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.
Even after hundreds of shoots, there are times that I have to pinch myself that I get to do what I love for work. We all feel that way, here on Summer Street, but you know when you leave a shoot smiling from ear to ear and get a "photo high" from the work you've created with such fun and creative subjects, that you're doing something right. Alivia shines from the inside out and capturing her personality and vibrancy was such a treat. I have the special honor of calling her family, so when she and her family told us they were going to head up to Minnesota from Nebraska to have us capture her senior portraits it was doubly exciting. She's about ten years younger than me, so she was always sweet-little-Libby to our (large) extended family. It's so amazing to see what an incredible person and athlete she's grown into not to mention exceptionally beautiful. Libby, thank you for trusting me to capture your beautiful spirit! You're a joy to all who know you.
Senior portraits taken in historic Yankton
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!
When John called us up to have his senior portraits taken, we were ESTATIC. You see, it's a little known fact that our roots are in Senior Portraiture. Back before Weddings were a twinkle in our eye, we took dozens of senior portraits. They are fun and creative. It's such an exciting time in life and it makes for some great photos when young adults like to personalize their sessions with their interests and passions. John is full of life and loves to play soccer, run cross country and goof around with his buddies. He's got a bright future and a great head on his shoulders. We know he'll go far in life, but for now, you can find him shining on the soccer field, making girls swoon and enjoying his last year of high school before heading out into the world. I had such a great time photographing you, John! And I'm serious about you modeling for us sometime. ;)
We met up with Savannah in August when we were shooting a midwest wedding. The nice thing about engagement sessions and senior photo sessions (compared to weddings) is that you can reschedule the shoot if the weather is less than ideal. In southern South Dakota, the thought of the slight chance of rain was not at all in our minds because of the hot, dry summer they had this year. I mean really hot. And really dry. We found a time amongst our busy schedules to shoot at 6:00am on a Saturday morning and what happens? It rains. Pours in fact. We met up bright and early, hoping to the rain to pass, but it didn't. Trying not to let the weather dampen our spirits too much, we found a different time that day and met up again later in the afternoon. I don't know about you, but we believe that everything happens for a reason. And boy were we happy to stumble upon the locations and light we did with Savannah! There is no way we would have had such luck if we had tried to do the shoot in the morning, so while we were tired and bummed that our first effort didn't go through, the way the session turned out was truly meant to be. Savannah is an extremely talented dancer and beautiful person inside and out, so she made the session a breeze. We're so happy we were able to capture her senior year and know she has a bright future in store. Enjoy your last year of high school, Savannah!
I love senior photo sessions. I truly do. There is something so special about capturing young adults as they transition from childhood to adulthood. Zoe's senior session was a blast since it was clear that she is truly ready to spread her wings and do amazing things in the world. Her energy was bursting with excitement and joy, and let me tell you, the best guarantee for good photographs is JOY. Zoe lives in Texas but we were able to meet up in South Dakota while we were traveling in June to shoot her session. I never get tired of shooting in South Dakota. Many photographers say the light is best in Southern California, but I think the flat prairie does pretty well for itself. The vast expanse of fields and farms makes for a stunning backdrop and can we just talk for a second about the HORSES in her photos?! As we were brainstorming ideas for Zoe's session, I kept returning to a vision of photographing her around horses (she does ride after all). I casually mentioned it to my Dad, who simply called up some friends of his and asked if we could swing by to take some photos with their horses. I kid you not, they said "Of course! See you in an hour!" And just like that, we jumped in the car and met Rosie, the supporting star of Zoe's session. A *huge* thank you to Jim and MaryAnn for their generosity on last minute notice to use their horses in this shoot. They represent the type of people that make the community I grew up in so wonderful.