Author Archives: jeff

Christine + Cody

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Christine and Cody’s beautiful wedding at The Mountain Top Inn and Resort was a perfect combination of loving family and fun-loving friends in a perfect Vermont setting.

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Weather Underground predicted an 80% chance of rain at the time of the ceremony, yet the skies cleared a few minutes before Christine walked down the aisle and it was gorgeous summer weather for the rest of the weekend.

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Christine wanted to surprise her bridesmaids with her beautiful dress. It worked!

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Meanwhile, over in the boy’s room, Cody and his team were remarkably on schedule.

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Christine’s dad attending to the final details. It was his job to keep the groomsmen on task, no small feat.

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A storybook arrival on a dreamlike day!

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Christine and Cody have a few quiet moments together after the ceremony.

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A borrowed jacket helps take the chill off, and Christine’s brothers keep her dress off the grass.

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It was a chocolate cake. These are my people.

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Christine and her dad dance. There were not many dry eyes in the house!

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Cody and his mom dancing to “Here Comes the Sun.”

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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. People from Maine can dance with a beer in their hand. And they do.

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Christine and Cody, congratulations on a beautiful start to your wonderful life together. Thanks again for letting me be a part of your amazing day!

 

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Kirsten + Jim

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Kirsten and Jim’s wedding was a delightful mix of rustic simplicity and elegant celebration.

 

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The intimate family ceremony was held at the summit of Mt. Holyoke in Skinner State Park in Amherst, Massachusetts.

 

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A second ceremony included Kirsten and Jim’s many friends at the stunning Garden House at Look Park in Northampton.

 

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The day was characterized by the natural beauty of a spring wedding, Kirsten and Jim’s joy of being married, their enjoyment of their friends and family, and a lot of laughter!

 

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Congratulations Kirsten and Jim! It was an amazing day, and Leslie and I were so psyched to be with you both!

 

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Alissa

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Alissa is a trapeze artist and a graduate of Brattleboro’s New England Center for Circus Arts.

 

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She’s heading to Europe in a few months to seek a position as a trapeze artist and needed some portraits for her portfolio. We spent some time in the studio before doing some outdoor images on a wonderfully warm March day.

 

Southern Vermont Portrait Photographer
Great portraits have a couple of key ingredients. The first is a relaxed, fun atmosphere of collaboration between the subject and the photographer. If it’s not fun, it’s going to be reflected in the images.

 

Southern Vermont Portrait Photographer
Another key ingredient is great light. I love scoping out places around southern Vermont that have soft, flattering light. This alley is one of my faves!

 

Southern Vermont Portrait Photographer
So I set this funky red stool in the alley, and ask Alissa to do whatever feels comfortable to her, thinking she’s going to sit on the stool. Not so much.

 

Southern Vermont Portrait Photographer
Providing some positive direction about posing can really help someone relax and be themselves. A lot of times I’ll say something like, “What if you knelt down by the stool like this and tried a couple of things?” showing them what I have in mind. Then they take it from there, creating beautiful, natural portraits that convey both their personality and style. I love these images of Alissa.

 

Southern Vermont Portrait Photographer
Another example of suggesting to a NECCA grad that maybe they could stand behind the rail. Trapeze artists stand behind rails differently than most of us.

 

Southern Vermont Portrait Photographer
Different angles and compositions can be so much more interesting than the same old shots. Crazy blue eyes don’t hurt either.

 

Southern Vermont Portrait Photographer
We are so blessed to live in a town that has such a rich patina. I would never be tempted to use a green screen when I have Brattleboro as a backdrop.

 

Southern Vermont Portrait Photographer
Genius portraitist Josef Karsh often framed his subjects in a doorway or window to provide a frame within a frame. I love the dripping roof top tar.

 

Southern Vermont Portrait Photographer
Wish Alissa luck as she travels to Germany to pursue her art and joy. Alissa thanks for the opportunity for me to pursue my art and joy with you on a warm March day!

 

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Tips for Great Wedding Photography

Ten Tips for Great Wedding Photos

You’ve found your perfect wedding photographer, met with him or her several times and really enjoy them, and are looking forward to having amazing images of your special day. You may not have thought of it, but there are a couple of easy things you can do before and during your wedding day to ensure that you’ll get wedding photos you’ll love forever. Here are my top ten fave tips:

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1. Find unhurried time for your formals with each other. If you’re cool with seeing one another before the ceremony, that’s a great time for “first look” images and formals. I consistently get my best couple portraits when we have an hour before the ceremony to get off by ourselves. It also gives you a chance to be alone together, to tell each other how amzing you look, and get settled before the ceremony. If you’d prefer to do the portraits after the ceremony, a minimum of half an hour for just the two of you is great, and longer is even better. If you’re eager to join your guests, ask your photographer if they’d consider doing your portraits after the honeymoon. I always suggest this to couples, because I know the more time we have together and the more relaxed they are the better the portraits will be.

2. Park cars away from your outdoor wedding site. This is one of those small details that will make all the difference in your images. Your wedding planner or venue contact can help you arrange this.  And don’t forget to tell your caterer, DJ or band to move their vans once they’ve unloaded their equipment.

03 3. Ask guests to put down their phones, cameras and video cams and “be in the moment” during the ceremony. You can assure everyone that you’ve hired photographers to be there so that family and friends can be fully present, and that the images will be made available. The Unplugged Wedding is one of The Knot’s top wedding trends for 2014, so you won’t be alone in your request, and you’ll get great images of your family and friends as they participate fully in the ceremony and celebration.

southern vermont wedding photographer, vermont wedding photography, vermont photographers, vt photographers,wedding photographer vermont,vermont wedding photographers, vt wedding photographer, vt wedding photographers, wedding photographers vermont4. Remind the wedding party to smile when coming down the aisle. It’s easy for your wedding party to get earnest and a little nervous when they’re coming down the aisle (the ceremony is the serious part, right?). I ask everyone in the wedding party to look at me and smile for a few seconds as they come in.

southern vermont wedding photographer, vermont wedding photography, vermont photographers, vt photographers,wedding photographer vermont,vermont wedding photographers, vt wedding photographer, vt wedding photographers, wedding photographers vermont5. Tilt your hands slightly towards the photographer while putting on your wedding rings so the guests (and the camera) can see clearly. I know this is a small detail, but it will make a big difference in your photos. If you forget to do this and it’s an important image to you, your photographer and officiant can do a retake after the ceremony.

6.  Limit the number of friends and family formals. It doesn’t take a lot of time to actually take the photo, but it can take time to track everyone down and get them arranged. It’s helpful to have a list of the shots you really want and have a “cheerleader” to find family and friends for the portraits. A short list of important group portraits and an energetic, positive cheerleader can move the formal session along quickly so that everyone can get back to the celebration and the photographer can get back to taking pictures of the celebration.

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7. Try looking right at the camera sometimes. There’s a powerful connection when you look directly at the lens, and the resulting images go straight to the heart.

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8. If you’re going to have a videographer, give their contact information to your photographer. It’s a delicate dance the photographer and videographer go through to stay out of one another’s way and make sure you get amazing photos and video. The best photographers and videographers trust and enjoy one another, and it’s always helpful for them to connect before the wedding day. If you’re going to ask a family member or friend to videotape your day, get them in touch with your photographer. I’ve done some weddings in which a family member with a video cam (or cell phone or lap top) is in nearly every shot. If I have a chance to talk with them before the wedding day, we can work out a strategy.

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9.  Take 15 minutes for “golden light” images. There’s usually about a half hour of beautiful soft light before sunset during which your photographer will get the best images of the day. It’s often towards the end of dinner, and I ask the couple if we can go outside for a few minutes. It is so worth it.

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10. Ask your DJ to dis the disco light. Your guests don’t need a disco light to get them psyched to dance, because your playlist is going to be great and they know how to dance with a beer in their hand.

With just a little advance planning and a couple of small details during the day, you’ll get dream-like images that will convey the full beauty and joy of your special day. And remember, have fun with it!

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Photography with Friends

Last week three of my photographic soulmates joined me in Vermont for a wonderful week of image making. We worked with a number of local models including Gavin, pictured here with one of our hens.

Last week three of my photographic soul mates joined Leslie and me in Vermont for a wonderful week of image making. We worked with a number of local models including Gavin, pictured here with one of our hens.

 

Gavin has a love of botany and being outdoors. Here he identifies a frog from our pond.

Gavin has a love of botany and being outdoors. Here he identifies a frog from our pond.

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Hana contemplating the world. A natural light portrait in one of our barns.

Hana contemplating the world. A natural light portrait in one of our barns.

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One of Leslie's blouses that I snagged for Hana to wear. You probably noticed that we had to roll up the sleeves.

One of Leslie’s blouses that I snagged for Hana to wear. You probably noticed that we had to roll up the sleeves. A lot.

Liam at Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site in Cornish, New Hampshire.

Liam at Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site in Cornish, New Hampshire.

Vermonters may recognize Liam as the Tinman in this year's Circus Smirkus rendition of The Wizard of Oz.

Vermonters may recognize Liam as the Tin Man in this year’s Circus Smirkus rendition of The Wizard of Oz.

Yes, he really balanced the phlox on his nose.

Yes, he really balanced the phlox on his nose.

Liam in a rare moment not balancing, juggling, or walking on his hands.

Liam in a rare moment not balancing, juggling, or walking on his hands.

Some of you will recognize Ferne from previous blogs and my high school senior portraits website. Ferne and Liam are fellow New England Circus Arts friends, and she joined us for the Saint-Gaudens portrait session.

You may recognize Ferne from previous blogs and my high school senior portraits website. Ferne and Liam are fellow New England Circus Arts friends, and she joined us for the Saint-Gaudens portrait session.

Ferne can walk on her hands too, but I love this image of her standing on her own two feet.

Ferne can walk on her hands too, but I love this image of her standing on her own two feet.

We finished up the week with Julia at an abandoned (yet still remarkably sturdy) railroad trestle.

We finished up the week with Julia at an abandoned (yet still remarkably sturdy) railroad trestle.

Julia loves vintage clothes, and I love vintage images. For you techies, these images were made with a Zeiss 85mm/1.4 lens, probably THE primo portrait lens, and my favorite.

Julia loves vintage clothes, and I love vintage images. For you techies, these images were made with a Zeiss 85mm/1.4 lens, probably THE primo portrait lens, and my favorite.

Beautiful light in the early evening.

Beautiful early evening light.

This is my favorite image of Julia. The hem of the dress creates a little smile.

This is my favorite image of Julia. The hem of the dress creates a little smile.

It was a rich and fun week! Look for one of Leslie's images of Julia at the upcoming Insight Photography Auction—it is hauntingly amazing. I'm still trying to decide which image to include in the auction. . . .

It was a rich and fun week! Look for one of Leslie’s images of Julia at the upcoming Insight Photography Auction—it is hauntingly amazing. I’m still trying to decide which image to include in the auction. . . .

 

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