Cape Cod sneak peek

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Shannon and Eric were gifted one of the most beautiful Saturdays of spring so far for their Cape Cod wedding last weekend. The newlyweds are currently exploring Mexico's Maya Riviera, and are stopping back at the studio to see their images for the first time when they return next week. So for the sake of keeping their imagery a surprise, I'll be posting their detailed blog entry then. Can't wait to share!

celebrating our first wedding anniversary

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365 days ago, there was sunshine and merriment and sand between our toes as we were married on the island of St. John.

Today, well, there's a tightly sealed box that contains my preserved wedding dress and naturally, there's photographs. We can't stop giggling each time we stumble across the former as it eerily resembles a dress casket, if there were ever such a thing, doesn't it? Creepy! But the latter, oh those stunning photographs, they bring us right back to that beach and the beauty and emotion of the day as if it were yesterday. I can almost taste the rum punch now!

I'm shocked how quickly the year passed and how fresh our wedding still feels, both the things that went well and the things that didn't go so well. But most important is that J and I made it through what Wikipedia calls the 'adjustment year.' Given that we lived together before we were married, it hasn't been much of an adjustment in that sense, but rather getting used to referring to J as my husband and the trust, energy and love that goes into making that union work every day. Yes, it's most definitely work and I'm better at it some days more than others, but the institution as a whole has been pretty darn agreeable so far.

Which reminds me, we never received an official marriage license notice from the St. Thomas courthouse. Wonder if we really are legally wed?! Wouldn't be the worst thing if we had to go back and do it all over again. :)

I love you to bits, J, and our families and friends, too, for loving and supporting us through this journey. Cheers to many more beach strolls and sunset swizzles for years and years to come. xo

To read a marathon thread of our St. John wedding planning process, details and photos, click here.
To get your own wedding dress cleaned and packed for safekeeping, contact Sally at Orange Restoration Labs in Connecticut here.
No, I didn't change my last name.
And no, there's no baby news to share yet.

* Karen and Keith marry at The Red Barn at Outlook Farms, Maine

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emilie inc. photographer: associate Whitney Fox
venue: The Red Barn at Outlook Farms South Berwick, Maine
officiant: Gary Moore
caterer: The Red Barn at Outlook Farms
florist: York Flower Shop York, Maine
dj: Aaron Topfer
cake: Jacques Pastries Suncook, New Hampshire
transportation: Rivers Limousine York, Maine
gown: Casablanca from Chantilly Place, Lowell MA
honeymoon: Maui and Kauai

Karen and Keith live in Nashua, New Hampshire, but adore Maine's charm and specifically the York area where Karen's family has a beach house. Since they spent many of their dating days here, it was a natural choice for their wedding location. Although we've been treated to an unusually warm and sunny spring so far, Karen and Keith's wedding day was a bit wet and chilly, putting a damper on their plans for outside portraits but not on their happy celebrations.

How they met, in Karen's words:
We met through friends over 5 years ago. We spent a few years casually getting to know one another at various spots around Nashua until one day we both realized we liked each other! So, after a couple of weeks of flirting Keith asked me out to dinner. A year and a half later we were engaged and ready to plan our lives together as husband and wife.

View their wedding day album below or click here to open in a separate window.



A few of our favorite images include these brightly colored chairs on the beach house front porch.

Catching a bride's first glance at herself in her wedding dress is always a sweet, and sometimes funny, moment.

What a stunning moment captured! So sweet of when Karen's father sees her for the first time.

The Red Barn.

Keith and his boys.



Adorable excitement during the recessional.



What a fun first dance!

The same spirit continued well into the night on the dance floor!




Congratulations, Karen and Keith! And thanks for kicking off our wedding season, Whitney!

lesson in customer service

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When I launched my photography business 7 years ago, I knew a lot about photography but not much about business. Fortunately, I was a quick study and had a strong interest in the practice of developing the cornerstone of every successful business: world class customer service. I'm very much aware of what other businesses are and aren't doing in comparison to what we are, and frankly, find the psychology and practice of it all to be quite fascinating. I'd like to share two such observations from the consumer perspective via my mom.

My mom purchased a living room set from Pottery Barn's catalog based on a 2" x 2" fabric swatch and the positive product referral from my past experience of being a part-time employee of the Barn (back in 2004 during my first winter in Maine. Loved it!). Tho scheduled to take 6-8 weeks to arrive, the furniture arrived sooner than expected. Sweet. But immediately my mom wasn't keen on the color, convinced the shade of beige was too light and risked showing dirt too easily. Nervously, she dialed their customer service line and explained the situation. Not satisfied? No problem. The employee told her to use the set she had until a new one arrived in a darker beige, and there would be no penalties or additional charges. Wonderful. About two years or so later, mom noticed the fabric on the ottoman was piling, and hiding it with a blanket was frustrating. Again, nervously, she dialed customer service. Not satisfied? No problem. The employee sent a slipcover for the ottoman at no extra charge, citing a quality error on their end, even tho the piece was already out of warranty.

More recently, my mom and stepfather decided to upgrade their kitchen counters to granite opting not to go with the company their builder recommended and instead hoping to save a little money by shopping around. They stumbled upon a discount manufacturer that had exactly what they were looking for and a reasonable price tag. Sweet. After picking out their preferred slab of rock, workers arrived a few weeks later and installed their perfect pick onto their kitchen's island beautifully. The rest of the kitchen counters, however, did not match the island slab as promised. Mismatched granite is a trend these days, but this looked like something in a butcher shop! Splashes of dark red- and many of them- were scattered about, a look that made my mom queasy. When she called to inquire what went wrong, she got bounced from person to person but eventually convinced someone to come out and take a look, to take pictures to show to the owner. The owner thought the counters looked gorgeous and said he'd like to put the photos on his website. Losing sleep, she knew she couldn't live with a kitchen that looked this way. So when she pushed that he still come see for himself, he begrudgingly did, and said the same thing in person but in a tone very degrading toward my mother. He accused 'people like her' of causing him stress and the reason he wishes he wasn't in the business, in a manner that nearly made her cry. They eventually agreed on a deal to replace the bloody murder counters, costing my mom more money out of pocket, but offering peace of mind. So be it. But the day they were scheduled to be installed, no one showed. No one would answer when she called and no one returned her phone calls when she left a message. My stepfather used a friend's unknown cell phone, got through, and the owner agreed to a date to be done with it. The replacement counters are in, and stunning, but for nearly the same cost as the builder originally recommended and a whole lot more hassle.

Pottery Barn is a furniture company, sure, but thanks to the foresight of parent company Williams Sonoma's founder Chuck Williams, they are about providing a satisfactory experience first (exceeding client expectations, over delivering and producing a quality product too, of course). My mom will be a lifetime customer. As for the granite company? Oy. My mom said she learned a lesson I often preach to my own clients: you get what you pay for.

Maine Snapshot Studio at April Greendrinks

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After a three month hiatus, Maine Snapshot Studio is back on the Greendrinks circuit. This month's host was the Portland Museum of Art. Greendrinkers packed the house to sample a pint of local brew, network and raise money for the non-profit Konbit Sante, a local organization working to save lives and improve health care in Haiti. All of the self portrait snapshots can be viewed here or on Facebook.













ready, set, wedding season!

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I saw a man mowing his lawn on my way to work this morning. It's April 13th. Doesn't that seem early? Maybe, maybe not.

For whatever reason, every spring I am caught almost unaware, even surprised, by the change of seasons and how suddenly it happens in Maine. We've already had an 85-degree day here (that isn't normal and did break a record), the grass turned from an icky dormant brown to bright green seemingly overnight and I can't get enough of the stunningly beautiful blossoming trees around town this week. We did it! We made it through another (not-so-long, lucky us) winter.

Spring is most definitely my favorite season, for the reasons mentioned above, and for the general feeling of hope and renewal that makes me smile to get out of bed every morning (thanks to the sunshine that now peeks into the bedroom a little earlier than before). I'm not alone in this, especially among hearty New Englanders, who seem to have invented phrases like spring fever and spring cleaning. It just feels darn great to open our windows or go outside wearing flip flops even if it isn't exactly sunbathing weather yet, doesn't it (don't tell that to the gal I spotted splayed on a woodpile in the West End last week catching some rays)?!

All that is to say, the acknowledgement of spring's sneaky return also means that we've entered into other familiar territory: wedding season! Ours kicks off this weekend with associate Whitney photographing in southern Maine on Saturday. Next weekend, my first wedding anniversary (nutty!), I'm traveling to Cape Cod with J, Morgan and Zach. And so it goes for the next five or so months to follow. We're deeply breathing in that fresh spring air because, ready or not, our busy schedule is about to get a little crazier!

The blog will resume its usual pace of posting images from recent weddings with vendor information and album designs. So be sure to check in on us, and follow along on Twitter and Facebook for more frequent updates.

Happy spring to you! Happy wedding season to us!

anniversary open house recap

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Last Sunday, when I realized our two year anniversary at our Congress Street location is this month, it was decided that we should host a party. So six days later, we did just that. A few phone calls and Facebook invites later, more than 50 photographers, friends and clients (one in the same!) convened at the studio for a smashing soiree made possible by a yummy Two Fat Cats cupcake bar, Maine Snapshot Studio and the wonderful musical stylings of Pete Kilpatrick. I took a few pictures to start the evening, and then turned it over to Maine Snapshot Studio.




Thank you, Jenn and Steve, for the beautiful flowers from Compositions!

Check out the Cupcake label wine! Very appropriate!

And we found a champagne cocktail recipe, Tickled Pink, with pink liqueur (we're not big boozers, but were very proud for our themed drink discoveries).

The amazing Pete Kilpatrick had us all enchanted.

Yum!

This is Zach Boyce, who you'll be seeing more of, as he's Morgan's new multimedia assistant!


Onto the Snapshot Studio highlights. First up (and, well, mostly dominating the booth for the evening), photographer Audra and her fiance Matt. We're shooting their wedding in November. Don't think we'll have a hard time capturing the love and fun these two share!


Pete.



'09 bride and now close friend Sarah and I flipping our hair because, why not?

'10 couple Whitney (who is also the co-owner of Gus & Ruby in Portsmouth) and AK.

Nice, J.



Back, L to R: Amy Salerno and Jenny Cameron
Front, L to R: Melissa Mullen, me, Beth Fitzgerald



make-up artist Annette Sousa

Brian Fitzgerald and wife Beth.







With emilie inc. studio manager Erin and graphic designer Christina. Classic. :)


Cheers for many more anniversaries and subsequent celebrations to come!

published: New Hampshire Magazine's Bride

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Check out the latest issue of New Hampshire Magazine's Bride for a four page feature of Megan and Josh's spectacular summer wedding on Church Island with a reception at Church Landing in Meredith, New Hampshire. You can read their full blog post and view their wedding album here, and watch their multimedia video here.







Fitness for a Cure 2010

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I have the honor of being the official photographer for the Fitness for a Cure performance team that raises money for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. The group, 75 children and adults ages 3-50, held their annual fundraiser last weekend at Memorial Auditorium in Lowell, Massachusetts. The day was divided into two parts: a daytime show featuring the performance team, speakers and fun activities like face painting and raffles for kids, and an evening show where, again, the team performs and there is also a formal dinner, silent auction and entertainment. Both shows had 600 people in attendance and combined, raised more than $200,000! Impressive!

I've grown close to many of these members, first introduced to me by my stepmother Paula who is on the planning committee, since I started photographing them in 2006. I've also captured many of the member's family portraits and was fortunate to travel with the team to St. Jude's in Memphis last June, a trip that had a profound effect on my life. It's a standout community of loving, caring individuals and I am so proud to lend my skills to capture what they do best.

Here's Sherri who founded the event 10 years ago and has raised more then $1.2 million! She operates her own gym in Lowell, SLS Fitness. Wish I lived closer!


The show is a high energy, non-stop hip hop performance where songs are divided by age groups and transition one after the other.





Converse donated black Chuck's to all the performers.

After the daytime show, everyone got cleaned up and put on party dresses. I still do a double-take when I don't see Sherri in warm-ups (on the right w/ her daughter Elizabeth, who had her long hair cut during the daytime show for Locks of Love).

Seriously, is it really fair to have arms that toned? :)

Ready for dinner.









WCVB meteorologist JC Monahan emceed the event.

ALSAC, the fundraising arm for St. Jude, CEO Richard Shadyac.

Jack Pavlat's daughter Suzanne was a patient at St Jude who lost her eight year battle against neuroblastoma. There was not a dry eye in the place when he told her story.

A silly Scotsman, Jeremy Bell, led a live auction.

And the evening wrapped with a 90 minute concert from country artists Billy Dean and Richie McDonald (you know, the former lead of Lonestar).




For more information on the team, please visit their website here.
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