These two school teachers said "I do" on Saturday at the Martha Mary Chapel in Sudbury, MA. It was nothing short of spectacular! Mother Nature gave us a miracle without a single drop of rain, as was predicted all week. Ashley was as cool as a cucumber at the rehearsal, saying she hadn't even checked the forecast.
Ashley and Andrew are neighbors of mine. Every time I saw them, I was reminded of this day. I'd be a liar if I told you I wasn't nervous. The anticipation was killing me! I just really wanted everything to be perfect for them.
The ladies and I started off in Ashley's childhood home. Make up stylist, Kelsey Burton and hair stylist, Elyse Farnsworth from Ello Pretty did a wonderful job and with total ease. We often turned to silence in awe of watching them work.
Flowers were delivered to the door from Frugal Flower. Gorgeous!!! I was told by Ashley's Mom that they gave very little direction, just that the bridesmaids would be in sage. Everyone was so pleased!!!
Ashley, her parents, and bridesmaids left by limo for the Grist Mill for the first look. Andrew was there with my second shooter, Kate Brindley awaiting to see his bride. We had Ashley walk down the path to the bridge next to the Mill, with the wedding party watching from the road. They both were ear to ear!
After our portrait session at the Grist Mill, we headed over to the Chapel for the ceremony. Two musicians played while they waited for all the guests to arrive. They filled the seats, with some standing in the back! The ceremony was short but sweet, performed by a friend. Ashley, again a cool cucumber, kept reaching out to Andrew who was trying his best to hold back his tears. A magnificent kiss, with a huge sigh of relief! They walked out arm in arm out into the sun, all smiles and ready for the party to begin!
We kept our extended family portrait session short, so they could attend cocktail hour in the garden. With a grand entrance announced by Alex Dias from Unique Sounds, Ashley and Andrew walked onto the dance floor into their first dance. They invited everyone else to join them.
Their guests were clearly ready to party. Alex had the requests coming all night long. From "Irish Eyes are Smiling" to "N'Sync"... it was quite a spectrum!
Ashley and Andrew, I wish you the happiest of marriages! I feel so honored to have been there to capture it all. This is but a mere fraction of the photos I took that day. I look forward to showing you the rest! Thank you, thank you, thank you for inviting me as your wedding photographer!!!
Lindsey Topham of Topham Photo hired me as her second shooter for Christina and Josh's wedding at the Publick House in Sturbridge, MA on Sunday May 28th. It was also Christina's parents' 40th wedding anniversary! And, my husband and I also share the date for the day we eloped nine years ago!
Lindsey does a great job at coordinating with the bride and groom prior to their wedding day. They had a handful of poses they really wanted to try. I'm pretty sure we nailed all of them! Lindsey also creates this calm vibe, but can efficiently get everything done. The staff at the Publick House were also incredibly helpful. Lindsey has the list of the vendors, but I personally want to give a shout out to the MC, Shawn Santanello. He performed using vocals and guitar during the ceremony and cocktail hour, gave fantastic introductions, and played a superb playlist!
It was a comfortable, cloudy day. A great day for photos and lots of dancing! Check out my instagram account @tarasullivanphotography for some candids and details of their day!
Congratulations to all the kiddos who received their first communion today!
Yesterday, Lindsey Topham of Topham Photo hired me as her second shooter for Nuno and Amber's wedding day in western MA. The wedding party consisted of 27 people, plus the bride and groom! Definitely the biggest wedding party I've ever seen! The guest list was somewhere around 400!
Wedding season has begun! This was the first for my 2017 weddings. I'm really looking forward to getting back out there! Nuno and Amber's wedding fueled my excitement! I'll be second shooting for some new photographers this year and have a few booked of my own! I'll be back at the Publick House with Lindsey next month! Stay tuned!
Quite literally a week ago, I saw a friend use a quote for her profile photo. It said, "It's not a woman's job to get smaller and smaller until she disappears so the world can be more comfortable." -Glennon Doyle Melton #lovewarrior
I "liked" it.
My daughter had a Barnes and Noble gift card from her birthday, so I thought I'd take her to get some books and I'd pick up myself a copy of this, Love Warrior.
I haven't read a book in well over a year. The last one I read was on Jimi Hendrix and it was so good, I thought it'd be hard to find another one that would really pull me in. Time goes by and I just stop reading books all together. I get caught up in Facebook and online articles or shows on HBO GO or Amazon video. But, nothing like a good book! Am I right?!
I'm a slow reader. I often have to read sentences twice. I have books on my shelf with bookmarks still in them because I just couldn't finish.
I read this book in five days. That's five evenings after getting the kids in bed and before I crash.
I felt so deeply connected to this book that it almost felt like it bought me. There were so many parts of this book that felt like she was writing about me.
This book is clearly so successful because there are many women out there saying the same thing. "Me too!" "Me too!"
On this Valentine's Day, do yourself a favor and grab a copy of this book, if you haven't already. I'm definitely going to share it with the women in my life. I even want my husband to read it!
What an incredible, inspiring journey!
My head has been in battle lately. Like, the devil on one shoulder and the angel on the other? Like that.
Over the last few hours, I've had some clarification and I just need to spit it out somewhere!
I recently had my first boudoir shoot. It came with a lot of preparation, anxiety, excitement, and brain overload!
It began with a brief consult a few weeks prior. I arrived with a few items of clothing for her to try on and choose from. The consult is so important in any shoot. I was then able to take the visual of the shoot location home with me and brainstorm, keeping her wish list in mind.
With this in the forefront of my mind, I also had the Women's March still fresh in the back of my mind. I kept asking myself, am I crossing the line? Am I going against my words and my thoughts? Shouldn't a woman feel beautiful without making a book of themselves filled with sexual poses? Is she looking to gain their partner's love or prove themselves to them? Shouldn't their partner already be aware of their beauty?
I struggled with this a lot. But I put out the offer. I received a response. And an appointment was made. Fortunately, I knew this woman and I knew she was strong. Stronger than I'll ever be, in fact. If I was to try this out, I was so glad it was with her!
I watched a lot of tutorials before the shoot. It's not just about getting the shot, it's about making your client feel comfortable, pampered even! As nervous as I was, she was the one in her bra and underwear! How dare I feel nervous, right?!
I needed to walk in there with friendly confidence. Ready to have some fun!
It was fun. We laughed a lot! It was like playing with my girlfriends when I was younger. Hanging out in her bedroom, trying on clothes, talking about relationships, curling her hair...
Then my mom called and said it was time to go home. Haha, not really.
When I got home and sat with my collection of photos, I was blown away. You really could see her ease in to her comfort as the session went on. I kinda thought (and hoped) that would happen. In fact, I planned our first few poses with her mostly covered, holding a coffee mug and just looking out the window. I wanted to ease into it. Get her into the act of acting. Even though those photos were quite beautiful, you really could see the transformation as we went on.
And maybe that's what it's about, being comfortable with your body, feeling sexy, and wanting to share that with your partner. It's not even necessarily for your partner. It's for you! It's about being brave and confident!
I went to my trusting, feminist friend for her opinion on the matter. She instantly thought it was wonderful. I hope she doesn't mind me quoting her in saying "I feel like we've been conditioned to think being sexy is not feminist. It's victim blaming, really."
That's where it came full circle. She was spot on. That's where my struggle began. Women have been exploited with our sexuality to beyond measure. To put it on the other side of the spectrum, sexy is bad.
Sexy isn't bad! I feel I can speak for all women in saying we still want to feel sexy, we just don't want to be treated like objects!
With all that said and done, this woman's husband is one lucky guy. Not just for his Valentine's Day gift, but for being married to such a brave, confident, strong woman!
Thank you, anonymous woman! You know who you are! That was one of my all time favorite shoots!
Yesterday, my eight year old daughter and I joined over 150,000 people in Boston Common for the Women's March. It was in response to our new president, in search of achieving equality for all, and to step away from social media and talk one on one with each other.
We arrived rather late. My husband and two year old son dropped us off at Riverside Station at 9am where we stood in a slow moving line that flowed out past the bus station. We stood there for about forty-five minutes to an hour until they waived the fares. This allowed us to get onto a train shortly after.
The long, but entertaining train ride was packed together with others going to the March. We stood with a nice woman who was coming from Wellesley to meet her daughter and some friends in Boston. I lost my health insurance card at some point, only to hear some call my name when they found it. Other than that and having to turn people away who wanted to get on because it was too packed, it was a peaceful ride.
When we finally got off the train, the sun had come out to shine and we ran into the Common! We ran to the highest spot we could get to so we could see the crowds of people that seem to go on forever!
She made this sign the night before. It says "Equal Rights for.." then lists off different kinds of people including "Rich White Men". My favorite part was a small heart between the words Equal and Right that says "I love my life".
Then we found our way into a mix of crowds where we waited for the March to begin. Speeches were made by the organizers, our Senators and Mayor. We were actually too far back to really hear what they were saying. We spent our time reading signs and shuffling around while people moved back and forth trying to find the perfect spot.
From the time we got in line at the train station until we finally entered the street to march, it had been nearly six hours. That's a long time for a kid to wait. There were times when I thought we should start walking back to the train, but we persisted and it was well worth the wait! As we got closer, the chants got louder and the bands were playing. A giant sunrise balloon was tossed through the crowd. We were both so excited to get onto the street!
She laid her sign amongst the others, but in the end decided to take it home with her. We sat back and watched the march from the sidelines for a while, then hopped back onto the train to meet my husband and son back at Riverside Station for 5pm.
I was exhausted, but she was full of energy when we got home! We watched the news and saw the stage where the speakers spoke. I didn't even know there was a stage! What was really wild was to see all the sister marches from all over the world! I had a sister in law in DC, another in Buenos Aires! Friends in Boston, DC, and Portland, ME!
It wasn't an easy task, for a parent anyway. There are details I have to leave out for an eight year old girl, but she knows that we should all be treated fairly. Name calling at school is wrong. Name calling for a President of the United States is an embarrassment. One day, she'll understand why it was so important that we were there and why we'll continue to go. And why we encourage others to go! I emphasize what I said in the beginning, that this was a way to step away from social media and look people in the eyes. Smile. Converse. Use your voice.
Someone said that we became too comfortable, we weren't taking care of our country and now our country is sick. Now we have to nurse it back to health. By doing that, we have to educate and come together. After yesterday, I feel confident that we can do that. #whyimarch #womensmarch
After a lot of discussion, trials with wash off tattoo's, she decided that she was going to get her ears pierced for her 8th birthday. Good ol' Mom and Dad forgot her ID papers, so we ended up spending two hours waiting our turn to get back in line. The first few of these photos are of her waiting. It was probably a good thing because we all became quite comfortable there. When it was time for her to get in the chair, she was more than ready!
In my eyes, this is a big deal. She decided she wanted it, knowing it would hurt, and she went through with it. This kid used to be so shy and clingy. Never wanted to try new things or even let me out of her sight! Her bravery has sky rocketed over the last few years.
I'm so proud of you, my lovebug!