May 16, 2017
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1this session has been several years and three babies in the making.. see, in the west household, I have been given the nickname, ‘the inducer’. when I photographed kelly and alex’s wedding, I knew how excited they were to start a family ~ so when they learned that they were expecting their first child, daniel, I knew we were going to be doing a maternity session. we got the session on the schedule and then shortly thereafter, she went into labor. everyone was fine, but the session never happened. then, a couple of years later, kelly was pregnant with their daughter, hadley. we got the session on the schedule and kelly even went out and bought a dress. and then….. yep, she went into labor. happy and healthy little girl, but no session. so this time… this time! we were on a mission. kelly texted me to let me know that she had gotten the dress and I teased, ‘okay, lay down and don’t move until the session’. we laughed, but I think we were both crossing our fingers at the time. but we needn’t have worried ~ we were given a beautiful day and I had the best time working with all of them. daniel and hadley are so much fun and kelly and alex… well, they’re just about the coolest couple I know. I am looking so forward to meeting the newest baby west and am really grateful that we were finally able to make our many plans and ideas a reality this time. I love you all and am so happy for you! xoxo

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May 05, 2017
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1I couldn’t have asked for a better way to kick off the 2017 summer season.. ashley and cj’s wedding was a dream from start to finish. I knew as soon as I walked into the bridal suite and met ashley and her girls for the first time, that this day would be special. for one, it was quiet.. really quiet. to be honest, at first I thought I had the wrong room. but as I walked in, ashley was getting her makeup finished and the other ladies were eating lunch and getting ready for this special day. as soon as she saw me, ashley reached out for a hug and I was so excited to work with her. she was beautiful, calm, and very ready to marry her love. for late april, the day was a bit steamy… in the 90′s, but it was glorious and the spring colors of the congressional country club were in full bloom. as we made our way outside for her and cj’s first look, I could sense ashley’s joy. this day has been a long time coming.. because of their school and work commitments, the two of them have spent a large portion of their relationship apart. during the toasts, the main thing that people kept returning to was their ability to make it work, despite time and distance. their’s is a love that was obviously meant to be ~ no matter what. the whole day was just so lovely – their friends and their families were so kind and fun.. I immediately felt right at home with all of them and am happy to have made some wonderful new friends. I am SO very happy for you both and wish you all of the love and happiness that the world has to offer!

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May 03, 2017
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1I first met sarah and randy when they attended the wedding of one of my favorite couples, maggie and shane. I remember them cutting up the dance floor and just having a wonderful time together ~ so when sarah contacted me about their upcoming wedding, I was looking so forward to seeing everyone. well, I guess I should say their celebration, because sarah and randy had already gotten married but wanted to reaffirm their love and commitment with all of their friends and family. I have photographed several of these events and they always makes me smile – to see a couple get as excited as they were when they first said ‘i do’, is a really lovely thing to witness. and they were definitely excited.. as sarah walked down the dock to see randy for the first time that day, they were both so happy and looking forward to the day ahead. I loved their ceremony.. portions out of one of my favorite books, ‘the alchemist’ were read – some pretty perfect passages for a day like this. and as they sealed forever (again!) with a kiss, everyone applauded as the sun filtered in from the bay. one of my favorite parts of the day were when sarah and randy facetimed with sarah’s grandparents after the ceremony – they had a little difficulty figuring out where the camera was which had all of us laughing, but their excitement and happiness for their granddaughter and randy was clear. sarah and randy, even though we only spent a couple of hours together, I loved every moment spent with you and all of your people. I wish you a lifetime of love, happiness, and dancing!

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April 25, 2017
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1a few short weeks before I photographed this, I visited my cousin, caitlin, and her newborn son, kie, at the hospital. we had a quick session to document this special time, but I knew that I would return to include big brother, gray… and the family pup, diesel (long but funny story there… :) ) when they were still at the hospital, gray wasn’t too sure what to make of this new person who everyone was coming to visit. but now at home, it was so lovely to see that he’s starting to figure out that he’s got a brother, a sidekick, a best friend… for life. I love all of you so much and am so happy and grateful to share this time with you xoxo

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April 19, 2017
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1fells point is one of my favorite places and holds some of my fondest memories. when I lived in baltimore, many a day were spent by the harbor, strolling the cobblestone streets. so when laura suggested this location for her and kelly’s engagement session, I quickly said yes. then.. when she asked if their dog, jeb, could come too ~ well, I think you already know my response to that one. we had a beautiful spring day, and the city was full of tourists and locals who were out and about to enjoy the gorgeous weather. I met laura and kelly at the pier who had laura’s mom and sister along to help out with their pup. we started with him and he was a rockstar! the distractions of everything going on around him didn’t deter him in the least and he was such a good boy. we then took the opportunity to walk around the neighborhoods, stopping here and there to shoot. laura and kelly are such a cool couple and were more than happy to play along with anything that I suggested. I am looking so forward to working with them again once their wedding day arrives ~ thank you so much for a lovely day and such a fun session!

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April 07, 2017
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001the first time that I met tiffanie and jason, it was for their engagement session on chincoteague. as I was walking to our agreed meeting spot, I noticed a couple sitting on a bench, snuggled up a little bit, and laughing easily and loudly enough for me to hear them. in my head, I silently hoped that this was my couple and was so happy that when they looked up and waved, that it was. instead of the introductory shaking of hands, I was welcomed with big hugs and had the most wonderful day with them! since then, we have steadily stayed in touch and as their wedding day got closer, so did my excitement to work with them again. this time, however, I would have the pleasure of meeting their children – both of whom are such wonderful kids and were as thrilled as their parents to finally become a family. these are the weddings that I adore, intimate and carefully planned to make the focus of the day to be exactly what it is.. two people starting a life together and everything that it means. in commitment, in family, in partnership, in friendship, and in love. I am so grateful to have met you and to have two new wonderful friends in my life. I wish you and your family all of the love and laughter that the world has to offer! xoxo

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001since moving back to the shore, I have become increasingly close with my cousin, caitlin… I even wrote about it during her grey t-shirt session :)  she never ceases to inspire, delight, and impress me – and she can always get me laughing, regardless of what’s swirling around us. last week she became a mother for the second time and I knew that I wanted to document these first days – there will be a follow up session once they all get settled at home that will include her husband, jamie, their son, gray, and of course the family pup, diesel. but I wanted these early moments together to be saved forever. the day that I met her first child, gray, I wrote this for him and it’s just as applicable for kie – I love all of you so much!

‘dear Gray (and now Kie), I met you this morning and the first thing I noticed was just how perfect you are. the second thing was that your mom looks so different than she did 2 days ago.. in the most beautiful way. she is a mother and she is radiant. as the remaining representative of my small branch of your extensive family tree, I wanted to let you know a few things. first, you will be the most photographed child on the eastern shore. fact. also, as we get to know each other, I hope to share all I know about the family members who have come before: your great-uncle Paul’s kindness, your great-aunt Ethel’s grace and your cousin Cornelia’s strength. we are a big, beautiful, and kind of crazy family but we love each other with all of our hearts and are so happy that you’re finally here. welcome to the world little man.’  

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March 21, 2017
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1as we drove to the park, I reached for her hand.. ‘I’m really happy that you asked me to do this.’ I said. ‘who else would I ask?’ she replied. a few months ago, elsie called me saying that she wanted a simple portrait… basic head and shoulders shot, nothing ‘fancy’. I was over the moon ~ if there was anyone that I wanted to capture, it was elsie. neither she or I are fans of having our photograph taken, so this was a dream come true and we chose an afternoon for the session. ‘of course you are the one to take it,’ she continued, ‘your mother took her first steps with me…’ I had heard the story a million times, but I never tired of it and during the ride she shared more memories, including a pretty hysterical moment about my parents that was new to me. the truth is, there really isn’t anything about my family that elsie doesn’t know. nicknamed ‘elchie’ by my mother when she was a toddler, elsie has always been there through every chapter of my life… big and small, happy and sad ~ in times of celebration and those of mourning. the first summer after my parent’s divorce, I came down to the shore to stay with my grandparents and she found me in my room, crying. I immediately stopped and pretended that I was fine. I was horrified and so embarrassed. she came and sat on my bed and told me that crying was the best way to clean the soul and that it was a good thing.. I was 8 years old, I was sad, and scared, and angry, and she made it okay for me to feel all of those things. she made my world safe. as I got older, she would giggle at my tween struggles whether it was ‘tragic’ puppy love or the panic of not finding the perfect outfit – but she would always listen and always help. the night before my grandfather’s funeral as she sat with me, my mother, and my grandmother around the kitchen table, it was her that shared stories that had all of us laughing between the tears. she knew how sick I was 15 years ago but stayed silent, prayed for me, and let me figure it out… but once I told her I had done something about it, it was the first and only time I ever saw her cry. when mom was diagnosed, she was the first person to the house and it was her kind eyes that I sought out before I walked down the aisle on my wedding day. I knew all of these things, obviously – but it wasn’t until I was editing these photographs that I felt the full weight of everything that elsie has meant to me. as we drove back to my house, she commented that it had been 10 years since my father’s passing and we both sat in the reality that they were all gone… then said she gave my hand a little squeeze and said ‘but you’ve got me.’ I love you

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March 15, 2017
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1every moment I have spent working with and getting to know casie and frank has been so awesome! they are such a wonderful couple and have so much fun together that it’s impossible not to be drawn into their happiness. from their e-session to their wedding, and now to their daughter frances’ (aka frankie’s) first session, I have been honored to document portions of their story together as a couple and now as a family. because frankie came early, we couldn’t do a newborn session until a couple of weeks ago, but once I walked into their home and met this smiling and happy girl, I was smitten. she has such a vibrant personality already and was a joy to photograph. of course, me being me, I had to get the family pup, chester, in a few shots as well. thank you for a wonderful morning ~ it was so nice to see you and to meet your beautiful daughter xoxo

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February 21, 2017
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1most of the time, we get to know a lot about our couples before wedding day. between engagement sessions, many phone calls and emails, and the always welcome chat over coffee, we get to know them and their story. but rarely do I know the journey of a couple as well as I do with courtney and jeff. courtney and I have been friends for 10 years.. I owned a restaurant in snow hill when she opened her salon down the street ~ I wandered down to her space a week before she opened to introduce myself and from the start, we clicked. within minutes, we were talking as though we had known each other for years and I think I started sharing secrets with her that night. in the years since, our biggest moments and most difficult decisions have been shared within the 4 walls of her salon (‘now let’s have lunch!’) and I would be lost without her and her friendship. then this spring, during an editorial session that we were shooting, she received a text and after reading it.. she smiled bigger and wider than I had seen her do in years ~ she even blushed a little. I knew who it was from but acted as though I didn’t.. it was from jeff. a few weeks before, my cousin caitlin had suggested that courtney meet a co-worker of her husband and things went well ~ very well. let’s just say that their second date was in arizona :) caitlin had already given me a brief update about the date and was pretty proud of her matchmaking skills.. ‘but let her tell you herself!’ caitlin implored. so I did. after the text, all I had to do was look at her and courtney couldn’t hold it in. for the next 10 minutes, she excitedly shared with me all about their first date, the communication since, and she was literally glowing. after the shoot, we went back to her salon to hang out and courtney looked me straight in the eye, with calm confidence, and said that she was going to marry this man… and here we are.  I had met jeff a few months ago during their engagement session and saw firsthand what a perfect partnership this is. jeff never took his eyes off of courtney, even when I asked him to ~ courtney had a happy peace and joy that made my heart smile. so as kristie as I got ready to join them on wedding day, we knew what this day meant.. to everyone. to recall all of the moments that made this day so special would take pages and pages. to attempt to write down what it meant for us to be a part of this day would never be sufficient ~ so we will just let the photos tell this part of a love story that will last forever. we I love you and are so very happy for all of you! xoxox 

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