Ana37 819x1024 Letchworth State Park | Senior Portraits

For just over an hour I got to know Ana. We talked about school, her plans for college, and the difference between an Ophthalmologist and an Optometrist (one is an MD who is in school for 8 additional years, the other is an OD with 4 years of school). She plans to be the former, and follow in her dad’s footsteps. For now, she is finishing up high school, entering her senior year and applying to colleges. I love this time of life. Everything changes and everything is a possibility. For all the plans and hopes she shared I have no doubt that she will accomplish them.  I can’t wait to see where the future takes Ana and loved getting the chance to photograph her in my nearby backyard : Letchworth State Park.letchworth senior portrait02 875x617 Letchworth State Park | Senior Portraitsletchworth senior portrait03 Letchworth State Park | Senior Portraitsletchworth senior portrait04 875x617 Letchworth State Park | Senior Portraitsletchworth senior portrait05 875x875 Letchworth State Park | Senior Portraitsletchworth senior portrait06 875x617 Letchworth State Park | Senior Portraitsletchworth senior portrait07 Letchworth State Park | Senior Portraitsletchworth senior portrait08 875x617 Letchworth State Park | Senior Portraitsletchworth senior portrait09 875x617 Letchworth State Park | Senior Portraitsletchworth senior portrait10 Letchworth State Park | Senior Portraitsletchworth senior portrait11 875x617 Letchworth State Park | Senior Portraits

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dollhouse the dollhouse

This dollhouse was 20+ years in the making. On Sunday Matt and I finished it just in time for Daphne to play with. My parents gave me this dollhouse for Christmas back in elementary school. The bought it in the summer during our trip to Rhode Island where there are – or at least were – quaint little shops that sold wooden dollhouse kits.

It was a great gift to receive, until I didn’t finish it and it weighed on my conscious as it collected dust in the basement. My dad and I worked methodically on it for a few weeks and only had a few steps left before it neared completion, but we just didn’t make it. Perhaps I couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, or I got too old during the process and started to care less about being able to play with it, or I was too obsessive about the paint color and the trim and couldn’t make a decision… or maybe I was just tired of sitting in the basement working on it. Our basement was unfinished and my sister used to make me walk down there with her because it was so scary. Either way, I both loved being able to work on the project with my dad and hated that I didn’t finish it.

This Sunday I did finish it.

We chose to completely repaint the outside (my artistic eye was apparently off in elementary school) and did not install all of the gingerbread trim that went with the house, but it’s done. Isn’t it strange how the door is off center? You didn’t notice did you. I guess that’s my “attention to detail” shining through. Now it can sit in Daphne’s room and look like the adorable toy it should be – until it is covered in crayon and we have to repaint it all over again.

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  • July 22, 2014 - 2:19 am

    Kara Manore Potts - I think I have the same one sitting in my parents attic! I don’t know if I have the patience to finish it but perhaps I can guilt him into doing it for Lydia!

  • July 22, 2014 - 3:48 am

    Melody Martin - NO WAY! I am just about to start a dollhouse almost exactly like that for Noelle. Eric’s mom got it for his sister when she was one…so it’s almost 30 years old. It was never assembled, so his mom gave it to me to fix up for Noelle.

phipps conservatory wedding mary dougherty photo01 875x875 Phipps Conservatory Wedding | Liz + Ned

This is not just any love story. It’s a head over glitter heels, 100 year old veil, dance to you drop affair. Their Phipps Conservatory wedding in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania was a day none will forget. Of course, it’s not just about the wedding but the relationship shared. The people that surrounded them on this day believe in them and it was a joy to get to know Liz and Ned and believe in them too.

Liz and Ned have a contagious joy, an evident love and I could write paragraphs about how much I loved being their photographer. It’s not that they did anything differently, but they really trusted me and let go of any fear or anxiety about being in front of the camera. It was a collaboration, and because we were able to have an amazing engagement session months before this day it made what was captured at their wedding even better. So thank you, once again, for inviting me to join you. Look back at these images always and be reminded of the love and celebration your marriage is founded upon!

phipps conservatory wedding mary dougherty photo02 Phipps Conservatory Wedding | Liz + Ned phipps conservatory wedding mary dougherty photo03 875x617 Phipps Conservatory Wedding | Liz + Ned phipps conservatory wedding mary dougherty photo04 Phipps Conservatory Wedding | Liz + Ned phipps conservatory wedding mary dougherty photo05 875x617 Phipps Conservatory Wedding | Liz + Ned phipps conservatory wedding mary dougherty photo06 Phipps Conservatory Wedding | Liz + Ned phipps conservatory wedding mary dougherty photo07 875x617 Phipps Conservatory Wedding | Liz + Ned phipps conservatory wedding mary dougherty photo08 875x617 Phipps Conservatory Wedding | Liz + Ned

Coral pink J.Crew dresses and bright crystal necklaces adorned the bridesmaids while the groomsmen were decked out in Knot by Tiffa bowties in a summer floral pattern. The girls readied themselves at home while the guys assembled at the Mansion on Fifth in downtown Pittsburgh. They met at Calvary Episcopal Church where Liz and Ned took some time to start their day together with a first look. They were all alone, and we kept our distance to allow some privacy as we photographed them seeing each other for the first time. Inside the stained glass filled church guests assembled and soon Liz was taking a deep breath before she was escorted down the aisle by her dad. The moments that followed joined Liz and Ned together in front of God and man and they said vows they believed and planned to keep. The party began at the Phipps Conservatory with hors d’oeuvres in the garden and tented reception.phipps conservatory wedding mary dougherty photo09 Phipps Conservatory Wedding | Liz + Ned phipps conservatory wedding mary dougherty photo10 875x617 Phipps Conservatory Wedding | Liz + Ned phipps conservatory wedding mary dougherty photo11 Phipps Conservatory Wedding | Liz + Ned phipps conservatory wedding mary dougherty photo12 875x617 Phipps Conservatory Wedding | Liz + Ned phipps conservatory wedding mary dougherty photo13 Phipps Conservatory Wedding | Liz + Ned phipps conservatory wedding mary dougherty photo14 875x617 Phipps Conservatory Wedding | Liz + Ned phipps conservatory wedding mary dougherty photo15 Phipps Conservatory Wedding | Liz + Ned phipps conservatory wedding mary dougherty photo16 875x617 Phipps Conservatory Wedding | Liz + Ned phipps conservatory wedding mary dougherty photo17 Phipps Conservatory Wedding | Liz + Ned phipps conservatory wedding mary dougherty photo18 875x617 Phipps Conservatory Wedding | Liz + Ned phipps conservatory wedding mary dougherty photo21 875x617 Phipps Conservatory Wedding | Liz + Ned phipps conservatory wedding mary dougherty photo22 Phipps Conservatory Wedding | Liz + Ned phipps conservatory wedding mary dougherty photo23 875x617 Phipps Conservatory Wedding | Liz + Ned phipps conservatory wedding mary dougherty photo24 875x875 Phipps Conservatory Wedding | Liz + Ned phipps conservatory wedding mary dougherty photo25 Phipps Conservatory Wedding | Liz + Ned phipps conservatory wedding mary dougherty photo26 875x617 Phipps Conservatory Wedding | Liz + Ned phipps conservatory wedding mary dougherty photo27 Phipps Conservatory Wedding | Liz + Ned phipps conservatory wedding mary dougherty photo19 875x617 Phipps Conservatory Wedding | Liz + Ned phipps conservatory wedding mary dougherty photo20 Phipps Conservatory Wedding | Liz + Ned phipps conservatory wedding mary dougherty photo28 875x617 Phipps Conservatory Wedding | Liz + Ned phipps conservatory wedding mary dougherty photo29 875x617 Phipps Conservatory Wedding | Liz + Ned phipps conservatory wedding mary dougherty photo30 875x617 Phipps Conservatory Wedding | Liz + Ned

For a more complete look at the day open the post and view even more favorites read the full post»

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IMG 6836 why I still like to photograph weddings

People love to ask if I’m tired of shooting weddings. They usually do so quietly, almost in a whisper with a knowing look on their face as if it would encourage me to tell the truth. I know my answer, and the fact is I’m not tired of shooting weddings. Six and a half years into this job and I still love what I do… and you want to know why? It’s people like Liz and Ned, who you see me with above (you also see me wearing my favorite wedding skirt – I’m sorry! I love it and can’t retire it yet!).

At Liz and Ned’s wedding (and a few others this year) I’ve arrived to start the day, met a bridesmaid and family member and had them exclaim “oh you’re the photographer! Liz + Ned love you!” and it’s just about the nicest compliment ever. The truth is I love them too, and while I know I can’t become best friends with every couple I can do my best to be there for them, allow them to trust me, and be more than just the photographer on the wedding day.I don’t think I will ever get tired of meeting wonderful people and documenting one of the most defining moments of their lives. I really truly love investing in them and giving them a way to look back on and remember the details, the emotion the beauty of their lives. As long as I have the chance to work with people who appreciate what I do and recognize that I’m in it for them, it won’t get old.

Liz and I were sending messages back and forth after she and Ned returned from their honeymoon and included the following : “I am already in love with the pics you shared… it was an amazing day, magical even. I will be far more eloquent about this in a note to follow, but we both were so grateful to you for being such a helpful, calming presence throughout. Even if the pictures were terrible (which, of course, they aren’t) we would be endlessly thankful.”

Not everyone would compliment me to such lengths, but these two are special and I’ll always remember their day. Tomorrow I’ll be sharing Liz and Ned’s wedding on my blog and you can check back to see for yourself that the images are indeed not terrible, but document one of the most beautiful and joy filled days.

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  • July 16, 2014 - 8:18 pm

    Liz Courtemanche - You are the best, and this is the best.

musselman swim musselman triathlon

I know what’s stopping you. It’s the swim! Most people cite their fears of swimming in open water as the reason they aren’t interested in trying a triathlon. I could tell you it’s not as scary as you think, but it has taken me some time to feel comfortable in open water too. Unlike my husband, who grew up almost exclusively swimming in lakes in the Adirondacks, I swam in pristine pools. Looking at anything other than the black tile stripe leading me was strange. Our limitations are more mental than anything, which is why it is so amazing to see someone who has not set limits on themselves. It still takes me a little bit of time to feel comfortable in open water, so this past weekend I got in the water and did a little warm up before the race started. It felt good to ease in to the idea of the swim before getting started, and can you deny the good feeling of accomplishing something that once made you tentative or afraid?

musselman bike musselman triathlon

Our weekend in beautiful Geneva, New York participating in the sprint (for me) + half iron (for matt) distances at the Musselman triathon was so much fun. It is something I look forward to each year, in part because I have so few weekends free in the summer it’s a chance to take a break from the routine of wedding photography. I had the sunny and warm day to race while Matt had to battle windy and rainy conditions. We saw friends, cheered each other on and enjoyed challenging ourselves to do more than we thought we could.musselman run musselman triathlon

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