I knew Tara and John were going to have an awesome wedding from the very first e-mail Tara sent, full of enthusiasm, describing how they both have “big boisterous families so we’re hoping our wedding will be big, boisterous, and a great party for us and our extended families and friends.” Tara also described how important their Catholic faith is to them, and how they’d be getting married in the church that is just a block from where she grew up and closely connected to her family’s history. Witnessing the love between a couple, and between the couple and their family and friends, is what makes wedding photography such a joy. Tara had spent hours creating paintings for each of her bridesmaids, and surprised them with this gift while they were all getting ready. Her brother proudly walked her down the aisle. John’s cousin played the prelude to the ceremony, and the Wunder family band played and sang during cocktail hour at the Rivermill at Dover Landing. The toasts inspired a few tears and many bouts of full-throated laughter. And the party – it was boisterous.
Kate and Chris have been good friends since high school, but it wasn’t until a couple of autumns ago, sitting by a bonfire in Vermont, that they decided to give dating a try. From there, it didn’t take them long to realize that they had found “the one.”
Kate and Chris both enjoy spending time outdoors, and we had planned to do their engagement session by the ocean in Nahant, but then there was a blizzard. On a still cold, but thankfully sunny morning, we met at the Wellesley greenhouses. It was so lovely to shed winter coats and experience 85 degree temperatures in the tropical greenhouse.
Seeing the way these two interact – the looks, the smiles, the squeezes – gives me the warm fuzzies, and I’m eagerly anticipating photographing their wedding this coming fall.
A little behind-the-scenes shot as I start to update my portfolio. After selecting my favorite wedding images from 2014, I had them all printed at 4×6. Then I combined them with prints from my current wedding portfolio. Next I’ll lay them all out, try to winnow it down to my very favorites that convey the breadth and depth of my vision, re-arrange them, let them sit, get a second opinion, winnow down some more, re-arrange again and again. Check back soon to see the results!
I’ve always been a bit nosy. Whenever we visited my grandparents’ homes’ I’d love to look through their china cabinets in search of pretty shiny things. I’d admire the collection of Waterford crystal vases and gifts given on silver wedding anniversaries.
On a memorable occasion, we convinced my grandma Rose (pictured above in her high school graduation portrait) to open her cedar chest and we found layers of history. Old report cards of my uncle and father, a layer deeper the hospital jackets from when they were born, below that her wedding dress and veil wrapped carefully in layers of tissue paper, and then the fine linens and hand-crocheted lace doilies and tablecloths given as wedding gifts – still pristine because they were always too nice to use.
Sometimes I’d explore further and without adult supervision, poking my head into closets and boxes stored in basements. That’s where the true treasures were hiding. In one sagging and dusty shoebox, we found the letters my grandfather had written to my grandmother from Egypt, where he was stationed during World War II, along with snapshots of the pyramids. In another, stacks of formal black and white (and some hand colored) wedding portraits, each neatly in it’s own display folio. Both of my paternal grandparents came from large Italian immigrant families, so I spent a good while quizzing my dad on the identities of each bride, groom and member of the wedding party. Doing this, I learned that one universally-beloved unwed aunt had in fact been briefly married to a man seeking a green card.
At my other grandparent’s house, I found a fireproof box that we sifted through, finding old glass-plate negatives, my great-great-uncle’s ship captain’s paperwork, and a portrait of my great-great-aunt Minnie Harbort taken as a young woman at the famous Bachrach photography studio. At this particular time, I was in high school and immersed in black and white film photography, and my grandfather gifted me the image. Great-great-aunt Minnie apparently had strong opinions about who was a “real Harbort” and while my mother had the seal of approval I don’t know that I would. I do know that I am happy to have seen and held these images and heard these stories.