Okay guys, we have a confession. We are not very cool. I mean it. We spend our spare time gardening, geeking out over how various types of flour and butter combinations affects baked goods and we rarely go to bed past 11:00. Colleen and Nick though. They are cool. Hip, in fact. So much so that we hope that even by shooting their engagement session and wedding this August that some of their awesomeness will rub off on us. They came up from NYC (see? cool) to spend a little time getting acquainted with being in front of the camera on Boston’s waterfront.We had to take advantage of the perfectly grimy alley ways to grab some fun shots of them looking awesome (they didn’t even have to try) and threw in a few shots by the water and skyline for good measure. Of course their time spent with us only reinforced their coolness, but what we really loved watching was their genuine spirits and big hearts. We left their session feeling pretty much ready to move in next door and start planning casual dinner parties with bruschetta and wine. We can’t wait for their wedding later this summer which will no doubt be filled with amazing details (did I mention she works for Real Simple?) and lots of love.
Emily and Dan are so natural together. They have a relaxed vibe that is approachable and kind. Can’t you just see that in their eyes? College sweethearts and lovers of the beach and Fenway, these two are folks we like to be around. We spent a relaxing afternoon together capturing photos of their Engagement in Boston’s Beacon Hill neighborhood and the Esplanade….which isn’t on the ocean but just so happens to have a waterfront on the Charles River where the sun faces *west* (think about it….since we’re on the East Coast we can never have sunset beachy photos) so the spot is our own little secret for a relaxed seaside vibe with realllllyy good light. We had a great time getting to know them even better and they clearly are naturals in front of the camera. We can’t wait for their Ocean Edge Resort wedding this August. It’s going to be an amazing day!
Is there anything more romantic than an Engagement Session in the springtime? After a winter filled with snow, dark skies, dirty boots and more snow, the entire city of Boston has lifted their spirits at the sights of green grass, budding trees and cherry blossoms. Even the air smells different. There comes no better time to capture love and new beginnings than during the spring. We met up with Gaby, Luis and their pup Cocoa for an afternoon of moseying through the Boston Public Garden and taking photos of this special time in their lives. They are getting married later this month in Mexico and wanted to capture a session in the city they met and fell in love. We had a blast getting to know them and clearly they warmed up to the camera in no time. In fact we had to ask them several times if they were sure they were not professional models. I mean really, would you look at those two? Congratulations Gaby and Luis, enjoy Mexico!!
There are some weddings that just feel like a giant dinner party. Everyone hugs as though it’s been years since they saw each other and the murmur of the dinner conversation buzzes with happiness. After getting to know Erika and Steve, it was no surprise to us that their wedding was such a classy, comfortable affair because they exude such an easy confidence both as a couple and as parents to their darling little girl. Erika and her ladies got ready in the bridal suite of the Willowdale Estate where sweet glances passed between them as the flower girls (Erika’s daughter and niece) sort of stole the show with their sweetness. Once Erika was dressed and ready and we were taking some bridal portraits of her, she found a live ladybug in her flower bouquet which we all took as a sign of good luck. Steve and his guys hung around and shared some laughs and food together as they waited for the ladies. Once they were both ready we photographed their first look and couple portraits on the gorgeous grounds of the Willowdale Estate. Willowdale remains one of our favorite venues because even in the early spring where the color has not popped yet, the building serves as such a stunning backdrop for photos. After more photos with family and loved ones everyone prepared for their cozy ceremony inside where Erika’s grandfather officiated their wedding. After the kiss, the evening continued with two of the sweetest toasts we’ve ever heard and lots more hugs from their family and friends. As you can see, the party did not slow down once the dance floor opened up. We loved the range of ages rocking out to ‘Shout’ and had to laugh when Steve’s grandparents took center stage on more than one occasion. Erika and Steve, it’s been absolute pleasure working with you both and we couldn’t be happier for you as you continue your relationship as husband and wife. Congratulations!
Oh man are we excited about this blog post. To be honest, the heart behind this post has been in the works for almost a year. When Matt and I started Summer Street Photography we truly had no idea how (or if) our business would grow. We were two optimistic photographers with a lot of energy and passion for capturing people on the happiest days of their lives. After a few years of working with amazing clients who allowed us into the private and beautiful spaces of one of the most important days of their lives, and more hard work than we ever thought was possible to make a business run – we found ourselves in the shoes of those we had admired for so long. We were operating a successful business. As we became more rooted in the business and dealt with the glorious blessing of growing pains, we realized that in order to continue moving forward, we couldn’t remain where we already were. We needed to take a leap of faith to best serve Summer Street Photography. Leaps into the unknown are scary. What happens if this is the straw that breaks the camels back? What will we do if this doesn’t work? How do we write a book if we don’t know how it ends?
Today’s story is one that started almost a year ago. Chuck was introduced to us by our own dear friends (and our wedding photographers) and we instantly clicked with him. Over many meals and swims in Walden Pond, Matt and I realized something at about the same moment. We needed Chuck on our team. Chuck had a full time wedding photography business before he moved to Boston to pursue a PhD in Clinical Psychology, and was an amazing photographer. We worked with Chuck on and off last year to test how he would like dealing with the craziness of working with a married couple. Fortunately we didn’t scare him off too much because after a few weddings we all realized we’d found a really great team.
We’re thrilled to introduce Chuck to you today as our new Associate Photographer. In addition to working with Matt and I at weddings, Chuck is also available for his own wedding commissions through Summer Street Photography. Just like all the weddings we shoot, all of the administrational work (client communication, editing, blogging) that happens though Summer Street happens through me. In fact, many of the weddings we shoot aren’t *just* shot by Matt or I. Chuck had his hand in many of last year’s weddings as well, so anyone curious about how Chuck’s involvement might change the look of our work can rest assured that the images you’ve seen over the last year have represented many different combinations of photographers. We are so excited about how Chuck’s experience and artistry has already made us a better business and we can’t wait to see how things will unfold with him on our team this year.
As a way to get to know Chuck better, we decided a mini Summer Street shoot was in order, along with a fun Q&A with Chuck. Something Matt and I didn’t realize until this shoot was how bad we were at taking photos of *each other*. It took us a little while to get a shot that we approved of – but once Chuck stepped behind the lens we got what we needed pretty quickly. On to the interview!
So Chuck, tell us a bit about how you got into photography and why you were drawn to shoot weddings? Photography wasn’t always in my life, but being artsy was. I grew up drawing, painting, playing music, and writing poetry, so I was always looking for ways of expressing myself. In college, I accidentally took a few aesthetically pleasing photographs, so I tried to figure out how to create beautiful images on purpose. However, my fatal flaw is that when I pick up a hobby, I get really really into it. This meant I quickly ran out of money to buy all the lenses and camera bodies that I wanted. Incidentally, I caught up with a college friend who was a wedding photographer and was creating some amazing pieces of work. I had never thought that weddings allowed for such creativity and beauty. I then started interning with a local wedding photographer, and I found that I not only loved the pace and excitement of weddings, but that the joy and love of the couple was really contagious. Ever since then, I’ve been hooked!
In addition to Photography, you’re pursuing a PhD in Clinical Psychology. How do you feel the two topics inform each other? Would you say that your training in psychology helps you while your shooting weddings? Most definitely! Like I mentioned, weddings can be pretty hectic, but I want the couple to remember what they’re ultimately there for… which is each other! Sometimes, it takes someone who has seen a lot of weddings to remind them to slow down, take a breath, and relax a bit. Sometimes it also takes someone to remind them that they need to eat lunch and drink fluids or else they risk passing out in the hot sun . I haven’t had to put on my therapist hat during a wedding (knock on wood), but I like to think that I’m a supportive presence during the day.
What was the last meal you ate? Vina (my wife) made pasta with some fresh pesto (yum). We topped it off with some almond pine-nut cookies, and I plan on having some homemade durian ice cream after I finish this interview!
Canon vs. Nikon? Canon all the way . Really, it’s a trivial thing… I honestly think they’re both great cameras, but I learned to shoot on Canon so I’ve stuck with it. My mentor was a Nikon shooter, but he could never convince me that Nikon was better.
How would you describe your shooting style on the day of a wedding? Previous clients have told me that I’m a calming presence, which I certainly hope is true, but I see it more as being on my game yet relaxed at the same time. There’s so much craziness going on during the day, the last thing I want to be is another source of stress. In fact, I actively try to stay behind the scenes as much as possible, and am somewhat of a ninja during the ceremony. However, when things need direction (especially with the family photos), trust me when I say that my game face is on and I’m all business. Ultimately, I’m a firm believer that my job is to capture the emotions of the day and the couple just as they are, and to stay out of the picture as much as I can.
Why are you excited to be a Summer Street Associate? Tons of reasons! First, Kendra and Matt are awesome, so being an associate means I get to see them more! Second, I really appreciate the work and heart that they’ve built into Summer Street, and how they manage to stay grounded and humble. Ultimately, the day is about the couple, so there’s no need for photographer drama or ego. I really respect the values that the business is built on, as well as the beautiful work that comes out of it, and jumped on the opportunity to be a part of the team. Before being an official associate, I had lots of opportunities to shoot with them, and being out there felt like we had been doing this together for a really long time. Third, (let me be selfish for a moment here), I really love shooting and working with the couple, but I don’t necessarily love the immense amount of editing and post-processing that comes after it. Being an associate means that I get to shoot more and edit less, which I’ll gladly take any day!
Starbucks or Dunkin? I don’t drink coffee, but I have a Dunkin next to my house, and love their pumpkin donut-holes in the fall. Mmmm.
What does an ideal day in the life of Chuck look like? That’s a tough one. I could spend an entire day fishing or gardening, or spend it backpacking and camping, preferably with my wife. Ideally, there would be some really tasty food involved, whether it was the fish I caught, or veggies from the garden, or a meal cooked over hot coals. Then, after any of the aforementioned possibilities, there would be a professional massage. Mmmmmm.
I hear you had a very serious
addiction collection of Transformers when you were younger. Do you still have some valuable items? Tell us about it. Guilty as charged. I had an enormous collection in middle and high school, and found some of my rare items featured in publications (uber-geek, I know). While I still have a huge amount of nostalgia for the old 80′s transformers, I don’t own anything that’s worth very much anymore. Before selling my collection (which helped pay for a ’79 Corvette and college), I kept my very first transformers I got as a kid, which are well loved but not worth very much if I were to sell them. Maybe one day, if I happen upon an unreasonably large sum of money, I might start collecting again…
You just got married in January 2013 (in Thailand no less). How has the experience of being a Groom changed your perspective of shooting weddings? You know, having done so many weddings, I knew that the day went by quickly. Even so, I was surprised at how fast it all happened. At the end of the day, when we look back on our pictures, I’m so grateful for the work of the photographer, but am also reminded that we didn’t need to sweat the small stuff. We got a massage in the middle of the day (which I highly recommend!) and just tried to take things slow and enjoy the process. Now that I’m married, I think I’m going to be just a little more sentimental when I do weddings, knowing what it’s like on the other side.
Thanks for tuning in! Here’s to a year of amazing weddings!
Jen and Rob had us from the beginning. Upon one of our first conversations about their wedding, it was then that Jen explained that she’d never seen a wedding album from the people in her family. Due to multiple situations, wedding photos in her family’s history were simply non existant. Now that she was going to be marrying the love of her life, she couldn’t imagine NOT having a beautiful wedding day to not only share with her friends and family, but to pass down in the threads of her family’s history. And what a beautiful story they have to tell! They met when they were just teenagers and knew from the beginning that what they shared was more than just a highschool sweetheart. They faced many trials and tribulations together and always ended up stronger on the other side because of it. They were wed on a beautifully sunny St Patricks Day, which meant the world to them since Rob’s family is Irish through and through, and while Jen has some Italian blood running through her veins, she might go as far to say she has a heart of Irish gold. They started their day with their friends and family gathered close as Jen got ready at Rob’s grandmother’s house (don’t you love her vintage veil!?) and Rob got ready with his guys in the home he grew up in. Irish ballads on the bagpipe welcomed guests into the ceremony where Rob and Jen said ‘I do’ and the Irish festivities continued into the reception with plenty of sweet Irish Blessings and toasts for their happiness. I’m sure by now, if you didn’t already know, that the flag they used as a blanket during their portraits is of course the Irish flag. Anyone want to guess where they went on their honeymoon? Jen and Rob, you have been such a pleasure. Congratulations on your marriage; may the road rise to meet you!
Oh this session makes me so happy. It’s the time of the year when everything is a little slow. The weather is grey and chilly and you might rather find yourself bundled up with a good book than out exploring outside. We’re in ‘off-season’ mode here on Summer Street as we busy ourselves with lots of admin work that needs to be done (hello taxes!) and planning for all of the beautiful fetes that will happen later this year. I’ll come right out and say it: it’s not as much fun as shooting every week. That changed last week when we had the chance to photograph Erika and Steve’s Engagement Session on Steve’s mom’s farm in Billerica. Erika and Steve are fun loving and sweet as can be. They will be getting married in a few short weeks at the Willowdale Estate and we’re so excited about capturing their wedding. They have an adorable daughter, Lyla, who was an absolute peach during their session. Did we mention the horses? They acted like old curious farm dogs as they trotted over to us and stuck their muzzle in our lens. So fun. We insisted they take a few family photos in addition to their couple photos. Aren’t they just the sweetest together? I love seeing our clients not only as amazing and supportive partners to one another – but also as parents. The love that beams from this family is just more than I can take today. As always, we’re left feeling incredibly grateful having the privilege of capturing life’s greatest joy: love.