Same sex marriage in Maine: letter to the editor

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The Sunday after election day I was surprised to unfold the newspaper and see my photo beside a horribly tacky headline for a business article I was interviewed for on my reaction to the passing of voter approved same sex marriage legislation in Maine. Worse, my heartfelt celebratory sentiments were not printed and the reporter offered some incorrect in-between-the-lines narrative. Ugh. As emails were coming in from clients and friends who noted they were excited to see me in the paper, but confused as to the tone not sounding like me, the best thing I could do was write a letter to the editor. That ran in yesterday's paper and I'm happy to share it with you here. Thanks for your support, all. 

* Nicole and Sean's Old Port engagement session by Whitney

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I have known Sean for years, starting as co-workers back in the day at Pierce Promotions & Event Management.  He's been a friend that I didn't realize until now how long we've been friends for.  And by friends, I mean I've been able to witness him don a female cheerleader uniform around Portland.  Don't judge, folks, it was Halloween.  Despite this, he is an extremely talented graphic designer, web designer, animator, etc., the list goes on.  Hire him.

Enter Nicole.  She was friends with my friend Beth (Talbot) Geary who married another friend John at Laudholm Farm this past June.  Nic ended up a co-worker at Pierce with Sean, Beth, and myself and the rest is history.  She has become one of my best lady friends and graced emilie inc. with her amazing ol' "traffic ninja," multi-tasking, business, and marketing skills, serving as our Studio Manager before Megan Swann took over.  I loved the opportunity to work with Nic in a different capacity and industry.

This was also quite fortunate for Sean.  Having Nic work at a wedding photography company has made his own wedding planning a snap, no doubt.  I'm sure he was jealous that she had her wedding inspiration folder quietly tucked away at the studio.  He'd never admit it, but he had his own secret wedding inspiration folder hidden in his snowboard boot in the basement.  Don't lie, Sean.  Cat is out of the bag.

I cherish my history and friendships with each of them, and I love the moments I now share with them as they have grown together.  Marathon movie days at their house with Jan Mee Chinese food are some of my favorite memories.  I have progressed immensely with my crab rangoon sharing, and I have been able to provide valuable customer feedback on the various couches they've owned over the years through my lounging on them for movies or crashing on them after returning late from shooting a wedding and not making it back home to Peaks Island.

Nic and I were psyched she secured our Steve Phillips as her wedding photographer for the big day next June.  So Megan helped me with the fitting wedding present of me shooting their engagement session.  We sneaked one in this November on a gorgeous sunny Saturday, just as the chilly air rolled in for the season.  Nic and I knew our session had to start with a whiskey shot for Sean to loosen him up in front of the camera.  No whiskey was shot, but they enjoyed a couple beers while I snapped around them upstairs at RiRa.  Sean was definitely expelling some of his goofiness.  He is a total ham, as Nic says.  And I noticed it helped Nic get some nervous giggles out of her system.  In all my years of knowing her, I've never seen her just giggle for two hours.  Aw, such cute lovebirds.

We headed to the State Pier and Whale Wall next door to get some outside shots that highlighted Portland, before we hit the water's edge on the Eastern Prom.  I had a blast photographing my two friends who have decided to make such a huge commitment to each other.  Totally warms my heart and I loved that I was able to capture just a little bit of that for them.  To witness them together is honestly just perfect. Nic and Sean are two peas in a pod.  They balance each other, ground each other, and clearly love each other without question.  Honestly, I was a little nervous photographing such good friends.  The entire time I was shooting, I was trying to stay focused on making photos they would love for years to come and that fit their personality as a couple, but also to not get side tracked by this same fact.  I feared the images would lack emotional and visual depth, if I got distracted by my knowing them so well, that I wouldn't be able to see beyond "just two friends in front of my lens."  In the end, I feel I was able to overcome that and actually knowing them allowed me to be a little more frank with them -- ahem, mostly with Sean and telling him to stop making his eyebrow faces, which before this day, are the only types of snapshots I have of Sean.  Those crazy eyebrows.  In all of them.

Nic and Sean, I hope I have succeeded in providing some non-crazy eyebrow shots for you and captured a few moments you'll want to hang on your wall.  Thanks for allowing me to do this for you.  I am beyond happy for you both and cannot wait for the wedding!

* Rivermill at Dover Landing wedding of Gretchen and John in New Hampshire by Denise

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photographers: Denise and Steve, emilie inc. photography
venue: Rivermill at Dover Landing, Dover, New Hampshire
officiant: friend
caterer, cupcakes: Flat Iron Catering/Orchard Street Chop Shop, Dover
florist: Kate Parker Designs
dj: friend
hair: Melinda Brandt, HC Studio
make-up: Virginia Coggin
gown: Allure at Madeleine's Daughter, Portsmouth
invitation: DIY
honeymoon: Montreal

I have now photographed my last wedding of the season and am so glad it was with Gretchen and John.  These two had a nontraditional idea of what their wedding should be like from the beginning. We met at a local coffee shop last year where they told me that they were thinking about involving a green screen at their reception.  I knew from that meeting that this event was going to be a little different.

And different it was, in the best way.  They got ready at the Day's Inn in a room that Gretchen christened "The Neon Fortress" for its less than flattering lighting situation.  Their lovely officiant (and friend) read their vows from a moleskin journal bedazzled with a G and J (while wearing a mini top hat). Their table numbers were marked by photos of WWF wrestlers from the 80's and 90's.  Tofurkey was an option at dinner served alongside traditional Thanksgiving sides.  Said green screen came into play as part of their "guest book".  I could go on (John sported a goat mask on the dance floor).

I had an absolute blast photographing, and just being around, this couple. I laughed all day long.  And I'm so excited for Gretchen to see this post because she is a self proclaimed emilie inc. blog stalker and has been faithfully following our work via Facebook all season long.  I'm pretty certain that she was the first person to see most of our couples posts and Facebook albums, and we could count on her to show her support via "likes" and supportive comments.  She told me about how she would get excited for Mondays to roll around because that's usually when we get posts up about recent weddings.  Well here's your post!  And it's not even Monday yet!

xoxo

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