Hello, from Texas

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Having a really great time in Texas! Here's our group picture by Ben Chrisman. This is such a big group compared to last year!


We're busy, busy, so I'll be sure to write more soon about what we've been up to. Hope you're having a great week!

out of town: Texas

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I'm heading to Texas on Sunday for a week to teach at the Foundation Workshop just outside Dallas. FW6 is a photojournalism workshop for wedding photographers- much like my Roots Workshop. You may recall I did this last year, too. I can't believe a whole year has already flown by! Wow!

I will be one of three speakers on Monday morning as the workshop kicks off, and the rest of the week I'll be mentoring students while they are out on assignments and at night during the critique session. There's a whole slew of talented folks attending... the workshop has nearly tripled in size! Watch the blog for pictures.

I'll do my best to return phone calls and emails quickly. This workshop packs a lot of work, fun and very little sleep.

227 Congress

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After last fall's studio nightmare, I am happy to announce that after months of searching emilie inc. has found a home. The space is not as lofty and grand as the other, but it's a well-lit, newly-renovated gem and the landlord is someone J and I feel we would be friends with, not just business partners. That counts for a lot in my book.

It's at the base of Munjoy Hill in Portland's East End on the second floor above the North Star Cafe (a chill vegetarian cafe with live acoustic music every night of the week, and sometimes tango lessons!) and next to The Snug (a new trendy Irish pub). Within a block is Angela Adams (the infamous rug and handbag maker), a yoga studio, a few salons, trendy clothing shops and yarn stores. It's definitely the "up and coming" part of Portland, and I'm proud to be a part of the resurgence (up next is the transformation of a building around the corner into a multi-level restaurant and rooftop martini bar. Sweet!). And the best part? There are no meters! Gasp! Yes, there actually is free street parking in Portland and I've found it!

My space is 1,300sf and includes an open area for meeting with clients and hosting workshops, a kitchenette (I purchased the cabinets yesterday- chocolate brown to match the emilie inc. branding), an office nook, a small shooting space (with exposed brick walls), a full bath and private rooftop deck (the deck will be completed this summer). There are filtered views of the harbor and the bay from either sides.

Remember a few weeks ago I wrote about not knowing how I should celebrate my 30th birthday? Well, this is the perfect present! My lease starts April 1st... my birthday!

The renovations are still going on, but I took a few pictures with my iPhone this morning when I signed the lease. They aren't the best, but give you an idea (I know this is going to sound crazy, but I didn't want to take any with my professional camera just yet, so as to not jinx myself with what happened last time!).

Tracy Davis from Urban Dwellings is helping create a gorgeous interior space. Check back for updates as everything comes together. And expect a fabulous opening reception sometime in May! Hooray!

Pink Initiative totes

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Starting next month, new wedding clients who order an album will receive their finished book in an emilie inc. photography organic, unbleached cotton tote! As a reminder of your Pink Initiative contribution toward breast cancer research from your creative fee, I have implemented a special logo with a pink ribbon for these bags, perfect for toting around your album or everyday needs, like at the grocery store. I also had a few mugs made for coffee in the new studio. Oops! Did I say studio?! Check back in a few days for official word on that exciting news!

Happy Love Day!

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In an industry where love is our CEO, I hope you all have a special day filled with love and happiness.

Today marks the busiest day for marriage proposals. From simple to elaborate and everything in between, your proposal story will be told again and again. I've heard some pretty amazing stories from my clients over the years, tho I think my favorite is from my friend Erica:

Her now-husband Steve sent Erica on a scavenger hunt around their city-Philadelphia- visiting places that have special significance to their relationship, collecting pieces to a photo puzzle he had made at each stop. The last piece, which completed a photo of the two of them, led Erica to a private picnic for two- plus a chef- in a park where Steve proposed. Once she said Yes, both of their families came over the crest of a nearby hill and celebrated together!

(pictures courtesy Erica)

Looking for ideas? Theknot.com has a few and here's a recent article describing some ways men have popped the question locally in Maine. They get an A for creativity!

Even tho Valentine's Day is most certainly a Hallmark holiday, I can't help but get caught up in the romance of the day myself. J surprised me with breakfast and roses this morning. And later, told me to be dressed, fancy, to leave the house at a certain time. Our surprise destination? An elegant 4 course meal at the White Barn Inn in Kennebunk complete with candlelight, piano, waiters in white tuxes and an amazing meal. Before dessert J presented me with a Tiffany box (my favorite). I know what you might be thinking... nope, he didn't propose (the thought did cross my mind even tho I'm not one for a scene in public!), and he gave me a charm to add to my Tiffany charm bracelet (that he gave me two Christmases ago). It will certainly remind me of an amazing day. Thank you, J!

Every Valentine's Day since 1976, Portland wakes up to heart print-outs taped to each and every storefront window. Driving around town, you can't help but smile. The best part? No one knows who does this! It's done in the middle of the night and, so far, the identity of this well-wisher(s) has never been discovered. Read more here and here. Cool, huh? I heart Portland.

(2007 pictures by Michelle Souliere, left, and mainetoday.com, right)

And I had to share this picture my sister emailed of my nephew busy making Valentines. Too cute! I especially love the Red Sox pjs. We love you, Nathan!

xoxoxoxo

listing

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As tho of you who know me know, I am super organized. My secret? I list! I keep a spiral Steno pad in my bag at all times to jot down ideas as they come to mind, things to do, people to call, etc. I love the (albeit tiny) feeling of accomplishment when I can check something off my list. I recently spotted something to further my habit and thought I would share it with you, for those looking to be uber-organized too. It's the "What To Do" pad found on roomservicehome.com.


I know that staying organized is very important for couples planning a wedding. There are many books and software programs designed to keep you on task and guide you in the right direction. Here are a few software programs that I think look great. Let me know if you have any experience with them or suggestions for others (and don't forget theknot.com's online planning tools too):

Wedding Planner 36.99 (the Apple store carries this one too)
My Wedding Organizer $29.95
Modern Wedding Planner $19.99


(snapshot via Modern Wedding Planner)

Not up for the task? Please contact me for my suggestions for a fantastic coordinator to do the work for you!

vendor tour: Signed, Sealed & Delivered

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owners: Ellen Knipe & Lauren Watkinson
phone number: 207.504.6603
website: www.ssdinvitations.com
email: info@ssdinvitations.com

I met Ellen and Lauren a few years ago at Michelle and Jeremy's wedding and was immediately impressed with their talent and product. Unlike the major stationers, Ellen and Lauren custom design everything and oversee the process from start to finish. Several of my couples have used their services since and I continue to recommend Signed, Sealed & Delivered again and again. As part of the off-season's vendor tour, I thought I would take you to their Brunswick studio where it all comes together.

On a very cold day outside, Lauren's mug was sitting on the coffee table inside and it just felt too cozy and friendly not to include.

As prospective clients, you will be able to browse their portfolios.

Their designs are gorgeous, both letterpress and flat.

Aren't the textures of these papers scrumptious? These thicker papers are used to wrap programs and such.

You can also have your envelopes addressed. Ellen is a fantastic calligrapher.

The workspace. Lauren and Ellen were not keen on being photographed, so I tried to sneak when they weren't looking. ;)

Lauren's little boy, Christopher, was not as camera shy. He was eager to handle my camera.

The studio features some fun furnishings... neat metal chairs and a funky light fixture.

Fun purple seating!

Ellen was working on affixing custom seals to a save-the-date. Lauren and Ellen said that they discuss the wedding theme with their clients when trying to come up with the invitation design. This couple had chosen hydrangeas. Lauren and Ellen worked together to design the hydrangea and the matching papers from the save-the-date, rehearsal dinner & wedding invites, program, table numbers and place cards, thank-you notes, and any other paper needs the client might have. They stressed the importance of being consistent with the look for all wedding-related paper.

Some details in the space.

Thanks so much for being a part of the vendor tour, Ellen and Lauren! I look forward to working with you much more in the future!

* Linda

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I met Linda in 2006 when she hired me to photograph her yellow lab puppy Alie. Last week she emailed me with the news that she is 8 months pregnant and asked if I could take a single photograph to capture her mommy-to-be body. Of course!

When I showed up at her house, I was shocked to see how little Linda's belly is! An athlete and tall, I would have never guessed she was just weeks away from her due date! She put on a tight fitting black dress and I went to work with the challenge of capturing one photo that expresses Linda's body in a proud, beautiful way. No frumpy pictures here! And this is the one picture from the take that I can't stop looking at. Isn't she striking? I especially love that the three photos on the wall are ones that I took of her dog!


Even tho Linda was happy with the above picture, too, we kept going with a few other poses. I've included a couple to share with you. I bet you can guess what Linda is having!

Alie has no idea how her world is about to change!

And a bit more abstract, pink tulips and the belly.

I am excited to go back and photograph Linda's little baby girl soon! Good luck, Linda!!

thebschoolblog.com

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Photographers: if it's not already on your radar, be sure to head over to the [b] School Blog for Becker's daily instructional videos. They're quick, informative, and quite fun.

And a big thanks to [b] for posting about Roots Workshop today (as well as other recent Roots Workshop blog posters like Justin and Mary Marantz, LaCour, Tina Carter from Vrai Photography and Katie and Chris Torres from 6 of Four Creations).

Whitney's Inn

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I was thrilled to see many of the images that J and I took at Whitney's Inn in Jackson, NH, last month appear on the inn's website already! Whitney's was recently bought and renovated by Don and Joyce Bilger, who also own one of our favorite spots- the Inn at Jackson. Whitney's Inn sits at the base of Black Mountain, and the property includes the Shovel Handle Pub, a great apres ski spot (also used for rustic wedding receptions!). Don is a super nice guy and I'm thrilled to see his latest venture taking off! If you'd like to sneak away for an overnight, email me for a discount for your stay!

Vrai Photography in Chicago

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On Thursday, I flew to Chicago to attend the launch party of my dear friend Tina who recently re-branded her photography business from Kristina Carter Photography to Vrai (be sure to check out her new beautiful liveBooks site here). She rented FlatFile Galleries and collaborated with some fantastic vendors to treat industry professionals to a warm evening inside as snow fell outside. Unfortunately, that snow prevented more than half of Tina's guests from coming. But we had a great time regardless!

The girls. (L to R) Friends Rachel and Erin of LaCour flew in from Atlanta to celebrate with Tina.

A shot of the many photographers in attendance including Bob and Dawn Davis, Dave Wittig, Amanda Hein, Kristi and Tasha of Dolce Studios, and Becca Spears of Wirken Photography. Dave Luebke was also there showing Couture Book.


More pictures on Tina's blog here.

After the party, a huge contingency of photographers went to sip raspberry mojitos at Carnivale and then to sing karaoke at Carol's Pub into the wee hours of the morning. I was up for 26 hours on Thursday!

Friday, I awoke to a voicemail from the airline that my flight had be canceled because of the snow. I booked a flight on another airline via DC, only to have my DC connection canceled because of weather in the northeast. My dear friend Margaret (and frequent blog idea material contributer) picked me up at the airport in DC to sleep for a few hours at her place before I hopped an early flight to Boston this morning. After taking a bus to Portland, I finally arrived home after spending more time in airports than in Chicago! Amazingly enough, my bag beat me to the airport in Portland. I was shocked when I stopped in to start the claim process and it was waiting for me!

Congratulations, Tina! I am so proud of you and was so happy to be a part of your big night. Thanks for being such a wonderful host, too, and allowing me to stay in your great home. Can't wait to see you again in Texas later this month!
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