brooke

well hello!

It's been a while (thanks for hanging in there).

So much has happened since I was last on here and there are reasons for my absence which I won't go into. Maybe one day but not now. I'm back, I'm excited, and I'm ready to create more art with everyone.

Brooke and I go way back and she's actually the younger sister of a very good friend of mine. We caught up, talked through life things, and I peed my pants a little (it just always happens- at this point it doesn't surprise me anymore). She is an 11/10 on the cool scale and I've already thought about how to up my game in the department. It's not going well so far, I probably should just shoot for realistic goals like showering.

Scroll away for some platinum locks and moody feelings.

2016

It feels like I've been sitting on these photos for a century. Coming up on a year not sharing some of these images and it kills me. Last year this time, I held in my arms a little 4 week old baby boy and I devoted my time nearly completely to the joys + challenges of becoming a family of four. I knew I wanted to give my children my everything. And for me personally, it would mean my business taking a back seat. To add to the chaos, we threw a move to Grand Rapids, Michigan into the mix. Uprooting our family during such a fragile time broke me into so many little pieces, I'm still healing, gathering, and rebuilding. All of this can't go without saying how grateful and beyond blessed I have felt by the people who have reached out to me regardless of these enormous changes. They were patient beyond belief and their encouragement flowed so freely. I'm in awe of my community, words fail me. I've been able to experience the growing pains of an evolving artistry that could have only taken place with the support of those around me. I'm excited for what's ahead. I'm ready to celebrate what will be different, but also what will remain the same. I'm still me. But I'm a different me. Maybe you can relate // if you can let's connect and make something great.

Ok I'll save more for another time. No more waiting, here's some of my favorites from 2016.

amanda + jay

I don't live in New Jersey for nothing guys. I love Princeton. In no way do I look like I belong there, but I freaking love it regardless. Amanda and Jay live in the area and you better believe I shot them an email saying LET'S DO THIS. Lucky for me, they were all about it.

Amanda and I were roomies back in the day. Two New Jersey gals attending a really (extremely) remote college in upstate New York. Breaking rules left and right. And by breaking rules I mean we didn't make our beds. More on that another time (wink). The environment was strict to say the least and Amanda, being the human equivalent of a chill pill, was everything I needed that year. And I was happy to lend her a little bit of my crazy in return. Jay was the cool dude kicking around the soccer ball that we didn't know would end up putting a ring on her finger. We're both so glad he did.

These two are making their love permanent in two weeks and I. can't. wait.

JEFF + CAROLINE wedding

These days my life is mostly consumed by sippy cups and newborn diapers. But in my spare time, I do this. I get invited to these wonderful, life-changing events with amazing people and I get a front row seat (literally had a front row seat, felt so VIP). Caroline is an old friend and it was the sweetest thing to listen to her and Jeff's story during the ceremony. How they had overcome the doubt and skepticism that surrounded the very idea of marriage until they had met one another. Everything about their day was completely them, down to the smallest detail. Their trust in me was so humbling and quite frankly, something I needed. That's the thing about this job... you're hired to do something you love and yes, it's a crazy lot of work (more than you realize, more than I ever knew) and yet, it gives back in such monumental ways. It's the best and I can only say, thank you. Thank you Jeff and Caroline and for everyone else who's signed their life away to me this past year (wink wink). I've left some solid gold for you below. Only one thing left to do now, and that's SCROLL.

later gator.

JOSH + STEPH

So before this shoot, there was a lot of planning. And re-planning. Then planning again.

May was not being the sun-filled month it promised me and was instead down-pouring every weekend it could. These two were making the trek out from Connecticut for their session and I wanted it to be perfect for them. The weather forecast did not look promising at all. But instead of panicking, they decided to go for it. Rain or shine, this was happening.

We decided to go for a morning session (YES) and it's possibly my new favorite time of day to shoot. Steph came over early for makeup and we were able to chat about all things adult since we'd left high school. Josh became best friends with my two-year-old and she was pretty insistent that he not leave, ever. Everything was so laid back and comfortable. We arrived on location and took a stroll through what looked like a scene right out of Twilight. Flowers had bloomed literally everywhere and everything was so green.

It was kind of the perfect morning. It's nice when work gives back to you in such a simple but significant way. To Steph and Josh, I can't wait for October (rain or shine!)

simone and sequins

Winter is rough for me.

I don't like the cold, the near constant cloud cover or being confined indoors. Let's just say I'm ready for spring the day after Christmas. No need to delay it any longer than that. Winter is slow. Too slow.

I decided I needed to do something creative... shocker. But more importantly, I needed to get behind my camera. There's something about this outlet that works for me... that breathes life back into me.

Simone and I had a lot of fun driving around avoiding the rain, getting stuck in mud and being yelled at by strangers and police. Things turn really official once the police get involved. Especially for something crazy like parking in a handicap spot in an empty lot. Crazy photographer.

Here's the thing, I don't recall a shoot where everything went just as planned. There's always some deviation, or something unexpected that pops up. And that's straight up a-okay with me, let's do it.

For all you ladies who want to get a little dressed up and have fun in front of a camera, let me know, I'm ready for you.

hair: Danielle Hardy (CUT Artisan.Hair.Design.) makeup: Krysta Seal

florals: Greens and Beans (Clinton, NJ)

DONNY + VICKY

I was asked by a mutual friend to cover this event. I didn't really have a ton of details on it which maybe added to it's magic.

I remember seeing the setting sun, the leaves rustling in the breeze. The pond just to the left of us adding a certain stillness to the evening and reflecting the wonderful fall sky. The guests all settling under the big oak tree where the ceremony would take place. Decorations hung here and there, all done with the careful touch of something homemade. It was all brought together, so simple yet so unmistakably beautiful. Yes, so magical.

And as incredible as our surroundings were, nothing compared to what we were all there for. What really brought us together.

Donny and Vicky. Married for 10 years, and ready, willing, wanting to say 'I do' all over again, eyes wide open. There's something supernatural about that if you ask me. And by far, the most magical part of this night. I heard an officiant from another wedding recently say something that has stuck with me so I'll leave you with it here.

"Marriage is not a guarantor against suffering, or even against loneliness. It's not a magical way to be secure and sure. If anything, it's an invitation to a new sort of risk, because now you rely so truly on someone else, to one another, and yet you do so knowing (deeply knowing) that this risk is yet the better way."

CAROLINE + JEFF

I've known Caroline since high school. We met our freshman year, we were taking our first and last class together because she was way smart and well, let's just say I lacked some motivation in the academic arena.

Caroline was that girl you passed in the hall who always had a smile for you. And not in a weird cheesy way. That was just her. I'm sure she had bad days, just like everyone, but she always had something encouraging to say, something uplifting to lend you and I'll never forget it. I never felt unwelcome, undeserving, or uninvited around her. At almost any given moment, she had the ability to listen and love others despite her own circumstances. As far as I'm concerned, we need a whole lot more Caroline's in this world- love you girl.

Jeff is the guy she chose, and who chose her. They so easily belong. We grabbed some burgers (side of fries obviously) after their session and it was fun to reminisce on the old, and catch up on the new. Their wedding is coming up so quick and it's going to be an emotional doozy for me, I can already tell. But those are the best kind, and I can't wait. 

DANIELLE

A few images from an ongoing portrait project that may never end. I just love them too much to stop. For now at least.

And I think you'll agree that pretty much everyone from here on out should wear a flower crown. Enjoy seeing this beautiful person I get to call friend. Beware, her inner beauty rivals her exterior and I'll always love that about her.

CHRIS + SARAH

Oh man. This one.

Summing up this one will be hard. Emotions so high and love so strong. Sometimes there’s no words to describe a day, and aren’t those the best kind… I’ll do my best to give words to what I can, and for what I can’t, well, you’ll see.

Sarah has energy. Passion. She’s gifted and she’s strong. She’s one of those people you meet and you can’t quite put a finger on it, but they’ve got that little something extra special. That sparkle. She is a light in the darkest room. Quick and sharp, yet gentle and kind. That’s Sarah. Fire and light.

My introduction with Chris was brief. And with a few minutes left before the ceremony, I anticipated a different person. He was quiet but not shy. Completely collected. And ready. Ready for the day. Ready for forever.

Separate, they were awesome. I loved them from the moment I met them. But together.

Together, they could light a fire on water.

And that’s impossible… so you get my meaning. The rest I’ll leave to the photos. And to Chris and Sarah- have a happy forever.

ALEXANDRA

I love to create. I always have and I always will.

So as things pick up in business land, I wanted to find a way to protect my inner artist and the creative process. I never want to lose sight of what inspires me and what pushed me to start my own business in the first place. I want to shoot for the heck of it. Get lost in it and see what comes of it. I want to push beyond my comfort level and maybe even those of the people I will be shooting. It’s easy to stand still, but I want to keep moving.

I’ve decided to take on a project that’s pretty simple. A portrait a week. It’s nothing new, nothing unique. But I’d like to think it could become something new and unique to me. Over the next few weeks (as time allows) I will be shooting those who are nearest and dearest to me.

So that’s who this is. You’ve never met anyone as kind as Alex. And I mean KIND. She literally is overflowing with encouragement and it’s my life goal to keep her with me at all times. She is also extremely beautiful and has just started her first position as a genuine Physician’s Assistant. So CONGRATS and THANK YOU for being so incredible, Alex. And hi to the car that honked at us.

I present to you, my friend, Alexandra.