Archive for June, 2014

June 30, 2014


It’s no secret that we ladies here at Gillette Portrait Arts absolutely love our couples.  This definitely holds true for Kate + Melissa!   I mean, how could I not when their wedding favors included Flarp??!  If you haven’t heard about Flarp you are missing out! ;)  On their first date, Kate + Melissa played Jenga so when Melissa proposed to Kate she had built a three foot Jenga game with personalized blocks that contained phrases and words from their entire courtship.  She hid the box with Kate’s ring in the center so that she would find it when the blocks fell down.  Kate also surprised Melissa when she proposed and both ladies celebrated with their friends and family in Austin, Texas.

Three weeks ago, I had the pleasure of meeting this beautiful couple and those same friends and family members in Taneytown at the historic Antrim 1844.  Set at the top of the rolling hills in Carroll Country, this historic country house provided a wonderful, intimate setting for Kate + Melissa’s wedding.  The lush gardens and fountain along with the peonies that were full in bloom overflowing in to the paths created a rustic-victorian feel for the day.  I was greeted with beautiful and joyful smiles as Krystina from Sweet + Sexy Hair was prepping the gals.  Kate + Melissa decided to handwrite their vows and exchange them before the ceremony during their “first look”.   Guests made their way under the big oak tree in the back of the Antrim and the ceremony began.  I loved the hand fasting tradition where Kate + Melissa “tied the knot!”  As the sun set behind, a beautiful glow cast over everyone as Kate and Melissa shared their first kiss.   They both love to cook and try new wines so it was very fitting that they celebrate in the cellar with a six-course meal prepared by Executive Chef Spencer Wolff surrounded by some of the finest wines in the Northern hemisphere.  Fresh lavender from The Cutting Garden, who also created the bouquets, adorned the table and cake.  Everyone gathered around to celebrate Kate + Melissa’s big day and I could hear the laughter from the second floor as I headed home.  I am so happy for you both and am so grateful I was able to share this day with you.  I hope you had a wonderful + relaxing time in Belize on your honeymoon!

****A note from Melissa + Kate:

We are so grateful that this day was spent with family.  It is with overwhelming sadness that Melissa’s mom, Jolene, passed away unexpectedly a few weeks later on June 25th.  This was the note Jolene wrote to Melissa the day after the wedding:  “Want to thank you both for one of the best experiences I have ever had!  The wedding was perfect and you were both beautiful”.  It is a true blessing that she was there with us and present on the most important day of our lives.  She was so happy and proud that I have found my “beautiful Kate” as she always referred to her as.  We love you Cita.

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the first time I worked with laura and derek was during their e-session almost 3 years ago and within minutes into the session I had already fallen a little in love with them. couples who make each other laugh.. and I mean really laugh.. until the tears are practically running down their cheeks… these are my favorite kind of couples. this is laura and derek – plus they are thoughtful, spontaneous, playful, lovely and clearly madly in love. since that day they have gotten married and laura has become a valued addition to the GPA team! they have also gotten a dog (their beloved cooper) and recently they have purchased a new home.. #burblivin’ as they like to call it. for awhile now, laura and I have been talking about doing a post-wedding shoot (aka trash the dress, rock the frock, etc.) but with busy schedules and changing lives we just hadn’t gotten around to it. but with the upcoming move, laura wanted to donate her wedding dress before they took up residence in their new house… so a plan was hatched. all of us were getting together on assateague island for our annual studio shoot so the timing was perfect for laura and derek to meet me before that began. it’s clear that time has only made them more solid and formed a wonderful partnership.. as usual, their love and laughter was a joy to photograph. derek was a trooper and helped us ladies out during our studio session later that evening and even built us a bonfire – ever the eagle scout. I love you both so much and am so grateful that you have grown from clients into cherished friends and members of the studio family. thank you for asking me to capture more moments of your beautiful story together xoxo

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June 26, 2014

1 if we’re honest, when we were first asked to photograph the governors ball in NYC our first reaction was ‘huh?’. because we are hired to primarily to shoot music festivals for this company, we were a little baffled about documenting a fancy dancy ball… but sure! yes! definitely! several minutes later a quick google search proved us ridiculously wrong… the governors ball is indeed a music festival and it’s one of the most original and fun-filled events we’ve ever had the pleasure of attending. located on randalls island, the gov ball is most easily reached by water taxi and once you get through the gates, your every sense is bombarded in the most fabulous ways! there are art installations everywhere, meandering showgirls on stilts, a roving mariachi band…. all that and much more before you even get to the music stages and tents. we photographed some of our favorites that we had been waiting to see like interpol, the head + the heart and foster the people – we also saw and heard new artists that we have come to love like tv on the radio. when we weren’t on the island, we enjoyed our time in the city and had 4 of the most wonderful and memorable days of this year – we can’t wait until 2015! 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46

June 24, 2014


it’s been two and a half years since I last worked with this awesome family…. and my how things have changed! most notably, there is a new member of the family – an adorable baby boy named xavier. and then there is maddi and zoe – zoe was just beginning to walk during our last session on assateague and maddi wasn’t very interested in having her photo taken. now they are both vivacious, thoughtful, funny and lovely little girls. for this session, mom samantha suggested working of the campus of salisbury university. to be honest, I had never shot there and had never thought of it as a session location but it was perfect! between the fountain that the girls dipped their toes into and the gorgeous landscaping, it was ideal. I had such a wonderful time working with all of you and hope it won’t be so long until I see you again :)

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June 23, 2014


I’ll be the first one to admit – I get couple crushes.. all the time. it goes a little something like this: you get an email from a couple, and not just any couple – but a couple who is contacting you because they are either a referral from a favorite client which means that they’re awesome by association or they are just so excited and happy to be getting married that their enthusiasm translates the anonymity of email. ashleigh and kevin were both – the subject line for very first email was ‘he put a ring on it!’. then you schedule the consultation which sometimes actually feels like a blind date.. you wonder if they’ll like you, you hope they will – will you be a photographic match made in heaven? well, when ashleigh and kevin walked in to the studio, coming at me with big bear hugs and warm smiles from the start.. well, I was smitten. then when she pulled out their organizer, affectionally dubbed ‘kevin + ashleigh’s brilliant and blissful trapper keeper of love’, I was powerless not to fall for them and my crush was born. after that I got a 4 page written telling of their proposal as well as the most thorough completion of our getting-to-know-you questionnaire that I had ever received. needless to say, I couldn’t wait until their esession that was photographed at a very special place to them, a family home on the eastern shore of virginia named homeplace. their wedding also took place here and as jillian and I drove down the dirt road leading to the house, I was looking so forward to seeing my new friends. as I had come to expect by now, ashleigh jumped up and gave me a hug.. while she had a hot curling iron attached to her hair. everyone is the house was so happy and excited, each joining in to help make the day spectacular. and.. we were all watching the weather. closely. and not all that thrilled about it. rain was going to happen – it was just a matter of when. fortunately, by the time ashleigh and kevin were ready for their first look, the afternoon was still clear and calm. as she walked down the dock to meet him, I think I was almost as excited as they were. almost.. but not quite. it was easily one of my favorite first looks ever – that first moment of ‘wow!’ followed by some happy tearing up and then came the laughs and giggles. ashleigh and kevin make each other laugh and share so much joy when they are together that it’s infectious – you simply can’t help but to be as happy as they are when you’re with them, which is my favorite thing about them. we were able to photograph their portraits and those of the bridal party and then you could hear the first clap of thunder. everyone ran inside and the speculation and conversation began as to what the plan for the ceremony would be. as rain poured in buckets, it was decided that they would get married under the tent and in their typical fashion, ashleigh and kevin didn’t bat an eye. they just wanted to say their vows in front of family and friends and be each other’s.. forever. I simply couldn’t be happier for you! getting to know you and spending time with you both has been one of the highlights of this season for me. you are truly special individuals but together you are amazing and I wish you so much love and happiness. xoxo

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June 19, 2014


I met katie and andre through the fabulous heather of HJ planners and within the first few minutes of my initial meeting with katie, I immediately liked her. apart from having breathtaking ideas + plans for her and andre’s wedding, she was just so nice, open and warm. a couple of months later I met andre when we did a session with their adorable dog argo – quite the ham, that pup is :) and like katie, it was as though I had known andre forever. together they make an amazing couple and when they said that they wanted their e-session to be at the beach, I was looking so forward to working with them again. we had a gorgeous early summer morning and the two of them were prepared with multiple outfits, big white balloons and even a bike for the boards! even though argo was definitely missed, we had such a great day and I can’t wait until their big day!

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June 18, 2014

1 if there was one thing I learned when skye first contacted me about a maternity session, it was that she and her husband stephen were baseball fans. now my couples are pretty loyal to a lot of local teams.. I done ravens themed e-sessions, redskins newborn sessions.. and yes, even a steelers jersey has made it’s way into a photo or two. but it wasn’t until I met up with skye and stephen that I realized that they weren’t just casual followers of the nationals… they were committed, ardent and very enthusiastic super fans! I loved the attention that they had to detail in some of the items they brought along in addition to a custom made t-shirt. then we headed to the stadium – I had never been to a game here and it’s actually a really beautiful ballpark that sparkled under the gorgeous summer sky. after walking about the park, skye and stephen settled down into their regular seats and all I could envision was their daughter growing up in one of the seats next to them, cheering right along :) 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

June 17, 2014


ever since I learned that my friends caitlin and keith were expecting their second child, I was already looking forward to this session. when their oldest son john was born, I had a wonderful afternoon with them for his newborn session and I knew with the addition of the newest fisher family member that a fun day was in store. baby james looks exactly like john did at his age, chubby cheeks and lots of hair! james slept for the first part of our session as big brother john was never far from where we were working.. his protective nature toward james is already very apparent, which is adorable. when we got everyone together, james woke up and his bright eyes never left those of his family. I am SO very happy for all of you and am looking so forward to seeing you again.. a little girl maybe? :)

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June 16, 2014


Meet the cutest + youngest Eagles fan ever! :) Baby Don Anthony Jr. was born on May 28th at 7:56 am.  He weighed in at 6 pounds 11 ounces and was 20 inches long!  When Michele + Donnie found out that they were expecting they decided not to find out the sex of the baby.  I love when parents hold out on this special surprise that life gives them till the birth!  DJ was welcomed with so much love and his big brother, Ty, was already prepared for older sibling duties and ready to share his toys. :)  I am so happy for you all!  Thank you for a fun afternoon! :)

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June 10, 2014

1Even before I met them, I knew that I was going to love Bonnie + Derek.  Reading over their Questionnaire, I kept thinking “Awesome!”  From their love of a cappella music to their adorable proposal story and that fact that Derek brings Bonnie coffee in bed every day (yes– EVERY day!!), I couldn’t wait to meet them!

On the first day of June, I met up with these two at the National Arboretum  in Washington, DC.  As we strolled along the tree-lined paths and through the gardens, they happily filled me in on all of the wedding details.  This couple is amazing- they are so in love and were constantly making one another laugh and smile.  I can’t wait for your wedding in August!

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