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Mike and Liz | Wedding

Seriously, I did not stop laughing all day long with these two! Liz and Mike embody joy. All the time. Every moment. I saw continous belly laughs, giggles and fist bumps at their wedding. The band rocked it all night like a concert and I honestly never stopped dancing while I was shooting. In love with their love.

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Fist bump first look.

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Bridemaids all in. Groomsmen all in. Off the cuff chants and cheers.

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County Tyrone, Northern Ireland | Travel

Travel is in my bones. It’s what quenches my lust for adventure and exploration. I was in Scotland early this summer shooting a friend’s wedding and I knew that I wanted to turn that into a mini tour. This tour spanned from Glasgow to London to Northern Ireland. I talked about the wedding in Glasgow here and my trip to London here. In this post, I want to tell you all about my time in County Tyrone in Northern Ireland. I chose this spot based on two things: The Giants Causeway and a lovely Airbnb cottage I found online. The Giants Causeway is a natural wonder and on my son’s “must-see” list for our trip though two hours north of the cottage. If Airbnb is new to you, march right over to their site and take a look!! I was able to travel on a small budget using Airbnb to stay in an apartment in Glasgow and a cottage in Omagh.

Our flight from London to Dublin was a piece of cake. Pick up of our rental car could not have been easier. The driving from Dublin to County Tyrone was…..um a bit scary. It’s a two hour drive from the airport to the cottage, on the left side of the road with the steering wheel on the right side of the car, with odd signage and traffic patterns. Our first whoops was stopping to pay a toll and driving up to the left. I had to stop, park and get out of the car to pay the operator whilst the men in the car behind me were snickering.

We arrived in Omagh to find a spread on the kitchen table of fresh eggs, butter, milk, jam, bread and a cake with the number 16 on it for my son’s birthday. We felt so incredibly welcomed! Our hostess met up with us and graciously gave us a tour of the property. She showed us how to gather eggs from her “ladies” should we want more. Fresh eggs from lovingly cared for chickens are incredibly different from eggs bought in the grocery store. It’s amazing how rich and orange the yolks are! That evening, we walked down the road to pick up additional groceries. I had a goal of making breakfast and lunch at the cottage and only eating our dinners out in order to save some money. We spent the night by a peat fire and making our plans for the week, pricing out activities and efficiently mapping out our routes.

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Our first stop was to explore the local area of Omagh in County Tyrone. We thought it best to see one of the many stones, stone circles, stone crosses. The first and only one we were able to locate was the Ogham Stone. It is a stone with notches and strokes erected in the late Iron Age. There was a small sign on a small road which took you down a small path to the stone. My teenage son was not impressed. We snapped a few photos and took in the views of rolling hills and the stream that ran nearby. It wasn’t mind blowing, but it was peaceful and quiet in that field. The stone was only six minutes from the cottage so we pushed on to see the town of Omagh and to find a coffee shop. The Riverfront Coffee House on Market Street hit the spot! My friend Jackie and I relaxed with creamy lattes and chocolate pastries while my son went exploring in the town.

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Another day, we decided to seek out the Donaghmore high cross though we became very lost and gave up. My son really wanted to get out of the car and go hiking so while driving through the Sperrin Mountains we stopped at Gortin Glen Park. It was a serene hike through the pines and ferns. There were hardly any other visitors so the park felt like it was our own.

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Just down the road was a series of hills labeled “Mossey Hill” and a small car park. My son insisted on climbing the hills and rolling down them. I wasn’t even sure we were supposed to be there, if it was private property or public property? In any case, we climbed those hills and watched sheep make their way in the lane below. It was other wordly being on top of those hills. They really did have fabulous views that stretched far across the county. I have never seen a greener place in all my life!

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London | Travel

In May, while helping to shoot a wedding in Scotland, I decided to extend my trip and visit my dear friend in London and then finish up in Ireland. London was two days of wonder and insanity led by one of my best friends, Andrea. I was traveling with my teenage son and also another friend from the states. We arrived in London late at night from Glasgow and did not expect the cab fare to be so incredibly expensive! As the fare ticked past £85 my heart raced and I asked the driver to stop at the nearest train station. That fare was all of our cash until we could get to an ATM! It was completely poor planning on my part as I should have researched the ride into London from Luton Airport. This fare is around £100 without a tip! Apparently a train ride is £14 per person though they stop service at 11:30pm so it would have been a tight squeeze anyway for us. At the Stanmore station there was no wifi connection so our phones were useless. A nice German fella was trying to explain how many different buses we needed to take in order to get into Hackney. Yeeeeeea that wasn’t happening. We decided to take our chances with the last train running that night. My cards wouldn’t work in the ticket machines and the operator became frustrated with me and just opened the gate for us. We ran for the gate thinking we were home free and off to Andreas Hackney flat! Breathless and sweaty we realized that the train made a final stop a few stations down at Wembley. Little did I know that the journey to her flat from there would be another hour if the trains were still running! Yikes! Unexpected hotel cost at Premier Inn Wembley Stadium that night. Would I like to add on breakfast for three in the morning? Sure why not. This is sometimes how it rolls when traveling. Expect the unexpected.

The rest of our time in London was filled with a relaxing morning walk along the canal, yoga at Stretch and lattes at L’eau a la Bouche. Andrea took us past The Clink Prison Museum and The Anchor Bankside where she told us about mass graves under our feet from the times of the Black Plague. Creepy. We were whisked past the crowds at Shakespeares Globe and across the Millennium Bridge to get a stunning view of St.Paul’s. My son had the bridge on his list of “Harry Potter must-sees”. They used the bridge in the movie Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. Afterwards we had a fabulous mexican lunch complete with perfect margaritas (yum) at Wahaca at One New Exchange where we took the elevator to the top to get a better view of the city. Andrea wanted us to see as much as possible so she made brisk walking tours of famous sites like Parliament and Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, 10 Downing Street, Green Park and Buckingham Palace. We honestly saw the Queen! Her car drove past us as we crossed over Constitution Hill. Craziness, no?! In a downpour one morning, we walked along the Thames and bought tickets to the Eye of London (another of my son’s requests). It was beautiful, but I honestly thought it was overpriced. We stopped at King’s Cross for another “Harry Potter must-see” platform 9 3/4. Being a Harry Potter fan, it was an excellent and FREE stop! Even the giftshop next door was brilliant and stocked with every die hard momento of the wizarding world of Harry potter ! It was hard to walk out without a wand in hand.

It was quite the whirlwind adventure but it was also very eye opening! It sparked something in me that had been silenced since my early 20′s. This hunger and yearning to travel and see the world has returned to me. Not just a yearning for a weeks vacation…no something much deeper. I dream of total cultural immersion. As a young woman I studied in Italy and then moved to Hungary which completely changed my life! It’s as if you are looking at the world with childlike wonder. Seeing things for the first time. Waking up each day with a real innocence. It’s calling to me again… in a small, repetitive whisper as dreams do.

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Eli and Pam | Wedding

It wasn’t that long ago as I sat in Pam’s chair getting my hair styled we first spoke of Eli. I listened to her voice change as she told me how different and wonderful it all was with him.  I saw her eyes change with a broad smile that spread out across her face. I remember how important it was for her to feel as if she was building this, slowly, very slowly. Building a foundation. I remember the excitement and crazy joy that followed after a trip to New Orleans and a proposal. We were bouncing up and down in the middle of her hair lounge, during business hours, like two teenagers.

Planning a wedding is a daunting task but add in the opening of a new restaurant, a new hair lounge and news of a tiny addition! I was relieved to receive a text asking if I could be ready to shoot a small backyard wedding on a Monday afternoon. Yessssss! An intimate, backyard wedding was just the ticket for Eli and Pam. I was completely overjoyed and honored to capture every moment. Every quiet detail. Every happy tear. Every farm fresh veggie. Every piece of gluten-free cake. Every smile. Every doggie in a bowtie (ok, there was only one lol). Love you both to bits!!

Many thanks to my dear friend Teresa Sweet for helping to capture the day with me!

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August 28, 2014 - 9:50 am

Stephanie Rita - These are absolutely gorgeous. LOVE the one of them on the porch rocking chair!

Kellan and Jenny | Wedding

Last month I had the pleasure of photographing Kellan and Jenny’s wedding in southern Rhode Island. The entire celebration was held on Kellan’s family farm. Relatives traveled from both near and far to spend a warm July day with the couple. All of the DIY pieces came together beautifully from the chalkboard ceremony sign, to the wooden arbor, to the wooden table signage, to the invitations. Jenny surprised each one of her girls with antique perfume bottles as a special thank you. Many thanks to Heidi Finn for helping me capture all of the love that afternoon!

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