Boston Documentary Family Photo + Video Session || The Messier Family

 

So, it's finally time... we are so excited to announce that Joe and I will be offering documentary family photo + video sessions this year!

These sessions are meant to allow us to capture what your life looks like at this moment in time - the pretty and the messy, the laughter and the tears, the quiet determination and bravery and the fear, the snuggles and the tantrums... your family, as you are. 

This means we hang out with you for a few hours, half photo + video team, half playmates with the kids (who soon forget they're on camera and don't mind the photos at all when it just means they get to play all day!), and record all those beautiful little moments that ensue. 

And the video... the video adds a completely different dimension to it all. I think of my own family photos and videos and how deeply I cherish them - how even the smallest details become significant and meaningful as you look back at how your family has loved one another through the years. I feel so strongly that families are best documented by photo and video, side by side - they complement and enrich each other in a way that is undeniable.

Especially since (ok, and I'm bragging on my husband now... just bear with me!) Joe has this incredible talent for emotional, poignant storytelling that couldn't be any more perfect for family sessions. Truly - I've been absolutely dying to share his family videos.

And there's nothing more fulfilling than hearing from the families we document that what we captured will be treasured by them, too. After we sent her the video, Kristin wrote us back: 


Emily,

The video is FANTASTIC!!!!  We love it so much...Joe did an amazing job capturing the spirit of our family, home, kids.  It feels like it was made by someone who really knows us - I give Joe a ton of credit, the man understands his craft!

I've watched it alone, with Rick, then with the whole family, and cried each time!  THANK YOU, thank you, thank you. We will treasure this forever, and really see the value in this for other families (ready to write rave reviews in whatever capacity will most help you guys!).

Give Joe a big hug from all four of us! Thanks again!


Alright friends, it's time... scroll down, turn your sound on, and tell us what you think of the video!

Then check out the accompanying photographs below. 

PS. Ready to have a day in your family's life documented? Drop us a line!



Posted on March 5, 2017 .

Family Roots

Family.

It's a passion of mine that has been growing ever since I've quietly begun taking on more family sessions over the past year.

I love the intimacy of these day-in-the-life family sessions... finding the extraordinary beauty in the everyday rhythms of a family's life at this moment in time. I see the small interactions and expressions and relationships that I get to capture, and know that while they are precious to the parents now, they will be priceless to their children later. 

When I photograph family sessions, I think a lot about my own childhood. My dad was the family documenter. He filmed hours of home video and took countless pictures. You can tell in the videos that he just loved being a dad, and that he spent tons of time with us as kids - something that makes me smile each time I watch.

Though I've always had fun looking through old photos and videos, these glimpses into the past became invaluable to me when at 19, my mom - my warm, embarrassingly friendly (through my teenager eyes), chocolate-chip-cookies-for-the-neighborhood-making, Jesus following, beach loving, big smiling, always welcoming, curious, strong, endlessly positive, hilariously sassy, southern belle of a mother - died. 

The way you think of your parents changes so much throughout your life. As a kid, they're just your parents - your protectors, entertainers, teachers, and pesky enforcers of rules. As you pass through teenship and on to the adulthood, you begin to see them more as friends, confidantes, and - gasp! - actual real live human beings.

I'm grateful that I had a good relationship with my mom, and that I was old enough when she died that I did have a little bit of time in that "friend and real person" stage. But still.... so often, I find myself desperately wanting to know more about her. I want to see her - and our relationship - through the eyes of an adult. What was she thinking and feeling at my age? What was she like as a young mother? I long to see evidence of the ways she loved me when I was too young to remember those precious moments. 

And so, it's to the photographs and home videos that I turn, time and time again. Evidence of my mother and the life she life she led and the people she loved and the beautiful, imperfect human that she was. Evidence of the woman who lives on in my sister and me - of the personality quirks and expressions and struggles and talents that I continually discover do not belong to me alone, but were inherited from the woman who brought me into this world and raised me.

Over the past couple of years, something new has been happening... maybe due to my age and the stage of life I'm in. Going through old photographs and videos has been one of the major ways I've grieved my mom and understood my own identity through the years. But now they have now become dear to me all over again... this time for glimpses into the lives of people I love who are still living: my dad, my sister; my Gran, my aunts and uncles and cousins, my dear friends, my husband.

My favorites tend to be the moments that illuminate someone's personality, or the relationship between two or more people. Little details that tell big stories. Things I didn't notice at the time that I can see with clarity now. 

And in videos, it's the voices... the expressions... the gestures... the humanity and realness of something that is so ephemeral and substantial at the same time. I can almost smell the air at my Gran and Gramps' house as we run through the sprinkler in the summer heat. I hear a phrase my mom says that brings back that childlike feeling of being safe and comforted - a particular way that only your mother can make you feel. I watch my dad as he encourages me to play and push boundaries and remember that he's always made me feel like I was capable of anything. I see the way I almost smothered my little sister with love and excitement after she was born. 

I am filled with endless gratitude toward my dad for always having the camera nearby. I only wish we had someone taking these photos for us, so that all of us could be in the pictures and videos more often. 

This is what I want to give to the wonderful people that I get to work with. This is what I hold in my heart during every second I spend photographing a family. And this is why my husband, Joe, has begun joining me to film family sessions as I photograph them. We can't wait to share what we've been up to with you. 

Stay tuned for a follow up post in the next couple of days, but in the meantime, here are just a few family photos and one little family video clip (I wanted to share too many, so I had to narrow it down to one!) from when I was young :) 

 

Posted on March 4, 2017 .

Perona Farms, Andover, NJ || Katie Rae + Sam

Katie Rae and Sam! Where to start with these two? Katie Rae is a family friend of mine, and it's been wonderful reconnecting with her and her family throughout the last year! Katie Rae is an incredibly kind, intelligent, accomplished person, and there couldn't be anyone more perfect for her than Sam. These two glow around one another. And what really stands out is their intentionality - about their marriage, about bettering their community, and about their relationships with friends and family. Their interfaith ceremony was so beautifully done and full of wisdom. I can't wait to see what these two do together in the future. Congratulations Katie Rae and Sam!!
 

Garden House at Look Memorial Park || Mari + Nick

I met Mari back when I did my first co-op at HMS in college, and then got to work with her again several years later! Mari is such a sweet, selfless, and occasionally hilariously sassy person, and I've loved calling her my friend over the past few years! So it was a huge honor for me to photograph her and Nick's wedding. These two are so sweet and fun and just all around good together. Their happiness together is contagious. And they got married on Mari's parents' anniversary! It was such a beautiful, emotional, special day, and it meant everything to me that I got to be a part of it. Congratulations Mari and Nick!! 

Crystal Lake Golf Club, Mapleville, RI || Kat + Jon

This wedding was extra special, because the beautiful bride just so happened to be my husband's twin sister! I've always felt so fortunate to have married into a family that I absolutely love, and I'm so psyched that Kat found someone as awesome as Jon to add to it!! Kat and Jon have this beautiful, no holds barred kind of love. They balance one another perfectly, they have a blast together, and they are so, so good to one another. Their ceremony was such a perfect reflection of their relationship - heartfelt words, beautiful promises, happy tears, and big, big smiles. It means a whole lot to me that they chose me to capture their big day for them. Kat and Jon, I know you have an amazing future ahead of you, and I can't wait to see what it holds for you!! Love you both!!

State Room, Boston, MA || Christina + Steve

I swear, I spend half of my time these days wondering how on earth I get to work with such incredible couples! When Christina and I met, we instantly hit it off. We connected over a million things... our cats (we both a cat named Luna!!), living in JP, how much we love our grandparents, and even more serious topics, like things that our families have gone through. I soon found out that Christina and Steve are not only a really, really great couple... they are also ridiculously hardworking, talented, and accomplished (especially when it comes to music). The love these two have for one another and for their friends and family is unmistakably beautiful. Christina and Steve, I couldn't be happier for you guys, and I can't wait to see what your future holds (and walk our dogs together when you bring your lil furball home :). 

Crane Estate, Ipswich, MA || Emily + Shawn

Emily and Shawn were married by one of Emily's dad's oldest friends in a cozy little church, with Emily being walked down the aisle as a song Shawn wrote about her many years ago was played by one of his best friends. After saying I do, we all went over to the gorgeous Crane Estate for a reception full of touching speeches and some pretty great dancing :).;):)::) There were so many beautiful personal touches throughout the day, so naturally, I found myself frequently fighting back tears!

It was pouring, windy, and chilly all day, but these two didn't mind at all - it was as if there wasn't a cloud in the sky. We slipped away to the Italian Gardens for a few photos of them alone together right before the last of the light disappeared, and it was downright magical. So glad I got to spend the day with such an awesome couple!! Congrats Emily and Shawn!!
 

Olde Mill Inn, Basking Ridge, NJ || Kristen + Oliver

It was such a privilege to document Kristen and Oliver's wedding! I grew up with Kristen's younger sister, Jen, and although I've always known the Dilzells were sweet, warm, and super talented, it was wonderful getting to know Kristen and Oliver better! These two have accomplished so much, and yet remain so kind and humble. As soon as I saw her and Oliver together, it was totally apparent that they make an amazing pair. So grateful to work with such lovely people (and to get to see some old friends from high school for the second time this year!). Congrats Kristen and Oliver!! So happy for you two!! 

Bellevue Barn, Jefferson, NH || Becca + Tom

During Becca and Tom's ceremony, their officiant said something along the lines of "if Becca and Tom can't make it, none of the rest of us even stand a chance". That is pretty much exactly how I feel about Becca and Tom. And it's not only because these two are clearly made for one another, but because they are both genuinely some of the best people I've ever had the pleasure of knowing and the honor of calling my friends. They are so kind and humble and friendly and loyal and accommodating to everyone they know, including one another. Tough times happen, no matter who you are or who you're with. But Becca and Tom are the kind of people that will be just fine even through the toughest times, and I know anyone who knows them agrees with me. When Becca and Tom are around one another, all they do is smile. Like big, beaming, bright, adorable, super happy smiles. It is the BEST THING EVER (and also very contagious). 

Anyway, I somehow won the lottery and not only did I get to call them my friends, but I got to photograph their wedding!! Their venue, Bellevue Barn, was nestled amongst the White Mountains on a beautiful property, with the Fall colors popping all around us. Becca is an incredibly talented illustrator, and she killed the whole DIY wedding thing... all the details were amazing!! I am so, so happy I got to be there for it. It was such an amazing, emotional weekend, and it's left me feeling totally giddy and so grateful that I get to do this for a living.

Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, Brooklyn, NY || Emma + Jonathan

I still remember reading Emma's hilarious blog post entitled "So, your Emily got married: A guide to handling this tough time in your life" and thinking "this girl is hilarious/the kind of girl I'd want to be friends with". She and Jonathan had eloped not long after meeting - their connection was immediate and intense, and they knew right away that they were right for one another. Since then, I've watched their relationship unfold online with a whole lot of admiration and respect. I've been rooting for them ever since reading that blog post, and have loved getting to know them (virtually) ever since. Although they eloped last May, they intended to have an actual wedding to celebrate with their closest friends and family down the road, and I had the honor of being their wedding photographer!! I absolutely love the unapologetic, passionate, and loving way they live their lives - a certain fire and warmth that I admire greatly (bonus - they both happen to be talented photographers!). I'm so happy I finally got to meet them, their friends, and their families in person while I photographed their wedding day! 

It ended up raining all day, but Emma and Jonathan braved the cold and the wet for a first look out by the rose garden before celebrating indoors in the beautiful Atrium. 

Backyard Beach Wedding in Scituate, MA // Janine + David

Janine and David's wedding was an absolute dream... a seaside, back yard ceremony at Janine's Aunt's cottage, surrounded by a handful of loved ones and their 3 very special pups. After the ceremony, we were treated to one of the most beautiful sunsets I've ever seen, followed by their first dance and a few sweet toasts before dinner. Congrats Janine and David!! I am so so happy for you! 

Meredith + Andrew || Granite Links, Quincy, MA

Just had to put up a little sneak peek from Meredith and Andrew's sweet wedding!! I went to gradeschool with Meredith's younger sister, Grace, and absolutely love their whole family, so it was extra special to see these two get married! Congrats Mer and Andrew!

Posted on October 7, 2016 .

Katie Rae + Sam || North End Engagement Session Sneak Peeks

Katie Rae and Sam were the 5th crazy in love couple I had photographed in 6 days, and I have now officially turned into a total puddle of sap :).:) These two have the kind of love that makes you giddy. I had SO much fun running around the North End photographing them! Can't wait for their wedding next month!!

Kristina + Andy || Zorvino Vineyard, Sandown, NH Sneak Peeks!

So happy to share these sneak peeks from Kristina and Andy's beautiful, sweet wedding at the gorgeous Zorvino Vineyards this past Sunday!! Kristina and Andy are one of those couples that you just know is meant to be together, and every part of their wedding day reflected that, from their reactions during their first look, to their heartfelt ceremony, to the toasts made by their best friends, to all the fun they had dancing together during the reception. I still remember Kristina telling me that despite both having busy schedules, they always make time for one another and always have an adventure planned ahead. Can't wait to see what adventures you go on next, Kristina and Andy!! Look out for more sneak peeks soon!
 

Kali + Bill // Massachusetts Horticultural Society, Wellesley, MA

I'm back after an awesome weekend photographing weddings with some sneak peeks!! First up is Kali and Bill. The love that these two have is something else. Full of sweetness, silliness, excitement... but also quietly shining with the strength of many years of the deepest respect and love for one another. It was beautiful, emotional day, and their ceremony and toasts reflected Kali and Bill and their love perfectly. And the setting wasn't bad, either! ;) This time of year may be the kind of busy that makes you question your sanity for us wedding photographers, but getting to work with such good, good people makes it more than 100% worth it. Congratulations Kali and Bill!! Stay tuned for more sneak peeks!
 

Laurie + Paul || Backyard Wedding in Natick, MA

There's honestly nothing I love more than back yard weddings! And Laurie and Paul's sweet back yard wedding was no exception. As soon as we got there I felt like part of the group. The girls were hilarious, cracking jokes and going through funny old pictures and from their adolescence as they got ready in Laurie's childhood bedroom. Paul and his family are from England, and as we all know, there's nothing more adorable than kids with English accents! I loved how relaxed the whole day was. It really was 100% about Laurie and Paul committing their lives to one another in front of their closest friends and family. Congrats Laurie and Paul!! Look out for a few more sneak peeks in the next couple of days!
 

Nicole + Josh || Farmington Gardens, Farmington, CT

This was a really special wedding for me. I got to double up as the photographer and a guest on Friday as Joe's best friend married his high school sweetheart! Josh and Joe met at their college orientation and were roommates for all four years of college. I remember thinking it was really cool that Josh and Nicole had been together since high school too. Josh and Nicole are such sweet, fun, good-natured people, and it's been so great seeing their relationship grow throughout all these years... from school, to getting real adult jobs, to buying a home together, to adopting their pup Louie, to officially tying the knot!! Their wedding day was beautiful and so, so much fun. Congrats Josh and Nicole!! I couldn't be happier for you two! Stay tuned for some more sneak peeks in the next couple days!