Happy Thanksgiving

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Planning, shopping, cooking, cleaning and decorating are the necessities for hosting a successful holiday dinner. Picture taking dropped off the priority list as it was replaced by baby tending this year, but we still managed to fire off a few frames. Our little sous chef loved the festivities and the company. From our home to yours, a warm Thanksgiving hug from little Will's first. Much to be grateful for. xo

Thanks for the pretty blooms, Judy!

The season's blessings

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I'll be the first to admit I turn into a downright sap this time of year. Something about shorter days, pulling on bulky sweaters, fireside chats and sipping hot tea gets me feeling nostalgic, nesty (is that even a word?) and simply fortunate all at once. Thanksgiving is perfectly timed for this ritual, and this year feels especially sweet.

Snuggling baby Will, I recall where I was at this time last year... literally a week away from closing on our new house (and hence a recent rush to finally purchase some art and get some photographs framed on our walls, for goodness sake!) while feeling as big as a house, but happy and healthy. This Thanksgiving we are hosting our family, something we had visualized when we first saw the house. Tho I'm mostly just craving pumpkin pie, J and I have planned a great feast and look forward to clinking glasses with our loved ones as we enjoy every morsel. We have much to be grateful for.

In addition to all that is obvious, I will be toasting to my Nana's health on Thursday. Last Thursday she had a lumpectomy and doctors are hopeful she may not need to undergo anything more demanding after being diagnosed with breast cancer last month. Breast cancer at 86? Where is that cure? As our friend Mike, husband to breast cancer survivor (and Pink Initiative board member Megan), said: "F-ing cancer! Leave grandmas alone!" I concur!!

Last Thursday also brought some more good news! My bestie Kara (we met on our very first day of college) birthed twins, Jackson (Jack) Louis and Campbell Emily (she clearly was on too much pain medication and misspelled Campbell's middle name. Ha!). Seven weeks early, these little peanuts combined weigh what Will did at birth. I've never met such tiny little people before, but had the chance for a quick visit in the NICU in Boston yesterday. Small in stature but, oh, so beautiful and absolutely perfect, I am am in awe of Kara and hubby's Scott's determination and strength. Congratulations, friends, and welcome J and C. We're all praying for your continued growth and a happy homecoming real soon.

Kara at her shower in Harvard Square two weeks ago.


And now, a mom! 

Jackson's hand reaching up toward mom. Oh, melts me.


Can you believe the size of that pacifier compared to Campbell's little head?


  





Back in her room, Kara and hubby Scott.


2011 emilie ink holiday cards available

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In between plotting your Thanksgiving Day menu and where your relatives are going to sleep, don't forget to be thinking about ordering your holiday cards! Our designer Alina has crafted some fresh designs for this season, a few of which you can preview below. For our full selection of custom cards (more than 60 designs to choose from) and ordering instructions, please visit emilieink.com (yes, that's emilie inK, with a k). Deadline for ordering cards in December 10th.

  
  
  
  

Maine Women Wedding Photographers untraditional fall luncheon

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Let's be honest. Wedding season is insanely taxing on the body of a wedding photographer. I carry a camera on each shoulder, plus a camera bag with additional lenses, flashes, spare batteries (oh those Canon batteries are brutally heavy), typically totaling 35lbs+. For 8 hours straight? Oy. I enjoy the physicality of the profession even if it means working with a personal trainer (which I unfortunately was not able to keep up with this season for the first time in years. I felt it! My little 25 lb bruiser kept me training at home instead!) and keeping an osteopath in business.

The last of our women photographers' networking luncheons, we decided to ditch the lunch part, and bring in the big guns to reward our hard work. I Do Spas is a traveling in-home spa service!! Word on the wedding street is that these gals are fabulous for bridal parties, bachelorette parties and gatherings for no specific occasion, and we wanted to see for ourselves. To better refer our couples, of course.

Well! What a treat it was to watch my home be transformed into an aromatic zen zone. We supplied some delectable yummies (homemade Ghiradelli scones? Thank you, Megan!), mimosas and music (Pandora's Spa Suite Radio is fantastic, if you haven't already discovered it for your own bubble baths), and they brought everything else. Literally, right down to the fluffy pink slippers, pjs and robes! My bedrooms became massage rooms and my living room a nail salon, with two pedicure bowls bubbling and a manicure station. We each rotated through three 30-minute services, and had a hard time saying good-bye to Jody and her delightful staff when we reluctantly shifted back into weekday mode and resumed a normal, albeit very relaxed, work day.

Family getaway to Inn by the Sea in Cape Elizabeth, Maine

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Work hard, play harder used to be one of my favorite expressions. Lately, tho, it seems to be work hard, then work harder. Balancing the business and being a mom is more challenging than I ever could have imagined. When I'm not working, I'm watching Will so J can work. And when Will's asleep, it's right back to work, work, work. It's all clearly very fulfilling, and exhausting. J and I talked of taking some time away as a family once wedding season came to a close, and tho we considered venturing a long distance in a car to a cabin in the woods, we decided on a quick hop over to Cape Elizabeth to enjoy a place we love photographing weddings at but never get to experience as a guest. We live in Maine for a reason, after all, so why not embrace being a tourist in our own backyard, right? We finally did it, we loved it and we vowed to do it again and again.

The Inn by the Sea, if you are not familiar, is a beautiful classic shingled inn overlooking the water just outside Portland. Completely renovated just a few years ago, the rooms are all thoughtfully decorated and feature many earth-friendly touches such as little bags to take home your half-used soap (so smart). Cookies were delivered each night, as well as a handwritten note about the forecast and tides for the next day. We opted for a cottage with a kitchen so brought in some of our food, but enjoyed the yummy restaurant for a breakfast (eggs and homemade biscuits!) and multi-course dinner (pumpkin gnocchi!). It was Dakota's birthday while we were there, part of the reason we chose Inn by the Sea and their uber dog-friendly operation. She was treated to an LL Bean Dog bed, special food and water dishes, nightly turn down Maine-made cookies, and meat "roaf" for her birthday meal.  

The weather was outstanding and tho we had to bundle up a little (note Will's "east coast" hat, as J likes to say), we took full advantage of Crescent Beach for daily morning and afternoon hikes, having a picnic on the rocks in the sunshine. Mama even scooted to their ah-mazing underground spa for a will-definitely-be-going-back custom massage. Lounging in a robe and slippers, I zoned out while sipping tea and snacking on almonds and apricots in the waiting room and in the steam shower after. It was a little bit of heaven, if I do say so myself, and reminded me a tad of my all-time favorite spa at Ceasars Palace in Vegas.

Just a few days away, we promised to disconnect (no phones! no iPads!) and we returned feeling fresh and reconnected. Bliss.

Roots Workshop 2012 registration now open

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I'm in a bit of disbelief to say that for our fifth year (where does the time go?!), we'll be hosting the Roots Workshop on Cape Cod again for a week in July.

Started as a simple idea to gather together a group of like-minded professional photographers passionate about the craft of photojournalism, the workshop has grown to embody an experience, a mid-season refresher and often a perspective shift, so desperately needed in our industry where we don't speak a lick about weddings or trends or business, but only about the core of who we are as visual artists striving to tell other people's stories through our images. It doesn't matter if you have the fanciest new camera on the market if you don't have the chops to back it up, folks. We all have room for improvement. Roots is a safe environment to do just that. And man, the growth that takes place is WOW inspiring and makes all the nutty logistics and legwork worth every ounce of effort.

I invite you to take a peek at a slideshow below put together by the brilliant Eric Laurits from this past July to give you a glimpse at a bit of what goes on. And then I urge you to run a quick report on Quickbooks to see where you spent your money last year. If you didn't spend at least one wedding's income on education, ask yourself why not. You and your clients deserve it. I challenge you to resolve to do so in 2012. We all guarantee it will forever change the way you think and see, see and think. Join us, won't you?

Registration is now open for the Roots Workshop 2012 class, July 22-26. Special guest speakers, a scholarship contest and a 5th anniversary assignments twist to be announced. I can't wait! Call or email us asap to reserve your seat!



Creative Ways to Say I Love You contest

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My earliest memory of entering a contest was in second grade, a homonym contest. You know, words that sound the same but are spelled differently and have different meanings, like write and right. I recall loving the challenge, researching (the old fashioned way, at an actual library, even thumbing through a dictionary) and amassing hundreds of words- a list so long I had to piece together sheets of notebook paper with tape and hang it from the ceiling. I don't remember what the actual prize was, but I do remember that top-of-the-world feeling of satisfaction when I learned I had won.
In that go get 'em spirit that contests often draw out of us, we're hosting a little one of our own and invite anyone to participate in the fun. And the prize? We promise you won't forget it.

Starting today through November 15th, we want you to show us a creative way to say I Love You. Be it a love letter to your spouse, a message scribbled on a steamy shower door, a note tucked into a lunch bag or something less literal- a home-cooked meal just because, a stroll at your favorite place, an object that carries a lot of meaning or just a story. Or maybe you like to go over the top and perform a song, a skit, organize a flash mob or propose to your girlfriend on camera at the beach. Whatever it is, we want to see it! Remember, creative is what we're after.

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HOW TO ENTER:

Part 1: 
1. Create a video that is 40 seconds to 4 minutes in length that shares a creative way to say I Love You. Use any video camera available to you- there are no extra credit points for using the fanciest camera or having snazzy editing skills. Your phone camera is just fine.

2. Upload your video to YouTube and title it "Maine wedding photography: emilie inc: your names here"
ie: Maine wedding photography: emile inc: Hillary and Scott

3. Let us know you have entered by liking the emilie inc. Facebook page and linking to your video's url with this status message: Check out this creative way to say I Love You.
ie: Check out this creative way to say I Love you. www.youtube.com/watch?v=l6EaSNVE50Q 

4. All submissions must be posted by 12 noon on Tuesday, November 15th. No exceptions.

Part 2: 
On Wednesday, November 16th, await further instructions to be posted on our Facebook wall at 12 noon.

Part 3:
Following part 2, the winner will be announced!

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THE PRIZES!
Things we love for showing us your love:

First place: 16GB iPad2 (WiFi only) with handmade DODOcase

Runner up: Angela Adams pink Dotty mini rug

All participants: Just for entering, you are eligible to receive $250 off your custom album order (for past, current or contracted clients of emilie inc. only)

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THE FINE PRINT:

Contest is open to anyone and everyone and is not limited to emilie inc clients (emilie inc. staff, however, cannot enter. Sorry gang!). So go ahead and tell your mother, your best friend, your neighbor or your mailman. Everyone seems to have access to a video camera these days, so please go hog wild. We'd love to see a ridiculous number of entries! With so much negativity headlining the news, let this be a bright spot in your day and circle back to our Facebook page to see the most recent entries. We're hoping the videos of love will bring a smile to your face just as it does in our lives photographing weddings and itty bitty babies and families. There is no cash value for the prizes, tho you may transfer your prize to someone else if you are crazy enough to not want it for yourself.

study up on our new staff page

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Ahhhhh. Hear that? It's the exhale of the wedding off-season. I couldn't be more proud of my staff or more grateful for such warm, wonderful and fun clients. It was an amazing summer that went by in a flash! I still cannot believe the leaves have fallen and it's already snowed!

2012 is looking to be busier than ever, with more than half of our studio's weekends already booked. Between now and then I'll be keeping the blog active with our recent portrait sessions and studio news.

First up, a freshening of our staff page on the emilie inc. website. Readers previously delighted in the sweet little snippets of info we had listed (fun facts, we liked to call them) which we have replaced with more substantial biographies. We felt it more helpful for you to learn a bit more about us than those darling nuggets had room for. We welcome you to take a few minutes to scroll through and catch up on us as you'll notice there are a few new faces I'm so happy to have on our superstar team.


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