How to Rock your Engagement Session!

It is all so exciting - you're finally engaged and you and your fiance are excitedly talking about wedding plans and your future! Soon enough you realize it's time to book a photographer for your engagement session (and/or wedding) and maybe you are wondering how to get the most of your engagement session. Lucky for you, I have some great tips to rocking your engagement session!!

1. Pick a great photographer

Do your research! Consider the types of photos you want to hang in your home, do you envision bright and crisp photos, or maybe a little darker and moodier? Take some time to look through the work of the photographers your considering and try to picture yourself in the images. You can typically find engagement photos on the photographers blog, take some time to check them out and get a feel of what your session will look like! Choose a photographer whose work you really love!

2. Think about your personal style

Choose a feel for your session - do you want to be dressed laid back and comfy, or maybe in a fancy dress paired with a suit. Your wardrobe choice will have an affect on the feel of your photos, so choose outfits that reflect your personal style and character - it will feel so much more natural! Also, make sure to wear something you really love and feel good in, you want to feel your absolute best so you can enjoy the full experience and not worry about your look. The best advice for your outfit is no matter what style you pick try to choose colors that coordinate but don't match. Avoid having both of you in a strong pattern (plaid, stripes, argyle) - if one person wears a bold pattern have the other wear something more neutral to balance it out! 

3. Know your end goal

Think about how these photos will hang on your wall - do you want very formal posed images? Fun an goofy? Romantic and intimate? Know long before you book your session what you want - you will have these forever, so you want to love them! Choose something that is true to who you are as a couple and what will show off your personalities the best. 

4. Choose the right location

Picking a location can play a huge part in making your session awesome! Think about choosing a location that has meaning - maybe where he proposed, or where you had your first date - if those don't spark your fancy than choose a location you find stunning! If you're looking for a more urban feel, maybe have your session downtown of your favorite city. If you are feeling more adventurous, add in a short hike to a mountain location or to a gorgeous waterfall. 

Winter Love

Shaker Village Mill - Enfield, NH

This rich purple and burgundy bridal shoot was inspired by the deep winter colors and a sweet love story that needed to be told. I knew that I needed to reach out of my comfort zones this fall and work on creating a bridal shoot with richer warm tones and some dramatic touches but I was stuck on trying to find a great story to tell around this shoot...until I saw the mill building. My husband and I were driving around one afternoon exploring new locations when we stumbled upon a gorgeous old stone mill building set next to a huge hay field. The building is absolutely covered in huge windows letting all the light flood in to the pretty wood floors, I was hooked.

I had a vision for the shoot and all that was left was finding a sweet couple to model. Then it hit me, my friend Meagan and her husband are not only the sweetest couple ever but they were married in another building at the same location almost exactly 5 years earlier! As if it was fate I asked Meagan if her and Josh would care to take part in this fun shoot and was thrilled that not only could it be a fun day but also a little anniversary throwback after 5 great years of marriage. These two troopers showed up to the shoot (which of course was one of the coldest days of winter at that point...go figure) ready to get all dressed up and re-tell parts of their love story in this gorgeous scene. They also were able to bring along Meagan's younger sister Julia to be a bridesmaid in the shoot, just as she was a part of Meagan's actual wedding day. 

Nothing in this day would have been possible without the amazing creative team behind these ideas! 

Design Team: My mom is always my sounding board for ideas and constantly inspires me. She helped find some of the antique pieces featured which played a huge role in setting the mood of this day. Jen of Simply Equine Design is my best friend and collaborator who has a great sense of style and is always making each little detail perfect. She always makes sure to keep my ideas in tact while perfecting the overall theme. 

FloralsPetals supplied the gorgeous bridal bouquet and table garland full of rich burgundy and wine colors to fit the mood of this winter love story. Michelle at Petals is always such a joy to work with, her florals are truly art and she puts such care and effort in to creating amazing pieces that speak to the heart. 

Invitation Suite: Kristin of 622 Press was the designer behind the beautiful burgundy floral invitation suite featured in this shoot. When I reached out to her about this and explained the vision, she immediately sent some choices including this one and I knew it was going to fit perfectly! This suite is flawless and was clearly created with lots of love and attention to detail! 

Cake: Brianna of The Cake Fairy USA is the mastermind behind the amazing petite cake! The Cake Fairy always exceeds expectations with their baking and ability to bring ideas to life. They even hand made the floral piece on the cake - talk about no detail left out!! 

Jewelry: The beautiful earrings and necklace are handmade pieces from Edera's collection of amazing pieces! Each unique piece is handmade, incorporating the fine art of creating lace and needlework. The jewelry featured is incredibly gorgeous and a perfect addition to any brides wardrobe. 

Makeup: Cindy DuBois is the talented makeup artist behind the brides look. Cindy has a great eye for color and incorporates beautiful color palettes while still perfectly matching skin tones. Cindy has a great attitude and is such a pleasure to work with!

 

 

ABBIE + JP Part 2

Longlook Farm - Sanbornton, New Hampshire

Abbie and JP's wedding at Longlook Farm in Sanbornton, New Hampshire was definitely one I won't soon forget! I had been looking forward to this wedding all summer after meeting these two and doing their engagement shoot (which you can see here!) in some gorgeous New Hampshire fields! 

When I met Abbie and JP I was convinced they had been dating for many years by the ease they had with each other - when I found out they had only been together a short time I was shocked and impressed with their love and maturity. They have an incredible love for each other that is amazing to see. I knew after their engagement session that their wedding would be fun and filled with family and love. 

Abbie and JP define the fun-loving, sweet and adventurous couples that I always dream of photographing, I always strive for laughter, genuine engagement and love during sessions and that was so easy with these two! Their entire wedding day was full of Abbie's contagious laughter and JP's loving looks toward his new bride. 

The day started in the beautiful log cabin at Longlook where the girls were pampered and prepping upstairs while the boys were finishing up last minute touches outside and getting ready in the downstairs. Abbie was surrounded by an incredible about of love and support from her bride tribe, mother and aunt who helped her with all the little details. Once Abbie put her dress on everyone was speechless at how beautiful she looked, a natural beauty whose smile was the best accessory she could have worn that day. Both Abbie and JP have such loving hearts and are such servant-minded people that they were constantly checking on their loved ones to make sure everyone was ready and okay, it was so sweet to see. 

The ceremony was moved in to the barn due to some unfortunate rain but that didn't stop anyone from enjoying the day! As everyone squeezed in nice and close to see the bride come down the aisle I couldn't help but look back at JP. His face said it all, he looked so happy and proud to see this woman coming to him to spend forever together. As Abbie and her dad walked to the barn arm and arm under an umbrella, everyone was brimming in anticipation. The ceremony was heart felt and sweet - full of prayers and sweet words of wisdom to the bride and groom. As they said their vows and exchanged rings you could see the excitement growing between them. They kissed for the first time as husband and wife and the room erupted in clapping!

After the ceremony we took family and wedding party photos and then it was time for bride and groom portraits! We walked around the beautiful fields of the farm with a New Hampshire fall backdrop taking photos as they laughed and played together. As they walked up the dirt road under the bright orange and red trees you could tell just how happy they were. After all this we headed up to get the reception started! First the family and wedding party were announced and then Abbie and JP made their grand entrance! They kicked off the reception with some beautiful toasts by Abbie's brother, her sister-in-law as well as JP's brother - they had the whole room laughing  and tearing up a bit! Dinner and dancing followed with a sweet father daughter dance and mother son dance. As the reception came to a close the wedding party got set up for a fun "releasing of the doves" exit for the couple. With the campfire crackling near by Abbie and JP left the night as a flood of dove balloons were released in to the sky! 

Abbie and JP had the perfect day surrounded by friends and family. I am beyond happy and thankful to have been able to witness this day and participate in a small way. I hope you have a lifetime of adventures and years full of love and happiness!

Venue: Longlook Farm, Sanbornton NH | Florals: EH Floral | Baker: Ooo La La Creative Cakes 

Grateful 52 - #2

Hey friends! I can't believe January is already coming to an end and with it means its my Dad's birthday! This makes it the perfect week to tell you all about my family. I am beyond grateful for my family and all the support they have given over the years. Probably the best way to describe my family is loud, entertaining, outgoing and adventurous. The four of us, my mom and dad and older brother, have always been ready to take on the world and learn new things. 

Dad

The word that comes to mind when I think of my dad is "run". An avid runner and marathoner, he is incredibly self disciplined and determined in everything he does. He is such a hard worker and always instilled such work ethic in to my brother and I. This isn't to say he can't have fun - I attribute all of my goofy quirks to be from him and it's awesome. I can remember as a kid going to the store and him turning his ball cap sideways and walking around like  a goof to make us all laugh. He's one of a kind and never afraid to be himself which I appreciate so much. 

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Mom

My mom is the artist of the family. She is creative and intellectual all in the same breath. She has an eye for beauty and pattern that mine will never come close to. She loves browsing antique stores and has a knack for taking old pieces and re-purposing them in to beautiful and functional pieces for the home. Whenever I find myself in need of some ideas and inspiration, I always know I can call my mom and talk through some ideas. Other than being the creative heart behind me, she is also my biggest fan and confidant who I know I can rely on. 

RJ

My brother is definitely the outgoing charmer of the family. He is always ready to talk and meet new people and have a good time. I can always rely on him to back me up in silly and stupid situations and I know that I can call him for an adventure any time. He is the one who taught me to be confident in myself, to never lose sight of who I am and to never take life to seriously. There is always room for a little fun. RJ is a talented cook and always whips up something delicious as well as being an avid outdoorsmen, fisherman and new hunter. Life definitely wouldn't be the same without him around to adventure with!

Lauren

The newest member of my family is my brother's wife, Lauren. She is definitely more than a sister-in-law and I'm happy to finally have a sister to lean on in life. This girl is incredibly kind and sweet and cares so deeply for her family. She is excelling at her job in the social work field all while getting her masters. I am constantly inspired by her drive and ambition in life to care for those around her and succeed in her passions. I'm so thankful to have her in my life!

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Robyn + John, Part 1.

Benson Park - Hudson, New Hampshire

Robyn and John's engagement session at Benson Park in Hudson, NH was one for the books! These two sweet hearts are incredibly kind and funny and make you feel like you have known them forever. As we walked around the park shooting and talking you could feel the natural ease and comfort the two of them have together. They also brought along one of their adorable fur-babies, Kahlua who was just as sweet as her parents. 

The Proposal

Robyn and John's proposal story is so cute and definitely speaks to their personalities! As told to me by John, they had been talking about getting a dog for a while and so he came up with the idea to propose with a custom dog tag that said "Will you marry me?". With his plan in place, John got the dog tag and collar and wrapped it up nicely. Once the box was in Robyn's hands, I'm sure John was thinking the hard part was over, although it did take a few minutes before she flipped the tag over to see the surprise! While she may have though she was just getting a puppy, instead she also got a husband! 

I can't wait for what I know will be an absolutely gorgeous wedding for them in 2017!

Grateful 52 - #1

This year I started a personal project to work through 52 weeks of gratefulness. There is so much happening in the world today that it can be easy to get lost in the negativity and troubles of life. I want to make a point in 2017 to remember all of the things I have to be grateful for - all the things that have shaped who I have become. 

For week one I am grateful for my husband, Austin. We met early in high school and ever since he has been my best friend. Austin is kind, loving, incredibly patient, supportive beyond belief and well grounded. But beyond that he makes the best pot of coffee, always gets us places even when I give bad directions, loves all the pets I insist we have, photographs along side me, and further more he is awesome to snuggle with at movie night. It wasn't long after we started dating that I knew without a doubt in my mind that this would be the man I would marry and 7 years later we did just that. Standing on the grass with the sun on our backs and the mountains behind us we got married surrounded by our closest friends and family. Over the last year and a few months of being married we have had amazing experiences and grown so much together - and I can't wait for the next 60+ years! Here's to the people in our lives who love us and make us better people! I hope this reminds you to tell them how much they mean to you!

Much love,
Abby

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Adventure Prints

Austin and I are so excited to release our Adventure Prints line to you all! We both grew up spending so much time in the great outdoors and find so much peace being there. We created this line to meet a few important needs.

First off, we want to inspire and encourage people to unplug and get outside. There is so much out there to experience, from hiking, fishing, canoeing to just meeting different people who have a culture unknown to you. We believe the best way to connect with the world is by experiencing it first hand and this line of prints will take you on our Adventure around New England and some of our favorite places across the globe.

Secondly, these prints help us to give back to our community. A percentage of each print sale goes back to two organizations that we feel strongly about, The Crisis Center of New Hampshire and Love146. The Crisis Center of NH is an amazing organization that helps meet the immediate needs of women, children and families who have suffered from domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse, elder abuse and stalking and gives them a safe place to stay and resources to get help. You can learn more about this great organization by clicking here. The other organization we will be donating to through these prints is Love146 whose mission is to end child trafficking and exploitation. They work hard at prevention as well as to deliver the best care to survivors who are fighting the aftermath of child trafficking and exploitation. You can learn more about this awesome group by clicking here

We hope you're as excited about this new line as we are - make sure you head on over to the Adventure Prints page to see what it's all about! In honor of our launch week, use code LAUNCHWEEK for 10% off your prints order!

Much love!

Hannah + Sam's Wedding

Bristol, New Hampshire

Fall weddings are some of the most beautiful, especially in New Hampshire! I knew Hannah and Sam's wedding would be no different, but when I woke up that morning to rainy skies my heart dropped. After arriving lakeside I could see the weather wasn't going to bring them down! Hannah and Sam along with their families hustled around to get ready, everyone just buzzing with excitement. Their day was filled with so much love and support from both families. After a beautiful ceremony, we headed down to the beach where they could have a little quiet time enjoying being married before the reception. It was a dream to photograph these two as they effortlessly moved about each other as a perfect pair. It was evident this couple will be unstoppable in wherever life takes them! Congratulations Hannah and Sam!

Cake: Forbes Bakery and Shoppe (http://www.forbesbakery.com/) | DJ: Roger Main Music Road Disc Jockey (http://www.nhmusicroad.com/) | Venue: Our Lady of Grace Chapel | Florist: Cheryl Davis | 

New Hampshire

North Country - NH

As a born and raised New Hampshireite (if that is even a word!) I may be a little biased, but this is one of the prettiest states around! I have been incredibly lucky to travel to all corners of the United States and see some amazing things, and at the end of the day I still always find so much beauty here in my back yard. Ever since I was a little kid, I would spend my summers running around the woods, exploring the little frog pond next door (and insisting on bringing tadpoles inside to watch grow), hiking wherever I could and just enjoying being outside. I remember when I got my very first camera when I was around 12, a little tiny point and shoot, and I would take it EVERYWHERE, photographing rocks, ferns, birds, grass, salamanders and whatever else would sit still long enough. Time has gone by and things have changed with life getting busy but my love for the outdoors has never ceased. While photographing people and epic love stories is what makes me the happiest, photographing nature is what brings me inspiration and peace. They are two different worlds that are hopefully going to collide more as I dive in to the world of adventure sessions featuring couples (engagements, anniversaries, elopements, etc) where we I will take people to some of my favorite locations around to do their session. What better way to have gorgeous portraits done than in a breathtaking area that can only be reached by stepping off the path a bit?! I am really looking forward to this next chapter as it grows and changes in to something amazing! 

 

Dingman Family

Chichester, New Hampshire

It was a cold and blustery day, like many fall days in New Hampshire and the bright red and orange leaves were sparkling in the trees. The crisp fall weather brought a level of excitement as the leaves swirled around us on the ground. It was the perfect day to be outside with the Dingman family!

Melissa, Jeremy and Gideon are one of the sweetest and funniest families around. Melissa's kind and quiet demeanor make her incredibly easy to be around and so welcoming. Melissa has a successful business as a massage therapist and has opened her own practice as Strength and Power Massage! Jeremy is an avid musician as well as an active member of the military. Even through multiple deployments, Jeremy and Melissa have grown their marriage and themselves as well as raise a funny and kind little one named Gideon. Gideon, like his parents, is sweet and full of goofy antics; like his father he loves to play the drums! It was truly a joy to capture some moments with this family!