Dan’s 40th–Brooklyn, NY

SarahGreigPhotography_stomp_0648I recently had the pleasure of photographing a gorgeous and spirited birthday event at the Venetian style bar, Botanica, in Red Hook, Brooklyn. What better way to celebrate a milestone birthday on a perfect summer night than with good friends, amazing food, a bluegrass band and…whiskey! To top it off, the bar is adjacent to a chocolate factory, Cacao Priato, and whiskey distillery, Widow Jane. Chocolate and whiskey? It’s like a Willie Wonka wonderland for grown-ups! The preservationist in me also loved the historic brick building surrounded by cobblestone streets. Definitely check out these places if you are in Red Hook.

From stunning flowers to magazine-worthy food spreads, everything was a joy to photograph. Fran and Dan–thanks for the opportunity to record such a wonderful evening!

Venue–Botanica/Cacao Prieto/Widow Jane Distillery//Caterer–Poppy’s//Florist-Alaric Flower Design//Band–Chris Merkley and the Crooners//




Family Portraits–White Elephant, Nantucket, MA

I met the Joblon family on a hot, steamy July afternoon–I’m not sure where the Nantucket sea breeze was hiding, but we stuck to the shade for most of our session! We had lots of fun photographing on the grounds of the White Elephant, an elegant hotel just steps from Brant Point Lighthouse and town. The girls, nearly 3 and 1, were adorable in their coordinated white eyelet outfits, and the whole family was relaxed and fun throughout our session. There are too many cute ones to share them all, but here are a few of my favorites!

We captured a lot of the blues and greens that Nantucket is known for and got some great images among the gorgeous hydrangeas. Joblons, I loved photographing your beautiful family and hope to see you all again soon!

H and C–Brooklyn Heights Family Photography–Brooklyn, NY

Adorable doesn’t begin to describe these blue-eyed boy wonders!! I loved working with this Brooklyn Heights family in late May. The day of our photo session started off beautifully; but as luck would have it, an incredible round of thunderstorms rolled right at the beginning of our session time. Thus, we began indoors at their apartment, which has great window light. Their oldest son, H, was rocking his favorite hooded pirate towel and loved gazing out the window at the dramatic sky. His little brother, C, was a model subject and loved flirting with the camera (and snuggling with his mom)!

As the rain subsided, we headed outside to the gorgeous Brooklyn Heights promenade, where H showed me many of his favorite spots, and we finished our session with some fun family photos just as a new downpour began! This family was fun, low key, and at ease in front of the camera–always a fabulous combination!  I loved recording the obvious connection between all four family members, but also the relationship between the brothers, mom and boys, and dad and sons. Thanks for a wonderful session guys…can’t wait to see you all soon!

The Importance of Family Portraits–New Canaan, CT

I remember standing in the lobby of a rustic lodge in Freycinet National Park, (in Tasmania, Australia), desperately trying to get a signal to send an email. One of my 2013 wedding clients had contacted me with an awesome request–would I be willing to do a family photo shoot (when I was back in the U.S.A) of her extended family, in honor of their grandmother’s 90th birthday? The only hitch was that her surprise birthday party was soon, and they needed a gift certificate to present to her. Finally, the email went through and I assured her that the minute that returned to Sydney, I would send along a gift card for Eleanor’s 90th birthday. I think there is no greater gift than a family photo session!

Fast forward a few months, and we finally found a date in early April that worked for everyone to meet, which involved gathering the troops from New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and various parts of Connecticut. It’s not easy to coordinate something like this (we photographed their party of 14, ages ranging from 3-90!) but they made it happen. I wrote more about their photo session last week, you can check it out here.

I asked Meghan, whose beautiful Boston wedding I had the honor of photographing a year ago, to write a bit about why they chose a family portrait as her gift–I knew Eleanor valued photography–but what Meghan wrote blew me away. I had chills as I was reading it. It only emphasizes how rewarding it is for me to record these moments, and how photographs can hold significant importance and meaning, especially over time.

“As you know the Houle Family is very close, and Eleanor, age 90, is the pillar of the group. Her life is her family–daughters, grandsons, and great-grand kids. When you walk into the Houle house, you immediately see that every part of their lives is captured through pictures. They have photo albums, collages, old photographs, wedding pictures–from everyone. Eleanor’s room is a walk down memory lane in every aspect of her life–pictures surround her on all 4 walls, as well as on dressers and tucked into mirrors. Her husband passed away at a young age, (Mike and his brothers never met their Grandfather) so you can see the love they shared through her wedding photos that hang on her wall.

Eleanor turned 90 this year, and for a women who has it all, we struggled to brainstorm the perfect gift idea for her. Mike and I were just newlyweds and everyone was talking about and ordering our wedding photos. I mentioned to the family that since pictures are such a big part of Eleanor’s life, we should update the Houle Family photo. The last full family photo they had taken still hangs, yet it was taken 7 years ago and is missing 3 grandchildren and me. It was time to update! We rallied together to present the gift certificate for a photo session at her surprise 90th birthday party, and planned a date to get all 14 of us to create new and special moments for Eleanor to cherish for many years to come. We are now working on a huge family collage of photos from our session with Sarah (although there is not much wall space left!) to hang in Eleanor’s room.”

Thank you to Meghan and the entire Houle family for sharing your story, for motivating 14 of you fit a family photo session into your busy weekend of birthday parties and Palm Sunday mass, and for really understanding the value and true meaning of photographs. It was an honor to add to your storybook walls!

The Houle Family–New Canaan, CT

I first met the fabulous Houle clan last spring when photographing Meghan and Michael’s gorgeous Boston wedding, and this year they bestowed me with the honor of photographing their group of 14, ranging in age from 3-90 and representing four generations! The Houles are not only fun and easy to work with, but they also understand the importance of recording moments in time, of printing those memories, and filling their home with photographs. I was struck by how much bigger the four children were since the wedding last April and it reminded me how quickly time can sail by. The photo session was a 90th birthday gift to their mother/grandmother/great-grandmother, Eleanor. I’ll be blogging later this week about the wonderful meaning of this gift.

Family members traveled from New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and various parts of Connecticut to our photo session at the beautiful Waveny Park in New Canaan. We found a perfect secret garden on the property–full of pathways, benches, gazebos, and brick walls. They fit the photo session into a weekend already packed with a 3rd birthday party and Palm Sunday mass. It wasn’t easy to get everyone motivated, dressed (in beautiful color coordination of navy and coral), and to the park on time, but they did it!  I was impressed. Houle family, I loved seeing you all again–you have a wonderful spirit and camaraderie and I’m so happy that Eleanor loved her gift.