Pretty light, lobsters, and beer!

A Gloucester, MA Adventure (Engagement) Session

Gloucester, MA may be my new favorite town on the North Shore; it was a dream location for Leigh and Glen’s Adventure Session. We started off at Cape Ann Brewing which was perfect for this adorable couple that loves exploring local craft breweries. (For those of you who are counting, this was my second Adventure Session this season that started out at a brewery- I hope to see this trend continue!)

After a tasty flight of beer and a quick session in front of some colorful lobster traps (Glen was even wearing a lobster shirt!!!), we took a jaunt around town and then journeyed out to a lighthouse.

And….woah. The light at sunset out on the jetty was incredible, and I can’t get over how amazing and romantic these two were.

I can’t wait for their wedding next June!

Salem, MA Adventure Session!

Mark & Victoria's Engagement Session in Salem, MA

Salty Raven is once again seaside! We moved to Salem, MA in March of this year, and I’ve been itching to explore the North Shore with a couple ever since. When Mark and Victoria mentioned that they love good craft beer, rocky shorelines, and arcades, I knew Salem would be a perfect fit for an epic Adventure Session. We had a blast, and I’m so excited to photograph their wedding in New Bedford next month!

 

We started at Notch brewery, and if all my Adventure Sessions could start with delicious session beer, I would be a happy camper!

Skinner State Park Engagement Session

| Abby & Colin's Picnic Session Between Storms |

Abby & Colin are just the cutest couple ever. They became sweethearts in high school and planned their wedding at the Log Cabin to coincide with their 8 year anniversary if you can believe it!

Skinner State Park has long been a special place for them as a couple, so when they suggested it as a destination for their Adventure Together Session (AKA engagement session), I was all for it. The views from their picnic spot were spectacular; we could see for miles across the Pioneer Valley. We could also see the storm clouds approaching, so when Abby pulled up the radar on her phone and guessed that we might only have 15 minutes before the downpour started, we wrapped up and headed for the overlook. Warning- if you’re scared of heights, you might need to close your eyes for a few of these photos!

P.S. When you bring Martinelli’s sparkling apple cider for a picnic up on a mountain, remember that it doesn’t have a twist-off cap! I’m actually glad they didn’t have a bottle opener with them though because it made for an awesomely hilarious sequence of pictures. We were all in stitches. Strength, persistence, and a rusted steel thingamajig saved the day!

 

Check out the radar showing the giant storm approaching!

Success! And a volcano of bubbles!

Remember Late Summer?

| Joan & Matt's Engagement Session Hike | New England Wedding Photographer |

New England was blanketed by more than a foot of snow today, but while the storm raged on, I was taken back to the sunny evening I spent with Joan & Matt just a couple of weeks before their wedding this fall at Union Station Banquets (see their wedding post here). The late summer light was just sooo gorgeous, and the sunset was one of those that you savor until well past dusk…

 

Tea, a Walk, and the Sunset in Brooklyn

| Jenny & Ethan's Adventure Session/Engagement Session |

Many couples become a little wary when I bring up planning their Adventure Session (a.k.a. an “engagement session”). They envision awkward poses and forced emotions, but that isn’t at all my approach because….yuck! I explain that the point of an adventure together session is for us to have fun, get comfortable around each other, and for me to get to know them as a couple so I can really hit it out of the park on their wedding day. When words don’t convince them, I offer examples, and this recent November session in Brooklyn is a perfect example of how dynamic Salty Raven adventure sessions can be- I know I had a blast!

Jenny and Ethan are getting married in Brooklyn this May, and I can’t wait to chase them around the streets again in pursuit of magic light, murals, and moody alleys….

P.S. If you know any friends looking for a wedding photographer, Salty Raven is now booking weddings for the 2017/2018 seasons!

 

Wellesley College Engagement Session

| Abbey & Natalie |

Wellesley, Wellesley, only to be there….

Abbey graduated from my alma mater, Wellesley College, and luckily this summer she returned for her 5 year reunion so we were able to meet in person despite the fact that she and Natalie live in Wisconsin!

Wellesley’s campus, as always, was gorgeous, and we snuck in a few photos on our stroll together while getting to know each other. The rhododendrons were in full bloom in the arboretum, Natalie laughed at Paramecium Pond’s name, and we ended near the Tower Court dorms in front of the only remaining columns left standing after the 1914 College Hall fire.

I had a blast, and I’m so excited to see you two again this August for your Wisconsin wedding!

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Ice Cream & Outdoor Adventures in the Berkshires

| Tori & Bridget's Engagement Session in Great Barrington, MA |

I had an absolute blast with Tori and Bridget a few weeks ago in the Berkshires! I call my engagement sessions “Adventure Together Sessions” because I like to accompany couples while they do something they love; we get to know each other, and the session is relaxed and full of laughter and movement instead of awkward posing.

One of Tori and Bridget’s first dates was in an arboretum, so after they enjoyed yummy ice cream at SoCo Creamery in charming downtown Great Barrington, we set out for a walk at Pfeiffer Arboretum. The path was certainly not a well traveled one (abundant poison ivy kept us alert, and the pond at the end was viewed from a dilapidated, sinking overlook- we noticed the caution tape only after we turned back…), but the light coming in through the trees was so sweet, and listening to Tori recite a poem about poison ivy that she had written when she was a young girl was amazing!

After our hike, we ventured to a field overlooking the Berkshire Mountains, and the light was *magical.* I could have stayed there for hours with the two of them listening to them banter and laugh together. I’m looking forward to spending more time with them next year at their wedding in Upstate New York!

 

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Spice Shop Engagement Session

Sarah & Jenny

Who can endure driving through hours of stop-and-go traffic while an infant screams at the top of her lungs and still remain kind, cool, and generous? A real keeper, that’s who!

The backstory: in 2009, I photographed the wedding of a college friend in New England, and Sarah was a bridesmaid in the wedding. My then 3 month old daughter was too young to leave at home with Dad (we lived in New Mexico at the time), so she and a friend/baby wrangler came along for the adventure.

Sarah had just begun dating Jenny, and they were adorable together! I clearly remember them stealing glances of each other over the breakfast table at the inn where we all stayed. After the wedding weekend was over, Jenny offered me a ride to the airport, and what a ride it was! My daughter’s hair-splitting screams were relentless, but Jenny and Sarah were nothing but kind to me.

Fast forward 3ish years, and I received the kind of e-mail that makes a photographer dance around the house with giddiness: “Ever since Sara and Devin’s wedding I’ve been waiting to send you an email like this! Jenny and I just looked over your website again and we loved what we saw.” Seriously, getting inquiries from guests of past weddings I’ve photographed is the best, and I was thrilled that it worked out for me to be their photographer (and fly out to Oakland sans kiddos this time!).

For Sarah and Jenny’s engagement session we visited two fantastic locations in Oakland that they enjoy often as a couple: Oakland’s Lake Merritt, and a nearby cozy spice shop, Oaktown Spice Shop. Notice how they still, years later, like to steal glances of each other!

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Boston Harbor Islands Engagement Session

Moira & James

If I asked you and your partner to write down the specific location where one of your first special dates occurred, do you think your answers would match? I’m talking about the date when you just knew that you’d found your match…maybe when you started to have an inkling that this person with the twinkly eyes would be the one to grab onto.

For Moira & James, Georges Island in the Boston Harbor Islands was that special spot. I love going with my wedding couples to places that have significance to them, and I was fortunate enough to have a husband willing to watch the kids just a little bit longer on a wedding weekend so I could tack on an engagement shoot or what I like to call an Adventure Together Portrait Session for them one Sunday morning. And what an adventure it was! We journeyed by car, the T, and then a ferry out to Georges Island, getting to know each other along the way and sharing stories about mutual interests like Wellesley College where Moira and I graduated from and Charley Harper, a favorite artist of mine with ties to James’ hometown in Ohio. I got to hear about the plane that flew right over them on their date, and like I had planned it, we were treated to a plane leaving Logan Airport as well!

Georges Island has incredible views, secretive-feeling trails, and moody tunnels that made this photographer wish she could have spent hours exploring all of the fort’s nooks. I was literally shooting up until the moment I turned and sprinted to catch my ferry back, shouting over my shoulder that I couldn’t wait to see them in October for their wedding which you can see here!

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