Danielle & Tony – A Late Summer Wedding

This post will hopefully pull you all from the pre-winter gloom especially on the freezing, wet, day it is today in Brooklyn. Wrapped up in a knit blanket, sipping ginger tea and gazing out the windows as the rain pelts the glass, I remember how much I’ve missed writing and sharing my photographic stories.

As you can see from the absence of posts since mid-August, I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus from the blogging world. Alas, on this frigid day in New York, I am finally catching up. More on that hiatus later.

My first order of business: the lovely Danielle and Tony. You were first introduced to them in their engagement shoot this past spring, and on a beautiful late summer day in August, they finally tied the knot! DSC03612 - Version 2

Danielle and her wedding party, consisting of mum, sister and future sis-in-law all got ready at her parent’s colonial home in Plymouth, MA. The atmosphere while getting ready was serene: no stress, no sense of urgency, but relaxed and totally blissed-out.

DSC07845Almost every aspect of the wedding had some form of hand-made love incorporated into it. Mum and Danielle had picked the bright hydrangea flowers that morning for the wedding bouquets, and hand-assembled them minutes before heading off to the venue.

DSC08021Boutonnieres, handmade by Danielle’s co-worker, smelled of lavender and matched the groom’s swag quite perfectly.

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And now for the dress reveal. Classic, timeless, and uniquely hers, Danielle was stunning in her champagne lace ballgown. The lace train extended beyond the satin skirt of the dress and created quite a dramatic illusion at the venue (see below!!)

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I just love Danielle’s reaction when she finally put her dress on! This is the real deal!

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This regal bride-to-be is ready to go! Mixing the soft and subtle make-up with blusher and simple updo make Danielle one heck of a classic beauty. Would you agree?

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The Venue: Southers Marsh Golf Club (http://weddings.southersmarsh.com/) in Plymouth, MA. Panoramic views of open green fields, hills, and tall pines created quite the dramatic backdrop for the wedding.

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Need I say more? The venue also came complete with a gorgeous tent for the reception.

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Back to the nuptials. Close friends and family gathered under the bright sun and big blue sky in the late afternoon on August 31st, 2014. The beautiful Bridesmaids prepare to make their way down the aisle…

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Both mum and dad walked Danielle down the aisle, arm-in-arm. She’s the first of the brood to tie the knot! Can you tell they’re all just a little excited?

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And finally, everyone’s here! Danielle and Tony exchanged their vows in a touching, short and sweet ceremony.

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And they sealed their love with a kiss… (it’s so so cute I can barely take it!)

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Following the ceremony, the bridal party was whisked away in individual golf carts (I recklessly drove mine ahead of the group to get a head start on portraits) up to the 10th hole. Let the stunning group photos commence!

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Just Married!!

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Now for some one-on-one shots of our bride and groom.

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And my favorite…. what I call the “Victory Kiss”

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The night was followed with delicious food, first dances, hilarious toasts, unforgettably romantic moments, crazy line dancing, and cake.

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Danielle, Tony, and their friends & family danced and partied into the early hours of the morning. I am so grateful to have witnessed the love in the room – it buzzed and buzzed away all night long, and from what I can tell, will continue to buzz for the entirety of their lives together. Danielle, Tony, congratulations on finding each other and opening your hearts to a life full of love and happiness. Happy life to you two!

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Mary-Reid & Mike – Wedded Bliss

This may very well be the longest and most heart-felt post in the history of this blog, even though its history is fairly brief.

Let’s go back to the year 1998 – I am 9 years old and our family of 6 had just moved to Framingham mid-way through September from the tiny woodsy town of Madison, NH. I was that fourth grade new-girl-on-the-block, essentially. The awkward shy one, no less.

My clearest memory of that first September day at school was entering Mrs. Carbeau’s classroom: everyone was seated in a small circle in the center of the room, hushed with all bright eyes on me. I quietly took my seat in a perfect little open spot within the circle and I was slowly introduced to each student. I looked around and saw Mary-Reid, Joanne, and Hannah for the first time and said to myself, “these are going to be my best friends”.

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That’s us! From left, Joanne, Myself, Hannah, and Mary-Reid

Fast-forward to 2004: We’re still together and yup, the very best of friends.  However, at some point amongst our teenage wanderings, Mary-Reid meets Mike. Their love was both effortlessly poetic and passionate and one couldn’t help but smile when you saw the two of these love birds together. They were the epitome of true classic high-school sweethearts. I mean look at the photo from prom!

Mary-Reid and Mike: Senior Prom 2007. For real people!

Mary-Reid and Mike: Senior Prom 2007. For real people!

And then in early March of 2013, I receive a phone call at 1:00pm from Mary-Reid… there’s a certain distinguishable tremor of excitement in her voice, and then the famous words I’ll never forget: “Mike Proposed!!!!!”. I can’t say I was terribly surprised – it was really just a matter of time before Mike made the best decision of his life 🙂

Fast forward once more my dears to August 16th, 2014. The most absolutely crisp-yet-perfectly-balmy August morning. The wedding day. Location: Mary-Reid’s family home on Prospect Street. We spent years and years running around the big historic colonial and jumping into the pool on summer days, and now it was time for it to be the perfect setting for Mike & Mary-Reid’s wedding!

The setting: Family Home on Prospect Street

The setting: Family Home on Prospect Street

This wedding was truly like no other in that so many family and friends poured their hearts in to making this day perfect for the bride and groom. From catering all of the food themselves in the barn, to placing perfectly crafted fondant flowers on the 3-tiered cake, to hand-altering her daughter’s wedding gown, to growing wildflowers all summer long for the bouquets, to setting tables and pressing linens, and everything in between that you could possibly imagine. They got it done!

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Just shy of 4:00pm, every little detail finally falls in to place…

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After spending hours running around lighting hundreds of tea lights, hanging dozens of lanterns, setting each plate just-so, and tying together the bouquets, we ladies finally enjoyed some well-deserved pampering!

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And now for a bit about the gown. Mary-Reid’s wedding vision stemmed mainly from Anthropologie’s wedding off-shoot, BHLDN. Short for “Beholden”, they offer ethereal and whimsical wedding inspirations from cake toppers to stunning hand-beaded gowns. In the winter this of this past year, Mary-Reid and I essentially camped out in a nicely heated car (beginning at 4:00am no less) at their first-ever trunk show in Philly. We had no idea what to expect, but we were determined to find the one. Long story short, we did! And oh my goodness, is she a thing of beauty!

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Bridesmaid dresses were key additions to Mary-Reid’s inspiration for a romantic garden wedding, and fortunately for us ladies, we too got to don some gorgeous BHLDN gowns!

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Again, thank you Mary-Reid for selecting these gorgeous gowns for us to wear! I think you can see that we loved wearing them…

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From the left: Joanne, Xenia, Mary-Reid, Hannah, and Myself. Note the drawn curtains to keep sneaky peekers from peeking!

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For having pulled off planning an entire wedding, Mary-Reid looks absolutely serene and peaceful just moments before walking down the aisle. We had a few moments to glance through this window to see the groomsmen make their way down first…

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And before you know it, I had to drop my camera (couldn’t possibly have hid it behind my bouquet now!), and walked down the aisle of my dearest friend’s wedding. The ceremony was nothing short of incredibly intimate and exceptionally beautiful – there truly wasn’t a dry eye in the garden!

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That’s right ladies, He put a ring on it! Below are some of my favorite shots of my favorite two love birds…

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If this isn’t true electric love then I don’t know what is 🙂

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And of course some group photos of the ladies and gents up by the barn…

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And the obligatory bling ring shot with Hannah…

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And more importantly, the cake! Crafted by the exceptionally talented hands of Mary-Reid’s aunt, maid of honor Hannah, and the bride herself. See the connection between the design on the wedding gown? Thought so!

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Sometimes I have a difficult time expressing my love in words, and I often find that actions speak volumes when it comes to doing so. Not only was this wedding a pure manifestation of love between two souls, but a perfect example of how far humans will go for the ones they love. Each and every person in attendance found a way to lend a hand (or two!) to the bride and groom to ensure their day was overflowing with joy, bliss, and love.

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To my dearest friends Mary-Reid and Mike: you have already built a wonderful life together these past 9 or so years, but this is just the beginning of a most beautiful thing. I admire your strength, unconditional love and support for each other, and am certain your marriage will light the whole earth. Through thick and thin the two of you have grown into an unbreakable pair of lovers, friends, and true partners. I know you will have nothing but a lifetime rich with love and happiness. Thank you for having me be a part of this unforgettable moment in your lives!

The Love of a (Growing!) Family

This post has so much more meaning to me than the typical  “oh-look-at-my-latest-client-shoot” post. The one year anniversary of my dad’s passing was approaching last week, and I was mentally preparing myself to accept whatever waves of grief and emotion were about to hit. This past year has taught me to deal with sadness head-on and immediately experience the pain without bottling it up, which only creates a volatile mental state. Losing a parent is a horrible feeling, and the grief that results is one that I would never wish on anyone. But that’s not what this blog post is about.

This post is about the pure beauty of family. So, I completed my usual online ad for head shots a few days prior to the anniversary, and I received a request from Marisa to do a maternity shoot. Initially I was hoping to distract myself with a nice dinner out or a movie on the 9th, but Marisa was one week away from her due date, and the only time we could meet was that very Wednesday night. Something told me this is what I needed to do.

That something was undoubtedly true. I met Marisa, her husband and three-year-old daughter down at the Dumbo Pier and experienced the profound, unconditional love this family expresses. DSC05042

8 Days away from her due date (which is today!!), Marisa is the most beautifully glowing mommy-to-be. I especially LOVED her hand-made sash to show off that gorgeous baby bump!

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Skyler, the spunky and excitable 3-year-old daughter was so well behaved, and became my official photographers’ assistant by the end of our session.

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She’s kind of the cutest little girl I’ve ever met!

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Mom and Dad can’t wait for the next addition to their family to arrive. Fun fact, baby is due the day after Skyler’s birthday!

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Even though the carousel horses were sleeping for the night in their glass barn (ah the stories you have to tell to children so they don’t despair!), using them as a backdrop was a great setting for us! Miss Skyler even photo-directed this next shot:

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We all love our mommas, but I think she’s a bit of a daddy’s girl, like me 🙂

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We also couldn’t have a complete shoot without a few one-on-one’s with the beautiful mom-to-be. Seriously, if being 9 months pregnant looked this good on everyone, there would be so many more babies in NYC!

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And as the sun began to set to the west, beyond the towering buildings of lower Manhattan, I was able to sneak this shot of the two love birds before the security guards told us to get off the grass (they fortunately let us take our time – who rushes/ yells at a pregnant lady?!).

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And one of Skyler, of course. I have a feeling that this little girl is going to do big things!

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Oh, and if you haven’t already guessed, it’s a girl.

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All in all, this was the best way to spend my evening last Wednesday. I was so completely wrapped up in the love and happiness of this family that I forgot it was the one year anniversary of my dad’s passing. This photo session reminded me of why I love what I do – Photography not only captures fleeting moments of time, but allows us to reveal the true essence of a person’s soul. If anything, it gives us a beautiful memory to hold close in our hearts that will literally live on for generations to come.

I continue to cherish each memory of my loved ones – whether they have passed or simply left my path of life for the time being. I don’t wallow in misery when I look back on photos with my dad; instead I am able to travel back in time to those exact moments and remember the sound of his voice, his tenderness, his love. And as my wonderful step-mom says, “Love is in front of you, behind you, beside you, and within you always”.

I like to think you can alternate Love with Family.

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To all the families out there, you are all pillars in each others’ lives. Hold each other close, forget your conflicts and resentments – family is forever my dears.

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A Good $100 Spent…

I am currently running a new client head shot session special for one-hundred buck-a-roos in NYC/ Brooklyn. Today, Matt braved the sweltering heat and met in Williamsburg to take some outdoor head shots to take advantage of my deal. Photos taken use 100% natural light, no flash, lighting, or reflectors (good God, really?!) – all you need is that perfect 7-8pm July sunshine!

Included are some of my favorites from today. Live in NYC? Use ANY kind of social media, or have your beautiful face out in the cyber universe? You might want to consider getting some updated head shots… you know where to find me 🙂

-emily

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Mittens

A few weeks ago I visited my brother and sister-in-law down in San Antonio, TX for a much-needed long weekend away from the hot mess of a city New York is. I was SO looking forward to bringing my camera around on our daily adventures throughout the city and country, but was pleasantly surprised that my favorite photographic subject was right under my nose.

Meet Mittens. The. Cutest. Little. Kitten. Ever.

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I was posting a couple instagram photos here and there during my stay with many requests for more, so I’m taking the opportunity now to share my top favorites with you. And who doesn’t like a good post on cats, let alone kittens?! I mean, really.

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Mittens was what you could call a home-made rescue. After returning from a weekend away, Jenna (sis-in-law) heard cries for help in the yard, but couldn’t see where they were coming from. After spending a good amount of time searching, Jenna finally found a teensy, flea-infested, skin-on-bones kitten curled up in a small niche in their outdoor stone wall. Jenna brought her straight to the Vet, got her poor paw checked out (missing a couple toes, but who needs all of them anyway?), and was quickly on the path to recovery. Lots of love and snuggles helped too.

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So by the time I arrived in San Antonio, Mittens was just getting acquainted with big Sis, Willow (calico/tiger) and brother, Squeaks (white/ brown)  – also fellow rescue kitties.

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Favorite activities for Mittens include climbing up curtains and maxi dresses, chasing balls, running through the house like a maniac, and napping in the corner seat of the lush sectional, aka the best seat in the house. She knows what’s up.

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The next time I make it back to SA, miss Mittens will have grown out of her kitten-ness, so I’m glad I could meet here early on! I have a sneaking suspicion she’ll be a total goof…

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Photo tips: For lighting, I kept things natural. I used a f2.8 aperture, a fairly fast shutter speed to catch this zippy rascal, and Fotor to add in the neat contrast effect (highly recommend the tool!).

Enjoy 🙂

The Professional Headshot: A Must-Have!

Take a quick look at your social networking profile photos. Are they inconsistent, out-dated, blurry, or the she-totally-cropped-that-dude-out photos? I cannot stress the importance of having a bright, clear and up-to-date professional head shot to represent your best self in today’s crazy world. First impressions go a long way! You’re not only presenting your skills, connections, and capabilities online, you’re showcasing your best asset – you! Decent head shots are paramount if you’re looking for a new job, making and maintaining new connections, etc.

Here are a few tips of the trade I’ve learned in this niche photography market. I’ve even offered up myself as sacrifice for examples!! Lucky you 🙂

1. Don’t Over-Think It: It’s not as difficult as making a souffle, people! You have one simple mission: be relaxed, and be yourself, and press the shutter button. Have some fun.

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2. Dress the Part: If you’re a handy-man by trade, you can skip the suit. I don’t think this tip re:wardrobe needs too much explaining, but I recommend you look clean, well-groomed, and have that put-together look (ie. no rolling out of bed!). Wear solid colors, preferably darker tones and avoid bright colors and prints that will distract your audience from you. Oh, and ladies – keep it light and natural on the makeup. Highlight under the eyelids, put a little blush on the cheeks, and give the lips just a slight pop. Look at me all fancy in a suit & pearls!

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3. The Setting: I love shooting people in their natural work habitats or up against a solid, well-lit backdrop (ie. my favorite Robin’s Egg Blue drop as pictured from my home studio). Remember, you are the center of attention, so the simpler the background, the better. And if you are going to be in a room, make sure everything behind you is clean and orderly (no clutter!).

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4. Face forward: I, like many of you, am VERY conscious of my face’s many “best angles” when I am getting my photo taken. Many of us are most comfortable with photos taken at a slight angle, but you are so much more assertive with a head-on glance – trust me! Remember, this is a great opportunity to let your personality shine, so show those pearly whites… or not 🙂

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This, my friends, is the finished product. This is me, facing forward, in a title-appropriate blouse (yippee photographer!), hair brushed, and pearly whites beaming. Having a great head shot for your social media sites will help others see your confidence and positive spirit before they connect with you online or in person. By no means do you need to copy my style or follow my tips, but I hope you can take away the effectiveness of a good profile photo for representing your best self in the great, vast, unknown cyber universe.

Danielle & Tony – Part II Engagement Shoot

I told you there would be more of these cutie pies! Danielle & Tony swap the threads and we head off again into the late afternoon for more engagement photography in the Pine Hills, MA. Oh and their adorable pup Coco came along as well 🙂 The warm evening light around 6:30pm and full shade coverage makes for an excellent natural lighting setting.DSC03700 - Version 2

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DSC03770Mark your calendars for August 31st, when this adorable duo will finally say “I Do!”

Danielle & Tony – Engagement Shoot Part I

I honestly can’t think of a better way to spend a glorious Sunday afternoon than with two people madly in love with each other. This past Sunday I had the pleasure to meet Danielle & Tony and capture their electric love with my camera(s) in tow. They’ll be saying their I Do’s in just a little over two months. This collection of my personal favorites from our balmy June afternoon together serves as Part I of their engagement shoot. Yes, there will be a part two, and stay tuned for the scene/ outfit change 🙂

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We ventured on down the winding dirt road of the Pine Hills (MA) and came across one of those iconic open fields. Needless to say, we stopped here to begin the shoot.

She Said Yes, of Course!

That’s right, ladies. He. put. a. ring. on. it. And it’s quite gorgeous too!  A combination of Danielle’s mother’s diamond and their own intricate design.

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And amazingly, we didn’t attract a single tick in this field! I am still shocked (and doing tick checks!).

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Sneaking in a few kisses here and there is always allowed in my book.

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Beautiful Bride to Be

The Beautiful Bride to Be.

Road Together

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He put a ring on it

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 The big day is just right around the corner on the 31st of August. In the meantime, you’ll find this adorable pair decorating their new dream home, playing with their adorable pup Coco (photos to come, I promise!), and taking long strolls into the sunset.

Stay tuned my lovelies for a change in scenery and outfits!

~ em

Can we start blooming yet?

If you live north of Atlanta and east of the Mississippi, then you know this winter was rough. It was so rough that I am inventing a walking sleeping bag that generates heat using a combination of solar and infrared radiation that covers you head-to-toe, allows for mobility (and easy off for those who drink too much coffee in the morning), doesn’t make you look like a tire company mascot, and keeps your fingertips and toes from turning blue… just kidding, I’m not that tech-savvy. But someone should get on that. Pronto. Especially for us worker-bee’s who have the pleasure of working outside in white-out conditions for hours on end!

End rant.

I am however growing a bit weary of New Yorkers complaining about the weather. It’s the first day of SPRING tomorrow for Pete’s Sake! And if it’s not a bright, sunny 60 degrees, I know many of you will have something to say about it. Let’s all just take a step back, and savor the sweet fact that tomorrow will be a little warmer (maybe), the sun will shine just a pinch longer, and maybe – just maybe that last bit of dirty, yellowish-brown snow in the shady corner of the street will melt. After all, 99% of the 3-foot deep slush/ garbage juice lagoons at the corner of each crosswalk have disappeared! If that doesn’t make you delighted, I don’t know what will. 

So that said, let me introduce you to something you haven’t seen in a while.. Blossoms!

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Captured in the Wellesley College Greenhouse a couple weeks ago. Enjoy, put a smile on your face, and embrace spring when it gets here in T-minus 3 hours!

 

xx emily

 

ps – and here’s a sneak peek of an engagement shoot at the same greenhouses – more to come!!! I’m SO excited about these two (hint: I’ve known one of them since 4th grade!)

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Photo Session: Jordan Rose

Sunday afternoon in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. A balmy 30 degrees Fahrenheit keeps things indoors for the most part today during Jordan’s photo shoot. Head shots with a bit of a color pop to them are key if you want to make it big in this city. Note our favorite zing of red… Eye-catching, no?

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Jordan Rose. Actress.

For fun, we tried the Pin-Up look on for size. It fit.

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Jordan, Pin-Up style.

We eventually ventured outside to enjoy the beautiful weather (note, sarcasm – I really hate the cold!) and found some greenery! Astro-turf braided chain-link fence makes for an excellent backdrop. I’m thinking girl next door?

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Astro-turf, meet Jordan.

And to close out our session for the day, we found a lovely red door. I can’t get enough of this color. Seriously.

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Red. Red. Red. Pairs excellently with Jordan.

Well my dears, till next time. If you venture to the Williamsburg area or find yourself within a 2-mile radius of this village, let’s take some snaps!