Jenny and Jeremy's Colorful Engagement Session in Northampton, Massachusetts

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Weddings can be a big investment and I am meeting so many couples lately who are becoming very conscious about where their dollars are going. Jenny and Jeremy have chosen to have their 2020 wedding at Artists for Humanities Epicenter in Boston, a non-profit arts space that provides under-resourced urban youth with the keys to self-sufficiency through paid employment in art and design.

Jenny and Jeremy’s rental fee for the venue is 100% helping fund the employment of over 250 under-resourced Boston teens annually in art and design. Thanks to their rental, AFH can provide a safe space for teens to engage in experiential art and enterprise learning during out-of-school time. How cool is that?!

I love how thoughtful they were when choosing their wedding venue. The space looks so interesting and its look is always changing with new art from the kids. I am SO excited to photograph their event next year.

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Northampton Massachusetts Photographer
northampton massachusetts photographer

Jenny and Jeremy were wanting to get out of the city for their session, and while they had never been to Northampton, they were excited to explore all of the fun things it has to offer. We spent an hour poking around the city and getting to know each other. They admitted right away that they hadn’t had real photos taken ever as a couple and of course they warned me in advance.

(As a side note, I get warned a lot like this and it’s never been an issue, so take note future couples, you’ll all be fine and look like super models, k?)

Top photographer western massachusetts
Top photographer western massachusetts
Top Photographer Northampton Masachusetts

I wanted their session to be just as colorful and fun as their venue so we decided to use many of the bright murals around town. Some have been there for years and some were painted just very recently.

This mural by Brooklyn based Ramiro Davaro-Comas is one of the newer ones and one of my favorites. I love the ninja turtles peaking around the corner.

FUN FACT

Did you know the ninja turtles were conceptualized in Northampton?

I also love how the artist captured the story of the heist in such a fun and unique style. I was so excited when Jenny and Jeremy agreed to be part of the scene for a moment. Nearby shoppers and pedestrians got a kick out of seeing this shot come together as well.

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I’ve been blessed with some really adventurous couples this summer, Jenny and Jeremy included. Thanks you two for such a fun afternoon. I can’t wait to capture your wedding next year!

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Traci and Evan's Rainy Day Elopement in Northampton, MA

Rain on a wedding day can be stressful, and it is always one of the biggest worries when planning an outdoor celebration in New England. I try to tell myself to plan for the worst weather just because of how unpredictable things are here in the northeast.

The last few times I’ve been faced with rain at an outdoor wedding, I’ve lucked out with some very adventurous couples, like Traci and Evan, who love the thrill of unexpected photo plans.

Traci and Evan eloped moments before a heavy rain storm rolled in. They planned a very short and sweet ceremony on a Wednesday afternoon in the gardens at Child’s Park in Northampton. We JUST made it through the ceremony and a few family photos before the sheets of rain started.

With the forecast the way it was, I had been thinking of alternate locations for the two of them should this happen. Hotel Northampton was on my list, and it turned out that Traci and Evan’s parents were all staying at the Hotel so the staff was so happy to have us use their atrium during the storm.

We waited out the worst of the storm inside, watching the rain stream down the windows.

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I love this atrium for photos. The light is diffused and falls evenly throughout the room. I love the plants and all of the fun little chairs for people to sit on. It’s a private little space off to the side and every time I work in here I discover a new way to use it.

The rain let up and Evan suggested trying some photos at Forbes Library. He goes there regularly to read and explore the shelves. It’s one of his favorite places to go in Northampton.

The staff at the library was so happy to have us and strangers kept stopping the couple to tell them how beautiful they looked, how exciting it was that they had just been married and how neat it was that they came to the library for photos.

I secretly wanted to gather all of these nice strangers, who thought they were coming to the library for a quick return, form the most epic receiving line ever and snap an exit shot of the couple. Traci and Evan DID have to get to dinner eventually so we had to scrap that idea but maybe I’ll have a willing couple in the future? (hint hint hint hint hint)

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Traci teaches African American History at UMASS Amherst and Evan will be starting a new job at Harvard in the fall so the library felt extra special for this academic couple.

The session ended and I felt like our time together came and went so fast. I really enjoyed exploring with the two of them, and while the rain put a tiny moment of question in the plans, it led us on such an amazing journey.

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Congratulations Traci and Evan and thank you for choosing me to capture such a special event. I wish you a lifetime of love and happiness!

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If it rains, we still have fun. I promise.

Keith and Eric's Backyard Wedding in Easthampton, Massachusetts

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Keith and Eric are both from western Massachusetts but were living in New York City when they met through an online dating app.

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Keith, who is originally from Amherst, was actually sitting at the RMV in Easthampton, scrolling through his dating app when he noticed Eric, who was living in New York City. After a bit of reading, he learned that Eric was actually from Easthampton! They connected and had an amazing first date together. Keith knew that he’d found “the one” almost right away, and he did what any normal person in this situation would do.

He ran away!

Keith freaked out and disappeared for a bit to come to terms with his single life ending. Luckily, he was able to calm himself down and embark on this new adventure with his amazing new partner.

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Keith and Eric got engaged last year in Mexico City and have been living together in New York. They love to go on long walks, visit museums, and see musical performances in the city. Today they left on their honeymoon, back to Mexico, which now holds a special place in their hearts.

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As their wedding date neared, I kept an eye on the weather, and while rain was not in the forecast, a very intense heat wave was. Keith and Eric met me in downtown Easthampton before the ceremony where we took some portraits around the mill buildings and in front of some of the murals. It was so hot and humid to be wearing suits but it didn’t stop them from enjoying the quite time together.

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Since last year, they have been planning this intimate wedding in Eric’s parents backyard. I met with them in May while they were here on a visit to work on the outdoor space. It was clear that they did a ton of work to turn the backyard into the perfect location for their celebration.

The ceremony was officiated by Amherst based Justice of the Peace Robin Diamond. Keith and Eric said their vows under the chuppah and finished their ceremony with a kiss and a heavy stomp on two glasses as their family and friends yelled “Mazeltov”! The reception was catered by western massachusetts based Wheelhouse Catering, using all locally sourced ingredients.

I had so much fun working with them and I really couldn’t have asked for a more down to earth and sweet couple. Congratulations Keith and Eric. It was a pleasure to work with you and capture the love you have for one another. I wish you a lifetime of love, health, and happiness!

Vendors:

Food: Wheelhouse Catering

Flowers: Atkins Farms

Suits: Theory

Shirts: Paul Smith Designs

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Embracing the Chaos - Family Session with the Jackson Four

Each summer the Jackson family travels from Hong Kong to visit their family in New England, which is where I get to see them at our annual family session. This was the 4th year that I’ve worked with them, and I’ve come to expect that each session will be a wildly different adventure than the last.

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When we first met, they had two children and Joy was pregnant with her third baby, Oliver. At last year’s session, Oliver had turned 2 years old and Joy was pregnant with another baby boy!

At this session, Evander had just turned one and we celebrated with a fun cake smash at their Airbnb in Northampton. Evander was not a fan of being messy but we photographed it anyway because he was still cute when he was sad and covered in frosting. Don’t believe me? Click here to see the pictures and decide for yourself.

See? Told ya. Pretty cute.

Then WE ALL got cleaned up and headed out to Child’s Park in Northampton for some family photos. Evander was much happier in this field of flowers than he was in the cake moment.

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One thing that I admire so much about this family is how willing they are to embrace the madness that comes with having 4 kids - a madness that people like me in the 2-kid club will likely never have to experience at such an intensity. There is running and climbing, waiting, rushing, boo-boos, boogies, wrestling matches, outfit changes, and of course there are many tears and emotions to be dealt with as well.

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Chris and Joy’s ability to just roll with all of it certainly defines their family and I think it really shows in their photos. This is real life with 4 kids. They will want to remember all of it, even the hard stuff, because there is an odd charm in the not so good moments too.

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I love the tradition of photographing this wild bunch and I can’t wait to see them again next year! Safe travels Jackson 4!

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Family Sessions

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Fatime and Thyldan's Engagement Session at Springfield City Hall

Fatime and Thyldan hired me to cover their engagement party next week and decided to add in a quick engagement shoot beforehand. They wanted fresh prints to display at their wedding at the end of the month.

The couple is originally from the Congo and they’ll be having a really fun welcoming party for their traveling guests next week. The event sounds really unique with lots of special traditions that I am so excited to cover.

We took their photos at Springfield City Hall, one of my favorite photo locations in western Massachusetts.

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Happy Birthday Evander! Photos from his Fourth of July Cake Smash

Evander turned 1 on the fourth of July so we celebrated with a cake smash!

Joelene from Theme Cakes by Joelene made him a vanilla cake with red, white and blue frosting.

It was delicious.

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Sadly, little Evander was not a fan of the photoshoot.

He got pretty upset.

cake smash

When he is mad, he is still cute.

The end.

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cake smash
cake smash

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Engagement photos at Gouveia Vineyards in Wallingford, CT

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Bruno and Brianna are getting married at The Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Waterbury, Connecticut next year and then celebrating with family and friends at the Aria Banquet hall.

They wanted to have their engagement photos taken at a place that would compliment the European aesthetic of their venues and celebrate Bruno’s strong Portuguese heritage. When they asked if I would mind taking their photos at a Portuguese Winery in Connecticut I jumped at the opportunity.

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We traveled down to the Gouveia Vineyards, a Portuguese winery in Wallingford. The winery is overlooks 140 acres of expansive landscape including 32 acres of vineyard, rolling hills, and is perfectly placed to enjoy a stunning summer sunset.

According to their website, the winery produces 90,000 old world style bottles of wine a year using traditional skills of Portuguese winemaking.

“Our original vines were planted by hand. Every vine is hand pruned and we owe our gratitude to the hundreds of volunteers who help harvest the grapes every year.”

Yes that’s right, you can volunteer at their harvest in September to pick grapes in the vineyard, and even do some grape stomping in the barrels. What’s even cooler about this is that Portuguese Ranchos from around the region come and perform at the vineyard to celebrate the Harvest while you pick and stomp.

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We spent the afternoon exploring the stone house and tasting room, strolling along the dirt roads of the winery, and enjoying the view of the pond. The fields were so hot and sunny, but when the sun began to set, enduring the direct summer heat immediately felt worth it.

Thank you Bruno and Brianna for the wonderful afternoon and for introducing me to this amazing place! I am SO excited for your wedding in the spring!

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If you are planning a wedding, some of my packages include a personalized engagement session like this!

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Making Beauty Beautiful - Branding Photos of The Plan in Holyoke, Massachusetts

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The Plan just opened its doors to the public last week after a busy year of renovating an old paper mill in downtown Holyoke, Massachusetts. With the help of architect Noah Modie from Oxbow Design Build in Easthampton, MA and many local investors organized through MainVest, salon owners Chelsea Falcetti and Tiffany Duchesne transformed a musty section of an old mill into a trendy and sustainable paradise. The Plan, much like traditional salons, offers professional hair, skin and beauty services but with an eco-friendly mission.

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The plan is located in The Wauregan Building, which is one of several mill buildings along the canal in Holyoke that has recently had a facelift and is seeing life again. When I arrived at the building, the parking lot was surprisingly busy with activity.

I parked my truck and took a walk around to get an idea of the space. Tucked away in the various the corners of the building is a thriving community of artists and makers working side by side. I will be honest, it took some control to not poke my head into every workspace and yell “hey, watcha workin on?”

The inside of The Plan, a sustainable salon in downtown Holyoke, Massachusetts.

The inside of The Plan, a sustainable salon in downtown Holyoke, Massachusetts.

Founders and stylists Chelsea Falcetti and Tiffany Duchesne wanted to use their new business venture to breath life into a beautiful and forgotten part of the city. “We will be using our business as a force for positive change, starting with helping to revitalize downtown Holyoke,” they said.

Chelsea Falcetti (left) and Tiffany Duchesne (right), owners of The Plan, a sustainable salon Holyoke, Massachusetts.

Chelsea Falcetti (left) and Tiffany Duchesne (right), owners of The Plan, a sustainable salon Holyoke, Massachusetts.

When I spoke with the two before our session, I wanted to get a feel for the location, the customer experience, and the general “vibe” of The Plan. I wanted the photos to capture the salon’s eco-friendly mission, the reduce, reuse, recycle aesthetic of their space and practice, and their belief that beauty is for everyone.

Owners of The Plan, Chelsea Falcetti (left) and Tiffany Duchesne (right) recently opened a sustainable salon in Holyoke, Massachusetts, which is on track to be one of the greenest cities in the country.

Owners of The Plan, Chelsea Falcetti (left) and Tiffany Duchesne (right) recently opened a sustainable salon in Holyoke, Massachusetts, which is on track to be one of the greenest cities in the country.

It’s clear that The Plan is in the business of creating beauty and sustainability everywhere. As one of only two Green Circle salons in the Pioneer Valley, The Plan has partnered with the Green Circle program to be an active participant in, “the world’s first, and North America’s only, sustainable salon solution to recover and repurpose beauty waste.”

Working with Green Circle will allow the salon to minimize its ecological footprint in the local community. The Plan will “re-purpose and recover up to 95% of the resources that were once considered waste; materials such as hair, leftover hair color, foils, color tubes, aerosol cans, paper and plastics,” said Duchesne and Falcetti.

In addition to their partnership with Green Circle, The Plan will also exclusively use eco-friendly hair and beauty products from Davines and Beauty Counter in their salon.

I decided to photograph the team in some of the more overgrown and falling apart sections of the mill to really capture the spirit of seeing new life in a neglected place. There was no shortage of location options and thankfully the team was willing to explore some of the more jungly corners of the mill with me.

As we walked through dark hallways and crumbly courtyards between the buildings, Tiffany envisioned a busy market full of Sunday brunchers and shoppers. She and Chelsea scrambled through a vine-filled pass for a photo opp. “Imagine sitting here at a cafe table, drinking a mimosa with your friends,” Tiffany said.

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Behind a quick trim, balayage, or facial, The Plan’s mission is simple, to make beauty beautiful. This team isn’t afraid to turn a dark and dusty space into an eco-friendly wonderland because they know that beauty does not discriminate. Even an abandoned mill building can be beautiful.

“We want to make our clients not just look good, but also feel good,” they said. “We believe in compassion, self-care, positive thinking, and kindness, and will spread this in our salon every day.“

The Plan is now open for business and taking appointments so give this fun crew a call!

If you are interested in booking a branding session with me, please reach out! If you’d like to view more of my work with local businesses, click here.

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NEW! Products for your newborn session!

If you are anything like me, you will likely end up with a phone full of photos of your new baby just moments after he/she enters this world. Be prepared for that sweet little face to dominate every device you and your immediate family owns for the next 18 years. The biggest challenge is then printing the best moments and figuring out how to store or display them.

If you decide to book a Newborn Lifestyle Session with me, you will have many options for how to keep your images stored after the session. In addition to prints, I am now so happy to offer a few keepsakes to display and remember your little one so the images aren’t forgotten.

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Beautifully simple from start to finish, my Newborn Album is one ultimate album for every family. With a one-piece linen wraparound cover design, custom embossing on the cover, and sturdy paper options, this high quality album full of your most cherished memories will last a lifetime.

ludlow ma photographer
ludlow ma photographer
ludlow ma photographer

You may also add a custom-made maple USB/box combo. Inside the box is a custom 8GB USB stick loaded with all of the high resolution photos from the session. Your image is printed directly onto the wood surfaces of the USB drive and the memory stick, so the natural grain of the wood will peak through your image.

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ludlow ma photographer

This is a great way to keep all of the photos from the session safe. The box is sturdy and can be kept on a shelf in a nursery as well.

These items can be added on to any session at the time of booking or after the photos are delivered.

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Newborn Lifestyle Sessions

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The Almeida Family - Family Photo Session at Fountain Park in Wilbraham, Massachusetts

Chris and Jennifer booked me for a family photo session at Fountain Park in Wilbraham, Massachusetts this spring to capture their new family. Since becoming a family of four they have been so busy that they haven’t had a chance to have photos taken. I was so excited that they reached out to me for their first official photos!

Before they booked this session with me I had only driven by Fountain park and never stopped to explore the space. It was a really fun location for photos with a ton of variety. There are some really neat structures to explore and a big red barn that can be reserved for weddings and private functions.

We had so much fun running around the fields and picking daffodils. Summer and Lincoln are the cutest little kiddos ever and I could have spent the whole day exploring with them!

Chris and Jennifer, thanks so much for choosing me to capture your fun family! I can’t wait for the next session!

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Let me capture the fun!