Monday Musings | A Labor of Love

Rhode Island Ballet Photographer


When most people think of love, they think of relationships between a couple. Love doesn't have to just be for a person, it can be for a place, an object, an activity, a hobby, a lifestyle and is so much more than a lustful whim. The saying "the labor of love" is one that I feel directly connected to with photography. I didn't just wake up one morning and thing "I think I'll be a photographer today!" (anyone get the Legally Blonde reference)! It took me years of hard work, blood, sweat and tears (sometimes literally) and thoughtful, conscious decisions to launch my passion and career. 

My first love was for dance and movement. As a dancer and gymnast since childhood, I came back to dance as an adult while in art school. We had to do a project that was a series and I wanted to figure out how to incorporate dance into it somehow. So armed with my point and shoot camera I headed down to the beach with some old pointe shoes and a rickety tripod and took some photos I dubbed "Urban Dance". They weren't well received by the other students who thought I was just vain. I went to Starbucks and cried to the barrista, second guessing my entire final project. However, I remembered that art is subjective. I loved my project, and just other didn't like it didn't mean it wasn't successful. 

Here are some of the photos from the project circa 2012 (because I'm not afraid to show progress!):

Rhode Island Dance Photography
Rhode Island Dance Photography

Now these images are completely not a representation of my current photographic style, but I still love them because this moment was when I started to create with a camera and that is special. 

I didn't give up. Fast forward about a year, when my boyfriend got me my first DSLR, a Pentax K10D. Again, I was drawn to photographing dance in outdoor places, and mostly self portraits because I couldn't afford models and didn't know how to reach out to people. Some of those images:

RI Dance Photography
RI Dance Photography

I mean, check out my rockin Zapfino watermark!

I kept going. Just last year I did one more shoot:

Rhode Island Dance Photography

The reason I'm sharing this is passion and love. Years of practice that shows progress, both technically and artistically. Love is something that can be cultivated with time and nurturing. Sure, anyone can pick up a camera and say "I love photography!", but until you work, fail, work harder, fail, work harder, fail, work harder, fail...repeat! Does it drive you past those roadblocks that seperate lust from love, and profession from passion. If it's handed to you and you never have to experience the hardships that drive the passion so deep into you, the labor of love and learning won't be the same.

Keep pushing, keep driving, keep reaching for those goals. Pursue them with learning, experience, failure and persistence. Work hard and dream big!

Happy Monday!


Engaged! Now what?! 5 Tips for Starting to Plan Your Wedding | Rhode Island Wedding Photographer

Rhode Island Engagement Photography

The love of your life proposed, you said yes! Congratulations! This is one of the biggest moments in your lives, and a reason to celebrate. You will feel excited and maybe a little anxious as you think about planning your wedding. There are so many resources out there to help with your planning, but where do you begin? As a wedding photographer I often talk to brides about much more than just photography. It’s almost like we become such good friends that photographing their wedding seems more like just being an honored guest that gets to capture it all, and I’m always down to bring you a coffee to your bridal suite!

1.) Get Organized
I love buying all kinds of fun notebooks and folders, especially the ones with pretty designs and typography on them. It helps to have a folder with receipts, print outs, and things you rip out of magazines for inspiration all in one place. Notebooks are handy as well to write down ideas of anything that you want to remember to do.

2.) Plan a budget and stick to it
Next, you want to do is sit down together and plan how much you want to spend on your wedding in total. Keep everything in mind from venue, to dresses and suits, to décor. Also keep in mind if you want to include the cost of your rings (including the engagement ring) in this budget. Try your best to stick to this because the last thing you want to do it start your marriage with an enormous amount of debt over your head as newlyweds and being stressed about it.

3.) Venue Search
Before you book anything else you need to nail down your venue and date. This in itself can take a lot of time, but the best research can start online. Many sites like The Knot ( and Wedding Wire ( have reviews by real brides on their venue and vendor sites, as well as cost (stick to that budget!), and loads of pictures so you can think of décor and what you want your theme to be. Don’t worry if you don’t have or want a theme, your theme could always just be pretty wedding! Make sure you see your venues in person, speak to the coordinators, read the contracts and find out all the details. Now would also be a good time to hire your wedding planner if you are using one and they will take care of all the fine print for you. Think of how you want your photographs from your day to look while choosing your venue. If you love bright and airy images, don’t choose a place with no windows and dark wooden walls, floors and ceilings.  Time of day matters as well, here in New England it’s not the best idea to have a 4:00 wedding in December with no first look if you want bright and well lit portraits after the wedding since it will be dark.

4.) Choose Your Bridal PartyOne of the greatest things about planning your special day is planning to share it with your closest friends. Both of your should choose your bridal party and think of a color theme that will be present in the décor and bridal party outfits. You can even ask friends to be a part of your bridal party with hand lettered cards and homemade gifts to add a special touch to it. Do some searches online to get some great ideas for some crafty fun, and start to imagine what your wedding day will look like!

5.) Dresses and InvitationsNow that your date and bridal party are set, you can shop for your dress and the dresses for the ladies! This is such an exciting and special day to share with your closest family and friends.  Start looking for invitation designs at this time or hire a designer. Etsy ( and Minted ( are really great resources for finding some beautiful invitations.

Now get ready to plan your big day! Get organized, set your budget, research and book your dream venue, gather your friends, say yes to the dress, and send those save the dates. Planning a wedding should be exciting and fun but is no doubt going to get a little stressful at times. The best advice I can give you is to enjoy the process. If things don’t go as planned, step back, take a breather and remember to enjoy planning your day together. It will all come together, and any issues can be overcome. Ready?! Go!