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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BreaMcDonaldPhotography- Field Trip

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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

 

I have to be honest, Valentine’s Day is one of my most favorite “holidays”.  Maybe it’s the cute little notes we share with one another or my memories of living in Portland, Maine and the Valentine’s Bandit leaving his mark everywhere. But really, what’s not to love about celebrating the ones you love!?! So rather than send out our traditional holiday cards, this year we opted for a sweeter option… Valentine’s!!! We want to thank all of you who have chosen us to photograph your love. After all, weddings, e-sessions, family portraits and babies are all about LOVE and we are so lucky to have worked with amazing people who cherish and understand the importance of capturing these special moments in our lives. So, on this Valentine’s Day we want to say we love and appreciate all of you who have been a part of allowing us to do what WE love! XOXO!

Many thanks to Gus & Ruby Letterpress for our custom made Valentine’s!

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valentines day card, maine wedding photographer

valentines day card_maine wedding photographer

 

 

It’s here! It’s time! I am getting married this week! It seems like it snuck right up on me, maybe because I have been a little busy this summer with all our wonderful wedding couples and beach portraits. Or maybe it’s because my amazing team of wedding professionals have it all under control! Might be a little bit of both. Scott is in the throws of the world series and I am feverishly trying to finish up last minute details. BUT, I thought now might be the time to share our engagement session photos on the blog (better late then never!). The fab Heidi took us to the beach, one of our favorite spots, with our other two favorite things. Milo our 1 year old Corgi puppy and Scott’s ’91 VW Vanagon. We kept it real.

I will be out of the office for the next week trying to soak up every last minute of our wedding festivities. Heidi is in the office holding down the fort so please feel free to give her a call or touch base via e-mail with any of your orders, questions or needs.

 

Maine Wedding Photography, Maine Engagement photography, Maine Wedding

Maine Wedding Photography, Maine Engagement photography, Maine Wedding

Maine Wedding Photography, Maine Engagement photography, Maine Wedding

Maine Wedding Photography, Maine Engagement photography, Maine Wedding

Maine Wedding Photography, Maine Engagement photography, Maine Wedding

Maine Wedding Photography, Maine Engagement photography, Maine Wedding

Maine Wedding Photography, Maine Engagement photography, Maine Wedding

Maine Wedding Photography, Maine Engagement photography, Maine Wedding

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.

My Dad’s a lifelong runner. Not jogger, but runner. He goes out every morning (sometimes insanely early) and over an hour or so later he is back from “his run”. Sometimes all sweaty from the hot humid weather and sometimes with icicles on his ears from the frigid temps of winter in Maine, it really doesn’t matter, he always goes for a run. It’s part of who he is not just something he does. He truly enjoys it and still trains with his running buds and takes in some of the finer racing of the summer months.

Something that has always amazed me is how he keeps up to date on all the up and coming talent that is hitting the track. Records that are being broken, local contenders and events held in Maine. I have always felt that his pleasantly persistent way of encouraging those around him would make for a fantastic coach. Finally! Now that his schedule has freed up a bit as a retired man of leisure he is, as I feel, hitting his stride…. he is a coach! I was able to attend one of his teams indoor meets (also my high school alma mater, go Raiders!) and all I can say is he was in his element. Pointing out the current record holders, encouraging the kids on his roster, taking detailed notes for the next team meeting and chatting with parents. I was so proud to see him doing something he enjoys so much and sharing that with another generation of talent.

I was never much of a runner, I tried in High School but my interests in other sports led me in a different direction. One lesson that my Dad taught me that stuck with me after all these years is that in running it’s always just you and the clock. Your battle is between the two of you alone and the clock never lies. Do your best and the clock rewards you…. don’t show up for the race and there is no hiding from the clock. Never look over your shoulder at what’s behind you…. stare down the finish line! This is a great lesson to learn and is something we can apply to everything in our lives or business. Beat your last milestone and your always making strides. It doesn’t matter what it is… job bookings, days on the slopes, girl scout cookies sold or time spent with family and friends. Don’t look at where others are in relation to you, just keep doing your best. Thanks Dad for being my lifelong coach and congrats on the new career path, I am SO proud of you!

If you would like to view other images from the event please visit my proofing page and click on the FA Track & Field Event at the bottom of the page.