I always say the hardest part about family portraits is just simply getting everyone in the same place at the same time! We just love it when families carve out time to capture the gang when this rare occasion occurs.  During our extended family sessions we start with the more traditional posed groups and move into fun, casual play on the beach. With so many special spots on the Maine coast the locations are endless! Be sure to take advantage of the time you all have together and capture those memories for generations to enjoy. The best part about family photos is that they become more and more valuable with time!

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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

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Every month, a new chef from Maine creates a five-course dinner made with local ingredients and paired with local wine and beer at The Barn at Flanagan Farm in Buxton, Maine. The talented Meagan Gilpatrick of Maine Seasons Events designs each month’s table in conjunction with the lovely floral creations from Judy Bourgeois of Flora Fauna. Their designs set the feel and mood for the evening, creating a relaxing yet luxe dining environment inside the 19th century barn.

These farm-to-table private dinners began last February in partnership with the Maine Farmland Trust. The intimate dinners feature local produce, cheese and meats as well as local wine and beer. These events are rooted with such great cause – not only will you enjoy fabulously delicious food, you’ll be helping to keep the Maine Farmland Trust and its efforts alive! A portion of the proceeds from the events go towards preserving Maine agriculture, a belief that is dear to each participating vendor and chef’s heart.

The very first guest chef of the monthly series was Chef Masa Miyake. Miyake’s creative Japanese-inspired dishes have changed the face of Japanese food in Maine and his restaurants are some of the most well-received in Portland. Miyake is also a big believer in the farm-to-table tradition – he started his own farm in 2011. It is truly inspiring to see how all of these efforts come together for a cause that will keep locals and visitors conscious of what they eat and where it comes from.

Flanagan’s Table is already off to a great start for 2014 – their first two events of the year are already sold out! We are looking forward to photographing more of these dinners this year and can’t wait to share them!

Here’s a look back at the very first dinner at Flanagan’s Table – an event we were so grateful to be a part of!

The Barn at Flanagan Farm, Maine Wedding, Maine wedding photographer, Flanagan Barn, Flangan's Table

The Barn at Flanagan Farm, Maine Wedding, Maine wedding photographer, Flanagan Barn, Flangan's Table

The Barn at Flanagan Farm, Maine Wedding, Maine wedding photographer, Flanagan Barn, Flangan's Table

The Barn at Flanagan Farm, Maine Wedding, Maine wedding photographer, Flanagan Barn, Flangan's Table

The Barn at Flanagan Farm, Maine Wedding, Maine wedding photographer, Flanagan Barn, Flangan's Table

The Barn at Flanagan Farm, Maine Wedding, Maine wedding photographer, Flanagan Barn, Flangan's Table

The Barn at Flanagan Farm, Maine Wedding, Maine wedding photographer, Flanagan Barn, Flangan's Table

The Barn at Flanagan Farm, Maine Wedding, Maine wedding photographer, Flanagan Barn, Flangan's Table

The Barn at Flanagan Farm, Maine Wedding, Maine wedding photographer, Flanagan Barn, Flangan's Table

The Barn at Flanagan Farm, Maine Wedding, Maine wedding photographer, Flanagan Barn, Flangan's Table

The Barn at Flanagan Farm, Maine Wedding, Maine wedding photographer, Flanagan Barn, Flangan's Table

The Barn at Flanagan Farm, Maine Wedding, Maine wedding photographer, Flanagan Barn, Flangan's Table

The Barn at Flanagan Farm, Maine Wedding, Maine wedding photographer, Flanagan Barn, Flangan's Table

The Barn at Flanagan Farm, Maine Wedding, Maine wedding photographer, Flanagan Barn, Flangan's Table

In our previous blog post I talked about our recent trip to Arizona for a couple of amazing workshops. Today, Heidi shares with us her thoughts on attending her first big photographers conference and what Fearless Photographers is all about.

It seems so long ago, especially with this past week’s cold spell that I was basking in the warm Arizona sun at the Foundation Conference. My memories of the event are keeping me warm and inspired so I thought I would share a little bit about my experience.

As a photographer I’m constantly looking for ways to continue developing my skills and reinvent them. One way to do this is to attend workshops. There are a lot of really great photography workshops out there to choose from and I was lucky to find out about the Foundation Conference through Brea. She was going to attend the Posh Retreat and the Foundation Conference happened to be taking place at the same time and same hotel, the fabulous Hotel Valley Ho in Scottsdale, Arizona. With the Posh Retreat and the Foundation Conference taking place at the same time, the hotel was full of creative energy and enthusiastic people. I found it really influential to mingle between the two conferences and connect with some remarkable individuals.

The Foundation Conference is a gathering of photographers from all over the world for a three day event of motivational and educational seminars. It is put on by the Fearless Photographers, an organization of wedding photographers who truly value photography and the art of capturing the moments.

There were so many great speakers at the FC2012 and it kicked off with Tyler Wirken. He delivered an incredible presentation, reminding us why we love capturing that decisive moment. This set the tone for the rest of the conference and showed us that as photographers we are shooting for future generations to see who we were and see our stories. I also loved listening to Anna Kuperberg and Jacklyn Greenberg, two very impassioned individuals, who shared with us their love for photography and how to incorporate your free spirit and fun attitude into your images. Some of the other speakers included Olivia Vale and Dave Getzschman who’s messages evoked in me the desire to cultivate empathy and challenge my visual personality.

Attending the Foundation Conference was a fabulous opportunity and I am very grateful to have attended it. Looking back, I think the most important thing for me, is to continue to develop my ability to understand and share the feelings of others through my photos. I look forward to the upcoming 2013 season and to challenging myself even more to truly tell the stories of our couples.

– Heidi

 

Scottsdale, Arizona, Hotel Valley Ho

 

Above: Always fun to Instagram when traveling!

Below The Foundation Conference attendees.

Hotel Valley HO, Scottsdale, Arizona

 

 

Hiring us as your wedding photographer is a big decision. We think it’s so important that you feel comfortable with the wedding photographer you choose to capture these intimate life moments! With work, travel, school and just life in general getting in the way of all of our couples meeting up in person I asked my dear friend and talented colleague Meg Simone to put together a film that would share a bit about our style for those interested in learning more about our work! It’s short and sweet and shows off all the amazing parts of New England that we LOVE to photograph.


Wedding and Portrait Photographer Serving all of New England – Brea McDonald Photography from meg simone on Vimeo.

One of the most wonderful parts of my job is that I get to see families grow. Engagement sessions, wedding photography, maternity portraits and then onto baby and family portraits. How cool is that!!! Margo and Kirk are one of those couples that I have been photographing for years. You can see their wedding photos on the walls of my studio with their adorable dog Charlie and you may remember them from a blog post of their first born Oliver’s portrait. When I met up with them this fall for their annual holiday card shoot I knew they were expecting baby number two and was so excited to hear from Margo when he arrived! Things are pretty busy with two young boys in the house so for this session I focused on capturing this moment in their family history. Big brother getting to know little brother, family playfulness and of course all that yummy newborn goodness!

 

 

It’s their Dad’s 80th birthday this year so they did what all good New England families do. They gathered together at the family beach house for a lobster and steamer dinner!!

I instantly fell in love with this family and their beach house. You could tell that this house was always full of family, fun and memory making. From the signs on the walls to the beach art and the always swinging screen door it was quintessential Maine. I feel honored to have had that door opened for me to document their Harrington family celebration. To hear the stories of sailing adventures gone wrong as children, the silly songs sung and touching memories shared was so special. Toasts and cake were of course part of the party too! I left their home feeling warm and happy to have had an opportunity to be there for their memory making.

After dinner and cake we walked to the beach for a commemorative group portrait. Casually everyone gathered on the rock as the sunset… it was another amazing day in Maine!

 

 

 

Our brand new studio space is open in York, Maine and to celebrate we had a little wedding vendor soiree! I have spent the last couple of months prepping the space with my office mate Sara from Griffin-vites Watercolor Stationery. Here’s how it all came to be. I was looking for an office space…. and so was Sara! She found this little gem in York but it was a bit to large for just one of us. SO…. we thought how about we make it work for both of us! And here we are today at 250 York Street!

There was a ton of painting, organizing, shopping and decorating that went into making the space our own but it’s all done and we couldn’t be happier to be in here working and meeting clients. I thought I would start by sharing a few photos of the space from our opening party and then tomorrow a few more from our super fun Photo Booth! Oh yes, wedding vendors REALLY know how to rock the photo booth!

It was a treat to work with Kate Martin from Beautiful Days to plan out the decorations and flowers for this event. I’m never on the planning side of the event so seeing the way she took our ideas and made THIS amazing-ness was such fun! Her vision with the outside was festive and set the tone for the party and her custom created paper chandelier/mobile will be staying long after the clean up! The team at Blue Elephant Catering just blew us away with their hot passed hors d’oeuvres and artisan cheese display. All I have to say is lobster puff…. yum! They certainly know how to please a room of wedding pro’s.

A big thank you to everyone who made it to the opening celebration and to all of you who sent e-mails and messages of support. It’s been wonderful to be a part of this amazing vendor community! We even had some of our Nantucket wedding vendor pals make the trip up! Don’t worry… we will still be out on the island for our seasonal clients!!