Tag Archives: Jake Koteen Photographer


Family Session @ Holcomb Farm


Jen, Abe, and Matthew

Holcomb Farm

I can’t believe it has already been a year.  We were quite excited to see these three again.  Matthew is another year older and even more adorable than before.  He was such a great sport.  He hopped in the tall grass, ran through the fields, and giggled his way across the farm.  His infectious smile kept us laughing and snapping photos.  It is so much fun to watch kids grow from year to year and gain even more personality.

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Deb & Todd–Wedding @ Wadsworth Mansion


Deb & Todd

August 25, 2017

Wadsworth Mansion, Middletown, CT


Deb and Todd had a gorgeous afternoon for a lawn wedding at the Wadsworth Mansion.  The weather was perfect for their outdoor ceremony and al fresco dance floor.  It was truly a well-deserved day to remember.  We had such a great time with these two throughout the day.  They never stopped smiling.  They never stopped laughing.  And they never stopped enjoying each moment with each other.

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Family Photos @ Home


Braden is just the cutest baby ever.  The expressions just make me laugh and smile each time I look at the photos.  We had such a nice evening at the family home capturing everyone together now that they are a family of four.  Big sister Robin showed off her new balance beam skills and beaming smile.  The kids were truly a pleasure to capture.  Braden gave us the best smiles and everyone seemed to really enjoy their time together behind the camera.  We always love sessions at home where everyone can be relaxed and feel themselves.  It offers the perfect opportunity to capture real candid moments of joy, happiness, and the nature of being a family.  We hope you enjoy the photos as much as we do!

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Family Beach Session


Jake and I headed to the beach for a gorgeous night along the Connecticut shore.  I love it when a photo shoot has me barefoot with my toes in the sand!  This family has their summertime get together at the family cottage; and we love when we get to be apart of the festivities.  Everyone was relaxed and sun kissed.  As usual we had a great time with everyone.

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Celebrating 40!–Private Party in Oxford, CT


Jake and I headed back to Oxford, CT last weekend for an amazing backyard party.  Instead of hiding from this milestone birthday, Sandra put on a party dress and invited over her closest friends and family!  I couldn’t be more in awe of her attitude, her handwork, and her amazing details for the day.  Everything was beautifully put together in her signature vintage, rustic  style.  Her mom came in from Puerto Rico and set out an amazing spread of homemade food.  Her husband, Jason helped bring her vision to light with his DIY building magic and hands on help throughout the day.  All the kids, little and big, enjoyed a clever soda making stand.  Just the “big kids” enjoyed their own version of make your own drinks with a mimosas table.  I can attest to the fact that they were fantastic mimosas!  It was wonderful to see the whole family again.  We were excited to celebrate with Sandra, and commemorate the day with lots of family photos, party candids, and some gorgeous portraits of Sandra.  I think everyone should take a page out of her book and embrace each birthday with light hearted fun, lots of photos, and some great drinks!

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“Dress for the Sess”


Hello Summer, it is so nice to see you!!

With the warmer weather and longer days, it is the perfect time to think about family photos and engagement sessions. The most frequently asked question I receive is “what should we wear?” This is an important question with an answer to which I will give a lengthy response, share my opinion, and give some examples. Taking this advice for your session does require some effort. Viewing your photos and deciding that you didn’t wear the appropriate clothes will instantly change your feelings on your photography session. Those photos will likely end up stored and forgotten. Therefore, you will be happy you put the time into outfitting yourself, your partner, and your family.

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Wickham Park Family Photos

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Mike, Michelle, Olivia, and Tyler
Wickham Park, Manchester, CT

We had such a great time getting together with Mike and Michelle and their kids.  We were a part of their wedding a couple years ago, so we were quite excited to meet the whole family.  Olivia and Tyler are adorable.  Olivia was made for the camera.  She walked around the park following all the directions and smiling beautifully for the camera.  We found it only fair to reward her with a little time on the playground at the end of the session.  Tyler did great as well.  It isn’t easy at the age of one to stay focused and still for the camera.  These two kids are just adorable.  We can’t wait for the next session!

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Family Fun At Home


Revisiting families is always the best part of this job.  We love seeing the kids grow and getting the opportunity to document their stages along the way.  We were back at the family house last week to commemorate the start of the school year for Madeline and Ben.  The whole family joined for the occasion.  The grandmas were there for a visit and the family dog made his first camera debut.  Believe or not this large and gorgeous dog is still just a baby.  Jake had fun playing the trampoline, and I had a great time running through the yard.  For us it is always part photography and part play session.  It is a good thing we are still just big kids.

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Margaret and Nick–Hillstead Museum Wedding


Margaret and Nick
August 8, 2015
Hillstead Museum, Farmington, CT

Jake and I had the pleasure of documenting Margaret and Nick’s wedding a little over a week ago.  This was a particularly fun wedding for Jake to be a part of since Margaret and Jake grew up directly next door to each other!  We were so honored to have been included in this spectacular day.  And the day itself could not have been more perfect.  This gorgeous wedding was on the grounds of the Hillstead Museum.  The Farmington Valley countryside offered an incredible backdrop to the event.  This August day had the perfect weather for the perfect afternoon.

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Kat & Matt–Wedding at Priam Vineyards


Kat & Matt
May 16, 2015
Priam Vineyard
Colchester, CT


Kat and Matt had a gorgeous wedding at Priam Vineyards.  Jake and I had never photographed a wedding at the venue before.  However after spending the afternoon on the grounds, we certainly hope this will not be our last.  The vineyard has done an amazing job of using the land and adding great touches for a tented event.  It is complete with an outdoor fire pit, gazebo, and sitting area for warm summer nights.  The tent is beautifully situated on the grounds, and the owner is a hands on passionate man who loves good wine, good people, and a good party.  We were very excited to have been a part of the day.

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Stephanie & Steve–SNEAK PEEK



Stephanie & Steve

May 31, 2015

The Branford House

Avery Point, Groton, CT


Here are a couple photos from last Sunday’s wedding.  It was such an honor to be a part of this day.  It is evident to anyone around these two that they are meant to be with each other.  They couldn’t hide their excitement and joy from the moment their eyes locked at their ceremony to the last minute of their wedding.  We have heard from friends and family that this love for each other looks the same every other day as well.  It was a fun afternoon along the CT coast complete with food trucks and lawn games.  Make sure to check back for more details and photos of this fantastic wedding.

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SNEAK PEEK–Elif & Andrew


Elif & Andrew

May 30, 2015

Westport Country Playhouse


This past Saturday we headed down to Westport, CT to photograph the first wedding ever held at the Country Playhouse.  It was a beautiful day along the shore and a fun and unique wedding.  This couple met at the playhouse, so it was quite fitting to use the grounds for their wedding.  There were so many fun and personal touches to the day.  Make sure to check back for more soon.  In the meantime, enjoy the preview.  The first couple photos are my favorite since they were capture directly after the ceremony when they thought no one was watching.  It was such a sweet and genuine moment that perfectly conveyed their feelings on this beautiful day.

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Alec’s Bar Mitzvah–Rentschler Field


Rentschler Field

This is our second Mitvah with Alec and his family. Two years ago we had the pleasure of photographing Alec’s brother, Evan’s big day. Both times the parties did not disappoint us or the guests. Yet again it was an incredible evening impeccably planned by Staci, Alec’s mom. Both events were held in unique sports venues befitting of a Bar Mitzvah celebration.

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Olivia’s First Photo Shoot–Wickham Park

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Olivia’s Turning One!
Family Photo Shoot At Wickham Park

We were in Wickham Park the other day for our favorite kind of photo shoot…kids! This photo shoot was especially sweet for us since Olivia’s mom and dad, Stacy and Jason were a bride and groom whom we photographed a couple years ago. We did their wedding photos in Wickham Park, so it was a fitting location for Olivia’s first photo shoot. Part of the fun with photographing kids is the truly unscripted nature of the session. We understand this even more having a toddler. We are ready and expecting all types of reactions, emotions, and behavior. Olivia did amazing! She lasted through a walk, a drive, and a lot of posing in the park. She is adorable, and we loved documenting her for her almost first birthday. Next week is the official day, and we hope it is filled with fun and sweets. Enjoy the photos…

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Nikki’s Sugar Rush

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Nikki’s Bat Mitzvah
March 1, 2014
Belle Terrace
Avon, CT

Nikki had an awesome Bat Mitzvah celebration at Belle Terrace in Avon, CT. Also it was arguably one of the better weekends of her life. Not only did she accomplish a major milestone in Judaism and have an incredible party, but her hockey team spent the weekend playing in their championship tournament. I am not entirely certain how she was still standing on Sunday night. She kicked off Friday with a game and a photo shoot with us. She followed it up on Saturday with another morning game, more photos, and a sugar fueled party until midnight. Then it was up the next morning to play in her championship game. I was exhausted listening to her schedule. But all the excitement coupled with her sugar rush Mitzvah theme kept Nikki and her friends dancing all night. There was candy all around. I have never seen so many jumbo sized candy bars. The 5lb Hershey bar was quite impressive. It definitely helped the adults and kids alike spend the night dancing away. It was a perfect celebration for a fantastic young lady. Enjoy!

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David’s Bar Mitzvah–Kicking off 2014

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David’s Bar Mitzvah
The Riverview
January 18, 2014

Jake and I kicked off our 2014 season with this fun, afternoon Bar Mitzvah. The day was beautiful for guests at the Riverview. The big windows overlook the Farmington River, which had a nice cover of snow. To add the the nice winter atmosphere snowflakes were falling throughout the afternoon. It was a magical day at the venue.
While the adults were enjoying the ambiance, the kids were enjoying a ton of games. They were entertained for the afternoon with shooting hoops, trivia games, and the favorite coke/pepsi game. These high energy guys were fiercely competitive and quite good at all the activities. I was especially impressed with David’s limbo skills. All of his soccer definitely payed off in this activity. Speaking of soccer, David’s mom, Sheri, did an excellent job of bringing the theme to the day. The cake, which was done by a family friend was amazing and the place card settings were quite imaginative. It was a fun afternoon of great friends and great food complete with an awesome ice cream and candy bar. We were very excited to have been a part of such a milestone in David’s life. Enjoy!

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NIc’cole + YAssine=NIYA!!

Niya’s Newborn Photos

It hasn’t been very long since these Nic’ole and Yassine appeared on our blog. Athough you won’t see the in these photos, you may remember them from their maternity photos just a couple months ago. While these two were actually present for the photos, they were behind the scenes. As new parents will attest, it isn’t fun to be sleep deprived and feel camera ready. Instead the photos were all about Niya. They welcomed their daughter on October 24th, and she is adorable. I love her name and origins behind it. Since she is a product of NIc’cole and YAssine, so is her name. We had the pleasure of spending some time with everyone at their house. Niya wasn’t always a fan of the camera, but she did a great job! Check out some of her adorable photos below.

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Little Miss Trouble Turns 10 Months

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Aubrie Koteen
10 Month Photos

We are constantly posting photos of other people. We have heard more than once, “where are photos of your daughter?” I imagine she must have a ton of photos since her mom and dad are photographers. Well, we managed to get a kid who is acutely aware of the camera, and she is a difficult subject. Also with all the other photo work we do, somehow we forget to share our own. I looked back and realized that we haven’t posted any photos of the little monkey since her early days. Therefore, I thought I would share the photos Jake took for her 10 month birthday this week. I can’t believe my baby is almost a year old!

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This Family is “D-Baum”

Family Photos
At Home in South Windsor

It has been a while since Jake documented this adorable family. Keira was still only a year old and Taya had yet to arrive on the scene. Time sure flies. Keira is now an energetic big sister. Taya is 6 months old with a big smile and amazing disposition. We couldn’t get over how amazing she did behind the camera. since we have a baby, we know exactly how difficult it can be to get one to cooperate and look at the camera. But not Taya. She smiled and focused on Jake as he snapped away. We had a great time with everyone. It was wonderful to see how much Keira has grown and meet Taya for the first time. We can’t wait to see everyone again soon!

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The D Family–Another Milestone

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At home in Somers, CT

It is hard to believe how quickly time flies. Jake started with this family at Chris and Liz’s wedding. It didn’t seem that long ago that he photographed their daughter’s baby photos. And now life has brought two kids, a puppy (yes the dog is just a puppy!), and the first day of school. We were very excited to be a part of documenting another milestone for this sweet family. The kids were dressed in their new school clothes with backpacks in hand as they posed for their “first day of school” photos. We followed them around the yard as they ran, jumped, swung, laughed and played. It was a beautiful end of summer evening, and the perfect time for some new family photos. As usual we had a wonderful time with everyone. The kids were awesome subjects and so much fun to photograph. We even made Chris and Liz pose for a photo of their own. It isn’t very often that parents remember to pose together for photos. Once the kids arrive it is all about them. I thought is might be nice for them to put a photo other than one in wedding attire on the wall. We still can’t believe how big the kids have gotten. We look forward to the next round of photos.

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Cassie & Evan–SNEAK PEEK

Cassie & Evan
August 31, 2013
Branford House

Jake and I had another beautiful day along the CT Shoreline. Cassie and Evan had a church ceremony at St.Mary’s in New London followed by a gorgeous reception at the Branford House. Avery Point is a perfect location to celebrate a wedding and bring a close to summer with an ocean breeze and old stone home setting. Enjoy a little preview of the photos with many more to come soon!

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Laura & Steven–Up On The Hill

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Laura and Steven
Engagement Shoot
Lyman Orchards

We met Laura and Steven a few weeks ago at Lyman Orchards for their engagement shoot. They live not far from the orchards and thought it would be a great backdrop for photos. It was awesome! However, for those of you who have not done the Lyman experience, it is massive! There are acres and acres of land, fruit trees, and even a golf course. Laura and Steven were open to our suggestions on photos, yet we had no idea where to even begin! Jake and I were there early looking around and getting ideas, when we met our angel of the orchard. I decided to ask this sweet looking girl who was shutting down the farm stand if she had any ideas. I figured who better than an employee to give us the scoop on great photo locations. Gracie was excited and eager to help. She hoped in her SUV and we followed her down paths we would have never explored on our own. She walked us to her favorite spots in the apple and peach orchards. And she showed us some incredible views. We took it all in and used many of the locations she showed us. The light was gorgeous, Laura and Steven did great with the camera, and we LOVE the photos. So Laura and Steven, thanks for choosing such a great location and being awesome subjects. And Gracie, thanks for the tour. It wouldn’t have been as fun and successful without your help!

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The D’s Family Photos–SNEAK PEEK

The D Family hits another milestone!

Here is a little preview of our “ready for school” family session. The kids were a blast as usual. They did great behind the camera, and there are many more to come soon. Enjoy!

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Michelle & Scott–Brought To Life

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Michelle & Scott
July 26, 2013
Getting Ready: Simsbury Inn
Photos & Ceremony: Ethel Walker School & Chapel
Reception: The Riverview

Jake and I have been to the Riverview many times, and it is always a beautiful venue. However, Scott and Michelle went above and beyond transforming the Riverview from a just vision to a perfect celebration. They gave new meaning to the phrase, “bringing it to life.” Before I get to that part, let me rewind and start at the beginning.
We met Michelle and the girls at the Simsbury Inn for photos. It is always a nice place for bridal photos. We had a blast with the girls who were excited for their camera shots, and they brought fun to every photo. And I must mention that Michelle is absolutely gorgeous. I am not sure she could take a bad photo. After everyone was dressed and ready, Michelle and Scott opted for a first look. While we respect each couple’s individual decision on when to see each other, we love the idea of a first look. They had a private moment to talk with each other and share their excitement and anticipation of the day. Not to mention it provided us with plenty of time to get some beautiful photos.

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Laura & Steven–SNEAK PEEK

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Laura & Steven Engagement Session
Lyman Orchards

We had an awesome time exploring Lyman Orchards on Sunday evening with Laura and Steven. We had gorgeous weather and a beautiful sunset on the hilltop. The acreage is extensive, and we weren’t quite sure where to head for photos. So we enlisted the help of Gracie at the orchard to give us a mini tour of some must see spots. She gave us some great ideas. Here is a peek at some of the photos. There are more to come soon…

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Micah’s Mitzvah Photos

Micah and Family
West Hartford, CT:
Young Israel Synagogue

Jake and I had the pleasure of meeting this warm, fun, and energetic blended family a couple weeks ago to document Micah’s bar mitzvah. We met the family at the synagogue for some photos to commemorate the occasion. Micah did a little practicing with us inside the temple before we headed outside for some family photos. While we were with everyone, we took the opportunity to get a few head shots, photos with all the siblings, and a some great photos of Micah all on his own. This was such a sweet family, and they were all so excited to have come from near and far to watch Micah become a man of the Jewish community. We want to thank all of you for a great photo session. Enjoy!

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Kristy & Guy–SNEAK PEEK


Kristy and Guy
July 27, 2013
New Haven, CT
Anthony’s Oceanview

Here are a few beautiful photos from last Saturday’s wedding. Kristy and Guy are the sweetest duo. You could see how excited these two families were to have a new member added to the family. It was a beautiful afternoon on the ocean. Everyone had the opportunity to put their toes in the sand for the ceremony and photos. The weather was gorgeous and the ocean view was the perfect backdrop to the reception. There are many more photos to come from this lively reception. In the meantime, enjoy!

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An Annual Meeting–Family Photos on the Beach

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Family Photos in Clinton, CT

Jake and I headed to the beach 4th of July week to meet up with this sweet family. We have deemed it our annual meeting, although it is really this family’s annual get together. Last year at almost the exact, we joined everyone for Amy and Jeff’s wedding. I can’t believe it has already been a year. Time is moving so quickly. Everyone was looking great and having fun together as usual. It was a beautiful evening on the CT Shore, and it was a fun way for this family to end their day at the beach. Thanks everyone for inviting us to join in on some of your annual family time. It was wonderful to see everyone.

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Erika and Ari–Best Paired With Each Other

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Erika and Ari
June 9, 2013
Saltwater Farm Vineyard
Stonington, CT

There are so many things to write about this wedding and this couple. But the one thing I really want to share has nothing to do with the actual wedding at all. However it really highlights the tremendous love and admiration that Ari and Erika have for each other. When I emailed the preview of the wedding a few weeks back, I received Ari’s vacation response in return. It began with, “I am out of the office celebrating marrying the incomparable Erika.” His love for her was evident the first moment we met. It was reinforced by a sweet and heartfelt speech he gave about his bride at the wedding. And it was carried right through to a simple but loving away message in his email. Erika returns that love in each glance she gives Ari in life and in every photograph we captured on their wedding day. Not only is Erika incomparable but they are an incomparable couple. It was wonderful to witness this love and incredible wedding day.
We had been looking forward to the wedding for almost a year. We love the Saltwater Farm. We photographed Ari’s brother and sister-in-law’s wedding last Fall. And we know the family well. We were excited and the wedding exceeded our expectations. It was gorgeous sunny afternoon sandwiched between weeks of rain. The sky was bright blue and the venue looked gorgeous. The decor looked amazing. I have to give credit not only to the bride and groom for the details, but to the caters, Gourmet Galley, for the best food I have ever had at a wedding. They put together an amazing menu, which was paired with wine from the vineyard. Ari and Erika were very particular with each detail. They picked the venue for its setting, its vibe, and of course their love for the wine. They personally selected all the flowers, centerpieces, and linens. And they paid attention to even the littlest of details. Ari and Erika shared their excitement about the day, the food, and the party each time we spoke. Friends and family certainly weren’t disappointed.
There were many special moments and hilarious moments throughout the day. Whenever Ari and his brothers are together, you can be sure laughs will follow. Although sorry boys, I think Grandpa Howard, delivered the best laugh of the day. However my favorite conversation was one we had with Ari. I loved his explanation for waiting to see Erika until they were together under the chuppah. He told us that they could have opted for a first look. They knew it would have given them more time at the party with friends and family. However he said he had been to many, many cocktail hours, and he will go to many, many more. However he would only get one opportunity to see his bride for the first time as she walked down the aisle. And what a beautiful grass aisle on the edge of the vineyards it was.
Erika looked gorgeous in her dress. You would never have guessed that she experienced a bride’s biggest nightmare about two months before her wedding. A broken foot! Instead of shopping for 4in stilettos, Erika spent her time searching for the cutest flats she could find. In the end she even had to kick off the ballet flats for sneakers. But either way there were no crutches just dancing shoes. She and Ari shared a choreographed first dance that was a favorite moment of the wedding. The party was high energy and these friends and family came to dance! We really hope you enjoy looking through the photos and checking out this incredible wedding. Ari and Erika, we thank you both for including us in your day. We were very honored to have been a part of it.

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Sarah and Andy–The “Day” of Our Lives

Sarah and Andy
June 8, 2013
Wychwood Turkey Farm
North Stonington, CT

Sarah and Andy had such a beautiful and fun wedding. The location was amazing. It is always nice to photograph a wedding at a venue that is so personal to the couple. Sarah and Andy were married on the grass airplane runway of Wychwood Farm. The farm is a turkey farm in North Stonington (keep that in mind when Thanksgiving comes around), which has been in Andy’s Stepdad’s family for generations. Not only were the grounds for the wedding fantastic but so was the turkey they served at the reception! Guests sat in the actual airplane hangar and under a tent in an open green field, toasted and laughed with this happy couple, and helped them dance the night away. Sarah is by far the most animated bride we have encountered. She gave us and everyone else plenty of laughs and fun throughout the day. Their family and friends were warm and welcoming and a pleasure to spend the day with. Sarah and Andy spent plenty of time putting thought into the many vintage and rustic details of the day. It has been some of my favorite decor we have seen. Sarah’s father grew most of the flowers and did all of the amazing arrangements and bouquets himself. The guests were served dinner on a variety of china, and the centerpieces consisted of different floral arrangements in eclectic glass and china vases. But while all of that was wonderful none of it held a candle to the hilarious wedding vows that this couple shared. They were personal, loving, and funny just like the two people reciting them. Jake and I couldn’t have been more excited and thrilled to have been a part of this wedding celebration. Sarah and Andy thank you for making us a part of your day. It was truly a wedding to remember!

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Michelle and Scott–The Time is Almost Here

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Michelle and Scott
Engagement Shoot
Southford Falls

Jake and I had an another beautiful engagement shoot the other day. Michelle and Scott are gorgeous couple. Their wedding is coming up in a little over a month, and we can’t wait. They have a ton of exciting stuff planned, which we have promised to keep a secret. But you will definitely have to check back for their wedding blog to see how their wedding vision comes to life.

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Ari and Erika–SNEAK PEEK

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Sunday was another beautiful day for us to be at the Saltwater Farm Vineyard. It is a venue that is always gorgeous and a wonderful place to host a wedding. Ari and Erika had an an amazing day. They are a beautiful couple, and we were so honored to be their for both of them and their families. There a many more great photos to come, but in the meantime, enjoy the preview.

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Sarah and Andy–SNEAK PEEK

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Someone was looking down from the heavens on all the brides and grooms who were married this past weekend. Saturday and Sunday were two amazing, sunny days sandwiched between endless rain. Sarah and Andy were particularly lucky since their venue was not quite conducive to rain. We did two weddings back to back last weekend which were both in Stonington, CT. And ironically they were both in converted airplane hangars.

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Celebrating Jessica

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Jessica’s Bat Mitzvah
May 4, 2013
Tower Ridge Country Club

We joined Jessica and her family last week to document Jess’ Bat Mitzvah. Jessica and her family were super sweet. We were so honored to be a part of this momentous occasion in her life. We were able to get some time with Jess and her family as she rehearsed for her big day, and what we saw was extremely impressive. A Mitzvah is a big and stressful occasion that takes a lot of hard work. Learning all of the Hebrew is challenging, but Jess did an amazing job. When it was all over, everyone was ready to get the party started. Jess had a smile on from the start of her party until the very end. Her friends were excited to be celebrating with her and had a blast with all of the games and activities. This was a wonderful event for us to document. It was a very beautiful afternoon at the Tower Ridge Country Club. Congratulations on a job well done as you and your family celebrate this Jewish milestone. We hope all of you enjoy the photos!

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Leslie & Mike–An Urban Oasis

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Leslie and Mike’s Engagement Shoot
Boston Common

We had our first engagement shoot of the spring, and it was gorgeous. Leslie and Mike were awesome to photograph. They were fun, photogenic, and daring. We started in Boston Common where the park is in full bloom. There was almost too much beauty. It was hard not to stop on every bench and under every tree for a photo. In fact, Leslie and Mike probably felt like we did. The sun was shining and the weather was beautiful for an evening stroll. Leslie and Mike looked great every time they posed for a photo. And once they warmed up to the camera, they were truly up for anything. After we left the park, we took a stroll down a few of the bordering streets. In platform heels Leslie was persuaded to climb up a concrete wall for a photo. She looked a bit skeptical but she and Mike scaled the wall like champs. It was all worth it for a great shot of the Boston skyline as the sun was setting! We couldn’t have asked for better subjects or a better day for photos. Leslie and Mike, thanks for the Boston adventure. We can’t wait for the wedding!

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