the grand opening


Even tho I have been working in my studio since May, I decided to mark the birth of this tremendous project with something official, fun, and a little fancy. So last Friday, about 150 people came over for drinks and hellos, and checked out the new space from 5-10p. The beginning portion of the night was a vendor preview for other professionals in the industry to have a chance to mingle and network, while the later portion of the open house was for friends, family and clients (some of whom traveled great distances to attend- thank you!). It was a smashing success, and it wouldn't have been nearly as such without the support from so many kind and talented vendors who donated or discounted their services for the event:

Aurora Provisions
Beautiful Days
Bei Capelli
Casco Bay Frames and Gallery
Debra Corey Designs
Flora Fauna
Harmon's & Barton's
Joya Beauty
Let Them Eat Cake
Maine Cakes & Cookies
music by Peter Miles
Old Port Wine Merchants
Puttin' on the Glitz
Signed, Sealed & Delivered
Simple Complexity Designs

An additional thanks to Port City Life Magazine and Portland Monthly Magazine for covering the event. And congratulations to Rachel McGarry and Kris Wright who won the drawing for a portrait session and a framed print by Casco Bay Frames & Gallery!

I was busy greeting and hugging all night long (brides and grooms, I have new-found respect for you!), so delegated the picture-taking to emilie inc. associate photographers Geneve and Wyndee who documented a bit of the festivities for me. I regret that there are not images of all our families and many friends who traveled a long distance to be there.

There were so many flower deliveries throughout the day from friends who sent their well wishes for the evening from afar. Thanks, all!

Yummy eats from Aurora Provisions in Portland's west end.

A stunning flower display from Harmon's & Barton's in Portland.

A coffee table display by Judy and her team from Flora Fauna.

Funky fruit and flowers by Debra Corey.

And garden casual from Kate Martin of Beautiful Days.

Gayle Forte of Let Them Eat Cake provided a beautiful emilie inc. wedding cake.

And Diane of Maine Cakes & Cookies made scrumptious starfish favor cookies for everyone in emilie inc. pink & brown.

If you don't know the music of Peter Miles, you need to. We spotted him on the list of performers at the North Star Café downstairs and were smitten with his sound from the first note. Peter did an amazing job providing a beautiful soundtrack to the event. I'm not sure how he didn't lose his voice after 5 hours!

A small reminder of my breast cancer Pink Initiative program.

A detail of some Cypress folios on display.

And you can't have a celebration party without the bubbly- pink, no less!

Some last minute adjustments before guests start to roll in.

emilie inc's newest associate Meredith manned the door with a clipboard and guest list to check off everyone as they arrived (here she chats with emilie inc. insurance agent Lisa Coughlan- thanks, Lisa!).

Joanne of Joya Beauty and bride Stefanie Crystal were a huge help with some last minute tasks. Stefanie is the bride in the canvas on the wall over her shoulder!

J played bartender for a minute to coordinator and flower designer Kate Parker before his brother Brad took over for the evening.

The studio starts to fill up!

I had the pleasure of getting prettied by Joanne McDonough of Joya Beauty, and Nancy at Bei Capelli for the evening.

J and I chatting with Laurie Hyndman, editor of Port City Life Magazine.

Chatting with Katina LaFazia, editor of La Bella Bride Magazine in Rhode Island.

L to R: Kate Parker, Lena Hartford and Joanne McDonough. Your one-stop shop for wedding flowers, hair, and make-up!

This is Charlie, the friend of my interior designer Tracy, who tagged along with her to the party with a fresh black eye (still didn't catch the story behind it). Joanne sat him right down and touched up his bruise. Ha.

L to R: Linda Pattillo, Sharyn Peavey & her daughter and Meagan Gilpatrick.

Family friends Lauren Nauman (facing) and Lisa Sullender.

Childhood friends Arwyn, Alan and Kelly mugging for my mom.

Checking out the frames.

Brides Sarah and Kelsie.

My stepmother Paula browsing.

My Nana and Grandpa giggling with J.

Beloved bride Alisa and her father Jon peeking at a book.

And lastly, my favorite pink and brown cupcakes sent by Tina and Molly from Chicago who couldn't make it. So sweet! Literally!

Roots Workshop student work


I have uploaded all of the students' final edits to the portfolios of the Roots Workshop website here.
And please check out the amazing slideshows of work by each student from the workshop below. I am so impressed with each and every one of them! Sit back, and turn your volume up (the YouTube quality isn't the best, but it will give you a good taste!)! Each video starts with a portrait of the photographer (either taken by another workshop student or a self-portrait) and ends with the newspaper mock-up of their finished story.

I have to brag about my sweet J first. J was assigned to photograph the Race Point Lighthouse, accessible only by a 3-mile ATV road. The original lighthouse keeper's house is available to rent for summer vacationers (an assignment I actually covered with the original lighthouse keeper's great-grandchildren when I was an intern at the Cape Cod Times 10 years ago!). J spent many long hours covering the goings-on at this house, even staying over one of the evening's so that he could properly capture both sunset and sunrise. I was speechless when his images were shown during the Thursday night presentation, and without notice, I had huge tears dropping down my cheeks. So proud of you, J! These images are gorgeous!

Stephen Bobb from the DC area is an associate photographer for Love Life Images (and the second shooter to Jennifer Domenick at my dear friend Erica's wedding two years ago!), was assigned to photograph a traditional Cape Cod lobsterman Ben Bergquist. Despite rough seas and stinky smells, he produced a beautiful story of Ben and his brother in this family business. You can read more of his personal account here.

Stunning and equally sweet Shyla Dalirifar was assigned to photograph one of the oldest golf links in America. She wowed the group when she was able to find a killer sub-story of an adorable little boy who plays golf there every day and is heralded as the next Tiger Woods, beating all of the adult men he is paired with. Read more of Shyla's personal account here.

Another DC photographer, Evan Bishop, and his feature of a very talented artistic Cape Cod family. I got an SOS phone call from Evan on the first day at 10a, saying that nothing was going on. When students first arrived on Sunday night, they were asked to share their perceived strengths and weaknesses. Evan shared that he is not patient and has trouble interacting intimately with people. Bingo. This was the perfect assignment for Evan, and just took a little time for him to get comfortable with waiting for the moment.

I met Neysa Ruhl two years ago when she was a student at the Foundation Workshop in Texas and I was a mentor. She has one of the most infectiously positive personalities. Neysa was assigned to cover the infamous Cape Cod Baseball League and an up-and-coming player everyone is watching from Notre Dame. Unfortunately, that player is a relief pitcher and it was uncertain whether he would play! Thanks to Neysa's sticktuitiveness she came up with a Plan B (photographed a bit of the shortstop, too) and stayed until the end of each game. Eventually, he played on the last night! Thank you for adding such a great spirit to the week, Neysa! Read Neys'a personal account here.

Even a broken arm did not stop Georgia's Ty Miller from making the overnight drive to Cape Cod for the workshop and producing a great picture story of a funky pottery shop in Cape Cod owned and operated by four sisters. If you're ever visiting the Cape, Scargo Pottery is a must-see! I met Ty in Las Vegas at WPPI last year after accidentally pouring red wine on his white shirt when someone bumped me at a very crowded party. Still feel badly about that, Ty!

Linda Crayton is a very hard worker and one of the most genuine people you will ever meet. She worked every angle possible at the landmark Four Seas ice cream shop in Cape Cod, starting her day photographing the 5a ice cream making, and ending with the long lines of customers at sunset. Congratulations, Linda!

One student came all the way from Canada to attend Roots! Scott McQuarrie was originally assigned to cover a notorious drag queen club/inn complex in Provincetown, but on the last day made the decision to follow one of our mentors, Tyler Wirken, instead. Thanks so much for making the huge effort to come to Cape Cod, Scott! It was a pleasure getting to know you better and I am so proud of your growth! Read Scott's account on his blog here.

Meredith Purdue is a very brave woman! Just months after graduating from college in North Carolina, a few weeks after moving to Maine, and days after buying a 5D, Meredith jumped head-first into the deep end at Roots. She was assigned to cover a traditional YMCA summer camp and, initially, decided to cover her story from the angle of the camp dog. Proving a challenge to chase this active pup at dog's eye level, Meredith then followed a group of small girls instead, and witnessed a water rescue (which provided a little legal drama lesson for us all!). Meredith will be working with emilie inc.- something I will be properly announcing soon!

Dan Williams was another student who traveled a great distance to join us- from Arizona! A former health club owner, Dan has now embraced photography and has a growing business in Tucson. "Underwhelmed" by his first assignment (covering a sea life rehab non-profit which, fortunately and unfortunately, only had a few sea turtles to tend to), spent most of his time with a youth academy boot camp run by the sheriff's department. With a background in the military, this was the perfect assignment for Dan and he certainly excelled.

Mellissa DeMille met instructor Greg Gibson at a photo convention last January and signed up for Roots immediately because she wanted to learn more! In addition to being a great cook, singer songwriter and all-around social person, Mellissa dug deep with her challenging assignment to cover the daily life of noted author Anne D. LeClaire. In the process of such an intimate assignment, Mellissa learned a lot about herself and how to approach people that I know she will be able to use in her new wedding photography business.

The first person to sign up for the workshop was Samantha DePoy Warren, but she actually didn't even know it! Her parents and husband Kyle sent Sam as a surprise Christmas gift! Sam is a local Maine wedding photographer and very dear friend. I've known Sam for what seems like an eternity but is truly only a year or so, and started as J and I consulted her with business advice. It's been an awesome process watching I Do Click, now Samantha Warren Weddings, take off! When Sam received her assignment to photograph the Monomoy Theatre and was disappointed, my heart broke. Personally, it was one of my favorite assignments and I knew would be challenging for Sam given the low light situations. Sam pushed through and produced a fantastic peek into this busy actors community.

James Bass and I had been corresponding for a long time over email, so I was excited to finally meet him in person at the workshop. I've told him this already, but if we were to hand out superlatives for everyone from the workshop, James Bass would receive kindest heart. What a great guy! James was completely open to the experience and might also get the award for most improved. He was assigned to photograph the Cape Cod AmeriCorps group as they picked up trash, cleaned waterways and cleared brush. It wasn't a pretty assignment, and by the second day James was down in the dirt alongside them. And never once did I hear him complain. Read his personal account here.

As you can imagine, it took months of preparation to research all of these assignments. I had one assignment that was very different than the others and was not sure how it would go over with the other instructors. We huddled together on Sunday night to determine if it was something we should actually assign, or perhaps ask for a volunteer. We decided with the latter and approached Eric Laurits to see if he might be interested in documenting a nudist camp. The hitch? He would have to participate. Eric agreed, and produced a beautifully respectable, peaceful account of the camp owners' daily life. Bravo for pushing yourself, Eric, and going beyond the norm to challenge how you see things. I knew, of anyone, you would be the perfect photographer to do this assignment justice and you definitely did not disappoint (and thanks to team leader Arn for paying Eric a mentor visit on site!). Read Eric's entertaining and thoughtful personal account here.

Blog Nosh


J spotted this great online magazine Blog Nosh, that republishes blog posts of note with topics ranging from education to religion to art. Definitely bookmark Blog Nosh as a great one-stop-site for the best of the best. They featured my post about my first studio art walk from May. Thanks, J!

Roots recap


Roots is over. :(

I am totally sleep deprived (4 hours each night), bug-bitten (how do bugs reach those hard-to-reach places anyway?), and sad... I have a lingering emptiness in my gut missing my new friends.

Organizing a workshop is much more work than I ever thought possible. And although it wasn't perfect (which is hard for me to accept, as I most definitely struggle with being a perfectionist! Is there a support group for me?!), it was definitely outstanding. I'll be posting highlights of the students' work here this week, but first, a few snapshots of the end of the week...

By late-night Wednesday evening, Greg was editing from the couch with his feet up, and appletini on the brain- literally.

Thursday was spent completing the final edits, picking music & assembling slideshows for later that night, writing captions & headlines for the newspaper layouts, and the general shock & awe that things were wrapping up!

Capt. Smith pulled up to our dock that afternoon to treat everyone to a leisurely river cocktail cruise. It was exactly what we all needed!

Eric, per usual, was very excited about this.

Tyler grabbed my camera for this image. Students, notice the cool repetition and balance? :)

Sam and Meredith share a laugh.

When we arrived back at the house, Jake's Bake was waiting for us!

Our chefs treated us to an amazing clambake. Aren't they so cute?!

And Wild Bill Corney provided some Buffett-style tunes.

The first course was chowder and clams.

Sam wasn't so sure.

Down the hatch!

Eric, per usual, was very excited about this (wait, have I said this before?!).

Stephen crammed in a little last minute editing.

Dear friend Jenn digging in.

Andrea, right, is Arnold's wife and 6 months pregnant with their second child. Her belly was too cute not to photograph. She's talking with Linda, who has to be one of the kindest people ever.

The next course was lobster, sweet corn, sausage (or tempeh and/or swordfish & veggie kabobs for me), potatoes and cole slaw. This was a first for many of the students.


After dinner, we set up for the slideshow presentations on the deck. Watching everyone's presentations under the stars was a surreal experience, made extra special by some of the students' subjects who came by to watch the show. One such person is Anne LeClaire, noted author and family friend. We took a quick picture with her husband to show my family (so here you go, Grandma! This is for you!).

I didn't take any photos during the slideshows, mostly because I was either a) talking, b) engrossed in watching or c) crying. Eric jumped up on the porch roof to capture this overall.

Thank you all SO much for working so hard and sharing of yourselves with us and this experience for the week. I am so proud of everyone and can't wait for next year (more on that soon...).
Pin It button on image hover