This time of year, I usually send out an email to my clients for the upcoming season. I have a pretty good system of making sure my clients have a stress free family photo session. So I decided just to put it here.
Most couples have a handful of ‘must have’ photos they will want documented for the historical merging of their two families. I’ve found that making, and then sticking to, a simple plan helps with keeping the wedding day timeline; and most importantly, the reception timeline. We really are at the mercy of the reception coordinator.
All of us, the newlyweds, those on the photo list, and I – all have an equal part in keeping the happy momentum. I’ve found the very best time for these photos to take place is directly after the ceremony before we lose key people to socializing.
I need a partner in crime. A designated friend or relative to assist in the gathering of those on the list as I focus on arrangement and technical aspects. Everyone on the list should be aware and know where and when they’ll be needed. A good time to remind them is during rehearsal.
If you have reception photo requests too, please have a friend find me when the group is pretty much gathered. As a true photojournalist this allows me to continuously focus on and capture real moments during the reception. I am happy to be grabbed away for any photo I am asked to take. But, I’ll always be found roaming for the real moments.
Typically, the newlyweds are in each others family photos as this is the time for merging both families. However, please include ‘alone’ shots with parents or others, if desired. I do not necessarily assume or offer group shot suggestions the day of the event as I am not familiar with all of my client’s familial circumstances so I leave the family photo list to the family’s discretion. Make your decisions, then rely on your friends, family, and the professionals. After all, decisions should not be made on the wedding day, only carried through. Happy planning!
Happy New Year!
Sometimes people show up to remind us why we do what we do. I want the first post of the new year to be one that reflects more on my work and work ethic as a wedding photographer, than just tossing up some images! I get many notes of appreciation, mostly kept private. But this one, in particular, is from the wedding of Amy and Tom. Their wedding is right at the top from the 2012 season that reminds me why I choose to work on weekends – in the Summer – in Maine. That’s what wedding professionals do. We bring our skill sets, experience, positive energy and professionalism to – your – positive energy-wedding! Every single wedding really is different because, although the platform is the same for photographers, we know, that you just can’t buy, order or box the overall energy of an event. A professional will recognize immediately the energy and adapt and blend in while always giving his or her all, delivering the very best work possible, regardless if it is an even exchange. It doesn’t matter to me, I will always remain ‘me’ and give my very best because I know my work will be left to stand alone long after I leave.
So, recently I received this from Amy-
“We couldn’t have asked for a better photographer than Susan Mullen for our wedding! She was able to bring a second photographer with her on short notice, which was great because she had her with the groomsmen while they got ready and she was with me and the bridesmaids taking pictures while we got ready. We barely even noticed them. Just a couple of days after the wedding she had posted a blog with beautiful pictures which was so nice to see while we were on our honeymoon. Every picture she took was beautiful. Susan has a very creative eye and the way she captured intimate moments and connections between people was incredibly impressive. I loved Susan’s work so much that I would like to use her for other events and professional photography needs we may have in the future.” Amy P.
When client’s take the time to remind me that I’m doing all right by such an amazing testimonial, I can only accept it and say “Thank you, it really is a privilege”.
Please (re)check out Amy and Tom’s amazing wedding Here!!-
There is something to perfect timing. The world truly needs some positive energy right now as well as a group hug.
Michael J. Chase is one of my favorite’s and I am grateful to have him in my life. His books, teachings and lectures reach far and wide, to adults and students about the positive effects and benefits of adopting kindness as a way of life. One high school senior, who noticed, is Jessica. She became interested in doing random acts of kindness after one of Michael’s presentations. Inspired, Jessica put together ‘Project Kindness’. Michael contacted me and said “Hey, are you up for something fun and really cool?” I’m always up for something fun and cool! We visited the Center for Grieving Children to help decorate, a local soup kitchen to make and serve lunch, and a mall to hand out candy canes and flowers to shoppers to brighten their hectic day in the spirit of the season.
Need a natural serotonin boost? Try a little volunteering or just smiling at those around you. Afterall, it’s not what we say, it’s how we say it. It’s not what we intend, it’s what we do. If you don’t have a huge tolerance for unkindness (like me) then simply don’t give it any energy if it shows up through others. It works!
I had so much fun hanging with Michael, Jessica and the Kindness Crew from BEHS!
The last image I decided to add at the very last minute because of the recent tragedy in CT. It’s my daughter, Emily, when she was 6 years old. She had just stepped off the school bus to run towards me, as she did every day. This time, some yellow dandelions caught her eye, and she picked a few and continued her sprint towards me. It is here as a reminder to us all, to be grateful for those who we have in our lives, and to cherish the small moments. She will be 17 this month, and she is still my sunshine. – Warning: It is a phone picture of a picture.
Happy 2nd Birthday, Della Bella!
What a heart warming way for me to spend a Sunday afternoon.
This has become a favorite tradition for a few years now….meet up with these amazing past wedding photography clients – who have become good friends – who have expanded their family – and who kept their photographer! Say that fast ten times. We didn’t quite expect it to be so cold, but they traveled from N.H., and well, this is the day we got.
Oh, check out Kate’s new web site and you’ll see why it’s hard for me to leave them – Kate – Heartwork - I always walk away laughing more, happy-er and plotting the next time we get to do this.
I hope they don’t trade me in anytime soon.
The wedding of Sarah and Ted was being planned to take place on the water cruising around Casco Bay, but, mother nature had other plans for that weekend! Without skipping a beat, the couple kept it all downtown Portland by securing Blue Elephant Events and Catering and Masonic Temple. Delicious food and a warm, inviting atmosphere for both the ceremony and reception. Well done!
As always, I’m happy when clients get to enjoy the best of both worlds. These two were had a great location, as well as be able to get out and enjoy the city a little between raindrops and wind.
I really enjoyed their company, as well as their friends and family!
Wishing them all the very best!
What fun! I had the privilege and pleasure of photographing a wedding which took place at my best friend’s home just outside of the greater Portland area. It is a 200 plus year old, lush, 40 acre private farm. Jen and Chad are great friends of theirs and, well, I was just happy to be asked and available for this event! It was a double dose – work and fun- with great people. I stayed a bit after I put my camera down under lock and key.
This wedding took me right to Twilight. A gorgeous bride, a huge private farm, which has quite a rich history of it’s own, lots of sparkly lights – at the altar and everywhere, a perfectly themed cake and decor, and all of the owls. I loved the seasonal ambiance of this beautiful fall wedding.
DJ, Kevin, of Amazing DJ Music was, actually, amazing! He was a fantastic Wedding Coordinator and a fun, talented DJ.
Thank you, Jen and Chad!
Kristen and Justin planned a beautiful wedding at The Lucerne Inn! The only challenge on the wedding day was that it was pouring rain. It didn’t put a damper on anyone’s spirits! 15 minutes before the ceremony, as we were getting ready in Kristen’s room, Brian came in and announced the rain has stopped and the clouds parted. The fog was rolling up off the lake. I think I even saw the sun! They were able to have their ceremony at the gazebo with the colorful fall foliage around them just how they envisioned. And, we were able to have an hour and a half to take pictures on the lush grounds of the Inn!
The reception had a lot of special touches, dances and toasts. DJ, Mike Dow, kept it all running smoothly with dancing late into the night!
This blog post is dedicated to Danielle, too, who, after years at The Lucerne Inn has moved on to a wonderful position with GBCC. She was the sunshine at every wedding and an exceptional wedding planner.
We are all very happy for her! It’s only Good Luck, not Good bye!
Best wishes, Kristen and Justin!
Betsy and Rick had a lovely and very well planned wedding event! They wanted a first look and to take some pictures before the wedding. The ceremony was held at the gorgeous Bowdoin Chapel. There were so many beautiful and meaningful locations they wanted to visit, so they provided a trolley for everyone to easily get around to the island areas. Cathy and I appreciated the convenience and we were able to stay with them throughout it all.
The dinner was tented on the grounds of Library Hall. It was pretty and lit by candle light with toast after toast! Dancing was held inside led by one of the best DJ’s in southern Maine, Dave Dionne of Dionne Entertainment. His professional, friendly and fun style gets any party started!
They ended up asking us to stay extra because there was so much going on with picture requests, dancing and a cozy fire pit with marshmallows at the end of the night! We had a great day with them and their friends and families.
Best wishes to you both!
I enjoyed meeting Gina and Keith last year and I could tell by their easy going personalities that this wedding was going to be both special and fun. And it was. They had a beautiful ocean side ceremony at Nubble Light House surrounded by family and friends. A lot of special touches were a big part of their day. Although it was public, it seemed like a private garden ceremony. I barely noticed the curious (and polite) onlookers! It was great to work with Julie Draper once again, as she is one of the best JP’s in southern Maine. Her warm personality, and style of delivery set her apart.
Then it was off to Foster’s Clam Bake for a fabulous old fashioned clam and lobster bake. They do it right. (As a Maine native who grew up with lobster, I can say that!) The food, fun and atmosphere was perfect for a beautiful sunny wedding day on the southern coast of Maine.
Best wishes to you Gina and Keith!
Jamaica Point Lodge was the gorgeous lakeside setting for Emily’s and Matt’s September Maine wedding. There is something special about a rustic, yet elegant, quiet setting away from the crowds and tourists which allow a totally private and intimate event without missing out on a true Maine experience.
After the ceremony, a plane picked them up for a scenic flight around the lakes region while family and friends enjoyed amazing food and views!
This lodge sits on a point on the largest of the Belgrade Lakes. It is also where playwright, Ernest Thompson, wrote ‘On Golden Pond’. There certainly was beautiful, warm light well into the early evening. Cathy and I had so much fun with this group all day long into the night!
Thank you for having us!
click images to enlarge