Life & Personal Work

All I need

Last night, we realized we left the dog food at his parent’s house, so we hopped in the truck to go get it. No cellphones, no shoes. Just us.

    As I loaded the food into the back seat of the truck, Chris quickly swept my hand up into his and gently lead me up the driveway toward the road. I swear, I’d follow him anywhere when he takes my hand like this. Across the street was a big summer picnic for a local church and we could hear the faint sounds of live band complete with a brass section. I couldn’t tell you what song was playing, or even hum the melody. Before I could ask what we were doing standing there, I felt his hand on the small of my back and we started to sway right there in the front yard across the street from the band. We laughed as we tried to make out the song unsuccessfully, but continued to sway back and forth to what rhythm we could decipher. Maybe we did this for 30-60 seconds before we walked hand in hand, laughing back to the truck; the tiny stones from the driveway embedding into our feet. But before the dance was over, I caught our happy reflection in a house window and thought, “This is all I need”.

Knowlton Mansion Wedding | Almond Photography | Philadelphia Wedding Photographer

These two got married a few weeks ago at the beautiful Knowlton Mansion in Philadelphia  & I was so honored to be her photographer. They are crazy about each other & it's obvious by the look in their eyes when they're with one another.  One of the first things I heard him say during their First Look was, "Look at you! I am the luckiest man alive!" What girl wouldn't' want to hear that on her wedding day?? Here are some of my favorite moments from her wedding day. Make sure you share, and leave the newlyweds lots of love & congratulations.

Also, a huge thank you to my assistant Anna for snagging awesome shots throughout the day!!

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Creative Team Credits:

Florist: Precious Petals

Bride's Dress: Mori Lee dress from Stephanie's Bridal, Pennsburg

Bridesmaid's Dresses from David's Bridal

Hair Stylist: Emily Sears

Makeup Artist: Taja Sparks from Mac

Bakery/Catering: Conroy Catering

DJ: Bob Mills from Philly Event Group

Angie + Jason // Married in Philadelphia

This wedding holds a special place in my heart as it is my cousin Angela's wedding. I used to go to Angie's house every Tuesday and we (her brothers and sisters and I) would all play imaginative games in their back yard and basement all day long. I have some of my happiest childhood memories with them,  so when Angie asked me about photographing her wedding day, it was kind of a no-brainer! The entire day was joyous & so fun. I mean, I guess I'm pretty biased since this is MY family. As my Grandpop used to say, "Silliness runs in our family. It practically gallops!" Angie's wedding was the most relaxed and stress-free wedding I think I've ever photographed. Angie couldn't have been less concerned with the little things and I don't see that too often!  As her younger brother Steve so eloquently put it in his impromptu speech "They didn't care about all the little unimportant things. They just wanted to be married. They've been planning for a marriage instead of a wedding." Steve hit the nail right on the head. Jason & Angie may not be the most conventional modern-day bride and groom, but they truly know what matters most & were able to keep things in perspective and for that, I applaud them.

I love you both & I'm so happy I could be part of this wonderful day!! xoxo

Dancers are the messengers of the gods. - Martha Graham

I've been wanting to do a dance shoot for a long time now, but sometimes you just have to wait for these things to fall into place.  If I wasn't a photographer, I would want to be a dancer.  Heck, I'd love to be both!! My whole life I've been in awe of dancers and have always envied their strength, confidence & grace.  So, you can imagine what a dream it was to work with Alana; a professional dancer who's been dancing her entire life. She made it look effortless. It was only about 40 degrees outside, but she was tough as nails.  She stayed in her point shoes the entire time,  spun as many times as I asked her to, held impossible poses in perfect form for as long as she could and did it all with such grace and poise; I was incredibly impressed & honored that she chose me to do this shoot with her.

So here are a few of my favorites from the shoot.  We took all of these on various parts of High Street in Pottstown. The indoor shots are taken in the Pottstown Library. I've never seen Pottstown look so good in all the years I've been living here. Enjoy.

The Payoff

Journal entry, August 2009.  

"I want to get out of retail and do what I'm supposed to be doing; which is not selling jackets. It's not selling anything. It's helping people & sharing life with people. I know I'm supposed to make people happy. I know that sounds completely retarded and whimsical, but I know that I am. I am meant for something besides sales goals and floorsets. That gig is someone's everything & that's really great, but it all means nothing to me.  I know that because I don't give a shit about it and I never ever did. You tend to care about what your destiny is. If you're meant to be an executive and make big monies for big companies, then you give a shit about that and it's all you think about it.  If that's your dream, I don't understand you but I hope you get to do that. I don't want to do that. I don't want to sell jackets, pants, skirts, socks...nothing. I want to take pictures. Every day. When I am not taking them, I want to be processing them. When I'm not doing that I want to be climbing or hiking or doing nothing or dancing. I do not care about numbers. I do not care."

 

It's good to be reminded every so often how far I've come since I went full-time with my business. It's amazing what we are capable of doing with hard work, and a lot of passion. I still have a long way to go, but I'm always working toward what I want to do with my life. The ability to be able to pursue that makes me so, so thankful.

 

Here's a day I took pictures just because. Thanks to my sis-in-law (to be) Michelle for being patient, cooperative & gorgeous.

 

 

foggy

Is it a coincidence that the first blog post on my new blog would be about a foggy morning? No, it's not.  I would call it luck that the elements were able to mimic the state of mind I hoped to talk about once I released my new blog & web-site. It is the nature of an artist to change & rejuvenate him/herself in new ideas & methods.  It's part of what makes being an artist so invigorating and, admittedly, frustrating.  The constant flow of creativity and trying to bring your vision into fruition is a challenge, but most artist really enjoy the journey. I met with a friend of mine who is a well respected photographer a few years ago for lunch.  At the time, I was feeling frustrated by my inability to settle down & be satisfied with my work.  He said, "If you're ever completely satisfied with your work as an artist, it's time to stop."

During the slow months (November-April), photographers have a lot of time to review the work they did in the past year & figure out what they'd like to see from themselves for the upcoming wedding season. I took a lot of time this past winter to do that & to really explore what I wanted to offer the world of photography. After all the hard work of figuring out those foggy ideas (get it?!)  I think I have finally come to a place where I'm ready to tackle this Wedding season head-on with creative confidence.  The fog has lifted.

 

Be Here Now

If I'm being honest, I kind of hope a lot of people aren't reading this because well, I don't know if you've noticed, but it's kind of GORGEOUS out. No big deal, 70 degrees, nice breeze...whatever.  I hope everyone out there is taking this gorgeous weather in and really appreciating it. I think it makes such a difference in your mood when you take time to enjoy the unexpected pleasantries life hands out. As for the remainder of today, I'll take my Utley down to the water for the third day in a row, go on another walk & when I have to be in the house, I'll be leaving the windows wide open. I suggest you do the same & take advantage of this absolutely perfect day.

 

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