Photographing a special proposal in Chilmark for Hilary and Lindsay

One of the best things about life as a photographer is being invited to share in a special moment between two people, and to be able to genuinely capture that lifelong memory for them. Earlier this year I had the opportunity of shooting a proposal between Hilary and Lindsay, a couple brought together by their love of Martha’s Vineyard, and whose family I have come to know in recent years.

In early August I received a brief email from Hilary’s mom Jill, asking if I was available on a particular date, with little details provided. I had previously worked with the family on a spectacular birthday celebration for Jill, and I was happy to take on any additional projects. I was later informed that my new assignment would be helping Hilary stage the perfect proposal for her girlfriend Lindsay, at a private Chilmark beach on the north shore overlooking Vineyard Sound. I was sworn to secrecy and delighted to play a part!

Soon I was with Jill and Hilary’s father, Alan, scouting the perfect beach location – a stretch of sand the couple had both, separately frequented as kids – the day before the big ask. Jill and Alan staged the proposal themselves, with Alan even getting down on one knee to mock the exact setting for Hilary –  it was a true family affair. The following day I returned for the real thing. While Hilary’s parents hid a celebratory picnic of oysters and champagne behind the big rock, I hid out of sight to photograph the proposal. The plan was for Hilary and Lindsay to arrive at 4pm, to ensure we captured a beautiful fall sunset after she popped the question.

I positioned myself far off in the dunes overlooking the rock where Hilary was planning to ask Lindsay. As I laid on my stomach, silently waiting for the perfect shot, I was reminded of my time as a Greenpeace photographer, aboard the Rainbow Warrior, covertly capturing a moment in time that told a much bigger story. There I was, sneaking in the sand, set to record an event that was so rich, and had so much meaning for these two women and their families.

Eventually Hilary and Lindsay emerged from the stairs leading to the beach and walked to the rock. Soon Hilary was confessing her love to Lindsay, down on one knee and presenting a ring, while I discreetly captured the whole thing from above. The happy couple savored the moment together and then summoned me to the shore, for some more shots of them basking in their newly engaged bliss. The day finished with a congratulatory dinner at State Road restaurant, where Lindsay was surprised yet again with her family and Hilary’s, and I was yet again there to capture it all. It was a magical day for us all,  and an experience I too was grateful for.

Creative proposals have become a very big trend (I shot six others just this year). More than that they mark the beginning of a new chapter in a couple’s life together and the forging of their families – not to mention a great story for the grandkids. Thank you to Hilary and Lindsay, as well as their families, for allowing me to share in their special memory.

You can read Hilary’s version of the events at howheasked.com.

RANDI BAIRD PHOTOGRAPHY  |   508.696.5335   |  studio@randibaird.com

The making of ‘Simple Green Suppers’: My first cookbook

Tis the season for giving (and eating!). If you’re looking for a great gift for the veggie-loving foodie in your life pick up a copy of Simple Green Suppers: A Fresh Strategy For One-Dish Vegetarian Meals, my first cookbook with three time cookbook author and farmer Susie Middleton. Released earlier this year, Simple Green Suppers is chock full of helpful tips and recipes for preparing seasonal vegetables and plant-based meals, not to mention it was a blast to work with Susie. Once the holidays are behind us we’ll all be eager to jumpstart the New Year with good, clean, eating and Simple Green Suppers has you covered.

Even non-vegetarians will be impressed with the flavorful veggie-centric recipes that Susie compiled – I know I was. What I genuinely love about this book is that it educates people on how they can easily feature vegetables as the star of their meal, and pairing them with staple ingredients like noodles, grains, beans, greens, toast, tortillas, eggs, and broth. The book even offers tips on stocking your pantry, and streamlining your food preparation to save time. Ultimately, it’s a manual for enjoying vegetables in easy, delicious ways and her recipes are so, so tasty. The flavor these dishes deliver is truly remarkable; we ate all the food on the shoot so I know first hand!

I spent four seasons working on the book, regularly shooting at Susie’s farm and capturing many of the ingredients at peak season, ripe for the picking. I also had the opportunity to take many still life shots of the vegetables, highlighting the vibrant colors, interesting textures and unique variations of the main ingredients. The final eighty dishes featured in the book were prepared in the studio, shot with pottery by Leslie Freeman Designs and against beautiful, rustic, wooden backdrops by ReFabulous Decor, a local, upcycled home decor company. It was truly a labor of love.



I have long been committed to promoting local, sustainable food choices on Martha’s Vineyard, and using my work as a photographer to help educate and encourage social change and healthy habits. The book allowed me to showcase my food photography skills and celebrate the bounty of our Island’s local produce. Contributing to Simple Green Suppers was the perfect project; it married my love of photography and devotion to food activism, and enabled me to have a lot of fun working with an author I really admire.

Hungry yet? You can pick up a copy of Simple Green Suppers locally on Martha’s Vineyard at Bunch of Grapes bookstore or online from Shambhala Publications/Roost Books, Independent Booksellers, Barnes and Noble, or Amazon.

                         R A N D I  B A I R D  PHOTOGRAPHY  |  508.505.5909  |  info@randibaird.com
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Corporate and Professional Head Shots & Portraits on Martha’s Vineyard and in America

Our goal at Randi Baird Photography is to create clean, sharp and creative images that capture you and highlight your professionalism.  We do that by getting to know you and creating a comfortable atmosphere, which starts from our first conversation and lasts beyond completion of the assignment.  These can be taken either in the studio or on-location, in your office or outside on location for a more casual look. We scout site locations, offer make-up, hair styling and of course have drinks, cocktails and snacks during your session.

Tea Lane Associates: West Tisbury, MA.

 

Moses Ziegelman & Kornfeld, Law, NYC

 

Wampanoag Tribe ~ Elder Project, Aquinnah, MA

 

Enhance MV, Edgartown, MA

 

Scout Hotels, Teaticket, MA

 

Brush, Flanders & Moriarty, Law, West Tisbury, MA

JMcLaughlin fashion shoot with stylist and blogger Tara West

I’m excited to announce my collaboration with Tara West Fashion and J. McLaughlin Clothing! RBP worked with Tara to create a shoreline-inspired fashion shoot for J. McLaughlin at a beach side property in Edgartown. Tara’s fashion forward styles are now live on Tara’s blog.

Check out the images and this powerhouse of an influencer by reading, liking and commenting on her blog post. Maybe you’ll even get inspired by some of the clothes she styled!

 I hope that you enjoy the photos and that your summer has been filled with an abundance of beautiful sunsets like the one we were lucky enough to capture while shooting.  

 



Creative Step and Repeat Posing

Last night The Vineyard Gazette Media Group and  The Martha’s Vineyard Magazine hosted their annual BEST OF THE VINEYARD awards ceremony.  This is where its readership votes for the best and brightest in local food, shopping, entertainment, outdoor adventures, and more and winners are announced. This was my second year capturing the winners in a step and repeat model and approached it a bit differently. A cup of documentation, a dash of interesting, 2T of creative freedom and I mixed in a whole lot of FUN.

 

Best Florist – MORRICE FLORIST

 

Best Yoga Studio ~ THE YOGA BARN            Best Dentist ~  ISLAND DENTISTRY

 

Best Hair Salon ~ MAGGIE”S SALON

 

Best Package Store ~  OUR MARKET

 

Best Pizza ~ GIORDANO’S RESTAURANT                     Best Sandwich | Breakfast Sandwich | Picnic Food ~ 7A   

Best Grocery Store ~ CRONIGS MARKET

Best Women’s Clothing | Best Shoes  ~ THE GREEN ROOM

 

Best Fine Dinning ~ STATE ROAD RESTAURANT

 

Best Garden Center/Nursery ~ DONAROMA’S

The BEST BEST BEST of the Vineyard.