Archive for July, 2014

July 30, 2014
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I’ve known my friends sallie and todd for quite a few years now and while I’ve had the pleasure of working with sallie’s daughter jemma and her now-husband steve during their engagement session, I’ve never had the opportunity to photograph the whole family. so when they contacted me about doing a session to commemorate everyone being together for todd’s birthday, I happily jumped at the chance. the morning of our shoot, the weather wasn’t looking too promising and it seemed certain that we were going to be rained out. fortunately by moving our location from assateague island to stinky beach in west OC, we just barely dodged the storms. it was so nice to meet the whole family and we got to work immediately to take advantage of the dry conditions. and while everyone was wonderful to work with, the little boys were a hoot! such hams for my camera and so much fun :) I had such a great time with all of you and am so grateful that we were able to get together!

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July 29, 2014
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1Meet the Redskins’ youngest fan!  This handsome fellow is the first born of one of our favorite couples. :)  I photographed Aradia + Dave’s wedding two years ago and was so happy when I heard the news that they were expecting!  Easton James was born on March 15th and weighed 7 pounds 5 ounces and was 21 inches long.  I couldn’t wait to photograph this little guy and to see the nursery!  As you may recall, Aradia designed her entire wedding and made a lot of the details by hand!  So naturally with his mother being an Interior Designer, Easton was bound to have an amazing nursery! ;)    I met up with the Lazzari’s at their home and was greeted by a familiar and loving face!  If you follow our blog you may remember their sweet girl, Bella, from their engagement session.  She hung out with us during Easton’s session and even debuted in a few photos.  I loved how Easton would crack a smile when he looked at Aradia + Dave!

I am so happy for you both, it was SO good to see you and to meet Easton! :) xoxo

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July 28, 2014
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the first time I met the lovely nefret was 10… count em, 10 YEARS ago when she served as a flower girl at her uncle tim and aunt jenni’s wedding. in the years since, jenni has become one of my closest friends and I have photographed this whole big and beautiful family many times. but when jenni contacted me a couple of months ago, she had a plan.. and it was a secret. nefret’s mom, beth, had a birthday coming up and jenni thought it would be really cool to have a session just for nef – a little hair, a little makeup and a lot of fun! she has grown into one of the kindest and most beautiful girls I’ve ever known and I loved every second of this session. I have been itching to blog this but because of the surprise factor I knew I had to wait… fortunately beth celebrated her birthday at the beach this past weekend and was given prints from this session as a gift – and I was given the thumbs up to post. thank you nefret for such a fun morning and HAPPY BIRTHDAY BETH!! xoxo

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July 25, 2014
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tyler is the son of one of my dearest friends deb and he is one of the kindest and most authentic people that I’ve ever had the honor of meeting. in fact, the first time I met him he gave me a hug that someone would give a long lost friend just because he knew I was a friend of his parents. so when I started hearing about this girl julie that he was getting ‘serious’ about, I knew that she had to be someone special to have ty so smitten – and she is. in the time that I’ve known them as a couple I have seen them celebrate each other’s success and happy times as well as steadfastly support one another through the worst. they make each other so happy and are so madly in love that it’s impossible not to be happy when you’re with them. unlike a lot of engagements that I hear about via social media, when ty popped the question I got a phone call from an excited and blissed out deb who was one happy mama! as they started their planning, I was so happy to be asked to photograph this day. this day, that I knew for both of them was a part of their story together that was inevitable since the day they met. to have the opportunity to share the joy and love of julie and tyler is something I won’t soon forget. there was so much laughter and happiness between them and surrounding them by their friends and family and just having everyone together for such a beautiful occasion was a reason for celebration. I wish you the world my friends – a world and a life together filled with all of your hopes, dreams and love. thank you for including me in such a wonderful day xoxo

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July 25, 2014
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1I’ve known these high school sweet hearts since elementary school and was so excited to see that they were expecting!  Technically, this isn’t Katie + Drew’s “first” baby- I’ve had the privilege of shooting their fur babies (huge + lovable St. Bernards!) for our annual Santa Paws event.  However, I’m extremely excited to shoot this little one when he arrives! :)  I met up with Katie + Drew a few weeks ago and Drew kept her laughing.  Baby Lucas is due to arrive in August and he is already surrounded by love!  I’m so happy for you two and can’t wait to meet him! :)   041 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 17 20 21 22 23 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 40 41 42

July 21, 2014
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Emily + Justin have finally tied the knot! :) You may remember this gorgeous couple from their engagement session taken at F + M college which is tucked away in the hills of Lancaster, PA.  They met there in 2006 and have been going strong ever since.  I felt like a friend since that day and was anxiously counting down the days till their wedding.  I also couldn’t wait to see Emily’s younger sisters that I met and connected with 5 years ago!  We all worked at the same restaurant and I knew with them being a huge part of the wedding that it was going to be a hoot!

I headed towards the beach on the morning of the big day to Avery Salon where Em and her girls were getting ready as Caitlin made her way over to the Atlantic Hotel in Berlin, MD to meet up with Justin and his guys.  It was very fitting that this couple incorporated America’s Coolest Small Town in to their wedding. ;)  We love that all of the groomsmen had different ties!  As I entered the salon, girls in pink robes were flitting all around and I was greeted with numerous smiles.  I found Emily who was just as calm and collected as can be.  I was so happy that she was marrying her best friend today.  Jennifer Fanning from JLF Makeup Artistry finished up with the girls and we all headed over to their Victorian Cottage next to the Hotel to get dressed!  The gorgeous pink peony bouquets from Flowers By Alison were waiting for us upon our arrival.  Everyone helped Emily into her beautiful Maggie Sottero gown.  Her something borrowed was her grandmother’s handkerchief and the bottom of her glamorous heels were blue!  Emily + Justin decided to do a “first look” before the wedding (which we LOVE here at GPA!) and Caitlin + I decided that the back balcony of the hotel overlooking historic Berlin was the perfect spot!  Now it was time to say “I DO!”

Family and friends gathered in Emily’s family church where they had a lovely Greek Orthodox Ceremony.  Emily’s Godfather exchanged her + Justin’s rings and wedding crowns.  I love the symbolism in the exchanging of the rings three times- the weakness of one partner will be compensated for by the strength of the other and that each will be enriched by the union.  They also joined their right hands, had a candle lighting ceremony, drank from a common cup and after their ceremonial walk around the altar Emily and Justin removed their crowns and received a blessing.  It was official! :)

Guests made their way over to the Ocean Pines Yacht Club as the bridal party and I headed to the beach!  When we arrived to the reception everyone was ready to party!  I was highly anticipating the decorations and details of Emily + Justin’s wedding because they are obsessed with anything DIY!  They were actually featured in HGTV magazine so I knew that their attention to details and style was going to be icing on the cake for the day!  From hand carved buoys to heirloom cake toppers, this wedding was one of a kind!  Emily’s family is from the Eastern Shore so she incorporated Old Bay Spice, Scopes and Maryland’s State Cake (Smith Island Cakes by Classic Cakes) x 9!  Her excuse?  “We couldn’t pick just one!” :)  Emily’s Dad, along with his quartet, surprised the bride + groom with some words of wisdom and Dan from Music Masters started the roaring dance floor off with a traditional Greek music set.  It wasn’t until after midnight that guests sent Emily + Justin off with sparklers, well wishes + good luck Jordan Almonds.   Caitlin and I felt like the day flew by because it was just so much fun and it was great to see everyone come together to celebrate #emandjbigday !  A special thanks to Jennifer Matthews Frost and her Event Planning skills for helping the day run smoothly!

Congratulations Em and Justin- I am so grateful that we met and so happy I was able to be a part of your day not only as your photographer but as a friend.  There’s no getting rid of me now!! ;) Love you both!! xoxo

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July 17, 2014
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a couple of months ago, I traveled to kent island for jennifer and brent’s maternity session. they, along with their fur-kids boomer and ralphie were busy getting ready for the arrival of their daughter and were so excited! several weeks later I got the good news that lana had been born and I was looking so forward to seeing them again. initially we were going to have our session as their home but then the whole family decided to take a vacation in bethany beach and I headed their way. it was wonderful to meet everyone and spend the afternoon with them – and it was very obvious that everyone was head over heels in love with lana. I am so happy for all of you and can’t wait until our next session!

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July 15, 2014
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To say that Robin and Dave’s wedding was fun in a huge understatement – these two know how to throw one heck of a party! Robin and Dave both greeted me with a big hug, their smiles wide. Although we hadn’t met before, they already had the guaranteed stamp of awesomeness because they were referred to us by one of our favorite couples of all times, Katie and James. Robin planned (and executed!) all of the wedding details of their big day which was held at Dave’s mother’s house. I loved how all of their family and friends joined together to set up everything in such a personal location.. it was such a perfect beginning to this beautiful day. We even had some kittens looking on as everyone arranged flowers and got everything ready, laughing and looking so forward for the festivities to begin :) Tucked away in the hills and under a canopy of blooming trees, the June day couldn’t have been more ideal as the ceremony took place.. and after? well these folks never left the dance floor and had me laughing all night. Thank you so much for having me document your wedding day!

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mayjuneinsta

we have hit the ground running as our 2014 season has kicked off.. between being out of town and on-location, we haven’t been in the studio much so we are combining our may and june instagram posts. SO much cool stuff has been happening ~ to see more, follow all of us on instagram: @rayevalion @kcooper3 @laurannord @jillyeb @doc113 :)

  • we have photographed 12 weddings
  • 4 of our couples have welcomed little ones
  • one of us is becoming an aunt
  • we have traveled to upstate new york, nashville, virginia, pennsylvania and NYC
  • one of us bought a new house
  • one of attended her favorite girl’s college graduation
  • we photographed TWO music festivals (governors ball and bonnaroo)
  • we traveled by ferry, bus, plane, canoe and ferris wheel
  • we saw what seemed like hundreds of bands.. and very well might have been
  • we had our annual studio photo shoot
  • one of us celebrated a birthday
  • we camped, shared bonfires, canoed and swam
  • one of us got married.. okay not really. but the wedding dress was put back on for a session. that counts, right?
  • we were all once again reminded just how very lucky we are to do what we love to do – and so grateful for all of the people who are with us on this amazing ride :)
July 09, 2014
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I was introduced to betsy and vinny through my friend, bride and fellow photographer sarah – and because sarah is pretty fabulous, I knew that one of her closest friends would be too and I was looking so forward to working with them. I met betsy and vinny for the first time on their wedding day and within minutes of stepping into her parent’s home to meet up with betsy, I felt like I had known everyone forever. then I saw the dress.. and then the shoes.. and the invitations  - and I knew that this awesome couple paired with such creative day-of elements, that this wedding was going to be one of my favorites of the season. after betsy got dressed we all traveled to bayside where vinny was anxiously waiting to see his bride during their first look – even hurdling a hedge while kicking up his heels as he and I headed down to the bridge. their first look was the first time I had witnessed them as a couple and I could tell in an instant that they are a couple who have been custom made for each other.. they just fit. in their happiness, in their laughter and simply by their eyes when they look at each other.. they were perfect. the ceremony began soon after the first look under a beautiful summer sky and then it was time to celebrate! so much attention to detail had been considered with the decor – it was stunning! and as betsy and vinny took to the floor for their first dance, they were surrounded by so much love from family and friends. I was thrilled to spend this day with all of you! you are such a wonderful couple and I wish you an endless journey of happiness!

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