Phoebe + Jeffrey | Joyful Cambridge & Boston Massachusetts Spring Wedding | Boston and New England Wedding Photography

Phoebe + Jeffrey | Joyful Cambridge & Boston Massachusetts Spring Wedding | Boston and New England Wedding Photography

This was one of those wedding days when it was so clear that the couple’s friends and family, along with their faith, were the most important parts of the day. Phoebe and Jeffrey are friends of another couple whose wedding I photographed (blog post coming soon!) and I was so glad to get to meet them and document their day!

We met in the afternoon at Le Meridien in Cambridge for family formals and a couple’s session. The hotel’s rooftop garden was the PERFECT spot with plenty of space (and easy to get to from inside the hotel, where everyone stayed warm in between photos). This was a surprisingly chilly April day, but you wouldn’t know it from all the smiles!

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Sam + FJ | Romantic Mountain Top Inn and Resort Vermont Autumn Wedding | Boston and New England Wedding Photography

Sam + FJ | Romantic Mountain Top Inn and Resort Vermont Autumn Wedding | Boston and New England Wedding Photography

Is there anything more romantic than professing your love for your favorite person surrounded by gorgeous mountains? Sam and FJ probably think not! ;)

I was so honored to photograph this drop-dead gorgeous couple and their wedding day last November! You might not even realize this was a late autumn wedding since there was still so much green around—And lots of greenery definitely makes for a happy photographer!

I first met these two in Somerville as all of us have spent lots of time living there, but I absolutely love that they decided to get married in Vermont! They picked the perfect venue—Mountain Top Inn and Resort—Which has the most gorgeous mountain view, indoor and outdoor locations for ceremonies/receptions, and a view of a lake outside as well.

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Why You Need Self-Care To Have The Wedding Day Of Your Dreams

Why You Need Self-Care To Have The Wedding Day Of Your Dreams

How would you feel over the next few months if you planned like crazy, had very little time to relax or do anything for yourself, and then your wedding day came and you never felt like you could soak up how amazing it was because you felt fried?

Now…how would you if you had time to plan your wedding AND take time just for yourself, you felt physically more relaxed and emotionally more calm and positive, and had the wedding day of your dreams too? Feels better, right? That’s what I want for you, and I believe that self-care is the ultimate way to make that happen!

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Jessica + Thomas | Classic Cambridge and Lyman Estate Massachusetts Summer Wedding | Boston and New England Wedding Photography

Jessica + Thomas | Classic Cambridge and Lyman Estate Massachusetts Summer Wedding | Boston and New England Wedding Photography

Jess sat down on my couch a couple months after getting that ring on her finger and said something to the effect of, “I really want you to be one of my bridesmaids. But I also really want you to be my wedding photographer. Is there a way to do both??” I had heard stories of ambitious photographers doing this before. I had also heard the well-meaning warnings of, “Don’t do it, you’ll regret not being able to be present for the day.” The thing is, Jess and I have this trait in common where if we really want something, we’re kind of stubborn about it and always look for the ways to make it work.

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3 Steps To Vetting Your Brand + Web Designer, and Why You Need To Do It

3 Steps To Vetting Your Brand + Web Designer, and Why You Need To Do It

Look for a quality portfolio with (at least) several examples of the kind of work you want done. I think I was a little too trusting and dove in with this designer because she was nice, understanding, and I liked her own website. Her blog was helpful and from her posts she seemed knowledgeable, but she didn’t have a ton of work to show. It seemed like a win-win situation at the time, because I would be helping to bulid her portfolio, and she would help my business get back on track with its branding. I’ve been in the same place as her before, hoping clients would hire me even though I had less experience, and I’m forever grateful to the people who took a chance on me. So, I thought, why not? In my case, I think this designer didn’t have a lot of work to show because she hadn’t been doing it for very long. That means less experience (even experience doing personal projects still counts for something!) and less evidence of commitment to the work.

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My Business Got A Makeover! What Changed, And Why

My Business Got A Makeover! What Changed, And Why

Can I say it’s an understatement that some big changes in my business have been a long time coming? This winter, from December through the end of February, I had one singular focus: Launch this rebrand and build a new website! I do definitely have other goals for the year, but this launch was Big Goal #1 for me, and I can’t tell you how excited I am that I accomplished it! Read on to see what's new, and what it means for you!

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Classic + Modern Boston Public Garden, Beacon Hill, and Downtown Coffee Shop Sunrise Engagement Session | Jessica and Thomas

Classic + Modern Boston Public Garden, Beacon Hill, and Downtown Coffee Shop Sunrise Engagement Session | Jessica and Thomas

When my alarm went off at 3:30am, I remember a brief period of my night-owl brain asking, “Why did I do this to myself?” After about 10 minutes passed and I could truthfully say I was awake, I remember my creative brain (who also loves people), asking, “How AWESOME is this going to be?!” I felt the tingle of nervous excitement as I confirmed with myself for the third time that yes, I did have everything I needed. This was the morning of my first ever sunrise engagement session with some soon-to-be newlyweds, and OH MAN was it worth it!

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Somerville Small Business Product and Lifestyle Handmade Jewelry Photography | Linkouture

Somerville Small Business Product and Lifestyle Handmade Jewelry Photography | Linkouture

Whenever I get to work with fellow entrepreneurs and creatives and see their success, I feel like such a proud mama! When you own your own business AND you’re a solopreneur, sometimes it feels like it takes forever for all the pieces to fall into place and for everything to work together seamlessly for you to achieve your goals. As a photographer and someone who does their fair share of shopping online, I can say that cohesive visual elements and imagery make a huuuge difference in the perception of a product! Having seen the “before and after” of Linkouture’s imagery, I can say that Bev's new photography for her business works wonders for showing off the quality she’s capable of creating!

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Boston Winter To Spring Fashion + Style Photography | Fashion On The 4th Floor, Chapter Five

Boston Winter To Spring Fashion + Style Photography | Fashion On The 4th Floor, Chapter Five

Diane and I have been doing her sessions in Somerville the most, but this outfit was the first we featured in Boston! Ever since I discovered this building, I’ve been dying to shoot in this little hidden gem of the city. So so glad it worked out this day! Sure, we could have just as easily taken photos on any city sidewalk, but isn’t this big white room with gold features just magical?

If you couldn’t tell from looking at my Rebranding series, this building is SO me. Big, bright spaces that feel airy and energized, along with marbled, metallic, and organic details, not to mention a huge skylight up above (not pictured I’m afraid)! It reminds me a bit of a museum. Anyone else feel right at home in high-ceilinged, modern museums with marble floors?  

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Rebranding: Making A Moodboard

Rebranding: Making A Moodboard

I remember thinking over this past winter, “Oh man. Rebranding is so intense. My designer and I have to work together to figure out how to express who I am and what I do in ONE logo. Just one. Not only that, I’ll need to visually “brand” everything in my business cohesively, from my business cards, to my packaging, to my website…where do we even start??” 

I’ll tell you, friends. It all starts with assembling a launch pad. In the case of branding and visual design, your launch pad is a moodboard! 

After assessing why I needed to rebrand and who the new brand would be for (a.k.a. my Dream Clients—you guys!), it was time to begin thinking about how to express all that in a visual way. 

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Rebranding: That "Me Too" Moment

Rebranding: That "Me Too" Moment

I recently decided to create a survey and call up some of my portrait clients from 2015. I didn’t get to chat with every one of you sadly, but those of you I did get to talk with taught me SO much. I am so grateful for the time you spent sharing your thoughts with me and showing me what’s most important to you in life. I ended up asking you about everything from what your dream house would be like, to what you're most often frustrated by, to how you want to be seen by others (Seriously. We got DEEP and I cannot thank you all enough for sharing these things with me)! I discovered some amazing things, which my Dream Clients all have in common, that made me feel so elated and encouraged! Read on to learn what I discovered!

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Rebranding: It's Happening!

Rebranding: It's Happening!

Here’s my deep, dark secret: I designed my current logo myself, somewhere around 2011, when I was a senior in college studying studio art with a concentration in graphic design. Seriously. If you know me personally, you might be totally surprised if you haven’t heard that before because I would NEVER touch a design project today.

I share all that to say, I have learned SO much lately about the true worth of hiring a creative expert. Not cutting corners when you have the choice to invest in something great, that will elevate your experiences in life and business. Choosing to trust a creative business owner to do what they do best. Choosing to focus your energy on the things you do best, rather than trying to wear ALL the hats, and fumbling around with the ones that don’t fit quite right.

I am done trying to “make it work” myself when it comes to my branding, because while I have learned so much through this process, I am totally not a branding expert! The awesome part is, I got connected with someone who is!

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Somerville Winter Fashion + Style Photography | Fashion On The 4th Floor, Chapter Four

Somerville Winter Fashion + Style Photography | Fashion On The 4th Floor, Chapter Four

Diane from Fashion On The 4th Floor has been killing it with the great winter styles! The last time I wore a denim skirt was probably about a decade ago, and I cringe to think of those days, but Diane makes it look GOOD with the retro boots, classy sheer plaid, and faux leather vest! Her long necklaces are perfect for adding an extra sophisticated touch. This session was SO her and she brought the energy!

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Somerville Winter Fashion + Style Photography | Fashion On The 4th Floor, Chapter Three

Somerville Winter Fashion + Style Photography | Fashion On The 4th Floor, Chapter Three

I still can’t believe it’s 2016, can you? I know I’ve had a whole 18 days for it to sink in, but I think I’m struck by the blessing of new beginnings—this was the first year I did a no-holds-barred reflection on the past year, and made goals for myself for the new year. I struggle to keep focused on my top priorities sometimes, but just the act of setting goals has made a big difference for me! It makes it so much easier to say “no” to things that aren’t on my “top priorities” list, and say “yes” to new opportunities that will help me reach my goals.

Diane from Fashion On The 4th Floor set some goals for 2016 too, and blogging is part of them! For her, blogging is a creative outlet in a busy day to day life, and here’s what she had to say about it on Instagram recently: "This creative outlet was a positive escape from everyday craziness, something just for me! A way to #expressmyself #bemyself #shareideas & #inspiration. Feeling negative pressure creep in, I knew I needed to reassure myself & reinforce My Original Goals for 2016: #dowhatiwantwheniwant #thenumbersdontmatter #havenoexpectations & most of all, #keephavingfun"

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Somerville Winter Fashion + Style Photography | Fashion On The 4th Floor, Chapter Two

Somerville Winter Fashion + Style Photography | Fashion On The 4th Floor, Chapter Two

When Diane pulled out these sequined pants, that was the moment. I knew I was in love. Not only with the pants, but with her creative styling ideas too (not to mention, her personality is off-the-charts)!

I LOVE a good statement piece that requires some gusto to wear, and pairing sequined pants with a casual sweater in a classy color is just perfect. This was an outfit I would love to wear myself, so I love that I get to feature it here and share with you all! This is perfect for a holiday or New Year’s Eve party, or a daytime look that you want to kick up a notch. 

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2015 Year In Review + 2016 Mega Goal Setting

2015 Year In Review + 2016 Mega Goal Setting

If you're anything like me, you LOVE the feeling clarity gives you. A sense of relief and renewed purpose. A sense of readiness, like you've just rediscovered your footing on unsteady ground. And if you're anything else like me (in this case I hope not) you have an atrocious memory!

Thinking through the last 365 days was tough! I can hardly remember what I was up to each month (which is why I'm now glad I have things like social mediamy blog, and business records to remind me what I did this year). In one of the many Facebook groups I'm in, someone asked in December about yearly goal-setting resources. I realized I hadn't intentionally thought about setting goals for 2016, so I gladly picked up some free goal-setting worksheets people recommended! I have never been a big "New Year's Resolutions" girl, but I think it's likely because I never had a realistic or practical way to set and keep track of those resolutions.

I'm excited to say the worksheets I discovered for 2016 are SO GREAT! In these resources are a plethora of questions that prompted me to dig deep into where I've been in 2015 and where I want to go in 2016—this includes both personal (health, family, friendships, etc) and business (social media, finance, time management, etc). I've seen other bloggers and entrepreneurs share their goals and accomplishments in a blog post before, and I never felt like I was at a point where I could share things so personal and vulnerable (what if I failed and everyone knew?!) This year, I decided to take the leap and just go for it. 

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Somerville Winter Fashion + Style Photography | Fashion On The 4th Floor, Chapter One

Somerville Winter Fashion + Style Photography | Fashion On The 4th Floor, Chapter One

If you have looked around at other fashion bloggers and felt like you can't connect that well with their sweet and girly style, please go visit Fashion On The 4th Floor! Although the name is a reference to Diane starting her blogging journey later in life, age is truly irrelevant in this case.  I would gladly throw any outfit on my body that Diane put together—she does bold, edgy, tomboyish and sophisticated all rolled into one SO well!

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Wholehearted | Failure

Wholehearted | Failure

At one point when I was talking with someone recently, I said "I don't even think about failure anymore." To be honest, I hadn't even realized that until I said it out loud, but it's true! This year I have learned to give myself so much space to be, and this is one of the ways it's paid off. It was such an unexpected relief to say this out loud, and have a reminder that life is all a process. 

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Arlington Autumn Small Business Portrait Photography | Musician and Composer Ruth Shyu

Arlington Autumn Small Business Portrait Photography | Musician and Composer Ruth Shyu

I've created portraits for several entrepreneurs, professionals and musicians lately, and usually they're about my age in their 20s or 30s. Often, their careers or new businesses are still fairly young and they're trying lots of new things and dreaming big. Everything is new and exciting (and often scary)! Working with Ruth was different in a very cool way because she's so full of experiences, having moved across the country and put in years of hard work honing her craft, building her skills, and being her own boss. She's faced and overcome some significant obstacles over the years, so I really cherished my time with her and the opportunity to hear her stories, while talking about what it means to be creative for a living.

This was just another example for me of why it's SO important as a creative person and/or entrepreneur to be in community with other creatives and entrepreneurs! The support we can offer each other and the special ways we can lift each other up are priceless. 

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