together and how they are always smiling and laughing- there is no doubt they were meant to be.  :) So when Rusty proposed to Stacie the whole family was so excited!  Stacie is basically family already, but now we finally get to make it official!  When we were throwing out ideas for their engagement session, Stacie + Rusty wanted to go to a place that meant something to them and close to the water.  Oh, and the 3 “kids” were a must- Sue, Belle and Bentley :)  With Rusty being a deep sea captain + first mate, it was hard to find a bright, beautiful day where he was not working and out on the water.  So one morning when the weather station called for thunderstorms, we all pulled together and decided to do an impromptu session that evening and kept our fingers crossed the whole time that rain would dodge us.  It worked!  And we had such a fun time with all the pups at this place that they both hold dear in their heart. 

We put the ring on my grandfather’s skip jack he made when he was a kid. :)


I am so happy for you both and so excited that this day is almost here. Love you guys! :) xoxo

July 25, 2012

When my cousin Katie told everyone that she was engaged we all were so excited for the wedding!  She and Pete had been together for quite some time and we were all anxiously waiting for their engagement.  We had a fun time during their engagment session and I love that they have incorporated so much family history into the wedding.  Pete proposed with his grandmother’s diamond, we shot their session where they first kissed and Katie carried the coin my grandmother carried on her wedding day in her shoe. :)  I wrote about that coin in one of my Way Back Wednesdays on my grandparents’ wedding.  Katie and Pete are both very family oriented and wanted family to be a major part of their wedding.  Along with including the previous details, they had family fly in from Georgia to Hawaii to share this special day with them.  Her brother even made a surprise appearance! The entire day was amazing and full of laughter and smiles.  Katie + Pete even had a beautiful sparkler exit on their way to the airport!

Katie + Pete- Mel and I had an amazing time with you on your wedding day.  We are so happy for you both and hope you had a great in Jamaica! :)  I’m so thankful to be able to call you family. xoxo

July 24, 2012

kali and carlos live and are getting married across the bridge – I am so excited for their wedding at the maryland yacht club! but when choosing the location for their e-session, they wanted to come to the beach. I couldn’t be happier with that decision! while I adore shooting on the western shore, there is something about shooting at the beach that always makes me happy. it was a beautiful evening at assateague and the beach was practically empty.. with the exception of some ponies. there was a group of 5 and they were just chilling out by the waters edge. literally laying down in the sand and just enjoying themselves – seeing that was a first for me. I see the ponies almost every time I go to the island, but this relaxing, happy hour-like zen was awesome to see. kali and carlos were so great to work with – the perfect combination of relaxed and playful and had me giggling along with them the whole evening. I simply can’t wait for their big day!

thanks for a great evening – I had so much fun! see you soon :)

July 23, 2012

I don’t know exactly why but for whatever reason, it occurred to me as I drove home from baltimore last night that I haven’t moved for almost 10 years! prior to that, the longest that I had lived in the same place was 5 years when I was a teenager. maybe it was because I walked past one of the 3 places I lived while I was in baltimore after yesterday’s session that had my mind going, but to entertain myself during the monotonous ride on rt 50, I counted just how many times I have moved. the grand total surprised even me – 30. even before I turned 18, I had moved 5 times – twice in baltimore and then 3 times in syracuse. having gone to 4 different colleges, I of course bounced around a bit and once I headed west – well I never really unpacked. now if you’ve read the blog, you know I’ve traveled quite a bit – especially in the US. but these were set up a bedroom, get-your-mail-there moves and the weirdest thing was that it wasn’t weird to me at all. I have always been spontaneous, almost to a fault. when I would make up my mind or a friend would begin a sentence with ‘wouldn’t it be cool if?’ I would already be taping up the boxes. with the exception of flying (I’m much more of a road trip girl), I loved everything about putting down new roots because it meant new people and new experiences. while kris and I were on the road last fall she turned to me and asked ‘you basically have a friend you could crash with in every state don’t you?’ and although I had never really thought about it, I guess I do. I can’t imagine my life without my nomadic teens and twenties – I met my ‘family’ during those journeys and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I wouldn’t be the person that I am at all had I just stayed in syracuse after I graduated high school. so I guess that’s why it amazed me that I have lived within the same 4 walls for almost a decade. maybe it’s a product of getting older – it’s almost for sure because I fell in love with an eastern shore man, but either way it got me thinking. my family has been in this little town for at least 5 generations and I had kind of grown up here during my many summer and holiday visits. but never, and I repeat NEVER did I ever think I would call snow hill home. I used to think it was too small, too slow and trust me all of that is true. I honest to god can not walk from my house to the studio and not see someone I know – and not just know their face.. I know their name, their families, what they drive, etc. when I was your typical teen I hated this because everyone was in my ‘business’ and if they saw something torrid (drinking a beer when I was 18 – the horror!!) you can bet my grandparents knew about before I got home. but now, as an adult, I love it and have come to depend on the security it provides. we are a community and a family that supports each other – a lesson I learned big time when I opened a restaurant. do I wish that I could order thai food at 10pm and get it delivered like I did in new york? absolutely! would I love it if I could go to a venue like red rocks once a week during the summer to see my favorites bands? god yes! but would I trade all of that for the life I have now? nope. although roland and I have talked about the possibility of retiring to colorado or upstate new york, right now I am exactly where I’m supposed to be.

July 19, 2012

I think it’s a pretty fair statement to say that most artists, whatever their form of expression, seek out other creative endeavors to shake things up and get inspired. my mom, for example, was a writer but there were many days that she would get lost in her kitchen experimenting with new flavors and techniques. kris’ artistic talents never cease to amaze me as to what she can do with paint, found objects and design – plus she’s recently taken up guitar! my outlet is writing but at this time of year that’s mostly confined to email correspondence and blogposts. I personally think that dabbling in something other than what you’re ‘good’ at is an amazing way to gain a new perspective and stretch your own limits. so recently when I picked up a pamphlet for this summer’s ShaDeeLa creative workshops, I was intrigued. I had wanted to participate in one of these workshops for a long time but they are normally held on saturdays and I am usually at a wedding. ShaDeeLa is the combined creative collaboration of three of the most inspiring women I know: Sharon, Diane and Deb. lifelong friends, they draw from all of their experiences to teach different forms of creative expression. the particular class that caught my eye was called ‘fearless painting’. now let me give you a little history on me and painting… before going to MICA, the only experience that I had with painting was rolling a coat of black semi-glass on my bedroom wall (I had some moody teenage years.. don’t judge), but in order to qualify for a fine art degree, painting was a requirement my first year. like some darkroom junkies from the photo wing of the school, I felt horribly out of place in ‘painting 101′. I was surrounded by people with picasso-like talent, or at least it seemed. they would mix colors and apply it to canvas with such ease as I struggled to make a reasonable purple on my palette. I dreaded going and hated every minute I was there because I didn’t think I was any good at it – instead of embracing something new, I pushed it away out of fear and insecurity. I finally finished the class, filled my requirement and haven’t picked up another paint brush outside of house painting since – so the title ‘FEARless painting’ really caught my eye. that saturday as I climbed the stairs of the old snow hill firehouse with my security blanket (also known as my camera) I was both excited and nervous. this particular class was taught by deb – she is amazing! to see some of here work, click here. the thing about these workshops is that there is truly something for everyone – seated next to me was an accomplished abstract painter while others were as inexperienced as I was but with deb’s instruction we collectively took a deep breath and began. sharon, diane and deb were amazing as some of us (me) were baffled and frustrated (again, me) reassuring us that there were no rules and absolutely no mistakes. if I’m honest, I was pretty surprised when about an hour into it, I began to really enjoy myself. stranger still is that I actually really liked what I ended up painting – who knew?? thank you so much ladies for a wonderful day!

July 18, 2012

After getting to know both Annie and Wes, I knew that their wedding was going to be not only colorful, but an absolute blast! From the ceremony down to the flowered dog collar for their beloved pup Luna, everything was beautiful and very personal. The ceremony was actually performed by Annie’s uncle and Wes’ mother sang ‘The Wedding Song’ which were special touches that made the whole day seem all the more intimate. Mel and I loved how color played such a huge role in the wedding, Annie even wore her grandmother’s antique amethyst necklace. As we entered the Torpedo Factory for the reception, the lighting and decor were so beautifully design to highlight this whimsical venue. So many details made the wedding so memorable but what we found to be the most rewarding was everyone in attendance celebrating with and for the very happy couple.

I am so grateful that I was witness to such an amazing celebration of love! we wish nothing but the best to you both and Luna! xoxo Liv and Mel


July 17, 2012

I have become so accustomed to knowing our couples really well that by the time their wedding rolls around, it feels like I’m just going to hang out with some good friends for the day. in the case of megan and shane their wedding day would be the first time we would meet and if I’m honest I get something close to first date butterflies – hoping that they like me, think I’m hysterical – lol, etc. seeing as I was going to one of my favorites venues, the cloisters, I knew they had to be super cool just on location choice alone! I needn’t have worried one bit because as I entered the castle and found megan and her girls in one of the upper rooms I knew immediately that this was going to be an awesome wedding! before the ceremony even happened, megan and shane’s wedding had some of my favorite wedding elements – bridesmaids that all wore different dresses, centerpieces of succulents, handmade and earth friendly venue decor – even the boutonnieres were made by them. and… AND! she was walking down the aisle barefoot! I really wanted to be barefoot at my wedding but one of my oldest friends pulled the family card ‘do you really thing your mother and grandmother would want you to spend your wedding day barefoot?’she asked. if you knew my mom and gram, the answer to this questions is ‘absolutely not!’ (they were shoe ladies, I am not). then when the ceremony started, the bridal party walked down the aisle to rusted root’s ‘send me on my way’ really?!?! could this wedding get any better? as a matter of fact, yes it could. megan and shane’s family and friends were so nice and made the evening so much fun. from the toasts filled with laughs and happy tears to the surprise serenade from megan and her bridesmaids to shane – every part of this wedding was filled with personal touches and unique and special moments. I was so happy to spend the day surrounded by it all.

congratulation megan + shane! I had such a wonderful time with you and hope to see and work with you again!