A look back at 2018

Looking back at 2018, I am feeling oh-so-grateful for all of the wonderful career changes I’ve had. In May, I secured a long term freelance contract with a local business to create video content for their social channels and website. I also picked up some commercial work for local clients including Pittsfield based Fire Cider and an incredibly talented blacksmith from Iron Pioneer Forge Metalsmith in Westfield, MA.

This meant I was able to leave my 7 year long position as the Multimedia Manager at WEBS - America’s Yarn Store and stay home with my two children. I’ll admit, working full time in an office with two little kids in school/with sitters is incredibly hard to juggle. Between drop-offs, pick-ups, doctor’s appointments and sicknesses, I was spent just about every single night. Kudos to all the moms out there who are pulling that crazy rat race off!

As soon as I pieced together a schedule that I could work when the kids were sleeping, I put in my notice and hit the ground running. I really feel like I have not stopped moving since my last day at WEBS.

This year I was able to capture some really incredible weddings, babies, seniors, and families!

The best part about all of this has been that I am feeling like I can really devote my brain and creative energy to all of you now that I’ve committed to my own business and realized the worth of my skill. Taking that jump was a scary thing to do but I have not regretted it for a second.

This photo was taken by my son Andrew on January 4, 2019. He is 4 years old. His favorite food is noodles and his favorite color is blue. When he grows up, he says he wants to be five.

This photo was taken by my son Andrew on January 4, 2019. He is 4 years old. His favorite food is noodles and his favorite color is blue. When he grows up, he says he wants to be five.

While wedding photography was never a major part of my plan, here I am doing it and loving every minute of it. I am learning so much about my craft, about myself, and about how we all commit to each other as partners. It has also afforded me the ability to be my own boss and be available to my family when they need me. This is something I will never take for granted!

If you book me for your wedding, expect a few high fives before the night is over. Photo by Tara Sullivan.

If you book me for your wedding, expect a few high fives before the night is over. Photo by Tara Sullivan.

I have also made a ton of new friends this year! This, I’ve learned, is probably my favorite part about booking a wedding. I love meeting a new couple and working with them to make sure their story is told. Leading up to their wedding, I save photos I see that remind me of them, I think about their venues, their bridal party, dresses, flowers, their vibe, all of it.

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While I am incredibly happy at every wedding I shoot, I can’t help but feel sad when all of the excitement is over. It’s bittersweet.

The bright side is that new weddings are planned and I get to meet so many new and exciting couples every year because of it. Families grow, babies are born, and I get to snap these milestones along the way. This job never gets old!

This year I hope to get cracking on a new personal project that’s been brewing for a few years and continue to tell all of your lovely stories! I am so excited to meet all of the new couples and families who come my way in 2019. Happy New Year everyone!

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Forever Faria - Mena and Dan's Ludlow, MA wedding

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Filomena and Dan grew up in the same town but only started dating after moving around the country as single, free spirited people. Eventually, they got together and moved down south to build a life together. Despite their home base being in a place where it’s warmer, they decided to hold their ceremony and reception back home in Ludlow, Massachusetts.

If you grew up in Ludlow, like me, you probably grew up going to really big Portuguese weddings at the Ludlow Portuguese Club. My mom and dad had their reception there, as did myself and my husband. Many of my friends and family also had their receptions there. It’s a great place for the community to host really big, memorable parties.

Mena and Dan wanted to share their love with their family and friends by hosting them at this venue.

Mena and Dan were married at the Congregational First Church of Christ in Springfield, Massachusetts and held their reception at the Ludlow Portuguese Club in Ludlow, Massachusetts. Photos following the ceremony were taken at Springfield City Hall. MGM Springfield hosted the bridal party and also guests traveling from out of town. The reception was catered by the Villa Rose and a special appearance was made by the Hartford Raincho of the Hartford Portuguese Club, a traditional Portuguese music and dance troop. When the dance floor opened, I set up an open air photo booth to photograph friends and family.

The entire day was so fun and I could not have asked for a more beautiful and loving couple to close out a super eventful year.

Congrats Mena and Dan! I wish you a lifetime of love, health and happiness!

To see more images, view the full round up of favorites here!

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Want to see more?

See a round-up of my favorites!

Dress: New York Bride and Groom / Essense of Australia

Suits: New York Bride and Groom

Bridesmaids dresses: Dessy

Hair: Tiffany Duchesne

Make-up: Divine Elegance Beauty Boutique

Cake: Theme Cakes by Jolene

Entertainment: Hartford Raincho

Signage: E+B Creative

Flowers: McClelland’s Florist

Caterer: Villa Rose

Wedding Coordinator: Helena Braz

Second Photographer: Tara Sullivan Photography

Photobooth Photographer: Emma Welford

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Photography for Iron Pioneer Metalsmiths - Westfield, MA Blacksmith

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Dave Procopio spent years in the construction business on the eastern side of the state before moving out to western Massachusetts to raise his family in the country. With a background in aviation maintenance, welding, business and construction, Procopio said that blacksmithing draws on all of his skills in a really unique way.

His studio is warm and cozy and filled with all of the old school charm you’d expect from a blacksmith.

A new website is in the works for Iron Pioneer Metalsmiths and Dave was looking for some fresh content so he had me over to the workshop for the day to capture what he does best.

It was hard to narrow down my favorites from this one. I photographed fire and smoke and metal and power hammers and all of these crazy things that are just so dramatic to watch in real life. It felt great to draw on some of my background in photojournalism and to use some of the new lights I bought! Thanks for sharing your craft with me Dave!

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This Engagement Session went terribly wrong

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Patty and Chris had their first first date at the Iron Duke in Ludlow, Massachusetts. The Iron Duke is located in old Mill buildings along the Chicopee river and it’s one of my favorite places to explore in town for photos.

Sadly, this session did not end well for Patty and Chris.

Next time, don’t fall asleep!

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Samantha - Ludlow High School Senior Photos

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Samantha is graduating from Ludlow High School in 2019! The future is wide open for Sam! While she’s undecided on what she will be studying, she is definitely excited to explore all that college has to offer. We had a super fun afternoon exploring the Ludlow Mills for her senior photos.

This was the last weekend to squeeze out those colorful fall photos and boy was it spectacular!

Congrats Sam! Enjoy your last year of high school!

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Class of 2019

All the snuggles - Fall Family Photos in Ludlow, MA

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Oliver and I used to work together as photographers at WEBS in Northampton, Massachusetts. In May, I left my position there to pursue freelance work and grow my photography hustle.

Oliver is an incredible photographer, husband to his super smart wife Mia, and dad to his darling Josephine. It was great working with him at WEBS, sharing stories about our growing families and learning from him every day. I really miss seeing him!

We fixed that with some pizza and a walk through the Ludlow Country Club with our cameras. Oliver, Mia and Josie, thank you for letting me capture all of your sweet love that afternoon! Let’s do it again soon!

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Tis’ the season!

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Sam and Corey's Fall Engagement Session

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Samantha and Corey will be getting married next year at the Mill on the River and I am so excited to be there as their photographer!

Samantha is a teacher and Corey is an engineer and they are just the sweetest couple ever.

I took their engagement photos at the Quabbin Reservoir on the most perfect fall day we’ve had this season. The session also happened to be one year and a day from their wedding date so the countdown is on!

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Congrats on your engagement Sam and Corey, and thank you for inviting me along to capture this special journey!

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saying “i do”?

The Silva Family - Roger Williams Park Family Session

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These cool kids are my cousins and in exchange for their hand-me-downs I like to take their family photos every year. This year we decided to meet up at Roger WIlliams Park Zoo in Providence, Rhode Island and wander around the park taking photos.

This was such a fun location! We spent most of our time in the Japanese garden climbing trees and racing across bridges. When we were done we took a spin on the carousel.

My kiddos are still asking to go back and see the animals at the zoo so I think this will be a yearly tradition!

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Tis’ the season! book your family session today!

Product photography for Fire Cider

Fire cider is a take on an old folk remedy that owner Dana St. Pierre saw his German grandmother making as a child.

As it reads on their website, “he took one of her recipes—a mash-up of onions, garlic, and honey that she steeped in mason jars on a sunny windowsill—and gave it a modern makeover with spicy-sweet flavors. A country doctor suggested Dana add apple cider vinegar for its wealth of health-enhancing properties, and, over the course of a decade, he refined his recipe into our original Fire Cider tonic.”

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I photographed the products in various real life settings including grocery stores, coffee shops, and bakeries all over western Massachusetts. This is great content for social media and email campaigns.

I also photographed their products on a white backdrop for more consistency on their website.

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I will be photographing some of Fire Cider’s product line over the next few months in an effort to standardize their content.

I had a lot of fun with this one and found it to be a nice change of pace!

The Gomes Family - Golden hour family photos at Silver Bell Farm

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I feel so lucky to have kicked off my sunset mini sessions at Silver Bell Farm with this super sweet family! If you saw my last blog preview, you’ll know that these sessions started with some heavy rain. The Gomes family was actually standing out in the field with me when the rain started coming down. We all ran into the event space at the farm until the storm passed, and thankfully it did! I am so grateful that we had such beautiful light after the rain!

Marco and Leigh-Ann just had their second baby girl in September and were super excited to celebrate their new family with some photos.

They were such good sports and even in the rain I didn’t hear their littlest make a peep!

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Biggest thanks to the Gomes family for being such troopers with the weather! I had so much fun photographing your little family!

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Tis’ the season! Book your holiday photos

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