Kaitlin & Kyler’s Tulip Fest E-Session // Historic Washington Park // Albany, NY

Nothing says it’s finally Spring in Upstate NY quite like the tulips and blooms in Albany’s Washington Park. I met up with Kaitlin, Kyler & their pup Pippa to take advantage of the scenery before the crowds of Tulip Festival ascended onto the park. We lucked out with perfect weather and basked in the glory of a (finally) warm Spring day in Albany. What a gorgeous and happy couple, I can’t wait for their April 2020 wedding in Saratoga! Will Pippa be a flower girl? I will report back on that in 1 year.

 

Chris & Tara’s Sunny Winter E-Session // Saratoga Spa State Park & Warming Hut // Saratoga Springs, NY

We had a really beautiful sunny winter day for Chris & Tara’s e-session. You can’t tell in these photos just how much ice we were navigating, but let me tell you, it was A LOT. Classic Upstate NY problems. After a midweek winter rainstorm, every surface we walked on became a obstacle course. I’m happy to report that we all managed to stay on our feet. Thankfully, the icy conditions did not impede on our fun!  I had such a great afternoon meeting and photographing these two after they travelled from Boston for their e-session. I was so excited to find a fire already made in the Warming Hut when we popped in to escape the frigid temperatures. It turned out to be an A+ decision.  I can’t wait to be there to document Chris & Tara’s wedding in October! What a sweet couple.

 

Lyndsay & Dan’s Cozy Afternoon at Home E-Session // At Home & Schenectady Municipal Golf Course // Schenectady, NY

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!

Long Shadows Horse Rescue // Long Shadows Farm // Cambridge, NY

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.

To Donate:

“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.”

** To donate to Long Shadows CLICK HERE ❤ **

To learn more about Long Shadows CLICK HERE.

Bailey & John’s Blustery Lake George E-Session // Prospect Mountain & Million Dollar Beach // Lake George, NY

I met Bailey & John for the first time at the top of Prospect Mountain – with 35 mph wind gusts. I had warned them earlier in the day about the wind but they decided to brave it, and we went ahead with our plan of meeting atop Prospect. My hat goes off to them for their positivity and willingness to brave the wind and cold!  But the upside of the wind is that sometimes it’s the extreme weather that gives us the best moments in photography. Thanks weather, you delivered!

Bailey & John were both so sweet and fun to work with right from the start! Calling them photogenic is an understatement. Bailey is a high school English teacher and John works in finance, but they look like a celebrity couple poised for awards season. It’s like they stepped right out of the pages of People magazine and directly into our hearts. They even witnessed my first ever tumble during a photo-session, and were gracious enough to not let it phase them at all. I promise I won’t fall at the wedding, guys!

Here’s to Bailey & John’s future together, with or without People magazine! I cannot wait to document their June 2019 wedding at the beautiful Inn at Erlowest!

Cheers!

 

Kevy & Jim’s Adirondack Sunset E-Session // Takundewide Cottages // Lake George, NY

Kevy & Jim’s engagement session took place on a brisk and breezy October day at Takundewide Cottages in Lake George. At one point I thought we may lose them to exposure, but they champed it out in the name of love and Lake George.

Takundewide is a micro-community within a micro-community. Nestled on Cleverdale, a point on the east side of Lake George (hello, that’s where the Sans Souci is), it is a family-run collection of summer cottages that people rent or own. There’s a beach, tennis courts, docks (to play sponge tag on), sun decks (to jump off of), and all kinds of boats. It is a tiny little summer oasis that is perfect for families and kids.

I have known Kevy for most of her life. In fact, I even babysat her in the very beginning!  She has always been a fun little ball of energy, very athletic, always laughing, with a million dollar smile. Kevy’s family has a long history at Takundewide and has spent almost every summer of her life there (hint, hint; I did too, this is where our families met). When she called me after Jim asked her to marry him on top of a mountain to set up an E-Session, I didn’t even have to ask where she wanted to do it. I knew it would be Takundewide. What better place to kick off her next big adventure; marrying Jim! Jim is a sweet quiet guy with a passion for the saving the environment, solar energy and of course, beer. He even was a large part of developing and brewing a couple of signature beers in partnership with Northway Brewing, for his family’s beverage business. When I asked him to bring some of his first signature brew (4 Chords) to the session, he came through, and I’m so glad he did. You will see why below.

Despite the cold & the wind, Kevy and Jim’s energy and love was infectious. You could really feel that intangible “something” in the air that makes them work. Such a joy to be around.

Let’s get to the good stuff, shall we?

Cheers to Kevy & Jim on your engagement!

 

Alyssa & Adam’s Lakeside Wedding // Private Residence on Saratoga Lake // Saratoga Springs, NY

A perfect September day. A lakeside ceremony. A beautiful fun-loving couple. Fireworks. Jack Daniels. And, a sunset that ALMOST stole the show. That is the story of September 22nd, 2018 in a nutshell.

Adam & Alyssa live out west in Salt Lake City, but are from the Clifton Park area originally. They often spend their free time on a motorcycle exploring the breathtaking scenery of the Rockies, hiking, traveling to concerts and Patriots games. When it came to planning their wedding, it was important for them to be at home with the family and friends that mean so much to them.

The happy couple said “I Do” in the gorgeous backyard of Alyssa’s parents Saratoga Lake home, on a piece of property that her family has long called “The Point”. Alyssa’s father (with lots of helping hands, I’m sure) built the perfect stone ceremony location on the property, called in a favor from a friend at Jack Daniels and special ordered a sunset that will almost certainly never be something I can duplicate for a wedding again (Sorry,  guys!). Adam’s mother baked all of the tasty and beautiful desserts. It was truly 2 families coming together as 1 team.

Adam & Alyssa were a dream to work with. It’s rare to have BOTH the Bride and the Groom be so completely relaxed on their wedding day, but I think that speaks volumes about their relationship. There is an ease and happiness to them that is palpable when you’re around them.  Their wedding was like a being in a big group hug for 7 hours. Ok, have I nerd-ed out enough for you? Let’s get to the pictures, right?!

Thanks for including me in your perfect day, Adam & Alyssa! Loved every second of it!

Cheers to your forever as Mr. & Mrs. ❤