The Unexplored: Love on the Charles

Yesterday was my first romp around the Charles– I have lived near Boston for 10 years.

I’ll admit to having driven along both Storrow and Memorial Dr., but I never really wandered. I never really enjoyed this pleasure right here in my own backyard.

That’s one of the things I love most about this job: learning about and exploring new places–often ones close to home. This couple suggested the Charles as a background to their shoot, and I suggested the time: sunset. The day came through on its part of the bargain bringing a perfect summer breeze, textured clouds, and brilliant light.

What a backdrop? Right?

So tell me, what are some of your favorite both hidden and obvious gems in the Boston area? Where do you explore? Where do you wander? What is the perfect backdrop for your love story?

On Momma Hugs

With great power comes great responsibility.

~Uncle Ben

My child is three: he’s part hug machine and part master manipulator. Okay, he’s pretty much all manipulator; the hugs are just one of many weapons in his arsenal. He’s already adept at divide and conquer, and he wields the appropriately timed “I love you” like he’s been trained in the art.

“I’m sorry, momma. It was an accident,” he says after hurling a toy across the room.

“The cup broke,” he insists. It was definitely not him who did the breaking.

“I don’t want to play with you. I want to play with Dadda,” is now my punishment for insisting on baths and cleaning up toys.

Then come the hugs and “I love you”s in the pleading voice of my three-foot imp, and even though I (usually) stand my ground, my heart is vanquished each and every time.

My son has a super power, and I am sort of proud of his prowess (as frustrating as it often is). He’s just spent the past three years learning that he’s separate from others. He’s learned that he’s his own person, and that there are things outside of his control–that’s really hard.

But with this knowledge, he’s also learned empathy. He’s learned that others have emotions, and I’ve seen him offer genuine kindness in the way of help up or a hand held to his friends in need. I’ve seen him comfort the fallen, laugh in solidarity, and be affected by the anger of a room. He’s learning a new skill, and he’s excelling.

Part of learning involves testing ones new strengths. If others have emotions, how can my son influence those emotions? How much control does he have? It’s his job to test me, and it’s my job to set boundaries and teach him to use his power wisely.

I’m learning. I read. I experiment. I grow. I help him grow. I am still absolutely slayed by each and every hug. Judging by this momma’s smile, I think I might not be the only one.

Why You Should Hire a Professional Photographer This Summer

We live in an age that demands daily documentation. Did the sun actually rise if we didn’t take a picture? And I’m a photographer, so of course I am a guilty participant! But this comes at a cost.

One of the things I love most about taking photographs is the mindfulness it brings: when I shoot I’m totally focused on the moment; my mind is fully immersed in my settings and the composition. However, I’m focused on photographing and that is the moment for me, not experiencing whatever is happening with my family.

This means that I’ve had to learn balance about when to bring the camera out, and when to be okay with some cell phone shots–or even no shots at all.

And sometimes I wish I had a “good” picture of my son eating his first s’more, riding away on his bike, or splashing in the pool. But I’m happier I got to actually participate in the moment and be part of his memories of the day.

The truth is, though, it doesn’t have to be an either or equation. Put your smart phone away for an hour two and just play. Just enjoy your time with your family. I’ll be there doing the snapping, so you can be in the memories and keep them.

High Key @ Low Tide

Photography is and always has been about light. However, most of the time photographers’ goals are to shoot an image that has a balance between both dark and light tones. High key is one of the few exceptions to this.

High Key photography is the act of intentionally overexposing an image so that most of the image is bright and there are few shadows. I not so secretly really adore this style and mess around with it occasionally.

Below is a photo from this weekend of my brother and niece. I was wading without a reflector or flash and shooting into the sun, so I knew the background was going to be overexposed. I was okay with that because I like this effect for beach shots. To me it screams of summer sun.

High Key Image @ Revere Beach

High Key isn’t restricted to black and white images either. Here’s another full color image I captured earlier this year of my favorite model. He’s playing at the Providence Children’s Museum in the water room.

Providence Children’s Museum: The Water Room

And then there is always time for the intentionally strange “arty” self-portrait.

Me, Myself, and High Key

Model Call: Couples Only

It’s portfolio building time again, and I’m looking for two or three amazing couples to feature!

Who?

I’m looking for romantic couples (LGBTQIA friendly) to feature on my website.

Couples must be willing to “dress-up” for the shoot. This means no casual looks, but I’m open to traditional and alternative interpretations. I ask all of my models to provide their own wardrobe, and I do ask to collaborate on final outfit choices.

When?

The sessions will be the weekend of August 2nd-4th, 2019. To get the best light, these sessions will be either early morning and/or evening.

Where?

I have three locations in mind: one is a beach on the North Shore, one is a woodsy wonderland, and the final is an urban riverscape. All locations are within 1hr drive of Boston; however, they are not all T accessible. You will need a car/private transportation.

What?

What do you get for your time?

An hour to 1.5 hour session, an online-watermarked preview gallery, and 3 FREE edited, high-resolution images for your personal use.

You will also have the option to purchase additional HR-images for $15 each or $150 for 20 images. Prints and other products will also be available a la carte.

Local Adventure: East Regiment Beer Co.

This weekend I adventured to the new East Regiment Beer Co. taproom in Salem, MA. The brewery opened just over a month ago, and it’s a really lovely space: it’s light and bright with an outdoor patio to boot. AND it’s child and dog friendly.

They were/are having a contest of sorts to see which fruit should be combined with their wheat beer for a full batch. I was team strawberry. The mango sort of offended me, but to be fair the wheat was pretty solid as it was.

I’m a photographer and not a beer blogger, though. For that, you would need to check out my husband’s page: Beer Rants and Books.

Maternity

There were a variety of factors that played into why I didn’t get maternity shots taken. Was I just being vain? Why get these photos taken if I had absolutely no desire to display them in my house? Would any photo of me, at 53lbs heavier than my already chubby frame, be something I would enjoy?

I think a lot of pregnant women probably have the same thoughts running through their heads; however, as a one-and-done mom, I definitely regret not having professional shots taken.

Why? I no longer think of the pictures as for me. I think of the pictures as for my child. They are part of his story. I regret only having a few cell phone shots of me, so that when he asks where he came from and what life was like as we prepared for him, I don’t have the pictures because I was too self-conscious about my growing, miraculous body to really document it. There are no pictures of me for family albums, wall art, or even just a Facebook gallery. There are no pregnancy pictures of me for my son.

My point? Get the photos taken. You may not love your growing body, but it’s beautiful. You are literally making a little human. It’s magic. I promise that as your belly shrinks, and the days pass, you’ll want to remember what it was like to be a goddess-mother creating life. Best of all, you’ll have the images for your children.

Children & Families

I love children; they’re pure magic.

I used to teach kids, and I loved watching their expressions precisely because they haven’t learned to hide their emotions yet. When they learn something new, their whole faces light up. Everything is still so novel and the simplest things can still be full of wonder.

When children are bored, upset, tired, or any other emotion, you instantly know that too. That’s why I do my best to bring enthusiasm to my children and family shoots. I want my shoots to be a fun experience for the whole family, and a memory they can hold onto with joy.