Apr

SNEAK PEEK: Mamaroneck Beach & Yacht Club Wedding | Kira & Omari

Can't wait to share more form the first wedding of our 2015 season, and trust me, you don't want to miss this one! Kira and Omari's beautiful Mamaroneck Beach & Yacht Club Wedding in New York will be on the blog Monday! 
 
Until then, here's a little peek! :)

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Apr

Being Known

You know when something keeps popping up in your life over and over in just a few days time? Like for example, your little old neighbor drops off a bouquet of daisies to you just because and then your new co-workers introduces herself to you that day at work and says her name is Daisy. Then the next night at dinner your BFF tells you her and her husband just painted their living room this amazing new color, Daisy Yellow and then when you open your fortune cookie the word on the back written in Chinese and English for you to learn is "daisy." I feel like that has all happened to us one time or another. Right?! And maybe it has been some silly coincidence like the reoccurrence of the word "daisy" (which I would probably see as a sign that we should get a puppy and name her Daisy :) ). Or maybe its been something that has been stirring in our hearts that has been brought to our attention by little things in our world. 
 
Recently for me, it's been the latter of the two. Over the past few weeks, in multiple conversations, TV shows, the news, and other random places the idea of wanting to be "known" has been coming up a lot and really got me to thinking... What does it mean to be "known?"  
 
Being truly known doesn't mean being famous, although for some that might be part of their story. Having accolades, trophies and medals isn't a requirement for being known. For me, being known means being our true authentic selves and seen for who we really are at the core. You know - the unedited version. Not the perfectly calculated what-the-world-wants-us-to-be self. Not the idea that others have of who or what we should be. Not the Pinterest board version of ourselves.  
 
Being known means being seen for who we truly are. No walls up. No fake facade. Just the real deal with all of our messiness, imperfections, and rough edges. When we live in that freedom and share that with others, that is what it means to truly be known. I think there is an innate desire in all of us to be known in this way. 
 
But being truly known does have consequences... we open ourselves up to judgment, criticism, and rejection. We are vulnerable to be made to feel like we fall short. Yet we must hold on to the truth that we are enough just the way we are. Being acknowledged and appreciated for our individuality and what only we can bring to this world is such an amazing feeling. It's an acknowledgement that speaks to our heart and tells us we matter, for just being ourselves. The author Timothy Keller wrote, "To be loved but not known is comforting but superficial. To be known and not loved in our greatest fear. But to be fully known and truly loved [....] liberates us from pretense, humbles us out of our self-ritueousness, and fortifies us for any difficult life can throw at us." 
 
I can tell you, I would rather be vulnerable and live in the freedom of being known for who I really am then being acknowledged and affirmed for being the less then 100% authentic Me. I would rather be seen, accepted and loved - I would rather be known - than famous, chameleon-like or inauthentic. 
 
So here's to being seen for who we are. Here's to being brave, being open and sharing our hearts. Here's to living freely with authenticity. Here's to being known.

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Apr

For Photogs: Taking Family Photos with Paparazzi

Sometimes during a wedding when I am trying to take the posed family photos, the family members end up looking at everyone else taking photos of them and not at my camera. It makes family photos take even longer and can be frustrating. Have you been in this kind of a situation? What do you do? 
 
Thanks, Frustrated
 
 
Yes, yes and YES! I have been in that situation more times then I can remember and get questions often from other photographers about this! For me, there are really two main challenges when other guests are taking photos of the family you are trying to pose and photograph. First, is the very challange you pointed out - the family members start looking around at other cameras, then back at my camera, then back quickly at all the other guests taking photos, and so on. It makes for an awkward family photo when only some of the family members are looking at my camera and then others in different directions. The second challenge is when the family is constantly blinking because of guests' camera flashes going off. We've all been there, right?! It can take so much longer to complete family photos when the photo has to be taken again and again to account for family members blinking from guests' camera flashes. 
 
That being said, there are some things that I do on a regular basis to avoid these two things from happening and help me efficiently and quickly complete family photos. 
 
One thing I might do if it's a key family photo (like one whole side of a family) and lots of guest are trying to photograph it, I will stand off to the side for about 15 seconds and direct the family to look at the guests taking photos. I will then step back in front of the group and direct the family to only look at my camera now. I have found this is much more effective then trying to have all the guests hold off on photographing the family. Not only do guests step away after taking a photo so that my camera is the only one taking photos, but the guests are so grateful they were able to get a quick photo on their device. If guests still continue to take photos of the group and it is effecting where the group is looking or blinking, I will stop taking photos and turn completely around to the guests and ask them to refrain from taking photos until I am done. If time is limited and there is no time for me to stand off to the side or LOTS of guests are photographing the family photos I will usually ask them to refrain right off the bat and explain that them taking photos is interfering with my photographing the family. Sometimes at this point my couple will echo what I have said to specific guests which can help as well!  
 
Your couples have hired you to photograph their entire day to the best of your ability, including the family photos. So remember to be assertive when you need to be! I hope this is helpful and please know that you are definitely not the only one that finds themself in this situation wedding after wedding!

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Apr

To Ashley 2013, From Ashley 2012

I stumbled across this old post I had written in 2012 to the me of 2013 and let me tell you, it really was just what I need to hear. It hit home and left me feeling so encouraged. Like a good pep talk... a splash of refreshingly cold water in my face. It filled my heart to read the words I wrote to the Ashley of 2013, which was the year I became pregnant, we lost grandparents and so many other amazing miracles and unexpected things happened. The twists and turns of life showed up as they do every year. I hope and wish all of these words and reminders for THIS year... for the Ashley of 2015. And the years after that and after that.... 
 
Dear Ashley of 2013,  
 
Every year you have many personal and professional goals. Many. You already read all your goals from 2012 and smiled with humble gratefulness in what you achieved and had the opportunity to do. You were motivated in what you disappointedly did not quite accomplish. You reflected on the past 12 months and what life has taught you - through the sweet memories, the hard losses, the pure laugher, the tough decisions, the breathtaking memories, and the struggles... And if you are honest, every year you grow and learn the most from the struggles. The cracks in the imaginary perfection that never existed. The curve balls that you didn't see coming and the wind that fill your sails pushing you in another direction. Those challenges provided the perfect opportunity for growth.  
 
That being said, looking at all the ups and down, this year I want you to live more fearlessly. I want you to leave the worries and "what ifs" and run ahead with a fearlessness doing what you love and continue to whole heartedly love those around you. Forget the she never coulds, never woulds, and never shoulds. Live fearlessly. Drown out the sound of your self doubt with the hope of what's to come and the blessings that continue to be poured over your life. Live fearlessly.  
 
Continue to hold close the learnings and grass stains of the last year but don't let them define you. Let them fuel you. Isn't emerald grass green the new pantone color for 2013 anyway? ; ) Honestly, you already know this, but truly the only one that can stop you from pursuing your dreams, is you. And only you. So go get 'em girl.  
 
Love,  
Ashley of 2012  
 
P.S. Don't forget to live fearlessly.
 
 
#TBT to 2013 when I was 6 months pregnant with sweet Greyson! :)

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Apr

CT Newborn Session | Baby Riese

These dear friends hold such a special place in my heart and Chris' heart. I typically don't photograph newborns, but what a joy it was to photograph this beautiful family of four. Baby Riese was just 7 days old and her soft pink skin, perfect toes, and sweet cooing had me trying my hardest not to melt into a puddle from all the cuteness. She was absolute perfection. 
 
But this newborn session was very different and moving for me personally. It was the first time I have photographed a newborn since Greyson was born a year ago. It was the first time I was behind the camera as a mom photographing a new little life. I felt truly in awe of the miracle that new life really is because I have been blessed to have brought it into the world myself. Seeing the love that baby Riese's parents and big brother have for her was so special, especially seeing Bridget with her new daughter. It's a love a mother has for her child that I have come to experience first hand. It is unexplainable and runs deep in a mother's veins. Being a mom is such a hard and beautiful thing, and having the honor to document this bond between mother and daughter was truly moving for me personally. I have been on both sides now of this bond, as a daughter and as a mother. 
 
This family is so special and I am grateful to have been able to spend a quiet morning with them just soaking in all the baby cuteness!











Clearly daddy's little girl! :)





























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