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No, I’m Not Pregnant

Last year some time I was sitting down with one of my friends at dinner and told her I had something to tell her. Perhaps it was the excitement in my voice, or the edge of nervousness she could sense I had about what I was about to say. Whatever the case, she threw her arms around me and said “oh Amanda, I’m so happy for you… it’s about time!” At first, I thought to myself “how did she know?” Then the words played back it’s about time. She didn’t know. She just misunderstood. I am at that age in my life where any time there is news everyone assumes it is a baby. Well, friends, this isn’t a baby. Sorry for the let down.

But, I do have incredibly wonderful, exciting, huuuuuuge news. I have written this post so many times in my head now that it feels almost surreal to be actually composing it. WE ARE MOVING TO NEW HAMPSHIRE. It is a whirlwind of emotions over here. I have both extreme enthusiasm and a heavy heart in writing this, of course. Philadelphia has been such a wonderful experience for me. When we moved here four years ago, I never imagined we would like it half as much as we did. I never imagined we’d buy our first house here. Adopt another dog here. Meet so many wonderful people here. I never imagined Philadelphia to be welcoming, enjoyable, lively, and wonderful… but it is.

Over the last two years we have done a lot of talking about our visions for our long-term. Where do we want to settle? Possibly raise a family? We realized that the majority of our rare days off together were spent driving out of the city, rather than in. We frequently wander off to go snowboarding in the Poconos. Summer afternoons with nice weather, we take drives to Wissahickon to let the dogs play in the water, or take our bikes up the Schuylkill trail. (And yes, even after living here for four years I still just had to look up how to spell Schuylkill.) So, it only made sense to us when considering a permanent home for ourselves that we embrace what we truly enjoy and pick some place that reflects that. We took a short vacation to Vermont & New Hampshire last year and fell in love.

All that being said, it warms my heart to know that at least I will just be a short drive away from a visit… one that I intend to make quite often. And, of course, if any of you know anyone in the Vermont/New Hampshire area (we’ll be living right on the border), please send them my way. I am so excited to meet new people, discover new locations, and share the journey along the way.

To my Philadelphia friends and dear client-friends, no words can thank you enough. For trusting in me. For helping me become who I am today — both personally and as a business. It is because of you that I am able to do this to begin with and I cannot begin to tell you what that means to me. I truly feel that I could not have been any luckier with the people I’ve met while living and working here. Much love to you all.

 

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For the ultra-observant, you might have noticed a new watermark on my images. THE FIRST PEEK! We’ll save that exciting announcement for another post. One big change at a time, people.;)

Eric - Yay! Looking forward to having you up here and shooting with you.May 28, 2014 – 6:58 PM

Ceara - Oh, so awesome, so happy for you! I wish you didn’t have to go, but I know what it’s like to fall in love with a place. I won’t make it down to the city for coffee before you go :(, but I will miss you and wish you only the best. Who knows, I might be in the area sometime (my aunt lives on Lake George in NY, just over the border from Vermont…and I’ve never been across…)May 28, 2014 – 7:27 PM

Carly Totten - I will miss you so much even though we only have yearly dates. But I will be sure to keep in touch and visit? Maybe?! Congratulations on your news!! I can’t wait to keep following along. xoxoMay 29, 2014 – 5:09 AM

Jennifer A Ponting - SO SO SO excited for you to move and launch the re-branding!June 12, 2014 – 3:42 PM

Gayathri Segar - So excited for you Amanda! It definitely looks like things are going well and I’m excited to hear more about the re-branding. Please do keep in touch!June 17, 2014 – 1:21 PM

Philadelphia Wedding Photography: Roxanne & Mike’s Winter Wedding

What could possibly more Philadelphian than wedding images at Reading Terminal Market? Oh, you want to know the answer? Nothing. That’s the answer. Roxanne and Mike said from the outset they weren’t looking for the typical wedding portraits. As a safe haven from the cold weather, they picked Reading Terminal for their bridal portraits. And, it’s true: they are anything but typical portraits. The results were adorably Philadelphian, however, and I just love that.

At the end of the night — just before the party was over — it started snowing. We all looked at each other and just knew we had to sneak out for one more. A perfect ending.

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Kelly Phillips - The lady in the background of the last Reading Terminal photo just MAKES this shot, lol. Love it.March 25, 2014 – 2:27 PM

sonika dewakar - wow all the pictures are very beautiful and lovely
http://www.wacorp.in/industrial-process-water.phpSeptember 26, 2014 – 2:48 AM

Harnessing the Light: Cliff Mautner’s Lighting and Skillset Bootcamp

Last April, I had the honor of attending the Lighting & Skillset Bootcamp led by world-renowned photographer, Cliff Mautner. I first heard of this workshop a few years ago and envied those who had taken or were going to take it. Knowing the cost, I scoffed that they were actually spending that much money, ON A WORKSHOP. I am not going to lie: it seemed completely crazy to me at the time. Then, slowly but surely, I witnessed firsthand friend after friend attend and watched it positively transform their work. As if that weren’t enough, they came out with rave reviews. So, early last year, I finally got up the courage and decided to take the plunge for myself. Easily one of the best decisions I have ever made.

It’s hard to put into words a summary of the 2.5 days we spent at Cliff’s studio. All that we learned at the workshop. Most notable I think is Cliff himself, who has the most humble and genuine approach to teaching I’ve ever witnessed. During our extensive time with him, we drilled him with questions about all aspects of photography and business and he was straightforward and sincere with each and every response. He consistently went out of his way to address each  attendee — ensuring no one was left out. And on the day we left to shoot in the city, we were provided with a full chartered bus and almost as many models as there were shooters. Incredible.

So, it’s basically a known fact: most photographers forced to shoot mid-day will run for the shade. Shade is safe, even, steady. Fortunately, I am not one of those photographers — at least not any more. Thanks to Cliff, I have spent the last year able to welcome the challenge of shooting mid-day in the full sun.  I love how the light brings instant warmth to my images. I love how the shadows and highlights add dimension. I absolutely love shooting in the sun. The following images [taken at the workshop last April] are all shot mid-day, full sun — a situation that would leave a lot of photographers cringing. But wait until you see them…

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Over the course of our few days with him, Cliff taught attendees how to transform everything from mid-day sun to dark rooms into something dramatic. He proved that there is no such thing as bad light; it’s all about how you use the light that matters. One of his former workshop attendees (my dear friend Jenna Walcott) referred to his ability to harness the lightand I cannot think of a better way to say it. It’s no longer about searching for good light, it’s about harnessing the light you have.

Thank you Cliff for everything — the amazing experience, the hospitality, and all the knowledge. And a thank you to my fellow attendees for the lasting friendships and support. I am ever-thankful to have been able to participate in such an incredible opportunity. 

Philadelphia Wedding Photography: Nancy & Ryan’s Tendenza Wedding

There are so many moments as a photographer that I feel so honored to be able to capture. Some of them are expected: all the first kisses, first looks, vows spoken. But there are other moments that aren’t so expected and are evermore cherished. For instance, I will never forget when Nancy & Ryan saw their daughter, Nora, for the first time on their wedding day. Nora had been all dressed up in a beautiful white dress complete with white tights, a fur wrap, and a beret. A beret, people! It’s possible I have never seen anything cuter in my life. And, it’s possible Nancy & Ryan hadn’t either. Their love for her and excitement to see her was utterly palpable. This is about to sound super cheesy but I say this with the most sincerity I could possibly have — it was one of only a handful of times I have found myself actually shedding a tear behind my lens.

So moved by this, it’s no surprise that with all this epically cold weather we’ve been getting here in the NE this year I keep having flashbacks to this day and their gorgeous wedding at Tendenza from last January. While there was no snow on the ground, I remember shivering in Rittenhouse Square with the bridesmaids all wearing their warm winter boots beneath their dresses. I remember how agasp everyone was in seeing Nancy for the first time and how stunning she looked in her beautiful Nicole Miller gown. I remember everyone chuckling as little Nora was escorted down the aisle.  There are so many moments of that day that I enjoy re-living and pinch myself that I get to work with couples as amazing as Nancy & Ryan surrounded by their wonderful families and friends.

I never shared it on the blog, but it was most certainly one of my favorite weddings of the year. A cold but beautiful day with amazing people, amazing food, and an amazing venue. Pretty hard to top. So, at long last, here are a few favorites… enjoy!

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The bride’s mom signing the bottom of her shoes in blue, for good luck and “something blue.” Love this tradition!

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Ceremony & Reception Venue: Tendenza
Dress: Nicole Miller
Hair & Makeup: Anne Marie (Patterns)
Florist: Beautiful Blooms
Cake: Cescaphe Event Group
Band: Sid Miller Dance Band

Becki O'Neill - LOVE. Favorites: Nancy peering out the window; any picture involving Nora. Just perfect.March 20, 2014 – 9:27 AM

Philadelphia Newborn Photography: Baby Aaric’s Lifestyle Session

It was your typical first-baby-is-epically-late delivery story. Poor Andrea was due a bit before I left for Thailand, but sweet little Aaric decided to hang in there until the very last second… finally emerging just before I left. OF COURSE. Fortunately for me, Andrea & Scott decided to wait until I got back to do his newborn portraits — a fact I couldn’t be more happy about since I cannot imagine a better way to go back to work than getting to snuggle with this little guy. Most people? In returning from a long trip they dread their inboxes and the stacks of paper on their desk. For me? I get to look forward to cuddling sweet sleepy little newborns. I mean, how lucky am I?

Another fun factor was that Andrea also had an assortment of meaningful props to incorporate — an authentic sheepskin brought from across the world by one of her close friends, a hand-embroidered blanket by a relative, and the cutest little baby yoda ears I have ever seen.

I present to you: newborn Aaric. 21 days old and perfectly perfect.

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BABY FEET! Is there anything better?

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Kelly - Oh my Obiwan, that baby Yoda hat.March 19, 2014 – 2:58 PM

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