Well hello there! We've taken our annual blogging hiatus for the month of January and are excited to share this project on the blog with you today. Late last summer, the National Stationer Wedding Paper Divas reached out to us about doing a wedding inspiration project with one of their paper suites. We were intrigued and then promptly gathered some of our favorite Minnesota wedding vendors to collaborate on the project. Lizie from Lizie Anne Weddings and Proposals, set the stage with a concept she dreamt up for a Bohemian Wedding Proposal among dreamy weeping willow trees. The lovely Tara from A Day in Provence joined forces to create lush, bright florals for our scene that complimented the summery green foliage. Julie from Julie Swenson Beauty made our models even more beautiful with breezy hair and makeup and our real-couple Paige and Savaughn who made my job a piece of cake. The shoot was featured on 100 Layer Cake last week which felt like just the right avenue to share with their readers. It's always fun for us to work on these sorts of projects because it's not often we (as vendors) get full creative control with a team who shares the same vision. Then, by the time wedding season comes we have new vendors to recommend to our couples who are looking to round out their wedding day team. It's a win-win for us all, and this shoot definitely makes us anxious to get the 2016 wedding season rolling!
2015 marks our fifth year documenting weddings full time. We've always said that you can enter a career by way of education or experience - and our path has been experience. Of course we are constantly pushing ourselves to take classes and workshops to learn more, but there are no professional photography degrees behind our team of photographers. In 1993, a professor at the University of Colorado - Anders Ericsson, wrote a paper about how 10,000 hours of experience will make someone an expert in their field. After five years, we've well passed the 10,000 mark, and while I wouldn't say we are experts, I can say this business has taught us far more than we ever thought possible about entrepreneurship, hard work, setting boundaries, weddings in every shape and form and dreaming big. This year brought us documenting weddings in 13 states, photographing past (and new!) clients growing families and a true welcome as Midwest Photographers in addition to our New England base. With over 300,000 images processed (I'm not exaggerating) by Matt, myself, Chuck and Abby not to mention our crew of phenomenal second photographers - Missy, Jenny, Devin and Mike - it was a year of living and loving big. With the volume of work it might seem like we're a well oiled machine with lots of minions to keep things running. And while we have our workflow down, each and every wedding and portrait shoot is handled in our humble little studio without elaborate outsourcing. It's a labor of love, and one we are honored to call our life's work.
Thank you for joining us this year. From the highest points in Maine to the shores of the Mississippi River, we've been honored to tell these stories with our cameras. We are eternally grateful for your support and look forward to another year documenting love.
For those of you still hanging around at the end, let's start with a high-five for being able to process all those images. We are well aware that this little annual tradition of our images in a yearly review format is entirely too big. Believe it or not, this is a highly edited version of some of our favorite images for the year. I suppose that's what happens when we shoot more than 50 weddings in a year, not to mention even more portrait sessions. There is just so much LIFE and LOVE that we get to witness! It's such an honor, guys. Now you get to read our little acceptance speech of gratitude. First of all, none of these photos would be possible without the beautiful clients we get to have in our Summer Street family. Their lives and love are our constant inspiration, and without that we'd just be taking photos of pretty things with no substance. Next up, our team of dedicated photographers. Of course Matt and I started this whole crazy business, but we've picked up Chuck and Abby along the way as our sensationally talented Associate Photographers, and much of what you see above is their talented work as well. Next up we have the privilege of working with some of the finest in the industry as our second shooters and assistants for some weddings; Ashley, Katie, Deb, Bella, Dan, Olivia, Ellie, Jean and Vina - your talent behind the lens is clearly phenomenal and we're honored to call you peers. We are hybrid shooters (film and digital) so we have to thank our talented film lab, Richard Photo Lab, for their expert work in the dark room. This year we hand-trained a new talented digital editor as well. With the influx of a new market in the Midwest, Matt and I needed back-end support to help us deliver beautiful, consistent images to our clients in a timely manner, and we knew bringing an in-house editor to help us would be just the thing. Laura is now part of our team and has been an integral part of our back-end this year and helps all our images become what you see on our site. Talk about a talented group!
We have captured love in many places this year. From sandy beaches to historic estates. Ornate houses of worship and cathedrals in the woods. Childhood homes and mountain tops. All across New England and the prairies of the Midwest, we've gotten to step back and capture lives full of love. We've been able to tell their stories through photos that they will cherish for years to come. We are completely honored to call this work, and we toast to you all for supporting us along the way. Here's to 2015!
You know when you leave work feeling like you got to play the entire time, that it's a good thing, and that you're right where you need to be. Many of you know that I am also a dancer, so as you can imagine, photographing dance rates high on my creative endeavors. In fact, I'd go as far to say it's my favorite thing to photograph. I had a great time with Minneapolis based, Threads Dance Project a few weeks back in the studio and had to share some of my favorites here on the blog. Aren't they beautiful? I can't wait to check out their show at the Cowles Dance Center later this fall. Thanks for having me, Karen and your beautiful dancers. You guys are the best!
Gathering photos for our end of the year recap is not an easy task. It involves searching through each and every shoot, wedding and personal folder to gather some of our favorite images. When I first started, I had gathered over 700 images. Narrowing down from there was not an easy task, so rather than relentlessly selecting *just the right photos* I decided to adopt the mantra "done is better than perfect." So, you'll be getting not one, not two but THREE separate blog posts today categorized into three types: Lifestyle (see above), Engagement and Wedding. We'll post all three today - so get ready for a lot of photos! It's been an incredible year filled with photography, so we hope you enjoy a small recap of the hundreds of thousands of times we clicked our shutter this year. The above photos include many personal projects (from Paris to Guatemala to the Badlands of South Dakota) and also a few snippets from the senior, family, baby and head shot clients we get the honor of photographing each year. The majority of these photos were taken on film, which is our preferred method of taking personal photos since it forces you to slow down and think carefully before you take the photo - something you don't always get the luxury of on a wedding day. We hope these photos make you as happy as they make us!
Even amongst the busy season, it's refreshing and fun to do an editorial shoot. The timeline is a bit more relaxed so it gives us vendors a little creative playground to try out new ideas and work together. For us, that included shooting film (which we do some of on wedding days anyway) and shooting in inclement weather. Of course the fabulously organized ladies from Whim Events didn't plan the rain, but it happened so we all went with it and I'm convinced that the shoot wouldn't have been the same without it! When Natalie from Whim Events told us the concept for the shoot was as though 'the beach herself was throwing a party' we were intrigued. They used the soft palates of sand and sea to influence the shoot as though it were a small elopement on the beach with the couple's nearest and dearest. Add in furniture rentals from New England Country Rentals, dresses from Flair Bridesmaid Boutique, makeup by Julie from The Stylish One, a swoon-worthy print collection from Hartford Prints!, ingenious flower design by Moria from Whim, tasty Oysters from Island Creek Oysters, wine from Framaggio Kitchen and coordination by Natalie from Whim - and you get an amazing result! We were floored by the organic elegance that was achieved when all these elements came together and felt honored to be able to tie them together through photography with such a talented bunch. Now, any of our brides out there want to throw caution to the wind, abandon their wedding plans and recreate this as your wedding? I've got just the team for you. :)
We thought you might enjoy taking a peek at a personal project of sorts...not that looking at couples in love ever gets old. Kendra has a Dance Company in Boston called Six One Seven Dance Collective and they are preparing for a show in June. We decided it might be fun to do a non-traditional photoshoot for their upcoming show, as well as cross off a personal photography goal of ours: shooting underwater. Special thanks to the pros at LensProToGo out in Concord for mentally preparing us to trust the underwater camera housing that we rented from them especially for the shoot. (that thing looked like a submarine!) Since Kendra also dances in the company, I (Matt) was the primary photographer for this shoot. For any photographers looking to attempt this in the future; be sure to bring along ankle weights, good goggles and a lighting rig to shine into the water. We did this in an indoor YMCA community pool, so there was very little natural light. Also be sure to check out Kendra's company and come to their show in June!
While wedding season is still a few months away, we've had a busy winter this year and seem to be filling our time with all sorts of projects and smaller shoots. One of the more exciting parts of this business admin time are the wedding blog features that we've had the last two months. If you haven't been following along via our Facebook page, have a look at some of the blogs that have featured our work recently. First up we had Lauren and Neil's wedding featured on the adorable Love and Lavender:
Wow! We're floored. If you're looking for some wedding planning inspiration, or just a great way to avoid folding the laundry, check out these lovely blogs to get your wedding eye candy fill!
And speaking of Wedding Blogs....you may or may not see our own little wedding coming up on a major wedding blog in the next couple of days. Hip Hip Hooray for Weddings!
2011 has been a truly amazing year. I think we will always remember this year with great fondness, as we ate, breathed and slept all things wedding. With the early part of the year leading me (Kendra) into the transition of being a full time wedding photographer, to the middle of the year when we got married ourselves (which has given us SO much more to truly relate to our clients and know exactly how they feel) to the end of the year when we shot 26 weddings, 42 engagement sessions (amongst other non-wedding related work) and got to meet the exciting bunch of 2012 Summer Street couples. With all of the wedding talk, gorgeous rings, adorable proposal stories and sweet moments, the funny thing is that we still can't get enough. There is something deeper than just a 'wedding' that keeps us artistically motivated. It's you. Getting to know our clients and having the honor of telling their stories makes us tick. We've never felt so at home. We say it a lot, but we truly feel blessed to have this job. Here's to each and every one of you who 'liked' something on our facebook page, commented on a blog post, encouraged us in our buisness, and trusted us to document your event. We are nothing without your support, and we can't wait to share 2012 with you!