Ben and Leah's Fall Maine Wedding

November 24, 2022  •  4 Comments

One of the incredible things about photography is that it connects me to people in unique ways that are really kind of magically. Years back, Leah and I were both working for the same company, same department, yet different teams. Leah was one of those people that you knew you could just reach out to with any question you had, big or small, or seemingly stupid. She always had a big smile (even if you couldn't see it, you could hear it) and she was always happy to help and send you back on your way. Then one day she was gone. On to bigger and better things out of state.

Flash forward a few years and I'm photographing a small scale prom in the area when I eye a young woman who looks oddly familiar but I can't quite place her. But she had this big warm and happy smile, full of life. As I made my way through formal portraits of all of the guests I stole off to grab some images of the interior of the space when lo and behold there was Leah, DJing for the dance. We quickly catch up and it becomes apparent the reason that bright and happy teen looked familiar was because she was Leah's sister.

Years continue to pass and during this past spring's little league baseball season I was approached by a fellow mom and little league board member, Angie, who mind you, is the the one making sure the snack shack is up and running for every home game. I mean EVERY home game. Pretty sure she lived at the field with me for several months. Angie approached me and asked if I photographed weddings because her friend was getting married that fall and the plan they initially had for a photographer wasn't looking like it was going to work out. Camera affixed to my face I said "Yes! Feel free to pass my name along."

And folks...if that beautiful friend of Angie's wasn't our Leah. My word. Leah and Ben met with me for some engagement photos in August. The adoration for one another was so THICK in the air. These two have major chemistry and such a deep respect and connection. It's crazy! The move in unison and just a touch is enough to evoke emotion that will make any romance novel enthusiast swoon. They're like magic together!

And let me tell you. If their wedding day wasn't MORE of the same love story. The strong emotional connection between them, their families, their friends...I'd be lying if I said I wasn't in tears SEVERAL times that day. Watching the two of them, hearing the speeches from their loved ones. Folks, it's clear that this is a match made in Heaven and 1,000% supported by every single person in their lives. A brother that married them, another who's band played at the reception, the sister who stood up with them, the amazing friends and family that traveled from Rhode Island and beyond to support them. Absolutely, amazing.

I've rambled on enough...let me just share some highlights of their day, sprinkled with lavender, eucalyptus, and coffee. I'd never be able to use words to do their story justice. I wish I could have bottled up every spoken word that day so you'd understand how amazing Ben & Leah are together. 

 

 

            

 

 

Photographer: Humble Sight Photography

Ceremony: Pilgrim Orthodox Presbyterian Church

Dress: Spark Bridal

Suit: Our Place Tuxedo

Reception: Peakes Hill Lodge

Cake: Frank's Bake Shop

Flowers: DIY

Band: Fire Pit


Planning The Best Micro Wedding In Eastern Maine

January 15, 2022  •  Leave a Comment

Planning The Best Micro Wedding In Eastern Maine


The wedding planning process has changed significantly since 2020. 

I’m here to share some good news and give you the tips that I’ve learned over the past year. 

Who am I? I’m Nikki and I’m a wedding photographer from Eastern Maine.

I’ve been working with my couples to re-plan their weddings and along the way, I’ve learned a number of things.

 

1. SMALL IS BETTER

For the past number of years, I’ve watched wedding guest counts (and price tags!) grow drastically when planning. In my experience, this is usually due to family pressure or comparison pressure. At some point, a lot of my couples have started to feel like it’s not even the wedding they dreamed of any longer. That they’re only along for the ride.

THIS YEAR IS YOUR EXCUSE TO HAVE THE WEDDING YOU ACTUALLY WANT.

You now have full control over the guest list. You get to invite the most important people in your life to be there, and you have time to be with them.

 

2. YOU GET TO SPEND TIME WITH EVERYONE THERE

Typically, it’s rare for couples to talk to everyone that attends their wedding. Traditional weddings can feel formal, less intimate, and for some of my couples they feel exposed and required to put on a show.

With a smaller wedding, you can now spend time with everyone you’ve invited, let your guard down, and be in the moment.  

 

3. COST

Couples are saving so much money on micro weddings.

Prices can get out of control with traditional weddings, so now is the time where you can spend the money you save in other places on the things that matter most to you.

 

4. YOU CAN NOW GET MARRIED ANYWHERE

This is one of the most exciting things with micro weddings - you can get married anywhere.

You no longer have to look for hall to accommodate a certain guest count, while also meeting the budget.

Now you get to be creative. Some of my couples are getting married in forests, in backyards, and at restaurants that would not have been possible with a larger guest count.



5. BETTER WEDDING PHOTOS

As a wedding photographer, this is the most exciting part of micro weddings for me.

Weddings have become much simpler overall. Which means, less stress for you on the day. No problems to troubleshoot, you just get to enjoy the day.

This lack of stress on the wedding day, really comes through in the photos. 

We have all the time we need for photos, and we’re in control of the time of day we take them. At a traditional wedding, the photo session just kind of fits wherever it fits - which means non-ideal lighting conditions where you might not look your best.

Micro weddings, we can schedule at the best time of day for photos.

To add to that, you can now use the budget you saved to spend a little more on the details you’d really like to have.

 

SO HOW DO YOU PLAN THE BEST MICRO WEDDING?



My suggestions:

Pick your dream location. There are no longer any rules to where you should have your ceremony.
Parks, locations, and businesses are all really going out of their way to be super accommodating these days, and that makes your life a lot easier.

 

Spend some of the money you’re saving on bringing in great vendors. Budgets usually get stretched really thin because of the number of guests at the wedding. This is your excuse to involve all of the vendors you would want to have for your dream wedding.

 

Set up an on-location dinner or move to a restaurant. With smaller guest counts, it’s now possible to set up a small reception wherever you’d like. Again, whatever your dream location is for this, this is probably the only year that it will be possible to do.


 

TO GET THE BEST PHOTOGRAPHS:


Schedule your ceremony when it’s good for photos. 2 hours before sunset will give us the best light for photos.


Hire a photographer (pick me!) for 2-3 hours. That will cover a little of the getting ready, the ceremony, family photos and photos of the two of you. (There are also packages if you’d like me to come to the reception.)


My photography is primarily candid, so it’ll be a more relaxing experience than you might think right now. 


Safety in this time is a priority for me. I will respect all current, local rules.


If you’re interested in working together, please send me a note on the contact page, or email me at [email protected] and I’ll get back to you within 24 hours.


Thanks for reading and if you have any other questions, please feel free to reach out!


10 Tips for Amazing Wedding Photos that Cost You NOTHING

October 09, 2020  •  Leave a Comment

 

Chances are you already know the importance of carefully selecting a photographer for your wedding. What you may not know are these tips to get the most out of your wedding photos. They’re simple; and best of all, they cost you nothing while making the biggest impact!

 

 

1. CHOOSE YOUR POSSE

Lots of couples are misinformed when it comes to this part. They think the key to incredible photos starts with a killer photographer or an incredible location – absolutely those things help, but…

What really matters are the PEOPLE you choose to surround yourselves with.

 

At the end of the day, the world's most talented photographer in the most insane location can't change the people they're photographing.

 

So carefully choosing your peeps is imperative!

 

Please don't misunderstand me, I do not mean you should choose the hottest or fittest people in your friend group. Instead I recommend that you choose the people who want to be there. The ones who adore you. The ones who are going to have the most incredible time with you. If for a single moment you think a person might make the day about them, be rude or disrespectful to you or anyone else, or kill your vibe...

(Listen up! I’m about to give you the permission you may not realize you’re looking for.)

YOU DON'T HAVE TO CHOOSE THEM.

 

This does not mean they are bad people, or that you are a bad person. They just aren’t the right people for this job!

 

Instead try to choose people who get along with each other, or at the very least can be amicable for you. These people are going to spend a lot of time together and will need to be able to respectfully interact with one another. It’ll be super uncomfortable if they're throwing daggers and exchanging eye rolls – or worse, distracting you from what’s most important that day – YOUR JOY! You don't have to add negativity to any stress you may already feel.

 

Ok – now that we have that out of the way.

 

 

2. NO WALLFLOWERS

Lots of times inquiries include things like 'we don't like/want staged awkward photos’ 'we prefer candid natural shots.'

 

I hear you! I want to create an atmosphere that helps you feel relaxed so we can tell your story in a way that feels authentic to you. I want to capture your day as it was and highlight all the amazing people in your lives.

Trust me when I say, the best photos happen when there's movement. Don’t take yourselves too seriously during portrait time. It's my job to capture you looking incredible, it’s your job to relish in this beautiful moment. I’ve got you!

So, if I happen to pop on some music and say, ‘Let's dance!’ then get up and move! Don't worry; I'll be moving with you—no lame middle school side to side slow dancing. Get crazy, get lose – show off some moves you've only performed in the dimmest lit rooms, home alone while cooking/cleaning, or throw in some high school flashbacks. This is your time to shine. If you're like me and have the dance movements of a newborn moose, just do big movements, swing wide, kick up the dirt, wobble, if you have a partner swing them around, throw them up – have a wild time. That my friend is how YOU make the magic happen. Just have fun!

We won't always dance – running, walking, jumping, climbing – we'll be doing all kinds of things, but, don't worry you won't need finesse or to be in top physical condition for any of them. All you need is a can-do attitude.

 

 

3. EMBRACE IT

Unless the wind is showing everyone your undergarments, work that breeze like it's your own personal wind machine. I know you spent a lot time for your hair to stay that way, but Mother Nature is going to do her thing, you can't fight it. The best thing to do is to let it be, go crazy and stare down the camera like a mountain top god/goddess.

I know it can feel like the most annoying thing in the world when that wind or rain picks up but if I see that weather on the radar, I quietly get a little excited. I know these portraits are going to have a lot movement, moody/dramatic skies, and look insane. Movement = EPICNESS.

 

 

4. MAKE THE TIME

I know you don't want to spend too much time away from your guests. I understand, you're there to party with them!

 

So, let's be smart about it.

 

Prioritize time where you want it the most. If group photos are one of the most important things you want, be sure you make time for it.

OR

Choose a venue or location that doesn't require a lot of travel to save you time between locations. Have a cocktail hour that allows your guests to mingle, so when we slip out for photos, it won't be too obvious, and the party will continue.

 

The key part is planning. Create a timeline that allows you to organize a day that feels relaxed and flows – that way you're not rushing from one thing to the next and can soak it all in.

 

CARVE OUT MOMENTS INSTEAD OF TIME.

 

Moments with your family during prep, moments with your friends into the night, private moments with your lover during the day. You’re planning a day to celebrate your love; the photos are just the by-product. Get this nailed down and the photos are always going to be amazing.

 

 

5. TRUST

Photographers have a different perspective and lots of experience putting it into practice. You might be asked to try something weird, like go into a dingy dark place, but, TRUST me. I've got a vision and it's going to be good! When you tell a creative to just go for it, it gives us permission to take bigger risks and try things that haven't been done, playing it safe gives you predictable, going big gives you extraordinary and something all your own.

 

 

6. ALL ABOUT THAT LIGHT

You've probably heard photographers go on about this before, but Lighting is important! It's a Photographer's language.

 

Think about lighting during your planning, what time the sun will set, which rooms have the brightest light, do you have enough illumination after dark? You would be surprised what a difference a few strung lights can make to the atmosphere.

 

AND, I always suggest planning a little sneak away session around sunset, especially in summer, when the sunset isn't until later into the evening. This allows your guests to still enjoy themselves and you and your sweetie a moment for a few intimate photos and time together.

 

 

7. FEED ‘EM

Hangry is a real thing; I may know from personal experience...

 

Keeping your posse fed is vital – especially if you’re throwing back cold ones.

 

Make sure you to build in time to eat; grab some snacks or take a cheese platter on the road when we’re headed to portrait locations. It's a simple thing but can make a huge difference in your experience.

 

 

8. COMMUNICATE

If you have big things planned like, fireworks, smoke bombs, bareback on a horse, choreographed dance moves, drag races, air balloon drops, helicopter rides… Or even low key, intimate moments like first looks, gift reveals, etc. Tell us!

 

Your vendors are all about this stuff. And we're so excited to make it happen with you. Make sure you communicate early as there may be restrictions, advised locations, or times of the day that are going to work best.

 

Remember your venders have most likely seen something similar before or know how to make it work best for you. We love being involved with something big or special. So, if you're dreaming about something, let us know, we’d love to help.

 

 

9. LET YOUR HAIR DOWN

As your photographer, I'm here to capture you in your true form! So, get weird, let your freak flag fly… don't play shy and avoid being yourself. The best photos happen when you let your guard down and just go for it.

 

 

10. NO PROPS NEEDED

I know you’ve been scrolling Instagram and Pinterest. But don’t get overwhelmed by the things you think you need to make your wedding epic. The truth is you don’t need ‘things’ to create beautiful images.

 

I may use props that’s true, but they're typically random and not something you need to worry about. The best props present themselves at the most opportune time. They are the pick-up truck the groomsmen left around the corner, the golf cart your riding around in, or the bridesmaid's phone to help backlight you. It's the things that just magically appear that are a part of YOUR story and unique to your day. Of course, if you have your heart set on something specific, just let me know so we can plan on it!

 

So, props aren't a needed. Instead, spend time creating an environment where you're comfortable enough to be yourself, to try different things, and just have a wild time.


Hannah & Aaron-Engagement at Knotty Goat Soapery Farm

June 16, 2020  •  Leave a Comment

Back in February, and pre-Corona in Maine, I met up with Hannah and Aaron, for their engagement session.

Hannah LOVES goats so the Knotty Goat Soapery farm in Winterport was a perfect fit.

 

It really made the whole experience fantastic because the joy she exuded during the time we spent on the farm was so natural and beautiful.

And Aaron kept her laughing with his charm and witty sense of humor. 

They truly are the sweetest couple with a powerful, long lasting love story. Despite the pandemic setting their wedding plans back a year, I have no doubts these two will still be holding on and laughing together in the many years to come.

And I look forward to capturing this moment when they are finally pronounced husband and wife.

Wishing them all the best.


If you told me I’d have a photo of myself in a bathing suit I would have laughed at you...

January 15, 2020  •  3 Comments

I have not been in love with myself, especially my body, for as long as I can remember. I have, however, made a conscious effort since having my daughter in 2004 to be mindful of how I speak about myself and body and how I speak to her and her brother about theirs. I wanted to make sure I did my very best to set them up to love themselves and see the wonder and beauty in everything they are. I could not prevent the rest of the world from thrusting their opinions on them, but, I could control how I laid the groundwork for their own self-love and how they perceived other people’s bodies. I never spoke poorly of the appearance of my body or theirs, but instead talked about all the wonderful things they could do. Things like:

 

“your legs are bigger than your friends’ because you spend hours dancing and building muscle which makes you strong.”

“Mommy’s belly is soft and squishy because it grew you and kept you safe until you were ready to greet the world.”

“Yes, honey, I see...what a neat trick.”


Sometimes the conversations are a bit awkward, I’ll admit, but I can mirror wonder and excitement, while following it up with privacy guidance.

 

I digress...

 

I’ve tried really hard to make sure my children understood the functionality, purpose, and amazing things their bodies can do, were designed to do, etc. rather than placing focus on their appearance. Now don’t get me wrong, it still comes up, but I try to reinforce those foundational concepts. Bodies are different, bodies do amazing (and funny) things, and bodies have certain capabilities that allow them to do even more incredible things as they grow. No body is like another. There is no mold from which people are made. Everyone is different. Everyone is perfectly imperfect.


Hmmm… sound guidance from a self-loathing fraud. Who was I really speaking to all these years? Certainly, my kids, but a shift started happening in me as I started listening to the words I was speaking, without realizing I was listening. I was so focused on the kids, the chaos of parenting, surviving adult life, and its obstacles. (A post for another time perhaps…)

 

That photo on my desk is one of a handful of my husband and I since our wedding, 12.5 years ago. That photo is a reminder of the only trip my husband and I were blessed to experience, just the two of us, in nearly 19 years. That wonderful and {insert all the words here that I cannot begin to think of to describe Aruba and the most incredible reset/recharge of my life} vacation pulled me away from my day to day 'chaos coordinating'. Seven days of being in the moment – mostly unplugged, trying new things, reconnecting, rekindling, gaining perspective, and getting excited about life again. Seven days of removing myself from all the things that I didn’t know were weighing me down.


That photo is a moment of time, I don’t want to forget. Sure, it’s a cell phone pic, a “non-flattering” pose, {insert all the reasons and excuses to never let it see the light of day}, but it means so much to me. It’s my reminder to live, not survive.

 

The person I was, is no longer the person I am, nor the person I am becoming. It has taken time to get here. It required fear of having children that would grow up to hate themselves and place their value in their appearance. It required deep reflection, persuasion, and lots of frustration from those around me (like my husband) trying to convince me I was enough; just the way I was. It has taken scary and significant events to understand that life is happening, now. Life isn’t waiting for me to be svelte and perfect to be photographed or worthy of people’s time. Life isn’t waiting for me to be unafraid. The people I love are here and now and they want me to be with them… here and now. A tomorrow with them is not promised to me.


So that photo is up for the world to see because that photo means the world to me.

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