Archive for January, 2014

January 31, 2014
|

patty silverman is the mother of my best friend leslie and I as explained in leslie’s grey t-shirt post, I have a very long and lovely history with this amazing woman. when my parents and I first moved to fayetteville, a small village outside of syracuse, patty took notice of us right away as we were moving into our new house. our street was very small and she only lived 7 houses away – plus she saw me and guessed correctly that I was close to leslie’s age (in fact, we are only 10 days apart). immediately, patty and my mom began planning play dates and were determined that we would be best friends. initially, les and I weren’t playing along.. either with our mother’s plans or with each other. we despised each other..until… they didn’t force us to spend time together and then that’s all we wanted. because both of my parents worked in downtown syracuse and patty was an art teacher who worked out of home, I always went to the silverman’s house after school until my parents got home. if I was sick and had to miss school, it was patty who made me chicken soup and took care of me. during afternoons after school, leslie, her sister shelley and I would often be in the art room or playing in the back yard as patty made us a snack or helped us with whatever little homework we may have had. but we all knew that there was a sacred hour – an hour that was for patty and not to be messed with – and that was when donahue was on. it was understood that we would be quiet (as quiet as 3 little girls could be) and let her have her 60 minutes of blissful peace and phil. it’s funny how you remember the smallest and seemingly silliest things.. and how they become can become so important and life changing. one afternoon my dad stopped by their house and said that he wanted to take me out for ice cream, which I guess wasn’t too unusual but I don’t have any recollection of it happening before that day. after we each got a cone, he told me that he was leaving – he was a salesman, he left all the time. he told me that he would still see me all of the time.. well of course he would. he told me that nothing would change between the two of us… why would it? he was going on a business trip. right? so after about a 20 minute drive, he dropped me back off at the silverman’s. I walked in smack dab in the middle of donahue and patty turned to me to ask how ice cream was – I don’t remember what I said, all I remember is that she stood up, walked across the room and turned off the television and turned to look at me with tears in her eyes. I knew then, at that moment, that something really big and something pretty bad had just happened and I just stood there, frozen, as she wrapped me up in her arms. after my parent’s divorce, my mother and I would move and leslie and I would go to different schools. I would get older and be able to make my own chicken soup when I was home sick, but my love for patty never lessened. once leslie and I moved out to boulder, patty and her husband dick would come out to visit and it was like having my parents there – I’ve never been afraid to tell her anything.. ever. I always knew that she was there, even at a distance – keeping her eye on me and her heart with me. when my mom got diagnosed, les called to tell her mom and patty called me immediately. she was one of the few people that I let my guard down with during this time.. voicing my fears about my mother’s cancer, my confusion and my rage. at the end of our conversation she said ‘I’m always here.. I am your jewish mother after all.’ and the title has stuck since. something in that small statement brought me such sudden peace due to it’s accuracy. because she is.. I don’t know a life without her. in leslie she created my beautiful, talented and amazing best friend. she’s a survivor who has faced cancer head on several times and has won. she is my soft place to fall and has been since the day we met next to a moving van in upstate new york. I love you and am grateful for you.. more than words can ever say.

January 17, 2014
|

perhaps it’s the advent of DIY wedding blogs and pinterest or maybe we just have some mad crafty clients (we do!) but in the last several years we have noticed more and more personal touches at our weddings. we love how the details reflect all of their different interests and loves – putting who they are as a couple into all facets of this. we even had one bride who had so much fun when it came to her details, that she’s considering a career change into wedding decor and design. whether it’s homemade guest favors, a perfectly chosen gown (pink!) or a custom artisan wedding bands made by your best friend, our couples went above and beyond and really wowed us this year

 

 

January 16, 2014
|

whether it was a big and boisterous gang of folks or just one best friend on each side, this year our couples had some of the coolest bridesmaids and groomsmen that we’ve ever worked with. they scaled sculptures and braved inclement weather, they hoisted us up into trees so that we could get a shot, they took care of the ‘dogs-of-honor’ and they mixed the cocktails  - but most of all, they provided our brides and grooms with friendship, laughter, support and love.

 

January 15, 2014
|

when the idea of the grey t-shirt project became something more than a middle-of-the-night spark of an idea, there were some specific friends that I immediately had in mind. without a doubt, heidi was at the top of that list. as I always seem to do, I have gone over and over in my head as to what I wanted to write.. what I wanted to really say. how do you adequately tell the story about someone who basically saved your life, at least my life as I knew it then? how do you translate all of the victories, defeats, heartbreaks, new loves, thrilling successes, devastating failures, mourning and utter joy that you have experienced for the last 35 years.. firmly shoulder to shoulder next to one person, in a paragraph?  I have been so fortunate and ridiculously lucky to have so many friends that have been in my life for multiple decades – they are the closest thing that this only child knows about having siblings and heidi is the one of best examples of this – there is little in my life, at least the parts that matter, that don’t include her. when my parents split, my mom and I moved across town to a condo complex and this 1.5 mile move put me over some mysterious line that required me to change schools. not only was life at home turned upside down, I now had to go to a different school as the “new kid” where I knew no one – I was 8 years old, debilitatingly shy and I was terrified. as soon as I found my homeroom, my new teacher said that she had a student who was going to show me around and gently guided me by the arm across the room. now not only am I an only child, but I’m also an only grandchild and it was my grandmother’s mission in life to dress me as preciously as possible when I was little – so if you know me now, you’ll understand how funny this is.. and kind of ironic. I was wearing a pleated plaid skirt, a crisp white shirt with a peter pan collar, a candy apple red purse, white knee socks and patent leather mary janes – and if that weren’t bad enough, my hair was cut in a then very fashionable dorothy hamill bob. as we made our way to the other side of the room, the teacher tapped heidi on the back and she quickly spun around with a huge smile on her face “hi! I’m heidi!!” she yelled (okay, she didn’t yell it.. but that’s how it felt and sounded at the time) and stuck out her hand to enthusiastically shake mine. I couldn’t move. the only thing the two of us had in common was our height – we were easily the two tallest students in the room. heidi had long, marsha brady hair, wore funky and colorful bell bottom pants with a lime green turtleneck and radiated confidence. when I finally got my wits about me and meekly introduced myself, she threw her arm around my shoulders and helped me find my desk. from that day on we were inseparable and whatever panic, sadness or uncertainty I felt when it came to the divorce of my parents seemed to disappear when I was with her. a year and half later her father got a new job and they moved 2 hours away – a million miles to us then. at first we were both distraught and with all of the drama that two 10 year old girls could muster, we separated.. kicking, screaming and laying massive amounts of guilt on our parents for letting this happen. despite the distance, or perhaps because of it, our friendship never faded – in fact I think it made it even better. when we would visit each other we made every moment count and never took anything for granted. as years passed, we built the kind of relationship where we were so tuned in to each other that for no reason, we would randomly call the other or show up on the other’s doorstep only to find out that one of us had either had the best day ever or that something tragic had occurred. to this day we still do.. it happens with almost creepy precision. together we’ve lived through silly childhood spats, high school, boyfriends, college, being roommates, boyfriends, first jobs, careers, illness, more boyfriends, marriages, breakups, the deaths of family members and close friends and the birth of her children - always together. since moving back east over a decade ago, I have been able to spend more time with heidi, her daughter sky and son avery and I love them all more than I could ever say – when sky talks to me like a confidante and not as her mom’s best friend, my heart smiles. whenever I feel the need to decompress, heal or make sense of things, I head to their yellow house in the mountains. heidi lets me vent without judgement, cry when I need to and can make me breathless with laughter even in the darkest times. last summer they all came to stay with me and naturally, heading to the beach was on the itinerary. one afternoon we all went to chincoteague where heidi, sky and I swam in the ocean, getting pummeled by a very rough surf as heidi and I giggled like the teenagers we once were. as avery stood on the beach, hands on his 15 year old hips as if to say “stupid girls”, sky looked at me and asked if I could touch the bottom – I couldn’t. I joked that we had failed by not implementing a proper buddy system. then, as a giant wave approached, heidi and I looked at each other and in unison yelled “buddy” as we swam toward each other, trying not to swallow too much water as we laughed. the wave crashed over us before we reached each other but I knew, as I’ve known practically my whole life, that she was there.. spinning through the ocean and whatever was to come next, by my side.

January 15, 2014
|

this year our couples tied the knot everywhere from the beach, historic mansions and farms to a virgina zoo. we witnessed happy tears, spontaneous laughter and heartfelt readings. we worked at some of our all time favorite venues as well as having the opportunity to be introduced to some amazing new (to us) locations. we traveled to 6 different states and had the honor of documenting the weddings of several very close friends. as fun as it is to photograph the portraits and reception, ceremonies are our favorite because that’s really what a wedding day is about…. two people pledging their love in front of their friends and family – and in several cases this year, their pups!

 

 

 

 

 

 

January 14, 2014
|

this year more than any other, our couples opted to either see each other before the ceremony or at the very least share their excitement via ‘around the corner’ exchanges or letters. we are big fans of first looks for several reasons – for one, usually no one else is there except our couple and us and it’s such a spontaneous, emotional and very real moment to photograph – some of our favorite photos have been taken during this time. because we obviously make an allowance for the first look in the timeline, it also gives us the opportunity to photograph some of their portraits before the ceremony and depending on time of day and lighting, this can be essential. above all, it’s so romantic and glows what this day is truly all about.. joy, excitement and the two of them

 

 

January 10, 2014
|

since we started our 2013 ‘best of’ blogposts, we have received more than a few texts and emails asking when the wedding posts would start. well ask and you shall receive! seeing how it makes the most sense to post them in the same order that we photograph them, we’re starting with the getting ready photos. during every wedding we photograph, we like to be with our couples before the ceremony or first look – if only for a few minutes. these moments leading up to one of the biggest events of their lives are always filled with such emotion and anticipation. it also give us some quiet time with our couples before the festivities begin and including these moments really tell an important part of their story.

 

 

 

 

January 10, 2014
|

this morning as I was choosing the photos for this blogpost, I was going over in my head what I would write about lexie and payton. was I going to tell you about our first session several years ago when they were both giggly girls who found it nearly impossible to sit still because of their infectious energy? or that I saw something in both of them.. that ‘thing’ that you can’t describe when you see it through your viewfinder – you just know it’s there. from that first evening on assateague, I have photographed lexie and payton countless times. whenever we are hired for an editorial shoot, theirs is the first number I call – not only because they photograph better than almost anyone I’ve ever worked with, but because they are two of the coolest, kindest and loveliest girls I know. every time we work together they bring an energy and professionalism that I have rarely seen in models who do this full time and for a living. they are up for anything…. and I mean anything. last year when it snowed (a rare occurrence in these parts and one I always try to take advantage of photographically) I had an idea for lexie… in a snowy field… in a mini dress that I had found for $5 at H+M. when I texted her my idea, she didn’t even bat an eye and an hour later we were ankle deep in snow drifts. not that they weren’t great when I first met them, but watching them grow into the thoughtful and amazing young women that they have become has been such a joy and I look forward to each session and every other opportunity we have to get together. I even love the hundreds of texts I get from lex mere minutes after a shoot, begging me for photos she can use for instagram.  although I know it will be sooner rather than later, I can’t wait to trudge through the snow, dance on the beach, get stuck in the mud or any other adventure our next session gets us into xoxo

from our first session:

 

 

January 09, 2014
|

in 2013 we had the opportunity to work with some of the most talented designers, stylists and models. once again we worked the amazing ladies of hj planners as well as shooting some editorial work for south moon under and ish boutique. fashion is quickly becoming a favorite here at the studio and we have started working with several aspiring models as they create their portfolios – in the next month we are going to create a portfolio for one of our favorite models lexie who is alllllll over this post :) because fashion photography inspires our wedding work, any time we have a chance to work editorially we love it and are so excited to some new opportunities in 2014!

January 08, 2014
|

all of us here at the studio are dogs owners and we LOVE working with them. in addition to our in-studio events, a lot of our clients brought them along to their sessions (and their weddings!) which always makes us smile. this year, due to popular demand, we had our annual santa paws benefit shoot both here in snow hill and for the first time, we held one in baltimore. it’s so awesome that santa paws has grown into such an anticipated event and that it has given us the ability to help local shelters. we also had the opportunity to work a rescue benefit at downtown dog resort with some baltimore ravens players – which was SO much fun! next year we are planning 3 dog days benefit sessions and can’t wait to play with more of our much loved four-legged clients :)