Some days, posts are just no brainers. And if your day starts with this, like mine did:
And your weekend consists of shoots on both Saturday and Sunday with great people and a cookout with dear friends like mine does, then I guess choosing a song entitled "Beautiful Life" would certainly qualify as a no brainer!! Happy Friday, everyone, I hope that you all have a fantastic weekend!
I just wanted to let the Class of 2015 know that even though I have officially gotten started on the Class of 2016, I have not forgotten you. So hi, how are you all doing? Are you enjoying your summer? Doing anything fun or special? If you are, I would love to hear about it. How about the parents out there, how are you doing? If your child is going to college, how do you feel about it? Are you ready? If this is not your first, did your other children come home for the summer? Is it nice having everyone under one roof again or is it getting a bit much? If it is your first off to college, what do you think, do you feel ready to send them off into the world? I am thinking of all this today partly because my daughter and her best friend just left this morning to spend a week with my mom in South Carolina and do you know what she said to me yesterday, "This will be like a test, a good chance for you to see how it is without me home." Isn't that nice of her to help me prepare like that?? The thing is I have so many feelings about her leaving that I am having a hard time keeping them straight. I am so incredibly proud and happy for her. I am also confident that she has made a great choice. But I will also miss her, of course. And not only will I miss the 18 year old Kate, I will also miss the intrepid 2 year old Kate that insisted on carrying her own bag all around Disney.
The 4 year old Kate that told me, "Mom, I would never!!" when I asked her if her preschool teacher was going to tell me that she misbehaved at school.
The girl that is so loyal that she has had the same best friends since elementary school.
The girl with lofty dreams and the drive, determination and intelligence to go after them.
So I want her to know this, if I cry when we drop you off this fall (who I am kidding, it will be when), it won't be because I am sad. It will be because I am reliving all of the wonderful times and moments and everything else that we have shared over the last 18 years. I will be watching the movie of our life together in my head, and as we both know, I have always been a sucker for a great movie!!
I met with the Durand family early Saturday morning at one of my new favorite places to take pictures nearby. The weather was less than ideal, it was a little overcast and chilly when we got started but that didn't stop the Durand family from being ideal, actually they were more than ideal, they were fabulous!! We headed right over to the boat house with its gorgeous doors and beautiful scenery and got right to work on some group pictures.
Some of the group may look familiar to you, I took pictures for the husband's extended family in December. Well this time, Mom decided that she would invite her parents to come have some pictures taken with the group. We got some of all of them together as well as some of the grandparents with their adorable granddaughters. You can tell that there is a lot of love and affection between the generations!!
We also made sure to get some of just the girls, both together and individually. It was a very exciting day for them, in addition to spending time with me (the highlight, I'm sure), the oldest had just celebrated her birthday the day before and they were planning to go see Taylor Swift later that day (okay, Taylor was probably the highlight, not me).
Of course, we got plenty of the family together, they really seem to have a lot of fun together, as well as some private jokes. In one pose, the girls called themselves the pickles!! We also got some of the various combinations like Dad and his girls and mom and her girls.
And we got some of the couples, it is so nice to see couples that enjoy each other's company so much!!
Thank you to the Durand family and grandparents! It was such a pleasure to spend some time with you in such a beautiful place. I hope that the girls had as much fun at the concert as they did with me, ha! You were all wonderful and meeting with you was the perfect way to start to my weekend!! Thanks again! Please click here if you would like to see the rest of the Durand family pictures.
When I wrote last week before my shoot with Dan that I was really excited it and really grateful that he chose the beach, I had no idea how big a bonanza it was going to be. It was the jackpot, all of my favorite types of locations all rolled into one. Colorful kayaks, beautiful green marshy area, gorgeous rock formations and fantastic views? Check, check, check and check!
Dan took his pictures at his grandparents' house so not only was it a beautiful location, it was a meaningful one as well. After we visited some spots at the beach right across the street, Dan's parents graciously drove us to some other locations. Locations that just happened to include a view of the area's lighthouse, some more incredible rock formations and a spot that is one of Dan's favorite spots to hang out.
Dan plays hockey and lacrosse in high school. What was kind of funny about this for me is that just last week I happened to be reading an article about not playing the same sport all year. In the article, there was a quote from Wayne Gretzky about the high point of the sport, "It was when I put my hockey equipment away and I was absolutely ecstatic to see the end of the hockey season.... I could hardly wait to get my lacrosse stick out and start throwing the ball against the walls and working on our moves as we played the lacrosse equivalent to road hockey." I thought that was a pretty cool coincidence, I read the quote and then the next senior I get a chance to work with plays both, I love stuff like that. In fact, it prompted me to use another Gretzky quote on the top of Dan's page, "I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been." What a symbolic quote for senior year!
Speaking of where he is going to be, Dan is not quite sure what he would like to do. He did tell me that he did really well in his English and film classes and is considering something to do with film. Dan was very nice, polite and respectful as well as a really good sport so I am sure that he will be a success no matter what he does! He certainly was successful at picking out shirts, I thought that his selection was absolutely perfect for a beach shoot!
Because we were at a beach setting, I enlisted the help of one of my friends, Jess, to come with me and be my assistant, basically carry my bag so I didn't accidentally put it down in the water which is something that I would totally do since I get so immersed in the shot. It worked out really well because it made the whole thing more fun and then I also had someone to go eat dinner with at the very picturesque Scituate Harbor, thanks again, Jess! Speaking of thanks, I owe a huge thanks to the whole MacDougall family, they were wonderful to work with, so fun and so accommodating, they showed us all sorts of great spots. It was a fabulous experience, and a fantastic day and I honestly can't think of a better way to kick off the Class of 2016 portrait season! Please click here if you would like to see the rest of Dan's pictures.
As you know, I had sky high expectations for yesterday. Well I am happy to report that not only did getting my senior season started meet my expectations, it exceeded them!! And sky high is such an appropriate adjective in this case because the sky was awesome yesterday!! As was Dan, my first member of the Class of 2016. The place was incredible too but more on that when I do Dan's official blog post. I couldn't decide on a song for today, I thought about Good Vibrations because hopefully the success of yesterday will set the tone for the whole class or Lucky because face it, getting to work there on a gorgeous day like yesterday means that I must be pretty lucky. But instead I chose Jack Johnson's Better Together because my camera and I, we are just better together. Or I should say, I am better when my camera is around, I haven't been using it much lately and I think that may be part of the reason for my recent little funk. I didn't realize how much I was missing it until I picked it back up which makes the start of the senior picture season even more exciting. I am so happy to be back at it, yay! This is also my sister's wedding song which reminds me of her destination wedding in the Bahamas a few years back. I may not have traveled all the way to the Bahamas yesterday but I still managed to find a location that was just as picturesque. Happy Friday, everyone, I hope that you all have a great weekend!!
You are probably asking yourself what is so special about today, why would this be her favorite day? Well besides the fact that it is the birthday of one of my best friends, happy birthday, Laurie, today is also the day that senior picture season starts for me. Yes, it has finally returned. There is no subject that I enjoy taking pictures of more than high school seniors. And after having a senior myself last year, and seeing first hand how exciting it all is, I am even more excited than ever this year. And truth be told, I have found myself in a bit of funk these past couple of weeks and I think that part of the reason was that I just couldn't wait to get started on this year's group of seniors. And now that it is finally here, honestly it is like Christmas here, only warmer and at the beach (my first senior this year was kind enough to choose the beach, hooray!) and without the stress, the shopping and the wrapping, okay it is nothing like Christmas, it is so much better!! And there's a bonus to this post because it is a Thursday, I will add a throwback, to one of my favorites of my own senior (now freshman, how weird is that?) and her friends, only fitting since they were the ones that got things started last year! Happy Thursday, everyone, I hope that you enjoy this beautiful day, I am sure that I will!
Hi all, just a quick note to let you know that I am taking an online vacation this week. Not real vacation, I am not actually going away but I don't have any portraits scheduled until the end of this week so I thought that this would be a good time to take an online break for a bit. Plus I am on a data plan with my kids and once again this month, we have gotten the data warning (in case you are wondering, a data plan with your kids is not the best idea in the world). I will still be checking my email but I may not be as quick to respond as I normally try to be. I have also recently added some new boards on Pinterest so if you are looking for ideas or inspiration for your portraits or some samples of my work, you can try there. I hope that you all are having a great summer, maybe I will get to see some of you later this summer (that is a not so subtle hint that if you haven't chosen a photographer yet, you may want to consider me, I would love that). Have a great week, talk to you soon.
With my apologies to the artist, I decided to just show the training scene from Soul Surfer instead of the official video. By the way, there is a wonderful official acoustic version on Youtube that can be found here. Anyway, I chose this version for a couple of different reasons. First because I have been desperately trying to motivate myself to get back into shape and thought this might help me and second, because my daughter and I had an very interesting conversation the last time that we watched the movie. My daughter asked me if I would ever get back into the water after a shark attack. I answered her honestly, and quite emphatically, "Not a chance." But I also made sure to point out to my daughter that I don't live for surfing and the water the way that Bethany Hamilton does either. She has been quoted as saying, "In the end, my love for surfing helped me overcome my fear of sharks." How true that what we love helps us overcome our fears. I think that it is kind of funny that it would be this daughter that asked since she is a gymnast and If she ever suffered a serious injury during gymnastics, she would be right back at as soon as she could. Heck, she has suffered face plants on the beam during practice and gone right back up there. Since I am afraid of heights, I would probably be more likely to go back in the water than back on the beam! Happy Friday, everyone, hope that you all have a wonderful weekend!!
My middle 2 kids are in South Carolina visiting my mom right now so I thought that pictures from one of our earlier trips would be a good choice for a throwback today. I don't feel like this trip was that long ago so how on earth did these cute little faces get old enough to travel on their own?? Happy Thursday, everyone, hope that you all have a great day!!
I don't know where to begin with the McRae family. Actually never mind, I know where to begin, with their hospitality. My husband and I arrived just before 4 on Sunday and they could not have been nicer or more welcoming to us. My husband doesn't usually come with me but we figured that the traffic might be awful on the way back so our plan was to grab some dinner on our way home, more on that in a bit. I am so glad that he did come with me because he was so helpful with my stuff and making sure that we got all the shots that they wanted. What a great location, the house that they rented was right across the street from the beach. Even though it was getting late in the day, it was such a picture perfect day that the beach was still pretty crowded. They were such an awesome group that they just went with the flow and we easily worked around it. One of the daughters, Heather contacted me earlier this year because we have some friends in common. Heather and her husband, Jay were on the beach first so we started with them and their adorable nephew, Logan. We then got some of Logan with his parents, Tim and Beth as well as one of her sister, Amy with her husband, Tom and their cutie, son Landon. We also made sure that we got Heather and Jay with both of the boys.
And of course, we can't forget the matriarch and patriarch of the family, Mom and Dad. Whether they were posing with their children, their grandchildren or just each other, it was pretty obvious that they adore each other, and their family, and that they take a lot of pride and joy in this fabulous family of theirs.
The whole clan!!
It was such a beautiful day, and they were such great sports, that they thought nothing of posing in the water or venturing out onto the jetty even though it meant that they were sure to get wet. When they got wet, they just shrugged it off with a simple, "It'll dry."
We also got some of the little boys together, as well as some of all of the "boys" together and some of the "girls".
I couldn't resist capturing some candid shots as the day went on. I even snapped some when we got back to the house, I was having so much fun that I didn't want it to end!
I owe a special thanks to my husband for this shoot, it meant a lot to me that he came along to save me from the traffic, and he ended up being a huge help. And deepest thanks to the extended McRae clan for being so nice and so hospitable. They even offered to have us over for dinner. We declined because we figured it would be a nice opportunity to have dinner just the two of us but the traffic, or lack thereof, spoiled our plan. We never hit any traffic so we never stopped for dinner. You won't hear us complaining though, no traffic beats no dinner any day!! Please click here if you would like to see the rest of the McRae family pictures.
What an amazingly full, and fulfilling, weekend we had this weekend. It got off to a great start with a cookout and a parade with my family. The parade in Randolph on the 3rd of July goes right by the end of the street where my mom lives. Well I should say lived, My mom and stepfather moved to South Carolina this past winter and left my nephew in charge of keeping up with the house. He apparently thinks that this also means keeping up with the traditions as well so he had us all over. For his first big event, he did a fabulous job!! My kids actually said it was better this year because there was more food. Well he is 22 and a guy so his idea of food for a party included 4 bags of Oreos, no wonder they were thrilled!! We even got a group picture out of the deal!!
Then on Saturday, we went to another parade and then a cookout with friends. This parade includes all the town sport champions. My group has decided to make a sport of seeing which float that they can douse the most with water. This year was especially fun because not only was one of my friend's son on one of the floats but another one of my friend's dad got in on the action by throwing a water balloon or two. What makes that so great is that he's in his 80s! Although not too much of a surprise when he saw how much fun the adults were having. Also in case you are wondering, the adults are more into it than the kids!! After the parade, our friends had us over for a cookout and a pool party, topped off by a evening around the fire. As usual with this group, we had a fabulous time, filled with lots of laughter.
Then I finished off my weekend by meeting a great family down in Harwichport for some portraits. What a wonderful group they were. They were so nice and so hospitable and just a total pleasure to work with. Here's a sneak peek from their shoot, I have lots more to share from this one so please check back later this week.
What a wonderful Fourth, full of all the best things in life, family, friends and fun!! But as great as our weekend was, the most amazing part of it may have been the ride home from the Cape. We left Harwichport around 5:30 and we figured that we would drive until we hit traffic and then stop for dinner. Well we never hit traffic. Yep, we left the Cape at 5:30 in the afternoon on a Sunday, a Sunday of a holiday weekend, no less, and did not hit any traffic. It was our best ride home from the Cape ever!! And the perfect exclamation point to a perfect weekend! Hope you all had a great weekend as well!!
I thought that this would be the perfect song for today. You may remember that I talked about the tree that my family calls the Liberty Tree a couple of weeks ago when I blogged about the Melick family. Well we are going to be hanging out near the tree tonight because the parade that we are going to tonight passes right by the park and the tree, very fitting, wouldn't you say? By the way, this is still one of my all-time favorite movies!!
Here's a picture of some of our group in front of the tree a few years back.
Happy Friday and happy beginning to the holiday weekend everyone. I hope that everyone has a very fun and very patriotic weekend. Happy birthday, America, may God bless you always!
Part of what I have been doing this week is getting my computer organized. I must have been taken by surprise by how busy I got last year because I have found a bunch of pictures from late last summer that I never even edited. Among them were some pictures from a sunrise series that I shot during a quick trip to Maine with friends, I forgot that they even existed! I love the depth the fog creates, not to mention, the ethereal quality that it invokes (ooh, that almost sounded like I knew what I was talking about). Happy Thursday, everyone, enjoy this beautiful day, what an absolutely perfect day it is out there today!!
Each year, after the mission is over, Mary Ann, the youth ministry leader, asks the kids to submit their reflections on the mission. It can be their favorite part or something that they learned or what it meant to them to be a part of. I learned some stuff this week as well but since no one asked me for my reflections, I am going to just have to share them with you all. I know how much you all love when I do that (and I hope you know how much I appreciate it that you listen, well read).
Things that I have learned:
So there you have it, I didn't even go on the mission and I learned a ton about myself and my family. I guess I need to amend the message that I sent to Mary Ann, "It's official, you bring out the best in my kids" to "You bring out the best in me and my kids and my family!!"
Today is July 1st which, by the way, I totally can't believe, these snow shortened summers kill me. And we will be going back to school before Labor Day so it will be a really short summer this year, ugh! Anyway the month change also reminded me that I wanted to take this opportunity to point out to the Class of 2016 that if you haven't scheduled a senior portrait session yet, you really need to start giving it some serious consideration. Since I tend to have some serious procrastinator tendencies, I try to be kind of flexible with scheduling but I know that many photographers have things all booked already. This means that if you have your heart set on someone and you haven't contacted them yet, then you need to do that ASAP! This is especially important if you play a sport or participate in an activity at school because you really should try to have your portraits taken before school starts. As you know, practices begin even before school opens for the year and activities and sports get pretty involved right off the bat so trying to schedule something then may not be the best idea, or even feasible. Also many students, or their parents, don't realize that yearbook pictures are due in the fall at many schools. If you would like some more information, please check out my Frequently Asked Questions page or this blog post that I wrote back in March.
I hope that you all have a wonderful rest of rest of your summer. I would like to wish you much luck and happiness over your senior year. Maybe some of you will consider having me take your pictures and then I will get the chance to tell you that in person!! Happy Wednesday, it looks like a good day to curl up with a good book, maybe get some of that summer reading done (oops, there's the librarian side of me coming out!)