Archive for 'family'

January 09, 2018

1when gillette portrait arts began in 2003, we were primarily a wedding photography studio. and while we loved photographing weddings here on the beaches of the eastern shore, we had no idea what would happen as we continued this journey. here’s what happened…. our business grew to photographing weddings in cities all over the east coast and we worked with so many amazing couples. then our couples started families and they contacted us to photograph their maternity sessions. thennnn the babies were born and we had the opportunity to capture some of their first newborn moments. THEN the babies turned into toddlers and then grew into kids and now some are almost teenagers (yikes!) and we have had the honor of documenting so many milestones along the way. we’ve said it before and we’ll keep on saying it.. forming a relationship that begins at the very first wedding photography consultation that continues for years as these former brides and grooms turn into parents and become dear friends to all of us is the biggest gift of what we do. some of our closest friendships grew out of what began as working relationships and we couldn’t be more grateful to have gotten to know so many wonderful people along the way. we are looking so forward to meeting new friends in 2018 and continuing to document the newest additions to our big and beautiful GPA family!

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December 02, 2017

1the first time that I met carrie, something just clicked… it was like I had known her forever. it is somewhat surprising that we had never crossed paths before earlier this year ~ we have a lot of the same friends and have traveled in similar circles, personally and professionally. but better later than never, I say. I knew that she had kids and this summer she had briefly mentioned a session ~ summer and busy schedules made the days fly by and we never got around to it. then about a month ago, we returned to the conversation and I asked a question that I typically do when I haven’t photographed a family before.. ‘when was your last session?’. carrie kind of glanced at me siedways and answered, ‘ummmm never?’ and suddenly I was on a mission… hell, I was on a quest! when we met up at assateague, all of her and mike’s awesome kids exited the mini van, greeted me with smiles and appeared to be really exited about the session (this is not always my experience… just sayin’). I started out with individual portraits and it was jack, the only boy, whose hand shot up in the air ~ sooooo many high fives for that! these kids were beyond amazing to work with ~ it was a little chilly, especially when we got to the ocean side of the island, but they were all in. and their parents were pretty cool too… obviously :) I couldn’t have asked for a better day or a more awesome family to spend such a beautiful evening with and I am looking SO forward to next time! xoxo

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November 02, 2017

01although my dear friends, deb and aram, appear in several of these photos, this blogpost should really be titled ‘the many faces of evan’. eight years ago, when I was hired to photograph an engagement session for deb and aram… I had no idea how these two people would come to influence my life in the years to come. if you haven’t seen their story, click here. so needless to say, I know a little something about this family and how every step to get to today has been filled with love and hope… especially when it comes to their son evan. he has never been nervous in front of my camera ~ in fact, deb shared with me that a couple of days before our session, evan had asked her where I had been and why they hadn’t had photos done yet. but this year, as he’s gotten a little older, evan’s personality has just blossomed and it was basically impossible for me to take my camera off him. he is funny and thoughtful and just a pretty amazing kid all around. and deb and aram? as has been the case for the past eight years, every moment I have spent with them has been wonderful ~ I am truly grateful to have had the opportunity to capture such a love story over the years and to call these people dear friends… until next time, much love to you all! xoxo

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October 16, 2017

001a few years ago, I had the pleasure of photographing sisters, briean and whitney, with all of their girlfriends during a girl’s getaway to the beaches of delaware. and smack dab in the middle of all the festivities was their mother, joan. all of the ladies clearly loved this woman as much as her daughters did and it was such a fun evening to document. since then, we have kept up with each other on facebook and several months I could sense that something had happened in the family but didn’t want to intrude. then I received a message from briean and I knew… joan suffered a severe stroke earlier this year and in the time since, everyone has adjusted to a new normal. briean shared with me that her mother was confined to a wheelchair and was non-verbal which was devastating to learn. but then came the sentence that made my heart smile ~ she and whitney had decided to bring joan (‘the ultimate beach lover’) back to rehoboth and she asked if I could meet them over there to take some photographs. I don’t know what I expected, really, but I know what I witnessed and what I had the honor of capturing. I shoot weddings almost every weekend.. so I see love, I capture those moments of excitement, wonder, and joy. I’ve even photographed the birth of a child and the initial, indescribable love of a new family. but this was something different.. this was a love of history, a love of commitment, a love of hope. unshakable. whenever joan would look at her girls, her eyes would brighten and a smile would begin that grew wider by the second. once we got her toes in the sand, her whole body seemed to exhale and she relaxed into the arms of her daughters. we even had a pup come photobomb us mid-session to the delight of everyone. if you’ve ever been a caretaker of a parent, you understand the fear and the frustration and the tears and the hopelessness of the bad days. but you also know the joy and gratitude of the good days. this was a very good day…. xoxo

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September 21, 2017

1from the first time I met liz and greg, I was smitten with them. they are one of those couples who just click in a way that it kind of magical. they can be lost in a romantic moment and then seconds later, be silly and dissolve into giggles. I was so happy to hear that they had welcomed their son, robert, a year ago… today!! happy birthday little man :) but we hadn’t been able to get together until recently when they took their annual trip to the beaches of delaware.  I was thrilled to hear that greg’s family would be joining us as well – when I photographed their wedding 2 years ago, I came to know the hendlers and they are such wonderful people. as soon as I entered their condo, robert crawled over to me and up into my arms ~ a first, for sure! typically, the new girl with the glasses and big camera is viewed with skepticism.. at least for the first few minutes. but robert is such a confident and happy little boy and took it upon himself to take care of the introductions. and once we all got to the beach, it was so much fun photographing all of them as the sun dipped low in the sky. I had such a lovely evening and look so forward to working with all of you again soon! xoxo

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September 21, 2017

1as summer turns into fall, I’ve been keeping the season alive here in the studio while editing some super fun family sessions from the last few weeks…. and it doesn’t get much more entertaining than the cornely family! from the first snap of big brother, quinn, as he went into lotus :) I knew that I was in for a treat. sister, olivia, was the wrangler of the bunch and such a wonderful little assistant. and the twins.. oh how I loved grady and sean! they were full of giggles, especially when together. the kids were visiting chincoteague with parents tanya and kieran, and were winding down their vacation when we got together for the session. everyone was exploring the marsh and the beach, finding sand crabs shells, displaying their treasures with excitement. once we got to the ocean side, there was an attempt to keep everyone dry as the family was going out for ice cream once we were done, but as soon as the kids got their feet in the water, all bets were off. I had such a fabulous time with all of you and look forward to your return to our little corner of the world.

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August 21, 2017

1I first met seanna when she was a bridesmaid in nettie + bryan’s wedding and have had the pleasure of getting to know her more at her sister, erin’s, wedding to nick, and then again when lindsey and jeremy got married.  but this is the first time that I’ve actually worked with her and her husband, matt. this was also the first time that I was meeting their adorable daughter, dylan, and family pup, ruca. we had an absolutely perfect day on assteague which is a favorite place for all of us. from the first snap of my shutter, I loved this session. dylan is such an adorable little girl and happiest when she is in the arms of her parents. and ruca.. we were soul mates from the get go. I had such a wonderful time and hope that this is one of many more sessions to come!

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August 18, 2017

1several years ago, when I first met kristin and rob, I was struck by their kindness and their warmth… and I clearly remember thinking to myself, ‘they are going to be such awesome parents.’ since then, there has been a wedding and many sessions in between but as I drove up to annapolis to meet their daughter, amelia, for the first time, I recalled that first day. this sweet little nugget was awake, alert, and I swear that she gave me a little grin when I bent down to say hello. and my friends? they are so smitten over their girl, so in love with her and each other ~ to document such joy made my heart smile. I am looking so forward to watching you all grow together over the years.. love you!! xoxo

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August 08, 2017

1the last time we worked with the villani family was two years ago. jillian photographed this beautiful bunch shortly after their youngest son, evan, had arrived and to join siblings cate and ryan. needless to say, everyone has grown up quite a bit since then and we returned to the beaches of assateague for their latest session. when we met up in the parking lot, it wasn’t looking good… although clear, you could hear thunder rumbling in the distance and all the weather apps were showing doom and gloom but we decided to go for it – and I’m so glad that we did! the bad thing about an incoming storm is the uncertainty and there were moments that we took shelter under the walking bridge. but the awesome thing about summer storms is the dramatic sky and the lighting it provides and we took full advantage of this crazy weather. family sessions are typically a team sport.. with parents helping me with positioning the kids, letting me know the little things that make them smile, etc. but on this day, the whole family was on board! I’ve included some outtakes in this post that made me giggle.. from evan doing some mid-session stretching to big sister cate helping me to get a smile with her stuffed animal. I had so much fun with all of you and am looking so forward to the next time!

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July 21, 2017

1I spent a wonderful afternoon on the beaches of ocean city with this big and beautiful family…. three generations of super fun personalities and lots of love were awesome to capture. each family was unique in their own way, with kids of varying ages – there was even a fresh engagement in the mix! I walked up the beach to meet them as all 23 made their way out of the hotel and was immediately smitten with this bunch. everyone was so nice and greeted me like an old friend and while each family was a little different, the joy this family shares spans all generations. and as we wrapped up the session, everyone gathered around the matriarch and you could see where everyone got their spunk and humor from. I had such a lovely time and hope to revisit all of you the next time you gather down my way!

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