Lyndsay and Dan wanted something that was more relaxed, felt like them and of course, included their dog. Nothing accomplishes that quite like shooting in your own home, doing the things you do in your day to day life. So that’s exactly what we did! We focused on their newly decorated (and adorable) first home and a golf course close by where they often take their beloved dog, Qynn. For two people who both admitted to being extremely nervous about being in front of the camera, they were naturals after exactly 5 seconds of coaching! This couple has a connection you can feel as soon as you enter the room with them. We kept things light hearted; enjoyed an afternoon drink, listened to some oldies, took a snowy walk and even included their house guest, Cooper. Man oh man, I loved everything about this session. So, let’s get to the good stuff!
Saratoga Springs is a town built on horse racing. With not one, but two horse tracks, it’s a safe bet that most of the people reading this have experienced horse racing first hand as sport and recreation as a patron. The Saratoga Racetrack draws thousands and thousands of tourists each Summer, supports our local economy, and provides entertainment for many. After all, the motto for Saratoga Springs is “Health, History, Horses”. But, what happens to a horse after its racing career? Most track patrons aren’t thinking about that when they show up on Travers Day.
The life of a thoroughbred after its racing career can be bleak, if not short, depending on its luck and owner. There are plenty of ethical thoroughbred owners and trainers that assume responsibility for the aftercare of their retired racehorses, but unfortunately that is not always the case. That said, negligent aftercare can be one of the dark sides of horse racing. Horses are often euthanized, abandoned or sold to slaughter when they are no longer able to produce monetarily for their owners. According to the ASPCA, in 2017 an estimated 80,000 horses were sold to slaughter. That’s a hard pill to swallow for many. Thankfully, that is where horse sanctuaries like Long Shadows Farm come in.
Long Shadows is a horse rescue set in the beautiful hills of Cambridge, NY – just outside of Saratoga Springs. They take in retired thoroughbreds, owner-surrenders on a case-by-case basis and other horses in dire need of care. Rehabilitation is always the goal at Long Shadows. When possible, horses are adopted into loving homes or stay on the farm as equine partners in equine-assisted training programs and therapies. If neither option is possible, the horses remain at the farm to live out the remainder of their lives peacefully. Thoroughbreds are given time to adjust to their new lives and surroundings before any retraining begins. The #1 concern at Long Shadows is the health, happiness and wellbeing of every horse in their care. It is truly a labor of love. The wonderful people at Long Shadows care for the horses as their own, and as individuals. It’s because of the efforts of all of the talented and dedicated people at Long Shadows that these horses are able to now enjoy a life of tranquility. But, it also takes a substantial amount of money to provide for these magnificent creatures. Long Shadows is a non-profit organization, which means they rely heavily on donations. If you feel inclined to pay it forward for enjoying summer after summer in Saratoga, consider donating to Long Shadows (I will provide that information below).
I had the chance to visit Long Shadows Farm in October and photograph my experience as well as begin to conquer my own *healthy fear* (hahaha) of horses. I even got to take a long walk around the farm with one of their rescues, Peanut Butter (Um guys, that is a RELLY big deal for me). I so loved my experience there, getting to spend time with all of the animals (including a quirky goat named Chili, friendly barn cats that did not try to kill me and tons of chickens) as well as meet some of the kind-hearted people that make a place like Long Shadows tick. It truly is the definition of a sanctuary and a worthwhile cause to support.
“LSCF (Long Shadows Charitable Foundation) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit public charity. Donations are the lifeblood of our commitment to saving these horses and 100% of all proceeds go to the care, management, and training of the horses; and all donations are tax deductible. Donations can include anything from a financial contribution to donated items such as horse blankets and tack related equipment.”
It’s true that some couples just put you in a good mood just by being around them. Their energy is infectious. Alyssa and Adam are exactly that couple. I left our beautifully breezy (and fun!) engagement session happier than I came, stomach ache from laughing, refreshed despite just working a full day and excited to get to be a part of their wedding in September!
These two are adorable and have an ease with each other (and themselves) that I don’t often see. That, my friends, is a true joy for me to document. There was even a moment where Adam had some pebbles stuck in his shoe and Alyssa’s immediate reaction when he started fumbling to get them out, said everything you need to know about their relationship (scroll through to see what I mean).
I got to photograph the Mr. & Mrs -to-be at a private residence on Saratoga Lake, a gorgeous spot with majestic old trees, and a perfect view of the lake. I can’t wait to go back to that exact place again in September and photograph their big day. Thanks for all the laughs, Alyssa & Adam! And thank you for letting me a part of their incredibly precious time in your lives.
Prepare yourself. You are about to smile so hard it hurts, starting now. Enjoy!
It’s been a while since I shot this cozy at-home newborn session of Baby Cruz, but I just have to give it’s time to shine. There is something so peaceful about a baby at home, without the frills and swaddles and props. Having siblings around who are active and full of life, popping in and out of the frames, makes the house feel so full of love. Big Brother Clark did not disappoint with his candid appearances. He loves being a big brother and it certainly shows! This natural light filled, laid back lazy day, was perfect for this family. It won’t be long before it’s two boys causing a ruckus in this house. But for now at least, it’s the cutest calm before the storm, ever.
It was 90 degrees and humid in late September for this session. But, you wouldn’t know it judging by Morgan’s easy-going attitude and abundance of smiles. We had beautiful light, a very occasional breeze and good attitudes all around. Sounds like the recipe for a successful portrait session to me. We triumphed through the unseasonably warm temperatures and the final images were our reward. In the end, I absolutely loved capturing Morgan sunny personality on camera.
When Baby Cruz + Mom and Dad (as well as some visiting family) had a relaxed hospital session back in late February , I was obsessed with the images right away. So much so that it distracted me from ever posting them in a blog because I could never narrow them down! So we are doing a little rewind day today on the blog to celebrate Cruz.
At one day old, he was a tiny little dude with a head of hair most adult men only dream of. Check out his sleepy, cozy little session to take the sting out of your Monday.