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What happens when creative entrepreneurs get together to play? You get some pretty amazing things in my opinion. Creating for the sake of creating is a great reminder of why we do what we do. It fuels our souls to create for ourselves and can be more freeing than when working within the constraints that often accompany client work.

When Heather and Piper of Birds of a Flower floral shop in Woodstock, Vermont called me saying she had an abundance of flowers and had this terrific idea of creating an English Tea Party on a beautiful horse farm nearby with their daughters, I completely cleared my schedule to make this happen. It sounded exactly what I needed after taking somewhat of a creative break to focus on other things.

Heather wanted to showcase a new local startup called The Purple Cookie Company with delicious cookies. She also envisioned using British made products such as Hunter Boots, Jelly Cat Stuffed Animals and Mini Boden clothing to complete the English look.

I envisioned capturing a scene that included the girls and horses but of course when you’re working with young kids, babies and animals sometimes you have to throw all expectations out the window. If it works, great. If it doesn’t and someone starts to get upset, you shift gears and go with another idea. So, to capture exactly what I had in my head for this shoot was an absolute dream. These girls and their moms were simply the best to work with I hope you enjoy viewing the fun we had just being our creative selves and how adorable these cuties are.

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In January I went to a relatively new photography conference called Photo Native in Provo, Utah. I chose this conference because it had a lineup of star-studded educators that I really wanted to learn from that included Summer Murdock, India Earl, and Ben Sasso. The best thing about this conference, over other conferences that I’ve attended, was that I could go to any class I wanted. I didn’t have to sign up ahead of time and I didn’t have to stress about paying for a conference ticket first and then move to the next step of registering for classes to only learn the ones I had my heart set on were full.

The conference offered add-on dinners and photography shoots with various photographers and educators with limited seats. These add-ons were limited to preserve the learning atmosphere, creating an intimate environment to learn and an opportunity to connect and ask questions with the instructor. I was fortunate to snag a dinner seat with Summer Murdock and a styled shoot with India Earl, two photographers whose work has inspired me for a while. I love Summer’s documentary style of photographing her own family and India’s dreamy work with couples and weddings. It was amazing to have dinner with other creative photographers in a laid back atmosphere and chat all things photography. The photo shoot with India Earl was also laid back and a great learning experience. I was able to play around with India’s 45mm Tilt Shift lens which creates a pretty dreamy.

I learned so much at this conference and walked away feeling inspired on many levels and with new friendships. I love the photos I captured. They represent a very different feel from what I have experience shooting and that’s what I like. These images make me feel something and make me want to take my work in an entirely different direction.  If you’re a couple who likes what you see and you want to create unique, dreamy and intimate portraits, let’s chat and create something amazing!

© Amy Donohue Photography | Photo Native | Provo, Utah© Amy Donohue Photography | Photo Native | Provo, Utah© Amy Donohue Photography | Photo Native | Provo, Utah© Amy Donohue Photography | Photo Native | Provo, Utah

 

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FREE Profitable Pricing Workbook

Are you a wedding and portrait industry creative struggling with pricing your services? You’re not alone.  I’m here to tell you that there is a systematic and strategic way to price yourself and be profitable.

When I first started my photography business I had no idea what to charge for my services. I did what most everyone else does in the creative industry. I scoured websites of fellow photographers to see what the range of pricing was and then set my prices based on what I valued my work and services to be.

I wasn’t considering what I needed to make for income or what my costs would be.

Don’t get me wrong. You absolutely need to know what your market will bear and what clients perceive as value. But, you should also know what your costs are for each client, make sure you are making enough to cover those costs, pay your taxes and at the end of the day pay yourself a livable wage.

During my first year in business, I was able to cover my costs, pay taxes and make a small amount of money. And because I am a spreadsheet nerd, I tracked my time spent with each type of client, my overall expenses but was I making enough to pay myself a livable wage and support my family?

Hardly. I was fortunate that for the first few years of starting my business I could focus solely on growing it as my husband’s salary covered our monthly household expenses. But, I quickly realized that I needed a more formal way to check in and make sure I was achieving my goals, not just waiting until the end of the year, seeing whether it was a good year or not and then paying myself if I had anything left over. With this in mind, I developed the Profitable Pricing Workbook to keep me on track. There are a few steps involved in using the workbook and I will outline them briefly below.

First, you need to know what your household needs are for income. If you don’t already know this information, you can track your monthly expenses for a month and get an idea of what is needed then adjust as needed. I use financial software to track all our accounts and spending so I could easily pull this information. There are many options for financial software such as Quicken, Quick BooksMint, You Need a Budget, Fresh Books and even free excel spreadsheets although you’re going to have to do a bit more work with a spreadsheet.

Once you know what your household expenses are, you can now see what you need for income. This spreadsheet takes into account tax rates so you’ll need to figure out what those are too. This will work nicely for Sole Proprietor Limited Liability Companies that make less than $118,500 annually. The IRS taxes amounts above $118.500 differently and also different types of Limited Liability Companies. It is best to check with your accountant to for an accurate tax rate.

Figuring out how much of your gross pay goes to taxes and setting it aside will also help when tax time comes because you have been fiscally responsible in your planning.  The worksheet takes your gross income, tax rate and figures out what you should be charging to make enough to cover your household expenses.

The final step of the worksheet once you have gathered all the numbers and input them, allows you to play around with how much you want to work, how many bookings do you anticipate and will adjust according to what your household needs are. Perhaps you only want to work part-time but realize after doing the numbers you aren’t covering your business expenses, let alone your household expenses. You would need to make some decisions to either cut out some business expenses or increase the amount of time you work and/or your bookings.

Obviously, if your end results show you should be charging an amount that is outside what your market can bear, then you need to evaluate and make some adjustments so that you’re in line with what your market can bear.

I hope you find the Profitable Pricing Workbook to be helpful and please reach out if you have any questions along the way!

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Vermont Wedding & Portrait Photographer | © Amy Donohue Photography

I was first introduced to double exposures through a tutorial offered on the Project Life 365 blog by Ravi Vora using an iphone and various apps.  I thought the images were really creative and cool but never had a chance to really try it out.  Then, one day I stumble upon the blog of Dylan and Sarah Photography, a husband and wife team with an insane amount of talent for wedding portraiture living on the west coast.  Sarah had blogged about how she created an image for which she received a Fearless Award for by creating a double exposure using her Canon 5DIII.  For those who don’t know, double exposure isn’t new, in fact, it originated with film and Sarah explains all this in her blog post.  Sarah’s tutorial (with video) made it seem so easy that I wanted to give it a try.

Fast forward to now and I’m attempting, along with some other very talented photographers, to get in the frame more often and let go of my insecurities of being on this side of the lens. First off it’s challenging just to get in front of the camera when you’re way more comfortable on the other side taking photos of everything you see as beautiful. It’s not easy letting go of what I perceive to be imperfections within myself. Secondly, it’s hard to be creative each week doing self-portraits and for me, my creativity is at an all-time low during those last winter months when all I can think of is winter ending and seeing signs of spring.

For this particular photo, I thought it might be fun try something different and try a double exposure. I had no preconceived idea of what I was capturing. I just set up my camera on my tripod and did a few test shots in double exposure mode and then tried a few different things. I ended up trashing lots of them but loved how this one turned out. This is why I love digital photography, there is no cost involved in experimenting and trying new things. It makes me realize I need to give this a go more often and just see where it takes me. Who know, maybe I’ll end up creating something I love like this self-portrait.

 

© Amy Donohue Photography

If you’re like me, January is a time to set goals for the year, clean out the old and get organized for a successful year. Recently, I had the opportunity to speak with a local group of small business women entrepreneurs about how I use innovation in my photography business. In speaking with this fabulous group of women, I realized this was something I was very passionate about, sharing information that has helped me along the way. So, this is the first of many posts to come related to business talk, where I share insights that I’ve gained in running a small business the past few years.

Let’s face it, we’re all stretched beyond our limits a large percentage of our time these days. We have more distractions than ever pulling us in many different directions. I know I’m not the only one who feels overwhelmed trying to live a work-life balance. I’m a mom, wife, part-time business student, community volunteer and solo entrepreneur who doesn’t outsource any part of my business at this time. I’ve found it necessary to rely on tools and systems that I’ve established through the years to keep me organized and able to manage the various aspects of my business and personal life.

Below are some of the tools I have found to be most useful in keeping me organized.  Please know they are not the only option and may not work for your particular business depending on what industry you are in, but they have helped me significantly in my photography business.

I am not an affiliate with any of the companies whose products are recommended below. My opinion is based solely on my personal experience using these products.

  1. 17Hats – I started using 17hats a few years ago for client management software which has been a huge help in keeping all my clients organized. It allows me to create quotes, contracts, and invoices all electronically lowering my businesses’ carbon footprint. It works seamlessly with Stripe and allows me to create workflows for the different types of clients I have so that every client gets the attention they deserve.
  2. Quickbooks – When it comes to finances, you can’t manage what you don’t measure. Sure, it’s one of my least favorite things to do, but checking in on your business numbers at least twice a month is a really important habit to get in. How do you know how your business is doing if you don’t have a pulse on the finances?  Quickbooks makes it easy. It allows me to track expenses and categorize them so that when it’s time for taxes I can pull the information I need painlessly. It also syncs with my bank accounts, so reconciling statements is a snap.
  3. G-Suite – This is one of my favorite collaboration tools from Google Sheets and Pages to Google Calendar. I made the switch from a pen and paper calendar a few years back, and although it took a little getting used to, it has made my life so much easier. My husband recently jumped on the Google Calendar bandwagon so we could share one another’s schedule making it easier to plan things such as vacations and doctor’s appointments. Google Sheets makes it easy to collaborate with brides and grooms on finalizing their timelines and formal portrait list.
  4. Boomerang for Gmail – Gmail is the best email platform, but even better when paired with Boomerang. Boomerang is a third party plugin that allows you to schedule emails. It also allows you to filter incoming emails by scheduling when you want to see the message again. For example, if you’re out running errands and see that a client emailed you but you don’t want to forget to respond you can set the email to come back to you at a later time when your in the office. For me, I like to use the feature to schedule outgoing emails. If I need to send an email in the future, but I’m afraid I’ll forget, I can draft the email and set Boomerang to send it out when I schedule it. It allows me to get things off my plate while they’re fresh on my mind. It also helps if you a have a re-occurring email that you need to send out regularly. You can set it and forget it.
  5. Mailchimp – If you aren’t building an email list, you should be. Social media is great for reaching the masses, but social media is rented space. If Facebook and Instagram went away tomorrow how would you share content with your target clients? Email has been around longer than any other media platform, and it’s the only sure way to deliver the content to your target audience. Mailchimp makes the process easy by embedding subscribe forms right on your website (see below!). This way your clients, or potential clients, don’t miss out when you’re offering exclusive deals or have valuable information to share with them.
  6. Skype – Skype not only allows me to chat with the hubby when he’s traveling it allows me to chat with potential brides and grooms. The majority of my wedding clients don’t live in the area so chatting through Skype when we can’t do it in person, allows us to get to know one another a little better before the big day. Choosing a wedding photographer is one of the biggest decisions during the wedding planning process, and I think it’s important for couples to feel comfortable with who they choose. Skype allows both myself and potential couples to get a feel for one another to see if we’re a good fit.
  7. Mile IQ – This app is on my phone, and because my phone goes everywhere with me, it tracks all my mileage for tax purposes. It’s easy to use and allows you to categorize your drives as personal (charity, medical, etc.) or business (between offices, customer visit, meeting, errand/supplies, airport/travel, etc.). The app paid for itself the first two months I had it.
  8. Wunderlist – This app is on my phone and computer, and I use it for both my business and personal life. Because my work is seasonal, there are some things that I do during the “off-season” but need to keep those to-do lists stored somewhere so I don’t forget, and this is where Wunderlist comes in handy. It allows you to create lists for everything, set reminders and due dates and even invite others to collaborate and join your lists. Often when I am out, I will think of things I need to do and will add it in the app, so I don’t forget. I use it for my grocery list and have my husband as a collaborator so he can add items too. This way either one of us can swing by the store when we’re out and pick up what we need without having to run home and grab the list from the side of the refrigerator. We also have started a list of movies to watch, places to travel and a house list of things to do.
  9. Grammarly – I just started using this plugin and then purchased the app this year since going back to school when one of my business instructors advised the class to use it on our work. Since it is installed on my computer it works with pretty much all the programs I use. It basically allows me to type as fast as my fingers will go, getting all content out there, but then acts as a proofreader. It catches many things that I would otherwise gloss over after staring at my computer screen.
  10. Evernote – I started using Evernote before I started my business to take notes when I was at meetings. Now, I use it to organize web pages, notes, and thoughts when doing research for blog posts and for my classes.

While all these things help me stay organized, I still rely on a good old spiral notebook and pen for a daily list of items to do. I have lists within Wunderlist and also within 17hats of what needs to be done with my clients, but writing down in a plain spiral notebook what needs to be done each day the night before helps me stay focused and productive during the day. I don’t always get through the list, in fact, I don’t believe I have ever gotten through a list in my notebook, but if I can check off a few things, I’m feeling like it was a productive day. It’s the one thing that I don’t think I can give up, even with all the innovative digital tools I’ve listed above.

What about you? What tools do you use that have helped you in your business or personal life? I welcome you to share in the comments below what you have found most helpful along the way. And, don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter if you don’t want to miss out on more chat about running a small business.

This year I’m continuing to document everyday moments, but in an effort to make sure I’m in the frame more I have joined a group of photographers who have all taken the Magic of Light workshop by Summer Murdock for a project that we are calling Get In 52. We will attempt to get in the frame at least once a week so at the end of the year we’ll have at least 52 photographs to document our existence. Far too often as photographers we are busy documenting what we see and as a result are often not in many of our family’s photographs.  The hope is that this project will change that. And although I feel much more comfort being on the other side of the lens, I do feel there is a lot of growth that comes from allowing yourself to be vulnerable and be uncomfortable on the other side. It allows me to experience what some of my clients may be feeling when they are in front of my lens. Also, there is something nice about have a willing subject to experiment with. I am attempting this project with little expectation. I realize there may be weeks that I may not be able to keep up, and if that happens I’ll just jump right back in next week.

© Amy Donohue Photography

The slow season for Vermont wedding professionals provides a great opportunity for vendors to collaborate and create inspiration without the confines that often accompany client work. It allows for a free flow of creativity from the vendors and provides inspiration for the bride to be. Creating just for the sake of creating, without any restrictions, can be very liberating and helps keep us inspired as well. Winter can be a beautiful season to get married and we wanted to showcase just how beautiful it can be.

We started with a palette of blue and gray in choosing a beautiful dress by Claire LaFaye. From there we wanted to compliment the blue and gray tones with warmer tones of gold and yellow. Because we chose an elegant, but unorthodox wedding dress color we balanced the look with simple and traditional elements in the jewelry provided by Von Bargen’s Jewelry and a headpiece provided by Fiori Bridal. The gown looked beautiful paired with gorgeous gold shoes also provided by Fiori Bridal. Warm touches also balanced out the floral arrangements created by Petals Floral Design. Instead of going with just one cake we wanted a display of cakes which together looked like a work of art designed by Irene’s Signature Desserts. We included hand-calligraphed invitations by Calligraphy Arts and a watercolor painting of the venue, Apple Hill Inn in Woodstock, Vermont, crafted by Michelle Boleski of Petals Floral Design. We couldn’t help but to include one of our favorite wedding favors from Red Kite Candy who can create custom wedding favors to suit your needs.  Vermont Tent Company provided tables, chairs, linens and tableware.  And we couldn’t have done this shoot without our fabulous model Lulu Lovering who looked equisit with makeup by Jennifer Perellie makeup artist and hair by Studio Tress.

We hope you find this winter styled shoot as inspiring as we did!

Featured on Artfully Wed.

© Amy Donohue Photography© Amy Donohue Photography© Amy Donohue Photography© Amy Donohue Photography© Amy Donohue Photography© Amy Donohue Photography© Amy Donohue Photography© Amy Donohue Photography© Amy Donohue Photography© Amy Donohue Photography© Amy Donohue Photography© Amy Donohue Photography© Amy Donohue Photography© Amy Donohue Photography© Amy Donohue Photography© Amy Donohue Photography© Amy Donohue Photography© Amy Donohue Photography© Amy Donohue Photography© Amy Donohue Photography© Amy Donohue Photography© Amy Donohue Photography© Amy Donohue Photography© Amy Donohue Photography© Amy Donohue Photography

Getting in the frame for The Luminance Project and trying something different with a ziplock bag around the lens for a little creative flare. Getting in the frame isn’t easy, as I prefer to be on the other side of the camera, but doing self-portraits provides so much grown for me as an artist. A part of me feels a twinge of narcissism doing them, but they give me a greater appreciation for the subjects I photograph.  It allows me to relate to how uncomfortable some people are in front of the camera.  Also, there’s something to be said for having a willing subject who’s willing to take as much time as needed to create something cool.

“Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.” – Brene Brown

The quote for this theme couldn’t have been more appropriate either.  I’ve been reading a lot of Brene Brown books lately and listening to podcasts where she is a guest. I’ve learned that we all need to live somewhat uncomfortable lives, making ourselves vulnerable in different ways in order to learn, grow and appreciate what is in front of us. No one ever experiences personal growth from staying in a comfort zone and this can be applied to so many different situations in life from losing weight to going back to school or even just parenting and being a better partner.

Check out all the powerful self-portraits here.

October Theme: Self-Portraits

© Amy Donohue Photography

Last winter I had the most amazing opportunity to collaborate with other vendors in my first style inspiration shoot.  This type of collaboration gives wedding industry professionals an opportunity to create a wedding look without having the influence of a client.  It’s a great way to experiment and create something truly inspiring.  The vendors donate their time and products and in return receive the images for their own marketing purposes.  I’m so excited that this shoot came together beautifully with the vendors listed at the bottom participating.  Even better, the inspiration can be found on Burnett’s Boards, where you can find lots of bridal inspiration.

© Amy Donohue Photography

© Amy Donohue Photography

© Amy Donohue Photography© Amy Donohue Photography© Amy Donohue Photography© Amy Donohue Photography© Amy Donohue Photography© Amy Donohue Photography© Amy Donohue Photography© Amy Donohue Photography© Amy Donohue Photography© Amy Donohue Photography© Amy Donohue Photography© Amy Donohue Photography© Amy Donohue Photography© Amy Donohue Photographyvermont-wedding-photographer-amy-donohue-photography_0091© Amy Donohue Photography© Amy Donohue Photography© Amy Donohue Photography© Amy Donohue Photography© Amy Donohue Photography© Amy Donohue Photography© Amy Donohue Photography© Amy Donohue Photography© Amy Donohue Photography© Amy Donohue Photography© Amy Donohue Photography

Venue: Simon Pearce Restaurant and Mill

Stylist: Caroline Reusen of Belles and Bubbles Wedding Blog

Floral Design: Petals

Dress: Cathy Telle

Cakes: A to Z Cakes

Table Rental: Blood’s Catering and Party Rentals

Tableware: Simon Pearce

Hair Accessory: Melinda Rose Designs

Silk Ribbon: Silk & Willow

Ring: Trumpet & Horn

Stationery: Linen & Leaf

Bow Tie: Beau Ties of Vermont

This summer I had the opportunity to work with Birds of a Flower based in Woodstock, Vermont on a beautiful wedding.  Their work is so gorgeous and I was super excited when they asked me to participate in a collaborative fall shoot that involved the cutest little four-year-olds and Icelandic ponies.  I was certain that I’d need to rely on my experience photographing horses previously and my bag of tricks for the little ones.  However, it turned out that none of that experience was needed.  These two girls are the best of friends who love riding horses and the horses couldn’t have been more gentle.  The stone wall, nestled under trees adorning bright yellow leaves, was decorated with complementary florals, creating a magical place for the girls to romp and play with their ponies.  The day was so much fun and full of laughter.  Although I’ve never even been on a horse, it makes me want to be a little girl again and have a pony party for my birthday. I hope it does you too!

This collaboration was featured over on Beyond the Wanderlust.

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One of my favorite places to visit in the fall is Riverview Farm in Plainfield, New Hampshire. It’s full of pumpkins, apples, and corn maze.  All fall must haves!  And this family was game for exploring the farm with me.  We had the most gorgeous weather and how sweet is this little guy putting flowers in his pocket!
© Amy Donohue Photography© Amy Donohue Photography© Amy Donohue Photography© Amy Donohue Photography

Jenn and Kent tied the knot this past weekend in what seemed like a fairytale wedding at the Woodstock Inn, “the most beautiful address in Vermont”.  Although this was a destination wedding for the couple, Vermont holds a special place in their hearts as Jenn frequented Woodstock growing up with visits to a family home, a home that sits right next to the stone chapel where they said their vows.  Jenn adorned a stunning dress by Peter Langner and opted for an extra full bouquet and florals made by Randy Paxton at Little Flower Shoppe.  Adding more class to the day the groom, accompanied by his groomsmen, arrived at the ceremony via vintage bikes from the Inn.  The day was absolutely exquisite and filled with so much gorgeousness and love.

Jenn & Kent, thank you for choosing me as your photographer to document every detail of your special day.  I wish you both years of happiness and may you always dance through life the way you danced on your wedding day, passionately and effortlessly.

xoxo

Venue: Woodstock Inn & Resort

Cake & Catering: Woodstock Inn & Resort

Tent & Table Rentals: Rain or Shine Tents

Floral Design: Little Flower Shoppe

Stationary: Happy Menocal, Cheree Berry Paper & Distinctive Stationery

Entertainment: RipCord Music

Favors: Red Kite Candy

Hair: Kristen Moshiek

Makeup: Deb Houghton

Second Shooter: Mike Tracy

© Amy Donohue Photography© Amy Donohue Photography© Amy Donohue Photography© Amy Donohue Photography© Amy Donohue Photography© Amy Donohue Photography© Amy Donohue Photography© Amy Donohue Photography© Amy Donohue Photography© Amy Donohue Photography© Amy Donohue Photography© Amy Donohue Photography© Amy Donohue Photography© Amy Donohue Photography© Amy Donohue Photography

Sasha and Aaron are getting married next spring and for their engagement session, they thought it would be fun to meet at White River Junction, a place that is dear to their hearts and where their relationship started.  I’ve always wanted to do a session in White River Junction as I love the architecture and vibe of the town.  There are so many great backdrops that are fun and funky and how perfect is this heart carved in the side of a building for these two love birds?  I’m looking forward to documenting their day next June against another gorgeous Vermont backdrop, Shelbourne Farms.

© Amy Donohue Photography | Engagement Session© Amy Donohue Photography | Engagement Session

Honored to have this image included in The Luminance Project selection of amazing images.  The Luminance Project is a group of photographers who have taken the Magic of Light workshop by Summer Murdock and who photograph around a selected theme each month.  July’s theme was Faceless.

Check out all the inspiring images here.
© Amy Donohue Photography

I seriously have the best clients.  Clients who are laid back and don’t let a little rain dampen their wedding day. I’m so glad a mutual friend suggested that Kaitlin and Matt contact me for photography services when they got engaged.  They are the kind of clients that I hope will turn into friends. During our initial meeting, they shared some advice that was given to them which in turn I have also shared with every one of my couples.  It was too good not to share.  And that is to pick three things that really matter to you on your wedding day, focus on those, and forget the rest.  Wouldn’t you agree?

A few noteworthy details that made their day pretty special included Kaitlin pinning her grandmother’s wedding ring to her bouquet, Matt arriving at the ceremony in a canoe and the percussion frogs they asked their guests to use as a symbol of expression during the ceremony, which made for a beautiful sound.

Their affection for one another and the people they love are apparent.  I could have photographed just them together all day, but we had a ceremony to get to. And yes, Matt entered the ceremony via canoe.  So cool.

Congratulations Kaitlin & Matt, I wish you many years of love and happiness!

Venue: Lock Lyme Lodge

Florals: Valley Flower Company

Tents: Vermont Tent Rentals

Catering: Duck Soup Catering

Hair: Planet Hair – Denise Perkins

Second Shooter: Mike Tracy

Vermont Wedding Photographer | © Amy Donohue PhotographyVermont Wedding Photographer | © Amy Donohue PhotographyVermont Wedding Photographer | © Amy Donohue PhotographyVermont Wedding Photographer | © Amy Donohue PhotographyVermont Wedding Photographer | © Amy Donohue PhotographyVermont Wedding Photographer | © Amy Donohue PhotographyVermont Wedding Photographer | © Amy Donohue PhotographyVermont Wedding Photographer | © Amy Donohue PhotographyVermont Wedding Photographer | © Amy Donohue PhotographyVermont Wedding Photographer | © Amy Donohue PhotographyVermont Wedding Photographer | © Amy Donohue PhotographyVermont Wedding Photographer | © Amy Donohue PhotographyVermont Wedding Photographer | © Amy Donohue Photography

Lizzy + Amit said their “I do’s” at one of my favorite venues this past weekend, Ohana Family Camp on Lake Fairlee, Vermont.  I was so excited to photograph their wedding here as it’s such a beautiful place to get married with views of Vermont’s mountains and Lake Fairlee in the background.  This was a special place for Lizzy as she camped there as a little girl. Lizzy wore a gorgeous vintage inspired lace gown that matched her grandmother’s handkerchief which was wrapped around her bouquet made by Michelle Boleski at Petals.  Lizzy had beautiful mehndi (henna) on her hands and feet. They decided to meet at the waterfront for their first look which turned out to be a stunning and secluded spot, perfect for the two of them. Lizzy’s mom announced the entrance of her daughter by ringing the camp bell when she got the thumbs up from Amit. It was a true honor to photograph this beautiful couple, on their beautiful day.

Lizzy & Amit, I wish you many years of happiness!

xoxo

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Tristan and Peter contacted me about a year ago when they started planning their DIY, navy and cream, nautical themed wedding.  Although they are American they were planning their wedding all the way from Australia where they currently reside. They wanted to have a simple, but elegant wedding at Tristan’s family camp on Sabago Lake, Maine, the same location they became engaged.  During their interview they said that Tristan really wanted to book a good photographer and Peter really wanted to have good food, two things that made me know instantly that they had their priorities straight and that we would make a perfect fit.

They chose passports as their invitation and mailed out luggage tags as save the date cards. Tristan organized all the florals and no detail was overlooked from the nautical cuff links to dilly beans they canned themselves as a wedding favor.  Tristan’s aunt who is 101 years old, but still retains her beauty, whit and mobility, became an officiant for this special day.  In fact, she’s now the oldest woman in the state of Maine to officiate ceremonies. She’s officially the coolest woman in my book and I think this has to be one of the most touching gifts to give someone.

Another special element of their day was after their first look they wanted to exchange personal promises in a row boat.  When Tristan told me about this I was so excited.  Most couples barely remember the time they spent together on their wedding day as they are constantly visiting with guests.  It was so cool seeing them carve out 45 minutes together before the festivities began doing something they love to do.  Again, my kind of people.

Thank you Tristan and Peter for choosing me as your photographer.  It was a true honor documenting every detail of your special day and if I could do it all over again, I’d be right there with tissues when you need them, become a seamstress when you need one and take my equipment out in a row boat to photograph your love story.  Thank you for making me feel like a friend and a guest, not a vendor, and I wish you many years of happiness together.

xoxo

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This was my first time photographing newborn twins and I admit that I was super nervous, mainly because there were two babies to get to sleep and they were half the size of my own children when they were born.  However, I ended up feeling super comfortable holding these precious little girls. They ended up being so good that we were able to do it in the same amount of time it takes to get one newborn asleep. I’m not sure there is anything sweeter than having a baby to snuggle, but having two is the cherry on top.

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Typically I prefer to shoot in locations that I’ve at least had a chance to scout out and determine if it has good light, but for this session there wasn’t a lot of time to do that as we had a limited schedule when figuring out a date that worked for both of us.  This girl really wanted to have her session at Feast and Field in Barnard, Vermont, a location known for mixing good local food, art and music in the field.  It’s definitely a place to check out this summer if you haven’t already done so. I arrived a bit early to see if I could find a few spots that were away from the crowds and weren’t in the open sun.  I was a bit nervous having a session at a location that I hadn’t scouted out, but it ended up being one of my favorite sessions as the light was so beautiful once I found an area to filter the sun a bit.  And, this girl is a total natural in front of the camera.  It was so much fun spending the evening with her and her family creating some beautiful portraits.
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What an honor to document a family wedding, especially this family since it’s the third time I’ve had the pleasure of photographing them.  There is so much love and happiness among them I was thrilled when they asked if I’d be their wedding photographer atop the beautiful Mount Kearsarge in Winslow State Park. There were so many special elements to their day, the biggest was incorporating their family members in the ceremony.  Their two sweet daughters, accompanied by their two cousins, were the sweetest little flower girls I have ever seen.  The couple opted to have their siblings conduct the ceremony that included a reading of a Shel Silverstein poem. All the birch elements even had a significance as the groom’s last name in Dutch means birch.  I had the pleasure of working with the following vendors to make this day complete.

Venue & Catering: King Hill Inn and Kitchen

Florals: Allioops!

Tent & Table Rentals: Lakes Region Tent and Event Rentals

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Summer means lazy days on the lake and family gatherings, so why not document everyone when you’re together.  Yesterday I spent the evening with this extended family at one of their favorite places to be for the summer, Mascoma Lake and we couldn’t have asked for better weather.  Thanks O’Connell family for choosing me as your photographer!

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Bridget and Tyler said their vows upon a mountain side at their family home in Woodstock, Vermont last Saturday in a beautiful ceremony conducted by their very close friend. Every detail about the day was exquisite from the antique inkwell that held their rings to the guest favors of maple syrup harvested right on the property where they tied the knot.  Bridget was the most graceful bride choosing simple, classic styles from her dress to her hair style to allow her natural beauty to radiate.  Tyler also donned a classic tux making him one handsome fellow.  I absolutely love first looks and the anticipation around seeing one another for the first time can be more beautifully captured when couples opt for a first look.  Their first look was no exception.  They were both so excited to see one another and share an intimate moment together before the ceremony that it made me teary eyed. Their love for one another is so evident and I wish them many years of happiness!

Thank you Bridget & Tyler for trusting me to document one of the biggest days of your life! I feel incredibly honored to be a part of it.

xoxo

Second Shooter: Mike Tracy

Officiant: Christian Buss (friend)

Floral Design:  Birds of a Flower

Cake: A to Z Cakes

Tent & Table Rentals: Celebration Rentals

Catering: Nomadic Chef Catering

Stationary: Kelsey Malie Calligraphy 

Entertainment: Jason Baron, Wedding DJ VT

Hair: Maggie McGowan (friend)

Makeup Artist: Maureen Gilligan (friend)

Wedding Gown, Veil & Hairpiece: Carol Hannah

Bridal Shoes: Manolo Blahnik

Groom Attire: Bindle & Keep

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Silver Lake is one of my family’s favorite places to camp and visit over the summer so when this family who lived nearby contacted me for a session it seemed like the best place to meet for their session.  The benefit of doing it here was that the little ones got to take a swim afterwards.  Win! Win! Thanks Putney Family for the opportunity to photograph your beautiful family!

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The other night I had the privilege of photographing this family at one of my favorite locations and the weather and light couldn’t have been more cooperative. At one point there was a swarm of small insects fluttering about in the light and we weren’t sure what they were, but they intrigued this little cutie making for some fun photos of the encounter.  I hope these captures make this family smile for years to come each time they look at them.

Thank you Glenna & Tommy for hanging with me for an evening and allowing me to photograph your family!

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Now that I’ve photographed Bridget and Tyler’s engagement session I simply can’t wait to photograph their wedding in just a few weeks. They are super sweet and I think Toby, the dog, is going to do just fine with his wedding duties and posing for pictures now that we’ve had a dry run through things.  Thank you Bridget and Tyler for choosing me, I can’t wait for your big day to come!!
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