International Hillside Wedding in the Berkshires

My heart is so full. I just got home from photographing the wedding of a dear friend Toby and his fiancee from Germany.  This wedding ignited my passion for weddings even more.  It was a simple and intimate ceremony but set in a gorgeous location surrounded by friends and family. 

Toby had been living in Germany and I hadn't seen him in years.  I had never met his fiancee or his son, Liam, until the day of the wedding but that didn't stop me from tearing up during the ceremony! 

It was amazing to see how they had prepared so well for the moments ahead and chosen to keep it between family. They even set up FaceTime for her family in Germany to livestream the ceremony. They had their wedding bands made by local McTeigue & McClelland Jewelers.

You could tell by their smiles and the way they looked at each other that they are ready for a life together.  Those relationships are so beautiful.  It's exactly that kind of devotion to each other that makes me appreciate life and photograph weddings.  

I'm so happy I got to be a part of the day and not only did the rain hold off but Germany won their game to advance in the FIFA World Cup!


Set Up For Success

Veronica was the only person who came to my fifth birthday party.  I was only allowed to have one person over and she was who I chose.  We met in preschool and were together almost every day through eighth grade.  I didn't see her for several years between high school and college since I moved away and she lived in Boston but the minute we sat down with each other at Fiesta restaurant in Great Barrington we were right back where we left off years back.  

Yesterday I had the honor of photographing her engagement session with her fiancé  Austin in Sheffield.  We knew it was going to be cold but we didn't know how cold.  It was 27 degrees fahrenheit to be exact.  The sun helped warm us up and our commitment to the session never wavered!  Veronica just had to take her gloves and jacket off a zillion times within the hour.  It was worth every minute. 

An autumn engagement

An autumn engagement

I met Austin after he had been dating Veronica for a while and knew immediately that there was no better person for her than him.  They both grew up in the Berkshires but didn't meet until Veronica was in college when they were set up by a mutual friend at a party.  Sometimes I just have to shake my head at how good of a match these two are and I know it because Austin is also a good friend now. 

The engagement ring and looking through a cornfield

The engagement ring and looking through a cornfield

It is so much fun to photograph people who like to have fun with it.  This is a girl who studied fashion and textiles at Mass Art so she always has thoughtful and creative outfits that I love.  This is a guy who not only participates in the photo session but has ideas like the one above which makes me smile every time! 

Sheffield engagement session

Sheffield engagement session

These two are creative, healthy, driven and hilarious.  My favorite thing about them as a couple is how they make each other laugh.  Thank goodness it happens often and blesses those of us who are around them.  Speaking of which, you must meet Jasper. Adorable rescue and beloved dog of the soon-to-be-Banachs. 

The beautiful ring and Veronica & Austin walking their rescue dog Jasper

The beautiful ring and Veronica & Austin walking their rescue dog Jasper

This dynamic duo is inspiring for all the things manage to do in their lives.  Veronica is a full time teacher who has an online craft business called Every Daisy Creations and yet still has a spotless house, cooks and works out and gets to bed on time. Amazing! Austin is a chef and catering manager as well as a fitness coach who regularly meditates and still cooks at home without running out of passion for preparing food.  It's no joke either, I've shared meals with them and it's better than a restaurant!

I tell you these things because when it's easy to say "there are no good role models in healthy relationships" or "I don't have time to live a healthy life" yet their story is different.  Health and relationships are two of the major challenges in our human lives yet we waste precious time thinking about what isn't working instead of looking at what is.  These two are a great example of focusing on what you love.  

An autumnal engagement session for an autumn wedding

An autumnal engagement session for an autumn wedding

After six years of dating, Austin proposed on the top of Flag Rock in Housatonic, a spot that is special to their family.  They are engaged to be married next fall and I am so excited to be their photographer.

  From being set up at a party years ago to wedding their love together in marriage, Austin and Veronica are a fabulous pair.  One might say they were set up for success ;)






Cate Takes A Gamble

Cate and Jon met on the beach.  He was a lifeguard and she was returning a book to someone else when they started talking.  It was then that she took the gamble, but it was August 5th that they made it official.  Destiny brought her from her home state of Minnesota to sunny Santa Cruz while Jon grew up in California.  I was lucky enough to get to know them both at the beginning of their relationship and never questioned that they were meant for each other! 

One of the many amazing things about this union is not only the couple but the people by which they are surrounded.  They were lucky to have the wedding on the grounds of Horse & Heart where they live.  Horse & Heart is a fabulous organization lead by Cate's dear friend Lori Halliday.  They practice and teach Natural Horsemanship and have rescued many horses. I was so excited to photograph everyone in their natural habitat on the hill.  Having your wedding at your house is an incredible amount of work but also very convenient!  I was amazed to see how the ranch was transformed for the wedding.  

During the rehearsal we could see the breathtaking view of the Monterey Bay. The view of the bay was obscured by fog for the wedding but the sun was shining on the ceremony and the hilltop felt like a whole world of it's own.  

It was a gift to be able to be there for Cate and Jon as their photographer because I love them both and getting to meet their wonderful families and friends made it an epic day to remember. 


Analog Inspired

I was lucky enough to have film photography in high school and learn the ins and outs of the darkroom.  I was resistant to so many aspects of film photography because I was impatient but now I have grown to have a profound respect for it and often crave developing with chemicals! 

The first photograph I took was a wedding party in Central Park in NYC.  Ironically it was of a bride and groom being photographed. 

The first film photo I ever took -  Central Park, NYC circa 2005

After learning how to use film, I saved up for a digital camera.  I researched for hours and talked to my scottish Uncle Graham, also a photographer.  I decided on a Nikon D50 camera with kit lenses.  I was ecstatic when I received it and made good use out of it.  My favorite thing to do was to recruit any and all of my friends to go on long walks and have spontaneous photoshoots.  It's still one of my favorite things to do.  Fortunately they were all compliant and to their own surprise, enjoyed the process :)

Focus on what you love!