Learning never ends. For me when it comes to staying inspired, being on top of the best technology, knowing what products to offer my clients and fine tuning my shooting skill set I look to conferences and workshops. I prefer a smaller more intimate setting and in the past couple of years I have searched for those that offer a fresh approach to the standard hotel ballroom base camp. When I found Field Trip I knew this was just the place for me! Of course I was a bit nervous about having to apply to go to this intimate adventure in learning … would they even accept me to attend?!? How elite is this group?!? What am I getting into?!?! But all those nerves faded away and I was quickly registered and bunking with my pal Meg Simone. (phew!)

I left cold and snow covered New England for Santa Barbara and the El Capitan Campground. Now, this is not a New England style campground. In fact, I have a hard time even calling it a campground! (the Real Housewives stayed here!!) Adorable yurts, platform tents and cabins dotted the hills near the California coast at this “campground”. I had hopes of sunshine on my face as I sat in a field learning. But, it rained. Hard. Really hard. Except for the last night and the morning we left, I ran from tent to cabin to cabin to yurt in my L.L. Bean boots! But looking past all the rain this trip and conference was pure magic. I learned a lot. I opened my eyes to new ideas. And I met some really talented, smart and fun people. A worthwhile trip in my book, rain or no rain.

BreaMcDonald Photography- Field Trip

FieldTrip0016

FieldTrip0012

FieldTrip1

FieldTrip0025

FieldTrip0044

BreaMcDonaldPhotography- Field Trip

FieldTrip0044

fieldtrip2

FieldTrip0049

fieldtrip5

FieldTrip0018

fieldtrip4

If you haven’t been reading Matchbook’s monthly online magazine – here’s an excuse to start getting them delivered to your inbox! Based in New York City, Matchbook Magazine is “a field guide to a charmed life,” and they keep their word. Matchbook is all about inspiring women – in business and in life. A big part of what they do is feature successful women in business, from fashion to home design to stationery – like this month’s cover story, Kacy Lubell the creator and designer of Letters Lubell!

Aside from the cover stories, our favorite monthly features include their “10 Things You Didn’t Know” which gives you an inside look at some of the most iconic people and celebrities of our time, the “Just Married” section (of course!), and their team’s style boards. This month we can’t help but dream of Nantucket beach days wearing pieces from Katie Armour’s (Co-Founder of Matchbook) Bohemian Rhapsody board.

In their April issue, online now, our sweet bride and groom are featured in the “Just Married” section! Their intimate wedding took place dockside at the White Elephant Hotel this past May. Soirée Floral designed their florals for the day, drawing from soft seaside colors with pops of purple to complete their look.

We’re so honored to be featured in one of our favorite online magazines – we hope we’ve added Matchbook to your list of favorites, too!

Matchbook Magazine Brea McDonald April Matchbook Magazine Brea McDonald

Heidi here! I had the pleasure of photographing one of  Flanagan’s Table  monthly dinner series at The Barn at Flanagan Farm and just had to share some images from the night! These intimate dinners are held inside the newly renovated barn and meals are prepared in the beautifully restored farmhouse kitchen. This month’s dinner table was decorated by the uber talented Meagan Gilpatrick of Maine Seasons Events. She foraged the forest to bring natural elements to the table setting and transformed the barn into a woodland environment. Perfectly echoing the style of the nights guest chef!

The featured Chef was Justin Walker from Earth at Hidden Pond in Kennebunkport, Maine. At Earth, the menu focuses on bringing organic foods from local farms to your table. Nestled among the trees, Earth’s dining experience lets you feel like your amongst the land and partaking in a sustainable community. Earth’s Executive Chef Walker, has an extensive career of creating cuisines that start by picking fresh daily ingredients from onsite gardens and then preparing them into unforgettable dishes. In addition to fresh produce, Chef Walker incorporates meats from local farms and seafood fresh off the shores of Maine.

It was so wonderful to be a part of this Flanagan’s Table and watch the night unfold. Watching the chefs plate each course with such concentration and precision so quickly for a table of 50 was amazing! It was fun having all this action to get creative with my photography. I really enjoyed meeting the crew of Flanagan’s Table and catching up with familiar faces. Everybody worked so hard to make the night run smoothly including the waitstaff. They whisked back and forth delivering the courses and making sure each guest was having a truly amazing experience. By the smiles on all the faces and laughter in the air, you could tell the evening was a success!

The Barn at Flanagans Farm, Maine Photographer, Farm table dinner

The Barn at Flanagans Farm, Maine Photographer, Earth

The Barn at Flanagans Farm, Maine Photographers, Chef Series_Earth

Flanagan's Farm Table Dinner, Maine Photographer,

The Barn at Flanangans Farm, Maine Photographer, Chef Series_Earth

The Barn at Flanagans Farm, Maine Photographer, Chef Series_Earth

The Barn at Flanagans Farm, Maine Photographer, Chef Series_Earth

The Barn at Flanagans Farm, Maine Photographer, Chef Series_Earth

The Barn at Flanagans Farm, Maine Photographer, Chef Series_Earth

The Barn at Flanagans Farm, Maine Photographer, Chef Series_Earth

The Barn at Flanagans Farm, Maine Photographer, Chef Series_Earth

The Barn at Flanagans Farm, Maine Photographer, Chef Series_Earth

The Barn at Flanagans Farm, Maine Photographer, Chef Series_Earth

The Barn at Flanagans Farm, Maine Photographer, Chef Series_Earth

The Barn at Flanagans Farm, Maine Photographer, Chef Series_Earth

the barn at flangans farm, maine photography, maine food photographer

The Barn at Flanagans Farm, Maine Photographer, Chef Series_Earth

The Barn at Flanagans Farm, Maine Photographer, Chef Series_Earth

The Barn at Flanagans Farm, Maine Photographer, Chef Series_Earth

 

It may be March but it’s still snowing in New England so why not share a fantastic little winter inspiration shoot, complete with a sled and nordic ski details!

Meagan Gilpatrick’s inspiration came from a family heirloom that’s been passed down in her family for generations – a Scandinavian nativity pyramid. Keeping with true Scandinavian elements, Meagan incorporated details that were both modern and traditional.

The use of red was a common thread used throughout but what really tied the whole look together was the mix of patterns. Meagan added touches of straw details – in the centerpieces and at the place settings. There was a slight woodland feel to it as well, with the use of sliced timber used as risers for the votives and the pyramid.

And those cakes! I loved the detail of each and every “leaf” and the squirrel cake toppers were just adorable.

Parrott Design Studio did a fabulous job on the stationery as well – a perfect mix of  causal and elegance. The envelope liner was such a thoughtful detail!

Shot in one of my favorite places (my wedding venue) here are more images from that fun winter day!

Vendors:

Concept/Design/Flowers: Maine Seasons Events

Cake: Wild Orchid Baking Company

Dress: Spoil Me

Furniture Rentals: One Stop Event Rentals

Photography: Brea McDonald Photography

Venue: The Barn at Flanagan Farm

Stationery: Parrott Design Studio

NordicShoot8

NordicShoot4

NordicShoot3

NordicShoot10

NordicShoot11

NordicShoot6

NordicShoot2

NordicShoot9

NordicShoot7

NordicShoot1

Are you pinning, instagramming and updating your Facebook status? Great news, we are, too! You can find us on almost all social media platforms! So don’t forget to keep up with us in your favorite place (or on all of them, we would’t mind that either!) to see what we’re up to!

Our Pinterest page has lots of great tips on what to wear for your portrait session or inspiration for your up and coming wedding. Follow us on instagram to see what we are all up to in the moment (and see some seriously adorable Corgi puppy cuteness). Facebook is the place to get that sneak peek from our recent weddings and hear about workshops and recent press.

We even have our very own YouTube channel so you can watch and share all of our inspiration shoots and collaborations with Meg Simone Wedding Films! Be sure to bookmark it and check back often!

Here’s where you can find us:

Pinterest

BreaPinterest

 

Facebook

BreaFacebook

 

Instagram @breamcdonaldphotography

BreaIG

 

 

YouTube

BreaYouTube

Recently, we were given the opportunity to be apart of a very exciting event – the BESWOON Bridal Show.

This event is such a fabulous concept for brides and grooms, giving them the chance to experience three different wedding themes all in the same day, be able to taste food, hear bands and meet with potential wedding professionals to talk about their upcoming wedding! The three themes being featured this year were: Modern Coastal Romance, Rustic Elegance and Gatsby Glamour. The flow of the event began with a cocktail hour which was followed by a fashion show in the grand ballroom of the Westin Harborview hotel in Portland, Maine. The show featured upcoming trends in bridal fashion for both the bride and her party based on the three room themes. Afterwards the couples were able to spend the afternoon visiting each of the rooms.

From beginning to end, being a part of this event was so much fun! We were one of the vendors chosen to work on the Modern Coastal Romance room which featured the talented designs and creations of some of Maine’s finest! It was so nice to meet and get to work with vendors we haven’t had the chance to work with before! I loved listening to the sounds of Wavelength band while chatting with visitors in the room, it felt like I was attending an actual wedding! (In fact, some of our guests even danced!)

The details, as you’ll see, were to die for! From the beautiful entryway to the lighting and the lucite chairs! The guests were greeted with a seating chart and favors as they walked into the room. There was even a ring station featuring Brent & Jess’s fingerprint rings for guests to try on and see for themselves what a unique option this could be for their weddings bands. As you entered the room everything just seemed to glow! This Modern Coastal Romance wedding definitely had a chic flair to it! The orchids and driftwood centerpieces were a perfect mashup of modern and coastal, especially when paired with the lucite table and mixed lucite chairs!

One of my favorite details was the paper by El’s Cards! Her watercolor oyster shells and calligraphy were so beautiful. The lounge area featured some of our studio’s wedding work and it gave guests a chance to consider this as an option for their wedding as well. Having a designated area for guests to relax and visit away from the reception area was so nice and cozy! (It also gave Krista, from WellWed Magazine, and I a chance to catch up and chat!)

It was such a pleasure to get to work alongside these vendors – we hope to be apart of this event again next year! A big thank you goes out to our hair and make-up team from Xana-do, I felt like such a diva kicking the day off by getting all dolled up!

Modern Coastal Romance Vendors:

Event Planning & Design – Emily Elizabeth Events

Floral Design – Laurie Andrews Design

Lighting Design – The Event Light Pros

Furniture Rentals – Details. Event Staging

Stationery – El’s Cards

Venue – French’s Point

Band – Wavelength

Cake – European Bakery & Tea Room

Hair & Makeup – Xana-Do Salon & Spa

Jewelry – Brent & Jess

 

A glimpse of the planning stages:

BESWOON0005

BESWOON0011 BESWOON0012

Setting up:

BESWOON0065

BESWOON0063

BESWOON0075 BESWOON0078 BESWOON0081

Getting Ready:

BESWOON0023

BESWOON0040

BESWOON0410

Entryway:

BESWOON5

BESWOON0200

BESWOON0186

BESWOON0211 BESWOON0228

BESWOON6

The Room:

BESWOON0254 BESWOON9 BESWOON0252 BESWOON8

BESWOON13

BESWOON3

BESWOON0231

BESWOON4

BESWOON0088

BESWOON0353 BESWOON12 BESWOON0343

BESWOON0324

Krista from WellWed Magazine and Me in the lounge area.

BESWOON11

On November 2nd this past year, in front of the best group of family and friends a gal could ask for, I married an amazing man. I haven’t shared many details about our wedding planning, our weekend or about all the talented vendors that put it all together. It just felt too personal and sacred to talk about it all before it actually happened. The truth is that that day and today, after it has all come and gone I could just explode with gratitude for all the people that came together to make our wedding weekend what it was.

Some of you might have seen our wedding film from Meg Simone or checked out the post wedding blog post from our wedding photographer Michelle Gardella. They are both amazing. Scratch that… they are perfection! They both understood Scott and I to the core (helps that Meg and I met years ago!).  But what you don’t get from the photos and film are my own words, as a bride, on just how greatful I am to all our wedding vendors and how fabulous they all were to work with.

Everyone talks about how quickly your wedding day will go by and how you should carve out a bit of time to step back and let it all soak in; they are so very very right. It felt like it was all over in an instance. How is that even possible? How did I not get to have a conversation with every guest? How did I not get a bite of those tasty late night sliders? I don’t even remember what our JP said during our ceremony?! Being a wedding photographer I am familiar with the rhythm of a wedding day; the getting ready flows right into the first look and into portraits to the ceremony and so on. I knew what we had ahead of us and I still felt like it was a fleeting moment. This is exactly why it was so very important to have people I trust there to capture it all. Every last moment in either a still or moving image will forever be a gift that simple thank you’s just don’t seem to cover. I will cherish them for a lifetime.

The months and weeks leading up to our wedding were so fun! I kept saying I felt like I was planning an elaborate inspiration shoot even though I was going to end up being the one in the dress. I had a dream team of wedding professionals, but it was so much more than that. These pros are my colleauges and friends, one I’ve even known since elementary school! Reuben is one part of the two man team that is Blue Elephant Catering. I have known Reuben most of my life and reconnected with him as we both entered into the Maine wedding market. To say their food is delicious really doesn’t do it justice. Hands down the first thing people said to me was how absolutely over the top their meals were. They offered great meal options and ideas from the passed lobster salads in martini glasses to our late night sliders and mini grilled cheese with tomato soup! YUM! Not only was the food enjoyable but their level of professionalism and team approach to making dinner service efficient did not go unnoticed.

Working with Gail at The Barn at Flanagan Farm was such a treat. I love her properties and after a tour of the newly renovated house I knew that Scott and I would be right at home celebrating with our family and friends; plus I absolutely fell in LOVE with the outdoor sanctuary. Being married outside was a top priority (especially so our Corgi Milo could be a part of it all!) and it felt so natural for us be nestled in the pine trees.

Planning a wedding at a venue like this takes some skill; you need to bring in every fork, table, chair and linen and knowing how to make sense of it all is NOT my area of expertise. Early on my dear friend Meagan from Maine Seasons Events came on board to help with all the logistics that go into a wedding weekend. Everything from rental check-in to floor plans to how to heat the hot cider station at the ceremony spot were all handled with ease by Meagan and her associate Charli. I seriously could never have done this without them!! It’s like muscle memory for them and they were prepared with a van load of tricks up their sleeve to make it all happen with ease.

I have been lucky to see some seriously amazing flowers and decor at the weddings I photograph. It was so hard to decide who was the right fit for our style; but after seeing the earthy glam creations of Kate Martin from Beautiful Days I knew she would be the one for our wedding day. She just “got us” right from the beginning and I felt truly at ease knowing that whatever she did was going to be gorgeous! What I wasn’t prepared for was how she would transform this dark wooded barn into a glowing and inviting space with a sparkly light installation and a crazy amount of candles. To walk through the curtain of lights to meet our guests as husband and wife was right out of a movie! She really understood what we had in mind and took it to a whole new level!

One promise that I made to my now husband, Scott is that I would put my camera down for the weekend and be just a bride, as present as possible. It was hard! I admittedly did a bit of Instagram shooting/sharing of the behind the scenes moments both leading up to and during our weekend. I shared a few just for fun at the bottom of this, very long, blog post.

Getting married provided me with such a fresh perspective on weddings. I take away a new appreciation for the emotion and excitement a couple feels on their day and just how fleeting those moments can be. One of my most favorite moments of our day was hearing the cheers of family and friends right after we were announced husband and wife. It’s the image we used on our first holiday card together and now hangs on the wall of our home. (You can see the shot our photographer Michelle Gardella captured below)

Don’t forget to head over to Michelle’s blog post to see more wedding images here and watch our wedding film shot by Meg Simone, here.

View More: http://michellegardella.pass.us/brea-scott

 

Venue: The Barn at Flanagan Farm

Planning: Maine Seasons Events

Florals & Lighting: Beautiful Days

Catering: Blue Elephant Catering

Tent & Rentals: One Stop Party Rentals

Photographer: Michelle Gardella

Filmmaker: Meg Simone Wedding Films

Invitations & Paper Products: Griffin-vites

Linens: Be Our Guest

Music: My Bluegrass Romance (ceremony & cocktail hour) & DJ Jon (reception)

Cake: Wild Orchid Bakery

Hair: Hair that Moves

Make-up: Joya Beauty

Bride & Bridesmaids Earrings: Dee Ruel

Dress: Blush by Hayley Paige from Spoil Me

Bridesmaids Shawls: Custom made from handarbete on etsy

Custom Koozies from LiveME

Mini Cider Doughnuts from Pie Tree Orchard in Sweden, ME

BreaMcDonaldInstagramBreaMcDonaldInstagram2Instagram3

 

Flanagan’s Table has done it again! Their monthly collaboration with Maine’s finest took a more romantic turn this month with a special Valentine’s Day dinner. As usual, Meagan Gilpatrick of Maine Seasons Events knocked it out of the park with her romantic twine lighting, draped fabric, custom floral runner,  silver candelabras and blush roses. The barn felt even more intimate than usual with the “tented” feeling the fabric gave. Tons of candlelight, great company and good food – Meagan turned the barn into such a magical place that it almost made you forget about the snow outside!

The special guest chef for this event was none other than Erin French of {the} Lost Kitchen! Erin’s energy radiated from the kitchen to the table – from the energy of the all-girl crew in the kitchen to the toast she gave at the table about love and local food was heartfelt and touching. Something that resonated with me was the part of her toast where she described Maine being a part of her heart and the reason behind her menu; it is moments like these when I am reminded of just how powerful love is – in your life and your work.

This venue holds a special place in my heart, which you’ll see later this week as we end the month of LOVE blog posts with my very own Barn Wedding at Flanagan Farm!

FlanagansTableValentines13

FlangansTableValentines3

FlanagansTableValentines14

FlangansTableValentines7

FlanagansTableValentines12

FlangansTableValentines9

FlangansTableValentines5

FlanagansTableValentines17

FlanagansTableValentines16

FlangansTableValentines4

FlanagansTableValentines15

So far our “month of love” has included couples to-be-wed, our Valentine’s and my very own Flanagan Farm wedding is coming soon! – but today we’re here to share another kind of love – the love of family.

Family beach portraits are a favorite of ours; and what’s great about them is that they’re fun almost any time of year. Warm days make way for splashing in the waves and cool days make way for cozy cuddling and and eskimo kisses. See the adorable family below!

Annual family portraits capture moments you’re going to want to remember  – from babies to toddlers to teens – these smiles and memories will be cherished forever.

Obrien1

Obrien2

Obrien3

Obrien6

Obrien7

Obrien4

Obrien5