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kayla and kyle // june 3, 2017 // lilac inn, brandon vt

no matter what the season, the lilac inn always looks beautiful. tucked away in brandon, vermont, it's quaint charm is a lovely place to host a wedding, big or small. kayla and kyle dressed it up in soft pinks and striking navy and gold. the english garden field made for romantic portraits and they could not have asked for a better day to celebrate with their family & friends. 

kayla, simply lovely in her lace dress and sparkle kate spades and kyle dapper in his gray suit, they made it official, celebrated with their family & friends and danced the night away! thank you both so much for having me there on your special day to capture these images!

XOXO

Venue: Lilac Inn, Brandon, VT

Dessert Table: Gormet Provance, Brandon, VT

DJ: MC Sounds

Grooms Attire: McNeil & Reedy, Rutland, VT 

Bride's Dress: Trace of Lace, Rutland, VT

Shoes: Kate Spade

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photography & the day my grandfather died

sounds morbid, right? well, let me connect the two. 

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it was february 19, 1999. ill never forget the day. you don't really forget the details of the day when you find out someone you love has died. it was an icy & dark evening. my mother upstairs making dinner, my sisters and i hanging out in the basement with the TV on. the phone rang. i could hear the panic in her voice. the hard clang of her hanging up the phone seemed to echo with her forceful and frantic hand. she raced down the stairs to us and let out a tearful yelp "Dziadzi DIED!" and began to cry, with her hands over her mouth and her eyes closed. my younger sister about 7 years old then totally broke down to the floor and my older sister and i speechless & broken hearted.

Dziadzi, which is Polish for grandfather was not ill. had not been sick. he dropped dead from a heart attack after shoveling the snowy drive way 2 days before. he had been hospitalized for observation and the next day he would go to burlington for more tests. he didn't make it.

i remember getting our jackets on, abandoning dinner and the TV. we were at the hospital, in a private room and my grandmother just sat there with a glaze and distracted distance, almost as if she was living these moments in a dream.

i saw him. we all saw him. he looked the same, but not moving. i touched his nose and stared and watched him. it was him, but lifeless.

we all went to my grandmother, Babci's. the moment i entered the house, i ran up to her dresser to stare at the black and white framed photograph she had of him. we use to walk pass it when we were younger, but this time, at this moment of loss, it meant everything in the world to me. i couldn't stop staring at it, or thinking of it. it was taken before i was born, a younger version of the grandfather i knew, but it was still him. how he is sitting, that classic expression of a half smile, half scowl, his clothes. that look is SOO him! i never knew him as a smoker, but you can peek into his life pre-grandchildren and previous habits. 

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i raced down with this framed photographed and asked Babci if i could have it. she sadly sighed and said "oh no, sweetie, that's my Dziadzi." and i couldn't blame her. it was her photograph and her special token. to this day i don't dare ask her to borrow it, or let it leave her house, so a quick cell phone shot of it is all i can share. it lives on the top shelf of her bedroom near her bed. i know she treasures it, looks at it and i understand the feelings it must bring her every time she seems him in that image.  

Babci & Dzaidzi on their wedding day, July 7, 1951, West Rutland, Vermont

Babci & Dzaidzi on their wedding day, July 7, 1951, West Rutland, Vermont

     to me, in that moment, completely grandfather-less, photography had no price tag or value. perhaps it comes from the "pack rat" feeling i've always had for things. saving everything, and everything having sentimental value. but i can't help but think the magic of freezing, capturing an image, a slice of life, a peek into how it use to be, how you are transported back just by looking at, to savor, to cherish and to love and to value for generations. 

my goal as a wedding photographer is to not take you away from your guests or get you off quicker to cocktail hour because your cheeks burn from smiling through all the family formals, or that your portraits or flowers are vain and petty, or that you have to pose or smile or look at the camera a certain way. sometimes life goes unscripted and sometimes that's just perfectly how it goes and how perfectly the photograph turns out to be. tomorrow the wedding is over. tomorrow everyone leaves and these images are with you forever. they will be shared, passed and loved within your family. and after you die, (morbid, sorry!) your family will treasure and honor these moments that were the lucky ones to have been captured. not on a USB, not on a computer file. framed on your dresser, so you and your children and grandchildren can walk pass them & look at them every single day.  

XOXO

Easter 2017, Babci with her great grandson, Jack. West Rutland, Vermont

Easter 2017, Babci with her great grandson, Jack. West Rutland, Vermont

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motherhood & marieke

what is more magnificent than an expecting mother? marieke wears pregnancy so beautifully and gracefully and is enjoying the final days until baby westen makes is arrival! 

marieke & curtis recently celebrated their first year wedding anniversary and are ready to welcome their first little love nugget into their brand new home (which they are currently still building from the ground up!) 

it is beyond thrilling to watch my couple's go from wedding planning, to house building, to parenthood! we are sending the warmest wishes and hugs and hope all goes well on this new beautiful life adventure! XOXO

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