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!

 

David & Cherie’s Wedding Celebration // Fasig-Tipton Saratoga // Saratoga Springs, NY

There is absolutely no wrong way to have a wedding. I tell my couples this all the time. Do it YOUR OWN way.

David and Cherie decided to keep things simple and eloped in the Spring of this year. But that does not mean they didn’t want to still be able to celebrate their marriage with their close friends and family that mean so much to them. So, they threw a Wedding Cocktail Party in the heart of Saratoga!

I had not photographed a wedding of any sort at Fasig-Tipton in a few years.  They stopped booking weddings officially after the 2015 season. So, when I was contacted by Cherie to help her with this event, I was surprised by the venue. However, I peeled back the surface a little and it all made sense as to why this venue was back in the wedding business for one night only. Cherie is a Thoroughbred Horse Trainer, and her husband David, is a prominent Bloodstock Agent. I mean, we’re talking a thoroughbred dream team here. Their roots are firmly planted in the world of horse racing and at this time of year Fasig-Tipton is like a second home to them. According to Cherie, the week of their wedding celebration they had spent every other night at Fasig-Tipton working the horse sales. So truly, they could not have chosen a venue that was better suited for their lifestyle and their connection to each other.

Saratoga in August set’s the perfect scene for this Thoroughbred kind of love. Thanks so much Cherie and David, for inviting me to document some of it for you. I wish you both nothing but the best!

Here’s to Cherie & David – Health. History. Horses. – (and LOVE!)

 

 

Hair // Mary Martin & Co.

MUA // Courtney Vogel – Make Me Fabulous

Dress // Jill Jill Stuart

AJ & Stacey’s Autumn Sunset Session (with dogs!) // Home Sweet Home // Saratoga Springs, NY

Sometimes you have a session that just keeps getting better and better as the light changes. This was one of those.

Stacey had one goal in mind, a sunset shoot with her husband and beloved pups, Bruce & Paisley. After having to reschedule their first date because of rain, I showed up to their amazing property on a cloudy afternoon. I was willing the weather to change on my drive over but decided I would make it work no matter what. During the beginning of the session we were all crossing our fingers that what seemed to be like a break in the clouds would open up to one of those surprise sunsets that come about on cloudy days. And open up it did! I love these images so much that I can barely contain myself. Enjoy!

P.S.- When you have the option to include your dogs in sessions, DEFINITELY INCLUDE YOUR DOGS! It’s the best 🙂