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.
This wedding is special to me for a few reasons. First off, it's the first wedding I've photographed in my hometown of Yankton, South Dakota. When the beautiful bride, Brooke, asked me on her wedding day if I'd ever photographed a wedding in Yankton, I had to think for a moment but realized that no, I hadn't ever shot there before. After five years of doing this full time it was definitely time to break that ice - and Brooke, Eric and their crew certainly did! These two wanted a love filled celebration that allowed their nearest and dearest 400 guests to kick off their marriage with a HECK of a party. One that spanned two states, in fact. You see, Brooke grew up in Yankton and Eric grew up right across the river in Crofton, Nebraska. They got ready in one of the oldest buildings in town - the Dakota Territorial Capital building (once upon a time Yankton was the capital of SD) which sits right on the river and has a beautiful park as its yard which made for some lovely photos before the ceremony. They said 'I do' at Brooke's childhood church and after the ceremony the entire wedding party took a booze cruise around Yankton which was buzzing with energy and music. It was literally a party on wheels. Of course I had to drag them into a corn field for a big wedding party photo after which the celebration continued into Nebraska where they joined their guests at the Crofton Auditorium for the reception. It was a fun-filled day that we were happy to get to share in! Congratulations Brooke and Eric! Thanks for having us!
There are some weddings that we leave with more energy than when we started. Ryann and Ted's big day was definitely one of them. These two are full of life, love and laughter - and anyone who knows them knows this is not a cliche for this pair. Working in new environments always makes us excited to be doing what we're doing, so when Ryann gave us her vision with some of Chicago's prettiest landmarks as spots she wanted incorporated into her wedding photos we were all in. From start to finish Ryann and Ted were emotionally present and enjoying their day which makes the whole experience more relaxed and fun. We had a blast photographing this one and hope you can see that in their wedding story. Congratulations to the newlyweds!
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!
Megan and Jeff tied the knot a few weeks back in Megan's hometown of Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Their wedding was a perfect example of a traditional Wedding done oh so right. From the textually diverse venue, Icon, downtown Sioux Falls to the perfectly pink florals and classic navy bridesmaid dresses, there was so much goodness to capture. The cherry on the top of the sundae, however, was capturing the love Megan and Jeff have for one another. Their presence together feels like they belong to one another. Comfortable, relaxed and safe, they are not only good together but are also lovely individuals in their own right. We had fun visiting Kendra's homeland of South Dakota and brought along some local talent to help second shoot on their day (thanks, Dan!). Megan and Jeff, we are honored to have had the privilege of capturing your Wedding. Congratulations!
For those that know Hannah and Galen, we don't have to tell you how wonderful they are. For those that don't, if these photos of their wedding don't attest to the genuine thoughtfulness that went into the celebration of their union, I'm not sure what else would do it. It says a lot when two people enter their marriage barefoot. With a big breath and nervous grin, Hannah entered the space of their ceremony with her father at the same time that Galen and his dear Aunt walked in. Together, gathered with their nearest and dearest, barefoot and with open hearts to declare their commitment to one another, they became husband and wife. I love when couples have humble hearts of surrender as they embark on marriage. It's so real and intentional, and way more beautiful than any wedding flowers, dress or fancy cocktails. That, my friends, is why we do what we do. It's been such a pleasure accompanying you during this exciting time in your lives, Hannah and Galen. Thank you for allowing us into your festive, heartfelt day. Congratulations!
We always love having the opportunity to photograph someplace new. A new surrounding and local culture inspires us to see things a little differently than our daily life and forces us to slow down while shooting to attempt to capture the landscape. In Rachel and Andrew's case, their wedding was in Kendra's home state of South Dakota, which always provides a sense of comfort and familiarity on the great plains. If you've ever gotten the opportunity to visit the great state of South Dakota, you'll know that it's a large, mostly flat terrain filled with gently sloping fields of grain, corn, soybeans and eventually a beautiful mountain range. Winds can whip across the mostly tree-less acres with great gusto causing intense blizzards in the winter and intense hot wind (and tumbleweeds!) in the summer. Fortunately these two chose a summer month and not a blizzard month to be married in, and despite the 115 degree heat indexes on their wedding day, they kept their cool amongst the raging temps and high winds (have you ever seen someone's hair look so good in 50mph winds?). Rachel and Andrew are currently living on the East Coast but wanted to celebrate their union in Rachel's hometown of Chamberlain, South Dakota. Oh what a perfect decision that was for them, too. Never have we seen such a warm and loving group of people come together to celebrate these two special people. The kind of compassion and camaraderie their guests poured out on Rachel and Andrew was genuine and heartfelt. It's not difficult, however, to adore these two. Rachel is a modern-day Jacqueline Kennedy or Audrey Hepburn; sparkling, sensitive full of class and wit. She's almost always laughing and if not, she's got a glowing smile on her face. Andrew is loyal, well-spoken and has a heart of gold. They really are something together and their entire wedding day was a reflection of their special bond. We were so happy to have the opportunity to work with you, Rachel and Andrew, and we wish you many years of joy together. Congratulations!
What an amazing year it's been. Whenever we stop to count our blessings (which we try to make a daily habit of) we are floored by the opportunities we have to work in a medium we love for really good people. Yes, we take thousands of photos at every wedding and spend countless hours ensuring each image is taken care of and presented with the same joy we captured it with - but without you - our clients and supporters - our work is nothing. We'd have no beautiful flower arrangements to ooh and ah at, we'd have no sweet glances to capture when a couple sees one another for the first time on their wedding day, we'd never hear your loved ones toasting to eternal happiness and we'd certainly have a lot fewer friends. The truth is, weddings are filled with emotions and it's a complete honor to be able to bottle those up and give them back to you each and every wedding. After a wedding is over, when we're home and editing photos on a tuesday morning, we're still laughing about the way your Uncle Randy took center stage during 'Gangnam Style', we're still inspired by the hard work you've put into your wedding details and with each and every couple portrait that we edit and refine, our observations of your love reinforces why marriage is such a beautiful thing. We love capturing these moments and giving them back to you as a visual journal of one of the happiest days of your lives. We can't help but feel as though the joy and love of these special days rubs off on us too. It's contagious, and we can only hope 2013 will bring as much hard work, excitement and happiness as 2012. Happy New Year, Friends!