the story


Ok. Ok. I have left you hanging in suspense long enough (thanks so much for the congratulatory comments, emails and phone calls today! What a fun day!). Here is how yesterday's proposal unfolded...

If you live in Maine, you may have heard about Your Piece of Maine, a contest sponsored by the Maine Association of Realtors. The rules require that you submit a 3-minute (or less) video on YouTube explaining why you want a piece of Maine. There are 10 prizes; first prize is $20,000!

J had decided that it might be fun to put something together, highlighting that he moved here from California and then feature a few of his favorite local places. He also decided he is ready to trade in his California license plates and officially become a Maine-iac, something we both thought would be a cute angle for the end of his video.

After I came home from work (feels so odd to write that!), we (dogs, too) piled into the car to go for a walk at Higgins Beach in Scarborough, something we do most nights. The weather was particularly gorgeous yesterday, and the sunset was spectacular.

We strolled down the beach with our little point & shoot camera (that also takes video) and my tripod until we found the right spot and waited for the right light for J to talk about why he loves the beach in Maine. He wanted me in this clip, since this is an activity we do together.

He was setting up the camera and asked me to walk toward the water to mark our starting spot. You'll have to watch the video to see what happened next (note how I think he's done and try to pull away to turn the camera off- he pulls me back and goes into his proposal talk)!!

I think it was a pretty ingenious way of a) catching me off-guard and b) capturing a really important moment in our lives forever on tape!

Our family pic.

Let me give you a little back story on the ring...

My grandma June Morgan lives in Scottsdale and is one of the most classy, stylish women you will ever meet. She has bleach blond hair, bright pink lipstick and is always impeccably dressed (she used to own a dress shop). As a young girl, I used to play dress-up in her fancy clothes for hours and each night she would treat me to a facial before bed. Many years ago grandma introduced me to the little blue box magic of Tiffany. I have a drawer full of beautiful keepsakes marking both major and minor milestones in my life, white ribbons still in tact.

A few weeks after J and I met in 2006 (and before he learned of my Tiffany infatuation), UPS delivered a package from J in a little blue box to remind me he was always thinking of me even tho 3,000 miles separated us for the first 7 months that we were dating.

Fast forward to more recent months, where J and I talked more seriously about rings and even tried on a few. During our romantic Valentine's Day dinner I had a feeling that he might propose soon and we talked about what it would mean to have a Tiffany diamond to pass down in our family for years to come.

Here is the stunning bling. Tiffany tracked down a ring in their Hawaii store that is the exact carat weight of my lucky number, a thoughtful detail only J would be so kind to consider.

J, I can't thank you enough for your sweet proposal (and for including the dogs!) and for loving me the way no one else does. You mean the world to me and I am so excited to spend the rest of my life with you. I love you!

Now, to answer the questions everyone is asking:
1. We don't know when/where the wedding will be.
2. We don't know who will be our photographers.

But we will surely let you know when we do! :)



ISO graphic designer


Three years ago I incorporated my business and changed the name from Emilie Sommer Photography to emilie inc. An integral part of that rebranding process was graphic and web designer Sharon Reiley, then owner of Idea Builder, based in North Attleboro, Massachusetts. Sharon has since had a beautiful baby girl Paige and has closed her design business. She is now focusing on children's portraiture. I'm so excited for Sharon's early success in photography, but am selfishly missing my go-to design expert.

I'm in need of someone equally as talented to help with a few little projects (notecards, price lists, etc) who has a similar style and who will consistently carry my brand. If you're a graphic designer and have some time for a few quick freelance projects, drop me an email with some samples or a website link where I may view some of your recent work.


memorable Memorial weekend


For the first time in 5 years, I didn't have a wedding on Memorial Day weekend! I did have a few client meetings, but otherwise J and I were able to take advantage of "normal" kick-off to summer weekend plans. We readied our gardens for the season, did a little spring cleaning inside, and pulled off a great Red Sox themed surprise 60th birthday party for my father.

I was lucky to grow up summering on Lake Wentworth in Wolfeboro, NH. "The lakehouse" has seen many family gatherings, and today's was no exception. J and Dad golfed this morning (early! We left Portland at 5:30a to make the drive over for their 8a tee time) as part of our plan to get Dad out of the house so we could set up. When they returned for lunch, Dad was very surprised to see most of his family there to greet him wearing baseball party hats, and adorned with Sox temporary tattoos.

If you're thinking of hosting a Sox cook-out, here are our theme specific party ingredients (there was other food, too):

Cracker Jacks
peanuts in the shell
Fenway Franks
Boston baked beans
Red Sox helmet ice cream cups
Hood Red Sox ice cream
Red Sox wine
Sox temporary tattoos
Sox mini bat (we all signed it)
baseball pinata
blue glitter baseball garland
red and blue balloons
baseball themed-music
Sox plates, napkins, cups

Here is Dad, blindfolded, taking his best shot at the baseball pinata (note the fabulous baseball headband and glittery purple "60" necklace).

Happy Birthday, Dad!

Many thanks to those who are fighting for and those who have given their lives for our freedom, today and always.

The before pictures


Ok. So now that you have seen the amazing "after" images of the studio, take a gander at what this space looked like, pre-renovation, when my landlord bought the building a few years ago. I guess back in the day it was a shady (you think?!) after-hours club. Thanks to the vision of many long-time residents and new shop owners, the East End has quickly turned into one of Portland's trendiest neighborhoods (I can't wait for the rooftop martini bar construction to begin two buildings up from mine!).

Angle #1.

Angle #2.

Angle #3.

Angle #4.


vendor tour: bridal bootcamp


host: Fitness Revolution
address: 18 Lafayette Rd., North Hampton, NH
phone number: 603.964.2348

All brides want to look their best on their wedding day. With bridal boot camp programs, like the one at Fitness Revolution in North Hampton, reaching those fitness goals is closer than you think! Fitness Revolution has launched an 8 week program that includes small group training sessions twice a week, nutrition counseling, a diet journal and motivational counseling. The cost is $559 and includes full use of the gym facilities! ** Click here ** to download the PDF for this program.

I had the pleasure of photographing a bootcamp training session and I was very impressed. I was exhausted from just chasing these ladies around as they exercised! While shooting, the weather changed from bright sunshine, to big raindrops, and then to dark and cloudy in the course of the hour. It was pretty wild!

This is Allison Quinlan, the bootcamp instructor.

The session began with stretching to warm-up in the parking lot.

And then a little jump rope to elevate the heart rate.

For 50 minutes, the students rotated from cardio to strength training exercises.

Allison timed every exercise.

Backwards running drill.

Walking push-ups.

Reach those toes!

Lift those backsides!


Sprint drills.

Overhead presses.


Finished! Cooling down with some stretches.

Allison did a fantastic job!

Well done, ladies!

First day at the office


Armed with a cup of coffee from my new Keurig, I am all set up at the studio to work today! Unless I am out shooting, I will plan to be here most days from 10a-6p. Please be sure to call and make an appointment, just in case.

* Anders and Henry


When Amy called to schedule a portrait session for her sons, she explained that her boys were not likely to sit still and, instead, could I photograph them being busy, doing whatever it is they normally do in an afternoon? Of course! Perfect. Just my style.

It was important to Amy to get pictures of Henry's nursery and with his pacifier, as he is getting a big boy bed this weekend. Here, Henry shows me how old he is.

It took Anders a while to warm up to my being there. In his room he felt safe in his basket of toys.

Their yellow lab, Hannah, looking for squirrels.

Check out the expression on Hannah's face!

One of their favorite activities is hanging out on mom & dad's big bed.

Love this.

Something as simple as putting on a pair of shoes is a sweet, simple capture to remember Anders at this age.

Sweet Hannah, again on squirrel patrol.

These boys love dinosaurs! A little dinosaur parade on the back steps.

At long last, the boys were feeling comfortable to mug for the camera willingly.

Check out the tremendous effort of mom Amy, making some fantastic dinosaur faces to get some giggles out of the boys!

Just before I left, I peeked into Henry's nursery again where he was clearly tired from the commotion and waiting for his mom to put him down for a nap. Adorable.

Many thanks to Amy for asking me to come spend an hour with your family at your home in Portsmouth. I had a really nice time and commend you for seeing the importance in capturing the simple, honest moments of life.
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