2018 HIGHLIGHTS // personal & business

1. i went on FOUR vacations

YEAH! can you believe it? after realizing we were both overworked (and had never really taken a proper vacation together) and had so much of the world to explore we lined up a badass tour:

starting with a west coast adventure, driving the pacific coast highway with appropriate stops & exploring portland, oregon. you can catch that blog post & relive all THE WEST COAST GOODNESS HERE.

then we were off to south africa & with a bonus layover in switzerland with BFF andy who dared to take us to the top of mont blanc (the tallest mountain point in europe) & then took us paragliding (yes, i was strapped to a french man and we ran and jumped off a mountain ledge…) you can catch those blog post: FRANCE & SWITZERLAND & SOUTH AFRICA

the other vacations were back to sweden for our dear friend andrea’s wedding in skåne & the luxurious cunningham camp on dear lake champlain in vermont to celebrate andy’s phd graduation!

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2. in music news: the killers / david byrne

i ran to nyc for 24 hours just to go to the Sunday Panorama music festival to see the killlllers & david byrne happened to be playing as well. his performance was just literally one of the top highlights of the year. he is SUCH a fucking artist - his music, his performance, his moves, just IT ALL. what a deeelight over my overpriced burrito bowl. the editing room has been filled with him & the talking heads this year.

but i mean, i am not sure if there is another musical man i have more of an obsession and fascination with.

you know it’s a hard core obsession when i can’t decide if i want to runaway with brandon flowers or BE brandon flowers.

the contrast of his classic rockstar facade with his soft spoken and meek person in interviews just fills my black & white contrasted soul. that little church bird sings the sweetest hymn-like vocals with his rocknroll band. the lyrics are sad & beautiful, dancey, 80s synth pop, fast & loud and can truly listen to the killers no matter what mood i am in. over the summer i read the interview in the british Q music magazine where he opened up about his wife battling mental health and suicide attempts which hit way too close to home and then i connected with him, more than just a 13 year old rockstar crush. i missed ODESZA’s set just so i could get as close as i possibly could to the killers. i mean, i just can not say enough how magical it was. the manhattan skyline in the dark behind the stage, it was SURROUND SOUND ALL THE WAY INTO MY SOUL - i could feel the drums beating through my entire body and into my soul. the graphics were perfectly 80s + stranger things-esqe and i just danced in the mud and sang my guts out and may or may not have cried a little bit. best night of my life; worth it 100 times again; i am so glad i promised myself to make more of an effort to see my favorites play. YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE, FRIENDS.


3. the family portrait (finally) happened!

this year was my parents 40th wedding anniversary and we (finally) got around to organizing a decent family portrait.


4. i turned myself into a robert longo piece

i was head over heels in love when i discovered (i don’t know what took me so long to put a name to the images) Robert Longo’s Men in the Cities series. it all started with a 9 foot charcoal drawing at The Broad art museum when we were in los angeles and: i wanted it. i needed it. i had to have it in my life. but the true artist he is, only originals that are available for purchase are the 9 foot drawings that cost around the same as a down deposit for a house. so i decided it was time for a little self portrait project in my life (inspired by one of my clients, who always has the most creative portrait ideas!) you can see the blog post of my rabbit hole journey HERE


5. one blue ribbon & court of honor award at VPP print competition

my favorite thing about being in the vermont professional photographers is the PRINT COMPETITION!!!!!! it has not been easy getting into, as print competition is a whole separate beast in the photography world. but in true colette fashion, i like me a good challenge. so i am proud to brag that my black and white image titled Radiance (re-entered from a few years ago) made HONORABLE MENTION! The color image below also received a blue ribbon this year, which was from an actual client session! we are all kinds of excited over here!


6. little sister is engaged (& i get to be a bridesmaid!)

nothing fills my heart with warmth & joy than adam neilsen joining our family. nothing fills my heart with warmth & joy than adam neilsen wanting to join our family. october 13, 2019: countdown is officially on!


7. work life balance // journaling every morning & bedtime reading

the biggest life challenge for me is trying to become a morning person. (but who am i trying to kid?) i am a night owl 1000% and working on my work / life balance, (because as a 30something year old, that is what you do) i have totally set time aside to read in my new favorite spot, the hammock this summer. while the late afternoon sun glimmers through the trees and i get lost in a good book. my morning ritual has been morphed into daily journaling with homemade breakfast and (tealuxe) tea. it’s the best part of the day and how i get off on the right foot every morning. i feel like i live in a folgers commercial, but it’s given me the solid ground and mental clarity in taking care of myself on the daily. highly recommend it. i use danielle laporte’s journals and read some of her books, which i would also recommend for bright star guidance.

8. painted the apartment, (who are we kidding, we are still half done)

we needed a little freshening up and who knew there were a katrillion shades of white. we agreed on RELIABLE WHITE from sherwin williams, a warm tone (which i couldn’t believe since i am a ride or die cool tone girl in any other part of my life). a


9. got a new (used) car!

in true vermont fashion, from a volvo to a subaru! meet agnes and no, i really don’t ever want to car shop ever, ever, again.


10. so looking forward to having one of my grooms be my BIRTHDAY CHEF!

dee-jai makes theee yummiest green curry & pork buns. i dream of them. so i knew exactly what i wanted for my birthday thinking about the most delicious meal of 2018 i could think of! we are DELIGHTED to feature his cooking talents around our table with my BFFs to celebrate and ring in 2019!

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where do i even start.

no but really. where do i even start? it’s always a complete joy and honor when people near and dear to me ask me to photograph their wedding days. i get all the goosebumps and scream like a little girl on the inside through this whole process up to the wedding day! (i am such a sentimental baby, let’s get real!) so this one, so near and dear to my heart, my dear annie who i use to babysit back in the day married the love of her life, maggie.

i first met maggie when i was living out in LA and you know when you hear the phrase “you just know“? it was like that with maggie (for annie). she knows this because i say it over and over, BUT SHE IS SOOOO COOL! maggie is like this mexican james dean, this laid back but just enough confidence, who can be the right amount of goofy and chic. it’s a no brainer she snagged the adorable and hilariously sweet girl next door annie. there is so much admiration that radiates for one another, which has us ALL bawling our eyeballs out at their intimate wedding ceremony in annie’s parents backyard.

their dear friend amanda married them and there was not a dry eye in the house (i was allowed to put the camera down and embrace some teary-eyed hugs too..what a thrilling day!)

thank you both so much, you beautiful, beautiful people for having me there on this gorgeous day with you all!




venue / the lilac inn

florals / flowers by jaga

dj / sound wave vt

rings / don julio

attire / bhldn & calvin klein

invitation / minted




i love a simple, laid back wedding, with underlining touches of elegance and creative meaning. this wedding hit all of those notes and i was so honored to have photographed kristen & michael's wedding day at the gorgeous barn at smuggler's notch in jeffersonville, vermont. 

i adore how chic yet simple kristen is - in her wedding planning and everyday life. stylish yet effortless. i also adore the love story of how she ended up walking down the isle to michael - a local bartender at his parents bar in rutland.

"he's the only person other than my mom who makes be feel better,"

she told me over breakfast. their first encounter dates back to high school catechism class, where michael from the city (aka a city boy) high fived kristen, a girl from the town (aka a "townie"), which was a sweet memory to giggle over; From high fives, to kissing in the beer closet to having their gorgeous daughter to now tying the knot!

the florals were perfect, michael indulged in the heat (thanks michael!), their ring barer carried their rings in a toy replica of their red ford truck (you can see their engagement session with it here), and elle was delighted at all opportunities to explore her mother's wedding dress, under & sitting on top!

what a perfectly stunning day, for two perfectly stunning people, inside & out.