Artists for Humanity's EpiCenter Boston wedding of Christa and Matt

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Artists for Humanity has a strong mission: "to bridge economic, racial and social divisions by providing under-resourced youth with the keys to self-sufficiency through paid employment in the arts."  This reason coupled with the EpiCenter, the building which houses the AFH, and has the creative industrial design and kids' art throughout the space, made this the perfect venue for Christa and Matt to have their wedding.  Christa and Matt are just like that though.  As was said in one of the toasts, they are two of the kindest, nicest people you'll ever meet.  Their hearts are warm and their minds thoughtful.  Matt was so thoughtful that he planned a surprise proposal of epic proportions, fit with amazing Icelandic waterfalls and a photographer hidden in the bushes.  They wanted their wedding celebration to reflect that meaningfulness of their commitment to each other with friends, family, a delicious communal-style meal, and just a great celebration.  I would say they succeeded judging by the mood in the EpiCenter and smiles and happy tears on the faces of guests.  They made it point to try to talk to every person there.  I was super excited to see Lulu and Will, whose wedding I photographed in 2010 (Lulu and Christa are co-workers). 

Matt's family is Quaker and while he and Christa are not practicing, they decided to include a Quaker tradition in their wedding ceremony.  About a three minute period of silence during which Steve and I could not photograph.  Of course, I would respect it, but three minutes to a documentarian can sometimes feel like an eternity, so I wasn't sure how I would react.  Would I be nervous about all the shots I thought I would be missing?  I wasn't sure.  When the time came though, the officiant offered some words of reflection for everyone during this time.  I realized this moment of silence is what I tell couples to do on their wedding day:  slow down for a moment, soak it all in, and appreciate what you are doing together, the enormity of the commitment and the happiness that his newly formed family brings to themselves and their close friends and family.  Having three minutes to reflect on this myself, without shooting, was extra moving and inside I was ecstatic for Christa and Matt.  Later in the ceremony, guests were able to voice their support of the newlyweds in a joyful "We do!" pledging to offer their love and community of support to strengthen their new union.

Christa and Matt, I have no doubt your union is growing stronger each day of your marriage.  I am so excited for new adventures that I know life will bring you two as you embark on this next journey together.  Visiting Christa's family in New Zealand for your honeymoon next year will certainly kick those adventures into high gear!  Thank you again for allowing Steve and I to document your wedding day for you!  You pulled together such a wonderful celebration, and we are happy we could be a part of it.  All our best!
  photographers: Whitney and Steve, emilie inc. photographypreparations: Intercontinentalofficiant: Gayle Smalleycaterer: Jeanne Spence, Gourmet Caterersflowers: Brattle Square Floristdj: Joe Toto, Groove Eventstransportation: Ubergown: David's Bridalinvitations: Albertine Presshoneymoon: New Zealand

Willard Beach and Portland Head Light maternity session

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Julie and Adam are two of the kindest people with easy demeanors and just plain old fun to be around.  And the same goes for their dog Hank!  The weather was a beautiful sunny fall day, warm enough that Julie rocked her Reefs flip flops.  After a few shots in front of their new home, we decided to hit Willard Beach first, just down the road in South Portland, and after that head to Fort Williams Park in Cape Elizabeth.  At Willard Beach I wished I had my own Reefs, and to feel the cold sand beneath my feet, the fine granules between my toes.  One of my favorite feelings.

Julie and Adam are fairly recent transplants, having moved to Maine this past summer from Brooklyn, New York.  Julie is a Maine native and school teacher, and Adam works for Rippleffect as Director of Marketing and Adult Programs.  He educated me on Rippleffect and I had no idea about all the programming that organization does, which impresses me even more (and I now not-so-secretly want to be a guide for Rippleffect!).  Julie and Adam both used to guide, and they keep busy with various outdoor activities, including rock climbing (although not currently, given her very pregnant state!).  Ah, two folks after my own heart!

The four of us -- or five, counting the wee one in the womb -- had such a relaxing day walking along Maine's seacoast in South Portland and Cape Elizabeth.  As the sun went down at Portland Head Light and I took in the spectacular view around me, I felt the cool coastal air nip at my nose, a light wind bite at my cheeks.  All reminders as to why I love living in Maine, and why Julie and Adam longed for their move to Vacationland even throughout their years in NYC's concrete jungle.  They might have been the couple hauling a kayak up the side of their apartment building with a home-made pulley system made from climbing ropes.  And they might have lived in a tiny NYC apartment amongst all their outdoor gear, propped or hoisted just so to make room for themselves.  Clearly these two need to live in Maine.

Julie and Adam, thanks so much for letting me spend the afternoon with you.  I loved our time together and getting to know you.  I can't wait to meet the little one… whenever she decides to make her arrival into this world in the coming weeks!  Keep me posted!  Hugs to you both and scratches to Hank!

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