To the Mom Who is Tired,

I see your struggle. I can only imagine all the things that you do every single day. Things you never imagined were even possible for one human being. You take care of a home, a partner and your children all at once. And not only do you take care of them but literally every decision you make all day has a consequence that effects the ones you love the most. I cannot imagine the burden and the struggle you feel on an every day basis. But I sure wish I could.

You see I’m a 35-year-old single woman and I decided 11 years ago that I would follow my passion to be a photographer. But I ALWAYS knew someday I wanted to be a mom. I love my business with all my heart. I fight with her, cherish her, honor her, get angry with her, feel her losses and her wins. She’s the first thing I think about when I wake up and the last thing that crosses my mind when I go to bed.  As you can tell, I found the love of my life at an early age 😉 That being said, the longing to be a mom has never faded, not one bit.

       This brings me to the conversation I recently had with some friends at dinner. We were talking about Facebook, what people post and all of a sudden I came out of nowhere and went on a rant about moms who were tired. I said “I wish I was tired from being a mom.”
what-mothers-day-means-to-me

I promise I won’t pretend to know what it is to feel the feelings of a mom. But I can’t help but wonder, why are kids the acceptable reason to drink wine every night? Why are kids the reason we let ourselves go both physically and mentally? Why are kids the reason we stop having sex with our partner? If we knew these consequences to begin with- would we go back and make the same decisions?

I simply don’t have these answers because maybe my rose colored-childbearing-years don’t allow me see these as the realistic results of what it means to be a mom. All I see is love. But to be honest, if it were up to me I would be the most haggard, tired, and happiest mother I could possibly be.

I see the moms who can’t wait for their kids to go to bed, the moms who wish Christmas vacation was over, the moms who feel like summer vacation will never end. If I had a job that was 24 hours a day, 365 days a year I’d be looking for my break too! But I think it’s important for all of the moms (and dads) reading this to just take one minute, one hour or one day to reflect on how lucky they are to have this little human being who calls you mom. These tiny souls who look to you as their connection to this world.

I know I don’t struggle alone. I know people who have tried to have children and couldn’t.  I know people who have lost children before they were even born as well as those who lost them at a young age. Guess what, none of it’s fair and none of it makes sense. Instead of pointing fingers at the mom who is tired I want to hold her hand and remind her that she’s doing a great job. You may be tired but you are very fortunate and you are very loved.mom life

One thing is for sure, I know I will have a child or children of my own someday. I am confident that this is a part of my life that I simply haven’t experienced yet. But as I wait, patiently, I read and envy those tired moms and can only hope that one day my Facebook status will be about how exhausted I am or how I can’t wait for my kids to go back to school. That will be my most favorite Facebook post of all.

And to the moms who read this and had a moment to reflect- I honor you, I cherish you and I hope you see yourself with the wide eyes of wonder that I already see you with. You’re doing it and you’re doing an amazing job- don’t ever forget that. Maybe one of these days I’ll meet you at the playground in the middle of the morning and convince you that its wine thirty and we can bitch and moan about how these small terrors are simply the loves of our lives. And at the end of the day I’ll fall asleep out of exhaustion as a result of the love I gave all day long.

Advertisements

Capture Photography- Part 2

So if you didn’t read the first part of how Capture was born- check it out HERE. We left off and I was 18 years old and realized that not only do I love photography but I was pretty flippin’ good at it. I came to the point that it was time to go to college and I narrowed my search down to one school- the school in the town where my favorite singer lived- Ani Difranco. I mean how else do you base life altering decisions at 18 other than choosing a college based on where your feminist-kick-ass-angry-half lesbian favorite singer grew up. Oh and did I mention that town is Buffalo, NY? Doesn’t Buffalo, NY just scream sun, fun and college parties? I filled out the paper work, wrote my college essay on a goddamn type writer (what is it 1827?!) and got accepted. My dad put down the 1st semesters tuition, we went to visit (yes drove all 9 hours there and 9 hours back), I got my roommate and then decided two weeks before school started that this was a horrible idea, I don’t know what to do with my life and the world should probably just end at this point.
My dad was in France on a business trip and I made the international phone call from our land line that probably cost a fortune but did I happen to mention that my dad already PAID for the first semester of college that I was no longer going to? So I figured we probably even. (insert “still feeling guilty,” emoji here). After that very difficult phone call, a lot of tears, and some internal gut punching, my dad, stepmom and I sat down and looked at some options for me. We decided I would move in with them in Fairfield and go to the college down the street who graciously accepted me about 7 days before school started- Sacred Heart University.
I spent the first year not knowing what I wanted to do but I continued to feel a calling to photography. But Sacred Heart didn’t offer it as a major and my dad wasn’t too keen on spending any more money on a decision I clearly wasn’t ready to make. So I decided to take it upon myself to go to and pay for night classes in New Haven at the Creative Arts workshop. I spent my days in a college classroom and my evenings in a darkroom and tried to find more than just a grade out of either. It was time to do some serious soul searching and figure out what I wanted out of this life. That is such a tough age though when I think about it. The first year when you are a even considered an adult you are supposed to know what you want to with the rest of your life and if you don’t know what that is, you feel completely lost.
The next four years I worked hard on myself, dealt with some demons, learned some hard lessons about my past and tried to figure out who I really was. I was so fortunate to have gone to Sacred Heart because it was there that I developed my love for travel. I spent one semester in Ireland and one in Australia. The one constant that never changed no matter how confusing things got or what continent I was on- was photography. It once again proved to be a saving life partner that would be on my journey with me no matter what. My love for photography was and continues to be the only thing in my whole life that has never changed. It has only grown stronger and stronger each year as I try to make my way out of the rabbit hole.
When I graduated college I found myself Boston bound. Me and five girlfriends from high school all moved up there after college and lived either with each other or a few blocks away. What an amazing time! It was like the real world. I had six, count them- six roommates at one point. I had a job I hated but who the fuck cared, I wasn’t in Boston to work, I was in Boston to live! Little did I know that those two things have a lot more in common than you think and one year at a job I hated was enough for me to decide it was time for a change. I moved back to Ct to be closer to my family.
When I got to Ct I got the job that nearly all college grads get. The description will read something like, “Sales/Marketing executive position wanted: Excellent benefits, great base pay with commission and bonus available at all levels. Flexible hours and vacation time.” The college grad’s eyes light up and think- how amazing! Whether its selling knives, cars or newspaper advertising (like I did) it should read more like this: Sell your soul! Work the worst hours and get turned down 90 out of 100 times. Let people say no and say no often with anger at the mere sight of you. Don’t expect to hit those commissions or bonus’s because most people don’t want what you’re selling anyways so be ready to depend on that very low base pay that won’t be enough to cover the rent of your very first own place. Oh and you have to work here 27 years before you get a day of vacation. Apply today!”
Part of the reason I moved home was that my second niece had been born in March and I wanted to be closer to both my nieces. If you haven’t noticed I take the Auntie role with pride and always have. The thing is, that second niece wasn’t due until May 27th and on March 10th little baby Bella at 2 lbs 11 oz was born. This event rocked our whole world. The day I met her I of course brought my camera to document this life changing event. She was tinier than tiny could be. And in all the craziness, the tests, the tubes and the tears her 3 year old sister Hannah starred up at the TV in the hospital to watch cartoons. Probably the only thing that made any sense to her at this point with everything going on. I saw her simple innocent face in all the chaos of the unknown when it came to Bella’s life at that point and I snapped a photo. This was the result and THIS was the photo that began Capture Photography.

Capture-

Todays post is of course brought to you by Ani Difranco-

The story behind the photography

So this month marks ten years since my baby, Capture Photography, was born. Can you imagine that ten years ago I had this crazy dream of owning a photography business and here I am, literally living the dream. The story itself is definitely one that needs to be shared, because well its the story of my lifetime.

In high school I couldn’t wait to be a junior. Being a junior meant you could take photography so of course as soon as I could- I signed up and fell in love. I remember the very first photograph I took. It was the bottom of a fence with a rain drop falling off of it. Now when I took this photograph I saw it from start to finish, unlike how I take photos today. I took the photo, imagined what it would come out like, rolled out the reel of film from the camera, put it in a black bag and got the film out without being able to see it because of course it couldn’t be exposed to light (similar to a magic trick really). From there I would make a “contact sheet,” which allowed me to see a 1×1 view of the photos from the film and then coordinated the picture from the contact sheet with the negative that would become a print.  Using mixtures of developer bath, stop bath, and fixer bath I would slowly but surely create an actual photograph. Do you know what I do now? I take a photo, it’s captured on a memory card in my camera, I put that card into a card reader and the photos appear on my computer screen.

I am so happy to say that I learned photography the “old fashion,” way. Learning how the photo is actually created is the foundation of taking a good photograph. As old as I sound saying this- these kids these days have no idea how easy they have it! The camera in most smart phones alone is better than cameras that cost hundreds of dollars back in the day!

So now the story. I fell in love with photography from that first rain drop and I spent hours upon hours in the darkroom. In fact until this very day every time I hear the Black Crowes song “She talks to Angles,” I am instantly taken back to that dark room in Daniel Hand because it was one of only 3 CDs that circulated in there. The darkroom was my constant. The darkroom was always there whenever I needed it. It was there through every tough time I had at the age of 17 and 18 and for that, I will be forever grateful to that 10×10 space. As a senior there was a competition and as students we had to create a theme and use our photographs to express that theme. I decided that my theme would be contrast and to display that I showcased photos from the country and the city. In addition to the subject matter having contrast, the photos which were black and white were developed with high contrast, the whites pure white and the blacks dark as night. With photos on each side, the song “Southern California Wants to be Western New York,” by Dar Williams was written in the middle.

There were two other photographers in my grade that were amazing. As much as I loved them as friends, I was highly competitive against them and knew that if I had any chance in this competition it was either second or third to these two talented chicks, that was my very best hope in being a part of this. The judges came in during the day and the show for friends and family was at night. Basically once you walked into the school, you found your piece and saw if there was anything next to it. My mother came with me and as we walked the halls we past by the first girls photography exhibition, 2nd place. “Thank god,” I thought, there was room for me in 3rd. The next hallway had the second girls work and it said 3rd. My heart was crushed. CRUSHED. I can’t believe I after all the hard work, the talent I thought I had, the hours that went into this project, the time spent in the darkroom day after day, night after nigh there was no room for me in 2nd or 3rd place. My work was in the next hallway. We went over because of course I wanted to show my mom my piece. We turned the corner and you know how you have moments in your life that you will never ever forget? The turn of the corner where my work was displayed on the right side at the very end of the hallway, against a horrible tan cheap wall made of plastic, there was my work with a blue ribbon hanging next to it. First place. My mom and I tried to comprehend what we were seeing and from there it was just tears and screams of joy. We didn’t care who saw or heard us.

Looking back in retrospect I’m amazed at the honest lack of self confidence that at no point between one hallway and the next did I ever have a moment when I considered that maybe since they were second and third, that I was first. It simply was just never a thought. That night, till this day, was one of the best nights of my entire life. That night confirmed that my love for photography was more than a passion, it was a purpose. So at 18 I found my purpose. Imagine that. Imagine being an 18 year old girl with the world at your fingertips and there it is right in front of you- the gift you were born with, the gift that would make the rest of your life complete.

So then I went to art school, got a degree in photography, started a business and I slept soundly every night. Every word in that last sentence is a lie but wait till you hear the truth because from 18 till now has been one hell of a ride and I wouldn’t change any turn for the world. To be continued…

For the purpose of this post I dug out the project, enjoy 🙂

And todays post is brought to you by the song that brought the photos together,

 

How to make me work double for the same amount of money

I have the type of job that allows me to use my creativity in so many ways. A few times a year I’ll do a shoot that allows me complete creative freedom but in between those, I find ways to explore this creativity through the jobs I’m given. Each job is different from the last even if its the same type of job. For example I photograph weddings almost every weekend in the summer and fall but no two weddings are the same. Sure there are similar timelines and routines but the couple is what makes each job different.

Last week I had a wedding that simply reminded me of why I love what I do. This amazing couple, Mandy and Mike who got married at Saybrook Point Inn, lit up my life! When I originally met them I knew there were a perfect fit for me, the perfect capture couple. When I meet potential clients I screen them as much as they screen me. I need to make sure I feel a connection with them, I need to make sure they are looking for the type of photography I provide. I am not your typical photographer. Yes I get gorgeous photos of your family and bridal party when they are sober and dressed to the 9’s but the rest of the day I want to document the wedding as it happens. I want to capture the smile your mom has when she laughs, not when she says cheese. So if I meet people who are looking for a formal photographer who will continually pose people all day long I simply let them know I am not the right fit for them. Then I am happy to provide a few names of great photographers who have that style.

Think of choosing a wedding photographer being like choosing a college. Each person has specific needs and wants. Do they want a big school with a large campus or would something smaller feel with more community feel? Not everyone is going to want to go to a party school, some want to go based on the sports program, others want to go for the specific major while others don’t know what they are interested in yet. Some couples know exactly what they want, some learn during the process what they need, but they all want to find one that is their perfect match.

So back to Mandy and Mike. They are a great fit for each other and that couldn’t have been more obvious then on their wedding day. First of all they are so madly in love, you couldn’t help but smile and feel that love radiate from them.  Here is the part that makes my job so fulfilling- they gave me complete creative freedom. When I met with them a few weeks before the wedding and asked if they had any list of pictures they knew they wanted they simply said, “We trust you to get us everything we need.” Now when I tell you this is the best thing I client can say- I am not exaggerating. I work SO hard knowing my clients have complete trust in me. Its a wonderful feeling knowing that they hired me based on my vision. A lot of people get caught up in their own vision of their wedding photographs. They may even find photos that they want to recreate (hello Pinterest!). What I always tell those people is- let’s create our own photo! Why do something that has already been done by a couple who isn’t you? Let’s make photographs that represent the two of you. Why would we want to recreate someone else love when it is so different from yours?

I take the time to get to know my couples very well. I used to shoot about 30 weddings a year and 4 years ago I changed my entire business plan to cater to only 15 weddings a year for the purpose of giving my clients a more personalized experience. This personalized experience is demonstrated best by the photos we take. My creativity mixed with their story is what creates the end product. Mike and Mandy were amazing clients and I was so lucky to have them. Their trust in my gave them a final product of pure love and joy that they will hold on to for the rest of their lives. So next time you give me a job and want me to work twice as hard for the same amount of money simply give me creative freedom and you’ll see the world through my eyes which is pretty fucking beautiful. Congrats Mandy and Mike and thank you for the reminder of why I do what I do.

 

13445495_10154247907419547_6859408718520285479_n 13522059_10154247873869547_8083756131336245854_n13507144_10154247857474547_1454302021543115125_n

The 24 Hour Rule

I am constantly trying to grow, adapt and live out of my comfort zone. I made up this saying when I was a teenager and I still use it today. “Will it matter in 24 hours?” I used to use this line when trying to convince friends to do something stupid, inappropriate or something that could potentially get us in trouble. For instance I would stand up on the cafeteria table and do my impression of Pat from Saturday night live. Did it matter that I made a huge scene while simultaneously making my friends to laugh till they cried? No.

Unknown

To be honest, I really didn’t give a shit about rules or consequences when I was younger and I would never say I was a bad kid but I tested the limits for sure. Having this lack of fear gave me a free ride to some amazing life experiences. This behavior has been instilled in me but the older I get the more consequences matter. Little by little they creep up on me. Things like bills, my health and well-being and overall anxiety sometimes gets the best of me.

Rewind to my early twenties, still using this motto, my stepmom gave me her question: “How do you want this to end?” Brilliant, right? Think about the outcome you really want and then find the shortest route to it. Boom! Life changing stuff right here.

To be able to run a small business you have to be a risk taker. By the way, I’ll be writing a separate blog on how I built the business from the ground up, so no worries! Sticking to the rules is for the birds and corporate America. Some of you may not know that I worked for corporate America for 6 years before I made the big move to do Capture full-time. I was a marketing manager for a magazine. When I first got the job I loved it. When I left the job I absolutely hated it. That was a good thing though, because it gave me the push I needed to make the leap to work for myself.

533deb9b9740a72e4ccf874800a6cc6b

I look back and realize I could have made that jump probably 1-2 years before I did but it never felt right. Even the day I gave my 2 weeks notice (as amazing as it was) I wouldn’t say it felt 100% right but being at that job felt 100% wrong. The last twelve months of my job I spent my time contemplating how much I could be doing for Capture if it was my only job, where I would travel with my down time, how I could look busy while simultaneously doing nothing and positioning my computer so it looked like I was reading the screen but actually taking teeny tiny naps throughout the day.  By the way remind me to delete this blog if someday I find myself needing a job outside of photography.

64086702

Sometimes the answer to the 24 hour question isn’t always a clear yes or no but if it’s close to a no, I do whatever it is. Here are a few examples of when I said no lately:

  • Will it matter if I have the guts to tell a stranger they are beautiful? No? Good. Done.
  • Will it matter if purposely get lost in Greece to see the sights off the beaten path in hopes of amazing photos? No? Good. Done.
  • Will it matter if I ask for a photography job I want knowing there is a big possibility of rejection? No? Good. Done.
  • Will it matter if play hooky from work one day and take a boat ride because life is short and June in New England is beautiful? No? Good. Done.
  • Will it matter if I ask help from a friend when I really needed it? No? Good. Done.
  • Will it matter if I don’t make money on one job because the photos of a families adoption day are more important than income for an hour? No? Good. Done.
  • Will it matter if tell a white lie to make someone feel better about themselves? No? Good. Done.
  • Will it matter if I attempt to cook a new meal and fail miserably? No? Good. Done.
  • Will it matter if I ask a stranger on a train to switch headphones with me for a minute to hear what they are listening to? No? Good. Done.
  • Will it matter if I tell someone I love them after years of not saying it to them? Yes? Good. Done.

So your mission from me is to ask the 24 hour question this upcoming weekend. See what you find out and think about why you are saying yes or no. And for the love of God and Pixel say no at least once and do something out of your own comfort zone because as we already established- comfort zones are for the birds and corporate America.

An MBproblem for all MBproblems

So as I ventured into the blog world, a place that I have very little experience or authority being a part of, I did some research on how to create blogs that have some substance. One of the topics I came across as an idea to write about was simply, “your week in review.” So I must say, after the week I had I thought it was a perfect fit.

One night I shot an engagement session for two friends of mine that are getting married in September. I mean how cool is it have a job you love with people you love?! I knew Tijae and Joe when they started dating and it was clear to everyone that not only were they a perfect fit but their happiness is literally contagious. The best part of shooing two people who are about to get married is that the session has no lists of groups, no worries about the weather (since they can easily be rescheduled) no pressure and no time constraints. It’s simply photographing the energy between two people who are madly in love and that’s fanfuckingtastic.

We walked, we laughed, we shared stories and reminisced on moments seem like a life time ago. There is so much I can see when it comes to people and how they photograph. For me it’s not just about simply clicking the shutter, it’s literally watching how love behaves. I watch it in a laugh, a smile or how hands tighten when they hold on to the others. When I’m able to recognize this behavior and click the shutter at the right moment, I’m done my job and done it right.

I also shot a wedding and can I just say that these two people who were originally strangers quickly became clients and now have become my new bffs 🙂 They had a smaller wedding that focused on good beer, killer food, hilarious friends, great family and what I can only describe as a simple, true love. Did I happen to mention that the super awesome food and drink was not only open to the guests but to me as well? I always make sure to stop and eat at weddings but I don’t ever drink, it just doesn’t seem appropriate but when the bride and groom insist you have a lager or two, well I’m not going to say no- the client’s always right, correct?

The last part of my week can only be described as the exact opposite of all the awesomeness I just shared with you. This is one of those stories that I can’t imagine happening to anyone else, but I’m not shocked it happened to me. One evening around 10:00 at was at my local watering hole and a friend yelled, “MB your car is getting towed.” I ran outside and sprinted down main street yelling for the truck to stop. The truck stopped and he said, “Is there something you want out of the car Kate?” I replied, “Kate?” and told him he was talking to the wrong person. In a matter of 60 very confused seconds I found out this man was repossessing my car but he was looking for the previous owner who apparently owed money but he thought I was her. Of course these guys probably hear that they have the wrong person about one hundred times a day, but in this case he really did. The problem was that even though he had the wrong person he had the right the vin number which was on his order and that was all that mattered. There was nothing I could say or do to convince this guy that it wasn’t me who owed anyone money. And in a matter of seconds I watched my car get towed away, just like that.

tumblr_static_tumblr_static__640

Did I happen to mention that this was a Friday night and that the repossession company and the bank were both closed Saturday and Sunday? I had to hitch a ride from a very generous friend to the wedding. Monday morning I found out a close relative was in the hospital but I had no car to get to there! I got myself to Branford as fast as I could but I had to wait almost two hours for them to open, clear the car off their repo list, get the car out of the lot and sign off papers explaining that I didn’t owe any money and that the original lien holder was the person responsible. Can you believe this is real life?! I can’t believe that a piece of my property that I pay good money for every month (and early I might add!) was taken out of my possession for reasons beyond my control.

*when I finally got Ruby Rose back I took full advantage and got the hard top off!

IMG_3168.JPG

So there it is, my week in review. I will say that all the photos turned out amazing, the person that was in the hospital is home now and I won a nice settlement from Chrysler Financial as a result of their wrongdoings. And now I simply have another “only me,” story I can tell for years to come.

A Post About My Passion

So I photograph weddings. To date, I’ve shot about 200 weddings. This July will mark my 10th year of being a professional photographer. Can you believe it? I can’t. I started off doing weddings for free in hopes of building a portfolio all while not being fully responsible in case my photos sucked. Some people go into the business being an assistant to an established photographer and others, well others, do what I did- tip your toe in the water and then dive in, fully submerging yourself all while having no idea what lies in those murky deep waters below you.

Wedding days are long, editing is exhausting and missing your weekends starts to make you feel like less of a human being. THAT being said, I wouldn’t trade my job for any other job in the whole world.

As a wedding photographer I make thousands of decisions all day. I decide where to take the photo, how to adjust our camera settings, who to put in the photo, how to pose the people in the photo, all while understanding where the light is coming from and how I want it to factor into the picture. I go through this routine about 2500 times over the course of eight to ten hours. So now you know what goes into making a great photograph but what do I photograph?  I cover the bride getting ready, her dress, her shoes and her jewelry. I have a second shooter that backs me up and also focuses on the groom. He or she needs to get the groom getting ready, his groomsmen and any details that are unique to him. Then I need to make sure we have the bridesmaids, the groomsmen, her family, his family, her on her own, him on his own and of course the two of them together. Then we need to make sure to have any details like favors, table decor, their flowers, the cake, the food and the rings. These are things we have to get OUTSIDE of what actually takes place during the day such as the ceremony and the reception where traditional moments take place.

*Photos from my first wedding of the 2016 season last weekend at Lighthouse Point Park in East Haven. It didn’t hurt to have a kick ass bride and groom 🙂

I also have a non-shooting assistant that is my superhero. She is a friend who became a bride and then became an employee. I shot Melissa’s wedding in Key West three years ago. Since then we realized that she would be an amazing asset to Capture Photography. During any given wedding day that is full of energy and sometimes straight up stress, Melissa keeps me in check. She’s the type of person that knows what I need before I even know! It’s hard to imagine my life before her. I’m not sure if other photographers have non-shooting assistants but I feel bad for you if Melissa isn’t part of your day. She no only helps me, but she is there for every possible need the bride or groom have throughout the day. No job is too big or too small for her.

*A screenshot of Melissa holding the plate of food that she got for the bride and groom who need a snack mid-shoot. It’s a long day and our bride and grooms need to be fed!

IMG_3027.JPG

The truth is, to be a wedding photographer  you not only need to be a talented photographer you also have to be very good at marketing, business, accounting, client relationships, finances, advertising, psychology, social media, sales and bookkeeping (just to name a few). My point is that unfortunately anyone who isn’t really great at most of this stuff, regardless of their talent, will soon find that wedding photography isn’t for them.

dd60843c85db9961a263268f286f3de4.jpg

I can say one thing: it is for me. I never second guess my ability at this point, 10 years into it I know I can handle anything that comes my way. Are there some aspects I am more confident in than others? Of course! But the main thing is, like anyone who is good at their job, I feel confident in the majority of what I do.

Have I mentioned that passion that comes with it? No? Well shit, lets talk about it. I love weddings. I can say that with a huge amount of honesty-I love weddings. I love that I get to photograph one of the most memorable days of people’s life. I love that these people’s family and closest friends are under one roof to celebrate true happiness! I feel like we should all have a lot more celebrations in our life that call for these wonderful people to gather, but alas, I will settle for a wedding.

9fb687ade575436330838ef3113bede5

Now… have I seen some crazy shit? The answer is 100% yes. But you know what, that crazy shit is what makes the story of the day. And at this point in my career I’ve never encountered a wedding that had so much crazy shit it couldn’t take place. Remember, the only thing you TRULY need for a wedding is the bride, the groom and a justice of the peace. But just for fun’s sake, here are some of the things I’ve encountered over the years and once again none of these ruined a wedding, no matter how bad they were. I was at a wedding where the maid of honor fainted during the ceremony. I was at a wedding where the grandmother passed out in the bathroom and was taken to the hospital via ambulance during the reception. I was at a wedding where I wasn’t allowed to go in the church because I was a woman and I was wearing pants (I can’t make this up.) I was at a wedding where the best man was so drunk he gave a 17 minute inappropriate speech and had to be cut off. I shot a wedding where a hurricane prevented about 75% of the people from attending the ceremony, not to mention the reception hall had to close because of the storm. One time, in January, the fire alarm went off because it was faulty causing all the guests to stand outside on the coldest day of the entire year (bride and groom posed in front of a fire truck because they were kick ass!). I had a bride find out the morning of the wedding that the florist had no receipt of their order and wasn’t able to fill it the day of— leaving them with no flowers! I had a father of the bride show up to reception standing and carrying a sign that said, “I wasn’t invited!” One time the limo driver go so lost the bride showed up 45 minutes late to the church. Another time while I was shooting on a grassy area of Mystic Seaport, all the sprinklers went off soaking the bride, groom, the entire wedding party AND my equipment. On the way to a Newport wedding we stopped at subway. When we got to the wedding I realized I left my purse and wallet there and neither my second shooter nor my assistant knew how to drive stick so I had to have my friend from Newport find the subway, find my purse and deliver it to the wedding. I had a wedding where they weren’t sure if they should do it outside or in because the forecast was iffy. They decided to do it outside and I kid you not- as soon as they said, “I now pronounce you man and wife,” thunder and lighting came over the ceremony site and rain poured down. As if that wasn’t enough the fire alarm went off in the building, making everyone who ran inside— come back out into the rain. Oh did I mention the bride and groom who posed with their guns pointing at me for a photo! I could go on and on! I think one day I’ll just have to write book.

*The bride and groom who rolled with the punches that cold winter night when the fire alarm went off!

156038_548336896975_3632717_n

*The bride and groom packing. I have to admit it was a pretty f*cking badass pic. Identities concealed of course!

IMG_3157.JPG

 

As crazy as that stuff was none of it could have prepared me for the news I got earlier this year. One of my grooms had died. My heart sank to the bottom of my stomach when I heard. I remember him being one of the most ecstatic grooms I had ever met. I remember his overwhelming happiness was contagious. At one point while everyone was dancing, he stopped and took the microphone from the DJ to simply express his feelings of gratitude and happens. Everyone stopped what they were doing and listened to his words that were clearly so genuine.

I suppose I can say I’m happy I was able to photograph one of the best days of his life but it’s hard to see any positive to a crazy situation like that one. Neither me or any of his friends or family should have to be thankful for those pictures for that reason.

I will say that news hit me like a ton of bricks. I can say that now, every once in a while when I’m shooting I remember what happened to that couple and I shoot a little harder. I work a scene that is already over, I shoot a detail that might seem insignificant to me but probably means the world to them. I remember to get shots of everyone by themselves, especially the older folks as its so important for us all to have a photo that truly represents us and remind us of how beautiful we are.

So is my job all rainbows and butterflies? Well no, but sort of. I would happily take all this craziness as a part of my job everyday because it’s what I love to do. Photography makes me feel alive and when I can capture some of the greatest  moments of someone else’s life I thank god for giving me the talent to do what i love. As I mentioned before, these moments all become part of the story of the day. I try to remind my couples ahead of time to not sweat the small stuff. I try to remind them to live in the now and take each moment as part of a greater experience and truly treasure it. So for now, well who are we kidding? Forever — I will do this job and be grateful that I can call my passion my career.

Screen Shot 2016-05-21 at 4.07.51 AM

 

And this post is brought to you by a song that I loved when I was growing up and I love even more as an adult.