since 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.’
as 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
every 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
most 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
from the minute that nicole and jared got out of their car with pups, winston and alice, in tow, I knew that we were going to have a great time! first, their dogs are adorable and photographing them together was a hoot.. alice is quite the diva and wasn’t quite sure what to make of the sand while all winston wanted to do was go play in the water. meanwhile, nicole and jared were just having fun being together. we photographed their session at slaughter beach and it had been years since I had visited ~ I am definitely returning soon as I had forgotten what a lovely place this is. because it is february, we basically had the place to ourselves and I had so much fun with these two. they are spontaneous, they are hysterical, and they clearly head over heels for each other. thank you so much for such a wonderful morning and I am looking SO forward to your big day!
something was happening on green street last year… something big. one of the historic buildings in the heart of downtown was being completely gutted and it caught my attention ~ it caught everyone’s attention. this is life in a small town – nothing goes unnoticed and speculation begins. I think I heard that a candy shop was going in when I was at the post office one afternoon and I was intrigued – and then when I learned that my friend, melisa, was involved, I was excited! melisa grew up in snow hill and recently moved back from across the bridge to care for her mother. meanwhile, mark schramek, who calls both snow hill and DC home, had wanted to start a project with his daughter, morgan, to teach her about business ~ what better idea to peak a 13 year old’s interest than a candy shop? melisa and mark have been friends for 15 years and initially melisa was helping him with the design and branding for the shop, but soon a partnership formed. with mark’s business savvy and melisa’s marketing experience after many years with whole foods, it was a match made in confectionary heaven. together, they have created a timeless experience where both nostalgic candy favorites and artisan chocolates can satisfy any sweet tooth. they also partner with a local dairy, chesapeake bay farms, to offer a rainbow of ice cream scoops, floats, and sundaes. since opening their doors in december, the shop has delighted locals and tourists alike as they are brought back to a simpler time.. in only for a little while.
my history with they myers family is a long one… not only have they been my friends and neighbors for the past 14 years, but mom, wendy, and I have known each other our whole lives. wendy grew up in the house next door to where I live now, and currently lives in the house across the street ~ while my grandparents lived in the house on the other side of mine. every christmas and most summers, I would travel down to the eastern shore from syracuse and spend months at a time here in snow hill. because wendy and I are close in age, we became fast friends when we were little and I always loved spending time with her during my visits. once I moved to colorado, I was rarely in snow hill for more than a day or two and wendy and I lost touch. but in 2002, I moved into my home and was pleasantly surprised that wendy was still here in town and we picked up where we left off. over the years, I have gotten to know her husband, jon, and I have watched her kids, reagan and riley, grow up in front of my eyes. they are such amazing kids… well not really kids anymore. in fact, reagan just left this week to study abroad ~ where does the time go? they have also welcomed david, a foreign exchange student from korea, into their family. his first round of study was last year and he fit into their life as though he had always been there. I remember wendy telling me that he was coming back for a second year and she was so happy! so while david was here and before reagan left, it was important to all of them to document this time together. we chose a beautiful but COLD afternoon to photograph a short but sweet session… according to riley, he couldn’t feel his legs I love this wonderful family and am so grateful for each and every one of them xoxox
I love having the opportunity to document the evolution of a family ~ the anticipation, the slight uncertainty of the unknown, the excitement.. but most of all, the joy. when I photographed sarah and shane’s maternity session, they were over the moon about the life they were about to share with their daughter. and when lucy arrived, life was complete. when I got to their home, I was greeted by my friends who were just beaming.. so, so happy! then I met miss lucy ~ and she is perfect. I am looking so forward to many more sessions with this special family and to watch lucy grow up in front of my lens xoxo
in all of the years that we have been photographing weddings, we have never ceased to be inspired by our couples… and this year was certainly no exception. the couples of 2016 were romantic, creative, emotional, hysterical, fashionable, brave, and most obviously, best friends and blissfully in love. they know what the other is thinking with just a glance, they finish each others sentences, they have countless inside jokes, they reach for the other’s hand at the same moment… they wipe away a happy tear. we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for inviting us to capture such a special time in your lives. you made us laugh, you made us get a little misty (in the best way!) and you showed us time and time again what true love, friendship, and partnership looks like. it has been an honor and such a pleasure to work with all of you and we wish you SO much love, laughter, and joy in your lives together.. xoxo
considering that our 2017 season kicks off in just three short weeks, we wanted to begin to wrap up our ‘best of’ 2016 posts. in addition to the photos we take of them together (coming tomorrow) we always like to get images of our brides and grooms individually. typically, we photograph these either before the ceremony or during the first look. these times are always full of anticipation and excitement which is the perfect time to capture the emotion of this time. and… if we do say so ourselves, we have some of the most handsome grooms and beautiful brides on the planet ~ inside and out!