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same sex wedding

Andrea and Kerry’s wedding

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

Ohio couple Kerry and Andrea were married this month at the Courtyard Marriott and it was a destination event for them and their 40 guests.

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

I met Andrea and Kerry exactly one year earlier, when they were in Vermont to scout their wedding and set up all of the details for their celebration. Then, it was back to Michigan for the long tax season (Andrea is an accountant!)

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

So, I was excited to see them both again and witness how all of their planning had come together. Of course, everything was perfect!

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

From their gorgeous ketuba to all of the Fall decorations and details, the couple put so much of themselves into the event and it definitely showed.

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

One really nice touch was that the canopy for the wedding Chuppah (like an arch) incorporated the talit (Jewish prayer shawls) belonging to Andrea’s grandfathers. Very cool!

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

The “Jew-ISH” ceremony (as Andreea called it) was officiated by the wonderful JP Kathryn Blume and included traditional hebrew blessings and breaking the glass at the the conclusion of the service.

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

so sweet…

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There was one unexpected turn for Andrea, when her mother’s health declined and she was unable to attend the wedding. So, the couple did the next best thing: they skyped the wedding ceremony and most of the reception from an IPAD and Andrea’s mom was able to “attend” via satellite from her hospital room!

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer
Guests, throughout the day, visited with Andrea’s mother on the iPad and I know how happy it made the family, and especially the couple, that they could still share their celebration with her. It really made me smile! I especially loved watching Andrea’s father most of the day as he carried around the iPad like his date!

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

Enjoy this 4- minute look back at Andrea and Kerry’s wonderful day:
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If you’d like to see all of the pictures from Kerry and Andrea’s wedding, please CLICK HERE (but you’ll need to get the secret password from the family!

Mazel Tov to the very happy couple!!!!!

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

Anne and Wilma’s Creek-side wedding

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karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

Since the momentous June 26, 2013 ruling in the Windsor v. United States and the first step in ending the days of the Defense of Marriage Act(DOMA), I have photographed dozens of same sex couples coming to Vermont to be legally married. It’s been a joy and an honor to witness all of these loving unions and Anne and Wilma’s wedding was no exception.

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

The Ohio-based couple has been together for 18 years, and because Wilma is originally from Holland, she has struggled with the Federal government over her VISA rights for the length of their relationship. Since she was never before allowed to marry her sweetheart, she has had to return to Holland every two years and remain there for weeks or months, before re-entering the United States. And, of course, there was always the fear that her work visa would not be enough to allow her back to the country! Can you even imagine?

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

So, while Anne and Wilma will return to Ohio and nothing may change for them regarding their state rights, they NOW will be recognized as married on a Federal level and Wilma can apply for a new married visa!!! I’m so excited for them, I could bust!

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

The ceremony took place at one of my favorite “venues”– the creek and covered bridge on Roscoe Road in Charlotte, near the home of Justice-of-the-Peace-Extraordinaire Kathryn Blume.

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

Instead of traditional diamond rings, the simple “bling free” couple had their gold rings made in diamond-shape!

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

It was a lovely morning with Anne and Wilma and I always love working with Kathryn. I’ll be blogging about another of our “Demise of DOMA” Creekside wedding ceremonies in the coming days so check back.
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karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

If you’d like to see all of the images from Anne and Wilma‘s intimate Creek-side wedding, just click HERE (but you’ll need to get the password from the couple)

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

Jenn and Abby

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer
Yup, they are definitely a contender for the cutest couple on earth!

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

Jenn and Abby came to Vermont a couple of weeks ago for an intimate and private wedding- not even their trigger-happy photographer was invited! But I did spend a couple of hours with them the day before the ceremony doing an oh-so-fun engagement session!

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

It was, yet again, one of those picture perfect Fall days and the colors were popping. I had just been to a couple of my favorite spots around Shelburne that weekend with Kelsey and Jevin, so I knew how pretty it was looking. It made sense to revisit these picture-perfect places and see how differently they would appear to me with this new couple’s energy.

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

AS I knew it would, each old location took on new energy with Jenn and Abby‘s personalities and their love for each other. We started in Shelburne over by the All Souls Interfaith Gathering, then worked our way to Shelburne Orchards, and ended up on the beach at Shelburne Farms. I mean, why try and improve on a perfect recipe!

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

It was so much fun and I loved learning about Jenn and Abby‘s life together in Florida and their hopes and dreams for the future.

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

And, while we picked and ate apples (and cider donuts, of course!) they relayed to me the story of Abby’s proposal to Jenn and the YouTube video of that proposal that I couldnt wait to watch…

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

As if they could get ANY CUTER by showing me this video…

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

OMG. They DID get even cuter!

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

It is the SWEETEST proposal I have ever seen!

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

Abby, who works at a small private college, orchestrated a whole phony concert with some very talented students, had them sing all of Jenn‘s favorite songs, filled the entire auditorium with a fake audience and THEN, at the end, of the concert, a video played on stage.
karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

Don’t worry. I’m going to show you that video. I’m just insuring that you look at all of my pictures first!

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

And, the event was also videotaped, so you’ll see Jenn‘s reaction at the end of the proposal.

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

OK, if you are now here, then you’ve definitely earned the right to see this (I may have cried!).

Congratulations, Jenn and Abby!! Come back and visit!!

If you’d like to see all of Jenn and Abby’s E session pictures (and you’ll need to get the password from them!), just follow this link

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

Katie and Lauren’s Weddiing!

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer
Lauren and Katie, married last month at the OLD LANTERN in Charlotte, are so cute together that they should have their own UNI-NAME-like “Branjelina” and “Beniffer”. I hereby dubb them “Katren” (or maybe “Lautie”)

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

One of my favorite parts of a wedding, is when the couple gets that first look at each other in their bridal clothes. Whether each has seen their partner’s outfit before that day or not, it’s a WHOLE different thing to view it ON their betrothed and ON the wedding day!

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

Katie wore a gorgeous strapless champagne-colored gown and completed the look with fun and unconventional accessories– Her basketball-themed shoes were custom made TOMS (an homage to Lauren), her bouquet of white roses was made from wood (as were all of the other bouquets and boutonnieres) and her purse was, if you can believe it, a Rubber Chicken! So perfect, and SO Katie!

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

Lauren looked sharp in her black slacks and vest over a champagne blouse, but the most special part of her outfit was a pin made by Katie, showing a picture of Lauren’s deceased mother. And when Katie gave this to Lauren, the tears started flowing (from me, too!)

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

There were so many wonderful little touches, from the candy table to all of cute banners hanging to the personalized menu board and seating chart. It filled the room with warmth and charm.

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

OK, this was too funny…

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer
The ceremony, officiated by JP Greg Trulson, had special significance, as the wedding came just 2 days after the Supreme Court ruled to overturn DOMA. So, for Katie and Lauren, their wedding would not only be legal in Vermont but will also be recognized on a federal level!! Wahoo!!!!!!

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer
karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

The reception was F-U-N!!! Everyone had such a great time, the food was amazing (thank you Chef Roland Gaujac!!!!), and there was so much joy and laughter, that if its essence could just be bottled, it could bring peace to the middle east!

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

Yum? Hmmm…
karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer
karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

Oh, you just never know where that wedding Gnome will show up next…

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

Yup, we love our “mobile photo booth”:

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

I had so much fun shooting this wedding with Jennifer Kiewit, my awesome co-pilot: so much so, that it has taken me over two weeks to get through all of our pictures and edit the album down to a somewhat manageable number. It also made creating a slideshow difficult, because I couldn’t decide what to use and whether to highlight the dozens of sweet and lovely moments or to concentrate on the often comical and outrageous stuff going on throughout the day. Since everyone knows I am a sentimental mush ball, it’s an easy guess which way I leaned… so, Here is a tribute to Katie and Lauren’s wonderful celebration, to the Tracy Chapman soundtrack, “The Promise.” :

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If you’d like to see all of the 1100+ pictures from Katie and Lauren’s wedding, please click HERE, but you will need to get the secret password from the couple in order to enter the gallery.

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

And, YES, this is a real, honest to goodness rainbow- totally appropriate for their wedding day– and Lauren and Katie were not Photoshopped into the picture! Mazel Tov, you two!!! xoxo

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

The photo staff hard at work:
karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

Arshad and Abbott’s Stowe, Vt. Wedding

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer
Arshad and Abbott were married at the Stowe Mountain Lodge on June 1 and this is one of those amazing weddings that is just so fabulous and visual and emotional and dramatic (and everything else!) that I’ve been chomping at the bit to get the blog post done, just so I can share the experience with other people!

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer
I shot so many pictures that day, along with my trusty second shooter (the fabulous Jennifer Kiewit) that the editing process has taken a LONG time (and I still couldn’t get the final gallery down to less than about 1300 images (plus an OUTTAKES folder of another 600!)
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Every detail at this wedding sang for a picture- from the invitations, to the guests’ seat holders (sunglasses in all the colors of the rainbow), to the handmade purple silk flowered boutonnieres and bouquets!

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

The ceremony was gorgeous, officiated by their friend, Vermont state representative Kesha Ram. The mountains served as a stunning backdrop, guests all joined together in singing “You Are My Sunshine” (which made me cry) and, after the couple sealed their vows with a kiss, they “pranced” off down the aisle into the world of holy matrimony!

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

karen pike photography Vermont wedding photographer same sex marriage

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The reception was a love fest and Jenn and I couldn’t have wished for better subjects to photograph throughout the afternoon and evening. The food was fantastic (and beautiful to look at), from the appetizers and signature cocktails (a Dark and Stormy and a non-alcoholic ginger sparkling lemonade ), right through dinner and into a mouth-watering medley of desserts that included rainbow-colored whoopee pies! You really can’t get much better than that!!


karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

karen pike photography Vermont wedding photographer same sex marriage

karen pike photography Vermont wedding photographer same sex marriage

The most touching and unforgettable moments of the day came during the toasts before dinner. Neither of the grooms’ fathers were expected to give a toast. Arshad’s parents had been opposed to Arshad marrying a man, and his mother chose not to attend the event. Arshad was just thrilled that his father decided to make the trip north for the wedding, in spite of his cultural and religious views on gay marriage.

So… after both the groom’s brothers and two of their close friends gave toasts, Abbott’s father took the microphone and gave his blessing. Then, to everyone’s surprise, Arshad’s dad rose and he also gave a toast to his son and Abbott. The guests were on their feet applauding, Arshad was crying and then, he rose and practically ran across the floor and into his father’s arms for a hug that seemed to never end. It was one of the most heartfelt moments I have ever witnessed at any wedding. Even Yahoo News ended up running a story about it and a slideshow of my pictures (because of the impending Supreme Court decision coming down on Prop 8 and DOMA)

karen pike photography Vermont wedding photographer same sex marriage

For Father’s Day, 18 million Rising, an organization representing the approximately 18 million Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States, ran my pictures on their website ( see below).

karen pike photography Vermont wedding photographer same sex marriage

I love this slideshow SO MUCH-it really captures how extraordinary a ay it was, and I included a perfect mashup of songs that just makes me happy! NOTE: The show is in FLASH, so you’ll need to either download a flash browser for your Ipad (try Puffin in the app store. (Its Free) or watch the slideshow on a laptop. (Please send all complaints to APPLE CUSTOMER SERVICE).

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If you’d like to see all of the pictures from Arshad and Abbott’s feel good, awesome wedding day, please click HERE (but you’ll still need the password from the bridal couple!)
karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer
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NOTE ABOUT SLIDESHOW:I’ve received several emails from clients and followers lately, telling me that they cant get the music to play on any of my blog slideshows. UGH!

In researching this, I discovered that Adobe has an active bug report listed on their site for their latest version of FLASH PLAYER (version 11.7) and they will hopefully fix the issue shortly.

So, while we wait for Adobe to fix Flash Player with a NEW update, the only option, if you are using version 11.7, is to revert to Flash Player 11.6, which you can download HERE.

Sorry for the inconvenience.

karen pike photography vermont wedding photographer

April & Erin

karen pike photography vermont wedding photography

karen pike photography vermont wedding photography

April and Erin are getting married in just about one year, but they were excited to get their wedding buzz started so I recently met them at their home in montpelier to do their engagement portrait session. My favorite E sessions are when I get to tell some of their love story- including pictures from where they live and places they enjoy being together.

karen pike photography vermont wedding photography

It’s particularly fun for me to snoop around a couples’ home and photograph some of the telling little details that help narrate their lives together. With April and Erin, I learned their horoscopes, that they like to cook and love drinking coffee together in bed, that Erin loves fireflies and being barefoot, and that April likes bridges and always leaves her sox on!

karen pike photography vermont wedding photography

For Erin and April, a perfect day together might include a walk downtown with a stop at Capitol Grounds, followed by a visit to one of their favorite parks or some time on the bike path. I loved spending the afternoon with them as they introduced me to some of their special places.

karen pike photography vermont wedding photography

But the best part of doing an E session is just getting to know the couple and how they are together. Erin and April are both easy going and affectionate. They both have amazing smiles, particularly when they look at each other, so it was easy to make sweet and loving portraits. They start to nuzzle as soon as they get next to each other! Getting memorable pictures of them next June should be a piece of (wedding) cake!

Karen Pike Photography vt wedding photography

karen pike photography vermont wedding photography

Here’s a fun slideshow recapping my afternoon with April and Erin. It IS in FLASH, so you’ll need to either download a flash browser for your Ipad (try Puffin in the app store. (Its Free) or watch the slideshow on a laptop. (Please send all complaints to APPLE CUSTOMER SERVICE).

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NOTE ABOUT SLIDESHOW:I’ve received several emails from clients and followers lately, telling me that they cant get the music to play on any of my blog slideshows. UGH!

After doing some research, I found out that Adobe has an active bug report listed on their site for their latest version of FLASH PLAYER (version 11.7) and they will hopefully fix the issue shortly.

So, while we wait for Adobe to fix Flash Player with a NEW update, the only option, if you are using version 11.7, is to revert to Flash Player 11.6, which you can download HERE.

Sorry for the inconvenience.

karen pike photography vermont wedding photography

If you’d like to see all of the pictures from April and Erin’s E session, please click HERE (but you’ll still need the password from the couple!)

Allie and Jake’s Wedding

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Now, I love EVERY wedding I photograph, but there are definitely some weddings that just keep me smiling for weeks after it’s over–and this is one of those weddings!
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Jake and Allie were married on May 11 at All Souls Interfaith Gathering in Shelburne. This venue is absolutely one of my favorite places to photograph a wedding- the view of the mountains and Lake Champlain is breathtakingly beautiful, and the chapel itself is almost as pretty!

Regardless of the on-and-off rain, there were plenty of opportunities to make gorgeous portraits outside of the happy couple, and inside, the festive and celebratory energy made for wonderful pictures throughout the day!
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Jake and Allie incorporated so many creative and personal touches and this made the day even more special. Every table number, for example, was a number that had meaning to the couple (Table #11: Their wedding date; table #27: The day in March that they met; table #802: Vt’s area code; And, of course, table # , because their Love is infinite!).

Outside the chapel, was a table set up for guests to write messages to the couple. Instructions were to put the notes in various numbered canisters, designated to be opened by Jake and Allie on the corresponding anniversaries (1st yr, 5th yr, 10th yr and 25th yr). I loved this and, yes, of course I had to leave my own notes for them to read in future years!

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The flowers, by Alison Ellis at Floral Artistry were simple and gorgeous. I always love Alison’s work so it was fun to see her working on the Chupah before the wedding(below):

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Chef Liane Mendez of Let’s Pretend Catering provided amazing food. Their presentation is always gorgeous and everything was beyond yummy, from the creative appetizers, to their homemade pickles to Rootbeer floats for dessert!

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There were Horseshoes and hula hoops, board games and bingo! This wedding was all about having fun:
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I’m so happy for Allie and Jake. They are both so kind and so nice and they make a perfect couple. I hope I know them for years to come!

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I hope you enjoy this slideshow recapping this beautiful day. The show is in FLASH, so you’ll need to either download a flash browser for your Ipad (try Puffin in the app store. (Its Free) or watch the slideshow on a laptop. (Please send all complaints to APPLE CUSTOMER SERVICE).

If you’d like to see all of the pictures from Allie and Jake’s amazing wedding, please click HERE (but you’ll still need the password from the bridal couple!)

slide0104 copy
NOTE ABOUT SLIDESHOW:I’ve received several emails from clients and followers lately, telling me that they cant get the music to play on any of my blog slideshows. UGH!

After doing some research, I found out that Adobe has an active bug report listed on their site for their latest version of FLASH PLAYER (version 11.7) and they will hopefully fix the issue shortly.

So, while we wait for Adobe to fix Flash Player with a NEW update, the only option, if you are using version 11.7, is to revert to Flash Player 11.6, which you can download HERE.

Sorry for the inconvenience.

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UNITED: Abbott & Arshad’s love story

karen pike photography vermont wedding photography

Arshad and Abbott are getting married NEXT SATURDAY and while they booked me a year ago to photograph their wedding, last Sunday was the first opportunity that they had to do their E session with me. This is not due to lack of me trying to pin them down. I have honestly never met a couple who are, both together and individually, so busy that I couldn’t find an open day when they were even in Vermont at the same time, let alone not already committed to something else!

karen pike photography Vermont wedding photography

When I did finally get them together for an afternoon, we had a ball moving around Burlington, documenting pieces of their wonderful love story! Both GQ handsome, they fit together like two puzzle pieces. Arshad is small and dark, Abbott is tall and light. They are similar in many ways, and their differences also compliment each other beautifully. For example, one likes coffee, the other likes tea– so they like to compromise by sharing a special Dirty Chai at Uncommon Grounds on Church Street.

Gotta love the heart-shaped crema!

Arshad and abbott

Arshad is an executive director at Democracy for America so of course we had to make a stop at the wonderful DEMOCRACY statue in Courthouse Plaza. The puzzle-piece shaped monument is, again, another reminder of how well certain things –and certain people– just FIT TOGETHER.

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The power couple spends so much time traveling for their respective jobs that I decided the most appropriate location for their E Session was the airport! This is funny, but also really symbolic of their love story. Friends had wanted to fix them up for the longest time, but either one or the other was perpetually out o town. Their meeting was meant to be, however, and they finally met while both in Las Vegas– at two different conferences!

karen pike photography

karen pike photography

The pair are trying to “nest” these days prior to the wedding in their recently purchased and renovated downtown home. Just steps away from the Salvation Army (which they love to joke about), Arshad and Abbott are enjoying mornings together at the breakfast bar with their dueling laptops, cuddling in the den, and watching movies or playing board games with friends.

karen pike photography vermont wedding photography

karen pike photography

I am so excited to document Arshad and Abbott’s BIG DAY and am just happy we got this fun and beautiful slideshow online before they become “Mr. and Mr.” I dare you not to smile and giggle as you watch this video! (which is in FLASH, by the way, so you cant see it on Ipads and iPhones. Please send all complaints to APPLE CUSTOMER SERVICE.)

karen pike photography vermont wedding photography

If you’d like to see all 285 pictures from Abbott and Arshad’s fun E session, please click HERE (but you’ll need to get the secret password from the couple to gain access to the full gallery)

NOTE ABOUT SLIDESHOW:I’ve received several emails from clients and followers lately, telling me that they cant get the music to play on any of my blog slideshows. UGH!

After doing some research, I found out that Adobe has an active bug report listed on their site for their latest version of FLASH PLAYER (version 11.7) and they will hopefully fix the issue shortly.

So, while we wait for Adobe to fix Flash Player with a NEW update, the only option, if you are using version 11.7, is to revert to Flash Player 11.6, which you can download HERE.

Sorry for the inconvenience.

Jake & Allie’s E Session

After almost two years engaged, Jake and Allie are finally getting married this May and I am thrilled to be the lucky photographer for this awesome and long awaited celebration.

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I first met this super sweet couple in my role as “chick clicker”, photographing for the Green Mountain Derby Dames. Their neighbors Bruise and Bot” were both Derby skaters and Jake and Allie were supportive fans, so I’d see them at every bout.

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Recently, on a kinda-sorta-cold March Saturday, we spent a few hours together, and I got to know them better as a couple. We started at their apartment in Burlington, where they live with their dog and 2 cats and hundreds of books ( so many that their main book shelf reminded me of the Leaning Tower of Pisa!)

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Animal crazy as I am, I had to keep my attention on the engaged couple, but I couldn’t help incorporating the furry babies into at least a few pictures…

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We later visited a few of their favorite haunts–the waterfront, Fletcher Free library and Speeder and Earl’s on Pine Street, and I love the pictures I took of them along the way.

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Here’s a totally fun slideshow recapping my afternoon with Jake and Allie, accompanied by the equally-as-fun tune, Uh Oh, I’m Falling , by Shelley Fraley. Since the slideshow is in FLASH, you’ll need to leave your IPAD and find a laptop so you can view it (sorry! Im working on it!!)
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If you’d like to see all of the photos from Jake and Allie‘s E session, grab the secret password from the couple and THEN you can just click HERE

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Katie and Lauren’s E session

Katie and Lauren are getting married next June and I had the chance recently to take a few hours with them and do their engagement portrait season.

I love doing E sessions because it allows me to spend quality time with a couple and get to know them, instead of just showing up like a stranger to photograph their wedding.

During this great afternoon with the couple, I learned how playful they are with each other, how they both love funky old art and “sexy ugly” buildings! I learned that Lauren hates getting her sneakers dirty and that Katie likes to tease her about it. I also learned that Katie runs “like a girl” and that Lauren likes to tease HER about THAT!

Katie is all about cute shoes and dresses and red wine and making you laugh. Lauren is flannel shirts, a cold draft and nurturing those she loves (and most definitely Katie!) They go together like two puzzle pieces- custom made to fit perfectly!

I’m so glad that I had the chance to experience the love that this couple shares and now I can’t wait to photograph their wedding and witness their joy on that day.

As a funny bonus, their E shoot took place on Halloween eve and we came across King Arthur and his knights on their quest for the Holy Grail–so Lauren and Katie joined them for a photo op!

Here are some highlights from Katie and Lauren’s fun engagement session:

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If you’d like to see all of Katie and Lauren’s pictures, please click HERE (but get the password from the couple!)