Blog Category: Family Portraits (Page 1)

Reflecting on Summer, and Giving Thanks

It’s hard to believe it’s already October and we’re closing in on the end of the season. As we wind down here on Martha’s Vineyard, we reflect and give thanks.

The 2021 season proved to be different than we expected, but in the end, it was one of the most successful seasons in RBP history. Thanks to my clients, collaborators, and community for not only making it a lucrative one, but a most meaningful one.

To Our Resilient Brides and Grooms, You Deserve Everything.

With COVID forcing many of last year’s weddings to reschedule to 2021, our calendar was packed with even more nuptials. We admire our wedding clients who raised above the stress and hosted some of the most intimate and beautiful events we’ve witnessed.

Microweddings were all the rage, and what they lacked in size and scale they made up for in uniqueness and personalization. Smaller ceremonies meant a lot of extra time with us and the happy couple, while we explored the Island and they basked in that newlywed glow.

To those perseverant couples that were finally able to tie the knot in 2021, we admire your adaptability and commitment to the greatest gift of all, love. We felt even more connected to our couples this year and we wish them a lifetime of happiness! If you can pull off a COVID wedding you’re destined to overcome more of life’s challenges together!

We’re Already Saving The Dates for More Weddings in 2022 and 2023

With so many weddings rescheduled we’re booking further in advance than ever before. This season we met dozens of new couples through engagement photoshoots and secret proposal portraits and we can’t wait to see them in front of our lens again on the big day.

We’re booking up but we always appreciate referrals from our clients!

Family Portraits We’re Even More Fun

There was something about the family dynamics this season that made our family portrait sessions even more special. Perhaps it was the deeper bonds families have been able to form over the last year in a half together. Maybe it was a deeper appreciation of their time on Martha’s Vineyard, but whatever it was, it was in the air and we were soaking it up.

There was so much authenticity, movement, laughter, and love. It was pure joy to witness families being completely present and in tune with one another, it’s a simply magical perk of our job.

Collaborations Within Our Community Filled Our Souls this Season

On Martha’s Vineyard it always goes back to community, and some of our favorite projects of the season were those that allowed us to collaborate with our neighbors and friends and give back to the Island that has given us so much.

Below, Lucy Morrison, of the Coalition to Create the MV Housing Bank, posed for our story in Martha’s Vineyard Magazine. The Coalition’s goal is to create a housing bank supported by a reliable funding stream that allows for the construction of more affordable housing units for more Island residents. The lack of affordable housing continues to be one of the Island’s most pressing issues and we encourage you to learn more about this important initiative and what you can do to help.

Below is one of my shots that was featured in Bluedot Living, a new magazine published by the Martha’s Vineyard Times, and the first sustainable living magazine on Martha’s Vineyard. As the challenges of climate change continue to confront us at a rapid pace, and the vulnerability of our Island home increases. Bluedot Living presents impactful editorial and strategic solutions on the issues we face, and I am proud to contribute to this important project.

The first annual Martha’s Vineyard Oyster Fest set sail earlier this month and we were thrilled to capture this inaugural event. Originally slated for spring of 2020 but forced to reschedule due to COVID, this highly anticipated event featured thousands of oysters, a whole lot of wine, and education on the innovative work of our local oyster farmers and the incredible environmental contributions of those beloved bivalves.

Be sure to stay tuned for next year’s event!

Other delicious Martha’s Vineyard collaborations this season included photographing Yommi popsicles and Goldie’s Rotisserie, two companies committed to smart and thoughtful food.

Yommi makes superfood-infused frozen delights that taste as good as they look, and are made with ingredients our bodies love, like blueberry, honey, turmeric, cardamom, and ginger. They’re sold weekly at the West Tisbury Farmer’s Market and their freezers can be found in a variety of Island businesses including Morning Glory Farm and Cronig’s Healthy Additions.

Goldie’s Rotisserie is another forward-thinking food purveyor we had the pleasure of photographing this season. Goldie’s serves fresh hot chicken, crispy rotisserie veggies, griddled sandwiches, killer hot dogs, salads, and desserts from their iconic food truck that has become wildly popular since they launched earlier this year.

We’d Be Remiss If We Failed to Mention Our Favorite Shoot of the Season!

We genuinely love spending time with our clients, and one of our most memorable shoots was with a young woman who wanted to gift herself a portrait session. As a twin this year marked the first birthday she would spend without her sister by her side and she wanted to commemorate her independence with a fun, flirty lifestyle shoot around Martha’s Vineyard. Her energy was palpable, her smile was bright (as seen above) and we loved her zest for life and contagious exuberance!

It was a good reminder that every day is a special occasion and a photo session is always a good idea, no matter what milestone you are celebrating.

So send us a message if you’d like to get in front of our camera soon, and remember holidays are fast approaching! Portrait sessions make for great holiday cards and gifts, and we’d love to see you.

Things may have changed, but the importance of our memories remain the same

It might not be business as usual, but we at RBP are more excited than ever to usher in a new season of clients. In the last couple of months, we’ve stayed busy capturing those people in the Martha’s Vineyard community that have stepped up to fill vital roles throughout the pandemic, from teachers to farmers, grocery store employees, pharmacists, delivery drivers and more. Our Everyday Heroes project has filled us with gratitude and inspiration and has allowed us to shine a light on some of the people behind the scenes that have been working selflessly for others.

As we transition back to our more traditional work, the goal of our mission behind the camera remains the same. While we adjust to the “new normal,” we will continue to capture our client’s most memorable moments, it’s what’s at the core of our business, and it’s something that will never change. The world may be shifting around us, but the essence of our work and the beauty of human connection remains more important than ever.

We are preparing for a summer of smaller engagements, including family portraits, intimate weddings, surprise proposals, and elopements. This will be the summer of more intimate, private events and above all, the summer of safety. 

Our number one priority will be the safety of our clients and ourselves. We stand committed to maintaining the cleanest and safest operation, and we’re fortunate that photography on Martha’s Vineyard naturally lends itself well to social distancing. Here’s what we’re doing to ensure your safety:

  • We’ll be checking in with clients leading up to our shoot to confirm that everyone taking part in the shoot has been healthy before the scheduled session. We will reschedule if we or anyone in our household has been sick in any way, within a two-week span of each session date and we are asking that our clients do the same.

  • We will be regularly cleaning our gear and equipment, and our associates and assistants will be wearing a face mask for the entire duration of the shoot. 
  • We will maintain a 6-foot social distance from our subjects at all times. We can use a variety of tools to get the same great photos we have always provided; we will use longer focal lenses so that we can stay six feet away, which will still allow us to capture images that seem like we are closer.

  • We will conduct shoots outdoors as much as possible, on beaches, woodland areas, and open spaces that are legally open. The natural beauty of Martha’s Vineyard has long provided us with the most picturesque backdrops and will continue to so. Our most favorite locations have always been outside.

  •  As always we will accept payment online so no cards or cash needs to be exchanged.
  • We have amended our cancellation policies to be more forgiving of unforeseen circumstances. For family portraits, we are offering a full refund minus a $50 administration and credit card fee. For wedding clients, in the event of a Force Majeure, we will reschedule your date for any other time within the next two years and will honor the session fee quoted at the time of booking, plus a $250 administration and credit card fee.

Above all, we will not take any chances with regards to public health. Our business is a personal one and the safety and satisfaction of our clients will continue to be our top concern. We know these times have been trying, but we also know that capturing families and celebrating life, is a powerful and positive thing. There’s never been a more appropriate time to celebrate the beauty of the world and each other, and we’re committed to capturing those sentiments safely and professionally. 

 

Micro Weddings pack just as much meaning, only in a much smaller package

We all know bigger isn’t always better, and when it comes to weddings smaller scale events are just as significant, and often less stressful and more affordable than the large and lavish variety. As a wedding photographer on Martha’s Vineyard for over thirty years, I’ve witnessed nuptials of all shapes and sizes. More recently I’ve noticed a trend towards more intimate affairs, and the concept of Micro Weddings really seems to be catching on. Basically a Micro Wedding is a wedding on a smaller scale, that involves a lot of the same details but for a small group of people, generally 50 or less. Here’s a look at what makes Micro Wedding so appealing. 

More affordable 

With average wedding prices in the tens of thousands, many brides and grooms simply can’t afford a large wedding, or are choosing to forego the big expense in favor of a longer honeymoon, or a downpayment on a house. Micro weddings can be significantly less expensive as they require less resources and involve less people, freeing up money for other things that can contribute to the couple’s new life together. Typically, brides and grooms are constantly reworking their numbers and spreadsheets once a new RSVP card is received, trying to see where they fall in their budget. With a micro wedding your money can go further and you may be able to do something on a smaller scale that you wouldn’t have been able to provide for a larger crowd.

More intimate

It’s no surprise that weddings have become big business and it’s easy to forget about the essence of the ceremony when there’s so many vendors to organize, details to consider, and guests to appease. Often the pomp and circumstance of a larger wedding can overshadow the basic meaning of a wedding, which at the core is a celebration of a couple’s love and future together. With a Micro Wedding brides and grooms can be more selective with their guest list, which creates a more intimate gathering with those nearest and dearest. While the task of writing a guest list can be the hardest part of a Micro Wedding, brides and grooms can take comfort knowing that those they invite are among their most dearest to share in their commitment. 

More manageable

It’s a well known fact that wedding days seem to go by faster than most other days in our lives, and many brides and grooms struggle to find the time to sufficiently interact with all of their guests before the party comes to an end. Micro Weddings mean less guests so it’s easier to get more quality time together without being stretched so thin. Less guests also means the event becomes more manageable as a result. With a smaller group the day can be more fluid and less rigid, and plans can be changed on the fly if needed. On Martha’s Vineyard weather can be an important factor for any special event. If rain and wind are in the forecast you can push back the ceremony or figure out a change of venue a lot easier when accommodating less people. 

More choices

Given the smaller size and scale of a Micro Wedding your options and vendor pool can actually increase. Perhaps you wanted to book that venue on the water that you couldn’t afford with 120 people, but when accommodating 40 people it’s very much within reach. Some venues might not even be able to accommodate a large group but once your numbers go down you realize there’s even more places to tie the knot than you had thought. Or maybe there’s a preferred caterer or private chef that you can swing with a smaller head count that will increase the quality of your guests’ experiences. When it comes to making choices for your Micro Wedding you can be even more creative and innovative! 

More sustainable

I’m all for reducing waste and being more eco-conscious when it comes to weddings and special events, and I’ve written about it before on the blog. We all know weddings can get expensive, and excessive, and lavish choices can often have serious implications for the environment. Micro Weddings on the other hand, tend to mean more control and less excess, which is a win-win if you’re wanting to reduce your costs and your footprint. Even thoughtful considerations on a small scale can make for a big impact on your big day. 

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Weather or not, the shoot must go on

We all know we can’t predict the weather, but over the last thirty years we’ve become really, really good at planning around it. As photographers on Martha’s Vineyard we need to be flexible, adaptable and ready for anything! When we first engage with clients when initially booking our shoots we’re all hoping for the perfect weather. Partly cloudy, partly sunny, dry, and a comfortable temperature. 

If you’ve booked a photo shoot or planned a special event, you’ve likely visualized the same thing. You’ve crossed your fingers a hundred times and obsessively checked the weather for the weeks and days leading up to it. But no matter what you do, ultimately Mother Nature will have her way, and no matter what you’ll still end up with fabulous photos with RBP. 

So how do we do it? Firstly we always build in a rain date as a backup in case the weather turns especially bad. We’ve become really good judges of the weather, and have learned how to interpret it hour by hour. As the date approaches we utilize all of our favorite weather apps and make an assessment based on the forecast to determine whether or not we should postpone the shoot. 

We work with our clients to determine their level of comfort with the weather that is being predicted–it’s often an exercise in seeing how adventurous people are! Here on Martha’s Vineyard we frequently experience microclimates, so the specific location of the shoot is important to assess as well. It could be beautiful on one side of the island while a storm is brewing a few miles away. 

If it’s only a chance of showers we keep calm and carry on. First and foremost we want to have fun with our clients. If the weather is going to be a stressor and the clients are not going to have a great time, we postpone it. Some of our favorite photos have been those that we’ve captured in unpredictable weather, where our clients have rolled with the punches and embraced the skies!

Plus “bad weather” can often make for some really fun times. Umbrellas are a fantastic prop in the rain, we especially love the clear umbrellas that you can see through! We always have a couple on hand and love when our clients come prepared as well. If rain is predicted during a wedding shoot we always suggest our brides and grooms provide umbrellas for their guests–it makes an impromptu wedding favor they’ll be sure to reuse and never forget!

Remember, sometimes the most ominous looking weather gives way to the most stunning photos. Here on-Island the colors that make their way through our sky are simply breathtaking, especially before or after a storm. Often it’s the weather you’ve feared the most that makes way for the most epic photos, not the perfect sunset you meticulously planned for. 

The long and short of it? Don’t stress about the weather. Keep an open mind, embrace the skies, and know that no matter what the weatherman says you’re in good hands with RBP.  

Love is love, this month and every month

June is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) Pride Month and we’re proud supporters of it!

The occasion is marked each year to honor the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in New York City that sparked an international gay rights movement.

“Stonewall” served as a tipping point for the Gay Liberation Movement in the United States, and across the world, and we’ve come a long way from it.

Over the last fifty years millions of people have spoken out and spoken up to defend the rights of the LGBTQ community, and we’ve been right there with them, firmly believing in equality for all, no matter your sexual preference!

As Lin-Manuel Miranda famously said in his 2016 Tony award acceptance speech “Love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love cannot be killed or swept aside.”

This month we honor those who have paid the price for standing up for themselves and others, for simply wanting to live and let live.

Today we live in a country where same sex marriage is legal, and many of our politicians and influencers are openly gay.

We’re grateful for the progress that has been made, and we know there is still work to be done.

Here’s to looking back on all of the beautiful love we’ve witnessed over the years and here’s to looking forward to even more.