Pink Initiative dissolving

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Eight years ago I hatched a formal non-profit for wedding professionals to help in the fight against breast cancer. I cultivated the brand, a blog, then a website, then another website, gathered an incredible board of directors, grew a membership to more than 150 strong, hosted fundraising events, helped others host events like golf tournaments and networking galas and marathons, attended luncheons and corporate meetings, spoke on the radio and was interviewed in magazines, presented at conferences, led monthly board meetings and annual meetings and photographed for free til my heart's content for this important cause.

I learned SO MUCH from dreaming and making Pink Initiative a reality. It made me realize that I can do anything if I put my mind to it. But if you add a bit of heart, too? Oh, that's when the yummy richness of our work can be seen. Tens of thousands in donations, more than 30 lives potentially saved from hosting Dana Farber's mobile mammography van – twice! – for women who otherwise wouldn't have been able to afford the service, a trip of a lifetime for a family to DisneyWorld fighting the fight and making memories of a lifetime, and on and on.


If I could have done that work all day every day and still pay my mortgage, I so would. Working for the greater good is enormously fulfilling. Life, however, has gotten busy. Each of our board members has started their own family and/or business or moved on in recent years and the guilt of not keeping the organization as active as it should weighs on me daily.

2015 will be our final year in active operation and recent donations will be gifted to the Young Survival Coalition, an organization that was helpful when we were getting our feet off the ground and who introduced us to breast cancer survivor Tina Koral. The following quote from her memoir If I Just Breathe became our anthem for Pink Initiative's work:

“The photographs from my wedding day show a joyful young couple, visibly excited to start a new life together. The promise of a happy home full of children shone in our eyes. The thrill of that day, of marrying my childhood love in a city filled with romance, will stay with me forever. What I did not know at the time was that along with something old, new, borrowed and blue, I carried a seven centimeter, rapidly growing mass of malignant cells in my breast. I was twenty-nine years old.”

We still have custom Sea Bags and wine bags for sale if anyone is interested. They're a collector's item now! More info can be found here.

To J, Megan, Kelsie, Mia, Liene and Linda, heartfelt thanks to each of you for your love and dedication to this cause over the years. An extra special thanks to Megan for detailing your personal journey on our blog – you are a crazy awesome inspiration. To my mom and Steve as well. And to Donna and Olivia, who will forever be the heartbeat of my charitable work to come. xoxo

fall wedding at Newagen Seaside Inn in Southport

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It was a cool, windy day on the coast for Lauren and Ryan's outdoor ceremony at one of my favorite venues, the Newagen Seaside Inn. All the more reason to cozy up, I say!

Whitney and I began by walking the grounds of the inn, determining the least breezy place for a first look and family formals before peeking in on the beautiful reception room. Purple and gold accents were illuminated from sun streaming in – a warm, formal tone for the celebration to come.

I meandered down the path to the perfectly appointed Seahorse Cottage with the girls while Whitney joined the men in the main inn. Lauren was tucked back in a corner having make-up applied when I arrived, so I set straight to work capturing her beautiful lace gown and bouquet in shades of white. Ooo's and ahhh's were plentiful as the beauty process continued by her beloved stylist from Massachusetts. Despite the abundance of glamour, I loved when Lauren slipped on a pair of metallic Sperry's to meet her love down on the rocks for their first look. Can never be too careful (and her sweet brother was there to be sure she didn't fall as well).

Following some brisk portraits on the lawn, guests readied for the ceremony by donning puffy down jackets or braved it without (boasting some prize-winning goosebumps!). The sun, which had disappeared for a spell, returned just as Lauren was making her way up the aisle to a calm yet quietly emotional Ryan. Lauren's other brother officiated (apropos as family was the central theme of the ceremony) with readings by family members and recounting of memories spent with both of their families (the toasts later on in the evening followed suite but were more roast and less toast). Pockets of sun sliced the lawn as the newlyweds recessed, a dramatic exit (and fun photographic exercise in exposure), to kick off cocktail hour and hours of dancing.

Congratulations, you two, and thank you again for having me! I look forward to visiting your new place in Hollis one day (be sure to stop by Brookdale Fruit Farm for a caramel apple if you haven't already, my longstanding fall tradition). xoxox

How they met, in their own words:

We met after graduating college at a 2010 New Years celebration with mutual friends. Lauren had recently moved to Boston to work at a public accounting firm and Ryan was living in NH, working at his family business, Stanley Elevator. We instantly connected with our similar fast pace lifestyles and enjoyment for weekend activities. We moved in together in September 2012 to a Beacon Hill brownstone where we continued to strengthen our relationship. We love spending free time hiking, biking, snowboarding or relaxing on Lake Winnipesaukee together with family and friends.

Be sure to also revisit Lauren and Ryan's summer vineyard engagement session here.
  photographers: Emilie and Whitney, emilie inc. photographyvenue: Newagen Seaside Inn, Southport • flowers: Emily Carter Floral Designsband: Signature, Wilson Stevens • cake: European Bakerybeauty: Janelle Parker • transportation: Country Coach Chartersgown: Maggie Sottero from La Reine Bridalguys: Vera Wang, Mens Wearhouse • minimoon: Bar Harbor

10 years of blogging: top 10 posts

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Woweee! Woah! I've been blogging for 10 years! Before social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram became the go-to place for sharing, this blog was the home base for all things photo, personal, travel and the like. One thousand five hundred fifty-five posts later, I thought it would be fun to take a quick peek at the posts that have generated the most traffic over the past decade.

1. Collaboration with Sea Bags (2015)
A whopping 24,000 people have viewed this post showing customized items from Portland's Sea Bags at Kate and Rob's Maine island wedding.


Oh, yes. This was a doozy of a controversy a few years back when I outlined our headaches with non-experienced videographers and received either love notes or hate mail for weeks. We now gladly offer "Vows and Toasts" videography as an add-on to our photography coverage by one of our own, a win-win alternative for all.

3. Being a party guest (2012)
A throwback post to a busy fall of attending a Cambridge baby shower, a wedding planner's son's birthday party, hosting a baby shower for a friend and our staff holiday dinner. That's a lot of fetes!

4. Breast Cancer Awareness Month (2009)
An October recap for Pink Initiative, my 501(c)(3) non-profit for breast cancer comprised of wedding professionals. More to come on this organization in a separate blog post.

5. Valentine's Day Cuddle Booth on Commercial Street (2014)
Oh, that wonderfully fun brisk winter day we applied for a permit to have our old photo booth on the street outside our downtown studio to capture a cuddle between friends, significant others or colleagues as they walked by on their lunch break. That was the best!

6. Gender reveal at Natasha and Heather's Peaks Island Wedding, day 2 (2015)
One of my favorite wedding days ever! Natasha and Heather learned whether they are expecting pink or blue during their wedding reception. Definitely go see this post if you haven't before. Their little one is due on Will's birthday and I'll be photographing their maternity session soon!

7. Intimate garden wedding at Hidden Pond in Kennebunkport (2015)
Another one from this year racing to the top in popularity! Hidden Pond is an incredible location and this wedding, my first time photographing there, was big fun.

8. Cape Cod garden wedding and tented reception for Molly and Matt in Chatham (2014)
Epic is a word I don't often use but it's an accurate word to describe the effort and the elegance of this wedding weekend (which also included a beach party for the wedding party I was lucky to photograph). I often wish we could turn back time and do it all again.

9. We're married: the details (2009)
Hilarious that journaling about my St. John wedding falls so low in the ranks, but I'm happy to see this personal labor of love still pulling its weight in SEO. I remember this particular post about our wedding (I wrote a series of the process) took me three hours!

10. Winter wedding at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception and Portland Club
Last but not least, one of the most beautiful traditional winter weddings captured by Whitney and Denise that had just the right amount of red and holiday flair (think sparkle!), plus a stop at Whole Foods where the newlyweds first met.
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