2016 Reflection

To say it’s been a year of change would be an understatement. This year also happens to be a year of firsts for a lot of things. Let’s make a list! 

 

Things I did this year:

Shot 44 Weddings. Weddings took up about half of my year and all my weekends for six months. While lead shooting is certainly preferred, second shooting is fun since it lets me try new things, meet new people, and continue to evolve my craft.

 

Went to Europe for the first time. This past May, my parents rented an apartment and lived in Paris for the entire month. Of course, we had to go visit them so we did a 9-day trip to Europe where we spent the first half in Switzerland driving around Lucerne, Locarno, Zermatt, Savisse and Geneva) and then spent the second half in Paris (Paris Pt 1, Paris Pt 2).

 

Added Nebraska, Iowa, Oregon, and Washington to states I’ve been to. On our drive to Colorado, when we were moving all of our stuff, we had to pass through Iowa and Nebraska. In November, we went to my brother’s wedding in Portland. In that same trip, we visited one of my best friends who lives in Seattle.

 

 

Moved to Colorado. You can read all about the decision in this post. But, needless to say….in April I was telling people we weren’t moving and then only three months later we decided to. Time is funny.

 

Got a cat. I forget that we only got Max in January because it feels like he’s been a part of our little family for forever. We got him at the New Hampshire SPCA, and during the car ride home he broke out of his cardboard carrier and just stared out the window. It was terrifying and adorable.

 

Added a new member to my family. My brother got married, so I now have a sister-in-law. She’s awesome and I am happy to call her family. It’s weird to think about how we are growing up, and she is a new permanent fixture to the family until we die!

 

Took my first road trip with a friend (that isn’t Nick). Nick and I drove out at the end of August and then I drove out with all my stuff in early November. I chose to take a friend with me and we made a trip out of it! Our main points of interest along the way was Niagra Falls and Chicago. You learn a lot traveling with someone and I can report back that me and my friend who came out with me still remain friends.

 

My biggest take-away from this year:

It’s okay to not fully know what I am doing. Moving turned my world upside down in the best way possible. Less than a year ago I had given up on us moving and was confidently telling people that that no longer was happening. I felt foolish because I had talked it up and now wasn’t doing it. However, on the turn of a dime and a lot of long conversations, we pulled the trigger and did it. To be completely transparent, this move has also has brought on the natural self doubt and unknowing that comes with a big life choice. Did I make the right choice? Will I make friends? Will my business be successful? While these questions circulate in my head more than I’d like to admit, deep down I know that moving was the right decision and that we will figure it out. I can confidently say I have no idea where we’ll be in a year, but there’s some sort of excitement and liberation to that. I live more as a 30’s-something in my reclusive and low-key tendencies, but the unknown direction of my life reveals that I am indeed in my 20’s and I’ve come to terms with that.

 

Here’s some cuteness for your day and for getting through this post:

 

 

Andrea + Joseph | Sudbury MA

I love weddings that shake up what I normally do. Andrea and Joseph didn’t want any getting ready or reception coverage so I was only there for their ceremony and portraits. While I love a solid full wedding day, having a shorter day can be a nice change while in the midst of full wedding days weekend after weekend. Andrea and Joseph had a gorgeous full Mass followed by the perfect lighting for group portraits right on the front steps of their church. We then headed to Grist Mill – a beautiful landscape that they often went to on dates – and photographed their wedding party and them! Thank you Andrea and Joseph for letting me be a part of your day and congratulations! 🙂

 

Courtney + John | Ludlow, Vermont

Vermont is one of my favorite states in New England so whenever work sends me there for the weekend I am more than okay with it! Courtney and John got married at the beautiful Jackson Gore Inn. Despite the rainy forecast, we stuck it out and was able to capture their beautiful portraits outside. Thanks Courtney and John for being troopers and congratulations!


 

 

 

 

 

Julia + Brian | Kehillath Israel, Brookline

Being a summer baby and being in this line of work, the likelihood of having to shoot on my birthday is pretty high. Last year, it fell on a Saturday and I somehow was not shooting. This year, I was shooting and I couldn’t have asked for a better time! Julia and Brian’s wedding was full of laughter, joy, and celebration. Their genuine love and excitement for each other was wonderful to witness and capture. Thanks Julia and Brian for a great time. Congratulations!

Sarah + Josh | Mass Audubon’s Habitat Education Center and Wildlife Sanctuary

Sarah and I met a while back when we were both camp counselors at Camp Micah. We spent a fun summer together and then retreated back to our day to day lives while still following each other on social media. When I saw she got engaged on Facebook I was more than thrilled and was so surprised and honored when she asked me to photograph her wedding. Weddings are a great way to reconnect, which I’ve been doing my fair share amount of this season.

Sarah and Jason got married at Mass Audubon’s Habitat Education Center and Wildlife Sanctuary. I had never been there before but the instant I saw it, I was in love. They had a wonderful daytime ceremony with a brunch to follow. Afterwards, everyone was invited to play lawn games and hang out with live music being preformed in the background. Congratulations Sarah and Jason!

Two Days to Denver

Three weeks ago, we set out on our drive to Denver. Leaving at 10pm and driving through the night, we made it to our new apartment in two days, one night. Originally the plan was to have two nights on the road but we were making good time and wanted to just get there.

The day we left, we still had a lot to do. The biggest challenge was our couch. Our first couch together…found on the side of the street. I don’t know how we got it into the apartment because getting it out was rough. We were thinking about the possibility of bringing the couch with us but once we decided we weren’t towing a trailer, we thought it’d be easer breaking it to get it out of the apartment. Well, easier said than done. About 2 hours later, a lot of sweat, and team moral at an all time low, we twisted the couch in half and shoved it through the door, down the steps, and onto the side of the street. After that, everything slowly came together as we packed up, loaded the car, and cleaned the apartment. By the end of the night we were just so glad to be done it didn’t even matter that we were about to drive through the night.

All images shot with my iPhone.

Above: Start of the trip. Below: The next morning. About 7 hours after the first picture. Above: Start of the trip. Below: The next morning. About 7 hours after the first picture.

We drove in 4-hour shifts, which was about the equivalent of a tank of gas. We had lots of music, a lot of coffee, and snacks. The pets did amazing. Chester, being a bunny, never makes noise so as pissed off as he probably was we didn’t hear it. Max gently meowed for a while but our music drained him out. By the next morning, he just got tired and slept. For our night in the hotel, we stayed at a La Quinta in Iowa. Fun fact: all La Quinta’s are all pet friendly and don’t require any pet fees!

The next day we took our time waking up and getting out. On the road, I thought it would be good to get the key and figure out the lay of the land before we were to move in the next day. That turned into moving in that evening so we could just be there, save money from another hotel stay, and get the pets set up.

 

Our next big thing to sort out was our bed. Since we had left the mattress and couch in Boston, we had nothing to sleep on that night. So once we got into the apartment, we went over to ikea and bought a futon. Well, we bought the mattress of the futon. The next day, we rented a uHaul van and bought the rest of the furniture we needed for our apartment. By this time, I had two days left in Denver so in that time we built most of the furniture, built Chester’s new cage, and set up the apartment.

 

 

 

On our last day, we decided to drive to Rocky Mountain National Park to remind us why we moved out to Colorado: the Rockies. It was absolutely incredible and the fact that it was an hour-and-a-half drive was surreal.

I have about six weeks left in Boston and then I’m driving out with my stuff. I am currently in Arlington living with my parents. I joke that by the time I leave they’ll be sick of me and will be relieved to see me go, hah! I haven’t really thought about the fact that I’m leaving for good because there’s still a lot going on here. I’m sure come January when I’m not in Boston, I’ll realize that I’ve actually moved.

BOS > DEN

We are moving! I still keep wanting to pinch myself to make sure this is real. I don’t know where to begin talking about moving so I’ll start with how we came to this conclusion. Warning: long post, lots of words, thinking out loud. 

Work disclaimer: I am still taking weddings for 2017 in Boston and will be flying back and forth next summer as I transition my business from Boston to Denver. 

Why Now?

It essentially started back when Nick was a 2L in law school and he kicked the idea of transferring to a Colorado law school and finishing his degree there. The seed had been planted but little did I know thee years later we’d be doing it. At that time, we chose not to because logistically it really didn’t make sense. I was in my last year of undergrad, Nick was in the throngs of grad school and we weren’t even living together at that point. Jump to the next year in February, one of my best friends moves and the itch for us to move compounds one-thousand fold. At this point we’ve been living together. Nick’s in his last semester of law school and I’m in my first job out of college being a studio assistant for a wedding photographer. Law school ends and Nick moves to full time tutoring. During the next year, we keep tossing the idea around but it doesn’t stick – happy in our jobs, scared to move, still like Boston, etc.

Now we’re up to July 2016, so last month. Nick has his one year review at his tutoring company which is the loose benchmark we’ve given ourselves. We decide that the outcome of the review could be the catalyst to moving. He has kept saying that wants to start his own tutoring company and moving would be the perfect start for that. I can do my work anywhere and it’s just a matter of being there to get it going. Speaking from experience in starting my own business, I am a huge proponent of Nick starting his own and know that now is the time to try it, when our only responsibilities are feeding ourselves and our pets.

In every discussion about this, I’ve always said “This is our time”. It sounds really hokey but I deeply feel that. Our jobs are established but not so established that we’re loosing everything by leaving. Our friends are here but we are confident that we can maintain them long distance. My parents are still here but I know they are not moving anytime soon so that won’t change no matter when we move. The biggest reasoning for me that really became apparent within this last year is that I’ve realized how important it is for myself to live somewhere else other than the place I grew up. Seeing my brother move cross country when I was in college and then my friend do the same shortly after we graduated have both teased me in the real possibility of being able to do so and knowing that I can stay connected even though I’m miles away.

The outcome of Nick’s review went well but ultimately, we decided this is our time!

Why Colorado?

Both Nick and I have been to Colorado and loved it. We have done a couple trips in and around Denver and each separately have visited through school associated trips. The summer before my senior year I got a scholarship to attend a workshop at Anderson Ranch up in Snowmass Village. It was such a wonderful workshop and driving around the mountains to take pictures was absolutely amazing. During Nick’s 3L year, he was granted funding to conduct a research trip in Breckenridge and Boulder. HIs experience was similar to mine in that he loved being in the mountains.

Together, we’ve explored Breckenridge and Denver and just really connected with the area. We love the proximity Denver has to its surrounding national parks – some of which we’ve been to and some of which we haven’t. Our love for mountains is un-matching to any other type of landscape and is something neither of us have ever lived near. We love the focus of healthy living that Denver has and the general more relaxed feel of the area. While we will be much further away from my parents, we will be closer to Nick’s parents in Texas and my brother in Oregon.

What are we going to do there?

Good question. Just kidding, we have plans! I will be working on relocating my business as a wedding photographer. For next summer, I will be taking weddings in Boston and Denver as I transition my business. Nick will be focused on building his company from the ground up with a focus on in person tutoring in Denver and the surrounding areas as well as online Skype tutoring.

When?

Earlier this month, we flew to Denver to apartment hunt. We had 48 hours in the city and man was it stressful. Luckily though we found a place that is right downtown. It’s n all amenity building which is something neither of us have experienced before so we figure, let’s try it! We also chose to live downtown because being new to a city, we didn’t want to feel isolated and alone out in the suburbs.

We will be driving out there with our pets and a trailer in two weeks. I will then be flying back to Boston to live with my parents and then drive out in November once my weddings are done.

Pictures!

If you’ve made it this far, good for you for getting through all my words. You will now be rewarded with pretty pictures. Not of our new apartment though because strangely enough, I didn’t take ANY while we were touring it. I think I was too anxious about getting one that it didn’t even cross my mind as a thing I could do. These are pictures though of our awesome hostel, Hostel Fish, we stayed in while apartment hunting. This is the first time I’ve stayed in a hostel. I had the third-tier bunk which was a bitch to get into but was really comfy once I was in it. We definitely weren’t in the most social mood that a hostel enables you to be in because we were mildly stressed about finding a place, but the accommodations were very nice and I felt comfortable hanging out and reading in the common areas.

Virginia

This summer, Nick and I are going to our first weddings together as a couple. So aside from shooting however many I’m shooting, I have three to go to as a guest. This first one was at the end of June in Virginia for Nick’s brother.

During our mini vacation, we visited the USS Wisconsin, which docks right next to the Nauticus Museum in Norfolk, VA. It was quite similar to when I visited the USS Massachusetts in Fall River. The morning of the wedding, which I’m not used to only showing up for the ceremony and reception, we drove to Virginia beach and walked around. It was super windy which was great. I love blustery beaches.

The wedding itself was very nice and maybe I shed a tear. I also couldn’t help but watch the wedding photographer. They had a bbq truck pull up to the reception room from which they cooked and served the food and it was amazing. It was a different type of bbq since we were right over the boarder into North Carolina, but I will take whatever bbq I can get!

On our drive back we made one last stop to Ocean City. We ate at this amazing crab shack where we briefly talked to the owner about crabbing. I love talking to other small business owners and while her business is quite different from my own, there were similarities I could totally relate to.

Paris Pt. II

The wedding season so far has been amazing and incredibly busy. I’ve spent the day culling a couple weddings and designing an album; however, I needed to break to share the rest of my photos from our Europe trip back in May. This is the successor to Paris Pt. I.

In the last two days of our trip, we went to the Pompidou, at night we watched the Eiffel tower light up and then went up the ferris wheel. My goal before the end of the trip was to get some elevation to see the city. We luckily found that at the top of the Pompidou and at the top of the ferris wheel! Two spots that didn’t have incredibly long lines.

Jones River Trading Wedding – Alexandra + Christian

I used to work in Hingham so when Alexandra and Christian reached out to me I was more than happy to be going back to a beautiful town I had some familiarity with. Their nuptials were at St. John’s Episcopal Church in the center of town and the reception at the Jones River Trading. The church was a church I had driven by countless times so it was great to finally go in! Thanks Alexandra and Christian for having me there and congratulations! 🙂